Javier Montoya interview
Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 10:31 a.m.
Javier Montoya was the victim's attorney. 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
- Jonathon Montoya
Detective Murphy: Hello, counselor. Thanks for talking with us today.
Javier Montoya: Certainly. As you know, I can always spare some time for the local constabulary.
Detective Murphy: For our records, would you please state your name and address?
Javier Montoya: I am Javier Montoya, and I live at 123 North Lamar here in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: And your occupation?
Javier Montoya: I am an attorney.
Detective Murphy: Did you know Philip Fontaine?
Javier Montoya: Yes, I did.
Detective Murphy: Did you have a professional relationship with him?
Javier Montoya: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Did Mr. Fontaine employ you on a case-by-case basis, or were you on retainer?
Javier Montoya: I was on retainer. I helped Philip with all his legal needs.
Detective Murphy: Both personal and professional?
Javier Montoya: Yes. I represented him in a couple of his divorces. And I would at least take a preliminary look at his professional contracts and matters. I have an associate in Memphis who would often consult on the more complicated real estate issues.
Detective Murphy: What was your most recent legal work for Mr. Fontaine concerning?
Javier Montoya: Come on now, Detective. You know that is privileged information. I can't reveal that. It's part of my client's rights.
Detective Murphy: It's just that your client was murdered, and we're trying to find out who did it. His privilege doesn't do him any good now. Is there anything you can tell us?
Javier Montoya: OK, I'll give you some outline information. But I warn you right now, I will not divulge specific details.
Detective Murphy: We'll take it. What was the last thing you had worked on with Philip Fontaine?
Javier Montoya: A couple of things. I had looked into some recent changes in the Mississippi divorce code.
Detective Armstrong: Was he going to divorce Ashley?
Javier Montoya: I don't know that. Philip and I were having lunch, and he mentioned that he had read some articles on the new laws and was curious about them. I knew the cursory information, but wanted to look into it more specifically. So I was researching those new laws.
Detective Murphy: But he didn't say he wanted to divorce Ashley?
Javier Montoya: No. He didn't want to officially file anything or begin any proceedings.
Detective Murphy: You worked for Mr. Fontaine for many years. You probably knew him pretty well. What is your personal opinion? Do you think he was going to eventually divorce Ashley?
Javier Montoya: I'm not going to answer that question. Any answer on my part would either be revealing too much of my client's personal details or else it would be pure speculation on my part.
Detective Murphy: What else were you working on for him?
Javier Montoya: We were examining his will.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Javier Montoya: We were re-examining the distribution of his estate.
Detective Armstrong: Actually changing his heirs?
Javier Montoya: This was only a draft. It was not a binding document as of yet.
Detective Murphy: Who was changed?
Javier Montoya: That's too much information. No way.
Detective Murphy: C'mon, Javier. Surely you understand the possible motive there. If he cut out Ashley or Grant or anyone, we really need to know that.
Javier Montoya: I can't tell you that.
Detective Murphy: When was this re-writing of the will going on?
Javier Montoya: He picked up a draft copy that day. The day he was murdered. As I say, it wasn't signed and it wasn't official. I believe he was still deciding.
Detective Armstrong: Look, we know you want to protect your client's interests and his privacy, but this may provide important information about motive.
Javier Montoya: Please keep in mind that this was not official. And please try to be discreet.
Detective Armstrong: Understood
Javier Montoya: Can you turn off the recording?
Detective Armstrong: C'mon, Javier.
Javier Montoya: The new draft of the will cut out Ashley and Grant both. Please! Please don't let this information get out. This could really hurt my business.
Detective Armstrong: Both his son and his wife?
Javier Montoya: I'm not going to try and describe his reasons. I will not speculate on his intentions. You can make your own guesses.
Detective Murphy: Who was going to get everything?
Javier Montoya: His other family and Joey.
Detective Armstrong: Joey?
Javier Montoya: Yes, he always mentioned what a good man Joey had been through the years.
Detective Murphy: You say Fontaine picked up this will the day he was murdered?
Javier Montoya: Yes, he came by the office in the morning. The will was clearly marked as a draft, so if anyone read it, they would know it wasn't binding.
Detective Armstrong: But they would also learn what he was thinking about doing. Maybe it wasn't binding yet, but they would know what was coming.
Javier Montoya: Yes, you're probably right. But that's more your area than mine.
Detective Murphy: Is there anything else that you can tell us that might help?
Javier Montoya: No, I don't believe so. From a legal perspective, there really wasn't anything else going on in Philip's life.
Detective Murphy: OK, thanks for your time.
Interview ends: 10:49 a.m.