Thompson: What happened next, officer?
Gibson: We returned fire, at which point he dropped his gun and began to run for the stairwell. We entered the stairwell. We encountered him coming down. We told him to freeze. He took off up the stairs, we pursed him, caught him and placed him under arrest.
Little: (standing) I never had a gun.
Swackheim: Mr. Little.
Little: I never had a gun!
Swackheim: (banging gavel) Mr. Little!
Little: (loudly over Judge Swackheim's yelling) I wasn't even on that balcony. I was just coming downstairs.
Swackheim: All right bailiff, take him out now. Take him out! (the bailiff forcibly grabs Little. The jury look shocked and uncomfortable) People like you need to respect this room. This isn't the street in here. You don't get away with that. (Little is taken away struggling) Miss Washington, I'll see you in chambers. Mr Thompson, you too.
Swackheim: You've got yourself a problem, young lady.
Rebecca: Yes, your honour. And for the record, I don't think you handled that too deftly.
Swackheim: What should I have done? Asked him about his childhood? His mother, hmm? Okay, here's your problem. In addition to his general scumhood, his yelling in court, in my mind, is the equivalent of testimony. The DA is now free to cross-examine it.
Rebecca: Just hold on a second -
Swackheim: He yelled that he was not on the balcony and that the officer was lying. That's testimony, mmm-hmm.
Rebecca: But he wasn't under oath!
Swackheim: The jury heard him!
Rebecca: If you force him to take the stand all his priors can be admitted.
Swackheim: Well, isn't that tragic.
Thompson: Your honour, at this point I don't want to cross-examine. This case is pretty straight for us. The last thing I want to do is give them grounds for appeal. Are you forcing him to take the stand?
Swackheim: Well…. That's your call. But for the rest of the trial his hands are cuffed to the chair and his mouth is taped.
Rebecca: Your honour, that would be so prejudicial.
Swackheim: It's not up for debate! (Rebecca looks angry)
Dr. Leach: When I learned she had died I, of course, was devastated. In addition to being my patient, Mrs. Minor was an extraordinary person. We were all quite fond of her.
Walton: Dr. Leech, what happened?
Leach: I don't know. We'd been through the procedure over and over and over. Everything went according to plan, nothing indicated…
Walton: You've heard the suggestion that Mrs. Minor may have picked up this infection during the procedure.
Leach: The room was sterile, Mr. Walton. Whatever happened to Mrs. Minor, it didn't happen in that room.
Walton: Well, could she have gotten the infection elsewhere?
Leach: I don't know what happened after she left the hospital, what happened at her home. My dialogue with Mr. Minor stopped at that point, so… All I can tell you, whatever caused her to die - it didn't happen in that room. Sometimes, people die, Mr. Minor. And sometimes, there's no explanation as to why.
Minor: (rising) People don't just die.
Judge: Mr. Minor.
Minor: They don't just die.
Judge: Mr. Minor. (to Leach) Doctor, please don't address the plaintiff.
A room at the courthouse.
Rebecca: This judge isn't going to go for any of that stuff. You have to stay quiet. We're lucky the DA didn't take him up on his offer and put you in the chair to be crossed. Can you at least look at me? (Little moves only his eyes to look at her) If your prior felonies come out you can forget it. You have two assaults, one with a deadly weapon. That's all the jury needs to hear. Now, I'd like to take a shot with a plea. If we can get 8 years, I think we should take it.
Little: You're still deaf
Rebecca: Byron I'm not saying you did it, but with the evidence...
Little: I didn't do it, you bitch! (he rises and knocks over the table, sending Rebecca to the floor) You stupid bitch! You just like the rest of em! But I bet you hear me now, huh?! I bet you hear me now! Come here! Come here! (Guards rush in and grab him, he struggles) Get off of me! Get off of me! (They throw him to the ground) Ahh, get off of me! (he continues to scream, as Rebecca sighs and puts a hand to her head)
Night. Helen and Lindsay's apartment.
Helen is seated on the couch, Lindsay enters, sees her, and walks over.
Helen: Don't start.
Lindsay: I'm gonna start.
Lindsay: Just listen first, okay? Then I'll shut up. You don't believe that kid had anything to do with the murder. You're punishing him because he screwed up the prosecution of the father, and in part you're punishing Ellenor for not convincing him to stick to the truth. You come from anger.
Helen: Don't tell me -
Lindsay: I will tell you, because I saw it. I know what happened to you when you lost that nun killer. And I could see what was happening when this case started to go south, and I see you now. And I know how this thing will play out. If you try him on felony murder he's going to stand up and tell the real truth, which will be consistent with his statement to the cops and his testimony at the prelim. You will never get past reasonable doubt and you'll be stuck going after him for perjury six months from now. Drop the felony murder. Let him cop to the perjury now. Then go to the gym and hit the heavy bag. It's the only thing you can really do. (pause) Helen?
Helen: I don't know if I can do this any more.
Lindsay: Do what?
Helen: This job.
Lindsay: Helen. This is just a couple of fluke cases. (pause) Are you okay?
Helen: Fine. I'm fine.
-------------------- Commercial --------------------
Bobby: Why did you schedule an M & M conference the very night Mrs. Minor died?
Leach: Because, as I explained, her death upset me. I wanted to make sure we didn't cause it.
Bobby: Did you?
Bobby: That was the conclusion reached in the M & M conference?
Walton: Objection. Those meetings are sealed. Counsel is trying to get the witness to waive the privilege -
Bobby: If it's no, it's no.
Walton: I object to the trick. He knows the meetings are secret. He is trying to exploit this secrecy to make us look like we are hiding something.
Bobby: What are you, a fortune teller now?
Judge: All right. Sustained. Mr. Donnell, continue.
Bobby: You wanted the meeting that night because you were urgent to find out what happened?
Bobby: Did you recommend to Mr. Minor that you do an autopsy?
Leach: He didn't seem to want that.
Bobby: My question is, did you recommend it?
Leach: I don't think I did.
Bobby: In fact, didn't you say to Mr. Minor and his daughter "we can do an autopsy if you want, but it won't bring her back." Weren't those your very words?
Leach: I don't remember. But it's possible I said that.
Bobby: It sounds almost like you were discouraging an autopsy.
Leach: The blood work revealed she died of a bacterial infection.
Bobby: But you didn't know that at the time you discouraged the autopsy.
Leach: I didn't discourage it. I just didn't push for it.
Bobby: You didn't push for it. That doesn't go with this urgency to find out what happened. Was the urgency to conceal what happened?
Leach: No, that isn't what happened.
Bobby: Why was Dr Morganson so upset? Did he know Mrs. Minor?
Leach: He was upset because another patient had died. And this news on top of that…
Bobby: He knew something went wrong, didn't he?
Bobby: Patients don't just die from cheek implants, do they, doctor?
Bobby: Something went wrong!
Judge: Mr. Donnell.
Bobby: You say you want to know what happened, but you don't urge an autopsy, there's a late night secret meeting -
Walton: This exactly what I'm talking about.
Judge: Mr. Donnell, that's enough.
Bobby: Is it your testimony that you have no idea how she got this fatal infection?
Leach: That's my testimony.
Helen: He pleads to perjury and we go right to sentencing today.
Ellenor: I'd want to be heard.
Helen: You can be heard, but -
Ellenor: Why rush it? We might as well -
Helen: We do it now, or there's no deal. (pause) It's just… I want this to be over. And you should want it to be over too. Because the longer I live with it, the angrier I ... There's an offer before you. Take it or not.
A prison. Ellenor is talking to Gary through the screen.
Gary: What would I get? For perjury?
Ellenor: It's discretionary, but I think I can make a pretty decent argument to the judge.
Gary: Do we have to decide today?
Ellenor: There is really no decision, Gary. If we don't plead to the perjury then the felony murder charge doesn't get dropped, and we can't risk that. They've got you dead to right on perjury anyway, so there's no real reason not to jump on this.
Gary: Then why do the sentencing today?
Ellenor: The DA wants to put this behind her and so do you. Now, there is a chance we can get you out of here, so let's just do it.
Gary: (after a pause) Okay.
The camera pans up Little from foot to head. His hands and feet and chained to the chair, and his mouth is covered in electrical tape.
Helms: I had fired several shots, at which point he dropped the gun and ran into the stairway.
Thompson: The defendant?
Helms: Yes. We then entered the stairway on the lobby floor and met him coming down. He started going back up but we caught him.
Rebecca: You say he started shooting at you as soon as you entered the lobby?
Helms: That's correct
Rebecca: And you immediately returned fire.
Rebecca: At which point he dropped the gun and ran into the stairwell.
Rebecca: Any prints on the gun?
Helms: None that were useable.
Rebecca: The look you got of him on the balcony that was 3, 4 seconds?
Helms: I suppose that's about right.
Rebecca: With a gun barrel pointed in your direction?
Rebecca: And the stairway was behind him. Is that not right?
Rebecca: So, he turned and ran with his back toward you?
Helms: I suppose.
Rebecca: You suppose. Did he back-pedal or did he turn and run?
Helms: He turned and ran
Rebecca: And how were the lights up there on the balcony?
Helms: We got a good look at him.
Rebecca: It was dark, wasn't it?
Helms: We saw his face.
Rebecca: You say we like you're speaking for Officer Gibson. Did you two go over your testimony?
Rebecca: You said in your statement there may have been others on the balcony, but it was too dark to tell. Was that your statement?
Helms: Yes, but we got a good look at him.
Little stands up and tries to protest, but is hindered by his chains and the tape over his mouth.
Swackheim: If you don't settle down, Mr. Little, I'll remove you. Don't think I won't have you hauled right out of here.
Everyone looks uncomfortable.
Cut to Bobby knocking on the door of a house
A man answers the door
Bobby: Mr Stanton? I'm Bobby Donnell. I called…
Mr Stanton doesn't look impressed.
Inside, at a table.
Bobby: Our information shows your daughter died on the same day, and there's been testimony that the chief of staff was very upset about it. I'm not entitled to see her medical records without your permission.
Mrs. Stanton: And what does Carol's death have to do with your case?
Bobby: Well, maybe nothing, but that's what I'd like to find out.
Stanton: I'd like you to please leave, sir.
Bobby: Mr. Stanton, a woman died here. I'm just -
Stanton: A woman died. That's why you're here? You're concerned about a woman's death. My daughter died, Mr. Donnell. We're finally at a point where our lives have resumed, and you happily come along to dig it all up again. Because of your deep concern.
Mrs. Stanton: Darryl.
Stanton: No, he's here about money! You think twice about whether we'd want this kind of visit? Our daughter was 19.
Bobby: I'm just trying to represent some people with a claim against a hospital…
Stanton spits in Bobby's face, then gets up and walks away. Bobby reels back in shock, Mrs Stanton gasps.
Mrs. Stanton: Oh, I'm so sorry. (she hands Bobby a dish towel) Carol's death was devastating. She was an only child and, the idea of reliving her death… He always… It was just so…
Bobby: How did she die?
Mrs. Stanton: (bitterly) She went in for minor surgery and got some post op. infection.
-------------------- Commercial --------------------
Bobby driving, and talking on a cell phone.
Bobby: I want to find out how many people died in that hospital a week before and a week after. Get the names - just listen, Lucy. Get the names and have Jimmy, Lindsay and Eugene contact the families and find out how they died. And this has to be done now.
Thompson: Rebecca. (Sits down next to Rebecca on a bench) We may have a little bump here.
Rebecca: What do you mean bump?
Thompson: There was an internal police investigation regarding the shooting. I just found out about it, I promise you. Here's the report.
Rebecca: The shooting surrounding this arrest?
Thompson: Yes, Officer Helms evidently once claimed he wounded the suspect on the balcony. Now, he's since backed off it, but blood was found on the balcony. The sample was lost
Rebecca: Excuse me, lost?
Thompson: I don't know what to say. If you want to move for a mistrial, I won't oppose.
Swackheim 's chambers
Swackheim: We're not having any mistrial.
Swackheim: We're late into it, I don't -
Rebecca: If the man on the balcony was wounded then that clears Byron Little.
Swackheim: The officer said he was wrong about wounding him.
Rebecca: Oh, come on.
Swackheim: You expect me to throw out an entire trial because -
Rebecca: First of all the state has a duty to turn over all exculpatory evidence, I'm just getting this report now.
Swackheim: He just got it.
Rebecca: Second, this is material. This completely affects how I would have cross-examined Officer Helms.
Swackheim: You can recall him.
Rebecca: And they say they lost the blood sample. I need time to investigate.
Swackheim: Look, counsel, they caught your man running down the stairway.
Rebecca: But he's been saying he wasn't the man on the balcony and that blood may prove it.
Swackheim: How? The officer claims he did not wound the suspect. That means the blood is irrelevant. I'm not throwing out this trial.
Rebecca: You can't be serious.
Swackheim: Look, young lady, you might be used to your clients being freed on stunts and technicalities, but not in my court.
Rebecca: They withheld material evidence.
Swackheim: The trial goes on. You can recall the officer and re-cross him. That's all.
Ellenor: Did he lie under oath? Yes. Are there mitigating circumstances? Of course there are. His mother was murdered. He was turned into the star witness against his father. A father who he had an estranged relationship with. A father who, as you can see by the psychiatric reports, Gary lived for his approval and rarely got it. Here he is. A kid with a drug history, emotionally unstable, being asked to put his dad away for life. He couldn't do it. He couldn't do it. The law insulates us from having to testify against a spouse. Well, a son's connection with a father can be just as powerful. Gary Armbrust isn't a bad kid your honour, we all know that. He just couldn't go through with sending his dad to prison.