Tuesday, December 18, 2012 – 12:00 p.m.
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officers picked up David Ledford on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, just before dawn. He was found asleep with his head in William Faulkner's lap on a bench in front of Oxford City Hall. Officers housed Ledford in the "drunk tank" at the Yoknapatawpha County Detention Center until he sobered up, at which time he was questioned.
Ledford was in custody on a public drunkenness charge and had been advised of his rights. Prior to the interview, Ledford waived his right to counsel and agreed to speak with Yoknapatawpha detectives. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S, Murphy
- David Ledford
Detective Murphy: Mr. Ledford, you understand that you’re in custody at this time and that you have been advised of your right to remain silent and of your right to have an attorney present during questioning
David Ledford: Yup.
Detective Murphy: And you will confirm for the record that you have waived those rights and agreed to this interview.
David Ledford: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Great. So would you please state your name and address for the record?
David Ledford: You know who I am.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Ledford, please.
David Ledford: My name is David Ledford. I live at 284 Swepi Road in New Sarpy, Louisiana, and I have no idea how the hell I got here.
Detective Armstrong: Your occupation?
David Ledford: I don't got a job. Does that make you happy?
Detective Murphy: Mr. Ledford, you said you don't know why you're here. Does that mean you don't understand the charge against you?
David Ledford: Look, lady, you may think I'm some sort of hick, but I ain’t dumb. You said I'm here on public drunk, and I guess I know what that means. I just said I don't know how the hell I got to Oxford.
Detective Murphy: What do you mean?
David Ledford: I don't know how I got here means I don't know how I got here. Last thing I remember, I was at my cabin in Louisiana.
Detective Murphy: I see. Well, I'm sure I don't know how you got here either. As a matter of fact, we could not locate any vehicle registered to you in the location where we took you into custody.
David Ledford: What’re you saying? You saying you didn't find my truck after you arrested me?
Detective Murphy: That's correct.
David Ledford: Man, I don’t get why cops just can’t talk regular. You guys go to some, like, special school where they teach you how to talk not like normal people or something?
Detective Armstrong: What kind of truck do you drive?
David Ledford: F350.
Detective Armstrong: What color is it?
David Ledford: Red. And?
Detective Armstrong: How long have you had it?
David Ledford: Since about October sometime.
Detective Armstrong: What did you drive before then?
David Ledford: A Silverado.
Detective Armstrong: Color?
David Ledford: Why in the hell do you want to know this? Y’all trying to get me on some sort of a DUI charge as well?
Detective Armstrong: Color?
David Ledford: It was blue.
Detective Murphy: All blue?
David Ledford: Do you know any car that's all one color? Look, all right. It was blue with white and chrome trim. Tires were black. Rims were chrome. Bed liner was black. And the interior – write this down – it was blue. You want to know what color the cigarette lighter was too?
Detective Armstrong: No, thank you. What did you do with the Silverado when you got the F350?
David Ledford: Gave it to a friend of mine.
Detective Murphy: You just gave it away?
David Ledford: No, I traded it, I guess.
Detective Murphy: Why would you do that?
David Ledford: Well, his wife didn't like his truck, and she thought mine was fine, so we swapped.
Detective Armstrong: So you just gave him your truck, and he gave you yours?
David Ledford: Basically.
Detective Murphy: Did you give him anything else when you traded trucks?
David Ledford: Like what? You trying to trick me or something?
Detective Murphy: Well, an F350 and a Silverado rarely have the same blue book value.
David Ledford: Well, I guess I gave him a little bit of money too.
Detective Murphy: How much?
David Ledford: You just got to know everything, now don't you? Fine. Two grand.
Detective Armstrong: Where did you get the money?
David Ledford: Just had it.
Detective Armstrong: You said you didn't have a job. I'm just wondering where you got the money.
David Ledford: I wasn't always out of a job. Besides, my wife makes pretty good money.
Detective Armstrong: It must be nice to have a wife that’ll give you money. Who is this friend you traded trucks with?
David Ledford: Look, I’d rather not involve him. I'd just as soon you leave him alone.
Detective Murphy: Well, we just want to verify your story.
David Ledford: You calling me a liar?
Detective Murphy: It's standard practice, Mr. Ledford, to verify a suspect's story.
David Ledford: A suspect? For what? Look, y’all got to tell me if I’m a suspect for something. It’s, like, the law.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Ledford, all we want is the name of the man you traded your truck with.
David Ledford: Fine. It was Morgan Prescott. Am I a suspect now?
Detective Murphy: You mentioned before that you were at your cabin in Louisiana. What were you doing there?
David Ledford: Fishing.
Detective Murphy: Is that what you do when you go there? Fish?
David Ledford: Fish or hunt. In season, of course.
Detective Murphy: Of course. Hunters usually have a lot of weapons like rifles, shotguns, handguns. What kind of weapons do you have?
David Ledford: What the hell does that matter? I didn't have one on me when you arrested me.
Detective Murphy: No, you didn't. We just want to know what kind of weapons you own.
David Ledford: Whatever. You're the cops. All right. I got a Smith and Wesson .38 , a .38 Colt Single Action Army Revolver. Got a .223 Remington I use to kill varmints. Had a Remington Model 870. Sold that one though, plus the Smith and Wesson. And I've got a Browning 12-gauge. I’d say that's probably about it.
Detective Armstrong: Where are they at now?
David Ledford: I’d rather not answer that.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Ledford, it is your choice to refuse to answer questions, but I have to tell you. It doesn't make us look too favorably upon you when you do that.
David Ledford: That's not my problem, is it?
Detective Armstrong: Maybe not at the moment.
David Ledford: Ooh, I'm so scared.
Detective Murphy: You previously lived in Oxford. What did you do here?
David Ledford: Well, I’m assuming because you asked me that, you already know the answer. Fine. My wife worked at the VA hospital, and I used to work for the Eagle.
Detective Murphy: You were a pressman at the Eagle?
David Ledford: Look, if you already knew the answer to the question, why the hell did you ask me?
Detective Murphy: I'm just trying to verify our information. Let’s see. You worked at the Eagle from January 14, 2011, until August 31, 2012. Is that correct?
David Ledford: That’s right.
Detective Armstrong: You were fired from your job at the Eagle. Is that correct?
David Ledford: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: Why were you fired?
David Ledford: Well, they'll tell you it was because I was late a lot.
Detective Murphy: That wasn't the reason?
David Ledford: No. Well, maybe a little, but mostly it was that woman. You know, she liked me just fine until I hurt myself. Then all of a sudden, I was a do-nothing drain on her money.
Detective Murphy: Who do you mean by “that woman?”
David Ledford: You know who it was. It was that bitch Monica Drum.
Detective Murphy: Did your co-workers share your opinion of Ms. Drum?
David Ledford: Some of them did, I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Who else didn't like her?
David Ledford: Look, man, if you want to ask me questions about me, that’s fine. But I'm not no mind reader or whatever. I ain’t going to answer questions for other people. You know, I didn't like Moronica because that’s because I didn't make no secret about it.
Detective Armstrong: If you disliked her so much, why did you visit her so many times after you got fired?
David Ledford: What’re you talking about?
Detective Murphy: We know you were there from the visitors log.
David Ledford: Fine. I visited her sometime.
Detective Armstrong: After midnight?
David Ledford: I went whenever I could go.
Detective Murphy: What kind of business did you have with Monica Drum?
David Ledford: Business of a personal nature. She owed me some money.
Detective Murphy: Were you involved in a blackmail scheme with Monica?
David Ledford: Are you accusing me of blackmailing her?
Detective Armstrong: Not necessarily. Maybe you were blackmailing her. Maybe the two of you were blackmailing someone else.
David Ledford: Look, man, I don’t know nothing about no blackmail. I just wanted the money that she owed me. That’s all.
Detective Armstrong: She owed you money? You loaned her money?
David Ledford: What? No, man. All right, look. I’m done talking about this money stuff. I just need to call my wife.
Detective Murphy: No, we're not quite finished yet. Are you aware that Monica Drum is dead?
David Ledford: I guess I heard something about that.
Detective Armstrong: You know what's interesting about that? You haven't visited her since she died.
David Ledford: Well, if she was dead, why the hell would I visit her?
Detective Armstrong: How did you know she was dead?
David Ledford: I guess I read it somewhere.
Detective Murphy: Where were you when Ms. Drum died?
David Ledford: Man, I don’t know. How am I supposed to remember what happened weeks ago?
Detective Murphy: Well, maybe it’ll help you if I tell you exactly when. She was killed on Thanksgiving weekend.
David Ledford: So?
Detective Armstrong: So do you remember where you were then?
David Ledford: Man, I don’t know where I was in the middle of the night sometime like a bunch of years ago or whatever.
Detective Armstrong: Maybe you could think about it for a moment, and let us know when you manage to remember.
David Ledford: Yeah, I'll get right on that. So whenever you guys get a chance to let me out of here, I got to talk to the judge this afternoon.
Detective Murphy: Well, the officer here will take you to your holding cell. That’s all for now. He'll tell when you can make the call to your wife.
David Ledford: What, so that’s it now? Interview over? We’re all done?
Detective Armstrong: That's right. I'm sure we'll be talking to you again real soon, though.
Interview ends – 12:47 p.m.