Friday, October 31, 2014

Appearing in issue #44, November 3, 2014

Title:  Cold case

By Author:  Gary Delafield


Tag line:    Whoever committed the murder would be spending a long time on ice!

Police characters:   Sheriff Travis Brown

The gist:    Real estate agent Terri had been showing a couple a house that had some appliances included in the price.  A large freezer in the basement was one of them.   When they went to look at it the husband jokingly said, “I wonder if they left us any steaks?”  When he opened the chest freezer they found another real estate agent.  He had been clubbed and stuffed into the freezer.  He had been at the house the day before and crime scene estimated that his body had been in the freezer since yesterday.

The real estate manager said that the victim irritated a lot of people and that he had a nasty sense of humor.  She checked her log and found that three other agents had shown the house yesterday.  The victim was the listing agent, so he insisted on accompanying all of them for the showings.  The victim did not have a key to the property, only the showing agents had keys.

The first agent, Marion, was a petite woman in her 60s. She confirmed that the victim had been with her when she showed the house, but had been alive when she closed up and they all left.  She suggested the police talk to the skinny blonde who just joined the agency, saying that the victim liked to flirt with the new ones. 

The skinny blonde turned out to be Terri, the woman who had found the body.  She said she forgot to mention that she had been with the victim the day before.  The same buyers who looked at the house yesterday with her had asked for a second look today, and that’s how they found the body. She said she had left the victim a voice mail so he’d know the house was showing again today, but he never showed up.  She claimed that she and the victim were not romantically involved.

 The third agent who showed the house yesterday was a man name Mike, a retired contractor.  He claimed that when he showed the house the victim told him he had a meeting later.  Mike didn’t know what the meeting was about and assumed the victim was headed off to a bar.

The sheriff knew who did it.

Crime scene:    The basement of a house being shown for sale.

Clues:    Where the body was found.  The time of death.  The victim had a nasty sense of humor.

Suspects:  The three agents who showed the house on the day he died.  Marion, a petite older lady.  Terri, a skinny blonde woman.  Mike, a former contractor turned real estate agent.

Red herrings:    Terri lied about being with the victim on the day he died.  

Solution:  Mike did it.  He was the only one of the three that could drag and lift a dead body into the freezer. Mike had asked Terri out but she had declined.  The victim teased Mike relentlessly about it even saying that Terri had accepted a date with him.  In a fit of jealous anger Mike clubbed the victim then put him in the freezer.  He was hoping to dispose of the body the next day, but Terri showed the house before he could do that.

My two cents:    Okay, I’m ticked off.  At first I thought, “What a great story, I can’t find the clue.”  Only a man would be strong enough to lift the body into the freezer. But the story didn’t say the how old the male was or talk about his build.  He could have been 85 years old for all we know.  And what if the two women teamed up?  An older lady and a skinny blonde could do it if they worked together.  So the clue lies in the motive.  I went back and read the story again.  No motive.

 The victim was the listing agent, so whoever sold the house, they would both make money.  Nobody really liked him, but nobody hated him either.  The older lady commented that he liked the ladies and hit on the new agents.   Still no motive.  The agent, Terri, who found the body, omitted the fact that she had been with the victim the day he’d been killed.  So she lied.  That’s suspicious, but that’s not a motive.  It was, however, a good red herring.

I anxiously turned the magazine to read the solution.  Then I frowned.  The reason I couldn’t find the motive was because the author didn’t give us one.  The motive was in the solution.  It was a long and drawn out. It explained how the fact that the victim had a nasty sense of humor played into the motive.  Readers hate that they can’t figure it out from the story.  They feel cheated, and rightly so.

There are only seven reasons a person will kill (other than war, social violence, or serial killer/sociopath).  Jealousy is one of them, but you have to love someone to be jealous enough to take action.  You don’t kill every man who comes along and gets a date with a woman you just asked out and who said no.  The motive sucked.

Loved the title.  The tag line was clever.  There was a missing word and a bad comma in the second column. (Harrison Walsh, had been clubbed in the basement the washer, then his body stuffed in the freezer.)  I’m thinking it was a fast edit and it got missed in the chopping.   Even after three edits by the publisher, my book still has one typo.  Very annoying.  But it happens.

It was an interesting premise, the writing was crisp (although I’m not a fan of  She said with a sneer.  Too much telling vs showing) and the pacing was good.  Two stars for the above.  The unbelievable motive and missing details in the story eat up the last three stars.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

101 Things

An Author Needs to Know

About the Police and the Law

What makes a crime federal rather than state?
A federal crime is an offense that has been made illegal either by federal law or one that occurs on federal property. Mail fraud which crosses state lines or involves the United States Postal Service is a federal offense. Other federal crimes include aircraft hijacking, kidnapping, bank robbery, child pornography, tax evasion, counterfeiting, art theft from a museum, damaging or destroying public mailboxes,  immigration offenses, and since 1965, assassinating the President or Vice President, although these were not made federal crimes until after President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Prosecution guidelines are established by the United States Attorney in each federal judicial district and by laws that Congress has already established. So never place your characters in the wrong courthouse.  Federal crimes are prosecuted by United States Attorneys as opposed to State Attorneys and are handled in federal court.

Numerous federal agencies have been granted powers to investigate federal offenses.  Some examples would be the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service and the Secret Service.  The men and women who work for these agencies are agents; DEA agents or FBI agents for example.  They are not police officers.
If a crime is committed that includes breaking a federal law and a state law,
the federal law trumps and that is where the jurisdiction of the case will lie. Convicted offenders will serve time in a federal prison as opposed to a state facility.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Appearing in issue #42, October 20, 2014

Title:  A loan-ly murder

By Author:  John M. Floyd

Tag line:    Angela Potts, as usual, had cracked the case.  The sheriff just couldn’t figure out how she’d done it!

Police characters:   Sheriff Chunky Jones, amateur sleuth Angela Potts

The gist:    Angela is sitting outside the courthouse playing a game on her phone.  The sheriff asks her for a ride because his car won’t start and both his deputies are tied up elsewhere.  There’d been a murder, so Angela was delighted to help.  Angela asked if the sheriff was questioning a recent suicide, a man named Zack.  Sheriff Jones said no, that Zack’s daughter authenticated the suicide note.  He added that someone had shot the banker, Jerry Westbrook, in the chest.  The bullet wound was located right above the top button of his cardigan sweater.  When they got to the bank, the bank manager told them the coroner was on his way and pointed to a distraught woman, Katie, a new customer, who had found the body.  The sheriff nodded to Angela to indicate she should talk to Katie while he examined the body, which was located in the man’s office.  Jerry was slumped face down in his desk.

     Katie told Angela that she had come in for a loan and found the man dead. Angela asked her to describe the body.  She described Jerry Westbrook as bald on top, eyeglasses, cardigan sweater and a gold watch.  She said she heard footsteps running out back and feels she just missed whoever did it.  Mrs. Potts remembered that Katie was the daughter of Zack who had tried to take out a loan and was turned down. The same Zack who had killed himself.  Sheriff Jones told Katie he needed to search her purse.   When he did, he found an automatic pistol with a silencer. 

     When asked how Angela was so sure Katie was the killer, she remarked that if Katie had been innocent she couldn’t have seen what she saw.

Crime scene:    Bank office.

Clues:    What Katie saw.

Suspects:   Katie.

Red herrings:    None.

Solution:  A cardigan sweater has buttons down the front.  Unless Katie had seen the victim sitting, before falling face down on his desk, she couldn’t have known it was a cardigan.

My two cents:    

His squad car won’t start?  I suppose that could happen. Even in a car that’s well maintained, mechanical things stop working.  But in that case he’d call one of his deputies to come get him.  Murder trumps most other calls.  He wouldn’t take an old lady to a murder scene. 

Dear Gawd, this is a homicide investigation and the sheriff has got a civilian questioning the main witness.

 When you can see the dead body just by looking in the office doorway, why would anybody, police or civilian, ask a witness to describe the body? They wouldn’t.  The author needed the shooter to say he was wearing a cardigan, so he threw that scene in there.

Where are the surveillance cameras?  All banks have inside surveillance. 

Bank managers don’t call the coroner.  They call 911.  The police arrive, they call in the detectives.  Those are the guys that call the coroner’s office.

By the way, just FYI, an automatic pistol ejects a spent cartridge.  I’m sure crime scene will match that casing up with her gun.

The police don’t get to search someone’s purse without permission.  Most times the police have the person sign a ‘permission to search’ form, a form that will hold up later in court.  Otherwise they need to obtain a search warrant. 

The title was good but the tag line was out of sync with the story.  He couldn’t have known how Angela knew, because he didn’t talk to the main witness and had no idea what was said. 

It wasn’t the best Angela Potts story.  It wasn’t the worst.  There’s always lots of little technical issues in these Potts stories.   Two stars for a decent clue (even though it was revealed in an odd manner) and good pacing.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

101 Things

An Author Needs to Know

About the Police and the Law


Who decides what the charges are going to be?


    Can a police officer charge a person with a crime?  No.  The police arrest and investigate.  They may identify the crime they believe a person has committed, but that may not be the actual charge that is ultimately filed.  A prosecutor, sometimes known as a state attorney or district attorney, begins the process of bringing the charges against a person, and then either a judge or a jury will decide if said person is guilty or not. Notice I didn’t say guilty or innocent.  A person is always presumed to be innocent right up to the moment they are found guilty.   

     There is only one state attorney (or district attorney) in each county.  All other attorneys working under him or her are called assistant district attorneys or assistant state attorneys.  Each ADA or ASA can be responsible for up to 150 cases at any given time.  The big guy, the DA or SA, generally only handles high profile cases, and he or she assigns the cases to the ADAs or ASAs.  They tend to work in departments; homicide, sexual assault, etc.   In Fort Lauderdale there is even a Not Me department to handle cases where the accused is claiming the police arrested the wrong person, such as a younger brother vs the older brother.

     The charging document that the prosecutor produces is called an indictment.  Sometimes it’s called a Prosecutor’s Information.  That document is not proof that the subject committed the crime; it is only an allegation that will start the judicial process rolling.

     In most states the prosecutor’s office, or district attorney’s office, will make the decision on what charge or charges will be brought against the subject.   Some states have a grand jury that decides those issues. 

   Every crime must be codified, that is, be a written law.  Criminal statues, laws, are created by legislature, not by judges or prosecutors, and the elements the prosecutor must prove are clearly established and listed in each statute.  They state must prove each and every one of the elements of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt for the person to be found guilty.  If they can only prove two out of three elements … they lose the case.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This little blog hit 50,000 views today!

     Thanks to everyone who stops by to take a peek. 

And a special thanks to my loyal commenters:
Chris, Tamara, Mary Jo, Mary Ann, Bettye, Elizabeth, M D'Angona and Joyce.

Wishing you all WW sales in 2015.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Appearing in issue #43, October 27, 2014

Title:  Kidnapped!

By Author:  Rosemary Hayes


Tag line:     John Grady was fortunate that his forgiving wife was willing to pay the ransom…

Police characters:   Detective Tanya Tate

The gist:    John Grady shows up at the police station claiming he was kidnapped the night before and that his wife had paid the ransom.  Grady told Det. Tate that he owned a hamburger joint.  He closed last night around ten. He claimed as he was getting into his car someone hit him over the head.  When he came to he was in the back of a van. A person dressed in black showed him a typed letter stating he would be released unharmed when his ransom was paid.  He claimed he was locked in the van all night.  In the morning another person got in the van, they drove, pulled off the road, untied him and let him go.  He flagged down a car (the old guy in the car didn’t have a cell phone) and got a ride.  His burger place was closer than home, so he had the guy drop him there where his car was.  He called his wife, Maggie.  Maggie told the detective she was frantic and wanted to call 911 but her husband said he was fine and would drive himself home.  She insisted they go to the police station and report the crime.

Grady said he could not see neither their faces, nor their license plate.  Grady said the restaurant two doors down from him (Chinese) was having financial troubles, and they would know when his burger shop closed for the night.  Grady touched his head and winced while at the police station.  When his wife said of course she paid the ransom, she loved him, he gave her a thin smile.

Maggie said the kidnappers contacted her last night on her cell phone and demanded $200,000. She could not tell if the voice was male or female.  She was instructed to leave the money in a deserted industrial shed at 1:00 PM.  She had been warned not to call the police, so she didn’t.  Before she got the ransom call, Maggie said when Grady didn’t come home last night she got worried and went to his shop to look for him.  She said she found the shop locked up and the parking lot empty.   The man who owned the Chinese store was still there. He said he had not seen Grady.  Maggie said she thought she was going to catch Grady at his shop with his mistress, Sara.   Grady seemed surprised that his wife knew about Sara.  Maggie said she thought maybe Sara was involved in the kidnapping because she must have known Grady’s burger place wasn’t even breaking even, and she knew Maggie had a successful financial firm. 

Detective Tate knew the real scoop.

Crime scene:    Burger joint.

Clues:    Grady’s car.  Him giving his wife a thin smile. 

Suspects:   According to the wife, it might have been the mistress.  According to Grady, it might have been the Chinese restaurant owner.

Red herrings:    None.

Solution:   Grady faked his own kidnapping to get money from his wife.  She reported not seeing his car in the parking lot.  That’s because he drove off and hid out somewhere until he could pick up the ransom and then head home.  He wasn’t going to even report the crime, but his wife made him.

My two cents:    Not a bad little scenario.  A man with a girlfriend.  A man with a failing business.  A man with a wife who has money.  The story didn’t say he was going to run off with the girlfriend, but we could assume that.  Otherwise he could have just asked his wife for a loan for his failing business.  She seemed to really care about him.  She paid the ransom even though she knew about the affair.   He didn’t know that she had come to the restaurant looking for him last night, so he didn’t know she would tell the police the parking lot was empty. 

This story was different from the norm.  A faked kidnapping.  Haven't seen that yet to my recollection.  The story was well paced, the details fit, and it was a good clue.  Him giving his wife a thin smile while she's gushing over how much she loved him was another clue.  Although small, it was snuck in there nicely.  Nothing was overdone or corny. In real life the police would have looked at and taken photos of his head wound. Ah’m jus say’n.  It didn’t spoil the story.   The tag line is off, but I can’t put my finger on it. 

Four stars. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

101 Things

An Author Needs to Know

About the Police and the Law


What is the difference between bond and bail?


    The difference between bond and bail is a subtle one.   Defendants who immediately secure their release with money are considered bailed out. Defendants who secure their release with collateral (property or a promise to pay) are bonded out.  The amount needed is set by a judge and is called a bond. Let’s say the judge set your bond at $5000.  You can pay the bond at the bond window at the jail and thus bail yourself out.  If you post your own bond, you get it back when your case is resolved.  Well, you will get back what’s left of it after they deduct all the court fees and fines.  If you don’t have enough money to post bond, you can try a bail bondsman.  He/she will require collateral, and they charge a 10% premium to write the bond, so in your case above you will need to give him/her $500 cash, which you will lose. The bondsman will then pay your bond in full and you will be set free.  Most accept houses, land, and bank accounts.  Most do not accept cars, motorcycles or jewelry.  But there are exceptions.  If you skip out on a bondsman, he will send a bounty hunter after your butt.  I’ve seen situations where grandma’s house was put up for the bond and then the creep grandson skips town.  Or sometimes the church will get involved and post bond for one of its parishioners.  It’s a sad day when the Lord Almighty gets stiffed.

      As I said only a judge can set the bond amount.  In most cases, not to include serious felonies, you will get to appear before a judge within 24 hours of being arrested.  Often that happens while you’re still in the jail and it’s done via a TV hookup.  Bond hearings are held every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  

     What happens if you can’t afford to post bond?  You stay in jail until your case is heard.  Sometimes your lawyer can get a bond reduction hearing if the initial bond is high.  You are entitled to reasonable bond.  At that hearing though you will have to convince the judge that you are not a flight risk, that you will appear when summonsed, and you will not be a danger to the community. Oftentimes the court will ask for your passport.  You only have one chance to reduce bond.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Appearing in issue #41, October 13, 2014

Title:  Truth in the details

By Author:  Clare Mishica

Tag line:     Detective Landon wouldn’t give up until he’d wrapped up the case…

Police characters:   Detective Judd Landon

The gist:    A real estate magnate was found dead in her study by her longtime housekeeper Ellen.  Ellen had arrived at nine. It was the victim’s habit to get up early and to out to get a newspaper.  Ellen told police that the victim never locked her door when she was in the house. The victim had been strangled with a lamp cord.   Det. Landon photographed the scene and noticed a mug of cold coffee and a plate with a half eaten piece of toast nearby. The victim’s chair had been overturned and her desk ransacked.  Stacks of business files littered the floor. When Ellen was questioned she told the detective that everyone loved the victim except her two nephews, her only heirs.  Nephew #1 wanted his aunt to sell him some of her land but she wanted to donate it to charity.  Nephew #2 managed her business affairs.  She added that #2 was bossy and inconsiderate and that no one in town liked him.

When questioned Nephew #1 seemed upset.  He claimed he loved his aunt and that she had given him some great business advice.  He admitted he did want to buy her land, but said she wasn’t agreeable to it. He said he had spoken to her this morning and at the time she had told him she was making coffee.  He asked how his aunt had died and if anything was missing.

Nephew #2, when he was told his aunt had been strangled, tried to be very helpful to the police and gave them names of two people that were angry at a settlement she had just won.  When told someone had rifled through her files, Nephew #2 asked if any fingerprints had been found on the papers or the cord. 

Det. Landon had his man.

Crime scene:    The victim’s house.

Clues:    Only the murderer would know about the murder weapon.

Suspects:  The two nephews.

Red herrings:    Absolutely none.

Solution:  Nephew #2 gave himself away with the cord comment.  He had been stealing money from his aunt’s business and when confronted, he strangled her and stole incriminating files.

My two cents:    ((zzzzzzz))  Oh, excuse me.  I dozed off there for a moment.

So here we only have two suspects because there is nothing, nothing, to implicate the housekeeper.  One of them gave himself away.  The end.

I’ve said this before, the police don’t give details to people they are questioning.  When asked How did she die? the detective would have responded We believe foul play was involved.

The tag line doesn’t fit the story.  He wouldn’t give up?  He only had two suspects for Pete’s sake.  He was on that faster than a zombie that smells brains.

The housekeeper said everyone loved the victim but the two nephews were a different story…and then the author goes on to paint Nephew #1 as a genuine, caring relative.  Yeah, I know, Ted Bundy was a charmer.  But this flip/flop didn’t work for me.  

The guilty nephew was interviewed second in this story.  Right before the detective said he knew who the murderer was.  This author didn’t even try to bury the clue, nor was she clever about it. Poor pacing IMO.

“She added that #2 was bossy and inconsiderate and that no one in town liked him.”   The author didn’t even try to trick us or twist this story.  The guy that nobody likes is the killer?  Whaaat?  Get out of town!

One star for this snooze fest.  Why?  Because it wasn’t awful, but it was trite, tiresome, unimaginative, boring and dull.  Okay…it was pretty awful.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

101 Things

An Author Needs to Know

About the Police and the Law

What is the difference between direct evidence and circumstantial evidence?

There are two types of evidence that can be used to decide questions of facts or to determine facts in a case. There is direct evidence and there is circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is when a witness testifies directly about what he or she claims to have seen or heard or felt with his/her own senses. This witness cannot testify about what somebody else said they saw or heard.  That is hearsay.  The only question with direct evidence is whether or not you believe the witness. 

Then we have circumstantial evidence where a witness cannot testify directly about a fact that is to be proved but you are presented with evidence of other facts and you are then asked to draw reasonable inferences from them about the fact that is to be proved.  Allow me to give an analogy.  You've moved into a new home and when you get up in the morning there is freshly fallen snow covering the ground.  You open the door to get the newspaper and the newspaper is not there yet but there is a plate and it's warm to the touch with foil over it and there are warm muffins in it.  You can see footprints back and forth to your next-door neighbor on the right. You didn't see anyone put them there.  This is circumstantial evidence that the neighbor is the one who left the muffins on your doorstep.  The  conclusion you draw must be reasonable and natural based on your own common sense and experiences in life.

If the State's case is based solely on circumstantial evidence, a jury may find the defendant guilty only if those circumstances are conclusive enough to leave them with a moral certainty, a clear and settled belief, that the defendant is guilty and there is no other reasonable explanation of the facts as proved. The evidence must not only be consistent with the defendant's guilt, but inconsistent with his innocence.

Whether direct or circumstantial the Commonwealth must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt from all the evidence in this case.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Appearing in issue #40, October 6, 2014

Title:  A party to die for

By Author:  Gary Delafield


Tag line:     Nothing kills a good party like cold-blooded murder!

Police characters:   Detective Frank DeSantos

The gist:    Mayor Palmer threw a party.  All of the city’s most influential people were there.  He had a jazz quartet, top shelf caterer, bartenders; the works.  The Mayor liked to have members of the police department at his parties as guests hence Detective DeSantos and the Commissioner were in attendance.  The Mayor planned to run for state office.  His tough-on-crime platform had garnered him some media interest, and he even started showing up at crime scenes.  At least the ones covered by the press.  The Mayor was greeting everyone at the party, and introducing people to his wife Lena, who didn’t appear to fit in as well as the gregarious Mayor.  When the Mayor shook Detective DeSantos’s hand, the detective noticed his pricey diamond tie tack and gold cuff links.  After a few hours, feeling that he had made his appearance and could go, Det. DeSantos was about to leave when he heard screams.  A woman using an upstairs bathroom had discovered the body of Lena on her bedroom floor, a window open, her jewelry box broken, and two bullet wounds in her head.

The coroner was summoned and the crime scene arrived.  Marks in the grass below the window suggested a ladder had been placed there. All of the guests had been detained and were being interviewed.  Detective DeSantos announced that since a gun had been fired they were going to do gunshot residue tests on everyone before they released them.  The Mayor, who appeared to be trying to control his emotions, volunteered to go first to show his guests how easy it was.  He sat in a chair, unbuttoned his shirt, and rolled up his sleeves.  Everyone’s hands and clothing were tested, as is customary for this type of test.  The process took nearly an hour but there were no positive test results.  Detective DeSantos knew who the killer was.

 Crime scene:    The Mayor’s home.

Clues:    The Mayor’s jewelry.

Suspects:  Per the story, some random burglar who broke in in the middle of a huge party to steal jewelry.

Red herrings:    None.

Solution:  When the Mayor shook hands, the detective noticed his expensive cuff links, yet when he went to do the test, the Mayor unbuttoned his cuffs to roll up his sleeves.  Knowing the gunshot residue test included shirts, the Mayor had changed his after he shot his wife, who was standing his way for state office.  He had staged the ladder marks before the party.

My two cents:    This was an interesting clue.  I didn’t catch it.  My only comment is about the gun.  Have you ever fired a gun?  Ever been around when one was fired?  They’re quite loud.  How no one heard two gunshots go off upstairs at a party filled with people is baffling.  There was no mention of a silencer.  Or perhaps the Mayor’s home was huge and sprawling, but then people wouldn’t be allowed to wander around upstairs.  That was the only loose end for me.  But it didn’t spoil the story.

 At first I thought it was a bad choice for the Mayor to kill his wife when there were dozens of people around, but on second thought maybe it was brilliant. Someone breaking in in the middle of a party would raise questions with the cops, but crooks aren’t always that bright and often do dumb things, so it wouldn’t be so odd that they would dismiss a random burglar theory right off.

 I don’t know about mayors showing up at crime scenes, but I do know the State Attorney does on occasion, so it’s possible.  The SA shows up at particularly heinous crimes where there’s good media exposure.  Hey, that’s the reality of public office. The man does get voted in.

The story was paced well; the police work was good; the motive was solid.  The title and tag line fit and didn’t give the killer away.   Four stars. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

101 Things

An Author Needs to Know

About the Police and the Law

Have you been paying attention?

There are 10 errors of some kind or other in the following courtroom scene in which we have the state (prosecutor), the defense, the judge and a witness.  As for the errors, there are 5 procedure problems, 4 caps problems, and 1 miscellaneous error.  Can you find them? 

Attorney Richard Rollins sat at the defense table tapping a pencil on his yellow pad.  “But, your honor,” he said, his voice rising to a whine, “I objected to this photograph coming into evidence.”

The judge pushed his glasses down his nose and peered over the top.  “I’ve already made my ruling, counselor.”

“Then I’d like to request a side bar,” Rollins said.

“That request is denied.  Call your next witness Attorney Glenn.”

“The defense calls Martin Longbow to the stand.”

The clerk seated Mr. Longbow and Attorney Glenn swore him in.  After getting his name and occupation Attorney Glenn approached the stand and slapped the photograph in front of the witness.

“Now, Mr. Longbow, tell the court, is that the defendant in that photo?”

Rollins shot to his feet. “Objection, your honor, leading.”


Sweat began to form on the witness’s forehead.  He peered down at the paper in front of him. “Yeah, that’s him.”



Attorney Richard Rollins sat at the defense table tapping a pencil on his yellow pad.  “But, your honor,” he said, his voice rising to a whine, “I objected to this photograph coming into evidence.” (THE ATTORNEY STANDS WHEN ADDRESSING THE JUDGE.  YOUR HONOR IS CAPPED)  1)  procedure.  2) caps

The judge pushed his glasses down his nose and peered over the top.  “I’ve already made my ruling, counselor.” (COUNSELOR IS CAPPED – IT’S HIS TITLE.) 3) caps

“Then I’d like to request a side bar,” Rollins said.

“That request is denied.  Call your next witness Attorney Glenn.”

“The defense calls Martin Longbow to the stand.”


The clerk seated Mr. Longbow and Attorney Glenn swore him in.  After getting his name and occupation Attorney Glenn approached the stand and slapped the photograph in front of the witness.


“Now, Mr. Longbow, tell the court, is that the defendant in that photo?”


Rollins shot to his feet. “Objection, your honor, leading.” (YOUR HONOR IS CAPPED) 9) caps


Sweat began to form on the witness’s forehead.  He peered down at the paper in front of him. “Yeah, that’s him.”


How did you do?