I wasn’t in court today and I under-estimated my frustration. I’ve been sick and then I managed to share it with mom (and her birthday was yesterday!) and there was no way I was infecting more people. You’re welcome. Instead, I sat here dying to know what was happening. I also missed my buds and the afterward at Carol Daly’s place.

I had understood the goal today was two-fold: get a plea and schedule the preliminary hearing. Good job prosecution team, mission accomplished. But along the way, we start to see the strategy that might be the only one the defense can use. Just drag it out. I am convinced that’s what DeAngelo wants: he “wins” if he dies without a conviction. At 74 and a solid plan of self-depravation, it appeals to his strengths: planning, manipulation and control.

How DeAngelo Can “Win”

They asked for the end of the year. They wanted a continuance that would take another 12 months. Are you kidding? That supports really one thing: time. I don’t believe discovery is an adequate argument. Interestingly, neither did the judge. You know I’m not a lawyer, and I could be missing something, but there’s nothing in that discovery that’s going to shift this case.

I feel comfortable positing there isn’t anything exculpatory for any of the crimes with DNA. The DNA is a lock. So if they aren’t fighting to get him acquitted (because that won’t succeed), what are they fighting for? My hypothesis is a quiet exit with no conviction. I’d love to hear other points of view on this. It’s one part of this case that baffles me.

How DeAngelo Won Today

Since I was trapped in my recliner, I posted a few tweets about what I look for when I go to court. One of the things was how DeAngelo manages his performance. I figured he’d be thinner (but was he frail?) and would do all he could to look the part. Clearly it worked. At one point the bailiff reaches out to steady him.

Win.

If you watch the KCRA report, they “packaged” what DeAngelo wants: he seemed unsteady, he didn’t seem to understand. It’s not KCRA’s fault because they’re going fast and this wasn’t a big story today. And, well, DeAngelo is good. But now watch it again closely; that huge gulp after the May 12th date. I believe that’s the gulp of time running out. His brain doing the math that he has to go faster. He must find a way out – sooner than planned. Watch the gulp. His eyes don’t flinch. Control baby. That’s control.

Win.

Behind the scenes the word is he still works out in his cell and his mind is solid. I don’t know if that’s true anymore, but it could be. I wanted to watch him to see if that mind lost any control. Instead, apparently, he didn’t plea (why!?) and the court did it on his behalf: not guilty. The man can’t even manage to plea – poor DeAngelo.

Win.

Don’t Be Surprised by the Unexpected

Here’s my hypothesis: they will come to court in May and the first day or first week, we will get an early motion by the defense for a competency hearing. I mean look at him. He’s wasted-away. He can’t participate in his defense. He doesn’t even know why he’s here. He’s incontinent (see the diapers?), he’s not ambulatory (see the wheelchair?). And boom. There we are. A damned draw. Nothing to see here folks, this story has one dud of an ending.

Win.

What keeps me up at night is how we got to this point. And because It’s late and I need to work on it some more, that will be part 2 tomorrow: The Intersection of Justice and Politics. I believe that’s where this went sideways, and I want you to argue with me so get ready! [Update: more to say on this court appearance so here’s a different part two.]