Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 4:00 p.m.
Rick Hughes worked for Monica Drum as a reporter at the Oxford Eagle. He and Ms. Drum also had a contentious personal relationship. After disappearing for more than two weeks after the murder, Rick Hughes re-emerged and came in to talk to the detectives.
At the time of this interview, Melvin Roberts's confession had not yet been publicly revealed as a hoax. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Hughes at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective Murphy
- Detective Parker
- Rick Hughes
Detective Parker: Mr. Hughes, I'm glad you found some time to sit with us.
Rick Hughes: Well, it's nice to be the one answering the questions every once in a while.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Hughes, nice to finally meet you. Where have you been?
Rick Hughes: I've been around, keeping an eye on things.
Detective Murphy: And why have you been avoiding us?
Rick Hughes: I haven't. I had to take precautions to make sure whoever murdered Monica didn't get to me too.
Detective Parker: So you think her killer wants you dead as well?
Rick Hughes: I did, but now that Melvin Roberts has confessed, I'm not so worried. I don't think he had anything against me.
Detective Parker: Wait. You know Coach Roberts?
Rick Hughes: Not personally. I know who he is. Everybody does.
Detective Murphy: Where were you on the Saturday evening and Sunday morning of Monica Drum's murder?
Rick Hughes: I don't remember.
Detective Murphy: You don't remember?
Rick Hughes: I was drinking. I black out sometimes.
Detective Parker: Do you often drink to the point of blacking out?
Rick Hughes: I have a few drinks every night.
Detective Murphy: How many is a few?
Rick Hughes: Five or six. Seven.
Detective Murphy: Do you black out every night?
Rick Hughes: No.
Detective Parker: Where were you drinking the Saturday night Monica Drum was shot?
Rick Hughes: At home.
Detective Parker: Was there anyone with you?
Rick Hughes: No, I was alone.
Detective Murphy: Did you go out at any time?
Rick Hughes: I went to the liquor store.
Detective Murphy: What time?
Rick Hughes: I don't know. During the game sometime.
Detective Murphy: OK. When was the next time that you either saw or spoke to another person?
Rick Hughes: In the morning when I went to McDonald's for breakfast. When are you going to start asking some real questions?
Detective Parker: OK. Who killed Monica Drum?
Rick Hughes: Melvin Roberts, I guess. Isn't that what he said?
Detective Parker: What if he didn't do it?
Rick Hughes: Well, I don't know. But it wasn't me.
Detective Parker: And why should we believe you?
Rick Hughes: Because you don't have any evidence against me.
Detective Parker: Your fingerprints are all over her office.
Rick Hughes: I work there. She's my boss. What other evidence do you have? Do I have a gun? No.
Detective Parker: You have some old bruises on your hand. How long have you had those? 10 days maybe?
Rick Hughes: I told you. I black out. Maybe I fell down.
Detective Murphy: Did you hate Monica Drum?
Rick Hughes: No. I loved her for a while. I would never hurt her.
Detective Murphy: Really? Then why don't you tell us about the fight you and Monica had at the Holiday Open House? We know it was physical.
Rick Hughes: You don't know. You weren't there. You only know vicious rumors that my enemies have been spreading.
Detective Parker: Your enemies? And who are they?
Rick Hughes: The usual suspects. People who don't like what I've reported, people who don't like me.
Detective Murphy: Are you saying that your argument with Monica did not get physical?
Rick Hughes: Not in the way you mean. We were often physical, but not in a violent way.
Detective Murphy: So what was the argument about?
Rick Hughes: That's private.
Detective Murphy: Not anymore it isn't.
Rick Hughes: I am not going to discuss the private details of my personal relationship with Monica.
Detective Parker: You'll only hurt yourself if you don't.
Rick Hughes: What is that supposed to mean?
Detective Parker: It means that you had a physical conflict with Monica Drum the day before she was murdered. You hid from us after she was murdered. You have no alibi for the time that she was killed. You yourself said that you have no memory of that night. For all you know, you did kill her. You're giving no reason not to arrest you.
Rick Hughes: You already have someone in custody who confessed. Why would you arrest me?
Detective Parker: Maybe you and Melvin Roberts were in it together. You both had a reason to hate Monica.
Rick Hughes: I didn't hate her. And I don't know Melvin Roberts.
Detective Murphy: That's not what you said before.
Rick Hughes: I said I know who he is. That's all. I can see it was a mistake coming down here. Am I free to go?
Detective Murphy: We have some more questions for you.
Rick Hughes: Are you going to arrest me? Can I go if I want to?
Detective Parker: If that's what you want to do.
Rick Hughes: That is what I want to do. I didn't kill Monica. That's all you need to know.
Detective Murphy: That is not all we need to know. But if you want to play it this way, fine. Do not disappear again, Mr. Hughes. You hear me?
Rick Hughes: I hear you.
Interview ends - 4:14 p.m.