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Four months had passed since Bette’s arrest. During the whole time she had been held in a county jail while Melvin Porter and his team of qualified criminal defense attorneys worked with her closely, getting case ready for trial.
On October 21, Bette had pled guilty of drug distribution, pandering, illegal possession of a weapon, assault against law enforcement officer and second-degree murder for the killing of Dominic Shaw.
Melvin had succeeded to convince the Court that Bette had acted under the pressure of blackmail, intimidation and threats coming first from Dominic Shaw and then Mr. Geralt Moriarty known as Doctor Arnodelo, the boss of Westwood Irish Mob. Various evidence had been presented, testifiers had been involved. Although the effort had helped a great deal to ease the penalties, still the outcome had turned devastating.
Eventually, Bette had been convicted and sentenced to serve nineteen years in prison, and ordered to pay a fine of $590.000 within two years to avoid being incarcerated for additional seven years.
When the Judge had slammed his gavel to signify the end of the trial, Melvin had stoically collected the papers into his briefcase and had left the courtroom without saying a word or making eye contact with his daughter. Right afterwards Bette had gotten to her feet numbly and had let the bailiffs walk her away, understanding that it was the last time she would see her farther.
On November 2, Bette was to be transferred to Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, where she would spend the next two decades of her life.
Drawing in a deep quivering breath, Tina turned the knob and pushed the door gently. Just several months ago she had been willingly crossing the threshold of this apartment, her stomach turning with pleasant anticipation of seeing the only person her heart desired. The apartment where she had always felt safe before now was giving Tina a strange creeping feeling, sort of apprehension tinted with a bit of fear.
Swallowing the lump in her throat, Tina pushed the door wider and peered around. As she moved further into the apartment her mouth fell open, agape in shock of what she was seeing.
The place was completely trashed. Everything was out of place, and in the weirdest of places. Chairs, armchairs and couches were overturned, the cushions slashed, the undersides cut. The wooden floor was burst open in some places, and underneath was a concrete slab. Papers and books littered the floor. The door to the balcony was wide open, the vertical blinds and curtains moving carelessly in the cool November air. Various things and utensils had been jerked from the drawers and cupboards. Clothes and footwear were strewn all over the apartment. The bed mattress lay at a cockeyed angle on the floor, the bed itself looked as if a tornado had blown across it, with the sheets and pillows ripped apart.