Ylet Noelle Patterson, the mother of slaying suspect Skyy Raven Marie Mims, says she wakes up in her Detroit home at 5 every morning.
She can't say much about how she spends her days. She claims to be putting together the pieces, finding ways to prove her daughter is innocent. But she also spends hours trying to raise money, asking friends and family to help her hire a private attorney.
Patterson says she needs $5,000. So far, she has $500.
U.S. Marshals arrested Mims, 21, on March 11 on a charge of murder in the death of Dahyabhai Kalidas Chaudhari, a Dalton, Ga., convenience store clerk. Mims, who was from Detroit, had recently moved to Atlanta to further her rapping, modeling and dancing careers.
Patterson said her daughter had been in Chaudhari's convenience store on March 9, the night of the killing, to sell her mixtapes and distribute fliers promoting her upcoming performance at an open mic night.
"We do not trust Dalton," Patterson said. "That's why I'm coming forward now. Dalton is horrible. What else can I say? It doesn't take a genius to figure this out."
Public Defender Brandon Sparks is representing Mims. He could not be reached for comment Friday night. Neither could members of the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office nor Conasauga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bert Poston.
Patterson said she found out her daughter was wanted in the slaying on March 11, when her son saw a news report. She was shocked. She said Mims graduated fifth in her high school class and never had been arrested.
She said her 6-foot-1, 135-pound daughter is not strong enough to kill a man. And, if Mims had killed Chaudhari, she wouldn't have driven back to Marietta, where Mims had been staying. She would have fled to Mexico.
"They sensationalized it because she was beautiful," Patterson said. "Had she been toothless, nappy headed, there would be none of this. But you're looking at a child that has everything going for her: Beauty, talent, brains, peace."
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.