Wednesday, April 10 – Phoenix, Arizona – 9 weeks old
Chase follows Sarina through the door, before wrapping both arms around her.
“It’s okay, no matter what happens today,” he tells her quietly as he lays his head on her shoulder. “No matter what, it’s going to be okay. Just remember what I told you – focus on me, Christopher, anything but him. Do not give him that power to manipulate your thoughts. Don’t let him scare you. You’re absolutely amazing, the strongest person that I know. I love you.” He then gives her a light kiss on the cheek.
“I love you, too,” she replies quietly as she instantly relaxes back against him. “I can do this. I have to do this.” She then takes a deep breath, trying to get all of her thoughts in order. “I just need to say what happened – that’s it. The bare minimum and we’re done.”
“You’ll be fine, sweetheart, because know that no matter what, I’ve got your back.” She nods her head, accepting. “We both know there are plenty of other people who will do anything for you – but I can promise you that none of them will top what I will do for you. A promise is a promise.”
“Chase, I know.” She then reaches up, clutching his hands that wrapped around her with her own. “You don’t need to keep harping on that. I know the promise that you made, and I know you intend to do whatever it takes to keep that. If there’s a single hang-up with that, I’m not upset or mad. I know I can trust you and you’d do anything.”
“Chase….” Alycia says, getting his attention. She then nods for him to come forward with her, as he takes a deep breath.
“I love you,” he tells Sarina once more, before giving her another lasting kiss. He then slowly lets go, each finger one at a time, as he walks away from her. He then goes and takes his seat alongside Alycia, eyes focused totally forward. He didn’t even want to glance to the left at Carter, as he knew his blood would boil immediately in knowing what Sarina was going through today.
“We’ve got your back,” Christopher says as he sits down alongside Sarina, catching her attention as she simply nods her head back in return. While his hand clutch kept her wits together the last time, that wouldn’t be possible this time around.
“All rise!” The baliff states, as everyone stands up in the court room once again as they had done the weeks prior. “Presenting the Honorable Judge Jackson Pruitt.” All eyes focus forward as they watch Jackson walk out, taking his seat before all of them.
“You may be seated,” the judge instructs, as everyone follows suit. Sarina takes a deep breath, feeling her heart beating faster in her chest. It was only a matter of seconds now before everything began. “May the prosecution please call upon their second witness.”
“The prosecution would like to call Mrs. Sarina Elliott,” the district attorney Kyle Gates instructs. Sarina takes a deep breath, slowly standing up. She only stops slightly, feeling a slight hand squeeze and nod from Christopher.
“Just do your thing as you know how to do best,” Christopher whispers with a small smile before letting go of her hand. She then makes her way up to the front, taking a seat in the witness box. She then takes a deep breath, remembering Chase’s words in not making sure to glance at Carter. She forced herself to glance in that direction, though, catching his brown eyes immediately. She tried to soak up every bit of energy, knowing that it could only downhill from here.
“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?” The balif asks, catching Sarina’s attention as she looks forward at him.
“I do,” she replies, before turning her eyes back to Chase once again. Taking a deep breath, she had to do this no matter how difficult for everything that he was dealing with right now. She had to do this to prove he was right with his actions. She had to do this to prove that Carter needed to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“Mrs. Elliott, when did you first encounter Carter Williams?” District attorney Kyle Gates asks, catching Sarina’s attention. She had wanted to find a trust with him, knowing that he was simply asking the questions and leading her down this path to prove what was on the floor. She had to make herself believe no matter what that he was on their side, even if he was also in charge of the prosecution against Chase, too. It was the only way that she could go about this so she could say everything that was necessary.
“When he took a shot at my husband.” It was Chase’s turn to glance over, actually surprised at how direct her comment.
“Objection – allegedly shot,” Carter’s attorney Nellie Martin states. Sarina ignored every bit of the comment, wanting to focus on the strength that she was trying to channel so she could move through this smoothly as possible.
“The witness will certainly back up her claim forth coming with her testimony,” Kyle reasons as Sarina glances towards the judge. Was he actually as bad as he seemed in handling Chase’s situation?
“Overruled,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states, which Sarina wanted to smile immediately at. It was like a small victory here. “It is the jury’s discretion to decide Mr. Williams’ guilt based on the happenings in this court – hence why we’re here for these proceedings. Continue with your questioning, Mr. Gates.”
“Please tell the court what happened…” Sarina takes a deep breath, thinking back to that night. The initial flashbacks were easy to encounter, as she remembered stories and dances shared with friends. She chuckled to herself in remembering how the girls took over the dance floor sitting Brittney Spears.
“I was enjoying my wedding night with friends – dancing, hanging out,” Sarina starts as she thinks back to when her phone rang. “My phone rang, and I was honestly surprised to see Chase was calling me. I was then even more surprised when he told me that he was stranded and he wanted to me to come get him. However, I immediately accepted using the tracker on the Iphone to locate where he was.”
“Let cell phone records from Mr. Chase Elliott to Mrs. Sarina Elliott indicate that a phone call was made just past midnight,” Kyle Gates states as he lays down a piece of paper before the jury. Sarina was actually surprised at the timeline, not realizing it was that late when she received the phone call. “You didn’t go to see Mr. Elliott yourself, though…”
“I was pregnant at time, due to with my baby girl in March. I was ready to leave, when Christopher saw me and asked me where I was going. I told him and he insisted no matter what that I wasn’t to go alone and he was coming. I finally gave in, allowing both him and his fiancé Morgan to come with us.” Christopher felt a bit of fear as he thought back to that conversation, fearful as to what could’ve happened if he would’ve let her go by herself as originally discussed.
“What happened when you arrived at the destination?” Sarina could feel as a shiver as she saw the empty, cold road in her mind.
“It was a random empty road in the middle of nowhere – we almost missed it, actually. But we rolled up and sure enough, there was the truck pulled to the side of the road with the hood up. We walked over and Christopher tried to help Chase solve the problem. They couldn’t figure it out, so they settled on calling for a tow. As they debated who to call, that’s when we heard a rustle in the woods and the three men appeared.” Chase takes a deep breath as he thinks the whole thing over in his mind. What if he would’ve just called for a tow initially instead?
“Can you please tell me which three men appeared from the field?” Sarina felt it was pointless, considering Chase told this same story last week. However, she wasn’t about to question the ways of the court if it meant clearing everything up.
“Sasha, Steve, and Carter..” She glances down as soon as Carter’s name rolls off her tongue, feeling vomit in her mouth immediately.
“Pleas continue telling what happened….” She then glances down, remembering the series of conversation that occurred.
“I don’t remember the exact conversation, but Chase and Carter were discussing things back and forth. In the midst of that, Carter looked straight at Morgan, asking her to stop dialing the number she was dialing in her pocket. We were then instructed to drop everything on the ground, where he smashed our phones immediately. Chase was ready for us to be let go, but yet Carter told us he wasn’t done yet.” Sarina’s eyes remain focused on the ground, remembering the next set of words clear as day.
“Then what happened, Mrs. Elliott?” She takes a shaky deep breath, trying to remember every piece of advice that she was offered from both Chase and Alycia before taking the stand today.
“Chase stepped forward to protect us, and that’s when Carter said, ‘Do you really think that it was the lady that I wanted? Although, she would be a nice quick fuck right here’.” Sarina feels the tears begin to roll down her cheeks as soon as the words left her mouth, immediately having flashbacks to the incident in the trailer. She then takes a series of deep breathes, trying to force herself to calm down immediately.
“Mrs. Elliott, please continue, taking your time as you do please…” Sarina feels the tears begin to intensify as she feels the flashbacks blur together, knowing exactly what happened next as they stood on the side of the road that night.
“Chase was set on protecting me, and he told Carter that. Carter then said it’d be easy to get rid of him, and shot him in the shoulder…” Sarina closes her eyes, trying to block out every piece of fear she felt in that moment, focusing on the fact that they were both okay. She tried to find herself envisioning the butterfly that he wore in that spot now. She had to be strong for not only herself, but for Chase, Abigail, and their future as a family. “I immediately focused on him, fell to my knees, just sick of worry. I don’t even remember what Christopher, Carter, and Morgan discussed next because I was so damn focused on Chase. I was so scared that in that moment….” She then shakes her head, not even wanting to process that thought as she briefly looks over at him, catching his eyes. “It wasn’t long till Morgan and Christopher were down by his side with me. I was in such a panic, and yet they took charge of the situation. They both began discussing what to do, leading us to the cabin, getting me comfy on the couch with my pregnancy while they took him in the bedsroom to take care of him.”
“How long were you at the cabin before?” Sarina hated to think about that feeling, knowing that it felt like an eternity.
“A couple of days before Christopher fixed Chase’s truck enough so we could drive into town and get help.” She smiled at remembering the relief she felt when Christopher came in the cabin saying that it was up and running.
“What about the vehicle that you rode to the scene in?” Sarina could only think of one explanation, despite not cluing into that moment herself.
“They drove away in it – Sasha, Steve, and Carter. That was their escape with our money.” She watches as Kyle walks back to the desk, picking a series of papers.
“Let these papers show the charges that Sasha and Steve pled guilty too, in relation to robbery against Christopher Bell and harassment, among other charges.” Sarina could tell by Kyle’s demeanor without even a word being spoken where there the discussion was going next. She’d gotten this far without any issues. She could do this. She had to do this. “Mrs. Elliott, when was the next time that you saw Mr. Williams?”
“Atlanta Motor Speedway….in….the hauler…” She then takes a deep breath, trying to clear her thoughts as she could feel every ounce of pain and disgust beginning to come back in that very moment once again.
“Mrs. Elliott, can you please tell the court what happened?” She wanted to shake her head no and say that she couldn’t do it. She wanted to run out there, curl up in a corner and just break down crying. However, she couldn’t do that. She had to be strong for her family.
“Chase and I were talking in the garage area. I then left to head back to the JR Motorsports hauler so I could get changed into my firesuit for the race that afternoon. I headed inside, and I could hear someone behind me. But, I didn’t think anything of it. I mean, it’s the team hauler. It’s race day. There’s always traffic in and out of the hauler. I just thought it was a random crew member so I headed up to the lounge.” She then glances down, almost kicking herself in the ass for not turning around and saying something. Would that had changed the course of what happened?
“Then what happened?” She takes a deep breath, feeling the tears already beginning to trickle down her face as she struggled to find her voice. Every bit of pain and disgust fought against allowing her to speak, sending her stomach into fits.
“I stopped at the closet, grabbed my firesuit. I then headed up into the lounge, went to shut the door and someone stopped me from doing that. I stated that I was getting changed, as I would normally do as that’d tell the crew guys that they needed to wait five minutes. However, that’s when I heard this voice. He then said, ‘What if I don’t want the lounge to myself?’ I finally turned around and saw him standing right there before me.” Just like in that moment in the hauler, the color had drained immediately from her face in saying the words out loud in the court room.
“What did you do once you realized it was Carter?” She feels the tears getting heavier, streaming down her face steadily now as she tries to find her voice once again. She had to do this. She had come so far.
“I tried to scream, but he put his hand against my mouth. I fought as hard as I could, but he pushed me inside, shutting the door. I kept fighting, I swear I fought as I hard as I could – but I couldn’t do anything. He had me pinned against the wall. I kicked him in the nuts, but that didn’t even cause him to budge a single inch. He pulled me back, kept me pinned there once again. He then began to strip me, taking my jeans off, followed by my underwear.” She then glances over towards Chase, trying to find the security that she felt when she first got on the stand. She needed the strength more than ever as all she wanted to do was curl up, and break down into the worst breakdown possible. She just felt sick to her stomach beyond anything.
“Please continue as you may….” She didn’t want to. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t – no, she had to do this. No matter how sick and disgusted it made her, even if she vomited in the next couple of seconds, the words needed to be said.
“He undid his own jeans, stripping out of them along with his underwear. He then held down on the couch, sitting my face, forcing his dick in my mouth. I bit it, I kept fighting, I did what I could – I swear I did what I could. I tried everything that I could. But it wasn’t enough. He forced me to swallow his cock, as he forced his fingers up inside me, as deep as he could go…” She feels the vomit rise in her mouth that very moment, “I’m going to be….” She swings around, seeing the garbage pail by the judge’s leg. She then reaches over, grabbing it, immediately dumping the full contents of her stomach in it.
“Mrs. Elliott, are you okay?” She then sits back in the chair afterwards, nodding her head. Despite knowing that she was a total mess, feeling as sick as she could to her stomach, tears streaming at a steady rate, there was no way that she could leave there now.
“He finally stopped after a while and left. I was so disgusted that I went and found the first shower that I could, washing every single bit of him off of me. Then I went and told Chase what happened. He barely convinced me to say something.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Kyle states as he takes his seat.
“We are going to continue with the procee-” Judge Jackson Pruitt begins as Sarina shakes her head no, immediately.
“I want to do this – every bit of this – today,” she insists, catching the judge’s attention. She wasn’t about to take the sympathy road now. Besides, with the truth stated, it was all downhill from here.
“Are you absolutely certain that you can handle cross-testimony?” She wipes her mouth, taking a deep breath, trying to find whatever composure that she could.
“Yes sir.” The judge then looks over at the defendant’s table.
“Questioning may continue with the defense.” Sarina focuses on trying to get herself calm as possible, hearing the shuffle as she knew Nellie Marlin was ready to have her say.
“There’s no physical evidence connecting your husband’s gunshot to my client, is there?” Nellie Marlin questions and Sarina looks at her confused. Was that same question that she asked Chase last week?
“No,” she replies. “My husband was just shot, and I was pregnant at the time. The last thing I am going to be worrying about is fingerprints and proof and a damn gun. I was worried about my husband’s well-being and making sure my daughter was okay.” Christopher had to smile as he watched the strength he knew she held so well was coming through. He also smiled in remembering the small time they spent on the couch together at the cabin, as he calmed her down that night.
“You also didn’t recall the full conversation so what if your husband brought on what happened?” Sarina chuckles immediately as she shakes her head.
“My husband isn’t the type to go causing fights. He actually pushes a lot of things under the bush, because that’s not his style. I can assure you that his focus that night was making sure that we stayed safe despite being threatened by your client and his friends.” She couldn’t bring herself to say Carter’s name, but she wasn’t about to simply back away either.
“There’s no proof of the sexual encounter, either….” Sarina glances down, instantly regretting that. However, in that moment, she just wanted to get every bit of him off of her skin.
“I was in shock, disgusted, and I didn’t want to feel a single bit of that any longer than I had to.” Chase held some of that regret, knowing that he had done the same thing when he ran into Alison as well. He understood more than anybody in that room probably as to why she did what she did, and he didn’t blame her one single bit.
“What if you were cheating on your husband and this is a simple cover-up for being caught? What if this whole getting sick thing is an act?” Sarina’s jaw drop in pure shock in hearing the accusations. She then takes a deep breath, eying Nellie right in the eyes.
“Then obviously you don’t know what it feels like to have someone take advantage of you, make you feel small, and rip everything that you know from you. I can’t even begin to describe the disgust, the pain, everything that I’ve felt in the weeks since your client laid his hands on me. Your theory is sick, just as sick as you standing here defending his disgusting actions. Besides, if there was any proof or anybody saw anything, I damn well would’ve brought that to this court to make sure that it proved his guilt.” Chase nods his head, almost wanting to hug her immediately right then and there as it was the perfect comeback.
“I’m done…” Nellie Marlin then turns away and takes her seat, as Sarina sits there satisfied. She had taken each question and made sure it was twisted right back on her. She could only hope that was enough for the jury to see through everything that had occurred here today.
“I just want to start off by saying that I feel terrible for everything that you’ve been through,” Alycia Burrows states as she stands up and makes her way. “I fully sympathize with everything that you’ve stated. I just want to clarify that you told Chase every single detail of what happened, correct?” Sarina nods her head, as she glances over at him.
“I told him every single detail that I could in that moment despite how upset I was about what had happened. I trust him with my life. He knows every single one of my secrets. He knows all of my secrets. I turned to him completely because I knew that he’d take care of me.” Chase smiles, blowing her a small kiss in the process.
“We’ve already shown in the court that he went through a similar series of events with Ms. Alison Reynolds. Did he go through a period of time where he was just as upset as you have seemed to be today?” Sarina lets out a sigh, not wanting to think back to some of those days.
“He would shudder at my simple touch, scared that it’d remind him of something that she did. I woke up in the middle of the night due to him crying, and I’d hold him through those nights to comfort him. We talked on several different occasions about his emotions. Just like he’s been here for me willing to do whatever it took to help me, I was there for him when it came to her.” Chase takes a deep breath, not wanting to think back through those nights, either. However, he was thankful for every single second that she was there. That’s why he wanted to be sure to be there with Sarina every step of the way now.
“Thank you for your time.” Alycia then takes a seat back beside Chase, giving him a simple nod.
“You may step down,” the judge instructs as Sarina slowly walks away from the witness stand. “That is it for today. Court adjourned!” As soon as the words escaped the judge’s mouth, Chase stood up, and walked over to where Sarina was, pulling him against her.
“It’s okay, I got you…” He tells her, holding her as tightly as he can against him. “I got you….”