Mister Murtha sits on a bench in the building’s atrium with knees frenetically bouncing together and apart. He’s got a folded paper in his lap, but he doesn’t look like the paper-reading type. He’s distracted by the din of the “ticks” and “tocks” from the big grey metal institutional-sized clock on the wall. His black suit is not too rumpled because he only wears it for funerals. That polyester knows death.
When the man with the tattoos and goatee is brought into the courthouse, but before the crisp burly deputy sheriff’s can get him past the metal detectors into the sanctity of an elevator, a shot cracks. Everyone stares slack-jawed at the unassuming lanky hunched man in the black suit. Smoke crawls from the barrel of the, now, slack pistol. Officers wrestle Murtha to the ground, but Murtha puts up no resistance. He is not indignant. The killing has not set him free; nor have the officers delivered him up. As he lay with his cheek pressed to the cold gritty marble, he wonders whether he killed the right man.