Joey Kemp interview #2

Joey Kemp is the treasurer at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit church. Some witnesses have claimed Pastor Martinson suspected him of mishandling the church's finances and allegedly embezzling donated funds.

Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Monday, April 8, 2024 – 12:01 p.m.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Joey Kemp

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in, Mr. Kemp.

Joey Kemp: Not a problem.

Detective Murphy: Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Joey Kemp: My name is Joey Kemp, and I live at 517 Wedgewood Drive.

Detective Murphy: The service for Pastor Martinson was quite moving.

Joey Kemp: Well, those responsible for good works trail good words.

Detective Murphy: Has it been difficult, the loss of your spiritual leader?

Joey Kemp: And friend. I awaken every day, saddened by the memory that he's no longer with us. Then, I remind myself he's in the Lord's embrace.

Detective Murphy: And then there's the question of how Pastor Martinson's replacement is going to handle your thieving.

Joey Kemp: My thieving? What?

Detective Murphy: Thou shalt not steal. It's right there in the Bible, and I'm sure it's been mentioned once or twice at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Maybe Pastor Martinson's replacement won't turn the other cheek. Maybe Pastor Martinson came to that conclusion, and that's why you killed him.

Joey Kemp: What? I didn't kill Pastor Martinson. Are you crazy?

Detective Parker: Why should we believe you?

Joey Kemp: You got to the church that day before I did.

Detective Parker: You were late that morning. Why?

Joey Kemp: I wasn't late. I just wasn't early.

Detective Parker: Where were you?

Joey Kemp: At home. Where do you think?

Detective Parker: Can anyone corroborate that?

Joey Kemp: I didn't kill Pastor Martinson.

Detective Murphy: I can understand why you would. I mean, you were only defending yourself and the good name of the church, even the pastor himself, because no one wants to be remembered as the person who let that sort of thing continue.

Joey Kemp: I would never kill him.

Detective Murphy: Even if he threatened to expose your financial manipulations?

Joey Kemp: Even then.

Detective Murphy: I suppose he understood that you were just paying yourself a commission for bringing all that money into the church. I mean, aren't professional fundraisers paid?

Joey Kemp: I believe they are, yes. The professionals, anyway.

Detective Parker: What about your cousin, Zina Jacinto? She claimed on her taxes to have donated a substantial amount of money to the church, but the church received a great deal less than that. How did she feel when she found out that she was committing tax fraud?

Joey Kemp: You leave my cousin out of this.

Detective Parker: But you didn't. You made her an accessory or a co-conspirator or an unwitting victim. How did she feel, I wonder, when she found out that Pastor Martinson was allowing her name to be tarnished just to get more of her money?

Joey Kemp: It wasn't like that.

Detective Murphy: Then tell us what it was like.

Joey Kemp: I needed money. Never mind why. I suppose it doesn't really matter. But I saw a way that everybody could come out ahead. My cousin would get the satisfaction of doing good for her beloved church. The church would receive funds for the pastor's cherished projects. And well, me, I would get a small commission.

Detective Murphy: Everybody wins. Until it goes public.

Detective Parker: How did your cousin respond when the pastor told her the truth?

Joey Kemp: I don't think he knew, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't know.

Detective Murphy: Pastor Martinson had his books examined by someone outside the church. That person would've told him about the discrepancies, and he would've talked to Zina to clear up the confusion.

Detective Parker: He might not have wanted to confront you about it until getting Zina's side of the story. And then, Easter morning, Zina decided to protect you.

Joey Kemp: I can't believe she could have killed him.

Detective Parker: To protect her beloved cousin?

Joey Kemp: Zina Jacinto wouldn't hurt a fly.

Detective Parker: Let's say she wouldn't. Let's say instead, she went to you to ask about the accusations that Pastor Martinson made.

Detective Murphy: And then we're back right where we started. You protecting the good name of your church, your cousin, yourself. Pastor Martinson dies, and the missing money can be explained as mismanagement.

Joey Kemp: Listen. I might massage the books to make the numbers come out right, but I'm not a killer, and neither is Zina. You need to look elsewhere.

Detective Murphy: But you both had so much to lose. And the last time you were here, you swore to us that you couldn't think of anyone who wanted to harm Pastor Martinson.

Joey Kemp: This is all about you two manipulating everything I say.

Detective Parker: It's all about finding justice for Pastor Martinson.

Joey Kemp: Listen. What I did, everybody came out ahead. Nobody got hurt. There's a world of difference between that and murder.

Detective Murphy: Are you asking us to believe the pastor never uncovered your thefts?

Joey Kemp: If he did, he didn't say anything about it to me. And I think you're right. If he would've talked to Zina, she would've wanted to call me first to discuss it.

Detective Murphy: So, who killed Pastor Martinson?

Joey Kemp: I don't know, but it wasn't me, and it wasn't Zina. I don't know who could've done it.

Detective Parker: So all the evidence that implicates you is just… wrong?

Joey Kemp: It has to be because I didn't kill him.

Detective Murphy: Well, we'll see what the Crime Lab says.

Detective Parker: But if you want to change your story? If while you're sitting in your cell, you want to get something off your chest? Tell them you want to talk to us.

Joey Kemp: My cell?

Detective Murphy: Thou shalt not steal.

Interview ended – 12:31 p.m.


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