Friday, October 12, 2012 – 1:00 p.m.
The detectives spoke to Elena Harte to find out what she had to say about Elliott Owens' recent allegation that Annette Wyatt was the person giving information to Pearce Brokers and whether that could have been a motive for Wyatt's murder.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff’s Department. The interview was recorded with witness’s knowledge and consent.
Detective Murphy: Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Elena Harte: Elena Harte, 552 West Rowan Street, Oxford.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. This interview shouldn't take long today.
Elena Harte: I’d appreciate that. I need to get back to work.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Harte, what would you say if we told you we found out during the course of our investigation that Annette Wyatt was sending clients from your husband's agency to the competition?
Elena Harte: It was Annette?! I never did trust her, but I don't see why she would sabotage her own job to benefit Rita Pearce. That makes no sense.
Detective Parker: So you did know that someone was leaking information from your husband's agency?
Elena Harte: Of course. Jeff told me about it weeks ago. I had no idea it was Annette, though.
Detective Parker: We spoke with your husband recently about this. He didn't tell you?
Elena Harte: No. Honestly, this whole mess has him really upset. He doesn't want to talk about it, and I don't blame him. So we avoid the subject at home.
Detective Murphy: I see. So tell me, why do you think Annette would give information to Rita Pearce?
Elena Harte: I don't know. Maybe she was mad at Jeff. Or maybe she and Rita had some deal going on. None of it makes sense. Do you think it has something to do with her murder?
Detective Parker: That's a good question. What do you think?
Elena Harte: It might.
Detective Murphy: And if it did, who would want her dead?
Elena Harte: Gosh, it could be anyone. One of the other agents, maybe.
Detective Murphy: Or Jeff?
Elena Harte: No! No way! Jeff would never kill Annette. He wouldn't kill anybody.
Detective Parker: Mrs. Harte, you said you and Jeff were alone Saturday night? You ate dinner, watched TV and went to bed around 10 o'clock, correct?
Elena Harte: Yes.
Detective Parker: We haven't been able to find anybody, besides the two of you, who can confirm that.
Elena Harte: Well, we were alone all night. I don’t know who else could confirm it, really. That’s not a crime, is it?
Detective Murphy: No. But it makes it harder for us to determine that it's the truth, that you're not somehow covering for Jeff.
Elena Harte: I love my husband, but if I thought he did this, I would tell you the truth about it.
Detective Parker: Is there any chance he could have snuck out of the house after you fell asleep?
Elena Harte: No, he didn't.
Detective Parker: How can you be sure?
Elena Harte: I would have woken up.
Detective Parker: Are you a light sleeper?
Elena Harte: I don't know. I guess so. Look, I just don't think he would have left the house that night.
Detective Murphy: Do you not know because you slipped out for a little while yourself that night?
Elena Harte: Of course not!
Detective Parker: But you're not 100 percent sure your husband didn’t go out that night?
Elena Harte: Let's say I'm 99.9 percent sure.
Detective Murphy: OK, so if we go with the theory that it wasn’t you or Jeff who killed Annette–
Elena Harte: It wasn’t!
Detective Murphy: All right, so if we assume that’s true, who do you think killed her?
Elena Harte: I don’t know.
Detective Parker: You’ve had plenty of time to think about it. You don’t have any ideas?
Elena Harte: I don’t know anyone who would kill another person, so it must’ve been some stranger.
Detective Murphy: Your friend Joanna and her husband didn’t think much of Annette. Maybe one of them did it.
Elena Harte: Absolutely not. Kurt and Joanna are good people. Neither one of them would ever hurt anyone. I’m telling you. It had to be a stranger.
Detective Parker: Thank you for your time, Mrs. Harte.
Elena Harte: Wait. You believe me, don’t you? Jeff isn’t a suspect, is he?
Detective Parker: Everyone is a suspect until we can rule them out.
Elena Harte: Including Jeff?
Detective Murphy: Including Jeff and you. For now.
Elena Harte: I see. Was there anything else you wanted to ask me?
Detective Murphy: I think that’s all for now, unless you have something you’d like to tell us.
Elena Harte: I do need to get back to work.
Detective Parker: OK. Thanks again for coming in.
Interview ends - 1:21 p.m.