Friday, January 29, 2021 – 9:23 a.m.
Alderman Gene Collins is allegedly the subject of a probe by the Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney's Office.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him in the presence of his attorney, Sarah Martin, at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Gene Collins
- Sarah Martin
Detective Murphy: Good morning, Mr. Collins.
Gene Collins: It's Alderman Collins, thank you. I really don't appreciate being dragged in here. I'm a busy man, and I don't have time for this.
Detective Murphy: Yes, sir. Please state your name and address for the record.
Gene Collins: As you well know, my name is Gene Collins, and I live at 810 Lincoln Avenue, Oxford.
Sarah Martin: I'm Sarah Martin, attorney for Alderman Collins.
Detective Murphy: Good morning, Sarah. It's nice to see you.
Sarah Martin: Thank you, detective.
Gene Collins: If we're here for the ladies' social hour, then where are the coffee and donuts? At least, make it worth my while.
Detective Armstrong: I'm afraid our budget doesn't allow for providing refreshments to our, uh, guests. Maybe you could work on that?
Gene Collins: Yeah, call my office. I'll put someone right on it.
Detective Murphy: Gentlemen, if we could turn our attention to the subject at hand?
Sarah Martin: I apologize for my client.
Gene Collins: Don't apologize for me!
Sarah Martin: Then don't put me in a position where I need to.
Detective Armstrong: Do you two need a minute?
Gene Collins: No, Sarah's right. Let's just get on with this. I have places to be.
Detective Armstrong: You seem less tense today, Mr. Collins. Feeling a little less pressure since Spenser Brooks was killed?
Sarah Martin: You don't have to answer that, Gene.
Gene Collins: I want to, Sarah. I gotta admit the DA's office hasn't bothered me at all this last week.
Detective Armstrong: They've been a little busy with other things since their boss was murdered.
Gene Collins: Maybe so, but that SOB Brooks was out to get me no matter what.
Detective Armstrong: Is that right?
Gene Collins: When he decided to go after someone, he didn't care if they were innocent or not. All he gave a damn about was getting a conviction.
Sarah Martin: Gene.
Gene Collins: The guy that knocked him off did me a favor. I'm glad he's dead. He got what was coming to him.
Detective Armstrong: Are you that guy?
Sarah Martin: My client is not going to answer that question.
Detective Armstrong: What about Jill Ross? Is she following you like a mad dog?
Gene Collins: Ross seems to have found a new cause. She doesn't seem that interested anymore. I'm a small fish, and she wants a trophy fish.
Detective Murphy: What new cause?
Gene Collins: She's more interested in the underage drinking issue than pursuing my case.
Detective Murphy: What makes you say that?
Gene Collins: I have my sources. Seems like she and Louis Watson have become pals. Maybe you should check them out instead of wasting my time.
Detective Murphy: Why's that?
Gene Collins: They both had their reasons to want Brooks dead.
Detective Armstrong: And just what would their reasons be?
Gene Collins: Like I told you before, she wanted to be DA, and Louis Watson wanted the DA's office to quit hassling him about his liquor store. With Brooks dead, they both have the chance to get what they wanted.
Detective Armstrong: That's an interesting theory, but it seems to me you had just as much reason to see him dead, if not more.
Gene Collins: I wanted him to stop hassling me, just as any other innocent man would. I wouldn't call that a motive for murder.
Detective Armstrong: You wouldn't?
Sarah Martin: If you have some evidence implicating Alderman Collins in this murder, then let's hear it. Otherwise, move on.
Detective Murphy: We hear you spend a fair amount of time at Wall Doxey.
Gene Collins: Yeah, I've been there a few times. I go there to walk off stress caused by the idiots I have to deal with every day. I'd say it's a sight better than sitting in a patrol car, scarfing down donuts.
Detective Armstrong: Seems like it was you asking for donuts a few minutes ago, not us.
Gene Collins: What's that?
Detective Murphy: We have it from a good source that you go to Wall Doxey quite often. How well would you say you know the park, Mr. Collins?
Gene Collins: Better than some. Not as well as others.
Detective Murphy: What would you say if we told you that your name was used to lure Mr. Brooks to Wall Doxey, where he was killed?
Gene Collins: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Detective Murphy: Do you have any associates who might want to help you out by eliminating Mr. Brooks so he couldn't bother you anymore?
Gene Collins: Absolutely not! What kind of people do you think I associate with?
Detective Murphy: Would they use your name to trick Mr. Brooks into meeting them in an isolated location?
Gene Collins: No one I know would do something like that.
Detective Murphy: Would you?
Gene Collins: Of course not!
Detective Murphy: We know that you're familiar with Wall Doxey. We know that you can get in and out of there without leaving any record. We know that you had a grudge against Spenser Brooks.
Sarah Martin: None of that makes Alderman Collins the person who shot Mr. Brooks.
Detective Murphy: Maybe not, but it certainly makes him a person of interest.
Sarah Martin: In your opinion.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Collins, do you have any enemies who would use your name in a murder to hurt you?
Gene Collins: No one can be in politics without having at least some people who'd like to make you look bad, but that sounds crazy. How would they expect to pull that off?
Detective Murphy: It's an interesting question, isn't it? Can you name anyone who might want to implicate you in the assassination of an elected official?
Sarah Martin: We're not going to engage in speculation here. If you think someone is trying to frame Alderman Collins, I suggest you pursue that line of investigation.
Detective Armstrong: Is that what you think, Mr. Collins?
Gene Collins: I think, if y'all really believe there was some elaborate scheme to kill Brooks and frame me, then this is one murder that will never be solved. I bet y'all can't even find your butts with both hands and a flashlight.
Detective Armstrong: If you're finally ready to tell us where you were last Saturday morning, that could go a long way toward ruling you out of involvement in this thing.
Gene Collins: I told you before, and I'm telling you again now: that's none of your business.
Detective Armstrong: See, when you refuse to tell us something simple like that, it makes us wonder what else you're hiding.
Sarah Martin: All right. That's more than enough, detective. Seeing as you don't have the evidence to charge Alderman Collins with anything, we aren't going to put up with this kind of questioning. This interview is over.
Detective Armstrong: That's fine. I'm sure we'll all be talking to each other again soon.
Gene Collins: Looking forward to it. Another chance to see the Dynamic Dumb-Dumbs in action? I wouldn't miss it!
Interview ended – 9:52 a.m.