Friday, June 21, 2019 – 6:18 p.m.
Brenda Ledbetter was in custody for the murder of her daughter, Jasmine, when Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Brenda Ledbetter
Detective Murphy: Please state your name and address.
Brenda Ledbetter: My name is Brenda Ledbetter, and I live at 17 Van Buren Avenue here in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know why you're here today?
Brenda Ledbetter: Because you think I killed Jasmine.
Detective Murphy: Why did you do it, Brenda?
Brenda Ledbetter: I don't know what you're talking about. Some intruder killed my daughter.
Detective Murphy: You know that's not true.
Brenda Ledbetter: You're going about this all wrong.
Detective Armstrong: How do you mean?
Brenda Ledbetter: I mean it's obvious. It's been obvious from the beginning that some stranger came into the garage and killed my daughter. And then he placed her dead body in that tarp my husband bought for some unknown reason and carried her out to the woods to be discovered by some perfect stranger.
Detective Armstrong: That's an interesting theory. There were no signs of a break-in at your house. How did this stranger get in?
Brenda Ledbetter: I don't know. Jasmine could've let him in. She could be very foolish.
Detective Armstrong: What makes you say she was killed in your garage and not out in the woods where we found her?
Brenda Ledbetter: Isn't that what you told me?
Detective Armstrong: No.
Brenda Ledbetter: Well, the clues were all there right in front of your eyes. The man must have wrapped her in the tarp and then carried her out the woods. My poor darling daughter.
Detective Armstrong: Why do you assume the killer is a man?
Brenda Ledbetter: A woman couldn't carry the body. We don't have the upper body strength.
Detective Murphy: There are ways around that, which I think you know.
Brenda Ledbetter: I don't know what you mean.
Detective Murphy: Let's talk about the last time you saw Jasmine.
Brenda Ledbetter: I've already told you about that. What else do you want to know?
Detective Murphy: Tell us again.
Brenda Ledbetter: I left to run errands. She was in the garage, waiting for her ride.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you give her a ride to the interview?
Brenda Ledbetter: What?
Detective Armstrong: You were already going out. You could've dropped her off.
Brenda Ledbetter: That man was going to give her a ride.
Detective Armstrong: No, she called him and told him she didn't need a ride anymore. It was too far for her to walk, so she must have found someone else to give her a ride. Who was that?
Brenda Ledbetter: How would I know? I thought she was getting a ride from that Scott Knapp.
Detective Armstrong: You told her you'd give a ride, didn't you?
Brenda Ledbetter: No.
Detective Armstrong: But then something happened, didn't it? Did you and Jasmine have an argument?
Brenda Ledbetter: Jasmine and I never argued. She was my good girl.
Detective Murphy: We know that's not true, Brenda. We know Jasmine was pulling away from you.
Brenda Ledbetter: No, you're wrong.
Detective Armstrong: That's what the argument was about, wasn't it? Jasmine told you she was moving out. She told you that's why she wanted the job with the photographer.
Brenda Ledbetter: Of course not. She wasn't moving out. Who's been telling you these lies?
Detective Armstrong: You were angry, weren't you? You didn't want her to move in with Megan.
Brenda Ledbetter: Megan? Jasmine couldn't live with Megan. They're both just children.
Detective Murphy: Where did you last see Jasmine?
Brenda Ledbetter: What? I already told you. She was in the garage.
Detective Murphy: That's where you stabbed her, isn't it?
Brenda Ledbetter: I did not.
Detective Armstrong: You were upset. You didn't know what you were doing. Before you even realized what was happening, she was dead.
Brenda Ledbetter: No, no. That didn't happen.
Detective Armstrong: We know Jasmine was killed in your garage. Her blood is all over the place.
Brenda Ledbetter: No, it isn't.
Detective Armstrong: You tried to clean it up with bleach, but you missed some.
Brenda Ledbetter: I don't know what you're talking about.
Detective Armstrong: When you left your house that evening, Jasmine was already dead, wasn't she? Her body was in the back of your vehicle.
Brenda Ledbetter: No.
Detective Armstrong: You put one of those plastic tarps down, and put another one around her body before you put it in your vehicle.
Brenda Ledbetter: No, no. I wouldn't do that.
Detective Armstrong: You did do that. And then you drove over near Scott Knapp's house and found a place to dump the body, hoping we would blame him.
Brenda Ledbetter: I wouldn't do something like that. She was my daughter.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, but she was trying to get away from you, and you weren't going to let that happen.
Brenda Ledbetter: She was not trying to get away from me.
Detective Murphy: You used Jasmine's cell phone to call your house that night. Why did you do that?
Brenda Ledbetter: Jasmine called me like I told you.
Detective Murphy: No, she was already dead by then.
Brenda Ledbetter: That's not right. I— she— it was her. She called me.
Detective Murphy: When you went to run errands that night, where did you go?
Brenda Ledbetter: I already told you. I went to the grocery store.
Detective Murphy: No one saw you there that night.
Brenda Ledbetter: Well, I can't help that, can I?
Detective Murphy: What took you so long?
Brenda Ledbetter: It wasn't that long. I told you I was only gone for about an hour.
Detective Murphy: I know that's what you said, but we all know you were actually gone for several hours.
Brenda Ledbetter: You're wrong. If you're going to keep making up stories, I don't want to talk to you anymore.
Detective Murphy: Are you sure? You'll feel better if you just get off your chest.
Brenda Ledbetter: I'm not going to sit here and let you say things about my daughter that aren't true. What do I have to do to make this stop? Do I have to ask for a lawyer?
Detective Armstrong: We're just trying to help you, Brenda, but we can't do that if you don't talk to us.
Brenda Ledbetter: I told you I don't want to talk about this anymore! I want a lawyer.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, if that's what you want to do. An officer will take you back to a cell. You can wait there until your lawyer gets here.
Brenda Ledbetter: I don't have a lawyer.
Detective Armstrong: Well, then I guess you're going to be waiting a little bit longer. We'll see about getting a public defender over here for you.
Interview ended – 6:44 p.m.