Law & Order (1990) s17e06 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.
ALL: Happy Birthday, Jenna! MIKE: Nice! (ALL WHOOPING) (DANCE MUSIC PLAYING) MIKE: Smile, gorgeous.
You're on camera.
Happy sweet 16, Jenna! Love ya.
MIKE: Oh, yeah! Hey Yeah! Daddy's pimpin' out the dough, Jenna, and you're gonna miss your own party.
A girl's gotta look good, Zack.
MIKE: Work it out! Work it out! I love you! Love you! (EXCLAIMS) Yo, man, you see that buffet inside? It's like 50 feet of food! MIKE: Chow down, bro! (ALL WHOOPING) Jenna's pulling up.
Come on! BOY: Jenna's coming! Come on! Let's go! (ALL CHATTERING EXCITEDLY) MIKE: Dad exits the limo, looking sharp (ALL WHOOPING) Here's daddy's little girl! (ALL SCREAMING) GIRL: Oh, my God! Oh, my God! (CHATTERING ON POLICE RADIO) Vic's name is Gary Howard, 54.
Bellevue pronounced him DOA.
ED: Damn.
He walked right up on him.
You can't see the suspect's face.
What about hotel surveillance? Cameras only cover the entrance.
The shooting was just out of range.
We're checking street surveillance now.
Can you voucher that as evidence? And could you get your boys to do an area search for the gun? Maybe it was tossed.
CASSADY: So what did he look like? White guy in his 20s, about six foot.
Wore a hoodie.
You got a good look at the guy? Oh, yeah.
He ran right by me, I almost pissed in my shorts.
Now, this job's usually a snooze.
Go figure, someone actually needed security tonight.
We weren't hired for Mr.
Howard, if that's what you mean.
DJ SpinArt was gonna be performing.
SpinArt's doing kids' parties now? Money talks.
Detective? CSU's got something for you.
Thanks, man.
My sweet 16, dad wouldn't even loan me the Buick.
He obviously didn't love you.
I told him as much at the time.
This is yourvic, right? Wow.
Front page of the business section.
Yeah, I found it stuffed behind the planter.
And I'm bagging some cigarette butts, too.
All right, cool.
He would've had a good view of the limo when it pulled up.
So he was staked out with the paper.
The shooter didn't know who Howard was? Says here he's the C.
of Presidio Armor.
Never heard of it.
They make bulletproof vests? Yeah? How's this gonna look for business? I heard the gunshots when I was getting out of the limo.
My dad squeezed my hand really hard.
CASSADY: Did you see the man who did it? No, it happened too fast.
I don't even think my dad saw him.
He was looking at me, you know, when it happened.
(SOBBING) Why don't we finish this later, okay? MIMI: Gary was out of town for Jenna's birthday last year.
He felt like he needed to make it up to her.
I can't believe he's gone.
(SNIFFLING) MIMI: Did she tell you anything? She won't talk to me about it.
She's holding up, considering.
Look, Mrs.
Howard, I know this is difficult, but any information you can give us Enemies, threats, anybody that would've had a motive to hurt your husband I'm not sure.
Uh, no, there was something.
He changed drivers this past week.
The new guy carried a gun.
Do you know why he needed the security? No.
We never discussed his business.
Bill Whitney might know.
He runs Presidio's day-to-day operations.
WHITNEY: There was an incident the day after the piece ran in The Times.
Some protesters outside our offices.
One of them threw a rock at Gary's Mercedes, smashed the back window.
You can imagine he was upset.
We're all in shock he's dead.
The Times mentioned that large military contracts were awarded to Presidio.
Is that what all these protests were about? We're outfitting the army with body armor.
These left wing conspiracy nuts think we're kicking back money to the White House for taking us to war.
Any other incidents you know of? Just the one.
Let me show you something.
We're developing new protection systems for the next generation of soldier.
Our ballistics lab is state-of-the-art.
We can generate computer models, run impact simulations.
Amazing stuff.
Top of the line, right here.
Level four ceramic armor, full Kevlar.
Withstands up to six rounds moving at 2800 feet per second.
And this is what our soldiers are wearing over there? It's the only reason they're coming home alive.
This was Gary's mission.
How well did you know him? We were good friends.
Thursday night dinners were a ritual.
Did he ever mention anyone who had an axe to grind? Business or otherwise? He was a straight shooter.
People respected him.
He never would've agreed to an armed driver if I hadn't insisted on it.
That's who he was.
This driver, where'd he come from? Our company has security in-house.
They handled it.
I drove Mr.
Howard myself the past week.
Other than the window, there were no other incidents.
Why didn't he have an armed escort at the party last night? The protests had broken up by then.
He said he didn't need me to cover.
Most anti-war activists, it's just grandstanding.
I was in the Bureau for 16 years, never seen anything like this.
And that's your feeling? That the shooting was done by one of the protesters? Not the sidewalk variety.
But someone politically motivated, yeah.
You might want to take a look at this guy.
CASSADY: Lloyd Savitsky.
Fits our perp's description.
Who is he? Worked for us as a chemical engineer till he sabotaged a batch of ceramic armor.
Turned it into peanut brittle.
I think he wanted to turn public opinion against the war.
Look, when I got the phone call that Mr.
Howard had been shot, Savitsky was definitely somebody I thought of.
How should I know where he is? Try his apartment.
Dolan, you know he got evicted two months ago.
Let me tell you something.
He was evicted because Presidio's underhanded tactics did serious harm to the man's reputation.
They took away his livelihood because he expressed an opinion about an unjust war.
So, now his livelihood is working lawsuits for a payoff? Mr.
Savitsky's claims against Presidio are absolutely legitimate.
He's done nothing wrong and he's being persecuted.
Hey, look.
If your boy turns up Yeah, you'll be the first to know.
Doin' laundry? No, the meter maids are out to get me.
He's not going near Savitsky now, not with us looking for him.
Well, even if we wanted to trace a call back to Savitsky, there's no way we're gonna get a subpoena to dump a lawyer's phone.
Can I get two regular, please? Even an ambulance chaser like Dolan? I'm just sayin'.
That phone is right outside his office.
You think all those quarters? What? You think he's that paranoid? Hey.
You ever see a guy with a pony tail call on that phone? You mean the nut job who says his phones are tapped? (MOUTHING) Lloyd Savitsky? Open up! Mr.
Savitsky? (GRUNTING) (BOTH GRUNTING) Damn! Are you all right? Yeah.
I should've yelled for you.
No, it's all right, you got him.
Come on.
Damn, dude, you got your ass kicked by a girl.
Come on.
VAN BUREN: Number six.
DOLAN: You people had no probable cause to make an arrest.
Her face tells me otherwise.
I'm talking about the murder, lieutenant.
I don't see him.
Take your time.
I'm telling you, I got a good look at the shooter.
He ain't up there.
All right, we're done.
Your witness did not identify my client.
Number six, you're sure that VAN BUREN: Detective.
We're still holding him for assaulting a police officer.
Book him.
But don't even think about talking to him.
Don't you ever talk out of turn in front of a suspect's lawyer again.
It just came out of my mouth Then get a muzzle.
You look like hell, by the way.
Boss, the way it went down, it Just detail it in your report right now Hey, Loo.
I just got off the phone with Mimi Howard.
Somebody delivered an unmarked package to her apartment.
Did you call Operations? Bomb Squad's en route.
Meet them there.
No explosive residue on the outside of the box.
Might still be a rigged-up grenade.
ED: How did it get in here? Doorman was on break.
He never saw it.
The maid brought it in off the desk.
CHARLIE: We're safe.
You guys wanna take a look at this? It's a purple heart.
ED: The medal was wiped clean.
No latent prints.
But there's a name engraved on the back, Matt Garcia.
Army Reserve Specialist with the 223rd Transport Battalion.
He was killed eight months ago in Iraq.
So, is there a connection between Garcia and our DOA? Howard's widow didn't know who Garcia was, but I don't think we're dealing with a personal motive.
Well, sending the purple heart, the killer must be somehow blaming Howard for Garcia's death.
And we're sure this medal's for real? It is, but not necessarily the one given to Garcia's next of kin.
I found a dozen websites selling authentic Purple Hearts, some offering free engraving.
And all KIA names are posted online.
You know, you're starting to bleed again.
You may need a stitch.
I'm fine.
Where's Garcia's next of kin? His widow's up in Washington Heights.
See if she's got the original.
Matt's Purple Heart is at home on the mantle.
I keep it in a case right next to his picture.
Christopher's got to know who his father was, you know? Of course.
Garcia, did any of Matt's friends from the service contact you recently? A few guys came by to offer condolences.
Did any of them seem particularly upset? Like upset enough to avenge Matt's death? They were all upset, he was well liked.
But no one stood out.
Anybody mention Howard? No.
And I don't even think Matt was wearing body armor when he died.
How do you know? Because Matt wrote and asked me to send him some.
But it cost so much that by the time I'd saved up, he'd already been killed.
Christopher, it's time to go.
Just one more question, ma'am.
Did the Army tell you how your husband was killed? I know he was shot and killed in Tal Afar.
I didn't want to hear details.
Dying someplace like that.
One of his buddies who came by said to call if I wanted to know more.
Alan Crockett.
He left a number.
I wasn't with Garcia on that patrol, but, uh, I heard aAK round ripped straight through his chest plate.
His wife said he didn't have any armor.
Well, we went eight weeks in country without it before army supply finally caught up.
At the time, we thought those vests were a Godsend.
It turns out they were worthless.
Anybody say anything about making things right once you got stateside? When it comes to stateside, all we talk about is cold beer, hot showers, and fine young ladies like yourself.
Except we got a man dead and a Purple Heart with Garcia's name on it, that was delivered to the victim's apartment.
Now that didn't come out of the blue.
TV said the guy you're looking for is white so, uh, it didn't come from me either.
Yo, Ty, give me another? Well, do you know who it came from, Alan? He's the first guy in our platoon to get killed, you know? And we all took it hard.
But no one said, "Kill this Howard guy.
" Did the Army know that the bullet went through Garcia's vest? Yeah.
It's why they exchanged our vests out for new ones.
Some group tried to kick up some stink about Garcia's death, but nothing came of it.
What's the name of this group? American Shield or something.
Yo, Ty! We're a soldiers' advocacy group.
We write Congress, send direct mail.
Any issue in support of our troops, like equipment upgrades or failures.
And you wrote letters on behalf of Specialist Garcia? We contacted the army and the vest manufacturer.
Everybody said they'd look into the allegations surrounding his death.
Did they? No, they swept it under the rug.
Garcia's vest was missing.
No proof, what could we do? Can't imagine Garcia's buddies were too pleased.
I received a phone call about a week ago.
A man claimed he was an Army investigator looking into the case.
He wanted to know who I'd written to at Presidio.
And you gave them Gary Howard's name? Yes.
Did the guy give his own name? Well, I was so surprised they were taking the case seriously, I forgot to ask.
Now, in light of Howard's murder Here.
This came a couple of months ago.
Right after we stopped our letter campaign on Garcia's death.
It's unsigned.
"You let them kill our friend.
" STONEMAN: "This crap armor is worse than nothing.
"They are getting men killed.
"They must stop sending Presidio vests now.
" Can you tell us where it came from? Look at what's embedded in the paper.
CASSADY: What is that, some kind of red powder? Iraqi dust.
They get these storms over there, the dust gets into everything.
Okay, that puts us in the ballpark.
Latents pulled seven prints of value.
The army lD's them all from the same unit.
The 223rd? You got it.
Guess who made the list? It got passed around the barracks for approval.
Lots of hands touched it.
Mine too, I guess.
So what? We got Kenny Olsen's prints from that letter, too.
Tell us about Kenny.
He was in our platoon.
Don't be stupid.
We checked your cell phone records.
You called him 10 times.
One of the times was an hour before the murder, now, what the hell were you all talking about? I've been partying so much since coming home, I could've made that call.
Don't remember.
CASSADY: We spoke to your battalion commander.
Ellis was there when Garcia got shot.
Drove the Humvee that brought him back to base.
And when you guys first got to Iraq, Garcia saved Ellis' life.
Their Humvee hit an IED, caught fire.
Garcia pulled Ellis to safety, so what? All right, so Ellis watches the guy that saved his life die because of a bad vest.
Now, how did he take that? Hard.
Like all of us did.
Did he buy a Purple Heart with Garcia's name on it? He wore it under his vest.
Said that Garcia's spirit would protect him.
Did you know he was gonna kill Howard? I didn't know nothin' about nothin'! ED: All right, man.
I'm gonna say this one more time.
You talked to him an hour before he shot down Howard in front of his daughter at her 16th birthday party.
Now, if you knew anything about this, you need to come clean with us now because you're about this close to being charged with conspiracy.
(sums) You've got all this respect for your fellow soldiers? You need to help us bring him in peacefully.
Otherwise, we're gonna go out there and hunt him down like a dog.
OFFICER: Detective, over here.
Kenny? My name's Ed, man.
You mind if we talk for a minute? It's all good, bro.
Look, man.
Why don't you put that gun down and tell me what's wrong? Look, I know you've got a lot on your mind, man.
You just got back from Iraq, and God knows what horrible things you saw over there.
We know about Garcia's vest.
We know that Howard might have had something to do with it.
The only way that the rest of the world's gonna know about your friend Garcia, and how he died is if you tell them.
Put the gun down.
Tell me about your friend.
Come on.
Put it down.
Come on.
There you go.
Oh, God.
"Docket number 071571.
”People v.
Kenneth Dale Ellis.
"Charge is murder in the second degree.
" My client pleads not guilty.
JUDGE: The People on bail? Remand, Your Honor.
Ellis is a war veteran who used his military training to commit a brazen murder.
If released, he poses an extreme danger to the community.
It's offensive the People would use my client's service to his country against him I want to discuss evidence, Ms.
Schatzberg, not politics.
The gun found in the possession of the defendant during his arrest matches the gun used in the homicide.
He was also identified as the shooter in a photo array by several eye witnesses Okay, Counselor.
I get the picture.
Ellis, on behalf of the citizens of New York, thank you for your service.
You're remanded.
(GAVEL POUNDS) I can prove my client was acting under an extreme emotional disturbance.
Call it whatever you want, the facts of the crime say otherwise.
And you wouldn't be here unless you thought we had a compelling case.
He stalked Gary Howard.
The murder was clearly premeditated.
Weigh that against the horror of war.
I have multiple experts who'll testify that my client's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very real.
My sympathies are with Mr.
Howard's wife and his daughter.
Except your victim was a greedy profiteer, Jack.
It's irrelevant.
The murder two charge still stands.
Garcia would still be alive if his vest had stopped that bullet.
Doesn't that matter to you people? You gunned down a man in front of his daughter.
JACK: Keep making these claims, Mr.
True or not, they make a compelling motive to commit murder.
You people never would've made that son of a bitch account for what he did.
None of which justifies what you did.
You ever seen a man shot to death? Your best friend? C.
! Let me out! (DOOR BUZZING) SCHATZBERG: The jury finds it's emotional disturbance, it's man one.
He does 10 years in a psychiatric hospital.
We have a strong case.
Have your shrink examine my client.
See if she agrees.
I don't sleep much anymore 'cause I get headaches real bad.
Why did you attempt suicide? I don't know.
I feel like I'm always in pain.
Did you kill anyone in combat when you were in Iraq? It was kill or be killed over there.
We were on patrol and this Iraqi woman came walking towards us, and she wouldn't stop when we told her to.
Our Captain gave us the order and we lit her up.
You mean you shot her? Do you think your Captain made the right decision? Oh, I'm not gonna question his call.
You know, if she'd been a suicide bomber.
You were with Garcia when he died? I had to lift him out of the truck, so the medics could work on him.
I saw his skin change color.
There was so much blood.
After seeing that, were you afraid to die as well? Nah.
I had no one to come back to here.
Not like Garcia, with a wife and kid.
How he died, you know Well, that wasn't supposed to happen.
Ellis shows all the symptoms of PTSD.
His suicide attempt speaks to his guilt that he survived when Garcia and the others didn't.
His combat experience involved constant traumatic events.
You don't have to leave a limb in the battlefield to be wounded.
The psychological toll of war is no less debilitating.
This killing wasn't some random act, Liz.
Ellis claims that Garcia's armor failed to protect him.
If that's true, it's a strong motive to settle a score.
It cuts both ways.
Betrayal of trust is often at the heart of this condition.
Betrayed by a faulty vest? You could look at it that way.
I know he believes it.
Not everyone gets to be the victim here.
You're off the hook.
You don't have to testify.
Thank you.
(sums) Can we corroborate anything in Ellie's story? Well, the official report didn't mention any problems with Garcia's armor.
But two days after he was killed, the army recalled 400 vests that had been issued to that battalion.
I don't think the timing's coincidental.
What happened to the vests? They were sent back to the company.
The army pulled the production lot because soldiers were worried.
Someone was spreading rumors the armor was weak.
We retested the vests on our range, and every one of them passed.
I'll show you our ballistics analysis.
So they went back into circulation? Of course not.
We were contractually required to destroy the armor.
Why, if there was nothing wrong? We have never once recorded a fatality due to equipment failure.
And the claim about Specialist Garcia's vest? Never once.
Not Garcia's death or anyone else's.
We would not stand for it.
You see, Ms.
Rubirosa, this is not just a construction site for us.
Being at Ground Zero means something to this company.
According to Presidio's internal reports, the vests passed all ballistics tests.
Any outside verification? None.
The Army signed off on the analysis without doing one of their own.
And the record of the vests being destroyed? Seems to be legit.
So you think Ellis is making the story up? You want to ask me what my take on Whitney is first? Okay.
What's your take on Whitney? You'd think he'd bend over backwards to help us make our case.
He just met me with a lot of attitude.
Seems nervous.
Hiding something? I pulled his LUDs.
He called Garcia's widow two days ago.
Feeling guilty? Or something else.
Talk to him.
Whitney came by and basicallyjust offered his condolences.
Did he mention anything about a lawsuit? Ask you if you want to sue? No, he was just real nice.
Did he seem guilty about your husband's death? Just kind of sad.
Look, my break is over.
You need anything else? Did Whitney give you money? I had nothing to do with it.
How much did he give you? Please don't make me give it back.
Only if you're honest with me.
He gave me $20,000.
Out of the blue? Mmm-mmm.
I don't buy that.
Alan said he'd arranged it.
That I should just take it.
Alan who? Crockett.
I wasn't involved in any extortion.
The 20,000 Whitney gave Garcia's widow disputes that.
I've never been in contact with the man.
Alan, we know you called his office from a payphone outside your apartment.
It's a public phone! You're not a very good liar, Mr.
Let's say I believed you were trying to do the right thing by Garcia's wife and son.
Maybe I'd be persuaded to drop the charges against you.
I want the truth.
The money was for Garcia's family.
(SNIFFLING) That's all this ever was about.
Did you know Ellis was gonna kill Howard? No.
I swear I didn't know until I saw it on the news.
Why did Ellis say he did it? Because Howard wouldn't admit the wrong he'd done.
Meaning the faulty vests? Howard wouldn't pay us nothing.
Next thing I know Ellis kills the guy.
And when he gets caught, I just I just tried to do the right thing for Garcia's wife and his kid.
So, you threatened Whitney's life? No.
Whitney paid because he knew that we were right about Garcia's vest.
HOW? Me and Ellis smuggled Garcia's vest out of Iraq.
You've got the vest and an extortion scheme.
There's the motive for Ellis killing Howard.
It's not that simple anymore, Arthur.
Forensic analysis shows severe deficiencies in the armor's integrity.
Any bullet would've penetrated that ceramic plate.
Which is why Whitney was willing to pay to get the vest back.
So he had an interest in protecting Presidio's reputation.
I don't agree with the way he handled it, but where's the crime? That is Lloyd Savitsky.
He's a former Presidio employee.
He was fired for allegedly sabotaging a batch of ceramic armor.
Allegedly? The incident coincided with the production date of Garcia's vest.
Well, the sabotage should've set their production back by weeks.
But the Pentagon said they still made their quota for that month.
Pretty circumstantial.
Presidio was under pressure to deliver.
They have 100 million dollars in defense contracts at stake.
And one bad vest is gonnajeopardize that? JACK: How do we know there was just one? Whitney knew there were problems with the armor.
His reckless conduct created a grave risk of death.
That's depraved indifference murder.
You're gonna need Ellis to make the case.
You willing to flip him? If it means holding Whitney responsible for everything he set in motion.
This guy Whitney is responsible for those vests? We believe he is.
Why don't you just come out and say we have a hell of a defense? It's nojustification for the murder of Gary Howard.
Still, in light of the malfeasance, we're prepared to offer Mr.
Ellis 15 years.
Fifteen years, and you want him to testify? I don't think so.
I'm offering you a chance to tell ajury what happened.
Whitney will have to answer.
Don't act like you're doing him the favor.
I'll do it.
We have to discuss this, Kenny.
No, there's nothing to discuss.
I'll do the 15 so long as I get to nail that bastard.
(ALL CLAMORING) Bill Whitney? You're under arrest for the murder of Matt Garcia.
What are you doing? I didn't kill anybody.
Smile for your fans.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law ELLIS: I had the wheel of the Humvee, Garcia was my gunner.
We were headed back to base.
All of a sudden, he kind of slumped down.
A sniper had shot him in the chest.
He was pretty much gone by the time the medics got to him.
Do you recognize this? Yes, sir.
That's the armored vest Garcia was wearing when he was hit.
And this is where Specialist Garcia was shot? Yes, sir.
That's the bullet hole, right through the ceramic plate over the chest.
It just went right through it.
Can you show us the ceramic plate? Nothing further.
You're testifying here today as part of a plea deal, correct? Fifteen years for the murder of Gary Howard? Yes, sir.
But I shot him because I knew other guys out there had bad armor.
I thought it might wake people up to what was going on.
So, it had nothing to do with the $100,000 you attempted to extort from Mr.
Howard? Or the $20,000 that you and your partner managed to extort from my client? That money was for Garcia's wife and kid, not us.
Did you wear an armored vest made by Presidio during your tour in Iraq? Yes, sir.
Even after Garcia's death? Yes, sir, but I made sure my armor was solid.
You and every other soldier in your platoon, correct? Yes, sir.
And did anyone ever find any problems? No.
So you would characterize the incident with Garcia's vest as a tragic but an isolated incident? That doesn't make it right, or that it doesn't matter.
An isolated incident.
Yes or no, Mr.
Ellis? Yes.
Nothing further.
HAYES: We were ambushed on Route Irish by insurgents.
An RPG had hit my truck, and I was dragging my guy out of the cab, and pulling him to cover when I was hit by ground fire.
SOLOMON: Hit where? Left leg and torso.
Five rounds.
Were you wearing Presidio body armor at the time? Yes, sir.
That's why I just lost my leg.
The armor did its job.
On the battlefield, is there such a thing as an acceptable loss of life? Whether I choose to accept it or not, sir, it's a reality of war.
According to the Defense, Mr.
Whitney had to send over a vest he knew was faulty.
Would you order a soldier into combat with armor you knew would not protect him? Sometimes in battle, sir, we need to improvise and make do with what we have.
You're not answering my question, Sergeant.
If I had to give the order, sir, I would give it.
But it wouldn't be an easy decision.
And what if it was you? Would you have gone on your mission that day on Route Irish, wearing a vest you knew would not protect you? When our country went to war, not all our soldiers were equipped with life-saving body armor.
Military supply's been playing catch-up since we invaded Iraq.
So we tripled production to output 3,000 units a month.
Why push production so hard? Because soldiers' lives are on the line.
The longer we take, the longer they have to wait.
To date, how many armored vests have you supplied to the army? Sixty thousand.
And out of all of those, how many vests didn't perform? Just Garcia's, that I know of.
Which is not to say his death isn't tragic, it is.
But this is not a zero sum game.
If we have 90% success, it means we're doing ourjob.
But you knew there were problems with a batch of ceramic armor.
And you didn't delay the production lot to weed out those faulty vests, correct? There wasn't time.
Only a handful of the vests were questionable.
So playing Russian roulette with a soldier's life was an acceptable risk? If I'd delayed supply, we might be talking about more deaths than just Garcia's.
You also didn't notify the Army that some armor was compromised, did you? Of course, we did.
This is Presidio's third quarter production report that you signed off on, correct? Yes.
it was sent to the GAO and the Army Chief at the Pentagon.
Please show the court where the risk of failure with some armor was mentioned.
Your Honor, please.
It's on page 319, Mr.
One page, buried in a report that's over 400 pages long.
Presidio's contract with the Pentagon is worth about $100,000,000.
Correct? I don't look at Garcia's death as the cost of doing business, Mr.
You didn't notify the Army because delays in production would have jeopardized that contract, correct? Delays would've meant more troops without body armor that could save their lives.
That was my concern.
Then why the cover up, Mr.
Whitney? You suspected an employee of sabotage, but you didn't press charges.
You paid extortion money in an attempt to retrieve Garcia's vest, the one piece of evidence that proved your malfeasance.
The money I gave Garcia's wife was a gesture.
I was not trying to buy the vest back.
Your concern was with being caught because you knew some armor would fail.
A decision had to be made, Mr.
Who said sacrificing Garcia's life was your decision to make? Jack, you got a moment? This is General Don Barrett, up from Washington.
Here about the Presidio case, I presume.
It's garnered quite a bit of attention, you can imagine.
Congress is already making noise about hearings.
What can I do for you, General? We're being asked to plead the case out, Jack.
We already went down that road.
They said no.
Well, General Barrett's met with Whitney's attorneys, and they've agreed to take five years.
Five years? Understand.
When soldiers are in harm's way, morale is a vital interest.
The sooner this goes away, the better.
We want to minimize publicity.
Let the story vanish with the new cycle.
And what's the Pentagon's spin gonna be? This isn't about spin, Mr.
This is about the soldiers who are still out there, fighting for this country.
And they need all the confidence we can give them.
And I would have thought, all the protection.
What happened with Specialist Garcia's vest was an isolated incident.
Rest assured, the situation's being dealt with, and the error won't happen again.
Now, we'd like you to make this deal.
All this isn't about one vest.
You know about more, don't you? More armor failures, more deaths, that's what this is all about.
What I know is that Presidio will not be producing any more faulty vests.
So you wanna step over the bodies and not look back? If it's in the best interest of the ones still standing, absolutely.
Perhaps you can explain things more explicitly to Mr.
I'll see myself out.
Good day, gentlemen.
I'm not doing it, Arthur.
They're not backing us in court, Jack.
So what? We don't need them to make our case.
Well, the Defense does.
And if we don't make the deal, the General has made it very clear that they're gonna help Whitney.
Now, it's over.
We're doin' it.
And you're okay with that? I think the General makes a point.
The point being that truth is the first casualty in a war? Come on, Arthur! There are larger considerations here.
Namely, the men and women who are volunteering to risk their lives.
Whitney thought a soldier's life was expendable, now we're doing the same thing? Five years is real time.
Not for a murder.
Not for all the other deaths out there like Garcia's.
You take the justice you get.
(SCOFFS) We're letting justice get lost in the fog of war.
(DOOR CLOSES) He allocutes to the charges.
He does five years.
I think we're in agreement on that.
Whitney? Yeah.
I'll take the deal.
SOLOMON: You'll have your office draw up the offer.
We can do the allocution right away.
How many bad vests did you let slip through, Mr.
Whitney? That's not relevant, Jack.
It is to me.
I want to know how many soldiers died because of what you did.
I don't know what you're talking about.
When did you decide that men like Garcia weren't as important as a contract, or a quarterly earnings statement, or your own bank account? How did you convince yourself that the blood wouldn't be on your hands, Mr.
Whitney? You're wrong.
Keep on telling yourself it was for the greater good.
Your conscience isn't clean! I hope five years is enough to make you face it.
I know what I did, Mr.
I saved lives.