By Peg Keeley
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
"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."
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
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
"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."
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
"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,
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.
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
"What does it matter?"
the Assistant DA remarked. "Justice will be better served. No sideline
"People are pretty upset--some
of them at the police," Steve explained quietly. "They will think we're
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
"You're kidding," Danny
"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
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
"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
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
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
Che cleared his throat.
"The shoe is a woman's seven, width B. Amanda King's shoe size is seven
"Objection!" Jones shouted,
"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
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."
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.
"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
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
"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
"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
"Thank you. That's all."
John popped up. "Your
Honor, a moment to redirect?"
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
"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
two year old with one remarkable exception. He had some pronounced symptoms
There were murmurs through
"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."
looked at Manicote. "I trust you are going somewhere with this line
"Yes, Your Honor."
Jones seemed ill at
ease. "My objection remains, Your Honor. My client's privacy is at risk
"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
John started slowly, "You've been with Five-0 the better part of 13
"Yes," he agreed.
"And you are also degreed
in psychology and are currently working on your thesis for a doctorate
in criminal psychology."
John continued. "You first encountered Amanda King on the morning of
her child's disappearance. In your professional opinion, how did she
"Distraught. In Shock.
"What did she say to
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
"I had no reason not
to," he replied calmly.
"But over the course
of the next two days, you developed doubts?"
"What caused you to
"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
"She hid the truth from
"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?"
"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
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
"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
"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,"
"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,"
"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
"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
"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
"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
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."
"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
Jones bit the inside
of his cheek sullenly.
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.
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