Assault with intent to kill

“It is not just we who are different if we are in Christ. Everything is new. We live in an entirely different milieu if we are in Christ…” ~ Marva Dawn

Two counts of assault with intent to kill. I listened attentively as the judge read aloud the multiple criminal charges against the defendant. While we were still downstairs, the judge had pointed out the defendant and his attorney when they entered the room, but because both men were dressed in suits and the deputy stood behind them, it wasn’t clear to me who was the defendant and who was the lawyer. Clever tactic I thought. Especially considering the weighty charges.

When we entered the courtroom, the bailiff seated us in the tiered jury box to the right of the bench, according to our place in the line. I was now juror number 17 in the fourth row at the top. The prosecuting attorney’s table faced the bench on the jury’s side of the courtroom, while the defendant and his counsel sat at a table across the room. A podium, the court reporter and the stenotype machine were located in front of the judge’s bench. Several spectators, including the alleged victim, were seated in the floor and balcony galleries.

We were sworn in again and the judge re-emphasized the importance of answering every question truthfully and completely. A false answer from a juror could lead to a mistrial and charges of contempt of court. No problem, I thought.

At first questions from the judge were directed to all of us as a group. Do you know the accused? Do you know the alleged victim? Do you know the attorney’s for either side? A list of possible witnesses was read. Do you know any of the witnesses? Each time we were asked to respond affirmatively with a show of hands while the judge and attorney’s made note of our responses. The community is small and some of the witnesses were deputies. Many of us knew someone.

The judge continued. Have you ever been the victim of a crime against your property? Several hands were raised and the judge and attorneys made notes. I realized later that I should have raised my hand, as well, but at that moment I’d forgotten about the wallet and ring I’d been forced to hand over in the dark.

Have you ever been the victim of a crime against your person? For a second I couldn’t breath. It had been a lifetime ago and I was a different person then. I raised my hand and the judge made a note on his paper. Relieved that the questioning appeared to be over, I relaxed and took a deep breath.

My relief was not based on fact. The questioning was about to turn personal and probing.

to be continued…

Photo: US Supreme Court building in Washington,DC – May 2003.

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8 Responses to “Assault with intent to kill”

  1. {=-0That all sounds so ominous Pat. How did you do? Is it all over?

  2. … still waiting. Will be back tomorrow. šŸ™‚

  3. This is just like a murder mystery – in installments!

  4. Can't wait for the next installment. Blessings,Rutrh

  5. I'll be back for more tomorrow! God bless you, Patricia!

  6. You have successfully hooked me into this story. You need to know that I was once a Christain fiction addict and always had to finish a book before I could go to bed. Many nights I was up all night long reading. Even on family trips I've spent many a night sitting on the hard floor of a hotel bathroom reading so that I wouldn't disturb my sleeping family. All that to say that I really dislike suspence!!!I do hope that it wasn't something terribly bad that happened to you, Patricia.

  7. Thanks for hanging in there with me – all of you. I'm posting these installments as I write them…with little editing. I pray you can overlook the errors, but hope you will feel free to point out those that are glaring. The next installment will most likely not be written and posted until Friday. I beg your forgiveness. I am in the middle of a few busy days away from home. Revisiting my past is emotionally draining and keeps me awake at night. I need a good night's sleep before I can continue.Robin – there WAS something bad that happened to me many years ago, but "goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life" and I can live to tell about it in victory over sin and suffering…to the glory of Christ. Kimberly – yes, it is over. I'll explain soon. I promise.

  8. As a prof of composition and writing for publication…you are an excellent writer. You did hook us in your first paragraph. You made us see the scene and feel your emotions…and you have your readership waiting for the next installment! Well done! As to the pain…I empathize. I have stayed awake way too many nights to count reading and praying. What would we do without the Comforter, the Savior, and the Loving Father? May the Lord comfort you so you can comfort others.

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