Crazy Dog Lady and the court case that shouldn’t have happened:
Three days before Mom and I were to appear in court, the DA’s assistant finally called and scheduled a time for me to talk to the DA and ask if Mom and I wanted a hotel room so we didn’t have to drive home after testifying on Friday the 13th. Of course we accepted (they would pay.) She didn’t call at the appointed hour, so I called her. Obviously she hadn’t read the statement I gave to the police or she would not have subpoenaed me.
After a short chat she decided the prosecution would not be calling me, they would not pay for a hotel room (although I could “stay with mom” if I wanted to) and she rang off. I immediately called the defense attorney to clarify what I needed to do – the basic plan was not altered. I got some more details about the case and was in a bit of a fury before I even left town.
What it comes down to is this: Holly (the woman on foot) accused Melissa (the woman in the car) of many horrible things, including firing a gun at her. At the time of Melissa’s arrest, the police did not do a GSR test! OMFG! Wouldn’t you think if someone is accused of firing a gun at someone inside a very small house, the authorities would perform a Gunshot Residue Test? That shit is harder to get rid of than glitter, so a GSR test would at least have proven there was no gun and maybe put Holly’s accusations in a new light, but no, Melissa was arrested and held in the County Jail for four months until she could be brought to trial under Measure 14 Laws, which come with very long mandatory sentences – Melissa was looking at 20 years in prison if convicted.
I’ll admit I was stunned by the whole thing. I hadn’t known Melissa was in jail, nor what the charges were. I’m baffled that three trained law enforcement officials couldn’t see that Holly was making shit up. I mean, her rambling story, changing timeline (at one point she said she ran out of the house in nothing but shorts and a t-shirt, but recanted when it was revealed that the officers each wore a video camera and she was clearly dressed in jeans, lace-up boots and sleeveless shirt and not a bit disheveled) obvious meth trip, weird gestures, I mean, she was plainly high and acting on a stage in her own world. You’d think trained officers would have taken that into consideration, right?
The prosecution took forever to get a jury seated and then dragged out the testimony so that Mom and CDL testified after lunch on Friday. CDL went into the courtroom, said her piece and then left. Mom then went inside while I waited on the bench outside the courtroom (no witnesses were allowed inside until after they’d testified.) The DA was not at all happy to see me there when she came out to get Mom and neither was Holly, who came out accompanied by a rather large, authoritative woman who held her by the elbow. Holly’s eyes met mine and I tried to convey with my glare that Melissa was not going down for this bullshit if it was in my power to stop it. She paled visibly and hurried on by.
Because of the poor time management on the part of the prosecution, I would need to return to Newport (two hours one way, remember) to testify the following Tuesday. No idea about time, so I promised to be in Newport by 0900, on standby until it was my turn.
So I did some shopping and watched the weather steadily deteriorate the longer I was in town. A storm was on the way and the wind was blowing the rain sideways by the time I was called to testify at 3:30.
I told the court what I saw, but was not allowed to do more than answer the questions put to me, with the DA jumping up and objecting every time I said I knew what a tweeker looks and acts like. Not even my personal experience with meth addicts was allowed.
I stayed after my testimony to hear what else was said and was quite surprised. Not only did the police NOT do a GSR test, there were two other people in the house who testified that there was no gunshot and that Melissa had in fact never owned a gun to their knowledge. It’s a pretty close-packed neighborhood and none of the neighbors heard a gunshot.
Melissa took the stand and was also limited in regards to what she was allowed to say. Turns out she and Holly had been together for 15 years, Melissa earning the money and Holly disappearing for weeks at a time doing drug-related god-knows-what and then crawling back to Melissa, who always took her back. Sigh. It’s classic, really, so common as to be a cliche. They’d been forced to move every 6 months or so because of similar incidents, traveling from California to Newport over the space of a few years.
The whole incident was sparked by Melissa breaking off the relationship and asking for Holly’s house keys. Melissa writes code for HP, which is the only thing that surprised me.
I asked the defense attorney to let me know what happened and I headed home on the most nightmarish drive I’ve had yet this year – very high winds, heavy rain, lots of debris on the road and everyone wanted to drive 65 mph on a road that’s best suited to 45 on a nice, sunny day. I hate that drive with a passion that I can’t even describe.
The next week CDL sends me an email:
I wonder what the outcome of the trial will be. I’m sorry the whole thing was such a drag for you and took up so much of your time.
She knew I was furious with her – she couldn’t even identify Melissa in the courtroom! AND she’d tried to hijack me when I came over the first time and make me do computer work for her and I said no, repeatedly, until Mom and I got out of there.
I responded with:
Melissa was acquitted of all but a couple of misdemeanor charges. She spent four months in jail and lost her rental house because of Holly’s bullshit. She will not be compensated in any way, not even an apology. She can (and should, in my opinion) sue in civil court for wrongful imprisonment, but I don’t know if she will.
Holly will face no charges for perjury, false accusations or theft, which is unfortunate because she went back to Melissa’s house on 5 or 6 occasions (there were witnesses and they testified in court) and stole Melissa’s TVs, work computer and various personal items – to sell for drugs, no doubt. Nor will she face charges for stealing Melissa’s car and taking it out to the woods and trashing it because there isn’t sufficient evidence, only her trademark Squirt bottle in the back – obviously she’d been in the car as she and Melissa had been a couple for 15 years, so that argument won’t wash.
There was no gun. There were no marks on Holly. There were two other people in the house when the “attack” happened, and they saw and heard nothing. It was all made up by Holly because Melissa broke up with her.
It was a waste of time, but only because charges were brought in the first place. If I hadn’t testified, Melissa was looking at a possible 20 year prison term. We all should be terrified to know that a tweeker can make false accusations and have an innocent person put in jail for MONTHS based on no physical evidence at all. Our great justice system at work. Not!
I’m very pissed off about this and we probably shouldn’t talk about it again.
The next morning she sends this:
Sounds like you need to get away from it all. How about coming out to just relax this weekend? If not then, let me know what will work for you.
What the fuck? I had told her I was not making that drive again until Spring, that I have a million things to do, a huge project at work (which I’m currently working at very hard, obviously) and there is no way in hell I’m coming over there to “relax,” but she is just not getting the message. I told her no, as nicely as I could, teeth gritted with every keystroke, and that should bloody well have been that.
But no! This arrived in my inbox on Wednesday, along with requests to update some stuff online for her:
Hope you can find a weekend or anytime to come here and rest for a few…
I just don’t know what I have to say to make her leave me the fuck alone. I know, I know, I set myself up for this when I agreed to trade dog treats for computer work, but we agreed in the beginning that I would get her set up and she would take over as she learned to Do Stuff and I would no longer be needed except for occasional questions, so it’s all my fault, but shit. When I can’t help her she calls the Newport library and has them do Google searches for her and advise her on the best way to do things. She even makes appointments to drive up there and sit with someone in the library to fill out forms and such. Unbelievable!
And now I’m outta time, so the rest of the story will have to wait…
Hope you all had a great Turkey Day!