Friday, November 22, 2013

Today in Court - Totally Sucked

Today was the court date set for Ebony and Shelby to accept or reject the deal given to them by the district attorney, on Nov. 12th - the last court date.  I thought everything was ready to go.  I had spoken to Shelby several times and she new she was offered a good deal.  Ebony's deal was even better, he'd been offered two years, would probably serve a year, or even less than that.

Got up, dressed for court and headed out the door.

Got to the courthouse - they call it the BBC.  I don't know what the acronym is for - haven't had the interest to look it up.  Anyway, went to the court room, third floor, 317.  I enter and see Ebony's dad, and Heather, a on-again off-again girlfriend of Ebony's.  I also see Joesph Reisz, Shelby's attorney, but don't see Ebony's attorney.  A few minutes later he walks through the door, gets Reisz' attention and calls him outside of the courtroom.  Another case is currently being tried, Shelby and Ebony's case hasn't been called yet.  I exit the courtroom after them, to let Reisz know I'm there.  He acknowledges me but continues to talk with Ebony's lawyer.  I take a seat in the hallway and wait for them to finish their discussion. 

Here's the BBC:

Afterwards, Reisz walks over to me, seemingly frustrated, and tells me that Ebony has decided to reject the deal.  "What?!, " I ask.  "Why?"  He tells me because he's an idiot.  I agree with him.  He says that Ebony feels as though he is the victim in the case.  He was just with Shelby and George attacked him.  I asked him how this affects Shelby's case.  The problem is the case is being tried together, because the crime was committed together.  So Reisz then tells me that he's going to see if the DA will agree to split the case, allowing Shelby to accept the deal and then let Ebony fend for himself.  I thought that was an excellent plan and agreed with him.

We all go back into the court room.  The other case has ended and Ebony and Shelby's case is called.  Instead of bringing them in the courtroom, the lawyers waive their appearance and state that they'd like some time to talk to their clients, that one is rejecting the offer and the other is not.  The judge agrees and the lawyers and the DA step out of the courtroom.  The DA looks pissed.  Reisz tells me he's gonna try to get Shelby to talk to Ebony - have them and both lawyers in the same room - to discuss it and try to get him to change his mind.

He goes upstairs to tell Shelby what's happening.  He comes back down.  Shelby is obviously very upset.  She was ready to accept the offer and move forward.  This stalls things completely.  The DA has 10 days to think about splitting the case, so the court date was reset to December 5th at 1:30pm.  Obviously, Shelby will have (or better have) had the baby by then and I will not be here for that hearing.  That is also my birthday.  Happy birthday to me.

Here is a brief, oversimplified version of the problems with all of this:

If the DA refuses to separate the case, then Shelby's offer could be redacted.  The DA is pissed. I told Reicz that Shelby could testify against him, thinking it could make it more appealing to the DA to separate the case. The box cutter found at the scene could be put in Ebony hands. Reicz is worried about if they don't split case, then it's both armed. Conspiracy to commit murder....several other charges could be found if they go to trial.  The police tape of them being interviewed is pretty damming.  Both are mad.  Both Ebony and Shelby say stupid things - that could potentially be used against them.

If they don't separate the case and Ebony continues to refuse, then the case goes to trial.  If found guilty, Shelby could be looking at serving 10 - 18 years.  Ebony could be looking about 10.  Ebony thinks he's the victim.  Shelby did the stabbing.  He was just there and George attacked him.  George was the aggressor.  But the stupid thing Ebony did was go back and steal his cell phone.  He stole a cell phone from a man on the ground bleeding, then left the scene of the crime.  That's how he got the felony robbery charge against him. 

Shelby's lawyer thinks Ebony's family is telling him to not take it. But I talked to his dad and to Heather. They were both shocked and think Ebony's being stupid.  My gut is telling me his lawyer is advising him against the deal. My gut is usually right.

Here's my hope: the DA separates the case and allows Shelby to take the deal. Ebony goes to trial and loses and then gets locked up for long time.  What are the chances of that happening?  I don't know.  50/50, I'd say.

So now, all of my court appearances are over.  Now I'm just sitting here waiting for Shelby to have her baby so I can get her go back home.  Ellie is missing me and I'm missing him too.

No comments: