Somber-looking man with long hair

Joseph Baker Jr. interview

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 – 1:11 p.m.

Joseph Baker, Jr. was recently released from prison after serving time on drug-related offenses.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Joseph Baker, Jr.

Detective Armstrong: Please state your name and address for the record.

Joseph Baker: I live at 1008 Molly Barr Road, right here in Oxford.

Detective Armstrong: Are you currently employed?

Joseph Baker: Yeah, I'm working the graveyard shift at Marquis Chevron.

Detective Armstrong: You were recently convicted of being under the influence and being in possession of 24 ounces of crystal meth with the intent to sell. Is that correct?

Joseph Baker: That stuff was planted on me. I never sold no drugs, and you can't prove I did. That cop planted that stuff on me. I didn't even live at that house when you guys raided it. I was just visiting my friend there.

Detective Murphy: Yeah, we know. None of you guys ever do anything wrong. You're all fine upstanding citizens.

Detective Armstrong: Tell us what happened that day. Who busted you?

Joseph Baker: Some cop named Tatum did it. He's the one that must've planted that stuff on me. I was just sitting on the couch, and all of a sudden, they were beating on the door and busting in, pointing guns in everybody's face. Then that cop that arrested me threw me down on the floor and handcuffed me. Said it wasn't my lucky day and wanted to know where the dope was hidden. I told him I didn't have any idea what he was talking about.

Detective Armstrong: Officer Tatum?

Joseph Baker: Yeah, something like that.

Detective Armstrong: What was your release date?

Joseph Baker: I got out on March 20th.

Detective Armstrong: Have you seen or heard anything about Detective Tatum since your release?

Joseph Baker: Yeah, he stopped by where I work one day and said he was just checking to see how I was doing, but I know he was just telling me that he's watching me. But I ain't doing nothing wrong.

Detective Murphy: So you two didn't get along, huh? You think he was harassing you, maybe?

Joseph Baker: Hell, yes, he was harassing me! I wasn't doin' nothin'. As a matter of fact, I was workin'. He was a cop, so no, we didn't get along. He was always harassing me. I'd be walking down the street, and he'd stop me for no reason.

Detective Armstrong: You're breaking my heart.

Joseph Baker: You cops are all alike. This here is a perfect example. Why am I here? I didn't do nothin' wrong, but you still pull me in here for nothing. That's why I steer a wide path around you all 'cause you don't like me, and I don't like you. As I see it, y'all ought to mind your own business and let me mind mine. I ain't hurtin' nobody.

Detective Armstrong: You done?

Joseph Baker: Whatever, man. Just ask your questions so I can get out of here.

Detective Armstrong: Where were you from Saturday, April 8th, through to the next Saturday, April 15th?

Joseph Baker: Hell, who knows? I don't remember. I wasn't out breakin' no law, that's for sure!

Detective Murphy: Unless you'd like to go back and finish that jail sentence, you'd better see if you can't come up with a better answer than that. This is important. Now, where were you?

Joseph Baker: You're gonna put me back in jail because I don't remember where I was? That's crazy! What are you tryin' to pull? Y'all are trying to set me up again!

Detective Armstrong: Look, kid, I'm going to ask you one more time. Where were you two Saturdays ago until last Saturday?

Joseph Baker: I might have been working … wait. Two Saturdays ago? I was at Willy's place that Saturday and Sunday. He had a party that weekend, and I went. Then I worked the whole week. You can ask my boss. He was there, and he reamed me for coming to work hung over on Monday.

Detective Armstrong: Willy who? Anybody else see you there?

Joseph Baker: Willy Holden. And yeah, there was other people that saw me there. Jack McClure was there, Melinda Owen, Paul Jacob, a whole bunch of people, they all saw me.

Detective Armstrong: Can you verify that you were at work last week? Any time cards or anything?

Joseph Baker: My boss can tell you. He always comes to the station two or three times a night when I'm working. It's like he don't trust me or something.

Detective Armstrong: Have you heard anything about that cop who died recently? Anybody you know with a grudge or wanted to get revenge on him for ruining their lives?

Joseph Baker: Nope, not a word. I didn't even know the guy was dead. Like I said, I steer clear of you guys.

Detective Armstrong: Well, if you do hear anything, you'll give us a call, won't you?

Joseph Baker: Right, sure I will.

Interview ended – 1:29 p.m.


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