Collision Course (A Josh Williams Novel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collision Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collision Course

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission from the author or publisher. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. 

 

Text Copyright ©2014 Joe Broadmeadow

JEBWizard Publishing

All Rights Reserved

ISBN-13:978-1497321458

ISBN-10:149732145X

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

No one writes a book alone. It is a collaborative effort of many people. Some help by reading and offering suggestions, some by giving you the time to write.

I would like to thank the following for their immeasurable assistance in making the book a reality.

Ms. Kelsey Broadmeadow, ESQ. (coincidentally my daughter), for her patience and assistance in answering my unending questions on the many legal intricacies of the book.

Dr. Edwin Pont for his greatly appreciated assistance in helping me craft the medical terminology. Edwin is also one of the finest people you could ever meet. His becoming a member of our family has made us all the better for it.

Any errors in the medical or legal aspects are all my misunderstanding of their explanations.

Michael Campbell, a profoundly positive influence on my life almost from the moment of birth, for his reading and suggestions of the draft versions.

Chief Anthony Pesare, Middletown Police and retired Major, Rhode Island State Police. For his insight, advice, critiques, and willingness to take time to read my manuscript, I am forever indebted.

To Jeff Slater, a friend of over forty years, for the amazing cover design. Jeff’s creativity is inspiring and greatly appreciated.

To those Officers, Agents, Troopers, and Prosecutors I had the honor and pleasure to work together with, thank you for the experience of a lifetime.

For Defense Lawyers that everyone loves to hate until you need one, thank you for showing me the reality of truth.

And to my wife, Susan for giving me the time to write and the support to let me believe I could.

Dedication

 

To the men and women who wear the badge and try to make a difference, few will ever really understand, or appreciate, what it takes.

 

 

Prologue
Innocence

Life
wears away our innocence. For Anthony Machado, those he trusted most slashed it from him; filleting Anthony’s humanity.

"Father, can I help you?"

The older priest, kneeling in front of the young altar boy, looked up. "No, no, everything is fine, just helping Anthony adjust the cassock. It's a little big on him."

The young priest looked into the terrified adolescent eyes. "Anthony, isn't your mom coming here to get you soon?" The boy remained motionless.

The older man rose up, facing the newly ordained priest. "Father" the words slow and deliberate, "I said everything is fine! Anthony is helping me pray the Rosary for our Holy Father tonight. His mother is picking him up in the morning. You may go," motioning Father Swanson toward the door.

You do not argue with the Pastor of the Church, let alone one thought likely to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of Providence. The young priest hesitated then turned away, walking toward the door. "I can come back later and help if you'd like Father."

"No," the Pastor replied, taking a moment to calm himself, "there is no need. This is something we need to do. Anthony will benefit from the experience. Please attend to your other duties."

Father Jim Swanson would never forget the look in Anthony's eyes, or the look in the Pastor's.

"Please close the door on the way out, we need time to prepare, and I will not tolerate any more interruptions."

The sound of the latch echoed through the church.

Lost

One
week later, Father Jim was hearing confessions. The door to the confessional opened. A penitent came in and knelt.

Father Jim slid back the privacy screen.

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned."

Father Jim knew the voice. He knew what was coming. He did not want to bear this burden.

"Father..."

The details horrible, the sadness overwhelming, yet the boy continued until he said it all.

"Father, he told me there is no penance for this, no forgiveness. He told me it was my fault, but I wanted to, to ask for... I, I begged him, I tried to get him to stop."

The door swung open, and he was gone.

Father Jim came out of his side of the confessional. The Pastor stood there, watching the boy leave.

"Did Anthony not receive his penance? He seemed in a bit of a rush to leave."

"Of course he did. Father, would you excuse me please," heading toward the Sacristy. Jim wanted to go after Anthony, to do something to help him.

"You will hear my confession," commanded the Pastor, stepping into the confessional.

Father Jim hesitated, trying to think of a reason not to comply. He could not. The right to confession is a fundamental tenet of the Catholic faith. Seeking forgiveness is the first step to redemption.

God promises the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

There are several elements to the Act of Contrition in the Roman Catholic faith. They include the priest, the penitent and God.

One has to have faith in the process.

Faith, he thought, this is what my faith compels me to do. This is why I became a Priest. This is my obligation.

He returned to the confessional, closed his eyes, and waited.

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned..."

Father Jim tried to grasp the words of the Pastor, this emotionless recitation of unimaginable evil. He sought a reason to forgive, some hint of genuine sincerity to permit absolution. He could find none. He knew they lacked other essential elements, genuine contrition and an intent to sin no more.

On the other hand, could he be certain? Why is faith not absolute?

Father Jim went through the motions of giving absolution and assigning penance to the Pastor.

Penance?

What penance could there be for this? How can you absolve someone of destroying innocence? Go and sin no more indeed.

Jim waited a few minutes before leaving the confessional, hoping to avoid any additional conversation.

The Pastor was waiting.

"I want to thank you for your understanding and patience with me, Father. I am sure this will be easier for you when you are more experienced. By the way, I planned to inform you of this later after I had spoken to the Bishop, I am removing Anthony from serving as an altar boy. It seems he was never baptized. I doubt his mother will ever help him meet the requirements."

“But Father, we can get his mother’s permission for someone to sponsor him. We can deal with this issue. Why should Anthony suffer…?”

“No, that will not be adequate.”

Father Jim just stared at the Pastor.

"Please see to it that he is removed from the schedule. I plan to discuss this with the Bishop. He will have to receive the Sacrament of Baptism, before he can receive Holy Communion. It is important that the requirements of doctrine are met, wouldn't you agree Father?"

Jim felt lost, his faith confronting an irreconcilable contradiction.

Why does God barter redemption, in exchange for confession, instead of preventing the taking of innocence beforehand? Is the need to use temptation so critical to measuring the sincerity of the faithful? At what cost?

Why impose this obligation on me? Why use me as the instrument nullifying this abomination? If this is his will, I may never understand. I do not think I ever could.

Chapter 1:
          
Hijacking Justice

 

June 22, 2006

United
States Attorney Robert Collucci stood on the courthouse stairs addressing the media.

Coming on the heels of his announcing his candidacy for the United States Senate, Collucci was reveling in the media attention.

“My office sought and obtained an indictment of East Providence Police Sergeant Joshua Williams on civil rights violations while acting under color of law,” pausing to enjoy the effect.

“I secured the assistance of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division in seeking this indictment. This office assumed responsibility from the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General insuring the matter would receive its proper attention.”

The implication was not lost on the reporters.

“As long as I am the US Attorney, we will continue to fight for Justice for everyone. This pattern of racial profiling and civil rights violations by police officers will not be tolerated.”

Collucci, looking into the cameras, continued. “The evidence in this matter is clear and convincing. The government will prove that the defendant, Sergeant Joshua Williams, acting under color of law, executed Anthony Machado for the simple reason of being a black man.”

Pointing at the courthouse. “Inside this building, Justice for Anthony Machado is at hand. My platform in this office, and in all my future endeavors, will be Justice for everyone. Thank you.”

The reporters shouted questions; Collucci smiled and waved them off.

Josh Williams, sat in the office of his attorney, Harrison “Hawk” Bennett, watching the news feed.

“Can you believe this?”

“Believe it, my boy? I am counting on it.” Reaching for the remote, he switched off the TV. “Collucci is an arrogant, self-centered, manipulative bastard, and those are his good characteristics. Not to worry, I am going to use those very traits to bury that son-of-a-bitch.”

Chapter 2:
         
Plans and Deceptions

 

March 14, 2006


Hey
, wanna make some money?”

Anthony "JoJo" Machado looked up from the park bench and saw David Anthony Ventraglia, known as Divothead, walking toward him. Ventraglia was not alone. JoJo considered Divothead to be one of his few friends; he did not know the other person, and did not much care to meet anyone.

JoJo trusted no one.

"Yo, Divot, I always need to be making money, what we gonna do?"

Anthony ‘JoJo’ Machado's heritage was a mystery, born on or about June 6, 1983 in Providence, RI.

He and mom were found by an inquisitive dog attracted by the smell of blood; the plaintive howling drawing the attention of a curious neighbor with the decency to show concern and dial 911.

JoJo's mother, Altagracia Manuela Medeiros, was a progeny of a sexual assault upon her mother, the father known only to God. Raised in the foster-care system of RI, she was also a victim of sexual abuse.

Altagracia, not quite age one, and two other siblings, ages two and four, were placed with DCYF, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families after being discovered abandoned in an unheated apartment.

The children were brought in for medical evaluation. The older two could say their first names; they called the infant “little one.”

A nun who cared for the child created a splendid name. Altagracia, High Grace, the Virgin Mary will guide her, Manuela, so God is with her, and Medeiros that would allow her to blend in with Fox Point.

She was a good Sister, terrible psychic, unless irony was her intent. No one would ever compare JoJo's mom and the Virgin Mary.

Altagracia carried the burden of a too-fertile reproductive tract and low criterion for her sexual partners. She was an all-too-common victim of the lack of conscience, or sense of responsibility, by many men. JoJo was the only one of five children she managed to bring up by herself.

Rumor had it JoJo bore a resemblance to a former parishioner of St. Domenicks Church. The man died trying to pull people out of a burning building in Providence; once again, unexpected heroism depriving a child of the potential for a different, more fulfilling life. A short time later, Altagracia was sober enough for a day to realize she was pregnant, again.

People often wondered why DCYF chose to leave JoJo with his mother.

Many assumed the others were female. Removing them from the dysfunctional parenting of Altagracia improved their chances for a better upbringing, in an environment that encouraged planned parenthood. Perhaps they believed it was worth risking one, while saving the other four, considering the budget constraints. A pessimist might argue risking them all was a better bet, letting evolution select the fittest.

Resource limitations force Social Service agencies to choose between a known evil and an uncertain one.

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