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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 27: Justice
THIS STORY IS COPYRIGHT © 2018-2019 BY SNOWBLIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, POSTING ON SITES OR NEWSGROUPS, DISTRIBUTION AS PARTS OR IN BOOK FORM (EITHER AS A WHOLE OR PART OF A COMPILATION) WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, OR DISTRIBUTION ON CD, DVD, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC MEDIA WITH OR WITHOUT A FEE, IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. YOU MAY DOWNLOAD ONE (1) COPY OF THIS STORY FOR PERSONAL USE; ANY AND ALL COMMERCIAL USE EXCEPTING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS REQUIRES THE AUTHOR'S WRITTEN CONSENT. THE AUTHOR MAY BE CONTACTED AT: email@example.com
Jesse and Zane were sitting with Dirk and Austin along the aisle near the front. Not being sure how many people were interested in watching the trial, Jesse had identified Dirk and Austin as the victims family he was representing with Zane. That allowed them into the courtroom previous to the general public. The bailiff had actually set four seats aside with reserved tags for them.
The courtroom had filled up quickly which surprised Jesse. He had thought some people would come to view the court proceedings, but it hadn't been in the media for a while to make it popular. The court was called to order, and the judge entered in his black robe with red, purple and gold sashes, starched white shirt and white tie. The colours of the sashes indicated this judge has or is sitting with the Tax Court, Federal court, and Provincial Superior courts. This was a very experienced judge hearing the trial.
The judge sat and went through the usual preamble. "Attorneys, please identify yourself for the record," he demanded.
The Crown Attorney stood, "Gail Nesbitt, Lead Prosecutor for the case. I have Tina Helman and Brian Johnson with me as Crown Attorneys."
The judge was making notes and finally said, "Thank you. How may I refer to you in this proceeding? Miss, Ms, Mrs.?"
"Thank you for asking, Your Worship. It's Mrs. for my self and Miss Helman."
"Thank you, Mrs. Nesbitt." The judge turned to the other table and asked, "And this crowd is?"
A heavyset man stood up. "Each of the three accused has a lawyer your honour, but I will be lead on behalf of the three young men. I'm Mr. Cook, and here is Mr. Dane, and Mr. Wright."
"I know the Crown Attorney's, but I'm unfamiliar with you gentlemen. You are members of the bar for this province?"
"Yes My Lord," replied Mr. Cook. "We are all from the same law firm based in Winnipeg and Vancouver, but with permission from the Bar to be here for this trial."
"Thank you, Mr. Cook. Now, to the matters..."
Jesse stood, "My Lord, I am here representing the family of Canaan Breck. This is his father and uncle here to watch the proceedings and to understand what happened to Canaan. They have an interest in the outcome of this matter and have asked me to represent them. My name is Jesse McCoy-McAdam, and I'm part of the McCoy legal firm," Jesse looked at the defence team to finish the last part of his sentence, "which has offices in every major city in Canada." Jesse standing up and speaking got the attention of the trial lawyers as well as the judge.
The Crown and Defence both stood and were going to object before the judge motioned them to return to their seats. "Mr. McCoy. A pleasure to see you in my court but I thought I heard you were moving on and into a new chapter in your career."
The lawyers at both tables showed surprise on their faces at that comment.
"Yes, My Lord, until after this matter is concluded and then I will take my place on the bench. My acceptance was conditional on representing Dirk and Austin here to ensure Canaan is not forgotten in the proceedings."
"Thank you for the explanation, Mr. McCoy."
"Thank you, My Lord."
"Are you content there or do you need a table upfront brought in?"
"My Lord, it's not my intent to be involved in the proceedings unless something must be said by the family. I believe the Crown and Defence are both very good at what they do and are fully prepared for the matter before the court today. I may ask the odd question for clarification but I'm quite content in these seats with the family members."
"Thank you, Mr. McCoy, for being candid with the court." The court continued by reading the charges out, reviewing and ruling on various motions which had been made, and confirming a potential timeline for the proceedings. The Judge then called for a 20-minute recess and upon return, the first witness would be called.
Jesse led his group outside so that Austin and Dirk could have a smoke and he could explain everything which had taken place. The rest of the day was spent with the police officer testifying that was the first on the scene. It was obvious the defence was going to challenge everything defending their clients.
Jesse took everyone for supper that night to Pierre's Restaurant.
"Jesse, is it always like this in court?" asked Dirk.
"Some days, Dirk. Other days, not so tedious."
"The cop seemed pretty honest in what he said. They sure asked him a lot of questions."
"Dirk," started Jesse. "It's complicated for most people to understand. The way the system is supposed to work is to determine the truth in the event before the court. It's that simple of an objective."
"Sure doesn't seem that way, Jess," added Zane.
"I know. The police are to determine everything possible for evidence in regards to the event. That means all the evidence... that which supports the charges as well as that which would not or even help in an acquittal. In Canada, the police must give what is called disclosure to the defence. That means they must provide copies of all evidence, documents, statements or information which they discovered and intend to enter into court against the accused. They must also provide all the other evidence which they gathered which may not support the charges. In simple terms, they must provide a copy of everything they learned about the event."
"Whys that?" asked Austin.
"In many cases, it allows the defence to see what's coming, and it saves the courts time by making a deal when the charges are proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It does save a lot of court time that way. Lots of deals are made with charges being dropped for guilty pleas to others. It also saves the victims the emotional trauma of a trial."
"It does make sense," said Dirk.
"How do lawyers represent guilty people? I mean, doesn't that bother you?" asked Austin. "No offence intended to you."
Zane laughed, "Austin, you don't know how long I've wanted to ask him the question, too."
Jesse was smiling. "Think of it this way, the Crown has to prove everything beyond a reasonable doubt in a trial. The belief is it's better for the system to let 100 guilty people go as opposed to finding one person guilty by mistake. The lawyer's job is to represent the client's rights to ensure they were not violated and that everyone else did their job properly. They ensure the accused aren't just railroaded if there is a reasonable doubt of their guilt."
"So in the real world, they're all trying to represent their clients to the best way possible to the judge or jury," asked Austin.
"That's a good way to put it Austin," replied Jesse. "Everyone does their job to the best possible and it's up to the judge to decide. There are rules to follow, and the judge ensures they follow them."
"But what about some of those trials where they get nasty like in the United States?" asked Zane.
"Trials can do that, but there is less tolerance for it here," Jesse stated quickly. "However, it also doesn't mean they don't try sometimes depending on who the client or the lawyer is. We don't have a jury to worry about here. Sometimes, it's like putting a play on for them to make their decision. It's selling the product to the jury members."
"Why don't they have a jury on this trial?" asked Dirk.
"The lawyers may be relying on a more technical defence than emotional. Knifing and kicking a young man to death is a hard thing to defend to 12 lay people who are mothers and fathers, but there may be technical issues coming up which a Judge alone can acquit. It's always a big decision to go jury or not."
"Jesse, I don't know how I will ever pay you back for everything you're doing for me, my son, and Austin too. "I'll work to the day I drop dead to pay your bill."
"Your bill is already paid. Remember that $1 you gave me when we met? That's the bill."
"I don't know what to say. First, you name the drop-in centre after Canaan, now this," exclaimed Dirk.
"It's no problem, Dirk. I'm glad I can help," Jesse said with a big smile. "It actually means a lot to me that you let me represent you at this trial."
"And to use Canaan's name on our new drop-in centre," added Zane.
"You two are incredible," said Dirk with a tear escaping his right eye.
"Dirk, hold on. No hugs. It took me four visits to the Chiropractor to get this sorted out after the last time you hugged me," said Zane.
The men all chuckled. They finished up their meal, Jesse paid and all headed off home to get a good sleep for the next day of trial.
The next morning, the defence finished questioning the police officer from yesterday. The Crown called the forensic Identification Corporal to the stand. He talked about the photographs of the body, the number of knife wounds, footprints from the accused, the blood on their boots at arrest. He even entered into evidence photos of Canaan's body where the knife wounds and impressions of footwear treads were left on the skin. They talked about matching the footwear from two of the accused to the impressions on the body. The defence only asked a few questions during their cross-examination. Just before the witness left the stand, Jesse stood. The judge immediately acknowledged him and instructed the witness to answer questions.
"Corporal, I find it interesting that only two sets of footprints were found on Canaan. I can't assume anything so I'll ask it; you did check every square inch of his body didn't you?"
"Absolutely sir. I only found two sets of footprints," replied the Corporal.
"Did you identify all the footprints you did locate?" asked Jesse.
"Yes sir, I did."
"I saw the photograph comparison between the accused treads and the marks on Canaan's body. Excellent job and very clear, Corporal."
"Thank you, sir."
"No partial prints, or smeared prints?"
"The ones we found were all very clear."
"Did you do blood tests on the blood on the footwear?"
"Yes, I did."
"I'm sorry, Corporal. That's right, you did go through the collection and forwarding for a test. You also said the blood was Canaan's, didn't you."
"Yes sir, I did."
"Was there only one blood type or DNA recovered at the scene, Corporal?"
"You were present for the autopsy and taking pictures of the exhibits?"
"No skinned knuckles on the accused or extra blood types found on the skin of Canaan when the autopsy was performed?"
"No defensive wounds to the hands or arms from a knife?"
"No, sir. There were no defensive wounds from a knife."
"Why would that be?"
The defence stood, "Objection My Lord, the question calls for a conclusion from the witness."
"Objection sustained; please rephrase the question, Mr. McCoy."
"My apologies, My Lord. Corporal, based upon your experience in this field, what could be some of the possibilities as to why there were no defensive wounds?"
The defence stood, "Objection My Lord, the question calls for a conclusion and conjecture from the witness."
"My Lord, Canaan was a 6'2" young man at the peak of his physical fitness the night of the attack. The family hasn't been able to understand why a muscular young man would not have defensive wounds."
The defence stood again, "My Lord, the job of the prosecution is to introduce evidence. If they haven't introduced it, it may be instrumental in failing to prove the offences beyond a reasonable doubt resulting in a dismissal."
His Lordship looked at the defence attorney over the top of his glasses. "Mr. McCoy is not the prosecution or the defence; he is representing the family. I do not need a lecture on the level of a grade 12 law class." The dense attorney started to stand again, but was cut off when the judge said, "SIT." The Judge sat for a moment before continuing his addressing the officers of the court, "I am going to allow the question. The witness is a well-known person who has been declared an expert in other proceedings." The judge looked at the Corporal. "Do you know the difference between reasonable possibilities and pure conjecture?"
"Yes, my Lordship, I understand the difference."
"Please answer the question, Corporal."
"My Lord, one possibility is that Canaan chose not to fight back. Another possibility is that he was not able to fight back."
Jesse stood, "Corporal, what do you mean not able to fight?"
"There is the possibility Canaan was unconscious or a reduced level of consciousness when being knifed. It is an automatic response for people to defend themselves and there were no marks whatsoever."
"Corporal, was he dead?"
"I don't believe so. After the attack, he had been left laying on the ground. Canaan left a blood trail as he tried to crawl back to the church, probably to get help."
The defence stood, "Objection My Lord, the answer is a conclusion not supported by evidence."
Jesse smiled at the Judge, "My Lord, the defence is correct that the answer is a conclusion bordering on conjecture. I'm sure among the other possibilities a badly beaten and knifed young man near death would try to crawl back to the church could be for more punch, desserts, or another dance."
Before the defence could object, the Judge ruled, "The Corporal was asked for an opinion and he provided the court with one. I believe that I am in the position to understand the difference between fact, evidence, speculation, conjecture, and opinion. Let's move on."
Jesse thought for a moment. Just before he spoke, he glanced at both the defence and the crown tables. The reaction at the defence table was amusement at the questions being asked. The crown attorney's looked bored and he sensed they wanted him to get on with it.
"Corporal, I was quite impressed with your résumé of past investigations. There is one thing I'm wondering about. You deal a lot with blood and body fluids; how do you keep yourself from being contaminated by HIV, Hepatitis or other serious bloodborne diseases?"
The three accused men were now very focused on the Corporal, awaiting his answer. "That's an easy answer, Mr. McCoy. I treat every case the same and use basic body isolation techniques such as good quality gloves. Most of the time I also use disposable coveralls and booties as well. This not only protects me, but it prevents me from contaminating the scene by depositing unrelated materials on the crime scene."
"Excellent, Corporal. So if there were any bloodborne pathogens at the scene, that would protect you as well as the continuity of the scene."
"Yes, sir. It's well known to us that some bloodborne pathogens such as Hep B can survive in dried blood for up to 5 days."
"Corporal, do you test for bloodborne pathogens in the victim's blood at any time? Don't you need to know if there was something there?"
"That's beyond my skill level, Mr. McCoy. I leave that up to the doctors and pathologists. If they or our investigators find something, the information is shared between the responders in order to be treated for exposure."
"So you don't know if it was tested?"
"If the blood was positive for a bloodborne pathogen, would someone tell any witnesses, responders or even the accused so they could be treated for exposure?"
Two of the three accused were getting quite agitated and were whispering in the ears of their attorney's. The third accused was interested, but Jesse sensed no fear in him anywhere near the intensity of emotions the other two accused. Jesse turned his attention to the Crown's table where he saw the junior lawyers reading medical and pathology reports, but the lead lawyer was focused on him.
"I truly respect you, Corporal. Not only your vocational skills but your ability to face crime scene after crime scene not knowing if that one would contaminate you."
Jesse was focused on the Corporal and he saw a change in his facial expression. Jesse was hoping it was the light going on in the Corporal's mind about the idea he was trying to implant in the accused's minds. "Mr. McCoy, we have top-notch paramedics and doctors here who do an incredible job. They know the sooner someone gets identified as being exposed and then treated for the exposure the higher the chance of survival are."
Jesse had one thought in his mind. He moved closer to the witness. "Do they tell you only if it's positive or do they tell if it's negative as well?"
"Both. Anyone exposed is told if there is a potential. In Saskatchewan, we have the Mandatory Testing and Disclosure (Bodily Substances) Act to protect responders from contamination. There are provisions for a warrant to be issued to obtain blood from a suspected person if they don't give a sample willingly. There is a requirement to tell people who were exposed."
"Even the suspects?"
"I really don't know," replied the Corporal. "We can't tell the medical people who the suspects are until charges are laid due to privacy laws."
"Thank you, Corporal. No further questions, Your Lordship."
The judge watched as Jesse returned to his seat, and then turned to the Crown. "Any further questions?"
"No, My Lord."
"Any further questions from the defence?"
Two of the young men appeared quite upset and were beginning to speak louder than a whisper. The one young man said, "The little faggot had AIDS?"
The judge banged his gavel a couple of times. "Control your clients and inform them of the decorum of the court. I will not tolerate what they said unless it is evidence. This may be an opportune time to break for lunch after you answer my question about any further questions for this witness."
Mr. Cook was getting flustered by his client, and the Judge asking him questions at the same time. "No, your Lordship. No further questions."
"Court is adjourned until 1400 hrs." He banged the gavel.
Jesse quickly led Dirk, Austin, and Zane to the car to go for lunch. "Smoke in the car you two. I want to get out of here fast," said Jesse.
The four men got into the SUV and headed off for lunch. Jesse noticed Mr. Cook waving at him as if he was trying to get his attention but continued to drive away.
Finally, Dirk said, "I have a lot of faith and trust in you Jesse, but my boy had no diseases. I really don't like that you implied that he did."
"I'm sorry Dirk, but I did that to plant an idea in the accused's minds. I never actually said Canaan had anything, but I talked in general terms to see what the reaction would be. The Corporal picked up on it and helped. Did you see two of the three accused get upset quite quickly?"
"I still don't like you implied my boy was ill."
Austin spoke to his buddy. "Dirk, I get what he was doing. If they want to find out or get treatment they have to explain how they got his blood all over their shoes or clothes."
Dirk thought for a moment and then relaxed as he said, "I'm sorry, Jesse. I get it now. I still don't like the idea of Canaan being disrespected like that, but I think he would understand."
"Damn right he would. He would understand and agree with it, too. Our son was the best ever," said Austin.
Dirk sat quiet, trying to control his emotions as they drove to the restaurant. Both Jesse and Zane noticed Austin firmly griping Dirk's hand for support. Zane smiled at the two men as he reached out to touch Jesse. As soon as contact was made, Zane sent a message to Jesse simply saying, "I think they have become a couple since we saw them at the work site trailer. When Austin said our son, their auras blended into one."
Jesse smiled as Zane sat back in his seat.
After lunch, the defence lawyers and even the accused kept nervously glancing at Jesse. The next witness was a blood splatter expert who described the scene and the blunt force trauma which was applied to Canaan. There were three separate spots on the sidewalk the expert explained as important to the case. Each of the three spots was where Canaan was repeatedly kicked. There was no possibility of determining how many times the young man had been kicked in total. He also pointed out the locations on the ground where it was a high probability the knife wounds were inflicted. He also detailed the drag marks Canaan had left trying to get back to the church.
The next witness was the one who matched the knife found at the scene to the wounds on Canaan's body. The knife had been hand sharpened numerous times with a well-used sharpening stone which had left a very unique warble in the blade. That was easy to match to the wounds it caused. He also talked about the one index fingerprint he had recovered from the knife. The print ridges were made in the victim's blood. The defence tried to question the technician about the fingerprint identification without success. The witness kept repeating himself that he hadn't matched the print to anyone; he had just located and secured the one he found. He also had no clue where the knife was found, he just matched it to the wounds.
By the time the defence had finished their questioning, the judge adjourned court until 1000 hrs the next day.
That night Jesse contacted Jack. "Did I wake you up, Jack?"
"Jesse, even if you did a phone call from you is worth it." Jack covered the phone badly, "Molly, get on the phone, Jesse's on the line."
An extension was picked up. "How's my little Jesse doing?"
"Doing good, Momma Molly."
"How's the other pea in the pod doing? He's not pregnant or anything is he?" asked Molly innocently.
Jack lost it in laughter, but Jesse never changed his tone when he replied, "No, but I am, and its a boy."
Zane was on the extension and said, "Jesse!"
All of them laughed and after some catching up, Jesse explained the trial and who he was representing in the matter. He asked if Jack knew anything about Mr. Cook and the law firm he represented as well as Mrs. Nesbitt. Jack had thought for a moment before explaining Mrs. Nesbitt was a very competent lawyer and if she was leading the prosecution it usually went well. He wasn't so complimentary about the firm Mr. Cook was associated with. He'd bumped into them a few times and wasn't impressed with their style or ethics.
The pathologist was the next witness. Dr. Noel was one of the leading pathologists in the country but preferred to work at the university where he could teach the skills to upcoming doctors. The doctor explained the trauma, the effect on the body and the cause of death. He entered reports, x-rays and photographs.
The fingerprint technician was put on the stand, and he testified the fingerprint he had been given and recovered from the knife matched a known criminal. He explained how the computer scanned the files of fingerprints, matching one set with the recovered print. The technician explained how the computer matched the prints, and how he then manually compared the prints. He produced a picture of the recovered print and the prints on file detailing 12 points of perfect match of the ridge lines. Once again, the defence tried to shake the testimony by questioning the chain of custody and procedures to recover the print. The questioning of this witness was long, drawn out, and very monotonous. The witness was very good as he answered any questions honestly but refused to alter his testimony to create a doubt in the mind of the judge. This witness was released from the stand at approximately 1530 hrs; so the Judge adjourned the court until 1000 hrs the next day.
The Crown's first witness the next morning was a major incident investigator who had interviewed one of the accused. When they attempted to enter the statement into court, the defence attorney for the young man objected. The Judge immediately started a Voi Dire. Jesse was right, the defence attorney was arguing technical points to have the statement excluded from the trial. After an hour of argument, the statement was finally allowed and the trial began to move forward again. Jesse had read the statement and it really wasn't much of one. It did clearly deny any involvement in the assault, but he did try to render aid and was covered in blood. The statement did place the suspect at the scene, but no intent at this point. The Crown brought two more witnesses from the interview team and the defence each opposed the admissibility of the statements, but in the end, they were admitted. This took all day to accomplish.
The next morning, there were two additional crown witnesses who testified they had seen the three accused chasing another guy through the parking lot. Neither could point out exactly who did what because they didn't get real close for fear they would've had the boots put to them too. Both had called 911, and both saw the police arrest all three of the people who had been kicking the young man on the ground. The defence attorneys had all asked questions, but the Crown wrapped up its case by lunch.
After lunch, the defence called the first young man who denied kicking the victim. The defence attempted to portray the young man as a good Samaritan and his actions were misinterpreted. The Crown asked a few questions but nothing serious.
Jesse stood before the witness was excused. "I have a couple of questions, Your Lordship." The judge acknowledged Jesse.
Jesse walked up to the accused in the witness box and stared at him. "Do you have first aid training?"
"1st Responder, EMR, EMT or Paramedic training?"
"Any medical training?"
"As someone who is not trained in first aid, how could you have helped the victim?"
"I don't know, something."
"So, if we go through your testimony today, you are telling the court that: you saw Canaan walk out of the gay dance and immediately knew he was in medical distress. A distress so severe you immediately recognized it with no medical training but you knew you needed to chase him down with your two buddies to help him."
The defence stood and objected. The judge overruled.
Jesse looked at the accused, "Well, answer the question please."
The young man was really nervous, fidgety, and trying to make eye contact with his attorney. Jesse was intentionally standing in the way to prevent that support.
"Ah... no. I mean yes."
"How did you get Canaan to lie down?"
Jesse smiled, "That's reasonable. He tripped while running away from you three who were really trying to help him." Jesse paused for a moment before asking, "I'm not a doctor, so I'm not really familiar with many medical conditions which affect a healthy young man after walking out of a gay dance. Keep in mind, he was able to run away from you while in medical distress. What did you think was wrong with him?"
The defence objected, called for a conclusion. The Judge allowed it.
"Allow me to rephrase that. You chased a young man down because he was in medical distress. Without making a diagnosis, what were you thinking could be wrong with him?"
"I didn't know."
"Why were you in the parking lot that night? Were you just waiting for someone to get sick so you could help them?"
"Thought there would be some women at the dance."
"You thought that there might be some women at a gay dance. Well, that is a possibility as there are female members of the LGBTQ2 community." Jesse had sensed this person's heart rate increase each time he had used the word gay in a question. Now it was time to push buttons. "Were you successful at picking up any women at the gay dance?"
"Ok, the women weren't interested in you. Were you three really wanting to join in on the gay dance?"
"Were you there to join the dance? It was open for anyone."
Jesse could sense the rapid increase in the heart rate, respiration becoming shallow, hands were fisting and then releasing, Jesse looked into the young man's eyes and could see the pupils dilating and then contracting. The scent of sweat coming off the young man was now rancid to Jesse's cougar senses. The young man was about to explode, Jesse could sense it.
"Be honest, three young good looking guys like you outside a dance like that. Were you just shy about going in?"
"I'm no fucking fag."
The defence attorneys all stood up objecting and requesting a recess.
"So you weren't there for the dance."
"Not a damn chance."
"If you weren't there for the dance, why would you go somewhere out of your normal drinking areas, and then stand outside a gay dance? You wanted to go in, didn't you?"
The young man was about to lose total control. "I wouldn't go near a gay dance."
"But you did... why? To stand outside and wait for one to walk out who needed help?"
The witness glared at Jesse.
"Three young men, good-looking, all standing outside a place where a gay dance is being held. Would it be reasonable to believe the three of you wanted to join in for a night of no alcohol or drugs, dancing and fun?"
"You're not convincing me of your intent, but I'm not the one you need to convince." Jesse started to walk away, but turned and asked, "Are you three guys more than friends?"
The young man in the witness box lost all control. "What the fuck you saying? Come here and say it. I'll beat the shit out of you like we did that little fag." At that point, the young man climbed out of the witness box and ran at Jesse. Without even looking, Jesse's senses were fully aware of the man's movements. The accused was about one step from jumping on Jesse when Jess stepped to the right, pivoted, brought his right hand up flat against the aggressor's nose. The nose shattered, spraying blood. Jesse then brought a knee up to his midsection, hitting him hard in the gut. The young man doubled over and fell to the floor at Jesse's feet. Jesse looked up at the Judge, "No further questions, Your Lordship."
Two of the defence attorneys were holding their clients back as the other attorney was rushing forward to check on his client. Police and security were rushing in, handcuffing, dragging the now recovering and screaming accused out of the courtroom. Jesse looked at the other two defence attorneys and said, "This may be a good time to talk deal with your clients."
Jesse helped Dirk and Austin out of the courtroom to the hallway. There were police, paramedics and media people running in and out of the courtroom now.
Dirk put his hand on Jesse's shoulder. "Jesse, I really underestimated you."
Jesse turned to look at the big man. "How's that?"
"I knew you were smart, but holy shit. I also see you can actually look after yourself, too."
"That was nothing. You should see me if I ever get mad."
The Crown attorney came out and approached them. "The other two want to make a deal."
Dirk looked down at the attorney. "A deal, Ma'am?"
"Yes, they will tell the court exactly what happened and who did what. These two would plead guilty to manslaughter as opposed to the other one who we suspected as the ringleader. He will continue on trial for murder."
"What's manslaughter mean, ma'am."
"Sir," she started, "It means that the two still here only intended to hurt Canaan but not kill him."
Dirk looked at Jesse, "What do you think?"
"Not too bad, Dirk. We can have you stand up at the sentencing for them with a victim impact statement."
Austin stood next to Dirk. "It seems reasonable, Dirk."
Dirk nodded his head in agreement. "Jesse, I need a smoke." As soon as he finished saying it, Dirk was heading down the hallway to get outside to have a cigarette. Austin was trying to keep up with him as well but losing ground.
Jesse watched the two of them, "I had no clue he could move that fast."
The Crown attorney laughed. "Mr. McCoy, really?"
"No further questions, Your Lordship?"
Jesse smirked. "It seemed to be the appropriate thing to say at the time."
End of Chapter Twenty-Seven
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