• Attorney: Man accused of shooting Memphis mother to death in front of her kids claims innocence

    By: Siobhan Riley

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The man accused of killing a Memphis mother in front of her two children faced a judge Thursday for the first time since his arrest.

    RELATED: Arrest records detail horrifying moments before man allegedly killed Memphis mother

    Michael McKinnie was arrested Tuesday in connection with the deadly shooting of well-known hair stylist Latarica Stripling. 

    McKinnie was in court for about five minutes where he had his arraignment Thursday. His hearing is set for Friday. 

    PREVIOUS STORY: Man accused of murdering Memphis woman in front of her children downtown arrested

    FOX13 spoke with his attorney, who said McKinnie is claiming he is innocent. 

    McKinnie is accused of shooting and killing Stripling – his estranged wife – in front of her 8 and 3-year-old children in the 700 block of Kentucky Street last month.


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    “Right now, he and I are working together on our end of the investigation. There are always two sides of the story and what we are working on now is gathering the evidence that we need to show his side of the story,” said Lauren Massey Fuchs, defense attorney representing McKinnie.

    Stripling’s family said McKinnie was the victim’s estranged husband.  

    According to the U.S. Marshal’s Office, McKinnie was found on Whispering Elm this week nearly two weeks after Stripling was gunned down in Downtown Memphis.  

    Police said McKinnie pulled up to the car the mother of three was sitting in, pulled her out, shot and killed her after a brief struggle.  

    RELATED: 'I told you I was going to kill you.' Man accused of killing Memphis mom had violent criminal past

    Police pronounced her dead when they arrived.

    “He has entered a plea of not guilty,” Fuchs said.

    Fuchs said on Friday, they hope to learn exactly which prosecutor will handle the case.

    The victim’s family did not want to talk on camera but said they will be in court every single day until they get justice. 

    When FOX13 spoke to the family the day of Stripling’s vigil, they had a few things to say. 

    “She was doing all that she could to stay away from him, but he just refused to accept no,” said Latoya Stripling.

    The family told FOX13 Stripling sent her estranged husband to jail for manslaughter in the past.  

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