Melodies of a Tattered Shadow

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Chapter19 TRIALS and TRIBULATION

The irony was culpable, the place was magical, romantic and enchanting, picturesque and all indications showed the place was the perfection of peace and serenity. The sun shines bright on the horizon below its red, orange core and its top, faded into yellow, bright that was pleasant to both eyes and skin. The place was pampered with greeneries and bright flowers of different colors. The flower scents blend in the air and melts on everything in touches, and it hugged in your clothes’ fabrics and your skin. The medieval structure adds romance to its elegance, and the people were overly pleasant and welcoming, ’e Bello Vederti’, they always say to you, who wouldn’t want to drown in this part of the world. Painter’s pallet and colored paint was not enough to describe the place, it was really a place well described in fairy tales, a fantasy in reality that was Tuscany, Italy on a breeze.

But this was not enough for Sarah to feel at ease, even the charming Villa Del Cielo near Siena where they were staying in. From her stand, her knees wiggled in discomfort, beads of sweats in her forehead trickled, her eyes bulged and reddened from crying, although covered by a pair of sunglasses. She’s pale and weak, in her stand most of time she leaned her head and upper body next to her loving sister, Chelsea, not just for affinity but also to hold herself in place. They were waiting for their transport, to bring them to the airport for an immediate departure for the United States, where chaos and uncertainty awaited her. She fidgets, she could not in her conscience let her dear adopted parents suffer in jail, she loved them dearly, as they love her also, and to fathom the idea of them being in jail had sent her into panic. The photo of her mom Jackie being mugged was a nightmare she couldn’t take. She would willingly put herself in their place in exchange. Apart from Chelsea, James and Jackie were the most important people in her life.

People coming in and going out of the villas, smiled and some even waves hellos, Sarah was oblivious, only Chelsea and Miss Summers feigned smiles back at them. They were in a haste to go back to the States; Mr. Fisher’s lawyers wanted them to present the truth to the FBI and to come with some sort of deals, to ensure the Andrews freedom. When they arrived at Pisa, Galileo Galilei International Airport in the face of bustling commuters coming in and going out of the country, they forgot to prepare Sarah for any contingencies, they were too preoccupied thinking about the Andrews, many Americans and other international tourist were there in the airport and as usual Sarah got to get recognized by some people, for she was dress as Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews, of the band D’ Kickers: spike jet black hair, eyes with dark shadows despite of sunglasses, black leather jacket, tight black jeans with metal rivets in the front and back pockets and some metal bracelets and necklace adorned with human skulls, that’s what she is in her legal paper as in her passport, she is Paul Andrews. But they were still unmindful of it, not until a number of American teenagers approached them seeking for an autograph.

“What?” Sarah weakly asked the teenagers in her sleepy eyes.

“We were wondering if we could have your autograph?” one of the teenager asked.

“What?” Sarah weakly answered again, still unmindful.

The teenager smiled, she assumed that maybe Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews was high on drugs at that moment, “we mean an autograph… you are Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews of D’ Kickers aren’t you?”

Sarah was momentarily fazed-out, yeah, she is Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews, she remembered, “Yeah, yeah… where is it?”

The teenager hand D’ Kid a pen, and she autograph each one of the papers and cards that was brought to her attention. Unfortunately, a lot of people followed suit and it becomes a crowd. Sarah could barely stand on her own; and she now had to contend with people that were beginning to swarm. The horde was starting to suffocate her; fortunately, it didn’t get unnoticed by the security of the airport. They rushed into the milieu and pulled the three from the throngs, before it gets out of hand. The security knew then that ’he’ was a famous person so they promptly brought them into a private office where no one could bother them before their departure. At once, they sit D’ Kid and left her to rest, to which she quickly passed-out sleep. When their flight was eventually called, Chelsea patted her sister to wake up, but she didn’t respond, she tried again and she didn’t respond.

“Sarah… Sarah please wake up!” Chelsea shouted and cried out, “Mommy…”

“Sarah… Sarah…” Miss Summers shaking and trying to wake Sarah up.

“Mommy… Sarah… please… please wake-up!” Chelsea pleads weeping in hysteria.

Within minutes Sarah hastily dressed in women’s clothes, was in an ambulance being rushed into a hospital in, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana.

*****

North Carolina, the lawyers of Mr. Fisher had already talked to the defense attorney of the Andrews, they were just awaiting for Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews’, final arrival to finalize their approached by the FBI or if it failed with the court itself. They had been waiting for two weeks, but still they had no complete knowledge of anything pertaining to Sarah. And the day of the trial was due the following day, but still, Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews was a no show. The FBI and the prosecution were angered by this, and saw this as just one of the ploy of the defense to trick them. The FBI had already identified with positive evidence the alleged victim of abduction, and had already been filed in court.

At the trial commencement, all news and media entertainment outlet were represented in front of Ashville Division, District Court for Western District North Carolina. Media OBB Vans were scattered, with their towering disc satellite above each vehicle, each had a team with them composed, of a field reporter, a cameraman and even lights man. Cable wires entangle between broadcasters, they were like piranhas waiting to have the first bite at a victim. From the media presence alone, it was already chaotic. Apart from this, were numerous throng of fans of D’ Kickers, waiting for the arrival of their idol, Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews. They were still confused about what had been transpiring; some eagerly waits for the truth, while the other had already sided with the parents of missing children, condemning the Andrews couples. Placards such as ‘kidnappers burn in hell’, were there, along with numerous photographs of missing children from the biggest part of the crowd, as expected, were, the family of missing children, and organization for children advocacies from different States.

The kidnapping case of the Andrews, has become a staging forum for missing children rescue and other child protection organization, an ironic twist, since it’s the same thing, that Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews had been singing, all his life. The front yard and the street leading to the Justice Hall, and alleys were barricaded by the police, but still many people were testing its credibility. Throngs of people pushed the barricade, pushing the police along with it, some of them fell down backward, but the police just patiently holds on, they understood the anger and frustration from the crowd, losing a child was a terrible thing. The police and rescue team were all ready for any eventualities; there were fire trucks with water cannon that would address the crowd if it becomes unruly; and an ambulance, if in case, someone gets hurt.

When the detainee’s van carrying the two accused finally arrived, the crowd reacted with hysteria. Shouts were heard from every corner, hateful words of angers, as the two finally emerges, and as if on cue, eggs flew out towards the couple. Knowing that they could not get close to the couple due to the police cordoned, a group of people planned and hurled eggs simultaneously. Close to a dozen eggs each hit the couple, some smashed on their head and the others to their orange detainee jumpsuit. The crowd jumped in jubilation, on the triumph of humiliating the couple. But the couple just glanced at each other, and didn’t show any emotion, the couple could not even wipe off the egg gushing on their faces, since their hands were in handcuffed.

Inside the courtroom of Judge Vivien Blalock, people were already getting anxious, the room was jam packed, almost all the seated bench for the public had been occupied by the missing children’s parents. The media, with their television cameras were hosted in both corners of the back row. Almost all spaces were occupied, except the table of the defendant and the judge’s bench. It was a marvelous room if not for the chaos, everything was shiny wood panels of oak of reddish brown with looks from the colonial era: the walls, the seats, the Bar, the barrier that divides the court and its column stands, the long table and chairs of the plaintiff and defendant, the intimidating raise deskbench of the judge, with its massive wood paneling covering its bullet proof wall, the witness stand, the jury box and its chairs and the bailiff tables and chair, everything were neatly wood coordinated, an impressive courtroom. But all of these were ignored by everybody, nobody cared about the beauty of the room or even the beautiful history of the court, all their interest was to punish the accused, for the missing children’s parents, and for the media to be the first one to get the first crack of news of the famous case.

Judge Blalock was already angered by how the people were treating his courtroom, he’s an honest man and he bring honor to the room, it irritated him that the people seemed to lack a tack of respect for the room, not just from their rowdiness, but to the courtroom as a magnificent piece of history of its locality. The judge could hear the noise of the anxious crowd, and he couldn’t wait to give them a piece of him. The mob inside the courtroom sensing the arrival of the two accuse were already agitated. When the couple finally arrived in the courtroom, the people couldn’t control their anger, they again, just like in the pretrial hearing started to shout angrily at the couple.

The couple’s handcuffed was put out, and they were seated on the defendant’s panel, that’s the only time they were able to wipe-out some of the eggs in their faces and heads. The bailiff called for the court to open and cite the presiding judge’s name and the case number. Promptly the room fell silent and they all stared at the imposing image of the judge; a tall, strong looking sixty year old white man that looked very distinguished but could be sensed had meaning in his stare.

“Before we start… I’m warning you again, you’re not in a ball game here, respect the process… respect the law and please respect the courtroom. I don’t mind you heckling me outside of this courtroom, but for God sake, respect this courtroom and respect the law. Any noise disrupting the process, I promised you, I’ll throw you out of the room… or even worse. And the media, don’t say I don’t understand you, I do understand you and please show me that you understand the law yourself… your badge as a media man doesn’t excuse you from following orders… I’ll make an example of you if you disobey me,” the judge declared strongly and added, “Let’s start… prosecution are you ready for your opening statement?”

The prosecutor stood and narrated his opening statement, walking through the front of the judge bench, back and forth. The sounds of his foot were audible due to the wooded shiny parquet floor; he continuously looked and talked to the jury, stating how the evidence would prove that the Andrews had abducted the named victim of the prosecution, to be raised as their own in exchange for their dead child. While the defense counsel waved their opening statement, for up to that time, the lawyer for the Andrews was not aware of anything pertaining to the kid that the Andrews’ raised. The couple had still remained mum, and for unknown reason, they hadn’t heard from Paul ‘D’ Kid Andrews up to that moment.

Unknown to the people in the States, Sarah at that time was confined in a hospital in Tuscany, for a dangerous ailment, although earlier findings had suggested that she was only extremely anemic. She had been under observation for more than two weeks, and had gone complete blood work. Chelsea and Miss Summers already know that Sarah was suffering from an underlying condition, her being anemic was just part of her ailment, but they maintained it to be secret to Sarah and to anyone. Sensing that information of her state could lead more to dilemmatic attention. They downplay it, and hopefully could conceal it further, and then, deliberately discontinuing their communication to anyone in the States. Until the time her health could improve, for her to travel back to the States.

*****

In the courtroom, the first witness was called; Karl Penn, who had perfectly presented himself as an aggrieved parent; he’s now one of the leaders who were spearheading the parents of missing children. From the moment of his oath in the bench, his enthusiasm to be a witness was obvious, he willingly volunteers information even without the proper question.

“Mr. Karl Penn, when did you know about the crime of the Andrews?” The prosecution asked, but was readily interrupted

“Objection, your honor, insinuating of guilt.” the defense protested.

“Sustained”, Judge Blalock declared.

“Let me rephrase, Mr. Penn when did you realize about the Andrews’ secret, about having someone in their custody, acting as their dead child?” The prosecution rephrases.

“Objection, your honor… acting as their child?” defense retorted.

“Sustained,” Judge Blalock declared again.

“The prosecution presents exhibit: 1-a,Birth certificate of Paul Andrews; 1-b, Hospital records of Paul Andrews pertaining to his leukemia; 1-c, Death certificate of Paul Andrews dated May 2, 1969; 1-d, photos of the grave of Paul Andrews in Riverside cemetery.” all pertaining to the questions of the existence and eventual death of Paul Andrews. With this, we hope the question regarding the existing and eventual demised of the true son of James and Jackie Andrews can be put to rest.”

The defense went mum, didn’t contest any evidence that was laid out.

“Okay, back to you Mr. Karl Penn, when did you realize that the Andrews had with them in custody someone, other than their son using their dead son’s identity?” the prosecution reiterated.

The defense didn’t object due the presented evidence and since it’s everybody’s knowledge that someone in the custody of the Andrews; was using their dead son’s identity.

“Well… in the procession of the burial of a black man, killed in prison, named Joseph Brown. It was chaos that time, I was with my dear daughter who was abducted…” about to narrate his daughter’s abduction.

The prosecution interrupted, “Mr. Penn when?”

“At Joseph Brown’s funeral in 1981,” Karl answered.

“How come…?” the prosecution followed.

“People were shouting Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews at the young man beside Jackie, I mean, Mrs. Jackie Andrews. He’s quite popular with young kids, including my daughter. Right then, I know they were keeping a secret.” Karl proudly stated.

“Secret?” the prosecution retorted, looking at the jury.

“Yeah… that they have abducted someone in exchange for their dead child,” Karl quickly replied.

“Objection!” the defense right away howled.

“Sustained… I’m warning you Mr. Penn, do not answer questions if not directly ask of you.” the Judge reminded.

“I promised your honor…” Karl smiling at the Judge, to which even the crowd in the court laughed.

“Mr. Penn this is not a place for your amusement… I’m warning you again.” the Judge reiterated sternly.

Karl turned his head to the jury and sits quietly, wouldn’t want to anger the Judge further.

“Mr. Penn… again about the secret; are you saying that the young man with Mrs. Jackie Andrews was not their son, because he was already dead. So, why is the kid’s named Paul Andrews? That’s why you have suspicion?”

“Yes.” Karl answered.

“Objection, your honor.” the defense shouted instantly.

“Overruled.” the Judge quickly answered.

“Your witness…” the prosecution said in ending, while proudly looking confident at the juries smiling.

Mr. Denny Shore quickly stood up and said, while looking at the jury, “Mr. Penn don’t you think 1981 was quite some time ago?”

“Yes it is… actually.” Karl answered quickly.

“Yeah… it is, isn’t it…?” the defense paused while in front of Karl but still looking towards the jury and slowly asked while still looking at the jury, “but why does it take you so long… to tell people about it? And why the media first? Not the authorities?”

Karl fell silent, looking at the prosecution bench grasping for an answer.

“Mr. Penn… we are waiting for your answer… for a good citizen like you, why would it take such a long time to report an alleged crime… isn’t it because of something else? You’re waiting for a perfect time?”

“Objection… ” the prosecution declared.

“Overruled…” the judge answered.

“Mr. Penn are you waiting for a perfect time to report your suspicion for an alleged abduction crime?” the defendant’s counsel reiterated

Karl looked into the prosecution bench, to whom he saw that they were silent, and then he looked into the jury, and said indecisively, “Yeah… I was waiting for the perfect time.”

“Perfect time… that might be after a week, after a month, after a year, after ten years…” the defense stated, but immediately interrupted by the prosecution

“Objection… where is the question?”

“Yeah the question… Mr. Penn why did it take you a decade to report the alleged crime? Isn’t it true, that you were blackmailing the Andrews for some time, to support your gambling habit, and the reason you report it in the media now, is because the Andrews stop paying you?”

“Objection, your honor… speculation,”

“Sustained”

The Andrews couple was surprised, they didn’t divulge any detail from their defense counsel, and yet he somehow knew about it. The crowd didn’t understand the relevance of the question, but somehow Karl Penn credibility was put in question, even if the prosecution objection was sustained. Defense lawyer Denny Shore had deduced that there could only be one reason a gambling addict would not report a crime, and only one, Blackmail.

“Mr. Penn, simple answer to a simple question… Why did it take you a decade to report the alleged abduction crime? And yes… why to the media instead of the authorities first?”

Karl Penn fell silent.

Although it would seem that the defense had damaged the credibility of the witness, Karl Penn. Still the evidence had surely stated that Paul Andrews the true son of James and Jackie Andrews was already dead, and the one that grew under their custody was not Paul Andrews, but another person using their son’s personal identity.

*****

Next session of the trial, after a week, another witness was called, and everybody was surprised, an immigrant applicant, named, Edgar Sapitula. They could not understand how a foreigner from Jamaica could help in the case. The man was in the late forties, with a typical braided hair for a black man from Jamaica. He was pleasant, very generous with his smile. In the man’s entry to the courtroom, he looked at the crowd and gave the accused couple a pleasantly smiling nod. The Andrews were somehow familiar with the guy, but they couldn’t seem to remember where they’d seen the man. After the man had taken the oath, to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, he was seated in the witness stand, where he gazed the jury and smile.

“Mister, can you tell us who you are and where were you from?” the prosecution counsel asked.

“Me? Am Edgar Sapitula… from Kingston Town… from the Island of Jamaica.” The witness answered joyfully.

“What brings you here?” the prosecution asked.

“Your government invited me here… to be here.” Mr. Sapitula answered gladly.

“You do understand that you’re here to tell us about events in the past… to be a witness?”

“Yah… I do.” Mr. Sapitula answered with a heavy Jamaican accent.

“Can you recall where you were in the morning of May 25, 1970?”

“Yah… I was here.”

“Here in the courtroom?”

“No, no, no… not what I mean, I mean here in the States… here in North Carolina.”

“Where in North Carolina? It’s a big State…”

“I was in Ashville, in front of a school.”

“School… do you remember the name of the school?”

“Yah for sure… me memory strong man… Wilson Memorial.”

“What were you doing there?”

“Selling ice cream to schoolchildren,”

“Do you remember the accused couple?” the prosecution counsel asked while pointing at the Andrews.

“Objection your honor, leading.” the defense counsel interjected.

“Sustained” the Judge answered.

“Well, do you recognize anyone here? Folks, you remember?” the prosecution revised his question.

“Yah… I remember them.” Mr. Sapitula answered, pointing the Andrews couple kindly.

“Objection…”

“Sustained” the Judge answered.

“Prosecution presents exhibit: 2-a and 2-b”,and forwarded it to the bailiff, and showed it in turn to the Judge, and then to the defense, and then to the jury. It was a photo of three girl students, where in the background was the ice cream van of Mr. Sapitula showing him selling ice cream to other kids. The other picture was a photo also of the three young students, that showed in their background, a man standing in front of the ice cream van, that looked like Mr. James Andrews buying an ice cream.

“The defense stated objection to the photos, pending the authenticity of the involved pictures.”

“Noted…” the Judge replied.

“So, Mr. Sapitula the man in the photo, can you identify him in this court?” the prosecution asked the witness again.

“That was him.” Mr. Sapitula answered, pointing to Mr. James Andrews kindly.

“Let the public know that Mr. Sapitula had pointed Mr. James Andrews as being the man in the photograph buying an ice cream from him on May 25, 1970, in the vicinity of Wilson Memorial School.” the prosecution counsel stated and added.

“Did you see who was with Mr. James Andrews at that time?”

“Yah… he was with a lady and a child.” Mr. Sapitula answered.

“Is the lady in this courtroom?”

“Yah, man.” the witness answered

“Can you pinpoint to us who she is?”

“She’s there…” he pointed at Mrs. Jackie Andrews, beside Mr. James Andrews.

“Objection… hearsay,” the defense counsel interjected.

“Sustained…” the Judge replied.

“Okay… another question, can you describe to us how the child looks like?” the prosecutor asked.

“He’s about nine or ten, very short blond hair and thin.” Mr. Sapitula responded.

“You honor prosecution presents exhibit 3–a, let me informed the court that the photo was no way shown to the witness,” the prosecution showed a photo of a boy fitting the description of the boy mentioned by Mr. Sapitula, the bailiff forwarded it to the Judge, then to the defense, and then to the jury.

“Let the public know that on May 25, 1970 the day of the abduction of a child named Bobby Lyeh Henson in Wilson Memorial School, Mr. Edgar Sapitula had witnessed James and Jackie Andrews in the same vicinity with a child fitting the description of Bobby Lyeh Henson.”

“Objection… hearsay,”

“Sustained…” the Judge automatically replied

“Hearsay ah… the prosecution present exhibit 3–b,” and forwarded it to the bailiff, which in turn was shown again, to the Judge, to the defense and then to the jury. The defense panel was surprised at the photo. It showed the photo of the same three young girl students in front of Wilson Memorial School, but not far from the back showed Mrs. Jackie Andrews tying up the shoelace of the actual boy, Bobby Lyeh Henson himself.

The defense went silent.

“Furthermore, we further ad exhibit 3–C,” this time it was a log sheet in the school on the day of May 25, 1970, in the list it included Mrs. Jackie Andrews signature, as a visitor in the school on the same day.

Then the prosecution confidently concluded, “Direct evidenced, the photos and the log sheet of the school clearly stated that the Andrews couple was in the vicinity at the time of the abduction of Bobby Lyeh Henson, furthermore Mr. Edgar Sapitula attested that he had seen the couple with the child, and lastly the undisputed proof from a photo, that Mrs. Jackie Andrews at the time was with Bobby Lyeh Henson… the prosecution rest your honor.”

“Defense your witness… do you wish to cross (cross examine)?” the Judge said of the defense.

Denny Shore the defense counsel hastily stood up, walking to the witness stand, he smiled confidently, and said to the witness, while holding the railing of the bar looking at the jury, “Mr. Sapitula… you come a long way from home… how do you find North Carolina?”

“It’s a beautiful place man… beautiful people.” Mr. Sapitula answered.

“How was your flight?”

“It was a good ride… I love airplanes.” Mr. Sapitula answered happily.

“What flight are you on?”

“Well, my entry point is at La Guardia airport in New York and I have a connecting flight to Charlotte airport for here.”

“So you have a nice flight?” the defense counsel retorted

“Yah man… I did.” the witness replied

“Happened to remember the stewardess?” the defense counsel asked, hoping to fish if the witness could have a good recollection of the things that had just passed early on.

“Yah… Anna was a nice lady, she’s very helpful.” he promptly answered. The defense counsel was surprised, he took the name of the airline stewardess attending Mr. Sapitula and her name was really Anna, the defense followed the question, even the flight number of his plane, but still, he could remember and answer it point to point. For the defense, it seemed pointless to ask that it was impossible for the man to remember the event of two decades ago, the memory of the witness was impeccable, but to rest the case he continued on to ask.

“Mr. Sapitula… the event was two decades ago… how can you be so sure that the people you saw at that event were the same people that you are seeing now?”

“Well man… how can I forget, actually… that afternoon was the day I was caught by immigration officer for overstaying, and I was deported after that backed to Jamaica, besides the couple, were nice people. I actually bump their white van, but they didn’t complain to the police. On the contrary the man bought ice cream for the kid, they were nice so I can’t forget them.”

Hearing this, the defense counsel cringed, because one of the admitted evidence was a police report that stated that the people who took Bobby Lyeh Henson used a white van. The prosecution smiled at the progress of the exchanged.

At that moment the couple had already remembered what transpired during that day. They were in Wilson Memorial that day, true, they had a kid with them, but it was Sarah, already dressed like a boy. They were in the school to get Paul Andrews’ credential so that in effect Paul Andrews could transfer to a school in Tennessee. They’d gone to the place using the white van from where James Andrews worked as a carpenter, a construction company. The photo of Jackie Andrews was a real occurrence, on the way out of the school, Jackie, comes across Bobby Lyeh Henson, and she saw that the child shoelace was untied, so she helped him out with his shoes.

After that day court session, the case against the Andrews was mounting, it seemed to follow the logical reason that they were the one that abducted Bobby Lyeh Henson, the evidence suggested so and Sarah closely resembled the kid Bobby Lyeh Henson at the time. The only thing that would finally set the Andrews free, and for the truth to come out was if the popular Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews could explain that she was not Bobby Lyeh Henson, and that she was not abducted.

*****

The defense was in disarray, even the defense counsel believed then that the Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews was now Bobby Lyeh Henson.

At the detention center, “You have to tell me the whole truth… so I can cut a deal with the D.A… for a reduced sentence. Kidnapping is a serious offense, you’re looking at a minimum of twelve years here, we’ll be lucky if we can get six, worse, it can be sixteen or even higher,” the defense counsel suggested.

“We didn’t abduct that boy… we’re really sorry for the Henson’s, but we didn’t take their child.” James answered the counsel.

“I don’t know if you’re telling the truth or not, but what’s important now is how the jury sees the case.” the counsel stated frustratingly.

“How do you think they see the case?” Mrs. Jackie Andrews replied sadly.

“From the evidence presented… you are guilty already. We still have time to cut a deal, let’s cut a deal with the DA?”

The couple looked into each other, they know that it was only Sarah that could explain everything, but for some reason, their loving daughter was not with them yet, and they didn’t want to betray her trust.

“Our child is not Bobby Lyeh Henson… it’s not him… that’s the truth.” James Andrews declared to the defense counsel.

At the mansion of the Summers’ in Charlotte, North Carolina, Chelsea, Miss Summers and Sarah had just arrived. Sarah was still weak and frail, but worse, when she opened the TV, she saw her dad and mom being thrown in a bunch of eggs in their faces. She instantly burst crying, feeling helpless. She seemed to blame herself for their fate. She knew if she hadn’t been gone, she could have saved her dad and mom from the harassment and embarrassment, if she hadn’t been sick, this could have been over early on. She instantaneously wanted to go the place where her dad and mom was detained, but she was still weak, and Chelsea and Miss Summers wanted to hear it first from the lawyer before they make a move. Promptly, they called in the lawyers of Mr. Fisher and Defense Counsel Denny Shore from the North Carolina Public Defenders Office.

That same night the lawyers of Mr. Fisher and Defense counsel Denny Shore arrived at the mansion of the Summers, they were all awaiting to be introduced to Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews, but instead they were introduced to a lady named Sarah Payne. The lawyers, took all the details from both Sarah and Chelsea, and devised a plan to free the Andrews.

At the next hearing, the chaos was insurmountable, every people were expecting the Andrews fall. They know, from the progress of the case, that the two were guilty of abducting Bobby Lyeh Henson, and they could sense the case would be over on that day. The defense called for their first witness, a police Detective in Western District of North Carolina handling cases of missing children.

As expected, at the presence of the Judge the crowd in the courtroom was controlled. After the oath, Defense Counsel Denny Shore immediately proceeded with questioning the witness, “Police Detective Rowel Maya – can you specify to us the names of all missing children in North Carolina in 1970.”

The witness specifies all the missing boys in western North Carolina in the seventies, starting with Bobby Lyeh Henson, London Edwards, and Ronald Stevens and so on.

“Is that all?” The defense counsel retorted

“Yes, it’s all the boys missing in 1970.” the detective answered.

“What about the missing girls?” the defense counsel continued.

“Objection…! We are talking about a missing boy here.” the prosecution interjected.

“Your honor, the defense request the court for some leeway, we will not get to the whole case without having the true numbers and name of missing children. Are next witness testimony will reinforce on the matter of the case.”

“I will allow it.” the Judge replied

“Okay, detective, the missing girls in 1970.” the defense continued

“Missing girls – Maribel Pillars 8, Janette Davis 11, Leslie Soriano 9, Theresa Viler 10, Sarah Payne 12, Cindy Javier 8, Julie Irinco 8 and…” the detective specified all the missing girls.

“Thank you… your witness.” the defense counsel said and looked at the prosecution panel.

“No Question.” the prosecution answered.

“The witness is excused.” the Judge said to the witness and said to the defense, “your next witness counsel.”

“The defense calls for Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews.”

The court went into frenzy, people started to murmur and it’s becoming noisy, because everybody was talking to each other. The media were all rushing and squeezing themselves close to the door, waiting for Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews. Sarah was able to go inside the hall of justice building without her being noticed, because she was dressed as herself, accompanied by the defense counsel. Upon entering the premises, she changes her clothes to become Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews again, in one of the chamber assigned to the defense, and remained there until she was called.

“I’m warning you… I will not stop from throwing all of you out of this court.” the Judge declared.

When Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews finally entered the courtroom, some media people fell down because of too much pushing to get a snapshot of ’him’ through photographs and TV cameras angling, but surprisingly no one made a noise except for a few scratches of feet stomping.

D’ Kid was directed by the bailiff to the witness stand, and was asked to take an oath. Although she was properly dressed as Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews, with black jacket, heavy black eye shadow, spike jet black hair and everything, but still something was different about ’him’, the people, the media could sense it, ’he’ was definitely Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews, but they could not place it, ’he’ was different somehow from usual.

“How old are you?” the defense counsel started

“I’m 33 now.” D’ Kid answered with his usual sweet soft pitch voice.

“Are you originally from North Carolina?”

“Yes.”

The crowd hummed in unison, but still audibly hushed.

The defense asked, “May you state your name?”

“I’m popularly known as Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews.”

“But it’s not your real name, isn’t it? The defense asked, while the crowd was paused in awe from anticipation. Mr. Robert and Mrs. Lillian Henson were staring at ‘him’, really thankful too, at the sight of their alleged son, they excitedly waited for the answer.

“No… it’s not.” D’ Kid answered sadly.

“I’ll ask you again, Is Paul Andrews your real name?”

“No… it’s not.” D’ Kid answered again looking at her dad and mom. The crowd’s eyes were all at Paul ‘D’ Kid’ Andrews.

“What made you to be with Mr. James and Mrs. Jackie Andrews?”

“I was a runaway kid; my Mom and Dad took me in, and took care of me.”

“You mean James and Jackie Andrews?”

“Yes.”

“Kid… I suppose you know that there could be some possibility…” the defense paused while he looked into the jury. The crowd was still in awe in silence, waiting for what D’ Kid would say. The defense continued, “You might not even know the real truth, that you have already been brainwashed for so long, have you heard of Stockholm syndrome?”

“No, sir.”

“It is when an abductee, in this case you, learned to sympathize or develop a relationship with his or her captor, you cannot deny that the years that you are with them, that could be a possibility?”

“No… that’s impossible.”

“Why not…?” The defense stated while walking around in front of the court, not even looking at the witness.

“I’m already twelve when my Mom and Dad took me in; I know why I ran-away.”

The prosecution just sat there observing, at that moment it seemed that his entire prepared question was being asked by the defense, and that they were right that he was Bobby Lyeh Henson. The defense for what it seemed, was just justifying their custody of the kid.

“You ran-away?” while the defense counsel looked at the Henson couples, standing in the bar facing the latter. The crowd was in suspense, you could see in their eyes the buildup of suspicion on the Henson couples. “Why did you run away?”

D’ Kid with weary eyes looked at ’his’ mom and dad, and accidentally to the Henson couples, ’he’ tried to measure ’his’ answer and started to falter, “I was ab… abused… I was sexually molested as a child.”

The crowd silence was turned into fiery silenced, they glared at the Henson couples with a piercing stare of contempt and murmured started to sweep in the court.

“Order… order… order” the judge said with a soft hammering of his gavel.

The Henson couples were stunned, they didn’t know how to react to the accusation, while the prosecution attorney remained calm, he already expected that the defense would have such a claimed and turn everything into a circus. He already suspected this to make it an excused for having the child with them, and he would prove that it’s not so, it’s still kidnapping, his lips just contour to the left, showing some teeth in confidence. Never even attempt to object, because he had confidently had the case, he thought.

The defense counsel continued and said, “I know it was hurtful for you to remember the past and I will no longer dwell in your torments, but this line of questioning is needed to be asked to know the absolute truth… and for the absolute truth, the past should come out. You had concealed your past, it’s about time that all secret is revealed, reveal as the truth, who are you?”

D’ Kid looked into the bench, to the Judge who was rhythmically slowly nodding his head, then she looked into the jury who waited anxiously, with the crowd, and to the Henson couples, who was still stunned at being accused by a son of being molested, and finally looked into her adopted parents, and in a soft female sounding voice she said, “My name is Sarah… Sarah Payne”.

The prosecution was caught off guard; they didn’t know how to react and so as all the people in the court, except the Andrews and their lawyers.

“Your honor, we move for the immediate dismissal of the case.” the defense counsel, motioned.

“Objection, your honor, we haven’t verified the truth about this Sarah Payne, and the claimed of abuses, this can only be a ploy by the defense, I have the right to know the truth to the fullest.

The court was in pandemonium, the crowd no longer knows who to believe, some sided with the prosecution, the other were relieved that the Henson couple were not molesters, and the media were in frenzy also, taking snapshots of anyone, while the TV camera was moving continuously.

“Order… order… order… order” again the judges continued strongly hammering his gavel, but it seemed the people didn’t hear or just totally ignored him.

In her frustration, Sarah stood from the witness stand, quickly taking off her jacket. The photographer and the cameramen noticed this, and fire away directed their camera at her. The crowd looked into her, and had noticed the difference, it’s her chest, she had a lump, a breast. And before everyone can react, she quickly shouted, “Here I’ am, I’m Sarah Payne, if you don’t believe in my word, believe this…” and she tore-up her front shirt in two, revealing her damage bosoms, showing the numerous burn marks of Keloids from cigarette burn in her breast, even her damaged nipples. The crowd turned silent, the Judge didn’t initially saw what Sarah had done, because he was looking at the court, at the crowd. When he turned his head to the left, he saw Sarah standing with her chest exposed for everybody to see. He promptly motioned to the guard to cover her up, and bring her somewhere private.

“Counsel… chambers.” the judge frustratingly declared.

“Mr. Allan Crane… your case is over, as you can see.” the Judge immediately said to the prosecution counsel.

“That doesn’t mean we cannot pursue a case of kidnapping on Sarah Payne’s behalf.” the prosecution answered.

“Good luck with that… the evidence of abused was pretty apparent, haven’t you heard of Affirmative Defense?” the Judge retorted.

The case against the Andrews was dismissed, and they were let go by the court. When the Andrews finally went out of the court, Mr. Robert and Mrs. Lillian Henson approached them, about to apologize, but was instead hugged by Mrs. Andrews, who said, “I’m sorry for your missing son… we really wish we can help you, we understand your frustration.”

The freedom of the Andrews was not the headline of the news; the media were then focused on who Sarah Payne was and who was her tormentor.

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