Law & Order (1990) s08e03 Episode Script

Navy Blues

srt by GeirDM 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.
Officer, please, please, my Bruno ran down there.
Don't worry, ma'am.
We'll take care of it.
This should put us on the fast track for promotion.
Tell me about it.
Take a look over there.
I'll look down here.
(DOG YELPING) I think I see him.
Here, Bruno, nice doggy.
Your mommy's looking for you.
Scroungy little rat.
Oh, man! Why do these things always happen at the end of a shift.
BRISCOE: Look at his tan lines.
He's missing a ring and a watch.
CURTIS: Got a wallet? BRISCOE: No.
CURTIS: What do you think? 9mm? BRISCOE: Maybe.
Victim number five, huh? Maybe.
You think it's that mugger who kills his victims? I don't think.
No exit wound.
"Stroud, Robert J.
Blood type B negative.
" Catholic.
Funny place for a mugging.
CSU says that they saw blood up on the roadway.
Probably rolled down.
So what happened to the dog? He's with my partner.
Where's your partner? Lincoln Hospital.
The paramedics couldn't pry the dog from his butt.
What kind of dog? Chihuahua.
Let me know how they word the commendation.
Anything from the scene? No.
We got a time of death yet? The same day he left the ship.
The 4th, between Five victims in six weeks.
You get a description of the missing property? Yeah.
Black leather wallet, monogrammed, a Russian watch he acquired in the Gulf and a gold wedding ring, engraved.
We'll add the stuff to the pawnshop bulletins.
Or we can get on the phones.
(GRUNTS) (CHUCKLES) Hey, it's not rocket science.
You check the bulletin, then you check your inventory.
If anything matches, you call us.
CURTIS: it's a Russian watch.
Soviet? Yeah, I'll hold.
This is Detective Briscoe, the 27th Precinct.
We need to add a few items to your stolen property bulletin.
Well, does anybody there speak English? (SPEAKING SPANISH) Who you got? A whiny guy named Palumbo.
Palumbo? (SPEAKING SPANISH) Louis? Yeah, it's Briscoe.
(LAUGHS) Yeah, I know, I know.
You never fenced anything in your life.
Do me a favor and look again.
No, you won't get back to me, you'll do it now or I'm coming over there.
How many hock shops in the five boroughs? I've got Mets tickets next month.
Yeah? Yeah, what kind of an item? Gold starburst with sapphire and tourmalines? Don't move.
We'll be right over.
And don't lose it, and don't sell it.
We've got a hit.
Brooch from the third victim.
Hey, I read the papers.
I hear this guy whacks people.
Which one? What? I'm watching you, Louis.
I saw that look.
Which one? I want protection.
You got 14 cousins that look like a moose herd when they get together.
I think they can babysit you for a few hours while we bag the guy.
Which one? How about after you bag the guy? Five counts.
Murder one with special circumstances.
He ain't gonna make bail.
Which one? Which one? Lenny Travers.
Paroled from Attica eight weeks ago.
Armed robbery.
Guess they didn't explain the terms of his parole real well.
Well, check with his PO to make sure that's his current address and move on him.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING ON RADIO) Last chance, Travers.
(GUN FIRING) OFFICER 1: Go! Go! Go! Clear! OFFICER 2: Clear in the back! Yeah, you're a couple of real heroes.
You hid behind ESU till the guy was dead.
(MEN CHUCKLING) Well, next time we'll let you take the point, Anderson.
With that gut, you could stop a whole clip and still keep charging.
We cleared five murders.
What'd you do today? VAN BUREN: Four.
At least try to look busy.
The Navy guy wasn't shot with Travers' gun.
Maybe Travers had two guns.
Well, let's go on the assumption that somebody else killed Chief Stroud.
Here's the autopsy and the ballistics report.
Open a new file, start filling it up.
Healthy as a horse except for one cracked rib, recent.
And one bullet to the brain.
More recent.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) (DOOR OPENING) Commander Billings? I'm Detective Curtis, this is Detective Briscoe.
Your captain said we should talk to you about Stroud, Robert, J.
You find the killer yet? BRISCOE: No.
Not yet.
But we're looking.
When was he on the ship last? He had liberty on the 4th, and he wasn't back for quarters at 0700.
CURTIS: What did you do? We placed him on unauthorized absence.
What was his rank? He was a chief aviation mechanics mate, in charge of one of the crews that refuels, maintains our aircraft.
Did he say anything about his plans for liberty? Museums? Walking tours? Hookers? He was married.
Well, so? He's here in the Big Apple, she's not, you know BILLINGS: But she was.
She serves on the supply ship Lambert, which moored the same day that we did.
She's a quartermaster.
I didn't see my husband on the 4th.
You're in the same port at the same time, you don't see each other? What is this about? I thought Bobby was shot by a mugger.
You know anybody who would've wanted him dead? You didn't answer my question.
The mugger didn't do it, so somebody else did.
Did Bobby have any enemies? Not that I know of.
But we were usually separated by a continent or two.
Were you separated by anything else? Or somebody else? What does that mean? You don't know or you're not gonna say? I'm the wrong person to ask.
Well, who's the right person to ask? You should ask somebody who spent more time with him than I did.
If you'll excuse me, I have to change for the watch.
She have anybody in particular to be jealous about? There are 3,652 sailors on this ship.
I don't monitor their personal lives unless they have problems with Navy regs.
CURTIS: Anybody bring Stroud to your attention? Yes.
He was decorated during the Gulf War.
Pulled a pilot from a burning plane on deck.
BRISCOE: You got any women on board? Sixty-four women.
Stroud hound dog any of them? Stroud's wife seems to think he was fooling around, so we just need to follow up, you know.
BRISCOE: Could we talk to his immediate superior? That would be his pilot, Lieutenant Blair.
He was the best crew chief I've ever worked with.
There was nothing he didn't know about the F-14.
He sleeping with anybody on the ship? Not that I know of.
You ever meet Stroud's wife? Is that the direction this is pointing? Well, the dial's still spinning.
Did you ever meet her? Briefly.
She seem like the jealous type? I don't know her well enough to have an opinion.
Did Stroud ever come on to you? I work hard to keep my professional relationships professional.
Well, he must've found you attractive.
It's a non-issue.
The Navy says I can't fraternize, so I don't.
But you would if you could? No.
You didn't find him attractive? I don't sleep with married men.
The Navy has a rule about that, too, and so do I.
If there's anything specific I can do, please let me know.
Stroud was a fine sailor.
Everyone on the ship wants to see justice done.
No, I don't know who these kids are.
No, I don't want you to give him a lecture and let him go.
Put him in a holding cell and call his father.
Problem? My son.
Manhattan South caught him tagging a truck.
Arrest report.
Stroud, Robert J.
Assault, 11-10-96.
Bar brawl.
Hampton, Virginia.
it's where the broken rib came from.
The charges were dropped.
Turned out Stroud wasn't the attacker.
Who was? VAN BUREN: His wife.
Witnesses said that she started the beef, then he shoved her, she threw a punch.
He had 60 pounds on her.
How'd he get a busted rib? She flipped him over the bar.
Where's her arrest report? He refused to press charges.
Bet he'd like to change his mind now.
I had the watch that night.
I never left the ship.
Can anybody confirm that? Lieutenant Slade, Ensign Blackledge, Machinist's Mate Wilson.
You busted your husband's ribs a couple of months back.
One rib.
I caught him with another woman.
Caught him, how? I knew he was fooling around again, so I followed him.
She met him at a bar.
What'd they do? They were all over each other, and she knew he was married.
She should've left him alone.
How am I supposed to compete with the poster girl for the new Navy? Who're we talking about? His pilot.
Lieutenant high-and-mighty Blair.
I wrote a letter of complaint to the Bureau of Naval Personnel.
They said they'd investigate.
All they did was sweep it under the rug.
Why would they do that? Please.
They spent $5,000,000 training her.
And she's who they point to when anybody starts screaming about discrimination.
We're gonna need to run ballistics on whatever 9mm guns you have access to, all right? You're sure we're talking about the 4th? That was a Thursday.
Okay, thanks.
She never left the ship on the 4th.
And if she killed him, she didn't use any 9mm in the ship's locker.
(IN SINGSONG VOICE) Round and round we go.
The investigation was assigned to Commander Halibert, executive officer of the ship.
Now according to his report, both Stroud and Blair denied the allegation.
And he just took their word for it? No.
Blair said she was involved with a civilian, Halibert talked to him, and it checked out.
How come you didn't tell us all this stuff the last time we were here? Look, I don't know where you people think you're going with this, but let me tell you something.
Lieutenant Blair was one of the first women in US Navy history to qualify for night carrier landings.
You think she's gonna screw that up for some glorified deckhand? Who's the civilian she was seeing? An engineer at GE.
Yeah, I dated her.
What kind of relationship did you have? A dating relationship.
Was it serious? I thought so, and then she broke it off.
You don't seem too torn up about it.
I'm failing to see what makes it your business.
Well, this is the easy way.
If you'd like to come downtown (SIGHS) What is she, some kind of spy? The Navy was on my back for weeks, and now you guys.
Okay, and I'm not doing this again.
I dated her for six months.
When she was in New York, we went out.
She broke up with me last fall.
You told the Navy it was still going hot and heavy.
She asked me to.
She asked you to lie? Maybe stretch it a little.
So why'd she break it off? She said she met the man of her dreams.
She put it that way? The "man of her dreams"? She happen to give you a name? No.
She said it was somebody on her ship.
I assumed it was another pilot.
BLAIR: I lied to him.
I didn't want to see him anymore.
He wouldn't leave me alone.
Sol made up a story.
I wasn't seeing anybody else.
Including Stroud? Including Stroud.
What'd you do on the 4th? (KNOCKING ON DOOR) This is Lieutenant Commander Mclntyre from the Judge Advocate General's office.
You don't have to answer their questions.
I want to.
I had liberty on the I spent the afternoon at the Cloisters.
I ate dinner in a cafe on Bleecker Street.
No, I don't remember the name of it, and I went to a movie.
CURTIS: What movie? The Lost World.
At a multiplex in Times Square.
What time? Opposite ends of Manhattan, that's a lot of traveling.
You get any taxi receipts? BLAIR: I used my car.
You keep a car in the city? At my parents' house.
In Connecticut.
Where is it now? At a parking garage on West 38th.
CURTIS: You mind if we examine it? MCINTYRE: Not without a warrant.
I think Lieutenant Blair has cooperated enough.
You want to talk to her again, go through me.
Looks like the grieving widow was right about the Navy protecting their poster girl.
And about the affair.
You know, we don't need a warrant to look at the outside of the car.
This is it here.
She took it out last Thursday.
Yeah, here it is, the 4th.
You remember her? She's what I dream about.
(CHUCKLES) When did she bring it back? Not while I was here.
This is one clean car.
MAN: It was a little dusty when she took it out.
Here it is.
Hey, Lennie, the tint on this window is different than the others.
New window? CURTIS: "Heinrich Muller Exotic Cars.
" Müller.
There's an umlaut.
Heinrich's kind of a stickler for the umlaut.
She told me somebody smashed the window when it was parked someplace.
She didn't get any more specific? You want the truth, I stopped listening, I was picturing how she'd look in leather.
You come to any conclusions? There's Jerry.
He worked on the car.
What'd you do with the broken glass? I didn't find any pieces in the track, but some had fallen in the panel.
They always do.
How do you know those are from her car? Custom tint job.
Now, there was one, a corner piece, with the DOT number, there it is.
No blood? You sound disappointed.
The bullet that shattered her window was fired from inside the car.
Forensics found powder residue on the glass.
How do we know it was her car? 'Cause the mechanic says so.
'Cause the lab says so.
The DOT number matches.
What does she say about it? Nothing.
JAG won't let us near her.
Did you check her alibi yet? CURTIS: Nobody saw her at the Cloisters.
We canvassed every eating place on Bleecker, no result.
None of the employees at the movie house ever saw her before.
And this is a woman people tend to remember.
CURTIS: She's in the Navy.
Here today, gone tomorrow.
If we don't move on her now Talk to the D.
about a warrant.
JACK: I'm not looking for a debate, Commander Mclntyre.
The court has issued an arrest warrant, and I'm giving you the option of arranging a time and place for her to surrender.
Thank you for your cooperation.
You can pick her up I've got 2:40.
What've you got? I got bandits at two o'clock.
Where's Lieutenant Blair? I've been instructed to tell you the Navy is asserting jurisdiction in this case.
We have a warrant.
We have Lieutenant Blair.
And we're keeping her.
I've got two Navy lawyers in my office.
They want all the police and lab reports for their investigation.
We're not thinking of ceding jurisdiction, are we? We're not ceding anything until we know what We're dealing with.
Book some time with the grand jury.
Get an indictment.
Murder two.
Cover the bases.
We realize your office has concurrent jurisdiction with the Navy.
We don't want to get into a shooting war.
Neither do I.
How do you intend to proceed against Lieutenant Blair? Based on her statement, we believe the shooting was accidental.
She's admitted shooting Stroud? She explained the events to our satisfaction.
Then you won't mind if she explains them to us.
It will be off the record.
JACK: Absolutely not.
She makes it, she lives with it.
So you want a shooting war, after all.
ADAM: We're all in the same boat.
We don't want to look too accommodating, you don't want to look too secretive.
Lieutenant Blair will repeat the sworn statement she made to the Navy.
She will answer no questions.
Stroud told me he and his wife were going to get a divorce.
The relationship was still wrong under Navy regulations, so I won't try to excuse it.
When I found out his wife was still in the picture, I ended it.
I didn't want to wreck a marriage or my career.
But he wouldn't stop seeing me.
I agreed to meet him one last time.
We had dinner in Manhattan.
I told him I wasn't willing to risk my career to be with someone who'd lie to me.
I drove him back to drop him off near the ship.
He wouldn't get out of the car.
He said he wanted to keep on, I won't use the word he used, seeing me.
Said he liked sleeping with a pilot.
I tried to reason with him.
He drew a gun and ordered me to drive on.
We stopped on the road above where you found the body.
He said if I refused to have sex with him right then and there, he'd tell the CO we'd lied about the affair.
I said go ahead.
He opened his door and ordered me to get out.
I grabbed the gun.
Being forced to have sex is an experience I don't need to have.
We struggled, the gun went off, the bullet zinged by my head and shattered my window.
We kept struggling.
The second shot killed him.
I've never seen someone die right in front of me.
His eyes went dead.
There was an awareness, then nothing.
He dropped the gun, fell out of the car and rolled down the embankment.
And you just left him there? No questions.
We need to clarify some points.
Talk to me.
(SIGHS) So she climbed down the embankment and took his wallet and his valuables? The body was lying in the bushes for quite some time.
Some bum must've picked him clean.
Where's the weapon? She threw it off the pier.
LOPEZ: Our divers recovered it yesterday.
We confirmed it was Stroud's.
He bought it legally in Florida.
JACK: We're not done.
We are.
Lieutenant Blair came here voluntarily.
One step ahead of an arrest warrant.
Thank you for coming, Lieutenant.
In a struggle with a guy who's 6'1", she's the one who's left behind to tell the story? Lieutenant Blair committed serious infractions of military regulations.
She will be disciplined accordingly.
"Accordingly"? When our investigation is complete, we'll know better where we stand.
Have the police trace her steps.
Oh, yes, I remember them.
I wanted to go, "Ditch the date, honey, and come with me.
" Yeah, she is a head-turner.
Not her.
You got his phone number in your little book? They don't have phones where he is.
Did you happen to overhear any of their conversation? Mmm.
Not really.
My impression was that she was upset, he was very masterful.
What time did they leave? About 9:30, 9:45.
I offered to hail him a cab, but he said he had a car across the street.
Do they have phones where you live? Yeah, if you want to talk to my wife.
Hey, he's a fun guy.
You could do worse.
People in uniform all look the same to me.
This guy was wearing chinos and a polo shirt, blue, maybe a tan windbreaker.
You know how many people I see every day? This would be between How many people you see then? Okay, hang on, that was last Thursday, right? I got off at 10:00 'cause I had to go to the Port Authority, and the last people I saw were three drunks that come from somewhere they don't speak English and don't know what a tip is.
Oh, yeah, I remember them.
Z3, right? He was saying, "What did you think, sex has gotta be about love?" She say anything back? Don't know, I went to get the car.
Guy's a real jerk, but he tips good.
The passenger tipped you? Well, he snatched the keys away from her and got behind the wheel.
She was barely in the car before he squealed out of here like he was late for his last meal.
She lied again.
JACK: She had to say he was in the passenger seat.
That's the only way he could've rolled down the embankment.
ADAM: So he didn't.
She dragged him to the edge, pushed him over.
This also means both shots were fired in his direction.
The one that shattered the window, and the one that stayed in his head.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Got our indictment.
ADAM: Good.
Now go arm wrestle the Navy for jurisdiction.
WAXMAN: You're saying that the United States Navy, in order to protect a valuable officer, would overlook murder.
I'm saying if I chose to, I could charge Lieutenant Blair with perjury.
If Mr.
McCoy has some facts to share with us, we'd be more than happy to consider them in our investigation.
Their investigation amounts to taking dictation from Lieutenant Blair.
(SCOFFS) That's ridiculous.
In any event, according to Solorio v.
the US, the Navy can assert jurisdiction over cases involving its personnel.
We're contending our concurrent jurisdiction takes precedence.
We're ready to proceed against Lieutenant Blair while the Navy's been dragging its feet.
That's completely inaccurate.
We've recovered Stroud's weapon.
And we've indicted Lieutenant Blair for murder two.
This is dated four days ago.
Your Honor, this is bad faith.
While Mr.
McCoy and Mr.
Schiff were stringing us along, Ms.
Ross was tap dancing for the grand jury.
They must've liked what they heard.
I'm afraid Lieutenant Blair is going to have to have a civilian attorney.
"Docket number 77134, People v.
Kirstin Blair.
"Charge is murder in the second degree.
" I see a defendant, I see a prosecutor, why don't I see the defense counsel? MILLER: I'm right here, Your Honor.
Though why I'm here and why my client is here is a mystery to me.
TISDALE: Can we get a plea? Not guilty, ma'am.
The People request bail of $250,000.
My client has a spotless record.
She is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy.
Her word of honor should suffice.
We ask that she be ROR'ed.
Her ship is about to sail for Newport News.
COLEMAN: With your permission, Your Honor, I'm Lieutenant Commander Coleman of the Judge Advocate General's office, and I state for the record that the Navy will not remove Lieutenant Blair from the jurisdiction of this court.
These are the same people who don't seem to feel the Lieutenant's criminal actions warrant prosecution.
This is a federal writ of prohibition which bars the Navy from transporting or transferring the defendant outside the jurisdiction.
Has the D.
declared war on the US Navy, Ms.
Ross? Just making sure, Your Honor.
So noted.
The defendant is ROR'ed and will not leave the jurisdiction without permission from the court.
(POUNDS GAVEL) Jamie, that writ of prohibition was a little over the top.
We're finding we need a big stick to get the Navy's attention.
Careful where you step.
I'm a Lieutenant in the Reserves.
I was in the JAG office in the '70s.
Then you know how ridiculous the Navy's rules are.
I can see why she tried to cover up the affair.
If she'll come clean now, we can discuss dropping the charges to manslaughter.
She's not guilty.
(SCOFFS) Come on, Ruthie, every time she opens her mouth, another lie pops out.
Look at her statement to the Navy.
What statement? The statement is inadmissible.
My client wasn't properly Mirandized.
The spirit of Miranda was adhered to, the essence of the protection is embodied in JAG rules.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, there is no right to remain silent, there is no protection against self-incrimination.
This is the spirit of Miranda? If she'd been arrested and Mirandized by the NYPD, she'd still have given the same self-serving, untruthful statement.
If, if, if.
Since that didn't happen, we'll never know.
No matter how you slice it, Mr.
McCoy, she was not properly Mirandized.
The statement is inadmissible.
Statement or not, the facts are on our side.
Facts don't win cases.
Make a deal.
I'm not handing Blair the keys to the city.
I'll give on sentencing, but she has to plead to murder two.
Why play tough? At most it's man one.
She acted under extreme emotional distress.
That's a very charitable spin.
The fact is, we don't know what really happened in that car.
She really killed him.
She really lied.
If you weren't so starry-eyed over the great Kirstin Blair What, because I think she committed manslaughter instead of murder? Come on! Adam, you want this plea, so tell me, murder two or man one? Kirstin Blair is the best thing to happen to military aviation since Eddie Rickenbacker.
Her picture is on every little girl's bedroom wall right next to Sally Ride.
Your case.
Murder two, MILLER: Please.
She defends herself against an armed attacker, a gun, his gun, accidentally discharges.
We might go to man one.
You're gonna have to go all the way down to, "Oops, sorry, we made a mistake, we're dropping the charges.
" Don't hold your breath.
MILLER: Have you looked at Stroud's service record? We've subpoenaed it.
We're still waiting.
The man was a pig.
Come on, Kirstin.
I see.
We're going to try the defendant, you're gonna try the victim.
The victim here is Lieutenant Blair.
You don't just jump in with an offer that we haven't discussed.
Excuse me, now I need permission to join the conversation? And besides, we did discuss it, with Adam, who doesn't seem to feel we have much of a case.
We can support murder two on the evidence.
The worst thing the woman did was get pushed over the edge by the Navy and that bastard Stroud.
Every single piece of evidence we have contradicts her version of events.
Damn it! Here's Stroud's record.
And this is a summary of Blair's.
Draft a new subpoena.
I want her entire record, warts and all.
Now you're getting paranoid.
Maybe they just believe her story.
Sure, it's a classic she-said, he-said except she made sure he wasn't around to do the he-said.
So now it's a she-said, you-said.
Lying does not help her credibility.
If the Navy's rules about adultery and fraternization weren't so medieval, she wouldn't have to lie.
Blair knew the rules! She didn't have to join the Navy! Don't you people have a murder trial starting in 11 hours? And remember, it is a murder trial, not a debate between Gloria Steinem and George Patton.
JACK: You will hear a fingerprint expert testify that the defendant was in control of the gun.
You will hear ballistics evidence that the shooting was not accidental.
You will hear from witnesses who overheard conversations between Mr.
Stroud and Ms.
Blair on the night that he was murdered.
At the conclusion of the People's case, you will be convinced that Lieutenant Blair is guilty of murder in the second degree.
Lieutenant Blair made two mistakes.
She fell in love with a cad, and she broke the Navy's antediluvian rules regarding romantic involvements.
She knew the Navy applies those rules capriciously, different spanks for different ranks.
A slap on the wrist for adulterous admirals, imprisonment for philandering lieutenants.
She and Mr.
Stroud tried to cover up their affair.
And when Lieutenant Blair tried to end the deception, Mr.
Stroud showed his true colors.
He had a gun.
He threatened her with it.
Far from losing control, she kept her cool and was able to withstand his attack.
Stroud's death was an accident for which he himself bears the responsibility.
You will hear two versions of this story.
The truth lies in Kirstin Blair's character.
My parents taught me the essence of good character isn't about perfection, it's about owning your mistakes and learning from them.
She's good.
Special media training.
MAN ON TV: Let me ask you, Kirstin, what's it like landing an F-14 on a carrier deck at night? I mean, that sounds really scary.
A good pilot doesn't even break a sweat.
If you're going to just sit there and worry about what all could go wrong, you shouldn't be there.
CHUCK ON TV: Why did you want to be a Navy pilot? Where else could I do what I love doing while at the same time defending liberty.
MILLER: This is the kind of patriotism and dedication the Navy is willing to sacrifice, Chuck.
Well, they say they need their rules about sexual conduct.
This is not about military necessity.
This is about big government trying to legislate morality.
Not just in sexual matters, but in every area of our lives, including what you can and can't watch on television.
MAN: We'll continue our (TURNS OFF TV) Get a gag order.
McNEIL: I take it you saw the Chuck Baxter show.
Miller seems to favor the court of public opinion.
MILLER: The jury is sequestered, Jack.
They're allowed conjugal visits.
You think they don't talk? They're forbidden to discuss the case.
I'm going to issue the gag order, Ms.
You and your client are forbidden to discuss this case with any non-party or non-witness outside the courtroom.
Bailiff, let's bring in the jury.
She broke it off last fall, she said she'd found real love, "everlasting" was the word she used, with someone on her ship.
No further questions.
Isn't it true you tried to break off the relationship last summer? Yes.
MILLER: Why? She started getting kind of possessive.
And it wasn't that serious for me.
Are you saying that the relationship meant more to her than to you? Yes, it seemed that way.
Was she obsessed with you? I don't know about obsessed.
Was she upset when you tried to break off the relationship with her? Yes.
She didn't try to kill you, did she? No.
Thank you.
No further questions.
STROUD: He always came back to me.
I guess he was just one of those men who needed more than one woman could give him.
At any time, did he talk to you about Lieutenant Blair? After I caught them in the bar, he told me that she was the one who had it bad.
He said for him it was just a fling like the others.
It wasn't serious.
Did you believe him? Yes.
Did you ask him to stop seeing Lieutenant Blair? Yes.
Did he stop? No.
Did he tell you why? Answer the question, Mrs.
He said that she was better in bed than me, that she made him hotter.
And you didn't take this as a serious threat to your marriage? That's right.
Then why did you file a formal complaint? Why did you risk publicly humiliating yourself and ruining his career in order to stop the affair? I don't know.
I was angry at him.
But he loved me.
Not her.
I investigated the alleged relationship between Lieutenant Blair and Chief Stroud.
They denied the allegations.
I reminded them both that the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits adultery and fraternization.
And what's the punishment for these kinds of violations, Commander Halibert? HALIBERT: The maximum? Court-martial, dishonorable discharge, possible prison term.
As a naval officer, would Lieutenant Blair have been aware of these sanctions prior to her affair? The Uniform Code of Military Justice is required learning for all naval officers.
And she had the affair anyway.
Stroud must've meant a great deal to her.
No further questions.
You put people in prison for adultery, is that right? Yes.
Outside of the Middle East, can you name any civilized society that puts adulterers behind bars? HALIBERT: I'm not qualified to answer that.
Our rules exist to maintain good order and discipline within the ranks.
You can't apply civilian morality to military culture.
What about sexual harassment, is that an infraction of the rules? Yes.
The punishment depends on the severity of the offense.
Defense's eight, Chief Stroud's service record.
Commander Halibert, how many sexual harassment complaints do you see in his file? Eleven.
Does the file indicate what punishment Stroud received for his behavior? I was the one who imposed the penalty.
He was confined to his ship and ordered to undergo gender-sensitivity training.
Touchy-feely classes? Commander, isn't it true that you were so busy stamping out adultery, you let a sexual predator like Stroud fall between the cracks? We're in a politically mandated situation, ma'am.
It's new to us, but we're making every effort to meet the expectations of the civilian authorities.
You're doing the best you can? Yes.
Thank you, Commander.
I'm just swatting at an image.
Swat harder.
I don't have enough ammunition.
Blair's service record, finally.
Have a pleasant evening.
And good luck.
I love the Navy's idea of unabridged.
Most of it's classified.
Now I'm getting paranoid.
What seems to be missing are her training records.
She trained at Miramar Naval Air Station.
I called them, but all I got was the run-around.
What are they hiding? Beats me.
But I did get the names of the training personnel on the carrier where she got qualified.
This one, Ottenberg, left the service a few months ago.
He might talk.
I'm tracking him down.
I want him in my office.
OTTENBERG: I was landing signal officer on the Minnesota.
I was there when Blair trained for night landings.
If they'd left it up to me, I wouldn't have qualified her.
Why not? She had five downs.
Downs? Major mistakes.
Everybody else, it's two downs, you're out.
Two? They don't give you much leeway, do they? No, sir.
You don't want a pilot that can't land the damn plane.
Why'd they make an exception for Blair? They were under orders to qualify some female pilots ASAP.
This stuff burns me up.
What? Qualifying female pilots? No, ma'am.
Qualifying bad pilots.
She's that bad? She got better, but she's never gonna be an F-14 pilot.
You think I'm wrong, listen to this.
I kept it to cover my ass, and I'm glad I did.
I felt I could no longer wear the uniform while lying to my superiors.
MILLER: How did Mr.
Stroud take the rejection? BLAIR: He got very angry.
He told me to take the wheel and drive.
I did.
Were you afraid of him? No.
I can take care of myself.
I just didn't want to pour salt in the wound.
MILLER: What happened next? He pulled a gun and had me stop on the road.
He told me to get out of the car.
When he turned away to open his door, I grabbed the gun.
We struggled.
The gun went off twice.
One bullet shattered the driver's window and the other killed him.
Did you intend to shoot him? No.
It was an accident.
The impact of the bullet had knocked him out of the car.
I went to see if he was badly hurt.
He was dead.
MILLER: What did you do then? BLAIR: I drove off.
Why did you do that? I left the scene to report the accident.
I headed back towards the ship but by the time I got there, I started to see how unlikely it was I'd be believed.
I've seen what happens to women who try to fight back.
The system is stacked against us, especially in the military.
That seems cold.
BLAIR: I've been trained to make quick, calculated decisions.
In this case, I made a very bad decision, one I'll be sorry for for the rest of my life.
I can't excuse it, but I truly thought I would not be believed.
And, in fact, you were right, weren't you? Well, I'm here.
Thank you.
It is your contention, on the night of Mr.
Stroud's death, you were breaking up with him? The man you described as your everlasting love? The man of your dreams? Yes, I broke up with him.
We've heard testimony from a waiter and a parking lot attendant that contradicts your story.
Were they wrong? They didn't hear the whole discussion.
Stroud humiliated you.
You must've been angry.
I have been trained to control my emotions.
Under all circumstances? They never break free? No, they don't.
You never lose control? You want to know how I conduct myself, take a look at my service record.
When you do what I do, losing control is not an option.
You lose control, you die.
People's 17.
This is a recording of US Navy training flight number 001954, the carrier Minnesota.
Do you recall that flight, Ms.
Blair? Your Honor, I renew my objection to this so-called evidence.
So noted.
Go on, Mr.
Do you know what's on this tape? I'll refresh your memory.
The voices you'll hear belong to Lieutenant William Ottenberg, landing signal officer on the carrier Minnesota, and to Lieutenant Blair in an F-14 on approach for a night landing on the carrier off of San Diego.
OTTENBERG: Blair, you're next in line.
BLAIR: Negative, I'm not.
OTTENBERG: Check your lineup, Blair.
Watch the meatball.
BLAIR: I can't do this! I can barely see the deck lights.
OTTENBERG: Keep your scan moving.
BLAIR: (HYSTERICALLY) I can't! I'm gonna crash! OTTENBERG: Right for lineup.
BLAIR: I can't do it! OTTENBERG: Wave off Wave off Wave off BLAIR: Oh, my God! OTTENBERG: Raise your gear, raise your gear.
BLAIR: I'm trying.
Oh, God! OTTENBERG: Burner, burner, burner.
OTTENBERG: Fifty-four, what's your status? Fifty-four? BLAIR: I can't do this, Ottenberg.
Hand me off to Miramar.
OTTENBERG: Bring her back around.
You can do it.
Hand me off Let me make a ground landing.
OTTENBERG: This is a training flight, Lieutenant.
You already know how to make ground landings.
BLAIR: Yeah, because I had good trainers, not morons, like you.
OTTENBERG: Cool it, Lieutenant.
BLAIR: You screw me over, I'm gonna rip you a new one.
Did you rip him a new one? I filed a report.
Was this your first attempt at a night landing? No, it was my third.
How many years have you been in the Navy, Ms.
Blair? Five-and-a-half.
This recording was made six months ago.
At what point did you learn the steely control of your emotions you alluded to earlier? McNEIL: Ms.
Blair? She doesn't have to answer, Your Honor.
No more questions.
This morning Kirstin Blair allocuted and pled guilty to the charge of manslaughter in the first degree.
Judge McNeil imposed sentence of twelve-and-a-half-to-25, as agreed to by the district attorney's office and Ms.
Did she admit she killed him deliberately? I think the guilty plea speaks for itself.
Not necessarily.
Blair! Ms.
Blair! Kirstin! Kirstin! Kirstin, why'd you cop a plea? When you have the US Navy and the authorities of the New York State government aligned against you in pressing an unjust charge, well, sometimes concession is the better part of valor.
Our training methods undergo constant evaluation, but in any large organizations, things sometimes fall through the cracks.
(REPORTERS CLAMORING) So, it's man one.
You were right.
If you're trying to make me feel better, thanks.
It's like finding Amelia Earhart flew to Bakersfield and hid out for 50 years.
I got over Pete Rose.