During my office hours this morning, I was looking over a student’s draft of a paper on Tennyson when the phone rang. I recognized the area code as being from Northern Kentucky, so I took the call. It was the assistant prosecutor from my brother’s case, calling to let me know that Michael had decided to plead guilty to the remaining charges in his case — at least the drug charges; I don’t know if the “felon in possession of a handgun” charge was part of the deal. The proceedings would take place this afternoon. I thanked the attorney, hung up the phone, and smiled at my student. “Family stuff,” I said. A bit later, I texted Mrs. M to let her know what was going on.
This afternoon, I went to my dentist for a root canal. As such things go, it was fairly painless, as I went last week when the first twinges started and we could catch it before things got nasty. But as I lay there in the chair and took deep breaths of nitrous oxide, my phone let me know I had a text message. The dentist was out of the room, so I fished the phone out of my pocket. It was the lead prosecutor. She gave me the play-by-play as the procedure unfolded, culminating with an extra 10 years hung on my brother’s tab. (Obviously, since he’s doing two life sentences without parole, this sentence is concurrent, but it’s there just in case an appeals judge goes cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs or something.) I wrapped up my appointment, texted the info about the sentence to Mrs. M, came home, and answered an e-mail about MLA style for citations.
And so, 1,749 days after my parents were murdered, my brother’s case is concluded (pending any appeals.) It ended very quietly, in a courtroom in Burlington, KY, and in a dentist’s office in Mondoville.