Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Protocol: A Death Down by the River Part VIII

(For Part I go here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here, Part VI here, Part VII here)

(photo by Donna Copeland-Fuller)

Within a few minutes, Mark and Jay came up over the levee, Mark with a club, Jay with a concealed knife. When Randy saw them, he immediately asked Bandana and Bugeye if either had a knife. Bandana pulled one out; Randy took it and started walking toward Mark and Jay.

Across the dirt area where the combatants were coming together, Paul was standing in what was commonly called the Shitter, a sunken area where people went to relieve themselves. From where he was pissing, he was a little below ground level, but facing the action. When he saw what was happening, he called out to his friend, "Gremlin, there's two guys going after Randy!" Gremlin, who was a little behind him, looked up and saw what was happening. Without a second thought, he ran out of the ditch and charged with a full head of steam at Jay, who didn't see him coming, concentrating as he was on Randy, who was coming at him with a knife.

Mark called out too late to warn his companion about the oncoming attack. Gremlin hit Jay with full force and they both fell too the ground. Jay got up, pulled out his knife, and the skirmish was on. A couple of minutes later, Gremlin was lying on the ground, holding his upper chest, and crying out. Randy ran to the nearby callbox and called the police, which is also what Paul was doing from his cell phone.

Mark and Jay cautiously retreated back away and down the levee back to Danny's house. Several police cars arrived within 10 minutes. As they began to sort things out, they went to Danny's front door; Mark and Jay came out. Both of them were immediately handcuffed.

As the cops shoved Mark into the back of a patrol car, the last thing he heard was his friend Danny asking him, "Marky Mark, what happened? What happened? How could this have happened?" Danny began sobbing.

"What about the protocol?"

(Postscript: Fifteen months later, Mark Hernandez and Jay Halford were found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison. There were no charges or other actions against Tommy Duke or Randy Terrell.)

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