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Jury Duty Part 6

Day 3 (Thursday, October 5) Part 3


The next person to testify was the cop who put Deron Powell into the ambulance. He looked just like Harry Connick Jr., but he had the exact same voice as Ray Romano, leading me to believe that during lunch, someone had slipped acid into my coffee.

“As you were putting Deron Powell into the ambulance, what did you say to him?” asked ADA Walsh.

“I told him that this might be the last chance he’ll ever have to tell anyone who shot him,” said Harry Romano.

“And what did he say?”

“He said T. T shot me.”

“Did you ask him, ‘Who’s T’?”

“I did, but just then, he motioned with his hands that he needed more oxygen, so I put his oxygen mask over his mouth again. Unfortunately, he died a few seconds later.”

When you serve as a juror, you’re supposed to keep an open mind. Therefore, despite the fact that everyone refers to Terrence Boyd as T, I came up with a list of other possible suspects. For example, maybe it was Mr. T who shot Deron Powell. Or could it have possibly been T.S. Eliot? What about Craig T. Nelson from Coach? For that matter, how do we know that Deron wasn’t shot by a cup of tea? Yes! Maybe a traveling group of actors who were performing a musical version of Disney’s “Beauty & The Beast” took a wrong turn and drove through Bed-Stuy. And then, while asking Deron Powell for directions, the actor who was dressed like a cup of tea got out of the van and shot him. How do we know that this didn’t happen? We don’t, and until it can be proven that it wasn’t a cup of tea who shot Deron Powell (or Mr. T, T.S. Eliot, or Craig T. Nelson) there was no way that I was going to give any credibility to this cop’s testimony.

Much to my surprise, during cross-examination, Guardanino didn’t ask about any of those other possible suspects. He did, however, try to “paint the picture” that Harry Romano didn’t hear Powell correctly. For example, he asked him if he could hear Powell over the ambulance’s sirens. Romano said that he could. He asked him if there were EMTs working on Powell. Romano said that there were EMTs working on Powell, and Guardanino tried to imply that he was too far away from Powell to have heard him correctly. However, Romano testified that he had his ear right next to Powell’s mouth, and that he heard everything clearly. Guardanino also asked him if Deron Powell appeared to be in shock, the assumption being that if he was in shock, then “T” or “Tea” didn’t really shoot him. Romano answered him by saying that even though Deron was scared and in a lot of pain, he seemed completely lucid. He was a good, strong witness.

Unfortunately, this trial wasn’t going to occur on Fridays because, supposedly, Fridays are some sort of holy day if you’re a Muslim, and the defendant decided to be a Muslim on Fridays. The following Monday was Columbus Day, so court was going to be closed that day. That means that I had to take a four-day break from this trial, which I didn’t want to do. Like I said before, this trial was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. In fact, I began to smell Pulitzer Prize.


Day 4 (Tuesday, October 9) Part 1


Terrence Boyd’s outbursts made it into The New York Post in an article entitled “Suspect Blows As Kin Take Stand.” The article said that Boyd is twenty-six years old, which seemed strange to me. It seemed strange because that makes me a year older than him, and I’ve never killed anyone. Why did I miss out on that rite of passage? It just doesn’t seem fair.

Anyway…in the final scene of “A Few Good Men” when Lieutenant Caffey (Tom Cruise) had Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) on the stand, Caffey tells Jessup that Airman Cecil O’Malley and Airman Anthony Rodriguez are going to testify against him. Before this can happen, Caffey gets Jessup to confess his crime. After the verdict is read, Lieutenant Barnes (Kevin Bacon) asks Caffey, “Airman O’Malley and Anthony Rodriguez…what exactly were these guys going to testify to?” Caffey responds, “If I’m not mistaken, they were going to testify under oath that they had no recollection of anything.”

Today, the NYPD’s version of Airmen O’Malley and Anthony Rodriguez testified in Terrence Boyd’s trial, for these were the two dumbest men to have ever put on a police uniform. I don’t remember their names, but they were the cops who were riding down Patchen Avenue in a paddywagon when they heard a gunshot, and then proceeded to chase the suspect into an apartment building on 988 Greene Ave. I’m not even sure why ADA Walsh had the first cop testify, because, other than chasing the suspect into 988 Greene, he couldn’t recall anything. Granted, the murder occurred two years ago, but it was abundantly clear that this guy was not too bright. He likes to talk with his hands, and as a result, he accidentally hit the microphone in the witness box. He looked really embarrassed when he did it, but he kept on talking with his hands, and he hit the microphone about fifteen more times, looking embarrassed each time! How could the police force hire someone with such poor depth perception?

As for the other cop, when Guardanino was cross-examining him, this was some of the testimony:


COP: When I was chasing him up Van Buren Street–


GUARDANINO: Whoa whoa whoa. Wait a second. Why do you keep on saying “him”?


COP: What?


GUARDANINO: “Him.” When you say that you were chasing “him,” who are you referring to?


COP: The suspect.


GUARDANINO: But why do you say “him”? How do you know that it was a male that you were chasing?


COP: (long pause) Well…I could tell.


GUARDANINO: How could you tell? Did you see the suspects face?


COP: No.


GUARDANINO: Then how could you tell?


COP:(long pause) Well…he was–


GUARDANINO: He! You just said he again! How do you know it was a male that you were chasing?


COP:(long pause) Well…the suspect was…running really fast?


GUARDANINO: Running really fast?


COP: Yeah.


GUARDANINO: Do you like sports?


COP: Yeah.


GUARDANINO: Would you not agree from watching sports that some women can run really fast?


COP: Yeah. I guess so.


GUARDANINO: Okay. So, other than the fact that the suspect ran very fast, what lead you to believe that the suspect was a man, and not a woman?


COP:(even longer pause) Well…I could tell by what the suspect was wearing.


GUARDANINO: You testified earlier that the suspect was wearing black boots, blue jeans, and a black jacket, correct?


COP: Yeah, that’s correct.


GUARDANINO: Well, would you agree that these are common colors of clothing?


COP: Yes.


I made a mental note to stop wearing t-shirts that refer to midget porn. With my wardrobe, if I got the sudden urge to kill someone, there’s no way that I would be able to get away with it. The cross-examination continued:


GUARDANINO: And do you think it would be unusual for a woman to be wearing black boots, blue jeans, and a black jacket?


COP: No.


GUARDANINO: Okay. So then, again, what makes you think that the suspect you were chasing was a woman?


COP:(very long pause) I don’t know…he ran…very fast.


It goes without saying that Guardanino “jumped all over this,” reminding the cop  again that some women can run really fast. I can’t even tell you how much longer Guardanino spent on driving home that point during his cross-examination, but it seemed like an eternity. Tell him that you’ve seen millions of people in your lifetime, and that you can discern (even from behind) that it was a man! Tell him that you’ve chased many suspects in your career, and that in your professional, expert opinion, it was a man! He didn’t say that though, because, like I mentioned before, him and the cop with poor depth perception are the two dumbest people to have ever put on a police uniform. But regardless of how stupid he may be, no jury in their right mind was going to fall for Guardanino’s fancy lawyer tricks. We weren’t sitting there thinking, “Yeah, I wonder if it was a man or a woman that he was chasing.”

During lunch, one of the jurors said, “I should bring in Yahtzee for when we sit around like this, doing nothing.” I said, “No. If anything, you should bring in Clue! Ha ha!” God, I’m funny.



October 9, 2006



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