On December 18, 2008 the defendant, Michael Feeney, made a decision that ended the life of Darvin Suggs. His terrible actions cost me my brother, and it cost my other brother a brother as well. It cost my sister a brother, and my step-sister a step-brother. It cost my mother and father a son, and my father’s brother a nephew. It cost my cousin a cousin and my cousin’s fiancée Brenda a future cousin but not by blood relation. Darvin’s tremendously overweight girlfriend lost a boyfriend who loved her for reasons not related to her bigness, and his parole officer lost a valued parolee who treated every mandatory appearance with the utmost respect. It also cost Darvin’s roommate a roommate, and his paintball team, The Swastikas, a most valued and energetic paintball player who loved more than anything to hide in pine trees.
Mister Feeney’s callous action has changed our lives forever. Every time I walk by a remote-controlled helicopter I say to myself, “That is a remote-controlled helicopter, very much like the remote controlled-helicopter that Michael Feeney purposely flew into the face of my brother Darvin, knocking him into a gully.”
Even not-remote-controlled helicopters no longer bring me joy like they once did, as I look up at them and say, “That is a helicopter which utilizes the same laws of physics and aerodynamics as a tiny, remote-controlled helicopter, much like the one that Michael Feeney purposely flew into the face of my brother Darvin, knocking him into a gully.”
Every day I experience painful reminders of my loss, which reach into the wellspring of my heart with the coldness of a snowball-encrusted hand. These reminders, like an eye-dropper of arsenic in the punch bowl of life, cause me great pain. Especially on Sunday. Every Sunday, hungover beyond belief, I would walk to Quiznos with Darvin by my side, wondering why Quiznos didn’t have an apostrophe. On the way we would pass Flash Dancers, and when we did Darvin would ask me why they call it a “gentleman’s club” since it was a bunch of old men staring at some girl’s hoo-hah. I would shrug my shoulders and he would point out that he thought gentlemen were supposed to wear top hats and hold doors for people. Since Darvin’s been gone, every walk to Quiznos reminds me of these lost words that echo in silence in the back of my head, reverberating off of the memories of the words that once were but are no longer. Darvin’s words, once piercing and audible like a triangle instrument struck by a metal rod are now muffled and inaudible, like a triangle held by hand because the little string thing fell off.
When you sentence Michael Feeney, I hope that you will take into consideration the fact that before he showed any remorse for what he did, he was laughing. It was only immediately after he realized that Darvin had fallen into a gully that he began to totally wig out. Only then did he assume the role of man who’d just piloted a remote-controlled helicopter into his best friend’s face, knocking him into a gully. In the moments leading up to that, though, he was having a great laugh.
I know Michael will have to live with the fact that he helped a gully kill his best friend via remote-controlled helicopter. I hope the memories of this will knock on the door of his consciousness like a Jehovah’s Witness coming by with copies of Watchtower magazine.
I hope that Michael gets the maximum sentence allowable by law and that, as he writes a check for $212, payable to the town of Dinkins, he understands the gravity of what he has done. If it may have any effect on the sentencing, I believe the Court should know that Michael constantly defaces posters by blacking out teeth and drawing strategically-placed penises.