Thursday, 17 September 2015 12:48

Second Teen Pleads Guilty in Contractor’s Murder

Corey Sandifer Corey Sandifer SCSO
MEMPHIS – Sept. 17, 2015 - The second of three defendants charged in the murder of contractor John “J. P.” Shelley two years ago pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Corey Sandier, 18, was sentenced to 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole. He also was sentenced to 12 years, to be served concurrently, for aggravated robbery.
Last month, Derek Cunningham Jr., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated robbery in the case and was sentenced to 30 years in prison with no parole.
Criminal Court Judge W. Mark Ward approved the negotiated settlement of both cases.
The shooting occurred Oct. 4, 2013, in the 4700 block of Scottsdale Ave. in Parkway Village where Shelley, a contractor, was meeting with construction worker Octavio Sanchez to discuss refurbishing a home.
They were confronted by two gunmen, later identified as Cunningham and Sandifer, who robbed Shelley of his cellphone, an iPad and cash. Sanchez was robbed of his wallet and cash.
During the holdup, Cunningham shot Shelley in the neck, killing him.
Sandifer, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, robbed Sanchez at gunpoint and also was charged with criminal responsibility for the death of Shelley.
A third defendant charged in the case, Thomas Moss, 18, is in custody and is scheduled to be in court next month.
Shelley, 42, was married and was the father of two children.
The case was handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit, and by Asst. Dist. Atty. Neal Oldham, also of the special unit that handles homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members and special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.
The prosecution team works daily with the MGU Operations team, using local ordinances and state and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.
About half of the unit’s caseload involves of homicides, with the rest involving violent crimes such as aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, attempted murders and narcotics cases.