I had a very hard time sleeping last night. I didn’t realize how hard this was going to be for me to tell until I started telling it. I had been able to tuck all these little details away for almost 4 years and now bringing them back to the surface is triggering. I want to go back and fill in some gaps and to do a recap up to this point in the story. Again, all of this started the end of December 2014. This was what the police stated was when I we started allowing my son’s friends to come over on a “regular basis”. This entire timeline runs from December 24, 2014, to June 16, 2015, according to the complaint. That’s approximately 24 weekends. Out of those 24 weekends, depending on who you asked and when you asked, when questioned by the police, the DA and my lawyer during hearings, or how many times they wanted to change their answer for whom it suited. They stated that out of those 24 weekends that they came to our house maybe 6,7,8 times. Would you say then that the average of 7 times is a lot? (This includes the trip to the cabin). I’m going to shorten those 7 days down even further for you, something that I was unable to do since I didn’t testify, and therefore I’m not sure why my lawyer didn’t or wasn’t able to show this evidence during his questioning. I went back through my Facebook at the time and my pocket calendar. I have to go through the items that I saved (I have an entire one side of my desk full of evidence, paperwork, etc. regarding my case.) Out of these 7 or 8 days, I was able to trim that down even further to the number of times that my husband or I were home. I know that I have it written down if anyone wants an exact number, but for conversation purposes here, I’m going to say it was 3-4. The other times, I had posts on Facebook that I was either tagged in or tagged others as being in Baltimore with friends or a few times we took a trip up the cabin with our younger son. Last time I checked, you can’t be 2 places at once as much as sometimes we wish we could be. There was so much stuff that came out during trial that I found out sitting at the defense table that I had NO idea about. You think you know your kids; you think you have control over situations and well, that “I trust you until you give me a reason” philosophy went way out the window. What we found out was that when we would go to our cabin with our younger son, my oldest would finagle his way to stay home. My mom told me this was not a good idea, but I was trying to be trusting and explained how he was working, and how we had asked our neighbors to keep an eye on the house for cars or anything suspicious. Remember all of that? Yeah, boy was I wrong! I don’t know if I want to say here that he was having his friends over without permission or if I want to say that they bamboozled him into having them over. Again, if you recall before I brought up the dynamics of age and rank according to him being in the varsity football team and only being in 10th grade. Another item that we had in my discovery was a slew of text messages to my son from these boys in a group chat. One of the chats went something to the effect of, “We’re coming over”. To which my son replied, “You aren’t allowed, my mom said that no one is allowed over when they aren’t home.” To which NM replied, “I called your mom, and she said it was ok”. My son, “no you didn’t!”. NM said, “Nah, but we can just park somewhere else and sneak in the back and no one will know we were there”. So, whether they actually came this night, I’m not sure but they did on several other occasions. Again, I have these text messages, but kept being told that certain items we couldn’t present because of it being heresy or I don’t know but it was frustrating for me to sit there and be unable to defend myself with clear cut evidence that I possessed. The things that were taking place during these times when they unwelcomely entered our home was shocking. I’m confused how the DA could bring all of this into play and display it for the jury and all to see but yet I was unable to counter it showing that they came into the home uninvited, peer pressuring my son to let them in. This is one of the points when I feel that I just had a crappy lawyer! I want to tell you the good, the bad and ugly. I want to be 100% honest with you because I want you to understand how the DA and the police drew their conclusion to file these charges. (The beginning was the damn photo from the cabin, and the lies told by DG that the friends of his didn’t exist and they brought a tote of beer to the cabin in the back of the truck that I helped them pack-HUH? yeah, that part never happened but in his world it did). Prior to all of this taking place at the cabin, I recall a morning when I was sitting in our living room watching tv. The guys had just spent the night and were sleeping in the basement. My youngest son was the informant. He would go down there and come up and report to us what was happening. I think it was mostly because he wasn’t “allowed” down there according to my oldest. You know how it is, younger siblings are pains and embarrassing. This morning in particular, he comes up and reports to me that there is an open can of beer sitting downstairs. WHAT! I told him to go downstairs and wake them all up and to get their asses upstairs pronto! I can’t recall exactly who all was there this particular day. I know for sure that it was DG, my son and CH. They all come upstairs, scared to death and I started the line of questioning. Where it came from, who brought it, is there more…. DG fessed up and said that it was only 1 can (a pounder), that he stole from his house and brought over for them to share. They wanted to taste it and see what it was like. I said it tastes like shit doesn’t it! Should I have called their parents at this point? Looking back on everything and if I knew then what I know now, I would have most definitely called them. Instead, I gave them a talking to about it, told them that this was not acceptable and that I wasn’t happy about them bringing it into our home. I was mad! We did confirm that it was only 1 and of that can less than half had been consumed. We dumped it and threw it away. I told them that I would not discuss this with their parents if they promised they would never try something like this again. Thinking back to some of the dumb stuff you did as a kid, I think that you can understand why I chose this route. As a parent and again knowing what I know now, I’m angry that me then didn’t tell them. The real question though is, “would it have made a difference?” I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why. Along with them coming to our home the few times I was aware of, along with the other times we were unaware, these boys were doing this at up to 12-13 other locations. I was floored when my lawyer did bring this up during the trial. What were the locations you ask? They included a room above a store that one of their friend’s parents or grandparents owned, the basement of one of the other boys (a photo was shone to the mom, and she said she didn’t know-I guess it was ok for her to not know but not ok for me to not know. Also, this was only one photo that we had-how many other times?). There were going to some parks or outdoor areas. It was clear that this was something they did on a regular basis. What I wasn’t aware of was they were documenting their shenanigans on snapchat. I am not on snapchat, I’ve tried it and don’t understand it and chose not to use it to this day. It still seems to be a big social media outlet for the younger generation. My sons still use it. I don’t know if these other boys’ parents were friends with them on this platform. How many people that were friends with them on this platform saw their posts and said/did nothing? Again, the silence is deafening.
Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photos-of-evidence-on-the-white-table-6069247/
#Teens #TeenDrinking #Teenagers #Parenting #ParentingTeens #Evidence #CriminalJustice #BradyvMaryland #CriminalTrial #CriminalDefense #CriminalJusticeReform