In 1859 Charles Dickens penned the words that could describe this past week. “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Join me, if you dare, on the emotional rollercoaster.
Last Friday, Michelle Ivey and I went to the career fair for Fayette County eighth graders. We’ve done this every year forever. I love it.
All of the eighth grade students in the county arrive at their appointed times at Heritage Christian Church. Busload after busload. Once there, they mingle among dozens of adults representing vocations ranging from law enforcement to undertaker to hairdresser to chef to author to pilot. Many of the kids wear their Sunday best. They interview us and write down our responses.
It’s a hoot to watch them. One boy asked me what he should know to be able to succeed in my career. I told him he should be able to speak, read and write well. He wrote down: “Speak, read and rite well.”
There was no levity on Monday morning in Upson Superior Court. Ben Coker was ready to try a man for burglary and aggravated battery. An 85-year-old man had come home to find burglars in his house. One of them hit the elderly victim in the face, sending his glasses flying and breaking his nose. Just before we began jury selection, the defendant pled guilty and received a sentence of 25 years in prison, followed by at least another decade on probation.
So, I drove to Spalding County to cheer for our guys there. In one courtroom Randy Coggin planned to try an armed robber. He pled guilty. One by one the cases folded.
Finally we reached an accused drug trafficker that Kimberly Schwartz would prosecute. His first move was to fire his lawyer. He said he didn’t need one. He started arguing from the Uniform Commercial Code — that’s a set of laws that governs contracts and banking and stuff like that. Eventually the judge ordered a psychological examination.
If he fires the psychologist, it won’t be because he doesn’t need one.
I headed to the fourth floor to support our troops there. Before I could walk in, I was greeted by a well-dressed man who was looking for a certain detective. He told me that the detective was supposed to arrest him. That was odd. I asked him what charges he faced.
“Theft by conception,” he replied.
I don’t know what that is, but it sounds interesting.
Again, the mood quickly became somber. The trial on the fourth floor was a murder. An awful one. I’ll report on that case when it is appropriate to do so.
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”