Lucius Ballegarde sat in his office, going through the last of his notes for his Monday morning meeting with Nancy O'Leary. He could have had the meeting nearly two weeks ago, but wanted to give his investigators plenty of time to investigate. Now ... he was ready to bury Tom O'Leary in a prison. The cast wasn't exactly open and shut, but there was enough to get a decent sentence. The man wouldn't plea, probably, but ... it was always worth a shot to save the taxpayers some money. As long as he kept jurors minds off of the victims own past. Providing he didn't want a bench trial, of course.
Nancy O'Leary arrived at the reception area of Lucius's office and could be heard asking for him in the foyer "Oh I do believe he IS expecting me..." was her clear statement that could be heard through the door.
Lucius smirks when he hears the voice, then neutralizes face a bit and finally switches to friendly mode. Opening his office door, he smiles down the hallway. "Miss O'Leary. Please. Come in." once she IS in, he shuts the door firmly behind him. "I'm Lucius Bellegarde." he'll offer her his hand to shake.
Nancy shakes the hand with a cool professional smile. Her work had taught her not to be too friendly, but always cordial "Mr. Bellegarde, nice to finally meet you. Let's get to it, shall we?" She was making it clear she had no intentions of shooting the shit.
Lucius nods and motions to a chair in front of his desk. "Of course." he sits behind his desk. "There are many options. Right now we are prosecuting on murder. There is evidence that perhaps this wasn't the accident your client would have us believe it was." he knows all about the affair ... it was a small town ... he'd even seen her.
Nancy has a practiced poker face and nods serenely "There is a lot of evidence indeed. More will be revealed as the trial proceeds. But let me cut to the chase. We'd like to plea and we'd like a bench trial."
Lucius nods once. "Well, as you know, murder carries a sentence of life in prison." he states mildly. "A plea of manslaughter is not out of the question, however." he pauses. "Provided I can be convinced this was, in face, not intentional, Miss O'Leary." his voice is almost like butter ... soft and smooth and call and collected.
Nancy keeps her cool demeanor and says calmly "This was an act of criminal negligence, not a premeditated murder. In fact my defendant thought he'd never see the victim again. There would be no means of motive to plan a murder. And the victim was a known violent criminal. It was only reasonable to feel the need to defend himself, and yes a loved one from such violence, without intent to kill."
Lucius considers that. "Perhaps. Or perhaps it was one of those 'If I ever see you again, I will kill you' scenarios." he offers. "Your client is a boxer. His weapons are with him at all times. Available at a moments need." he shrugs. "Such a violent sport, boxing. And this was a fight for the love of a woman, after all." he purses his lips. "What is your client claiming his intent was, if the victim had possibly dealt their mutual lover a fatal blow?"
Nancy ruffles a little as he mentions Tom's boxing as a weapon and then sits forward, recomposing "His intent was to prevent further harm. The woman in question is still alive today." She smiles confidently and folds her hands on her knee with one leg crossed over the other.
Lucius makes note of the very slight tension. "So you're telling me your client had no intention to harm the victim? Only to neutralize him?" he taps on his desk a moment. He realizes that while the case is strong, there were still things that could keep it from being a complete victory for him. The shoddy state of the banister being one of them.
Nancy gives just one nod "Correct." She doesn't offer more even though she's thinking about it. Giving the opponent too much is never wise.
Lucius is silent for a very long moment. He folds his hands under his chin, clearly thinking. After a couple of minutes he lowers his hands onto his desk. "Let's talk manslaughter, Miss O'Leary." he offers. "I can drop the charges to manslaughter and ... let's say ... twenty-five years." manslaughter had been his end goal from the beginning anyway, but he wanted to see a little of what this lawyer sister was made of. Of course, twenty-five years was an outlandish sentence, but he had time to negotiate down.
Nancy knew what was in the parameters and nodded "Those would be acceptable terms Mr. Bellegarde. Except let's talk 3-5 years. That railing situation was really not in my client's control." It was still going to be a hell of a fight, but this was a slightly lesser arena.
Lucius looks at her over his desk for a long time. This woman was good. "Four years, he serves six months in the Alexandra Police Department cells and is then released on probation for three years." he lifts a finger. "He will not be able to leave British Columbia without permission from the state, of course. And probation will include anger management classes." he counters. This was faster than he thought it would be.
Nancy smiles "I will need to consult with my client but that sounds like a good option. Let me call your office when we're ready to give you an answer."
Lucius nods and stands, offering her his hand. "I look forward to your call." he replies.