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Interview: Follow-up with Michelle Prescott, victim's roommate and cousin

Thursday, July 22, 2004 -- 10:05 AM

This witness, identified as the victim's roommate and cousin, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department, accompanied by her attorney. The interview was conducted by Det. Sam Murphy and Det. Ted Armstrong, and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
MP = Michelle Prescott
SC = Slade Chesterson III, esq., attorney for the witness

SM: Thank you for seeing us, Ms. Prescott. Would you state your name and address again for the record?

MP: Michelle Prescott, 588 Hathorn Road, Apartment 232.

SM: Thank you. As you know, we're continuing to investigate Ms. Waterson's murder and--

MP: I know. I've read about it in the papers and I find it disturbing.

SM: How so?

MP: You arrested Hunter Nelson without having all the facts. I mean -- it seems like you've made a terrible mistake, ruined his reputation, and for what? It was hasty and wrongheaded, if you'll forgive me for saying so.

TA: You're awfully worried about this reputation thing.

MP: Pardon?

TA: Mr. Nelson was a viable suspect at the time, and yet all you can talk about is his reputation.

MP: It's important. Hunter seems to be a respectable young man -- the higher you start, the farther you have to fall. We've discussed this before -- it's important to be protective.

TA: Like you.

MP: What do you mean?

TA: Well, before, you mentioned how it's important to think of the consequences of your actions.

MP: Well, of course. I only associate with people who share the same interests and attitudes, who appreciate quality. Part of that is maintaining quality within myself. By that I mean it's important to uphold high standards.

TA: And Ms. Waterson didn't really fit your standards, did she?

MP: Pardon?

TA: Well, earlier you criticized your cousin for being careless, reckless. Maybe you were worried she would rub off on you. A stain on your quality, as it were.

MP: Don't be ridiculous. We've discussed this already and I refuse to speak of it further. It's insulting to the love I felt -- and still feel -- for Kristi for you to be accusing me of such awful things.

TA: Or maybe your boyfriend got a little too close to Ms. Waterson for comfort.

MP: No, absolutely not. You're being offensive. Slade, do something, please.

SC: Detectives, this is getting tiresome.

SM: Our problem is this. Rob LaRouche can vouch for your whereabouts the night Ms. Waterson died, but otherwise it's hard to really pin down what you were doing.

MP: Rob is a completely upstanding person. I don't understand why his word isn't considered adequate -- I'm telling the truth, and he can attest to that.

TA: He may be completely upstanding, but apparently he can't tell time. Why would he say you showed up at a totally different hour for your date?

MP: I have no idea -- I can't control his inaccuracies. All I know is that I went to his house at seven. We went for a drive, stopped for gas, got back to the apartment around 8:30 and watched a DVD. We ordered pizza. I'm afraid I didn't record the minutiae of the evening beyond that -- but surely someone saw us throughout the evening, the pizza boy or something. Aren't I right, Slade?

TA: Being spotted by a delivery guy isn't the same as being home all evening.

SM: And earlier you said you didn't get to Mr. LaRouche's place until 8:30 to begin with. You can see why we're confused.

MP: It was seven. I swear it.

TA: Are you sure about that? Or maybe it was a little later because during that hour--

MP: This is so upsetting. I wish you would stop.

SC: Do you have a point?

TA: Or perhaps you both had a hand in Ms. Waterson's death.

MP: No.

SM: Ms. Prescott, did you commit this crime?

MP: Please -- how many times do I need to say it? Of course I didn't.

SM: Who do you think did it then?

MP: I don't know. I haven't the slightest idea -- I mean, it couldn't possibly be anyone I know.

TA: But it could have been someone Ms. Waterson knew.

MP: I don't know. Maybe one of her boyfriends, but I can't believe it. I mean, I can't believe she would put herself at that kind of risk. Please -- I told you already I refused to be a party to that aspect of her life. I didn't want to be drawn into association with people like that. She had an illness, a wound that needed to be healed. It's so upsetting to think of.

SM: Ms. Prescott, why would anyone want to hurt Ms. Waterson like that?

MP: I've told you -- I don't know. I mean I've gone over it so many times, and I can't think of any reason. It's completely senseless to me.

SM: How do you think someone might have committed this murder?

MP: I can't imagine it.

TA: What would you say if later you were proven guilty of killing her?

MP: How? I didn't -- it's impossible.

SM: Well, would there be any reason for someone to have spotted you at The Turn that evening?

MP: Absolutely not. Please, Slade -- this is too upsetting.

SC: Detectives, you've had your fun. You're going too far.

TA: We'll be the judge of that.

MP: No. I refuse to discuss this any further. It's so hurtful what you're saying, I can't stand it. I don't have to tolerate this, do I? I don't have to stay here?

SC: Let's go.

TA: Be our guest. Just don't go far.

Interview ends -- 10:33 AM

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