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Monday, August 1, 2016

Oh And One Thing Else

This bright hot and sunny Thursday Morning saw my wife, Attorney Olivia Bennett-Alexander and her niece ,Attorney Beverly West and their client...Wilfredo Rodriguez sitting in a courtroom in downtown Philadelphia with Assistant District Attorney, Keith Wallace and myself, Donnie Ray Alexander...Their in house investigator...


Olivia and Beverly had been contacted by an Attorney from the Innocence Project about Wilfredo Rodriguez's case...

He had served 3 years of a 25-Life sentence for 2nd degree Murder...A murder he vigourously said that he did not committ...While in prison ,he had immersed himself in law books and had written numerous appeals not only on his own behalf, but on behalf of other inmates..He had become quite the jailhouse lawyer...

Finally his appeals reached the Innocence Project and since he was in a Pennsylvania Prison and a Philadelphia Native...They had contacted Olivia and Beverly who looked into his case..

They found several instances of prosecutorial misconduct and things his over worked and green public defender overlooked...

The three of us traveled to Miami for three days where we found 12 people...(One of them, a Police officer who wrote him a ticket for going through a red light )who swore that Mr. Rodriguez was in Miami on the day of the murder...

I not only located the twelve people and got them to testify on his behalf...I had a copy of the traffic citation...and several purchases he made on his debit card and credit card on the day before, the day of and the day after the murder, all in Miami and South Beach....

He wasn't in the state of Pennsylvania on the day of the murder...

 ADA Keith Wallace ,who did not try the case ,looked over the evidence we provided...Along with statements from the defendent's Mother and Sister that he wasn't in Philadelphia...

''Come on Keith..Make me an offer...You don't have fingerprints or DNA evidence that places my client at the scene...I've got 12 witnesess, including a cop and statements from his credit card and debit card that shows he wasn't in town on the day of that murder."said Olivia..

"You guys have one eyewitness who places our client at the scene...and this guy has perjured himself in a half dozen cases...He's a junkie and a convicted thief." said Beverly...

ADA Keith Wallace looked at me and then them and smiled..

"And you live with them....I bet you don't get a word in edgewise do you? You're a good investigator...You would fit in well with Sissy Van Buren and her detectives...."he said.

I smiled..

"This is a no brainer Liv...This guy couldn't have committed the murder..And I'd be a fool to try and argue this case.....Plus our eyewitness just began a prison sentence for perjuring himself in yet another unrelated case...So in lieu of all of this...The people vote to drop all charges against this man...Mr. Rodriguez..Your sentence is vacated!  You are free to go. said Keith Wallace...

The Judge who seemed to be enamored with Keith Wallace, smiled broadly and slammed her gavel down..

"So Be It!" she said a little too seductive for me...

Wilfredo Rodriguez broke into tears and hugged Olivia and Beverly...As did his mother,sister and cousin..

"THANK YOU TWO SOOO MUCH!" they all said..

"You can thank my husband too..His dogged investigating turned up all of those witnesses..."said Olivia..

"And we got a free three day vacation to Miami for our troubles." joked Beverly...

They hugged me and shook my hand too!

"Thank you Mr. Donnie Ray.." they all said in unison...

"You're welcome...."I said and then I looked at Wilfredo...

"You're a free man now..You've got a clean record, except for a few juvenile things....You show a lot of promise as an Attorney yourself...You should look into that young man."I said.

He smiled..

"It is a thought...Shame I had to spend three years in prison to finally find something I'm good at."he said.

"Sometimes...you have to sit still and think....I suspect Prison gave you a lot of time to sit still and think."I said.

"Hell, you just don't know.."he said and smiled..

We embraced and he hugged Olivia and Beverly one last time ,before they all left...

 ''Well..that was over quick..."sighed my wife..
''Yeah...That felt good....I wonder how many other people are locked up that are really innocent?" mused Beverly..

"More than you may want to imagine." I said.

"I'm grateful there are attorneys like you guys that right these wrongs....I'm only interested in locking up people who are truly guilty...I hate cases like this."said ADA Keith Wallace, who looked at Olivia wryly and smiled.."Besides...I had no intention of losing to you in court." he joked.

"I know right?" laughed Olivia, who told me of their classic battles in court years ago when he was a young prosecutor and she was a public defender...She always looked forward to them..She viewed him as a worthy adversary and he viewed her the same way....It surprisingly led to them becoming friends...

"Well folks...Enjoy the rest of your day...I've got real criminals to prosecute." he said as he left...

"He's fine....No Disrespect Donnie Ray...but I'm surprised you two didn't get together back in the day Auntay....I remember you two used to go out for drinks and were pretty chummy for awhile.."said Beverly...

''To be honest ,it crossed my mind a couple of times...but I was still married to Elwood...and by the time I was free of him. ADA Wallace had already met Detective Carlotta Rodriguez...and it was evident to everybody around him that he was sprung over her."said Olivia.
I had seen his wife..I perfectly understood where he was coming from....She was a stunningly beautiful woman..She looked more like a model than a Detective...

"Well I for one am glad Keith Wallace met Carlotta...Can you imagine what my life would be like without Olivia?" I said..

"Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.."said Olivia ,who kissed me softly...."Imagine what my life would be like without you?" she said, smiling and hugging me...

"That was sweet...I love how much you love my Auntay, D.R."said Beverly....

''Wow! This is a change...Usually you're disgusted by our constant public display of affection."I said smiling..

"It was all an act...I was actually quite envious of what you two have...And now I have it too...I'm happy for all of us." she said with a smile..

"I'll see you guys at the car...." she said as she left....

Olivia smiled..

"My Little Niece has become a woman before our eyes...I've never seen her so content ,so happy."laughed Olivia..

"It is nice isn't it? Now how bout another kiss?" I joked...

"How bout we eat something first...then I'll help you scratch that itch that you always seem to have."said Olivia with a smile..

"That my dear is a deal." I said.

It was a nice ending to what was coming down the pike for us...




II-
 When we returned from Lunch , we found Attorney Nelson East, Beverly's boyfriend, sitting in the front of the office, talking quietly to Josie..

"Nelson, why wouldn't she help you? She's your girlfriend...I can't believe you're worried about this."said Josie..

"It's a matter of money and payment involved ,it's the fact that I have a loser case..It's all kinds of things Josie..but I have no where else to go...No one else to turn to."said Nelson..

Beverly walked in...put her briefcase down and walked over to Nelson and kissed him softly...

"Mmmmmm, Missed my boo boo today...What's going on?" she asked...

"Tell Her Nelson..or I will." said Josie..

"Tell me what?" asked Beverly...

"Alright....Uh..Look...I need your help...Possibly you and your Aunt on a case I'm handling ..I've never asked you guys for help before but..aahhhh, uhhhh, You know what? Never mind...Forget it!" he said..

"As many times as you've helped us...??Why would we say no to you?? Why are you even worried about that ? Now what is it?" asked Beverly...

"Nelson....You've bent my ear all morning with this...And I usually like talking to you...Will you tell them?"said Josie.

"This sounds juicy.."said Olivia...

"How did you guys case go?" asked Nelson...

"You're changing the subject boss , you know you can't do that!" I laughed..."And with these two..??" I said.

"We won!! All charges were dropped by the ADA, Our Client went home a free man...Now,back to you."said Olivia...

Beverly looked at Nelson and smiled...

"Back to YOU!" she said.

"I'm defending a guy named Steven Dandridge...He was convicted of Raping his Step-Daughter....Stacy,Then 14...He was sentenced to five to ten years in State Prison...He served five years and his sentence was tossed out on a technicality and he was released from prison...The state wants to retry him...His Mother and some represenatives from the Innocence Project hired me to defend him....I repped him years ago on an unrelated charge...He swears he didn't do this and I believe him...but here is the rub... His DNA was found in semen in the girl's panties and on the bed sheets...and she is sticking to her story that he slipped in her room and raped her...She was 14 then..She's 19 now and sticking to her story...The mother divorced him after the trial and then discovered she was pregnant...She now has a son...Dylan...His son...and it's a custody battle now as well..He's listed as a sex offender..He wants me to clear his name...He swears he didn't do it...Says he was just getting home from work that night and couldn't have done it.." said Nelson.

"Have you talked to the girl?" I asked..

"I tried...The uncle lives there...The Wife's older brother...Once he discovered who I was..He gave me the bum's rush...Chance Howard usually does our investigations...but he and Cole and Mr. Foxworth are working other cases right now...Chance just closed a case of his own last week..He's exhausted..and you guys just closed one today...I really have no right asking you guys for help."said Nelson..
"Oh Nelson....You're practically family, you know you can come to us for a favor...I admit...It looks bad...but maybe we can work something out..All things aren't what they seem"said Olivia..
Beverly kissed him slowly and softer....

"We are in...You feel better now baby?" she asked..

"Oh And There is something else..."he said...
"Hmmm I don't like the way that sounded." I said ,smiling..

"What else?" asked Beverly...

"The ADA prosecuting the case is.....Elaine English!" said Nelson.

Upon hearing her name...Beverly smiled wryly...  "Elaine English??" she said...

"She was a public defender , Donnie Ray ...with Bev, Nelson and me."said Olivia...."Pretty smart and pretty darn good attorney too!"said Olivia with a sly grin on her face..."So I see she's moved up to Assistant District Attorney huh? That gal was always ambitious..."laughed Olivia.

"And....."I said, knowing there was more to the story.....

"Nelson and her were uh kind of an item...."said Beverly smiling....

Nelson looked like he'd swallowed a canary....and I could tell that both Olivia and Beverly took some pleasure in playfully torturing him....

"Beverly uh kind of shot me down...the first time I made a move towards her..She started dating Larry North..I felt like she was way out of my league at this point...He had his own place..A much nicer car than mine and dressed real fly and because of his seniority,made a lot more money than I did..I was still living with my mom....I couldn't compete with Larry North...So I began dating Elaine...We dated for awhile..but she uh kind of left me...Said I wasn't ambitious enough and that she needed something more....A year went by and Bev said she was leaving the Public Defenders Office and moving to Washington D.C. to take a job with the Immigration Department..I figured She was way out of my grasp at this time and Elaine and I got together again...Next time I saw Bev, she was dating that guy from the DMV...By now..She and Liv were partners in this practice and you were on the scene ,Donnie Ray..Whatever problems...Elaine and I had the first go around...They resurfaced the second go around and we broke up again...and....a few months later..I began dating Beverly again and failing miserably.."sighed Nelson...

"But then...You got lucky huh?" laughed Olivia, hugging Nelson...

"Yeah..I opened my eyes and saw that my true love was right under my nose the entire time..."said Bev, who hugged Nelson and gave him the  sweetest kiss...

"See,I told you ,you had nothing to worry about."said Josie..

"So you guys are in? Even though this is a loser case...?" asked Nelson..

''We're in..As bad as it looks..You think something isn't right..Or you wouldn't be still willing to defend this guy...And you wouldn't have come to us." said Olivia..

"Something is not right, Liv, Bev,Donnie Ray....Look..It looks like a slam dunk for the Prosecution...DNA in the girls panties and on the sheets...but he was at work that night and I interviewed three guys who used to work with him and saw his time cards..They verified that he was there and that he left when he said he did..So the time sequence is all off...He arrived at least a half hour after the timeline...And That Uncle..He gives me the creeps..Wouldn't let the girl talk to me alone...It just seemed like she was saying whatever he wanted her to say, before he tossed me out...And the mother wouldn't even see me..I just got the feeling that this whole thing was rushed and that it was a nice frame of some kind..."said Nelson..

"What you tell me is bothering me too...It fits too neatly....I see what you're saying Nelson...but there is the DNA...Pretty hard to refute..."I said..."His DNA shouldn't be in that girl's panties.."I said.



''We'll take a second look at the DNA and have him tested again....Funny you mention Elaine English..Elaine and I were pretty good friends...We worked together on a few cases back then.."She's very good..Was very ambitious...I wouldn't be surprised if she's either in Private Practice soon or taking a run at the D.A.'s office one day." said Beverly..."But...you're my man...and that takes precedent...I Love you Nelson...If you need my help..How could I ever say No?"said Beverly...

"And look, we can work the money aspect out...You, Liv and Donnie Ray will get a cut of my salary..I'm partially being paid by the Innocence Project and partially by his Mother... I uh should mention...She has Stage Four Cancer....She is holding on to see her son exonerated..."said Nelson...

"Oh Nelson...Don't worry about that." said Beverly.

"Nelson...you're like family.....We can work all of that out...."said Olivia...

"I need to see crime scene photos and reports and any testimony from his first trial.."I said.

"Sure Thing Donnie Ray....Liv,Bev..We have a few days...I'll get you First trial testimony and notes and anything else you need."said Nelson...Then he grimaced..."Oh My God..."he said.

"What Baby?" asked Beverly...

He looked at Olivia....

"OH AND UH ONE THING ELSE!" he said..

"I don't think I like this..."said Olivia..

"The Judge presiding over the case is Joe Crawford...."he said and hung his head...
Beverly and I looked at each other and began laughing........at the thought of him...The Horny Judge with the hots for Olivia...We hadn't seen or heard from him in awhile..

 "I'm sorry Auntay....But this is too funny..."said Beverly.
"Make sure all of your phone numbers are blocked...I don't want him calling and breathing heavy at night.."I said.

"I don't want him calling at all.'' Olivia grimaced....She gave Nelson the serious side eye...

"You are so lucky,I consider you practically family....Anything else?" she asked..

 "That's it.." he said...

Olivia sighed...

"Ohhh God Have Mercy!" 

(TO BE CONTINUED)




 

2 comments:

Rita said...

Nice...A Nelson story...But The Horny Judge is gettin a bit played..

Brenda said...

Nice that Nelson gets to shine....but the horny judge??Come On Keith...He's a one trick pony!