Day 6 (Thursday, October 11) Part 1
Today, we heard the cross-examination of the cop who arrested Terrence Boyd down in Jacksonville, Florida. When I say “we” I’m referring to the jury and the Hasidic Jews that were sitting in the back of the courtroom. By the way, I should mention that it wasn’t the same group of Hasidics. Every day, there was a whole different group of them! Anyway, during cross-examination, Guardanino asked the cop, “Officer, when you were interrogating my client, you told him that the cops found his fingerprints on the gun, correct?”
“Yes. That’s correct.”
“Did you actually find his fingerprints on the gun?”
“There were no fingerprints on the gun at all, was there?”
“No there wasn’t.”
“So you were lying?”
“Well, it’s a common interrogation technique.”
“Lying is a common interrogation technique among police officers?”
“Well, I don’t know about that, but–”
“But you were lying to my client when you said that you found his fingerprints on the gun, correct?”
Guardanino continued to try to make a big deal out of this, even though it was nothing. He then accused the cop of tricking Boyd into signing three confessions. He wanted to know why one confession wasn’t good enough, which I’ll admit was a fair question. The cop gave a good answer though by saying that when a suspect keeps changing his story, the cops will wait awhile, and then ask him again. Hence, the three confessions. But when you think about it, Terrence Boyd is really fucking stupid. He took a bus all the way down to Jacksonville, Florida. You would think that he would’ve used that time productively by memorizing one story to tell the cops, and then he would stick to it. The cop testified (both on direct examination as well as cross examination) that he wrote down one of the confessions as Boyd was saying it. Naturally, Guardanino tried to twist this by making it sound as if Boyd had nothing to do with it. Not only did Boyd tell the cop what to say, but he signed his own name on both the top and bottom of all three confessions. Plus, on the video statement, the cameraman zoomed in on the confessions, and they asked Boyd if those were his signatures. He said that they were indeed his. ADA Walsh rested his case.
After lunch, the judge asked, “Would the Defense like to call its first witness?”
“Yes, Your Honor. The Defense calls Terrence Boyd to the stand.”
HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!! At that moment, I actually expected to hear dramatic, movie-like music being played. I’ll give Guardanino credit; he’s not a bad lawyer, and I can guarantee you that this was not his idea. Boyd must have insisted on it. I would have loved to have heard that conversation.
BOYD: I gotta holla at the jury.
GUARDANINO: What? No! Listen to me! No more outbursts!
BOYD: Who said anything about an outburst?
GUARDANINO: You said that you were going to holler at them.
BOYD: No. “Holla” is animal-speak for “talk.”
GUARDANINO: Oh…still…that’s a very, very bad idea.
GUARDANINO: Because…look. I don’t know how to say this…
BOYD: Come on. Shoot it straight with me.
GUARDANINO: By the way, you might want to stop using that term.
GUARDANINO: Because you’re being accused of murder.
BOYD: Oh yeah. Ha ha! So why shouldn’t I testify?
GUARDANINO: Look…you’re as dumb as a fucking rock, okay? There. I said it.
BOYD: WHAT?! I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU! I ALREADY KILLED ONE PERSON!
GUARDANINO: Okay. In that case, you can testify.
GUARDANINO: Yeah. Go ahead.
BOYD: Aw! You’re so sweet! Thanks!
(Boyd claps his hands like a girl and gives GUARDANINO a kiss on the cheek)
This is going to come as a huge surprise, but after Boyd took an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, he…are you ready for this?…He lied!
The first few questions that Guardanino asked were “sympathy questions,” meaning that he got Boyd to testify that he never met his father, never finished school, and has a crackhead for a mother. Boyd also testified that he has five prior felonies, three for selling drugs, and two for weapons possession. According to Boyd, he “had to” sell drugs in order to survive, and he had to have a gun in order to sell drugs.
This was funny. When people refer to other people, they sometimes insert the word “a” before their name. For example, if I were to say that I spoke to ADA Walsh on the phone, someone might ask me, “Did you speak to a Walsh on the phone?” or “Are you familiar with a Walsh?” In neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, everyone has a “street name.” Terrence Boyd’s was “T.” Deron Powell’s was “D-Webb,” and there was, like I mentioned earlier, a guy named Ghost. When Boyd was on the stand, Guardanino (with a straight face) kept saying things like, “At what point did you speak to a Ghost,” and “Did you see a Ghost on Patchen Avenue?” And to make matters worse, I don’t remember what this guy’s role in the story was, but there was another guy named Scooby! Rut ro! How the hell was I supposed to keep a straight face?
Boyd testified that when the cops chased him into the apartment building on 988 Greene Avenue and asked him what his name was, he told them that his name is Travis Boyd. Up until this point in the trial, we didn’t know that. ADA Walsh had said in his opening statement that Boyd gave the cops a false name, but he never mentioned that Boyd gave them his brother’s name. What a fucking pussy! He kills Deron Powell because Powell told the police that Travis Boyd stabbed him, and then, five minutes later, when the cops have him cornered, he gives them Travis Boyd’s name? He testified that he gave the cops a false name because he was on parole, and if his name appeared in any way on a police report, he would automatically go back to jail. If I were Boyd, I would’ve said, “If my name ended up on a police report, I would have gone to jail. I would have gone directly to jail. I would not have passed Go, and I would not have collected two-hundred dollars.” Boyd didn’t say that though, because apparently, people who commit homicide have no sense of humor. When Boyd said that he would have ended up going back to jail, he looked at the jurors in general, but (of course) he looked specifically at ME and said, “You don’t want to go to jail. Trust me. You don’t want to go to jail!” I wanted to say, “Alright, fine! I won’t! I’ll stop sending those anti-Bush e-mails! Quit staring at me!” Boyd then testified that he signed the three written confessions because the cops said to him, “If you don’t cooperate with us, we’re going to charge you with this crime!” Also, Boyd claimed that he asked to speak to an attorney, and one of the cops told him that the District Attorney is an attorney, and that he could speak to her. Bullshit! This guy had five prior felonies on his record; he knew exactly what he was signing, and he knew exactly who he was speaking to! Hell, with five prior felonies, he could practically be a lawyer by now!
There’s nothing that annoys me more than when people waste my time, and this was exactly what Boyd was doing. And it was at that moment that I decided that the letters that I’m going to write to him in prison are going to be quite nasty.
October 11, 2006