Two cousins, both in their 40’s, both drug addicts, were living at mom’s house. After a day of smoking pot and drinking beer, they started arguing over who was the biggest loser; and I don’t mean who lost the most weight.
The yelling consisted of such academic repertoire as,
“You’re the loser!”
“You shut up!” Obviously, Rhodes’ scholars.
One cousin, having had enough of the witty verbal jousting, rose from his pile of dirty laundry, staggered over to the other cousin, and punched him in the nose several times. The injured cousin, who was also suffering from multiple health problems, including a failing liver and lung disease, bled so much mom decided to call 911- two days later. An ambulance came and he was taken to the hospital. Three days later the cousin died.
I first met dead cousin at the Coroner’s Office. We were pretty sure one of the many health issues had finally caught up with the cousin; but because there had been an assault, we decided to autopsy him. The pathologist was dubious that the death could be attributed to the assault, telling me as much as he made the first incision. However, as soon as he sliced open the lungs, he called over to me,
“Hey look at this!”
Doc then stuck a gob of very bloody goo under my nose. I looked closely at the hunk of goo and gave him my very most intelligent-sounding,
He told me,
“I guess this makes me a Kerry flip-flopper.” I had no idea what a lump of bloody lung had to do with politics or the then-democratic candidate for president. Doc then explained that the goo was blood from the injury that had congealed in the lungs, because the lungs were too weak to expel the fluid.
The cousin was arrested and booked for Manslaughter, but the prosecuting attorney just about passed a gavel when he read how skinny our information was. He released the cousin, having determined that there was no way he would be convicted of manslaughter. I wasn’t upset... it was a long shot, but what can I do? It then came to me- charge the cousin with Simple Assault! I wrote up a ticket and booked the cousin on 4th Degree Assault, a misdemeanor crime.
I then presented the municipal prosecutor with the case, which was originally prepared as a murder case, having full transcripts, indexed reports, and complete forensic reports. He looked at me as though I had handed him the Holy Grail,
“If all my cases were prepared like this, we’d never lose!” Don’t hold your breath, Mr. DA man, unlikely we will put 200 pages and 100 man-hours of work into some poor slob shoplifting a condom at the 7-11.
Well, I thought he deserved more for killing his sick cousin, but he got the maximum sentence for Municipal Court, 365 days. I think he’s out now, back sitting on the same pile of dirty clothing.
For the life of me, I can’t think which cousin was the biggest loser.