Chelsea walked briskly down the hallway to the main conference room. She knew Sigmund would be inside along with the District Attorney, Clive Harcourt, more than likely discussing the new details that had come forward with the case. Others may have withheld the information, but a friend in the department phoned Sigmund right away, and Sigmund phoned Harcourt. She could hear Harcourt speaking as she approached the door. With file in hand, she didn’t wait, she entered quickly.
“…realize this changes things drastically,” Harcourt said to Sigmund then turned to the door with an annoyed look on his face as Chelsea entered. “I see you aren’t as prompt as I have heard, Miss Morgan.”
“You said we’d meet at ten,” Chelsea replied as she took a seat beside Sigmund. “It’s 9:45. I was goin’ over the new information.”
Sigmund leaned over and whispered as she made herself comfortable. “I tried phoning your place. You weren’t there.”
“I was at a friend’s place,” she replied, blushing slightly as the memory of the previous night came back in full detail. Sigmund sat back and smiled, but remained quiet. He’d let Chelsea go over the information with Harcourt.
Chelsea fixed her eyes on Harcourt as she adjusted her glasses. “Accordin’ to police, they picked up a perp for extortion around 7:45 last night,” she said reading off her notes. “After a brief discussion he came out wantin’ ta cut a deal. An’ that’s where he said…” She let the sentence hang as she looked to Harcourt hoping he would finish it for her.
“…that Justin was the one who orchestrated the extortion racket that the Crimson Skulls had been working for the past six months on inner city businesses,” he finished as he leaned on the chair with his hands. He’d been standing the entire time, as though this might give him some advantage.
“We already have the evidence that Justin joined the Crimson Skulls four months ago,” Chelsea reminded him. “How the hell could he come up with a plan ta extort businesses when he didn’t join them until two months after.”
“I believe I can prove that Justin was the mastermind before he joined officially,” Harcourt said with a small smile.
“What?” Chelsea shot back with an incredulous look. “Harcourt, we been through this. Justin was intimidated ta join after the Crimson Skulls wouldn’t leave his mother an’ sister ‘lone. Now if this is some hair brained theory…”
“I can prove that Justin has been in fact, one of the trusted brains behind the actions of the Crimson Skulls for the past year,” Harcourt said as he interrupted Chelsea. “Justin’s a smart kid, has had the highest grades in his classes…”
“You are not sayin’ that just b’cause an inner city kid is smart and probably wants ta go ta a good institution ta further his education that he just in fact might be the ring leader o’ a gang like the Crimson Skulls,” Chelsea said as she gritted her teeth. She felt Sigmund’s hand on her shoulder, a signal that she had to calm down.
“Your argument will end up making you look bad, Clive,” Sigmund said in a quiet and calm voice. “You pursue this course and you’ll have every minority organization looking to string you up.”
“Whether or not that may be true,” Clive stated in an even tone. “It does not detract from the fact that Justin may actually have closer ties to the leadership of the Crimson Skulls than previously believed. Your job just got a lot more difficult.” Harcourt gathered his things together, offered a nod to Sigmund and exited the boardroom quickly.
“He’s right, you know,” Sigmund said as he leaned back in his chair. “Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Chelsea sighed heavily as she put away the papers she had carried into the room. She rose to her feet as she looked to Sigmund. “I wanna talk to this witness,” she said in a curt voice. “Any chance we can get ta see him?”
Sigmund nodded as he rose to his feet. “Juan Cortez. I contacted his lawyer this morning, shouldn’t be a problem. And Chels,” he said as he looked to her with a slight smirk. “Maybe let me do the talking when we go see him. We’ll be heading down to county at two this afternoon, it’ll give you a chance to calm down…”
“I am calm,” Chelsea replied in a defensive manner.
“Then why did it look like you wanted to rip Harcourt’s head off,” he said with a sigh and suddenly chuckled as he gave her a nudge. “Not that I really would have been disappointed. Now come on, we’ve got our work cut out for us.”