Before they went to speak with Marcos Duendes, Detectives Johnson and Contreras conferred with the police officers who had interviewed Dr. Ugliski’s wife at the hospital and his staff at his office and the residents of Dr. Ugliski’s neighborhood which the police had quickly canvassed.
Mrs. Ugliski could only say that after their door bell rang that her husband had opened their front door and that she heard someone say, “Are you Rob or Robert?” followed by three gunshots after her husband had said, “Yes. Who are you?” Then she saw her husband stagger back from the door he had somehow slammed shut, look at her with a pained and puzzled expression before he slumped to the ground and she ran to him to find a bullet wound in the middle of his chest with blood oozing out that small hole and more blood oozing from his armpit.
Dr. Ugliski’s receptionist described a strange recent visitor who had asked to see Dr. Ugliski to thank him for delivering the man’s baby while he was away somewhere, but the receptionist said that she never took down the name of the visitor or couldn’t remember if she had done so or where the name was if she had taken it. When shown a photo of the black low rider pickup truck with snug fit black camper shell that Duendes owned, all of Dr. Ugliski’s staff remembered seeing that distinctive-looking vehicle parked several times in the parking lot outside Dr. Ugliski’s office for several days before the shooting that morning.
Two different residents in Dr. Ugliski’s neighborhood the next street over remembered seeing that same black truck parked along the street that morning and that it sped away right after everyone heard three gun shots. And one neighbor saw a tall man wearing a hoodie sweatshirt that covered the man’s face jogging on Dr. Ugliski’s street after the neighbor had looked out his front door when he’d heard gunshots. He told police that he thought that the man was either white or maybe hispanic, but that he was not African American.
“Your wife didn’t know nothing, Mr. Duendes,” Detective Johnson told the holding cell’s sole occupant when Johnson had returned to the cell before Marcos had finished his soda and the Sports Illustrated article he’d just started reading. “She asked us if she could speak to you in private before we interview you to see what you can think of about who might have called ‘Silent Witness’ to lie about you. We told her that would be OK. Would you like to speak with your wife in private?”
“Uh, yeah, sure.” answered Duendes putting down his magazine and keeping the soda can to finish drinking.
Detectives Johnson and Contreras led Marcos Duendes to the interview room where Priscilla was sitting there alone and looking very, very anxious. Detective Johnson closed the door to give the couple their privacy. Then the two detectives went to the other interview room where they could watch and listen to Marcos and Priscilla talk to each other.
“Marcos, they KNOW that you did it!” Priscilla told her husband who looked at her with the scared face of a child. “I don’t know how they know, but they know! I didn’t tell them anything. I only told them that I had no idea who would say such a horrible thing about you, but they then told me that you’d been seen in the neighborhood by several people running away for Dr. Ugliski’s house right after the neighbors said that they heard three gunshots! They told me that two of the neighbors got a good look at your face and that police officers are already on their way to show those neighbors your photograph to ask if YOU are the man that they said they saw running away.”
“What do I DO?” Marcos pleaded with Priscilla, the woman he once had loved and who once had loved him too.
“You’ve got to TELL THEM THE TRUTH, Marcos!” Priscilla pled with her husband, with real tears in her eyes that started to make their way down her beautiful face. “Dr. Ugliski ISN’T DEAD! They told me that he miraculously survived the one bullet that hit him. You’ve got to tell them that you were out of your mind with jealousy and that you thought he had molested me. If necessary, I can even take the stand and say that he DID molest me when he was examining me, but that I was too afraid to tell you at the time. If we can get some hispanic men or women on your jury, they won’t even be able to convict you of anything because it will be your honor duty in their minds what you did to protect ME. Please, Marcos! It’s our only chance. Tell them what you did!”
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