Hunter Nelson interview
Tuesday, August 29, 2023 – 12:20 p.m.
Hunter Nelson was one of Kristi Waterson's students, and witnesses have alleged he had dated her as recently as a few months before her death.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Hunter Nelson
Detective Murphy: Thanks for talking to us today, Mr. Nelson.
Hunter Nelson: Sure.
Detective Murphy: For our records, would you please state your name and address?
Hunter Nelson: Hunter Nelson. I live at 118-C Warren Street here in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: Kind of odd for a fraternity man not to live in the house.
Hunter Nelson: I've worked it out with the house and the Greeks on campus. They don't have a problem with it.
Detective Murphy: Is Hunter your real name?
Hunter Nelson: Not technically. I mean, that's what everyone in the world calls me, so it's more official, if you can call it that, than just a nickname. But the name on my birth certificate is Nathaniel Harrison Nelson.
Detective Murphy: And what's your occupation?
Hunter Nelson: I'm a student.
Detective Armstrong: What are you studying?
Hunter Nelson: I'm a business major.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea why we wanted to talk to you today?
Hunter Nelson: I don't know. You're the ones who called me here. You tell me.
Detective Murphy: You've got no idea? Surely a request to come down to the police station and speak to detectives would cause you to speculate on the topic a little bit.
Hunter Nelson: I guess you're investigating Kristi Waterson's death.
Detective Murphy: Yes, we are, but why do you suppose we wanted to talk to you specifically?
Hunter Nelson: Well, I was a student of hers. I figure you're talking to a bunch of her students. That's what they always do on all those cop shows.
Detective Murphy: How do you feel about talking to us?
Hunter Nelson: I don't know. It's kind of a waste of time for me, but I'll do what I can to help.
Detective Armstrong: You mentioned that you were a student of Ms. Waterson. Is that how you would characterize your relationship with her?
Hunter Nelson: Yeah, I guess so. I was her student.
Detective Murphy: We've heard your relationship might've been more involved than that.
Hunter Nelson: Well, I guess that's right. We did date for a while, but we stopped seeing each other several months ago, back during the spring semester.
Detective Murphy: But you continued taking her class?
Hunter Nelson: Sure. Kristi had pretty strong ethics about separating personal and professional. I didn't think it would be a problem, and it wasn't really. We got along fine.
Detective Armstrong: You say she had pretty strong ethics. What about dating students? Isn't that against the rules?
Hunter Nelson: Against the rules? I guess it is. Sure.
Detective Murphy: So how can you say she had strong ethics?
Hunter Nelson: I don't know. I guess just, in some ways, she had strong opinions. In others, she might not think things are that important. I guess we're all like that, aren't we? No one's perfect.
Detective Murphy: Why did you two break up?
Hunter Nelson: It just wasn't working—no big deal. We just weren't meant to be together. You remember that old Motley Crue song? "Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away." It was like that.
Detective Armstrong: Are you involved with anyone now?
Hunter Nelson: I've been hanging out with Deborah Eaton lately.
Detective Murphy: Hanging out? What does that mean?
Hunter Nelson: Dating, I guess. I don't get too formal in the labels I put on relationships.
Detective Murphy: Are you seeing anyone else right now?
Hunter Nelson: I go out now and then. What's this all about? Aren't we supposed to be talking about Kristi?
Detective Armstrong: We'll get to her. Please answer the question.
Hunter Nelson: I'll answer it, but I'll also call my father if I need to. I'm not going to sit here and be interrogated about my personal life.
Detective Armstrong: If you want your father to know everything you've been up to, then by all means, let's call him.
Hunter Nelson: Like he'd care. Anyway, I go out with a girl or two here and there, but it's no big deal. I'm spending most of my time with Debby.
Detective Murphy: Where were you the night Kristi died?
Hunter Nelson: I was with Debby. We hung out at my place.
Detective Armstrong: Didn't go out anyplace?
Hunter Nelson: We stayed in that night.
Detective Armstrong: The whole evening?
Hunter Nelson: Yes, detective. The whole evening. Am I not making myself clear?
Detective Armstrong: Just calm down, Mr. Nelson.
Hunter Nelson: I'm calm, but I'm not liking this.
Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea who would want to hurt Kristi?
Hunter Nelson: No, none at all. She was a really nice girl.
Detective Murphy: Have you ever thought about doing something like this?
Hunter Nelson: Like this? Killing someone? You're crazy. I mean, I guess everyone thinks about it. I'm sure any psychologist could tell you that. But I'd never do anything like that. Kristi was a nice girl, and it's a shame what happened to her.
Detective Armstrong: Is there any reason we may uncover evidence that requires us to talk to you again?
Hunter Nelson: Well, I don't know. I mean, I'm sure it's possible. We did date for a while, so I've been in her bedroom, and it's possible there are still fingerprints there or something. But I had nothing to do with this.
Detective Murphy: And you can't offer any suggestions on who might have?
Hunter Nelson: No.
Detective Armstrong: Hunter, you dated Kristi, and you're pretty well-known around campus. You might have some good advice for us. If you were investigating this case, how would you go about it?
Hunter Nelson: Come on, man. You all are the cops. I have no idea. I guess just start talking to people. Get the scientists involved? Whatever you usually do.
Detective Murphy: Okay, thanks for your time. We'll be in touch.
Interview ended – 12:44 p.m.