Thursday, October 27, 2011


An amazing thing happened to me on Wednesday morning.  It all started my alarm went off as usual at the ghastly hour of 6 o’clock in the morning.  I got up, walked a few steps to my alarm, hit the snooze, and dived back under the covers.  As I settled back into my warm bed, a strange sensation came over me.  My mind was calm, my thoughts were clear, and I felt as light as a feather.  The immense weight on my shoulders that had been my constant companion these last 4 years was gone.  So, this is what it felt like before my world came crashing down around me?  It’s amazing the ability we have to adapt to our surroundings and adjust our expectations accordingly.

Alberto called me last night to talk about what will happen next.  I told him I had sent an email out to Lance to find out when we will be engaging immigration yet again, although I suspect it will not be until after the sentencing in November.  I also let him know that Brian had stated that he didn’t believe that Alberto would be serving the full 240 days.  Most people only serve about 2/3 of their actual sentence, which means Alberto could be out as soon as the day of the sentencing hearing.  If you do the math, 2/3 of the 240 days is only 160 days.  As of today 155 days have passed since his arrest at the border, and if you add the three days he had in custody from the original arrest, Alberto has served a total of 158 days to date, which means he ‘could’ be released on Friday.  However, since he has not been formally sentenced Alberto will remain in custody until that time.  At least that is my understanding of the legalities.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It’s done

There will be no trial, the battle is over.  This afternoon Alberto plead guilty to the lesser charge against him: Riot in the Second Degree.  This is still a felony-level conviction, which means we have to submit a criminal waiver as well as the waiver of inadmissibility.  As Lance is out of the country, the attorney at his office that was helping us today told me that the chances of getting the criminal waiver approved are about 35%.  I tell myself that 35% is better than 0%, but the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach says that we are watching our chances blow away in the cold October wind.  This conviction comes with a sentence of 240 days in the workhouse, credit for time served, and Brian says he may not have to serve the full amount.  We have a sentencing hearing in November, which should be interesting if nothing else.  At the time of that hearing he will have been locked up for about 184 days, with 56 days left to go on his sentence.  God willing we could have him home on parole in time for Christmas this year, our first Christmas in 3 years and his first ever with Ashley.  This nightmare is over, and a new one will come forward to take its place.

I’m feeling ok considering I have been plagued with a series of tension headaches since Friday when the negotiations began.  As long as Alberto is still at the county jail I will be able to see him tonight although I am not bringing Ashley with me.  Every once and a while I need a break from the routine, and then there’s the fact that my sweet little Ashley never allows me to have a conversation with her Papí.  I wonder what the attorney told Alberto during this negotiation that I don’t know about yet.  I hope they didn’t use any underhanded tactics to get Alberto to agree to plead guilty.  Alberto is smart and can handle himself, but the language barrier concerns me at times.  I know there was a court certified interpreter available for the proceedings, but I guess I would have felt better if I was there and witnessed everything. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I was going to write yesterday, but the massive tension headache made that impossible.  I felt as though my brain had been divided and the halves were at war with one another.  The Prosecutor received notice of our defenses and expressed an interest in settling outside of court in order to avoid trial. The offers were all bleak.  They served as stark reminders that the Prosecutor believes my husband to be guilty of all charges.  The only reduction we saw was in regards to the sentence, all of the deals were for felony-level convictions.  We countered with reduction of the severity of the crime, but the prosecutor is unwilling to consider a lesser conviction level. 

He wants Alberto to plead guilty and be handed the maximum sentence with a condition that he will not serve more than 1 year and have 5 years of probation.  I would say 1 year instead of 7 years would be a good deal, but if we accept then our immigration case loses most of its strength.  Lance even said that although an approved waiver is still possible, the chance of that happening with a felony conviction is less than 30%.  My opinion is that I am scared as hell.  The best Brian can tell us is a jury trial is always 50-50 and that if Alberto is convicted he will likely suffer the same fate as his brother.  Dios mío ¿que hagamos ahora?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I could really use a wish right now…

So on Tuesday morning I received an email from the attorney that the Judge rescheduled our court date.  We’ve been pushed back a week because the prosecutor is mired in a murder trial right now that they expect to spill over into next week.  It was a relief really because now we have more time to prepare for the trial, meaning more time for Brian to get his shit together.  The witness interviews took place on Tuesday evening at 5 pm, though they did not go as I had expected.  David, my brother-in-law, asked me to be there for the interviews so that ‘esos güeys’ would actually show up for the interviews.  So I emailed Brian to let him know I would be there which prompted him to cancel the interpreter since I could provide the service for him.  I said that I wasn’t really comfortable with this and stated why, to which he responded “I just need a mouth piece.”  Seriously Brian, what the hell? 

The interviews went well and the witnesses are in sync with one another without having the same story (which would be the case if they were lying).  Alberto on the other hand, will not be allowed to testify during the trial because his story is too different from what the 3 amigos had to say.  I chalk this up to someone telling Alberto a couple of times how they think everything happened until he believed that’s what he witnessed; it’s actually an interrogation tactic that is proven to coerce false confessions from innocent people.  Alberto is very susceptible to suggestion and he can have a difficult time remembering facts which were pointed out during his psychologist evaluation that was required before his first visa appointment because he had an arrest record.  The psychologist asked him for dates and details of his arrests that Alberto doesn’t remember, so the psychologist asked if he should mark Alberto down as a retraso mental.  Alberto said that the psychologist was joking, and apparently he guy was very nice and actually friendly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

T minus 6 days and counting…

I can do this…  I can survive these last few days of anxiety and pain.  I will do whatever needs to be done.  I just need to relax and keep breathing.  Breathe in – hold – and breathe out.  Now that I think about it, this is an excellent time to research meditation and relaxation techniques, so if any of my readers out there have some tips to share I would love to hear them! 

I am averaging around 4 hours of sleep each night when I’m not tossing and turning.  Last night I stayed up until 1 am sorting clothes and packing boxes for whichever organization contacts us regarding donations first.  I’m up to 3 full boxes of clothes, with a fourth box of miscellaneous items.  I can’t believe how much clothing I have that doesn’t fit me even though it’s supposedly the correct size.  During these times I bemoan my large frame and above average height since getting clothing that fits properly is a rare or very expensive.  Thus the reason why retail therapy sessions never go well for me; I always wake up the next morning wondering what happened and why there is a bunch of ugly clothing on the floor.  It’s only a small comfort knowing that 90% of what I put into the boxes was purchased 3 or more years ago.  Just another good reason for me to avoid the mall when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but then again I do the same thing at JoAnn ECT, amassing a collection of miscellaneous crafting supplies for no conceivable reason.  At this point in time new clothing is a luxury item, and the only crafting I’m interested in is making my own clothes.  One of these days I will get brave enough to try something on my sewing machine…

Monday, October 3, 2011

Act of Kindness

I admit that I get irritated when Alberto asks me to make phone calls on behalf of the people he’s in jail with.  Call this guy’s sister because he needs more money in his commissary account, call this guy’s wife because the phone has calls blocked from the jail, and the reasons go on and on.  I really don’t mind helping people, what I mind is that these people end up with my phone number when I call them.  The latest call for assistance takes the cake for sure.

Alberto warned me that he had given my phone number to a woman named Nelia so that I could help her.  You see, Alberto had told his friend about how I made it so he could call Mexico and this friend wanted to do the same.  Nelia called me a scant 45 minutes later and I began to explain how to set up the accounts.  I was shocked to learn that she did not have an email address!  Since she described herself as computer illiterate, I took it upon myself to set up the system for her.  This process I discovered involves forwarding calls through Google Voice to a long distance provider called Localphone which then connects you to the number currently listed on their system.  The reason I agreed to set this up is because the phone calls between the boyfriend and Nelia were costing them a fortune as she was in the next state.  The telecom provider for the jail is one of those companies that loves to bleed people dry with fee upon fee upon fee.  I made sure all the settings matched what I had in place since the system worked for Alberto last week.  I told her what she needed to do to change the phone number the chain would link to in the end, but I have a feeling I’ll be changing the settings for her.