Mom of murder victim on suspect's release: 'I want her monitored'

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - A North Charleston murder suspect has been released from jail after posting bond set by a circuit court judge. But the suspect is not required to wear any kind of GPS monitoring unit.

The victim's mother wants to know why.

Micki Zalatimo sat in a West Ashley park with some of her son's best friends. She says their presence helps her cope with her son's death.

"He's supposed to be alive, and now he is in a container reduced to ash," said Zalatimo.

Police say Zalatimo's middle child, Alex Whipple, was stabbed to death by 19-year-old Akara Edwards. Whipple was only 22 years old.

"They had been dating a few months," said Zalatimo. "I think when I really became aware of her maybe it was sometime around March."

According to a police report, Edwards told officers Whipple showed up at her house, but she refused to go outside to meet him. That's when Edwards says Whipple got angry and began beating a vehicle with a hammer.

A police report says Edwards went outside carrying a kitchen knife. She told police Whipple dropped the hammer and charged at her and was stabbed in the chest.

"I can't see him being mad enough to do that," said Zalatimo. "Until they prove that to me, I am the queen of skepticism."

Edwards was arrested and charged with murder two days after Whipple's death.

Whipple stayed in jail three weeks but, was released on a $50,000 bond agreement with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office. The order included house arrest and no contact with the victim's family.

However, Edwards was not forced to GPS monitoring.

"She can go anywhere," said Zalatimo. "I can go into Walmart and run into her. Who's to say I'm not going to go into BI-LO, we're on the same sugar isle and there we are face to face."

Assistant Solicitor Culver Kidd said in a statement that Edwards did not pose a flight risk and did not need GPS monitoring.

"However, my position on bond should not be an indication that we are not taking this case seriously. Whenever someone loses a life at the hands of another we must do our due diligence," Kidd said in the release.

But Zalatimo wants her monitored.

"I want to know, where are the ground rules for this?" asked Zalatimo. "Basically, he wants the community to police her. You shouldn't see her though. You should know where she is."

Kidd says Edwards' legal representation is seeing immunity from prosecution. She will have a Duncan hearing within the next 90 days.

"It will be at that hearing that a judge will determine whether my office is legally allowed to pursue the charges levied against Ms. Edwards," read Kidd's statement.