Law & Order (1990) s04e13 Episode Script


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.
Nurse, it's been an hour.
Maybe I should have called a hearse, skip the middleman.
Nobody ever died of whiplash, Mr.
Look, I got Blue Cross, I got Blue Shield.
What do I gotta do to get my wife in to see a doctor? We're doing our best.
You want to complain, fax it to Hillary.
Get you another ice pack.
It's gonna take another What are you doing? I'll get it.
Holy Nurse! Name's Debra Elkins.
Her driver's license is from upstate.
She gonna make it to 23? She must have lost two and a half pints of blood.
BP was way down.
She was lucky that we found her when we did.
What do mean, you found her? It was a zoo in here.
One of the patients noticed her.
She was alone.
Unconscious and hemorrhaging.
What do you think, her boyfriend got fancy with a knife? I first assumed it was with a coat hanger.
A botched third trimester abortion.
But her hemorrhage is a postpartum complication.
So she gave birth.
Not easily, I'm afraid.
Her uterus is grossly over-distended.
We have her on IV.
She'll be all right.
Okay, so why are we here? Where's the baby? The doctor said it wasn't supposed to happen for another two weeks.
My mom gave me some money and I was in town for the day buying baby clothes.
You don't remember giving birth? Well, I went and took a walk after dinner and I got these sharp pains.
I didn't know what to do.
This man he put me in a taxi.
I must've passed out.
Did your husband come down here with you? I'm not married.
Well, the baby's father.
I was raped at work.
It's still my baby.
Do you think you'd remember that cab driver? What kind of person steals someone's baby? I've been through two births.
I remember every push and squeeze.
I'll tell you what passing out is the impossible dream.
This girl's story does not jive.
What are you saying, she took an hour bus ride to dump the kid in an alley? Read the stats.
Last year, 11,000 abandoned babies in New York alone.
Most of whose mothers spend their days on the short end of a crack pipe.
This girl's tox report is negative.
You said she was raped, right? Maybe she's not as happy about maternity as she would have us believe.
Well, there are other alternatives.
Yes, well, maybe not everyone's as enlightened as you are, Mike.
It's our lucky day.
Struck gold, fifth try.
Last night, a hack from Madison Taxi turns in a cab.
Back seat covered with blood.
They're all animals.
They think for a $5 fare they rent a toilet.
They don't care what kind of garbage they leave in the back seat.
Yeah, well, is this particular garbage new? Hey, just because I live in a sty doesn't mean I'm a pig.
We clean up after every shift.
It's good for the Midtown trade.
Okay, so who was driving this car last night? The Russki.
Alex Walinsky.
We're gonna need an address.
Yeah, let me see.
Here you go.
He should be there.
He called in sick.
If he doesn't recover by tomorrow, you tell him, don't bother.
Alex Walinsky? Yes.
What's this? I did nothing wrong.
Yeah? Well, there's a new mother with tubes up her nose who might disagree.
If he's a day old, call the Guinness Book of Records.
What are you doing with my son? Here, take him.
What did you do with the kid you found in your cab? Kid? We saw your car.
Your last fare didn't have a nosebleed.
That girl, she was sick.
She told me to take her to the hospital.
Do you remember where you picked the girl up? On Lexington, in the 30s.
In front of St.
Paul Hotel.
I swear to you, there was no baby.
If Dr.
Zhivago's telling the truth maybe Van Buren was right.
I don't know, you gotta be awful desperate to dump a kid.
This from a guy who spent the last Hey, back off, all right? I didn't want the abortion, she did.
Okay, a girl comes to town for one day's shopping.
Does she check into a hotel? Let's hope the kid's watching Sesame Street and ordering room service.
Sure, I got her a cab.
She was white as a sheet.
Looked like she was about to pass out.
She okay? She'll live.
She have a baby with her when you put her in that cab? No.
What the hell happened here? My guess, the miracle of childbirth.
There's more blood in the bathroom.
Look at this.
Yeah, I'm gonna need a CSU unit.
Paul Hotel, You sure you didn't see a baby? No.
Just the two of them.
The two of them? The boyfriend.
He checked in with her.
Shaw, Steven J.
Said he wasn't staying but a couple of kids paying cash, I take everybody's name just to make sure.
You keep phone records? Yeah.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Come on.
You told us you were in town for the day.
You've been in a hotel since last Tuesday.
You told us you were in town alone and then we find out your boyfriend's with you.
What difference does any of this make? My baby's still missing.
It's all these lies, Debra.
It makes us think that maybe you know where your baby is.
If I knew, why wouldn't I tell you? Where's your friend Shaw? He stayed with me one night, then he went back home.
Yeah, well, the problem is there's no Steven Shaw listed in the Poughkeepsie phone book.
They ran the hotel's phone records.
This girl made 14 calls to her voicemail in Poughkeepsie.
She's got a lot of friends? She made one local call.
William Wendyll, attorney at law.
Debbie Elkins.
One of the young, the poor, the pregnant.
Well, not anymore.
She gave birth two days ago.
Good for her.
But it's really not my problem anymore.
Was it ever? When my clients were in the running, it certainly was.
Well, wait, let's just back up a couple of steps.
My business is adoptions.
I help my clients find these girls.
I screen out the kooks, and in one out of every eight cases I help them through the system.
I thought Debbie was one of the good ones.
Goes to show.
She called me a couple of days ago, and she changed her mind.
She said that she wanted to keep her baby.
Looks like she didn't do a very good job.
Let me ask you something.
You get paid only on delivery, right? Sure.
Why? Just thinking.
Debbie's kid's missing.
Maybe one of your clients did an end run around your legal fee.
Are you kidding? Those people are loaded.
My fee is meaningless.
Did Elkins ever mention a Steven Shaw? Look, Detectives, these girls are very skittish.
They just don't open up to lawyers.
Yeah, sure, but they spend a lot of time with their clients, right? That is attorney-client privilege.
We're investigating kidnapping and child endangerment, Counselor.
If you hinder prosecution, we'll come back with material witness warrants for your clients.
Yes, sir? Get the Savitts on the phone, please.
First, it was our careers, then, it was financial security then, emotional security, and by the time we were ready We tried fertility drugs, in vitro, everything.
We thought Debbie was finally the one.
We sure did.
Let me show you something.
We did exactly what Bill Wendyll told us.
We put ads in college newspapers, in regional papers in the southeast.
"Our hearts are open to receive your baby.
"We have so much love to give.
Please call.
" We had an 800 number installed.
We received calls every day.
Debra was the seventh girl we interviewed.
She got our number from the school paper at Hudson.
She said she was a rape victim, someone that she worked with.
We felt so sorry for her.
I don't mean to be crass, but we spent a lot of effort and money on this girl.
You put her on salary? She was carrying our child.
We wanted to make sure she had good nutrition, proper medical care.
We felt she deserved it.
Did she ever talk about somebody named Shaw? She had us make a check out once to a Steven Shaw.
She told us he was her landlord.
You still have that cancelled check? Yeah.
When you find the baby, could you give us a call? Ma'am, please.
It would mean so much to me.
To both of us.
Yeah, I know people want kids.
But advertising? It's a little nuts.
Hey, there's two kinds of people in this world.
Those with kids, and those without.
That's right, Pops.
Okay, go.
Got it.
What? You're kidding me.
I got Shaw's address in Poughkeepsie.
Oh, good, a road trip to Hudson.
Haven't done one of those since college.
Don't pack your rubbers yet.
The bank said they wired $10,000 out of his account to Western Union in Midtown this morning.
Well, that'll buy the baby some formula.
Here we go.
The wire transfer arrived at 1:00.
Shaw signed for it at 1:40.
Do you remember if he had a baby with him? Sorry, a lot of business today.
Come on, what're you doing up there, balancing a checkbook? That's right.
And when we're finished, you'll know.
By any chance, did Mr.
Shaw leave a local address? It says here, "When wire is received, call him at the Lowery Hotel.
" Thank you.
Who are you? We ask the questions.
Are you Steven J.
Shaw? Yeah.
So what? Hey, what the hell's going on? Shut up.
What do you think you're doing? Our favorite thing.
Steven Shaw, you're under arrest.
Hi, this is Det.
I'm in Room 512 at the Lowery Hotel.
Have an ambulance respond to a newborn male.
You have the right to an attorney.
If you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you.
You're not Debra's landlord.
You're not her husband.
You're not even the kid's father.
So what were you doing in a hotel room with the baby? I told you.
I am her boyfriend.
You're quite a lady's man, Steven.
You always let your girlfriends bleed half to death in a cab? She wanted me to stay with the baby.
There's plenty of room in that taxi for all three of you.
I understand the jam you're in.
It's not your kid.
You wanted her to give it up, she didn't want to.
You two had a fight.
I didn't care that she had been raped.
We both wanted the baby, all right? Hey, if it was me, and I found out she was pregnant man, I would've grabbed my hat and split.
You know, I don't know what you're talking about.
I want to talk to Debbie.
Listen, dumping that kid somewhere was gonna make your life a hell of a lot easier, wasn't it? You're wrong, man, all right? Just ask Debbie.
You'll see.
Jeez, this is bad.
What are you hassling me for? I didn't do anything wrong.
You know what really pisses me off, Debbie? Some little bitch wasting three days of my life.
So you gonna arrest me for it? No.
But how about child abandonment? That's pretty serious.
What abandonment? I left him with Steven.
Okay, so we'll add endangerment to the list.
He'd never hurt the baby.
After all the lying you've done who do you think the judge is gonna believe? What do you want from me? For starters? Why are you jerking us around? Forget it, Mike.
We'll just throw both of them in the can and let the DAs sort it out.
The kid's gonna wind up in foster care anyway.
Here we go again, man, just like the last time.
Those bastards at Child Welfare.
They said I was unfit.
They took my daughter away.
I wasn't gonna let that happen again.
What do you want me to do? There's no crime here.
She intentionally interfered with a police investigation.
That'd get her six months.
And you know a judge who'd put her in prison with a newborn? Forget about it, Lennie.
She's just a kid.
She got screwed by the system once.
Who can blame her for lying to us? Child Welfare was right the first time.
She's garbage.
I'll tell you what.
We let her go, we might as well get a head start and arrest the baby right now.
Van Buren.
Yes, they're here.
When? Thanks.
The Foundling Hospital just called.
Someone walked out the front door with the Elkins baby.
First, I took care of the screamers.
Add formula, change the diapers.
Then, I counted the sleepers.
One short.
Well, the report said the baby was taken early this morning.
She had authorization papers.
What does that mean, the kidnapper had a hall pass? Authorization for transfer to Victoria General, where the mother is.
It all looked kosher until the baby's blood work-up came in about an hour ago.
Kid's allergic to formula, so I called Victoria to tell them.
And the baby never showed.
She gave me all the correct forms with all the signatures.
Everything was in order.
So somebody walks in waving the right paperwork and you just give them a baby? But she was a nurse.
I mean, she showed me her state card.
Dorothy Hemmerick.
Dorothy Hemmerick? Do you know what she looks like? She was a white lady, as old as you.
Not so tall.
Dirty blonde hair and green eyes.
She came in at 5:30 in the morning.
Isn't that a little before office hours? But she knew everything about the little baby.
I mean, she even knew the mother's name.
When she saw his hazel eyes, she said they looked just like the mother's.
I am so sorry.
Please tell the mother that I am so sorry.
Hey, she knew what color eyes you have.
What, you think we're involved? You got a reason why we shouldn't think it? She said she was a nurse, and she knew everything about you and the baby.
Nurse? That crazy bitch.
It had to be Mrs.
You people want to give us a hint here? We interviewed her about adopting the baby.
Wait a minute, what about the Savitts? I talked to them after the Baxters.
I knew that woman was crazy.
Come on, let's go, open up.
Are you Herbert Baxter? Yeah.
Okay, we're executing a search warrant.
I don't understand.
Stand aside and be quiet.
What's this about? Well, at least tell me what you're looking for.
I suppose this is for a dog.
Where's the baby, Mr.
Baxter? I don't know what you're talking about.
We don't have a baby.
Where's your wife? What does my wife have to do with it? Dorothy Hemmerick.
Is that her maiden name? What the hell is going on? Never mind what's going on.
Just tell us where she is.
She said she was going to her sister's house in Queens.
Dorothy Baxter? No, I'm her sister.
Dorie! Dorothy Baxter? Yes.
Dorothy Baxter, you're under arrest for kidnapping.
No, this is my baby though.
Ma'am, I'm gonna ask you to give up the baby.
No, I can't.
Go right ahead.
Just let go.
It's all right.
It's my baby though.
I'm telling you.
All right.
Be careful, please.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you.
My wife is not a kidnapper.
She just borrowed the kid for the afternoon.
Jeffrey is my baby.
Dorothy, please.
I'm Morris Hoffman.
I'm attorney of record for Dorothy Baxter.
I'd like any interrogation of my client to stop immediately.
You're a little late, Counselor.
She admits she took the baby from the nursery.
Well, if she did, she's well within her rights.
It's their baby.
They have a contract with Debra Elkins.
You hear the whole story, Ben, I guarantee you'll call off the dogs.
Baxter's good people.
Since when do good people steal babies? Well, when they honestly believe they're entitled.
Look, Ben, Ms.
Elkins answered the Baxter's ad in the Hudson College newspaper.
She took their money.
You're saying they bought the baby? They paid her reasonable medical expenses.
Private adoption, Ben.
Everything was done by the book.
Then the girl reneged.
Is this in writing? Well, Ms.
Elkins made a promise.
Baxter relied to her detriment.
There are no signatures involved? Come on, Counselor.
You want to talk validity of an oral contract, give Kim Basinger a call.
Even if we assume they had a valid contract you can't complete an adoption by snatching a baby out of foster care.
Having a family is my wife's whole life, Mr.
Ten years ago she had a miscarriage, followed by a hysterectomy.
Debbie Elkins isn't the first one.
We've been through this four times in the past six years.
The girls either decide to keep the baby or give it to somebody with a bigger apartment.
Does that justify kidnapping? I can't even bail her out of jail.
They took every penny we had.
This was our last chance.
Stone, what my wife did may have been wrong but you have got to understand, she is not a criminal.
She didn't mean to hurt anybody.
Bottom line, Ben, the woman snapped.
Call it insanity, call it diminished capacity.
Look, if you don't buy this contract theory, can't you take the blinders off? Let a little compassion shine through? Do us all a favor, let your expert have a go at her.
Thanksgiving was always my favorite.
I know that some people like Christmas, you know.
But for me, with the whole family sitting around the table and everything.
I've always thanked God for my family.
Did you have a big family? I have three brothers, two sisters, seven nephews, five nieces.
That's what life's about.
People say that that's not the only thing, you know, but of course they're the ones who have children.
And I don't know how they could say that because when I held Jeffrey I could feel his breath right on my cheek.
It was beautiful.
Do you have children? I've never been married.
You can still hope.
I used to have fainting spells, and I used to have morning sickness.
And sometimes, I even thought I could hear the baby or feel the baby kicking.
The doctors call that the haunted womb syndrome.
It's very common after a miscarriage.
Every morning on my way to work I walk five blocks out of my way, so that I do not have to see the children on their way to PS 3.
And if I see a baby carriage the only thing I want to do is run and hide.
It's only natural, Dorothy.
No! No.
What's natural is having a baby.
That's what's natural.
I have been through this so many times.
That girl told me that she wanted me to have that baby.
It's not fair.
The woman's certainly been through the wringer.
There's only so much frustration any psyche can take.
You're saying she honestly didn't know what she was doing? I wish I could say that.
You're not saying that she can plead insanity, are you? Well, both God and society said, "Be fruitful and multiply.
" Only the doctors told her she couldn't.
And when that reality set in, her self-image as a woman and as a human being all but disappeared.
But that does not justify what she did.
I'm not saying that.
Only along comes Debra Elkins and all her predecessors.
They dangle a carrot in front of her nose and say, "Run fast enough and it's yours.
" How many laps around the track does it take before you believe you deserve a bite? Put me on the stand, Ben.
As a psychiatrist, I'll say Dorothy Baxter was legally sane.
Ask me as a member of the human race if I think she deserves to go to prison you'll get an unqualified no.
My son and his wife ran loop-to-loops with the adoption services for six years.
Desperation begets desperate measures.
I doubt if Josh would have stolen a child.
He wouldn't be so fast to put the Baxter woman behind bars, either.
If Olivet felt sorry for her, imagine what 24 crying eyes in a jury will do to our case.
You want us to let her walk? I want you to get on the phone to Morris Hoffman and work something out.
The defendant wishes to withdraw her plea of not guilty and enter a plea of guilty, Your Honor.
I assume there's been some negotiation on this? We've agreed on a plea of custodial interference in the first degree, Your Honor.
With a suspended sentence.
Baxter has agreed to undergo six months of psychiatric outpatient treatment.
Baxter, do you realize you're pleading guilty to a class E felony? Yes.
Has your attorney advised you of the consequences of such a plea? Yes.
Please describe your criminal acts in your own words.
I took Jeffrey from the hospital.
I wanted to say that we did everything that we were supposed to do.
We gave her money, we took care of her and then she dumped us just because we don't live in Westchester.
I want to know where it says that you need a backyard to love your baby.
Do you understand now that the baby isn't yours? You should have seen her, Ben.
Pathetic doesn't even begin to describe Dorothy Baxter.
I doubt six months on the couch will even scratch the surface.
Debra Elkins doesn't realize half the effect of her actions.
She's probably as confused as Mrs.
You don't give your baby away every day.
You know, I'm starting to think maybe she's not as confused as she would have us believe.
In her allocution, Baxter said that Elkins rejected her in favor of someone who lived in Westchester.
You live in this city.
You blame her? The Savitts also live here.
What are you saying? That she promised the baby to somebody else? We know of two couples already paying her way.
The more, the merrier.
Both the Savitts and the Baxters placed ads in that college newspaper, right? Let's see if the mystery couple in Westchester tried contacting the stork in the same way.
But if you're right God help us.
We spent a week with her in the city.
Plaza Hotel, four-star restaurants.
She said it was her first time.
She helped us pick out furniture for the nursery.
FAO Schwarz, Bergdorf's, the works.
The week cost me close to $15,000.
Then, she has the nerve to ask me if she can stay another week.
She's just a kid, Ric.
It's over, Mary.
We're not getting the baby.
Did you ever send her money? Does $10,000 cash count? It was always something with this girl.
One week she couldn't pay her rent, the next week she couldn't afford a doctor.
It's cold, they shut off her heat.
She got depressed.
She'd probably be better off getting an abortion but how could we let her do that? Did she ever say specifically that if you gave her money she would give you the baby in return? She said she wanted us to have the baby.
I'm afraid that's not good enough.
When we were in Saks, looking at baby clothes Debbie started to cry.
She said it was the first time in months that she felt good about things.
She said her baby was lucky to have us as parents.
She sent me a sonogram of the baby.
On Mother's Day, I got a card.
Tell me, what kind of sadist would do something like that? We've been through it before, Miss Kincaid.
I realize for these girls it's a tough situation.
But this one, she's special.
Garrett Stubbs.
Nice fellow.
Twenty years ago, prosecuted him for selling the same building to three different buyers.
Talk about Irish charm.
The problem is, she never actually told the couples if they gave her money, she'd give them her baby.
Hell of a con.
She plants the seed and then lets their imaginations do the rest.
She can take reasonable medical expenses, but she cannot sell a baby.
Unless you can call an emergency session of the state legislature, she can.
So you're saying selling a baby is not against the law? The domestic relations law says a contract to sell a baby is null and void.
The penal law says nothing.
That's unbelievable.
That's slavery.
That went out a century ago.
For everybody but children.
We don't have standing to institute a civil suit, so- So we can't do anything.
Debra Elkins took money from three couples.
Each of whom thought that they would receive the baby.
If we can prove that she never intended to give that baby to anyone- Larceny by false promise.
And she received more than $60,000.
That's grand larceny two.
You dragged my client down from Poughkeepsie for this? A C felony always gets my attention, Jane.
What's he talking about? Why don't you ask the Baxters, the Savitts, or the Cushmans? Hey, if they're stupid enough- Ben.
I know you've been stuck in this building for God knows how long but across the street, the birth mother always has the right to change her mind.
Check the domestic relations law.
She's got 45 days.
I'm more interested in the penal law, Jane.
Specifically, the sections on grand larceny.
I never asked these people for anything.
What they gave me, they gave on their own.
I never promised them anything.
You led them to believe - I know exactly what I said, Mr.
I also know I can't be held liable for what they assumed.
On the other had, Miss Elkins, you did take money from these people knowing full well that the baby would not be adopted by anyone.
Very creative, Ben.
Now I'd like to see you prove it considering the fact that the baby has already been adopted by Les and Gwen Savitt.
Miss Elkins, how does this con game work? When you found out that you were pregnant, was the first call to your lawyer to find out what you could or could not say to these people? As a matter of fact, yeah.
You should have seen her.
The girl's inhuman.
Unfortunately, inhumanity is not against the law.
The law's supposed to be a shield, Adam, not a sword.
Debra Elkins took it, manipulated it, and drove it right through these people's hearts.
And enjoyed every minute of it.
Why shouldn't she? It made her a lot of money.
Well, the Savitts obviously won the baby contest.
I find it hard to believe that they didn't offer Debra a little more consideration than the other couples.
So you're thinking Debra was a little more adamant with her demands? A lot more adamant.
Whatever you want, Ben.
I just want this girl off the street.
You must be kidding.
We're not stupid, Mr.
We know that if we help you, we lose our son.
Debra can only contest to the adoption within 45 days after giving birth.
By the time we're at trial, we'll be long past that.
She cannot take your baby away from you.
You don't get it, do you? Do you have any idea how long we've waited for this? There is no way I'm gonna let anything screw this up now.
This girl is dangerous.
Which is exactly why you're not going to get anything out of us.
If you actually bought the baby - It's not against the law.
But then the adoption is null and void.
You can't take my baby.
Savitt, we can subpoena your bank records.
I thought blackmail was against the law, Mr.
Do what you have to do, but I'm telling you right now, you're wasting your time.
Well, if the Savitts paid Elkins, they covered their tracks.
No records of any transfers from either of their banks.
So we're back to running in circles.
Well, we can always put the Savitts on the stand.
No, I think they'd even risk perjury.
When you had that meeting with the Cushmans wasn't there something in your memo about abortion? Mrs.
Cushman said that whenever Elkins got depressed about money she talked about ending her pregnancy.
Doesn't that sound like extortion to you? Extortion? I'd get my Bar review outlines out, Counselor.
It's time for a little brush up.
Your client threatened physical injury if she did not receive payment.
She's been accused of a lot, but I didn't hear anyone say she held a gun to their heads.
Then brush the dust off the outline.
The statute reads, "Threat of physical injury to anybody.
" We know she told the Cushmans she was contemplating abortion.
This is a joke, right? I find nothing amusing about your client.
Why don't we see what Judge Sanderson thinks? Fine.
Let's do that.
To be accurate, the extortion statute requires a threat to cause injury to a person.
It doesn't mention a person not yet born.
A fetus older than 24 weeks is deemed a person for purposes of the murder statute.
By extension- Come on, Counselor.
Every first-year law student knows the penal law is meant to be narrowly construed.
We don't extend.
If it's not in those pages, it doesn't count.
The statute also covers threats to damaged property.
And if, as you state, a fetus is not a person at any point in its gestation- I don't want to hear the end of that argument, Ben.
I understand, Your Honor.
But this case- Deserves to leave skidmarks on the bowl.
Thank you.
Don't hold a ticker-tape parade just yet, Miss Schuman.
I'm going to let the State take its case to a jury.
This is ridiculous.
If I get reversed, so be it.
But I have a feeling your client is exactly the sort a panel of judges would love to use to make new law.
Whatever we gave her, she just wanted more.
Did there come a time when you felt you had to inform Miss Elkins that you could no longer give her additional funds? Yes.
We're not, you know, wealthy people and we had already given her $10,000 and we told her that we were struggling to get by, as it was.
How did she respond to that? She said, "What's the use?" She said, "Maybe it would be best for everyone "if I just didn't go through with it.
" What do you think she meant by that? That she would terminate the pregnancy.
Thank you.
Your witness.
Isn't it true, Mrs.
Baxter that you pled guilty to kidnapping my client's baby? She told me he was mine.
Now, Mrs.
Baxter, if she really said that, then you wouldn't have been guilty of a crime, isn't that so? She sent me a list of baby names that she liked.
And you interpreted that to mean that the baby was yours? She said that she wanted us to have the baby.
She said that we would have made the best parents.
Did she ever say that she was going to give up the baby to you for adoption? Not in so many words.
So that's a no.
So basically, you misunderstood her intentions, isn't that so? I guess so.
Isn't it possible then that you also misunderstood her intentions when she talked about an abortion? I don't know how many times she said it.
"Maybe I should just get an abortion.
" How did you respond? Sent her more money.
That got her out of her depression in a hurry.
So it was your understanding at that time that Debra Elkins would terminate her pregnancy if you did not give her more money? She had a way of making me believe everything she said.
I had to believe her.
All right, thank you.
Your witness.
Can I assume that you felt just awful when you found out that Debra decided to give the baby to someone else? I don't have a baby.
My husband is filing for divorce.
She should be punished.
You know, some people would call that sour grapes, Mrs.
No matter what Judge Sanderson thinks, a motion alone doesn't get you a conviction.
I've established my prima facie case, and that's all I'm concerned about.
Yeah? Well, I wouldn't count my chickens just yet.
I just added a new witness to my list.
Savitt will be taking the stand.
Have fun.
We'd been through it a dozen times over the past five years.
A girl answers our ad, we meet her, we like her, hopefully, she likes us.
It really doesn't mean anything.
So even though you paid Debbie's expenses you never thought the adoption was a sure thing? You go through this enough, you realize these girls are in an overwhelming emotional situation.
Was there ever a time when Debbie told you she was considering having an abortion? Like it or not, that's one of the options available to girls in her situation.
Sure, she talked about it, but it's not as if she held it over our heads or anything.
I just want to be clear, Mr.
Did Debbie Elkins ever give you an ultimatum? Give her money, or she ends her pregnancy? Of course not.
No more questions.
Savitt, was there ever a time when Debra Elkins asked you for money that you could not deliver a check? I make a good living.
The money was nothing.
I see.
So Ms.
Elkins never had to resort to extortionist tactics, correct? You give her too much credit, Mr.
Debbie's not that kind of girl.
Sure, maybe she's mixed up, but all she's trying to do is place her baby with the best possible family.
She's not a criminal.
Oh, really? Well, what do you call intentionally misleading the Baxters and the Cushmans into thinking that they were going to receive the child so that Debra Elkins could receive as much money as she could? Objection.
I know these other people are disappointed.
I understand that.
I've been there.
And the easiest thing in the world is to blame the birth mother.
But it's hardly extortion.
Oh, and besides, Debra Elkins, she's just not that kind of girl, right? Then why are you here, sir? You have the baby.
Did she promise you something? She threaten you? Your Honor.
We both know what kind of girl Debra Elkins is, sir.
And don't think you're any better.
The jury had to see that Les Savitt had another agenda.
Only your entire cross was inadmissible.
The judge instructed them to disregard.
The jury can't ignore what they heard.
And when the appellate judges hear it, it'll add fuel to Schuman's fire.
Yes? We'll be right there.
The Savitts are in your office with their lawyer.
Now before we start, Ben.
I want your assurances you're not going to get any crazy ideas about charging my client with anything.
If your client is looking for absolution, Ed, he came to the wrong building.
Now let's assume, hypothetically speaking, of course that Mr.
Savitt wants to change his testimony.
This is not a game, sir.
Perjury is a serious crime.
Yeah, we understand that, but that's not the real issue.
The real issue is, how badly do you want the Elkins girl? Now you give Mr.
Savitt a free ride, and you get the girl.
What are we talking about? The girl didn't just threaten us.
She tortured us.
Once, I suggested that she was maybe spending too much money.
About a week later, Gwen got a hysterical phone call.
She was sick.
Could we meet her at her doctor's office in Poughkeepsie? And when I got there, it wasn't a doctor's office, it was an abortion clinic.
She kept sending us these sick pictures of dead fetuses.
And then, she'd write on the bottom, something like, "This could be yours.
" She's an animal, Mr.
Do you have any of these pictures? Les did.
At first, in case, you know.
But then, once we got the baby, I made him get rid of all of them.
Savitt, I assume that you did not come here out of the goodness of your heart.
We gave her a bond worth $75,000 when the baby was born.
What does she want from us? Are you now saying that she's asking for more money? Not her.
Her boyfriend.
After I testified, he tried to shake us down for another $100,000.
He said we give him the money, or he contests the adoption.
Steven Shaw? He doesn't have standing.
He does if he's the father.
Kid's got a blood test to prove it and a suitcase full of Baby Jessica clippings.
It's never going to end with this girl.
We can't put ourselves or our baby through this.
My favorite kind of adversary, Ben.
Rather than suffer the agony of defeat, raise those white flags early.
You may be right, Jane.
I may not have a case against your client.
But against Mr.
Shaw, that's another story.
What are you talking about? We had a discussion with the Savitts.
Two eyewitnesses to extortion and grand larceny.
And they're both felonies, sir.
Wait a minute.
You mean, I go to jail, and she walks away? Shut up, Steven.
To hell with that.
Can't you see what he's trying to do? You're entitled to a lawyer, sir.
Listen to me, Steven, listen, everything is under control.
They think we're just poor white trash.
Maybe they're right.
You shut your stupid face.
Stop calling me stupid.
Stevie, come on, sweetie.
I love you.
Don't blow this.
You are such a bitch, you know that? We are making sentencing recommendations that your terms be served consecutively, not concurrently.
That means you're going away for a long time.
Just ignore him.
Apparently, Miss Elkins, "stupid" here is going to prison for you.
I want a deal.
You see what I gotta put up with? The deal depends on what you tell us.
It was all her idea.
She had this whole thing planned before she even got pregnant.
I didn't want anything to do with kids.
And then, she gets knocked up, like it was an accident.
Did you witness personally any of her extortion? Are you kidding me? She had me go to the Right to Lifers to get these pictures.
I heard her on the phone.
She's good.
You want to know what she did? She's giving birth to the kid in the hotel room she's on the phone taking bids between contractions.
She wouldn't take him to the hospital.
She wants me to make a quick sale.
All you have is his word, Ben, and we all know how much character it takes to be a felon.
How much character does it take to auction off your own child? You want to talk about character? The only reason that any of these people cared about me is because I had something they wanted.
You don't think I know what they think about me? They used me, so I used them back.
By selling your child? My first kid I'm sitting in the St.
Vincent's Home for Girls in Poughkeepsie.
All these people being nice to me, all their fake smiles their phony, "How are you, Debbies?" They take my baby, and I'm back to my crappy apartment and my crappy life.
I wasn't gonna let that happen to me again.
So I make babies, Mr.
Hell, I'm good at it.
So what if there are people willing to pay me for it? Grand larceny two, Ben.
She serves the minimum.
She serves 4-to-12.
I just spoke with Gwen Savitt.
They're taking the baby and leaving New York for places unknown.
All the publicity.
Who can blame them? It's not the publicity that scares them, Adam.
It's the knock on the door