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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Free Preview of DRT: Dead Right There (First three chapters)

Dead Right There

“And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matt 10:28 ASV

“A man who does not have something for which he is willing to die is not fit to live.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Speech
Chicago Tenement

Chapter One

Wet snow looked like a spilled cherry snow cone spreading from beneath the man’s downturned face. Detective Nate Richards of the Treasure Valley Metro Police looked down at the body stretched out on the ground at his feet. A quick glance suggested a single blow to the side of the man’s head had ended his life. Nate shook his head, dislodging snow from his loose curls; the white flakes contrasting against the coffee-colored tone of his skin. He shivered, I hate winter. Nate looked up, momentarily drawn by the halo that encircled the streetlight as its russet glow illuminated the night sky.
His partner, Detective Chris MacGilvery, worked a short distance away, talking to the on-scene patrol officer. The unbroken surface of the snow, pristine in its whiteness, made the whole scene eerily bright. MacGilvery cupped his hands and blew into them, attempting to thaw them out; his gray-blue eyes reflecting the light from the snow. He had been assigned as Nate’s partner when Nate’s previous partner, twenty-year veteran Sabrina Jackson, retired after being shot in the line of duty by a rogue cop.
Looking up with the memory, Nate flexed tight muscles in his jaw and stooped to better examine the body. Remembering his scripture reading from that morning, Hebrews chapter nine verse twenty-seven, “Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgment.” Nate wondered where this man’s soul was now.
He looked over the crime scene trying to decipher its secrets. Shaking his head from side to side, he considered the snow. It was not helping, no footprints led to or away from the body. The snow will have to be collected and sifted for possible evidence. He rubbed gloved fingers across his chin.
“Mac,” Nate called out, “witnesses?”
“None. A man walking his dog found the body and called it in.”
Nate made his way over to Chet Baraza, the patrol officer in charge, and looked in the direction of the sirens sounding in the near distance. “I guess we can tell the paramedics to downgrade,” Nate said, extending a hand to Baraza.
The group of patrol officers laughed. Baraza chuckled and shook Nate’s hand. “He’s DRT. Dead right there, man, this one’s not going anywhere on his own. He must’a dropped like a sack of potatoes. Farrumph!” the officer said and gestured as if dropping a heavy load.
Wheels crunched in the snow as the paramedic van pulled up and rolled to a stop just outside the crime scene. The overhead lights flashed brilliantly against the snow perforating the velvet drape of the night sky. The already too bright landscape sparkled like an oversized diorama as the red and white lights of the van played against it. The driver, a middle age balding man, stepped from the van. “What’d’ya got?” he asked nobody in particular.
Nate dipped his chin toward the body. He looked back at the driver and shook his head from side to side in a slow sweep.
Pulling on rubber examination gloves, the paramedic bent over and examined the four-inch gash in the temple of the victim, paying particular attention to the jagged edge. He stood and whistled, blowing air through pursed lips. “Wow, that’s…,” he began. “That’s… that’s bad.” He looked over his shoulder at his partner who was quickly pulling gear from the van. “Bag it, Jeff, this one’s DRT. Better call the coroner, Nate.”

Mac finished talking to the witness, and after getting his contact information, released him to leave. Turning to face the group of officers, he jogged-skidded his way back across the thin sheet of ice on the street to join Nate and the others near the body.

Nate locked eyes with Mac before they both turned to face Baraza. The veteran street cop pulled his note pad from his breast pocket and frowned as he prepared to check his information against what the detectives already had.
“The old guy,” he said, indicating the RP (reporting party) “called in a medical assist man down at about twenty-fifteen hours… just after the first call came into dispatch about what sounded like a single gunshot being fired.”
Nate looked back at the body of the unidentified man lying face down in the snow. “Anybody pull I.D. yet?”
“Naaa, it was obvious he was dead. Thought we’d wait for five-one to call it, and of course you guys.”
“So, you’re a doctor now, Baraza,” Mac chided.
Baraza frowned, feigning injury. “You don’t need an M.D. in front of your name to know you can’t live with a hole like that in the side of your head. I’m thinking long gun, twenty-two caliber maybe.”
“That much damage from a twenty-two?” Mac asked, arching a brow.
“Heavy load, low velocity at close range,” Baraza finished. “Maybe a tumbler; of course it’s just my guess. But I’m only a lowly street cop, not like you bright boys up there in Criminal Investigation Division.” He smiled sarcastically and with a tap of his fingers, tucked his pad back into his jacket pocket.
Nate cupped Baraza on his shoulder and pushed him, causing him to slide on the ice, barely managing to keep his balance. “I’ll see you in the morning, wise guy.”
Baraza laughed. “Heck, we’ll be back for morning briefing before you even finish your paperwork.”
The men laughed, and Nate turned his attention back to the dead man, belly down in the snow. Looking up, Nate saw the coroner’s van pulling into the intersection. The deputy coroner, a tall dark haired man in his mid to late twenties, got out and prepared to bag the body.
“Hold on there, Cowboy,” Mac called to the deputy coroner.
Nate waved a hand to get the coroner’s attention. “We haven’t finished here yet… crime scene’s still mine.”
“Works for me, I’ll wait in my wagon. Too cold out here for me anyway,” he said and hefted his bulk back into the van.
Flipping open his cell phone, Nate called the on-call crime scene tech. Rosie answered on the second ring. “Hey, sorry to bother you this early.”
She cut him off. “I’m already en route. Got in late and heard the call go out. I should be on scene in about…. Now.” She honked her horn as she parked her van across the street from the crime scene. Rosie, a fifty-something Hispanic woman, was almost as tall as she was round, with a personality just as big. She was a no-nonsense, fresh-off-the-streets type girl.
Bumping the van door closed with her hip, Rosie opened her bag and began to set up her camera. “What do you want?” She asked over her shoulder.
Nate and Mac smiled knowingly as Rosie sorted the varied baggies and evidence containers. “Better get everything. We don’t know what we have yet,” Nate answered.
“You can get me the heck out of here,” MacGilvery added sarcastically and glanced over at Rosie.
As Rosie began to create a photo log of the crime scene, recording the location and placement of items of interest, Nate and Mac stepped back to consider what they had discovered. A half hour passed, and Rosie signaled that she had finished with the preliminary photos and was all set to begin evidence collection.
“Ready?” Nate asked.
“Nope,” Mac said joking.
“Oh, shut up,” Rosie cut in. “We’re ready.”
“Okay,” Nate began, “I’ll walk the route. You watch Mac and Rosie you-”
“I’ll stand by for collection and tagging. It’s not my first ride on this train you know”
Nate smiled.
Standing near the head of the body, he looked at the scene again. Studying the body’s position, Nate moved around it trying to determine the victim’s direction of travel at the time of attack. Beginning at the corpse’s feet, taking slow steps moving in a spiral search pattern, he progressed outward from the body. Nearing the head again, he stopped, feeling something hard beneath the toe of his shoe. “Mac… I think I got something.”
Nate knelt down and retrieved a small rectangle shaped piece of plastic from beneath his right foot. Reading the writing on the side of the object, he recognized it to be a sixteen-gigabyte thumb-drive.
Holding the thumb-drive between his index finger and thumb, Nate dropped it into a small evidence bag held by Rosie. She cut her eyes at him. “Next time use rubber gloves, Sherlock.”
He exchanged glances with Mac. “What’d’ya think?”
“I think you should wear gloves.” He cleared his throat and chuckled. “I don’t believe in coincidences,” he answered. “Let’s get it back to the lab and see what the boys in cyber tech can do with it.”
Rosie didn’t smile. “Let’s just get it dried out and see if there’s anything on it.”
Nate nodded and continued the swirl pattern outward to about ten to twelve feet from the body. Mac tracked his progress from the side, looking for anything that Nate may have missed.
Nate positioned himself near the shoulders of the body, directing Mac to the opposite side near its knees. “Okay, let’s roll this fellow over and see who we have here.”
Aided by the cold and rigor mortis, the body rolled easily and rocked onto its back like a saucer settling into place. Its hands and arms splayed, frozen above his head. Blue eyes stared unseeing through ice crystals into the night sky.
“Whoa,” Nate said, “you know who this is?” He reached into the dead man’s pocket and retrieved his wallet. Opening it, he passed the ID to Mac.
Mac forced air through pursed lips. “So, justice finally caught up to old Bobby.”
“When did he get out of prison, anyway? I thought he got fifteen to life on his last jaunt to State.”
“Yeah, fifteen, but only two fixed. He must have made parole.”
“Only two years for child rape.” Nate shook his head. “Maybe he should’a stayed in prison.”

Chapter Two

The next morning, Nate, from behind heavy eyelids, sat listening to his portable police radio. With a slow deliberate motion, he picked up his coffee mug and, holding it against his face, rubbed it across closed eyes. He sighed. Across the table sat Mac, his head, back and eyes closed. The morning crowd at the Library Coffeehouse was just starting to thin out, and the back room was warm, dark, and quiet.
Nate eyed his partner through the wafting veil of steam and swallowing a mouth full of the sweetened dark liquid, winced. “We should probably check that out,” he said, indicating the radio traffic, a teasing tone in his voice.
Mac leaned forward and stirred lazy circles in his coffee, clinking the spoon against the sides of the cup, “Yeah, probably, huh?”
Neither made a move to get up.
Nate looked out the window and sighed as wet snow fell in silent clumps, accumulating up on the grass and dirt while leaving the paved surfaces relatively clear. For now, I hate snow.
The dispatcher’s voice came over the radio again, disturbing the stillness of the coffeehouse’s sense of peace, rows of books lining the walls giving the Library Coffeehouse its name. “Ten-fifty P.I. Main south of Fairview. Available units respond. Repeat: ten-fifty with personal injuries. Main at Fairview. Respond!”
Jackie, the morning shift manager, placed two cups of steaming coffee in front of the men. She tilted her chin, listening to the radio traffic. “Looks like another accident, personal injury this time. The snow’s winning again, I guess,” she said smiling.
They looked up in surprise then smiled at the attractive brunette. “What? You feeling generous all of a sudden?” Nate asked and then chuckled.
“Now boys,” she said in playful flirtation, “you know, you two are my favorite customers, but this came from the lady over there leaving with the group of students. Says it was, ‘…for the two officers’.”
They looked up to see a woman in her mid to late thirties ushering a group of feisty teenagers out the door. The laughter and teenage boy-girl-conversation rose and fell as the adolescents collected their beverages and poured out into the snow. As the door swung shut, the petite woman turned and pushed her small framed glasses back up the bridge of her nose and offered a shy, but focused smile at the two detectives.
“Who is she?” Mac asked pushing his cold cup of coffee aside in favor of the fresh cup.
Nate watched as the woman wrapped the scarf around her neck and pulled her head lower into her collar against the wind. He couldn’t hear her, but judging from the way the teens were responding, Nate could see the power and connection she had with them.
Nate smiled at the woman through the frosted glass and looked back at his partner. “You know, that’s what I love about this job… this town, the people are real nice.” He stood and grabbed his coat off the back of the chair and picked up his handheld. “Let’s have a look and see what this is.” He pointed the radio toward Mac who still slouched in his chair.
“It’s a patrol call, let‘em handle it.”
Nate tucked a dark curl behind his ear and lifted the collar of his jacket; his coffee colored skin dry in the cold morning. “Who knows? Maybe it’s one of the guys we’re looking for. Let’s just drive by.”
Mac drained his cup and rubbed his eyes. With an audible grunt he lifted himself from the chair, locking his legs into a standing position.
“You’re too young to be grunting like that,” Nate said.
“Oh yeah, let’s see you try and keep up with a three month old who hates sleeping and likes the sound of her own voice, and we’ll see how well you do.” Mac grunted again, looked over at Jackie, and then back at Nate. “Besides, you’re too young to be living on just a memory.”
Nate stopped. Staring at his partner, he arched a brow and sighed.
“How long since you even heard from Amber, anyway? Three, four, five months?” Mac asked, his voice taking on a softer tone.
Nate looked away returning his gaze to the snow covered landscape. For a minute he sat lost in thought, his mind on the only woman he had ever truly loved. He remembered how for years he and Amber had denied their feelings for each other only to confess it once it was too late. Amber had left Treasure Valley confused and hurt. She needed time she’d said. She had not only left the valley, she’d left him. And that had been much too long ago, longer than he’d cared to admit.
Almost 15 months had passed since Amber had been caught up in one of Nate’s homicide investigations and kidnapped by the leader of a local street gang. Barely escaping, her faith had been badly shaken. Her once confident assurance in her ability to handle the dangers inherent in Nate’s job eroded. She fled to give herself ‘some time’ she had said. Nate shook his head against the memory.
“She talks to my mom and dad-”
“Yeah, your parents,” Mac said, stuffing his arms into his jacket. “But when was the last time she called you?” He placed a hand on Nate’s shoulder. “Look man, Amber’s gone,” Mac sighed, “but Jackie’s right over there; and she’s all woman.” Mac tilted his head toward the manager of the coffee shop, who smiled when she noticed the men looking at her.
Nate turned and walked away. Mac followed him out, the door swung shut with a soft swoosh. Nate’s cell phone rang as he settled in behind the steering wheel, “Richards.”
Mac rolled his eyes and settled his head against the neck rest. “Who is it?” he mouthed.
Nate looked at his friend and held up a finger before fishing a notepad out of his breast pocket. He began scribbling.
“Who is it?” Mac asked again, leaning over trying to read the note. “Who is it?”
Nate smiled and flipped the phone shut, passing the note to Mac. “Got a report of an assault at the high school. We’d better roll.”
“Man,” Mac sighed, “this stuff never ends.”

Parking his green Jeep Cherokee along the yellow painted curb, Nate closed the door behind him and ran toward the ramp leading to the second floor of Meridian City High School. “You coming or what?” he called back to Mac who was still moving slowly. “We need to check with the librarian, she’s the RP.”
“The library ain’t going nowhere. Besides it’s nice out here.” He tilted his head back allowing snow to fall onto his face.
Nate stopped at the top of the ramp and turned to watch his partner playing in the snow. “Will you come on! Morning break isn’t until ten.” He looked at his watch. “She only has twenty-minutes left on her break.”
The two men made their way into the upstairs hallway stamping wet snow from their feet as they did. The bell rang just as they entered the hall, and the passage quickly filled with the noise of students hurrying to their next class.
“Come on,” Nate said, “we can hide in here.” He pulled Mac after him toward the lounge against the flow of students who were making their way out the door.
After a few minutes, the noise died away and the throng thinned. The detectives stepped out of their alcove and ventured back into the hall. “Hey look is-,” Mac began.
“Isn’t that the woman that bought us the coffee this morning?” Nate finished for him.
From down the hallway, Nate watched the woman laughing freely with her students as they exited her classroom and the new ones entered. He and Mac headed toward their benefactor just as a straggling couple made their way around the corner into the main hall.
“Stop! Come on, Josh! Stop already!” the female student said smiling, despite the irritated tone of her voice. The male ignoring the girl’s complaint, draped himself over her, continuing to try and kiss her.
The girl smiled weakly and elbowed the boy in the ribs, but the blow lacked any real conviction.
The boy laughed, and again, paying no heed to the girl’s protest, began to force her face around to kiss her, his hands taking liberties with her body. Before Nate could respond, the teacher left her doorway and zeroed in on the couple.
With a violent jerk, the teacher snatched the boy’s arm from around the girl’s shoulders, and grabbing him by his collar pushed him back against the wall. “She said no, jerk! Which part was too hard for you to understand, the vowel or the consonant?”
In stunned silence the teen hit the wall with a dull thud. “I ah… I was-”
Grabbing him by the shoulder, the teacher pulled him forward and then shoved him down the hall. “Get to the office and you’d better be there when I arrive, Mr. Stanzel. Now get out of my face.”
“Ms. Higgins… its-it’s okay he didn’t mean anything. Please,” the girl said, pulling her blouse closed and brushing away imaginary debris from her face. Her cheeks colored.
Ms. Higgins turned to the girl, her shoulders tense and hands on her hips. “And you…. You let him treat you like trash. Don’t be so weak, Karrie. Get in the classroom, we’ll talk later.”
Nate and Mac exchanged glances and mouthed, “Wow”, to each other.
“You see that?” Nate asked.
“What? I didn’t see anything.” Both men smiled, walking toward the teacher.
“Ahem,” Nate cleared his throat as he and Mac approached the teacher. She turned and faced them. “Ms. Higgins, is it?”
“Yes,” she said, looking directly in to his face.
“Ah, I’m Detective Richards and this is my partner Detective MacGilvery,” he said, expecting that she would remember them.
“Yes.” She looked at them nonplussed.
The men exchanged embarrassed glances.
“May I help you?” she asked.
Taken aback by the fact that she did not recognize them, Nate stumbled over his words. “Well… I… ahh….”
“That was interesting the way you handled that little incident,” Mac said, tilting his head toward the end of the hall where the belligerent student had disappeared.
“And?” she said.
“Well, not that we have a problem with it or anything, but we were here at the school and thought we’d stop by and say thank you for the coffee this morning.” Nate said, finally finding his voice.
“Oh that. You are welcome, of course, but now is hardly the time to celebrate that small gesture. I do have a class to teach.” She stepped toward the open door.
“Of course,” Nate said and extended his hand.
She took his hand and shook it firmly.
“So, what do you teach?” Mac asked.
“Social studies,” Ms. Higgins said and turned to face him, shaking his hand as well. “Gentlemen, while I have really enjoyed this visit, I do have a job to do.” She smiled mordantly.
She turned away from the men and walked back into her class closing the door softly but firmly behind her.
Both Nate and Mac looked at each other in surprise and again mouthed a silent, “Wow.”

“Darn kids.” The slow drawl came from near the main entrance where Nate and Mac had entered the hallway. The janitor, a tall thin man, pushed his bucket and mop from one side of the hall to the other collecting small piles of melted snow and muddied water.
Nate walked back to where he’d left a mess of snow and dirt near the door. “Ahh, sorry Mr.?”
The middle-aged man turned to face Nate, looking at him as if he hadn’t noticed him until that moment.
Nate noticed the name badge. “Mr. Jackson, sorry about the mess. I’m afraid that’s me… my partner’s fault.” He smiled. “The kids were clear on this one.”
Mr. Jackson chuckled as if it were a regular response. “Well maybe this time, but they make mess plenty enough for all of us. Be sure of that.” He grasped Nate’s outstretched hand firmly and laughed easily.
Mac waved at Nate from the door of the library. “Fifteen minutes, Partner.”
Nate acknowledged Mac with a tilt of his chin and then slapped the janitor playfully on the shoulder, turned and walked away.


Leaning on the handle of the mop, Mr. Jackson watched the retreating backs of the officers. Then shaking his head, he turned back to cleaning the mess in the hallway mumbling to himself as he did. 

Chapter Three

“Richards! Anybody seen Richards?” Lieutenant Brown called over the pods in the CID workstation. The middle-aged man stood just inside his office doorway with his arms folded loosely over his bulging gut.
“Just look at those veins sticking out on your neck.” A slow southern drawl floated up from beside Brown, drawing his attention back into the office. “You gonna kill your fool self with all that yelling you doing,” Lieutenant Donald Haynes said, as he squeezed by the slightly older man and looked out into the pod. “Larry, come over here, and sit down and use your phone like a civilized person. Your neck is starting to turn red and you know how that scares an old Southern black man like me.”
Lieutenant Brown harrumphed while turning from the door and sauntered back to the desk covered with files. “You know, Don, sometimes you really get on my nerves,” he said and dropped into the chair behind the desk.
“I do try,” Haynes said and poured himself a cup of coffee. “And hurry up and get out of my chair. I don’t want Gwen calling me wondering where you are.”
Brown looked up and rolled his eyes at his friend. “You and Brenda still coming over this weekend to watch the game?” Brown asked, while dialing the phone. “BSU’s playing Fresno, and the Bull Dogs are looking for revenge for last year.”
“And the year before that and the one before that one too if memory serves. It’s been a while since the Bull Dogs beat us on the blue turf. Yeah, we’ll be over, but Brenda will probably want to play a board game or something with Gwen, so let her know.” Haynes picked up the day-sheet and began reviewing the calls for service from the last twenty-four hour period.
“Whew,” Haynes whistled, “a shooting last night….”
Brown turned to his friend. “I was trying to get Richards in here to give me a brief before you came on, but as usual-,”
“You looking for me L.T.?” Nate asked, holding onto the doorframe and leaning his chest in through the open doorway. Behind him the noise volume of the CID, ringing phones and several conversations carried on at once, rose and fell like the swell of a wave.
Lieutenant Brown looked at the receiver in his hand, and then to the ringing phone still clipped to Nate’s waist, and slammed the phone back into its cradle. “Where have you been? You know, Haynes needs that update before p.m. shift begins.”
“Sorry, got stuck at the lab.”
Mac ducked under Nate’s arm, and sat on the corner of the desk. “Got any more of those sunflower seeds, L.T.?” he asked, while moving papers aside and rummaging the desktop.
Haynes looked up and grinned at Mac but didn’t comment.
Brown turned his attention to Mac. “Get off my desk. Between you and Richards, it’s amazing anything right ever gets done around here.”
“Come on, Lieutenant Brown, it’s not that bad. I think you kind of like us.” Mac’s voice had a teasing quality.
In the doorway, Nate lowered his head and shook it from side to side, smiling. He was still amazed at how well Mac fit into the unit. Replacing Sabrina Jackson had been a large order, but Mac had done it and then some.
Haynes looked around his desk and moved a stack of folders, uncovering a square pink dish fashioned in the head of a pig wearing a blue policeman’s cap. Mac removed the policeman’s hat and retrieved a handful of barbeque flavored sunflower seeds.
“I don’t want to see those shells on the floor,” Brown said, as Mac spit the chewed hull toward the trashcan and missed.
Brown closed his eyes and drew his hand roughly across his face.
Haynes chuckled.
Mac stooped to pick up his expelled shells.
“Brief Haynes, so I can go home,” Brown said, rubbing his eyes with the backs of his knuckles.
Nate folded his long arms across his chest and leaned his shoulder against the doorframe. “Well, we know the dead man was Robert Monarch,” he began.
“No loss there,” Haynes said, looking up from the clipboard.
“…a single shot, small caliber long-gun caught him in the temple just above the right ear,” Nate finished. “He apparently was up to his old tricks. He had these in his breast pocket,” Nate said, as he dropped a small stack of ten contact sheets of digital photos. All the images portrayed prepubescent children in seductive poses, either partially clothed or nude.
“Well, Nate, that one’s gone to that Hell you’re always talking about, huh?” Brown said, a slight smile pulling at the corners of his lips.
Nate didn’t look at him, but said, “Well, sir, that’s between him and God, but I’d say so.”
“You can’t believe your God would have anything to do with an animal like Monarch do you? My god man, he raped babies!” Brown slammed his palms onto the desktop.
“The value of a man’s soul can only be-,” Nate began but stopped.
“Tell him about the thumb drive,” Mac said. His interruption had the desired effect, stalling yet another of the well known religious debates between Brown and Nate.
Nate caught his breath and refocused on the stack of papers in his hand. “Yeah,” he muttered, “the thumb drive contained approximately fifty-thousand images just like the ones you have there…. Oh, and that includes videos.”
“Which is why,” Mac added, “we want a search warrant to go toss his house.”
Haynes kicked his feet up onto the corner of the desk and rocked back in his chair lifting the two front legs off the floor. “Its days like this that makes me want to retire. Maybe Sabrina got it right, ‘it’s time we all just got out of here.’” He dropped the chair back on all four and stood up. “Okay Larry, I’ve been briefed. You go on, get out of here and give Gwen my love.”
Brown clearly didn’t want to leave now, just as the investigation was starting to get interesting. Haynes saw the look on his face, grabbed the file from Nate, and tucked it firmly under his arm. He smiled at Brown.
Brown started to speak, “I could always-,”
“Nope. Don’t need ya. Go home.” Haynes said and waved his hand in the direction of the door as if to introduce Brown to the rest of the CID office.
Lieutenant Brown walked slowly toward the door. Frustrated, he turned to look at Nate. “I wonder what your daddy would say about you telling people that God’s taking a baby-raper to Heaven.”
“As a matter of fact, my father is starting a new series on the doctrine of Hell this week at the midweek Bible study. Want to come?” Nate said, unable to resist firing the barb.
“It’ll freeze over first,” Brown said and slid past him.
“I’m gonna tell your daddy,” Haynes said, catching Nate’s eye and smiling.
“But I didn’t start it this time,” Nate said and looked to Mac for support.
Mac put up both hands, palms out. “Leave me out of this, I’m just the newbie.” He sat down and continued eating sunflower seeds.
“So, you need the on-call prosecutor to get a judge to sign a search warrant.” He looked at the clock hanging on the wall. “It’s only six-thirty. You might be able to catch a magistrate still in chambers.”
Mac took a break from the seeds. “Might want to call patrol and get them to sit-up on the house and keep it secured until we can get there.”
“Good idea,” Haynes said and reached for the phone. “You’re gonna make a good investigator before it’s all over, MacGilvery.”
Just as his hand touched the receiver the phone rang, Haynes picked it up. “Lieutenant Haynes, CID.”
For the next few minutes he didn’t speak, just nodded his head and made notes on a sheet of paper in front of him. He looked up at Nate. “Yeah,” he said into the receiver, “he’s standing right here.”
Haynes hung up the phone and leaned back into his chair while locking his fingers behind his head.
Nate and Mac stared at him.
“That was Lieutenant Cypress in patrol. They just found another body. Single gunshot wound to the side of the head.”
Nate turned and exchanged glances with Mac. “Any idea who the victim is?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Haynes said, “its Reginald Willaby.”
“Who’s Reginald Willaby?” Mac asked, seeing the obvious recognition on Nate’s face.
“Another registered sex offender,” Nate stated matter fact.

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