Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 3:40 p.m.
Whitehall resident Patrick Tyler works at Baptist Memorial Hospital with Delilah Garrett but in a different department. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his residence. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Patrick Tyler
Patrick Tyler: What can I do for you today?
Detective Murphy: To start, please state your full name and address for the official record.
Patrick Tyler: Sure. Patrick James Tyler, 121 Scarlet Road.
Detective Murphy: How long have you lived here, Mr. Tyler?
Patrick Tyler: That's kind of a tricky question. I moved here in 1998, but I was rooming with a friend, Cyrus Wheatley. You talk with him?
Detective Murphy: Not yet.
Patrick Tyler: I work with him, and he let me rent a room for a while. I guess I lived with him two years. After that, I had some money from the settlement, so I bought.
Detective Murphy: You're divorced?
Patrick Tyler: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Remarried?
Patrick Tyler: No. I guess I learned the hard way, I'm not really the type for it. But no hard feelings, right? Anyway, I assume you want to talk about Ambrose.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, did you know Mr. Garrett?
Patrick Tyler: Not well, but yes. He was president of the HOA, and I go to all the meetings.
Detective Armstrong: Pretty diligent of you.
Patrick Tyler: I find it interesting. And I really care about this community. The people here are all so friendly.
Detective Armstrong: So then you must have been at the July 15 meeting.
Patrick Tyler: Yes.
Detective Armstrong: What happened?
Patrick Tyler: Oh, gosh. Ambrose wanted to set up an association Web site to enforce the rules. He wanted to post everyone's names if they owed fines, something silly like that. That was probably the topic everyone argued about the most. And David gave the financial report, and we talked about doing another special assessment this fall. We need to have the sidewalks looked at. Otherwise, it was pretty much the usual things ‒ maintenance requests, and complaints from the usual suspects.
Detective Armstrong: Who were they?
Patrick Tyler: Well, that Shannon Bower is always yapping about something. She was refusing to pay her fines, as usual, and she was all hot under the collar about the Web site.
Detective Armstrong: Anyone else?
Patrick Tyler: Not really. Jamie stopped by a little before the break, but he didn't stay until the very end. He and Ambrose usually get into it too.
Detective Armstrong: Jamie who?
Patrick Tyler: Jamie Covington. He lives in the neighborhood. Great guy.
Detective Murphy: What else happened at the meeting?
Patrick Tyler: I can't recall anything out the ordinary. I can go get my notes if you want, though.
Detective Murphy: You take notes?
Patrick Tyler: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Doesn't Mary Wallace distribute the minutes after meetings?
Patrick Tyler: Oh, sure. But she's not always detailed enough. I like to keep track of all the ideas that get tossed around. Some of them are really good! Just in case we ever want to revisit them. Do you want me to get them?
Detective Murphy: Not just now. Have you ever thought about running for the board?
Patrick Tyler: I've run once or twice I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Once or twice?
Patrick Tyler: Yes. Well, more than that I guess. Never elected. You know what they say: Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I'm happy just to contribute.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Garrett was elected just recently, right?
Patrick Tyler: About a year ago.
Detective Armstrong: Did you run against him?
Patrick Tyler: I don't think of it that way exactly, but yes, I did run.
Detective Armstrong: What did you think of his leadership?
Patrick Tyler: Ambrose wasn't really a leader, in my opinion. He was more like a bully. He didn't take people's feelings into account.
Detective Armstrong: So you disapproved of him?
Patrick Tyler: He got us back on track in terms of the budget, although I'm pretty sure that was more David's doing. David was Ambrose's puppeteer. He had the ideas. Ambrose was just into the power. Yes, I guess you could say I didn't approve. Both of them could stand to use some manners. David actually told me once I should just stop running for office because I would never be qualified. How rude can you get?
Detective Murphy: What are your qualifications?
Patrick Tyler: Well, I'm not a money person like David or Ambrose or Julie Arbuckle. I'm a records and information tech over at the hospital. It requires a lot of reading, a lot of knowledge, a lot of research and organization. That's at least as much as that Mary Wallace brings to the table. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against her, but I'm just saying I do qualify. I do. And I love this community, which I'm not sure Ambrose did. I think it was just the power.
Detective Murphy: Did you and he ever argue?
Patrick Tyler: No, no. I prefer to avoid ugly scenes. I would never confront him that way. I did tell him a couple of times, in private, about ideas I had, but he never seemed interested.
Detective Armstrong: Do you work with Delilah Garrett?
Patrick Tyler: Not directly, no. I mean, I see her in the hospital cafeteria every once in a while. I tend to work the early shift. She's over in the baby ward, and she usually works the second shift, I think, so we don't really have the same hours.
Detective Armstrong: But you know her.
Patrick Tyler: Of course! She's a great lady. Really sweet.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see her socially in the neighborhood?
Patrick Tyler: No, no. Nothing like that. Just related to work, you know? Bowling team, we both do that. And the association here has a holiday party. We always work on the committee for the parties. That's how we are, always looking for fun. She needed to get out of the house, in my opinion, what with Ambrose and his drinking.
Detective Armstrong: Did she tell you about that?
Patrick Tyler: No. But it was obvious to anyone who got within 15 feet of the man. He even began toting around a flask. I mean, God forbid he should be more than an arm's length away from alcohol when he wanted it.
Detective Armstrong: Did he have the flask at the meeting July 15?
Patrick Tyler: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Tyler, were you and Mrs. Garrett intimate?
Patrick Tyler: Intimate? Do you mean sex?
Detective Murphy: Yes.
Patrick Tyler: No. Ha ha ha. That's hysterical.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Patrick Tyler: Well, she's not my type, you know? Even if she was, I'm a decent person. I would never get involved with someone who's married. You're being ridiculous.
Detective Armstrong: Did you run for office against Julie Arbuckle, too?
Patrick Tyler: I wish you would stop saying against.
Detective Armstrong: OK, did you run for office when she was elected?
Patrick Tyler: Yes, I did. She's a sweet lady. She didn't get very much done, but she wasn't on a power trip either. I was sorry Ambrose beat her.
Detective Armstrong: How did she take it?
Patrick Tyler: Oh fine, fine. We all understand these things happen.
Detective Armstrong: She wasn't upset?
Patrick Tyler: No. That woman wouldn't get mad if you walked up and slapped her in the face. She's too gentle. Anyway, she's like me. It's the community that matters, not the title. We're both contributing, just as much as always.
Detective Murphy: So what happened after the meeting on July 15?
Patrick Tyler: I went over to Jamie's for a while. He was having a party. Then I came home.
Detective Murphy: You live alone?
Patrick Tyler: Yes.
Detective Murphy: When did you get home?
Patrick Tyler: I'd guess maybe 9:00 or so. I have to be at work at 5:30 Monday mornings, so early to bed and all that.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see Chester Hawkins that night?
Detective Murphy: The old man? No.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Tyler, did you kill Mr. Garrett?
Patrick Tyler: Absolutely not.
Detective Armstrong: Who might have wanted to harm him?
Patrick Tyler: I have no idea.
Detective Armstrong: Not Shannon Bower?
Patrick Tyler: Please. It's one thing to get your nose out of joint. It's another thing to go and kill someone. I can't imagine it.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you can tell us about Mr. Garrett?
Patrick Tyler: I can't think of anything.
Detective Armstrong: All right. Thank you for your time. We'll be in touch.
Patrick Tyler: OK.
Interview ends - 3:52 p.m.