My mother-in-law (MIL) and I went to court today.
It was time for the woman who hit Kevin to appear before the judge.
This was my first time going to court for … anything. Well, there was that time I was pulled over for rolling through a stop sign (*ahem*) and I didn’t have my insurance card with me, so I had to appear before a judge and show him I had insurance at the time I was stopped.
But I digress.
It was … interesting. And a bit scary, if you want the truth. There were all sorts of characters and it was both fascinating and sad to hear the various reasons all of those people were ordered to appear in court.
My MIL and I sat in the back with Kevin’s boss. I looked around the courtroom and studied the different people. I leaned over to my MIL and said, “I’m just guessing here, but I’m going to say either this woman sitting in front of me, or that woman across the room, is the lady who hit Kevin.”
I don’t know why I picked those two women, probably because they were with less than scrupulous men and I remembered what the police officer told me at the hospital right after the accident …
“We found her because she went home and told her boyfriend what had happened, the boyfriend told a neighbor and the neighbor called us.”
Something told me my guesses were on the money.
We didn’t have to wait long. One of the prosecuting attorneys called out her name and the woman who sat directly in front of me stood up.
I just had a hunch it was her.
The prosecuting attorney wasn’t exactly rude to her, but he was brusque. He reminded her that he wasn’t her attorney and was only instructing her on her rights and that if she plead not guilty, she had the right to retain an attorney. He also informed her of the restitution amount she would be required to pay if she were found guilty.
That restitution amount? Was from us. We sent the prosecuting attorney a dollar amount that we felt she owed us from expenses and so forth.
Needless to say, the woman’s face lost all color when she heard the restitution amount and she hesitated before giving her answer.
Her boyfriend, the man now sitting in front of me, hissed at her to say “not guilty.”
The prosecuting attorney was not amused and suggested to the woman that they step outside so he could continue briefing her.
I will be honest. I thought less than favorable thoughts about this woman and it gave me pleasure that she freaked out over the dollar amount.
But this isn’t about the money. This is about our desire to see her pay for her poor judgment and to accept responsibility for her consequences (and let’s not forget, this woman has a history of pulling similar stunts with other people). Judging by the frantic whispers and panicked expressions she exchanged with her boyfriend and friend, we aren’t expecting financial reimbursement anyway.
The judge called her name to appear before him shortly after she sat back down. Though I wasn’t able to catch all of the conversation, I did hear the part where she had opted to exercise her right to an attorney.
So, she is scheduled to appear back in court June 25th, with her attorney, with her plea.
I plan on not only going, but taking the boys with me next time. After they heard me talk about our experience, they were curious enough to request going along next time. In addition to offering them some sort of closure on this whole nightmare, I think it might be a good exercise for them to see what happens to people who don’t follow the rules.
I sense a life lesson here somewhere. 🙂
It was really interesting that we ended up sitting behind the woman in court today. I felt like a fly on the wall as I listened in on their conversations and possible plans for getting her out of this situation. I sat, with my arms crossed, and simply stared at them. I willed them to look back at me, but they never did. Though I wouldn’t have said anything to them, I was very tempted to DO something, anything, to make this woman understand what her actions had cost Kevin and my family.
But I refrained from doing anything stupid and instead contented myself with the fact that I got to see how scared she was.
I realize that might make me sound a bit cold hearted, but it’s not any worse than driving off from the scene of such a horrific accident not knowing if Kevin was dead or alive.
On a brighter note …
We got Kevin into my car yesterday!! We actually drove to Andy’s and bought some custard to take home to the boys.
Tomorrow, after the nurse comes to see Kevin, we plan on going to Wal-Mart to buy him some stretchy slip-on shoes. We will have to buy something wide and a bit bigger than he’s used to wearing to accommodate for the swelling he sustains whenever he’s been in his chair for a while.
We were pretty nervous about transferring him to my car at first, but once the occupational therapist showed us, it’s actually quite easy.
Well, easy for me since I just stand there and watch him, but Kevin assures me it’s actually easier to get into my car than it is to get on the toilet, so …. there you go.
I wish we had our handicap card to put in my car. It’s going to be a pain to get him inside if we have to park a ways from the door, but now that Kevin is getting stronger and knows how to make transfers on his own, there’s really no stopping the man.