"Oh. Um, it's nice to meet you." I said hesitantly... I mean, what else was I supposed to say?
The man... my dad, turned to face Doctor Finley and asked, "How certain are you that he won't go back to the way he was?"
"Mr. Kerbo, as I explained to you while I was talking to Judge Harmon, the alteration of Jason's brain chemistry could account for a shift in his personality, and if that were the only effect of the treatment, then I couldn't make any guarantees. But I did a full MRI series after Jason awoke from the final treatment, and it confirmed that ultra-sound bombardment in combination with the drug therapy have physically altered Jason's brain. There is no chance of him reverting to his previous behavior... ever. The malformation that was the root of the problem was completely destroyed." Doctor Finley said firmly.
"So what do we do now?" My dad asked quietly, seemingly not able to completely accept Doctor Finley's explanation.
"Well, I'm going to arrange things with Doctor Hakim to see when he has time to examine Jason. Perhaps while I'm doing that, you could explain things to him?" Doctor Finley asked hopefully.
My father nodded slowly, then watched as Doctor Finley left the room.
* * * * *
"How are you feeling?" My dad asked me quietly.
"I'm fine... How are you?" I asked timidly, not knowing what else to say.
My dad smiled slightly before saying, "Things seem to be looking up."
I nodded hesitantly, hoping that he would explain what was going on.
"How much do you remember?" He asked cautiously.
"I don't remember anything. So far, I know my name and my age but that's only because they told me." I said honestly.
"Well, the doctor thinks that in time you'll start to remember things. I'm not sure how it all works, but because of Doctor Finley's treatments, most of the links associated with memory have been destroyed. All your memories are still there, your conscious mind just doesn't know where to look to find them. Over time, some of your memories will come back." My dad said quietly.
"Some?" I asked, to be sure.
My dad nodded and said, "Some. From the way the doctor explained it, every now and then your brain will accidentally connect with an existing memory, but for the most part, your life began today."
"So it's not all going to come back someday?" I asked in a quieter voice.
"No. But... well, it's probably best. If Doctor Finley would have given me a choice, I would have asked him to let you forget." My dad said with sympathy in his eyes.
"What did I do?" I asked him in a pleading voice.
My dad closed his eyes and a tear fell down his cheek.
"Doctor Finley says that it's too soon for you to deal with that." My dad said, as he turned away.
"Okay. So what's going to happen now?" I asked cautiously.
"Well... I'm working on that. If I can get everything arranged, you're going to be moving to Ohio." My dad said quietly.
"*I'm* moving... alone?" I asked hesitantly.
My dad nodded, then turned to face me again as he said, "That's right. You can't stay here, Jason. There are too many people who... please, just trust me. You'll be much happier in Ohio."
"Where will I be staying in Ohio?" I asked hesitantly.
"With my cousin Jason... you were named after him. He's been my best friend my whole life. I called him before I came to the hospital and he said that you could stay with him and his family." My dad said quietly.
"For how long?" I asked slowly.
My dad stopped for a moment to think about the question, then said, "Maybe for a long time. There's a restraining order against you. You're not allowed to have any contact with your mom or sister, and you're not allowed within 200 yards of them under any circumstances."
"What did I do?" I asked in a whisper.
"That wasn't you. That was the disease that took control of you. But you're still stuck with the consequences." My dad said in a pained voice.
I nodded slowly to acknowledge that I had heard.
"Jason, you get to make a new start. My cousin will take you in and I know that he'll love you and care for you just like one of his own kids. He's the best person that I've ever known." My dad said, trying to sound cheerful.
"Okay." I said reluctantly.
"And you might want to thank your friend Josh when you see him again. I might not have even thought about you going to stay with Jason if he hadn't been there and told us about the kind of life that you wanted to have." My dad said gently.
I looked up at him with surprise.
"My cousin lives on a large piece of land a few miles from Elyria. There are lots of wide open spaces and trees. It's really beautiful." My dad said with a small smile.
"Does he know about... well, the stuff that I don't know about? The stuff that I did before?" I asked cautiously.
"He knows about most of it. I've been talking to him once or twice a week for the past four years..." Dad said uncomfortably.
I nodded, silently letting Dad know that he didn't need to explain.
"He won't hold it against you. I've told him about the treatment and that you've been completely cured." Dad said assuringly.
I thought for a moment before saying, "But what if I'm not?"
My father looked at me with surprise at the question.
I knew I probably shouldn't think that way, but it needed to be said.
"What if what the things Doctor Finley did only made me better for a little while? What's going to happen if I go back to how I was before?" I asked as my vision started to blur from the tears in my eyes.
My dad took a tissue from the box beside the bed and dried my tears as he said, "Then we'll bring you back here and try something else. No matter how bad things got, I never gave up on you, and I never will."
I looked up into his eyes and saw the sincerity there.
"I'm going to be flying you back to Colorado at least once a month for a while, so Doctor Finley can track your progress. If you're having any problems at all, I want you to tell him. And if something happens that bothers you while you're in Ohio, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call me." Dad said, as he stepped back to throw the tissue away.
"Okay. If I notice that I'm having any problem at all, I'll tell you or Doctor Finley right away." I said as a vow.
Dad smiled and said, "I really think you're going to be fine. From the way Doctor Finley explained things, you really are completely cured... I've got my son back."
I felt the warmth of his smile in my heart.
* * * * *
The door opening stopped any further conversation, as Doctor Finley and another man in a lab coat walked into the room.
"David and Jason, I'd like for you to meet Doctor Hakim. Hakim, this is David Kerbo, and there, in the bed, is my patient, Jason." Doctor Finley said in an almost cheerful voice.
"A pleasure to meet you." Doctor Hakim said formally, as he shook my father's hand.
"Could we perhaps have some privacy so Jason and I may speak?" Doctor Hakim asked in a very professional and detached tone.
"Jason, as soon as Doctor Hakim is finished, I'll have Nurse Valenzuela bring in your lunch." Doctor Finley said, as he guided my father toward the door.
"Thanks. I'm starting to get hungry." I said as I watched them go.
Doctor Hakim looked at the police officer expectantly.
"I'm sorry Doctor, but I have my orders." the officer said firmly.
Doctor Hakim seemed about ready to protest, then appeared to think better of it.
* * * * *
Have you ever played 20 questions?
Well Doctor Hakim and I played something like that, except that it was 16,000 questions.
I don't know how long it went on, but Doctor Hakim just kept on and on for what seemed to be hours, asking me an endless barrage of questions.
By the time we were finished, I was tired, my neck was sore from looking over at him in the chair and I was so hungry I felt like I could eat anything.
After the last question he sat for about five minutes writing notes on the clipboard he had been holding the whole time.
When he was finished, he just got up and left without giving me any clue if I had done well or not.
About ten seconds after he had walked out, Josh was hurrying into the room.
"How did it go?" Josh asked quickly.
"I really don't know. The whole time he was in here, his expression never changed." I said, honestly.
"Roberta is getting your food now, you must be starved." Josh said as he stood by my side.
"Yeah. I don't remember the last time I ate." I said, as I looked up into his eyes.
"If anyone else said that to me I'd just think they were being dramatic." He said with a genuine smile.
I couldn't help but smile in return.
"So do you know why Doctor Hakim was asking you all those questions?" Josh asked, as he took a seat in the chair.
"No. I kind of figured from the questions that he was trying to determine if I was crazy or not." I said, frankly.
"Well, yeah. But do you know why?" Josh asked expectantly.
I slowly shook my head.
"My dad, your judge, asked him to do an independent evaluation of you. Right now, Doctor Finley is showing him your MRIs and explaining what he did to you." Josh said with excitement.
"Yeah?" I said hesitantly.
"When Doctor Hakim is finished, you'll have a new hearing. Probably later today or if not, then the first thing tomorrow morning. If he agrees with Doctor Finley that you've been cured, then no more cops or restraints or anything like that. All the charges against you will be dropped." Josh said happily.
"Charges? Um, do you know what I'm being charged with?" I asked cautiously.
Josh stared at me for a moment, then hesitantly said, "Yeah. At least I know most of it."
"Will you tell me?" I asked, hopefully.
Josh shook his head and said, "Jason. Please, just trust me when I tell you that you're better off not knowing. If everything works out just right, you can leave all this behind, and hopefully you'll never find out what happened before."
"If you were in my place, strapped down to a bed and not knowing what you did and who you hurt, wouldn't you want to know?" I asked desperately.
Josh looked at me with understanding and said, "I know what you're saying, but please try not to think about it. And to answer your question... if I were in your place and didn't know what I had done... I probably would want to know. But I also think that if someone told me that I did all those things that I would probably wish I could forget."
I could see the concern in Josh's eyes for me, and I reluctantly nodded.
The door opened to reveal Roberta with a large tray of food.
"I had to do some fast talking, but I was able to get you a little extra since your lunch is so late." Roberta said, as she moved the tray along side my bed.
"Who do you want to feed you Jason? Am I too pretty to do that too?" She asked with a teasing smile.
I giggled at the statement and probably blushed a little.
She took that as an answer and moved the tray over my lap and prepared to feed me.
"You'd better enjoy this royal treatment, Jace. With any luck you'll be able to feed and bathe yourself by dinner time." Josh said, as he watched from the chair.
"That's too bad, I was hoping for another sponge bath." I said playfully.
"No promises, but we'll see." Josh said, and I noticed that he was blushing.
"Oh, so I'm guessing that you got the sponge bath with benefits..." Roberta said speculatively.
Before I could answer, she placed a bite of food in my mouth.
"Don't answer that Jace. Just remember, Roberta is the one who taught me how to give a sponge bath." Josh said with a smile.
I looked at Roberta with surprise for a moment, then smiled as I chewed.
* * * * *
"We need to get Jason ready for court." My dad said as he walked into my room.
"Already?" Josh asked with surprise.
"Doctor Hakim faxed his report to Judge Harmon and the Judge set up the hearing for four o'clock... that's less than an hour from now." My dad said quickly as he looked in the small closet.
After a long moment of going through the closet, my dad said, "He can't wear these to court."
Josh ran to my father's side and looked at the clothes.
After a moment, Josh said, "You really were a punk, weren't you, Jace?"
"You would know better than I would." I said with a chuckle.
"You were." My dad said firmly, then muttered, "I don't have enough time to get back to the house to get him anything decent... and I doubt that he has anything that would be appropriate for court anyway."
"Let me see." Roberta said as she edged her way in between Josh and my dad.
"I think my brother Julio's clothes would fit him. It's only a ten minute drive if you can drive me..." She trailed off as she looked at my father.
"Let's do it." My dad said and hurried toward the door.
Roberta followed close behind.
"They make a cute couple." Josh said with a snicker.
I looked at him with surprise for a moment, then began to laugh.
"I'm glad to see you in such good spirits, Jason." Doctor Finley said as he walked into the room.
"It's hard not to be with Josh around." I said as I tried to get my chuckles under control.
"I've always thought so." Doctor Finley said with a quick smile at Josh.
When I noticed the doctor looking around the room I said, "My dad and Roberta went to get some clothes for me, so I can go to court."
"Oh, that's a very good idea. Since Judge Harmon saw you in one of your more colorful moments, it would be good if he could see you well dressed and respectful now." Doctor Finley said consideringly.
"Is this another one of those things that I'm better off not knowing?" I asked Josh cautiously.
"You shit on the courtroom floor." Josh said frankly.
"I didn't really do that did I?" I asked, hesitantly.
"Yep. He told me about it when he got home that night. You just dropped your pants and took a dump right there in front of the bench." Josh said, and seemed to be trying to fight down his laughter.
"Wow. I hope your dad doesn't have any hard feelings..." I said quietly.
"Well, you screaming 'EAT IT! EAT IT!' as the bailiffs dragged you off might have put him off a little, but at least he has a new story to tell." Josh said with a chuckle.
"Abe understands that you were mentally ill. I think he'll just be happy that we were able to help you overcome it." Doctor Finley said with assurance.
"Yeah. I know it tears him up when someone comes into his court that needs help and either can't get it or won't accept it." Josh said seriously.
"Thanks for telling me." I said shyly.
"It's best for you to know in advance, in case he asks about it later." Doctor Finley said consideringly.
I nodded, then thought to ask, "Josh was saying that I'm probably better off not knowing most of the stuff that I did before I got cured... is that right?"
Doctor Finley considered for a moment, then said, "I think so. You're going to have quite a bit to deal with in the coming weeks and months to adjust to your new situation. Someone who is completely secure with a strong safety net of friends and family would have difficulty facing some of what's in your past. Just let it be for a while and let me know when you feel that you're ready to face some new challenges."
"Okay. Thank you doctor. It's hard knowing that I did stuff before and I don't remember it. But if I know that you'll tell me when I'm ready to handle it, I think I can stop worrying about it as much." I said consideringly.
"Good boy." Doctor Finley said happily, then turned to face the police officer.
"Do you need to call for backup or something so we can transport young Mr. Kerbo to the courthouse?" Doctor Finley asked, seriously.
"No sir. If 'young Mr. Kerbo' will promise to behave himself and wear handcuffs when we leave the room, I would feel comfortable escorting him by myself." the officer said without expression.
"I'll behave. I promise." I said earnestly.
"Well, then would you mind if we released him from the restraints so he'll be ready to change when his clothes arrive?" Doctor Finley asked casually.
"As long as he stays where I can see him and stays on that side of the room." the officer said firmly.
Doctor Finley and Josh started undoing my restraints as the officer looked me in the eyes and said, "I promise you that if you make one wrong move, I *will* shoot you."
"I know." I said in a whisper.
* * * * *
As soon as the restraints were off, I got up off the bed and started walking around one half of the room, making sure to stay well away from the police officer.
The door opened suddenly and the police officer had his gun in his hand in a flash.
"Sorry." Roberta said as she backed away.
"He's not pointing it at you." I said, as I looked down the barrel of the revolver.
"We got your clothes." Roberta said, as she thrust a stack of clothing into my arms.
I accepted the clothes, then watched as the police officer slowly put his gun away.
"We don't have much time. Josh, get his socks and shoes ready." Roberta said as she handed the socks and shoes to him.
"I'll get him into his pants... Pappi, you get him into the shirt. I never could make a tie come out right." Roberta said quickly as she pulled the dress slacks out of my hands.
I looked at my dad in time to see the surprised look on his face at being called 'Pappi'.
I noticed that Roberta copped a feel at one point during her dressing duties, but besides that, everything seemed to go smoothly.
"Did we miss anything?" Roberta asked as she stepped away.
"His hair." My dad said cautiously.
"I've got more hair stuff than you can imagine, I'll be right back." Roberta said as she rushed out of the room.
"Does it look okay?" I asked, as I looked down at myself.
"Yeah... Officer, can he go in the bathroom to see himself?" Josh asked hopefully.
"I can't let him out of my sight." the officer said firmly.
After a moment he continued, "But, I could follow him to the doorway so he can look."
"Thank you Officer." I said quietly as I walked into the bathroom.
"My name is Martinez. Take a look quickly so we can get you to the courthouse." Officer Martinez said quietly.
I looked into the mirror and was shocked at what I saw.
I didn't really have any image of myself in my mind, so I wasn't expecting anything but... my eyes.
I had deep steel blue eyes, just like my dad's. They were so bold that they seemed to jump out of the mirror at me.
Nothing else really surprised me. I had brown hair that was a little bit shaggy, but not too bad.
I was kind of on the skinny side, but not actually sick looking.
Except for my eyes, I was just kind of plain and normal looking.
"Here we go. Let's get you all nice and beautiful for the judge." Roberta said with excitement.
I moved out of the bathroom and let Roberta fuss and brush and fluff and spray stuff on my hair.
"We've got to leave now, if we're going to make it on time." Doctor Finley said quickly.
"Young Mr. Kerbo is in police custody, so that means I'll have to be the one to transport him. If you'll just get your vehicles and meet me by the parking lot exit, I can give you a police escort and have us to the courthouse with time to spare." Officer Martinez said, then held up a pair of handcuffs.
I put my arms behind my back and turned so he could cuff me.
When he finished, I was surprised to feel his hand on my shoulder as he gave it a brief squeeze before leading me out of the room.
* * * * *
The ride to the courthouse was quite an adventure.
Lights. Sirens. Speeding.
Officer Martinez didn't really say much of anything to me on the ride over, but he was careful that I didn't bang my head when I got in and out of the back of his police cruiser.
As we walked into the courthouse, my dad, Doctor Finley, Roberta and Josh were all hurrying to catch up.
"Now remember Jason. Just be honest and respectful while we're in there. Judge Harmon knows everything that's happened, so you don't have to hide anything from him." Doctor Finley said as we walked.
Officer Martinez motioned to the courtroom door and said, "I need to take 'young Mr. Kerbo' to the holding room until his case is called. I'm sure it will only be a few minutes."
"Please take good care of him." Doctor Finley said with an expression of worry.
"It's okay. He'll be fine. I promise." Officer Martinez said seriously, then guided me away.
* * * * *
We walked into a small room past the courtroom and Officer Martinez walked us up to a woman at a small desk.
"I've got Jason Kerbo here for Judge Harmon."
She looked at me with surprise and asked, "*That's* the Kerbo kid? What the hell did they do to him?"
"From what I overheard, they destroyed part of his brain, and pumped him full of drugs." Officer Martinez said frankly.
The woman blinked a few times, then quickly looked at her computer screen.
"His case will be coming up any minute... do you want to put him in the tank?" She asked uncertainly, seeming to be in a daze.
"No, I think he'll be fine out here." Officer Martinez said, then he turned to me and whispered, "Sit down over there."
I was a little confused by his abrupt change in attitude, but obediently did as I was told.
"Oh my God Willy. It's like something out of a science fiction novel." the woman said, as she stared at me.
"They did a pretty good job from what I can tell." Officer Martinez said casually.
"Maybe. But to tell you the truth, it scares the hell out of me." she said as she turned her gaze to him.
"I know what you mean Heather. But in this case, I really think it was the right thing to do." He said quietly.
A beeping on her computer drew her attention.
"They're ready for him." she said, as she looked at me again.
"Come on Kerbo. You're up." Officer Martinez said and gestured for me to join him.
It was difficult to gain my balance with my hands cuffed behind me, but it only took me a second to stand.
"It's almost over." Officer Martinez said quietly as he escorted me through the door past Heather's desk and into the courtroom.
* * * * *
"Is this the same young man who was brought before me two weeks ago?" Judge Harmon asked, as I took my seat.
"Yes your honor." Doctor Finley said firmly.
The judge looked down at some paperwork, then at me with a look of uncertainty.
"Your honor, the people would like to prove..." A well dressed man began to say.
"Mr. Hendrix, the people were able to present their case two weeks ago in this courtroom. We have stood in recess pending the psychological evaluation of the defendant. Unless you have new evidence to introduce, there is no need for you to address the court at this time." Judge Harmon said firmly.
After a long silent moment, Judge Harmon asked, "Do you have new evidence to introduce?"
"No your honor" Mr. Hendrix said quietly.
"Then please take your seat so we may continue." Judge Harmon said with some irritation in his voice.
After a long moment of silence and looking through the papers on the desk before him, the judge seemed to come to a decision and said, "Officer Martinez, please take the juvenile to my chambers. I'd like to have a talk with him before we proceed any further."
"Yes your honor." Officer Martinez said as he stood, then grasped me by the upper arm and helped me to stand.
"This court will stand in recess until I've had a chance to speak with the minor Jason Kerbo." the judge said, then banged his gavel.
"Your honor, I would like to be present at the meeting in your chambers." Mr. Hendrix said in a demanding tone.
"Denied Mr. Hendrix. This court stands in recess." the judge said with irritation, then reached back and banged his gavel again.
* * * * *
"Officer Martinez, do you think it would be safe to remove the handcuffs?" Judge Harmon asked cautiously, as he joined us in his office.
"Yes your honor. I believe so." Officer Martinez said, then guided me to turn away so he could uncuff me.
"Jason, please have a seat. I'd like to talk to you about some of the reports that I've received, before I make any judgment in your case." the judge said in a slow, firm voice.
I took the seat across from him and waited expectantly.
"The change is so dramatic... tell me honestly, are you drugged half out of your mind right now?" the judge asked frankly.
"No your honor. The only drugs that I'm aware of taking are some antibiotics." I said quietly.
"Oh, I didn't see any reference to that in the paperwork. Do you have an infection?" the judge asked curiously.
"Syphilis." I said, and from the feeling in my cheeks, my face was probably somewhere between red and purple.
"Oh yes. I do remember seeing something about that. You don't happen to know where you picked that up do you?" the judge asked casually.
"No your honor. I don't really remember anything before this morning." I said shyly.
"I see. So you don't remember the last time you were in my courtroom?" the judge asked cautiously.
"No your honor, but Josh and Doctor Finley told me what happened... I'm sorry." I finished weakly.
The judge gave me a small smile and said, "Well, thank you for that. Now to the matter at hand..."
I waited for him to continue, not having any idea of what to expect.
After what seemed like a very long silence, the judge quietly said, "You have been charged with some very serious crimes. But Doctor Finley contends that you were compelled to behave in such a manor by a defect in your brain. Therefore you were not guilty by reason of insanity. So I suppose the real question that I'm faced with now is, are you going to have another such instance of insanity in the future, or are you really cured? According to Doctor Finley and Doctor Hakim, the source of your problem has been completely and forever eliminated. But I have to admit that I have my doubts." he said distantly.
"So do I." I whispered.
"What was that?" Judge Harmon asked, curiously.
"Well, I don't understand all the psychological stuff that Doctor Finley does. But it seems to me that if I was born this way and it happened once, that it might be able to happen again." I said slowly.
"And is there anything you can think of to do to prevent that?" the judge asked with interest.
"Well, since Doctor Finley was able to figure it out the first time and fix it, then maybe if I go back to him for checkups, he'll be able to find it and fix it if it happens again. You know, before it makes me nuts." I said in thought.
"That sounds like a very reasonable precaution. So let me ask you... do you think that you're cured?" the judge asked carefully.
I thought for a moment before answering, "I think so. I don't really know how I was before, but from the way people talk and act around me, I guess I was a really bad person. I don't know about being cured, but I know that I don't feel like I would want to hurt anyone or cause trouble or anything like that."
"I think in other circumstances, I would probably be less inclined to believe in a 'miracle cure' and insist on a few months of observation before considering dropping such serious charges. But one of my oldest friends has come to me insisting that his patient has made a miraculous recovery, then my son comes to me and tells me that someone who hurt him so badly just a week before has suddenly become a good friend..." the judge trailed off with a shake of his head.
"I hurt Josh? What did I do?" I asked with concern.
"Well, you didn't physically hurt him. But from what I understand, you verbally attacked him with some of the most vile insults that he ever heard... Oh, and you urinated on him when he tried to assist you with your bedpan. When he got home that night I could tell that something was really bothering him." the judge said quietly.
"I'm surprised that he doesn't hate me." I said, as I thought about what a good friend Josh had been to me.
"I don't think he would have volunteered to help you if it hadn't been for Thom... I mean Doctor Finley. He's been like an uncle to Josh since the day he was born. Now after all that happened, Josh is sitting out in my courtroom ready to take the witness stand and swear before God and everyone what a good person you are." Judge Harmon said, with an ironic chuckle.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to thank him enough for everything he's done for me today. I woke up into a new world not remembering anyone or anything, and he helped me deal with it. I don't know if I'd be here right now if it weren't for him." I said honestly.
"Well, we've gotten off the subject again. I've got a courtroom full of people waiting on me to make my judgment. Do you have anything else to add before we go back in there and I make my ruling?" Judge Harmon asked curiously.
"I had one question that's been kind of bothering me." I said hesitantly.
"What would that be?"
"Well, Doctor Finley said that I wasn't ready to deal with the things that I've done. You know, it would just be too much hitting me all at once." I said slowly.
"Yes. He mentioned that even hearing a list of the charges against you might be more than you could bear." Judge Harmon said thoughtfully.
"Well, I was just wondering if you could tell me... Did I kill anyone?" I asked hesitantly.
"No son. I promise, you didn't kill anyone." the judge said gently.
I let out a gust of breath in relief and said, "Okay. I don't think I could have lived with myself if I had killed someone, even if I didn't remember it."
"Just to satisfy my own curiosity, what would you ask me to do if you found out that you *had* killed someone?" Judge Harmon asked quietly.
"I'd want you to put me away where I couldn't ever hurt anyone again. Even though I would hate being locked up, I'd know it was for a good reason and that everyone else would be safer because of it." I said firmly.
"Thank you Jason. Let's go out and get this done, shall we?" Judge Harmon asked as he stood.
"Yes, Your Honor." I said with a smile, as I stood to join him.
Officer Martinez held up the handcuffs, looking a little apologetic.
"I think we can continue without those, what do you think Jason?" Judge Harmon asked quietly.
"Whatever you say, Your Honor." I said with a smile.
* * * * *
"Your Honor. The district attorney's office requests that whatever evidence was introduced in chambers be entered into the official court transcript for the purposes of cross examination." Mr. Hendrix asked firmly.
"Denied. No new evidence or testimony was offered in chambers. I simply wanted to determine to my own satisfaction if the defendant was cognoscente of his situation and not being presented to the court in a drug addled state to give the appearance of being 'reformed'." the judge said firmly.
"Your honor. The district attorney's office requests that the defendant be examined by another psychiatrist to corroborate Doctor Finley's conclusions about the defendant's condition."
"Denied. This court has already requested and received the results of an independent psychiatric evaluation of the defendant. I know that your office was faxed a copy of the report at the same time mine was." Judge Harmon finished irritably.
"Your honor. The treatment that Doctor Finley performed on the defendant has not been proven as an effective treatment for any psychological condition."
"Nor has it been disproved. It is still in the experimental stage. The matter before the court is not the status of Doctor Finley's treatment. It is the matter of the innocence or guilt of the minor, Jason Allen Kerbo. The statement and medical evidence provided to this court by Doctor Finley and substantiated by an independent doctor appointed by this court have proven to my satisfaction that the minor Jason Allen Kerbo was suffering from a congenital malformation of his brain, which caused him to have behavioral problems that became increasingly more pronounced as he grew older."
"But your honor..." Mr. Hendrix said desperately.
"I would hate to have to hold a representative of the district attorney's office in contempt of court. Both sides have had the opportunity to argue their case. Unless you have new evidence to introduce, sit down and shut up. This is my time." the judge said firmly.
After a long moment of silent glaring at the attorney, the judge continued, "As I was saying, if the defendant had come before me with that evaluation alone, I would have accepted the statement of the doctors and found the defendant not guilty by reason of insanity. Doctor Finley's treatment has no bearing on the question of innocence or guilt."
"However, another matter has been introduced into evidence that is quite out of the ordinary in my experience. Doctor Finley has not only diagnosed a physical cause for the defendant's behavior, but also administered treatment to correct it." the judge said slowly.
Mr. Hendrix seemed to be ready to say something but snapped his mouth shut when the judge glared at him.
"Now, since a physical cause for the behavior has been determined to my satisfaction and was clearly shown in the defendant's MRI scans of two weeks ago. And since treatment has been administered which has physically altered the defendant's brain in such a manner as to completely eliminate the brain abnormality, as evidenced in the MRI scans of this very morning. And taking into account the psychological evaluations of Doctor Finley and Doctor Hakim, stating that Jason Kerbo is not a threat to himself or others..."
The judge paused to look around the courtroom, making sure he had everyone's undivided attention.
"It is the ruling of this court that the minor Jason Allen Kerbo be found not guilty on all charges levied against him by reason of insanity." Judge Harmon said firmly and banged his gavel to emphasize the point.
"Now, on to the matter of what is to be done with Mr. Kerbo..." Judge Harmon said as he looked through the papers on his desk.
He seemed to find what he was looking for, then continued, "In the matter of the minor Jason Allen Kerbo, it is the order of this court that he remain under psychiatric care until his eighteenth birthday at which time a determination can be made as to the need for further treatment. The psychiatric care may be in a clinical setting or as outpatient visits as his psychiatrist believes to be appropriate. But I will insist that he receive regular examinations, both physical and psychological, by Doctor Finley or another court approved psychiatrist and that reports on Mr. Kerbo's status be presented to this court no less than four times a year." the judge said, then flashed me a quick smile as he tapped his gavel.
"Your honor, I would like to strongly object..." Mr. Hendrix began to say.
"You can object from a jail cell Mr. Hendrix. I find you in contempt of court. Bailiff, please remove Mr. Hendrix from my courtroom and have him detained in a holding cell until I can speak to the district attorney's office about what to do with him." Judge Harmon said coldly.
Everyone was silent as they watched the bailiff escort Mr. Hendrix out of the room.
"Mr. Kerbo, it is my sincere wish that you will be able to put all the past events behind you and start off with a clean slate in your new life." Judge Harmon said toward me, then in a louder tone he said to the entire room.
When I was given this chapter to edit, I was asked to look it over to see if I could find any flaws in the legal or medical procedures. First of all, I am not in any way qualified to make any legal or for that matter medical judgments. Having said that, I have read a lot of books and stories that have concerned legal issues, and from what I have read, the actions taken in this chapter seem to follow what happens in many other stories. If there is anyone reading this story that has issues with what was done with it and wishes to correct something that MultiMapper or I presented, please let either me or him know, and we will try to fix it. Obviously the medical techniques used are purely fictional, and even if such a case were to happen in real life, neither of us have the medical skill to describe just how it was done. Please keep that in mind and enjoy the story from the standpoint of what is going to happen to Jason from now on, and don't delve too deeply into the issues of how he was cured. Let's just take it as given that he was, in fact, cured and continue on from there. I can already tell that this story is going to be very heartwarming and I am sure I will continue to enjoy each new chapter.
For those of you who may not have read the postings on the discussion forums, I made a plea on one of them today.
Please read it if you get the chance, and take to heart what I suggested.
In a nutshell, what I asked was that If you have read a story or a series of stories by a particular author or authors, and you liked it, please take a few minutes and drop a line to the author or authors and let them know how you felt when you read the story. This came to my attention once again recently, when one of my favorite authors sent me a very nice e mail thanking me for letting him know how much I enjoyed his latest chapter.
No it wasn't MultiMapper. This particular author has not heard very much from his readers and was feeling rather down and told me in his letter that he had nearly decided to drop that particular story due to what seemed to him to be very small interest in it. However, after receiving my letter, he decided to continue the story, as he said, as a present to me if nothing else. He said I really brightened his day and that I had made him smile for the first time in weeks. You never know whether your letter will make the difference to someone. Please do it as a favor to me, if for no other reason, but mainly do it so the writer knows that there is someone out there that is reading his stories. Even if you have a criticism or question, make it a point to let the author know. If no one tells him he made a mistake, how is he ever going to be able to correct it? Soapbox mode off.
I hope I didn't go to far with my rant. If you think this shouldn't be here, feel free to remove it, MM. I will not be upset if you delete it, but it was in my heart to say that and at least you will see how I felt. Thanks for letting me edit for you.
Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher
Darryl can say whatever he wants in his editor's notes. That's part of his benefits package. I wouldn't want to mess with the Fort Editor's Union, those guys can get tough.