Jason Riley interview
Friday, April 26, 2019 – 1:30 p.m.
Jason Riley is Fay Nutt's boyfriend and was acquainted with Pastor Martinson.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Jason Riley
Detective Murphy: Good afternoon, Mr. Riley. This is Detective Parker, and I'm Detective Murphy. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Jason Riley: Yes, of course. Jason Bodhi Riley. I'm on Old Highway 7 at 274 County Road 101, Oxford.
Detective Parker: Middle name Bo Dee?
Jason Riley: Bodhi. B-O-D-H-I. Think Buddha.
Detective Parker: Right. Sorry. Thanks for the spelling. Sort of sounded Southern when you said it. Are you Buddhist?
Jason Riley: No, and neither are my parents. Well, my mom kind of toyed with the idea but lacked commitment. Except for giving all three of us kids the middle name Bodhi, the only other Buddhist thing she really stuck with was meditation. But if you ask me, she was just getting stoned and napping.
Detective Parker: Your mother was a drug user?
Jason Riley: She smoked pot. I guess technically if I'm under oath, I'd have to say yes so I wouldn't be lying, but it would be like me telling people you were a drunk because you had a glass of wine about three times a week. Except the term drunk implies only alcohol, while drug user is a much bigger implication typically associated with hypodermic needles.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Mr. Riley. You're not under oath, but there are consequences for not being truthful. And thank you for your thorough explanations to Detective Parker's questions, but I'm going to ask you to stay on topic with your answers.
Jason Riley: Okay. No problem.
Detective Murphy: Are you acquainted with Pastor Wendell Martinson?
Jason Riley: Yes.
Detective Parker: How so?
Jason Riley: My girlfriend works in the office at the church where he was a pastor.
Detective Parker: What's your girlfriend's name?
Jason Riley: Fay Nutt.
Detective Murphy: And do you know the name of the church where she works?
Jason Riley: Fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Detective Parker: Do you attend that church as well?
Jason Riley: No.
Detective Parker: Never?
Jason Riley: No.
Detective Murphy: Did this cause any issues for her at work?
Jason Riley: Not that she shared with me.
Detective Parker: Did Fay share information with you about the church's finances?
Jason Riley: No, and I'm pretty sure she didn't know anything because, as I think she's made clear, she doesn't want to have any financial responsibility, so she didn't have access to the books.
Detective Murphy: Does she share other church-related business with you?
Jason Riley: Yes, sometimes.
Detective Parker: Confidential information?
Jason Riley: I doubt it, but I wouldn't know. She doesn't lead off with a disclaimer.
Detective Parker: What kind of information would she share?
Jason Riley: Like upcoming sermon topics and related scriptures that she found interesting—or condemning since we're sleeping together—or things that upset her about her friends' lives, or funny things that crazy woman says.
Detective Parker: What crazy lady?
Jason Riley: Fay never uses names, but it's the one with the money who wants to convert one of the church classrooms into a cat room.
Detective Parker: Was Fay ever upset about anything this crazy lady said?
Jason Riley: No, apparently no one takes her seriously, and from what I gather, her threats were about withholding future financial gifts.
Detective Murphy: Did Fay ever indicate that she felt threatened, or that she feared for anyone working at the church?
Jason Riley: No. They were all friends. It was a big ol' love fest.
Detective Parker: Are you being sarcastic, Mr. Riley?
Jason Riley: Not in the least. Fay always speaks in loving terms about her church family. Even when they misbehaved.
Detective Murphy: Who misbehaved?
Jason Riley: I don't know their names, but it was nothing criminal. And I would know.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Jason Riley: My aunt rescued me out of a life of crime. She's a retired parole officer. She kicked my butt onto the straight and narrow, and now we own a body shop.
Detective Murphy: What is your criminal background, Mr. Riley?
Jason Riley: Burglary. I'd break into my friends' houses for fun.
Detective Parker: Some fun.
Jason Riley: It was. I didn't understand the gravity of what I was doing. My mother allowed us to be very free-spirited and didn't punish us for … well, anything. So until I was arrested when I was 15, it was all just a big game to me.
Detective Parker: Were you convicted?
Jason Riley: No. The charges were dropped because my friend had given me a house key permission to borrow his stuff. I was lucky, I know, because even though I had the key, I still broke in.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Riley, where were you on Easter Sunday between 1:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.?
Jason Riley: I was with Fay until she left for church, and then I was alone at my place, waiting for her to get back. I talked to my Aunt Wanda on the phone at about 6:30 a.m., but that wouldn't tell you where I was since I called her on my cell phone.
Detective Murphy: What time did Ms. Nutt leave your house?
Jason Riley: Around 6:00 a.m. She was supposed to be at church by then, so she was a bit frantic.
Detective Parker: Frantic how?
Jason Riley: Frantic like a church secretary who's late to Easter sunrise service because she spent the night at her boyfriend's house doing the horizontal mambo and is trying to get her hair to lay down and hoping she doesn't smell like bodily fluids. She doesn't know anything. I don't know anything. I wish I did. I liked Wendell. He was very cool.
Detective Murphy: You knew him?
Jason Riley: I am dating his secretary. Of course, I knew him.
Detective Parker: But you said you hadn't been to the church.
Jason Riley: No, I said I didn't attend the church, but I've been there several times with Fay.
Detective Parker: Any opinion on the degree of difficulty of breaking into the church or whether there's anything there worth stealing?
Jason Riley: Of course, and for the record, I shared this insight with Wendell.
Detective Murphy: And?
Jason Riley: And it's pretty easy to break in, and the alarm doesn't get set sometimes. Not that half of the western world doesn't know the code, which hasn't been changed in a thousand years, so that's not a useful deterrent.
Detective Parker: So when you cased the joint, did you notice anything worth stealing?
Jason Riley: Well, yes and no. Lots of pretty, shiny, religious metal things, which I'm sure cost lots of money and would be worth something maybe if you could melt them down. But where are you going to fence religious articles? What church is going to buy their stuff off of craigslist?
Detective Murphy: You'd be surprised.
Jason Riley: Not really.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your time today, Mr. Riley. We'll be in touch if we have any further questions.
Jason Riley: Thank you, Detective.
Interview ended – 1:56 p.m.