Manatee sheriff: Woman killed at hands of neighbor, 'I had an altercation'

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A woman accused of killing her neighbor is said to have told another, "I had an altercation with the woman in that house last night."

Concerned that she hadn't heard from her mother for hours, Zelma Huddleston's daughter took a cab to her home on 3rd Avenue West during the morning Tuesday, Oct. 18, and found her covered in blood. She was dead with a knife near her body, according to the affidavit issued by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Misty Whiteley had been neighbors with Huddleston for several years.

The affidavit shows Whiteley made several statements to others before and during detectives began their investigation. To the cab driver, Whitely allegedly stated someone else "beat" Huddleston.

In addition, the knife was said to be in the house and she wanted it back.

A detective later spoke with Whiteley, who reportedly stated: "Someone smacked her across the head with something and she was the last one to see her before she got hurt." The detective reporting seeing a black eye on Whiteley, including cuts and blood on her right hand.

But it was a paramedic who reported hearing Whiteley say aloud: "I had an altercation with the woman in that house last night."

A search of Huddleston's home uncovered a wooden key chain, with keys with the name "MISTY" engraved in the wood next to Huddleston's body.

The evidence was enough for prosecutors to charge Whitely with second-degree murder. She is scheduled for a Nov. 17 court appearance.

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