William Bolton interview
Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 1:01 p.m.
William Bolton has been Victor Jennings' neighbor for several years. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- William Bolton
Detective Parker: Good afternoon, Mr. Bolton. We appreciate you coming in to talk with us. Please state your name and address for the record.
William Bolton: I always try and cooperate with the police. My name is William Bolton, and I live in Oxford, Mississippi, at 422 Turnberry Circle. Does this have to do with Victor Jennings murder?
Detective Parker: Who told you Victor was murdered?
William Bolton: I just assumed it, considering the type of person he was and his reputation. I mean the stuff about him blackmailing that couple and chasing young college students.
Detective Murphy: How well did you know Victor?
William Bolton: I've known him for several years. He wasn’t my favorite neighbor by far. I talked to him occasionally. I first met him several years ago when we gave an open house party to meet our neighbors, and he came over. I disliked him from the beginning, and he made my wife feel very uncomfortable. After the party, we didn’t socialize with him at all. I would occasionally see him in his backyard. We made small talk.
Detective Parker: Mr. Bolton, weren’t you and Victor having a land dispute?
William Bolton: He put up a fence on my property, and I asked him to remove it. I had the land surveyed, and I was in the right. But he still refused to move it, so I hired a lawyer to handle it. I was waiting for a court date when he was arrested on the other charge.
Detective Murphy:: Did you two still make small talk, even after you filed the lawsuit?
William Bolton: No. I've mostly dealt with his personal assistant, Lee Merryweather.
Detective Parker: Did you dislike her too?
William Bolton: Not at all. She would drop by to relay messages from Victor, and we came to know her. After a while, she started telling us about the things Victor was accused of doing, like the sex scandals with the college students. She said he got away with rape.
Detective Parker: You must've been close with Ms. Merryweather for her to share all that information with you.
William Bolton: I wouldn't say that. I think she just enjoyed having someone to complain to about Victor.
Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw Victor Jennings?
William Bolton: It was about two weeks ago. He came out in the back one evening when I was barbecuing. He didn’t even speak to me, not that it mattered.
Detective Murphy: What are your plans for the lawsuit now that Victor is dead?
William Bolton: I’m going to continue with it. The Jennings family will more than likely inherit the property. I want them to move the fence off my property. Maybe they will be more cooperative than Victor.
Detective Parker: Mr. Bolton, were you angry enough at Victor Jennings to kill him?
William Bolton: Of course not, Detective. I didn’t like Victor and I was angry about the land, but I wouldn't kill him over it. My father always taught me if you can’t settle a dispute then find a good lawyer to handle it for you, and that’s what I did.
Detective Parker: Do you know of anyone that may have wanted Victor dead?
William Bolton: I really can’t say. I didn’t associate with Victor, and I didn’t know his friends. I did meet his brother Raymond once and a friend of his, Carl Asher. Victor told me he and Carl grew up together and now Carl works for him. But given Victor's reputation, I’m sure there was a number of people that may have wanted him out of the way. I wasn’t one of them.
Detective. Murphy: Where were you the day Victor died?
William Bolton: Let me see. I got up and left for work around 8:00 a.m. I went to my office in Oxford and stayed there all day. I had a lot of paperwork to catch up on. I didn’t even leave for lunch. I ordered pizza and had it delivered to my office. I left my office at 5:00 p.m. and went straight home. My wife was home, and she made dinner. I stayed home the rest of the night and watched TV.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for cooperating with us, Mr. Bolton. We’ll let you know if we need to speak with you again.
William Bolton: No problem, detectives. You know where to find me.
Interview ends: 1:27 p.m.