Resurrection 58Posted: November 28, 2016
This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.
Chief Dalton took a look at J.W. and chastised Harlan, “Why is he in cuffs? My God, Harlan, take the cuffs off this man.”
“Sure Chief, sorry.”
Harlan walked over to J.W. and removed the cuffs. This was a theatre, designed to put J.W. in a position where he felt he owed something to Dalton. That Dalton was in his corner, was going to get him out of this mess. It worked, J.W. was immensely thankful as he rubbed his wrists and felt the blood flowing freely in his hands again.
Dalton sat in one of the office chairs and wheeled it to the end of the table, sitting close to J.W. He had a file folder in his hand he laid on the table.
“I’m sorry about all this, J.W. When we have a shooting the first priority is to secure the scene. We literally never know who the shooter is and until we secure the scene, nobody is safe. Harlan should have uncuffed you before you were even put in his vehicle.”
“That’s alright Chief, I’m sure he was just doing his job. Besides, I’m sure the whole thing is more of a shock to you than to me, and it was a pretty big shock to me.”
“Now J.W., I’m going to need to get a full statement on the record so we can use it later as evidence when we catch this sombitch. You may have seen or heard something important that might be a key piece of evidence. When we do that we like to record the interview…”
Harlan the stepped out of the room.
“…we do that so we can have a clear record of exactly what you say. Something you say might not seem important to you or even to me today, but it might end up being a crucial piece of evidence…”
Harlan returned with a tripod and video camera.
“Do you mind if we record the interview?” Dalton didn’t need permission, but he was sure J.W. would agree. Dalton had done hundreds of interviews and he was good at it.
“Of course,” J.W. responded. Harlan turned on the recording.
“Now in order to make this a formal interview, I need to make you aware of a couple things. First, you don’t have to talk, you have the right to refuse to answer our questions.”
“Anything I can do to help, you know I will Chief.”
“Great. Now I can’t imagine this second part will affect you at all, but I need to tell you, because this is a formal interview, if you do talk to us and you say anything incriminating it can and will be used against you in a court of law. You’re not going to tell me you’re a drug dealer, are you J.W.” Dalton smiled and gave a little chuckle.
“I eat too much pie, does that count?” Joked J.W. back.
“Heck, if that were against the law, we’d all be in jail.”
Dalton continued with his Miranda warning. “Again, I gotta go through this and get it all recorded so this can be a formal interview. If you want, you have a right to have an attorney represent you and if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you want an attorney, J.W.?”
Dalton wanted to say “you don’t need an attorney, do you?” but a confession in Mason County had been thrown out last year when the defense argued the officer was leading the perp.
“I don’t think I need an attorney.” Replied J.W.
“Great,” replied Dalton. He opened the folder and produced a pen from his pocket. “I just need you to sign this saying you understand the things I’ve explained to you so I can start the formal interview.”
J.W. had been completely snowed by Dalton’s performance. Inexperienced criminals usually are. Heck, the experienced but dumb criminals usually are too.
“First, can you take me through exactly how you ended up at the patrol car. Tell me all that happened.”
J.W. recited the events. He remembered it all clearly. Right now, it was etched into his memory. Rachel had called, woken him up, he went out to get the paper and saw the cruiser.
“OK,” said Dalton, pretending to take notes, “So you heard a sound, it woke you, and you got up.”
“No, I didn’t hear a sound. Rachel Sibley called me.”
“Right, right. Just trying to get this all down. I can’t write as fast as you can talk.” Lied Dalton.
“Why was it Rachel called you again?” Dalton knew, he already had Truesdell looking for Sibley.
“She said Doc hadn’t come home from his star gazing.” Replied J.W.
“Were you supposed to go with him?”
“No, but he took my Cherokee.”
“Why didn’t he take one of his vehicles?”
“Well, it was raining when he wanted to leave, so he took my Cherokee to carry his telescope up the mountain. He left me his truck, it should still be there at the church, and told me he change back tomorrow – well, today – at church.”
“Yeah, well that makes sense. So she woke you up and you went out to the parking lot to see if the truck was still there?”
“No, then I went out to see if the paper was on my porch.”
“That’s when you heard the shots?” Dalton asked.
“I didn’t hear any shots. I just saw the cruiser and walked over to see what was going on.”
“You didn’t hear any gunshots? You had to hear the gunshots. He was shot several times. No way you didn’t hear the gunshots. Maybe you thought it was something else?”
“I don’t know why I didn’t hear the shots, but I didn’t. Maybe I was asleep.”
“So you didn’t hear any shots? You must be a deep sleeper.”
“Sorry, I didn’t. I wish I could help you there.”
“That puzzles me a bit, J.W. You were just a couple houses away. Windows open. Gunshots are pretty hard to miss. You sure you didn’t hear something? It had to happen just before you found the body, within just a few minutes.” Dalton didn’t know this, but was trying to trip him up, get J.W. to make a revealing slip.
“I don’t remember hearing anything, no.”
“Wow, that’s strange. Why do you think you didn’t hear the shots? They were right out your window.”
“I don’t know. Maybe they used a silencer or something.”
“Huh, why would you think that?”
“I don’t know, television I guess.” J.W. was feeling a bit uncomfortable now. Dalton noticed it and changed topics. He’d come back to this later.