Resurrection 67Posted: December 12, 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.
It was two hours before the officer returned to retrieve J.W. for his phone call. He had been too dazed by the events to even notice the guard’s name plate during the intake, but now he noted his name was Mealor.
“C’mon Reeves.” Ordered Mealor.
Reeves got up and followed Mealor. Mealor sat him at a desk in the room behind the bulletproof reception window. There was a landline phone on the desk.
“Who can I call?” asked Reeves sheepishly.
“You can call whoever the hell you want, just make it count. You only get one.” This wasn’t true, people arrested in Kentucky are allowed to make a reasonable number of calls, typically to family and attorney. Reeves was now law enforcement’s special project. He wasn’t going to get preferential treatment or even typical treatment, they were planning to make it as hard on him as possible.
He wanted to call Suzanna. He needed to. He had no clue what her parent’s number was, not having to remember numbers was both the blessing and curse of cell phones.
“Can I get my cell phone so I can look up a number?” Reeves asked Mealor.
Mealor just threw down the tiny Silerville phone book. “There ya go.”
J.W. considered protest then thought better of it. He called him parent’s phone.
“Oh, John, we have been so worried about you. We came down to the jail to see you as soon as we heard, but they refused. Said it wasn’t ‘visiting hours.'” Magnolia was supportive, but J.W. could hear the fear in her voice.
“Mom, I don’t know what to do. I need an attorney. They think I killed a police officer. I need you to call Suze, I don’t have her parent’s number with me and they won’t let me use my cell.”
“Oh, honey, I already called her. She wanted to come home right away, but with everything going on your daddy and I thought it best if she stayed there until we knew more. You might have been killed. She’s worried sick about you, we all are. What happened? How can they think you killed someone?”
“I have no idea. Mom, can you and Dad help me get an attorney?”
“Your father already called Ray White,” Ray White was a prominent criminal attorney in Silerville, and Judge White’s cousin. “He said he would be out to talk with you shortly.”
“I have no idea how I can pay him.”
“Now, your father and I have some money set back. We’ll make sure he gets paid.”
“Can you tell Suze that I’m alright and that I love her and Claire? This has got to be torture for them.”
“I will, I’ll call her right now.”
Mealor was looking over at Reeves, tapping his finger to the non-existent watch on his wrist.
“Mom, I have to go, they want me to get off the phone. I love you, tell Dad I love him.”
“I will honey, be careful. We’ll get you out of there as soon as we can. We love you.”
J.W. was trying not to cry and Mealor led him back to his cell.
Small town “justice” is not the way it is often pictured in cop dramas. On television and in the movies, there is a judge on call who handles arraignments and bond hearings twenty-four-seven. In the small towns dotting Eastern Kentucky, no such luxury exists. There is one judge, elected by the people, who presides over all the criminal activity. He does not work evenings nor weekends.
If a person gets arrested on a Friday night, they will sit in the White County Jail until at least Monday morning, unless the judge is busy that day. If he is, they’ll be there until he has opportunity to preside over the arraignment.
Justice is also not blind nor impartial. Possibly it is not anywhere, but it is certainly not in Eastern Kentucky. “Justice” is meated out according to the status of the victim and the status of the accused. This was certainly true in J.W.’s case. He was not going to get any favor from the judge, who would be facing election next year.
It was another hour before Mealor summoned J.W. again. “Your attorney’s here.”
He led J.W. to a small room, similar in almost every way to the interrogation room at the police station, down to the acoustic tile walls and ceiling. Mealor sat J.W. down and could hear Roy White in the hall outside, joking with the guards.
White came into the room smiling. “Preacher, I never thought I’d see you in here.”
White and J.W. were acquainted. They both were regulars at the Thursday lunch Kiwanis meeting. The ran in different crowds otherwise. White wasn’t a church going man.
“Well, me either, Ray.”
“OK, let me tell you what I know,” said White, sitting across from J.W. “First, though, has anyone talked to you about Doc?”
“About Doc? No, what’s going on with Doc?”
“J.W., I hate to be the one to break this to you, but he’s been shot as well. It’s not in the news yet, but it will be tomorrow.”
“Someone shot Doc?” This terrible week had just gotten much worse. “Are you sure? He might just be missing. He was up on…”
“Queen Mountain, yeah, I know. They found him up there this morning. He’d been killed, driving your SUV. I’m sorry J.W.”
J.W. felt like he had just been kicked in the stomach for the seventh time today. He grabbed his stomach and doubled over. He began to wretch. It was good he hadn’t had anything to eat.
“You OK preacher?” Asked Ray, putting his hand on J.W.’s back. J.W. didn’t answer. The room was spinning.