Law & Order (1990) Episode Scripts

N/A - Choice Of Evils

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.
I'm not saying it doesn't have potential Potentially 20 units at 3 million each.
Still pricey.
Wake up.
Gary, my clients'll entertain other offers.
Your clients and me, we have an agreement.
A handshake, that's all.
It's cash or walk, pal.
This place is spectacular.
Oh, God, another one.
Sir? Sir? You can't be here, this is private property.
Let's go.
Oh! Let me.
Hey, fellow.
Come on, let's go! Come on, let's go now, huh? Whoa! Whoa! Oh! Real estate agent found the body.
Said they've had squatters here before.
Is there anyone else living here? Far as we can tell, the victim had the place to himself.
Isn't the building locked? Supposed to be.
I checked the fire door.
It was wide open.
Well, how about security guards or dogs? No, nothing.
They've got cameras, but the electricity's shut off.
Check the surrounding buildings.
Some of those are occupied.
Maybe somebody caught a glimpse.
This kid doesn't look 18.
Sorry, fellows.
No ID, no wallet.
I found some cash in his pocket, 38 bucks.
Decent bankroll for a homeless kid.
The rats have been nibbling on his fingertips, so it's gonna be hard to pull prints.
Are those two gunshot wounds in his chest? Yeah, I'm seeing only two.
And powder burns on the shirt.
Killed close up.
There's blood on the floor and the wall where he got shot.
There's not much blood here.
He couldn't have laid here that long.
Well, they dragged him over there and they tucked him in, like somebody cared for him.
Probably the last person whoever did.
The building wasn't heated? Well, the cold will slow the decomp.
Best guess, your Johnny Doe was laying there about a week.
Did you recover the slugs? They appear to be from a .
One in the heart, one hit the spine.
But the round to the heart was pristine.
Ballistics shouldn't have any problem with it.
That's the good news.
The bad news You couldn't find an ID.
Rats chewed his fingers to a pulp.
No prints of value.
We'll run the DNA in case someone shows up to claim him.
It's about all we can do on this end.
We could run him through the criminal database, see if he's got a record.
If he's a juvenile, you're out of luck.
But what the hell, you got it.
Is there anything more you can tell us about this kid? Positive blood-alcohol, otherwise tox was negative.
No recent sexual activity.
The amount of dirt, I doubt he'd seen a shower in weeks.
A regular street urchin.
Except this Oliver Twist went back for thirds.
Died with a full meal in his stomach.
Meatloaf, potatoes and corn.
Cafeteria food? Let's take his photo to the soup kitchens.
Thanks a lot.
His name was Daniel.
Did Danny give a last name on his intake form? He wouldn't tell me and I didn't press.
I think he was scared that I'd try to send him home.
Did he happen to mention where that was? No.
It's the same story, bad home, bad parents, if any.
When they trust me enough, they open up.
Danny wasn't here long enough.
When was this? Well, maybe a month ago.
He stayed only about four days.
Why did he leave? Danny instigated several fights with other residents.
His choice to straighten up.
He decided to leave instead.
Father, would you have any idea who may have done this to Danny? You know, when I talked to him after the last fight, he sounded scared.
It's strange, but I had the feeling that he thought he knew he was gonna die soon.
You think maybe somebody was after him? Look, a kid like Danny doesn't last long out there anyway.
Drugs, AIDS, assaults, you know how it goes.
The priest we talked to, he says that he thinks that somebody might have been gunning for the boy.
But that's speculation.
$38 in his pocket.
Was he hustling? He wasn't in any of the Vice books.
Well, maybe he just hadn't got caught yet.
Well, we're shopping his photo on the corners with the unis.
We'll see what happens.
You know, keep working that ID.
The list of Dannys in Missing Persons can't be that long.
This kid's DNA popped up in the criminal database.
He's in the system? No.
He's not.
But the computer came up with a very close match.
And the lab says that it's his father.
Walter Flint.
Doing life in Attica.
For what? Serial rape-murders.
Five women, that we know of.
How would I know who this is? DNA proves he's your son.
He's not gonna be buried with my name, so what do I care? Look, all we want to do is get this kid identified so that he can rest in peace.
- How'd he die? - Alone.
Living on the street.
Not what I meant.
He was shot twice in the chest.
Died quick at least.
At least.
And in case you're wondering, his name was Danny.
Your file lists a wife, Allison, who divorced you after you were arrested.
There were no children listed.
And since you're a convicted serial rapist, we were assuming I killed all those girls.
No kids from them either, right? Maybe there was another woman you victimized, a woman we don't know about, a woman you didn't kill.
I'm gonna miss my meal call.
You know, it's amazing.
You gave this kid a life, somebody stole it, and you just don't give a damn.
You're as dead as he is.
He looks just like his mother, Allison.
So it was your wife? When we got divorced, she told me she was four months pregnant.
I suggested she get rid of it.
I guess she didn't.
The first time Danny ran away, I didn't sleep thinking about him.
Then the police found him in Coney Island.
He was with three other boys his age.
They had records.
One was carrying a gun.
Fourteen years old.
After that, Danny ran away pretty regularly, to the point where we were on a first name basis with detectives who looked for him.
Kids, Mommy and Daddy need to talk to these policemen.
Go play in the next room till we're done, okay? When was the last time you saw your son? He ran away about six months ago.
We had an argument.
Because we got tough and laid down the law.
They say that's what you do.
When we didn't find him, I guess I I just started to think the worst.
You know why he left? He pushed Allison against the wall and I threatened to call the police.
It was an accident.
Stop defending him, Allison.
Danny was four when John and I were married.
And he seemed so happy to finally have a dad.
We could fill the void.
He didn't know about his biological father? I never told him about Walter.
John was the only father he ever knew.
Did you ever talk to a professional about what he was going through? Yeah, we took him to a psychiatrist.
He prescribed medicine.
Danny wouldn't take his pills.
He wouldn't look me in the eyes most of the time.
Well, the shrink said Danny had a conduct disorder.
They say kids with CD grow up to be sociopaths.
Let me tell you, he was on his way.
When he left, do you know of anybody he would have run to? There were some kids in Brooklyn the detectives found him with last year.
More hoodlums, if you didn't guess.
Do you remember the detectives' names? I'll get you his card.
If he was my kid, I would've cut him loose a long time ago.
Between us, whoever killed him saved us the trouble.
I guarantee we'd be cleaning up his mess down the road.
What happened with those kids from Brooklyn? Three of them got pulled over in a boosted car.
One had an ounce of weed on him.
Danny got his wrist slapped because he flipped on the other two.
Spreading good cheer wherever he went.
Where are they now? One's still in juvie and they cut the other kid loose a few weeks ago.
Thanks a lot.
See you guys- Danny stole the car, not me.
I get eight months and he gets a deal 'cause his parents get him a fancy lawyer.
Look, you got out of juvie right around the same time Danny got murdered, so explain that.
I don't know nothing about it.
I got a job, I got a place to stay.
That's all I know.
Hey! You're on probation, which means you belong to us.
You hold out on us, and you can kiss this new life goodbye.
Man, I am not going back underground.
Damn CRUD freaks 'med to cut me.
Underground? What're you talking about? You mean in the subway tunnels? Riverside Park.
It was a bunch of us who stayed down there.
Real warm in the winter.
Did something happen with Danny down there? Danny hooked up with this girl named Tina.
It was a stupid move.
Tina was Shawn's girl.
So did this guy Shawn and Danny get into it over Tina? Yeah, Danny and Tina took off together and Shawn said they were dead if they ever came back around.
Wait a minute.
You didn't happen to run into Shawn and tell him where Danny was, did you? I heard Danny was staying at Tina's mom's house.
When I ran into Shawn, I might've told him.
Don't you think that might've led to him doing something to Danny? All right, let's go.
You're gonna dump the garbage and you're gonna show us where Shawn lives.
Nice place, don't you think? Police, everybody relax.
We're just looking for Shawn.
Hey, this ain't right.
Has anybody here seen Shawn? How about you, pal, you seen him? I ain't seen him.
I ain't seen him.
Don't touch me! Unclean son of a bitch! Stop! Don't touch me! No! Hey! Hey! Hey! Police! Freeze! Go, man, go! Police! Freeze! Ed! You all right in there, Ed? Man, you all right? Punk tried to shoot me! You tried to kill a cop? You all scared the hell out of me.
I'll give you something to be scared of! Hey, check it out.
A .
38 Special.
Come on.
Look, I told you.
The gun went off by accident.
I wouldn't even waste my lead on either of you two.
No offense.
Attempted murder of a police officer is what you're looking at.
Ballistics is checking into that gun of yours.
My guess is it's gonna tie you to Danny's murder.
I didn't even know the dude was dead.
I'm shocked, seriously.
Robert told us you knew where Danny was.
So? I went by Tina's, but he wasn't there.
So it's just live and let live with you, huh? Right.
Give peace a chance, you know.
You don't strike me as the type of guy who would just let things go.
You have two active warrants, criminal trespass and assault and Bellevue says that you escaped from their custody.
I ain't going back to no hospital.
They tried to kill me in there.
So you'd rather give up three squares a day and good medication and live like a rat.
Those people down there depend on me.
I bring them food, you know.
And Danny and that bitch would always be complaining.
He steals Tina.
Next thing, the punk pulls out a knife.
But I got powers to that effect.
Ain't the first knife pulled on me.
Well, what were you gonna do when you found him? Like I said, I never did find him.
Do you want to explain the suspect's condition? I don't know.
It was dark in the tunnel.
I guess he fell on his face.
Lieutenant, that was me.
The bastard took a shot at me.
I'm sorry, I'm sensitive about that.
Ballistics on the boy's .
It's not the murder weapon.
You're kidding me.
So put him in a cell and start looking for Tina.
Come on, open up.
It's the police.
Super said she was home.
We're looking for Tina Keith.
I'm her mother.
She's not here.
You mind if we ask you a few questions? Now is not a good time.
Come on.
Just open the door.
It'll only take a minute.
Come on! Have you seen this kid before? Danny Ashburn, he's a friend of your daughter's.
Tina said he got hit by a bus.
I say good riddance.
She expects me to feed every stray dog she brings home.
Ma'am, we need to talk to your daughter.
She's leaving for Miami tomorrow.
Do you know where she is? It's very important that we talk to her.
She went to that clinic around the corner.
I know he was making her sell herself on the street.
How she got knocked up.
Do you have a picture of your daughter we can borrow? Damn it, I didn't do nothing! We heard you were going to Miami.
Get your hands off me! Girl, you better calm down! She's a lovely girl, don't you think? Reminds me a lot of her mother.
I don't gotta talk to you.
You're gonna tell us everything you know about Danny Ashburn.
I don't know nobody named Danny.
- Where are you taking me? - Downtown.
Well, I didn't kill him.
I loved him.
I wasn't even there.
I came back and I found him.
Why don't you just calm down, and in your own words, tell us what happened? All right.
Danny called his mom to ask for money.
He told her where we were.
She showed up, like, an hour later.
She was crying.
Did he tell her about the baby? Yeah.
He thought if we told her I was pregnant, we'd get more.
And she gave us all she had on her, like, 60 bucks and she left.
When did you find Danny dead? The next day.
I'd gone out to Clarkstown to ask his mother for more.
Danny didn't want to deal with her getting emotional, so I went alone.
When I got there, she talked to me on the porch.
She didn't want his stepfather to find out what was going on.
And I guess he figured it out, though, 'cause she went inside to get her checkbook and I heard shouting.
Okay, so his stepfather got mad.
What did he do? I don't know.
She wrote me a check for another 60, made me leave.
I barely had enough change to make it back on the bus to the city.
When I got back, I found Danny.
There wasn't nothing I could do.
The parents lied to us.
They said Danny was out of the picture for months.
Did the girl's story check out? She said it took her about three hours to get back to that warehouse.
Now, the buses in Rockland County were running on staggered shifts, so the timing sounds right.
John Ashburn's E-ZPass clocks a trip over the George Washington Bridge that afternoon.
This is assuming the mother told the stepfather where Danny was living.
Well, assuming that she did, the motive plays out.
The mother's at the end of her rope, the stepfather's fed up.
And the delinquent kid and his pregnant girlfriend show up at their house looking for cash.
Where did they get the gun? John did accounting for a family restaurant.
The owner kept a .
38 registered on the premises.
He reported it stolen a month ago.
Now, if it's not in the East River by now Get a warrant, search the home.
You can't do this.
You can't just come in here and go through our things.
Ma'am, we have a warrant to search your home.
Now, please John? Allison? They just barged in.
Glad you're here, sir.
We can make this easy.
Where's the firearm? The .
What're you talking about? I don't have a gun.
I told you.
Hey, what are you doing? I found it.
It was on the top shelf in the laundry room.
And believe it or not, there's two spent shells in the chamber.
Where'd that come from? I didn't put that there.
John Ashburn, you're under arrest for the murder of Danny Ashburn.
No, stop.
Allison, what the hell is going on here? Please! You have the right to remain silent.
John! Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
You've the right to an attorney.
I'll answer your question when you tell me what the hell this is about.
Where's my wife? She's being interviewed right now.
Ballistics matched the .
38 we found in your house to the one that killed Danny.
The same .
38 that was stolen from the Hackett's Mill Restaurant, which you happen to keep the books for.
How would I know anything about that? You're making accusations! Tina Keith came to your house to ask for money for Danny and you got upset.
Which you neglected to tell us about when we notified you of your stepson's death.
I didn't talk to her, Allison did.
I thought she was one of Danny's old friends, looking for him.
Danny got shot before Tina made it back into the city.
So what did you do after she left? I took the kids to that penguin movie.
You can check.
I went to the multiplex in Clarkstown.
I have receipts.
Where was your wife during all this time? Oh, God.
I knew what I was going to do.
But I'm not a bad mother, believe me.
You found Danny in the warehouse We argued.
I told him that I cared for him and that I wanted the best for him, but he didn't believe me.
Things couldn't go on the way that they were.
I fired the gun twice.
I put him in his sleeping bag.
He looked so peaceful after he died.
Did Danny physically threaten you? No.
I I had the gun on him the whole time so that he couldn't touch me.
Danny didn't love me anymore.
He was so full of hate.
Do you understand? I had to do it.
I couldn't go through that pain again.
He was becoming just like his father.
“Docket number 5877.
People v.
Allison Ashburn.
"Charge of Murder in the Second Degree.
" Do we have a plea? Not guilty, Your Honor.
Your Honor, the People ask for remand.
The defendant's charged with murdering her own son.
She's a danger to her two other children still residing in the home.
What? I would never hurt them.
It's an absurd suggestion, Judge.
The victim in this case had threatened my client in the past.
The defendant's confession made no mention of self-defense.
My client has no criminal record, no history of violence.
Her husband is prepared to post their home as collateral for bail.
Her family will do whatever it takes to have their mother home with them during this difficult time.
Well, call me sentimental, Counselor.
I'll set bail at $1 million.
They can't make that.
That's not my problem.
I think Booker is going to argue that Allison was suffering from an extreme emotional disturbance.
Go for man one? It's the best play they can make.
No person in her position could reasonably have done what she did.
We have a strong confession, solid evidence.
How many soccer moms have you convicted on murder two lately? So she's sympathetic.
More to the point, Danny Ashburn isn't.
His father's a convicted serial killer.
Judging from Danny's behavioral issues, the apple wasn't falling far.
The jury can sympathize.
We still have to hold her accountable.
As soon as Booker files her notice of defense, have Olivet talk to Allison Ashburn.
I knew he wasn't right when he was 10 years old.
I caught him in the backyard.
I thought I heard a A baby crying, but it was the neighbor's cat.
Danny had a pocketknife and he was torturing it to death.
I thought, "This is my son?" I loved him, you know.
But it wasn't enough to make him a good person.
And John and I did everything right.
Did Danny affect your relationship with your husband? Danny pushed him, and they fought all the time.
I used to I used to pray that something would happen.
An accident.
So that God would take Danny back.
L think about him hurting someone and I couldn't go through that again.
Danny had hurt someone before? No, his father, his real father killed women.
And after Walter went to prison, I tried to get in touch with the families, but no one wanted to talk to me.
What would you have said to them? How sorry I was.
That I hated Walter as much as they did.
That girl, Danny's girlfriend, when I saw her that day, and she looked all beat to hell, and when I confronted Danny about it, he gave me the same hateful look that Walter used to give me.
That's how I knew.
I knew what was in his heart.
She feels tremendous guilt for having been Flint's wife.
You could look at the act of Danny's murder as a twisted attempt to undo the crimes Flint committed.
The sins of the father visited upon the son? The son who was violent and out of control.
Conduct disorder is the worst psychiatric diagnosis in pediatrics.
Parents say it's like living with a terrorist.
If Danny was so bad, maybe Allison was just sick of dealing with him? I don't think it's that simple.
She loved her son.
But she came to believe Danny was beyond saving.
It still doesn't mitigate premeditated murder.
Look, people who commit violent crimes often leave behind families who suffer as well.
So who isn't a victim here? I'm skeptical of EED defenses.
But I think this woman's clearly traumatized.
And Tina Keith showing up on her doorstep provoked her? It could've been enough.
Danny had seen one of those iPod things laying in the front seat of a car.
He told me to keep an eye out.
Then right when he busted the window, a cop rolled around the corner and saw us.
We took off, didn't get nothing.
Why did he hit you? Well, I should've seen the cop.
I know it makes him sound bad, but I know he loved me.
He gave me this baby.
Were there other times that Danny hit you? Sure.
If we missed the train 'cause I didn't walk fast enough, or, you know, he thought some guy was looking at me wrong.
It sounds like he hit you for nothing.
I'm not explaining it right.
Believe me, he had a reason.
Did Danny ever threaten your life? He scared me.
He used to promise me one day he'd kill me and then himself.
He was twisted like that.
It meant he loved me, you know? Did Danny's mother know about this? She told me she worried about me staying with him.
L told her she should be.
Tina, why didn't you leave Danny? He never would've let me leave.
He tormented his family, he battered his girlfriend.
Danny Ashburn wasn't a victim.
He was an argument for birth control.
He's not the one on trial here.
You all put his pregnant girlfriend on the stand, the jury will admire the mother for not killing him sooner.
I covered his psychiatric files.
I talked to his teachers, his neighbors.
By all accounts, he grew up in a good home.
There are no allegations of child abuse and their other two kids are well-adjusted.
Well, Danny's a bad seed.
Supports her claim.
I'm favoring the notion she wanted him out of her life permanently.
Well, the law doesn't say the act of killing has to be reasonable, it's the nature of the disturbance.
Or the novelty of the excuse.
Driving into Manhattan certainly gave her ample time to come to her senses.
But will a jury send her upstate for 25-to-life? Not a chance.
Offer man one.
Pick whatever number you can live with.
Still gonna seem like a lifetime to her kids.
Ten years, Jack? She'd get at least 10 with a successful EED defense.
It'd save us all the hassle of a trial.
Well, how about three years, with psychiatric counseling from here to eternity? She sought out her son with the sole intention of murdering him.
She needs therapy, not hard time.
Bedford Correctional has excellent counselors on staff, free of charge to your client.
I'm firm on the number.
I told you, I'm not doing it.
We understand how bad your son was, Mrs.
We're being generous.
You'll be out in time to see your kids graduate from high school.
You're looking at Think about this.
Taking the gun proves intent to murder.
Lying to the police shows consciousness of guilt.
You freely confessed to the crime.
You'd be crazy to go to trial.
I didn't lose control or go crazy.
That girl and that little baby would have died.
I'm his mother, I was responsible.
You tell them or I'll get another lawyer.
I've advised my client that this is the wrong move, but she's adamant.
I still intend to represent her.
Call it Plan B.
You're going to argue justification? We'll prove my client was acting in defense of others when she killed the victim.
He posed a grave and imminent threat.
In other words, she killed her son to protect society.
That's exactly what we're saying.
See you at trial, Jack.
This defense was never intended to justify the murder of a potentially dangerous person.
There was nothing potential about this young man's capacity for violence.
We've submitted ample evidence to that effect.
Which is prejudicial and irrelevant.
No imminent threat was posed to a third party.
No one else was present at the scene of the crime, except for the victim and the defendant.
Tough hurdle to clear there, Counselor.
The victim's battered girlfriend told my client her life was being threatened.
She had time to retreat and get help.
Call the police? And after they stoked Danny's anger and eventually released him, the threat would've remained.
Your Honor, she's twisting the legal definition We have submitted multiple reports from psychiatric experts.
They will testify that Danny was a virtual ticking bomb given his history and genetics.
He could've lashed out at any moment.
Justifying murder by what these experts say was in Danny's body, mind and soul? You don't find that offensive? It would be extreme if we presented only genetic evidence without a pattern of behavior.
But Danny has documented examples of violence.
Couple that with his father being a convicted serial rapist and murderer.
I've read the briefs.
I'm gonna grant some latitude here.
The defense can make a claim of reasonable belief of imminent harm.
Your Honor.
I agree, Mr.
It's a stretch.
I'll cautiously indulge the defense.
You go too far, Counselor, it's over.
Danny Ashburn suffered from what we call a Type 2 Conduct Disorder.
Type 2 is characterized by predation and affective aggression.
Danny presented marked interpersonal hostility, angry affect and impulsiveness.
Was he violent? We documented numerous examples of physical cruelty and abuse.
Danny told me himself during treatment that he often lost control of his rage.
What is the prognosis for a child with Type 2 Conduct Disorder? It typically progresses into Adult Antisocial Personality Disorder.
CD has been directly linked to rape, assault and homicide.
Thank you.
Did you advocate immediately locking Danny Ashburn up after his diagnosis? Of course not.
That said, in my experience, most teenagers with CD usually wind up incarcerated anyway, usually with the worst criminal offenses.
In other words, when the defendant murdered her son, she was well within the statistical probability of killing someone who would've been guilty of committing a crime eventually.
Will we ever truly know what Danny Ashburn's potential was? That's difficult to assess.
Because the defendant murdered him first, isn't that correct? Yes.
Nothing further.
I never got to meet my son.
I was out of Allison's life before he was born.
You're incarcerated for raping and murdering women.
Why would you do this? I guess 'cause I wanted to.
Do you feel there's a compulsion towards violence in your family? I had an uncle who was killed by police during a fight.
My own father, he was a bad one.
He once raped my mother in front of me when I was a kid.
I guess you'd call that a compulsion.
You were raised by a violent father in an environment of abuse, isn't that correct? Guess so.
But you had no contact with your son throughout his life? I've been incarcerated since before he was born.
Didn't know I had a kid.
Would you characterize everyone in the history of your family as violent? Probably not.
To your knowledge, was anyone on your ex-wife's side of the family violent? No, nobody.
Nobody except for her, isn't that correct? Nothing further.
Court will adjourn for lunch.
We'll reconvene at 2:00.
Tina Keith was arrested for shoplifting in Midtown.
We've got a problem.
You're looking at Danny Ashburn at an ATM on 59th and 3rd.
It was an open homicide in the 39 for months.
Danny Ashburn fits the description of the shooter.
And Tina here knew all the details.
Why didn't you mention this before? With her priors, she'd be doing time.
She's only talking to us to make a deal.
I'm not gonna have my baby in jail.
Look, I wasn't even there.
Danny told me about it.
Now you said you'd let me go.
Danny pulled the trigger after he got the cash.
Now the defense has a case.
The victim's name is Philip Brown.
He left behind a wife and a daughter.
Simply put, Your Honor, this crime proves my client was right.
It isn't about being right.
She had no knowledge of this when she murdered Danny Ashburn.
This evidence shows the naked truth about this kid.
She shouldn't get the benefit of hindsight.
She murdered the victim out of fear of what he might do, not what he did.
Did the defendant know that her son had committed this crime? No.
I didn't know.
People v.
The victim's reputation for violence is admissible, regardless of the defendant's a priori knowledge.
This is a perfect example of that reputation.
McCoy, I do find the prior act troubling in its implication.
Implications and probabilities can't be used to justify murder.
You can question the defendant about her knowledge of this crime.
I'll let you establish what she knew.
But the videotape comes in.
Our lawyer says the trial's going to continue.
What did you expect? You saw the surveillance video.
Danny had no reason to kill that man.
I don't understand why you're still going after my wife.
She didn't have a crystal ball, Mr.
She doesn't get a pass for guessing correctly.
It should make a difference.
Not according to the law.
The law doesn't care my kids are losing their mother? I sympathize.
She's been punished enough.
We all have.
He was ruining us.
I think we're done talking here.
You're gonna turn a blind eye to the facts.
The facts are a gun and a boy who was unarmed when he was shot.
I'm sorry.
I just want my wife back.
Allison, why did you kill your son? He was dangerous.
I knew he was going to hurt someone.
Turns out he did.
Why did you believe he was dangerous? His entire adolescence was filled with fights and assaults.
And he got older, and he stole money, cars, guns.
We did everything we could to change his behavior.
But nobody could fix what was wrong with Danny.
What happened that day you went to the warehouse? Danny's girlfriend, Tina, was pregnant by him.
She came to our house.
Her lip was swollen, she had a bruise on her neck.
One of the whites of her eyes was red with blood from Danny hitting her.
So you asked her about the bruises? Yes.
I told her that Danny would kill her and that baby if she didn't get away from him, and she said I was right, that he would kill her.
What happened after that? I couldn't stop thinking about him hurting that poor girl, or their baby, or some stranger like he did at that ATM.
So I had to do something before he hurt somebody.
You're saying you had no choice? Between doing nothing and letting him kill that girl or somebody else? I was responsible for my son.
The crime we just saw on that videotape, you had no knowledge of that before you killed your son, is that right? No, I didn't know.
But I knew it would happen eventually.
Call it mother's intuition? Call it 10 years of taking him to specialists, of having the police visit our house, of apologizing to parents every time Danny assaulted one of their kids.
I knew my son was violent and dangerous, just like his father.
Did you and your husband worry about having Danny in your home? I didn't want him living on the street.
What about your husband? John put up with a lot.
Put up with the danger to your two other kids? Did John ever throw Danny out of the house? He had in the past, yes.
Did you ever feel like you had to choose between your husband and your son? No.
Then why did you decide to murder Danny when you did? What provoked you? That girl.
You knew how terrible Danny was for years.
But this time, you took a gun and killed him.
Why? You never told your husband that Danny had contacted you, did you? Or that you'd gone to see him in the city.
Who did you truly fear, Mrs.
Ashburn? Danny? Or your husband when he found out your son was back? Objection.
He didn't want Danny around anymore, did he? Your marriage was falling apart because of him, isn't that right? Objection.
You had no choice.
Murder a monster, or lose your dreams of a happy family.
Lose everything that was right in your life.
- Your Honor! - Mr.
Tell us what was going to happen if Danny came home.
John said that he would take the kids and leave.
I didn't know what to do.
Yes, you did.
Like a good mother, you fixed the problem.
In the matter of The People v.
Allison Ashburn on the count of Murder in the Second Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Allison Ashburn, guilty.
Allison Ashburn was wrong about the jury.
But she was right about Danny, and I can't help feeling sorry for her.
She left a good deal on the table.
Mercy beyond the law is above my pay grade.
By the way, I spoke to Tina Keith today.
How is she doing? Better.
She connected with Child Services.
They got her to a doctor for a check-up.
She's having a boy.