Two charged in shooting death of Phil Trenary appear in court Monday

New evidence uncovered in Trenary’s murder

Two charged in shooting death of Phil Trenary appear in court Monday

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two of the three people charged in the shooting death of Phil Trenary appeared in court Monday.

McKinney Wright Jr., 22, his cousin 16-year-old Racanisha Wright, and 18-year-old Quandarious Richardson, are charged with first degree murder in perpetration of criminal attempt robbery and criminal attempt especially aggravated robbery.

Police say all three admitted to the crime, and one suspect said they were driving around looking for people to rob that night.

Friday, Richardson led police on a chase in a stolen vehicle matching the description of the car used in the shooting.

Phil Trenary, who was the president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, was shot and killed Thursday evening on South Front Street-- it happened after the Chamber hosted a walk/run nearby.

“It's amazing he chose our city to do what he did, and it's just a terrible tragedy,” said Judge Bill Anderson before he started court proceedings Monday.

Richardson appeared in court via video, but he only heard the charges he racked up Friday after police say he led them on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle.

Richardson will be in court again Tuesday to hear a first-degree murder charge.

Two charged in shooting death of Phil Trenary appear in court Monday

The families for Richardson and McKinney Wright Jr. were at the Shelby County Justice Center Monday.

The suspects’ families stood in disbelief as some of the charges were read aloud in the courtroom.

“My nephew doesn't seem like the type who would go out and get a gun and kill somebody,” said Richardson’s aunt Keisha Patterson.

“We're just trying to figure out what happened,” said Wright Jr.’s aunt Freddie Ball. The two families say they want to talk to their family members before they believe the charges.

“Maybe my nephew got with the wrong group of people,” Patterson said. “Maybe somebody influenced him.”

“Every time he gets in trouble it's with somebody badly influencing him,” Ball said. “He's 22, but he has the mind of a 14-year-old.”

Judge Anderson said he never met Trenary, but he has an idea of what he'd want in this situation.

“It’s time to bind together,” Judge Anderson said. “It’s time to do what he was trying to do.”

Two charged in shooting death of Phil Trenary to appear in court Monday

Monday, the Greater Memphis Chamber said it will continue to move Memphis forward, because that's what Trenary would have wanted.

With news of the suspects’ arrest, Chamber Board President Richard Smith put out a statement to board members Sunday night, which says in part:

“It now seems clear that this was yet another senseless tragedy in a world that sees far too many of them.”

Cheryle Jackson is one of the neighbors on Front left uneasy by the crime.

“It seems random,” Jackson said. “This typically, well it hasn't happened in this neighborhood.”

A number of residences in the neighborhood have doorbell cameras. Police confirmed Monday they do have video that shows the suspect vehicle parked along the street next to the sidewalk.

They also confirmed the vehicle in the video is the same vehicle that Richardson crashed Friday. However, police would not discuss what’s seen in the video.

A neighbor who’s watched it said you can see Trenary walking, then having some kind of interaction with the suspects before he’s shot.

“I’m not living my life differently,” Jackson said. “Not living it in fear. But I think the question for the city is, how do we get ahold of the violence? How do you begin to change the trajectory of this thing?”

In his statement to the chamber board, Smith noted that when Trenary died he was walking in a neighborhood full of potential and construction.

Trenary’s visitation and funeral have been set for Thursday afternoon at Christ United Methodist Church on Poplar Avenue.

An advancement fund for the City of Memphis has been set up in his memory.

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