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Thursday, June 2, 2016

De'tente


It had rained the night before...Now it was a steamy 90 degrees as the rain wet streets slowly began to dry...

"Wow...I didn't know it rained last night..."I said as Olivia and I prepared to go out andget into my SUV...I zippered up her dress...

"Ummmm you smell good and is this a new dress?" I asked.

"It is..I brought it from New York, a few weeks ago when Bev, Bonnie Shay, Bonita Foxworth, Sepia Morris and I went up for that day trip...." she said.

I looked out at the wet streets..

"I swear ,I didn't know it rained last night."I said again..

"I know you didn't...You were busy moaning and groaning on top of me.." she laughed and softly squeezed my hands..She kissed me softly....I pulled her to me and kissed her passionately for a few minutes...

"You did your share of moaning too.!"I retorted..

"I know...I knowwww...It was good...but you went to sleep right afterwords...I was awake for a little while..I heard the raindrops..and then the sky just broke open and it poured..."said Olivia..

"And I slept through it?"I asked..

"Like a baby!but you snored like a grown man..."she said and looked at me and laughed...By now we had walked down to the street..

A car drove up and parked behind us...It was Forensic Investigator, Dr. Hazel Hunter-Baylor..
"Hey Guys..That's a beautiful dress Liv." she said...She had brought tumblers of coffee for Olivia,myself and Beverly...

"Thank youuuuuuuuu....Oh Hazel...We were going to pick you up, you didn't have to drive here.."said Olivia...

"Oh Nonsense Livy...I can drive ..Here, I bought coffee for you ,Donnie Ray and Beverly...After working for and being married to Homicide Detectives ,I know what they like first thing in the morning, Right Donnie Ray?" she said.

I smiled...

"You got it Hazel!"I said and laughed..

"Where is Beverly anyway?" asked Hazel..

"We have to pick her up...She spent the night with Nelson." I said.

"Oh!"said Hazel...

"We have to pick up someone else too...Our Client's grandson...He's the one who brought us into this case..I uh should warn you.....He uh has a little crush on Beverly ..So we kind of arranged it for you to sit in between them..If you don't mind." said Olivia.

"Don't mind at all...."laughed Hazel...

"Okay Ladies...Let's head out."I said.

II-

We pulled off...I drove..Olivia sat up front with me...

and Hazel sat in the back...in the middle....

John Gleason was standing outside his tony condo when we arrived...

He was surprised to see Hazel in the back seat...

"Good Morning guys..." he said..

"Good Morning John...This is Dr. Hazel Baylor...She's going with us to extract the DNA from your grandfather and compare it to the DNA found on the little girl's clothing."I said.

''Welllll Helllo." he said checking Hazel out...

"Hi" said Hazel, smiling uneasily...

"You actually have DNA from 1977?" he asked...changing the subject....

"It's not the best....but it has been preserved...I'm planning to meet an independent DNA Technician when I get there so that the study won't be biased.."said Hazel..

John Gleason smiled..

"Wow, you're not only fine...you're brilliant too!" he said,checking Hazel out..

''Speaking of Fine and Brilliant..Where is Beverly?" he asked.

"We are going to pick her up...She uh spent the night elsewhere.."said Olivia uneasily...

We pulled up in front of Nelson's apartment complex....Beverly was standing there waiting for us as she promised..

"Damn your niece looks good Ms. Olivia." said John Gleason...

Olivia didn't respond.

Just then , Nelson ran out...He had a bag...

"Hey babes..I almost forgot...I packed a lunch for everybody...Fried Chicken, Potato Salad and Bread and Butter sandwiches...I ordered this last night from Mabel Jenkins Soul Food Joint..Anita brought it over this morning while you were getting dressed."he said.

"Awwwwwwwwwwwww that was sooo sweet...Thank you baby!" she said and kissed him passionately on the sidewalk..."I'll see you when we get back...

Olivia, Hazel and I turned away....we were blushing....John Gleason's eyes got as wide as saucers and his mouth dropped open...



We all looked at Beverly sheepishly as she got in the SUV, next to Hazel...With John Gleason on the other side..

"Hey Auntay....Hi Hazel.. Good Morning Donnie Ray"she said and kissed Olivia and Me on the cheek..
"Hey baby girl, how are you?" said Hazel... "I brought you a coffee...I'm sorry John..I didn't know you were coming..I would have brought you one too!"said Hazel..

"It's all good.."he mumbled..

"Hi John...Why are you in such a sour mood? I didn't sleep with you last night."said Beverly jokingly...

Probably not the right thing to say...

"I know. That's the problem" he said silently...

Olivia and I looked at each other and smiled.Hazel put her hand over her mouth to hide that she was laughing a little.

''Well Nelson brought Fried Chicken and Potato Salad for everybody....We can all feast at one of the rest stops..."said Beverly...

"We can have that in Angel City for lunch...I'm down for a hot breakfast and soon like within the next hour."I said.

"No argument from me there."said Beverly...

III-
It was an interesting ride... Beverly and Hazel chatted...

and Beverly and Olivia chatted back and forth..


John didn't say a word...I looked at him through the rear view mirror and his jaw was tight...First off..He had anticipated being hugged up with Beverly in the backseat.....He instead was on one side of Hazel and Beverly was on the other side and for another..He had witnessed her coming out of Nelson's apartment and planting a kiss on him that usually leads to a bedroom..He was seething....
I drove...No way I was going to make things worse by trying to start a conversation with him..
We stopped at a local diner and had Pancakes, Eggs,Bacon,Sausage, more hot coffee and toast...

Beverly sat with Hazel, Olivia,John and I sat together...John sulked the entire time..Like a little boy...

Neither Livy,nor I indulged him..We talked quietly about the case as if he wasn't there..

It was a good trip for Beverly..No one was groping her or trying to kiss her or put their arms around her...

I remember when we were in Texas with Larry North and again in California with Larry North...We weren't even going to start that with a new guy...

IV-
The Men's Correctional Center at Green Hill...or The Land of Hard Luck as it was nicknamed..was a maximum security prison where the states most desperate and violent criminals were housed..It also is where the State's new Death Row was housed....Half of the inmates here were condemned men...Sentenced to die for murder...There were a lot of Lifers here too,also sentenced for murder..
It was ironic that McCann and the cop who put him here were both inmates in this prison...I was amazed...Amazed that Dominic Evans was still alive...While Mr. McCann was certainly innocent for one murder....Had it of been me..and I saw Evans..I might certainly be guilty of another murder!~Evans as it turns out was kept in protective custody...So the two never came in contact...

Green Hill was 25 miles Northwest of Angel City....On the other side of Angel City was Stanga Correctional Center for men..

Stanga was the exact opposite..Stanga was for honor inmates if there is such a thing, inmates awaiting parole and non-violent inmates...Though there was a few inmates there on Murder raps...but they were the type that were considered non-threatening...again if there was such a thing...

Angel City's entire economy was based on these two prisons...55 percent of it's population worked in the prison...either as correctional officers or cooks and service industry people...A few teachers from the local colleges and universities supplemented their income by teaching classes and workshops at one or both of the prisons...

I found it incredible..though not wholly strange...The same thing had gone on in my Native Louisiana..

The visiting room was pleasent enough....

''Wow..I feel like I just left here and here I am up here again..."said Olivia.

"I know right Auntay?" said Beverly...

John McCann was 70 years old now...He was tall, with a brownish red complexion and hair that was surprisingly just starting to gray..I could tell he worked out...Prison hadn't broken him down ....I imagine this had been a hard four years for him. I sincerely hoped we could help him...

As soon as he saw us..He smiled..

"Hallelujah...When I saw you gals up here last month and I heard that you got Billy Harris off..I knew you were the ones for me...I wrote to the Innocence Project for your address and information and my grandson here said he'd track you gals down...Which was less work for him..He uh appeared to have a little crush on little Ms. Bennett there."he said looking at Beverly and smiling..

"Uhhh My little Niece has that affect on a lot of guys...but she is uh spoken for.."said Olivia..

"Figures...a little cutie like her...My grandson thinks that just because he has a little money,every gal is suppose to fall down at his feet." he laughed..

"Pop-Pop..come on...I do not." said John Gleason,obviously embarrassed..

"Don't tell me...I know you....You couldn't take your eyes off that gal when they was up here before..You can't front around me.."laughed John McCann..

"Don't worry about it John...My dad is equally embarrassing to me...and he's much younger than your grandfather." said Beverly, smiling at John...It was the first time she had said anything to him the entire trip..

He smiled at her....She smiled back...

"Hey uh how much older is your dad than Ms. Olivia? , He's her brother right? " asked John...

"Yes...He's 12 years older than her..He was 21 when I was born and she was nine."said Beverly...

"Oh wow! She was just a baby herself ,when you came along.."he said.

"Yeah...and they put me in her room when they brought me home...And we kind of bonded...Like sisters...We've been inseperable ever since.."said Beverly..

"She's the coolest...It's nice to have someone that cool in your life." he said.

"It is...She's my sister and sometimes a second mother...all wrapped up in one..You got any siblings John?" asked Beverly...

"Yeah, a brother...He's older...Lives out in California with his wife and two kids..and a sister, She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two kids...Our parents are deceased...Pop is all we have...I stayed in Philly to look after him..."said John..

"That's nice...That you look out for him..."said Beverly...

They both smiled at each other.

"I'm Dr. Hazel Baylor...I'm the Forensic Investigator for the Criminal Investigation Division in Philadelphia..I'm here with an independent DNA specialist from the area..We are both going to take Urine and Blood and Saliva samples and compare it with the DNA that was left in the little girl's panties from 1977...If it's not a match...You're as good as out of here.."said Hazel.

"It won't be a match...I was nowhere near those girls then...You'll see." he said.

"Once that is done...I have a court appearence with a local magistrate in a few hours...Hopefully we can get your conviction overturned and you can walk out of here with us.."said Olivia....

V-


Several Hours Later-




 Olivia,Beverly and I, with Hazel, John Gleason and John McCann walked out of a courtroom in the area laughing and high fiving each other...The DNA evidence was not a match and with everything we had dug up...showing shoddy police work as well as prosecutorial mis conduct...The Appeals Court had no choice but to overturn his 2012 conviction and free John McCann immediately...

He hugged Olivia,Beverly,Hazel and me and his grandson....

"THANK YOU..THANK YOU ALL SOOO MUCH!" he said...."I can't believe it...I thought I was buried.."he said..

"You're free..and not to put a damper on your celebration, but the state might want to retry you at a later date...but I can't see how they would.."I said.

"The best thing about this...Is they overturned the whole thing...I thought they were just going to grant me a new trial."said Olivia..

"Meaning you'd have to face that freak, Judge Crawford.."said Beverly...

"Oh that wasn't going to happen anyway...He'll be hearing from the Ethics board soon...I doubt if I'll ever be in court with him..."said Olivia..

For the first time..John Gleason was happy and talking..

"Hey let's all get out of here...Let's find a nice Diner...It's all on me.." he said...

"Works for me.." I said..

On the ride back to Philly...Hazel rode up front with Olivia and Me..Olivia drove...



Surprisingly, Beverly and John sat together in the back, with his Grandfather on the end...His grandfather was busy looking at the roads...as a free man!

They talked quietly and laughed...No groping or inappropriate behavior...All in all it had been a successful trip...That's the kind I liked..

"So..Uh, you and this uh Nelson guy...you two are uh pretty serious huh?" he asked her..

''Yes, we are very serious.."she said.

He smiled..

"He's a very lucky guy and I know he knows that....I envy him..and I envy very few guys."said John Gleason...

Beverly smiled...

"I'm gonna find me a Beverly ..for myself..."he said..

She laughed....He laughed too and we rode home to Philadelphia quietly the rest of the afternoon!

(CONCLUSION NEXT)



2 comments:

Cheryl said...

This was sooo Cute!

Sunflower said...

I loved that you could have went one way with this story and you took it in a whole different direction..