Judge not, less ye be Judged.
Fiction or Not? You be the Judge.
A note from the Author:
In my conception of this story line, I envisioned the key characters in this plot being portrayed by notable Hollywood celebrity’s. which made it easy for me to find the characters personality, Allowing my imagination to custom fit every next sentence, paragraph and chapter to each key characters emotions and motivation for every moment they come back on page.
Key Characters are:
Brick T, Jackson-------- Court Judge, in Allegheny County----imagined as James Earl, Jones.
Joesph Wayne---- Private Investigator---- Imagined as Gary Busey.
Gabe Riellshorn----- Sheriff & Court Bailiff -------- Imagined as Sinbad the Comedian.
Brick Jackson is a Judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Most people viewed him as an older black man wearing the traditional black robe, his graying hair outlined his dark color facial features, his large framed body and broad shoulders demanded the attention from all who sat in his courtroom. His deep voice boomed intimidation and authority. known as a hard, yet honest Judge. Brick had little or no compassion for anyone found guilty inside his courtroom. Brick he always said, " It is better to plead guilty, then to be found guilty". Judge Jackson would pass maximum sentences on those whom he found guilty and minimum sentences on most guilty plead cases. In the 25 years Brick Jackson has worn the black robe, not once has he ever allowed himself to be placed in a situation that could compromise his tenure as a Judge. or tarnish his reputation or Integrity.
Of all the cases he presided over in his 25 years on the bench, as with every decision and verdict he made cloaked in his judicial black robe, Brick never doubted his judgement or lost a moment of sleep from any verdicts or sentence he had passed down from his bench, Until now. Brick Jackson’s customs of life and faith in God have taken a dramatic change, stemming from what seemed to be a simple open and shut case.
But when a divine intervention allows his eyes to see, his ears to hear, what no one else can. and that is the truth. God answered Bricks prayers, and sends a messenger to guide him with his new gift in a journey Brick had been wandering on for over 25 years in faith, for Brick now has the gift to see and hear the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
Having a gift of discernment would seem to make Brick’s job as a trial Judge be a true blessing, making his life a lot more easier with less stress on deciding who is guilty and not guilty in his courtroom.. But, when all the evidence shows a defendant in his courtroom is guilty as charged? Yet, when Bricks gift of discernment say’s the defendant is innocent regardless of the evidence. Brick is caught between following all the rules and ethics for every court case, an letting the evidence decide one’s fate, Or disregard the evidence and make his decisions in blatant disregard of what the evidence shows.
Brick knew he would not last long as a Judge and be risking everything he spent his life protecting , and possibly be on trial himself for violating his oath of Office. But God sends a messenger in the form of a man, to guide Brick with understanding and not allowing his gift to become more than Brick’s shoulders can handle. And Brick takes advantage of his messenger from God, and starts asking the messenger about life’s mysteries and soon finds out all his questions about God , heaven, and Jesus, have answers Brick never expected.
In the beginning;
“In the beginning of this case, Mr. Milliken,:” All eyes are focused on Judge Brick Jackson as he addresses the defendant standing before him. “You entered a plea of not guilty. after hearing all the arguments and evidence from both sides. Mr. Mick Millikan. This court has decided, On the single charge of of conspiracy to commit fraud on a business loan from Diltz lending institution. On July 12th 1990. I find you guilty, and hereby remand you into the custody of the Allegheny County Sheriff Department, To begin your sentence of incarceration in the Allegheny Count Jail for a period of 1 year and a day. I order you to make restitution of $70,000 thousand dollars plus penalties and pay all court cost and any interest Diltz Lending has lost in this fraudulent transaction. You have 30 days to file an appeal if you believe this court erred in any part of this case or violated your rights to a fair trial downstairs in the office of appeals. That is all. court dismissed.
A moan of cries is heard coming from the gallery of courtroom spectators as a courtroom bailiff instructs Mick Milliken to stand. And instructs him to place both his hands behind his back. Mick Milliken is turned to face his family and supporters as the court bailiff places handcuffs on both of his wrist. The bailiff grabs a hold of the arm of Mick to lead him across the courtroom, where another Deputy is holding open a door that will lead Mr. Milliken down a set of spiral stairs to a holding cell nick named the bull pen.
Right before they reach the door, Mick turns his head toward his family to say he Loves them. when a loud “bang” echos into the courtroom. Brick Jackson looks up from his bench as the courtroom doors burst open. The two Deputy’s instinctively draw their weapons as the one Deputy forces Mick Milliken down to the ground behind a small table.
Brick leaps up from where he was sitting, just as the man whom just bolted into his courtroom slams the door closed. The man startled at seeing all the people in the room lifts his hand that is holding a gun and aims it in the direction of the gallery of people , then frantically aims his gun at Brick Jackson. that causes the frightened people to crouch down for cover behind the wooden bench rows, The gunman now see’s the two Deputies with their own guns aimed at him forcing him to grab the closes person to him from those crouching down in the bench rows. The gunman leaned over and grabbed the arm of Tessa, The 17 year old niece of Mick Milliken. Lifting her small body with one hand to place her between him and the Deputies, as he aimed his gun at the Deputies. yelling out for them to put their guns down. Both Deputies duck behind a small wooden half wall that separates the gallery benches from the defendants seating table. while still aiming their weapons in the direction of the gunman. The younger Deputy Timmy Smith rises and moves forward to the center of the room and lowers his body behind the 2 small wooden swing gates, pointing his weapon at the gunman whom is right behind the terrified girl. Deputy Smith shouts for him to release the girl, and put down the gun. repeating, put down the gun or he will be forced to shoot.
There is a moment of silence in the courtroom. only the quiet cries of those crouched down in between the bench rows with no place to go. The gunman screams back at the Deputy to move back or he will shoot his hostage. hearing those words forces Tessa to scream out, “get back,, please get back”.
Brick is still standing behind his bench, and interrupts saying, " Officers !, holster your weapons,”Deputy Smith had his back toward the Judge an never took his eyes off the gunman or lowered his aim from the gunman’s direction. But the other Deputy James Warren looked over at the Judge, James Warren was Bricks personal court bailiff for the last 12 years. James stood up and placed his weapon back into his holster, and moved back toward the bench where Brick was standing. Again, “Officer”, Brick demands. “I said Holster your weapon, Now.! Timmy Smith is a young rookie, Only been with the Sheriff Department less than a year, and shouts back to the Judge, “Not until he lets the girl go!” . Bricks Voice booms out in anger,, “”OFFICER !!! I SAID HOLSTER That weapon NOW!!!”” .The Deputy slanted his shoulder to turn his head slightly back toward the Judge, never taking his eyes off the gunman or his aim as the Deputy talks over his sholder saying, “ Im sorry your Honor, not until he lets the girl go”. Deputy James speaks up saying,” Tim, Calm down and back away” Before He finishes his sentence. Brick Jackson slams his fist on a stack of books sitting on top his bench.””OFFICER ! THIS IS MY COURTROOM, I WILL ONLY SAY THIS ONE MORE TIME. HOLSTER THAT GUN AND BACK AWAY FROM the gallery., NOW!!!””. Timmy’s body seemed to respond as his rigid stance began to relax in defeat. an the young Deputy started moving back toward the Judges bench, still aiming his weapon toward the gunman. With no more room to back up, the Deputy reluctantly lowers his gun and places it back in to his holster. Brick lets out a sigh of relief and leans over the bench and whispers ’ Its going to be alright’ which only Timmy could hear. Brick then focuses on the man holding the young girl hostage. “Now, my Deputies have holstered their weapons and backed away. So everyone needs to be calm”. Brick begins to talk to the man in a tone hoping to maintain a calm and peaceful resolution.” Young man,, why don’t you just reach over and turn the latch to lock those doors, nobody will be coming or going and you won;t need to hold the young girl hostage, Tell me” “What brings you into my courtroom waiving a handgun like some wild man ? holding a gun to a very frightened and innocent teenager?. Just reach up a turn the latch on those doors, and we will all be your hostages. and you can let he go”. The gunman still holding on to the girl, reaches over and flips the door latch. Then pushes his back against the wall and starts sliding up the wall still holding the girl with one hand and pointing the gun toward the Deputies in his other hand. The gunman say’s “ He doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he just needs some time to think”.
Brick looks around the room, there are small groups of people huddled around each other. The sound of cry’s have seemed to fade. Brick see’s Mick Milliken crouched down on the floor with his hands still in cuffs behind his back. Brick falls back into his seat, Brick replies, “ Yes, Take time to think what your doing” Then Brick tells the people in the benches to remain calm, “lets not do anything to make a bad situation worse”. Then tells both Deputies, “ I dont want any more guns being waived around in his courtroom”, and asked the deputies to acknowledge his words. “Do you understand me Deputies?” Both Deputies replied “yes sir” at the same time. Brick then tells James, his personal deputy to remove the handcuffs from Mr. Milliken, and adds for Mr. Milliken to stay where he is and for James to move slowly back to the side of the bench leaving both his hands up in plain view for the gunman to see there is no threat. As James is releasing Mr. Milliken from his handcuffs, Brick turns his attention back to his captor, “What is your name young man?” The gunman does not answer. Again, “Son, I am the only person in this room right now that can help you, But you need to let me, help you., You do realize that on the other side of those doors, A Swat team has gathered along with every Cop in the city and are planning to storm in here with flash grenades and automatic weapons”. “And that is the last thing both of us don;t want to see happen”. adding “ I need you to Trust me right now, You need to let that little girl go and use me as your hostage, I make a bigger shield and those Cops are less likely to take a shot at you with me as your hostage. Let the girl go”. The gunman moves forward and away from the wooden doors, Still holding his hostage with one hand as he waives his other hand holding the gun back and fourth at the Deputies and Judge. When he reaches the witness box connected to the side of the bench where Brick is sitting, He pushes the girl away and moves directly behind Brick. Telling Brick he didn’t start this,, and He don’t want to hurt anyone.. and tells Brick, “but if any cops bust in here shooting? Your the first to get shot” Brick let that statement go by with out a flinch of thought, and sternly responded, “ What is your name? And what is this all about”? The gunman catches a glimpse of James the Deputy standing on the right side of the bench, he demands for the deputy to move where he can see him better, motioning with his pistol hand toward where the other deputy was standing in front of the bench.. and Tells Timmy Smith to move away from the bench toward the center of the room because he cant see his hands below the bench wall. As the deputies began to do as he said. A mans voice is heard coming from a closed door to the gunman’s left, It is coming from the Judges chamber. “ Terry, Terry Bingham !!! This is Lieutenant Jack Mookert of the Pittsburgh Police !!! You are Completely surrounded.. Now Listen to me Terry, The man you just shot is still alive. He is hurt bad, But he is still alive,,So.. No one needs to die today”. Terry” I know why you shot that man, and I totally understand, But what your doing now isn’t helping you. Whats done is done. We can’t change the past, but we have the opportunity to change the memory and outcome from it”. and adds “You need to end this before anyone else gets hurt”..”Terry !!! Think about what your doing ,, to those innocent people in there,, to your wife and children”. The voice pauses from the other side of the door, then with a more direct tone said, “You have three minutes to think about how you want this to end. Or I will have no other choice but to decide it for you. Its all up to you.. put down the gun and come out,”
Brick feels the gunman loosen his hold on him, and says “ Terry,,so your name is Terry, What happened in the hall? what is the Officer talking about? Who did you shoot? and why did you shoot him”?
Terry Blurts out. “I wanted to kill him”, He adds The guy he shot molested his 9 year old boy, “we trusted him, we went to the same church together. he was teaching some of the church members children to play piano, I was handing my child over to a child molester”. and explains, “ten minutes ago, he made a deal with the district attorneys office to plead guilty and avoid a public trial for a sentence of 5 years probation”... “I couldn’t let him walk out of there a free man,, free to molest someone else children. how could anyone allow a man like that to be free?” and looks directly at Brick almost pleading “why didn’t they put him in prison?” adding that he is a threat to every child in this city, and the Judge just let him walk out of that courtroom..”I had to stop him.. I had to stop him from ever doing that to any more children.”
As Brick was about to speak, Jack Mookert’s Voice comes from the other side of the door. “Terry, This is Jack Mookert, I spoke to your wife Patty over the phone”, and tells the gunman “She is on her way here to see you, Patty told me her husband is the most gentle man she ever met, she assured me that your not the type a man to ever hurt innocent people”..”Terry, I am going to open this door very very slowly. I am unarmed, I made your wife a promise I will do whatever it takes save her husband from being shot. Im not coming in there to hurt you, I just have to make sure everyone in there is alright. I give you my word Terry. I am unarmed and none of my men will make any moves unless I say so.. Terry, ! Im trusting your wife Patty was telling me the truth when she said your not a man to shoot innocent people cause Im coming in now”. Terry yells out,” okay.. but come in by yourself” keep your hands where i can see them.”
Terry swings Bricks chair to the face the door that is opening, and moves in behind it to place the Judge between him and the man coming through the door and aiming his gun at the Unarmed Jack Mookert. With all eyes focused on Jack Mookert as he steps through the doorway. Deputy Smith, The young deputy who is standing in front of the judges bench and on the right side just out of Terry’s view has drawn his weapon and points it right at Terry and Shouts out “ Sheriff’s Department , Drop you gun !!
Terry turns his body, but not the chair Brick is sitting to face the direction of the Deputy pointing his gun at him. The Deputy Warren is also caught off guard by Timmy,s move an instinctively reaches for his gun for he is directly behind Terry. Deputy Smith see’s there is nothing between him and the gunman and fires his weapon as Terry’s arm holding his gun swings wide, Terry’s body jerks back as his gun fires off one random round. Deputy Smith pulls the trigger a second time, and that bullet spins Terry’s body completely around and he falls to the floor, landing right behind the witness box, Jack Mookert rushes over and grabs the gun from Terry’s hand and look up at the judge and ask. Judge ,, asking, “are you hit?”
Brick is frozen in disbelief of what just took place around him and mumbles “I dont think so”. Then all the doors to the courtroom burst open, The Swat unit rushes in yelling “get down, everybody get down on the floor now” Jack Mookert yells out “ Code 4, Suspect Down !! Get the Paramedics in here, man down !” Brick turns to look at the Deputy who just shot his Captor. instead of looking to him with appreciation, he could only glare at him. then Brick turned to look for James Warrren, his courtroom Deputy. Brick had to stand up to look down where he last saw his deputy standing. James was laying on the floor looking up at him with fear in his eyes and blood coming from his throat as the man he just sentenced to jail, Mick Milliken was pressing a white handkerchief on the bullet hole. Mick Milliken held the Deputies head on his lap applying pressure where the blood was coming from and sounded as if he was praying for James.
The courtroom has filled up with police and emergency personnel. Brick is now kneeling beside James telling him everything is going to be okay,,, just hang in there. Brick grabs his hand and tries to re assure him that he will be just fine as a paramedic pushes through those whom gathered around James. The paramedic kneels down over the Deputy and starts assessing the wound and instructs Mick to keep applying pressure on the wound while he starts an I.V. Brick looks at the young paramedic and grabs a hold of his arm to get his attention and ask’s “What is your name young man? The paramedic looks at him for a second and say’s “ Lambert, Robert Lambert.” Brick still holding on to his arm replies, “ Well, Mr. Robert Lambert, This man’s name is James, James Warren, whom has been my friend and court bailiff for 12 years now and he is not going to die today. “ IS he Mr. Lambert? As the paramedic inserts the I.V in the Deputy’s arm an without skipping a beat reply’s back.. Nope. Not on my shift..
Its been over two hours since the shooting that wounded the gunman and Deputy James Warren. Both men have transported to Allegheny General Hospital. Where both men are still fighting for their lives. Detectives have just finished up their investigation gathering the names and statements of everyone from the courtroom. The courtroom has a few people left in it. Mick Milliken is sitting in the same defendants chair he first sat down in only four hours ago. He just finished giving his statement to a detective and shares a few free moments talking to his wife and the few supporters seated on the other side of the wooden half wall, Brick Jackson is standing with a few detectives and crime scene investigators as he looks over as a Deputy approaches Mick Milliken while pulling out a set of handcuffs as he tells Mr. Milliken to stand up and turn around. Mick Milliken turns to face his wife once again and places both his hands still covered in dry blood behind his back. “ Officer “ Bricks voice captures the attention of every one in the court room, whom all have turned and paused to listen to what brick was saying, “Officer, You can remove those handcuffs off the wrist of Mick Milliken, I am retracting his sentence and will amend the sentencing upon further review. Micks wife stands up placing both her hand over her mouth, looking toward the Judge and back at Mick with tears forming in her eyes wondering if the judge meant Brick was coming home with her? Brick tells Mick Milliken. “You are free to go” “Mr. Milliken, you are still obligated to this courts decision and sentencing, which you will be notified by mail within 10 days for your next court date that you will then be sentenced for this case.” and adds, “But Tonight, go home with your family”. Micks wife rushes through the wooden swing gates wrapping both her arms around her husbands neck crying. As her and her husband move through the swing gates, Mick Milliken’s wife looks back as the Judge is about to enter into his chamber door, and attempts to get Judge Jackson,s attention saying “ Your Honor? Judge Sir?” Brick stops and turns his head back to see whom it is saying his name. With a blank look at the woman, he responds simply, “Yes? Micks wife slaps both her hands in the prayer clasp up to her lips and says “God Bless You”. Brick just nods his head with the respecting acknowledgment and closes the chamber door behind him.
A Detective is waiting for Brick as the Judge walks into his Judge’s chamber, He tells Brick that all the evidence suggest his court bailiff’s shooting was justified. Brick barked back that is not his court bailiff, and his court bailiff if fighting for his life, laying in Allegheny General Hospital, and shooting a man is only justified when ones life is in immediate danger and there is no other options left. and ends it by saying, “ Now if you will excuse me, i would like to go visit my bailiff in the hospital,,, mocking the word in a whisper “ justified’.
Brick’s secretary Karen uses her body to block Brick from leaving, and warns him the news media is waiting outside the courthouse and roaming in the halls, and advises him to exit through the east side of the courthouse, and that she already talked to Bricks wife on the phone and told her to meet him at the hospital. Brick thanks Karen, and ask that she call his wife back and tell her not to come to the hospital, and he will be home shortly after he stops and checks in on James, and turns to exit the office as his secretary suggested.
As Brick pulled into the hospital parking lot, he could see a fleet of media and news vans lined up into the streets, Brick pulls into a empty spot at the far end of the hospital entrance and enters a side door reserved for emergency personnel, and follows the signs leading him to the Intensive care unit. It didn’t take him long to find if he was going the right way, Seeing a group of uniformed Sheriff Deputy’s and other Police gathered at the end of a hall. A Detective approaches him that Brick recognized from earlier in his courtroom. Brick asks if he has an update on James? The Detective tells him that James is still in the operating room, But there is a positive outlook from one of the medical staff that been keeping the guys updated as he nods his head toward all the uniformed officers now turning their views in Bricks direction and most give Brick a small waive of hands with crossed fingers or a positive gesture of thumbs up.
The Detective tells Brick he should just go home, and as soon as James comes out of the operating room, he will call him at home to update him. Brick agrees and offers to give the Detective his business card and writes his home phone number down on the back side before handing it to him. Brick tells him to call as soon as James comes out. “No matter what time it is” He shakes the Detectives hand and waives back with a thumbs up down the hall way toward the other men in uniform and heads home.
Brick turns on the radio to listen to the news on his drive home. He begins to recall the days events, thinking’ If only that Deputy wasn’t so gun ho in shooting the gunman, he thought the outcome could have been resolved with negotiations, and James life wouldn’t be in jeopardy right now. Brick whispers a prayer for his Bailiff swift recovery as he turns into his driveway. As Brick shuts off the engine to his silver BMW, the hum of the motor starts that opens the garage door, Brick see’s only the legs walking toward him as the door raises are Emily’s, His wife for over 45 years. She waits for him to walk into the garage and hugs him home. Emily says she been on the phone with Karen his secretary the entire time he was being held hostage, Emily places her hand on bricks face as to look for any kind of obvious marks or scars. and asks how is James? “Is he going to be okay?” Brick tells her, he thinks he will be alright and that a city Detective will call as soon as James come out of Surgery.
Emily Jackson is a light complexion of a woman with a petite body. She is a strong spirited woman that despite her soft fragile appearance is as tough as nails on the inside. Brick walks her back into the kitchen, Emily says she didn’t have time to fix dinner yet, Brick tells her “that okay” he wasn’t all the hungry, but is a little tired and is going to his study to relax. As he walks through the foyer, he picks up a pile of envelopes of mail off the top of a small antique table. Brick slides the pocket doors closed as he flips through the mail, He pauses on a religious news letter he often gets and always enjoys reading every month, ever since he been donating money to a local Christian College. But this news letter caught his eye with its title.
On top of the tri-fold news letter in Bold black print were the words, JUDGE NOT, Less Ye be Judged ! So Brick plumped down into his leather chair and unfolds the news letter and began reading that it is wrong to be judgmental of others. The news letter offered scriptures for the reader to examine what ever the letter is sharing or claiming, and with the scripture was noted a verse, chapter and book one could easily read for themselves, now there were many verses and chapters through out the news letter, yet one seem to stick out more than any other. Which prompted Brick to grab and open his own bible to look up why Romans 2;3 captured his attention. and it read; And thinkest thou this, O man, that judges them which do such things, and doeth the same.. Brick was stumped, he read this over and over, he read the entire chapter of Romans 2 trying to extract the message and meaning that held his mind hostage. Brick new he was missing something, that this verse was speaking to him but Why?.
Emily slid open one of the sliding doors peeking her head in to remind Brick, Eddie and Anita were to join them for dinner tonight, and dinner will be ready in an hour or so if he wanted to change and get ready for dinner, he better get a move on it. Eddie Jackson is Bricks only son. 33 years old, Married to his high school sweetheart Anita Jill, with 2 children, 8 year old Logan and a beautiful 4 year old Chloe. Eddie is short for Edmund, Eddie has always been a burden in Bricks mind and Heart, Eddie wasn’t a bad kid, he still had a bit of wild streak in him most young men would have shed from not long after graduating College. Enjoying fast cars, fast women, and in a fast lifestyle. Anita Jill had changed his womanizing ways and was still working hard on the rest of him. Dinner been ready for about 30 minutes when the doorbell chimes, Brick stands back in the foyer as Emily greets Anita Jill with a warm hug, Anita shows Emily her the bottle of dinner Wine she brought as the two women move toward the kitchen bypassing Brick as he now makes his way to the door only to find himself waiting for Eddie, whom seem to be pre-occupied reading some letter or paper still sitting in his car. A minute later, Brick extends his hand for Eddie and welcomes him in with a hug,, Saying, “Glad you can make it, we were about to give up on you and start dinner” Eddie glances up at his father as he moves on into the foyer, and ask if He was alright? That he been listening to the news, and trying to get a hold of Mom to find out whats was going on, but the phone line was busy all day. Brick assured him that the news always makes it sound worse than it really is, Eddie cuts Brick off and says, “Well, the news said two men got shot in your courtroom and one of them was a court official, only later to add that it was a Deputy” and that the suspect was also shot multiple times by Sheriff Deputy’s while holding you as his hostage,,, Brick looks at him and with a forced smile, says, “ see, they always make it sound worse than it really is” now let go eat. Your Mother has been trying to keep dinner warm.
There wasn’t much talking during dinner, other than the few compliments over Emily’s cooking, Brick spoke up just to break the silence asking what was Eddie’s reason for being so late? Eddie and Anita just looked at each other in surprise, after a few seconds, Eddie stated that when he heard about the shooting on the radio again as they were driving over, that he was in such a hurry to get there that he didn’t know how fast he was driving until he saw the police car behind him with their emergency lights flashing pulling him over on Ohio River blvd in Sewickly, and was issued a speeding ticket by a the cop who was pretty rude to him. “Dad, I told the cop who i was and that I was your son in a hurry to get here to check on you. The cop said, ‘Well, being the son of Judge Jackson’, “ You of all people should know not to break the law”, “Then handed me a speeding ticket and told me to drive safely and have a nice day”. and just walk away. Brick frowned at Eddie and asked him to define speeding?Eddie said “The cop said his radar gun showed that i was traveling 56 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour speed zone. Brick raised his eyebrow and said, : won’t this ticket be your fourth this year? And that will cause you to lose your driving privileges for 6 months now? Eddie tried to get his fathers sympathy by adding the only reason he was speeding was because he wanted to get over here to check on him. Brick looks at Eddie out of the corner of his eye and asks with obvious sarcasm.”and that is the reason and only reason you were speeding”? Eddie responds, “Dad, I can’t afford to lose my license, How will I get to work? Or get anywhere without my car? “ How will I even be able to get to church on Sundays?” Emily spoke up,” Oh Don’t worry about that Edmund, Your father and I can pick you and Anita up every Sunday morning, It will be Fun,” Brick leans over to his son and whispered loud enough for everyone to hear,” That argument didn’t work out quite the way you wanted it huh?
Eddie began to plead with his dad, “ Can,t you help out here dad?” “ I mean, can’t you talk to that cop and explain to him why I was in a hurry?” Brick sits back in his chair and wipes his mouth with a napkin as he clears his throat to speak, “ Tell me all the details son,” and put out his hand waiving his fingers inward as if to be saying give me with out speaking, adding, “ let me see the speeding citation”. After Brick heard all Eddie had to say, and reviewing the speeding citation, Brick shakes his head from side to side and says,” Listen to me son,” The cop that pulled you over is Jack Moss, he is not just a cop, he is the Chief of Police here in Sewickly, Jack is a cops cop, Honest and by the book no nonsense kind of cop. Jack Moss retired from the Pittsburgh City Police a year ago after 30 impeccable years of service, and came out of retirement 6 months ago to accept the open position for Sewickly Chief of Police,” “ and my advice to you would to just plead guilty and learn from this”. Eddie not liking where his Father is going an starts to object, Bricks cuts him off by saying,” I see no violations of your rights, nor do I see any misconduct on The Chief’s part or any error in this citation that would warrant a dismissal,” “ The fact is, the Only chance you have of having this ticket dismissed would be to challenge the Chiefs experience with the radar equipment and certification of calibrations,” “ even then you run the risk of being found guilty and having to surrender your license back to the state” with possible jail time”. But it is your decision son, I wish I could help more”. Eddie responds: Dad,, That man has been a Cop for over 30 years, you just said so yourself,” “ How can I get up there in court and question the Chief of Police’s experience with radar equipment?. I’m not going for the insanity defense here”. Brick chuckles and says,” Edmund, ’Listen to me very carefully, “ I said, he has spent the past 30 years in the City of Pittsburgh Police department, and only the last 6 months as a Township Chief of Police,” “ The City of Pittsburgh does not use radar guns and never been issued any formal training on them, There are to many microwaves in the city that makes any radar gun malfunction the moment you turn it on.” So,” the only use I can see the Chief having with a radar gum has to be very limited, but again,”” you take the risk of being found guilty and , its better to plead guilty” Eddie joins his father in finishing the last sentence,” Both saying, “Than to be found Guilty.” Later that evening, Brick gets the call from the Detective. He said that James just got wheeled into recovery, and so far, The doctors give him 90% recovery rate at this time,, But we will have to wait till he wakes up and comes out of recovery. Brick replies,” Thank God,,, Thank you for calling Detective,, Have a good weekend and hangs up the phone.
( Bricks spends the weekend studying the Judge Not news letter and searching the Bible for anything to help him fill in the missing answers to satisfy his unspoken question.)
Brick awakes Monday morning to a phone ringing next to his bed. "Hello this is Brick Jackson" Brick mumbles trying to sound awake. . The Voice on the other end is Judge William Paul Morehead. A Colleague of Bricks, calling to offer to fill in for Brick and reschedule any cases on today’s Docket in Bricks courtroom. suggesting Brick should take a day or 2 off from having to deal with Friday’s terrible events. Brick assures William that he is perfectly fine to sit on the bench today, and the weekend was long enough to clear his mind, in fact, getting right back to work is what he needed, not sitting at home thinking about a moment from his past... after a few minutes more of small talk, Brick thanks William and hangs up the phone. Brick slides out of bed and begins his day like every other day, kneeling beside his bed in a silent prayer to God. Brick is eager to get to work, he finishes his coffee and kissed his wife Emily goodbye, telling her he was going to leave a little earlier that morning hoping to bypass any media that might be wanting a statement on Friday’s shooting, and he begins the 20 minute drive to Pittsburgh.
The halls of the closed courthouse echo his foot steps, trying to remember if there was ever a time he found the halls in such silence before. feeling like he was the only person in the court house besides the two Deputy’s he passed by at the private entrance for all courthouse personnel. as he was passing his courtrooms double wooden doors,he noticed a white paper taped on one of them, and written in black magic marker were the words, All Court cases for rm 312 (Judge Jackson) will be heard in court room 315 today. Go to courtroom 315 on this floor. Brick pulls the note off his door and walks to his private entrance to access his chambers passing through Karen’s office. laying the hand written note on Karen’s desk he picks up the days docket sheet and heads on into his office. Instead of heading to his desk, he walks over and opens the door that leads into his courtroom, his mind hears the gun shots going off, his memory takes over his thoughts as he recalls the shooting just two days ago, Brick whispers " Thank God no one died that day in here" and then closed the door and finally made it into his burgundy padded leather chair behind his desk. Not long after Brick sat down, he heard the office door in Karen’s office open, not wanting to startle his secretary, by being in his office so early, he calls out from behind his desk, ’If your looking for the docket sheet, I have it in here". Karen taps on his doors and opens it with out waiting for his answering. “ Good Morning Judge” Holding the hand written note Brick put on her desk earlier, she asked him " What is this?" as she holds it up for him see. ’Nothing he replied, and adds we will continue out this day like any other, as he extends his hand with the days docket in it toward her. Karen retrieves the docket and ask if he felt up to doing this? that she can divide the days cases to other benches for rescheduling? Brick says," Thank you, but that won’t be necessary, but call down to the bull pen and get us a Bailiff for today, were hearing all cases today". Karen replies" Yes sir and asks if he would like a cup of coffee? As he accepts her offer, she turns back toward her office leaving him with " Won’t take more than a few minutes" and closes the door behind her.
As Brick goes over sentencing guide lines for one of the days cases, Karen walks in with his cup of coffee, telling him that 3 different news stations have requested a interview with him and some local newspaper editor is seeking a statement from him, plus a few voice messages checking up on him from some courthouse staff and colleagues. Using the safe response as always, he tells her," explain to them we are not at liberty to discuss any details until the investigation process has concluded and to contact the detective in charge with their questions". Karen continues by saying," The bull pen is short handed today on bailiff’s but they will pull a deputy from one of the metal detection stations from the personnel entrance for today’s sessions." adding which consist of three of the five cases have been rescheduled and postponed by council for defense ." Leaving you with just two cases, the first one is at 10:30 and the other is scheduled for 3:00 pm.