Lee-Anne strolled along the beach, following the line of canoes set there for the race that would be starting in a little while. She was thinking about her summers at this camp, her first time being the summer that she was thirteen, then the last three years, including this summer; she felt a slight sense of regret that she had not been here three years ago, but her need to be herself was far more important at that time. Most of her camp experiences here had been quite enjoyable, and it was often a place that Lee-Anne could relax and let go of all the stress.
The camp was a gorgeous place on the shores of Lake George, about as close to being completely off-road as one could get and still be in New York State. Ten log cabins were scattered around the entrance area, ten beds in each, plus the main building where staff lived, meals were served and four upstairs rooms were used for a variety of activities, games, watching TV, listening to radio, comfy places to sit and chill out.
The camp had been there for more than 20 years, it was initially financed by a group of wealthy New Yorkers who felt that New York's children needed a place where they could have fun and maybe learn about how difficult life had been for people a century or two earlier. Each summer, the camp would run three three week sessions, giving up to 300 children a chance for fun that they might not find otherwise.
The winter before she turned fourteen, she had come to the realization that she could no longer live as she had been all of her life, specifically as a male. When her mother raised the issue of going to camp in early May, and kept bringing it up every few days, Lee kept putting it off, until finally mom cornered him and said she needed an answer now about the camp. Lee looked up at her and said, "I can't, Mom, I'm a girl."
Lee was surprised by the response to that statement. "We thought something like that might be the case, but we felt we couldn't push you too much to make a decision, you had to decide on your own to tell us. Maybe I've pushed a little with the camp thing, but you love that place."
Lee-Anne remembered Lee standing up and getting a hug from Mom, saying to her, "I do love it, Mom, but I need to sort myself out first." They contacted a friend of theirs who suggested a TS/TG friendly therapist, and Lee met the therapist for the first time in early June.
Lee finished the school year, continuing to see the therapist on at least a weekly basis, sometimes needing an extra session when things seemed to be more than he could handle, but in the end, those sessions helped a lot, and Lee was put on blockers to slow or prevent puberty.
The decision was made that Lee would switch schools to one that would allow him to attend there as a girl, and Lee started living full-time as Lee-Anne. His mood, or her mood, rather, picked up significantly; by the time school started, she was eager to be back in classes. That marked a significant change from before, as Lee had often been moody and not prone to study, thus had been having trouble passing his classes.
The change from school previous to his turning fourteen to his first year in school as a girl was quite significant, instead of Bs, Cs and a D or two, Lee-Anne was bringing home mostly Bs, along with two As and a C. Her parents were impressed to say the least.
Her first time at the camp as a girl, the summer she was fifteen, started with her being rather nervous, but it wasn't long before she began making friends among the other girls, and not long before some of the boys were ogling her like they did with the rest of the girls. She managed to keep her birth gender a secret, and had a great time throughout that summer, knowing she could be herself.
The next two years were pretty much a repeat of that one; here she was at camp again, she hoped it would be as good as the last two years.
Now she was walking past the boats, deciding on whether or not she would be in the mixed race later on in the afternoon.
She had walked back and forth behind the boats for over an hour before deciding that she would enter the mixed race. She walked over to the table beneath the awning a short distance from the beach and gave her name to the man at the table, "Lee-Anne Trace, mixed, please."
He looked up, his fiftyish rounded face showing a smile to the girl, "Okay, hmmmm... your partner will be Philip Edwards, good luck."
Lee-Anne thanked him, then walked back to the boats; for some reason, that boy's name was vaguely familiar to her. She paced for a bit, then paled briefly as she recalled him, he had been a member of the junior football team from her old school, and he was two years older than her. She felt slightly nauseous, she hoped that he wouldn't remember a small, thin boy that had last been at that school three years ago.
She also recalled that Philip had failed grades at least twice, which was how he was in the same year as she was then, and remembered that Philip had often used his size to intimidate younger or smaller students whenever he felt he could get away with it; the guy was a pure jerk.
Lee-Anne was still nervous about Philip, and when lunch was called, picked at her food until a few of the girls pulled her into their discussion about being back at camp; she eventually settled down somewhat and managed to eat most of what was on her plate.
They wouldn't be racing for another hour or so, so the kids took the opportunity to relax out in the sun or up in the lounges.
At two PM, she heard the gong by the main building as it was struck, that meant the race would be starting soon. Lee-Anne had been relaxing in a lounge listening to music on her 128 GB 6th gen iPod Touch while other kids watched something on the TV. She was glad she had kept the sound low while she was listening, or she might have missed the race entirely, as she liked being out on the lake in the canoes.
Lots of other kids were making their way down to the beach for the race, and Lee-Anne was content to follow them. Once she and the others were near the boats, they waited for names to be called, then moved toward the boat with the number the organizer had given.
Her name, and Philip's, were called for boat number 17, Lee-Anne moved forward and started dragging the boat into the water. She noted that Philip seemed to be letting her do the work, she wasn't impressed with his attitude or lack of help, but pulling the boat wasn't difficult.
Once the boat was in the water, she hopped in and grabbed one of the paddles, then was almost tipped out when Philip climbed in.
She could see a buoy that had been set in the water about 75 feet out from the shore, then two more that looked to be about 1/3 of a mile away; she couldn't see the farthest buoy, but assumed it would be about as far away from the two out there as they were from this one.
The organizer, who happened to be the man that had been at the table taking names for the race, raised a megaphone, saying "Listen up. The course is as follows, you are to go to the right hand buoy out there, pass it on the right side, then continue to each of the other buoys, passing them on the right hand side. The winner will be the first canoe to return here having passed all four buoys correctly.
"You may notice there are two small speed boats here, John here will be in one of them, out by the middle buoys, watching the race. The other speed boat will remain here unless it is needed for an emergency. I hope that you all have fun, and good luck, everyone. Line up now."
It took a few minutes for all twenty boats to line up as directed, then he raised the horn again. "On your marks, get set, go!" and they were off.
Lee-Anne put a fair bit of effort into getting the boat going, then maintaining a fairly decent pace, but seemed to be falling behind. She had felt Philip rowing behind her from the start, but now his oar clattered in the bottom of the boat, and the boat itself was rocked rather hard. She squealed, grabbed on to the sides of the boat for a second, barely managing to drop her paddle in the boat before it rocked again.
Every time she tried to pick up the paddle, he would rock the boat as hard as he could, Lee-Anne almost went over the side twice.
One of the girls on the beach, Shelly by name, was carrying a camcorder, and saw Philip's first big rock of the canoe. She realized immediately that something was not right, turned her camcorder on and recorded everything happening on and around that boat. After watching for a minute or two, she noticed that Philip appeared to be trying to shift the boat toward a set of large, rather jagged underwater rocks.
She yelled out, "Henry! Situation out by the first buoy!" then turned and yelled to a friend, "Danielle, get your camcorder out, follow that boat." Just to make sure Danielle understood, she pointed to the boat that looked like it might capsize at any moment.
Danielle pulled out her camcorder, turned it on and started recording, she noticed Henry running past to the second speed boat.
Lee-Anne was becoming truly terrified, she could dimly see the knife-tipped rocks about twenty feet ahead on the right side as Philip once again rocked the boat as hard as he could; as before, she was almost thrown from the boat, yet Philip wouldn't stop. She wasn't sure, but she thought she heard him mutter "tranny freak" once or twice, then she heard it quite clearly, "Tranny freak, you don't deserve to live!"
He rocked the boat again, even harder this time, and Lee-Anne screamed just as she noticed a speed boat pulling up alongside. Henry had jumped on the boat and headed out into the lake, and had been joined by two other men and a big, strapping girl who worked for the camp.
Henry looked down at the boy as he rocked the canoe again, Lee-Anne screaming out her terror with each breath, then pulled out his gun. He hoped he wouldn't need to use it, but with this boy, he wasn't betting on it, and if it was needed to save the girl, so be it.
"Boy," he yelled, "I'm giving you to the count of five to stop doing that, or I swear to God, I will shoot you to make sure you do." One of the other men noticed where Philip had been trying to take the boat, and guided the speed boat between the canoe and the rocks.
"One..." Philip rocked the boat as hard as he could one last time, and this time, Lee-Anne lost her grip, smacked her head off the side of the speed boat and began to fall toward the water on the other side of the canoe, only to be saved by the iron grip of the young woman.
"Two... three... four... one last chance, boy!"
The canoe settled in the water, Philip let go of the boat's sides and suddenly found himself being roughly yanked onto the speed boat.
The young woman held on to Lee-Anne as Lee-Anne slowly recovered from her near brush with the water and the nearby rocks. She spoke to Lee-Anne in a soft voice, "It's okay, girl, you're safe now, he won't hurt you any more." She stopped, then asked, "What's your name?"
"Lee- Lee-Anne, miss, th-th-thank you!" Lee-Anne stammered.
"Okay, Lee-Anne, we're headed back to the shore, you can go wherever you want once we're there, okay?"
Meanwhile, Henry turned to the young man lying on the deck, slipped his gun back into his belt, and glowered down at the boy. "You can count yourself damn lucky that I didn't have to shoot you, boy, I'm a dead shot, been hunting since I was six and using handguns since I was nine. You don't know it, but I'm a retired deputy from a county not far north of NYC, I also know all the police folks around here."
Philip looked up, laughed and said, "What the heck does that have to do with me? Besides, that thing there is trash, not a person."
"First, Bob here is about to call for police help, we'll hold you until they arrive. Second, you made a big mistake doing that today, son."
Philip laughed again, "Yeah, right, like anybody is going to give me a hard time, my dad will just pay you folks off like every other time."
Henry shook his head, "I wouldn't be too sure of that, I've known your dad for almost ten years, and he doesn't treat people like shit. Plus, boy, your dad will be arriving here in about 30 minutes or so, his company has offered to do some work for us around the property here."
Philip blanched, "He what? No way. He doesn't come up here more than twice, to drop me off and then to pick me up each summer."
Henry laughed, "I guess you'll have to wait until he gets here to know for sure, won't you?"
When the boat reached the shore, the young woman helped Lee-Anne to get down from it while the two other men dragged Philip off to the one secure room in the camp, the small freezer room where meats and other frozen items were kept. Unless one had a key for the inner latch of the door, anyone inside there once the door closed would be stuck until it opened again; several thefts had made the different latch necessary.
Lee-Anne, as soon as her feet touched the sand of the beach, crumpled to the ground, not caring at all if the sand got in her shorts. For the next ten minutes or so, she sat there crying, the young staff person staying nearby, whispering calm assurances that she would be okay.
The rest of the teams returned to the beach, seeing no sign of the event organizer or any of the main staff for the camp. It was a good fifteen minutes or more before Henry made his way back down to the beach, where the kids were shuffling back and forth, waiting.
"I'm sorry to say this, kids, but the race will have to be redone. One of the people in the race made it absolutely impossible for his partner to actually participate in it, and as a result, she had no chance at all to compete with the rest of you. She's sitting over there on the sand, I'd bet she's been crying quite a bit since we stepped off the speed boat, and that a lot of you might have been wondering why."
"Is she okay?" came from several directions.
"What the heck happened?" came from what sounded like a score of voices.
Henry looked around at the kids waiting for answers from him. "I believe she will be okay, she might have a goose egg later thanks to him, but to be blunt, she was terrified, and she had good reason to be. You all know the group of really sharp rocks not far from the first buoy?"
Many of the kids either nodded or responded by saying yes, then waited for him to continue.
"Well, her partner started rocking that canoe really hard, he was trying to throw her overboard, and was aiming for those rocks when we caught up to them with the speedboat. He was warned, yet he tried again to throw her overboard, luckily, Sapphire here caught her."
"Where is the son of a bitch? He needs his frigging neck wrung!" was one young man's response, it seemed many agreed with him.
"He's in the freezer room, cooling off. I expect the Warren County sheriff and/or deputies will be here soon for him. His father's coming, too."
Samuel Patrick Edwards turned into the entrance to the camp, then parked in an open slot near the front entry of the main building. He wasn't particularly tall at 5'9", but he was broad and powerful, with thick, strong arms and legs earned through many years of construction work.
He'd started working construction about a year before Philip was born, and things looked good, until that company went bankrupt. He and all of the other workers found themselves with no job, and quite likely with no pay to take home, which would make things rough for a while.
He had started shuffling toward home, worried that he might lose the nice home they had put the first payment on the year before, then found himself walking by a construction site. He had taken a moment to see what company was doing the work there, Carleton Construction. He'd heard of Carleton, also that they had a decent record for taking care of their employees, so he went in looking for the foreman.
After a quick chat with the foreman, he was told to show up at a specific site the next Monday morning at 7 AM.
He spent the next six years working himself ragged, eventually being named as a foreman, and worked just as hard then as he had before. Eleven years as a foreman hadn't slowed him down much, but the company offering him part ownership last year was a big surprise.
He walked in the entry of the main building, looking around for Henry, then ran into a woman who told him Henry was down at the beach. He turned around and made his way down the slight slope, with no idea that his son was sitting in the freezer room in the main building.
He finally saw Henry, who seemed to be talking to a bunch of kids on the beach, near a large number of canoes. He was a bit early, but that was nothing new for Sam, he'd made it a habit over the years to show up a bit early for just about anything if it was possible.
Henry finished speaking, sensing someone was behind him and turned to find Sam Edwards, Philip's dad, standing there. He sighed and looked at Sam, then said, "I wish it was just business today, Sam, but there's another matter we need to discuss as well."
"Hi, Henry, what are you talking about, something else to discuss? And how does it concern me?"
"Sam, let's deal with the business stuff first. Kids, you can chill for a while, I'll let you know when we're ready to redo the race." The two men started walking toward the main building, where Henry and the other staff members had three small offices available at any time. Henry led the way into one of the offices, taking a seat in the high-backed leather chair behind the desk, then the two men got down to business.
It took them about twenty minutes to sort out the general terms of what would be done where at what cost, materials, etc., then Sam shifted gears, asking what the heck Henry had been referring to earlier when he said they would have something else to discuss.
At that moment, the Sheriff and three deputies arrived, walking into the main building as a group, and had Henry paged. Henry shook his head, turned to Sam, and said, "Those men are here to take your son into custody, he almost killed a girl in the race here a little while ago."
After talking briefly with the officers, and allowing them to use another office for initial questioning of Philip, he turned back to Sam. He spent the next ten minutes telling Sam about what had happened, how close the girl had been to being killed, yet lucky to be mildly injured.
When Sam heard the details, including the comment Philip had made on the speed boat, he came very close to blowing his stack. He knew Philip wasn't the nicest kid around, but he'd always thought Philip had had more sense than that, especially in this day and age.
"I'm sorry, Henry, but I'm going to ask those officers if I can have a few minutes alone with Philip, I assure you the boy won't like it." Sam got up from the chair in front of Henry's desk, then left the office, walked a few steps and knocked on the door of the closed office next to Henry's.
One of the deputies opened the door, Sam spoke with him for a minute, relaying his request. Just after that, the four officers walked out, the Sheriff turning to Sam, telling him, "You can talk to him for ten minutes, then we'll read him his rights and take him in to the county lock-up. Just to let you know, we haven't said much of anything to him, just stayed in there, watching him and letting him stew."
Sam nodded, then asked, "Just what charges are you likely to press against him?"
"Most likely attempted murder and reckless endangerment," the Sheriff stated, "we thought about adding obstructing and/or interfering with a public event, but with the two I named first, adding something like that would be just adding insult to injury."
The four men and the one female deputy had been standing just outside the office door talking. Suddenly the door opened and Philip tried to bull his way through the five people in front of him. That didn't last long, his father shoved him back through the doorway quite hard.
Philip found himself bouncing off the back wall of the office, then falling to the floor, with Sam entering and standing over him. "Listen here, you little shit, and I hope you listen good, because this is the last time I'll ever talk to you. I spent a lot of the last nineteen years trying to raise you right, yet I've had to deal with your bullying others far too often over the years, and then you pull this stunt here, with dozens of witnesses.
"I know damn well that I told you countless times that you should treat everyone else with respect, and this is how you honor me? By deliberately trying to at least harm, if not outright kill, a young girl, simply because she is living her life as she feels she must?"
"That 'girl', as you choose to call it, is a thing, a non-person, a tranny freak that needs to be thrown into the nearest trash heap and buried!"
"So you've made your choice, then, I hope your willing to live with it. In front of these people, as my witnesses, I hereby disown you. When I get back to the city, your bank accounts will be cleared out and closed, and all your belongings will go to Goodwill or Sally Ann. I doubt you're going to need any of them where you're headed, boy, and I'm damn sure you'll be looking at a lot of time doing heavy labour up here."
Sam then turned to the Sheriff and the three deputies, "You can do what you want with him now, I'm done."
The Sheriff advanced into the room, looked at Philip and Mirandized him, then told the deputies to cuff him and go.
"That took some guts, Mister," he said, "but from what I heard you say just now, he's been going bad for a long time."
Sam nodded, "I know, I gave him so many chances to straighten himself out, and then he goes and does this. Damn! What a waste!"
Henry had come out into the hall just in time to see Sam shove Philip back into the next office, and hear everything Sam said.
"I'm sorry that you had to go through that, Sam, but he could have made other choices many times over the years, and didn't."
Sam nodded, suddenly looking much older than his 43 years. "So where is the girl he was trying to hurt?"
"I believe she is still on the beach, do you want to go down there with me?"
"Might as well, I don't have to be back in the city until tomorrow, I have a motel room on the other side of the lake."
Henry and Sam watched as the deputies hauled Philip out the door to one of the police cars in the parking lot. Henry was then informed that two of the deputies would be staying to get witness statements, pointing them down toward the beach.
Lee-Anne had stayed down by the beach, watching many of the other kids playing beach volleyball or swimming in the lake. Sapphire had stayed with her for a while, giving her a brief checkover to be sure she was okay after hitting her head, then had joined one of the games.
Sapphire's team seemed to be doing pretty well, so Lee-Anne was startled when the two men approached and said hello to her.
When asked if she felt okay after what had happened earlier, she nodded, saying that she might have a bump, but it wasn't bothering her. Henry then introduced Sam to her, when she heard that he was Philip's father, she started to nervously back away from him.
Henry sighed, he hated when people were hurt like this, he knelt by the scared girl and gently hugged her. "Lee-Anne, you'll be okay, Sam is not like Philip at all, he's a damn good man who came up here to offer us a deal on some construction we want to do for the camp."
Lee-Anne looked up at Sam, tears sliding down both cheeks, "You're not going to hurt me? Philip was trying to throw me overboard!"
Sam growled, disgusted at what his son had done, then shook his head, he needed to be nice to her. "I won't hurt you, young lady, I promise. You might be happy to know that this was the last straw with him, I publicly disowned him, he's completely on his own from now on."
Henry added, "You might also be glad to know that he's on his way to the county lock-up. With what he did, he may get 20 years or more."
Lee-Anne looked up in surprise. "For attacking me? All I have is a bump on my head, and a bruise on my arm where Sapphire grabbed me."
"Lee-Anne, he didn't just attack you," Henry answered, "he was clearly trying to kill you on the sharp rocks out by the first buoy."
She shuddered, then looked up at the two men again. "You're serious?"
"Yes, he intended to make you go overboard right over those rocks, which could have seriously harmed or killed you."
Lee-Anne's tears went from trickles to full out crying, relieved that she was still okay, yet also terrified at how close she had been to dying.
Henry continued to hold her; a moment later, Sam knelt close by and wrapped his arms around the crying girl on the sand.
The two deputies that stayed behind were asking kids if they had seen any of what had happened in the boat. Many of the kids admitted that they had seen a bit of it, specifically the hard rocking of the boat, until the boat was too far away to see clearly. Very few of them knew Philip as anything more than a casual acquaintance, and all were appalled at what they had seen and how close Lee-Anne had come to being harmed.
It took about fifteen minutes before Lee-Anne could stop crying, the two men helped her up, Henry called out, "Snacks in the main house!" which set off a stampede of kids toward the main building. Henry, Sam and Lee-Anne took their time walking there.
When they entered the dining hall, they saw the rest of the kids digging into a variety of snacks. Lee-Anne walked over to the table where several items were laid out, decided on a raspberry muffin and a glass of apple juice, then carried her items to a nearby table.
Henry stood just inside the entrance of the dining room. "At 4:30 PM, we'll run the race again, I hope this one goes better."
Lee-Anne looked up, asking, "Am I allowed to be in this one?"
Henry smiled at her, asking in return, "Do you feel up to it? That knock on the head you took earlier could give you trouble, you know."
Lee-Anne smiled, the first one since the race turned to horror for her earlier. "I'll be okay, sir, I'm willing to give it my best effort, like always."
Henry nodded, his smile turning into a grin. "So... who wants to be her partner for this one? Anyone interested?"
A tall, husky boy sitting at the back of the dining hall spoke up, "I'll be her partner, sir, if she's willing."
"Your name, son?"
"Wilhelm Jackson, sir, although I prefer to be called Will."
Henry turned back to Lee-Anne. "Are you okay with Will as a partner for the race? You can choose someone else if you want."
Lee-Anne laughed, "No, sir, Will is fine, he's been a gentleman around the women any time I've seen him here, sir."
Henry nodded, "All right, then, the race will start at or shortly after 4:30 PM. Have fun until then, kids."
Henry was turning around to leave the dining hall when one of the kids called him by name. "Henry, sir? Can Danielle and I talk with you?"
Henry took a moment to think, then replied, "You're Shelly, one of the girls that uses a camcorder here, right?"
"Yes, Sir, and we need to talk to you soon about what we have on them from earlier, sir."
"All right, when the two of you have finished your snacks, bring the camcorders to my office." He then left the dining hall and ran into Sam.
Henry apologized to Sam for having bumped him, then asked Sam what he was doing. Sam replied that he had decided to stay for the canoe race, he wanted to see this girl who had been nearly killed less than an hour ago, yet had enough spunk to get back in the boats.
Henry laughed, "She loves the boats, this is her third summer here, she has been known to spend hours on the lake in them. In fact, on a few occasions, she's asked and received permission to do overnight trips with a canoe, often with one or more friends tagging along."
"So she's quite good with canoes, then?"
"Yep, amongst the kids here, she is one of the best rowers we have, but she puts a lot of time and effort into it."
"Then this race later should be quite interesting to watch. Does she often win or place in races you've done in the past?"
"When she has a good partner, she'll either win outright, or come quite close to doing so. She's a very strong rower for her size."
The two men entered Henry's office and sat down, engaging in idle chatter for the moment.
Sheriff's Deputy LaMaya Johnson pulled into the small lot beside the sheriff's office and county lock-up. She and her partner Thomas Benton pulled Philip put of the back of the car, then hustled him into the building, giving him a none too gentle push into one of the two cells.
Thomas slammed the iron door shut and locked it. "I hope you like your new home, boy, this is it until you go to the big house."
Philip took a moment to look around him, the space was tiny, maybe six feet on a side, with a fold out bed up against each of two walls. A small seatless toilet and a single faucet sink were the only other items in the cell beyond two blankets stored near each bed.
Suddenly, Philip realized that he was in one hell of a predicament, and being the fool he was, he had put himself there! Two short steps took him over to one of the two folded beds, he pulled it down, spread one blanket on it, and using the second for a pillow, laid down.
He turned himself toward the wall, and hoping that he wouldn't be noticed, cried into the blanket under his head.
The two deputies ignored him, placing a call to a woman in the area who cooked simple meals whenever they had people in the cells. The same woman usually would cook meals for the sheriff and deputies as well, but nicer meals on the whole.
Henry and Sam had been chatting about things, much of it to do with NYC and the surrounding areas, before there was a knock on the door. When Henry called out for them to enter, the two girls, Shelly and Danielle, entered with their camcorders in their hands.
Shelly noticed the computer on the desk and asked, "Do you want to watch these, sir?"
Henry looked up again, "Just what do you have on your cameras, girls?"
"I caught all but the first bit of Philip's actions on my camcorder, Danielle started recording when you ran to the boat."
"You said that we could watch these. How would we do that?"
Shelly smiled at him, "Could you please give me access to the computer, sir. Once I have access, I'll show you."
Henry turned to the computer, turned it on, waited for it to boot up, then entered a password before turning the system to face Shelly. Shelly, meanwhile, had extracted the SD card from her camcorder and once the computer was ready, connected it, transferring the data.
Danielle walked around the corner of the desk so she could watch the images on the computer. The two men and the two girls sat or stood there, watching as Philip was shown repeatedly trying to throw Lee-Anne from the boat, right up to his being hauled onto the speed boat.
Henry swore under his breath, Sam just shook his head, the evidence from the camcorder was that damning. "Danielle's is similar?"
"Yes, sir, except that hers has maybe a minute or so less footage than mine does. Other than that, very similar, just a different angle."
"Different angle?" Sam asked.
"Yes, Danielle was about seventy feet or more down the beach, on the other side from where the buoy near the shore is."
Henry thought for a moment, then said, "So both sets of images clearly show Philip's actions until he was hauled on the boat. I can just imagine what the judge will think when he or she sees these images, Philip has dug himself in rather deep this time, with no way out."
"Sir, we'll be more than happy to copy these on to discs or whatever media the officers decide is appropriate."
Henry sighed. "I guess I had better call the sheriff's office to tell them we have two sets of video images of today's events."
Sam stood up, told Henry that he had changed his mind after seeing the video, he was going to his motel and hoped he and the kids in the camp would have a good summer, then left the building, headed for his car.
Henry turned to the girls, "How long would it take you two to put these images on DVDs and flash drives?"
Shelly giggled, "Maybe five minutes, sir, do you want us to do it now? We'll need clean DVDs and flash drives."
Henry opened the drawers of the desk, rummaged for a few minutes and found a packet of unopened DVD discs. He continued looking for several more minutes, having no luck on finding any flash drives, and told the girls that.
Shelly replied that she would provide the flash drives if he would repay her by buying two new ones for her, Henry agreed.
Fifteen minutes later, after Shelly had make a quick run to her cabin, copies of both sets of images were on DVD and flash drive.
While the girls were transferring it all to the discs and the drives, Henry called the Sheriff's office and passed on the information. He forgot that there were two deputies collecting witness reports, likely in the dining hall at the moment, as that was where many of the kids were.
The kids were getting antsy as the afternoon progressed, they wanted to get out there and have the race. Some were in their cabins, some were in the various lounges, and a fair sized group had gone down to the beach to play beach volleyball while they waited.
The two deputies that had stayed at the camp had not seen Shelly or Danielle before they decided to leave, thinking they had all of the information they were likely to get. They headed out to their car and drove into the sheriff's office to drop off the witness reports they had.
Henry, having finished in the office, wandered down to the beach, and spent some time watching the kids fool around. When he saw that it was 4:20 PM, he walked up to the gong in front of the main building and struck it once. The result was impressive, kids came running from all directions, heading down to the beach, as the gong signalled that the race would be starting soon. Henry followed them.
By the time he reached the beach, the teams were all standing by their boats, waiting for his order to enter the water.
Henry nodded, smiling, then called out, "Boats in the water, you may get in them now."
It took a minute or two before the boats were in the water and everyone was in their particular boat. "Ready... on your mark... get set... go!"
When Lee-Anne heard Henry say "Go!", she dug her oar into the sand to shove the boat forward, feeling Will do the same behind her. Within seconds, their boat was at the back of the lead group, maybe six or seven others ahead of them, with lots of open water.
She started rowing, putting a fair bit of power into her strokes, Will was shifting the boat a bit so they could go by the three boats just ahead of them. Lee-Anne nodded, then laughed as she rowed harder, pulling alongside one of the back three, then passing the group.
Just four boats ahead of them now, and the first turn was approaching. The others seemed to be avoiding the chance of passing on the inside, yet she felt the slight shift of direction from Will that told her they should make the attempt. The pair kept up the pace, managing to slide past the fourth place boat less than twenty feet from the buoy, and they squeezed through the very narrow gap to keep fourth place for now.
They kept the pace strong but steady, and slowly gained on the third place team. Lee-Anne and Will both knew that a slightly bigger turn would be needed there, Lee-Anne spotted a gap in the middle of the boats in front of them and pointed it out to Will, then resumed paddling.
Will noticed her gesturing, saw the gap and added a bit more power to his own strokes, pushing them closer to that gap, then into it, the two of them giving it their all as they saw the second buoy coming up, and then they were through, in second place as they swept around the turn.
The two were starting to feel the effort of maintaining the pace, yet they weren't willing to slow down, so they kept pushing hard.
They were maybe twenty feet behind the lead boat as they went around the third buoy, but they were starting to flag; in a space of a few seconds, Lee-Anne had a brief dizzy spell, they lost about fifteen feet and were almost overtaken by the two boats behind them.
Lee-Anne wasn't about to give up, she kept rowing, putting a bit more strength into each effort, Will was matching her pace. The effort proved somewhat successful, as they began to close in on the lead boat, but there wasn't enough time left to catch them.
Lee-Anne and Will threw it all into the fray, yet in the end, they crossed the finish line in second place, one boat length back. They immediately began to row backwards to slow the boat down a bit, then let it drift in and onto the sand of the beach before they stepped out.
Lee-Anne was worn out, she actually needed Will's help to get out of the boat, but she was happy, she'd done quite well to take second.
Lee-Anne and Will stepped forward to take their second place ribbons, then smiled at the applause before applauding the winners in turn.
A deputy returned to the camp while dinner was in progress, collected the discs and flash drives and asked to speak with Shelly and Danielle. After talking with both of them, and getting written statements, the deputy left the camp, taking the new information to the Sheriff's office.
The rest of that Saturday was spent relaxing; once they had had dinner, Lee-Anne watched a couple of movies in one of the lounges.
Sunday was spent hanging around down at the lake, either swimming, playing beach volleyball or in one of the canoes. Canoeing was one of her favourite activities, she loved rowing out onto the lake and just relaxing as she drifted on the lake's waters. Most of what was left of the remainder of her time at the camp would be spent in the canoes, unless she was dragged into one activity or another.
On the Monday morning after he attacked Lee-Anne, Philip was cuffed and taken to the county courthouse for his first appearance. Once they reached the courthouse, he was placed in a cell a fair bit larger than the one at the lock-up, then made to wait there with nothing to do.
He had no idea how long he had been waiting when a deputy came to his cell, opened it and told him to come out. The deputy, a young female, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him up a back stairway, around a corner, down a hall, then into the side door of a courtroom. Once in the courtroom, she led him over to the defense table, handing him over to the seedy looking man sitting there looking through the arrest details.
Philip looked over at the prosecution table and saw a stack of paper and what looked like two DVDs and two flash drives.
The door at the back of the court opened, the bailiff called out, "All rise! The court of Warren County, in the state of New York, is now in session, the Honorable Judge Winston Purcell presiding." When the judge had seated himself, the bailiff ordered everyone to be seated.
The judge looked down at the court through his half-moon glasses, then asked the bailiff what was on the docket for the day. The bailiff responded that the case in session now was the People vs. Philip Cameron Edwards.
The Judge looked around, shaking his head, asking, "And what are the charges against this individual?"
The prosecutor spoke, "Your Honor, attempted murder in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree.Your Honor, this is his first appearance before the court, we have a fair bit of evidence to look at and pass on to the defense attorney.
"And how much time would you need to fully check and assess the evidence you have?"
"Two weeks, perhaps three, Your Honor, we have nearly 80 witness reports and two videos as evidence."
"Court will be remanded for three weeks, next appearance will be Sept. 6th at 9:30 AM in this courtroom."
"Thank you, your Honor."
When her time at camp was over, Lee-Anne returned to the city, somewhat reinvigorated thanks to the camp, yet also still tense and nervous; there were times when a male being close to her would make her want to back away from them, it wasn't easy to continue to go forward.
School helped, she was able to dive into her studies, something she enjoyed almost as much as being in a canoe.
When the next court date arrived, Philip had to repeat the procedure of the previous one, and waited for some time before he was called. A big dark-skinned deputy took him into the courtroom this time, again leaving him with the seedy looking defence lawyer.
Once the judge was in the room, things proceeded as they had before, up to the point where the Judge asked if they were ready for trial. The prosecutor replied in the affirmative, the defence lawyer initially shook his head, then also replied in the affirmative.
The Judge nodded, saying, "Trial will commence on the 2nd of October at 9:30 AM in this courtroom, court is now adjourned."
The defence lawyer, a young man, maybe 30 years old, left the courtroom, then asked for Philip to be brought to a room for a talk.
Fifteen minutes later, Philip was brought into a small side room, told to sit, and the lawyer entered once the deputies had left.
The defence lawyer shook his head. "Boy, you really pulled a stupid one that day. If the judge ever sees those video records, I can pretty much bet he'd be looking to give you the maximum sentences possible. Any way you look at it, you're going to do some hard time."
Philip glowered up at the lawyer, who was standing on the other side of the small square table. "How much time are we talking about?"
"Five years absolute minimum for the attempted murder, all the way up to fifteen, six months to a year for the reckless endangerment."
"And if we go to trial?"
"If we go to trial, the odds on you getting a longer sentence for the attempted murder will be much higher, the judge could go for the maximum, there's no way to say, really. If it reaches that point, you had best be praying that the judge is in a damn good mood when sentencing comes.
"The other choice we have is to offer a deal to the prosecution, you could end up with more than the minimum for the attempted murder, but it would be very unlikely for them to seek the highest sentence there. For the other charge, six months to a year is not a lot in comparison.
Philip sat back in the chair. "I'll need to think about it. We won't be in court for almost four weeks, right?"
"That is correct."
"Then I have time to think about it. Could I meet you some time next week, I guess it would be at the lock-up?"
"I'll need to check my calendar, but that should be possible." He waved to a deputy outside the door, when it opened, he said, "I'm done here."
The deputy grabbed Philip by the arm and returned him to the cells. Two hours later, he was back in the lock-up.
On the Thursday of the following week. Philip's lawyer showed up at the lock-up, asking the deputies to leave so they could talk privately.
"Well, Philip, your options now are the same as what I outlined to you last week, what do you want to do?"
"Ask for a deal, suggest five to seven for the attempted murder, parole in two or three years, and a half year for the reckless endangerment."
"You're absolutely clear on that, Philip? If you say yes, once I leave here, the decision will be in the prosecutor's hands."
Philip leaned forward, growling, "I said it, I meant it!"
The lawyer snapped, "Cool it! If you keep acting like that, you're going to get a lot of beatings once you're in the state penitentiary."
Philip grumbled, "All right, all right.I did mean what I said, though."
The lawyer turned around, yelled for the deputies to let him out, and when they had, he left the building.
Three hours later, Philip's lawyer finally reached the prosecutor, one Carter Philberts.
"Hi, Carter, the kid wants to cut a deal, five to seven for the attempted murder, two or three years for parole, six months for the endangerment."
"Hi, Paxton. Hmmm... we can work with that, odds are that's the minimum we likely would get, although that might not have been the case if the judge ever saw those discs or flash drives. It's so clearly shown what he was doing and his intentions toward the girl. And that's not even counting the fact that the girl in question is a transsexual, thus could easily be considered the victim of a hate crime."
Paxton replied, "I must have missed seeing that, but you're right, if the Judge heard that, he'd throw the book at this kid."
"So five to seven for the main charge, two or three years for parole depending on the five or seven, and six months for the second charge?"
"Yes, that's the way he said it, I was kind of surprised at how easily he dropped that into our chat earlier."
"I'll start things rolling on that tomorrow. You know Judge Purcell is going to be quite annoyed when he hears a deal was made."
"Yeah, he's not going to be too happy about having his time wasted, that could backfire on the kid. Not our choice, now."
"You're right about that, Paxton. See you in court in a few weeks, if not sooner."
On the 2nd of October, Philip was hauled out of his cell, cuffed and taken to the courthouse one last time.
When he was finally escorted up to the courtroom, he noted that it was 9:50 AM as he sat down beside his attorney.
A few minutes later, the Judge entered, things proceeded as normal until the Judge spoke.
"So... there's a deal on the table, I've heard the terms, but something is bothering me. Just what are you two pulling on me here?"
The prosecutor stood, saying, "I'm not sure what you mean, Your Honor." Defense voiced his agreement.
"What am I not being told about this case that makes him so eager to cut a deal with you, Carter?"
Carter shook his head, there was no way out of it now. "May I approach the bench, Your Honor?"
"You may." Carter then walked up close to the bench and started talking quietly to the Judge. At one point, the Judge voiced a startled, "He what? And the girl?" When Carter nodded and continued talking, the Judge's face began to turn rather red.
The prosecutor eventually finished talking and returned to his customary place in the courtroom.
The Judge sat there on his bench, shaking his head, then looked down at the defense table with a steely glare in his eyes. "I know what you people agreed on, but with what i just heard, I'm of half a mind to hand down the maximum sentence for the first charge right now."
Philip blanched, hoping that things wouldn't get any worse than they already were.
"Yet, there are parts of what I've just heard that make giving such a sentence something I cannot do. Will the defendant please rise?"
Philip slowly stood up, his knees shaking quite visibly as he waited for the Judge's next words.
"Philip Cameron Edwards, I sentence you to ten years for attempted murder and six months for reckless endangerment. The sentences will be concurrent and on the first charge, you shall not have the option for parole for at least five years. Court is adjourned."
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.