Suspect interview

Saturday, September 2, 2023 – 2:25 p.m.

Hunter Nelson was one of Kristi Waterson's students and had dated her as recently as a few months before her death.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Detention Center. Mr. Nelson's attorney, Frank Sheppard, was also present.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Hunter Nelson
  • Frank Sheppard

Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Nelson.

Hunter Nelson: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: For the record, your legal counsel is also present. Counselor, would you please state your name?

Frank Sheppard: I'm Frank Sheppard of Johnson, Webber, and Sheppard Law Firm in Natchez. I'm here representing my client, Hunter Nelson.

Detective Murphy: Mr. Nelson, please state your name and address for the record.

Hunter Nelson: Hunter Nelson. I live at 118-C Warren Street here in Oxford.

Detective Murphy: Are you aware you are being held in conjunction with the murder of Kristi Waterson?

Hunter Nelson: Yes.

Frank Sheppard: Other than that, Hunter, don't say a word.

Detective Murphy: Hunter, your attorney gives you good advice, so you just listen, and then we want to hear your side of it, Okay? Just listen. We know what you told us before isn't true. We have witnesses that put you at Kristi's apartment the night she was killed. We have evidence that you had sex with Kristi much more recently than you led us to believe.

Hunter Nelson: That's not—

Frank Sheppard: Hunter, don't speak.

Detective Armstrong: We know she was into some stuff that wasn't exactly mainstream. Now, maybe things just got out of hand that night, and you got scared and had to do something to protect yourself. Maybe that's what happened. So maybe you want to change your story about what kind of relationship you and Kristi had at the time of her death?

Hunter Nelson: No.

Detective Murphy: Well, maybe you just went to see her for old times' sake, just to say hi, and she came on to you, and something went wrong?

Hunter Nelson: No, no, no. I did not see Kristi the night she was killed. I haven't been with her in a long time.

Detective Armstrong: Let's save a lot of time here, and you just tell us why you did it.

Hunter Nelson: I didn't do anything.

Detective Murphy: Oh, come on, Hunter. We have plenty of evidence linking you to the crime. We have witnesses prepared to testify that they saw someone matching your description and clothing heading toward Kristi's apartment. We've got plenty of—

Hunter Nelson: You don't have anything!

Detective Armstrong: Oh, there's enough there to put you away for a long time.

Frank Sheppard: Detectives, I have informed my client that your evidence, as you call it, is flimsy at best, and I don't think it will stand up under the scrutiny of a trial. Please don't try to threaten him.

Detective Murphy: Are you confident in your lawyer, Hunter?

Hunter Nelson: Yes, I—

Detective Armstrong: Most people we see are pretty confident in their legal protections, but eventually, they discover the truth. When the jury comes back and says guilty, well, then your lawyer's assurances don't matter much.

Hunter Nelson: Well—

Frank Sheppard: You're wasting our time here, detectives. If you don't have anything to say to us besides worthless threats, then Hunter should just go back to his cell until I arrange bail for him.

Detective Murphy: Look, Hunter. You want to help us. You need to help us. We can get a better deal for you. Mr. Sheppard isn't going to end up sitting on death row at Parchman. You, on the other hand, have forensic evidence linking you to your old girlfriend's murder. That's good stuff for us—bad stuff for you. Just work with us, and we can help you.

Detective Armstrong: We can't help you, kid, unless you help us.

Hunter Nelson: I don't have any way of helping you. I didn't do it.

Detective Murphy: Hunter, look, tell us where you were on the night of Kristi's murder.

Hunter Nelson: I already told you. I was with Deborah.

Detective Murphy: But you weren't with her the whole night.

Hunter Nelson: Yes, I was!

Detective Armstrong: Forget this, Murphy. Let's quit wasting our time. Let the kid fry.

Hunter Nelson: I was with her all night.

Detective Murphy: That's not the information we have received.

Hunter Nelson: Yeah? What have you been told?

Detective Armstrong: You tell us, kid. We've got info, all right. That's all you need to know. Now, you know the truth. Why don't you tell us, and we'll see if it jibes with our info.

Hunter Nelson: I don't know—

Frank Sheppard: Hunter, you don't have to tell them anything.

Detective Armstrong: What was that list again? Let's see, I believe we said we have forensic evidence, we have eyewitness testimony, and now, we have information that pokes holes all in little Hunter's alibi. Things are falling right into place for us, don't you think, counselor?

Frank Sheppard: We don't have to answer anything.

Hunter Nelson: I went to buy some weed, okay!

Frank Sheppard: Hunter, I demand you stop talking right this minute!

Hunter Nelson: Shut up! No way! Look, I can take the heat for some dope, all right? But I am not going to jail for murder!

Detective Murphy: Do you want to tell us the truth now?

Hunter Nelson: I left Deborah at my apartment around 9:30 p.m. or so. That's when I went to get the marijuana. I didn't get it to distribute it or anything. You know, just for the two of us.

Detective Murphy: Who did you buy it from?

Hunter Nelson: I shouldn't say. I don't want to get anyone in trouble.

Detective Armstrong: So you'd rather go to death row than get anyone in trouble? You're a swell guy.

Hunter Nelson: Dewey Devoe. I bought it from Dewey Devoe.

Frank Sheppard: Hunter, you must stop this right now. Detectives, my client will not answer any more questions regarding any alleged drug deal.

Detective Armstrong: He'll answer them if he doesn't want to go down for murder.

Frank Sheppard: I must consult with my client first. This interview is over. I am instructing my client to answer no more questions.

Detective Murphy: We'll give you one for the road, Mr. Sheppard. We found a condom, Hunter. We found a latex condom, and what do you think we'll find when all the tests are run? Anything to link it to you?

Hunter Nelson: Nope. There'll be nothing to link that to me. I'm allergic to latex. Can't use 'em. See! I told you I had nothing to do with this.

Detective Murphy: What?

Hunter Nelson: I am allergic to latex. Can't use those types of condoms.

Detective Armstrong: We'll get the doctors to see about that.

Hunter Nelson: Yeah, yeah! Get your doctors, lemme take your tests, but I already did that.

Detective Murphy: What do you mean?

Hunter Nelson: It's on file in the court records. Get the affidavit from my lawsuit.

Frank Sheppard: Sounds like maybe your case isn't that airtight, detectives. But I need to confer with my client anyway, so I think it's time we both retired to our separate corners.

Detective Armstrong: We'll see.

Detective Murphy: Hey, Hunter, one last thing—

Frank Sheppard: Hunter, don't you dare say—

Detective Murphy: Relax, Mr. Sheppard. Hunter, when you were involved with Kristi, did you observe that she had any unusual shaving habits?

Hunter Nelson: What?

Detective Murphy: Did she ever shave anywhere that might be considered … atypical?

Hunter Nelson: What? No. What are you talking about?

Frank Sheppard: Detective, what part of my saying this interview is terminated don't you understand?

Detective Murphy: Thanks, Hunter, you told us what we wanted to know. We'll be talking again soon.

Interview ended – 2:59 p.m.


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