MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Rico Fleming is no stranger to the law; his criminal record in just Fayette County spans more than six pages.
Fleming is one of three people charged in the Christmas Day murder of 16-year-old Derica Patterson near the Slayden Travel Center on U.S. Highway 72. Of the three, he is the only suspect still at large.
"With all this going on, right here that I see in front of me, I believe my daughter's death may be avoided," said Carol Dye, Patterson's mother, as she reviewed a copy of Fleming's criminal record.
"I think it could have been avoided, I think this could have been avoided if he only stayed in the system," she said.
Fleming should have been in jail on the day Patterson was murdered.
Fleming was arrested in Mid-December. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation, and that should have kept him in jail. It didn't. A judge set Fleming's bond at $50,000, and before someone could catch the oversight, Fleming posted bond. He hasn't been seen by law enforcement since.
"If he made that bond real fast, by the time they found out he was on some form of probation, it may have been too late, he was gone," said Jay Bailey, a local attorney who used to represent Fleming.
"If you ask me if he should be on the street? As a lawyer, I tell you yes, as an individual I will tell you sometimes the system works for us, and sometimes it works against us," said Bailey.
Fleming was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Most Wanted list on Wednesday.
"It has been hard, it has been tough, it is even more tougher because he is still running," said Dye.
Anyone with information on Rico Fleming's whereabouts is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463).