Law & Order (1990) s05e04 Episode Script

Family Values

NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
GAYDOS: That's the motor for the wipers, Einstein.
Check that one there.
DWYER: Here, this has got to be it.
Give me the knife.
What are you talking about? This is the starter.
So cut the wire here.
(POLICE SIREN WAILING) This your car? No.
We just stopped to help.
I think it's a bad plug.
So where's the owner of this boat? We don't know.
It was just sitting there.
Of course it was.
Come on, hands on the hood where I can see them.
Hey, take it easy! We were just trying to help.
I swear to God.
We were going to take it to the pound.
CAMPOS: This is 2-7-Charlie, location, signal, 10-15, possible stolen vehicle.
We didn't even steal nothing.
The car was here, broken down.
The driver must have gone and went to get a tow truck.
Yeah, right.
And he left the keys on the floor? The Benz is registered to a Laura Madsen, 135 Gramercy Park.
We called the house.
Phone was answered by a Steve Martell.
Identified himself as Ms.
Madsen's husband.
He said he was asleep, and that he doesn't know where his wife is.
At 2:00 a.
? Nice marriage.
Hey, you checked the gas stations? Both sides of the bridge.
No Ms.
Anyway, the Benz started up just fine.
Tank is half full.
Thanks, bud.
Messieurs Gaydos and Dwyer.
A couple of high-beams out taking the night air.
Thought they found Christmas in July, only they tried to hot-wire the car instead of looking for the keys on the floor.
They didn't teach you much at Spofford.
You know, the woman's shoes and jacket were still in the front seat.
Could be somebody grabbed her.
Or she did a solo act.
Hey, call the Harbor Unit, we're going to need divers.
East River.
I'd rather eat a gun.
I just can't believe this.
I mean, are you sure that nobody has seen her? No one has seen her yet, Mr.
Did she tell you she was going out last night? I came home late.
I was finishing a job up on 95th.
I'm a painting contractor.
Then I stopped off at Gibby's on the East Side.
I guess I got home around 1:00.
She wasn't here, and I just figured she was working.
And where would that be? Madsen Publishing on Madison.
Her family owns it.
I called over there, and she wasn't there, and I I waited up for her and I fell asleep.
Has your wife been upset lately? Just the usual.
Work at the book company, you know, Maggie's grades, but I didn't see this coming.
It's very possible we jumped the gun.
I mean No, it does make sense.
She did this before.
Three or four years ago, before I knew her.
She's been going to see a shrink.
Is there anybody else she might have talked to? A friend, a relative? I don't I don't know.
I mean, we're her family.
Maggie and me.
I just can't believe this is happening.
I was at a school concert at Alice Tully Hall.
When I got home, Mom looked okay.
Did she say anything about going out? No.
She just asked me about the concert.
And then I went to bed around 9:30.
Mom wants us to use these.
Was anybody else around then? A maid? Theresa goes home at 6:00.
It was just Mom and me.
I just want her to be alive.
Yeah, right.
She drives to Queens, turns around, and then takes a header off the bridge? Maybe she wanted to go with a view of the Bronx.
It doesn't add up.
There's no note.
People check out.
They don't always say goodbye.
She had a 17-year-old daughter.
I'd like to think she'd make the time.
LOGAN: Unless somebody is rushing her.
Laura Madsen is the sole heir to Madsen Publishing.
Fifty million bucks.
You see evidence of a kidnapping? BRISCOE: There's no forced entry.
The car is clean.
And, unless you're getting psychic messages, no ransom demand.
Unless there's none we know about.
Sometimes families feel better when we're not involved.
This lady has done a dry run before.
Now maybe this time she got it right.
Talk to her shrink.
See if she was thinking about an encore.
Laura Madsen is not a candidate for suicide.
She's too dedicated to her daughter to abandon her.
Well, now, hold on, because we heard she had a history.
Four years ago, she took Not enough to kill herself.
She had back pain.
She took the prescribed dose.
She said later she forgot and took another one.
Still, she doesn't sound like the happiest kid on the block.
Her parents were gone.
She'd lost her younger brother to AIDS.
She felt very vulnerable.
She was especially concerned about her daughter.
Why? Were there problems? Laura was just very afraid for her.
She didn't want Maggie to go through what she went through.
Bad relationships, a drug addiction.
Yeah, can you tell me specifically what kind of drugs? As I said, painkillers.
But she overcame that problem with her husband's help.
He's a very strong presence.
She felt fortunate to have a man like him.
Had she been burned before? Victor Conner.
Maggie's father.
I can't give you any details, but he put her through hell.
Are they still in touch? They see each other at least once a month when Laura drives Maggie to Mr.
Conner's home in Queens.
It's horrible.
I can't imagine what happened.
LOGAN: What time did you talk to her? Well, it must have been just before 9:00.
She called.
She thought Maggie was here.
Your daughter told us she was at a concert.
She was probably three nanoseconds late getting home.
Not to speak ill, but Laura is the mother of all mother hens.
We argued about that.
I believe Maggie should be allowed to express herself.
Childrearing? Is that what your divorce was about? Lord, no.
Marriage didn't bring out the best in us.
But that's all in the past.
Conner, you have no idea why your ex-wife's car was found coming from Queens? I'm sorry, I don't.
And you were home all evening? Yes.
I was waiting for a car to La Guardia.
I had an 11:30 flight to Boston.
I had an early morning meeting with an author.
You do books, too, huh? Yes.
At Madsen Publishing.
My office is just two floors below Laura's.
See, it was all very amicable.
Conner was flattering himself.
He keeps an office here.
Part of the divorce settlement.
Last year he put out a coffee-table book on vintage cognac.
Well, if I had to work with one of my exes all day Oh, they didn't work together.
Laura handles new fiction.
Seven titles this year, including two on the shortlist for the Pulitzer.
She has great intuition.
Well, how's her intuition about husbands like Victor Conner.
Kessler, if you have anything to say about their relationship, now is the time to do it.
Well, Laura never complained, but she came in one day, before the divorce.
She had a bandage on her lip.
Her cheek was bruised.
Yeah, let me guess, she ran into a flying coffee-table book? Mr.
Conner was a no-show for a week.
Draw your own conclusions.
LOGAN: Okay.
After the divorce? Well, sometimes I'd pass this office.
The door was closed, but you could hear them from down the hall.
What did you hear? Well, last week it was about some paper she wanted him to sign.
I'm not sure what.
Something legal.
SALLY: Laura was concerned about Maggie's grades.
She wanted her to do a year at a school in Switzerland.
But the custody agreement stipulates that Maggie can't leave the state without Conner's approval, which wasn't forthcoming.
What, Conner figures his signature is worth a few bucks? Tack on six zeros, then you get the idea.
It was pure blackmail.
Laura was incensed, and I told her to let me handle it.
Did she take your advice? Not in matters that affect Maggie.
Laura could be ferocious.
I have to ask.
Ls Victor Conner a suspect? Well, until we find a body, we don't really know that anybody did anything.
You know, we had the S.
We heard a rumor that he hit her.
Rumor? Maybe you should hear this for yourself.
Eloise, would you bring in the cassette in the Victor Conner file? It's the 911 call Laura made.
LAURA: Please hurry! He's coming up the stairs.
I'm in the bathroom, my daughter is with me.
MAN: Ma'am, there is a patrol car in your sector now.
VICTOR: What are you doing locking the damn door? Laura, open the door! Victor, I'm talking to the police.
Maggie, don't open the door! Get away.
Ma'am, tell him the police are on the way.
MAGGIE: Daddy, stop! He's drunk.
He doesn't give a damn.
Victor, if you come in here Just open the door! I can hear a siren! (MAGGIE SCREAMING) Don't Give me that phone! So, he pled nolo to misdemeanor assault.
Hundred hours of community service.
But get this, he hosted a charity tennis tournament.
And the night Laura Madsen disappeared? IUDs confirm one 10-minute call from her house to Conner's at 8:55.
Then, two hours later, he's got the limo ride to the airport.
LOGAN: Yeah, Gramercy Park to Forest Hills Gardens, that's about a half an hour, right? She goes there to ream his butt over the papers for the girl.
Conner is up to his eyeballs in vintage cognac.
This time, Laura Madsen can't dial 911 fast enough.
And he leaves her car on the bridge to fake a suicide? Doesn't give him much time to get back for the limo ride.
Conner is a regular account.
Short rides to La Guardia.
He likes to be picked up Two nights ago, everything on schedule? No, hardly.
I get there at quarter to, ring the bell, there's no Mr.
He's usually waiting in the hall with his bags.
What time did he show? I called him on my cellular.
First time, I got his machine.
Second time, I got him.
He said he'd be right down.
That was just after 11:00.
The whole time you were parked out front, did you see anybody go in or out? No, I couldn't say.
I was doing a puzzle and watching the clock.
So did Conner say why he was late? Yeah, like he thinks it's any of my business.
All he told me was to haul ass to the airport.
LOGAN: It's cutting it close, but it fits the time frame.
Yeah, and then he puts the body in the wine cellar while he flies to Boston.
He could have ditched it on the way to the bridge.
You heard the tape, Lennie.
The guy smells right.
Why, because he's got country club written all over him? No, because he likes money, and with the ex out of the picture, who gets custody of Maggie and her 50 million friends? Yes? No, I'm waiting! Look, if Mom drove over to Dad's in the middle of the night, don't you think Maggie'd know about it? Maybe she did.
On the tape, Maggie was gonna let Conner in.
She was 13, she was scared.
Look, when Mom wants to find Maggie, where's the first place she's gonna look? Dad's.
Okay, we'll be right down.
And notify Steve Martell.
They found her.
STEVE: Laura.
That's That's Laura.
Well, now we've got a body.
Mom never said that she was going to Dad's.
Maggie, this is very important.
I know, but she didn't say.
Maggie, if she mentioned anything about your father that night, you have to tell them.
We didn't talk about him.
I swear.
Did you talk about why he wasn't letting you go to school in Switzerland? Because he knew that I didn't want to go.
That's the reason.
We heard the argument was about money.
So you think that's why he killed Mom? To get her money? I'm afraid we have to consider everything.
Dad's not like that.
He cares about what I want.
Anyway, no one can touch that money.
It's in my trust fund until I'm 30 years old.
Cause of death is an intracerebral hematoma caused by a fracture of the right temporal bone.
Your basic blow to the head.
Any chance she got it doing a half gainer off a bridge? You mean by hitting a piling? A body accelerates at 32 feet per second, per second.
Over 200 feet, speed at impact is 68 mph.
Half her skull would be missing.
Sorry we asked.
I looked at the lungs.
No sigh of hypoxemia, no atelectasis, no surfactant loss, I.
no drowning.
This woman was dead before she hit the water.
The past two days, we've had slack tides and slow currents.
She goes in off the bridge, we're going to find her mid-river just up from the Williamsburg.
What if she was dumped on the Queen's side, like Hunters Point? Well, she might get as far as Wallabout Bay.
But to end up on our side she'd have to catch a ferry.
Meaning she started out in Manhattan.
I put her going in about here.
Between 14th and 23rd.
Not my choice for an afternoon swim.
So, unless Conner keeps a speedboat in Newtown Creek, I don't see how he pulled it off.
Well, cheer up, Mike.
It doesn't mean you have to start liking the guy.
There might be someone closer to home to dislike.
Laura Madsen went in the water Okay, but everybody swears on a stack it was the perfect marriage.
I've worked for Mrs.
Laura for almost 20 years.
She was very kind.
Our daughters, they used to play together when they were babies, and she always treated us like a family.
How was her family life? Oh, with Mr.
Conner, it was no good.
He was a bum.
But Mr.
Martell, he's a real man.
He works for a living.
That's all it took to make her happy? He saved Mrs.
They met at a clinic.
Laura was taking a lot of pills because of her back, and he was there because he was drinking too much.
But she got better because of him.
What about him? Did he stay on the wagon? I never saw him drinking.
Martell has values.
He visits his parents every week and he took Mrs.
Laura to church.
And she said he was a good influence on Maggie.
You know, he said he was working late the night she disappeared.
So was that a regular thing with him? I don't know.
I leave at 6:00, and Mr.
Martell keeps his own hours.
Seems they both did, Mrs.
Martell told us when he came home at 1:00 that night, his wife wasn't there.
Maggie was alone in the house? That must be a mistake.
Laura would never leave Maggie alone.
Okay, well, listen, thank you very much.
Appreciate it.
Hey, Maggie is 17 years old.
She still needs Mommy around in case she has a nightmare? Look, maybe Mommy wanted to be around.
You heard the shrink, she was mother superior.
Oh, look, the maid leaves at 6:00.
How would she know what goes on? Hey, in my first marriage, our cleaning lady knew about our divorce before I did.
I mean, if she says her boss stayed home all night, she probably did.
Martell said he worked at Good, I want to find out if he got that part right.
Don't ask me why, but he wanted to finish it himself.
"Don't worry," he says, "I'll have it done if it takes all night.
" This look done to you? Well, maybe he ran out of paint.
Hey, when I left at 6:00, he had enough paint for 100 Rembrandts.
When I came back at 9:00, he was gone.
Did you find out where he went? I damn well tried.
I wanted to terminate his butt.
I called this apartment he has over at Bleecker.
I got his damn machine.
Wait a minute, he's got an apartment? Yeah, he does his business out of there.
Anyway, I tried him at home.
His wife didn't have a clue where he was.
Oh, so you spoke to Laura Madsen? Yeah, she wasn't happy to hear from me.
I guess she thought Martell was busy working.
You got the address of that apartment? Yeah, I'll get it for you.
Okay, that's two lies for Martell.
I'm not giving up on him, okay? Right, your working-class hero.
We're looking for a Steve Martell.
He's not here.
Ever since that thing with his wife, he hasn't been around.
I never met her myself, but I hear she was okay, you know, as far as rich people go.
Steve tell you that? MAN: No, he's not into the family chitchat.
It's cozy.
Somebody live here? Steve did, before he got married.
It's rent control.
Guess he didn't want to give it up, you know, just in case.
Yeah? What were the odds on the "just in case"? Come on, the guy is my boss.
Hey! You want to be difficult, huh? We'll start all over down at the precinct.
You better call your wife, 'cause you won't be home for dinner.
Wait, it's like this.
You paint houses, you meet a lot of housewives.
Steve takes advantage.
Well, who was the flavor this month? Brunette, young, real pretty.
I don't know her name.
I saw her here last week when I was driving up.
She was getting in a cab.
What about Tuesday night? Was he here then? Yeah.
I didn't expect him.
I stopped by to pick up some supplies for an early job.
Steve tells me to come back later.
Man needs his space, you know.
What time was later? I swung by around 10:00.
Lights were out.
Nobody answered the door.
I went home.
I didn't want to walk in on anything.
Well, so much for the rags-to-riches marriage.
That's too bad.
I had high hopes for this guy.
That's lie number three.
You want to try for number four? Next stop, Gibby's bar.
He showed up about 12:30 out of the blue.
He said he had to use the john.
Only time I see him here is when he has work for me.
I moonlight for him on my days off.
You think he had something else on his mind? I thought maybe he had a fight with his wife.
You know, a guy is here, but he wants to be home, but he can't.
Yeah, I know the dance.
Did Steve go around the ring very often with his wife? We're not that familiar.
Ever since he's been on the wagon, he pops in maybe once a month for a club soda.
So after he taps a kidney, what then? Nothing.
He just left through the back.
What, he parked in the alley? You mind if we take a look? Free country.
He's five minutes from Gramercy Park.
He can't hold it in that long? So he parks back here.
What's the attraction? Dumpsters for dumping.
They must have come through this morning.
Look at that.
Must have torn off when they emptied the dumpster.
It's white canvas, and that looks like paint to me.
We just want to get inside the house.
You're just assuming it was the crime scene A judge won't buy it.
Look, the wife knew that Martell ditched work.
She was probably waiting with a frying pan.
Yeah, except she's the one who got her brains scrambled.
And he rolls her up in a drop cloth for the ride to the East River? LOGAN: That's what I'd do.
Fine, show me the drop cloth, and I'll get you a warrant.
We traced the dumpster through the carting company.
That load went straight into the incinerator.
But Forensics analyzed the paint on the piece of canvas.
It's the same composition as the brand that Steve Martell used.
So it was a painter's drop cloth.
It doesn't mean it was Martell who put it in the dumpster.
Look, Martell's told more fibs than my eight-year-old.
Isn't that enough? Maybe.
As long as I catch Judge Fraser after his nap.
We picked up a faint blood patch on the carpet, just outside the bathroom.
Most likely from the bottom of somebody's shoe.
The real deal is in here.
Luminol brought up traces of blood protein on the tile grout in the floor.
Well, at least he tried to clean up after himself.
Well, he forgot to wash behind his ears.
We found the drop of the fresh blood right under the lip of the soap dish.
With a nice, fat thumb-print right next to it.
As big a fan as I am of forensic science, I doubt they can date blood stains.
For all you know, Laura Madsen stepped on a piece of glass five years ago.
Yeah, well, Forensics are pretty good about thumbprints.
But can they tell you if the print was put there at the same time as the blood? I don't think so, or Mr.
Martell would be under arrest right now.
Oh, well.
There's plenty of time for that.
What cinched it for you, Martell? Your wife threaten to kick you out with nothing but your paint cans? At least now we know what this is really about.
If my client's blood was as blue as Victor Conner's Victor Conner doesn't live within pitching distance of the East River.
I didn't kill Laura.
How stupid do you think I am? Well, we know which head you do your thinking with.
If you weren't home killing your wife, Steve, maybe you should tell us what you were doing between 10:00 and midnight.
I wasn't home.
If you don't believe me, ask Maggie.
She knows.
I was in my room.
I'm on the third floor.
I can't hear anything from up there.
So your stepfather could have come home, and you wouldn't hear him.
He wasn't there.
I know he wasn't there.
Why can't you just believe him? Why should we? He lied to us.
He lied to your mother.
He was having an affair practically under her nose.
What's wrong, Maggie? Are you afraid of Steve? Did he tell you he'd hurt you if you told the truth? No.
Steve would never hurt me.
What makes you so sure? I lied to you.
I didn't get home at 9:00.
I got home just before 12:00.
Steve dropped me off.
Mom wasn't there.
Steve came home later.
You were with Steve? Mom always treated him like a servant.
But I love him.
Her husband and her daughter.
If Laura Madsen weren't already dead, this would have killed her.
The media is lapping it up.
Publishing heiress, working class husband.
A hell of a story.
JACK: They'll love Martell's version.
While he's in bed with Maggie, his wife is killed by a gang of elves who mop up the blood and cart the body away.
You think the girl would lie to protect the man who killed her mother? Yes, if they're acting together.
Or if she doesn't want to be next.
You have a fingerprint? It only proves Martell was in the bathroom before or after his wife's murder.
We're not giving the Grand Jury much to sink their teeth into.
While we're dotting the "I's," nothing is stopping Martell from leaving the jurisdiction.
Clip his wings.
STEVE: Okay, this is base boards, that's the window trim, all right? Now what? Haven't I seen enough of you guys? Be happy.
You get the rest of the day off.
What are you talking about? Steven Martell, you're under arrest for the murder of Laura Madsen.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be used Come on.
Against you in a court of law.
You have the right to an attorney.
Martell barely managed to post bail.
Barely? Marrying the Madsen fortune gave him bragging rights, but not much else.
His wife kept him on a monthly allowance.
It's all here in their pre-nup.
Volume one and volume two.
My mother was right.
Marry a rich girl and expect to work hard for the money.
Martell may have the last laugh.
Unless we break his alibi, he just has to sit tight until the will clears probate.
It's all up to Maggie.
She said she went to a concert? Let's start there.
MISS VINCENT: It was a horrible tragedy.
The media camped outside the school all last week just to catch a glimpse of Maggie.
I feel just terrible for her.
If you could just tell me what happened at the concert.
It was a Chopin recital.
Three nocturnes and a polonaise.
Bad call.
At least my girls had the manners not to snore.
Did Maggie stay till the end? No.
She didn't make it to the first intermission.
The girl next to her said she was in the bathroom, feeling sick.
I looked for her, but she'd left.
So I called her mother.
Did Maggie often skip class? No.
I couldn't ask for a better student.
Well, her grades are spotty, but not for lack of trying.
She's always eager to please.
Frankly, I doubt it would occur to her to be any other way.
I'd like to talk to the girl who covered for her.
It wasn't really a lie.
She was in the bathroom.
She was changing.
She was hooking up with her boyfriend.
She didn't want to go looking like a geek.
Well, did she mention what they were planning to do? Well, I can guess.
Besides the obvious.
Her mom was expecting her home at 9:00.
I doubt they had time for much else.
Anyway, she was dressed for it.
Black dress, spaghetti straps, fishnet stockings.
Total killer.
And the FM shoes, four-inch heels.
Definitely a statement.
You know, this guy was the first serious boyfriend Maggie had.
Her mom never let her go out with anybody.
Did she complain about her mother a lot? Maggie said that if she could, her mom would put a LoJack around her neck.
Sounds like a pretty typical mother.
She was a trip.
Last semester, Maggie was with me when I got my tattoo.
Anyway, she decided she wanted one on her ankle.
A little black kitten.
A week later, she comes in with a bandage over it.
Her mom had a doctor burn it off.
How did Maggie take it? Was she angry? I think Maggie was scared of her mom.
Like this school in Switzerland, Maggie didn't want to go.
I told her to stand up for herself.
But she wouldn't.
She never got anything she wanted.
Like the stuff that she wore for her boyfriend.
She had to borrow everything from me.
Where are those clothes now? She gave them back to me the day after her mom died.
I told her it was no hurry.
Forensics found blood traces on the right heel of the pantyhose Maggie was wearing.
They matched it to her mother's blood.
Martell must be proud of his little Maggie.
She just graduated from girlfriend to accomplice.
Why not give her all the credit? You really think she's capable of killing her mother? They were competing for the same man.
Imagine the jealousy, the anger I can certainly imagine Laura Madsen's outrage when she found out.
If I were Maggie, I would have run for cover.
Everything I've heard tells me Maggie was a ticking bomb.
If her mother confronted her, she might have lost control.
Laura Madsen might have forgiven her daughter, she'd never forgive Martell.
He had the most to lose.
If anyone lost control, my bet is it's him.
Martell is the only boyfriend Maggie has had.
If that relationship was threatened, there's no telling what she'd do.
I'm not minimizing her feelings for him.
I want to know how far she'd go to protect him.
Have her arrested.
Margaret Conner, you want to step over to the car, please? Why? What do you want? You're under arrest for the murder of Laura Madsen.
What are you doing? 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? I don't see how you conjured up probable cause for this arrest.
Your own witness said that Maggie wasn't home when she called her.
If I was busy cleaning up after a murder, I wouldn't answer the phone, either.
You should be more careful where you step, Miss Conner.
And I wouldn't pat myself on the back.
Your crack Forensics team left open the possibility that blood belonged to any one of 80,000 people in the five boroughs.
Give it a few weeks.
The DNA will narrow the field.
This is unbelievable.
Why are you tormenting her? Mr.
Conner, you are here strictly as a courtesy.
You have no standing in this case.
I'm her father, damn it! I want that pervert behind bars for what he did to her.
I'd like to put him behind bars for what he did to your former wife, but that's up to your daughter.
I don't know what you're talking about.
We weren't there.
Wheeler, I don't relish putting lovesick girls in prison, but unless your client stops lying, that's exactly what I'm going to do.
I don't know who killed my mother.
I don't know anything about it.
(PHONE BUZZING) Yes? All right.
If you'll excuse me a moment.
Let's get the ground rules straight.
My client pleads guilty to obstruction.
What he did, he did out of fear and compassion.
And for God and country.
What have you got to say, Mr.
Martell? Okay, you have to understand that I never touched Maggie.
It was all in her head.
Now, I let her come to my office that night 'cause I wanted to tell her to stop this crazy infatuation.
But she got all dressed up.
See, she had the wrong idea.
So do you.
You're up for murder, not statutory rape.
I came home around 1:00.
Laura was lying on the bathroom floor.
She was dead.
Maggie was crying.
Laura had found this black dress in Maggie's gym bag.
She accused Maggie of being a slut.
Laura was a real piece of work when it came to Maggie.
Anyway, there was a fight.
Maggie said she pushed Laura.
Laura had slipped.
I don't think Maggie meant to kill Laura.
I said we had to call the police.
She said no.
She said if I didn't help her, she'd say I did it.
I wasn't thinking.
I was scared out of my mind.
You were scared of a 17-year-old girl? Well, why not? When she told you we had an affair, you believed her, didn't you? Like we believe you now.
While Maggie was fighting with her mother, where were you? He was at a bar, as he originally told the police.
That still leaves a few hours unaccounted for.
I was spending the evening with a friend.
A woman.
Someone I care about very much.
I met him five months ago.
I was redoing the master bedroom.
Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as it turns out.
Steve was very understanding.
Very attractive.
It was all unexpected.
The night his wife was killed, you were with him? My husband was out of town, and Steve was over for an intimate dinner.
I wanted to cook for him.
And dinner went on until what time? I'm not sure.
We'd had a bottle of wine.
It was sometime after 12:00.
I wish I could be more exact, but I wasn't wearing a watch, neither was Steve.
Whitburn, Mr.
Martell has been under suspicion for quite some time.
Only now it occurs to you to come forward? Steve didn't want to compromise my marriage.
Now it doesn't matter.
My husband found a hotel bill last week.
It was a long time in coming, and I was tired of all the lies.
You see, I am in love with Steve.
You're lying.
We can show you their statements.
I don't care.
You don't care? Thanks to this woman, he's got an airtight alibi that leaves you as the only suspect.
Maggie, he even denies you two were having an affair.
He said you made it up.
I know Steve.
He loves me, not her.
That's enough, Maggie.
Come on, we're leaving.
Miss Conner, you're only 17 years old.
Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in jail for Steve Martell? First you have to convict her.
Is that the advice you're giving her? Watch me.
Maggie, for God's sake, tell them what they want to hear.
Leave me alone.
You don't know Steve.
You don't know him at all.
He'll prove you're wrong.
You'll see.
He loves me.
What is the matter with this girl? She's obviously in love.
Desperately in love.
As much as she is in denial.
Can you blame her? Every aspect of her life was controlled by her mother, almost to the point of cruelty.
Martell was her lifeline to the outside world.
Not to mention sleeping with him was a wonderful way of saying Happy Mother's Day.
She had every wrong reason for getting involved with him.
Is it possible she'd kill her mother over him? I don't think so.
But she might lie to protect him.
She has a lot invested.
She won't give up on him easily.
How do we get her to face the truth? Nothing works like reality.
If she thinks her white knight is going to come through for her, wait till she sees him under oath.
And that means you intend to put her on trial for murder? Well, Adam, we know she was there.
At a minimum, she's an accomplice.
You're talking about cutting a deal with someone you believe is a perjurer.
We don't know for a fact Martell is lying.
Don't bother inviting me to your disbarment party.
This tactic of yours has a wonderful chance of blowing up in your face.
That's a risk I'm willing to take.
STEVE: Maggie never went out on dates.
Laura was worried that she'd, you know, get mixed up with the wrong crowd.
I guess that's why she got fixated on me.
I was there.
How did she express her fixation? She gave me gifts.
She left notes in my clothes.
It was embarrassing.
I had to set her straight.
That's why you saw her that night? To straighten her out? Yes.
Is that all that happened between the two of you? Mr.
Martell? Your Honor, permission to treat as a hostile witness? Go ahead.
Martell, did you make love with Maggie Conner that evening? No.
I just sent her home in a cab.
Then what did you do? I had dinner with a friend, Christine Whitburn.
In a prior sworn statement, you said that Mrs.
Whitburn is a person that you care about very much.
Do you care about her more than Maggie Conner? Yes.
Now, when you got home later that night, you found your wife dead? Laura was lying on the bathroom floor.
Where was Maggie? Maggie was sitting on our bed crying.
She told you she killed your wife, isn't that right? Maggie, I'm sorry.
I tried Mr.
Martell, you will direct your answers to the court.
Maggie said that Laura and her were arguing.
She said that she pushed Laura.
In your statement, you said that she threatened to implicate you unless you agreed to help her dispose of the body.
Is that right? Yes.
Is that the only reason that you helped her, because you were afraid of her? Yes.
Maybe I felt sorry for her.
Thank you.
No more questions.
Wheeler? If it pleases the court, we request a short recess.
Court will take a 30-minute recess.
MAGGIE: It isn't at all like he said.
I didn't imagine things.
That night, we did go to bed.
It was only our third time.
He said that he loved me.
And that he would always be there for me.
When I got home, Mom busted me.
I was so tired of her always riding me.
I just wanted to rub it in her face.
Steve was the one thing that I had that she couldn't take away.
Mom just As soon as I said it, I wanted to take it back.
Steve came home and Mom let him have it.
She wanted him out of the house, and I said that I would go with him.
She went crazy.
She screamed that she would leave him with nothing.
She started hitting him.
And he punched her and he threw her.
And she hit her head, and I saw all of this blood.
And Steve told me to stop screaming.
He said that the cops would say that we both did it.
I was in love with him.
I did what he told me.
We cleaned up the blood, and Steve took Mom away.
WHEELER: Steve Martell preyed on her, Jack.
He even borrowed money from her to pay for his lawyer.
This girl is not a killer.
Give me a good reason to believe her.
What do you want? A trial by fire? She doesn't have any Polaroids.
You just have to take her word for it.
I'm sorry, Mr.
I'm going to need a little more than that.
Jack, there is a way she can prove it.
(PHONE RINGING) I don't know why you've brought me here.
I've already given you my statement.
Whitburn, I suggest you listen closely to what Miss Conner has to say.
Please tell us about the first time you and Mr.
Martell made love.
She lied from the beginning, she's going to lie again.
JACK: Sit down.
Maggie, go ahead.
We were in Sag Harbor.
Mom was in New York.
It was a Saturday.
Steve and I were in my room.
I don't know how much you want me to say.
As much as you feel comfortable with.
He kissed me.
He said that he liked the way my skin felt.
He started to undress me.
And then? We got down on the bed.
He kept kissing me.
He said that he wanted me to be on top, so that he could see more of me.
He pulled me to him and whispered things in my ear.
How he didn't feel good enough to have someone like me make love to him.
He wanted me to keep my eyes open, to keep looking down at him.
He said it turned him on.
That's enough.
Sound familiar does it, Mrs.
Whitburn? Christine, you can't believe any of this.
I lied.
He wasn't with me that night.
I'm leaving.
I can't look at him anymore.
You said that you would never hurt me.
You stupid little BOWDEN: Steve, shut up.
McCoy, we made a deal.
I haven't forgotten, Mr.
Two years probation for obstruction.
He can serve it concurrent with 25 for man one.
He has till Monday to make up his mind.
Once Christine Whitburn recanted, Martell didn't have a leg to stand on.
Eight and a third-to-25 years? Hardly seems enough for what that man did to that family.
You spend your whole life protecting your kids from harm, then a distinguished citizen like Martell comes along.
He didn't just come along.
He was invited in.