Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 8 - Law & Order - full transcript

A father confesses to killing his son's hockey coach over playing time. His defense is that he should not be considered responsible for his actions because he suffers from a mental defect known as "sports rage."

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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.

Nicole, I'm tired
of this. We're late.

I'm coming, Mom.

You know, young lady, I
don't think you appreciate

the sacrifices I make
on these weekends,

and what it takes to be one of those
girls who's up on that podium.

Mom. Mom.
What?



Oh. My God!

Go back to the car.

Yes, there's a man,
he needs an ambulance.

Please hurry.

Russell Crider.
Age 37.

Found his wallet in his pocket.
Forty bucks.

Honda over here
is registered to him.

Hell of away
to start the weekend.

Or end one.

Looks like he got
worked over pretty good.

Face is busted up.
Ribs and chest are bruised.

ED: Cause of death?

I'm gonna guess
internal bleeding.

Door was open when we got here.
Keys on the ground.



Carjack gone bad?

Guy comes out of the elevator,
catches somebody poking around.

Or he just pulls in.
You been through the car?

There was a ticket for the
garage clocked in at 5:48 a.m.

Loose change, CDs. Doesn't look
like they boosted anything.

Dust it anyway.
You got it.

Detectives, I have Bobby
Williams, garage attendant.

You been on duty all morning?

Since 5:00. Didn't
see nothing, though.

You hear any loud noises?

Gate's two floors down. I wouldn't
have heard no shouting or nothing.

ED: ls there
any other way out?

Just the front gate.

I feel terrible.

Cat getting done like
this, while I'm on duty.

Well, give your number
to the officer.

BRISCOE: Any other witnesses?

The lady who called it in
said she didn't see anything.

What time was the call?
About 8:30.

Thanks, Alma.

Guy stuck his car in a
garage, thought he was safe.

He forgot the high cost
of parking in Manhattan.

M.E. figures the assailant stomped
him while he was on the ground.

His teeth and jaw were broken by blunt force.
Probably not a fist.

And no one heard anything?

Third floor of a garage on a Saturday morning.
It's pretty deserted.

Any prints from the car?

So far, no hits.

When did the M.E.
say this happened?

Preliminary report puts it
somewhere between 7:00 and 8:30.

On a Saturday morning.

So, what is this victim, an
early bird or a party animal?

His wife ought to know.

I keep thinking, "Who
would do this to him?"

So, there was no one
who might've wanted to...

Everybody loved Russ.

Must have been
some crazy person.

Why was your husband
in the garage?

He coached a kids' hockey team.
They had practice.

At 8:00 a.m.?
At 6:00.

It's hard to get
ice time in the city.

And he usually drives alone?

Yes.

Has anybody spoken
with Jake Arnold?

Jake Arnold?
Who's that?

Oh, Ruse's assistant coach.

Where can we find him?

He works for the gas company.
His number's on the fridge.

So, uh, you were home
this morning?

(TEARFULLY) I should've
made him stay home.

He had a cold.

Is there anybody we can call?
No.

There's no one.
(CRYING) God.

So, when's the last time
you saw him?

Uh, we left practice together,
a little after 8:00.

Anybody else with you?

Just us. Then I went
to take the train.

Why not ride
with Mr. Crider?

Russ is in Queens.
My job's here.

What time did you get here?

Quarter to 9:00.

You punch in?
Of course.

Our boss was here.
He saw me.

Can you think of any reason why
anybody would want to hurt him?

He was a great guy.
He loved coaching.

You know, him and Carmen have
a hard time having kids.

The hockey, it sort of
made up for that.

Aw, geez, who's gonna
tell the team?

Guy leaving
the garage at 10:00

says he parked on the same level at around
8:00 a.m., and everything was quiet.

So Crider was already dead?

Or about to be.

Here's a woman heard
a car alarm go off

sometime between
8:15 and 8.30.

So, maybe somebody
was jacking his car.

Well, I was having breakfast in
the coffee shop down the street.

I go every Saturday.

I watch the girls skate.

ED: And, you were parked
on the third floor?

Yeah. Near the steps.

I take them for the exercise.

When did you hear the alarm?

After I parked the car.

It was one of those, "Burglar!
Burglar! Burglar," things.

ED: Did you get
a look at anybody?

No. No, I went downstairs,
around to the front gate

to tell the garage
attendant about the alarm.

BRISCOE: And what did he say?
Well, there was nobody there.

You sure about that?
Absolutely.

And the gate was up.

So, I waited a few
minutes, and then I left.

I figured the garage attendant heard
the alarm and went up to check it out.

Look, you told us you
were here all morning.

I hit the john.

You were gone over 20 minutes.

I don't remember.

Do you remember an assault
conviction, Bobby?

Oh, come on, man,
that was five years ago.

Husband-wife thing.

You use this on her, too?

I didn't use that on nobody.

Oh. So, you won't mind if we check
it out with Forensics, huh?

I just carry it around
for protection.

I don't like walking around here so early.
Nobody around.

(CHUCKLING) It's kind of
convenient, nobody being around.

Yeah, you could find out
who didn't lock their car.

Maybe pick up a few souvenirs?

Look, no, no. You got
it all twisted, man.

Then why don't you
straighten it out?

Okay, man. Maybe you
didn't mean to kill him.

Maybe it was just an unlucky thing.
Is that what it was?

I... I could lose
my J-O-B behind this.

You could lose a lot more
than your J-O-B, Bobby.

Come on, it's now or never.

I stepped out to a deli, on
Broadway, to buy a lottery ticket.

Only there was a line already.

You got to be in it to win it.

You don't have to say
anything to my boss, right?

0-3-5-6-3. Yeah.

Thanks.

Williams purchased the
lottery ticket at 8:29.

Could be he was
setting up an alibi.

When exactly was our 911 call?

According to the SPRINT
run, it was 8:31.

Wait.
VAN BUREN: What?

Looks like there
were two 911 calls.

ED: How come there's no
callback number?

The SPRINT run's
just a summary.

They probably used a cell phone
that's not FCC-compliant.

Some of these service providers have
been too cheap to put in the technology.

Any way to retrieve
the number now?

No, but we got
the caller on tape.

MAN: You got
to send an ambulance.

OPERATOR: What's your
emergency, please?

MAN: There's a guy.
He's bleeding.

OPERATOR: Where are you
calling from, sir?

MAN: (HEAVY STATIC)
...garage, West Side Rink.

OPERATOR: Sir,
I can barely hear you.

MAN: Look, I'm sorry.
(CLEARLY) West Side Rink.

He's dying. Would ya just come?
Just come already.

MAN ON TAPE: He's dying Would ya just come?
Just come already.

Whoever it was saw it go down.

Or was the doer himself.

And there's no chance the garage
attendant is connected to any of this?

Nah, his nightstick
came back clean.

I don't think the guy's sharp
enough to fake an alibi.

(SIGHING) Well, it's a shame
the tape is such a mess.

Well, we're getting
a tech to clean it up.

Good.

I eliminated the inter-modular distortions.
Filled out the dropouts.

Hope this gets you
guys what you need.

MAN: You got to send
an ambulance.

OPERATOR: What's your
emergency, please?

MAN: There's a guy,
he's bleeding.

OPERATOR: Where are you
calling from, sir?

MAN: Parking garage.
West Side Rink.

OPERATOR: Sir, I can
barely hear you.

MAN: Look, I'm sorry.
West Side Rink.

He's dying. Would ya just come?
Just come already.

That's all she wrote.

ED: Can you tell us
anything about the caller?

A male, obviously.
Teenager.

You sure?
Educated guess.

I mean, an average grown man has
a pitch frequency of 130 hertz.

Teenage boy, post-puberty, is about 140.
This one's at 152.

How's that make him a teenager?

People go up 10 to 15 hertz
when they're screaming.

Anything else?

There's a little bit
of fuzz at the end.

He might've been talking to
someone else, but I can't tell.

You got enough
for a voice match?

Oh, the caller is
under extreme stress.

But, you get me a voice exemplar
of him shouting the same words

I'll give it a shot.

All right, we're gonna need
a couple of copies of that.

Give me five minutes.

I'm sorry, I just can't tell.

Are you sure it was
somebody on our team?

Well, we know
it was a teenager.

We're just trying to put
two and two together.

Well, 'cause I called all the
kids to tell them about Russ,

and none of them seemed to
know anything about it.

Well, none of them
is likely to admit it.

Guess you're gonna
need all their names?

Addresses, phone numbers.

I got no idea. Sorry.

Whoa! Hold up, champ.

What?

We want you to be
absolutely sure, son.

I told you, I have no idea.

You left practice a little after 8:00?
That's right.

Now, was the coach
still there when you left?

He was with Mr. Arnold.

And then, he started talking
to some other kids.

Who were the kids Coach
Crider was talking to?

Couple of guys from Walcott.

Walcott?
Walcott High School.

They got names?

Josh Felder, Keith
Taylor, Bobby Ruiz.

Any idea what
they were talking about?

It might've been
about playing time.

Playing time?

You see, the coach
always played everybody.

Even the kids
that weren't so good.

And, I guess the guys from Walcott
weren't too cool with that.

Felder, Taylor, and Ruiz.
The Three Amigos.

You had trouble
with them before?

Yeah, I'd say we've had our fair
share of headaches with these three.

What kind of headaches
you talking about?

Felder and Ruiz aren't
too bad by themselves,

but, when they're with Taylor,
they sort of run in a pack.

Pushing kids around, mouthing off
to teachers, that sort of thing.

Well, it says here Taylor
got a week of detention

for abusive behavior toward
freshmen boys in the cafeteria.

Keith wanted their seats, they
refused, he got physical. Typical.

He also got suspended for
fighting in the hallway.

You think he's capable of worse?

I wouldn't have thought so.
But, with Keith...

I think he sees hockey
as a way out for him.

You know, with colleges. And somebody
gets between him and that, who knows?

Is he that good?
According to him, he is.

(SCOFFS) You know
how jocks get.

Like they own the world and
nobody better get in their way.

I was in the chess club.
(SCHOOL BELL RINGING)

So, we think these kids
killed their coach

because they weren't getting
enough playing time?

Hey, an NBA player
chokes his coach.

NHL player hits a guy in
the head with his stick.

How long before the kids do it?

Taylor showed pretty
aggressive behavior in school.

Plus, the tech says the
caller might've been talking

to somebody else
in the background.

Yeah, but it doesn't
make sense.

Why would these kids kill the coach,
and then turn around and dial 911?

Got scared.

Or, maybe one of them
still has a conscience.

You say this guidance counselor
makes Taylor the ringleader?

No question.

Okay, bring him in.
With a parent.

I really don't understand
what this is all about.

We just need to get
some information.

Well, I think
his father should be here.

I... I tried to call him.

You can go ahead and make another
call if you feel like it.

In the meantime,
we'd like to know

what you and Coach Crider were
talking about after practice?

Just some stuff.
I really don't remember.

Was it about playing time?

He said he doesn't remember.

Yeah, I heard.

Are you people accusing
my son of something?

We would just like to know if Keith
walked Coach Crider out to the garage.

No, no, I, uh...
I hit the subway.

ED: When was that?

I don't know.
After we talked.

About playing time?

Yeah. Yeah.
Whatever.

'Cause we heard that you left
practice with your buddies,

Josh and Bobby.

What are you talking about?

We have a tape of a 911 call.

ED: Keith,
who made the call?

Was it Josh?
Bobby? You?

Well, Josh and Bobby
weren't even there.

BRISCOE: Meaning you were? PATTY
TAYLOR: He didn't say that.

ED: There's only one question here, Keith.
Who's going down for this?

Hey, if you made the 911 call,
you're the good guy here.

You were trying
to save your coach's life.

Yeah, help yourself out.

He's not saying another word.

Your mom's not gonna
do the time kid, you are.

Unless you get
smart, real quick.

That's enough.

I'm his mother. I have the
right to stop this, right?

Mrs. Taylor...
PATTY: No.

This stops. Right now!

Well, what do you think?

He was definitely there.

You want us to charge him?

Let Mrs. Taylor make
that call to the father.

In the meantime, with what he
just said, and the 911 call,

it ought to be enough
to get a search warrant.

So, let's call the D.A. and hold him
here until we see what we can find.

RAY TAYLOR: You got no right.
I called my lawyer.

I told you, we have a warrant
to search your home.

Is that your son's room?

You know, you talked to my
boy without me being there.

His mother was there.
Yeah, she called me.

She told me what you two did.
Scaring him!

Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to ask
you to calm down and stand aside.

I want to see the warrant.

What are you
people looking for?

Hey, Lennie. These
belong to your son?

I guess.

Take a look at the
top of this one.

What is it? My son
did not do anything.

Looks like it could be blood.

Judge, DNA taken from this boy's hockey
stick matches that of the victim.

Blood on a hockey stick
doesn't prove a thing.

Which is precisely why we're
seeking the voice exemplar,

in order to establish
a digital match

between Keith Taylor
and the 911 caller.

My client has a right against
self-incrimination, Judge.

Which is exactly what giving a
sample of his voice could be.

Your Honor, courts have compelled
incriminating evidence

from suspects based on far less than
what the People have provided here.

We take blood, hair samples,
fingerprints, all the time.

We compel line-ups. I just
don't see the difference.

I agree.

And I find the limited intrusion far
outweighed by the probative value.

Your client is ordered to
provide a sample of his voice,

under such circumstances
as required. (POUNDS GAVEL)

Look, I'm sorry.
West Side Rink.

He's dying...

Would ya just come?

Just come already.

He's gonna have
to do it louder.

Mr. Greer, I'm going to ask
you to direct your client

to approximate
the volume on the 911 tape.

Do it louder.

(SLIGHTLY LOUDER) Look, I'm sorry.
West Side Rink.

He's dying.
Would ya just come?

Just come already.

He's got to scream. It's the
only way to get an accurate

spectrographic analysis.

Louder, Keith.

(LOUDER) Look, I'm sorry. West Side Rink.
He's dying.

Would ya just come?
Just come already.

It's dead on.

All I'm saying is,
the kid's 16 years old.

Doesn't excuse what he's done.

Crider was the adult
in the situation.

Meaning what?

Meaning, young lady, he's the one who
should've avoided the confrontation.

Hard to do when someone is swinging
a hockey stick at you, Counselor.

The stick was only
used in self-defense.

Your client pursued
the deceased to his car.

Look, a man and a boy
get into an argument.

Pursued or not, the man's
supposed to be mature enough

to end it before
it gets physical.

What exactly are you
asking us to do?

If you have to charge him,
give him youthful offender.

Supervised probation
for five years.

I'm not committing
to anything until I have

a full understanding of
exactly what happened here.

Your client didn't get caught
with his hand in the cookie jar.

He killed a man.

This thing about the hockey was something
long-standing between the two.

I can produce at least two other boys
on the team who'll attest to that.

And the boy's father.

I'm not sure
any of that's relevant.

It goes directly
to establishing a beef,

between my client
and the victim.

So, a man loses his life
over Little League hockey?

All I'm saying is, we
should all be considering

the possibility
of self-defense.

DR. RODGERS: The fractures
in his jaw and cheekbone

were the result of being
struck with a blunt object.

The hockey stick.

The abrasion exhibits
a patterned injury

which matches
the butt end of the stick.

So, it wasn't swung at him?

No, probably used
in a jabbing motion.

Well, how exactly did he die?

Apparently he was knocked to the
ground, then kicked repeatedly.

One of the kicks fractured a rib, which
punctured his lung, causing hemothorax.

Basically, he bled
to death internally.

So he was down on the ground, when
the fatal blow was delivered?

From the angle of the bruises to his
sternum and rib cage, I'd say yes.

Then, self-defense is out.

Not necessarily.

Crider had some abrasions
on his knuckles,

which to me means
he threw a punch.

Now, whether it was thrown
in anger is anyone's guess.

JACK: So, self-defense
is a possibility.

It's at least triable.

Which is why I pulled
Crider's coaching file.

I thought this
was a club league.

It is, but Crider coached
at a junior college

before he got involved
with the younger kids.

And?

And there's nothing blatant.

But, he was ejected twice for
arguing a referee's call.

Which the defense will use
to attack his character.

Right, put the victim on trial.

It's worked before.

Lawyer said there was bad
blood between these two.

Maybe it's time
to find out how bad.

I'd be a hell of a lot more
comfortable if we had a lawyer here.

One of the other parents told
us what happened to Keith.

Mr. Felder, Josh isn't a target
of our investigation, okay?

Nothing he says
will be used against him.

I think we should
just get this over with.

(SIGHS RESIGNEDLY)

Josh, I've been told
that there was some trouble

between Keith and Coach Crider?

They argued about stuff.

What sort of stuff?

Coach kept telling us
winning wasn't everything.

(SCOFFS) Obviously, the man
wasn't living in the real world.

JOSH: Like last year, we were so
close to making the playoffs,

but Coach Crider
wouldn't sit the scrubs.

I mean, the kids
that weren't any good.

They missed the playoffs. Arnie.

I'm sorry, but I thought the whole idea
was for them to learn about competition.

So, Keith wasn't happy about
missing the playoffs, is that it?

None of us were.

Look, Keith just wanted
to win, that's all.

He had a lot riding on hockey.

What do you mean?

Keith's dad was gonna get some
college scouts to come see us play.

That's why Keith got so pissed about getting
kicked out of practice that morning.

He was kicked out of practice?

For checking this scrub...

I mean, this other kid.

Keith was hitting everyone
in sight that morning.

Heads up, Jason.
Stay onside.

We'd warned him before about the rough
stuff, so Crider tossed him out.

Suspended him
for the next game.

Why didn't you tell
the police about this?

Because I never imagined kicking
a kid out of a hockey practice

could lead to a man
getting killed.

Okay, how angry
was he when he left?

Keith's a hothead. He takes after
his father in that regard.

His father?

Well, we had an incident with
his dad at one of the games.

What kind of incident?

Him and one of the other
kids' fathers got into it.

Physically?

I had to go into the
stands to separate them.

(BLOWS WHISTLE)

It's an open league, which means
everyone's supposed to play,

regardless of how
good they are.

Taylor didn't quite get that.

And, you explained it to him.

I called Crider

and told him I thought
that he was letting

some of the other parents
bully him about playing time,

and I didn't think
that, that was right.

And, what was
Mr. Crider's reaction?

He was pretty good about it.
He apologized.

Said it wouldn't happen again.

So, how did you and Mr. Taylor
get into an altercation?

I went to the next game, just to
make sure everything was okay.

Um... (CHUCKLES)

Eric got on the ice,
lost the puck.

Some kid on the other team
picked it up and scored.

Taylor and some other parents start
screaming at Eric, you know,

cursing at him, and at Crider.
I mean, they were merciless.

So, you did what?

My son's 14 years old.

I went up to Taylor and I told
him to sit down and shut up.

You know, I'm not proud
of what happened, but I...

Look, I got the whole
thing on tape.

And, you wouldn't
believe these people.

(INDISTINCT SHOUTING)

(ARGUING)

Not exactly a cover photo
for Parent magazine.

Well, according to the assistant
coach, this type of behavior

from the parents
happened at most games.

Unbelievable.

Taylor was apparently
the worst offender.

Yeah, he's been
in quite a few scuffles.

What else do we know about him?

The parking attendant identified
him from a photo array

as having been in the
garage that morning.

Which places him at the scene
near the time of the homicide.

It also means the son lied to the police
about how he got home that morning.

So, the boy's protecting his father.
The question is, from what?

Could be he's trying to spare his father
from being a witness against him.

Or, they both did it.

Or, the father
killed Crider himself.

Well, when I spoke to the M.E., she
did say that Crider threw a punch.

But, when Keith Taylor
was being interviewed

by the police, there
wasn't a mark on him.

If we find out the father did it, I
want him charged with murder two.

We could charge them both, see if
the apple falls far from the tree.

We could end up
prosecuting a kid

because of some twisted
loyalty to his father.

Well, no defense attorney's
going to let the father

make a statement,
loyalty or not.

Maybe we don't
need his statement.

Set up another meeting
with Keith Taylor and Greer.

Only this time, let's have
the father in there as well.

Without his own lawyer?

He isn't charged.

The law favors having a parent present
when a child's being interrogated.

The father wanted in so bad the first
time, let's give him his chance now.

We just have to be careful not to direct
any questions specifically to him.

JACK: I thought it'd be
appropriate to advise you

in the presence of your
client and his father

that the District Attorney's
office has decided

to charge Keith in the death
of Russell Crider as an adult.

As an adult?

What about a plea?

There's not gonna be an offer.

What the hell is going on?

Your client's going to stand
trial for murder, Mr. Greer.

If he's convicted,
he'll do hard time.

Why are you people doing this?

CARMICHAEL:
We think you know why.

What are you talking about?

We're talking about a father's
disappointment, his anger

at seeing his son miss a game after he
arranged for college scouts to see him play.

Ray?

He doesn't know
what he's talking about.

But you know what happened,
Keith, don't you?

Would you leave my boy alone?

I'm afraid I can't
do that, Mr. Taylor.

Not with the evidence we have.

(SIGHING)

He had nothing to do with it.
Any of it.

Dad, don't.

Shh. It's enough.
Don't do this.

I got a conflict here.

But I'm still gonna advise you not to say
anything until you talk to a lawyer.

What if he tells you
what you want to know?

That depends
on his participation.

RAY: And if there
was no participation?

I'd dismiss, providing
he's willing to testify.

No.

I won't, all right?
Dad, I won't.

Please, listen to me.

(CRYING) Dad.

(SIGHING) It's not your fault.

You understand?
Come on, look at me.

It's gonna be okay.

Is your client prepared
to make a statement?

(SIGHING) Ask him
what you want.

Who was with you the morning
Coach Crider was killed?

You gotta tell him, Keith.

My dad.
(SIGHS DEEPLY)

My dad was there.

(SOBBING)

Looking through
the court papers,

wasn't his son a suspect
in this homicide?

Apparently, they've switched
targets, Your Honor.

It happens, when a defendant's
willing to hide behind his child.

As to bail, it's the People's
position the defendant's actions

constitute a depraved
indifference to life.

We're requesting remand.

I appreciate the seriousness

of the allegations,
Ms. Carmichael.

Nonetheless, you did
switch defendants,

which leaves
this court no choice

but to question your aim
in the first place.

Bail's set at 100,000.
(POUNDS GAVEL)

Judge, I'd like the record to
reflect I'm serving notice pursuant

to CPL section 250.10

of our intent to offer psychiatric
evidence upon a trial of this matter.

So noted.

Ms. Carmichael,
you'll advise the court

of your decision to have the defendant
examined by your own psychiatrist?

Yes, Your Honor.

JUDGE: Okay, then, next case.
(POUNDS GAVEL)

Sports rage?

(READING) Evidence of a mental
disease will be offered to show

that at the time
of the offense,

the defendant lacked capacity to appreciate
the consequences of his conduct.

Basically, he's saying
he was angry.

(SCOFFS) I don't know what's worse,
this, or the Twinkie defense.

The Twinkle defense worked.

And Archer's no fool. Any claim of
self-defense went out the window

the minute Taylor tried to hide behind his son.
Insanity's his best shot.

We're having Skoda do
the pre-trial psych exam.

Good.

When my niece was younger,
she used to play soccer.

I remember all the parents
screaming on the sidelines,

and insanity was a pretty good
description of their behavior.

It's not a legal excuse.

You were present in the garage, the
morning Coach Crider was killed?

Yes.

Who else was there?

My dad.

Tell us what happened.

He was waiting
to drive me home.

And I came out and I... I
started to tell him everything.

About how Coach kicked
me out of next game.

And he just flipped.

And that's when
we saw Coach Crider.

What did your father do?

He went up to coach.

What then?

I guess they got into a fight.

Who hit who first?

(CLEARLY) Who hit who first?

I don't know. I...
I couldn't see.

Your Honor, I'm going
to ask the Court

to remind this witness

any change from his
grand jury testimony

jeopardizes his agreement
with my office.

You understand what it
is he's saying to you?

My dad hit Coach first.

And what, if anything, did you do after
you saw your father hit Coach Crider?

Well, he was hitting him, my
dad was, and I grabbed him,

and I...
I still had my stick.

And he took it, and he...
And he hit Coach.

He... He jabbed him
with it.

And Coach fell.

What did your father
do after that?

(STUTTERING)
Well, he kicked him.

And he...
He kept on kicking him.

Blood was coming out
of Coach's mouth, and...

(KEITH SIGHS)

Originally, you lied to the
police about this case?

Tried to take the blame?

Yes.

Whose idea was that?

That was my idea.

My dad wanted to say what
he did from the start.

But he didn't, did he?

Nothing further.

The D.A. offered you a deal to get you to
testify against your father, isn't that right?

Yes.

Now without it, they would have
charged you, isn't that right?

Yeah, but my father
didn't let them.

Now, your father rides you pretty
hard about hockey, doesn't he, Keith?

He wants to make sure
I take it seriously.

And the morning that
Coach Crider was killed,

you told your father
that you'd been benched?

Suspended from the next game?

Yes.

And, did your father get angry?

Yeah.

Had you ever seen him
that angry before?

No.

Did it scare you?
Yeah.

And, that's when
you saw Coach Crider?

Right.

Now, you say during the melee,

you tried to grab your father?

Well, I was yelling
for him to stop.

And it was like he...
He couldn't hear me.

So, I grabbed him.

But, you couldn't
stop him, could you, Keith?

No.

And that's when he took your stick,
and he struck Mr. Crider, isn't it?

Yes. And after Coach Crider
had fallen to the ground,

your father continued
to attack him, didn't he?

Didn't he? Didn't he
continue to attack

Mr. Crider after
he fell to the ground?

Yes. Yes.
(STUTTERING) He...

He was kicking him, and
he kept on kicking him.

And then, there was blood
coming out of Coach's mouth.

And, I yelled at him I said,
"Dad, stop, he's bleeding."

That's...

That's when he stopped. That's
when he finally stopped.

What happened then?

He walked to our car,

and that's when we...

That's when I dialed 911.

Your father say anything
on the ride home?

No.

It was like
nothing had happened.

"Like nothing
had happened."

Thank you.

ARCHER: Doctor, is it
your expert opinion,

that at the time of this crime,

my client suffered
a mental defect,

which precluded his capacity

to appreciate that his
conduct was wrong?

Yes, it is.

And what was the mental
defect he suffered?

Rage.

Would you explain
that to the jury?

It's one of the oldest
theories of aggression.

Rage is borne of frustration.

In this case, Mr. Taylor
was trying to reach goals

through his son he couldn't
attain on his own.

He saw Coach Crider
as frustrating

those ambitions,
time and time again.

The suspension
of his son was simply

the proverbial straw
that broke the camel's back.

And, as a result of this,
what happened to him?

The rage triggered a
psychological dissociation.

The rational part of his brain
split off from the action part.

And, why do you
say that "in this case"?

Well, several factors.
The first of which

was his failure to hear his son's
pleas to break off his attack.

And, there was also his
aberrant demeanor post-mortem.

Acting as if
nothing had happened.

Anything else?

I also considered the vicious
nature of the attack itself,

which was more consistent with a
primordial response, than a rational one.

So all of this led you to
conclude what, Doctor?

That, at the time
of the attack,

Mr. Taylor could not
appreciate the nature

and consequences
of his actions.

Thank you.

I'm sorry, Doctor,
I wasn't aware

that rage was recognized
as a mental illness

by the American
Psychiatric Community.

It's been proposed.

An inability to control one's
anger as a mental illness?

We see examples
of it every day.

Road rage. Sports rage.

People acting on their anger in ways
which we didn't see 20 years ago.

Well, what if the defendant
was just plain mad as hell?

Would he be responsible for
his actions then, Doctor?

I can't answer that.

It would depend on whether there was
also any evidence of dissociation.

So, evidence of dissociation is
the linchpin of your opinion?

Yes.

And, isn't it fair to say

that a person could
become dissociated

after committing a violent act?

Yes, of course.

And you have no way of knowing

when Mr. Taylor's dissociation
first occurred, do you?

Whether it began
before he acted,

or was simply a reaction to what he'd done.
Isn't that right?

I based my conclusions on
what the defendant told me.

What he told you?
What if he lied?

In your expert opinion, Doctor,

if the defendant's
dissociation began

after the fatal blow, would he
be responsible for his crime?

Yes.

He'd be responsible.

Nothing further.

So, what did
Dr. Skoda say?

That just because
someone gets real mad

doesn't mean they're insane.

And he'll testify to what about
the timing of the dissociation?

I'm not putting a
psychiatrist on the stand.

Come again?

Two competing
psychiatric opinions

turns the trial into the
battle of the experts.

Once that happens,
Archer accomplishes

what he set out
to do in the first place.

So their expert
goes unchallenged?

Calling an expert plays
into the hand we dealt him.

I assume you have
an alternative?

Skoda interviewed him.
There's enough there.

I'll use his report
to cross-examine.

I'll convict the defendant
with his own words.

I see we have more than one ego in that
courtroom with a penchant for winning.

Guilty as charged. Now,
let's hear a jury say that.

The first thing
I'd like to do today

is apologize
to Mrs. Crider.

I know what I say today
can't change anything.

I want you to know
how sorry I am.

So, how do you
explain what happened?

I can't.

All I can say

is that when Keith told me
about missing the game,

knowing that the scouts
would be there,

it was like something
went off inside my head.

You gotta understand,

I never had
the chance Keith had.

Never had an old man looking
after me the way I am for him.

I pulled a lot of strings

to try and get these scouts to
come and watch my boy play.

And then Crider, he just...
He wouldn't listen.

So, what happened
that morning, Ray?

I saw him.

And then, it was like I
was watching myself.

Like it was in slow
motion or something.

And, when I reached him,
I just swung.

There were...
Fists were flying.

I can feel him,

me hitting him.

Jesus, I am so sorry.

Well, now, what do you remember?
Do you remember striking him

with the hockey stick? You
remember kicking him?

Honestly do not.

Well, what do you recall?

Seeing the blood.

Driving home.

My wife.

She asked me what had happened,

I guess 'cause of how I looked.

And, what did you tell her?

That I didn't know.

That I didn't know
what had happened.

Thank you.
Your witness.

Is it that you
forgot, Mr. Taylor,

or that you want to forget?

I have very little memory.

Little memory of a man
you beat to death?

I told you. It was like I was
in a trance or something.

But, you do remember
punching Mr. Crider?

I believe you testified
that, "Fists were flying"?

Yes.

And you do remember the blood?

Yes.

So, when did this trance begin?

I don't...
I don't know.

Well, it has to have
been somewhere

between punching
Mr. Crider

and driving home to your
wife, isn't that right?

I guess so.

Was it before or after
you saw the blood?

Before.

Before or after you gave
your son your cell phone?

I don't know.

But, you did have the presence
of mind to do that, didn't you?

I guess so.

And to leave
the scene of the crime.

Funny.

You never told the detectives
about this trance?

No.

Even after they threatened
to arrest your son?

Objection.

Goes to recent fabrication.

Overruled.

I didn't think he'd go to jail.

I was scared.

It was wrong not to speak up.

Then you knew
what you did was wrong?

But only after.

But, you didn't go to the
police then either, did you?

You act the same way

whether you know
something's wrong or not?

While driving on the freeway,

a mother of four is cut
off by another driver.

She speeds up, swerves into the
offender's lane, kills him.

A businessman boards
a plane to New York

and brutally beats
a flight attendant

because she refuses his
request for an upgrade.

And here we have a
46-year-old family man,

a man without any
prior criminal record,

who savagely attacks

the coach of his 16-year-old
son's hockey team.

Road rage. Airport rage.
Sports rage.

How do we make
sense of all of it?

And the truth is, we can't.

But, just because we don't understand
something doesn't mean we should dismiss it.

Battered-wife syndrome.

Post-traumatic
stress disorder.

Each of these took years
for juries to accept,

during which time people who
shouldn't have been convicted, were.

Ray Taylor

didn't appreciate what he
was doing that morning,

because at that moment,

he was suffering from a
mental defect, a rage,

which prevented him
from doing so.

And in our criminal
justice system,

we don't hold
people responsible

for conduct that
they can't control,

even if we don't understand it.

(INDISTINCT SHOUTING)

Road rage, airport
rage, sports rage.

Add to that parent rage,
office rage, employee rage.

It might be nice
to think of all this

as the result of some
new mental illness.

But, the truth is, this kind of
behavior has become ordinary,

and to ask you to excuse it

through the fiction

of a new mental illness
is just that, a fiction.

Because it certainly
is not the law.

The law says your right to rage
stops at the other guy's nose.

The defendant's
right to be angry

stopped the moment
he raised his fists.

It stopped the moment
he struck Mr. Crider,

beat him, then
left him for dead.

You've just seen the
video of this defendant

at one of his son's
hockey games,

heard testimony of incidents

in which the defendant
allowed his anger

to explode into violence.

Are we to hold him responsible
for none of this?

Are we really prepared
to create a society

in which no one is responsible
for controlling their anger,

and teach those lessons
to our children?

The victim in this case
worked with kids,

devoted himself in his spare time
to the bettering their lives,

while the defendant lived his
vicariously through his son,

and, in his anger,
forgot a basic reality,

the same reality his lawyer
hopes you'll forget.

That he is an adult.

And we hold adults responsible
for what they do,

no matter how angry they get.

Don't let Mr. Taylor
off the hook.

Don't create an excuse
where there is none.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

We have, Your Honor.

On the charge of Murder
in the Second Degree,

we find the defendant,
Raymond Taylor,

guilty.
(JUDGE POUNDS GAVEL)

No. No.

Dad, please. Please.

No. No. No.

It's gonna be okay.
(CRYING)

It's gonna be okay.

You think his son ever gets over
having testified against his father?

Or having seen his father
take another man's life?

He worked so hard
to see his boy succeed,

ends up having to watch it
all through prison bars.

Nothing like winning.