Law & Order (1990) s11e13 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.
He's 27 years old, Lorraine.
Why would he even want to move back in with us? Evan, he lost his job He needs us.
He can't hold down a job because he thinks he's God Almighty.
Oh, Evan.
Good Lord! LORRAINE: Oh, my God.
I know his name's Bradford, I know he lives on seven, and I know he has a baby.
What about his wife? He lives with another man.
They're a couple.
You know.
Gay couple? Exactly.
What've ya got? Well, there's no sign of bullet wounds, no sign of stab wounds.
From the bruises, it looks like he got beaten to death.
Hey, what happened? BRISCOE: Come here.
Let him through.
Who are you? Deliver seltzer to the building.
People still order that stuff? Oh, yeah.
How long you been there? About five minutes.
Why? You know this guy? Nope.
Not a customer of mine.
Detective, something you need to see over here.
Get CSU down here.
Still warm.
Let's hope the kid is.
BRISCOE: What kind of seizures? Birth mother was a drug addict.
Dylan has neurological problems.
That's why they allowed us to adopt him.
He's on medication.
If he doesn't get it, he could It could be really bad.
You've gotta find him.
How old is Dylan? A year and a half.
He'll be two in the summer.
And when was the last time you saw Brad and the baby together? This morning, when I left for the office.
How did you and Brad come to get a baby? We started out as foster parents.
And then when the birth mother put him up for adoption, we adopted him.
I adopted him.
Why just you? Agencies aren't generally too thrilled about letting gay couples adopt.
Just to get this out of the way Mr.
Uh, where were you this afternoon.
I was in my office until about noon.
And then I had a meeting at the Conde Nast Building until about 4:00, and that's where I was when I got the call.
Can you think of anybody we should be talking to? Anybody we know who might have done this? BRISCOE: Anybody who might have done it.
Anybody who might know who did it.
I can't imagine anyone.
Who would kill Brad? Who would take our little boy? I'd say Albers isn't a suspect.
And from what he tells us, it isn't anybody they know.
All indications are it's a kidnapping for ransom.
Well, we have a trap on the phone.
There's one more thing.
From what Albers said, this baby is prone to seizures.
Now, I wouldn't count on whoever took him knowing what to do.
It's already been one day.
Yeah? The neighbors didn't give you anything? No.
Most of them were either out or at work.
We talked to one woman who said she heard arguing in the courtyard around 2:30.
Okay, thanks.
We got a ransom call.
Units two and three in place? Acknowledge.
Unit two.
We're good to go.
Unit three ready and waiting.
Lennie, check him out.
Bike messenger, black, red jacket, entering the park west entrance.
We see him.
He's got it! He's got it! Let's go! Black messenger leaving the park west entrance with manila envelope.
Don't lose him.
BRISCOE: Units two and three, subject's approaching a silver sedan.
Let's sit tight and see what he's up to.
Did the kid hand him something? I can't tell.
Somebody signal to him? Yeah, he goes in there, he might go out the back entrance.
Let's hit him.
Grab him! Let's grab him! Unit two, check for an accomplice inside the cafe.
Hit it! Police! Freeze! Police! Get down! Hey! Hey! What are you doing? COP: Get down! Where's the baby? What baby? Get him up! You gave him the money.
What money? The money you found in that envelope underneath that bench.
No, no, I didn't give it to him.
I don't even know who that guy is.
Where is it? Where is it? It's in here.
Talk! Some guy come up to me outside the dispatch office, okay.
He said he'd give me 50 bucks if I'd pick up an envelope and bring it here.
He's supposed to be where that guy is, only he ain't.
My wife goes in for a couple of lattes, this guy comes up to me and asks me if I saw somebody in a van.
Did you? Well, when I came in, there was some guy in a blue van.
What kind of van? I don't know.
It was a beat up van.
The back doors were tied with rope.
There was a motorcycle fork sticking out, plus he had some kind of vanity plates.
What did they say? Uh, the second part said MNKY.
I forget what the first part said.
You remember anything about the driver? No! Could you get me out of these handcuffs, please? I told you not to double-park.
ED: We're checking motorcycle repair shops.
What about the plate? Lennie's on it with the DMV.
They're giving me conflicting descriptions, as usual.
We got 42 possibilities from the DMV, but only one that traces to a motorcycle shop.
Is that him? Is this the guy? Anybody you recognize? No.
All right.
We'll keep you posted.
Albers, I'm Lieutenant Van Buren.
Where are they going? They're still working the case.
Why was the money not paid? We've yet to make contact with your son.
Because you scared him off.
Someone must have figured out you were cops.
We've got a good lead on finding this man.
I should have been allowed to do this the way I wanted to.
You guys should've been nowhere near that park.
We're going to get your son back to you, sir.
Who knows if he's even alive? This could be anybody.
It could be my brother, Ernie.
BRISCOE: Is it your brother, Ernie? You know what I'm saying.
Hey, it's a ratty blue van with vanity plates.
The last four letters MNKY.
First three letters HSE? You tell us.
Look, you guys come into my shop, you throw your weight around You want answers, you tell me.
What's this about? Okay, here's an explanation.
Shielding a murderer is a felony.
Who is it? (SIGHS) It's Hose Monkey.
It's Burdick's van.
Who's Burdick? Gene Burdick.
He's one of my mechanics.
He here today? He's at his other job today.
Which is what? Delivering seltzer.
You can do yourself a world of good by telling us where that kid is, Gene.
Look, I don't know where the kid is.
You made the ransom call, but you don't know where the kid is? What makes you think I made the ransom call? Are you playing games with us? I'm not playing any games.
'Cause there's a missing kid, and if you're playing games with us, you're gonna wake up with some aches and pains in the morning.
Hey, guys Okay, come on, come on.
Come on.
Look, I was delivering seltzer on the West Side, okay.
Call Benny Renko in Queens.
He's my boss.
You can check the schedule.
We saw you at the crime scene a little after the murder.
Because it's my building.
I'm there every Tuesday between 3:00 and 4:00.
Before that, I'm at the Dakota and the Apthorp.
Talk to my customers.
I didn't take that kid, I swear.
Who did, then? I don't know who did.
Okay, you didn't personally do the kidnapping or the murder.
Maybe you can make yourself a little deal.
But first you have to tell us where the kid is, and you have to tell us now! I don't know where the kid is.
I suppose you're gonna tell us you didn't make the ransom call again.
I made the ransom call, all right.
All right? But I'm working two jobs, man and I'm in hock up to my eyeballs.
I saw an opportunity to make a score and I took it, that's all.
How'd you get onto us at the cafe? I got a scanner rigged up in my van.
It sounded like Desert Storm was going down and I took off.
How'd you know where to make the ransom call? I used to deliver to those guys.
A couple of rich fruits with a kid.
When I saw the guy was dead, I figured the other one would fork over the money, and that would be that.
You figured he'd pay the money, he wouldn't get his kid back, and nobody would come looking for you? His alibi checks out.
Well, what kind of idiot arranges to pick up ransom money in a van with vanity plates? An idiot whose vanity plates read Hose Monkey.
Well, in the meantime, we haven't gotten a single legitimate ransom demand.
The question is whether whoever did this did it for ransom.
Well, has Children's Services sent over Dylan's file yet? No.
You know how organized they are.
Well, get over there and put a fire under them.
Mother was an 18-year-old heroin addict, father listed as unknown.
She gave the child up? Initially, we took the child away.
A neighbor called, said the baby had been crying for days.
We went over, found the baby malnourished, dehydrated, the works.
Mother was a waitress, but she had a $200 a day habit.
What's her name? Celia Goddard.
The boy was placed on foster care with Donald Albers.
He formally adopted him seven months later.
And Goddard signed off on the adoption? She was thrilled to get him off her hands.
BRISCOE: Have you heard from her since then? About two months ago she came in.
She had gotten out of the hospital, gotten out of rehab.
She was clean for about a year and a half.
And she wanted her baby back.
Girls don't give up on fairy-tales just because they don't come true.
What'd you tell her? That her son had a serious medical condition that required fulltime care and expensive medication.
Things she could never provide.
She didn't believe me until I showed her the medical records.
I bet that took the wind out of her sails.
Not at all.
She said she'd get another job, somehow scrape together enough money to cover his medical bills.
Sol reminded her that her son had been legally adopted.
She had signed the papers.
She had 45 days to rescind.
She hadn't.
Hey, my hands were tied.
VAN BUREN: Celia Goddard.
Address unknown.
What does she say about the medication? Because of the mother's drug use while she was pregnant, the baby suffered neurological damage.
They give him Phenobarbital for seizures.
Does the mother know that? Case worker showed her the medical file when she came looking to get the baby back.
If she was involved in the kidnapping, chances are she'd make sure she had the medication.
ED: Looks like we're canvassing pharmacies? Well, I'll get some people checking hospitals just in case.
All right.
I have all these people waiting for prescriptions.
Can you maybe come back later? Hey, we've been in nine pharmacies looking for a missing child.
The people that are waiting are just going to have to wait a little longer.
What's the name? The child's name is Dylan Mandel.
The prescription's for Phenobarbital or something similar in a child's dosage.
Pediatrician? We don't know who the pediatrician is.
Oh, okay, here we go.
Um, Phenobarbital.
Um, someone from Dr.
Kwai's office called in a prescription for Joey Powers two days ago.
Powers? Could be an alias.
Anybody else? Um, sorry.
Who picked it up? Susan Powers.
You got an address? She only gave a phone number.
All right, we'll take that.
This is it? This is the address.
Can I help you? Yeah, we're looking for Susan Powers.
No one by that name here.
You own the place? No, I just work here.
Why? Is it possible there's a Susan working another shift? I know all the people working here.
There's no Susan.
What's this about? ED: Why is there a Susan on the emergency contact list? I don't know.
She must be a friend of the owner's.
Call the number.
Can you please tell me what this is about? A missing person.
Hello, is Susan there? It's the police! They hung UP All right, call communications and turn that number around, and let's get a squad car for the employee of the month here.
Whoever it was, he left in a hurry.
"Remember, other's safety depends on your discretion.
" "The buddy system applies whenever you leave the building.
" "Never give out our phone number or address.
" Let's find out whose name is on the lease.
My client runs an underground rail road for abused women and their children.
They hide them from abusive husbands and boyfriends, relocate them if necessary.
That's all I'm willing to disclose.
This isn't about domestic violence, Ms.
It's about murder and kidnapping, and we think your client's involved.
Have you seen this child, Ms.
Powers? Women come to me believing their confidence will be kept.
Do they ever lie? I don't know if they ever lie.
If the woman who came to you with this child said she was running away from an abusive husband, she was lying.
And if you're harboring her, you're committing a felony.
How do I know this isn't a ruse to reunite a child with an abusive father? Women like this who need help are turned away by the police, sent back to their husbands.
My dealings with the police have been a joke.
Well, you haven't dealt with me, Ms.
We have no choice, Susan.
A woman named Chris Matthews came to us.
Or at least that's what she called herself.
She had a child with her.
Is that who you got the prescription for? A pediatrician I know called it in.
Did he have a seizure? No, it was for precautionary reasons.
And where are they now? After you raided our safe house Chris was terrified.
She gave the baby to a friend of hers.
I didn't ask for a name.
I figured the fewer details I knew the better.
And the woman you knew is Chris? She said she had to leave town.
She had no money, no car.
I bought her a bus ticket this afternoon.
Where to? The 3:30 to Peekskill.
It's 3:15.
Sorry for the interruption, folks.
This'll just take a second.
Goddard, we're gonna need you to come with us.
Say you couldn't find me.
Where's the baby? I'm going to be a really great mother, and that's the truth, and if you'll just say you couldn't find me, everything will be fine.
If you don't get up and walk, we're going to carry you out of here.
Where is the child, Ms.
Goddard? Somewhere safe.
Let's go.
Just because you're the biological mother, that doesn't make you any less guilty of kidnapping or murder.
I didn't commit murder.
Then who did? I don't know who did.
Look, your fingerprints were on that stroller, which puts you at the scene.
You ain't walking away from this.
I don't have to say anything.
You took that baby from the only parents he's ever known.
He's probably scared out of his wits right now, wondering where the hell he is.
Is that what you want? That baby is my son.
Not according to the law.
Well, I don't care about the law.
I gave birth to him, he's mine.
There isn't anybody in the world who cares more about him than I do.
I think the man who adopted him might disagree.
Well, how fair was it that they made me sign him away when I was in the state that I was in? How fair was it to the kid that you were in that state? I know okay? I was sick.
I was so strung out, I would've signed anything, I would've done anything.
God, you don't even know the things that I did.
This was the worst.
All right, you say you're his mother.
Then why don't you start acting like it? Tell us where the baby is.
Let us make him safe.
ED: We're going to find out either way, Celia.
Well, then I guess you're just going to have to do that.
Celia had to have an accomplice.
Bradford Mandel was a big guy.
He worked out.
There's no way she could have beat him to death by herself.
Any candidates? Not that she's saying.
The police questioned her for three hours.
They didn't make a dent.
There must be someone who can tell us something about her.
Friends, boyfriends.
We know there's at least one person in her life she was willing to trust with her kid.
Her mom.
Briscoe and Green are with her now.
I tried to visit her in that place, but the people there said that it would be better if I waited till she got out.
I did try, though.
How about since she's been out? Well, she came by with a friend for a visit.
She was completely off the drugs.
I was so glad to see that.
How long ago was that? Last summer.
Does she have any sisters or brothers? Any other relatives she's close to? No.
And her father died when Celia was 12.
It's been just the two of us since then.
And you haven't seen her since last summer? No, I haven't.
BRISCOE: Any reason? Mother-daughter stuff.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about the baby that she gave up.
I know it's selfish.
I know all the experts agree that children are much better off being adopted in these situations.
But I would have been so happy to have provided a home.
And if things had worked out She never asked you? She just She just marched down there and signed her name on the dotted line, and she wouldn't listen to anything I said.
I'm sorry.
He was my grandson.
You said that she was with a friend the last time she came by here? Terry Um, Terry somebody.
Do you know how we can get in touch with her? Yes, she left me her number in case I needed to reach Celia.
I've got it in the other room.
You gave your number to Celia's mother and now you say you don't know where she is? What are you feeding us? The truth.
Look, Ms.
Kurasik, we got a very sick little baby out there.
If we don't find him soon, I'm gonna hold you personally responsible.
You got my word on that.
I told you, I don't know.
I haven't spoken to Celia in six months.
And you have absolutely no idea where this baby is? No, I don't.
I swear.
When we were in rehab, Celia'd go on and on about wanting to get her kid back, and I thought it was just talk.
Did she tell you how she planned to do this? She didn't know.
I wanted to be supportive, but I didn't want her to get her hopes up.
I told her the main thing that she needed to be thinking about was not using drugs.
And beyond that, she'd have to give it over to God.
You have any idea who she might go to for help besides God? When we both got out and I could tell she was serious, I sent her to see this lawyer that I know.
When I asked her how it went, she seemed pretty positive.
He told her what to do and she was doing it, and she didn't want to talk about it until she was done.
Where's this lawyer? It's been almost four days, Mr.
Time is running out.
I hope that you won't give me any problems on confidentiality.
You know as well as I do that kidnapping is an ongoing crime that vitiates privilege.
I could fight it, tie you up in court for a few days.
You could.
But you won't.
She wanted to overturn the adoption, get her child back and raise him herself.
I told her it was too late.
The only party with standing to challenge the adoption was the biological father, and that was only because he never received notice.
She knew who the biological father was? Yeah.
She just didn't know where he was.
He used to work at a building site next to the place where she waitressed, and then he moved on.
I offered to try and find him.
She said it would be better if she did it herself.
The construction company that employed the father of your child gave us this list.
It contains 307 names.
One of them's his.
We're going to go through that list, name by name, and track him down.
So what do you want from me? We want to know where your child is now.
Why? The child's fine.
You don't really know that.
You haven't had any contact with him in days.
He could be sick.
He could be hurt.
JACK: We find him on our own, we don't need your help anymore.
You'll stand trial for murder and kidnapping, and you'll go to prison for a very long time.
What are you offering? Provided she played no active role in the victim's death and she testifies at trial, she'll probably be able to walk away with community service.
But maybe the jury'll find me not guilty.
I'm a pretty good trial lawyer, Ms.
I don't get surprised that often.
Under the circumstances, Celia.
I'd be hard pressed to advise you not to cooperate.
I have to do what's right for my son.
Can you actually look me in the eyes and tell me you're not worried about your baby? He's with his birth father, isn't he? That's why you're concerned.
Celia, your son is in the hands of a murderer.
He beat a man to death in front of you, in front of your child.
I didn't know what else to do.
Now you do.
Help us find him.
RADOS: Maybe there's a possibility of being involved in your son's life in some way.
Is that a possibility? That'll be up to Mr.
You'd probably have a better chance of being involved in his life not being in prison for 20 years.
There's a house in Peekskill.
That's where they are.
Kelley? Yeah.
New York City detectives.
We have a warrant for your arrest and a warrant to search the premises.
(BABY CRYING) Somebody bring a blanket.
Hey, baby bear.
Come on, come on, baby bear.
There's a bottle in the fridge and a stuffed animal he really likes in his crib.
Thank you for my son.
"Docket 31602, People v.
Robert Kelley.
" "One count each, Murder in the Second Degree," "Kidnapping in the Second Degree.
" JUDGE: How does the defendant plead? Not guilty.
Carmichael? The People seek remand.
Judge, my client doesn't have as much as a parking ticket.
We request reasonable bail.
Your Honor, the defendant and an unindicted accessory took an 18-month-old child from his parents.
When one of the parents resisted, he was beaten to death.
First arrest or not, the nature of the crime warrants remand.
In the first place one of these so-called parents, Mr.
Mandel, had no legal relationship with the child.
Carmichael? Irrelevant to bail app, Judge.
Mandel was the homosexual lover of the child's adoptive father.
An adoption that was procured without the consent of my client, the child's natural father.
Your Honor, before his murder, Mr.
Mandel had applied for a second parent adoption.
A second adoption is no more legal than the first.
JUDGE: That's enough.
As I understand it this is a bail hearing, not an adoption hearing.
Defendant is remanded.
This guy's gonna play the disenfranchised father card to the hilt.
What are you looking for? JACK: Murder two is what he has coming.
We had to drop the kidnapping because, as a relative, he has an affirmative defense.
Then why murder two? 'Cause he went looking for Mandel, waited for him, beat him up, and then beat him to death.
The motive being the return of his son.
Who had been legally adopted for more than a year.
Whatever one thinks of two gays being parents.
You're going to be hard pressed to have a jury come back with murder two.
Whatever it is, it shouldn't be a slap on the wrist.
See if you can get a plea.
Let's talk to Celia first.
CARMICHAEL: What did he say when you told him he had a son? He didn't care.
He thought I wanted money.
What made him care? Tell them, Celia.
No, it's not fair to Robert I'm the one that got him into this.
One of the conditions of your deal is cooperation.
I told Robert that two gays had him.
I knew that that would make him care.
This man's son was given up in an adoption he never knew of.
When he learned of his son's existence, he responded.
It's how he responded that concerns us.
Celia Goddard told him he was the only person who could overturn the adoption.
She was desperate.
We have Ms.
Goddard's statement.
We know what she said.
Then you also know that Mr.
Kelley harbored no intent to kill anyone.
A jury might think otherwise.
JACK: He went there to confront Mr.
Mandel physically.
Disputed custody situations are always very heated.
This was a situation that got away from everybody.
I had a right to know my child.
To hold him.
Bob, please.
JACK: Whatever rights you may have had, they didn't extend to kidnapping and murder.
Let's stop talking in terms of murder.
It's man two.
He does a deuce.
The M.
says Mr.
Mandel was beaten to death after he was helpless.
Murder two.
Based on what? Do you have a witness? Celia Goddard.
That's just "he said, she said.
" This is the best he can expect.
We all know what was behind this murder.
He pleads to murder two, or we go to trial on man one with a bias crime charge and he could be looking at more time.
Bias crime? That's absurd.
Kelley didn't hate homosexuals.
He loves his son.
Offer's on the table.
Your call.
We'll take our chances in court.
I was in pretty bad shape when I met Robert.
I was using heroin.
Robert tried to help me.
I wasn't ready.
Did you have a relationship with Mr.
Kelley? Yes.
I became pregnant.
I knew I couldn't take care of the baby.
So I arranged for his adoption.
JACK: At some point did you change your mind? After I got out of the hospital I went into rehab.
That first year was the hardest year of my life.
What kept me going, what made me not run away and start using again and not kill myself was remembering that I had this son, this person that I had That I'd carried inside me and given birth to.
He kept me alive.
JACK: What happened after you got out of rehab? CELIA: I went to see a case worker and then I talked to a lawyer.
I found out that the only person who could challenge the adoption was Robert.
And why was that? Because I never told him about it.
I never told him I was pregnant.
Did you get in touch with him? Yes.
What did you say to him? I told him he had a son.
What was his reaction? CELIA: He was distant.
I don't think he ever considered having kids.
JACK: Did you say something that made him change his mind? Answer the question, Ms.
I told him that his son had been adopted and that the people who'd adopted him were homosexuals.
JACK: Was there anything to make you think the homosexuality of these men would have an effect on Mr.
Kelley? Yeah, the way that he talked about them.
And then there was this incident when I first knew Robert.
JACK: What was that, Ms.
Goddard? Robert and a friend picked a fight with these two gay guys at the Sheridan Square subway station.
Why? They were holding hands.
JACK: Would you tell the court what action you and the defendant took in effort to get your child back.
Well, I wanted him to come with me to the lawyer to make a claim.
But he went to Mr.
Mandel's apartment, and we hung around outside the building.
Then we saw Mr.
Mandel coming back from a walk.
Dylan was with him.
JACK: What happened then? CELIA: Robert followed him into this courtyard.
He started shouting at the guy.
Mandel threatened to call the police.
Then he started to take the baby out of the stroller, and Robert grabbed him, he pushed him away.
Then Mr.
Mandel pushed Robert, and that's when Robert punched him, and Mr.
Mandel fell down.
What did Robert do then? He kicked him.
JACK: How many times? Once? Twice? CELIA: (CRYING) I don't know.
What else? He hit him with his fists.
JACK: How many times? I don't know.
I'm sorry, Robert.
Did the defendant say anything? Ms.
Goddard, as he was punching and kicking Mr.
Mandel, did the defendant say anything? He kept shouting at him.
He kept calling Mr.
Mandel a faggot.
I have nothing further.
Goddard, when you got out of drug rehab, you realized you'd made a mistake giving Dylan up for adoption, and you tracked down Mr.
Albers, correct? Yes.
Because you wanted your son back.
And you would do anything it took to get him back, including manipulating Robert Kelley.
I told him the truth.
It was you who engineered this whole thing, was it not, Ms.
Goddard? Nobody engineered it.
It just happened.
It was you who found Mr.
Albers' address, it was you who stalked him, and it was you who inflamed my client's emotions to achieve your purpose.
JUDGE: Ask a question, Ms.
You're the one with the criminal record, Ms.
Goddard, and you expect us to believe this was Mr.
Kelley's idea? I just wanted my son back.
What do you just want now, Ms.
Goddard? To say whatever Mr.
McCoy needs you to say in return for letting you walk away? Objection.
No further questions.
How'd you feel when you found out you'd fathered a son who'd been given up for adoption without your consent? Like I just went through a few rounds with Lennox Lewis.
Would you have had a similar reaction if you'd found out the adoptive parents were heterosexual? Yes.
Are you homophobic, Mr.
Kelley? What people do in their own bedrooms is their own business.
What about the incident in the subway station? It was just four guys who'd had a little too much to drink.
That's it.
It had nothing to do with anybody being gay.
What about gay people raising children? Well, to tell you the truth, I'm not thrilled about it.
I think it's wrong to put a child in that situation.
That's an honest answer.
Goddard testified that when she told you about Dylan you were distant.
Is that a fair statement? Yes.
At first, I was numb.
Then I thought, I had a son.
A son.
What did you do? Went with Celia to get my kid.
Why didn't you go see a lawyer? 'Cause Celia told me it wouldn't work.
Did you go there to kill this man because he was a homosexual? No.
I went there to talk it out with him I thought that he would listen to reason.
CUTLER: And what happened? We found Mr.
Mandel with Dylan.
I said, "This is my child, my son.
" Were you shouting? No.
Not yet.
I don't know where Celia got that from.
And how did Mr.
Mandel respond? He looked at me as if I was crazy.
He said, this is his child, his son.
His and his partner's.
I said, "Don't you think that the kid" "would really be better off with a mommy and a daddy?" CUTLER: What did he say? He said, "Check your watch.
" "It sounds a decade or two too slow.
" Then he leaned down to pick up my boy from the stroller, and Dylan peeked up at me.
He, uh, smiled.
He looked like me.
Is that when you grabbed Mr.
Mandel? Yes.
He was going to take my boy away.
What did he do? He pushed me.
And all I can think of was my boy.
I hit him till he fell and, uh, I kept hitting him.
I'm sorry that he's dead.
I really didn't mean for that to happen.
No more questions.
Celia Goddard stated that you went to the building and waited outside? Yes.
What was the plan, according to you? To talk to him.
So why did you follow him into the courtyard? Why didn't you talk to him in front of the building, on a public street? I thought it would be better done in private.
What would be better in private? Talking to him or beating him? Talking to him.
Isn't it a fact that when Celia Goddard told you you had a son, you weren't numb? You didn't care about him or that he was adopted.
No, that's not true.
JACK: In fact, wasn't the only thing that made you care at all about this child that you learned that he'd been adopted by a gay man and his lover? No, that isn't true.
You followed Mr.
Mandel, you accosted him, you beat him.
He was lying on the ground unconscious.
You had the boy.
Why didn't you walk away? I don't know.
I wish I had.
By this time you were shouting, weren't you? Yes.
So was Celia.
But Celia was shouting for you to stop, wasn't she? What were you shouting? I don't remember.
Celia Goddard says that you were shouting "faggot" and that you kicked him and went on shouting until he was dead.
It wasn't like that.
What was it like? It all happened at once.
Why did you continue once you had the boy? Was it that in your mind Brad Mandel wasn't a parent or a person, but a pervert? A sick, twisted individual who had to be stopped from sexually enslaving a young boy? Look, if that's what he was doing, then hell, yes, he needed to be stopped.
Well, was that what he was doing? I didn't mean to kill him.
A rebuttal witness? On what ground? They opened the door.
Door to what? The fitness of homosexuals as parents is at issue.
Albers is entitled to testify to that.
I agree.
I'm going to allow it.
ALBERS: We were like any other couple with a kid.
"Early to bed, early to rise" The only restaurants we went to had paper place mats on the table with crayons.
Whose desire was it to adopt? At first it was Brad's.
I was happy with our life the way it was.
Traveling, going out.
I wasn't looking for anything else.
JACK: So he was the one who was involved with the child? ALBERS: At first.
I was scared.
This was a sick child.
Don't forget, his mother was using drugs while she was pregnant with him, which left him with all kinds of problems.
And Brad was the one who would be up all night with him, warming his formula and taking his temperature and singing to him to get him to go to sleep.
You said "at first.
" Right.
I guess that's the thing about kids.
You can only fight them off for so long.
As much as I imagined myself to be this busy important guy out in the world making money, doing busy important things, at a certain point I realized that all I really wanted to do was come home and be with my son.
With Brad and our son.
Thank you.
Mandel had a life membership in a Chelsea gym, did he not? Yes.
He get there much? Yes, he did.
He took a lot of pride in his appearance.
He have much of a temper? Objection.
I'm just trying to let the jury come away with an accurate picture of what might have transpired in that courtyard.
I'll allow it.
I'm sure that what was happening in that courtyard is that Brad was trying to protect our child.
You weren't in that courtyard, Mr.
And the only question you've been asked is whether or not Bradford Mandel had a temper.
Yes, he did.
He had a temper.
When he had to deal with homophobes and hate and mean-spirited people he had a temper.
Does that make him any less of a victim than if he'd acted like some frightened little Cinderella? Mr.
Albers you've answered the question.
Let's let it go at that.
Look closely at Robert Kelley, ladies and gentlemen.
He's a man who deserves understanding and empathy, and finally to be found not guilty.
He had the existence of his child concealed from him.
Then he was pressed into service by this child's mother to do what she couldn't do for herself.
Finally, he was betrayed by this woman, who, having used him, now turned on him.
Robert Kelley accompanied Celia Goddard in an attempt to get her child back.
Naive? Certainly.
Misguided? That, too.
Manslaughter? Not even close.
What we have heard here, in the way of proof, is conjecture by a prosecutor, and the self-serving declarations of a woman who cut a deal to save her own neck.
Based on that, and only that, are you to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradford Mandel's death was not the tragic, unforeseen consequence of an emotional exchange between two men, but rather the result of a planned attack by a homophobic bully? See Robert Kelley for who he is.
A decent law-abiding man, manipulated into circumstances that got out of control.
See him for who he is.
A parent, like any other.
See him for who he is, judge him fairly, and let him go free.
The central fact in this case is that the defendant couldn't stand the thought of two homosexual men raising his child.
What this trial is about is whether that provides a justification for a killing or the basis for a bias crime.
Make no mistake, if you agree with the defense, what you're saying is that Bradford Mandel deserved to die.
That somehow his beating was justified because gay couples have no right to be parents.
That the simple fact that he was homosexual justifies homicide.
Because that's what this was.
Not just based on Celia Goddard's testimony but on the report of the Medical Examiner which states unequivocally that Mr.
Mandel was kicked and beaten to death long after he was able to put up any resistance.
When no one else wanted this baby, Mr.
Mandel and Mr.
Albers did.
When this child was labeled a drug baby, only they were courageous enough to ignore the stigma.
And most importantly, when this little baby's life hung in the balance, it was their love and their singular devotion which saved him.
It's that love, they claim justifies Mr.
Mandel's being beaten to death.
I hope you will decide it deserves better than that.
Has the jury reached its verdict? FOREWOMAN: We have.
On the charge of Manslaughter in the First Degree, we find the defendant guilty.
JUDGE: As to the special circumstances? We determine the basis of the crime to be a hate crime.
Albers, I don't know what to say to you.
I hope that maybe someday you'll tell Dylan about me.
Just so he knows he has a mom who cares about him.
I imagine one day you'll tell him yourself.
Excuse me.

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