The following story is about Rafi and Naomy. To Rafi, Naomy is everything her name says she is. Her name comes from the Hebrew name Naami which means pleasant, beautiful, and delightful.
When Rafi met Naomy at a non-profit work group to build homes for the homeless, he knew she was the one.
Anti Genetic Material Bill
“I can’t believe it,” Rafi thought to himself. “After all this work, I am right back where I started.” Rafi googled “best genetics attorney” and got a name and phone number on the first hit – Attorney Joe Bird. He dialed the number. Joe answered on the second ring.
“This is Joe Bird.”
“Hi,” Rafi responded. “Do you represent people with issues in genetics?”
“Tell me what you’ve got and I’ll tell you if I can help you or not,” Joe answered.
“Okay. For the past nine months, I’ve been working on cloning organs. I just sold my first liver to a man in Asia for $2,500. If it works out like I think it will, I will be able to sell future livers for $25,000. I just read that Congress passed a bill prohibiting the use of genetic material for growing or treating human organs. It is expected that the president will sign the bill into law. I can’t lose nine months of my work. I want to hire an attorney to challenge the law.”
“Where did you get this liver?”
“I grew it in my garage. You see, my wife, Naomy and me were struggling keep the bills paid. I know you are supposed to be able to stay together on love, but I just got the feeling that if I didn’t make more money we weren’t gonna make it. So, I made a little lab in the garage and started taking classes online, biology classes. Naomy thinks I am playing video games. Actually, I’ve been studying genetics and cloning. Did you know that you can take courses from places like MIT for free online? Anyway, I must have tried growing a liver 50 or more times and it didn’t work. But this last time, it worked — I think I’ve cracked the code.”
“Where did you get the genetic material?”
“I’d rather not answer that over the phone. I will say that I didn’t hurt anybody.”
Officer Jay Shields Making Ends Meet
Naomy’s half brother, Jay Shields, had been a police officer for almost ten years with the Leon Police Department. The City of Leon has adopted the Canons of Ethics for the State of Ohio.
After three years of marriage, Officer Shields came home from work one day and his wife had left and taken everything they had. She didn’t just take the furniture, she rolled up the carpets, removed the doors from their hinges, and unbolted and took the kitchen range.
Officer Shields immediately filed for custody of his three boys. It took him three months to find them, but when he did the court awarded him temporary custody until a final determination could be made.
With the loss of his wife’s income, added legal fees and time off from work to attend to his boys and fight the legal battle, Officer Shields is now struggling financially.
One night he was poor-mouthing to his friends, again, and one of them suggested that he consider taking a gig as a male stripper while he was off duty. The gig paid an average of $500 per night. Just a few nights a week and he could make ends meet by working just a few nights a month.
Naomy and the Anonymous Envelope
Naomy was working 214 files in the prosecutor’s office. The case load was heavy but she never complained. Many of her friends she went to law school with took months to get a job and some still didn’t have one. She felt blessed to be working. She and Rafi could use more money, but the money she made plus the benefits (like health insurance) made their life better.
The file that took the most of Naomy’s time was one Charles Alexander Scott who was known in the neighborhood as “Axx.” Axx associated with a long list of known criminals. He had a reputation of being someone that should be taken seriously. He was suspected of almost every crime in the book but he had never been convicted. Axx was represented by a somewhat academic attorney. He was soft spoken, early to court and polite. He never missed the opportunity to challenge the prosecution’s case and most of his challenges – he won.
In her first courtroom battle with Axx’s attorney, Naomy lost. It was a motion to supress evidence. Naomy had worked hard, fought hard. She had done everything she knew to do. She just lost the hearing. As a result of her loss, the murder weapon in a murder case that Axx had been charged with Not come into evidence. Without the weapon, her boss, the District Attorney, did not believe a jury would convict Axx for murder. The case would most likely be dismissed.
After the loss, Naomy returned to her office and found a bulging envelope. We she opened it, it was full of cash. With a quick count, Naomy estimated there was about $5,000 in the envelope. The envelope was anonymous. There was no note. In fact, there was no writing at all.
Naomy put the envelope in an old lunch bag in the bottom right drawer of her desk, in the very back. She needed time to think about what the envelope might be. About what it meant. After all, several of her co-workers knew that she and Rafi were barely getting by financially. Could it be a gift?
Two days later, Naomy’s boss poked his head in her office door and said, “we have someone in lockup who says he can put the murder weapon in Axx’s possession on the day of the murder. He, of course, wants his charges dropped in exchange for his testimony.”
“Do you believe him?” Naomy asked.
“Not really, but there is something about the fact that he knows about the murder weapon.”
“What do you want me to do?” Naomy asked.
“Interview the witness, see if he is credible or not. Right now, the murder weapon is supressed. If you want to use his testimony to try to get the murder weapon back into evidence, file a motion to reconsider the judge’s ruling on the motion to supress. I will leave it up to you.”
As her boss walked down the hall, Naomy thought to herself, “if I filed a motion to reconsider, and lost again, I wonder if another anonymous envelope would show up.”
Corrections Officer Echols and Inmate Hector
Naomy’s cousin, Theadore “Ted” Echols learned about corrections officers from an early age. His father was released from prison when Ted was five years old. Ted listened to his father’s stories about “corruption” officers, what they did day-after-day to inmates and how the officers themselves ended up in prison. Ted doesn’t remember the day he made the committment, but for as long as he can remember he has been committed to being a corrections officer, an honorable one.
Hector had a hard life. By the time he was 24-years-old, he had been arrested over 30 times and spent over half of his life in the County Jail. Hector was known on the street and in the criminal justice system as an honest criminal. His crime of choice was drugs. In Hector’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with selling something to people who wanted to buy it at a fair price. In spite of the fact that Hector was a successful drug dealer, he had never been arrested for a drug crime. All of his arrests came from violence.
Right after his 25th birthday, Hector got into an argument with another drug dealer who was trying to recruit Hector’s “salespeople” away from him. When the argument didn’t go Hector’s way, he pulled a gun and killed the competitor. The shooting was mid-day on a city street and captured on several video cameras.
After a jury trial, Hector was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
For the first few years in prison, Hector’s life in prison and his life outside of prison looked pretty similar. He was violent and sold drugs on the outside of prison, he was violent and sold drugs on the inside of prison. Strangely, Hector was respected by both other inmates and corrections officers. Even though it was known that he was a drug dealer, it was also known that if he told you something he was good to his word.
One day, Hector was talking with a corrections officer, Ted Echols. Officer Echols told Hector about some new classes that were going to be offered by the prison in Vipassana Meditation. Officer Echols had watched a few YouTube videos about it and was telling Hector what he had learned. As Hector turned away to line up for his work duty, Officer Echols laughed and said, “You should try it Hector – you might find some inner peace.”
That night, Hector couldn’t sleep. He didn’t like that fact that not only did he not have “inner peace,” he wasn’t really sure what it even was. Plus, this Vip – ass – a – naa would be a distraction from his work detail. He decided to try it.
Months later, Hector was a different person. He talked through most problems that came up rather than using his fists. Every time he had a chance to take more classes, he did. Eventually, he earned his Graduation Education Diploma, or “GED.” He was the first person in his family to graduate, well, anything.
Hector wrote his mother and told her that there would be a small graduation service and he sure would like it if she would come. She wrote back,
I am so proud of you. I know your Granny wud be to if she was livin.
I checked on the bus ticket and it is $68 for me to com.
I love you, but I just ain’t got it. I will be thinkin bout you on that day.
Hector was dissapointed but he understood. He talked with Officer Echols about how just a few years earlier it would have made him so angry he would have hurt somebody. Now, he was different.
Several weeks went by and the graduation came. When Hector walked in the training room for graduation, his eyes filled with tears and he had to catch his breath to stop from openly sobbing and embarrassing himself. His mother was sitting on the front row. Officer Echols, who had paid for her bus ticket, was standing at the back of the room.
Lab Tech Germanotta
Officer Jay Shields wasn’t the first officer on the scene, but everyone yielded to him because it was obvious that he was going to find Angela Aguilar (known to her friends as “Gela”). Gela had been missing for 36 hours and surveillance video had just arrived that suggested that Kasheef Raheem was involved with her disappearance.
By all accounts, Raheem had been arrested numerous times for mostly violent acts. He, however, had never been to prison. The video placed Raheem at the scene where it was believed that 21-year-old Gela was last seen getting out of her car. Gela’s car had been processed and several DNA samples had been sent to the lab.
Stefani Germanotta was the lab tech that processed the samples. Before the final report was released, she called Officer Shields and told him that several samples placed Raheem in Gela’s car.
As Officer Shields was preparing an arrest warrant for Raheem, he received a call on this cell phone.
“Hello,” Officer Shields answered.
“Yes, is this the officer handling the Angela Aguilar disappearance?” The anonymous voice asked.
“I am, who may I ask, is calling?” Officer Sheilds responded.
“I am calling to tell you that Lab Tech Germanotta is lying. She used to be with Raheem and he ghosted her. When the report comes out — it will not put Raheem in the car.”
The call ended.
Officer Shields thought to himself, Germanotta is obligated to follow the ethical rules of her department. It would not be in her best interest to lie to me. I’ve got to arrest and question this guy while Gela might still be alive.