A Jewel Whodunnit... SADIE'S SCANDAL PART TWO: DEATH TO THE OLD LIFE
Twelve: Final Verdict
"I think I'm gonna throw up."
Georgia paced up and down the corridor outside the courtroom, her expression
troubled and her face pale. At either end of the corridor stood policemen,
for though she was not in custody as such she was still very much under
police guard. It had not taken long to build a case against the errant
teen, for, once she'd made her confession to the police and had been thoroughly
examined for evidence to prove her statement, there had been little more
for the detectives to do. Georgia had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter,
and not guilty to murder - but even a charge of manslaughter could bring
her a prison sentence, and she was more and more apprehensive as the moments
It had not taken much debating in court to present both sides of the
argument. Though Sadie had been with Jewel on the remainder of their tour
whilst much of the preparation was underway, she had been true to her
word on every count for, not only had she testified, but she had also provided
her sister with good legal backing and had enlisted the help of the motherly
Alyssa to take care of the frightened girl whilst the process had been
set in motion. Jewel had not yet returned to Los Angeles, though they were
due to fly out the next day, and so Georgia found she had the support of
both her big sisters as she awaited the verdict. Alyssa had come south
at once, leaving her three children in the care of her capable husband,
and, being the persuasive soul she was, had convinced Andrew that their
home could be Georgia's, if the verdict went in her favour. She had already
spoken to the officials about the idea, for it had worked for Sadie, and
they had taken note of her words, but Georgia was still very afraid her
sentence would include a jail term. As the clock hands began to move between
the twelve and the six, Sadie headed off in search of an official who could
tell them how long it was likely to be, and Georgia and Alyssa were left
"With any luck, they'll call us in soon." Alyssa spoke now, indicating
for Georgia to come sit down. "I know it's horrible waiting, but I'm sure
it'll be all right, Georgie. And I'm sure too that the judge will let
me take you to Birmingham to get your life back on track away from all
the trouble down here, too."
"I don't even know if I'm safe." Georgia admitted. "In this area, I
mean. What if someone wants to get their own back at me for it all?" She
shuddered, coming to sit down. "I wish I'd never left home." She murmured.
"I wanted to prove I was grown up and look at me. Running to my big sisters
like I'm still some helpless kid."
"You're only eighteen. There's plenty of time to grow up." Alyssa put
a gentle arm around her. "But listen, Georgie. Sadie put herself through
a lot to testify in court. She even risked a charge of concealing evidence
herself, over that poor girl's death. If the judge rules in your favour,
I want you to appreciate what she did for you. She came out of there near
tears the other day...don't let her have gone through that in vain. She loves
you and wants to help you - we both do. But unless you want to help yourself,
we're powerless to do anything."
"I won't let either of you down." Georgia murmured. "I'm sick of everything,
Alyssa. Totally sick and tired of it all. I've never been so scared as
I was when it happened...and now, well, having spent the last week in court
and having had my life, and his life, and hell, Sadie's life taken
to pieces, I realised how angry I am as well."
"Yeah. Angry that I let him treat me that way." Georgia nodded. "Angry
that I wasn't strong enough to stand up to him and say no. Angry that
I let myself get dragged into the drug thing, too." She swallowed hard.
"I want to get out of it all. I really do. This week...it's made me realise
that some things are more important than getting high."
"I'm glad to hear it." Alyssa told her gently. "And we'll do everything
we can to help you. My husband is agreeable that you come to us in Birmingham,
under the circumstances he could hardly bring himself to say no, but we're
both very conscious of the fact we have small children, and, though Sharita
is perhaps old enough to be sensible, Megan and Josh are tiny yet. We
can't have them being led astray."
"I understand." Georgia nodded. "I...I mean to try not be a bad influence
anyhow. If only I can have that chance...I promise I'll take it."
"Mark phoned me this morning." Alyssa continued, mentioning the brother
who came between her and Sadie. "He's obviously read about this in the newspapers
and he asked me if there was any way he could help out. I know he's not
really in touch with what us girls are doing, but he does care, Georgie,
and if you want his support then he's game to give it."
"That's sweet of him." Georgia leant up against her sister, closing
her eyes briefly. "Aly, did Dad...has Dad said anything?"
"No, he hasn't." Alyssa admitted slowly. "But it might be because he's
on military manoeuvre. You know how he is."
"Yes." Georgia sighed. "It's all right. I just wondered."
"What about this friend of yours? Grey? Sadie said you'd become quite
attached to him."
"Alyssa, he's not my boyfriend!" Georgia looked startled at this. "Sure,
he's my friend, but dammit, you think I'm letting any guy near me for
at least the next century? Men suck and that's that!"
"I merely wanted to know if you intended to keep in touch with him."
Alyssa looked amused.
"Would you be bothered, if I did?"
"No. Sadie's told me about him." Alyssa shook her head. "She said he's
not the kind of guy who'd hold you back or get you into trouble...so I
"I like Grey more than I realised." Georgia admitted. "Not love like,
Aly, but you know, friend like. He's stuck by me like mad through everything,
even when he knew the truth. He's never been quite like the others, somehow.
I mean, he doesn't use drugs - never has. He never much liked Neal. I think
he got into the setup because he wound up in a rough patch and couldn't
pay rent or whatever. I know he's like me and Sadie - Ds and Es at GCSE
and nothing else to fall back on. It was a place to stay, that's all. He's
said though that he wants to get out...and I know he will. He'll be fine."
"Will you?" Alyssa murmured. Georgia faltered.
"I don't know." She confessed. "I'm a mess of stuff right now."
"Well, then maybe you need to keep in contact with Grey, and let him
be an example for you on how to be fine." Alyssa suggested with a smile.
Georgia looked sheepish.
"Maybe." She acknowledged. "Oh! Sadie's coming back - and she's not
glowering so I guess that means it won't be long."
"They reckon within the next twenty minutes. They're actually setting
up for the verdict." Sadie herself put in at that moment. "George, don't
look so freaked out. Whatever it is, chin up and take it, okay? We're all
on your side, whatever happens."
"I know." Georgia swallowed hard. "But I don't want to go to jail.
It's okay for you, you've been, you know what it's like and how it all
works. I haven't...and I don't want to begin right now!"
"They'd have to be animals, to incarcerate you after all you've been
through." Sadie said quietly. "Besides, your case was compelling enough
to touch any jury. Don't panic about it till you know if you've anything
to panic about, all right?"
"All right." Georgia paused, then, "Sadie?"
"I...guess thank you." Georgia stumbled over the words, her cheeks
going pink as she did so. "I know you arranged my legal aid and my bail,
and I know you went through a lot to testify for me, even after I'd been
a bitch to you."
"We've never been friends, have we?" Sadie sighed, taking her sister's
hands in hers and pulling her gently to her feet. "Maybe if we had, this
wouldn't have happened."
"I don't hate you any more." Georgia admitted.
"Why did you hate me in the first place?" Sadie asked softly.
"You always took Mum's attention. She liked you best of all of us."
Georgia said slowly. "She was always teaching you to sing or to play guitar
or raving to Dad or someone about how good you were for your age and all
that. When you did that show at primary school, in the nativity when you
sang Silent Night - she was there clapping in the front row like you were,
I dunno, some huge movie star or something. When your year four collage was
given pride of place in the art room she was glowing that parents evening
that that was her girl's work. I might as well not have existed. I'm not
artistic, I'm not musical, I can't do a damn thing special. I felt like
my whole life I've been trying to live up to what you've done - that's why
I ran away from home, and got mixed up with Neal. I wanted to prove I could
be better than you...guess I screwed up yet again."
"Oh!" Sadie stared, then, "God, Georgie, Mum loved us all! She'd always
say to the neighbours how lucky she was to have five such wonderful children
- she even said once she'd have liked more, if the money had been there
to support them. We never had a lot as kids, Georgie, but we had Mum -
all of us. We were her life, you know that. She even quit her folk
singing to be there for us. And she loved you every bit as much as me,
whether you were musical or not. Just because you don't want to play guitar
or paint, it doesn't mean you're talentless. Mum...she always used to say
that you showed signs of being the brightest of us, if only you'd focus
your brain to school and not causing trouble. Hell, George, you were reading
at two and a half! I didn't read till I was four!"
"She...said that about me?" Georgia looked taken aback.
"She did, Georgie, because I heard her say it too." Alyssa nodded.
"And I remember too when you learnt to read so young, Mum was thrilled
out of her skin to have a kid at playgroup who could already pick her name
out of a list and who was learning to scrawl it everywhere in crayon. Even
if you did occasionally choose to graffiti the bathroom wall with it. She
often said that you'd grow up to do great things, once you'd outgrown the
"It didn't always feel that way." Tears touched Georgia's eyes. "I
was only a kid when she died, and I loved her so much. I just wanted to
know she loved me as much as I did her."
Sadie bit her lip.
"I'm sorry if I took her away from you." She said finally. "I never
realised you felt that way. I know you acted out a lot, even as a small
kid - I guess it's not easy when you're one of the youngest to get attention
all to yourself, huh?"
"No." Georgia shook her head. "James never cared, he's a weirdo brat
and he'll go into the military and be like Dad...fine, who cares about
him anyway. But I needed a Mum and I never had one - and when I did I was
always competing with my damn big sister who was so damn wonderful at everything
"Shh, don't be like that." Sadie hugged her sister tightly. "Mum never
chose to leave us, you know that. And now, well, she isn't here
and all we have is each other - you, me, Alyssa and Mark, I guess, since
James isn't interested in any of us and Dad's more into his military business
than he is his children. We have to stick together and help each other
through things...let the past go."
"Sadie's right." Alyssa nodded. "It wasn't always easy for me being
the eldest of you all, either, especially when Mum died and I felt like
I was playing mother at fourteen or fifteen when I should have been out
at the movies or the mall with my friends...but hey, I'm not holding any
grudges." She got to her feet, taking one hand of each of her sister's in
hers. "And since I married Andrew and became a mother myself, I know how
proud Mum must've been to have all of us." She continued. "I don't doubt
for one minute that she loved us all equally, even if Sadie was musical
where the rest of us were not."
At that moment a burly police officer approached the trio and Georgia
swallowed hard, exchanging looks with her sisters.
"Is it time?" Alyssa asked quietly. The officer nodded his head.
"If you'll come this way, Miss." He said to Georgia. "They want you in
court now to read the verdict."
"Go on. It'll be okay." Sadie hugged her sister quickly, casting her
a smile. "Really. Go on."
Swallowing again, Georgia did as she was bidden, and, Alyssa in tow,
Sadie made her way to the gallery, her own heart pounding in her throat.
She had done everything she could for her sister's freedom, but it rested
with the judge and jury now. Would they decide against her plea of manslaughter
and declare it murder? Or would they simply seek to make an example of
another drugbound teen?
"I feel like I could have prevented all of this." She murmured to Alyssa
as they took their seats. "If Georgia goes down, it's partly because I
ignored the fact she was in trouble when Shock came to see me."
"It's not your fault, and even if it was you've more than made up for
it in what you've done for her here." Alyssa said gently. "And so long as
Georgia walks from this courtroom free, she won't want for family support
ever again, I promise you. Somehow, Andrew and I will help her."
"She's worse than I was when you helped me. I had the drug kicked." Sadie
"Yes, but I think Georgie will fight." Alyssa replied. "And you know
as well as I do that Dad always called her the spitfire when we were small.
She's the obstinate, fiery one who will set her mind on something and then
do it, no matter what it takes. I think she'll be okay now she wants to sort
her life out."
"So long as this goes for her." Sadie sighed, crossing and uncrossing
her fingers. "I wish you were allowed to smoke in court rooms. I swear I'm
more on edge than George!"
"I doubt it." Alyssa cast her youngest sister a thoughtful look. "I think
she's feeling pretty terrible about it all, to be honest."
At that moment the judge entered, with the various legal officials, and
silence was called in the court as the presiding justice - one Reginald Durrow
-took his seat, eying the quaking Georgia solemnly. At length he spoke.
"Miss Monahue, you have pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter
but not guilty to the charge of murder." He observed quietly. "Foreman
of the jury, have you reached a verdict?"
The foreman scrambled to his feet, nodding his head.
"We have, your honour." He responded, a little flushed and embarrassed
for having been caught off guard.
"On the charge of murder in the first degree, do you find the defendant
guilty or not guilty?"
A deathly pause, then, "Not guilty."
Sadie bit her lip, saying a silent thank you for this mercy at least.
"Then all that remains is for me to pass sentence."
Reginald fixed Georgia once more with his solemn gaze and she stared
back at him with big frightened blue eyes, her complexion pale and her
hands gripping the rail as if she was afraid she might fall.
"Georgia Monahue, you have pleaded and been found guilty of the charge
of manslaughter, in the case of the death of Neal Ridley." The judge began
slowly. "Taking another human life is a grievous crime indeed, and one
that reparation must always be made for. The circumstances that have been
presented to me so poignantly by your defence has indicated that Mr Ridley
was far from a pleasant and law abiding individual. However, it would equally
be wrong of me to dismiss you from this court without punishment, for all
human life is sacred."
He paused, letting his words sink in. In the dock, Georgia swallowed
hard, feeling sick inside.
"You are very young." Now the judge's tone was gentle. "And yet this
ordeal will live with you for the rest of your life. I feel that sentencing
you to a prison term could not possibly punish you more than your memories
and dreams already do, and events like these can mark a turning point in
a person's life. You have not always done good things, but now it's time
to put those things right. Therefore my sentence is this."
Another pause, which seemed to go on forever, then,
"I am not going to send you to jail. I am imposing a two year sentence
for your crime, suspended in light of the events and the terror you have
been through. I am also sentencing you to one year's community service,
and that you must attend probation and relevant rehabilitation counselling
for one year. You are also to stay in the Kent area, and...yes?" As one
of the aides approached the bench with a sheet of paper. "Oh, I see. Well,
in that case, since your sister has come forward offering to take custody
of you, your probation and counselling will be served by relevant authorities
in the Birmingham area. That is the sentence of this court."
He lifted his gavel, then banged it down on the desk, and at the sound
the last of Georgia's courage gave out. With a little sigh she fell backwards
in the dock and slowly the world closed in around her as people hurried
to her aid.
When she opened her eyes, it was to the reassuring faces of her sisters,
and as she became more aware of her surroundings she realised she was in
one of the quieter back rooms of the courthouse. Sadie squeezed her hand
"You're only supposed to do the dramatic fainting bit if you're sent
down." The Jewel said lightly. "Not if you're allowed to walk free."
Despite herself, Georgia raised a smile.
"I'm sorry." She murmured. "Noone told me the rules."
"Are you all right?" Alyssa sounded worried. "You fell like a dead weight."
"Yeah...I think it was just all the worrying." Georgia nodded, struggling
to sit up properly. "I didn't eat breakfast and I feel like crap anyway."
She turned her gaze on the older girl. "Aly, thank you for letting me come
to Birmingham. I promise to do my best not to do anything to set your kids
a bad example."
"You're welcome." Alyssa told her with a smile. "And I know you will."
She hugged her sister. "It's over now. Neal is gone and he can't hurt either
of you again. Sadie can go back to the States and you can start to get your
life back on track. Everything will be fine."
"I guess so." Georgia nodded. She frowned. "Though I wish you weren't
going to America, Sadie. This is the first time you and I have ever had civil
conversation, and now you're going again."
"True, but you can email and phone and when your probation is up, come
visit." Sadie assured her. "And besides, I'll be in England again. Jewel
are doing okay here, despite the odd publicity." She smiled. "And Alyssa
is right, you know. Things will be okay for us Monahue kids. So long as
we stick together...everything will be fine."
One: An Uncertain Reputation Chapter
Two: Reaction Chapter
Three: Questions Chapter
Four: Back Home Chapter
Five: Complications Chapter
Six: The Net Closes Chapter
Seven: Jetta Demands Chapter
Eight: Startling News Chapter
Nine: An Unlikely Suspect Chapter
Ten: The Truth
Chapter Eleven: Amber Chapter
Twelve: Final Verdict DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz,
Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters
in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted
to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified>
and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz,
Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright
of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series.
The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy,
the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future
world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn. The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent
link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is
entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not
based on any real life individual. The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and
Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms
is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whoseTeenangel
Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The
character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters
mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and
appear here only with her permission. Pay her page a visit!