It was finally time for Frank N. Stein’s trial. I begged my family to attend. They explained to me that I was much too sick to go. I just stayed home and tried not to think about it. My feelings were that a life sentence might be an appropriate time for Mr. Stein to spend in jail or give him the death sentence. However no time or death could possibly justify the fact that he got behind the wheel of his truck with an alcohol blood level at a ridiculously high level of .13%. A person with a .05 to .10% blood alcohol level is considered legally drunk so Frank N. Stein had no defense. He was nailed to the wall or so I thought. We hired a private detective to go to the trial for us. He typed up the transcripts and gave them to us. I knew nothing about the accident so the testimonies from the witnesses, cops, paramedics, forensic chemists, and medical examiners totally blew my mind. Here is a small sample of what the trial was like:
Lawyer: State your name please sir.
A: John David Smith
Lawyer: “What was the first thing that you observed in relation to the accident that you can recall?
Smith (who was driving car in front of Frank N. Stein): “Well, Mr. Stein passed me about a ¼ to ½ a mile before the accident occurred.
Lawyer: What did you next observe after the Ford pickup passed you?
Smith: Well, after he passed me he went over a hill and when he started down I lost sight of him then and when he started to go down he was still on the wrong side of the road. I started slowing down at that
time seeing two cars approaching. The first car went off the road. The second car they hit head on.
Lawyer: Which lane of traffic was it in?
Smith: Eastbound lane of traffic
Lawyer: “The Ford pick-up was headed in which direction when it passed you as it went down the hill?
Smith: It was westbound
Lawyer: What did you do after the collision?
Smith: “I stopped and went to the car. There were four people in the car. I took the pulse of the driver. I grabbed his hand and tried to get a pulse for about ten seconds. I didn’t feel anything. I was kind of in shock. Then I helped the male passenger out of the back seat and he was able to walk which kind of surprised me. He was extremely scared. He wasn’t real sure of what was going on. He just seemed to be in a state of shock to me.
Lawyer: What did he say?
Smith: Well I looked at him and said “are you ok”? He looked at me and he didn’t say anything. He just looked at me like he looked right through me. Like he didn’t even see me.
Lawyer: What was the condition of the lady in the front seat of the car?
Smith: The only thing I could see of her was the back of her head. But to me it looked like she was pushed up against the dash quite a bit. The space between the dash to the front seat was a foot to a foot in a half and there were two people between it.
Lawyer: Smashed up?
Smith: The motor was smashed through the firewall and the seat was smashed up against the dash.
Lawyer: State your name please?
Witness: Sergeant Ryan Green
Lawyer: What was the condition of the defendant, Mr. Stein, on the night in question?
Green: In handling him he was pretty unruly and somewhat combative. Moving around not wanting to stay still. Pretty belligerent.
Lawyer: And you regard his behavior as a result of intoxication?
Green: Yes sir. He used slurred speech, was slow in his movements and very, at times, aggressive.
Lawyer: Have you seen anyone out of their mind with pain?
Green: Well as a matter of fact we had another patient at the scene that I considered if there was ever anyone out of their mind in pain it was the girl in the back seat.
I should’ve quit with these testimonies but I got up my nerve and read on.
Lawyer: Will you state your name please?
Witness: Lawrence Steven
Lawyer: What is your occupation?
Steven: I teach driver’s education and social studies in school
Lawyer: What happened on 09/18th?
Steven: I was driving home and I saw a car in my lane threatening me. I moved onto the shoulder and waited until he was fixing to actually hit me and I jerked the wheel to the right into the ditch to avoid hitting him head-on.
Lawyer: Did you remain until some authorities arrived on the scene Mr. Steven?
Steven: Yes sir. In the course of teaching driver’s ed I also teach first aide. I thought that perhaps there was something I could do to help. I ran to the car. There was a girl in the back whose name was Samantha. She was hurt and in shock. I put a blanket over her.
Lawyer: What did you hear when you pulled into the ditch?
Steven: I heard a sound similar to a door slam. I found that actually to be the impact of the car behind me with the pickup that had run me off the road. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw steam coming from the radiator of the crashed car.
Lawyer: When you went to the car that had the deceased in it was there a lady in the front seat?
Steven: Yes there was.
Lawyer: What was her condition?
Steven: I thought she was dead. She was definitely very hurt.
Lawyer: What was the condition of the woman in the back seat?
Steven: She had crushed legs
Lawyer: Did you know that at the time?
Steven: Yes the thigh portion of her legs were bowed
Lawyer: Did Mr. Stein say anything while you were trying to help him?
Lawyer: What did he say?
Steven: Son of bitches! Shit things like that.
Lawyer: You say that when you went to he car the driver was in awfully bad condition?
Steven: Yes he was I assumed dead at that time. He had no eyeballs.
Lawyer: No eyes?
Steven: That was the impression I got. Perhaps the eyeballs were covered in blood. They were sunken and it looked the eyeballs were gone.
Lawyer: You say he looked like jelly?
Steven: He was very limp. His wrists and everything were just…he was just very very limp.
I felt sick after reading this but Jim’s mother went to court and listened to these testimonies. Apparently Frank N. Stein hadn’t caused enough heartache so he threw horrible looks at Jim’s mother as if to say, “Jim got in my way”. I heard this and puked my guts up. The accident was worse than I thought so I assumed Frank N. Stein would get a fairly harsh sentence with an unbelievably high .13% blood alcohol level. There would be no problem giving him a fair harsh sentence. I know our judicial system can be unfair at times but a .13% blood alcohol level and a dead boy speaks for itself. My parents told me that he got a stiff sentence in the state of Oklahoma for driving while intoxicated. Good but what did he exactly get? I was told one year in jail and a $500 fine. “What great justice we have in this wonderful country of ours" I said as I rolled out of the room.