Deputy Ernesto Miranda saw a lot during his law enforcement career. From his time as a DEA agent to his current post at the Mud Lick Sheriff’s Department, the veteran cop thought he’d come across just about every unusual encounter possible.
Nothing compared to what was happening in the Driftwood County Circuit Courtroom right in front of his eyes.
He was a witness for the District Attorney’s office on a case, patiently waiting for the call to the witness stand. The case currently before Judge Daniel Spaulding was bizarre in its own right.
“Let me get this straight,” the bewildered jurist began. “The defendant is charged with public intoxication, drunk and disorderly, and…sexually assaulting an animal?”
“Yes, Your Honor.” replied ADA Cecil Stephens.
“Someone want to tell me what the hell happened here?”
Stephens looked at his notes. “According to the police report, the defendant was found in an acquaintance’s backyard drinking from a bottle of Gray Goose Vodka and attempting to masturbate a large-breed dog. A pit bull, from what the officer surmised. When the defendant was questioned he claimed he was “jacking off a friend’s dog so the dog didn’t get mean.”
“And that’s why the PI charge is bullshit, Cecil,” defense counsel snapped. “Bobby wasn’t in public until the cop arrested him.”
“Language, Mr. Dempsey,” barked Judge Spaulding.
“Trent, are you sure about this?” the Defendant asked his lawyer in a more subdued tone.
“Bobby. I told you bro. I got this.” Trent Dempsey told his client as he struggled to stand on what appeared to be wobbly legs. Deputy Miranda’s eyes narrowed at the sight.
Holy shit, he’s drunk, Miranda thought.
“Your Honor,” Dempsey slurred while addressing the court, “This is all a big misunderstanding over a stupid practical joke. See, we’ve got a friend who owns a big-ass pitbull. Judge, he’s like really fucking big.”
The courtroom was stunned silent. Everyone was at a loss to even react to the bizarre scene.
“Anyway, my pal Bobby here is the nicest guy in the world. He’d do just about anything for anybody. Well, about a month ago our buddy Dan told Bobby he was traveling to Australia this week and needed someone to watch his dog. Bobby hates that fuckin’ dog, but he can’t say no to anybody when asked for a favor. Then for a few days after that, Dan told Bobby almost daily ‘When you watch Brutus, don’t let him out. I can let him out and he’ll come back, but he won’t if you let him out.’ And Bobby every time said ‘Ok, Dan.’”
“Then last week, as Dan’s packing, he calls Bobby up and says ‘Here’s why you won’t get him back if you let him out. I let him out in the afternoon, Brutus roams the neighborhood for a while, has his way with some random female dog and comes home. You won’t be able to keep an eye on him if you do it, though. Problem is if he doesn’t get some in a couple of days, he gets aggressive. And since you can’t let Brutus out…you’re going to have to jack him off so he doesn’t get mean on you.’”
“What?” Bobby said.”
“At least twice in the week while I’m gone,” Dan replied. And Bobby gulped and said “Okay, Dan.”
“Well, Dan left without telling Bobby that was just a goof. Bobby, being the guy he is, went to Dan’s this week and decided if he was going to give a dog a hand job he’d at least get drunk doing it. So he grabbed a bottle of Gray Goose from Dan’s cupboard, went in the backyard, and got to work. A busybody neighbor happened to see the whole thing, called the cops, and here we are.”
Everyone sat in silence for a few moments. Judge Spaulding broke it. “Mr. Dempsey, are you drunk?”
“No, of course not, your Honor.” Trent giggled. “Maybe.”
“Mr. Bobby…Braxton,” Judge Spaulding turned his attention to the horrified Defendant. “I want to see if I can save us some time. Is everything in Mr. Dempsey’s soliloquy truthful? Swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God before you answer.”
“Your Honor I swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God, and unfortunately everything my lawyer just said is true.”
Judge Spaulding paused for a moment, then continued. “I’m afraid, unfortunately, that being stupid or falling for a terrible practical joke is not a crime in this jurisdiction. I find you not guilty of all charges. You’re free to go.”
Braxton shot out of the courtroom like a lightning bolt at the rap of Judge Spaulding’s gavel.
Turning his attention to Trent Dempsey, Judge Spaulding caught the eye of Deptuty Miranda and said, “Unfortunately for you, Mr. Dempsey, public intoxication is a crime and you are incredibly drunk. Deputy Miranda will take you into custody and we’ll set an arraignment. I also find you in contempt because I want a chance for you to explain to me how in the hell you managed to persuade me to let a client of yours walk while you were inebriated.”
Deputy Miranda strode forward with practiced confidence, slapped cuffs on Dempsey, and said “Yes, Your Honor” as he left the courtroom with his prisoner.
“You’re a piece of work, Trent,” Miranda said as they drove toward the county jail.
“What do you mean?” the lawyer mumbled in the back seat.
“Because I could tell the story of what just happened and unless the person was in that courtroom, nobody will believe a goddamn word of it.”