Melvin Roberts interview
Monday, July 15, 2019 – 8:30 p.m.
Melvin Roberts, accompanied by his attorney Don Margolis, turned himself in at the Sheriff's Department for the murder of Monica Drum.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. District Attorney R.J. Metcalf was also present.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- R.J. Metcalf, assistant district attorney
- Don Margolis, defense attorney
- Melvin Roberts
Detective Murphy: Gentlemen, we're all here because Mr. Roberts would like to make a statement for the record regarding the murder of Monica Drum. Is that correct?
Melvin Roberts: That is correct.
Detective Murphy: And for the record, Mr. Roberts has been advised of his rights and waived his right to remain silent. Is that correct?
Melvin Roberts: That is correct.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts is represented by counsel, Mr. Don Margolis, who is also present.
Don Margolis: Correct.
Detective Murphy: And assistant district attorney, R.J. Metcalf, is also present.
ADA Metcalf: I am.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts, please state your full name and address.
Melvin Roberts: Melvin Roberts, 2131 Anchorage Road.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts, you have something to tell us about the murder of Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: Yes. I killed her.
Detective Parker: Did you plan to do so ahead of time?
Melvin Roberts: Yes, I planned it for a long time. About three years.
Detective Parker: Did you go to the Eagle building with the intent to kill Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: Yes, I did.
Detective Parker: What time did you enter the Eagle building that night?
Melvin Roberts: 3:00 a.m.
Detective Parker: Did you shoot Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: As dead as a damn hammer.
ADA Metcalf: Mr. Roberts, I have to inform you that you are in effect telling us that you planned and did commit first-degree murder. You cite premeditation, intent, and malice. Mr. Margolis, have you advised your client of what he's doing?
Don Margolis: I have, Mr. Metcalf, and he won't budge. He says that he wants no kind of deal, that he just wants to serve his time. Nothing I've told him has changed that.
ADA Metcalf: Very well, then. Go ahead, detectives.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts, why did you kill Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: Because she ruined my life, that's why. She wrote those articles about me when I was arrested on that rape charge, which I was found not guilty of, not that she cared. She made me out to be a drug addict and an alcoholic. My business has dropped to a tenth of what it was before she wrote those articles. People stopped trusting me.
Detective Murphy: So you feel like the articles severely damaged your reputation?
Melvin Roberts: Feel like? I know for a fact they damaged me. Look at my business. Look at my life. I'm surprised I'm still married. And it's all because of that damned woman, that Yankee that came down from Ohio or wherever and thought she could tell us how to live. She didn't deserve to live after that! I was a good person, and I never touched the damn girl!
Detective Parker: Mr. Roberts— Melvin, what kind of gun do you own, if any?
Melvin Roberts: Don't you think a man like me would own some damn guns? What kind of detective are you? I've got a 12-gauge shotgun, a 10-gauge shotgun, three rifles, a .45 automatic, a .32 revolver, and a .38 special.
Detective Parker: And which one did you use to shoot Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: The .45.
Detective Parker: Where did you buy the gun?
Melvin Roberts: I've had it for years. I bought it in a pawn shop in New Orleans.
Detective Parker: Where is that gun now?
Don Margolis: It's locked in the safe at my office. I didn't want to carry it into the Sheriff's Department unannounced.
Detective Murphy: We'd like to send someone to your office to pick that up as soon as we're finished here.
Don Margolis: Of course.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts, is it your intent to plead guilty to the murder of Monica Drum?
Melvin Roberts: That's my intent, yes.
Detective Murphy: You understand you could receive the death penalty if convicted of this charge?
Melvin Roberts: I realize that. I don't give a damn. You better strap me down. I want it. I want to be punished. I got what I wanted.
ADA Metcalf: Mr. Roberts, we're not interested in your inner needs. You're confessing to first-degree murder. We're going to have this confession typed up, and the moment you sign it, I'm going to instruct these detectives to arrest you on the charge. Then I'll do my best to convict you, and if you act like this in court, I won't have much of a problem. Are you absolutely certain that's what you want?
Melvin Roberts: I'm absolutely certain or positive or affirmative or whatever you call it in here, but I say yes. I killed Drum, and I either want prison, or I want to be strapped to that gurney by spring. I am just so damn glad that she is dead.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Roberts, you said earlier that you planned for three years to kill Monica Drum. How did you go about that?
Melvin Roberts: I never spoke a word to her the whole time she was in this town, but I kept tabs on her after what she did to me. I'd go down to the bar that sits right on the other block from the newspaper, and I'd sit up front and watch for her car out the window. I'd watch her coming and going. I knew when she was alone in there. I've been waiting for the right time for months. That night, I saw her unlock the door to the building and go in, and I thought real quick, "I've got my gun under the seat of my truck." So I waited until everything quieted down. Then I went and got it, and headed towards the building.
Detective Parker: How did you get in?
Melvin Roberts: The door was unlocked! Can you believe that? It was easy as pie. Slipped right in and she never saw it coming. Locked the door on my way out. But tell the truth. Don't you think this is a much better town without her around? Honestly? When you think about it, when you sit down and put your mind to it, aren't there a lot of people who could use a few bullets?
Detective Murphy: I think that's enough, Mr. Roberts. I think we've heard enough for now.
Interview ended – 8:53 p.m.