The People v Reece Leach

Submitted into Contest #230 in response to: Write a story in the form of a list.... view prompt

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Crime Suspense Fiction

Case Number: 010147858

Date: 24 July 2023

NAME OF DECEASED: Madelyn Leach, Female, 41, White

CAUSE OF DEATH: Anaphylactic Shock

NATURE OF DEATH: Accidental, Possible Homicide

PRIMARY SUSPECT: Reece Leach, Male, 12, White

ADDRESS OF OCCURRENCE: Benihana, 2105 Northern Blvd, Manhasset, NY 11030

REPORTING OFFICER: Michael Quackenbush, Shield No. 27846

RESPONDING EMT: Anne Eklund, EMS ID No. 6321-0191-0448

WITNESSES:

Fynn Bachmann: General Manager, Male, 57, White

Yūto Hamasaki: Head Chef, Male, 44, Asian

Hachirou Egawa: Waiter, Male, 31, Asian

Lara Colt: Patron, Female, 33, Black

Incident: On July 19, 2023, at approximately 21:38, a woman later identified as Madelyn Leach, 41, was reported deceased at the Benihana in Manhasset while dining with her son, Reece Leach, 12. Cause of death was later confirmed as an ingestion of peanut powder, resulting in a fatal allergic reaction. Mr. Leach was later arrested under §125.25 Murder in the second degree and is currently being held at the Crossroads Juvenile Center awaiting trial.

Evidence & Analysis:

Inculpatory Evidence

  • Mr. Leach was the only one with a known relationship with Mrs. Leach at Benihana on July 19th. Mrs. Leach and Mr. Leach are were mother and son.
  • Bachmann: “At Benihana, we take allergies very seriously. We would never allow a patron to fall ill under our watch.”
  • Hamasaki: “Look through this menu. Do you see a single peanut? There are no peanuts at Benihana!”
  • Egawa: “Mrs. Leach ordered the ‘Shrimp Lover’s Roll,’ which contains shrimp, krab, avocado, cucumber, and white rice.”
  • Hamasaki: “No peanuts!”
  • Egawa: “The child ordered the ‘Alaskan Roll.’ Different roll, same ingredients.”
  • Hamasaki: “No peanuts!”
  • Colt, the closest patron to the Leach table, stated that Mr. Leach “made no attempt to help” Mrs. Leach despite clear signs of her allergic reaction, such as her “stifled speech and pale blue cheeks.” Colt was also the one to call attention to Mrs. Leach’s state and ask for help, with Mr. Leach silent.
  • An EpiPen was found inside Mrs. Leach’s purse at the scene. Mr. Leach denies knowledge of its existence.
  • Mr. Leach does not deny knowledge of Mrs. Leach’s allergy nor the severity of it.
  • Eklund reported that if emergency services were called sooner, they may have been able to save Mrs. Leach; however, she was too far gone by the time they arrived.
  • Mr. Leach’s age does not eliminate the potential for intent, required under §125.25; anyone with a conscience can exhibit intent. Notably, Mr. Leach scored 137 on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, placing him in the top 2.2% of all children for cognitive ability. This ability proves Mr. Leach’s intelligence is far beyond the low barometer necessary to exhibit intent. Mr. Leach is well aware of what is right and wrong.
  • During interrogation, Mr. Leach stated that he and Mrs. Leach would have these dinners weekly, only mother and son. Their father, Detective Wayne Leach, was not to attend nor were the details ever shared with him. Mr. Leach also admitted that the location was never the same, though he refused to detail where else they went and what else they did, repeatedly insisting that these “dinners” were “private.”
  • Detective Leach was suspended from the case after intervening in the interview and striking Colt, who called Mr. Leach a “demented little boy,” and has been repeatedly reprimanded for continuously working the case at home. This familial history of violence may skew jurors' opinions on Mr. Leach.
  • Upon examination, bruises were found around Mr. Leach’s wrists. Bruising was also found in the upper right quadrant of Mrs. Leach’s chest and the lower left quadrant of her ribs. Scratches were also found around her lower neck.
  • Blood found under Mr. Leach’s fingernails was tested and found to be a match with Mrs. Leach’s blood.
  • A jar of peanut powder was found in the trash at the Leach home, half-empty.
  • Evidence alludes to a prior struggle between the two Leaches, suggesting a motive of retaliation resulting in a deliberate poisoning via peanut powder. Abuse is suspected.

Exculpatory Evidence

  • More is unknown than is known. Mr. Leach Reece and Mrs. Leach Maddy being mother and son is proof of nothing.
  • Hamasaki’s testimony is highly defensive and emotional. His insistence on a lack of peanuts can be attributed to an innate devotion to the restaurant, further backed up by Bachmann’s proximity during the interview. While the word “peanut” in and of itself is not on the menu, peanuts are a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. Additionally, Reporting Officer Quackenbush did not thoroughly search the kitchen, nor the other patrons, making this evidence inadmissible.
  • Colt’s testimony is unreliable hearsay and can easily be attributed to a combination of shock and hero syndrome. Reece’s alleged lack of response can also easily be attributed to shock.
  • Expecting a child to have the will and awareness to take an EpiPen out of his mother’s purse and stab her with it is complete conjecture.
  • Reece’s knowledge of Maddy’s allergy speaks to his love for his mother, not some speculated hatred being pulled from the sky. He knew that even the smallest trace, if ingested, could lead to her death, and was meticulously careful when it came to her food, always quick to ensure it was safe for her consumption.
  • Eklund’s testimony is pure speculation. How could she, a stranger, know anything about the severity of Maddy’s allergy?
  • Reece is smart, yes, but he is still a child. This cannot be irrelevant.
  • Reece and Maddy were super close. Their weekly dinners speak to their bond. Any abuse is pure, unfounded speculation, and borderline obtuse. Maddy was a wonderful mother, tender as time is indefinite. She loved Reece as deeply as any mother would. She would never hurt him. She is the victim, not the suspect. Her character is not on trial.
  • Maddy would never hurt Reece.
  • Reece has shown no signs of violence with his peers nor family. His father’s violent history is irrelevant pseudoscience. Colt does not know Reece and her opinion is invalid.
  • The bruising must have come from elsewhere. Reece loved his mother deeply. He never spoke ill of her. His affection for her was unbridled.
  • Reece and Maddy never fought. They did not fight.
  • Allusion is not reality.
  • They are mother and son. Their blood must share similarities.
  • The peanut powder must have been planted.
  • Maddy did not abuse Reece. Reece had nothing to retaliate for.
  • There has to be another explanation.
  • He is your son.

Conclusion: I need another drink.

December 30, 2023 00:06

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