Law & Order (1990) s11e07 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.
I'm looking at numbers, Lieutenant Van Buren.
Grand Theft Auto down 14%, Burglaries down 11%.
You shut down a number of quality-of-life conditions in your precinct.
Some excellent work.
Thank you.
Then I look at your clearance rate for homicides and a whole different picture emerges.
Twenty-two percent below the Borough average.
VAN BUREN: Well, we've had some tough ones the last couple of months.
CHIEF: Come on, Lieutenant, talk to your Chief.
What's the problem here? There's no problem, Chief.
We just have to try harder.
Unfortunately, that's not an adequate response.
Well, I don't know what other response to give you, sir.
Something along the lines of a guarantee is what we're looking for.
If it means culling the cold case files, you get that clearance rate up or we'll make a guarantee.
We'll guarantee you'll lose your command.
FIRST DEPUTY: We can always find a place to transfer you where the pressure wouldn't be as great.
CHIEF: Get the picture? Yes, Chief.
ED: Here's one from 1992, suspect dropped dead from a heart attack, and the family of the victim moved back to Kurdistan.
Why don't you put in for travel vouchers? See if they'll let us clear that one.
This one's from '88.
Homeless male Caucasian beaten to death in a steam tunnel underneath Grand Central.
We oughta be able to home in on that perp, no problem.
Oh, here's one from '81 that Tommy Brannigan worked.
Mmm, your old boss.
Marybeth Mosley was 16 years old.
Beaten to death with a ratchet on West 92nd Street.
Only suspect was a plumber whose wife provided alibi.
Maybe 19 years later she changes her story? Hey, why don't you call your pal at the Daily News? They run a story about how the case is still unsolved.
Maybe somebody pops out of the woodwork.
Brannigan still with us? Yeah, he's retired.
He lives out on the Island.
You wanna take a ride? The Mosley case, huh? You guys must really be looking for something to do.
Our boss needs to get her clearance rate up.
So you go to a 20-year-old case.
We were hoping the guy you liked might have a weak alibi.
This would be the plumber? Uh-huh.
Fred Jenks.
The wife swore she was with him.
Yeah, he was working on the house.
Had a record.
We sweated him as much as we could, but we didn't get anywhere.
Tommy, is there anything you can think of that might help us out? Wife's looking to give him up, that's one thing.
If she's not, I don't know what to tell you.
Mosley, Marybeth.
Initial here.
Any loss or damage to the property is the sole responsibility of the signing officer.
Sign over here.
Where's the deceased's clothing? What you see is what we got.
What about the murder weapon? Nineteen-inch drive ratchet.
Maybe the D.
held onto it, or the vouchering officer.
Could be it was misplaced in the move from the old Property Room.
Well before my time.
What's the sign-out sheet say? It's not attached.
How can that be? A 20-year-old case, Detective.
Give me a break.
Originally they liked the plumber, Jenks.
He had access to the girl and he had a record.
And an alibi.
His wife.
Freddie and I split.
It's three years this past Columbus Day.
You told the detectives investigating your husband that he was with you the day the Mosley girl got killed? I got a job by Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, going out to Bayside.
Who's over there? Do you remember telling them he was with you? Yeah, I remember saying he was with me.
We were buying that green velvet recliner I got in my basement.
Car 214, are you gonna tell me you're not by Roosevelt Avenue? Ma'am, can you tell us where we can find your ex-husband? He's working in Chelsea.
I shouldn't even be talking to you without my lawyer.
Hey, it's your call.
We can always come back.
Just a couple of loose ends.
Oh, loose ends.
You guys never go away, do you? But the theory of the case back then was that she was killed by somebody who knew her.
Which is why they focused on you and your yellow sheet.
Focused? Frigging cops practically rented a space in my keester.
Hey, you were working in the Mosley house at the time of the murder.
I was working in the Mosley house on the day of the murder.
At the time of the murder, I was with my wife buying a recliner.
Wives can be pretty loyal.
Even ex-wives.
You want someone else? Johnny Estrada helped me move the recliner because my ex-wife (CHUCKLES) was too delicate.
Go and ask him.
Since the stroke, some things I know.
My eldest went to Syracuse, to college, but I can't remember where he lives now.
He just can't remember.
Señor Estrada, you told the police that you were with Mr.
Jenks around 7:00 the night the girl was murdered? Whatever I said, it was the truth.
Well, maybe just to help a friend, you shaved a few minutes, huh? No, sir, Fred Jenks is not a murderer and I am not a liar.
A man does not go out to buy an easy chair after he has murdered a young girl.
You worked in the Mosley apartment at the same time as Jenks? Yes.
I was a painter.
I know it was a long time ago, but is there anything you remember from being in the house that could help us? I remember a lot of boys being in there.
And the young girl, she was very beautiful.
Nineteen years.
Sometimes I wake up, I think it's all a dream.
I know.
I'm sorry we have to bring the whole thing back.
Marybeth came home from school.
Julian's on Columbus Avenue.
She had a riding lesson.
The stables on 97th? Mmm-hmm.
She went up to change.
Oh! Then she comes down those stairs, two at a time.
(CHUCKLES) Well, in her riding clothes.
Always in a rush, that one.
I told her to sit down, I'd make her a sandwich.
She was so skinny.
If I hadn't made her eat that sandwich, maybe he wouldn't have seen her.
Did your daughter date, ma'am? Between school, riding, the piano, she didn't really have the time.
Was there anyone who was interested in her? Quite a few.
Marybeth Mosley.
We called her M and M.
Melts in your mouth.
Hey, it was the '80s.
Blame it on the Boogie.
What was your relationship with Miss Mosley, Counselor? Strictly platonic.
It was one I didn't get a chance to put in the trophy case.
Oh, I can see her death still weighs on you.
Look, am I showing an insufficient amount of reverence for the dead? Forgive me.
Anyway, like I say, I just admired her from afar.
Well, can you think of anyone who might have admired her a little closer up? The only one I can remember her going out with is Michael Sarno.
Although I don't think she gave it up for him either.
Any relation to the Sarnos? Yeah, the Ambassador's son, the Senator's nephew.
You're saying Sarno went out with the Mosley girl.
For awhile.
But from what I remember, Sarno was too much of a wild man for her.
Or maybe she was just too much of a good girl for him.
Either way, they were broken up by the time she was killed because I remember he didn't come to the funeral.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a 10:00 in court.
Ugh, this is like looking into a muddy lake trying to see the bottom.
And I have to say, your friend Brannigan, he wasn't a whole lot of help.
All right.
So we'll talk to some of the other cops who worked the case.
Most of them are retired or dead.
You know, I saw Charlie Curran's name on the file.
I know he's still with us.
I'd just gotten bumped up to the squad.
Me and a bunch of other detectives were assigned to a task force to work the case.
And you liked the plumber, right? Personally, I had doubts.
I mean, we looked at him.
We had this guy's phones up, we talked to everybody this guy ever knew.
I wanted to concentrate more on some of the college boys that were hanging around her.
There was this one kid, Sarno.
Rich kid.
Nasty drunk.
Tea head.
My call, we would've sweated him good.
Whose call was it? Tommy Brannigan.
He was the lead detective.
He was Homicide, as opposed to a slob like me from the precinct.
He wasn't keen on going after anyone but Jenks.
I opened my mouth one too many times back in the bag you go, Charlie.
Brannigan was the one who busted you? No.
Tommy's good people.
As it turns out, he talked to this Sarno kid.
ED: And? And I wish I had known that fact.
I went over his head to a Captain.
A week later, I'm walking a foot post in Washington Heights.
Could've got back on the squad if I'd wanted, but the truth is, I'd rather be in uniform.
Too much politics in being a detective.
I don't know how you guys do it.
Oh, we're different.
We're in it for the money.
Thanks, man.
You need anything from town? Your favorite Sunday, Lennie.
Lamb on the spit? I'll be there, Peg.
Nice to meet you, Ed.
Oh, you're welcome, too, of course.
Thank you, Mrs.
I think I remember him.
He was a skinny kid.
Your notes on the interview are missing.
That doesn't make sense.
But Charlie Curran says you did talk to him.
BRISCOE: And? He had an alibi.
So did the plumber.
Kid didn't have a record, which Jenks did.
Kid was away at college, which Jenks wasn't.
Kid had his old man who was a citizen, not to mention an Ambassador, backing him up.
Who should I have believed? You understand this was all before my time.
We just need to know if Mr.
Sarno was here on the day in question.
We consider all aspects of our students' records to be privileged.
BRISCOE: We don't.
We can always come back with a subpoena.
But we couldn't guarantee the press wouldn't get wind of it.
Sarno was not on campus.
How do you know? He was suspended on the complaint of a young lady.
ED: Fellow student? Local girl.
After a full and fair hearing, he returned to the university a year later.
What was he suspended for? Will this information be treated with discretion? It was nothing.
I don't want to talk about it.
Nothing? The scion of the Sarno family was tossed off campus on your say so.
What did he do? Why does it matter? It was so long ago.
Did I mention we're homicide detectives? I was seeing Michael.
I met him at the bar where I waitressed.
We both knew it wasn't going anywhere.
I mean, he was a Sarno and I lived with my mother in a trailer park.
But it was exciting.
Then why the complaint? It was after a keg party on campus.
I was supposed to be Michael's townie date.
I left him pawing some Chi Delt.
Then all of a sudden I hear him pull up in his little red sports car that I loved going for rides in.
He was drunk.
He started putting his hands on me.
What'd he do? He pushed me down.
I hit him, then he hit me, then he raped me.
I reported it to the school administration.
I got a call from Sarno's father.
Why didn't you call the police? Did Sarno threaten you? You don't get it.
The Sarnos don't threaten.
They don't have to.
His father wrote a check I signed a paper.
Paper saying what? That I had consensual sex with him.
I was working two jobs.
Back then, it seemed like a lot of money.
My client knew Marybeth Mosley.
He liked Marybeth Mosley.
But he absolutely did not rape or kill her.
And Stephanie Luchien at college? Your client like her, too? That was consensual.
Michael, please.
NATHANSON: You know, your insinuation's absurd.
Miss Luchien signed a sworn statement to that 20 years ago.
You pay off every girl he attacks? Cheaper to marry him off.
NATHANSON: All right.
Michael, Mr.
Ambassador, come on.
These people have nothing.
Uh (CLEARS THROAT) If you anticipate using Stephanie Luchien as a pattern of rape witness, Miss Carmichael, think again.
And when you do, think about your witnesses.
Invalids who can't even remember their own names or are dead or missing, along with half the physical evidence.
That's enough.
Barry, let's go.
All right.
Gentlemen, Miss Carmichael.
Now what? Remember what the Luchien girl said about the little red sports car? You want to check the DMV for citations? That's how they nabbed Berkowitz.
Nothing registered to a Michael Sarno.
A red sports car.
Like 1980, '81? Sorry.
Database is not set up for a model search.
Okay, try any variation on Sarno.
Maybe we'll get lucky.
Got a Peter Sarno.
The Ambassador.
Peter Sarno owned three sedans and a vintage TR6.
Kid's ride.
With a parking citation issued in the Borough of Manhattan, August 21st, 1981.
The day of the murder.
DMV can't even spell my name right, and they got a 20-year-old ticket in the system? Go figure.
Hey, we know Sarno's the guy.
We just can't find anything to lock it down.
Nothing further on the kid's whereabouts on the day of the killing? His car was in New York, but nobody we talked to puts him with it.
And we talked to everybody.
Well, if it's obvious to the two of you 20 years later, how did Brannigan manage to miss it at the time? Looks like he has a hard time believing an ambassador would know how to lie.
Tommy Brannigan's the best pure cop lever knew.
(KNOCK AT DOOR) Lieutenant, this guy'd like to have a word with you.
Can't you handle it? It's about the Mosley case.
PALEY: I saw in the paper that the Mosley case was being investigated again, and it It made me remember this thing that this guy said one time.
ED: What guy? I can't tell you that.
What can you tell us? This guy said he killed a girl.
He said he beat her with a ratchet after a night of drinking.
I know he knew the Mosley girl.
I think it was her.
How did he come to tell you this? We were in rehab together.
It was in a meeting.
ED: For this information to be of any use, you're gonna have to tell us who the guy is.
I'm not at liberty to say who it is.
Why did you come here, Mr.
Paley? I don't know.
I I was afraid maybe you'd arrest the wrong guy.
And how does this stop us from doing that? Well, you could maybe tell me who it is that you're gonna arrest, and I could tell you if it was the same guy or not.
Lieutenant, would you and Detective Green excuse us for a minute? Sure.
(DOOR CLOSES) How much time you got in? Two and a half years.
I'll have five years.
February 5th.
So you know.
I can't say a name.
Yeah, but I know this.
There's a woman out there who lost a daughter, who deserves some closure.
And there's a bunch of cops trying very hard to find out who committed a murder Now, maybe they're gonna arrest the right person.
But there's always a chance they could arrest the wrong person.
So what are you saying I should do? Ask your higher power what's right.
Michael Sarno, you're under arrest for the murder of Marybeth Mosley.
Not a word, Michael.
Michael, trust me.
You'll be fine.
Are those necessary? Detective, my client's surrendering.
Yeah, sure.
If he gives us his word of honor never to do it again, we'll just forget the whole thing.
Let's see, one count each, Murder in the Second Degree, Rape in the First Degree.
A little slow stepping up to the plate on this one, eh, Ms.
Carmichael? Mr.
Nathanson? Not guilty to all charges, Your Honor.
CARMICHAEL: People request remand, Your Honor.
The defendant is being charged with a murder he's taken pains to conceal for the past two decades.
He's concealed nothing because he's done nothing.
CARMICHAEL: He's confessed, Your Honor.
NATHANSON: Nothing of the sort.
And defense challenges the statement as uncorroborative of the underlying charges.
It's a matter of fact for a jury, Judge.
Your Honor, we Save it for trial, Counselor.
Bail is set at one million dollars.
We'll post that before lunch.
I'm happy for you both.
Ah, you see, J.
, what detectives do 90% of the time is sit around and drink coffee.
And you got perfect timing, too.
We were just gonna send down for lunch.
ED: What's up, J.
? You want me to take him downstairs and show him how to roll fingerprints? Very nice of you, Ed, but I don't want to be a bother.
No bother.
You want to go? Could I? Sure.
BRANNIGAN: I'll be down for you in a second.
Thanks for calling me about the collar.
Oh, hey, after the boss, you were the first one to find out.
I dug around in my notes for the name and address of this girl.
Janice Trainor.
She was Marybeth's girlfriend.
I figured they might want her for a witness.
Yeah, I'll let 'em know.
You wouldn't happen to know whether they were planning on calling me as a witness, would you? No, I don't.
Only reason I ask is I'm supposed to go down to my daughter's in Florida around then, and I'd be looking to buy the tickets couple of weeks in advance on account of the fare.
You call in to the D.
's office? Ah, I don't want to be a pain in the ass.
Give me a call if you hear anything, will you? You got it.
And congratulations.
Oh! Hey, we caught a break.
I wish it had been me.
But if it wasn't me, I'm glad it was you.
Take care, Tommy.
Nathanson is right behind me.
What can we do for you, Barry? Ah, some preliminary matters.
Like pleading your client to the top count? NATHANSON: Hey, hey, sense of humor.
Something your predecessors lacked.
I like that.
Half your witnesses are dead or in need of nursing care.
Missing evidence, contradictory statements.
No, Mr.
Sarno is not inclined to plead to anything.
I'm curious to hear how he explains his confession to a jury.
Confession? Doesn't pass the laugh test, Jack.
Motion to suppress.
Only person ever hears of my client's purported statements is a judge.
"Sarno's alleged declaration," "ambiguous at best, is in any event inadmissible as privileged.
" Didn't you tell me Sarno confessed to a friend in a group therapy session? Yeah, Paley.
He's the only one who wants to talk.
He'll have to do.
Every do-gooder in town's jumping on the Sarno bandwagon.
Amicus briefs on the motion to suppress.
Now, Doctor, you are a psychologist, licensed by the State of New York? I am.
I'm also the director of the Morningside Clinic, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation institute.
And you were leading a group therapeutic session on the morning in question? Yes, Mr.
Sarno was one of four patients undergoing intensive counseling sessions as part of their treatment for alcohol addiction.
Hermann, without revealing the remarks of any of the participants, is there any doubt in your mind that this session was conducted within the confines of a professional setting? No, none whatsoever.
What's to stop a member of a group from telling someone, anyone, what was said in a therapy session? Legally, I'm not qualified to answer, sir.
Morally, ethically, I believe my patients feel bound by a sense of confidentiality.
"What you hear here when you leave here, let it stay here.
" You're aware that notion has no legal effect? Objection.
The witness has already stated that he holds no degree in jurisprudence.
As lead counsel, I speak for all parties.
Whatever Mr.
Sarno may have said falls under CPLR 4507.
That section creates the privilege between a psychologist and one client.
Sarno was in a group therapeutic session conducted within AA guidelines, supervised by a licensed psychologist.
Your Honor That's not just my position, Your Honor, but those of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Medical Association and AA.
Your Honor has their Amicus submissions.
JACK: So we're on the same page.
Your client did admit killing the Mosley girl? I make no such concession, Your Honor.
Sarno made his statements in a room full of people.
Their presence shatters any privilege.
Not if they're all members of a therapeutic group.
The privilege radiates from the psychologist to each member.
People v.
Wilkins, the privilege between psychologist and client should be viewed as broader, broader than doctor-patient.
There is no confidentiality when others are included.
The point of group therapy, all therapy is to heal through revelation and sharing.
Where does it end, Your Honor? Privilege as such is designed to be as narrowly drawn as possible.
Your Honor, be advised that the organizations represented here today are prepared to take this point on appeal all the way up to the nine wise souls in Washington, if necessary.
The purpose of the statute conferring psychologist-client privilege is clear.
Without unfettered communication between therapist and client, the therapeutic effect would suffer.
That Mr.
Sarno made statements in front of other clients I find immaterial.
The motion to suppress is granted.
Counsel is to pick a date for trial.
Preferably a short one.
McCoy Mr.
Nathanson tells me you have little in the way of evidence, and now you haven't got my son's statement either.
All due respect, Mr.
Ambassador, we have sufficient for conviction, as Judge Rivera indicated.
Please, Mr.
McCoy, we're not children here.
I know the distance between a technical sufficiency and a conviction.
What do you want, Mr.
Sarno? I want what any parent in my position would.
An end to the persecution of my boy.
It's prosecution, not persecution.
And we're doing this because we think your son is guilty.
Please, spare me the fake pieties, Counselor.
You're doing it to see your name in the paper.
Missing murder weapon, no DNA, no eyewitness, no confession.
And with Nathanson, you ain't seen nothing yet.
So where do we start? I'll dazzle them in the courtroom as long as I can.
See what you can dig up.
CARMICHAEL: Okay, the M.
at the time was Dr.
(SIGHS) There's no putting him on the stand.
His report still establishes that Mosley was killed with a ratchet.
Well, jurors aren't generally too taken with pieces of paper.
And the ratchet itself is gone.
Now, how does that happen? Well, once an investigation is concluded, evidence is moved from one PP to a warehouse in Queens.
Sometimes it gets lost, mislabeled.
And what about before an investigation is concluded? It stays in the Property Room.
Unless? Unless someone signs them out and we've looked for those logs, and they're nowhere to be found.
Can we found out who made the entries in those logs? Sure.
Maybe we'll actually find someone who's alive.
CURRAN: At the time of the original investigation, I was assigned to assist the primary investigator in the collection of evidence.
In that capacity, did you have occasion to visit the Sarno family home? I did.
Specifically, I entered the underground parking area of the Sarno townhouse on 5th Avenue.
Would you please tell the jury what, if anything, you observed there.
Sarno maintained a well-equipped workroom, including an extensive collection of tools, among them was a large set of drivers and ratchets, missing from these was a one-inch driver.
Nothing whatsoever of this witness, Your Honor.
JACK: Marybeth Mosley, was she popular in school? I used to be so jealous of her.
Her hair was so straight.
Gorgeous skin.
She was very popular.
Did you know if she had feelings for the defendant? For awhile she did.
He was funny, and he had a lot of charm, and he really made an effort to sweep her off her feet.
One summer they wound up going out.
Were you aware of what it was that made them stop going out? Michael wanted a full-on sexual relationship and Marybeth didn't.
She was definite about it.
He wouldn't take no for an answer.
How on Earth does she know what my client would or would not have taken for an answer going back, what is it, 20 years in time? Sustained.
Trainor, was there a time when, in your presence, Marybeth Mosley physically rejected Mr.
Sarno? We were at a school dance.
Afterwards, a bunch of us went for burgers.
Michael sat beside Marybeth.
He put his hands on her.
I'm pretty sure he was drunk.
She told him to stop.
He wouldn't.
She threw a basket of fries in his lap.
That slow him down a bit? No.
And when she started to cry, he laughed at her.
He said he could have her anytime he wanted.
Thank you, Ms.
I have nothing further.
Those his words, Ms.
Trainor? "I can have you anytime I want"? It's hard to remember exactly after 20 years.
So your response to Mr.
McCoy's question was, what, inexact or invented? Objection.
No, I'm going to allow it.
I was trying to remember.
Anyone from the District Attorney's Office help you to remember? Objection.
JUDGE RIVERA: Sustained.
Trainor, did you relate any part of this tale of rejection to the police 20 years ago? I spoke to a detective, yes.
So it's your testimony as you sit here today, that you told an NYPD detective that my client was, what, going out with Miss Mosley? Yes.
That he was actively sexually pursuing her? Yes.
Your Honor, I call for the production of police reports reflecting the statements of this witness.
Counsel, step up.
Do you have this, Mr.
McCoy? Judge, it's been 20 years.
Some of the documentation has been mislaid.
My client's accused of murder and Mr.
McCoy pleads sloppiness? This is unbelievable.
Oh, save the histrionics for the closing, Barry.
JACK: Whether she spoke to a detective She's here now.
Your Honor, they're pulling an O.
in reverse.
Instead of planting evidence, they're framing my client with the absence of it.
That's an outrageous accusation.
I move to strike the witness's testimony in its entirety.
Well, I reserve the right to argue in closing that the testimony is unsupported by documents and that it's fabricated.
Now step back.
HOPP: I wasn't always in the Property Room, you know.
in a shootout.
One of the Chinese gangs down on East Broadway.
Really? And don't think I didn't make a collar anyway.
Two of 'em.
I walked 'em out with my arm in a sling (LAUGHS) Could show you pictures.
Well, actually A young woman was killed around 1980.
A Marybeth Mosley.
The evidence from her case disappeared from the Property Room.
Oh, wait a minute.
She was killed with a wrench.
A ratchet, yes.
So we weren't on Broome Street anymore.
Do you remember anything out of the ordinary? Well, I remember some guy trying to check things out without signing for 'em.
In fact, it was a wrench, if I do recall.
Do you remember who? Some detective.
I don't remember his name.
Oh, driving for Inspector Holsick is what he told me.
I said, "I don't care who you're driving for, Skippy.
" "You sign the ledger or you're not taking out nothing.
" And did he? You're damned right he did.
JACK: Finally, Detective, did you attempt to retrieve the clothing Marybeth Mosley was wearing on the day she was killed from the Police Property Clerk's office? Yes.
And the murder weapon? We My partner and I were told that they couldn't be located.
Did the Property Clerk have any explanation for why the items were missing? He said they might have been lost during the course of a move to a new building.
Thank you, Detective.
Nothing further.
You've never laid eyes on the alleged murder weapon, have you, Detective? Well, I've never seen the dark side of the Moon either, Counselor, but I know it exists.
Maybe that's where the ratchet is.
(SCOFFS) Yeah, I couldn't say.
Nor can anyone else.
Which may mean, could it not, that the ratchet purportedly missing from the Sarno's garage wasn't the murder weapon at all? That the murder weapon was, in fact, a hammer or a paperweight.
Well, I guess anything's possible.
And nothing further.
NATHANSON: Michael, how well did you know Marybeth Mosley then? We dated for one summer.
Mostly we were just friends.
Ever kiss her? Sure.
Ever have sexual relations with her? No, sir.
Michael, we've heard testimony that you struck Miss Mosley.
Totally untrue.
We've heard testimony that in front of others you swore you could have her whenever you wanted.
Look, I don't remember what I said 20 years ago.
Could I have said something like that fooling around? Sure.
But that's what it was.
Fooling around.
Michael, did you murder Marybeth Mosley? I did not, sir.
Thank you, Michael.
Nothing further, Your Honor.
Do you remember telling Detective Thomas Brannigan that you were in college (DOOR OPENING) That you were in college in New Hampshire on the day Marybeth Mosley was murdered? Yes, sir.
Was that the truth? No, sir.
I'd been suspended from college.
I didn't want my father to find out.
And you weren't in New York City on the day Marybeth Mosley was killed? No, sir.
But your car was? Your Honor, would you direct the witness to answer? Mr.
I didn't own a car, Mr.
All right, your father's car.
A Triumph model TR6, which you routinely drove back and forth to college and used as your own.
Was it, sir, in New York City the day of the murder? Not to my knowledge.
Do you know how that car came to have a parking violation issued by the New York City Police on that day? NATHANSON: Objection.
If the witness had no knowledge of the car's whereabouts how can he possibly answer that question? Sustained.
JACK: I have no further questions at this time.
I reserve the right to recall at a later date.
Got anything? We need to talk to Brannigan.
What is it with you guys and this case? That's 20 years ago.
There's no statute of limitations on murder.
You know how many cases I've handled in the 23 years I was on the job? I don't remember details of one case.
You don't remember anyone getting rid of evidence? No, I don't.
Was there anyone in the police department who tried to influence the way you conducted the investigation? What are you saying? We're asking the question.
I mean, this is just a friendly conversation.
Do you know how it happened that evidence disappeared from Property Room? No.
No, I don't.
I don't know nothing.
NATHANSON: Now, you were in charge of the investigation into Marybeth Mosley's death, were you not? I was.
And you conducted that investigation in the immediate aftermath of her death? Right.
So the people who knew the defendant, who knew the victim, their recollection of people, places and things, they would have been fresh then, would they not? Objection.
Did you consider Michael Sarno a suspect at the time? Tell you the truth, I don't remember loving anyone all that much for a suspect.
NATHANSON: Well, as a matter of fact, wasn't the primary focus of your investigation a plumber who'd been working at the Mosley house? Right.
I thought we had half a shot with the plumber.
Well, why didn't you think you had half a shot with Michael Sarno? As far as we knew, he wasn't in New York at the time of the murder.
It was the end of the story.
I have nothing further.
Do you think your opinion of the defendant's whereabouts would have changed if you knew his car had received a parking violation in New York at the time of the murder? As I recall, the car that received the parking ticket was registered to his father.
But driven by the defendant.
I don't recall having that information at the time.
What about the fact that a one-inch drive ratchet was the murder weapon, and a one-inch drive ratchet was missing from the defendant's father's garage? Given the fact that we lost the murder weapon, I couldn't very well make a case out of that.
Would you, by any chance, know how the murder weapon came to be lost? No, I wouldn't.
Were you familiar with a police inspector named Alvin Holsick? Yeah, I knew Al Holsick.
Were you aware that from the time of his retirement until his death two years ago he was working for the defendant's father and being paid more than a hundred thousand dollars a year? I don't know if I knew that at all.
I kind of lost track when he took retirement.
Were you aware that it was Alvin Holsick's driver who removed the murder weapon from the Property Room? Objection.
Assuming facts not in evidence.
I'll connect, Judge.
Overruled, subject to connection.
Detective? I don't know who took it.
All right, Detective, I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to think about it before you answer.
Because what you say will be with you for the rest of your life.
Did Inspector Holsick interfere with your investigation? Holsick looked after me.
He said, "Sarno's not the guy.
" I was a little naive.
I said, "I don't know, Inspector, I think maybe he is.
" He said, "You're not hearing me, Tommy.
I'm telling you.
" "Sarno's not the guy.
" "And as soon as that proves to be the case," "you just made yourself First Grade.
" And how did your respond? I said, "What about the evidence?" He said, "Make sure that the murder weapon" "is checked into the Property Room.
" He'd take care of it.
He said Sarno was spreading around enough cash that whatever's out there wouldn't bite us.
Did you do what you were told? I made First Grade, didn't I? No special pins, nothing on the uniform.
Just top Lieutenant's pay and every cop knows.
My old man, rest his soul, he looked on First Graders like they walked on water.
When I got it, I went down to the nursing home and I told him.
I didn't tell him what I had to do to get it.
That I had to let that murdering son of a bitch go.
We're prepared to offer a plea of Manslaughter Two.
As opposed to an acquittal? As opposed to giving this case to the jury, in which case, regardless of the verdict, we will prosecute Mr.
Sarno Senior here for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Have you lost your mind? NATHANSON: Peter I didn't have any Peter, just hang on a second.
Let's assume you have more than the say-so of this broken down cop to go on, which I don't think you do.
You're talking about something that happened 20 years ago, Jack.
Statute of limitations ran out a long time ago.
Come on.
We would argue that the conspiracy has been ongoing, and that since Mr.
Sarno actively concealed his crime, the statute of limitations does not apply.
Plea Wrong on the facts, wrong on the law.
Want to go to court on it? JACK: Take a chance on the Ambassador having an E-felony hung around his neck? He doesn't deserve that.
Plead guilty and your father's off the hook.
But I mean, he doesn't deserve it.
If there was a crime, it was my crime.
Why would you go after him? I'd like to talk to my son privately.
Like how much time would I have to spend in jail for Manslaughter Two or whatever it is? Did you hear what I said, Michael? I'd like to talk to you privately.
The sentencing recommendation would be eight-and-a-third to 12 years.
PETER: Talk to me, don't talk to him.
You're not his lawyer, Mr.
That's right, I'm his father.
He's 39 years old.
He's also loaded or haven't you noticed that yet? Michael, that true? I'm fine.
All right, he can't participate in plea discussions, if he's intoxicated.
Come on.
We can continue without him.
Or we can resume this tomorrow.
I'm going to call your boss.
I'm going to get both of you busted down the ranks.
You will be lucky if they let you work arraignment from the drunk tank on Saturday nights! We don't have much of a social life as it is.
Make whatever the arrangements are.
I'll plead guilty to Manslaughter.
I'm telling you to keep your mouth shut.
You're a drunk you're a junkie.
I'm also a murderer! Obviously we'll need to confirm he's not impaired when he enters his plea formally.
You're going to answer for this.
As will we all.
Tommy? Tommy, you in there? There you are.
My wife's been after me to fix this thing for a year.
It's good you finally got around to it.
Afraid I was gonna eat my gun? Now, why would you do that? I disgraced myself.
Disgraced the job.
You made a mistake.
It's not the end of the world.
I let him go.
He killed a girl and I let him go.
So now he's caught.
You forgive me, Lennie? All day long, Tommy.
All day long.