Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Caviar Emptor

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.
The gowns and thejewels and the food and the music Patrika.
I'll take my father up a cup of tea.
An ice sculpture? Who could imagine horse and carriage? A swan, eh? But horse? Ah! Please, also coaster.
Of course.
It was beautiful.
So beautiful.
So beautiful.
And And gifts enough to fill a gymnasium.
Ohhh.
More candlesticks from her uncle.
Bijan.
Roya? Asher? He's not breathing! Hurry! Come up here! Come on! Name's Manoush Soleimani.
Big cheese in the caviar racket.
Soleimani.
Sounds Italian.
Caviar.
It's probably Iranian.
Persian.
Whatever, he must have sold a lot of it.
All those flowers, looks like somebody was expecting a funeral.
They're from a wedding last night.
We got a time of death? Guy was so fresh, I half expected him to get up and have breakfast.
No rigor, body temp same as you and me.
He's dead, tops, an hour.
There's no muss in there.
What makes you think it's not natural causes? Can't say.
Started my exam, the lady of the house threw a fit, told me to stop.
That's when I sent for you.
She wants me to release the body to the funeral home.
- Is the D.
O.
A.
The father of the bride? - The D.
O.
A.
Was the groom.
Young bride, old groom, wedding night maybe he died of a heart attack.
Like my mother used to say, "Play with kids your own age.
" If the wife doesn't want us here, why are we here? The son does.
He's sure there's been foul play, wants an autopsy.
I forbid it.
! Who are you to forbid? Who are you to forbid? Family feud.
My favorite.
My husband was a private man in life.
I will not let you disrespect him in death.
Disrespect? There will be no autopsy.
From someone who parades around like a Paris Hilton? Your father was a widower for many years, with many companions.
I was the one he chose to take to the altar.
I made him happy.
You exploited him.
Ben and Yasmin, stop arguing, please.
- I do not have to answer to you.
- You will have to answer about my father's death.
Not just to me.
- All right! Everybody calm down, all right? - We're gonna need to talk to all of you.
Yeah, in neutral corners.
It wasn't a heart attack.
My father just had a perfect checkup.
Pre-honeymoon.
They were about to go on a Mediterranean cruise.
Who called 911? I did.
I took him a cup of tea.
He wasn't, uh He wasn't breathing.
I called for help.
Who else was in the house? Uh, Roya and Asher were in the dining room with Patrika.
And Roya is? My sister.
Asher is her husband, my brother-in-law.
Patrika is the housekeeper.
She's been with us forever.
So where was his new wife? Not by his side.
I went to look for her.
She was nowhere in the house.
The ambulance was here by the time she strolled in.
You said she'd have to answer for your father's death.
Detective, she's 25.
My father was 68, and a very, very wealthy man.
Ben knows better.
A traditionalJewish funeral has to take place within 24 hours.
Mrs.
Soleimani, don't you want to know what happened to your husband? I know what happened.
He died peacefully in his sleep.
No one killed him.
We don't need an autopsy.
We can ask the M.
E.
To rush his exam, try to make that 24-hour deadline.
Manny was a religious man.
Our traditions meant everything to him.
He would not have wanted to be handled, touched by outsiders secular people.
You called for the ambulance.
The E.
M.
S.
Handled him.
I did not call 911.
I was not even here when they found him.
Where were you? I went riding.
What does it look like? A lot of women in this zip code run errands in those.
I don't do errands.
But you do go horseback riding the morning after you tie the knot? I did not know how much riding I would get to do on my honeymoon.
What? You don't believe me? Mrs.
Soleimani, your husband was found dead in his own bed the morning after he got married.
"To a much younger woman," is what you're thinking.
I wouldn't be doing my job if I wasn't.
I can assure you he was quite alive before I left for the stables.
The bride's a piece of work.
Cool as a cucumber.
If it was up to her, she'd have him buried by sundown bye-bye evidence.
Meanwhile, we're stuck.
We can't get a warrant till you say that the death was a homicide.
Which I can't do, with the wife saying "No" to an autopsy.
But you are an M.
E.
You don't need a warrant to investigate.
You can freeze the scene and have your forensics guys process whatever you find.
Yeah, I could.
But it's not really my job, and she's gonna raise holy hell.
Believe me, we'd rather do it ourselves, but we're in a bind here.
- Can you help us out? - What about the autopsy? Just sit on the body and make sure it doesn't go anywhere until the D.
A.
's have a chance to ruin some judge's lovely spring Sunday.
A Persian Jewish family, Your Honor.
Yasmin Soleimani is asserting a religious objection to an autopsy.
The medical examiner has the right, under the law, to perform an autopsy over a religious objection if there's a threat to public health.
Which I presume this is not.
Or in the face of a homicide.
In the face of an apparent homicide.
There's no apparent homicide here.
No signs whatsoever of foul play or violence.
We can't know that until an autopsy's performed.
Ben Soleimani doesn't think that his father died of natural causes.
He wants a full investigation.
The decision to perform an autopsy is Mrs.
Soleimani's, as next of kin.
Ms.
Southerlyn, unless you bring me some evidence, I'm unwilling to overrule Mrs.
Soleimani's objection.
Your Honor, how can I provide you with evidence of foul play without an autopsy? I'm sorry, Ms.
Southerlyn.
I can't accommodate you.
What if Mrs.
Soleimani is not the next of kin? Judge, there were more than 400 people at the wedding all witnesses.
The wedding took place last night Saturday.
After Sabbath, around 10:00.
Manny Soleimani died this morning Sunday.
The county clerk's office doesn't open till tomorrow.
They couldn't have possibly filed their marriage certificate yet.
It's a hypertechnicality, Ms.
Southerlyn But a legitimate one.
It is enough to dismiss the autopsy objection.
Don't know if the marriage was a marriage, but his death was definitely a homicide.
He was smothered.
Is a butterfly gonna jump out at us? No, but there is lamb involved.
First, look at this section of gum.
The frenulum was ripped.
When you're smothered, the reflex is to move your head from side to side, like this What, the killer was too strong for him? Not necessarily.
His last meal was lamb and lentils.
Tox screen was positive for a benzodiazepine Xanax.
So what's up with the lamb? When you eat a fatty meat like lamb, the triglycerides potentiate the effects of the tranquilizer to make it much stronger.
So, in English, he was weak as a kitten? Throw in a lot of alcohol at the wedding It would have been child's play to smother him.
We also found a hair on his torso.
Oh, you saved the best for last? I don't want to get your hopes up.
Until it's analyzed, all we know for sure is that it wasn't his.
Looks like it's time to start checking alibis.
Shame about Manny.
He spent a lot of time here over the years.
His daughter used to ride here as a teenager.
When was the last time you saw him? He started coming back around last summer.
Bought his fiancee an Arabian.
Horses and girls.
She was here yesterday.
Saddled up around 9:30, 10:00.
How often does she ride? She goes riding most mornings.
Weekends too? Don't really see her on the weekends, come to think of it.
Excuse me.
I've got a customer.
All right, so if she doesn't usually ride on the weekends, the alibi could've been preplanned.
Let's find out if her husband left her more than the horse.
They got engaged.
Manny opened an account for her.
A million bucks, free and clear, after taxes.
Pretty nice nest egg.
The rest of his estate he left to his children: Two-thirds to his son, Ben, one-third to his daughter, Roya.
What, did he love his son twice as much as he loved his daughter? That's their custom the old Persian way.
Besides, Roya's married.
Her husband takes care of her.
So he gave Yasmin a million bucks up front? Not that she needs Manny's money.
Why? Because she's so gorgeous? Because she's so smart and because she has some of her own.
Yasmin grew up in the caviar business too.
Her Uncle Bijan Manny's biggest competitor.
Must've made for interesting pillow talk.
So how close were Yasmin and this uncle? Close.
Bijan brought Yasmin's family over from Iran after the ayatollahs took over.
The nice life she's led in America, she owes to him.
Mr.
Bijan is not here, not home.
Where is he? We need to talk to him.
Telephone call come.
He go.
Where did he go? J.
F.
K.
J.
F.
K.
? His business rival gets killed, he hops a plane? Thank you.
We called Mr.
Bijan to come in and talk to us on a pretext to take him into custody.
For what? Smuggling caviar.
Straight from the Caspian Sea.
Black market caviar.
Shipment we seized today Street value: 1.
4 million.
Wow.
So, Jimmy here can sniff out tins of caviar? There's no way to pack the eggs without breaking some, which leaves an oil residue.
So what exactly was illegal about Bijan's caviar? Could be a number of things, like passing off cheap stuff as high-end product.
In this case, we got a tip that Bijan's shipment came from sturgeon on the U.
N.
's endangered species list.
- So what happens to the caviar now? - We test the D.
N.
A.
And if it's legit, he gets it back.
And if it isn't? He goes to jail and the caviar down the drain.
So where is this fish egg felon? We need to talk to him.
Sorry, he's already in the system.
You mean, your system? Afraid so.
I expected you to come in with him.
There's a flag on the play.
We're waiting for the feds to analyze some caviar D.
N.
A.
You gotta be kidding.
Bijan's lawyer got a judge to order an independent test to prove that his caviar was legal.
And meanwhile we can't talk to a homicide suspect? I don't think so.
Find out where they're holding this guy.
I'll get you in to see him.
I went by the house to drop off silver candlesticks a traditional gift.
Which you just happened to bring over the morning Manny was murdered? I forgot to bring them to the wedding.
So you dropped them off at the house personally? Why not send them? Why shouldn't I deliver them in person? Besides, I wanted to pay my respects.
And did you? Manny was still asleep, and Yasmin had gone out.
I said hello to Roya and Asher and left.
We hear that you weren't on good terms with the Soleimanis.
Yasmin may have married Manny, but I was still her uncle.
And what's that supposed to mean? Manny and I carried on a fancy food fight, but it was not a blood feud.
We both left Tehran in the late '50s as young men.
We had much in common.
We were in the same business.
And how was business? Mine was good.
His wasn't.
So why not kill the competition? You corner the market.
I was not destroying Manny's business.
His big-shot son was trying so hard to do things the modern way.
He never had Manny's brains.
You saying that Ben Soleimani was trying to put you out of business? Let me tell you something.
If anyone was trying to kill the competition, it was Ben.
Ben and Bijan were friendly competitors, until he had the gall to open a caviar store just a block from here.
They became very bitter enemies.
But he was invited to the wedding? Of course he was.
Yasmin makes him family.
But Bijan would have been invited no matter who Manny married.
Even an enemy who is one of us is more a friend than any stranger.
At this year's Iranian harvest, we came across an excellent grade of caviar from the Persian sturgeon.
Mmm.
Crunchy, salty I like it.
You have good taste, Detective.
It sells for $170 an ounce.
I don't like it that much.
So was the caviar keeping the company in the black? The company went from a profit of 20 million in '98 to a loss of 2 million last year.
Somebody stealing? Never.
Well, then somebody was spending it.
The cafe, catalog, were all doing well, but we opened stores in places where people haven't developed a palate for our product.
Whose idea was the expansion? If Ben was wrecking his father's business, he might have been worried that the old man would take it away from him and leave it to the new wife.
That actually takes the wife off the hook.
She's got a million dollars, there's a prenup, and she's not even in the will.
So she has no reason to kill him.
The son made the call to 911? Yeah, but that could've been a smoke screen.
Ben could have killed his father to keep control of the business.
And throw the blame on Yasmin? I could have a lawyer here faster than you could pour a cup of coffee.
Go ahead.
Call him.
I'll start pouring.
I was the one who found my father.
I tried to save him! Man, please.
You called 911 to make us believe you were trying to save your father.
All right.
I went into his bedroom to say hello, like always.
Yeah? He didn't respond.
And he wasn't breathing.
Well, unfortunately for you, you were there by yourself no witnesses.
It was already too late.
He'd been murdered.
Yasmin's got an alibi.
You don't.
Why would I kill my father? To keep control of the family business, which was failing, thanks to you.
You were scared that Yasmin was gonna get the company.
My father would never have done that.
I am his son! Yo, Lennie, what you got? Oh, yeah? Fantastic.
- We got the murder weapon.
- Good.
Maybe now you'll find whoever killed my father.
Maybe we already have.
Here's your murder weapon.
Pillow contains goose down and D.
N.
A.
From the victim saliva.
He was a drooler? Apparently only when being smothered.
It's the only pillow in the house with traces of his saliva.
You found that in his bedroom? His daughter's.
Any trace evidence? Got a hair.
It's a woman's dyed, with a gray root.
If it's got a root, we can get D.
N.
A.
, see if it matches the one we found on the body.
I'm gonna call the lieu, see if she wants to handle this herself.
It is disrespectful.
She's sitting shivah.
Sir, it's important to our investigation.
Can't it wait? She's been through a lot.
We both have.
Asher, it's all right.
I'll talk to her.
Come.
Please sit down.
Mrs.
Koutal, when was the last time you were with your father? At the wedding.
And were you with him at all the next morning? No.
By the time I saw him, he was already dead.
Did you touch him? I could hardly look at him, let alone touch him.
Now I wish I had.
Did your father have a routine before he went to bed? He had a, uh, cigar and a brandy, and then a shower.
A woman's hair was found on him.
Would you be willing to supply a D.
N.
A.
Sample? Of course.
Do you know how his pillow got into your bedroom? No.
No, I don't.
His D.
N.
A.
Was on the pillow from his saliva.
I don't understand.
It was the pillow that was used to smother him.
Oh, my God.
- Oh, my God.
- Roya, is everything alright? They think I killed him.
Mrs.
Koutal, please.
That is not what I said.
We are looking into your father's death.
You're wrong.
She was devoted to him.
She loved him best of all.
She seemed genuinely distressed and horrified.
If I killed my father, I'd be distressed and horrified too.
She kept talking about staying in the house.
Is she entitled to? Well, that's a whole other question.
Well, usually it goes to the wife.
I'll find out if the townhouse is Yasmin's to keep.
Okay.
I gave the detectives the financials.
What I need to know is who inherits the townhouse? Roya.
What about the two-thirds custom? The son doesn't get a piece of the house? When Ben had his first child, Manny bought him an apartment of his own.
And he didn't buy his daughter a place because she doesn't have a child? And because she always lived at home.
Even after she got married? Manny was a widower, so Asher moved in.
Manny was thrilled that Roya married a boy like that.
Like what? Asher was raised in Iran.
Came here in his 20s, just like Manny.
Old school, traditional.
Hard worker too.
Manny took Asher into the family business? Asher was loyal, devoted, grateful for thejob.
He and Manny cut from the same cloth.
Manny loved him like a son.
And Ben? Ben's a good son, but it's hard not to take for granted that which you have always known would be yours.
We ran a title search and found out that Mannyjust closed on an apartment.
Do you know why he bought it? No.
But I do know where.
On Park.
The real estate agent offer anything? Just that the market's still strong.
Did she know if Soleimani bought it for an investment or for some personal use? All she knows is that she's gonna get her commission either way.
D.
N.
A.
Results come back? Yeah.
The hair on the victim's body and the hair on the pillow both belong to Roya.
I got something else.
We ran her fingerprints.
They're on file with Immigration.
Because of the caviar business? No, the kid business.
Over a year ago, she and her husband filed for foreign adoption China.
That was a long time ago, and they still don't have a kid.
Let's look into it.
I met with them in person several times once at their house to do the home study.
Between the phone and e-mails, we were in touch every week.
And they went through the entire process? Start to finish.
And the paperwork is daunting.
You try dealing with the city of New York, the state of New York, the federal government, Homeland Security and the People's Republic of China.
You've really got to want it.
And then what? I'm just a social worker, not a shrink.
I called to say they'd been matched with a baby.
I sent them a picture an adorable little girl.
You always carry your files with you? Just the active cases, so I can return calls after my boys go to bed.
Parents waiting for a child call 24/7.
Oh, wow.
I couldn't resist this face, and I'm not even looking for another kid.
They could.
After looking at that picture for weeks, one day Roya calls and says, "I'm sorry.
" And her explanation? She was vague.
It didn't add up especially since they already had a travel date to get the baby.
I live here more than 20 years.
Only know how much Roya wanted child.
How did Roya and Yasmin get along? You know, older daughter, younger wife.
Before Yasmin, Roya and Asher would be with Mr.
Soleimani hours and hours.
Talk and laugh.
Play cards.
And after Yasmin came into his life? Not so much.
He only have time for new woman.
And Roya never had any children? That is why she want this little China girl so much.
So when it didn't happen? She upset a lot.
Very moody all the time.
Can't sleep.
We know that she was taking tranquilizers.
Was she seeking help anywhere? I saw Roya several times a week.
Then you knew she wanted to adopt.
Sure.
What happened? Why didn't she go through with it? Out of respect for her father.
Respect? How so? Manny emigrated here four decades ago, yet carried values from the past.
He did not approve of adoption.
That's old-fashioned, to put it mildly.
It's hard for you to understand, because these are not your ways.
If Roya disobeyed her father, she would have been ostracized.
By the family? By the entire community.
How was Asher with the adoption? Roya is first generation American, born here.
Asher was born in Iran.
He would never disrespect Manny's wishes.
Probably, on some level, he even agreed with him about the adoption.
When was the last time you saw Roya? Saturday, at services, then that night at the wedding.
Was she still upset about giving up the baby? And how her relationship with her father would change.
She didn't want a new stepmother? One who was even younger than she? Would you? She didn't want to relinquish her place with her father.
And she certainly didn't want to leave the home.
She was moving out of the townhouse? At her father's request.
I tried to persuade her to see it as a positive change for herself and Asher.
But she didn't? She was devastated.
She didn't support her brother's request for an autopsy.
She's the only one with a scrip for the tranquilizer.
The murder weapon, the pillow he was smothered with, was found in her bed, and her hair was found on his body.
Suggestive, but not definitive.
She'd just given up a child she wanted desperately, only to have her father marry a younger woman and kick her out of the house she'd lived in all of her life after she took care of it and him since her mother's death.
Jack, everything points to her.
Why'd he want her out of the house now? To be alone with his new young wife her rabbi said as much.
Have the cops pick her up.
Then work on getting a subpoena for the rabbi to testify as a hostile witness.
Roya Soleimani Koutal, you're under arrest for the murder of Manny Soleimani.
My father? What are you saying? You cannot do this.
You must stop.
You're making a terrible mistake.
She did not kill her father! Take it easy.
I did not kill him! Let me go! Asher, please! I'll call Rothenberg.
Don't worry.
I'm not a monster! It'd be easier for us if you were.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
Docket number 21118.
People v.
Roya Soleimani Koutal.
Murder in the second degree.
How does your client plead, Mr.
Rothenberg? Not guilty, Your Honor.
People on bail, Ms.
Southerlyn? We ask for bail set at $2 million.
No remand? No, Your Honor.
Given her particularly strong ties to family and community, we don't see the defendant as a flight risk.
Done.
Bail is set at 2 million, cash or bond.
We've known each other a long time, Jack.
What do you want, Norman? Drop the charges.
I talked to her doctors.
She's more likely to harm herself than someone else.
I'd like to hear that from the state's doctor.
Let Skoda see her if you're that sure.
Make the arrangements.
Oh, there's also this motion to dismiss the rabbi from testifying.
His conversations with my client are privileged.
Two people taking a stroll in the garden doesn't meet the standard.
Show us the confessional.
Only practicing Catholics have expectation of privacy? In the absence of one, the congregant has no claim to an expectation of privacy.
You don't need a physical structure for a conversation to be sacrosanct.
Forget the physical structure, I'd settle for an intellectual concept.
You just said it yourself.
The rabbi and the defendant had a conversation, which is inherently devoid of any standing as privileged.
You cannot compel a rabbi to testify or he will be in violation of rabbinic doctrine.
It's considered stealing taking a sacred trust and giving away that which is not the rabbi's to give.
I'm a staunch advocate of the separation between church and state, and I've always taken the term "church" to include any house of worship.
We lost the rabbi.
How are we going to prove Roya knew her father wanted her out of the house? There must be someone he confided in outside the hothouse of his family.
Could be the barber, his tailor, the massage therapist.
I'll see if the cops came across anyone who fits the bill.
Last summer, Manny started coming around to watch his fiancee ride.
She'd ride, we'd talk.
About his family? And mine.
Did Manny ever talk to you about Roya and how she got along with Yasmin? Oh, yeah.
He was worried about how the two of them would get on once they were under the same roof.
Did you offer a point of view? Just that two women in one house is one too many.
My advice didn't matter though.
Manny had already put a plan in action.
What was that? Divide the territory.
Put his daughter in a new house.
He thought it was the right decision, but that didn't make it easy.
Why not? Manny couldn't shake the guilt about what happened to Roya when she was still a teen.
He pressured her to jump in the Hamptons competition.
What happened? She took a fall, broke some bones.
Manny said the worst of it only came out years later.
Roya couldn't have kids.
My mother had died.
It was a bad time.
It made me feel better to be of help to my father.
How did you manage that? I ran the house.
I hosted parties.
I sat by his side.
There must have been times when your needs didn't fit with his.
Not really.
No.
His needs were my needs.
What about when you wanted to have a child? As Asher always says, "God gives with one hand.
" A child wasn't meant to be.
Besides, I cared for my father.
I was loved by my husband.
I was an aunt to my brother's children.
I had a good life.
But you gave up your own chance to be a mother, to adopt.
When did you tell your father about the adoption? I didn't want to tell him until the papers were ready to be signed.
But he found out? He accused me of keeping a secret, when I I wanted to make him a surprise.
Were you shocked by his reaction? He knew how important it was to me, but he said, he would never let someone else's bastard become his grandchild that it would tarnish his image.
You had choices.
You could have left his home.
You're not a child.
I had no choice.
If I had adopted that baby, I would have been out of our home and his life.
My father would have seen to it.
She thought she'd have his blessing.
Instead, her father spit on the idea of adoption.
She must have been aware of his feelings on that subject.
She'd let herself believe that he'd swallow his pride and allow her to be happy with a baby.
Where was the husband in this mix? Mostly on the father's side.
Seems they were both more "Old World.
" Do you think she was capable of killing her father? They had an unspoken covenant functioned like a married couple.
Hard as it may have been to give up the child, she chose her father.
And when he told her to leave anyway? She was as angry as any wife being replaced especially by a younger woman.
Each room was searched with a high-intensity light source that picks up biologicals: Blood, semen, saliva.
How did you identify the murder weapon? We knew from the autopsy report that the decedent was smothered most likely a soft object.
We identified the pillow used by his D.
N.
A.
On saliva.
Could you tell us where the pillow was hidden? Objection.
Sustained.
Rephrase.
Where did you find the pillow? It was recovered from the defendant's bed.
When the pillow was recovered from the defendant's bedroom, was it inside a drawer? No, sir.
Was it inside a closet? No.
- Was it under the bed? - No.
In fact, wasn't it on top of the bed? Yes.
So the pillow wasn't hidden.
It was in plain sight.
Hidden in plain sight.
Except for a tiny scalloped edge, the victim's and the defendant's pillows look exactly the same.
Thank you.
For 20 years, she functioned as his surrogate wife.
Until her father replaced her with a real wife a younger woman.
And after sacrificing her chance to become a mother, he hit her with the psychological equivalent of a one-two punch.
Why did she stop the adoption and give up the baby? She was under the rule of a patriarchal culture and a controlling father.
In your opinion, was she capable of taking her father's life? She was full of rage for her father.
That state of mind is psychologically dispositive toward an act of violence.
You conclude this based on your snapshot? What did you spend with her? Two, maybe three hours? Apsychological snapshot.
- And your specialty is Persian women? - No, but my back Well, how about how about just Persians? Their cultural norms? No.
But you would agree that culture and the father that you talk about did instill in Mrs.
Koutal a strict code of conduct? Yes.
With prescribed behaviors for everything, from dietary laws to appropriate dinner attire.
Yes.
And she would have learned these values, traditions, behaviors when she was very young? I would assume so.
Now, if she was so devoted to her father and to the traditional ways, how could she possibly have tossed that all aside to commit an act of murder? She believed he'd pushed her too far, caused her to suffer too many losses, left her no choices.
If she ever were to behave in a violent manner, isn't it more likely, given her background, that she would have committed suicide, not homicide? It's possible, but she suffers from anxiety, not depression.
She doesn't blame herself for any loss.
She blames her father.
So you befriended your father's then fiancee, Yasmin? Of course.
I knew her well.
Were you upset that he was marrying her? Change is always hard, but I wanted to see my father content.
So there was no problem contemplating living under one roof with his new wife? It is a large roof, and we were to be one family, she and I, living like sisters.
I planned her bridal shower.
I helped with her registry.
Thank you.
Living like two sisters vying for their father's attention.
Not at all.
People's exhibit eight, Your Honor.
Proceed, Mr.
McCoy.
Mrs.
Koutal, could you tell the court what document you're holding? It is a plane ticket.
Where were you traveling? China.
To pick up the child you were planning to adopt? Yes.
Exhibit nine, Your Honor.
Go ahead, Mr.
McCoy.
Is this the child? Yes.
Who you were planning to name after your mother, Dora? Yes.
Were you angry at your father when he forced you to choose between being a mother to this child and a daughter to him? I gave up the baby willingly.
I wanted to keep my father happy.
You had tickets for China, chose a name for the baby, chose a pediatrician, ordered baby furniture, and then gave all that up to make him happy.
It was my choice to abide by his wishes.
Isn't it a fact, that your father was evicting you and your husband from the family home? Don't you say that he was evicting me.
But it is the truth, not some fiction like you and Yasmin being friends.
He cared more about her wishes than he did about yours.
Didn't he want you out of his house before he returned from his honeymoon? I did everything my father asked of me.
Yes, I wanted a baby, but he said I should be content to be an aunt.
He said that he was planning on having more children with Yasmin.
That was the reason he wanted me to leave the house a home that I had made for him since I was a young woman.
Nothing further.
Putting her on the stand didn't help the defense.
What the jury saw was an angry, damaged woman.
Guess Rothenberg bet wrong.
We just heard from him.
Trying to cut a deal, cut his losses? Asher Koutal is going to testify.
Last-ditch effort rehabilitate his wife's testimony, offer an alibi.
The jury will see that for what it is a husband lying for his wife.
Where was Roya between 9:00 and 11:00 on the morning of Mr.
Soleimani's death? Like every Sunday morning, she was at home in our bedroom with me.
How can you be quite so certain? It is our routine.
We watch the news, read the paper, have bagels in bed.
And Roya never left your side? Mr.
Koutal? I left hers.
Roya, I am so sorry.
I left her side to kill Manny.
- Mr.
Koutal, what are you - I put two tranquilizers in his drink at the wedding.
And then I slipped into his bedroom that morning, and I smothered him with a pillow.
Why? - I was devoted to Manny as if he were my father.
- No.
But in the end, he betrayed the convictions he claimed to live by.
It was he who broke the covenant by bringing Yasmin into our home and then banishing Roya, his obedient daughter, who sacrificed ever knowing the love of a child.
His was the act of a hypocritical tyrant, not one of a loving father.
Thank you, Mr.
Koutal.
How many years have you been married, Mr.
Koutal? Fifteen.
- You love your wife? - Very much.
Do anything for her? Yes.
Including sacrifice yourself so she won't have to go to jail? Objection.
Sustained.
I killed Manny Soleimani.
Do you have any proof to corroborate this story? No proof.
I was alone.
I did it because I love her.
I had no choice.
You know, Mr.
Koutal, lying under oath is a serious offense! Objection! No more questions.
Family is a haven in a heartless world.
But it is also the place where emotions run deep, tensions run high.
The nature of family dynamics can be more complicated than quantum physics.
But what is not so complicated is the decision that you, as jurors, have to make.
Asher Koutal told you that he killed his father-in-law.
That in and of itself is enough to create reasonable doubt.
The only way that you can servejustice is to find Roya Koutal not guilty.
Thank you.
I agree with Mr.
Rothenberg about one thing, at least.
The choice before you is simple.
The defense has offered no rebuttal to the evidence against the defendant, only the transparent "confession" of a husband desperate to save his wife.
But all the evidence the hair, the pillow, the tranquilizer, the depth ofher rage against the overpowering, omnipresent figure in her life all point in one direction: Roya Soleimani Koutal murdered her father.
Statistically, jurors are loathe to convict women, especially for violent crimes.
Especially if they have the option to convict a man instead.
You think the jury has reasonable doubt? I do.
And if they acquit her? If that happens, I want Asher Koutal taken into custody faster than spit flies.
You may read the verdict.
We find the defendant, Roya Soleimani Koutal, not guilty.
Roya.
Roya.
Let's go.
Roya.
Asher.
Asher.
Roya.
Roya.
- Roya! Roya! - Asher! The covenant the father broke was with both of them.
Even after everything he did to her, she forgave him.
Asher didn't.
He felt more betrayed than she did.
He may have married into the family, but he'd never be blood.