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Donna Sowa follow-up interview

Monday, October 15, 2012 – 1:00 p.m.

Donna Sowa works at Pearce Brokers, another real estate company in Oxford. Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed Ms. Sowa at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded with the witness’s knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Donna Sowa

Detective Parker: Thanks for coming in again, Miss Sowa. How are you feeling today?

Donna Sowa: Feeling? I feel fine.

Detective Parker: Good. Why don’t you have a seat and tell us your name and address for the record?

Donna Sowa: I’m sorry. OK. My name is Donna Lynn Sowa. I live at 332 Phillip Road, Oxford Mississippi.

Detective Parker: Thank you. Now, we wanted to ask you a few more questions about Annette Wyatt.

Donna Sowa: I didn’t kill her.

Detective Parker: That’s good to hear. How have things been at Pearce Brokers since we talked to you last time?

Donna Sowa: Fine. Good.

Detective Parker: That’s great. You know, just between us, I think they’re having a little bit of a hard time at the Harte Agency since Annette was killed. Not business-wise, but emotionally. Losing her has been hard on them.

Donna Sowa: That’s terrible. I feel so bad for them.

Detective Murphy: Have any of you at Pearce been having any trouble? It can be hard when someone you know dies suddenly, even if you weren’t very close to them.

Donna Sowa: Everybody’s fine.

Detective Murphy: No one’s been bothered at all?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know what you want me to say. Yes? No?

Detective Parker: We’re not trying to trick you, Donna. We just want you to tell us the truth. That’s all.

Donna Sowa: OK.

Detective Parker: So has anyone been acting differently since Annette was killed?

Donna Sowa: It seems like Rita’s been in her office with the door closed more, but I don’t know if that’s really true. Maybe I’m just noticing it more. I don’t know. You’re not going to tell her I told you that, are you?

Detective Parker: What do you think she’s doing in there with the door closed?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know.

Detective Murphy: During our investigation, we’ve heard a few things, and we’d like to ask you if you’ve heard anything similar. It’s OK if you did or didn’t. We just want to know which. OK?

Donna Sowa: OK.

Detective Murphy: We’ve been told that Annette Wyatt was giving someone at Pearce Brokers confidential information about Harte clients so Pearce could get those clients away from the Harte Agency. Do you think that’s possible?

Donna Sowa: I guess it could be. I don’t know.

Detective Murphy: If Annette was giving information to someone at Pearce, who do you think she would’ve been giving it to?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know.

Detective Parker: But who do you think it could’ve been? We won’t tell anyone who you said. It’ll just be between us.

Donna Sowa: I guess it would be Rita, if it was anyone. But please don’t tell her I said that!

Detective Parker: We won’t. Why do you think it would be Rita?

Donna Sowa: It just makes sense. Nathan can’t keep a secret, so if he had some side deal with Annette, we would’ve heard about it. And what would be the point of telling Tara something like that?

Detective Murphy: What about you?

Donna Sowa: Me? I would never do that. I barely even knew Annette. It wasn’t me.

Detective Parker: So now that you think about it, did you ever see any signs that Rita might’ve been getting inside information from someone?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know. Rita’s so smart. How would I be able to tell?

Detective Murphy: We also heard that Annette was planning to leave Harte and come work with you at Pearce. Did you ever get a sense that might be happening?

Donna Sowa: No. Why would she do that?

Detective Murphy: I don’t know. What do you think?

Donna Sowa: I have no idea. I’m not really involved with stuff like that.

Detective Parker: Stuff like what?

Donna Sowa: The business stuff. I just do sales, work with clients. I don’t know anything about any of that other stuff.

Detective Murphy: How do you think Nathan and Tara would’ve reacted to Annette coming to work at Pearce?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know. They would’ve been fine, I guess. I’m not really comfortable talking about this. Are we almost done?

Detective Parker: What’s making you uncomfortable?

Donna Sowa: I don’t like talking about my co-workers and my boss. It feels wrong, like I’m betraying their trust or something.

Detective Murphy: Do you think one of them has done something wrong?

Donna Sowa: No.

Detective Parker: Then I’m sure they’ll understand.

Donna Sowa: I don’t know.

Detective Murphy: So, Donna, as I said, these are just things we’ve heard during the investigation. Do you believe the allegations are true? Do you think Annette was giving information to someone at Pearce?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know. It’s possible, but I don’t know that for sure.

Detective Murphy: Do you think she was going to start working at Pearce?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know. That doesn’t sound right. She was with Harte for years, and she was doing really well there. Why would she leave?

Detective Parker: Why do you think?

Donna Sowa: I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Detective Murphy: The last time we talked, you told us that Rita sometimes has a bad temper.

Donna Sowa: I did?

Detective Murphy: Yes. Is that true?

Donna Sowa: Well, yes. But only sometimes.

Detective Murphy: Like when?

Donna Sowa: Like when we make a mistake that costs money or if somebody’s late to an open house or forgets to get part of the paperwork signed or things like that.

Detective Murphy: So if Annette Wyatt had said she was coming to work at Pearce and then changed her mind, do you think Rita would be angry about that?

Donna Sowa: Probably.

Detective Murphy: What would she do?

Donna Sowa: Yell.

Detective Murphy: Anything else?

Donna Sowa: Like what?

Detective Murphy: Throw things? Threaten to sue? Tell Jeff Harte about it?

Donna Sowa: Maybe. It depends how mad she was.

Detective Murphy: Do you think it could’ve made her mad enough to want to kill Annette?

Donna Sowa: What? No! No way. Rita would be mad, but she wouldn’t actually hurt anyone. No way.

Detective Parker: It’s been a little while since Annette was killed. People talk. Have you heard anybody talking about who might’ve killed her?

Donna Sowa: No.

Detective Parker: You and your boyfriend haven’t talked about it? Just kind of as a guessing game?

Donna Sowa: No.

Detective Parker: OK, Donna. Thanks for you time. Please let us know if you do hear anything.

Donna Sowa: OK. I can go now?

Detective Parker: Yes, you can go.

Interview ends - 1:22 p.m.

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