By Pete Moss
I've spent the last 36 hours either on a plane or sitting in an airport.
It feels great getting off the plane and out of the airport.
Except Patrick O'Hanlon is waiting for me at Oakland Airport. He has a car.
"So where's Donnelly?" says Patrick.
"I don't know. I thought he was back here in Oakland."
"He showed up and ate lunch then says he had to take care of some stuff and we haven't seen him since. It's been 24 hours."
"I'm assuming you did not get his signature on the papers."
"Right. I've got a buyer lined up, with cash. We need to get moving on this, like, now."
"So how did Donnelly feel about it?"
"He was waffling, but the price was 800K, his cut would be 400K. I'm sure he'll come around. I could even bump his cut up to 450. Now where would he have gone off to? You known him forever."
"Let me think about it," I say.
By then we're pulling up to the house. And there's cops.
They surround the car, guns drawn.
"Keep your hands up. Get out of the car slowly. Lie face down on the ground." So I do.
Then I'm cuffed and put in the back of the cop car. My rights are read to me. I don't say anything. Although Patrick is chattering away. He's not the one getting arrested. YoYo is nowhere to be seen.
Down at the cop shop they put me in the interrogation room. Two detectives want to talk to me.
"So you know what this is about."
"No I don't."
"You know one Dennis Donnelly?"
"He was found floating in the Bay about 2 hours ago."
"He'd been shot, execution style, in the head."
"You're our prime suspect."
"Me?! But I was in Ireland!"
"Well that's the thing. We can't find any record of you actually being in Ireland. No receipts no purchases, nothing. We're awaiting confirmation from the airline as to whether you were even on the plane."
"Well, true, I never left the airport. I went there turned around and came right back. Anyway, why would I kill Donnelly? He's like my oldest buddy."
"Uhm. Well....he left you the house. Made out a will right before he went missing. I'd say that would be about 800 thousand worth of a motive."
"He left the house to me?!"
"That's how it looks."
Out of interrogation into holding.
Which makes the airport look like a spa.
There's no window in the holding cell. Don't know if it's day or night.
There's a light panel in the ceiling. The light goes on and off seemingly at random.
There's a concrete bench along one wall. A threadbare blanket, a stainless steel commode.
The temperature of the cell bounces around. It'll be a sauna then it will be a freezer.
There's no way to mark time.
Meals arrive when they arrive.
There'll be watery oatmeal with what looks like tea but might be coffee, since no teabag.
Then, seemingly hours later, a baloney sandwich.
And, in an hour or less, overcooked pasta with a slice or two of carrot and a pat of margarine.
So I have plenty of time to think.
I know I didn't kill Donnelly.
Which doesn't mean I won't be convicted and wind up with 25 to life.
I can't afford a lawyer, so I'll get some pub defender kid.
If the prosecutor has a bug up their ass.....wellll...I don't really want to think along those lines.
Otherwise, since I know I didn't kill Donnelly, who did?
It had to be Patrick O'Hanlon, who obviously didn't know at the time that Donnelly had filed a will, leaving the house to me.
Which means, for the time being, I might just be safer in this holding cell, however Spartan it is.
I figure maybe 48 hours go by, since I'm served six meals total.
Then there's a deputy. I'm handcuffed and escorted to another interrogation room.
The detective comes in with a laptop and sits at the table.
Then a grouchy looking female, who must be judge, since the 'tec calls her 'Your Honor'.
The judge has a laptop. She sets it on the table. Her and the 'tec exchange e-mails.
"Request for no bail hold is granted on a charge of murder one," pronounces the judge.
She folds up her laptop and exits the room without acknowledging my existence in any way.