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Interview: Follow-up with Donald "Dewey" Devoe, victim's apartment complex manager

Monday, June 14, 2004 -- 9:20 AM

The witness, Donald “Dewey” Devoe, is the manager of the apartment complex where the victim lived. The witness was interviewed at his residence. The interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
DD = Donald "Dewey" Devoe

TA: Well, Mr. Devoe, we're back. Thanks for answering the door.

DD: It's way too early. Do you want coffee or something?

SM: No, thanks. Would you state your name and address again for the record?

DD: Donald Wayne Devoe, 588 Hathorn, Apartment 22. What's going on? Do you have the 411 on that murder or something?

SM: We're hoping you might help with that.

DD: I already told you everything I know.

TA: Is that so? Well then, why don't you tell us again about that incident with Kristi Waterson's mother?

DD: Dude, chill. It wasn't an incident. It was an accident. I already told you -- there was water from the fridge. Some kind of, what do you call it, coolant didn't work so stuff was melting.

TA: Sounds urgent.

DD: Okay, look. Maybe I should have fixed it earlier. But that's no excuse for Kristi to come barging in on me the way she did.

SM: When did they report the problem?

DD: I don't know. Like, a few weeks ago. They called me like six times and I told them to chill. They could live without cold champagne or whatever. But they were totally uptight. I already called the repair guy when the accident happened -- he just couldn't make it out right away.

SM: What about the day of the accident? Were you here when it happened?

DD: Yeah. In fact, I helped out big time. That's why I didn't get it when Kristi went off the deep end.

SM: Helped out how?

DD: They called an ambulance, and when it came, I went out to see what was wrong. I followed the paramedics to the apartment. Everyone was totally freaking out -- a really bad scene. I tried to get them calmed down and Michelle asked me to take care of everything, which turned out to mean locking up behind them, turning out the lights and so on. Later Michelle called from the hospital and asked me to get some take-out for them so it would be waiting for them. I did that no sweat. Chinese food, hot and sour soup -- I heard it has healing properties.

SM: Did you pay for it?

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DD: They were home by that time; it was delivered right to them. No prob. And then the next thing I know Kristi's threatening me.

TA: Why don't you tell us about what happened between you and Ms. Waterson?

DD: Like I said. She was yapping at me about suing, yelling her head off. And that was it.

SM: When was this?

DD: In the morning. The Tuesday before.

TA: A minute ago you said she barged in on you. What's that about?

DD: Nothing. Look, it's just she came in here totally unexpected. The door was open -- she just walked right in. I was in the middle of something and told her to come back and that's when it all started.

TA: What were you doing? With a girl or something?

DD: No. I was just busy. She went off on how I was a criminal -- you know, for letting the fridge slide like that. How I was so lazy, and she was going to tell my boss and so on. She threatened to have me kicked out. It was a total overreaction.

TA: Sounds like she wanted to put you out of business. If she followed through, you'd lose a pretty decent job.

DD: Look, it's ridiculous to think I wanted to hurt her. I'm used to crap like that -- other tenants are uptight just like she was. It's just part of the job. I always try to work it out and move on.

TA: I still don't get why you waited so long to fix the refrigerator.

DD: It wasn't on purpose. Dude, look. The way it works is half the time problems go away on their own. If I ran over every time one of the tenants called me, I'd spend all my time changing light bulbs. This way, they take care of the stuff they should take care of on their own, and I just deal with the major problems. You know -- plumbing and stuff like that. The gnarly stuff.

TA: You say she came in here? To this room?
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DD: Yeah. I mean, that's what bothered me -- she came through the door, in here, and then when I wasn't here, she actually came in back. Total invasion of privacy.

TA: In back where?

DD: Um, the bedroom, I think. Look, it was a couple of weeks ago now. I don't remember exactly, except that I was totally shocked. It wasn't like I was standing right here and said, “How do you do, please have a seat on the couch. I don't care how rich you are,” you know? You can still use the doorbell and chill out.

SM: How did the discussion end?

DD: We came back in here and I was trying to calm her down. I told her, “look, the repairman is coming,” and I said she could wipe up her own mess.

TA: Did it get physical?

DD: No. Nothing like that. In the end, she walked out still making threats about suing me, turning me in to the cops, firing me, what have you. Way over the top.

TA: Turning you in to the cops? For what?

DD: I don't know. That's what I mean -- she was totally out of line.

TA: I'm going to put two and two together and guess this has something to do with your sideline business.

DD: What business?

TA: Like, say, Ms. Waterson happened to see some of your drug paraphernalia and threatened to tell the cops. If that happened, you'd lose your job and might actually have to work for a living.

DD: No way. You guys are totally off base. All I can tell you is she was totally overreacting and nothing ever happened. My boss never asked about it, nothing.

TA: Very convenient for you.

DD: No. Like I said, you guys are crazy if you think I had something to do with what happened to Kristi. It blows my mind. I'm not a violent person.

SM: Tell us again about the night Ms. Waterson died.

DD: Nothing happened. I didn't go out. I didn't party. I just hung out.

SM: Who did you see?

DD: No one.

SM: What about Hunter Nelson?

DD: Like I said, I didn't hang with anyone. Just watched the tube. I'm trying to save cash.

SM: He didn't come by to see Ms. Waterson?

DD: No. Look. I said earlier I don't spy on the tenants and I was telling the truth. How the hell should I know who visited their place? I don't even know if they were around.

SM: What about the other tenants -- any complaints that night?

DD: No. All quiet. No parties for people to get upset about, no loud music, nothing. It was a completely normal night.

SM: What else do you remember about that night?

DD: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was totally not memorable. I watched reruns on TV -- that says it all.

SM: When did you hear about Ms. Waterson's death?

DD: The next morning, just like everyone. The police cars woke me up.

SM: Mr. Devoe, please try to help us out. Who else was friends with Ms. Waterson?

DD: I told you. Just that guy Hunter -- that's all I know about.

TA: What about Weldon?

DD: Who?

TA: Weldon's the name.

DD: Never heard of him.

TA: Hunter Nelson never mentioned him?

DD: No. How many times do I have to say it? I didn't know any of Kristi and Michelle's stupid friends. Everyone here has friends and relatives; they can come and go, I don't recognize half the people I see here. I don't go around raiding apartments and spying on people; it's not like I get off on their lives. I've got my own business. It's a free country.

TA: Okay, Mr. Devoe. No need to get riled up.

DD: You're the one being uptight.

TA: You were here on the night of the murder and it sounds like you had reason to wish Ms. Waterson harm.

DD: You're wrong. I would never hurt someone like that. Whoever did that is one messed-up person -- I can't imagine it. It totally blows my mind.

TA: Mr. Devoe, I suggest you think hard about that Saturday night and whether anyone can back you up as to your harmless activities.

DD: Wait -- are you threatening me?

TA: I'm just saying it'd be a lot easier for you -- and we could be a lot less uptight -- if someone else knew your whereabouts.

DD: Well, like I said, I was at home. I wasn't exactly planning to be interrogated like this. This is like police brutality or something.

SM: Give us a break.

TA: Why don't you calm down and we'll talk again real soon.

DD: Whatever, dude.

Interview ends -- 10:02 AM

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