Democrat defeats incumbent Republican in Memphis DA race

A Democratic lawyer who pledged to make abortion prosecutions under Tennessee’s “trigger law” an extremely low priority in the county that includes Memphis has defeated the incumbent Republican district attorney who refused to say whether she would go after doctors who perform the procedure.

Steve Mulroy scored a decisive win over Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich in Thursday’s election after a contentious race that featured clashes over abortion prosecutions as well as a new state law requiring strict sentencing for violent crimes and other issues.

Mulroy takes office Sept. 1. He said his top priority is consulting with staff to develop strategies to combat violent crime, which is a persistent problem in Memphis.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the people in the DA’s office, both the leadership and the line attorneys,” he said Friday.

A longtime prosecutor, Weirich has been the district attorney in Shelby County since 2011. She oversaw successful prosecutions in high-profile cases such as the murder of NBA player Lorenzen Wright and developed a program that uses a panel of community members to hold low-level offenders accountable without sending them to jail.

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