Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Double Down

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.
Hey, move this thing down.
It's parked in a loading zone.
Move your damn truck and I'll park somewhere else.
Right.
In a minute.
No, move it now.
Damn! Watch it! What the hell happened? Let's get out of here! Drop the gun! We're still sorting things out.
We've got one DOA.
This guy was working in the store.
That guy got into an argument with the getaway driver we think.
This the guy who robbed you? I don't know.
He was wearing a mask.
Anybody find a mask? It was unbelievable.
I went in to buy a bottle of vodka.
Yeah, he got $1,200.
He cleaned out the register.
Is this the guy? I don't know who it was.
I almost peed myself.
It wasn't the dead guy.
He tried to stop them.
Them? There was more than one? Mr.
Corcoran here blocked in the getaway car.
Now, patrol ran the plates.
They were stolen off a Cadillac in the Bronx.
Did you get a good look at the guy? I didn't really look at him.
He started hassling me.
I didn't want to give him the satisfaction.
Well, the guy in the store was short.
He pointed the gun right at me.
He made me give him everything.
They both ran that way.
This fellow started shooting at them.
What, he was shooting at them and you were watching them? It was wild, man.
I ran after them part way, and they got into a car that was driving by.
Had livery plates on it.
What, a taxi? No, must've been a car service.
It was black.
What kind of car? I'm not really sure.
.
38 special? Yeah.
He got off all five rounds.
Let me see that.
Look at the wear pattern on the bluing.
It's been sliding in and out of a holster.
Check his jacket pocket.
I'm still working this side.
Check it.
What do you got? Officer Russell Schaeffer.
His shift was over.
He was going home.
Officer Schaeffer was a 23-year veteran.
He leaves a widow and four children.
The COP SHOT reward program is automatically in effect.
Veronica will screen the tips.
Every nut case in town who likes the sound of $10,000.
Cardinas, check hospital reports on gunshot wounds.
There were a lot of bullets flying around that store.
Store video's got nothing.
The canvass team found another witness who saw the perps get in a car with livery plates.
No car service name on the side.
Conflicting opinions as to make and color.
You and Brendenbach call car services.
Find out who picked up two masked men waving guns.
Records traced the VIN number of the car they left at the scene.
It's registered to a Rodolfo Rodriguez.
Columbus and 109.
And he likes to drive it around with stolen plates? Stolen everything.
He's got two burglary convictions.
Ours.
Police! Search warrant! Hey, Rodolfo.
Good morning! Rise and shine.
And keep your hands where I can see them! What's this? What'd I do? You tell us, Rodolfo.
Where were you at noon? Here, with Sylvia.
Why? What happened at noon? Your car was used by somebody who killed a cop.
Car? Hey, hey! Oh, damn it, man.
My car was parked right there! You're saying it was stolen? It's not there.
Of course it was stolen.
Why, did you find it? Next to a dead cop, Rodolfo.
You paying attention? Yo, I didn't kill nobody, man.
I want my car back.
Yeah, we can have a nice long chat about that.
Curtis.
Yeah, thanks.
Profaci got a hit on that car service.
All right, take him in.
And Sleeping Beauty, too.
All right, come on, let's go.
Bring your pants and your wallet.
Old man named Baeza.
Must be 90.
We give him a ride to his doctor every Tuesday at 12:30.
Medicaid pays.
So what happened today? He missed his appointment, that's what.
My driver didn't show up.
First time ever.
I called his wife, she ain't got a clue.
This driver, has he been with you long? Mitchell Titus.
Four years.
Always dependable.
You know where he was at noon? He was dropping Miss Dimassian off at First Avenue and 12th Street.
Three blocks from the liquor store.
Did he call in? Tell you he was picking up another fare? Oh, we don't take street hails.
Anyway, he was headed to pick up Mr.
Baeza.
You think something might have happened to Mitchell? Can you give us a description of his car? Yeah, sure.
They kept the car and they kept the driver.
We've got 12,000 police officers looking for that car right now.
Yeah, and I bet they're gonna find Mitchell Titus' body in that trunk.
Lieutenant Van Buren, I'm Ruth Titus.
My husband's boss said he was kidnapped.
We're not sure what happened to him, Mrs.
Titus.
He didn't call me.
He didn't go back to work.
Where is he? We don't know.
He has a heart condition.
He has no business working.
But we can't live on his disability.
Mrs.
Titus, every police officer in New York is looking for his car.
His car? What's happened to my husband? Excuse me.
A cop at Port Authority found something you should see.
Is it about my husband? Please, Mrs.
Titus, have a seat.
There you go.
I heard you were looking for possible gunshot wounds.
Okay, it's blood.
You sure it wasn't somebody with a nose bleed? No, look over there.
The shirt.
Under the left armpit.
Bullet hole.
Plastic wrapper.
Could have bought a new shirt at an arcade.
To look pretty for his trip out of town.
How many departure gates do you have? Eighty-five.
How many departures in the last two hours? Maybe a hundred.
Thanks.
You're welcome.
I hope it took him a while to freshen up.
Passenger Peter Grossinger, please report to the information booth.
Now departing from Platform 46, stopping only in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami, Florida.
May I have your attention, please.
Rey.
Well, I guess we can alert four different states to try to stop a hundred buses.
May I have your attention, please.
Arriving southbound bus Hey, Lennie, I think even you can catch him.
Police! Put your hands up.
Put them up! He's barely out of surgery.
He may have been walking around feeling fine, but he lost a lot of blood internally.
Did you send the bullet to ballistics? Yes, yes.
Just like you asked.
His personal effects.
Henry Harp.
Home address, two blocks from where the getaway car was stolen.
He's got priors for armed robbery, and in his jacket pocket, $612 in traveling money.
It's really too soon to talk to him.
Where's Mitchell Titus, Henry? Who? The guy whose cab you grabbed.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Okay, then, tell us about the bullet.
What bullet? The bullet Dr.
Chang just dug out of your armpit.
I was shot? Well, what do you think you're doing here? I thought I was sick.
Didn't feel very good.
You didn't know you were shot? I felt something when I walked into the bus station.
I thought I pulled a muscle.
So you went out and bought a new shirt because you were bleeding from a pulled muscle? I didn't buy any shirt.
It must've been a stray bullet.
Eight million people in New York City, and a stray bullet happens to hit a convicted armed robber who's on his way out of town with a pocket full of cash, and it doesn't even make a hole in his shirt.
Where's your partner, Henry? What partner? I won that money in a card game.
Where? With who? Ask my lawyer.
I want a lawyer.
Lieutenant, guess what? He wants a lawyer.
He's gonna need one.
I talked to ballistics.
The bullet they pulled out of this guy must've been a ricochet.
It's all smashed up.
No way to match it to anyone's gun or the crime.
So what's he need a lawyer for? Sue the doctor for malpractice? Mrs.
Titus has called me every hour.
There's no sign of her husband or his car.
This guy would know.
We don't even have enough to arrest.
He didn't read the ballistics report.
That bullet you got in you came from the dead officer's gun, Henry.
You killed a cop.
Or your partner did.
Either way, it hangs on you.
I've advised my client to exercise his right not to speak.
Okay, so the floor is mine.
Henry, you know what happens to a cop killer? They strap you down.
They stick a needle in your arm.
It doesn't feel like a pulled muscle.
It's not murder one unless he knew it was a police officer.
I'm speaking hypothetically.
We've got witnesses who say the police officer identified himself.
He's still not talking, but you all are.
I think you're trying to say something.
Where's Mitchell Titus? I want to talk to her.
Witnesses who heard him identify himself? I think maybe I heard it.
We need a D.
A.
Down here.
First of all, even if he took part in the robbery, he is not the one who shot Officer Schaeffer.
His accomplice did.
You got me down here for an "even if"? No, for a deal.
Mr.
Harp might be prepared to tell you where to find Mitchell Titus.
Alive or dead? The last he saw him, he was alive.
He'd seen the faces of Mr.
Harp and his accomplice.
They tied him up to give themselves time to get out of town.
You did find Mr.
Harp at the bus station.
What was he gonna do, call us from Detroit and tell us where to find the cabbie? Yeah.
Who's his accomplice? Anything you want to know, Ms.
Ross, as soon as you sign this.
"This contract is to put down in writing the agreement between "the District Attorney's Office and Henry H.
Harp"? He dictated it to me.
"In exchange for information about the location of Mitchell Titus, "Henry H.
Harp will plead guilty to manslaughter "for all crimes related to the incidents at Red Star Liquor Store "and be sentenced to no more than 10 years in jail if Mitchell Titus is found alive.
"If found dead" Fifteen years.
Fifteen years for killing a police officer? You want to find that cabbie before he croaks? It's in your best interest that we do.
Mine? I'm in a hospital.
It's that driver that doesn't have the pretty nurses to take care of him.
Yeah, because he's dead.
Do we need him in here? No, you just need this lying sack of Detective.
Counselor, can we talk? Keep it under control.
Fine.
Mitchell Titus is dead.
We can't just assume that.
Why not? We assume the sun is gonna come up tomorrow morning, right? Same odds.
This has to go to McCoy.
Then so do we.
This is your night to catch major cases.
This is a bad one, Jack.
"Fifteen years if found dead.
" You'd make a very sympathetic judge.
He says he left Titus alive but looking unhealthy.
He's a robber and a murderer and a liar.
Detective Briscoe wants to make sure you understand his position.
And mine.
What do you think, Lieutenant? We don't know that Mitchell Titus is dead.
With all due respect, Lieutenant, maybe you spent a little too much time talking to Mrs.
Titus.
And maybe you didn't spend enough.
If we don't make the deal and her husband dies in the meantime, we don't look very good, do we? You're worried about publicity? We haven't even had time to look for this guy.
How many hours ago was Titus snatched? Fourteen.
Just after noon.
always conducive to wisdom.
Jamie? I think the driver's probably dead.
Probably.
This guy killed a cop.
I know.
We'll make the deal.
At noon.
You have 10 hours.
Cut a deal with a cop killer? They think that's gonna play in the tabloids? Lawyers' games, Rey.
They cover their ass and run both ends against the middle.
And make us play against the clock.
So you think Henry really stashed his hostage in his own apartment? You got a better place to start? Hey, you guys know what time it is? Yeah.
Open the door.
What did he do? Robbed a liquor store with one of his friends.
What friends? When's the last time you saw him? He owes three months rent.
He makes sure I don't see him.
Either he doesn't stay here, or he doesn't drink his milk.
I'll tell you what.
You see anybody come in here or go out, call this number.
We'll let ourselves out.
He did city time on a robbery plea three years ago.
There's gotta be some kind of probation report.
Jobs, family, associates.
Be nice to get a hold of that, but it's confidential by law.
In this case, I'll make an exception.
There's no windows in here, right? Right.
The 93's are down there on the left.
They can can my ass for this, Lennie.
Hey, it's God's work, Stan.
You gonna explain this to Carol when they take away my pension? Indictment 1-1-6-2, right? Yeah.
There we go.
There's an address for his job and for his mother.
Forget his job.
He can't make the rent.
Good morning, America.
What? Who is it? Police.
Open up.
You got ID? Yeah.
Open the door.
Down on the floor! Put the gun down! Lie down! You got a permit for this? I didn't know you were cops.
Dennis? Dennis? It's my mother.
What are you doing? We're detectives, ma'am.
We need some information about your other son, Henry.
Has he been staying here? Don't say anything, Ma.
Hey, you want to get taken in for illegal possession? What, in my own house? It's a misdemeanor.
Some kind of lawyer here, Lennie.
Hey, why don't you take him outside? Show him how much we like lawyers tonight, huh? Where are you taking him? No, Henry hasn't been staying here.
Then where? Look, we got this boy for possession of a loaded weapon.
He protects me when I'm doing my shopping.
This is a bad block.
Oh, he takes the gun outside? That's a Class A felony, seven years.
Because of what I said? Don't tell them anything! Just tell us where Henry stays, and we can forget about where we found the gun.
He has a son, with a Cuban girl.
She lives on Amsterdam.
I should've known.
Yeah, maybe you should've.
He's been helping manage Ricky's Little League team, you know, like a normal human being.
Ricky, go back to bed.
But it's morning.
Did I ask you what time it was? So, you saw Henry yesterday? He called, in the afternoon.
He said he needed to borrow my car to pick up some equipment for the team.
He called? He has a key.
He wanted to know where I had parked it.
I work for a catering service.
I had to be at some lady's house in Westchester by 4:00.
He swore he'd have it back in 20 minutes.
So you haven't seen him or the car since then, huh? No.
He was back in 20 minutes.
He knew I'd kill him if he wasn't.
Where's the car now? Anything? No Mitchell Titus.
I had some trays in here.
Yeah, they're in the back seat.
We're gonna have to call in a forensics team and have them go over this car.
I gotta get to a job in an hour.
Not in this car, you're not.
I could get fired.
Maybe we can voucher you a taxi.
Listen, Henry was with somebody at the liquor store yesterday.
Short, and he had a gun.
Henry's been hanging out with some guy named Novak.
Short and stupid.
I'm going back to Westchester.
Do it.
One, two Police! Clear.
Nobody.
All right, we're still waiting for a warrant, so don't open any drawers not big enough to hold a hostage.
No messages.
Lennie.
Nine millimeter.
Same as the slug they dug out of Officer Schaeffer.
There's no sign of Titus or Novak, but Henry borrowed his girlfriend's car and cleared out the trunk, like he needed room to put something in the trunk.
Like Mitchell Titus.
Yeah.
But Henry only had the car for 20 minutes, so Titus has got to be in the neighborhood somewhere.
We got 50 guys out looking.
It's almost 11:00.
Hey, go easy, all right? We're close.
Look, how about giving us till the end of the day? No promises.
Keep me posted.
She's still waiting.
You have to see her.
She said you're in charge.
I got a telephone call from a lady who said she was the lawyer for a man named Henry Harp.
He's a suspect in your husband's disappearance, Mrs.
Titus.
The police running the investigation feel they're getting very close to your husband.
That lawyer said you could have my Mitchell now.
You could've had him last night.
Her client murdered a police officer.
There's no reason to believe that anything he says is true.
It might be true.
My husband might be alive, tied up somewhere wondering why nobody's coming to help him.
We're doing everything we can to find him.
You already got the criminal.
He's going to jail no matter what.
That policeman's already dead.
Nothing can help him.
Mrs.
Titus, we understand how hard this is for you.
What if it were your husband? Or your wife? What are you people here for? Just got off the phone with the Daily News.
I got messages from two other newspapers and six television stations.
I guess Henry Harp's lawyers have been working the phones.
Ruth Titus is gonna be all over the 6:00 news telling the world we don't care if her husband lives or dies.
It looks like Henry Harp moved Mitchell Titus in the trunk of a borrowed car.
If we make a deal with Harp and he hands us a dead body At least we tried.
The police want a little more time.
They think Titus was dumped near Harp's girlfriend's apartment.
You gave them till noon.
It's 12:15.
The police just found Mitchell Titus' car.
Give me some good news.
Titus's car.
Empty? Harp must've transferred Mitchell Titus from this to his girlfriend's car.
If your theory is correct.
Well, our main theory is still that Titus is dead.
Here.
Now, this looks like blood.
It could be Henry Harp's.
We know he was in this car.
We know he was bleeding.
And we know his blood type and Titus' A sample of the stain is on its way over to the lab right now.
That'll take hours.
It's over.
Don't we need a notary? No, I'm a witness.
Where is he? So it's all set? Yeah, you can tell 'em, Henry.
We were all shaken up by the shooting at the store.
The whole time we were watching it there was nobody there.
It should've been easy.
We? Me and Novak.
Idiot's probably in Texas by now.
Panics because one damn customer walks in.
There was no one else around.
Where is he? Avenue A.
There's a boarded up building there.
I don't get it, Lennie.
There's no way he got here from his girlfriend's apartment in 10 minutes.
Maybe he really did go to get baseball equipment.
Yeah, on the run? Bleeding? Hey, some people really love the game.
Got him.
Clear for EMS.
He's over here.
Tell them to finish their smokes.
This one's a job for the morgue.
Looks like he's not in rigor.
Man, if he died just like an hour ago while we were chasing our tails Wait.
What if he was in rigor, and now he's coming out of it? They start to go out after 24 hours.
If he's been dead this whole time Yeah.
We'll have to autopsy, but he took a blow to the head that could easily be the cause of death.
When do you think it happened? Body's cold.
I've got hatched maggots in the mouth and nose.
Rigor's easing up.
Twenty-four hours? At least.
Congratulations, McCoy.
You just bought the Brooklyn Bridge from a double murderer.
We don't have to honor the deal.
It's simple contract law.
Contract law.
We were coerced.
An agreement made with a gun to your head or Mitchell Titus's head is not enforceable.
Well, coercion is the least of it.
Titus was dead before Henry Harp started talking to us, and Henry Harp knew it.
It was my call, not on you.
I signed the agreement.
Well, she's right.
It's worthless.
Fine.
Let's throw it out.
But shouldn't we think about what happens the next time somebody's got a hostage and wants to make a deal with the D.
A.
They might not think there's any point.
You're worried about your reputation among criminals? We make promises here every day and we honor them.
Sometimes they save lives.
I can't believe you want to go through with it.
I don't want to.
Then don't.
Let the record reflect that this arraignment is taking place in the hospital room of Henry Harp, owing to Mr.
Harp's physical incapacity.
Do you waive the reading of the rights and charges? Yes, Judge.
We've made an arrangement with the District Attorney.
The People serve notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
What? I gather the death penalty wasn't part of your arrangement? We have a written plea agreement for first degree manslaughter.
The complaint charges murder in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, robbery in the first degree.
This is outrageous.
Mr.
McCoy signed the agreement himself.
That's very interesting, Ms.
Bell, but not my department.
Now, the complaint meets statutory requirements.
Enter a plea of not guilty.
So he's arraigned.
What happened? Somebody put iron in your Cheerios this morning? Oh, you're talking to me again? Hey, you do things our way, we'll talk all you want.
That was the easy part.
Be nice if we had some evidence to make the charges stick.
Didn't he give you a statement? Yeah.
And we gave him a deal.
Have you come up with any other evidence? We'll do the best we can.
Fine.
Then we'll talk again.
Number Four.
"Move your damn truck and I'll park somewhere else.
" Number Five.
"Move your damn truck and I'll park somewhere else.
" Maybe.
Go ahead, Number Six.
"Move your damn truck and I'll park somewhere else.
" I don't know, Three or Five.
Do you want to hear them again? For the third time? It could be Six.
I'm going to put this down as a "Not Identified.
" Thank you, Mr.
Corcoran.
Sorry.
You want to try a visual line-up with your other witnesses? They said they didn't see anything.
Try anyway.
You want to take him with you now? We're busy.
We just want him to look at some people in a line-up.
There's no point.
I never saw the guy in the car.
Humor us, okay? We'll be back in an hour.
I'm supposed to pay him for an hour? I've already lost 1,200 bucks from the hold-up.
This might help you get some of it back.
And if Mr.
Genius there did what he was supposed to, I wouldn't have lost anything to begin with.
When the register's that full, the cash goes in a box in the back room.
I told you, I didn't have a chance.
It was non-stop customers in here that day.
Mr.
Oakley, pay him or not, he's coming with us.
I told you, I never saw the guy.
I don't care.
Hey, what's that for? For the money you stole from that box in the back room.
What are you talking about? We got one of the robbers, Marvin.
He told us they watched this place before they robbed it.
There weren't customers coming in and out.
There weren't any customers.
After the robbery, you stroll into the back room, pocket what's there, and you tell your jerk boss the robbers took it.
No.
You know what kind of trouble you're in? By taking that money, you just made yourself part of the robbery and the two murders that went with it.
Come on.
It's felony murder.
And do you know what? It's the law.
Now, you tell us what happened, and you pay back your boss, and maybe we let it go.
I already spent some of it.
How much did you take? About $600.
We got the final M.
E.
Report, too.
Mitchell Titus was whacked on the head right after they grabbed his car.
That's what killed him.
Can we link it to Harp? The only hard evidence we have against him is his own statement.
And I assume the police are pursuing the matter diligently? Their line-ups keep coming up empty.
Nobody can find Earl Novak, Harp's accomplice.
Harp said he was headed to Texas.
The grand jury indicted Henry Harp the way we wanted, murder one.
I know.
Bell just dropped off her motion to dismiss.
She was just waiting for the indictment number to stick in the heading.
When we caught Henry Harp, he had $600 on him.
Now, we assumed that was half the loot, that his accomplice had the other half.
But it was all the loot.
Why would the accomplice go off empty-handed? You don't think he was just being generous? Well, we were pretty damn sure Harp moved a body in his girlfriend's car until we found Mitchell Titus' body in the wrong part of town.
Maybe we were looking for the wrong body.
Well, you went through the girlfriend's neighborhood with half the force, and you didn't find anybody.
We only had four hours.
I say we look some more.
Yeah, we never did check out his kid's Little League field.
There's a lot of good dump spots around there.
Go.
And this is the basis of your motion? It's a contract, Judge, entered into between the defendant and Mr.
McCoy.
Most plea agreements aren't even put in writing.
When I signed that paper, Mr.
Harp held out the hope that Mitchell Titus was still alive, which he knew to be false.
Look at the language.
It deals with the possibility that Titus was dead.
Is Mr.
McCoy claiming he didn't read it? He couldn't have been aware that Mr.
Harp murdered Mr.
Titus.
Why not? He already knew that Mr.
Harp was involved in the murder of Officer Schaeffer.
He knew who he was dealing with.
A killer turned extortionist.
So you didn't have to sign, but you did.
A remarkable set of facts.
I'm sure the law is just as interesting.
I'll hear arguments at 3:00 this afternoon.
Hope that gives you enough time.
I was too slow for a shortstop, but I always wanted to be a shortstop.
You know, you could easily swing up the West Side Highway, pull off onto the shoulder and drive your car right up here.
It's a dumper's paradise.
The river.
The highway.
The storage sheds.
Detectives! Over here! Behind the shopping cart.
It looks like Earl Novak.
Bad career move, pal, going into business with Henry Harp.
In re Schrotenboer is directly on point, Your Honor.
The Court of Appeals ruled that a negotiated agreement of immunity was unenforceable when it was made in exchange for the return of unlawfully taken children.
That was a child custody matter.
So what the court said applies even more forcefully in a murder case.
And I quote, "Mandating the enforcement of an agreement exacted in these circumstances "is a perversion, not a requirement of public policy.
" I must say, Ms.
Bell, that that appears to be dispositive.
The element of coercion is stronger and more heinous here.
I respectfully disagree, Your Honor.
But if you find for the People in this matter, I expect you to suppress as well the statement Mr.
Harp made after the contract was signed.
Mr.
Harp confessed to the robbery fully and freely.
In the expectation that he was getting something for it.
If the District Attorney reneges on the agreement, he can't be allowed to benefit from a statement he gained by making the agreement.
The agreement was invalid on its face.
Mr.
Harp knew he was extorting.
But he thought it would be honored.
He wasn't familiar with In re Schrotenboer.
Mr.
McCoy, this statement, is it the meat of your case? It's important, Your Honor.
Well, then, I'll be sporting here and give you the choice.
You can honor the deal, keep the statement.
You can junk the deal, lose the statement with it.
May I have a moment, Your Honor? Quickly, Mr.
McCoy.
All I have is the statement.
You got anything else? You're gonna want to kiss us.
We found Earl Novak.
Is he talking? He's dead.
We found him at the Don't tell me.
Don't tell me.
Riverside Park.
I've made my decision, Your Honor.
We're listening.
The People withdraw their opposition to the motion to dismiss.
We will honor our contract with Mr.
Harp.
What the hell was that? A bird in the hand, Detective.
Henry Harp goes away for 15 years.
For killing three people? I only know of two.
Officer Schaeffer and Mitchell Titus.
We just told you we found the body of Earl Novak, Harp's accomplice.
Really? I wonder if Henry Harp killed him.
I don't.
We found the body where Harp was driving around, in a spot that Harp knew, and Harp had Novak's share of the robbery proceeds in his pocket.
You have any witnesses putting Harp and Novak together the day of the murder? No.
I do.
Henry Harp.
Because I took his deal, I get to keep his statement about robbing that store with Earl Novak.
And I can use it in a future proceeding.
For example, a prosecution for the murder of Earl Novak.
So he walks for killing a cop, but you nail him for killing the cop killer? An irony he gets to reflect upon over the next 40 years in Attica.
You're moving to dismiss the indictment against Henry Harp for the murder of Earl Novak? This matter was disposed of.
The District Attorney accepted a plea arrangement in front of Judge Santos.
There was no mention of the murder of Earl Novak in any part of that negotiation.
The contract said, "All crimes related to the incidents at Red Star Liquor Store.
" As far as we know, the murder of Mr.
Novak took place hours afterward, miles from the store.
Now, I'm aware of the history of your contract, Ms.
Bell.
I'm not inclined to interpret it in Mr.
Harp's favor.
Then forget the contract.
The Criminal Procedure Law says related offenses must be prosecuted simultaneously.
You can't convict Mr.
Harp of one part of a crime, and then go back and charge him with another part.
That would be an open invitation to abuse and harassment.
These circumstances are extraordinary.
Enforcing that prohibition would be against the interests of justice.
I'm not aware the legislature has passed an amendment saying that the law doesn't apply if Jack McCoy doesn't like it.
The law does say that subsequent prosecutions are allowed if the crimes charged are not part of the same criminal transaction.
But these are.
Look at the definition of "criminal transaction.
" "Two offenses closely linked in time and circumstance" Hours apart, miles away.
"or closely related in criminal purpose.
" Robbing a liquor store.
Killing a friend.
Where's the connection? Give us a hearing, Your Honor.
Mr.
Harp will explain.
I needed $800 to pay my girlfriend's rent.
She was really on my case.
So you decided to get it? Yeah.
I figured a liquor store was a good place to look.
And I knew that Novak was wacky enough to go in there with a gun.
Tell us what happened that day.
I picked up Novak.
We stole a car, looked for a liquor store.
Then he went in and the shooting started.
And after that? Then it all went crazy.
We grabbed the cab and dumped the driver.
We weren't sure who'd seen us, so we ditched the cab and I borrowed my girlfriend's car.
Why? Well, I told Novak we'd use it to get out of town.
Is that what you were planning to use it for? No way.
If I hadn't gotten it back on time, my girlfriend would've reported it stolen.
She's a hard lady.
What did you borrow it for? To dump Novak after I killed him.
Why did you want to kill Mr.
Novak? The take from the liquor store was less than a grand.
I couldn't split it, he wouldn't give me his half.
So your objective that day was to steal $800? Well, that's what I needed.
And for that purpose, you robbed a liquor store and then murdered Earl Novak? Yeah.
Thank you.
Mr.
Harp, you've already admitted you're a murderer.
Isn't it possible you're a liar as well? Not about this.
Why would I? To avoid prosecution for the murder of Earl Novak.
You don't believe me, ask my girlfriend.
She needed the rent.
Ask the landlord.
I told him I'd get it.
He confessed to a murder to avoid being prosecuted for a murder.
I'm putting this one in my memoirs.
I talked to the girlfriend and the landlord.
They confirmed his story.
So the murder of the accomplice is part of the same criminal transaction as the robbery, and that case is closed, and that's terrific.
There is another exception to the joinder requirement.
If I didn't know he murdered his accomplice before I took the plea bargain, I can still go ahead.
But everybody saw the cops come into the courtroom and talk to you right before you took the deal.
Everybody didn't hear what they said to me.
Be careful.
He confessed to it, and that means we can't touch him? Maybe.
I want to go to law school.
Learn how to turn gold into lead.
There is a logic to it.
This whole thing's been screwed up since day one, thanks to you guys.
I can nail Harp for the murder if I can prove I didn't know he did it until after I took the plea bargain.
We'll have to testify.
But we told you.
What exactly did you tell me, Detective? Okay.
That's why you wanted us to shut up.
'Cause you knew it might come to this.
I went to law school.
I won't commit perjury.
Not even to nail a cop killer? Come on.
He wants us to put our asses on the line just to pull his out of the fire? No one's asking you to commit perjury.
Just tell me where to show up.
I spoke to Detectives Briscoe and Curtis in the courtroom for less than a minute.
And what did they tell you? That they'd found Earl Novak, and that he was dead.
How did you react? I was disappointed.
I had hoped Mr.
Novak might be a witness against Mr.
Harp.
When I heard he was dead, that possibility went away, so I accepted the plea bargain.
At the time, did you have reason to believe that Mr.
Harp had murdered Mr.
Novak? I didn't even know that he had been murdered.
I only knew that he was dead.
No more questions.
What did you think, Mr.
McCoy? That he had died of old age? I didn't know what he died of.
Really? When violent criminals die right after committing crimes with violent associates what do they usually die of? Objection.
Sustained.
How many years have you been a prosecutor? Twenty-two.
How many cases have you worked where criminals murdered their accomplices? Several.
What did the detectives tell you beside the fact that Novak was dead? I believe Detective Curtis said his body had been found in Riverside Park.
Near where you'd been looking for another victim of Henry Harp.
I believe so.
And you are telling us with a straight face that you drew no conclusions from what the detectives told you? For all I knew, Mr.
Novak fell off a rock into the river.
We told Mr.
McCoy he was dead, that's all.
Did you mention that he was shot? No.
Did you mention Henry Harp? No.
Thank you.
Detective Briscoe, didn't somebody also mention Riverside Park? Yeah, Riverside Park.
And what else? Nothing else.
That was it.
Nothing further.
Ms.
Ross, do you have any more witnesses? No, Your Honor.
Ms.
Bell? Yes, Your Honor.
Since the People haven't seen fit to call Detective Curtis, I will.
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do.
Detective Curtis, we've already heard testimony in this matter from Detective Briscoe and Mr.
McCoy, and it's been remarkably consistent.
Do you have any idea why that might be? Because it's the truth.
That's one theory.
Can you think of anything else? Like what? Did Mr.
McCoy discuss this hearing with you and your partner? Yes.
What did he tell you? That we'd have to testify about what we told him.
Did he ask you to forget anything you had told him? No.
So you are telling me, you are all telling me, that two experienced homicide detectives rushed into court to tell Mr.
McCoy about a man who'd been murdered and never mentioned that he'd been murdered? We told him right after.
He was right in the middle of a hearing.
Why not right away? Did you forget? Are you that sloppy? Objection.
Sustained.
Why didn't you tell him the most important thing, Detective Curtis? We might have thought it was understood.
Understood.
Because that is the logical inference for an experienced prosecutor to draw.
For a detective, yes.
For a prosecutor, I don't know.
In my experience, sometimes they're not too bright.
There is a whiff of implausibility.
There are some open questions.
But in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I will accept the word of two police detectives and an officer of this court.
The motion to dismiss the indictment against Henry Harp for the murder of Earl Novak is denied.
The People may proceed with the prosecution.
"Whiff of implausibility.
" That's being polite.
We whiffed.
He reeked.
He's not a model citizen.
I guess that's enough to make the Judge wink.
I just didn't expect you to sink to his level.
Gee.
Jamie, how many people did I kill last week? Hey.
Earl killed the cop and Earl killed the driver.
I did you a favor by taking care of him.
We can work out another deal, Jack.
Save you the cost of a trial.
He does hard time in a maximum security prison until hell freezes over.
How's that for a deal? What if I'd testified you told us to shut up? It would've hurt.
Yeah.
Well, at least you got to dodge the question by calling me an idiot.
Yeah, that helped.