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Jill Osborne is under arrest

Thursday, July 20, 2017 – 4:27 p.m.

Jill Osborne has been the Administrative Assistant in the English Department at Ole Miss since 2009 and was at the Rowan Oak event the night before Douglas Reed's body was found. She was taken into custody at her residence at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 20, 2017.

Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Jill Osborne

Jill Osborne: Detective Murphy, why am I—

Detective Murphy: One moment, Jill. Please don't speak until I advise you to do so.

Jill Osborne: I'm sorry.

Detective Murphy: It's critical that we follow protocol.

Jill Osborne: I understand.

Detective Murphy: Okay, we're all set now. Please state your name and address for the record.

Jill Osborne: Jill Osborne. 418 North 15th Street.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, what were you going to say?

Jill Osborne: I was just going to ask, why was I arrested?

Detective Parker: Because you're a suspect in the murder of Douglas Reed, Jill.

Jill Osborne: Yes, I understand that, but I don't know why I'm a suspect.

Detective Murphy: We have evidence that implicates you.

Jill Osborne: But I couldn't kill anyone. Do you understand that I never, ever could kill anyone?

Detective Murphy: We understand that you're a good person and that maybe you couldn't intentionally kill anyone. Nevertheless, a man is dead, and we have evidence, Jill.

Jill Osborne: But we were at Rowan Oak, and people saw us there!

Detective Parker: Yes, but the only person to corroborate your story is also under arrest.

Jill Osborne: But we were there. We spoke with Monte.

Detective Parker: True, but there is a time discrepancy.

Jill Osborne: Why do you believe him over Carol and me?

Detective Parker: Because his timeline checks out according to the evidence.

Jill Osborne: What evidence?

Detective Murphy: Jill, did you lose your keys recently?

Jill Osborne: No, I have my keys. Do you need to see them?

Detective Murphy: That won't be necessary. Did you lose your key fob?

Jill Osborne: What's that?

Detective Murphy: Something that is attached to a key chain like a device that activates and deactivates a car alarm.

Jill Osborne: Oh. No, I didn't. Why?

Detective Murphy: Because we found a set of keys in Meeting Room 10 near Douglas Reed's body. The key fob has your fingerprints on it.

Jill Osborne: It does?

Detective Murphy: Yes, it does.

Detective Parker: Oddly enough, this key fob also has a pinhole camera capable of capturing video.

Jill Osborne: But I told you, that's not my fob thing.

Detective Parker: Okay, but the video saved on the fob thing suggests that it is.

Jill Osborne: How, detective? I'm not in that video!

Detective Murphy: Are you sure, Jill?

Jill Osborne: Yes, I'm sure!

Detective Murphy: Perhaps that's true, but the GPS coordinates on that video link it to your house.

Detective Parker: So we find it hard to believe you had nothing to do with Douglas Reed's death.

Detective Murphy: Jill, you said in your first interview that your father was a drill instructor at Parris Island.

Jill Osborne: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Did he teach you how to use firearms?

Jill Osborne: Well, he tried, but I hated it, so he gave up.

Detective Parker: But you've fired weapons before, right?

Jill Osborne: Yes, but I wasn't any good at it, detective.

Detective Parker: Well, in my experience, and certainly for purposes of this case, the quality of the shot isn't as important as the fact that there was a shot, and that it was a kill shot.

Jill Osborne: I wasn't— I didn't— I was at the Rowan Oak dinner with Carol until 9:00, and then I was upset, and we left and went to my house and drank wine, detective!

Detective Murphy: Very good, Jill. Carol would be proud, don't you think?

Jill Osborne: Why do you say that?

Detective Murphy: Because you recited it almost perfectly. Just as you and she rehearsed.

Jill Osborne: Please don't be sarcastic, detective. It's not a perfect recitation. It's what happened!

Detective Murphy: I said almost perfect. It leaves out the part where you went to the YCCC and killed Douglas Reed.

Jill Osborne: No! No, no! We were at Rowan Oak until 9:00 and then went to my house.

Detective Murphy: You can keep saying that, Jill, but it doesn't make it true.

Detective Parker: You knew exactly where Doug Reed kept his handgun, didn't you?

Jill Osborne: No! No, not exactly.

Detective Parker: In your last interview, you said you had no idea that Doug Reed owned a handgun but then changed your story. Now you're insisting that you stayed at Rowan Oak until 9:00 when we have witnesses that put you at Rowan Oak as late as 10:00.

Jill Osborne: Well, if witnesses put me there until 10:00 instead of 9:00, then I don't understand the problem.

Detective Murphy: Is it possible that you left Rowan Oak and went to YCCC during the buffet dinner?

Jill Osborne: We left the dinner and went to my house.

Detective Murphy: Your credibility is at stake, Jill. Your integrity. And how and where you will spend the rest of your life. So if I told you that a witness can place you at the YCCC on the night Doug Reed was killed, would that change your statement?

Jill Osborne: But I could never—

Detective Parker: Intentionally kill anyone.

Jill Osborne: Yes, detective. I could never!

Detective Murphy: Not intentionally, no. I understand. What about accidentally?

Jill Osborne: I'm a good person, detective.

Detective Murphy: I'm sure that's true.

Jill Osborne: And I didn't have violent intentions toward Professor Reed.

Detective Murphy: But he was abusive to you, wasn't he?

Jill Osborne: Yes, but—

Detective Parker: And you and Carol devised a plan, right?

Jill Osborne: No, there was no plan!

Detective Murphy: It was an accident then? Jill? There's the key fob. There's a witness. There's forensic evidence connecting you to Douglas Reed's handgun. You're a good person, Jill, but accidents happen. Was there an accident?

Jill Osborne: Oh, my God.

Detective Murphy: Jill, did you leave Rowan Oak and go to the YCCC?

Jill Osborne: Yes.

Detective Parker: Were you alone?

Jill Osborne: Yes.

Detective Parker: Were you armed?

Jill Osborne: No.

Detective Murphy: How did you get the handgun?

Jill Osborne: I took it out of Professor Reed's car earlier in the day. I was afraid of what he might do with it.

Detective Parker: Did he threaten to use it?

Jill Osborne: No, but he was so mad about Jake getting to do the presentation, and he told Monte he was going to get his revenge.

Detective Murphy: So you took his gun out of his car?

Jill Osborne: Yes. I put it in my purse. I was going to return it after the presentation.

Detective Parker: Why did you leave Rowan Oak and go to the YCCC?

Jill Osborne: Monte told me Professor Reed was there in the meeting room messing up the presentation materials.

Detective Parker: And?

Jill Osborne: I just wanted him to stop. I told him to stop!

Detective Murphy: Did you threaten him with the gun?

Jill Osborne: He laughed. He just laughed and told me to get my incompetent ass out of the room and to mind my own effing business!

Detective Parker: He said "effing"?

Jill Osborne: No, he used the real word.

Detective Parker: And this pissed you off, so you drew the gun?

Jill Osborne: No! I was scared, and I wanted him to stop. I wanted him to know I was serious.

Detective Murphy: Did you point the gun at him?

Jill Osborne: Yes.

Detective Parker: Why did you shoot him?

Jill Osborne: I didn't! I didn't shoot him!

Detective Murphy: Who shot him?

Jill Osborne: It was an accident! He came toward me — at me — and I was so afraid … and Carol used the pepper spray.

Detective Murphy: Carol was there?

Jill Osborne: Oh! My big, stupid mouth!

Detective Parker: Jill, you're saying that Carol was there, too?

Jill Osborne: Yes. Carol sprayed him with pepper spray to keep him away from me, but he just kept coming. And— and— I don't know! The gun went off, and Carol was there, and I couldn't think. I couldn't think!

Detective Murphy: What did you do with the gun?

Jill Osborne: I don't know. Nothing. Carol took it from me and told me to go back to Rowan Oak.

Detective Murphy: And is that what you did?

Jill Osborne: Yes.

Detective Parker: And you are confessing to shooting Douglas Reed?

Jill Osborne: It was an accident. He came after me. The gun went off. It just…went off. It was an accident. I am a good person.

Detective Murphy: Thank you, Jill.

Interview ended: 5:09 p.m.

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