Lucien calls Detective Joseph as the prosecution's first witness.
The detective is duly sworn in.
"Detective, please tell the court in your own words how you came to be involved in this case."
"On the evening of July 8, 2005, I was called to the scene of an apparent murder at 547 Locust Street in the city. Upon arrival my partner and I found a dead body in the makeshift bedroom just off the kitchen. The body was of a male in his 40s with a single gunshot wound to the chest. My partner began interviewing the neighbors while I investigated the scene."
The detective checks his notebook and continues.
"The body was sprawled backwards across the bed, half dressed. The man was not wearing a shirt or shoes, and his pants were unzipped. No weapon was found in the apartment, which was unoccupied other than by the deceased. There was evidence, however, of prior occupation by what appeared to be two young women. This theory was supported by the clothing and personal items that were found on the premises."
"And there was DNA collected from the scene, correct? Please tell the court whose DNA was found."
"The DNA collected at the scene was a match to the deceased, the defendant, and one unknown female."
A murmur ripples through the courtroom, at which the judge looks up sharply. His stern glance is sufficient to quell the crowd.
"Let the record show that DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime matches that of Jessica St. Clair."
At the request of the prosecuting attorney, the clerk moved the podium out of the way and set up the easel.
I am SO going to Hell! But I can't help it -- if he's going to stick that fine ass in my face, he must want me to admire it!
Lucien points to a diagram of the crime scene and asks the detective additional questions.
Keira steadies Jes, who is distraught at the memories called forth by the diagram.
Shakira works hard at keeping her eyes on her laptop screen.
"And is this where the body was found, detective?"
"Tell the court how you managed to track down the defendant."
Detective Joseph describes the years of investigation that culminated in the eventual apprehension of the suspect.
"No further questions, your honor."
Keira rises and approaches the stand.
"Detective, would you describe for the court the condition of the bed in which the deceased was found?"
"The bed coverings were rumpled and stained and did not appear to have been washed with any regularity. There were ropes tied to each bed post. Three were untied; one remained tied."
"Please describe the condition of the ropes."
"They were bloody, as if someone had spent many hours struggling to get free."
"And was there DNA evidence collected from the restraints and from the bed?"
"Yes, ma'am. The DNA from the epithelials on the ropes was also a match to the defendant. Trace on the sheets had three contributors -- one male, two female. The male DNA matched that of the deceased. The DNA of one of the female contributors matched that of the defendant."
"For the jury's sake, let us clarify that we are talking about the makeshift bed in the kitchen area as shown on this diagram. What about the other bed, the one in the bedroom?"
"It was in pretty much the same condition, right down to the restraints."
"Could I prevail upon the court to have the easel moved and the podium brought back?"
Keira waits patiently as the clerk picks up the easel and slides the podium back into place.
As the clerk takes the easel away, Keira turns to face the witness again.
"Please describe for the court the wound in the deceased's chest."
As the detective describes the gun shot residue indicating that the shot was fired at point blank range, Keira makes a show of checking over her notes.
Keira confirms a few more key points with the detective, then indicates that she has no further questions.
As the detective steps down, Lucien rises to ready himself for the next witness.
Keira leans over to reassure Jes.
"Don't worry about it. It's just normal prosecution tactics."
Lucien exchanges glances with his co-counsel.
To be continued . . .