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Witness Interview: Lydia "Liddie" Hammond, victim's daughter - Part One
 

Tuesday, February 6, 2001, 2:00 p.m.

This witness, Lydia "Liddie" Hammond, is the seven-year-old daughter of the victim. In accordance with regulations, the court appointed a psychologist and an attorney to represent the minor's interests. Both parties were present during the interview, which Detectives Armstrong and Murphy conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Office.

TA = Detective Ted Armstrong
SM = Detective Sam Murphy
NC = Nancy Carson, psychologist appointed to the minor, Lydia Hammond
AD = Andrew Drummond, Counsel appointed to the minor, Lydia Hammond
LH = Lydia "Liddie" Hammond, daughter of the victim

NC: Hi, Liddie. Do you remember me? We talked a few times last week and then again yesterday?

LH: Yes.

NC: And do you remember all these other nice people? That's Mr. Drummond and over there is Detective Armstrong and Detective Murphy. Do you remember seeing them before?

LH: Yes.

NC: We're all your friends here and we just want to help you. You don't have to be scared because no one here is going to hurt you. Okay?

LH: Okay.

NC: Now, Detective Armstrong and Detective Murphy need to ask you some questions. They're going to want to talk about your mommy. I know it makes you sad to talk about her, but it's really important so you should try to tell them whatever you can remember. Okay?

LH: Okay.

NC: And if you get too sad, we can always take a little break. Okay?

LH: Okay.

NC: Detectives?

TA: Hi, Liddie. My name is Detective Armstrong. How are you today?

LH: Fine.

TA: We talked to your Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria today. They said to tell you hi and they love you.

LH: I didn't get to see them on Friday.

TA: I heard about that. Do you miss them?

LH: Yes.

TA: Do you remember the last time you saw them?

LH: Yes.

TA: What did you do?

LH: We went skating.

TA: Roller-skating?

LH: Yes.

TA: Are you a good roller-skater?

LH: No. I'm still learning how. But I'm better than I used to be.

TA: I bet you are. What else did you do with Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria the last time you saw them?

LH: Got ice cream.

TA: Oh yeah? What's your favorite kind of ice cream?

LH: Bubble Gum.

TA: That's a good one. My granddaughter Rachel likes that kind too. What did you do after you got ice cream?

LH: Papa Thomas and Mama Gloria took me home.

TA: Did they go inside with you?

LH: No, they don't do that. Sometimes Mama Gloria gets mad at...

TA: Did Mama Gloria get mad at your mommy sometimes?

LH: Yes.

TA: So that's why they didn't go inside with you?

LH: Yes.

TA: How do they know if you got in the house okay?

LH: I blink the porch light for them so they know.

TA: And did you do that that night?

LH: Yes.

TA: Then what happened?

LH: I...

NC: It's okay, Liddie. You be a brave girl and tell Detective Armstrong what you did next.

LH: I looked for Mommy.

TA: Did you find her?

LH: Yes.

TA: Where was she?

LH: Sleeping.

TA: Were you surprised that she was sleeping?

LH: No. Sometimes she takes a nap.

TA: Had you ever come home before and she was sleeping?

LH: Yes.

TA: So what did you do when you saw she was sleeping? Did you wake her up?

LH: No.

TA: Why not?

LH: Because sometimes Mommy is grumpy if I wake her up.

TA: Like the dwarf named Grumpy from the Snow White story?

LH: Hee. Yeah.

TA: So when you saw that your mommy was asleep, what did you do?

LH: I was sleepy too.

TA: So what did you do?

LH: I put my pajamas on and got in Mommy's bed.

TA: Why didn't you sleep in your own bed?

LH: Mommy likes me to sleep with her.

SM: All the time?

LH: Just sometimes.

TA: Were there any lights on in your mommy's room?

LH: No.

TA: Were you scared?

LH: No. The hall light was on.

SM: Were there other lights on in the house?

LH: I don't know.

SM: Was the TV on in the living room?

LH: I don't know.

TA: Did you fall asleep in your mommy's bed that night?

LH: Yes.

TA: Did you talk to her before you went to sleep?

LH: I told her good night.

TA: Did she say anything?

LH: No, she was asleep.

TA: Then what happened?

LH: I went to sleep.

SM: Did you wake up during the night?

LH: No.

SM: Did you hear anything strange during the night?

LH: No.

SM: When did you wake up?

LH: I don't know.

SM: Were you still in your mother's bed when you woke up?

LH: Yes.

TA: Do you remember why you woke up?

LH: Grandpa was knocking on the door.

TA: How did you know it was him?

LH: I saw him.

TA: Before you opened the door?

LH: No, after.

TA: Did you talk to your mommy before you opened the door?

LH: Yes.

TA: What did you say?

LH: I said, Mommy, somebody's at the door.

TA: What did she say?

LH: Nothing. She was still sleeping.

SM: Were you surprised she was still sleeping?

LH: I don't know.

SM: Do you know why she didn't wake up to answer the door?

LH: No. She looked... funny.

SM: Funny how?

LH: I don't know.

TA: What made her look funny?

LH: I don't know. She had a bruise on her neck.

TA: Do you remember where on her neck?

LH: On her whole neck.

TA: Okay. So what did you do?

LH: I opened the door so Grandpa could come in.

TA: And then what happened?

LH: He asked me where Mommy was and I told him she was sleeping.

TA: What did he say?

LH: He went into her room to wake her up.

TA: And then what happened?

LH: He came out. He looked sad.

TA: What did he do?

LH: Called somebody.

TA: Do you know who he called?

LH: No.

TA: What did he do after that?

LH: He called Uncle Johnny.

TA: How do you know?

LH: I heard him talking to him.

TA: What did he say?

LH: He said to come over.

TA: Do you know why?

LH: I went to Uncle Johnny's house.

TA: Do you know why you went to Uncle Johnny's house?

LH: Grandpa said someone was coming over to check on Mommy and I should go to Uncle Johnny's.

TA: Then what happened?

LH: We waited for Uncle Johnny to come.

TA: How did you feel about that?

LH: I was scared.

TA: Why were you scared?

LH: Because something was wrong with Mommy...

NC: Detective, I think we should take a break now.

SM: Okay. Interview suspended at 2:26 p.m. on February 7, 2001.

End Part One.

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