Thursday, July 17, 2014 – 9:30 a.m.
Charles "Chas" Laughlin is the owner and operator of Laughlin Automotive & Body Shop at 2522 University Avenue and Andy Fine's employer.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his place of business.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Chas Laughlin
Detective Murphy: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Mr. Laughlin. Before we start, will you please state your full name and address for the record?
Chas Laughlin: My name is Charles Laughlin, but most folks call me Chas. I live at 310 N 16th Street, Oxford, Mississippi. I gotta say I was real sorry to hear about Andy.
Detective Murphy: Tell us about Andy Fine. How well did you know him?
Chas Laughlin: Only as an employee. We didn't socialize or anything outside of work.
Detective Armstrong: How long has he been at the shop? What kind of worker was he?
Chas Laughlin: He worked here for about nine years. He was okay, mostly.
Detective Murphy: Mostly?
Chas Laughlin: Look, I hate to say anything bad, but Andy had some … problems. His drinking got in the way of work sometimes. He'd come in late or hungover and make up some story about being sick. And then sometimes he had a bad attitude. I overlooked most of it.
Detective Armstrong: So how did you two get along?
Chas Laughlin: Fine. There wasn't anything real good or bad to speak of. I mean, I only saw him in the shop, and we talked when I had a job for him, but that was it.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of work did he do for you?
Chas Laughlin: Basic mechanic work, running some errands. With his problems, I couldn't trust him to be reliable with anything more important.
Detective Murphy: How did he get along with others in the shop? Any problems?
Chas Laughlin: Not that I know of. Oh, some of the boys may have gotten aggravated when he came in late or been rubbed the wrong way when Andy had an attitude, but I didn't see anything really hostile.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe Andy as a person?
Chas Laughlin: Like I said, I really didn't know him very well. He just did his basic job here, and that was it. From what a few of the boys said, I guess he had quite the temper sometimes. And that he was a little lazy too. Would try to get something for nothing, if you know what I mean. But I never saw any of that. And everybody knows about his drinking and about how he treats his wife.
Detective Murphy: How did he treat his wife?
Chas Laughlin: You must know by now. I can't be the first one to say anything.
Detective Murphy: So you won't be telling us anything we don't already know. How did he treat her?
Chas Laughlin: Terrible. My opinion, a man ought to be horse-whipped for treating any woman that way, much less his wife. But she must not mind it since she stayed with him.
Detective Armstrong: Did Andy have any enemies?
Chas Laughlin: Not here at the shop. Look, I didn't have much to do with him, so I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Any idea on why someone might want to hurt him?
Chas Laughlin: I told you, I didn't know him that well. Somebody could have tried to cheat him, and he could have gotten into a fight and wound up dead for all I know.
Detective Armstrong: What did you think when Andy didn't show up for work on Monday, July 7th?
Chas Laughlin: That he'd gone on a binge over the weekend and was sleeping it off. It wasn't that unusual for him to come in late after partying too much.
Detective Armstrong: When did you last see Andy?
Chas Laughlin: Lemme think. The afternoon of the 3rd before the long weekend. He was in the shop when I left about 3:00.
Detective Murphy: What was Andy doing then? Did he say or do anything unusual?
Chas Laughlin: He was working on a repair job. He didn't say two words to me, and I didn't talk to him.
Detective Armstrong: Just for the record, Mr. Laughlin, what kind of vehicle do you drive?
Chas Laughlin: You think I did something to Andy?
Detective Murphy: Just routine questions for our files.
Chas Laughlin: I got me a Chevy Tahoe. That's it out in the lot.
Detective Murphy: And your whereabouts on the night of July 3 and early morning of July 4?
Chas Laughlin: I stopped and got a 12-pack at the convenience store and then went home and drank it. I was there all night and all the next day.
Detective Armstrong: And how did you find out that Andy was missing?
Chas Laughlin: His wife called the shop looking for him. The boys at the shop told me the cops came by later. Listen, you got anything else? I got a business to run here.
Detective Murphy: That'll be all for now. Thank you, Mr. Laughlin. Here's my card. If you think of anything you want to add, be sure to call us.
Chas Laughlin: Yeah. Sure. Are we through?
Detective Armstrong: Yes. Goodbye, and thank you for your time.
Chas Laughlin: Yeah. Whatever.
Interview ended – 10:02 a.m.