Law & Order (1990) s06e19 Episode Script


In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
Dad? Dad? Dad? Oh, hi, hon.
You're home already.
Dad, you're going to burn the place down some night.
Well, I got it all under control.
You're going to wake Mom up.
No, she's not gonna wake up.
No, Dad, Dad.
What's wet? What's wet? Come on, get up.
What is Mom! Mrs.
Merrick, why don't we step into the other room so we can talk, all right? I was in here watching some movie.
James Bond movie, the one with the painted girl.
Where was your wife? She goes to bed early.
When did you hit the sack? After the movie.
Did you talk to her? She was already asleep.
And you're sure the front door was locked? I guess.
She used to lock up, and now I can't believe this.
You just sit right there, Mr.
We're going to test for powder residue on his hands, all right? The door wasn't locked, sometimes Mom forgets.
Your parents keep any money or jewelry around? No.
My father paints apartments, they hardly get by.
You keep a regular schedule at the hospital, right? Yeah.
In the E.
Did I tell you my father's deaf in one ear? So if he sleeps on his right side, he can't hear anything, so if somebody was in the house Yeah, he would've slept right through it.
Merrick, how long has your father had a drinking problem? My father doesn't drink.
Neither did I.
Come on, his hands are shaking, he reeks of breath freshener.
Why don't you tell us what really happened? The door was locked when I got home.
Dad was asleep in bed.
He'd had too much to drink.
Mom was next to him, and she was dead.
Did he say anything about how that happened? He said he couldn't remember anything.
How did they get along? They fought, but Dad never hit her.
He loves her.
He didn't do this.
That's why I got rid of the bottles, because I knew what you would think.
Daddy's little helper.
Yeah, I used to have one like that.
I keep telling you, I can't remember anything.
That happen a lot, when you can't remember things? Yeah, but something like this I'd remember.
We found gun powder residue on your hands.
It has to be you.
But I don't have a gun, so how could I have killed her? Well, that's what we're trying to find out.
So let's take it step by step.
You were watching Goldfinger on TV and drinking rye and ginger? You're right.
I remember that.
And your wife, she wasn't happy you were drinking, was she? Said it disgusted her.
Well, what's it to her? You're a grownup.
You can do whatever you want.
Yeah, right, that's what I kept telling her.
Yeah, fat lot of good it did.
I bet she just never shut up about it, right? No, never.
Yeah, and you just want to sit there in peace and watch your movie.
So you go and you get your gun from its hiding place.
Well, how could I do that if I don't have a gun? We already established you have a lot of blackouts.
Yeah, I know.
All right, you're standing there in front of the bed with the gun.
Carol's flat on her back, snoring, her mouth wide open.
You remember that? Yeah, I remember that.
And you pulled the trigger.
I don't remember.
That's the way it happened, isn't it? I don't know.
Yeah, come on.
I don't I don't remember.
I don't know.
I don't remember.
Carol Merrick called in a complaint against him two years ago.
She had his handprint on her face.
She dropped the charges.
Nothing new there.
We find the gun, it's over.
CSU's opening the drain pipes as we speak.
The canvass is batting zero with the neighbors.
No one heard a shot.
We got to come up with something to turn him around.
As soon as he sobers up, he's going to wonder why we haven't booked him.
Yeah, and figure out we were pulling his chain about the powder residue.
Recovered a nine millimeter slug out of Carol Merrick.
They sent it to Ballistics.
Six with a right twist.
Italian steel, Beretta 92-series.
Big gun.
Even if he fired it from across the bedroom, the slug should've gone clear through.
Through the headboard into the wall.
Well, maybe the bullet had a short load.
They don't quality-test every one of these at the factory.
Still would've exited the skull.
We did a muzzle- to-first-surface test, this little piggy was fired from 50-100 yards away.
Unless Merrick played a bank shot around the room before it hit her, we got a problem.
Well, it didn't come through a brick wall, and I didn't see any broken windows.
But you weren't the first one at the scene.
You got the hump that did it, does it matter if he sleeps with the windows open or closed? If it didn't, we wouldn't be keeping you from your busy schedule.
It was closed.
Really? Well, the daughter told us her parents had a running battle on the subject.
Merrick liked it open.
Well, I guess that night he lost.
You know what, Wheeler? We got a couple of unknown prints off the window.
We find they match yours All right, all right, all right.
Look, look, look, I've been coming off of this flu thing.
The room was freezing.
The window was wide open.
I closed it.
You know, it would've been nice if you included that in your report.
Yeah, it would've.
Thanks for the dog.
First, the M.
Ran a probe into the wound.
That gives us our first calculations.
Then we fire a test shot into a skull-like object.
That gives us the angle of the trajectory.
Here, you want to see what we did? I'll give it to Mr.
Peabody here.
Yeah, you take in the velocity, the drop rate.
Yeah, I got that.
Fast-forward, please.
That roof.
We get this scum up here all the time.
Smoking dope, having sex, drinking.
I call the cops, they're too busy.
I try to keep them out.
I put a new padlock on the door.
They don't care.
What about last night? I was fixing the boiler.
I didn't come up for air until midnight.
You hear that? You got animals taking drugs and killing the weak.
See, I'm taking my son Eddie to Santo Domingo to live with his grandmother.
I don't want him dying here.
Lennie, nine mil, just to the right of the line of fire into the Merrick's place.
There's also some blood drops on the ground near the edge of the roof.
Yeah, you play with guns, you're going to get hurt.
We got a dozen sets of footprints around your shooter's position, running shoes, boots, all sizes, kids to grownups.
Eddie, you ever come up here with your friends? No.
My dad says it's too dangerous.
But you've seen other kids come up here, right? Sometimes.
How about last night? Answer the man.
I saw a couple of older kids, but they don't live here.
You know them? I just seen them around at Mr.
Reyes' bodega.
What do they look like? One's a black kid, the other one's white, he had on a red baseball hat, you know, backwards.
The black kid called him Nacho.
The only nachos around here are for sale, man.
What'd he do? Nothing, it's what he might've seen somebody else do.
A white kid with a red cap turned backwards? Yeah, about 12 or 13.
If he wasn't wearing a red cap turned backwards, maybe I would've noticed him.
All right, thanks.
Kids, they're like roaches, for every one you see, there's a million you don't, but they're out there.
Well, try to stay focused on this one kid, okay, Monty? He's a white boy, early teens.
This him? No, that's my partner.
This kid's name is Nacho.
Nacho? Yeah, like the snack.
Yeah, yeah, I know Nacho.
He gave me a dollar once to help him carry his groceries home.
Where's home? Two blocks.
Ninth Street, fourth floor, no elevator, nearly killed me.
You remember what his name is? Nacho, like you said.
He got a fine-looking mama.
Listen, you take us to where she lives, and maybe you can buy her some flowers, huh? I don't know where Lonnie is.
He must be out with his friends.
What do you want with him? He may be a witness to a crime.
We just want to talk to him.
Well, leave your number.
When he gets home, we'll call you.
It's a little more urgent than that.
Where does he go when he's out with his friends? I don't get his appointment schedule.
He's around, in the neighborhood.
Fine, we'll just wait here.
Come on, guys, I got to go now.
See, we really hate to keep you from your errands, Ms.
Hey, this number with the pager's prefix, that's Lonnie's? No.
What's the "L" stand for? You know somebody else with a pager? Maybe your dope connection? Look, sweetheart, we're not gonna hurt your son.
So why don't you just do us all a favor and page him, huh? It's just for emergencies.
Guess what? You have an emergency.
When he calls back, tell him to come home right away.
Mom, what's the matter? What are they doing here? They just have some questions.
I'm Detective Lennie Briscoe.
This is my partner, Rey Curtis.
Want to take a seat? So, they call you Nacho because that's what you like to eat? This is what you want to know? Some people saw you going up on a roof over on Seventh a couple of nights ago between 11:00 and midnight.
We just want to know what you saw up there.
I wasn't up on any roof.
Well, maybe you weren't supposed to be up there, but nobody's making a big deal out of that, see? You're here because it's no big deal.
I wasn't there, okay? So where were you? I was shooting hoops over in Tompkins Square with my partner Clayton.
What's his last name? Clayton Doyle.
So you and Clayton were shooting hoops till midnight? What, on a school night? Yep.
After we did our homework.
Look, Lonnie, if you're lying 'cause you're scared, then I'm not lying.
I'm not scared of anything, and I'm not scared of you.
Okay, all right, all right, take it easy.
Hey, you take it easy! I know what you did.
You come down here to hassle my mom so she calls me.
Who the hell do you think you are? You got no right to do that to her.
Now, get out of here! Sit down.
Hey! Rey, Rey.
Listen to me.
You can BS us all you want, but we know you were up on that roof.
Yeah, you know jack.
We don't have to talk to you, so why don't you just leave? There's one kid who doesn't want to grow up to be a cop.
If he grows up.
You see the burn marks on his fingers? Yeah, kid's on the pipe.
I tell you what, Rey.
That kid's not a witness.
He's the shooter.
He's 13 and smokes crack.
Or he's just clumsy with matches.
Anyway, it looks like it's an old family tradition.
And that makes him Billy the Kid? Matches the description, the street name fits.
Well, that puts him on the roof, period.
If he saw someone up there waving a gun, he might have an incentive to keep his mouth shut.
Well, he was seen with a black kid, could be this Clayton he mentioned.
Yeah, the one he supposedly cracked the books with.
I don't think we're going to find him at the library.
Well, maybe they ditched the same classes.
Check with their school.
Find the kid.
We're not telling you anything till we know why you want him.
Well, Lonnie Rickman told us he was with Clayton on Monday night.
We just want to verify that.
Lonnie Rickman? What's he done? We're not sure yet.
Where was your son Monday night? First, answer my question.
Why you looking at Lonnie Rickman? He may have been involved in a shooting on Seventh Street.
Oh, my God.
Now, how about answering my question? Clayton had told us he was playing basketball.
And was he? I don't know.
Came home, he had a cut on the side of his head just above his ear.
Told us he got it jumping over the fence at the playground.
You didn't believe him? Well, he was shaking, but he wouldn't tell us why.
But we thought somebody might have hurt him.
Meaning Lonnie Rickman? That boy's always been getting Clayton in trouble at school.
Cutting class, being kept after, kid stuff.
But now But now it's what? Couple of weeks ago, Luanne found $300 in Clayton's pocket.
Said he found it on the street.
He's peddling dope, him and that boy Lonnie.
We weren't anywhere near that roof.
We were shooting hoops.
Is that right? Well, your friend Lonnie told me you were at the movies.
That is some bull You mind your mouth, if you know what's good for you.
Doyle, please.
You know about blood types, right? Like type A, type B? Yeah, I seen it on TV.
Yeah, well we got your blood type from your family doctor, and our lab is matching it up now against the blood that we found up on that roof.
Matter of fact, their report should be on my desk right about now.
Think I'll go check.
Listen, Clayton, I know you want to do the right thing.
What have you got in there that looks like it might be a lab report? Well, take your pick.
An expense report or a booking sheet.
Tell the truth now, Clayton.
You wait for him to come back with those test results, it's over.
You're going to be in the same boat as Lonnie.
For God's sake, Clayton, tell them what they want to know.
You little punk! You show your mother respect! Hey, you're hurting me! Frank! Frank! You're going to tell the truth! You're not going to ruin your life for some dope dealer! Stop, stop! He can't let him do that.
Tell the truth! - Stop! You're hurting me! Detective Curtis! Take Mr.
Doyle outside now.
Listen, young man, this has gone on long enough.
Now, you're going to tell me what Lonnie did to you up on that roof.
He put a gun to my head.
Why? 'Cause Ross told him to.
Ross who? Ross Morales.
I didn't want to be in his crew no more.
Selling dope? Yes.
Lonnie got me started.
I wanted to quit, though.
Lonnie did say Ross told him to kill me.
He shot once and just missed, and that's how I got hurt.
And when he pulled the trigger again, the gun jammed.
He was gonna kill you? That's what he said.
Roscoe Morales, a.
Ross Morales.
Arrests for battery, possession, carrying a concealed weapon.
Investigated for two shootings, one fatal.
Never charged.
And he's all of 22.
You talk to the D.
About murder charges? Yeah, they okayed it against Lonnie, but not Morales.
Well, you heard Clayton.
Lonnie told him Morales put him up to it.
Well, it's a double-hearsay, not evidence.
Here's the paper on the boy.
Lennie, give me a minute with Detective Curtis? Your conduct was unacceptable.
Why? 'Cause I let a father discipline his kid? No one lays a hand on a suspect in my interrogation room.
Now, that man was out of control.
It was up to you to manage it.
Well, that kid was out of control.
And you know what scares me? That somebody like that can go to school with my daughter.
You think you're the only one who loses sleep? Look, if you don't like the way this place is run, transfer.
You were out of line, Rey, just accept it and move on.
As a cop, okay, I should've stepped in, but as a parent? Man, that kid was selling crack.
That rates a big hug and a trip to Disneyland? This really burns you, huh? Hell, yes.
The guy's fighting for his kid's life.
What, by beating up on him? If it comes to that.
I'm not one of those parents who has a problem taking a strong stand against drugs.
I never took drugs, and I don't feel like a hypocrite telling my kids not to.
So if I tell my kids not to drink, that makes me a hypocrite? Whatever, Lennie.
I don't want to get into personalities.
Now I got Pat Buchanan for a partner.
Hello, again, Cassie.
Don't you people have phones? We want to see Lonnie.
He's not here.
We want to see for ourselves.
We insist.
Look all you want.
He's not here.
It's okay, they're homicide cops.
All right, then.
I'll see you around.
A new acquaintance? Whatever.
Look, Lonnie's not here.
I don't know where he went, and the batteries died in his beeper.
The story never changes with you, does it? I stick with what works.
Now, goodbye.
I'll get a unit to sit outside, in case the kid turns up.
Kid's selling crack, mom's turning tricks, this is one family Norman Rockwell never met.
Hey, we arrest Lonnie, we'll be doing him a favor.
The kid worked for Ross Morales.
We tap Morales, maybe we get lucky.
Funny, I didn't see Morales in the business directory.
Clayton would know where he hangs his shingle.
According to our informant, Morales has been operating out of a ground floor apartment on 11th Street for the past month.
Now, twice a day, he comes by with Lonnie Rickman to collect the receipts.
We're aiming for a 9:00 p.
They're both considered dangerous.
We've decided to take them down inside the building, the super's cooperating.
You want me inside? No, I need you outside with Morrissey to ID Lonnie.
Wilson and Dickerson will take the back.
Any questions? Yeah, who's got a deck of cards? Come on.
Number one? Number one.
It's 10 past, maybe they won't show.
Give it another 30.
Ten minutes.
Is he always that anal? Hey, I need somebody around like him, otherwise I'd never get out of bed.
Well, chill him out, please.
You know me.
"I play it cool, I dig all jive "That's the reason I stay alive" "My motto, as I live and learn Is dig and be dug in return" You read Langston Hughes on a men's room wall? Back when I was a beatnik for about five minutes, it used to work pretty good on the Jewish girls from Riverdale.
It does pretty good with girls from Washington Heights.
Number one, they're coming in.
Police! Freeze! All right, then! It wasn't me! Help! Get over here! Help me! Get off me! Get down! Get back here! Get up! Get up! All right, this one's clean.
No weapon.
Same here.
Okay, turn around.
What do we got, huh? What do we got? Oh! Three vials of rock, okay.
Roscoe Morales, you're under arrest for possession.
Lonnie Rickman, you're under arrest for the murder of Carol Merrick and the attempted murder of Clayton Doyle.
Get them out of here! You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you This is an outrageous abuse of authority.
I am taking this to the Civilian Review Board.
You say police brutality.
We say resisting arrest.
I didn't resist nothing.
I thought y'all was heisting me.
And where's my ice pack? I been waiting here for an hour.
They didn't tell you? Somebody stole our ice cube trays.
Come on, man, I got baseballs growing down here.
I'll lend you my jock as soon as we get this thing with you and Lonnie Rickman straightened out.
Look, the kid just follows me around like I'm his big brother.
The big brother who uses him to keep his other employees in line.
Morales is a part-time auto mechanic.
He has no employees.
He does as a full-time crack dealer.
I don't know anything about that.
Let me guess, you were at that apartment to visit a sick friend? Yeah, that's right.
You can't connect him to any illegal activity occurring in that apartment.
We've got Clayton Doyle to do that.
And I would be very surprised if your witness has any first-hand knowledge of my client's actions.
What about the three vials of crack we found in his pocket? His dry cleaner left them there? Look, I got a substance abuse problem.
I'm working on it.
When you sent Lonnie Rickman up on that roof with a gun to kill Clayton Doyle, you became liable for everything he did with that gun, which includes shooting Carol Merrick.
Work on that.
Have a seat.
How long is this gonna take? First of all, I want to make sure that you both understand, Lonnie has the right to have an attorney present.
He doesn't need a lawyer.
He'll tell you whatever you want to know.
Lonnie, are you sure you don't want one? Yeah.
We talked to Clayton Doyle.
He told us what happened on that rooftop.
We'd like to hear your version.
Nothing to say.
Well, he told us you worked for Ross Morales, and that Morales told you to kill him.
All right, let me explain something to you, Lonnie.
We've got an eyewitness who saw you go up on that roof 15 minutes before the shooting, so we got you dead to rights for murder.
But if Morales told you to kill Clayton, if you were acting on his orders, that changes everything.
What do you mean, it changes everything? He'll plead to a lesser charge.
We'll agree to a reduced sentence, if you give us Morales.
You understand, Lonnie? Any time you're ready, little man.
Go on, tell them what you did.
Clayton's lying.
I don't work for Morales, and I wasn't gonna cap Clayton.
I took him on the roof on my own account, just to scare him, because he pissed me off.
I busted that bullet, and nobody else was behind it.
Just me.
We'll be back in a few minutes.
Either Morales was pulling the strings or he wasn't.
This kid walks on his own two feet.
This kid changed his own diapers, too.
It's moot, as long as he says he acted on his own, I doubt we'll convince a jury otherwise.
So we send Mr.
Morales home in a limo? He stays.
Resisting arrest, possession with intent.
"Case number 456020.
People v.
Lonnie Rickman.
"The charge is Murder in the Second Degree.
" Your plea, Mr.
Rickman? Not guilty.
Your Honor, the People ask that the defendant be remanded without bail to the youth authority.
Without objection, Your Honor.
Goodbye, Mr.
Does Lonnie know there's no MTV where he's going? There's no Cassie Rickman.
That sold it to me.
Me, too.
We're off to a good start.
Don't get used to it.
Motion to exclude his confession.
He was denied counsel.
It was nice while it lasted.
It was by the numbers, Your Honor.
As the defendant's legal guardian, his mother waived counsel.
The defendant himself acquiesced.
The defendant's 13.
His mother was high on crack.
Neither of them was competent to waive counsel.
The police get waivers from drunken drivers every day of the week, and the courts routinely uphold them.
Rickman wasn't waiving her own rights, she was waiving her son's.
He was utterly at her mercy.
Kincaid should have disregarded the waiver and stopped the interrogation.
Your Honor, she wasn't bouncing off the walls.
She was coherent.
She didn't appear to be under the influence.
I don't understand what counsel expected us to do, run a drug test on her? Ms.
Rubinoff, there's nothing in the case law stating a defendant has to be stone cold sober to waive counsel.
You uphold my motion, Your Honor, and there will be.
Well, being first isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Your motion's denied, the confession stays.
Sorry to spoil your day.
You can make it up to me, Your Honor.
I want the case remanded to Family Court.
Absolutely not, this is a violent offender.
He's committed a serious crime without expressing an iota of remorse.
Family Court's not equipped to deal with him.
The issue is, with proper counseling, would he still pose a danger to society? Mr.
McCoy, you prove to me he should be tried as an adult, he's all yours.
Have your briefs on my desk in a week.
And I want this boy to have a chat with a court psychiatrist.
I didn't even know that lady.
I didn't mean it to happen.
It just happened.
Has anything like this ever happened to someone you knew? Yeah.
A friend at school got shot.
And this other kid in the neighborhood was pushed off a building.
Did your parents ever hit each other? My dad, before he dumped us, he used to hit my mom when he got high.
Did he ever hit you? No.
How about your mom? Has she ever She's not like that.
You want to tell me what she is like? What do you want me to say? She's funny.
She makes me laugh.
How do you feel about her taking drugs? It's not her fault.
My dad got her hooked, and I'm helping her get off it.
You think she takes good care of you? Yeah.
Because of her, we got a place to stay.
And this one time, they tried to put me into foster care, but my mom fought like hell to keep me.
She always says I'm the most important thing in her life.
He's seen a good deal of violence, but he doesn't seem preoccupied with it, so it's possible he's not dangerous.
What about treatment? Is he a candidate? Maybe.
I don't know enough about him.
Good, more hedging.
He's been abused by his mother, this I'm sure of.
He told you that? He denied it a little too vehemently.
He's very defensive on the entire subject of his mother.
That's it? No, I read the police reports.
He gave Detectives Briscoe and Curtis a very hard time, in contrast to how he behaved toward me or Claire.
He gets angry at men, but he's very submissive toward women.
That's the pathology for maternal abuse.
So what's your recommendation? I'd have to say Family Court.
Because he was abused.
Fine, we send him there, and when they let him out in a few years and he kills again, we get another bite at him.
That's right.
What if we got him to roll on Morales? He's the one we really want.
We want them both.
Papers are calling this kid a super-predator.
He's not getting a lollipop for killing a woman in her sleep.
A murder he claims full credit for.
He even denies he works for Morales.
He's 13.
He's probably terrified of Morales.
He doesn't want to be the only one pointing the finger at him.
What do you suggest? If we find evidence that he was Morales' employee, we convince him we're going to make the case against Morales with or without him.
That should bring him around.
Who made you this kid's fairy godmother? I just know what Lonnie told me.
I never heard Ross telling him to do no drug business.
You ever see him give Lonnie money or drugs to sell? No.
Lonnie said Ross never got his hands dirty with the small stuff.
How did you get paid? Lonnie gave me money for being a lookout.
So as far as you knew, you could have been working for Lonnie.
Lonnie said Ross was the man.
He even showed me where Ross beat him on his back just for being short five dollars.
Is that why he was covering for him? Because he was scared? Yeah, for his mom.
Ross said if he ever went against him, he'd hurt his mom.
Lonnie is devoted to that woman.
He does her chores.
He cleans her up.
He's even dragged her from the crack houses.
It is pathetic.
Now, that boy came home with Clayton a couple of months ago.
He had not eaten in two days.
So what happened? His mom sold their food stamps.
She must have owed a dealer a lot of money.
So I gave him something to eat.
Who feeds him the rest of the time? Morales? I don't know, but Ross doesn't like anybody messing with Lonnie.
How do you mean? Well, a couple of weeks ago, I found Lonnie at the park, and he couldn't breathe, so I called an ambulance.
And when Ross found out, he was real mad.
And what did he do? He just went off, saying that I should've called him, not the ambulance.
And then he wanted to know what hospital he was at.
Paramedics brought him in.
He was in cardiac shock, too much crack.
So what's he done? He's charged with murder.
He was a mess.
We pumped his stomach, nothing came out.
His back and legs were covered in bruises.
He looked like he hadn't slept in a week.
Did he say how he got those bruises? It was a fight just to get a name out of him.
He wouldn't tell us where he lived.
He didn't want us to call Child Welfare.
So why did you release him? We didn't.
This Hispanic guy came in.
He paid the bill in cash, then before we could stop them, he grabbed the kid and left.
Kid didn't say a word.
Just because he paid the kid's bill doesn't imply that Lonnie worked for him.
He could just be a good Samaritan.
Who beat him like a dog.
And again, it's all just hearsay unless we get it directly from Lonnie's mouth.
Then we're back where we started.
That's too bad.
Because Morales' attorney just filed an Article 78 motion to get him released.
He had less than three grams of rock cocaine, all for his personal use.
He's willing to plead to Possession in the Seventh Degree, take his time served and pay a fine.
But Mr.
McCoy won't even take my calls.
Morales is a known drug dealer.
He has numerous convictions.
Only one for possession with intent, Your Honor.
We arrested him on the way to one of his drug outlets.
He was there to collect the daily take.
He was arrested in a common-use hallway.
He could have been going anywhere.
McCoy, are you willing to discuss a plea on Mr.
Morales? Not at this time, Your Honor.
We're looking at other charges.
For example? It's a continuing investigation.
I'm not going discuss it in front of the defendant.
He's stalling, Your Honor.
McCoy is punishing my client because we filed a complaint of police brutality.
That's nonsense.
But we'll drop the complaint if Mr.
McCoy agrees to a plea.
Sounds reasonable, Mr.
McCoy, how about it? I'm sorry, Your Honor.
McCoy, the police arrest 150 people a day for simple possession, there's just nowhere to put them all.
I'm not adding to the problem.
I don't want Mr.
Morales in jail.
Is that clear? May I approach alone? Objection.
Your objection is noted.
Come up, Mr.
Your Honor, we're developing another case against him.
He may be facing murder charges.
If you release him, the chances are he'll flee the jurisdiction and we'll never find him.
You have any direct evidence connecting him to this murder? No, Your Honor.
Step back, Mr.
I can't order you to accept this plea.
But if you don't, I'll dismiss the charge on grounds of legal insufficiency.
You have till tomorrow morning to make up your mind.
We're adjourned.
It doesn't matter whether Ingles dismisses the charges or we accept the plea.
Once Morales walks out the door, it's the last we'll see of him.
You found him once, you'll find him again.
When we've got a witness in custody who can nail him for murder? He's jumped bail before.
Besides, Lonnie's more likely to talk if Morales is already in jail.
Maybe we can hit him with another charge.
As far as I know, you can't walk into an emergency room and grab a minor out of his bed.
That could be kidnapping.
It could.
Where'd you come up with kidnapping, man? I didn't kidnap that little slice.
Ross, cool it.
McCoy, you don't know the storm of crap you are in for.
You've just graduated from police brutality to malicious prosecution.
Your client forcibly removed a sick child from a hospital bed.
The boy went with him of his own free will.
Not according to the attending doctor and nurses.
Lonnie was scared out of his mind.
Not to mention the fact that Mr.
Morales has no legal standing to take the boy anywhere, willing or not.
That's bull.
I'm his de facto guardian.
My client was acting with Mrs.
Rickman's knowledge and permission.
You expect us to believe that she entrusted her son to a drug dealer? Well, you ask her, man.
She gave him to me.
You see, I'm like a father figure to the local kids.
I'm their hero.
He's right, I asked him to keep an eye on Lonnie for me.
You let him baby-sit your son? Yeah, out there.
I mean, Lonnie's a kid, he needs somebody to protect him.
Morales isn't all bad, you know.
He turned him into a gangster.
He did? I thought it was the rap music.
I don't see the humor.
No, you're the joke here, Mr.
You bitch and moan because Morales owns the street, when it's you and your stupid laws that gave him the power.
I didn't come here for an argument.
If you think he's a suitable guardian for your child Yeah, well our last nanny quit, so it was Morales or nothing, huh? Ms.
Rickman, if you're just saying this because he threatened you I've said everything I'm gonna say.
All right, keep talking that way.
You'll be facing charges of reckless endangerment and child abuse.
Now, that's funny.
Look at me.
I can hardly get myself through the day, so who's he better off with? Now, why don't you and your skinny little friend get lost? Crackhead logic never ceases to amaze.
Maybe she's right about one thing.
Don't believe her, you look fine to me.
I was talking about Morales.
Let's all petition to legalize drugs.
That'll free Mr.
Morales to pursue his true calling, curing cancer or Alzheimer's.
How many people does our office put in jail every year for drugs? Five, six thousand? Not including repeat offenders, maybe seven.
And it hasn't even made a dent.
We're standing on the beach, bailing out the ocean with a teaspoon.
You want to reform sentencing rules, you get no argument from me.
But legalize drugs, open the floodgates, it's not responsible.
Jack, I can make a couple of phone calls and have any kind of drug delivered right here.
Anyone who wants them can get them.
We have kids being terrorized by dealers, innocent people being shot.
We turned a disease into a war, and we're losing.
Anyway, here we are, two grunts in the trenches, arguing about whether war is bad.
And we can't even put scum like Morales in jail for kidnapping.
Maybe there's a good reason that Cassie Rickman allowed Lonnie to go to work for Morales.
I'm listening.
Didn't somebody tell you that she was deeply in debt to her dealer? To Morales? And now, two months later, she's buying drugs from him? How did she pay him off? You're wrong, she wouldn't do that to me.
How much money did she owe Morales? $500? $1,000? Where did she find that kind of money? I don't know.
I don't work for Morales, anyway.
Can't you get that straight? Don't treat us like idiots, Lonnie.
You're going to jail for him.
How much dope is that gonna buy your mother? It's not true.
My mom loves me.
Jack, this is cruel.
And selling your kid to a drug dealer isn't? Young man, if you want to protect your mother, protect her from me.
I can put her in prison for what she did to you.
But if you testify against Morales, I won't charge her, and you can go to Family Court.
What exactly would he have to say? That he was acting under Morales' orders when he fired that gun, and that he obeyed because his mother agreed to let Morales do what he wanted with him.
It won't make Mr.
Morales a happy man.
We'll make arrangements for their protection.
Let me talk to him.
Forget it.
I'm not talking against my mom.
Lonnie No, nobody made me do anything.
Then you and your mother can write to each other from jail.
Empty threat, Jack.
Selling your kid may be despicable, but it's not illegal.
As for Family Court, I think we're halfway there already.
Come on, Lonnie.
She's right.
No statute against selling your kid.
His mother put him at risk for his life.
That rates as a felony.
You want him to testify against Morales and risk both their lives.
You're not giving the kid much of a choice.
He'd rather go to prison than admit what his mother did to him.
So we throw in the towel.
Ross Morales goes home, Cassie Rickman stays on crack, and her kid spends the next 25 years in a cell.
Is everybody happy? Didn't you say that's where he belonged? That must have been some other arrogant, moralistic son-of-a-bitch.
Thirteen and living in a madhouse, who knows what any of us would do? Give him a taste of reality.
He loves his mother.
Does he know how much she loves him? It's not going to be pretty.
I'm not going to do it.
I'd have to be out of my mind.
It'll prove to the jury Lonnie had to do whatever Morales wanted.
First of all, I did not give my son to Morales, that is absolutely, 100% untrue.
What kind of mother do you think I am? Please.
Let's cut through the bull, lady.
We all know what kind of mother you've been to that boy.
Blame it on the ex-husband or the drugs if it makes you feel better, but right now, you have one chance to help your son.
Take it.
If you testify against Morales, Lonnie goes to Family Court.
He gets a lighter sentence.
He gets help.
What do I get? I get my throat cut.
We can offer you protection.
Yeah, right.
Lonnie pulled the trigger.
He killed that woman.
You send him wherever you want, I don't care, he's a pain in the ass.
Juvenile detention.
Five years.
Ross said Clayton was trying to quit the crew.
He gave me the gun and told me to take Clayton upstairs and kill him.
What specifically did he instruct you to do? He told me to put the gun up against the side of his head and shoot.
Did you follow these instructions? I tried to, but I couldn't.
I couldn't kill him.
The first time, I missed on purpose.
The second time, the gun jammed.
If it hadn't, would you have killed Clayton? I don't know.
I like Clayton.
He's okay.
I didn't want to kill him.
Then why did you take him up on the roof? Because I was scared of Ross Morales.
But you could have run away.
You could have gone to your mother, or even to the police.
I couldn't.
Why not? Lonnie, tell these people why you didn't run away.
Because of my mom.
She said I had to stay with Ross and do what he said.
Why? She owed him money, and he was going to hurt her.
How long were you with him before you were arrested? I'm not sure.
It was a lot of weeks.
What did you do during that time? I went to the store for Ross, I got him cigarettes, I took his clothes to the coin laundry.
What else did you do? I helped him sell drugs.
I carried it for him.
I watched the other kids.
Did he pay you? No, sir.
Did he feed you? Sometimes.
Didn't you get hungry? Yes, sir, but Ross told me to smoke crack so my stomach wouldn't hurt.
Didn't you ever complain? Yes, sir, once.
What happened? He hit me on my back and my legs, and he said he'd hurt my mom.
How long were you supposed to stay with him? I don't know.
As long as your mother needed drugs? I don't know.
Lonnie, how much money did your mother owe Ross Morales? $865.
Thank you, Lonnie, no more questions.
Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict? Yes, we have, Your Honor.
In the first count of the indictment, Murder in the Second Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Ross Morales, guilty.
Has Ms.
Rubinoff explained to you the consequences of taking this plea? Yes, ma'am.
You realize that you'll be incarcerated in a juvenile facility until your 18th birthday? Yes, ma'am.
Then in accordance with the provisions of the Family Court Act, I hereby sentence you to a term of five years.
Per Mr.
McCoy's recommendation, you will receive psychiatric counseling during that term of incarceration and for a period of five years thereafter.
We're adjourned.