Accused murder, Jerice Hunter, writes Avondale man who believes she is innocent

AVONDALE, AZ - The woman accused of murdering her young daughter has formed a friendship with an Avondale man who believes she is innocent.

"She's trying to tell the truth now," said Elder Kim Baker, a West Valley church leader, "but I think her past is outweighing anyone listening to her sincere pleas."

Baker became interested in Jerice Hunter's case and started sending postcards to the inmate in May, he told ABC15.

Glendale police arrested Hunter for the murder of five-year-old Jhessye Shockley. The girl was reported missing by the mother back in October 2011, but detectives believe the call to 911 was a ploy.

Investigators said Hunter tossed the child's body in a Tempe dumpster. Crews searched a landfill for three months, but never found the child.

"She was never there," said Baker, "Jhessye was never there."

Baker doesn't expect a guilty verdict; actually, he thinks prosecutors will drop the charges.

"We have a missing person," said Baker, "but we don't have a crime."

Despite never finding a body, Glendale police have said in previous news conferences that their department believes Jhessye is still somewhere at the bottom of the Butterfield Station Landfill.

Hunter is due back in court in September.

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