Crime Doesn’t Pay; Neither Does Work
by Bruce McEwen, October 12, 2016
Jewel E. Dyer and James A. Norton, both of Willits, have a lot in common. They’re both astute young fellows with enough acumen to see that working for a living doesn’t pay, and they’re both ambitious enough to do something about it.
Mr. Dyer, seeing that his father, only 58, wasn’t likely to die of old age any time soon (no thanks to the damnable health food market in Willits), took up a baseball bat and dashed the old boy’s brains out, thereby hurrying along his inheritance of the family pot pharm.
Mr. Norton got it in his head he’d rather collect his retirement while he was still young enough to fully enjoy it, so he went on a tire slashing spree to convince the Social Security Insurance actuaries that he was eligible without paying into the fund for 45 years, like the rest of us must needs do before we can collect the benefits.
Another thing these guys have in common is repeated trips to see Dr. Kevin Kelly in order to impress upon the good psychologist how crazy they both were. Both their efforts failed. They were both diagnosed as competent to stand trial.
Unable to convince the doctor, they tried to sway the judge.
Mr. Dyer had been to two psychiatrists, Doctors Kelly and Apostle; he came back to court with his lawyer Assistant Public Defender Carly Dolan and commenced to argue with her. APD Dolan told presiding Judge Cindee Mayfield that her client was being uncooperative and argumentative – and Dyer shouted over her that he wanted a Marsden motion (to fire his lawyer). These motions are heard in private, so Judge Mayfield cleared the courtroom, heard Dyer’s complains, and denied the motion. Then she had to order him back to the psychiatrist for another evaluation. So Dyer got his case put over until October 19th; effectively postponing the inevitable.
Mr. Norton had worked with his public defender, Jonathan Opet, all the way up to the plea bargain worked out with Deputy DA Luke Oakley, when he decided to play the crazy card on Judge David Nelson. “Look here old man,” he said to Judge Nelson, you’re supposed to be helping me get my SSI, not taking my guns away – I come in here after slashing a few tires and you tell me you’re going to come to my house and take my – that’s a bunch of shit, old man!”
Bailiffs and correctional officers had converged on the tire slasher by this time and escorted him from the courtroom. Mr. Opet said his client had been perfectly reasonable and sane until the unexpected outburst over the guns – of which, Norton being an ex-con with a prison prior, had already been prohibited from owning.”
“It crossed my mind,” Judge Nelson said, “that it was a ruse on Mr. Norton’s part, but nevertheless, by law, I have to send him back to Dr. Kelly for another evaluation.”
Ruse it was. Back in court on Friday, Norton finished the plea without any more acting lessons and will be sentenced to three years in prison on November 17th. “What about my SSI, judge?”
“I don’t have anything to do with that.”
“Will I be able to get it in prison?”
“You will have to take that up with the inmate services staff, Mr. Norton.”