It was 1:05 am. My mind was racing. I feared the worst. My mother told me that my brother Dougie had shot and killed two men. What could have happened? My heart was pounding. I was 7,000 miles away. Sleep was impossible. I knew work would be painful and unproductive.
My wife and I were waiting for the next call. I couldn’t imagine what I looked like. Surely, the shock and terror were visible on my face. Based on my wife’s expression, they were. Would Dougie call again? I heard a difference in his voice during the 10:23 call. If only, if only I had known. How could I let that call slip through my fingers?
The next several hours were torturous as we waited for news, any news. We took comfort in the fact that was, at least, physically unharmed. He was driving around, confused, trying to determine a course of action. He called friends and other family, but I never heard from him. People Dougie called told me he’d made contact with an attorney. He was due to meet the attorney that afternoon to arrange for his surrender to the police.
Mom called the attorney to make arrangements for payment. Hours and hours passed. Doug didn’t show. He was still driving, aimlessly driving. The police were searching for him. They have a description of his car. How or why haven’t they not found him?
Eventually, we received word that he’d arrived at the attorney’s office. By this time it was late in the afternoon of April 24th, 2010, a Sunday.
There was no more news of Doug’s fate. We assumed he was safely in the care of the attorney, who would eventually deliver my brother to the police. Calls to the attorney went unanswered. On Monday morning, Mom got through to the secretary. She instructed my Mom to wire $2000 to the attorney’s office that morning, which she did. There was still no word from the attorney himself.
On Monday morning, Dougie contacted Mom using his constitutionally guaranteed phone call. Mom couldn’t tell me what he said, or I couldn’t remember, at least not exactly. Both my Mom and my brother cried during their 30-second-or-so call. At least we knew he was safe. We were thankful for that bit of news.
I made it through work on Monday but finished completely exhausted. No news from the attorney. In fact, we never heard from Doug’s original attorney again. Two days after the arrest, we read a news story which said Dougie had a court-appointed lawyer.
Months later, I visited Doug in jail. I looked through his property, which was released to the family. I found a photocopy of a phone book page. Highlighted in yellow: the hotel were Doug was arrested. The attorney had simply told Doug to go to a hotel, call the police and tell them were he was.
After talking to my other brother, sister, parents, kids etc. I located a prison ministry which would visit Dougie in the Tarrant County, Texas jail. It took approximately two weeks for a man of God to visit Dougie. They continue to see him sporadically all these months later.
God knows Dougie needs to keep the faith, considering all that he’s been through—and what lies ahead. As do we all.