This is a movie script of how everyday events get twisted and affect others in ways that were never intended. It takes place between a small town infected in unexpected ways by big city crime.
1. INT. - CHARLESTON CRIMINAL COURTROOM - DAY
Courtroom is filled with reporters and people waiting to hear evidence in a very high profile murder case. Angelina Vasquez, the Senator's housekeeper, is seated in the witness stand.
The prosecutor, standing in front of the witness stand, is questioning Ms. Vasquez.
The jury is listening tentatively. Jenna, the accused, is sitting nervously at the table with her defense lawyer, Lisa Black. The Judge is at her podium in front of the courtroom.
Ms. Vasquez, were you working at the
Senator’s home on the day of the murder?
Please tell the court what you saw that day.
I saw Mrs.Tadwell lounging by the pool.
Was anyone else with Mrs.Tadwell?
Yes, the Senator’s Assistant, Miss Jenna
(She points at Jenna)
The Prosecutor turns towards the defendant's table with a cold, icy stare aimed at the accused, Jenna.
Let the record show that Ms. Vasquez
has pointed to the defendant.
Jenna jumps from her chair, yelling
She’s lying! I was never there.
Judge pounds the table with the gavel and the courtroom erupts.
Ms. Black instruct your client
to be seated and to remain quiet.
Ms. Black grabs Jenna’s arm and whispers
Jenna, sit down, please.
Jenna leans over the table and yells
Angelina, tell them the truth. I’m innocent!
Jenna’s lawyer attempts to get Jenna to sit down in her chair.
Ms. Black, unless you can control your client,
I will have her removed from the courtroom.
This court will take a 15 minute break so you can speak with her.
Judge pounds the gavel on the table. Jenna collapses into the chair and buries her face in her hands. Lawyer leans toward Jenna, trying to console her. A confident Prosecutor glances at jury and then returns to her table.
2. EXT: COURTHOUSE STEPS - DAY
Ex-Senator Jack Tadwell stands on the steps, addressing the reporters. His bodyguards stand on each side of him
Reporters wave microphones and yell questions.
The Senator raises his hand for silence.
The last 9 months have been extremely difficult for my family and me.
(pauses as if choked up)
As you all know, with the horrific events surrounding
the death of my wife and the loss of my father,
(pauses for effect)
I made a conscious decision to step down from
my Congressional post to become the CEO of my family’s business.
I have total confidence in Charleston’s Law Enforcement to find justice for us.
Then, you agree with the Prosecutor, that your former
assistant is responsible for your wife’s death?
Jenna was a trusted employee and
never showed any signs of violence
to me or the staff.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason,
the evidence overwhelmingly indicates
she was responsible. I trust in our legal
system to find justice for my deceased wife
and if that means Jenna Piper is guilty, so be it.
Senator raises his hand again
I have no further comment today. It’s in the hands
of the court and the jurors now.
Senator and bodyguards briskly walk towards the car waiting at the curb. Reporters chase after him, continually yelling questions.
3. INT: CHARLESTON CRIMINAL COURTROOM - DAY
Judge is seated at the courtroom podium. Jury files in from outer room and takes a seat. Jenna and her attorney stand at the table. The Foreman stands.
Has the jury reached a decision?
Yes, we have, Your Honor
How do you find On the Charge of Murder in the Second Degree?
We find the defendant guilty
Pandemonium breaks out in the courtroom.
The Judge pounds the gavel.
Jenna screams and collapses to the floor.
4 INT: CHARLESTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY FOR WOMEN - DAY
Jenna enters her cell clutching her few belongings.
Maggie Sanchez, her new cellmate, is sprawled across the lower bunk. Maggie runs her fingers across the scar on her arm as her eyes evaluate Jenna.
Hey, Chickee, welcome to your new home.
Frozen in fear, Jenna shifts her eyes toward Maggie
Maggie lifts herself off the bunk
Jenna’s 5ft frame shrinks as Maggie towers over her.
Maggie’s arm moves as if to strike
Jenna squeezes her eyes closed
I’m Maria Sanchez.
Relax, Chickee, I’m not going to hurt you.
Her hand is extended toward Jenna.
Jenna bites her lip, then swallows hard before extending her hand to shake hands
You can talk, right? You got a name?
Maggie laughs at Jenna’s fear.
Jenna starts to collapse but Maggie grabs her and sits her on the bunk.
Breathe girl; sure tell you’re a first timer.
Maggie gets a paper cup of water and hands it to Jenna, who stares at it.
I’m not trying to poison you. It’s water.
Jenna takes the cup,sips the water and raises her eyes.
She laughs at Jenna.
Now, let’s try again. I’m Marie Margaret Sanchez, better known as Maggie and you are?
Jenna…..Jenna Suzanne Piper
Where are you from?
Montgomery...I lived with my parents on the farm
till I went to work for the Senator.
Guess that didn’t turn out too well for you.
Big city life can do that if you aren’t careful.
I didn’t do what they say I did.
Yeah, hear that a lot around this place.
No, I really didn’t do it. My boss promised he’d get it straightened out.
Your boss? The Senator?
Yes, Senator Jack Tadwell. He knows
I didn’t murder his wife. He promised to clear my name.
Honey, that man’s already forgotten about you.
Don’t you read the papers? He retired.
He’s CEO of his daddy’s company now
and already married to some high style model.
That can’t be true!
I’m innocent and he knows it.
Then why did you end up in this hell hole?
Didn’t his housekeeper testify against you?
There’s no knight on a white horse coming
to rescue you.
Jenna buries her head in the pillow, muttering
But I’m innocent. I didn’t do it!