Burden of Proof

05/25/23

What a shit, she thought, looking at Eddie across the interrogation table, he of the greasy stringy hair and unibrow.  How can he have a single thick eyebrow like that, she wondered idly, but have that  hair and a beard that is just patches of hair here and there?

His skinny face beneath the brow had its usual half smirk

Detective Press sat back in her chair.

“You got nothing on me,” he said, smirk widening.

“Her ring in your pocket,” she said.

“Found it,” he said.  

“Where?”

“Park.”

“Same park where was she was mugged and beaten.” 

He shrugged. “Ain’t got nothing to do with me.” nonchalantly looking around at the walls of room.

Press also glanced about and it occurred to her that her hair was starting to match the color of the gray walls. She sighed.

“Eddie,” she said, “you were in the park, had her ring, same park where you have been picked up twice before on suspicion of robbery…”

“And they didn’t stick either, did they?” the smirk in full bloom. “No ID, right detective?”

Hard for a victim to identify anyone when knocked unconscious from behind, she thought. His MO, the attack from behind.

“Get that blond lady in here and see if she can ID me,” said Eddie.

“She’s in a coma, Eddie.  You hit her too hard.”

“Can’t prove that.” he said.

 Press paused.“So, Eddie,”she said, “how did you know she’s a blond?”

The smirk slipped a bit.

“Somebody said,” he said.

She shook her head.  But she knew that slip wasn’t enough.  To many missing pieces.  The victim’s purse was missing, her phone was gone, neither of which were found on Eddie.  He didn’t have any blood on him, although his signature hoodie was also missing. But…not enough.  He’ll walk again, she thought, like so many others had done.

“When you gonna let me go? You got nothin’.”

She sat looking at him, then leaned forward.  “You don’t know who she is, do you?” she said quietly.

Dumb look.

“You don’t know who her family is do you?”

Dumber look.

“Charlotte Duncan, youngest daughter of Elias Duncan.  ‘Duncan’ Eddie, the biggest construction company in the city,  The family has more underworld ties than the city sewer system.”

Smirk slip. Then, “So? They can’t prove anything, just like you can’t.”

Could he be that stupid? Well, yes…

“The Duncans have a different standard of proof, Eddie.”

“What’s the fucks that mean?”

Press sat back.  She could see two paths here.  One was trying to explain to Dimwit Eddie  that the Duncans weren’t concerned with the niceties of burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  To make him understand that he was safer admitting what he done and doing the time. Or, she could hold him for a few hours…

 ***

Press’s office window looked down on the plaza in front of the police headquarters.  She would sometimes stare at the people coming and going out of the main entrance, idling guessing what business they had in the building.  She stared down and saw Eddie gimping down the broad entrance steps, turning, grinning and giving the building the finger, then turning and hurrying down the street.

~ fin ~

anthony_lukas

Lukas was an attorney for a number of years, but he did not like the law nor did it like him. He moved on to own and operate a chocolate store for twenty years. Semi-retired now, he works part-time in a national park in the San Francisco Bay Area. He started writing eight years ago and has been published in Overmydeadbody.com, Bewildering Stories, Yellowmama, Blackpetal and Mysterical-e.