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Witness Interview Summaries: JP Wallace's Alibi Witnesses
 

Beginning at 3:00 p.m., February 2, 2001 and continuing on February 3, 2001 and February 4, 2001, Detectives Ted Armstrong and Sam Murphy interviewed various people who were in Murff's on January 26, 2001. In an interview with Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department dated January 29, 2001, JP Wallace provided the following as names of people who could corroborate his presence at Murff's: Franklin, Bobby; Swanson, Jack; Tatum, Jimbo; Unknown last name, Mike. These people and other Murff's patrons were interviewed to determine whether they remember Wallace's presence at Murff's on January 26, 2001 and to gather any relevant information they might possess. The witness statements provided below, in summary and not verbatim, are representative of all interviews conducted.

  • Bobby Franklin, resident at 116 Filmore, Oxford. Mr. Franklin stated that he did in fact remember JP Wallace at Murff's on the day in question. He said that he first remembered seeing Wallace around 3:00 p.m. He said that Wallace said hello, bought him a beer and they talked about the upcoming basketball game for a few minutes. Franklin asked Wallace what he had going on that night, and Wallace replied that he was going to "go see Missy for a while" and then wasn't sure what the rest of his night's activities would entail. When asked if he had made a phone call to or received a phone call from Wallace that afternoon, Franklin stated he occasionally makes and receives such phone calls while he is at Murff's, but he could not recall whether such a call had taken place on January 26. When questioned about the length of time that he remembered seeing Wallace at Murff's on January 26, 2001, Franklin replied that he saw him off and on throughout the afternoon and evening. Franklin remembers a large crowd being at Murff's that day and said that he didn't talk to anyone in particular for any length of time. He just occasionally saw Wallace, although he did remember Wallace being at the bar "pretty late."
  • Jack Swanson, resident at County Road 123, Abbeville. Mr. Swanson stated he remembered Wallace being present at Murff's. Said he first saw Wallace around 3:00 p.m. and talked to him for a while. Later, Wallace told him that he was going to see "Missy," whom Swanson understood to be Missy Hammond, and that he would be back after a while if anyone was looking for him. Wallace then returned a very short time afterwards. Swanson remembered Wallace's return very distinctly, because "everyone gave JP a hard time about it." Swanson did not know how long Wallace stayed at Murff's, but claimed that Wallace was still there when he left at 10:30 p.m.
  • Jimbo Tatum, resident at 18 Lincoln, Oxford. Mr. Tatum stated he got off work at lunchtime and headed over to Murff's. He said he remained there for the rest of the afternoon and that he remembered seeing Wallace there, but could not remember what time. Tatum claimed to have been extremely inebriated and blamed that for the fuzziness of his memory. He knows that Wallace was there, but cannot provide any specific details. Tatum was, however, able to provide the last name for the "Mike" Wallace referred to in his interview. Tatum said that this reference was to Mike Zimmerman.
  • Mike Zimmerman, resident at 618 Madison, Oxford. Zimmerman stated that he remembered Wallace at Murff's. He thought that Wallace might have left again later in the evening, "maybe around seven." When pushed for details, Zimmerman backed off, saying that he wasn't positive that Wallace actually left the bar, that maybe he just didn't see him.

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