County Lines by Bob
He saw everything. He was there when it happened.
When a newspaper reporter asked about the incident, he said, "It
was horrible. I don't know how anyone could do something like that."
When questioned by a television news personality about what had
taken place, he said, "It was terrible. I hope they catch whoever
When the cops asked how he knew so much about what had occurred,
he said, "I want a lawyer."
He told his attorney the truth.
"You're telling me you did it?" his attorney said.
"Do I have to draw you a picture?" he said. "Yeah,
I did it. Do you think I should plead insanity?"
"You've been watching too much TV," his attorney said.
"Getting off on an insanity plea is a one in a million shot.
Juries aren't usually that stupid, unless you get a jury like the
one that let OJ go, and that won't happen, not in this state. This
isn't California, the land of mixed nuts. Maybe I can plea bargain
this thing down."
"I'm not pleading guilty to anything," he said.
"Have it your way," his attorney said. "When we
go to trial, wear a suit and a tie. We don't want the jury seeing
the tattoos on the back of your hands either. Keep them under the
table or in your coat pockets. Get a haircut and wear glasses, not
sunglasses either. The jury sees you in sunglasses, they'll immediately
think you're guilty."
"I thought they had to presume I'm innocent," he said.
"Like I told you," his attorney said, "you've been
watching too much TV. This is the real world, not Judge Judy. Being
charged with a crime implies guilt. You better get rid of all your
fantasies about the judicial system before we go to trial."
Except for whispered remarks to his attorney, he didn't say anything
at the trial. He relied on the Fifth Amendment. Like the judge said,
he didn't have to testify and the jury couldn't hold it against
He didn't know that much of what occurs during a trial is processed
by jurors at a subconscious level. They could respond negatively
to him not testifying and be unaware of it at a conscious level.
Experienced lawyers are aware of what goes on during trials at
a subconscious level. That's why they try to mess with the heads
Yawning when the other side is talking. Objecting when they know
it will be overruled. Introducing evidence and testimony unrelated
to the case to muddle the real issues. Shaking their heads and making
faces when an important witness is testifying for the other side.
Pretending to pay attention when an unimportant witness is testifying
for their side.
Attorneys are full of tricks. Like a wise man said, "Lawyers
are like magicians. They distract you with one hand while the other
is untying a rabbit to pull from a hat."
Unfortunately for him, his lawyer didn't have a hat or anything
to pull from it. Following six days of evidence and testimony about
what he did, how he did it, why he did it, what he did before doing
it, and what he did after doing it, the jurors went into the jury
room and returned in less than half an hour, not a good sign for
After reading the verdict, the judge scheduled the case for a sentencing
At the sentencing hearing, the judge said, "Do you have anything
to say in your behalf?"
"I didn't do it," he said. "I swear I didn't."
"A jury found you guilty of doing it," the judge said.
"My job is to sentence you for doing it. Do you have anything
else to say?"
Following his attorney's whispered advice, he said, "No,
While talking to his cell mate one evening, he said, "You
know what I was convicted of doing?"
"Yes," his cell mate replied, "I know."
"That wasn't the first time I did it," he said. "I
did it before, many, many times before."
"Don't be a fool," his cell mate said. "Keep your
mouth shut about things like that in here. This place is full of
snitches who'd rat you out for a reduced sentence. I'm not one of
them. But you don't know that."
"I just wanted you to know I'm dangerous," he said.
"I know what you are," his cell mate said, "a punk.
Now shut your big flap and go to sleep before I shut it for you
At his first parole hearing, he said, "I didn't do it. You
have to believe me. I was framed."
At his next parole hearing, he said, "I've been saved by the
blood of Jesus. I know I committed a grievous sin. I'm truly sorry
for what I did. I'll never do it again."
After his release, he did it again and again and again. He continued
doing it, until he met someone with a .357 who put an end to what
he was doing.
At the funeral home, an aunt from out of state said, "I heard
he spent time in prison. What'd he do?"
His sister replied, "You don't know what he did?"
"I wouldn't be asking," the aunt said, "if I knew
what he did. What'd he do?"
His sister whispered in the aunt's ear.
"He did that," the aunt said. "How awful."
"Stop it," his grandmother said. "I don't want anyone
in this family ever talking about what he did again."
And they didn't.
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570