TRICKS OF THE TRADE by Oludascribe (the early years)

THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM A SHORT STORY I WROTE  YEARS AGO, STRAIGHT FROM THE ARCHIVES ,PLEASE CHECK IT OUT .

Sesan Davies was arrested for murder in the first degree. The neighbors were horrified at what had just taken place in their neighborhood, it was going to affect the real estate prices .The news of her death spread through the papers, the Headlines read ; MAN KILLS LOVER IN THE HEAT OF PASSION, LOVERS NIGHT ENDS IN MURDER The fact that she was having an adulterous affair made the story even hotter .It was in the talk shows and for a while all the attention of the media was on it .The husband was said to be out of the country, and unavailable for comment. The trial was to come up, the prosecuting lawyer was Dele Thompson a hot shot lawyer, that had a good career.

From his prison cell Davies maintained that he was innocent .The anxiety for the trial was building up. The country was affected by it, those women having affairs began backing out fearing such a fate happening to them. Radio stations had a number where people could call in to give their opinion about the upcoming case. Many people called in saying he should get the chair; others said the lethal injection. Most others said that they should lock him up and throw away the key. Davies lawyer Yemi Adedeji invited the press in an attempt to counter act the negative press his client was getting. “My client is innocent and all the evidence him is plainly circumstantial and this trial shall prove that” The case finally came up a few months after the incident .

The judge didn’t want the press in his court because of the publicity the case had been getting, and so the press waited outside for anything they could get. The jury had been carefully chosen from very young people, to middle aged to pensioners from all walks of life. The were not to listen to news concerning the case or talk about the case outside the court. They were going to be well taken for the duration of the case. Word going round was that it was an open and shut case. The commotion in the courtroom, the few people that were privileged to be in the court room discussed. The judge had a change of heart and had allowed a few members of the press inside, provided they didn’t take pictures while the trial took place. The defendant was escorted in by his lawyer and a uniformed officer. People whispered as the handsome young man walked in dressed in a pin stripped expensive suit. In walked a face no one knew, a young man that looked like he was in his thirties ,had the handsome look of an actor from the 40’s, sort of like an ebony combination of Cary Grant & Clark Gable. He walked towards the desk to the right of where the defense team was sitting, and he sat down placing his briefcase on the table. People started to talk wondering who this was ,and where Dele Thomson was.

The bailiff walked in with a file under his arm and announced “All rise” The court were on their feet “His honor Judge Bola Soyinka is presiding” The judge walked in and sat down, the court followed Case 90125, the State versus Sesan Davies, in the murder of Mrs. Tracy Martins. He handed the file to the judge. Will the defendant please rise, the judge said speaking for the first time Davies and his lawyer rose up “What shall ye plea ?” We plead not guilty your honor The judge up on his podium peered over his glasses at the prosecuting lawyer He noticed this say, “Who are you sir?” ,he said because he knew Thompson ‘Good morning your honor’ ‘What’s good about the morning a man is here on trial for murder’ “I’m here standing in place of Mr Thompson who is unavailable for the case “That still doesn’t tell me who you are” “I’m Seun King, your honor Mr Thompson had me take the case when he realized that he couldn’t be here” “Would you require a recess to prepare for the case?” “Thank you your honor, but that won’t be necessary I’ve been briefed” he went back and took his seat. The gavel came down

“Court is in session” Mr Adedeji would you like to give your opening statement.
“Thank you your honor”. He walked unto the floor and paced . My client ,Mr. Sesan Davies he said pointing him “is here accused of murder,
We will during the process of this trial, see why this accusation is ludicrous, not only is my client innocent, but he’s been framed for a crime that he did not commit he went back to his seat. “Your witness” he said. “Well it ain’t whistling Dixie” ,muttered King under his breath “Mr. King” prompted the judge.

He stood up and took the floor. “You all just heard , the defense giving a statement, and I quote not only is his client innocent but he’s been framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Is the defendant Roger Rabbit that someone would frame him for a crime . Did the big bad wolf come to Mrs. Martins residence and kill her? As this trail proceeds I’ll show the court , undeniable, irrefutable evidence that implicates Mr. Davies of the crime he’s accused of”. He returned to his seat “The Defense calls Mrs. Sharon Silva to the stand”. The witness came up ,she was an attractive young lady in her twenties ,like one of those girls guys drool over in music videos. She wore a plaited skirt with a jacket to match , the bailiff came up to her with a Bible asking her to place her left hand on it and raise her right. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God”?. “I do” “Ms Silva”, said Mr. Adedeji, “how do you know the defendant Mr. Davies”? “Well Sesan and I dated while we were in high school”. “And while you dated ,what kind of guy would you say he was?” “He was very sweet, always bringing me gifts, taking me to nice places”. “So you’ll say he was a nice guy!” “Yes” “How would you describe Mr. Davies in general”? “He’s a nice , sweet guy a charmer , the kind of guy that a girl’ like to be with all the time she replied smiling ,while looking at the defendant across the room .Who returned a smug grin. King saw this starry eyed gaze, and cleared his throat to bring her back down to earth. “I’ll soon wipe that smug off your face, lover boy ,he thought. “So you’d call him a gentleman?” “Yes” “Thank you Ms Silva, No more questions your honor”, he returned to his seat and King stood up and approached the witness “Mrs. Silva” “Ms Silva” she said in a correcting tone “Sorry, Ms Silva, for how long were you and the defendant, Mr. Davies ,in a relationship?” “A year and a half” she replied confidently “Wow a year and a half, that’s quite a long time, so you must have gotten to know him quite well, didn’t you?” “Very well” “And in the period of your relationship, Did you and Mr. Davies ever argue?” “Sure we did” she answered shrugging her shoulders, “all couples do” “Sure they do, but did Mr. Davies ever hit you during any one of your arguments?” “No he didn’t, he’d never hurt anyone” “Oh really Ms Silva” He walked to his desk and brought out a file from his briefcase, he walked back “Your honor here I have a hospital report that states Ms Silva been brought in her massive bruises to the face, and a broken wrist. Let me see that said the judge he was handed the report .The confident smug expression was gone, and he whispered to his lawyer. ”It wasn’t his fault, It was all my fault” “ The witness will restrain her self and will only speak when answering questions”, he said in a reprimanding tone” He handed it back. “No more questions your honor”, he returned to his seat. The defense didn’t look too happy. The witness may step down from the box, she stepped down feeling quite disappointed in her testimony, her eyes met with Davies ,and she looked like she was going to burst into tears . “The defense calls it’s next witness Ms Stella Raymond” The bailiff swore her in. She was a middle aged woman that was looking quite younger than her years, she adjusted her skirt as she sat in the witness book ,as if she felt some freshman was trying to look up it. “Ms Raymond what is your relationship with Mr. Davies?” I was his the guidance counselor at his high school. “During that period you had several discussions with Mr. Davies didn’t you?”. “Yes I did” “How would you describe him”? “He was a young man that talked about the kind of future he wanted” “And what kind of future was that?” “One that he’d be able to relax in a house with a big backyard, where he could have barbecues with his family and watch his kids play. He said he’d like to own a family restaurant, one that he and his wife would run and eventually hand over to their kids, when retiring .It always brought a smile to his face”. “And did you come across many students like that during your time in the school?”.

“No, many of them wanted to just party a lot of them wanted to avoid responsibility”.

“So you would say he was one of those students of a sound mind and focus?”.

“Objection your honor, the witness is a guidance counselor, and not a psychiatrist; she is not in the position to answer that question. “Objection overruled” Adedeji sighed with relief “Ms Raymond ,what can you say about Mr. Davies?”

“He’s a very intelligent young man and he can do anything that he puts his mind to” “Thank you Ms Raymond, no more questions your honor” King rose from his seat as Adedeji took his “Where do you currently work Ms Raymond?” “Diamond Alliance Insurance firm, I’m a personnel officer” “Ms Raymond, where did you work before the high school where you met the defendant?”. “I worked at a youth center in another state”. “And why did you leave that employment?”. “I didn’t like the place it was too hot, so I moved to a cooler climate, she said grinning”. The court chuckled , Order ,yelled the judge bringing he gavel down repeatedly “Are you sure you don’t want to change that statement Ms Raymond?”. “No, I’m quite sure” “Do you know a Dr Edozie?” She shifted in her seat uncomfortably. “No”.

“No! Let me refresh your memory” he said picking up a file and reading from it “Stella Raymond diagnosed with Nymphomia Addictium. Patient is addicted to sex and has an intense craving for it. Psychological treatment advised”, he stopped reading .He held up the file for all too see ”This is a psychological evaluation of Ms Raymond by Dr Charles Eberechi for the youth center she worked in, after she was found quote “infran grante delicto” with one of the young persons she was counseling. Isn’t that the real reason you left the youth center, Ms Raymond”? She was shaken, her past had come back to haunt her “Need I tell you, need I remind you Ms Raymond, that you are under oath” “Yes it is”. “Did you or did you not have a sexual relationship with Mr Davies which led to your discharge from his high school?”. “Objection your honor, the prosecution is badgering the witness’. “Sustained,Mr King, you will refrain from asking questions that are not directly related to this case, the jury will disregard the question”. It was too late the damage was already done.

“No more questions your honor” The defense was stark faced, two of his witnesses have been shot down and discredited. It was too early in the case to be having such luck The prosecution calls Mr. Fred Agbaje The witness a chubby balding man in his fifties was sworn in “Mr. Agbaje tell the court what you do” “I own a restaurant on Kole Adeshina street, Mrs. Davies used to come there” “Do you know that man?” he asked pointing at the defendant “Yes, sir I do, he and Mrs. Davies started to come in together on a regular basis a few months ago”. “Is there anything you want to tell the court about Mr. Davies”? “Yes sir, about two weeks ago when he and Mrs. Martins came in he became angry and violent after he saw Mrs. Martins looking at another man.’ “When you say angry and violent, tell us exactly what you mean?”.

”Well, he got very angry and wanted to start a fight with the man he then dragged her into the car.”

“Then what happened, did they drive off ? ” “No, not immediately, they argued in the car and then he hit her”.

“Thank you sir, no more questions your honor” “Does the defense have any questions for this witness?”, asked the judge “The defense has no questions for this witness”. The Attorney and his client had the unspoken look of loss in their eyes The case was turning to a nightmare; he couldn’t believe the luck he was having. The prosecution was just killing every rabbit he could pull from his hat, and he was beginning to run out of options. He was dreading what was going to happen next.

“The prosecution calls it’s next witness, Dr Osaki Braide” A middle aged man in a Yetunde Phillips two piece suit ,walked up to the witness stand. He was a respectable looking man, and from the Harry Fernandez watch he was wearing was doing quite well to do in his chosen profession. He was sworn in by the bailiff. “Dr Braide, can you please tell the court what you do”. “Well I’m a Pathologist ,with a Ph D in Anatomy , I ‘m an expert on the structure of the human skeletal structure amongst other things .I lecture at the Lagoon University and I have a private practice off Broad Street.” “Can you please tell us how you got involved in this case?”. “ I carry out independent post mortem for the police when requested.” “And why would there be a need to carry out an independent post-mortem?” I was told that it was requested by the defense, they he felt that the police were conspiring against his client.” “A conspiracy theory?” ”I guess so”. “And what were your findings doctor”? “It was discovered that the victim died of a broken neck, there were also serious lacerations on her throat, which would indicate, that she was also being strangled.” “And what kind of force would it take to cause some one’s neck to snap?” “A reasonable amount of force, it’d take someone quite strong to do that” “Doctor, is there any evidence that links the defendant ,Mr. Davies, he said pointing at the defendant ,who had an expression like his hand had just been caught in the cookie jar, to the victim’s death” A cotton swab was taken from the victims genital area, and some semen was found. It was analyzed and the DNA was an exact match to that of the defendant’s sample that was taken when the investigation was going on” “Was there any indication that anybody else had sexual contact with the victim”. “No there wasn’t “Thank you Doctor ,no more questions your honor ,he returned to his seat. Peering over his glasses the Judge asked, “Does the defense have any questions? “No your honor ,no questions” Over the next few hours, the prosecution tore down every witness that the defense could bring up. They presented evidence that proved Davies violent past, and his early involvement in crime. Forensic evidence showed that, the defendant had last sexual contact with the witness, and that the marks around her throat had the witness marks all over it. The evidence against him was outstanding; he was found at the scene of the crime and was the only one that was seen entering the house, with the exception of the deceased. The defendant gave his own story and held his claim of innocence stating that she was already dead when he got there. The counsels were asked to give their closing statement. The defense knew he had lost and in an attempt to save his client he made an apathetic emotional statement ,all he could do was to pray for some sort of miracle . They waited in anticipation to hear what this Prosecutor that had performed so brilliantly would say. He stepped up to the floor and paced, everyone waited with bated breath “Ladies And Gentlemen of the jury, over the past few hours we’ve heard accounts of witnesses. They have come here to give us evidence, concerning the character and past of Mr. Davies. As was revealed during the course of this case, we’ve seen that Mr. Davies certainly has a way with the ladies. He was able to charm his way into the heart of a married woman. We’ve also seen that he got an early start in crime; attempted rape, assault, armed robbery and now his latest murder. Do we believe the story of a sex addict, that had relations with him, when she says he had a focus and future .Do we believe a woman who still defended this man after he brutalized her and made her a constant visitor to the casualty ward ? The evidence mounted him some say is circumstantial. However, do I need to remind the court of the testimony of the coroner that showed Mr. Davies had sexual contact with the deceased, and was found naked, at the scene of the crime? You’ve heard the testimony of an independent consultant .He’s told you that it’d take a reasonable amount of force from a strong person to break the human neck. There is no physical or genetic evidence that anyone else was in the house. There were no signs of forced entry, and the defendant himself said he had a key. There were bullets holes in the wall, which indicated that Ms Davies tried to defend herself from a violent lover. So, who did it? The candy man? Mr. Davies was in a con game, his victim fell in love and grew attached and he had to do something about it, so he killed her.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I hope I have been able to prove without a shadow of doubt, that the defendant is guilty of the crime that he is accused of”; He returned to his seat. “This court is in recess until the jury deliberates”. Down came the gavel .The judge walked out and as the people spilled out of the court they discussed the trail they had just witnessed .The prosecution had left no room for doubt and the people just wondered how lenient or harsh the sentencing will be. The defense and his client refused to talk to anyone and went into a room ,where he tried to calm his client down .He had been pacing the office of his attorney and Adedeji had just convinced him to relax. The prosecution had been approached by several partners in law firms that asked him to give them a call. His pocket was full of business cards. The tension built as the jury was inside, deliberating for several hours .The court was finally called back in for the hearing. The jury filled in and everybody tried to read their faces to see what they had decided. The court was seated and everybody waited anxiously .The bailiff walked in “All rise” They rose to their feet and the judge walked in and took his seat, and they theirs. “Mr. Foreman, Has the jury come to a decision” “Yes we have your honor” The foreman handed the paper to the bailiff who handed it to the judge ,who read it and handed it back “Will the defendant please rise” Davies and his lawyer rose. “What say ye” “We the jury, in the case of the State versus Mr. Sesan Davies in the case of the Murder of Mrs. Tracy Martins, find the defendant ……………………………..

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