Blood Brothers
By Peg Keeley

Part 9


McGarrett's car radio called his name. The lawyer had just arrived and was complaining that the police actions were inhumane treatment. Steve ducked into the car to take the call.

"This is HPD Unit K45. We have reports of two cars racing onto Luiluano Freeway, shots fired. One of the cars matches your APB for Paul Llano. There's a kid with a shotgun in the back of the white convertible."

Steve glanced at Danny who was paler than ever. "Get roadblocks set up. We want to keep them on the highway. Get what you can on the other car. Do not, repeat, do not fire on the vehicles -- even if fired upon!"

"Steve, Lonnie won't at shoot the police," Danny remarked hastily.

"So far he isn't the one firing," Steve replied. "You said yourself that the shotgun would not survive one firing. He hasn't fired at all or he and Llano would be in a ball of fire." It was hard to think of such a possibility let alone talk about it!

It did not take long to track the path of the cars down the freeway. There were cars off the sides of the highway where they had skidded to avoid the racing vehicles. Two HPD cars entered the chase near Steve while two others had set up a roadblock six miles down the road where it narrowed at the bridge. Other units were blocking the exits, so if the cars did not manage to get off the highway, they would be trapped.

Bruno was furious with the turn of events. He wanted to break off the chase, but there did not seem to be an easy way out.

"Lonnie!" Paul shouted again. "Shoot the guy's engine. Do anything!"

Lonnie climbed up onto the back seat, the wind whistling through his hair. It was difficult to stay balanced let alone aim the heavy shotgun at the small sports car behind them. There as a puff from the other car and a clink as Bruno fired at Lonnie. A hole appeared in the seat just in front of him. "He's shooting at me!" Lonnie screamed at Paul above the wind.

"No kidding! Shoot back!" Paul looked ahead and beheld a row of squad cars with blinking red lights across the high about half a mile ahead. For the first time in his life, he was relieved to see police.

Bruno had seen the police, too. He thought about going off the side of the road, but as it occurred to him, they entered the bridge and there was no escape. He could see the flashing squad cars blocking the road ahead and knew he stood only one chance. He issued an oath. He floored the gas and chared ahead full speed, ramming the tail of the convertible, sending it spinning sideways.

"Shoot! Shoot!" Paul pleaded with Lonnie.

Lonnie had been again tossed to the floor by the impact of the ramming. He scrambled after the shotgun, terrified. That guy really intends to kill us! Ten minutes ago I wanted to kill Paul, now I have to save us both! I have to do this!

As the convertible spun into the guardrail and came to a stop less than ten feet away from the Viper, Bruno jumped up, leveled his gun on Paul and pulled the trigger. It gave an empty click.

Paul gave a shriek and headed over the front seat into the back.

Police from the barricade were running towards the cars, but were fifty yards away and under orders not to fire.

"Lonnie!" Paul begged. "For godssakes shoot!"

Lonnie brought the shotgun up and aimed it at Bruno.

Fifteen yards away, Steve's car slid to a whining halt. "LONNIE!" Danny screamed. "STOP!"

Lonnie turned towards his dad and when he did so, Bruno yanked the shotgun from his grasp and back two steps turning it to face McGarrett and Danny.

"Luccio! No!" Steve shouted as officers began to draw their weapons.

There was a momentary blue puff, then a metallic blast. Luccio was thrown backwards into the Viper, blood spraying down the yellow side and across Paul and Lonnie. The twisted shotgun fell, still smoking, to the pavement.

There was a moment of stunned shock, then an officer stepped forward and offered to call an ambulance. "Just the coroner," Steve replied hollowly. The scene seemed to play out in slow motion. Dozens of police cars had descended on the scene like jackels on a kill. Three news helicopters buzzed overhead and reporters were already beginning to arrive.

Steve cut off his feelings -- those of pain, those of relief. He could not even bare to look at Danny who stood weakly beside the car unable to make a move. He gestured towards Paul and motioned an officer forward. "Place him in juvenile arrest. Suspect in shooting at Cook Elementary. Accomplice in murder of Charlie Tooly."

The officer cuffed Paul who made no move to object. Arrested at this point seemed much better than the fate Luccio had selected for them.

Steve glanced at Danny. "Danno -- I'm sorry," he murmured, his heart breaking.

Danny remained stunned. "I know," he managed to whisper.

Steve glanced towards the other officer and motioned towards Lonnie. "Him, too." He managed to order through his breaking heart.

Lonnie gasped in shock.

"Withholding evidence. Possession of a firearm..."


The gentle breeze off the ocean was always a balm on these painful, thoughtful evenings. For Steve McGarrett, they did not get much more painful than this day had been. Lonnie's look of astonished betrayal haunted him. Was I right? I know I was right. To do anything less would teach him that he could be above the law because he is my godson. No one is above the law. This painful exercise is the right thing to do, but it most certainly is not the easy thing to do. I missed Kono's mother's funeral. He understood of course, but I feel like I've been negligent. And I have not visited Nina. I must go there tonight.

There was a light rap on the office door and Richard entered carrying a Barreta pistol, a small evidence tag fluttering from the finger hole. "Luccio's gun." He laid it on the desk. "It's the gun that killed Max."

Steve slowly picked it up, turned it over and laid it back down. "Is that all?"

Richard deflated some. "All?"

"Richard I have enough evidence to prove that a dead man killed Max six times over," Steve frustration showed through. "I want Junior Caputo."

Richard's brows knit. He wanted to suggest that Caputo might not be reachable, but he thought better of it. "Caputo was on the six o'clock news."

"I saw it."

"Kind of hard to try to crucify a guy who just let Danny off the hook. All that talk about being sympathetic with a distraught parent and all that shit," Richard remarked.

Steve blinked. The foul language seemed inconsistent with Richard. "Crucify? Do you think that is what I am doing here? Caputo is not the innocent guy here. Don't you forget that, Quinn." He let his gaze drift to the heavy file of evidence on Eugene Caputo Senior. "Luccio was his hatch man. Caputo ordered Max's death, he had Tutu killed and the helicopter sabatouged."

"But he did not shoot Audrey," Richard commented.

"Meaning what?" Steve asked sharply.

Richard caught his breath. I've come this far, I'd might as well say it. "Meaning that we were wrong about Audrey -- we could be wrong about other things, too. Maybe he really is just a business man, a politician."

"And Luccio did all this on his own? For what reason?"

Richard shrugged. "Maybe someone else paid him."

"Someone else? Someone else who?" Steve demanded. "I'll entertain your theory, Quinn, but give me some facts to back it up. Did you find anything in Luccio's apartment? Money, notes, fingerprints? Anything?"

He slowly shook his head.

"Then no motive," Steve rose from his desk and picked up the file. "Here is the motive, Quinn. Nine dead; some cops, some their family members. Ten others tortured, maimed, some of them for life. None of us will ever be the same. For what? Because Eugene and Anthony Caputo wanted to make a big name in the Islands. So along comes Eugene Junior. His motive? He wants to make a big name in the Islands."

"He was well on the way to doing that. So why shoot Max?" Richard interjected.

"The sixty-five thousand dollar question," Steve replied. "Why indeed. Maybe Max knew something about him. Maybe he tried to bribe Max. You proved it was the driver of the car, Bruno Luccio, Junior's man, that shot Max. So, was there someone else in that car? Maybe. If so who? None other than Junior himself."

"But we can't prove it," Richard commented.

"Maybe we can," came Duke's voice.

Steve looked up as Duke made his way into the office, leaning heavily on his cane, and lowered himself into the chair. "Duke, you look exhausted."

"Funny co-incidence," he said with a smile, "I feel exhausted, too. But I've got Junior. Anna Cason, a barmaid in the Olive Pit identified him as the passenger in Luccio's caddy. She saw Luccio shoot Max on Junior's order."

Steve eyes lit up. "Is she certain?"

He nodded.

"Will she testify?"

Duke gave a slower nod. "She is in protective custody. Right now she's more scared of Mickey Kwann that Eugene Caputo. She doesn't know Junior like we do. I have already made arrangement to have her shipped out to Maui in the morning. Kono is getting the warrant for Caputo. He should be here shortly."

"Kono! He should be with his family, not working," Steve replied.

"Somehow I think arresting his mother's killer is theraputic for him," Duke said with a smirk.

Richard paled, opened his mouth, shut it, then mouthed out: Do you know what you are doing?

Steve gave a smile and a confident nod.


Junior had seen the news flashes and knew that Luccio had been killed. There was an aerial shot from a helicopter of the moment his weapon had blown him up. Junior did not feel too badly. It looked like the police had the culprits in the Harven shooting and that was enough for him. No more wild men screaming at him and waving weapons around. Showing my generosity and dropping the charges against William was a stroke if genius. Yes, that made me look very good -- and probably drove McGarrett wild. He rethought the idea and decided he liked it -- a lot. Maybe the terror angle isn't the best. The death of the old lady was not very effective, nor was the helicopter sabatoge Look like the generous humanitarian and they eat from my hand. It is time to get back to business as usual. With both Luccio and Conner dead, there won't be any little details popping up. Nicely tied up, neat and tidy.

Junior looked out his front window. For the first time in three weeks there was no detective parked outside of his gate. He grinned. I need to plan a celebration -- a reception. I'll invite every politician in the islands. I'll even invite McGarrett. He chuckled at his little joke.

The phone rang and was answered by one of the body guards.

Junior was not interested in talking on the phone right now. He wondered if it was another news person wanting his opinion on the day's events. Wanting my opinion -- like I am of importance. I am of importance! I have the money, I have the power, soon I will have the political position. He paused to gaze at his reflection in the large mirror near the patio door.

Moments later, the alarmed Victor dashed into the patio. "We gotta move quick!" he blurted.


Danny had stayed with Audrey through the evening. She was a bit fitful at times, whimpering, kicking that bedcovers, tugging at the IV lines, but she never spoke and never seemed to be aware that he was with her. It was frightening to wonder if she would be like this forever. The doctors did not have much explanation to give for her lack of response. They kept saying to wait and see.

Wait and see what? As the evening deepened into night, he rose from the bedside and walked out into the solarium. It was empty and dark. There were a few abandoned toys scattered under the couch and the TV's silent eye stared blankly at him. I have never felt so helpless, so alone, so confused. My friend whom I recommended for the position in Five-0 is dead, my niece is in a near coma, Lonnie -- my God, Lonnie..... What has happened to us? Why has this happened to us? What have I done? Where did I go so wrong? The sorrow and exhaustion were drowning him. He stared out of the window at the flickering lights of Honolulu. I wish I could just run away from it all. I wish I was dead. The image of the rooftop of HPD years ago flashed through his memory. I got through that. I had a son then I did not even know about. Lonnie has been the center of my life. He is still the center of my life. We will get through this. He heard footsteps and turned to see the silhouette of a man in the doorway. He knew right away who it was. "Hello, Steve."

"How are you, Danno?"

"I feel like crap, Steve," he commented honestly.


He shrugged. "The same. They keep saying to wait. Wish I knew what the hell I was waiting for. They won't let me in to juvie to check on Lonnie."

Steve nodded. "Protocol, Danno. You know that."

"He's just a baby. What the hell was he thinking? Why? Why didn't he talk to me? Why didn't he trust me?" The questions tumbled out accompanied by several tears as the emotion broke free. "Why didn't he trust me?"

Steve knew there were no answers. He put an arm on his friend's shoulder. "I spoke to John Manicote. He'll take the case in the morning. He says there are a lot of extenuating circumstances. Sometimes justice is best served by the intent of the law rather than the letter of the law."

Danny managed a single nod.

"I am going to be putting a police patrol with you -- not to spy on you -- to protect you."

"Protect me from what?"

"A witness has identified Caputo at the scene of Max's shooting."

"Really?" Danny's face lit up.

"Junior was tipped off. He's disappeared. I've got this island sealed tighter than Tupperware," Steve promised, "but we need everyone being careful -- and protected till we get him."

"The witness?"

"Her most of all. My guess is whoever told Caputo also knows that the girl is to be moved to Maui in the morning," Steve explained. "I expect Junior to make some kind of attempt on her. She was moved tonight, but Caputo will be going on the information we passed in the office. Perhaps we can catch him in the act." Steve sighed. "No question but that the office is bugged."

Danny nodded. "You doubted it?"

Steve shoved his hands into his pants pockets. "The bugging isn't the problem. It's what happened with the information that troubles me. Masakaski is notified from it -- so apparently was Junior. Somebody in the Governor's office was in a this one. Maybe somebody in Five-0 as well."

Danny blinked. "Any idea who?"

"Anything is possible. Whoever it is might not be working for Junior -- but he could be working for Junior's boss."

"Who's that?" Danny asked.

"I wish I knew. Whoever wanted to see Caputo in that comptroller's position."

"Well, that isn't going to happen at least."

Steve gave a quiet grin. "The only candidate left standing is Stito Kamakito."

"No one has paid him much attention," Danny commented. "York had the crime lord past, Junior his father -- nobody looked too much at the judge's boy."

Steve pondered that. Am I too paranoid? What if all this time there has been an unseen player? Is there a way Kamakito could have pulled off some of this using our panic over Caputo? And we played right into his hands? Kamakito would not have been able to do this all by himself, so who helped him? Who stands to profit?

Danny waited quietly for his friend to think through the equation. He did not feel like thinking about Caputo, York, Kamakito or anything else and maybe that was what made this a panacea from now.

Steve turned his gaze out the window, looking at the same view Danny had been. "You will get through this, Danno. You and Lonnie."

He managed a single nod. "Right now that is a bit tough to believe. I thought we had a trust, I thought I knew him. How did it get like this?"

Indeed -- how did it get like this? Steve picked out a comfortable spot on the couch. He would spend tonight's vigil with his friend. Neither had anything to go home to -- and waiting was something they could do together.


John Ma nicote looked glumly at the file before him. He'd retired as Attorney General just as Masakaski took office a year ago. He knew he would have been replaced anyway. It had saved face to retire. And it gave him the opportunity for a new career, one he hoped made a difference to those who came before his bench. He served juvenile court with the reputation of being the toughest but most intuitive judge in the system. And he enjoyed the work -- at least most of the time. Perhaps being a parent and grandparent helped inspire him to see what these kids could be and also gave him the ability to frighten the hell out of them. His success rate was better than eighty percent. He had opened and shut this file on his desk several times wishing someone else had this one -- but knowing Steve McGarrett had hand picked him. He straightened his tie as he heard the footsteps outside of his office door. There was a knock. "Come!" he called.

Lonnie Williams was ushered in by a guard. Clad in a T-shirt with Dept. of Corrections Juvenile blazed across the back, baggy nylon pants and cardboard sandals, he looked a sorry sight. There was a momentary spark of recognition in his eyes as he realized he knew the judge, then his gaze dropped back to the floor. He sat down on the chair the guard pointed to, feet tucked under, hands clasped in his lap, shoulders forward. The picture of dejection.

"Lonnie Williams," John declared in his best firm tone. "You are being seen in my chambers but this is still to be treated as a courtroom. Do you understand that?"

Lonnie, upon recognizing John did not know whether to hope or not. The official sound of his voice dashed any glimmer of hope that had been left. He had spent the night in Juvenile Hall crying most of the time and hearing other boys crying, too. All he could think of was his dad's look of shock and Uncle Steve's words: "Him, too."

"Look at me," John finally ordered.

He looked up at him fearfully.

John inwardly felt sorry for the boy. There isn't any need to scare this one. Looks like he's already beat himself nearly to death. He looks he needs a hug more than a lecture. He forced himself to toughen up. "Do you understand the charges brought against you?"

Lonnie did not reply.

"Do you know what it means to withhold evidence?"

His head nodded slightly.

"Did you do that?"

Another nod.

"Did you take a shotgun, unlawfully purchase ammunitions for it and threaten to kill Paul Llano?"

Another slight nod.

John was silent for a moment then said, "Would you like to explain any of this?"

He shook his head.

John raised an eyebrow. There was a long silence before he said more gently. "Lonnie, look at me."

He raised his eyes from the floor briefly.

"How long were you part of the Wela Ula?"

"Three days," he whispered.

"Three -- good God, boy." That surprised John. "Three days?"

He nodded.

"Why Lonnie?" John asked, the concern as Danny's friend spilling over the legal magistrate.

"The'Iwi o'po 'Ele'e'e -- Harpy -- they were trying to get me...." Tears sprang up in Lonnie's eyes as words failed him He slowly pulled his shirt up revealing the long deep purple and red bruises on his ribs from the chain beating.

John glanced at the guard. "Did the medical officer see that last night?"

"No, sir," the man replied. "We didn't know."

"You processed this boy. You did not have him seen medically?"

"We all know Danny -- we weren't looking for child abuse," the man stumbled in his words.

John slammed a hand on the desk, stopping any further comments. "He goes when we are finished." He turned back to Lonnie. "Who did that to you? The Wela Ula?"

"No -- they stopped it. It was the'Ele'e'e."

"And the Wela Ula stopped it?"

"Paul stopped it."

"Paul -- the boy you tried to kill."

Tears filled Lonnie's eyes. "He shot Audrey."

John tapped his pencil against the note pad. "You chose to take the law into your own hands. Why didn't you tell your dad?"

He stared at the floor again. "I couldn't."

John wanted to ask "why not?" but experience had taught him that there was never an answer to this question. John rose with a video tape in his hand. He walked over and put it into the machine. "Lonnie, I want you to watch this."

Lonnie looked up at the black and white video of the convenience store robbery played. John left it playing, displaying the old man prone on the floor, long after the action had concluded. Finally Lonnie, tears in his eyes, looked away.

"Look at it!" John ordered harshly.

He did not.

"I said, 'Look at it!'" John repeated.

Lonnie looked up at John as the tears ran down his face. "Mu told me the guy was okay!" he cried.

"Mu killed him over two six packs," John answered. "Less than $8. Do you think someone's life is worth more than $8?"

"You know I do, Mr. Manicote," Lonnie sobbed. "I didn't hurt him! I didn't know!" Lonnie vividly remembered the cold cans being tossed into the back seat. He remembered the blood on them. In his heart, he'd known Mu was lying.

John pointed to the dead man on the screen. "Look at him, Lonnie."

"I didn't know!" He pleaded, anguish on his face. "I didn't know what to do!"

"It never occurred to ask someone for help? To talk to an adult?"

"I wanted to -- I tried! But they made me swear to keep silent!"

John punched the power button the VCR. "Your silence could have cost your cousin her life."

Lonnie tried to wipe away the tears. "Ikaika squeezed the orange -- made all the stuff pop out. I was trying to keep her safe. And when she got shot and Dad was so mad at that Caputo guy -- I thought maybe....." He stopped.

"You thought that maybe it wasn't your gang friends?" John asked. "But you really knew better, didn't you?"

Lonnie just sobbed.

"Didn't you! You saw the car, you knew who had shot her, and you still said nothing!" John glanced away, gritting his teeth. He hated his job right now. He had promised McGarrett he'd follow this through, but he wished he had not. Every cell of him shouted that this boy needed somebody's love, somebody's time, not scare tactics. John picked up the second video and put it into the player. It was the helicopter footage of the chase. Unlike the earlier tape, this was in living color.

Lonnie stared, frozen as he watched Bruno grab the shotgun, then the top half of his body explode. Lonnie felt sick -- he thought he might throw up -- again. His mind had replayed this horror all night long. Every time he's shut his eyes he'd remembered the flesh, the organs, the body parts spattered across the small sports car.

"That could have been you!" John shouted. "It would have been you!"

"Please," Lonnie whimpered. "I didn't know what to do."

John motioned to the officer by the door. The man motioned Lonnie to his feet and he rose. The worst was yet to come. "Boys who join gangs die," John said soberly and quietly. "Do you understand that, Lonnie? They die. Or worse."

The officer, with Lonnie by the arm, followed John out into the hallway and down two flights of stairs.

Lonnie knew the building and very quickly figured where they were going. "No!" he begged, trying to dig in his heels, but the large officer was used to man-handling boys twice Lonnie's size. He picked him up and kept going.

They entered the cold, tiled morgue and John motioned to the pathologist who knew exactly what the judge wanted.

Lonnie thought they were going to make him see the eviscerated form of Bruno Luccio again. He was wrong.

They pulled out the drawer.

He gasped at the blue, drawn face of Rolli. The body was bruised with lacerations and a sunken, crushed chest. In shock, Lonnie looked up at John.

"Gang boy -- bet you knew him, didn't you?" John said trying to keep the coldness in his voice. "His own gang member ran him over with a car. They'd both gotten strung out on bad crack. You see what I mean?" he asked, softening just a little. "Gangs are no good -- ever. They twist the truth, they lie, they kill, and they are killed."

Lonnie collapsed sobbing, to the floor. John let him sit where he was for several minutes, pitying the emotionally and physically exhausted child. Lonnie looked even younger than he was as he huddled, sobbing and shaking.

John knelt next to him and enfolded him in a hug. "Lonnie. Don't forget. Don't ever forget."

He managed a nod.

"Come along with me now." John helped him to his feet and led him back to his office. Lonnie plopped back into the chair without being told to. John walked over to the desk and sat down. He spent the next several minutes in silence writing on a tablet. He was waiting.

At last there was a soft knock at the door and Steve and Danny entered. Lonnie looked up for a moment, then stared at the floor again. It was all Danny could do to keep from scooping his son up in his arms to protect him.

"Sit down," John advised them and they took chairs beside Lonnie. John cracked a smile. "Danny, you look about as bad as Lonnie does."

Danny tried to catch Lonnie's eye but the boy did not look up.

John cleared his throat. "I will remind you that this chambers is a legal setting and considered to be a court of law. These proceedings will be recorded and transcribed officially for the record. We are taking into consideration the disposition of one minor, Lonnie Kanea Williams."

Both Lonnie and Danny looked up. Lonnie sighed. Sounds like they are taking out the trash. Doesn't anyone want me any more? Why should they? I am terrible. I got Audrey hurt. I helped those boys do those bad things. Nobody will want me anymore. Lonnie sank even lower into the chair.

"Lonnie," John said, ignoring the dejected look in Lonnie's eyes, "I want you to answer me truthfully. You do know that in a courtroom you have to tell the truth."

"Yes, sir." His voice was little more than a whisper.

"I'd like you to tell us about how you got to know Paul Llano."

Lonnie slowly began to tell about how the 'Ele'e'e had taunted him, threatened him and BJ had suggested he enlist help. As he continued, the story began to spill faster as the torment that had burdened his soul for the last several days broke free. He explained about the chain whipping, and Paul taking them to the shack -- even how Audrey had learned to make shell necklaces, how he had been befriended; the late night house robbery, the convenience store. His voice shook as he continued on about how Mu and Ikaika had threatened him, and how after Mu's arrest, Paul and Ikaika had shot Audrey, and the desperation that had led to his act against Paul. He finally ran out of things to say and sat staring at the floor, crushed and devastated.

"At any time during all of this, did you ever tell anyone -- your Dad, a teacher, anyone, what was happening?" John asked.

"I tried to," he whispered. "I told Dad I had some buddies. He said that was good."

Danny decided this was not the time or place to attempt to defend himself. He doesn't need anyone else ganging up on him right now. But street gangs aren't the kind of buddies I had in mind. Certainly he knows that!

"That was it?" John asked. "Even after Audrey was shot you never tried to tell your father?"

"No." Lonnie sighed again, wishing he was dead and gone.


There was a long silence while Lonnie struggled within himself. The four month old festuring wound in his spirit began to rise, then erupted to the surface. Tears began to drip again and his chin quivered. He dared to cast a quick glance towards Danny. "I couldn't." Then the words started to spill forth like from a ruptured dam. "Ever since Audrey came things were different. Lonnie do this, Lonnie don't do that, Lonnie help Audrey. We didn't do stuff anymore. The house isn't even big enough for all of us! Dad, you gotta sleep on the couch! You never asked me if it mattered! You never even asked me if it was okay for her to come and live with us!"

It was Danny's turn to stare open-mouthed.

"I don't like it like this!" Lonnie sobbed. "I feel awful about Audrey, but part of me hopes she dies!" There, it's out. He clapped a hand over his mouth. How could I have said that! I am awful! I am terrible!

Danny was overwhelmed by the turn of events. The professor of psychology sat in the same stunned shock any parent would, completely unable to comprehend what was happening or why. What is happening here? What shall I do? What should I say? What has happened to us? I've got to say something. I should know what to say. What can I say? How did we get here? What little was left of his world following the tragedy with Max and Audrey was crumbling around him. He finally spoke. "Lonnie, I love you." In one step, he had reached his son and enveloped the boy in a tight hug.

"I'm sorry, Dad, I'm sorry," Lonnie murmured over and over. Any pre-adolescent independence had been blown away as he returned the embrace. They both attempted to hide the tears.

John cleared his throat, the emotion of the moment washing over him as well. He stole a quick look at Steve and could see mistiness in his eyes as well. John waited several minutes for the mood to break, knowing that regardless of how poignant this all was, there were still legal matters to be attended to. At last he said, "We need to resume here, please." Inwardly he was satisfied that more than justice had been served here, a family was going to be working its way back together. At last Danny and Lonnie were back in their own chairs, but each watching the other instead of the floor. John looked at his notes. "Lonnie, the court is willing to dismiss the charges of withholding evidence as it has become apparent that you were being threatened and were in fear for your life and those of your family."

Lonnie looked hopeful for the first time.

"But," John continued, "there are two other matters. First, there is taking part in the theft of nearly a quarter of a million dollars in gold coin. That is a federal offense as is the second issue -- possession of a firearm on school property. For the first, considering the age of the accused and if he is willing to testify against Harry Kula -- I think we can reduce that to a probation. Are you willing to testify?"

Lonnie glanced at Danny for direction. Noticing his dad's slight nod he eagerly nodded. "Yes, sure."

"The problem with the second charge, Lonnie, is that the law is very specific -- that means I cannot just freely change what it requires."

Lonnie's newborn smile began to slide. What does this mean?

"The arms charge carries with it a mandatory expulsion from school."

Danny started to protest. "John, he was not inside the school! He wasn't going after people at random!"

John raised a hand. "Danny, this is not open to what I think it should be. That is the law." He paused. "It so happens I have received a communication from several faculty and administrators at Lonnie's school. I also have a request from the headmaster at the Kamehameha School division of arts and music. It seems that the school has some serious interest in Lonnie and would have had him audition for the all state middle school boys ensemble -- if he had ever responded to them. The school is now offering to stand in as the correctional facility for a time of not less than two years and include full scholarship."

Lonnie glanced around, not understanding. "What?"

Danny gave a quiet smile. "Lonnie, you will be able to go to a school where the gangs aren't there and where you will have other kids who can sing like you -- maybe better."

John exchanged satisfied looks with Steve. "It is there by the ruling of this court that Lonnie Williams with remanded to the custody of his father and to the Kamehameha School to serve out a parole period of two years."

Steve gave a grin. "John, for a lawyer, you aren't too bad."

John remained seated for another moment, watching as Danny and Lonnie exchanged excited comments.

"Are we free to go?" Danny asked, a smile creeping across his face.

"Ah, not quite yet," John said solemnly. "There is one more small matter."

Danny sat back down, the smile fading some. "What is it?"

"I realize that I service the court mostly in juvenile cases, but I do also see adult matters from time to time. In this case, I believe that you, Dan Williams, behaved in a manner that contributed to the delinquency of this minor."

"What?" he demanded, shaking his head.

"Did you not attack Eugene Caputo, Jr. with a gun and threaten his life?"

"Well, yes but-"

"You entered his residence and in threatening him also caused damage to his home-"

"John, those charges were dropped!"

"You caused him extreme emotional trauma."

Danny glanced at Steve. "Steve, tell him! There are no charges."

John frowned. "Caputo may not be pressing charges, but your actions contributed to Lonnie's breaking the law."

"I made a bad choice!"

"So did Lonnie. And he is going to satisfy the court's demands. Now, it is your turn. I can have you thrown in jail for contempt."

Danny stood still, waiting for John to go on.

"How do you plead?" John asked.

"What?" Danny uttered.

"He pleads guilty," Steve offered.

"I do?"

"You do -- unless you want to end up in court and have your children removed by CPS," John pointed out.

Danny glanced from Steve to John. "I am being railroaded."

"Perfectly legal," John assured him. "Well, then the defendant having thrown himself on the mercy of the court is hereby sentenced to 120 hours of community service to be carried out at the local YMCA in whatsoever fashion the director sees fit."

"What?" Danny was still confused.

John glared at him. "Coach Grantham needs a baseball coach. You are it. Court dismissed."


End Part 9

Part 10

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