Law & Order (1990) s16e10 Episode Script


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.
Her music's on.
Well, put a pillow over your head.
I'm gonna kill her.
Alexis! It's upstairs, Dad.
Hey, can you turn it down? Some people have to work in the morning.
Neighbor came up to complain about the music.
Accidentally opened the door.
Oh, man.
Is she the tenant? Emily Newton.
Anything missing? It's tough to tell.
Place is kind of a mess.
Forced entry? Windows and doors are intact.
Hog-tied with a belt so she couldn't pull out of it.
Did she leave a note? Nothing.
Okay, cut her down.
Preserve the knot.
Hold on, hold on, hold on.
Oh, man.
Cover her up.
The music started as soon as my parents went to sleep.
Did you hear anything else besides the music? People's voices.
A man or a woman? Um, both.
They were fighting.
I thought it was the TV.
You can hear everything in this building.
Did either of you know Emily? No.
Dad, can I go back to sleep now? Yeah, Lexi, go back to bed.
Is this the woman with the scars on her face? Yeah.
Can you tell us anything about her? I never noticed her until a couple of months ago.
Never saw her in the halls.
She didn't go out much.
She moved into the building in August.
Paid her rent.
Kept to herself.
Do you know if she worked? I think she did some kind of job over the phone.
Did she have any visitors? Uh, food delivery guys.
A woman would come by every few days.
Fifties, uh Brought over groceries, sometimes.
Did you get her name? She wasn't very talkative.
Any men come by? I doubt it.
You mean because of the scar? 'Cause she'd barely let me in to fix the sink.
Stayed in the bedroom the whole time.
She was very shy.
Cause of death was ligature strangulation between midnight and 1:00.
Any signs of a struggle? No bruises and nothing under her nails.
But that doesn't rule out homicide, right? Exactly.
I'd like to wait until after the autopsy and the tox screen to give you a clearer picture.
So, what's the deal with the scar? Chemical burn.
Nasty stuff.
Is it acid? Oran alkali.
Splash-scarring around the perimeter indicates a corrosive agent was poured or sprayed.
By someone else? RODGERS: Yeah.
It'd be near impossible to get a burn like this, accidentally.
How long ago? Six months.
Lack of muscle tone indicates she'd been sedentary for a while.
Kind of thing that would cause someone to be a shut-in and throw them into some kind of a depression? That's a thought.
- Loo.
- Yeah? The M.
thinks the girl's scarring was probably inflicted by someone else.
It sure would be nice to know if she was dating anybody at the time.
Loo? You all right? I know this girl.
It's Emily Newton.
Where do you know her from? She's the daughter of one of my oldest friends from, uh, from John Jay College.
You notify her mother? We were just headed that way.
Let me do that.
What are we looking at here? Uh, it could be a suicide, but there's physical evidence saying otherwise.
Like what? Front door was open, and she was hog-tied.
And the music was up loud enough to drown out any struggle.
We're thinking that whoever threw the corrosive on her face may have returned to finish the job.
Can you put someone in the building last night? No.
Canvas turned up nothing.
All right, go back and re-canvas.
I'm gonna be gone for a little while.
Can you close the door, please? Yes, ma'am.
Hey, Christine.
What's wrong? It's Emily.
I'm so sorry, Christine.
L, uh I need to see her, Anita.
I know.
I'll make it happen as soon as possible.
Thank you.
I knew she'd been so unhappy.
I just didn't know what to do for her.
How long had she been depressed? Awhile now.
Since the burn? Yeah.
Is that why you haven't returned my calls? Girl, it's been six months.
It was just so awful.
It ate up our whole lives.
I didn't want to burden you.
But I could have helped.
There was nothing to help.
It was a freak accident.
What kind of an accident? She said that one of her drains was clogged and she dropped the cleaner.
It hit the table and splashed her face.
You know, the medical examiner said it was possible that someone had done it to her.
Well, that's not what Emily told me.
Was she seeing anyone at that time? I don't think so.
Would Callie know? Callie's not back from class yet.
And she doesn't even know that her sister's dead, Anita.
Christine, if someone burned her Listen, Christine Oh.
It's possible that that same person was in the apartment with her last night.
And if that's true, I want to get this guy off the street.
But I'm gonna need your help.
She said that it was an accident.
Do you believe that? Yes.
I was sitting with my wife, watching baseball.
We hear this girl screaming from out in the hallway.
Iran out my door and it was Emily.
Her face, bright red.
I can't even describe it.
Did Emily say what had happened to her? Poor kid wouldn't talk.
She just sat there, sobbing, man.
What about after she got out of the hospital? I saw her once more after that.
You know, she was always real friendly.
But when she saw me, she looked away.
Never said a word.
All she would say was she had an accident with drain cleaner.
We didn't wanna push it.
Why not? Let me put it this way, I've responded to stabbings, couple of shootings To see this was worse.
Was there anyone there? Anything out of the ordinary? Neat and tidy.
Which didn't make sense.
If the girl spilled drain cleaner on herself like she said Mmm-hmm? Where'd the can go? Emily Newton's tox screen.
Positive for zolpidem and oxycodone.
It's Ambien and Percocet.
Which she was prescribed by the Burn Unit.
But on the night she died, she took a handful of each.
You said she died of strangulation.
She did.
After she drugged herself into oblivion.
She doped herself up so she wouldn't feel anything.
All she had to do was get on a chair, rig the noose and wait for the cocktail to kick in.
Yeah, well, there are no other fingerprints on that drain pipe but her own.
We re-interviewed that little girl that lives downstairs.
Now, she's certain that the arguing she heard was on the TV.
We got this from the Computer Tech Unit.
They analyzed Emily Newton's Web history.
They're all how-to- kill-yourself websites.
They even show you how to hog-tie your own hands.
None of it adds up to murder, Lieutenant.
You know what? I don't give a damn.
What killed her wasn't the noose, it was the psycho who burned her face.
So, what do you want us to do? I want you to find the son of a bitch who did it to her.
We were hoping you'd say that.
I took the exam with Anita.
But when I got to the Academy, I didn't think I was cut out for police work.
So, my late husband convinced me to work for a bank.
Makes sense.
It's safer, more normal hours.
It gave me the chance to have a family, raise my girls.
I know Anita's trying to help, but sometimes, she won't take no for an answer.
Callie, do you know if your sister was seeing anybody? L think so.
But I didn't know his name.
Did you ever see him, or meet him? No.
Did she ever mention any of their dates? Yeah.
He, uh“.
He took her with him for the weekend once.
Did she say where? Some place up in the mountains.
She said it was really first class.
Like, um, $2,000 a night.
Oh, Callie, I'm sure she was exaggerating.
No, she got me a really expensive present when she was there.
Do you still have it? Yeah.
Hold on.
Please try to keep her out of this.
We'll do our best, ma'am, but this may be helpful.
"The Adirondack Museum.
" "Blue Mountain Lake, New York.
" The clientele at Rock Ridge insist on anonymity.
Look, pal.
It's been a very long day.
Will you just please give us the names? Please don't raise your voice, sir.
Don't tell me not to raise my voice.
We've come all the way up here from New York.
It doesn't matter if you came all the way from the Vatican.
We don't release the names of our clientele.
Hey, look here.
Before my partner smacks you, let me show you what kind of work your clientele does.
This is before.
This is after.
Now, she was here the weekend of June Mr.
He's one of our regular guests.
He was here a few weeks ago, with another young lady.
I don't recognize any of these men.
You can take all the time you need, Mrs.
I told you before, I never saw him in the first place.
You see, we thought that maybe, if you had forgotten an instance, that something like this would jog your memory a little.
I'm sorry.
I really need to get home.
I hate leaving Callie alone right now.
I understand.
I'll get an officer to drop you off.
I don't understand what you're following here, Anita.
A hunch, Christine.
Look, if anything comes to you, you got my cell.
All right.
All right.
She barely looked at the photos.
I saw that, too.
What do we have on Jason Corley? He's got some kind of art consulting business.
It looks like a shell that he runs his personal expenses through.
Jason Corley's sheet.
"Assault in Miami Beach.
" "Aggravated Battery in Aspen, Colorado.
" He hits all the hot spots.
That's not all he hits.
Why isn't this man in jail? He pled out to misdemeanors because the women he assaulted wouldn't cooperate.
Maybe we should go have a friendly conversation with this dude.
See if you can find someone who can put Corley in Emily's neighborhood the day she was burned.
And, you two, pay a visit to this new girlfriend.
Jason saw me through the window one day and asked me to dinner.
He took me to Chanterelle.
Yeah, we hear he's quite the ladies' man.
Good-looking and rich.
Meets my requirements.
So, why all the questions? Just a few problems with his finances.
His trust fund? Exactly.
Although, I do have to admit, the guy does pretty well for himself.
He picked me up to go out one night, next thing I know, we're on Air France to Paris.
For the weekend.
What's going on? Listen, he ever get rough with you? That's not about his finances.
Listen, in all seriousness, the last girl that was with this dude ended up with drain cleaner in her face.
Jason would never do that.
He did, and there's nothing saying he wouldn't do it to you.
Something on your mind? Under his sink, in his bathroom, there are four cans of industrial drain cleaner.
Officers Well, actually, it's Detectives.
Come in.
Justine said you had some concerns about my, uh, plumbing problems? Actually, we're here about Emily Newton.
Why? She made some very serious accusations against you.
I heard she died.
One of my friends saw the obituary.
You don't seem to be too shook up about it.
I feel terrible.
How did it happen? She hooked up with the wrong dude.
I haven't seen her in six months.
Was that your decision or hers? Emily was a great girl.
We had fun for a while, then we moved on.
When was the last time you saw her? You've got the wrong idea about me.
Hey, man, you mind if I use your bathroom? So you can look under the sink for drain cleaner? Which I bet you've already moved.
A few days ago.
After I used it to unclog a drain.
Now, tell me when Emily died, and my lawyer will send you my signed alibi.
Okay? Anything? Only that he's a snotty bastard.
How about you? Wilson canvassed Emily's old neighborhood.
No one could remember six months ago, but there's a hardware store around the corner.
This was an hour before she was attacked.
That's Corley.
Now, he's buying a can of something, but you really can't see what it is.
Lieutenant, all this does is put him in the area at the time of the attack, and you know that we can't arrest him for that.
We don't catch a break here, we're dead in the water.
Maybe it's for the better if this just went away.
Christine, I'm gonna tell you, I'm having trouble understanding your reaction to this.
It didn't happen to you, Anita.
No doubt.
But I think you know something and you're afraid to tell me.
I understand police procedure.
I understand you need to ask me these questions I'm not here as a police officer.
I'm here as your friend.
Then as my friend, please leave this alone and let us heal.
He's a serial abuser, Christine.
He's gonna do it again.
Not here, he won't.
And you don't understand because it's not your child at risk.
And Emily doesn't deserve more? Or are we not just talking about Emily here? Please, just let this go.
Christine, has he made threats against Callie, too? I can't do this.
Did he call here? Anita, I can't lose another child.
And you won't if you let me put this man away.
But, girl, you've got to come clean.
Why are you all over me? You remember when I was a rookie? And I wanted to quit because of all the crap I was taking on the job? Well, you said to me, "Don't let them beat you.
" And the reason I hung in was because you wouldn't let me give up.
And I'm not gonna let you give up now.
"Mighty Drain.
" He's been sending them here for how long? One a month since Emily was burned.
Did you see how they're addressed? Son of a bitch.
"To Callie.
" Emily spotted the first one, and I intercepted the rest.
Oh, Christine.
She made me swear that I wouldn't tell a soul.
Look, I'm gonna take these to get tested.
Maybe there's fingerprints or DNA You don't need to.
One of those photos you showed me, it was him.
And I saw him outside her apartment on the day Emily was burned.
Do you understand now, Anita? It's gonna be all right.
'Cause we're gonna get through this.
All right.
Okay? Hey.
What are you doing? Can I help you? Hello.
Get up.
FONTANA: Come on.
Let's go.
Let's go.
Call Terrence.
He's in Anguilla.
Who's Terrence? My lawyer.
That's good.
You're gonna need him.
Does he have a computer here? Yeah, he just got a new laptop yesterday.
Alison, would you shut up? Get him out of here.
Where is the old one? Oh.
He threw it away a few days ago.
Wait, hey! What am I supposed to do, now? Cancel the creep's appointments for the next 25 years.
So, you're just gonna sit there, like you're perfectly innocent.
You have nothing.
FONT ANA: Show him what we've got.
Video stills from where you bought the Mighty Drain.
Your DNA on one of the envelopes you sent to Callie Newton.
That's six more charges of Felony intimidating a Witness that we can add to the counts.
I don't know anything about these charges.
So, what happened? Did she dump you? Throw a drink in your face? Humiliate you? What? We're making up scenarios now? I'm just trying to understand the story behind disfiguring a girl.
Why do that? Yeah, why not just move on to the next girl, like the babe in the clothing store? That's exactly what I did do.
After you left your mark on Emily.
Not true.
So, you couldn't have her, you destroy her face so nobody else would want her? It would take a very sick person, indeed, to do that, don't you think? Do I look sick to you? Well, to me, you look like a spoiled little son of a bitch who never did an honest day's work in his miserable life.
If it makes you happy, let's say that is who I am.
Then, why would I risk staining my $600 shirt, throwing drain cleaner into the face of some gutter trash slut? Are you trying to get smacked? My idiot assistant knows what I looked like when you picked me up, which she'll testify to if you beat me.
So, go for it.
Our line-up witness is here.
Is there anything you want to say before we do this, Corley? Not a thing, Officer.
Come on.
Well, he's not buying into the DNA scam, or any other thing we're trying to sell him.
If we don't get an ID here, we're back where we started.
Now, you know the drill.
You can see them, but they can't see you.
Do you recognize anybody here? Number two.
Where do you recognize him from? He was the man who was dating Emily.
The one I saw waiting in his car at her building the day she was burned.
Listen, I'm gonna talk to the A.
to make sure he doesn't get bail.
This is going to go to court.
Oh I don't think I can do this.
Look, look, look, I know this is hard, but we can do this.
No, we can't.
It's not him.
L won't go through with it.
Christine, you know good and well what you just said undermines your ID.
Let me go, Anita.
It means Corley could walk out of here.
Is that what you want, Christine? Christine We're done.
Everything all right? Yeah.
Everything's fine.
Listen, write up the complaint and call the D.
"Docket number 60029.
People v.
Jason Corley.
" "Assault in the First Degree.
" "Six counts of intimidating a Witness in the Third Degree.
" Mr.
Corley pleads not guilty to all charges.
People on bail? The defendant poured industrial drain cleaner on the victim's face.
He mailed labels from the brand that he used to her sister to assure her silence.
The People request remand.
This is an assault case without a single eyewitness or a shred of forensic evidence.
What's the alleged motive, Miss Borgia? The People can only surmise it was some kind of romantic dispute.
The victim won't tell you? She committed suicide, Your Honor.
We'll put it on for Friday.
If you come back without an indictment, Miss Borgia, I'll have no choice but to ROR him.
So, you have an assault indictment, with no complainant.
A suicide cuts both ways, Mr.
I think I got the bigger slice.
Really? There's video of your client buying drain cleaner an hour before the crime.
There's no proof what caused her injuries.
And if you can tell that's Mighty Drain on the tape, I'm George Clooney.
The victim's mother is quite clear about her recollections.
Who knows if she'll even show up? Please don't speak, Jason.
Okay, what's the offer? Twenty years.
Consec time on the other counts.
It's a gift, Mr.
Is it? I guess that's a no.
I'll be asking for 45 when all is said and done.
Before you leave, Mr.
McCoy, my pre-trial motions.
Serve them on my office.
So, we're looking at a trial.
The defense moved for a Wade hearing to suppress Christine's identification.
Anything to be concerned about? Just the usual boilerplate.
"The line-up violated the defendant's right to due process.
" We'll put one of your detectives on the stand.
Piece of cake.
When? First thing tomorrow.
Well, I don't want to pull them off what they're doing.
I can handle the hearing.
You're getting quite a work-out on this one, Anita.
It's not a problem.
I hope you're right.
We put the suspect in the line-up room with five fillers.
They were all roughly the same height, weight and skin tone.
What happened then, Lieutenant? Mrs.
Hill was brought to the one-way mirror.
Detective Green asked her did she recognize anyone in the line-up.
She said she did.
Number two.
And just to be clear, who was number two.
Jason Corley.
The defendant.
Nothing further, Your Honor.
So, Christine Hill was shown a photograph of my client prior to the line-up, wasn't she? Yes.
She was shown a photo array with his picture over a week before.
And she didn't make an identification, did she, Lieutenant? No, but she was looking at a five-year-old DMV photo.
Were you the only police officer present at this line-up? No.
Detectives Fontana and Green were there as well.
And if I'm not mistaken, you have a prior relationship with this witness.
That's right.
We went to school together.
So, you knew the victim, as well? Yes, I did.
Judge, at this time, I call on the People to produce these police officers at this hearing.
So the defense can go on a fishing expedition? It is highly irregular, Mr.
We should not have to accept one officer's rendition of these events.
Particularly someone with a personal relationship.
Who knows what subtle pressures were brought to bear on Mrs.
Hill at this line-up? Mr.
McCoy, I'm sure Detective Fontana can spare an hour of his time tomorrow.
I'll check his availability.
Hey, Loo.
How did it go? They want to see Fontana tomorrow.
Really? Why? The defense lawyer's tripping.
It's no big deal.
I can move a few things around.
It's a bigger deal than you think.
Remember when Christine left the squad, after the line-up? She panicked.
She did a 180 on her ID.
So, you had to say that on the stand? No.
Hey, Lieutenant.
Yeah? I don't care, and I'm gonna go testify tomorrow that what I saw was a completely legitimate, by-the-book line-up with a positive ID.
Not a chance, Fontana.
I got to see McCoy on this one.
She must be a good friend.
I've known her 20 years.
And what would you have done if Putney had broadened the scope of his questions? I would have copped to what Christine said.
But you just got lucky, that was it? She was terrified, Jack, and for good reason.
It's damn near perjury.
And you never pushed the envelope? Look, I thought we were on the same team here.
We are.
But your actions have put any hope of a conviction in serious jeopardy.
Jack, without this ID, we would not have had an arrest.
Corley would be on the street.
Which may be the same place our case ends up.
I'll take the hit on this.
It's all on me.
I appreciate you falling on your sword, but we have bigger issues.
Like how do we keep this from tanking our case? A sin of omission, bordering on perjury.
I do not like for this office to be used by the police like this.
Well, it isn't at all like Lieutenant Van Buren.
Well, that's an awfully forgiving attitude considering the spot she just put you in.
By giving you half the facts and dancing around the truth.
If he was of a mind to, Putney could accuse us of collusion.
We didn't collude.
Well, that won't matter to a jury because your credibility will be zero.
Any chance of leveraging a plea? Putney would smell desperation the minute we walked in the door.
Well, then, you have no choice.
Put Van Buren back up there and let her eat crow.
We'd be looking at a dismissal.
Well, maybe you can do some damage control by pointing out just how terrifying the witness intimidation was.
I don't think that'll do it, Arthur.
Well, maybe it won't, but at this point, it's your only shot.
After Miss Hill made a positive identification of Jason Corley, we walked to my office, where she became increasingly agitated, and then she said she was having second thoughts.
What exactly did she say? Something to the effect, "I can't go through with it.
It's not him.
" Did that indicate to you that she had doubts about the man she identified? Not in the least.
She was shaking.
It indicated to me that she was frightened.
What happened to justify her fear? Drain-cleaner labels were sent to her home in an attempt to intimidate her.
Every time her younger daughter would go out, she wouldn't know if she was coming home or what her face would look like if she did.
So, let me get this straight.
The witness said, quote, "It's not him"? He terrorized her.
Maybe she was shaken because she had falsely accused Mr.
Corley of an unspeakable crime? Please.
We all know what went on here.
What's going on here, Lieutenant, is that you concealed the fact that your witness recanted her identification.
She didn't recant.
Whatever it was, you forgot to tell us.
I was asked about the line-up.
I answered honestly.
You came into this courtroom to hoodwink this court, did you or did you not, Lieutenant? I admit I should have been more forthcoming.
But Christine Hill made a positive identification.
And I knew that the system would take her moment of panic and hand this man a free pass.
So, I did what I thought was necessary to make sure that wasn't going to happen.
So, you would do it again? Enough.
I'm granting the Wade motion.
The line-up identification of the defendant is suppressed.
Your Honor“ Don't say another word, Mr.
Lieutenant Van Buren came within a whisker of committing perjury.
Do the People have enough evidence to bring Mr.
Corley to trial, without the line-up? Absolutely.
Without Christine's ID, we don't have a prayer.
We can prove Corley was dating Emily.
We have him on the store video, on her block, an hour before the incident.
The threatening letter he sent is a match for his printer.
And 80,000 other ones.
It's paper-thin, Anita.
We'll be lucky to get our case to a jury.
Then go ahead.
Dismiss the case.
There's another way to deal with this.
After reassessing the evidence against Mr.
Corley, the People have concluded that we cannot prove the charges against him, beyond a reasonable doubt.
We're moving to dismiss the indictment.
Putney? We consent and ask that Mr.
Corley be released from custody immediately.
So ordered.
Behave yourself, Mr.
I always do, Judge.
So, you're gonna wear a wire on your boyfriend.
You're crazy.
And you're going to get him to admit what he did to Emily Newton.
And why would I do this? Because you took a pinch for a call-girl operation.
So what? So, we checked your phone, and you've been calling a lot of different guys lately.
I got a lot of friends.
Yeah, we did some research on a few of your friends.
One of them's the head of an investment bank.
He's married, as I recall.
Now, do we need to call him, to out his whoring, prove that you're back selling ass, again? It's called a Violation of a Conditional Discharge, and you will do every day of those three years.
And the same goes if you tip off your boyfriend again.
Do I make myself clear? Just nod your head if you hear me, Justine.
Fontana, tag your position.
We're all set, Lieutenant.
We got picture, Lieutenant.
Okay, Corley's pulling into the parking lot.
Yeah, I saw him.
Here we go.
(He)', gorgeous.
What's so urgent? I haven't seen you in a while.
Do you want to eat, or Let's order in.
Are you high? You're acting like a twitch.
Just happy to see you.
You are high.
Okay, they're heading up to Corley's apartment.
Something's been bugging me, baby.
What? Those charges I told you, those idiot cops tried to frame me.
It's dismissed.
Take it slow, Justine.
It's just an awful thing to happen to somebody.
Drop it.
Why are you asking so many questions? Sorry.
Just leave it alone.
Do what he says.
Come back to it later.
Do you want Thai food? Whatever.
What is she doing? Stick with it, Justine.
Stay with it.
You want weed? No.
Since when do you not want weed? Since right now.
What's with you today? Everything's fine.
Are you pregnant? [Swear to God, you better not be.
I'm not pregnant.
I was just lonely.
What was that? Sounded like the doorbell.
A delivery guy? I didn't see a delivery guy go in the building.
L' ll get it.
Who are you? Oh, my God, it's Callie.
It's Callie! Move in! What did you do to my eyes? She just splashed him in the face with something.
Move in! Move in! I want you to know what it feels like.
I'll show you what it feels like.
I'll burn your eyes out.
I'll do worse to you than I did to your slut sister.
I got him! I got him! I want my lawyer.
You're all gonna be fired.
You're gonna be the ones who go to jail.
God! Get him out of here.
What did you throw on him? Vinegar.
I was scammed.
Very nicely, I might add.
And, if I remember correctly, you consented to the dismissal that set everything in motion.
This is your fault.
Shut up, Jason.
It's over, Mr.
I'll get a new lawyer.
We'll take this to trial.
She will never show up.
Did Callie Newton look scared to you? On top of your confession, we've located the woman you pummeled in Colorado.
She's looking forward to a trip to New York.
She wouldn't testify the first time around.
After she heard what you did to Emily Newton, she offered to pay her own way.
If I don't leave here with a guilty plea, Mr.
Corley, I promise you'll do They'll wheel me out of my retirement home to be at your parole hearings.
You bastards.
! C.
! You should take the deal, Jason.
Just get it over with.
Let's go.
It's about time.
Twenty-five years.
Let's calendar it, right away, before he changes his mind.
So, are we done? You mean, am I going to file a complaint against Lieutenant Van Buren? I have two daughters myself.
The D.
called me.
I know.
How's Callie? She's good.
Thank you, Anita.