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Interview: Follow-up with Dewey Devoe, victim's apartment manager

Friday, July 9, 2004 -- 11:40 AM

The witness, Donald "Dewey" Devoe, is the manager of the apartment complex where the victim lived. He was arrested Wednesday, July 7, 2004, at 2:12 p.m. in the parking lot of the Cinema 4 at the Oxford Mall for possession of one ounce of marijuana and for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a movie theater.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed the witness at the Yoknapatawpha County Detention Center, in the presence of his defense attorney, Alicia Quigley, and prosecutor, Merle Pittman. The interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
DD = Dewey Devoe
MP = Merle Pittman, Yoknapatawpha County Prosecutor
AQ = Alicia Quigley, Public Defender

MP: You wanted to see us.

AQ: Yes. My client believes he has information relevant to the current murder investigation and would like to cooperate in exchange for a plea bargain and reduced charges.

TA: He already had a chance to cooperate. We paid him a couple of visits. What’s changed?

DD: Dude -- I didn’t realize you were going to flip out and arrest the wrong person. That’s some crazy s***.

SM: What do you mean, the wrong person?

DD: I--

AQ: Wait, Dewey. Deal first, then we talk.

TA: Surely you know how to deal by now, Mr. Devoe.

DD: Shut up. This is total harassment!

AQ: Wait, Dewey.

MP: Detective, please.

TA: Sorry.

MP: It depends on the information.

AQ: My client has exculpatory evidence regarding Mr. Nelson.

TA: Is that so?

MP: How do we know it’s for real?

AQ: Mr. Devoe says a Sheriff’s Department officer can corroborate and provide documentation.

MP: What terms do you propose?

AQ: Currently the charges are misdemeanor possession with special circumstances since you just happened to pick him up within 1,000 feet of a movie theater. Drop the special circumstances and give him immunity from further prosecution that might stem from his testimony and we’ll talk.

MP: I don’t know -- you’re already getting a break. We could have gone for the felony count.

AQ: You’re willing to let an innocent man be accused of murder because you don’t want to reduce charges for Mr. Devoe here -- who, incidentally, was allegedly selling a non-addictive substance that’s legal in nine states?

MP: Settle down, Ms. Quigley. Mr. Devoe, do you understand you’re agreeing to a guilty plea for the possession charge, paying the maximum fine of $3,000?

DD: Yeah.

MP: If we can’t corroborate, the deal is off the table.

DD: Okay, I get it. I’ll do it. Can I talk now?

AQ: All right.

MP: Go ahead.

SM: Start at the beginning.

TA: You said you spent Saturday night watching TV reruns. Where does the cop come in?

DD: Dude, chill. I couldn’t say anything at the time for obvious reasons. But I saw Hunter Nelson! He came by the night Kristi died. We hung out together for a while. He needed to replenish his supply. You know -- getting ready to party with his girlfriend.

SM: When was this, Mr. Devoe?

DD: I don’t know. Like -- around 9:30, 9:45 or something.

SM: What time did he leave?

DD: I got a phone call a few minutes later, and he got up to leave. But I ended up getting a ride with him.

SM: Where were you two headed?

DD: I was going to see a friend of mine, maybe going to spend the night. It was on his way home, so it totally worked out.

TA: We’re going to need the name of that friend.

DD: I don’t want to rat her out.

MP: Mr. Devoe, you’re on thin ice.

DD: That wasn’t part of the deal.

AQ: Just go ahead, Dewey.

DD: This is a fascist situation, you know that?

TA: Spare us the theatrics.

DD: Okay. Whatever. Her name is Stacey O’Donnell.

SM: Thank you. Go on.

TA: I’m still waiting for the police officer.

DD: Shut up. I’m getting there. I got in the car with Hunter and everything was cool. But like right before we got to Proud Larry’s, we got pulled over by this cop.

SM: What street?

DD: I don’t know. In front of that Episcopal Church. Maybe South 9th Street?

SM: What time was this?

DD: I have no clue. A little after ten, I guess?

SM: So you were pulled over by a Sheriff’s Department officer?

DD: Yeah. This cop came up to Hunter and said his tag was expired. I was freaking out, but Hunter was totally cool. He actually had the registration in the glove compartment -- it was awesome. The renewal sticker was still, like, stuck to the registration. You know?

SM: Okay. So what happened?

DD: The cop was cool about it. He made Hunter get out and put the sticker on and then he said he was going to give Hunter a warning and that’s it. He wrote something in his book and gave Hunter a copy.

SM: Do you have that copy of the warning?

DD: Um, no. And neither does Hunter.

SM: How do you know that?

DD: When we got to Proud Larry’s, Hunter took the cigarette lighter from the car and set it on fire on the lawn. It was way explosive -- the flame was this weird blue-green color.

TA: How imaginative. What happened next?

DD: I went to see Stacey. That was it.

SM: What about Mr. Nelson?

DD: He said he was going home and he drove off in that direction, so I guess that’s where he went. After the cop thing, he didn’t want to waste any more time. Have you seen Debby? She’s totally hot!

SM: Did you see Mr. Nelson again that night?

DD: No.

SM: How did you get home?

DD: I don’t remember exactly. It was later -- like midnight or something. One of Stacey’s friends gave me a ride. Kimberly or something?

TA: And when you got back home, you didn’t see Mr. Nelson again?

DD: Dude -- no. I already told you.

TA: You already told us a lot of things, Mr. Devoe, and they didn’t turn out to be true.

DD: Well, I swear I’m telling the truth now. Hunter Nelson would totally never kill anyone. No one I know would.

AQ: Okay, Dewey.

MP: Thank you, Mr. Devoe.

TA: Always a pleasure to see you, Mr. Devoe.

DD: Whatever.

Interview ends -- 12:12 PM

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