Golden Hill Street Courtroom B
Detective Nathan Chambers was a tall and muscular man, with deep set light blue eyes beneath a high forehead, with a layer of close cropped military style hair cut which was just beginning to recede. He was running toward the Golden Hill Street courtroom B, gliding down the second floor corridor toward the sentencing of a young man who murdered his family. His shoulders and hips were pushing forward in slow, locomotive fashion. that drama was still lingering on his mind, but he promised Detective Laura Kimber that he would meet her at the sentencing of Jesus Ayala.
He walked into the courtroom B and quickly sat next to Kimber and Detective Peter O’Brien. Jesus Ayala’s face didn’t break from his unsettling stare, a gaze all the more unnerving because of the crime he has committed. Ayala was a part-time drug dealer and second career was armed robbery. Finally getting him off the street was a small satisfaction, but it was no satisfaction to the other family members who sat at the side of the courtroom sobbing and sniffling.
The sentencing was delivered swiftly, but it didn’t have a bite. The judge gave Jesus Ayala two life sentences and because of his age he avoided the death penalty. By and large, the evil that sat at the defendant’s table in a Bridgeport circuit court rarely seemed at first glance to be sufficient for a person who caused destruction to human lives. Even after hearing the double life sentence still something in the hearts of every detective that sat there in the courtroom registered disappointment.
Some of the older family members tossed themselves on the floor screaming uncontrollably for either the sentence, or another lost family member. The entire scene was like something out of a surreal nightmare.
Chambers thought about the evil criminals sitting in death row and the fact that those evil elements aren’t monsters in appearance. They resemble nothing more sinister than the counter workers at fast food establishments, line cooks, some alcoholics, drug attics, borderline mental cases, and adolescent youths trying to portray video games and movie heroes, or gangsters. They aren’t the most visually threatening crew ever assembled. But what they did have in common was the fact that they have murdered, slaughtered and destroyed human life. Each murder came in different variations, yet that act alone made them terribly lonely, facing their own demons.
The judge issued the sentence in a low rumble to his voice and giving Jesus Ayala that 500 yard stare, which added something to the melodrama that engulfed the courtroom. There was no pity in the voice, but the isolation of the stare must have caused genuine curiosity about the murders.
Detective Laura Kimber was the first at the scene and she expected a monster to shoot out of the closet and she expected an attack. Instead, she found the boy’s mother slaughtered in the kitchen and the boy’s sister butchered in the bedroom. She looked around for the evil monster, but only found him cradled in a fetal position in the bathtub. Huddled in what appeared to be fear and remorse. Jesus Ayala was responsible for an extraordinary act of evil and after it was done, he coward.
Detective Peter O’Brien who sat next to Laura Kimber in a silent presence just watched on and didn’t even voice an opinion. But he somehow realized that the men and women hired to protect and serve were somehow connected to all the evil that men do. The thoughts that ran through his mind were unnaturally quiet, haunted and perhaps even dead. Kimber looked over at Chambers and then back to O’Brien. She too felt that evil lived inside her, breathed with her, and shared her darkness.
And now they were silent.
© 2014 Frank Atanacio