For years, I kept asking myself that same question. “Why? Why would arguably one of the most talented and yes, most beautiful litigators continue to defend people who were so reprehensible?”
I was not one to accept “I don’t know” as an answer. There is always an answer to a question. It may not be what you want to hear but there is an answer and I wanted an answer.
I did my time with the public defender’s office and moved on to one of the city’s most reputable firms. Within a surprisingly short time, I was named a senior partner. The celebration was in full swing and my mind suddenly went back to those days when I had been gutted by Parker Patterson.
Her reputation had never faltered and the general loathing toward her had never subsided. She had made millions defending the rich, who didn’t bat an eye when she demanded a one million dollar retainer fee. They knew she was able to do magic.
My dream was to once again meet her in court. I wanted to literally and figuratively bury her. That day would never come but I would watch her pulling off the impossible from what seemed like an endless bag of tricks.
A case that caught national attention was about a wealthy man, named Jackson Alton Benton, who was a secret pedophile. It had long been suspected but no convincing proof had ever been brought to bear. His luck ran out one night when he was stopped for a routine license check. Because they believed it was within the arm of the law, they searched his car.
A young girls’ bloody underwear was found in the trunk, along with a rope, a gun and a canvas bag. Two weeks earlier, a little girl had gone missing and an extensive and exhausting search had turned up nothing.
The items that were found in the trunk of Benton’s car were put into evidence bags and he was arrested, the whole time screaming police brutality and pleading his innocence.
Amid cries of utter heartbreak, the little girl’s mother was notified and was able to identify her underwear.
Parker Patterson was immediately called and presented herself as counsel for Benton. She bonded him out and began to prepare her defense. Her immediate questions were how the items were obtained and who had issued the search warrant. No search warrant had been obtained but at least Benton had been Mirandized. Another fatal rookie mistake had been made.
The prosecutor argued that the law states that with “reasonable suspicion” you and your belongings can be searched but the arresting officers fell short with trying to explain their suspicions or their justifications for searching the car.
Parker Patterson made them look like grammar school students. “What were you ‘reasonably’ suspicious of?” she asked. “Were you ‘reasonably suspicious’ because he wore an expensive suit and drove and even more expensive car? Tell me. What were your ‘reasonable’ motives to search this man’s car?”
One of the officers finally admitted that they were bored and pulled him over for kicks. “For kicks?” asked Parker? “Well, we thought we’d harass him a bit maybe,” said the other officer.
“I see,” said Parker. “And they taught that in officer training school…that you were allowed to ‘harass’ a person because you were bored? Were you bored when they discussed obtaining a search warrant?”
Parker went on to address the judge. “Your Honor, we have nothing here against my client. If anything, charges should be filed against the incompetent officers who illegally searched my client’s car for no other reason than ‘they could’.’
Needless to say, the case was thrown out of court and Benton walked away, smiling at the officers and he buttoned his Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition suit jacket.
Parker had already told him to make plans to go to his own private island to rest and recuperate after his “ordeal” and she was going to make sure he traveled safely.
His journey was going to be safe but Parker Patterson’s was not. The father of the murdered little girl, a former Navy Seal, walked up the steps of the courthouse and plunged a SOC Seal Knife into Parker’s chest. He knew exactly where to place the knife to strike a fatal blow.
My hatred for her had never waned and for a split second I wanted to yell “how does it fucking feel? How does it fucking feel to be gutted?” but I didn’t.
Horror and disbelief was all anyone felt for a few seconds. Before an officer could get the knife away from the girls’ father, he slit his own throat. He lay dead just feet away from Parker.
I leaned over and held her head as she lay dying. I didn’t know if she remembered tearing me apart so many years ago but the hatred I had always felt subsided when she asked me to take her hand.
I reached down and as I held it, she asked me to come closer. I wasn’t staring into the face of Charles Manson anymore. I was staring into the face of a dying woman, who I suddenly felt compassion for.
I put my ear close to her mouth and with her last breath, she whispered “tattoo.”
To be continued_________________