After uncovering information that Billy Lee may have a stronger connection to Veronica Smith than first thought, the detectives wanted to talk to him again

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 – 10:00 a.m.

Billy Lee worked on Veronica Smith's vehicle after her tires were slashed.

After investigators learned that some of the anonymous text messages sent to Dr. Smith originated near Mr. Lee's shop coupled with information from Danielle Lemmons obituary, the detectives felt Mr. Lee might have more to tell them.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed Billy Lee at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Billy Lee

Detective Armstrong: Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Billy Lee: My name is Billy Lee. My address is 2222 Lee Loop.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in today.

Billy Lee: I aim to help however I can.

Detective Armstrong: Are you familiar with the phrase "a lie of omission"?

Billy Lee: I am.

Detective Armstrong: The last time we spoke, you neglected to mention some facts — facts that any reasonable person would have considered relevant to our investigation.

Billy Lee: I was focused on answering the questions you asked.

Detective Murphy: We appreciate your efforts to answer our questions.

Detective Armstrong: We do. But I have to wonder why you withheld certain details.

Detective Murphy: Perhaps you'd like to correct that now.

Billy Lee: Do you mean my sister?

Detective Armstrong: Your sister would be an excellent place to start.

Billy Lee: Danielle was always a funny kid. Funny funny, not funny strange. The girl could make you laugh.

Detective Murphy: How did the two of you get along?

Billy Lee: We had our differences from time to time, as siblings do, but we never lost the bond. We were always there for each other, Danielle quick with a joke.

Detective Murphy: We're sorry for your loss.

Billy Lee: Thank you, ma'am. I sure do miss her.

Detective Armstrong: Some people claim that Dr. Smith's negligence killed Danielle. Where do you come down on that issue?

Billy Lee: I know cars. I fix 'em. And if you've ever spent any time in a garage, you've heard some strong language. Cars fight you. Things go wrong. I expect medicine is much the same.

Detective Armstrong: Do you blame Dr. Smith for your sister's death?

Billy Lee: I want my sister back. Even if Dr. Smith was responsible — or anybody else, for that matter — and even if justice was served, that wouldn't give me Danielle back.

Detective Murphy: When you worked on Dr. Smith's car, did she give you a way to contact her?

Billy Lee: She gave me her number so I could let her know when the car was ready.

Detective Murphy: At her office?

Billy Lee: I don't think so unless she has a direct line. When I called, she answered herself.

Detective Murphy: So her home?

Billy Lee: Sure. Either that or her cell phone. Most everyone has one these days.

Detective Murphy: In any of your conversations, did you ever say anything to her about Danielle?

Billy Lee: No.

Detective Armstrong: Why not?

Billy Lee: No point in it. She didn't know who I was anyway.

Detective Armstrong: And you never felt the need to tell her?

Billy Lee: Nope.

Detective Murphy: You said most people have cell phones these days. Do you have one?

Billy Lee: Yeah. That's how they get in touch with me when I'm on call.

Detective Murphy: Do you have it with you? Can we see it?

Billy Lee: Why?

Detective Murphy: I'm just curious. I'm thinking about a new phone, so I'm always interested in what people have. You don't even have to let me touch it. I'd just like to see it.

Billy Lee: Fine. Here.

Detective Murphy: What is that? An iPhone?

Billy Lee: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: Nice.

Billy Lee: It's an older model. I got it for free when a newer one came out.

Detective Murphy: You like it?

Billy Lee: It gets the job done.

Detective Murphy: Is that your only cell phone?

Billy Lee: Well, yeah. Who can afford more than one cell phone?

Detective Murphy: Some people like to have, say, one phone for business and one for personal.

Billy Lee: People who make more money than me.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ever send any text messages to Dr. Smith?

Billy Lee: What? No. Why would I?

Detective Armstrong: Someone was sending her anonymous text messages, and we know some of those were sent from the vicinity of your shop. Are you saying you didn't send them?

Billy Lee: No! I already told you. No.

Detective Armstrong: Any idea who did?

Billy Lee: I'm supposed to know who was sending text messages near my shop?

Detective Armstrong: Do you?

Billy Lee: Probably a lot of people. My employees are always texting, and customers too.

Detective Murphy: Would any of your employees have a reason to text Dr. Smith?

Billy Lee: You'd have to ask them.

Detective Murphy: Our colleagues are doing that right now.

Billy Lee: What? My customers better not suffer because y'all were distracting my employees. I got people waiting for their cars.

Detective Armstrong: Tell us again how you happened to be the one who towed Dr. Smith's car.

Billy Lee: What do you mean? I was on call. They called me. I went.

Detective Armstrong: You just happened to be the person on call when her tires were slashed?

Billy Lee: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: Dr. Smith killed your sister. Her car just happens to be vandalized on a day when her vehicle would be towed to your garage.

Billy Lee: That's right.

Detective Armstrong: Did she give you her keys when you brought her car in?

Billy Lee: Of course. All my customers do.

Detective Armstrong: Did you, by any chance, make a copy of her house keys while you had them?

Billy Lee: Of course not.

Detective Armstrong: There's no "of course" about it. Seems to me, things couldn't have worked out better if you'd planned them yourself. Did you send Dr. Smith to the scrap yard in the sky?

Billy Lee: I most certainly did not.

Detective Murphy: Please sit down, Mr. Lee. We're just asking a question. No one's accusing you of anything.

Detective Armstrong: Yet.

Detective Murphy: You have to admit that you withheld information related to our investigation, that you have reason to harbor ill will against Dr. Smith, and that her vehicle conveniently appeared in your shop less than a month before she was killed.

Billy Lee: I didn't kill her.

Detective Murphy: Do you have any theories about who might have?

Billy Lee: I'm no detective.

Detective Murphy: Let's suppose for a moment that you were. How would you proceed, given what you know?

Billy Lee: Well, when I'm trying to figure out what's going on with a car, I look for connectors. Mileage is down, and something is running hot, and something else is making a new sound.  The more connectors you add, ironically, the more you narrow down possible causes.

Detective Murphy: For instance, Dr. Smith was murdered, and her tires were slashed.

Billy Lee: Exactly.

Detective Murphy: And what does that tell you?

Billy Lee: Tell me? Nothing. I'm no detective.

Detective Armstrong: Maybe what it means is that you, knowing her car would end up at your shop, slashed her tires with the intention of then sabotaging her vehicle. When that failed for whatever reason, you went to her house.

Billy Lee: Not me. I think you need more connectors.

Detective Armstrong: How about we add the connector that Dr. Smith killed your sister?

Billy Lee: I didn't kill Dr. Smith. I changed the tires on her car, and that's the only interaction I ever had with the lady.

Detective Armstrong: And you're sure she didn't know who you were?

Billy Lee: Didn't say anything or act any way other than angry at the inconvenience of having her tires slashed, but I don't know. I guess she could have.

Detective Murphy: Are you still in touch with your brother-in-law?

Billy Lee: Ken? Sure. He's family.

Detective Murphy: What did he say when he found out?

Billy Lee: Found out what?

Detective Armstrong: That you worked on Dr. Smith's car.

Billy Lee: You think he knows?

Detective Armstrong: Doesn't he?

Billy Lee: Knowing that would only add to his misery.

Detective Murphy: How so?

Billy Lee: He never has recovered from Danielle's death, and he wasn't too steady on his feet before that. He's been a mess for a long time.

Detective Armstrong: He ever come by your shop?

Billy Lee: Sometimes. He doesn't have much to occupy his time these days.

Detective Armstrong: Was he there during the period when Dr. Smith's car was in your shop?

Billy Lee: Maybe. I don't know. I don't keep track of when he drops by.

Detective Murphy: Does Kenneth truly believe Dr. Smith was responsible for his wife's death? Or does he simply appreciate the opportunity to receive some financial relief?

Billy Lee: He considers Dr. Smith to be a cold-blooded killer.

Detective Murphy: Do you think Kenneth is capable of murdering Dr. Smith?

Billy Lee: I don't know. He might have blamed her, but with his back the way it is, I don't see how he could have done anything like that. Besides, he was really interested in that money. And he wanted to hurt the doctor, hurt her so she hurt the way he did. Murdering her, that would be too quick.

Detective Armstrong: Would you look at the time? Sorry, but we're going to have to cut you short. Got a meeting we can't be late for. We'll be in touch.

Billy Lee: Um, good.

Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming down.

Interview ended – 10:26 a.m.

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Comments (11)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Okay, I'm trying to piece together a timeline regarding the texts:

05/21/17 - Danielle Lee Lemmons passes away.

Date Unknown/I couldn't find - Kenneth begins lawsuit against Veronica et al.

12/04/17 - The Tracfone is purchased from Walmart.

12...

Okay, I'm trying to piece together a timeline regarding the texts:

05/21/17 - Danielle Lee Lemmons passes away.

Date Unknown/I couldn't find - Kenneth begins lawsuit against Veronica et al.

12/04/17 - The Tracfone is purchased from Walmart.

12/13/17 - Veronica receives her first harassing text.

12/19/17 - Veronica's tires are slashed and the car is towed to Billee's Auto Service. Billy claims he got Veronica's phone number at this time. Same day, text message to her mentions her tires being slashed.

12/20/17 - Billie replaces Veronica's tires (he says her car sat in the shop overnight and he took care of the tires the next morning - see first interview). Same day, text message says, "That was an expensive lesson." Must be referring to the tires.

So, now I'm going to make some assumptions.

First, the Tracfone is bought shortly before Veronica receives her first harassing text, so the phone was purchased for the purposes of harassing her. I think that much is obvious. I wish there was a date of when Kenneth first brings the lawsuit against Veronica, but I couldn't find it. Someone please let me know if you do find it. May to December is a long time, so I feel like if Kenneth was behind the texts, he would've done it much sooner than December.

However, Veronica receives a couple of texts before her tires are slashed. If Billy didn't get her phone number until her car was towed to his place, he wouldn't have been able to call her before then, so the two texts she got before the tire slashing couldn't have been from him. I guess he could have gotten her phone number from Kenneth, but then where did Kenneth get the number? I'm presuming that this is her personal phone number and therefore not available to patients. Maybe he got it because he was suing her? Not sure.

I'm very curious about what comes next. I'm not a law expert, so to someone who knows more about that than me: Would the information in this interview and the fact that Billy is Danielle's brother be enough to get a search warrant? If so, maybe the police can see whether or not the Tracfone is in Billy's possession. My guess would be he doesn't have it, but I've been wrong before.

I am also thinking of suspect who hadn't crossed my mind before: Margaret Brittingham. She claims Veronica was her best friend (Canvass - Veronica Smith's Friends), and Margaret did have Veronica's personal phone number, as seen on Veronica's cell phone records. She knows a lot about Veronica's life because they are so close, so she would know about the lawsuit, the problems she has with Michael, her drinking habits, her work, etc. She's an anesthesiologist, so she'd have access to ketamine. She went out drinking with Veronica the night of her death, so she would know Veronica had been drinking. If they are such good friends, it's likely that Veronica would have let Margaret into her house without a struggle. Also, Margaret came to check on Veronica when the tire slashing incident happened. As Lazarus pointed out on the comments of the incident report, "Wouldn't it be a logical deduction to say the perpetrator returned to the scene of the crime?" Margaret was Veronica's ride to and from Billee's Auto Service as well, according to Billy, so she would know about how much the tire replacement cost. Lastly, notice that on the prepaid cell phone info, there is one call on 12/25/17 to Baptist Memorial Hospital. Margaret works there. Would it be safe to say she was calling in to work for some reason, maybe to say she was running late to work?

Whew. I need to stop making such long posts. What does everyone else think?

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Thanks for working one of my comments into your theory. I, for one, think you're moving into the right direction. I'm personally influenced by Sherlock Holmes and I am convinced his methods in the old books and even in modern times television...

Thanks for working one of my comments into your theory. I, for one, think you're moving into the right direction. I'm personally influenced by Sherlock Holmes and I am convinced his methods in the old books and even in modern times television shows are indeed accurate and correct.
Always have all the evidence and facts before making assumptions and theory's.
Holmes uses his imagination while keeping every fact/evidence in place. Only then would he form a theory.
These crime scenes are advanced puzzle pieces. We need every piece of the puzzle in order to complete any puzzle.
At this time, I have a suspect in mind but I don't have enough information on the suspect to form any kind of logical conclusion. I've asked for more information on him (his timeline, alibi, whereabouts, background check, etc, etc...) but, so far, the crimescene.com writers havn't released anything on the guy. He's mentioned once in Elizabeth's obituary. It's possible he has absolutely nothing to do with it, or he's getting away with murder bc the detective working this case havn't been put into him.

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Yes! I love Sherlock Holmes! But that's probably a given. I bet a lot of people on this site love Holmes. I also ascribe to the Sherlock Holmes quote: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist...

Yes! I love Sherlock Holmes! But that's probably a given. I bet a lot of people on this site love Holmes. I also ascribe to the Sherlock Holmes quote: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Generally, I think it's okay to theorize when you don't have all the information, as long as you acknowledge that it's only a theory based on what you know at that time, and that new information can prove it wrong at any time. That's part of the fun of mystery. I could be completely wrong with my Margaret theory, but that is my stance for now given what we know thus far. I can't wait for the next installment of data! I'm not patient enough!

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I agree with everything you just said. I really like this site, I only wish I had come across it sooner. If you have any other theory's I'd love to hear them.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Great analysis. Lots to go back and look at with new eyes...
What would Margaret's motive be?
The canvas of Billie's employees shed's some light. Could he be working with Kenneth? Two men wrapped in homicidal grief? All each other have left of...

Great analysis. Lots to go back and look at with new eyes...
What would Margaret's motive be?
The canvas of Billie's employees shed's some light. Could he be working with Kenneth? Two men wrapped in homicidal grief? All each other have left of the woman they loved? The long time between the loss and any hope of legal revenge too long? Wheels (or tires) of justice too slow?
(OOooo! Shakespeare, we have a story for you!.... And a hijacked door opener! Ha!)

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Yeah, motive for Margaret was the only thing I couldn't really come up with. The only thing I can think of is if Margaret is in the same boat as Kenneth, who thinks she should pay for what happened to Danielle. I think that's very unlikely...

Yeah, motive for Margaret was the only thing I couldn't really come up with. The only thing I can think of is if Margaret is in the same boat as Kenneth, who thinks she should pay for what happened to Danielle. I think that's very unlikely though. If they really are such good friends, Margaret would probably be on Veronica's side.

I could definitely see Kenneth and Billy working together. They both certainly have motive, the strongest motive out of all the suspects. But motive alone does not a murderer make. I'm waiting for more hard evidence against them. Right now, it just seems circumstantial. They might be in it together about the text messages, but I'm a little less sure about murder. I guess we just need to wait for more information.

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I'm still trying to get this... Danielle's name was Thompkins when she met Kenneth. How did the detectives try her to Billie Lee? Certainly not just by the name of a brother 'William' from the obit. We seem to be missing a big piece here (Or, at...

I'm still trying to get this... Danielle's name was Thompkins when she met Kenneth. How did the detectives try her to Billie Lee? Certainly not just by the name of a brother 'William' from the obit. We seem to be missing a big piece here (Or, at least, I am. Won't be the first time!LOL)

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We will have to wait for Monday, and on, I guess....

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

But I'm not patient enough for Monday! Seriously, I'm so hooked on this, if this was a novel I'd probably pull an all-nighter to read to the end to find out what happens.

 
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I'm there!

 
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