Port Charles Courthouse
Scott Baldwin cleared his throat and stood. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the testimony you’ve heard in this courtroom along with the evidence presented leaves only one possibility. Sonny Corinthos pushed Elizabeth Lansing down those stairs in cold blood.”
He crossed to the front of the jury box. “They were the only two present. They were arguing and yes–Mrs. Lansing states that she does not believe Sonny Corinthos is guilty but how many times have you been reluctant to believe a friend is capable of something and find out later it is true?”
He slid his hands in his pockets. “Some of you are parents–mothers and fathers. You remember how incredible it was when you found out you were going to have a child? When my little Serena was born–I felt like I was on top of the world. I could no wrong, I was invincible.”
Some of the jury members smiled. Scott smiled back at them. After a moment, that faded. “Along with various other injuries, Sonny Corinthos stole that opportunity from Elizabeth Lansing. He pushed her down those stairs with no regard for her health or that of her child. She will never feel that baby’s heartbeat, feel that baby kick–hold that baby in her arms–watch him grow, take his first step–call her Mommy…”
In the back of the court room, Lucky put an arm around Elizabeth and Emily squeezed her hand tightly as Elizabeth fought back tears.
“It’s a travesty that we were unable to charge Sonny Corinthos with the death of that child but we can and have prosecuted him for pushing that poor defenseless young woman down those steps. Now–I’m asking you to do your civic duty–your moral duty–and send him to jail.”
He took his seat and smiled at Robyn who ignored him. “Ms. Nichols,” the judge prompted.
Robyn cleared her throat and stood, doing her best to walk without a limp. “As a woman who hopes one day to have a family, Elizabeth Lansing has my sympathy. I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a child so soon after discovering its presence. And it is tragic that she will never experience being a mother to that child.”
Carly glanced over her shoulder and sighed when she saw Elizabeth silently crying. She wished there was something she could do to ease the other woman’s pain when she’d so selflessly defended Sonny on the stand that morning.
“But even though someone stole that from her, Elizabeth Lansing sat in this chair,” Robyn pointed to the witness stand, “and she not only stated it clearly–she practically screamed it to the heavens: Sonny Corinthos is not guilty. He did not push her. She even stated that she felt the long fingernails of a woman.”
“The only thing that the prosecution has stated without a doubt is that Sonny Corinthos and Elizabeth Lansing were at Rice Plaza that night alone and we even stipulated that. They were there, they did argue–but Sonny Corinthos walked away and there is no one who says he didn’t. The prosecution was unable to produce a witness stating that they saw Sonny push her. They couldn’t even introduce evidence showing that Sonny is a violent man, capable of such a heartless crime.”
She paused for a moment. “Sonny Corinthos is innocent and it would be a terrible miscarriage of justice to find him guilty. Don’t make that mistake.”
She sat down in her chair, grimacing at that slight pain in her leg.
The judge looked at the jury and began giving his instructions to the jury so they could begin their deliberations.
“I have to get out of here,” Elizabeth whispered to Lucky. He nodded and helped her to stand. He led her out of the courtroom as the judge released the jury to the jury room. Emily and Nikolas followed them.
Jessica and Ric were standing outside the courtroom, Jessica holding a tape recorder with a triumphant smile. The smile faded as she saw them exit, Elizabeth almost having to be propped up by Lucky and Nikolas, the trembling in her body so bad.
Ric took a step forward as if to comfort her but Jessica held him back. “You promised that you wouldn’t go near her.”
“But she needs me,” Ric hissed.
Carly, Jason and Sonny exited a moment later and Carly immediately crossed to Elizabeth. “I am so sorry that you had to sit through that,” she told the woman with complete sincerity. She touched Elizabeth’s shoulder. “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Elizabeth’s eyes dropped to the bulge of Carly’s abdomen and raised them back to her face. “How did you do it?” she asked hoarsely. “How did you go on with this aching void inside you?”
“One day at a time,” Carly said softly. “And sometimes I don’t feel I’ve gotten past it at all.”
Elizabeth nodded and stepped away from Lucky and Nikolas. “I need–I need some air.” She moved towards the stairs and held up her hands to stop them from following her. “And some space. Please.”
She turned and walked quickly away from the crowd, eager to break free from them all.
She’d never even seen her estranged husband standing there.
“What are you doing here?” Lucky asked, approaching Jessica and Ric. “Why did you bring him?”
“We just came from the police station,” Jessica said quietly. “We turned in a copy of this.” She held the recorder up and pressed play.
“Sure, I pushed the little wilting flower. Did you really think I would let her get away with keeping you from me?”
She stopped it and slid it back into her bag. “We’re not sure if it’s enough to prosecute her though but Ric manipulated her into thinking he was going to be with her so she’d confess.”
“Yeah, he’s real good at the manipulation part,” Carly said scornfully.
Ric cleared his throat and looked away. “I just hope it’s enough to get the charges against Sonny dropped.”
“Too little too late,” Lucky retorted. “You’re the one who fixed it so he was indicted in the first place.”
“Just shut up. You said you wouldn’t say anything and you’re already breaking that now.” Jessica shot him a nasty glare before looking back at Lucky. “How did it go today?”
“Elizabeth testified this morning. Scott tried everything he could to shake her but there was nothing he could do. But the closing arguments were tough and she had to get out of there.”
“How does it look though? Will Sonny win?” Jessica asked.
“Robyn made a good case,” Carly informed her. “But you never can tell with juries.” She frowned. “Where’s Jason?”
Elizabeth took in a big gulp of air and leaned against one of the pillars of the building. Her hands covered her abdomen and she closed her eyes.
Would the baby have been a girl or a boy? Would the baby have been enough to keep her marriage together or were she and Ric doomed from the start?
Would the baby have had her blue eyes or Ric’s brown ones? Light brown hair, dark brown hair? Sarah’s blonde hair maybe? Genetics were weird like that. The baby could have even looked more like its aunt than either of its parents.
Tears slid down her cheeks and her body started to shake. She slowly slid to the ground and buried her face in her hands.
She heard Jason’s voice and raised her eyes to find him kneeling next to her. “J-Jason?”
“I saw you leave and I–I wanted to check on you.” He touched her shoulder.
“I’m fine.” She swiped at her eyes and stood quickly. He followed suit.
“I didn’t ask if you were,” Jason remarked. “I could see that you weren’t.”
“It’s–just–I thought I was okay. I mean–it’s been over a month since it happened. I only knew about the baby for a few days. I–I thought I came to terms with it a while ago. But sitting in that room–listening to Scott Baldwin list the things that I will never do with my baby–” She swallowed hard and looked away. “It just hit all over again.”
“I’m sorry that you had to hear all of that,” Jason said.
“I know it had to be said. Scott wants to drive home the fact that a child was killed a-and I wish that the person on trial could have been guilty so I could feel good about him saying those words–because it’s not fair that no one will ever pay for the death of my baby.” She closed her eyes. “It’s not fair that just because my baby was nine weeks old and not twenty-five, it doesn’t count. It was a still a baby–it was still a little living presence and I could feel it inside me–and now it’s gone and I’m supposed to pretend it was never there–”
She started sobbing again and after a moment, he was unable to watch her in pain any longer. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and drew her into his arms. She clutched at the front of his black dress shirt and buried her face in his chest.
A few moments later, someone cleared their throat near them. Jason glanced over to see Nikolas Cassadine standing there. “Hey–the jury’s back.”
Port Charles Courthouse
“Fifteen minutes. That’s not good is it?” Carly asked as she leaned towards the bar that separated the front of the courtroom from the spectator seats.
“It’s not usually but it’s possible the jury didn’t buy Scott’s case,” Robyn answered. She turned and caught Jessica Mitchell’s eye–she hadn’t had a chance to really speak to the other woman but her presence at the trial assured Robyn that the morning’s project had gone as planned.
“Did you find out where Jason went?” Sonny asked.
“No–” Carly glanced over her shoulder to see Jason and Elizabeth entering the courtroom, his arm around her shoulders. “Well–yeah.”
“Hey,” Elizabeth said softly. “I thought it might show some more solidarity if we all sat together.”
Carly nodded and slid over. “You’re more than welcome to sit here.”
Jason sat down next to Carly and Elizabeth next to him. The jury filed in one by one. She tried to read their faces but found that she couldn’t.
The judge called the court back into session and cleared his throat. “Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”
The foreman stood and nodded. “We have, Your Honor. On the charge of aggravated assault in the first degree, we find the defendant Michael Corinthos, Jr. -not guilty.”
Carly cried out and threw her arms around Jason before leaning across the divide and hugging her husband tightly.
“It’s over,” she whispered, closing her eyes. “It’s over.”
Elizabeth hugged Jason before embracing Sonny. “Thank you for everything that you did,” he told her. “If there is ever anything I can do for you–”
“There is something,” Elizabeth told him, keeping her voice down. “Maybe we could talk after everything dies down.”
Sonny pulled away and looked at her oddly–but as if sensing she would not talk until she was ready, he just nodded and kissed her cheek before turning to his lawyer.