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Also living in the town of Clanton was Rhoda Kassellaw, and Danny Padgett. Rhoda Kassellaw was your average widow, she had two children, and pretty much always kept to herself. Danny Padgett, on the other hand, was a rich man. Danny lived with his parents on top of a mountain, on Padgett Island, off the coast of Mississippi. His family was very rich and very powerful. They were like the Italian Mafia of Mississippi, into smuggling, drugs, ect.
One night Danny Padgett broke into Rhoda Kassellaw's house and raped her in front of her children. After being raped Rhoda ran across the street to her neighbors and when they came outside she said "it's Danny Padgett" then died.
With the rape and death of Rhoda Kassellaw going on Willie saw it as a great opportunity to finally make something of the local newspaper. So he took cover of the story. He even took pictures of the crime scene and posted them on the front page of the paper, which back then wasn't something people did, but Willie didn't care.
Besides covering the rape and death of Rhoda Willie also wrote a once-a-week article on one person of the town. While writing these articles Willie decided he wanted to go to the other side of town, where the blacks live, and write an article about Mrs. Callie Ruffin. Mrs. Callie has nine children, all grown up. Eight of them are attorney's, the other, Sam, she never sees because he got ran out of town for being with a white woman, and was never to come back again.
After writing about Mrs. Callie Willie decides to become more closer with her. The end up being best friends. He takes her out to movies, dinner, always in a black restaurant, so she never feels awkward, and even manages to smuggle Sam in town at night so she can see him.
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"The Last Juror." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Oct 2019
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Now while Willie and Mrs. Callie are becoming such great friends the town decides that they want to take Danny Padgett to trial, and you wouldn't believe who gets jury duty that's right, Mrs. Callie. As a matter of fact she becomes the first black juror in Mississippi.
During the trial, Danny's family buys witnesses to lie for Danny. For instance one woman claimed she was with Danny the night of the murder. So since all the so called "witnesses" have different stories, the trial gets drawn out. Danny then told the jurors that if he were convicted he would come back and kill all of whom convicted him.
Well even with all the lies his parents bought him he was still convicted. Being convicted meant that the jurors had to decide on either the death penalty or life. But the votes had to be unanimous in order to get the death sentence. So the town got worried because the last voter was Mrs. Callie. Who was a very religious woman, so the town didn't think she would go for the death sentence. And they were right. Danny got the life sentence.
Now no one is supposed to know who votes for what, but there was one person who did, Baggie. Willies' drunk assistant. Baggie knew everything, about everyone. During the trial he even told Willie that Hank Hooton, the prosecutors assistant, was Rhoda's secret lover, which ended up explaining why he went streaking around town and the courthouse shooting at everyone after the sentencing was let out.
After the trial the next ten years were pretty normal. Until towns people started noticing that Danny Padgett was working in town, and eating in restaurants with the prison guards like a normal person. Come to find out Danny was on "work release." And later ended up getting parole because of good behavior. This made the town furious.
Not long after Danny got let out on parole two people died, both jurors, Lenny Fargarson and Mo Teal. Lenny was a crippled man in a wheelchair, who got shot while sitting on his front porch. Mo was shot in a field by a tractor, with the same shell that shot Lenny Fargarson. Now that these two jurors were dead everyone in town went crazy. So not knowing what to do, Willie goes to Callie.
Come to find out Baggie wasn't the only one who knew everything. Come to find out Callie had a list of the jurors who voted for what sentence the day of the trial. There were twelve names on the list, nine were for the death sentence and three were for the life sentence. Now two of those three people were already dead. Meaning if Danny did kill them, why? Danny had said he would kill the ones who gave him death not life. But still the town didn't care. They wanted Danny locked up, so Danny was brought in for questiong, then trialed. But he was convicted not guilty.
Several months passed then the third juror, Mavine Root, found explosives on his front porch. No one died, but four people were injured.
Now Danny and his family were the only people in town who had money enough to afford the supplies to make an explosive or even buy one. So with that little evidence they brought Danny to the the courthouse handcuffed. While in there they heard an explosion. Someone from upstairs had shot and killed Danny Padgett. So everyone ran upstairs to find Hank Hooton, Rhoda's lover, naked with a shot-gun. He then killed himself. So come to find out Hank had killed Lenny and Mo, and tried killing Mavine, all for not giving Danny the death sentence.