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Sunday, May 27, 2012 – 11:30 a.m.

Wallace Smith is Veronica Smith’s ex-husband. He is a pharmaceutical salesman living in New York. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him via Skype. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Wallace Smith

Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Smith. I’m Detective Murphy. This is Detective Parker sitting in with us today. Thanks for taking time to talk to us.

Wallace Smith: My pleasure.

Detective Murphy: You know, Mr. Smith, we kind of expected to see you down here in Oxford.

Wallace Smith: Yeah, I can’t ever seem to get there as often as I’d like. I’m trying to make space in my schedule to get there sometime soon, but it’s not easy.

Detective Murphy: Why is it so difficult?

Wallace Smith: I travel on business almost every day. With the economy right now the way it is and healthcare as high cost as it is, it’s hard for drug reps to get a day off.

Detective Parker: And you enjoy your line of work?

Wallace Smith: I love it for the most part. It’s a lot harder than it used to be, but I’m very good at it, and it does make my personal life a little bit difficult.

Detective Parker: How so?

Wallace Smith: Well, the worst thing with all the traveling is I don’t get to see my daughter as much as I used to, and she’s growing up without me. She’s growing further and further away from me. She doesn’t understand why I can’t see her when she wants to.

Detective Murphy: You thought about finding another line of work?

Wallace Smith: Yes, actually, I have, but this is what I know. This is what I’ve studied for. And at my age, it’s hard to change jobs right now.

Detective Parker: We want to talk about your ex-wife, Veronica Smith. Do you know about her death?

Wallace Smith: Yes. It happened quite suddenly. What happened to her?

Detective Parker: How do you know about it?

Wallace Smith: Veronica’s husband George, he called me. He wanted me to know, so I wouldn’t say the wrong thing to Haley.

Detective Murphy: What was your reaction to the news of her death?

Wallace Smith: Well, I was terribly shocked. I didn’t know there was anything wrong with Veronica. And it’s awful, especially for Haley.

Detective Murphy: What did Mr. O’Connor tell you exactly?

Wallace Smith: He just said that she had died. He was pretty upset about it. We didn’t talk very long.

Detective Murphy: You didn’t contact anybody else to find out what happened?

Wallace Smith: No. What difference does it make? She’s dead. That’s all that matters.

Detective Parker: So George didn’t mention anything about suicide?

Wallace Smith: What? No! She would never do that. Did she do that?

Detective Murphy: What do you think?

Wallace Smith: The Veronica I know would never do that.

Detective Parker: How would you describe your relationship with Veronica?

Wallace Smith: She was my ex-wife. I’m not going to lie. We were not on good terms when she passed away.

Detective Parker: And what was the problem?

Wallace Smith: Basically, she thought I was a horrible person for not seeing Haley as much as I wanted to or as much as Haley needed me. But I’m traveling most of the time, and she sees a lot of drug reps in her practice so she knows how hard it is for me. She always acted like she didn’t understand.

Detective Murphy: What was it she didn’t understand?

Wallace Smith: Well, I missed some of my visitation. I’m not proud of it, but it happens. But I’m traveling, so I can’t change plans just like that. Veronica thought I was making excuses, but I wasn’t.

Detective Murphy: When was the last time that you actually spoke to Dr. Smith?

Wallace Smith: It was about a week before she died.

Detective Murphy: And what did you two talk about?

Wallace Smith: We talked about Haley. Veronica filed a petition to take away my parental rights. I was furious because I love my daughter.

Detective Parker: And are you still angry?

Wallace Smith: Yes, even though she’s gone, I’m still angry about it.

Detective Parker: And did she have any reason to do that?

Wallace Smith: Well, cards on the table? Back when Veronica filed for divorce, I was a mess. I never would’ve gotten through med school without Veronica’s help. I gave up on myself, and I started drinking pretty heavy. And we started fighting more and more. That’s what caused our divorce.

Detective Parker: So your drinking was the reason she wanted to terminate your rights?

Wallace Smith: No, I got myself back together, but she couldn’t let go of it. She thought I had never changed, and then when I had to cancel plans and make different arrangements, she thought it was because I was drinking. But I stopped that a long time ago. I’m sober now and I’m pretty proud of it, but she always believed the worst of me.

Detective Murphy: How do you feel about Veronica now?

Wallace Smith: Honestly, I never stopped loving her. I don’t think Veronica ever really loved me though. She married me because she got pregnant.

Detective Murphy: Did Veronica have full custody of your daughter?

Wallace Smith: Yes. She got full custody in the divorce because of my drinking. I have my visitation rights, and I see Haley on most weekends, and I pay child support. And I have never missed a support payment. Never.

Detective Parker: So you can give your daughter money but you can’t give her your time?

Wallace Smith: Yes, I know how it sounds, but I’m not that guy. I wish I could see Haley every weekend. Heck, I wish I could see her every day, but I don’t make it down there but once a month, so I can’t even work that out. Making sure Haley has enough money is the least I can do. At least she can get what she wants, right?

Detective Murphy: Do you still talk to Haley, even though you don’t visit?

Wallace Smith: We used to talk on the phone or Skype, but we don’t do that much.

Detective Murphy: Why not?

Wallace Smith: Well, because whenever I try to contact Haley, she’d never answer the phone. So I’d try to get ahold of Veronica, and Veronica would tell me she’s not there. I really think Veronica was trying to break up my relationship with my daughter.

Detective Parker: Did you try to see or talk to your daughter after you heard about Dr. Smith’s death?

Wallace Smith: I wanted to, but George, he said that I shouldn’t contact Haley for a while. He said it might upset her even more if we started talking about her mom’s death.

Detective Parker: When was the last time you talked Haley?

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