Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Possession

NARRATOR: 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.
Once she checks out, you sign and date the certificate, and then slide it back into the housing.
Hey, this guy T.
D'Alesandro signed this The Cal Ripken of elevator inspectors.
They put him out to pasture in '97.
She looks okay.
Yeah, uh, she don't.
Elevator inspectors found her first thing this morning, but CSU thinks she's been laying out here since last night.
Homeless woman? No, Virginia Boone.
That's her apartment.
Her keys are on the floor I guess she was on her way in.
Robbery? Nah.
Her purse is still in the cart.
So the guy sees the Barneys bags, figures she's loaded, and follows her in.
ED: I don't know about loaded.
These bags look like they've been around the block a couple times.
There's a three-month old New Republic, a Minnie Riperton eight-track, used tape dispenser.
These bags are full of this junk.
Looks like some kind of knife attack.
There's defensive wounds on her hands, big damages to the chest.
I'll tell you this, the way she's dressed, she wasn't shopping on this street.
Yeah.
Still, nice neighborhood like this, they could at least cover her with a duvet.
BRISCOE: You been a super here long? Years.
ED: How many? I don't know, really.
Years.
My grandmother had an apartment like this.
Only it was on Delancey, not Madison.
This is the penthouse.
Yeah, obviously.
Too bad she kept it like this.
HAVEL: Yes, it was a shame.
But she had her own way of doing things.
So, you knew her pretty well? No, not well.
There any relatives we can get in contact with? There was a son.
He lives in Europe somewhere.
Did you hear anything last night, Mr.
Havel? I live downstairs.
Well, thanks for letting us in.
Uh, we'll be in touch.
You got something on your mind? She didn't like anyone going through her things.
Well, we're not just anyone.
And, uh, I doubt if she'd mind much now.
Have a good day.
Charming gentlemen.
Nothing yet on the canvas, but the lady who owns the shop downstairs just opened up.
Thanks.
I just can't fathom it.
Virginia's lived in the building since 1969, I think.
Do you have much contact with the tenants upstairs? I own the building.
I live on the fourth floor.
BRISCOE: What time did you get home last night? I stayed in the shop to finish some bridesmaids dresses that had to be ready for the weekend.
I didn't leave here until about 9:00.
You both were here, also? They work for me.
Did you see anybody unusual go into the building, or hear anything from up there? TAYLOR: No, I didn't.
How about you ladies? Did you hear anything? FONG: No.
Can you think of any reason why someone would hurt Miss Boone? I thought it was a mugging.
Maybe.
Sometimes Virginia would forget to make sure that the front door was locked.
I told her about it a thousand times.
The cleaning man, maybe he hear something.
ED: Does he work late? Sometimes.
BRISCOE: Where can we find him? Roberto takes care of some of the other buildings in the neighborhood.
(MACHINE WHIRRING) Mr.
Ramos.
Mr.
Ramos! Can you tell us where you were last night, sir? Working.
Where? Uh, 832 Madison.
Until what time? Uh, I leave around 8:30.
Do you have a key to the place? Yes.
Miss Taylor, she give it to me.
Did something happen in the building? A woman was killed.
A Virginia Boone.
You know her? I don't know who lives there I'm just the janitor.
ED: Well, did you see anybody hanging around the building yesterday? I mean, somebody that didn't belong? I think I see a man waiting outside when I was leaving.
Well, what did he look like? I mean, was he black, white, young, old? White, not so old.
That's all I remember.
BRISCOE: What as he wearing? I don't remember.
Well, if you do, give us a call, huh? The M.
E.
puts time of death between 8:30 and 10:30.
Well, it's a little strange that no one found her until the next morning.
Ain't the only thing that's a little strange over there.
Yeah, the super's straight out of the Addams Family, and the lady who owns the place has a very pronounced pole up her ass.
And I'm sure that the two of you were on your best behavior.
There's no sign of breaking into the building, and the vic still had her purse.
The money was inside.
So, maybe it's personal.
Is she married? BRISCOE: Well, the super remembers a son, but he's living in Europe someplace.
Anything turn up in our canvass? Nobody answers in her building yet.
People on the block remember seeing her taking her cart full of junk into the building, but other than that, she pretty much stayed to herself, didn't even own a TV set.
Hmm.
Imagine that.
Is she retired, or living on an inheritance? We checked the city tax records.
She was a school cafeteria worker for 31 years.
So, a lady in hairnets, dishing out meatloaf and canned peaches by day, and living in an Upper East Side penthouse by night? ED: Yeah.
The place was a dump.
Well, a dump on Madison's six grand a month.
Well, she's been living there for a long time, so maybe the apartment was rent-controlled.
You up for some meatloaf and canned peaches? You didn't wanna get in her bad side, I can tell you that.
Hmm! She caught a kid cutting the line, she'd come from behind the counter and lay into him.
We were given the impression she was the quiet type.
Virginia? She had a lot of righteous anger in her, that one.
I admired her for it, especially at her age.
She took everything so personally.
She'd get a rent increase for $10 and she'd go off about capitalist bloodsuckers and whatnot.
(LAUGHING) We used to laugh, but then I would say, "Virginia, relax.
You're gonna give yourself a stroke.
" And it's not like she couldn't afford it.
What? She had money? Oh, yeah.
She used to lend me a few bucks whenever I was short.
It was more than a few bucks.
Remember that man in her building? What man? Uh, her janitor, told Virginia how he's working three jobs to support his kids.
So, one day she says to me, "I've got some money.
I'm gonna give him $5,000.
" As far as I know, she did.
Thank you, ladies.
$5,000, and this janitor can't remember who lives in the apartment? It's a ritzy neighborhood, but I don't think his Christmas tips are that good.
(EXHALES) Time of death was between 8:30 and 10:30.
He said he worked until 8:30, and he has a key to the place.
Yeah, which would explain why he might steer us to some "not so old white guy" he can't remember.
Something tells me he's not gonna give us that call.
Why don't we pay him a little surprise visit? Where's your husband, Mrs.
Ramos? At his job.
We just came from his job.
They said he had to rush home for a family emergency.
Was there some sort of emergency here, Mrs.
Ramos? What do you want? Where is he, Mrs.
Ramos? He's no here.
When will he be back? I don't know.
He ran away, didn't he? No, he ED: Did he say anything about Virginia Boone? Miss Virginia is very, very kind.
In this house she is a saint.
Well, now, it's official, because somebody killed her.
(EXCLAIMING IN SPANISH) Mrs.
Ramos, if you know where your husband is, would you please give him a call and tell him that avoiding the police is only gonna make things worse.
She'll call him within the next five minutes.
Yeah.
We get Cordova working on the IUDs, we'll have an address by the end of the day.
MAN: Yeah? It's Lennie.
Lennie? Yeah, Lennie.
Open up.
Detective Lennie.
Hey, you can't just come in here like that.
Where's Roberto? Who? All right.
Easy, pal.
No problem! No problem! What's the knife for? Uh, for my job.
I have to break down a lot of boxes for the recycling.
There could be a little dried blood in the hinge.
Yeah, from the recycling.
Why'd you run from us, Roberto? L 901 no papers.
We're not looking to deport you, man.
We're just trying to help out a friend of yours.
What friend? Virginia Boone.
Why'd you tell us you didn't know her? Miss Taylor, she tell me I don't talk to the tenants.
You didn't have to talk to her to stick a knife in her ribs.
I have nothing to do with that! Then maybe you can explain where you were she was killed.
I walk home from work that night.
ED: Did anybody see you? I don't know.
So what happened, Roberto? Miss Virginia was very good to me and my family.
Very generous.
Then do the right thing by her, man.
Tell us what happened.
I mean, were you holding her up for more money? Miss Virginia, she gave to me the money.
I told her it was too much, but she say, "Please, Roberto, you must take it.
I have very much more.
" And then, you stuck a knife in her because she wouldn't make another donation.
I did not kill this woman! I cry for her.
We got your knife, pal.
Now, you may think you washed all the blood off it, but trust me, we're gonna find it.
Negative.
You got skunked.
So what's the brow stuff in the hinge? Your murderer used it to cut a chocolate bar.
Maybe a brownie.
The guy's a janitor.
Would ammonia or bleach get rid of the blood? Look, give it up, guys.
That knife is not your murder weapon.
It's hard to tell anything from these defensive wounds on her hands.
But the fatal wound in her chest is pretty ragged.
And? Well, the weapon that inflicted it is at least four-inches long, like your chocoholic's, but it's thicker than a knife blade, maybe a quarter of an inch.
And blunter.
So, what are you thinking? Gardening tool, pair of scissors.
Lennie.
Thanks.
Excuse me.
Would you mind if I looked at those for a minute? Thanks.
Quarter of an inch thick, blunt end.
What do you call these? Pinking shear.
I'm not gonna ask what pinking is.
You wouldn't happen to know if any of those are missing, would you? You have to ask Miss Taylor.
Where can we find her? Upstairs.
It's kind of weird here.
Sure is quiet.
Yeah, it's quiet, there's no trash cans, there's no newspapers, no doormats, no mail.
You hear that echo? Yeah, it sounds empty.
Huh.
They're all empty.
Good thing.
I don't think I could stand meeting many more of the tenants in this place.
That lady must sell a lot of dresses.
Miss Taylor! Oh! You scared me.
BRISCOE: What are you doing in the victim's apartment? She owed me rent.
So, what? You're scavenging for loose change? Nine months' rent.
So, you sneak into a dead woman's apartment? How else was I gonna collect what was owed to me? What makes you think she had money here? She had money somewhere.
She just liked to string me along.
You might've told us she was in debt to you the first time we talked.
I did not kill her, if that's where your suspicious police mind is going.
If you don't want to arouse suspicion, you shouldn't be breaking into your tenants' apartments.
And besides, a proper lady like yourself, it really doesn't become you.
I thought you liked the janitor.
Nice, no arrests, married, steady worker.
Virginia Boone gave him $5,000, so there's no real motive, and the knife don't fit.
Well, another thing that doesn't fit is where a cafeteria worker came up with five grand.
Some kind of socialist redistribution program.
She was stiffing the landlady for the rent, and giving it to the downtrodden.
The landlady seemed to think she had some cash stashed in her apartment.
Well, could this all be a rent dispute? Sounds a little run of the mill for these flakes.
Taylor never told us that Boone owed her money the first time we talked to her.
Well, how much rent are we talking about? Well, she says nine months.
But I don't think we can get a straight answer out of this lady.
Hey, there's a big difference if the place was rent-controlled, or if she was paying the going rate.
Well, you know, if money is the motive, it'd be nice to know how much.
All right? (PHONE RINGING) it's a six-story pre-war, 12 units.
Owned by Calera Corporation.
Is there a tenant named Virginia Boone in your books? Virginia Boone.
She's occupied Apartment 6A since 1969.
That means that she's covered by rent control, 'cause '70 is the cutoff.
So, what did she pay? Whoa, baby, Damn.
Maybe I'm her long-lost nephew.
What's full market for a three bedroom in that neighborhood? Six, eight thousand, depending on size and condition.
So, Virginia Boone was costing her We noticed a lot of vacant apartments in that building.
According to our records, it's fully occupied.
Yeah, by a family of mice.
So, why the discrepancy? Probably warehousing.
Clearing a building of tenants so the sale would go more easily.
And if Boone was the only tenant, and the landlady wanted to sell Tenants sometimes get paid off to vacate.
An owner willing to fork over a chunk of change usually gets her way.
Unless the tenant was stringing her along.
Now, would a transaction like this be handled face to face? Owners usually have a managing agent, and they handle the negotiation.
If this information's up to date, the agent is First Class Realty.
I'm the building manager and all-around troubleshooter.
Not much trouble managing a building with virtually no tenants.
You obviously haven't met Miss Taylor.
Actually, we have.
I've been working for her for 12 years.
Helping her warehouse apartments.
I told her I don't want to know anything about that.
I basically just help her out with the insurance, code inspections, litigation What kind of litigation? Evictions, mostly.
Because Miss Taylor was forcing tenants out, so she could sell the building? No.
These were a few years back, for non-payment.
So, you never personally handled any negotiations between your client and Virginia Boone? No.
ED: What's the building worth, Mr.
Braden? Now that there's no impediment to sale, maybe 10 million.
The last impediment being Virginia Boone? Was there any bad blood between them? Seemed like every other month Martha was over at Housing Court taking care of some frivolous complaint the Boone woman dreamed up.
What's frivolous when you're paying $300 a month might not be so frivolous when you're paying 6,000.
I'm not following you, Detective.
I'm just saying that maybe Taylor was pushing this woman out of the building by degree.
I wouldn't know.
She handled the Boone woman personally.
We're Detectives Briscoe and Green, we called about Copy machine's over there.
Gotta be 100 pages here.
Better get a roll of quarters.
Hey, restraining orders going back to 1974.
"Landlord complains that tenant harassed her "by leaving a stale cake and used tea bags outside her door.
" Oh, send in the SWAT team.
"Tenant alleges that landlord illegally enters her apartment "and takes personal items including, but not limited to, "lingerie, scotch bottles, and feminine hygiene products.
" It's fascinating reading, but it's not gonna get us a warrant.
"Tenant claims landlord pushed her down a flight of stairs.
" When was this? Two weeks ago.
It goes on "Landlord has engaged in a 30-year campaign to get rid of me.
" Hmm.
Aubergine's a bit desperate for springtime, darling, but whatever you think.
Now what? Now, we get to rummage through your underwear.
Is it about that poor tenant of yours? Libby, please.
We'll start by gathering up your pinking shears.
How am I supposed to run my business? Oh, and, uh, after we take a look around here, we're gonna need to get into your apartment.
This is outrageous! I know.
But still A lot classier wardrobe than Virginia Boone's.
What? No Salvation Army gear? No.
No obvious bloodstains, either.
Whatever she was wearing, she probably tossed already.
You know, sometimes they forget the shoes.
You're not going to take those, are you? Oh, don't worry, we'll get 'em back to you.
After you've ruined them.
Hey, we're not gonna wear them.
ED: Hey, Miss Taylor, these tenant receipts, is this all of them? You expect me to do your job for you, is that it? Unless you'd rather us rip your place apart.
Look, this is really a terrible imposition.
It's intrusive.
I would rather you did not touch my personal belongings any more than is absolutely necessary.
Getting pushed down the stairs or stabbed in the chest also qualifies as an imposition.
If I were you, I'd keep quiet before we haul all of your personal belongings out in the Persian rug.
I don't think a garment bag full of shoes qualifies as an imposition.
To her, everything's an imposition.
Officer? Yes, ma'am? Every morning, I take newspaper out of garbage in front of building.
What I care if newspaper is day old? Yeah? Please don't tell anyone I talk to you.
Yeah.
What is it? This morning, I take newspaper out of garbage Pinking shears.
And I don't think that's chocolate.
Did you see who put that newspaper in the garbage? Not today, but every day, Miss Taylor.
I thought you were leaving.
We are.
(CLEARS THROAT) The bad news is, you're leaving with us.
You're under arrest for the murder of Virginia Boone.
You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you Docket ending 716, People v.
Martha Taylor.
Defendant is charged with Murder in the Second Degree.
(CHUCKLES) Death by pinking shears, eh? The defendant owns a dress shop at the place of occurrence.
Judge, my client's lived in the community her entire life, she is a tax-paying business owner and landlord.
With a history of harassing the victim, who was also her tenant.
There have been cross-complaints for 30 years without anyone winding up dead.
And there's absolutely no evidence linking my client to the crime.
Except the forensics indicating her prints on the murder weapon.
Yeah.
Well, of course, her prints were on the shears.
She owned the dress shop.
People request remand.
PAULSON: And my client wants to testify in the Grand Jury.
Defense is serving cross-Grand Jury notice.
Cross-complaints, cross-Grand Jury notice (CHUCKLING) As much as this amuses me, the conveyor belt awaits.
Bail will be set at $500,000.
This goes to Part F, for Grand Jury action.
(BANGS GAVEL) Are you really gonna have her testify, or were you just trying to influence the judge on bail? Notice says testify, Ms.
Southerlyn.
Well, if she's has a believable story, let's set up a proper look into what she has to say.
Yeah, I'm sure you'd be completely objective.
Sorry.
We'll take our shot with the Grand Jury.
$362 a month for three bedrooms? I'd kill for that apartment.
Well, the motive probably wasn't the woman's rent.
If she could empty the building, she could sell it.
But why now? They've been at each others' throats for 30 years.
Market's taken a downturn.
Maybe she doesn't wanna wait until prices bottom out.
So, what's she gonna say to the Grand Jury? That's a good question.
Defense counsel's not showing her cards.
But here's the weird thing, Taylor hasn't made bail yet.
Why not put her building up for collateral? Is it worth what we think it is? I talked to two appraisers.
They both put it at the 10 to 12 million dollar range.
Liens, mortgages? The property registry indicates it's owned free and clear by the Calera Corporation.
And she's the sole shareholder? Maybe somebody with joint ownership is blocking Taylor from using the building for bail.
And if somebody else owns a piece of it, somebody else has a motive.
Okay.
I'll call Albany and get a list of the corporation's stockholders.
Why didn't you tell the police you owned half the building, Mr.
Havel? It never came up.
When did Miss Taylor sell it to you? Our father deeded it to us.
Martha Taylor is your sister? Miss Taylor is my father's daughter.
So, she's your half-sister or stepsister? No.
Is there some kind of bad blood between the two of you? There's no blood at all, as far as I'm concerned.
Is that why you won't consent to put the building up for bail? Well, Miss Taylor has never asked for my help.
And you never offered.
I haven't talked to her in 26 years.
Well, do you mind if I ask why? I just haven't.
Not even to discuss selling the building? This building is a living being.
The floor joists are the skeleton, the pipes the arteries, the wires the nerves.
I know the layout of every apartment, I can disassemble every piece of plumbing in my sleep.
Well, it sounds like you'd be reluctant to put it on the market.
If Miss Taylor killed that woman, I hope she pays the consequences.
SERENA: There is some strange karma going on in that building, Jack.
The landlady and her tenant have been at each others' throats for the past 30 years.
And brother and sister live in the same building and don't speak.
Any chance the brother could be in on it? Well, maybe I wasn't clear.
They haven't said a single word to each other in 20-some years.
How can you have a conspiracy if you can't have a conversation? Money heals all wounds.
Havel's interest in the building goes deeper than money.
And my guess is, if he had something incriminating to say about his sister, he'd be happy to share it with us.
Did he shed any light on Taylor's Grand Jury strategy? No.
I still can't get a read on why she's testifying.
Could be she's jockeying for a manslaughter indictment instead of murder.
You don't sound too worried.
Doesn't sound like there's anything pointing to self-defense.
Her scissors, no reciprocal injuries the cops are aware of.
And there was a long history of harassment and animosity toward the victim.
So, we're making this all about the rent? No.
It goes deeper.
Boone was an old lefty, thumbing her nose at her bourgeois landlady, paying a few hundred bucks rent and hauling her into Housing Court at the drop of a hat.
And Taylor did her best to torture the woman right back.
Class warfare on the Upper East Side.
So, we go forward with the presentation? We get an indictment now, we can avoid a 188 release.
Keep her in jail.
I did not like Virginia Boone, I'll admit that.
In fact, you fought a lot, didn't you? Yes, we did.
But I didn't kill her.
Did you push Miss Boone down the stairs two weeks ago, Ms.
Taylor? No, no, I didn't.
She fell.
She was a drunk.
And I prefer Miss Taylor.
So, it's your testimony she fell? Yes.
Unfortunately, she's not around for us to ask, is she? Objection.
There's no one to object to, Ms.
Paulson, this is a Grand Jury proceeding.
Well, I'm not just going to sit here and let you badger my client.
Then, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave.
I'm entitled to be here.
Not if you disrupt the proceedings.
You said you and Miss Boone fought? TAYLOR: Yes.
These are canceled rent checks written to you by Miss Boone over the past 20 years.
On the back of each of them is a list of her complaints, things you allegedly stole, or moved, or used while you sneaked into her apartment.
They're the rantings of a delusional woman.
In fact, she filed in Housing Court, didn't she? They were nuisance complaints.
It was hard to keep track.
So, pushing her down the stairs qualifies as a nuisance? Can I say something? SERENA: No, you have to wait for a question.
No, it's It's just that I couldn't have killed her.
It's impossible, I'm not physically capable.
I'm right-handed.
Five years ago, I had a stroke.
It took me six months to get back any movement at all in my right arm.
But I never I never regained full function of my hand I have a hard time gripping things.
You run a dress shop, don't you? Yes, I do.
Do you pay the bills? Yes.
You sign the checks? (SCOFFS) Well, I can hold a pen loosely.
Well, your fingerprints are on the murder weapon, so you can hold that.
Well, they must have been taken from my dress shop.
I'm sure I had occasion to touch them.
SERENA: In fact, you had occasion to wrap them in the daily news and throw them in the trash can.
No, I didn't do that.
Every day you throw the newspaper away, Miss Taylor Yes, but And on the one day it turns out to be wrapped around the murder weapon, it wasn't you? I did not throw those shears in the trash.
I don't know who did.
At this time, Miss Taylor requests that the Grand Jury call the medical examiner to present evidence about Virginia Boone's wounds.
She also requests that the Grand Jury call her doctor to provide medical testimony about her physical condition.
Are you finished, Ms.
Paulson? Yes, I am.
Well, then I'm sure the Grand Jury will take your request under advisement.
What did the M.
E.
say about the fatal wound? Consistent with somebody right-handed.
Enough force was used to plunge the sheers in four inches.
And Taylor's doctor? Confirms the stroke.
He claims she had trouble gripping things.
What do you think? Well, Taylor couldn't explain who threw the shears away, and who knows what she's capable of gripping when her adrenaline is spiked.
So, the issue is not black and white.
Yeah.
We could run it by our own medical expert.
That'd take time.
Taylor would be released pending Grand Jury action.
Well, is that so terrible? We put on our neurologist, they put on theirs.
I'm not sure we want to turn a routine procedural step into a battle of guns-for-hire.
That's for the trial jury.
I see what you mean.
Our burden of proof is only reasonable cause.
Instruct the Grand Jury and have them vote.
The People have rested It's time for the jurors to vote.
Why shouldn't we call the medical examiner and Miss Taylor's doctor? The question raised by Miss Taylor is atrial issue.
The only issue you are legally allowed to address is whether there is reasonable cause to believe the defendant killed Miss Boone.
Yes, but how can we determine that without hearing from those witnesses? Well, this isn't the right forum for hashing out every factual issue raised by the accused.
The standard here is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
You've already heard testimony as to the defendant's motive and opportunity.
You've also heard evidence that the defendant's prints were on the murder weapon, and that it is likely that she disposed of it.
Well, I just don't see how it can hurt.
Well, considering the complexity of the issue and the time constraints we're under, the medical evidence would probably be inconclusive and confusing.
Are there any other questions? What's the point of asking more questions when we can't get to the truth? Well, that's what atrial is for.
And I can assure you that the defendant will have every opportunity to set forth all her defenses in a court of law.
When did you send them out? Two hours ago.
That's a long time.
I know.
They're mulling over Taylor's claim of incapacity.
There are a couple of amateur detectives on the panel.
I'm just hoping they don't poison the others.
Didn't you explain Yes! (BELL RINGING) Finally.
What? "No true bill.
" They refused to indict.
What the hell happened? A couple of jurors sabotaged our case.
We had 16.
We only needed 12 to indict.
It was a tactical decision, Nora.
Obviously a bad one.
Sometimes Grand Juries just get overeager, start looking for holes.
I pushed Serena to move on this.
I expected the customary rubber stamp.
Well, we sure didn't get it.
Well, there is some ambiguity as to whether Taylor was physically capable of doing the stabbing.
Did you ever consider that she wasn't? It wasn't clear-cut.
I was convinced it was an issue for trial.
Taylor had motive, opportunity.
Her prints were on the murder weapon.
We didn't want the proceedings to turn on medical testimony.
Well, now that the Grand Jury's handed us our lunch let's take another look at this.
Supposing we believe her medical assertions, are there any scenarios we haven't considered? Her brother hid the fact that he co-owned the building.
Why did you reject him as a suspect? Well, Havel treats his sister like some kind of pariah.
I just didn't think he was involved.
Well, I assume he can grip a pair of pinking shears? JACK: We can draft a warrant application based on their joint ownership.
You didn't need a warrant.
I'd have been happy to have you look around, as long as you were careful.
We'll try not to make a big mess of things.
Well, I still don't understand what you think you're gonna find here.
We're just covering all the bases, Mr.
Havel.
You never know what might be useful.
Ms.
Southerlyn.
A copy of a housing complaint lodged by Virginia Boone against Martha Taylor.
Yeah, but there's a note scrawled across the bottom.
"Here we go again.
I told you to take care of her, Stefan.
"Now do it.
" Signed, And the complaint is dated eight days before the crime.
(STAMMERING) You don't understand, I could never hurt her.
Here's one reason for the Grand Jury's refusal to indict.
They didn't have all the evidence.
Taylor couldn't do it on her own, so she enlisted the help of her brother.
And I thought they didn't communicate.
I should've listened to you when you said, "Money heals all wounds.
" There's no way you could have known about this at the time.
Still, if you want to make the application to re-present the case yourself, I'll understand.
If I had thought you were wrong, Serena, I would have spoken up.
You're a good lawyer, indictment or not.
I appreciate you saying that.
Now, assuming that Taylor's note is a plea to kill Boone, can you figure out a way to get us a second bite at the apple? People are moving for leave to re-submit our case.
The Grand Jury blew out their last attempt at an indictment because they credited Miss Taylor's testimony.
That is pure speculation.
They could've based their decision on other factors.
You may not like it, Ms.
Southerlyn, but there are no do-overs if you don't like the outcome the first time around.
Well, we now have a new theory on the murder, and a co-defendant who acted in concert with Martha Taylor.
People v.
Anderson authorizes re-submission where there is newly discovered evidence.
And People v.
Ladsen limits that to when the new evidence couldn't have been initially discovered by the prosecution through the exercise of due diligence.
And how could the People discover this evidence when the co-defendant hid his interest in the building from the police? I'm inclined to agree.
People's motion is granted.
Ms.
Southerlyn.
Another cross-Grand Jury notice? My client wants to talk.
Miss Taylor can offer specific information as to her brother's motive.
You mean her motive? No, his motive.
If she wants a deal, she'll have to admit her own involvement.
You misinterpret my note, Mr.
McCoy.
Yes, I had been hoping for years to get Virginia out of the building, but it did not mean to kill her.
If that's all you want to say, we'll let a jury decide the semantics.
Look, that woman and I had battled for years, mostly over trivial things.
But it was escalating.
She accused me of pushing her down the stairs, which was absolutely untrue.
So, as much as it galled me, I needed to contact my brother.
I wanted him to talk to her, to get her to leave.
What made you think she would listen to your brother and not you? Because he's the father of her child.
(SIGHS) My father bought that building for $38,000, in 1929, after the crash.
My brother convinced him to rent an apartment to some woman he met in the '60s.
The only solace I had when my father passed on was that we could sell the building, live more comfortably.
And then, Stefan fell in love with Virginia.
And ever since that time he has refused to ask her to move out.
And I have been trapped in that wretched place for 30 years with the two of them, and for awhile, their bastard child.
So, why would your brother kill her? TAYLOR: I don't know what he did.
She always accused me, but he was the one who was constantly sneaking into her apartment, stealing her personal things.
He was hopelessly in love with her.
Even after the baby was born, she couldn't stand the sight of him.
It still doesn't explain why you tried to dispose of the murder weapon.
I found the shears next to her body before the police arrived.
I figured Stefan had finally snapped.
I may hate my brother, but I didn't want him to go to jail for finally giving that old wench what she deserved.
Why not tell us this when you were first arrested? Having been unable to stab her myself, I thought I could just make the whole thing go away.
But now, I see But now, you're sacrificing your brother to save yourself? (SCOFFS) I could have easily paid her to leave, Mr.
McCoy.
My agent told me a few weeks before this happened that he knew of a buyer who might be willing to offer her as much as $50,000 in cash to vacate, all perfectly legal.
I said no.
I thought you wanted her out, Miss Taylor? Yes.
But I didn't want her to get a cent.
First you arrest Martha, now you think it's Stefan? Well, there's one loose end we can't tie up, Mr.
Braden.
Oh? How can I help? We discovered there was a potential buyer for 832 Madison.
Someone who may have paid Virginia Boone to vacate her apartment.
Well, there were many interested buyers over the years.
Uh, none of them gave Miss Boone any money, at least to my knowledge.
Well, any one of these buyers mention they wanted to offer some financial incentive? Not that I know of.
Well, Miss Taylor seemed to think you'd found one specific buyer who was prepared to pay $50,000.
Maybe she didn't understand what I said.
I might have mentioned a ballpark figure.
The best I can do is give you a list of the interested parties.
I checked with all the companies on Braden's list, none of them made any kind of payment to Virginia Boone.
Maybe Taylor's giving us the run-around.
No.
A lot of what she said makes sense, Jack.
Boone gave $5,000 to the janitor at the building around the same time Taylor's broker supposedly mentioned a payoff, and the police were never able to track down where it came from.
Any chance Havel's son's involved? I called the state department.
Jason Boone flew out of JFK into Amsterdam hasn't re-entered the U.
S.
And we're sure this $5,000 wasn't from the brother or sister? We checked into their accounts.
Neither one ever moved that kind of money around.
Let's see what skeletons we can scare out of the closet.
Let me see if I understand this.
You're gonna charge him with murder, but first you want his help? He claims he's innocent.
If he cooperates with us, it may help exonerate him.
I told you before, I know nothing about it.
What is she doing here? JACK: I invited her.
It's time we got to the bottom of this.
Well, I refuse to participate.
Then, you'll both be indicted.
We'll let a jury sort it out.
On what theory, Mr.
McCoy? That their real estate interests dictated that Virginia Boone be murdered.
Your client couldn't kill her, so she had her brother do the manual labor.
Why are you people persecuting me like this? Because we don't believe you're innocent.
Ask my brother to tell them what happened.
I would rather go to jail than help Miss Taylor! He killed her.
And this is the thanks I get for trying to get him out of his Your mess.
I swear to you, sir, I have committed no crime.
SERENA: You haven't been straight with us, Mr.
Havel.
First, you hid your interest in the building, then we find out about your relationship with Virginia Boone.
Miss Taylor told you.
And we know about your son.
SERENA: Why did you keep it a secret? I don't know.
Don't tell me, now you're gonna use this to prove motive? That's one possibility.
Another possibility is that your client can start trying to help himself instead of misleading us.
How did Miss Boone come into a windfall, Mr.
Havel? Virginia had money? My brother is an idiot! That woman has been cheating us for 25 years.
More than a few dollars here and there.
She gave Roberto Ramos $5,000 before she was killed.
That doesn't seem possible.
Where did she get it, Mr.
Havel? I have no idea.
Well, do you have any idea where she kept her money? HAVEL: I didn't know she had any Well, there was a safe deposit box at the Mercantile Bank.
SERENA: How do you know? I've seen the bill that comes in the mail from the bank.
Box number 141.
Miss Boone started renting in '87.
Rarely came in at all.
Can I see your judicial order? Signed and sealed.
Yes, it is.
First Class Realty.
Feels like $45,000.
Sure.
We've got four or five properties in your price range.
Charles Braden? Can we talk about this outside? Oh, we'd love to chat, but there's really not that much to say.
You're under arrest for the murder of Virginia Boone.
Kathy, call Howard Thomas.
His number's in my Rolodex.
It's hard to find a good broker, isn't it? Your theory's a bit hard to believe.
Real estate agent stabs an old lady with pinking shears? Your client was at the building waiting for Virginia Boone to come home.
Roberto Ramos made a positive ID.
I can demolish that at trial.
My client had 10 reasons to be in that building.
How many did he have to hang around outside? Maybe he came out for a cigarette.
How does he explain the $50,000 he gave the victim to vacate the apartment? What was your cut gonna be, Mr.
Braden? Seven or eight percent of $12 million? Whose theory is hard to believe? At least I only have one.
This is your third.
If you're having a hard time making up your mind, so will the jury.
Which is why I'm offering man one, 12.
5-to-25.
You're gonna have to do a lot better than that.
We walk out of this room empty-handed, we're indicting him for murder two.
I worked for years on that building.
Putting up with all three of those lunatics week after week, year after year, indulging them in their petty bickering, bailing that horrible woman out from her problems.
I was so close to having it all pay off.
Mr.
Braden, have you discussed this plea with your attorney? Yes.
And you're pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in that you caused the death of Virginia Boone? Speak out loud, Mr.
Braden.
Yes.
What happened? It started when I gave Virginia Boone $50,000 to vacate her apartment.
Where'd you get the money? It was advanced to me from a prospective buyer.
I paid her the cash and she agreed to vacate the unit in two weeks.
Well, two weeks went by and she still hadn't left, and she wasn't returning my phone calls.
So, I went to see her.
What happened when you went to visit her, Mr.
Braden? I waited outside for her to go into the building.
I followed her in, uh, made small talk with her until we got off the elevator.
Then, I confronted her about leaving the apartment.
I was just trying to convince her to move, but she got real nasty about it, said she wasn't gonna leave, ever.
Said she was keeping the money.
I started yelling at her, telling her she couldn't do that.
I guess she got scared when I raised my voice.
She pulled the scissors out of her cart and pointed them at me.
I didn't go there to hurt her, you know, I just grabbed them, and I don't know what happened.
I snapped or something.
I just grabbed the scissors, and then I stabbed her.
Now that it's over, Taylor and Havel can finally sell their building.
Unless Virginia Boone's son has standing to claim her lease.
He's lost somewhere in Europe.
As far away from 832 Madison as he can get.