Friday, May 20, 2011 -- 2:59 PM
The witness, the 30-year-old son of victim #2 Wayne Fisher, was interviewed at the Fisher Pest Control office. The interview was conducted by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness' knowledge and consent.
- TA = Detective T. Armstrong
- SM = Detective S. Murphy
- NF = Ned Fisher
SM: Thanks for talking to us again, Mr. Fisher.
NF: Well, I don't know why we have to go through this again. Are you guys bugging that lawyer's family as much as you're bugging me?
TA: We're exhausting all possible options we have in investigating this homicide. You want your father's killer found, don't you?
NF: Sometimes I think it would be best if y'all just let him rest in peace. All I see of your investigation is stirring up people. You know, I am grieving here. My father did die, after all.
SM: And we're trying to find his killer. Many people say that finding out who did something like this brings a great deal of closure and helps them get on with the grieving process.
NF: Okay, let's just get this over with.
SM: For the record, would you please state your name and address?
NF: Ned Fisher. 2584 College Hill Road.
SM: And your occupation?
NF: I co-own -- although I reckon it's just plain own now -- Fisher Pest Control.
SM: Last time we spoke, you said that on the morning of your father's murder, you saw him at work, is that right?
TA: You said you ordered some supplies, sent out some bills, that kind of thing.
NF: Right. Ain't nothing illegal with running a business.
SM: Of course not. Who did most of the paperwork, you or your father?
NF: We shared. He did some, I did some.
SM: Who did the work with customers -- not the exterminating work, I mean the calling them up to set up inspections, following up when they paid late or a check bounced, stuff like that.
NF: We both did our fair share.
TA: How the heck did you two keep track of everything if you were both doing some of everything?
NF: We worked together. We let each other know what was going on. Why are you asking?
SM: It's just routine. Maybe there's something you know but don't realize you know, some detail you've forgotten and will remember that will help us.
NF: I don't think so.
TA: You two always worked together?
NF: Not always, but most of the time. It's a two-man job most of the time, but sometimes we did split up.
SM: Did you and your dad take separate cars to the job sites?
NF: Most times, no. But sometimes we did. Why do you ask?
SM: Just standard procedure.
TA: So, the night of your father's murder, you were at home all evening watching TV.
NF: And drinking beer.
SM: Yes, of course.
TA: But when we spoke, you said that no one could provide any sort of alibi for you.
NF: No, I stayed here all night. I was drinking, remember? I wouldn't want to run afoul of the law for drinking and driving.
SM: So you didn't talk to anyone on the phone? Didn't see anyone that whole night?
NF: Nope. I'm the victim's son, remember? I didn't realize I would need to set up an alibi for my father's murder.
TA: We're collecting information from everyone involved. We've also checked the whereabouts of Mr. Pruitt's wife. It's just a routine part of the investigation.
NF: Well, I don't have no alibi. I reckon you could ask my neighbors. I went out on the porch several times that night.
NF: Get tired of sitting on the couch. Just get up, stretch my legs, get some air. Smoke a cigarette. I go out there on nice evenings, sit around and goof off. Some of my neighbors might have seen me.
SM: When was the next time you saw anyone? If you don't have an alibi for that Friday evening?
NF: The next morning. I woke up real early, 'bout 5:30, and drove into town. Went to the Kroger and got some bacon and eggs to cook up. Talked to this cute cashier there.
TA: Let's talk about the guns you own.
NF: What about 'em? I got my hunting rifle and my shotgun. They're both legal.
SM: We know. Do you own any other guns?
NF: No, I don't need no other guns.
TA: But do you own any, whether you need them or not?
NF: I said no.
TA: Did your father own any guns?
NF: He had his old shotgun he used to hunt with.
SM: Did he own a handgun?
NF: If he did, he never showed it to me.
SM: How did your father leave his legal affairs?
NF: What do you mean?
TA: How were his financials? Did he have a will?
NF: Not much of one to speak of. Basically it just left me his house, which he ain't never paid on except the interest really, and he left me his share of the business.
SM: Did he have a life insurance policy?
TA: No policy?
NF: We're not rich people, Detective. And we owned a small business, remember? It's not like some of these places where you work and they automatically give you a life insurance policy. We had to pay the premiums on them things. Plus, his family was all grown; we're all supporting ourselves. No real need for life insurance.
SM: Well, you got the business. At least that's something.
NF: Don't even try to go there.
NF: I know how you people work. You're going to try and twist things around. You're gonna try and say that I killed my father for his share of this crappy little business. Fisher Pest Control barely pays its own bills. Me and my dad paid ourselves $20,000 last year. It ain't like I stand to inherit some big million dollar company. So don't try to make it out like that.
TA: Did the business owe anyone it shouldn't have owed?
NF: What do you mean?
TA: Sometimes we see people who need help and they reach out to the wrong people. Maybe you borrowed some money to get the business off the ground and they wanted their money back.
NF: Nope. You can check at First National. We got a small business loan from them and we paid our bills on time. I think my father might have gotten some small grant from the VA or something, being a Vietnam vet and all. But we didn't have to pay that back.
SM: You know, your father had a bit of a police record. Goes back a little ways. But in recent years, he was clean as a whistle. What happened?
NF: I think Dad just settled down is all. Some people grow up and mature when they're in their teens or twenties or whatever. Maybe Dad just needed a little bit of extra time. He was under a lot of pressure with Mom and our family and all. Sometimes divorce is actually the best thing. In the long run. After the family split, he seemed to settle down. Get more comfortable with his life.
TA: Or maybe, instead of learning how to live a quiet life, maybe he just learned how to avoid being caught.
SM: Was your father still involved with criminal activity?
NF: No. And I think you're way outta order in even saying such a thing.
TA: You said earlier that you didn't know the victim.
NF: That's right.
SM: But you fumigated his house.
NF: Uh, yeah. But Dad did all the work with him. I mean, he made all the customer contacts.
TA: But I thought you two shared information.
NF: Well, he told me about what we had to do for the job. So I didn't know that Pruitt fella.
TA: You never met him?
NF: Never did.
SM: How about his wife?
NF: Now, wait a minute. I don't know what problems that fellow had, but--
SM: Ever meet or talk to Mrs. Pruitt?
NF: No. I don't know her at all.
TA: Ned, what would you say if we find your fingerprints in the Pruitt home?
NF: Well, I'd say it don't prove nuthin'. We did work there, so maybe my fingerprints got on things when we was spraying and injecting the compounds.
TA: But why didn't you do any work there that weekend?
NF: 'Cause that Pruitt woman called and said we'd have to reschedule.
SM: What reason did she give?
NF: I dunno. Dad just said we'd have to change the date.
TA: You didn't take the call?
NF: No. Dad must have. Then he told me. Why we had to, he didn't say.
SM: So tell me, Ned, what about you? Your dad's been on the straight and narrow and you've been pretty good the last couple of years as well.
NF: I suppose I was the same way as my dad. I just needed a little time to act a fool. Then I settled down. I paid for my problems. I did my time. And then I moved on. Going into business together provided both me and my dad with some structure, with something good to concentrate on. We were trying to build something together here.
SM: Okay, thanks for your time.
Interview ends -- 3:47 PM