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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Always About Some Woman


The next morning...Olivia, Beverly and I met at a tony San Francisco waterfront restaurant for breakfast.....We were going up to San Quentin State Prison to visit our condemned client...Sylvia Glenn was not going to be going with us...She had another appointment in court with another client...and Nelson was back at the hotel fast asleep..Beverly had demanded that he get some rest...He had been going non-stop since we got out here.

 "Auntay...this is the best job I've ever had...and the most fun.."said Beverly smiling gingerly as she ate her scrambled eggs and bacon......

"Because we occasionally get to travel places huh?" laughed Olivia as she finished her breakfast of French Toast and Sausage...

"Yeah...I mean despite the seriousness of the situation here...We got to go to San Francisco....Twice..We have been to San Diego , and other places..."said Beverly...

"Maybe we'll make it to L.A. one of these days ." I laughed as I munched on my toast and finished my coffee....

None of us had ever been to California before we started working together....Not to mention Punta Canta, London,Paris and other places we had been....

''I hate to put a damper on things...but with Nelson asleep at the room and Sylvia in court...It's just going to be the four of us today... Is that going to be a problem?" I said looking at Beverly...
"Only if Larry makes it a problem.."said Beverly....

"Maybe if you are a little nicer to him baby...You two might not get into an argument.."said Olivia..

"Then I guess I should sleep with him."said Beverly with a dead pan...

"I didn't mean be THAT NICE!"said Olivia.

I cracked up laughing and smacked my hand on the table.... A nice warm breeze blew past us.....We both looked as Larry North drove up in his car...


Olivia peered out at him....He looked better...Apparently he had shaved, had on a nice new suit and appeared cheerful....He walked with a confidence and swagger I hadn't seen since we had been here...

He walked over to us and smiled..

"Greetings people...What's good with you?" he said.

"Loving this restaurant Larry,Loving San-Francisco.."said Olivia...

"Ever consider moving your entire operation out here?" he asked...

"No...but it sure sounds tempting.."Olivia joked...

"Hell, if she did...I would have no problem at all...This weather is just...just great!!!"I said.

"Ahhh Donnie Ray, Now you know why I haven't come back to Philly to live...Though uhhh,I might have considered it ,If uhhhh I had had a good reason." he said looking at Beverly...

"Good Morning Larry..Let's not start today.."said Beverly...

"Goooood Morning sexy." he said and kissed her on the cheek...

Beverly's mouth dropped wide open...

"Can't you just say good morning to her without trying to aggravate her?" asked Olivia..

"I can't help it Liv..She just does something to me..." he said laughing...

He was in an unusually good mood today...He looked around...

"Where is Syl..and uh......Nelson?" he asked...But I had a feeling he already knew..

"Sylvia had a court appointment today for another client.....Nelson won't be joining us today...he's sleeping it off in the hotel.."I said.

His mood got `even brighter....

Poor Beverly...

She just sighed...

''Are we ready to go?"she asked.

"Yes...You are sitting up front with me aren't you?" he asked..

Beverly sighed...

"Of course Larry, where else am I going to sit?" she said..

"Poor baby girl..I feel sooo sorry for her." Olivia whispered to me...

"This trip is going to be interesting...I sure wish Sylvia and Nelson were here." I said.

''So do I"said Olivia

II-
The drive to San Quentin wasn't going to be as long as the drive had been to Huntsville when we had been in Texas....

Larry started off wrong...He put his arm around Beverly as we pulled off..

Beverly sighed...but surprisingly didn't move his arm.....He hugged her even tighter...

"Larry...how can you drive with your arm around me like that? Loosen up..You are squeezing me to death."she said.

"Okay baby."he said.

"I'm not your baby..."she said sternly...

As he drove, he rubbed her legs....He slyly tried to run his arm up her skirt..She removed it....He slyly squeezed her butt...She removed it completely and moved over to the door..

''Still teasing me." he said.

"You put your arms around me...I didn't do anything to you...You don't respect the fact that I have a boyfriend do you?" she said.

I looked at Olivia...

"Andddddd here we go." I whispered...

Olivia sighed...

"I know right?" she said.

"I let you put your arms around me and you had to take it too far, give you an inch and you steal a mile." said Beverly...


"Ohhh stop being a baby.."said Larry...

"How bout you stop sexually harrassing me?" said Beverly..

"Okay!!!...Okay!!!!..Alright!!!!..Children...Play nice."said Olivia.

Larry smiled..

"Hey Liv...Remember when Nelson had a crush on you?" he asked...

"Larry , why are you bringing that up??...It was a long time ago."said Olivia..

"Did you know your boyfriend had a hard on for your aunt?" he asked Beverly....She said nothing..

He continued..

"It was before you were working with us Bev...Oh yeah...Livy would come around the office and he couldn't finish a sentence....He'd melt like butter when Livy was in the room....He never acted on it...but we all knew around the office...Livy knew...She thought it was cute, but she never took him serious.....Could you blame her? She was about eight or nine years older than him and he was still living with his mama...He was way out of his leauge.. So I see that since he couldn't get Livy...He's settled for uh Livy Junior...You!" he said snidely....

He had told me this exact same story in Texas last year....I wondered why the hell he was bringing this up now.

"Anybody ever tell you that you're as annoying as hell sometimes?" asked Beverly now very angry...

Larry ignored her and continued talking..

''Don't get me wrong...I don't dislike Nelson...Not at all..Nelson East, nice guy, pretty fair attorney as they go...but a real lightweight....I think he was living with his mama up until about a year or two ago..when he hooked up with you..He finally got out of that public defenders office and got some real private sector dough..I thought he was gonna stay there forever.You motivated him to do that Bev..To grow a pair and get some ambition." he said with an air of superiority...

"So what are you trying to say?" asked Beverly.

"I'm just saying..I always thought you could do better." he added..

''Like with you right?" said Beverly..

''Exactly.I don't need anybody to motivate me..I'm self motivated and self made."he said...

Beverly let out a phony Eddie Murphy like laugh "A-haaaaaaaaaaah"....and slapped her thigh.

Larry pulled her to him again.....

"Not trying to get on your nerves baby...I'm just talking...You know I like you."he said softly...

Beverly removed his arm...

"Try to dislike me...I would welcome the change." she said..

Olivia busted out laughing......

Larry laughed himself...

"Liv...Your niece has a mouth on her..."he said.

"Makes her a great lawyer."said Olivia,...

I wondered what this guy's game plan was....Or if he even had one? He seemed to be tilting at windmills to me..

III-
San Quentin Prison was probably the most famous prison in California....San Quentin
is a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison for men, located north of San Francisco in the unincorporated town of San Quentin in Marin County.

Opened in July 1852, it is the oldest prison in California. The state's only death row for male inmates, the largest in the United States, is located at the prison. It has a gas chamber, but since 1996 executions at the prison have been carried out by lethal injection. The prison has been featured on film, video, and television; is the subject of many books; has hosted concerts; and has housed many notorious inmates.

Men condemned to death in California (with some exceptions) like our client must be held at San Quentin, while condemned women are held at Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla. As of October 2012, San Quentin held 734 male inmates in its Condemned Unit, or "death row."

As of 2001, San Quentin's death row was described as "the largest in the Western Hemisphere" as of 2005, it was called "the most populous execution antechamber in the United States."

The states of Florida and Texas had fewer death row inmates in 2008 (397 and 373 respectively) than San Quentin. The death row at San Quentin is divided into three sections: the quiet "North-Segregation" or "North-Seg," built in 1934, for prisoners who "don't cause trouble"; the "East Block," a "crumbling, leaky maze of a place built in 1927"; and the "Adjustment Center" for the "worst of the worst."

Although $395 million was allocated in the 2008–2009 state budget for new death row facilities at San Quentin, in December 2008 two legislators introduced bills to eliminate the funding.

The state had planned to build a new death row facility, but Governor Jerry Brown canceled those plans in 2011.

Richard Lingdon ,our client was in the North Seg...the quiet section...

As we walked into the huge Prison...Larry slyly put his arm around Beverly...She slyly and very discreetly removed his arm....He smiled...He realized that both Olivia and I had witnessed what had happened..

He put his arm around her waist again and Beverly sternly looked at Larry and said-

"Would you knock it off please?"

He removed his arm....I couldn't surpress a snicker...Olivia punched my arm, though she was smiling herself...

Larry looked like he had just drank a can of paint...



 Richard Lingdon was about six feet even....weighed about 200 pounds..Athletic build..Sandy brown hair...He looked about Olivia and my age....

He came and sat down and picked up the phone...He introduced himself to us all as the guard walked him into the room...He was wearing the uniform of the condemned man, a white jump suit and white sneakers...The uniform of a condemned man...His cell was just 100 feet from the death chamber...

"Mr. North....Thank you for coming to see me...I want to thank you and Ms. Glenn for getting me another stay..." he said. He was very polite...

"Richie...The real thanks goes to these people...These are my friends from Philadelphia PA.  Olivia Bennett -Alexander, Beverly West and Mr. Donnie Ray Alexander....They've been helping Sylvia and me with your appeal.." he said.

"Wow..you guys came all the way from Philly to help me out...I can't tell you how appreciative I am..."he said.

"Mrs. Bennett-Alexander...I've heard of you and your niece...I saw you on the TV when you were here in San Diego a defending that creepy Richard Graves dude...a few months back...When you got him off on that murder rap I told Sylvia..."If anybody could get me off, those two could..."he said smiling..

 ''We found your old cell mate...Mr. Gibson..He's agreed to testify on your behalf...but he's a convict, serving a 25 year sentence...He's not going to be the most credible of witnesses...I know you know that..."said Olivia..

"Yeah,I know...but he's all I got..."said Richie.

"I know your case is based on hear say..but do you have anybody...Anybody who could verify your whereabouts?? Anybody that maybe you missed?" asked Beverly...

Richard Lingdon was quiet for a moment...then he said-

''Well I don't ..I don't know how much this will help, but there is one person... A woman... She worked at the motel...Mikey liked her...but she didn't really like him...Her name is Lola ,Lola Darling...I haven't seen or heard from her in ten years.." he said.

''What about her?" I asked..

"She can't alibi me..but she's the real reason I'm here..."he said.

"How so?"..I asked.

"Well...Mr. Vann had a thing for her...She was one of the hospitality staff at the motel...She washed the sheets and pillows and changed the linens....Mr. Vann would come by and take her to lunch, buy her cigarettes and a case of beer and give her time off whenever she asked...

All of this because he wanted to sleep with her...But she didn't like him like that...But he didn't get the message...Both him and Mikey Gloss just kept after her..vying for her attention...Vying for her bed...she was as polite as possible....but both of em would act like small children when they couldn't get their way with her..Stomping their feet, kicking over the trash can...Mikey even insulted her a few times like that was going to get him any closer to her...Then he'd be all apologetic the next day...Van was the same way..He stopped close to being insulted...When he couldn't get in her pants..He took it out on the rest of the workers...Everybody hated him...Nobody is sad that he's dead..I'll tell you that...I felt sorry for Lola..It must hve  been  hell for her,having somebody just after you and you don't want em and they just keep on , keep on...never gettin the message.."he said.

"You don't know the half of it."said Beverly...


Olivia and I cracked up laughing...

Larry North looked like he'd swallowed a can of paint.

"I tried to look out for Lola...I couldn't protect her from Van's advances..but I did my best to protect her from Mikey..He kind of resented me for that... The week leading up to the murder...He was all of a sudden flush...Showing a lot of cash..He had a new car, new clothes and was talking about quitting..He begged Lola to come with him...He was going South to L.A.  She politely turned him down....Several times...Mr. Van walked in on the conversation and was livid...They had a big row...I don't know what it was about...He fired Mikey..Not officially, but verbally...He was going to write up the paper work that night...Only Mikey had other plans...He came back and beat him to death and then drove off..We found Mr. Van's body ,two days later.."said Richard...

''Where were you?" I asked..

"I wasn't working that night..I was about two miles away at a bar....I got witnesses.." he said.

"You got names ?" I asked..

"Yeah..but in my first two trials...I had public defenders and we couldn't afford investigators and we never located any of them....I can give you names...These people are in my court depositions...The ones I've written up myself." he said.

"This is good...If we can present some new evidence...We have a good chance of having your case thrown out or of at least getting you a new trial."said Olivia..

Richard Lingdon smiled..

"Thank you so much Mr. North and Ms. Olivia and Ms. Beverly for giving me some hope." he said..

As the four of us were leaving the prison....I asked Beverly...

"Shortcake...What's your room's phone number?" I asked..

She whispered it in my ear...

I called her room...Nelson answered..

"Hello" said Nelson...

"You get enough sleep boy?" I said.

"Yeah man...I just showered and got dressed..."he said.

"Good...Go rent a car and call Sylvia...I've got some people I need you guys to look up...Get a pen and a piece of paper and take these names down."I said.

"I'm on it Donnie Ray...Hey how is my girl?" he asked..

"She's as good as possible..She really missed you being here today..."I said.

"Well I'm all recharged now..." he said...

"Good...Glad to hear that."I said..

I then turned to Beverly...Larry and Olivia..

"Nelson and Sylvia are going to look up those ten witnesses..I'm going to go find that woman..It's always about some woman isn't it?" I said.

 "Yeah...I guess it is.."said Beverly.
"Let's get going...This prison gives me the creeps."said Olivia..

''Agreed"said Larry as the four of us exited San Quentin Prison.
IV-
 On the ride back....Larry looked at Beverly...

"Ride up front with me Bev.." he said..

"If only I had a choice." she said...


Olivia and I cracked up laughing...

Olivia and I sat in the back, I put my arms around Olivia and she rested her head on my shoulder...Larry eyed us through the rear view mirror and smiled...He peered at Beverly, Who peered at him just as stone faced as she could be...Her face betraying no emotion whatsoever!

"You think we can win this one babes?" I asked...

" We have a punchers chance..I mean...I've saved at least two guys from a needle..." said Olivia..

"You ever lost a death penalty case?" I asked..

"No....I've never had one..." she said.

"Liv has just cleaned up mine."laughed Larry.

He slyly put his arms around Bev, letting his arm slip down around her hips....Olivia and I saw what he did...We looked at each other and smiled....

Beverly just as slyly removed his arm...Smiled mischieviously at him and moved over, closer to the door..

"Heyyy ,what'cha movin over there for?" he asked...

''You've got to drive Larry...You can't drive safely with your arm around me..."said Beverly with a sweet innocent look on her face...

Olivia dug her face down into my chest...Trying to hide that she was laughing...I had to remain stone faced...




"I think I can manage it...I think I could do a lot of things with my arms around you...Come on over here girl." said Larry ,smiling...





"No...I'm good right where I am." said Beverly, again with that sweet innocent smile...

Larry leaned over and pulled Beverly to him at the next stop light.....

"I could do a lot of good things ,snuggled up with you...I miss this so much babygirl."
he said.

"You didn't miss it that much...You've been doing quite well out west.."said Beverly..

"But I'm here now baby...This is now.. We are here..."he said hugging Beverly...

Beverly again moved his arm and slid over near the door.

"You know, you've got the softest , roundest little waste." said Larry smiling sheepishly...

"Funny you say that...Nelson told me that this morning ,when I was getting out of bed." said Beverly ,smiling sweetly.

All at once, Larry's mood became somber....He said nothing...He just drove....

This was like de ja vu...I felt as though we had all been through this before..Why didn't this guy just give up??

 Olivia concealed a laugh....She dug her head down into my chest...Beverly eventually dozed off to sleep in the front seat...

"I don't understand this girl...She won't give me a break. What am I doing wrong??" he said banging his hand on the dashboard....

Neither Olivia ,nor I responded...

The rest of the ride back to San Francisco was quiet and uneventful....

V-

We all met for Dinner in Chinatown....

"Nelson told me that you guys had a good and productive meeting with Richie today."said Sylvia Glenn...

"We did...How did you guys do?  Sorry to throw extra work on you Sylvia.." said Olivia...

"No problem....Of the ten people you gave us...Nelson and I found nine...Nine people who will swear that Richard Lingdon was in the bar drinking with them on the night of the murder...Plus we can prove that he made no phone calls....Nelson even checked his bank records....At no time did Richard have 10 grand in his bank account...We'll have to ask Mikey Gloss where he got ten grand from...."said Sylvia..

"My guess is that he stole it..Which is why he got fired that night...He was a two time loser...If Vann had pressed charges ,he was going down for life...He couldn't afford that...So he killed him...When he got caught..He through Lingdon under the bus to save his skin.."I said.

"At any rate...We still have to find that woman...Lola Darling.."said Olivia..

"You might as well forget her, she's not going to be of any help to you."said Nelson..

Larry looked at him...

''And why is that?" he asked dryly..

"I looked into her too .."said Nelson...

"Donnie Ray gave you ten people to find...You found nine...You should have let him find her..You and your gameless self probably didn't know how to approach her.."he retorted...

Nelson kept his cool and smile..

"I don't care how much game you think you have Mr. North...Even you can't talk to a dead person...The tenth person on the list and Ms. Lola Darling are both dead..and they have been dead for about nine years ..both of them....Ms. Darling died of a drug overdose in 2010 and the other guy on the list was in a car accident in 2008."he softly explained...

Beverly smiled and kissed Nelson on the cheek, She then looked at Larry...

"APOLOGIZE!" she said.

"Huh? What?" he said..

"APOLOGIZE TO NELSON FOR WHAT YOU SAID....I'M NOT ASKING...I'M TELLING YOU!"she said...

Beverly had a coldness in her voice I had never heard before...

"Hmmph...You don't tell me what to do." he said and got up, stomped his foot and was getting ready to storm out when Sylvia said-

"You heard her..Apologize Larry. Your remarks were uncalled for.."she said.

"It's cool Ms. Glenn, I pay him no mind.."said Nelson...

"Well Larry I'm asking you to apologize...We came out here to help you...and you've annoyed the hell out of my niece and you've been condescending to Nelson and he's been nothing but helpful to you...What are you, 14? Angry because Beverly won't give you any play?? Grow up Larry.."said Olivia..

He was visibly stung that his friend,Olivia was chastising him in front of Beverly...

"HMMMPH!" he said and stormed out of the restaurant...

"Girl,would you please give him some Na Na, so he can calm his ass down...Sorry Nelson...He's been so unfocused since you got here.." said Sylvia...

"Forget about it..Let's enjoy this good food that's coming and work on a strategy....Great work Nelson, Sylvia.''I said..

VI-

 Beverly didn't speak to Larry North the rest of the time we were in San Francisco...Which was another week...

She and Nelson ate seperately from us when she knew Larry North was going to be around..

Larry North's mood became somber and remote...He barely spoke or participated in our strategy meetings.

Olivia,Beverly,Nelson ,Larry North and Sylvia presented the nine witnesses before the old Black judge in the Appellate court within the next week...He tossed out Richard Lingdon's conviction and ordered a new trial...It was a solid victory.....

He was removed from San Quentin's Death Row and transferred to "New Folsom "in Sacramento.

Sylvia drove us all to the airport..... Larry North did not come..

"I can't thank you guys enough for all your help...You not only got us a stay of execution....You got us a new trial...."she said..

''So You and Larry will take it from here I suppose?" I said.

"No...I don't want him on this trial...From the beginning I haven't been able to trust him..He's undercut me and he's been a royal pain in the ass with his antics...Olivia...I want to know if you and Bev can come back out for the trial...I'd love to have you guys as my seconds..."she said.

"I don't know about Bev...But if my schedule permits...I'll be back out...Are you sure you need me??..You seem like you've got it together."said Olivia..

''Working with a sharp legal mind like yours and Bev's has been a great education...And Mr. Nelson..You were quite a help...In court and out of court finding and helping me question those witnesses.."she said..


"If my Auntay and Donnie Ray come back out..I'll come back out...I love Cali...And while we are out here...You gotta take us shoe shopping girl..."said Beverly...


"That's a bet girl..You know it..."said Sylvia.

Nelson walked over to us....

"I got a text from Larry North.......He apologized for the way he talked to me...He said that I'm a great lawyer and he said for me to uh "Be good to his girl." he said laughing..

"You sure you never gave him no sugar sugar?" laughed Sylvia..


''Almost...but he blew it.."said Beverly..


"Wow..Well the hold you have on that man is incredible...I've never seen him so twisted.."she said.

"What can we say? The right woman can either save or ruin a man."laughed Olivia..Come on guys..Let's go home.."she laughed.."Bye Sylvia...Tell Larry we said goodbye."she said as we all waved and boarded our plane back to Philadelphia.


My wife was right...It was always about some woman...Yeah...It was always about some woman....at the core of every man's problems...I mused to myself as I followed them on the plane.

(CONCLUSION NEXT)

1 comments:

Rita said...

"I let you put your arms around me and you had to take it too far, give you an inch and you steal a mile." said Beverly...

That right there is teasing...She shouldn't have let him do none of that!