Courtroom confession: Malicious Intent

A Thursday teaser from the medical-legal thriller

By A.L. Smith

Malicious Intent cover

Closing Argument

“Your Honor, in the interest of time, I will summarize the remaining evidence,” Alex began, as she made her way to the juror’s section of the court room.

Speaking directly to the jurors, she continued.

“In law school, we’re taught that proving a client’s innocence during the trial is an unrealistic goal and that the primary focus should be the rendering of not-guilty verdicts. The evidence presented thus far by the defense is more than sufficient to warrant a verdict of not guilty; however, we would like to emphasize the fact that a not-guilty verdict isn’t synonymous with innocence. In fact, the term is applicable in the presence of both innocence and guilt for several reasons. As a result, for individuals who are completely innocent of a crime, it is my job as a defense attorney to go above and beyond the requirements for a not guilty verdict. Angel Montgomery is completely innocent of this crime and deserves complete and irrefutable exoneration. For this reason, our goal has always been to find the killer, and we did. However, your grand jury failed to return an indictment last evening. In lieu of an indictment, which would have saved your taxpayers a substantial amount of money, I’d like to submit exhibit number 2: a signed confession…

The courtroom erupted again with sounds of dismay.

“Order in the courtroom!” the judge repeated above the noise.

Malicious Intent

World-renowned Attorney Alexandra Phillips has a knack for turning open and shut cases for the prosecution into wins for the defense. In the third installment of the Behind Closed Doors Series, Attorney Phillips defends another victim who is accused of murdering her abuser.

Malicious Intent cover

With the world still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, Protagonist Attorney Alexandra Phillips is determined to uncover the truth behind the mysterious HIV strain that is discovered as she searches for a key piece of evidence to exonerate her client. Her client, an adulterous Dallas housewife is accused of murder. Motive? As it turns out, her slain lover was HIV positive and the primary purpose of his seduction was to maliciously expose her to the disease. As a crime of passion attorney, Attorney Phillips is convinced that a Texas jury would exonerate her client if she could prove the decedent’s intent to expose her client to the disease…but there’s one problem. Her client is innocent, and without a confession, the crime of passion defense isn’t an option.

With her client’s freedom hanging in the balance, Attorney Phillips concedes to the fact that the only viable defense is to find the killer…

Follow Attorney Phillips as she untangles a multilayered conspiracy of cover-ups, betrayal and revenge. Combining elements of murder-mystery and medical drama with an urban twist, this captivating page-turner is sure to leave die-hard readers wanting more.

Pre-Publication Reviews

“The story’s forensic, medical, and legal details are well-researched and satisfying, and it unflinchingly addresses timely social issues, such as systemic poverty, while never allowing the pace to slacken. Overall, Smith delivers a gripping novel that will leave many readers demanding a sequel. A work with a strong, likable protagonist and a plot that will keep readers guessing”.—Kirkus

“Malicious Intent was full of drama, twists, and risks. A. L. Smith kept me on the edge of my chair waiting to see who did it, how, and why. The plot was perfectly executed. Moments where I was introduced to a main character but I still didn’t know all of the facts. I liked how that played out…kept the clues hidden in plain sight. Angel’s life took a complete 360 turn when she made one mistake out of anger. Martial issues were displayed throughout the pages. It was understandable. Angel thought her husband didn’t love her anymore. Her husband Chandler, thought he gave her too much. Both missed the signals. Communication lacked and because of that so did their marriage. It was engaging to watch the events unfold. Overall, I recommend this outstanding urban fiction novel to all readers”.–Urban Lit Magazine.

About the author

A.L. Smith

A.L. Smith is a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves. She attended Grambling State University on a basketball scholarship and later became the first nursing cadet to receive a commission in the Army Nurse Corps. In 2020, she completed a deployment to Kuwait at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, gaining first-hand knowledge of the global impact.

Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Behind Closed Doors 2: Dana’s Story, which is the subject of the multi-award-winning short film, Dana’s Story. The story was inspired by her experience in Haiti during the devastating earthquake in 2010. Smith’s interest in filmmaking was spawned by her decision to create cinematic book trailers to market her work. In 2022, she was selected as a semi-finalist for the groundbreaking new show “America’s Next Great Author.”

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And follow her on Twitter/X at AkAngela1 .

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