Wednesday, July 23, 2014 – 2:40 p.m.
Gideon Horner is the minister at the church Cindy Fine attends.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at Trinity Church.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Rev. Gideon Horner
Detective Murphy: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, Reverend Horner. It's nice to see you again.
Gideon Horner: No problem at all. I hope I can help you.
Detective Murphy: For our records, could you please state your name and address?
Gideon Horner: I am Gideon Horner, and I live at 752 Nottingham Drive here in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: And your occupation?
Gideon Horner: I'm the minister here at the church.
Detective Murphy: We're here to talk to you as part of the investigation into the murder of Andy Fine.
Gideon Horner: I figured as much.
Detective Armstrong: Did you know Andy Fine?
Gideon Horner: Not really. Of course, I had heard of him, but he didn't attend services here.
Detective Murphy: And his wife, Cindy?
Gideon Horner: Oh, Cindy, I know very well. She attends services regularly and is very active in church activities. The poor woman … what a terrible thing to go through. I've tried to spend a lot of time ministering to her during this difficult period.
Detective Murphy: What can you tell us about Cindy?
Gideon Horner: She is a sweet, loving, and kind Christian woman. I wish our congregation had more like her. Always outgoing, always smiling. So many people, even those that are very devout, still get grumpy from time to time. I can see them from the pulpit. They start fidgeting and checking their watches. They get worried about if they're going to get home in time for the football game or not. Or they wonder if the pot roast is getting too well-done in the oven. We're only human, after all. But not Cindy. She's always attentive and energetic.
Detective Armstrong: She sounds like a real positive member of your congregation.
Gideon Horner: Certainly. She visits our elderly members who are home-bound or in a nursing home. She is always the first to bring a casserole or something to the fellowship dinners. When the youth group takes up donations for their summer trip, she always gives as much as she can. I really can't say enough good about Cindy.
Detective Murphy: How has she been handling the death of her husband?
Gideon Horner: Naturally, she's distraught. It's a very traumatic thing. And that's something I never get used to—sitting with grieving people. It's very difficult. But fortunately, she has her faith in the Lord to get her through.
Detective Armstrong: Shoot, that's all she needs, right? I mean, God's got a plan and all that crap, right?
Gideon Horner: Detective, I consider myself a modern and educated minister. I'm not some backwoods, old-fashioned, fire-and-brimstone, Bible thumper. I'm perfectly aware of the difficulties in explaining God's will when tragedies occur. But I do believe that he will help you get through things. So to answer your question, sometimes her faith helps her; some days, I'm sure it doesn't.
Detective Murphy: How was her marriage?
Gideon Horner: Well … what do you mean?
Detective Armstrong: Andy was a bit of an animal. She told us that he beat her.
Gideon Horner: Yes, I'm afraid that's right. She and I spent a lot of time in prayer together about Andy, and I often suggested counseling, but he would hear nothing of it.
Detective Murphy: So, what did you do?
Gideon Horner: There wasn't much I could do. I mean, she wasn't willing to go to the police about his abuse. She wasn't willing to leave him. So I had to respect her wishes. In the end, the only thing I could do was pray for her and remind her that God loves her. And let her know I was concerned for her safety.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever suggest that she divorce Andy?
Gideon Horner: That's a complicated topic, Detective. Obviously, divorce is not something that I can take lightly as a minister. The wedding vows are something that we hold dear and take very seriously, so I would not push for it. However, I did mention it, and we did discuss it. The Lord wants us to honor and obey, but not if those vows become a death sentence.
Detective Murphy: So, what was the end result of your discussions of divorce?
Gideon Horner: Nothing. She wouldn't hear it. Totally unwilling to even discuss it at any length. It would come up, and she would usually pretty quickly dismiss it.
Detective Murphy: This is a difficult question, but I have to ask it: do you think Cindy is capable of having anything to do with her husband's death.
Gideon Horner: Absolutely not.
Detective Armstrong: You sure? I mean, abused women can just snap. In many cases, it's self-defense. You can't really blame them.
Gideon Horner: There is no doubt in my mind or heart that Cindy had nothing to do with it. I have to admit—this is embarrassing and not something that I should be saying—but, well, I'll be honest. There were times when I wished she would do something about it. There were times when I definitely was thinking of an eye for an eye. I wished she would stand up to him. But that just shows how strong her faith is.
Detective Armstrong: How so?
Gideon Horner: Even at the times when I was angry and vengeful, she remained loving and loyal. Willing to turn the other cheek. There's no way she could hurt Andy in any way, much less have anything to do with his death.
Detective Murphy: Okay, thanks for your time. We appreciate your candor. We'll be in touch if we need anything else.
Interview ended – 2:58 p.m.