The sworn testimony given by a former University of Memphis vice president conflicts with the events surrounding the campus murder of Tiger Football player Taylor Bradford.
During a university-run appeal hearing, the testimony was given by Bob Eoff, who served as vice president of communications, marketing and public relations at the U of M from 2007 to 2011. The purpose of the hearing was to determine if the U of M had unjustly terminated Curt Guenther, a former director of communications.
These types of hearings have no subpoena power — Eoff volunteered to testify against Guenther. Eoff voluntarily brought up during his testimony the handling of the Bradford murder in 2007 as evidence of Guenther’s alleged incompetency.
Eoff supervised and evaluated Guenther’s work while the two were at the U of M. According to University Legal Counsel Melanie Murry, Eoff’s former position at the U of M qualified him to testify on Guenther deficiencies as director of communications. Murry also presented Eoff as an expert in communicating with the media since he worked in television for nearly 40 years and was the general manager of WREG-TV for some time.
Eoff testified that Guenther did not “report up” important information, leaving Eoff “surprised” when important events happened on campus. He gave a few examples, one of which was about the Bradford murder, which occurred on a Sunday night, Sept. 30, 2007.
Eoff testified: “In the fall of my first year, there was a tragic murder on the campus. I found out about the murder by watching the ten o’clock news on Sunday night and seeing Curt Guenther in front of a television camera being interviewed about the murder. I never got a phone call — I’d been home all evening—cell phone on (and home) telephone on. No word at all from him.”
But, The Daily Helmsman contacted all four local news stations. There seems to be no record of Guenther appearing on television on the night Bradford was murdered.
“We went to the scene on the night of the 30th, but, the shooting happened around 10:15 p.m. Our newscast ends at 10:30 p.m. We didn’t get anything on the air the night of the 30th at all,” --Kim Wheeler, assignment desk manager at WATN-TV, Channel 24, Kim Wheeler.