“Something just made me want to... I wanted to drive, and I seen the car running, so I got in it and started driving around. Then the police got behind us. Then I got locked up.”
When Cedric was charged with carjacking at the age of 17, his attorneys fought to keep him from being transferred to the adult system. He took a plea deal and was given 6-9 months in Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville, Tennessee. He missed his senior year at his high school, but while he was at Wilder, he studied for his High School Equivalency Test, and passed. Upon release, he re-connected with a program called JIFF (Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Follow-up), which provided him with a mentor and helped him get a job with a locally-owned company, Sweet LaLa’s, where he bakes cookies and packages them for delivery.
“[Cedric's attorney] was real nice. She talked to him when he was locked up and told him, "Why did you do that?" and "What made you do that?" And he just ... I don't know what he said, but I was just heartbroken, you know? My son? Because I was looking for him to go to school, play basketball, and do something with his career… She talked to him for a long time and told him to stay out of trouble and don't mess with the wrong crowd and go to school. Get your education.”
Cedric's mother, Bridgette, grew up in Texas, and does not have family in the Memphis area. In fact, she was out of town visiting her mother when Cedric was arrested. Her other three children, ages 14-19 years old, are all in high school and have stayed out of trouble.