Guilty Party
By Peg Keeley

Part 3

John Manicote paced Steve's office as Steve and Danny awaited his opinion. At last he stopped walking and turned to Steve. "No question, there's enough to indict her on, but I've got to warn you that most of the evidence is circumstantial at best -- inadmissible at worst."

"How so, John?" Steve asked.

"The whole issue of lie detector tests as evidence is under close scrutiny by the Supreme Court. It's that and the information given by Amanda herself that is the cornerstone of this case. As for the shoes, we can put them in the cane field, but that's it, we haven't put them on Amanda's feet or proven ownership. I need to tell you that Cindy Maku has already contacted a lawyer on the mainland," he paused to inspect the note, "Malcom Jones, to represent King. There's already a writ in my office from Jones stating the information King gave should be inadmissible because it was not obtained after she was advised of her rights."

"That information was to find her son," Danny argued. "It's not my fault that she told conflicting stories and omitted the truth. Nobody violated her rights."

"So what do we do?" Steve asked calmly.

John gestured to the copy of the evening paper. "It's already too late to go back now." The front-page headlines read: 'Mom May have Killed her Baby.' "And that's the conservative one. The Sun's article is the one I really worry about. They're accusing Five-0 of mishandling the case, entrapment, and miscarriage of justice. Half of this Island is yelling to string King up from the nearest tree, the other half wants to string Danny up. The media is playing both ends against the middle." He stopped, shrugged, then added quietly. "Hell, it sells papers. But it's our nightmare."

Without emotionalism Steve repeated, "So what do we do, John?"

He shrugged. "Do what you have to do to. Stay with the arrest of King. We take what we've got to the Grand Jury. No doubt, they will vote to indict. It's after this the ride's gonna get a bit tough. For starters, Danny, I'd take your son out of his daycare."

The word 'why' was half-formed on Danny's lips when there was a knock at Steve's door. Ginny stuck her head inside. "She's on, Steve."

He picked up the remote and turned on the TV in the corner. Carrie Donagan's face filled the screen with HPD in the background. "--The latest from downtown Honolulu. Yesterday everyone prayed for the safe return of Cam King when the car he was riding in was supposedly stolen." The screen cut to file footage of the front of the gas station. "But those pleas were for naught when his body was discovered in a drainage ditch in the Imperial Sugar Cane field shortly past midnight." There was a momentary shot of an unidentifiable lump in the mud, then the footage ended abruptly. "Today, in a sudden turn of events, Five-O arrested Amanda King for the death of her child after she failed a lie detector test."

Cindy Maku's angry profile filled the screen. "It's a witch hunt. They just need somebody, anybody to pay for Cam so they're taking the easy way out. Amanda didn't hurt her baby, she couldn't. Five-0 just wants to keep up its super image of quick fix for crime. Dan Williams played on her weaknesses, made her think he was helping her, then twisted the information. This is a clear violation of Amanda King's constitutional rights."

Carrie's face came back on, this time in the studio. "Dan Williams, if you will recall, was the focus of quite a bit of attention ten months ago when the former singer, Mali Kanea, who had mothered his child was killed by abductors who had kidnapped her and that child."

The anchorman quoted his prearranged question. "Is it likely that case will have a bearing on the present King tragedy?"

Carrie issued a soothing, sweet camera-ready smile the public had come to know and trust. "The DA had better consider it because Amanda King's lawyer certainly will."

The anchorman turned back to the camera and his notes. "I'm sure we will hear much more of this in the days ahead. In other news-"

Steve turned off the set.

John sighed.



Three days later, Amanda King was indicted by the Grand Jury for the murder of her son. Immediately, Malcolm Jones, the lawyer retained by Cindy, went to work and with reporters, most notably Carrie Donagan, to feed on the ideas of a vengeful Five-0, and the case was well on its way to be tried in the press before it ever made it to the courtroom.

The case was talk of Hawaii. Reporters lurked outside of Five-0, near HPD, outside of Manicote's office, even on the steps of the capitol hoping for Governor Moyer's opinion. And Danny was glad he'd heeded John's recommendation early. It took Carrie and her friends less than a week to uncover Lonnie's day care. But by then, he'd already been removed to the quiet anonymity of Mary Lukela's home.

At two weeks, Counselor Fitch, a tall, serious man whose horn-rimmed glasses framed his thin face, showed up with a complaint for Danny. He introduced himself in Danny's office. "I am Counselor Fitch, Child Protective Services."

He scowled, but felt his heartbeat quicken and adrenaline flow. "What do you want?"

"I have a sworn complaint against you from Ms. Sarah Lulia."

He bit his tongue to stop the curse. His previous two experiences with CPS had told him they were not a group to take lightly. Again? What's the battle-ax want this time? But he said nothing. He extended his hand for the writ. He glanced it over. "Endangerment? Emotional trauma?"

"You are involved in a messy -- court case," Fitch stumbled over the last two words. "Your son has been the focus of media attacks. The daycare said -"

"Yeah, I know. There have been reporters shooting pictures out there. But the daycare did not swear out this complaint because he isn't there," Danny finished. "I removed him from there for his safety."

"Where is he?" Fitch asked.

"Safety, Fitch. You do not need to know."

His eyes flashed. "The State of Hawaii needs to determine that Lonnie Williams is not at risk."

Danny ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "He is safe. He is with friends. I am not going to tell you or Carrie Donagan, or Sarah Lulia where. Got it?" He shoved the writ back into Fitch's chest.

Fitch slapped the writ down onto Danny's desk. "You have twenty-four hours, Williams. I am an officer of the court, not a news reporter. I will see your son and confirm he is safe or I will remove him to the custody of the court."

Danny tried to take the time to count to ten. "Fine, wait here," he muttered through tight lips. He walked out of the office, leaving Fitch standing there. "Ginny," he called to her, "Get a hold of Duke. Tell him to get Lonnie over here as quietly as he can."

She nodded.

Danny did not return to his office during the 35 minutes that followed. He had no desire to talk to or even see Fitch. The guy's trying to do his job, he argued with himself, it's Sarah who's the problem, not him. But he can't see the whole picture.

There was a squeal of delight and Danny spun, recognizing Lonnie's laugh. The toddler reached from Duke's arms towards his father. "Daddy!"

Danny accepted him and with smile. "How's it going, Lonnie?"

"Da phone?" He pointed towards the unit on Ginny's desk.

"Here come play with mine." Danny carried him into his office and stood him before the phone. Lonnie began pressing the hold button to watch it blink. Danny glared at Fitch. "Happy?"

Fitch watched Lonnie for a moment. "Lonnie, how are you?"

Lonnie's dark eyes looked up at Fitch, then he turned his attention back to the phone.

"Are you having fun?"

The toddler ignored him.

"Are there other children for you to play with?"

Lonnie opened the desk drawer, found a pen and began to draw squiggles on a legal pad.

"He's two, Fitch, not twelve," Danny remarked. He sat down in the desk chair. "He's safe, Fitch. Probably safer than most of the kids in this state." He ran a hand over the black curls of the boy's head. "Go back and tell Sarah to leave us alone."

"I need to verify where he is staying," Fitch insisted.

"He's in a safe place. I'll fill the blank in for you when this case is over, but not before."

Fitch opened his mouth, but Danny continued.

"Got your own kids, Fitch?"

He seemed a little uncomfortable. "Two -- daughters."

"Would you risk their safety because of a legal piece of paper?"

Fitch was quiet for a moment. "No," he agreed, "no I wouldn't."

"Now you've got kids out there whose parents are beating the snot out of them, starving them, making them work the pineapple fields and those kids need you and your department because there isn't anyone else to speak up for them. I know that, I honor that. You know that is not what this is. This is purely Sarah's little vendetta and it's being fed by a news reporter who is going to announce on the eleven o'clock news tonight that you were in this office today."

"I don't discuss things with the media-"

Danny yanked up the window blind. "They are out there in a van with a scoped camera, Fitch! They already know. You're being played for a sucker."

A thoughtful look crossed Fitch's face. He snapped his report pad shut, picked up his case and extended his hand. "All right, Williams. I'll do this your way."

Danny accepted the handshake knowing it was not going to be the last he heard from Sarah, but she might be stopped for the moment. As Fitch left, he thought for a moment. The anger I felt when he said I was accused of endangering Lonnie -- how must Amanda King feel about being accused of murdering her child? Except I did not endanger Lonnie. Did she kill Cam? I wish I knew.


Six weeks after the death of Cam King, the trial that would determine his mother's future started. On the first day of the trial, Judge Haroldson barred the press from the courtroom, which displeased Jones. On the second day, just before the state was to produce the 8x10 glossies of the body of little Cam, he ejected the public. That less than enthused John Manicote, who at this point called for a brief recess.

"I don't like this," John remarked to Steve, Danny, and his assistant DA. "With the public barred, they'll be at the mercy of the media who will also receive everything second hand."

"What does it matter?" the Assistant DA remarked. "Justice will be better served. No sideline circus events."

"People are pretty upset--some of them at the police," Steve explained quietly. "They will think we're covering something."

John shook his head and examined his notes for how he would proceed. "We need to go back in there and recommend to the judge that there be one reporter to represent the happenings and document that there is no white-wash going on. It will need to be someone accepted by both sides. I'm going to recommend Carrie Donagan."

"You're kidding," Danny muttered.

"Think about it. She's followed the case from the beginning. She has written some pretty inflammatory remarks about Five-0's treatment of the case, but she's also done two pieces that question motives of the mother. Who better to report this?" John glanced at Steve, whose silence he took for an agreement. "I'm going to make a change and get to your testimony today, Danny, while the public is out. Donagan's constant implications at you have a personal ax to grind will at least be through privately that way. You ready for that?"

He shrugged. "Why not?"

Steve seemed to understand John's fears a little better. "Isn't there any way to get by that? Che can give expert testimony. Beaver will suffice for the lie detector results."

"Steve, if we don't put Danny on, the defense will. Then they'll be calling the shots instead of rebutting our questions. I can't promised they won't anyway." He turned back to Che standing in the corner. "You're on first. Got your boxing gloves ready?"


"The State calls Che Fong to the stand," John announced clearly as Che made his way forward and was sworn in. The disastrous photos were produced and identified.

At the defense table, Amanda broke into open sobbing.

Danny stared at the floor. Right now he could feel the weight of the dead boy still in his arms.

Che next clarified that the car seat in evidence had been at the scene, that all fingerprints lifted from the interior were belonging to Amanda or Cam. The gas tank had contained 6.2 gallons of 87-octane gasoline and that the tires bore no recent unusual wear. Inside the car there had been many fingerprints, almost to the point of being useless, but the steering wheel had only borne Amanda's. Hair and clothing samples had not revealed anything of assistance. Plaster casts of footprints in the area were produced.

"Objection," Jones announced, jumping to his feet. "The State cannot prove relationship of the prints to the crime. That cane field is full of workers everyday."

"Your honor, if there were workers in the area, the car and maybe the child would have been found earlier," John protested.

Haroldson looked at Manicote. "Do you have an affidavit from the Imperial Cane Company stating there have been no workers in that area?"

"May it please the court," John said picking up a piece of paper. "This is a sworn statement by the job foreman, Kimo Kulaeu, stating there has been no activity by workers in that field in three weeks."

"Thank you, Counselor," Haroldson remarked, examining the paper. "Proceed."
John glanced at his notes to get back on track. He moved back towards Che. "Can you tell us about tracks found at the irrigation bank?"

"There were prints determined to have been the child's. One shoe was found still in the mud. Other tracks were determined to be from Officers McGarrett and Williams. One final set of tracks matched the prints of the shoe at the site of the car seat. The same shoe made both tracks. The shoe is a woman's size 7B," Che replied.

"May it please the court," John called holding the shoes. "I would like to enter into evidence Exhibit A -- the shoes that made the tracks."

Jones was sitting up straight now. "Objection. Can the DA prove that the print was made by that and only that shoe?"

"Yes, your honor, we can," John announced. "Mr. Fong, if you please explain to the court your findings."

Che told about the mud on the shoes laced with fertilizer that matched exactly the soil content of the field and the imprint match.

"And in the course of your investigation, did you ever learn the shoe size of Ms. King?" John asked.

Che cleared his throat. "The shoe is a woman's seven, width B. Amanda King's shoe size is seven B."

"Objection!" Jones shouted, "the witness-"

"The witness is a qualified expert," the judge said levelly, "overruled."

John felt relieved at one small victory. He continued another twenty minutes questioning Che before turning it over to Jones.

"Mr. Fong," Jones said, jumping to his feet. "Do you have any idea how many women wear a size seven shoe?"

Che looked unruffled. "In Honolulu or the world?"

There was a titter amongst the jury and Haroldson rapped his gavel.

Jones' gaze got hard. "Honolulu will do."

"Approximately 3400 on a good tourist day," he replied steadily. "However, the odds of woman wearing a size seven B and being in the cane field are much lower."

Jones cut him off. "Can we safely assume you have not found any finger or sole prints on the shoes that match Ms. King."

Che nodded. "That is correct. There were no prints on the shoes."

"They had been wiped off," Jones restated.


"Inside also?"


"So there is no evidence that puts those shoes on my client's feet, or places her and only her in that field."

"Objective, your honor, defense is drawing a conclusion," John announced.

"Sustained," the judge agreed.

Jones returned to his questioning of Che. "You also mentioned earlier there were many prints in Ms. King's car. How can you be sure she then drove the car to the cane field?"

"I cannot," he replied. "However, only her prints were on the steering wheel."

"Nor can you conclusively prove she was the person who undid the straps on young Cam's carseat Is that also true?"

"Yes, it is."

"Then for all the technical babble you and the DA have provided us with, you have nothing tying Ms. King to that cane field at all," Jones concluded loudly.

"Objection!" John shouted.

"Sustained," the judge ruled. "Defense will refrain from slander. Clerk, strike all remarks regarding the DA's technical babble from the record."

There was another giggle in the jury.

The angry judge turned towards the panel. "The next time a juror is unable to contain his or herself, I will dismiss the entire panel, is that clear?"

Total silence answered him.

"Mr. Jones?" the judge motioned him to continue.

Jones eyed Che closely, not wanting the jury to miss his point. "Mr. Fong, does any of your evidence refer to Mrs. King and only Mrs. King as the possible murderer of Cam King?"

"No, it does not," he answered.

"Thank you. That's all."

John popped up. "Your Honor, a moment to redirect?"

"Certainly, Counselor," Haroldson replied, not surprised.

John gave a small smile in Che's direction. "You mentioned the footprints on the bank as being a woman's shoe size 7B."


"Since field workers wear thongs and not high heels, would you conclude that the shoes likely belonged to the killer?"

"In all probability--yes."

"And can you read the exhibit card for the jury. Where were those shoes found?"

Che looked at the card, although he already knew the answer. "A dumpster behind the Palm Estates Apartments."

"The apartment complex Amanda King lives in," John added. "Thank you. That is all. Defense calls Leonard Bergman, M.D."

Doc Bergman's testimony started out pretty cut and dried. He discussed the findings of his autopsy, the petechia in the tissue of Cam's throat and water in his lungs. Estimated time of death was 7:00 a.m.

"Dr. Bergman, what did you find Cam King's medical condition to be like at his time of death otherwise?"

"Reasonably healthy two year old with one remarkable exception. He had some pronounced symptoms of AIDS."

There were murmurs through the jury.

"This poor child had AIDS?" John repeated.

Jones tapped his pen, wishing there was something to object to.

John produced a photocopy. "The State wishes to submit into evidence as exhibit B and C copies of Cam King's medical records from Frances Long, MD, in Los Angeles and Stan Wall, MD, of Honolulu Children's Clinics confirming a diagnosis of AIDS in Cam King."

Jones finally rose. "Objection, Your Honor, this is irrelevant to the case. AIDS did not effect Cam King's death."

"Counselor?" Haroldson looked at Manicote. "I trust you are going somewhere with this line of questioning."

"Yes, Your Honor."

Jones seemed ill at ease. "My objection remains, Your Honor. My client's privacy is at risk here!"

"Your client gave up her right to privacy when she became accused of the murder of her child. Mr. Manicote, continue."

"I have no further questions of Dr. Bergman -- at this time," John replied, much to Jones's surprise

"Counselor Jones, is your desire to cross examine Dr. Bergman?" Haroldson asked.

"No questions," Jones said brushing the opportunity away. "But the state has not justified its line of question."

John grinned. Jones had fallen into his trap. "The State calls Dan Williams to the stand."

"Objection!" Jones shouted, "this witness is out of turn!" He wanted very much to have the public present when it came time to cross examine Danny.

Haroldson raised an eyebrow towards Manicote.

"Your Honor," John pleaded, "when Defense asked me to justify my line of questioning, that placed the State in a position of having to change the order of witnesses to answer that question or stand in contempt."

Haroldson looked back at Jones. "Any comments, Defense?" He smiled in spite of himself. "Got him that time, Johnny. Objection overruled."

Danny walked to the witness stand, trying to tell himself this was like any other trial he'd testified in. One look at Jones reminded him otherwise. The defense lawyer was just waiting for him to say one wrong syllable. And Carrie Donagan sat on the edge of her seat, pen in hand as her court artist scribbled away.

"Officer Williams," John started slowly, "You've been with Five-0 the better part of 13 years."

"Yes," he agreed.

"And you are also degreed in psychology and are currently working on your thesis for a doctorate in criminal psychology."


Credentials established, John continued. "You first encountered Amanda King on the morning of her child's disappearance. In your professional opinion, how did she present?"

"Distraught. In Shock. Very frightened."

"What did she say to you?"

"She said her car had been stolen when she stopped to buy gas and that her two-year-old was in the back."

"And did you believe her?"

"I had no reason not to," he replied calmly.

"But over the course of the next two days, you developed doubts?"

"That's correct."

"What caused you to doubt?"

"The gas attendant had never seen the car although the station had clearly audible bells. The car upon recovery had a half a tank of gas. And the defendant was less than truthful about her child's condition of AIDS."

"Did she lie to you?"

"Not exactly. The information was omitted."

"She hid the truth from you?"

"Objection!" Jones shot up. "The state is putting words into the witness's mouth."

"Sustained," the judge replied, sounding a little bored.

"In your past as a professional in law enforcement, do defendants and witnesses frequently omit facts?"

He tried to look simple and trustworthy as John had earlier instructed him. "Sometimes."

"For what reasons?"

"Sometimes things are forgotten. Sometimes they are hiding guilt."

John nodded. "Would it be likely Amanda King would forget her child had AIDS?"

"Objection!" Jones shouted.

"I withdraw the question," John replied quickly, it had been clearly over the line, but it did not matter. The jury had already heard it.

The questioning went on for over an hour with John carefully picking their way through a potential mine field, managing to bring out all the details and steer clear of the personal issues. Finally John concluded benignly having pulled out all of the important facts, but not asking Danny to draw any conclusions himself.

Jones strutted before the jury a moment, thumbs tucked into his belt, before starting his cross-examination. "Impressive credentials, Mr. Williams." He said. "Do you work for the police department as a psychologist or counselor?"

"Not usually."

"But on occasion?"

"I've worked in hostage negotiating teams," he answered.

"I'm a little interested as to why the distinguished DA went to all the trouble to have you give such detail to Ms. King's state of mind without drawing any conclusion."

He did not reply, well aware he did not have to.

"Do you know why he would do that, Mr. Williams?"

With the question asked, John jumped up. "Objection!"

"Sustained," the judge replied.

Jones gave a quick grin. "Mr. Williams, in your professional opinion," he lingered over the word professional, "did Ms. King strike you as the kind of person who could cold-bloodedly force a young child into dark water and drown him?"

"Objection!" John yelled again.

"The witness has already been established as a professional with training in mental health, I'm going to allow it," Haroldson ruled. "Witness will answer the question."

Jones had caught the fleeting moment of indecision that crossed Danny's face. I have battled that very question these last six weeks. "It's not easy to establish that sort detail about a person in such a short period of time," he replied, trying to use a smoke screen. "She was upset, saying conflicting statements."

"You said earlier she was distraught, in shock," Jones reminded the jury.


"In your opinion can a person in extreme shock say conflicting statements or omit important facts they might think irrelevant to the situation at hand?"

"Of course," he replied.

"The person doesn't have to be intentionally lying then to give a false answer."

He did not answer.

"Mr. Williams?" Jones glared at him.

"You did not ask a question," he replied.

"Is it possible that Mrs. King, in her state of distress over her missing child believed his AIDS history to be irrelevant?"

"She was asked about his health and said he was just fine. Those words exactly, I believe," Danny commented.

"You talked with Amanda King on the afternoon of Cam's disappearance in a police squad car. Is that an unusual place to conduct questioning?"

"Not at all. She wanted to be where the teams were searching and I needed some information from her."

"Did you advise her of her rights at that time."

"No, she wasn't a suspect at that time. We didn't even know Cam was dead then."

"What did you do while you were there?"

He shrugged. "I asked her about her divorce, her ex-husband."

"And what else?"

He frowned, not sure what Jones was fishing for. That made him nervous.

Jones walked towards the jury, his back towards the witness stand, then turned half way back. "In your professional training, Mr. Williams, have you ever specialized in pediatric behavioral development?" he asked dryly.

"No," he answered, feeling the tension of fear creeping up his neck. Jones is getting to me. I need to think, to stay calm, to keep him at length.

"Oh." Jones gave a look of mild puzzlement on his face. "Then you would not consider yourself an expert in the subject of potty training?"

There was a cough somewhere in the jury where someone was desperately trying to keep a straight face. The judge shot a fiery look towards them.

Danny's face flashed crimson. "Hardly."

"Yet you did, did you not, discuss with the defendant whether or not two year olds were ready for potty training. Did you have such a discussion?"

He cleared his throat glancing towards John, who stared at him. "Yes."

"To what end?"

"Excuse me?" He hoped to stall this for a minute.

Jones knew the tactic was one of desperation and grinned a toothy grin. "Why? What bearing did potty training have on the disappearance of Cam King?"

"None," he answered glumly. "The defendant was upset, just talking about anything and she mentioned it."

"And you answered."

John rose. "Your Honor, an innocent comment made by the defendant to the witness prior to her even been considered as a suspect has absolutely no bearing on this case!"

The Judge glanced at Jones. He was not happy with the course the questioning was taking either. "Both counselors will approach the bench." When Jones and Manicote both stood before him, he said quietly: "Mr. Jones, have you a reasonable explanation why I should allow you to continue?"

"The witness' comments were anything but innocent. They were calculated to elicit my client's trust and then to entrap her."

"Mr. Manicote?"

"The defense is attempting to derail this entire case and defame an outstanding branch of law enforcement simply because an officer had compassion on a grief stricken mother," John answered. "This is ludicrous."

"Only if it is untrue," Jones responded. "It seems to me, it is a matter for the jury to decide if it is true or not."

Haroldson looked steadily from one to the other of the lawyers. "Mr. Jones, you are not from the Islands. You have no idea the impeccable record Five-0 has. Better men than you have been proved asses when they tried to malign our state police."

Jones bit the inside of his cheek sullenly.

"However," Haroldson went on, "in the interests of the defendant, I am going to permit this line of questioning provided it does not intimidate or malign the witness. Is that understood? No wild accusations, Mr. Jones, or I will fine you in contempt of court even if it means a miss-trial."

Jones and Manicote both exchanged hostile looks and nodded.

Haroldson waved them away from the bench and they returned to their positions.

Part 4

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