A small county murder’s nexus with a Puritan

My husband was  counsel to the defendant in a murder trial this week. The trial ran from Tuesday morning through today (Friday) around noon. The jury convicted the defendant of second-degree murder after deliberating an hour and a half. The slaying occurred a little more than two years ago.

The defendant, who has Parkinson’s Disease, testified that he feared the victim, with whom he was friends, because, he claimed, the victim had walked into his house, and because, he alleged, the victim had once shoved him (“threw me down”) on the stairs. The defendant also testified that the victim had robbed him at various times.

Things evidently didn’t improve, so when friend victim walked in, friend defendant shot him.  The .45 caliber bullet took quite a tour through the victim’s chest, heart, aorta, and arm. A medical autopsy expert testified and showed grizzly slides showing a very great deal of blood. I attended only Thursday morning; my chief interest in the trial was hearing the expert’s testimony.

Sentencing negotiations are underway. The defendant told me yesterday that he looks forward to prison.

I was reading The Bruised Reed by Puritan Richard Sibbes (1577–1635) today, recovering from the rare occasion of sitting in on a trial, even just one day, for just a few hours. I was there because I like the defendant. He thanked me very graciously for a roll I served him at the jail’s Thanksgiving dinner last year. My husband and I were among several people who helped serve the dinner. It was my favorite Thanksgiving of all time. But Sibbes had something serious to say that seemed connected to friend defendant:

“All light that is not spiritual, because it lacks the strength of sanctifying grace, yields to every little temptation, especially when it is fitted and suited to personal inclinations.” (Richard Sibbes: The Bruised Reed)

“Personal inclinations.” They should probably be treated like flashing signs at railroad crossings. Ignore them at terrible, bloody peril.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Action & Being, Faith, News, People, Reflections, Thoughts & Reading

3 responses to “A small county murder’s nexus with a Puritan

  1. Sounds awful. The man may not even know what he was doing(not to say he is innocent) but so many factors come in to play when Alseimers and Dementia are issues. Glad your thanksgiving dinner went well. Cheers,H

    Like

    • The jail Thanksgiving dinner was last year. It’s a November holiday in the U.S. ☺

      And Defendant does not have Alzheimer’s, he has Parkinson’s, which can also contribute to mental confusion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My last boyfriend was from the States, I offered to help put together a little Thanksgiving event, he said the best turkey was cooked in a barrel of oil. Deep fried. Neither happened but I will one day make this pumpkin pie you cherish. confused.Cheers,H

        Liked by 1 person

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