Chapter 16

Perspective of Phoenix Wright

Date: May 10th

Time 19:30

Location: Police interview room

Leo looked a broken mess. Ema stood by the door to block his escape route. Inspector Gumshoe turned on the tape recorder.

"Why did you do it?" he asked.

The murderer gave a sigh.

"Colby took everything from me. He even took advantage of my girlfriend. Even when we caught him coming out of her dorm, my dad was still on Colby's side. He said that if anything happened to Colby he'd turn me over to the police. The other night, when I was doing my dad's accounts, I saw a copy of his will."

His fists tightened.

"He left Colby pretty much everything. After everything I'd done, all I've had to put up with and all my thankless sacrifices, I was only left ten percent. He told me that Colby needed the money more than I did. He had no education, no job and no chance of ever getting one. It wasn't fair. He was going to be rewarded for being a selfish waste of a human life while I walked away with nothing."

"So why did you poison your father? Why not Colby himself?"

"Because if I did, my dad would know it was me and turned me over to the police. Whenever I would call Colby out on his selfishness, dad would always threaten me. He couldn't accept the truth. So I decided to kill him instead and make Colby out as the murderer. That way, Colby would have been disinherited. Every Wednesday, Colby comes home from drinking early to watch this old sitcom that starts at half nine. I set up a radio in the tree outside so that when the time was right, I could give a loud scream to draw attention to the crime scene."

Gumshoe made notes and raised his head.

"You have also been charged with kidnapping and blackmail. Your statement please."

I knew it was serious. Gumshoe not calling you "Pal", even to someone he had arrested meant that you were in his bad books- big time.

"Why did you target that girl?"

"She sometimes comes to the hospital to perform charity magic shows and leave pamphlets around for the agency she works for. The latest one showed that her agency doubled as a law firm. So I started to follow her whenever she was helping out with a court case."

"You mean you stalked her." Gumshoe glowered. I can't perceive body language as well as Apollo and Trucy can, but even I could tell that it was taking all of Gumshoe's willpower to resisting beating Leo up.

Leo just nodded, with his eyes to the floor.

"Yes. I thought that if he took her hostage, like in the Jammin' Ninja murder, people would be sure that Colby was responsible. At the hospital where I work, we use chlorophorm as an anaesthetic. I took some and used it to knock the girl out. I made it easy for her to escape so that the defence lawyer would drop the case and let Colby rot in jail."

"I also understand there are charges of a hit and run on one Mr Apollo Justice. Do you have anything to say about that?"

"My brother stole that car from our, Winston Payne who lives next door. He hid it in one of our dad's warehouses. When I took the girl, that man tried to stop me. It was too late for me to go back, so I had to run him over."

"And then at the hospital, you were caught in the act of trying to suffocate the man you ran over."

"He had seen my face. But as I went to suffocate him, he suddenly opened his eyes, grabbed my wrists and wrestled me to the floor."

Leo must have felt tense at the time. That tension must have set off Apollo's perceive power. Good thing I put his bracelet back on him or…I don't want to think about it.

Gumshoe wrote in his police note book. He looked at Leo as if he was dirt.

"So you have committed two acts of attempted murder, one count of stalking, kidnapping and being in possession of stolen items in addition to the murder of your own father. I'd advice you to speak to an attorney, but I don't think there's anyone in the country who'd want you walking the streets."

Finally, the interrogation was over. Two officers took Leo away.

Date: May 11th

Time: 10:00

Location: Court.

This was the first time I'd had Trucy as my aid during a trial.

Keith Barr called me back the night before today's trial and confirmed Colby's alibi. Though Gavin took great pleasure in pointing out that the poison used takes fifteen minutes to work from the time it's ingested. Then he recounted a recent case where the murderer planted the poison seven years before his victim was affected. But thankfully, Gumshoe played Leo's confession. The jury came back from their discussion and retook their seats.

"Has the jury reached a decision?" the judge asked. A man stood up.

"We find the defendant not guilty."

There was some cheering from the crowd. But looking at Colby, cheering was the last thing on my mind.

This is the first time I've not been happy about a not guilty verdict.

Date: May 11

Time 10:30

Location Defendant Lobby Number 3.

When I left the lobby, Colby was looking as unpleasant as every.

"No good cry baby Leo…"

Then we made eye contact.

"See?" he said, folding his arms. "I told you I was the good guy!"

I had had just about enough.

"No you're not. What Leo did was inexcusable, but you took advantage of a girl that you got drunk. Your selfishness drove your family. You steal, lie, cheat and never think of how your behaviour affects other people. You may not be a murderer, but you were never a good person."

Colby's eyes went to the floor. I think the gravity of the situation finally caught up with him. His brother had betrayed him, he had just found out about a child that he would never get to see and his father, the only person who could ever love him was dead. He no longer had a family and was truly alone. All he had was his debt to tender lender. Usually, I feel sorry for people who have it this bad, but the fact is, he brought all of it on himself.

Luckily for him, he was going to inherit a lot of money. But if he didn't change his ways, stop gambling, take anger management therapy and cut down on the drinking it wouldn't last.

I wrote out a bill.

"My fee for working this case. Now I know you've had money trouble lately, so I'm going to give you a couple of weeks breathing time. You need to get your inheritance sorted out and pay off your debt to Tender Lender."

I handed him the bill. He gave a hissing sigh. Then he rubbed his face into the palm of his hand.

"Th…thanks."

Then he went away.

Trucy looked pretty down.

"Are you going to be okay, daddy?"

Then I remembered about staying strong for her. Only cry when it's over and all that jazz.

I took a moment to look at her, my wonderful daughter. I put on a big smile. No pretending. It was genuine. Seeing her safe made me really happy.

"Yeah. Anyway, let's wait until the others get here and then go out to Eldoons."

"Others?" She pondered for a minute. Then her face lit up.

"You mean…?!"

Then we heard footsteps. Hmm. That was ironic timing. Ema and the freshly discharged Apollo came through the door.

"Polly!"

"Trucy! I'm so glad you're alright!"

Tears were swelling in her eyes. She ran at Apollo as the tears escaped. Apollo wrapped her in his arms and held her close. He was starting to tear up himself. I took a look at Ema as she fingered something out of her eye.

Our eyes met. She suddenly looked embarrassed and pulled her glasses over her eyes.

Yeah, she's not fooling anybody with that "I am not crying!" look.

She's been such a help with this case. It helps having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely.

But, it's okay to cry now. Because it's all over.

But then I felt crying for another reason when I saw our next visitor.

"Guten Tag Herr Forehead! Herr Wright!"

Uh-oh. It's Gavin.

"It is good to see you feeling better Herr Forehead!"

"Thank you, Mr Gavin." Said Apollo "And thanks for the card."

Gavin ran his hand through his own hair.

"You're welcome. Though I also noticed that your badge is missing."

He flashed that smug smile. His eyes went to the badge on my lapel.

"I wonder where it could have gone."

I was right.

Busted…

"Well, since I'm not working today, I left it on my other waistcoat." said Apollo.

Nice try…

Gavin suppressed a laugh.

"Sure you did. Well, I won't tell if you won't. Provided the next time your agency represents someone, there's no time share on the badge."

We said no more about it. We headed over to Eldoon's noodle stand, where I discreetly gave Apollo his badge back.

In the months that followed, I made sure to keep an eye on Colby and make sure he paid his bill. He inherited his father's warehouses and decided to continue lending them out. He paid off the bill for my legal services, so at least I know he's making an effort. Though Winston Payne still complains about finding cigarette buts on his lawn.

I found out that Jessica James was doing a lot better too. She told her parents and friends about her pregnancy and they're all being supportive. She's happily trying to think of a name for the baby.

Eventually I got the result from my re-taking the bar exam.

I passed. It was time to do some serious celebrating.

How did we celebrate?

By going out for burgers!

The End