MARSHALL COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - A one million dollar bond and a public defender. Both were given to Mississippi murder suspect Rico Fleming on Thursday, January 12th.
The 22-year-old was in court in Marshall County, talking to our cameras on the way in.
Fleming is one of three charged with the Christmas Day drive-by murder of 16-year-old Derica Patterson and injuring three others.
Deputies believe the shooting was the result of a gang fight. Gang activity seems to be a growing problem in North Mississippi.
All three suspects in the shooting of Memphis-native Patterson are believed to be gang members. They met the victims, including Patterson, at a club in Mississippi a few hours before it happened.
"I'm innocent. I want to send my condolences to the family, and I want to ask for a fair trial," Fleming told abc24.com.
Sheriff deputies believe Fleming and two of his friends were at Club Emotion in Marshall County on Christmas Eve, when they got into a fight that led to the drive-by shooting that killed Patterson a few hours later.
"All I'm saying, I'm innocent," he said.
When asked what happened that night, he refused to answer.
"No. I don't want to talk about that," he told abc24.com.
Fleming is charged with murder and five counts of drive-by shooting.
31-year-old Corey Albright and 16-year-old Christopher Collins both charged along with him.
"We consider Fleming to be most dangerous one of the three," says Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
The sheriff's department says all of the suspects are in a gang.
"Bottom line, you don't know who's in a gang and who's not until incidences like this," says Investigator Kelly McMillen.
"Yea, there's gangs that come here," says Jerry Henderson. "Cause every now and then they'll throw up a sign."
Henderson owns Club Emotion. He's seen all three of the accused at the club.
"I was glad to see him (Fleming) off the street, being honest," he says.
Fleming may be locked up now, but the investigation into Patterson's murder is opening even more windows into the gang world.
"We've heard stuff during this investigation about individuals in our county," McMillen says. "A lot more individuals that are involved in this kind of activity."