“Blindsided” Epilogue

Abigail Wellington-Smith and Bob Gallant each manage to escape the death penalty, but that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Only three people have been executed — all for murder — in Kentucky since capital punishment was reinstated in the United States in 1976. One was by electrocution and the others via lethal injection, with the last one being Marco Allen Chapman in 2008.

It’s too bad, really. They’ll be wasting taxpayer money spending the rest of their lives in prison while we foot the bill, but at least they can’t hurt anyone anymore.

Since murder is a capital offense in Kentucky, both were given back-to-back life sentences for killing Lester Smith and Jane Gallant, as well as being convicted for various lesser charges after being tried separately. Mrs. Smith also was given the maximum sentence of 20 years for first-degree assault — the worst of those lesser charges — for shooting me.

Her new home is at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women in Pewee Valley, which is most certainly a comedown from her former life of luxury and excess. Bob, meanwhile, is housed at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville because he has proven to have an increasing propensity for violence by getting into several scuffles with other inmates since his initial arrest.

The mystery as to the whereabouts of Jack Gallant forever will remain just that. But he is presumed dead.

The laughable part in all of this is when that crazy Smith bitch tried to get her attorney to have ME charged with first-degree assault for beating her to a pulp when I was fighting for my life. Needless to say, I never was charged for that last-ditch outlandish bullshit ploy of hers.

And the linebacker who blindsided Bob? That young man has been heralded as a hero and the feature story I did on him ended up on the front page of the newspaper. Not the sports front, but Page A1, the VERY front. The well-deserving all-state football player also was featured on the cover of our football tab and is being heavily recruited by a shitload of NCAA Division I schools, including my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide. Roll Tide!

I signed the necessary paperwork to cash in Coach Smith’s life insurance policy and ended up donating it all to a local shelter for battered women when his sons refused it. They were cordial to me, but my half-brothers made it clear that they wanted nothing to do with me or the rest of their family. Which is understandable, given the circumstances. Both moved out-of-state before the trials began and neither has returned since.

We finally agreed on two new sports staff members, which has lightened our workload considerably. Jackson is thriving as sports editor as I knew he would. And I am admittedly a lot less unhappy about being his assistant editor because I don’t have to baby-sit our two newest reporters, who are proving very capable of handling our challenging coverage area.

As for life in general at the office, Richard has mellowed just a little. He’s still hard as hell on all of us and yells the building down on a daily basis during deadline, but he has rethought his tough-love stance somewhat to offer praise when one of us does something extraordinary. He doesn’t do that very often, but when it happens, it makes you feel like Neil Armstrong must have when he walked on the moon for the first time.

Kayla and I don’t talk anymore, more from simply drifting apart on her end than anything else, but I always send birthday and Christmas cards because I still think of her and Colt often. I miss them terribly, but I can’t force Kayla to come around. Maybe someday, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for her to change her mind.

My friendship with Amber Hardy, on the other hand, continues to flourish. In fact, Amber and her husband, Shane — who is now the permanent head football coach at Bluegrass High School thanks to his “acting” role resulting in a winning regular season and a furious playoff run that lasted until the Class 5A state semifinals — are frequent guests at our house just as we are at theirs these days.

My parents and I have grown even closer since the murder of Coach Smith, and they’ve finally welcomed Richard into our close-knit family, albeit with grudgingly open arms after their initial rocky beginning. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting his mum, Anne, on several occasions. It took a lot of getting used to from both of our ends, though. She was quite reserved at first because she was so taken aback by my blunt nature. But we’ve since warmed up to each other and found some common ground in our shared love of card games, much to Richard’s surprise and delight, given that my expressive face always gives my hands away. Still, every time she comes down from Indiana to visit us, we sit up well into the wee hours playing.

As for Richard and I, well, we eventually got around to showing just how much we love one another, an occurrence that happens far more often than either of us ever possibly could have imagined. And because I cannot tell a lie, I have to admit that my husband was right. Neither of us ever has been even remotely dissatisfied.

But I have to stop right there because I never kiss and tell. Unless I’m doing the kissing and telling to the man formerly known as Dickhead, who lovingly helped me create this perfect little being growing in my womb.

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    1. Links to “Blindsided” chapters in order so you don’t have to backtrack | Armchair QB

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