MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say Lamont Murry shot and killed a man in Southwest Memphis during an argument this week.

He was already facing murder charges from a 2020 double shooting when it happened. So why was he still on the street?

We went to the Shelby County District Attorney for answers.

Police say in August of 2020, Murry killed two people at a motel on American Way. But records show prosecutors dismissed those charges.

Shelby County D.A. Amy Weirich says they needed more evidence to make a case against Murry, and
that process took a while.

“The investigation that was given to us by the Memphis Police Department was not complete,” Weirich said.

Murry eventually got charged again in the double murder nine months later.

“Do you think that nine months between the initial arrest, charges getting dropped and then the indictment is an appropriate amount of time?” we asked Weirich.

She responded, “Hard to say what’s appropriate. I don’t know what efforts law enforcement went through. I don’t know if they had issues.”

She also says the pandemic delayed court proceedings, including indictments like Murry’s.

Still, once he did get indicted in June, he was never actually arrested. Shelby County Sheriff’s officials say they tried to find him but couldn’t.

Weirich says they need the community to help when there are known warrants out.

“It’s not easy if the person doesn’t want to be found, particularly when you have the caseload [Shelby County has],” she said.

This case highlights a bigger problem in Shelby County: the revolving door of crime that’s gotten worse during the pandemic.

Weirich says, since they started releasing people from custody in March of 2020, 1,000 of those defendants have committed new crimes.

She has a lot of answers for this issue, involving hiring more officers to serve warrants, and asking lawful gun owners to secure them safely.

Weirch also said that Memphis Police announced this week they will create a fugitive team to help the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office serve warrants.