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But what's perhaps even more aggravating for Lieutenant Mayns is his feeling that Enyart has exploited his sons' injuries for personal gain. "This kind of thing would never have gone before the press, as you know, because things with children are protected. But Mr. Enyart made sure he got all the mileage out of this he could. He's made his money and his reputation at Stephen's expense."
To this charge, Enyart cheerfully pleads...guilty! He's sitting at the kitchen table of his sprawling suburban home in Arvada (it was built to his specifications last year), surrounded by the ones he loves: Josiah and Nathaniel, who both do Webmastering on www.shadowgov.com, plus two-year-old Zachary, one-month-old Michael, and Cheryl, the very model of the seen-and-not-heard spouse; she turns down an interview request because, she says, "I don't talk well." Enyart wishes Stephen and Anthony could be here, too. Earlier this year, he and Cheryl asked the court to let him spend time with them again, but he was rejected like a grade-schooler trying to score on Kevin Garnett. Other than that, though, Bob couldn't be happier.
"This is our dream house," he announces. "And do you know who bought it for us? John Mayns. Without him, none of this would have been possible."
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When Enyart laughs at the delicious irony of it all, Josiah and Nathaniel join in -- and their mirth doesn't seem forced. They were pulled into the whole spanking matter as well: "My dad would be watching us while he was doing his radio show," Josiah recalls, "and if somebody would ask about spanking, we'd get up there and say, 'Oh, yeah, we get spanked all the time.'" He calls the experience of being on the other end of Bob's belt "humiliating," not agonizing, and seems completely sanguine about Enyart's time in the pokey. "It wasn't all that embarrassing, because there are so many kids whose dads are in jail. When we'd talk about it, I'd just say, 'My dad's in jail, too.'"
In contrast, Nathaniel admits, "I didn't know too many kids who had one of their parents in jail. But when I told them why he was there, they'd go, 'I was spanked. Why did they put your dad in jail for doing that?' They had no idea why."
What did they think of all the press coverage the matter received? "When I was little, it was like, 'Whoa, we're in the newspaper,'" Josiah allows. "But it's not as big a deal anymore. It's so common, and it's not so hard to get on TV, because there's cable now."
A satisfied chuckle from Enyart. "They're more media-savvy than most kids," he says.
The easy interaction between Enyart and his oldest sons probably would surprise child-care experts dead set against domineering dads; neither Josiah nor Nathaniel look to Papa after speaking as if they're afraid of being walloped. But there's a moment between Bob and Zachary that suggests how things sometimes run in the Enyart household. At one point, the toddler spills a cup of milk all over himself and the hardwood floor in front of him -- but rather than wailing or apologizing or doing something, Zachary stands silently in place for a good two minutes, looking up at Enyart with wide, I'm-really-gonna-get-it-now eyes. Bob doesn't return the gaze: Rather than comforting him or cleaning him up or acknowledging him in any way, he gets a cloth and starts sopping up the mess. Wouldn't want the floors in the dream house to get stained. Gotta keep your priorities straight.
At last, Cheryl, at Bob's request, comes downstairs and takes Zachary in her arms, and as she carries him away, he looks questioningly at Enyart, seemingly surprised at how easy he got off. Does that mean spilling milk is okay? Might he even have gotten away with crying over it? It's a lot to consider.
The time has come: The fence has been mounted to a platform on the roof of the trailer outside the Laramie courthouse, and after a brief prayer out of view of the press, the main players emerge: Bob, in ShadowGov chic; Nellis, in McKinney garb; and McBurney, dressed as a judge.
As the cameras grind and the pens scratch, Nellis is tied to the fence and McBurney begins his rant: "America's Shadow Government convenes here in the city of Laramie, in the county of Albany and the state of Wyoming to petition for justice in the case of the people of Wyoming vs. Aaron McKinney! We request that the government officials of the state of Wyoming administer a swift, public and painful execution of Aaron McKinney! Citizens of America's Shadow Government stand ready to execute justice upon the murderer!"
Next it's Enyart's turn. "Christians have misled our country, telling them that the New Testament is against the death penalty," he says before refuting this misconception with a handful of New Testament passages that support the concept of capital punishment (e.g., "Anyone who has rejected Moses's law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses," from Hebrews 10:28).