Suspects charged in Laylah Washington’s murder appear in court

Suspects charged in Laylah Washington’s murder appear in court

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family members of Laylah Washington are finally seeing the men charged in her death face justice a year-and-a-half after the 2-year-old’s murder.

The two suspects were in court Thursday, and WMC5 spoke with their attorneys about what’s ahead.

“He is more or less shocked by this, this is not something he’s use to,” said attorney Blake Ballin, who is representing Brandon McCray. “He’s never been in trouble before and so he’s a bit nervous and certainly wants to get this behind him."

Brandon’s cousin Tylan McCray has hired well-known defense attorney William Massey.

Tylan McCray (Left), Brandon McCray (Right)
Tylan McCray (Left), Brandon McCray (Right)

Tylan is charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 road rage death of 2-year-old Laylah Washington. Police said Brandon drove the car in the shooting, and he’s charged with accessory after the fact.

Laylah’s family attended Thursday’s hearing, with many wearing T-shirts in her honor.

At a previous hearing on Dec. 26, 2018, they expressed frustration.

“Somebody failed to do their job because they did not charge the guy driving the car with the same crime that they charged the guy who did the shooting,” said Laylah’s uncle Terry Washington.

Laylah Washington (Source: GoFundMe)
Laylah Washington (Source: GoFundMe)

Ballin said he can’t rule out the possibility his client could face more trouble.

When asked if he expected upgraded charges for Brandon, Ballin said, “Against our client I would not expect that but certainly if that happens we will deal with it.”

Ballin said Brandon maintains his innocence.

“Our position is that our client Mr. McCray is not guilty of anything but being in an unfortunate position when somebody else committed a crime and simply driving away from the scene,” Ballin said.

Massey said his team is probing the case to determine if a charge of first-degree murder is warranted.

“Finding what facts the state relies upon to establish an intent to kill probably involving a child that he didn’t even know was in the car,” Massey said.

Both attorneys are preparing for a preliminary hearing to review evidence.

Tylan and Brandon are both set to be back in court Wednesday, Jan. 9

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