As luck would have it, my phone service has gone haywire just as we move into the court phase of events in Memphis. My phones still work, except they don’t ring. On your end of the line, you might hear my phone ringing on and on, but on my end all is blissful silence. This is not a good thing.
I didn’t realize I had a technology problem until last Friday when my neighbor stopped at the road and asked me accusingly, “Don’tcha ever answer your phone anymore?” She told me she’d been calling for a couple days. Another friend sent me an e-mail this weekend scolding me for leaving town without telling them so they wouldn’t worry. God only knows how many other people are pissed off with me.
On Saturday a repair manager at the phone company told me they couldn’t find the problem at the main switch, that this was a rare problem, and that they’d have to dispatch a repairman into the field on Monday to troubleshoot the issue.
So it’s a quiet Monday morning here, and I’m taking comfort from the fact that it’s only jury selection day in Memphis. There’ll be no breaking news today, only a late-night report (presumably after the phone’s repaired) so I can create tomorrow’s post.
I’m also taking comfort from the fact that the non-ringing phone is no reflection on me after all. I was beginning to suspect I was becoming a forgotten man.
Groove of the Day
10:30 am Here is the latest report from Memphis, a place who’s “justice” system obviously has its own way of working.
Last week the prosecution applied a full-court-press to get James to accept a plea deal calling for a 15-year sentence without the possibility of parole, and the addition of James’ name to a sex offender registry. The prosecution basically offered a “your-life-is-toast” deal and James, after praying and thinking upon it, decided to reject it. “I am not going to admit to something I didn’t do,” James told Stephen.
The prosecution (or somebody) is still applying pressure. This morning James was awakened at 4:00 am to be taken to a holding cell at the court building, even though his presence is not required in court today. This move appears designed to raise James’ stress level and place him incommunicado, cut off from Stephen’s steadying and reassuring influence.
The jail is also preventing the delivery to James of a new pair of prescription glasses that James will need to observe events in court and assist in his defense. This is dirty pool. Curiously, James’ attorney is doing nothing to help us rectify this situation.
Stephen has told me that the court is not allowing him to attend jury selection. This is another curious development. We will have no firsthand assurance that the jury selection process has been an honest one.
I hope that aroma I’m smelling is not rotten fish. (If I were living in Tennessee, I’d suspect my phone had been sabotaged.)
11:35 am The phone guys just showed up, and we discovered that somebody has apparently entered my home and turned off the ringers on both telephones. This alarms me to the possibility that someone is “sending me a message.”
3:00 pm Stephen has just called, exhausted. He has been walking all over town on his prosthetic leg trying to solve the eyeglasses thing.
He says jury selection began at 1:30 pm. It is hard to imagine they will finish up today, but they do do things differently in Memphis.
Before jury selection commenced, Stephen stopped by the courtroom to check it out, and he stumbled on some sort of hearing in which James Prindle was cuffed and jumpsuited and being questioned without his attorney present. The judge and the prosecutors were not present, either. Stephen was immediately kicked out by a uniformed cop who shut the door in Stephen’s face. We will not know until James calls what that was all about.
7:10 pm Stephen is still waiting to hear from James about that interrogation. “I don’t know what it was about, but James looked scared,” Stephen said.
Claiborne called and said that a jury has been seated. “He said the jury seems open-minded,” Stephen said. The trial begins tomorrow at 1:30 pm.
Among the first witnesses the prosecution will call are James’ mother Monica Sanders and her mother, James’ grandmother, Pam Croft.
Our discussion is cut short by a call from James…
8:00 pm Stephen had got it wrong. According to James both prosecutors were there. So was the investigator our lawyer got the court to appoint. Our lawyer out of the room on a short break when Stephen looked in; however, he was present at the interview. James said they were going over testimony from his juvenile hearing, deciding whether it was or was not relevant. James is tired but in good spirits.