Monday, April 09, 2007

How Court Went didn't. At least not for my case today. I arrived around 8:30, went through the metal detector without incident and proceeded toward the courtroom doors. The assistant DA in this case whose brilliant witness examination skills can be read here walked in front of me, looked up and immediately hung his head and walked faster. I almost cackled out loud. Damon Lewis has never failed to smile at me and speak to me in court or in any other venue where we happened to cross paths. His lack of salutation and the way he hung his head and grew jet engines on his heels tells me he is most unhappy that I refused his umpteenth bullshit plea deal and am going to make him defend his illegal actions before a jury. I could almost see "Fuck she's here" in a balloon above his head.

A brief word about the 'courthouse'. The courthouse recently moved from an old, dilapidated building built in the 1800's in the town square to a new, more modern facility a few blocks away. This new facility is an old Russell Manufacturing building which was donated by Russell when they moved their HQ to Atlanta. Alexander City was built by Russell Mills, who, up until their move and major downsizing, employed probably 80% of the working people in Alexander City. Now that Russell is gone many of it's former employees are unemployed. When poverty comes to town we all know crime rises. How very telling it is that Russell would donate a building for a Court House which will now prosecute many of the people out of work because of Russell's move. That says a great deal about our society to me.

When I made it to the courtroom doors they were guarded by some suit who asked me if I was a juror. I told him no that I am a defendant. He said, "Go down the hall and through those glass doors to the D.A.'s office." I looked at him for a minute and told him again that I am a defendant and that the state is prosecuting me. I'm thinking in my head, "If I were to walk into Damon's office after the non-exchange in the hall he might scream." He still insisted that I go to the DA's office. So, I said, "The DA is PROSECUTING a case against me and I think it is probably a really bad idea for me to go busting into his office. Where am I supposed to wait." Well that finally got through to him and he sent me to the small courtroom where all of the other brave folks who have demanded jury trials were waiting. I hope he didn't send any murder defendants into the DA's office where the victims family's were waiting. That would be like Daniel walking into the Lion's Den. These people really need to get their shit together before someone gets hurt.

There were about 30 of us misfits sitting in the Small Courtroom. It was an absolute scream. I could not believe they would leave all of us 'criminals' unsupervised and in each others company. I think today was the first time I have ever seen more white defendants than black defendants.

One of the people in the room was a witness for a defendant. He was an old feller, a big old feller, with a SHAW'S GUNSTOCKS cap on. And he is one of the funniest people I have ever come across. This guy was like a local Jerry Clower and he picked on everyone who came through the door. At one point some man who looked like he might have been carved out of wood and was obviously an employee of the DA's office poked his head in and asked for someone. As soon as his head was out the door, but with the door still very much open and him within earshot PaPaw let fly with "Hell, he had all the personality of a damn door knob didn't he?" The whole room cracked up. A few times when people were called out PaPaw would holler, "If they try to get you on a horse don't do it!" PaPaw said he didn't get to eat before leaving the house this morning and asked was anybody game for a biscuit run. This guy should consider cutting an album. He lightened the tension in the atmosphere so much. He was incredible.

A few minutes later a group of black people walked in. There were three or four black guys sitting behind me already. One of the new arrivals had a long Gerry curl all combed out, sporting about 10 gold teeth and was covered in gold rings and necklaces. One of the brother's behind me hollered out, "Damn! Dare go James Brown" and everybody lost it again....even the James Brown look-a-like. I can't imagine what the 'authorities' in the hallway must have been thinking about all the noise we were making. I know we didn't sound a bit scared or cowed because we were in court.

All in all we were all stuck in that little room for about three hours before someone came and told us we could leave but to be back on Thursday at 9 a.m.
So, unless the DA's office suddenly decides that they really don't want to take this case to trial I will be back in court yet again on Thursday at 9 a.m.

I have not spoken with my attorney today. I left him a message after I left the court house. I'll update this post if there is anything to update after I talk with him later today.


Don said...

This sounds like some sort of a comedic opera but I know it isn't funny to you.

Loretta Nall said...

Actually, I do find much of this entire situation hilarious. The court provides a never ending source of writing material for me and a place to recruit other disgruntled citizens who are willing to be active in helping me change the system. Hell, it's a little like Brer Rabbit asking not to be thrown in the brian patch to tell the truth.

Loretta Nall said...

'brain' was supposed to be briar

Anonymous said...

Same Shit different State. Here in Oklahoma I once followed a case that we appeared 64 times for an older man who was being prosecuted. They would either forget to bring him over from the jail. The lawyer would not be able to make it or the Judge being pregnant at the time, would have to take off unexpectedly. This man was in his 70's and before he ever made it to court he went crazy from the lack of decent diet and bad medical care. oh and of course being locked up in a concrete cell for 4 years awaiting trial!

Eric said...

Loretta, I'm the guy who interviewed you twice on the radio in NC. I've not been in contact, but have been following your case intently. I wish you well. I'm still out here, and I continue to respect you greatly, especially for asking for the jury trial to which you are entitled.