Cyntoia Brown-Long on the 5 Excruciating Days of Her Trial

"Standing outside the courtroom, I was dressed in nice pants and a blouse. This was it. After nearly two years of waiting, my trial was about to begin. Acid burned in my stomach and I chewed a Tums Wendy had given me in a futile attempt to put out the fire. I tried not to think about what the next few days would mean for my future. Just get through today, I thought.

I was as ready as I would ever be. Rich and Wendy had trained me to keep my composure no matter who was testifying or what they said. I knew the slightest eyebrow raise could turn the jury against me. I was instructed to keep my mouth shut as long as we were in the courtroom. Rich gave me a notepad and told me to write down any questions or points I wanted him to make.

But nothing could have prepared me for the moment we walked into the courtroom for my first-degree murder trial."



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