MEMPHIS, TN – Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons announced Friday that the state Grand Jury for Shelby County has indicted a Memphis man charged with shooting two innocent children on a playground in Frayser, killing one and injuring the other.
The Grand Jury indicted Montrel Gilliam, 19, for first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder. Gilliam is charged with firing shots at a car passing by on Woodcliff Drive. Martez Henderson, 11, and Donttrerus Taylor, 4, were on a nearby playground during the shooting and were struck by bullets. Henderson died and the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. Taylor survived.
“This is one of the worst examples of the consequences of senseless violence on our streets and in our neighborhoods. It is important that we hold those who commit such crimes fully accountable,” said District Attorney Gibbons.
Gilliam was arrested on June 22, 2006. He is being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Tennessee law states a person convicted of first degree murder shall be punished by death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for life with possibility of parole. Attempted first degree murder is a class A felony, with a standard sentence of 15-25 years in prison.
Both charges are covered by the District Attorney’s “No Deals” policy on violent crimes.
Trial is set to begin on Monday, May 18, 2009 in Division 7 of Criminal Court. Montrel Gilliam is represented by defense attorney Juni Ganguli.
Juni Ganguli, 36, has practiced law for 12 years. He is licensed to practice in both Tennessee and Mississippi. His undergraduate degree is from Rhodes College. He received his law degree from Tulane University. He has handled more than 20 first-degree murder cases and eight death penalty cases.