Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hughes speaks out on Drum murder arrest

Exclusive interview

Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's officials announced Friday morning that former Oxford Eagle pressman David Ledford has been arrested for the murder of Eagle managing editor Monica Drum.

Eagle city reporter Rick Hughes had been under a cloud of suspicion until Ledford's arrest and even went into hiding for weeks after the murder, reaching out to the public through the Planet to proclaim his innocence.

After the announcement of the arrest, we contacted Rick Hughes, and he agreed to talk to us.

Q = Kemper Jones
A = Rick Hughes

Q: I imagine you're relieved that Monica's killer has been arrested.

A: I am. I knew it had to be just a matter of time.

Q: Did you have faith in the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department, that they were going to find the killer?

A: I knew that they would. I mean, I hoped that they would. They did sort of finger me and really put the clamps down on me at the beginning. I mean, they really thought that I had done it.

Q: Reports said that you didn't have a "good" alibi. What was your alibi for that night, Rick?

A: OK. I was dead drunk. I've been drinking a lot lately, and I don't know why. But I've applied to Charter Lakeside Counseling in Memphis for help, and I'm going to get it.

Q: Where were you that night? Were you alone?

A: I was at home, I just started getting depressed and broke out a bottle of Absolut and drank it. Then I went to the liquor store to get more and then back home. I had bruises on my hands. I think I crashed into my kitchen table or something. But that's all, and the police knew that, I think. I told them, but there was no way to prove that I had been home alone all night.

Q: Most of the people in Oxford were convinced that you didn't drink alcohol, so they found your alibi sort of flimsy.

A: Well, I didn't use to. I used to be an athlete, and I cared about my body. But I'm human like everyone else, and I found, slowly at first and then with more speed, that alcohol made me feel better about myself and about my relationship with Monica and so on. So I just started drinking more and more, mostly at home. At bars, I'd tell people I was drinking a Coke when it was whiskey. It was easy to fdrae wem e.

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