Attorney Sharla stood, and walked up to the judge, where the curious crowd behind her could also listen in. “My client has been seen holding a knife over the dead body of Jamison.” She paused to look at the man then continued even louder. “Although he is innocent.” The crowd behind her gasped. “Until proven guilty,” Sharla continued, with one finger high in the air, “Ms. Jones should know better.” With full force she slammed her hands on the opposing attorney’s desk.
Sharla rose from her position and stood up straight, saying, “I call Rosa to the stands.” A older women with white hair, walked slowly over to the stand. An officer had to help her midway since she took too long.
“IS it true that on the night of February 20, you were in the house with Mr. Cohan?”
“Y-yes I was,” the woman said in a quiet voice; barely anyone could hear her. The crowd leaned in, scooting to the edge of their seats.
“And is it true,” Sharla continued, “that you were the only one in the house with him.”
The old lady lowered her head and nodded.
“I’m sorry, but can you speak up, please.”
“It’s true,” the lady said and she began to cry. The room started to buzz with whispers.
“Order in my court,” the judge demanded.
“I have no further questions,” Sharla said, walking away from the stand with a huge smile on her face.
Ms. Jones, the other attorney went up to the stand holding a piece of paper. “Can you please read what this says, Rosa. Loud enough so that the people in the back may hear you.”
Rosa sat up, wiped a few tears from her red eyes and read what was on the paper. “I will be back shortly, got to pick up some milk from the grocery store.”
Ms. Jones nodded and took back the paper. “This note was found in the kitchen, with the date February 20th written on the bottom. It is possible that Rosa stepped outside the house BEFORE the murder occurred. Then, not realizing what happened, she came home, put the milk in the fridge and then went to bed, only to wake up the next day and find her nephew dead.”
Ms. Jones nodded and went back to her desk, this time she was smiling instead of Sharla. With a brand new attitude, Sharla went back up to the stand and asked the poor old Ms. Rosa several questions. Such as, “Are you mentally ill, are you sure you wrote that not on the 20th and not the 19th? Why did you leave a note instead of just going out to get the milk?”
“Objection!” Ms. Jones proclaimed. “What relevance does this really have to the case?”
“Agreed,” the judge said. “Ms. Sharla, are you badgering the woman in order to confuse her?”
Sharla blinked her eyes innocently. “No, your Honor, I would never.”
“Then, carry on.”
And so she did. Her beauty even had the highest judge in the county melting in her hands. Pathetic, I say, pathetic!
“Okay, now I would like to call my client to the stand, George Mires.”
George, a tall man with a long beard, bald, and a beer belly, came waltzing over to the stand as if he was in a circus.
“George,” Sharla began, “I mean, Mr. Mires, where were you that night.”
“I was in my bed, cozy with my blanket and a bottle of rim.”
“I see. Was there anyone else there to justify this?”
“No.” George shook his head.
“Well, still….” Sharla stalled for a minute; she probably didn’t think George would say that. “Okay, what happened that day?”
“Welp, I was doing my daily yoga exercise, it’s good for my health, you know (he pointed at his belly), when my neighbor came knocking on my door in a frantic. She told me how her nephew was found dead in his bed and asked if I could call the police.”
“Didn’t you find that odd that she didn’t just call the police herself?”
“No.” George held his head up high. “She was in shock, like she didn’t know what was going on. I would be to.” He looked over at Rosa. “Hell, I probably wouldn’t even be able to dial 9-1-1 correctly if that happened to someone I loved.”
“Mhmmm….” Sharla seemed afraid. Clearly this wasn’t going the way she hoped. I wouldn’t be surprised if she asked George to lie on stand. But I’m glad he told the truth, it serves her right. “I have no further questions, your honor,” Sharla said this quickly.
Ms. Jones went to the stand, however, even though she believed George was guilty and wanted to attack him with so many questions, she called another witness to the stand instead.
“I call Jordania to the stand.”
Everyone in the room gasped. They turned around to face me as I stood and went to the front of the court. No one was expecting me to make a statement. After all, I did supposedly hate Rosa and her family, why would I help her?
I looked over at Sharla with a satisfying grin. She went pale as a ghost and sunk in her chair.
“Jordania, may I call you by your first name.”
I looked back at Ms. Jones and nodded.
“Good. Jordania, how are you related to Rosa?”
“I am her daughter. The one she gave up for adoption several years ago because she couldn’t handle my attitude.”
“I see,” there was a short pause, “and so you are connected to this story, how?”
I cleared my throat before speaking. “I was there on the night of the murder. I know exactly what happened. I not only have untouched photographs, but I have videos as well. On that night I was visiting Rosa for the first time. I had just graduated with my degree in Business and my life was going well. I had given my life to Christ a week ago and was ready to start fresh with everyone I knew. My friends, my adopted family, and Rosa was last on the list. She was the most important for obvious reasons. I hated her so much.” I stared at my mom, hoping to find comfort. “Anyways, I learned to forgive her for abandoning me and I just wanted to surprise her.”
Ms. Jones interrupted me. “So you went to house and then what?”
“Well, I went to the wrong house, actually. It was George’s house I went to. The door was opened so I walked in. I figured it was my momma’s house, I was family, and there wouldn’t be a problem. Sadly I was wrong.”
The court room went silent. Even the judge had his eyes glued on me.
“Then what happened?” Ms. Jones urged me to continue on.
“I-I saw it. Pictures upon pictures of the victim hanging inside George’s house. He was obsessed with this man to the point of insanity. At first I thought it was my mom who was insane, because remember, I thought I was in her house. There was clothes in a picture fame and titled “My love” there were loads of shrines with images of Jamison. I nearly threw up. Then, I saw what I wish I would have never seen. Next door, there was a light on. I peeked outside the blinds and saw a large man, standing with a knife over a body.”
“How could you have seen the body?”
“It was on the bed, high enough for many people to see. I only got to witness this because I was in the next door house.”
Ms. Jones nodded. “Then what?”
I ran upstairs, looking for my mom.
“Because you still thought it was her house?”
“Correct. My mom wasn’t there. Instead I found pictures of the man. So I went running down the steps in a hurry to get out of that place, only to be startled by the noises of someone coming into the house.”
“It was George, wasn’t it.”
“Yes.” I nodded. “He was all covered in Jamison’s blood. I took pictures of it too. Also got ones of George standing with the knife.”
“Where did you get the camera?”
“I bought it to take pictures with my mom. Instead I had to take pictures of THIS!”
“Calm down,” Ms. Jones informed me. “We’re almost done. So, what happened after he came in the house?”
I swallowed hard. “He started speaking about what he did.”
“To himself. I recorded it.”
“Let’s hear it.” The sheriff took out my recorder that was in a plastic bag, put it on the juror’s stand and played it.
Gasp! They all said in unison after hearing the recording.
“Thank you, Jordania, that is all for now.” Ms. Jones shook my hand.
“Sharla,” the judge said, breaking her out of her daze, “Do you have any questions for the witness?” Sharla shook her head.
Ms. Jones went to the front of court to make her closing statement. “As you can see, fellow citizens, George Mires was the one who killed Jamison, not Rosa. Yes, Rosa was there the night of the crime, however, she had briefly stepped out to get a jug of milk. That was her alibi and there are cameras and witnesses to testify this as truth. With that said, I ask you what woman in her right mind, let alone person, would ruthlessly kill someone, only to go out to the grocery store calmly, to grab a jug of milk. No one! And then, to have the nerve to keep the body out for one whole night, stinking up your house. No sane person could do such a thing, sleep soundly, knowing full well that a dead body is in the other room. That obviously means she wasn’t aware of what happened. Furthermore, if she did kill her nephew, why didn’t she just hide the body in the back yard? Why did she walk all the way over to her neighbor’s house to call the police? I ask you, juror of the court, to put yourself in her shoes and see if you could do such a thing.”
Sharla was next for her closing statement, though her statement was brief and wasn’t as strong as Ms. Jones’.
The jury came back out in only ten short minutes. The vote was unanimous.
The judge spoke once the crowd silenced. “Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”
The jury spokesman stood and said: “Yes, your Honor, we have.”
Judge then asked, “Members of the Jury, on the Case of George vs. Rosa, what you say?”
The Jury Spokesman cleared his throat before pronouncing, “Your Honor, the members of this Jury find the defendant GUILTY of first degree murder.”
Loud conversation burst out within the room. The judge had to bang his gavel several times before there was peace again. “Order, order in my courtroom.” He said in a stern voice. “It is time.” The judge said this statement with finality. “I will now pass sentence of the verdict. I agree with the jury on the verdict of guilt, and hereby sentence George Mires to 50 years to life in prison, without parole.”
I watched closely as the sheriff put handcuffs on the large man and took him away. Being that George was already 45 years old, that meant he would most likely die behind bars. Excellent. When the judge left his bench and the trial was over, I went over to Sharla who looked flabbergasted. She remained still, not moving an inch.
“Sorry bout’ that mom,” I said with a cheerful smile.
“I warn you,” Sharla said, breaking out of her daze for the last time, “don’t come back home.”
“Trust me, I won’t.” I looked around the courtroom to see if anyone was listening, then said, “If you would have just told me where my real mother lived, none of this would have happened. I would have already been there when that creep broke into their house. I could have saved my cousin, damn it.”
“You don’t know that.” Sharla said.
“My ass.” I was furious. “Because of you, I had to spend an extra week trying to find my mother. Because of you I will never see my cousin’s smiling face. Because of you… because of you my cousin didn’t even know I existed and will never know. What kind of step-mom are you?” I asked with immense anger.
Sharla just looked at me, laughed and then spit in my face. “And for all I did for you, you ungrateful son of a bit—“
I slapped her across her face before she could say the full word. “I don’t want to ever see you again,” I said as I walked off and out of the courtroom, without the urge to look back.