My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16
Alex MacKenzie looked down on the bed where John Kelley lay on his
back, stark naked and totally relaxed, hands behind his head,
smiling. They had just made love, and it had been good. Very
good! Alex's eyes caressed the magnificent body of his
partner, and could feel the reaction in his groin yet again from what
he was seeing. Their late afternoon tryst had happened
spontaneously after they'd showered after gutting houses all day in the
Ninth Ward. It was amazing how a good shower and a healthy libido
could motivate one to hit the bed for recreational reasons after a hard
Alex, still naked himself, was standing at their bedside table,
punching numbers into the telephone. The numbers for Cam's and
Kevin's room, to be precise.
"Yo!" Cam answered the phone.
"Yo, yourself," Alex said.
"What up, Dad?" Cam asked.
"I want you to take a walk with me over to Canal Street after supper
tonight," Alex said.
"Oh, yeah?" Cam questioned. "To mingle with the tourists?"
"No, we need to shop."
"Ooooh," Cam said. "You're gonna buy me somethin'? What a
"Actually, yes," Alex said.
"Wait and see."
"It'll be like Christmas," Cam said.
"Can Kevin come along?"
"I dunno. He's such a drag sometimes," Alex laughed.
"No lie! Can we bring Casey?"
"OK," Cam said. "See ya at supper."
They hung up.
"Sup?" Kevin, curious, asked Cam.
"Alex says he wants to buy me something over on Canal Street," Cam
"Excellent," Kevin said. "We share everything equally, so that
means I'm gettin' somethin', too."
"We'll just see about that," Cam said, going over to the bed where
Kevin was lying naked except for his boxers, with Casey sleeping on the
bed beside him. Being careful not to awaken the baby, Cam lay
down full out on top of Kevin. After making some minute
adjustments to get comfortable, he stared down into those brown eyes,
loving what he saw.
"Mmmmm," Cam said.
Cam brushed Kevin's crewcut back from his
forehead, and lowering his head, gave Kevin a long, gentle kiss on the
lips. The two boys had developed the habit of
spending a few minutes every day just lying down together and touching
one another. Not sexually, necessarily, although they certainly
did a lot of that, too, when they were in the mood. But they just
enjoyed silently caressing each other. It was like a good
conversation as far as they were concerned, and sometimes better,
allowing them to express deep feelings that sometimes couldn't be
successfully articulated. Kevin's usual matter of fact, "tough
guy" personality was nowhere to be found when these moments occurred.
On that particular afternoon, fast becoming evening, after twenty
minutes of holding and touching each other, Cam and Kevin got up,
dressed, woke Casey, changed his diaper, and went down to the hotel
dining room. The child was in demand, as usual, never lacking for
admirers. Over the past few days, the little boy had started to
stand up on his own two feet with a little help from his friends.
Now life was going to get really interesting, Cam thought to
Supper was excellent. They started with a thick crawfish and corn
soup, followed by crab cakes covered in a spicy Cajun red sauce, served
with red beans and rice, and butter pecan ice cream for dessert.
After eating, Cam and Kevin only reluctantly restrained themselves from
letting go with loud belches, which would have shown their true
appreciation for the meal. They sat around talking with Alex,
John, Catherine, and Mary for a few minutes after the meal, and then
Alex stood up.
"Let's shop," he said, beckoning to Cam and Kevin.
"Do you know what this is about?" Cam asked his mother.
"Yes, but I'm not telling," Catherine informed him.
"You're no fun," Cam told her.
Taking Casey out of his carrier, Kevin put him in a sling around his
neck so that the little boy was suspended in front of Kevin on his
chest. The baby was awake, and sucking busily on a pacifier after
Alex, John, Cam and Kevin stepped out the hotel lobby into the fast
disappearing daylight, and the heat rose from the sidewalk to greet
them. Alex headed for Canal Street, followed by the rest of the
When they arrived at Canal Street, Alex turned away from the
River. They walked a block, and Alex stopped and looked into the
display windows of a camera store.
"This'll do," he decided after eyeballing the goods, and they went
"What are you getting me?" Cam asked.
"A digital camera," Alex said. "I want you to start thinking in
images before you come down to L.A. for film and television school this
"Images?" Cam quipped. "You mean like Kevin, naked?"
They all laughed, including Kevin, who had a big smirk on his face.
"Yes," Alex said, chuckling. "Exactly."
Cam remembered how enamored he had been of a little film camera he'd
had when he was in middle school. Back then, film had still
dominated the market and digital was more or less still in its
infancy. He'd used film and binged on picture taking.
Catherine had been kept busy dropping off the exposed film for
developing. Cam had preferred to work with black and white film,
and in his opinion he hadn't been bad at composition. Eventually,
he had set up a little film lab of his own down in the basement to
process his own black and white film. That lasted until he got so
active in sports that he didn't have time for it anymore.
"Let's take a look at some of your digital cameras," Alex told the
clerk. "Preferably, Nikon and Canon," he added.
"I thought you didn't like digital," Cam commented.
"They've improved the quality so much, my next film will be shot in
digital," Alex said. "The money men at the studio will be
ecstatic I've finally given up on film, believe me. Today's
digital is much cheaper and easier to work with."
The clerk knew he had a live one, and began pulling cameras out of the
display case for them to look at.
Twenty minutes later, Alex and Cam had settled on a Nikon D80 Digital body with a Nikon 18-135 mm zoom lens, along with
an extra battery and a grip/battery pack to be mounted on the bottom of
the camera. The camera would take shots at up to ten megapixels,
if you wanted to set it for that much detail. It was a fine
camera, but not the most expensive Nikon digital available. It
had all the features Cam would need, though, Alex explained.
"I'll get some more lenses for you in Malibu when you come down for
school," Alex said, pulling out his Visa Platinum to pay the clerk.
"Thanks, Dad," Cam said, kissing his father's cheek.
"Kev, you want anything?" Alex asked while the clerk ran his card.
"Nah, I'm good, Dad," Kevin said. "All Cam's stuff is half mine,
so I've got too much crap as it is. Thanks, though."
Alex and John laughed. Alex signed the receipt, and they headed
Cam couldn't wait to get back to the hotel so he could begin studying
the new camera's instruction manual. He knew a certain little boy
who would be a favorite subject, along with Kevin and some of New
Orleans' famous architecture.
After a quick study of the camera manual, Cam took a couple of shots of
Casey, and then the two boys turned the child over to Yolanda.
Camera in hand, Cam and Kevin took an elevator downstairs. As
they moved through the lobby, Kevin saw Andy Helder sitting in an
alcove, all alone, and knew right away the boy was missing Carl.
Kevin touched Cam's arm to stop him, and went over to Andy.
"Hey, man, how you doin'?" Kevin asked.
"OK," Andy said, obviously lying through his teeth.
"Cam and I are gonna walk around and take some pictures with Cam's new
camera," Kevin said. "Common with us."
"Thanks, but I don't feel like it."
"Tough shit, let's book," Kevin said in his no-nonsense manner.
Andy caved, and he and Kevin joined Cam.
The three boys hiked over to Canal Street and then down to the River,
where, on a whim, they caught a ferry over to Algiers. They
arrived there just as the lights in New Orleans were winking on as
night began to envelop the urban landscape. Setting the camera
for black and white, night landscape, Cam began to take pictures of the
city across the broad black waters of the Mississippi as the buildings
there began to turn to shadows, punctuated by lights. He was
surprised how good it felt to be taking pictures again. A viewing
screen on the back of the camera allowed him to check out the pictures
he took right away to see if they were any good.
When Cam was finished taking pictures, they all grabbed some soft
drinks at a little hole-in-the-wall grocery not far from the docks, and
then caught a ferry back to New Orleans, walking into their hotel at 10
Kevin looked at Andy.
"Go get the shit you'll need for tomorrow morning out of your room,
man," he told the boy. "You're staying with Cam and me tonight."
"Oh," Andy said. "Don't you need your privacy?" he asked
Kevin laughed. "Don't worry about it." He put an arm around
Cam. "I've had just about enough of this guy for awhile."
Cam grinned, saying nothing.
Andy didn't argue. He knew he would be grateful for the
company. He would sleep in the vacant bed, and Cam and Kevin in
their usual bed together.
After they had all brushed their teeth, Andy called Father Jim to let
him know where he was staying. When they finally hit the sack
after watching Jay Leno's monologue on TV, they all fell asleep
immediately and didn't stir until morning. Andy's big woody in
his boxers before he hit the bathroom was yet one more reminder to him
how much he was missing Carl.
* * *
Carl didn't want to think about the trial that lay ahead, and dreaded
having to face his father in the courtroom. He was too old to cry
but still not mature enough to tough his way easily through what had
been done to him by his dad, this despite the world of good his therapy
had done for him earlier in the year.
Between naps, after he and Ian had changed planes in Houston, Carl had
listened to Ian review with him yet again what he needed to do to
manage his emotions, his deportment, and his responses to questions
when he took the stand in the courtroom in Monterey. It was good
advice, and helpful, the boy knew that.
Carl leaned back in his seat and thought about how fortunate he and Dan
had been when they became wards of Mary and Ian. Carl wouldn't
have blamed William and Mark Carson if they had seen them as
interlopers, but there had been none of that attitude. Everybody
had been so good to them. And it hadn't been without great cost
to Ian and Mary and their boys, either. Carl was convinced that
the Carsons' condo had been torched by somebody hired by his
father. Ian had put his law practice on hold to make
certain that Carl and Dan were protected and
that Walter Emrick was punished as he should be.
The biggest blow of all had been when Mark had nearly been killed in
that ambush after the funeral for Berto's parents. Add to that
all the generosity of Catherine, Cam and Kevin in taking everybody in
and forming a strong, blended family in San Rafael, and Carl was very
thankful despite what he was facing in Monterey.
Eventually Carl put his iPod on, and listened to some of Jeff Buckley's
old stuff he had downloaded. It was soothing to him, and before
long he had tuned out where he was and where he was going. He
thought about Andy Helder and the boy's beautiful body. He was
already missing Andy and knowing that he would miss him even more as
the hours and days passed. Thinking of Andy and their new
relationship made some of the words of Jeff's rendition of
"Hallelujah," a Leonard Cohen song, especially meaningful:
"I did my best, it wasn't much.
I couldn't feel, so
I learned to touch.
I've told the truth,
I didn't come all this way to fool ya."
He also thought about the relationship that he used to have with
his father before his mother died and the family had been destroyed by
grief, only then to give way to a better life for him and Dan with the
Carsons and MacKenzies after his father had molested him.
"Yeah even though it went
I'll stand right here
before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my lips
Ian touched his shoulder to bring him back to reality
after they landed in San Francisco, and they gathered their stuff to
Ian led the boy to a fast food place in the terminal, and the two of
them ate a hamburger and fries without talking much. Then they
walked toward a car at the arrivals gate to take them to a private
hanger to catch their helicopter. Ten minutes later they were
looking at their new conveyance, a shiny, new
Bell 206B3 JetRanger. A four-seater.
They watched as their luggage was loaded into the machine.
"Well, let's hit it!" Ian said.
They climbed aboard and strapped themselves in and put on headphones as the pilot finished going through his startup
checklist. When he finished the list and flipped the switch for
the main power buss, the helicopter's gyros began to whine. Then
he hit the starter switch, and the rotors began to turn, slowly at first. After a
warm-up, the pilot received clearance from the tower and pulled up on
the collective. The copter flared and hovered fifteen feet off
the ground for a few seconds. Then the nose went down, and they
gathered horizontal speed before rapidly heading upstairs toward their
Ian watched the pilot take them up. Flying
a rotary wing aircraft was a lot more complicated than flying a fixed
wing craft, the lawyer thought to himself. The
pilot was flying at the FAA minimum altitude for that area, skimming
the landscape as the machine raced its own shadow west toward the
Thuckata thuckata thuckata. Carl
fixated on the sound the rotors made as the copter moved along, his thoughts again turning to Andy, remembering being invited
into the boy's bed to sleep the first night they had roomed
together. And what they had done to and for each other in the
early morning hours.
"Where are we going to land?" Carl asked Ian when he returned to
"In the parking lot behind the courthouse," Ian said, his voice
sounding tinny in the headphones. "Captain Ridenour had it
cordoned off so we'd have a place to come down. It's secure, so
there's no way anybody can get at us when we go into the courthouse."
Carl smiled, nodded, and then fished out his iPod out of his shirt
pocket again. Moving his right 'copter earphone out of the way,
he plugged an earbud into that ear. Soon he was lost again in the
music, trying not to think of what lay ahead. Twenty minutes
later they flew past the Monterey courthouse, made a half circle, and
landed smoothly in the back parking lot without a jolt. Police
officers lined the perimeter of the parking lot in riot gear, facing
outward, armed with rifles.
Tom Ridenour walked across the lot to meet Ian and Carl, ducking under
the rotors as they began to slow. He opened the side door.
Ian and Carl took off their seat belts, slid to the front of their
seats, and dropped to the pavement.
"Hello, Ian," the tall CHiP officer said, shaking hands first with Ian
and then with Carl. "Hello, Carl. Good trip?"
"Painless," Carl told him, smiling, feigning good humor he didn't feel
right then. "What do we do with our luggage?" Carl asked Ian.
"Leave it unless there's something you're going to need," the attorney
said. "We're going to keep the 'copter for the day and use it to
get to the Big Sur after this afternoon's court session."
The pilot completed his shutdown procedures as Captain Ridenour, Ian
and Carl walked quickly toward the back door of the courthouse. A
Monterey County deputy sheriff at the back door pulled out a key card,
and let them in. The main doors of the courthouse were staffed
with deputies who were screening the crowds of people walking around in
the hallways before admittance to the building. Ridenour, Carson
and the boy stuck to a back hall as they moved into the interior of the
"Tom, is there a room where Carl and I can have a minute?" Ian asked
the CHiP officer.
"Sure," the captain said. "Open up a jury room for us," he
instructed a sheriff's deputy.
"We'll be right with you," Ian told Ridenour and the deputy after the
officers had gone in first and conducted a cursory examination of the
room. The two policemen went back out into the hall, shutting the
door behind them.
Ian turned to Carl and gently pulled the boy
into a hug. "This is it. I want you to remember that you're
not the one going on trial today," Ian said quietly into the boy's ear.
"You were your father's victim, and it wasn't your fault!
I know you know that, but I just want to say it to you again. Do
you understand me?"
"I know that what happened to you at the hands of your father was a
terrible experience," Ian continued. "I can't even imagine how
terrible it was for you. But if we let him, God does do his best
to bring good out of evil. The good, for me and Mary and our two
boys, has been the incredible privilege of having you and Dan as part
of our family over the past few months. It's a privilege I give
thanks for every day since we all began living together. I hope
it's been good for you. And if you'll let us, we want to make our
living arrangement, our relationship with you boys, permanent, after
this trial is over. We love you."
Tears began running down Carl's cheeks, and Ian took out his
handkerchief and wiped the boy's face. He kissed Carl on top of
his head, stepped back, and looked him over, adjusting Carl's tie and
smoothing out the lapels of his suit coat.
"You're looking good," Ian said.
"Thank you," Carl said, his heart full of love for this kind man and
his family, and now more confident that despite what had happened to
him, he could get through what lay ahead of him in the courtroom.
"Do you know who General Patton was?" Ian asked.
"He said something important that you and I need to remember right
now. He said, 'Never take counsel of your fears.' You and I
need to follow his advice, starting right now."
Just as the two of them stepped to the door, Carl's cell phone
rang. It was Andy Helder, and Carl popped open the cover and
answered the call.
"Hey," Carl said, happy he was about to hear the boy's voice.
"Can you talk?" Andy asked.
"No, we're just going into the courtroom. I'll call you later,
"Yep," Andy said, breaking the connection.
Carl felt really good that Andy had been thinking about him and had
"Is Andy all right?" Ian asked Carl.
"I think so," Carl said.
"Good. Let's turn our cell phones off," Ian said. "If they
ring in court, some judges will hold you in contempt right on the spot."
"Oh," Carl said.
The two of them held down the shutoff button on their phones, and the
little screens went dark.
Ian smiled encouragingly at Carl as he opened the door into the hall,
and they stepped out into the corridor. The deputy relocked the
door, and Ridenour shepherded Ian and Carl toward the appointed
Ridenour surrendered his sidearm to a deputy, and they went in.
Once inside the room, they saw what a circus it was. It was full
of spectators, many of them obviously reporters, all talking at
once. Ian's face tightened. He didn't like the atmosphere
at all. They entered the well of the courtroom, and he and Carl
shook hands with Richard Hanosh, the Assistant Attorney General.
The assistant AG had retained the case for prosecution rather than give
it to the local prosecutor, who might or might not have been a friend
of Walter Emrick. In the front row of the spectator section, Ian
saw Lauren Reed from Child Protection and Dr. Earl Junius, the doctor
who had first examined Carl at Alex's cabin following the rape.
They were important witnesses. Ian waved and smiled at them.
After a few moments, the bailiff quieted the courtroom, and announced
the judge. "All rise. Part D of the Superior Court of the
County of Monterey is now in session," he said, "the Honorable Peter
The judge walked up steps beside the bench and sat down in his big,
high-backed leather chair. He scooted forward and surveyed the
crowd, looking as sour as Carl had remembered him to be.
>From the holding cell, deputies brought in the nattily clad Walter
Emrick, dressed in a suit. The defendant and his attorney stopped
and remained standing at the defense table. Carl glanced over at
the defendant. His father didn't look well. He had put on
weight and was looking doughy and unhealthy, his complexion gray.
Jail had obviously not agreed with him, but Carl thought he looked
happier than he should have. What does he have to be cheerful
about, the boy wondered.
"Seat the jury and call the case," McDowell instructed the bailiff as
the jury filed in and the unruly crowd sat down. There were three
tables facing the bench for the principals: a defense table, a
prosecution table, and a table for the one and only witness to the
alleged crime, and for that witness's Guardian ad litem.
The term Guardian ad litem, meaning literally the "guardian for
the suit," was a person, usually an attorney, appointed to safeguard
the interests of an abused or neglected child or an incapacitated adult
who was not a defendant.
"The State of California versus Walter A. Emrick." the bailiff bawled
out, and any whispering among the spectators ceased.
"Counsel, please identify yourselves for the record," Judge McDowell
The prosecutor stood up. "Richard Hanosh, Attorney General's
office, for the State, your honor," he said.
"Jeffrey Slade for the defense, your honor," the lawyer for Walter
Ian stood. "Ian Carson, Guardian ad litem for the minor
child, Carl Emrick, your honor, and guardian of said minor child under
the supervision of California Child Protective Services." Ian
remained standing. "Judge, in my capacity of Guardian ad
litem, I move that because Carl Emrick, the victim and chief
witness in this case of child sexual abuse, is a minor, that the
courtroom be closed to all but key witnesses and essential personnel."
The spectators, especially the reporters among them, murmured unhappily
at the prospect of being put out.
"You don't have standing to make such a motion," McDowell said,
"May we approach?" Carson asked.
Judge McDowell beckoned the three lawyers forward. The court
reporter joined them, holding her little machine by its tripod with one
hand as she busily typed away with the other.
"Your honor, as Guardian ad litem, appointed to that function
by your honor himself, I do have standing to be here in order to
protect the rights of my ward by making this motion. Please,
Judge, I don't want to have to go into San Francisco to get a writ from
the appeals court affirming my role and right to be here for my
client. Ordinarily, I agree that these proceedings should be
open, but the need to protect the reputation of this minor child
overrides and supersedes the public's right to monitor this trial."
Judge McDowell glared down at Ian.
"Don't threaten me with the appeals court so early in the trial,
Counselor," he said, obviously angry.
Richard Hanosh spoke up quietly. "The State agrees with Mr.
Carson on the matter of his standing, your honor, and joins his motion
for a closed courtroom in the interest of protecting the minor child,
who is the victim and chief prosecution witness, from publicity," the
"Alleged victim," Jeffrey Slade muttered. "The defense has
no objection, your honor," the lawyer added aloud.
Feeling outgunned, the judge sighed and acquiesced. "Very well,"
he said sourly. "This trial is hereby declared closed in
accordance with the Judicial Code of the State of California as it
relates to legal proceedings involving alleged victimized minor
children. The Guardian ad litem has standing for this
motion. Step back," he said to the lawyers.
Walter Emrick's attorney just smiled and said nothing more as he went
back to his seat. He was just as happy not to have the negative
facts of his client's case splashed across the front page of all the
papers. That was better for Walter Emrick.
And now let the dance of justice begin, Ian Carson thought to
himself as he walked back to the table where Carl was seated. Sometimes
a fast dance, sometimes slow, sometimes subtle, sometimes bold and
obvious, that dance. Ian glanced over at the defense table,
his eyes hard as he looked at Walter Emrick. What I wouldn't
give to have a few minutes alone in a locked room with that asshole.
Ian's eyes shifted to blond haired, blue eyed Carl back at the
table they shared. The boy had been deeply wounded, Ian
continued his train of thought. But he is a tough little
jock, and with a lot of love and support from his new family, he will
be all right. Having a good relationship with Andy Helder
wouldn't hurt, either, but he wondered in passing how the relationship
would survive when Carl moved to Malibu with Cam and Kevin for school.
Carson knew from experience that Richard Hanosh from the Attorney
General's office was a very able prosecutor, but he couldn't help but
wish he were prosecuting this case himself. Just this once.
He also knew it was going to be difficult for him to contain himself as
the trial moved forward and Walter Emrick's defense attorney used all
the trickery he had at his disposal to get his client off. As a
defense attorney, Ian was all too well aware of what those tricks would
be, but this was one time when he didn't want them to work.
In response to the judge's ruling to close the courtroom, the bailiffs
moved toward the public seating area and began to move people
out. When the crowd was emptied out into the corridor, one of the
bailiffs hung a sign on the outside of the double doors stating the
courtroom was closed to the public, and locked the doors. Only
Captain Ridenour, Mrs. Reed, Dr. Junius and several other persons Carl
didn't recognize remained seated in the spectator section.
"Read the charges," the judge instructed when the doors were shut.
"Waive reading, your honor," Walter Emrick's attorney stood and said,
and then sat down.
"Very well," McDowell said. "Is the State ready to proceed?"
"We are, your honor," Hanosh said.
"Is the defense ready?" McDowell asked.
"Yes, your honor."
"I'll hear opening statements at this time," Judge McDowell said.
"Thank you, your honor," Hanosh said, rising
from the prosecution table to face the jury,
wearing a grim look on his face.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," he said, "there are always a few
cases in which the Attorney General's office is reluctant to elicit
specific testimony from witnesses because of the sordidness and the
barbarity of the criminal acts involved. This is one of those
cases. The State has responsibility in this case to present facts
which will horrify and sicken you. The defendant, Walter Emrick,
betrayed and sexually victimized his elder son, Carl Emrick, a
minor child. The actions to be described in testimony took place
in the basement of their home in Seaside, California, on April 7 of
this year, at approximately 5 p.m. The defendant first assaulted
the boy with a belt and with a chrome car antenna
after forcing Carl Emrick to strip naked. This
beating, leaving welts and bruises all over the boy's body, was bad
enough. But the beating was followed by a sexual assault in a
brutal rape in which he repeatedly sodomized his son.
"After his father completed these despicable acts over a period of
thirty minutes, the victim, Carl Emrick, dressed, left the house and
called friends, who in turn telephoned those who would be witnesses
after the fact to the grievous wounds the boy sustained as a result of
the criminal acts of his father. Those witnesses are:
Captain Thomas Ridenour of the California Highway Patrol, Lauren Reed,
associate director of Child Protective Services for the State of
California, and Dr. Earl Junius, a licensed California practitioner in
pediatric and adolescent medicine, and Ian Carson, attorney-at-law and
subsequently appointed Guardian ad litem to the victim.
These witnesses, visited a cabin in the Big Sur, having been summoned
there by Mr. Carson, and what they saw will be testified to by them in
"I ask that despite any repugnance you may have with respect to what
you are going to hear, that you take careful note of the cold-blooded,
criminal acts carried out by the defendant by which he viciously
victimized his son. Having heard the facts of this case, it will
be your responsibility to find the defendant guilty as charged and
allow this court to pronounce the maximum sentence the law
provides. I am confident in your good judgment."
Staring grimly at the defendant, Hanosh took his seat.
Jeffrey Slade, Walter Emrick's lawyer, rose slowly to his feet and
approached the jury.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to identify candidly what you have just
heard from the prosecutor: it is fantasy. My client did not
commit the acts of which he is accused. His record as a good
father, a single parent after his wife passed away, was and is
exemplary. The truth is, that Carl Emrick is a troubled youth who
made up his story of molestation out of whole cloth. His father
was always the soul of kindness to his two sons, and the sordid tale
told by this young man is totally false. It was concocted because
Mr. Emrick insisted that his sons follow house rules, and Carl Emrick
refused to do so. Our defense in this case will show conclusively
in this case that Mr. Emrick is the victim here of an outlandish story
which has deprived him of his liberty for far too long. My
request of you is that you weigh the evidence to be elicited in a fair
and impartial manner, understanding the natural tendency of many of the
witnesses to support an alleged youthful victim even when the evidence
is weak or nonexistent. I ask especially that those of you who
are parents put yourself in Mr. Emrick's shoes in his attempt to impose
modest discipline on an unstable, rebellious and recalcitrant young
man, who then turned on him and concocted a horrible story which has
destroyed the reputation of this pillar of the community. I will
ask you to remember that Mr. Emrick is a decorated former Marine who
fought with distinction in the Viet Nam conflict. I ask you to be
fair, understanding that my client is not guilty of the alleged
crimes. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The prosecution cannot and will not meet their burden of proof."
Slade held the jurors' eyes for a moment, and then sat down.
"Is the State ready to proceed?" Judge McDowell asked.
"We are, your honor," Richard Hanosh said.
"The State may call its first witness," the judge said.
"The State calls Carl Emrick," Richard Hanosh responded.
"Carl Emrick to the stand," the bailiff said.
Carl stood up reluctantly, took a last look at Ian for moral support,
and walked up to the witness stand, turned to the bailiff and raised
his right hand.
"Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing
but the truth?"
"State your name for the record," the Assistant A. G. said.
"Carl Walter Emrick," Carl said.
"Mr. Emrick, where were you on April 7 of last year?" Hanosh asked.
"In classes at school, and then after wrestling practice, at home."
"Was anyone else at home?"
"Not at first," Carl said. "My brother was at a friend's house,
and then my father came home at about 5:00 p.m."
"Is your father in the courtroom?"
"Please identify him for the record," Hanosh instructed.
"He's right there," Carl said, pointing at his father, seated at the
defense table with his attorney, and quickly looking back at the
"Let the record show that this witness has identified the defendant,
Walter A. Emrick.," Hanosh said.
"Where were you when your father arrived home?" the Assistant AG asked.
"In the basement watching television. He shouted my name when he
came in the door from the garage, and I shouted back to let him know
where I was."
"What happened then?"
"He came downstairs and walked over to where I was sitting in a
recliner, and he slapped my face. Hard."
"Had he ever done anything like that to you before?" Hanosh asked.
"Do you know why he did that?"
"Not at first."
"Tell the court what happened after he slapped you," the prosecutor
"He grabbed me by the neck, pulled me out of the recliner where I was
sitting, and dragged me over to a day bed in a little room that
connects to the rec room," Carl said. "He choked me for a minute
so I couldn't breathe."
"I caught my breath, and then he told me to strip off my clothes.
When I said I wouldn't, he told me that either I or my younger brother
Dan was going to be punished because I had lost a wrestling match early
in the wrestling season."
"And then?" Hanosh asked.
"I took off my clothes."
"Yes," Carl said.
"He removed his own clothes and laid me out face down on the day bed on
my front. He took his belt off his pants and began to whip me
with it. Then he took what looked like a car antenna from the
corner, opened it up, and began whipping me some more. That
really hurt, and I was screaming."
"Had you ever seen the car antenna or whatever it was he was using on
"No," Carl said. "I don't know where it came from."
"What happened next?"
"I think I must have passed out," Carl said, "because the next thing I
knew, he had his penis up my rectum and he was screwing me. It
hurt." Tears started to flow down Carl's cheeks and fall on his
shirt and pants. He looked down, unable to face anyone in the
"Do you need a minute?" Hanosh asked the boy, concerned.
"No," Carl said grimly.
"When he was finished, he lay there on top of me for a few
minutes. Then he laughed and got off me, and laughed some
more. He slapped me on the butt and said, 'Thanks, boy. Was
it good for you? That was a fit punishment for a loser.' I
laid there while he got dressed and went upstairs."
Ian looked across the courtroom at the jury, and the face of everyone
on the panel had a look of disgust on it. They stared grimly at
"What happened then?" the assistant AG asked.
"I heard my father go into the garage. He started up his car and
backed out of the garage. I laid there until I could get up and
put my clothes on. I was covered with welts. I didn't
realize until later that my rectum was bleeding."
"What did you do after that?"
"I called a couple of friends from San Rafael I had met on the
beach. They were staying at their dad's cabin in the Big
Sur. I asked them if I could come down and see them."
"For what purpose?" Hanosh asked.
"I needed someone to talk to."
"Please identify those friends for the record."
"Cameron MacKenzie and Kevin Stoltz."
"Were you going to tell them what had just happened to you?"
"I didn't know at first whether I would or not. But I was hurting
so bad, eventually I did," Carl said.
"Did they help you?"
"Yes. They put some salve on me, and gave me some
over-the-counter painkillers. I laid down and went to sleep for
"Did they do anything else for you?" Hanosh asked.
"Yes. They called Mr. Ian Carson in San Francisco and told him
what had happened to me."
"What happened then?"
"Mr. Carson came down to the Big Sur from San Francisco. And he
had arranged for Captain Ridenour of the California Highway Patrol, and
Ms. Lauren Reed of California Child Protection, and Dr. Earl Junius,
and you, to come down as well."
"What did they do for you?"
"They questioned me, and then Dr. Junius and Ms. Reed took me into a
bedroom and examined my wounds."
"What happened then?"
"I got dressed and drove my dad's car back to the house, where I left
it in the garage. We picked up my brother Dan there at the house,
and all went to court in Monterey. After Judge McDowell heard the
evidence, he put my brother Dan and me in the custody of Child
Protective Services and made Mr. Carson my Guardian--whatever
it is. And then Child Protective Services placed me and Dan with
Mr. and Mrs. Carson, and that's where we've been ever since. The
judge issued a warrant for my dad's arrest, too."
"Had your father ever struck you or your brother before this incident?"
"After my mother died, he'd occasionally slap us around when we were
wise guys," Carl said. "Nothing more than that. But he
constantly threatened to beat me if I lost a wrestling match at school."
"How did you feel about yourself after you were molested?"
"I felt pretty bad about it, and thought about offing myself because I
was so ashamed. But Mr. Carson made it possible for me to go to a
counselor--a psychiatrist at St. Francis University--and I gradually
started to feel better." Carl glanced over at his father.
"But I don't know if I'll ever get over it completely."
"Carl, thank you for being so brave and forthright in giving your
testimony." Hanosh looked at the judge. "That's all I have
for this witness, your honor."
"Mr. Slade?" Judge McDowell said.
The defense attorney walked up to the witness box with a false smile on
"Carl. May I call you Carl?"
"If you want."
"Would you consider yourself to be a 'good boy,' Carl?"
"Did you ever disobey your father?"
"No," Carl said.
"Did you and your brother have a curfew at your house?"
"What was that curfew?"
"For me, 10 p.m. on school nights, midnight on weekends."
"Were you ever late?"
"Once in awhile."
"A few minutes."
"How many is a few?"
"Several minutes. I didn't keep track."
"When you were late, what did your father say or do?"
"He would yell at me, and take away some privilege."
"He wouldn't let me use the car."
"He provided you with a car?"
"What kind of car?"
"A Cadillac Escalade."
"What year of a Cadillac?"
"That was pretty nice of him, wasn't it?"
"So, your father wasn't such a terrible father after all, was he?"
"Not when it came to providing a car," Carl answered. "Of course,
he's a car dealer. It didn't cost him anything."
"Move to strike as unresponsive, your honor," Slade said.
"Sustained," the judge said. "Just answer the questions, son,
"Yes, sir," Carl said.
"Have you ever used illegal drugs?" Slade asked, taking a shot in the
Ian got to his feet. "I object, your honor, on the grounds that
answering this question may incriminate my client, and also because the
question is irrelevant."
"I join the objection, your honor," the assistant AG said, "on the same
"Attempting to show a pattern of behavior on the witness's part, your
honor," Slade said.
"Sidebar, Judge?" Ian asked.
"Yes," McDowell said, waving the attorneys forward.
"Judge," Ian said, "May I call to the court's attention the
constitutional prohibition against self-incrimination. That
certainly would apply in the instant matter."
"If this boy used illegal drugs, it substantiates his need for
discipline which a father can and should provide," Slade said.
"It could be considered a mitigating factor in the alleged occurrence."
"A mitigating factor for rape! Your honor...!" Hanosh snorted.
"I'll allow the boy to take the fifth on questions which might
incriminate him," McDowell said, almost against his will. "Step
Ian and Richard Hanosh returned to their tables as Jeffrey Slade
prepared to continue.
"The clerk will read the last question," the judge instructed.
"Mr. Slade: 'Have you ever used illegal drugs?'" the clerk said.
"I will state for the record at this time," Judge McDowell said, "that
the witness, a minor child, declines to answer the question on the
grounds that it might tend to incriminate him. Proceed, Mr.
"Let me review the information you've given me so far, Carl. You
stated you are 'a good boy,' that you didn't disobey your father, but
that you sometimes didn't keep your curfew. You say that your
father provided you with a new Cadillac Escalade to drive..."
"Your honor, is the defense planning to ask a question anytime soon?"
Hanosh stood and interrupted.
Before the judge could respond, Slade asked, "Carl, would you say,
then, that you and your brother had a good life under your father's
supervision? Did he feed you, clothe you, provide you with
spending money, and generally supervise and support you while you were
under his roof?"
Carl's eyebrows shot up and his face grew grim. "Yes, he did all
those things for me--until the day he beat me and raped me!"
Yes!! Ian thought to himself. Slade left himself wide
open for that. Good for Carl!
"Move to strike, your honor," Slade said, his face red.
"Unresponsive, and relying on facts not in evidence."
"Overruled," McDowell said reluctantly, "pending confirmation by other
witnesses of the witness's physical condition following the alleged
incident to which Carl Emrick has already testified."
"That's all I have for this witness at this time," Slade said.
"But the defense reserves the right to recall this witness for
additional questions at a later time."
"Very well," Judge McDowell said. "The witness may step down."
Carl stood up, left the witness stand, and walked back to the table
where Ian was seated. The boy sat down, and Ian leaned over to
"Perfect, Carl. Great job!" Ian whispered to him. "I'm
really proud of you."
Their eyes met, and Ian nodded to emphasize his words. If I
did well, it was thanks to you, Ian, Carl thought to himself in
"Mr. Hanosh?" the judge said.
"The State calls Dr. Earl Junius," Hanosh said.
"Dr. Earl Junius to the stand," the bailiff said.
Junius came forward, took the oath, and stepped into the witness
box. He was a tall, distinguished looking man, well dressed in an
imported tweed suit. Savile Row.
"Dr. Junius, please identify yourself for the record," Hanosh said.
"Earl P. Junius, M.D., Ph. D." the man said.
"What is your main field of interest within the medical profession,
"I'm a pediatrician, with a specialty also in adolescent medicine."
"Have you treated cases of abuse and/or neglect before?"
"Yes, I have, unfortunately. Many such cases."
"Tell me the circumstances under which you met the young man, Carl
"I received a call from Attorney Ian Carson of San Francisco on April
7, asking me to make myself available to examine a boy at a cabin in
the Big Sur. Mr. Carson was very persuasive, so I canceled my
remaining appointments for the afternoon. Mr. Carson picked me up
and drove me to the Big Sur along with you and Ms. Lauren Reed,
Associate Director of California Child Protective Services," Dr. Junius
"What did you find there when you arrived?"
"I found the victim, Carl Emrick, there with Captain Tom Ridenour of
the California Highway Patrol and two young friends of Carl Emrick."
"What occurred after you arrived?"
"After greetings, introductions and some questions, Ms. Reed asked Mr.
Carl Emrick if she and I could conduct a physical examination of him in
private. Carl Emrick agreed, and we went into one of the
"What happened next?"
"Carl removed most of his clothes, and I took a sheet from the bed and
wrapped it around him. Then Mrs. Reed and I began the
"What did you find?"
Dr. Junius became agitated.
"I found one of the worst cases of child abuse I have seen in my
career," Junius said angrily. "We found numerous welts all over
the boy's back, buttocks and legs, probably made with a whip or rod of
some kind. He was also bleeding from the rectum, indicating to me
that the boy had been penetrated, perhaps sexually."
"Objection, your honor," Slade said. "Speculation."
"I will elicit further information on that topic, Judge," Richard
"Overruled," Judge McDowell said, "subject to connection."
"What did you do next, Doctor?"
"Mrs. Reed and I went back to the other room and discussed our
findings, and I signed a form from Child Protective Services which
stated that there was sufficient evidence of child abuse to recommend
immediate removal of Carl Emrick and his younger brother from their
home, pending further examination."
"What happened next?"
"Based upon our findings, you, in your capacity of Assistant Attorney
General, telephoned Judge McDowell, and asked for an immediate
hearing. As a result of the hearing, the two boys were placed in
the custody of Child Protective Services, and Mrs. Reed designated Mr.
Carson and his wife as their emergency foster parents."
"Captain Ridenour executed an arrest warrant on the defendant, placing
him in custody, and Mr. Carson and I took Carl Emrick and Dan Emrick to
San Francisco General Hospital for a more thorough examinations.
Dan Emrick was in good shape. Carl was not, having suffered, as I
had discovered earlier, innumerable welts on his back, buttocks and
legs. In addition, Carl's rectum was bleeding. Dr. George
Suthon, a colleague of mine at the hospital, and I used a sexual
assault kit, and sent a swab of his rectum to the certified forensics
laboratory on the premises."
"What was the result of that test," Hanosh asked.
"The victim, Carl Emrick, had been penetrated sexually, and the semen
found there was subsequently matched to a DNA sample taken from the
defendant in jail."
"Your honor; I present the test results from the forensic lab at San
Francisco General Hospital into evidence. Please mark as State
exhibit 1. Doctor, were there photographs taken of the boy's
"Yes, there were photographs taken at the scene of the original
examination down in the Big Sur."
"Your honor, with the court's permission, I will show the jury the
photographs of Carl Emrick's injuries and submit them into evidence."
"Proceed," Judge McDowell said.
Hanosh punched the appropriate keys on his computer, and the pictures
of Carl and his welts began appearing on a large screen TV at the side
of the room. Ian and Carl heard gasps from some of the jurors.
After the pictures were shown, Hanosh removed a disk from his computer,
put it in a CD envelope, and gave it to the clerk. "Your honor, I
ask that the pictures on this disk be label State exhibit 2.
"Granted," McDowell said.
"Doctor, what did you and your colleague do at the conclusion of the
examination?" Hanosh asked.
"After consultation, Dr. Suthon prescribed the victim some
painkillers, and Carl Emrick and his brother were released from the
hospital in the custody of Ian Carson, who dropped me off at home."
"Have you spent any time since then with Carl Emrick?"
"Thank you, Dr. Junius," Richard Hanosh said. "That's all I have
for this witness, your honor."
"Mr. Slade?" the judge said. "Cross examination?"
"I have just one question for the witness," Slade said, standing up at
the defense table. "How did the sexual assault kit get to the lab
at San Francisco General Hospital?"
"An orderly took it there," Dr. Junius said.
"Your honor, that orderly is here in the courtroom waiting to testify
to the fact, if needed, that he transported the assault kit to the
lab," Hanosh said.
Slade's face turned grim, his hope of challenging the chain of custody
of the assault kit dashed. Ian grinned.
"That's all the questions I have of Dr. Junius at this time," Slade
said. "But the defense reserves the right to recall this witness
at a later time." The defense attorney sat down.
Judge McDowell looked at his watch. "I think this is a convenient
stopping point for the afternoon. We'll stand in recess until 9
a.m. tomorrow." He banged the gavel, and started to stand up when
there was a ripping sound in the courtroom from the defense table.
Walter Emrick's head was drooping, his hands under the table.
Those hands emerged with a gun with a piece of gray duct tape still
clinging to the handle, as he swiveled around and pointed the weapon at
Carl Emrick across the room.
Ian Carson and Carl Emrick had just started to stand, and Ian pushed
Carl behind him as the gun fired.
"Damn!" Ian said as a bullet struck him, and he began to sink to the
floor. Carl caught him and eased him down.
Several women on the jury began screaming.
Captain Ridenour, realizing that he didn't have his sidearm on him,
instantly sat down and pulled up his right pant leg to remove a .38
snub nose revolver from his ankle holster. Standing up in a
crouch, he took careful aim with both hands from his vantage point in
the public seating, and fired two shots at Walter Emrick.
© 2007 Don Hanratty
Thanks for your patience in waiting for this chapter of Belovèd.
I've been on vacation.
Thanks to Dan, Craig K. and Mike G. for their proofreading skills.