Episode 279, scene 2.

     Lee Webber murder hearing in the court of Judge Irwin A. Chester.]

CC:  All rise.
     [All rise.]
CC:  District 12 of the Municipal Court of Peyton County now in session.
     The honorable Irwin A. Chester presiding.
     [Gavel twice.]
     [All sit.]
JC:  The case of the people vs Lee Webber.  Does counsel for the defense 
     wish to cross-examine the witness.
SC:  I do, your honor.
JC:  Very well.  Christopher Webber to the stand, please.

JC:  Let it be noted that the witness has been sworn in, previously.

JC:  Proceed.
SC:  Mr. Webber, how long have you known the deceased, Ann Howard?
CW:  I met her when I was 7 years old, 17 years ago.
SC:  And what happened on the day you met her?
CW:  I had an accident and lost my eyesight.

     [Break for commercial.]

SC:  To get back to your voices.  You testified that you had difficulty 
     hearing because of the wind and the tide. 
CW:  The words were lost in the waves, Mr. Cord.  The sea was quite 
     stormy that day.
SC:  Possibly.  But what you told Mr. Fowler was that you couldn't hear 
     all of what was said.  Specifically what did you hear?
CW:  I couldn't quote any exact words.
SC:  Are you changing your testimony?
CW:  No, I am not.
SC:  Well then, the question still stands.  What did you hear?
CW:  Mr. Cord, it is possible to distinguish voices without being 
     able to make out what they are saying.
SC:  So you heard voices and then what sounded like a blow and then a 
CW:  Yes.
SC:  Do you know that Ann Howard screamed because she was pushed?
CW:  Yes.
SC:  Well, she could have screamed because she was falling, isn't that 
CW:  It's possible.
SC:  Then you don't actually know that she was pushed.  In fact you don't 
     even know if the scream was hers.  It could have been anyone's. 
CW:  It was a woman's scream.
SC:  But not necessarily Ann Howard's.
CW:  Who else could it have been, Mr. Cord?
SC:  In reality, Mr. Webber what your ear-witness account boils down to 
     is, let me see, voices, a scream, and the sound of rocks tumbling.
     Allowing for the fact that your identification of the defendant's 
     voice is at best questionable. 
JF:  Objection, Your honor.  The witness has shown no uncertainty in his 
     identification of Lee Webber.
SC:  But, he could be wrong.  There is a possibility.  I'm merely trying 
     to establish that.
JC:  Over-ruled.  Proceed, Mr. Cord.
SC:  Allowing for this possibility, Mr. Webber, what further proof can 
     you give us of your brother's presence at the bluff?
CW:  I heard him leave.
SC:  Now I suppose you're going to claim that you can identify the 
     defendant by the sound of his footsteps?
CW:  I heard his motorcycle take off.
SC:  Why wasn't this in your testimony to Mr. Fowler?
CW:  I could only answer the questions I was asked, Mr. Cord.  Mr. Fowler 
     had already gone on to another question. 
SC:  The question of your accuracy, I believe.  What time did you hear 
     that motorcycle take off? 
CW:  Late afternoon.
SC:  Can you give me a rough hour?  Was it 5:00, 5:30, 6:00?  Later?
CW:  I'm not very good at judging time, Mr. Cord.
SC:  I see that you're wearing a watch with a braille dial, I assume?
CW:  Yes.
SC:  Mr. Webber.  You're a law student.  Do you mean to tell me that you 
     overheard what you describe and you never once thought to check the 
     time, when it was yours with a mere touch of the wrist?
CW:  I forgot my watch, Mr. Cord.  I was upset when I left the house that 
     day, and I didn't take it with me.
SC:  And, of course, I can't ask you the position of the sun.  We who can 
     see, take so much for granted, Mr. Webber.  You know, you make me 
     stop and think.  In your position it would be very easy for me to 
CE:  Well, you and I are different people, Mr. Cord.
SC:  There was a time when you hated Ann Howard.  And then you learned 
     that she was innocent.  What happened then?
CW:  Did I stop hating her?  Wrong, Mr. Cord.  I never really hated her.
SC:  Didn't you.  Didn't you transfer that hatred to the person who spent 
     a lifetime nurturing it?
CW:  Of course not.
SC:  Your bother cripled your emotions as surely as he pushed you over a 
     cliff into perpetual darkness. Yet you tell this court that you were 
     and are above hatred. This would be no less a miracle than if your 
     sight were suddenly restored right here in this witness chair. 
JF:  Objection, your honor.
JC:  Objection over-ruled.
SC:  Now can you look me in the eye, tell me the color of the suit I am 
     wearing, and then tell me you can be objective about your brother's 
     guilt and then I will believe you, Mr. Webber. 
JF:  But your Honor.
JC:  Over-ruled, Mr. Fowler.
CW:  Tell me you can be objective about your own sister's death and I 
     will believe you, Mr. Cord. 
SC:  Now, I want the truth.  I'm afraid your motives are more subtle.  
     But perhaps you are unable to admit them to yourself.  We've talked 
     before, Chris.  Under the veneer of resignation, I've sensed the 
     bitterness.  You answer me calmly, carefully, but I hear the anger.  
     As a lawyer I have to prove that the anger and bitterness are there.  
     As a man I understand your cause.  You have my sympathy. 
CW:  Spare me your relentless compassion, Mr. Cord.  If you must make 
     excuses, make them for yourself. 
JC:  Mr. Cord.  Mr. Webber.  I know you gentlemen are well 
     acquainted.  However I must urge that both of you that you both 
     confine your comments to the present case.  

JC:  Counsel may proceed. 
SC:  Do you know the definition of perjury as penalties.
CW:  I do.
SC:  The price is high.  Imprisonment and disgrace.  But for you the 
     price would be even higher.  If you are lying, you will never 
     practice before this court or any other court.  Are you aware of 
CW:  Fully aware. 
SC:  You will never be allowed to take the bar exam.  And in this one 
     day, you can destroy your future as surely as you walk out of this 
     courtroom and straoght over the edge of Sailors' Bluff.  Don't be 
     its victim a second time.  Now admit it.  Admit that you don't know.  
     That you weren't there.  Admit that your story of hiding on a ledge 
     was a story and no more. 
CW:  But I was there and I heard.

Episode 279, scene 2          HOME