Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 192,769,819 Issue: 661 | 5th day of Gathering, Y16
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Legal Legend: Turnabout Beginnings - Part Two


by anti_guy

--------

Date: 21st of Hunting

Time: 10:00 A.M. NST

Courtroom No. 1, Neopia Central Courthouse

Charlie: "Remember, Alex. A lawyer has to keep smiling, no matter how dire the circumstances."

     Alexander: "(Easy for you to say. Bet you couldn't pull that off your first trial.)"

     The gallery was buzzing with activity when we entered the courtroom. I couldn't make out what anyone was saying, but I had the feeling all the eyes were on me. Most were glaring at me, hoping that I would crash and burn and that Mr. Kraid would be found guilty. The judge hit his gavel against the judicial bench to quell the noise.

     Judge: "Court is now in session for the trial of Mr. Riley Kraid."

     Alexander: "The defense is ready, Your Honor." (Must. Not. Show. Nervousness.)"

     ???: "The prosecution is ready, Your Honor."

     Standing across from me and Charlie at the prosecutor's bench was the green Kougra Prosecutor, Flynn Chad Enpane. He is apparently a veteran prosecutor with numerous cases under his belt. He was by no means the best prosecutor in the court system, but he did have quite a few years of experience and plenty of trials ending in a guilty verdict. The best way to describe him is mediocre. Somewhat good at what he does, but by no means great. I still have to watch out though; he has gone up against Charlie a few times in the past so he knows some of her methods. If he learned from his cases against her, then he'll have a huge leg up on me.

     Judge: "Prosecutor Enpane, your opening statement please."

     Enpane: "Yes, Your Honor. Yesterday, the 20th of Hunting, at approximately 12:30 P.M. a bomb was detonated at the National Neopian Bank. The structural damage due to the explosion and the fire was extensive, in that parts of the building collapsed. It is nothing short of a miracle that no one was hurt in the explosion or the fires that it caused. The Defenders of Neopia were able to get the fire extinguished at about 1:00 P.M. The prosecution intends to prove who caused the explosion that day."

     Judge: "It sounds like a powerful explosion to do that much damage to the building. Are you absolutely sure no one was hurt?"

     Enpane: "Yes, Your Honor. I would like to submit the report filed by the Defenders of Neopia to the court record."

     Judge: "Very well. The court accepts this into evidence."

     In this court of law, evidence is everything. The only way to prove something is to provide cold, hard evidence to support the claim. All evidence in a trial is kept track of in the court record. If I can't support any of my claims with evidence, I can't prove my client innocent. This particular piece of evidence just went over the crime, the damage done, and how it was dealt with. It also states that there was residue from the explosive device found inside the Safety Deposit Box area.

     Enpane: "Your Honor, this might be a bit unorthodox, but the prosecution would like to ask some questions of the defendant before calling our first witness. It will make further testimony become clearer."

     Judge: "Hmm, intriguing. Does the defense have any objections to this?"

     Alexander: "(This can't be good for our case. I can't let him get what he wants.)"

     Charlie: "The defense has no objections, Your Honor."

     Alexander: "Wait, WHAT?! (Are you trying to sabotage our case?)"

     Charlie: "Remember what I told you, Alex. If your client is innocent, nothing the prosecution does will prevent you from proving it."

     There was some excess noise coming from the gallery after that act. The judge hit the bench with his gavel to silence watchers. I don't know what Enpane is planning with this questioning, but it can't be good. The bailiff brought our client over to the witness stand.

     Judge: "Prosecutor Enpane, you may question the defendant."

     Enpane: "Thank you, Your Honor. Defendant, please state your name and occupation for the court record."

     Kraid: "Riley Kraid, and I work as the house at the Hidden Treasure Casino on Krawk Island, where Bilge Dice and Black Pawkeet Slots are our biggest games."

     Enpane: "Where were you at 12:30 P.M. on the 20th of Hunting?"

     Alexander: "The defense objects to this question. Leading the witness."

     Judge: "Overruled."

     Alexander: "(Just great...)"

     Judge: "Defendant, remember, you are under oath and intentionally lying in a court of law is a serious offense."

     Kraid: "*gulp* In truth, I was at the National Neopian Bank."

     The gallery began acting up again. Having the defendant at the scene of the crime was of course going to cast suspicion. Now I know why Enpane wanted to question him. Really hope I can recover from this.

     Kraid: "But you have to believe me! I had nothing to do with the bombing! I just happened to be there when it went off! I had to escape from it, too!"

     As he spoke, he slowly became less collected. He seemed like he was going to panic and faint sometime soon. I couldn't let that happen.

     Enpane: "So you say, Mr. Kraid. The prosecution has no further questions for the defendant."

     Charlie: "So that's why Enpane wanted to question Mr. Kraid."

     Alexander: "Yeah, to put him at the scene of the crime. This is already going splendidly."

     Charlie: "I have a feeling it is going to get worse before it gets better."

     Alexander: "(Great to know.)"

     Judge: "Very well. Defendant, please return to your seat. The prosecution may now call its first witness."

     Enpane: "Thank you, Your Honor. The prosecution wishes to call the detective in charge of the investigation to the stand."

     Some shuffling was heard in the gallery, most likely the witness coming down. Sure enough, the bailiff was seen escorting a scruffy-looking blue Lutari in a black overcoat towards the witness stand.

     Charlie: "Huh. Didn't know Lutaris could have a five o'clock shadow.".

     The judge banged his gavel again to silence any remaining noise within the courtroom.

     Enpane: "Witness, please state your name and occupation for the court record."

     Flatfoot: "My name is Rick Flatfoot, and I'm a detective working for the Defenders of Neopia."

     Judge: "What is your relation to the case, for the court record?"

     Flatfoot: "I was one of the first responders on the scene of the crime and am the detective in charge of the investigation."

     Judge: "Very well. Please begin with your testimony about the scene of the crime."

     Charlie: "Here we go, Alex. Time to put all that I've taught you into action. After the witness gives his testimony, it's your job to cross examine him."

     Alexander: "And it all falls on me..."

     Charlie: "It's YOUR client. Anyway, during the testimony, you will have to look for contradictions with the evidence. During the cross-examination, you have to point out those contradictions and provide the evidence it contradicts with."

     Alexander: "I think I can handle this now."

     Charlie: "Be warned though. If you present the wrong evidence or try to present when there is no contradiction, you will be penalized and it can seriously hurt your case."

     Alexander: "And just like that, I have lost all confidence."

     Charlie: "Don't worry. You learned from me. I'm sure you'll be able to take care of this."

     Witness Testimony: Scene of the crime

     Flatfoot:

     "The bomb was detonated at about 12:30 P.M.

     The damage to the interior and exterior of the building was quite extensive.

     After the explosion, the Defenders of Neopia mobilized to extinguish the flames.

     We got very lucky that nobody was hurt in the blast.

     It was only after the fire was extinguished that we realized something else had occurred during the blast."

     Enpane: "The report I submitted earlier contains some further details about the crime scene, Your Honor."

     Judge: "Hmm. I see. Mr. Starr, you may begin the cross examination."

     Alexander: "I- I couldn't find a single contradiction!"

     Charlie: "Cross examinations aren't just to find contradictions, Alex. They're also the time to squeeze the witness like a tube of toothpaste to get more information."

     Alexander: "How do I do that?"

     Charlie: "You press the witness for more information. Did you even pay attention when I tried to teach you this?"

     Alexander: "Uh, yeah! I think I remember this. (I am done for if I don't get anything good from this.)"

     Cross Examination: Scene of the crime

     Flatfoot:

     "The bomb was detonated at 12:30 P.M.

     The damage to the exterior and interior of the building was quite extensive."

     Alexander: "HOLD IT!"

     Alexander: "How bad was the damage?"

     Flatfoot: "Pretty bad. Most of the outer wall of the bank vault and the wall between the vault and the room where safety deposit boxes are was destroyed. Part of the ceiling collapsed. Fire and smoke raged for a good half an hour before it could be extinguished."

     Judge: "It must have been quite a powerful bomb to do that much damage."

     Flatfoot: "From some explosive residue, we found that the bomb was a new type of remotely detonated explosive from Virtupets Corp. It was actually a brand new type of bomb designed to clear rocks without causing any harm to organic life forms. You could be standing next to it at the moment of detonation and your fur wouldn't even be burnt off."

     Judge: "I see. Please continue."

     Flatfoot:

     "After the explosion, the Defenders of Neopia mobilized to extinguish the flames.

     We got very lucky that nobody was hurt in the blast.

     It was only after the fire was extinguished that we realized something else had occurred during the blast."

     Alexander: "HOLD IT!"

     Alexander: "What else happened during the blast?"

     Flatfoot: "The bank was robbed. We believe the one who set off the bomb is also the one who robbed the bank."

     There was a lot of chattering going on in the gallery at this time. I was so nervous thinking about how deep the trouble my client could be in that the sound of the judge's gavel almost scared the fur off of me.

     Judge: "So the bank was robbed during the explosion?"

     Enpane: "It would appear so, Your Honor. The prosecution wishes to have the witness testify about the robbery. It is very likely to be connected to the bombing."

     Judge: "Very well. Witness, please testify to the court about the robbing of the bank."

     Witness Testimony: Bank Robbery

     Flatfoot:

     "During the bombing, the bank vault was looted.

     The bankers are still trying to figure out exactly how much was taken.

     The outer wall of the vault and the wall between the vault and the safety deposit box room were all but annihilated in the explosion.

     The bomb was planted on the outer wall of the bank, creating a space the burglar could get through."

     Judge: "This sounds like a very dangerous plot to rob a bank."

     Flatfoot: "The bank is highly secure. Even at night, there are still a lot of guards looking to make sure no one attempts to rob the place."

     Judge: "Indeed. Mr. Starr, please begin the cross examination."

     Charlie: "Ready for this, Alex?"

     Alexander: "I think I know what to do now."

     Charlie: "Whenever I call a witness out on a contradiction, I point accusingly and with attitude. It helps intimidate them and make it easier to get the truth."

     Alexander: "But why would they lie under oath? That's perjury."

     Charlie: "Not everyone lies on purpose. Some may not realize they're doing it or they just remember things incorrectly. Either way, it's still your best bet to point out the contradiction, no matter how small."

     Alexander: "(I guess I could see that pose as intimidating. I'll have to give it a shot.)"

     Cross Examination: Bank Robbery

     Flatfoot:

     "During the bombing, the bank vault was looted.

     The bankers are still trying to figure out exactly how much was taken.

     The outer wall of the vault and the wall between the vault and the safety deposit box room were all but annihilated in the explosion.

     The bomb was planted on the outer wall of the bank, creating a space the burglar could get through."

     Alexander: "OBJECTION! (Huh. Pointing and shouting definitely works for this situation.)"

     Alexander: "Detective Flatfoot, in your testimony just now, you said that the bomb was planted on the outer wall of the bank."

     Enpane: "Thank you for restating what we just heard, Mr. Starr."

     Alexander: "(Just wait, Enpane. This could be my big break.) If the bomb was planted on the outer wall of the bank, then why would the report from the Defenders of Neopia say that residue from the bomb was found along the location where the wall between the Safety Deposit Boxes and the actual bank vault once stood?"

     Judge: "Oh, I see!""

     Alexander: "This is a clear-cut contradiction, Your Honor!

     Murmurs from the gallery started rising in volume. It made me feel that I had actually done something right. Even Prosecutor Enpane was beginning to sweat a bit.

     Charlie: "See, Alex? That's how you point out a contradiction."

     Enpane: "W-well, what does it matter?"

     Judge: "What do you mean by that?"

     Enpane: "The bank was still bombed and robbed during the effects of the explosion. Why does it matter where the bomb was set off?"

     Judge: "I see your point. Mr. Starr, what is your response?"

     Alexander: "(And just like that, my contradiction was lost.) Um, well..."

     Charlie: "This is quite an important piece of information, Your Honor. We now know that the criminal must have been inside of the Safety Deposit Box room at the time of the crime."

     Enpane: "You mean like the defendant?"

     The sound of the judge's gavel striking the bench stopped the two of them from continuing their argument.

     Judge: "Order in the court. We now know that the real criminal could have been anyone inside of the Safety Deposit Box room at 12:30 P.M. Detective Flatfoot, please tell the court who else was in the room at the time and why Mr. Kraid was arrested."

     Flatfoot: "Yes, Your Honor."

     Witness Testimony: In the room

     Flatfoot:

     "There were three people in the room at the time.

     A security guard for the bank, the defendant himself, and someone who claims to be a witness to the crime.

     We have three pieces of evidence suggesting that the one who committed the crime was the defendant."

     Alexander: "(Three pieces of evidence? Why didn't the prosecution say anything earlier?)"

     Charlie: "This could be very bad for us."

     Alexander: "Gee, you think?"

     Judge: "Well, that was... brief."

     Enpane: "Short, sweet, and to the point."

     Judge: "Detective Flatfoot, you mentioned three new pieces of evidence. Please submit those to the court now."

     Flatfoot: "Got it, Your Honor. The first piece of evidence is the frame for a pair of glasses, presumably the defendant's. The lenses must have been destroyed during the explosion. The second is a pair of dice from the Hidden Treasure Casino, which as you may recall, is where the defendant is employed. The third and final piece of evidence is a picture, but it isn't that reliable."

     Alexander: "What is this a picture of and where was it taken?"

     Flatfoot: "Easy there, Kyrii. It's a picture of what appears to be the defendant, but it's completely covered with smoke. In fact, all that could really be seen through the smoke is a large green figure. According to the timestamp from the security camera, it was taken at 12:31, right after the bomb was detonated."

     Judge: "The court accepts these three pieces of evidence. Mr. Starr."

     Alexander: "Yes, Your Honor?"

     Judge: "Things aren't looking well for you or your client. I hope you know what you're doing. Please begin the cross examination."

     Alexander: "(Great, now even the judge thinks I'm at a disadvantage. I've got to get some new information from this cross examination or it's all over.)"

     Cross Examination: In the room

     Flatfoot:

     "There were three people in the room at the time."

     Alexander: "HOLD IT!"

     Alexander: "Who were the other two people in the room?"

     Enpane: "OBJECTION! He was just getting to that. Please continue, Detective."

     Flatfoot:

     "A security guard for the bank, the defendant himself, and someone who claims to be a witness to the crime."

     Alexander: "HOLD IT!"

     Alexander: "What were the other two doing during the crime?"

     Flatfoot: "The security guard was getting out of the room to evacuate the more crowded area of the bank. The witness also ran out of the room, but says that he got a good look at the criminal before leaving."

     Enapane: "The prosecution plans on calling the witness after we are through with the detective's testimony, Your Honor."

     Judge: "Please proceed with the testimony, Detective."

     Flatfoot:

     "We have three pieces of evidence suggesting that the one who committed the crime was the defendant."

     Alexander: "HOLD IT!"

     Alexander: "Why did you wait until now to present the evidence to the court?"

     Flatfoot: "I was waiting until just the right moment, that being when it was time to explain why the defendant was arrested."

     The judge hit the bench with the gavel, silencing me before I could ask any further questions.

     Judge: "Even though some of the evidence looks decisive, there is still a feeling of doubt lingering in my mind. I feel the court requires further information before I can declare a verdict."

     Enpane: "Don't fret, Your Honor. The doubt will soon be dispelled from your mind. The prosecution has no further questions for the detective and would like to call its next witness."

     Judge: "The court will take a 10 minute recess, after which we will hear testimony from the prosecution's witness."

     The judge hit the bench one final time with the gavel. The sound echoed throughout the courtroom.

     Judge: "Court is now in recess."

To be continued...

 
Search the Neopian Times




Other Episodes


» Legal Legend: Turnabout Beginnings - Part One
» Legal Legend: Turnabout Beginnings - Part Three



Week 661 Related Links


Other Stories


---------

A Journey Home
Hasua sighed and plopped down on an old tree stump.

"C'mon, we're almost there," Cahlesie said, offering her hand to help Hasua up.

by arcanine346




Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.