Law & Order (1990) s17e21 Episode Script

Over Here

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.
Do you really think she's okay? She's so lethargic! Well, that's because Princess is a very fat cat.
Changing her diet would do her good.
Well, I'm getting a second opinion! (sun FIRING) (SCREAMING) Dena! Get Laurie out here with an ambu-bag for a large dog! Call 911! We're losing him.
We're losing him! I know some of the local homeless, but I've never seen him before.
He say anything before he died? No.
We had the ambu-bag over his mouth, trying to help him breathe.
He's the first real person I work on and he dies! At least you tried.
Most people How far could he have walked with those head wounds? It's hard to say.
He sustained internal trauma, but without an autopsy He's got fractured ribs on the left, ruptured spleen and liver, internal hemorrhaging, and a shattered acromioclavicularjoint.
Broken shoulder.
Didn't you say you never worked on people before? Oh, I got X-ray hands.
Comes from treating patients who can't tell you what's wrong with them.
Could be a hit-and-run.
Uh-uh, not with these wounds.
They look defensive.
My guess, he got beaten to death.
No ID.
He couldn't have walked far in that condition.
His squat's probably nearby.
He gets his beat-down, he's looking for help and he sees this.
(CELL PHONE RINGING) Any port in a storm.
Hello? Where? Got it.
Hope you weren't planning on breakfast.
Lower East Side, another homeless guy beaten to death.
Call came in at 5:10.
Someone heard shouting, a man calling for help.
Caller see anything? She was up on the third floor, it was still too dark to see.
We'll canvass the buildings on the off chance.
It's 5:10.
The other guy fell into the clinic around 4:30.
Say he was beaten That leaves about 50 minutes between attacks.
It's time enough to walk from 26th and 9th all the way over here.
Could be the same guys.
And I got something here.
Cute kid.
And, uh, a New Jersey driver's license.
William McCarter, address in Fort Lee.
Let's make sure that gets back to his family.
Blunt-force injuries, crushing wounds these guys were stomped, punched and batted head to toe.
Any way to connect the attacks? Ah, both men have a similar bruise here on the right temple.
Shaped like a boot heel.
I'm guessing this is what started the brain hemorrhage that killed him.
Looks like shrapnel wounds.
There's more on his leg.
Is he a veteran? Infantry, First of the Third, stationed in Tikrit.
So says the tattoo on his left shoulder blade.
I put him in his mid-20s.
CSU got nothing from the baseball field and the canvass didn't turn up any witnesses.
No kidding.
All the more reason to figure out where this John Doe got his beat-down.
Private John Doe.
Iraq veteran.
From Tikrit to our street.
Some homecoming.
It's a cocktail napkin.
The L, it's from the Lexmore, it's a hotel in Chelsea.
The Lexmore, nice piano bar.
He said his name was David.
Never got a last name.
He said he was in the service.
How'd you know him? I found him digging through the dumpster out back.
So, I set him up with a meal.
I did it a few times.
A vet eating garbage, it ain't right.
You know where he laid up for the night? No idea.
David wasn't a big talker.
Last night, he come around for his meal? Nah, he came, every other week.
David knew not to push, and to show his gratitude.
How did he do that? Well, I don't want any trouble.
If they were stolen, I don't know anything about it.
If what was stolen? Floor mats.
He said he found 'em, he wanted to give 'em to me.
They were practically brand-new except for a couple of little stains.
I gave him 10 bucks for 'em.
These are for a Bentley.
Figured I could sell 'em on eBay.
Not anymore.
Store tag's still on 'em.
Yup, they're ours.
They were, ah, damaged from a leak in the stockroom.
We had to throw 'em out.
Where'd you find 'em? This man sold 'em to someone else.
Oh, him.
What a pain in the ass.
What, he get hit by a bus? Beaten to death.
You called him Kreidel, you know his name.
Of course.
David Kreidel.
We were suing him for scaring away our customers.
Lawyers filed the papers last week.
You're suing a homeless person? Customers bring their cars in for service, they'd see him hanging out back there, doing his thing.
Going to the bathroom, talking to himself, we offered him money to move, but Back there in the alley, that's where he was living? Yeah.
So what were you suing him for, the lint in his pockets? The money he was getting from the government some kind of benefits.
Like maybe his GI benefits? We were just hoping that he'd shove off.
That's a nice pin on your lapel, by the way.
(SCOFFS) Looks like his squat.
I got blood on the box, blood here, and blood here where somebody grabbed on.
Looks like we got our crime scene.
We got an eyewitness, too.
Hammond! This camera work? BECKWAY: Don't expect miracles.
The camera's about five years old.
We'll keep it in mind.
BECKWAY: Here we go.
I couldn't make out their faces.
There it was.
The deathblow.
Go back to the beginning.
I want to see something.
Freeze it.
Right there.
What's that? ED: That's a baseball cap.
Go forward slowly.
Someone was standing under the camera, just watching.
You see that? Something flew out of his pocket.
He was right about here.
Turned this way, the thing flew out that way.
There's all kinds of nastiness under there.
Don't! You wanna get rabies or something? Here, use this.
It was square shaped like a piece of cardboard.
CASSADY: Something like that? It's a map of the city.
All the sights are highlighted, maybe our perps are from out of town.
If it's their map.
Well, same shape.
Same general look.
So if this is their map, and they're from out of town, maybe they're staying at a hotel.
Maybe that's where they were heading when they attacked the second guy.
A hotel in the Lower East Side? There were a bunch of them.
Four or five.
Young people.
They were all staying in the same room.
They were here about a week.
Party-hardy types.
When did they check out? This morning about 8:00.
Here we go.
Hold your nose! Watch it, you got, uh, vomit there on the floor.
Looks like bloodstains on the sheets, and, uh, other fluids.
They must be into water conservation, they didn't bother flushing.
Violent, impulsive, looks like we're on the right track.
You people are wrecking the place! Like anybody's gonna notice.
Now, about your guests I told you, I can't really describe any of'em! People come, people go, that's the hotel business! But you got ID from them when they checked in, right? I got cash in advance! There were two or three guys with a girl.
But they all looked above the legal age! CASSADY: Hey, Ed! Check this out.
Found it behind the dresser.
Blank checks belonging to Rachel Hutton.
West 87th Street.
On top of everything else, they're thieves! The whole box is gone.
I don't believe this! Anything else missing, Ms.
Hutton? Oh, my God! My digital camera.
I had pictures from my parents' anniversary, this is crazy! Um, who comes into this room? The housekeeper, our nanny.
They've been with us for years! Any strangers in the house in the last week? Oh, well, Monday there was a young man and a young woman, very nice, very polite.
They came to the door.
They were selling something? Magazine subscriptions to earn money for a semester abroad.
Oh, I'm an idiot! I let the girl use the powder room right here.
You're a nice lady.
You bought magazines from them? Yeah.
About $100 worth.
I made a check out to, um, Excursion Sales.
I even got a receipt! ED: That's right, New York City Police.
Outside? It's a beautiful spring day.
How's it down in Orlando? Terrific.
Nearest we can figure out, Excursion Sales is just a clearing house for subscriptions.
They subcontract with vendors to do the selling, then those guys subcontract with magazine sales crews.
They're the ones who actually ring the doorbells.
And steal from the customers.
Every/body's an independent contractor, so no one's responsible for anybody.
I get it.
Lieutenant? Yeah? There's a Sherry Kreidel here for an identification.
The victim's next of kin, the Iraq vet.
I'll see her in my office.
Light a fire under these people, this magazine crew's not gonna stick around for long, not with two murders hanging over them.
Um, I'm sorry, I, um I haven't seen my brother in nearly six months.
I heard he was mugged? We're not sure what happened.
Poor Davey.
He, um He wasn't always like this.
I mean, a street person.
Tell me what he was like.
Oh, Davey was the sweetest kid.
All my friends had a crush on him.
(LAUGHS) And then when he came back from over there he told me he couldn't sleep.
He would cry for no reason, he was depressed.
Did he get counseling? The army told him he had post-traumatic stress.
But they couldn't treat him right away, so he waited for weeks! All the time getting worse! He started getting into trouble.
He would talk back to the officers, sleeping in.
So the Armyjust kicked him out.
They told him he had a personality disorder and drummed him out on a 513 discharge.
They said he would never be a quality soldier.
Just like that.
We found out the Army has to pay benefits if they discharge people for post-traumatic stress, but if they discharge them for a personality disorder, they don't have to pay anything! So that's what they did to Davey! I'm very sorry, Ms.
The girl that brought me in here, she said she was in Iraq.
Oh, yeah.
We have a number of officers who served there.
Davey told me he would have been better off if he got killed over there.
They would have treated him like a hero then.
We've got a lead on the manager of the sales crew.
Lean into him.
This could be anybody.
But it sure as hell isn't any of my people.
Sure as hell? Yeah, we're running short on our quota.
Which means that my crews are out on the street by 7:00 every morning to make up for it.
Nobody parties late, or runs around beating the crap out of bums.
Why don't you let us figure that out for ourselves? You just give us the name of your sellers that were working West 87th Street a few days ago.
My mag crews weren't working on the West Side.
It must be a whole other crew I don't know about.
Hey! Get out of there! Who's Tommy Bennett? You bought a travel voucher for him.
Yeah! He, uh, quit the crew, so we bought him this bus ticket home to Milwaukee.
Why'd he quit? He just quit.
So what? "So what"? You bought this travel voucher yesterday.
One day after the murders.
All right, look.
You do what you gotta do, okay? But I don't know anything about anything.
We find the bus Tommy's on, we can have him pulled off.
That's not me, I swear! Well, obviously these two guys aren't you, but you see this here? At the bottom of the frame? That's the top of somebody's hat, that somebody could be you, Tommy.
I swear to God I wasn't there! Then why were you in such a hurry to leave town? I wasn't, I just quit! I couldn't take the job anymore! Which part of the job couldn't you take? The partying or the stealing? You don't get it.
They told me I was gonna earn all this money working on a mag crew, traveling around the country, staying in hotels, except they didn't say there were gonna dock our pay for the hotels, gas, whatever they felt like! They're ripping us off! We barely had enough money to eat! And they put us up in these roach hotels with hookers and meth heads.
It was scary.
Like the Delancey Hotel? You were staying there with those guys, weren't you? We're gonna find your prints in the room, Tommy, we're gonna know! I didn't have anything to do with killing anybody.
Iwasn't even hanging with those guys that night.
I told 'em I was gonna quit and they kicked the crap out of me.
You see? They locked me out of the room and they went out to get drunk.
ED: Mmm-hmm.
And I slept in some park all night! So who is this in the photo? (sums) Well, this looks like Pete Harris.
And that's Bobby Cole.
With the boots? Bobby Cole? You sure? Yeah, it looks like him.
And that's Audrey.
Audrey Hermenez.
She went with them.
Those three were real tight.
Where can we find them? I don't know.
Look at this.
Look at it.
There's circles drawn around neighborhoods! You guys made a schedule.
A plan.
What was the plan for today, Tommy? (sums) We were gonna take the subway here to Astoria Boulevard station.
Come on, you're going with us.
Get up! Let's go! (SCOFFS) Those guys, they're out of control.
Don't wuss out on us, Tommy.
There! That's Pete, that's Pete.
I'd be helping the refugees of Darfur while still earning credits towards my medical degree.
As you can see, we have a wide selection of magazines.
How about a lifetime subscription to the Prison Times? Peter Harris, you're under arrest.
Excuse us.
Where are your friends? Uh, uh, I got nothing to say.
(SCOFFS) WOMAN ON RADIO: 110 David, be advised, two individuals matching the descriptions, one male, one female, seen entering residence at 429 Steinway.
Ma'am, we're looking for two people who were just seen entering this residence.
They're selling magazines.
May we come in? Where are they? He was just here, and the girl she (TOILET FLUSHING) Police! Hands up! Where's Cole? I don't know, I don't know.
(CRASHING) (GRUNTING) Turn around! Don't move! Cuff him.
Hey, Cole.
Nice boots.
OFFICER: Get up.
(SIREN WAILING) Docket number 3305, People v.
Peter Harris, Audrey Hermenez Not so fast! Where's counsel for these defendants? Don't know, Your Honor.
Fetzer! Will Legal Aid represent defendants for the purposes of arraignment? You know me, Judge.
Whatever you need.
CLERK: People v.
Peter Harris, Audrey Hermenez, and Robert Cole.
Not guilty! Counselor, put a lid on your client.
One count each, murder in the second degree, two counts grand larceny.
My clients plead not guilty.
JUDGE: People on bail? The defendants brutally beat two homeless men to death.
One of the murders was clearly captured by a security camera.
Defendants have no ties to the community, no fixed address.
They do now.
Remand across the board.
Notify the 18-B panel.
Let's get separate attorneys appointed and, Mr.
Fetzer, since you seem to have a calming effect on Mr.
Cole, you'll continue as his counsel of record.
JACK: So much for being clearly captured.
This gone to the defense yet? In the afternoon discovery package.
A tape of the actual crime should have been a slam dunk.
They beat two men to death! There should be blood on their clothes, their shoes.
They must have cleaned it off.
Cole's boot heel matched the head wounds on the victims.
But so would a million other shoes.
On the other hand, Latent found the girl's prints on the map.
Well, I guess we can always hold a littering charge over her as leverage.
What? There was blood on the bed in the hotel room they all shared.
Belonged to the girl, Audrey Hermenez.
And there was semen mixed with it.
Belonging to one of the other two? The lab is still testing it, but if one of them is Audrey's boyfriend, we might be able to play the love birds against the odd man out.
Talk to Ms.
Hermenez before the defense sees that tape.
AUDREY: I didn't have sex with anybody.
Audrey, just listen to her.
The semen was mixed with your blood! Whoever it was, Peter or Bobby, you can help him.
Especially if you tell me this whole thing wasn't his idea.
I didn't have sex.
I don't have a boyfriend.
Audrey, what are you trying to say? Were you raped? We'll protect you.
Peter and Bobby can't hurt you anymore, but you have to tell us about the murders.
They didn't rape me.
It wasn't them.
They saved me! They were out getting food when some meth heads from down the hall bust in looking for money, they attacked me, they were raping me when Peter and Bobby came back.
They pulled those animals off me.
I understand your loyalty.
No, you don't.
We've been together for four months, going from place to place.
Everybody was ripping us off.
Our boss even has these goons beat us up if we don't bring in enough money.
All we've got is each other.
But you are the one that's in trouble right now.
It was your prints on the map! I don't care! Bobby? He was in Iraq.
He said the only reason he came back alive is 'cause he and his buddies hung together.
Well, it's no different here.
No different.
I didn't see any murders.
I didn't see anything.
What do they think they are, The Lost Platoon? Well, if we don't break their bonds of loyalty, we don't have a case.
They're kids.
Push 'em around, they'll fold.
Audrey Hermenez was gang raped, Cole was in combat.
It'll take more than tough talk to intimidate those two.
That still leaves the third musketeer up for grabs.
Too late.
Omnibus motion to dismiss, set bail, suppress, you name it, they're going for it.
You shut them down, because I don't want these people back on our streets.
The only thing this tape clearly captures is the big nothing at the center of the People's case.
The tape speaks for itself, Your Honor, it's up to the jury to determine its probative value.
Except Ms.
Rubirosa hyped it as the second coming of the Zapruder film.
It's why our clients are denied bail.
Is your client okay, Mr.
Fetzer? What happened to his arm? I believe he slipped on the stairs at Rikers.
Your Honor, the entire case against our clients.
Save your breath, Mr.
Your motion to dismiss is denied.
As to the bail application.
If I may remind Your Honor, the defendants are out-of-state residents.
$50,000 on Harris and Cole, (GAVEL THUDDING) Arthur should be happy.
At $50,000 they won't be going anywhere soon.
You know, for a guy who took a header down the stairs, Cole looks pretty good.
No head injuries, no bruises.
You don't buy his story? At arraignment he could hardly stand still.
Now he's moving at half speed.
He's got a bad case of dry mouth.
It's a common side effect of mood-stabilizing drugs.
It'd be nice to know why Cole needs his mood stabilized.
The warden at Rikers told me Cole was shanked in a fight with another prisoner.
There were no witnesses and it's unclear who started the fight, but the other prisoner? He ended up with a broken jaw, three broken ribs and a broken ankle.
Sounds like Cole went on a rampage.
Is that why he was sedated? Cole refused to waive his medical confidentiality.
But the doctor didn't disagree when I suggested that Cole was on either phenobarbital or tegritol.
Heavy-duty stuff.
So what's this all masking? Mood swings, a propensity for violence? Well, Cole doesn't have a rap sheet, but I had his service record faxed over this afternoon.
We might be able to read between the lines.
He served in a mechanized unit, did two tours Divisional commendation, a Purple Heart.
Wounded 02109 of '06.
Eight months of recovery, most of it at the Linden VA hospital in Brooklyn.
He got two letters of reprimand.
That's the military equivalent of a slap on the wrist.
But look at this, he received a general discharge.
He's practically awar hero and they muster him out because of a couple of bad write-ups? Ah, we're not getting the whole story.
Or any of it.
Start drafting a subpoena.
I'm only authorized to tell you that Mr.
Cole was admitted with an ABI, acute brain injury sustained when an IED exploded near his Humvee.
Beyond that you have his redacted records.
Redacted is putting it mildly.
Anything useful has been blacked out.
We've been served a temporary restraining order by Mr.
Cole barring the release of his medical information.
Until the lawyers tell me otherwise A TRO.
Can we see it? Here's something your redactors missed! Cole changed wards four times while he was here.
As part of his treatment and recovery.
But four times? Does that indicate a disciplinary problem? It might if I were authorized to discuss it, which I'm not.
What kind of problem? Was he violent? Isn't that why he was given a general discharge? I can't comment.
The TRO.
Then we'll talk to everybody who had contact with him during his stay here.
I'm sorry, I don't make policy.
CONNIE: Read our subpoena, Ms.
You're required to comply unless barred by specific language of the TRO.
The way I read this, we can talk to orderlies, security personnel, and other patients.
Jacobson to O.
Jacobson to O.
You have to understand that a lot of personnel had been reassigned since Mr.
Cole was discharged.
We'll talk to whoever's left.
WOMAN ON PA: Lieutenant Rodrigo Tyson, waiting room (PATIENT MOANING) Lieutenant Rodrigo, please report to ICU.
Thanks, guys.
All right.
MAN: Doctor! Thank you.
You're welcome, Sir.
This way.
Ward Five, isn't that one of the wards Cole was in? It's been closed.
In the middle of a war? The people you wanna talk to are this way.
Check it out, Sir.
Check it out.
When did you close this down? Two months ago.
Jack, there's rat droppings.
This room was Cole's.
There's dead roaches all over the floor.
CORRADO: That's why it's been closed.
It's unfit.
How long has it been like this? Long as I've been here.
And you had wounded soldiers living in these conditions? No wonder Cole wanted to bust some heads.
I took what I could with my cell phone before they hustled us out of there.
Disgraceful, that's the operative word.
But it doesn't have anything to do with this case.
Talk to me about something that does.
We found a doctor at the hospital who told us that Cole was involved in three unprovoked attacks on hospital personnel.
All of them had a familiar MO, punches, kicks to the head.
And it was only because Cole was quickly subdued that no one was seriously hurt.
Evidence of a pattern crime.
Admissible under the Molineaux exception.
It's what Cole's lawyer tried to keep us from finding out.
Great work.
Now use it to turn one of the lesser evils.
What they're saying is, Pete, their case against Cole just got a big boost.
Lucky for you, we want him more than we want you.
He finished off McCarter and Kreidel.
You confirm it, you testify to it, we've got a deal.
JACK: Don't take too long, Mr.
I might decide to take you to trial along with Cole.
And ask for life without parole.
Cole, man, he He's like night and day, you know? The murders, Mr.
Yeah, we did them.
Cole was in one of his moods.
JACK: What kind of mood? He goes all quiet, like in a trance.
He shuts everything out.
He comes out of it, he's looking for a fight.
That's enough for now.
McCoy, you send us the paperwork, you'll get the rest of the story.
(EXHALES) Get word to Audrey Hermenez's lawyer that The Lost Platoon hit a bump in the road.
More like a sharp turn.
Look at this.
Cole changed his plea.
Not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Fetzer must have found out that we know about Cole's prior bad acts.
Fetzer's smart, he knows they cut both ways.
We use them to show a pattern crime.
Fetzer uses them as evidence of a mental disease.
Life hands you lemons.
This puts Cole's medical records in play.
No more hiding behind a TRO.
PETER: When we got back to the hotel.
Bobby told us we had to wash our clothes in case we got blood on them.
I woke up later, I saw him cleaning his boots.
Harris, did you ever talk to Mr.
Cole about what you described earlier as his trances? Yes.
Uh, he said they started happening after he got messed up in Iraq.
Did he ever talk to you about getting treatment for them? He said he was supposed to take drugs for them, but because we were always on the move for our work, he could never get a doctor to write him a prescription.
Thank you.
When Bobby came out of his trances, he was irritable, hostile, that's what you said, isn't it? Yes.
Did he ever direct his hostility at you? Sometimes.
How would you deal with it? Uh, I'd make him focus on something else.
Something? Or maybe somebody? Yeah, sure.
How would you get Bobby to focus on somebody else? I don't remember.
Are you familiar with the terms haji and Johnny Jihad? Sure.
Bobby said that that's what they called the enemy in Iraq.
So when Bobby was coming out of his trances, did you ever point at another person and tell him there's a haji, there's Johnny Jihad? Maybe.
Didn't you point to those homeless men and tell him, there's Johnny Jihad? Uh I was drunk, I don't remember.
No more questions.
What do you mean he's not coming? It's not up to the Veteran's Administration, Dr.
Petravian is under subpoena! He's being called as a witness in five minutes! Okay, okay.
Do you know about this? I just got hit with a federal writ of prohibition.
Somejudge halfway across the country's telling me I can't present evidence about my client's treatment at the Linden VA! So that explains it.
Explains what? Jack, our doctor from the VA isn't showing up.
There's some federal writ.
I know, I got one, too.
Follow me to the federal courthouse.
Your Honor, the Veteran's Administration is being prosecuted for criminal negligence in a death that occurred at a VA hospital in Albuquerque.
Now there's real concern here that publicity from this case could unduly influence the New Mexico case.
If I can't present evidence of my client's treatment at the Linden VA, I won't have a case! I can't establish the origin of his mental disease! Your Honor, my case supersedes theirs.
Maybe so, but, Your Honor, on its face, this is over-reaching.
I don't know why Mr.
McCoy's complaining.
He can still introduce his defendant's prior bad acts without violating the writ.
I know what I can do, that's not the issue.
Fairness is the issue.
No, Mr.
McCoy, due process is the issue.
The federal case preempts the state.
All mention of the conditions at the Linden VA or the treatment rendered therein is barred from your trial.
Your Honor, you And any evidence pertaining to those conditions will be returned forthwith to the relevant federal entity.
It's a whitewash.
You have my ruling.
Ignore it at your own peril.
(SCOFFS) Fetzer's right, it's a cover-up.
Last I checked, you were being paid to put people like Robert Cole in jail.
Before Cole was a murderer, he was a wounded soldier who received substandard care.
If you think this is an issue worth airing while we're at war, then get yourself down to New Mexico.
Don't tempt me, Arthur.
Jack, do you believe that Cole knew that killing those men was wrong? Yes, he even covered up evidence.
Do you believe he appreciated the consequences of his action? Yes.
Well, then the path is clear.
We abide by the writ, we work out a plea with Fetzer, then we make sure that all that evidence goes back to the Feds.
Hey, Lieu, Cole's pleading out.
In the middle of the trial? I just report the news.
Rubirosa says all this stuff is being turned over to the Feds.
Just this? The VA material? It's gonna make a nice bonfire in somebody's backyard.
You worked out a plea with Cole.
Not yet.
I'm gonna sweat him out a little longer.
Got a VA doctor testifying tomorrow about Cole's bad behavior.
And all of this will be off-limits? By order of the US District Court.
You know, my father was wounded in Wonju, Korea in 1952.
He spent a year in a VA hospital in Tulsa.
Never talked about it.
Well, not to me.
My mother said the doctors and nurses saved his life.
Angels of mercy, that's what she called them.
If it weren't for them, there wouldn't have been an Anita Van Buren.
But this.
I know you know this isn't right.
And kicking broken kids out of the Army Kids like David Kreidel just to save a buck.
(EXHALES) Wouldn't treat a dog like that.
(DOOR CLOSES) This was the second time Mr.
Cole had attacked an orderly.
Again I explained to him about his seizures.
I warned him that he was susceptible to aggressive behavior immediately following the seizures.
Did you counsel him about treatment, Doctor? Yes.
I explained the seizures are treated with mood-stabilizing drugs.
And that he must continue to take those drugs.
JACK: How did he react to your instructions, Doctor? I asked if he understood my instructions and the consequences of not following them.
He said he did.
No more questions.
Cross, NH.
Fewer'? Your Honor, for reasons you're aware, the questions I'd want to ask this witness would put me in contempt of a federal order of prohibition, so I have no questions.
JUDGE: All right.
Petravian, you're excused.
If I may, Your Honor, I have a few more questions for this witness.
JUDGE: Doctor? Doctor, how would you characterize the care provided to Mr.
Cole by the Linden VA hospital? Consistent with the level of care at the facility.
Consistent with standards in the medical community at large? Um, I'm not sure I understand.
Cole received excellent care.
People's 28.
These are his treatment records.
Can you tell me if he was given a prescription for mood-stabilizers when he was released from your facility? I don't see His records don't indicate it.
Do they indicate that he was directed to an outpatient facility for further treatment? No.
They don't.
Even though he suffered from seizures as a result of the brain injury he received in combat? Such outpatient care may not have been available.
Not available to a soldier who received a less-than-honorable discharge from the service? That may have had something to do with it, yes.
You testified Mr.
Cole's care was quote, consistent with the level of treatment in your facility.
People's 30 to 35.
Do you recognize these photos? That's Ward Five at the Linden VA.
Ward Five was where Mr.
Cole was housed.
Doctor, is it consistent with the level of care in your facility to place wounded veterans in rooms rife with mold, infested with rodents It's not a fair question! Or to provide housing for our wounded that is putrid with the stench of faulty plumbing.
Look, you don't understand.
We are overwhelmed! There's no money for For what? Proper care? We have a $14 million shortfall at our facility alone.
Doctor, when we send our soldiers No, strike that.
When we send our children to fight in a war of choice, don't we have the moral obligation, the patriotic duty, to care for those who come home alive whatever the cost? Of course we do.
But we never expected this number of wounded.
This rate of survival.
Never expected? Are you saying it would have been more convenient for you, for the VA, if more of our men and women, our children, if they had died in Iraq? Gotta go.
be more understanding.
The VA's neglect doesn't excuse your client.
He knew what he was capable of, knew how to stop it.
And he did nothing.
That much will be crystal clear to the jury.
I'm sorry for your injury.
I'm sorrier for the two men you killed.
Twenty years? (SCOFFS) Sure, why not? At least I'll get my meds.
Send me the paperwork.
I'm really proud of you, Jack.
I just got off the phone with the US Attorney's office.
They're seeking contempt charges against you.
Talking about jail time! I'm gonna go bake you a cake with a hacksaw in it.
Make it chocolate.
This is no joke.
The US Attorney was stomping and hollering about how airing the VA's dirty laundry was giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
And you agree with him? I would think improving conditions at VA hospitals would give aid and comfort to our own troops.
Iwouldn't worry too much about jail.
You'll have the very best legal representation at the contempt hearing.
You? And at a reasonable fee.
But, Jack, don't do that again.
Not on my watch.