Family members of an Ohio woman accused of killing Brother Rice teacher Al Filan at his Orland Park home said she acted in self-defense when she and another woman were threatened, according to media reports.
Alicia M. Walker, 20, of Akron, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Al Filan, after he was found on the kitchen floor of his house Tuesday morning.
The Orland Park Police Department said in a statement released Saturday that Walker went to Filan’s house on Jan. 18 after he contacted her through a classifieds website called Backpage. While there, the two got into an altercation over money that ended in Walker stabbing Filan several times, according to the release.
Walker’s mother Sherri Chatman of Akron, Ohio, and Walker’s uncle Ed Hensley of Winchester, Ky., both told Sun Times Media that Walker said she was defending herself against threats from Filan, and that another woman was at the house at the time.
“My understanding is the guy wielded a knife at the other girl, ” Hensley told Sun Times Media, “and then my niece freaked out, took the knife from him and then stabbed him with it to keep [the other woman] from getting stabbed.”
Chatman told Sun Times “Alisha told me she had to, that there was nothing else she could do. The only way I see my baby doing that is if she was in danger, in harm. It was either him or her. I think she freaked out.”
A woman who answered at Hensley’s listed phone number declined to speak on the matter on Sunday. Attempts to contact Chatman were not successful.
The Orland Park Police Department did not answer Sunday when asked about Walker’s family members’ words. The department's statement did not mention another woman at Filan's house on Jan. 18, nor did it say Walker claimed self-defense.
Police said Walker had visited Filan two previous times, and that she had prior arrests for prostitution, battery and drugs.
But Chatman and Hensley said that wasn’t always the case with Walker. They described her as getting good grades, attending church and caring for her grandmother, in the Sun Times report.
Chatman said Walker left Akron at age 18 for Chicago, where she became a prostitute and she “got involved with the wrong people. Somebody showed her the lavish lifestyle we could never afford to have, and things got to her.”
Walker is being held in jail in Indiana. She is scheduled for an extradition hearing on Monday.