We've all heard the term “runaway jury” before. But a runaway defendant?
The story of Teddy McGee makes for one of the most fascinating courtroom dramas I've ever heard, one to eclipse anything even John Grisham could invent.
In one of the most bizarre stories to ever come out of the criminal courthouse at Tulane & Broad – a veritable crucible of the bizarre – McGee stood up and walked out of the courthouse unchallenged and uncontested, just minutes after he was pronounced guilty of sexual battery this week.
He remained at large for three days.
And just like he walked out of court and disappeared, today he walked right back in.
Gave himself up. Just like that.
Say what you will about Teddy McGee – the D.A.'s office portrays him as a seriously dangerous cuss – the man has a flair for the spectacular.
The whole escapade is from the archives of The Twilight Zone.
The victim recanted her earlier accusations and testified in McGee's defense this week. When the verdict was read, she threw a distracting tantrum and left the courtroom and so did McGee.
And after she returned to court she was cited for contempt by the judge.
So the victim spent the last three nights in jail while the convict roamed free.
A world gone mad.
I mean, nobody saw Mcgee heading for the door and thought: This ain't right. He can't do that.
But he did that.
The two deputies present, the judge, the spectators – or the jurors; didn't somebody think to say: “Hey, this ain't right!”
But our tale concluded another twisted chapter this afternoon with the release of the victim – with an order to seek counseling.
So tonight, the convict sits in jail while the victim is free to ponder her actions and fate, and – for a brief moment – the justice system is back spinning on its proper axis and all is where it should be.
The ship is righted.
At least, as close as it gets at Tulane & Broad.