Interview 1: Louis Leyland Watson, Attorney-at-Law
Friday, February 25, 2011 - 9:30 a.m.
Louis Watson is a local attorney who owns a liquor establishment in Oxford. This 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 Sam Murphy
- Louis Watson
Louis Watson: Good morning. Good morning. What nice weather we're having.
Detective Armstrong: Very nice. State you name and address for the record.
Louis Watson: You know me Ted. I've seen you in court many times. I live over on Williams Avenue. 301. I'm known as Attorney-at-law Louis Leyland Watson. What can I help you with today?
Detective Armstrong: What can you tell us about our ex-D.A.?
Louis Watson: I suppose you have heard about the fact that we didn't agree on the new liquor regulations that Brooks pushed.
Detective Armstrong: Why don't you tell us about that?
Louis Watson: It's no secret. I'm sure you know that I own the liquor store near Ole Miss. D.A. Brooks caused me a big loss of business over those regulations.
Detective Armstrong: Upset because you can't sell to underage kids anymore?
Louis Watson: I never sold to underage kids! IDs were always checked. I insisted the clerks always took care of that. What do you think the younger bunch does nowadays for fun? I asked Brooks that question, too.
Detective Armstrong: I guess you are going to tell us what he said.
Louis Watson: Yes, I am. He said they wouldn't be so many of them driving drunk anymore. He was a real smart a**.
Detective Murphy: And so you disagreed with him about the new rules?
Louis Watson: Yes, of course, I did. Those kids will now use drugs and that is much worse that liquor.
Detective Murphy: What do you think of our new District Attorney?
Louis Watson: I have nothing but respect for Jillian. She understands why I was at odds with Brooks. I can actually talk to her on the subject without getting any smart remarks back from her. I've known Jill for a long time. Went to the University of Mississippi Law School with her and, of course, she was also an attorney for a while. So, she's an old friend, you could say.
Detective Armstrong: Do you hang out with all your old friends?
Louis Watson: Hang out? No, why do ask that?
Detective Armstrong: Have you ever visited her at her home?
Louis Watson: Why yes, I have. But that was a while back. What do you do? Watch everyone in Oxford? How did you know that?
Detective Murphy: Why were you there?
Louis Watson: That's none of your business, but I don't mind answering. It was about the new liquor regulations. I was mad. Still am. My business has been negatively impacted by them and I've lost a lot of my regulars. Jill agreed with me, as I said, and she said she'd try to help me if she could.
Detective Armstrong: So you left in a better mood than when you arrived?
Louis Watson: Yes, I did, as a matter of fact. Do you mind?
Detective Armstrong: Did you make threats against D.A. Brooks often?
Louis Watson: Probably said a lot of negative remarks about him. Not that I would do anything. Just venting is all. Wait a minute. Are you asking if I killed Spenser Brooks?
Detective Armstrong: Good question. Did you?
Louis Watson: I think it's absolutely obnoxious of you to even ask that of me! I'm an attorney, not an assassin!
Detective Murphy: Calm down, Mr. Watson. You're not in court now.
Detective Armstrong: That's right. No need to overact. Do you own a weapon? Gun maybe?
Louis Watson: Yes, I own several guns. So what? Let’s face it, the majority of citizens in Oxford own firearms. I know you discovered a gun in the park. That place is probably littered with weapons. Probably disposed of by Oxonians.
Detective Armstrong: Where were you on Sunday morning, January 30?
Louis Watson: I was at the store. Sundays are the days I have time to take inventory and make sure everything is right. If you're quite finished with me now, I have to go. I have a case in court this afternoon and I have to make sure everything is in order.
Detective Armstrong: You can go. We might possibly want to talk to you again. We'll let you know.
Louis Watson: Sure. Why not? With the caseload I'm carrying, I can't promise I will have time, though.
Detective Armstrong: If we contact you, you "will" make the time.
Louis Watson: My day started out fine, but you’ve managed to change that. Good Bye!
Detective Murphy: Just a second. What kind of vehicle do you drive, Mr. Watson?
Louis Watson: I have a Ford F150. It's silver.
Detective Murphy: Okay, you can go.
Interview ended: 10: 45 a.m.