Guilty Party
By Peg Keeley

Part 4

Jones prowled the room again for a minute. "So, Mr. Williams, you did discuss potty training with Ms. King?"

"It was mentioned."

"You are an officer of the law, a detective, and the defendant mentioned potty training to you. Why?"

"She was afraid her son would be uncomfortable."

Jones gave a slight smile, noting Danny had parleyed his stab well. "Mr. Williams, why would she seek child rearing support from you?"

He lifted his eyebrows and shrugged. "Ask the defendant."

"To your knowledge, do you and the defendant have anything in common?"

He gave a blank look. "In common like what?

Jones was growing irritated. "In common like children, Mr. Williams, sons to be exact. Do you have a son?"

He flexed his jaw muscles. "Yes I do."

"How old is he?"


Jones turned towards the jury. "I'm afraid the jury may not have heard your response. Would you repeat that for the court, please?"

"He's two years old," Danny answered angrily.

"Your son is exactly one week younger than Cam King, is he not?"

"Yes," he said through tight lips.

"And you told the defendant this?"

"She asked." He manipulated the question.

Jones nodded. "What led her to ask?"

"I don't know."

"Oh, come on now!" Jones stormed to his brief case and pulled out the photo Danny instantly recognized from his office desk. "If it please the court, this is the photo Officer Williams keeps on his desk as confirmed by this signed affidavit by Virginia Harris, the Five-0 secretary. It was this photo Amanda King saw on the morning of her son's disappearance that led her to believe Officer Williams might actually understand her situation. This and his comrade-like behavior made her trust him." He waved the photo around before he'd allow the bailiff to admit it as evidence.

Danny stole a look towards Manicote and Steve and it was disturbing to see they were both surprised.

Jones let the murmuring die down a moment. "Officer Williams, on the day you spoke so candidly with Ms. King about child care, you remained in the back of that car with her nearly thirty minutes. Were you not trying to convince her that you were her friend, her confidant?"

"I felt sorry for her. She was hurting. I wanted to comfort her. Nothing more."

Jones looked away with a look of scorn. "So, after you comforted her, got her to trust you, you tricked her into a lie detector test and arrested her for murder."

"Objection, defense is drawing a conclusion," John pointed out.

"Sustained," the judge commented. "Mr. Jones, you are on thin ice."

Jones stopped his questioning a moment, walked the length of the jury box in silence, then back. When he was again across from the witness stand he said, "You felt sorry for her. Are you sure?"

Jones pursed his lips. "As a professional," he again lingered over the word as he had earlier, "you are familiar with the defense mechanism of projection?"

John squirmed in his chair.

"Yes," Danny replied with apprehension.

"Would you be so kind as if provide the court with an explanation of the term."

Danny took a slow breath. "It is possible for a person to project feelings he or she is having regarding a person or situation onto another unrelated party and attribute those feelings to the third party."

"Thank you," Jones said cordially. "Hypothetically, now. If an examiner had such projected feelings, would it not color his or her interpretation of events?" He glanced at Manicote and repeated, "hypothetically."

Danny glanced at John who just jammed the pen into a pad of paper.

"Your question is pretty vague," Danny replied. "Hypothetically, almost anything is possible, but may not be probable."

"Let me redefine the question," Jones leaned towards Danny across the railing. "Would it be possible for an examiner who experienced a severe tragedy in his own life to subconsciously react in hostility to a situation with similar undertones? That prejudice would color his interpretation of events in that similar situation, would it not?"

"Are you discussing a possibility or a likelihood?" Danny tried to turn the question back, knowing where it was leading. I knew this would happen, John warned me about it. I'm supposed to be prepared. I guess now I find out. He consciously maintained an expression devoid of emotion.

"Is it possible?" Jones demanded more loudly.

"Yes," Danny replied simply.

"You were involved in a situation not unlike this one almost a year ago. Except in that event, it was Malama Kanea, the mother of your son, who became involved with Communist spies, ended up getting herself killed and very nearly your son, too! Aren't you venting the feelings of anger you felt towards her neglect onto Amanda King who is really nothing more than a victim and not the child killer you would have her be?"

"Objection!" John shrieked so loud his voice cracked. "The witness is not on trial here!"

"Your honor, my client's entire case of guilt or innocence rests plainly on the shoulders of how this man interpreted the events of that fateful day! Not only did he interview my client, but it was he himself who pulled the dead child from the water. He even spent part of the evening in a car comparing child rearing tips with my client to entrap her!"

The judge was rapping loudly with the gavel to bring order as the two lawyers hung over the railing towards his bench. When silence reigned at last, he slowly cleared his throat. "Mr. Jones, this is not a Perry Mason episode. They may carry on these theatrics in Los Angeles, but not in Honolulu."

"Your Honor," Jones said in a quiet, respectful way. "My client is being tried by circumstantial evidence. To defend her best interests, I must establish the true creditably of her accuser. The State has established Williams as a professional. There is a question about personal interests clouding that professionalism that is imperative to my client's defense."

Haroldson sat for a moment considering his choices before speaking. "I'm going to allow you to continue, Mr. Jones. But no theatrics. If in my opinion your line of questioning is out of place, I'm going to cut you off. Got that?"

"Yes, Your Honor," he replied politely, with a gloat towards John who headed back to the state's table.

"John?" Steve whispered to him.

He shook his head.

Jones crossed back to the witness stand, pleased and feeling like he was in control. He hoped to intimidate Williams, but one look at the officer told him that would not be as easy as he'd hoped. He reminded himself of those psych credentials and realized this might be a bit tougher than he'd thought. "Mr. Williams, you defined projection for the court a few minutes ago. In light of your own recent past, is it not possible you might have, even for a moment, considered the similarities?"

Danny tried to appear at ease, but knew he was sweating. "Any parent is sympathetic with another in distress."

Jones snatched up a collection of newspaper clippings from the defense table. "It is a matter of public record that Malama Kanea became pregnant with your son and lied to you saying she had aborted him. Did you feel sorry for her or were you filled with anger at her deceit? She endangered your son; he nearly met the same fate as Cam King. Did you feel sorry for Malama Kanea --or were you inwardly glad she'd gotten what she deserved when it was she who died!"

"Objection!" John shouted.

This time Danny did not wait for the judge or Manicote. "No one should have their life cut off. Mali's loss was tragic. No way could I have felt glad for her death."

"I put it to the court that you were not glad for Kanea's death because you felt she got off too lightly. But Amanda King is here!" He pointed at her, sitting pale and wide-eyed at the proceedings. "She is here, Mr. Williams, waiting for you and the state to take your vengeance."

"Objection! Your Honor!" John shouted.

"Sustained!" Judge Haroldson agreed pounding his gavel. "Mr. Jones, these tactics will end now or you will be fined for contempt of court."

Tension was so thick, it was like electricity. Everyone in the room sat bolt right up, waiting for Jones' next move. He glanced at his notes. He seemed to relax, the hostility melting away. And as it did, the courtroom seemed to calm down with him. He knew he had them on his every move. He suddenly broke into a friendly smile. "Mr. Williams, under oath, can you swear to this jury that the events last year in your own life did not effect the interpretation of this case at all?"

"The state's case against Ms. King was not developed by my emotional ties to the death of Miss Kanae, my son, or anything else. The evidence was collected by investiga-"

"You, Mr. Williams, you," Jones interrupted. "You questioned this mother more than once and under less than perfect circumstances. You found the dead child. You ordered the polygraph tests, and it is your name that appears on the arrest report. Your name, not some other investigator. You cannot wash your hands of the responsibility."

"The evidence still speaks for itself."

"Does it? Does it, Mr. Williams? Or can evidence speak differently to each of us?"

"Objection," John commented, "this is not a philosophy class."

"Mr. Jones?" the judge looked at him expectantly.

"Noted, Your Honor." Jones gave a smile. "I have no further questions for this witness."

"Mr. Williams, you may step down." Haroldson glanced at his watch. "Court will recess for lunch and reconvene at 2:00 PM." He rose and so did the court.

Danny grouped with Steve and Manicote and heaved a deep breath. "I thought he'd do more than that."

"Yeah, so did I," John commented, slightly puzzled.

Carrie Donagan pushed forward with her recorder on. "Mr. Williams, is it true that Child Protective Services has served you with a citation for child endangerment and emotional abuse?"

"That's emotional trauma," he corrected.

She glared at him. "--For the third time?"

McGarrett stepped in. "There are no charges and even if there were, that is not related to this case or of service to the public."

"But CPS was--" she started

Yes, Counselor Fitch was by our offices because the media is harassing Child's Play Day Care and frightening the children and their parents. Why don't you put that on the news?" Steve fired back. He grabbed hold of both Danny and John and started moving them towards the door.

"Hey, Williams!" Carrie called after them, "I'm just trying to give you equal time. Sarah Lulia was interviewed by KOHU for the six o'clock news tonight."

He turned back in shock. "What?"

"Want to see the tape?" She cracked a grin.


Any thoughts of lunch and appetite had long been forgotten. Danny stared at the now silent snowy television screen in John Manicote's office. Steve stood, also silent staring out of the window down into the sunny parking lot.

"I want your rebuttal, Williams," Carrie commented, sounding genuine.

"What the hell do I say?" Danny murmured. "How do I answer her?"

"If I was your lawyer I'd tell you to say nothing," John remarked.

McGarrett turned towards Donagan. "Why all this circus, Donagan, and why now? Why in the middle of a trial?"

"This trial and the people involved in it are hot, McGarrett. The Kings are news, Danny is news, and anything associated with them including Sarah Lulia and Lonnie Williams are news, too. If I don't bring in the news, I don't have a job for very long. This is what the people want to see."

"That doesn't mean they have a right to it. This trial is serious business about a horrible death for an innocent child and we are dealing with the life a his mother. Her life!" Steve chided. "It isn't some game for ratings polls."

"Maybe that's true, but it doesn't change the way it is," Carrie replied. "Lulia came to us offering information and a statement that she could back up. Now it's Danny turn to refute it."

"I can't. She's right. Yes, I have a psychiatric past. Yes, I am a recovering alcoholic. But that doesn't make me a bad parent," Danny answered.

"Let me bring out a camera guy and shoot you playing with your son and you say what you just told me?" Carrie suggested.

"No way. Let her say what she wants. I'm not playing this game," Danny decided.


Court let out by 4:00 with John's hope that there would be just one more day before it went to the jury.

"Can't come soon enough," Steve remarked as he and Danny headed down the back hallway to the underground garage where the cars were housed. McGarrett hesitated at the newspaper box as the headline caught his eye. Force feeding the slot a quarter, he yanked out the paper and held it up. "Didn't take long, did it?" The headline read "King Kid Killing Kop Charged with Child Abuse."

Danny sighed. "A little exaggerated, don't you think?" Why can't they just leave us all alone and let justice have its way? Why all this soap opera frenzy? Isn't it tragic enough for them?

"This paper is Donagan's competition," Steve commented. "She must have aired that video of Sarah as soon as she left John's office at lunch time."

Danny shook head. "Am I compromising the department? The case? Maybe I just need to be doing something else."

"This isn't your fault," Steve assured him, "you know that. It will all blow over. In a week they'll be chewing on something else. We've all been target of the media at one time for another."

"But this is different," Danny said hotly. "This time I have a child to consider. It isn't just me. It's Lonnie. It's Sarah Lulia in the shadows just waiting for one wrong step. And you know what? Someday I'll make it. And what then?" He raised his hands in a helpless gesture. "I can't do this. I just can't do it anymore, Steve." He started to walk away.

"Danno," Steve called gently, "don't make any big decisions till after this trial is over. I assure you, it will be all right."

He did not respond.

"Danno, just promise me you'll wait a week."

He glanced back. "Okay, Steve. One week." He got into his car.

Steve watched him pull out of the space and leave. As the echo of the car died away in the garage, Steve opened the door of the Lincoln and picked up his radio. "Central, this is McGarrett. I'll like you to locate a phone number and connect me to a Sarah Lulia."


Danny pulled out of the parking garage and waited through the traffic to make his left turn onto King Street. This thing is out of control. Maybe Steve's right, maybe in a week this will all be yesterday's news. He grinned inwardly at his pun. But what about next time? Am I just kidding myself? Can I really keep on working for Five-0 when I need to consider the effect on Lonnie? His thoughts were interrupted as he noticed the dark green car slide in behind him. He turned left onto Punahou Street and the green car turned as well. Hundreds of car turn onto this street, it's a main artery through Honolulu, he told himself. I don't have time to get paranoid. One eye on the rear view mirror, he increased speed just slightly, and moved into the left lane to pass the truck ahead of him. The green car did not change lane. See, it's nothing. He took the entrance ramp onto Lunalilo Highway headed for the south part of town where Lukelas lived. He'd gone about half a mile when, he glanced back and gasped in surprise. The green car was two cars behind him, well back, but there. He took the first off ramp onto University Avenue. A few minutes later, the green car did also. He turned back into town on King Street knowing that no one would have gone up onto the highway, then naturally turned back towards the north. He made three random turns onto side streets and the green car, still a short distance behind, made each one. He made a quick cut onto a narrow one way street, then into the blind alley. By the time the green car made the turn, the driver was looking down an empty one way street lined by old buildings, trash dumpsters and junked cars. The green car slowly moved down the street.

Danny waited until it had passed the alley he was in, then spun backwards out of the alley, roared up to the car, bouncing over the left hand curb on the narrow street, then cut right. Metal squealed as the right side of the Mercury scraped the green Ford, shoving it to the right, glancing off brick wall before it slammed into a trash dumpster. The overfilled dumpster poured refuse across the green hood. The Ford was boxed in, wedged between the wall, the Mercury, and the dumpster.

Before the driver could react, Danny had slid across the seat, opened his passenger window and had his .38 leveled on the man's head.

The guy stared at him wide-eyed.

"Who are you?!" Danny demanded.

"God! Hey, wait, wait! Don't shoot!" he begged, truly panicked. He started to grab into his jacket.

"Keep those hands on the wheel!" Danny shouted and the man complied instantly.

"Hey, cool it, man! Please!" the man stammered. "Look, I'm a news reporter. Rex Thacker."

"What?!" Danny demanded, the gun still between them.

"A reporter, I'm a reporter."

Danny's racing heart started to slow. "Reporter?"

"Yeah--like I write news columns?" Rex sounded a bit pathetic. "I've got my press pass right here." He very gingerly pulled it from his inside jacket pocket. "Um, could you put away the gun?"

Danny relaxed just a little and lowered the police special. "Why were you following me?"

"I was supposed to get some shots of you with your kid for the late news."


"I had orders to find out where you had stashed your kid."

Danny decided he might just shoot this idiot after all. "Stay away from me. Come within a hundred yards of me or my son and I'll kill you. You got that?" He slammed his car into gear and hit the gas, tearing the front fender off Thacker's Ford on the way out.

"Hey!" Thacker shouted after him, "what about my car!"


"Thank you for coming down here, Sarah," Steve said cordially, offering her a chair in his office.

"I come, Mr. McGarrett, but it won't change nothing," she stated flatly.

He quietly sat down, not behind the desk, but in the chair opposite her. "You must feel pretty strongly about Lonnie's welfare."

"I promised his mama, rest her soul, I would see to it he got good raising," she declared.

"And you don't think Dan Williams can do that?"

"Why should he want to? He's no mama."

"But he is Lonnie's father," Steve replied quietly.

She jutted out her chin stubbornly. "What do you want, McGarrett?"

"I want to understand what your concerns are," he explained.

"Danny is a good man, but he not able to raise a child good. He's a bachelor, no woman, he don't know how to take care of a baby."

"They seem to be doing okay," Steve offered.

"Okay not the same a good, McGarrett. What in this for you?"

"Me?" He raised an eyebrow. "I think I am about to lose the best detective I've ever had on this force. If I have to give him up, I'd at least like to understand why."

"What you mean?"

"He's ready to throw away his career in order to keep Lonnie."

Her features weakened slightly, then toughened again. "That don't change nothing. He no good for Lonnie."

"Sarah, don't you think there are hundreds of fathers across this state, thousands across the country that are doing their best to raise their children alone? You could be offering him your support instead of making it harder for him."

"Lonnie is better with me. Let Danny come visit him."

"Sarah, you are missing the point. Danno is his father."

"Is he?"

Steve stared her, a deep scowl crossing his features. "Sarah, what are you saying?"

Before she could answer, the phone on Steve's desk rang. He wanted to let it go, but being the only one in the office; he needed to accept the distraction. "Excuse me, a moment." He picked up the receiver. "McGarrett."

"Steve, this is Officer Yung."

"Yes, Mike."

"I'm at an accident scene on Makahiki Way with a...Rex Thacker. He claims that Danny ran his car off the road and left the scene of the accident."

Steve could hear Thacker's voice shouting, "He stuck a gun in my face!"

"Did Danny come back to the office?" Mike asked.

"He's not here, Mike."

The outer door of the office slammed and Steve looked down the hallway to see Danny storming up towards his office. "I need to call the Lukelas," Danny said hotly, then stopped, spotting Sarah in the chair in Steve's office.

"Ah," Steve hesitated. "How bad is it?" he asked of Yung.

"Car's pretty well totaled."

"Get the paperwork done. Take a statement. Tell Thacker to come up to Five-0 in the morning and Ginny will get it filed with the insurance company."

"Right, Steve."

He hung up the phone, noticing the confused look on Danny's face to find Sarah in the office. Danno thinks everyone's pulling a fast one on him right about now, maybe even me.

"Evening, Sarah," Danny murmured cordially. Why did Steve bring her here? Trying to make a deal to get her off my back? He's trying to help, but this is my business.

"I invited Sarah here to discuss what her concerns were about you and Lonnie," Steve explained. "Seems like this is a discussion that should have occurred a long time ago. Sarah, do you mind if Danno joins us?"

She shrugged. "No matter. It the same thing."

Steve motioned Danny to the chair by his desk. Sarah, when I just made the point that Danny was Lonnie's father, I thought you questioned that. Am I right?"

She shuffled her feet, less sure of herself with Danny present. "I don't know."

"What do you mean, you 'don't know'?" Danny demanded. "Sarah, you are the one who told us right here in this office almost exactly a year ago that Lonnie was my son. My name is on his birth certificate. Mali herself said I was his father. What more proof do you need?"

She scowled. "He is Hawaiian child, not hoale," she stated. "He needs a Hawaiian home. You know Mali, she was half-loco sometimes. Maybe he's not your boy. Just cause she said it -- you know how she was."

"Yes, I do," Danny responded, "but I also knew when to believe her. He is my son, I know he is. And since he is my son, you have no rights to him."

"Maybe I say he not," she replied. "If you not his father, then he is my blood."

"Sarah, why? Why all this?" Steve asked quietly. "You have six children of your own. What is the point here?"

"I already say, but you no listen. Lonnie is Hawaiian boy."

Danny sighed. "So the this is all about racial prejudice. I'm not good enough because I'm not Hawaiian."

"Oh, I know your friend Kono. He tell me about you. I know you Hawaiian, somewhere just a little, but you all haole now. What you gonna do when those boys make fun of your Lonnie and call him kanaka, half-breed?"

"I'll deal with it when -- and if -- it happens. I love him, Sarah, and I won't give him up just because you don't like the color of my skin."

She rose from the chair and crossed her arms. "Then I say he never was your boy. Mali made it up. That birth record just paper. She could put any name on it, but that don't make it so."

Steve rose also. "Are you asking Danno to prove by blood tests his parentage?"

She glared at him with suspicion. "Blood tests?"

"Yes. There are tests that can be done to prove people are related," Steve told her.

Cornered, she had no choice but to agree.

"Danno?" Steve glanced at him.

"If she insists on putting Lonnie through getting a blood test, and it will get her to leave us alone, yes, I'll do it."

"All right. Tomorrow I'll have Che do the work and have it verified through Queens Medical Center. Is that good enough for you?" Steve asked.

She nodded.

"And in the mean time, you stop talking to the press," he insisted.

She nodded again, then turned and left.

Danny sank back in the chair. "I need to have Mary keep Lonnie till this mess is over. I had a reporter tailing me tonight."

"The same one whom you threatened at gunpoint and wrecked his car?" Steve guessed.

He gave a smirk. "That's already made the news?"

Steve sighed. "No, not yet, but by eleven o'clock Ms. Donagan is sure to have a new update." He sighed. "Danno, some of the choices you are making are not good ones. You are just reacting."

"Steve, you don't know what it's like! I'm being hounded every step, my child is threatened, I'm being accused of setting up Amanda King. What did I ever do to deserve all this?" he exploded.

Steve waited to give more emphasis to his response. "I want you to listen carefully, Danno. There are no explanations for this. Don't look for them. Deal with them. We will get through this, understand? We will. You are not alone. This will be over -- and soon I'd think, but you've just got to get through it thinking instead of reacting. No more Bruce Willis stuff, okay?"

He managed to crack a grin. "Sure, Steve."


End Part 4

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