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Witness Interview: Brenda Marsh, saw the victim the afternoon before the body was found
 

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

Brenda Marsh, who was babysitting at a home across the street from Missy Hammond's residence the afternoon before the body was discovered, was identified by Hammond's neighbors as a potential witness to the events of that afternoon. Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Detectives Armstrong and Murphy visited Marsh at her home for an interview.

TA = Det. T. Armstrong
SM = Det. S. Murphy
BM = Brenda Marsh, witness
CM = Cynthia Marsh, witness's mother

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

BM: Fine.

TA: 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. Okay?

BM: Okay.

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

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

SM: And how old are you?

BM: Fourteen.

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

BM: Yes, sir.

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

BM: Yes, sir.

TA: How did you happen to be there?

BM: I was babysitting.

TA: After school?

BM: Yes, sir.

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

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

TA: How many kids?

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

TA: And do you know the parents' first names?

BM: Yes. Richard and Joanne Williams.

TA: Okay. So go on with what happened yesterday when you got out of school.

BM: 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.

SM: You walked over to Central to meet Rick?

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

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

BM: Yes. They go to Oxford Elementary.

SM: Okay. What time did you get to the Williams' house?

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

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

BM: Across the street.

TA: Okay. Then what happened?

BM: 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, okay. So I got a Coke and went outside with them so I could make sure they didn't, like, get all crazyish or anything.

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

BM: Um... like, in the back and on the side.

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

BM: Uh... yeah.

SM: You're sure?

BM: Yeah.

CM: Yes, ma'am.

BM: I mean, yes, ma'am.

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

BM: 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.

TA: Okay. Then what happened?

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

SM: You heard him?

BM: Yeah. His truck is really loud.

SM: Do you know her boyfriend's name?

BM: No.

TA: What does he look like?

BM: Well... he's all tallish and has dark hair.

TA: Do you know how old he is?

BM: I don't know. Old. Maybe thirty?

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

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

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

BM: No. We weren't looking.

TA: So then what happened?

BM: 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.

SM: Could you tell what they were fighting about?

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

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

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

TA: Okay. So they were arguing in the front yard. Did you see anyone else outside then?

BM: No, I don't think so.

TA: Then what happened?

BM: 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.

SM: What did Ms. Hammond do?

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

TA: Do you know what time that was?

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

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

BM: Well... her boyfriend came back a little while later.

SM: When was that?

BM: Like, maybe 4:15?

TA: And what did he do when he came back?

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

TA: Did she let him in?

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

SM: Kevin Travers?

BM: Yes.

TA: He came out of his house?

BM: Yes.

TA: Which one is his house?

BM: That whiteish one next to Missy's.

TA: And what did he do when he came outside?

BM: He started talking to Missy's boyfriend.

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

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

TA: Could you hear what they were talking about?

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

TA: So what happened next?

BM: Missy's boyfriend left.

TA: Just like that?

BM: 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.

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

BM: 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.

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

BM: He went back in his house.

TA: Then what happened?

BM: 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.

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

BM: No.

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

BM: I don't think so.

TA: Did you see Liddie Hammond at all that afternoon?

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

TA: Do you know where she was?

BM: No.

TA: Okay. 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, okay?

BM: Okay.

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

CM: Of course, Detective. Just give us a call.

TA: Will do. And thank you, ma'am.

End interview 1:22 p.m.

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