The mother of one of the two suspects accused of murdering 21-year-old Arizona State University student Zachary Marco says her son may have a checkered past, but he's no killer.
KPHO spoke with Theresa Whiting yesterday, the mother of 17-year-old Marion Patterson. Not only does she say her son is innocent, she's angry about the way he was arrested by Tempe cops -- she says they ransacked her house when she wasn't home.
"I was devastated. I'm heartbroken. The Tempe police are dogs," Whiting tells KPHO. "I'm going to fight it to the finish until the day I die, you understand me? Because I know for a fact that my boy didn't do that."
Whiting says she's angry about the way the SWAT team arrested the other suspect in the murder, Louis Harper -- who is also her grandson -- without a warrant.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
She says Patterson is bipolar and has a criminal history that includes ties to a home invasion. But, she says, he's also an honor student who wouldn't kill anyone.
"My boy's innocent!," Whiting said. "He didn't do nothing like that. My heart was broken, and it's still broken, but they need to find who the real killers are. My boy would never shoot nobody."
Tempe police disagree -- they say they're certain they've got the right men. The suspects' fingerprints were found on some of the property stolen from Marco during the murder, and a third suspect, whose arrest was not announced at the TPD's press conference yesterday, says he drove Patterson and Harper to the murder scene and watched as Harper shot Marco.
Check out the entire KPHO interview with Whiting here.