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Interview: Marianna York

Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 8:37 a.m.

Marianna York's husband Mason has been trying to be a mentor to RJ Brandt at their pastor's request. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed Mrs. York at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Marianna York

Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in, Mrs. York. Would you state your name and address for the record please?

Marianna York: Sure, Marianna York, and I live at 814 Lincoln Avenue.

Detective Murphy: We'd like to ask you some questions about the Brandt family.

Marianna York: Oh, my. I don't really know them all that well. I mean, Mason and RJ have hung out together, but I don't really know the family.

Detective Armstrong: Has RJ ever come to your house?

Marianna York: No. Oh, wait. Yes, he did one time. He and Mason played some Xbox together.

Detective Armstrong: What were your impressions of RJ?

Marianna York: Can I say that? I mean, is that allowed? To give my impressions?

Detective Murphy: This isn't court, Mrs. York, just an interview. You can tell us your impressions and ideas.

Marianna York: Well, I personally thought RJ was a little weird. Not because of the way he dressed ‒ lots of kids wear dark clothes and that kind of thing, and it doesn't mean anything bad ‒ but RJ would never look me in the eye.

Detective Armstrong: You mean he was shy?

Marianna York: I don't know. Not shy exactly, but he just seemed like he was.... I don't know. Just that he seemed distant? He wouldn't look me in the eye and seemed like he didn't want to be there or wasn't there mentally, like his mind was somewhere else.

Detective Murphy: So you think he may have some mental problems?

Marianna York: Oh, I don't know about that. He just seemed off.

Detective Armstrong: I guess I'm a little confused about what you're trying to say, Mrs. York.

Marianna York: I don't think RJ was really all together when he came over. I don't know if he was on drugs or had a mental issue or maybe just had a lot on his mind. I don't know, but he didn't seem like he was all there to me.

Detective Armstrong: Did he say anything to you about his family?

Marianna York: RJ and I never really talked all that much. Mason said some things to me about RJ's parents not being very nice to him, and even mentioned once what I thought about us being his foster parent. Other than that, you would have to ask Mason.

Detective Murphy: So how would you have felt being his foster parent?

Marianna York: I told Mason I wouldn't like it, that I didn't think RJ was the type of child I would want in my home.

Detective Armstrong: Is that because of the impression you had of him?

Marianna York: Well, that and...well this may sound bad, but I like to have younger children be in my home. It seems like once the child gets past seven or eight, they aren't as willing to learn and are more set in their ways. I don't feel like I can help them as much.

Detective Murphy: How do you try to help them?

Marianna York: Well, I try to be a good example for them, to help them learn about God, to be good citizens in the community.

Detective Murphy: And you believe that once they're older than eight, a child can't learn those things?

Marianna York: Oh, they can, but they're just not as willing to accept the things I have to share.

Detective Armstrong: Do you think you could reach RJ?

Detective Murphy: I don't think so. Unfortunately. I mean Mason tries. He spends time with that boy, gives him some of the attention he craves, but I haven't seen any improvement.

Detective Armstrong: What does Mason think about your impression of RJ?

Marianna York: I don't know. You'd have to ask him.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Thank you for your time Mrs. York.

Marianna York: You're welcome.

Interview ends: 8:51 a.m.

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