Sunday, April 23, 2017 – 4:45 p.m.
Stephanie Bragg is a volunteer at Yoknapatawpha High School, a member of Faith and Glory Community Church, and the parent of an archery team member.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Stephanie Bragg
Detective Murphy: Hello, Mrs. Bragg. We appreciate your taking time to speak with us. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Stephanie Bragg: I'd be happy to. My name is Stephanie Bragg, and I live at 310 Longest Road. If there's anything I can do to help, anything at all, please, just ask.
Detective Murphy: Thank you.
Stephanie Bragg: I can tell you that I've been worried sick about Mr. Miller. Should I call him Mr. Miller? I'm not sure of the protocol.
Detective Murphy: Whatever you're most comfortable with.
Stephanie Bragg: Okay, then, I'll call him Frederick. Anyway, he's been so agitated lately, and the other day I really thought his blood pressure was going to cause him to have a stroke.
Detective Armstrong: What happened the other day?
Stephanie Bragg: Okay. So… oh, gosh, now I can't think exactly when this was, but maybe a week or two ago, I saw Frederick walking up to Marc Huddleston. Do you know Marc?
Detective Armstrong: We're aware of who Marc Huddleston is, yes.
Stephanie Bragg: Sweet boy. And handsome. But anyway, Frederick approached Marc and said something like, “Take that droopy hat off your head when you're talking to me!”
Detective Murphy: Droopy hat? What's a droopy hat?
Stephanie Bragg: Oh, it's one of those slouchy knit hats that are so popular with the kids nowadays. Marc's always wearing one. Keeps his hair out of his eyes when he's competing so he can be more accurate. Or so he says.
Detective Murphy: Is that the extent of the confrontation?
Stephanie Bragg: Oh, no. It was only the beginning. Frederick was furious and accusing Marc of dating Lizzie, and the slouchy hat just added fuel to the fire. Frederick went on and on, getting louder and louder, about Marc disrespecting him.
Detective Armstrong: How did Marc react?
Stephanie Bragg: He was calm at first and tried to be gentlemanly, but Frederick … he just went too far, you know? Got all red in the face and aggressive and accusatory, and then Marc just lost it. Poor thing.
Detective Armstrong: How do you mean, lost it?
Stephanie Bragg: Well, I guess he just couldn't take it any longer, and he just started screaming back at Frederick, and then he shouted something like, “If you put your hands on me, it's not going to end well for you.”
Detective Murphy: How did Frederick respond?
Stephanie Bragg: He took a couple of steps back, but he still kept on talking, saying, "Did you just threaten me? Was that a threat?" Then Marc said, “Stay out of my life, you pathetic old man,” and he turned and walked away, leaving Frederick standing there looking foolish.
Detective Murphy: Why looking foolish?
Stephanie Bragg: Well, he'd just screamed at a youngster, you know? I mean, Frederick was tough and all. You know? Tough but fair with the kids. But this just went beyond the pale.
Detective Murphy: Where did this argument happen?
Stephanie Bragg: They were in the student parking lot at school.
Detective Murphy: Did anyone else see this happen, that you know of?
Stephanie Bragg: A couple of students, but they were across the lot, so I couldn't tell you who they were, just that I noticed other people. I was so embarrassed for Frederick. I felt sorry for him. I think maybe he was going through something. Under some kind of awful pressure or something.
Detective Armstrong: Any idea what that something might be?
Stephanie Bragg: Well … this is terrible to say, but under the circumstances, I feel like it needs to be said. I've heard rumors that Mrs. Miller was having an affair, and I didn't believe it at first.
Detective Murphy: Who'd you hear this from?
Stephanie Bragg: My friend, Donna. She's the secretary at the church.
Detective Armstrong: You say you didn't believe it at first. What changed your mind?
Stephanie Bragg: Well, then … I saw … jeez, this doesn't feel right.
Detective Armstrong: What did you see, Mrs. Bragg?
Stephanie Bragg: Well, I guess I saw her kind of skulking around?
Detective Murphy: What do you mean by that?
Stephanie Bragg: Suspicious, I guess. For instance, the kids sometimes study at High Point Coffee, right? So she'd show up with Lizzie, then dart away. Once I saw her sitting in her car, waiting for someone, I guess. When I waved at her, she gave me this weird look and drove away.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever see her with anyone?
Stephanie Bragg: No, she was just evasive, I guess. Of course, maybe she was avoiding the people trying to collect the gambling debts.
Detective Armstrong: What gambling debts?
Stephanie Bragg: This makes me feel so awful. Telling all this gossipy stuff after someone has been killed. It seems so petty.
Detective Armstrong: Sometimes the most insignificant detail can make a huge difference.
Stephanie Bragg: Well, I heard that Frederick had a gambling addiction and that he owed a fair amount of money. Now, that's just what I heard, and I have no way of knowing for sure.
Detective Murphy: Who'd you hear it from?
Stephanie Bragg: From Donna at the church. She sometimes takes messages for Frederick, and she said this guy calls every once in awhile and leaves a message for Frederick that he needs the money he's owed so he can pay his alimony or something.
Detective Murphy: Any idea who this guy who calls is?
Stephanie Bragg: No, sorry. It was gossipy, so I didn't want to pursue it. Donna just thought it was funny at first. That's all.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Bragg, do you know whether or not Marc and Lizzie were seeing each other romantically?
Stephanie Bragg: I think they were, yes. You'd have to ask one of the kids, though. They have no secrets these days with all that social media. I could ask Jimmy and get back to you if you want.
Detective Armstrong: That's not necessary. We'll just ask him the next time we talk to him.
Stephanie Bragg: I'm sorry, what? The next time? When did you ask Jimmy anything?
Detective Armstrong: I spoke with your son a little while ago.
Stephanie Bragg: You have got to be kidding me! You interrogated my son without his parents' knowledge?
Detective Armstrong: It was just a conversation, Mrs. Bragg—
Stephanie Bragg: I don't care what you call it, detective! It is completely unacceptable, and I will not have you dragging my son into a police station and questioning him under any circumstances!
Detective Armstrong: That's not what—
Stephanie Bragg: Do I make myself clear?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am.
Stephanie Bragg: I believe that you're through with me now, am I correct? You don't need me to try to provide any further rumor or conjecture? I can't believe I allowed you to draw me in and tell stories about that poor woman whose husband is dead!
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Bragg—
Stephanie Bragg: Am I excused, detective? I urgently need to speak with my husband and my son. And possibly an attorney.
Detective Murphy: Yes, Mrs. Bragg. You're excused.
Interview ends – 5:04 p.m.