Expert Witness

Expert Witness by Rebecca Forster Page B

Book: Expert Witness by Rebecca Forster Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rebecca Forster
him for a debater in high school. “You think people like me are unethical. Not so, Archer.  I can’t tell you how many times I have turned down requests for my services precisely because it was implied that I would provide predetermined conclusions in my testimony.”
    Archer countered. “And my testimony doesn’t have wiggle room. Either I find what someone’s looking for, or I don’t. You, on the other hand, can make people believe anything. You talk out of both sides of your mouth.”
    “You mean like lawyers do?” Daniel suggested.
    Archer tightened his grip on the wheel. Touché. Daniel was right. Lawyers sold out to the highest bidder, and it wasn’t always for money. Josie had sold herself to Hernandez and he was dirt poor; she sold herself for notoriety.  Now she was getting a return on her investment in spades.
    “Let’s just say I have reservations about your true value in a courtroom,” Archer answered. “Opinion on a state of mind is subjective.”
    “Then I suppose I’m only here to keep you company, since I was no more than a pretty face in the Hernandez trial.”
    Daniel faced forward and stopped talking. The silence felt like arm wrestling, and it was Archer’s psychic arm that was starting to tremble. Finally, he called uncle. 
    “Okay. I’ll bite. What was your take on Hernandez?” Even though Archer’s eyes were on the road, he knew Daniel Young was smiling like he just won something.
    “Xavier Hernandez knew right from wrong, and he had no remorse when he did wrong. He was not compulsive about his urges, but he was smart enough to take advantage when a situation presented itself.  He abused those girls and, realizing the trouble he would be in, killed them. He was also smart enough to hire Josie Bates and meticulously follow her advice. He never once incriminated himself. Xavier had issues, but he was not mentally ill. He relied on his mother for everything, and his mother gave it to him just to keep him away from her. Bottom line, he acted on impulse when he offered those girls a ride, but he carried out a plan once he had them isolated. He had full knowledge that what he was doing was a crime. I gave the prosecutor everything he needed to convict. I spoke to details that Hernandez provided to me during our interviews because I alone knew what to ask. I . . .”
    Archer had heard enough about how fabulous Daniel Young was. What he spouted was standard stuff any psychiatrist could have offered, but Young made it sound like he had opened Hernandez’s head and plucked out a detailed confession.
    “Okay, so he was smart and you were smart. But why is someone ticked off now? And if they’re avenging Hernandez’s conviction, why go after Josie? She was the only thing standing between him and the needle.”
    “Perhaps someone thought she should have got him off Scott free. In my expert opinion, her performance was both brilliant and disgusting.”
    “And what about this woman? Erika Gardener?”
    “Collateral damage, maybe?” Daniel suggested. “Although some of her articles were brutal, I don’t think Xavier really cared one way or the other about his press. It might be as simple as Hernandez liking to have two women. Making Janey watch Susie being killed heightened his pleasure. That’s what he told me.”
    “Then maybe we’re looking for someone who isn’t affiliated with Hernandez at all. Maybe the statement isn’t that Hernandez got a raw deal.”
    Daniel raised an eyebrow as he chuckled. “And just who might that be making such a statement?”
    Archer raised a brow right back. “The victims’ families? How about someone who didn’t like that the Susie girl never got her day in court? Or, what about Isaiah Wilson? It’s the ten year anniversary of his kid’s death, and all this guy got was second degree.”
    “You’re not suggesting Isaiah Wilson is responsible for Ms. Bates’ disappearance, are you?”
    “Stranger things have happened.  But hey, you’re

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