The Mark and The Mole
By E Walk
(Copyrighted by the author)
Edited by Radio Rancher
Chapter 22 - DNA Tests
This has got to be the longest week ever. It is only Friday morning and more has happened than had happened to Mike and me since we became partners. I was having weird dreams and unfortunately the alarm sounded before the dream was finished.
In the dream, Chad had kidnapped all of the children and taken them to some secluded cave to live to protect them from the State of Iowa. He would send a pigeon asking for money so he could feed the families. The pigeon would wait until someone taped money around one of its legs and it would disappear.
When the alarm went off I shook Mike, "Mike, Chad is going to kidnap all of the children. We can't allow that to happen. He can't provide for them all."
Mike sat up, "Doug, what are you talking about? Why would Chad kidnap all of the children, there is no way he could provide for them and he knows it?"
I told Mike about my dream, and all he said was, "Dear Douglas, you are beginning to sound like Chad. Let's take a shower together and wash your thoughts and more down the drain. Chad is a fighter and he is not going to runaway."
"Mike, I'm sorry, but these young people have become so important to me. I am having a very difficult time understanding why people don't want them to live with us because of our unconventional lifestyle as Chad put it. We would probably spend more time with the children than 90% of the foster homes where they would be placed."
Mike looked at me, "Doug, get down off your pedestal. The majority of the people in the United States are not willing to accept that two men can love each other. And you are correct, we would probably be better role models than many foster couples who are more concerned about making ends meet. I agree with Chad. The welfare system needs to understand that couples, such as us, probably would be better care givers than many families. We need to realize that we are going to be scrutinized to make sure that we don't give the officials any cause to take any of the children away from us."
By the time we got downstairs, Chad had Mark and Jon and was singing to them. He got up and handed us coffee and Dad joined us. Chad quickly fixed breakfast and went to check on Tim so he would watch the twins when we left.
The trip to Iowa City was very subdued. Chad was driving and I received a call on my cell phone. It was Frank, "Hi Doug, tell Chad that Ray Crouch will be there at the arraignment to protect his and the children's interests. He would also like to meet with you after the arraignment. He has some ideas he wants to bounce off of Chad."
I told Chad what Frank had said and Chad responded immediately, "The ideas will probably fall within a foot of my feet. I think I've lost all the power to think anymore. Dad and Granddad, I'm scared to death. I don't want to be here, and I am afraid of what the State might try to do while we are gone."
Dad looked at me and started to speak, "Chad, the state of Iowa has more problems to think about than you and your sons and siblings. I think you served notice last night that they should proceed with kid gloves when dealing with you. Quite frankly Chad, I think they are somewhat scared of and in awe of you. So they are going to proceed very carefully before they do anything. Now let's just get through today."
Dad directed Chad to the court house. After we had gone through the metal detector, we were met by Detectives Taylor and Frazier. They took us to the courtroom where the arraignments were to take place. Raymond Crouch, the lawyer, was already there and he was talking to a lady. Ray introduced us to County Attorney, Ms. Janet Lines. Before we had time to visit, court was convened with a Judge Allan Yeager presiding.
It soon became apparent that Judge Yeager was a no nonsense person and went strictly by the book. I can't even begin to describe in detail everything that happened. Everyone wanted to deal with the case of the two thugs who first picked up Chad at the cemetery and demanded money. It seems that their names were Harvey Winston Harmon and Harold Charles Harmon. They were from Wichita, Kansas. They had arrest records as long as their arms. They were sought in the cases of two bank robberies. There were also arrest warrants for them in two states.
Here is the most important thing that came out of the hearing. From DNA testing it was determined that there was no way that they could have been related to Chad's father.
When Harvey was called to testify, this is the story he told. "We had heard about the death of some dude called Harmon, so we decided to see if we could get some of the loot. We got here the night they were killed and we were having a drink in this bar and were sitting in the corner booth."
"We were trying to decide what we should do, when two dudes came in and sat in the next booth and started to talk. Me and Harold listened to what they were saying. We soon found out that their names were Larry and Mack. Larry asked, `What are we going to do now. All we found was these two keys. We think they are for safe deposit box but where?'"
"Larry answered, `We'll just have to wait and get our hands on whoever is at the funeral; maybe there will be someone who knows where the safe deposit boxes are. We didn't kill two people to leave here empty handed.' They left and me and Harold decided we had to go to the viewing and make a big show, but no one said anything to us. We figured we would go to the funeral get to the person in charge before Larry and Mack."
Harold corroborated what Harvey had said then added, "Yeah, we saw that kid sitting back there, who is probably still in diapers, telling everyone what to do, so we grabbed him. But his two goons grabbed us and hauled our asses off to jail. We demand to be released, you have no cause to hold us here. We ain't done nothing."
Judge Yeager had had enough. He pounded his gavel, "Sir, I suggest you be quiet. I'll decide what is going to happen to you. Now go back and sit down and keep your mouth shut."
Judge Yeager looked at Chad, "Okay young man, who is still in diapers according to the last witness, would you please come forward and tell me your side of the story?"
Chad looked at Mr. Crouch and he nodded for him to go ahead. Chad went forward and was sworn in. Judge Yeager didn't waste any words, "Okay young man, you seem to be the focal point of this mess, so tell me what I need to know about you and why you are involved in this case and do it in five minutes."
I was looking around the courtroom and Ray leaned over to me, "Doug, Judge Yeager is one of the best judges we have. He cuts though the paperwork and lawyers love it when he is the presiding judge. He is also one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet. I'm thinking that he is going to be falling in love with Chad."
Chad succinctly told the judge what had happened since his parents threw him away and what happened after Jody's death. The judge was writing the entire story that Chad was speaking. When Chad explained why he was here today, Judge Yeager looked up. "Okay, who is watching the other children as you are off here in Iowa City?"
Chad didn't hesitate, "Grandmother Walker and my twin brother, Tim. I am sure that Kevin and Kendra will also be helping."
Judge Yeager looked at the courtroom, "I rule that Harvey and Harold Harmon will remain in the facilities at the county jail. It seems to me that they will be vacating them soon because of the things that they have done in the past. I will be glad to sit on their case if it should come to trial in Johnson County."
Judge Yeager looked at Ms. Lines, "I understand that there is a related case that involves some of the same participants to be reviewed next. It is now 11:30, court is adjourned until two o'clock. I need to make some phone calls and get something to eat."
Judge Yeager turned his attention to Chad, "Young man, I guess you will be wanting to check on what is going on in Des Moines. I hope you can keep your joy stick in check for the next two and a half hours. Court is adjourned."
Raymond looked at Chad, "Son, you were wonderful. Judge Yeager has fallen in love with you. I am going to see if I can find out what bank your parents had a safe deposit box in. Enjoy your lunch."
Ms. Lines looked at Chad, "If only my children could be as brave as you. I'll see you at two o'clock."
Chad was almost ready to go into melt down, so Dad and I led him to the van and invited the two detectives to go with us since they were instructed to protect Chad.
We went to the local deli and Chad ordered what he wanted which was very little. He explained, "If I eat any more I'll probably just throw it up."
We finished eating at about 1:00 and Chad asked, "Can we please swing by the church, I would like to see if Father Lawler or Father Leahy are there and I would like to say a prayer?"
We went to the church and neither of the Fathers were there. Chad went into the sanctuary and knelt down and I guess he said a prayer. Not being Catholic, I had no idea what was happening. The four of us adults were standing there when Father Lawler came in. He looked at Chad and went to where Chad was kneeling and put his arms around him and it looked like they were praying together.
When they stood, Chad hugged Father Lawler and we heard Chad say, "Thank you Father, I'll be okay now. Please pray for me and my family."
Chad came to us and announced, "We need to get back to the courtroom. I think this afternoon will be even more revealing than this morning."
When we finally cleared security, we had just gotten seated when Judge Yeager returned. As soon as the formalities were out of the way and everyone was seated, Judge Yeager looked at Chad, "Young man, I want to see you in my chambers as soon as this hearing is over."
I could almost feel Chad start to tense up as he grabbed my hand. He looked at me with his big eyes as if to say, `What did I do?'
Ms. Lines stood, "Your honor, Johnson County asks that Mr. Lawrence Harmon Strong and Mr. McDonald Harmon Strong be held for a trial by jury in the case of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Harmon."
Judge Yeager looked up from his papers, "I presume that you have just cause to make such a charge."
"Yes your honor, these two gentlemen have been identified as having been at the scene of the deaths and at the scene of an attempted burglary. Their fingerprints were all over the scene of the crime. Their voices have been identified from a tape that was running at the time Mr. and Mrs. Herman Harmon were murdered."
Ms. Lines continued, "A check of their finger prints has revealed that they have served time for selling drugs to minors. One last thing sir, we have done a DNA test of the two gentlemen and they are indeed the offspring of Mr. Herman Harmon. It appears that Mr. Harmon had been married previously but his previous wife had subsequently remarried and her new husband adopted Lawrence and McDonald and they were officially Strongs."
The defense lawyer for the two guys looked like he had just stepped out of Gentlemen's Quarterly stood, "We object your honor, this is all speculation."
Judge Yeager looked up and nodded, "Mr. Sinclair, you may proceed with your case, but we have heard some things earlier today that will make it difficult for me to believe anything that you present. "
Mr. Sinclair seemed to be unfazed by the judge`s comments, "I call Mr. Lawrence Strong to the stand."
Both young men were impeccably dressed but the older of the two approached the witness stand. He was sworn in and Mr. Sinclair asked, "Mr. Strong, would you explain why you are here in Iowa City?"
Larry must not have been too intelligent because what came out of his mouth doomed him and his brother, "Hell, we were four and five when Mr. Harmon and our mom got divorced. He was paying her alimony and child support. Our stupid Mom got remarried so the alimony stopped and then the jerk, Mr. Strong, decided to adopt us and so the child support stopped coming. We figured that we should still get something from the old man who caused us to be in the world."
Judge Yeager looked at Ms. Lines, "Do you have any questions?"
Ms. Lines was so calm. She stood and pointed her finger at Larry Strong, "Mr. Strong, could you tell us what happened to cause your mother and your step father to die?"
"Our mother died of a drug overdose according to the coroner and our step father fell down the stairs two days later and fractured his skull and died."
Ms. Lines was relentless, "So you are telling me that both of your parents just happened to die within a very short period of time? What did you and your brother gain from their deaths?"
Larry didn't think about what he was saying, "We got a couple hundred thousand dollars, but it is all gone. The price of drugs has gone up."
Ms. Lines looked at Judge Yeager, "Your honor, I would like to present exhibit A."
The judge concurred and Ms. Lines had her assistant play the tape that we had found in the Harmon house. Mack Strong started to yell, "You shit-head, we are going to jail. You had to get everything now, and now we have nothing."
Larry snarled back, "Shut your mouth, or they'll fry us."
A deputy sheriff came in and handed a piece of paper to Ms. Lines. She looked up at the Judge, "Sir, I have just received word that these two men are wanted by the authorities in Cook County in Illinois for the wrongful death of Mr. Alexander Strong. It seems that they have evidence that proves they killed their step father as they did their father. I move that they be tried for the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Harmon here in the state of Iowa first."
Judge Yeager, pounded his gavel, "Mr. Lawrence Strong and Mr. McDonald Strong, you will remain in custody of the Johnson County jail until such time as your case can be heard. I really hope that I get to hear your case because I would like to not only fry your butts but other parts as well. Court is adjourned."
Chad looked at me and asked, "Dad, I'm so confused. Things are happening so fast; what does Judge Yeager want to talk to us about?"
Author's Notes: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, I suggest that you visitwww.tickiestories.us.
Well maybe now there will be good things happen to Chad and the rest of his family. I somehow am certain that Judge Yeager will have some good things to say to Chad.
I hope the next chapter comes along soon.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher