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Jamie Covington follow-up interview

Monday, August 6, 2012 - 7:00 p.m.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed Jamie Covington at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Jamie Covington

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in to talk with us again.

Detective Armstrong: For the record, would you‒

Jamie Covington: James Belvedere Covington. 30 Wishing Tree Lane. See, I remembered from last time.

Detective Armstrong: I just wish you'd paid more attention to our instructions. Then I wouldn't have my boss looking over my shoulder measuring you for a cell.

Jamie Covington: The Sheriff?

Detective Armstrong: The DA thinks a night behind bars will help you understand this isn't a game. This is a murder investigation.

Jamie Covington: No reason it can't be both.

Detective Armstrong: I think the DA may be right.

Detective Murphy: Mr. Covington, if we feel we can't trust that you're telling us everything you know, we have to assume that you're lying and that there's a reason.

Jamie Covington: OK, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: That's enough. I don't care how much you impress your coconut-throwing friends. You keep acting like this is a joke, and you're going to find yourself sitting in box. Now grow up and answer our questions. With due respect.

Jamie Covington: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: Tell me something significant about the HOA meeting.

Jamie Covington: Like what?

Detective Armstrong: Surprise me.

Jamie Covington: I can't think of anything offhand.

Detective Armstrong: Try harder.

Jamie Covington: I had better refreshments back at my house?

Detective Armstrong: That's enough. You're‒

Detective Murphy: Wait. Mr. Covington, we know you played a larger part in the HOA meeting than you've led us to believe. What we'd like is an explanation.

Jamie Covington: Honestly. I don't know what you mean.

Detective Murphy: Who suggested to Mr. Garrett that he adjourn the meeting?

Jamie Covington: That was me.

Detective Murphy: You don't think that's significant?

Jamie Covington: I guess not because I forgot I even did it. Well, I did. I just passed the suggestion along. Didn't matter to me. I was planning to leave soon anyway.

Detective Armstrong: What do you mean "passed it along"?

Jamie Covington: It was Julie's idea. She thought it would be better received, coming from me.

Detective Armstrong: She told us she was sitting at the table with the other officers during the meeting. Were you sitting there too?

Jamie Covington: Me? No way. But she was sitting there. Most of the time.

Detective Armstrong: Most of the time?

Jamie Covington: She gets up and putters around sometimes.

Detective Armstrong: Like when?

Jamie Covington: I don't know. When the discussion gets heated, when someone's getting called out for not being a so-called good neighbor, when Ambrose was starting to lose his grip. For me, that's when it starts to get fun, but Julie's an old softie. She just wants everyone to be nice to everyone else. But I ask you, what fun would that be?

Detective Murphy: Why are you protecting Ms. Arbuckle?

Jamie Covington: I'm not protecting her.

Detective Armstrong: What's Julie to you?

Jamie Covington: Nothing. She was just concerned.

Detective Armstrong: That's how it starts.

Jamie Covington: Not about me, about Ambrose. He was emptying the flask a little too quickly, and she was afraid Ambrose would embarrass himself. Heck, we all were. Except for those who hoped he would.

Detective Armstrong: So why didn't you suggest it on your own?

Jamie Covington: Embarrassment can be interesting. But I saw her point.

Detective Murphy: So you suggested that the meeting be adjourned.

Jamie Covington: Yes, I did.

Detective Murphy: And then what happened?

Jamie Covington: There was some Robert's Rules of Order rigmarole, but I was out the door long before all that was hashed out. I had a house full of drunks back at my place. Did you ask Mary about Memphis?

Detective Armstrong: What is it you expect us to learn?

Jamie Covington: Frankly, I don't know. Ambrose just made a passing comment one time. I was curious. You can't arrest me for that.

Detective Armstrong: You'd be surprised.

Detective Murphy: Is there anything else you may have forgotten to mention until now?

Jamie Covington: I really miss Ambrose.

Detective Murphy: Is there anybody in particular you think doesn't? Somebody murdered him.

Jamie Covington: As you may have noticed, I don't usually take things too seriously. I can't really imagine caring about something so much that you'd kill a person. Maybe, for a goof, I'd slip some soap into Ambrose's flask, but kill him? Boggles my mind.

Detective Armstrong: Assuming that's what happened, who do you see doing that?

Jamie Covington: First, I think that no one could do such a thing. Then, I think it could have been anybody. Once you take life too seriously, doesn't death become like a joke?

Detective Murphy: What do you think?

Jamie Covington: Shannon had issues with Ambrose. There was something going on with Warren. Tyler? I don't know. What's with the guy I heard they found outside?

Detective Armstrong: Are we going to discover that you know more than you're saying?

Jamie Covington: Now that would be a surprise. I barely know what I'm saying right now.

Detective Murphy: Did Mr. Garrett ever talk to you about his business?

Jamie Covington: Not really. I mean, I knew what he did, but that's about it. And I didn't even understand that much.

Detective Armstrong: How did your parents feel about Ambrose?

Jamie Covington: You'd have to ask them. If they can't bother to listen to me, why should I be the one to make an effort?

Detective Murphy: I think that's all for now.

Detective Armstrong: If you suddenly remember anything else, you'd best call us before we come looking for you.

Jamie Covington: Yes, sir.

Interview ends - 7:22 p.m.

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