Stranger Danger

Serious man with short brown hair with an unidentified person beside him

What happened?

Investigation Day 1

When Vanessa Pruitt returned from a few days out of town, she found her husband and a stranger apparently shot to death in the basement rec room of her home. Sheriff's department personnel responded to her 911 call and investigated the scene well into the night.

Investigation Day 2

Mrs. Pruitt was too upset the night before to speak with investigators, so Detectives Armstrong and Murphy went to see her first thing the next morning.

After hearing what she had to say, the detectives got some more information about her husband and then joined other investigators in talking to the Pruitts' neighbors.

Back at the station, they reviewed the inventory of evidence CSU collected from the crime scene. Then they met with a fellow officer who was working nearby on the night investigators believe the shootings happened.

Investigation Day 3

The next morning, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy visited Robert Pruitt's law office where they spoke to his partner, Gary Rayburn, and talked to the secretary, Mira Lee.

Within a couple of hours, a man who reportedly threatened Robert arrived at the station to talk to the detectives.

Later, after they talked to someone who allegedly could vouch for Mira's whereabouts, the detectives set out to check out Gary's story.

Investigation Day 4

To start off the day, the detectives reviewed the preliminary reports on the autopsies of the two victims.

A short time later, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy met with one of Robert's disgruntled former clients.

After they sent Jackie on her way, the detectives dug into the second victim's background to learn more about him.

While they waited for their next interviewee to arrive, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy looked at where some locations significant to the investigation are in relation to each other.

They also refreshed their memories on which case Pruitt was about to defend in court.

In response to their request, the second victim's older son came in to talk to the detectives.

Then, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy drove to Pontotoc to speak with the second victim's ex-wife.

When they got back to Oxford, the detectives went to see the second victim's younger son and business partner.

Investigation Day 5

The next morning, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy went to talk to Robert Pruitt's ex-wife at the district attorney's office.

On the way to their next interview, the detectives went over Rick Gill's rap sheet and the results of attempts to verify his alibi.

At the Pruitt-Rayburn office, they had another talk with Gary to get him to clarify some of his previous comments.

Back at the station, the detectives took a look at a preliminary reconstruction of the shootings.

Then they reviewed the information fellow investigators had gathered about persons of interest, including Jackie's criminal history and the status of her alibi as well as Joel and Christine Fisher's alibis.

After a phone interview as part of the effort to corroborate Vanessa's alibi, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy reviewed what other investigators learned about Gloria's alibi.

Next, they went to the local newspaper office to ask Vanessa to clarify a few things, and then the detectives joined the canvass to try to verify Ned's alibi.

Investigation Day 6

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy took a closer look at Ned's background, and then stopped by his office to see if there was anything more he could tell them.

When they left Fisher Pest Control, the detectives stopped by Joel's house to find out if he could fill in any of the gaps in his story.

That afternoon, they visited Christine again to see if she could provide any insight into her sons' relationships with each other and their father.

When the detectives got back to the station, they found preliminary reports on ballistics and trace evidence from the Crime Lab waiting for them. 

Investigation Day 7

Bright and early the next morning, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy went to talk to the owners of Harker Landscaping about their employee, Rick Gill.

Back at the station, the Crime Lab had sent over their preliminary findings on the prints at the scene.

Later, the detectives spoke with Rick again during his lunch break.

As they were wrapping up, a city councilman shared his thoughts on the investigation.

Detectives Murphy and Armstrong spent the afternoon putting together the paperwork for several search warrants.

Investigation Day 8

After sending the newly collected evidence off to the Crime Lab for analysis, the detectives took another look at the significant locations in the case and the witnesses' alibis.

Investigation Day 9

At the detectives' request, the Harkers gave them permission to search the company property for potential evidence.

Later that afternoon, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy had another conversation with Mira Lee.

Investigation Day 10

While waiting for the forensics to come in, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy along with other investigators canvassed area gun stores for information on recent purchases that might be relevant to the case.

Late that afternoon, the Crime Lab sent some updated findings on the trace evidence and firearms evidence.

Investigation Day 11

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy spent the next day working with ADA Calvin Dollarhide to verify the case against their suspect and prepare arrest documents for a judge's approval.

Investigation Day 12

Early the next morning, the detectives made their arrest, though the suspect declined to speak to them until their attorney was present.

That afternoon, the Oxford Weekly Planet broke the news of the arrest.

Investigation Day 13

By morning, the suspect and their lawyer were ready to sit down with Detectives Armstrong and Murphy to talk about the charges.

Investigation Day 14

The Oxford Weekly Planet published a feature story on the double homicide.



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