“Forgotten” by Dameon Rose

Chapter 1It is unseasonably warm for a early April day in 2015, while driving to the courthouse the trees were half green and half brown with a touch of summer in the air. This is normally the same route I took on a daily basis up Mormon Coulée road past the growing hospital campus was were the trial for which I am a juror on plays a big part, or at least big ending. That’s where Kenneth Valdez took his last breathe. Kenneth or Kenny as people in this town of a little over 50,000 folks nestled on the Mighty Mississippi; La Crosse, Wisconsin lived. As I stop at what seems to be every stop light I wonder why this trial is not moved out of this county. La Crosse is bustling with 3 colleges, but the townies all know each other, and Kenny was for sure a towny.Pulling into the parking garage I wonder why there is not reserved spots for jurors, and only $50 a day, seem to feel under valued by the local government that wants me to do my civil duty. I get out of my truck and take my time walking to the courthouse as I left early to make sure I got a parking spot. I almost didn’t get a spot on the jury, but I was chosen as an alternate and because I was once Kenny’s brother but adopted away from the family when I was 10 there was no emotional bond, not legal bond, just an occasional hello, or so they thought.When entering the courthouse I got my usual nasty glares from the jailers who play cop at the base of the court steps making sure that you aren’t bringing anything in or contraband. Why the glares, these people know me all to well, as i walk through the metal detector, the former high school principal jailor nods and says, ” keeping it all in the family huh Issac?”, I used my first amendment right and followed that up with, ” I am sorry you couldn’t cut it at your last job Mr. Blackly, in my opinion you are an ass and don’t cut it at this job either, and Kenny was not family, that was taken care of 27 years ago, get your facts straight fat boy.” I smiled in victory and walked on, but this was daily, could I turn him in for being unprofessional or as they say politically incorrect, but what’s the fun in that, everyone needs a little drama in their lives.
 
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 In the back of the courtroom sat a whole group of people, some that I vaguely recognized from being around Kenny either at the bar or at a backyard BBQ, but then there were some recognizable faces that I attempted to make eye contact with to no avail, unsure if they were choosing not to look at me or were to wrapped up up in emotion to only look at the defendant table. Lynn, or MaMa which everyone called her that was between the ages of 35-45; who also actually happened to be my biological mother, but still not legally. Elisabet, the ex wife of the defendant, still trying to figure out why she was here as they were divorced 2 years ago and to my knowledge haven’t spoken since, but maybe there is still love there, that’s not for me to judge though. Kenny’s ex wife Jenny, think she is just there for the fake sympathy, Ann his baby mama, who is doing the same as Jenny and then sitting on the other side of MaMa was Kenny’s current love interest Jo and as some people talk, maybe also the reason he is dead. Booga the mortar of the family who through so much has always been there to keep everyone in check through his bellowing mouth or his loving touch, he could always be depended on to call you a dumbass or celebrate your successes. As the rest of the courtroom filed in, news people, curious on lookers the clerk stood up and announced the judge’s entrance, “ Please rise, the Honorable Judge Stone presiding”, I never really liked judges as they put their pants on the same way but feel they are comparable to whomever your higher power may be. The Judge went through the jury’s instructions like he was reading the back of a baseball card and you could tell that no one was listening, he then looked at the defendant, and stated, “ Mr. Valdez, do you understand the instructions that were given to the jury?”. Andy then responded with a slow nod and a quite “yes…”, and then that’s when you heard the rumbling in the courtroom, the defendant was Kenny’s twin brother, my non legal brother and the suspected murderer of his twin.

 

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