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Frontier Justice

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Length: 224 pages3 hours

Summary

NOTE: This novel can also be purchased with five other novels of mine in an anthology entitled Six Novels.

Adriana Jones grew up in the roughest section of Chicago where murder was an everyday event. After working as the dispatcher at the police department for three years, she became a cop at the age of twenty-two. “The thing I always noticed about her was that when we had a hot call—things like shots fired—Adriana was the first one out of the cruiser. Always. She seemed totally fearless—she told me once that the only way to deal with criminals was to be meaner and tougher than they were."
During her time in Chicago, Adriana received three commendations for bravery, but she was eventually forced to resign because of an incident where she shot an unarmed man. Six months after resigning, Adriana is hired in New Haven, a suburban town eighty miles south of Chicago. On the night of October 25th, 2012, two teenagers, Billy Watkins and Nathan Smythe, stand on an overpass that crosses the expressway and hurl cement blocks at cars. One of the blocks goes through the windshield of a car, which causes it to jump over the median where it collides with three other cars and kills eight people.

Two days later, Billy Watkins, who had stolen his father’s gun, takes Sharise Jackson and her child hostage. Adriana enters the room where Billy is holding the two hostages and is finally able to persuade him to surrender his gun and release the mother and her child, but as Adriana and Billy are walking out of the room, there is the sound of a gunshot.

Sharise, a little unsteady on her feet, left the bed and had just reached the hallway when she heard Adriana say, “OK, Billy, let’s go—you first.”
About ten seconds later, Sharise heard Billy say, “What?” And then, maybe a second later, there was the sound of a gunshot followed by the crash of someone falling to the floor. “Oh My God,” screamed Sharise to two cops who were standing at the top of the staircase, “someone’s been shot.”
Just then, Adriana came out of Sharise’s bedroom and tossed Billy’s gun onto the carpet.
“Are you OK?” said the first cop to reach her.
“I’m fine—but he’s not,” she said as she pointed behind her.
“What happened?”
“Just before we left the room, Watkins tried to grab his gun away from me, but before he could yank it out of my hand, I shot him in the face.”

The prosecutor is suspicious that Adriana has murdered Billy—her history in Chicago reads like a one-woman execution squad. Eventually, he hires three crime reconstruction experts, and they all tell him that Billy Watkins was definitely murdered. Adriana is charged with second degree murder and acts as her own attorney.

Will she be convicted? Even more importantly, is her claim of self-defense valid?

Adriana approached the jury box and said, “When I saved that mother and child, it was hardly the first time I risked my life for the innocent, for those who were depending on me for protection. That’s all I’ve ever done—I was given three decorations for bravery while I worked in Chicago, and if I cared about medals and had been willing to talk about myself more, I could have received a dozen. One of those commendations was given to me because I ran fifty feet down an alley while I was being shot at with an AK-47. I did that to drag a severely wounded policeman to safety. That could have been your son or your brother or your husband who was brought to safety. And I’m sure—absolutely positive—that if it had been the prosecutor’s brother that I had saved, he would never have brought the Watkins case before you. Never!”

Even so, it’s up to the jury to decide the fate of Adriana Jones. How did they vote? And how would you have voted if you were on that jury?

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