Torres-Guillen switched subjects. She asked Haidl a question that should never have come out of her mouth. At Haidl’s insistence, his sister Peggy, the delivery person for some of the regular bribes, had received immunity from prosecution.

“You wanted to protect your sister?” the defense lawyer asked.

Haidl leaned to the witness-stand microphone and said, “I have all my life.”

Don Haidl
Don Haidl

There you have it, folks. Courtesy of the defense, jurors can appreciate that Haidl is wildly rich, loves to cut corners, dreams big, is overly generous to friends and—talk about winning points—loves his sister.

At his table, Carona, who’d been visibly delighted by the attacks on his old best friend, stole quick glances at certain jurors to see if they were gauging his reaction to Haidl’s testimony. His heavy-faced look suggested he’d been wounded by betrayal. And just as we’ve come to expect from our actor/ex-sheriff, to emphasize his holiness, he cocked his hands in prayer and held them steady at chin level.

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