Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Local Neighborhood

This is an odd sordid story from Virginia, which you won't hear about in the national press.

Back around the morning of 9 February of this year....this woman....Patricia Cook....was in her Jeep Wrangler on North East Street of Culpeper, Virginia.  For some odd reason, which we will never know why.....she stopped and just parked there on the street.

As far as anyone knows.....she didn't know anyone around the neighborhood.  There was a school nearby, but it was what you'd consider a residential area.  Based on comments by the locals on the appears like that she just plain stopped and was sitting there....waiting on something, but you aren't sure of what.

A cop car pulls up....where Daniel Harmon-Wright (32 years old) is now about to forever change his life.  There's something that he perceives as weird here, but he has never indicated what.  Illegal activities?  A drug purchase?  Well....there's no evidence of that.  Suspicious?  A older woman in a newer jeep?

Daniel makes the decision to walk up and engage Ms Cook....saying that he asked for a license and registration.  In his words....she apparently freaks out.....and tries to crank the jeep to leave.  The cop says that he placed his arm inside the jeep, and tried to turn the key off.  She attempted to roll the window up and continue on (so he says), and he then pulled a pistol to shoot Ms Cook dead.

It was a good scripted story and I suspect that it would have been good enough for the local cops.  The problem is....a witness or two existed.  And they were in the line-of-sight.....seeing no arm inside of the window, and Daniel simply grabbed his pistol at the right moment, and shot her through the glass.  The witnesses are clearing up the cop's story, and making his version look bogus.

So days, and weeks passed.  The husband of Ms Cook expected the cops to sort through this within two to three weeks, and arrest their cop.  The local cops just weren't doing that.  So three months pass.

Today, a grand jury finally decided that the cop's story is not good enough, and he will face charges.  Along the way of the investigation.....the state guys end up finding this evidence where Daniel Harmon-Wright's mom.... approximately five years ago....was a secretary for the local town police department, and arranged for her's son's application to float through the system easily.  There were three obvious problems (past arrests and convictions apparently), that should have hindered and stopped his hiring.  But she fixed that issue, so junior got a great cop job.

Mom has been arrested now with some minor charges.  We aren't sure what the past problem were.....maybe in high school....maybe in college....but you just don't know.  It would appear, that it was sufficient to ensure that Daniel shouldn't have been a cop.

It's hard to say the end result.  I doubt that the case comes up this year for trial....maybe early spring of next year.  Most locals in Culpeper are a bit disturbed by the whole mess now.  The charges will be murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, use of a pistol in the commission of a felony, and a malicious shooting into a vehicle resulting in death.  If you added this up.....figuring a light charge of second-degree murder....maybe the guy gets fifteen years in prison (my humble guess on this).

The problem about this whole why Patricia Cook ever stopped at that particular point, and why this cop decided to pull up and mess with her.  There is something else to this story.....some piece that would explain why two people happen to meet at the wrong place and wrong time, and invite a terrible thing to occur.

Somehow, in my gut....I get that odd feeling that both had met before.  Don't know why.....don't know how....just a gut feeling.