Television sets and personal relationships

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Another time when I misfired — which I’ve made many of them, many mistakes — was I thought that I was going to get this great case because he hired me and came in and paid me the money. It was substantial federal theft and interstate shipping. I whole car load of television sets moving in interstate commerce. High federal crime. And the judge was Mac Taylor, the court in this case. Well, I’m already taking the money to the bank. I had cash. Those kind of people never paid by check. They paid cash. And we proceeded with our pretrial situation, and things were going along pretty smooth. I asked for the government’s witness list, which they would give us in those days sometimes a good bit before trial.

And I want to present a little alibi for the moment here too. My wife was deceased at that time, my first wife. I married since, but I was single a while. And I looked at that witness list, and the first witness on there is, quote, what we would call a chorus girl, but in other areas we’d call her a stripper. She was the first witness against my client. And I called him in and I said, “What’s this all about?” He said, “Well, that’s a hard one to explain, Charlie.” I said, “Well, try.” He said, “Well, let me tell you. It was near Christmas, and she had been very kind and nice to me.” And I knew nothing about this myself. He said, “I gave her that television set.” Well, it had numbers all over it. That’s the first thing the police found, and that was the star witness.

So I can see myself cross-examining this young lady that I knew socially: She says, “Well, now, Mr. Tessmer, let me tell you about that. You remember me, don’t you?” It was one of those calls, like I said, “Boy, are we in trouble.” He said, “What do you mean ‘we’?”

I had one of those once too, but it wasn’t that kind of trouble. She was in jail for shoplifting. I said, “What do you mean ‘we’?” It was over the telephone long distance. You talk about a sigh of relief. Yes, that was a pleasant one. But see, I would redeem all that in the future. I mean, that’s wasting your time. But it hasn’t been too bad to me.

I remember that people used to think that I overdid things because I entertained a lot of people. I had to have a bunch of free — a load of lawyers around behind me hitting me on the shoulder saying, “Charlie, you’re the best; you sure did good.” Let me hear it again. I’ve got to hear that. And that was one of the faults that I pursued too much.



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