Law & Order (1990) s05e21 Episode Script

Purple Heart

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.
(ROCK MUSIC PLAYING) I go out with my friends, you get mad at me.
So, now I take you along, and you get You actually like these people? Yeah.
I grew up with those guys.
You got bigger.
None of you grew up.
Just get me a cab.
At 2:00 a.
? We have to walk over to the avenue.
There's a gypsy I know how to handle this.
Hey, pal.
Oh, jeez.
blood all over the car.
(SIRENS WAILING) And we found this in a puddle on the backseat.
Well, you got the shell casing.
How about the slug? They're digging it out of the dash, along with half this guy's brains.
Chauffeur license.
"Daniel Johnson, That's it for ID.
Wallet's gone and cash box is empty.
I'm gonna hold onto this.
So, how long has he been dead? Well, the way the blood's settled, about four hours, tops.
Around midnight.
Hell of a way to greet the new day, right? (DISPATCHER CHATTERING ON POLICE RADIO) Anything in there? Well, that guy wasn't.
Bartender says he would've remembered a black customer.
Are those the two kids who found the body? Yeah.
How you doing? You all right? Yeah.
Sandy's a little shook up.
When you came out, did you see anybody at all out here on the street? No, no one.
All right, now, did either one of you touch that cab? I knocked on the window.
Tommy opened the front door.
Okay, if you think of anything.
These radio cars, they pick up fares that Yellow Cabs won't.
Hey, Logan.
Found this stuck in the visor.
"Daniel Johnson, Corporal.
Awarded the Purple Heart.
" Desert Storm.
Compared to this, driving across the sand in Kuwait must've been a piece of cake.
Johnson's the 43rd cabby killed in the last 12 months.
These guys have shorter lifespans than fruit flies.
Especially the gypsies.
This one leaves behind a wife and a six-year-old son.
You talk to the driver's last fare? Yeah, 69-year-old lady.
Takes her home from her bingo game every Monday night.
That was at 10:00, and the dispatcher said he was headed home after that.
He was killed around midnight? What was he doing for two hours? Rickie, honey, go in Momma's room.
You can watch cartoons.
Come on.
Come on, Rick.
We're just gonna talk to your mom for a couple of minutes, okay? (RICKIE MUMBLING) Okay.
I told him his father's on a trip.
Do you ever catch any of these robbers? Well, that would depend on the circumstances of the robbery.
What do you mean? Well, for instance, the dispatcher said your husband quit work at 10:00 p.
So? Well, we were wondering, do you have any idea what he might have been doing at midnight? Same thing he was always doing.
He was working.
Radio cars aren't supposed to pick up street fares.
But they do, huh? I opened a restaurant a year ago.
It's not making any money yet.
So, Danny We needed every dime he could bring in.
Now, could you describe any valuables he had with him? There's a chance that they'll turn up.
They said you'd need this.
His watch, ring, credit cards.
It's all there.
BRISCOE: Thank you.
(SIREN WAILING) Cab robbery, huh? That narrows it down to anybody who went out last night.
Yeah, if it was a cab robbery.
Well, you heard her.
They needed the money.
He was working.
He was driving the company car around for a couple of hours late at night.
What he was doing and what he told the wife are not necessarily the same thing.
He told me he was going home.
His wife said he was picking up fares.
The drill sergeant? She says a lot of things.
She called here yesterday during Johnson's break and bit his head off.
Maybe he didn't want to go home.
So, the Johnsons weren't getting along? Money problems.
The guy was always nosing around for an advance.
Okay, so, to make ends meet, he picks up a couple of fares after his shift is over.
No, we don't do street fares.
Radio calls only.
Look, Bryant, we are not the Hack Bureau.
All we wanna know is what Danny Johnson was doing last night.
I wanted to help the guy out.
I told him, "Keep the car.
Earn what you can.
It's your license.
" Isn't that a little dangerous? BRYANT: Danny knew the risks.
Two months ago, some punk pulls a gun on him, and by some miracle a cop catches him, and he gets off with two years for attempted robbery.
We'll talk to the governor.
Their car-wash policy must be once every leap year.
There's a million overlapping prints on that cab.
Well, what about the ones on top? Funny.
I got some partials.
Bring me somebody's fingers.
This from the victim's pocket? "3RF"? HOECK: Yeah.
Three is the coat, right? Right.
What are the keys doing in his pocket? If a robber pulls you over, even if you kill the engine, the keys stay in the ignition.
Well, he must have been parked, and he was getting out.
There's nothing to get out on the block for, except Noonan's.
A black guy'd have to be awful thirsty to walk into that bar at midnight.
Unless he's meeting somebody.
I already told you yesterday, I didn't have a black customer last night or the night before that or the night before that.
Yeah, well, we were just wondering if maybe somebody here was waiting for him.
I pour drinks and listen to gripes.
I don't get their social calendars.
Danny, two drafts.
Irish, neat.
Okay, about midnight, was anybody sitting alone like they were waiting for somebody to come in? Sorry.
Steve what's-his-name.
When he come out of the can, asked if anybody was looking for him.
You know.
Steve what is his name? You know how many Steves we get in here? You wanna give it a shot? I don't know.
I might've been thinking of somebody else.
Okay, well, I guess we'll camp out here a few nights.
Let's interrogate anybody coming through the door.
I wouldn't expect much of a cash flow.
Steve Breck, but you didn't hear it from me.
Buddy of mine was a no-show.
Took a dump, then I left.
Nice detail.
So that puts you outside Noonan's around midnight, right? I wasn't wearing a watch.
Breck here's a lonely guy.
He goes to bars and hangs out in the men's room.
He's about to become less lonely.
Your fingerprint matches a partial on the cabby's door.
The front driver's side.
Partial? So, that could be a lot of guys.
Yeah, but you're the one with a record for assault and loan sharking, so it might as well be you.
I was waiting for Johnson.
He doesn't show.
So, I go outside.
There's his cab.
I open the door to check.
He's already dead.
How much was he into you for, Mr.
Breck? You think I'm gonna whack a guy, so I meet him at my neighborhood bar? Maybe he promised to pay you and then showed up empty-handed.
Yeah, so I kill him? That'll make him pay.
How much, Mr.
Breck? Fifteen grand, but I never saw any of it.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) The 2-0 has got a guy trying to use one of Danny Johnson's credit cards right now.
Urban Footwear.
Well, I guess it's not him, 'cause he's here.
He looked like a homeless.
You should see his socks.
His credit card lit up my machine.
Past due, over limit and stolen.
What did this guy do? We'll let you know.
I just wanted a pair of wingtips.
Where'd you get the credit card, Ronald? It's mine.
Sorry it's overdue.
No, Ronald, the man whose name is on that card was murdered last night.
I found it after the man threw it out.
It's mine.
What man threw it out? The big man.
In the dumpster.
Ronald, now, think hard, what did the big man look like? He had a snake.
I saw it when he took off his jacket.
He was carrying a snake? On his T-shirt.
It said snake.
It said a snake, or it was a snake? I don't know.
Ronald, can you take us where this dumpster is? Last time we sifted a dumpster, the investigating officer got in here himself.
That's fascinating.
I think you missed a spot over there.
Santana, Abraxas.
Who would wanna take a bite out of that? Hey, what's that there? Extra large, green plaid with lots of dried brown.
The blood on the jacket is a 96% match with Johnson's.
Any hints about the jacket's owner? The trick was sorting through the crap from the dumpster.
Most of that was on the surface, but ingrained in the fibers, grease.
So, he spills his french fries when he eats.
Industrial grease, and something else.
Bits of this in the pocket.
Kind of looks like Silly Putty.
We look for a gigantic first-grader.
It's plumber's compound.
Seals pipe threads.
Plumber? That thing they clean out drains with is a snake, right? A picture of a snake that said "Snake.
" Big and bald? That would be Charlie Kovac.
Good plumber.
You know where we can find him? The pain in the ass calls me Tuesday morning and says he's not coming in, ever.
Did he happen to mention if he hit the lotto? Maybe he's looking for better health benefits.
He didn't share it with me.
Well, why don't you share his home address with us? The super says he saw him go out about an hour ago.
He keeps this place about as clean as his jacket.
You know anybody that eats their Corn Flakes frozen? Whoever told him to hide stuff in the freezer got it mixed up.
It's supposed to be diamonds in the ice tray.
And what have you got, about $15,000? Yeah.
If I'm not mistaken, Ben Franklin's face is covered with blood.
(LIGHT MUSIC PLAYING) The personal touch.
It's not easy, all things considered.
Johnson, you recognize this man? His name is Charles Kovac.
We think he killed your husband.
So, then, you got him? No, but we're looking for him, and we're watching his apartment.
We thought maybe you could help us.
Your husband ever mention him? You think Danny knew the robber who killed him? That doesn't make any sense.
Actually, what doesn't make any sense is that your husband had $15,000 on him when he was killed.
$15,000? He was carrying it to pay off a loan shark.
This has to be a mistake.
Forgive me, Mrs.
Johnson, but I look around at this place, it must've been pretty expensive to open.
Maybe your husband borrowed the money for you? I saved eight years for this place.
I've got budget to work through till 1999.
Until my name gets around, I'm lucky if I clear a few hundred dollars a week.
So, maybe you needed a little help.
You think a loan shark would wait five years for his money? Well, you were married to him, Mrs.
I mean, you didn't know what was going on? No.
(BRISCOE SIGHING) Did your husband have any friends who might've known what he was up to? Danny had a lot of friends.
Yeah, I'm gonna miss the guy.
You couldn't be unhappy when Danny was in the room.
What was it, his sense of humor or his winning smile? Danny was generous.
You ever hear how he got his Purple Heart? He's over in Kuwait with a truck of Chinese-smuggled beer that he's bought for $1,000.
He's got it sold to an officer's mess for $2,000.
Meanwhile, I'm lying in a hospital bed 10 miles away, so Danny detours to drop off some freebies.
This takes him through a minefield.
Boom! Shrapnel in the foot.
Not much of a business head, huh? Danny would've made it someday.
Problem was, he was living like he already had.
One Saturday, when his wife was still working at Contini's, Danny has the kid, and the kid wants to go fishing.
So, wife says take the two-hour cruise off Sheepshead Bay.
Not Danny.
Danny charters a boat.
I caught six bluefish.
He was the Miller High Life guy.
Never an empty glass when Danny Johnson was in the bar.
It doesn't take too many boat charters and rounds for the house to run up some debt.
You think Kovac was hanging around and saw the goodies flowing? None of Johnson's friends recognized the photo.
Kovac's only priors are small-time possession.
Maybe there's a drug dealer out there who connects them.
You know, as far as we can tell, the only thing that Johnson was addicted to was a good time.
Anybody turn up Kovac? Mmm-mmm.
He must've spotted our stakeout and run.
Here, Kovac was arrested twice last year at the same place.
A drug alley off East 110th Street.
What? The guy lives in Chelsea.
He can get a fix a lot closer than East Harlem.
Maybe he has a home away from home.
(SIREN BLARING) Come here.
Come here.
Get against that wall.
Time to get up, Charlie.
LOGAN: Listen up, everybody! We are conducting a drill.
And this is your get-out-of-jail-free card.
It's good for your next bust to the first camper who can tell us where to find Charles Kovac.
How about you? Come here.
I heard of Ernie Kovacs.
Cuff him.
Operating heavy machinery under the influence.
You got something to say, huh? I got a probation hearing next week.
And you want them to know what a good citizen you are, right? I pledge allegiance every morning.
Me and Kovac.
Oh, yeah? Come on, I'm listening.
(STAMMERING) He's got a lady.
Melanie something.
Yeah? Where? Mike.
I tell you, nobody's there.
The girl who live in this apartment was away for weeks.
You got the keys? Yeah.
(BABY CRYING) (WOMAN YELLING) Okay, ready? (MAN YELLING) (WHISTLES) You think a lug like Kovac would blend in with this color scheme? He's blended into the rug, all right.
I think Mr.
Kovac has snaked his last drain.
LOGAN: Oh, yeah.
Looks like they got him right in the heart.
Small caliber.
Maybe a .
All right, seal up the building and get CSU over here.
You go knock on some doors, huh? Somebody just saved the taxpayers a lot of money.
Another dead body? Don't plan on any long lunches.
Hey, I'm looking on the bright side.
We just solved the cabby case.
We're pretty sure Kovac killed Danny Johnson.
Who's Kovac? The new stiff.
So, who killed him? Well, he had a lot of junkie friends.
I mean, these guys kill each other all the time.
So, don't you think the cabby murder and Kovac:'s are related? She's got a point.
I was thinking about our leg-breaker, Breck.
Johnson's brains are all over the car.
You think that mook had to open the door to see that he was dead? He was looking for his $15,000.
Which wasn't there.
If it was me, maybe I see somebody booking down the street, I'd want to find them, get my money back.
So, why haven't I heard from you? You sick? Should I have sent flowers? You, go away.
You Don't be a stranger.
Took me two days to find that weasel.
A friend of yours sent us to say hello.
Charles Kovac.
Name ring a bell? He's tall.
He's ugly.
He's got a hole in his chest.
Is this supposed to mean something? Yeah, he's the guy who stole Johnson's cash right from under your nose.
And we think maybe that made you mad, and you went and tracked him down, same way you found bozo over there.
Yeah? Well, I never found this dead guy.
Well, we're still wondering how Kovac got so lucky to hit that cabby when he was flush.
Why are you guys on me? Johnson said he was getting the money from his wife.
I tied her corporate checking to a non-collateralized credit line.
She had a strong business plan, and character still counts for something.
This jumbo credit card you gave her, did she withdraw $15,000 on Monday? No, actually, her husband came in.
Said they were redoing the electrical.
And you just handed over $15,000? In exchange for a check signed by his wife.
Can we see it? Of course.
I have a photo image.
Do you have any previous checks? Of course.
Look at that.
Go back to the first one.
(LOGAN EXCLAIMS) Not even close.
What, did she write that one with her left hand? Guess it is a little bit off.
Yeah, by about 15 grand.
He wiped her out, and she never even knew it.
Actually, I saw some activity later that day.
Johnson tried to withdraw $200.
There's only $22 left in the account.
She knew, all right.
Johnson wipes out his wife's working capital.
She finds out.
An hour later, she calls him at work and rips his head off.
And that leads you to murder? This does.
We pulled up some IUDs.
Kovac called Mrs.
Johnson three hours before her husband was killed.
If they weren't talking murder, it's a hell of a coincidence.
You think the wife told Kovac where to find her husband? How did she know? Johnson's last fare was a regular.
Every Monday night, from the bingo parlor to Lenox Avenue.
Now, the wife might have known about it.
So, Kovac followed him from Lenox Avenue to Noonan's Bar, and bang.
Then what happened to Kovac? Maybe he tried to shake her down after we took the money out of the freezer.
Or the grieving widow didn't want to leave a loose end.
Nice theory.
You got a witness? A weapon? Kovac was shot with a .
Nothing registered to the Johnsons.
So, the whole thing hinges on that phone call.
You ever consider that Kovac could have been calling Mr.
Johnson? You better find out if he and the wife ever crossed paths.
Maybe he fixed her leaky faucet.
I got two busted drain pans, a leaky water heater, and some genius tried to flush his kid's Nintendo down the toilet.
All we wanna know is if Charles Kovac did a job for the Johnsons.
My kid tells me to computerize.
I don't see it.
Well, maybe he did some work for her restaurant.
A place called Dee's.
Doesn't ring a bell.
Wanna read the book yourselves? I got things to do.
Hey, what about this job? Did Kovac work on this? Yeah, that was him.
Contini's, the restaurant where Mrs.
Johnson used to work.
Eighteen years I'm here, and all of a sudden they say my sprinklers are not up to code.
That must have set you back.
Worse than the money, those plumbers, they had my kitchen torn up for two weeks.
And Denise Johnson was working here then? Yeah, she was here till she opened her own place.
I've been helping her out.
Giving her some advice.
This is for the night deposits, right? Yes.
You carry it out of here without protection? Nowadays? BRISCOE: Uh-uh.
I have a license.
Yeah, but let me get this.
Did Mrs.
Johnson have a key to that drawer? She was my hostess.
I trusted her.
And did she return that key? We've been through all this.
I've got to pick up my son from school.
You looked right at a picture of Kovac and told us you'd never seen him before.
You know how many repair people go through a restaurant? But how many of them end up killing your husband? You don't believe I loved my husband? What do you want us to believe, Mrs.
Johnson? You lied to us about Kovac.
You lied about the $15,000.
Now we found out you had access to Contini's gun.
Maybe this man met my husband at the restaurant when he picked me up, and they got mixed up in something together.
You told us all your husband did was work driving the cab.
I didn't follow him around! I have to pick up my son.
I'm telling you, she's got ice water in her veins.
Maybe she just knows we don't have enough to arrest her.
(BANGING ON DOOR) It's a positive match.
The gun from Contini's killed Charles Kovac.
That ought to be enough.
For Kovac.
What about her husband? Well, it's sort of a boxed set, isn't it? She knew her husband stole her money.
She had contact with Kovac.
We don't know what went on between her and Kovac.
Yeah, because the best witness is dead because she killed him.
We let her shoot her way out of a murder charge, we're setting a pretty bad precedent.
Do it.
What now? This is Mrs.
Lawson from Children's Services.
She'll take care of the boy.
What? We'd just as soon not arrest you in front of your son.
Rickie, Mommy has to go out tonight, so this lady, she's gonna baby-sit for you, okay? Okay.
It's okay.
Denise Johnson, you're under arrest for the murders of Daniel Johnson and Charles Kovac.
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.
If you cannot afford Two victims, two distinct crimes, and you come up with one suspect.
Do you people get tunnel vision from breathing the air down here? It doesn't take a genius to connect your client to both these murders.
Eight other people had access to the gun that killed Charles Kovac.
Five of them met Kovac while he was repairing the sprinklers at Contini's.
Only one of them has a husband in Greenlawn, put there by Kovac.
That's right.
He was put there by Kovac.
Three hours after Kovac talked to Mrs.
I never talked to that man.
My machine must have picked That phone call lasted 10 seconds.
Enough time to hear the greeting and hang up.
Or "Denise? Kovac.
Where and when?" "Noonan's Bar, midnight.
" Four seconds.
ELLIOT: As long as you're fantasizing, you wanna tell me again why she killed Kovac? He wanted more money? He tried to blackmail her? I see.
She had motive to kill Kovac because she hired him to kill her husband, and you know she hired him to kill her husband because she killed Kovac.
You're driving in circles, and the jury's going to be very dizzy.
You might want to lend them your adding machine.
JACK: As long as we lay out the whole package, Adam, her motives and means are perfectly clear.
You're gonna bring charts and diagrams and the dead junkie accomplice, while Elliot shows the jury a hard-working black woman who's just become a single mother.
She really can't complain about being a widow after murdering her husband.
I'm sure the jury'll appreciate your sense of humor while they're trying to figure out why Mrs.
Johnson wanted her husband dead.
Even when we were kids, Danny was the smart one.
I used to read to him at night, till he started to correct me.
But your brother's the one who ended up behind the wheel of a cab.
Anything else might have required concentrating on one thing for two weeks in a row.
Danny didn't have much follow-through.
His wife seems pretty disciplined.
She wants what she wants.
Up the ladder, one rung at a time.
And Danny didn't fit with the program? Denise was the program.
Danny should have got out of there a long time ago.
Why didn't she just divorce him? When she was getting started, she needed his signature for the lease documents.
If she divorced him, she probably would have to give him half the place.
Now she doesn't have that problem, does she? Look, Denise is a businesswoman.
She finds business solutions for her problems, not murder.
Her husband was a problem? The last time he was here, we had to ask him to leave.
Why? If you don't tell me, someone else will.
Danny sunk some money, Denise's money, in a pyramid scheme.
He was supposed to get rich quick by selling distributorship.
Danny lines up half a dozen prospects, brings them and their wives here to close the deal.
Runs up a $1,500 tab.
Pulls six bottles of Chéteau Margaux from the wine closet.
$300, our cost.
And his prospects still didn't buy? They got too drunk to talk.
We had a restaurant critic here from The Times that night.
Danny's party made so much noise, she left.
Contini, when the New York Times critic walked out of her restaurant because of her husband, did you see the defendant shortly after that? Yes.
The next day.
In fact, I've never seen her so upset.
And she did have a key to the drawer where you keep your gun? Yes, but so do the day manager, the night manager and my bookkeeper.
You don't think any of them killed Charles Kovac, do you? Of course not.
Thank you.
Day manager, night manager, bookkeeper.
You left out owner, didn't you? I have a key to my own desk.
You also had an argument with Mr.
Kovac that was so loud, one of your customers called the police.
Isn't that true? The man was a pig.
I was losing enough business because of the repairs.
I didn't need the mess spilling into my dining room.
So, in effect, Mr.
Kovac was taking money out of your pocket.
To some people, that's motive for murder.
This is not cross examination.
It's pure speculation.
Let's move on.
Was Danny Johnson what you would call a regular customer? He borrowed money maybe half a dozen times.
At first, a grand or two.
Worked his way up to eight.
And how was Mr.
Johnson able to repay these loans? Last time, I said, "Eight grand is a major obligation, Danny.
" He says, "Don't worry.
The wife is good for it.
" Thank you.
You said Danny Johnson borrowed $8,000, but the night he died, he was supposed to repay you $15,000.
Well, there's interest.
Almost 100%? Well, that's not legal, is it? I don't know.
I didn't go to law school.
ELLIOT: I see.
When someone doesn't repay an illegal loan, what do you do? I convince them it's in their interest to make good.
Come on, Mr.
What you do is break people's legs.
Objection! Mr.
Elliot has no basis for this The People are not the only ones with a theory here, Your Honor.
The witness will answer.
Break legs? No, but a person could get hurt.
Did you ever hurt Danny Johnson? I never laid a hand on him.
On the night he was killed, his payment was how many weeks overdue? Three.
$15,000, three weeks late, and you never laid a hand on him? Two murders, two cross-examinations, and this defense lawyer makes suspects out of your own witnesses.
Aren't we lucky this isn't on TV? Elliot's just blowing a lot of smoke.
I don't think it's gonna go over.
Well, that's fine, but you two are not the jury.
If any of them thinks for one minute that the restaurant owner killed Kovac Or how about this? A loan shark killed Danny Johnson.
Now, that's called reasonable doubt.
Offer a plea.
I already did.
They turned it down.
ADAM: Of course they did.
Well, at least you've got one redeeming factor.
And what's that? Saving the citizens a little money.
Losing two cases for the price of one.
We've got Detective Logan coming up on the stand.
He'll link Denise Johnson to Kovac and the gun that killed him.
Kovac was behind the couch here.
He'd been shot once in the chest with a .
22 caliber pistol which we recovered at Contini's Restaurant.
Did you obtain phone company reports from Mr.
Kovac:'s apartment? Yes.
They showed a phone call from Mr.
Kovac to Denise Johnson on the day of Danny Johnson's murder.
Thank you, Detective.
Did the police department make a recording of that conversation? We usually don't investigate before a crime is committed.
Then you don't actually know that Mrs.
Johnson and Kovac ever spoke.
Detective, would you read the highlighted portion of People's Eight, your activity report.
Johnson's death occurred in the course of an apparent armed robbery.
" A robbery.
And did you find the money taken from Danny Johnson during the commission of that crime? Yes, it was in Mr.
Kovac:'s apartment.
And that money, in a sense, belonged to Mr.
Breck, didn't it? Well, it was being repaid to Mr.
Breck's employers, yes.
At one point, didn't you suspect Mr.
Breck of killing Kovac? We did talk to him.
In fact, you accused him of being the killer.
That's a common interrogation technique.
Sounds like a good one.
Detective Logan, why did you stop pursuing other leads in the murder of Charles Kovac? Because the phone call from Mr.
Kovac and the gun we recovered at Contini's Restaurant both point to the defendant, Denise Johnson.
JACK: Thank you, Detective.
Your Honor, at this time the People rest.
The Defense moves, pursuant to CPL Section 290.
10, for trial order of dismissal.
I'll hear from counsel in 15 minutes.
A motion to dismiss at the end of the People's case is pro forma, Your Honor.
If you think I'm wasting your time by asking to hear this one argued, you don't have to say anything.
I've seen some blatant bootstrapping, Your Honor, but this takes the prize.
Johnson's murder explains Kovac:'s? Kovac:'s explains Johnson's? So the evidence overlaps.
Since when is that a weakness? Without calling a single witness, I've established alternate theories for both murders.
Dead-ending in the police investigation.
Our theory is the only one that explains both murders.
If you assume the existence of the very plot you need to prove.
Jack Ruby guns down Oswald.
It might seem like whoever killed Kennedy wanted Oswald silenced, but only if you've already come up with a conspiracy theory.
I have more than theory.
Two men are dead.
The defendant had access to the gun that killed one of them.
KAYLIN: May I say something? You're right, Mr.
McCoy, the gun killed one of them, Charles Kovac.
But regarding the murder of Daniel Johnson, however, the People have not made a prima facie case.
I'm dismissing that count of the indictment.
Now, that's the post holding up the People's entire tent, Your Honor.
Without that charge, they don't have any case against my client for the Kovac killing, either.
Hold it.
Ruby did kill Oswald.
Point taken.
The Kovac: matter will go to the jury.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Don't thank me yet.
You're gonna have to make your case without any hint that Mrs.
Johnson was involved in the murder of her husband.
I will so instruct the jury.
But, Your Honor What? So, now we're trying a woman for the murder of the hit man she hired to kill her husband, but we can't mention the husband.
Beef up the rest of the story, and dig up some hard evidence on Mrs.
Johnson linking her to the murder of Kovac:.
To use how? We rested our case.
At least we'll be ready to punch holes in theirs.
Go over the ground again with Briscoe and Logan.
What am I looking for? An eyewitness would be lovely.
Nobody saw Mrs.
Johnson with Kovac.
Nobody even heard the gunshot.
Okay, what else have we got? We've got phone records, just that one call, the gun at Contini's.
She was in the office, but no one saw her take it.
Yeah, what's this? It's an old attempted robbery against Johnson.
Two months before he was killed.
Okay, the robber put a gun behind Johnson's ear and pulled the trigger.
The gun jammed.
The robber took off on foot with the gun in his hand.
He was caught by a passing anti-crime car.
Don't these guys usually ask for money before they pull the trigger? This one didn't.
It was a Monday night.
The shooter flagged down Johnson right after the bingo lady, his regular Monday night fare.
Just like Kovac.
What are the odds of that? We always figured Mrs.
Johnson tipped Kovac to the bingo lady.
Yeah, well, maybe she tried this once before.
I tried to take that cabby down, and it didn't go right.
Just like I said when I made my plea agreement.
Are you certain, Mr.
Lattimer, you weren't trying to do more than just rob him? I would've played gin rummy with him, except I didn't have the time, you know what I'm saying? We think you may have wanted to kill him.
Read my label, miss.
Attempted armed robbery, two-to-six.
That's it.
If you were hired to kill that cab driver, and you can tell us by whom, we can change those numbers.
You want me to cop to attempted murder, man? No, that's all right.
That ain't good for this black man's health.
We're not after you.
We want the person who hired you.
And if I give it up? You can call a cab and go home.
(SIGHS) The cabby's wife.
Name? Denise.
She gave me the address to his last fare.
Some old lady.
I waved him down.
I think I'm gonna make that phone call now, all right? Interesting.
Get this kid to confess to a more serious crime, and you reduce his sentence.
He gave us Denise Johnson.
Denise Johnson.
You're gonna charge her with attempted murder for the first try on her husband? CLAIRE: I know, a tough sell.
All we have is the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.
Johnny-come-lately, you should have connected her with this punk hit man before you rested your case.
We'll petition the judge to reopen.
Judge Kaylin, yeah.
Dismissed half your case in the first place.
If I can't reopen, I'll put the hit man on as a rebuttal witness.
Rebuttal to what? I'll drag some statement out of Mrs.
Johnson on cross-examination that he can rebut.
What cross-examination? Your case is such a shambles that the defense attorney would have to be brain-dead to put her on.
She doesn't take the stand, your witness doesn't take the stand.
Then, I'll just have to convince the defense attorney that it's in his best interest to call Mrs.
Best interest.
I see no grounds to reopen, Mr.
The People have rested.
We'll hear from them again in closing arguments.
Will Your Honor please remind counsel that those arguments may not refer to any alleged conspiracy between my client and Mr.
Kovac? Don't worry, Brian.
We've changed our theory of the case.
We'll be arguing that Mrs.
Johnson killed Kovac for revenge.
Revenge? He killed her beloved husband.
She wanted to get even.
That's fiction, and they know it.
We don't need your permission to present a different motive to the jury.
The Court's already ruled that you can't mention any testimony regarding the murder of my client's husband.
The jury must disregard Mrs.
Johnson's role in the murder of her husband, not Kovac's.
He's right, Mr.
But there's no evidence that Mrs.
Johnson knew Kovac killed her husband, so how can she avenge something she didn't know about? JACK: Black letter law.
The jury can infer that she had the requisite knowledge if they believe she committed the act.
Right again.
If you'll excuse me, I've got a jury sitting on its thumbs in Part 27.
That's very cute, Jack.
But you forgot one thing.
Revenge only makes sense if my client was sorry her husband was dead.
Well, the jury's going to hear that that's not the case.
It was like living in quicksand.
The more I tried to raise us up, the more Danny dragged us down.
ELLIOT: You mean into debt? Not just that.
Emotionally Danny's habits made home life pretty shaky.
Johnson, in all honesty, how did you feel when you heard your husband was dead? I felt terrible.
He was my husband.
And how else did you feel? Relieved.
And were you angry at the man who killed him? God help me, I was not.
Thank you.
So, your husband's murder was a blessing? No, of course not.
But you were better off with him dead.
All I wanted was to make something of myself.
For myself and my son and my husband.
But your husband was hardly helping.
He was the father of my child.
I did not want him dead.
I see.
You just didn't care much one way or the other.
Redirect, Mr.
Elliot? No, Your Honor.
The Defense rests.
The People would like to call a rebuttal witness, Your Honor.
Your Honor? Approach.
What's this witness, Jack? He will refute the defendant's testimony that she didn't want her husband dead.
Now, how can he possibly know that? Because Mrs.
Johnson hired him to kill her husband.
Well, now, even if that's true, it's irrelevant.
My client is no longer on trial for killing her husband.
It goes to Mrs.
Johnson's credibility.
That's always relevant.
Your Honor, this would be extremely prejudicial.
Call your witness.
Now, just a minute.
(SIGHING) Jack, can we meet? This so-called hit man can take the stand for one reason only, to challenge my client's credibility.
Judge Kaylin can instruct the jury any way he wants.
They'll hear what they need to, and you know it.
If they convict, I've got grounds for appeal.
JACK: Mrs.
Johnson, nobody likes to let a murderer walk.
The appellate judges will know what you did.
What are my choices? Man two.
She does three-to-nine.
She's lucky the death penalty isn't the law yet.
Murder two.
If you wait for the jury to convict, it'll be 25.
I grew up in a two-room apartment.
My mother sent me and my sisters to school with mashed potato sandwiches for lunch.
I pulled myself above that.
No one helped me.
Not Danny.
People thought he was charming.
When he took that $15,000 from me, it was not charming.
Kovac, or the deal's off.
After the police found the money, he called me.
He wanted cash to get out of town.
I took the gun and I went over to his girlfriend's place.
He would have been on my back forever, just like Danny.
(SIGHING) (DOOR CLOSING) She killed two men.
Still believes they're the bad guys.
They interfered with her cash flow.
No, it wasn't about money.
Maybe it wasn't the motive, but it was her cue for passion.