Farrell Motors employee canvass

On Tuesday, February 13, 2001, YCSD investigators interviewed the employees of Farrell Motors car dealership in Oxford, Mississippi.

Thomas and Gloria Hammond co-own Farrell Motors, and their son, Roger, is the Sales Manager.

The witness statements provided below are in summary and not verbatim and are representative of all interviews conducted.

Pope, Kenny

Kenny Pope
439 Hathorn Road, Oxford
Job Title: Mechanic Apprentice

Pope said he knew Roger Hammond left the dealership at least once in the afternoon on the day of the murder.

Pope said, "Well, as I'm learning how to be a mechanic, I gotta do a good bit of the crap work, you know. So I wash the cars and clean 'em up. 'Specially when a buyer is picking them up. Well, Hammond always takes one of our cars when he leaves. And most of the time, he brings 'em back a dirty, and then I gotta clean 'em up.

"On that day, I was supposed to be prepping three cars that was going to be picked up early Saturday morning. I go to get one of 'em, and Hammond's run off in it. But I remember it real well because I had to stay late that afternoon to get that car ready for the next morning."

Pope said he could not remember which car Hammond had used that day, but it was either a red 1999 Chevy Blazer, a black 1998 Mercedes S series, or a dark blue 2000 Chevy, 4-door.

Pope said he could not provide any specifics on the time that Roger Hammond had left the dealership, but he was very clear on the day.

Pope said that he didn't see Roger Hammond very much and could not comment on his personal or professional habits or any indications of drug abuse.

"I just know that I gotta clean up the mess he makes," Pope said.

Starr, Hogan

Hogan Starr
526 Highway 30 East, Oxford
Job Title: Salesman

Starr said he did remember Roger Hammond being in the office on the day of the murder. However, he could not say that Hammond was at the dealership throughout the entire day.

"He takes off so often that we don't even pay any attention anymore. So I know he was there that day, but for how long, I don't have a clue."

When pushed for more details, Starr repeated his statement that Roger Hammond frequently disappears during the day to the extent that the other employees don't even notice anymore.

"You have to understand," Starr said, "he doesn't do a damn thing the whole time he's here. He just gets in everyone's way. So, although it irritates people that he is allowed to take any car on the lot and just go, at least it gets him out of our hair."

Starr disagreed with much of what the dealership owners, Thomas and Gloria Hammond, said in their interview with Detectives Armstrong and Murphy concerning Roger Hammond's work habits.

Starr said, "If he wasn't the owners' kid, he'd been fired long ago. Worthless. Just completely worthless."

When asked about Roger Hammond's sales record, Starr claimed that most of those sales were actually his.

Starr said, "See, what he does is he sits back there in his office doodling, talking on the phone, sleeping. Whatever it is he does. And he lets me or one of the other boys do all the work. We're out there working the customers.

"Then, when we come in and say we're fixing to close a deal, he trots out there and says he wants to make sure the buyers get to know the boss. He claims it's just so they get the personal touch and know that the managers are accessible. But the next thing you know, he's signed all the paperwork, and it looks like it's his sale.

"But what can I do about it? I should've been the Sales Manager, but the Hammonds gave it to their boy. So now, how do I complain about the lazy jerk?"

When asked if he had any evidence that Roger Hammond was abusing drugs again, Starr said "I don't have any evidence, but I'd be willing to put money on it."

Wilson, Charlotte

Charlotte Wilson
800 Molly Barr Road, Oxford
Job Title: Cashier

Wilson is a longtime Farrell Motors employee. She was very hesitant to talk at first, seemed nervous and skittish. She said she was concerned about her job security.

However, when pressed, she finally opened up about Roger Hammond. Wilson has known Roger Hammond since he was a boy and said "he was a spoiled brat then and he's a spoiled brat now."

Wilson corroborated Hogan Starr's statements about Roger Hammond. Like Starr, she confirmed that Roger Hammond was at the office on the day of the murder, but could not specify when he left during the day.

"He disappears so often," Wilson said "that I don't even try to keep up with that young man. Not that I would really want to in the first place."

When asked if Roger Hammond has been behaving erratically lately, Wilson said that it's somewhat difficult to tell.

"His work habits have always been so poor, it's hard to say if he's been acting erratically. He's found any excuse possible to run away from work his whole life, so disappearing isn't a recent thing. But at the same time, he has seemed more moody, more wild lately."

Wilson reported that Roger Hammond sometimes appeared disheveled and confused at work. When asked if she thought he might be abusing drugs again, Wilson hesitated to answer definitively.

"Lord, I don't know anything about that stuff. But he does remind me of when he had the trouble before. He's acting weird again. So, maybe. But I hate to say for sure without knowing more."


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