Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - 3:00 p.m.
Kenneth Lemmons was arrested for the murder of Veronica Smith on Monday, July 2, 2012. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him the following day at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. Mr. Lemmons' attorney Elaine Tucker was also present. The interview was recorded with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.
Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Lemmons.
Kenneth Lemmons: So, did you finally realize that I'm not the one you're looking for after all?
Detective Armstrong: You wish.
Kenneth Lemmons: What do you want then?
Detective Armstrong: Where do you live, Mr. Lemmons?
Kenneth Lemmons: You know damn well where I live!
Detective Armstrong: For the record, where are you living?
Kenneth Lemmons: I am lodged in the county jail at this time. Satisfied?
Detective Armstrong: Good morning, Ms. Tucker.
Elaine Tucker: Good morning.
Detective Murphy: We were expecting Mr. Hayes.
Elaine Tucker: He was called out of town, but he fully briefed me before he left, so please carry on as you would if he were here.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Lemmons, we need to talk about why you're here.
Kenneth Lemmons: Is this a game? You locked me up because you think I killed Veronica Smith. That's why I'm here.
Detective Armstrong: We know you murdered Dr. Smith. You're not helping yourself by denying it.
Kenneth Lemmons: Read my lips. I did nothing to that woman. Everyone knows she killed herself.
Detective Murphy: Actually, she didn't kill herself. We know she was murdered.
Kenneth Lemmons: I don't believe you.
Detective Armstrong: Let's talk about those text messages that Dr. Smith was getting.
Kenneth Lemmons: I don't know what you're talking about.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Lemmons, I'm telling you right now. We know what you did. If you keep lying, you're just digging a deeper hole for yourself.
Kenneth Lemmons: I'm not lying.
Elaine Tucker: Detectives, these personal attacks are not productive. Do you have any actual questions?
Detective Murphy: Quite a few. Why were you sending harassing text messages to Dr. Smith?
Kenneth Lemmons: I wasn't.
Detective Armstrong: Do you recognize this?
Kenneth Lemmons: No.
Detective Armstrong: Think again. We found that in your house, and we know this is the phone that was sending Dr. Smith those harassing text messages.
Kenneth Lemmons: I've never seen that before. You planted that.
Detective Armstrong: Your fingerprints are on it.
Elaine Tucker: Are you planning to pursue stalking charges against my client? Because otherwise, I don't see how this is relevant.
Detective Armstrong: Why did you call Ruthie Foreman with that phone?
Kenneth Lemmons: I didn't.
Detective Armstrong: We have the call records. We know you called her.
Kenneth Lemmons: There's no way you could know that.
Detective Armstrong: Oh, really? How's that?
Kenneth Lemmons: Because you couldn't. I shouldn't have to explain your job to you. Maybe I should sue you for malpractice too.
Detective Armstrong: Good luck with that.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Lemmons, what is ketamine?
Kenneth Lemmons: What? I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Yes, you do. Was it your idea to use it or did Ruthie come up with that?
Kenneth Lemmons: I don't know what you're talking about.
Detective Murphy: Did Ruthie Foreman supply you with ketamine? Did she give you a little vial of it to use on Dr. Smith?
Kenneth Lemmons: That's crazy. You're crazy.
Detective Murphy: Why did we find this in your house?
Kenneth Lemmons: That's not mine. Where did you find that? Someone's framing me.
Detective Murphy: Is that really going to be your answer for everything? That someone is framing you? Because it's just not believable.
Kenneth Lemmons: Are you calling me a liar?
Detective Murphy: Well, yeah.
Kenneth Lemmons: So you're saying that I'm the liar in all this? What about—
Elaine Tucker: Ken, let's just hear what the detectives have to say, and then maybe we will be able to help them see how their investigation got off track.
Detective Armstrong: We found these bags in your house. What do you use them for?
Kenneth Lemmons: Are you serious? I fry them up with some country ham and have them for breakfast.
Detective Armstrong: Well, you must not have done a very good job because the guys in the lab compared bags in this box with the bag we found on the victim's head, and they're consistent.
Kenneth Lemmons: So what? Am I the only person in this town that has trash bags?
Detective Armstrong: No, but—
Kenneth Lemmons: Exactly! See? I don't know why you've got it in—
Elaine Tucker: Ken. Don't interrupt. Let the man talk. Just listen.
Kenneth Lemmons: I'm supposed to just sit here and let them—
Elaine Tucker: Yes. Shh. Please continue, Detective.
Detective Armstrong: Sounds like your attorney is starting to get the picture. Are you, Ken?
Elaine Tucker: Did you have something else you wanted to ask about these ubiquitous garbage bags or are we done here?
Detective Armstrong: Ubiquitous? Oh., nice. But the thing is, these bags aren't quite so ubiquitous. The folks in the lab compared the perforations found on the roll in this box with the bag we found on the victim's head. They're consistent. Now, what do you suppose that means?
Kenneth Lemmons: Wh—
Elaine Tucker: We are not going to play any guessing games. Why don't you just tell us what it means?
Detective Armstrong: It means the bag we found in his house matched the bag we found on the victim's head.
Kenneth Lemmons: Victim?
Elaine Tucker: Ken. You know, that sounds interesting, but of course we cannot comment on that until we have had these findings examined by an independent expert.
Detective Armstrong: Of course.
Detective Murphy: Well, Ken, you recognize this, don't you?
Elaine Tucker: You have the suicide note from Dr. Smith? What? What are we even doing here?
Detective Murphy: Well, there are actually some really strange things about this particular suicide note. For one thing, there are no fingerprints on it anywhere. Not one.
Kenneth Lemmons: Maybe she wiped them off.
Detective Murphy: Why would she do that?
Kenneth Lemmons: Well, how would I know? Maybe so this exact thing would happen. She could take the coward's way out and someone else would get the blame. Again. That sounds like something she'd do.
Detective Murphy: Why would she print this note at Billee's Auto Service?
Kenneth Lemmons: She wouldn't. She didn't.
Detective Murphy: You're right. I don't think she did print it at your brother-in-law's place. But someone did. We know that.
Kenneth Lemmons: It wasn't me.
Detective Murphy: Well, OK. Maybe it was Billy. He certainly had reason to want her dead, didn't he? And he obviously had access to the computer. So did you see him writing it or printing it when you were there?
Kenneth Lemmons: No. Never.
Detective Murphy: Well, so he must've done it when you weren't around.
Kenneth Lemmons: No. I'm telling you he didn't. He hates that computer.
Detective Murphy: Really?
Elaine Tucker: If you have evidence against this Billy, I would suggest that you arrest him and release my client.
Detective Murphy: Well, we could do that, but more likely, we're going to charge both of them.
Kenneth Lemmons: No. Billy is a good man. You leave him out of this.
Detective Murphy: So you are the one that printed this note over there at the shop. Is that what you're saying?
Elaine Tucker: We're not saying anything like that.
Kenneth Lemmons: I don't feel well. My back is killing me.
Elaine Tucker: Let's wrap this up.
Detective Armstrong: You take medication for your back, Ken?
Kenneth Lemmons: Yes. But I don't have any of it. You people took it away from me when you arrested me.
Detective Armstrong: Well, that happens. What do you take?
Kenneth Lemmons: Vicodin. I have a prescription for it. I'm not doing anything wrong.
Detective Armstrong: Do you like Altoids?
Kenneth Lemmons: What? I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Me, I kind of like the little ones. The other ones are just too spicy for me. Which ones do you like?
Kenneth Lemmons: I don't understand. Why are you asking me this?
Elaine Tucker: Do you have a point, Detective?
Detective Armstrong: I bet you like the little ones. Peppermint. Am I right?
Kenneth Lemmons: Yeah. So what?
Detective Armstrong: I bet you carry them around with you, maybe toss in a few Vicodin in case you run out. Am I right?
Kenneth Lemmons: How did you know—
Elaine Tucker: I will ask again. Do you have a point, Detective?
Detective Armstrong: This is how.
Kenneth Lemmons: Where did you get that?
Detective Armstrong: You know exactly where.
Elaine Tucker: Altoids are ubiquitous—
Detective Armstrong: Oh, like the garbage bags.
Elaine Tucker: Yes. That could belong to anyone.
Detective Armstrong: It could, but it doesn't. It belongs to him, and he left it behind in Veronica Smith's closet on the night that he murdered her.
Kenneth Lemmons: No, I didn't. You took that from me when you arrested me.
Detective Murphy: Oh, no, no, no. The Altoids that we took from you are in this bag with the other stuff when you were arrested.
Kenneth Lemmons: Well, then it's not mine.
Detective Armstrong: It has your fingerprints on it.
Elaine Tucker: Detectives, I need to speak with my client. Can we pick this up later? Like tomorrow maybe?
Kenneth Lemmons: Tomorrow?
Elaine Tucker: Don't say anything else. Just wait.
Kenneth Lemmons: But I don't want to spend another night here.
Elaine Tucker: Ken, don't say another word until I tell you to. Detectives, I think we're done for today. Do you need to take him back to jail or is there a room here somewhere where I could speak with my client privately?
Detective Murphy: You can use this room, and then we'll transport him back to the jail when you're done.
Elaine Tucker: Camera and microphones off.
Detective Murphy: Of course.
Interview ends: 3:21 p.m.