I was seated at the counsel table in a courtroom where I had been defending a fellow against the charge of rape. However I wasn't the only defense attorney for the fellow, and I hadn't actually been doing much of the work. Another attorney (probably in his late 20s) was the main defense attorney in the case. Actually I hadn't even really been entirely sure of my exact role in the defense of the case and I felt rather confused by the whole proceeding. The other attorney seemed much more experienced and seemed to know what was going on.
The defendant had been declared guilty and the trial had moved into the punishment stage. The range of possible punishment which the defendant could receive ranged between 15 years and life in prison. I was very unclear about what was going to happen now and I was unsure whether the judge wanted me to give some kind of argument for the defendant. I heard the judge mention something about the defendant's character and I thought that evidence and arguments concerning the defendant's character may be the only issue in question at this point. Unfortunately I knew of practically nothing to say in favor of the defendant's character, and I realized if I did give an argument in his behalf, it wasn't going to be very convincing.
Meanwhile the other attorney had begun walking around the courtroom and talking to the judge. The attorney seemed muscular and strong, and I was impressed by his performance. I actually hoped he would take it upon himself to do everything that needed to be done at this point so I would need to be involved as little as possible. However I felt rather uncomfortable by just sitting here doing nothing, since I was supposed to be defending the fellow. There were quite a few other attorneys milling about the courtroom and I felt uneasy with their seeing me just sitting here.
The judge called out that the attorneys in the courtroom should come up to the judge's bench. I hastened up and in the gathering crowd I quickly found a place right in front of the judge. I figured since I was actually one of the defense attorneys, I needed to be asserting my place.
The defendant was seated to the judge's left facing the judge. The defendant (around 22 years old) seemed to remind me of someone I knew. He was obviously extremely distraught and it appeared that he was on the verge of tears. I looked at his eyes and noticed that his left eye seemed pale in the center as if he might be blind in that eye. He was a pitiable character, but I had a difficult time feeling any pity for him. Obviously he was now beginning to see the dire predicament he was in.
The judge talked to us all briefly and finally decided to recess until later in the day.
I was standing out on the street, apparently in front of the courthouse, with the group of lawyers. We still seemed to be dealing with the rape case. In conjunction with the case, one lawyer was looking up into the sky with a pair of powerful binoculars. We were in Dallas and tall buildings were all around us, but we were still able to see the sky. I also had a small pair of black binoculars, although they weren't nearly as powerful as the one the other fellow had.
The other fellow began saying that he saw some military aircraft in the sky and he began naming off several different types of aircraft. Everyone was consternated by that fact, because the skies were supposed to be free of aircraft today. Obviously the military wasn't adhering to that.
I likewise looked through my binoculars, but I was unable to see anything. My binoculars only focused in on a small part of the sky and when I moved them, the area I could see sometimes became even smaller; but finally I did see something. It was obviously a long straight missile. It was going straight up but then it began to waver and started to follow a crooked line. Obviously it was having trouble and soon began to tumble over and over completely out of control.
I hollered out to the others and told them what I had seen, but no one seemed particularly interested and we begin walking away down the street. I turned back and on the horizon in the distance I saw a large cloud of black smoke suddenly rise. I hollered out and pointed out the smoke to the others, shouting that it was from the missile which had crash landed. The others saw the black smoke cloud, which quickly rose and then spread out along the ground on the horizon, but no one seemed particularly interested and we continued walking away. I reflected about what a disaster it would have been if the missile had crashed into downtown Dallas.
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