Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 3, Episode 3 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Cerreta and Logan investigate the murder of Beth Milgram, a college student who was killed just hours before she was to leave for Italy. Her boyfriend Tommy Beltran saw her the day before and claims that her father struck her when he heard she was dating a Latino. Her father also proves to be the beneficiary of a large insurance policy he had on her but has an iron clad alibi for when she was killed. When the police learn that Beth had terminated her relationship with Tommy at lunch on the day she was killed, they refocus the investigation on him. His alibi proves to be shaky and when they learn he sought out his priest for confession in the early hours of the morning, they're quite certain he's the killer. His lawyer plays hardball however hoping that a sympathetic jury will convict him of something less than murder.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
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.

Four months.

I don't know what I'm
gonna do without you.

Now she'll have to wolf down

all those pints of
Cherry Garcia by herself.

I promise. I'll eat ten
gallons when I get back.

Now we have evidence
of your pre-trip weight.

I forgot. It's your present.

Oh, not another box of red,
white, and blue condoms.

You wish.

Okay, I give up.

That's Chianti.

For those dark-eyed,
swarthy Italian men.

Your type.

Northern Italians are
blond. My new type.

You'll have to fight them off.

This'll keep them away.

Oh, hold that thought.

Your mother is wonderful,
the apartment's too small.

If we put her in a
hotel, she'll feel rejected.

She's felt rejected since
the day she was born.

Oh, suddenly this is
about my family neurosis?

Don't start a fight with me now.

Oh, my. That woman.

I guess she couldn't
get a place in the Plaza.

There's blood on her hands.

Eleanor, Eleanor,
don't touch her.

Ma'am, are you okay? Oh, God!

He hits her with a steel
pipe then he leaves it here.

Why doesn't he toss
it into a dumpster?

It disappears into
the land of garbage.

We're not gonna trace it.

We're working on gun control.

Pipe control's a ways off.

Hey, don't lose this on
the way to Forensics.

I found these under a car.

We've got some ID.
Manhattan College.

Junior. Beth Milgram.

That's her with her friends.

Hold on, fellas.

Same clothes as in the pictures.

She was with those
girls last night, just before.

I hope to God she
had a good time.

Well, we had five uniforms
cover 50 square blocks.

There's no construction
site with pipe laying around.

Crime of opportunity.

Could've been buried
in garbage on the lot.

The pipe was spotless.

It's on a vacant lot,
it doesn't get dirty?

Guaranteed he had it on him.

Oh, I get it. A mugger carries
a six-pound piece of pipe

looking for somebody to hit.

He took the time to wrap
the jacket around her head.

Nothing taken from the body.

I'm thinkin' maybe not a mugger.

We got three
girls from the party.

She was, um, leaving today
for Italy, an arts program.

I don't know why we're here.

Nobody would've
wanted to hurt Beth.

Miss Rosenbaum, even
ordinary people have enemies.

It isn't possible.

She loved the ballet.
She was at the Met

every afternoon
studying Caravaggio.

She worked at the
homeless shelter.

Was she ever involved in drugs?

This is crazy.

Detective, you don't
seem to understand.

Beth Milgram comes
from a very fine family.

Her grandfather was
president of the River Club.

Excuse me, cops in
Hewlett tried again.

Nobody at the Milgram house.

Oh, my God!

Her parents were coming
in to take her to the airport.

She was packing.

Maybe she's running errands.

On our way to London,
she stopped for dental floss.

She does everything
at the last minute.

I'm terribly sorry,
we wouldn't be here

if we weren't absolutely sure.

Three more hours and
she would've been gone.

Next year I would have made
her transfer out of the city.

She would've given
them her money.

We talked about it.

You don't challenge them
and they won't kill you.

Uh, Mr. Milgram, I'm afraid

we're gonna have
to examine those.

We're not sure that this
is a random street crime.

What are you suggesting?

That Beth was doing
something illicit?

With all due respect, when
children go away from home

parents can be out of touch.

But who would hurt our daughter?

Where's Tommy?

The boy Beth was seeing.

Beth said he wanted to
ride with us to the airport.

Thomas Beltran,
Governor for a Day,

State of Texas youth convention.

Blue Ribbon award,
Rio Grande High School,

public speaking contest.

You save your
high school prizes?

Yeah, first prize.

Multiple dress code violations.

Excuse me, who are you?

Sgt. Cerreta, Det. Logan.

Are you Tommy Beltran?

Bill Lynch. Tommy's my roommate.

Do you know where
we can find Tommy?

Yeah. I just saw him
at the homeless shelter,

next to St. Julian's.

We're fixing it
up. What's wrong?

You happen to know what
time he came in last night?

I have no idea.
What's this about?

Mr. Beltran's girlfriend
was attacked last night.

Beth? Is she all right?

Was he here?

You don't think that Tommy...

Oh, I see, he's
poor, he's Mexican.

Of course you'd
think of him first.

He was her boyfriend.

We didn't know he
was poor or Mexican.

He loves Beth. Is she all right?

What hospital is she in?

She's dead.

Oh, God!

Mr. Lynch, about last night.

He was at the shelter.

We all do public
service six hours a week.

Then you can't tell us what
time he came in last night?

Sometime after Letterman.
That's when I went to sleep.

I just saw her yesterday.

We had lunch. We said good-bye.

Beth's parents say

that you were supposed
to meet them today.

I was going to
visit her in Italy.

I started saving for it.

I wanted to go today.

Beth talked me out of it.

She was going
away for four months.

She didn't want
you to see her off?

Her father.

Beth wanted to avoid a scene.

What kind of a scene?

He didn't approve of me.

Beth and I... We were engaged.

When he found
out he hit her, twice.

Why do you think
she was going to Italy?

He was abusive.

I don't, I really don't want
to talk about this now.

Mr. Beltran, can you tell us
where you were last night?

Did her father
say that I did it?

I guess I shouldn't
be surprised.

I was here till 1:00
in the morning.

Please ask Father Gregory.

He's at the church.

This is tragic. It's
devastating for Tommy.

I travel the country
looking for minority students

of exceptional ability.

Tommy's the exception
of the exceptions.

Father, we appreciate
the character reference.

You know what time Mr. Beltran
left the shelter last night?

He leaves around 1:00 a.m.,

after the men
have gone to sleep.

With his background,

you'd think he wouldn't
want to see homeless people.

He gets kids from
the university to come.

Maybe we didn't
make ourselves clear.

Did you personally
see him leave?

When things get
quiet, I often sleep.

Maybe one of the
residents remembers.

When the doors open
at 9:00, you could ask.

So nobody else from
the church was there.

And you have no idea when
Mr. Beltran left the shelter.

Uh, I never saw him leave.

I'm sorry. I gotta go.


Was he just dancing very fast,

or is he just not too bright?

Let's see what Forensics
has on the weapon.

Six blows to the top of
the head, maybe more.

Killer struck from behind.

From the angle of the
blows to the side of the head,

the ME guesses he
was taller than the girl.

Well, she was 5'9".

Tommy Beltran?

5'9" at most.


Heavy plumbing pipe.

Rough waterproofing
on the outside.

Korean. Maybe South American.

I don't think he
went to Brazil for it.

Now, with rough surfaces,
you expect two things:

No useful prints,
crude partials,

and things get snagged.

Black polyester fiber.

From what?

Give me a week, I'll tell you.

Car seat, knapsack,

I get it.

Something made
out of black polyester.

Prints from the girl's purse,

also, the envelope
with the Polaroids,

were the victim's

and the set they
sent us from Texas.

Thomas Rodriguez Beltran,
fingerprinted for welfare.

He could've handled
the purse at lunch.

And the envelope?

Well, it's a plain
white envelope.

The girl who hosted
the party has no idea

whether it's her envelope,

or Beth Milgram
brought it with her.

That's just terrific.

The boyfriend
could've touched it

the night of the murder
or last Arbor Day.

It doesn't put him at the scene.

I heard a rumor I'm
gonna be unhappy.

Any given day, Phil,
the odds are pretty good.

A little gift from the
Nassau County Police.

Four months ago,

Curtis Milgram and his daughter

had a scream-out
on the front lawn.

Neighbors heard it a block away.

Milgram busted her lip.

Please. We all know.

Husbands kill wives,
wives kill husbands.

Fathers do not kill daughters.

Mr. Milgram called,
wants to know

when we can break the
seal on Beth's apartment.

Wants everything
packed up and sent home.

She's dead a day.

What's he want, her teddy bears?

He lost his daughter,
he wants whatever's left.

Let's check out that apartment.



Vietnam and the
black humor novel."

B plus.

Tapes, computer
disks, nail polish.

Look at this.
"Pinker than thou."



We're talking to the mother,
she's sitting on the couch.

What's the father doing?

He's at his daughter's
desk shuffling stuff around,

trying to pretend
she's not dead.

Shuffling? Or looking?

Federal American Life
Insurance Company.

"Statement of life insurance
for Elizabeth Milgram.

"Specified benefit: $250,000.

"Beneficiary: Curtis S. Milgram.

Relationship to
insured: Father."

This is unbelievable.

It was an investment
vehicle for Beth.

Life insurance.

With you as beneficiary.

I mean, she never heard
of a money market account?

Investment, not savings.

To teach her the miracle of
compound tax-free interest.

I could sign you
up for a seminar

but hopefully, you have
more important things to do

like trying to find out
who killed my daughter.

Mr. Milgram, we understand

that you hit your
daughter four months ago.

My daughter and I had arguments,

like all parents
and children do.

But we don't all leave
our children bloody.

I loved my daughter more
than anything else in this world.

Could you translate
that for me, sir?

Does that mean yes or no?

I behaved badly.

The Beltran boy gave her
a ring for their engagement.

He's a nice young man.

Whether he loved Beth,

marriage would have not
been the best thing for him.

He would have had
difficulty fitting in.

Especially if you
didn't want him to.

I have been as
polite as I can be.

And you have been
as rude as you can be.

Now would you get out of here?

A lot of footwork
about his sympathy

for the boyfriend.

He's your hero. Milgram
doesn't have to like him.

He didn't want to tell
us he was hitting his kid.

His daughter is dead.

We just implied
that he killed her.

What do you expect him to do?

Invite us to the club for lunch?

Do you want to go to Hewlett?

The wife, she's
going to lie for him.

Not if he killed her
child, she won't.

He worried about
her all the time.

It's my fault.

I convinced him to let
her go to school in the city.

We're trying to
trace her movements

the night she was attacked.

Did you speak
with her that night?

No. I wasn't feeling well.

I went to bed a
little after 9:00.

What do you mean,
"trace her movements"?

It happened just
after the party.

Did your husband go
to bed when you did?

He was reading in the den.

Curtis would have told
me if he talked to Beth.

Why don't you ask him?

He's at his office. I
know most men wouldn't,

but for Curtis,
it's the best cure.

Do you mind if we look around?

Beth's things are in the city.

We'd like to look
around, anyway.

If you don't mind.

I think you'd better
talk to my husband first.

Her husband wasn't
home that night.

She knew it.

The old man didn't
like the boyfriend.

If the boyfriend were dead,

I'd say the old
man had a motive.

I don't know. $250,000,
is that motive?

If you wanted to talk to my
wife, you might have asked me.

You're Cerreta and Logan?

Jack Haviland. Is
my client a suspect?

I'm Capt. Donald Cragen.

Why don't we step into my office

where we can
discuss this calmly.

You are harassing my client.

Counselor, your client has

an insurance policy
on his daughter's life.

You think that amount of
money means anything to me?

I invite you to talk to
my client's accountant.

Mr. Milgram earns
more in three months

than that policy is worth.

Where were you the night
your daughter was attacked, sir?

Driving around. I
do it often, to think.

Anybody see you driving around?

Yes. The idiot policeman

who gave me a speeding
ticket in Riverhead.

Around midnight.

That's what, Detective?

About 80 miles from where
his daughter was killed?

All you had to do was ask.


Sometimes we get
a little carried away.

We had grounds to suspect him.

I'd like to get
hold of that ticket.

But before we started
digging his grave,

you leave any
other holes to fill?

Fourth girl at the party.

Celeste... What's her name?

Adams. She left a message.

Her parents wanted her home.

She'll call when she gets back.

She never called.

Make a call on her.

What could I have told you?

She was killed by a mugger.

I was still at the party
when it happened.

You don't know anything,
you call and say so.

Anything I said you'd
have taken wrong.

About a mugger?

What could we take
wrong about a mugger?

Listen, we can have
this conversation here

or at the precinct.

The day of the
party, she told Tommy

maybe he should see other girls.

He got upset, so she got upset.

She was dumping him.

He took everything
too seriously.

Miss Adams, anybody
that's been dumped,

they know the dance. So?

That's what Tommy said.

He wanted to lock
everything down,

the next 20 years.

Beth didn't want to know
beyond the next 20 minutes.

Tommy called me
after they had lunch.

He said he couldn't live
without her, all that stuff.

And she couldn't live.

See. I knew you'd take it wrong.

What Beth said, it
didn't mean anything.

It was her father talking.

Her father wasn't there, Tommy.

His daughter's been murdered.

I understand his grief.

It's natural for him
to flail out at me.

But Beth and I,
we were so happy.

So happy, she was running
off to Florence to study art.

People are
separated all the time.

It doesn't mean they
don't love each other.

Tommy, you said

the night Beth was killed,
you left the church at 12:00?

No. I said I left at 1:00.

Oh, yeah, Tommy is a good kid.

I haven't seen
him since Thursday

when they served the beef stew.

Thursday. Do you
know what time he left?

You're not gonna believe this.

I don't own a good watch.

What night?

Thursday night, I
can spell that for you.

Thursday. What
night was Thursday?

Beef stew night.

Oh, beef stew night.
Yeah, he was here.

Until what time?

All night.

Well, he must have
gone home sometime.


I'm upstairs to go to the can,

maybe 3:00, 4:00 in the morning,

he was going into
the box with the priest.

You mean the confessional?

I wouldn't know. I'm a Buddhist.

Yes, I confessed him.
I don't recall the time.

Father, we spoke
to you last week,

you didn't mention
the confessional.

You know, under
church law and civil law,

you can't force me to
tell you what was said.

Which means something was said.

You can tell us what
time he was here,

without breaking your vows.

I'm sorry.

Father, a young woman is dead.

Now, if Tommy
Beltran killed her...

If Tommy has
anything to tell you,

he'll tell you himself.

Suppose you're a priest.

A guy confesses
he killed somebody,

the cops ask, but
you can't say anything.

What would you do?

I'd wink.

I think he did.

The kid wanted to marry her.

She cut him loose at lunch.

Not probable cause.

He has no alibi.

He saw the priest three
hours after she was killed.

A judge is gonna
want more than that.

His fingerprints are on
the envelope in her purse.

Could've been there for weeks.

Keep it to yourself. I'll
look in the kid's room.

Who you gonna get?

Judge Morris.

Him? Are you kiddin'?

You'll get a warrant
after the Second Coming.

Who's easier?

Judge Fadem. Dial-A-Warrant.

This kid has every
expensive pen ever made.

Tiffany, Mont Blanc.

Every sweater they
sell at Brooks Brothers.


Don't mind us. We're
just doing our public duty.

Do you have a warrant?

Autographed by a judge.

Do you mind standing
outside the room?

TRV. Nice bag for
a scholarship kid.

It was a prize, a
public speaking contest.

Is that illegal?

Does he have a black bag?

Does that look like
black polyester?

Midnight blue.

So I'm not a fashion consultant.

What color is it?

Black and blue. Very chic.

It's an expensive bag.

It's also the same fiber.

Let Cragen do the arrest papers.

I want the kid now.

Yeah, it's Logan.
We're at Forensics.

Tell Stone we're picking him up.


Change of plans.

30 minutes ago?

The kid got good timing.

Or good information.

We're just about to nail
him, he walks in the door.

I told you, you don't
have to pressure him.

He's ready.

How'd you happen to
come with him, Father?

He called me, he asked me.

Where'd he call from?

Does that matter?

First of all, I want you
to know I loved Beth.

She was very precious to me.

She was my whole life.

She was going away.

I thought I'd never
see her again.

I don't remember
it very clearly.

But it's all over now.

And it doesn't
matter what happens.

It doesn't matter
what happens to me.

Docket number 54289.

People v. Thomas R. Beltran.

The charge is murder
in the second degree.

Miss Watt? Janice?


Is legal aid
representing this man?

I just caught it. I
haven' t been able

to consult with
my client on a plea.

I'll enter not guilty.

Your Honor, Father
Gregory, S.J.,

would like permission
to address the court.

As long as he doesn't pray.

Your Honor, we
ask that you release

Mr. Beltran on no bail.

And we will provide a
place for him until trial.

Mr. Robinette?

The defendant confessed
to a brutal murder.

The People ask for $300,000.

I have a soft spot for
men of the cloth, Father.

It's a marvelous vocation.

But I'll be frank.

If he disappears, I can't
penalize the church.


Maybe you can scrape
up $20,000 for a bond.


What Tommy did is
horrible, nobody denies that.

But why put him in jail
for 25 years, waste a life?

What would you consider
a reasonable punishment?

For today only, Father Gregory
can speak for the defense.

Tommy talked with me
about joining an order,

a lifetime of doing good work.

Consider a plea, a
minimal sentence.

Then he can enter the church.

Are you a lawyer, Father?

Actually I took
my JD at Fordham,

before I went to seminary.

Then you know that
society does not let us

choose our own punishment.

This isn't the eighth
century where you can

give yourself over to God.

He's a young man,
he thinks his life is over,

he wants to give up.

We want to save him.

He can make a new
life. At least talk to him.

Look into his heart.

I didn't know the
police were coming.

I confessed because

I came to terms with what I did.

I was ready.

Why did you kill
her, Mr. Beltran?

I only went to say good-bye.

I knew Beth didn't want to go.

It was her father.

I went to a party at
his house one time.

They had two men
parking the Rolls-Royces.

One of them asked
me to go to the back.

He thought I
worked in the kitchen.

Out of the blue she
was going away.

Leaving me.

I guess we'll never
know why I did it.

Where did you get the pipe?

Tommy, you
shouldn't answer that.

It's okay.

Because I don't know.

I guess I hit her a lot.

There was blood on her head.

And her hands...

She must've put up her hands.

They said look into his
heart, it wasn't a pretty sight.

The jury might not
be so observant.

The boy repents, Jesus forgives,

the jury might do no less.

The Old Testament says

only the injured
party can forgive.

Repenting is not enough.

Tommy never said he was sorry.

He didn't even mention Beth.

Only her father's house, the
Rolls-Royces parked in front.

The boy climbs a
mountain, he falls off.

Any decent attorney will make
it look like a Greek tragedy.

Or a daytime soap.

She rejects him,
he's heartbroken.

That and a bucketful of remorse

adds up to man
one, not murder two.

His only remorse is
that Beth prevented him

from entering her world.

He didn't fall off the
mountain, he jumped.

I grew up in the slums.
I know what it takes.

I saw kids who didn't make it.

You say it's cause and effect?

Try to climb out of poverty and kill
when you don't get what you want?

We can't ignore
where he came from.

It's a reason, not an excuse.

What he does is plan everything.

I did it, too, it's
how you get out.

He planned the murder the
same way he planned his life.

It was premeditated.

We have a murder
weapon, a confession.

He confessed to killing
her, not murder two.

If we don't prove
intent, it's manslaughter,

crime of passion.

A crime of passion happens
in the heat of the moment.

You don't carry a
pipe to the scene.

Can you prove he
carried the pipe?

I remind you, in
California, actress strangled

by her boyfriend. Manslaughter.

Westchester, eight,
nine years ago.

Girlfriend killed in
her bed. Manslaughter.

Not to mention the fact
that the boy takes the stand

and tells the jury
how sorry he is.

He confessed because
he knew he was

five seconds away
from being arrested.

Then prove that
he carried the pipe.

Prove that the
confession was expedient.

If you can't, plead him.


Curtis Milgram is here.

Mr. Stone, I'm not an easy man.

Many people find me cold.

But Beth was kind.

I should've let Beth
deal with Tommy,

do it her own way. It
might've ended naturally.

If you're blaming
yourself, Mr. Milgram, don't.

Mr. Stone, how
good is your case?

The op-ed page this morning, a
lawyer said you ought to make a deal.

We haven't reached a decision.

Let me tell you something.

When I first met
the boy, I liked him.

He was well-behaved.

He had all the right
answers. He snowed me.

He snowed you,
he'll snow a jury.

I lost the only thing in my life

that meant anything to
me aside from my wife.

Now either you
put him away or...

Mr. Milgram, I
want to remind you

I'm an officer of the court.

Just see that he goes
to prison for a long time.

He practically
said he'd kill him.

What if it were your daughter?

Who knows how far
any of us would go.

They handed me
this on the way in.

They formed a defense committee

and posted bail.

They raised $20,000?

They raised more than that.

Hired Cyrus Weaver as counsel.

Cy Weaver. Praise the Lord
and pass the ammunition.

Listen to this. The day
the kid turned himself in,

a call to Father Gregory
from Beltran's room, 4:07.

The search warrant
was served at 3:40.

So he got there just
after the cops left.

And his roommate told him.

Beltran knew he was nailed.

That's not proof.

Cy Weaver fired his first round.

Motion to exclude the
bag and the confession.

Well, at least he
didn't nominate the boy

for a Good Citizen's medal.

The police searched

Tommy Beltran's room illegally.

I thought there was a warrant.

Signed by Judge Fadem.

But it was
fraudulently obtained.

Your officers,
Cerreta and Logan,

offered Tommy's fingerprints

found on an envelope
from the victim's pocketbook

as probable cause.

You have a problem with that?

They went out for over a year.

Even in the age of safe sex

I'm sure the boy touched
some of her personal belongings.

The envelope had pictures
taken just before she was attacked.

The girl doesn't remember
giving her an envelope.

So there's a chance she had it

before she went to this party?

No evidence of that, Your Honor.

No evidence
contradicting it, either.

Did the officers explain
this to Judge Fadem?

He didn't ask.

So there was no probable
cause for a search warrant.

And the results, namely the bag

and the confession,
are inadmissible.

The boy confessed freely. The
search had nothing to do with it.

Had you not grabbed the bag,

he might not have
been so motivated.

Your Honor, if the police
can't rely on a judge's signature,

they can't properly
conduct an investigation.

They can if they pick a judge

who isn't more interested in his
four iron than the Fourth Amendment.

The bag is out,
the confession's in.

Without the bag, you lose
premeditation. Without premeditation,

you can't prove murder two.

Save yourself some trouble here.

Do we look troubled?

You feel no
sympathy for this boy?

He did what we told him to do.

He went for the American dream.

He got good grades,
played by the rules.

He beat a girl's head in.
That's not in my rule book.

Put yourself on the jury.
They'll see a lost little boy

with a mature young woman
who used and abused him.

Man two, three years.

It's a gift.

It's not Christmas.
Man one, full 15.

You think you can prove intent?

Six blows to the
head with a pipe?

Intent is in the mind, Paul,
not in a piece of metal.

His body committed
a heinous act.

Only God and your client
knows what was in his mind.

And my expert psychiatrist.

You want to go to trial?

I'm changing the plea.

Not guilty by reason
of mental defect.

You think he was insane?

My expert witnesses
will have the jury

calling for extra crying towels.

It doesn't buy you a "not
guilty by reason of insanity."

No, but it will buy me pity,

which I can trade in
for diminished capacity.

And since the menu
doesn't include manslaughter,

my friend will walk.

The weekend
before he killed her,

he must've called
her a dozen times.

He was upset because
she was going to Italy.

Objection. He doesn't know
what Mr. Beltran was thinking.

Sustained. The
jury will disregard.

As far as you could observe

what was your daughter's
attitude toward Mr. Beltran?

A year ago, she talked
about him all the time.

In the few months
before she died,

she talked about other boys.

She wanted to get away from him

and he couldn't accept it.


Mr. Milgram, please.

Nothing further, Your
Honor. Your witness.

Mr. Milgram, why was
your daughter going to Italy?

As I said, to get away
from an unhealthy situation.

Your daughter was a
20-year-old college student

and Tommy was 21.
Was... was that unhealthy?

He was obsessed with
her. It wasn't normal.

She wanted to be rid of him.

She wanted to be rid of him?

Like last year's party dress?

No longer fashionable...



So, Mr. Milgram, your daughter
took Tommy's engagement ring

and then got rid of
him. Was that healthy?

Don't you understand?

He didn't fit in. He
never would. He knew it.

It made him...

Were you gonna say
crazy, Mr. Milgram?


Mr. Beltran said he was sorry.

He said he couldn't
remember killing Beth Milgram.

In your professional opinion,
was he telling the truth?

In my opinion, Mr. Beltran knew

what he was doing
and he hasn't forgotten.

Miss Milgram made
him feel he fit the world

he wanted to join.

When she pulled away,
his identity was threatened.

He was angry and he killed her.

Did he know he was wrong?


And under any
clinical definition,

was he incapable of forming
the requisite culpable intent?

No. He was very angry.

Thank you. No further questions.

So Tommy's identity
was threatened?

If he was between identities...

It was not a crisis of identity.

Mr. Beltran thought
that violence

was an acceptable
response to rejection.

Isn't that mental illness?

No, it's a character flaw.

If Mr. Beltran was simply
angry, as you allege,

what explains his remorse,
his anguish, his regret?

He told me he feels guilty.

But he goes on to
blame Beth Milgram.

He blames her parents,
everyone but himself.

He blames Beth Milgram?

Isn't that evidence
he's lost track of reality?


It's evidence of self-pity.

She held him off.

At worst he dented
our fenders a little.

Father might as well
wear a white hood

with a burning cross.

That is irrelevant.

Legally, yes.

Pragmatically, who knows?

I know where he got the pipe.

I checked through
Cerreta and Logan's notes.

When they first talked to him,

he was painting the shelter.

A permit for plumbing
work was issued

four days prior to the murder.

I tried the contractor,
he's on vacation.

His office is closed.

Adam, I want a search warrant.

Call Judge O'Doyle.


Call a Catholic judge
to tear open the walls

of a shelter run by the church.

This isn't a match, we're
gonna look ridiculous.

This isn't a match,
there's no premeditation.

It looks like it.

Feels like it.

Is the water turned off?


How long have you worked at
Sudie Enterprises, Ms. Hagadus?

Eight years. Five in R and D.

The last three as
Regional Sales Manager.

This pipe, which is
labeled "People's 13",

was removed from
the homeless shelter

where the defendant
works as a volunteer.

It's manufactured by your
company, isn't that correct?

Yes, I handled that sale
myself three months ago.

But have you sold similar piping

to other contractors
working in Manhattan?

It's our biggest seller.

There are hundreds of buildings

using that particular type.

Are you familiar with the
work at the Cowan building?

Yes. I sold them piping.

The same kind as that.

Where is the Cowan building?

78th and Amsterdam.

That's just one block
from the site of the attack.

Tommy was drilling wallboard
in the middle of the night.

When I approached him,

I could tell something
terrible had happened.

What did he say to you?

At first incoherent rambling.

I thought he was on some drug.

So he seemed clearly
to be out of his senses?

Objection, leading.


What did you do, Father Gregory?

Tommy thought
that his life was over,

that everybody would
abandon him, hate him.

I told him that whatever
God heard him confess,

he would forgive.

I promised him that
I would forgive him.

I would support him, no
matter what he had done.

And then he asked
that I confess him.

No further questions. Thank you.

Father Gregory, your
promise to support Tommy

no matter what he did

enlisted you to a role
in his defense, right?

Yes, of course.

Before he had your
assurance of support,

did he ever mention confession?

It was clear to me
that he wanted to

unburden his soul.

In exchange for enlisting
a priest in his defense?

When you examined
Mr. Beltran, Dr. Goldman,

what conclusion did you reach

about his emotional
and mental condition?

Mr. Beltran is burdened
by extreme self-hatred.

He's a working-class
young man in a society

that doesn't admit
it has classes.

Miss Milgram eased
his greatest fear

of being nobody
and meaning nothing.

In your opinion, when
Mr. Beltran attacked Miss Milgram,

is it possible

that he was not aware of
the consequences of his acts?

I would say it's
more than possible.

It's a virtual certainty.

Thank you, Dr. Goldman.

No further questions.

Dr. Goldman, when
would a young man

bludgeoning a
young girl to her death

not exhibit emotional
distress beyond his control?

Well, if he were a
hired killer, for example.

You mean anyone who kills,
unless they are a hired killer

is not responsible
for their actions?

I didn't say that.

Then give me an
example of someone

who would be responsible

for bludgeoning a
young girl to death?

Well, if he were a hired killer

or a coolly methodical killer

who did it for a
specific motive.

Like revenge?


Like Tommy Beltran?

Taking revenge because
Beth Milgram rejected him?

We moved from place to place

wherever there
were crops to pick.

We lived in shacks on
the edge of the fields.

How did you study?
How did you learn?

My mother taught me at night.

Until she got sick.

And then what happened?

It was so hot in the shack.

She was lying there

and there was
nothing I could do.

I remember music coming
from the big farmhouse.

People out on the
porch, laughing,

drinking lemonade.

My mother died.

What did you feel?

I felt anger. Inside me.

It was so strong I was afraid.

But I fought it
and I held it in.

Why did you kill Beth?

I didn't want to.

I loved her.

Then why?

When she told me I
should see other girls,

that she was going
to see other men,

it was like the
night my ma died.

Something just exploded.

It was like a fire
blazing in my head.

No more questions.

Mr. Beltran, when did
you pick up the pipe?

I don't remember.

And what were you thinking

when you first struck
Beth Milgram with the pipe?

I don't remember.

And then you struck her
again and again and again.

I don't remember.

Because the fire
was blazing, right?


But there was no fire blazing
when you picked up the pipe.

Why don't you remember that?

A bird in the
hand. It's a toss-up.

What do you say we
both come up winners?

He shattered a girl's skull.

You can't prove it wasn't a
spontaneous act, a crime of passion.

You should understand
where he's coming from.

Yeah, I do. I also
know where he's going.

Just tell Ben I'm
willing to talk, okay?

Man one, we might as
well throw him a party.

Since when do you back off?

Since I looked
into the jury's eyes.

They're on the
edge, but I don't know

if we have enough
left to bring them to us.

You sure you're gonna lose?

I'm not sure I'm gonna win.

That kid deserves
some time in prison.

Cyrus, he does
10, you got a deal.

Ben, I spoke out of school.

My client has
decided against a deal.

I'll take my chances
with the jury.

When Thomas
Beltran was 5 years old,

they took his father away.

And then he lost his family home

and his rage was born.

His mother survived

doing stoop labor
until he was 12.

And then she was gone.

And his rage began to grow.

An orphaned wetback,
a beaner, a greaser...

His rage grew.

And then, by enormous effort,

he was here.

A world of country
clubs, Cadillacs,

and park-front condos.

And Bill Lynch and
Father Gregory said:

"Tommy, you can be
a part of this world."

And Beth Milgram
said, "No, you can't."

And Tommy couldn't
control his rage.

It's easy to feel sympathy
for Thomas Beltran.

He's overcome hardships.

He's had problems.

And he sits here before us, day
after day, polite, well-groomed,

and telling us how sorry he is.

While we, the people,

bring in witnesses
to describe his crime.

But the most important
witness isn't here.

Beth Milgram.

A pretty, happy, lively
20-year-old college student.

And on a dark street
three months ago

Thomas Beltran approached
her with a pipe in his hand

and he struck her in the head.


and again and again.

Again and again.

Six times, shattered her skull,

and he says he doesn't
remember doing this.

Would you remember doing it?

I think you would.
I think he does.

But he would have us believe

that the accident of his birth

killed Beth Milgram.

But many people
are born into poverty

and they never kill anyone.

Thomas Beltran wanted to
live in Beth Milgram's world.

He couldn't, so he killed her.

Don't kill her again
by forgetting her.

Would the defendant please rise?

Has the jury reached a verdict?

Yes, we have, Your Honor.

As for the sole count
of the indictment,

murder in the second degree,

how does the jury find?

We find the defendant guilty.

You did good.

You got them to
vote past their guilt.

What guilt?

The guilt we all feel
for the Tommy Beltrans,

for the other America.

State pays for it.