Friday, April 8, 2011

The Final Verdict

February11th, 2011, at 3pm we are to appear before the judge to hear the final decision. 
The whole weekend before the court date I was a wreck, we have been going through this for so long and the end is finally here, but did I want to hear this verdict?  I did want this over but the verdict could just be the start of the appeal process and we would still have a long way to go.  I just sat and thought all weekend, what to do? Did I say everything right?   Was there anything that could make the judge not see the truth?  When people get up on the stand and straight out lie, there is always a chance of it being believed.  The weekend seemed to never end.
Monday morning, what a stressful day.  I spend the morning with my wife and we talked and stressed each other out about what we thought would happen, what we would do if the verdict didn't go our way.  Do we run and get our son and just flee the country?  Things like this really go through your mind, even though I would never do this, I do understand why someone would. 
The minutes ticked by and seemed like hours, I couldn't wait to get this over with, yet I really didn't want to go.  I felt like just running away and waiting for someone to call me and just give me the answer, I didn't know if I could really go through all this.
3 o'clock, time to go.  My wife and I parked and walked up to the courthouse, I don't think we spoke the entire time going there, we met up with our lawyer and she tried to break the ice by saying that she had a really good feeling about everything.   I think that's what lawyers are supposed to say, it didn't make me feel any better, I think I was expecting the worse.
We went in and sat down and waited for the Judge to come into the court.  Did that ever seem like an eternity?  My wife and I were already starting to tear up.  The Judge came in and sat down and was ready to start.  She started off by saying, "When you listen to people's testimony, sometimes they are truthful, sometimes they make mistakes about dates and what happened, and other times they out-right lie.  All three of these things took place in this case and I will go over them today and tell you how I reached my verdict."  All I could think was, my God, did she think I was a liar? Maybe she thought I was truthful, just tell me the verdict, I don't want to hear anything but the verdict.  My heart was pounding out of my chest, my palms were so sweaty, I have to say that this was nothing like I've ever felt before, I was so emotional, I tried to listen but sometimes the Judge seemed to speak like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons.  Thoughts and emotions were on overload but I tried to keep focus and listen.  Then she spoke about the lies in the case, she spoke about two people, one a defense witness and one a prosecution witness, the Judge spoke about our witness for about five minutes then she turned to the prosecution witness and spoke about that person for ten minutes, so far we are winning by having half as many lies I thought.  After our Judge was done with those two witnesses she turn to another prosecution witness, their main "star" witness, and hammered away for fifty minutes.  It really made me see this person in a different light.  I knew that they had emotional problems, but the judge made me see this witness entirely different then I thought I knew them.  I thought that the day was going our way but I didn't want to get my hopes up so I just took everything in stride.  When our judge was finally done talking about their "star" witness I was waiting for her to continue down the line of witnesses but she then just handed out her verdict. 
I was found "not guilty" on any of the allegations, and that I could return home to my son and we could now work on the healing process and make up for lost time.  This is why I haven't written for two months, we had a lot of catching up to do.

What have I lost?
My son saw me get arrested, put in handcuffs and put to the ground.
I missed my son's very first day of kindergarten.
I missed Halloween, he was a transformer.
I missed Thanksgiving, my wife cooked a feast for two.
I missed Christmas, Santa brought him a new Xbox with the Kinect, a new bike and other toys, but my son asked for his Dad to come home, not even Santa could make that happen.
I missed my son's 6th birthday, my wife took him and his friend to Chuck E. Cheese.
I'm out over $100,000 that's a small price to pay to get my family back.

What did I get?
I learned a valuable lesson, Family is the most important thing in this world, not money, not a big house, not materialistic things, just Family and the love between a Father and his Son.