Leigh Anne - Chapter 15
By Barbara Lynn Terry
Part 1 - At the hospital.
As the ambulance attendants wheeled the wounded suspect in to the Emergency Department of County General hospital, officer Tony Springer was asking the man questions.
“Sir, we need your name and address, as well as your date of birth. We need this information so that we can contact your family, and let them know what is going on.”
“Screw you. I don’t have to answer any of your questions without an attorney. I suggest you let me make my phone call.”
“Sir, the least you can do is tell us your name.”
“Go to Hell.”
“Dave, see if the other officer has arrived, yet.” Tony’s partner looked out in to the hallway.
“Yes, Tony, he is coming down the hall right now.”
“Good. Have him come in here, when he gets by the room.”
Dave motioned the officer in to the room.
“Oh, it’s you, Don. Good. This man refuses to identify himself, and he is under arrest for attempted arson. The CSI guys were at the scene of the crime, gathering the evidence. If this man has ever been arrested or applied for a job requiring fingerprints, we will know who he is. In the meantime, will you sit either in the room, or just outside the room, please?
“Do not leave him alone for even a second. If you have to use the restroom, use the one here in the room. If you want coffee, have the nurse or aide bring you some, don’t go and get it yourself. This man tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at Hampton Senior High School about twenty minutes ago. We saw him as we were patrolling. He claimed he was lighting a torch so he could see in the dark. So, until the doctor says he can leave, he has to be guarded because he is in custody at the moment.”
“Okay, Tony. I will stay with him in his room. Maybe, I can get him to give us his name.”
Don McLean Adams, is a twelve year veteran of the Comity police department. His specialty was to get information from a suspect, when other officers failed. Don did this by diverting the suspect’s attention to other things.
“Dave, would you get me a cup of coffee, please?” Don asked.
“Be glad to, Don.”
Don gave Dave two dollars and Dave went to get the coffee. Don drank his coffee black. He said when they could grow a coffee bean with the cream and sugar already in it, then that is how he would drink his coffee. But, in the meantime, he drank it black. Dave returned with the coffee in short order, and gave Don back his two dollars.
“I got this from the nurses break room. I figured this is better than what you can get from a coffee machine or the cafeteria.”
Don took a sip, and said it was perfect.
“Remember, Don, the nurse will get you want you want. If they aren’t busy, they might even go out to get you lunch. There is an all night café just two blocks from the hospital, called John Boy’s.
“Now, to get back to you, sir. I am going to be here until the cows come home. What is your name?”
The man turned his head away from Tony as a sign that he refused to answer.
“Sir, in case something happens to you, we need your name and address. This way we can notify your next of kin.”
“You had better make damn sure, ossifler, that nothing, and I do mean nothing, happens to me. My daughter’s school is filled with students and alumni as well as current staff that does not like to be cheated on. You fascists cheated by having that faggot play as a girl.”
“I’m sure that I have no idea to whom you are referring by ‘that faggot’. Everybody on the Hampton Senior High School tennis squad is a female. I absolutely abhor anyone who thinks they can take the law in to their own hands. Now, you tell me the name of the person you are referring to, and I will investigate. But, make no mistake, mister, whatever your name is, I happen to know that all the girls on ther other team’s tennis squad are females.”
“Then you had better look under all their tennis clothes. One of them has a cock bigger than Cock Robin.”
“You can’t be an alumni of any high school, much less Gaynor. Unless they pass people from grade to grade, just to get rid of them.”
“Why do you say that, fascist pig?”
“Because,” answered Tony. “Cock Robin is a poem that was considered a children’s nursery rhyme. It is also a model for murder mysteries. So, comparing a male genital to Cock Robin, is absolutely horrid. Now, please tell us your name.”
“Go to Hell.”
“Well, Mr. Go To Hell, I am officer Tony Springer of the Comity police department. You have been placed under arrest for attempted arson, by means of a flammable substance, i.e., a Molotov cocktail. You have been given your Miranda rights to remain silent, which you have refused to do. Now, we get to ask you questions. You don’t have to answer them, but, we get to ask them. Is there anything you wish to say at this time, other than calling us names?”
“Fuck you, pig.”
“P.I.G., is an acronym that stands for pride, integrity, guts. So, if that is what you want to call us, fine,” Dave Richards told the man. “Tony, we’re not going to get anywhere with this creep. Let’s just let the doctor and nurses know that Don will be in here, and will press the button if he or Mr. Go To Hell needs something. Don, we’re going to go. That leg wound looked like a clean through and through. When the doctor gives him a clean bill of health and discharges him, let us know and we will meet you at the jail.”
“Okay, Dave. I am sure that Mr. Go To Hell and I will get along just famously. Won’t we Mr. Go To Hell?”
The man closed his eyes, and Tony and Dave left to resume patrol. Don took a magazine from the rack, and began reading. After a few hours, Don feigned sleep, and the man got out of bed, got dressed and tried to leave the room. Don had him by the collar before he could even open the door.
“Going somewhere, Mr. Go To Hell?”
“I’m getting outta here.”
“So soon? Why, you just got here, Mr. …”
“My name is Roger Simmons. I need to call my wife so she can call our attorney.”
“Mr. Simmons, giving us your address and date of birth, is not incriminating. It can’t be used against you. We just need to know, so that we can contact your family and let them know where you are. Your name, date of birth and address is just contact information. We don’t want your family to worry unnecessarily.”
Alright, then. My address is 1735 Chisholm Street, and my date of birth is January 23rd, 1982. I’m 34 years old.”
“Now, see, that wasn’t so bad. But, I have something you should know. If you thought the writers of Law and Order: Special Vicitms Unit was tough on a suspect, you haven’t seen Tony and Dave in action. When they get you to the jail, you are in for one hellacious ride on the zoo train to Hell.
“Now, what did you hope to accomplish with the Molotov cocktail? You couldn’t burn down the entire school.”
“Maybe not, but I could cause a lot of confusion, then shoot that faggot as it came out of the doors.”
“Mr. Simmons, I am sure that Dave and Tony have asked you to tell them to whom you were referring to by ‘that faggot’. Do you know the person’s name?”
“Uhm, Lee, uhm, Lee, Lee…Oh! Yes! Leigh Anne something or other.”
“Lee Anne Smythe?” Don asked Mr. Simmons.
“Yes, that’s the faggot’s name.”
“Sir, this may come as a shock to you, but Leigh Anne Smythe is a genetic female. Whoever told you that she was a male, was pulling your chain. Even Principal Thompson and Debbie Constantine of the MHSAA can tell you the same thing, as will her team mates. You allowed yourself to get in to legal trouble based on hearsay?!”
“My daughter wouldn’t lie to me.”
“Maybe not, sir, but she had to have heard it from someone.”
“She did. She said she heard from a girl that was on her tennis squad. Geraldine Watkins.”
“Alright. As I understand it, Ms. Watkins is in the detention center. I guess she is waiting to be taken to the adolescent reform school. Her boyfriend, from what I heard, threw a Coca Cola bottle at Ms. Smythe, and he is the the county jail. I hate to say this, Mr. Simmons, but that is where you are going after the court appoints you counsel.”
“I have my own attorney and I need to call my wife to have him come here.”
“Okay,” Don told Mr. Simmons. “I’ll put the phone right here. What is your phone number?” Mr. Simmons told Don his phone number, and Don dialed it, handing the receiver to Mr. Simmons.
“Hello, Ruth, this is Roger. Get a hold of Marty and tell him I am at County General hospital, and I am under arrest.” Roger listened for a bit, then he said: “I was lighting a torch, and the cops thought it was a Molotov cocktail.” Roger listened again. “I was going to get that faggot, but now, the cops tell me that everyone on the Hampton tennis team are all natural girls. Someone is lying to someone, and I need Marty to defend me against attempted arson.”
Roger Simmons listened again, then he had Don hang up the phone. Suddenly, there was a worried look on Roger’s face.
“I don’t get it. Why would my daughter’s friend, Geraldine Watkins lie and say that this Lee, uhm, Lee, oh, whatever was not a girl?”
“Sir, even if Leigh Anne wasn’t a girl, that does not give you the right to take the law in to your own hands. Debbie Constantine of the MHSAA has investigated this matter and has found Leigh Anne to be genetically female. Whoever told you different, is lying.”
All of a sudden, the weight of the charge against him hit home. He had committed a crime based on what he was told.
“I should have found out the facts before taking any action.”
“Mr. Simmons, if you had succeeded in harming Leigh Anne in any manner, you would be charge with attempted murder. As it stands now, you are only charged with attempted arson. That is still a felony. If you are convicted, you stand to be sentenced to a lot of years, just for lighting the Molotov cocktail. The MCL penal code is very explicit in its language as to what arson is and what sentence it carries. I am sorry to say this, Mr. Simmons, but the district attorney can charge you with first degree arson, because you had the Molotov cocktail already lit.
“If the district attorney charges you with first degree arson, you could be sentenced to life in prison when you are convicted. You should have left well enough alone.”
“But, my daughter told me that …”
“Your daughter should not have been telling tales about someone, especially when those tales are untrue. How old is your daughter?”
“She’s seventeen. But, she had no reason to doubt her friend’s word.”
“That is how gossip starts. You tell someone something, then that someone stretches what was originally said, and then whomever that someone tells, the story gets stretched again.”
“What is your name, officer?”
“Don McLean Adams, badge number 2715. I have to let Tony and Dave know what you told me. They were the two officers that had you brought here.”
“Yeah, one of them shot me in the leg.”
“Mr. Simmons, you are very lucky they didn’t kill you. Did they tell to drop whatever weapon you had?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t. I was actually going to throw that Molotov cocktail in to one of the first floor windows.”
“Did one of the two officers tell you that you had the right to remain silent, and that if chose to give up that right, anything you say now can and will be used against you in a court of law?”
“Yes, but I didn’t keep quiet, though.”
“According to the U.S. Supreme court, we can now ask you incriminating questions. What you just told me, Mr. Simmons, makes me a witness for the prosecution.”
“I’ll deny I ever said it.”
“Have it your way.” Don pressed the nurses button.
When the nurses aide came in, Don told her to get a hold of Dave and Tony’s squad number, and tell them that he had gotten the suspect’s name, address and birth date. An hour later, Dave and Tony returned to the hospital.
“What’s going on, Don?” Asked Tony Springer.
“Tony, Dave, I’d like you to meet Roger Simmons, date of birth is 1/23/1982 and his address is 1735 Chisholm Street. Here is his phone number. He has already called his wife and told her to get in touch with their attorney. He said his name is Marty.”
“Marty … Marty … Mr. Simmons, is your attorney’s name Martin Williamson?”
Then we will wait until he gets here. Don, has he said anything while we were gone?”
“Yes, Tony, he did. He told me why he was going to burn the school, and that you shot him in the leg, after telling him to drop the weapon he was carrying. He said he didn’t drop the Molotov cocktail, and was promptly shot in the leg.”
“Those are the facts, just as they happened,” Tony told Don.
Just then, a portly man, about five foot, ten inches walked in to the hospital room.
“I’m attorney Martin Williamson, and this is my client. Why was this brought to the hospital?”
Tony related the incident exactly as it happened, adding the reason why his client had the Molotov cocktail.
“Did they tell you had the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present?”
“Yes, Marty, but, I kept talking.”
“Roger, you do know that any statement made to the police after you been advised of your right to remain silent can be used against you in court.”
“Yes, and I was a fool to believe what I heard from someone else. I was told that the district attorney can charge me with first degree arson.”
“That is correct, and the judge can sentence you to life in prison pursuant to the MCL penal code. Roger, I don’t care what motivated you to do what you did, but now there is no getting around it. Has the doctor said when he will release you?”
“I’ll go out to the desk and see what is taking so long.”
Martin Williamson went out to the nurses desk to find out why the doctor hasn’t discharged his client, Roger Simmons. He went back in the ER exam room.
“The nurse said the doctor is tending to someone else, right now. He should be here in about twenty minutes. Roger did you tell these officers anything that would incriminate you?”
“Yes, Marty, I’m afraid so.”
“Why didn’t you remain silent? Now, we have to plead you guilty and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court. This is your first felony charge, so the judge should go easy.”
“What if I plead not guilty, and say these officers made everything up?”
“They won’t believe you, Roger. These two officers, especially, are beyond reproach. They don’t break the law because of their badges. No, Roger, your only hope is to plead guilty and depend on the mercy of the court.”
“I think I need a different lawyer.”
“Very well, Roger, I’m through. I will call Kathy and let her know what you just said. Good luck in court.” Martin Williamson grabbed his briefcase and left the hospital.
“Now, you’re without an attorney. Can you afford another one?” Asked Tony.
“No. Marty is a family friend of my wife’s side of the family. I think he is her dad’s friend. I hope he is still a friend after this is all over.”
“So, you’re going to plead not guilty,” Dave said, shaking his head. “I wish you a lot of luck with that.”
The doctor walked in to the exam room.
“I have looked at the x-rays, and I saw no broken bones. The bullet went right through the tissue and muscle. He can leave any time, after I stitch the wound.”
Dr. William Concourse, MD has been a doctor of internal medicine and family practice for twenty years. He has greying hair and faded blue eyes. He stitched Roger’s wound and bandaged it.
“There, all done. Officers, he can go at any time.” Tony got on his hand held radio and asked for a unit to transport a prisoner to the station.
It took thirty minutes for a squad to be free to take Roger Simmons to the station. Tony told the officer driving the squad that he was to be taken to interrogation room B. Tony and Dave then went to their squad, after thanking Officer Adams for his support.
They got to the station, and Roger Simmons was sitting there, handcuffed to a ring on the table. Tony had a sheet of paper in his hand.
“Roger, this is a waiver of attorney, for you to talk to us. Any statement you made before this, is still usable in court, because we advised you of your Miranda rights. All this says, is that you give up your right to have an attorney present while we question you.”
“I’m not signing anything. How do I know that is not a confession?”
“Alright, Mr. Simmons, let’s go and see the judge.” Tony undid the handcuffs, and fastened them behind Roger Simmons back.
Tony and Dave took Mr. Simmons to circuit court 5, department C. This was the court that appointed counsel for criminal defendants, as well as heard preliminary hearings. When they entered the courtroom, Tony went up to the court clerk and gave her a another slip of paper. The honorable judge Howard C. Harding was presiding over this court.
After listening to five other cases, Roger Simmons was finally called before the bench.
“Sir, before we go any further, I have to ask you; do you have an attorney?”
“Can you afford an attorney?”
“Then this court appoints Martin Williamson to represent the defendant. Sir, before I can take your plea, your attorney must be with you. Once your attorney accepts the appointment, you must speak to the court through your counsel.”
“Excuse me, judge, but, I have the right to speak to the court at any time, regardless if my attorney does so, or not.”
“Sir, you are headed for a nice contempt of court charge. I am telling you, mister, to speak to this court only through counsel. Do you understand what I just said?”
Roger Simmons just shrugged his shoulders.
“Who is the arresting officer?”
“I am, your honor. Anthony Springer, Comity police department.”
“Very well. We will set this for preliminary hearing on February 17 at 9:00 AM. Is that agreeable to all parties?” Everybody said it was.
Roger Simmons was turned over to the Abbott County sheriff to be taken to the county jail.
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