From Aimee Green:
Colin M. Murphy, a civil attorney who handles business disputes, was sitting in a courtroom’s gallery waiting for his case to be called when he overheard a defense attorney and a prosecutor talking about a different case scheduled 15 minutes ahead of his.
They were saying what a shame it was that a defendant was about to blow a plea deal that would give him an opportunity to be sentenced to a misdemeanor instead of a felony for his role in stealing a pickup truck.
According to police reports, Castor Majuro Conley had bought a 1993 Nissan pickup truck from a thief, then sold it to someone else who sold it to a car-crushing yard for scrap.
Court records show that Conley, married with a 17-month-old child, had only one misdemeanor conviction on his record, a fourth-degree assault in 2011.
Murphy wasn’t familiar with many of the details of Conley’s life or most recent case. But he knew the DA’s Office was willing to offer the man a break. He also knew that a felony conviction meant Conley could very well lose his job, any good future job prospects and rental housing.
And that’s when Murphy spoke up in Judge Stephen Bushong's courtroom and offered the loan.
“All of us sometime in our lives have done something we would rather not have done,” Murphy told The Oregonian on Monday, explaining why he decided to act. “And the time will come when perhaps we are going to be held accountable. And I think at that point we would like to have somebody show us mercy.”Mercy. The word becomes more meaningful as we age and make mistakes and bad choices.
It's pretty special to give almost $1,000 to help out a stranger. The Christmas story is about God giving His son to pay the debt each one of us owes for the lies, thefts, broken promises and selfish acts that are a part of not so good life choices. We all need forgiveness and new starts in life. Castor Conley (and I) are worth a lot more to God than $1,000, $10,000 or even $10 million. We are worth the life of His son.
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!"
Peace on earth and goodwill to men indeed!