If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Change of Plea

Prior to this court date Patrick's attorney entered a plea of "Not Guilty."

This was a change of plea hearing. It was at this time, when Patrick was to enter a plea of guilty as part of his plea agreement. This is when he was ordered to take the sexual-psycho evaluation along with some other temporary conditions.

It was uncomfortably small. Patrick's father, Eddie Rojas, and Patrick's brothers, Jairus, Benjamin, and David, were sitting in the back row. Patrick was in the front. We were in the middle. We were so close I could have whispered to Patrick and he would have heard me. He sat stoic. I wanted to yell at him. I just sat. I remember feeling weak. Only the beginning of the courtroom madness...

One of the things that the prosecutor did well was remain sensitive to the fact that seeing Patrick for the first time since our original meeting was going to be very emotional. The prosecutor invited us to enter the courtroom with her. The room was not how you would imagine it to be. When we entered the door, we were a few feet away from the middle row of pews (best way to describe them.) We entered from the side,the pews ended at the wall. There was enough room for six people to comfortably sit in a row and there were about six rows. Facing us was a jury box, a desk for the attorneys, a bench along the wall and the judge's desk.

When it was all over we continued to sit in the room because we didn't want to interact with Patrick or his family. We were waiting for an "All Clear" before we left. As we sat, stunned, numb, in disbelief that we were in the company of all these wife beaters and drunk drivers, and in this situation in general Patrick's attorney appeared and approached us. He wanted to know if we were still going to attend church at PHF. I knew immediately why he was asking. He knew we hadn't been attending, but hadn't officially left the church. One of the court conditions was that Patrick couldn't attend the same church we were attending. Mind you, this was well before we had even considered really leaving the church. I looked at the attorney and said, "We aren't sure." He went on to elaborate that if we weren't going to attend then Patrick would be able to attend the church. I said, "I know what you are getting at and we don't know what we are doing!" The attorney slithered away. Later we found out that the prosecutor specifically told Patrick's attorney not to talk to us. Shows you what a stand up attorney this man was.

*From "First Court Appearance"

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