Law & Order (1990) s08e19 Episode Script


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.
Want to hear a cool joke, Mrs.
Lewis? Paul? Donna? Anybody home? What do you get when you cross a chicken with a blind goat? Did your parents go away for the weekend? They never go anywhere.
So, what do you get? Hold on, honey.
It's me.
Paul and Donna aren't here.
Well, the papers and mail were at the front door and, well, it smells kind of funny.
Yeah, well, I have Jack.
You call them.
JACK: Mom? Dad? Jack, come here.
Stay with me.
You rousted us on a missing persons call, Kellog, you're gonna be hating life.
I told dispatch, "probable missing person.
" Then I found this near the garbage outside.
Straps busted.
Couple of limes.
Strangers on a Train.
And a lady's wallet.
It belongs to Donna Ericson.
She's the one that lives here.
Cassette's from a video store three blocks east.
All right, hang onto this stuff.
This is Mr.
Faber, the building manager.
My shop's downstairs.
I noticed the commotion.
Do the Ericsons ever leave town unexpectedly? Not that I know of.
Did somethin' happen to 'em? Well, that's what we're tryin' to find out.
Why don't you wait downstairs? Looks like the Ericsons were expecting guests.
It's hot as hell in here.
Water's room temperature, Rey.
Well, here's your heat source.
Yeah? What's for dinner? Whoa! (GRUNTING) Looks like rack of lamb.
Yeah, maybe two days ago.
Hope the Ericsons are in better shape.
How's the boy? We're keepin' him busy, but he still wants his mom and dad.
Guy at the video store says the Ericsons checked out a tape at 6:15.
It could be a kidnapping.
Forty-eight hours.
No ransom demand.
So far.
Well, maybe the Ericsons took a powder.
What, and leave that kid behind? The handles on her tote bag were ripped, like somebody grabbed it.
No one in the neighborhood saw anything? We're still canvassing, but so far, no witnesses.
You know, the whole thing could've gone down in, like, 10 seconds.
Well, keep trying.
There are a couple of messages from their dinner guests on their answering machine.
First call came in at 6:41.
Runnin' late.
Should be there around 7:00.
Let us know if we can bring anything.
(ANSWER MACHINE BEEPING) Hey, where are you guys? We're downstairs.
Hello? You said Friday, right? Paul? Donna? Hello? Play it for the boy.
Hey, where are you guys? We're downstairs.
I think it's Uncle Bob.
But he's not my real uncle.
Where can we find him? Where does your Uncle Bob live? Near the museum.
Which one? Which museum? The one with the dinosaurs? The one with no stairs.
You know, goes around.
The Guggenheim.
Do you know Uncle Bob's last name? Stanhouse.
Can Uncle Bob help find my mom and dad? BOB: Paul called Wednesday.
It was Tuesday.
They invited us to dinner.
And Jack was going to spend the weekend at friends'.
Paul had some white Burgundy he wanted to uncork.
Did you notice anything unusual while you were there? Just the fact that they weren't home.
We buzzed from downstairs for about 10 minutes.
I tried them on my cell phone.
We figured there was some emergency with Jack.
So, why is this happening? This isn't Guatemala.
People don't just disappear.
Detective, we go back a long way with Paul and Donna.
No one would want to hurt them.
They have any financial trouble? No, nothing like that.
Paul is a graphic artist.
He's very successful.
Anything at all? Drugs, maybe? Paul thought a third glass of wine was excessive.
He did ask me if I knew a good lawyer.
Criminal? He was having problems with the developer who sold him the condo.
We heard the Ericsons were having legal problems with you.
What's that all about? News to me.
Some beef over the building? Nope.
Building runs like a Rolex.
Well, that'd make you the luckiest developer in town.
Hey, luck had nothin' to do with it.
You should've seen this building when I bought it.
A dump.
Six months to move out the renters, three to renovate.
It was a year before I saw a nickel out of this place.
All right, we'll be in touch.
Faber talks a good game.
Only five units in the building.
Let's see if anybody else had a beef.
I don't know about litigation, but it was a little tense around here.
Why's that? When Faber was selling units, he promised a class act for the commercial space.
You know, Stellar Coffee downstairs? Faber owns it.
It was supposed to be an art gallery.
More money in caffeine, huh? Personally, I'm okay with it.
Faber sunk a fortune into this building.
This is the nicest loft space in the area.
What about the Ericsons? When the gallery turned out to be a coffee bar, they weren't very happy.
They didn't like the smell of it all day, every day, or the foot traffic at all hours.
Feud over a coffee bar.
Not exactly the Hatfields and the McCoys.
The Ericsons made noises about organizing the other owners.
They even called the City.
Some inspector showed up here a couple of weeks back.
That's all I can tell you.
(CLEARING THROAT) Well, if you think of anything else (DOOR CLOSING) (SNIFFING) Smells okay to me.
Yeah, you don't have to live on top of it.
I wonder how far the Ericsons took their complaint.
Paul and Donna Ericson, Complaint filed March 1st.
Initial inspection was on the 10th.
Eight days ago.
Alleged violation, Section 409 of the Atmospheric Particulate Abatement Act.
Air pollution.
Section 409? Is that serious? Maximum fine of $10,000 a day.
In addition, the offending entity can be closed down.
The offending entity being the Stellar Coffee Bar.
What's the time frame on a closing like that? CLAYTON: That depends on the Ericsons.
Until they file a Form 614, all we do is send out an inspector.
Faber's bank says his financing's pretty shaky.
If they close down his coffee bar, he defaults on the mortgage and the bank calls his loan.
He must be serving quite a few double lattes.
Plus, the Ericsons are withholding their maintenance fees.
Now, if the other owners jump on the bandwagon, Donald Trump Jr.
goes right down the tubes.
Sounds thin for an arrest.
Hey, we ran his name through the DMV.
He happens to own a truck.
And he lied about the Ericsons.
I mean, if they go, so do his problems.
Bring him in for a cup of our coffee.
Faber's been gone awhile.
He usually likes to keep an eye on the register.
You could try his house or his girlfriend's.
No, we already did.
No Faber.
Cappuccino on the house, Detective? Maybe for the kid here.
I'll have a regular coffee.
How do you take it? Regular, to go.
CURTIS: How long ago did Faber leave? Three, four hours.
We were out of French roast.
He grabs the truck, heads for Astoria.
What, all the way to Queens for some coffee? Vassilloros Wholesalers.
Best prices in town.
(VEHICLE ENGINE IDLING) There's Faber's truck.
Nothin' in the front.
It's unlocked.
Hey, what do you want? The guy with this truck.
Where is he? Mr.
He came in a couple of hours ago.
Well, where is he now? I don't know.
He buy 70 pounds French roast.
What, he carried it out on his back? He gives me cash, he goes out for his hand truck.
He didn't come back.
He just disappeared? I came out to see where he went.
There was a van parked next to his truck.
Describe the van.
Did you get a look at the plates? I walked over, but the van was pulling away.
Was Faber in it? I don't know.
You think I should have called the cops? Now, there's an idea.
First the Ericsons, now Faber.
I'm not lettin' you out of my sight, partner.
The Ericsons get snatched.
Now your prime suspect vanishes? The only link between Faber and the Ericsons is the building.
Didn't you already rule out the other owners? We took another look.
The neighbors all check out.
Present tense.
What about ex-neighbors? Well, Faber did say he moved out some renters.
Well, maybe one of them left with a bad taste in his mouth.
JENKINS: Screw Faber.
I want to shake hands with whomever snatched him.
CURTIS: You're not exactly helping yourself, Mr.
I didn't do nothin', so I got nothin' to hide.
Then lose the attitude.
What about the Ericsons? Hey, Stretch, where the hell do you think you're goin'? Hey, if you got nothin' to hide, then he's not gonna find anything, right? Look, I never even met the Ericsons.
It's not like I'm the only tenant that Faber pissed off.
You're the only one he evicted.
I'm the only one that put up a fight.
Shoved a paper under their noses, they caved.
Caved to what? Moving.
Faber clears them out, fixes the place up, takes it condo, and then sells to a bunch of yuppies at 10 times what we could pay.
What's this? "Now the property mongers and mortgage bankers shall face our ultimate sanction.
" "The filthy lucre that steals our homes and destroys our community will be cleansed.
" Looks like somebody besides you doesn't exactly like the upwardly mobile.
Some of it makes sense.
When I was a kid, I lived around the corner from Faber's building.
We had a mom-and-pop grocery, we had a candy store, a newsstand.
Your basic vanilla neighborhood, huh? Key word being "neighborhood.
" Now, it's Oriental restaurants and cigar bars.
You can sip fancy coffee at a bookstore, but you can't buy a racing form.
Guy's not totally off the mark, Lennie.
Rents keep goin' up, where's an average family supposed to go? That's why they built the bridges and tunnels.
Yeah, okay.
Lieutenant wants us at the house.
Ridley's from The Daily News.
She received this last night.
"We shall soon mete out the ultimate sanction" "to the carpetbaggers who were seized as a warning" "to those who would uproot us from our homes, our lives, our community.
" "The justice which was envisioned comes now to fruition.
" Sounds like the same people who wrote the leaflet.
VAN BUREN: It's practically a confession.
To kidnapping or murder? How was this delivered? Dropped into the night slot.
The letter says unless it's published in its entirety, there'll be more kidnappings.
You're going to print it? Lead in tomorrow's morning edition.
The Department would like you to change a few words in this.
They said, "in its entirety.
" Well, we'd like to see if we can get a rise out of them.
Start a dialogue.
I can't wait to see what they do when they're angry.
And we don't want that kind of responsibility.
VAN BUREN: We'll take the heat.
Well, I hope you know what you're doing.
That makes two of us.
Get this letter to Forensics.
And talk to the court shrink.
See if you can get an insight into who we're dealing with here.
Disturbed bunch, huh? Whacked out, yeah.
I'd hold off on the conspiracy theory.
You thinkin' it's one guy? "No invasion can be repelled but by our force wielded by a righteous arm.
"Our strength is as the strength of 10.
" He's overcompensating.
I make it a white male.
Late 30s, early 40s.
From the neighborhood.
A home-grown nutcase.
Anything else? Guy's intelligent.
Got a pricey education.
He quotes Max Weber, Bucky Fuller.
Definitely a loner.
Thinks everyone's behind him.
How far will this guy go? How many yuppies in Chelsea? "Chelsea Snatcher Will Strike Again.
" Nothin' like a little terror to sell papers.
Well, Latent got no usable prints from the letter.
Zilch on the envelope.
Forensics says the letter's computer-generated, printed on a garden-variety bubble-jet.
Guys, in my office.
Let me lay a misapprehension to rest.
I don't represent the man you're after.
But you know who he is.
My client called me when he saw the letter in The News.
VAN BUREN: The paper received another one.
It said if it isn't printed verbatim this time, they're going after someone else.
So much for starting a dialogue.
My client thinks he knows the identity of the kidnapper, and has authorized me to arrange a possible surrender.
And has your client authorized us to arrest you for obstruction of justice? I'm trying to help you people within the confines of lawyer-client confidentiality.
What Mr.
Fetzer wants is some assurance this individual will be given every consideration if he surrenders.
Let's see how much consideration he gave the victims.
My client says the man's disturbed.
He wants to do the right thing, but he's concerned the police may overreact.
Maybe your client shouldn't worry about how we do our job.
If you want our help, you have my number.
(DOOR CLOSING) His client's the guy.
Go see about a search warrant for Mr.
Fetzer's office.
Oh, this is an outrage.
Those files are confidential.
Then show us the one we're lookin' for.
It'll save you the headache of puttin' the stuff away.
You must think I'm not very smart.
How smart is your secretary? On the day the story broke, Fetzer's secretary took in seven messages.
The first one's from Mr.
No Stanley.
The next is, "Jack Lee, re: court appearance.
" People v.
Lee has a felony assault charge pending in Queens.
Now, he's in Rikers.
"Please return call ASAP.
" Called twice.
Left a number.
Benjamin Odell v.
Odell sued to stop developers from building on a community garden on West 20th.
That's two blocks from Faber's building.
We're in the right neighborhood.
Case is three years old.
So, why the rush? (SIGHS) Didn't Mr.
Fetzer tell you? I am not the one who did these things.
Yeah, you're the guy who knows the guy.
Between us, we don't trust you or your attorney.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but it's really not me.
Look, I told you where I was when these people were kidnapped.
Yeah, we're checkin' on that.
But think about how it looks, Ben.
Yeah, we found an Odell family who lived in Chelsea 40 years ago.
You grew up here, didn't you? CURTIS: You own a car.
A computer.
Whoever did this is well-educated.
Says here you got a degree in civil engineering from City College.
I have a car, a PC and a BS, so I'm the kidnapper.
Nice try.
Then why the calls to Fetzer the day the letter came out? My lawsuit.
Group of businessmen tried to pave over a garden.
That case is three years old and dead in the water.
If the people you kidnapped are still alive, it's not too late for you to help yourself.
You took 'em.
Come on, Ben, say it.
You took 'em, right? (SIGHING) The man who did this needs help.
BRISCOE: What kind of help? He's mentally ill.
You have to realize that.
All right.
Who we talkin' about? Matt.
Matt who? Just Matt, for now.
He's a guy I hung out with for a few years.
Why would he do something like this? I told you, he's sick.
He needs help.
We can't help him until we know where he is.
I can take you to where I think he is.
But just the three of us.
If he sees a lot of police, he might do something crazy.
So, Matt lives in Williamsburg? Near, yeah.
It takes guts, doin' something like this, especially if you go back a ways.
So, what was it about the letter that makes you think it was Matt? It just sounds like him, you know, the way he goes off sometimes.
Rambling, with a thread of logic.
You know what I mean? Hang a left here on Flushing.
CURTIS: So, when you say he goes off, what do you mean? He's done things like this before? No, no, nothing like this.
I mean, as far as I know, he's never hurt anybody.
Maybe he's talked about it.
Not really.
So, what is he, some kind of neighborhood activist? You could say that.
Where is it? Uh, next left.
It's a trailer at the end of the block.
For your own safety.
Go, go, go! You bastards.
You lied to us, Ben.
The place is empty.
Sort of makes us even.
You call in the SWAT team, and now you want us to cooperate? If your client knows where this guy is, he's looking at harboring a fugitive, maybe even obstruction.
You know, for all anyone knows, you guys took him for a ride.
BRISCOE: Yeah? (BRISCOE ON TAPE) Where is it? (BEN ON TAPE) Uh, next left.
It's a trailer at the end of the block.
I don't believe it.
You taped me? Mr.
Odell, I've got a bunch of very angry cops who feel like you suckered them.
Assuming I can get my client to trust you, what are you offering? No, no more deals.
Charge me! I don't care! You told us he's a neighborhood do-gooder.
How long you think it's gonna take us to find him? Let's say he cooperates.
How do we know it won't be a replay of this afternoon? You have my word.
I can't let anything happen to him.
How long have you known Matthew? He's my brother.
We checked you out.
You don't have any family here.
Matthew's not the kind of person that's easy to find.
He lives off the radar.
But I know where he is.
Odell wants a plea bargain of some kind that accounts for Matthew's mental condition.
What are we talking about? Matthew's sick.
If those people are dead, you're goin' for the death penalty.
If he's sick, I'll take it into account.
I can't believe I'm doing this.
Odell, if you help us out, I'm not going to forget it.
All right.
All right.
MATTHEW: Who is it? Con Ed.
We got a gas leak.
I don't smell any gas.
Nah, it's upstairs.
But we gotta get at it from your place.
Okay, okay.
You're not Con Ed.
Where are the people you kidnapped? What are you talking about? This.
Who sent you? The property mongers? Yeah, the property mongers.
They said to be sure to tell you you're under arrest.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be A technician is searching the hard drive on your computer.
If we find those letters, I'm tellin' you They're in my "Correspondence" directory.
And the anonymous pamphlets we found in your apartment? I'm not sure what directory they're in.
Where are the bodies? You believe they're dead? You tell us.
I didn't abduct those people.
Then who did? Some concerned citizen was apparently provoked by my writing.
Hey, these people die while we're sitting here, you're lookin' at the spike, Matthew.
The spike? Lethal injection.
Twenty c: c:'s of potassium chloride pumpin' through your veins.
You're getting yourself all worked up, Detective.
Maybe I'll work you up.
BRISCOE: Hey, all right.
Let's start with where you were Friday evening, around 7:00.
The Metropolitan Museum is open late.
It's free.
(SIGHING) They have cocktails, a pianist.
It's one of the last civilized things about this city.
You speak to anybody? Not that I recall.
What about Tuesday morning? I was out.
Out where? Out and about.
ROSS: Ten officers went through your brother's apartment and came up empty.
Then maybe it's not him.
You told the police you recognized his letters.
I thought I did, but I could be wrong.
What about his mental illness? He's not violent.
During the nuclear power scare, he crashed a car through a fence at Seabrook.
But that was 30 years ago.
(DOOR OPENING) He admits writing the letters.
ROSS: That's it? Everything else, he's got an answer for.
VAN BUREN: If he's playing hard-ass, this plea bargain you talked about just doesn't sit right.
Wait a second.
Hey, those three missing people, there's no tellin' how long they're gonna last.
Your brother's digging himself a bigger hole than he started in.
I held up my end.
I have done everything I can do.
Your brother will talk to you.
No, I can't! We're running out of options here, Mr.
ROSS: There's an eight-year-old kid.
If his parents are starving to death somewhere (SIGHING) I'll speak to him.
But alone, Ms.
No cops.
Nothing on tape.
Guy's playing his brother like he played us.
One flip of the switch, and we can drop in on the conversation.
I don't think so.
He'll never know the difference.
We're through jerking Mr.
Odell around.
Well, how about those Knicks? (INAUDIBLE) I told my brother a trial would give him a chance to express his views.
There's a warehouse on Conover Street in Red Hook.
(POLICE SIRENS WAILING) Go, go, go, go! Come on! Come on! Lennie, Faber's over here.
Cut it.
Lennie, the Ericsons.
BRISCOE: He didn't even bother to stash the gun.
Gomez, get Crime Scene and the M.
out here.
I'll call Van Buren.
And Children's Services.
His prints are on the gun and in the van.
The letters he sent the newspaper are saved on his computer.
If this weren't a capital case, I'd hand it over to one of my junior colleagues.
Slow down, Mr.
His brother had an understanding with Ms.
Ben Odell cooperated, and you were not going to seek the death penalty.
Well, he didn't have an understanding with me.
Is that why you work together? So you can renege on each other's promises? I only agreed to take Mr.
Odell's mental state into consideration.
My mental state? STAGGS: Ms.
Ross said that you would take mental illness as a mitigating factor.
A "Not Responsible" plea.
This is why my brother turned me in? Just listen for now, Mr.
JACK: It's premature.
Until he's been examined by our psychiatrists, I can't even begin to consider mitigation.
Under no circumstances will I be examined by anybody's psychiatrist.
You don't have a choice.
You are wrong, sir.
I may be locked in a cage and told what to eat and when to sleep, but I still have a choice.
McCoy, give me a couple of days to consult with my client.
There's no need for that.
My so-called "mental state" will not be bandied about the courtroom.
Staggs no longer represents me.
Odell, this court is not in the business of providing you a new attorney each time you change strategy.
This is not a strategy.
I've spoken to Ms.
Melnick, and she's agreed to represent you in accordance with your wishes.
Very well.
However misguided those wishes might be.
Then I'm satisfied with her services.
I'll accept that.
It's clear to me that you understand these proceedings and you have the capacity to assist your lawyer.
Melnick, you've spoken to Mr.
Odell? Yes, Your Honor.
At length.
And what is your position regarding your intent to offer psychiatric evidence on his behalf? None will be offered, Your Honor.
All right, Mr.
Odell, I'm holding you to this.
You're not playing games here.
No, I'm not, ma'am.
May 2nd.
Remand continued.
(INDISTINCT CHATTERING) JACK: I hope you know what you're signing up for, Danielle.
At worst, front page, McCoy.
At worst, your client is truly insane and doesn't have the vaguest idea what he's doing.
Come on, Ross.
You heard him answer the judge's questions.
He's as lucid as you or I.
Look, it's my ethical duty to give him my best advice and to present the defense he wants.
What's your ethical duty if the defense he wants is a death wish? I'll figure something out.
It's your call, Adam.
I was fully prepared to consider mitigation.
Odell threw it back in my face.
You can't treat him like any other defendant.
Maybe Matthew Odell shouldn't be held responsible for his own obstinacy.
Too crazy to say he's crazy.
Or realize it.
I don't buy it, Jamie.
This wasn't some random act.
He says he's a terrorist.
I believe him.
What about the agreement I made with Ben Odell? He ratted out his brother on my handshake.
Yeah, right.
But Matthew Odell doesn't want any part of your agreement.
I don't want to be perceived as indulging this man.
I read his files.
He is crazy.
He made his bed, let him sleep in it.
So, Matthew Odell gets a lethal injection as a public relations move? This office doesn't play patty-cake with serial killers.
Ross, it says you're seeking the death penalty.
Matthew tied our hands.
Well, how can he control this thing? He's sick.
We can't even examine him.
He won't consent to a psychiatric defense.
Can't you talk to his lawyer? Your brother calls the shots.
So, you're just gonna convict him and execute him? That's up to a jury.
Well, what if they think he's crazy? Your brother won't allow any evidence at his trial concerning his mental state.
So, you lied to me, Ms.
You are just going to let this happen.
The great American justice system.
A lunatic is sending himself to the death chamber.
Nobody tries to stop it Everybody just helps push the buttons.
I sold out my brother for nothing.
Matthew Odell killed three people.
Ben Odell feels guilty.
There's nothing we can do about it.
Yeah, well, the next time Van Buren calls, you go down there.
Melnick's moving to suppress all evidence seized at the warehouse.
On what grounds? Matthew requested counsel before he gave up the location of the bodies.
Says who? Brother Ben.
BEN: Matthew wasn't giving any information.
Detective Briscoe and the Lieutenant asked me to help them out.
MELNICK: Help them out in what way? To go into the room where Matthew was to try to get him to talk.
I see.
Whose idea was this? The police.
I had no idea they'd even let me talk to Matthew.
But you agreed to do it.
They sounded desperate.
They thought the missing people might still be alive.
So, I told them I would talk to Matt, but I wanted to do it alone.
And what happened when you went in there? I told Matt if he knew anything about these people, there was a D.
outside, Ms.
Ross, who'd agreed to help.
That's when he asked for a lawyer.
He wanted legal advice before he would give any information.
Of course.
And how did you respond? I told him there wasn't time.
If he wanted his side of the story to come out, it would be better for him to cooperate, and Ms.
Ross wanted to help.
And that's when he disclosed the location to you? Yes.
No further questions.
Did you ever tell the police that your brother had requested counsel? No.
You ever tell anyone? Not till I met with Ms.
Melnick and went over everything.
Was that before or after you had talked to Ms.
Ross on the street? After.
After you had found out that we would seek the death penalty against your brother? Yes.
And you had previously talked to Ms.
Ross about the possibility of not seeking the death penalty? That's what she promised, because I told them where to find my brother.
Just so we're clear, Mr.
Odell, you never came forward about your brother wanting a lawyer until after you felt you had been double-crossed? That was the timing, yes.
No further questions.
But it's the truth.
Matt asked me for a lawyer.
Your Honor, once a suspect in custody asks the police for an attorney, interrogation must cease.
The only question now is whether Benjamin Odell was acting as an agent for the police when he questioned his brother.
Odell only agreed to speak to his brother.
The police never told him what to ask.
They might as well have.
The conversation was instigated by the police to further a police objective.
JACK: There were three people missing.
The police weren't necessarily looking for a confession.
Even if Your Honor were as naive as Mr.
McCoy seems to think you are, it doesn't matter.
Matthew Odell requested an attorney before he incriminated himself, Your Honor.
Therefore, his statement and all the physical evidence found at the warehouse have to be suppressed.
For all we know, Ben Odell concocted this allegation.
There's nothing to corroborate it.
That's because the police sent him in there alone.
That was his choice.
Yes, and the police went along with it.
Your Honor, this is payback by the brother of the defendant.
You must view it with skepticism.
Ben Odell turned his own brother over to the police, Your Honor.
Surely it's illogical to think that he would lie to undo what he already did.
He would if he thought the conditions for turning his brother in weren't being honored.
JUDGE BOURKE: I'm sorry, Mr.
The police and the District Attorney sent Mr.
Odell in to do their work.
If he's their agent, they have to live with his credibility.
I'm granting the motion.
The statement and the physical evidence discovered at the warehouse are suppressed.
(GAVEL POUNDS) MELNICK: Thank you, Your Honor.
(FOOTSTEPS RETREATING) No bodies, no gun.
Any evidence left? Not much.
Judge Bourke did a number on our case.
Matthew Odell is the author of the letters.
We found the files on his hard drive.
He wrote letters.
That doesn't prove that he killed anybody.
The language he used is an admission of guilt.
It's a passable circumstantial case.
Then pass along the plea offer.
Make it worth their while.
All I need is for this case to tank.
If I was Melnick, I'd throw a plea offer right back in our face.
Did Briscoe and Curtis get anything out of Odell before his brother went in? A lot of attitude and a slippery alibi.
The museum.
Anybody check it? Evidence of a false alibi? Admissible to prove guilt.
We had more than enough evidence.
We didn't need to.
Now we need to.
Friday night, 6:00 to 9:00.
Classical music, wine.
They rotate the gallery every week.
March 11th, Greek and Roman sculpture.
You recognize him? Nice mug.
Can't say for certain.
Maybe one of your guards could.
We had a crowd here that night.
A special exhibit? Let's see.
Special Musical Guest, the Osaka String Quartet.
Your client gave a false alibi.
He specifically told the police he was there to enjoy a piano concert.
So, you're going to convict a man based on the musical lineup at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? And the letters, and his van leaving the scene of the second abduction.
Let me get this straight.
You guys are buying me lunch to preview your opening statement tomorrow? ROSS: It's a winnable case.
Odell takes the plea, he avoids the death penalty.
You turning soft on me, Jack? You know I'm a sucker for an execution.
I'm just here for the tortellini.
I'm sorry, Jamie, but I have a very difficult client.
You have a client who's too disturbed to understand his options.
I have a client who is bright and difficult.
It is a lethal combination.
(SIGHING) Just take one last run at him.
You're wasting your breath.
Odell's a kamikaze.
He thinks what he did is a political act, and he is prepared to take this to the end.
To a gurney in Green Haven? (SIGHING) I suppose a zealot's prepared to do that, too.
I'll do my best not to disappoint him.
We'll put Curtis on first, then Ridley.
She'll be here for prep at 2:00.
The blow-ups of the Odell letters? The Engineering Department promises they'll be in the courtroom by 2:15.
(KNOCK AT DOOR) You make your opening statements? I did.
Melnick passed.
I'll take that as a sign she's got no case.
(KNOCK AT DOOR) I know I'm early, but there's something I thought you should see.
It was hand-delivered to the paper about two hours ago.
Matthew Odell's psychiatric records.
Allentown State Hospital, 1983.
There are three separate hospitalizations.
Odell waived a psychiatric defense months ago.
You don't understand, Mr.
We're running the story in tomorrow's edition.
We're going to excerpt these reports.
Odell's brother leaked these reports to influence the jury.
His motivation is not my concern.
It should be.
If you print it, the jury will see it.
Our lawyers say we're on solid First Amendment ground.
Forget the legal niceties.
It's irresponsible, and you know it.
Look, I could have just kept my mouth shut and ran the story.
I brought it to you as a courtesy.
I appreciate it.
Your testimony will be delayed.
I'm asking Your Honor to immediately sequester the jury.
Once this information is published tomorrow, it will undoubtedly find its way into the jury room.
Your Honor, the stress of a capital case is enough.
Surely these people don't need to be locked away in some hotel for two weeks.
It is an extraordinary request, Mr.
In response to a guerrilla tactic, probably conceived by the defendant's brother, to poison the jury.
Come on, Jack.
What are you afraid of, the truth? What truth? What truth? What, do you think this man is playing with a full deck? Mr.
Odell had every opportunity to put his mental state before the jury.
He's not getting it in by the back door.
Fair enough.
I'll give the jury a strongly worded cautionary instruction to avoid all media reports concerning the case.
Human nature being what it is, that's an invitation to do the opposite.
Is this really such a hardship on the jurors, Ms.
Melnick? Your Honor, this is a hardship.
They don't even have a change of clothes or toothbrushes.
JUDGE BOURKE: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sequestering you for the remainder of the trial.
The reasons shouldn't concern you.
But we'll adjourn for the day so that court officers can transport you to your homes to collect your belongings for an extended stay at one of the area's finer lodging establishments.
Actually, a motel near LaGuardia Airport.
Full speed ahead, huh, Mr.
McCoy? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt about your brother's request for a lawyer, but this is inexcusable.
If it weren't for him, you wouldn't be trying his brother.
Did you put him up to this, Danielle? Did I put him up to Are you accusing me of misconduct? Take it to the Grievance Committee.
Where do I go for what she did to me? This isn't about you.
This is about your brother and the people he killed.
I realize what my brother did.
Then stay out of my way.
You win, Mr.
If you're so eager to execute a pathetically unstable man, I guess there's nothing anybody can do.
Ben! Has the jury reached a verdict? FOREWOMAN: Yes, we have, Your Honor.
Will the defendant please rise? Matthew.
I'd prefer to sit.
No! Let him stay.
On the first count of the indictment, Murder in the First Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Matthew Odell, guilty.
One the second count of the indictment, Murder in the First Degree, how do you find? Guilty.
On the third count of the indictment, Murder in the First Degree, how do you find? Guilty.
We're adjourned until Thursday for sentencing proceedings.
The jury will remain sequestered.
(GAVEL POUNDS) ROSS: Melnick called.
Odell won't let her bring in any evidence of mental illness during the sentencing phase.
ADAM: She agreed? Claims she doesn't have a choice, ethically.
Legally assisted suicide.
ROSS: You could withdraw your request for the death penalty.
He's manipulating the system.
Sowing issues for appeal.
I made a commitment to Ben Odell.
What kind of commitment? We wouldn't even have this guy if it wasn't for his brother.
I told him if Matthew Odell was mentally ill, we'd consider it.
Matthew Odell says he's fine.
I back off now, some defendant down the road pulls the same stunt.
What if it isn't a stunt? That's for the judges in Albany.
His psychiatric history won't even be in the trial record.
And that's for his lawyer.
Do your job.
Let the next guy do his.
(DOOR CLOSING) Nice try.
He's sacrificing my credibility.
And it gets worse.
Your old friend Charlie Harmon just moved for bail, pending appeal.
He's dreaming.
I still have to appear in the Appellate Division tomorrow.
You can oppose it on papers.
It's better if I oppose it in person.
What about Odell's sentence hearing? That's in your hands.
BEN: Matt's 10 years younger.
Our mother died when he was two or three, so we were raised by our father.
Our dad never really had much time for us.
What about your brother's educational background? Matthew was the smart one.
Graduated Princeton in three years.
Majored in philosophy.
Then he went to Harvard for graduate work in urban planning.
Can you tell us about Matthew's work history? Not that much.
I know that Matt had a job in Boston while he was at Harvard, but I don't remember what.
That's around the time we started to grow apart.
Well, do you know how he supported himself here in New York? Our father left us a small inheritance when he died in '91.
Maybe Matt got some kind of a government check.
I don't know.
Did he have a job? I mean, what did he do here? He got involved in neighborhood causes.
Community groups, rent strikes.
It was all constructive.
I even helped him a few years ago by filing a suit against some developers.
Really? Why did you do that? I thought it might bring us closer.
It didn't help much.
Did Matt have any other family besides you? Did he have close friends? I don't know.
He used to talk about getting married, having kids.
But then, I think he lived by himself.
I'm sorry for what my brother did.
That's all I can say.
I'm sorry.
Thank you, Mr.
No other questions, Your Honor.
Who turned your brother in to the police? I did.
Because you believed he was responsible for these kidnappings? The letters in the paper sounded like him.
And those letters threatened violence? Yes.
Against innocent people? Yes.
And you were worried if your brother was the author of those letters, that he was a danger to others? I guess I was.
Why? Why were you concerned, Mr.
Odell? Because Because of Matthew's mental instability.
Objection! Objection! Sit down, Mr.
Odell, could you please explain to the jury what you mean by mental instability? She can't ask that! I won't allow it! I'm not your lawyer.
Do something! The question is permissible, Mr.
Sit down or I'll have you removed.
Answer her question.
When Matt was in his late teens, he started deteriorating psychologically.
In his 20s, he was in and out of psychiatric hospitals.
I'm not crazy! You can't tell 'em that! No, no! Mr.
Odell! There were doctors' reports.
He would fixate on some injustice that had some germ of truth.
Then I'll tell them! JUDGE BOURKE: Order! I am not mentally ill! Order in the court! Don't believe a word of it! Mr.
Odell, please! I have an IQ of 163! They don't want you to know that! I'm as sane as anyone in this courtroom! Take him out.
You did this to me, you Judas! You betrayed me! Your own flesh and blood! Your own flesh and blood.
Are you disappointed the jury came back with a life sentence? I won't second guess a jury.
I'm satisfied Mr.
Odell will no longer pose a danger to our citizens.
ROSS: Think I'll still have a job tomorrow? I wouldn't worry.
Adam got to look tough.
That's what matters.
How did Harmon's bail application go? Uh, fine.
Lucky thing you needed to be there, right, Jack? Thanks.
You two take a lot of liberties.