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Ritler Fernandez was a drug dealer without a conscious. He once shot a good friend, Nelson Rivera, over a ten dollar debt. He also chased down a transvestite on Barnum Avenue and shot him down like a rabid dog. However, he knew the law and the variations of it. He was released from prison when the detectives who charged him with murder lied. They told him that the murder weapon was covered with his finger prints, and the fact of the matter was, he was wearing gloves. The detectives underestimated their prey or overestimated his knowledge of the crime. Ritler made them lose precious credibility that simply came up in court.
Ritler’s latest dealings had him arrested once again. A superficial postmortem indicated massive internal bleeding and severe blows to the head. The detective Nathan Chambers took the case on head first. He wanted to make sure there were no more reasonable deceptions.
Ritler didn’t know the dead man. He just didn’t like the way he stared at him while he was enjoying his chicken Mcnuggets. He then followed the man behind a Rite Aid pharmacy and he beat him to death with a tire iron.
Chambers got a confession and was ready to finally get that piece of garbage off the streets. However, when Ritler was released into the hands of two officers, he swung at one of them and kicked the other. He suffered from a physical assault that was not part of the arsenal.
He stood in front of circuit court Judge Benjamin Fashjain and made sure his wounds were noticeable. The police who tried to regain control of the prisoner explained to the judge what had happened. Still, circuit court juries often prefer to think in conspiratorial terms about back rooms, and hot lights and rabbit punches to a suspect’s kidneys.
Ritler Fernandez testified that his confession was obtained only after he had been mauled by the two officers who beat him with a hard cover dictionary.
Nathan Chambers was sequestered and did not hear that testimony, but when he took the stand, the defense attorney asked what items were in the room during the interrogation.
“Tables, chairs, phone, coffee mugs, the usual stuff,” Chambers replied.
“Was there a hard cover dictionary?”
“Oh yeah, we call that the monster.”
“How did you know you had the right man?”
“His fear, nervousness, his confusion and his hostility.”
Only when the defense attorney looked approvingly at the jury did Nathan realize that something was wrong. After the not guilty verdict, Nathan swore he would never again hand over his suspect to anyone.
© 2014 Frank Atanacio