Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 9:00 a.m.
Matt Hooper delivers oxygen to the Yoknapatawpha Acres Nursing Home. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Matt Hooper
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in, Mr. Hooper. For our records, we need your name and address.
Matt Hooper: My name is Matt Hooper, and I live at 1988 Wolfe Street, Oxford, Mississippi.
Detective Murphy: Are you familiar with the Yoknapatawpha Acres Nursing Home?
Matt Hooper: Yeah, it's on my route. I deliver oxygen for Lucky Jack's Medical Equipment Emporium.
Detective Murphy: How often do you deliver to Yoknapatawpha Acres?
Matt Hooper: Usually once a week unless I get a call requesting more. The rest of the week, I deliver to other nursing homes, clinics, whatever.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever meet an orderly named Jerry Shaw when you were at Yoknapatawpha Acres?
Matt Hooper: Yeah, I knew Jerry. I heard he was found dead after I left the nursing home on Thursday.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of guy was he?
Matt Hooper: I can't say I cared too much for him. He was a jerk. He was very rude to the staff, and I can't prove it, but I'm sure he was mean to the patients. Why are you asking? I thought Jerry's death was an accident.
Detective Armstrong: His death is still under investigation.
Detective Murphy: On March 6th, what time did you arrive at the nursing home?
Matt Hooper: I signed in at 2:47 p.m. and signed out at 3:30 p.m. I did my work and left. It had been a long day, and I had one more stop to make before my shift was over. I wanted to get home.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see Jerry Shaw while you were at Yoknapatawpha Acres that day?
Matt Hooper: Yeah, I saw him going down the hallway. I tried to speak to him, but he just kept going.
Detective Armstrong: If he was such a jerk, why did you try to speak to him?
Matt Hooper: I did say that, didn't I? He, um, owed me some money.
Detective Armstrong: Are you in the habit of loaning money to people you don't like?
Matt Hooper: It wasn't exactly a loan. Jerry liked to gamble. I know it was wrong, making bets on college games, and I tried to explain that to him, but he wouldn't listen. He said he had inside information, like they had any chance of winning. It wasn't even really gambling. It was taking candy from a baby. And then when he lost, he was a baby about it.
Detective Armstrong: How much money did Jerry owe you?
Matt Hooper: That slimeball owed me ten grand. I tried to get the money from him, but he kept telling me he'd have the money soon.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ask him about it on Thursday?
Matt Hooper: I tried. He just blew me off again.
Detective Armstrong: And you just let it go?
Matt Hooper: Not completely. We did argue in the hallway, but I never laid a hand on him. I'll admit I would've liked to punch him in the face, but I didn't.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you see Jerry in the hallway?
Matt Hooper: It was 3:13 pm.
Detective Armstrong: That's pretty specific.
Matt Hooper: Yeah, well, I wanted to be out of the Acres by 3:30, so I kept checking my watch. After I cooled down from the argument, I looked and it was 3:13 p.m., so I finished changing the oxygen tanks, signed out and left.
Detective Murphy: You know what's interesting, Matt? We had heard that you and Jerry were friends.
Matt Hooper: Yeah. So?
Detective Murphy: So you just called him a jerk and a slimeball.
Matt Hooper: Yeah, well, that's the kind of friends we were, I guess.
Detective Murphy: The kind that don't like each other?
Matt Hooper: Yeah. No. Whatever. Why do you have to be so black and white about it?
Detective Murphy: I guess I'm having trouble understanding how you can claim someone was a friend and then in the same breath say you didn't like him.
Matt Hooper: Yeah, well… whatever. It's complicated.
Detective Armstrong: Apparently. Are you sure there's nothing else you want to tell us about your relationship with Jerry?
Matt Hooper: What are you talking about? We didn't have a relationship.
Detective Armstrong: Except for being friends.
Matt Hooper: Right.
Detective Murphy: Who didn't like each other.
Matt Hooper: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up. Matt, thank you again for coming in on a Saturday morning. I think that's all we have for now, but we may have to call on you again.
Matt Hooper: Yeah. Great. Goodbye, detectives.
Interview ends - 9:37 a.m.