J.D. Stone and the Case of the Bloody Knife
By Dwayne MacInnes
I immediately called the station to ask Dan to arrest Brent. After I gave the order, I waited until the coroner and Deputies Ed Douglas and Lars "Sonny" Thomas arrived. Both deputies quickly contained the crime scene and were thorough in gathering any evidence at the scene. I had a few words with Mike Harris, the coroner, and some last minute instructions for my deputies before I headed back to town.
Back at the station, Dan had Brent locked away behind bars. Our jail is not large, so there are only three cells that sit behind the main desk. Dan sat behind the desk leaning back in the wooden swivel chair resting his feet upon the desk's large top. Jeanie sat across the room from Dan at her dispatching station. The two were in conversation when I walked in.
Dan nearly fell backwards trying to compose himself. He knew I did not care for him having his feet upon the desk. In any case, he managed to regain his feet without killing himself. I hid my smile with a rough smirk.
I looked over to the first cell to see Brent Underwood in the blue jail digs sitting on his bed at the far side of the cell. He had his head bowed low, so I did not immediately see the bruises and scratches on his face. When he looked up at me, I then saw the beaten Brent had taken. His left eye was nearly swollen shut, a butterfly bandage held a cut above his right eyebrow together, and there were a series of five parallel scratches on his left cheek.
"Did you find anything on Brent?" I asked.
"Yes sir, in his backpack I found a letter from Victoria. You can read it. It is on your desk and this bloody hunting knife," Dan pointed over to the knife sealed away in a baggie on the desk. The knife was the standard hunting knife one could find in any outfitting store. Except it had a nice polished bone handle with B.U. engraved on the pommel.
"I assume you gathered the suspect's clothes as evidence as well?" I usually don't second-guess my deputies, but with Dan, I had to make exceptions. The boy was still learning. Once he almost had a suspect's clothes cleaned, fortunately we retrieved them before we lost the evidence on them to the washing machine.
"Sheriff, I have them separated and sealed up nice and tight."
"Have you read Brent his rights?"
"Yes sir," Dan smiled in his youthful and a naïve way.
"Have you questioned him yet?"
"Just his initial statement. He claimed that some unknown jumped him on Lower Country road while he was out for a walk. I had just finished it when you called to have me place him under arrest."
"Good Dan, we may make a lawman out of you yet," I didn't think Dan's smile could get any bigger. "Take the evidence down to the crime lab, have Floyd look it over."
Our crime lab would have many other departments laughing. It was more of a garage run by Floyd Jenkins. Nevertheless, he and his two assistants ran an efficient operation. He was good at taking fingerprints, typing blood, and a lot of science stuff that I could never comprehend in school.
Dan trotted off for Floyd's while I pulled a chair up next to the cell containing Brent. He looked up at me with his one good eye. It contained all the sorrow and misery of the world.
"You know why you've been arrested right?"
"Yes, sheriff. Dan said there was a murder on Upper Country road and he found a bloody knife in my backpack. I don't know how..."
I held up my hand to forestall him. "Before I ask you a few questions I want to make sure of a couple of things."
"Did Dan give you your one free phone call?"
"I hope you called your lawyer. Because my second question is whether you want to talk to me now or with your lawyer present. It would really speed things up if he was on his way in either event."
"No, I called my girlfriend."
"Dan told you who was murdered right?"
"Well no, he just mentioned something about a murder on Upper Country road."
"Did he mention that it was your girlfriend who was murdered?"
"That's impossible; I just talked to her ten minutes ago!"