For Derek, the most difficult part of his murder trial was remembering not to smile. He was supposed to be the distraught boyfriend of the beautiful naked girl who had committed suicide by jumping out a window. In reality, he was the guy who had fucked her, snapped her neck, then dropped her out the window.
The fact that he was going to get away with it made him want to laugh out loud. Of course, he knew how to play his part in front of the jury. Every day in court he sat next to his attorney and looked so sad about the death of his “one true love.” When the prosecution displayed pictures of Kira’s naked smashed corpse, he had even managed to get real tears to role down his cheeks.
Derek knew the jury was on his side. It was a great jury for him. Nine women and only three men. With his looks and natural charm his whole life he had been able to get women to do anything he wanted. In truth, he despised women as nothing more than stupid dolls that existed to be used then thrown away. He had an inner anger towards them all.
Except for his mother, the woman he hated the most was Kira. It would have been so much better for Derek if she really had committed suicide. Still, it was her own fault Kira was dead. If she had just continued stealing drugs for him from the hospital like he told her, she would still be alive today. If she hadn’t decided to argue with him about it and freak out, things would never have gotten out of control.
Derek’s lawyer, Roger Cromwell, told him not to worry. “The Prosecution’s case is all built on what is Not there, and jury’s hate that,” said Roger.
Over the weeks of the trial, the Prosecution had built its case on all the things that were not present in Kira’s apartment. In a real suicide she would have opened her fourth story window and jumped, but only Derek’s Fingerprints were on the window, not Kira’s. Also, to get out the window, she would have to step up onto the windowsill. There were no footprints on the windowsill. The Prosecution said that this all pointed to Kira’s having been killed in the apartment then dropped out the window.
The Defense attorney told the jury this was all nonsense. He said that Derek had opened the window before he went out for breakfast. That’s why Kira didn’t have to open it. As for the no footprints, maybe the girl took a running start and dove through the window, missing the sill completely. The Defense does not have to prove anything. It simply has to cast a “reasonable doubt” on the Prosecution’s case.
The only thing that really worried the Defense was the suicide note. It was not a signed note at all. It was just something typed on her computer screen. And the evidence pointed to Derek’s having typed it. Being a nurse, Kira had been a fanatic about keeping things clean and germ-free. She was obsessive about keeping her laptop computer clean. Every night before she went to bed, Kira wiped down every part of her computer.
The police forensics team had found a complete set of Derek’s fingerprints on the laptop where the so-called “suicide note” was on the screen. No fingerprints from Kira; just Derek’s. How did the dead girl type a suicide note without leaving any fingerprints?
Of course, Mr. Cromwell was too good a defense attorney to let himself dwell on the fact that maybe his client really had murdered a beautiful young woman and was lying to him about being innocent. One of the first things you learn as a Defense lawyer is that most of your clients lie to you most of the time.
Cromwell did his best to try and throw doubt in the jury’s mind about Derek’s fingerprints on the computer keyboard. He talked about the possibility of the police mishandling the “chain of evidence”. Still, the jury did not look so benignly on Derek after the fingerprint evidence was presented.
That evening, Cromwell met with Derek and told him things still looked good. “I think there is about an 80% chance that you will be found Not Guilty.”
Derek was stunned. “What the fuck! You’re telling me there is a 20% chance I might go to jail for murder?”
“Even if that did happen, Derek, there are a number of points of law on which I could bring an appeal. Some of my objections which the judge overruled were very valid. I would definitely appeal any conviction.”
“Fuck that! I’m not going to prison and waiting years for appeals to maybe get me off. Put me on the stand tomorrow. I will tell my side and the jury will love me again.”
“That’s a really bad idea Derek. Any attorney will tell you it is a mistake to testify if you are being tried for murder.”
“God Damn it Roger! Put me on the stand tomorrow, or I am firing you as my lawyer. If I can’t find a lawyer who will put me on, then I’ll be my own lawyer.”
“All right Derek. I’ll put you on the stand. Just remember that after I question you, the Prosecutor gets her turn to grill you. Just be polite to her and answer her questions with as few words as possible.”
“Don’t worry,” answered Derek. “I know how to handle women.”
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