You may be seated. -Hello, Your Honor.
-Hello. This is the case of
Hawthorne v. Brown.Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. [audience] Good day. Ms. Hawthorne,
you are here today because you say
your high school
sweetheart, Mr. Brown, is a smooth-talking deadbeat who got you pregnant
three years ago and is now denying
your baby, is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Brown, you say
Ms. Hawthorne is
a desperate liar who will say and do anything in order to have
a family with you. You claim there is no way
you could have
fathered her child and you intend
to prove that today,
is that correct? Yes, Your Honor. So, Ms. Hawthorne,
why do you say Mr. Brown
is a deadbeat? He doesn’t do
anything for Chase.
He doesn’t come see him. -Anything.
-[audience exclaiming] -And that makes you so angry.
-[Hawthorne] Yes. Because you feel
like he’s not honoring
his responsibility? Right, and plus,
I grew up without a father. So, I don’t want my kidto grow up how I did.[Judge Lake]And so, Mr. Brown,Ms. Hawthorne says
you acting like a deadbeat. -Why?
-Your Honor, this baby isn’t mine.
I definitely believe thatshe’s emotionally
attached to meand she desperately
want to have a family with me.It’s not true,
because me and Deondre,
we were in a relationship. We were
high school sweethearts. You know, I was
all about him and everything. Everything was good
until he started cheating. [audience exclaiming] So this is your
high school sweetheart? Yes, I lost
my virginity to him. [audience exclaiming] And you say
everything was going fine… -Until what?
-Yes. Until he
started cheating. Started cheating on me. You started cheating,
Mr. Brown? Well, Your Honor,
we was living in two different
parts of the city, so she was living
in the suburbs,
and I was living in the city. And at the first
beginning of the relation– What does that
have to do with cheating? -[audience laughing]
-Yeah. That’s true. This doesn’t even
make any sense now. I though you said
he was your everything,
you all met in high school, you lost you virginity to him. So you went
to high school together? No. We were separate.
He’s in Chicago
and I’m in the suburb. Okay. ‘Cause I’m like,
“What is happening?” We were dating online.
That’s how we found out
about each other. Oh, so you all met online. -Online, right.
-But it was during when
you were in high school. Right, and so
we were dating online but it actually took a year
after we started
seeing each other, ’cause we were young,
we didn’t have transportation. So, you met online. You lived
in two different places. -[Hawthorne] Yeah.
-And you all were
going back and forth… -[Hawthorne] Yeah.
-…until you figured out
how to meet up. -[Hawthorne] Yes.
-How long after you met online
did you meet up? -A year after.
So, it was a year. And then you say
you lost your virginity
to this man who you met online. [Hawthorne] Yes. Note to all the parents
in the gallery
whose high school kids are playing online. -[audience laughs]
-[Judge Lake] Okay? [chuckles] Your Honor,
we only had sex one time, and that was in 2014 in August. -[Hawthorne]No.
-That only one time.
We wasn’t going back and forth.I wanted to continue
to move on. Okay, so, listen.
Chase is two years old, so clearly, it did go on and on
past one sexual encounter, because you wouldn’t be
a potential fatherhad you not continued
to have sex with her,
’cause Chase is only two.-[Brown] Exactly.
-So, what happened where you all reconnected during the period of time when Chase could have
potentially been conceived? It was in December 9th of 2015. You all reconnect? Or did you get back together? -What happened?
-[Brown] So… I was pretty much leaving
my significant other. I was coming over
to talk to Bria about us, about us not seeing
each other anymore. So, we was in the car, and we ended up
getting into a heated moment and both of us started kissing and ended up
having sex in the backseat. We were talking
about getting back
together, Your Honor. So, that’s what the whole… So wait, you told her -this was the last time
you going to see each other?
-[Hawthorne] No. And you said he was
trying to figure out
how to fix the relationship. Yes, that’s what
we talked about. [Judge Lake] So you have sex
in the back of this car? -Yes.
-Is this the day you feel
like you conceived Chase? Yes. Your Honor, I pleased her
and I didn’t finish,
Your Honor. [Hawthorne] Your Honor,
that’s a complete lie. Oh, you’re saying
you didn’t finish the act? -No.
I warned him. I told Deondre, I was like,
“I’m not on birth control.” So I said, “It’s at you,
at your own risk.” -So, Your Honor…
-So, do what you will. …that is the reason why
I did not finish because
she wasn’t on birth control, so why would I proceed to– But you were the only
person I was with.
So I don’t… So, you say you didn’t
complete the act, and so therefore, you can’t be
Chase’s biological father. Correct, because I…
Before I came to her, I had sex with my girlfriend. What? Okay. You had sex
with your girlfriend
before you came to see Ms. Hawthorne? Correct, Your Honor. This doesn’t make
any kind of sense. And I missed my period
in January. So, like, we were having sex
around the end of November, beginning of December of 2015. This is a shady situation
from the beginning. -You said it’s shady?
-Yes, it’s shady. -Oh, who’s shady?
-[Hawthorne] I never had
a conception date, -Your Honor.
-This is a shady situation. -Never happened.
-Okay, hold on, hold on,
hold on, wait. Just wait. Let me ask the questions
and you all answer ’cause you’re all talking
all over the place. I mean, you all
are sitting there operating off of two
understanding. You think
you in the back of a car
getting back together, he think
he in the back of a car
saying goodbye. [audience laughing] [Brown] Correct. And Chase up her wondering,
“When are these two
gonna get it together ’cause I’m two, and I need a mother
and a father.” [applause] Now answer the questions I ask, and make some sense
when you answer ’em. -Mr. Brown.
-Yes, Your Honor? -You say
it’s a shady situation.
-Correct. But you
the number one shade tree, ’cause you had sex
with your girlfriend, then came there and
had sex with Ms. Hawthorne. She told you
she wasn’t on birth control, you did it anyway
’cause you didn’t
have no self-control. And you weren’t prepared,
and you was over there having
your cake, eating it too, baking another one and getting
the ingredients for a third. I know how this works. -Like, Your Honor–
-So, therefore, you do know
you could be
Chase’s biological father. Now I wanna know
why you doubt it. Your Honor, she had
a boyfriend at the time. -[Judge Lake] Okay.
-[Hawthorne] I did not. Me and this guy,
we were roommates. -We decided in June of 2015
to move in together.
-[Brown] Your Honor? Is this a guy you’ve been
intimate with, ever? No, never, at all.
He was just a friend. So, you’re gonna move in
and not have sex with them? Yes. A male, a male being… -Yes.
-…is not gonna try
anything with you? -To have sex–
-No, not if
he’s just a friend. Not if we never had
that type of relationship. But how would
he feel about that? We don’t even talk.
We stopped talking
when I moved out, September of 2015. -I moved back into–
-So, you’re… it is… is it your testimony,
Ms. Hawthorne, that during the window of time
when Mr. Brown had moved on, had a whole different
girlfriend and everything, that you were with no one else? I was not doing anything
with anybody else. -That is your testimony?
-[Hawthorne] Yes. All right.
Take me to the birth. -Yes.
-When Chase was born,
do you notify Mr. Brown? No. We were not on, like,
good speaking terms
at the moment. But this is
the father of your child. -[Hawthorne] Yes–
-So, speaking terms or not,
didn’t he deserve to know that the child was about
to come into the world? I notified Deondre
September 24th. So, a day right after.
I wanted to make sure
everything was good with Chase -after giving birth
-[Brown] Your Honor? Your Honor, how if
the baby is born– [stammers] That don’t make
no kind of sense. -No, but–
-Because if you gonna call him
the day after, then why wouldn’t
you let him know that his baby was coming,
if you knew it was his baby? [audience exclaims] [overlapping] All right, these are
the many questions neither one of you all
can answer. So now, Chase is
two years old, and you say
Mr. Brown hasn’t been
a part of his life at all. Not at all. He’s only
seen him four times. [Brown]Your Honor, I feel
trapped in the situation.[Hawthorne]How?-[Brown]I feel trapped.
-[Judge Lake]How do
you feel trapped?Because first off,
you didn’t let me know
that you was pregnant until 14 weeks later. Okay, so you trapped yourself
in the back seat of the car when you really
should have come
and broke up with her. But instead, you decide
to have sex with her. -[applause]
-[Judge Lake] ‘Cause you
sitting around here… No, don’t. No, really. When you in simple mode, you get simple results. You went over there
and you had sex.
Now you could be the father. Next point. Okay, so, if we…
if she pretty much went so long without telling me,
okay, that this baby
could be possibly mine, but how you gonna tell me
that you want me in his life, and you pretty much telling me
the day before or the day of. To that point, I will say that the whole thing
of her telling you
after the baby was born, and you feeling like
you didn’t get
an opportunity to be there, I do feel like
are the setup for doubt. That’s how they happen. And so, the doubt that
you’re sitting with right now is still a doubt
that you created, you helped to create,
because you had sex with her. But you’re here,
and now I want to know why you haven’t stepped up
and done anything
for Chase in two years, since you know
you could potentially be this child’s biological father. Your Honor, I wouldn’t say
that I haven’t done anything. [Judge Lake]
What have you done? I’ve actually
sent her money each month. -How much money?
-Lie. -However much money
that she asked for.
-Lie, lie again. [Judge Lake] You say
you sent her money every month? -Yes.
-Lie again. So, Ms. Hawthorne,
did he give you
money every month? No… So, who’s helping you
with Chase? Mom. Mom, I want you to stand up. Step over to the podium. State your name
for the Court, please. Carolyn Hawthorne. All right, Ms. Hawthorne,
do you believe Mr. Brown is
Chase’s biological father? Definite… Definitely. I believe that. He has said it
on texts that he has sent. All kinds of proof.
He looks just like him. How can you deny
that beautiful baby?I mean, he’s gorgeous.And to say
“No, this is not my child,”
it’s ridiculous.And he’s never
been there for him. I’m one person that’ll say
he’s never been there,
’cause I do everything for him. I buy his food, I get his milk,
I buy his diapers. He’s sick, I make sure
he go to the doctor. I am the father. You can forget
about all the rest. I am the father. -Ms. Hawthorne…
-[applause] What do you want
to say to Mr. Brown? I want him to step up
and be a father to this child. He needs a father to guide him. Your Honor, if I feel
that this baby is not mine– How could you
feel that way though, when you were
the only one I’m with.
Like, you make no sense. But you was with
a whole ‘nother guy. Way before. Mom, Ms. Hawthorne,
when you testify,
you seem to say that Mr. Brown is pretty much, he’s indicated to you
that he knows he’s the father. -He believes he’s the father.
-Right. He’d text me. -Right.
-How do you… How? He sent, December the 4th, I called, uh, text him,
and ask him, I said, “Bria is not working. Can you give
something for the baby?” And he said,
“I don’t have the money now.” I said, “So I guess
Chase won’t have a Christmas.” You submitted
those texts to the Court.
Let me look at my file. [Judge Lake]You write
to him and say…[reading] -[quietly] I didn’t even
know he was born.
-That’s what you write. Mr. Brown responds… [Judge Lake reading]Mr. Brown also says…
[reading] These texts sound like
you’ve accepted that
Chase is your child and you know that
it’s your responsibility
as a father to make sure
he has a nice Christmas. So, pretty much
as my grandmother told me, “The baby is yours
until proven otherwise.” So, I accepted this fact. I tried to do pretty much
everything I can for him even though I’m working, going,
trying to build myself to make my son
have a better future. Do you spend time with Chase? -No. No.
-No. [Judge Lake] You don’t? -I’m always working.
-No. He’s only
seen him four times. You’ve only seen him
four times in over two years? [Carolyn] Almost three. And this could
potentially be your son. Correct. So what happened to what
your grandmother said then? So, pretty much,
she explains to me, hey,
uh, you know– -I know what she said.
-If you know that this baby is not yours
but you’re not gonna get
a DNA test to prove it, then you should
try to at least
be in your son’s life. Try to– That’s exactly my point. So you didn’t do
what your grandmother said. So you know what,
we gonna do
what this DNA says. Jerome, I’m ready
for the results. [applause] These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics and they read as follows… In the case of
Hawthorne v. Brown,when it comes to
two-year-old Chase Hawthorne, it has been determined
by this Court… Mr. Brown, you… -are not the father.
-[audience exclaiming] [exhales] Is that a…
Is that a joke? No. Oh, boy. The DNA does not lie and it does not joke. [audience muttering] Mr. Brown is not
your child’s biological father. But I didn’t have sex
with nobody else. He the only person
I had sex with. Well, in this courtroom,
that really means nothing. It’s about the DNA. I mean, we often say
I’m the judge,
but the DNA is the jury. The DNA is gonna come
with the verdict, it’s gonna be the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth. And you here so you can let go of that lie
you put in your head. What are you
gonna do for Chase? Find out who his father is. ‘Cause apparently
he’s not it. I don’t see how that’s… [Judge Lake] Find out
who his father is. And if you don’t remember,
maybe you ask some friends. It may take some time.
It’s somebody… ’cause Chase did not
get here on his own. Let’s figure out
who it is. All right? -All right.
Court is adjourned.