Wednesday, September 19, 2012 – 4:00 p.m.
Nathan Mistillis works at Pearce Brokers, another real estate company in Oxford.
In the weeks before her death, Annette Wyatt had been investigating whether someone was giving Pearce Brokers inside information that helped them lure clients away from the Harte Agency.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed Mr. Mistillis 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?
Nathan Mistillis: You bet. My name is Nathan Mistillis, and I live at 511 Meadow Lane. You can call me Nate.
Detective Murphy: Nate, then. So you're in real estate. That must be pretty lucrative.
Nathan Mistillis: I pay the bills, and then some.
Detective Murphy: You must know Annette Wyatt over at Harte Agency.
Nathan Mistillis: That was a shame, what happened to her. A nail gun? I tell you, the initiation rites at the carpenters union is getting out of hand.
Detective Parker: You know a lot about nail guns?
Nathan Mistillis: Me? No, I’m a seller, not a builder.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe your relationship with Annette Wyatt?
Nathan Mistillis: We knew each other. Real estate is a small playing field, and I know everybody who matters.
Detective Murphy: How would you say Annette mattered?
Nathan Mistillis: She was a very successful closer. Harte, he had a good thing going with her.
Detective Parker: Are you suggesting they were in a relationship?
Nathan Mistillis: No, she wasn’t interested in that. But when it came to moving properties, she was one of the best.
Detective Murphy: If you know everyone who matters, you must know Fred Jacobs, yes?
Nathan Mistillis: The name doesn't ring a bell.
Detective Parker: Do you mean the Jacobs that owns Oxford Travel? He's been trying to book me on this deluxe trip to Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently people can't wait to get out of Mississippi, and he hasn't been able to bump anybody.
Nathan Mistillis: Oh, that Fred Jacobs. Sure, I know him. What about him?
Detective Murphy: I ran into him the other day. He said he recently bought a house, that Annette had been his broker, and that she'd passed him onto Pearce, saying that she couldn't continue to represent him because it would be a conflict of interest. Does that make any sense to you?
Nathan Mistillis: Only if she had some financial interest in the place he wanted to see.
Detective Murphy: Why wouldn't she have passed him onto another agent at Harte?
Nathan Mistillis: Maybe someone at Harte represented the property.
Detective Murphy: Is that common in real estate, referring clients to other agencies? I wish we could do that with some of our bad guys.
Nathan Mistillis: I'm sure Annette had her reasons. Excuse me. My phone's doing something weird.
Detective Murphy: Take your time.
Nathan Mistillis: There's this guy, he handles the agency's computers, and he said he could hook me up with this streaming news data service that trolls Facebook and Twitter looking for people complaining about where they live. I was getting about a million messages a second, so Elliott changed the configuration, and now I get what he calls logon storms. Every half hour, the phone squawks like a strangled chicken and then freezes until I remove the battery. There. Sorry about the interruption. Phones, they're getting as bad as computers.
Detective Murphy: Would that be Elliott Turnbuckle?
Nathan Mistillis: No, Elliott Owens. He handles our computers. Let me guess, he asked you out.
Detective Murphy: Not yet, anyway.
Nathan Mistillis: If he does, you might consider agreeing to it. Can't hurt to have a computer guru in your corner. Just don't let him touch your phone.
Detective Murphy: Thanks for the tip.
Detective Parker: I don’t know much about real estate, but I was kind of surprised that Annette was in the office when she was. Do you work all your nights and weekends?
Nathan Mistillis: That depends on whether I have something better to do.
Detective Parker: How about the evening of Saturday, September 15th? Working? Having fun?
Nathan Mistillis: Sometimes I do both at once.
Detective Parker: So how did you spend your night?
Nathan Mistillis: I showed a property at around 6:00. The sellers were just sitting down to eat dinner, but that’s the only time my client was free. He’s from out of state, and he can only look when he happens to be in town to visit his father at a nursing home.
Detective Parker: How long did that take?
Nathan Mistillis: Not long. He knew he wasn’t interested as soon as he saw the place.
Detective Parker: And what did you do after that?
Nathan Mistillis: I spent the evening entertaining a lady at my place.
Detective Parker: What lady?
Nathan Mistillis: Tracy Lu. Why? Are you hitting on me?
Detective Parker: Would that be the lady who lives with you?
Nathan Mistillis: You know about that, huh?
Detective Parker: Were you with her the whole night?
Nathan Mistillis: Yeah, I– say, why are you asking me about my whereabouts the night Annette Wyatt was killed? Am I some kind of suspect or something?
Detective Murphy: Not at all. But seeing as you know everybody that matters, you seem like a good source of information, but if you were just home watching television.
Nathan Mistillis: I like television.
Detective Murphy: Then I won’t ask if you can confirm any alibis.
Nathan Mistillis: Someone used me as her alibi?
Detective Murphy: I think that’s all we have for now. If we think of anything else, we’ll be in touch.
Interview ends - 4:27 p.m.