Hillerman, Tony - [Leaphorn & Chee 13]

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thought Leaphorn and I were picking on him. Until your
client pleaded guilty."
    "That was a sad, sad case," Janet said. She sipped her coffee.
"Some things about it still bother me. Some things about this one bother
me, too."
    "Like what? Like the fact Jano is a Hopi and the Hopis are peaceful
people? Nonviolent?"
    "There's that, of course," Janet said. "But everything he
told me has a sort of logic to it and a lot of it can be checked out."
    "Like what? What can be checked?"
    "Like, for example, he said he was going to collect an eagle his kiva
needed for a ceremonial. His brothers in is religious group can confirm that.
That made it a religious pilgrimage, on which no evil thoughts are
    "Such as thoughts of revenge? Such as getting even with Kinsman for the
prior arrest? The kind of thoughts D.A. will want to suggest to the jury if
he's going for malice, premeditation. The death penalty stuff."
    "Right," she said.
    "They would confirm why he was going for the eagle, and the prosecution
would concede it," Chee said. |*But how do you prove that deep down Jano
didn't want 1 even the score?" Janet shrugged.
    "J. D. Mickey will probably state that in his opening. He'll say that
Jano had gone onto the Navajo reservation to poach an eagle—a crime in itself.
He'll say that Officer Benjamin Kinsman of the Navajo Tribal Police had
previously arrested him doing the same crime last year and that Jano got off on
some sort of technicality. He'll say that when he saw Kinsman was after him
again, Jano was enraged. So instead of releasing the bird, getting rid of the
evidence and trying to escape, he let Kinsman catch him, caught him off-guard
and brained him."
    "Is that the way Mickey is planning it?"
    "I'm just guessing," Chee said.
    "I have no doubt at all that Mickey will go for death. It would be the
first one since the 1994 Congress allowed federal death penalties and there
would be a media coverage circus." Janet doctored her coffee with the
nondairy creamer, tasted it. "Mickey for Congress," she intoned.
"Your law-and-order candidate."
    "That's the way I see it," Chee said. "But the courts would
have to rule that Kinsman was a federal officer."
    "People in criminal justice say he was." Chee shrugged.
    "Which led the U.S. Department of Justice to unplug him from the
various life support machines," Janet said. "So Benjamin Kinsman
could hurry up and be a murder victim instead of the subject of criminal
assault. Thereby simplifying the paperwork."
    "Come on, Janet," Chee said. "Be fair. Ben was already dead.
The machines were breathing for him, making his heart pump. Kinsman's spirit
had gone away."
    Janet was sipping her coffee. "You're right about one thing," she
said. "This is good fresh Java. Not that weird perfumed stuff the yuppie
bars sell for four dollars a cup."
    "What else could be checked out?" Chee asked. "In Jano's
    Janet raised her hand. "First something else," she said. "How
about that autopsy? The law requires one in homicides, sort of, but a lot of
Navajos don't like the idea and sometimes they're skipped. And I heard one of
the docs saying something about organ donations?"
    "Kinsman was a Mormon. So were his parents. He'd had a donor card
registered," Chee said, studying her as he said it. "But you already
knew that. You were changing the subject."
    "I'm the defense attorney," she said. "You think my client is
guilty. I've got to be careful what I tell you."
    Chee nodded. "But if there's something that can be checked out that I'm
missing, something that could help his case, then I ought to know about it. I'm
not going to go out there and destroy the evidence. Don't you—"
    He had started to say: "Don't you trust me?" But she would have
said she did. And then she would have returned the question, and he had no idea
how he could answer it.
    She was leaning forward, elbows on table, chin resting on clasped hands,
waiting for him to finish.
    "End of statement," he said. "Sure, I think

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