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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 16, 2020      Views: 18
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Chapter 14 of the book Pewter's Homecoming
Sheriff Darden makes an arrest.
"Chapter 5 - After Homecoming" by teols2016
Five years later, a closed homicide gets a second look.

Previously in "Pewter's Homecoming":

Marcy Sellers starts her junior year as a new student at Pewter Public High School in western Texas. She meets Lily Harvey, who shows her around. A few weeks later, both girls are attacked. The police quickly arrest a suspect, but, five years later, Roland Davis, a lawyer from Dallas, is given a chance to review the case.

Five Years Ago:

Sheriff Darden came out of his office with a handcuffed Andrew Mooruff. The small, skinny man was crying.

"If you cannot afford an attorney, one can be provided to you at no charge," the sheriff was reciting. "Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?"

"Ye ... Yes, Sir," Andrew stammered between sobs.

"Take him to a holding cell," Sheriff Darden told some deputies standing nearby. "We'll drive him over to the county jail in the morning."

As two deputies escorted Andrew off through another door, Sheriff Darden moved over to where Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant Joseph Hillstrand and Probationary Trooper David Tokeman were seated by some desks.

"He confess?" Sergeant Hillstrand asked.

Sheriff Darden shook his head.

"He just began blubbering when I told him the bloody fingerprint matched his left ring finger," he lamented. "I decided to just arrest him. He's not gonna be coherent anymore and any half-baked lawyer will tell him to shut up from here on out."

"Maybe it's for the best," Sergeant Hillstrand offered. "You wanna already start hearing about the sick things he did to those girls?"

"I suppose not," the sheriff conceded. "I'll already have nightmares about this case. What are you guys still doing here anyway?"

"We got all the evidence your deputies collected and packed it up in the van," Sergeant Hillstrand explained. "We're just waiting for the hospital to call us. They collected some samples before that girl went into surgery and they said we could try to collect some more when they're done. Doubt there will be anything left given how they wash people down over there, but we gotta try."

He stared at Sheriff Darden.

"They don't all confess," he said. "You know that."

"Yeah," Sheriff Darden agreed. "I suppose it's a bit easier when they take some sort of responsibility."

"For me, a sicko's a sicko. The important thing is you've got plenty on him already. After a jury hears about what he did, coupled with that fingerprint and the DNA that'll surely point to him, they'll be voting and arguing over who gets to push down the needle's plunger."

Sheriff Darden chuckled.

"You know what he asked me for right before I brought him out?" he said. "He wanted to call his mother."

"Maybe that's the sickest part of this," Sergeant Hillstrand mused. "What kind of man wants to involve his family in what he's done?"

"Hmm," Sheriff Darden grumbled. He looked over at Trooper Tokeman.

"What do you think about all this, kid?" he asked.

The young man jumped, seeming surprised to be included in the conversation. He didn't say anything.

"Hey," Sergeant Hillstrand said, sounding like a parent scolding a child. "This man asked you a question. You answer him honestly. He's had a hard enough day and doesn't need any disrespect from you. Got me?"

Trooper Tokeman nodded and looked at Sheriff Darden.

"I guess I'm thinking about those girls' parents and how they feel about this," he said. "I can't imagine what they're going through."

Sheriff Darden gave him an approving nod.

"They'll be many more parents like that," Sergeant Hillstrand said. "That's who we fight for as we take on each of these monsters. They need to know someone's on their side. God knows the justice system isn't. What with the fancy lawyers, endless appeals, and all this talk about 'cruel and unusual' punishment. What about those girls? Isn't what happened to them 'cruel and unusual'?"

Trooper Tokeman nodded. Sheriff Darden began to think the kid had potential.

The book continues with Chapter 5 - Present. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
These chapters are, for the most part, divided into 3 sections: "Before Homecoming", "After Homecoming", and "Present". There will be a couple exceptions to this structure in the last few chapters.

Pewter is a fictional town in fictional and rural Alter County in western Texas.

Cast of characters:

Marcy Sellers: a new student at Pewter Public High School,, starting her junior year. Was raped and left comatose in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Lillian "Lily" Harvey: a junior at Pewter Public High and a cheerleader. Was raped and murdered in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Andrew Mooruff: custodian at Pewter Public High. Convicted and sentenced to death for the locker room attack. Awaiting execution on Texas's Death Row.

Keith Darden: sheriff of Alter County. Personally investigated the locker room attack.

Sergeant Joseph Hillstrand: member of the Texas Highway Patrol. Assisted Alter County authorities investigate the locker room attack.

Probationary Trooper David Tokeman: rookie member of the Texas Highway Patrol and partner of Sergeant Hillstrand. Assisted Alter County authorities investigate the locker room attack.

Feedback, specifically suggestions for additions/subtractions/alterations, is always welcome. Enjoy.
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