Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 3:46 a.m.
The witness, Ashley Fontaine, is the 29-year-old wife of the victim. She was interviewed at her residence, 655 North Lamar Boulevard. The interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Ashley Fontaine
Detective Murphy: We appreciate your help, Mrs. Fontaine. For the record, could you please state your full and address?
Ashley Fontaine: Ashley Mathers Fontaine, and I live here, 655 North Lamar. Is this going to take long? I'm so distressed about this whole situation. I just cannot believe he is gone.
Detective Murphy: We're sorry to trouble you at such a difficult time, but we do have some questions we must ask you
Ashley Fontaine: Anything to help. Philip and I were very close, you know.
Detective Armstrong: With your cooperation, we can get this over with in no time. Just some routine questions. Would you like a tissue?
Ashley Fontaine: Yes, thank you. It's just that with us being in the Social Register and all‒being, you know, so prominent around town‒Philip's death presents added difficulties for us.
Detective Murphy: Why is that?
Ashley Fontaine: Grant and I are deeply grieving right now, you know, and with this being in the press and all, the whole town will be, you know, looking at our family very closely. I'm not used to living life in a fishbowl, Detective.
Detective Murphy: Well, I think the people of Oxford will be very sympathetic with you, Mrs. Fontaine. After all, it's not as if you're involved in any way in your husband's death.
Ashley Fontaine: Me? Involved? Why would you think that?
Detective Murphy: I meant that your friends and everyone in town will likely feel very sympathetic towards you because of your very tragic loss. There'd be no reason for us to be suspicious of you, would there?
Ashley Fontaine: Thank you, Detective Murphy. I'm so distressed I can't think straight right now.
Detective Armstrong: We're just asking routine questions here, the same we'd ask of anyone else. Tell us what happened today.
Ashley Fontaine: Well, Philip left for the office early this morning‒about seven, like he always does‒and came home around dinnertime.
Detective Armstrong: What time would that have been?
Ashley Fontaine: Around 6:30 p.m.
Detective Armstrong: Did you notice anything unusual?
Ashley Fontaine: Philip did seem extra agitated. He's been under so much stress at work lately, especially with that obnoxious Bruno Coleman trying to stop the development.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Coleman and Mr. Fontaine were having difficulties?
Ashley Fontaine: They've had difficulties for almost 20 years. That Coleman has always been jealous of Philip and out to get him.
Detective Murphy: Did Mr. Coleman make any threats against your husband?
Ashley Fontaine: Philip didn't say, but he didn't tell me a lot about the business. But he could have.
Detective Murphy: Who was in the house when your husband arrived?
Ashley Fontaine: Me, of course. And our son Grant. And the maid, Raquel. Raquel Santos.
Detective Armstrong: What happened next?.
Ashley Fontaine: Philip came home about 6:30 or 6:35 and then the phone rang. Philip was on the phone for a few minutes.
Detective Armstrong: Did he say anything to you after the phone call?
Ashley Fontaine: No. Nothing. He seemed even more upset, that's all.
Detective Armstrong: And then what happened?
Ashley Fontaine: I released Raquel early, and then we had a nice, pleasant family dinner like we always do.
Detective Murphy: What happened after dinner?
Ashley Fontaine: We all chatted a bit, and then Grant left to go out with some friends, and I left shortly thereafter to go see some friends of mine.
Detective Murphy: What time was that?
Ashley Fontaine: Around 7:30.
Detective Armstrong: Now, Mrs. Fontaine, you know we're going to talk to other members of the household, including your housekeeper and maintenance man.
Ashley Fontaine: Raquel and Joey? Why would you want to talk to them? Don't bother. They're just servants. They don't know anything.
Detective Murphy: Routine procedure. Is there anything they might tell us about the events that took place this evening that you might be forgetting? Just to keep our records straight.
Ashley Fontaine: No. Wait, maybe Philip did say something to me about Raquel. Yes, Philip did say that Raquel had seemed upset when he saw her earlier, but I'm not really sure what he was talking about. I mean, Raquel and I did have a discussion earlier in the day, and then Philip and I had a discussion about that discussion, but I really can't remember any more. I'm sorry I can't help you any further on that.
Detective Armstrong: A discussion. I see. Just a few more questions, if you don't mind.
Ashley Fontaine: That's fine.
Detective Murphy: What did you do after dinner?
Ashley Fontaine: I left to be with friends of mine for the evening.
Detective Armstrong: Who might that have been?
Ashley Fontaine: Some good friends from college. I felt so bad; I couldn't remember anyone's name.
Detective Murphy: Where did you go?
Ashley Fontaine: Well, let's see. We just went to a friend's house for a while.
Detective Murphy: Which friend's house did you go to?
Ashley Fontaine: I don't remember right now, Detective. I'm so distressed I just can't think straight. Yesterday and today are such a blur. I'm sorry. I really just don't remember where we went.
Detective Murphy: You don't remember?
Ashley Fontaine: No.
Detective Armstrong: Doesn't that sound odd to you, out with old friends on the night your husband was killed and you can't remember any names or where you were?
Ashley Fontaine: I was with friends! Just ask any of them. They'll tell you where I was. Philip and I had a very good marriage. Please, Detective, are we almost done? This is very, very distressing for me so soon after Philip's death.
Detective Murphy: I understand, Mrs. Fontaine. A few more questions and we'll wrap up for now. What time did you arrive home tonight?
Ashley Fontaine: I'd say it was around 1:00 a.m.
Detective Murphy: Did you have anything to drink?
Ashley Fontaine: Sure. My friends and I had a good time. I'd had a few drinks.
Detective Murphy: Was your stepson, Grant, with you?
Ashley Fontaine: He wasn't with me, but he came home at the same time. We arrived in the house together.
Detective Murphy: Did you notice anything unusual about Grant?
Ashley Fontaine: Well, he seemed distracted. I can tell you that. The rehab programs have been a failure as far as keeping him clean, the poor boy.
Detective Murphy: Did you notice anything else about Grant?
Ashley Fontaine: I saw a nasty cut on his arm. I asked him about it, but he didn't remember anything about it. He told me it didn't hurt.
Detective Murphy: So you don't know how the cut got there?
Ashley Fontaine: No, I really have no idea what happened to him.
Detective Murphy: So you and your stepson returned home. Then what happened?
Ashley Fontaine: After we got done in the garage, we went in. The house was a shambles. Philip's belongings‒all of our precious belongings had been gone through. It looked like somebody had come in looking for something, and they had to go through the entire house looking for it.
Detective Murphy: And then what did you do?
Ashley Fontaine: Poor Grant was so distraught he walked around in a daze, touching everything and moving things around.
Detective Murphy: And what happened then, Mrs. Fontaine?
Ashley Fontaine: I was in a state of shock, just walking around the house not understanding how or why someone would want to do this to us.
Detective Murphy: Go on.
Ashley Fontaine: I walked through the living and dining rooms, and then I entered the kitchen. Oh, it was awful, just awful to see him like that!
Detective Murphy: Your husband?
Ashley Fontaine: Yes. To see Philip like that in the kitchen, lying there, all splattered with blood. He had been stabbed and had bruises on his body. Are we almost done?
Detective Murphy: Almost, Mrs. Fontaine. Was your stepson with you when you found your husband in the kitchen?
Ashley Fontaine: No. Grant was in another room.
Detective Murphy: Did you call out to him?
Ashley Fontaine: Yes. I just shrieked until Grant came to the kitchen. I asked him to come help me.
Detective Murphy: Then what happened?
Ashley Fontaine: Grant was standing around in shock, doing nothing at first, then touching things, as if he didn't know what he was doing.
Detective Murphy: What did you do?
Ashley Fontaine: I called 911.
Detective Murphy: And after that?
Ashley Fontaine: Grant just kept looking at me. He just kept staring at me.
Detective Murphy: What time did you call 911?
Ashley Fontaine: It must've been about a half hour after we got home, around 1:30 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for your help, Mrs. Fontaine. Oh, one last thing. You don't have any idea, do you, as to who would want to kill your husband?
Ashley Fontaine: No, like I said earlier, I was worried about some of his business and real estate developments. I don't know anything about his business, really. I don't get involved in that side of things, but I was worried he might have an enemy or two like Mr. Coleman.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for all your help. Please do contact us if you have any other information you think could help us during our investigation.
Ashley Fontaine: Yes, of course.
End interview: 4:08 a.m.