Characters in the story
Jason Doe – the lawyer who was excited to know much about the defendant
Ephraim Sackor – the angry candidate who became the defendant who did not want to be arrested
Janet Love – the beautiful secretary of Counselor Jason Doe.
Judge Martina Yuo – the judge who wanted fairness in her courtroom
Cecelia Sackor – wife of the defendant who felt her husband was not having a nervous breakdown
Lt. Samson Swen – the prosecutor who wanted nothing but the defendant to hang
Tolbert Wolo – PUL propaganda specialist on whose testimony the prosecution hung its case
Colonel Jackson Payne – the officer who led the investigation
The echoes of early morning traffic filled Benson Street as criminal lawyer Jason Doe entered his office and grinned at his private secretary Janet Love, who was busy at her personal computer.
The lawyer hesitated and with a smile, said, “I’m feeling a little challenged this morning, Love.” The woman lifted her head from her assignment and with a smile said, “I can feel the challenge.”
The lawyer strolled to her desk and said, “What is it, Miss Love?”
She said, “There is a man waiting for you at the outer office who wants to see you very urgently.
“Though he does not have an appointment he has insisted he cannot leave until he consults with you.”
“What’s his name and what does he want?”
She consulted an information sheet and after a couple of seconds turned to the lawyer.
“Ephraim Sackor is his name and he looks about twenty-eight or thirty years. He was a candidate in the recent election at the Press Union and he claimed his rights were abused and as a result, he lost the elections but he said he would want to tell you his story his own way.
“However, there is something about him that seems suspicious. He looks flamboyant, and mama’s boy is written on his face.”
The lawyer strolled to the inner office and the young woman followed him.
“What about his clothes?”
The woman replied with a laugh, “He looks presentable and at second look there appears that he is from a rich family and has connections.”
The lawyer grinned, said, “You have interested me with Mr. Sackor and I am wondering if he could come back…”
“Well,” she interrupted him, “he is waiting at the client’s room right now and since your next scheduled client will not be around till eight o’clock, you can see him.”
Jason Doe considered his wrist watch and said to himself, “There is some excitement about this client and I think I will give him at least twenty minutes.”
“Janet, you may send him in.”
The woman turned swiftly and the light echoes of her shoes hammered the cushioned floor, and within seconds returned with a smallish looking young man behind her. She allowed him to walk past her and she closed the door behind him.
The man followed closely and as they advanced towards him, Jason Doe folded the morning newspaper and placed it on his desk and stared at them with a smile.
The man extended his right hand and Jason Doe grabbed it with enthusiasm as he pumped it repeatedly.
“Counselor I am mighty glad you can see me even though I don’t have an appointment this morning.”
Jason Doe gave him a look-over and he could imagine the man’s self-importance. His appraisal of the client confirmed his secretary’s observation that ‘mama’s boy’ was written all over his face. His clothes were well ironed and his watch loosely hangs on his wrist, and his hair was well cut.
Smiling at his statement, Jason Doe indicated a chair to his left.
“Since I did not come by appointment, I will be snappy with my case,” he said.
“Ok,” the lawyer replied, “I figured that when I was informed about the urgency of your case, Mr. Sackor.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Ok, let me have it, what is your problem?”
“I was an unsuccessful candidate for the recent PUL elections and for some reasons I want a payback.”
“Well,” the lawyer said, “there are many who went into the elections but did not win.”
“But not when my right as a candidate was abused. The point is, I am serious about all things I do, and I went into the elections with a large investment.
“Nowadays elections mean spending money and I doled out money to my colleagues but in the end, a particular candidate organized and convinced many of the voters not to vote for me.”
“Do you have any evidence?”
The man gave that some thought and said, “I have a video recording of what happened.”
“But does it worth consulting me, knowing that I am a trial lawyer? I fight before a jury when someone’s life is underline. My area is different and…”
“That’s the reason I am consulting you, Counselor Doe,” the man interrupted him, “because I don’t want to be arrested.”
His remark surprised the lawyer, who said, “Go ahead, Sackor, what do you have up your sleeves?”
“I took someone’s money for the elections and if I had won, could have allowed me the chance to pay back.
“I am trying to be sincere with myself for the money was huge.”
“How much are you talking about?”
“About U$30,000. I used part of the money to renovate my house and spent much on my friends before the elections.
“I had an understanding with the lender, and truly the money was not for the reasons I used it. When I lost the elections and those who had promised to give back much of the money refused to, I went to the lender and explained my predicament.
“Twenty minutes after I left, the lender reportedly collapsed and later died and there is the likelihood that I might be held responsible for his death.”
The lawyer said with some excitement, “The story appeared in the local dailies last week and the District Attorney (DA) has a warrant out for your arrest. He is preparing to charge you with the murder of Clinton Dahn, 55, of Logan Town.”
Ephraim Sackor lowered his head and clasped his hands together.
In a whisper of disappointment, he said, “I don’t know how I am going to handle this. Now I am broke, unable to repay my debt and the lender is dead and the police will come get me.”
The lawyer allowed some seconds to pass and said, “What was your intent when you visited the lender with the news of your loss?”
“I wanted him to know that I lost the elections and therefore I could not repay the money as we had agreed upon as readily as possible.”
“I see,” Jason Doe said, “but the District Attorney will claim your visit was intentional, knowing that the lender was not particularly in good health.
“He would claim you made your visit on premeditation and that all you wanted was to ensure that the lender was dead.”
The man lifted his hands and mopped his face, and said, “I have evidence that I acquired the money in good faith and part of it was used for my bid to lead the Press Union of Liberia.”
The lawyer said, “The DA will not believe you since circumstantially you borrowed the money, and then you went to the lender, knowing very well your inability to repay the money, as well being aware of the lender’s poor state of health.
“The DA will claim that you cleverly delivered the killer punch when you provided the information about your loss and that you knew the lender’s health would be affected by the news and hence you might have thought about these developments before delivering your deadly news which eventually killed him.”
Sackor grimaced and deliberately looked at the lawyer: “What are my chances, Mr. Doe?”
“Well,” the lawyer said, “if you want my honest opinion, I can surmise that the DA will be asking for your head.”
Ephraim Sackor’s eyes dimmed as he waited in impatience, and said, “I did not mean it, as you just explained. Going to jail will ruin me.”
“Exactly,” the lawyer said, “but the DA will also prove that you meant it; and what about your anger for a payback at some of the members of the Press Union of Liberia?”
Sackor reclined on the chair and said, “I think they have some explaining to do.”
Sackor lifted his chin, and with his eyes directly at the lawyer said, “Counselor, look at the circumstances, is it not possible that they could be drawn into the case if I am arrested and charged with murder?”
“How can you prove their involvement?”
“Counselor, this was an election. And if I could borrow such an amount, imagine how much money others in the competition might have borrowed from other lenders or from the same guy. Imagine the connection and the real premeditation to get me to lose and get me locked up for good?”
Counselor Doe said, “You make quite an interesting argument but it will be difficult to draw those you have in mind into the case.”
Sackor said, hopelessly, “Can you get me from being arrested? Can you defend me from the evil plot, even if I am arrested?
“Counselor, I have followed several of your cases and I am confident in your ability to save me from disgrace.”
The lawyer said, “Will you be willing to be sincere with me and be prepared to tell me all necessary information relating to the money?”
Sackor said hurriedly, “Yes, but the only problem is that I may not have the money now to pay for your services.”
Counselor Doe said, “I am an officer of the law and since I am aware that there is a warrant out for your arrest I am going to call the DA that you are with me.” Every curve of Ephraim Sackor’s features seemed to express a man who was filled with extreme ambition which Counselor Doe saw as the ultimate drive to face the unfortunate circumstances of his life.
Sackor folded his hands across his chest and lowered his head on the lawyer’s table as Counselor Doe dialed the number.