Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Nurture

In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
Wendy here? You mean Bughead? Is she here? Yeah, she's got her head stuck in the tailpipe.
She's trying to kill the lice.
We're leaving, kid.
You on or off? Okay.
I went to her apartment but Beatrice didn't answer the door.
The lady across the hall hasn't seen Wendy for two days.
Well, who's Beatrice? Beatrice Hines is Wendy's foster mother.
I tried calling over there but there wasn't an answer.
Well, maybe they just went away for a couple of days.
They didn't go away.
Beatrice was in there.
I heard her moving around.
But something's happened to Wendy.
Well, it could be she's just sick in bed.
She would've called me.
She would've had me bring her homework.
Well, don't you think that Wendy's foster mom would have called us? She doesn't care about Wendy.
But I do.
That woman does not take care of that child.
I've seen it myself.
You know how kids are today.
They come, they go.
This one goes for two days, and you don't think to call us? Look, she'll turn up.
She always does.
You find any kind of a note, like maybe she ran away? No, nothing.
When did you see her last? Day before yesterday, when she came home from school.
I told her to get busy on the laundry.
You know, we got the self-service down the block.
And yesterday? Bells didn't go off when she didn't come home? Look, I thought maybe she went to visit her friend Janel.
I work nights.
I can't pay attention to everything that girl does.
My towels aren't here.
Now you're worried, huh? I guess maybe you better look for her.
A 10-year-old girl, gone two nights.
No problem.
Yeah, she was here around dinnertime Monday.
She sorts by colors.
She knows how to use bleach.
Do a lot of people send their kids to do their wash? If they could, they'd send their dogs.
You see her talking to anybody? Just me.
We joke around.
Sometimes I buy her a soda or give her half my sandwich.
All she ever has is money for the machines, nothing extra.
Did you buy her a soda on Monday? I had five dryers down.
I nearly had a riot.
What time did Wendy leave? I don't know but she left her dark load in the machine.
What am I supposed to do with this stuff? We hit every store on the block with her picture.
And nobody saw the little washer girl? The foster mother, she give you a list of the girl's friends? I don't think she knows or cares.
She seemed to miss her towels more than the kid.
What about the girl's real mother? We're on our way.
Since I got the call, I've been sick with worry.
I've been trying to get custody again.
She's my little girl.
Her foster mother didn't seem too worried.
That bitch Beatrice.
She just cares about Wendy for the check.
I'm her mother, I'm blood.
And she'd be living here if there wasn't a problem, is that correct? I used to drink.
I'm getting off it.
Yeah? How's it going? This is just a beer.
When's the last time you saw her? A couple of weeks ago, she came, she spent the night.
And since then? My little girl, they got her all messed up.
And who would "they" be? Children's Services.
This is her home.
I knew this would happen.
What would happen? She'd run away because of Beatrice's boyfriend.
Oh, you don't know? A guy named Brian.
He'd get drunk and he'd beat her up.
He got arrested but nothing ever happened to him.
I complained to Children's Services but they gonna listen to me? I'm only her mother.
I don't know where she is, and I don't care where she is.
We heard you cared enough to slap her around.
Hey.
Her mother's lying to try to get her back, so she can collect the welfare check.
She probably put the kid up to it.
Did she put the DA up to arresting you? I'm out on bail.
I never did anything to her.
Your trial's coming up.
Be nice for you if the star witness disappeared.
I never go near her.
That's one of the conditions of my bail.
I can't even stay over with my own girlfriend.
You do any laundry Monday, about 6:00? I was here until 8:00.
Underneath a Toyota with a leaky transmission.
They can tell you.
Look, the kid lied.
It runs in the family.
You saw what her mother was like.
Brian never hit her.
She just made it all up.
Yeah, maybe.
I mean, the kid's got this kind of weird imagination.
She just sits in her room all day just telling stories to the wall.
I got a hard enough time getting her out of there so she can come and do her chores.
You smack her yourself once in a while to give her incentive? I never touched her.
Brian never touched her.
When he's here, we got better things to do.
Well, Beatrice, if we start asking the neighbors are we gonna find out that Brian's been coming around, ignoring his bail order? Because if he does, he goes straight to jail, and you lose custody of the kid.
Yeah? Well, that would be terrible.
Yeah, your check stops coming.
Know how I got Wendy? I used to get a sandwich at a coffee shop where her mother was a waitress when she could stand up.
We became friends.
She was having trouble down at Children's Services.
She knew I liked kids.
Peggy gave Wendy to me.
What, was she on the menu under Live-In Servants? I'm the best thing that ever happened to that kid.
Beatrice Hines was qualified as a foster parent.
The birth mother's consent papers were in order.
They were friends.
Is it departmental policy that children can be exchanged as gifts? Peggy Sylvester used to send her daughter out to shoplift cigarettes and six packs for her.
Moving Wendy out of that environment was a considerable improvement.
Oh, really? Well, did you ever drop by and take a look at that foster home? I investigated the child abuse report and talked to Wendy in person.
Followed up with a phone call.
I was assured that Brian Sprague was staying away.
Did Wendy ever talk about running away? She did run away once, about four months ago.
She came back about a day later.
Did she say where she went? She told me that her father owned Central Park.
She was going to live in Belvedere Castle but it didn't work out.
Who is her father? She has no idea.
Her mother's not too sure, either.
Our teacher's got us putting these up all over the neighborhood.
Maybe somebody will recognize her.
Do you think she ran away? I mean, was she saving her money up for it? Beatrice never gave her nothing, just worked her.
I lent her some of my clothes, so she wouldn't freeze and my mom let her come over for dinner.
So she never talked about running away? Yeah, but there's no way she would've gone now.
We had a trip to the Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs.
Oh, she liked that sort of thing? Yeah, she was crazy about that stuff.
Did she have any other friends? You mean real ones? What, she had some other kind? Well you got to promise you don't tell nobody, but she wrote letters to Carol.
It's just a made-up somebody like there was a big sister somewhere else that she was writing to.
Well, we might want to look at those letters.
She didn't want anybody to know about them.
Well, we won't tell anybody and it might help us find her.
Her school locker.
Right 23, left 10 right 14.
Sometimes she writes letters sometimes she writes poems to this imaginary friend.
"Riding a pony in the snow Another place to go "Smiling and laughing on TV Another place to be "Flying away on a giant beast With my suitcase in its teeth" Okay, so we check pony stables, TV studios, and Big Bird.
Well, somebody liked it.
They wrote, "Excellent work, Wendy.
Very imaginative.
" That's great, but it's dark out, and it's night number three.
Here's more writing in the margin, spelling and grammar corrections.
Teacher? Yeah.
One she liked enough to tell her secrets to.
Yes, I recognize the margin notes.
Arnette Fenady.
They must be from last semester.
You can date the ink? Miss Fenady gave a poetry workshop for our more gifted students.
Despite Wendy's appearance, and the fact that she was often exhausted and that she had to be treated for head lice she had the potential to be an A student.
Where is this teacher now? In class? No, she's currently on a leave of absence.
She's a published poet herself who donates her time.
Would she have gotten to know Wendy pretty well? There are only half a dozen kids in the class.
Practically a Ideal how? Here we have 40 children to a class.
Our school system encourages these volunteers from the community.
So you'd have her address? That's terrible.
How long has she been missing? Since three days ago.
Miss Fenady, if she did run away would you have any idea where she might have gone to? No.
I just know she was very unhappy.
Have you talked to her friend Janel? Yes, we did.
Did Wendy talk to you much about her problems? No, I just had to read her poems.
What do you mean? Well, there is a real survivor's spirit there.
She lives in miserable circumstances but she never gave up on herself.
Dear God, I hope she's all right.
Do you have any children, Miss Fenady? No.
No, I'm not blessed with children.
Well, it's an awful lot of house here for one person.
Yes, it's been in the family nearly a century.
I hold poetry workshops here.
So Wendy's been here? Yes, but I haven't seen her since last term.
You must give me your number.
There's a chance she might contact me.
She has your phone number? Yes.
All my children do.
Well, we'll be in touch.
If there's anything I can do.
Thank you.
I could have used a few teachers like her at PS 189.
Oh, yeah? I don't know, something about her.
What? She donates her time helping kids.
She gives her phone number to her students.
Why would anyone bother? What, that makes her too good to be true? Hey, humor me, will you? Let's check her out.
One arrest, February 1990.
Endangering the welfare of a minor.
The charges were dropped, so the record was sealed.
Which means we can't find out what the charge was about.
Could be she took her students to the pony rides, and then some parent panicked.
Well, sealed or not, there's a file sitting in someone's desk.
I'll call Kincaid.
Get her working on a judge's order.
The clock's running out on this kid.
We don't have time to wait for a judge.
Well, then find out who the arresting officer was.
Oh, yeah, the rich poet.
You've seen the place she lives? Yeah, so how did she endanger the welfare of a minor? Drinking a sherry while playing Pick-Up Sticks? The complaint was from the parents of a 6-year-old.
One of her little poets.
She tried to kidnap the kid.
Tried how? She kept her overnight, and then denied she had her when the parents showed up.
And when you showed up? She was packing the kid into her car for a trip upstate.
It was weird.
It took us three hours to get her to admit it wasn't her kid.
Your lecture about your commitment to children was fascinating.
Why did you leave out the part about kidnapping? Well, that's not what I did at all.
I was protecting her.
From what? Well, Molly was malnourished.
She hadn't had any proper food.
Some people don't deserve to be parents.
You ever hear of Children's Services? Yes, of course.
But they have their procedures.
The child could have died if I hadn't done something.
And a drive upstate in the middle of winter, that was going to save her life? I was frightened and I overreacted.
But everyone knows I did the right thing.
Molly was placed in foster care.
The charges against me were dropped.
Which brings us to Wendy.
Is she your latest cause? I am very worried about her.
Why can't you just believe that I want to help? You see a little girl getting slapped around a lot of people would take her into their home.
Yeah, and those people usually call the cops.
Well, your hunches aren't gonna get us a search warrant.
Well, we got the notebooks.
Let's see if there's anything about Fenady in there.
"Flying away on a giant beast With my suitcase in its teeth" That doesn't sound like Fenady to me.
Wait a minute.
"On leather wings, I fly beyond Atop my friend the pteranodon" The flying beast is a dinosaur.
So a brontosaurus did it.
No, Fenady's comments are on this poem, and Wendy's friend said they didn't learn about dinosaurs until a couple of weeks ago.
Fenady said she hadn't seen Wendy since last term, right? Flying dinosaurs won't get you into Fenady's house.
Did you follow up on the endangering charge? Yeah, that kid wound up in a foster home and the DA chose not to indict Fenady.
Yeah, well, they didn't give her a medal, either.
Let's put her under 24-hour surveillance.
And canvass the neighborhood, maybe someone saw her with the little girl.
She's a very caring person.
She even donated money to plant trees.
Well, did you ever see any kids go in there? All the time.
She loves children.
Last year she built a whole playroom upstairs.
You get the full tour? Yes, she's always remodeling for the kids.
Last month, she had cinder block and cement in front of her house.
Some of the neighbors complained.
I said, "Come on, it's for the kids.
" Speaking of kids, we're looking for this little girl.
She's 10 years old.
Was she around on Monday? Yeah, I think so.
I saw them coming out of the car.
Now, are you positive about that? I only saw them from the back.
Can't this wait until after I eat my lunch? It's about a missing child, Your Honor.
We have an eyewitness who saw her with our suspect.
Now, Miss Fenady lied about the last time she saw the child.
That's this thing here about the dinosaur? Once again, Your Honor, there's a certain urgency here.
Do you want me to read this or not? No disrespect, Your Honor.
Your eyewitness is a little iffy.
I don't wanna start a witch hunt here.
I'm gonna limit you to a look-see warrant.
Mrs.
Stavros couldn't have seen Wendy here.
I'm sure she has the day wrong.
I had children here Sunday for a workshop.
Well, the school said you were all through with the workshops.
Well, that doesn't mean that I've stopped helping the kids.
Well, what were you doing Monday, Miss Fenady? I was working on my books.
Children's books.
It's better than Romper Room up there.
I'm sorry it's such a mess.
I don't come down here much.
There's a storeroom in here.
I checked it.
You doing some construction? The contractor said we needed a wall to support the playroom.
Look, I know you're doing your job, but I'm really worried about all the time you're wasting when you could be looking for Wendy.
Just let us worry about Wendy.
We'll be in touch.
Well, her concern is touching.
You still sure she has her? I hope you guys found something.
I'm not exactly looking forward to another eight hours out here.
Well, maybe she'll invite you in for tea.
Well, she knows we're around.
You think if she's got the girl stashed somewhere, she's gonna lead us to her? I don't think she's gonna let the kid starve.
She could already be dead, Lennie.
Yeah, and she could still be in that house, okay? Well, we just searched the house.
We looked around.
That cinder block wall in the basement.
Fenady said it was for a playroom built a year ago.
Now, we got neighbors who saw cinder blocks on the sidewalk a month ago.
You think maybe she's got a Houdini room? Well, let's find the contractor and see what kind of shoe this lady's building.
Miss Fenady? Real good people.
Most people won't let you use the toilet.
She gave us milk and cookies.
You build a bearing wall in her basement? Those old brownstones are overbuilt as it is.
She didn't need any structural support.
So you never touched the basement? No.
She asked us about maybe putting in a maid's room downstairs.
I gave her an estimate but she never got back to me.
So how long has it been since you actually did work for her? About eight months ago.
She ordered some materials through me last month.
Cinder blocks? Cement? Yeah, copper pipes, fixtures, flooring.
All the makings for a nice, cozy hideout.
This woman has dedicated her life to the children of this city.
There is no reason you should be harassing her.
Unless you back off, I'm gonna slap you with an injunction.
Go for it.
Any judge will see our actions are consistent with a normal police investigation.
You have no idea how destructive your actions are.
Parents come over with their kids, they see police cars parked outside.
Neighbors are calling, asking what's going on.
Miss Fenady's even gotten calls from the media.
Well, Miss Siegal, you have your job and we have ours.
As long as Miss Fenady remains a suspect in the disappearance of a child we have no intention of backing off.
That's your line in the sand.
Fine.
Nice performance.
It is just a performance.
Unless we get some results the minute Siegal gets to a judge, school's out.
Well, before she gets an injunction we're going to need another search warrant.
Judge Romney's a defendant's judge.
He might see a second search as part of a pattern of harassment.
Well, how's he going to see Ms.
Fenady lying to us about her remodeling? One last time, Miss Fenady.
What's behind that wall? I don't know.
I wasn't here when they built it.
It's probably nothing.
It could be dead space on the other side but no way through that we can find.
Tommy, tell the press to work from the other side of the street, all right? Strike out up there? Nada.
Anything? Yeah, the walled-off part of the basement is right under this floor here.
Your warrant specifies you're not allowed to tear anything up.
Miss Fenady, how many other TVs do you have in the house? Two.
One upstairs in my bedroom and one in the playroom.
Really? Then why do you have four lines splitting off from the cable junction here? This line goes right through the closet floor.
You wanna tell me now? Wendy? Are you all right? "Docket number 286721, People v.
Arnette Fenady.
"Charges are kidnapping in the second degree "custodial interference in the first degree "endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree.
" How do you plead? Not guilty.
People request that the defendant be held without bail, Your Honor.
My client is not a violent felon.
She abducted a 10-year-old girl off the street and held her in a basement.
We don't want to put the girl at further risk.
Your Honor.
Save it, Miss Siegal.
I have three of my own.
Bail is $250,000.
Aren't you on the wrong side of the plate here, Rose? I thought children's rights attorneys defended minors, not their abductors.
Sometimes defending an alleged abductor is in the best interest of the child.
Miss Fenady took Wendy without the consent of her legal guardian.
We've got our prima facie case.
If you're looking for a deal here- Never crossed my mind.
I want you to drop the case entirely.
If you'd look past the statutes for a second you'd see that Arnette Fenady was trying to save that child.
Do you have any idea what Wendy's life was like before she took her to her home? Oh, and it was really improved by being stuck in a cellar? Look, I know this woman would never hurt a child.
If you have any doubts, have your experts talk to her.
Have them talk to Wendy.
I guarantee you'll see the light.
We had pizza with pepperoni, then she showed me to my room.
She said I'd be safe just as long as no one found out.
Did she make you stay in the room the entire time? No, I came up for a party.
What party? A birthday party.
She had a cake for me.
It was chocolate with 10 candles on it.
It was your birthday? My birthday's in October.
I'll be 11.
This was Crystal's.
Who's Crystal? I don't know.
That's what it said on the cake.
Did Miss Fenady ever hurt you? No.
We read poems and played games.
Weren't you worried that Beatrice might miss you? Miss Fenady said I could use the phone.
She said I could call.
Did you? Thank you very much, Wendy.
Welcome.
If she were mistreated, I don't think she'd keep it a secret.
So Fenady honestly kidnaps children to save them? Children? Well, she did the same thing four years ago.
A 6-year-old girl.
Is there a way I could interview Miss Fenady? It's possible.
I don't think her lawyer would object.
Are you sure you don't want your attorney present? I don't need my attorney.
I don't understand what all the fuss is about.
Wendy was happier with me.
Didn't she tell you that? That's not the point.
Her mother, her foster mother they didn't love Wendy.
It's hard for us to know how they felt.
I know how you're supposed to feel.
Have you had those feelings yourself? God gives people children.
And he sometimes takes them away.
How would you know anything about that? I don't, but I have a feeling that you do.
Did you lose a child? How old would she be now? Ten? It must have been very painful for you.
She was nine months old when she died.
You loved her very much.
I'd do anything for her.
Just like you'll do for Wendy.
You know what they did? Do you know how they treated her? Nobody treats Crystal that way, nobody.
You know, if you pray hard enough sometimes God answers your prayers.
Hell of a world.
If she weren't a fictional character you'd want to toss Mary Poppins into the booby hatch.
Your client is mentally ill, Rose.
Why? Because she takes an abused kid off the street and pampers her? Because she thinks that kid is hers.
I'm trying to help you, Rose.
Great.
We lock Fenady in a state hospital, Wendy goes back to another Beatrice Hines.
Whatever happens, Miss Fenady is not going to get custody of the child.
No.
But the press gets a whiff of the real story maybe we re-examine the foster care system.
Your client is Arnette Fenady, not the needy children of the world.
And I'm representing her with all the zealousness required by the Canons of Ethics.
By sacrificing her for a cause? Hey, I'm going to win this case.
I'll tell Arnette of your generous offer, and I'll see you in court.
Rose Siegal called.
Fenady would rather spend the rest of her life in prison than in a hospital.
I'm sure she was fully apprised by her attorney.
Well, if the woman doesn't want to plead insanity, we can't force her.
Yeah, but we don't have to try her.
Whether she was sane at the time that she committed the crime is for a jury to decide.
But whether she's even competent to stand trial, that's for a judge.
We challenge her competency? If she's delusional, she can't understand the charges against her and she can't help in her own defense.
Isn't this her attorney's job? That attorney is more interested in making a point than helping her client.
Miss Fenady is sick.
She belongs in a hospital, not in a prison.
Miss Fenady operates in a world of her own making.
A world where she sets the rules.
Does she understand our rules as they apply in the legal proceedings against her? She won't even try.
All that matters to her is her mission to rescue a girl she believes is her dead daughter.
Nothing else is relevant, nothing else is real.
Dr.
Olivet, in your expert opinion is Arnette Fenady capable of understanding her trial and assisting in her own defense? No.
She's not.
Thank you, Doctor.
When you interviewed Miss Fenady did she know who you were? She knew I was a psychiatrist, yes.
Does she know who I am? She knows.
I just don't think she cares.
Isn't there a difference, Dr.
Olivet between believing the law is irrelevant and believing it is wrong? Of course.
And is a person who believes the law is wrong incompetent to stand trial? That depends on the person.
Let's take Miss Fenady, then.
Doesn't she believe the law is wrong because it fails to protect children while prosecuting those who do? That's part of her belief system, yes.
And isn't she capable of articulating that belief to you to me, to a judge, to a jury? Yes.
And you are a board-certified psychiatrist? Yes.
I'm on the staff of Manhattan Hospital.
And you examined Arnette Fenady at my request.
Yes.
I found her to be passionate about the well-being of children.
Does she hear voices that tell her how to behave? No.
She decides how to behave.
In your expert opinion, Doctor does Miss Fenady understand the nature of these proceedings and the charges against her? She not only understands them, she welcomes them as a means to raise public awareness of the problems of children.
Thank you.
Doctor, did Miss Fenady decide to break the law? I believe she did.
And did she decide to mistake Wendy for her dead daughter? Her belief is figurative an extension of her passion to save children.
You are familiar with the interview with Dr.
Olivet, correct? Where she repeatedly mistook Wendy for Crystal? She identifies the suffering of other children with that of her own daughter.
It doesn't make her delusional.
But if, in fact, Miss Fenady mistook Wendy for her dead daughter what is to prevent her from mistaking any other 10-year-old for her dead child? By definition, Mr.
Stone, a delusional person will have delusions.
I just don't think that's the case here.
Arnette, do you know what you are charged with? Kidnapping.
I rescued Wendy, Your Honor- Just answer your attorney's questions, Miss Fenady.
The charge is kidnapping.
But I intend to prove that I did nothing wrong.
How do you intend to prove that? With a trial in public.
Then, everyone will know the truth.
But you know that you could go to jail.
Could.
Yes.
Do you understand what my function is? You're my attorney.
Your job is to make sure that I get a fair trial to prove that I did nothing wrong.
Nothing further.
Miss Fenady you don't think that you did anything wrong because it was the will of God, correct? I believe it is God's will that children not be neglected or abused.
Especially your own child? My child died 10 years ago.
I did what I did to help Wendy.
I have no doubt that the defendant suffers from a colorful assortment of psychological problems.
But that's all they are, problems.
Therefore, I am not convinced under Section 730 that the defendant is an incapacitated person.
The criminal action against Arnette Fenady is to proceed.
If the judge could have heard the way Fenady talked to Olivet.
Yeah, well even psychos can act normal when it serves their purpose.
The judge had to go with what she saw.
Not to mention their expert cancelled our expert.
Rose Siegal must be pleased.
Her issue's all over the papers and she'll have a martyr to the cause when her client goes to jail.
Yeah, if we convict.
I'm not even sure I still want to prosecute.
You want that fruitcake on the street? I want her in a hospital, sir.
Well, that option went away.
Judge ruled against you.
I can still try to cut a deal.
I'll drop it to unlawful imprisonment.
You can drop it to a building permit violation for all I care.
She's not guilty.
She needs help, Rose.
No, Ben, the children of New York need help.
Without an insanity defense, you don't have a case.
All I have to do is seat one mother on the jury.
You can play the heartstrings all you like, but the fact remains that your client took Wendy Sylvester off the street, held her in a place that she was not likely to be found.
Read the statute.
That's kidnapping.
For the past two years, Wendy's legal guardian has been Beatrice Hines.
But at any time did the defendant ever have custody, guardianship, or any legal right or authority over Wendy Sylvester? No.
Now, when Wendy was under the care of Beatrice Hines did you ever hear complaints about Wendy being abused? Wendy's homeroom teacher called Children's Services.
She said that Wendy was coming to school with bruises.
We investigated and took what we considered to be appropriate action.
Did anyone else from the school ever contact you about her condition? The school nurse, about the same time as the teacher.
But what about Arnette Fenady? Did she ever voice her concern to you about the condition of Wendy Sylvester? Until she was arrested, I had never heard Miss Fenady's name.
Thank you.
Your witness.
Your investigation of Wendy's case found that she had been beaten that she was left unattended unfed, unbathed, barely clothed.
Is that correct? Yes.
And what is this appropriate action that you took? Miss Hines' male companion was arrested and placed under judicial order to stay away from Wendy.
Was that order effective? I don't know.
Why didn't you move Wendy to a safer environment? Suitable households are hard to find.
It takes time.
So while you looked your appropriate action was to leave this 10-year-old girl in an unsuitable household? You have to understand compared to a lot of the cases that we handle Wendy Sylvester was relatively well-off.
Really? Thank you.
No, I never met Miss Fenady in person.
She called the house a bunch of times to talk to Wendy.
She sounded like a weirdo.
Objection.
Sustained.
Jury will disregard that last remark.
Did Miss Fenady ever tell you why she wanted to talk with Wendy? Yeah.
She said it was about her poetry but I think she was calling to check up on us.
Miss Hines, why do you say that? Because one time, she just ragged on the way I was raising Wendy.
She said that I wasn't fit to be a mother.
But did you ever, at any time, give Arnette Fenady permission to take Wendy? No.
Never.
Fine.
Thank you.
Miss Hines, how many times have you left Wendy alone all night? I work nights.
I got no choice.
Fair to say it was more times than you can count? Look, she's a smart one.
She can take care of herself.
But you didn't even know she was missing until the police notified you.
What do you expect from me? I gotta work.
No more questions.
Court will recess until tomorrow morning.
We set them up, Siegal just knocks them down.
I doubt if Wendy will fall as easily.
I have one more prep session with her this evening.
When I got into the car, she told me to lie down.
Then she put a blanket over me.
Did she say why? She said that Brian was looking for me and that he wanted to hurt me.
And you believed her? He hurt me before.
You know, what happened when you got to her house? You already asked me that.
Can we stop now? Okay.
I guess we've done enough.
How old were you when you decided to become a lawyer? I don't know.
Maybe in high school.
Bet you had all A's.
No, I got B's in Art.
I want to be a writer.
Or maybe a scientist, like a paleontologist.
Anything but a mother.
Having kids sucks.
You know, Wendy it doesn't always have to be that way.
So after I answer all those questions tomorrow, what'll happen? The jury will decide if Miss Fenady did anything wrong.
And if they say she did? That'll be up to the judge.
I was at the laundry.
It's my job to do the laundry for Beatrice.
And did you finish the laundry? No.
I went to Miss Fenady.
Wendy let's back up a little bit here.
Before you got to Miss Fenady's, what happened? I was on the subway.
Your Honor, permission to lead the witness.
Objection, Your Honor.
I'm going to allow some latitude on this, Miss Siegal.
Wendy, do you remember telling the police that Miss Fenady picked you up in a car at the laundromat? No.
I took the subway.
I was running away.
Miss Fenady said I could stay as long as I wanted.
Wendy, isn't it true that Miss Fenady drove you to her home and locked you in an underground room? Your Honor, the District Attorney gets to ask the questions not answer them.
She's right, Mr.
Stone.
That's enough.
Can we adjourn to chambers, Your Honor? She lied, Your Honor.
Why? Because she's not saying what you want to hear? Because she's saying what you want her to say.
If you're accusing Miss Siegal of subornation, counselor you're gonna need a little more proof.
Your Honor, Wendy told me numerous times in prep that Miss Fenady picked her up in her car covered her with a blanket so no one could see and took her to her house.
That might make her the first kid ever to tell a fib to please an adult.
Your Honor, if I could just talk with her.
Be my guest, if you want to be disbarred for tampering with a witness.
She's still on the stand.
It's okay, Your Honor.
If Mr.
Stone is finished questioning Wendy I certainly don't plan on cross-examining her.
Talk all you like.
Wendy, I know you know the difference between a truth and a lie and what you did in court was lie.
You told me what really happened.
I said Miss Fenady never hurt me.
Not like Brian did.
But you want to put her in jail.
No, we want to get her help, Wendy.
You think she's crazy.
Why? Because she took care of me? Because she wants to adopt me? She told you that's what she wants to do? Yeah.
But she's gotta be nuts to want me, right? No, Wendy, she's gotta be nuts to think you're not Wendy to think you're someone else.
Surprised by our own witness, the victim.
The jury's wondering what the hell we're doing.
You said she was prepared.
It isn't Claire's fault.
The girl willfully committed perjury.
So what do we do, indict a 10-year-old? We could put her back on the stand and treat her as a hostile witness.
And the jury sees us putting words in her mouth.
Rose Siegal is gonna love that.
Might as well send a car and drive Fenady home.
It's not fatal.
We established our case with the other witnesses.
And the jury remembers that, after they wipe the tears from their eyes.
Wendy Sylvester was passed on by a mother who didn't care and passed over by a system that should have.
Arnette Fenady could not watch this neglect.
She believed that Wendy would not survive.
Rather than turn a blind eye, she did what, I believe most of us have the urge to do, get involved.
The law provides for the Arnette Fenadys of this world.
It allows that otherwise illegal conduct is justified if it saves a child's life.
She could have called the police, but instead she lied to them.
She could have called Children's Services, but instead she evaded them.
So Miss Fenady's so-called good intentions were, in fact, just deceit.
Fortunately, no harm came to Wendy Sylvester.
But what about the next time? We live in a society bounded by law and there is a system, and it does work.
Not perfectly and not in every case.
But those of you who care for children, you must ask yourself this question: Do you want the Arnette Fenadys of this world to judge the quality of that care? And if she judges that care as lacking and your child is removed and hidden from you to whom do you appeal that judgment? As to the first count of the indictment kidnapping in the second degree, how do you find? "Not guilty.
" As to the second count custodial interference in the first degree, how do you find? "Not guilty.
" As to the final count, endangering the welfare of a child how do you find? "Not guilty.
" So say you all? Court is adjourned.
Arnette Fenady applied for custody of Wendy Sylvester.
She must be crazier than we thought.
No way a court grants her application.
No way she was supposed to be acquitted, either.
What kind of mother could she possibly be? For Wendy's sake, I hope a good one.