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Jim the old guy
Post subject: Tex Murphy Juror 44 Part 2
Post Posted: Nov 27, 2017 12:30 am
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TEX MURPHY – JUROR 44
PART 2
STALL – what does that mean? Well, I do know the dictionary definition of stall, but what I don’t know is the ‘Why’. Why does Mac want me to stall? Oh well, I guess I’ll just wait for him to get back with me.

The trial was over – if a trial it was – and all 12 jurors filed out of the courtroom. As we filed past the courtroom bailiff I couldn’t help but notice his name: A. Connors. For the life of me I seem to remember that name but just could not place it. Anyway, he was about 5 foot, 9 inches tall, 45ish, suffered from alphabet disease (that’s when a man’s frame starts as a ‘V’, then turns to an ‘H’, finally, after too many donuts, turns into an ‘O’), salt and pepper hair with a ‘stache to match, and horned-rim silver-framed glasses assisting piercing yet gentle hazel green eyes. That wasn’t all I noticed: he was collecting cell phones. Uh-oh!

As I passed by he asked my name and juror number, wrote it down on a two-part ticket, gave me one and attached the other to my phone. It seems the courts do not trust jurors with any kind of communication devices once the trial has ended. No contact, no research and no outside influence. We go into the deliberation room, talk shop, make a decision, and return our verdict. As of this moment, reflecting back on the so-called trial, I assumed it would not take long for us 12 tried-and-true jury of peers to reach a verdict – like in, guilty!

Escorting us down a short and unadorned hallway, we find our ‘nest’ and enter in single file; moi bringing up the rear. Upon entering, I espy 12 large, comfortable, high-backed chairs encircling a heavy duty oval shaped oak table. The legs appeared to be shaped like the powerful paws of lions. Fitting, I suppose. Is the male lion the king of the jungle? Some think it also represents justice. Hmmm. We shall see. There seems to be an imbalance already. Ten chairs donned ten jurors and were slid away from the far end of the table. There sat the eleventh juror – a rather large, determined-looking, unhappy mutant. He was staring at the other ten who were shifting uneasily in their seats and trying mercilessly to avoid any direct eye contact with him. I noticed an empty chair next to him, ambled over to it, and plopped down pretty-as-you-please. His scowl softened and I simply nodded. Yeah, big guy. I’m on your side.

After a few edgy moments, the jury chairman cleared his voice and began: “Well, I suppose we should get down to brass tacks. I surely do not wish to influence anyone, but the evidence presented was rather overpowering.” That’s an understatement, I thought. “I suggest we take a preliminary vote and…..well, go from there.” His smile was indicative of the room’s mood as it seemed that everyone was going to vote ‘guilty’. “In font of you are small slips of paper and one pen, please write down a ‘G’ for guilty, and ‘NG’ for not guilty, and pas them to me” and he smirked, once again indicating that that was not much of a possibility. Doing as instructed, we wrote our decisions, folded the papers in half, and passed them to the chairman.

“OK, let’s see what we have” as he proceeded to open and announce each. “G for guilty; G for guilty; um, I suppose this is a G for guilty being quite illegible but consisting of only one letter” and here he cast a disdainful eye toward the mutant; “G for guilty, G for guilty, and this one,” here he cackled, “Guilty as sin, we appreciate your enthusiasm, but please, just G for guilty will suffice,” and there were five more of the same. However, we he opened the last paper, his countenance changed from pure elation to one of shock. Holding it up he asked, “Who’s the S.O.B. who wrote question mark?”

As every head turned this way and that in pure wonderment, I sheepishly raised my hand. “Uh, that would be me.”

“Are you nuts? The evidence is beyond question? Why did you refrain from casting a vote?”

“Well, I saw the same things you did, but I just feel we should take a few moments and discuss the trial.”

“What’s there to discuss?”

Shifting nervously, I hemmed and hawed until finally blurting out: “Well, I would like to know who we are, maybe what line of work, and other basic information about each of us. Would that be so terrible?”

While most thought it a waste of time, there were a few dissenting voices. Finally, after some rousing debates, the chairman acquiesced and pointed to the juror immediately to his right.

NOTE from TOG: For your reading pleasure as well as a little fun and games, I decided to create names you may find familiar and not at all challenging. Those of us who live in he USA will immediately recognize some of the names of famous cities and capitals of some states. If you like, write them down and send me a message with your answers (no snide remarks, please!). They’re not difficult, just a change of pace. In part 3 there will be a couple of brain teasers you’ll have to solve. That was a warning; there will be a part three. Wink, wink; nudge, nudge.

“My name is Newt Orleenz, juror number 13. New San Francisco is my home, and I manage the NSF Tire & Wheelz Store on 2nd Avenue. By the way, I can offer you a 15% discount on a complete set of new tires.” Believe it or not, there are many motorists who do NOT own a vehicle that flies; even if they did, most of them are capable of ground movement.

“Georgie-Anne Savanah from New San Francisco and I have a child care business I run out of my home. I am licensed, insured and completely state-certified.” Interestingly, she was wearing the type of sunglasses that adapt to inside light but still stay in partial shade-mode. The color of her eyes remained a mystery, but it wasn’t pertinent to the case. After all, I didn’t come here to find a soul mate. In fact, I can’t seem to find a soul mate anywhere! Sheesh!

“Name’s Kennedy Karl Kaper, and no, I am not a member of the now defunct KKK”, he added, smiling. It generated a few smiles, but most just sat stoically wondering when this would end. The general consensus was, ‘let’s get this over with and go home’. “I am a catastrophic attorney who has won several big lawsuits for my clients. So then, if Newt’s tires are defective or Georgie-Anne proves to be not so certified, call me.” He flashed a huge grin and added, “Just kidding, folks.” Everyone glared.

“Hi! My name is Helleena Montara and I, too, live in New San Francisco. I’m currently retired, but do volunteer work at Children’s Hospital. If anyone has some spare time, please ask me about it; the work is really rewarding and we sure can use the help. Thank you!”

“Name’s Murphy, Tex Murphy. I’m a private detective living in Old San Francisco.” This seemed to set everybody at DEFCON IV as shock and whispers reverberated around the room. Everyone except the big mutant. His scowl softened a bit. Indeed, it almost changed to one of mutual empathy.

Before answering, the big mutant stared down each of his fellow jurors; except me. “Raleigh Frankfurter”, boomed the big man’s baritone voice, “I guess I don’t have to tell you where I live.” Everyone shifted nervously until the chairman, undeterred by the pause, asked where he worked. “I’m a bouncer at the Mutant Only Atomic Café.” OMG! That is like the most notorious lounge on the west coast! It was then I noticed that some of his mutation damage were actually scars incurred while carrying out his duties. This guy must be one mean dude!

Next was a young woman, maybe 25, long red hair, about 6 feet tall, lithe and extremely beautiful; the type you want to take home to meet your parents. “Greetings! My name is Phoenix St. Louis.” Her melodic voice lilted through the room like a songbird in spring. I think I’m in love! Well, in lust, at least. “Currently working with a film crew of four, I have the privilege of providing parochial schools with educational films on the wonders of God’s creations.” Figures! I’m in heat and she’s a Bible-thumper. “My latest residence is in Oakland at St. Mary’s Home for Young Women of Faith.” Big sigh.

The eighth to rise for the occasion was a woman in her mid-50’s, stern of face, bifocals hanging from a small-linked silver chain; you know the type – school teacher right out of the 40’s, 1940’s, that is. She stood and, giving me the dreaded evil eye, stated in a no nonsense, a la Danny Trejo voice: “I am Virginia Mason-Dickson and no wise cracks, if you please. Profession? School teach, 5 years from retirement.” Bingo! Am I good or what! “And if that woman is not guilty, I’ll eat your poor excuse for a hat”, and she promptly plopped into her chair. Well, before she eats my hat I’m gonna spread some raw horseradish on it.

The next was a sheepish, frail little thing who quietly, quickly, and coquettishly stood, announced: “Madison St. Paul” and immediately slipped back into her chair. Makes me wonder if she really belongs here.

“Mogul Rosewell”, bellowed a deep voiced African American and my attention was grabbed by the roots of my hair. I thought he looked familiar. As he continued with his introduction, my mind wandered back to Labor Day earlier this year. His brother, Rockwell Rosewell, had been accused of some shading dealings involving a new date-rape drug called Easy-Peasy. When the police raided his home, there was a shoot-out and Rockwell was killed. However, due to the ensuing investigation as the result of Mogul’s accusations of police corruption, it was revealed that a couple of dirty cops planted the drug, supervised the raid, and made sure there were no witnesses. They forgot one thing: Rockwell was on the D.A.’s payroll and the case for the cops went bust. Mogul was instrumental in clearing his brother’s name.

Number 11 was a Chinese-American who simply said: “I am Michi Lansing, formerly of Beijing, China, but have been here for several years. I am happy to serve on this jury with all of you. My family has a vested interest in the Golden Pagoda restaurant in China town. Our food is most delicious and our customer service top notch. Please visit us! Tank you!” Seems like a good idea. Maybe I can go there some day. Maybe Chelsee would go with me! Nah! Hopeless!

Finally, our fearless leader stood and opened his mouth. All I could think of was my last visit to the proctologist just as he snapped on the plastic glove. “Well, that was certainly the biggest waste of time I have ever witnessed.” I take that back; I’d rather be at the proctologist right now. Sighing heavily, “My name is Hartford St. James,” this room has more saints than an apostle’s convention “and my profession is head of the archeology department at the New San Francisco Community College. And if there are no more objections, especially from the S.O.B. who thinks sitting here all night is fun and games time”, I was about to object but thought if I did, he’d just object and I would continue to be the object of intense ire, “perhaps we could get back to the matter at hand”, and he glared at me. So, I simply flashed the OK sign and he sat down.

After tossing the previous votes into the waste basket, he directed us to vote again. “I object” I said and stood to make my point.

“What now, Mr. P.I.” he retorted.

“I would just like to bring out a couple of concerns I have.”

Fighting back a teeth-grinding response, he motioned with his hand for me to continue.

“On the one hand, I admit the evidence appears to be, well, like you said, overwhelming.” He rolled his eyes, shifting uneasily in his chair. “However, does anyone feel this trial was a sham? I mean, the prosecutor seemed over confident, the defense attorney acted as though his client didn’t even exist, and the judge could barely keep his eyes open! It was, I don’t know, like ‘Let’s hurry up and get this over because I’ve got to go to the head’ atmosphere. It just seemed wrong” and I sat down, disgusted.

The room suddenly became silent; so silent, I could hear my heart beat. I’m not sure, but I got the distinct impression that someone was no longer convinced. Someone, but ….

“OK, Murphy, why don’t we take another vote?” And, so we did. This time the count was different – ten guilty, 2 question marks. Rubbing his temples, our chairman let out a “Good God” and tossed the papers into the waste basket. “Now there are two of you. I don’t understand the question marks. Why not simply write NG, not guilty?”

I said: “In my case, I’m not saying she is not guilty, I just have a few observations I would like to share, things I feel we should discuss. Apparently, someone else shares my concerns.”

“OK, but who? I mean, where is this heading and why?” I wondered the same thing.

Of all people, it was the sheepish, frail, little thing named Madison St. Paul who spoke up. “It was me, sir.” We all looked surprised, but to St. James’ credit, he calmly asked why. “Well, I had a certain degree of empathy for the defendant. I mean, she seems like someone I can relate to. I felt she was bullied by the A.D.A, her defense attorney offered no objections when some seemed obvious, and the judge gave the impression like it didn’t really matter! Just think for a moment. A woman’s life is at stake! I would hate to have the same people providing this kind of justice for me.” If it was silent before, the silence was now deafening.

“Well, you do make a point, Miss St. Paul. Anyone else?” Is old lye-face turning into soft soap?

“What about the evidence?” asked the big mutant.

“OK, Murphy, what do you say to that?”

“I’ll tell you what I’ve got to say, but we were in court for four hours and have been in here for two hours. I move we take a…. (I almost said a smoke break), short break. You know, stretch the legs, that sort of thing.” My closest friend, nicotine, was calling.

"Good idea, Murphy. Maybe you’re not such an S.O.B. after all”, and, smiling, he led the way out of the room.

In the hall we were met by the jury attendant named Connors. He herded us together, gave a few unimportant but necessary instructions, and said he would hit the bell to sound the roundup. Last to pass by, I asked him if there was somewhere I could have a smoke.

In a rather startling move, he grabbed my arm with surprising strength, hauled me down the hallway, all the while bringing me up to date on current state, city, and building codes regarding the banned cancer-inducing habit of smoking, both inside AND outside the building. Just as I was about to say ‘forget it’, we reached a card-access-only security door. Swiping his card again, we entered, traipsed up a shot metal stairwell, and, using his security card again, exited to the roof. I gasped! OMG! He’s going to throw me off the roof! Just then…..

“Sorry about that, Murphy, but the aisles and stairwells are all being watched.”

“Yeah, I noticed the CCTV. Bet it’s a good one, too.”

“Complete state-of-the-art. I had to make it look good.”

“Exactly what did you have to make look good?” That’s when he slowly opened his jacket and showed me the bulge in his shirt pocket. I smiled, rather broadly, I must say.

Pulling out a pack of Llamas, he said: “I’d walk a kilometer,” and I said: “For a Llama.” We grinned, lit up, and enjoyed a few moments of small talk. He said it was the only place he could go to have a cigarette. When his boss asked why, according to the cameras, he regularly checked the roof, he told him it was just being thorough. Good thinking!

Back in the jury room, we picked up where we left off. A few other jurors chimed in on the poor trial regiment and we all decided to wait until the next day to finish our discussion. No question, things got rather hot and heavy and we all needed some food and rest.

After dinner I retired to my assigned room and went over my notes. Also, I decided to take a chance and contact Mac. I opened the window to my room and the cold air was like a slap in the face. It was just enough refreshing to clear the mind as I dialed Mac’s number.

“Yeah, who’s this?” Same ol’ mild-mannered Mac.

“It’s your favorite San Fran P.I.”

“I always thought P.I. stood for poop-filled intestine. Whaddya want? I’m busy here.” Poop-filled intestine?

“You sent me a text saying I should stall. I want to know why.”

“So, you followed my advice and snuck a cell phone past security. Didn’t think you had it in ya.”

“Yeah, thanks for the tip. So, what up?”

“I bumped into the coroner the other day to get his report on a recent homicide. He asked if I had handled the case you are jurying for. When I asked why, he shared something rather unusual. Apparently, the DNA for the suspect was only a 70% match.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, in most open and shut cases, the DNA is a 100% match, so how could this be a 70% match? They claimed to have a glass with saliva on it and upon testing, it came back at 70%, which seems rather odd.”

“What’s your explanation?” He ran a few cop things by me and five minutes later we hung up. Needless to say, I found it difficult to fall asleep; I even tried counting jurors jumping a fence. That didn’t work because every other juror was the Bible-thumping redhead. The next meeting in the deliberation room would, hopefully, reveal a few delicious tidbits (not referring to the redhead). I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to explain the DNA discrepancy, but I hoped someone else would share my apprehensions and speak up. There’s something rotten and I intend to find out what it is or my name is not…… Tex Murphy S.O.B.

There was little-to-no eye contact in the courthouse café as I woofed down some bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast. Not up to Louie’s standards, but passable. Soon we found ourselves in the same seating arrangement, except it seemed no one in particular wanted to get the ball rolling. So, trouble maker that I am, I spoke up.

“Should we take another vote?” All agreed and to my pleasant surprise, another dissenter. St. James was about to blow a head gasket when Georgie Anne spoke up.

“We’re wasting valuable time. She’s as guilty as sin and we all know it. I don’t understand why all of you can’t see it?” She crossed her arms and pouted, as though she was on a time schedule. I understood her frustration. I needed a cigarette!

“Look, we all have laptops in front of us, so why don’t we go over some of the evidence,” so said KKK. We all agreed, though some did so reluctantly.

We reviewed the security camera footage from the hotel, the sealed bag of clothing, the ferocious and unabated cross-examination of the defendant by the A.D.A., and the murder weapon wiped free of fingerprints, which the defendant denied owning. Nothing changed from the trial. I wanted to mention the DNA but that would raise suspicions about my source. I needed to stall, not for Mac, but for the defendant. Something was out of joint and I needed to find out what it is.

Georgie Anne spoke up again. “So, the camera shows her at the hotel, we have her signature on the hotel’s ledger, the bag of clothes she wore right down to the sparkly green shoes, the DNA from the glass she drank from in the victim’s room, her lying testimony, and the knife she claims wasn’t hers. What more do you require, Mr. Murphy?” Every eye turned towards me and I began to sink deeper into my chair.

Suddenly, I bolted upright. A thought occurred to me regarding the bag of clothes. Trying not to act too excited, I asked: “Could we have the bag of clothes brought in here for examination? I, for one, would like to see it close up, something we didn’t see during the trial. As I recall, the A.D.A. simply waved it around the room.”

St. James hesitated, but soon asked Officer Connors if we would get the bag. He returned a few moments later and set it on the table and returned to his post outside the jury room. My suspicions were correct! Holding back my tongue, I just said OK and the bag was returned to Connors. I then suggested a brief recess and everyone agreed. As we exited the room, instead of having a smoke, I had a private chat with St. James. When I was done, he nodded and we went back to our deliberations.

We reviewed the camera footage from the hotel a second time and St. James said: “Well, it certainly seems she is wearing the green clothes that are found in the bag. Interesting, though, we don’t see her feet.”

“What’s her feet got to do with anything?” chimed the big mutant.

“I’d like to comment on that,” said Morgul Rosewell. “I have an eye for detail and Miss Savanah said the defendant was wearing green shoes. I didn’t see any shoes in the video or showing in the sealed bag.” A hush fell over the group; I smiled inwardly.

Helleena Montara spoke up and said: “That’s an interesting point. I wonder how Georgie Anne knew the color of her shoes?” Georgie Anne’s face grew grim as well as red.

“Well, I, uh, you know! I mean, she was wearing a green dress and all of us ladies know how we like to look color-coordinated. Right?” All the women agreed, but it was Newt Orleenz who put in his two cents worth.

“That’s not what you said. You said the shoes were sparkling green. From the looks of the sealed bag, it was impossible to tell the shoes were even green, let alone sparkling.” And thankfully, he said no more.

Another vote revealed something even more interesting. There were 6 guilty votes, 5 question marks, and one not guilty. I thought that was a bit premature, but it had the desired effect. Still, the DNA thing was bothering me. How could someone have 100% DNA match in custody but have a 70% match at the crime scene? A DNA match like that could only be possible if….

I suggested a one-hour lunch and all agreed. Being the last to leave, Connors and I headed to the roof for a smoke and some serious conversation. On the way back to the jury room, I stopped in my room and used my phone to do a little unauthorized research. What I found was eye-opening, to say the least.

Back in the jury room the only sound to be heard was the growl from my stomach. We picked up where we left off and an argument soon broke out. I took that time to check the hotel register’s signature from the defendant. I compared it to the paper in my hand and it was a match! But how do I proceed? There is one more thing I needed to do. I whispered into the mutant’s ear and he nodded in the affirmative.

“Please forgive me,” I said as I stood up and sauntered around the room, “I find it easier to express myself as I pace back and forth.”

“So, what’s on your mind, Murphy?” St. James’ tone had eased up a bit, a fact for which I deeply appreciated.

“Well, I’ve been thinking about Georgie Anne’s comment that green shoes match a green dress.” I paused for effect and glanced in her direction. A thin smile appeared and a slight nod saying ‘thank you’.

I had my arms crossed and was about to add something when the big mutant jumped up and roared: “Let’s quit playing around and reach a verdict! I’ve had about enough of this racial disparity I can stand!”

Of course, everyone gasped and some were even shaking. I quickly headed to Raleigh’s side and calmed him down. He apologized for the outburst and got back to the matter at hand. We discussed a few more points of interest and decided to retire for the day. However, we all felt we needed to make a final decision soon, so we agreed to give it some serious thought before bed and to be ready come the morrow. Phoenix St. Louis, the gorgeous redhead, said she would pray for all of us. I was NOT hopeful. Uh, regarding our future plans for marriage and six kids.

Connors and I shared a quick smoke and parted ways after he gave me a few words of wisdom. I had let him know that I snuck a cell phone into the jury room and was using it to gather certain much needed information. Though a bit hesitant, he agreed that, since a woman’s life was at stake, he would remain silent. He had seen too many rigged court cases in the past and he knew there was something fishy about this one.

After returning to my room, I called Mac and he gave me the name of an app that would help me find the truth. I downloaded it, set it up, and went to work. What I found was going to set the jury room ablaze! I was so excited I took my ‘poop-filled intestine to the head for a little relief. I know what you’re thinking: TMI, TMI.

After breakfast, we headed back to the jury room, but this time I had a little souvenir with me. As pre-arranged, I handed it to Connors and he passed it on to a friend in forensics who guaranteed quick results.

We settled into our seats and I chose to speak up before anyone else had the chance. “I’d like to get the ball rolling, if I may?” Everyone nodded and it was off to the races. “First, let’s consider what we know for sure. Every part of the trial itself was suspect, I mean, we all agreed that something just didn’t add up. For example, the ineffective if not totally absence of the defense, the A.D.A.’s ferocious attack, as though he was taking the crime personally, the judge’s inability to, well, judge the case; all of this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“You mean there’s more?” asked St. James.

“Much more. Yesterday I admitted that a woman’s intuition regarding the color of the defendant’s shoes was spot on, a definite possibility. But, last night I had second thoughts. You, Miss Savanah, spoke of the shoes as though you knew it was a sure thing.” She started to object, but St. James told her to shut up and hear me out. “I did a little research on the defendant in an effort to get to know her better.”

“And just how did you do that? None of these laptops have internet accessibility,” so stated Virginia Mason-Dickson.

I slowly took out my cell phone and the whole room exploded into a cacophony of ‘ifs, ands or buts’ with all pointing a finger at me.

“OK, so shoot me! I’m not supposed to have one in my possession! But, if you just hear me out, you might learn something useful and helpful as far as our deciding the fate of the defendant.”

“I’ve had enough of this!” spouted Miss Savanah and she bolted for the door. Upon opening, a stern-faced A. Connors met her there and escorted her back to her seat. I nodded my approval and he shut the door behind him.

“Please continue, Mr. Murphy,” said Hartford St. James.

“We already know there was no way of telling the color or style of shoes in that bag. That being said, is it possible there were other discrepancies hidden in plain sight? I wondered and I’m sure some of you did as well.” There were several nods of agreement around the room. “For example. How did she come to know of the shoes exact color? Could someone have told her? If so, why? Is she part of some sort of sordid conspiracy?” That generated not a few murmurs. “What else should we know about Miss Savanah? Or the defendant, for that matter? So I did a little more research last night.

“Has anyone heard of Asperger’s disease?” One or two nodded, the others just shrugged ignorance. “let me explain. I got this word for word from a trusted medical site. ‘Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. As a milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it differs from other ASDs by relatively normal language and intelligence. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and unusual use of language are common. Signs usually begin before two years old and typically last for a person's entire life.’ Some doctors and researchers have come to the conclusion the those who suffer from AS are highly intelligent and state plain facts as though lying was not possible. Do we remember what she said when accused on using a butcher knife to kill the victim?”

“Yeah, I do. She said she didn’t own a knife like that. And, as I recall, you said the same thing.”

“There’s no doubt about your memory, Mr. Kaper.” I continued: “So, what else did I find that might interest you? As my suspicions increased, so did my efforts. Do you remember yesterday’s verbal outburst by Mr. Frankfurter? That was just a diversion. You see, when he did that, I took a picture with my cell phone, a picture of Miss Savanah.”

“The nerve!” she blurted out.

“Yeah, well, nerve or no, I downloaded a couple of apps based on a conversation I had with a police contact. Both were quite revealing. For instance, the glasses worn by the defendant seen in the hotel recording are very similar to yours.”

“Big deal, so we both wear a popular brand of sunglasses.”

“Oh, not just popular. Much more than that. If you look closely, there is a distinctive logo on the right earpiece. Upon closer inspection, it’s the logo of a lens manufacturer that makes specially designed glasses for a very rare type of retina degeneration. Is it possible that you and the defendant would have the same eye disease? I mean, look at your video screens of the hotel camera footage. If you enlarge the picture, you can see the same logo on the defendant’s glasses.”

“Anything’s possible,” she retorted.

“You took the words right out of my mouth. But, it’s not the possibility you are suggesting. You see, my police contact shared another tidbit from the crime scene, one that the A.D.A. over-exaggerated. The A.D.A. said the DNA from the wine glass in the victim’s room was a 100% match to the defendant’s DNA. Upon further comparison, the actual match was only 70%.”

A collective gasp went through the room. “How can that be?” asked Michi Lansing.

“Good question. And here’s the answer. Twins. I found out that many sets of twins will have up to a 75% match in their DNA. Identical twins can be as much as 99.9% match.”

“Well, it’s obvious that we are not twins, let alone identical.” Everyone agreed to that.

“Really? What an interesting statement. I mentioned I downloaded a couple of apps. The other was a facial recognition software app first created and designed by LeMosey Enterprises. When I loaded your picture onto my cell, it took only a few seconds for the app to say it was a match to the picture from the hotel camera.” The blood drained from Georgie Anne’s face. “Take awy the glasses, wig, and extensive make up and you’re a very close physical match to the defendant.” I was on a roll and the other ten were with me. Now for the pièce de résistance. “However, I still needed to be 100% sure before I brought an accusation.”

Just then, there was a knock on the door and Officer Connors came in. He handed me a piece of paper and, opening it, we both nodded and smiled. He left and I continued.

“As I said, I wanted to be completely convinced before pointing the finger at the real killer. Two things: 1.) I took your last written vote from the waste basket and compared it to the signature on the hotel register. Though I’m no handwriting expert, the similarities are more that coincidental. If fact, I would bet my life an expert would find them a complete match. And 2.) After you left your table in the cafeteria today, I picked up your toss-away coffee cup and gave it to Officer Connors. He sent it to forensics who compared your saliva and the saliva found on the wine glass in the victim’s room. Guess what? A 100% match. It’s just a matter of time before we know your true identity and the reason for your murdering the victim. In the interim, I hope you enjoy your stay on death row.”

Officer Connors entered, put on the handcuffs, and led Georgie Anne Savanah to the door. She turned at the last second and said to me: “You’re right about one other thing, Mr. Murphy. You have bet your life.” A second later she was gone.

A hush fell over the room but then suddenly broke out into glad-handing, congrats, and hip-hip-hoorays. The chairman quickly called the meeting to order and said: “Well, thanks to Mr. Murphy, we have just saved the life of an innocent person. All in favor say aye!” All said Aye and we exited the room. Office Connors had returned and escorted us back to the courtroom.

Mr. St. James stood by the door and shook hands with each one as we passed by. I was the last and when he grabbed my hand, he gave me a tight grasp and said: “Who are you, Mr. Murphy? FBI? CIA? NSA?” I thought for a moment and said: “No, S.O.B.” His smiled erased but soon returned when he averred: “That you are, my boy, that you are!”

_________________

"If you look to me for illumination, you better have a flashlight!"

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