Benito Flores interview
Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 10:40 a.m.
Benito Flores previously worked for the victim and is the victim's housekeeper's live-in boyfriend. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Benito Flores
Detective Murphy: Hello, Mr. Flores. Thank you for coming in today and speaking with us.
Benito Flores: I don't know why you dragged me in here. I already showed all the men my papers.
Detective Murphy: This isn't about your immigration status. We'd like to talk to you about the murder of Philip Fontaine.
Benito Flores: I don't know nothing about that.
Detective Murphy: Please, we'd just like to ask you some questions. Could you please state your name for the record?
Benito Flores: You already know my name! How'd you get me in here if you don't know my name?
Detective Armstrong: Just answer the question, sir.
Benito Flores: My name is Benito Flores.
Detective Murphy: And where do you live?
Benito Flores: I live at 594 Hathorn Road.
Detective Murphy: And what is your occupation?
Benito Flores: Occupation? I'm a banker, man. I'm a businessman!
Detective Murphy: Could you please answer the question seriously?
Benito Flores: I didn't know I had an occupation. I work, that's all. A little here, a little there. You think they're going to give a guy like me an office job? Come on, you know how it works. Sometimes I work on a farm, rolling hay. Sometimes I work construction, laying foundations. I do what I've got to do to get by.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever work for Philip Fontaine?
Benito Flores: Yeah, I helped his man Joey out around the house some. I helped clean up the yard, did some painting, whatever they told me to do.
Detective Murphy: How well do you know the Fontaine family?
Benito Flores: His family? I know them to say hello. I know my place. They live in the big house, you know? Got to play the game. But I ain't buddies with them or nothing.
Detective Armstrong: So you wouldn't socialize with either Ashley Fontaine or her son, Grant?
Benito Flores: Me? No way, man. What am I going to do with them? Go to the country club? Maybe play some golf?
Detective Murphy: You're sure about that?
Benito Flores: Yes, I'm sure. What are you getting at? You got something to say?
Detective Murphy: You're saying you haven't spent any time with Grant Fontaine? Nothing outside of working for his father?
Benito Flores: Well, uh, you know. I mean, I've seen the guy out and stuff. I'll see him around bars or whatever. I say hello. But that don't mean we go out on dates or nothing. It ain't like I'm taking him to the movies, trying to get a goodnight kiss. You're making it seem like we're best friends or something. Why you care so much about me and Grant?
Detective Murphy: Just part of the investigation. All routine questions.
Benito Flores: Yeah, sure. I know all about the police and the routine questions.
Detective Armstrong: Murphy, I'm going to get a Coke. You want anything?
Detective Murphy: No, thanks.
Detective Armstrong: Flores?
Benito Flores: Yeah, sure. Get me a can of something. Whatever.
Detective Murphy: I'm going to be blunt here, Benito.
Benito Flores: Yeah?
Detective Murphy: Have you ever sold drugs?
Benito Flores: Yeah, man, I sell drugs all the time. I'm a regular Tony Montana here! My and my crew are out all day, cruising in our Benzos, handing out yeo to little kids.
Detective Murphy: It's a serious question. I would appreciate a serious answer.
Benito Flores: Well, what do you expect? What kind of question is that? Look at me! If I were a drug dealer, you think I'd work construction all day? You think I would clean out the damn gutters of rich people's houses if I were a drug dealer?
Detective Armstrong: Here's your Coke, Flores. Calm down.
Benito Flores: Don't tell me to calm down! This is some kind of racist thing, isn't it? You guys just see me, some sweaty Mexican who's been laying brick all day, and you think I'm a drug dealer? I got rights, you know.
Detective Murphy: Relax, sir. This isn't a racial thing. We're just asking the question. Truth is that we've been told you do traffic in narcotics.
Benito Flores: Anyone who says that is a stinking liar! They're just trying to set up the Mexican.
Detective Armstrong: Where were you on the night Philip Fontaine was killed?
Benito Flores: Oh, I get it! Let me tell you something. You better make your move, chica. Either arrest me now or I'm leaving. I know my rights.
Detective Murphy: We're well acquainted with your rights. But if you don't talk to us now, then we'll just end up talking again later in a less friendly environment, maybe even a custodial situation and I don't think you want‒
Benito Flores: Make your move then! But I ain't talking to you no more.
Interview ends: 11:10 a.m.