Play some mood music
Once the opening statements were done, the prosecutor stood and consulted a legal pad in front of him.
"You may call your first witness," said the judge.
"The prosecution would like to call Officer Rogers to the stand."
A patrolman in full uniform, except for his sidearm, strode purposefully to the witness stand. The clerk approached with a Bible, and in accordance with the instructions that were administered, the police officer placed his left hand on the Book and his right hand in the air.
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" intoned the court clerk.
"I do." replied Henninger.
The judge ordered, "Be seated."
Prosecutor Robert Evans strode over to the witness stand. "Please state your name and spell it for the record."
"My name is William Rogers R-O-G-E-R-S."
"What do you do for a living?" he asked.
"I am a patrolman with the Cranford Police Department."
"How long have you been on the force?"
"It will soon be three years."
Having completed the formailities, Evans started into the serious questioning. "Does the day of September 8, 1996 stand out in your mind, Officer Rogers?"
"Yes, it does. That was the day I discovered the corpse of Juliann Boyle about a mile outside of Cranford along the little- known, barren part of Route 22."
"Would you please describe the chain of events that led to the discovery of Juliann's body?"
The officer thought for a moment. "We received a call from an anonymous driver on his cellular phone that there appeared to be a dead body on the road. I was the closest patrol car, and was the first officer to arrive at the scene."
"What did you do upon arrival?"
"In accordance with police procedure, I attempted to seal off the area so that no evidence would be disturbed. Upon securing the scene, I was relieved by Lieutenant Foley. At that point, Detectives MacArthur and Varnes arrived and began their investigation."
The prosecutor nodded. "Thank you, nothing further."
Defense Attorney Bill Mitchell rose to cross examine the witness. His leading questions, only permissible on cross examination, did not leave much room for explanation from the witness. Mitchell began by reviewing some answers from direct.
"Officer Rogers, isn't it true that you found the body about a mile outside of town?"
The patrolman nodded. "Yes, it is."
"And wouldn't it be accurate to say that at least one person, that is, the man who called you on his cellular phone, arrived at the crime scene before you were able to secure it?"
Again, the policeman answered in the affirmative.
Mitchell moved closer to the witness stand and looked more at the jury than he did at Rogers. "So it is conceivable that someone could have arrived at the crime scene before you did and either planted or removed crucial evidence, correct?"
"Objection!" shouted the prosecutor, leaping from his chair. "This calls for speculation on the part of my witness!"
The judge waved him down, "Overruled. The witness will answer the question."
The policeman looked from the judge to the prosecutor. "I guess it's conceivable."
"Thank you, nothing further."
The judge saw that Evans did not have any re-direct questions, so he excused the witness. The policeman left the witness stand and walked out the courtroom doors. He headed down the elevator to the first floor, and left the courtroom by the side entrance, where he left his car. The parking lot was just past the County Jail where Richards would be spending his time during the trial; Rogers knew that the State Prison, where he would be sent if found guilty, was even worse than this foreboding place.
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Graphical bars used with permission and taken from the CD-ROM accompanying the Que Corporation book Using HTML by Tom Savola.
The music is used with permission and taken from the Americana CD-ROM.
The picture of the "jail" was taken by Michael Morley for use in this project.