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Witness Interview: Dana Pomeroy
 

Monday, June 5, 2000 - 11:00 a.m.

After reviewing Dana Pomeroy's statement that she and her attorney brought in to Detectives Armstrong and Murphy, the detectives contacted District Attorney Jake Hood to have him come over and review the statement. They then interviewed Ms. Pomeroy with her attorney present. Ms. Pomeroy was not in custody at the start of this interview, but had been advised of her rights.

SM = Det. S. Murphy
TA = Det. T. Armstrong
JH = DA Jake Hood
DP = Dana Pomeroy
RL = Rex Lanham

TA: Well, Dana. I was wondering when you'd be coming to see us. It actually took you a little longer than I expected. Do you know District Attorney Jake Hood?

JH: Good morning, Ms. Pomeroy.

DP: Good morning.

SM: Just for the record, please state your name and address.

DP: Dana Pomeroy. 840 Old Taylor Road.

SM: Also for the record, do you acknowledge that you have been advised of your rights and have agreed to talk with us today?

DP: Yes.

SM: And this is your attorney, Mr. Lanham?

RL: Rex Lanham. Good morning, Detective. I am representing Ms. Pomeroy now.

SM: If you don't mind me asking, Ms. Pomeroy, why have you replaced Mr. Young as your attorney?

DP: Because Natasha was paying Jeff to represent me. I wanted to be sure the person who was being paid to represent me was really looking out for my interests, not someone else's.

SM: I see. Well, now that we've gotten all that out of the way, where would you like to start? Ms. Pomeroy, we've read the statement you provided this morning. Do you have anything to add to that before we ask you any questions?

DP: No, I don't think so.

TA: Okay. Let's get straight to the good part then. You said in your statement that you think Natasha Van Moore is responsible for the murder of Trudi Rose, right?

DP: Yes.

TA: And you also said you don't have any proof, right?

DP: Right.

TA: So what are we supposed to do with this theory of yours? How do we know you didn't just make it up so we wouldn't think you killed Trudi?

RL: You think my client lied in her notarized statement?

TA: I'm saying, why should we believe she suddenly had a pang of conscience after all this time?

DP: If I was just looking for someone to shift the blame onto, there are easier targets than Natasha.

TA: Convince me.

DP: How can I do that?

TA: You could start by telling us where we might find some evidence to support your statement.

DP: Like what?

TA: Like something to back up what you're saying. Proof of the sponsorship program like you laid it out. Proof that Natasha had something to do with Trudi's murder. Something like that.

DP: Well... all the sponsorship stuff is in the Good Graces office at Natasha's house. The whites and the reds are in a locked file cabinet. The blacks are in the safe, but only Natasha knows the combination to get in there. I don't know what else I can tell you.

SM: What about Ms. Van Moore's alleged involvement in Mrs. Rose's murder? Do you have any proof of that?

DP: I don't know. I can only tell you how she acted before and after. But I know she was the one. I just know it.

SM: Unfortunately, that doesn't help us or you very much. Do you know how Mrs. Rose was poisoned?

DP: With brownies or something, wasn't it? That's what I heard on the news.

SM: Do you know where the poisoned brownies came from?

DP: I'm sure Natasha got them to her. She knew how much Trudi liked brownies.

SM: So you're saying Ms. Van Moore gave her the brownies?

DP: Probably not directly. She's too smart for that. She probably got Billie or Kay to give them to her. They pretty much do whatever she tells them to.

SM: Do you know how they might have done that? Given her the brownies? Why would Mrs. Rose accept brownies from them? Did she know either of them?

DP: I think she knew Billie. I think Billie did an internship at Cupid's Couples a few years ago, when she was still in college.

SM: You said in your statement that Billie Jasper had bought some muffins at the Bottletree the morning Mrs. Rose died, is that right?

DP: Yes.

SM: We know that Mrs. Rose also went to the Bottletree that morning. Do you know if Ms. Jasper saw her or talked to her then?

DP: I don't know. If they were there at the same time, she probably did.

SM: Do you know if Ms. Jasper gave Mrs. Rose anything, the poisoned brownies or anything else, at that time?

DP: I don't know. It doesn't sound right, though. There are so many people at the Bottletree in the morning, I don't think they'd give her anything with so many witnesses around.

SM: Do you know where Kay Ramsey was that morning, especially while Ms. Jasper was at the Bottletree?

DP: No, I don't.

SM: We asked you before if you knew where Mrs. Rose kept the spare key to her car and you told us you didn't. Was that true?

DP: Right. I don't know anything about Trudi's car keys.

SM: Bobby Joe Rose told us his wife kept a spare key hidden in a magnetic box on her car.

DP: One of those Hide-A-Key things? I never knew that.

SM: Do you think Ms. Van Moore knew about it?

DP: I don't know. She might have. She and Trudi were pretty good friends for a long time.

TA: Okay, so if Natasha was the person who gave Trudi the brownies, or at least made sure she got them, where did the brownies come from? Did Natasha bake them?

DP: Ha! I doubt it. I've never seen Natasha even boil water. I can't picture her baking brownies. She probably got Kay to make them. Kay's a really good cook.

TA: So where did the arsenic come from? Did Natasha get Kay or Billie to take care of that too?

DP: I have no idea. She could have gotten it anywhere. Maybe from rat poison or something. That has arsenic in it, doesn't it? Or maybe she got it from somewhere on campus. There were some chem majors in the red group of students. Or maybe she ordered it over the internet. You can get practically anything on the internet these days.

SM: Okay. Let's talk a little bit about the things we found when we searched your residence. You had a lot of cash stashed in that box you hid in the air vent. Where did all that come from?

RL: With all due respect, Detective, I would prefer my client didn't answer any questions about that until we have a deal in place with the District Attorney.

JH: Mr. Lanham, we need to hear what information your client has to offer before we can make any kind of deal. But we will definitely take her cooperation into consideration when deciding what charges to file, if any.

RL: So you do agree that if my client's assistance proves useful to you and helps you make an arrest in the Rose murder, then you will reduce or dismiss any possible charges against her?

JH: That seems like a probable course of events.

RL: I'll hold you to that, Mr. Hood. Go ahead, Dana.

DP: What was the question again?

TA: Where'd you get all the cash?

DP: From Natasha.

TA: You had almost $15,000. What did you do to earn that much?

DP: That's the money Natasha gave me for borrowing the files from Cupid's Couples.

TA: Didn't you say you were getting $500 a file? That's a lot of files.

DP: Well, she just gave me a bonus a few weeks ago. $5,000.

TA: What was that for?

DP: She said it was for being such a big help.

TA: What did that mean?

DP: I don't know. But it was $5,000. I wasn't about to ask a lot of questions.

TA: Of course not.

SM: We also found a key in your cash box. What does that go to?

DP: I don't know.

SM: Where did you get it?

DP: A girl named Claire Abbott gave it to me before she went home for the summer. She's a pharmacy major at Ole Miss and she's also a Good Graces student. She told me to give the key to Natasha, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

SM: And is this Claire Abbott a "white" student or a "red" student?

DP: She... she's a red student.

SM: I see. But you don't know what the key goes to or why she wanted Natasha to have it?

DP: Nope.

SM: You didn't think to ask?

DP: No. What do I care? Claire asked me to give a key to Natasha. Big deal. It was just a simple favor. I didn't need to know the whole story of the key.

SM: So why did you keep it locked in your cash box then? Why not just keep it in your purse or on your key chain?

DP: I didn't want to lose it.

SM: Uh-huh. Let's just move on to something else for now. You also said in your statement that Good Graces was blackmailing some of their sponsors. Were you involved in that too?

DP: Not really.

TA: What does that mean?

DP: Well, I think Natasha was using the information in the Cupid's Couples files to pick which people to target. So I guess I was sort of involved in that part. But I wasn't in on any of the rest.

TA: What's "the rest?

DP: You know... getting the pictures or whatever to blackmail them with, making the contact, getting the payments, all of that.

TA: And you weren't involved in any of that?

DP: No.

SM: Can you tell us the names of the people being blackmailed?

DP: No, I don't know for sure who they are.

SM: Do you think Oscar Bulloch could have been one of them?

DP: I wouldn't be surprised.

TA: Are you the one who's been calling him, talking about "property" and "payments" and so forth?

DP: No. I told you, I wasn't involved in that.

SM: Do you know who was calling him?

DP: No. Probably Billie or Kay or both. I think they usually make the calls because they don't have as much contact with the sponsors. So they're less likely to recognize their voices.

TA: The way you paint the picture, it's Billie and Kay who are doing all the dirty work, and Natasha is the mastermind, and you've hardly done anything at all. Is that your story?

DP: Well... I guess... I didn't mean... yeah. That's pretty much what I'm saying, I guess.

TA: So you didn't do anything illegal, is that right? While all this illegal activity was going on all around you, you never participated in any of it?

RL: Dana, don't answer that.

TA: What about the tainted powdered sugar you brought in to the Cupid's Couples office?

DP: What about it?

TA: You poisoned your bosses and anyone else who happened to have some of that sugar. How do you feel about that? You didn't think that might be illegal or even just morally wrong?

DP: How do you think I feel? I'm not proud of it. But I really didn't think it was anything serious when I did it.

TA: Not serious? How about when Trudi and Kelly started getting sick? When they had to stay home from work because of what you'd done?

DP: I felt bad for them, I guess. But I thought it was just temporary and they'd get better soon.

TA: And what about when Trudi died? Did you think it was serious then? Did you feel bad for her then?

DP: Of course I felt bad, but I didn't kill her. It's not my fault she died.

TA: Really? Don't kid yourself, Dana. You don't think the build-up of arsenic in Trudi's body - from the poisoned sugar you gave her, mind you - you don't think that contributed to her death? Come on!

DP: You're just saying that. I wasn't involved in what happened to Trudi. I already told you a bunch of times. It wasn't my fault. I didn't do it.

TA: You can keep telling yourself that, if you want to. But we all know the truth, don't we?

RL: That is enough, Detective!

TA: Did you ever think about taking the poisoned sugar out of the office? When people started getting sick, did you think about getting rid of that sugar?

DP: No! No, I didn't. Okay? I told you. I just didn't think it was anything serious.

TA: I don't know, Dana. For some reason, I'm having trouble believing this version of the story where you're just the innocent dupe and everyone else is a bad guy.

DP: Well, it doesn't seem like there's much I can do about that, Armstrong. You either believe me or you don't. I don't know what else I can do to convince you.

SM: Would you be willing to take a polygraph test, Ms. Pomeroy?

RL: I don't see any reason why she should agree to that. It's not admissible in court.

SM: I realize that, sir. But it would go a long way toward making us believe her story.

RL: Regardless -

DP: It's okay, Rex. I'll take the lie detector test. I'm not worried about it because I'm not lying.

SM: Fine. They've been setting up down the hall. Are you ready now?

DP: Sure. I guess.

SM: Okay. Then we'll end this interview at this time, unless anyone has any objections. Ms. Pomeroy, Mr. Lanham, Detective Armstrong will show you the way to the room where the polygraph will be administered. Mr. Hood, if you could stay a moment, I have a couple of things I'd like to go over with you.

JH: Fine. Ms. Pomeroy, I'll be talking to you and your attorney again, after the polygraph.

End interview: 11:51 a.m.

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