Act II Scene 8 - Justice Upheld at Anglemeyer’s Trial
The Mays Landing court room in the Atlantic County seat of government where Anglemyer's trial took place is old, the same court room that Nucky Johnson’s father and brother had used before him when the three served as county sheriffs continuously for almost fifty years. That was the basis of Nucky's power, and that of the County Executive who handled the tax money, and the County Court room was where all of the stories eventually played out.
No air conditioning, it had huge wood ceiling fans and on the hottest summer day of the year everyone was sweating and it felt and looked like the Scopes Trial court room, except there weren’t that many people in attendance, as the powers that be had kept the matter quiet and out of the news. But there was Mrs. Somers and a few younger Copper Kettle Fudge employees and Michael Sherman, the WOND AM radio news reporter who didn’t listen to his station owner and producer who both asked him to downplay the matter as it was bad publicity for the shore.
The jury was let in and the defendant sat at a table in front of the judge next to his lawyer, who had made the deal for him to confess and plead guilty to the crime in exchange for a reduction in time to be served on his previous conviction and an arrangement that was not to be made public.
Then the Sgt. At Arms called for everyone to rise and Judge Edward Helfant entered the room. Although Helfant was the Somers Point municipal judge, the powers that be arranged for the regular county judge to take a vacation and allow Helfant to sit in and run the show for him.
The prosecutor then announced that Harry Anglemeyer was the victim of a confidence gang that preyed on rich homosexuals to blackmail them and they targeted Harry because of his public notoriety and ostantagious diamond pinky ring.
The prosecutor then called a witness, the young women who saw the incident as she was sitting in a parked car making out with her boyfriend.
She took the stand and when the prosecutor described the situation she noted that since last Labor Day she had married the guy, and smiled at the judge and jury, holding up her ring for all to see.
When the prosecutor asked her to describe what she saw and heard, she said that at first heard an argument and then looked up and saw the two men talking and one of them, a man in a black suit and tie, strike the other man who went down and hit the edge of the jagged concrete hard. The man who hit him walked away and three other men came along – who they call the “Good Samaratans,” who dragged him to a car and placed him in the driver’s seat behind the wheel and closed the door.
“Is the man you saw strike Mr. Anglemeyer in this courtroom today,” the prosecutor said, looking at the man at the table dressed in black suit and tie who was prepared to plead guilty, and then at his attorney and both smiled.
“Yes,” she responded. “He is.”
“Would you point him out to us please,” the prosecutor asked.
She hesitated for a moment, looked at the judge and then at the prosecutor squarely in the eyes, and then glanced to the back of the courtroom and pointed to a man standing against the wall in a black suit and tie, a plainclothes Ocean City Police officer.
The gasps in the room were audible, and as the attorney for the defendant leaned over and told the prosecutor that his client was no longer going to plead guilty or testify at all, the prosecutor asked for a temporary adjournment, but the judge called it a mistrial and slapped the gavel down hard, dismissing the court.
Next – Act II Scene 9 – Croce and Brenner at the Anchorage