We take you now to the early-evening news broadcast of a local TV station in any American city…
Anchor 1: Good evening, I’m Dan Trivanti. Breaking news tonight: the jury in the William Jenkins carjacking/murder trial has reached a decision, with all twelve jurors voting guilty.
Anchor 2: I’m Beverly Johnson. The verdict means Jenkins will face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the death of Stephanie Morgan, an emergency room nurse who had just arrived home after a double shift at Downtown Memorial Hospital. As she was parking her car, Jenkins jumped out, pointed a gun at her and told her to get out. When she moved too slowly for him, he yanked the door open, shot her three times, pulled her from her 2019 Nissan Sentra, then got in and drove away.
Anchor 1: Neighbors who heard the shots called 911, and officers chased Jenkins for nearly 90 minutes, during which the killer — who has already done two prison terms for other crimes — weaved in and out of traffic at speeds over 80 miles per hour. When he was finally stopped and surrounded, Jenkins threw his gun out the window and emerged with his hands up before being tackled by three law enforcement officers who slapped handcuffs on his wrists and led him away.
Anchor 2: Let’s go to our NewsCenter Nineteen reporter, Ann Sangean, who is live outside the courthouse where the verdict was announced three hours ago. Ann, what can you tell us?
Ann Sangean: (clearly not happy) Um, nothing that you and Dan haven’t already said, Beverly. I mean, I’ve been sitting in that courtroom all week following every detail of the trial, then calling our producer and assignment desk editor to fill them in on developments. But I guess that, at the climax of the trial, instead of letting me tell our audience all the relevant facts, they typed my entire report into the Teleprompter and had you read it instead. So, I have no more information to tell you.
Anchor 2: Ann, are you okay?
Ann Sangean: (growing more irritated) No, genius, I’m not remotely okay. From the day the crime occurred, I’ve done about a hundred live shots about this case every morning on “Good Day, Des Moines” and “Nineteen News At Noon,” as well as the 5pm, 6pm, and 10pm newscasts. I have no idea why our bosses thought it was important to have me broadcasting from outside the courthouse before the sun came up and none of the lawyers had even gotten to the building. Then they made me stay there until ten o’clock at night, when everyone involved in the case had left the premises hours earlier, just to have me repeat the same information — which, by the way, I had also written about in a post on the NewsCenter Nineteen website and mobile app.
Anchor 1: (pausing while holding right index finger to ear) Well, I, um, Ann, I’m being told by our executive producer that you can go home now, and you won’t need to come in for a couple of days.
Ann Sangean: (raising her middle finger to the camera) Yeah, and they’ll probably count those against the one week of vacation I get in this stinking (video and audio cut out).
Anchor 2: (smiling as if nothing has happened) Thank you, Ann, for that live breaking news report.