Richard Ashcroft, assistant deputy DA was in his office early. They were araigning Mason Hudson that morning at nine. He was going to nab this son of a bitch. Not only on the aggravated robbery but on Peyton Hudson’s murder.
He was sort of a funny looking guy. He had a head that was too big for his sloping shoulders. He was tall and lanky and wore a size fifteen shoe. His arms seemed extra long and his face was no prize either.
Ashcroft had a large forehead unhidden by his short hair cut. Beady sunken eyes, a crooked nose, thin lips and a long neck.
He was probably teased so much at school that he became a prosecutor to exact some revenge.
He was only prosecuting the mugging at this point. He couldn’t introduce the evidence of the murder unless the case was bound over to the superior court.
Today was important. The prosecution had two solid eye witnesses, with identical descriptions; they had the beard, hooded sweatshirt, the scar makeup kit and the brown contacts. All obtained legally with a search warrant. Ashcroft felt pretty good about it.
Stepping into the grand chamber, the smell of polished wood and old justice. Accused and spectators sitting on the slick hard planked pews.
All of the players were there. Defendants, attorneys, clerk, bailiff, the representative from the DA’s office, the stenographer, an English/Spanish translator, the orange clad prisoners in shackles, police officers and guards all waiting on his Honor.
Quiet voices whispering last minute details….
One of the officers lowered a movie screen, started a video in which the Judge gave instructions, rights, penalties and so forth until it was over.
The bailiff almost shouted,
“All rise for the honorable Judge Damon Wheeler!”
“Please be seated.”
Judge Wheeler whispered to his clerk, then called Mason Hudson.
Mason struggled with the shackles up to the podium.
“Harvey Rehnquist, for the defendant Your Honor…..”
“Richard Ashcroft for the state Your Honor….”
“Proceed Mr. Ashcroft.”
“Thank you Your Honor. The people charge Mason Michael Hudson in the criminal act of aggravated robbery.”
“How do you plead?”
“Not guilty sir,” said Mason.
“Do we want to argue bail at this time?”
“Yes Your Honor. Mr. Hudson has the means to leave the country. The people ask for bail to be set at $500,000.”
“I object Judge, it is an exorbitant amount. Mr. Hudson is not a flight risk. He is the single parent of two minor chidren.”
“I’m not wasting a lot of time on this gentleman. Bail will be set in the amount of $500,000. That will be all.”
It was that simple. Mason could easily come up with the money, he asked Harvey Rehnquist if he was indeed going to represent him.
“I’m aware this is going to become a capital murder case Mr. Hudson. I’ve done my homework. I think you are guilty as sin but that is neither here nor there. It would be my job to get a not guilty verdict.”
“I ask for a $100,000 retainer fee and the cost will certainly increase as we get into the case. Is that agreeable to you?”
“Yes it is….may I call you Harvey?”
“By all means now that I’m working for you.”
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