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Interview: Carter Nichols

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:55 p.m.

The witness, identified as a student in the Drama department at the University of Mississippi, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Carter Nichols

Detective Murphy: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Carter Nichols: No problem. I don't know what you think I can tell you, but hey, I'm game.

Detective Murphy: Could you please state your name and address?

Carter Nichols: Carter Nichols, of the Greenville Nichols --

Detective Armstrong: Yeah, yeah. Where do you live, kid?

Carter Nichols: I live 164 Courthouse Square. Got a great balcony, right on the Square, above the Village Tailor.

Detective Murphy: Did you know Kimberly Pace?

Carter Nichols: Yeah, I was in one of her classes. Although it's going to be a helluva lot different with Franklin teaching.

Detective Murphy: How would you characterize your relationship with Dr. Pace?

Carter Nichols: She was OK.

Detective Armstrong: Just OK?

Carter Nichols: She was your typical English teacher. What do you want me to say?

Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw Dr. Pace?

Carter Nichols: Couple weeks ago. I missed a couple classes.

Detective Murphy: Why did you miss them?

Carter Nichols: You know what? I can't quite remember.

Detective Armstrong: Look, kid, I can assure you this is no acting class. Now, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're being evasive because you think this is a joke. Because you're screwing around. I know it and you know it. But you'd better start taking this seriously, or I'm going to think your evasiveness is a sign that you're lying to me.

Carter Nichols: All right. It's not everyday you get interrogated by the police. I was just trying to have some fun.

Detective Murphy: Answer the question.

Carter Nichols: I missed one class because I just didn't feel like going. And I missed the second class because I was getting ready for a party at the fraternity.

Detective Murphy: And you hadn't seen Dr. Pace since the last time you attended class?

Carter Nichols: Negatory, Detective.

Detective Armstrong: Your sarcasm's noted.

Detective Murphy: Are you aware of the Letter to the Editor published in The Daily Mississippian on September 19th?

Carter Nichols: I thought that was great.

Detective Murphy: What was great about it?

Carter Nichols: Oh, I just thought it was a riot.

Detective Murphy: What do you think of the name attached to the letter? I believe it was Richard– Patrick Richards. Do you know Patrick?

Carter Nichols: Yeah, I know him. Weirdo. Very studious. Always in the library. Very intense. He's just the type of kid to pull this.

Detective Murphy: Well, certain people seem to think that he didn't write that letter, that someone else wrote the letter and signed his name.

Carter Nichols: That's awfully X-Files.

Detective Murphy: In fact, we've been told that you were probably the one who wrote the letter.

Carter Nichols: Who? Me? I wouldn't even know how to begin to be so eloquent.

Detective Armstrong: But you are a Drama student, right?

Carter Nichols: Yes. But, alas, for I am only the mouthpiece. I try to recite lines that were written by more brilliant people than myself.

Detective Murphy: To be honest, I'm not buying it. Did you have some kind of axe to grind with Dr. Pace?

Carter Nichols: No. And I didn't write that letter.

Detective Armstrong: We'll see about that. Mr. Richards gave us a writing sample so we can do some analysis. Would you mind giving us a sample?

Carter Nichols: Yes, I would.

Detective Murphy: That's OK. I'm sure we can get some of your papers from your professors.

Carter Nichols: Correct me if wrong. Don't you need some sort of court order or something for that. Wait. I'll just call my dad.

Detective Murphy: That's OK. You see, Dr. Pace's entire home is a crime scene, and we've been going though it in detail for several days now. I'm sure we'll find some of your papers there.

Carter Nichols: What's the big deal? It was a silly letter! How bad can that be?

Detective Murphy: Not bad at all, if the person told us about it. But if someone wrote that letter and then lied about it, that could be very bad indeed.

Carter Nichols: All right. I wrote the damn letter. What's the big deal? It was just a joke.

Detective Murphy: What did you hope to gain by writing that letter?

Carter Nichols: Nothing! I was just trying to have some fun. What's the big deal with that?

Detective Armstrong: There's nothing wrong with a little fun, but you lied, you framed another student, and a professor's dead. Is this your idea of fun?

Carter Nichols: I didn't have anything to do with her death!

Detective Murphy: Just a minute ago, you said you didn't have anything to do with the letter either.

Carter Nichols: But that was different!

Detective Murphy: Did you and Dr. Pace ever talk about the letter?

Carter Nichols: No.

Detective Murphy: Did she ever say she thought you might be behind it?

Carter Nichols: I'd have to be stupid to talk to her about that.

Detective Armstrong: Are you sure about that? You don't sound too sure.

Carter Nichols: I'd have to be an idiot to lie right now.

Detective Murphy: Yes, you would.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe when you're in front of a judge facing a murder charge, you won't think it's so funny.

Carter Nichols: Me? Murder? What are you talking about?

Detective Murphy: Where were you on the evening of Saturday, September 24th and the early morning Sunday, September 25th?

Carter Nichols: I was at the fraternity house, getting ready for a party.

Detective Murphy: OK, well, we'll swing by there to see if there's anyone who can corroborate that. We'll be talking to you again, so try to behave yourself, OK?

Carter Nichols: Yeah. OK.

End interview 4:11 p.m.

 

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