Sharon rarely attended an arraignment, in fact it was more unusual to see any member of the LAPD present in the gallery listening to cases be called and pleas being entered. She could count the cases on one hand that she attended regularly. This was different, it was David standing against the wall with a Sheriff's Deputy in a wrinkled suit, hands cuffed. With his back turned she could just make out the silhouette of his attorney, it wasn't a surprise that he hired him in their line of work you wanted the best and he was one of the best. Andrea sat in front of her while her colleague Michaels went through his list of cases. She shuffled papers across her lap. Sharon smiled she knew Andrea would have it all memorized by now, after all she had all weekend to review their evidence against Gabriel, but still ever the perfectionist she was studying every detail. There was no need to wax poetic about what her life would have been like before things went so wrong with Jack, and like she told Rusty she didn't regret the way things turned out, but she had a feeling she would have been an awful lot like Andrea in the courtroom. It made her all that more proud of her colleague, and friend's accomplishments to see another strong woman breaking barriers.
DDA Michaels grabbed his briefcase and stepped aside. "We're up," Andrea said collecting her things and taking the recently vacated place at the podium.
"Case #45290-2A the people versus David Gabriel," was read out.
Judge Richwood looked up with surprise when the name was read. He was clearly focused on the next case in front of him that he never noticed the familiar, if not a bit disheveled looking, man standing along the wall of his courtroom. He looked down at the folder handed to him by his secretary and read the charges, Murder 1. Sharon noticed the flicker of surprise run across his face before he schooled his expression. She imagined that a number of people were going to have that same reaction over the coming days and weeks. Gabriel wasn't just former law enforcement, he was a member of the District Attorney's office fully entrenched member of the justice community.
David shuffled his feet across the floor, but stood tall. He and his attorney stood behind the desk and waited for the arraignment to begin.
Ever the professional Judge Richwood opened his remarks without stating anything about his personal knowledge of the defendant, it wasn't the time nor the place. "David Gabriel, you have been charged with First degree murder. Would you like to enter a plea at this time?"
Gabriel leaned into his attorney and whispered. He gave a nod and addressed the court, "Yes your honor, my client pleads not guilty."
"Noted," he replied and gave a nod to the courtroom reporter as he jotted down a note to himself, without looking up he asked, "Bail?"
"Your honor," Andrea began, "The people would like to request bail be set at $2 million dollars." She mentioned it to Sharon before the arrived at the courthouse, her boss wanted to make a statement. They were coming into an election year and he knew this case would have media written all over it. Sharon was surprised, but not wholly shocked.
"Your honor, the people are overreaching here. My client and his family come from modest means they don't have the capital to put up that immense bail. Nor is it necessary," Bobby waved his arms around with added flourish trying to make his point.
"Not necessary? May I remind the court of Mr. Gabriel's past and current occupations. As well as the violent nature of this very personal crime," Andrea retorted.
Judge Richwood waved his hand at both counsels, "Enough." Sharon could tell he was weighing his options, and perhaps even trying not to let personal feelings get in the way of making the right decision.
After a moment he finally gave his verdict, "I agree Mr. Monroe, the people's request is excessive, however, given the seriousness of this crime and your client's familiarity with law enforcement I have to agree with the people that the bail must be commiserate." He cast a look at Gabriel as if to apologize, "Bail is set at $1 million dollars." He banged the gavel ending any further debate.
Bobby Monroe turned to his client and spoke for just a moment and gave him a pat on the shoulder before the Deputy took him away. He reached into his briefcase and pulled out a blue covered document before walking towards Hobbs.
Andrea had a few other cases, but turned to Sharon as she got up to leave, "It's for the best." Andrea was saying it more for herself than anyone else. Sharon merely hummed, it wasn't her place to have a say or any opinion on the matter really. She looked around the room and noticed that it didn't seem like anyone had shown up on his behalf, which felt strange. Before she could think on it any further Bobby handed Andrea the motion.
"Already?" Hobbs said playfully. Bobby was known for issuing motion after motion, he was nothing if not persistent. It was one of the things that made him a great lawyer, he never gave up on his client even when all odds were against it.
She opened it, "Motion to Suppress?"
"Yes, I have it on good authority that the LAPD has a vendetta against my client and that the evidence may have been planted, doctored, or otherwise tampered with," he said pulling his briefcase over his shoulder.
Her jaw dropped, Sharon never failed to be dismayed at the allegation that she or a member of her team would take part in the unethical handling of evidence. She knew it happened, she wasn't a naive idiot, but it didn't make it sting any less. Bobby walked away and Andrea handed the motion to Sharon to look over.
"He's challenging the blood we found in the car," she stated matter-of-factly. "It's been well-documented how and where we found the blood, there was never a moment —"
Andrea cut her off, "We'll fight it and most likely it won't get excluded but we all need to tread very carefully from here on out. He knows our plays and could very easily get off on a technicality like this."
There was nothing left to say. She was right and it was one of the many reasons when the body was IDed Sharon went through such lengths to document everything but even she had never expected that David could have been responsible. Truthfully, a part of her still questioned it. A seasoned homicide detective wouldn't keep the victim's phone or even leave blood evidence in his car, but it was out of her hands. The evidence was against him and the DA's office wanted to move swiftly. Too often they and the LAPD had been seen as being lenient against one of their own and it appeared that the higher ups didn't want that to happen again. David was to be made an example of, and everyone else was just going to be along for the ride.
There was nothing left to do. She gave a squeeze of support to Andrea's arm, turned and walked out of the courtroom. This case was done, at least for the time being. Now there was a mountain of paperwork to catch up until their next roll-out. Since they just closed a case, they were currently off rotation, it would be unlikely they would get the call for another day or two. Surprisingly Mason was a harder negotiator about overtime than Taylor ever was, she chuckled it made her miss Howard. He had no qualms about giving her team the extra hours, he got the job as good as anyone - hell what his team did in SOB was evidence of that fact.
"SharON," she heard from a distance behind her. A wave rolled up her spine and to her neck at the unmistakable owner of that voice. She had nearly made it out of the courthouse when he spotted her. She paused for a moment seriously considering not turning around, pretending she didn't hear him, but it was pointless he'd just yell louder.
She plastered a smile to her face and steeled herself for whatever he had to say. She spun around, "Jack," she gritted between her teeth.
"So I hear it was Gabriel after all, huh, you know you can never trust a guy like that," he chuckled as though his insights on the case were anything of value, or in his mind entertaining.
"And what exactly do you mean by a guy like that?" She crossed her arms and broadened her stance now very curious for what her ex-husband had to say about her latest case.
He rubbed the back of his head as he read her expression, she hardly found him funny and he was realizing he might have to back pedal a bit," You know what I mean." Keeping it vague, he tried to by himself time to climb out of this one.
She gave him a stern look, "And what do you mean Jack? An ex-cop? A young black man? What exactly do you have to say on the matter?"
He was admonished, he knew it, but couldn't help himself, "C'mon you know that's not what I meant. I don't care that he's black and you know it!"
"Oh, so it's the fact that he used to be a cop is it?" She asked peering down from her glasses, despite being shorter than him even in her heels it still had the power to make him feel like he was 8 years old.
"Now, Sharon, you know very well that I meant a guy that had has career torpedoed by a former girlfriend. A guy like him is ambitious. Hell he was running for office, never good to have skeletons in your closet!" He found himself to be the only one chuckling at his last dig, he shrugged Sharon was never an easy one to get to smile.
"Ah, I see, well it's a good thing that you and he have very little in common then. Should help you stay out of trouble for once. Don't you think?" She didn't wait for his reply before turning back around and proudly walking out of the courthouse. As the sunshine hit her face and she slipped on her sunglasses she felt good. After the personal attacks he made last week, that she took because it wasn't the place she had been given an opportunity to shut him down. It wasn't that she wasn't quick on her feet and couldn't come up with a comeback, but she hated saying hurtful things. It usually hurt her more than the other person anyway, but today after this case she needed to feel in control. Putting Jack in his place was just a, well a happy accident she decided. Karma was a good thing, she thought as she crossed the street back to PAB.