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March 24th, 2006

can I get a witness?

Back in November I was contacted by the Secret Service about the burglary, because two of the ten people (accused of being) involved in the ring were going to trial rather than pleading guilty. At the time the trial was scheduled to begin December 5. However, the trial was delayed, and then one of the remaining people pled guilty after all, but the last one held out and trial was rescheduled to begin in March. Last week I got the call that trial would begin Monday, and today I appeared in court as scheduled, as a victim witness.

When they called last week, they told me to be at the courthouse at 8:30. I forgot to call them yesterday like I was supposed to, to confirm that I was still scheduled to appear; if I had, I might not have had to get up extra early. My instructions were simply to go to the courtroom floor, and when I got there no one was around. The subpoena I'd been given back in November specified a judge's name, so I sat outside that courtroom for a few hours reading my book, while people came and went. When the courtroom I'd been waiting by emptied and no one had yet spoken to me, I called the attorney's office to see if I could find out what was going on. They explained that the other judge on that floor was now hearing the case, and I should just go to the witness room for that court, so I did and found another couple witnesses. I learned from the other witnesses that they'd been told to come in for 1 pm, but then this morning were called back and asked to arrive for 10 am; probably if I'd remembered to call yesterday, I would've been told to come in later. Oh well.

Shortly after finding the correct witness room, the trial broke for lunch; after it reconvened, they started taking us witnesses quickly. My appearance was brief; as I'd been told, it was simply a matter of confirming the stolen checks hadn't been written by me, and that I neither knew the people they were written to nor had agreed to give them money. With that, I was done, and my involvement over, so far as I know. Eventually I'll get a letter telling me the result.

Even though I knew what to expect, I was still a little nervous to my surprise, but I was amused at myself for being so. I may have been more stressed about the trial than I realized. Monday morning I had a nightmare in which I was driving toward my parents' house (up Plymouth Ave, for those of you who know the 'hood) at night and the house was dark because no one was home. Suddenly there was a menacing figure staring out my old bedroom windows down at me, which was terrifying and I screamed myself awake. The silly part of that dream was that the figure appeared as some kind of black and white pattern, and I awoke with the impression it had been an evil panda.

This morning I had another nightmare. This time I was inside my old bedroom when suddenly there was a figure sneaking past the windows outside. I should point out the bedroom is on the second floor, but somehow the figure was sneaking just outside, I guess on some kind of nonexistent ledge. This time although I was startled and and alarmed, I was mainly angry rather than terrified, because I knew it was a thief trying to sneak in. Somehow I managed to grab him, or step outside to confront him, which is when I discovered the thief was dressed in black and white much like a mime. I think even in the dream I knew it was the same figure I'd seen on Monday, although clearly human not panda. I woke myself up yelling "hey! heyyyyy! heyyyy!" angrily at him.

Hopefully with my involvement in the trial over, I will no longer be haunted by the buglary or by nightmare panda/mime thieves.


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