Soon it became evident to Rhoda, Lois and the gentlemen that Ashley’s faith in God was renewed: something they were all happy about.
And for the first time in a long while, she started to read the Bible as she had asked Rhoda to get her one. Ashley got to acknowledge that though she had felt disappointed several times in life, her storms didn’t have to take her further away from God. And though the trail was a challenging phase for her, she learnt from it how to be humble before God, and how to love Him as a daughter once again. She realized that she couldn’t do everything on her own without God’s help.
THE NEXT COURT HEARING
Without any evidence to prove her innocence, Jojo asked that Ashley would testify for herself in court, so as to use that opportunity to clear herself, if possible.
But unfortunately for the team, Henry, together with his prosecuting counsel presented evidence in court at the next hearing capable of sabotaging Ashley.
Lois, Rhoda, Eddy and Jojo were all shocked that Henry could present that evidence as an exhibit in court.
They all listened as the audio presented by Henry and the prosecutor played. Tears trickled down Ashley’s face!
“Eva I’ll deal with you! You’ll regret it! You’ll regret ever messing up with me!” Ashley could hear her voice being played to the hearing of the whole court.
Sadly she turned to look at Henry’s face but he looked away peevishly. Henry knew very well that when she gets angry, she could say anything without thinking. So how come Henry recorded what she said during the moment that she caught him with Eva making out in his car? What prompted him to record it? Ashley realized how wicked Henry could be.
“Miss Banks, can you identity the voice which was just played?” the prosecuting counsel asked Ashley after the exhibit during her cross examination.
“Yes… That’s my voice!”
“Meaning it was you saying to the deceased, “I’ll deal with you… You’ll regret it”?”
“Yes… But I never for once even at that moment thought of killing. That wasn’t what I meant.”
“That was a threatening message, and now Miss Eva Darko has been murdered. Yet you claim that you had no intentions of killing her even from those threatening statements you made… Can you tell this honorable court then what you meant when you said to the deceased that you’ll deal with her?” the prosecuting counsel asked Ashley.
“I really don’t know!” Ashley began by saying. “The only thing I was thinking of was to take her off my production team, and to badmouth her to other directors and producers so she doesn’t get any role for any production as an actress, since that would cost her her job. But I never intended killing her!”
“Or maybe you later changed your mind and decided to end her life… Is that possible, Miss Banks?”
“No! I didn’t kill Eva!” Ashley exclaimed!
Yet somewhere in the country, Scott, Lois’ estranged husband who for a long period had not been home or spoken to Lois and Kyler just because he had lost interest in their marriage, was ambushed together with some other travelers by armed robbers. He got scared to death when he saw the armed robbers kill and take valuable items away from some travelers.
“Oh God! Why all this? What’s happening?” Ashley lamented after the court hearing that day.
She still couldn’t understand what made Henry record what she said to Eva in her moment of anger. Jojo realized that things might go against them because of the audio recording presented to the court.
“I was beginning to trust God once again, Jojo! I was beginning to look up to him for help! But just look at what’s happening!” Ashley hopelessly said. “I’m going to rot in jail! I’m going to rot in jail for a crime I didn’t commit… And God is just up there.”
“Ash… Hey… It’s okay… It’s okay” Jojo consoled her. “All isn’t lost, Ash! No matter how bad the situation may be, God is still able to help his children. You just need to have faith in him.”
“Jojo… I don’t know… It looks bleak now… I don’t know if I can still hold on!”
“Ashley… Sometimes clouds of trouble gather above our heads making us lose faith in God. Sometimes strong winds blow against us, Ash… But God doesn’t allow these things to happen to break our sail, but rather for us to reassess our love for Him and our faith in Him that He is able to help us! Strengthen your faith Ash! We will win this case!” Jojo said to her reassuringly, although in his head he could agree that the situation was gradually becoming hopeless.
“As Ashley was in her cell that evening, she wept in prayer asking the Lord to intervene and to calm all that she was going through. She prayed that He would vindicate her.
And in their various homes as well, Rhoda, Eddy, Lois and Jojo prayed that God would intervene and help Ashley, since it had become evident that the ruling at the next court hearing might go against them.
But as Lawyer Jojo was in his chambers 2 days later, he received a call from a strange contact with the fellow making an urgent request to meet him ‘before it was too late’. He wondered who that might be!
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2016