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 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 24, 2020      Views: 16
Chapters:
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Chapter 29 of the book Pewter's Homecoming
Andrew faces his jury.
"Chapter 10 - After Homecoming" by teols2016
Background
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:

The judge finished speaking with each of the jurors by Friday evening before instructing the entire panel to return at 9:00 the next morning to continue deliberations on the charges they had yet to agree on.

The next morning Andrew Mooruff was left in the county jail, half a mile from the courthouse. Clyde Baxter came to see him briefly and his mother sat with him for a while under the watchful eye of a guard. No one could offer any comfort as Andrew began wondering if he would ever leave this place. He tried to talk to Jose next door, but the man wasn't there anymore. Andrew asked the guards about his friend but got no answers.

Around 11:00, two guards arrived and took Andrew out of his cell.

"Time to go to court," one of them announced. "Judge's orders. Seems the jurors sorted out their issues, so you'll be moving soon."

"Where ..." Andrew wondered as they cuffed him and marched him down the row of cells, the men inside jeering at him. He never got an answer.

* * *

The courtroom was packed again when Andrew was brought in. His family and friends, led by his mother, were in their usual seats behind the table where he and Clyde Baxter sat. Across from them, the families of the girls sat behind Quince Martin. Many were glaring at Andrew again.

"Has the jury reached a verdict?" the judge asked once he and the jurors were seated.

The foreman rose, several sheets of paper in his hand.

"We have, Your Honor," he reported.

Having a court officer retrieve the papers from the foreman, the judge examined each sheet for half a minute before returning them, all without a word. Everyone in the courtroom watched and waited.

"Please read the verdict," the judge instructed.

"On the charge of rape in the first degree," the foreman read, "we, the jury, find the defendant, Andrew Mooruff, guilty as charged."

There was some murmuring, but it quickly died down as he moved to the next sheet.

"On the charge of rape in the first degree," the foreman read, "we, the jury, find the defendant, Andrew Mooruff, guilty as charged."

Someone clapped. Andrew was found guilty of raping both girls. Then came the next sheet.

"On the charge of attempted murder in the first degree," the foreman read, "we, the jury, find the defendant, Andrew Mooruff, guilty as charged."

"Thank God," someone said and other people agreed.

"Order," the judge admonished with a single bang of his gavel.

The courtroom quickly assumed a hushed silence again. The most important charge was still coming.

"On the charge of capital murder," the foreman read from the final sheet, "we, the jury, find the defendant, Andrew Mooruff, guilty as charged."

Cheers erupted throughout the courtroom. People cried and hugged one another. Some shouted congratulations and thanks towards Quince Martin. Behind him, Andrew's mother and her band of supporters wept.

"Order," the judge said, banging his gavel. "Order. I will clear the courtroom if I do not have order."

The combined jubilation and sorrow died down, though much slower than before. The judge turned to the jury.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said. "I thank you for your service thus far. As you know, your duties are not yet complete. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty as allowed under the law for the conviction of capital murder. We will reconvene at 9:00 on Monday to begin the penalty phase. Dismissed."

He banged his gavel again.

"What does that mean?" Andrew asked, grabbing Clyde Baxter's arm as the attorney moved to rise from his chair. "What does all that mean?"

Pulling his arm free, Clyde Baxter regarded his client for a long moment.

"It means you'd better do some serious praying over the remainder of the weekend," he said. "On Monday, the prosecution will unleash the families of those girls on these jurors. There won't be a dry eye on the witness stand or in the jury box.

"What does that mean?" Andrew pleaded as a court officer came to get him. "What's gonna happen to me now?"

"That means you'll soon have to start thinking about what you wanna say before they inject you," Clyde Baxter said, rising to his feet. "I'm sorry."

Andrew still didn't know what that meant as he watched his lawyer walk away.

The book continues with Chapter 10 - 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,.

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 capital murder trial.

Quince Martin: Alter County District Attorney who prosicuted Andrew for capital murder.

Jose Ortis: occupied the neighboring cell from Andrew at the Alter County Jail. Testified for the prosicution at Andrew's trial.

Sophia Harvey: Lily's mother.

Jordan Harvey: Lily's father.

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