The chapters seem to be coming out of me quickly since I've been on vacation. My time at the beach is coming to a close, but I hope to keep writing! Forgive me if I got some of the Fitzpatrick jail time wrong. Couldn't exactly recall how much the show shared.
Chapter 23: Rules of Evidence
Logan really and truly wished he could sleep in. However, between his own anxieties about court today and all the household noises, sleep was impossible. He sighed in resignation and sat up in his twin bed. His back twinged painfully at his movements. His hands itched. He knew itching meant healing, but it was annoying.
There was a loud bang on his bedroom door. "Logan? Are you up? Grandma said to wake you. Breakfast is ready. Pancakes," Jordan shouted.
"I'm up. Be right there," Logan yelled back. Weevil's little brothers were much more pleasant than Weevil. The youngest one was actually very cute and sweet. The alter boy. Logan always thought it'd be cool to have a little brother. He just had his friends. However, Dick and Duncan were like brothers to him. Like brothers, they always had each others' backs. Even Beaver at times seemed like the unwanted little brother you had to put up with. But Weevil had a family. Even without a mom and dad, he had a family. He had a grandmother, brothers, and an endless supply of cousins and other relatives. For the first time in his life, Logan felt envious of his rival. Weevil and his family didn't have a lot of money, but it really didn't seem to matter. They were much happier than any other family Logan knew. It disconcerted him. Weevil wasn't even as bad as Logan expected. At least not more than annoying. And Grandma Letty's pancakes were so worth their weight in gold.
Twenty minutes later Logan, after gorging on an insane amount of pancakes, pushed the plate back. "No mas!" he moaned.
Grandma Letty gave him a pleased smile. "It's good that you eat so much. Soon you will be all better. How you feeling this morning?" she asked.
"Okay. My hands itch like crazy, and my back still hurts. But it's getting better," Logan replied.
"What time's your doctor appointment?" Weevil asked.
"Nine. Court's at ten, so I'm cutting it close," Logan said.
"Take off your shirt," Grandma Letty ordered.
Weevil choked on the juice he had just taken a drink of. "Grandma!" he gasped.
Before Logan could reply, she repeated her order, "Take off your shirt. I need to apply your medicine and see how it looks before you go to doctor. Don't want the doctor to think I no take good care of you," she said.
Logan laughed at Weevil's confusion and stood up. "No danger of that. My own parents never paid so much attention to me," Logan replied as he took off his shirt.
Neither Grandma Letty nor Weevil commented on his remark but a look was exchanged between them. Logan moved the chair and turned so he was straddling the chair and his back was facing Weevil's grandmother.
Weevil got up from his own chair, curious to see the damage. The bandage was toward the top center of his back. Letty carefully pulled off the bandage and examined it. "Ah, good. No infection. Let it breathe while I go get the salve," she said.
Weevil found the injury more than a little disgusting. Burns were never attractive and this one was a burn and a nice size hole. At least the stitches indicated there had been a hole. "Wicked!" Weevil exclaimed. As Weevil looked at the back, he couldn't help but notice several other scars. The more he looked the more he saw. He couldn't help but wince. "Man, your back is a map of battle scars," he said. "What happened?"
His grandmother entered the kitchen as he asked. "Never you mind that, Eli," she said.
Logan shrugged. "It's okay. Let's just say dear o' Dad wasn't just a murdering sex fiend," Logan shared.
Weevil looked at his grandmother who nodded without saying anything. She obviously knew that Logan had been abused. No wonder she had been so quick to offer him aid. All those years she had worked in that house and knew that Aaron Echolls hurt his son and knew she could do nothing about it. He drove his wife to suicide, seduced and killed his son's girlfriend, and attempted to kill a second. For the first time in his life, Weevil felt true sympathy for the leader of the 09ers. Weevil's father may be a loser, but he'd never hurt Weevil physically.
"He sounds like a real winner. Maybe I'll give my dad a call and have him pay a little visit to your dad," Weevil suggested.
Logan turned and looked confused. "Huh?" he asked.
"My dad's no winner either. He's serving a dime for holding up a store," Weevil shared. Knowing they shared less than admirable fathers alleviated some of the awkwardness Logan's revelation caused.
Logan nodded understanding and appreciating Weevil's gesture. "Dad always likes to meet a fan," he replied with a grin.
Weevil returned it and then began to clear the breakfast plates while his grandmother took care of Logan's back.
******Two Hours Later*******
Logan's attorney was waiting for him outside of the courtroom doors. "Hey, Logan. What did the doctor say?" his attorney asked.
"Healing nicely. No signs of infection and he took off the bandage. I should get my stitches out in a few more days," Logan replied. "So how's this going to work?"
"We wait until you're called, and then the D.A. will present the evidence against you. Then I will proceed to tear apart their evidence and introduce my own," the lawyer replied.
"And Luis will testify?" Logan asked.
"Yes, and I also am calling Deputy Sacks to the stand to counter Sheriff Lamb," the lawyer revealed. "I feel really good about this, Logan."
"So you think my chances are good?" Logan asked.
"Very good," the lawyer said.
"Do you need me to say good things about Logan?" Mrs. Navarro asked.
"If we have to go to trial, yes. But not for this hearing," the lawyer said.
"Thanks for coming," Logan said to her and Weevil.
"Logan!" a voice called out. He turned and saw Keith and Veronica Mars coming toward them. He smiled, happy to see them.
Veronica went up and gave him a kiss. Keith spoke to Leo, his police escort. "If the hearing goes Logan's way, will you be able to take off the monitor or does your boss plan to drag this out?" Keith asked.
Leo grinned. "Not even Don can interfere with a judge's order so don't worry. I will take it off if the charges are dropped," Leo assured them.
They all filed into the courtroom. Logan's friends sat in the row behind him and his attorney. They didn't have to wait long before Logan's name was called. All the old evidence was introduced. Finding Logan at Veronica's bloody and beat up. Logan's attorney was smart. He asked Sheriff Lamb if any of the blood on Logan's shirt had belonged to the deceased Felix Toombs. When Don admitted it had all been Logan's blood, the attorney hammered Don's testimony over the new witness. He was asked if Dr. Griffith had been the first witness to come forward. The attorney got him to admit that Luis had came in first.
"So you didn't find it strange that the very next day a new witness just magically appeared to give a completely opposite testimony?" the attorney asked Lamb.
"Sometimes one witness stepping forward is all it takes. Obviously, the doctor didn't like knowing a witness was stating something contrary to the facts he witnessed," Lamb said easily.
"So you dismissed Luis Ramirez's testimony? Why? Because he wasn't a white doctor?" the attorney asked pointedly.
"We found Dr. Griffith's testimony more credible. His standing in the community was a factor," Don admitted.
"And you did not find Dr. Griffith to have any unsavory associates?" the attorney questioned.
"No," Lamb replied.
"So it may surprise you to discover that he has been called upon more than once to patch up one of the Fitzpatricks?" the attorney asked.
Lamb's surprise was obvious. When questioned further, he reluctantly shared who the Fitzpatricks were and what their reputation was in the town.
"So finding evidence to nail the Fitzpatricks for drugs and other criminal activity was a long term goal of the Neptune Sheriff's Department, isn't that right?" the attorney asked.
"Our goal is to always stop crime," Lamb answered evasively.
Logan's attorney didn't have any further questions. The prosecution then called up Dr. Griffith to give his testimony. Logan's high priced attorney looked eager to question the doctor. He got the doctor to admit he had done work on both Danny Boyd and his cousin Cormac Fitzpatrick. Then he entered Dr. Griffith's bank statement into evidence.
"Dr. Griffith, can your read the amount of the deposit on July 5th and who it was from?" the attorney asked.
"It's for $20,000 and is from Fitzco Incorporated," Dr. Griffith said.
"And who is Fitzco Incorporated?" the attorney asked.
"A client of mine," Dr. Griffith replied, his nerves starting to show.
"A client? One you did surgery on?" the attorney asked with a smirk.
"Obviously, not. I'd have to look it up in my records," the doctor answered evasively, obviously uncomfortable with this line of questioning.
"Well, let me jog your memory. Fitzco is owned by the Rivery Styx's, which is owned by the Fitzpatricks-the town's most notorious crime family," the attorney explained.
"Objection, your honor, the Fitzpatricks are not on trial here," the D.A. argued.
"Your honor, this is clear evidence that this witness was bought off. I have a witness that will testify that they saw another person stab the victim. A person who is selling drugs for the Fitzpatricks," the attorney argued.
"I'll allow it. Remember, this is not a trial. I will allow some leeway," the judge announced.
"Your, honor, I'd like to admit into evidence this city records showing that Fitzco Incorporated is owned by the River Styx," the attorney said. He handed a copy to both the judge and the D.A.
"So, Dr. Griffith, is $20,000 the going rate for lying under oath?" the attorney asked.
The D. A. objected, and Logan's attorney's rephrased the question. "Dr. Griffith, did the Fitzpatrick family pay you money to give false testimony?" the attorney asked.
"No, of course not," the doctor replied.
"So you expect the court to believe that you getting paid $20,000 the day before you walked into the Sheriff's Department is pure coincidence?" the attorney asked, the disbelief and disdain obvious in his tone.
"Yes," the doctor replied.
The judge interrupted. "You do know the crime for perjury?" the judge asked.
"Yes, your honor," the doctor replied.
It was clear that the judge was not convinced of the doctor's testimony. He was dismissed and the prosecution had no more evidence.
"Our turn," Logan's attorney said to him. Logan was surprised when the first witness he called was Keith Mars. Logan looked back at Veronica, who was obviously surprised, too.
"Mr. Mars, how long where you the Sheriff here?" the attorney asked.
"Five years," Keith replied.
"In those five years, did you have occasion to arrest any of the Fitzpatricks?" the attorney asked.
"Yes, several times. Currently, Liam's brother is serving ten years for armed robbery. The members of the family, with the exception of their brother who is a priest at St. Mary's, have been in and out of jail since they were fourteen," Keith replied.
"What is the most common crime they are arrested for?" the attorney asked.
"Drug possession and theft," Keith stated.
"And what was your suspicion during the years you were sheriff?" the attorney questioned.
"That the River Styx was a cover for drug trafficking," Keith replied. "Not being able to prove that before I quit being sheriff was one of my great disappointments."
"Thank you, Mr. Mars," the attorney said.
The D.A. asked, "Mr. Mars, you didn't quit being sheriff but were fired, isn't that correct?"
"I was asked to resign due to my conviction that the Kane family was covering up evidence in their daughter's death," Keith said.
"So you often suspect people of crimes without any real evidence, don't you?" the district attorney asked.
"I suspect criminals of criminal behavior and become suspicious when sworn statements contradict, which was the case with the Kane family," Keith answered easily.
Logan couldn't help but be impressed at the ease in which Keith answered the D.A.'s questions. He couldn't be shaken. Finally, the district attorney gave up.
Next, Deputy Sacks was called to the stand. His reluctance to testify was obvious, but he could not ignore a summons. He went on record stating that the sheriff had been perfectly satisfied with Luis' testimony until the next day when Dr. Griffith came in. Sacks had verified with Luis's job the time he got off, and the GPS on the truck did put Luis near the bridge at that time. Logan turned back to Veronica and flashed her an excited grin. Veronica was always extra happy whenever Lamb's incompetence was clearly shown. She kept throwing him gloating looks.
Then Logan's attorney called Logan to the stand to give his testimony. Logan had told the story so many times that he could tell it in his sleep. Yes, he was surrounded by ten or more gang members. Yes, he knocked out their leader Weevil with a kick to the head. Yes, he woke up on the bridge with Felix dead and a bloody knife in his hand. Yes, there was a witness who found him and asked him if he was okay. Logan testified about the truck Luis was driving. This was the first time he had admitted this part on record. He argued with his attorney about admitting about the knife. However, his attorney said he had to because of what Luis would testify about.
When the D.A. got a chance to question him, he brought up the fact that Logan never shared this part, and he threw the knife in the water. Logan admitted that he was scared. He woke up not remembering exactly what happened but knew that someone was dead, and he had a knife he had never seen before in his hand. Logan managed to keep his cool under testimony by looking over at Veronica every time he felt like yelling at the district attorney. Finally, it was over and Logan was able to step down.
Then Luis was called to the stand. He gave a clear testimony about what he saw on the bridge and his fear of PCH retaliation. He admitted that the only reason he had gotten up the courage to testify was because the leader of the PCHers had came to him and asked him what he saw, assuring he had nothing to fear.
"What exactly did Mr. Navarro say to you?" the attorney asked.
"After I told him what I saw, he asked me if I was positive it was another PCHer that stabbed the one PCHer and planted the knife," Luis replied.
"What was your reply?"
"I said I was. Then he showed me a few pictures of his friends. There were three that looked similar and matched the person I saw stab the other guy. Shaved heads, not too tall. From the distance, I couldn't give a positive ID, but I thought three of his friends could've been the guy I saw," Luis replied.
"Did Sheriff Lamb give you any reason why he no longer needed you to sit down with a sketch artist so an ID might be made?" the attorney asked.
"He told me that he had another witness and my testimony was no longer needed," Luis replied.
As Luis talked, Logan became excited. Things were going really well. Luis was credible and clear on what he saw. The district attorney couldn't shake him. In fact, Luis's disgust at being so easily dismissed by Lamb was obvious.
Logan was once again surprised when his attorney called Weevil to the stand. Logan could not believe that Weevil was testifying. No one had told him. He looked back at Veronica who also seemed surprised.
Weevil testified about the night Felix was killed and how he had overheard Veronica Mars say Logan lied about his alibi the night Lilly Kane was killed. Weevil was convinced that Logan killed Lilly and wanted him to pay, so he ordered his guys to go after him. Weevil admitted to not being conscious for long when Logan kicked him in the face. Logan smirked at hearing Weevil admit that. When he looked back at Veronica, he could see that hearing this upset her. Frowning, he turned back to listen to his attorney question Weevil further. His attorney asked Eli about the pictures he showed Luis. Weevil testified that he showed Luis pictures of Jorge, Juan, and Thumper.
"However, I knew it was Thumper," Weevil explained.
"Because one of my boys told me that Thumper was running drugs for the Fitzpatricks," Weevil shared.
"How did he find this out?" the attorney asked.
"He saw Thumper at the River Styx do a hand off. Then I had instructed a few of them to find some hard evidence," Weevil admitted.
They had decided that the video Veronica had planted would be introduced as something one of Weevil's boys did.
"What is this evidence?" the attorney questioned.
"We noticed that Thumper and Liam Fitzpatrick were going to confessional at St. Mary's an awful lot. Sometimes twice a week. I found that odd. Even my grandmother noticed Thumper's sudden increase in church attendance and had mentioned it to me. I guess one of the boys decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. One of them planted a camera in the confessional," Weevil admitted.
The D.A. was naturally outraged at this and stood up to object. The judge called both attorneys to his bench. Logan's attorney argued that the video had no sound and no sacred confessions were recorded, but it clearly shows that the confessional was used as a drop point for drugs and money. The judge was curious, so he allowed the video to be played. After the video was played, the judge waved his hand.
"Okay, I've seen enough. It's obvious to the court that the Sheriff's department has put little effort into a real investigation and too easily decided to pin this murder once again on Logan Echolls without actually looking at the evidence," the judge said. He looked at Lamb. "Sheriff, do a better job or I'll do my best to see you thrown out of office like your predecessor. I'm dismissing the charges against Mr. Echolls. If I see him brought into court on these charges again, I'm going to have a grand jury formed to investigate ever aspect of your leadership. Is that clear?" Don nodded in anger. The judge hit his gavel. "Case dismissed. Mr. Echolls is free to go."
Veronica stood up and cheered and wasted no time in getting to Logan's side. He gave her a loud smack on the lips and grinned from ear to ear. Then he turned to his lawyer. "You were worth every penny," Logan said, shaking his head.
"Well, you and your friends made my job easy. Good luck, Logan. Call me if you need me again." Then the attorney said to Sheriff Lamb. "Remove his ankle monitor, please."
Lamb motioned to Sacks who went to Logan and took off the monitor. Grandma Letty gave him a hug, and Keith shook his hand. Logan felt a huge weight lift off of him. He couldn't believe it was over.
"I can't believe you guys testified on my behalf. Thanks. I owe you both," Logan said to Keith and Weevil.
Weevil shrugged. "Your attorney told me that my testimony was needed to get in the video without incriminating anyone else," he looked pointedly at Veronica.
Keith noticed the look. "Veronica, is there something you want to tell me?" he asked sternly.
"No. Nothing at all," she said innocently.
While Keith pulled her aside and began to lecture her on the sins of bugging confessionals, Logan turned back to Weevil. "Dude, I know we've had a lot of problems between us. I hated you for sleeping with Lilly and wanting to sleep with Veronica, but what you did today and what you did last week more than makes up for it. I owe you my life. From now on, I'd like you to consider me a friend," Logan said, holding out his hand.
Weevil took it. "Does this make me an honorary 09er?" he asked with a smirk.
"Nope. Your house is too small and mine burned down, so I guess that makes me an 02er," Logan replied with a grin.
Weevil laughed. "That'll be the day," he said. "And listen, I don't have a thing for Veronica. She's hot, and I like to flirt with her sometime. But I really don't think of her that way. At least not in a long time. It's hard to not like her and want to protect her, but it's not because I'm panting after her. So you can relax about that."
Logan nodded, happy to hear that. They both looked over at Veronica who was working her mojo on her dad. Keith no longer looked annoyed and was fighting a grin. "She's something, isn't she?" Logan said to Weevil.
Weevil chuckled. "One of a kind."
So I know this was a quick wrap up, but I honestly couldn't see a good attorney not tearing apart Lamb's stupidity. No need to use Hannah after all. Reviews make me happy. If this chapter made you happy, share. If it annoyed you, you can share that, too! :)