Anders shook his head. “No, Sam, he wasn’t involved directly in the bank job. The bank robber owed Johnny money from a drug deal. He had told Johnny he was going to rob a bank to get the money. He was under pressure. We think Johnny was on the street that day to make sure the robber wasn’t lying.”
Sam was visibly stricken, trying to get his head around the idea of Johnny having a secret life. “But…how do you know this, what you’re saying? You’re making it all up!”
“No Sam. The bank robber was captured, remember? He confessed everything and his story checked out. The file is right there on the computer, take a look.”
Sam took a cautious step toward the computer and read what was on the screen. His face fell as he took it all in. Anders watched his thumb, nervous but satisfied that he didn’t seem about to blow them all up.
“It’s all here, Sam. The tribunal decided to keep the information about Johnny out of the hearing to spare you and your wife. It had no bearing on the accidental shooting. We had no idea who Johnny was at the time. It was thought he was just an innocent bystander. When we got the confession from the bank robber we began looking into Johnny’s background to verify the confession.”
Sam looked as if he was about to collapse. Anders knew he had to proceed with care. He spoke in a soft soothing voice, maintaining eye contact with Sam.
“Sam, I know this is hard. Why don’t you have a seat?”
Sitting down without a word Sam stared at the computer screen and motioned for Anders to show him the next page in the report. With a click of the mouse it came up. Sam read it, his mouth now set in a grim line. He continued to read for several minutes, page after page.
At last he looked at Anders. “My son is dead. My wife has left me. I have nothing, and now I find out my son was a criminal.”
“Sam, Johnny got in financial trouble. His company was going under. Don’t you think it might be possible he didn’t want you to be ashamed of him? You raised a fine son. He just made a bad decision. The past can’t be changed. I need you to understand his death was a tragic accident.”
A tear rolled down Sam’s cheek and he turned his head away. Anders decided to take a calculated risk and reached out and took the detonator out of Sam’s hand without a word. Albright and Spears put their hands down on the table and they exchanged looks and heaved sighs of relief. Spears got up quietly and went out to the desk to alert the rest of the crew.
Anders got up and put his arm around Sam’s shoulder and indicated to Albright that he should leave them alone. As he left the room Albright looked back at the scene and shook his head. It was a day he would never forget.