Law & Order (1990) s12e12 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.
BOY: Hey, Dad, look at that.
(HORN BLARING) Can I do it again? Stay here.
Damn homeless.
Hey, fella, get your ass off my street.
What is it? Just be quiet, now.
Dispatch, this is unit 220 in need of immediate assistance.
BRISCOE: Do we know who he is? ID in his wallet said Warren Slater.
Address in Riverdale.
He had his wallet.
Wallet, watch, wedding band.
Guy took a blow to the head, fractured his skull.
ED: We know what was used to hit him? CSU TECH: CSU's checkin' sewers and bushes.
Whatever it was, it was heavy as hell.
Well, from the looks of the blood trail, the poor guy caught it over there and then crawled to his death.
Any idea when this happened? Last seven, eight hours probably.
said they were on their way an hour ago.
Check this out.
BRISCOE: The blood trail starts here.
Okay, so we're gonna need these bottles dusted.
BRISCOE: Especially the ones with beer in 'em.
Looks like somebody had a party.
a guy goes out for a stroll, ends up at his own wake.
ED: Warren Slater, 52, worked at Fairhaven Health Insurance in midtown, lived in Riverdale.
Long way from either one.
Does he have a wife? Riverdale precinct notified her.
Yeah, we're goin' up later to talk to her.
Any word from the M.
? Hadn't gotten there by the time we left.
Well, he certainly wasn't out jogging in a suit and tie.
What are you thinking, this is a drug buy gone bad? The guy had all his valuables.
We did find some empty beer bottles, an abandoned shopping cart.
Latent s goin over 'em now.
Well, was anyone around when you guys got there? The party was over.
Well, see if you can find out what broke it up.
BRISCOE: This receipt from your register? Looks like it.
Why? We're lookin' for a homeless guy, that might have come in here last night.
He usually hangs out in Franklin Park.
SHOPKEEPER: Reggie was in.
Black guy, maybe 40, Wears an army jacket and a New York Knicks ski cap.
What kinda bottles you say they were? Yeah, that's definitely Reggie.
You know where we can find him? He wasn't down by the park? He wasn't there this morning.
You may wanna try over at Saint Agnes on 103rd.
They usually serve breakfast right about now.
Thanks, bro.
How's it goin, man? I know you? Hey, I'm gonna lose my spot! Oh, no, don't worry, pal.
We serve pancakes at our house, too.
Oh, you got syrup? REGGIE: I don't know nothin'.
You mean about the guy that got killed near Franklin Park last night.
I slept by the underpass last night.
You know, that's funny, because we have a witness that says you were in Franklin Park drinkin'.
Yeah, he told us this one's your favorite.
ED: Must be.
Your prints are all over it.
(STAMMERS) Maybe I was down there last night.
Man my age, my memory sometimes fails me.
Your rap sheet says you're 42.
Look, man, I didn't do nothin' wrong.
How come we didn't see you there early this morning? I didn't want no trouble.
Why'd you think you'd be in trouble? 'Cause of the dead guy.
ED: How'd you know he was dead? How'd you know? Yesterday evenin' I went by the ATMs on Broadway, try to make me some money.
Then what? I bought some bottles, had a few by the church, then went back to my spot.
When was this? Mmm, couple hours after I bought the beer.
Was the dead guy there? Not then.
Just some cars comin and goin.
Cable van, taxis.
Bus broke down.
Tow truck woke me.
So, I got up to relieve myself.
That's when I saw him.
Didn't want no trouble, so I split.
If this homeless guy killed Slater, we would have found blood on his clothes.
Yeah, we checked his records.
There's no indication of violence.
No weapons possession.
No psych referrals.
We cut him loose, he's in the wind.
Well, a couple of fines he didn't pay dropped on him when we ran his prints.
We can hold him on those.
So, what did he tell you? Well, the receipt from the bodega says that he bought the 40s at 7:37 p.
He says he went to the park a couple hours later.
No sign of Slater.
And then a tow truck woke him up and that's when he saw the body.
MTA says they towed an M112 with a generator problem around 2:00 a.
So, Slater was probably killed sometime after 9:30 and before 2:00 a.
I think it's time you went up to talk to his wife.
I've been up all night calling friends, hoping somebody might've seen him.
So, you have no idea what your husband was doing on the Upper West Side? No.
Could he have been running errands? Maybe shopping on Broadway? Warren usually left work at 6:00.
He'd take the express bus back here to Riverdale.
We'd have dinner, help our daughter with her homework, maybe watch a little TV.
I'm sorry, we lived normal, boring lives.
Well, when your husband didn't show up on time, where'd you think he was, Mrs.
Slater? Before he left yesterday, he told me that he was going to stay late at work.
But by the time I called, no one answered.
My husband was a very good man.
He coached our daughter's basketball team.
He gave part of his salary to the church.
I mean, who'd do this to him? REEVES: Well, I'm a claims examiner.
Slater was my supervisor.
His wife was under the impression that he was working late last night.
We both left at 6:00.
We took the bus together.
You live in Riverdale? No, the Village.
We were told Mr.
Slater usually took the express bus home.
Well, this was the cross-town bus.
On 23rd.
I was going to the sports center at the Chelsea Piers.
That's the last stop.
So, you saw him get off? Yeah, around 10th Avenue.
Why? Mr.
Slater's body was found near 108th.
Did he say anything about where he as going? I think he might have mentioned he was meeting someone.
ED: Did he mention a name or a place? Once we got on the bus, we couldn't find a seat together.
We didn't talk after that.
So, where the hell was this guy going and how'd he get up to 108th Street? I'm thinkin' another woman.
I mean, it's the only thing worth lyin' to your wife about.
You sound like you been there before.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) I see you finally gave your number out.
(LAUGHS) Yeah, Briscoe.
Yeah, all right.
they just finished up the prelim on Slater.
Cause of death was a single blow to the skull.
Probably with a heavy metal instrument, something rounded with a beveled edge.
Beveled edge? Fracture line was depressed at an angle.
Well, what about the time of death? Between 9:00 and 11:00.
Anything on the tox screen? No.
Nothing other than a slightly elevated blood alcohol level.
One or two glasses of white wine.
Met that special someone for a drink.
Now all we gotta do is find the bar.
Actually, it's an art gallery.
His hand was stamped.
I didn't see a stamp.
No, you wouldn't have.
Not unless you were carryin' a black light.
BRISCOE: Click? Yeah, I had someone track down the address, thought I owed you for how long it took this morning.
Click Gallery.
643 West 24th Street.
It's a block from where he got off the bus.
Yeah, I remember him.
He didn't exactly blend in with the crowd here.
Did he come in with anybody? Not that I saw.
I figured he must be a buyer.
WW do you Say that? He was talking a lot with one of the artists showing last night.
Well, which one? Ellen Brightman.
BRISCOE: (SCOFFS) Television sets? Installation art.
Visual stimuli that force us not just to observe but to interact with art.
Must-see TV.
This, uh, Slater had a stamp on his wrist.
We do that for special events.
What was the special event last night? We were raising money for the 9/11 fund.
Hey, was it open to the public? We had a guest list.
So, Slater's name would have been on it.
Should be.
Yup, looks like Ellen put him down as her guest.
ELLEN: We'd only just met.
BRISCOE: Well, people at the gallery said you two spent most of the evening together.
He came by to see my exhibit.
He told his wife that he'd be in his office working late.
Only you two were havin' a couple of glasses of white wine together.
What are you saying? Mr.
Slater was a happily married man.
ED: I thought you'd only just met.
He hired me to make a surprise video tribute for his wife's 50th birthday.
It's how I support my art.
We met at the gallery, then we came back here so he could see the studio.
BRISCOE: How long was he here? About an hour.
We had a lot of discuss.
He wanted still shots, home movies, interviews with his wife's childhood friends, their daughter.
We even did a practice run of him on camera.
SLATER: Is it recording? ELLEN: Say something to her.
Right now? I didn't know I was gonna say anything.
ELLEN: Just be yourself.
Come on, come on, talk to your wife (STAMMERS) No, I don't have anything prepared.
ELLEN: Just tell her how you feel.
Imagine her with all her friends.
Imagine the big night.
Hi, sweetheart.
Don't be mad.
I know you don't like surprises, but, happy birthday! How's that? ELLEN: That's great.
I know you don't like surprises, but, happy birthday! How's that? ELLEN: That's great.
And she has no idea where he went after that? She offered to call him a car service, but he said he was gonna grab a cab to Grand Central and take Metro-North.
Grand Central? What time was this? Maybe about 9:00, 9:30.
Well, the M.
puts the time of death no later than 11:00 and this homeless guy said he didn't see a body until well after 9:30.
It still doesn't answer how he ended up at west 108th Street.
Maybe he changed his mind.
Decided not to go home.
Or maybe somebody changed it for him.
Look, walk the block with his picture.
See if you can find someone who can tell us where the trail went cold for this man.
So he leaves here, heads over to 10th to grab a cab.
Well, there aren't any shops or anything for him to stop at along the way.
All right.
The next train to Riverdale was a 10:20.
If he told his wife he was workin' late, I doubt he'd want to take a chance to pick up a Danish and coffee.
What about that loadin' dock? Maybe somebody over there saw somethin'.
WORKER: Holiday's are killin' us.
Wholesalers don't get us the shipments 'til 5:00, then we gotta load the trucks, get 'em out by midnight.
Were you guys out here Wednesday night? Uh, Monday through Friday.
Well, we're lookin' for anybody who might've seen this man.
We think he might have been grabbed off the street somewhere along this block.
It would've been like 9:00, 9:30.
He was wearin' a suit and tie.
Uh, beige overcoat.
He could have walked right by here.
If it's this one guy I'm thinkin' about, he didn't walk by here.
ED: So, you saw him? Couldn't tell you if it was him or not.
I was smokin' a cigarette.
I saw this one guy talkin' to some other guy.
Do you remember that guy? Uh, could be him, I don't know.
It was across the street.
ED: Well, what'd the other one look like? Workin' guy, had a ball cap on.
They were both standin' near a van over there.
What kind of van? A cable van.
Reggie did mention a cable van.
The only reason I remember that is 'cause the, uh, well-dressed guy got in on the driver's side.
ED: Thanks, bro.
PILSON: That last appointments at 5:00.
I don't show anybody out in Chelsea at that time or after.
Was there any service interruption in the area? New installations? No, not around there.
I mean, since 9/11 we tabled all the upgrades.
As a matter of fact, we're havin' a hard enough time layin' all the optics downtown.
Well, this witness was pretty sure it was one of your vans.
Any of your guys ever take the vans home for the night? Nah.
they'll go out for a bite or something after work, but they don't take the vans home overnight, no.
Oh, hold on a second.
You know, one of my cable installers reported a van stolen Wednesday night.
Where? Uh, I don't have any information about that.
We need to talk to that installer.
No problem.
BRISCOE: We're sorry to intrude on you're breakfast.
No, no, it's okay.
What can I for you? Mr.
Garcia, we need to ask you a few questions about that van you reported stolen on Wednesday night.
Well, isn't much to tell.
I, uh, finished up a job on 25th and 2nd.
I came down with my gear and the van was gone.
What time was that? I got there sometime around 4:00.
Spent maybe, you know, BRISCOE: So, about 4:30 then? Yeah, yeah, I guess.
Did you happen to notice anybody hangin' around the van when you went up? You know, maybe eyeing it? Mmm, no.
No, I didn't see anyone.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) Oh, excuse me.
That's a lot of trouble for a stolen van.
Well, we think it may be connected to another crime.
Okay, thanks, but tell them not to move it, all right? Lennie, that's Cordova.
We gotta go.
Sorry to bother you and your family.
No, no, it's okay.
We roll up, find these two citizens inside trying to help themselves to some free HBO.
Oh, they say anything? Yeah.
"We ain't doin' nothin'.
" All right.
we're gonna have a little heart-to-heart with these two.
Meantime call operations and have them tow the van to the auto lab.
And don't let anybody touch anything inside or out.
Come on.
OFFICER: You got it, Detectives.
You hear me? They're gonna fry your ass unless you start tellin' me what happened.
What happened with what? Cable vans don't just drive off by themselves.
We didn't steal that van.
So, how'd it get there then? It's just been there, man.
I don't know.
You know, the truth is, that van is the least of your worries.
We got both of you on kidnapping and murder.
You trippin'.
Listen, I'm a homicide detective, bro.
You think I care about a jacked van? Man, all we did was take some cable, that's all, and we's comin' from a shorty's crib, man.
Somebody said somethin about a cable van by the Harlem River.
So, me and my boys came and checked it out.
And then those cops rolled up on us, man.
BRISCOE: Any luck? We just took some cable, man.
WORKER: I don't see him.
BRISCOE: There's no rush take your time.
he was older than these guys, less street, and he had longer hair.
You know, he looked like a workin' guy, not a kid.
Garcia, got a few seconds? I was about to end my shift.
Well, this ain't gonna take long.
This about the van? 'Cause I turned in all the forms.
I gave all the information.
Yeah, well, a few other things just popped up.
We're gonna need you to come with us.
You mean, right now? Why? Is this your tool belt Mr.
Garcia? Yes.
Ed, you know what that is? A beveled edge.
I keep telling you the van got stolen.
Yeah, except for what you're tellin' us ain't addin' up.
Auto says the ignition wasn't popped, and there's no tool marks on the steering column.
Which means whoever took it had the key.
BRISCOE: Only that can't be 'cause we found the key in your coat pocket.
And that hammer that you had that matches up real nice with the murder weapon.
There's thousands of those kind of hammers.
What'd you wash it off, Tony? You think that's gonna help? 'Cause we got chemicals and ultra violet light scans.
The odds are you missed somethin.
So, it'd be better for you all the way around if you tell us before we find out.
BRISCOE: So, d'you get in a beef with this guy Slater or what? Mr.
Garcia's personal effects.
Desk sarge wants to know if he's going or staying? Staying- BRISCOE: You're not helpin' yourself here, Tony.
No matter what happened, you're only makin' it worse.
Hey, Lennie, check this out.
Garcia's health insurance card.
Fairhaven Insurance.
Garcia asked for a lawyer as soon as we found the insurance card.
We confirmed he has a policy with Fairhaven? Through his health plan at work.
Did he know Slater? Well, we haven't gotten that far yet.
But the forensic lab says Garcia's hammer tested positive for human blood.
Well, the sample's too degraded for typing.
Slater's? The lab thinks he might have used some kind of cleaning agent.
Do we have anything on motive? So far, just the connection to the health insurance company Slater worked for.
You guys process Garcia, I'll run it down.
Garcia's covered by one of our group health insurance plans.
What was Mr.
Slater's connection to him? Mr.
Slater was the plan's coordinator.
He coordinated the selection of in-plan providers, coverage issues, things of that nature.
Did he have any direct involvement with Mr.
Garcia? Most communication would've gone through Ms.
She was the Garcia's claims manager.
Did Mr.
Garcia have any problems with his coverage? Uh, as much as we'd like to help, the medical records or conditions of our insured are a matter of strict privilege.
These records are now part of a murder investigation.
I'm sorry, but that doesn't change our obligation to maintain the insured's privacy.
If we can confirm the kidnapping, we're probably looking at murder one.
Well, we might have a problem with that.
Fairhaven won't release his medical records.
Why not? They claim they're protecting the privacy of their insured.
An insured who murdered one of their employees.
Bureaucracy run wild.
The cost of a litigious society.
Get a subpoena.
SERENA: Your Honor, the People's subpoena for medical files is directed at Fairhaven Insurance.
The defendant has no standing here to quash that application.
Judge, it's our position that in seeking these medical records, the People hope to establish a motive for the murder indictment my client is currently charged with.
Why? What's in these medical records? So far, the insurance company's refused to tell us anything.
Because we've found no basis on which to terminate the privilege.
Your Honor, when the defendant enrolled with Fairhaven, he signed a release form allowing the company to share his medical information with anyone the company deemed necessary.
Is that true, Mr.
Margolis? Yes, Your Honor.
Then tell me what the hell we're all doing here? The records that fall within the scope of the subpoena are not Mr.
Whose medical records are they? His daughter's.
What's wrong with her? SERENA: Well, according to her teacher, Courtney Garcia suffers from CML.
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia.
How old is she? Nine.
Why would the insurance company want to keep us in the dark on this? JACK: My guess is once they realized Garcia's legal position, they saw an opportunity to protect themselves.
Well, whatever the issues are involved with Courtney Garcia's care, neither her father nor Fairhaven want them coming out.
What are the issues involved? Well, so far, we don't know.
Garcia's lawyer claims releasing his daughter's medical records violates his right against self-incrimination.
So, Garcia's hiding behind his daughter, and Fairhaven's hiding behind Garcia.
This is one big smokescreen.
Does this child have a mother? SERENA: Yes.
Find her.
Find out what she has to say.
My husband's a good man.
Good father.
I'm sure he is, Mrs.
Garcia, but so far he refuses to tell us anything.
You said you'd read to me.
I will, sweetheart, I'll be right in.
Just give me a few minutes, with this lady, okay? It's okay.
Just get in bed and I'll be right in.
Garcia, we need to know why your husband would have attacked Mr.
His lawyer says you just want information so you can send him to jail.
We can't make any decision about your husband until we understand what happened and why.
My husband's lawyer says that you can't force me to give evidence against him because I'm his wife.
Well, your husband's lawyer is mistaken, and if he does find a judge willing to entertain his motion, we'll be forced to make a motion of our own.
To appoint a guardian to your daughter.
What do you mean a guardian? For what? To ensure that someone's acting in your daughter's best interest.
You can't do that.
If you don't provide us with her medical records, we won't have a choice.
Garcia's consent requires that you produce the complete medical records of her daughter, Courtney.
And the court's subpoena requires that you answer any questions we might have in relation to those records.
The girl has leukemia.
When was she first diagnosed? Six months ago.
And what was Warren Slater's involvement with her case? He was the senior member of a committee which approved treatment.
Were there any problems with Courtney's coverage? Was treatment withheld or denied in any way? We recently authorized marrow transplant.
I'd call that adequate coverage, wouldn't you? We're more concerned with what her father thought.
If you'd like, we could continue these questions in front of a grand jury.
She was initially treated with hydroxyurea to get her white blood cell count down.
Once she was stabilized, we told the Garcias it was time to consider a BMT.
A BMT? A bone marrow transplant.
They opposed it? They got a second opinion.
BMTs are a standard treatment, but they're no panacea.
Success rates with an unrelated matched donor are around 50 to 60%.
Not great odds.
Even worse in this case.
Given the fact that Courtney has no siblings and that she's of Hispanic decent, her chances of finding a compatible donor are very slim.
I also advised the Garcias that if they chose a BMT, the best hospital was here as opposed to Brady Memorial where Fairhaven has a contract.
Brady Memorial's not up to par? Well, they've only been performing BMTs for two years.
So, what treatment did you recommend, Dr.
Friedman? Gleevec? It's a newly approved FDA drug, and early studies show a cure rate of almost 90% for CML.
Explains why Garcia was so anxious to get the treatment.
Why is the insurance company opposed? $2,500 a month, potentially for life.
Well, it's a hell of a lot more than a bone marrow transplant.
If there was criminal conduct here, believe me, I'd be the first one to go after them, but there were medical opinions on both sides.
I'm not talking about going after Fairhaven, I'm talking about what was in this father's mind.
Take a look at the autopsy photos.
Part of our job is to differentiate criminal conduct.
In my mind, there's a huge difference between killing someone over a parking space and killing someone you think just gave your daughter a death sentence.
Let's take murder one off the table.
Offer murder two.
Garcia can make a pitch for leniency in front of the sentencing judge.
Do it.
MARGOLIS: You're still talking about a 15-to-life minimum.
I can't do this.
I don't think you understand, this is a very generous offer.
Your client should be aware that if he declines it, we're prepared to present murder one to the grand jury.
Murder one? When he took Mr.
Slater captive, he committed a kidnapping.
The murder occurred during the commission of an underlying felony.
I can't go to jail.
We're way beyond whether you're going to prison, Mr.
The only question now is whether it's forever.
I did what I did to save my daughter's life.
Courtney won't be here in 15 years.
Probably won't be here in six months.
She needs me now.
You have your answer, counselors.
You also have our defense.
Justification? Taking of life in defense of another.
If it works, he walks out a free man.
It's the only chance I have to be there for my daughter.
Garcia's position is that it was justifiable homicide because Slater was killing his daughter by not giving her the Gleevec.
It's the defense of last resort.
A jury might swallow it if they believe Slater was aware of the drug's promise but opted for a bone marrow transplant instead.
But Garcia would have to show he had a reasonable belief that by killing Slater he would save his daughter.
According to the file, Jack, the original claims manager concurred with the second opinion.
Slater was the one who blocked it.
There's no way one man made this decision.
Even if he did, he can't justify murder.
Let's hope a jury agrees with you.
You know, World Trade Center or not, people today want to hear about cooperation and sacrifice.
They don't want to hear about greed and a corporate bottom line.
Warren Slater was killed for doing nothing more than his job.
But if they portray him as a man who blocked this little girl's last chance of survival, I'm not sure a jury will care.
It's our job to make them care.
RODGERS: The impact was to the rear of Mr.
Slater's skull.
Indicating he'd been attacked from behind.
The force of the blow crushed the skull and penetrated deep into the brain matter.
I'm showing you what has been marked in evidence as People's nine.
Did you draw any conclusion as to whether this hammer was the murder weapon? It was.
Did you find any evidence of defensive wounds? No.
I did not.
And what conclusion did you draw from that fact? That there was no struggle, and that Mr.
Slater probably never even knew what hit him.
We heard testimony that Mr.
Slater denied Courtney Garcia coverage for Gleevec in favor of a bone marrow transplant.
Yes, and it was absolutely the right call.
Why do you say that? Gleevec looks good in the early studies, but no one really knows if it will pan out long term.
That's why we believe a BMT holds the best hope for Courtney's long-term survival.
Was that Mr.
Slater's opinion as well? Warren took his job very seriously.
He believed insurance could save lives, but only if it was applied responsibly.
He thought the provision of Gleevec would be irresponsible then? We've all seen promising drugs come and go.
Warren wouldn't risk the company's future on an unproven product.
That would've been a breach of trust.
So, cost didn't have anything to do with the company's decision? Cost is always part of the equation.
If we covered every treatment or drug on the market, the entire insurance industry would go bankrupt.
Sometimes we have to say no when all people want to hear is yes.
It's difficult, but it's just a fact of life.
In Courtney Garcia's case, it's also a fact of death, isn't it? The decision to deny coverage for Gleevec? JACK: Objection.
JUDGE: Sustained.
Tell me, Ms.
Ames, how much does Gleevec cost to administer, roughly? About $2,500.
That's per month, possibly for life? Yes.
So, figure a life expectancy of about 70 years, that makes it about $2,000,000.
It's a lot more than a bone marrow transplant.
The BMT had long-term studies supporting its effectiveness.
Gleevec didn't.
Ames, the likelihood that Courtney Garcia will find a bone marrow donor is almost nil, isn't that right? There are close to a million people on the national donor registry.
How many of those have been confirmed as a positive match for Courtney Garcia to date? So far, none.
So, you approved a treatment that this little girl has no chance of ever living long enough to receive.
MARGOLIS: Maybe that was the point all along.
All I'm saying is the man's daughter was dying.
That's not something a jury is likely to ignore.
A horrible thing happened to this family.
But since when did a child's illness become the fault of an insurance company? JACK: Slater was in a tough spot, having to decide about an unproven treatment with the possibility of bankrupting health care for everyone else that Fairhaven insures.
So, now companies decide who lives and dies.
You're describing corporate euthanasia.
SERENA: Look, we have the technology today to keep people alive, but just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
LEWIN: She's nine years old, her father thought there was a drug out there that could save her.
JACK: Which is why we took murder one off the table.
But if he's gonna thumb his nose at the criminal justice system, what choice do we have? Maybe it's time we think about offering man one.
(TELEPHONE RINGING) He turned down murder two He doesn't want to do any time.
Yes? Thank you.
The insurance company has reversed their decision.
They're gonna give Courtney Garcia the Gleevec.
Motion to preclude? That's absurd.
If the jury hears about Fairhaven's reversal, they'll think that Garcia was right, that if he killed Warren Slater, his daughter would get approved for Gleevec.
Which is exactly what's happened.
JACK: Who knows why the insurance company changed its decision? Public pressure, negative press.
The point is the defendant couldn't have known about it at the time he killed Mr.
Judge, our whole defense is premised on the notion that in taking Mr.
Slater's life, Mr.
Garcia believed he was saving the life of his child.
Now, why not let a jury have all of the facts so that they can decide if that belief was reasonable.
Because Fairhaven's decision could be completely unrelated to Slater's death.
I agree with Mr.
Evidence of the company's decision could be given undue weight by a jury.
Your Honor That said, I will allow the defense to present evidence regarding Mr.
Garcia's state of mind at the time of the murder.
If this jury wants to decide that the ends justified the means, so be it.
But I'm not giving them a sneak peak.
MARGOLIS: As the claims manager for Courtney Garcia you were reasonable for day-to-day decisions regarding her medical coverage.
That's right.
I still am.
So, when the issue of Gleevec came up, what was your decision? It doesn't work that way.
When a treatment exceeds certain parameters MARGOLIS: Financial parameters.
Then it's my responsibility to present the matter for a committee determination.
And Mr.
Slater was the head of that committee? REEVES: Yes.
You ever speak with the Garcias about the committee's determination on Gleevec? Yes.
What'd you tell them? That it was a close vote.
MARGOLIS: And did you tell Mr.
Garcia that Warren Slater cast the deciding vote? I may have.
And did you also tell Mr.
Garcia of your own vote? I think I just told him that under different circumstances, it c:could've gone the other way.
MARGOLIS: Thank you.
Nothing further.
You never told the defendant that Warren Slater's murder would result in the reversal of the committee's decision? Of course not.
Did you imply it? No.
There were two other votes besides Mr.
Slater's denying the coverage.
And based on your discussion with Mr.
Garcia, he was aware of that.
the witness can't speculate as to Mr.
Garcia's state of mind.
Miss Reeves, did you tell the defendant that three votes had been cast against the Gleevec? Yes.
Nothing further.
TONY: She's our only child.
My wife and I had such a tough time conceiving.
So, when Courtney was born, she was like a miracle for us.
When was she diagnosed? Eight months ago She came home from school complaining she was tired, and we thought, you know, she was probably just run down.
When your kid's nine years old you never think But, uh, it was It was leukemia.
What was her prognosis? She responded good to the hydroxyurea, but Fairhaven told us that was just buying us time, and that's when they let us know that Courtney needed a bone marrow transplant.
What'd you think about that? Well, we didn't know what to think.
So, we got a second opinion and that's when we found out that Courtney's chances of finding a donor were bad.
What was recommended instead? Gleevec.
And we called Ms.
She was supportive, and she told us she had to present it to the committee and to her boss first, Mr.
And about a week later, she called back and told us the decision was no.
How'd you react? (STAMMERS) I said, "How What the hell do you mean, no? "There's a drug out there that could save my daughter's life "and you don't wanna give it to her?" She just said she was sorry.
What'd you do next? Well, we tried to register people as marrow donors, we tried to raise money, but there was just no time.
You know, Courtney was getting sicker and sicker and, I mean, we I even called this guy every day, but he'd never get on the phone.
So, what'd you finally decide to do? I decided to follow him.
I forced him into my van and we just drove around.
Doing what? I was just tryin' to tell him about Courtney.
About how she meant everything to us.
He just said there was nothin' he could do.
Only we both knew it wasn't true.
You know? And that's when I realized that he was never gonna help us.
I'm sorry.
But there's no way I was gonna let this man kill my child.
Slater wasn't killing your daughter, Mr.
Garcia, leukemia was.
Not if she got the Gleevec.
Is that what you believed? That Gleevec was a guarantee? It was her only chance.
Come on, Mr.
Garcia, did you really believe that killing Mr.
Slater would save your daughter? Or were you just angry? Angry at the lousy luck your daughter was forced to endure? These people had no right to take this away from her! These people? I thought it was Mr.
Slater who was to blame.
It was Slater.
Three people voted against the coverage, Mr.
Would you have killed them all? When they tell you your daughter's not gonna make it, then you find out there's a drug out there that'll give her a chance only you have no way to pay for it.
What the hell was I supposed to do, huh? Go home, let her die? MARGOLIS: Tony Garcia killed Warren Slater, but he isn't a murderer.
He's a good and decent man.
A man like any of us who works hard to provide for his family, give them everything they need.
Including health care.
So, he took his hard-earned money, he paid his premiums, and he thought his insurance company would be there in the event of a catastrophe.
But when it came, his insurance company was nowhere to be found.
Even after he discovered a miracle that could save his daughter's life.
In Tony Garcia's mind, it was unthinkable that a lack of money could condemn a child to death.
Not the leukemia, but a lack of money.
Warren Slater chose profits over a child's life and paid dearly for his decision.
But that father, who loves his daughter, genuinely believed that taking Mr.
Slater's life was the only way to save hers.
Correct or not, he believed it.
If it were your daughter or your son or your husband or your wife.
Wouldn't you have done the same? When you think about whether you would have done the same, I want you to think about what would happen if we all did.
If we all killed every time we were faced with a decision that we thought was unfair.
How many of us would be safe then? I want you to put yourself in the shoes of the victim.
Because Warren Slater was a family man, too.
A husband who was planning a surprise for his wife's birthday.
On the night he was killed.
It's easy to hate insurance adjusters.
Just as some of you may have thought differently about the police until we saw them rush into collapsing buildings to save lives.
You may disagree with Warren Slater's decision, but he made it because he honestly thought it was right.
Why? So that there would be health insurance and health care for people like you when you needed it someday.
One can only imagine the pain of a parent forced to contemplate the death of a child.
But nothing that Warren Slater did made him deserve to die.
To be beaten to death with a hammer in the street! You can't place the blame for this child's illness on his shoulders, as her father did.
And you can't condone what he did unless you're willing to soak your hands in the same blood as his.
When this defendant chose to take matters in his own hands, chose to kill out of desperation, he spurned the very thing that he was fighting for his own daughter.
The sanctity of life.
And no one has the right to do that, not even a grief-stricken father.
JUDGE: Madam Foreperson, have the members of the jury reached a verdict? No, we haven't, Your Honor.
JUDGE: As difficult as this case has been, are you certain you can't reach a verdict? We've tried, but we're hopelessly deadlocked.
Then I have no choice but to declare a mistrial.
LEWIN: We know what the vote was? First note from the jury was nine-three.
Wasn't any movement after that.
You know, we can bring this charge I doubt we'd ever find a unanimous jury willing to find this man guilty.
Nine voted for conviction.
Well, good luck explaining that to Warren Slater's widow.