Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – 10:02 a.m.
Shannon Bower's ongoing feud with Ambrose Garrett was well-known to everyone in the Whitehall neighborhood.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy talked to her again in the Physical Therapy Unit of Baptist Home Care and Hospice.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Shannon Bower
Shannon Bower: Once again, thanks for coming here to talk to me. My schedule is terrible. I can't get away during treatment hours.
Detective Murphy: We're glad to do it in order to talk to you again.
Shannon Bower: What took you so long?
Detective Murphy: I beg your pardon?
Shannon Bower: I mean, I've heard that you talked to everybody else a couple of times. I figured it was just a matter of time before you got around to me again.
Detective Armstrong: Oh? Was there something, in particular, you thought we would be asking you?
Detective Murphy: Just a minute, Ted. Ms. Bower, would you please state your name and address for the record?
Shannon Bower: Shannon Bower, 12 Bonnie Blue Drive.
Detective Armstrong: I repeat. Was there something special you thought we would be asking you?
Shannon Bower: No, not really.
Detective Murphy: Tell us again what time you left the meeting.
Shannon Bower: Oh, that. Well… I guess I wasn't completely honest with you about that.
Detective Armstrong: Well, then perhaps you'd like to rectify that now.
Shannon Bower: Hey, I'm sorry, okay? I didn't really think it meant anything to your investigation.
Detective Murphy: Well, how about being straight with us now? We'll decide if it's pertinent to the investigation.
Shannon Bower: It really was no big thing, you know. I left before the meeting was over because I got too pissed to sit there and listen to that bag of wind anymore.
Detective Armstrong: And who was that?
Shannon Bower: Ambrose, of course. Him and his screwy ideas! Anyway, I just walked out.
Detective Murphy: What time was that?
Shannon Bower: It was after the break, maybe a half hour or so. I guess around 6:30.
Detective Armstrong: So then where did you go?
Shannon Bower: I left the meeting room and went to the restroom and tried to calm down.
Detective Murphy: No one mentioned you going to the restroom.
Shannon Bower: Oh, I left the meeting room and went to the restroom in the women's locker room. It's on the other side of the building.
Detective Armstrong: And what did you do then?
Shannon Bower: I started to go back to the meeting. The door was propped open, so I stood outside the door and listened for a few minutes just to be sure Ambrose wasn't trashing me behind my back, but they seemed to be off on some other subject. By that time, I figured there was no reason to go back in, so I left.
Detective Murphy: Why did you say you stayed around even after the meeting? You even said you talked to some people. So what time did you actually leave the community center?
Shannon Bower: I know. That was stupid, but Marti gets a little paranoid and if she thought I'd been to see him … well, it wouldn't be pretty. She won't have to know, will she? I really did get home about 7:30.
Detective Armstrong: We'll determine if it's necessary for her to know anything, but you'd better be straight with us. What time did you leave the community center and where did you go?
Shannon Bower: Well, okay, but my life is in your hands if Marti finds out. I stopped at Bryan Mortimer’s on the way home. He lives on Butler Drive. I don’t know the number.
Detective Armstrong: A social call?
Shannon Bower: Not really. He's an attorney. We were in a couple of classes at Ole Miss. And well … we dated for a while. Marti is sure I still have a thing for him even though I've told her a hundred times she's my one and only. Anyway, I was still riled by the idea of the website Ambrose was concocting, and I wanted to see if Bryan thought it would be legal. I stayed maybe 20 minutes, then went home.
Detective Murphy: Did you return to the community center at any time that evening?
Shannon Bower: No, as I told you before, Marti put the steaks on as soon as I got home. We had a glass of wine and a nice leisurely dinner. I didn't go out the rest of the evening.
Detective Armstrong: And Ms. Scarr will verify that?
Shannon Bower: Yes, she will. I'm on the level here. Ask Bryan. He'll tell you. Just don't mention him to Marti, please. She'll go ballistic.
Detective Murphy: Tell us about when you arrived at the center. What time did you get there, who else was there, and what were they doing?
Shannon Bower: I got there … oh, probably five or 10 minutes before the meeting started. The usual suspects were there: Julie Arbuckle, Ambrose, of course, Warren Edwards, Mary Wallace. Then when David McMahan came in, they started the meeting.
Detective Armstrong: Do you remember where each person was and what he or she was doing?
Shannon Bower: Let's see. I think Warren and Ambrose were in a rather intense conversation near the snack table.
Detective Murphy: Did you happen to notice how Ambrose was dressed?
Shannon Bower: Now what the heck does that have to do with a homicide investigation?
Detective Armstrong: Humor us, okay. We'll decide if it's relevant.
Shannon Bower: As if I care how Ambrose is dressed. Okay, okay. He was dressed in a pair of khaki pants and a bluish shirt. Short sleeves, I think. That's the best I can do.
Detective Murphy: Did he have a jacket?
Shannon Bower: Oh yeah. I remember I noticed it on the back of his chair at the head table. Pretentious jerk. Who needs a blazer at neighborhood meeting?
Detective Armstrong: Do remember where Ms. Wallace and Ms. Arbuckle were before the meeting began?
Shannon Bower: Mary was around the head table, I think, arranging her stuff. And Julie? Hmm. Seems to me she was hovering around the head table then she disappeared for a couple of minutes. Went to the restroom, I think. I saw her come out, stop behind the head table near Ambrose's chair.
Detective Armstrong: Could you see what she was doing there?
Shannon Bower: Not really. Probably just trying to look important. Anyway, she was only there for a minute, and then she headed back to the refreshment table. She and Mary talked there for a minute, and then Julie grabbed a cookie and something to drink before she took her seat for the meeting to start. That's all I remember. It was all within five minutes or 10 minutes of the meeting starting, and people were coming in and milling around. Julie always seems to flutter around the head table. I think she misses not being an officer anymore.
Detective Murphy: Where were you during this time?
Shannon Bower: Oh, I went in and sat down. I talked to some people near me. They're sort of new to the neighborhood, and I never did get their names. Not very hospitable of me, I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Did you go up around the head table at any time?
Shannon Bower: Are you kidding? I stayed as far away from Ambrose as possible. I was watching out of the corner of my eye to see where he was and then sat down away from him.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Bower, as you know, our investigation is ongoing. However, we have not been able to eliminate you as a suspect. Tell me why it could not have been you.
Shannon Bower: Oh my God! You really think I could kill somebody? It couldn't have been me because I didn't do it. I know I'm mouthy, but I'd never ever kill anybody. Ask Marti. She knows me better than anybody. She calls me her "little drama queen," but she knows I'd never ever hurt anybody, much less kill them!
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Ms. Bower. Take a breath. Our investigation isn't over yet. If you are innocent, we'll find out. And if you're guilty….
Shannon Bower: Oh, you'll find out I'm innocent. I know you will because I am.
Detective Murphy: Well, just be honest with us.
Shannon Bower: I know, I know. I learned my lesson. It was stupid of me not to have been straight with you about when I left, but … well, you know … Marti.
Detective Murphy: Yes, well, we will probably want to talk to Mr. Mortimer and Ms. Scarr to clear this up.
Shannon Bower: Well, that's better than thinking I'm capable of homicide, I guess. But I may be a victim if Marti finds out. Only kidding! Geez! Me and my big mouth.
Detective Armstrong: We may want to talk with you again.
Shannon Bower: That's fine. I'll be around. Are we about through here? I have a patient waiting.
Detective Murphy: Yes, thank you, Ms. Bower.
Interview ended – 10:27 a.m.