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Interview: Follow-up with Cheryl Weston

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 2:40 p.m.

The witness, Cheryl Weston, was identified as a friend of the victim, Kimberly Pace. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy conducted this follow-up interview at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Cheryl Weston

Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?

Cheryl Weston: Cheryl Weston. I live at 712 Martin Luther King.

Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in for this follow-up. We'll try to get through this quickly.

Cheryl Weston: I don't mind. How can I help y'all?

Detective Murphy: There's just a few loose ends we need to tie up, Cheryl. For one thing, we found approximately $1,500 in Kimberly Pace's bathroom. Do you have any idea about that?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, I think that's an old habit of mine that she picked up. It's sort of a waitress thing. You know, when you work for tips – cash – you have a tendency to keep a stash. In case of emergencies. I think she started doing it when she worked for me way back when, and then she just kept the habit.

Detective Murphy: Why wouldn't she put it in a bank? I mean, ATMs are open 24 hours.

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, well, machines break and computers go down. I mean, I still keep a stash myself. You never know when something might happen and you can't get to a bank or an ATM.

Detective Armstrong: So you have no reason to believe that she came by the money suspiciously?

Cheryl Weston: Kimberly? Are you joking? No, I don't think so.

Detective Armstrong: When was the last time she worked for you?

Cheryl Weston: Well, she was always ready to take a shift if I really needed her to. I think the last time she did was about three weeks before she died, but it wasn't on a regular basis. Sometimes, when I needed help or she needed some extra money.

Detective Armstrong: And how did you pay her?

Cheryl Weston: What do you mean?

Detective Armstrong: Did you write a check?

Cheryl Weston: Oh, I see. Yes, we cut checks. But the customers, they give the tips in cash. Does that answer it for you?

Detective Armstrong: Perfectly.

Detective Murphy: In your first interview, Cheryl, you said Kimberly told you that she thought the person who wrote that letter to The Daily Mississippian was a student that she knew who she considered a friend. Tell me anything about that?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, she was talking about Patrick Richards. I mean, that's whose name was on the article. But it turned out that the article was written by that little scum Carter Nichols.

Detective Murphy: Kimberly told you that she confirmed this?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, the night we had dinner. She said that she had confronted him, but he just laughed at her. She was pissed. She was going to try to get him expelled or suspended, whatever she could pull off.

Detective Armstrong: Did she say when she planned to put that into motion?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, the following Monday morning, she said she was going to go to the Dean's office. But she never got the chance.

Detective Armstrong: Do you think Carter Nichols may have had something to do with Kimberly's death?

Cheryl Weston: Well, it's not beyond no realm of possibility in my mind. I don't know though. He's seems like such a cowardly thing. I mean, I don't know if he'd have the nerve.

Detective Armstrong: You've met him?

Cheryl Weston: He had the nerve to come to Kim's funeral. Well, he didn't meet a very warm reception, and he left before the service started.

Detective Armstrong: Seen him since then?

Cheryl Weston: No. Can't say I'm sorry either.

Detective Armstrong: Did Kimberly ever talk about Laurence Bricker?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah. He didn't like her and she didn't like him. I think he felt threatened by her.

Detective Armstrong: Threatened in what way?

Cheryl Weston: Well, she was so talented and gifted with her students, I think it made him feel inadequate. It would explain why he was always trying to bust her chops. I mean, it explained it to me anyway.

Detective Armstrong: Ever meet him?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, he and his wife, they came to Kim's Christmas party last year. He was polite and uncomfortable. She was quiet. They didn't stay long.

Detective Armstrong: How about Patrick Richards or Cody Matthews?

Cheryl Weston: Patrick Richards was the one Carter set up to take the fall for the article. Kimberly felt bad because she'd been so cool to him right after the article. But she felt like she could make it up to him. Said she was going to call him and apologize.

Detective Armstrong: Did she?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know. We never had the chance to talk about it again.

Detective Armstrong: Cody Matthews?

Cheryl Weston: That kid following her? I tried to get her to contact the police. I wish she had. I mean, I think she was seriously considering it. But I think it might have been very telling. She never did do anything that I know of though. The problem with Kim was that she thought she could handle everything herself, that she didn't need help.

Detective Armstrong: Did that take a toll on her health?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, I think that that attitude, it did take a toll on her health. I mean, and her mental well-being, if you ask me.

Detective Armstrong: In what way?

Cheryl Weston: Well, the night we had dinner, she looked exhausted, thin. She barely even ate a bite. Everything seemed to be getting to her. Her mom was getting worse, Paul had moved out, the article, that stupid neighbor of hers. She needed a break.

Detective Murphy: Is that what she told you?

Cheryl Weston: I told her that she needed to take a vacation and get the hell out of Dodge for a while. I wish she had. We might be sitting here having coffee with her now, instead of wondering what the hell happened to her.

Detective Murphy: Can you tell us what you were doing between the hours of 9:30 p.m. on September 24th and approximately 3:00 a.m. on the 25th?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah. I was with ten of my daughter's little friends, you know, a sleepover. Around 3:00 a.m., we were making s'mores. That's why I had dinner with Kim on Friday, because I couldn't make it to the opening with her.

Detective Murphy: OK. Cheryl, do you have any knowledge of any romantic feelings or a relationship between Paul Evans and Becky Pace?

Cheryl Weston: Good God, no. Neither one of them would ever disappoint Kimberly like that.

Detective Murphy: So Kimberly didn't have any knowledge that Paul was interested in anybody else? For instance, Lila Lawson or Angela Wilder?

Cheryl Weston: Well, she halfway suspected that they had their sights on Paul, and it pissed her off. But she knew that Paul wasn't interested in them. He used to make jokes about it to tease her.

Detective Armstrong: Do you happen to know how an empty box for a pregnancy test came to be in Kimberly's trash?

Cheryl Weston: Well, Becky put it there.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know what Becky was doing with it?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, I told her to get rid of it because I didn't want my kids to find it. I had a little scare with a fellow that I'd been seeing, and–but I think you know all about that now, don't you?

Detective Armstrong: So you aren't pregnant?

Cheryl Weston: Thank God, no.

Detective Armstrong: Who was the guy?

Cheryl Weston: I don't see why you need to know that.

Detective Armstrong: Humor me.

Cheryl Weston: Look, I didn't tell him about it.

Detective Armstrong: Why not?

Cheryl Weston: Why not? Because there was no reason to unless I knew for sure.

Detective Armstrong: So, who's the lucky guy?

Cheryl Weston: His name is – look, you're not going to tell him about this pregnancy thing, are you?

Detective Armstrong: Who's the guy?

Cheryl Weston: His name is Tommy... Tommy Quinn.

Detective Armstrong: See? That wasn't so hard.

Detective Murphy: How can you be so sure that the box we found in Kimberly's trash was from your test?

Cheryl Weston: Well, whose else would it be?

Detective Armstrong: Do you know if Becky or Kimberly ever suspected they were pregnant any time recently?

Cheryl Weston: No, not that I know of.

Detective Murphy: Cheryl, let's talk about the day you and Becky and Jeremy found Kim's body. Do you remember it clearly?

Cheryl Weston: Well, I don't know how clearly, but I remember it.

Detective Murphy: Do you have any feelings about Becky or Jeremy or any of their behavior that seemed to be odd or unusual or unlike their normal selves?

Cheryl Weston: How do you mean?

Detective Murphy: Well, there seems to be some confusion about where everyone went in the house when you were trying to find Kim.

Cheryl Weston: Look, I can't tell you nothing about that. We were three of the closest people in the world to that girl. We went there thinking we going to have a brunch and a fun day, and instead we found her dead. If we sounded confused, then we probably were. You don't get over a shock like that overnight.

Detective Murphy: So nothing that they've done or said since then has struck you as unusual or odd in any way?

Cheryl Weston: No.

Detective Armstrong: How did you view Kimberly's relationship with Jeremy Gladwell?

Cheryl Weston: How did I view it? They were very close friends.

Detective Armstrong: OK, but what was your take on the relationship? Was it co-dependent?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know, maybe.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe? How? In what way?

Cheryl Weston: Well, the battle between Paul and Jeremy for Kimberly's time, it was a little wearisome. I mean, I'm not implying that Jeremy was in love with her or anything like that. He wasn't interested in women that way. But sometimes it did seem like Jeremy was just too demanding on Kimberly, even though she didn't think so.

Detective Armstrong: Anything you can tell us surrounding the circumstances of the death of her first dog, Emerson?

Cheryl Weston: Yeah, he was poisoned. Kimberly thought that nasty old Arthur did it. Sometimes I thought so too. But really I think it was just a sad accident. I mean, I've had pets. They get into things. Things happen. They get sick. Sometimes there just isn't any explanation.

Detective Armstrong: Did Kimberly blame anyone for Emerson's death and, if so, who?

Cheryl Weston: I'm sure you know by now that she thought Arthur did it. But she couldn't prove it and she knew it.

Detective Armstrong: Did she have any plans for paying him back for what she believed he did?

Cheryl Weston: She talked a lot about how she would make him sorry. Becky was trying to get her to hire a private detective, just to freak him out I think. I wish she had. It might have been very telling. But she never did do anything that I know of. I mean, short of arguing with him over the back fence.

Detective Armstrong: Now that you've had some time to mull this over, any thoughts on who might have done this to Kimberly?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know. I mean, I get ideas sometimes, but then they just go away. I loved her. She was like a daughter to me. In my mind, she was perfect. I can't imagine anyone ever really wanting to really hurt her. I mean, I just can't bear to even think about it. So I guess the answer to your question is no.

Detective Murphy: Incidentally, did you ever tell Kimberly you thought you might be pregnant?

Cheryl Weston: No.

Detective Murphy: Why not?

Cheryl Weston: Honestly? I guess I didn't want her to know that I might have been... careless.

Detective Murphy: Why not?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know. I just didn't.

Detective Murphy: But you didn't mind Becky knowing?

Cheryl Weston: I guess not, no.

Detective Murphy: Why was it OK for Becky to know but not Kimberly?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know. I can't really put it into words. I guess I always kind of felt like I should set a good example for Kimberly.

Detective Murphy: Why?

Cheryl Weston: I don't know. She... she kind of looked up to me in some ways. I didn't want to disappoint her.

Detective Murphy: Why would she have been disappointed?

Cheryl Weston: Look, I don't know. I didn't analyze my actions at the time. If I had been pregnant, I would have told her, of course. Right away. But I wasn't. I might have told her anyway if I'd gotten the chance, but I didn't.

Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you tell her that Friday night when y'all had dinner?

Cheryl Weston: I just didn't. We were mostly talking about her that night anyway. It just didn't come up.

Detective Armstrong: How would it have come up? You think Kimberly would have asked you whether you were pregnant? Was that something y'all talked about a lot?

Cheryl Weston: No, that's not what I meant. I mean, we were just so focused on talking about her and what was going on with her that I never even thought about telling her that night. Why are you making such a big deal about this?

Detective Armstrong: I'm just trying to understand why you wouldn't tell her about something so important.

Cheryl Weston: It wasn't important. It was nothing. The test was negative. There really wasn't anything to tell.

Detective Armstrong: There wasn't some other reason you didn't want her to know?

Cheryl Weston: No! Like what?

Detective Armstrong: I don't know. You tell me.

Cheryl Weston: Look, you're making way too much of this. I didn't tell her because there was just never a good time to bring it up. That's all there is to it.

Detective Murphy: OK, Cheryl. Thanks a lot for coming in.

Cheryl Weston: Any time.

Detective Murphy: If you can think of anything or hear anything that might help us, you'll give us a call?

Cheryl Weston: Of course.

End interview: 3:03 p.m.

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