St. Louis Wacky-Dispatch

January 10th, 2004

The Trial of the Century
by Kieto
These are the events of my Jury Duty as they unfolded on that fateful day of January 10th, 2004. It was truly an unforgetable experience.

It was Monday morning and I woke up around 5:30AM. A few months earlier, I received my Jury Summons in the mail. Every three years or so, I get one of these so it was no surprise. I grabbed my notebook and pen so I could document my experiences at court and bring you this story. I grabbed my summons; my cell-phone; a pocket full of change for the coffee machine and headed out the door.

Traffic was congested along the way, but moving at a nice clip. I found a parking lot right next door that charged $8.00 a day. I’m getting paid $12.00 a day so it was close to breaking even and I didn’t have far to walk.

As I walked in the front door of the courthouse, there were about 30 or so people already there and they all turned and stared at me. I thought to myself, ‘Why are they looking at me this way?’

You see, in all the morning papers, the headline read, “The Trial of the Century”. I hadn’t seen the paper yet and had no clue what it was or who it was that was going on trial.

I leaned over and asked this girl what time they opened the doors and she replied, “7:30! But I don’t know you, OK?”

I thought this very peculiar. I thought it was my deodorant or something. But just dismissed it as a personality conflict.

There were two metal detectors on the right and left. The Sheriff Deputies were in between them. And when 7:30 rolled around, the sheriffs had all who were there file only into the detector on the right. Not three people had passed through when I heard my name being called out.

“Will Kieto Valentino step over to the other metal detector?”

I did. That’s when 4 police officers, accompanied by the District Attorney, Mr. Al Dente, grabbed me, and through me up against the wall. They frisked me and began to read me my rights.

All during this time I was yelling, “What is this? What did I do? There’s been a mistake!” What is the charge?”

The D.A., Mr. Al Dente, read me my Saran-Wrap Rights. "You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Any story you tell or write may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to a pen and paper but only to write your biography. You have the right to bread and water and maybe some beans. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?”

Of course I said yes, but again, I asked, “Why am I being arrested?” They would not tell me but led me off to a holding cell where I waited for 3 hours. It was cold. It was wet. And the only light coming in was from a small window looking out into an exercise yard.

I sat and reflected about my life. I thought about how they tricked me sending me the summons in getting me to come down to the courthouse. It was all a trick! A trap! A ploy! But what could they have arrested me for?

What was the charge? What did I do? Why were they treating me this way? Why did they have to trick me into coming down to the courthouse before they arrested me? I didn't even get a phone call! Who was to represent me as my attorney? Click continue to find out the answers to all these questions and more!