Tuesday, February 23, 2016 – 3:35 p.m.
Oliver Lee, 54, is Mira Lee's father. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his residence to try to corroborate Mira's alibi for the night of February 19, 2016.
The interview was recorded with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Oliver Lee
Detective Armstrong: Thanks for talking to us today, Mr. Lee.
Oliver Lee: Certainly. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea?
Detective Murphy: No, thank you. We won't be needing much of your time. For our records, would you please state your name?
Oliver Lee: Oliver Henry Lee.
Detective Murphy: And your address?
Oliver Lee: I live here at 1704 Jackson Avenue.
Detective Murphy: What do you do for a living, Mr. Lee?
Oliver Lee: I work in the financial aid department at the University.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know why we're here, Mr. Lee?
Oliver Lee: Well, I guess you're investigating Robert Pruitt's murder. Naturally, my daughter told me that you interviewed her. So I suppose you're just following up with me.
Detective Murphy: Exactly. Did Mira tell you what we discussed?
Oliver Lee: She said that you asked a lot of questions about life at the office. How her bosses were getting along with each other, that kind of thing.
Detective Armstrong: Was Mira nervous or upset about talking to us?
Oliver Lee: No, not really. I guess it would be natural for any young woman, or man, to be a little nervous being interviewed by homicide detectives. But she told you what she knows, and she's glad to help in any way she can, so I don't think she was overly troubled by the discussion.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe Mira's attitude towards work at the law firm?
Oliver Lee: She likes it. She's very dedicated and diligent. She takes her work seriously and excels because so many young people her age are out getting drunk, and missing work, and goofing off. It might just be a secretarial job, but she takes it very seriously.
Detective Armstrong: What did she ever say about Robert Pruitt?
Oliver Lee: Not much. She said that he was very professional, kind of reserved, not really aloof, but not overly friendly. She didn't know much about him beyond what you would expect of a professional relationship.
Detective Murphy: What about Gary Rayburn?
Oliver Lee: She seems closer to him. She says he jokes around a lot. He seems a lot more laid back. He'll send her to the Square to Copy Time and give her a couple of dollars to get a coffee, and he tells her to take her time and enjoy the day if the weather is nice. I believe she thinks he's much more of a cool boss, I guess you could say.
Detective Murphy: Did she ever talk about any problems in the office?
Oliver Lee: No, not that I can recall.
Detective Murphy: What about problems with clients?
Oliver Lee: Not really. She mentioned a couple of people but laughed it off. She never seemed concerned enough that her mother or I worried at all.
Detective Armstrong: Where was Mira on the night of Friday, February 19th?
Oliver Lee: She was right here, with us.
Detective Murphy: What did y'all do?
Oliver Lee: My nephew and niece were visiting from Pontotoc. We made some popcorn, watched a movie, and went to bed.
Detective Armstrong: Was Mira here the entire evening?
Oliver Lee: No, she ran some errands.
Detective Murphy: What time was that?
Oliver Lee: I don't remember exactly. We had dinner and watched some TV. We were getting ready to start Finding Nemo, and my nephew, Bobby, decided he was still hungry from dinner and wanted a snack. Mira went to the Kroger and got some popcorn and ice cream, then stopped at Sonic and got Bobby a hot dog. He's got terrible eating habits. I tell his parents all the time that they need to get him to eat more vegetables, but all he wants is junk. Anyway, then she came back here.
Detective Armstrong: Please try to remember the exact time she was gone.
Oliver Lee: I suppose it was about 8:30 when she left. I guess she got back around 9:30.
Detective Murphy: She was gone a little while then, huh?
Oliver Lee: Yeah, she said she saw some friends at the Sonic, and they stood around talking for a while before she came back.
Detective Murphy: Did Mira seem different or anything when she got back?
Oliver Lee: Detective, I want to help you and I know my daughter does as well, but are you trying to say she had something to do with what happened? Why all of these questions?
Detective Murphy: We're just trying to put together a time line. No one is a suspect at this point.
Oliver Lee: Well, I'm concerned by the questioning. But I know Mira has nothing to hide. And no, to answer your question, no. She did not seem any different. She seemed like a young woman getting ready to watch a movie with family.
Detective Murphy: Did she remain here the entire night?
Oliver Lee: Yes, she spent the night with us that evening.
Detective Armstrong: Are you sure she didn't leave again?
Oliver Lee: As sure as I can be. I wasn't exactly standing watch over her while she slept, but yes, as far as I know, she did not leave until lunchtime the next day.
Detective Murphy: All right, thanks for your time. I think we've got all we need at this point. If we need to talk to you again, would that be OK with you?
Oliver Lee: Anything I can do to help — as long as we all understand that Mira had nothing to do with those men getting killed.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, sir. We'll let you know if we need you again.
Interview ends – 3:52 p.m.