Monday, July 12, 2021 – 12:17 p.m.
Rick Gill reportedly threatened Robert Pruitt in the past.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy talked to him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Rick Gill
Detective Armstrong: Good afternoon, Mr. Gill. Thank you for coming in.
Rick Gill: I don't understand why I'm here. I didn't do nothin'. Ain't been near my wife — just like the court order says.
Detective Murphy: Don't worry, Mr. Gill. We just want to talk to you. But first, will you state your name and address for the record, please?
Rick Gill: Rick Gill. University Arbors Apartments, 805 College Hill. I don't understand why I'm here.
Detective Armstrong: What do you do for a living, Mr. Gill?
Rick Gill: I earn an honest living. I didn't do nothing wrong.
Detective Murphy: We understand, Mr. Gill. But you do have a job, right? What is it?
Rick Gill: I do landscape maintenance for Mr. Harker at Harker Landscaping Service.
Detective Armstrong: Oh, that's the company that works on John Grisham's house, isn't it? I've seen your trucks at his place on Highway 6.
Rick Gill: Yeah, we take good care of Mr. Grisham's yard and ball field. He's gone away a lot, you know.
Detective Murphy: Yes. That's a beautiful place. You do a good job.
Rick Gill: Thank you, but why am I here?
Detective Armstrong: We're investigating a murder. In fact, the murder of someone you know.
Rick Gill: Pruitt! I don't know nothing about that.
Detective Murphy: We understand you threatened him.
Rick Gill: He ruined my life! He took away my children. He gave my wife everything. I have nothing. I hate him. I'm not sorry he's dead—but I didn't kill him!
Detective Armstrong: All right, calm down. We just want to get the facts here.
Rick Gill: The fact is, Pruitt took everything I worked for and give it to her, and I'm still paying for it. That's the facts.
Detective Murphy: Tell us where you were Friday night.
Rick Gill: This past Friday?
Detective Murphy: Yes, the 9th.
Rick Gill: I had my kids with me. I get them every other weekend. I usually pick them up early on Saturday mornings, but she must've had a date because she let me get them on Friday. We went to Pizza Den for pizza, and then we went home and watched a movie we rented.
Detective Armstrong: Was anyone else there with you?
Rick Gill: No, I did have plans, but when Stella called and told me I could get the kids early, I canceled those plans. Stella may sit them in front of the TV and go do something else, but I don't do that. My kids come first, so I just spend my weekends with them and don't let anything interfere with my time with them.
Detective Murphy: What time did your children go to bed?
Rick Gill: I don't know. I usually let them stay up later than usual because I don't get to see them often enough. It must have been about 11:30 p.m. or midnight when they were all down and asleep.
Detective Armstrong: It must be crowded in your apartment with four kids staying there?
Rick Gill: They like it. They sleep on the floor in sleeping bags. They say it's like camping out.
Detective Murphy: Did you go out at any time after they were asleep?
Rick Gill: No, I would never leave them alone! She does and gets away with it, but I don't—and wouldn't.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of car do you have, Mr. Gill?
Rick Gill: I drive a 2011 Dodge minivan. I had to trade in my truck to get something big enough to haul my kids in, but I can't afford anything new—not anymore. What's this all about? Why do you want to know about my car?
Detective Armstrong: Just a routine part of our investigation. You do want us to find out who killed Mr. Pruitt, don't you?
Rick Gill: I didn't do it. I was with my kids that night. If you find who did it, I'll give him a medal.
Detective Murphy: What time did you take your children home?
Rick Gill: I have to have them back to their mother by 7:00 Sunday night. I was a little bit early because Stella has a cow if I'm two minutes late. She can make trouble for me with the court, so I made sure the kids were home by a quarter of 7:00 p.m.
Detective Armstrong: This is an ongoing investigation, Mr. Gill. We'll be interviewing everyone, doing forensic tests, and so forth. How do you think this investigation will come out concerning you?
Rick Gill: It will come out that I know nothing about it and had nothing to do with it.
Detective Murphy: It may be necessary for us to talk with you again. Do you have any problem with that?
Rick Gill: Yes. I cannot miss work. I have many bills to pay, and my wife will get the court after me if I miss any support payments. Besides, why won't you believe I had nothing to do with this man's death?
Detective Murphy: This is a homicide investigation, and we can't just take people's word for it when they say they weren't involved. If you had nothing to do with it, you have nothing to worry about.
Rick Gill: Well, just don't bother me during work hours. Please! I don't need any more trouble with my wife— ex-wife. I can't lose my job!
Detective Murphy: We'll do the best we can, Mr. Gill.
Rick Gill: Can I go now? My lunch hour is almost over. I need to get back to the job.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, thank you for coming in, Mr. Gill.
Interview ended – 12:44 p.m.