To Protect and Serve 5 by OLTLfantimes10
"Mr. Blair I understand you are asking the court for a continuance. On what grounds sir?" she asked looking the attorney in his eyes.
Mr. Blair rose from his chair and walked into the middle of the courtroom, "Mr. Fairview's wife is undergoing surgery in the next couple of days."
Evangeline cut him off, "The next couple of days, would you care to give me a date Mr. Blair? Are we talking tomorrow, the next day or a week from now?" she asked in a hostile tone. She hated postponing trials and needed an excellent reason to do so.
"Umm." Mr. Blair said as he turned to talk to his client, "The surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday." He said looking back at the Judge.
"Next Tuesday huh? So what that is a week and a day away right?"
"Next Tuesday, is a week and a day away. Today is Monday is that correct?" she asked looking at the bailiff and the court reporter, who both nodded in agreement, "So what you are telling me is you want to hold up the court, my time, your time, the prosecutors time, for a surgery that isn't even going to happen for another eight days?" she said crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back in her chair.
"Yes, your Honor that would be correct."
"Oh come on Mr. Blair you have to do better than that. Motioned denied. Trial is set to start on Wednesday, a day from tomorrow at nine a.m. I highly recommended that I see both of you there." She replied and hit the gavel against its base.
"Thank you your Honor." The prosecutor said as he rose from his seat and left the courtroom. Evangeline nodded at his remark and waited for all parties to clear the courtroom.
"Next case." She yelled.
"The People vs. Doherty, case number 2343." Yelled the bailiff.
"Mister.." She looked down at her notes to see who the defendants lawyer was, "Mister Kirk. I understand you are asking for a continuance in this case. I suggest you make a good argument counselor." Evangeline stated looking up from the mounds of paper that covered the bench.
"Yes, your honor." Mr. Kirk rose and stood in the middle of the court room. "Mr. Doherty, while in holding awaiting transfer to the jail was viciously attacked by a fellow inmate. He sustained several injuries to his face and body."
"When did this occur?" she asked interrupting the counselor's statement.
"Well, Mr. Doherty was attacked Friday evening, that is why you do not see him in court today your honor." He said and motioned to the empty seat at his table. "It seems as though he suffered some internal bleeding and needs surgery."
"Surgery?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, your honor."
"Mr. Hunter do you have any problems with me agreeing to a continuance?" she asked looking at the prosecutor.
"In light of this situation, no your Honor I do not." He said rising to answer Evangeline's question.
"Fine, Mr. Kirk I am granting your continuance. Keep my office up to date on your clients progress. I am pushing his first trial date back two weeks. Is that sufficient time for your client to recover?"
Mr. Kirk looked back over a stately gentleman that sat in the courtroom audience. The man nodded and Mr. Kirk turned back around, "Yes your honor that is enough time."
"Good, two weeks from today it is. Trial is set to start on Monday July 11th at 9:30 a.m. All parties should be present and willing to proceed by then." She hit the gavel against the base, "Court is in recess for fifteen minutes. Agent McBain will you please meet me outside." She said as she rose from the bench.
John gave Evangeline a weird expression when she called for the recess and then for him. He quickly made his way to the back of the courtroom and into the hallway.
"Judge Williamson is everything okay?" he asked walking up on her.
"Fine, everything is fine." She said pacing outside of her courtroom, "I do not know if you saw the gentleman that Mr. Ramirez was talking to earlier this morning."
"Yes, I saw him."
"Well, could you keep an eye out for him, maybe do some kind of check on him or something." She said walking back and forth and wringing her hands.
"May I ask why?"
"No, you may not. Just do what I ask you to do please." She said and headed back into the courtroom.
"I understand your honor."
John walked back into the courtroom and saw the gentleman that was there earlier in the day sitting in the same spot as he was before. He walked closer to the defendants table and pulled out his cell phone, one of the court officers came over. "I am sorry sir, you can't have cell phones in the courtroom Judge Williamson's rule." He said with a stone face.
John reached into his inside pocket and pulled out his FBI badge and flashed it to the officer with out saying a word, "I am sorry sir." The officer said and walked away.
John flipped open his cell phone after the officer left and called his bureau office, "Agent McBain, tech department please." He said.
"Yes, Ferguson, I am going to be sending you a couple pictures in about ten minuets and I want you to run them through the facial recognition program that we have and call me back and tell me what we have here."
"Will do sir." Ferguson replied and hung up the phone.
He pushed the picture button on his cell phone and zoomed in and snapped a few pictures of Ramirez as he talked with the unidentified gentleman. The pictures were sent to the FBI tech department and with in ten minuets John got a page on his phone. <i>Call me ASAP, Ferguson.</i> Was all it said. John rose from his seat and walked out of the courtroom into the hallway.
"Ferguson, what is the problem?" John said pacing the hallway of the courthouse.
"John are you sure about those pictures?"
"Ferguson, what is the problem?"
"That guy that you took a picture of, he is a known hit main for the Sanchez Cartel."
"What?" he asked peeping into the courtroom windows.
"Yeah, and that guy he is with is a known enemy of the Sanchez Cartel. What are you into man?"
"Thanks for the information Ferguson. I will call you if I need anything else." John replied and hung up the phone. He walked back into the courtroom right before Evangeline walked in and the bailiff called the court to order.
"So.What brings you back Mr. Richardson?"
"Some new evidence has come to my attention that the Prosecutor may have been concealing."
"Ms. Hannen, what does the state have to say for itself?"
"Your honor, we just came upon this evidence last Friday and we just turned it over to Mr. Richardson this morning."
"And that evidence would be what.." Judge Williamson asked as her voice trailed off.
Mr. Richardson interjected, "The new evidence is a memo sent by the primary investigating officer to his supervisor as well as a tape recorded conversation that took place several weeks before they arrested my client."
"Come on Mr. Richardson, you know this evidence is not admissible in court why are you bringing this to my attention now?"
"Your Honor, with all due respect, Ms. Hannen's office sent this information to us."
"Ms. Hannen what is going on?" Evangeline asked staring at her.
Nora Hannen was the Assistant District Attorney for the State of Pennsylvania and Evangeline's mentor in college. Staring at her once mentee Nora rose, "It was an accident your honor, one of the new interns was supposed to send over all of the evidence in this case to Mr. Richardson and she accidentally sent this file and tape to him. It was not related to the case, at least we thought it wasn't." She said and then sat back down.
"What is this new evidence Mr. Richardson?" Evangeline asked looking back over at Mr. Richardson.
"Well, here is a copy of the file sent," he said handing a copy of the file to the judge. "And the tape, could we play it?"
"Proceed." She said and Mr. Richardson put the tape in the recorder he brought with him. "Your honor what you are listening to is a phone conversation between Detective Luna and his supervisor Lieutenant Walker."
The tape started with ideal chit chat and then moved into conversation about the Ramirez cartel,
<i> "Listen Luna we need to get this guy Ramirez and soon. Do whatever you need to, to get probable cause so that we can get a phone tap on this man's phone line at home and work."
"Yes sir, are you sure anything. How are we going to get a judge to sign off on a tap order?" Detective Luna said.
"Leave that to me, I know ways to get around the system." Walker said. </i>
"Mr. Richardson this doesn't tell me much." She said as the tape ended.
"Your honor if you look at the memo, attached to it is the court order that Detective Luna used to place the tap on my clients phone. We also provided you with a court order from the same Judge that supposedly signed the court order. Now, if you notice the signature at the bottom of the page."
"Yes, what about it?" she asked scanning over both court orders.
"Compare the signature on the bottom of the court order to get the wire tap to the one for the protective order from the same judge." Mr. Richardson said approaching the bench.
She flipped back and forth between the two and noticed the glaring differences between the signatures. "Which one is the correct signature? I am assuming it is the signature on the protective order or we wouldn't be here?"
"That is correct your honor." He said with a smile.
"So you are telling me that the signature on the court order giving permission for the police to tap your client's phone is a forgery?"
"That would be correct your honor. We have an expert witness ready to testify in the differences between the two and that the court order is the forged signature. In light of this new evidence we are asking that you dismiss all charges against my client."
"My chambers now!" she yelled and slammed the gavel to the base. She rose from the bench and walked quickly to her chambers with the lawyers and court reporter in tow. She waited until everyone was present and slammed the door shut.
"What the hell is going on Ms. Hannen?" she said glaring at Nora
"Your honor I can explain." she responded taking a step forward.
"This better be good, because what Mr. Richardson just brought up in open court I am leaning toward granting his motion, as much as I hate to."
"Your honor we also have an expert witness that will testify that this signature is not forged."
"Have you looked at the signatures counselor?"
"I have your honor."
"And from you lay perspective what do you notice, because from my perspective I can tell that these signatures are not the same." She said shoving both court orders to Nora. "I want to hear these so called expert witnesses before I make my ruling. Are they in the courtroom now?"
Both attorneys nodded, "Good let's go." She said rising from the chair and walking towards the door, Richardson left before Nora did and Evangeline grabbed her hand, "Your witness better be right, because there is no way in hell I am dismissing this case unless I have to." She said and then let go of her arm.
"I understand your honor." She said and walked out of the chambers and back to the courtroom.