Chapter Thirty Seven



A chiseled 45-year-old Asian man sat in his office, on the fifth floor of the King County Courthouse on Third Avenue reviewing the contents of a frequently-read file folder, which had “STATE vs. LUTZ” on the tab. As more information was discovered by his staff, Seattle law enforcement, and other sources, the folder got fatter and the case more complex. He was well aware of the case and the uproar being caused by the invisibility cloak the criminal or criminals who perpetrated the other related homicides created. It made his department look weak and as the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (DPA) for King County, he got to speak with the Prosecuting Attorney (PA) on a daily basis. Vincent (Vinnie) Silverstein, the PA, made it a part of his daily routine to get an update on the Lutz case, which infuriated Danny.

I am doing the best I can given the information I am getting. This is a tough one. I’ve got my best people on it and we are starting to get some of the witness and evidence we need, but this isn’t a smoking gun kind of case for sure.

Danny hadn’t always been the DPA for King County. In fact, he had only lived in the greater Seattle area for the last eight years. When he was younger, his family would fly to Seattle from San Francisco to meet some of the family’s relatives who lived in the International District. Danny was fascinated with the smells, sights, sounds, and the unique flavors of this melting pot of Seattle and were a favorite memory of his. His grandparents lived there and they had great Chinese food at their house. Danny really loved it when they would venture to Uwajimaya, which was a fusion of food, shops, bookstores, gift shops in one central location. Danny still made it there for lunch a couple of times a week, when he worked in Seattle.

Danny was bright as a child and continuously curious through middle school and high school. He was a star on the high school debate team and also active in some of the theater productions. He played varsity football his sophomore and junior year but got more interested in the law. The summer break before his senior year, he clerked with a boutique law firm with 15 attorneys who loved his drive to learn about the law, and of course, his cheap (free) hourly rates. He was a great student and he had researched colleges with law schools that produced the best trial attorneys and Stanford routinely was in the top five of this category. Because of his flair for debate and his acting skills, Danny felt like he could excel as a trial attorney.

He graduated from high school and did his undergraduate and graduate work at Stanford. It cost a fortune, but with some of the scholarships he won and his full-time jobs he held while going to school, and some school loans, he persevered and ultimately graduated with honors from Stanford. Like most Stanford Law School graduates, he passed the Bar and was quickly hired by the Santa Clara, California Prosecutor’s office, where he successfully worked and got promoted for many years. One day while working there, one of his Stanford college buddies called him and told him about an opening in the King County prosecutor’s office. Danny applied, went through multiple rounds of interviews, and ultimately was hired. He had to pass the bar in Washington State as part of the condition of his employment and he did.

Now he is working on the most perplexing case of his career and is trying to figure out the right angle to win.


© 2013 – 2016, Darin Hartley



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