Law & Order (1990) s11e14 Episode Script

A Losing Season

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.
Did you see how she grabbed the centerpiece? SIDNEY: I saw.
(SCOFFS) Thinks she owns the world.
It was the same at the buffet.
Like it was a A hotel.
It was a hotel.
Oh, but that's his side of the family, not ours.
(CAR HONKING) (CRASHING) (EXCLAIMS) Are you okay? Check the cake! (MEN SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) What the hell's the matter with you? It's a red light, for crying out loud! (MEN ARGUING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Don't you talk English? Hey Hey! There's damage here! SARA: Oh, my God! Black female, mid-20s.
Multiple gunshot wounds.
The paramedics had a time getting her out of the trunk.
Alive? They were working on her and the baby when they left.
ED: Oh, God, baby? EMS medic said she was pregnant.
Any ID? Her purse was in the trunk with her.
Dena Meredith, 112, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.
Same address on the insurance card.
Ignition's popped There's some stuff in the back seat.
Shopping bags and auto parts.
BMW rims, Blaupunkt radio.
Boosters.
Yeah, I take it, it wasn't those two, huh? Sidney and Sara Rosenberg.
They were in the Cadillac.
ED: Mr.
and Mrs.
Rosenberg, we're with the police.
Can you tell us what happened here? I hurt my neck.
(STAMMERING) We were coming home from our nephew's bar mitzvah.
At The Pierre.
I was stopped at the light.
They hit us from behind.
I got out to see what the damage was, and they ran.
SARA: How's that poor girl? We're hoping she'll be all right.
Can you identify them? Uh, two white kids.
More, I didn't see.
The older one had a cast here.
Older? How could you tell in the dark who was older? The other one looked just like my cousin's son, Stanley.
Also a wild one.
BRISCOE: Did you see which way they went? They ran this way, right up the street.
Did they say anything? They didn't talk English.
Sounded like, what? I should know? Thanks.
She lost a lot of blood.
She's in a coma.
She gonna make it? Fifty-fifty, at best.
What about the baby? Twenty-nine weeks.
We were able to deliver him via C-section.
He's touch and go, too.
Another half hour, they both would've been dead.
Can you tell us how long she was lying in the trunk after she got shot? Oh, it'd be a guess, but given the nature of the wounds and the amount of blood loss, I'd say two or three hours.
Is there anything else? Can you give us a call when she regains consciousness? If.
Dena's a good girl.
Got a nice job at the bank.
Worked her way up, too.
She's in the loan department.
Who would do this to her? We're trying to figure that out, ma'am.
Shoot a pregnant woman for a car.
I don't understand.
Mrs.
Meredith Do you have any idea where your daughter was last night? (SIGHS) She called in the afternoon.
4:00.
Said she was going out to dinner in the city.
I told her she shouldn't be running around.
Not in her condition.
She just laughed.
Said I worry too much.
MAN: Dorothy DOROTHY: Miles! These men are detectives.
This is Miles Hawthorne, the baby's father.
Have you found the person who did this? We're working on it.
BRISCOE: We were just about to ask your mother-in-law, if she knew where Dena went to dinner last night, or who she went with.
I thought she was with you.
No.
Mrs.
Meredith, I can take you up to see your grandson now if you like.
Yes, please.
If that's okay.
Oh, yeah.
You go ahead.
MILES: I'll be right up.
Actually, she's not my mother-in-law.
Dena and I were supposed to get married in June.
You two live together? Dena's pretty independent minded.
Wanted to keep her own place till we tied the knot.
You said she didn't have dinner with you.
When was the last time you saw her? The bank closes at 1:00 on Saturday.
By the time we got done with the paperwork, we didn't leave until 2:00.
So, you work at the bank, too? I'm the manager.
Uh, People's Bank of Harlem.
So after the bank closed, then what? I went home, and Dena and Cheryl went shopping for baby clothes.
Cheryl? Cheryl Treadwell.
She works in Human Resources.
Just for the record, uh, what did you do after you got home? Watched some of the St.
John's game.
Had something to eat.
After that, I went out.
Played some squash with friends.
And last night? (SIGHING) Got some takeout, rented a movie Crashed.
So the last time that you and Dena spoke to each other was when you left work? Dena mentioned she might have dinner with Cheryl.
I thought that's where she was.
Layettes, baby clothes, car seats.
There was this humongous registry list.
We spent the whole afternoon.
Anything unusual about her mood? Her behavior? Uh, aside from hormones, no.
Any problems with her boyfriend? Miles? He's a saint.
Worships the ground she walk on.
What time did you two get done shopping? Dena dropped me off around 6:00.
And you were going to have dinner together? Uh, she bagged on that.
Said she was wiped out from all the shopping.
And she didn't mention any other plans? No.
She just said she was going to head home to Brooklyn.
Fender-bender happened around 11:00, and the doctor puts the shooting at about 8:00.
Forensics indicates she was shot while she was in the trunk.
Slugs were from a .
45.
Any prints? Nothing so far.
They did find scratch marks on the trunk lock from the inside, like she was working on it with something.
Must've been why it popped open.
So she was forced inside before she was shot, then struggled to escape.
Not a pleasant thought.
All right, say she was nabbed at 7:30, that still leaves a one and a half hour gap from the time Dena dropped Cheryl Treadwell off.
BRISCOE: We're running down her cell phone records and credit cards.
Dena told her boyfriend that she was gonna go have dinner with Cheryl then she told Cheryl she changed her mind and she was going home.
But she didn't.
Why? (KNOCKING ON DOOR) Ed, line three.
Detective Green.
So, what do you have on the boyfriend? BRISCOE: His alibi seems to check out.
From all indications, he's a stand-up guy.
No priors, steady employment.
And Dena's mother's his biggest fan.
Well, that says something.
Yeah, all right.
Thanks.
That was auto.
We got a hit on the Blaupunkt.
What's this code? I never heard anything about a code.
BMW radios are manufactured with an encoded chip, which is specific to the car it's registered to.
Ah! So, you found my radio, huh? Great.
If you happen to see a few wheels and an engine, let me know.
My car was stolen four months ago.
ED: Four months ago? Yeah, some cops raided a chop shop up in the Bronx back in November.
They showed up with one of my front doors.
And now you guys bring me my radio.
At this rate, I figure I ought to get the whole car back in about seven years.
Do you remember the cop's name who brought you the door? No.
Had me fill out some forms.
Uh An affidavit for the, uh, Grand Jury.
BRISCOE: You got a copy of it? Yeah.
Bedroom.
Yeah, in the glove compartment.
(CHUCKLING) A grand larceny indictment would cause most people to reconsider their line of work.
Yeah, but not you, right, Bob? You just opened another chop shop someplace else.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Come on, man.
We talked to the Bronx D.
A.
We found out you were running the largest stolen auto parts operation on Jerome Avenue.
BRISCOE: Where you running it out of now? My client's put his past behind him.
He's exploring other business opportunities now.
Oh, yeah? You mean like attempted murder? What? We found a pregnant woman in the trunk of a car that was boosted.
She was shot three times.
What makes you think my client's involved? There were stolen auto parts in it that matched vehicles that were seized in the chop shop.
But they never found your warehouse, did they, Bob? If my client cooperates, what's in it for him? If his information is good, we talk to the D.
A.
and we turn this indictment into a misdemeanor.
Okay.
We're looking for two guys.
Early 20s.
One of 'em had a cast on his right arm.
Gabor.
Gabor Hartunian.
Hey! Anybody lose a radio? Who are you? The Car Fairy.
Put your hands behind your back.
Lennie ED: Gabor Hartunian, I presume.
Careful.
Don't hurt his hand.
Where were you Saturday night? Home.
This is before or after you took the Camry? I don't know about Camry.
And you bought this wholesale, right? Never see it before.
Sarkisian gave you up, Mark.
How do you think we found you? BRISCOE: Did you know that woman was pregnant? What woman? (BOTH SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) No, no woman.
Just car.
Shut up, Gabor.
Yes, woman.
You shoot.
Me? No shoot.
What about him? He shoot? Whoa, whoa.
Nobody shoot no one.
You should've made sure she was dead.
Now she's gonna be able to identify you.
Yeah, not to mention the couple you rear-ended.
You're gonna be as old as they are by the time you get out.
No shoot no woman.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Tell the truth.
The car was in a lot on the west side.
What lot? Twelfth Avenue and 66th Street.
By the river.
Why that car? Sarkisian need Camry parts.
You expect us to believe you two mopes just happened to pick a Camry that had a half-dead woman in the trunk? I swear on my father's grave.
How do I know your father's dead? No shoot no woman.
Well, what time was this? Around 10:30.
We broke into the car and drive it off the lot.
That's it.
And then he hit that other car.
We never even looked in the trunk.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) You know, as much as I want to close this case, my gut tells me we're wasting our time.
They're just punks.
Forensics turn up anything? Well, they found their prints inside the car, but nowhere near the trunk.
(SIGHING) Well, if it's not these two guys, we're looking at a blank wall.
Well, let's just get search warrants for both their homes just in case.
PEREZ: Lieutenant, the hospital just called.
Dena Meredith died 30 minutes ago.
(SIGHING) That baby.
What away to enter the world.
How'd it go? Dumb and Dumber came up clean on the search of their homes.
Not much here either.
Dena Meredith's utility bills, address book.
Ed, cell phone IUDs, log from the day of the murder, and this is from the credit card company.
Thanks, Reina.
One-minute call to her home number at 3:27 p.
m.
Probably checking her answering machine.
Another call at 4:05.
Three minutes to Jersey.
Her mother said she called at 4:00, right? You got her mother's number over there? Whoa, listen to this.
Credit card charge for $14 at Lot 61.
Saturday, 7:20 p.
m.
That's about an hour before she got shot.
You know this Lot 61? Yeah, it's a spot downtown.
One last hurrah.
Yeah, I remember her.
She was wearing some maternity thing Still pretty cute.
She came in here alone? Said she was waiting for someone.
We were packed, so I made some room for her at the end of the bar and got her a snack.
A $14 snack? So do you know if her date ever showed up here? About 10 minutes later.
Two guys.
You ever seen them in here before? Nope.
So, what happened next? Well, they hung out with her for a few minutes and left.
BRISCOE: She left with the two guys? Seemed like she knew 'em.
She in some kind of trouble? Not anymore.
Did anybody else see them leave? Yeah.
Uh, check with Dom.
He's like the Pope of 21st Street.
Yeah, these two brothers rolled up in this champagne-colored Lexus.
Gave me a C-note to watch it.
Kind of sticks on a player's mind, know what I mean? You catch their names? One of the cats I seen around before.
Uh, Henry.
Other dude had a scar on his face.
I never saw him before.
This Henry have a last name? I'm sure he does, but we're not exactly on a last name basis around here.
Champagne Lexus.
You mean the SUV? Oh, word to the mother, man.
The whole package, tricked out from top to bottom, baby.
ED: Any idea where he got it from? Nah.
I didn't ask.
It's not exactly in a player's budget.
But he was all up in my grill about watching it for him.
I think he said he had just picked it up somewhere in midtown.
So you say the two men went in together, and a few minutes later, they came out with the girl? Yeah.
When they came out, the dude with the scar, went off with the pregnant lady.
They all came out of the club together, then they split up? They might've been going to the same spot.
'Cause see, what happened was the dude came out, then he said something to Henry about following him.
Any idea where they were going? You got me there, baby.
Hey, man, thank you.
You got it.
Take care.
All right.
Take care of yourself, huh? You, too.
I think there's only one Lexus dealership in Midtown.
We need to know how many you've sold in the past month.
Champagne only.
Oh, that's, uh, 18 units since New Year's.
All with the full option package? Well, let's see.
(CHATTERING ON PA) That narrows it down to 10.
How about five-star chrome rims? Booming system? Leather interior? Our premium package? Yeah.
Now we're at four.
You got a list? Printing.
Either of you gentlemen in the market? It's about a year's pay.
Here.
Anybody you recognize? BOY 1: Ricky, Ricky, can you sign this? Hey, Chris, could you sign my ball? Yeah, sure, man.
What's up? Chris, come on, Chris.
Uh, I'll see you guys, I'll see you.
Sorry about that.
See you, kids.
Mr.
Cody Uh, that's just for the kids, fellas.
Detectives Green and Briscoe.
We're just here to ask you a couple of questions.
Questions? About what? About a champagne Lexus? My Lexus? I just bought it.
What happened to my ride? Your ride may have been involved in an incident Saturday night.
An incident? What, like an accident? ED: You give somebody named Henry the keys to it? Henry Williams.
Henry was seen driving your Lexus.
I let him drive my car sometimes.
But I still don't understand what this is about.
A woman was shot.
Killed with a .
45.
Whoa, whoa.
Slow down there.
You say Henry shot some lady? ED: Her name is Dena Meredith.
BRISCOE: She was pregnant.
There's no way Henry shot her.
How do you know that? Because I know Henry.
Don't take this the wrong way, but where were you Saturday night around 8:00? I was at the Excelsior.
I had a party for some friends.
Left around midnight.
That's kind of late.
Didn't you have a game on Sunday afternoon? I don't need much sleep to sit on the bench.
I've been having some problems with my foot.
So, uh, where do we find Henry? Bed-Stuy.
(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING) ls Henry Williams here? Talented girl.
You could do worse.
Yeah, Chris called me.
Said y'all was busting about some girl getting killed.
I don't know a damn thing about it.
That's not what we heard, Henry.
Well, you heard wrong.
Oh, so you weren't at Lot 61 on Saturday night? Me and a hundred other people.
The other 100 didn't drive away with Dena Meredith.
Neither did I.
Man, I don't even know who you're talking about.
You know what, Henry? We believe you.
But you're going to have to convince our lieutenant.
So, come on.
You want to go with us now.
If that's what it's gonna take.
I'll follow you.
No, not this trip, Henry.
Yeah, Detective Green, badge number 3472.
We need a vehicle impounded.
ED: Narcotics.
Six arrests, two convictions.
That's just business, man.
Ain't got nothing to do with no murder.
Yeah, but getting in a car with a woman who ends up dead has plenty to do with it.
Look, man, I told you, I drove off from Lot 61 by myself.
Your witness is mistaken, all right? You can't hold me on that.
BRISCOE: Yeah? What about this? Your license was suspended two months ago.
What's that got to do with anything? Driving without a license is a parole violation.
Sit down, Henry.
You ain't going nowhere.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) SUV's clean, but the Lieutenant thought you should see this.
What's that, man? My report card or something? ED: It's the loan agreement for the Lexus.
What's that got to do with me? It's from the People's Bank of Harlem BRISCOE: Dena Meredith was the loan officer.
But I guess you already knew that.
I want a lawyer.
You're saying this might be work related? JACK: We don't know that yet.
What we do know is that there's a connection between the car loan that Dena made to Chris Cody and a drug dealer named Henry Williams.
Whatever Dena may have done, whatever she was involved with, she certainly got more than she deserved.
What does he mean, "What she was involved with"? What's he talking about? I tried to tell her to be careful, that these people were out of her league, but she wouldn't listen.
What people? Chris Cody.
What about Chris Cody? Dena was writing loans for him.
Him and his friend.
Henry Williams? She told me she was setting up businesses for Cody.
That he was putting money back into the community.
It was drug money.
She started at that bank right out of high school.
This guy was famous.
She got dragged into the whole trip.
You know, parties, clothes, even the drugs.
Dena never did any damn drugs.
Miles, she was my best friend.
Why didn't you come forward before? Because I thought what everyone thought.
That this was just a freak thing.
You know, a carjacking or something.
He was famous, Miles.
According to Cheryl Treadwell, Dena Meredith processed a number of loans for Cody.
But almost all the money ended up, one way or another, in the hands of Henry Williams.
To finance what? A variety of start-up businesses, basically cashing in on Cody's name.
Any of them legit? Williams has a long sheet for narcotics convictions.
I'd say legit's a stretch.
What about the boyfriend? The bank's manager? He relied on her judgment.
Well, let's suppose Williams used the money to finance drugs.
The question is, did Chris Cody know about it? The loans Chris made were simply the case of one friend lending a helping hand to another.
You're telling me your client was unaware of the background of Henry Williams? They're friends.
Boyhood friends.
Chris wanted to get him started.
If it hadn't been for basketball, I might've been just like Henry.
There are a lot of people who don't play basketball who don't wind up selling drugs, Mr.
Cody.
Well, I think the point here is that my client hasn't done any wrong.
Then why lie to the police about knowing Dena Meredith? That was my fault.
I told Chris that he should tell them he had no knowledge of Ms.
Meredith's death.
That was a miscommunication.
And for that I take full responsibility.
Then you did know Ms.
Meredith? I met her at the bank, arranging a loan for Henry.
Chris and his business managers did a number of substantial transactions through Ms.
Meredith.
And what was all this money for? CHRIS: Honestly, I didn't pay much attention.
I mean, Henry would pitch some ideas, I'd run 'em by my managers.
If they were good, I gave him the money.
I was just trying to put something back in the community.
Just so we're clear, so there aren't any more miscommunications, you're saying you have no knowledge why Henry Williams might have killed Dena Meredith? I'm saying I don't think Henry did it.
Over the last two years, Cody gave Williams over $300,000.
All that money went through Dena Meredith as business loans, which Cody's accountants then wrote off.
So, he has the taxpayers footing half the bill.
It gets better.
When the bank came to Cody to make good on some of the loans, he claimed financial hardship.
With his contract? It's in its last year, and negotiations for a new one haven't been going well.
Stress fracture.
According to his medical records, the doctor put a pin in his right foot.
But there's also something else on the record.
He was in a drug program.
He rehabbed while he was out with the foot injury.
That's how he and the team kept if from the league.
Drug use by a star player isn't exactly the type of PR the team's looking for.
So you didn't report it? Well, we have to work closely with the Player's Association, and the rules allowing us to demand a drug test are very specific.
Without absolute proof, the union won't let us near their people.
So why did Cody agree to a drug program if you couldn't prove he was using? Well, A, if he didn't participate, we would have gone to the league.
And B, we showed him reports about the people he was hanging out with.
People we considered to be less than, uh, savory characters.
Henry Williams.
After his foot surgery, the GM told him that if he didn't rehab, he'd be a salary cap casualty next season.
These people were throwing, uh, late night parties, providing hookers.
Then we got word about a banger named Marcus Cole.
When he showed up, we really got scared.
Scared of what? That's his sheet.
Twelve years for homicide.
Six for drug possession.
Currently on parole.
Certainly be my first choice for an invite to a party.
Maybe not enough for a conviction, but certainly enough for a conversation.
(BASKETBALL GAME PLAYING ON TV) He's in the living room.
What you watching, Marcus? Don't get up on our account.
Come on.
Hey, what's all this about, huh? We're from the Neilsen ratings.
Look, man, I don't know nothing about nothing.
See, we already know that.
'Cause if you did know anything about anything, you'd know not to keep a semi-automatic .
45 caliber pistol in a shoe box under your bed.
My office is running the gun through ballistics as we speak.
Now, this is just a wild guess, but we think that's the gun that was used to murder Dena Meredith.
Now, see, y'all ain't got no probable cause to be searching my stuff like that.
That's poison from the fruit tree.
Remember Sing Sing, Mr.
Cole? Specifically the day you got out? That's your signature on a release form consenting to searches of your person and your residence at the request of your parole officer.
And guess who me and my partner spoke to before we dropped by.
Game's over, Mr.
Cole.
And once that ballistic report comes in, I don't need you anymore.
It's as simple as that.
(SIGHS) So what you gonna do for me, huh? I mean, it's four letters no matter how you look at it.
There's a difference between life and life with no possibility of parole.
In another 25 years, don't you at least want the chance to sign a piece of paper like that? Twenty.
It depends on how good the information is.
Oh, it's good.
It's real good.
According to Cole, the murder was orchestrated by Chris Cody.
Why, in God's name? Claims not to know.
What he will say is, that he was approached by Henry Williams and paid $18,000 on Cody's behalf.
Do we have any corroboration? There was an $18,000 withdrawal from one of Cody's bank accounts two days before the murder.
Let's bring him in.
I've already telephoned his lawyer and the team's general counsel to arrange a surrender.
Good.
I'd like him processed with as little fanfare as possible.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) I just spoke to the team's practice facility.
Cody didn't show up this morning.
Briscoe and Green are checking his apartment.
LEWIN: Notify the airlines.
They're already on it.
(SIGHS) So much for lack of fanfare.
The morning doorman at his building saw him leave around 6:30.
The police checked with the garage where Cody keeps his cars.
He ordered his Jaguar around the same time.
The attendant saw him get in and drive away.
They put out his plates, make and model.
I'm asking for your cooperation, Mr.
Garnett.
I can't vouch for his safety if he doesn't peaceably surrender to authorities.
I told you, I spoke with him last night.
Now, obviously, I can't divulge the substance of our discussions, but he seemed fine.
And you have no idea where he'd go? None.
I'm telling you that as an officer of the court.
I have Yes, I'm here.
Mmm-hmm.
Mmm, okay.
All right, thanks.
He's at his mother's house.
Well, uh, at least I think so.
He picked up a girlfriend, a Charlene Bettie, at her home in Brooklyn around 7:30 this morning.
Where's his mother live? Riverdale.
Is he still inside? Yeah.
Two of my men knocked on the door.
Saw an upstairs window curtain move, then nothing.
Couple of minutes later, we heard woman scream.
We were about to go in, when she came out.
Charlene? Yeah.
What happened? (SOBBING) He's just He's freaking out.
I thought we were going for a ride in the country or something.
But then he drove here.
The cops showed up, and he ED: It's okay.
Do you know where he is in the house? In the upstairs bedroom, I think.
Or at least he was And he's got a gun.
I think he's going to kill himself.
I really do.
Thanks.
It's gonna be okay.
Has anybody tried to contact him? Yeah, I tried to call him.
He didn't pick up.
Neighbor says his mother's down south.
All right, look, we don't want to step on anybody's toes here, but we know this guy.
You mind if we try to start a conversation? Hey, if you're volunteering, I'm all for happy endings.
Now, come on, I'll take you inside.
ED: Chris? Chris? It's Detectives Green and Briscoe.
You remember us? CHRIS: Don't come up here.
You all right, Chris? Hey, Chris, we're coming up to talk, all right? CHRIS: I said don't! Just to talk, that's all.
Chris? Chris You okay? (SOBBING) Stay away from me.
Easy, easy.
I never meant for any of it to happen.
We know you didn't.
Just put the gun down, Chris, and nobody'll get hurt.
Has anybody talked to Henry? 'Cause he can set this straight.
We can do that, man.
We can talk to Henry.
But first, we gotta take care of this.
Look, you don't understand, man.
I gotta set this straight! I gotta! I tried I tried to tell her.
Don't! Don't! Don't do that, Chris.
You got a lot of people cheering for you every night.
You got a lot of fans out there.
You don't want to go out like this.
Think about the kids, Chris.
The ones who wear your number.
(SIGHING) All right.
I'm sorry, man.
My client wants to set the record straight.
He had a chance once before.
He knows that.
I won't promise anything.
Have you talked to Henry? JACK: He's being produced for arraignment.
He hasn't been interviewed yet.
Look, this is hard, man.
Henry and me He owed some people money.
Money for what? Drugs.
Now, I don't know their names, but they fronted him for some coke.
And I was supposed to give him the money, only I couldn't.
Dena said the bank wouldn't give me any more loans.
What about your cars? Your co-op? Look, it's all borrowed.
Borrowed time, my mom said.
Look, anyway, Henry didn't believe me.
He thought I was trying to back out on the deal.
So he said he would make Dena give him the loan.
Marcus Cole says it was you who wanted Dena Meredith killed.
I had no reason to kill Dena.
Unless it was to silence her about the drug money.
$18,000 was withdrawn from your account two days before her murder.
Henry said the dealers would wait for the rest of their money if he could give them the 18 grand, so that's what I did.
But that's all I did.
You believe him? Who knows? The drug dealers have no names, and Dena Meredith certainly isn't around to help us figure it all out.
Briscoe and Green talked to Williams.
He had nothing to say.
That was before his best friend sold him down the river.
I already told you, I ain't got nothing to say.
That's too bad, because Marcus Cole and Chris Cody have a lot to say.
Cody claims that you killed Dena Meredith over some drug money.
I assume this is all off the record? Chris is my brother.
JACK: He rolled on you, Mr.
Williams.
He said he refused to give you money you needed to pay off a drug buy.
That's a lie.
We also have a witness that puts you with Cole and Dena just hours before her death.
Are you being straight with me? Chris told you that this was about me and some drugs? He's letting you take the fall.
He's counting on a jury not believing a word you say.
Chris wouldn't do that.
He already has.
Damn.
Chris, he's got no kind of character, man.
All he could ever do was play ball.
If I, um If I tell you the truth, what happens? Twenty-to-life, same as Cole.
And Chris, he He gonna be up in there with me? You'll be waving goodbye to him when you get out.
This ain't got nothing to do with no drugs.
Chris is the father of that girl's baby.
According to Williams, Cody didn't want to pay child support.
Professional athlete making millions.
In his mind, murder was a viable option.
It's all part of the Chris Cody entitlement program.
He's gotten by on talent his whole life.
As long as he performed on the court, he always had people ready to clean up his mess.
Now, I don't think the responsibility for this rests entirely on his shoulders.
I think that's exactly where it belongs.
You know, the fact is, a ghetto kid turned pro sells tickets.
The thug life image, that's what gets him on ESPN, that's what gets him his endorsements.
So So we encourage it as a society, and then clobber him when it spills off the court.
A big part of sports is entertainment.
An athlete forgets his image is just that, an image.
The fault's his, not society's.
What about these loans? Obviously for drugs.
Had nothing to do with the murder.
You can prove the baby's his? JACK: Miles Hawthorne has agreed to cooperate.
We'll confirm paternity with a DNA test as soon as he comes in.
Chris Cody hired me to kill her.
Why? Chris said she was pregnant with his baby.
See, she called Chris up the day before, said she needed to talk to him about the kid.
I guess to make arrangements, being that the due date was near and all.
That's why he wanted me to kill her that night.
He said she was gonna run back and tell her family about the baby and what not, and by then it'd be too late.
JACK: Too late for what? He'd have to pay.
I mean, he already had that one kid down in Florida.
Said he wasn't gonna pay for two.
And you agreed to kill her? At first, you know, I just kind of laughed.
'Cause it's like, I know Chris.
Known him since we was little kids.
Chris has never really been the type to be down for no real gangster stuff.
I mean, he could play the part and all of that, but deep down inside, I didn't think he had it in him.
But he did.
He sure did.
Nothing further.
(CLEARING THROAT) You're a convicted drug dealer facing a murder charge? That's right.
And you were offered a plea bargain in order to secure your testimony today? Twenty-to-life.
You must've had something pretty important they wanted, huh, Henry? Say, like a pro basketball player.
Objection.
Sustained.
That money Chris gave you, that 18,000, that wasn't the only money he ever gave you, was it? He'd given you money before to buy drugs.
That's right.
Only this time, this last time, he said no, didn't he? I don't know what you're talking about.
Well, he cut you off, Mr.
Williams.
Only you still owed money.
Money for drugs you'd been fronted, isn't that right? You killed this woman because my client wouldn't give you any more money, isn't that right? We killed her because Chris asked me to.
You were the shooter? Yeah, that's right.
How much were you paid? Eighteen thousand.
How was the murder committed? Henry set it up for her to come to this bar downtown.
When she got there, she got in her car with me, we followed Henry to where we told her Chris was gonna be at.
Where was that? This street up in the Heights.
When we got there, I put a gun to her head, told her to get in the trunk.
Drove to this parking lot, opened the trunk up, put a cap in her, went to where Chris was at and told him it was done.
JACK: Where was Chris Cody? Party at a hotel.
What was his reaction when he was told? Well, he was cool with it.
(CLEARING THROAT) Did you ever, uh, talk with Chris Cody about killing Dena Meredith? I can't remember.
Well, isn't it true that you never personally spoke with Chris Cody? That all your information concerning this murder came from Henry Williams? The 18 grand came from Chris.
But it was Henry who gave it to you.
Henry's his boy.
All right, now when you said before that Chris was, uh, "Cool with it," with the murder Were you present when he said that? Look, we was all at the party.
Henry came up to me and told me everything was cool.
Oh.
Nothing further.
I first met Dena a couple of years ago, at the bank.
I went in with Henry about a loan.
And eventually you had an intimate relationship.
Yes.
Did you know you were the father of her baby, Chris? At the time? No.
I did not.
I mean, of course, I knew she was pregnant, but she was about to marry another man.
So, no, I had no idea.
Now, what about what Henry Williams told this jury? CHRIS: Henry and I go way back.
I've always helped him out, which is why this is so hard, what he's trying to do to me.
Maybe everyone was right.
Maybe if I hadn't have bailed him out all this time, maybe if I had made him take responsibility for I don't know.
Did you have anything to do with the death of Dena Meredith? Absolutely not.
You're upset Mr.
Williams isn't taking responsibility for you, isn't that really it? CHRIS: No.
The way people have always taken responsibility for you? I've taken care of myself.
Have you? In college, didn't you get your coach to bail you out, when your grades threatened your basketball eligibility? That was different.
And when you went into drug rehab, you had your team cover that up for you, didn't you? Object to the form of the question.
"Cover up"? Rephrase, Mr.
McCoy.
You had your team keep your drug use out of the public eye, isn't that right? They didn't want people to know any more than I did.
And that's exactly what you've always counted on, isn't it? That your athletic ability would make people look the other way.
I don't use people.
Didn't you use Dena Meredith? Didn't you use her to give you money? Money that you knew would be used to buy drugs? She was getting her bonuses.
So using her was okay, then? Now, if you knew you hadn't done wrong, why did you lie to two detectives when you were asked about knowing Dena Meredith? That was a mistake.
JACK: And what you said when you surrendered at your mother's house, was that another mistake? I don't know what you're talking about.
You told Detective Green that you tried to tell her.
Tried to tell her what, Mr.
Cody? That you didn't want this baby, isn't that it? I tried to warn her.
Warn her? About what? You've already testified you didn't know what Henry was going to do.
You knew you were the father, and when she came to you, you did what you've done your whole life.
You took care of yourself.
GARNETT: Objection.
Ls there a question here, Your Honor? Were these people using you, or were you using them? Mr.
McCoy can paint whatever picture he wants of Chris Cody, but the truth is, he can't prove any of it.
The only evidence against Chris Cody is the testimony, the word of two convicted drug dealers.
One who admittedly had dealings with the victim, and the other, who never personally spoke with Mr.
Cody.
The simple fact is, Chris Cody never knew he was the father of this child.
And if he never knew, he had no motive for killing Dena Meredith.
This man rose from nothing to become a respected person in his community.
A champion for this city.
He spent his own money in his old neighborhood, never forgotten where he came from, never forgotten who he was.
Don't you forget him now.
Don't you let these people trade on his celebrity in order to steal his liberty and his good name.
He pulled himself up out of hell with his own hands.
Don't you dare let them pull him back down with theirs.
"Pulled himself out of hell with his own hands.
" More like he stepped on others in his climb to the top.
Listen to his self-serving story, and ask yourselves if it makes any sense.
He claims he didn't know he was the father of this child.
Says Dena Meredith never told him.
Yet somehow Henry Williams knew.
He claims he had no motive to kill.
But he had the same motive to kill that he attributes to Henry Williams.
Silencing a witness who could implicate him in drug trafficking.
And he had a second motive all his own.
To avoid paying child support.
This is no champion, ladies and gentlemen.
This is no favorite son.
This is a man who got by on his talent, had others willing to look the other way because of it, had others willing to do his bidding in order to profit from it.
A child taken from its dying mother's womb, will have to struggle to survive without her.
Dena Meredith's mother will have to make it without her daughter.
It's time to stop cheering for this man, and for his ability to play ball.
It's time to stop fretting over the opportunities supposedly lost to him, and time to start thinking about the opportunities and the lives stolen by him.
JUDGE: Mr.
Foreman, I understand the jury's reached a verdict.
We have.
On the first count of the indictment, charging murder in the first degree, we find the defendant, Christopher Cody, guilty, Life without parole.
He won't be able to play his way out of that.
What do we hear about the child? Doing fine.
A man murders the mother of his baby to avoid child support and winds up paying for the rest of his life.
Losing season all the way around.