Down the Road

Chapter Forty

by Melinda Kay Jenkinson

Living Water at the Oasis
Living Water at the Oasis

Down the Road
Chapter Forty

The day of the sentencing was here and they were on their way to the courthouse in Pleasant Ridge. Jon, Becki, and Curtis had decided to go with them, Kaye Leigh was nervous at how everyone including Jeff was going to react to what she was going to say and do.

When they got there, they found the right courtroom and went inside. The prosecutor met them in the front.

"Kaye Leigh, Greg Johnson." He introduced himself.

"It's nice to meet you in person." She said. "This is my husband Jeff Rutherford, my brother Jon Williams, and our friend Becki Stevenson and Curtis Shaunghnessy."

"Nice to meet all of you." Greg said. "I asked the Judge about your request and he will give us his response when we start." Kaye Leigh nodded. "You guys can sit right behind the prosecutors' desk." He told them

"Kaye Leigh I want you to understand first that once they are in here they can change their minds and ask for a trial. Second that they will be given the opportunity to address the court, you and your family and they will be allowed to say pretty much anything they want." He said.

"I understand." Kaye Leigh said.

"Ok." He replied smiling.

Kaye Leigh and the others sat down.

"Are you ok sis?" Jon asked.

"Yes, I'm fine." She told him.

"I didn't realize that they would be allowed to address you." Becki said. Kaye Leigh laughed.

"What else could they say Becki?" she asked.

"That's true." Becki replied. "Best they could say is I am sorry, the worst is who knows what."

"There is no worst, once this is over they are in God's hands and I don't have to worry about them." She said.

They brought Tim in, he was in handcuffs. Kaye Leigh smiled at him.

"All rise this court is now in session, Judge Mason presiding." A bailiff said. Once the judge was seated, they sat back down.

"This is the matter of the State of Texas Vs. Timothy Grant. Mr. Grant you understand the charges that are against you?" he said.

"Yes your honor." Tim replied.

"Then how do you plead?" he asked.

"Guilty your honor." Tim said.

"This court accepts your plead of guilty." He said. "Mrs. Rutherford?" He looked around the courtroom.

"I'm here your honor." Kaye Leigh said standing.

"It is my understanding Mrs. Rutherford that you have something that you would like to say to each of the people involved in this case today and that you have something for each of them, is that correct?" he asked.

"Yes your honor." She replied.

"Your request is granted, you may step forward." He told her.

Kaye Leigh walked up to the witness stand and sat down. She cleared her throat, took a deep breath, and began.

"Your honor I've written a letter of forgiveness to each of them and I would like to read them for the court and then present them with something." She said. The judge nodded. "Tim, I want you to know that even though you caused me and my family a whole lot of pain, I forgive you. You also saved my life by taking a bullet that was meant for me and you saved my child when Morgan wanted to kill it. For these things, I will be forever grateful. I hold no grudges against you Tim, and if the court offers you leniency like your attorney is requesting I am more than willing to offer you your position back at Silver Creek." She stopped talking had broken out in the courtroom.

"Quiet down." The judge said pounding his gavel. Tim had looked up at her.

Kaye Leigh smiled at him.

"So your honor I ask that you not make Tim pay for one mistake, and for falling under the manipulation of one other person." Kaye Leigh stood up and walked over to Tim, she handed him a package. "I forgive you Tim for everything." She said.

"Thank you Kaye Leigh." He said. She went and sat down next to Jeff. Everyone was looking at her.

"Mr. Grant do you have anything you would like to say before I hand down your sentence?" the judge asked.

"I want to apologize to Kaye Leigh and her family. I know I caused you guys a lot of trouble. I accept whatever punishment that I am given knowing fully well that I deserve it plus a whole lot more." Tim said. Kaye Leigh took Jeff's hand.

"Mr. Grant it is here by this courts decision to sentence you to one year in jail, suspended. Five years probation. You are to report first thing Monday morning to Silver Creek ranch where you will be under the supervision of Curtis Shaunghnessy, and Jeffery Rutherford. These gentlemen will be making weekly reports to your probation officer. Mr. Grant Mrs. Rutherford had given you a great opportunity and has taken and put a lot of faith in you. Do not mess this up." The judge finished and pounded his gavel. "This court will take a fifteen minute recess."

"All rise." Said the bailiff.

They took the handcuffs off Tim.

"Did you know she was doing this?" Jon asked.

"No she didn't tell me, but I am ok with it." Jeff said.

"Me too, just a little shocked." Jon replied.

"Thank you so much Kaye Leigh and Jeff." Tim said. Kaye Leigh gave him a hug. "I won't let you down." He told them.

"We're sure you won't Tim." Jeff said. Tim left the courtroom to go finish his paper work so he could leave.

"Um, Kaye Leigh you're not going to do that for the other two are you?" Jon asked. Everyone looked at her.

"Of course not, I'm just going to let them move in with us." She said. "I'm kidding." Kaye Leigh laughed at the looks on their faces.

They sat back down and waited for the next hearing.

"I have an ultrasound tomorrow." Kaye Leigh told Jeff.

"What time?" he asked.

"First thing in the morning." She said.

"I'll be there." He said.

"Thank you, by the way can you tell what is on them just by looking at the screen?" Kaye Leigh asked.

"No not really it needs to be pointed out and most of the time then I just have to accept the word of the doctor." He said. Kaye Leigh laughed.

They brought Sam in, the judge returned.

"Samuel Thomas, do you understand the charges that are brought against you?" the judge asked.

"Yes your honor." He replied.

"Then how do you plead Mr. Thomas." The judge asked.

"Guilty your honor." He said. Kaye Leigh let out the breath she was holding, she was not sure if Sam and Morgan would stick with the guilty pleas.

"Kaye Leigh." The judge said. Once again, Kaye Leigh went up to the stand.

"Sam, it is not for us to judge here on this earth other than in a court of law. I know that the ultimate judgment comes once we leave this earth and I hope and pray that you find salvation between now and then. God has forgiven me of my sins so who am I to withhold my forgiveness from you. I forgive you Sam and I hold no grudges." She said. She got up and handed him a bible. "I forgive you Sam." She said and went to sit next to Jeff again.

"Mr. Thomas do you have anything you would like to say before I sentence you?" the judge asked.

"Only that I love Kaye Leigh more than anyone ever will. What I did I done for her and for us. I don't want your forgiveness Kaye Leigh I want you." Sam said.

"That's enough Mr. Thomas." The judge said when Sam started to continue. "It is here by this courts decision to sentence you to the following a minimum of twenty-five years and a maximum fifty years in the state prison system. Mr. Thomas you need to read that book that you were given and find the true meaning of love and when you are released I hope that you have found true salvation." The judge said and pounded his gavel. "This court will take an hour and a half lunch break."

They led Sam away as they were leaving the courtroom. They went to a restaurant that was close to the courthouse.

"Kaye Leigh I am so proud of you." Jeff said.

"Me too sis." Jon said. Kaye Leigh smiled.

"Thank you, but its not me you should be proud of its God and Jeff." She said. "Without Him or Jeff I wouldn't be here today." Jeff kissed her.

"I love you Kaye Leigh." He said. She smiled tears were in her eyes again.

They got back to the courtroom and had just sat down when Morgan was led into the room.

"You ok?" Jeff asked.

"Yes, she can't hurt us anymore." Kaye Leigh said. Jeff squeezed her hand.

Once again, the judge came in.

"Mrs. Thomas do you understand the charges that are brought against you?" he asked. She had all the same charges, but they also brought a charge of attempted murder.

"Yes." She said coldly.

"It's yes your honor. I have earned the respect of my title." He said looking at her.

"Yes your honor." She snapped.

"How do you plead Mrs. Thomas?" he asked.

"Guilty your honor." Morgan said.

"Kaye Leigh are you sure you want to do this one?" the judge asked. Kaye Leigh nodded. "Ok then you have the floor." He said. Kaye Leigh this time stood in front of Morgan's table. Jeff and Jon were worried about that.

"You see Morgan I am not afraid of you, you can not control my life anymore. I never should have allowed it in the first place, but I admit you played the game well. I cannot hold onto the anger and bitterness that you caused or I will be miserable for the rest of my life and I plan to enjoy my life with my husband, children and family.

I forgive you Morgan and I know that you probably will not accept it, but I am offering it to you. You had asked me what made us different, the answer is I know that gift of salvation. That is the only difference. I hold no grudge against you Morgan." Kaye Leigh said and handed her the bible, then went to sit down next to Jeff again.

"Do you have anything you would like to say before this court sentences you?" the judge asked.

"Kaye Leigh should be the one being sentenced today; she is the one who deserves nothing not me." Morgan started. She looked at the bible and then threw it at Kaye Leigh.

"I don't want your forgiveness or your bible." Jon had caught the bible and glared at Morgan. "What do you want?" she screamed at Jon.

"That is enough." The judge said. "It is here by this courts decision to sentence you to a minimum of forty years and a maximum of eighty years in the state prison system. I would suggest Mrs. Thomas that you take the bible and read it." He said. "This court is dismissed."

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