On Monday, when I turned my calendar page to October, I realized that my 'friend,' the criminal, was supposed to be sentenced in the morning. I thought about it on and off all day, wondering if indeed he would be getting the maximum sentence or if justice would turn its head the other way and let him off easy. I worried for over two years about this man reliving over and over again the sense of personal violation he had caused me when he shattered my car window, stole my identity and subsequently, shattered my life. Every three months like clockwork, I received subpoenas for both his trial and his girlfriend's. I mentally prepared myself to face him in court only to be devastated by the subsequent phone call or letter alerting me to yet another continuance or postponement in the case. I cannot tell you the amount of emotional upheaval I went through knowing that I had three more months put in front of me, more months of stress and anguish, only to go through it all again--six times for his trial alone, to be exact. When I actually testified this past August, it was liberating and even knowing that I have another trial to face next month (if it happens as this trial has been postponed seven times already!!!), I now know what to expect and at least some of the fear has become manageable. It no longer consumes me.
For the record, the prosecuting attorney asked for a 20 year sentence as he was being tried as a career criminal. Today, I received a letter in the mail stating that he got 28 years. This summer, he boldly refused a plea deal of 10 years which had been presented to him. I think he may have made a mistake in doing so, don't you?