Law & Order (1990) s04e11 Episode Script

Golden Years

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.
Mildred? Mildred, are you all right? Oh, my God.
Mildred? Mildred.
We took the call.
Found the door jimmied.
Bashed in is more like it.
Neighbors? Nobody home.
Everybody works.
Went through the place hit or miss.
Dialing for dollars.
They didn't bother breaking this drawer open.
Maybe something scared them off.
It sure wasn't her.
Mildred Bauer, Bruises on her arms, cut along her jaw.
Think the burglar knocked her around? Or she fell.
Is this her? Looks like she lost about 30 pounds.
Yeah, well, there's no way she put up much of a struggle.
Would you check the bottom drawer of the dresser? Ma'am, you really ought to let us take you in.
That's where she kept her jewelry, and you'll need to know what's missing.
If you don't let us take you in, I'm gonna ask you to sign this.
I gave her a pair of Georgian silver candlesticks eight Christmases ago.
No, 10 Christmases ago.
They're gone.
And as for her furs, she Oh, that's right.
Oh, she, uh She gave them away.
Ma'am, are you sure you're all right? No.
But I'm alive.
Old people living alone, get sick, fall down.
This one may have had some help.
Her apartment was broken into.
What, the bruises? Don't jump to conclusions.
People her age get them rolling over in bed.
Well, what about a heart attack? I mean, the intruder scares her, that's homicide.
She looks like the poster girl for about six different diseases.
A heart attack might have been redundant.
How about time of death? At least 12 hours.
You'll get my report on Tuesday.
Yeah? Hold them there.
Waiting room.
Next of kin.
Laura and I begged her to get out of that apartment and go into a home.
We found one, a nice one.
My mother-in-law was stubborn.
Even my dad, when he was alive, tried to get her to move.
She heard "nursing home," it meant she was gonna die.
To think someone killed her for that stuff.
There was nothing valuable.
Do you know Were there any delivery people or anybody who might have known that she was living there alone? She didn't.
I hired a live-in for her.
Didn't you talk to Maria? There was no one in the apartment.
Maybe she was running errands.
There was no sign of anybody else living there.
I saw Maria on Tuesday.
She and Grans were playing checkers.
Maria Gonzales.
Do you have an address? She lived in.
Maria Gonzales.
She was paid in cash.
There's no address.
She's probably illegal.
Good luck.
You want to knock on every door in Washington Heights? You want to let it sit? I wouldn't mind checking out the new Thunderbirds at the auto show.
All we've got for sure is a B and E.
And she lived there.
Why would she break in? Right, she lived there.
So where the hell is she? She was supposed to be taking care of the lady.
She's probably taking care of another old lady right now.
Illegals don't like trouble.
She's out shopping, comes back, the lady's dead, she takes off.
Maybe she got tired of being a maid and decided to give herself a little farewell bonus.
You want to find a maid, talk to other maids.
She is Dominica, I am Haitian.
We are not friends at home, or here.
I didn't ask if you sent her valentines.
I just asked if you know her.
She worked for a Mrs.
Lived in that building there.
No, I don't think so.
All right.
I'm looking for a girl named Maria.
She's a maid.
I think she hangs out here.
That one doesn't speak English.
That one doesn't like Dominicans.
How about this one? She doesn't do windows? No, this one doesn't know any Marias.
Right? No.
No Marias.
That lady that was killed, are you investigating that? Yes, we are, ma'am.
Rosa, you remember Mildred Bauer.
I used to talk to her.
No, I don't remember.
You know her, Rosa.
The skinny lady with the kidney.
Maybe we better talk this over down at the INS.
You do have your green card, don't you? You want Maria Gonzales? I'll tell you where she's staying.
She's staying with my boyfriend, Felix Ortega.
Write it in your book.
She took him away.
What do you want? Maria Gonzales.
We can wait.
Felix? You are here about Mrs.
I am very sorry for her.
Really? How'd you know there was anything to be sorry about? I have friends who work on that street.
They told me.
Weren't you supposed to be with Mrs.
Bauer when she died? No.
Not after Tuesday.
What happened after Tuesday? You get distracted? They fire me.
Bauer fired you? Not Mrs.
Bauer, her granddaughter.
You weren't there yesterday? You mind if we come in and look around? You got a warrant? I know the law.
Look, we don't find anything, you're in the clear.
Yeah, don't do us any favors.
Hey, did we forget to mention? Your other girlfriend said hi.
Maria said I fired her? That's crazy.
Oh, my God, she must have robbed the place.
But why would she hurt Grans? Did your grandmother ever- Sorry.
I'm hungry.
The last couple of months, my mother and I noticed some things missing from the apartment.
Nothing much.
An old radio, a winter coat.
Wouldn't that be a reason to fire her? It was small stuff.
My grandmother was incontinent.
You know what that means.
It's not easy to find people to take care of someone like that.
You didn't think Maria's stealing was worth mentioning before when we're investigating a burglary that's connected to your grandmother's death? I guess so.
But Maria lives there.
You said someone broke in.
The maid's boyfriend, the lovely and appealing Felix Ortega two burglary convictions.
What about Laura's boyfriend? Think we ought to check him out? Why? I want to know who's associating with the suspect.
Since when is she a suspect? Now that you know the maid was stealing, you get a search warrant for the asking.
Well, why didn't she mention the maid was stealing until we asked? And tell me again, why would the maid break into the place she lived? To throw us off the scent? Is Maria Gonzales actually that smart? Or did Laura Bauer fire her and take away her key? An old lady wetting her pants? You don't fire somebody who's willing to clean up.
Even if they do walk off with the occasional ashtray.
My old man got pretty hard to handle when he started thinking my mother was trying to poison him.
Alzheimer's? Yeah.
Couldn't stop him from throwing his dinner in the toilet and eating birdseed.
I told Mike, if I ever start to drift, to take my gun and shoot me.
You got nothing better to do, you hassle a Dominican? Hey, everyone needs a hobby.
$400? Somebody been to the pawn shop since yesterday? I work the trucks.
I save my money.
"Rafeal Nava "Barahona, Republica Dominicana.
" My nephew.
For his birthday.
You're gonna have to buy some more brown wrapping paper.
See, what we have here is one of those little cultural differences.
Now, I gave my nephew a baseball mitt.
That's them.
I know that Mildred told her to polish these once a week but they haven't been polished in months.
Now, you're absolutely certain that these are the candlesticks you gave to Mildred Bauer? Well, just because I'm old, Detective, doesn't mean I'm senile.
Maria tells us that Mrs.
Bauer gave them to her.
If she gave them to anyone she'd give them to her granddaughter.
They were very close.
She ever tell you she was gonna give them to Laura? She didn't tell me anything the last few weeks.
I'd go to visit, and the maid wouldn't let me in.
She said Mildred couldn't be disturbed.
The only thing that disturbed Mildred was a Democrat in the White House.
It's your basic "he said, she said," Detective.
Miss Gonzales says that Mrs.
Bauer gave her the candlesticks.
Now there's no one alive that says she didn't.
Which kind of brings us to the main event, Counselor.
Regarding Mrs.
Bauer's death Miss Gonzales is prepared to cooperate completely.
Really? She's gonna give us her boyfriend? Laura caught me giving Mrs.
Bauer extra food and water.
She told me not to.
She told you not to feed her grandmother? She said give her just a little water spread the food around on the plate so it looks like more.
I did, but she was hungry.
She was so thin.
I tried to give her more.
Miss Bauer came in and saw.
She was very angry.
You were fired, right? Well, how'd you feel about that? I was worried.
I knew she wouldn't feed her.
I went on Friday with Felix.
We knocked on the door.
Bauer didn't come.
Felix broke it open.
We saw her.
We knew she was dead.
And you looted the place.
We didn't take anything.
I didn't believe it, either, till she showed me these.
"One chopped, cooked carrot.
"Half a potato only.
" Laura Bauer left them on the refrigerator.
Little reminders to starve her grandmother to death.
"Only one cup of water today.
" You sure the maid wasn't over-watering the plants? It wasn't the plants that died.
When my old man lost his mind, I never thought of starvation as a solution.
Well, the maid still has a little credibility problem.
You think she made this up? That's a hell of an imagination.
ME's report was due this morning.
Before we go after a grieving relative for murder why don't we make sure we know how Mrs.
Bauer died? You wanted me to look for trauma.
For a heart attack.
Well, what were we supposed to think? She was found dead during a break-in.
She was found dead during the war in Bosnia, too, but that didn't kill her, either.
Hypotension, diminished organ size, kidney shutdown these are all signs of dehydration.
How was she eating? She wasn't.
High levels of amino and fatty acids in her plasma.
She was catabolizing muscle.
So she was starved to death.
Unless she didn't have an appetite, because she was sick or she didn't want to eat, 'cause she was depressed.
Well, don't go out on a limb.
Look, I can tell you how she ended up.
I can't tell you how she got that way.
But she definitely starved to death.
Why are you asking me? You found Maria.
She had my grandmother's things.
Laura, your grandmother didn't die during the burglary.
She died of a lack of food and water.
You recognize these? What are you saying? Do you think I neglected my grandmother? I'm just asking if the handwriting looks familiar.
Yeah, I wrote them.
I had to give Maria specific instructions.
You admit you told Maria to restrict your grandmother's food? She was feeding her empanadas.
All those spicy sauces.
Was the water spicy, too? Her intake had to be monitored.
Liquid balance was very difficult with her condition.
Her condition? My grandmother had pneumonia last spring.
It led to a kidney problem.
Did you make that diagnosis yourself? No, Dr.
Matthewson did.
He's on East 56th Street.
She had arthritis.
I had her on painkillers.
Last year she broke a hip, spent six weeks in the hospital.
This year, pneumonia, then acute kidney disease.
Did you tell the granddaughter to restrict her water? To minimize fluid retention.
She had to watch her protein intake, too.
These diet restrictions, how long were they supposed to last? Depends on how the case progresses.
How did Mrs.
Bauer's case progress? I'm afraid I don't know.
She missed her appointments.
Don't you take some kind of an oath to follow up on the treatment of sick people? My receptionist called.
She was told Mrs.
Bauer was seeing another doctor.
Told by Mrs.
Bauer? By her granddaughter.
So the medical excuse holds up.
Yeah, but Laura Bauer said her grandmother was seeing another doctor.
No one asked the old doctor for her records.
So she took her home and left her there.
And applied the low-protein diet a little overenthusiastically.
Come on, Mike.
You really believe that girl did it on purpose? The old lady was left alone.
There was no food in that apartment.
The maid didn't have a motive to starve or kill her.
Okay, what's the granddaughter's motive? Some old ladies have bank accounts.
The granddaughter is an heir.
To what? Mildred, rich? What's rich? Anything with six zeros.
Not Mildred.
A couple of hundred grand in bonds.
All left to charity.
So Laura Bauer didn't stand to inherit a dime? What about Laura's mother? No love lost there.
When Mildred's son divorced her, she got enough for a summer wardrobe and a few lunches at Schraft's.
Okay, so the old lady wasn't crazy about Laura or her mother.
She liked Laura once she started taking care of her.
Set up an education fund.
Laura's planning on law school.
Mildred liked to slip her a little extra.
Bought her a BMW.
A little extra? Used.
Now wait a minute.
Did Laura know she wasn't inheriting? I mean, maybe she figured she was getting something.
Video will.
I use it with my elderly clients to demonstrate competence.
Where am I supposed to look, dear? Over there, Grans There's Laura right there, Mike.
I guess she knew what she wasn't getting.
Laura didn't need Mildred's money.
She was going to law school and Mildred said that she brought over her fiancé Kent Halliwell, a fine old Boston name.
Mildred was a bit of a snob.
I give and bequeath my entire estate to United Charities of Manhattan.
Mildred was old-fashioned.
She took care of Laura's education.
Beyond that, she thought inherited money made people soft.
If anything, the kid had a motive to keep the old lady alive.
When she went, so did all the goodies.
I don't know.
How about if we prove Laura Bauer was lying to her grandmother? Then would you buy she's lying to us? About the fiancé? You think that black guy she's shacking up with is from a fine old Boston family? Black Irish.
What'd the lawyer say the fiancé's name was? Kent Halliwell? What you say we find Mr.
Halliwell? Check out his tan.
Laura and I are friends, sure.
What's this about? We heard that you were engaged, right? Well, no.
I mean, not really.
We went out for a while.
Then you know that Laura's going out with someone else, right? Well, so am I.
But we still see each other sometimes.
What does this have to do with her grandmother's death? It was that maid, wasn't it? Did you tell Mrs.
Bauer that you were Laura's fiancé? I liked the old lady.
She was sick, and Laura said it would cheer her up.
Hey, I want to cheer up an old lady, I buy her a 10-year subscription to TV Guide.
She was dying and she wanted to feel like her life meant something.
That the Bauers would carry on.
She told her we loved that awful apartment and that we couldn't wait to live in it after we were married.
Which would be when? Never? She was dying.
She liked to hear that Laura was doing well.
Laura told her she was going to law school.
She wasn't going to law school? Look, she was just trying to make her feel better.
I mean, what does it matter? She loved Laura.
She even left her that apartment, for God's sake.
Here, three months ago.
"Mildred Bauer and Laura Bauer became tenants in common "with right of survivorship.
" Co-owners.
So the apartment wasn't in the estate.
Remember Halliwell said she told her grandmother they wanted to live there after they got married? The old lady signed it over.
Maybe not a wise move.
Yeah, tell me about it.
I did it before my second divorce.
That's why I can't go home, anymore.
Hey, this girl works fast.
The bank filed a UCC-1 yesterday.
Laura has already borrowed against the property.
Still think she was an innocent bystander? Okay, maybe not.
"Westside Financial, $75,000.
" Now that buys a pretty nice funeral wreath.
Let's get a subpoena for her checking account and find out what else was on her shopping list.
She gave you a check for $60,000.
Yeah, the minimum for limited partners.
It was a good investment, so I offered Laura a chance to get in.
Hey, arugula salad, $12.
She'll make her money back in a week.
Maybe a year.
Body-healthy food presented with style.
People like it.
Sounds like it was lucky for Laura her grandmother died when she did.
She was pretty old.
How'd Laura take the news? She was sad.
They were very close.
The other night, Thursday, we were going to a club Laura insisted on stopping to check on her grandmother.
Thursday? You sure? Yeah.
Did you go in with her? We waited in the car.
She came back.
She said her grandmother was sleeping.
Why? Look at the timing, Miss Kincaid.
Thursday night.
The maid was fired on Tuesday.
If she fired the maid.
It doesn't matter.
Laura's the one we know who's been lying to us.
She said she hadn't been there since Tuesday.
The maid and her boyfriend came calling on Friday.
The old lady was dead.
You sure she wasn't still alive, and they didn't finish her off? They weren't there long enough to starve her to death.
Worse case, she was almost dead, they did nothing to help.
You're saying when the granddaughter stopped by Thursday night that she was definitely still alive? Laura left the beautiful people outside and ran in to check and see if her grandmother was dead yet.
If she'd have been dead already, Laura would've packed the body off to the funeral home, case closed.
But she's still alive, starving, and Laura runs off to the disco.
Tough case.
No weapon.
More omission than commission.
What's tough about it? She starved an 82-year-old woman to death.
Depraved indifference to human life.
It's homicide.
Bring her in.
Detective, what are you - Laura Bauer, you're under arrest for the murder of Mildred Bauer.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Do you understand that? You have the right to an attorney.
Should you refuse Look, Mildred Bauer had diabetes, arthritis heart condition, high blood pressure and kidneys you could have used as doorstops.
What I'm saying, Ben, is that she died of natural causes.
Starvation is a natural cause in Somalia.
In New York City, it's murder two.
Come on, Ben.
She lied to her grandmother.
She lied to her grandmother's doctor.
She ordered her grandmother's maid to withhold food.
And now she ends up with her grandmother's apartment.
Well, she just happens to be Mrs.
Bauer's granddaughter.
Who should the woman give the apartment to, the PLO? She might have lived longer if she had.
I didn't kill Gran.
Look, even if Laura had made errors in judgment, which I do not grant she, at most, hastened Mrs.
Bauer's inevitable death by, what a matter of weeks? Days, maybe.
Danielle, do you remember the bar exam? Yes.
And, Miss Bauer, this might interest you.
A woman falls off the top of the Empire State Building.
She passes the second floor, where a man shoots her and kills her seconds before she hits the ground.
Is that man guilty? Yes.
But what if the man doesn't shoot her? What if, as she falls, she asks him for a ham sandwich and he's just a little slow in handing it to her? Is that what happened, Miss Bauer? You just took your time feeding your grandmother? I don't believe this is happening.
I made sure my grandmother was well-cared for.
You made sure she didn't eat.
I did what the doctor told me to do.
I was going to school.
I was trying to have a life.
How many old people did you take care of while you were studying for finals? I was there all the time.
Believe me, Mildred's own daughter never cared for her the way Laura and I did.
I didn't know she had a daughter.
Lives in California.
She didn't even come to the funeral.
You have to understand.
Mildred was a very difficult person.
She refused to eat.
What I understand is your daughter got Mrs.
Bauer's apartment, and you got nothing.
What's that supposed to mean? Maybe I wasn't fond of Mildred, but I wouldn't want to see her suffer.
You weren't fond of her, but you helped take care of her? At first, then Laura took over.
Look, Laura was her grandchild.
I was just her son's ex-wife.
Is Laura as bitter as you are? I'm not bitter.
I'm realistic.
The mother knows more than she's willing to say.
Maybe we should push her.
It's a stretch, but we could indict her as complicit in neglecting Mrs.
Penal Law 26025.
It's only illegal to neglect an old person if the victim's incompetent because of mental disease or defect.
A curiosity of the law.
Well, we argue hunger and thirst affected Mrs.
Bauer's mind before she died.
It's only a misdemeanor.
Greater curiosity of the law.
Murder by starvation, I think that's enough to move a jury.
Well, be sure you get one with gray hair.
The young get impatient with old people, especially cantankerous ones.
Oh, really? Speaking from personal experience? I'm a sweetheart, and I'm middle-aged.
I don't know anything about it.
All I watch on TV is the nature shows.
Do you think someone who's arrested and brought to trial is probably guilty? I'm open-minded.
The police make mistakes.
Thank you.
Miss Kincaid.
Juror 14.
Stern, are you married? I'm a widower.
Nine years.
So you live alone? Nine years.
You have children? Two boys.
A draftsman and a businessman.
The recycling business.
Have you ever thought about what arrangements you would make if you were unable to live alone? If? You mean when.
Move in with my kid sister.
West Palm Beach.
She has a room ready.
Okay, thank you.
Miss Melnick? No questions, Your Honor.
Ready to approach.
Your Honor, the People have only one challenge for cause.
Juror number 6.
The gentleman who said, "God doesn't want anyone to live past three score and ten?" Granted.
No challenges for cause, Your Honor, but I will exercise peremptories against 2, 11, and 14.
Jurors 2, 6, 11, and 14 you are excused, with thanks, from service here.
Your Honor she's removing every juror over 65 without even bothering to question them.
They're peremptories, Ben.
I can use them against anyone I want.
The Supreme Court does not entirely agree with you, Danielle.
Really? In Georgia v.
McCollum: "White defendants accused of assaulting blacks "cannot exclude blacks from the jury.
" Now we have an old woman murdered.
Old people are being excluded.
It's an exact parallel.
Are you saying the defendant isn't getting a jury of her peers? I am saying the jury should represent the community.
People who look like the victim, as well as the defendant.
The principle of McCollum has already been extended to gender.
It's appropriate for you to extend it to age.
And I can extend it to left-handed redheads.
Maybe I'm overly humble, Counselors but I don't feel up to rewriting the Bill of Rights this week.
Ben, if your case is any good you can convince jurors under 65, too.
That Mildred was strong.
When she got pneumonia as she asked me to sell her ticket for that month's matinee club she said she'd be better in time for Miss Saigon.
And was she? I don't know.
I went to see her and the maid, Spanish girl, said that she had orders from Laura no one could come in.
Laura had us all fooled.
The jury will disregard the last remark.
Hodge, please confine your testimony to what you saw.
Well, Mildred disappeared into the apartment with a bad cough and next time I saw her, she was dead.
Did you have any reason to believe that Mrs.
Bauer should have been isolated? Of course not.
She wasn't a child.
And when was the last time you heard from her? She sent me a note a few weeks before she died.
She wanted to know if I could contribute to the engagement gift for Laura.
A tablecloth.
Mildred said she was going to give Laura some bonds for her future great-grandchildren.
And that was to celebrate the defendant's engagement to Mr.
Halliwell, correct? Yes.
I gather the engagement is off.
Thank you.
No further questions.
Hodge, you had no way of really knowing how sick Mrs.
Bauer was, did you? All my friends are dying fairly regularly now.
Mildred didn't have that look they get.
Yes, but you didn't see her for the last weeks of her life, did you? They wouldn't let me.
Yet you said you didn't see any reason to keep the world away from Mrs.
Now, for instance, did you know that her grocer was overcharging her? How could I know that? Did you know that a plumber charged her $800 to fix pipes that weren't even broken? She didn't need to be protected from me.
Really? Isn't it true that you borrowed $300 from Mildred Bauer over a year ago? Well, the Medicare didn't cover some dental work.
Well, she knew that I'd pay her back.
Did you? I would have.
Could that be why you were kept from seeing her? Because you were one of those people who were taking advantage of your so-called friend? She twisted everything.
Couldn't you stop her? Mrs.
Hodge, I asked you if there was anything in your relationship with Mrs.
Bauer that they could hold against you.
Now, how could I tell it mattered if I had my teeth fixed? I also said that there are rules in the courtroom that do not apply in the outside world.
Well, don't patronize me, young man.
I'm trying not to patronize you, ma'am.
Politicians want our votes, and everybody wants our money.
Otherwise, they don't even see you, unless you're walking too slow and then they push you aside.
If you're a burden, now they can kill you.
It's no problem.
We have the lying and thieving illegal alien maid.
I wouldn't count on that.
Her lawyer called.
INS is deporting her in six hours.
It was understood that my client wouldn't face any charges.
The burglary was dropped.
Well, thanks for nothing.
You had no case.
And we talked to Immigration.
Proceedings against Miss Gonzales will be suspended until after Laura Bauer's trial.
That won't do her any good.
Miss Gonzales has grown fond of New York.
God knows why.
Charlie, you know the jurisdiction was federal.
It's out of my hands.
We will need assurances that deportation proceedings will be dropped.
Or what? Or Miss Gonzales gets on that airplane tonight, and you fly solo in the courtroom tomorrow.
She testifies, or she's jailed for contempt.
She serves that sentence, and then she's deported.
I told her you got to feed her or she's gonna die.
And how did Miss Bauer respond when you said that? She said, "You want to work here, do what I say.
" And did you do what she said? I couldn't just do nothing.
I gave her extra food.
That's when she fired me.
So what happened after she fired you? I called Felix.
He came to help me take my things.
We were going.
That's when I remembered I had Mrs.
Bauer's medicine in my bag.
She wouldn't take it that morning.
So please tell the court what happened next, Miss Gonzales.
I went back upstairs and told Miss Bauer I had the medicine.
She said, "Keep it.
" Her grandmother didn't need it, anymore.
Thank you.
Your witness.
Miss Gonzales, you and your boyfriend, Felix Ortega broke into Mrs.
Bauer's apartment the day she died, didn't you? We wanted to see if she was all right.
But she wasn't all right, was she? She was lying on the floor, dead and you stepped over her to steal her valuables.
We ran away.
You were arrested for burglary, weren't you? Yes.
Bauer's silver candlesticks were found in Mr.
Ortega's apartment, were they not? Yes.
And yet, the District Attorney chose to drop those charges, didn't he? I didn't take anything.
You were scheduled to be deported yesterday, weren't you? Objection.
It's relevant if the District Attorney used his power, for the second time, Your Honor, to influence the testimony of this witness.
That is not true, Your Honor.
The truth of any testimony here will be decided by the jury.
If I'm slandered, Your Honor, I have to reply.
Miss Melnick any more remarks that provoke Mr.
Stone will also provoke me and you will regret it.
Yes, Your Honor.
Stone, your objection is overruled.
Miss Gonzales you were scheduled to be deported yesterday, were you not? Yes.
And the District Attorney took action to prevent that deportation, did he not? I don't know.
You don't know? You're here, aren't you? Nothing further.
Miss Gonzales, did I or anyone in the District Attorney's office ever tell you to say anything but the truth? No.
It is the truth.
And in regard to Miss Melnick's inference about your deportation what are your plans tomorrow? They are sending me back to Santo Domingo.
Thank you.
Grans had some cousins in New Jersey, too.
They never visited, either.
So the care of your grandmother fell entirely upon your shoulders, didn't it? I didn't mind.
She could be kind of difficult but she said we were a lot alike, that crankiness ran in the family.
Laura, would you please explain to the court why you told your grandmother that you were going to law school? Because I am going to go.
My grades just weren't good enough to apply right now.
I'm taking courses to get my average up.
When you gave Maria Gonzales instructions about feeding your grandmother did you ever believe that these instructions would be harmful? Of course not.
I was following the doctor's orders.
But she stopped seeing that doctor, didn't she? My grandmother didn't like him.
She was very particular.
I tried to get her to see someone else, but she said she was feeling better.
I just tried to keep her comfortable.
Laura, when you stopped by your grandmother's apartment the night before her body was found, why didn't you do anything to help her? She was in bed.
I thought she was sleeping.
I thought everything was fine.
Thank you.
Your witness.
I assume you have more than a few questions, Mr.
Stone? Yes, Your Honor.
We'll recess until tomorrow morning.
The loving grandchild versus the undesirable alien.
Now there's an even match.
Everything undermines the maid's credibility.
The boyfriend, the burglary, the deportation.
The INS doesn't deport people who blow up Lower Manhattan.
Why did they suddenly get interested in a Dominican maid? Let's ask them.
Her name was on our watch list.
We check it against arrest records, there she was.
And here we are.
Why was her name on the list? Was she some kind of notorious maid? Anonymous telephone informant, a couple of months ago.
Gave us her name, told us where she lived.
Like we can spare people to pick people up.
We put her on the list.
Worked out fine.
Somebody gave you her address? Probably her boyfriend's other girlfriend.
That's the usual.
What was the date on that phone call? I only wanted my grandmother to be happy.
So to make her happy, you lied about going to law school and you lied about investing in a restaurant and you lied about your engagement to Mr.
Halliwell, correct? It wasn't done to harm her.
You see no harm in lying to an old woman in order to get her to give you her apartment? She gave me that apartment because she loved me, and I loved her.
And you didn't have any resentments toward her for demanding your time and your attention? No, I didn't.
And you didn't resent her for wanting another kind of granddaughter? One who could go to law school and marry someone like Kent Halliwell? She had high standards.
I respected that.
And you didn't resent her denying you an inheritance? One that you and your mother thought was rightfully yours? I am not my mother.
Well, you are either the most patient person I ever met or you're lying now to make the jury happy.
Objection, Your Honor.
Miss Bauer, on the day that your grandmother died you told the police that you did not know where Maria Gonzales lived, is that correct? Yes.
Yet the same day, someone called the Immigration and Naturalization Service told them exactly where Miss Gonzales lived and suggested that she be picked up and deported.
Did you make that call? Objection.
Where did this call come from? Your Honor, we would like to introduce into evidence the local usage details on Miss Bauer's telephone.
Yes, I called them.
So you lied to the police, as well.
Why all the lies, Miss Bauer? And why the call to the INS? Because Miss Gonzales knew what you were up to and you didn't want her telling anybody? That's not it.
I was confused.
I felt guilty.
Of course you did, because you killed your grandmother.
No, because I couldn't save her! I knew she was dying.
She refused to go to a hospital.
She said all of her friends were dead the pain was so bad she couldn't sleep, and it wasn't going to get any better.
She told me that she wanted to die.
I begged her to eat.
I argued with her, but she was so stubborn.
I felt guilty because I hadn't argued harder.
When she asked me why she should go on living I couldn't give her an answer.
Stone, a priest has been waiting to see you since 8:00 so I put him in your office.
Mildred Bauer was my parishioner.
When Laura was arrested, the papers made it sound like she was guilty.
I didn't know what to think.
But now, I feel that I- Excuse me, Father, I have to ask you this.
Did her lawyer call you? No.
She doesn't know.
I heard about Laura's testimony on the news.
I mean, I don't know what I know for sure, really.
Mildred came to see me a few months ago.
She was ill.
She was in pain.
She said she didn't think God would want her suffering to continue.
I knew where she was headed.
Then she asked if she let herself die if she let God's course manifest itself would it be the same as suicide? Now, I cautioned her: Despair is an insult to God.
God doesn't want her help to work his ways.
And if she did what I thought she wanted to do I couldn't bury her.
But you did bury her.
She didn't shoot herself.
She didn't take pills.
I didn't know anything.
I had to give her the benefit of a doubt.
Miss Bauer, it's pretty damn convenient.
You suddenly remember that your grandmother wanted to commit suicide after you're put on trial for murder, and the case turns against you.
If you're not a Catholic, it's hard to explain.
I am a Catholic, Miss Bauer.
Try me.
Then you know.
Suicide is a mortal sin.
My grandmother wanted to be buried in consecrated ground next to her parents.
I couldn't tell anyone.
Murder is a mortal sin, too.
You just don't get it.
She wanted to die.
Why do you think she never called for help? There was a phone next to her bed.
It doesn't explain why you called the INS.
Maria is a Catholic, too.
What if she said something? What if I had to bury my grandmother in a public cemetery? You were willing to go to prison to keep this a secret? I never conceived of being arrested, let alone convicted.
I'm innocent.
Danielle, how can I possibly know this is true? Your client has a pretty good record of lying.
I had to lie.
I can be forgiven for lying.
Suicide is the only sin that can't be forgiven.
In all honesty, Adam, I'm not sure of anything involved in this case.
It's the jury that has to be sure.
I talked to the funeral home.
Mildred Bauer called a month before she died to make arrangements for herself.
There you are.
Two years ago I bought a cemetery plot.
I wake up one morning, I'm depressed, I skip lunch.
You gonna lock me in my closet and starve me? Adam, help me out here.
If Mildred Bauer wanted to die, this is not the case we started out with.
You don't know what Mildred Bauer wanted, nor did that girl.
She should have taken her grandmother to the hospital.
To die hooked up to a bunch of machines? Or to live? I think we ought to offer her a deal.
Assisted suicide.
If you believe the girl, she's hardly guilty of that.
That's my problem.
I don't know if she's not lying again.
Melnick'll take the plea? I think so.
She knows we've got a shot to convict.
So the two of you want to pressure the girl to plead to a lesser offense that she might not be guilty of because she's about to be convicted of a more serious crime she might be guilty of.
Does that make sense to you? With our system and imperfect knowledge, yes.
How long would I have to be in jail? Two years.
I still don't think I did anything wrong.
They remove feeding tubes in hospitals all the time.
If you're convicted of murder, you'll serve 25.
It was so hard to know what to do.
Some days she was so clear about what she wanted.
Other times Other times? We've accepted the deal, Ben.
That girl ought to send you a thank-you note.
She's going away for two years, Adam.
And when she gets out, she'll be, what, 24? Twenty-five.
I'd do two years in Attica happily, if I walked out 25.