Saturday, April 20 – Phoenix, Arizona
Chase walks into the court room, letting out a sigh as he glances around. He had hoped that his next appearance would simply be to hear what the jury had to say with a good outcome. However, instead, it seemed that he was there for another reason now.
He had a couple days to process what was about to happen with Alycia coming to see him. He even read over the piece of paper a couple times, considering all the options in relation to what he was seeing. He was even mixed as to how he wanted things to play today.
If the motion was accepted and he had to make the appointment, then it’d further close the door on options for an appeal. If the motion wasn’t accepted, it’d certainly hurry the process as the jury could go back to deliberating and maybe he’d be free of this entire experience sooner. Besides, the quicker he didn’t have the wear the ankle monitor, the better.
He takes his seat alongside Alycia as he had done in each of the appearances prior, glancing around the court room. He was almost intrigued by the facial expression from Carter in about what was to go down – but didn’t bother to think about it more. He had to focus and see what direction things went here.
“All rise!” The baliff states, as everyone stands up in the court room just like weeks prior. “Presenting the Honorable Judge Jackson Pruitt.” Jackson once again walks out of the doors and up to stand, taking his seat, as he had done before as well. Chase tried to get a read off of him, but couldn’t figure anything thus far.
“You may be seated,” the judge instructs, as everyone follows suit. “By all intentions, the trial proceedings has been completed on Tuesday, April 16, with the jury set to deliberate the charges against Mr. Elliott and Mr. Williams. However, it was brought to my attention to pause deliberations on Thursday, April 18 as a result of a motion being filed to my office. Was everyone made aware of these events?”
“Yes sir,” all three lawyers – Kyle Gates, Nellie Martin, and Alycia Burrows – each state one after the other. That was a meeting with Alycia that Chase wasn’t about to forget, either.
“Thank you. Ms. Martin, it is my understanding that you filed the motion in regards to the charges against Mr. Elliott. However, you are supposed to be the defense attorney for Mr. Williams and worried about his case.” It didn’t far to grasp as to why Nellie was the individual to file such a motion in Chase’s eyes, given that she’s working in Carter’s best interest.
“With all due respect, sir, the charges against Mr. Elliott pertain to an assault against my client,” Nellie Martin begins. “So therefore, I feel that I have legal bounds to pursue this matter. In addition, if I may, Mr. Elliott testified against my client on behalf of the prosecution, as well, so therefore this connects back to my case as well.” Chase could only roll his eyes, but again, wasn’t surprised. It was just like Alison and all the games that she mattered to play over in the courts.
“Reasoning is accepted, hence why I agreed to hear the motion in court,” Judge Jackson Pruitt replies, earning a partial groan in response from Chase. It would’ve been better to have this thrown out entirely without an appearance to allow the jury to do their job. “Ms. Martin, you have filed a motion for Mr. Elliott to be seen by a court appointed psychiatrist for a session. May you please explain your reasons, ma’am.”
“Ms. Burrows is stating her client’s reasons for assaulting my client stem to self-defense, civic arrest, and mental state. It is my understanding that any other case that has gone through the courts in regards to mental state, whether it be provincial or federal, has resulted in the individual being seen by the psychiatrist for an evaluation. Those findings are then shared with the court for the jury to also be able to consider in their proceedings. All I am asking for here, sir, is consistency with the court system.” Chase lets out a sigh, remembering how Alycia had stated those exact words to him when she told him about the motion. It was why she believed that it’d probably be allowed by the court.
“Mr. Gates, may I ask why this wasn’t included in your proceedings as it is the state that you’re representing and they pressed the charges against Mr. Elliott?” Chase almost had to laugh in hearing the question. Wasn’t it obvious to the judge yet that Nellie was behind the charges, given her constant focus on that?
“Ms. Burrows presented the records from Mr. Elliott’s psychiatrist visits – indicating that he had been seeing someone,” Kyle Gates begins, carefully. “However, this is a man that has been allowed to drive a racecar on every given weekend at a high rate of speed. If there was really something going on, would he be trusted to do that by his own psychiatrist? Normally you’re only requested to have evaluations if they center around insanity, or sanity, and whether the person should be at large to society or not.” Chase almost wanted to turn and ask Alycia if a comment of that nature was beneficial, or not. Did that debunk the mental state theory? Could that cause the jury to lean away from his defense?
“Ms. Burrows also was clear to state that her client only has these ‘moments’ as she called them in relation to particular events and people,” Nellie Martin then begins. “She referenced a series of events in connection to Ms. Alison Reynolds, before linking them to my client. Therefore, the implication is still implied despite Mr. Gates’ very reasonable argument. I just want to clear it up by offering a third party point of view for the jury. Besides, those records and such could have been forged or done as a favor as we know Mr. Elliott’s pull with people.” Chase actually admired his consistent push as his questions for Alycia continued to build.
“Ms. Burrows, do you have anything to comment in relation to the motion?” Judge Jackson Pruitt questions as Alycia takes a deep breath. She glances over at Chase, debating which direction to go with this, before looking up at the judge.
“I firmly believe that I presented the best case possible for my client,” Alycia begins. “I showcased the three reasons for Mr. Elliott not to be found guilty, and hopefully combined with everything the jury can see why he did what he did. I feel this is either a stall, or last desperation tactic from Ms. Martin due to her client’s situation.” Chase smiled as he had to admit he was feeling the same thing, and it gave him more confidence in the eventual jury decision.
“Although you may be calling it that, and we hate to extend the court’s time, Ms. Martin is right about the standard being set for psychological evaluation. We’ve already bent the rules for Mr. Elliott in allowing him bail despite mental state being part of the defense, in allowing him to continue traveling around the country racing, and being allowed to take off the ankle monitor on race weekends. So therefore, I feel it is the court’s duty to fulfill the requirements that are laid out before it. The motion is accepted.” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing exactly what that meant. He had spoken about Alison and Carter before, but it still wasn’t easy to step up and speak to someone else about it.
“There is no timeline stated on the motion as filed. So therefore, I would appreciate the court’s time in allowing Mr. Elliott to spend Easter Sunday with his family for dinner, as everybody else involved in the case will be allowed to do so. I would then be open to scheduling the appointment on Monday, April 22.” Chase crossed his fingers that was allowed, as he wasn’t about to miss family dinner.
“That is allowed,” Judge Jackson Pruitt thankfully accepts. “Following the evaluation on Monday, the court will re-convene during the week to hear the findings, before allowing the jury to continue deliberation. Mr. Elliott, you are instructed to speak with a court appointed psychiatrist on Monday, April 22 at the time given to you by the clerk. If you miss this appointment, you would no longer be allowed bail and face jail time for obstruction of justice proceedings. Am I clear?” Chase didn’t need the additional comments on his head to make sure that orders were followed on Monday.
“Yes, sir,” he simply states as he focuses his eyes on him. His mind, meanwhile, was elsewhere, feeling a mixture of emotions in regards to this situation.
“Your honor, is the location of such appointment determined?” Nellie Martin then questions, catching a couple off-guard glances in response.
“I see on the motion that you are recommending Mr. Elliott travel to Delaware with his evaluation taking place at Delaware Psychatric Centre,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states, earning a nod from Nellie. The color instantly erased from Chase’s face as he looked over at Alycia, shaking his head no immediately. There was no way that he was going to step in that building.
“My client is already making weekly travels from Dawsonville, Georgia to Phoenix, Arizona for court proceedings,” Alycia begins to try and plea, seeing the immediate response from Chase. She didn’t need to ask him as she knew herself the reason why. “The only baring is that it’s a court appointed psychiatrist that is registered with the state. Couldn’t we go with someone in Georgia?”
“We’ve talked about special trea-” Nellie Martin interjects.
“Okay, fine, then because the charges have been laid by the state of Arizona, shouldn’t his appointment be at an Arizona facility? I feel this is just another tactic played by the defense. They’ve been aware that Ms. Alison Reynolds is currently housed in their high security department via copies of the documents from Mr. Gates and myself. I could only bet that’s why Ms. Martin chose that location.” That was only the explanation that Chase could find himself, as he sat there still stunned.
“I accepted the motion, which means I accept every single piece of writing on it,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states. “Therefore, the location stands. Your client is a pilot. He can certainly get himself there in time. Court adjourned!”
“I’m sorry…” were the only words that Alycia could think to say as she glanced over at Chase, seeing the disgusted look on his face. “If anything, it’ll help the case because that’s obviously going to cause a reaction from you.”
“Thank you for what you’re trying to do – I appreciate it,” he replies, before standing up and walking towards the door. He just wanted to get out there as he didn’t need to think about this a single moment more. He already knew he’d probably be sick on Monday.
Saturday, April 20 – Columbia, South Carolina
Darrell walks over to the group, handing each of them a drink, before resuming his place as they get ready for a fun night together.
“I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to come,” Ryan comments with a glance over at Chase. Chase actually had a couple nerves himself initially as he was standing in the court room.
“Alycia knows what she’s doing and I wasn’t about to miss family dinner tomorrow,” Chase replies as he looks over at Ryan. “Be sure this was perfectly needed after today.” Cracking the can open, and taking a long sip, he was ready to ignore everything that happened at least for the night thanks to the guys. He would worried about that on Monday.
“Your dad is coming to pick us up tonight, right?” Chase nods his head, remembering the conversation. After they got done with court, he landed in Georgia, taking Sarina back to the house to spend the night with Lindsay (wedding planning). Though before separating from his parents, he put the question to his father, which was easily accepted. “No drowning your sorrows too much there, boy.”
“Hey, I wasn’t the one that needed to be carried home on Thursday. I can handle my alcohol.” He then takes another long sip, as Ryan keeps an extra eye on him. He trusted him, better than most, but he was keeping an extra eye just in case. He had heard enough details from Chase on the way up to South Carolina to have him concerned.
“I love you guys!” Bubba lets out, wrapping his arms around both of their shoulders for a bro hug together. Ryan and Chase could only look at him a little concerned, but then both laughed it off.
“Daddy worked like a mule, mining pike county coal,” Ryan begins to sing along with the opening song. “He messed up his back; he couldn’t work anymore. He said one of these days you’ll get out of these hills. Keep your nose on the grind stone and out of the pills.”
“See the ways of this world just to bring you to tears,” Chase joins in as Bubba could only glance over at them in amazement. He then turned on his phone, taking a photo to send back to the girls. “Keep the lord in your heart, you’ll have nothing to fear. Live the best that you can and don’t lie and don’t steal. Keep your nose on the grind stone, and out of the pills.”
The girls only chuckled as they watched the video, sending back a thumbs back in response.
“But yet they tell us that they don’t sing,” Lindsay comments, as Sarina just laughs back in response.
“Chase always told me that, too,” she recalls with a smirk on her face. “That all changed when he sang to me.” Lindsay smiles as she remembered Sarina telling her about that. “They can sing better than they realize. We need to do a Karoke night together.”
“And embarrass ourselves?” Sarina instantly turned to surprise as she shook her head no.
“Girl, you can sing – whether you want to admit it or not. I’ve heard that voice of yours. Ryan will agree once he hears it. Hell, he may sing more for you.” Lindsay was set to argue totally against that, focusing back on the binders.
“So with doing a beach wedding, I was liking the idea of having yellow and white flowers…” Sarina looks over the notes that Lindsay had added herself since the last time they sat down together planning the wedding.
Sunday, April 21 – Dawsonville, Georgia
The whole afternoon at the Elliott household had been fun and entertaining. There were chuckles in watching Chase’s niece and nephew run off through the field looking for the Easter eggs that Cindy had hid for them. Cindy then got the photos of them all together she had been requesting and bugging from the beginning for – with Sarina following her instructions in taking the images.
“That better not be the last time that we do photos,” Cindy commented as they finished up with a couple of other requests. One of her personal favorites was having Bill with all three grandchildren together. “As those kids get better, we need to promise to keep doing them each year.”
“Are you saying that we’ve created an Easter tradition?” Sarina questions, earning a nod in response from Cindy. Sarina couldn’t explain as she thought it was adorable. She also knew that she’d probably be doing the same for herself, Abigail, and Chase.
“I was the trouble maker of the three of us – but yet you’re the one wearing one of those fancy monitors first,” Starr comments, earning a glance from Chase that wasn’t too pleasant. “What? I’m sorry, but I had to make a comment on it.”
“I have to admit that you are right, though,” he finally gave in with a small smile on his face.
“We could always get Brittany to bust it for you.” Brittany glances over, giving a simple nod as she had knew disabling devices like that was right up her ally in the Air Force.
“She’s too much of an angel to do something like that…” That only earned a couple laughs around the room in response.
“Ah shit!” They hear Sarina let out, with each of the Elliott kids glance over to see what was the reasoning. It didn’t take them long to realize, seeing Abigail had spit up on herwhile Sarina was burping her.
“Rule 1 – never wear white with children as it’ll get marked up immediately,” Brittany states, earning a nod in agreement from Starr. “I wore a white dress to a party once, and I ended up with pee everywhere thanks to little man.”
“Lucky for you, I have training with stains, too,” Cindy comments as she joins in the group. Chase easily takes Abigail from Sarina’s arms, letting her head off with Cindy to get cleaned up.
“So what are you going to do if she wants to race like her parents?” Starr questions as Chase looks over at her. With Abigail being only 11 weeks old, he hadn’t given it much thought. However, he knew it was a big possibility with how much time she’d be spending at the track.
“We’ll have to see when the time comes,” he answers as he glances down at her. He then leans down, giving her a couple kisses, which just earned some giggles in response.
“I’m surprised some team hasn’t already signed her to a development contract,” Brittany comments. “I could honestly see her and Brexton dating while racing as teammates one day.” The comment only earned a glance of surprise and shake of the head from Chase. “Oh, so we don’t flinch about her racing, but we freak over dating?”
“Listen, she’s not dating until she’s 18 or possibly older.” Both of his sisters chuckle back in response, looking out in the backyard at their dad playing with the kids.
“Don’t worry – dad always said the same thing about us. You can ask him how that turned out.”