By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
HOLLY SPRINGS – Marshall County Justice Court Judge Mae Garrison set a $1 million bond and appointed a public defender for murder suspect Rico Fleming on Thursday, just hours after he was extradited from St. Louis.
The Moscow, Tenn., man, is charged in death of 16-year-old Derica Patterson of Memphis in a drive-by shooting on Christmas morning near Slayden. Five other people were in the same car with Patterson.
Sheriff Kenny Dickerson asked for bond to be denied due to the nature of the charges, Fleming’s flight risk and dangerous status and the fact that his bond had been revoked in Tennesee. Garrison said only the Circuit Court could withhold bond.
Fleming, wearing shackles and a bullet-resistant vest in his short walk from jail next door to Justice Court, claimed innocence and challenged reporters, “When I beat these charges, I want y’all to come then, too.”
Patterson’s mother, Carol Dye, noted Fleming’s fleeing to Missouri.
“He ran because he’s guilty. Ain’t no way he’s innocent,” she said. “If he was innocent, he’d be here trying to explain it all.”
Garrison set Fleming’s next court appearance for Feb. 29.
Two other men face similar charges in the case. Dickerson said Cory Albright, 32, of Rossville, Tenn., remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bond. Christopher Collins, 16, of Rossville, is free on $50,000 bond.