Suspect in road rage murder of innocent 2-year-old girl accidentally released on $15,000 bond

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MEMPHIS, TN- This could have ended very badly. Law enforcement officials in Memphis, Tennessee are confirming that a suspect in the killing of a two-year old toddler in a road rage incident is back in custody after being “accidentally” released.

FOX 13 in Memphis reports that Tylan McCray has been taken back into custody after a “clerical error” resulted in his release late this week.

According to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, McCray’s bond was set at $15 million, however due to the error his bond was shown as being $15,000.

 

McCray, 21, was arrested and charged in the shooting death of 2-year-old Laylah Washington in the road rage incident. The case made national headlines when the young child was shot as she rode in a car with her mother in a white Nissan Maxima near Castle Creek on June 11, 2017.

FOX 13 said it took investigators more than a year to compile a case and arrest two men in connection with the crime. McCray’s 19-year-old cousin, Brandon McCray was charged in the case as being an “accessory after the fact to wit: first-degree murder.”

As reported by the outlet in 2018, Laylah’s family was not happy with the charges levied against Brandon McCray.

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

In addition to Laylah’s family, the judge who heard the charges expressed some confusion as to why the cousin wasn’t likewise charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder charges against Tylan McCray.

News 3 WREG in Memphis said the district attorney confirmed the error in releasing McCray.

“Someone in the clerk’s office mistakenly entered the bond into the system as $15,000,” said District Attorney Amy Weirich.

By the end of the day on August 17, McCray was able to post the mistaken bond amount and walk out of jail.

“I could’ve been out somewhere and spotted him or he spotted me. That’s scary with him already attempting to kill me and my other kids,” said Leslie Washington, Laylah’s mother.

She told the station she was so distraught over McCray being out of jail that she couldn’t work on Wednesday.

“They told me that had TBI [Tennessee Bureau of Investigation] out looking for him,” she said. “I really was heartbroken because I felt like the justice system had failed us again.”

Fortunately, Washington’s concerns were short lived and by Wednesday afternoon McCray was back behind bars where he belongs. Washington was relieved however said the incident didn’t give her peace of mind.

“They need to take their jobs a little more serious, especially when you’re dealing with criminals, murderers and rapists,” she said. “I think the person needs to be reprimanded for their actions.”

WREG reached out to the clerk’s office to find out exactly what happened, however no further information was provided. They would only say the “issue has been addressed.”

The 2017 incident in which Laylah was killed while she was riding in a car with her mother, who got into an argument with four men in a black four-door sedan. One of the passengers (Tylan McCray) opened fire on the car, striking Laylah in the head. She died two days later.

 

 Meanwhile in Bridgeton, New Jersey, a 25-year-old man who had been released from jail last year to “prevent the spread” of COVID-19 two days later was involved in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old, WHDH in Boston reported.

Jerry D. Crawford was serving time on burglary charges when he was cut loose from jail on “public health emergency credits” and delegated to mandatory parole supervision on Nov. 4, 2020, the NJ Department of Corrections told NJ.com.

Crawford and Yusuf J. Wiates, 23, were indicted last week on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree conspiracy to commit murder following a lengthy investigation into the shooting death of Davion Scarborough only two days after Crawford was released.

Scarborough’s body was found near a dirt path located less than a half-mile from South Woods State Prison, the facility Crawford had been released from. He had been shot multiple times.

Both suspects are currently being held and are due back in court for preliminary hearings.

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Last year, we reported on prisoners released in California, not accidentally but rather on purpose. In case you missed it, here’s that report:

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FRESNO COUNTY, CA- The list of incompetent governors is wide-ranging, and if you were to try to pick out the worst of the worst, it would probably be a ten-way tie. Included in that group would be California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

You could probably count among his detractors Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp, who blasted Newsom last week at a press conference dealing with an explosion in violent crime in the area, in particular in Fresno.

The Daily Wire reports that Smittcamp said:

“Stop using COVID-19 to promote your political agenda. The blood of the children being shot by out-of-control gang members in our city is on your hands, and on the hands of every person who does not make public safety a priority.”

Smittcamp’s press conference was being held on the same day where officials at San Quentin were considering whether or not to appeal the decision by the State of California to release over 1,100 inmates. The order was directed by the First District Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week, KTLA reported.

 The District Attorney stated:

“The law enforcement agencies represented behind me are the ones fighting on the front lines to bring peace to our community. We are in some of the most violent times we have ever seen…In the midst of this, our last two governors vowed to close state prisons. Governor Newsom announced that he will close the state prison facility at Tracy, California, on September 30, 2021.”

“Why is this relevant to why we are here today?” she asked of no one in particular. “It is relevant because we are lacking bed space to house local criminals who are shooting up our cities and killing our children and each other.”

She continued:

“His solution to COVID protection and prevention is letting them out of prison with no regard for their victims and the communities they will return to terrorize,” Smittcamp said. “So I just said it: Governor: open up the prisons. Do your job. Manage.”

According to Fox News, she also said that when Newsom had touted the state’s decreasing number of inmates, he never mentioned that some of those released were in fact violent criminals. “It’s just another example of poor management on the state level,” she said.

“No one states the obvious: that Gov. Newsom ignores the drug-addicted people laying in the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles and all the other cities in California like Fresno while paying attention to how to best protect the inmates from prison, and not the cities from crime,’ Smittcamp said.

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Smittcamp also noted that schools, hospitals, grocery stores, police departments and barber shops have managed to deal with the pandemic, with proper precautions in place. She said Newsom should find a a way to make sure prisons are managed in a similar way so they are not being closed.

In April, the state’s Judicial Council voted to set bail at $0 for certain misdemeanors, as well as low-level felonies in order to reduce prison overpopulation amidst the pandemic. However, up until last week, even criminals facing gun and gang-related charges also qualified for zero bail.

Add to that the fact that this past spring, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the state expedited the release of 3,500 inmates because of the coronavirus, and in July it freed 2,345 others early. Thousands more are eligible for release, including at least 6,500 deemed to be at high risk because of medical conditions that make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Last month, Fresno City Council Member Luis Chavez said that 600 criminals had been released back into the city since April, while adding:

“We’re in the middle of a crime wave, and that is not a term that I use loosely because that’s how it’s being described here in our city. And we need to really step up and prioritize public safety.”

Adding on, City Council Member Gary Bredefeld said:

“In our community, I believe we’ve had 38 murders to date. We are surpassing what occurred last year all across our city. I understand there’s been an 80 percent increase in shootings since April, and a 70 percent increase in stabbings. I mean, there is gunfire all over the place and we need to make our citizens safe. We need to continue to give police the resources to deal with this.”

Smittcamp said that the court in Fresno had started to exempt certain crimes from zero bail, adding to the list of crimes subject to bail, making a request to the court to increase bail amounts for gang and gun related crimes.”

Smittcamp is clearly displeased with the direction the state is going with prisoner release and bail reform.

“The last four or five women in this community, and the last four or five victims in this community have been killed or shot. Innocent women, innocent people caught in gunfire have been women of color. It is enough. Enough is enough. Its’ time for it to stop.”

The sheriff of Fresno County agrees with Smittcamp.

Sheriff Margaret Mims said, “Pointing the finger at the state is the absolute right thing to do because nearly 20% of our jail population is comprised of state inmates that are ready to go on to state prison. However, the reception centers are closed.

They’re actually timing out in local custody and being released and never moving on to state prison because they’ve been there so long.”

Aside from Smittcamp and Mims, they were joined in the press conference by U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott and Fresno Police Chief Andy Hallalso, according to KMJ. Scott said to criminals, “We’re not going away. We are not going away.”

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