Friday, March 16, 2012 - 2:54 p.m.
Carol Edgar is a teacher at Oxford Middle School. The interview was conducted at the Oxford Middle School and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Carol Edgar
Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?
Carol Edgar: My name is Carol Edgar, and I live at in Oxford at 117 Deer Run.
Detective Armstrong: Some day, huh?
Carol Edgar: Kids always find a way to surprise you.
Detective Murphy: What happened exactly?
Carol Edgar: I saw a bunch of students on the playground, crowded around something. I thought it could be another dead bird. When I approached, I saw RJ stuff something into his backpack.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do?
Carol Edgar: I asked him what he had, and he said, "Nothing." So I asked him to empty his backpack.
Detective Armstrong: And?
Carol Edgar: To be honest, I half expected him to pull out a gun.
Detective Armstrong: Had he ever given you any indication he might have access to firearms?
Carol Edgar: No, but he fits the profile we hear so much about. He's a loner, very angry. I can't even imagine what he went through with Katrina, the things he might have witnessed. I just wouldn't be surprised if he showed up one day at school with a gun.
Detective Murphy: Do you know whether there are guns in the Brandt house?
Carol Edgar: He's never mentioned guns, one way or another.
Detective Armstrong: So you asked him to empty his backpack.
Carol Edgar: RJ pulled out what looks like a human skull. I was so shocked that I never did ask him to finish emptying the backpack. He might actually have been carrying a gun.
Detective Murphy: What did RJ say?
Carol Edgar: He said he found it when he was digging in his yard.
Detective Armstrong: Do you believe him?
Carol Edgar: Do I believe him? I'm not sure. I haven't caught him in a lie, so I haven't learned how to recognize when he tells one. His is a tough face to read.
Detective Murphy: Officer Squire said RJ told you it was a little girl's skull. Is that correct?
Carol Edgar: That's what he said.
Detective Murphy: Why do you think he said that?
Carol Edgar: I don't know. Maybe he thought it sounded more cool. He's 12.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't believe him?
Carol Edgar: How could he know whose skull it is, if it even is a real skull and not some stupid prank?
Detective Murphy: What's RJ like as a student?
Carol Edgar: He's not working to his full potential. I know that. Maybe we're making a mistake, coddling him. But that's the word that came down.
Detective Armstrong: Do you think it's a mistake?
Carol Edgar: I think the boy needs something to focus his energies. Schoolwork could provide that. I get these papers from him, half blank, the white space filled with drawings of wrestlers. I don't know if he just goes home and plunks down in front of the television, but if his teachers aren't going to push him, who will?
Detective Murphy: Have you met with his parents?
Carol Edgar: They come to parent conferences for their allotted five minutes. But, really, how much can you accomplish in five minutes?
Detective Armstrong: You're a teacher who has been dealing with parents in five-minute chunks for years. I bet you can accomplish quite a bit.
Carol Edgar: I don't think his home environment is optimal.
Detective Armstrong: In what ways?
Carol Edgar: Am I free to speak my mind?
Detective Armstrong: Certainly.
Carol Edgar: What about this tape recorder? Who else is going to hear this interview?
Detective Armstrong: That depends.
Carol Edgar: Enough said. His family experienced a horrible tragedy. RJ was very young. Some people come out the other side of something like that as better people. Some don't.
Detective Murphy: Thanks for your time.
Carol Edgar: You're welcome.
Interview ends: 3:08 p.m.