Monday, February 22, 2016 – 9:00 a.m.
Lewis Pettimore is a Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department officer who was stationed at a traffic barricade located at the intersection of Tyler Avenue and S Lamar Boulevard on the night of February 19, 2016.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Officer L. Pettimore
Detective Armstrong: What's up, Lew?
Officer Pettimore: Ah, man, I don't know. Same old thing. What's going on, Murphy?
Detective Murphy: Hey, Lewis. We'll be quick about this, get you back outside as soon as we can.
Detective Armstrong: Formality, really. But you know how we gotta check everything out.
Officer Pettimore: Sure, no problem.
Detective Murphy: Would you state your name and address?
Officer Pettimore: I'm Lewis Pettimore. I live at 1711 Anderson Rd. Out to College Hill.
Detective Murphy: And you're employed where?
Officer Pettimore: Right here. Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. Been on the force about three years now. But tell you guys the truth, I may not be around here much more.
Detective Armstrong: Really? What's going on?
Officer Pettimore: I got me some relatives up north. I been up there a couple of times to visit, and I tell you what. It's somethin' else up there, not Mayberry like it is 'round here.
Detective Murphy: Think of moving up there and getting some of the action?
Officer Pettimore: Yeah, you gotta be good police to make it a place like that. I think I got what it takes. But don't tell no one. I ain't applied up there yet.
Detective Armstrong: Well, good luck to you then.
Detective Murphy: Hate to see you go, but if that's what you want, I hope you get it. But to get back to the business at hand—
Officer Pettimore: Sure.
Detective Murphy: Where were you on the night of Friday, February 19th?
Officer Pettimore: I was working a traffic barricade at the intersection of Tyler and Lamar. Rib Cage Street Party that night. So I drew the traffic duty.
Detective Murphy: What does that assignment entail?
Officer Pettimore: Mainly just keeping people from driving on Lamar between Van Buren and Tyler. Before the party, we close off that part of Tyler. Folks can park in the lot north of the Square on Lamar, and then walk to the Rib Cage.
Detective Armstrong: What happened during the party itself?
Officer Pettimore: We stay there the whole time, in case anyone tries to drive around the barricades or if someone gets rowdy or something. But during the party itself, it's usually pretty laid back. Was warm enough for February. But that's exactly what I'm trying to get out of by moving up north. I bet they don't have cops sitting around doing street parties there.
Detective Armstrong: I dunno. I bet they do have street dances or parties up there. I'm sure people drive to any of those just like they do here.
Officer Pettimore: Yeah, but I wouldn't be doing traffic duty.
Detective Murphy: Working on that detective shield, Lew?
Officer Pettimore: Yeah, well, I'm working on that. I'm studyin', you know. I figure I'll get that knocked out before I go up, then I can just come in the door, working the drug dealers on the corner.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anything out of the ordinary that night?
Officer Pettimore: Nah. Just this old Camaro, maybe a Charger. It was black and there aren't that many streetlights on that street, so I can't be 100%, but it kept going by. Had those glass packs on there, made it louder than hell. Well, I didn't think much of it, but it went by a couple of times.
Detective Armstrong: Did you stop it?
Officer Pettimore: No. What was I gonna stop it for? Being loud? Hell, we'd have to pull over every punk kid with a woofer in the back of their car if that was the case. It went up and down 'bout three times I'd say.
Detective Armstrong: Did you see the plates?
Officer Pettimore: Nah. The lights were out, the ones that focus on the license plate. I didn't think much of it, just cussed him for making all that noise. But I figured it was just some boy showing off for his girl, trying to let her know he was out there. Worse thing he did other than that was on one of his passes around he cut off some guy in a white van, but that fool was in too big of a hurry anyway.
Detective Armstrong: The kid?
Officer Pettimore: No, the van. He was driving pretty aggressively, but not enough for me to call it in, you know? Almost had a fender bender with the kid, but since it was an almost, I let it go. I was concentrating on the kid anyway. It wasn't until y'all said you wanted to talk to me about the Pruitt murder that I thought it might be anything other than a macho kid.
Detective Murphy: OK, so we'll see if we can track down a black Camaro or Charger—
Officer Pettimore: Some sort of American muscle car, for sure.
Detective Armstrong: Tricked out to make a ton of noise?
Officer Pettimore: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: We'll add a customized muscle car to our list of things to check out. Thanks so much for your help.
Officer Pettimore: No problem. Y'all let me know if you need anything else. And don't tell no one about what I told you. I want to get it all set up before I let anyone know my plans. Get ready to make my move.
Detective Murphy: Gotcha. Have a good day.
Interview ends – 9:33 a.m.