Deadly justice, p.23
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       Deadly Justice, p.23

           Darrell Case
 
“What?”

  “Call me Rich and I'll call you Allison. Have you

  eaten? Perhaps you'll join me for a late lunch.” Allison raised her eyebrows. “I didn't know FBI agents were so beautiful.”

  He winked at her. Allison fought down her rising temper.

  “Mr. Dishon, I'm conducting a murder investigation, I'm not here to socialize.”

  “Very well,” he said, his face reddening and showing some of the hardness Allison knew was there. “To answer your question, yes, I was working late last night.”

  “So you were in your office when Allan Roe was murdered?”

  “No.”

  “No?”

  “I don't believe he was murdered.”

  “Then how do you explain his death?”

  “It happens all the time. Drugs are smuggled in from the outside, one offender stabs another. These aren't

  choir boys we're dealing with, Agent Stevens.”

  “I' m well aware of the disposition of our prisoners, Mr. Dishon.” Dishon appeared to run out of steam. He held up his hands. “Look, Agent Stevens, we do the best we can

  with what resources we have, and frankly sometimes it's not enough.”

  “I understand. Now perhaps I could see Roe's cell?” Allison said standing up.

  “Of course,” Dishon, said pressing a button on his phone.

  “Yes, sir?”

  “Send Captain Prasser in please.”

  Seconds later, the door opened and a tall slim man wearing captain’s bars stepped into the office.

  “Captain Prasser, take Agent Stevens anywhere she wishes,” Dishon said.

  Built when Lincoln was president, Michigan City quickly became the toughest prison in the state.

  In the beginning prisoners were executed by the hangman's rope, then sparky came into play, finally lethal injection was adopted.

  Death row was unusually quiet. Occasionally one of the men would call to another or requested a magazine or ask a question of a passing guard. A numbing sense of oppressiveness of doom hung over the block.

  After examining the cell, Allison called to the captain. Is there an interview room?"

  “Sure, got the attorney's room. Why?”

  “I want to speak to the prisoner in the cell next to Roe’s.”

  “You best do that from the walkway,” the captain smirked, “These men are dangerous.”

  “Just bring the prisoner, Captain,” Allison said sighing.

  “All right, but don't say I didn't warn you.” Five

  minutes later an officer escorted a thin wiry man to the glass enclosed room. Writing in her notebook, Allison didn't look up.

  “Have a seat,” she ordered. The man stared at her name tag. Contemptuously, he snorted up the contents of his nose and tossed a file on the table in front of her. “Captain said to give you that.”

  Allison’s eyes froze on the label. Her right hand felt for the Glock. They had taken it from her when she entered the prison. The man leaned onto the desk, his face inches from Allison’s.

  “That's right, lady, I’m Jim Brimmer,”he growled, “Joe was my brother.”

  He dove over the table at her. Allison shoved her chair back and chopped the man across the back of his neck. Brimmer fell on the table momentarily stunned.

  “Officer! Officer! Get in here!” Allison shouted, jumping up from her chair. Reviving, Jim Brimmer rolled off the table onto the floor. She glanced out into the hallway and saw Captain Prasser and two other officers gawking with smirks on their faces.

  “Well hey, you ain't no pushover, are you?” Brimmer said grinning. He was the spitting hideous image of his brother. Alisonf ought the surrealism that was crowding her head with images of that night at the farm in Elm Grove. Brimmer popped up off the floor and barreled at her again. She yanked him by the shirt, swinging him around. His fists flailed at her. She blocked him, kicking his feet out from under him. He landed hard in a sitting position. She jerked him up and slammed him into a chair.

  She glared incredulously at the men standing outside the door. They had made no move to assist her.

  Keeping an eye on Brimmer, Allison went to a chair on the opposite side of the table and perched warily on the edge of the seat. “Tell me about Roe.”

  “What makes you think I know anything about Roe?”

  “He’s was in the cell next to you.”

  “Yeah. So?”

  “Come on, Brimmer, he was your friend.”

  “”Yeah, my frined. We had tea every day at two.”

  “Somebody killed him. They could just as easily take you out.” A flicker of fear in glinted Jim Brimmer's eyes. Death Row inmates always held to the hope of a new trial or a stay. He glanced behind him at the captain.

  “Iff'n I say anything you gotta promise you'll help me.”

  “I'll do what I can,” Allison said, silently hating the man."

  “No, that ain't good enough. You gotta get me outta here.”

  “If you have information, I’ll transfer you to a federal prison as a protected witness.”

  He leaned across the table so close Allison nearly retched from the smell of his sour breath. “They thought I was asleep. They came in his cell about midnight.”

  “Who did?”

  Brimmer leaned closer. “Them that wants us dead.”

  “Who? Give me a name Brimmer.”

  The door burst open, Brimmer stiffened. He jumped to his feet and turned.

  “Look out!” the captain shouted at Allison. An ear-piercing gunshot erupted. Jim Brimmer was propelled to the floor with explosive force. Blood spurted from the jagged hole in his back. Coming up in a defensive stance, Alison overturned the table and crouched behind it for cover. There were no more shots. Leaping up she sprinted around the table.

  Alison knelt beside Jim Brimmer and felt for a pulse. His heartbeat was fading, the light in his eyes dying.

  “That was close,” the captain said, his expression half grinning, half repulsed as he looked down at the body. “He almost got you.” He carefully shoved his pistol back into its holster. She rose, facing him.

  “You idiot!” Allison snapped, her eyes spitting fire. “You murdered him in cold blood!”

  “Hey, lady, I just saved your life. He was going for you.”

  “I don’t’ know what you saw. He was sitting there about to tell me who killed Roe. I think it was you.”

  The captain grinned at her, “Prove it.”

  The scowl on her face deepened. “I will, and when I do I'm going put you in the toughest federal prison with the nastiest, meanest cellmate I can find. Let's see how long you last."

  Prasser paled.

  “Get out of my prison!” he screamed. Allison flipped open her cell phone only to find the no service light blinking. “Won't work inside these walls,” Prasser said smiling.

  Allison pushed past him and stormed to the officer's desk. Snatching up the phone, she punched in Steel's private number. Ten rings later he answered.

  “He killed my only witness!” Allison shouted into the phone.

  “Calm down Stevens.” Steel said sternly. “What are you talking about? Who killed your witness?”

  From the hallway, Captain Prasser grinned at her. A couple of officers and some medical personnel were removing Jim Brimmer's body.

  “Stop! Seal that room. It’s is a crime scene,” she shouted.

  They looked at the captain. He waved them on.

  Her anger almost made the p
hone melt. Biting back bitter words, Allison filled Steel in.

  Tony swallowed hard, trying to digest this, but hews nearing his wit’s end. Things were getting out of control.

  Only five months into Robbins term and now prison guards were taking matters into their own hands. Of course, Brimmer's name was on the list. However, the shadow was to have handled the execution or at least arrange it, and preferable not with some clodhopper in a blue uniform.

  “I'll look into it, Stevens,” Steel said, knowing he wouldn't. Allison fumed. She wanted to wrap the phone cord around Prasser's neck, and pull until his eyes popped out. She had words for Steel too. She swallowed them they tasted sour.

  “Allison, you conduct the investigation you were assigned, understand? Steel barked. “I'll call the superintendent of the prison.”

  Silence. Allison's temper rose another five degrees.

  “Agent Stevens, do you understand?”

  “Yes, sir,” Allison said biting of the word.

 

  “Good. Call me when you have more news.”

 

  Chapter 15

 
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