Will filed criminal assault charges against Carol. She told the judge she could not afford to hire an attorney and wanted to waive her right to have him appoint a public defender to represent her. Carol said she was just going to tell the truth about what happened and let the chips fall where they may.
Carol: He got laid off last year. And since that time I have been working double shifts to make sure we don’t get put out in the street. He acted like he was looking for a job at first, but now I believe he was just getting up and going out drinking all day.
Judge: What makes you think that?
Carol: I have had several people tell me they have seen him home during the day when he told me he was out looking for a job. We live in a trailer park, and everybody knows everybody business. My neighbor was the first person to tell me when Will lost his job. And I had another neighbor tell me she saw him sitting in our front yard drinking a six-pack of beer at about two in the afternoon. When I got home that evening, he told me he had been out looking for a job all day.
Judge: What do you have to say with respect to the criminal charges he filed against you?” the judge asked Carol.
Carol: First of all, I can’t believe he had the nerve to actually file criminal charges against me. For weeks after he first lost his job, the police were called out to our trailer almost every Friday night.
Judge: were the police called?
Carol: Because in the past this man has hit me. He has choked and pushed me around. He has slapped me and spit on me before. I can show you a scar on my side right now that I got when he got mad and threw an empty beer bottle at me. And after all that, I never called the police and I never filed any kind of criminal charges against him. Whenever the police showed up to investigate one of our “domestic disturbances,” I would lie and say nothing was going on and just blame it on the fact that we were drinking too much. The police said it was getting to a point where they were going to stop responding to calls to our address. After that incident I went to my neighbor, the one I figured was calling the police, and told her to mind her business and that if I ever needed the police I would call them myself.
Judge: Why did your husband call the police this time?
Carol: Like I said, he has not been working and I have been paying all the bills. He gets unemployment, but most of it goes to pay child support to his other kids; and what’s left he uses to pay for gas, and I don’t know what else. He knows my routine. I get paid every Friday. After I pay the bills and buy groceries for the week, I have just enough money left to buy me a six-pack of Budweiser that has to hold me over through the weekend. Usually, I start drinking as soon as I get home, but this time after I got home my son called. He needed a ride home from baseball practice. So instead of taking a drink, I jumped back in the car to go get him. When I get back home, I open the fridge. There are three beers missing from my six-pack. I went into the bedroom and saw my husband. He had one bottle in his hand and there were two empty bottles lying beside him on the bed. I didn’t bother asking him for an explanation. I just picked up a lamp and started hitting him with it.
Jackie’s Note: The cases posted in Courthouse Chronicles are real-life court cases that involve real people. For the record, I do not include any of the cases I have actually worked. If I hired a lawyer to represent me I would not want him or her writing about me so that’s why I don’t write about any of my clients. My research for these posts consists of sitting in the back of courtrooms listening to the testimony and witnessing the antics of other lawyers, their clients and people who chose to represent themselves.
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