Having been first duly sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then testified as follows:



Q. Will you please state your name and occupation?

A. Detective Bryn Ridge of the West Memphis Police Department.

Q. I want to direct your attention to June third, 1993. Were you on duty on that day?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. Were you present or did you have some contact with the defendant Jessie Misskelley, Junior?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. I want to show you State’s Exhibit Nine and ask if you recognize that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you present when Detective Allen advised him of his rights?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. Did you sign the form?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. During the advice of -- tell the judge how Detective Allen went about advising him of his rights?

A. Read the top of them form that it’s a rights advisement sheet, “Your rights,” the name of whoever you are reading the rights to, date of birth, education, including the place were the rights were read to him which was the detective division, the date and then time.
The form would be read in its entirety starting at the first, “We are informing you we are Detective Allen and Detective Ridge, police officers of the West Memphis Police Department, conducting an investigation for the offense of capital felony murder which was committed on or about 5-5-93. Before we ask you any questions, you must know and understand your legal rights.”

Q. I’m going to stop you there. After you read that part, do you go on and read each of the individual rights?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. As on the form?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that what Detective Allen did in this case?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did the defendant Jessie Misskelley indicate whether or not he understood those rights?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. How did he indicate that understanding?

A. The right was read to him. He was asked if he understood that right. He said yes and he placed the initial on the line in front of the right.

Q. Any force, promises, threats or coercion to get him to place his initials by each of the rights?

A. No.

Q. After you go over each right, what do you do?

A. Read the waiver of rights portion of the form.

Q. Did Detective Allen do that in this case?

A. Yes, sir, he did.

Q. Did you see him sign the form?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. Any force, promises, threats or coercion used to get him to sign the form?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had you been present prior to the defendant being advised of his rights?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who was present at that time?

A. Myself, the defendant and Sergeant Michael Allen.

Q. Were you there the entire time?

A. Not the entire time. No, sir.

Q. Could you estimate -- how was it -- what were the circumstances?

A. Ah, he had been asked to come to the police department for an interview --

Q. I’m talked about after he’s there with you and Detective Allen.

A. I walked in as Detective Allen was completing a subject description form.

Q. From that point, were you in the room?

A. Yes, I think I was. I may have left for just a minute but I returned.

Q. During that initial interview before he was advised of his rights, was there any force, threats, promises or coercion used?

A. No, sir.

Q. What happened after he was advised of his rights?

A. It was determined that we would request a polygraph examination.

Q. And how did y’all go about doing that?

A. Sergeant Allen got Detective Durham to find out what would be involved in getting the defendant available for that polygraph examination.

Q. As far as the defendant was concerned, what contact did you have with the defendant at that time, if any?

A. I was still in the room with him and as Mike is attempting to get the information that would be necessary for the polygraph examination to be conducted, we are still talking.

Q. After Detective Allen returns, do you have any more involvement at that point?

A. Not until after the polygraph examination.

Q. After the polygraph examination -- do you know what time that was?

A. It was completed at about 12:30. I was back in the office at about that time, and a few minutes later we went back into the office where the interview continued.

Q. Who is “we?”

A. Myself and Inspector Gitchell.

Q. How long were you and Inspector Gitchell with the defendant?

A. From about say in the area of 12:40 P.M. until the statement wherein he says to me, or while we are there, that he received a phone call that seemed to be important to the case to me. That is when I left the room.

Q. After you were -- how long were you out about?

A. I was out of the room maybe a minute.

Q. And did anything else happen before you went back in the room?

A. Inspector Gitchell came out of the room.

Q. Do you know what time that would have been?

A. Approximately 2:20.

Q. After Inspector Gitchell came out of the room, did you change the manner in which you were conducting the interview?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the change?

A. From that time forward on after the information was passed on to me about the statement made to Inspector Gitchell, it was decided we would tape the entire conversation from that point forward.

Q. As far as your involvement, how much longer did it go? What time did the tape conclude?

A. The tape concluded at 3:18.

Q. During this entire time that you were present, were any force, promises, threats or coercion used to get the defendant to say anything or do anything?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was anybody else ever in the room besides the two of you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know whether or not the defendant was offered any food?

A. Yes, he was.

Q. Do you know when that was?

A. When the tape was completed, I asked him if he wanted something to eat or something to drink and there are other items also.

Q. Was that before or after that?

A. After that.

Q. Did he have any response to that offer?

A. He refused anything to eat or drink but he wanted some cigarettes.

Q. Were those provided to him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Mr. Stidham asked a question about -- it looks like some typed notes here. Do you recognize that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I want to refer your attention specifically -- the reference here about Detective Durham and the interview -- it says, “About 10:30 A.M. and he concluded his last test about 12:30”?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that correct?

A. No, sir.

Q. What’s wrong with it?

A. It should have been 11:30 A.M.

Q. Which one should have been 11:30?

A. The first time, “At about 11:30 A.M. and he concluded the test at approximately 12:30 P.M.”



Q. Officer Ridge, were you aware of this time discrepancy prior to testifying today?

A. No, sir.

Q. About the polygraph test?

A. No, sir.

Q. Why did you put 10:30 to 12:30 if it was incorrect?

A. I’m not a typist. It is probably a typographical error.

Q. You typed this yourself?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. You said something in your direct examination that interested me. You said that you left the room for about a minute and when Inspector Gitchell came out, he said, “Get the tape recorder,” and you made a decision that you were going to tape record everything from that point on?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Everything?

A. Everything that dealt with the interview. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. You didn’t tape record anything up to that point?

A. No, sir.

Q. Damien Echols was a suspect from the very beginning of this case, was he not?

A. From the very beginning? No, sir.

Q. No, sir? Isn’t it true that Damien was brought in for questioning the days the bodies were found or the day after?

A. It was a few days after. Yes, sir.

Q. That’s not the beginning?

A. How long of a beginning you want? The day of the murders? Is that a beginning? I didn’t know that Damien Echols existed on that day.

Q. You attended a detective meeting on the morning on June third when it was decided Jessie would be brought in?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the nature of the conversation between the detectives regarding Jessie?

A. His name had come up in the investigation as having been possibly an acquaintance of Damien Echols.

Q. Anything else?

A. He said he may be part of a satanic group.

Q. Anything else specific about being part of a satanic group?

A. No, sir.

Q. Wasn’t discussed about some lady telling you that she had seen Damien and Jessie at a cult meeting in Turrell or Twist?

A. Yes, sir. I knew of that information.

Q. Did you discuss that with the other officers?

A. It had been discussed. I’m not saying it was that morning, but it has been discussed.

Q. Officer Ridge, were you ever able to confirm that this devil satanic meeting had actually taken place in Turrell or Twist?

A. A witness tells us, yes, it did occur.

Q. Other than this one witness, is there anything to confirm that?

A. Just this witness that I’m aware of.

Q. So this witness never said -- took you out to the spot and said, “There’s where it happened”?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. She took you out there and showed you where it happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And I suppose you found large artifacts and other things involving Satanism at that spot?

A. No, sir.

Q. You didn’t?


Q. Did this person identify anyone besides Jessie and Damien as being part of this cult?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And I suppose you talked to those people?

A. Haven’t been able to locate him.

Q. Just one person?

A. One person that’s been named.

Q. Didn’t she tell you there was a lot of people there at this meeting?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. She could only tell you the identity of one other person?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I guess it is safe to assume on June third, 1993, you probably had a pretty good hunch that Jessie was involved in these homicides?

A. No, sir.

Q. No?

A. No, sir.

Q. You are saying he was not a suspect?

A. No, sir.

Q. You had no probable cause to pick him up and arrest him?

A. He wasn’t picked up to be arrested.

Q. What happened that morning that made you or Inspector Gitchell send Detective Allen after Jessie Junior?

A. We had determined that he may have been an acquaintance of Damien Echols and may have been involved in satanic activities.

Q. So on June third you thought that Damien was involved?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you also thought these murders were satanic?

A. There was a possibility. Yes, sir.

Q. So the purpose of bringing Jessie down to the police station was to ask him about Damien?

A. About the occurrences on the day of or that time period around when the murders occurred.

Q. So he was brought in to find out what he knew about the murders and what he -- where he was on May the fifth?

A. To find out if he had any information, yes, sir.

Q. So he specifically wasn’t brought in to talk about Damien. He was brought in to talk about where he was on that day?

A. To talk about any information he may have had available. Yes, sir.

Q. Did Jessie tell you and Detective Allen on that morning before the polygraph test was administered that he knew anything about the murders?

A. Before the polygraph, no, sir.

Q. Did he give you any indication that he knew anything of the homicides?

A. He indicated that he believed that Damien was responsible for it.

Q. Was that sort of unusual for West Memphis on June third, 1993? Wasn’t there rumors going around that Damien was involved?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That wasn’t unusual then, was it?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did that knowledge in and of itself make him a suspect?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ask him whether or not he had been to a devil worshiper’s meeting?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was his response?

A. He said no.

Q. Did you believe him?

A. Did I believe him? No, sir.

Q. What was the purpose of the polygraph test?

A. It is just an investigative tool in order to help us make a determination as to whether or not an interview would continue.

Q. The polygraph would determine whether you would keep on questioning the suspect?

A. That is just one tool. Yes, sir.

Q. That morning before the polygraph Jessie also told you, did he not, that he was roofing the day that this happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you believe him when he told you that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You did?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you make any efforts to verify that at all?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who did you call?

A. The person he said he was working for.

Q. You called him on June third?

A. No, sir.

Q. When did you call him?

A. I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for a long period of time.

Q. But you didn’t call him on June third?

A. No.

Q. That was after the statement that Jessie gave you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So again, was the purpose of the polygraph to confirm his whereabouts on May fifth or was the purpose of the alibi -- the purpose of the polygraph to determine whether or not he was involved in a homicide?

A. The purpose of the polygraph was to determine whether he was telling us the truth when he was there at the station.

Q. About everything and anything?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Wouldn’t it have been easier to call the roofer and see if that’s where he was that day than to hook him up to a polygraph test?

A. The roofer would have only been one aspect of that day. The polygraph would have given us a good idea of the rest of what he had to say.

Q. Did you help Officer Durham participate in the formulation of the questions?

A. The formulation of the questions?

Q. For the polygraph.

A. I informed him of some of the points of the interview that Jessie had told us of. He formulated the questions. I did not.

Q. Do you know anything about a bat being in the corner of Officer Durham’s office?

A. I was told there was one there when somebody was taking pictures while you were at the office the other day.

Q. Do you know where it came from?

A. About two weeks prior to that date I understand that Detective Lieutenant Hester had given it to Durham.

Q. It wasn’t there the day the polygraph was administered, was it?

A. Not that I’m aware of.

Q. So you’re telling me that at the time it was determined that Jessie needed a polygraph, you didn’t have any reason to suspect him?

A. No, sir.

Q. Your notes reflect that Officer Durham came out of the polygraph test and told you Jessie was lying his ass off. Is that correct?

A. That’s my interpretation of what I heard.

Q. Did you hear Durham say that?

A. He said he was lying about everything, I’m sure, and that may have been what I wrote down when I’m writing those notes.

Q. You’re aware of the fact that a juvenile can’t waive his rights unless the parents sign the consent?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why didn’t you try to get Jessie’s parents to sign the consent?

A. Detective Allen went to the parents and got permission.

Q. He only got permission for the polygraph. Is that correct?

A. I’m not sure. I do know that he got permission for the polygraph.

Q. You just don’t know then?

A. Whether or not the father consented, I’m not sure.

Q. But you do know that’s the law.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Your Honor, I have got to object again. In all due respect to Detective Ridge, he’s mistaken on that. The Supreme Court has ruled to the contrary and these questions about the law are not proper.

THE COURT: It is not important what he asked the officer about the law and the polygraph. I’m the only one who needs to worry about that anyway.

MR. STIDHAM: Judge, I’m not asking him about the laws on the polygraphs. I’m asking him whether or not a juvenile -- in order for a juvenile to waive his Miranda rights -- whether or not his parents have to consent and sign a waiver. He was he was aware of that.

THE COURT: They don’t if it is a felony charge and they’re between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.

MR. STIDHAM: With all due respect to the Court. How do you know what the crime is when you’re talking to a juvenile?

THE COURT: If you are investigating a capital murder, I would think an investigator would know.

MR. STIDHAM: If I’m investigating a juvenile for throwing rocks --

THE COURT: It would be a good idea to get his mama to sign.

MR. STIDHAM: If I’m investigating a murder, I don’t have to worry about that.

THE COURT: That basically is right. I think that has come up in a couple of other cases.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Your Honor, the one I’m referring to is Boyd versus State, 313 Arkansas 171.

THE COURT: There’s also a statute that requires you to have a parental consent on the fingerprints of a juvenile. We went through that same thing right here in this court on a similar case sometime ago.

MR. STIDHAM: Your Honor, it is our contention to interpret the statute as not requiring the parents’ consent and written waiver in a felony case is a violation of equal protection. How can we afford juveniles the protection of this important safeguard when they are doing something not so bad, but when they do something bad, we don’t worry about it?

THE COURT: Why don’t you raise that was one of your arguments? It is not very persuasive with me.


Q. So you determined that Jessie was lying his ass off and you decided that the interrogation was going to proceed?

A. Yes.

Q. Had Officer Durham come out there and said he was not being deceptive in the polygraph, I assume he would have been turned loose?

A. Not necessarily.

Q. What do you mean?

A. We have had several post polygraph examination interviews.

Q. If you determined he wasn’t a suspect before the polygraph and assuming he would have passed it, there would have been no reason to hold him, would there?

A. I probably would have talked to him some more.

Q. According to your typewritten notes, you indicate that the polygraph was over about 12:00, 12:30. Is that correct?

A. Yes, sir. That is an estimate of the time.

Q. Then you say that you and Gitchell began the interview of Jessie Misskelley about 1:30 P.M.

A. That is also incorrect on the time because it was just a few minutes after I came back from lunch.

Q. Let’s talk about what happened, Officer Ridge, from that point at approximately 12:40 up until the time you left the room for a minute. What questions did you ask Jessie?

A. About his involvement in any satanic activities and other questions.

Q. What other questions?

A. How well he knew Damien, any activities he’s had with Damien, if Damien or Jason had called him concerning the homicide or anything else that may have been information that we needed.

Q. That last question is in your notes but those other questions that you stated do not appear in your notes. Why not?

A. What questions?

Q. You asked him about Damien, you asked him about his involvement in satanic cult activity. Your notes don’t reflect any of that.

A. My notes don’t? I think my notes do. Are you looking at the typed report?

Q. Your handwritten notes dated June 3, 1993. At the top of the page it says, “Permission obtained for polygraph, Bill Durham reported to me he is lying his ass off,” and then it says, “Me and Gary Gitchell.”

A. I think my notes do reflect that he told us of some phone calls.

Q. That is in there.

A. Okay. The notes --

Q. But the other questions you talked about about general knowledge about Damien and about cult activity, they don’t appear in your notes.

A. I will just have to find my notes.

THE COURT: Did you attempt to write down and preserve every question you asked and every answer that was given?

THE WITNESS: No, sir, I did not.


Q. Did you find them?

A. Yes.

Q. His Honor asked you whether you made any attempt to preserve all of the questions.

A. All if the questions, no, sir. We are trying to carry on a conversation. You cannot write and talk at the same time. That is what is going on during this interview.

Q. So you and Officer Gitchell were asking questions at the same time?

A. At times, yes. If you will look at page two, it shows, “Has meeting of satanic cults. Will meet in different places.” It is in my notes.

Q. You said you asked him that before you asked him about the phone call. Or you just don’t remember?

A. I didn’t say I asked him before that. I said that is one of the questions. There’s several questions.

Q. It is very difficult for you to remember what you asked without looking at your notes, isn’t it?

A. No, sir. That the questions was asked is there. The particular time the questions were asked would be difficult.

Q. Your notes don’t reflect any of the things Jessie tells you that tend to show he has nothing to do with these murders. The only thing you write are things that you think is important?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is it not important when a -- I guess you still don’t refer to him as a suspect at this point -- but as a potential witness when they tell you things that tends to reflect they are not involved in the crime, you don’t write those down?

A. Yes, sir. I guess you would write them down.

Q. How come you didn’t?

A. I’m not sure he didn’t say he was involved in it or wasn’t a witness to it at this point.

Q. After you leave the room and you come back in and you decide to record everything from that point on --

A. Yes, sir.

Q. -- there’s nothing in your notes to indicate that Jessie told you he got to the woods with Jason and Damien and that the boys were killed at noon. How come that’s not in your notes?

A. It is on the tape.

Q. That’s the first time he’s ever told you what time it happened?

A. What time it happened? Yes, sir.

Q. I guess you about fell out of your chair when you realized that this happened at 9:00 o’clock and that they were killed at noon. That kind of shocked you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How come you didn’t question that? You just go on to the next question.

A. It was questioned.

Q. When?

A. By Inspector Gitchell.

Q. When did that occur?

A. During that statement, that tape session, but I know it occurred during the second tape session.

Q. So the time frames were not discussed with him prior to the tape recorder being turned on?

A. No, sir.

Q. The questions you asked him prior to the tape recording being turned on is stuff about receiving phone calls from Jason and cult meetings and briefcases?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. At this point doesn’t he tell you who attends these meetings?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you ever able to track any of these people down?

A. We tracked some of the down and talked to them.

Q. What did they tell you?

A. Most of them denied being members.

Q. One of these people was Tiffany Allen?

A. Yes.

Q. Didn’t it surprise you that Tiffany Allen’s name would be on this list?

A. I’m surprised at any of the names being on the list.

Q. Why?

A. They seem to be kids. I don’t know who would be in the group. Anybody being in a group of that nature would surprise me.

Q. So you’ve never been able to confirm that any of these people are in this cult?

A. Sure hadn’t.

Q. In his statement Jessie tells you that him and Damien and Jason walked to the woods at nine o’clock?

A. I will have to look at the statement but if that’s what it says. (EXAMINING) Yes, sir.

Q. You know and I know -- I guess you could probably say everybody knows -- that is not what happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The boys were in school that day, were they not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So the victims were accounted for in school up until about 2:45 or 3:00?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So you had to know that this was incorrect?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did it ever occur to you at this point that you were getting a false confession?

A. No, sir.

Q. Didn’t occur to you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Later on in the tape Jessie tells you that the boys skipped school. You knew that was wrong, didn’t you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did that scare you or alert you to the possibility that he might not be telling the truth?

A. It alerted me that something was wrong.

Q. You still didn’t think this might be a false confession?

A. No, sir, not a false confession.

Q. Later on I believe in the statement he’s telling you this stuff occurred at noon and then the next question you ask him is, “Tell me what else happened that night,” and Jessie immediately says it happened at that.
Then on page 12 Jessie says, “My dad woke me up this morning,” and you say, “Well, your time period may not be exactly right is what you’re saying,” and Jessie says, “Right.”
Then you go on to say, “I have gotten some real confusion with the times you’re telling me. Now this nine o’clock in the evening call you got.”
Now Jessie says, “All this stuff happened that night.”

A. He says, “that night.” Yes, sir.

Q. What did you do to make him change his mind?

A. I didn’t do anything.

Q. Didn’t do anything?

A. Not to make him change his mind. He said that.

Q. You suggested to him it was at night, did you not?

A. I don’t think I did. No, sir.

Q. Let’s talk about for a moment when you left the room for a minute and it was decided the interrogation would be tape recorded. What had happened?

A. That is when he said he had received a telephone call from Jason and he heard Damien in the background and I was leaving the room in order to take a break and relate that information to some of the other detectives.

Q. Was that before or after you showed him a photograph of one of the victims?

A. After.

Q. You left the room afterwards?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was that before or after you drew a diagram of the circle and putting him and Damien and Jason in the circle?

A. That was after.

Q. So the time sequences -- how did that happen? The photograph, the circle and then you get up and leave?

A. The diagram, then the photograph and I left.

Q. Diagram was first and then the photograph?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why did you leave?

A. I had received this information, and I needed a break.

Q. Were you upset by what you heard?

A. No, sir. I was sort of happy about what I had heard.

Q. Did you just -- from reading your notes it looks like you left the room and didn’t know what was about to happen and you didn’t know until Detective Gitchell came out and told you?

A. Yes, sir. That’s right.

Q. So why did you show Jessie this photograph of one of the bodies?

A. That was Inspector Gitchell’s presentation. He showed the photograph to him.

Q. What was Jessie’s reaction?

A. He was fixated on this picture. He kept looking at it.

Q. Did it seem to frighten him or upset him?

A. It’s just that he kept looking at it. We were asking him questions. He wasn’t answering any questions, just looking at the photograph.

Q. This diagram that you described. It was a circle?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. There were three dots in the circle?

A. There were several dots all over the page. Inspector Gitchell did this.

Q. The three dots in the middle -- that was Damien and Jason and Jessie?

A. Not necessarily. That is not the way it was explained.

Q. Explain what the purpose of this diagram was.

A. It is like whoever committed this murder is inside this circle. “Are you going to be a witness or defendant or where are you going to be at in this circle. We want to know who was in the circle.” It was never suggested that he was in the circle. That’s the reason we didn’t know if he was a suspect at that point. We were hoping he would give us some testimony or some kind of information that would lead to identifying who was the suspect.

Q. Who was on the outside?

A. People that were possibly witnesses, the police, whoever was not involved in the murder or may have had information.

Q. Was Jessie asked if he wanted to come outside the circle?

A. We were asking him what he wanted to be. What is he? We are asking where he is.

Q. So you asked him whether he was in the circle or outside the circle?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you invite him to come outside the circle and join the police?

A. We didn’t ask him to come anywhere. “What is it you have to say? Where do you stand in this situation?”

Q. This is a standard interrogation technique, is it not?

A. Inspector Gitchell used it. I didn’t.

Q. Have you ever shown a suspect -- I guess he wasn’t at this point. I guess he was just there. Have you ever done that before -- showed a picture of a body to someone?

A. I haven’t.

Q. Are those standard techniques?

A. Inspector Gitchell did that. I didn’t know.

Q. As soon as he did the diagram with Jessie, you walked out.

A. The diagram?

Q. The diagram and the photograph.

A. No, sir.

Q. I thought that is when you took your break.

A. I did take a break. But there was some more questions. This was a period of time.

Q. What questions were asked of Jessie after he was shown the photograph of the victim and was asked about this diagram? What questions were asked next?

A. Continuing questions. “What do you know about this? Do you know anything about this?” It just continued. “What about these phone calls?”
When he came up with the phone call that he gave a time for when Jason was on the phone with him and he heard Damien in the background. Shortly after that I left.

Q. Do you have your notes?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Page five. It says -- let’s go back to the end of page four. Your notes reflect that, “will take polygraph concerning new statement.”

A. I asked him if he would take a polygraph concerning this additional information.

Q. What was his response?

A. He said he would have to think over what he told us so far.

Q. At the top of page five it says, “Show a picture of one victim in coroner’s office.”

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is this where the circle comes in?

A. No, sir, it would have been before that.

Q. How come there’s nothing in the notes reflecting that the diagram was shown to Jessie?

A. Everything is not written down in the notes. The notes are more to key me to write a report later.

Q. Halfway down the page there’s -- I guess you call that an asterisk. It says, “I left the room at which time Jessie informed Gary Gitchell of him being present during the murders.”

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That happened during the time of sixty seconds while you were outside the room?

A. It was a very short period of time. Yes, sir.

Q. Then you begin the taped statement and you were going to record everything after that?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did Jessie ever tell you at any time during your interview that he had seen some little boys on his way to work on May 5th?

A. I think he did. Not to work -- from work.

Q. Did Jessie ever ask to go home?

A. No, sir.

Q. Never asked you to call his father?

A. Not to me.

Q. Do you know of any other officers who tried to call his father?

A. His father was up there later on that afternoon.

Q. What time?

A. I’m not certain.

Q. Did you let him see his son?

A. I don’t think so. No, sir.

Q. How come?

A. At that time he was a suspect.

Q. Suddenly he is a suspect?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you wasn’t going to let him talk to his dad?

A. It wasn’t my decision.

Q. Why wouldn’t you want him to talk to his dad now that he is a suspect?

A. At this point I considered him under arrest when the confession was completed.

Q. Did you tell him he was under arrest?

A. I don’t think he was told, not by me.

Q. Did Jessie ever tell you where the boys’ clothes were laying at the crime scene?

A. I don’t recall.

Q. You don’t recall that for sure?

A. I’d have to read the statement to know for sure.

Q. Did he tell you where the boys’ bodies were laying?

A. His statement included that the boys were placed in the water.

Q. Did he tell you where at the scene the bodies were found?

A. That the bodies were placed in the water.

Q. He didn’t say by this particular object or this particular object. He just said in the water?

A. Sir, he says, “It is in the little ditch off of the big ditch,” if that is what you’re asking.

Q. Why isn’t that in your notes?

A. It is in the transcript. I think it is.

Q. Can you find that for me?

A. On page 18 it refers to them being in the water but this is where the meeting were taking place. “Okay, the night you were in these woods had y’all been in the water?”

Q. Does it say anything about a big creek and a little creek?

A. I’m not certain. I’d just have to read further. I thought that he did describe the crime scene and refer to the small creek.

Q. Let’s talk about Jessie’s second statement. Do you remember that?

A. I wasn’t there when the second statement was given but I’m aware that it occurred.

Q. When did it occur?

A. Later, after 3:18.

Q. Do you know when?

A. That afternoon. I was very busy.

Q. You just don’t know.

A. The exact time, no, sir.

Q. Are you familiar with the fact that the transcript doesn’t give a beginning time or end time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why?

A. That’s Inspector Gitchell. He is the one that took those tapes.

Q. What is your best estimate of when that statement took place?

A. I thought it was like 3:45 that afternoon. After conferring with Inspector Gitchell, I found out it was after that. I was busy doing other things when that interview occurred.

Q. So you didn’t take part in that?

A. No, sir.

Q. At whose request was the second statement done?

A. All I know is Inspector Gitchell conducted the interview.

Q. Did John Fogleman ask anyone to do the second statement?

A. I’m not certain. You will have to ask Inspector Gitchell.

Q. You said something very interesting earlier that you wanted to turn the tape recorder on after Inspector Gitchell came out and said, “Jessie said he was at the scene when the murder took place.” You said you wanted to record everything after that. Isn’t it true that everything wasn’t recorded after that?

A. Any interview I had with Jessie was taped.

Q. So every interview you had with him was taped?

A. Yes.

Q. Doesn’t it seem strange that in the second statement there’s no time frames given?

A. That’s Inspector Gitchell.

Q. You knew at the end of the first tape that there was several very, very compelling factual impossibilities, the time frames, the nine o’clock, the noon, the fact that the boys skipped school. You knew that stuff was wrong?

A. Some of that information was wrong.

Q. Why didn’t you try to clear this stuff up while the tape was on the first time?

A. There are times you take what you get. When you have got a person talking, you let them talk. When you start contradicting them, they stop talking.

Q. You would agree with me this is probably the biggest and most important investigation the West Memphis Police Department has ever had?

A. That I have been involved in. Yes, sir.

Q. You didn’t think it was important to ask this now suspect, Mr. Misskelley, “These times aren’t right.” You didn’t think that was important to do that while the tape was on?

A. The tape was on during the second interview.

Q. Why didn’t you keep going on the first interview?

A. Again, sometimes you take what you can get. This is the information he came forward with. Portions of that information proved to be correct.

Q. So you were just happy with what you had and you didn’t care about that other stuff. Is that what you’re saying?

A. No, sir, I’m not saying that.

Q. What do you mean by “take what you can get?”

A. When somebody is talking in an interview, if he’s talking, you keep him talking. When you start contradicting what he says. Then sometimes he shuts up and you don’t get anything else. So we took what we could get and it did continue. That was the second interview.

Q. You have read the second interview?

A. Yes.

Q. It is obvious that someone talked to him prior to the tape recorder being turned on the second time because almost immediately Jessie is now saying that the murders took place at five or six and then seven and eight and in fact he even changes it again to almost dark.
Who was questioning him up to the point the second time the tape recorder came on?

A. As far as I know, nobody was talking to him up until the time the tape recorder was turned on.

Q. You don’t know what time frames we’re talking about?

A. Inspector Gitchell knows more the time frame.

Q. You didn’t talk to him anymore after the first tape?

A. No, I didn’t.

Q. You obviously have tape recorders because you tape recorded the statement you were involved in?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You even have video cameras there?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why didn’t you videotape the interrogation?

A. At that point we were not capable.

Q. How come?

A. We didn’t have the equipment set up.

Q. You know that Jessie is very limited in intelligence, right?

A. That’s what you tell me.

Q. That’s what I tell you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You didn’t realize that when you were interrogating him on June the third?

A. He seems like any other seventeen year old in as far as my judgment.

Q. You believe that?

A. At that time, yes, sir.

Q. Can you explain to me why you had to explain to him what a penis was?

A. That is not a term that is normally used by everybody in the community.

Q. Everyone knows what that is, wouldn’t you agree, at least every seventeen year old?

A. I would think so.

Q. Why did you have you point to your groin area to show him what a penis was?

A. Is this when he is -- what portion of the tape are you talking about?

Q. You’re asking him, “What did Jason do with the knife?”

A. He is pointing at his bottom looking down. He’s stated that the cuts were on the bottom.

Q. Didn’t that alarm you when a seventeen year old doesn’t know what a penis is?

A. I’m not saying that I am referring to him not knowing what a penis is.

Q. You had to point to it, didn’t you?

A. He was pointing at his penis and saying he was cut on the bottom. So we were clarifying what it is he was talking about.

Q. He was doing the pointing?

A. Yes, sir, he was.

Q. You were not doing the pointing?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was Detective Gitchell doing the pointing?

A. No, sir, he was not.

Q. In the recorded statement you took part in, you mentioned would Jessie be willing to go to the crime scene and let him point things out to you.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Why didn’t you do that?

A. Time factor.

Q. Why didn’t you give him a confirmation polygraph test?

A. I can’t answer that question. We were so busy that night. We were busy up until -- I didn’t get home until almost seven o’clock the next morning.

Q. Were you too busy to try to go out and corroborate some of this stuff before you decide to go ahead and arrest two other kids?

A. I thought the time was very important to us to get arrests done and the searches done.

Q. You were not concerned at all that this might be false -- what he’s telling you?

A. At that time I don’t think any part of this confession is false.

Q. Do you think it’s false now?

A. Portions of it. The time part.

Q. That is pretty important, isn’t it?

A. You’re asking me if that’s important information but at the same time we are talking about a person that may be in error about the time.

Q. If my law partner ends up killed and we know that he was killed at 5:30 and you interrogate me and I tell you I did it at midnight, doesn’t that tell you I probably don’t know what I’m talking about?

A. Not if you don’t know what time it was.

Q. Did you ever make any attempt on June third to look into Jessie’s alibi about working that day?

A. No, sir, it was done later.

Q. You are a firm believer in alibis, aren’t you? If someone has an alibi, they must have not done it?

A. No, sir.

Q. You don’t believe in that?

A. No, sir.

Q. When Jason Baldwin’s parents came to you on June fourth to talk to you about the case, you turned your tape recorder on and you told them in this statement, “All we want to do is talk to Jason and if he tells us where he was and his alibi checks out, he’s a free man.” Didn’t you say that?

A. I told them we would check into the alibi and determine if it was true.

Q. If it was true, he’s a free man?

A. We are looking for a place to start.

Q. You did not use the word, “free man?”

A. I may have. I’m not certain.

MR. STIDHAM: We would move to introduce Officer Ridge’s handwritten notes.

MR. FOGLEMAN: No objection.

THE COURT: They may be received without objection.



Q. Are you familiar with the police officer’s bill of rights?

A. In that the police officer has to be read his rights as any other citizen would.

Q. Yup. That is the one.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Are you also familiar with the part of that stature that requires that anytime the police officer is interrogated that only one officer can interrogate him at one time?

A. No, sir.

Q. Are you aware of a provision in that same stature that says anytime a police officer is interrogated that the entire interrogation has to be recorded from beginning to end?

A. No, sir, I did not know that.

Q. You didn’t realize that cops have special rights that we citizens --

MR. FOGLEMAN: Your Honor, I object --

THE COURT: What has that got to do with anything is what I want to know.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Even if that were applicable, it wouldn’t make any difference, your Honor. That is a voluntary stature. That does not apply to every police officer. It depends upon whether the municipality or the law enforcement like the county government wants to adopt that or not.

MR. STIDHAM: Judge, it shows that police officers know enough to get a statute passed that protects themselves from each other and it those shows it is a violation of the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution that police officers have a right to have the entire interrogation process recorded.

MR. FOGLEMAN: Your Honor, it’s -- there’s no --

THE COURT: I don’t want to hear anymore. It is totally inapplicable to this situation. You can argue that all you want. As far as eliciting testimony on it, it is totally and completely incompetent and irrelevant.


Q. Do you remember when the polygraph test was administered that day?

A. I had gone to lunch.

Q. You weren’t in the building?

A. No, sir.

MR. STIDHAM: We would like to offer the statement that Officer Ridge tape recorded involving Jason’s parents the day after the arrest.

THE COURT: For what purpose?

MR. STIDHAM: To show that the officer believes in alibis. He made no effort to go out and check the validity of this statement. All he did was take this kid’s word for the fact that these murders occurred at noon and he went out and arrested two other kids.

THE COURT: If you want to stick it in, stick it in.

MR. DAVIS: Judge, if you would note our objection to the relevance of knowing and intelligent and voluntary --

THE COURT: I don’t think it’s relevant myself, but if they want to introduce it, I will let them. I’m not going to give it much attention.




Q. Detective Ridge, Mr. Stidham asked you questions about Jessie told you he worked until five o’clock that day?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You did ultimately talk to the employer?

. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you find out that Jessie was being untruthful when he told you that?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. He also tried to suggest that you suggested that this thing happened at night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Earlier in the statement in the notes that have been introduced -- in regard to Defendant’s Exhibit Three did he tell you about some calls -- phone calls that he had received from either Damien or Jason?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many calls did he tell you he got?

A. Three calls.

Q. When were those calls?

A. The day before the murders occurred, the morning of the murders and after dark.

Q. In this portion that Mr. Stidham was questioning about you suggesting that it happened at night, what did you say to him?

A. “It was like earlier in the day.”
“But don’t you know exactly what time?”

Q, You said, “Don’t you know.”

A. “But you don’t know exactly what time okay ‘cuz I have got some real confusion with the times you’re telling me. But now this nine o’clock in the evening call you’ve got, explain that to me.”

Q. What call are you talking about?

A. The call he had told us about in the prerecorded interview.

Q. After you asked him about the telephone call that night, what did he say?

A. He says, “Well, after all this stuff happened that night that they done it” --

MR. CROW: Your Honor, I’d ask that he read the complete answer.


Q. Read the complete answer.

A. “I went home about noon. Then they called me at 9:00 o’clock that night. They called me.”

Q. So obviously -- he says after they had done this that night, then he says, “I went home about noon.” Then he says, “They called me that night”?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you ask him during that taped interview what time it was?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he have any ideas what time it was?