ICYMI: Read “For Pete’s Sake – Part III” By GAIL FARRELLY https://www.yonkerstribune.com/?p=37125
Three months later…
Pete Cassidy sat at his desk sipping coffee and reading the local paper.
The coffee was just as bad in this job as it had been in the last one, though it was probably better than the coffee Doug Fleming was having this morning. He doubted that the county jail was known for gourmet coffee.
The front-page headline, “DA Doug Fleming Indicted for Murder of Allison Drake,” screamed out at him. The article went on to mention that an unnamed source had led police and prosecutors to a major break in the case. “Unnamed source” sounded fine to him. He didn’t need a public accolade. It was enough to know he had helped to catch a murderer. And, in the process, had been able to help a “brother,” Tony Moffat, initially accused of the crime. Tony had been freed and was now able to get on with his life. Pete hoped he would head for a better life than the one he had been leading before his arrest. The last he heard, another veteran, a businessman who owned a few fast-food restaurants in the area, had offered Tony a job. Good news.
It was ironic. When they served in the military, soldiers took care of the country. When they left the service, though, the country didn’t always take care of them. Often they were left to take care of each other. He’d like to advise military men and women just leaving the service: when you need help, who ya gonna call? Another veteran, of course.
It had been a tumultuous few months. When he left the service he thought he’d be going on to a much calmer existence. Yeah, right.
He considered himself lucky, though. He hadn’t known what to expect when he had finally made up his mind and had gone to the head of the Police Department’s investigative unit with his suspicions. To his surprise and relief, he had been taken seriously. It must have been difficult for the detectives to investigate a district attorney, but they had done it. And that was in spite of the fact that they had been convinced that they already had their man, the hapless Tony Moffat.
Pete wasn’t privy to all the details. But he did know that, after his alert, the detectives had been able to discover that Doug Fleming and Allison Drake had been having an affair. Among other things, the couple had spent numerous weekends at an out-of-the-way bed and breakfast place upstate. And there were quite a few flower deliveries to Drake, paid for with a credit card that was traced back to Fleming, although under a different name. After much background work, the detectives collected enough evidence for a court order to get a sample of Fleming’s DNA. That’s when they hit pay dirt. It was a match to the DNA of the tiny piece of skin on Tony Moffat’s gun. The nail in Fleming’s coffin. How could he explain that away? Presented with that piece of evidence, Fleming had confessed to the murder, saying that he had just lost it when he found Allison was seeing Tony Moffat on the side. Of course this didn’t exactly jive with the fact that it was a pre-meditated crime that had been meticulously planned.
It surprised Pete that his former boss had confessed and was going for a plea deal. He thought that Fleming would have hired the best attorney in town (he was certainly in a position to know who that would be) and taken his chances at trial. But maybe he just felt it was a lost cause and couldn’t bear the scandal. Or maybe his wife talked him into it. Clearly she held the purse strings in the family. Perhaps she had made it clear that she wouldn’t be paying the legal bills. Anyway, it looked like the plea bargain was almost a done deal.
Coffee break over, Pete threw his paper coffee cup and newspaper in the trash and turned back to his computer. He was satisfied with his new position, administrative assistant to the head of the Police Department’s investigative unit, the one he had originally gone to with his suspicions about Fleming. It was an interesting job with advancement potential. He couldn’t ask for more.
He liked his new boss.
Pete just hoped she wasn’t a murderer.
Original publication by Kings River Life Magazine.