Law & Order (1990) s12e03 Episode Script

For Love or Money

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.
This is definitely the right quadrant.
I think.
No, wait.
I thought you said your dad's car was black.
That was black.
That was green.
Hey, is yours kicking in yet? Oh, everything's very bright right now.
Dude, this one is blue.
No, it's not.
Yeah, it is.
Very, very dark blue.
Whoa! Talk about a total buzzkill.
BRISCOE: How long's he been here? M.
says based on lividity and body temp, three or four hours.
Caught one in the head and one in the chest.
I guess the head shot was the finishing touch.
What's in the wallet? Money's still here.
This guy's got a driver's license for every day of the week.
Sahl, Gordon Sanders, Daryl Jefferson.
" Matching credit cards.
What do you know, a pro.
Well, with any luck we'll get a quick hit off the prints and find out which alias is his real name.
I want you to get a hold of the manager.
We want the records of every monthly, yearly, the works.
And then run down the registrations of any car that's not accounted for.
That's disturbing.
I don't know.
We've seen worse.
No, that.
$378 plus tax a month? Like I always say, parking in this city'll kill you.
BRISCOE: His real name's Ronald Buck.
He did a deuce at Sing Sing.
Got paroled six months ago.
What's his sheet like? Couple of drug possessions, burglary, assault, tampering.
His last stint was for breaking into an ATM on Halloween.
Disguised as an upstanding citizen, no doubt.
Anyone on duty at the parking lot? It's self-serve after 8:00.
No witnesses.
And none of the cars on the lot were his.
So, we know what he was doing there? Might've been trying to boost a ride and got caught.
All right, talk to his parole officer.
Let's find out what Mr.
Buck's been up to since he got out.
Well, to be honest with you, Buck only showed up once since his release.
I don't exactly know where he is right now.
He's an absconder? We didn't see anything about a warrant in his file.
I didn't write him up.
Well, maybe we should write you up.
(SIGHING) Look, he told me he was going to stay at his sister's till he got on his feet.
Well, did you get her name and address, or was that too much trouble for you? Angela McDowell.
Lives in Queens.
Ronnie moved out three months ago.
Any idea where? (CRYING) I haven't heard from him since he left.
Ange, what's going on? (CRYING) Ronnie's dead.
Don't be like that.
Uh, this is my husband, Tom.
You guys cops? Homicide detectives.
Homicide, huh? So what happened? Your brother-in-law was found shot in a parking lot off the West Side Highway.
So, what did he do, mouth off to the wrong guy? Did he have a habit of doing that? Ronnie had an attitude problem.
Just 'cause you never got along with him.
Nobody got along with your brother.
We just need to know the last time either of you saw him.
That'd be when I kicked him the hell out of my house, after I got him the job.
The job? Where? Workers' Warehouse in the city, over on Lafayette.
Where's my brother now? ED: City morgue.
Is there, like, a number or something? I want to claim his body.
I gotta pay for the funeral, too.
Ronnie only showed up for work two days, and they weren't consecutive.
Did he quit or did you fire him? (LAUGHS) I wouldn't have fired that guy.
Why is that? First day on the job, this, uh, big dude comes around asking for Ronnie, right? Two of them have words, somebody throws a punch it gets ugly fast.
Anybody get hurt? The big guy.
You know what the fight was about? I gathered Ronnie owed this guy's boss.
He say what for? They didn't get into details before they started dancing.
Maybe Ronnie fell behind on his vig to some shylock.
You wouldn't happen to get this big guy's name, did you? Nah.
But I heard him tell Ronnie he ain't welcome at Donohue's no more.
Donohue's on Not loan sharks, bookies.
Some big-time bookmaking up in here.
You can smell it.
All I smell is beer and its by-products.
Excuse me.
Get you something? Yeah, man, I'm looking for some action.
This guy told me you could hook me up.
I don't place the face.
Rack your memory.
Ronnie Buck.
So? You tell me.
He likes to place the odd bet.
Hoops and ponies.
Strictly recreational.
Hey, that goes without saying.
Who runs his book? You know I can't tell you that.
Hey, you don't have to.
I'll just go get a warrant and a squad.
We'll come back here and we'll turn this place upside down.
Who know what we'll find.
Here's the guy you're looking for.
I don't know nothing about Ronnie.
I ain't seen him lately.
He probably took his business elsewhere.
FREDDY: I never heard of Ronnie Buck.
Workers' Warehouse ring a bell? Never heard of it.
Witness says that you were there to pick up some money that Ronnie owed you, and a fight broke out.
We heard he cleaned your clock.
Never happened.
Just like the gun we found in your jacket.
That never happened either, right? (SIGHING) In my jacket? It's The Sopranos.
Makes 'em think they can get away with anything.
You're looking at a nickel on the gun, Freddy, so why don't you do yourself some good here? Help yourself out.
My beef with Ronnie, water under the bridge, okay? Guy settled up.
Paid eight grand cash on the barrelhead.
Ask anybody.
BRISCOE: I don't suppose you got a receipt.
I didn't whack the guy, all right.
He was a steady customer.
We just had to keep him in line from time to time.
ED: You got an alibi for last night? Yeah.
Penélope Cruz.
Penélope Cruz? Yeah, I was home sleeping.
She was in my dreams.
(SIGHING) Hold that thought.
Ballistics just came back.
The gun that killed Buck was a .
22 Smith & Wesson.
Well, that clears the weapon we found on Freddy here.
Well, I'm sure he has plenty of others.
What's his alibi? Home sleeping.
You find anything else on him? Just some cash, betting slips, and a couple of OTB stubs.
We still like him or not? Well, he claims that Ronnie and he were square.
But Ronnie did beat him up pretty good, in public.
Well, hold him on the gun charge.
And check with OCCB.
See what else they can give us on our friend Freddy.
Freddy Gallo.
Runs book in Hell's Kitchen for Johnny Robisi.
I thought the Robisis were Jersey-based.
Been encroaching on Manhattan ever since Frank Polito went to jail.
Frankie Threads? Isn't he doing 30 years? Yeah.
But that doesn't keep him from resenting Robisi's bad manners.
About six months ago Polito put out the word to start downsizing Robisi's clientèle.
Literally killing off the competition.
Great business plan.
It's working.
Four hits this year already.
Robisi's feeling the heat.
Word's getting around.
His customers are going elsewhere.
I would.
So, if Ronnie was a Robisi customer Maybe Polito had his ticket punched.
POLITO: Come on, there's no way I'm good for this.
We know about your turf war with the Robisis.
About the hits on their clientèle.
Maybe Ronnie Buck was next on the list.
Ronnie Buck was a bug not worth my time.
And besides, the Feds monitor all my calls, read my e-mail and videotape my visitors.
You're breaking our heart, Frankie.
The family's under new management, all right.
I ain't calling the shots no more.
Thirty-year stretch, I can't blame 'em.
Let me run this by you though.
My grandson just started eighth grade.
He's having a tough time, you know.
Puberty, it's a delicate age.
These FBI humps following him and his mother around, taking pictures.
So he's got my last name, he's gotta suffer? ED: What's your point? I help you out on this thing, you talk to the FBI.
Get 'em to back off.
I thought you didn't know who was behind this.
I know my share of contract men in the city, how they work and what they leave behind.
Maybe I catch something you missed.
Used to take that stench for granted, you know.
The deal was for Save the nostalgia.
We found him over here.
The shooter put one in his chest This is where it went down? Yeah.
What's the problem? Where's the escape route? What're you gonna do, jump in the river? You've done this before, huh? What else? Not for nothing, but if it was me, first thing I'd look for is a more contained area.
That's your kill zone.
See, this way they gotta come at you to get away.
At that point, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.
Neatness counts, huh? Also, if your bullet goes through his head, it's gonna hit a wall, flatten out like a pancake.
Hard to ID.
So, your professional opinion is what? I can't help you out with a name, fellas.
Nobody I know would ever crack an egg here.
Take a Federal prisoner out for a picnic again, and the two of you will be doing desk duty until you retire.
Hey, the D.
's get expert witnesses all the time.
Then go to law school.
In any event, Buck's murder doesn't look like family business.
Well, if it's not mob-related, what else can it be? ED: Well, everything we know about this dude indicates he was a tough guy.
It's most likely not mugging.
There's no sign of a struggle.
The shots were up close and personal.
He probably knew his assailant and was trying to talk his way out of a situation.
VAN BUREN: What kind of a home life does he have? Not much.
His mother's deceased.
His father's MIA since before he was born.
It's just the sister and the brother-in-law.
Gotta start somewhere.
We barely saw each other the last few years.
Every time I turned around he was back in jail for something.
Did you ever visit him in prison? Not too often.
I couldn't stand to see him like that.
Yeah, prison's depressing, no doubt about it.
What about friends, acquaintances? Ronnie was kind of a loner.
What about prison buddies? He ever mention any names? Not really.
Unless you count the guy who stabbed him.
PRISON GUARD: If he was stabbed, it should be in there.
Here it is.
Estavo Cruz.
He still here? Cruz? Yeah.
He'll be here till the next millennium.
He could have friends on the outside.
Maybe Cruz reached out to finish what he started with Ronnie.
What was the fight about? Contraband.
Doesn't say what.
If it was drugs, it'd be in the report.
Most likely it was cigarettes or food.
Something else Buck wouldn't share.
Care package from home.
Yeah, or maybe a visitor slipped him a few extra smokes.
Well, from what we hear, he wasn't likely to have too many visitors.
Well, that's easy enough to find out.
By number.
Ending 2-8-0.
Nothing for months.
Must've been something he said, huh? Wait, here we go.
Sudden burst of popularity, first week of March.
Hey! We need to talk to you.
What about? What's this? Sign-in sheet from Sing Sing.
You met with your brother-in-law three times a month before he was released.
So? "So?" You gave us the definite impression that you hated his guts.
Angie know about this? Any reason she shouldn't? Ronnie owed me money.
He was always mooching.
I even paid for his lawyer last time he got tapped.
I just went up there to talk to him about it.
How was he gonna pay you back from prison? Before he went away, Ronnie'd been ripping off stores for awhile.
He had the stuff stashed, you know, for when he got out.
I only took what I was owed.
Where's the rest of it? (SHUTTER OPENING) Looks like there's some new stuff here.
Where'd he get all this? After he quit the warehouse, Ronnie and a buddy of his worked at this carpet cleaning business.
They'd take the job, and Ronnie and his friend would case the location.
Then they'd come back a week later and rip 'em off.
What's the name of the company? Victory Carpet Cleaners.
They're in the Bronx.
I'm gonna call a car, have 'em bring this in.
Look, I only took enough to cover what I was owed.
I hadn't heard from Ronnie in almost a month when you guys showed up.
And the guy Ronnie pulled this scam with, what was his name? Paul something.
They were cellmates at Sing Sing.
I had nothing to do with Ronnie getting killed.
No? How's the carpet cleaning business, Paul? Yeah, we hear you're quite the entrepreneur.
I don't know what you're talking about.
We know you and Ronnie did time together and shared a place when you got out.
We also know you and Ronnie worked for that carpet cleaning company.
Only you were cleaning out a lot more than carpets.
Oh, yeah? Says who? Says your signature on the storage space agreement.
And that puts you in possession of stolen property, genius.
ED: You're going back upstate, Paul, unless you start talking about what really happened to Ronnie.
What went down? He get a little greedy? Is that it? PAUL: I had nothing to do with Ronnie getting killed.
The night Ronnie got clipped, I was in the hospital.
I spend one night a week there.
The dialysis defense.
That's a new one.
I'll check with St.
We just got a hit on some of your stolen merchandise from the storage locker.
Serial numbers trace back to an unsolved murder-robbery at an electronics store, July 5th.
Alan Cobin.
This story just keeps getting better, don't it? Well, hold him on the stolen property.
In the meantime, see what you can dig up on this other homicide.
I'll call the 31st, give them a heads-up.
LORRAINE: I don't recognize either of them.
I'm sorry.
Did the store ever use a carpet cleaning company called Victory? Oh, I wouldn't know.
Alan took care of all the store business.
Why? These two men worked for that company.
We think they may have cased the store during the job, and then come back later to rob it.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) Please excuse me.
How'd you find these guys? ED: Green.
They were in possession of property stolen from the store during your father's murder.
Actually, he was my step-father.
But he treated me like his own.
Alan and I were together almost five years.
It's hard to believe he's really gone.
So, are these guys in jail now? The man we think was responsible for your step-father's death was shot and killed earlier this week.
Look, if, uh, anything jars your memory, please give us a call.
I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Okay, I gotta go.
Can you believe this guy's luck? The hospital confirms Kasperski's treatment schedule.
He's in the clear on both murders.
Perfectly good suspect.
I hate when that happens.
MILTON: Alan Cobin? That one's getting cold.
Well, run it down for us.
Millionaire owner of a high-volume electronics store.
Fourth of July weekend, goes in one night to finish some paperwork, surprises somebody helping himself to some free high-end stereo equipment.
It seemed like a straight-up robbery-murder.
One in the face with a .
No leads? What, are you kidding me? Wife put up a $50,000 reward.
Hotline was burning up.
You ever come across this guy? BRISCOE: Ever hear of a place called Victory Carpet Cleaners? Who are they? Couple of employees had a burglar scam going.
You know, casing places and then robbing them later.
Yeah, we checked out the regular maintenance crew.
Mind of we take a look at your files? Yeah, be my guest.
Can you believe what a high-definition TV goes for? Ten grand.
Instead of high-def, they ought to call it outrageously high-def.
Here it is.
Work order for Victory Carpet Cleaners.
Let me see that.
That puts Ronnie in the store a week before the murder.
That's only half of it.
Look who signed the invoice.
Cobin's widow.
Sweet Lorraine.
SERENA: A $7 million estate and no one considered her a suspect before this? Well, the wife was looked at, but all the evidence pointed to a robbery-homicide.
No one made the connection between her and Buck until we noticed her name on the work order.
So, she's the one who let the fox into the henhouse.
Where was she at the time of her husband's murder? Out with friends.
Elizabeth and Andrew Dumas.
They saw a show.
Pretty cool customer.
Footlights of Broadway while hubby takes one in the head.
And three months later, Buck winds up with a bullet in his brain.
Hard to buy as coincidence.
So Mrs.
Cobin hires Buck to hit her husband, and then disposes of Mr.
How did she manage that? We're still running that down.
Buck's partner in the cleaning scam has alibis for both murders, but we think he knows more than he's letting on.
How so? His car was on the list of registrations we ran from the parking lot the night Buck was killed.
Where is he now? Rikers.
We're holding him on stolen property charges.
There were 240 cars at A and N Parking the night Ronnie Buck was killed.
One of them was registered to your client.
Sol loaned Ronnie my car? We can link Ronnie Buck to the robbery of Alan Cobin's store through the stolen property.
Stolen property in your possession.
He has an airtight alibi for that night.
But not for the night he and Mr.
Buck cased the store.
That is the crew assignment for the night Cobin's carpets were supposedly cleaned.
If you look close, you'll see your name there.
JACK: Co-conspirators don't have to be present at a crime scene, Mr.
Which means alibi or not, we can link you to Cobin's homicide.
Can they do that? JACK: We can and we will.
Once that happens, you're looking at life in prison.
And if he cooperates? If his information's good, the charges remain E felonies.
I had nothing to do with anybody getting capped.
Ronnie borrowed my car that night.
He said he had some business to take care of.
What sort of business? Couple of months ago, when we were at the electronics store, I thought we were casing out a regular job.
But only Ronnie tells me he's doing this one solo.
Why? Told me he was getting From who? Some woman.
But you don't know who.
All I know is that the night that Ronnie got killed, he was supposed to be meeting her in the parking lot.
JACK: Why? I don't know.
I guess he was shaking the broad down.
He always was a greedy bastard.
SERENA: So instead of bringing money, she brings a gun.
According to Kasperski.
What about the work order? You'd need more than that to connect Buck and Mrs.
Cobin to her husband's murder.
If she is involved, there's got to be a link to Buck somewhere.
Well Phone records? We already ran IUDs from the Cobins' home, Buck's sister's house and Kasperski's place.
Not a single call between them.
She could have used a middle man.
Dimmick, we know that Lorraine Cobin and Ronald Buck both placed calls to you the week before Alan Cobin's murder.
I'll have to check my records.
I already did.
I also know that you represented Mrs.
Cobin in her matrimonial action, Mr.
Buck in his criminal matters.
It's a general practice.
Please, tell a friend.
What about the calls? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think dispensing legal advice to two legitimate clients constitutes a criminal offense.
Well, it's the timing that concerns me.
Ronnie had a parole problem.
Lorraine was considering purchasing a summer home.
I'm pretty sure they're not the only clients I spoke with that week.
Dimmick, you're the only common link between Lorraine Cobin and Ronnie Buck.
I don't respond well to threats, Ms.
Especially when they're empty.
What about questions in front of a grand jury? How do you respond to those? In this case, I'll invoke so many privileges you'll be on your second face lift by the time I'm through.
I'm surprised he didn't invoke attorney-client privilege the minute you walked in the room.
Well, I guess I have a way with shysters.
LEWIN: It's pretty shrewd, going through a lawyer, hmm? What else do we know about her? She was born Lorraine Strickland, Yonkers in 1959.
Married twice.
She has a 20-year-old daughter, Melissa, who's a junior at Pierce College.
Briscoe and Green spoke to Alan Cobin's sister in Florida.
According to her, Lorraine's sole ambition in life has been attracting wealthy men to support her.
What else did Alan's sister have to say? Just that she felt bad for the daughter.
Lorraine was so busy clawing her way up the social ladder, she apparently never had much time for her.
What do we know about the first husband? NICK: Never thought I'd get married, much less to a woman with a half-grown kid.
Melissa's not yours? Lorraine got pregnant in her twenties.
Guy ran off on her.
Melissa was nine when we got together.
How long were you married? Four years.
What happened? When I met Lorraine, business was booming.
I bought a big Victorian, found a nice school for Melissa.
I thought we were happy.
What changed? Real estate market went south, Lorraine went with it.
You think she was only interested in your money? When the woman you love uses her daughter to make false allegations in court to get a bigger piece of the pie What sort of allegations? Allegations that involved her daughter? They weren't true.
Lorraine had this lawyer, a real bottom-feeder.
Guy named Dimmick.
He and Lorraine got Melissa to say I was abusive.
But as God as my witness, I never laid a hand on her.
Or Lorraine.
You believe him? My gut reaction, yes.
He also said the first time the abuse came up was when he opposed Lorraine's financial demands in the divorce.
Let's assume it was a fabrication.
It was a successful strategy.
Why not use another trumped up charge against Cobin? Why kill him instead? Pre-nup.
Lorraine was limited to one hundred grand for every year of marriage.
Small change compared to seven million.
I also did some digging in her financials.
Look at this wire transfer.
$50,000 to Elizabeth Dumas.
The woman Lorraine was with the night her husband was murdered.
We were at their house having coffee when Lorraine found out about Alan.
It was horrible.
Dumas, Mrs.
Cobin wired $50,000 to your account a few weeks after Mr.
Cobin's death.
A loan for our restaurant.
The recession hit us hard.
Do you have a promissory note? Any sort of contract? Lorraine and I are close friends.
She never asked me to sign anything.
What is this about? Do you know a man named Ronald Buck? No, I don't.
Why are you asking me these questions? You've never seen this man before? No.
I just told you, I hadn't Mrs.
Dumas? Actually, I have seen him.
Where? Look, I don't want to cause any trouble for Lorraine.
And I assume you don't want to cause any trouble for yourself.
It's nothing really.
We were playing tennis one day over at the piers.
Afterwards, I went to get the car.
When I came back, she was talking to this man.
What about? I don't know.
I was in the car.
But when she got in, she seemed very upset.
I asked her if everything was all right, and she just said he was some business associate of Alan's.
That's it.
This is ridiculous.
I have done nothing but cooperate with the police.
And tell a few fibs.
MELISSA: My mom's not a liar.
Honey, maybe you shouldn't be here.
No, I want to be here.
BRISCOE: Any luck? Luck with what? Oh, a .
22 caliber Smith &Wesson.
You happen to remember where you hid it, Mrs.
Cobin? Help us a lot if you did.
I don't own a gun.
We've never had a gun in this house.
Lennie Found this under the front seat of her car.
Oh, a parking stub from A and N.
The lot where Ronnie Buck was killed.
You didn't find that in my car, you put it there.
I knew these fake parking stubs would come in handy someday.
Lorraine Cobin, you're under arrest for the murder of Ronnie Buck.
Whoa, this is a mistake.
Honey, it'll be okay.
Tell them this is a mistake.
Melissa, it will be fine.
Okay, listen, just call Ray Dimmick and tell him I need a lawyer right away.
My client forgot to mention a work order for a carpet cleaning company.
Her husband had been murdered, for God's sake.
JACK: She also said she'd never met Ronald Buck.
We have a witness who puts them together arguing.
I can explain that.
As I understand it, your witness was 20 feet away in a car at the time.
SERENA: We also have the parking stub.
Dated a month before Buck was killed.
I can explain that to a jury half a dozen ways.
And I'll explain it this way.
Buck was blackmailing your client, and she was making the payoffs in the parking lot.
Except for the last time, when she decided enough was enough.
My client has an alibi for the night Buck was killed.
She was with her daughter at the apartment all night long.
Can anyone else verify that? A daughter's alibi won't carry much weight with a jury.
Uh, we ate dinner, we watched TV, we went to bed.
You live on campus, don't you? Yeah.
I needed to do laundry at my mom's house.
And I slept over.
Melissa, you're going to have to testify under oath.
Do you understand what that means? Well, I'm not an idiot.
If you're lying, you could be charged with perjury.
And what about you? What do you get charged with for ruining my mother's life? If she's guilty, your mother brought this on herself.
You know, you wouldn't say that if you ever saw her around Alan.
I mean, her whole life revolved around him.
And she loved him.
She loved Nick Clauson, too.
No witnesses, no murder weapon, and no money trail.
We have a widow who stood to gain $7 million from her husband's death.
We have a work order that she signed and lied about, that places the hit man at her husband's store, and the murder of that hit man only three months later.
And we also know from Kasperski that the person who hired Buck was a woman.
Can't all be coincidences, Nora.
It still sounds to me like you're half a story short in each case.
You've got murder without a motive and motive without a murder.
I'm preparing a motion to consolidate both homicides.
Tie them together.
Two murders, one trial.
Just enough evidence to go around? And only a daughter's alibi to disprove it.
You better nail down her timeline.
Break the alibi.
SERENA: How long have you guys been roommates? Suitemates.
Since sophomore year.
What can you tell me about Melissa's relationship with her mother? I guess they're really tight.
You're not so sure? Sometimes it just seems a little one-sided, that's all.
Like Melissa makes all the effort, you know.
In what ways? Like during Christmas break.
Melissa was the only one with parents in the area who stayed in the dorm.
Her mother was off skiing.
What about that night that we talked about? I told you on the phone, Melissa left around seven.
Didn't come home till breakfast.
Was that unusual? She isn't exactly a party animal, if that's what you mean.
No, I meant her taking her laundry there and spending the night at her mother's.
What do you mean her laundry? So, I made a mistake about the laundry.
It's been a rough time, with my step-father and everything.
JACK: It's not just a mistake.
It's tied to an official statement you gave to Ms.
Southerlyn about why you went over to your mother's apartment that night.
MELISSA: I was there.
The doorman saw me leave in the morning.
Only you weren't with your mother the whole time, were you? SERENA: Look, we understand.
She's your mother.
You want to protect her.
But we know you're lying, Melissa.
JACK: How much do you think it's going to help your mother if you tell this story about an alibi, and I rip it apart in front of the jury? It's called perjury.
When that happens, not only does your mother go away, you go with her.
She's using you.
Just like she did with Nick Clauson, Melissa.
You don't know my mother.
She's not like that.
She's just had a tough life.
I went out shopping.
When I came back, she was home.
Do you understand? She was home.
When was that? If you were counting on your daughter to bail you out, you can forget it.
She admitted the night Ronald Buck was killed she went shopping.
She didn't get back to the apartment until sometime after 11:30.
Leaving your client plenty of time to commit the murder.
There won't be any alibi, Mrs.
AXTELL: ls there a deal on the table? No.
No deal.
We're prepared to go as low as eight and a third-to-25.
Lorraine? I said no.
You could get murder one if this goes to trial.
I did not commit murder.
AXTELL: Maybe we should take some time to think about this.
There's nothing to think about.
I will not plead guilty.
I brought this along just in case.
A motion to dismiss the charges arising out of Alan Cobin's murder.
The People's case in the Cobin murder rests on a statement allegedly made by Mr.
Buck to his former cell-mate.
No, Paul Kasperski participated with Buck in casing out the store a week before Cobin's murder.
Yeah, but unfortunately Mr.
Buck is not around to confirm or deny that statement or anything else, for that matter.
And if I allow Mr.
Kasperski to testify, your client can't cross-examine her accuser.
The only reason she can't is because she murdered him.
AXTELL: Last time I checked, she had not been tried or convicted of Buck's murder.
If Kasperski testifies, I got a built-in Sixth Amendment issue on appeal.
Your Honor can't seriously entertain the notion that a defendant can benefit in one murder by killing the witness, by committing another.
I didn't draft the Constitution, Mr.
No, but you can interpret it.
These two cases are inextricably linked.
What's the good of proving that the defendant had an opportunity to kill Buck if I can't show the jury why? You raise a good point.
Your Honor, any mention of the Cobin murder would prejudice the jury irreparably.
Which is why I won't allow these two homicides to be tried together.
Your Honor However, what I will do is allow the People to present evidence of Alan Cobin's murder, only in so far as it pertains to motive in the murder of Ronald Buck.
(SIGHING) Ooh, I always know I'm right when neither party's happy.
We were cleaning carpets at Super Al's electronics store on 26th and Broadway.
Me and Ronnie Buck.
At that time what, if anything, did Ronald Buck say to you about a murder for hire? He told me he was getting ten grand to kill the owner.
JACK: Did Mr.
Buck say who hired him? He said it was a woman.
I thought maybe it was, uh, you know, a wife, a girlfriend.
AXTELL: Objection.
Jury will disregard.
JACK: Did that subject arise again in a later conversation? Yeah, a month or so later we were having a couple of beers, and, uh, Ronnie told me that he was having trouble with her.
What kind of trouble? He was shaking her down for more money, and she was getting tired of it.
No further questions.
Kasperski, did Ronnie Buck ever tell you Lorraine Cobin hired him? PAUL: No.
Just some woman.
Right, that's what he said.
A broad.
And when he said he was having trouble with her, did he mention a name then? No.
Oh, by the way, did you ever go to the police with any of this information, Mr.
Kasperski? No.
Not till they offered you a deal.
JACK: Could you describe the relationship between Mrs.
Cobin and her husband? They had their good days and their bad days, like any other marriage.
They were both committed to making it work.
Dumas, do you know the man in this photo, Ronald Buck? His hair was a little longer, but that is the man I saw arguing with Lorraine the day we played tennis.
Nothing further.
When you say you saw Mrs.
Cobin arguing with this man, you didn't actually hear what was being said, did you? ELIZABETH: No.
And when she got back in the car, she told you the man and Alan Cobin had some business disagreement.
Isn't that also true? That's what she said, yes.
Now, on July 18th Lorraine Cobin loaned you $50,000 for your restaurant? That's right.
Why didn't you go to the bank? The bank would not loan us the money.
Because your husband had recently declared bankruptcy, isn't that right? Yes.
In fact, your husband has a history of bankruptcies.
One in 1987 and another in 1994, which also resulted in a fraud conviction, correct? Objection.
I'll allow it, subject to connection.
That's a sizable debt, Mrs.
Isn't that why you're here testifying? I don't understand.
Didn't your husband tell you that if Lorraine Cobin were convicted of this crime that debt would disappear? Absolutely not.
JACK: Objection.
JUDGE: Sustained.
Have you paid any of this money back, Mrs.
Dumas? No.
I was waiting on the sidewalk for Elizabeth, when this man came up and started yelling at me.
Ronald Buck.
I never knew his name.
I'd never seen him before.
You say he was yelling at you? He was saying something about him and Alan having some sort of business arrangement, and that Alan owed him money.
I told him that I didn't know anything about it.
Then, thank God, Elizabeth drove up, and I just got in the car.
I never saw him again.
Showing you what's marked as People's Five in evidence.
A work order for Victory Carpet Cleaners.
Is that your signature? It looks like it, yes.
AXTELL: Yet you told the police you were not involved in the day-to-day business of your husband's store.
I wasn't.
It was near the Fourth of July and Alan was doing inventory day and night.
He was so tired, and he asked me if I would help him out a little.
I guess I just didn't remember.
Cobin, did you hire Ronald Buck to murder your husband in order to inherit his money? No.
Alan and I had a wonderful life.
I admit money was part of it.
We'd grown up poor, so we both appreciated the comforts it afforded us.
But I loved Alan, not his money.
And I would never do anything to hurt him.
Nothing further.
Your love didn't prevent your husband from asking you to sign a pre-nup, did it? A lot of second marriages have pre-nuptial agreements.
Only yours limited you to $100,000 a year.
A far cry from seven million.
That didn't concern me.
It never concerned you because you knew that the death of your husband would put that money into your hands.
That's why you had to act when Ronald Buck threatened you.
You saw that money slipping away.
That's not true.
Over 150 invoices, Mrs.
Cobin, and your name appears on only one of them.
The one that put Ronald Buck in your husband's store.
I told you about that already.
That you forgot.
What about the parking stub found in your car? I've never been in that parking lot.
And certainly not the night of Ronald Buck's murder, because you were with your daughter all that night.
Isn't that what you told the police? LORRAINE: Yes.
Only that was a lie, wasn't it? I was scared.
I I didn't know what else to do.
And that's what you do when you don't know what to do, isn't it, Mrs.
Cobin? You lie.
$7 million in your hand and only Ronald Buck standing in your way.
That's not what happened.
The work order, the parking stub, the alibi, your argument with Ronald Buck.
One lie after another, and all leading to the truth.
That you hired Ronald Buck to murder your husband, and then killed him to cover it up.
I didn't.
All these lies, Mrs.
What other reason could there be? Nothing further.
JUDGE: Anything, Mr.
Axtell? Mr.
Axtell? What time did Melissa leave the house to go shopping that night, Mrs.
Cobin? Your Honor, I'm going to ask that you instruct the witness to answer my question.
You have to answer, Mrs.
Don't do this.
AXTELL: She left sometime before 8:00, didn't she? Didn't get back till just before 12:00.
ls defense counsel impeaching his own witness? AXTELL: The woman's on trial for her life, Your Honor.
Cobin? Lorraine, what happened that night? Don't you see? I was never there for her when she was growing up.
I was always too busy being a wife.
But she needed me.
I just didn't understand how much.
AXTELL: Melissa wasn't covering for you, was she? You were covering for her.
You're still covering for her.
She came into my room, and she just stood there.
I asked her what was wrong, but she wouldn't answer.
She came over to my bed and she laid down next to me, like she used to do when she was as child, and I put my arm around her and she started to cry.
There was blood.
There were little specks of blood.
I know what she did was wrong, but it wasn't her fault.
Do you understand? Mothers are supposed to be there for their children.
I'm the one you're supposed to find guilty.
Please, just take me.
Madam Foreperson, has the jury reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Will the defendant please rise.
What is your verdict? We the jury in the charge of homicide in the first degree find the defendant not guilty.
Such a beautiful morning, and that's how you dress? What do you expect me to wear? I told you, we're celebrating.
Celebrating what? Just have some champagne and stop pouting.
Doesn't that look scrumptious? Thank you, Josh.
We'll be ready for lunch in a half hour.
JOSH: Yes, ma'am.
All right, why the long face? What's wrong? "What's wrong?" How about the fact that my mother takes the witness stand and basically accuses me of murder? You know if something would've happened, I would have protected you.
Mommy would never have let them put you away.
How could you have killed him? The man was a thug.
Every time I turned around, he was there with his hand out.
I'm not talking about Buck.
I'm talking about Alan.
And I thought you loved him.
Sweetheart, you didn't have to sleep with him.
Let's just drop this whole subject, okay? That part of our lives is over with.
You're wrong.
What are you talking about? Look at the dock, Mother.
You little bitch.
I had a good teacher.
LORRAINE: This is such a colossal waste of time.
Last I checked, I was acquitted.
Double jeopardy prevents me from being tried again.
You were tried for the murder of Ronald Buck, not your husband.
Once they hear that conversation with your daughter, I doubt the jury will buy your act the second time around.
Don't want to hurt that hat.
I thought the black widow spiders were the only ones that killed their mates and ate their young.
Apparently not.