Quandarius Richardson listens to Judge Bill Anderson (Photo: Johnathan T. Martin)

Quandarius Richardson was visible via a video screen set up for his arraignment as the General Sessions Court judge overseeing the proceeding broke with precedence Monday morning.

Richardson, 18, is one of three people charged with shooting to death Greater Memphis Chamber President/CEO Phil Trenary on Friday evening. His co-defendants are McKinney Wright Jr., 22, and 16-year-old Racanisha Wright.

Moments before the procedural start of the arraignment, Division 8 Judge Bill Anderson – in what he noted was an unprecedented move – weighed in, saying the Memphis community had lost “a giant to a random act of violence.

Anderson said he never had met Trenary and would not have taken the case, if he had. To have met Trenary would have been a privilege because he made the city far better for everyone, Anderson said.

Trenary crossed community and racial lines to bring people together, Anderson continued. “He was not a native of Memphis, but he chose to help Memphis.”

The General Sessions Court, Division 7-area brimmed with anticipation for the court session, which was held in connection with charges connected to the fatal shooting in the 500 block of South Front shortly before 8 p.m. Friday. With Richardson facing charges of theft of property ($10,000 to $60,000), evading arrest and reckless endangerment, Anderson set bond at $25,000.

Richardson and McKinney Wright Jr. are scheduled to be in court Tuesday for arraignment on the murder charges. Making a reference to that, Anderson said there was no need for Richardson’s family to waste their time or money trying to make the $25,000 bond because no bond is attached to the murder charges.

Trenary lived Downtown. He was killed as he walked from a four-mile run event that the Greater Memphis Chamber had sponsored at Loflin Yard.

Police had been on alert since Thursday night for a four-door F150 truck believed connected to the fatal shooting. A vehicle matching that description was spotted near Watkins and Signal Friday morning. A check of the driver’s tag showed the vehicle stolen. A high-speed chase ended with a spectacular crash in South Memphis. Four people were injured, including the two suspects in the stolen truck.

The funeral service for Trenary will be held in Seabrook Hall at Christ United Methodist Church at 4488 Poplar Ave. on Thursday (Oct. 4) at 2 p.m. Visitation is set for noon. Canale Funeral Directors has charge.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Phil Trenary Fund for the Advancement of Memphis at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

During his opening remarks at the Richardson arraignment, Judge Anderson also said, “From here on we have to dust ourselves off and go to work. We all have an obligation to make things better. If we learn nothing (else) from this tragedy, it is time to bond together.”

(This story was written by Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku and includes the reporting of photojournalist Johnathan T. Martin.)