Friday, October 21, 2011 - 2:50 p.m.
The witness, Carter Nichols, was identified as a student in the University of Mississippi Drama Department and a former student of the victim. At the detectives' request, the witness came into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for a follow-up interview. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Carter Nichols
Carter Nichols: OK, so the first time was kind of fun, but this is getting to be a bit much.
Detective Armstrong: How many times do I have to tell you? This isn't about fun.
Carter Nichols: Yeah, yeah. I know.
Detective Murphy: So, for the record, please state your name and address.
Carter Nichols: Carter Nichols. 164 Courthouse Square, Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: Why'd you lie to us, kid?
Carter Nichols: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Detective Murphy: Last time we talked, I believe you said something about how you and Dr. Pace didn't discuss the letter that you wrote and blamed on Patrick Richards.
Carter Nichols: That's right.
Detective Murphy: Several witnesses say they saw you and Dr. Pace not only talking about the letter, but screaming about it in front of the Union.
Carter Nichols: That's a lie!
Detective Armstrong: You spoiled brat! You'd better quit grinning around here before we book you for obstruction of justice.
Carter Nichols: Fine. We talked about it. She accused me of writing the letter. Big deal.
Detective Murphy: I'm afraid it is a big deal, Carter. First you lie to us, and then we find out that you fought with Dr. Pace the day before she was murdered.
Detective Armstrong: Starting to look bad for you, dude.
Carter Nichols: OK, fine. So we did get into an argument about it. But I had nothing to do with her murder.
Detective Murphy: Tell us why we should believe you. This is at least two lies we've caught you in. How do we know you aren't lying now?
Carter Nichols: This is for real now. I'm serious. She came up to me in front of everybody and started ragging on me.
Detective Murphy: She approached you at the Union?
Carter Nichols: Yeah. I was hanging out with some of my fraternity brothers. We were waiting to walk down to the Kappa house and meet some friends. Beau Grimsley, Trey McFadden, Robert Sansing were there. A few chicks were sitting with us. Some Kappas. And then this hag Dr. Pace comes storming up to me, starting stuff.
Detective Murphy: What did she say?
Carter Nichols: She wanted to know why I wrote the letter. I told her I didn't, and she said she didn't believe me. This went on for a while. She just went nuts. She was hysterical. I tell you, I always wondered about her...
Detective Armstrong: And I'm sure you were perfectly calm, huh? You're the victim in this, right?
Carter Nichols: Absolutely! What right did she have to try to embarrass me in front of my friends? Who the hell is she anyway? A stupid English teacher. My BMW cost more than her salary. She's nothing.
Detective Armstrong: You are a good actor, kid. I believe I heard a line just like that in every cop show since the beginning of time. I'm surprised you haven't told us that you can buy and sell us too.
Detective Murphy: And unfortunately, you should be referring to Dr. Pace in the past tense. That's why you're stuck in the middle of a murder investigation.
Carter Nichols: This is stupid. You guys have nothing on me.
Detective Murphy: We don't need much. We know you didn't like her, we know you fought with her, and we know she's dead. That's about as much as we have on anyone else.
Carter Nichols: I didn't like her trying to embarrass me, but I had nothing to do with her death.
Detective Armstrong: We hear you flaunt your money pretty well. Always talking about how you don't need school and all that. Maybe that's just your excuse. Maybe you're pretty dumb and you don't want anyone to know.
Carter Nichols: I am not dumb!
Detective Murphy: Maybe you don't want to be embarrassed and that's why you blow off school. Maybe you don't like to be embarrassed at all. Maybe Dr. Pace embarrassed you a bunch when you were in her class.
Detective Armstrong: And then maybe she embarrassed you in front of your little sorority girls that afternoon at the Union, so you decided you'd had enough.
Carter Nichols: That is not what happened!
Detective Murphy: You're definitely going to have to get over that embarrassment thing before you go to jail, Carter.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah. Embarrassment isn't the right word for how you're going to feel when you get to Parchman.
Carter Nichols: How many times can I tell you that I had nothing to do with her death?
Detective Murphy: About as many times as you told us that you had nothing to do with that letter and that you didn't talk to her about it.
Carter Nichols: That was different! I was joking around then.
Detective Armstrong: Not a joke anymore, is it?
Carter Nichols: Listen, you two. Arrest me if you want, but I'm not putting up with any more of this bull. I want to call my dad's lawyer and then I'm leaving. If you want to arrest me now, then do it. If not, we're done.
Detective Murphy: We probably could hold you, but I've got a better idea. You don't like to be embarrassed? Well, let's see how you explain it to people when a uniformed sheriff's deputy follows you around.
Detective Armstrong: Girls really think it's a turn-on when you have a badge sitting at the table next to you.
Carter Nichols: You scum! You wouldn't do that!
Detective Murphy: Oh yeah. You're a suspect. We can follow you. We might even mention your name in the papers as a person of interest.
Carter Nichols: That's enough! My dad won't stand for this. I want my lawyer.
Detective Murphy: Phone's on the way out. You're free to go. You can call him here or wait until you get home. We can have a squad car give you a ride–
Carter Nichols: Screw you.
Detective Armstrong: See ya around, Carter.
End interview: 3:06 p.m.