Saturday, January 30, 2021 – 11:07 a.m.
Wesley Brooks, the victim's son, came to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and asked to speak to detectives working on his father's case.
Detectives Armstrong and Beckwith, who had talked to him before, met with him again.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Wesley Brooks
Detective Beckwith: Good morning, Wesley. Please state your name and address for the record.
Wesley Brooks: Good morning, Detectives. My name is Wesley Brooks, and I live at 439 Chandler Avenue, Oxford.
Detective Beckwith: What can we do for you today?
Wesley Brooks: Have you found my father's killer?
Detective Beckwith: We're working on it. We think we're getting close.
Wesley Brooks: Okay.
Detective Beckwith: Is that what you wanted to talk about?
Wesley Brooks: No.
Detective Beckwith: All right. While you think about what you came here to tell us, do you mind if I ask you a question?
Wesley Brooks: Go ahead.
Detective Beckwith: Was it unusual for your father to go to work and your mother to run errands by herself on Saturdays?
Wesley Brooks: Not really. When I was a kid, sometimes we'd do stuff together on weekends, like go to my soccer games and stuff, but now, we all pretty much do our own thing. We're all busy.
Detective Beckwith: So the weekend before your father died, it was pretty much the same?
Wesley Brooks: I think so. My dad said he was going to work, but he was probably with Christy. My mom went shopping in Tupelo, I think. I was on campus. Why?
Detective Beckwith: We just wanted to know if there was anything unusual about the weekend your father was killed.
Wesley Brooks: Well, I want to know why you've got people messing around with my truck. I had to take a ride-share to get over here.
Detective Beckwith: You left while they were examining your vehicle?
Wesley Brooks: What else was I supposed to do? It's not like they're going to steal it.
Detective Beckwith: Well, that's true.
Wesley Brooks: But what are they doing?
Detective Armstrong: Did they give you a copy of the search warrant?
Wesley Brooks: Yeah, a bunch of legal stuff.
Detective Armstrong: They're looking at the tires to see if they're consistent with a tire track we found near where your father was killed.
Wesley Brooks: And you think it was my truck?
Detective Armstrong: We have to check.
Wesley Brooks: Why? Why do you have to check? Do you think I killed him?
Detective Armstrong: You've already told us you were there that day, so we need to do this to rule you out.
Wesley Brooks: How is a tire track going to rule me out?
Detective Armstrong: We can't tell you about the details of an ongoing investigation.
Wesley Brooks: Now, you sound like my dad. Is it just my truck? Are you checking other people too?
Detective Beckwith: We are.
Wesley Brooks: Who?
Detective Beckwith: Wesley, it wouldn't be appropriate for us to tell you that.
Wesley Brooks: Are you looking at Christy's tires?
Detective Armstrong: You think we should?
Wesley Brooks: You'd better! Maybe she finally realized my dad was just using her like I said and decided to get back at him.
Detective Armstrong: You told Christy your dad was using her?
Wesley Brooks: He was!
Detective Armstrong: When did you tell her that?
Wesley Brooks: When I caught them together again after that time on the square.
Detective Beckwith: Tell us about that.
Wesley Brooks: I went to his office one day, and I saw them come out and get into my dad's car. They were all lovey-dovey. I saw Dad lean over and kiss her.
Detective Beckwith: What did you do?
Wesley Brooks: I got out of my car and walked up to where they were. I told Dad I was going to tell Mom that he was cheating on her with a whore.
Detective Beckwith: How did that go over?
Wesley Brooks: He tried to tell me I was wrong about what I saw, and I didn't know what I was talking about. Then I told her she was an idiot if she thought he'd ever leave my mom for her.
Detective Beckwith: What did she say?
Wesley Brooks: Nothing. They just drove off like nothing ever happened, like I wasn't even there.
Detective Armstrong: That must've made you mad.
Wesley Brooks: You know it! That's the reason I followed him to the park that day. I had to see if he was with her again. I … I just had to.
Detective Armstrong: So what happened, Wesley? Did you find your dad, argue with him, and then kill him in a fit of anger?
Wesley Brooks: No! I did not kill my father. It was— I didn't— He was already—
Detective Armstrong: He was already what, Wesley?
Wesley Brooks: Nothing. I don't know. I just know I hated what he was doing to my mom. But he was my dad! I loved him, and I could never kill him.
Detective Beckwith: Did you see your dad in the park that day, Wesley?
Wesley Brooks: No.
Detective Beckwith: You'll feel better if you tell us the truth.
Wesley Brooks: I doubt it.
Detective Beckwith: You won't know until you try.
Wesley Brooks: I was too late, okay? He was already dead when I got there. My god, look at me. I'm shaking. I just can't get the image of my dad lying dead on that ground out of my head.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, Wesley, just take a breath. You're saying you saw your father's body at the park?
Wesley Brooks: Yes! Yes, okay? I just don't understand. I was right behind him. How could that happen?
Detective Beckwith: How much behind him were you, would you say?
Wesley Brooks: Maybe 10–15 minutes? I had to stay a little ways back when we were driving, and then after I parked, it took me a few minutes to find him.
Detective Beckwith: Did you see who shot him?
Wesley Brooks: No.
Detective Beckwith: Did you hear the shot?
Wesley Brooks: No. I don't know. If I heard it, I would've assumed it was people hunting and not paid any attention. I sure didn't know what it really was.
Detective Beckwith: Did you check on your dad to see if he was alive?
Wesley Brooks: I didn't get too close. I could tell he was— that he wasn't alive. He was so still, and his eyes open like that? I didn't want to get any closer.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you call 911?
Wesley Brooks: I was freaking out! My dad was dead, and there was some crazy person with a gun running around. I didn't want to get shot too, so I got the hell out of there.
Detective Armstrong: And when we talked to you later, you didn't tell us about it because?
Wesley Brooks: Because I didn't want you to think I did it. I could tell you already thought I was a suspect, but I didn't kill him. I swear!
Detective Armstrong: You're sure you didn't shoot him? You might as well tell us the whole truth now.
Wesley Brooks: No, it wasn't me. I don't even have a gun. No one in my family has a gun.
Detective Armstrong: And you didn't see who did it?
Wesley Brooks: No! I told you.
Detective Armstrong: Did you hear anyone? Driving away or running away?
Wesley Brooks: I don't know. I don't think so.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see any vehicles in the area that you recognized?
Wesley Brooks: Just my mom's car that my dad was driving.
Detective Armstrong: When you left, where did you go?
Wesley Brooks: Home. My first instinct was to tell my mom what happened, but she wasn't there when I got there.
Detective Armstrong: Did you tell her later?
Wesley Brooks: No. After I had time to think about it, I decided not to say anything. I didn't want her to know I was there.
Detective Armstrong: Why not?
Wesley Brooks: I didn't want to have to tell her why I went there, that I was trying to catch my dad cheating—again.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you call 911 after you were safely away from the park?
Wesley Brooks: I don't know. It didn't even occur to me. I don't know what I was thinking, but the longer I waited, the more afraid I was.
Detective Beckwith: Wesley, is there anything else you haven't told us?
Wesley Brooks: No. Keeping this to myself has been a terrible nightmare. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. I have no excuse.
Detective Beckwith: At least you've told us now. That should be a weight off your shoulders.
Wesley Brooks: If I'd gotten there sooner, do you think I could've— could I have kept him from getting killer?
Detective Beckwith: That's something we can never know, and you shouldn't torment yourself.
Wesley Brooks: I guess. But you believe me now that I didn't kill him, right?
Detective Beckwith: It's good that you told us, Wesley. More information can only help the investigation. Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Wesley Brooks: Just that I loved my Dad, and I didn't kill him. You have to believe me!
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in, Wesley. Do you need a ride back to your truck? We can have an officer drop you off.
Wesley Brooks: No, that's okay.
Detective Armstrong: All right, then. We'll be in touch.
Interview ended – 11:42 a.m.