Fay Nutt follow-up interview
Monday, April 22, 2013 - 10:51 a.m.
Fay Nutt has been the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit church secretary for 10 years. Detectives Murphy and Parker re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Fay Nutt
Detective Parker: Thank you for your time today, Ms. Nutt. Please state your name and address for the record.
Fay Nutt: Fay Rochelle Nutt. 1116 Grant Circle, Oxford. Is there a problem?
Detective Parker: Only if you lied to us last week during your first interview.
Fay Nutt: Oh.
Detective Murphy: Previously, you indicated to us that whatever happened behind the closed door of Pastor Martinson's office stayed there. Is that correct?
Fay Nutt: Yes.
Detective Murphy: And that if the door was closed, you couldn't hear what was being said in the pastor's office. Is that also correct?
Fay Nutt: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Without exception?
Fay Nutt: Yes.
Detective Parker: Did you ever listen outside the door?
Fay Nutt: What? Why would I do that?
Detective Parker: Please answer the question.
Fay Nutt: Sometimes. Well, sometimes. Yes.
Detective Murphy: And would you keep any information you overheard confidential?
Fay Nutt: As best I could, yes.
Detective Parker: What does that mean? "As best I could?"
Fay Nutt: Sometimes information needed to be shared, that's all.
Detective Parker: But last week you indicated that Pastor Martinson insisted on confidentiality. So this sharing that needed to be done. Was it at your discretion?
Fay Nutt: I'm not sure what you're asking.
Detective Parker: I'm asking if you would share confidential information at your own discretion, or if permission from Pastor Martinson was required.
Fay Nutt: I– we never talked about it.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Nutt, how familiar are you with the church's financials?
Fay Nutt: Not at all. That's Joey's job.
Detective Murphy: Were you aware of any concerns Pastor Martinson may have had regarding the books?
Fay Nutt: I've told you what I know.
Detective Murphy: Well, I think you've told us what you were supposed to know. However, I think you may have eavesdropped on Pastor Martinson's meetings and private conversations, and I think you know a lot more information than you've admitted to us.
Fay Nutt: Fine. Yes. Pastor Martinson was concerned about some missing money.
Detective Parker: Did you have access to the money or to the books?
Fay Nutt: No. I was responsible for a small amount of petty cash, but otherwise the church money was locked up or in the bank. I didn't have access to it or want access to it. Or to the books. I didn't have access to them and didn't want access to them either. Check with Joey.
Detective Parker: About the missing money or to confirm your statement?
Fay Nutt: Both, actually.
Detective Parker: How much money is missing?
Fay Nutt: I don't know exactly. Really! Enough that Pastor Martinson noticed it. That's all I know.
Detective Murphy: Was Pastor Martinson concerned about your sharing of confidential information?
Fay Nutt: No. Why would he be?
Detective Murphy: He gave you permission to reveal people's secrets that they'd confided in him?
Fay Nutt: No, I just– I'm not sure what you're driving at.
Detective Murphy: Was he bothered that some of his parishioners quit coming to church because of the gossip about them circulating around the congregation?
Fay Nutt: Nobody quit because of that.
Detective Parker: How do you know?
Fay Nutt: We have a wonderful congregation. We are very supportive of each other. Sometimes things happen and everyone sort of knows about it, but there isn't a lot of whispering and tittering and judgment.
Detective Parker: What sorts of things did "everyone sort of know?"
Fay Nutt: Personal stuff. Like when Jenny Bryant got pregnant and then her boyfriend dumped her. Or when Emmett and Deirdre separated. Or when the Baxters' house went into foreclosure. But it wasn't gossip. It was genuine concern, and we were trying to find ways to help.
Detective Parker: Do any of those people still attend Fellowship of the Holy Spirit church?
Fay Nutt: Uh, no. Come to think of it, no. Oh my gosh. I didn't mean to hurt anyone.
Detective Parker: I'm sure your intentions were good. When was the last time any of the people you just mentioned attended church?
Fay Nutt: Jenny moved back to Iowa at least four years ago. The Baxter family left town I think shortly after that, and Emmett and Deirdre have been gone about a year.
Detective Parker: Any bitterness or contention when any of them left?
Fay Nutt: Not with Jenny or the Baxters that I know of. I think Emmett and Deirdre were upset and embarrassed. I know Liam was.
Detective Murphy: Ms. Nutt, are you familiar with the Bible verse "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
Fay Nutt: Yes, actually.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Fay Nutt: Pastor Martinson would ask me to look up scripture on specific topics so he could include them in his sermon notes. About three months ago, he asked me to pull a collection of verses I'd done for him back in 2011 because he wanted to use some of them in a series he was doing on freedom through confession. That's around the time I started sleeping with my boyfriend. I kept expecting to find one of his little cards on my desk.
Detective Murphy: Little cards?
Fay Nutt: Pastor loved to jot down a verse on the back of one of his business cards and give it to someone for inspiration. Made you feel special. Like he could see that you were struggling, and just wanted you to know that God was there for you, and that Pastor was there for you too.
Detective Murphy: Would you have any idea who he might've handed a card to with that particular verse written on it?
Fay Nutt: No. He tried to be as discreet as possible, so that only the recipient would know. But he'd also give the cards out in his counseling sessions. I'd have no way of knowing what was written on the back unless they were left behind. Which they never were.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in, Ms. Nutt. We'll contact you should we need anything further.
Interview ended: 11:28 a.m.