Rated: E · Short Story · Death · #2101913
Not Guilty by Reason Of Insanity
Your honor, ladies and gentlemen, members of the jury. I am here as a defense attorney representing Heidi Smith who has been accused of poisoning her husband.
First of all, I would like to present the events that led up to John Smith's untimely death, as related to me by the defendant, Heidi Smith.
Heidi and her husband John had planned a camping trip in upstate New York. They arrived at their destination and began setting up camp. John was building a campfire and accidentally cut his finger with an axe, a cut that required stitches. According to Heidi, she wrapped John's finger up as best she could and they got in the car to find a doctor; dusk was already setting in. In her panic, Heidi took a wrong turn and ended up on a wooded road for about five miles; she continued down the road hoping to find a road sign that pointed them in the right direction. Ahead, she saw a large building and a sign that said Woodgrove Sanitarium. The building appeared to be deserted, but as she approached the turn around in front of the building, she saw a light and a sign that said Dr. Morgan, MD. She told her husband that they were stopping, anyone should be able to put in a few stitches, and he agreed. Upon entering the office they saw a large bulky nurse with a white nurses uniform, complete with a nurses hat. The office was very old. They were escorted to Dr. Morgan's office, again it was very old, not modern at all. The Dr. stitched and bandaged John's finger and the nurse gave him something to drink. Mrs. Smith asked her what she was giving him and the nurse replied that it was merely to stop the finger from hurting once the freezing wore off. Mrs. Smith stated that it was unusual, from her experience, but she didn't question it. As you all know, Mrs. Smith used to be a nurse herself. They offered a credit card to pay for services but the Dr. said he was unable to process them; they did not have cash on hand. The Dr. told them it was nothing, he did not want payment.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith left the office. Heidi Smith stated that she heard the nurse laughing behind them, which gave her a very eerie feeling. John stumbled upon getting into the car but said that it was just from the trauma, he hated getting shots of any kind. Heidi Smith drove back down the country road and finally pulled out onto the main highway, hoping to get directions back to the campsite. She noticed John nodding off in the passenger seat. Suddenly John's body tipped over toward her and she pushed him with her right arm, but he did not respond. She pulled the car over to the side of the road and stopped. After examining John, she realized that he was not responding to her at all; she panicked, got back in the driver's seat, and furiously sped down the highway toward town. She finally saw a hospital sign and pulled into the emergency exit, got out of the car and ran in to get help.
Heidi Smith waited in the waiting room for what seemed like a long time. Finally, a police officer came in the waiting room and sat down beside her. She asked if she could see her husband, and what was wrong with him, and why it was taking so long. She said that he looked at her and asked why she had killed him. She replied that she hadn't and then told the story I have just repeated to you, the jury.
As you know, from the evidence, an investigation was conducted at the Sanitarium; although there was a Dr. Morgan who practiced there at one time, he died over fifty years ago and that office was closed and never used again. No evidence was found that anyone had entered that office recently. Tire tracks were confirmed, but because of the dryness of the area, the tracks could not be verified as those of Mr. and Mrs. Smith's vehicle. Testimony was given that Heidi Smith was a registered nurse at one time and could easily have stitched up John's finger. A lethal dose of Arsenic was found in John Smith's autopsy. Poisoning was determined to be the cause of his death. No records were found that Heidi Smith ever researched or purchased this ingredient. There is no evidence that Heidi Smith gave John Smith this lethal dose of arsenic, and I ask you to take this into consideration.
As Heidi Smith's legal attorney, I am distressed to state that, based on all the evidence we have heard here today, I must ask for a verdict of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. There is nothing to prove that there was a motive behind this unfortunate event. There is no evidence from Heidi or numerous witnesses that there was anything amiss in their relationship or any reason she would want to harm what she refers to as 'the love of her life'. I can only surmise, that in her panic at the injury, she temporarily lost her mind. How the arsenic entered John Smith's body is something only John Smith would be able to tell us, but you have no evidence to prove that Heidi Smith gave it to him. It is unfortunate that we have been unable to verify the rest of Heidi's story regarding Dr. Morgan.
A cry was heard in the courtroom from Heidi Smith, “I did not poison my husband, everything I told you was true, I loved him, I would not harm him.”
A pounding of the gavel was heard followed by a reprimand from the Judge. “Order in court. I must caution Mrs. Smith to be silent.”
It only took the jury 6 hours to determine the fate of Heidi Smith. The verdict was read by the Judge.
We, the jury, find Heidi Smith to be not guilty of the murder of John Smith by reason of insanity.
The Judge sentenced Heidi Smith to 7 years psychological evaluation in the New York State Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
Unknown to anyone, at the reading of the sentence, a light in the office of the deceased Dr. Morgan, flickers on and off several times and then goes dark.
1st Prize Winner in Contest & Blue Ribbon