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When Police Officer Perry Salter first meets crime victim Jeremy, the young man has a rare, debilitating form of autism. Later, Officer Salter confronts evidence of two hideous crimes. His cop instincts say Jeremy is innocent while the evidence and the community say Jeremy is guilty. Salter struggles to find truth and justice despite the very real risk of damaging his rising his career. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Aug 26, 2012    Reads: 7    Comments: 0    Likes: 6   


Jeremy the Germ, Planetary Crime Fighter

by Ben A. Vanguarde

Chapter Seven - What Really Happened at Jeremy's Sentencing

Thoughtfully, the judge slapped a gag order on this case. No one wanted the label of alien abduction to ridicule this tragedy, although it was whispered about freely in the community. The minutes and hours crept by slowly like an inch worm crawling along a branch for the grieving families. As the weeks turned to months, it became painfully obvious to everyone that Timothy Pollack and Wanda Winkler were not coming home alive, if at all.

Local news coverage was muted and mainly focused up the inability of the police to get a confession and resolve the case. Rumors circulated about aliens and space ships, ray guns that stunned the mind, and aliens, along with Jeremy Schweitzer, grilling and eating the victims. Some advocated returning to the good old days when detectives resorted to beating the confessions from suspects. The case went on like a cooking pot of stinking, bad stew; everyone directly avoids it but no one does anything directly about it. The township just wanted this case to end.

Eleven months after the disappearance of Timothy Pollack and Wanda Winkler a short trial was held. Six psychologists and psychiatrists interviewed Jeremy and all agreed that he was unfit to stand trial and but the experts disagreed regarding Jeremy actually knowing the difference between what was true and real versus what was false.

The District Attorney tried to show that one or both of Jeremy's parents coached Jeremy with how to act as insane but the testifying doctors said Jeremy was really a ten year old boy in his mind and maturity.

Then the District Attorney suggested that Jeremy's parents had influenced some of the doctors to protect their son but the defense attorney asked the doctors for the prosecution if they had ever had contact with either of the Schweitzers before the trial. While they knew of the Schweitzers by reputation, each testified to no contact prior to the trial. Despite their expertise, none of the doctors could explain how Jeremy could have regained his speech lost twelve years earlier. Such a case of recovery could not be found anywhere in the medical literature.

With pull of Sergeant Fred Wagner, Officer Perry Salter attended every day of the trial. He saw Jeremy, now a 23 year old man, sit on the witness chair but heard Jeremy, the 10 year old boy, speak in his simple way. During Jeremy's testimony on the stand, the District Attorney often caused Jeremy to break down and cry. Jeremy easily fell for her trick questions and answered naively but his story never changed about what happened that night. Sergeant Wagner tasked Perry at the very least, to learn where the bodies were. But Perry Salter, the rising star in the department, could not figure out what really happened.

The court ruled Jeremy unfit to stand trial and was ordered confined indefinitely to a mental health institution "for his own safety".

As part of the settlement, Officer Perry Salter was given a one hour interview with Jeremy, Jeremy's private attorney, and the District Attorney before he was transported away.

In the interview room, Gerard Pedowski began, "Officer Salter let me remind you of the rules we've agreed upon. You may tape this interview but you may only discuss matters relating to the burglary and assault at the Schweitzer residence and you may not discuss anything related to the alleged kidnappings of Mr. Pollack and Miss Winkler or Mr. Schweitzer's medical conditions. If you ask just one such question, the interview will be over at that point. Do you understand, sir?"

Perry Salter responded, "Yes sir. Just so everyone knows, we have been recording since you entered this room with the cameras overhead and through microphones in the walls." Perry then identified the room's occupants and date and time of the interview and other legal disclosures. Perry went over the preliminary facts of the burglary with a list of stolen items and got a confirmation by Jeremy Schweitzer. Perry continued, "Mr. Schweitzer, do you know either of the men who burglarized your parent's home?"

The attorney nodded but Jeremy was anxious to talk. "One of 'em was Willie DeGraffenwright. I used to go to school with him, until I got sick. I knew him. He said he knew me."

"Do you know the other man?"

"No, I've never seen him before. Willie kept calling him 'Bones'. He was the mean one who punched me in the stomach and hurt my hand. I hope you catch him and shoot him and bring back great granddad's binoculars. He was a famous explorer, you know."

"We will certainly try, Jeremy. Do you know where Willie DeGraffenwright lives?" Officer Salter went on to ask other questions until he realized Jeremy knew nothing further about DeGraffenwright and Plowder. "Thank you for your cooperation. I know this has been difficult for you, Jeremy. Good luck, son."

The District Attorney seized the opportunity, "Jeremy, where are the bodies of Timothy Pollack and Wanda Winkler? Please…"

Defense attorney Pedowski pounded the table, "That's it! Interview over. Jeremy, don't say another word!"

"…tell me so we can bury then with dignity." She continued as the attorney Pedowski and client Jeremy rose to their feet. "The parents deserve it and nothing more can happen to you."

Pedowski defiantly glared at the District Attorney and indignantly ordered, "Leave now, Jeremy and don't answer her. She wants to hurt you with her words."

Jeremy looked at her as his attorney pulled his arm to stand. "They're up in space. Really, they are." They went out the door to the attending uniformed officers, who handcuffed Jeremy and led him away. Perry heard him ask his lawyer, "When do I get to go home?"

"Same bull crap. Never changes," muttered the District Attorney. "Did you get what you wanted?" Perry just nodded.

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