A Matter of Life and Death: Philip Margolin
The pattern of life does not always involve a simple plan or stay in the same direction. Unexpected situations and surprises can change the course of your direction and turn it into a drama or made for television movie that will resemble something out of one of your nightmares or dreams. Ian Hennessy is a deputy DA and will learn just what happens when getting close to a judge, asking for his help and then finding yourself in the center of a media debacle that will overturn your life. Anthony Carazo is smart, dangerous and diabolical and Ian Hennessy is about to become his pawn in a plot that will take him down so far he might never come back up.
Robin Lockwood is one of the best criminal defense lawyers and will not give up on a client until she beats down the opposition and wins her case. Anthony Caruso falls for the wrong woman and might regret his actions but not until she fulfills his every dream and fantasy. Stacy Hayes if smart, alone and finds herself having a drink with the judge. Bragging about his wife Betsy and how rich she is you can see the wheels turning in her head. Wanting to get to know her and not even thinking of his position as a judge as a member of the Multnomah Court Circuit Court, Stacy and judges think they have magical powers dealing with warrants that she thinks the judge can make disappear since she was a prostitute getting paid for sex. But, Curacaos has a plan that will not only clear the warrants but take down someone else within the legal community who never sees it coming.
Robin Lockwood is smart and will take on cases that most lawyers would hesitate to tackle. The author begins with the case against Ericka Staseen a CPA at Kimbro and Fong the firm that prepares taxes. She has a serious problem and Robin has other cases that she needs to attend to but when her colleague requests her help she can hardly turn Mark down. In this case Ericka/aka Eric has been accused of taking money from someone for sex. Robin was representing this person who had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute and women who have been charged with being a prostitute, but a female CPA did not fit the profile. The birth certificate was Eric Stasen and legally he/she is a man but in two months’ time that would change.
Ian Hennessy spends more time on his wardrobe than documenting and making sure he has all the facts when prosecuting a case especially the one against Ericka that Robin Lockwood is handling. The only way he climbed to somewhat the top of any profession was with the help of his father’s money and losing several winnable cases did not put him in good stead. But, if he could convict Staseen and thinking it was a sure winner, he would salvage his reputation. If he gets a conviction the defendant would lose her job. Hennessy claims they can make a plea to the jury or the judge, but he feels that he will go along with probation if she/he pleads guilty. Not going to happen. Anthony Carcaso is smart and considered getting rid of the warrants against Hayes. After Carasco returned to the bench he moved her into the Grandview in a luxurious apartment on the Willamette River with a magnificent view.
He was so enamored with her he never saw what she was going mor what the result would be. But sometimes speaking on the phone does not stop your wife who figures out what you are going. So, Anthony had to come up with a plan not to lose his meal ticket and more.
Betsy struggled to her feet and realized what he was doing, and the result was she wanted a divorce. But her husband was so embroiled and enamored with Stacy he would find a way to have what it wanted at all costs. The Erika Stassen case is interesting as the author enlightens reads about gender reassignment surgery formerly known or called sex change operation and the psychological problems these patients. She talked to the doctors, social workers and psychologists who were working with Erika. When she felt she had enough information she would meet with Ian. But she asked other defense attorneys about him to get a handle on the competition and she learn that he had an overinflated ego. However, what could be even worse was that the case was assigned to Carcaso’s courtroom and he was not one to fool with. Mark Berman, Robin and Erika went to the fifth floor and spoke with Dr. Langford about how to help with the case. The conversations were quite remarkable, and she explained to the judge that her client is a CPA and had no priors. He/she will be getting a gender reassignment. Robin would never back down, and readers must
The author allows us to see how she handled the trial, the outcome and her cross of Officer Balske who was the one accusing her/him of asking for money for sex. The author explains through Erika the process she had to undergo and the therapist that put her in touch with the transgender program at the medical school. Her explanation for her behavior is explained and she did not ask for money she was just trying to see if she could attack a man, maybe not in the best way.
The outcome will surprise you and Ian had better become more prepared. Did she win? Find out when you read part one and now for the murder trial that will take us inside the walls of corruption, illegal rights in a no holds illegal bar fight with Joe Lattimore, a homeless man trying to provide for his wife and child gets caught in a catch 22 situation as he fights Carlos Ortega and somehow they claim beat him to death but did he really kill this man or did someone do something to him to make sure that he lost the fight but why?
Situations get tense and Hennessy meets with the judge to talk about how he should prepare when dealing with Lockwood. The judge suggested dinner with him and at that point introduced him to Stacey not realizing this was the beginning of the end for him.
Joe Latiimore was unfortunate in many ways and homeless so taking this fight was his only way to have some money to support his family. Losing his job at the Imperial diner because of his bad temper he decided to take a chance and for 300 dollars he would be able to move out of the tent and into a motel. Things get tense and the fight is over but Joe is caught in the middle of a difficult situation when the person who ran the illegal fights asks for his hand wraps and places them in a spot that would implicate him in a murder. At this time no one realized that Judge Carcaso who was sleeping with Stacey Hayes was being set up by her as she spent the night with him many times and what he did not know was that she was filming their fun to be used to blackmail him late. His wife found out and started divorce proceedings. This was just the tip of a very fragile iceberg. Judge Carasco was taking money from his wife’s trust fund and Kevin Bash promoted the fights and he got a share of the profits made from gambling and the fee spectators paid to attend.
The judge did not like the fact that Betsy was going to get rid of him and devised a devious plan to take action to kill her. He offered to pay Bash with cash and by not taking his share of the profits for the next two fights. But, will he get away with it all?
It gets more complicated when Joe is threatened by someone related to the fights and has to go to the judge’s house, open the safe and steal whatever is in there and keep the money as a payment for the job. But, not thinking it through he falls prey to a scheme that would get him arrested for the murder of the judge’s wife. The end result is that Carlos Ortega the man he fought is dead, a video of the fight is all over the net and the defendant hopes to clear his name but who killed Ortega and just what role did a man named Brent Macklin play who claimed to be doing a story on illegal fights?
Things got tense and Joe’s trial was being handled by Robin and Amanda Jaffee who is tough as nails too and has contacts in the underworld that would bring some important information to light to help Robin proceed.
The judge never saw it coming when Stacey insisted he come to her apartment for some fun and was blindsided by Karl Tepper who had set up a hidden camera in the bedroom where their action was filmed and recorded each time. On two occasions she and Ian Hennessey had sex and two more tapes were made. Added in the judge paid a man named Andre Rostov to force Stacey to show him where the tapes were hidden and beating up Tepper as a warning to her and forcing her to leave town with his body in her trunk.
Someone wanted to silence the judge and when searching for him and where he might be they found his body. Who wanted him out of the way? What evidence would incriminate someone else? When the final scenes are played and Robin uncovers the truth you won’t believe who killed the judge, who else was convicted wrongly and the tie to the man who Joe fought and the reason why someone used an alias to get the information needed to get justice for his father’s death.
Lies, betrayals, murders, a judge that was corrupt and the murder that was well planned and two people that might have gotten the death penalty as author Phillip Margolin takes us inside the courtroom, allows us to hear the evidence and learn just how desperate some are when it’s a Matter of Life and Death. With Detectives Carrie Anders and Roger Dillon and her boyfriend, Jeff Hodges, Robin Lockwood would have a sterling team of tough, honest and hopefully insightful people to win a second death penalty case as the author explains the procedures and how they differ from a regular criminal case. Enter the courtroom of Judge Wright, listen to the witness and you decide the verdict.
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