To be frank, I’d really rather not put this up. On the other hand, the nearly 800 visitors to this blog yesterday, mostly via Google and other searches for Darren Mack and Charla Mack, signals that maybe I ought to write something, then leave it at that — forevermore.
Here was my June 14 post of 2006 about my cousin Darren, whom I knew quite well growing up. Once he was apprehended in Mexico a couple of weeks later I never followed anything much of the case. My mom did, and I got a sad update every now and then from her. She was and remains heartbroken for her own cousin, Darren’s mom. I haven’t seen Joan Mack since the events, but other family members tell me and it’s just damn sad all around. It’s "funny;" I just stopped and realized I never saw Joan with anything but a smile in my whole life. Even at times I may not have considered it the sincerest of smiles, she was always outwardly happy, jovial, welcoming. A very positive person.
Daren, having taken a plea deal once the prosecution rested its case at trial, then attempting to back out of it and losing that appeal, was sentenced yesterday to life for the murder, plus 40 years for the attempted murder on judge Chuck Weller, sentences to be served consecutively. In practical terms, he’s eligible for parole after a minimum of 20 years on the murder, then 16 years on the attempt, so 36 years minimum time.
I really have no judgment to pass on the way that went down. He admitted to the crimes, and so that’s that. Never mind legal technicalities, such as claims that he was pressured by his attorneys to take a deal he didn’t fully understand. It’s safe and reasonable to presume that nobody would cop to a murder and separate attempt in order to get locked up for at least 20 to 30 years. The State ran the deal, and it seems to me went out of its way to provide him the fair and reasonable opportunity to defend himself in matters of factual relevance. Clearly there were simply no facts available to even begin to excuse his acts, made apparent by even opting not to put on a defense at all.
Yes, it’s still presumptuous that such a prosecution by the State is advanced under the pretense of "The People." It’s preposterous because it’s a slap in the face for all the victims, including Darren’s own daughter and family.
But, as I said, he admitted to it, and even though the facts painted a pretty solid case just on the evidence, there’s really no substitute for an admission. It’s an interesting introspection, this, when it’s someone you know and who’s a family member. How can I describe it? I really don’t know. Surreal numbness come to mind.