Travis Crowder did not see himself as evil. Unfortunately for him, the judge, prosecutor, witnesses, and most importantly, the jury, did. People in the gallery sitting behind the prosecutor applauded and cheered at the reading of the verdict. The ones behind the defense table were escorted from the courtroom.
“Order!” Judge Alvin Baker pounded his gavel. Silence ensued. “Travis Crowder, you have been found guilty of murder in the first degree by a jury of your peers. Do you have anything to say before sentencing?”
Travis stared down at the table without getting up. “It was an accident.”
His attorney did stand. “Your Honor, I request that you hold off on sentencing until I can file an appeal.”
The remaining crowd booed.
Judge Baker glared at the audience. “None of that, now.” He motioned to the deputy who then cuffed Travis’ hands behind his back and guided him to the front of the bench.
“Look at me, son.” Baker spoke in a soft, calming voice.
Looking up from the plastic sheet on which he stood, Travis tried to focus on the judge, and then he heard the click.
Travis stood next to his attorney behind the defense table and watched as one deputy holstered his gun, two others wrapped the plastic around the body while another wiped blood splatter off the front of the bench and removed pieces of skull lodged into the wood.
“What the hell!” Travis grabbed at his attorney’s arm. His hand went right through. Confused and nearing panic, Travis screamed. No one reacted.
“Damn, I love watching the life go out in their eyes. I tell ya, that’s what being a judge is all about.” Baker pounded the gavel. “We’re in recess, people.”