Jury duty – Part III: the trial – the defense

5 Oct

Then comes the defense

The defense called a young woman to the stand. She appeared country in her attire, and neither a woman of great education nor money. But she spoke clearly and was understandable.

She had met the defendant serendipitously while shopping about a year and a half before the television event, and the two hit it off.

Almost immediately  the witness talked of the defendant’s character, and the attorney reigned her in, asking her to wait for a question.

He asked about their relationship. The witness told the court she and the defendant got together for what she called girls’ day out — where they would go shopping.

On the day in question, the witness said she went to the defendant’s home in a community known as Mountain Home. She did not know the street address, but described the area.

The witness had an infant at the time.

The young witness told the court that she had gone to the defendant’s house to pick her up, and the defendant was in the shower.

As the witness waited with her baby in the livingroom, a man came to the door, she said. He wanted to see the defendant.

The witness made him wait out on the front porch. He had a flat screen television, according to her.

The witness told her friend about the visitor, and the defendant said she would be out in a little while, and was still getting ready for the day.

The witness and the man talked, but she would not let him in the house, saying she was being protective of her baby.

Finally the defendant emerged from the bathroom, and spoke briefly to the man, and agreed to take him to a pawn shop in order to pawn the television.

The defendant rode in the back seat of the witness’s SUV with the baby, and the man rode in the front passenger seat, said the witness.

When they arrived at the pawn shop, the man told the defendant he had forgot his ID, and asked if she would help by going in and pawning the set. She agreed, and he and the defendant got the television out of the back of the SUV. She carried it, and he walked with her to the front door of the store, held the door open for her, and then went back to the SUV.

After some time, the defendant came out of the pawn shop and got into the car. She handed the man money. They then drove across the street from the pawn shop to a convenience store, where he offered to buy the witness $5 worth of gas.

She declined, and she offered to drop him off wherever he needed to go. He refused the offer, and they drove away to shop.

The defense attorney asked the witness if she heard any discussion between the man and the defendant that indicated the television was stolen.

“No.”

“Did you hear any conversation that the man would split the pawn money with the defendant?”

“No.”

“Did you know this man?”

“I had seen him around.”

“Did the defendant know him?”

“She had known him for about a month and a half. He stayed with her ex-boyfriend who lived down the road.”

“Had you talked to him before?”

“No. I had seen him going up and down the road a couple of times.”

“Up and down the road in front of the defendant’s house?”

“Yes.”

“And have you seen the man since that day?”

“No.”

Cross examination

“You had never talked to the man before?”

“No.”

“But you recognized him going by the defendant’s home on the road a couple of times?”

“She (the defendant) waved at him once while I was there.”

“Did you hear a car pull up and let the man out on that morning?”

“No. I was inside.”

“And you didn’t think anything strange about him carrying a flat screened TV onto your friend’s porch?”

“Not particularly.”

“And you say there was nothing said about the television being stolen?”

“No.”

“Did you talk to him that morning at the house?”

“A little. He said my baby was cute.”

“And on the way to the pawn shop, did your friend and the man talk?”

“No.”

“Why do you think your friend was so willing to help this man?”

“Objection. Speculation.”

“Sustained.”

“Did your friend and the man talk about splitting the pawn money in your hearing?”

“No.”

“No further questions, your Honor.”

The defendant

She was attractive. In her thirties. Long, dark-red hair.

The jury was mostly men.

Her attorney questioned her.

“Do you have children?”

“Two. And one grandchild.”

“Are you employed?”

“No.”

“Where do you live?”

“With my mother.”

“What kind of work have you done?”

“Service industry.”

“Did you break into the victim’s trailer home?”

“No.”

“Did you steal anything from the victim’s trailer home, such as a Sylvania flat screen TV, or a wooden jewelry box, or anything else?”

“No.”

“Did you come into possession of a Sylvania flat screen TV on the day in question?”

“Yes.”

“Did you know that television was stolen?”

“No.”

“Did you pawn that television set on the day in question?”

“Yes.”

The attorney asked questions about the man who came to her house that day. If she was expecting him, or was in a relationship with him. He asked her if she suspected the television was stolen.

“I thought it was his father’s, and he had taken it because he was destitute and needed the money. I did not think it was stolen.”

The attorney had the pawn shop video replayed and stopped where a woman entered the shop carrying a television.

“Is that you?”

“Yes.”

“And the man who opened the door, is that the man who asked you to pawn the TV?”

“Yes.”

“And is that him going into the parking lot back to your friend’s car?”

“Yes.”

The attorney had the video tape run forward, depicting the defendant putting the television on the counter, and the shop employee plugging it in to check it out.

“And is he printing out a receipt for the amount of the pawn, and then handing that receipt and cash to you?”

“Yes.”

“What was the amount?”

“$75.”

“And when you got into the car, what did you do with the money?”

“I gave it to (the man).”

“Did you take any of it?”

“No.”

“And did he moments later offer your friend $5 for gas?”

“Yes.”

“And did she take any of the money?”

“No.”

“The defense rests, your Honor.”

The Cross examination

“What address did you live at when this occurred?”

“I forget? It’s been a while.”

“It was not a Lenoir address, though — right?”

“Right.”

“Mountain Home, right?”

“Right.”

“And you were in the shower when your friend arrived with her baby, right?”

“Yes.”

“What time was that?”

“Around noon.”

“Were you expecting the man?”

“No.”

“He just showed up.”

“Yes.”

“With a television set.”

“Yes.”

“Did he drive himself to your house?”

“He doesn’t have a car.”

“So, he shows up on your porch with a stolen TV.”

“Objection.”

“Sustained.”

“He shows up with a flat screen television set.”

“Yes.”

“And he didn’t tell you where he got it.”

“No.”

“Did you ask him?”

“No.”

“Where do you think he got it?”

“Again, I thought it was from his father’s house.”

“And he asked for a ride to the pawn shop?”

“Yes.”

“And at the pawn shop he told you he didn’t have ID and would you use yours to pawn the TV for him?”

“Yes.”

“And we have seen from the video that he stayed outside the shop while you came in with the television and pawned it.”

“Yes.”

“And the address the pawn shop had on file for you was the Lenoir address, and not the Mountain Home address?”

“I guess.”

“And you signed the receipt for the television, and accepted the $75 for the pawned item?”

“Yes.”

“You left the shop and returned to the SUV.”

“Yes.”

“Who was in the SUV?”

“My friend and her baby, and (the man).”

“What did you do then?”

“I gave him the money.”

“All of it?”

“Yes.”

“And then?”

“And then we drove across the street to the convenience store.”

“And he gave you money then?”

“He offered my friend $5 for gas, but she didn’t take it.”

“Why did you leave him at the convenience store?”

“We offered to give him a ride to wherever he needed to go, but he refused. And we left.”

“To go shopping.”

“Yes.”

“Do you know where (the man) is today?”

“No. I’ve heard he went to Tennessee, but I don’t know.”

“And you’ve not been contacted by him since?”

“No.”

“No more questions, your Honor. The prosecution rests.”

Part Four: summations

 

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One Response to “Jury duty – Part III: the trial – the defense”

  1. RoSy October 5, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    It’s usually more dramatic on tv – eh?

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