Law & Order (1990) s06e04 Episode Script


NARRATOR: In the crímínal justíce system the people are represented by two separate yet equally ímportant groups, the políce who ínvestígate críme and the dístríct attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are theír storíes.
Gil, we'll be home in half an hour.
Come on, Cin.
They did it in fatal Attractíon.
Sure, with stunt doubles.
lt's now or never.
ln a couple of years, we'll need notes from our chiropractor.
We'll need new jobs if we get caught.
GIL: It would have been great.
lt'll be great in half an hour with the front door locked.
(GUN FIRES) (GUNSHOT FIRES) (GUNSHOT FIRES) Are you crazy? You stay here.
Call 911.
The cleaning crew doesn't show up till after 9:OO.
l was pretty sure we were the only ones Ieft in the building.
The people in this office, you know them? Just to say hi.
Like we told the other detective, they ran a computer magazine.
They seemed like a fun bunch.
They always had music playing.
Thank you.
Body count's three.
We found four shells.
Nine millimeter.
As far as we can tell all the vics worked h!ere.
Sally Kestler, 26.
She used to have black hair.
Nose ring's new, too.
Along with the bullet hole.
What's his story? First unit on the scene found him hiding in the john over there, pale as a ghost.
l'll bet.
Be sure to check his hands for powder residue.
Detective Curtis already put in a request.
Jesse Rand, 24.
Powder burns on his shirt, bruises on his hands.
Probably from beating on the guy who shot him.
Make sure Mr.
Rand gets under the microscope.
l already got that one from Detective Curtis.
He's in there.
Hey, l paged you three times.
l was stuck in the Midtown Tunnel.
Anyway, it sounds like you had it covered.
Meet Edward Nicodos, the Editor-ln-Chief.
Two shots, in and out.
Those accountants said they heard two quick shots and then two singles.
That makes him first.
Who says it's good to be the king? ''BYTEhead Magazíne.
Feeding the head of Generation X.
'' Better make that Generation X'd out.
l can't believe this crap.
They were looking for gun powder on my hands.
Take it easy.
They were just following procedure.
You know, if l wasn't hugging porcelain when the shooting started, l'd be dead right now.
Two weeks on the job and l'm dead.
Was there anyone in the office besides the four of you? No, we iust put issue 14 to bed, and Eddie popped the cork and ordered takeout.
Well, between the champagne and the General Tso's Chicken, my stomach started doing wheelies.
What about office romances? Maybe somebody's significant other got jealous? l iust did phones and errands.
l mean, the grapevine didn't exactly grow my way.
Then who on your staff would know? You're looking at what's left of the staff.
There was Eddie, and Sally, the Senior Editor, and Jesse, the Associate Publisher, and me.
You're saying four people ran this whole thing? Eddie ran a virtual office.
There was a part-time editor in Saratoga, and a graphics guy in Baltimore.
Everything got done with faxes and modems.
Beats coming into work every day.
Sally Kestler's roommate says she wasn't seeing anybody.
And iudging by his dance card, Eddie Nicodos was seeing everybody.
And Jesse Rand's boyfriend was playing bass at a club last night.
Jesse Rand? He's the one with the powder burns? Yeah, shot almost point blank near a fire exit.
Forensics pulled some dark blue wool fibers from under his nails.
He probably got his mitts on the guy.
CSU check the fire door? Yeah, they found some powder residue on the handle and a couple of dozen prints, mostly smudged, mostly from the vics, and one from the kid in the john.
Popular door.
Yeah, it leads to the side street, but it's not wired up to an alarm.
Well, somebody who's been there before would know that.
Start with former employees.
We checked the offices, but the place was big on gadgets, not personnel records.
What about the next of kin? They've been notified.
They own Nicodos Food Distribution.
It's a big operation.
Yeah, l've been stuck behind a few of their trucks.
You talk to Elaine Nicodos? She's listed as Executive Editor.
l don't understand.
Edward was my baby.
Why would somebody do this? Come on, Mom, sit down.
Elizabeth, be a dear and take the children upstairs.
Come on, let's go.
Let's go upstairs.
Terribly sorry for your loss, Mrs.
l buried my husband a year ago.
l thought after his memorial yesterday, we could move on with our lives.
lf l didn't have Peter and his family living here with me, l don't know what l'd do.
We'll help you any way we can.
Just tell us what you need.
Well, to start with, can you think of anybody who might have had a grudge against your brother or the magazine? No.
Nothing comes to mind.
Eddie had a lot of friends.
Everybody liked him.
Well, somebody he fired might have a different opinion.
Were you aware of any problems with a former employee? lf there were, l really wouldn't know.
But you are the Executive Editor of the magazine, right? lt's iust a title.
Just Eddie's way of saying thank you for giving him the start-up money.
So you didn't keep up with the day-to-day over there? Our business is food distribution.
The magazine was strictly Eddie's venture.
We'd like to see his personnel file.
There was nothing in the office.
He retained a business manager.
l'll have the records released to you.
Eddie was full of ideas.
He had so much promise.
How could someone take him away? All three of them? That's incredible.
l'm totally floored.
l just spoke to Sally a few weeks ago.
Really? We didn't think you were still on speaking terms with the people there.
Why, because l was fired? Well, that's one reason.
Another one is this letter.
''You're a son of a bitch, John's a son of a bitch, ''and you can both go to hell, the sooner the better.
'' We found this in your personnel file, Ms.
So? l worked five months straight giving that rag its look, and then l got dinged 'cause l wouldn't let some lech play grab-ass with me.
l'm supposed to be happy? The lech, that would be John? John Wheeler.
l'd be in his office working, and all of a sudden he says he has to take a leak.
He unzips right there and pees into a cup.
Guy was a pig.
So you complained.
Eddie thought it was funny.
l spelled it out for him.
It was me or John.
So after you got pink-slipped, why didn't you let a lawyer write your hate mail for you? l did.
She said l had a great case, until she realized the magazine had no assets.
Well, Eddie got his consciousness raised.
John Wheeler was fired two weeks ago.
Oh, God.
When Sally called me, she sounded worried.
John had started in on her.
He even followed her home one night.
Leave me a number.
l gotta finish this piece on molecular computers.
l got two magazines bidding for it.
Hey, that badge we showed you means we got dibs on your time.
Now, let's hear about your problem with Sally Kestler.
Come on.
You look at some chicks the wrong way, you become a serial rapist.
You follow them home, maybe you are.
Big misunderstanding, that's all.
Sally never had a sense of humor.
Did you lose yours after she got you fired? That had nothing to do with it.
Eddie was just jealous of my talent.
Couldn't deal with the fact that l was the real juice behind the magazine.
You're so brilliant, you're hustling the freelance market.
Temporary setback.
Look, man, l wrote this killer review on this mega carnage piece of crap CD-ROM Thrasher.
Burned the game, the programmer, got a lot of buzz from it.
Eddie felt threatened.
Only room for one resident genius.
What the hell.
Mozart couldn't hack the nine-to-five either.
Just what masterpiece were you creating, say two nights ago, around 8:30? l was at Annie's Diner on Lex.
Johnny has some fast hands for a white boy, but he was never getting a piece of this.
Now, you, you might have a chance.
Not without a note from my wife.
What time did Johnny take off? Just before 9:OO.
He said he had a date with some girl on his computer.
So l asked him, what is the thrill in that? l'm sure he types fast with one hand.
So Wheeler's story checked out.
He's quite the wordsmith.
l read his review.
Most of it's up your alley, but the thumbs down part comes through Ioud and clear.
Well, a little controversy gets people talking.
Eddie couldn't have minded.
Well, he may have had second thoughts.
Their latest issue, there's a retraction printed on the last page.
So the guys who invented the game must've weighed in.
Well, only five lines.
Not much of an apology.
My girlfriend insists on flowers and a box of Godiva.
Well, maybe somebody came back for the chocolates.
Thrasher is an action-thriller music-video-adventure experience.
l get that riding the subway.
So BYTEhead magazine didn't like your game.
That calls for an apology? They weren't supposed to review it.
l let Eddie Nicodos see a prototype.
Bastard said he wouldn't write about it until l worked out the bugs.
So what happened? Eddie didn't say l'm sorry loud enough? l worked three years on this project.
l lost my backers.
l've been on the phone every day, trying to raise new capital.
Yeah, all those busy signals can get pretty frustrating.
You want to tell us where you were the night Eddie got shot? Right here.
Look, Eddie might have been a back-stabbing jerk, but l wouldn't kill him.
At least not until my lawyer was through with him.
Liability here is eight figures.
That review damaged my client's business reputation.
lt interfered with his contractual relationships.
So a lawsuit gets your name in the paper.
All you'll be able to do with a judgment against the magazine is frame it.
We didn't just sue Eddie Nicodos.
You found deeper pockets? His family's business Nicodos Food Distribution Inc.
has also been named in the suit.
Our position is they're the true owners of the magazine.
We sure nailed his brother on it at the deposition.
Brother Peter, who never kept up with the day-to-day at the magazine? We definitely had his attention.
Do you have a transcript of the deposition? Better.
l have a videotape.
l don't see how my mother gívíng money to Eddíe has anythíng to do wíth thís.
That's what we're here to fínd out.
Has your brother's magazíne receíved any other funds from Nícodos foods? PETER: Waít, waít, waít, waít a mínute.
What do you mean, ''Any other funds?'' The start-up money came from my mother's personal account, not the busíness.
Remind me to borrow this next time l can't sleep.
Thís ís all very ínterestíng, but l've got thíngs to do.
Ed No, l'm here, so you're here, too.
lt's your problem, Pete.
You want to sue me, go ríght ahead.
The magazíne's íudgment-proof.
You thínk you can collect from my brother, be my guest.
You írresponsíble, spoíled brat.
l'm síttíng here, takíng thís Sít down! Go to hell! God Nice family.
Who said we're not the city of brotherly love? The lawsuit is just a lot of smoke.
Our business has nothing to do with Eddie's magazine.
My attorney assures me we're in the clear.
So when you didn't tell us about it, that was just an oversight? l didn't think it was relevant.
A $12 million lawsuit? Hey, we understand if you didn't want us to know how upset you were at your brother.
We saw the deposition tape.
So l overreacted.
Eddie put us in a vulnerable position.
My grandfather built this firm.
l take seriously my duty to protect the family's interests.
l'm not gonna sit back and Iet some little shyster bleed us over a computer game.
No, you're going to yell at your brother.
Makes perfect sense.
We weren't twins, Detective.
We handled things differently.
My brother was imaginative.
BRISCOE: Well, we have imaginations, too, so if you could tell us your whereabouts the night he was killed? l was here.
l spent the entire day with my mother, the memorial service, dinner at Periyali.
Payroll checks don't sign themselves.
What time did you leave? Around 9:30, so l could kiss my children good night.
Now, if you'll excuse me, l have people waiting for me.
l still can't get over it.
l knew Eddie since he was in short pants.
That kid could never sit still.
The things his folks would let him get away with.
What about lately? You see him around here with Peter? No.
Last time he was around here was five years ago.
He was out of college.
The old man talked him into taking a job in the sales department.
Not his cup of tea, huh? He lasted two months.
Pete was his boss.
They had a blowout on the Ioading dock and Eddie found something else to do.
According to your log book, you were on duty the night he got killed.
That's right.
l had a man out sick.
CURTIS: Did you see Peter come in? About 8:OO.
He went right up to his office.
He's not a talkative man.
He's always got something on his mind.
What time did he leave? That l couldn't tell you.
Sometimes he goes out through the warehouse.
Why do you want to know? Well, we got a lot of blank spaces to fill in on our reports.
Do you happen to know if he keeps a gun in his office? No, he doesn't.
Had to think that one over? Mr.
Brice, if you want to reconsider your answer Mr.
Nicodos' secretary keeps a licensed handgun Iocked in her desk, for nights when she works late.
She worries about carjackers.
And? And this morning, she called me to report it missing.
Did Mr.
Nicodos know she had a gun? He signed the affidavit for the premise permit.
Last time she saw it was the day before the shootings.
And as far as she knows, Nicodos does have a key to her desk.
According to her permit, it's a Ladysmith nine millimeter.
l checked the rifling.
It's a six with a right twist, same as the slugs we recovered from vics.
Making Peter a prime candidate for a sit-down.
No point putting him in the hot seat if we can't keep him there.
Nicodos went straight from the memorial to the office.
With one stop in between for dinner.
Forensics found dark blue wool fibers on one of the victims.
l'm no Donna Karan, but l know the right fashion for solemn occasions.
l really don't remember what Peter was wearing.
l'm sure it was something appropriate.
Where are those people going? The warrant allows us to search the whole house, Mrs.
Nicodos, starting with your son's room.
What do you expect to find? It doesn't make any sense.
That day at the memorial service, did anything happen between your sons? Eddie couldn't be there.
l told him it was all right.
He had a deadline at the magazine.
But you haven't answered my question, Detective.
What do you expect to find? Why don't we iust wait and see what happens, okay? That day is like a blur, Detective.
Peter was on the phone with his office, the church and the restaurant.
My youngest had the flu.
Did your husband say anything to you about his brother? He was disappointed that Eddie was missing the service, but we really didn't have a chance to talk.
Just as we were about to sit down to dinner, he was called away to a meeting with his lawyer.
Did he mention what it was about? lt was that lawsuit with the magazine.
Detective, we got grays, taupes and pinstripes, but nothing in a dark blue.
There's nothing in the other closets, either.
And no gun.
Even money there's a blue suit fertilizing the dump at Fishkill.
Yeah, with a nine millimeter in the pocket.
Now, the mother said Eddie skipped the old man's service.
Maybe Peter took it personally.
Could've sent him over the edge.
Or maybe talking to his lawyer did.
His wife said he ran off to a meeting about the Iawsuit after the memorial.
Yeah, the nothing lawsuit that just couldn't wait.
l doubt if his lawyer will tell us what was so pressing.
Maybe the other guy's lawyer will.
How do l know why he went to see his lawyer? l'm sure l'm not the only thorn in his side.
You were that day.
You know, Lennie, we'd be remiss if we didn't call his clients.
They might want to find another lawyer while Mr.
Kaiser here is under investigation for obstruction.
Now, wait a minute.
l'd love to cooperate, but you know l can't divulge information from my client's file.
We're not asking about privileged conversations.
We iust want to know what bug you dropped in Peter Nicodos' shorts.
l found a shell corporation.
Gaston Inc.
It was getting $1 O,OOO a month from Nicodos Foods.
l believe that's how they diverted money to the magazine.
l served a set of interrogatories on Nicodos' attorney that morning.
Here we go.
Penthouse E.
You'd think with 10 grand a month, Gaston Inc.
could afford a sign on the door.
Not if the building is zoned residential.
CELIA: Who is it? lt's the police.
Could you open up the door, please? Gaston Inc.
? Yes, l'm Celia Gaston.
What do you want? Well, we'd be more comfortable inside.
Excuse the mess.
l just got back from a business trip.
What business is that, Ms Gaston? l'm an interior decorator.
l have clients all over.
lncluding Nicodos Foods? l've done some consulting for them.
Ten thousand a month? What'd you do, redecorate their warehouse? Peter Nicodos is a personal friend of yours, am l right? A very generous personal friend? l don't see how that's any of your business.
Believe me, it is.
What's going on? Is Peter in trouble? lf you don't mind, we'll ask the questions, Ms.
When was the last time you saw Peter? Three nights ago.
He came by after his dad's service.
Said he couldn't see me anymore.
Did he give you a reason why? lt was personal.
Now l think you should leave.
Gaston, his brother Eddie was shot that night.
We think he might have been involved.
Oh, my God.
l had no idea.
One more time, Ms.
Did he tell you anything? lf you don't cooperate, we can have you arrested and held as a material witness.
We'd rather not do that, but lt's because of that lawyer.
The one suing them.
Eddie told him who l was, and the lawyer called Peter that day.
He said he had to settle the case or he'd tell his family about us.
He was being blackmailed.
Nice move, Eddie.
When Peter left here, did he tell you where he was going? No.
He was iust ranting about Eddie.
He was furious.
How furious was that? l've seen him mad at Eddie before, but nothing like that night.
Does Peter keep a change of clothes here? l felt so sorry for him.
Peter had so many obligations.
That job he hates, his family.
He said when he was with me, he could just be himself.
Looks dark blue to me.
Okay, bad news first.
The suit's a wool-cotton blend.
Fibers from the victim are tropical wool.
And the good? The suit had cat hairs on the pants.
Right, the girl has a cat.
So that's good.
Well, the cat gets around.
l pulled similar cat hairs off the same victim who had the fibers.
Nicodos might have picked up some hairs from his girlfriend's place.
They end up on the guy he struggled with.
You sure the hairs are the same? l said similar.
l'll have to run tests for a positive match.
Give me a few weeks, and l'll sign my name to it.
Similar's good enough for me.
l hope it's good enough for a judge.
Excuse me.
Can't this wait? We're going to be Iate for the Met.
Don't worry, it'll still be there 25 years from now.
Peter Nicodos, you're under arrest for the murder of Edward Nicodos.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
''Case number 830695, People v.
Peter Nícodos Jr.
''Three counts of murder in the second degree.
'' l'm ready for your plea, Mr.
Not guilty, Your Honor.
Your Honor, the People ask for remand without bail.
Absurd, Your Honor.
The defendant shot three people in cold blood.
He's wealthy, his family owns a private plane.
He poses a significant flight risk.
My client will gladly surrender his passport and the keys to his plane.
He has numerous ties to the community.
He has a wife and two small children.
He's not going anywhere.
The defendant killed two witnesses.
He's shown how far he'll go to avoid prosecution.
And l want him where we can find him.
The defendant is remanded to custody.
lt's a disgrace, McCoy.
My client should be home, helping his kids with their schoolwork.
l saw the crime scene photos.
l know how much his family means to him.
But l'm innocent.
l didn't kill anybody.
You've already learned the Rikers Island theme song.
Good for you.
l'm not dealing for anything less than a full sentence.
You better check your cards before you shoot the moon.
Forensics ties him to one of the victims.
His fingerprints were on Eddie's desk.
He had access to the murder weapon.
He had opportunity and motive.
Motive being? Thanks to his brother, he was being blackmailed.
Well, then, he'd be angry at the people blackmailing him, not at his brother.
Not according to Ms.
Well, she can't establish motive, if she can't testify.
lt's black letter law, Your Honor, as black as it gets.
Out-of-court statements used to support the truth of the facts stated are hearsay.
Anything my client said to Ms.
Gaston is inadmissible.
lt is black letter, but you're looking at the wrong law.
Any statement by a defendant is an admission and falls outside the hearsay rules.
That would be correct if we were talking about a statement made by the defendant, not a statement made by a third party to the defendant.
Gaston told the police the plaintiff's lawyer threatened Mr.
Nicodos with blackmail.
That's hearsay.
He's right, Mr.
The statement is excluded.
With all due respect, that doesn't preclude her from testifying to the defendant's state of mind.
New packaging, same bad taste.
Her observations aren't hearsay.
She can testify that Peter Nicodos was angry at his brother that night, and according to her, angrier than she'd ever seen him before.
Under extraordinary conditions, Your Honor.
He was angry at his brother for not attending their father's memorial.
And this will be totally misconstrued by a jury.
Yeah, l have to agree.
Under the circumstances, the prejudicial effect of Ms.
Gaston's testimony will clearly outweigh its probative value.
l have no choice but to preclude her from testifying.
Judge Hynes put in a good day's work.
He yanks the rug out, then he sends Peter Nicodos home for dinner.
l shared a cubicle with Edgar Hynes, His heart didn't bleed then.
l doubt it does now.
lf you lost, it was fair and square.
Look on the bright side.
He probably did you a favor.
By knocking out our motive witness? A woman who'd been given her walking papers by her lover.
Some witness.
Check your messages? Rothenberg's feeling his oats.
l don't expect a call from him.
Lost the dialing instructions on your phone? l won't shop for a deal, Adam.
We've got the forensic evidence, we've got the tapes from the deposition.
lt won't take much to convince a jury, these brothers didn't walk out of beau geste.
l was at the office 10, and sometimes weekends.
To your knowledge, during the weeks you worked there, did the defendant ever visit the magazine's offices? No.
l didn't even know Eddie had a brother until l read it in the papers.
He never talked about him.
Earlier, we heard testimony that the defendant's fingerprints were found on Eddie's desk.
Now, let me ask you, were you working late the night before the shooting? Yes.
l was there until midnight.
Were you present when the cleaning crew came around? Yes.
They showed up around 9:OO.
Did you see them clean Eddie's desk? Yes.
They wiped everything down.
Thank you.
J Mr.
Ricardi you have testified that during the two short weeks you were at the magazine you were employed as a gofer.
Now, does that mean that you ran errands outside of the offices? Yes.
Sure, to the printers and advertising agencies.
A lot of errands.
lsn't it possible that my client dropped in on his brother when you were out? Yes, it's possible, l guess.
Now, when these shootings occurred, you were hiding in the bathroom, correct? l wasn't hiding.
l was busy in there.
So you did not see my client shoot anyone, did you? No.
No more questions for this witness, Your Honor.
The victim had powder burns on his shirt, and there were bruises on the knuckles of his right hand.
JACK: What, if any, conclusions did you make? l concluded the victim was engaged in a very close struggle with his attacker when he was shot.
Did you make any other findings, Detective Chung? Objection.
Side bar, Your Honor? Mr.
McCoy is soliciting testimony about cat hairs found on the victim.
lf that's foundation for this report, l object.
What's in the report, Mr.
McCoy? Forensics matched those hairs to hairs found in the apartment of the defendant's mistress.
Your Honor, l received this report two days ago.
l've barely had time to skim it.
This is trial by ambush.
They got it an hour after we did, Your Honor.
Nothing was withheld.
lf they need time to prepare, we don't object to an adjournment.
Your Honor, it's not a question of time.
Our trial strategy was founded on the presumption the People did not have this evidence.
The damage can't be undone.
l want this report and any testimony thereto excluded.
Your Honor Mr.
McCoy, you're lucky l'm not sanctioning you for discovery violations.
Now, let's move on.
l sent Chung three memos.
He kept promising we'd have the report before trial.
Have you finished prepping Detective Curtis? Yes, but he's not scheduled to take the stand until tomorrow.
We planned to spend the rest of today talking about cat hair.
Find him.
Hynes expects us to have a witness by the time we get back from lunch.
l don't know who l want to kick most, Hynes or that lab technician.
Jack, we haven't Iost the game.
Just make sure Curtis gets here in time.
CURTIS: The defendant's secretary reported that the nine millimeter handgun she kept locked in her desk was missing.
We confirmed that the defendant had a key to the desk.
And what can you tell us about that missing weapon? lt was a Smith 8 Wesson Ladysmith auto.
lt had the same rifling as the slugs recovered from the victims.
Six lans and grooves with a right twist.
Thank you.
Detective, did you know that Smith 8 Wesson makes eight other models of handguns that produce that same rifling as the Ladysmith? No.
Did you know that Browning and Walther also make handguns that produce that same rifling? No.
Do you know how many of these weapons are registered in the Five Borough area? l don't.
Well, the license division at One Police Plaza does.
There's just over and this is not counting the unlicensed ones.
Did you check any of those guns to see if they might be the murder weapon? CURTIS: Mr.
Nicodos didn't have access to those weapons, so the answer is no.
No further questions.
The People rest, Your Honor.
Your Honor, pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law, Section 290.
10, the defense moves for a trial order of dismissal.
On the grounds that the evidence against my client is not legally sufficient to prove the offense charged.
Your Honor, the People have established every element of the crime.
l don't agree, Counselor.
All counts of the indictment against Mr.
Nicodos are dismissed.
The jury is excused.
l thank them for their time.
Court is adiourned.
He as good as acquitted him.
With ieopardy attached, we can't lay a finger on Nicodos.
Blame the iudge.
Adam, defense attorneys routinely move to dismiss and judges routinely deny it, or they wait until after the verdict.
Why the big rush to let a murderer walk? l don't see the big rush.
You barely made the case.
Because Hynes took a chainsaw to it.
He threw out every good piece of evidence we had.
lf your Mr.
McCoy wants to rewrite the rules of evidence, give him a pencil and point him to Albany.
He thinks you were quick on the draw dismissing the case.
You agree? So, you invite me for a drink just to kick dirt on my shoes.
The case was weak.
The jury probably would have acquitted.
You had no reason to take them out of the loop.
Well, that's why the ponies run at Belmont.
Everyone has an opinion, Adam, but since l wear the robe, mine's the only one that counts.
You're still a cocky son of a gun, Edgar.
You know as well as l do l can't discuss a case with you.
That never stopped you before.
l said everything l had to say in my order of dismissal.
l have to go.
Say hello to Jane.
Maybe we can all get together for a sail around the Sound.
l sold the boat.
Jane filed for divorce last month.
But thanks for asking.
You wanted to see me? People v.
Carruthers, 1988.
The bell's not ringing.
One of Ben Stone's cases.
Hynes presided.
Page 54.
''Defense motion to suppress a ballistics report.
'' Which was turned over to the defense the day before the expert took the stand.
Hynes let this report in.
Maybe he ioined the Golden Agers Club at the ACLU since then.
The last new trick he learned was the twist.
He's predictable.
Up until a couple of days ago? l'm afraid so.
Look into it.
Judge Smith's got a week to kill before his time-share in Sun Valley, l tossed him a slam-dunk robbery.
Judge Jones wants to upscale his image, l give him bank fraud.
Happy to oblige.
You got the Nicodos Case from Part 40? A triple homicide? Right, right.
l passed that over to Judge Hynes in 49.
Luck of the draw? A pair of adorable dimples.
Hynes' clerk.
He asked for the case.
Did he tell you why? l didn't ask.
l heard Hynes is getting divorced, so maybe he wanted a murder case to cheer him up.
Judge Hynes had just done seven drug cases in a row.
He wasn't looking forward to another one.
Did he specifically mention the Nicodos case? Yes.
There was a lot of publicity about it.
Am l done? Yes.
And l remind you not to discuss this interview with anybody.
Maybe Hynes just wanted to see his name in the papers.
By holding the door open for a three-time killer? That's not the kind of press a judge wants on election day.
Somebody reached out to him.
Peter Nicodos.
He didn't just throw darts at the judges directory.
He must have had some connection to Hynes.
Or his lawyer does.
l'll convene a grand jury and subpoena Hynes' records.
Even if we can prove Nicodos bribed Hynes, it's a B Felony.
He can get a year.
Not much of a consolation prize for three murders.
We're not iust running for second place here, Claire.
lf he bribed the iudge, he can't hide behind double jeopardy.
The Constitution says he can.
l don't think the Constitution protects rigged trials.
Find the bribe.
We'll make the argument.
l talked to the AG's office and to the Ethics Committee.
They've never had a complaint about Nicodos' attorney.
Well, l ran his name through AJIS, and l talked to OCCB.
l mean, the guy squeaks when he walks.
A defense lawyer? That'd be a first.
Then it's a first.
l cross-referenced him with Hynes.
They've never even been in the same courtroom until Nicodos.
And speaking of, we're not having much luck putting him together with Hynes.
Different hobbies, different tailors, different alumni clubs.
Different generations.
What about his parents? File's pretty thin on Peter Nicodos Sr.
You know, l saw something in here, some bequest from the family business , Yeah, ''To Yale, in memory of Peter Nicodos Sr.
class of 1955.
'' What, that does something for you? Plenty.
Hynes went to Yale.
Yeah, here, Edgar Hynes, Class of '55.
So he and Nicodos Sr.
drank from the same keg 40 years ago.
You think he'd go to the wall for one of his frat brother's kids? lf the price is right.
What about his bank records? Just a lot of red ink.
A month ago, Hynes took out a second mortgage on his house in Sand's Point.
Six hundred grand.
Here, take a look at this interest rate.
Five percent, fixed.
l had to get on my knees just for a seven percent adjustable.
lt gets better.
According to the documents, he only has about a 200,OOO equity in the house.
l don't see how this guy qualifies for anything beyond a car loan.
Yeah, l've heard of friendly bankers, but this sounds like love.
BANK MANAGER: What díd fítzgerald wríte? ''The very rich are different from you and me''? That goes for their loans.
Judge Hynes received a preferential rate that we reserve for our important customers.
Well, Gatsby would be an important customer.
l've seen Judge Hynes' bottom line.
He's hardly in the same league.
We made our own determination.
What convinced you? His debts or the fact that he has virtually no equity? Maybe there was a shortfall, but we are entitled to make character loans.
l really don't need to justify our banking procedures to you, Ms.
You'd rather justify them to a grand jury? l can make a phone call and schedule you for this afternoon.
The important customer was Elaine Nicodos.
Her family's been banking with us for many years.
She spoke to you about this loan? She asked us to treat Judge Hynes as a most favored customer.
Give him the loan at cost.
Our accountants ran the numbers.
He'll be saving a little over $300,OOO in interest.
Counting the $600,OOO you loaned him, that's quite a gift.
Let's say l got the sense that if we didn't go along, Mrs.
Nicodos would close her accounts and take her business elsewhere.
That we couldn't afford.
So, they keep theír money ín the same bank.
So do a míllíon other people.
Those people don't have Mrs.
Nícodos to scratch theír backs.
l had no ídea she spoke to the bank.
JACK: When you saw the mortgage papers, what díd you thínk? lt was bargaín day at the savíngs and loan? l only saw thís woman once at a class reuníon wíth her husband.
l've done nothíng ímproper.
NOVAK: Edgar HYNES: No, no, thís ís lunacy.
It's a vendetta.
Get rid of him.
Edgar, are you sure He's sure.
Turn that off.
Adam, you of all people know this is absolute garbage.
Don't insult me, Edgar.
You believe it? l personally authorized the warrant.
How could you? You're a judge, for heaven's sake.
Think of your oath.
l thought after 35 years, you'd give me the benefit of the doubt.
The hell with the 35 years.
You betrayed your office.
l couldn't think about that.
l was being killed by the divorce.
Everything l worked for, Adam.
She was getting it all.
But l l needed the money.
(STAMMERING) Adam, can you help me here? You're going to prison, Edgar.
Where and for how long is up to you.
Well, tell me what to do, l'll cooperate.
Elaine Nicodos came to me for help.
She said that she would square things with the bank.
lf you let her son take a walk on three murders.
Adam, they have so much money.
They would have beaten it anyway.
Hardly the point.
ROTHENBERG: You sent your troops to arrest a WOMan in front of her own grandchildren.
And for what? Bribery? Anybody ever tell you you're a sore loser, McCoy? Only when l lose, Mr.
We have a statement from the loan manager, and we have one from Judge Hynes.
Don't fault Edgar Hynes.
He just took pity on an old widow.
Judge Hynes won't be the only officer of the court facing charges, Mr.
l'd start thinking about a second career.
Let me make something very clear, Mr.
No one else knew.
Not Mr.
Rothenberg, and certainly not Peter.
Nicodos, you don't seem to realize the seriousness of your actions.
l used my influence to save the son l have left.
The son l might have neglected.
lt's the least l can do for him.
Go on, punish me.
But Mr.
Rothenberg tells me you can't do anything to Peter.
That's all l care about.
Don't be so sure your son is out of the woods.
l'm reinstating the murder charges and ordering his arrest.
What part of double jeopardy don't you understand? l'm well acquainted with it, Mr.
Rothenberg, and it doesn't scare me.
ROTHENBERG: Double ieopardy was written into the Constitution to protect citizens from repeated attempts by the State to convict them.
Finality of acquittal is the essence of that guarantee.
The Founding Fathers never intended double jeopardy to go to the highest bidder.
But it was their intent that the State get only one bite at the apple.
JACK: One fair bite.
Fair is a four-letter word when it comes to the Constitution.
The deck is deliberately stacked in favor of individual rights.
There is no individual right to profit from illegal acts.
But you're asking this court to deny one of our most closely held protections.
Your Honor, ieopardy never attached at this defendant's trial for the simple reason that he never was in jeopardy.
The judge was bribed.
The fix was in.
Point well taken.
Your Honor, to allow these charges to stand penalizes my client for the actions of a third party.
He had no knowledge of this alleged bribe.
He comes into court with clean hands.
JACK: It's irrelevant.
The outcome was predetermined.
The process was corrupted.
The defendant cannot profit from it.
Your Honor l've heard the arguments, Mr.
Double jeopardy may be sacred, but not at the expense of the integrity of the criminal justice system.
The motion to dismiss is denied and the charges will stand.
You kick the system, Mr.
Nicodos, don't be surprised when it turns around and bites you.
Don't imagine for a second that this is the end of the road, McCoy.
We plan to pursue this all the way to the Supreme Court.
lt's a free country.
l'll get started on our briefs just as soon as we convict your client.
Claire, signal the guard that Mr.
Nicodos is ready to return to Rikers.
There was an offer on the table.
Nothing less than a full sentence.
Murder two, three counts, concurrent sentences.
After 25, he takes his chances with the parole board.
ROTHENBERG: Your final word? Then we have nothing Ieft to talk about.
JACK: As for Mrs.
Nicodos, l plan to seek the maximum time under the statutes.
ln practical terms, that's 25 years, but l'll settle for half.
ls that what you want for your children, Mr.
Nicodos? To visit their grandmother in the geriatric ward at Bedford Prison? ROTHENBERG: Peter, he's blowing smoke.
McCoy, l'll accept your offer if you drop the charges against my mother.
Peter, no! We can fight this in court.
McCoy? Mr.
McCoy, don't listen to him.
Peter, l won't allow you to do this.
You're not going to iail.
McCoy, do we have a deal or not? You got around double jeopardy.
You climbed Everest in your shorts on a very cold day.
Good work.
As long as we stayed out of Appellate Court.
With their bankroll sooner or later they! would have creamed us.
(PHONE RINGS) Yes? Thank you.
They found Edgar Hynes on the beach at Sand's Point, a gunshot to the head.
Bring that over here.