Thaddeus Matthews suing Shelby County for $1M in son's death

Melvin Willies (Source: MPD)
Melvin Willies (Source: MPD)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis media personality is suing Shelby County, claiming the government is partially responsible for his son's death.

Thaddeus Matthew's son, 32-year-old Kenya Matthews, was killed by a drunk driver in June, and now Matthews is suing the county for $1 million.

Melvin Willies, 62, hit and killed Kenya while he was riding his bicycle along West Raines Road and Weaver Road, according to police records in June.

Willies is now behind bars facing vehicular homicide and DUI charges, and Matthews said Shelby County is equally at fault for his son's death because Willies was already on probation for reckless driving.

As a part of that probation, a judge ordered an interlock device installed in Willies' vehicle--this came three months before he allegedly took Matthews' son life.

It's a device Matthews claims the county was negligent in installing in the 62-year-old's car, allowing Willies, who was already convicted in two other states for DUI, to get behind the wheel and kill his son.

"How many other offenses like this are going to take place before the District Attorney General and Shelby County government is held responsible," Matthews said. "For you not to do your due diligence, not to do your job. In this case, they slapped him on the wrist, and he killed my son."

The District Attorney's Office and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office had no comment. Shelby County said it will address the allegations in court.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.