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Trial of the Century – Part IThe imposing man flashed his bleached smile. He offered his photo ID to the uniformed woman seated behind the glass. She was an attractive sort he thought. Minimal makeup. Wet lip gloss. Sleek, pixie haircut. Decent tits. Not quite 40 years old. Probably never married with two k**s. Her face was gentle, but stern.“I’m here to see D’Clinton Lewis. I’m his lawyer,” the suited up guy declared.“Oh you are, Mr. Goode,” she quizzed looking up at him briefly from the computer screen.“Yes ma’am!”“Don’t ‘ma’am’ me. I’m not your momma,” she playfully admonished him.“Point taken. Are you having a good day?”“It’s a day,” she remarked.“Well, I hope it gets better, Miss…”“Deputy Pickett.”“Do you drink coffee?”“I’m more of a chai tea kinda chick.”“Next time I’m here, I’ll bring you one.”The corrections officer beamed. “You’re too kind. You can have a seat over there and a deputy will be with you in a minute.” She watched the large-built man lumber across the room. ‘He probably played football in college,’ she thought. His skin was dark, onyx dark. But, his eyes had a strong yellowish brown tint with flecks of gold near the iris. She was drawn to him. But the Negro, as charming as he was, had an unmistable adornment on his left hand – an exquisite titanium band inset with round, alternating, bright blue sapphires and white diamonds.Dep. Pickett was not familiar with this lawyer. The address on his license was listed as Bonham. It was an enclave just outside the state capital, about a 90-minute car ride away.Eventually, another deputy appeared. He led the guest to a nondescript room containing a basic table and two uncomfortable institutional chairs. A lanky brown-skinned guy with deep set, rich brown eyes and an old scar on the left side of his face was seated.“Hello, D’Clinton! I’m Terrill Goode. I’m your lawyer,” he said matter-of-factly producing a document from his briefcase.“Huh,” grunted the accused.“I played basketball with your uncle in college,” Terrill started. “He called me last night and told me about your situation. He asked me to help you.”“Fah real,” the thuggish k** slumped back in the chair.“Yeah, son,” boomed the former power forward as he tapped the jewel-encrusted conference championship ring on his right hand. “Now, sit up and let’s get real.”“Chill out, mane,” protested the inmate.“Look. You have to agree to name me counsel. I can’t represent you until you sign this.”“I ain’t got no money.”“I understand, Mr. Clinton. Your uncle explained that. For you this is pro bono, free of charge. Your uncle has offered to pay a small fee to cover some costs.”“So I ain’t gotta pay you nuthin’?”“Not a dime.”“What about that ol’ white nigga,” checked D’Clinton.“I assume you mean Judge Griffiths.”“I thought he was a lawyer.”“He is a lawyer. He was a judge on the chancery court for years before he retired.”“Oh…”“That’s neither here nor there. Do you want me to represent you?”D’Clinton nodded.“I need to hear you say it,” the private practice attorney quipped.“Yep,” relented the detainee.“Perfect. Sign this,” Terrill’s slid over a basic contract with his massive hands.“So what now,” checked the client.“First things first. Have you been talking about this case or your movements on or about the date of the alleged murder?”“Nah, mane! I ain’t said s***t!”“Are you sure? People like to talk…”“I’m sure.”“Okay. Good! Then don’t say anything to anyone ever. Not on the phone. Not in the mess. Not in the bunk. Understand?”“Yeah.”“I’m serious. They probably have this place bugged. I’m going to petition to have you transported to a neutral, secure location for our consultations. We’ll talk more about the case after that.”“Bet,” confirmed D’Clinton.“Are you okay in here? Getting enough to eat? Medical care?”“I’m hungry than a muthaf***ka.”“We can fix that. Here’s a candy bar. I’ll file a motion to have meals delivered to you.”“You can do that?”“There are lots of options. And, I plan to use all of them in your defense. That’s my job and my obligation.”“That’s wassup!”“I gotta run now. But, I’ll be back tomorrow.”On the way out, Terrill waved at Dep. Pickett. He disarmed the alarm system of his metallic plum Cadillac Escalade. He placed a phone to call to Eleasha Jones, his paralegal. “I’m now counsel for Mr. Lewis. I need you finish up those motion drafts and email them to me. I’ll find a place to print them and get them over to clerk’s office.”Terrill decided to drive slowly through the small town and find a place to eat. He spotted a cafe a block over from the courthouse. There were always good places to eat in the court square in small towns – though they were generally only open until 2:00 p.m. It was 1:15 so he needed he hurried inside and was told by a meek, elderly, white woman to take any open seat.Over at the County Government Annex, Miles Toro was in his office. He heard a knock at the door. “Come in,” he said.“D’Clinton Lewis has a new lawyer,” the office manager informed him.“Say what?”“I just got a call from LaTanja Pickett. She said it’s a guy from down in Harrison. Terrill Goode.”“S***t,” he sighed. “Get Jill in here.”The snowy-haired, bronze-skinned woman disappeared.A few minutes later, a relatively attractive blonde appeared. “Hey, chief! What’s up?”“We have a bit of an issue.”“You mean Terrill Goode, huh?”“Yes! As much as I respect your ability, I don’t wanna throw you up against that slick bastard.”“Well, I can hold my own,” she retorted.“I know, but this case’ll be a tinderbox. I’ve got folks demanding Lewis be released. There are more calling for the death penalty. There’s just so much to consider.”“You mean reelection, don’t you?”“Not exactly,” Miles hesitated. “It’s more about how can this Office be impartial? Black male defendant. A somewhat well-connected white transsexual victim.”“I think we’re supposed to say transgender,” the milennial suggested.“Right. Plus race and LGBT. This town will implode any way we play it.”“It’s your call, chief. I’ll respect whatever you decide.”“I appreciate that, Jill. You’re a good lawyer. There will be other cases to make your mark.”“I’m not a blood-thirsty prosecutor, Miles. But, you know capital cases are few and far between in these parts.”“I know,” he acquiesced. “I’m going to recuse myself. I’ll put in a call to Sean Cooper.”“Good luck! I’m happy to assist in any way.”Barbara Wooten, the governor’s chief of staff, took the slip of paper from the executive assistant. This one at least had a touch of personality, but she matched the profile of all the rest. Recently graduated with long, raven tresses and rushed a sorority at either the state’s flagship university or it’s doctoral research land-grant college. She sure hoped her boss and former student wasn’t screwing this one. But, she knew he was.Barbara read the cryptic note and pressed the intercom button. “Samantha, get me District Attorney Toro on the phone now!”“Right away, ma’am.”There was no way, Miles-Johnny-come-lately-Toro was speaking to the governor without going through her. In fact no one did. Sean Cooper liked it that way almost as much as Barbara did. Even the Speaker of the State House had no direct access to top executive. She was the sentinel. Everyone had to make their case to the former legal research and writing professor.She had navigated a career in the law after growing up in the Basin Region. She earned a scholarship to a liberal arts HBCU and then attended a top 20 law school. She spent a year clerking for a federal judge before becoming a staff attorney at the state Appeals Court. She spent seven years there before taking the job teaching at one of the three ABA-approved law schools in the state. This role had caused her to interact with a great number of now practicing attorneys with some of whom she developed lasting relationships – Gov. Cooper being one.“Prof. Wooten, he’s on line one,” Samantha advised.“Thanks!”She pressed a button. “Miles. What’s up?”“I have a case ready to go to grand jury, but I think I need to recuse myself.”“Why is that?”Miles explained the issues at hand and Barbara echoes his concerns.“I’ll circle up with the governor and we’ll get back to you.”Miles pumped his first. He had most likely dodge a bullet. He was the first Black district attorney in this judicial circuit. In fact, he was one eight Blacks across the state who ran for and won election to the top law enforcement position in the respective areas. Their campaigns had been funded by a super-PAC led by a justice reform minded billionaire from a thousand miles away.Miles’ predecessor, Al Dowd, needed to go. He had been in office for more than 20 years. And in the three elections prior to Toro being on the ballot, he ran unopposed. He had created a lucrative pre-trial diversion program that charged exorbitant fees to keep defendants out of jail or pleading guilty. It was close to justice for sale. The situation benefitted well-connected people and worked against the poor and Black population.Terrill finished his bowl of chili and downed the iced tea. He wiped his mouth and threw down a 20-dollar bill. He walked out without asking for the check or acknowledging the waitress. He walked to the courthouse and spoke to the worker. She helped him file the motions electronically. Now, he headed home.Tammy Barker’s head was throbbing. She fumbled with a bottle and finally got it open. She took one of the pills and went to lie down. Since her son had been discovered murdered in his home, she had been in a fog. The d**gs were only adding to bakırköy escort her depression and confusion. She pulled the plus-size polyester sleepshirt close to her body and floudered back to bed. The funeral was tomorrow. How could she get through it?She thought of her Evan, who preferred being called Rosie, and cursed herself. She had let her conservative, Southern, religious upbringing keep her from fully accepting her c***d. She felt guilty and the painkillers were her coping mechanism. She missed him more than anything. She wanted to turn back the clock.Evan worked as a skincare specialist at the local dermatology clinic. He lived most of the time as Rosie. Life was not easy in the town of 20,000 inhabitants, but Rosie got along relatively well.The mainly middle aged, white women whose average household incomes exceeded a hundred grand per year who made up the majority of his clientele adored Rosie. They came from miles around for Botox, microdermabrasion and other services. Rosie made them beautiful again. Rosie helped them escape from the bondage of spoiled c***dren and inattentive husbands or the need to enter into a second marriage. They were making calls on Rosie’s behalf to D.A.’s office en masse.Barbara Wooten had just explained things to the governor. He understood. “Get Scott Willett on the phone now,” he barked an order at Jeanne Herrick. “Tell him I’m not waiting for a call back either. It’s urgent. Then, get Miles Toro on the horn.”“Yes, sir,” veteran confidential assistant replied.“Governor,” boomed the state’s Attorney-General. “What can I do you for?”“Got a case and the D.A. needs to recuse himself due to a conflict of interest.”“Oh,” Scott rolled his eyes wondering why the son-of-a-b***h had reached out to the governor first instead of his office. “Who is it and what’s going on?”The former law professor interjected, “Mr. Attorney-General, it’s Barbara Wooten. I can run you through the particulars.”Scott knew right then, the D.A. had called up Barbara seeking help and advice. Hell, he’d done the same thing on more than one occasion. And, close to a quarter of his staff had been through one of her classes. He listened intently and assured them her and the governor would appoint a special prosecutor.“Might I suggest Theresa,” Barbara half requested half demand.“West,” Willett’s pitch rose.“The one and only.”“She’s pretty freakin’ busy Barbara. You know bein’ the division chief for criminal trials and all,” the man countered.“We need the big dogs in this fight. Remember the defendant has retained Terrill Goode. She runs the team that does this for a living, Scott,” she emphasized his first name.The top law authority in the state thought for a minute. Theresa didn’t have the bandwidth to oversee her department and run a trial. She was one of the three hires that Gov. Cooper, really Barbara, had insisted he make when they first came to Harrison. He’d have to do some rearranging. “I’ll work something out. Can I give you an answer in the morning?”“I’ve got Toro on the other line, I’m gonna conference him in so he’s in the loop,” the governor shared.“Sounds good,” Scott replied.Scott called in his number two. After explaining the situation, he lamented, “This is gonnaa f***kin’ s***t show. It’s stinks pretty damn bad already. We’ve got these new uppity district attorneys funded by some ultra-wealthy, liberal, tree-hugging bastard from God-knows-where recusing themselves on the regular running their district like they own them. And then, there’s Terrill Goode. That flashy motherf***ker is about as ethical as a one-armed paper hanger is effective.”“You’re not wrong, Scott. But, you know the politics of it all. If you wanna end up in the governor’s mansion in six years, you gotta do this.”“I know,” he sighed and shook his head.Terrill Goode was almost home. He made a quick stop at the grocery store and bought a bouquet of flowers. His life was brilliant. He had a loving, beautiful wife and son & daughter. He had a house in a good neighborhood. He was a deacon at one of the more prominent Black churches in the city. Since finishing law school, he’d worked hard to build his practice with his buddy, Freeman St. Louis. Now, at age 39, he was almost where he wanted to be.The trouble was that lawyers didn’t really make what people thought, especially in solo or small group practice. There were clients who could not, or more generally, would not pay. He was grossing right at $100,000 a year so life wasn’t too bad in the area with a reasonable cost-of-living.But, Terrill had an image to maintain. Nobody wanted to be represented by a poor lawyer. Potential clients saw a lack of shiny new vehicles and big houses as an indictment on the attorney’s abilities to haggle effective on their behalf. Plus, Terrill had always been one that loved attention – the class clown, clothing in loud colors, dramatic hand gestures when speaking. He played the part. His belongings were an extension of how he saw himself. In addition to his Escalade, his wife had a BMW 7-Series. He sent the k**s to a majority Black private Catholic school. That ran him nearly $9,000 a year. There were other expenses too.He pulled into the driveway and rushed inside of the contemporary-style 2,600 square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom house. He went into the master bedroom and smiled. “Hey, gorgeous,” he smiled at the woman wearing a headscarf. The home health aide acknowledged him and left the room. “How are you feeling?”“I’m,” she coughed. “Okay.”“These are for you.”“They’re lovely,” the former elementary school teacher turned up her lips.Terrill’s wife, Nakisha, had stage four breast cancer. He had moved out their California-king bed and replaced it with a hospital bed. He usually slept on a futon by her side or occasionally in the guest bedroom. He set down the flowers and moved closer to the mother of his c***dren. He held her hand. The k**s would be home from school soon and today was Mrs. Martha’s day off.The next day, Tammy Baker’s sister walked into her bedroom. She helped her younger sibling bathe and get dressed. She plied her with coffee and water. A licensed practical nurse, she had some experience with substance abusers. She led Tammy into the living room where there were a number of relatives assembled.Tammy held onto to her cousin’s arm as she staggered towards the black limousine.The funeral was sad. Lots of flowers and attendees. The preacher, recruited from a more progressive congregation in another city, delivered an inspiring social justice warrior type entreat. He advocated love, acceptance, and the universality of Christ. Tammy sobbed the entire time.At the county jail, D’Clinton was eating a Big Mac and fries. He had an extra large soda as well. It was all thanks to his uncle, Tavares White, who had wired $15,000 to Goode & St. Louis, Attorneys-at-Law, LLC for D’Clinton’s defense. His mother’s brother had drafted into the NBDL, now known as the NBA G-League, from the NAIA school. He ended up in the actual NBA for six seasons on four different teams. Tavares left to play in China for a few years where he earned a half million annually. Now, he was coaching at a prep school in the Northeast.A deputy came in the room and informed him they needed to head out soon.Jimmy Griffiths, Esq. sat in his cramped office. On the other side of the desk were Terrill and Eleasha. “We should get going,” the retired judge reflected.“Agreed,” Terrill glanced at his Apple watch.The Honorable Henry Albritton, presiding judge of the Circuit Court for this area, had granted several of Terrill’s motions. A few more, he denied. In his infinite wisdom, he ordered that Terrill retain Jimmy Griffiths as co-counsel.Terrill assumed all the folks in criminal justice system were in cahoots with the local members of the bar, most especially a retired jurist. He insisted on renting a hotel room where they would conference with Mr. Lewis.Chancellor Griffiths, his official title while in the state’s employ, thought it was overkill. There weren’t any goddamned bugs in his office. But, he agreed in the end. He was 73 and too old to fight. He just really liked getting out of the house for four to five hours a day and socializing with the courthouse set at one of the cafes. He didn’t even employ a secretary. He lived more than comfortably on his pension and well-invested portfolio. He missed the action. This had once been his fiefdom. He had meted out justice, allocating the assets of deceased people’s estates, determining mental sanity, and mediating divorce settlements & custody battles. Having served on the bench for nearly 25 years, everyone knew him and respected him.A patrol car arrived in front of the hotel. The uniformed officer escorted D’Clinton through the lobby and down the hall. He left the k** handcuffed. Albritton denied the request for him to be unshackled – at least he was in street clothes.The law enforcement officer stood outside the room. Eleasha turned on the white noise machine and set it on the floor near the man.Terrill went through the next stages of what was about to happen. Right then, the defense team’s phones buzzed. There was a text message from one of the assistant clerks. The AG had just announced Theresa West as the special prosecutor. She had a second-chair too. Someone named Jessica Forrester.Terrill knew Theresa personally. Their k**s went to the same school although hers were in the upper division. Also, she was in the same beşiktaş escort sorority alumnae chapter as Nakisha. Plus her husband played golf with one of Terrill’s mentors in the law.The chancellor had met her socially a couple of times when she was director of the law clinic at his alma mater. “They’re making a big hairy deal out of this,” he declared asserted. “So, you know what that means, right?”“We gotta make a bigger deal,” Eleasha offered.“Damn right! This gal is sharp. Where’d you find her?”“She graduated from State,” Terrill glared.Eleasha swallowed the micro-aggression and turned the conversation back to D’Clinton.“Now, we’re not going to ask if you did or didn’t do it, Mr. Lewis, but we need to know if you had contact with the victim within the 24 hours before he was discovered,” Terrill laid it on the table.“I ain’t kill Rosie. She was cool, you know. I saw her the day before,” D’Clinton admitted. It jived with his statement to the police so far.“What transpired between the two of you?”“We chilled and smoked,” he claimed.“Chilled,” the mother of two raised her eyebrows. “Can you be more specific?”“We watched some TV.”“What show did you watch,” Terrill pried.“I dunno. I think it was SVU.”“You need to be sure. Are you sure it was SVU?”“Yeah…Yeah it was!”“What else transpired?”“Nuthin’.”“Mr. Lewis,” Jimmy cleared his throat. “I’m pretty old school as you can see. Did you two have carnal knowledge of one another.”“The hell is he talkin’ ‘bout,” he looked glanced back and forth at his skinfolk.“Sexual intercourse,” the woman clarified.“Huh?”The chancellor chimed in again. He was stern “Look here! I know one thing when a man is about to answer a question with a lie he says ‘huh’. Doesn’t matter if he’s Black or white. It’s universal.”Eleasha pleaded, “D’Clinton you have to be completely honest in the answers to our questions. Did you and Rosie have sex on or about the day before the murder?”“Oral sex,” he whispered.“Who was the giver? The receiver?”“She did me,” he revealed.“Do you mean she performed fellatio on you?”“Yeah, she sucked my d***k.”“Forgive me, but I have to ask,” the woman said. “Had there ever been other sexual encounters between you and Rosie?”D’Clinton affirmed with a nod.“How often? What acts,” Terrill inquired.“You know. Oral mostly. I gave it to her a few times.”“Anal intercouse you mean,” Eleasha pressed.“Yeah.”“Was it always consensual?”“Yeah. She liked it.”“Did you like it?”He hesitated.Eleasha reassured him. “We’re not necessarily planning to use any of this in court. We just need to know so we can figure out the best way to handle your case.”“It was aight,” he intimated.“So no one was ever coerced,” the former hoopster quizzed.“Nah. It wasn’t like that. Rosie liked to get down you know.”“What do you mean?”“I ain’t the only nigga that was f***kin’ her.”“Oh yeah? Do you know any of their names?”“I know two for sure. I got suspicions about others.”Jimmy handed his yellow legal pad to the client. “Write down their names and any contact information. Indicate the ones you’re ‘sure’ of.”Terrill salivated. “This’ll be helpful in establishing reasonable doubt. Mr. Barker was a sexually liberated individual who had multiple lovers. All of which could have flown into a jealous rage and committed the murder.”They had some more conversation and wrapped up about an hour later. The team remained behind to strategize and get to work.A young, eager staffer drove Barbara Wooten in one of the base-model sedans from the motor pool. She was heading to the building where the Attorney-General’s office was housed. She had a meeting with Scott and Theresa.Barbara was pleased with what she heard.Theresa was going to convene a grand jury early next week. Her second chair had been in contact D.A. Toro’s office. Things were progressing nicely.Barbara approved. She saw this a win for the governor. Having never married or had c***dren, she felt a somewhat maternal connection to her students. That’s why she joined Sean Cooper’s gubernatorial campaign as a senior strategist. He was a Republican and she was a Democrat, but she fought fiercely for him. He got 11% of the Black vote. More than three times the rate of previous members of his party.And, Barbara made sure to marshal Sean in the right direction. He had committed to making the judiciary look more the state. When she graduated from law school in 1984, the state had 287 active judges in the unified court system. Of those, only four were Black. The situation was a bit improved when Sean took office, but nowhere near parity with the general demographics. There were 321 jurists on the bench, 19 Blacks. Barbara had helped Sean appoint 17 highly qualified Blacks to unexpired terms of those retiring or resigning in the past three years. The lay of the land was vastly different. Blacks had about 10.5% of judgeships. With one each on the Appeals Court and the Supreme Court. Unthinkable in 1984 and she had been a part of it all.“We need a local investigator,” the chancellor advocated.“I agree,” Terrill tappe his nose with his huge forefinger.“Yeah, but who?”“There’s a guy. Former Bureau of Criminal Investigations agent. Retired under questionable circumstances. He’s got a farm out here. I’m sure he can stay sober enough for a few hours a day to help him out?”“Can we trust him?”“More so than anybody else from around here. And you know local folks aren’t talkin’ to anyone they don’t know. Plus one these name is a city cop.”“Point taken.”“I’ll give him a call when I get to the office.”“This is big,” mouthed Terrill.D’Clinton rested his eyes on the ride back. Tonight he was having fried catfish, baked beans, and coleslaw from Sand Dollar’s. He was looking forward to it. He debated having told them he was f***king Rosie. It was a done deal now. And he had been honest. He did enjoy it f***king her tight, tanned, bubble ass. Her hole always gripped his d***k so tight. Her mouth was wet as hell too. He was horny as s***t. He would have to settle with jerking off under the covers after lights out.Terrill drove while Eleasha pecked away on her laptop’s keyboard. He dropped her off at the office and went in to do a little work on cases belonging to paying clients. He had to keep the lights on regardless of what else was happening. It was slightly after 5:00 so the secretary was already gone and Freeman was with a client down on the coast. He called the basic phone he had added to the family phone.“Hello,” a lady answered.“Hey, Mrs. Martha. It’s me.”“How are you, baby,” she asked.“Pretty good. Is Kisha awake?”“No. She’s sleeping.”“Okay, I gotta work a little while longer. So, I won’t be home till 7:00 or so.”“No problem. I can stay till 8:00. I’ll get the k**s fed and ready for bed. You take your time.”“Thanks!”Terrill went back to work. He made another call after a bit. “Can you come to my office?”“When,” a demure voice wondered.“Now. I don’t have to be home till 7:30.”“Let me freshen up. Then I can swing by in about 30 minutes.”“Sounds good,” Terrill said as his manhood twitched.Terrill’s burner phone buzzed. He went to open the back door. “Hey, gorgeous,” he beamed.“How are you,” asked the woman.“I’m swamped. I need some relief.”“Is that so,” ran her slender fingers along his chest.“Yeah, baby.”Terrill kissed her.Soon, she was on her knees with his eight-inch d***k in her mouth. The saltiness and musk of his balls actually turned her on. She slobbered all over his shaft.“I hate to be so direct,” Terrill shared before standing her up and bending her over the desk. He pulled up her dress and pulled down her panties. “Pre-lubed like always. Yeah, baby?”“You already know, Tee,” she confirmed.He pushed inside of her. She yelped slightly.“Oh yeah! This assp***y is tight,” he lauded.“Your d***k feels so good, daddy!”“You like that, girl?”“I love it! F***k me!”“Yeah! I’m f***king you!”“You like this tranny p***y?”“Oh yeah, girl,” he admitted reaching around to stroke her clitty.“Damn, Negro! Give me that d***k!”“It’s yours, Patriece!”“I love you, Tee!”“I love you too!”Terrill pounded with great force. His mammoth body dwarfed her. At five-foot-six and more than a buck twenty, she was petite thing. But, boy could take d***k. Finally, he could take no more. He flooded the depths of her warm, inviting inner sanctum with his seed.“Oh my god,” she cried out. “Get me pregnant!”“I wish.”They cleaned up.“Sorry it was so rushed,” he apologized.“It’s cool. We’ve known each other a long time. They can’t all be marathons, right?”“Yeah! You’re right as always. How long have I known you?”“Thirteen years.”“Really?”“You were just out of law school.”“That’s right I was. It’s been a minute.”“That it has,” the slightly older transsexual concurred. “Well, I gotta get back home.”“I’ll call you soon.”Terrill sat back down. He went through a few more files. He was no longer conflicted with the fact he was in love with Patriece. He just considered himself inadequate because he had never really treated her with priority. Sometimes, he felt she had moved on from loving him. He wanted to be with her, but there was no way he could leave Nakisha now. He felt a duty to her and he did love her albeit in a different way.The next week, Theresa arrived at the local courthouse. Jessica, who had been camped out in town at a hotel since the day after the meeting with her boss, the A.G., & Barbara, presented the case.The 31 year old rising star put two witnesses before the assembly of 18 registered voters. Transcripts beylikdüzü escort of these proceedings were confidential. The youngest assistant A.G. in Willett’s Office explained this deliberately and emphatically. She put four witnesses before them.The first was an elderly neighbor w***emembered seeing a powder blue Mercury Grand Marquis parked outside of Rosie’s single-wide trailer the day before she was found dead. The vehicle was known to belong to D’Clinton Lewis. Yes, the man had seen the slim built guy there before.The second person to testify was a cousin who used her key to access the mobile home after not being able to reach Rosie.Up next, the detective w***esponded to the 9-1-1 call. He described the state of the body, the domicile and ultimately interviewing the suspect. He indicated the story changed multiple times and it was apparent D’Clinton was trying to hide something.Lastly, the forensics lab tech testified. Jessica walked her through her qualifications – undergrad degree in chemistry, master’s in forensic science. She was the one who ran the analyses and found the accused’s DNA on the victim.It only took 16 minutes for them to return an indictment in a vote of 15 to 3.Chancellor Griffiths called Terrill as soon as he heard.“I’ll be up there tomorrow. I want to do a press conference,” the lead attorney proffered.“That’s not a bad idea. I imagine you’ve got some contacts at the news stations.”“Sure do. Leave it with me.”“Steps of the courthouse as the location?”“Absolutely!”The next evening, Patriece Gardner was watching the news. She had seen a preview of the press conference during a commercial break. There was Terrill, the man she had loved for years, publicly defending a man accused of killing a transwoman. She didn’t know how to feel. She sent him a message that read, ‘Seriously?!?!?’ Then, she poured a glass of Cabernet.The licensed professional counselor had never had any desire to out any with whom she was linked. And, she didn’t appreciate blatant rudeness or homophobia from them. She believed it was possible to be in the same place as a married man, who was f***king her, and his wife without any drama transpiring. She had been in this situation multiple times with no issue. But, this felt like an affront. Was it really? Or, was he just doing his job? She decided to accept her thoughts and not pass pass judgment tonight.Miles Toro was present at every pre-trial hearing. He had been part of Theresa’s press conference the following day. He spoke for a few minutes explaining that his Office would fully assist the Sr. Assistant Attorney-General and her team. He was happily watching this three ring circus from the sidelines.Theresa West scribble on her notepad. She was writing nothing in particular. She was just tired sleeping in a bed that was not her own and missing dinners with her husband & their fraternal twin daughters. She was a powerhouse lawyer, but she had always balanced her career with being a wife and mother. She first joined a firm in Harrison that also had three more offices and about 100 lawyers in the Southeast. She rose in the ranks and pulled in a hefty salary by comparison to other women in her field.Theresa decided against returning to after maternity leave. After eight years, she walked away from a hefty six-figure salary as a junior partner. She took on some adjunct teaching at the law school in town and set up a boutique solo practice before negotiating a move to the northern part of the state to take on a full-time role as a clinical professor. She was grateful to him. She was also annoyed with Terrill and Toro.She thought things she would never dare say out loud – at least not around anyone who wasn’t a Black woman. The musings about Miles went like this. ‘Look at this lazy motherf***ker sitting at the table doing nothing but hanging onto my coattails. He should give half his $12,200 monthly salary to me.’ And, in relation to Terrill, it was no better. ‘Such a loud-mouth, shucking-and-jiving, slimy male chauvinist.’The only thing was Theresa genuinely liked the guys and respected them before they were her adversaries.. She knew Miles pretty well with them having been just a year apart in law school. Terril was a good dad and was always friendly when they interacted at PTA meetings. She chopped her feelings up to the adversarial nature this case had created. Her head was simply in the game.Judge Albritton tapped his gavel. “Recess. We’ll reconvene in an hour.” He rushed out and everyone struggled to stand. It was Tuesday and Juanita’s had country fried steak on Tuesdays. The judge ate there every week unless he was on vacation or bedridden. The restaurant was only open from 6:45 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. He abhorred the endless motions and objections from both sides. Why hadn’t he granted that blasted petition for a venue change and handed this boondoggle over to some younger judge who was looking for a career maker. He was on the downward trajectory at 64 years of***ge. He wasn’t even considering running for reelection and staying on until mandatory retirement. He was ready to be done.Henry Albritton was joined in his walk across the street to the establishment owned by an 80 year-old woman whose father had been a sharecropper by his staff attorney and the county clerk. The trio sat at their usual table. While sipping his coffee, the defense lawyers walked through the door. The prosecutors were only moments behind. The jurist with two daughters and one grandson removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Is there no rest for the weary,” he muttered.The others shook their heads.“Thanks for the recess, Your Honor,” called out Terrill from across the room. “This food’s delicious.” He shoveled another massive bite into his mouth.“See what I mean,” Henry whispered. Then he put on a forced smile and spoke up, “Best country fried steak in the county.”“Thank y’all,” crowed the octogenarian entrepreneur.Terrill went to use the restroom after clearing his plate. He ate faster than anyone he knew. And today was no exception even though he’d gotten a double portion of meat and had four sides. He pissed and washed his hands. He walked outside. He placed a call to Patriece. She answered.“What’s up?”“Hello to you too,” he chuckled. “I’m just on lunch.”“How’s the trial?”“It’s pre-trial hearings, but it’s good.”“Good.”“Are you upset with me?”“I don’t think so.”“I want to see you soon.”“I’ll let you know. It’s kinda hectic at work right now.”“Okay I’ll let you go.”“Yeah. I’m trying not connect you to defending this tranny killer.”“Huh?”“Forget it. That wasn’t fair of me to say. Call me tonight if you can.”He ended the call deflated. He wanted Patriece’s approval. He decided to check on Nakisha. She sounded weak, but promised she was feeling okay. He knew better, but he used an upbeat tone when responding to the assertion.Roy Weldon was standing in the court square when the defense team returned. “Can we talk?”“We can head over to my office,” the chancellor suggested.Terrill nodded. “How long is this gonna take?”“Maybe ten minutes. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.”“Okay, let’s go,” Jimmy urged the group.The investigator summarized, “So, this Rosie character, uh Evan, or whatever. He was a nymphomaniac. I’ve confirmed positively three of the names on the list you gave me. Another two have appeared as well. And here’s the clincher. The old man, the neighbor, has a granddaughter. She’s been in rehab, but she was staying with her paw-paw in the weeks preceding the murder and her relapse. She says she told the detective there was a city police cruiser parked in Rosie’s yard that night before she was found dead. And, that she heard yelling. A couple of days later some chick she’d never seen was offering her MDMA.”“So it’s a dirty cop,” opined Terrill.“Sure looks like it,” Jimmy agreed.“Maybe. Maybe not. The granddaughter also remembers seeing a figure in a hoodie walking around the trailer park later that night.”“Hell! This is great,” the chancellor whooped. “We’ve got two other possible suspects.”“When can you talk to the cop,” Terrill asked.“Soon. I get my hooch from a buddy of his.”Later that night, D’Clinton was back in the cell. There were six bunks and all of them occupied. There was a newbie among the group this evening. The brown-skinned dude was kind of big-boned and had a fluffy sort of build. He could see fat rolls underneath the jumpsuit. The guy was soft even though he had a closely cropped beard. Apparently, he went by the name of Asa.D’Clinton could hear one of the dudes that had a few more months to go on his sentence banging Asa.“F***k me,” purred the freaky bottom.“Yeah, f***ggit! Take this d***k,” the Negro commanded.“Yes, sir! Give it to me!”“I’m all up in this f***ggit p***y. F***k, boo!”“How’s this ass feel, nigga!”“Like a goddamn p***y!”“Ooh, daddy!”“You mah b***h!”“Yes I am. All yours!”D’Clinton’s long prick was at full attention. He stroked feverishly.“You got some good f***ggit ass!”“F***k me with that donkey d***k!”“I’m finna f***k yo’ boi-tittes. Get on yo’ back!”D’Clinton groaned as he shot his load. Then, he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. The last thing he remembered thinking was that he was gonna get some ass tomorrow from one of the punks.Weldon reported back the next day. The cop had admitted to knowing Rosie and having hung out with her prior to his attending the police academy. Says it was always in a group setting, He maintained he was not in the area that night. He suggested they subpoena the GPS records. “Already ahead of you,” Eleasha typed away.“I think I can lean on him a little harder next time,” Weldon said.“Do it,” the chancellor tapped his knuckles on the desk.“Absolutely,” Terrill agreed. “We’re going to subpoena him.”There was no luck yet on the mysterious hooded guy, but things were looking up.

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