Now, over a decade and a half later, as I reflect on the whole situation, I realize I probably wouldn’t be in here if I’d had someone competent to help me fight instead of the joke of a defense that I had. I wasn’t aware that your attorney was supposed to work for you and listen to your input. but that’s what they count on from day one, ignorance! and like most young black men at that age, men period, I was as ignorant as they came.
I wonder what would have happened if he’d checked my phone records like I suggested or if he’d have called a key witness on his lies about John and I arriving in our own separate vehicles when the detective clearly said in his report that Johns car was in his sisters garage out of commission at the time. even just to point out the fact that John only had one leg so of course I would’ve taken him home like he asked. or if he’d at least once mentioned the SAD but simple fact that with the environment I was raised in, most of us wouldn’t think twice about letting a peer into our vehicle with a gun like that.
at the time before I began trial, my parents had hired a P.I. to question witnesses. I assumed that he was professional and he even recorded all of his interviews so imagine my excitement before one crucial witness got on the stand, my lawyer telling me the guy had admitted he didn’t think I had any idea what was going on before the shooting to him and the P.I.! and then he busted my bubble by saying the opposite later on but, “no problem” I said right “because you guys got it on tape right?” he said to me that no they hadn’t recorded that one particular interview. “WTF” I said to myself but, being my ignorant self,I just let it go because he knew what he was doing! and then he also said the strangest thing “hey uh, make sure that you don’t tell anyone about us using a private investigator ok.” now I have to finally ask myself, was he just inexperienced or did he purposely do a lousy job to gain favor at a later date?
I mean how was the jury of white collar society to supposed to understand what on earth I was doing when I said that I was “freakin’ a black-n-mild”? are they supposed to magically grasp the concentration it takes to twist all of the tobacco out of a cigar before removing the filter and putting it all back in? I can’t sit here and truly question the reason for my conviction but at the same time, how do you fight back against such a stacked deck? add that to the total heinous nature of the crime and tell me how I stood a chance in hell…
I’ve been telling myself this whole time that I deserved to be locked up because of the lifestyle I was living at the time. I was getting into all kinds trouble I had no business being involved in so, I saw it as some kind of reckoning for my terrible past. but just like that family was never supposed to experience an unforgivable event as they did, I was never supposed to give up on the people who depended on me.
I keep asking myself what I could’ve done differently that night but, just who could foresee events unfolding like they did?! I wish I’d just not stopped that night…
…I did end up getting a shirt and going to my interview the next morning too. they told me that I couldn’t work for their company at the moment because they had a minimum age requirement of twenty four! guess it really paid off, me going out to get a shirt that night huh!! I abandoned my innocent children all because of a waste of time…
Wayne Gilliam #453-816
Lebanon, Ohio 45036