You may be seated. -Hello, Your Honor.
-Hello. This is the case
ofWalker v. Royal.Thank you, Jerome.
Good day, everyone. [audience] Good day. Ms. Walker, you say
before your son Delonte’s
tragic death, he had doubts that
he had fathered the defendant’s
Delonte Royal. You claim you need
today’s DNA results so you can embrace this child
as your grandson.
Is that correct? -Yes, Your Honor.
-I’m very sorry for your loss. Miss Royal, you claim
that you are 100% positive that Ms. Walker’s
deceased son is the biological
father of your child. And today’s results
will prove paternity.
Is that correct? -Yes, Your Honor.
-So, Ms. Walker,
explain to the court why today’s results
are so important to you. Well, Your Honor,
my son was tragically murdered. He, um… The day of his passing, my son left something behind with me,
and that was his doubt. And I am here today
to get the doubt
taken care of. Her child, her son,
I don’t know if that
is my grandchild or not. And it hurts. So I would love
to embrace that child. And I can tell.
I can see the tears
in your eyes. -That doubt is really
eating away at you.
-Yes. It is. Me and my family, we love her son. -[audience] Aww.
-We love him. But we just can’t go
all the way, we can’t
be 100% there ’cause we just don’t know.
We just don’t know. We need to know,
we need those answers. We need to know,
my son would have
wanted that. He did want that. You know, he had doubts. It touched me when you said
your son left something behind. -[Walker] Yes, he did.
-And we want to say -he left a son.
-[Walker] Right. [Judge Lake] But you said
he left his doubt. -He left his doubt.
-With you. [Walker] Yes. And that is very hard
for you to carry that. It is. It’s weighing
on my shoulders,
Your Honor. ‘Cause I have
nothing but love. I want nothing but love
to give to that child. But I can’t give it
without knowing for sure. So, Ms. Royal, you hear Ms. Walker
express the fact that Delonte, her deceased son,
left behind doubt. You don’t think there’s
any reason to doubt? No, Your Honor.
The reason why I say that, I have been
completely loyal to him. I have… There’s no
other person that can say,
“This may be my child. This is my child.” I am 100% sure that
this is Delonte’s son. [Walker]
I remember one day, um, to fuel his doubts
they got in an argument. He’d seen text messages
between her and a guy around the time
when she conceived. And so he doubted.
He had doubts. So tell me
what happened that day. One morning,
I overheard them arguing. You know, they got
the puppy love going on, I heard the arguing.
I didn’t think nothing of it. Till it get louder
than usual. Um, so I go in there,
I’m like, “What’s going on?” You know, “Mom,
she’s a ‘H,’ she’s this,
she’s that.” -[audience mumbles]
-She’s about three months
pregnant at this time. And I said, “Well,
why you say that, Delonte?” ‘Cause he’s seen her
text messages between
her and this guy around the time
she got pregnant. I… I’m just shocked. “No, not her.” You know, ’cause she
painted this pretty picture.
Not her. She’s not that
type of girl. He’s like, “Mom,
you don’t know her
like you think you do.” [chuckling] And you’re laughing
as she’s testifying,
Ms. Royal. Do you remember
these text messages
between this guy? Your Honor,
he came in late night, you know, I had
my suspicions, too,
that he was cheating. I’m pregnant, I don’t have
nothing else to do
but sit in this house. So, when he came
in the house, I started
going through his phone. Which I didn’t
find anything. So after that,
he caught me,
yes, he did. He said, “If you think
I’m cheating, you can get
your stuff and leave.” When I was trying
to get my stuff and leave, I got my phone,
he grabbed my phone to see
who I was calling. It was an older dude.
I called him my brother. He’s just a person
I looked up to also. Um, I let him go
through the messages. He called me shorty. I had no problem
with him calling me
that because I don’t… That’s not nothing to me.
I call this boy my brother,
he’s an older person. [Walker] That’s not
how he portrayed
it to me, Your Honor. He portrayed it to me
like they were
sexually active. -Ooh.
-[Judge Lake] Oh. So your son was convinced
when he told you, -“Ma, you don’t know her.”
-Yes. You felt like he was
telling you, “There’s a lot going on
that I haven’t
told you about, -but I’m aware of.”
-Yeah. That exactly. All right.
So I wanna understand. What… So your relationship,
you guys were boyfriend
and girlfriend? We was together
for two years. All right. And then
you ended up living in
Ms. Walker’s house -after you found out
you were pregnant?
-[Royal] Yes. So take me to the moment
when you found out
you were pregnant. The moment we found out
we was pregnant. He told me before
that I was pregnant even before I knew
I was pregnant. And when we got to the place
he was excited,
she was excited. -Yeah, I was happy.
-We was all excited. I actually took her
to get it, but they told me, my son came to me,
he said, “Ma, what if, um, I tell you I got a baby
on the way?” I said, um, “With who?” “Ladybug.”
I’m like, “Okay.” So I immediately get
on the phone with her.
We’re gonna take a test today. We went and took the test,
came back positive. We all were happy.
We enjoyed that moment. The day of the birth,
we’re all in there,
we’re all happy. It was her,
her family members. He embraced that child,
he kissed the baby on
the forehead and everything. She asked him,
she said, um, “Delonte, do you want
a DNA test now?” -[Judge Lake]
Right in the hospital?
-Yes. [Walker] He laid his head
on my shoulder, he said… First he said, “Mom,
I think I’m gonna throw up,”
when he seen the baby. And so when she asked him
did he want a DNA test, you know,
he looked around, seen her family members,
he told her “No.” But then,
later on that day, he looked at me and said,
“Yes, I need a DNA test.” -[audience gasping]
-Oh. So in front of everyone
in the hospital when both sides
of the family were there, and everyone
was so excited he didn’t want
to ruin the moment
or seem disrespectful. -[Walker] Or embarrass her.
-Or embarrass her. So he just said,
“No, I’m okay.” -Yeah.
-And then later, he came to you personally
and said, “Ma, -I do need the test.”
-I need the test. Yes. So, Ms. Royal,
did you know that he’d gone to his mother
and said, “I really need
the test.” [Royal] No, Your Honor.
‘Cause I asked him twice. I didn’t care
about the doubts. He named my child
after him. So your testimony,
the reason why
I kept asking him, “Do you want one
and do you want one -is because I knew
it was his child.”
-Yeah, I just knew. And so “If you want one
let’s get it,
so we can get it done.” -You know–
-Why he didn’t sign the birth
certificate, Your Honor? Your Honor, he didn’t
sign it because
he didn’t have his ID. We kept telling him,
he was being irresponsible. That was not my fault. He even got his dad’s
first name and middle name. I would’ve gave him
his last name,
but he did not have that ID. So that was not my fault. So do you believe
he would’ve signed
that birth certificate? -Oh, yes.
-If he’d had brought his ID? Yes, Your Honor,
I believe it. You just thought
he was being irresponsible
and he forgot it. -There was so much going on.
-Yes. Your Honor, when she stated
that she was pregnant, I told him, “You know,
for this baby to have
your last name, you have to have an ID
to sign the birth certificate to give that baby
your last name.” He’d known this,
she was probably
two, three, four months. So he had months’ time, nothing but time
to get this ID if he really wanted to sign
that birth certificate. So I believe
that he procrastinated for that very reason. -Oh, you believe he was
avoiding it on purpose.
-Oh, yes. Oh, yes. So how soon after
baby Delonte was born did your son
unfortunately pass away? -Three weeks.
-Oh. -Three weeks.
-Oh, I’m so sorry. -So three weeks later.
-[Walker] Yes. Three weeks later,
Your Honor. I’m drawn to him
and Ladybug. ‘Cause that’s all
I had left, you know. He was my oldest child,
you know, but he was
still my baby. So I needed that comfort. So you say you were
drawn to Ms. Royal. -Yes.
-You clung to them because you really wanted
this to be your grandchild. And it would be
a little piece of your son
left in the world. [Walker] Yes, Your Honor, yes. And so what was the bond
like in the beginning? Tell the court about that. You couldn’t break us apart.
We was together
morning, noon and night. When I woke up, he… He was there.
When he woke up,
I was there. There was, uh… He was my son.
I love… I love that little boy.
I love him. But the doubts
are still there. That’s what’s killing me. So as much as you love him,
as much as you spend
time with him, and want to
give him the world, when you look at him,
you still have doubts? In the back of my head,
yes, it’s still there. And I know
in this courtroom, we always say,
“You can’t go on looks.” But it’s human nature. When you look
at the baby, do you see your son?
Do you say,
“Ah, I see him”? [Walker] Right there,
they look like they got
the same chin a little. Yeah. But when you’re spending
time with him, you don’t
look at him and go, “That’s my…
That’s my grandchild”? In the beginning I did. In the beginning I did. [Judge Lake]
What changed? How did you start
pulling away? I think time, like, me dealing with
my son’s death, then me remembering
his doubts. ‘Cause I’d blocked it out. You know, because I was
dealing with my son’s death. So, the remember…
The doubts came back. When she say they had doubts,
I never knew. Like ’cause I kept asking
for the DNA test. No problem with me. He always say,
“My boy, my boy.” When he pass…
Like, before he had passed,
they had a bond. They’ll sleep with each other,
he’d be at my house
with my baby, with his baby. 24/7, “What’s he doing? When he not with me,
what he doing?
What my baby doing, my son?” So, when y’all say doubts,
I don’t believe it ’cause I’m here today
to prove it. I can see when you look
at the baby how much it means to you
to get this cleared up,
Ms. Royal. And I know it’s hard
’cause if you know
for certain that Delonte is
your child’s father, then you know for certain
your child will never know
his father. [Royal] Right. And that’s painful. -He’d know of him, though.
-Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I don’t wanna make
you ladies wait any longer.
You’ve been through so much. Ms. Walker, have you
prepared yourself either way? “What will I do
if he’s not my grandson?” -Have you thought about it?
-No. That’s something you can’t…
I can’t… I can’t prepare for. Can I ask you this?
This happens in certain cases and I often ask this
because the truth is
always the best path. -Yes, it is.
-But we’re all human. And so there’s a part
of me that says, “Do you even
wanna know for certain?” -Oh, yes.
-You do. -Because you understand
what I mean.
-Yes. That you could just
move through this. You have these beautiful
pictures of your son
holding this beautiful baby. You have this relationship
with Ms. Royal -and with baby Delonte.
-Yeah. Regardless of that,
you’ve said to yourself,
“I want the truth.” -Yes. Yes, I do.
-All right. -And I have it
for you. Jerome.
-Thank you. -The envelope, please.
-You’re welcome. -These results…
-[audience applauding] …were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics. And they read as follows. Because there wasn’t
a blood card available to test the DNA
of the deceased,
Delonte Ross, we performed a DNA test
with his surviving parent,
Monique Walker. With that being said,
the results determined if there is
a viable relationship between the child,
Delonte Royal, and Monique Walker. Here are the results. In the case of
Walker v. Royal,when it comes to
15-month-old Delonte Royal, it has been determined
by this Court the percentage
of relatedness between Ms. Monique Walker
and Delonte Royal is… -Ninety nine point nine
-[Royal] Period. [Judge Lake]
You are related. -[Walker] Yes!
-Period. [Walker] Yes! Yes, Your Honor. Almost started crying. Thank you. Thank you. -Know that.
-Thank you. [audience laughing] [Walker] Thank you. And I’m gonna thank you
not just this Court,
this is why we do it. I’m gonna thank you
your grandbaby. For having the courage
to do that, and Ms. Royal, I know
you feel vindicated
in this moment, but I will say this. Now that you are
the mother of a son, I will tell you
one thing for certain. If your son
ever whispered in your ear, “Mommy, I need something,” you will be setting out
a course to get it. Oh, yeah.
This my Mom Dukes. I know, too.
I would’ve did
the same thing. -I’m not mad at her.
-[Judge Lake] Good. That’s my ma. How does that
feel to hear? -I love her.
-Aww. [Judge Lake] I love that. [all applauding] So, Ms. Royal,
you are a young woman. But you said
and sometimes I like to give people’s own words
back to them to empower them. And when I said that
baby Delonte, unfortunately, would never know his father
in the physical sense and that is truly unfortunate. [Walker] Yes, it is. [Judge Lake]
You said, “But he will
know of him.” And I think now, this is
the most important thing
you can do going forward, is allow Ms. Walker
and the family, and everybody
to share stories and to create a photo album and do all of these things
for baby Delonte, so that he will understand
who his father was, that his father loved him and most importantly,
who the man is
whose name he carries. And do all that you can
to make sure you keep those
memories alive for your son. All right? I wish
you all the very best.
We have counseling, we have resources
for you all. It’s not gonna be easy, but I know together,
as a village,
you can do it. I wish you all the very best.
Court is adjourned. -Thank you.