Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 8:40 p.m.

The detectives asked Dudley Brinkman to come in again to clear up some unanswered questions

Dudley Brinkman was implicated in the Andrew Fine homicide by forensic test results and other evidence. He was taken into custody on the evening of Saturday, August 2, 2014.

After Brinkman was booked, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. Brinkman declined to have an attorney present during questioning. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Dudley Brinkman

Detective Armstrong: For the record, Dudley Brinkman has been advised of his rights and has signed a statement to that effect. He has waived his right to an attorney and wishes to make a statement. Is that correct, Mr. Brinkman?

Dudley Brinkman: Yes. I want to clear this up once and for all.

Detective Murphy: You should know that we have found gunshot residue on your work gloves as well as trace evidence of the gloves on the murder weapon, both of which implicate you in the murder of Andrew Fine on July 4, 2014.

Dudley Brinkman: I knew when you took my gloves it was probably all over for me. But I want you to know Cindy had nothing to do with Andy's death. She wasn't even there when… when I… when Andy was shot. She was there before he died, but she left. She didn't even know who killed him.

Detective Murphy: You were adamant that you'd never been to the farmhouse — ever.

Dudley Brinkman: I know. I guess I hoped you'd never find out, and it would be an unsolved murder or something. But when you told me you thought Cindy had something to do with the murder, I knew I had to tell you what really happened. I've been praying about it ever since the night of… the night I… since Andy's death. I haven't slept much.

Detective Armstrong: OK, Brinkman. Why don't you just tell us your story?

Dudley Brinkman: I don't know where to start.

Detective Murphy: Why don't you start with what happened after you left the Huddle House.

Dudley Brinkman: I left Huddle House intending to go home to bed, like I told you. Then on the way home, I decided to go past Duffy's parking lot to see if Fine's car was still there. I was worried about Cindy. Andy had made such a scene at Duffy's.

Detective Armstrong: What were you planning to do?

Dudley Brinkman: I was going to follow them home to make sure Cindy was all right.

Detective Armstrong: And did you see the Fines' car there?

Dudley Brinkman: No, but I saw Carl storm out, so I sat there for a few minutes to see what happened. It looked like everyone had left, but I could see Andy was still inside. Finally he came staggering out, ranting and raving because Cindy had taken the car. It looked like he was going to walk home.

Detective Armstrong: And then?

Dudley Brinkman: He looked so angry that I decided — for Cindy's sake — to pick him up and see if I could calm him down.

Detective Armstrong: You had that kind of influence on Andy?

Dudley Brinkman: No, it was a stupid idea. I don't know what made me think "dud" or "wimp" — or whatever he was calling me that night — could calm him down. By the time I got up to him, I had just about changed my mind, but he saw it was me and ordered me to pick him up and take him the hell home.

Detective Murphy: Where did you pick him up?

Dudley Brinkman: In the parking lot near the Papa John's pizza place. You know where I mean?

Detective Murphy: Yes. And did you take him directly home?

Dudley Brinkman: Damn right. I didn't want to be around him any longer than necessary. I took him right to his apartment parking lot and dropped him off.

Detective Armstrong: Then where did you go?

Dudley Brinkman: He was in such a state, I thought I'd better keep an eye on him, so I went to the parking lot across the street to keep watch. I'd done that before. Just to be close in case Cindy needed me.

Detective Murphy: Uh-huh. And how long did you stay there?

Dudley Brinkman: Until I saw Andy drag Cindy out of their apartment and push her into their car. She was in her nightgown and bare feet, and he was dragging her by the hair!

Detective Murphy: What did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I wanted to get out and punch him right then, but ol' wimpy dud just couldn't stand up to him. Besides he was waving a gun around, and I knew for sure he'd shoot one of us. I couldn't put Cindy in that kind of danger.

Detective Armstrong: So you followed them?

Dudley Brinkman: Yeah. Andy was weaving all over the road. I was hoping the police would stop him, but that didn't happen.

Detective Armstrong: Not a lot of traffic that time of night. He didn't see you?

Dudley Brinkman: I guess he was so drunk, he never noticed me.

Detective Murphy: Where did he go?

Dudley Brinkman: I didn't know it at the time, but he was going to the farmhouse on Reagle Farm Road.

Detective Murphy: What did you think was going to happen?

Dudley Brinkman: I didn't know. I just knew he was up to something evil. I was so afraid for Cindy. I felt so helpless. Andy intimidated me for more than half my life. It was tearing me up. But what was worse — I just knew he was going to hurt Cindy and I couldn't make myself do anything about it.

Detective Murphy: You have a cell phone?

Dudley Brinkman: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: Why didn't you call 911?

Dudley Brinkman: I don't know. I guess I didn't think of it.

Detective Armstrong: So you followed them out to the farmhouse. Then what?

Dudley Brinkman: When I got there, I parked away from the house and sneaked up to look in the window to be sure Cindy was still OK. I was afraid he'd hear me — or worse, see me — so I stayed back some from the window.

Detective Armstrong: Were you able to see anything?

Dudley Brinkman: I could see Andy on top of Cindy. I thought he was killing her — smothering her or something. But then I realized they were… he was… I couldn't understand why she would have sex with a man who had just hit her, dragged her by her hair, and waved a gun at her and…

Detective Armstrong: Take your time, Brinkman. We're in no hurry here.

Detective Murphy: Do you need a moment, Dudley? Would you like some of this water?

Dudley Brinkman: Yes, thank you. Water would help. My mouth's so dry.

Detective Murphy: Can you continue now?

Dudley Brinkman: Yes. I want to do this. I've got to do this. Where was I?

Detective Armstrong: Looking in the window. Andy on top of Cindy.

Dudley Brinkman: Right. I crept a bit closer until I could see Cindy's face. First, she looked like she was in a trance. Then she made faces like she was in pain… or something. I can't explain how I knew, but I just knew he was… he was… she was being raped! By her own husband! What kind of a man does that to his own wife? The woman he claims to love? He didn't know what love is. He was a brute and a monster. He deserved to die!

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I was so angry. I made a move toward the door. I was going to face him once and for all. But as I turned, I must have kicked something because Andy looked up like he heard me.

Detective Armstrong: What did he do?

Dudley Brinkman: He jumped up, yelling at Cindy about her boyfriend being outside. I saw him grab Cindy with one hand and the gun with the other and start outside yelling, "I'm gonna kill both of you."

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I hightailed it behind some bushes where he couldn't see me. I was worried about Cindy, but I wasn't looking to get myself killed. Then I heard Cindy say something like, "This is stupid," and Andy punched her in the stomach. I felt like he'd punched me. It took my breath away for a moment.

Detective Murphy: You saw him punch her?

Dudley Brinkman: No, but I heard it. There's no mistaking that sound.

Detective Murphy: OK. What happened next?

Dudley Brinkman: When I looked up again, I saw Cindy was on the ground, but Andy wasn't in sight. Then I spotted him going from the house with a lantern and his bottle. He went to the shed and got a shovel, then went back to Cindy and shouted at her to get up. He forced the shovel in her hand, pushed her across the road and ordered her to start digging. Here she is in her nightgown and bare feet, tear-stained, bloody and God-knows-what-all, and that madman wants her to dig her own grave!

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I moved across the road to watch from a line of trees there. But I'm such a wimp! As furious and disgusted as I was, I couldn't make myself move to get that gun away from him. I prayed for God to give me the strength and courage to do something, but I still couldn't move.

Detective Armstrong: Do you have any idea what time this was?

Dudley Brinkman: I don't know. It was all so bizarre. It seemed like a dream… a nightmare. I wished I could wake up, and it would all be gone. But it just got worse… the nightmare, I mean.

Detective Murphy: What happened next?

Dudley Brinkman: Well, Cindy dug and dug, and Andy drank and drank and held on to that damn gun. He kept waving it at Cindy, and every time she stopped for a minute's rest, he threatened to shoot her on the spot. She must have been terrified. Then all of a sudden he was quiet.

Detective Murphy: What happened?

Dudley Brinkman: I didn't know. Cindy stopped digging and waited a few minutes. Then she went over and poked him. When he didn't move, she ran to her car and took off.

Detective Murphy: So you saw her leave?

Dudley Brinkman: That's right. I was so relieved that she was out of danger.

Detective Murphy: Did you leave too?

Dudley Brinkman: No. I waited until her car was out of sight, and she was out of danger. I waited for a long time. Well, it seemed like a long time.

Detective Murphy: What were you waiting for?

Dudley Brinkman: I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to go after her. When he didn't move for a long time, I figured he was passed out, so I headed for my car. I was going to go home and let him sleep it off and find his own way home the next morning.

Detective Murphy: But you changed your mind?

Dudley Brinkman: On the way to the car, something happened. I got to thinking about how cruel Andy had been to Cindy. That he raped her and beat her, then made her dig her own grave and threatened to kill her. And all of a sudden I realized if he were still alive, nothing would keep him from doing it again and again until he finally really did kill her. I wasn't going to let that happen.

Detective Armstrong: What did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I went back to the car to get my work gloves. I thought maybe I could finally get the courage to do something that would really protect Cindy from him. I thought if he was dead, he couldn't hurt her anymore.

Detective Armstrong: Sure. Any man would do the same thing. So what did you do?

Dudley Brinkman: I walked quietly up to Andy. He was still lying on his back. Dead to the world. But not dead… only passed out. I put on my work gloves, reached over and took the gun from his hand. He still didn't move. Then I…

Detective Armstrong: Then you?

Dudley Brinkman: I… did what I knew I had to do. What God finally gave me the courage to do. I aimed at him and pulled the trigger. First two shots to his chest. Then another shot to his… well, you know. He deserved that after what he'd done.

Detective Armstrong: A lot of people would agree with you. What happened next?

Dudley Brinkman: I dropped the gun and ran back to hide in the trees to see if anyone heard the shots and was coming. After a few minutes, I went back to see if he was … you know… dead.

Detective Armstrong: And was he dead?

Dudley Brinkman: He hadn't moved. I reached down and felt for his pulse. No pulse. I went over to the grave and dug a bit more so he'd fit. Then I dragged him over to the grave and pushed him in. I threw in the bottle and the gun and covered them all up.

Detective Armstrong: And then?

Dudley Brinkman: Then I took the shovel and lantern back to the shed on the property and drove home to bed. I haven't slept very well since it happened. I'll never touch a gun again as long as I live. I still have nightmares, but I'm not sorry he's dead. I'm glad I finally had the courage to do something for Cindy! I know in my heart it was either him or Cindy.

Detective Murphy: Does Cindy know what you did for her?

Dudley Brinkman: No, I don't think so. I don't know how she could

Detective Murphy: What you did was huge. It really demonstrates how much you care for her. You never told her?

Dudley Brinkman: No. I guess she's going to find out now though.

Detective Murphy: Is there anything else you want to put on the record, Dudley?

Dudley Brinkman: Just that I thank God for finally giving me the guts to save Cindy from that brute for all time.

Detective Armstrong: OK. We're going to take you to lockup now, Brinkman.

Dudley Brinkman: I know. Will you call my mother please and tell her I won't be home for dinner?

Detective Murphy: I'll call her, Dudley.

Dudley Brinkman: Thank you, ma'am. Then I guess that's all.

End interview - 9:11 p.m.

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