True Detective Stories

So the other day I mentioned the fact I was subpoenaed for a domestic assault case. I was the assigned detective, and despite not being called for any of the preliminaries, I was called for the waiver trial.

Hopes for an in-and-out, early exit, git-‘er-done trial were dashed rather quickly. The offender’s lawyer started making all types of irrational demands, and the victim was in an anteroom, weeping much of the time. (The guy “allegedly” beat the hell out of her.)

The assistant district attorney was new, but she was very nice and straightforward. She didn’t believe I would need to testify, but the arresting officers probably would. She asked if I could stick around, and I agreed.

FOUR HOURS LATER

The trial was progressing rather smoothly, and at the last minute the offender decided he wanted to testify. I guess his lawyer is hourly. Before the offender took the stand, I saw the two officers walk out of the courtroom. (I always sit in the hallway, because 1. court testimony is boring, and 2. the DA can’t bother me if I’m in the hall.) One of the court officers walked out after the cops, and he had a very angry look on his face.

The three stop where I’m sitting, and one cop says, “Wow, we really f**ked up.” I took out my headphones and asked, “What?” The court officer explained the two arresting officers were sitting in the courtroom before the case began, fell asleep, and slept through the victim’s testimony.

The judge ordered sequestration for every party involved, so the officers’ presence – and nap – was a major violation; one which would usually result in a mistrial.

The ADA came out of the room moments after, and looked at me while my mouth was still agape. I asked, “Is it over?” She responded, “Not yet, but the case is likely going to be tossed because of those officers.” The ADA then apologized to me for the cops’ idiocy, and I replied, “I should be apologizing to you.”

Both lawyers approached the bench and the judge said he would not make a decision at this time, claiming he had to take in all what happened. That’s judge speak for the offender will soon be free as a bird. The entire case, gone, because two officers couldn’t take a 5-Hour Energy.

5 thoughts on “True Detective Stories

  1. Ronni – Overall, no, not really. It happens once to officers, then they damned sure learn their lesson. I worked the graveyard shift for eleven years and while I was always tired at court, I never nappen in the courtroom. It’s a good way to had DA’s stop sending you court notices.

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  2. I did a power plant startup in Indonesia back in the 90’s. One afternoon, I was working in the engineering “office” (a spot in the electrical switchgear/control system room, next to the control room) and had to stretch the legs and drain some underused appendage. So I walk into the control room…

    … where the plant was at full load (500+ megawatts) and three operators were in there. No one else. Two of the “operators” were asleep on a table against a wall, the other was asleep at an operator console. I watched for a minute, and when an alarm can in, the operator at the console had his finger on the silence button. He never looked up, just hit the button and went back to dreaming of goats or something.

    It is worldwide, Mate.

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  3. TXNick – People become lazy once they realize they’re in a steady, secure job. Cops are the same way. Sure, many do the job and do it right, some do it to hassle people, and some like me, stopped caring a while ago. That said, you should be at your best in court, because it’s not about you; it’s about the victim.

    The woman in this case was an honest-to-goodness victim. After the assault, her boyfriend violated the PFA order almost five times in six months. He needed to be in jail.

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