“Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God? “
“Mrs. Margaret thank you for being here with us today. Can you elaborately state what happened on the night of February 28th?”
“Certainly. Ooh it was a horrible night! Horrible…..horrible. It has been six months since, but I still cannot shake off the trauma. It was late at night, around 10pm I suppose when I had heard someone wail. It sounded really familiar and it was coming from next door. I was worried for Bob, I was worried something bad had happened to him. A good man he was really. And I was right to worry.
I peeped through my window and saw hazy silhouettes. They looked like the silhouettes of two men. One was fat and the other slim. I presumed the fat one to be Bob, but I wasn’t sure about the other one. The slim one, with a knife in hand, was repeatedly lunging at the other one. After several swings and misses, he finally struck.
Oh! It was brutal. Utter diabolical. The fat one clutched his heart with one hand and raised the other in a muted forgiveness. But the slim one didn’t stop. Blow after blow. Strike after strike. Blood splattered over the blinds and painted the scene red. He then started to choke the other as he staggered towards the kitchen. And that’s where I saw them.
The fat one revealed itself first and I was right about its identity. And when the slim one slowly came to view, I felt my very foundations shake.
It was Walters. His face was purely cynical. His eyes were possessed. He put all his effort into strangling Bob, like his life depended on it. Bob saw me through the window and his dozy eyes pleaded for help. I cupped my mouth with both my hands and began to sob uncontrollably. I felt sorry for him. I felt helpless.
But all my sobbing suddenly stopped when I saw Walter seeing me. I was horrified. And so was he. A feeling of anger pulsed within me on seeing his pathetic face. I was taken over by a fit of adrenaline and decided to take action. So I ran towards the door. I wanted to scare him off and rescue Bob. I still had hope.
I barged into Bob’s house and it was dark everywhere. I took a baseball bat with me for protection, not that I could use one at this age. Only the kitchen lights were on and I moved cautiously. I peeped in and only Bob was there, lying on the floor. Lying in a pool of blood oozing out of his punctured, mutilated body.
I couldn’t hold my emotions. I was furious. But also scared. I felt like a deer left in a lion’s cage. Waiting to be hunted. But ready to fight. I realized I hadn’t thought this through. Then I heard the door click and I realized I was trapped inside the house. The scoundrel tried to frame me, but blood red footprints outside the house proved my innocence. “
The Bailiff offered her some water. She calmed herself with a deep breath and wiped away her tears.
“Sorry to put you through this again Mrs. Margaret, but I promise to keep this quick. Did you know Mr. Walters very well?”
“Yes, I did.”
“So you’re positive you saw Mr. Walters that night, right?”
The Defense Attorney rose to shout, “Objection your Honor! That’s a leading question.”
The Plaintiff Attorney smiled. “Let me rephrase it for you, Mrs. Margaret. Considering your age and the low light conditions, are you sure you saw Mr. Walters that night?”
“Yes, I am. I can never forget the look of apprehension when he saw me notice. The dread in his eyes was chilling.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Margaret. You may now go back to your seat.”
Having heard the testimony, the jury was already convinced. But the Defense Attorney Jack Statham had an unflinching countenance. He had earlier talked to his client’s friends and they were all shocked to know this. From what they had told him, Walters seemed like a fine guy.
Moreover, Walters had the perfect alibi. He was at the airport at the time of the murder. His identity was verified by the Customs and these guys don’t mess around. And no, he did not have a secret twin. He checked.
He was fully convinced that his client was being falsely convicted. He’s an honest man who is true to his profession. He helps the weak raise voice against injustice and Walter’s case was an opportunity. He wanted a resounding win. A win that will teach a lesson.
“Does the prosecution have any other witnesses?”
“No, your Honor”
“Does the defense have any questions?”
“No your Honor. We’d like to call upon Mr. Walters to make his case.”
It was going as planned. Walters would present his case, Jack would show security footage from the airport and his verified travel tickets as evidence. Jack wanted this case to serve as an example of how justice will always triumph. He wanted it to be impactful and inspiring.
“What do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Walters?”, the Judge asked solemnly.
Walters spoke for the first time.
“I confess, your Honor.”
To be continued…