Paul Quinn’s Weblog

News from Ole Miss and Oxford

UPDATE: The DM and OPD come to understanding

Posted by paulquinn on May 7, 2008

Yesterday I posted about Oxford Police asking for a statement or a copy of DM reporter Victoria Howell’s notes regarding a story she wrote.

Since my post the OPD lieutenant trying to get information has been informed of our attorney’s advice. He was not surprised and even expected to be told Howell would have to be subpoenaed before any information could be handed over.

He mentioned the idea of an “off the record” conversation with Howell, however the information OPD wants Howell does not have. When I asked him what kind of “off-the-record” information OPD wanted he said, “Just who we might need to go talk to.”

Howell could not get a hold of anybody else who knew anything so he let the “off-the-record” idea rest.

“Depends on what we can put together without her,” was the lieutenant’s response when I inquired if they still planned to subpoena Howell, “tell Victoria she doesn’t need to worry at this point.” (emphasis mine)

Then we talked about how The DM picked up the story. I explained rumors around campus of Ole Miss basketball player Brandi Tipton getting injured in a late night car crash was what tipped us off. He said that made sense and that was that.

It seems for now OPD will continue their investigation into O’ Conner but, will back off Howell. O’ Conner just said he hit Tipton late one night on his way home, then was arrested after he and Tipton got into it at the hospital.

Hopefully OPD’s investigation doesn’t require Howell’s testimony but, we won’t know anything for a while now.

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3 Responses to “UPDATE: The DM and OPD come to understanding”

  1. wbnero said

    You told all this to OPD? The whole point of refusing to talk and getting a lawyer is not to tell them anything. We are the media, and we don’t have to go to court to tell on people. We get to know stuff, and we should have a privilege to be able to develop sources who can trust us. OPD should do their own reporting work. Jeez Paul, stop spilling all our beans.

  2. paulquinn said

    wbnero: I see your point. I have re-worded the post so all the information here is in public record. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Hey Paul,

    Thanks for commenting on my story. As for Purple Haze. Get on North Lamar, driving past Uptown, through the line of houses, then continue past Volta. (I’m guessing that from Uptown to Purple Haze is about .5 miles). You’ll go through the stop light at Handy Andy, and it will be on your right a little past that. It’s a purple house, literally, with a small parking area out front. Somewhere on the house it says Purple Haze. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

    As for the story you just wrote about, OPD and The DM. I actually just completed Media Law this semester and am a little familiar with these procedures. Gathering from your piece, I am assuming that Howell’s information is concerning an incident about a car wreck/crime/ etc. If that is the case, and this is criminally related in any way, if police cannot access the information that Howell reported or claimed from any other source, then they do have the right to subpoena her. However, if it is without warrant, and there is other outside means to retrieve this information, then Howell’s First Constitutional right holds firm.

    Would be interested to see how this turns out.

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