Judge Ira Pottsdinger was not happy, he was a man of Justice. Mercy was an afterthought. A day without a conviction was a day when hell froze over for Judge Ira Pottsdinger.
“What the hell (he was going to say ‘fuck’ but Defense was a woman, and so he was in mixed company) do you mean, you can’t get a eight year old kid to talk,” He thundered. They were in Chambers and the prosecutor was quailing under the attack. The Defense was quietly flicking her eye lashes at the judge—complete adulterated innocence.
The kid in question had been on the stand. He had been asked if he had been present when Midge Hug robbed the West Bench Last Lost Valley Bank. He had said, “I plead the fifth amendment.”
“Ike,” the prosecutor said, “Nobody is saying you did anything; we are only asking if Ms. Hug did.”
Ike put his forefinger and thumb together and ran them from one corner of his tight closed lips to the other. Zip.
“A eight year old kid, and he pleads the fifth. What the hell is this world coming to?” Judge Ira Pottsdinger said. “Well, what I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna put the little,” (The judge was about to say something crude and vile, but realized, again, he was in mixed company) “Brat’s (another mixed company pause) hiney in jail for a night. We’ll see how that affects his fifth.”
Defense did not even bother reminding the Judge that sending a kid to jail because he plead the fifth was about as legal as robbing a bank and was an ACLU offense as well. She went for the Juggler. “Eight year old kid in jail. That’ll look good come November,” she said.
Judge Ira Pottsdinger’s job was not on the ballot, but the job of the County Executive who appointed him was. So it amounted to the same thing.
He could see the Social Media smear now, “Drilbee’s Judge Jails Babies.”
He scowled at Defense. He hated women lawyers. When the hell did that start ruining things?
“You!” Judge Ira Pottsdinger flung his accusing finger at Defense. “You got to this kid. You coached him.”
Defense frowned a somewhat insincere frown. “No, Your Honor,” she said, “I will admit, I have spoken to him as a part of my preparation. But this idea was his and his alone.”
“Bull shit.” Judge Ira Pottsdinger did not like Defenses, but females were softies, and even less to be trusted.
Without the kid, the only evidence against Midge Hug was that she was in West Bench at the time of the robbery. She also was in possession of a large amount of cash and was driving a blue Chevy with expired Idaho plates. She was also wearing a scarf over her hair that looked a lot like the scarf that had been over her nose during the robbery.
They couldn’t even get her on kidnapping. The boy’s mother was dead but had not died without making statements to the effect that Midge Hug should take care of the boy. There were quite a few witnesses willing to swear to this, including an uncle and a deadbeat grandfather.
All they had was the expired Idaho plates.
Prosecution looked at Defense. “I’m gonna recommend that we fine for eight hundred and thirty seven dollars for the expired plate.” Eight hundred and thirty seven dollars was the exact amount taken in the robbery and was just thirteen dollars short of the amount found in the unregistered Chevy.
“Nope,” said Defense. Expired plates, as everyone present except Judge Ira Pottsdinger knew, was cost of registration plus fifty dollars.
“What do the hell you mean, ‘Nope,’” the judge said.
Defense explained expired plates and fines.
Prosecution said “Well, it looks like the best we can do is find out what Idaho charges for registering a 03 Chevy and add fifty dollars to it.”
Judge Ira Pottsdinger was not pleased at all. But in the end that is he had to do.
As they walked back into the courtroom, the kid put his thumb and forefinger together and zipped his lips again. Judge Ira Pottsdinger felt Hell getting awfully cold.