A few weeks ago, I posted a little bit about the trial of the guy who murdered my friend Mark "Atwood" Evans. He was tried first for the murder of one of his accomplices in the robbery in which Mark was killed. He had killed his accomplice because he was afraid he would talk if picked up by the police.
I was able to go to one of the days of the trial, but because of school was not able to be there on the day the jury's verdict came in.
My friends Tim and Matt, who were also two of Mark's closest friends, were able to be there. Since my school has wifi, I was able to have my laptop with me, with Facebook on. Tim fed updates with his Iphone.
My lab partner and friend Paul, a friendly guy from Cameroon, knew what was going on, and could tell I was having trouble concentrating on the class, which was a class which required a lot of concentration. He and I were in the habit of helping one another with making sure our class notes were complete, one showing the other his notes if we missed something. That day, it was all Paul showing me his notes. I appreciated it.
About an hour after I got the Facebook notice that the jury had adjourned, I got a new note from Tim: the jury had returned a verdict. From having worked as a law clerk, I had a good notion of what the verdict was going to be after such a short time.
A few minutes later, I got the next message from Tim: Guilty.
I felt a little dizzy and weak. We had known that there was not a good chance that they're going to get a guilty verdict in Mark's case. Knowing that this guy was going to be put away for a long, long time felt like justice.
Later, I was a little amused, thinking about it all. Years ago, Mark had been one of the first ones of my old college gang that knew about the internet. He'd been the apostle of the internet, telling everybody how much it was going to change things. He'd described, many years ago, what we would now call social networking. The irony of the fact that I first learned about his murder via an email, and got the news of the verdict by a social networking application was not lost on me.
I also recently got more information through the news group we set up after his death. The guy who killed him will be sentenced for the other killing tomorrow. I plan to be there. Tomorrow they will also start the trial for Mark's killing.