Beg Mercy: Chapter Six, “Don’t do it, Jim.”

After Sgt. Crowe and Lt. Elkins were taken away by squad car and ambulance, respectively, after the offices and compound grounds were secured as a crime scene, after the entire place was flooded with police and forensic professionals, Jim Ehrhart stood his lone sentry beside the police squad car in which sat Jack Hudson handcuffed and going nowhere but to jail, then to prison, and finally to his own eventual death.  The decision about when Hudson would die was now Ehrhart’s alone to make, and he could make that decision right now if he wanted to do so.

With everything in him, Ehrhart wanted to end Hudson’s miserable life right then and there with one blast to the head with the shotgun that Ehrhart gripped so tightly in his hands while he stood guard over Hudson.  

“Don’t do it, Jim,” Larry Wheeler whispered to his friend several times that night before Hudson was finally taken away.  “You’ll go to prison yourself.”  

“Don’t do it, Jim.”

When asked later what Jim Ehrhart could have done differently that night that could have resulted in a better outcome, Wheeler responded, “Nothing.  Jim did everything right.  He survived.” 

When asked why he didn’t try to take the shotgun out of his friend’s hands if he was so concerned that Ehrhart might kill Hudson with it, Wheeler simply responded, “I didn’t try to take that shotgun from Jim that night because he had earned it.”

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