Law & Order (1990) s16e12 Episode Script

Family Friend

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.
Honey? Oh, my God.
Philip! Help me! Help! DOA's Philip Messick, 55.
Guy put up a good fight.
Who called it in? Upstairs neighbor.
He heard the wife screaming.
How is the wife? Stabbed multiple times.
Circling the drain at Roosevelt ICU.
They tossed the place pretty good.
Hey, did the neighbor hear anything past the screaming? Yeah.
A car screech away.
Robbery gone bad.
Our DOA kept some interesting company.
The guy he's with in this picture is John Vitale, a made member of the Gambinos.
So, we're looking for somebody stupid enough to rip off a mob associate? Or cover up a mob hit.
She was in acute hemorrhagic shock when they wheeled her in.
Thought for sure we'd be calling it.
Did she say anything at all? Not to me, but my concern was getting her on the table.
She was down a liter of blood with eight deep, penetrating wounds.
But it was her lucky day.
Deep cuts missed the majors.
Well, whoever did this thought they were tying up all the loose ends.
Well, they didn't.
She's conscious.
Stabilized faster than I thought she would.
That's why I called.
Thank you, Doctor, we appreciate it.
Just take it easy.
Room's getting crowded.
Who's in there? One of yours.
Got here 20 minutes ago.
Hey, fellows.
Bob Cerullo.
Friend of the family.
How you doing, man? You on the job? Retired out of the 74.
Listen, if she's able, we'd like to ask her a few questions.
So, if you can give us some time Can he stay? Okay.
That's fine.
Messick, do you know the men who did this to you? No.
Did you get a good look at them? White, twenties.
Did you get a good look at a face? One of them, pretty good.
Would you recognize him if you saw him again? Do you think that your husband may have known the men? No.
Phil was everybody's friend.
They were married 15 years.
You know, maybe she's not up to this, yet.
We have just one more question, and we'll be on our way.
Does the name John Vitale mean anything to you? They grew up together.
You mean her husband and John Vitale? In Bensonhurst.
Johnny wouldn't do this.
Thank you, Mrs.
We'll be in touch.
You looking at wiseguys for this? No, we're just asking the question.
Phil Messick wasn't hooked up.
Well, why do you suppose he's hanging around with connected guys? Like I said, he grew up with guys who went in that direction.
Other guys went straight.
Like myself.
You two go way back? Grade school.
And if you went down his block, or mine, at one house, everybody went to the police academy.
At the next, they're all criminals.
My life story.
What did Messick go into? Accounting.
He was a square.
A good guy.
A decent guy.
List of stolen goods from the insurance company.
Household electronics, stereo, computer, flat-panel TV.
Anything past theft for motive? We're looking into some of his friends and business associates.
He knew some very interesting people.
He was an accountant for Kenny Genovese and John Vitale.
Gambino family, mid-level workers.
You thinking a possible hit? With robbery as a cover-up.
It's worth considering.
Well, on the other hand, Messick grew up with these dudes in Bensonhurst, and he could have just been their accountant.
Did he live like a gangster? He lived decent, not outrageous.
I mean, he's been married for 15 years, and most mobsters don't leave witnesses behind.
Yeah, a witness they thought they killed.
Listen, go to Messick's funeral.
See who his friends were.
And take Ostrover from Organized Crime.
Ray Antonelli.
He's with the Gambinos.
Used to handle some loansharking.
But he's out of the game, to a large extent.
Pauly Wilson.
Does collections up in the Bronx, under the guise of running a dry-cleaners.
Quite a send-off for an accountant.
Messick and the Gambino crew seem to be pals.
Did you ever hear of him burning anybody? Anything like that? We were surprised by the murder.
There was no warning.
The guy in the pinstripes, on the top of the stairs? He worked OC for two years.
That's Bob Cerullo.
He said he was a friend of the family.
How friendly do you think he was with the Gambinos? He grew up with a lot of guys that got made.
Gave him an inside edge when we were tracking dirt.
Hey, do you have any Gambino associates on the arm? We're looking for an interaction between Messick and the Gambino family.
Greg Muggio- He just got nailed for running a Ponzi scheme that cost 1,000 retirees their life savings.
Where's he locked up? He's out on bail, awaiting trial.
But he's inclined to be chatty.
Anything to reduce the time he knows he's gonna do.
I'm in the rag trade, legit.
When Messick did my returns, the IRS audits stopped.
Guy was a genius.
A genius at what? Cleaning dirty money? Messick was on the up-and-up.
That's why me and the guys went to him.
And he didn't make any mistakes that would lead to him getting carved up? Messick didn't screw up.
He didn't take anybody's money.
He didn't bang the wrong girl.
He didn't rat anybody out.
His murder was a tragedy.
Whoever did it, you cops better hope you get to them first.
Hey, hey.
Don't take off your coats.
Messick's stolen property showed up at a pawn shop on Rivington, and they found a clean set of bloody prints that came back to a Darrell Dennehy.
He's got a long sheet, but it's mostly burglaries and trespassing.
There's nothing violent.
He stepped up his game.
Do you have an address? Bogus.
But his PO's waiting to see you.
All right.
Dennehy's been regular to his report day the last two weeks.
Failed his drug screen both times.
No record of employment or proof of applying for same.
Hey, when's his next visit? In four hours.
My guess, he'll show.
He knows he has to pass his drug test.
Three failures means a bus back upstate.
- Darrell Dennehy? Come here.
- What? Come here! Whoa.
What did I do? Legs! What did I do? We'll talk about it at the station.
Guys, if is this about the drug test, I got another shot.
You think we came here because you failed a piss test? Where were you Thursday night at 7:00? Ow.
Did you hear him? Or was that question too tough for you? I don't remember where I was this morning, let alone Thursday.
Were you on the Upper West Side? I can't remember that.
Do you know a man named Philip Messick, or his wife Valerie? Can't say that I do.
So, how did your bloody fingerprint end up on their stereo receiver? In Messick's blood, no less.
Now, how the hell would a thing like that happen? I picked that stereo up off the street.
Hey, that's good answer.
So, maybe you can explain to us how your shoeprint ended up all over their brownstone? Was that your evil twin? You don't have the sheet of a killer, and you don't have that killer look in your eye.
And we know that there were two of you in that brownstone.
And since we got to you first, we're gonna give you first crack at a deal.
But don't tell us any lies, because that lady that you slashed eight times, survived.
I didn't touch her.
And I didn't touch the guy.
I was just there to help carry the heavy stuff.
It was just a robbery, TVs, stereos, and drive the van.
Okay, so what happened? We started going through the house, and this guy comes out of the bathroom.
And, uh, Jay, he goes nuts.
He goes off on him.
Jay? Fleckner.
That's the guy who brought me in on this.
But a robbery.
It was just a robbery.
How much cash? Five grand.
And now, he's out there spending it without you.
That's a damn shame.
Where do we find Jay? Cheap piece of garbage.
Blink, I'll put your brains on the bed.
Put your hands up.
Get up.
Awful lot of blood in that water.
I cut myself shaving.
We're gonna give you plenty of time to work on that story.
I got nothing to say.
I want a lawyer.
Get him the hell out of here.
Take your time, Mrs.
Do you recognize any of these men as the man who attacked you in your apartment that night? Do you need to sit down, ma'am? Number two.
He's the man who cut me.
Jay Fleckner was remanded.
His lawyer says he's not interested in a deal.
He forget Valerie Messick lD'd him? Or the sink full of Messick's bloody cash in his hotel room? The lawyer says Fleckner's very volatile, he doesn't care.
He wants to take his chances.
How are we doing with his accomplice, Darrell Dennehy? As far as testifying, he's questionable credibility-wise.
Still, he was there, in the house, with Fleckner.
And hopefully, he's been around the block enough to know when to deal.
It's Lieutenant Van Buren.
The bloody money in Fleckner's hotel room showed trace marks our lab techs couldn't identify, so they passed the bills over to Treasury for analysis.
What did they find? Well, the bills had been serialized, watermarked, and floated by the Feds to track a money laundering stream.
How did the cash wind up at Messick's apartment? The Feds said it was first used to buy ecstasy from a drug dealer who had ties to the Gambino organization.
But, more than likely, it wound up with Messick for laundering.
Can we prove that? Well, it's a good guess, right now.
But either way, the money ties Jay Fleckner to the victims.
The problem is, the Feds won't return it.
That money plays into an investigation.
What kind? One I'm not at liberty to discuss.
Then, let's talk about our investigation.
That money is key physical evidence tying Jay Fleckner to a heinous crime, and we need to produce it in court.
I'm sure you've got more than our money to make your case.
Your money? We recovered it during our investigation.
There might be some movement on the case in the next year.
We can talk, then.
You could potentially be helping a man get away with murder.
This cash has been filtering through drug rings, sex-slave operations, and laundering outfits.
Shutting those down could prevent 20 murders.
I won't jeopardize that.
The prosecution found the bills on your client.
The prosecution alleges that the bills were found on my client, and that blood traces on them belong to the victim.
I've read the memo, Mr.
It doesn't sound like trace blood.
The money was described as "in a bloody bath" when it was found.
Our experts need the opportunity to challenge the findings.
McCoy, where is the actual evidence itself? It's in Federal hands.
We've written letters to the US Attorney and the Chief Judge to mandate its return.
Any time frame as to when that might happen? Ayear? Ten? We haven't had any response yet, Your Honor.
When they're good and ready.
That's the response you can expect.
Which doesn't serve the defendant's right to a speedy trial.
Unless you can provide access to at least one bill in a timely fashion, the money's out.
With your confession and the physical evidence tying you to the crime scene, if this goes to trial, you could expect 25 years.
Or, you testify against Jay Fleckner, and we're prepared to offer 20.
What's not computing, Mr.
Dennehy? I don't think I'm interested in testifying against Jay.
Why? L think I've said enough already.
It's one thing to say it to the cops, but on the stand, him looking at me What is this, some sort of ham-fisted attempt at negotiation? I don't want any more to do with putting him away.
Fifteen years.
That's the basement offer.
Nobody told me Messick was hooked up with the mob.
That's got nothing to do with your testimony.
I'd be testifying, front and center, in a courtroom filled with Gambino button men.
We'll shield your identity when you testify.
Yeah? What happens when it hits the papers? You can't stop that.
We're talking about ten years of your life, Mr.
I spent two-thirds of my life locked up.
I can do the time.
But I sure ain't interested in dying.
CO! Unbelievable.
Valerie Messick came within a sliver of losing her life at Fleckner's hands.
She'll have the jury's sympathy.
If she holds up physically.
What's her condition? On the mend, but she's got some awful scars on her face and neck.
Still, a one-witness ID.
A witness who is the victim, and a grieving widow.
Let's make sure her scars are visible to the jury.
If she's all we've got, let's make it count.
My husband, Phil, was lying on the floor.
He was covered in blood.
Was he alive? Barely.
I went to his side.
He pointed past me, and then he died.
What was he pointing at? Two men down the hallway.
I tried to yell for help, but that man saw me and attacked me.
Can you tell me who you're pointing to? The defendant, Jay Fleckner.
Can you describe how he attacked you? He pounced on me.
He pinned me down.
He had a knife in his hand, and he began slashing at me.
I don't remember much else.
I blacked out, and woke up in the hospital.
No further questions.
Messick, that's a horrible ordeal you've just described.
But I'm afraid I'm gonna have to take you back to it just a little while longer.
How would you describe your emotional state when you first entered your house that night? When you saw your front door ajar? You were nervous, weren't you? Yes.
I was a little nervous.
It wasn't like your husband to leave the door open like that? No.
Phil never left the door open.
When you came in, you saw your husband covered in blood.
What would you say your emotional state was, then? Terrified? Yes.
Panicked? Yes.
You came in, you saw your husband in a pool of blood.
Were you crying at that time, the way you are now? Yes.
I was.
Crying, in a state of grief and panic.
Tears filling your eyes.
And yet, you were able to get a good look at the man who wielded the knife against you? A good enough look that you can say, with absolute certainty, that your assailant was the man you identified? Yes.
L think so.
You think so, or you know so? There is a significant difference.
I'm as certain as I could have been under the circumstances.
With your vision hampered by your tears, you mean? With your husband of 15 years lying brutally murdered by your side? Is that what you mean? Mrs.
Messick, please.
I'll ask you again.
Are you 100% positive that the suspect you identified is the man who attacked you? I'm Not 100%.
Yes or no, please.
It all just came rushing back.
Phil is on the ground, all the blood on him.
I was as confused up there as I was that night.
But the ID? Were you certain it was Fleckner when you saw him in the police station? My husband was dying on the floor in front of me, covered in all that blood.
And then that man was on top of me.
I only got a look at his face for a second.
Did I ruin the case? You were strong on direct, but your ID was the only thing that put Fleckner at the scene.
Without that In the matter of the People v.
Jay Fleckner, on the count of Murder in the Second Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant not guilty.
DOA's got one to the chest.
Jay Fleckner.
Well, what do you know? There is justice in the world.
The guy who called it in is the one who shot him.
Where is the shooter? My client went to meet Jay Fleckner with absolutely no intention of doing him any harm.
Then why don't you tell us why he did go meet him? To discuss intimidation directed toward Valerie Messick that had gone on during the trial, and to make sure it wouldn't continue.
What kind of intimidation? You know what, Ernie? Let me do this, okay? You ever work a case where you damn well knew you had the perp, but it just wouldn't make? Did you? Of course.
What did you do about it? We're not talking about us here, Bob.
We're talking about you.
Did you go visit the guy and tell him to watch his ass, 'cause if he so much as sniffed in the wrong direction, you'd be there to lock him up? So, he just agreed to meet up with you? No problem? I told Fleckner that this had to be put to bed face-to-face, and that the only problem he'd have with me is if he didn't show.
So, what went wrong? Fleckner, he started to freak out.
He started saying, "This is a setup.
This is an ambush," like he was high, or maybe just crazy.
I don't know.
And who pulled their gun first? He did.
He put his gun up in my face, which I talked him into lowering down.
When he did, I punched him as hard as I could and I made to run.
But he chased me, and I fell down the stairs.
And when I was on the ground, I freed my ankle piece and I told him to back the hell off, but he raised up to shoot.
So, I fired.
Did Valerie know about you meeting up with Fleckner? No.
You realize we're gonna have to look into this.
I know.
And you're gonna find it's a good shoot.
I had no idea Bob planned to go meet Fleckner.
And if I had, it's not something I would have encouraged.
Where did he get the idea from? From being a cop, I guess.
And my friend.
And Phil's friend.
Was there any reason for you to believe that Fleckner was a threat? He'd stare at me during the trial.
And he mouthed something once.
What about after the trial? He passed me in the hall and chuckled.
Whispered that he'd see me again.
Did you tell Bob Cerullo what Fleckner was doing? Bob sat with me half the weekend because I couldn't stop crying.
And he didn't say anything about contacting Fleckner? Nothing.
So, Bob Cerullo killed Fleckner out of noble revenge or self-defense? Arranging a meet with the man who just got off for murdering your friend? What did Cerullo expect would happen? What? Cops don't warn perps off the radar all the time? That's harassment, not a bullet to the chest.
I was trying to piece together Fleckner's timeline after the verdict, so I checked his visitors log at Rikers for a friend or relative.
Bob Cerullo visited Fleckner during the trial.
Why would he visit Fleckner in jail? Maybe he was warning him to stop eye-balling Valerie Messick? Or threatening his life.
And we have proof of neither.
Except that Jay Fleckner had a gun on him two days after being exonerated for murder.
Why? Because he was a psychopath and a career criminal.
Or he thought that a dirty cop was gunning for him.
A decorated cop, Jack.
Whose best friend was a mob associate.
That dirties him in my mind.
Well, if you're gonna have the police do some digging, you better tell them not to stop until they hit gold.
'Cause that's what it's gonna take to get an indictment.
We looked into any possible motive other than self-defense for Cerullo shooting Fleckner, and we got nothing.
Any phone calls between them, besides the one before Fleckner was killed? No.
Just that one.
We dug into the gun that Fleckner had on him when he was shot, but it only makes Fleckner dirtier.
Ballistics pulled a matching slug from an apartment wall of an unsolved home invasion five years ago.
Was Fleckner a suspect? The victim gave a description of a perpetrator that he fits generally.
Who worked the case? Detective Dumar.
We looked for him, and he's dead.
Any connection between Dumar and Cerullo? They never worked together.
Dumar was in the Bronx, Cerullo worked in Queens.
Show the home invasion victim a photo array.
Make sure Jay Fleckner is in it.
I don't recognize any of these men.
Did you get a good look at the man who robbed you? Generally.
I was experimentally medicated.
Excuse me? I was smoking marijuana to alleviate my glaucoma.
Would you like some tea? No, thank you.
That's the wall where the bullet went.
Now, was he shooting at you? I think he just got scared, and the gun went off.
Thank God I was tied up.
Tell me, why the questions and the photos? We're just following on a few leads we have on a suspect.
But the man was caught.
No, ma'am.
The case is still active.
Well, that's not what Detective Dumar told me.
He said the man confessed.
Someone confessed? Did he mention a name? I don't recall.
But he said the man confessed and was going to jail.
Best, did you ever recover your stolen property? Detective Dumar said that the money had been spent, and my ring was sold to someone who had left the country.
How much money did you lose? $17,000 in cash.
And the ring was worth at least 15.
You should really talk to Detective Dumar about this.
Wayne Dumar.
Not my most eager detective.
Died "cleaning his gun.
" Suicide.
Unofficially, but yeah.
He was an old-school drunk.
Wasn't a surprise.
Well, would it surprise you to hear that he ripped off a robbery suspect of 30 Gs? A few guys here were filling their pockets when I transferred in.
All of them are gone now.
Do you know if he had any dealings with this guy? Name is Jay Fleckner.
Never seen the face.
Could he have been an informant of Dumar's? Dumar didn't care enough about the job to recruit informants.
He was a bum.
Let me ask you this.
Do you know if he had any connections to a detective out of the 74 named Cerullo? Cerullo and Dumar were associated.
Cerullo is who found Dumar with his brains blown out.
Is it possible Cerullo killed Dumar? The police and M.
reports are spotty.
Everyone involved thought they were covering up a cop suicide.
How dirty was Dumar as a cop? Four IAB investigations, all centered around shaking down robbery suspects.
So, Detective Dumar steals money and a gun from a robbery suspect, which then turns up in the cold, dead hand of Jay Fleckner.
Except there's no connection between Wayne Dumar and Jay Fleckner.
There's only a connection between Dumar and Cerullo.
So, Cerullo killed Jay Fleckner, then planted the gun on him to call it a self-defense.
Let's see what he has to say for himself.
It was self-defense.
Do you plan to try selling that to the Grand Jury, Mr.
Cerullo? You're opening a Grand Jury on me? They won't indict, Bob.
They'll indict anybody, Ernie.
This is what I get for 25 years' service on the force? That doesn't buy anybody a murder.
I have commendations, a medal of valor.
Cop to the homicide, and I'll get you man one, 20 years.
Don't dignify that.
You know how many cases I've worked in my career? How many homicides I've cleared? How many multiple homicides? We've been over your record.
You're gonna have to go over it again.
Because if I'm indicted, you may have to revisit every one of them.
What does that mean? If I'm on the stand, Mr.
McCoy, my conscience may just start to eat at me.
I may just feel the need to purge myself of evidence I may have planted in those cases, and suspects I may have flaked.
You'd lie about tainting cases? I'll come clean, as it were.
And you expect me to drop this case because of that threat? Forty-some cases could go down the toilet.
Forty stone-cold killers back on the street because you want to lock me up for taking care of a rat bastard like Jay Fleckner.
We're moving forward, Mr.
Be prepared.
Justice at any cost.
That it, McCoy? Go after me.
It's gonna cost you plenty.
So, how many cases are we talking about? Cerullo has 41 homicide collars.
And he got a lot of confessions, which he can claim he coerced.
Well, is there any indication that there was coercion, or proof that he really did taint cases? His record on the job is spotless.
And how does a detective phony evidence on 41 homicide suspects, and not draw attention even once? It's not possible.
Cerullo is lying to back us into a corner.
And it's gonna cause every defense lawyer that he ever faced to file a motion for a new trial.
We'll waste hundreds of hours re-prosecuting.
Which is unfortunate, but unless he did a murder, why throw up the smokescreen? He planted the gun on Fleckner to claim self-defense.
Do you have enough for a conviction? We'll need more.
Bob has been with me every second of this nightmare.
I don't understand why you think I'd speak ill of him.
What if you thought he'd committed a murder? This gun you're talking about Sounds like Fleckner could have gotten it any number of ways.
The only way was from Bob Cerullo, who planted it.
If you make a statement, he may be more inclined to make a deal.
That could save him ten years in jail.
Whatever you feel about his intentions, Mrs.
Messick, Bob Cerullo had no right to dole out justice to Jay Fleckner.
You know what? I don't think I should talk to you anymore.
Understand, it's not you we're looking to incriminate.
I'm sorry, but on the advice of my lawyer, I'm gonna invoke my right to the Fifth Amendment.
Valerie's husband rubbed elbows with the mob.
She might know things.
Testifying could put her in a vulnerable position.
I don't think it was just self-preservation.
If she knows Cerullo murdered Fleckner, she's stonewalling to protect him.
Well, either way, history's taught us we can't rely on her to make the case.
We won't.
We didn't have a reason to search Messick's house before.
We do now.
I'll get a warrant.
Philip Messick was a very smart man.
He kept an insurance policy.
A black file that somebody buried in his backyard flowerbed.
Information on his associates? Yep.
And all the dirtbags he worked with.
Including his friend, Bob Cerullo.
Now, our forensic accountant is just getting into this, but so far, we know that Cerullo sold guns and stolen property to the mob.
Messick was the go-between.
This guy kept track of everything.
Guns, jewelry, electronics, prices, dates, who sold what.
Is Cerullo identified by name in here? Name and badge number.
Right next to another name, Wayne Dumar.
So, Dumar and Cerullo were business partners selling stolen property? Exactly.
And you'll notice that Cerullo's income doubled when Dumar went toes-up.
Well, it doesn't prove he killed him.
Make a convincing argument in court.
What we can establish is that Dumar was criminally linked to Cerullo.
And Dumar ties to the gun found on Jay Fleckner.
Which leads right back to Cerullo.
It's the best evidence we have so far, that he planted the gun.
What's this? Trying to coax us into a plea? This book ties Cerullo to the gun found on Fleckner.
No one's going to believe it's self-defense.
Lot of wiggle room between Dumar and that gun.
Juries aren't stupid.
Really? We must be working different courtrooms.
No way they hang my guy for killing that piece of crap.
And my client won't bite on your offer.
Now, you really wanna talk.
I'm calling your bluff, Mr.
You don't think he's serious? All of your cases come undone.
And you'll be suborning perjury.
We both know the charges are bogus.
It'll take a full-scale investigation to bear that out.
Pending new trials, of course.
In lieu, I'll take my client at his word.
We're prepared to go to trial.
If your client gets on the stand and lies about his old cases, prepare to go to jail with him.
Your shaky case just became your major headache.
Was I scared? Of course.
A guy like Fleckner.
Killed Phil Messick, almost took his wife, Valerie, too.
And why did you go pay him a visit? I only went over there to tell him to leave Valerie alone.
A stupid thing to do, now that I think about it.
I just figured I could make an impression, and that'd be that.
I thank the Good Lord I had my gun.
When Fleckner was coming at me, I'm telling you, I was fighting for my life.
And what did you do, then? I defended myself.
I did not pull my gun until Fleckner pulled his.
Thank you.
Did you know Detective Wayne Dumar? I did.
In fact, you found Detective Dumar after his apparent suicide, correct? It was a bad day.
Wayne was a good friend.
So you were aware that he was the focus of an investigation involving stolen guns? There was never anything to those accusations, and they never proved that there was.
Your Honor, what's the relevance here? Get to the point, Mr.
People's 19.
This is a ballistics report that ties the gun found on the victim to a robbery investigation by Detective Dumar.
There is no link between the gun and the victim.
There is, however, a link to your good friend, Wayne Dumar.
McCoy, in my experience, weapons pass through a lot of hands.
Does that number mean anything to you? Yeah.
It was my shield number when I was a police officer.
People's 20.
This is an accounting ledger, found in the Messick house, which identifies you by your badge number, and by name.
Do you have an explanation as to why Philip Messick accounted you as selling illegally obtained property and guns, like the gun stolen by Wayne Dumar, and then planted on Fleckner, to corroborate your self-defense story? I don't know who made up that book, but what you're describing never happened.
Cerullo, did you execute a man to avenge Philip Messick's death, and then cover it up? Objection! Overruled.
The only covering up I see is from you.
You let Fleckner walk, and now you want me to go down for it.
Or did Fleckner walk, and you believed that justice had to be done.
Isn't that the truth here, Mr.
Cerullo? I killed him to save my own life.
How can that make any sense, when all the weapons at the crime scene were yours? You got it wrong.
Nothing further.
Redirect, Your Honor? Go ahead.
In your years as a police officer, did your paths ever cross with Jay Fleckner? No, but I knew him by reputation.
Which was? A bad guy.
And how did you come to know this? I had arrested some of Fleckner's associates.
People Fleckner pulled crimes with? Yeah.
Did you believe that Fleckner knew of you? He definitely did.
Why did you believe this? You see, I framed one of Fleckner's buddies on a drug murder.
A lowlife named Anton Brady.
Another guy he ran with, Jimmy Mills.
I sent him up on a rape beef.
You framed these men? I framed a lot of bad guys in my day.
You see, I'm being honest now about everything in my past.
I want to cop to every wrong deed in my career, so you'll know I'm telling the truth, that Fleckner was out to kill me.
I didn't realize until now.
That's why he didn't even hesitate to pull a gun.
That's why I had to defend myself.
I think I might have something to leverage Valerie Messick to testify.
I showed a copy of Philip Messick's black file to Andrew Semel in the US Attorney's Office.
The Feds' money laundering case leads to an illegal corporate account at a bank in Panama City.
It's administered by Valerie Messick.
He kept his own wife in the file? She's hidden 12 different ways, but their forensic accountant did the math, and she's tied in.
Are the Feds planning to indict? Valerie could be facing 20 years.
But they're willing to work with us on any deal we want to make her.
Pitch it to her.
Testimony against Cerullo, or 20 years in the pen.
My God.
How could this be happening? The Feds are willing to work with us, but they won't wait forever.
How hard are they willing to work? How good is the deal? Five years for the money laundering.
If you want her, immunize her.
I want to hear what she has to say.
She'll talk when she's on the stand.
Full immunity.
She doesn't do a day in jail.
You want Bob, that's what you've got to live with.
Messick, would you please describe your relationship with Bob Cerullo? Good friends.
Can you describe your husband's relationship with Mr.
Cerullo? My husband and Bob knew each other since they were kids.
Your husband was a conduit for stolen goods and weapons between suspects in criminal cases and members of organized crime families, correct? Objection.
She's a hostile witness, Your Honor.
You get some room, Mr.
You can answer that, Mrs.
As far as I know, that was the business, yes.
Cerullo made a great deal of money from this relationship, didn't he? Yeah, he did.
A money stream that was totally turned off after your husband was murdered, correct? As far as I know.
Do you know Mr.
Cerullo's motive for killing Jay Fleckner? Was it revenge for the killing that turned off his money? Can you answer that question, Mrs.
Messick? That wasn't his motive.
What was? He did it because I asked him to kill Jay Fleckner.
You asked him to? In the hospital, after I was attacked.
What was Mr.
Cerullo's response? He said he'd take care of it.
He'd kill Fleckner.
In the event Mr.
Fleckner was exonerated at trial, correct? Yes.
Which I made sure happened.
What do you mean by that? I threw my testimony during the trial, so Fleckner could go free, so Bob could kill him.
That bastard killed my husband.
He ruined my life.
I just wanted him dead.
I'm sorry, Bob.
I'm so sorry.
In the matter of the People v.
Robert Cerullo, on the count of Murder in the Second Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Robert Cerullo, guilty.
Have fun the next five years, McCoy.
It's gonna be miserable.
Valerie Messick won't have to answer for her role in the murder.
She made good use of that immunity blanket we handed her.
Without her, we couldn't convict.
A dozen motions for new trials have been filed off Cerullo's old cases.
Up to our eyeballs in ancient history.
The price of justice.