Interview 2: Louis Leyland Watson, attorney and liquor store owner
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
Detective Armstrong: Have a seat, Mr. Watson.
Louis Watson: Alright. Thank you, Ted. I know you are going to ask for my name and address again so I’ll just get that out of the way. My name is Louis Leyland Watson. I’m an attorney as you know and I live on Williams Avenue. 301. Now, I cannot imagine what else I could possibly tell you that would help with you find the solution to the murder of Spenser Brooks.
Detective Armstrong: Time will tell. Do you know Christine Arnold?
Louis Watson: Do you mean Christy Arnold who works as a clerk at the court.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, that’s who I mean.
Louis Watson: I don’t know her on a personal level, but I have dealt with her at the clerk’s office many times. As does anyone who has business there. Don’t tell me she is a suspect in the Brooks case. And yet, I can’t understand why you would ask me about her.
Detective Armstrong: We’re just asking you questions that may or may not be of help. Have you ever met Miss Arnold outside of the court house? For any reason?
Louis Watson: No. I just said I don’t know her on a personal level. She seems very friendly and helpful when I need anything from the clerk’s office. What’s going on?
Detective Armstrong: Have you ever seen Miss Arnold in the company of a man?
Louis Watson: No. Read my lips. I’ve never her seen her anywhere other than the court house. Why in the world would it be important if I had?
Detective Armstrong: Never know. We know there was no love lost between you and Spenser Brooks, but was there any other reason that you felt so strongly about him other than what you have already spoken about?
Louis Watson: Brooks was a thorn in my side. He hurt my business, my livelihood. He wasn’t the good ol’ boy you people make him out to be. Instead of getting the age raised for buying liquor, he should have been out pushing for the no-texting while driving law. That would have been a worthwhile project for him.
Mississippi had the nation’s highest teenage traffic fatality rate — 35.1 fatalities per 100,000 children — in the 10 years before the 2010 texting ban went into effect.
In time, my business will pick back up. People always find a way to get around liquor laws. The younger people will just get older ones who will get their liquor for them. That’s been going on for years.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Watson, you said that you own guns. Do you keep guns at the liquor store?
Louis Watson: Of course. I believe everyone who runs a business has to have at least one weapon in the place. It’s a necessity. No one wants to just set themselves up to be easy pickings for some unscrupulous scum. I’ve shown my employees where the gun is and instructed them on what to do if anyone tries to rob the store.
Detective Armstrong: I’ve heard your services as an attorney are pretty steep, Watson. Have you ever taken a firearm as a partial payment from a client?
Louis Watson: No. Strictly monetary. Let’s face it, some of my clients are not, shall we say from the higher side of society. Taking a gun from one of them would be very risky, indeed.
Detective Murphy: Have you become aware of anyone that had it in for Brooks, since we last spoke with you? Someone who might want some revenge? Other than yourself.
Louis Watson: No. I could make a guess, though. You should be questioning all the people that Brooks railroaded. I mean, when we send someone to prison, we have to be aware of the fact that some of them would be dead set on revenge.
Detective Murphy: Can you offer any names?
Louis Watson: I can give you one name. Kyle Ferguson. I was his attorney. Brooks got him sent to prison and Mr. Ferguson even said in court that he’d get even. He had a very deep hatred for Brooks. He had blood in his eyes when he looked at Brooks.
Detective Armstrong: Everyone knows that Ferguson was guilty and that the D.A. tailed him until he caught him red-handed. Ferguson was madder than fire because he got caught, not because the D.A. railroaded him. You lost that case and so you hated Spenser Brooks, too. That means you had a reason to take him out.
Louis Watson: Of course. If you say so. I think I’ve given you any and all information I can possibly give, so unless you are placing me under arrest, I will leave now.
Detective Armstrong: You’re free to go. We may call you again. You know the routine.
Interview ended: 9:50 a.m.