Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 3:17 p.m.
Megan McDowell was Jasmine Ledbetter's best friend. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Megan McDowell
Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in today, Ms. McDowell. Please state your name and address for the record.
Megan McDowell: My name is Megan McDowell, and I live at 1401 Chickasaw Rd.
Detective Murphy: Thanks. We just have a few questions for you.
Megan McDowell: OK.
Detective Murphy: First off, can you tell us how you knew Jasmine Ledbetter?
Megan McDowell: Sure. We've been friends since elementary school. We were in the same second grade class, and we became best friends right off the bat.
Detective Murphy: So you probably knew everything about Jasmine and her life, right?
Megan McDowell: Well, pretty much. Lately, she was acting kind of strange.
Detective Armstrong: Strange? What do you mean?
Megan McDowell: I don't know. It was just like she had some secret or something, but she wasn't telling me about it.
Detective Armstrong: Do you think there was something big that she was keeping from you? A new boyfriend or something?
Megan McDowell: No, her boyfriend is – or was – Chris, Christopher Wooten. I don't think she had some other guy on the side. I don't think Jasmine would do that.
Detective Murphy: You think or you know she wouldn't?
Megan McDowell: She wouldn't do that. Jasmine wasn't a bad person.
Detective Armstrong: We've spoken to Jasmine's mother, and she tells us that Jasmine had a job interview on Sunday evening. She also said that Jasmine told her you were picking her up from that interview and she was spending the night at your house that night.
Megan McDowell: What? No, I wasn't picking Jasmine up.
Detective Murphy: Was she going to stay at your house that night?
Megan McDowell: No. I mean, she spent the night a lot, but she wasn't going to that night. Not that I know of, anyway.
Detective Armstrong: Well, then do you have any idea why Jasmine would lie to her mother about that?
Megan McDowell: No, I really don't. Maybe that was part of some secret Jasmine was keeping from me. I know she was sick of her mom always hovering over her all the time, so sometimes Jasmine would lie to her and make her think she was doing something when she wasn't.
Detective Armstrong: So if Jasmine stayed with you often, Ms. Ledbetter wouldn't have any reason to question Jasmine telling her that?
Megan McDowell: Right. I think she would believe her. Ms. Ledbetter thought Jasmine never did any wrong.
Detective Murphy: But you know better, right? Did Jasmine do wrong?
Megan McDowell: Well, she was… I mean, sometimes she would tell her mom things, but only because sometimes she just needed a little space from her mom, you know? Jasmine wouldn't have done anything really bad, I don't think.
Detective Murphy: Did you know anything about the interview Jasmine was going to?
Megan McDowell: Not much. I think she said it was an office job with a photographer or something. I didn't have time to ask her more about it. Wish I had now.
Detective Armstrong: When did you last see Jasmine?
Megan McDowell: I saw her… I think the week before she… you know, before you found her.
Detective Armstrong: Can you be more specific?
Megan McDowell: Sorry. Yeah, I saw her on… I think it was Thursday. We met at Two Stick for sort of a late lunch/early supper around 4:00 p.m. because she had work the dinner shift that night.
Detective Murphy: Was that the last time you talked to her?
Megan McDowell: Oh, no. We talked every day. That was just the last time I actually… saw her.
Detective Armstrong: When you talked to her, did she mention any problems with work, with Christopher, anything?
Megan McDowell: No, not really. It was just the normal stuff. Chris was a good boyfriend, her mom was annoying, some people at work were kind of annoying, the usual.
Detective Murphy: Did she mention anyone at work in particular?
Megan McDowell: No. Well, there was a girl named… Stephanie, I think? Yeah, that's it. I don't think Jasmine liked her. The way Jasmine described her, she sounded to me like a conniving, manipulative, well… you know.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Megan McDowell: I guess Stephanie was mad that Jasmine was promoted to assistant manager over her, so she went out of her way to try to make Jasmine look bad. Nothing big, just little stuff to make Jasmine look incompetent but Stephanie could claim was an innocent mistake if anyone called her on it.
Detective Murphy: How did Jasmine feel about Stephanie's behavior?
Megan McDowell: She didn't like it, but she was just trying to ride it out until Stephanie got over it.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever confront Stephanie about what she was doing? I know sometimes best friends will stand up for each other like that.
Megan McDowell: No. I've been to Jasmine's work, of course, but I don't know which one Stephanie is. Jasmine probably didn't tell me on purpose because she didn't want me to say anything to her.
Detective Murphy: Do you think Stephanie was angry enough to want to physically hurt Jasmine?
Megan McDowell: No, I don't think so. She's not that… you know. She seems like more the type to talk about you behind your back than to your face. You know what I mean?
Detective Armstrong: Can you think of anyone that would want to hurt Jasmine?
Megan McDowell: No, I don't guess so. Most people adored her. Some people probably didn't consider her a best friend or anything, but I don't think they would hurt her.
Detective Murphy: OK, thank you, Ms. McDowell. If you think of anything else that may be relevant to this investigation, please call us right away.
Megan McDowell: OK, I will.
Interview ends: 3:37 p.m.