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Sunday, February 26, 2012 - 2:29 p.m.

Benito Flores previously worked for the victim and is the victim’s housekeeper’s live-in boyfriend. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded with the witness’s knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Benito Flores

Detective Murphy: I’m Detective Murphy, and this is Detective Armstrong. I think you probably recognize us by now.

Benito Flores: Yeah, you’re the ones tearing up my place for no reason.

Detective Armstrong: Oh, come on, Benito. You know we wouldn’t do something like that just for fun.

Benito Flores: Whatever, man.

Detective Armstrong: We just have a few things that need clearing up. But first, let's start with your name and address.

Benito Flores: Benito Flores. 594 Hathorn Road.

Detective Murphy: Benito, were you at The Roadhouse the night Philip Fontaine was killed?

Benito Flores: Yeah, man. I went there to have a couple of drinks.

Detective Murphy: How did you pay for the drinks that night? Cash? Credit card?

Benito Flores: Cash.

Detective Armstrong: How much cash did you have on you that night?

Benito Flores: I don’t remember.

Detective Murphy: Well, how many drinks did you have?

Benito Flores: I don’t remember.

Detective Armstrong: Guess.

Benito Flores: I don’t know, man. Five? Six?

Detective Armstrong: So not a couple of drinks. Maybe half a dozen?

Benito Flores: Yeah, I was there for a while.

Detective Murphy: So, say, six drinks. That's what? $40, $50 to cover it plus tip?

Benito Flores: I guess, man

Detective Murphy: You had that much in cash with you?

Benito Flores: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: Where’d you get it?

Benito Flores: You saying something?

Detective Murphy: Well, did you stop by an ATM? Did you cash a check? Or did you just have a lot of cash transactions that day?

Benito Flores: I don’t remember.

Detective Armstrong: Try.

Benito Flores: I cashed a check.

Detective Murphy: Where did you cash it? At the bar?

Benito Flores: No, man. One of those places that do that.

Detective Murphy: What street? Where was it?

Benito Flores: I don't know. One of the ones up on University Avenue. I'm not sure.

Detective Murphy: OK. Good. We can check that. They keep records.

Benito Flores: Could’ve been somewhere else, man. I don't‒ I don't‒ I don't remember.

Detective Murphy: And how much was the check for?

Benito Flores: Maybe $100, $200.

Detective Murphy: Did you get the cash back in twenties or what?

Benito Flores: No, man. Benjamins.

Detective Murphy: Why would you do if you’d just have to break it later?

Benito Flores: Because it looks good.

Detective Armstrong: You mean flashy, right?

Benito Flores: Yeah, man, if you say so.

Detective Armstrong: Is that all the cash you had on you?

Benito Flores: No. So what?

Detective Murphy: Did you spend any time in the parking lot at The Roadhouse that night?

Benito Flores: Why?

Detective Armstrong: We heard you like to hang out there sometimes.

Benito Flores: And?

Detective Armstrong: And why would you want to hang out in the parking lot when it's much warmer inside?

Benito Flores: Some people like having a private conversation outside.

Detective Armstrong: Who did you want to have a private conversation with?

Benito Flores: Who says I did?

Detective Armstrong: You did just now. And a bunch of witnesses at The Roadhouse.

Benito Flores: Wasn’t me.

Detective Armstrong: You weren’t at the Roadhouse parking lot that night?

Benito Flores: Nope.

Detective Murphy: What were you wearing that night?

Benito Flores: What?

Detective Murphy: Well, maybe the witnesses were wrong. What were you wearing?

Benito Flores: I don’t remember.

Detective Murphy: Well, were you dressed up? It was Friday night.

Benito Flores: I don’t remember.

Detective Murphy: Maybe you were still in your work clothes.

Benito Flores: Come on, man. I look good when I go out.

Detective Murphy: I’m sure you do. So you if weren’t in work clothes, you were dressed up?

Benito Flores: If you say so.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Grant Fontaine when you were out?

Benito Flores: No, man. I mean, I see him sometimes when I go out, but I didn't see him that night.

Detective Armstrong: What do you and Grant talk about when you meet?

Benito Flores: Nothing you’d be interested in.

Detective Armstrong: Hm. He ever mention his father?

Benito Flores: You guys think Fontaine killed his old man?

Detective Murphy: What do you think?

Benito Flores: I think I want to know why you're searching my place then.

Detective Armstrong: That is a good question. Did Grant ever talk about his father?

Benito Flores: Yeah, man. He hated his father. He said Fontaine used to‒ didn't treat him right. He was mean to him. He hated that guy, but it‒ anyone knows that.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do for Grant Fontaine that made him so willing to share his feelings about his family?

Benito Flores: Man, I didn’t do nothing for him. I just listened.

Detective Armstrong: You never did any odd jobs for him? Maybe something he didn’t want to do himself?

Benito Flores: Man, is this is about drugs? Man, I told you both I don’t deal.

Detective Murphy: We had to ask. You do know that Grant Fontaine has a drug problem, right?

Benito Flores: Come on, man. Everyone knows that guy's a cokehead. Don’t mean I had anything to do with it.

Detective Murphy: Well, have you heard who he buys from?

Benito Flores: Why would I know that?

Detective Murphy: You’re out and about in the social scene, and it seems like Grant likes to confide in you. Maybe you heard something.

Benito Flores: I don't know, man. Maybe I heard something about a guy. Kenny.

Detective Murphy: That’s who Grant buys from?

Benito Flores: Could be.

Detective Armstrong: Why wasn’t Raquel with you at The Roadhouse that night?

Benito Flores: What?

Detective Armstrong: It was Friday night. You went out on the town. Your girlfriend wasn’t with you?

Benito Flores: She was tired.

Detective Armstrong: She told us that she left work early. Now how tired could she have been?

Benito Flores: Tired enough, all right?

Detective Armstrong: You didn’t want to spend the evening with her?

Benito Flores: Look, man., She does what she does, and I do what I do.

Detective Armstrong: How do you know she was home the whole evening?

Benito Flores: Are you saying something?

Detective Armstrong: Maybe she had a little something going with Philip Fontaine. Maybe she wanted you out of the way.

Benito Flores: Look, don’t talk about Raquel, OK! She stayed home.

Detective Armstrong: Are you sure?

Benito Flores: Are you saying she wasn’t?

Detective Armstrong: I’m just asking questions. Do you think there might have been something between her and Philip Fontaine?

Benito Flores: I mean, Fontaine had plenty of women. He knows better than to mess with mine.

Detective Armstrong: So Raquel just didn’t want to be with you that night?

Benito Flores: Don’t talk about Raquel.

Detective Murphy: So did Raquel see you when you got home?

Benito Flores: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: You weren’t riding the couch that night?

Benito Flores: You saying something?

Detective Murphy: Raquel's already told us that she makes you sleep on the couch when you’ve been drinking.

Detective Armstrong: That’s one cold woman. You always let her tell you what to do in your own house?

Benito Flores: Don’t talk about Raquel, all right. It makes you look like a idiot.

Detective Armstrong: I’ve got to tell you, man. We just talked with Raquel, and she is really pissed at you for us searching the place. I hope you’re not counting on her for any help because she is going to hang you out to dry.

Benito Flores: Man, I’m not worried about Raquel.

Detective Armstrong: Well, you’re a better man than I am then. I wouldn’t want to be facing that when I got home tonight. I have a feeling it’s going to be the couch for you tonight.

Detective Murphy: So tell us about your relationship with Ashley Fontaine.

Benito Flores: All I know about Ashley is she was a real bitch to Raquel. And she liked Fontaine’s money too and young boys, but everybody knew that. Hell, even Fontaine would've probably known if he wasn't out chasing his own tail. That's the problem with you gringos. You never know how to make up your mind. Me, I love Raquel, and she loves me.

Detective Murphy: Does Grant have a girlfriend?

Benito Flores: I don’t know, man. But I'll tell you what. He and Mrs. Fontaine were tight. I'm just saying, man, that's‒ something might be there.

Detective Murphy: So you think either one of them might've killed Philip Fontaine?

Benito Flores: Probably.

Detective Murphy: Why?

Benito Flores: Why not?

Detective Murphy: You didn’t have any kind of beef with Fontaine? I mean, he fired you.

Benito Flores: No, man. Beecher fired me, not Fontaine.

Detective Armstrong: When we talked to people at The Roadhouse, some of them mentioned a man matching your description who looked like he’d been in a fight.

Benito Flores: Nope. Wasn’t me.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone like that?

Benito Flores: No.

Detective Armstrong: Did you look in the mirror?

Benito Flores: What?

Detective Armstrong: We also hear this guy spent a lot of time in the bathroom.

Benito Flores: So?

Detective Murphy: Did you see a guy like that in the bathroom?

Benito Flores: Nope.

Detective Armstrong: Is that because you were the guy?

Benito Flores: No.

Detective Murphy: Maybe that man came in while you were gone.

Benito Flores: Gone?

Detective Murphy: Well, you left The Roadhouse for a while, didn’t you? Maybe the guy came in when you were gone.

Benito Flores: Wasn’t me.

Detective Murphy: You didn’t leave?

Benito Flores: Where would I go?

Detective Armstrong: The parking lot.

Benito Flores: Wasn’t me.

Detective Armstrong: Why do you think we brought you in here again? Why do you think we searched your house?

Benito Flores: Because the Fontaines have money.

Detective Murphy: And you don’t. That’s why we’re talking to you?

Benito Flores: It’s the American way.

Detective Armstrong: So you weren’t the guy at The Roadhouse with fresh cuts and bruises?

Benito Flores: Nope.

Detective Armstrong: You weren’t the guy with two different outfits?

Benito Flores: Nope.

Detective Armstrong: You weren’t the one flashing around a bunch of cash?

Benito Flores: No.

Detective Armstrong: All the witnesses were wrong?

Benito Flores: Sounds like it.

Detective Armstrong: And when we search your house, we're not going to find anything tying you to the crime?

Benito Flores: Nope.

Detective Murphy: For your sake, I hope that’s true.

Benito Flores: Man, are we done?

Detective Murphy: For now. We’ll be in touch.

Detective Armstrong: Have fun with the little woman tonight. I hope that couch is comfy.

Interview ends: 2:41 p.m.

 

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