The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 19, 2013

Pollard describes Cinema X manager's death

OTTUMWA — For the first time, the court heard Bruce Pollard give his account of what happened the night Kenneth McDaniel was murdered.

Pollard, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Cinema X manager McDaniel on March 11, 2012. His body was discovered two days later.

On Friday, the court listened to audio of two interviews Pollard had with Ottumwa Investigator Steve Harris.

During the second interview on March 19, 2012, Pollard said he gave McDaniel $5 to watch a movie. During the autopsy, two loose $5 bills were found in McDaniel's chest pocket.

"I was in the back of the theater," Pollard said. "He [McDaniel] comes back and sits next to me. ...I felt something on my leg, man!"

That's when Pollard tried to escape, he said. But when he tried to push the front door, it was locked. That was corroborated by McDaniel's friend, Marlin Ray Hesse, who tried to enter the theater at 6 p.m. but was unable because the door was locked.

"I reached for the crowbar in my pocket and I turned around and he's right there," Pollard said, which was when he said he hit McDaniel over the head. "I had no intention of killing him. We was on the ground, wrasslin' for a few minutes, something like that, and then ... he was dead."

During the interview, Pollard also admits to throwing some DVDs in a black bag, unlocking the door and walking to the Promise Center, where he stashed everything in the center's "top deck." He also said he had been sexually abused as a child, that he had mental disorders and he called McDaniel a "pervert."

He was laid-back and "prepared with what he was going to tell me" during his second interview, Harris said, compared to the first interview three days prior when Pollard seemed "very anxious."

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