On February 18, Denver serial rapist Brent J. Brents nearly beat 33-year-old Tiffany Engle to death. She was his last victim—and she is also my friend.
Once we finish unloading the truck, we drive around the corner to grab a cup of joe at the neighborhood coffee shop. Tiffany seldom offers internal thoughts about how she's feeling, but as we drive she tells me that she had another nightmare. A man knocks on the door of her apartment and tries to sell her something. When she says no, he opens the doors and pushes his way inside uninvited. She turns to run up the stairs and he follows her. She wakes up just as he reaches for her.
Denver City and County Building, Court-room 3, Wednesday, July 6, 8:30 a.m.
I arrive at Tiffany's place at 7:45 a.m. Dressed in a sleek black suit with pink pinstripes and her short, stylish haircut, she looks like an attorney herself. I can tell she's nervous, and the funny thing is I am too. As far as I know, I've never been in the same room as a rapist and murderer. I can only imagine what's running through Tiffany's mind as we head downtown for Brents' arraignment.
Inside the courtroom we find seats with Tiffany's aunt, uncle, cousin, and two friends of hers from work. There are fewer people than I thought would show up. Tiffany and I sit in the second row, sandwiched between two of Brents' rape victims. They both look like they've been crying. Both come over to hug and speak with Tiffany in hushed voices. Tiffany sits very still and only every once in a while turns to say something to me or to her family. We hear rumors that Brents plans to plead guilty, but we remain calm. District Attorney Mitch Morrissey comes by and talks with Tiffany. He's the only one who doesn't look nervous.