Hearing that last question sent a shock through Judge Hastings entire body. He suddenly knew what it felt like to be sitting in an electric chair when that switch was flicked. He could feel a tingling sensation all over which became more severe in his fingertips and toes. He wanted to speak but was rendered speechless.
“How do think she would feel if she knew the deal you made with Mr. Marsden?”, Mr. Reinhart carried on. “Correct me if I am wrong, but you were a young barrister at the time with big ideas and even bigger ambitions”
All the judge could do was sit there and listen to this man lay down what happened on that night his wife was killed. He wanted so much to retaliate. He wanted to tell this man that he was the law and in a position of authority but he knew he could not, with this man he had no power. All his status meant nothing in front of him.
“Refresh my memory again would you. You were not really a very good barrister were you, but the moment you joined things started to change” The judge just nodded his head. That was the most he could do.
“And then you met Mr. Marsden. You made an agreement with him to let him have your wife in your home and in return you would move up the ladder closer to where you wanted to be”, the calmness in Mr. Reinhart’s voice was frightening. “She had no idea that you gave him the cocaine that he used to drug her. She suspected nothing.
Why would she? It was nothing new, you both had attended many of these types of parties in the past, the only difference was that the fun was to take place in your home. She innocently agreed to take him back to your home!”
Sweat started to form on Judge Hastings forehead as the memories started to play out in his mind. Every sordid little detail. Every word that was spoken. Every gesture that was made. Everything was as fresh in his mind as if it happened yesterday.
“You let him drug your wife so that she would not know that he was filming her being spanked and whipped and punched and bitten and slapped all while he was having sex with her”, Mr. Reinhart continued, enjoying every moment of this conversation.
“Tell me dear judge, how did it feel to watch what was happening? Knowing that this man was recording everything for your pleasure!” A single drop of sweat broke free from the judge’s brow and trickled down his cheek.
The sheer fact of Madeline seeing her mother being killed was bad enough, but to find out that he was involved was a thought too awful to contemplate. His head was spinning with the force of a tornado, even though he was staring blankly at Mr. Reinhart as the events of that night were being recounted for him.
“What were you doing while you was watching your wife being murdered?”, asked Mr. Reinhart. “Do I really need to spell it out for you? And if that wasn’t bad enough, you took an offer of being made a judge if you let your wife’s killer go free. Have I left anything out?”
The judge looked down at his legs and slowly shook his head. But then something stirred up inside him and he suddenly looked up at Mr. Reinhart with a little bit of defiance.
“I paid you back many times over for that one ….favour!”, said the judge, trying to be assertive. “How many brethren have I never paid for their misdeeds?” “And how many favours have we done?”, snapped back Mr.Reinhart in retaliation.
“Even when your daughter killed Marsden, we made sure nothing happened to her, even though he was a brother” The judge knew that there was nothing he could say to that and that there was going to be only one outcome of this conversation.
His attempt at defiance backfired on him and backfired spectacularly. He was sitting there with sweat dripping down his face and no matter how hard he tried to look unmoved, the fear could not be covered up. “It would be in your best….”
“I will make sure the outcome will be to your liking”, the judge interrupted. Mr.Reinhart smiled as he rose from the chair and as he reached the door he turned and gave the judge a stern glare that was enough to turn anyone to stone.
An hour had passed and Judge Hastings found himself listening to the clerk of the court call out the next case. It was the case of the hotel maid that had been sexually assaulted. This was not the first preliminary hearing, the case had been going on for two months now and this was the start of the trial and was expected to take no more than three days.
It appeared to be an open and shut case but the judge knew that he had to find some way, any way, of getting this man off. His mind went into overdrive trying to think of what he could do. Finally he settled on the evidence, or more importantly, what evidence would be admissible and what evidence would not.
He knew that what the jury were allowed to hear would greatly influence how their verdict would be decided. However, he settled on this strategy as a last resort, his main concern was trying to get the case thrown out of court before it even got to being decided by a jury. No easy task by any means.
There has to be some technicality that he could exploit, he thought, some precedent that would allow him to throw this case out. As the prosecution started with their opening statement, Judge Hastings noticed a few people gathered in the public gallery.
He turned his gaze towards them and there in the middle of the people was the one person that he had no power over staring right at him with that cold look that sent a chill down his spine.
He turned his gaze towards them and there in the middle of the people was the one person that he had no power over staring right at him with that cold look that sent a chill down his spine. There sat Mr. Rienhart!