Chas Laughlin interview
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 9:30 a.m.
Charles "Chas" Laughlin is the owner and operator of Laughlin Automotive & Body Shop at 2522 University Avenue and Andy Fine's employer. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at his place of business. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Chas Laughlin
Detective Murphy: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Mr. Laughlin. Before we start, will you please state your full name and address for the record?
Chas Laughlin: My name is Charles Laughlin, but most folks call me Chas. I live at 310 N 16th St , Oxford, Mississippi. I gotta say I was real sorry to hear about Andy.
Detective Murphy: Tell us about Andy Fine. How well did you know him?
Chas Laughlin: Only as an employee. We didn't socialize or anything outside of work.
Detective Armstrong: How long has he been at the shop? What kind of worker was he?
Chas Laughlin: He worked here for about nine years. He was OK mostly.
Detective Murphy: Mostly?
Chas Laughlin: Look, I hate to say anything bad, but Andy had some… problems. His drinking got in the way of work sometimes. He'd come in late or hung over and make up some story about being sick. And then sometimes he had a bad attitude. I overlooked most of it.
Detective Armstrong: So how did you two get along?
Chas Laughlin: Fine. There wasn't anything real good or bad to speak of. I mean, I only saw him in the shop and we talked when I had a job for him, but that was it.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of work did he do for you?
Chas Laughlin: Basic mechanic work, running some errands. With his problems, I couldn't trust him to be reliable with anything more important.
Detective Murphy: How did he get along with others in the shop? Any problems?
Chas Laughlin: Not that I know of. Oh, some of the boys may have gotten aggravated when he came in late or been rubbed the wrong way when Andy had an attitude, but I didn't see anything really hostile.
Detective Murphy: How would you describe Andy as a person?
Chas Laughlin: Like I said, I really didn't know him very well. He just did his basic job here, and that was it. From what a few of the boys said, I guess he had quite the temper sometimes. And that he was a little lazy too. Would try to get something for nothing, if you know what I mean. But I never saw any of that. And everybody knows about his drinking and about how he treats his wife.
Detective Murphy: How did he treat his wife?
Chas Laughlin: You must know by now. I can't be the first one to say anything.
Detective Murphy: So you won't be telling us anything we don't already know. How did he treat her?
Chas Laughlin: Terrible. My opinion, a man ought to be horse-whipped for treating any woman that way, much less his wife. But she must not mind it since she stayed with him.
Detective Armstrong: Did Andy have any enemies?
Chas Laughlin: Not here at the shop. Look, I didn't have much to do with him, so I don't know.
Detective Murphy: Any idea on why someone might want to hurt him?
Chas Laughlin: I told you, I didn't know him that well. Somebody could have tried to cheat him, and he could have gotten into a fight and wound up dead for all I know.
Detective Armstrong: What did you think when Andy didn't show up for work on Monday, July 7th?
Chas Laughlin: That he'd gone on a binge over the weekend and was sleeping it off. It wasn't that unusual for him to come in late after partying too much.
Detective Armstrong: When did you last see Andy?
Chas Laughlin: Lemme think. The afternoon of the 3rd before the long weekend. He was in the shop when I left about 3:00.
Detective Murphy: What was Andy doing then? Did he say or do anything unusual?
Chas Laughlin: He was working on a repair job. He didn't say two words to me, and I didn't talk to him.
Detective Armstrong: Just for the record, Mr. Laughlin, what kind of vehicle do you drive?
Chas Laughlin: You think I did something to Andy?
Detective Murphy: Just routine questions for our files.
Chas Laughlin: I got me a Chevy Tahoe. That's it out in the lot.
Detective Murphy: And your whereabouts on the night of July 3 and early morning July 4?
Chas Laughlin: I stopped and got a 12-pack at the convenience store and then went home and drank it. I was there all night and all the next day.
Detective Armstrong: And how did you find out that Andy was missing?
Chas Laughlin: His wife called the shop looking for him. The boys at the shop told me the cops came by later. Listen, you got anything else? I got a business to run here.
Detective Murphy: That'll be all for now. Thank you, Mr. Laughlin. Here's my card. If you think of anything you want to add, be sure to call us.
Chas Laughlin: Yeah. Sure. Are we through?
Detective Armstrong: Yes. Goodbye, and thank you for your time.
Chas Laughlin: Yeah. Whatever.
End interview - 10:02 a.m.