Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 19, Episode 20 - Law & Order - full transcript

As Cutter and Rubirosa prosecute a mentally disturbed woman for the deaths of two British researchers, they begin to suspect that the defendant's brother may have orchestrated the entire episode for personal gain.

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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.

Careful, the
grease is still hot.

That's good. That's good.

All clear.

Quick, they're going to see us.

Hold the door open, Charlie.

Lovely flowers, Charlie. Ta.



(GASPS) Oh.

He said it was about midnight...

CHARLIE: (COUGHING)
I need to talk to somebody.

Hold on.

I need to talk to
somebody! Now! Right now!

(COUGHING)

This is Charlie 19,
we need a bus ASAP,

corner of Ninth and Avenue D.

You gotta help them!

Help who? Where?

My apartment. Help them!

(BANGING ON DOOR)

LUPO: Police. Hello? NYPD.

Hello?



It's clear.

Those are some
crispy french-fries.

(SNIFFING)

Whoa. Smells like
it's coming from here.

Yeah. And there's smoke.

Hello?

LUPO: NYPD.

Police!

NYPD.

Oh.

Another one.

Yeah, Central, this
is Detective Lupo.

We got two DOAs,
one male, one female.

Definitely getting off
the fried foods now.

Colin and, uh, Geraldine were
exchange students from England.

They, uh...

They went to, uh, Cortland Tech.

I mean, they're good
kids, they're scientists.

They get along with the
guy in 2-A, Charlie Headlind?

I never saw a problem.
Charlie's a mouse.

You know, he's a
little off in the head.

How off?

He's bipolar and, uh,
paranoid tendencies.

I mean, that's what he told me.

He moved in here from
some halfway house.

How'd these two get along
with the rest of your tenants?

You know, I got a couple of
complaints about, uh, the grease.

I mean, Colin and Geri...

Geraldine, they kept buckets
of grease in the hallway.

Grease? You mean
like cooking oil?

They collected it from diners,

and used it to run their van.

They're scientists.

Mmm-hmm. Yeah, okay.

Hey, Lupes. Check this out.

Here, and here, looks
like stab wounds, right?

And he probably
did the boy first,

then, went to work on the girl.

Then, used the grease
to set them on fire.

All within the
realm of possibilities

for a bipolar guy with
paranoid tendencies.

Yeah. Charlie must've
caught fire when he lit them up.

I'd like to ask him what
he thinks of the irony of that.

Probably not much.

Charlie died 15 minutes ago.

Our English friends were stabbed to
death, and set on fire, post-mortem.

Single-edge blade,
went in pretty deep,

probably ye olde kitchen knife.

He was stabbed
twice in the chest.

She was stabbed
once in each breast

and four times
in the pubic area.

Oh. Somebody's got issues.

How about Charlie,
the friendly neighbor?

Oh, cause of death
is an inhalation injury.

Smoke?

No, superheated air,
maybe even a raw flame.

Huh. So, he had to be
standing right over the fire.

Was there any grease or
blood on his hands and arms?

No, no residue.

He stabs two people eight times

and doesn't get
blood on his hands?

Mmm-hmm. And the burns,

just on his hands and his face.

There was a towel
near the body, right?

Oh, I see where
you're going with this.

The fire was hot enough
to burn those bodies

along with the building, and
Mr. Headlind here put it out.

He might have heard the
commotion from his place.

By the time he got to the
party, the perp was gone.

And Charlie died
trying to save two people

he didn't know
were already dead.

The perp had
issues with Geraldine.

Yeah, sexual issues. I say
we start with Geek Central.

BREEN: It's a tragic loss. Colin
and Geri were Ph.D. candidates

but already they were
making major contributions

to the field of
alternative energy.

Everyone wanted a piece of them.

(CHUCKLES) I assume
you mean in a nice way.

Yes. The Department of
Energy reached out to them,

oil companies
were making offers.

But Colin and Geri wanted
to retain their independence.

It says here that,
uh, Mr. Tilbrook

got the okay to extend
for a second year here.

But Ms. Sarfield, her
application was pending.

Problem?

Just an issue that
needed clearing up.

Last summer,
Geri was hired to do

an energy audit of public
schools in the Bronx.

One of her assistants filed a sexual
harassment complaint against her.

Geri denied it.

Our online student
paper broke the story.

Yeah, I got all the
documentation here somewhere.

A copy of the
harassment complaint

the assistant filed with the City
Commission on Human Rights,

copy of his paystubs...
Yeah, here it is.

The story is totally legit.

Where did you get this material?

Uh, it was sent to
me anonymously.

But you confirmed it, right?

I confirmed there
was a complaint filed

and that this guy worked
for Geraldine Sarfield.

"On two occasions,
Geraldine grabbed my crotch

"and said she'd never
tasted American Prime Beef."

You talked to this assistant?

I tried. The guy's been
up in the Arctic Ocean

counting icebergs
for the last six weeks.

All right, Woodward
and Bernstein,

so you published
this stuff even though

you never talked to the guy
who made the complaint?

I had evidence of other inappropriate
behavior by Geraldine Sarfield.

Okay, like what, for instance?

Well, everybody says how
she was so into her fiancé Colin.

Well, I found a Faceplace page

she kept under another name.

"Geri Knickers."

Yeah, that's her. And here, just for
starters, read this entry in her blog.

"C. worked late
again last night.

"So I rang up Pete
and met him for a drink.

"Long story short, we got a room
and had a spectacular tumble."

Tumble, that's what the
Brits call knocking boots.

Yeah, we figured that.
We'll take it from here.

You know, I can't help thinking,

Big Oil tried to
buy these kids off

so they could bury their
alternative energy technology.

And the kids said no, and maybe
Big Oil decided to bury the kids instead.

You really believe that?

(CHUCKLES) Maybe if you read
something besides the sports section.

What's the matter, Lupes,
Jenny close up the kitchen on you?

Shut up.

(CHUCKLES)

Listen to this. "C. left
early to go to the lab.

"Feeling a little randy,
so I rang up Sturge,

"and told him to come fetch
his reward for repainting our flat."

Their landlord, his
name was Sturgis, right?

So, Sturge, you ever visit with
Geri when she was home alone?

Visit?

Yeah.

You mean, uh... You know...

Yeah. That's exactly
what we mean.

No, never.

I mean, I'm a
happily married guy.

Where'd you get that idea?

Geri's blog.

(CLEARING THROAT) "Feeling
a little randy, so I rang up Sturge,

"and told him to come fetch
his reward for repainting our flat."

You know, I... I heard a rumor,

stupid rumor about me and
her and the paint job, but...

We checked, Sturge, the
paint job in Geri's place is new.

Geri and Colin's place.
The City said I had to paint it,

and I, uh, I got a letter from
the Housing Department.

The landlord confirmed that it's his
tax ID number and corporate name.

Everything's right about it,

except the City doesn't
have a record of mailing it.

And this would be the first time

the Housing Department
misplaced paperwork?

It's not just that. The
sexual harassment beef?

We got through to
Geraldine's former assistant

up in the Arctic Ocean.

He said he never
filed a complaint,

because there was no harassment.

This is getting interesting.

The tech boys sent up a report
on Geraldine's Faceplace page.

So far, they've determined

that Geraldine never
accessed the page

from her home computer,
or the one at her office.

Not only that, the bikini
shot... Photoshopped.

Then all her affairs?

Probably made up.

Someone went through a lot of
effort to make this girl out to be a skank.

A smear campaign.
This isn't a college prank.

This person has access
to City Housing records,

City tax records,
City payroll records.

A City employee.

It's bad enough you
can't fight City Hall.

This person is using
City Hall to fight Geraldine.

Fight her to the death.

You think it's someone in
the Taxation department?

LUPO: Uh, it's more likely than
someone in the Parks Department.

Sweetheart, there's at
least 2,000 city employees

who could put together
all this information.

We'll start with the ones here.

You have a subpoena?

You know, the union would
cross me off their Christmas list

if I gave you names
without a subpoena.

We'll be back.

They love messing
with our heads.

Hmm. Uh, guess whose computer

navigated the most
often to Geraldine's page.

Charlie Headlind.

Yeah, and his computer also
visited the student paper website

to read the sexual
harassment article.

You see him putting
together this smear campaign?

Nothing in his background showed

he had the chops or the
connections to pull it off.

Plus we practically
eliminated him as the killer.

What if this was a show
for Charlie's benefit,

to convince him Geraldine
was promiscuous?

Maybe somebody was trying to stop
him from getting mixed up with her.

Like who, his mother?

Or a seriously
jealous girlfriend.

BERNARD: Just men's
clothes and shoes.

Yeah, no extra toothbrush,
deodorant, perfume, nothing.

Hey, check that out back there.

Whoa.

Mmm.

Signed with a heart.

A valentine from
Charlie's girlfriend.

A girlfriend who didn't
come forward after he died,

who hasn't called us to see
if we've arrested anybody.

Look at these brush strokes,
they're violent, wild, out of control.

Yeah, the newspapers
in the collage.

They're articles from
last year's primaries.

Yeah. Last year Charlie
was in a halfway house.

Maybe it was co-ed.

(SIGHING)

Another brick wall. Since painting
is a part of the therapy here,

it's all confidential.

The same goes for who
Charlie's girlfriend might've been.

I like your painting.

You do?

I do. I think it's really good.

(SCOFFS) Yeah, I think you
have your taste in your ass.

We need to talk to the
person who painted this.

You know who did it?

No.

But there's one like it over
there, bottom shelf on the left.

What's that? "Wendy T."

Mmm-hmm.

You think the City
Tax Department

would hire somebody with
a serious mental disease?

It would explain a few
things about the tax code.

Excuse me, we're looking
for the Supervisor, Ms. Voles.

Oh, she usually takes
her tea right about now.

Try the employee lounge.

Thanks.

Actually, maybe you can help us.

We're looking for an employee
here by the name of Wendy?

Wendy?

Yeah, last name
starts with a "T".

No, sorry.

The lounge is down
to the left, at the end.

Thanks.

VOLES: Detectives. Ms. Voles.

I've been chasing you.
Are you looking for me?

We have a name. Wendy.

We have a few
Wendys working here.

Her last name starts with a "T".

Wendy Teal?

I thought I just saw
you talking to her.

The redhead?

Excuse me.

Anything?

No. You? No.

One of the girls saw Wendy
leave with her coat and purse.

I don't get it, she is a
highly-qualified CPA.

Okay, we're going to
need her home address.

I don't have it.

If this about a damn subpoena...

No, no, no. Wendy
moved two weeks ago.

I think she moved
in with her parents.

Why's that?

She said she'd be
sleeping in her mother's bed.

Yeah, all right.
Thanks. Uh-huh. Bye.

Her mother died
three months ago,

the apartment was
vacated a month after that.

Thank you.

Okay, Wendy must've been
staying somewhere up in Queens.

The trace on the Metrocard
she bought with a credit card

has her taking the 7 train

at Elmhurst Avenue
every morning.

Lupes.

Two months ago, she filed a
criminal complaint against her brother.

She wanted him
arrested for burglary

and for trespassing
at their mother's place.

Hmm. Thanksgiving
dinner at the Teals' house,

must've been a lot of fun.

You sure you don't want
one of these? Crispy...

STUDENT ACTOR: The bow is
bent and drawn, make from the shaft.

Let it fall rather, though the fork
invade the region of my heart...

I haven't seen my sister since
she tried to have me arrested.

What'd she do now, rob
a liquor store in the nude?

(LAUGHS)

Laugh much?

Your sister has severe
mental problems.

You have no idea
how time-consuming,

not to mention
emotionally draining it is

to constantly be
picking up after her.

Eric, it's called "King
Lear", not "Queen Lear"!

Man up!

Uh, actually, Mr. Teal, all we really
need is your sister's current address.

Don't have one.

If you had to guess.

Look, I've had to dial back
on my primary caretaker role.

My wife and I just had a baby.

He's amazing.

Everything I thought I
knew, out the window.

The last time you
spoke with your sister,

did she mention she had
a boyfriend named Charlie?

She's got a
boyfriend? Lucky guy.

Why don't you just ask him for
the address where's she's living?

We would, but he
died Tuesday night.

Tuesday night?

I got a call Tuesday night from a
doctor over at Westside Hospital.

They were holding
Wendy for a psych eval.

He said she was raving manic,

that only happens when
she goes off her meds.

She'd taken off by the
time I got down there.

Let me guess. She had something
to do with her boyfriend's death?

We need to talk
to her about that,

and about two
murdered British students

across the hall
from her boyfriend.

Whoa. I read about that.

Yeah, so maybe now you'd
like to think a little harder

about where
your sister's living.

She told her co-worker that she would
be sleeping in your mother's old bed.

That's not possible.
(CHUCKLING) That's...

That's what she wanted
to have me arrested for.

It was all misplaced grief.

Your mother's furniture,
what did you do with it?

I put it in storage, in Queens.

Near the Elmhurst stop
of the number Seven train?

BERNARD: Wendy Teal?

Don't hurt me.

We're not going to hurt
you. Let me see your hands.

We're the police. We
just want to talk to you.

You wanna come with us?

Somewhere warm?

Yeah, sure, somewhere
warm. Give me your hand.

Hands behind your back.

BERNARD: Lupes, check this out,

ye olde kitchen knife.

Docket Number 55939,
"People v. Wendy Teal,

Two Counts Second
Degree Murder."

Defendant pleads?
Not guilty, Judge.

The People request remand.

Ms. Teal has no fixed address,

she's mentally ill, and she's
a threat to the community.

GRUBMAN: Your Honor,
her brother is here today,

and requests that
she be released to him.

He'll ensure that she is properly
medicated, that she will appear...

I don't need anybody to ensure
that I'm properly medicated.

As Your Honor can see, Ms. Teal
is not in control of her emotions.

Your Honor, Mr. Teal
has long experience

caretaking for his sister.

Defendant will be confined
to her brother's home

and will wear a
monitoring device.

Bail's $250,000.

Ms. Rubirosa, I'm Dennis Teal.

Yeah, I... I hope you
know what you're taking on.

I know it in spades.
But she is my kid sister.

I'm hoping you
might make a deal.

A trial would
just humiliate her.

WENDY: Dennis... It's okay.

What're you doing?
Wendy, Wendy, Wendy.

You don't discuss
my case with him.

Wendy, I'll handle this. I
don't care if he hired you,

he's not the client.

If you want to discuss my
case, you talk to my lawyer.

(SIGHING) Sorry about that.

I assume that you'll be giving
notice of an insanity defense.

Nope. I'll be in
touch about a plea.

My client is willing to plead to the
two counts of second degree murder.

In return, you'll agree to
a sentence of 20-to-life,

and you won't oppose parole.

Twenty-to-life?

Have you explained
to your client

that even if she took
her chances at trial,

the most she'd
get is 25-to-life?

Assuming she gets parole.

Before we go any further,

I'd like Ms. Teal to tell us
what happened that night.

Okay.

I was off my meds.

My mind was racing and I
was having these awful thoughts

about the British girl who
lived across from Charlie.

I thought she was trying
to steal him away from me.

I tried to discourage
Charlie, but Charlie was weak.

And when I went to his place
that night, I saw he had flowers.

I... I thought for her.

I took the flowers
to her apartment,

I brought a knife to
cut up the flowers...

And things got out of control.

Do you remember
stabbing Geraldine?

WENDY: Yes. I...

I killed Colin

first when he answered the door.

Then,

Geraldine came into the room,

and I killed her, too.

I was so angry.

Then...

I set them on fire,

and I ran away.

I... I'm sorry.

I knew it was wrong,
but I did it anyway.

Where did you go?

The emergency room.

I knew I needed a shot,

that I was out of control.

My client was manic, but
she knew what she was doing.

And now, this is what she wants.

We'll get back to you.

(SIGHS)

It's not just the lawyer pushing
for a deal, it's the brother, too.

She admitted killing two people,

she knew right from wrong
and she wants to take a plea.

Who are we to say no?

What if she was legally insane
when she committed the crime?

And what if after
sitting in jail for a while

she decides she's not quite
as sorry as she is right now?

Do we want to risk
a reversal on appeal?

DR. DASGUPTA: I can tell you
what everyone else in the E.R. saw.

She was, uh,
disheveled, barefoot,

wearing only a bra
and filthy sweatpants,

talking a mile a minute...

What was she saying?

The recurring themes?

She's the little
girl no one wanted,

she needs her sweetie bear...

She said that she
was off her meds.

Could you tell
how long it'd been?

That's an area I can't...

It relates to her
fitness to stand trial.

She had a four-month-old old
prescription with three unused refills.

Once she finished the original
prescription, she never refilled it.

Three months without her meds?

She was in a full-fledged
psychotic episode.

And that's why you
held her for observation.

I didn't do that.

Soon as she stabilized,
she checked herself out.

But that's what
you told her brother,

that you were keeping
her for observation.

No. I told him on the phone
that she'd already left the hospital.

That's not what he told us.

He said that by the time he
got here, she was already gone.

If he was here,
I didn't see him.

Uh, can you direct
me to security?

Sure.

CONNIE: Okay. There's Wendy.

That driver just
abandoned her there?

You can't make
out the license plate.

Well, there's this instead.

Eastside Day Academy. It's
where Dennis Teal teaches drama.

And he has a black '97
Honda registered to his name.

I gather Mr. Teal
told the police

a different story from
what we're seeing.

He told them the hospital
called to inform him

that his sister, who he hadn't seen in
months, was in their emergency room.

He ran to her rescue.

He was protecting her.

Well, now, he's
pushing for a deal

that'll send her to
prison for 20 years.

He's being a realist.
I read her statement.

She said she knew
what she was doing,

there's no basis for an
insanity defense. Am I right?

Connie felt we
should dot our "I's".

Consider them
dotted. Make the deal.

No, but her brother
was the one that...

Connie, we should all be
so lucky to have a sibling

who puts their neck out for us.

Well, I'll pass on
Dennis Teal's martyr act.

Cold.

Let's just draw up
the plea agreement.

Mike, Wendy told us when
she was doing the murders,

she knew it was wrong.

But according to
the E.R. doctor,

she didn't express remorse or even
talk about having done something bad,

despite the fact that she was full-on
manic and running off at the mouth.

Do we really
need to dot this "I"?

I want to know what she
talked about with her brother

before he dumped
her at the hospital.

I only went down to the hospital
because I thought Wendy was there.

Really? Well, that's
Wendy, and that's your car,

and that's a time stamp

two hours before
the doctor called you.

I thought she'd been raped.

Then, she said she'd
hurt some people.

Why didn't you call the police?

I know it sounds crazy, but I blame
myself for what happened to her.

I'd been avoiding her ever since
she tried to have me arrested.

When I saw her like that...

I was ashamed.

What exactly did she tell you?

She just kept saying how
she'd done a bad thing.

I asked her where
her clothes were,

she said she'd
gotten blood on them.

At that point, I didn't
need to know the details.

I told her I was going
to take her to the hospital

and she could
get her medication.

Then you dumped her
at the E.R. and took off.

Empathize much? I panicked.

Between Wendy and my
late mother, and the new baby,

everything landed
on my shoulders.

I'm trying to take
care of my sister.

Even though she acts like she
doesn't want to live in my home,

even though she won't take
her meds and drinks like a fish...

I've got to try.

Mr. Teal, you realize she's
violating the terms of her bail?

Well, what am I going to
do, force her to take her pills?

I don't want to make her angry.

(CAR HORN HONKING)

Oh, there's my ride.

Well, I know one brick we
can take off his shoulders.

CUTTER: Remaining on her medication
was a condition of Ms. Teal's parole.

Instead, she's been
self-medicating with alcohol.

What's the evidence to support
Mr. Cutter's outrageous allegation?

A statement by the
defendant's brother.

Oh, you son of a bitch!

JUDGE: Order.

How can you do this?
You don't care! Ms. Teal...

You have no soul.

(BANGING GAVEL)
That's enough, young lady.

Bail is a privilege,
not a right.

You have abused that
privilege. I'm revoking your bail.

You heartless
bastard! Ms. Teal...

I'm not garbage! You
can't throw me out!

Escort Ms. Teal
from the courtroom.

No! I want my sweetie bear!

Ms. Teal, please!
(BANGING GAVEL)

Mom promised me! I want it!

Mom, I want my sweetie bear!

The very fact that she
got rid of her bloody clothes

indicates a consciousness of guilt
and argues against legal insanity.

We've dotted every "I", Connie.

It's time to get that plea
agreement on paper.

Tell me what you make of this.

It's an attachment
to her medical file.

It says there was a
medical trust for Wendy.

A medical trust to do what?

Her mom set it up
and appointed Dennis

to supervise Wendy's
psychiatric care.

He can't be held
responsible if she refuses.

Well, it's pretty hard
to take your meds

if you don't have
them in the first place.

He hadn't filled her
prescriptions in three months.

(CELL PHONE RINGING)

A.D.A. Rubirosa.

Uh, yes. Thank you.
Thanks for calling.

Wendy just hanged
herself at Rikers.

I don't know about you, Mike,

but I'm beginning
to think this is exactly

what Dennis Teal
wanted all along.

VAN BUREN: The payphone's
there for the prisoners to use.

She said she wanted
to call her lawyer.

She was out of the guard's
sight less than seven minutes.

This is all your fault,
you and your pal.

I wanted to take care of her.

Oh, really?

Then why did you let her go without
her medication for three months?

We read the medical trust.

Serves me right

for trying to be a good
son, a good brother.

Thank you for
meddling in our family!

That guy likes to
feel sorry for himself.

Mmm-hmm.

I got you the sister's
burglary complaint.

She listed everything in
her mother's apartment.

"Sweetie Bear,
small bronze object,

"complainant
reports it's priceless."

You know, in the E.R.
and in the courtroom,

she kept saying she
wanted her sweetie bear,

that her mom had
promised it to her.

And here she is, saying
her brother stole it,

whatever it is.

Is her mom's stuff
still in that locker?

Hey, does this look
like a bear to you?

That must be Wendy.

That's an awfully
sweet looking bear.

Yeah, and expensive.
It looks Chinese.

I'm just saying Chinese bronze.

CONNIE: It dates back to the
Western Han Dynasty, circa 200 BC.

Wendy's grandfather traveled
to Asia for a paper company,

and he probably bought
it on one of his trips.

A 2,000 year old antique must
have more than sentimental value.

I found out that it's up for
auction next month in London,

for a conservative
estimate of $300,000.

What, that same bear?

Mmm-hmm. And I tracked
down the seller, Dennis Teal.

Check out the address he
gave the London auction house.

26 Upper Phillimore
Gardens, Kensington, London.

Colin and Geraldine's
vacant apartment in London.

Dennis Teal stole the bear
from his mother's estate

with the full intent of selling it and
keeping all the proceeds for himself.

He knew that
Wendy would find out,

so he stopped filling
her prescriptions,

knowing that she would
either end up dead or locked up.

Either way, he gets
access to her assets,

including proceeds
from their mother's estate.

And in the meantime, he finds
out about the British students

living across from
Wendy's boyfriend,

and he uses their London
address for the auction

to hide his tracks from Wendy.

Bottom line is he
drove his sister crazy

to steal her share of a
rare and precious art object.

I think she's nailed Mr. Teal.

Mmm-hmm.

And us.

If you feel like saying "I told
you so," by all means, go ahead.

I'd rather say "gotcha"
to Dennis Teal.

Well, we can start by charging
him for Geraldine and Colin's murder.

Wendy had a history
of suicide attempts

and violence during
psychotic episodes.

Dennis knew it.

Nonetheless, with
depraved indifference,

he withheld medication from her.

Good. Now go
sell that to a jury.

DENNIS: I'd just finished nursing
my mother through her final illness.

And I'd just become a
father for the first time.

My wife and I were
strapped for cash,

so I'd been tutoring,

which made me less
available for Ellen and the baby.

Wendy was always
my responsibility,

but she couldn't be my
first priority anymore.

Did you deliberately fail to
get her prescriptions filled?

Of course not.

I thought she could
handle filling them herself.

I was wrong.

(SIGHS) I dropped
the ball, I'm sorry.

Did her behavior give you reason

to think she wasn't
taking her medication?

No. If I'd noticed her
behavior changing,

I would have done something,
but she seemed fine.

How about the night that you
dropped her off at the emergency room?

Of course she was manic,

but she told me that she'd
gotten angry at the British girl,

and she'd done something
terrible, she needed my help.

She told me that she'd
gotten rid of her bloody clothes,

she told me that
there was a knife,

but she forgot where she put it.

Wendy was coherent and
aware of what had happened.

If she was so rational, why did
you rush her to the emergency room

to get anti-psychotic
medication?

Like I said, she was
manic, rational but manic.

And when she told me
she'd gone off her meds,

I was worried
she'd hurt herself.

Then, Dennis, why did the
E.R. doctor diagnose your sister

as being in a full-fledged
psychotic episode?

I can't answer that.

She didn't tell her that
she did a terrible thing,

that she hurt people.

I'd warned my sister not to
say anything about what she did.

You coached her?

In a way, yes, to protect her.

You coached her to say,

"She's the little
girl no one wanted,

"that she needed
her sweetie bear."

That's what she told the doctor.

Of course, I didn't
coach her to say that.

Look, I know that when you
made your plea deal with her,

she told you that she knew
what she did was wrong.

That's after she'd been under
house arrest in your home for a week,

after you'd had time to
coach her to say the words

that would send her to prison.

I resent that. Isn't that
where you wanted her to go,

to prison for 20 years,

instead of a psychiatric hospital
where she might get better?

No, that's not true.

Wasn't that your plan all along,

to get her out of the way, so that
you could sell this valuable antique

this bear, your sister's "sweetie
bear", without her knowledge?

No, I would not
steal from my sister.

Then why did you try to sell it
overseas, using a false address?

Wendy knew all about
that. It was her idea.

She said there'd be some
kind of tax advantage.

That we wouldn't have
to pay estate taxes.

What did I know? She
was the CPA in the family.

So you're saying that
your psychotic bipolar sister

came up with this scheme?

Yes. She's the one who gave
me the address in London.

Maybe I was naive.

I should have asked questions.

Mr. Teal, you are unbelievable.

Objection.

Mr. Cutter has evidently
run out of pertinent questions.

JUDGE: Sustained.

When push came to shove, Dennis
Teal threw his sister under a bus,

and made her out to be
some tax-evading cheat.

He just handed the jury
reasonable doubt on a silver platter.

JACK: A side issue. Your
whole theory of the crime

was a stretch to begin with.

Maybe a stretch to prove,
but that's what happened.

Sometimes justice is only
about what you can prove.

Then, let's change the theory of
the crime to something we can prove.

Dennis conspired with Wendy
to sell the antique overseas

and avoid estate taxes.

When Geraldine
and Colin found out

they were using their
address, Wendy killed them.

Except by definition, you can't
conspire with a psychotic person,

there's no meeting of the minds.

Except, Dennis and his lawyer

just spent the better part of the
day arguing that Wendy was rational.

Fine, then, let's
steer into the skid.

JACK: You want to paint Wendy Teal
as a conspirator and a cold-blooded killer

when you have
evidence to the contrary?

This isn't a con

you're running on a
defendant in some back room.

You're in open
court, in front of a jury.

Either Wendy was a victim
of her brother's manipulation,

or she was a tax-cheating
co-conspirator.

Not both.

I am not going to
apologize for doing

what needs to be done to
put this monster behind bars.

A trial is a
truth-seeking process,

not a vehicle for you
to obscure the truth

to win a conviction
at all costs.

You have a greater
duty than that.

I want to see him
behind bars, too.

(EXHALES)

GRUBMAN: The
People have not shown

my client's failure to fill
Wendy's prescriptions

caused a psychotic break

or caused her to
commit the murders.

Dennis was a good brother,

but he couldn't be with his
sister every hour of every day.

Nobody could.

What she did was tragic,
but it was not his fault.

(CLEARS THROAT)

Ladies and
gentlemen of the jury,

in my opening statement, I told
you that I would establish that

Mr. Teal intentionally
caused his sister

to experience a psychotic break,

fully aware of her
potential for violence,

and that Wendy
killed the two victims

while in that psychotic state.

As you just heard,
the defense suggests

that I failed to meet
my burden of proof.

The defense is correct.

I did.

But what the evidence
elicited at this trial

does prove beyond
any reasonable doubt

is that Dennis Teal
conspired with his sister

to commit tax fraud by selling
a valuable heirloom overseas.

We know this because the
defendant admitted it here under oath.

We also know that they used
the victims' London address

to perpetrate their fraud.

And we know that
Wendy killed the victims.

Now, even though the People are
under no obligation to prove motive,

it's reasonable to infer
that the victims were killed

when they discovered their address
was being used for a tax fraud.

Objection.

Overruled.

But Your Honor, he can't...

I said overruled, now sit down.

Mr. Cutter, continue.

Thank you, Your Honor.

Now, it doesn't
matter if Wendy acted

with or without her
brother's consent.

As he admitted, they
conspired together,

and he is liable for
any acts she committed

in furtherance of their crime.

In the eyes of the law, you're in
for a penny, you're in for a pound.

That's why you have to find
Dennis Teal guilty of both murders.

GRUBMAN: Your Honor, I want
his whole summation stricken.

He cannot suddenly offer
a completely different theory

of a crime from what he has
prosecuted in this courtroom

for the last two weeks.

I haven't changed a
single element of the crime.

I simply incorporated a new fact
offered by Ms. Grubman's own client,

that he conspired
with his sister.

Ms. Grubman, you're bound by
the testimony of your own client.

Mr. Cutter is within his rights to
put that testimony in a new light.

But his whole premise is absurd.

Wendy is an unmedicated
bipolar psychotic.

It's black letter law that you
cannot enter into a conspiracy

with someone who is
mentally incompetent.

I agree. Except...

"If I'd noticed her
behavior changing,

"I'd have done something,
but she seemed fine.

"She was manic,
rational but manic.

"She was coherent and
aware of what had happened."

The defendant's own words in
this courtroom not 24 hours ago.

And what better witness
to Wendy's mental state

than her caring,
long-suffering big brother?

Ms. Grubman, your
objection is overruled.

Mr. Cutter's
summation will stand.

I will now charge the jury
and send them to deliberations.

You work all your life
trying to make people happy,

trying to keep your sister
from flying off the deep end,

mediating, walking on eggshells,

trying not to upset,
and then this happens.

Not that I blame Wendy,
she couldn't help herself.

If it was just me,
I could take this,

but my wife Ellen, and the baby,

this is so unfair to them.

And then this one,

take the stand, she says,

testify about
Wendy's state of mind.

What do I know about it?

I'm no expert,
I'm no psychiatrist,

I'm just a drama teacher. Jesus!

You're an infant, Mr. Teal.

Do you think your
life sucks now?

Wait 'til you see where
you wake up tomorrow.

And unlike your
sister's condition,

this will be a nightmare
of your own making.

The offer is the same one you
urged your sister to take, 20-to-life.

No.

I may not have gone to
law school, but I know...

Dennis, it'll be worse
if we wait for a verdict.

Bluff much?

(SIGHS)

Send us the paperwork.

He took 20-to-life.

I heard. I'm not sure
congratulations are in order.

We avenged Wendy Teal.

By assassinating her
character and tarnishing yours?