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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 18, 2020      Views: 17
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Chapter 17 of the book Pewter's Homecoming
Andrew meets his lawyer.
"Chapter 6 - 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.

Three Years Ago:

Andrew Mooruff watched as the man in the brown suit came into the room, one of the jail's officers behind him.

"Take your time," the officer was saying. "He ain't going anywhere."

The man only nodded. Andrew watched him sit down as the officer closed and locked the door.

"I'm Clyde Baxter," the man said. "I've been assigned as your public defender. You understand me?"

"Yes, Sir," Andrew said. He was glad for the company. He'd been sitting in the jail for over a year and only his mama had come to see him. He was hoping Ruby would come, but she had not yet come. He was in a cell by himself. He could hear the other men. He sometimes saw them when he was taken out of his cell. But, the guards weren't letting the other men get close to him. They always stood in the way.

"Okay," Clyde Baxter said, taking out a notepad and pencil. "The trial starts next week. Jury selection will probably take two or three days. Then, the D.A. and I will each give opening statements. The prosecution will present their case and I'll cross-examine their witnesses as needed. Then, I'll present my case. I'm not sure who we can call except Dr. McVey. You remember him?"

"Yes, Sir," Andrew replied. He hadn't seen the doctor in a while, but they had talked a few times.

"Good," Clyde Baxter said. "Do you have any questions about anything I went over?"

Andrew considered his answer. This man spoke fast and said a lot. It was all very confusing. But he didn't want to ask him to repeat it all and explain more. Still, he had one question.

"Will I get to say something to the judge?" he asked.

"You mean the jury," Clyde Baxter corrected. "I'm not sure that's a good idea. They've got DNA and fingerprint evidence against you. If you take the stand, the prosecutor will be allowed to cross-examine you and that will not go well. I don't think it's a good idea."

Andrew was confused again by all this, so he just nodded.

"As you know," Clyde Baxter continued, "the prosecution is asking for the death penalty. If you'd be willing to plead guilty, I might still be able to get you life without parole. Believe me, people sentenced to death do get executed in this state."

Andrew knew he had a question.

"What would I do?" he asked.

"Plead guilty," Clyde Baxter replied. "Tell everyone what you did and go to prison for the rest of your life."

This time, Andrew understood enough. He shook his head.

"I did not hurt those girls," he said.

Clyde Baxter sighed.

"All right," he said, closing his note pad and putting it away. "I did manage to get the judge to bring in a jury from another jurisdiction. That was the compromise we all reached when I filed for a change of venue. The jury's coming from Sierra County, which is about two hours away and has a population of just over eleven thousand, much more than here. It's less than ideal, but we'll need to deal with it."

Once again confused, Andrew nodded.

"Okay," Clyde Baxter said, getting up from his seat and heading to the door. "I'll see you in court next week."

He pressed the buzzer to summon an officer and was soon gone. Another two officers then came to take Andrew back to his cell. He hoped he could make sense of everything there. Maybe Jose, his neighbor, could help him, if he wanted to help him.

The book continues with Chapter 6 - 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. The "After Homecoming" section also has the largest time shift throughout the chapters, as indicated.

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.

Clyde Baxter: public defender assigned to represent Andrew at his murder trial.

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