[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
For 1-55 (Chapters 1-13), see here.
56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 Chap 14 056-063 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 Chap 15 064-074 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Chap 16 075-084 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 Chap 17 85-95 96 97 98 99
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 100
Chapter 18 (5 of 15): Arrest
“As for her danger to the community. Well, we don’t know that she is guilty of anything yet, do we? The police have found no record of any kind, and that’s after checking their own data bases and those maintained by the F.B.I. There isn’t even a traffic ticket, Your Honor. Furthermore, if, as Mr. Kerzy suggested earlier, this is a murder that is part of some kind of love triangle, then the perpetrator is no danger to any other person in the community.
“We submit, Your Honor, that my client is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. We ask for release on O.R.”
Kerzy shoots up. “You Honor, puh-lease!” He throws his arm wide and up as if to an uncaring God.
“That’ll do, Mr. Kerzy. There is no jury here, and hence no need for histrionics.”
This time the laughter in the courtroom is met by no stern look of disapproval from the judge.
“But O.R., Your Honor? Is Ms. Siu serious?”
“Yes. Nice try, Ms. Siu, but that’s not going to happen today.”
Natalie bows her head repentantly. “We ask for minimum bail, Your Honor.”
“The people are still opposed to bail, Your Honor.” Kerzy’s voice is loud with outrage.
“I believe the defense has made a case for bail,” he judge says, weighing his words carefully.
“The people request the highest possible bail. Cash, no bond, Your Honor.”
“Sit down, Mr. Kerzy. The court is aware of the people’s position and thanks them for their input.”
The D.A. sits down, his disgruntled face a clear sign of his feelings on the matter. Mazarine is walking on clouds and Natalie maintains a dispassionate expression. But she is thrilled.
And then the judge speaks again.
“I do find it appropriate in this case to order a pretrial release for the defendant. I believe she has indicated by her actions that she will appear on July nineteen and that she constitutes not threat to the community. But,” he goes on, and the little words looms huge and threatening in the now deathly silent court room, “this is, as the district attorney has pointed out, a heinous crime, and the bail should reflect that fact. Bail is herewith set at fifteen million dollars, in cash.”
There is a collective gasp in the room as neighbor turns to neighbor and, awed, murmurs, ‘fifteen million’. Mazarine falls through the rent in her cloud and Natalie has a difficult time restraining herself from screaming at the judge. Fifteen million? It is laughably obvious that this is a political ploy and not a juridical move. But she knows as well as the judge that he is under no obligation to justify to anyone the amount of bail he sets. It is his prerogative, and his alone.
The naked consternation at the defense table is matched by the smug satisfaction emanating from the prosecution. They are whispering delightedly among themselves.
“The defendant,” the judge says, “should see the clerk of court about payment and surrender her tax returns and passport.” He makes a move to bang his gavel. This business before the court is finished.
“Your Honor,” Natalie manages to squeeze out, “fifteen million dollars is far beyond the means of my client. I must respectfully add that the sum seems extraordinary under the circumstances.”
“You have my final word in the matter. If your client is unable to post bail, she will be remanded to custody at Women’s Correctional until the time of the trial. You are free to confer with her there and plan your defense.” He looks out over the agitated gallery. Lifting his gavel once more, he asks, “Is there any other business before this court?”
Natalie’s posture bears elegant witness to her view of things, and Mazarine has her head in her arms. The bailiffs are already moving in her direction, and the they have handcuffs at the ready. The minicams are rolling.
“If I may, Your Honor,” a crisply accented voice emerges from the restless crowd. All eyes — including those of the judge — and cameras turn to see a tall, lean man of dark complexion rise. He is dressed in high elegance in a Navy blue three-piece of conservative European cut. Another man of similar hue but somewhat shorter and stockier stands beside him and, from the valise chained to his left hand, appears to be an assistant or courier of some sort. “If I may ask the court’s indulgence for just one minute, Your Honor?”
TO BE CONTINUED