Tuesday, January 26, 2021 – 11:30 a.m.
Debra Lane found Spenser Brooks's body and called 911.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy asked her to come into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for another conversation.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Debra Lane
Detective Armstrong: Before we start, please state your name and address.
Debra Lane: Debra Nicole Lane, 509 South 11th. What's up?
Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in. We wanted to talk more about what you were doing at Wall Doxey Park the day you discovered Mr. Brooks's body.
Debra Lane: Sure. You've got to know all there is to know by now, though. Am I right?
Detective Murphy: We wish we did. Remind us what you were doing out there.
Debra Lane: Knitting, hiking, listening to opera. De-stressing. I was there two nights.
Detective Murphy: How did you get out there?
Debra Lane: I drove.
Detective Murphy: What kind of car?
Debra Lane: A Subaru Outback from, like, 2011. It was Harris's before we met.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone else join you that weekend?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Murphy: Did you go into Cabin Seven?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Murphy: Last time we talked, you said you'd never stayed there.
Debra Lane: That's right.
Detective Murphy: Then why did you reserve it on December 12?
Debra Lane: December 12. That's a Saturday, right?
Detective Murphy: You must know.
Debra Lane: That was weeks ago. I'm lucky if I can keep this week's schedule straight. But okay, sure, that must have been the weekend of the poker game.
Detective Murphy: What poker game?
Debra Lane: I like to play. It's a numbers thing. Programming, music, whatever—it's all about the patterns. Harris, too. He's a math professor. We both play online sometimes. Nothing serious. We stick to the games that are like 50 cents.
Detective Murphy: What does this have to do with a poker game at Wall Doxey?
Debra Lane: A few of the guys in the local private room for Oxford sounded like they wanted to get together, so I offered to set it up.
Detective Murphy: What did that entail?
Debra Lane: Reserving the cabin. I brought in some food and booze. Managed the money.
Detective Murphy: Did you take a cut?
Debra Lane: Sure. Ten percent. After expenses, it was maybe a hundred bucks. But you know, the holidays, Django's birthday—it was a no-brainer.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you tell us about this the last time?
Debra Lane: It was totally unrelated, obviously. When I was there and found that man—Spenser Brooks, I read about it online after we talked—when I found his body, that was my own time. Not work.
Detective Armstrong: Who was at this game?
Debra Lane: Sorry. We never met face to face. I went in and got everything set up. Left before the game. It was at 5:00 p.m. But like I said, it had nothing to do with that man getting shot.
Detective Armstrong: WasByron Brooks there?
Debra Lane: No comment.
Detective Armstrong: Hector, Chet, Raymond. Who are we missing?
Debra Lane: I don't have to tell you. Am I right?
Detective Murphy: Yes. You don't have to say anything. And we don't have to overlook this violation of Section 97, Chapter 33 of the Mississippi Code.
Debra Lane: You're going to charge me?
Detective Armstrong: The fine is $500 or 90 days in jail per incident. Now, last time we talked, you said you went to Wall Doxey the weekend after school let out. Was there a second game? Because that would actually put us at $1,000.
Debra Lane: No, I screwed up the date.
Detective Murphy: So, is this something you do routinely?
Debra Lane: No. There was only the one game. Like I said, I can't keep all the schedules straight off the top of my head. It was the first time I'd done it. I've been freelancing for a while now, so I don't turn down a chance to make a few bucks. Although if you throw the book at me, obviously, it's not going to be worth it.
Detective Murphy: Obviously.
Detective Armstrong: We need the names, Debra.
Debra Lane: Did you go around busting all the Super Bowl betting pools, too?
Detective Murphy: Please tell us.
Debra Lane: They won't found out I told you, right?
Detective Armstrong: We already know some of them.
Debra Lane: Okay. Can I look at my phone? The names are there.
Detective Murphy: Knock yourself out.
Debra Lane: Okay. Byron Brooks. Yeah, he ended up winning. Raymond Carver—now, see, that's not a real name. I didn't really care, just so long as the money came into the PayPal account.
Detective Murphy: Keep going.
Debra Lane: Hector Daniels. Chet Fairleigh. William Frye. Zachary Kline. Daniel Luftwig. Obie Trice.
Detective Murphy: Okay, thank you.
Debra Lane: That last one's fake, for sure. You know that, right?
Detective Armstrong: We got it.
Debra Lane: So are you going to charge me?
Detective Armstrong: We'll have to discuss it with our superiors.
Detective Murphy: Spenser Brooks wasn't at the poker game?
Debra Lane: No, not that I knew.
Detective Murphy: You never met him?
Debra Lane: No. Although, now that I'm looking at it … Byron Brooks—any relation?
Detective Armstrong: Did you see Byron Brooks when you were at the park over the weekend?
Debra Lane: No one came up and introduced themselves to me. Like I said, I wouldn't recognize him.
Detective Murphy: What about any of the other players?
Debra Lane: Same thing. Wouldn't know them, didn't meet them.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you've neglected to tell us about Spenser Brooks's death?
Debra Lane: No, I don't know anything about it. Only it still bugs me to think about it, how I could maybe have seen who did it if I'd just looked sooner.
Detective Murphy: Okay. You can go for now. If you think of anything else that could possibly be related—even if you think it's probably not—you need to let us know right away. Don't make us come looking for you again to chase down yet another thing you didn't tell us.
Debra Lane: I really don't know anything. I swear! But if I think of anything else, I promise I'll call you immediately.
Detective Armstrong: Make sure you do. And Debra?
Debra Lane: Yeah?
Detective Armstrong: We'll be in touch about those gambling charges.
Interview ended – 11:57 a.m