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This story is part of an ongoing series. The chronological order of my stories is now listed in WifeWatchman’s biography.

Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.

This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.

Part 18 – The Murder Weapon

9:45am, Wednesday, April 11th. Detective Jerome Davis and I walked into I-1, where May Cialis was sitting with her lawyer, H.J. Lynch of Chase, Lynch she was impressed by Jerome’s explanation.

“And you can prove that?” asked Mason skeptically.

“I think so.” I said. “The stride of the person leaving the prints corresponds pretty well to May’s when she walks normally. She’s a magician like her husband, and has been creating illusions like these for some time. And Ted, we don’t have to prove this aspect of the case all that strongly; it’s a sideshow, a distraction. All you have to show the Jury is that she did it to distract us, and that just compounds the case against her. It shows her intent.”

“The problem I have,” said Mason, “is that the Defense is going to attempt to say May had to have an accomplice to pull off that trick, and they they’ll say the other person murdered James, and then there’s reasonable doubt. How do we squelch that?”

“You spoon-feed the Jury the case.” I said. “Her prints, and only her prints, are on the gun that committed the crime. It’s her gun. It’s her husband that was killed.”

“And the motive?” asked Mason. I looked at Jerome.

“Sorry, sir, I haven’t gotten that far yet.” admitted Davis. I gave him a brief nod.

“I’ll fill in that blank, then.” I said. “One of the oldest motives in the world. Love triangle. She wanted to be free of James to be with another man, so she killed her husband.”

“And you’re right back to introducing another person who could’ve done it, for those same reasons… her lover.” said Mason.

“You seem hell-bent on not accepting that May murdered her husband.” I said, having noted that Mason did not even ask about who the lover was, nor what that situation was about.

“I’m just pointing out the obstacles we need to overcome to keep from wasting the taxpayers’ money, and getting her an acquittal based on reasonable doubt.” replied Mason. “We nip that in the bud by getting her to throw her accomplice under the bus, maybe by taking off the death penalty in exchange for her cooperation.”

“Once again, Mr. Mason,” I asked, “why do you believe there is an accomplice that helped in this murder? What evidence do you have that there is an accomplice?”

“You just said there was a love triangle here.” replied Mason. It was not a good try. What he was trying was my patience.

“I didn’t say the lover helped in the crime.” I retorted. That seemed to deflate Mason’s balloon some.

“All right.” said Mason. “After her hearing, I want to lead the questioning of her. Yeah, her lawyer will have to answer for her, but we’ll get to the truth, and can make a deal and get the other person involved… and I do believe there is an accomplice, here.”

Cindy got up from the sofa and came over and patted Mason on the shoulder. “Ted,” she said, as if advising her best friend, “you have a huge opportunity here, while Paulina is on leave running for D.A., to become a really outstanding ADA yourself, maybe have career opportunities for more and better things. I can assure you that the easiest and best path to your success is to follow what that man on the other side of that desk says and does. I am a Police Captain and Davis is a full Detective because we trusted and followed Commander Troy.”

“She’s right, you know.” I said simply. Mason looked anything but amused. marmaris escort I was making observations and deductions.

“All right.” said Mason. “Let me try it another way. Yes, you have the gun and the fingerprints, but Lynch will have reasonable doubt. How do we get beyond a reasonable doubt?”

“I suspect that will be easier than you’re expecting.” I said.

Part 19 – Landing The Fish

May Cialis’s arraignment for murder was conducted at 1:00pm. She waived her right to a preliminary hearing, was denied bail, and was bound over. She was brought back to Headquarters.

While we were waiting, Cindy brought in some Subway sandwiches, and she, Jerome, and I ate them as we talked about the case in my office.

“Let me ask this.” Cindy said. “How do you know May didn’t have help? Ted actually made a couple of good points, there.”

“It’s a fine point,” I said, “but I don’t think she had help at the crime scene or in murdering her husband. Did her lover… CIA Agent ‘Warspear’… know about it? Likely. But did he actually participate? Probably not directly, unless he was a lookout, or lured James to the Park, or was simply present but didn’t help. Would May put herself that much into Mr. Warspear’s power? Not likely, but with everything else they’ve been doing, this isn’t much more.”

“You’d better be prepared to tell us what they’ve been doing.” said Cindy. “Tease me like that, and I won’t wait until the Police Boxing Matches to beat you down silly.” Jerome chuckled.

“That will be the day.” I replied levelly. Jerome chuckled some more.

“No, I’m not going to hold back from you.” I said. “Let’s recall those last two assignments of the Cialises, the ones that were shut down with no arrests made. I did a little bit of research with the help of the ‘Friends of the Iron Crowbar’, and discovered that what happened in those two cases was that instead of investigating that bank officer and the Israelis, May and Warspear conspired to play a dangerous game.”

“What they did,” I continued, “was to get the goods on their prey, then attempt to blackmail them. Well, Warspear did the blackmailing, but it was May that was feeding him the info he needed to do it. The bank official in Charlotte may have gone to the FBI about it, and what’s more, he may have been a minion of the so-called ‘Big Boys’. So they pull him out, and James and May were sent to Florida.”

“Then May and Warspear went after the Israeli company.” I went on. “I suspect they had friends at high levels that wanted them to do that. But then the Israeli Government began pushing back, and threatening to make a public and international incident of it. So again, the whole operation was shut down, and the Cialises sent here… to find the Guardians of Justice.”

“So why is Warspear here?” asked Cindy? “They trying to get something on BOW Enterprises?” That was astute of Cindy, I thought to myself.

“I don’t think so,” I said, “though I did warn Todd and his security people to be on watch for Warspear after I learned about his presence here. Anyway, let’s come back to the murder, and the motive for it. James Cialis comes to the location where he is murdered, and pretty much stands where he was shot. My contention is that the only way he’d do that would be if it was his wife, and his wife alone, that was at the scene with him. Maybe she asked him to pose for a picture for his magic act portfolio, but instead of shooting him with a camera, she whipped out her pistol and shot him with that. It was fast, rapid-fire, and he fell where he stood. Then she very quickly did the footprints thing, then got out of there. If Warspear was there, James probably didn’t see him.”

“Make sense, sir,” said Jerome, “but it’ll have to be spoon-fed to the Jury… and I get the idea that Ted Mason is not interested in doing that.”

“Ahhhh, you noticed that, did you?” I said. Cindy was also nodding. “Yes, I get the idea that Mason wants to ingratiate himself with Krasney, who would prefer to not have any controversial cases marmaris escort bayan while he’s running for re-election. Yes, I am really, really worried about how much interest Mason is going to put into this case.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At 2:00pm, Wednesday, April 11th, I walked into Interrogation-1 with ADA Ted Mason. May Cialis was at the table, and her hands were handcuffed to the ring embedded in the table. Officer Lydia Green was the Uniformed presence. Cindy, Chief Moynahan, Jerome Davis, and Teddy Parker were in the anteroom, watching through the one-way glass.

Just to make a point, I read May Cialis her rights from the card yet again. She willed herself to show no reaction. “Okay, Mrs. Cialis,” I said, “the picture for you here is very, very bleak. Due to the aggravating circumstances, I’m going to encourage the D.A.’s Office to ask for the Death Penalty. And let me be clear that I will never give up habeas corpus. I will never allow the Feds to take custody of you until your murder trial is over.”

“And your point is?” asked H.J. Lynch.

“My point is that you need to give your client some very good legal advice.” I said. “She’s taken the Fifth, so I can’t ask her to give up her right to silence and explain what happened. I can’t ask her to give me any reason at all to take the Death Penalty off the table.”

H.J. Lynch finally played his card and said what he’d been wanting to all along: “I would like for you to allow my client to discuss a ‘hypothetical’ situation, not abrogating her Fifth Amendment rights, and then perhaps I can discuss with both of you how to move forward.”

“No.” I said. “No deal. No hypotheticals. If she speaks, she’s giving up her Fifth Amendment rights.”

“Now hold on, Commander.” said Ted Mason, irritating me. “We should at least hear what she’s going to say.”

“If she wants to say something, Mr. Mason,” I replied, “she should waive her right to silence and tell us what happened. I’m not creating any loopholes for her here, and neither should you. You wouldn’t want to embarrass your boss while he’s running for re-election, now would you?”

That last comment had a galvanizing effect on Mason. His eyes flashed fire for a second, then he realized that he was trapped: as T-Square liked to say, the Iron Crowbar don’t play.

“Mr. Mason,” said H.J. Lynch, trying to take advantage of the situation, “why don’t you and I talk about this situation, away from in here.”

“Yes, let’s.” said Mason. “But Commander Troy will have to be there. D.A. Krasney has suggested he take part in all conversations.” I don’t know if that were true or not, but Mason was realizing he was overmatched on both sides, and was realizing maybe he needed me there…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We went into the Main Conference Room, where Chief Moynahan also joined us at my invitation. I wanted a reliable witness to the conversation in the room.

“All right,” said Lynch, “this is in no way a confession of my client’s guilt, but she has information that will show she is innocent of these charges, and can give you the truly guilty person. In exchange for full immunity, of course.”

“Stop wasting the Police Chief’s time with this bullshit.” I said quietly and levelly. “Your client is guilty as sin. Her gun was the one used. Her fingerprints are all over it, and no one else’s are. We’ve got that, we’ve got the ballistics.”

“And the motive?” snarled Lynch. “What are you going to tell the Jury was the motive?”

“Does it matter?” I asked. “We’ve got enough—“

“A wife killing her husband, or a husband killing his wife, is usually a crime of passion and is all too common.” said Ted Mason. “The Jury is going to understand that, and in the light of the evidence against your client, they’re going to convict.” I was really wishing Mason would shut up… then realized that he and Lynch may have already talked. Was Mason guiding Lynch into knowing about the lover? I asked myself. One way to find out.

“Lay your cards on escort marmaris the table, Mr. Lynch.” I said. “I am already bored with you. If you want anything at all for your client, you better give me a reason to even continue to listen to you.”

Lynch looked daggers at me, then said “Okay, then. I don’t think you have a solid case. There is plenty of reasonable doubt here. Mr. Mason here just said that this was a crime of passion. So, who is my client’s lover? And maybe he was the one involved? You should be wanting to ascertain that before attempting to railroad my client on a flimsy case.”

“How do you know the lover is a ‘he’?” I asked, just to fuck with both Lynch and Mason. They both almost shit in their pants over that. I brought them back to the lure. “I digress on that point. Though I’m touched by your concern for our case, Mr. Lynch, the real issue is that May was the actor in this one. She’s the one that shot her husband six times, then tried to pull off a magic trick illusion of the footprints, then hid the barrel of her gun through which the fatal bullets traveled. Mr. Lynch, your client has nothing to offer me in exchange for even taking Death off the table.”

“What do you say to that, Mr. Mason?” asked Lynch. “You gonna let this cop push you around? Or are you going to do your job for the District Attorney’s office and work with us to get to the truth?”

“Is Commander Troy right, Mr. Lynch?” replied Mason. “Do you really have nothing to offer us?” Lynch looked exasperated.

“Why are you doing this, Troy?” the legal beagle snarled at me.

“I think you know the answer already.” I replied.

“I’ve got to go back to my office for a few minutes.” said Lynch. “We can resume this when I get back.” With that, he exited the room and went down the hall towards the front door.

“I need to make some phone calls, myself.” said Mason. I guided him to Della Harlow’s old office, whereupon he shut the door to make his phone calls. I followed the Chief to his office.

“Think they’re talking to each other privately?” asked the Chief.

“Oh, of course.” I replied. “But I think Lynch is calling someone else. I won’t be shocked to see Nathan Masterson back in our Headquarters, and soon. And Mason is calling Krasney for guidance. I won’t be surprised to see Krasney himself come in… and soon.”

Part 20 – Upping the Ante

“Sir,” said Sergeant Morton as he and Patrolman Johnson came to my office, escorted by Captain Teresa Croyle, “we have something about that guy whose picture you sent everyone.”

“Sir,” said Teresa, “they brought this up the chain of command. I thought it best if they tell you directly.”

“Good.” I said. “Okay guys, whaddya got?”

“This guy asked Johnson and Patrolman Smith for directions to Point Hollow this morning.” said Morton. “They didn’t recognize him at at the moment, then Johnson thought about it and reviewed the photo.”

“He’d changed his appearance from the photo, sir.” said Johnson. “Pencil mustache and goatee, and had slicked his hair back, so it didn’t look like the full head of hair in the photo.”

“But you saw through it.” I said. “That’s a good thing. Your powers of observation are increasing. So he asked about Point Hollow?”

“Yes sir.” said Johnson. “That’s a red flag for us, of course, so we asked why he wanted to go there. He said he was doing research into paranormal activities, and Point Hollow is known as a haunted site.”

“No doubt about that.” I said drily. “Did you ask for an ID?”

“Yes sir.” said Johnson. “Florida drivers license, name of Paul Smith, from Boynton Beach. I called Dispatch to run it, and it came up valid and clean.”

“Yes, it would.” I said. “Did you tell him where Point Hollow was?”

“Yes sir.” said Johnson. “He’d find out anyway, and we told him that Police patrolled that area regularly. He seemed unfazed by that.”

“Okay, then.” I said. “Thanks for bringing this up, and so quickly. You guys can go. Captain, stay here a moment.”

After they left, Teresa said “I’ve already told Precinct 1 to step up patrols to Point Hollow. But I don’t think this guy is going to ask Police Officers for directions to the place, then go try to do something like a drug deal there.”

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