Interview 1: Christine Arnold, clerk in court, received phone call from victim
February 13, 2011, 4:15 p.m.
Christine Arnold was contacted by the victim shortly before he died. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department and recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- Detective Samantha Murphy
- Christy Arnold
Detective Armstrong: Thanks for coming in this afternoon. Could you state your name and address for the record?
Christine Arnold: Christine Faye Arnold, 701 South 19th Street. But you know you can call me Christy.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, Christy, thanks. Did you know Spenser Brooks?
Christine Arnold: Yes, of course. We all did.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you saw him before he died?
Christine Arnold: That Friday, I guess. At work.
Detective Murphy: That was the last time you talked with him?
Christine Arnold: Oh, talked? No. He called me -- well, that morning. Sunday. I still can't believe it. It must have been right before it happened.
Detective Murphy: You spoke with him by phone the morning he died?
Christine Arnold: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Why?
Christine Arnold: He was excited about the case he was working on. He was investigating a politician taking bribes, and he got a message from someone saying they had evidence. He was going to meet them.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of message? On his phone?
Christine Arnold: No, like a note or something. In his mailbox.
Detective Armstrong: Did the note say who it was from?
Christine Arnold: No. Well, no, I mean he didn't tell me. He would never name names. Like with this case, he just said it was a politician, and wouldn't tell me who. But .... didn't you see the message? I thought he had it with him.
Detective Armstrong: Why do you say that?
Christine Arnold: I guess I assumed he had it with him. He told me he was going to meet the person right away, so I thought -- but no, you're right, I don't know for sure.
Detective Armstrong: Where was he going to meet this person?
Christine Arnold: He didn't say. I wasn't thinking it would be dangerous. I don't even remember saying goodbye.
Detective Murphy: Have you ever been to Wall Doxey Park?
Christine Arnold: Sure, once or twice.
Detective Murphy: Were you there that Sunday?
Christine Arnold: No.
Detective Armstrong: It sounds like you and Spenser were close.
Christine Arnold: Oh, no. Not really. We were just acquainted through work, you know, I handle a lot of the documents for his cases. We would talk sometimes when he stopped by the office to pick something up. Some of the other girls didn't like him, but I thought he was okay.
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean, they didn't like him?
Christine Arnold: You know, they just thought he was harsh. Like if something was late or misfiled, he'd blow a fuse. But they don't really care about their work. To me he was inspiring -- he had a goal and he achieved it. He liked his job. When he talked about his cases, you could just tell he had passion for what he was doing. I guess maybe you could say we were friends, or at least work friends. When I had a coffee break sometimes I'd go to his office and visit if he wasn't in court or a meeting or whatever. Does that make sense?
Detective Murphy: So these other girls you mentioned who didn't like him -- you mean the other clerks?
Christine Arnold: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: What about the other attorneys?
Christine Arnold: Well, everyone knew Jill Ross wanted to be D.A.
Detective Armstrong: How so?
Christine Arnold: She took herself way too seriously. None of us liked her -- she was always super cold, like we were beneath her. You know? She would always come down and request to review the documents for his cases, like she wanted to second-guess him, or find mistakes or something. It drove him crazy.
Detective Murphy: He said this?
Christine Arnold: No, or nothing serious -- he just joked about it once or twice.
Detective Armstrong: Was there anyone else in the office he talked about?
Christine Arnold: No, I mean, not to me. I wouldn't know.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever meet his family?
Christine Arnold: No. We really didn't know each other except at work.
Detective Murphy: Okay. So when you got the call on that Sunday, where were you?
Christine Arnold: Home. I was actually still asleep. It was kind of embarrassing.
Detective Murphy: What time was this?
Christine Arnold: Oh, I don't remember. Nine-thirty? Ten? I was kind of hung over. The night before was Karen's bachelorette party -- do you know her? We work together. She didn't get married until the next Saturday, but she wanted to have the party the weekend before so it could be a total blowout.
Detective Murphy: What happened after the call?
Christine Arnold: I went back to sleep. It was one, one-thirty by the time I got up.
Detective Murphy: Do you live on your own?
Christine Arnold: No. My roommate, Keisha -- she's a student at NCC too -- she was there when I got up.
Detective Murphy: She was there the whole time?
Christine Arnold: I don't know. Usually she goes to church on Sunday, and then there's usually something else, like a fellowship brunch or something, so probably not.
Sometimes I go with her, but that morning there was no way. I didn't even set the alarm.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you can think of that we need to know?
Christine Arnold: No. I wish I did. I just hope you find who did this.
Detective Armstrong: We all do.
Interview ended: 4:59 p.m.