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Brenda saw the fight between Missy and JP the afternoon before Missy's body was found

Saturday, January 27, 2001 – 1:00 p.m.

Brenda Marsh was babysitting at a home across the street from Missy Hammond's residence the afternoon before the body was discovered. Some of Hammond's neighbors identified Miss Marsh as a potential witness to the events of that afternoon.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at her residence with her mother present. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Brenda March
  • Cynthia March

Detective Armstrong: Thanks for letting us come by and talk with you, Miss March. How are you doing this afternoon?

Brenda Marsh: Fine.

Detective Armstrong: Well, I hope you don't mind me saying, but you look a little nervous. No need to be. We just want you to tell us what you saw yesterday afternoon, and your mom's going to sit here with us so you'll feel more comfortable. OK?

Brenda Marsh: OK.

Detective Murphy: Could you state your name and address for the record, please?

Brenda Marsh: Brenda Marsh. I live at 610 Martin Luther King.

Detective Murphy: And how old are you?

Brenda Marsh: Fourteen.

Detective Armstrong: So that puts you in, what, the eighth grade?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: We understand you were over on Elm Street yesterday afternoon. Is that right?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: How did you happen to be there?

Brenda Marsh: I was babysitting.

Detective Armstrong: After school?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe you could just tell us everything that happened, starting after school yesterday.

Brenda Marsh: OK. Well, every day after school, I babysit the Williams kids until their mom gets home around 6:00.

Detective Armstrong: How many kids?

Brenda Marsh: Three. Rick is in fifth grade, Teddy's in third, and Jenny's in second.

Detective Armstrong: And do you know the parents' first names?

Brenda Marsh: Yes. Richard and Joanne Williams.

Detective Armstrong: OK. So go on with what happened yesterday when you got out of school.

Brenda Marsh: So I walked over to Central and met Rick and then we walked to bus stop by the Williams' street and met Teddy and Jenny when they got off the bus. Then we all walked to their house.

Detective Murphy: You walked over to Central to meet Rick?

Brenda Marsh: Yes. He goes to Central Elementary, and I go to Oxford Middle and, you know, they're like right next to each other.

Detective Murphy: And Teddy and Jenny go to a different school and ride the bus home?

Brenda Marsh: Yes. They go to Oxford Elementary.

Detective Murphy: OK. What time did you get to the Williams' house?

Brenda Marsh: Like 3:20? I don't remember exactly.

Detective Murphy: And where is the Williams' house in relation to the Hammonds' house?

Brenda Marsh: Across the street.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Then what happened?

Brenda Marsh: Well, the kids were acting all wildishly 'cause it's the weekend and, like, you know. So they were all hyperish, and I was like, y'all should just play outside for a while, and they were like, OK. So I got a Coke and went outside with them so I could make sure they didn't, like, get all crazyish or anything.

Detective Armstrong: Were y'all in the front yard or the backyard outside?

Brenda Marsh: Um… like, in the back and on the side.

Detective Murphy: And it was just you and the Williams children, Rick, Teddy, and Jenny, out there, right?

Brenda Marsh: Uh… yeah.

Detective Murphy: You're sure?

Brenda Marsh: Yeah.

Cynthia Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

Brenda Marsh: I mean, yes, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: Did you notice anything happening at the Hammonds' house at that time?

Brenda Marsh: No. We could tell Missy was home because, like, her car was there, but we didn't see her until, like, a little while later.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Then what happened?

Brenda Marsh: Like, a few minutes later, we heard Missy's boyfriend drive up.

Detective Murphy: You heard him?

Brenda Marsh: Yeah. His truck is really loud.

Detective Murphy: Do you know her boyfriend's name?

Brenda Marsh: No.

Detective Armstrong: What does he look like?

Brenda Marsh: Well… he's all tallish and has dark hair.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know how old he is?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Old. Maybe thirty?

Detective Murphy: How did you know he was Ms. Hammond's boyfriend?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Maybe Missy mentioned it sometime?

Detective Armstrong: OK. So what happened after he drove up? Did you see him go into Ms. Hammond's house?

Brenda Marsh: No. We weren't looking.

Detective Armstrong: So then what happened?

Brenda Marsh: We were all still outside and, like, a little bit later, Missy and her boyfriend came outside. He was all yelling at her, and she was all yelling at him. They were, like, having a huge fight.

Detective Murphy: Could you tell what they were fighting about?

Brenda Marsh: Not really. We were, like, trying not to listen, you know?

Detective Murphy: And how long was it after the boyfriend went in the house that they came back outside?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Maybe, like, ten minutes?

Detective Armstrong: OK. So they were arguing in the front yard. Did you see anyone else outside then?

Brenda Marsh: No, I don't think so.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Brenda Marsh: Missy was all yelling at him to leave, so he got in his truck and drove off all fastish. His tires squealed and everything, like on TV.

Detective Murphy: What did Ms. Hammond do?

Brenda Marsh: She, like, waited 'til he drove away and then went back in her house.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know what time that was?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Like, maybe fourish?

Detective Armstrong: Did you notice anything else happening at the Hammonds' house that afternoon?

Brenda Marsh: Well… her boyfriend came back a little while later.

Detective Murphy: When was that?

Brenda Marsh: Like, maybe 4:15?

Detective Armstrong: And what did he do when he came back?

Brenda Marsh: He was pounding on her door and yelling for her to let him in.

Detective Armstrong: Did she let him in?

Brenda Marsh: No. She, like, never even opened the door. And then Mr. Travers came out.

Detective Murphy: Kevin Travers?

Brenda Marsh: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: He came out of his house?

Brenda Marsh: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Which one is his house?

Brenda Marsh: That whiteish one next to Missy's.

Detective Armstrong: And what did he do when he came outside?

Brenda Marsh: He started talking to Missy's boyfriend.

Detective Murphy: Where did this conversation take place? Was it at Ms. Hammond's front door?

Brenda Marsh: No. When Mr. Travers came out his back door, Missy's boyfriend saw him and, like, walked over to him.

Detective Armstrong: Could you hear what they were talking about?

Brenda Marsh: Not really. Mr. Travers was talking all quietish, so we couldn't hear him at all. But Missy's boyfriend was all yelling at him to butt out and all like that.

Detective Armstrong: So what happened next?

Brenda Marsh: Missy's boyfriend left.

Detective Armstrong: Just like that?

Brenda Marsh: Well… yeah. I mean, like, he and Mr. Travers were all mad, and he got all up in Mr. Travers face, all yelling at him. We thought maybe he was gonna hit Mr. Travers, but he didn't. He just kinda like shoved him a little, and then he flipped him off and then he just left.

Detective Armstrong: What did Mr. Travers do when Missy's boyfriend shoved him?

Brenda Marsh: Nothing really. I mean, we could tell he was all mad at him, but he didn't shove him back or hit him or anything.

Detective Armstrong: And after Missy's boyfriend left, what did Mr. Travers do?

Brenda Marsh: He went back in his house.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Brenda Marsh: Nothing. We all went inside a little later and then Mrs. Williams came home, like, around sixish. And then she drove me home, like, a few minutes after that.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Ms. Hammond any more that afternoon?

Brenda Marsh: No.

Detective Murphy: Did you notice anything that seemed unusual at any time that afternoon?

Brenda Marsh: I don't think so.

Detective Armstrong: Did you see Liddie Hammond at all that afternoon?

Brenda Marsh: No. She's not usually around on Friday afternoons. Other days, she comes over and plays with Jenny sometimes. But not on Fridays.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know where she was?

Brenda Marsh: No.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Thanks for talking to us, Brenda. You've been a big help. If you think of anything else we might want to know, you be sure to have your mom call us, OK?

Brenda Marsh: OK.

Detective Murphy: Mrs. Marsh, we appreciate your cooperation. We might want to talk to your daughter again. Would that be all right with you?

Cynthia Marsh: Of course, Detective. Just give us a call.

Detective Armstrong: Will do. And thank you, ma'am.

End interview – 1:22 p.m.

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