Holdup and mask

[page 130, line 13]

We did — you know, when you think about the criminal lawyers that we had then, you can tell by the names. I mean, what have we got up here? Well, we’ve got Mike and Charlie, you know, and Ken, Stan. But back at the beginning when I first started out, we had Trombone Martin, Rughead Martin, Too Many Martin. I mean, there were some colorful-named folks.

Trombone Martin you should never have missed if you had the opportunity to go down and get int a trial with Trombone. He was wonderful. He’d give the most wonderful arguments. And when he got ready to really wine up, it was going to be a dramatic close. He’d reach back and grab the back of his pants leg and then he let it rip. And one thing about Trombone, he never could whisper. Everything came out in kind of a monotone that you could hear throughout the courtroom. And they tell a story about Trombone and the young lawyer that were trying a case together. Each had their own defendant. And Trombone puts his client up on the witness stand to testify. And after he gets finished testifying, he comes back and sits down. Trombone leans over to the young lawyer and he says, “Put your man on the stand.” The young lawyer goes, “I can’t.” Trombone says, “Why not?” Of course the jury can hear all this. The young lawyer says, “He’s got a record.” Trombone says, “A record? That will kill us.” It did.

We talk about eyewitnesses. I went into one trial, it was a holdup of a club over here on Greenville Avenue. A woman was closing up late, and this guy came in and robbed her. And we were trying that case, and she got on the witness stand and we went through the usual litany of “Do you see the man here in the courtroom?” We did, we had a pretty dramatic pointing out. And she says, “That’s him right there.” Whereupon, he leans over to his lawyer and he says, “That lying bitch. I had a mask on.”

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