Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 19, Episode 15 - Law & Order - full transcript

The manager of a failing youth recreation center faces trial in the kidnapping and death of a young woman. However, he blames his troubles on a disgraced Wall Street CEO--the victim's lover--who failed to provide an important donation.

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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.

He saw it in your window last week
and he thought it would look good on me.

But I don't know, it's a
little, you know, skanky.

In this economy, sweetie, if
you have assets, show 'em.

Those are fabulous.

Oh, yeah... I found
them under my pillow.

I want to sleep where you sleep.



Send this over to
my apartment, okay?

MADDEN: Bodega
guy down on the corner

came out to pick up
the morning papers,

heard a thud, saw
her lying in the street.

Okay, anybody actually
see what happened?

They say they were out
here, but nobody saw nothing.

Hey! Don't let those
kids go anywhere.

LUPO: No ID, a tan line
where her watch used to be.

Expensive manicure, too.

Look at her clothes.

It's a Gucci belt,
Armani jacket.

She's overdressed
for this neighborhood.

She must've taken a wrong turn.

Got that right.



MISAN: We already told those
police we didn't see anything.

White lady gets
into an accident,

and the DTs are
right over, right?

They're not the top dogs.
Their suits are too cheap.

You got jokes, huh? Well,
how about some answers?

It was a truck
that hit her, man.

A truck hit her, then
just kept on going.

All right, a truck. Anything more
specific, maybe a license plate number?

Yeah, I got a web cam in my eye.

Juveniles on the street after
1:00 a.m. I think I'm calling ACS.

Come on, man, we
were just playing.

We're not.

Look, the back of the
truck was open, all right?

It had newspapers
stacked up in it.

If that helps you, I don't know.

It's better than nothing.

SILVIO: Who says I hit anybody?

LUPO: You want to wait for us to
match the dents on your front end

to the bruises on our
victim, that's fine with us.

Just don't expect any
breaks, you understand?

Why would I need a break?

I didn't do anything criminal.

All right, look,

if you hit somebody and
then you left her for dead...

You see that? That's
definitely criminal.

Homicide or
accident, your choice.

I think they found a blonde
hair stuck in your grille.

All right.

It was an accident.
It wasn't my fault.

You're saying it was hers?

No, it's the delinquents
that were after her.

I was coming down the street,
and out of the corner of my eye,

I see these kids
around this girl.

One of them, he
goes to grab her,

and out of nowhere, she
runs in front of my truck.

I couldn't stop in time.
Hey, I feel bad, believe me.

What'd these kids look like?

Harlem kids.

The one that went after her,

he was wearing an
orange jacket, all right?

Turn around. Come
on, Silvio, turn around.

We're hooking you
up, you and your van.

You're arresting me?

Hey, we feel bad, believe me.

This is whack, man.
I already told you,

we didn't do nothing to
her, man. I'm telling you.

We know. But somebody
saw you talking to her. Sit down.

BERNARD: It's no big deal if you
exchanged words with her, Carlos.

We just need to know if
she gave you any information

that will help us identify her.

I already told you, she didn't
give us no information, man.

Then you were talking with her?

Yes. BOTH: Ah.

Oh, come on. Hold
up. I already told you,

we didn't do nothing
to her, all right?

We just come outside when we
heard Tiny making a racket, that's it.

Tiny?

Yes, man. Tiny,

that dumb-ass German
shepherd dog down the block.

You know what I'm
saying? We come outside,

and we hear him barking at some
white lady coming down the street.

You know, and she looks
all scared or whatever.

She scared of the dog?

I don't know, just
scared, all right?

And I see her clothes
are all messed up,

and she don't got no shoes on.

I'm like, "Yo, Miss, you
need some help?" All right?

And that's when she
runs into the street,

and that's when the
truck took her out.

And you didn't put
your hands on her at all?

You or your friends?

No, man. Uh-uh.

Hmm.

(STAMMERING) Why am I going
to chase some lady into traffic,

and then sit around and wait
for the police to come, man?

(CELL PHONE RINGING)

Because you think
the police are stupid.

Come on.

So, that's it, then?
I'm out of here?

No, that's up to the D.A.

D.A. will have a field
day with his sheet.

Truancy, fare
beating, vandalism...

All the true diversions of
a New York City boyhood.

Well, if he chased our
Jane Doe into traffic,

we'll be adding
murder to his resume.

(SCOFFS) What's the M.E. say?

Aside from the
injuries from the truck,

our victim had fresh bruise marks
on her arm that look like finger marks.

Well, there was green glass embedded
in her clothes... From the truck?

No. Forensics say they
came from a window pane.

Well, you have a
well-dressed woman

running in the
street at 1:00 a.m.,

in apparent distress,
barefoot, jewelry missing.

I want to know
what she was doing

before she crossed paths
with Carlos and his crew.

(BARKING)

This must be Tiny.

Hi.

You see this
good-looking girl last night?

No? How about this ugly old mug?

Okay. See, I'm gonna
take that as a yes.

Hey, Lupes.

Check out the
window on the top floor.

Green glass.

The bank foreclosed
on it about year ago.

It's been vacant ever since.

It's priced to move,
but in this economy...

You mind just waiting
in the hallway, please?

This is last Sunday's paper.

When's the last time you
had somebody in the building?

About two months ago.

We showed the place to the
Harlem Redevelopment people.

Lupes.

It's her. Blair Carlson.

She has a SoHo address.

Her jewelry's still
here. Watch, earrings...

This lock looks new.

Wasn't here the
last time I was here.

Broken from the inside.

She could have jumped
out onto the roof of the porch.

Food, water, and mattress...

My guess is, she wasn't
here for a spa treatment.

BERNARD: When was
the last time you saw her?

Yesterday morning, around
10:00. She was on her way out.

Alone? Yes.

How did she afford this
place? She come from money?

No. Money came to her.

She was a professional,
is that what you're saying?

Her boyfriend's Pete Gardner.

CEO of Markham
Fraser Investment Bank?

The Markham Fraser
Investment Bank

that went into the
toilet last month?

That's the one.

She downloaded some
commercial real estate listings.

Yeah, that was her new thing.

She said there were some
real bargains out there.

And checked them with
comp sales in Harlem...

And got an IM.

"Hey, babe, if you wanted
to scare me, it worked.

"Call me now. Pete."

I got this text message from Blair's
cell phone yesterday, late afternoon.

"We have your girlfriend. If you
want her back, the price is 200,000."

I thought it was one of her
jokes. Then I couldn't reach her.

So what did you do then?

I texted them back, telling
them that I was willing to play ball,

but that I couldn't get the
money until the morning.

You can scroll down,
you can see their reply.

Mmm-hmm.

"Okay for morning drop.
Instructions to follow."

And I never heard
from them again.

Why didn't you call the police?

Oh, that would go
over well with my wife.

Yeah, sure.

Ms. Carlson was being held

in a vacant building in
Harlem that was for sale.

Did you know any of the
people she was dealing with?

Anybody up in Harlem?

I don't know
anybody up in Harlem,

well, except for Bill
Clinton, of course.

Did anybody else know about
your relationship with Ms. Carlson?

I actually tried to be discreet.

What about threats, from
investors or former employees?

Our security
company logs them all.

My wife will be
home any minute...

Oh, right. Sure, yeah.
Uh, one last thing,

we haven't been able to
reach your girlfriend's family,

and we need an ID, so...

(SCOFFS)

She should've stayed put.
I'd have paid the damn money.

You bet I sent Pete
Gardner a threatening letter.

Me and about
10,000 other people.

Yeah, we read some
of those. But yours...

"I will inflict on you the same
pain you inflicted on others."

Most of my compensation from
Markham Fraser was in stock options.

I should have $7 million.

Instead, I'm moving
to Parsippany.

Uh-huh.

Where were you on Monday?

BURKE: At my father's
apartment in Queens.

He passed away?

He, uh... He took his own life.

He was retired. He put everything
he had into Markham Fraser stock.

And I told him that Pete
Gardner was a genius.

That bastard ruined
thousands of lives,

and he gets to keep the $48
million bonus he got last year.

The Great Humanitarian,
gives away millions to charities,

so he can get in with
the Park Avenue crowd,

while my father, who
actually worked for a living, is...

It's a tough break.

(SCOFFING) Yeah.

Lupes...

Look who's shaking hands
with the Great Humanitarian.

Is that...

Yeah, our boy,
Carlos. Small world.

I go to this program,
Fresh Horizons.

It's just some rich dude
who gives us money, man.

The girl that was run down,

she's that rich
dude's girlfriend.

Oh... For real?

Oh... For real, for real.

She was kidnapped and locked up

in a building a block
from where she was killed.

I, well... I don't know
nothing about that.

Okay, we found your
prints on a bottle of water

in the room where she
was held. Check it out.

(CHUCKLING) Oh, come on, man.

I seen this on TV,

you lie about having some
BS evidence or whatever,

and you hope some dumb
homie falls for it. That's not me.

Tell us where you were Monday.

I was at Fresh Horizons till, like,
4:00 doing my programs, all right?

I went down to the river,
I checked out the boats.

After that, I hooked up with some of
my peoples, like, around 9:00. That's it.

You were checking
out boats by the river?

(LAUGHS)

That is a sorry-ass alibi.

Aw, man.

No, I mean, most
guys, they get their mom

or their girlfriend
to vouch for them.

Someone.

All right, well, let me
tell you something.

I don't got a
girlfriend, all right?

And as for my mother,
she's upstate doing,

like, a three-year bid over
some dope stuff, all right?

And I can't deal
with the group home,

so I go to the river to
chill. Is that okay with you?

LUPO: That kid's a
regular Otis Redding.

No, Otis sat by the bay.

And how would a kid know
that Gardner had a mistress?

Maybe Gardner
wasn't that discreet.

And look, Gardner's
worth over $100 million.

The ransom's, uh,
what, 200 grand?

That's an amount
a kid might ask for.

No, no, no, a kid would
have asked for the moon.

The kid's prints are on the water
bottle. I rest my case. Thank you.

Anyway, I know someone
who's going to be relieved.

Our truck driver is only
looking at leaving the scene.

The girl's kidnapper's going
to take the weight for her death.

A street kid like Carlos
couldn't put this together.

He would've had to lure the
woman to Harlem, or driven her there.

There has to be
somebody older involved.

Yeah, but Carlos' homies
are all kids like him.

Check this out. "Fresh Horizons.

"A post-release program for
offenders from 13 to 18 years of age."

Somebody over there might
know if Carlos hooked up

with graduates from the program.

I can't believe Carlos would be
involved in something like that.

How long has he
been coming here?

Almost two years.
Making good progress,

setting and meeting
goals, attending school,

setting a good example
for people like Ramon here.

Ramon's smart, he's
good with the ladies,

he just doesn't
want to go to school.

You know, this
is for exercising.

Yo, Ronny, I'm
exercising my mouth.

You should be
studying for that GED

if you want to go
to that Knicks game.

We believe that Carlos was
dragged into this by an older kid.

Carlos follows his own drummer.

Before he was in a group home,

he lived with an uncle who
beat him with a frying pan

trying to break
his will, didn't work.

Carlos have a
locker? Can we see it?

Sure. They know I check them.

If you guys down at the precinct

got any old stuff
you don't need,

sports equipment, chairs,
anything... We could use it down here.

All right, we'll see what
we can dig up, Mr. Aldridge.

This look familiar?

Why would Carlos
need painter's tape?

One of my graduates, he does
some painting and light construction.

Carlos worked for him.

I use Ronny's kids whenever
I can. He's pretty persuasive.

He was good to me
when no one else was.

So, do I have to guess
how Carlos messed up?

This woman,

she was kidnapped and
locked up in the building

that Carlos helped you clean up.

You know her?

LUPO: Hey.

Mr. Perez,

if Carlos is undermining the
good work that Ronny is doing,

you owe it to Ronny
to set it straight.

Ronny refers some of
his rich donors to me.

This lady had me repaint
the gym in her place.

And what, Carlos went with you?

No. But this lady was donating
a StairMaster to Fresh Horizons,

and Ronny was gonna
come by with a van

and one of the
kids to pick it up.

Two weeks ago, Ronny Aldridge.

He had a young man with him.

Is this him? No.
He was a black kid.

He didn't sign in because he stayed
out in the van. It was double-parked.

So, Aldridge went up to Ms.
Carlson's apartment alone?

I went with him. He runs
a charity for inner-city kids.

He was hustling me for
anything our residents threw away.

Was Ms. Carlson home
when Aldridge stopped by?

Yes, sir. She stayed upstairs.

Aldridge was chatting her up.

Uh, hitting her up for
more donations, probably.

No, actually, they were
talking about Harlem real estate.

(PHONE RINGING)

This is George.

Chatting her up about
Harlem real estate.

Aldridge knows Gardner.

It wouldn't be hard to
lure her up to that building.

Yeah, well, maybe Ronny isn't
the saint that he claims to be.

Anything for his boys, you
know, that's what he's about.

But nothing for himself?

Have you seen where he lives?

In a back room
at Fresh Horizons.

I think he owns maybe two
shirts and a pair of pants.

Mmm. When was the last time
you audited Fresh Horizons?

Uh, about two months ago,

and every dime of public and
private funding was accounted for.

(SIGHS) Please don't tell me I
should worry about Ronny Aldridge.

Uh, well, we're just
trying to figure out

if he had a sudden need for
money, maybe a gambling debt or...

Oh, dear.

LUPO: We say the magic words?

Well, I got a call from someone

a couple of weeks
ago up in Millbrook.

He said he was a horse breeder,

asked me all kinds of questions
about Ronny and Fresh Horizons...

Oh, here. Dale Thornhill.

THORNHILL: Aldridge was
interested in buying my farm.

He's a funny little man,

I doubt he's been out of the
city one night in his entire life.

Your farm is this place here?

Yeah. Yeah, I can't
afford to keep it up.

I live with my daughter down at
the Townsend horse farm now,

but this is the house.

BERNARD: So, Aldridge
wanted to buy this?

Yup, as is.

He said he wanted to bring a
bunch of juvenile delinquents up here,

get them out of the city.

I told Aldridge city kids
would freeze up here,

it's only got the one stove.

He said he'd already bought
them parkas, the whole nine yards.

Even had a whole program of
winter sports to keep them busy.

Yeah.

THORNHILL: Yeah, every
fool's got to have a dream, right?

(LAUGHS)

How much was this
dream going to cost him?

$200,000.

I gave him two months, until this
week, to come up with the money.

Two hundred grand for this dump?

It's practically on the Thruway.

It's worth more.

Aldridge told me I could claim the
difference as a charitable contribution.

I don't know nothing about no
damn kidnapping, man, come on!

It was for a good cause,
Carlos, we'll give you that.

The farmhouse that
Ronny wanted to buy...

He did tell you
about it, didn't he?

He'd been talking it
up for a while. Yeah.

Life would be sweet
up there, right?

Away from all the noise
and the pressure of the city?

Tell me about it.

Ronny said he had this
big house... LUPO: Hmm.

And it was next to a
lake we could skate on,

and in the summertime,
we could swim in it.

You know what I'm saying. He said
it was next to a ball field or whatever.

You know, we'd
have it all to ourselves.

It was going to be
off the hook. That's it.

And all Ronny needed was
200 grand to make this happen.

Look, see, I don't know
nothing about that, all right?

That's why he asked
you to help him.

Come on, man!

Or maybe he threatened you, or
you just didn't know what he was up to.

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

What do you think he's
going to say when he finds out

we have your prints all over
those water bottles, huh?

Look at me. Look...
Come on. Stop, man!

Hey! He's going
to put it all on you.

He's going to say you and
your homies grabbed that girl.

Ronny wouldn't do that.

Are you sure?

You know what you
sound like, Carlos?

A little boy.

It's time to man
up and tell the truth.

I am a man. And I
am telling the truth!

Look, you guys took our van,

now you're talking to
the DJJ. What's going on?

Things aren't looking
good for Carlos.

We found his prints on bottles
where Ms. Carlson was held.

Now we have a motive.

This farmhouse up in Millbrook

that you've been trying to buy
as what, a camp for your boys?

Carlos had some
wrong-headed idea

about coming up
with the money for it.

Carlos is just a kid.

(CELL PHONE RINGING) You said
yourself, he follows his own drummer.

He's tough, he's smart.
This is all within his abilities.

Huh. We found a strand of
Blair Carlson's hair in the van.

I used that van to pick up a
StairMaster that she donated.

The hair probably
came off the machine.

Well, Carlos' lawyer can
certainly argue that point at the trial.

Yeah, we'll tell Carlos
we talked to you,

and give him
your best, all right?

No, wait. I told Carlos
to put water in the van.

I didn't tell him why. That's why
his prints are on those bottles.

Are you admitting that you
kidnapped Blair Carlson?

I want to talk to a lawyer.

It's okay, guys.
I'll be back soon.

String, you and
Lewis close up tonight.

Charlie, you make sure you get to
your appointment early tomorrow,

wear a clean shirt.

Ramon, you just keep
studying for your GED.

When I get back, we'll go to
that house by the lake, all right?

It'll be all right. Just keep
working on your programs.

Yeah, Fresh Horizons was one of
20 charities my company supported.

But I've got to say,
Ronny Aldridge was

the most unrelenting
fundraiser of the bunch,

and always with the same
refrain, all for his boys.

Did you ever tell him that Ms.
Carlson was your girlfriend?

Yeah, well, I... (CHUCKLES) I
told him she was an employee.

But he's a sharp fellow,
I'm sure he figured it out.

We just need to understand
why he targeted you.

Was it opportunity, or
was there something else?

How about spite?

He'd been after my firm to fund
some kind of camp for his boys.

And I'd promised him
five hundred thousand,

but then the firm
went into bankruptcy.

How did Mr. Aldridge react?

Well, he asked me
for a personal donation,

and I told him I couldn't do it.

What did he say?

He lowered his ask to four hundred
thousand, and then three hundred.

I told him he wasn't
considering my situation,

that having a company
crash under you is, uh...

Well, you know, it's
life changing. It's...

Your watch, expensive?

Very. Your point?

Leave it at home when
we call you to testify.

Thanks for coming in.

Where's a newspaper
truck when you need one?

Now, now. We have
everything we need.

Murder and kidnapping
in the first degree.

Charge Aldridge and the boy?

The evidence implicates both.

If Aldridge wants
to clear the boy

with a complete
and free confession,

he's welcome to do it anytime.

DIBBENS: Not
guilty as to my guy.

Same over here, Judge.

People ask for bail of
500,000 for each defendant.

Carlos had absolutely
nothing to do with this crime.

Even his co-defendant
exculpated him.

Does this mean your client has
made admissions, Mr. Dibbens?

Not at all, Your Honor.

Just logistical explanations
to clear the young man.

Actually, Mr. Aldridge
himself has an alibi.

There are a dozen witnesses here

willing to swear as
to his whereabouts

on the afternoon and
evening in question.

Ronny didn't do
nothing to that lady.

Yeah, he didn't do
nothing. (ALL AGREEING)

Sit down and be
quiet, all of you!

Mr. Dibbens, you'll provide
the names and addresses

of these alibi
witnesses to the People.

Bail for each defendant
is set at $500,000.

Aw, man.

RAMON: Ronny was there
when I came to Fresh Horizons.

He helped me with my
studying all afternoon,

and then he ordered in pizza.

JASON: He spent the afternoon
showing me how to use a drill.

He said there's a barn with a wood
shop up at this farm we're going to.

This is unbelievable.
They have him drilling wood,

cracking the books,
playing Ping-Pong...

Yeah, the busiest afternoon
of Ronny Aldridge's life.

They're all lying for
him, and the worst of it is,

he's filled their heads
with this pie-in-the-sky farm.

He was setting those
kids up for a big fall.

What are you going to
do about these alibis?

Well, I'm not worried. They're
stories are so contradictory,

we can deal with it at trial.

You mean, when
those kids testify,

Michael Cutter's going
to make fools of them?

(SCOFFS) I'd really
hate to see that happen.

BERNARD: All right.
Come on, guys, here we go.

We're here. Let's get out.

VAN BUREN: This is it.

This is the place
Ronny wanted to buy.

So take a good look,
'cause this is all there is.

There's no lake, no ball field,

no barn for a wood shop.

And the big house that
you were all going to live in?

No electricity. No
running water. No heat.

There's no place to
cook, or eat, or sleep.

You know, Ronny
promises a lot, doesn't he?

And now he's expecting
all of you to lie for him,

and by lying, you become
an accomplice to his crimes.

You don't deserve that.

None of you do, none of you.

And we're sorry.
We're really very sorry.

CONNIE: Your alibi witnesses
recanted, every last one of them.

But they did alibi
their friend Carlos.

And he confirmed that you asked
him to put water bottles in the van.

Not only that, he said that

you were gone with the van
all that afternoon and evening.

Carlos is not gonna
testify against me.

He's already agreed.

In return, we're gonna
drop all charges against him.

The emperor has no
clothes, Mr. Aldridge,

and your boys know it now.

We're offering
15-to-life on murder two.

Kidnapping to run concurrent.

You're playing a hand
that you don't have.

You're welcome to take
your chances with a jury.

You know, that's exactly
what I'm gonna do.

GARDNER: My lawyer says
anything that I say under oath

can be used by any
of the 10,000 plaintiffs

who've filed
lawsuits against me,

and I won't open myself
up to that kind of liability.

Sit down, Mr. Gardner.

If you refuse to testify, you'll
be charged with contempt.

And you won't get out
of it by writing a check.

Put me on the stand.

I'll take the Fifth.

You take the Fifth, and
I'll give you something

other than a few
lawsuits to worry about.

I have a building full
of broke prosecutors

who'd love nothing more
than to put you in their sights.

What do I get out of it?

Have you ever done
something for nothing?

Here's your chance.

GARDNER: That's
the message I got

after I indicated
I'd pay the ransom.

Did you ever receive instructions
to deliver the ransom money?

No, no. I sent messages
to Ms. Carlson's phone,

but I never got a response.

I had no idea what
happened to her

until the police
showed up at my door.

Thank you.

(CLEARS THROAT) Mr. Gardner,

you testified you turned
down my client's request

for a personal
donation of $300,000.

Uh, right. I... I wasn't in a
position to personally make good

on my company's
charitable commitments.

Isn't it a matter
of public record

that you received a $48
million bonus last year?

CUTTER: Objection. Sustained.

Mr. Dibbens, move on.

Isn't it true that your firm received
assistance from the Federal government

to help keep it afloat?

A loan from TARP.
It wasn't that much...

An $8 billion bail-out,

that's not much money to you?

Sustained. I told you to
move on, Mr. Dibbens.

Mr. Gardner, did
you see Ms. Carlson

the weekend before
she disappeared?

No. I was out of
town, on business.

In Sedona, Arizona.

And what kind of business were
you conducting in a resort town?

It was a retreat with 75 of
our firm's managing directors.

And what did this cocktail-and-golf
retreat cost, ballpark?

Objection.

Overruled. I want
to hear his answer.

Ballpark, 250,000.

Let me understand...

After spending a
quarter million dollars

of the taxpayer's
money on a pool party...

Objection! JUDGE: Sustained.

DIBBENS: you couldn't find
room in your small heart...

Objection, Your Honor!

To help my client build a
better life for these boys...

Your cross is over, Mr. Dibbens.
The jury will disregard.

Dibbens is putting
Gardner on trial.

He's going for
jury nullification.

He wants the jury to ignore
the rules and vote their emotions.

Yeah, their
emotions on lost jobs

and busted retirement savings.

And he's insinuating Ronny
Aldridge's ransom request

was justified by
Gardner's greed.

The Robin Hood defense.

It's worked before.

What are you going to do?

Object like hell,
and show the jury

Gardner's not the only player
here with a character flaw.

Ronny got us those,
like, a year ago.

He said we would need them
when we went up to the farm.

Last year?

How long had he been
talking to you about this farm?

Um, for about a year
now. He kept saying that

we'd get it next month, and
then the month after that.

What, if anything,
did he tell you about

how he was going
to pay for this farm?

Carlos, you took an
oath to say the truth.

He said that he'd find a donor.

He said that he wouldn't
let us down, you know?

(CHUCKLES) He... He said
he'd rob a bank if he had to.

Thank you.

Carlos, why are you
here testifying today?

Urn, I'm testifying, uh, because

Mr. Cutter over here
says that I have to.

He's got me jammed up with
this whole kidnapping thing,

even though I
didn't do anything.

It's not because you're angry
with Ronny Aldridge, is it?

No, man. Look,

Ronny's like... Ronny's
like a father to me.

I mean, if it wasn't for him,

I'd probably be
in jail, you know?

Or I'd be on the
block slinging dope.

It's what it is, you know?

He gave me a place to go.

He gave us all a safe
place to go every day,

away from everything.

He gave me hope, man.

Indeed. Nothing further.

Redirect, Your Honor.

Carlos, Ronny promised
a laptop computer

for every boy in Fresh
Horizons, correct?

Yeah. He'd been talking about it
for, like, the past two years now.

Has anyone gotten a laptop?

No, but we still might get them.

He also told you that

Derek Jeter would come and spend
a day at Fresh Horizons, correct?

Yes.

And that hasn't
happened either, has it?

No.

Is that what a father
is to you, Carlos,

someone who breaks his promises,

someone who lets you down?

He doesn't have to answer.

No more questions.

CONNIE: I'm not sure we're
winning hearts and minds in there.

I don't know. I think we knocked
some shine off Aldridge's halo.

The way you ground that kid down

did not play well with the jury.

I'll take your word for it.

The evidence
points to one thing.

Aldridge kidnapped the girl.

Thanks, Joan.

Well, we're about to hear
it from the horse's mouth.

Dibbens is putting
Aldridge on the stand.

When I picked up the StairMaster

from Ms. Carlson,
we started talking.

She told me she wanted to buy
commercial real estate in Harlem,

help the community there.

But she said
Mr. Gardner belittled her.

I told her she shouldn't
get discouraged.

I mentioned the farm I
wanted to buy for my boys.

I told her Mr. Gardner had
backed out on his commitments.

DIBBENS: How did
Ms. Carlson react?

She got really angry. She
said it was so little money,

and that his wife,

you know, spent more than
that every month on clothes.

What, if anything, did
she suggest you do?

She came up with this wild idea.

She said we could
fake her kidnapping

and force Mr. Gardner
to pay a ransom.

Ms. Carlson said that
Mr. Gardner wouldn't call the cops

because he didn't want his wife
to find out he'd cheated on her.

How did you react to
Ms. Carlson's suggestion?

It was a wild idea, but I didn't
want to let my boys down,

so I went along.

DIBBENS: What did
you and Ms. Carlson do?

I picked her up, I drove her to
the building on Lenox Avenue.

She said we had
to make it look real.

So, after I texted Mr. Gardner
asking for a ransom,

I locked Ms. Carlson in the
room with some water and food.

Why lock her in the room?

Because the plan was, after I
got the money from Mr. Gardner,

I would tell him where
Ms. Carlson was,

and he'd go there and find her.

DIBBENS: If that's true,
why would she try to escape?

I don't know.

It took so long for
Mr. Gardner to get back to me

about the ransom payment...

There were rats in the building,

maybe Ms. Carlson got scared.

You know, by the
time I got back up there,

the police were down the block,

Ms. Carlson was
lying in the street.

(SIGHING)

I realize now how stupid it was.

I just wanted Mr. Gardner
to live up to his commitment.

I'm sorry.

Thank you, Ronny.

This testimony is
unexpected, Your Honor.

The People request
a short adjournment.

You have until tomorrow morning.

Is there a chance there's a
grain of truth in what he said?

The story is preposterous.

It's unlikely, but
it's not implausible.

Pete Gardner is a jerk.

I could see his mistress
wanting to play a trick on him.

You can't be serious.

Aldridge's story is
just plausible enough

to give the jury the fig
leaf it needs to acquit.

If you want a conviction,
demolish his story,

and don't leave
a brick standing.

I already told you, I don't
know why she ran off.

Maybe it was the rats,

or staying in
that dark building.

Well, Carlos told the police that she
was running down the street, terrified.

Does that sound like someone
who was scared by a few rats?

I don't know. You know,
sometimes Carlos exaggerates.

Why was Ms. Carlson barefoot?

Didn't you take her boots
to restrict her movements?

No.

How do you explain
these bruises on her arms,

from someone grabbing her hard?

Uh, maybe Mr. Gardner did that.

Mr. Gardner was away in
Arizona. These bruises were fresh.

You're responsible
for these, aren't you?

No.

(CHUCKLES)

You think Mr. Gardner should
take the blame for everything.

He didn't live up
to his commitment.

No, he left you with a
promise to your boys

you couldn't possibly
fulfill, isn't that right?

I was going to come through.

Oh, like you came through
with those new laptops,

or visits from
superstar athletes?

Weren't you worried your boys
would stop believing in you?

No.

Fresh Horizons is
all you have, isn't it?

You got no family, no home...

Fresh Horizons is
all the family I need.

But over the years,
many of your kids

have been diverted
to other programs.

Well, there's only so
much money to go around.

Now, you're down
to, what, 16 kids,

playing on 10-year-old computers
and lop-sided Ping-Pong tables.

It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter!

(STAMMERING) It's a safe place
for them, and it's a good structure.

But more than that, it's a
good structure for you, isn't it?

It's a safe place for you.

It's for them. Not for me.

We know what this
case is really about.

With humble means
but a big heart,

my client has been
working to save young men

from the thug life,

from a life of
ignorance and violence.

He is accused of
victimizing Peter Gardner,

a wealthy man who
has wrung his bread

from the lost
savings of thousands.

Objection. Mr. Gardner
is not on trial here.

And I want to know
what those pictures are

that he's handing
out to the jury.

Photos of Mr. Gardner's
townhouse,

published in
Architectural Digest.

The Court Officer will collect
the photos from the jurors.

Mr. Dibbens, stick to the facts.

Ladies and gentlemen,
you'll come to your conclusion

as to the truth of
my client's testimony.

But the one fact
that is undisputed

is that Blair Carlson
would be alive today

if Peter Gardner had had the
decency to honor his commitment...

Objection, Your Honor!

Sustained.

The jury will disregard
defense counsel's last statement.

That's it, Mr. Dibbens,
your summation is over.

(SIGHS)

(CLEARS THROAT)

There is another fact that is not
in dispute, ladies and gentlemen.

Blair Carlson
would be alive today

if the defendant hadn't
transported her to a vacant building,

hadn't locked her
in a dank, filthy room,

and left her there, barefoot,
in the dark, for eight hours.

Hadn't so filled
her with terror that

she fled down a fire escape and
ran, disoriented, into the path of a truck.

Now,

as to Mr. Gardner,

he and his Wall Street friends

well deserve your
scorn and outrage.

You are not alone in hoping
that they get their just desserts

for the pain and the destruction

that they have wreaked on
this city and on this country,

but not in this courtroom.

Not today.

Mr. Gardner and his friends
committed their transgressions

by flouting the rules and
ignoring their responsibilities.

And you cannot punish
them by ignoring yours.

It would tell those very boys
whom Mr. Aldridge claimed to save

that the rule of
law means nothing.

The crime charged today is the
kidnap-murder of Blair Carlson.

The culprit is here before you.

And nothing else can matter.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

FOREPERSON: We have, Your Honor.

On the count of murder in the
first degree, how do you find?

We find the
defendant not guilty.

On the charge of kidnapping in
the first degree, how do you find?

Not guilty.

(BOYS CHEERING)

(ALL MURMURING)

Thank you. Thank you.

CONNIE: You nailed
Aldridge on cross.

The summation was one of
your best. You did everything right.

Except win.

I should file a grievance
against Aldridge's lawyer.

He didn't nullify that jury.

Dow Jones did.

(SIGHS)

Maybe it's the shape
of things to come.

With hard times, there'll be more
anger, more despair, more crime.

We can always hope for the best.

And hire more prosecutors.