Yesterday, I took part in testifying in a criminal court for the first time. There are two Law and Order junkies in my family and my youngest daughter was comparing the people to which character they were on the show. She’s 15 and quite witty.
My children were the main witnesses, but I was there to testify to the amount I paid for the property that was destroyed.
It was a very, very odd day.
First, the criminal mischief action that took place was in July 2016 and we are just now having a trial because they defendant postponed it so long. He was accused of shooting my oldest daughter’s phone with a gun and smashing the screen of her laptop.
It’s been 14 months and yesterday I receive a call from the District Attorney’s office who says the defense attorney has the phone for court – and it isn’t damaged.
I actually laughed. Were they going to pull an old phone from a drawer and actually try to pass it off and say he didn’t destroy one? He admitted to destroying the phone on Facebook.
My daughter came home from his house with only a phone case because he refused to send the ziploc bag of broken pieces with her when it happened last summer.
The girls arrive at the DA’s office for a very brief review, and I tell him I’m not sure what phone they have, but Morgan took the SIM card from the broken one and had it in her replacement phone.
Huh? The DA says iPhones don’t have SIM cards. We replied that they did beginning with a certain model. He has me attempt to log in to Verizon to see if I can retrieve the old serial number, but at this point it is 1:19pm, the trial is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm – and I can already feel the anger building from the outright lies we are about to face.
I look at the DA and ask, “I know the defense’s job is to get their client free of charges, but they will actually just lie in court when we can prove this magic phone that just appeared TODAY after 14 months isn’t even the same one?”
So, we walk into the courtroom and the girls and I all hear the DA ask the defense attorney if he has the phone. He says, “Oh, we aren’t using that today.”
😐 — this is the only thing that can describe that moment. What?! They call me at home to tell me the defense is coming with an undamaged phone trying to pass it off as Morgan’s, and now that just 5 minutes ago Morgan tells us privately she has her old SIM card – the defense isn’t using it now?
Distrust. Deceit. Despair? I’m so tired of fighting against liars instead of just black and white facts. The fact that I don’t “think” like a slimy, conniving lawyer is very detrimental to my life. It feels like you either have to be mean or be a doormat.
Let me tell you something, because I always have a movie reference… These people reminded me of the Volturi Guard in Twilight where they had layers of strategy to convict the Cullens (during that amazing battle scene) and if one tactic didn’t work, then they would just move on to the next lie.
I’m over here like poor Carlyle thinking positive that the truth, evidence and witnesses will be enough. We don’t want to fight. Just look at the facts and this can end peacefully. You are wrong and we can prove it if you’ll just stop and listen.
I am so delusional.
My combo of Aro, Caius, Marcus is still out for blood – and when I’m told to go to the stand to “just verify what I paid for the electronics,” I instead encounter a twisted account of something about my personal life not even relevant to…someone. shooting. a. gun. at. their. daughter’s. iphone.
Are the witch twins dulling my senses or attempting to cause me pain?
I wasn’t even at the scene of the crime! Then Aro is over here spreading doubt with erroneous information, because hey – that’s what the defense does. No wonder OJ had the dream team.
Then, he starts questioning all of us about things that supposedly happened during the civil trial, that is still pending. How can he ask the girls about child support payments and doesn’t that sort of pay for their phones anyway? How can he ask me, “Don’t you block their phones when they are at their dad’s or report it lost or stolen?”
Well, sort of. I did this one time when my ex-husband and his wife took the girls’ phones and as I tracked their location to another house – used the phones to access my social media accounts where the girls were friends with me or logged in with my email address – and printed hundreds of photos and messages they tried to use in court against me in their one-hour Wal-Mart envelope.
YES OR NO?!
I can only answer yes or no to that? Whatever. He was a desperate man trying to put me on the stand and make me look like the evil witch my ex-husband and his wife have spread everywhere.
Thankfully, when the DA objected to the constant civil case references and what relevance did that even have here…the judge sustained most of the motions.
My ex-husband took a gun and shot a phone to pieces! The phone (nor the girls) were in time out as punishment for something… and he wasn’t even mad at the older daughter. He was mad at the email sent to me (from his phone, remember) from the younger daughter, but she didn’t have a phone to destroy, so he took the only one available. He should have smashed his own phone and laptop.
This was a criminal trial, not family court. Were they trying to say because of our fighting in the past over phones he had the right to shoot one that I paid for? That’s exactly where the defense was going.
Then, my favorite part came. The defense attorney pulls out a motion/order from the previous civil court judge from January 25, 2016, (who later recused himself) about what rights his client had to the girls’ technology.
The defense attorney asked me if I recognized it and I reply that I’m not sure, we had about 40 of those documents. He said he’d give me time to read it and I said something like this wasn’t even final or relevant and the defense attorney yells, “Why?! Because you filed complaints against every judge in Shelby County?”
No, actually it just one of them. And I just mailed it this week, so why would he say that? I only mentioned something like that to one person there months ago, who was supposed to be on my side.
Well, of course they all share information. They have to somewhat plan their dog and pony show, right? Half of them in the courtroom used to be in the same law firm together.
“Carefully, Caius. Specious allegations get us nowhere.” Caius took a deep breath and nodded. They exchanged a long, significant glance. – Stephanie Meyer, 2009
I can’t remember exactly what I said after that. I was actually caught off guard at this line of questioning. I could have brushed up on my BS before I arrived. Do they exchange evidence with both sides in a criminal trial and no one told me?
I can’t wait to read the transcript (I had hired the only court reporter there). Don’t all court hearings have one? I guess since they knew I was paying for my own they gave theirs the day off? I wanted my own court reporter there because there’s this little case in Shelby where the information doesn’t quite match what happened. But, that’s another book.
Back to this packet in front of me:
1. That civil court order/motion didn’t say anything about guns, shooting phones in a fit of rage, or smashing laptops when you get mad at what/when the girls communicate with their family back home. It seems to say he had rights to their passwords and social media. Okay…no violent Letha weapon clause, what’s your point?
2. That civil court order/motion was never final, because on July 8, 2016, Judge Corey Moore recused himself from our civil case and left everything up in the air after my attorney filed a motion, on July 8, 2016, to set it aside because my ex basically hooked up (I don’t think physically) with the GAL to swap personal and political favors not our case! Like, went on a hunting trip to Wisconsin together during our trial! Ha ha ha!! Seriously? With pictures posted in the hunting lodge’s website, that were quickly removed?
07/08/16 = evidence, including pages of photos showing unethical relationship between a GAL and a parent (ex-husband) are filed to set aside all rulings in this circus hell of a civil case
7/08/16 = same day, hours later, judge abandons ship and recuses himself
7/08/16 = same day, ex husband asks the girls to email me how they are at his house (because I’ve questioned their well-being after a series of events that summer where he cuts them off for weeks from their friends and family) —they both send very honest replies, from his phone — especially the youngest, which wasn’t very flattering to him
7/08/16 = same day, learning that he and his his GAL PAL have been exposed, ex-husband is enraged according to the girls’ testimony and pulls guns in front of one daughter, while taking the other daughter’s phone outside to shoot it…and drops the pieces back in front of her (but then didn’t let her bring the ziploc bag home, cause hey…that’s evidence, buddy)
Thankfully, she removed the SIM card and case, showing what appears to be birdshot on the rubber, Speck case.
I thought this painted a pretty good picture of motive and testimony to back up our criminal case, but that old defense attorney just keep hounding me about how much trouble I caused at their house, and how often I did or did not contact the girls at their dad’s house, how much I did or did not interrupt his visitation…which was all heresay from these other pending court documents – and the tiniest tip of the iceberg on what really happened.
(Trust me, my husband and I enjoy our weekends and trips alone when the girls are away, before I started learning of some abusive behavior they were experiencing.)
Anyway, at one point I said I honestly didn’t know what he (the defense attorney) was asking me.
He was mad.
The judge was mad.
I was mad.
The District Attorney is asking me to calm down.
I’m baffled. Later, I was called a smartass.
I have SEVERAL retorts I could insert here, but I won’t. They are so good though.
End of story:
He’s not guilty for the laptop because no one saw him do it.
He’s guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree for the phone and has to pay restitution of like $255. Not the $483 original phone plus the $199 insurance replacement, plus the $35 phone case… because we were all confused with that math. Like, for real confused.
Six months in jail, suspended sentence and 24 months probation. Also, required anger management classes.
His attorney says they will appeal, which means in 2018 our family will have to take anywhere from 2-6 days for a JURY TRIAL over a $255 replacement cost of a phone.
Are you kidding me?? I’d rather have my naturally, curly hair hot glued to pine cones than endure the Volturi Guard again, and have to think like a criminal idiot just to keep up.
I was told to remember that I won today. Did I, though? He can keep his $255 if I don’t have to drag my girls back through more missed days of high school and college.
Does that sound about right? Oh, and he reports his income is $4,000/year. I’m guessing this defense attorney isn’t cheap. I wonder if he knows the GAL PAL?
Yet another to be continued… with the updated blog post including the missing biblical references, the three pages of prayers I wrote while my girls were on the stand, and how God was very much with us even though I felt swindled and alone. He has to teach me every time what these opportunities are for and sometimes it takes me a few days to get it. ❤️