"All rise for his honor, Alexander Kenobi."
As the judge enters the room through a door behind the bench, everyone in the courtroom quiets and stands at attention.
Judge Kenobi looks over the courtroom as he enters.
Jes is lost in her own dark thoughts as she awaits the signal to be seated.
The clerk announces that court is now in session and everyone, including the judge, takes their seats.
"The first case on the docket today is the People versus Jessica St. Clair."
The judge studies the jury, not entirely pleased with what he sees. Some of the jurors do not appear to be taking their responsibilities very seriously.
He begins giving instructions to the jury, but stops abruptly after a few sentences and glares at juror number 7.
"Excuse me. Juror number seven . . . are these court proceedings boring you? You appear to be completely disinterested. Your casual dress and demeanor are disrespectful to the court. You do not appear to recognize the critical nature of your responsibilities to this court as a juror."
"I trust that tomorrow you will be more appropriately dressed. I expect you to take your responsibilities seriously and pay full attention to everything you hear. Do I make myself clear?"
Juror seven nods, sufficiently chastised, and tries to sink through the floor.
This jury is made up of gypsies, tramps and thieves. I can't believe this poor girl is going to get a fair trial.
The judge finishes with his instructions to the jury and turns his attention to counsel.
"Counsel for the prosecution, you may make your opening remarks."
Lucien begins: "May it please the court. My name is Lucien Kozlowski. My co-counsel is John Cochran. We are counsel for the prosecution." He quickly takes over the courtroom, holding the jury mesmerized while he addresses his remarks to them.
Lucien states that he will prove that the defendant shot the deceased at close range, causing immediate death.
He elaborates, indicating that the shooting was premeditated on the part of the defendant.
As he returns to his chair, Lucien locks eyes with Keira in an obvious attempt to intimidate.
His supercilious look and air of superiority dare her to do better.
Using every advantage in her substantial arsenal, Keira leans into the jury as she makes her opening remarks, focusing on the sympathetic-looking woman in the front row.
She emphasizes the fact that her client has never denied shooting the victim and insists that she will show beyond a shadow of doubt that it was self-defense.
Keira is a commanding presence in the courtroom, and every eye -- male and female -- is glued to her as she continues.
Keira is as eloquent as she is beautiful and quickly has the jury eating out of her hands.
As she concludes her opening statement and returns to her own chair, she shoots Lucien a look so exactly like the one he gave her minutes before that he can't help but smile to himself when she turns away.
Oblivious to Lucien's amusement, Keira squeezes Jes's hand in encouragement.
To be continued . . .