Just One Question

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn — I never know what to expect in these types of interviews. They’re not your typical, run-of-the-mill interview with the local Girl Scout troupe.

I found myself sitting on a hard, wood bench in a dingy room on the first floor of the Montgomery County, Tenn., Jail. I listened to these two ladies talk about their “babies” that they were going to visit. One said, “A man needs a magazine in jail.”

I brought no such gifts with me.

My interviewee is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of first-degree murder and a slew of armed robberies. The two people he is charged with killing were cops. Needless to say, he’s not well liked in the police community.

But I wanted to know more for my story. The police and the prosecutors weren’t doing it for me. So, I had one place to turn — the defendant. And I had one question for this man: Are you worried about your case?

It’s a question no one has bothered to ask. And my interviewee thanked me for talking with him. So in one sense, I’m a trendsetter. I’m sure the Nashville TV stations and the AP will pick up the story. That always makes a reporter feel good.

I found my interview to be very informative. He had a lot to say, which always makes a reporter’s job easier. I can’t wait to write my story tomorrow; I think it’ll be one of my better efforts.

I was at a wreck scene for over seven hours when this saga began (That story was nominated for an award). I was there when the charges were levied. It looks as though I’ll be there when it’s all over. Needless to say, I feel very close to this story.