Treveno Campbell, accused of gunning police officer MarToiya Lang Dec. 14, is scheduled to be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge on Thursday.
In preparation for that hearing the 21-year-old met with noted Memphis defense attorney William Massey as the alleged shooter remains hospitalized with gun shot wounds.
"I have been retained by the family of Treveno Campbell to represent him in this charge," Massey said. "I'm going over there to meet with him this afternoon. We went (Tuesday) evening and we had to have special permission from Chief Moore to visit him. So, we were not able to see him yesterday."
Though it could be years before Campbell ever gets his day in court as a defendant, Massey is just beginning his own investigation into what really happened in the chaos that erupted at 1062 Mendenhall.
They left their calling cards behind drenched in blood, anguish and tears.
Phillip Workman. Frederick Williams. Reginald Rome. Dexter Cox. Alexander Haydel. Either executed, convicted or awaiting trial for taking the lives of law enforcement officers.
Campbell will join that list of infamy as he will be arraigned. But, on the long road to justice, Campbell won't be traveling it alone.
But, as history demonstrates, Massey will have possibly years to learn everything there is to know about his client before he comes to trial. With Shelby County Criminal Court dockets perpetually crowded, even high-profile cases like Campbell's is likely to be, will have to wait their turn in the justice system.
It took three years before Rome was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the shooting of Sheriff's Deputy George Shelby. But, that time period pales in comparison to cases where the mental competency of a defendant, such as Williams, a former firefighter and multiple murderer, who becomes as much of an issue as guilt or innocence.
"There's numerous trials where one psychologist or psychiatrist will give one opinion as to the mental state of an individual charged with a crime," said Gerald Skahan, defense attorney.
Then there's another expert that gives a totally different opinion.
"If I have two conflicting opinions the next thing to do is have a hearing before a judge and let the judge make that decision of whether the guy's competent or not competent," countered defense attorney Ed Lenow.
Skahan, who has represented Haydel during the 16 months since he was arrested for the murder of Memphis police officer Timothy Warren, observes mounting a case is compounded for the defense when the death penalty is on the table.
"You've got to prepare actually two trials," Skahan said. "The guilt/innocence phase and you have to prepare for the mitigation phase which is the sentencing phase of the trial. Which is totally a separate trial altogether."
As the mourning continues for slain officer Lang, Massey is preparing to represent a wounded client in Campbell who is facing a health battle as well as the criminal one ahead.
"I don't know if they're letting him out of the hospital yet or not," Massey said. "But, I may carry up with me a waiver of appearance where we can go on and get the process started. We have miles to go before we sleep on this one. Lot of work left for us to do. We're just beginning."