“We find the defendant guilty,” the small voice petered out of Ron’s wiry frame, “on all counts.”
And that was that. The gavel was banged again, with the judge calling out, “Sentencing will take place tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock sharp. Court is adjourned.”
After speaking aloud, the judge rose from his chair and swiftly made his way back to his chambers. All that was left of his underwhelming ebullience was the resonance of his unpolished voice. Todd’s son, Brett, left the main room amid a gallery of conciliatory remarks from those in attendance who worried over his uncertain future.
Todd was quickly sent back into a holding area in a back room of the building, not even having the opportunity for a last word with his family. Todd’s wife, Lydia, sat motionless in her pew, her head firmly entrenched in her hands, sobbing uncontrollably. At times, it is fitting for any of us to feel that we live a charmed life, but Lydia was pretty sure that hers was not so, with the deck of cards being stacked firmly against her. She was never less than a good mother, a loving wife, and the face for her mediocre family.
“Ma’am,” the bailiff approached Lydia, making every attempt to soften his outwardly gruff manner, “I am going to have to ask you to leave. We need to clear the courtroom.”
To be continued…