YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001905-16D-2023
Case Description: Charles Tatum homicide investigation
On April 20, 2023, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy went to Mugshots to interview the patrons regarding anything they may have witnessed involving Detective Charles Tatum, particularly on the evening of Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
The following interview descriptions, provided in summary and not verbatim, are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
Mr. Barker said he was acquainted with Charles Tatum both from Mugshots and from the YCSD, where he is employed as a patrol officer. Barker said he arrived at Mugshots on Wednesday, April 12, at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Barker said he was approached by a young woman approximately 45 minutes after he arrived. The woman asked him if he knew Tatum and whether he was at Mugshots at that time. Barker said he told the woman that Tatum was not there then but would probably be in later. Barker described the woman as "approximately 25 years old, 5' 5", 110 pounds, Caucasian, brown hair, brown eyes." Barker said he had not seen the woman in Mugshots before and did not recognize her.
Barker said he saw Tatum arrive around 9:15 p.m. and looked around for the woman to point him out to her, but the woman was no longer in the establishment. Barker said, since the woman had left, he didn't tell Tatum she had asked about him.
Barker said he left Mugshots around 10:00 p.m., and that was the last time he saw Tatum.
1802 Jackson Ave
Mr. Lewis said he was acquainted with Charles Tatum both from Mugshots and from the YCSD, where he is employed as a dispatcher.
Lewis said he usually goes to Mugshots on Wednesday nights, but he was not there on the night of April 12th because he had a cold and stayed home.
Lewis said he last saw Tatum alive at work on Monday, April 10th.
407 S 14th St
Mrs. Martin said she was acquainted with Charles Tatum and often chatted with him when they saw each other at Mugshots or other places around town.
Mrs. Martin said she recalled seeing Charles Tatum at Mugshots on Wednesday night, April 12, 2018. She said she and her husband, Rodney, arrived at Mugshots around 8:00 p.m. that night, and Tatum came in alone a little over an hour later.
She noted nothing unusual about Tatum or his behavior that night. She said he was in his usual upbeat mood and talked with a lot of people in the establishment that night, including a young woman Mrs. Martin did not know. She described the woman as "petite, attractive, and much too young for him."
Mrs. Martin said Tatum was talking with the woman when she and her husband left for the evening around 11:30 p.m. She said Tatum seemed flattered by the young woman's attention, but she did not believe he took it seriously because he had a girlfriend and because he knew she was too young for him.
Mrs. Martin said that was the last time she saw Tatum.
407 S 14th St
Mr. Martin said he was acquainted with Charles Tatum and remembered seeing him on Wednesday night, April 12th, at Mugshots, but he did not recall what time Tatum arrived that night.
Mr. Martin said Tatum sat at a table with him and his wife for a while and also socialized with other patrons both at other tables and at the bar. He said Tatum appeared to be in a good mood that night and did not appear upset or distracted in any way.
Mr. Martin saw Tatum talking with several women at Mugshots that night, including a young woman whom Mr. Martin recognized as a waitress from some local restaurant but could not recall which one. Mr. Martin described the woman as a "little bitty thing, brunette and pretty." He said Tatum was talking with the young woman when he and his wife left Mugshots at approximately 11:45 p.m. that night.
Mr. Martin said that was the last time he saw Tatum.
511 Van Buren
Ochoa said he stopped in at Mugshots on Wednesday, April 12th, around midnight and saw Charles Tatum there but did not talk with him because Tatum was engaged in conversation with a young woman, and Ochoa did not want to interrupt them.
Ochoa described the woman as "young and attractive with a great smile." He said he saw Tatum and the young woman leave Mugshots at the same time, around 12:30 a.m., but could not say whether they left together or simply left at the same time.
Ochoa said that was the last time he saw Tatum.
Joe Frank Simpson
Simpson said he knew Charles Tatum both from Mugshots and from the YCSD, where Simpson is employed as a patrol officer.
Simpson said the last time he saw Tatum was at Mugshots on Wednesday night, April 12th. He said he arrived at Mugshots at approximately 9:30 p.m., and Tatum was already there.
Simpson said he was approached that night by a young woman, whom he recognized as a waitress from The Rebel Yell on Highway 6. He could not recall the woman's name but thought it was something like "Joanne."
He described her as "hot" and "real small and graceful-like, like a ballerina." He gave her physical description as "early 20s, about 5' 4" or 5' 5", around 115 pounds, white with brown hair and brown eyes." Simpson said the woman was "coming on to me in a big way" and only began talking to Tatum when Tatum "came over to rescue her from the embarrassment because I blew her off. I just wasn't interested."
Simpson said Tatum talked to the woman for some time, but he could not recall whether the two left Mugshots together.