Law & Order (1990) s21e09 Episode Script

The Great Pretender

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.
- Oh my God.
- Okay, okay.
I wanna make a toast to our amazing hostess.
Mm-mm, nope necessary.
Oh, well, I'm gonna do it anyway, girl.
So just deal.
Ella, thank you so much for putting together this incredible evening.
You truly never cease to amaze me, and I want to say that your passion for life is so inspiring and infectious, but it's your honesty and humility that really impressed me.
And I am just so proud to be a part of your life.
Okay, no, no, no, no.
You're not getting off that easy.
- You need to say something.
- Okay.
Fine.
I'm just really glad you guys are here tonight.
I feel so fortunate to have such fascinating and authentic friends.
Because of you all, I feel like I'm the luckiest person alive.
- Aw! - Aw Ella, big smile.
Okay, female, Caucasian, age 27.
Name is Ella Whitlock.
- How'd she get in here? - Better question is why.
M.
E.
says time of death was approximately six hours ago.
Cause of death? Probably blunt force trauma to the head.
She clipped her head on the equipment on the way down.
She's got some broken fingernails, some splinters in the palm of her hand.
She probably was holding on for dear life.
Didn't go down without a fight.
Still got her bracelets and her watch.
They look expensive.
Yeah, we found an expensive designer purse too.
- You find her phone? - Mm-mm.
- Anything else? - A stack of invitations.
Looks like she was opening a nightclub.
Opens May 9.
"Ella's: Where dreams come true.
" More like nightmares.
No witnesses and no surveillance cameras near the warehouse.
It's a pretty desolate part of town.
Do we know why she was in that neighborhood? Yeah.
She was leasing the space.
Looks like she was building it out, trying to start a nightclub.
What do we know about the vic? Not much other than the fact that she was single and livin' la vida loca.
Social media has her in Paris, London, Cabo.
A few yachts too.
Okay, let's notify the parents, find out what they know.
Yeah, well, all of her followers are private, so we haven't had any luck tracking anybody down.
Plus, she's not in any of our databases.
Still waiting on phone and text data.
But we did find a business card in her purse.
A lawyer named David Kornfeld.
Okay, sounds like a good place to start.
Ella was a new client.
I was helping her with plans for a nightclub.
She was the hardest working heiress I ever met by far.
- Heiress? - Oh, yeah.
She was part of the Whitlock clan.
- Old money.
- Best kind there is.
Was she having any problems? Stalkers, threats, boyfriend issues? No, not that I'm aware of.
Was she into drugs? No.
No, I don't think so.
Like I said, she was very driven.
It's rare to see someone born into that kind of wealth so ambitious.
All she talked about was that damn nightclub.
She was so passionate about it.
Well, if she was so passionate, why were they so far behind in the construction schedule? You know, we found a stack of invitations in that warehouse space, said, "Nightclub opening in May.
" But from what I saw, opening in September would've been a miracle.
She she wasn't the greatest businesswoman.
She had a lot of creative energy and charisma, but she didn't know what the hell she was doing.
- Can you be more specific? - She only raised $2 million.
She needed more like 4 or 5.
So she was out of money.
Well, she said she was gonna get a loan from her parents.
Do you have her parents' name? No.
Do you happen to know where she lived? Uh How long had she been here? About two months.
She's renovating her condo down in Tribeca.
Were there any disturbances or arguments? No, she was delightful and incredibly kind and generous with the staff.
Called everyone by their first name, looked them in the eye.
Has she had any recent visitors? No.
Hmm.
Look at that.
- Parents? - Yes.
Walter and Elaine Whitlock.
I can't imagine their pain.
- Mr.
Whitlock.
- Yes? We have some bad news, sir.
Is there some place where we can go speak privately? I'd rather you just tell me here.
It's about your daughter Ella.
- Ella.
- Yes.
We believe she's been a victim of a homicide.
What? We're very sorry for your loss.
I don't have a daughter named Ella.
You don't have a I have two sons, Andrew and Nathan.
That is you and your wife, correct? Yes, but I have no idea who that woman is.
So the photo was a fake.
Yeah, it was Photoshopped.
So she was living a fake life.
Yeah, but her death was real.
Yeah, I'm guessing one must be connected to the other.
Do we have any cell data yet? I just called them.
Said they were behind.
- Don't ask.
- What else do we know? Not much.
Still no video, no witnesses, but since we know her name isn't Ella Whitlock, we ran her prints through AFIS.
Her real name Mary Costello.
Arrested for larceny six years ago.
Grew up in Passaic, New Jersey.
All right, let's talk to her real parents, let them know what happened to their daughter and if we're lucky, maybe they'll know something we don't.
Mm-hmm.
Mary told us she was in Paris working in the fashion industry.
Said she was having a great time too.
Meeting lots of interesting people, making a good salary.
When was the last time you talked to her? About a month ago she called to wish me a happy birthday.
Did she mention anything unusual? - Were there any sort of issues? - No.
No, she was upbeat and positive.
She said she'd never been happier.
Showed us a new diamond necklace she got.
Said someone gave it to her.
It cost $200,000.
- She say who this person was? - No.
You didn't ask? We don't like to pry.
If there's anything you can think of that could be helpful, give us a call.
Oh, hey, uh What do we do now? I want to see I want to give her a proper burial.
It's okay.
It's okay.
Not everyone's thrilled with where they're from or what their life is, I get it, but to hide your family like that and to pretend to be somebody else is just twisted.
Ah, it's actually really sad.
You must really hate yourself to create a whole new persona.
And for so long too.
I mean, I get an occasional fib here and there but What do you mean? One night in Fort Lauderdale I was young.
I was drunk.
- I told a woman I was a doctor.
- And Turns out she was an actual doctor, so it went downhill fast.
I'm sure it did.
Hey, we're over here digging into Mary's financials.
Shocker she was up to her eyeballs in debt.
She had seven different credit cards, all maxed out.
And she also had a $2 million credit line with a local bank, maxed out as well.
She was one hell of an actor, that's for sure.
Yeah, people think you're rich, they roll out the red carpet and open their wallets.
All the while she's borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
Which means a lot of people got screwed over.
So let's establish a timeline for the night of the murder.
Figure out where she was, who she was with.
What was her last credit card charge? Night of the murder at a place called Gelina.
- She dropped 7 grand.
- That's hell of a tab.
Yeah, good chance one of her companions made a post about it too.
I'll check it out.
See if she was tagged.
You said her real name is Mary Costello? Yes.
That's correct.
Did anything unusual happen at dinner last night? No, no, everyone was having a great time.
- What time did Ella leave? - Uh around 11:00.
She said she had to meet up with some people for work.
Did she mention any names? Locations? No, sorry.
This was taken at the dinner, correct? Yeah, I took a selfie and posted it during dinner.
Ella was wearing a diamond necklace.
Yes, beautiful.
Reason I ask is she wasn't wearing it when we found the body.
Just to confirm she didn't take it off for some reason? - Was she dating anyone? - Uh I'm not sure.
Ha.
Like I said, we met a couple weeks ago, so Well, it turns out we did use the same matchmaker.
- Matchmaker? - Yeah.
Yeah, her name's Tiffany.
I know lots of wealthy men and lots of young, beautiful women, so I figured I might as well find a way to monetize it.
So these people pay you to set up dates.
The men pay me an annual fee.
In exchange, I send photos and resumes of my female acquaintances.
If they're interested in someone, I introduce them.
Okay.
I'm guessing you don't accept cops as clients.
Only if you're worth over 200 million.
- Oh.
- What about Ella? Thought she was a great catch.
Attractive, fun, full of life.
Did you introduce her to any of your clients recently? I've introduced her to several.
Some she liked, some she didn't, but just last month she met someone really special.
Comes from a prestigious, old-line family just like Ella.
I was really optimistic they'd hit it off, you know? It's much easier for people from that type of wealth to relate to one another.
Excuse me.
Wyatt Ackman? You mind if we ask you a few questions? - About what? - Ella Whitlock.
Did something happen to her? I'm afraid so.
She's dead.
Sorry for your loss.
Seems as if she got into a little altercation - at her nightclub downtown.
- Ohh You two were dating, correct? Y-yeah, yes, yes.
So sort of.
Were you two having any issues? No.
When was the last time that you talked to her? Yesterday.
Briefly over the phone.
- And what did you talk about? - The club.
She couldn't wait to finish it.
Turn her dream into a reality.
More like a reality into a dream.
- What do you mean? - Did you know that she was living under an assumed identity? And that she was dead-ass broke? Didn't go to college, didn't have two nickels to rub together, and her real name was Mary Costello.
I I had no idea.
If you don't mind me asking, - what were you doing last night? - Excuse me? You know, the more people we rule out, the better.
Oh, I-I see.
Sure.
Um I was home for most of the night working, watching TV, - went out for a walk.
- Mm.
You can check with my doorman.
Oh, we will.
Oh, did Ella ever use Bluetooth or charge her phone in your vehicle? It's possible.
Why? It worked.
When she synced her phone in Ackman's Maybach, it stored all of her personal data.
So we have all of her texts, emails.
Oh, you keep surprising me, Frank.
I don't sell shoes for a living.
Anything interesting? Lots of complaints from creditors, investors, contractors, but there was one guy who was really aggressive.
I mean, he wasn't just whining, he was firing off legit threats.
"Done playing with you, girl.
Like for real.
I want my money.
" - That was sent three days ago.
- Mm-hmm.
And then the next day, he sends this.
"I better see you tonight, or this ain't gonna end well.
- I promise.
" - You got a name? Yeah, Matthew Dooley.
And it just keeps getting better.
He was arrested five months ago for aggravated battery.
Let's find Mr.
Dooley right away.
I went on a trip with her to Istanbul.
I was supposed to be her guest, but I ended up getting stuck with the tab.
I had to put it on three credit cards.
Dropped 48 grand.
So yeah, I was pissed.
When was the last time you saw Ella? Two nights ago.
She stopped by the bar around 11:00 or so.
Said she was gonna pay me back real soon, but there was a problem with her trust fund.
Needed her trustee to authorize the transfer, but he was in Prague.
It was all a bunch of crap.
I knew she was a fraud, so I just told her to get the hell out.
How did you know she was a fraud? She used the word jughandle once to describe an offramp.
You know, like when you're on a highway.
That's something people from Jersey say, - not people from Park Avenue.
- Hmm.
So I did some digging.
I ran a reverse image search, and I found a yearbook photo of her with the name Mary Costello.
How'd that make you feel? Like an idiot but I didn't kill her.
We're gonna need a little more than that.
I was here working till 3:00 a.
m.
- Check the video.
- Oh, we will.
Can you think of anyone else that Ella screwed over? She said some Mexican guy loaned her some money, but he wanted to get paid back right away.
He was threatening all kinds of scary stuff.
Like, real scary.
She said his family was connected to a drug cartel too.
Yeah, we talked to the big, bad Mexican dude.
Turns out he's just like everybody else in that crowd.
A poser.
Father is a high school science teacher.
Said he was only threatening Ella so she could pay him his money back.
It worked too.
She went over to his apartment two nights ago around midnight, - gave him 50 grand in cash.
- Is he telling the truth? Hey, I've been pulling traffic cam video outside this guy's apartment building.
Found footage of Ella hopping into a cab at 12:07 a.
m.
I tried to track down where it was headed, but It's okay.
We'll just track down the cabbie instead.
She's cute, but I still don't remember picking her up.
Two nights ago, Upper East Side around midnight.
I drive lots of people, bro.
I never even look at their faces.
Even if I wanted to, I couldn't.
Plexiglass is too thick.
I can barely see through it.
We spoke to your boss, and he was kind enough to give us your GPS data.
Picked her up at 919 First Avenue around 12:07, then you took her down to the Lower East Side.
- 841 Henry Street, to be exact.
- So? So she ended up murdered at that exact address not long after you dropped her off.
Whoa, whoa, wait.
- You're sayin' you thinking I - No, we're not saying a damn thing we're just asking you questions.
We just want to know what happened after you dropped her off.
I know who you're talking about, but nothing weird happened.
I took her down to the warehouse.
She paid me, and that was that.
Gave me a big tip too.
50 bucks.
- And then what, you just drove off? - Not right away.
It's kinda creepy down there, so I watched her go inside.
Just wanted to make sure nothing bad happened.
Was anyone around? See some homeless dudes, cars? Yeah.
Yeah, there was a car parked across the street.
A nice one too.
I think it was a Maybach.
This is a mistake! I didn't kill her, I swear! - I was just - You were what? Huh? We already talked to your driver, Wyatt.
He puts you at the scene at the time of the murder.
But if you want to tell us your side of the story, - we'd be happy to listen.
- There is no my side.
I already told you, I didn't kill Ella.
I loved her.
Why would I want to hurt her? Because you found out her name was Mary.
The bartender Dooley sent you a text telling you she was a fraud.
She played you like a punk, Wyatt.
So you beat her up and threw her off a balcony.
No.
I I'm done talking.
I want a lawyer.
Lawyer? No.
You're gonna need a priest.
Docket number CR20097-82.
People v Wyatt Ackman.
Charging murder in the second-degree.
- My client pleads not guilty.
- I'll hear the people on bail.
The defendant argued and fought with his girlfriend then pushed his girlfriend off a balcony.
She fell 40 feet and died instantly.
Rather than calling 911, the defendant fled, but not before removing a $200,000 necklace from her person.
A necklace he had just given her.
While Mr.
Ackman has no criminal record, he is heir to a $2 billion pharmaceutical fortune and is therefore a flight risk.
People seek remand.
Ms.
Greenough.
Your Honor, Mr.
Ackman is battling a severe opioid addiction.
He's been receiving treatment for this disease off and on for the past two years.
Let's cut to the chase.
You're asking me to send him to rehab? An inpatient treatment facility.
Your Honor, he can detox at Rikers like everyone else.
I agree.
The defendant is remanded.
The defense wants to use settled insanity defense.
- What the hell is that? - A legal concept.
As far as I know, it's never been used in New York.
What's the theory? It's a variation of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
And the basic idea is the defendant's drug addiction is so severe, he or she can't form the requisite intent to commit murder.
So he's looking for a clever defense.
- Is that it? - Yeah.
He's trying to hide behind his addiction.
It's like killing your parents then begging for mercy because you're an orphan.
File a motion to preclude any evidence on the topic and in the meantime, let's find out the nature and extent of Mr.
Ackman's drug use.
Wyatt Ackman had it bad.
When did he come here for treatment? First time, 18 months ago.
Tried to go straight on his own, bare knuckle it, but he was hurting.
Shaking, vomiting, chills, body aches.
Chronic use like Wyatt's alters the brain chemistry.
Wreaks havoc on the central nervous system.
How many times has he been to this facility? Three.
Took me four.
Destroyed my life in the process, of course.
Lost my wife and my career, but I got clean.
When was the last time you saw Wyatt Ackerman? The day before the murder.
We met for coffee.
How did he appear? Seemed to be doing great.
Said he hadn't used in 64 days.
- He say anything else? - Yeah.
Ella.
Said he was gonna propose to her.
He was madly in love with her.
There's no evidence this murder is even remotely connected to the defendant's addiction.
The defendant's own treatment counselor will testify he was sober around the time of the murder.
Just because he said he was sober or appeared sober to a treatment counselor doesn't mean he actually was.
Moreover, the settled insanity defense speaks to long-term drug use.
Like I said, it's a simple concept It's a simple concept, but that doesn't mean it makes sense.
Excuse me? Treating drug addiction as a form of insanity is too big a stretch for me.
Your motion is denied.
Are all parties ready to impanel? Actually, I'd like to discuss a plea with the prosecution.
Even better.
We'd be willing to plead to Man One.
15 years.
That's not all.
We have a recording.
A phone call between my client, the former chief operating officer of Northwestern Pharma, and his uncle Charles Ackman, the founder and CEO of Northwestern Pharma.
People die in cars every day.
Doesn't mean they're gonna stop making them.
But you've seen the study.
Our own scientists are warning us that oxycodone is up there with heroin.
They say it penetrates the pleasure centers in the brain seven times faster and more efficiently than other opioids, and with prolonged use, the pain relieving effect diminished and pain can intensify.
The body may become dependent.
This leads to symptoms of withdrawal which makes it extremely difficult to stop.
We're killing people.
No, they're killing themselves.
We just happen to be the ones getting rich from it.
There's more too.
A lot more.
Conversation took place five years ago.
Not only did Uncle Charles continue to produce the drug, he predicated his company's entire marketing strategy and business plan on getting people addicted.
That's horrific.
But what does it have to do with the murder case? My client can help you bring a criminal fraud case against Charles Ackman and his corporation.
He's killing people every day.
Every single day.
If you're so outraged, why didn't you speak up sooner? Why'd it take a murder charge for you to see the light? My treatment counselor relapsed.
What? He overdosed last night.
Died early this morning.
I just talked to him yesterday.
He seemed fine.
I just want to end all the pain and suffering and hold my uncle accountable for destroying so many families.
Our murder case against Wyatt Ackman is filled with holes.
There's no eyewitness.
And let's not forget, we have a less-than-perfect victim.
You're right, she wasn't perfect, but she's still dead.
Oh, I understand, but she conned him.
His emotions were running high, which means he might have a viable EED defense.
He's a rich brat who'll do anything to save his own ass, including selling out his own uncle.
I think we should reject the plea.
But if we move forward on murder, there's a good chance we end at manslaughter anyway.
Why not take the plea and use Wyatt to build a case against his uncle? Because it's beyond the scope of our jurisdiction.
He's a drug trafficker, Jack.
He's knowingly selling and marketing a highly addictive and lethal product.
If he were a heroin dealer, we wouldn't think twice.
But he's not.
He's the CEO of a publicly traded company and the highly addictive product he sells is legal.
We're not the FDA, Nolan.
It's not our job to evaluate drugs.
But it's our job to prosecute a CEO who's been defrauding the public.
Who's been withholding crucial information about oxycodone while incentivizing doctors to over-prescribe it.
Let Congress or the Justice Department handle it.
People are dying.
Last year alone, over 75,000 people died from opioid overdoses, but we have a real opportunity here.
If we take down Charles Ackman, if we expose what he knows, we will literally save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Okay.
Take the plea.
And bring an enterprise corruption case against the uncle.
To hell with corruption.
If we're gonna do this, let's try the son of a bitch for manslaughter.
Go for it.
I understand we're here for a motion to suppress.
The people plan to offer an audio recording of a conversation between Wyatt and Charles Ackman.
The defense is seeking to exclude the tape, and we're asking that their application be denied.
I'll hear you, Mr.
Zanini.
Well, it's really quite simple.
My client never gave permission to be recorded.
I had no idea my nephew was taping me.
New York is a one-party consent state.
Wyatt Ackman authorized the recording.
That's enough for it to be admissible.
My client signed an affidavit.
I was in Boston at a conference when the conversation took place.
Here's a receipt from the Four Seasons.
Massachusetts requires consent of both parties.
I agree.
The motion to suppress is approved.
The audio tape is out.
Wyatt Ackman can still testify to the conversation he had with his uncle.
But without the tape, it's gonna come down to the word of an addict, who's getting the deal of the century, against the word of a polished executive.
- People love an underdog.
- Not always.
We can win this case, Sam.
What's really going on here, Nolan? What's really going on is that I am trying to hold a bad man accountable for his actions.
For our purposes, for this case, Eric Howe is the victim.
So find the doctor who prescribed him the meds.
If he's worried about criminal charges, immunize him.
We need to show the jury who Eric Howe was before he got addicted to these damn pills.
Eric came to see me about seven years ago.
He was an accomplished physician in his own right.
What brought him to your clinic? He'd been in a car accident.
He was experiencing excruciating pain in his back and neck.
- And you prescribed oxycodone.
- Yes.
Why did you prescribe the oxy manufactured by Northwestern Pharma? At the time, it was being touted as the best medication on the market.
Did you receive any incentives from the defendant's company? The company paid me for speaking fees and consulting services.
Did you do any actual speaking or consulting? They paid me to go on trips.
A safari in Kenya, a tour of the Galapagos.
I'd give a 20-minute talk to sales reps, and they'd write me a check.
The more I prescribed, the more I earned.
How much did the company pay you? Almost half a million dollars.
Thank you.
That's all I have.
You never met my client, have you? That's correct.
Never talked to him on the phone.
- Never Zoomed with him.
- True.
He never offered you a dime.
- Not directly.
- Not at all.
Isn't that fair to say? I suppose.
And you're the person, not my client, who wrote the prescriptions to Mr.
Howe, correct? Yes.
But you're not being charged.
I've been given immunity in exchange for my testimony.
Even though this happened on your watch.
- Objection.
- Withdrawn.
Nothing further.
Let's reconvene tomorrow at 9:00 a.
m.
You're seeing Wyatt later for prep? He's coming to the office tonight.
He needs to knock it out of the park tomorrow.
The jury needs to understand that your uncle knew how dangerous these pills were.
Mm.
Have you reviewed the recording? Mm-hmm.
Since we can't play the tape, I'm gonna need you to memorize it.
- Are you okay? - I don't, um I don't think I can testify.
What are you talking about? I started using again at Rikers.
My hookup just got released, so I'm dry.
I'm not feeling so good.
I have some pills at my house.
Excuse me? All you have to do is pick up a package from my housekeeper.
Bring it to court in the morning.
Mr.
Ackman, up until your arrest, were you working for your uncle at Northwestern Pharma? I had been there for about ten years.
Can you tell the members of the jury about a conversation you had with your uncle? Objection.
Hearsay.
It's an exception to the hearsay rule.
Statement against penal interest.
Overruled.
About five years ago, my uncle admitted that he knew oxycodone was highly addictive.
He knew the effect it was having on people.
He knew people were desperate to get more, to get high.
It was being abused, crushed, and snorted by tens of thousands of people.
And did he also acknowledge that he knew some doctors were selling prescriptions? Yes.
What did he do with this information? He hid it.
He continued to market the drug? Aggressively.
He directed the marketing department to lie.
Told them to say it was less addictive than other pain killers and it was safe.
Did he also tell you his feelings about those most impacted by these drugs? He said addicts make the choice to do drugs.
They're not victims.
They're victimizers.
Thank you.
You were charged with the murder of your girlfriend, Ella Whitlock, also known as Mary Costello, correct? Yes.
But when you agreed to testify against your uncle, the prosecution reduced the charge to manslaughter.
Yes, that's true.
So you admit that you killed your girlfriend.
I did.
We got into a horrible and emotional argument.
You hit her and you pushed her over a balcony.
Yes.
And you're also an admitted drug addict, correct? - Objection.
Relevance.
- Overruled.
Yes, I've had trouble with Prescription pills, the pills my family's company manufacture.
- Are you high right now? - Objection.
There's no foundation.
Overruled.
Answer the question.
No.
I'm not high.
My private investigator spoke with your housekeeper last night.
She said that a woman came to your home and picked up a prescription for you.
Do you know anything about this? - Objection.
Calls for hearsay.
- Sustained.
Nothing further.
You told me to make sure Wyatt was an effective witness.
- He was a mess last night.
- So you got him drugs.
I picked up a prescription for him.
- He could've overdosed.
- He didn't.
That's not the point.
It's obvious this case is important to you.
That means it's important to me.
So I did what I had to do to make sure Wyatt delivered.
Simple as that.
What is your title, Mr.
Ackman? I'm the founder and CEO of Northwestern Pharma.
And what does your company do? We manufacture a variety of therapeutics and pain medications.
Including oxycodone.
Yes, it's one of our most popular drugs.
It's incredibly effective.
These pills provide comfort and relief to millions of people who would otherwise live in excruciating pain.
Cancer patients, accident victims, war heroes.
And the pills are legal, correct? Yes, of course.
And do you personally market the drug to, uh - doctors or pharmacies? - No.
- Did you ever meet Eric Howe? - No.
- Did you say war heroes? - Yes, sir.
We've helped a lot soldiers injured on the battlefield.
Interesting.
Are you aware that veterans are twice as likely to die of an opioid overdose than civilians? No, I'm not aware of that statistic.
You knowingly and willfully marketed a product that you know is inherently dangerous to a large segment of the population.
- Objection.
- Ask a question, Mr.
Price.
Your scientists warned you about the addictive qualities of these pills, didn't they? They told you that a certain percentage of the population would get addicted to these drugs and that a certain percentage of them would overdose and die.
Doctors prescribe the medication because they believe the benefits outweigh the risks.
These pills are legal.
They're FDA approved.
If certain people choose to abuse them and bad things happen, that's unfortunate, but it's not my fault.
You withheld information from consumers.
They were taking these pills, unaware of the risks.
- They're legal.
- So are handguns.
That doesn't mean you can shoot someone and get away with it.
- Objection.
- Overruled.
- Mr.
Price, be careful.
- Nothing further.
Your Honor, may we be heard in chambers? What is this about, Mr.
Zanini? I've received information that Mr.
Price's personal circumstances make it impossible for him to be fair and impartial.
What exactly are you talking about? My brother died of an oxycodone overdose nine years ago.
Which creates bias in the appearance of impropriety.
My personal life has absolutely nothing to do with this case.
One could infer that Mr.
Price is using this case to even some kind of score, which violates his professional responsibility.
You want me to declare a mistrial? And recuse ADA Price from any further involvement in the case.
I have done nothing but follow the facts and the law.
I find the allegation troubling, but I see no reason for a mistrial.
Don't let his looks fool you.
Charles Ackman is nothing more than a drug trafficker.
The only difference is the type of narcotic he sells.
Oh, and the way he's treated by society.
Heroin dealers get life.
Oxy dealers get stock options.
But make no mistake, this defendant and his corporation have caused more carnage, more death and destruction than any drug cartel.
Eric Howe was a brilliant doctor, and thanks to the defendant and his relentless marketing strategy, Eric Howe is dead.
Now, I know that it's easy to blame the addict.
It elicits feelings of anger.
Resentment.
Some of us view drug users as weak, unable to resist temptation.
And we think, "Why can't he just stop?" I implore you to get past that way of thinking.
I know I have.
No one wakes up in the morning and decides they want to be a drug addict.
Opioid addiction is a complicated disease and there are people out there, people like Charles Ackman, who prey on those predisposed to this addiction.
Ackman knew exactly what he was doing.
He knows how potent and addictive these pills are, yet he still pays doctors to prescribe them to as many patients as possible knowing that many of those patients will ultimately become addicted and that many of those addicted will overdose and die.
But the defendant doesn't care.
He just wants to reap the profits and pump up his damn stock price.
Members of the jury, you have the power to stop him.
And to tell him enough is enough.
Has the jury reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
Accused and counsel, please rise.
On the charge of manslaughter, how do you find? We find the defendant guilty.
Members of the jury, thank you for your service.
You are excused, and we are adjourned.

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