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The Redemption, Book 2

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 21

Finally, at noon I was able to connect with June. She and Joey were headed to see Wayne, Joey's previous boyfriend. Joey had wanted to go see him... I hoped that he'd soon be able to put that era of his life to rest, and if he needed to see Wayne to do that then by all means he should be permitted.

She advised me that they would instead take off to come to the courthouse. I told her that I had taken the train into town, and I suggested that she and Joey do the same because of traffic logjams on the freeway. They were going to eat first before heading our way.

I passed on the information to Tony and Timmy. Timmy had this incredulous look pass by on his face. I didn't say anything, and he didn't push it, action speaks louder than words

But what about Nathan and Derrick? The court hearing would continue at about the same time as they would be getting out of or home from school.

In any event, Timmy and I headed for a picnic table at the far reaches of the courthouse property. I walked across the street toward a street vendor to get us some heart-attack food for lunch. He assured me that he'd not leave. I believed him however I kept an eye on him all the same as I waited for our polish hotdogs, chips and soda drinks.

We made quick work out of scarfing those hotdogs down. They were pretty good actually. We enjoyed them. Not too much conversation passed between us since we were both hungry and were devouring that which was sat down in front of us.

Obediently, Timmy ran the trash stuff to the can not too far away and then returned. Warily, he asked, "How much is that attorney getting paid?"

I replied easily, "It's none of your concern. Tony and I have an agreement already worked out."

Timmy looked down at the table then looked back up, clearly confused, "Why are you doing this? I'm just a fucking whore kid. I like to be butt fucked. This morning wasn't all that bad, really."

"Timmy, it's like this: you are a 12 year old boy. Do you consider yourself to be gay?"

"Well, yeah. I had a boyfriend once... we did a lot more than just screw around."

"Okay, so you're gay. I'm not. There's room in the world for both of us. Here's the deal: adults are supposed to watch out over young people... you know... teach them how to grow up into responsible adults, to give them what they need, give them guidance, teach them that there are consequences for bad behavior, and finally to care for and love them... these are just a few of the things parents are to give their kids... and oh yeah, not to forget for a nanosecond – feed them!"

That elicited a smile from the boy who was acting all too seriously. He said, "I was fed... well mostly... but not all the time..."

I reached across and pulled Timmy's shirt tight, felt his bony chest and then said, "You're pretty skinny there boy... were you actually fed food?"

Timmy shrugged his shoulders but didn't say anything.

"Tell me something... have we been feeding you?"

"Yeah. Your wife is a good cook. Uhm, sometimes my stomach can't take all that food very well... you know..."

"Okay, well you need to tell us those kinds of things. We can adjust things so that your stomach doesn't get upset. My wife was wondering about what she was feeding you. She was telling me that kids who had not eaten very much, and as skinny as you are it pretty much sums up what she was saying, can often have stomach problems with they eat too much. She was talking about making enough for leftovers so that you could eat more meals in a day but just not too much at a time. We're going to try that for you... if you decide to come home with us."

"You'd do that for me? You'd do that for a street whore?"

My patience and tolerance was quickly going down the drain what with his constant denigration and derogatory comments about his person. With a great deal of firmness in my voice I said, "Timmy, I really do not want to hear you tearing yourself down like that. You are a person who is capable of being loved, and I think that deep down inside of you are capable of loving. A good start to realizing this is to stop referring to yourself as a worthless piece of shit."

"But I am... I am what I do."

"Ah, Timmy, that's not right. Think of it like this: we do what we're good at because of who we are. A job is what we do... our love and capability to be the best person we can possibly be is who we are. So many people get confused with thinking of their value based on what they do, instead of being who they really are. It's hard to overcome... but it is not impossible."

… Later that afternoon

The bailiff was rising from his seat just as we walked back into the courtroom. He looked at us then motioned for us to immediately take our seats. Almost at the same moment the judge was entering the courtroom from his chambers. He too looked us.

Bailiff: All rise, The Honorable Judge Wendell Cartwright presiding.

Judge: Be seated. Timothy Wesley Jenkins, Case number 09-5127, would the defendant please rise.

After carefully looking at me, I squeezed Timmy's hand then he stood up to face the judge, "Yes sir."

Judge: Have you had time to talk to your Counselor?

Timmy: Yes, sir.

Judge: Did you understand everything your attorney said to you?

Timmy: Yes sir.

Judge: Good. You may be seated. Mr. Prosecutor.

(Tony passed some papers over to the prosecutor then pointed to a something on one of the forms. Tony then patted his briefcase, opened it up, unfolded the paper towels encasing Timmy's underwear then showed the prosecutor the still-wet stains). The prosecutor looked at Tony as though he'd lost his last and best friend. I couldn't quite get out of my mind what Timmy had told us about what had happened to him in jail … yet, uhm, well, okay look on the prosecutors face and his change in demeanor to one that clearly said "OH SHIT" caused me to feel that feeling of – what's the right word? Elation perhaps … yes, definitely elation. Tony leaned over and whispered in my ear, "The prosecutor, well he's fucked, and he knows it. They don't have a leg to stand on, so to speak."

Prosecutor: Very well. Thank you, Your Honor. Your Honor, new evidence has just appeared that may very well sway our case. With permission, I request a continuance for discovery purposes. Your Honor, I am very well aware that this is not the discovery phase of the trial… and no this hearing is not trial… however this evidence may very well mitigate all circumstances leading to Timothy Jenkins's arrest and incarceration.

Judge: You're right. This is out of order. Present your case or withdraw your Probable Cause proceeding. Request for continuance is denied.

Prosecutor: Yes sir but before dismissing the State's case against Timothy Wesley Jenkins, the prosecutor's office needs to know why our request is being denied. Thank you sir.

Judge: You are dismissing a felony assault charge? You go after these cases like meringue on cheese cake. Go ahead, Counselor, proceed.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, according to the Court's records the defendant was incarcerated within the main population segment of Juvenile Hall. Here are the records, sir.

The bailiff walked over, retrieved the papers that the prosecutor handed to him then took them to the judge. The judge looked nonplussed and unimpressed.

The prosecutor continued, "Your Honor, here is the arresting officer's report of the incident that brought Timothy into the system."

The bailiff retrieved the paper then walked it to the judge. The judge looked at it carefully. He started to sit the paper down on his desk but then his eyes narrowed into slits. He looked at it carefully one more time then said, "It happens." He turned to Timmy, "Did, at any time, you feel that you were threatened or were you assaulted violently while in our facilities? Remember, you are under oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth."

Timmy stood up. He replied, "No I wasn't threatened with violence. What do you mean by assaulted violently? I mean nobody hit me... is that what you mean?"

Judge: That's correct. Did you at any time feel threatened or bullied... and I don't mean the usual stuff... jail is jail... and by all accounts and purposes the crime you committed is punishable by jail time...

Timmy replied, "Well, not exactly. I gave in so there was no violence if that's what you mean. Actually, the only person who was an asshole was the cop who arrested me. He was a dick."

Judge: I've heard that before son. Most defendants think cops are assholes. Perhaps you could better qualify your statement… I'm listening.

Timmy turned around, looked at me then whispered into Tony's ear. Tony spoke in Timmy's ear then Timmy spoke into Tony's ear. Tony turned white. He then patted Timmy's shoulders, stood and faced the judge, "My client has just informed me... well sir, I believe that a serious miscarriage of justice has occurred during Timothy's stay in the system. I need to gather the facts. Once the facts are gathered, once a time line is established, once the details are put together I'll know better how to proceed. May we have a short recess? A child's life is at stake here. Although Timothy has done wrong, and he has admitted to making some key critical thinking and judgment errors… he did indeed receive, for lack of a better word, 'violent' treatment while locked up."

Judge: Mr. Mendez, this proceeding has already taken over an hour to get this far. Mr. Prosecutor…

Prosecutor: I'm afraid… sir, in light of, sir, I'm giving consideration to dropping this matter. If you have no objections then I have no objections for a brief recess.

Judge: Granted. This court is in recess for 15 minutes.

Bailiff: All rise.

The judge left the courtroom. The prosecutor walked to Tony and said something but I could not hear what he was saying because he spoke so softly, and the courtroom had gotten pretty loud.

Timmy was looking at me. When Tony finished speaking he said to me, "Let's go over there <he pointed to the empty spectator's section at the far end of the courtroom>."

With that, he led us to that section then we sat down. Timmy sat next to me and Tony sat next to him on his other side.

Timmy said, "How could you? How could you, did you pull my underpants out of the trash? Why?"

I began to reply but Tony stopped me and said to Timmy, "Timmy, were you sexually assaulted last night in your jail cell? Did the people, were the inmates or the jailers… did you have sex with… did they initiate sex with you?"

Timmy looked at me. He put his head down… he was thinking, formulating his answer. He then looked at Tony, and said, "I liked it… well most of it. I'm used to it."

"Timmy, it doesn't matter if you liked it or not – not really, I mean it does… but what I'm asking is if the inmates and or the jailers initiated the sexual contacts?"

"Well, yeah, they just took over. I think there were 15 or 16. Yeah, 16. There were 16… they just… well they held me down and took my jumpsuit off and started fucking me. I didn't mind it too much… I've had sex with 6 or 7 people all at once before… so it wasn't any big deal."

"Timmy, yes it is a big deal. It's like this: any child who enters the judicial system is entitled to be safe. Once the case is determined and the child is placed into permanent custody for his sentence... he is to be segregated out. It is for his own good, and for the good of fellow inmates and staff as well. The truth of the matter is that you should have been bunked by yourself, alone. You weren't. That was wrong. Two positives, if you call it that… first, the prosecutor is considering your charges and is likely to dismiss them or at least reduce them, and secondly, Dave, you should consider a civil suit against the county."

"Tony that could get messy, I'm the city manager…"

"The suit could be Timmy's. He can be named the plaintiff."

"I'll consider it. First things first though. Let's get through this first then we'll talk about that."

I continued, "Timmy, this whole thing may mean the difference between you coming home with me or you staying here. Your underwear and the reports are key crucial to your coming home or staying. The choice is yours now. I can forgive you if you ask me to. I saw a little boy in the park today just being a little boy. That little boy is someone who I could easily grow to love and cherish as if he were my very own. My wife saw a lot more in you than I did at first. I saw today what she was talking about, and I believe to be my truth too. Timmy, listen to me for a second… when we took Nathan and Joey in we promised that we'd never give up on them or toss them to the wind, or to the streets. You see, Joey and Nathan were on the streets for a while. They came from a drug infested and 'dysfunctional' family. They've had some trouble adjusting but are making good progress. They call me dad and I call them sons. Derrick is their brother. Derrick, Joey and Nathan can be your brothers too. You and Joey have a lot in common, talk to him sometime."

"But I'm a fucking whore boy toy. I've got AIDS. I'm a three time loser in the family department. I'm…"

I said, "Stop it. You're caught up in your past, boy. All we really have is today. Timmy this all might very well sound very daunting to you right now. To get to where you want to means you're going to have to work very hard. Very hard. Sometimes, it will seem like too much to do or to handle. If you'll let us then me, June, Derrick, Joey and Nathan will help you along… we'll try to give you our strength so that you can get to the other side. I don't hate you. You're angry inside. You've got a lot of baggage to let loose of. But you have so many good qualities… the good ones are the ones you can build on. And, oh, one last thing."

Timmy, afraid, looked at me with his wheels turning round and around. I knew what he was thinking – he was thinking there was a caveat…

"What's that?" Timmy asked timidly, cowering on the bench.

"Stop that. Stop what you're thinking about me as a man and what men have done to you in the past. It will not happen. If anybody touches you that way again then they have me to answer to. Timmy, I assure you that it won't be pretty. I'm not a violent man. But, if my wife or my children are being threatened or worse… then I could very well become violent in a very, very short heartbeat. I promise you that. I will protect you. I will not hurt you. The same is for my wife, and so it is true with my sons."

"But what if I get mad again?"

"Talk to me. Talk to your therapist. I mean really talk to us. We'll teach you healthy ways to express your anger… so that people will not get hurt by your fists or from your words. There are many ways to do it, you just don't know how right now, okay … that gives us lots of room to work in."

"Why didn't you kill me when I was mad? Why didn't your sons kill me? … I hurt you."

"Uhm, Timmy, you don't understand. Remember what happened, and remember who just about did in fact kill you… at least he wanted to. As mad as he was I don't believe that he would have stopped had he not been stopped and pulled off of you. Remember? This is very important."

Tony interrupted, "We're ready."

"Just a minute please." I replied then turned back to Timmy. He was remembering. He was feeling. He touched his face, his jaw, and then his chin, and then his chest and belly.

He looked at me. He whispered "Joey had already walked away. I don't remember what Derrick, the big guy… Nathan, yeah, he was protecting you… from me. Why did Joey walk away? I don't understand."

"He only walked away after you and Nathan were separated. It was more than he could handle… he actually did the right thing. Sometimes it takes more of a man to walk away from a situation like than to stay in it. He found that I was no longer in danger so he backed away. That's something new he's learned since he's been living with us. We didn't teach him that. He did that on his own. If you want to then talk to him about what happened to him, and what he'd done in his young life then talk to him."

"Like what? What did he do? I mean what happened?" Timmy asked seriously. He was definitely processing everything the best he could. He needed more information.

"I'm going to tell you a little bit but you'll have to ask him for the details, that is if you're coming home. If not then I don't think it would be right of me to break Joey's confidence. I would be saying stuff about him that he couldn't tell you for himself, of he's losing the choice to not talk about it if he chooses to not talk to you about. I think, no I believe he'd talk to you about it – do you see where I'm going with this?"

"Yeah, they're Joey's secrets."

"They aren't exactly secrets. The things that he did and what happened to him are his story to tell."

"Oh, okay, like my secrets are my secrets and nobody else's, right?"

"That's right. When you get comfortable with us then if you want to then you can share your story with us. That will take a little bit of time, maybe not, you told me in the bathroom today that you're honest. I believe what you said to be true."

"We got side tracked… what was the other thing you wanted to tell me?"

I had to think for a moment. My mind was whirling with all sorts of ideas, hopes, dreams… let's see… uhm, okay, there, I remembered, "Timmy, do not call yourself a fucking whore ever again. In fact, I do not want to hear the f-bomb dropped at all. Do not ever say it in front of my wife, or where she can possibly hear it, do you understand? I am dead serious. The f-bomb hurts my wife. My keeping the f-bomb away from her is one of the ways I protect her. Besides that, f-bombs are not all that great at communicating with people – it tends to turn them off, or on, depending, of course, on the situation."

"I don't cry very easily. I hate it. I used to get beaten for crying. I don't even cry when I get hurt. It makes me weak, and it pissed me off even more when it happens. I really don't cry. Honest. I hate it. God, I hate it. It makes me weak. It makes me a pussy. I can't cry. Why do people cry? It's a waste of time…"

At first I wondered what made him say that but looking at him more closely I saw that he was very uncomfortable and was holding back his emotions… I suppose, that is what had me most concerned about him, and his living with us. I said gently, "Timmy, people cry because it's natural when we're hurting, are in pain, don't know what else to do, or because we're sad. You know the biggest reason why we cry?"

Timmy was pursing his lips tightly together. The tissues under his lower lip were bright white. His face showed anger. His eyes were wide. They were also wet. No, not drippy wet, not yet, they were very, very moist though – but he was not really angry... not at all. He was torn, almost in half.

Tony interrupted, "The judge is going to be here in the next minute or two."

I replied very, very softly, mainly to Timmy but I was looking at Tony, "Timmy, are we, are you coming home with us today? I need to know so we know how to proceed."

"Nathan hates me."

"I don't think so... when I walked in on you guys this morning... well, I saw a cuddle pile in the middle of Joey's bed... so I don't think anybody really hates anybody though you're not on his favorite list of people right now. If you come home with us then you two will have to work something out agreeable to everybody. This is one of the things I cannot do for you. You and he will have to work it out, and the solution cannot be violent. My wife and I will set some ground rules. The ground rules will be required and enforced for both you and Nathan, equally. Do you think you can do this? Let me rephrase – are you willing to try?"

"What if I fuck it up? I mean, what if I screw it up, sorry?"

"We all make mistakes. As long as we can admit our mistakes and then try to right them and not repeat them then they are a part of life. Sometimes we do okay, sometimes we don't do very well. If we can learn from the mistake then that's half the battle of growing up into adulthood, I'm still growing up, I make mistakes."

Bailiff: All rise, The Honorable Judge Wendell Cartwright presiding.

Timmy scrunched his eyes tightly closed. He shook his head back and forth and back and forth. He continuously wiped his face with his forearms. He was sucking his lips into his mouth.

"Are you having a little bit of trouble talking right now, Timmy? I understand. My throat is a little tight too. So is my chest. My face muscles are getting tired. My mind is going 100 miles an hour. Does yours feel something like that?" I asked very softly.

Judge: Timothy Wesley Jenkins, please rise and face the court next to your Counsel.

Me to the judge: Your Honor, Timmy is not able to do that right now. We're having trouble with allergies or something in the air. Timmy's eyes are leaking as are mine.

I then scooted around in my chair and pulled Timmy into my chest. With tears dripping down my face and onto Timmy's head, I asked one more time if he was coming home, else I was going to walk away. The decision had to be his and his alone, "Timmy, are you coming home with me to our family?"

Judge: Mr. Mauer this is a courtroom. Please maintain order. We have business to conduct here.

When I looked up for a brief second I saw that everybody was looking at Timmy and me.

Tony: Your Honor may I?

Judge: What is it Mr. Mendez? Did the child or did the child not cause those injuries to Mr. Mauer? Yes or No.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, the state is prepared to…

Timmy: (Very determined. He took hold of my hand then quickly, more or less, dragged us to the defense table where he pulled down the microphone to his level.) I hit this man. I'm guilty. Is that what you want to hear? He keeps asking me if I want to go home with him and his family. I haven't answered him. I don't know if you're going to throw me back in jail again. If you do then I can't go home with him. I'm sorry. I won't ever do it again. I was a dumb fucking kid. I did a dumb fucking thing.

Judge: Out of order. Out of order. Young man, restrain yourself!

I said to Timmy, "You're crucifying yourself. Stop the f-bombs. You're losing all credibility, son. You're pissing the judge off."

Timmy: Your Honor I'm telling the truth. I'm sorry for my language. I'm pissed off because of these water things that keep coming out of my eyes. I hate crying. Crying is for wimps.

With one more feeble but effective swipe of the orange jumpsuit sleeve across his face, Timmy composed himself just enough to turn to me and say, "I don't know if I can come home. If I can't then please tell Nathan I'm sorry. And your wife… and your wife… oh shit… and your wife… oh God damn… please tell her I'm s…s..ssss……ssssssssss……oooo s.s.s.s.o.o.o.o.o.r.r.r.yeee. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please… please… t.t.t.tell Derrick I'm sorry… Joey… I made him run away from home……………. Oh God…"

That was it. I couldn't take any more. The boy was breaking down… he was trying so hard not to cry, and then again he was trying so hard to cry. It was ripping him in half.

I said to the judge, "The boy needs me Your Honor."

With that said I picked Timmy up in my arms then carried him to the far reaches of the courtroom, again way back in the spectator's section, sat down then pulled him it my lap and then drew him close to me with his head buried in my arms that were protectively covering him. Something inside of him broke loose – the little boy had arrived.

"Let it out little boy. Don't hold back. You're safe. I'm here for as long as you need me. Don't hold it back. Just let yourself go. Just do what feels natural to do just right now." With that I shuddered. My vision became blinded by massive waterfalls of emotion. They wouldn't stop. I didn't want them to stop.

Timmy broke free just enough to look at what I was doing, at what I was feeling. He looked at my arms around his little body holding him tightly, protectively, and with no chance of being let go anytime soon.

He reached his fingers to that little area just below my lower eyelids, touched the water that was freely and continuously racing down my face. With his other little hand he touched my chest… he needed to feel it rising and lowering rapidly as I struggled to breathe in gulps of that stale courtroom air.

What he did next caused me to totally lose any control that I thought I might have at that particular moment… he leaned in and kissed my cheek then laid his head down between my shoulder and neck … at first, he was fighting the powerful emotions – the absolute total fucking goddamn fucking bullshit of being told over and over again that crying was wrong… and then Timmy, himself, gave himself permission to let it all out. If I thought my heart had been shattered at some time in the past, I couldn't remember it because the boy in my arms was shattering his old life and ways of thinking and doing and believing… he was purging the old so that new could replace it… if only the judge would allow it to happen.

During the peak of our emotional upheaval I felt a soft and gentle but strong hand place itself across my back – beginning at my neck then it trailed down over the arms of the boy struggling to breathe. There was only one pair of hands like that. She, my wife, June, reached around and kissed my cheek. I had found great comfort with her touch, her smell, and her presence. I looked down, her face was so close to mine – but then again so was Timmy's. With her other hand she was running her surgeon's fingers through Timmy's thin and brittle hair and cooing in his ear that everything was going to be okay, to just give it time.

As if that weren't enough, something caught my eye out in the periphery. I looked up just in time to see Joey then Derrick sit down beside us on that spectator's bench. Joey had tears streaming down his face. Derrick was blinking furiously. Derrick never could hide his emotions, though like Timmy he tried to most of the time. When Derrick did allow himself the freedom to freely express his emotions it was 'short blast', intense at first then they trickled until they passed then he'd come back strong, refreshed, like he had new life about him.

By then my emotions were returning to a semblance of normalcy. Timmy had reduced to quiet whimpering, sobbing occasionally as the need arose. Then I heard something that caused me to jump bolt upright. It was Nathan's soft voice coming over the PA system in the courtroom:

Your Honor, my name's Nathan Lawrence Mauer. That's my dad, mom, my brother Joey, and my brother Derrick. My mom, Joey, Derrick and I were worried that something bad had happened to them so we came down here because that's what we do. We're family.

Your Honor, Timmy and I got off to a really bad start and then it got even worse. We got into a fight, a really bad one, a raging fight. It was terrible. I'm ashamed.

Timmy was wrong, he was absolutely dead wrong for hitting my dad. But he wasn't the only one who was wrong, dead wrong. I got pulled me off of Timmy, because I would have killed him. Where I grew up you don't mess with family because you pay with your life.

(By then Timmy was looking up and watching Nathan at the stand, as were we all).

Your Honor, I've been thinking about it long and hard and have come to a conclusion. I haven't talked to my dad or mom or brothers, or anybody, about it but if Timmy goes to jail then you need to arrest me too because he needs his brothers to protect him. He's not a big kid. He needs somebody to protect him from this shit (Nathan picked up Timmy's pair of soiled undershorts that were lying on top of a plastic sheet of paper, and then held them up so the judge could see them).

Two wrongs don't make something right. I was wrong. He was wrong. We were both dead wrong. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make things right with Timmy. He's gotta do his part though. We've got a lot of hard work to do. He's not on my list of favorite people but then again, there were some times when Joey and I gave mom and dad a bunch of hell, Derrick too.

I know things about people; stuff that other people don't pick up on for a long time, or ever. I have a feeling that Timmy is going to be okay. I think I'll be okay, at least I'm gonna try."

Timmy pushed his way off my lap. June handed him a Kleenex from her purse. He wiped dry his eyes and then blew his nose. He cracked up because when he blows his nose the noise sounds much like a bullhorn; amazing sounds coming from such a small, skinny kid. He looked at me intently. He then looked at June. With a clear distinct voice, Timmy said, "Can I come home?" He didn't wait for an answer. If the look on my face was the same as June's then the answer was already given.

He took off for the defense table. The rest of us got up and ambled down to the bench just behind the defense table and then sat down.

Nathan continued, "I can tell you that if ever there was a family who can and who will make a difference in people's lives then it's our family. If you want to send a boy who's been raped, abused, beaten and battered into the prison system then I'm sure Joey and I will qualify for incarceration. We only ask that the three of us be allowed to be cellies."

Much to our surprise, Joey stood up and walked to the microphone, cleared his throat then with a clear voice said, "I'm Joey Mauer. I guess that makes me the second oldest son. While Nathan is my blood he and the rest of the family have my heart. I can't say too much right now. I just want to agree with what Nathan said about going to jail, that we'd need to be cellies with Timmy. Anyway I hope the court will give us a chance to make things right. Thanks."

When Joey turned around, my heart swelled. He had tears flowing down his cheeks.

Tony arose from his chair then stood at the podium. Surprisingly enough the prosecutor also stood and walked to the same podium.

The prosecutor stepped to the microphone, "Your Honor, the state cannot find Probable Cause to bind the defendant over for trial. Although it is an entirely different matter before the courts, the arresting officer has been arrested, charged with felonious assault on a minor child in his care and custody. That child is Joey Mauer who you've heard from in this matter. The officer has been stripped of his badge per an Internal Affairs investigation into allegations that he's used youth under the age of majority for his own sexual pleasures. In any event, the state feels that this particular matter before this court is a travesty of justice, and furthermore, the state gives permission for a civil suit to follow. The state will not object to a fair and reasonable settlement. I say this to make it a matter of public record. The officer's name is Charles James Williams."

Judge: Would everybody please sit down. I've made my decision. Timothy Wesley Jenkins, based on your testimony, your attorneys testimony, your step father's testimony, and that of your brothers, and then finally the willingness for the prosecutor to withdraw charges, I've found that the statute requirements to establish Probable Cause have failed. Therefore you are to be immediately released from the care and custody of the Juvenile System. You may go home. But let me make one thing very, very clear: if I see you in this courtroom for any further problems then you will have used your last 'get out of jail' card. If this happens then I cannot guarantee that the system will have available 3 beds…

Derrick piped up, "Make that 4 sir. Sorry for interrupting you sir… I hadn't weighed in yet. I will stand up for Timmy."

Judge: Duly noted. Timothy I have one additional stipulation.

Timmy: Yes sir.

Judge: Remove the f-bomb from your vocabulary. I was very close to having you removed from the courtroom for contempt and disrespect toward an officer of the court.

Timmy: I'm sorry sir. I'll try to watch my mouth. Dave told me the same thing.

Judge <after nodding his approval at Timmy>: Mr. Mauer, Dr. Mauer, would you please take these boys home. With the assertions made before this court by these young men I have no other explanation than to be concerned about their low blood sugars. There are punitive damages that can be levied against parents for starving preteen and teenage boys… <smiling>.

The judge continued, "Mr. Mauer, Dr. Mauer, I am going to pass down a sentence. It will be a life sentence so take me very seriously <smiles>. I hereby sentence you to a lifetime filled with hope, fulfillment, love and joy with these fine young men. Furthermore, I order that an adoption of one certain minor child named Timothy Wesley Jenkins occur no later than one year from this date. Court adjourned."

By the time we'd retrieved Timmy's possessions and got the boy checked out of jail it was quite late. Two times on our way home Timmy crashed and burned when his emotions ran over the top. Nathan was pretty much aloof about the whole situation but Derrick and Joey stepped up to the plate and gave him support. Often times kids provide kids with better emotional support that they need at the time… mainly because parents are the old geezers, we don't understand, we don't know nothing, we don't do the right things at the right times, and whathaveyou – funny how that is… the 'rents don't have it together until the child reaches the seemingly ripe old age of perhaps 27 years old! And then the 'rent stuff doesn't really sink in until they have their own kid(s). At that time the realizations of knowing dad and mom had it pretty well spot on come along.

Because of everything that had happened Joey did not actually make it to see Wayne even though he and his mom had been on their way to see him. That's probably okay because when we arrived home, Joey was faced with a challenge, a turning point in his relationship with the love of his life, Skeeter.

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