James Bettis interview
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 – 6:18 p.m.
James Bettis is a neighbor of Ned Fisher. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his residence. The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
This interview is representative of all interviews conducted with Fisher's neighbors.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- James Bettis
Detective Murphy: We appreciate your taking the time to speak with us today.
James Bettis: Certainly. No problem at all.
Detective Murphy: Would you please state your name and address?
James Bettis: I'm James Marshall Bettis. And I live at 2582 College Hill Road.
Detective Murphy: And what is your occupation, Mr. Bettis?
James Bettis: I work over in Batesville. At the Batesville Casket factory.
Detective Armstrong: That's a pretty good commute to work everyday.
James Bettis: Yeah, I used to work here in town but got laid off. My wife's family is out in College Hill, and she don't want to move. I'm hoping to find something over here before too much longer.
Detective Armstrong: What's it like working at a casket factory?
James Bettis: Ahh, it ain't too bad. They treat their people real well. And after the first day or so, you're just drilling in panels. Could be a car door, could be vinyl siding, could be any old manufacturing job.
Detective Murphy: Still, I would think that'd be kind of weird.
James Bettis: I suppose. I used to work at a chicken plant. Now, that's nasty work. Building caskets ain't nothing compared to gutting chickens.
Detective Armstrong: I hear you there.
Detective Murphy: Mr. Bettis, we're here today to talk to you about your neighbor.
James Bettis: Which one?
Detective Murphy: Ned Fisher.
James Bettis: Oh yeah. Ned. Shame what happened to his dad and all. My wife took him over a casserole. You know, I lived in Oxford all my life, and it just seems to keep getting worse and worse.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember that Friday night his father was killed? February 19th?
James Bettis: Well, heck, I can barely remember yesterday.
Detective Armstrong: It was the night of the Rib Cage Street Party.
James Bettis: Oh, yeah.
Detective Murphy: Did you see Ned at all that evening?
James Bettis: We don't usually hang out or nothing. He's nice enough and a neighbor and all, but it ain't like he's checking in with me.
Detective Armstrong: But did you see him? Not necessarily talk to him or hang out, but just see him any time during the day or evening?
James Bettis: I do remember seeing his truck at home. I was talking to my son on the phone about getting a new truck. He's got an Isuzu or some godawful thing now and doesn't like it. I looked out the window to see what Ned's driving.
Detective Murphy: And he was at home?
James Bettis: Yeah, I reckon. I mean, I seen his pickup early in the evening. Before dinnertime.
Detective Murphy: What about later? After it got dark?
James Bettis: I don't know. I mean, there wasn't nothing that attracted my attention over there. It was just a normal night. He could have been there or not.
Detective Armstrong: So you can't definitively say if he was at home or not?
James Bettis: No, sir, and I'm proud to say that. I want to help y'all and everything, but too many people go around sticking their noses into everyone's business. Not me. I leave them alone and expect them to do the same with me.
Detective Murphy: What do you know about Ned Fisher?
James Bettis: Not a whole lot. Like I said, seems nice enough. But I wouldn't say we're friends or anything.
Detective Armstrong: Ever notice anything unusual about him? Or observe anything unusual over at his place?
James Bettis: No. Like I said, I don't spy on my neighbors.
Detective Murphy: How often did his father come over to his house?
James Bettis: I don't know. And I'll be honest and say that I ain't appreciating all these questions. The man's father was murdered. I know you got a job to do, but y'all should show some respect.
Detective Murphy: We're just trying to do our jobs. We thank you for your time.
Interview ends – 6:31 p.m.