Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.
By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired
About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.
LV. Memorable Court Cases (Part Two)This is the funniest case I ever heard tried in Rockingham Superior Court in twenty-five years. This happened in 1966 I think. I was in court because I was waiting for a minor traffic case to be called
.This was a rape case where a young black girl and a young black boy had been working in a tobacco field and when the last sled of tobacco had been delivered to the sleds, the young man took the girl to the far end of the field and had sex with her. Her father found out what happened and preferred charges and the case was in Rockingham Superior Court with the Hon. Allen D. Ivie prosecuting and the great J. Hampton Price defending the lad.The testimony had been straightforward as the victim testified that when the last sled of tobacco had been pulled, he took her to a far area of the field and, over her objections......he done it to her.
To prove a crime, a prosecutor has to prove every element of the crime. One of the major elements of the crime of rape is, the state has to prove that there was penetration of the female body by the male.
Mr. Ivie asked the victim "Young lady, please tell the jury if in fact, there was penetration of your body!!!"and she said uuhh, what....Penetration! Tell the jury if in fact there was penetration of your body!! and she faltered and it became clear to Allen Ivie that the young girl did not know the definition of the word "penetration" as it applied to rape. Allan asked for a fifteen minute recess to confer with his witness, and that was granted.
Allan took his witness out behind the judge's bench (in the old Wentworth courtroom) and told her that he had to prove, by her testimony that there was penetration....and she looked at him blankly and said "What dat?" Allen was stymied...then he took his left hand and touched his index finger to his thumb, making a circle and took his right index finger and poked it thru the circle several times...and said...that is penetration.
Oh yea!! Oh yea, he done dat...yessir he done dat allright.
Trial was resumed and Allan asked the same question, was there penetration of your body, this time the answer was yes sir he done dat allright!!!!
The great J. Hampton Price sprang to his feet...your honor I object........fifteen minutes ago the witness did not even know the meaning of penetration, now she is willing to swear on my client's life that there was penetration. I object, I want to hear this testimony in the victim's words. The girl, still on the stand, explained to the court that Mr. Ivie had taken her out behind the courtroom and showed her with his finger what it meant...............there was a thirty minute recess...while the courtroom regained its composure...me too.
Michael D. Martin