Interview with Louis McDuffie

Tell me, did you and your family follow the trial?


Well we, followed just about every, ah, inch of it because, ah, we found out that the trial was going to be moved to Tampa because they said that that type of trial, the, they didn't think that the people that were involved could get a fair trial here. So they moved it up to Tampa. And at that point I had my views about what probably would have happened, you know, what was going to happen since they moved the trial, you know. And, ah, when the trial started in Tampa, we, we were there, we were there every day of the trial. And, ah, I remember we were in trial, we were in the court that Friday and, ah, we, they finished real late and they came back that Saturday morning to continue and possibly come with the verdict or whatever. And, ah, that night we, we went back to the hotel rooms and, ah, I would say to my wife, I says, well, you know, after listening at the whole trial I was trying to see who was the real guilty ones or whatever because after listening at the trial I felt that maybe some had played more than others and this is what I was doing in my mind. I was just trying to, in fact I had it weeded out or I had it wind down to three. And, as we went back to the hotel room that night, that's what I, you know, went to bed with that night on my mind. I was telling my wife, I says, "Well, if they don't get all of them then three of those guys are going to get it," just like that. So, we went to court that morning. And, ah, which was a short session. They was almost through and then they, ah, yeah, it was a short session and then they went in to get the verdict and, ah, and they came out and I mean you're just sitting there, you know, you're tense, you're, you know, on edge, you know, you're saying to yourself, "Well, that guy, you know, well if they let him go, we know he's going to get it," and, ah, and then when they, I think it was five of them that, ah, were on trial, and ah, when they said, all five, they were not guilty and I mean that's really was a, a, a low blow is, is you know, is you could call it because I was just so sure that, ah, somebody was going to, you know, get, you know, get convicted for this, for this incident. But, ah, the emotions were flying real high in, ah, the courtroom there and, ah, everybody was just running to try to get to the cars and stuff because it was something had started up in Tampa there and of course was me and my wife and my sister-in-law and my mother and, ah, somebody else and we were just trying to get to our car and get out of there because just alone the attitude, ah, of the people in Tampa. Some of the restaurants that we would go in to eat even the hotel that we were staying in, when we'd walk in the lobby, I mean everybody, they knew us without even, you know, I mean, people in that town just, ah, they just knew us everywhere we went. We'd go to Burger King, they'd know us. We'd go to eat breakfast, they'd know us and I mean they would just and really I was afraid of the people in the town there because, ah, ah--