Law & Order (1990) s16e13 Episode Script

Heart Of Darkness

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.
Anna's got a new man, a gringo banker.
Don't tell me she dumped Enrique! That was three boyfriends ago.
She said the sex always gets boring.
Since when is that a reason to break up with someone? She's a passionate girl.
She's a sucia.
A total puta.
Oh, how I envy her.
DOA checked in alone around midnight.
No luggage.
Paid one night in cash.
Didn't make or receive phone calls.
Neighbors hear any noise? Nothing.
Kept things nice and tidy.
Thirteen bucks.
What the hell is this? "Tah-dig"? "Too-dig"? "Tay" It's pronounced "Teague.
" It's Gaelic for Timothy.
I knew a Tadhg in high school.
He threatened me when I went out with his sister.
Let's have a look.
Temp's 88.
He's been dead about seven hours.
Looks like he had himself a little party.
Is there any chance this was an accident? Hard to tell, not knowing what or how much was in the vials.
But the goodbye note there says otherwise.
"Now more than ever seems it rich to die," "to cease upon the midnight with no pain.
" It's signed Tadhg, but it was written by John Keats.
I happen to know my Romantic poetry.
Doesn't all of this seem strange to you? A guy is about to kill himself, but he keeps things very orderly and he quotes poetry? Yeah, but he could be just a well-versed neat freak.
But how many well-versed neat freaks do you know that spell their own name wrong? Hmm.
His tank was close to full on alcohol and alprazolam, but he drowned before the narcotic was fully absorbed.
The drugs put him to sleep, and then he slid under water? Or someone helped him.
I found skin scrapings under a fingernail.
And take a look.
Are those bruises? I didn't see that when he was in the tub.
Abraded areas like this only appear after the skin dries out.
Someone could have forced him to take the plunge.
There wasn't much evidence of a struggle.
Maybe that same someone cleaned up the scene? It doesn't even look like Tadhg's handwriting.
I don't know.
It's hard to say.
Do you know of anybody that would want to harm him? No.
Do you know Did he have a girlfriend? None I'd heard of.
He played the field.
Look, my brother had a mouth that would get him a punch in a bar.
But someone phonying up a suicide? Maybe it was the article he was working on.
He was a journalist.
Did he say what the article was about? I didn't ask.
And he knew telling me would get him an earful.
Earful for what? Being reckless.
Going places he shouldn't.
He'd put his head in a lion's mouth to get a story.
Ma, go lie down.
I'll bring you some tea.
Did you know where your brother worked? Oh, he bounced around freelance, but the last I heard, the Voice of the City.
Past year, he'd been on an expose on gun dealers.
Thought it was gonna be his big insider, win him a Pulitzer.
How did that work out? First draft read like a cheap conspiracy theory.
I told him so.
He blew up.
Accused me of taking payoffs.
Do you know that he received any threats because of that stuff? None he told me about.
Doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Had he been threatened before? He'd get angry calls from rappers to city councilmen.
He liked to piss people off.
Well, did he piss off anybody in particular? Ah, no one I'd aim you to.
In the past, Tadhg did hard-hitting stuff, from toxic waste to dirty cops.
But recently, it's been missed deadlines and failing to corroborate facts.
Is that what got him fired? Uh, bending some girl over his desk at lunch did that.
Oh, man.
Well, that sounds pretty erratic.
Yeah, he was a talented kid.
But he could go too far with a story, an interview, personally.
You just couldn't live with the mood swings.
But he did say he was gonna pursue the gun story somewhere else.
Probably wound up on someone's bad side.
Who was his main source on that story? Talk to Mike Wells at Citizens Against Guns.
Thanks a lot.
Tadhg might've been a little eccentric, but his story had a chance of getting guns off the street.
HOW? He was investigating a salesman named Alfred Biso.
Biso had taken delivery of 500 cheap guns from a bargain manufacturer in Nevada recently, and promptly reported Tadhg figured Biso lied about the robbery so he could sell the guns black market at a better price.
Could he prove any of that? He tracked those guns to dozens of shootings in Philly and New York.
You know if he ever interviewed Biso? He was going to, alone.
Not something I would've done.
Do you have any idea where we can find this guy? Tadhg left a box of his research in my office.
You're free to dig through it.
Police! Get down! Get down! Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! UP, up, up! Against the wall! Against the wall! Quite an arsenal you got there, Biso.
Those are all legally purchased firearms.
What are you two ladies doing here, Christmas shopping? Come on, let's go.
I understand, from a certain perspective, all those guns doesn't look good.
It doesn't look good? The kids you were selling to were barely 16.
Is that what happened? Tadhg Ruane found out who you were selling guns to? Who now? Tadhg Ruane.
The journalist.
Did he confront you about selling guns? This is Tadhg's notebook.
"4:30, Wednesday, Tompkins Square Park.
" Unless there's some other Biso.
Dude was a journalist? That nutcase? What you mean, "nutcase"? Talked a mile a minute about any damn thing.
Sports, food, getting laid.
And he was recommended by a legit guy.
Recommended to you for what? What did he need from you? Said it's urgent, he needs a gun 'cause someone was after him.
Said he found a guy in his closet.
Crazy talk.
But you made the deal anyway? He had the cash.
Did you get him a gun? He didn't show up to get it.
When was that supposed to happen? Early yesterday, Tompkins Square Park again.
So it wasn't two nights ago, around midnight at the Athena Hotel? No.
See, we think you met him at that hotel, you put a gun to his head, you made him swallow some pills, and then you drowned him.
Whoa, whoa, whoa No, no, no.
Come on, man, you had every reason to do it.
He was about to expose your dirty little business deal.
I had no idea he was a reporter.
Look, bro, you sell guns to kids.
That's serious enough.
You add murder to that Dude carried a bottle of booze in his pocket, he took a leak in a trash can at the park.
In the middle of the damn park! What reporter does that? Biso's handwriting does not fit the suicide note.
Latent get prints off the note? A partial, but it was too smudged for any kind of a match.
Did the M.
call back on the skin under the DOA's nail? Barely enough to test from, and it could be the victim's own skin.
He scratched himself? Well, the DOA did have scratches that could be the source.
But it's not conclusive.
Biso come up with an alibi on the time of death? He said he was smoking pot in his apartment, and believe it or not, his neighbors confirmed it.
Look, are we chasing our tail on this gun angle? We did get a lot of guns off the street.
Yeah, but it sounds like this DOA was pretty unstable.
Do we even have a murder? The Medical Examiner says that the bruises on his shoulder are consistent with someone holding him underwater.
Hey, check this out.
I'm digging through Tadhg's research, right? Now, the handwriting on that suicide note looks like it matches the handwriting on these love notes I found in his notebook, and they're all signed "A.
" On his cell phone, there are calls to an Angela Burkett.
Go talk to her.
I slipped it in his coat pocket as he was leaving for work last week.
I wanted him to know that even in darkness there's beauty.
Why'd you sign his name to it? Because I saw it as his portrait.
Dark, but beautiful.
Can you account for yourself on the night he died? You think I I murdered Tadhg? Were you anywhere near the Athena Hotel? I was with a girlfriend in Williamsburg.
If you wouldn't mind giving us her contact info? If you want my opinion, no one murdered Tadhg.
He was a beautiful madman and a brilliant writer, but he suffered from horrible depression.
We heard he was eccentric, nothing about depressed.
I was with him two years.
I think I'd know.
And you think he was suicidal? He suffered from dysphoric mania.
It's a mental illness with extreme high-low states.
You mean, like bipolar? Like one day he would want to marry me and buy a house with a yard and a puppy, and the next day he wouldn't speak to me.
He was sick.
You need to speak with his psychiatrist.
Angela sent you to me? That's surprising.
Why would you say that, Doctor? I shouldn't be talking to you without a subpoena, but I'd lay Tadhg's death at her doorstep.
She says he had dysphoric mania.
Crippling sadness, irritability, euphoria, paranoia, promiscuity.
Did you see his tox screen when he died? Yeah, he had a whole lot of tranquilizers.
But no SSRls or anti-psychotics.
It's because a couple of months ago, Angela convinced him that he'd be cured with herbs and exercise.
And you weren't buying into that.
Or Angela's motives.
Just before she convinced him to quit the meds, he'd confessed cheating on her and fathering a son.
Did he say how Angela reacted? Threatened the other woman.
And that other woman, did he happen to mention her name while he was in therapy? Sarah Ridell.
She showed up at my door one night a few months ago.
Said Tadhg was having problems and it was best if I just stayed away.
Angela wanted to cut off contact between Tadhg and his son? More like Tadhg and me.
But I wasn't about to let Tadhg see Sean alone, so, effectively, yeah.
Why wouldn't you let Tadhg alone with Sean? He was so unpredictable.
You never knew which Tadhg would show up.
When Angela came to your apartment, did you feel that she was threatening you? The point got across.
Did you tell Tadhg about that? I mentioned it.
Were you two in contact a lot? Just sometimes.
Not like he was around to be a father.
Nothing like that.
So how often did you see him? When he'd call.
You mean to hook up? When was the last time? The day before he died.
We got a drink and went back to my place.
It was all good until we'd finished, and then he freaked out.
What do you mean by that? He went nuts, started blubbering like a baby.
Do you know what that was all about? He said when Angela found out we did it, he was a dead man.
He didn't look like he was killed in a jealous rage.
Angela was with the guy for two years.
She knew all of his weaknesses.
So, what, she took her time, set him up? As susceptible as he was, unemployed, off his medication, in despair, it wouldn't be hard to lube the guy with booze and pills and drown the poor bastard.
We checked the LUDs on Angela's place the night of the murder.
There were no calls to or from the hotel.
But an hour before Tadhg checked in, she got a call from the White Horse Tavern, which is right around the corner from Tadhg's apartment.
Well, didn't Angela have an alibi? Some friend in Williamsburg? She couldn't be reached.
The super said she just left for the Peace Corps.
She's lying.
Go to the tavern.
Tadhg Ruane? He was a regular.
Did a self-portrait right there on the wall.
Was he in here three nights ago? Yeah, he was.
Posted up right there on that stool, talking some trash about the Knicks.
Hey, how was his behavior? Uh, real low-key.
Real calm.
Doesn't sound like the guy we've been hearing about.
Generally, he's loony tunes.
I'd never seen him so laid back.
Hey, do you know if he used that payphone over there? Yeah, he did, but I don't know who he called.
Do you know what time he left about? - Around 11:00.
- You know where he went? No clue.
You could ask the limo driver, though.
He took a limo? LIRIANO: Asked me to call him one.
Said tonight he wanted to ride in style.
You got the number? Yeah.
I got the number right here.
His limo driver dropped him right outside and watched him walk in, so he was definitely here.
I'm sorry, I don't remember him.
Listen, this might've been this guy's last stop before he was murdered, so if you wouldn't mind taking a closer look If it's the same guy, he may be the one that met up with one of my regulars.
Who was that? Angie.
Angela Burkett? Yeah.
Did she fill a prescription? Listen, for your information, confidentiality laws do not apply to pharmacists.
I'm well aware they do.
Well, then you're well aware that we'll go get a subpoena, come back, close this joint down for three days and go through all your records.
What's your pleasure? Last two months she filled a few.
What were they for? Alprazolam.
Are you sure they were my pills he took? We're sure.
Well, I keep them in my nightstand.
He must've taken them without me knowing.
You mind telling us why you've been stockpiling so many pills? What do you mean? Your phone records indicate calls to four psychiatrists over the past couple of months.
I was trying to find a new doctor for Tadhg.
Well, we think that you were getting him all the right prescriptions for downers.
You don't know that.
We'll know soon enough.
We're gonna subpoena all their records.
When did you find out Tadhg was sleeping with his son's mom again? I didn't know.
You didn't know that he slept with her the day before he died? No, I didn't know.
And I wouldn't have cared.
When did you get the enlightened attitude? We know for a fact that you threatened her to back off Tadhg a couple of months ago.
No, I told her that Tadhg needed to simplify his life.
I can't believe this.
Oh, God, stop lying.
He was screwing around, and that pissed you off.
That's a natural reaction.
Screwing around is a symptom of his illness.
It doesn't mean anything.
Oh, come on! He had a kid with another woman.
You're the scorned woman.
You got revenge.
Admit it! No, Tadhg needed my help.
He wanted to die.
All I did was help him! You helped him die? L think I need to speak with an attorney now.
She helped him die.
She's going to plead not guilty? Or her fallback will be assisted suicide.
Either way, it's man two.
Why not murder two? How will we convict her for murder? There's evidence he was suicidal.
He suffered depression.
That's no reason to put him to death.
Of course not, but if he wanted to die, should she do 25-to-life for helping? He was held underwater.
He had a gut full of pills.
There's no evidence she shoved them down his throat.
She was aware of his promiscuity and she wrote his suicide note.
That's staging the crime scene, which is consciousness of guilt.
I will write the indictment for murder two, but I'm sure her lawyer's going to have something to say about it.
Tadhg was violently depressed, suicidal.
He had tried every kind of therapy, every drug.
Nothing helped.
He begged Angela to help him die.
This was not murder.
Why did she pen his suicide note? After he took the pills, his hands were shaking and he asked me to write it.
How about the bruises on his shoulders? I don't know anything about the bruises on his shoulders.
He was out drinking earlier.
Maybe he got into a fight.
So she simply assisted his suicide? That's your contention? I was trying to free him from his pain.
Except that he didn't have bone cancer or advanced AIDS.
Even Kevorkian limited himself to terminally ill patients.
Mental illness can be every bit as painful and intractable.
So why did you tell him to stop taking his medication? Because it wasn't working.
It made him more miserable.
A jury will understand this was a merciful act.
Drowning a drunk, sedated man is merciful? My client might be willing to plead to man two, assisted suicide, if she stays out of prison.
No deal.
Then what are you after? Man two, 15 years.
All right.
I was hoping that we could resolve this thing rationally, but apparently we can't, so here's our reciprocal discovery.
Let's go.
My name is Tadhg Ruane.
I'm of sound body and mind.
And I'm making this, uh, this recording because I'm just tired.
I'm tired of the pain.
I'm tired of living.
I'm sorry, Ma.
Just can't do it anymore.
Please understand that.
I want to.
I need to, uh I need to die.
Makes it hard to prove murder.
What happened after the camera was turned off? I think Angela helped him commit suicide.
But she didn't pull a trigger.
I don't buy her explanation for the bruises on his neck.
I say it's evidence Tadhg changed his mind.
We can't rest the case on some bruises.
They're an element.
We'll argue that Tadhg was mentally ill and not in his right mind to decide whether or not he could commit suicide.
I differentiate Tadhg as mentally ill, not mentally incompetent.
That's kind of a nice distinction for you, isn't it? I thought where you came from, suicide was suicide.
It is, but you can't fault a man for something that he has no control over.
A person with Tadhg's mental illness who wants to commit suicide is mentally incompetent.
A fact that she took advantage of for her own purposes and may even have engineered by encouraging him to stop taking his medication.
Assisting his death is murder.
The cause of death was drowning.
So he was alive prior to going underwater? Yes.
The post-mortem buoyancy tests of his lungs indicate he was sucking in, trying to breathe.
People's exhibit two, Your Honor.
Can you tell us what you see here? Bruises on the victim's shoulders.
In your opinion, how did they get there? They are consistent with someone grabbing the victim from above and forcing him underwater.
Nothing further, Your Honor.
Rodgers, your report said that Tadhg Ruane ingested over 1,000 milligrams of alprazolam, is that correct? Yes.
So, if he hadn't drowned, he would've died anyway? Unless someone intervened in time.
But if nobody did, and he had taken a walk, or been alone, he would've died? Yes.
Now these bruises in exhibit two, your report states that they happened within minutes of death? Yes.
But isn't it possible that the bruises were inflicted post-mortem, when the body was moved from the tub? Given their location, it's unlikely.
But it's possible? Yes.
Thank you.
Those with dysphoric mania typically cycle rapidly between very depressed and very manic.
During this cycling, did Tadhg ever say he wanted to die? Once or twice, but more often he said he wanted to live.
Are you aware of any prior suicide attempts by the victim, Doctor? No.
Do you know why he stopped therapy and medication? He said his girlfriend didn't think it was working for him.
In your opinion, is Tadhg Ruane's condition so bad as to be beyond help, beyond hope? Objection.
Rephrase, Mr.
Could Tadhg Ruane have benefited from further treatment, Doctor? Absolutely.
Doctor, would you say someone with dysphoric mania can suffer as much pain as a terminally ill person? It's hard to quantify pain, but the symptoms can feel excruciating.
Enough to make him want to kill himself? Yes, but wanting to die and acting on it are two different things.
But Tadhg's illness wasn't curable, was it? It was manageable.
Had he stayed in therapy and on meds, he could've lived another 50 years.
Have you ever had any other patients commit suicide? Yes.
And did any of those patients kill themselves while in treatment? One patient.
Staying in therapy and on meds is really no guarantee against suicide, is it? Objection.
Nothing further.
I'm starting to think the jury won't buy murder two, Jack.
You'll understand if I disagree.
But why risk it if she'll plead to assisted suicide, maybe even a little jail time? Revenge warrants more than a slap on the wrist.
What if the jury doesn't see revenge? What if they just see her as helping Tadhg free himself from pain? Pain which might have dissipated the next morning.
He may have got up and wanted to take his son to the basketball game.
Or he could have woken up worse.
This is some thorough devil's advocacy, Alex.
I have strong convictions about suicide, but assistance? For someone who was dedicated to dying? I'm not gonna set the precedent that depressives and schizophrenics can take an exit with the help of overburdened loved ones whose act of love may have been tempered by frustration, anger, resentment He was suicidal.
What he did may have been wrong, but her? And strictly speaking, look at her.
She's like a wounded puppy, Jack.
Will a jury convict her? Did you see that? What? Right here.
Watch the mirror in the background.
Just looks like a change in light from one of them moving.
Watch it in slow motion.
Angela and Tadhg are here.
The shadow in the mirror here is not from them.
Someone else is in the room.
Any idea who it might be? Not from current evidence.
The detectives are looking for the camera.
She had an accomplice.
An assisted suicide doesn't require this kind of secrecy.
I was a little shaky on murder two before, but an accomplice changes the game.
Do we try for a continuance, buy a little time to investigate? Doubtful a judge would go for it, and any delay could hurt us with the jury.
What if Angela was forced into this? She's had ample opportunity to let us know.
Sounds to me like you need to find your third man before the case goes to the jury, unless Angela plans on testifying.
Thurber said she was going to in his opening.
That's a cross-examination I'd like to see.
Sometimes Tadhg wouldn't sleep for days and he'd get paranoid.
Any little setback could send him into a rage, punching walls, wailing Did you try getting him help? I was the one who first suggested he see a therapist.
And how did the therapy work out? He went a lot, and he took a lot of drugs that had bad side effects, dry mouth, diarrhea, impotence.
A lot of the time he would just lay on the floor.
He couldn't speak, or even cry.
He refused to eat.
He said that it was like somebody had turned the light out in his soul, it was so dark.
Did he tell you that he wanted to kill himself? After awhile it's all he talked about.
He said he was gonna do it whether I was there or not.
I chose to be with him.
Can you tell us exactly what happened in that bathroom after the camera shut off? I held Tadhg's hand.
He started to fade.
He thanked me.
He told me that he loved me.
And then? His eyelids got heavy, his head sagged, and he went under the water.
Was he awake when he went under? I don't think so.
You don't think so? No.
Should we ask the other person who was in the bathroom with you, Ms.
Burkett? What do you mean? Your Honor, I'd like the jury to review defense exhibit B.
I'll make an offer of proof that an expert from the NYPD audio laboratory will testify that there is a third party in that bathroom.
Your Honor Just a second, Counselor.
Who was with you, Ms.
Burkett? This is wrong.
This is so wrong.
Please just answer the question.
He wanted to die.
This was an act of love.
Who is the other person? I won't say.
Then you'll be held in contempt and jailed until you do.
It was his brother Gerald.
After Tadhg made his decision, I tried to get Gerald to talk him out of it.
But he said that it was Tadhg's choice and that we should respect it.
And Gerald helped you plan it out? He gave us the book on self-deliverance and told me we should use the camera.
And he was there to tape it? He got there just before Tadhg took the drugs.
He set up the camera and he told us when to start.
Then he mostly just watched while I sat with Tadhg, and I stroked his head while he got drowsy.
You say Gerald mostly watched.
What does that mean? Well, I don't know, because At one point I left the bathroom.
Why? The water was supposed to be a fail-safe, after the pills knocked Tadhg out, so he could just Could drift under the water and go to sleep.
But when he started to, I left the room.
I couldn't watch anymore.
Did Gerald stay in the bathroom with Tadhg? Yeah.
Did Tadhg struggle to get out of the water? I heard the water splashing, but I just put my hands over my ears and I cried.
Because you knew what Gerald was doing? Holding Tadhg down? Because the man that I loved was dying, and I was so scared, and I I just wanted him to be at peace.
She has to testify against Gerald.
I won't do that.
Explain to your client that suddenly admitting to a third party on cross is gonna make the jury think she has something to hide.
They're gonna wonder why you didn't bring him up to begin with, especially if he's innocent.
You're looking at a murder conviction.
But if she testifies, man two.
You'll make a strong recommendation for leniency in sentencing? I'll recommend 10 years, after she testifies.
We only wanted to help.
We'll see about that.
She could've pointed to anybody in that courtroom.
But she pointed at you.
I wasn't in that hotel.
Where were you? On Bowery, at O'Dwyers.
I barback there.
And your boss'll back you up? You were there all night? Some of the time I was in the basement doing inventory.
So, he can't account for you all night.
You drive to work? Yeah.
Where do you park the car? Around the block.
You got a parking ticket at 1:00 that morning on 24th and 8th.
That's, what, like, It just happens to be around the corner from the Athena Hotel.
At the very same time your brother was being pushed underwater.
Kind of strange.
Am I under arrest? You're going to be.
You're gonna want that story in perspective.
Well, if I'm not under arrest, I got nothing else to say.
Gerald's got no record, but his name popped up on two rob-assault complaint reports in the past year.
He was a suspect? No.
He was just interviewed at the scene after the fact.
His mother was the victim.
Now, the perp was collared, he's a heroin dealer, and in Gerald's statement to the police he said that the dealer was there to collect on his brother's debts.
How bad was his mother assaulted? Well, this second assault put her in the hospital.
My arm was broke.
Healed, though.
How did Gerald react? Well, he was upset.
As you can imagine.
Did he confront Tadhg about it? He did.
But Gerald understood how hard Tadhg was struggling at the time.
It didn't create any animosity between them? Gerald loved his brother.
He cared for Tadhg and protected him, fought bullies all through their childhood.
But what, Mrs.
Ruane? I always thought Gerald was capable of taking care of himself.
While Tadhg was sensitive, he needed looking after.
So I gave him money, because he was an artist.
Maybe too much.
How much money did you give him? L think we're done talking, Ms.
The police said around the time of Tadhg's suicide, Gerald had several cell calls in to a realtor in Phoenix and he'd applied for an Arizona contractor's license.
He was living with mom because he was broke from a divorce.
How was he gonna buy a house in Phoenix? He also had several calls in to a realtor in Queens, who said Mrs.
Ruane planned to sell her townhouse and relocate with Gerald.
Then this guy showed up.
Leland McNeil.
Long rap sheet.
Big-time bookmaker.
Known to break kneecaps.
The cops spoke to him.
Before Tadhg died, he collected a debt from him for $60,000.
Did you run Mrs.
Ruane's financials? She refinanced her house right around the time the debt was paid.
Scuttling Gerald's plans to relocate and start a new life.
It's atheory.
Arrest him.
Hey, Gerald, you got a minute? What for? Put that down.
You're coming with us.
You're under arrest, Gerald.
You have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to an attorney.
When did you know of your brother Tadhg's desire to end his life? For years.
I had begged him to get help.
Which he did, many times, but it didn't work.
And when did you decide to help him end his life? When I realized there was no stopping him.
And that if he went about it with a gun, which is what he said he would, that he may accidentally shoot off half his face or shoot someone else.
I had nightmares about it.
So I did research into exiting.
Would you take us through events on the night your brother died? Angela Burkett called me at the bar where I was barbacking.
Tadhg had told her, "Tonight's the night.
" And did you meet them at the hotel? With the video camera, which I set up.
We, uh We all said our goodbyes to Tadhg, which was very sad.
But at the same time, we all knew it was what Tadhg wanted and that he'd fought against his illness his whole life and he deserved to rest.
So there was something very positive about it.
Tell the jury what happened then.
He, uh He choked and he flailed his arms.
What did you do? I moved to sit at the edge of the bathtub and lifted him up, so his head was out of the water.
And he calmed down, and after a bit, his breathing got very slow, and so I took my hands on his shoulders and, as gently as I could, eased him back under.
Is that how he got the bruises on his shoulders? He was taller than the tub, so I had to press down until his head submerged.
Was it a violent act? No.
And what happened then? My brother passed away.
And I'm very sad that he's gone, but there is no reason why I helped him die beyond easing his pain.
He wanted to die and he wanted my help.
And what did you want from your brother, Mr.
Ruane? I just wanted him at peace.
You wanted peace from him, didn't you? That's the more accurate statement, isn't it? No, you're wrong.
He cost you your job by appearing at construction sites and demanding your attention.
That happened one time, and he was very sick that day.
On numerous occasions he'd arrive at your home at all hours, screaming outside if you didn't let him in.
Not numerous occasions.
Maybe twice.
He broke into your home and stole electronics and silverware to feed his drug and gambling habits.
That happened one time.
A week later your wife filed for divorce, didn't she? Yes.
And after you finally persuaded your mother to relocate with you to Arizona to buy a new 'name and to stem a new 'gob, your brother's debts forced you to put your life on hold yet again.
Do you recall testimony by the medical examiner about the bruises on your brother's shoulders? Yes.
Those bruises bore no indication of gentle easing.
Isn't it true that you held him under the water with brute force? No.
He was flailing his arms and gasping for air, wasn't he? Possibly trying to change his mind? No No! How can you be sure? You can't.
And you never entertained the notion because you wanted him dead, didn't you? I loved my brother.
But his death didn't just solve his problems, did it? It solved them for both of you.
Isn't that correct, Mr.
Ruane? Yes or no? You asked to see us? L, uh, want to say something.
You're supposed to protect your kid brother.
And I did that, his whole life.
And every second of helping him plan his exit, I swear that's what I was doing.
I was being an older brother.
But that last moment, when he wanted to breathe God forgive me.
Man two, 15 years.
He'd take more if Angela's sentence was reduced.
She didn't do anything but love him.
Angela's lawyer called.
They thanked us for the reduction to three years.
They should.
She should have helped him with his meds, helped him stay in therapy.
She got off light.
Are you familiar with Mark Twain's account of an incident on a riverboat, where a man was trapped burning underneath an exploded boiler, begging his crewmates to shoot him? A crewman did sham him.
How much time would you give him? I'm not sure I'd prosecute.
And three years is light for someone who thought they were doing the same thing? That exploded boiler was real, Alex, not just in the trapped man's mind.
There's a big difference.
You think Tadhg Ruane would agree with that? If he was around, I'd ask him.