Jury Duty – Part 2
So I posted the last one, and got a few people freaking out about the fact that I’m on a jury and posting about it online. The fact is, I’m not looking for opinions on the case. I am impartial when it comes to the trial of John Willis. All that information is just background. What’s really concerning me and causing me to post this are the things happening outside of the courtroom since this trial started. So please, if you have a moral objection to what I’m doing, keep it to yourself.
Also, the Willis case is happening in a relatively small town, and isn’t getting any mainstream coverage. Hell, it’s barely getting any local coverage. So…yeah. Let’s get to it.
I had to go out to store Saturday afternoon, and when I opened my car door, I had that black dust stuff on my hands, like it was underneath my car door handle. I still had, and still have no idea as of the writing of this post.
Anyways, on my way to the store, I heard something shuffling around in my backseat. It freaked the shit out of me, naturally, but I was driving on the freeway, so I couldn’t exactly pull over and stop just then. I looked in my rearview and saw nothing. Just to be sure, I quickly looked behind me and…I’m not really sure what I saw. There was something like, hiding under a black cloak. I let out a yell and when I looked forward, I almost rear ended the car in front of me. I collected myself and looked back again, and all that was there was a bunch of the black dust.
I made it to the store and back with no further problems, although I did check my backseat every 10 seconds on the way back from the store. I got home and unlocked my front door, again getting black dust on my hands. I of course figured this must mean that whatever what going on, was either happening in my house currently, or it was from what happened the night before.
I got in my house, and nothing seemed strange. I went about the rest of my day. Nothing happened until night came. I was sitting in the living room on my laptop, and I felt a breeze. I was an extremely cold breeze, though, like I had just opened a walk in freezer, but even colder. I hadn’t opened any windows (it’s November), and I know I didn’t have my air conditioning on (again, it’s November). I got up to see where the draft was coming from. I walked down my hallway and saw that the window in the bathroom was open. There was, of course, black dust on the windowsill. I figured this meant something was about to happen.
I went back and sat on the couch, ignoring my computer, and focusing completely on the room in front of me. I stayed there, on high alert, until I fell asleep. When I woke up Sunday morning, still sitting up on the couch, I felt like something was different, but I couldn’t place it. I got up and cautiously walked throughout my house, trying to find something that was out of the ordinary. I couldn’t find anything, but I just had the overwhelming feeling that something had been done.
Most of Sunday went by okay, but then the sun set. Right at dusk, I heard a banging coming from my attic. Now, I’m the kind of person that will do everything I can to justify something before beginning to look for answers in the paranormal/supernatural. I reasoned that it was some kind of animal that had gotten into my attic somehow. I heard scurrying around all above me, like a squirrel running back and forth.
Then suddenly, a loud boom came from the area above me. Then I heard sliding, like someone was dragging their very large feet across the attic floor. I called the police, because I’m not stupid, and they came to check out my attic, which of course, was empty. They did ask me what the black dust all over the floor in my attic was, to which I had no answer. The police left, and both of the officers gave me their cards in case I had any further problems.
At about 11pm, shortly after the police left, I heard a crash and something slide in my hallway. Before even looking, I knew that it was the drop-ladder to my attic. Something had either pulled it down from below, or pushed it down from above. Or, I thought, the police hadn’t locked it in place when they exited the attic, so it had fallen. I walked towards the fallen ladder and suddenly, as if someone had flipped a switch, an extremely bright light shone from the attic into the hallway. I stopped dead in my tracks and waited for something else to happen. The light seemed to get brighter and brighter until it was almost pure white, to the point it was hurting my eyes. Then, as quickly as it had started, it stopped, with what sounded like the light bulb in the attic exploding.
I heard the familiar sliding sound go from the door to the other side of the attic above me. I ran and shut the drop-ladder and made sure the lock was properly set. That was the last issue I had on Sunday.
Today, I reported for court at 9am. Today was the day for witness testimony and cross examination.
Witness for the defense #1: Rebecca Dimone
Rebecca Dimone is John’s next door neighbor. Her initial statement was gathered during canvassing of the area, which she reiterated for the court. She mentioned that she was in her backyard doing some gardening before it got too dark, and that at one point, around 7:45, John walked into his backyard, where they exchanged a wave, and he walked back into his house without doing anything outside. Shortly after that, she heard one scream, and one scream only. She said it was a short yelp, not like someone was getting hurt, but like someone had jumped around the corner and scared them.
During cross examination, the prosecution asked her if she was sure what she heard was a scream, if it was in fact so short of an instance. She said yes, and that it absolutely came from the house. The defense then asked Rebecca to disclose her relationship with John, if any, and what she thought of him as a neighbor.
Rebecca said they’d been neighbors since he’d moved into the house next to her, and that he always seemed like a friendly man. He and his wife introduced themselves upon moving next door to her, and said that they always look seemingly happy. She did say that one night a few weeks before the murder, John came to her house and asked her if she’d hear anything in her attic lately. When she said no, he just stood there staring into her house until she closed the door. That was the only issue she’d ever had with him, and said she would regard him as a fine neighbor.
Witness for the defense #2: James Bradley
The extent of James Bradley’s testimony was the information that John had called him multiple times regarding strange things going on in his home. Feelings that he was being watched, things out of place, something paranormal.
The prosecution basically just grilled him on being a “paranormal expert”, and essentially tried to paint the whole profession as a joke.
Witness for the prosecution #1: Amanda Clement
Amanda was a friend of John’s sister, Erica. She informed the court that she had recently been proposed to, and was considering moving out of the state, as her now-fiancee’s new job was transferring him. She had been with Amanda, getting coffee, just before she went to John’s house and was ultimately murdered. Her plan was to tell John the news.
Witness for the prosecution #2: Anthony Mineo
Anthony “Tony” Mineo was quite the witness the prosecution brought forth. He was, apparently, the paramount of Jessica Willis, as they had been carrying on a clandestine relationship for nearly two years. In Tony’s opinion, John had found out about it and murdered her. The prosecution corroborated this by presenting text messages from the day before the murder, in which Jessica discussed the fact that her husband might know about their affair. It was all pretty damning evidence.
The defense cross-examined Anthony and in all honesty, kind of made fools of themselves. They basically had him restate what he’d already said, and then sort of flat out asked him why the court should believe he himself didn’t do it. As if he was some scorned lover who couldn’t get over the fact that she wouldn’t leave her husband, even though there was no basis for such an insinuation.
That’s when I noticed the defense attorney acting strange. He was like, mildly twitching every few seconds, and had a look of fear in his eyes I’d never seen. Now that I think about it, he looked like that the entire day. At the time this made me think of Jackie. I looked over to her (she was 2 seats away from me), and immediately noticed bags under her eyes. I looked at the others, and about half of my fellow jurors looked as if they hadn’t slept since the trial began.
When we were excused for the day earlier around 3pm, I gathered the ones that looked particularly disheveled and we all stepped into the room that held the vending machines, and discussed our individual problems. Here are the few that really stood out.
Juror #3: Mike Forsythe
Mike was sleeping in bed with his wife, and woke up when he heard loud, exaggerated breathing. He turned over and saw his wife was sound asleep, and that the breathing wasn’t coming from her. He then got worried, hoping that it wasn’t their dog. He got up to look at the foot of the bed, where their dog slept every night. As he was sitting up, he stopped when he saw someone standing in the corner. They were facing him, but in the dark, he couldn’t make anything out. He said whoever it was was very tall, and looked as if he was wearing a cloak.
The person in the corner then slowly dropped to their knees and began crawling towards the bed. Mike jumped up out of the bed and turned on the bedroom light, and saw no one there, only a black dust streak where the thing had been crawling. He called the police who came and took his statement and looked around. His wife said she hadn’t seen or heard anything, and was convinced her husband was just dreaming, although unable to explain the black dust on the floor.
Juror #11: Trinette Bryant
Trinette lives at home with her two sons, with a boyfriend who is a truck driver, so he’s not home most night. On Friday night, her two sons ran to her in the middle of the night (they share a room), saying someone crawled out of their closet and into the living room. Trinette said she got up and grabbed the knife she keeps in the drawer of her bedside table. She told her sons to stay in her room and close the door, and only open it if she came back and said their “safe word” (she didn’t mention what it was).
Trinette then crept through her house (the upper unit of a duplex), turning on lights as she went, and was able to make sure no one else was in her home. What she did find, however, was a trail of black dust, leading from the closet in her kids room, up to her front door, which she said was now unlocked. She mentioned that she doesn’t trust her downstairs neighbors, so she never, ever, leaves her door unlocked. She opened the door, and the trail continued into the stairwell, and stopped just underneath the opening to the attic.
Juror #9: Lisandra Mirales
Lisandra was cooking dinner for her husband, waiting for him to get home from work, when the entire kitchen, which was sweltering due to both the oven and the stovetop producing heat, went cold. She said it happened in a split second. At first, she thought she just had the chills, but then they didn’t go away. Then, she heard a sliding noise in her hallway, heading away from her.
She said she froze in fear for a moment, then grabbed the largest knife she had in her kitchen and peeked around the corner. Something draped in black was on the floor of her hallway, sliding down the hall. She began tearing up when she said that it was trailed by the black dust, and that it stopped underneath her attic.
She quickly ran to her living room to call the police, and by the time she looked again, the thing was gone, with no trail past below the attic entrance. The police showed up, looked around her house and in her attic, and found nothing.
There was another account that was just more of the same. Obviously, the common themes here are something black lurking around, the attics of homes, and the black dust. Everyone is pretty scared, naturally. One of them said that the police, detectives, and medical workers will be on the stand tomorrow, so hopefully we can get some answers as to what the black dust is that was found at John Willis’ house the night of the murders.
I’ll report back after court tomorrow with what I find out, and with anything more that might happen tonight, although I truly hope nothing does. Talk to everyone soon.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Series