New interrogation tapes released in Shockley case - New York News

New interrogation tapes released in Shockley case

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

Investigators still haven't found the body of Jhessye Shockley, but they do believe her mother is the killer.

For the first time, we're hearing what Jerice Hunter told investigators in the days after she reported her daughter missing.

These interviews took place in the hours after Jhessye was reported missing.  As you'll see, detectives are very skeptical as Hunter denies everything.

"I didn't harm my baby."

A pregnant Jerice Hunter got emotional as a Glendale detective pressed her on the whereabouts of her daughter.

Detective: "Did you do anything to hurt Jhessye?"

Hunter: "No."

Detective: "Deliberately?"

Hunter: "No."

Detective: "Accidentally?"

Hunter: "No."

Detective: "How about something you didn't even realize was happening?"

Hunter: "No."

Detective: "And you didn't know what to do?"

Hunter: "No, sir.  I did not harm my baby."

In the wide ranging interviews, the detective gets Hunter to admit she spent time in a prison in California for hitting her children with an extension cord.

"When I whopped her, it left marks and you can't leave marks or nothing when you are disciplining your children, but I did not know honestly that I was messing up," said Hunter.

Hunter reported Jhessye missing on October 11, 2011.  She claimed Jhessye was home sick from school in the days leading up to the 9-1-1 call.

But police found holes in her story, like cancelled doctors appointments for Jhessye and the fact she was out of school for three and a half weeks -- much longer than Hunter claimed.

Detective: "I am telling you what their record show. September 22nd."

Hunter: "That has got to be a mistake.  My baby has been at school..my baby has been at school."

Police didn't buy any of Hunter's story.  About a month after the initial report, they brought her back in. 

She was wearing her slippers and a robe.

Before she was arrested, a detective read her rights and tried to get more out of her.

Detective: "I think it is important for your children to be truthful and honest."

Hunter: "I have been and I don't want to say anything else until an attorney is present. And whatever that is, need to read it."

With that, police stopped asking questions.

Hunter's own children ended up telling police that she beat and locked Jhessye in a closet and that the closet smelled like death.

Hunter pleaded not guilty to murder.  She is in jail awaiting trial.

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