Turnabout Tyson (Part 2)

This is chapter two. Chapter one is available here and chapter three can be found here

July 18

Defendant Lobby

"So how are you feeling today, Tyson?" Phoenix asked the witness in front of him that was to also be his co-counsel today.

– "Okay! I'm just okay. Everything is f-fine..." they said, nervously fidgeting, sweating buckets under their baseball cap and oversized hoodie, mouth and nose hidden behind a bandana, the same as the previous day.

"You don't look fine. Do you want some tea maybe?" Phoenix put his finger to his chin, thinking about ways to calm his new friend down.

–"No, thanks. I'm here now because you need me, I can drink tea later!"

"Alright. Just tell me when you need something."

Phoenix was concerned if they were able to withstand the pressures during a trial. He had seen many witnesses break down over the years, many of which had collapsed over one of his famous objections that had earned him the title "Turnabout Terror". He didn't want this to happen to Tyson, though. There was not much else he could build his case on since little evidence was left of the murder at Cross Club two days ago, as the door to the stairway to the second floor with the actual crime scene had been locked, so he would be relying almost exclusively on witness testimony and what evidence the prosecution would be submitting.

He hadn't even managed to talk to the defendant, Ini Sent. She was a young lady in her early 20s, somewhat short and stout, with shoulderlong black hair. Even after she had emerged from the questioning room she refused to say anything to Phoenix. He had still arranged to become her state-appointed lawyer, but this was going to be a tough trial. He had never met a defendant so uncooperative.

So Tyson was the only one who could confirm that they had not seen Ini Sent near the crime scene at the time of the murder of Samuel Buhr, a locally famous 22-year old dancer who had recently started to give dancing lessons. He was also somewhat on the shorter side, and not of the strongest build. But dancing had made him an athletic man with great stamina.

Phoenix fully expected the prosecution to have plenty of evidence to cast suspicion on Ini's alibi that he would have to explain. But he trusted Tyson to be speaking the truth. A look in their eyes was enough for him. Trust was all he needed to turn a case around and carry it through to the very end..

The bailiff notified them both that court was about to start and they both walked in.

July 18

Courtroom No. 2

District Court

Phoenix and Tyson took their spot at the defense, Tyson mumbling something to themselves. Only then did they both took a look across the room to see who he was going to face today. It had remained a secret until the last moment.

"Franziska? What made you take this case?" Phoenix had expected almost anyone else. Even Payne. Instead he faced someone he hadn't seen in a decade. And who for some reason was allowed to take a whip into the courtroom.

– "Foolish Wright! It is quite simple. Maya frequently visits Cross Club to take dancing lessons. In fact, Sam Buhr was her teacher. She has been rather upset at the news and as her best friend it is my obligation to support her in any way I can. And if there is something I can do well, it's prosecuting!" She extended her arm outwards to underline her point.

"How come Maya didn't tell me anything about this?" Phoenix asked, awkwardly rubbing the back of his head with his hand.

"Some things are just meant to be kept between girls." Franziska answered, her arms now crossed. "Isn't that obvious?"

A short moment later she spoke up again, cracking her whip against the prosecution bench. "Anyway, enough chatter! I made sure that this time a perfect investigation would be carried out, as is befitting for a von Karma. No evidence was left over for you to use against me! You have no chance this time, Phoenix Wright! Spare yourself the embarrassment and give up now!"

Phoenix banged his fists on the defense bench. "I did notice that the police left the crime scene almost entirely empty. But that won't stop me from proving my client's innocence! I have turned far more hopeless situations around!" He pointed his finger in Franziska's direction.

Gavel-banging finally ended this stand-off as the judge called for order.

"Court is now in session for the trial of Ini Sent. I see defense and prosecution are both ready to begin, so we will immediately move to the opening statement of the prosecution."

"With pleasure, your Honor."

"On the evening of July 16, at about 7 PM after a meeting of a support group at Cross Club had ended, Ini Sent got into an argument with Samuel Buhr. We have determined it was about the planning of an upcoming trip to a dance competition at the Meteor Crater in Arizona. Both had worked on it together for quite some time, Ini on the music and Samuel on the choreography. However, recently they had increasingly clashed over different creative visions and budgeting problems. Arguments often spiraled out of control, and on this day they led to Ini pushing Sam over the railing, who died on impact with the floor. Ini was arrested at the scene of the crime."

In that moment, Tyson blurted out "INI IS INNOCENT! She would never do something like that!"

Franziska responded with an icy stare and the judge angrily banged his gavel.

"Order! Order in the court or I will hold you in contempt of court" he exclaimed.

Phoenix, distraught, quickly turned to his co-counsel.

"Tyson! Get a hold on yourself or it all ends here! Please."

Tyson just looked down and said nothing.

On the other side of the courtroom, Franziska, cracked her whip against the bench again.

"Fools! You're only making it harder for yourselves!" She flashed a sly smile "Not that you ever had much hope for a victory to begin with. I have spent almost a decade studying and practicing to finally get even with you! I will not lose again. Just look at the evidence." She held up a manila envelope and a transparent bag with a key.

"The prosecution would like to introduce the autopsy report, fingerprint reports, a partial plan of the building where the murder took place and this key to the court record."

The judge banged the gavel once. "The court accepts the evidence. Please proceed, Ms. von Karma."

"The autopsy report verifies that Samuel Buhr died from trauma to his head and back, and that it was instant. With new technology our forensics department could detect several sets of fingerprints on the shirt of the victim, among them also some of Ini Sent, approximately at where she needed to be push him to make him fall over the railing. Some minor scratches at the calves of the victim were also found, which I believe were caused by the culprit attempting to lift the victim up before pushing him down. And as you can see on the plan of the building, the stairway to the second floor, overlooking the first floor, was behind a door that was locked when the police arrived, and Ms. Sent was found behind the door, with the only key in her pocket."

Phoenix tried to stay composed on the outside, but his mind was racing and anxiety only increasing. Another locked-room mystery awaited him.

(Ini not wanting to talk might have been due to how incriminating her situation seemed to be. Perhaps she just didn't want to do talk in front of a guard and camera, worried that she might make it worse for her if she tried to explain... At least I hope it's that.) he thought.

"See, Phoenix? As promised, I have a perfect case. You might as well end it here, and I will be merciful." said Franziska, finishing her opening statement.

Phoenix realized she had stayed the same in many ways.

(She still likes to gloat as much as she used to. But pride comes before a fall. This time, too.)

"You lack decisive evidence to prove the guilt of my client!" (Who isn't here right now, and doesn't even seem to trust me. But I will trust her. Otherwise I won't be able to find out what really happened.)

Franziska whipped the bench in front of her again and then held it over her head.

"You still want more evidence? Let the detective explain it all to you. And you will despair or finally recognize this case for what it is: an open and shut case!"

A man in a beige t-shirt, a poorly fitting brown tie and a dark green jacket stepped up to the witness stand. He had short blond hair which formed a spike at the right side of his head and was constantly fidgeting with a pen. Looking around the courtroom, he flashed a big smile.

"Hey, pals! It's me, Gumshoe Jr.! Today is my first day on the force so please excuse that I'm really excited to be summoned here for the first time!" he exclaimed.

"Gumshoe Jr.? So are you the son of the Gumshoe that I worked with here years ago?" Phoenix asked, trying to hide his surprise.

– "Exactly! He's my father and I owe him a lot. I learned so much from him growing up and couldn't wish for something better!" Gumshoe Jr. beamed.

(I hope you didn't learn to be as scatterbrained and bumbling as him, too, if you value your salary...) Phoenix thought, wincing on the inside.

– "Anyway, my testimony! Here it comes." the young detective continued. He stemmed his hands into his sides. "We arrived at the crime scene at 9 PM".

"Hold it!" Phoenix immediately interrupted. "What took you so long to get there when the murder occured at 7 PM during a self-help group meeting?"

– "I was going to get to that part! Relax, pal." Gumshoe jr. said, still smirking. "We didn't get a call until 8:45 PM and it took us 15 minutes to arrive." He waited for Phoenix to interrupt him again, and when he heard nothing, he continued.

"We had to break the door open, as it had been locked tight. I wasn't there to witness it, but it's what my colleagues told me." He was about to continue when he realized Phoenix was about to raise his finger.

A loud "OBJECTION!" came from the defense bench that visibly shook the young detective, who almost tripped backwards. "That's hearsay! If you didn't see it yourself, you can't testify about it!" It was as if by pointing Phoenix had unleashed a gust of wind towards the witness stand.

"Furthermore, the door was still intact when I arrived the morning after the crime! It's highly unlikely that a door could be replaced overnight, especially after it had been marked as crime scene by the police!"

Phoenix banged his fists on the table. "I demand that this statement be struck from the record!"

The judge banged his gavel in response. "The request of the defense is granted. Detective, please stick to the facts as you know them."

Gumshoe Jr., still flustered, stammered an "O-okay."

"So, I was on the crime scene. And took notes. The victim was in the middle of the room." He flinched, waiting again for an interruption, before continuing.

"As the forensics began to take photos of the victim and preserve the evidence of the crime scene, the door to the stairway was opened up from the inside." Once again, he hesitated before adding more to his testimony.

"It was the defendant who opened up. We asked her if she had been here the entire time. She said yes. She also confirmed she had the only key."

"Hold it!" Phoenix shouted. "When exactly did she open up?"

Gumshoe Jr. shrugged. "I didn't look at my watch, but I suppose it was some 5-10 minutes after we had arrived, so maybe 9:05 PM, maybe 9:10 PM. Why, is that really important?"

"Of course it is. But first I want to ask another question. Did the defendant say what she had been doing on the 2nd floor?"

– "Phoenix, you are only tying the figurative noose around your neck with these questions." Franziska interrupted, waving a finger in the air with a smug grin on her face.

– "She said she had been preparing for a trip to the Meteor Crater Museum in Arizona, where a space-themed dance competition was supposed to be held. At first the victim had helped her, but after an argument she decided to finish them alone."

"Did you find evidence to back this up?" Phoenix asked, hopeful to obtain some of what he couldn't find during his own investigation.

– "We did! Here's a leaflet advertising the competition. And we also came across bus trip bookings that had been printed out. They were signed with Ini Sent. The name of the victim had been hastily crossed out."

Phoenix' foot was tapping to some imaginary beat again. He didn't like where this was going. To avoid having to look into Franziska's face, who seemed to still be taking delight in this situation, he looked to his co-counsel. Tysel seemed to be faring even worse. They were shaking over their entire body, fingers clenching the bench to the point where the knuckles were pale. Phoenix felt bad for taking them inside, it might have been better to have them waiting in the lobby. On the other side, he couldn't watch over them like that. He really needed to think of a way show his appreciation after the trial.

But really, why had Sam's name been crossed out? Had the argument been that bad?

"Tyson, I'm sorry, this must be really hard on you. But we need to stay strong. Do you know if Ini and Sam were close before, or whether they were always fighting?"

– "They had one of the closest friendships in the entire group! I don't understand this at all. Something terrible must have occurred between them." Tyson responded, trying to keep their voice low, although it still shrieked a bit.

(Now if we could just prove this "occurrence" wasn't murder...)

"Mr. Gumshoe Jr., did the defendant state why the name had been crossed out?"

– "Yes" the detective replied, in a calm tone of voice, having used the short break to regain his composure. "Ini Sent stated that there had been an argument, after which she had done this . But she refused to give any more information, stating that it was a private matter between them."

"If you don't have any more questions on this, I will continue my testimony."

– "Please do." said the judge.

"Hold it! I would like to have the last two statements added to the testimony."

– The judge nodded in approval. "The request is granted. Please proceed with your testimony, detective."

Gumshoe Jr. briefly adjusted his tie and then spoke up again.

"So during our investigation the forensics eventually found the real spot where the murder took place. The railing at the top of the stairs, where the stairs end in a small platform overlooking the first floor."

"Some scratch marks could be found there. The paint had peeled off and paint chips were found on the floor, indicating that they had fallen off very recently." He paused once to take a breath.

"The defendant was the only person found in the second floor by the police. And the door that was locked when we had arrived was the only way to enter the second floor. As a result, she was arrested as the only possible suspect."

The detective cleared his throat before continuing. "We therefore presume that the scratch marks are from a fight the victim and the defendant had, and that, as also evidenced by the fingerprints, at the end of it, the defendant pushed the victim to his demise." He looked Phoenix into the eyes who stared back.

"After that, the defendant struck the victim's name from the documents to go alone to the competition. It was clearly a ruthless murder to push a rival out of the way"

"OBJECTION!" Phoenix' voice boomed again. "Objection! The detective is clearly speculating and trying to paint my client in a poor light! I demand the last statement be struck from the record immediately!"

– "The request is granted. Detective, you will stick to the facts or see yourself get into trouble very soon!"

– The detective visibly winced and was "I, I apologize! I just got carried away, I'm sorry."

Phoenix began tapping a paper in front of him, but it was just an empty one for show. To make him look more confident. He didn't have any actual evidence this time, after all.

"Furthermore, I have a witness that is willing to testify on the good relation between Ini Sent and Samuel Buhr, thus calling any claimed motive in the question."

"In fact," and now Phoenix put the paper away, and banged the bench in front of him again and raised his voice. "this witness will testify to not having seen Ms. Sent at all during the time of the murder at the crime scene!"

(Time for my sole trump card. I don't think anything or anyone else can help me right now.)

Franziska von Karma, up until now content to just watch from the sidelines, unwilling to involve herself as what she apparently viewed as petty arguments beneath her, seemed now to be a different person, Losing her calm, her eyes shot wide open and she banged a fist on the prosecution bench.

"OBJECTION! Your Honor, this witness was not cleared with the court! There were no other people at the scene, and we haven't even been able to get in touch with any of the members of the self-help group! Phoenix Wright, you can't possibly have found someone I overlooked!"

She cracked her whip against the bench. "I have studied questioning and witness testimonies for years, whereas you fool of fools spent most of that time playing poker, and weren't even good at it seeing as much you cheated at it!"

Internally, Phoenix let out a surprised yelp. He sheepishly scratched the back of his head.

(How does she even know about my stint as poker player? Has Maya been telling her everything so as to catch her up)

"Perhaps we could leave the past in the past for now... because now is the time for you to face the facts! You should have also studied up on how to get witnesses and have them open up to you. Your whip might be able to intimidate your detective to work for you, and the intern that will bring you your coffee, but it will not endear yourself to people that don't have work for you!" Phoenix shouted, his finger pointed towards Franziska.

"You show her, Mr. Wright! How dare she just treat Ini like that!" exclaimed Tyson excitedly. It was the happiest Phoenix had ever heard them being.

Franziska was for a moment beside herself, but then seemed to pull herself together, and raised her whip above her head.

"Well, then. I am hearing no objections from the judge, so I assume this witness was secretly cleared, unbeknownst to me."

"Indeed it was, Ms. von Karma, and we have also had a fair share of surprise witnesses before. All it takes is my approval."

He punctuated his statement with another banging of the gavel.

"Court is now in recess for 15 minutes to give the witness time to prepare."

Nonetheless, Franziska got the last word in, pointing once more smugly to Phoenix.

"Don't forget, Phoenix Wright. As this is your witness, I will be the one to cross-examine them. And as I said, I have studied questioning. Don't think it will get any easier for you now."

Continued in chapter three here.