Harbor Town murder suspect previously arrested 8 times

Amy Weirich (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Amy Weirich (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich is responding to questions about why the suspect in the Harbor Town homicide was allowed in and out of custody so many times.

Kurtrell Williams was arrested for the murder of Susan Grissom, and it's not his first arrest.

He's been arrested eight times since turning 18 in September 2014 for crimes that include burglary, auto burglary, theft, vandalism, and aggravated assault.

Williams could be considered a repeat offender, but records show he was never sentenced for more than two years. He was granted bond in four of his eight arrests, placed on probation twice, sentenced to one day in jail for burglary of a motor vehicle, and given two years in jail for breaking into a Shelby County high school, but he was later granted diversion.

"There are far too many offenders that have not gotten that message. They continue to harm, they continue to hurt, and it's very frustrating," Weirich said. "I would like to see truth in sentencing."

She also said Tennessee's sentencing laws are designed to help rehabilitate and look first to probation, but even if a defendant is sentenced to the maximum amount of time for a crime, under Tennessee law it is likely they won't be required to serve all the time.

Weirich added a judge should take into consideration a defendants full criminal background before sentencing, but when it comes to repeat offenders, she believes there needs to be more accountability.

"We need to make sure as a DA's office, criminal justice system, that you are being held accountable and sentenced to the absolute max we can give under the law," Weirich said.

She added she can't speak specifically about Williams' case.

Williams faced a judge Monday, and he is expected back in court Nov. 20.

WMC Action News 5 has previously reached out to Williams' family for comment, but so far no one has agreed to speak.

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