NOT GUILTY: 21
She washed her face with cold water in the bathroom. She didn’t want to be part of her schemes. She had done enough damage by betraying her only friend that loved her. Janet kept pacing up and down. She didn’t want to be up at the stand. She wasn’t ready to tell lies. Rita had made her practice countless times what she needed to say to the judge. They were all lies. Kate was never obsessed with her brother, Jason.
The two were in love and it so happen that Jason fell madly in love. She sighed deeply opening the door and found Rita waiting for her. It was early in the morning and one hour left to the trial to proceed.
‘I thought you were never going to get out,’ she smirked, ‘you not thinking about changing your mind, right?’
Janet just nodded. She was scared of Rita and didn’t want to betray her friend at the same time. They walked hand in hand as if they had been good friends, pretense is something that Rita knew and she was good at it;
‘Remember what I told you Auntie Janet.’
Janet faked a smile and they both walked inside.
‘What if I freak out on the stand?’ said Kate who was supposed to be on the stand today.
‘Honey, you know the truth and that is, you didn’t kill that man. Just tell the judge exactly what happened. Rita found you in bed with Jason…’
‘I feel guilty for sleeping with him,’ she cut him short.
He held her hand.
‘We all make mistakes and you didn’t know that he was married. Jasmine is not regret but your light out of the tunnel. So you should do this for her, be brave enough and let them all know that you are a victim in this case.’
‘I am lucky to have you in my life.’
‘And so I am.’
The two hugged.
BACK IN THE COURT
CRAIG: Mildred is going to start with you. Remember to remain calm.
BAILIFF: All rise. Court is now in session Honorable John White presiding. Please be seated and come to order.
JUDGE: Can we have the defendant to the stand.
N: Kate got up and walked at the stand. There was a bible placed in front of her, the Bailiff soon went over to her.
BAILIFF: Please raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
KATE: I do
N: Greens rose from her position and stood up straight, saying.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: You looking beautiful Miss Katty for someone who was in prison. You are glowing.
N: She smiled at her but Kate maintained her seriousness.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Is it true that before Jason was killed, you were with him?
KATE: Y—yes I was.
N: She said in a quiet voice, barely anyone could hear her. The crowd leaned in, scotching to the edge of their seats.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: And is it true.
N: Greens continued
ATTORNEY MILDRED: That you were the only one in the house with him?
N: She lowered her head and nodded.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: I am sorry, but can you speak up, please..
KATE: its true but…
N: The room started to buzz with whispers.
JUDGE: Order in my court!
N: The judge demanded.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: Are you mentally ill? Are you sure you didn’t kill Jason since you were so obsessed with him? Why were your fingerprints found on the murder weapon? Maybe he broke up with you. You got angry and decided to kill him.
N: Kate defended.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: You just like one of those girls who are after money. You destroyed someone’s marriage and killed him. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Those kids are now orphans all because of you. Don’t you have some decency?
N: All this while, Kate was quiet and shedding tears until her lawyer intervened.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Objection.
N: The lawyer proclaimed.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: What relevance does this really have to the case?
N: The judge said.
JUDGE: Miss Mildred, are you badgering the woman in order to confuse her?
N: Mildred blinked her eyes innocently.
ATTORNEY MILDRED: No, your honor. I would never.
JUDGE: Then carry on.
N: And so she did. Her beauty even had the highest judge in the country melting in her. Pathetic, I say pathetic. Kate quickly wiped away her tears. She had shown her weakness and this didn’t sit well with her. When Mildred had no further questions to ask, the Judge gave them 30 minutes for refresh, for Kate to find her strength. After the Mildred attack, she just wanted to be with her daughter before being put on stand again..
‘hey.’ Miguel said walking inside the room where Kate was holding her daughter.
‘Hey,’ she responded with a faint voice.
‘I heard you didn’t want to see anyone.’
She didn’t answer.
‘Don’t let her get to you that deeply.’
‘She was right; I am a slut and destroyed someone’s marriage.’
‘Those children don’t have a father all because of me. If Rita didn’t see me on that bed with her husband, none of this wouldn’t have happened.’
‘Listen to me sweetheart, you didn’t know that man was married and if you did, I know that you would have left him. Right now you need to be strong, you can’t let Rita win. Did you see her pretense the other day?
I almost believed her and you need to do the same but the only difference is that you need to tell the truth. Nothing bad will happen to your family when that woman is behind bars. Go out there and let them know what really happened that night. You didn’t kill Jason but it was Rita who did.’
Kate thanked Miguel for being there for her, that was all what she needed, encouragement. She stepped out of the room feeling very different. Rita made her life miserable. Her weakness was her victory and saw now it was time to turn the tables. Court was now in session when Kate went back to the stand. The judge even asked if she was feeling alright and she was ready for her lawyer’s questions. She was ready to fight the devil.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Miss Kate in brief, can you tell us about your relationship with the deceased?
N: Kate cleared her throat and began.
KATE: I met Jason when I had gone out with my…
N: She paused and looked at Janet who obviously was feeling bad of betraying her friend.
KATE: With my ex best friend Janet who was Jason’s young sister. We had gone out for lunch when she introduced me to her brother. She said that she was single and so was I. At first Jason wasn’t interested in me but one day as I was waiting for a taxi to take me home just after my afternoon lecturers. I wasn’t feeling well that day and I remember Jason taking me to the hospital first before driving me home.
My grandmother, who is now dead, thanked him for bringing me home safe and so did I the following day when he had visited Janet. He asked me out for dinner few days later and I agreed. I mean I was single and hadn’t been dating anyone. There was just something different about Jason, he was different from the men that we had at the varsity. He was mature and had dreams. He was already a successful entrepreneur and that drove me closer to him.
He had become my inspiration and motivated me a lot to just be an independent woman. We started dating; little did I know that he was married.
N: All this while Kate was confidence with that she was saying. She wasn’t scared at all and just wanted to let out the truth.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Did you ever fight with him? Did he show you any signs that he might have been married, anything?
KATE: If he wasn’t busy at work, he was with me and so I just thought I was the only woman for him. But now I remember asking him to take me to his house and he refused, I just thought he was a mama’s boy. He didn’t want me to know that he was staying with his mother. I never asked him about it and just let it flow about fighting, only petty issues. We rarely fought, he was the most understanding person that I had ever met and too quick to apologize even though I was at fault, the mature side of him that I loved. N: Rita could agree with it but she was still her enemy.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Can you tell us what happened the night Jason died.
KATE: I was at the apartment that he had bought for me. My grandmother knew about it, she wasn’t okay with the idea that I stay alone since my young sister needed me to be by her side and so I decided to meet Jason occasionally. We were celebrating that day for his achievements.
He had bought flowers instead of I buying him something. We started making out at the couch just after few sips of champagne. We took things to the bedroom and the next things Rita badges in the room holding a knife. I heard Jason saying it’s not what it looks like. I was confused and mad at the same time when I found out that Rita was his wife. Jason told Rita that he was in love with me, something that he wasn’t supposed to say. Rita got mad and came closer to Jason. She stabbed him once; I didn’t know what do but just stood there dumbfounded.
RITA: You bitch you are lying. You killed him. Attorney Mildred do something, she is lying.
KATE: She stabbed him again and again and again. I told her to stop but she didn’t. She was enjoying every minute; I got down on my knees when she stopped. Yes, I was mad at him but I wanted to save him.
The next thing I heard was sudden pain on my head, Rita hit me with something. She made me hold the knife and when I woke up I was still holding it. The reason why my fingerprints were on that knife was because I had used the knife several times and Rita was wearing gloves.
Therefore your Honor,
N: Rita looked at the Judge.
KATE: It wasn’t me who killed Jason but his wife. I only pleaded guilty because she had visited me while in police custody. She threatened to hurt my little sister if I didn’t plead guilty but she went ahead and killed my grandmother. I am not a killer and would have never hurt Jason. I loved that man very much and gave him my virginity.
To be honest if I knew that he was married, I wouldn’t have dated him. I would have broken up with him but I had no idea that I was sleeping with a married man. Rita I am sorry that I made you do what you did. You killed your husband and it’s time to tell the truth.
RITA: Bitch you are the one who killed him.
JANET: Enough Rita! I am sick and tired of these lies.
N: Shouted Janet who had been listening and finally wanted to confess.
JANET: Your honor I know that it’s not my turn to speak but my friend is innocent. The person who killed my brother is his wife.
RITA: You bitch! Shut up!
JANET: I am not going to shut up. I am tired of being threatened by you. You were never good enough for my brother. You are mentally ill Rita. You are sick.
N: There was noise as some of the people were shocked and some we happy that the truth had finally been revealed
JANET: She killed my brother and also threatened to hurt me if I didn’t tell the police that Kate was obsessed with my brother. Kate,
I am so sorry, you didn’t deserve what happened to you. I am sorry for betraying you my friend. I am sorry I should have told the truth from the first. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me and maybe one day we will be best friends again.
ATTORNEY CRAIG: Your Honor, here we have got the original will and CCTV camera that shows Rita threatening to hurt his husband’s lawyer if he didn’t change the will.
N: The Bailiff took the tape and played for everyone to hear it. It was a conversation between Harris and Rita where she was threatening to hurt his family if he didn’t change the will.
RITA: No, this can’t be. I should have killed you too Harris and you Kate. I should have killed all of you.
JUDGE: Detective can you take her away. Tomorrow we will hear the closing statements.
BAILIFF: All rise.