Memphis Ex-Prisoner Credits Prosecutor For His Turnaround


For more than seven years in prison, Quantreal Underwood of Memphis thought about the prosecutor who put him away for second-degree murder, says the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She had called him a killer, a liar, a drug dealer, “a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde” type who even had his family fooled. “Everything she said about me at the time was true,” Underwoodsays. That was in 1995 and when he became a victim of a crime this summer Underwood specifically asked for her to handle the case.

“Another prosecutor told me ‘I’ve got a victim requesting you as a prosecutor; it’s a guy you put in prison for second-degree murder,'” Cook said. “My first thought was, ‘Is he joking?’ He said ‘You put it to me, so I know you’ll put it to my cousins.'” Says Underwood now, “Rehabilitation comes from within yourself, and if you can keep yourself away from gangs and drug activity and focus on some program or trade and get some family support, it helps take you away from that environment.” He’s been out of prison and out of trouble for almost 10 years, attends church, works two warehouse jobs and hopes to earn a business administration degree. Underwood now hopes prosecutor Cook can help set his cousins on the right path, just as she did with him years ago. “She was just doing her job, but if it was not for her 17 years ago I would possibly be dead,” said Underwood. “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. She helped me grow and to be more responsible, to be a man.”

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