Investigators conducted a canvass of Murff's patrons to try to corroborate JP Wallace's alibi.
Beginning at 3:00 p.m., February 2, 2001 and continuing on February 3 and 4, 2001, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed various people who were in Murff's on January 26, 2001.
In an interview with Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department dated January 29, 2001, JP Wallace provided the following as names of people who could corroborate his presence at Murff's: Franklin, Bobby; Swanson, Jack; Tatum, Jimbo; Unknown last name, Mike.
These individuals and other Murff's patrons were interviewed to determine whether they remember Wallace's presence at Murff's on January 26, 2001 and to gather any relevant information they might possess.
The witness statements provided below are in summary and not verbatim and are representative of all interviews conducted.
116 Filmore, Oxford
Mr. Franklin said that he did in fact remember JP Wallace at Murff's on the day in question. He said that he first remembered seeing Wallace around 3:00 p.m.
He said that Wallace said hello, bought him a beer, and they talked about the upcoming basketball game for a few minutes.
Franklin asked Wallace what he had going on that night, and Wallace replied that he was going to "go see Missy for a while" and then wasn't sure what the rest of his night's activities would entail.
When asked if he had made a phone call to or received a phone call from Wallace that afternoon, Franklin said he occasionally makes and receives such phone calls while he is at Murff's, but he could not recall whether such a call had taken place on January 26.
When questioned about the length of time that he remembered seeing Wallace at Murff's on January 26, 2001, Franklin replied that he saw him off and on throughout the afternoon and evening.
Franklin remembered a large crowd being at Murff's that day and said that he didn't talk to anyone in particular for any length of time. He just occasionally saw Wallace, although he did remember Wallace being at the bar "pretty late."
County Road 123, Abbeville
Mr. Swanson said he remembered Wallace being present at Murff's. He said he first saw Wallace around 3:00 p.m. and talked to him for a while.
Later, Wallace told him that he was going to see "Missy," whom Swanson understood to be Missy Hammond, and that he would be back after a while if anyone was looking for him.
Swanson said Wallace then returned a very short time afterwards. Swanson remembered Wallace's return very distinctly because "everyone gave JP a hard time about it."
Swanson did not know how long Wallace stayed at Murff's, but claimed that Wallace was still there when he left at 10:30 p.m.
18 Lincoln, Oxford
Mr. Tatum said he got off work at lunchtime and headed over to Murff's. He said he remained there for the rest of the afternoon and that he remembered seeing Wallace there but could not remember what time.
Tatum claimed to have been extremely inebriated and blamed that for the fuzziness of his memory.
Tatum said he knows that Wallace was there but cannot provide any specific details.
Tatum was, however, able to provide the last name for the "Mike" that Wallace referred to in his interview. Tatum said that this reference was to Mike Zimmerman.
618 Madison, Oxford
Mr. Zimmerman said that he remembered Wallace at Murff's. He thought that Wallace might have left again later in the evening, "maybe around 7:00."
When pushed for details, Zimmerman backed off, saying that he wasn't positive that Wallace actually left the bar, that maybe he just didn't see him.