Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 6, Episode 19 - Law & Order - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of Carol Merrick who was shot in her bed with her husband lying next to her. The police suspect her husband who clearly has a drinking problem and blacked with no memory of what might have happened. Ballistics determines however that she was shot from 50 to 100 yards away and that it was likely a stray bullet fired from the roof of the building across the street. Some kids had been seen there and are identified as Lonnie Rickman and Clayton Doyle. Clayton admits that Lonnie tried to shoot him and that both of them were working for a known drug dealer, Roscoe Morales. Lonnie meets with Dr. Olivet who finds that he was likely abused by his mother. When the DA learns that Lonnie's mother gave the boy in payment to Morales to settle her drug debts, they have to find a way to get the boy to testify against the drug dealer.

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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.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING ON TV)

(WHISPERING) Dad?

Dad?

Dad?

Oh, hi, hon.
You're home already.

(SHUSHING)



Dad, you're going to burn
the place down some night.

Well, I got it all
under control.

You're going to wake Mom up.

No, she's not gonna wake up.

No, Dad, Dad.

What's wet? What's wet?

LESLIE: Come on, get up.

MR. MERRICK: What is...

LESLIE: (SOBBING)
Mom!

Mrs. Merrick, why don't we step into the
other room so we can talk, all right?

I was in here
watching some movie.

James Bond movie, the one
with the painted girl.

BRISCOE:
Where was your wife?

She goes to bed early.



When did you hit the sack?

After the movie.

Did you talk to her?

She was already asleep.

And you're sure
the front door was locked?

I guess.

She used to lock up,

and now I can't believe this.

You just sit right there,
Mr. Merrick.

We're going to test for powder
residue on his hands, all right?

The door wasn't locked,
sometimes Mom forgets.

CURTIS: Your parents keep any
money or jewelry around?

No.

My father paints apartments,
they hardly get by.

You keep a regular schedule
at the hospital, right?

Yeah. In the E.R.

Did I tell you my
father's deaf in one ear?

So if he sleeps on his right
side, he can't hear anything,

so if somebody was
in the house...

Yeah, he would've slept
right through it.

Ms. Merrick, how long has your
father had a drinking problem?

My father doesn't drink.

Neither did I.

Come on, his hands are shaking,
he reeks of breath freshener.

Why don't you tell us
what really happened?

The door was locked
when I got home.

Dad was asleep in bed.
He'd had too much to drink.

Mom was next to him,
and she was dead.

CURTIS: Did he say anything
about how that happened?

He said he couldn't
remember anything.

How did they get along?

They fought,
but Dad never hit her.

He loves her.
He didn't do this.

That's why I got rid
of the bottles,

because I knew
what you would think.

Daddy's little helper.

Yeah, I used to have
one like that.

I keep telling you,
I can't remember anything.

That happen a lot, when you
can't remember things?

Yeah, but something
like this I'd remember.

We found gun powder residue on your hands.
It has to be you.

But I don't have a gun, so
how could I have killed her?

Well, that's what
we're trying to find out.

So let's take it step by step.

You were watching Goldfinger
on TV and drinking rye and ginger?

You're right.
I remember that.

And your wife, she wasn't
happy you were drinking,

was she?
Said it disgusted her.

Well, what's it to her? You're a grownup.
You can do whatever you want.

Yeah, right, that's what
I kept telling her.

Yeah, fat lot of good it did.

I bet she just never
shut up about it, right?

No, never.

Yeah, and you just want to sit there
in peace and watch your movie.

So you go and you get your
gun from its hiding place.

Well, how could I do that
if I don't have a gun?

We already established
you have a lot of blackouts.

Yeah, I know.

All right, you're standing
there in front of the bed

with the gun.

Carol's flat on her back,
snoring, her mouth wide open.

You remember that?

Yeah, I remember that.

And you pulled the trigger.

I don't remember.

BRISCOE: That's the way
it happened, isn't it?

I don't know.

Yeah, come on.

I don't...

I don't remember.

I don't know.

I don't remember.

Carol Merrick called in a complaint
against him two years ago.

She had his handprint on her face.
She dropped the charges.

Nothing new there.

We find the gun, it's over.

CSU's opening the drain
pipes as we speak.

The canvass is batting zero with the neighbors.
No one heard a shot.

We got to come up with
something to turn him around.

As soon as he sobers up, he's going
to wonder why we haven't booked him.

Yeah, and figure out we were pulling
his chain about the powder residue.

M.E. Recovered a nine millimeter
slug out of Carol Merrick.

They sent it to Ballistics.

Six with a right twist.
Italian steel, Beretta 92-series.

Big gun.

Even if he fired it
from across the bedroom,

the slug should've gone
clear through.

Through the headboard
into the wall.

Well, maybe the bullet
had a short load.

They don't quality-test every
one of these at the factory.

Still would've
exited the skull.

We did a muzzle-
to-first-surface test,

this little piggy was fired
from 50-100 yards away.

Unless Merrick played a
bank shot around the room

before it hit her,
we got a problem.

Well, it didn't come through a brick wall,
and I didn't see any broken windows.

But you weren't the
first one at the scene.

WHEELER: You got the hump
that did it,

does it matter if he sleeps with
the windows open or closed?

If it didn't, we wouldn't be keeping
you from your busy schedule.

It was closed.
CURTIS: Really?

Well, the daughter told us her parents
had a running battle on the subject.

Mr. Merrick liked it open.

Well, I guess
that night he lost.

You know what, Wheeler?

We got a couple of unknown
prints off the window.

We find they match yours...

All right, all right, all right.
Look, look, look,

I've been coming off
of this flu thing.

The room was freezing.
The window was wide open. I closed it.

You know, it would've been nice if
you included that in your report.

Yeah, it would've.

Thanks for the dog.

First, the M.E. Ran a probe into the wound.
That gives us our first calculations.

Then we fire a test shot
into a skull-like object.

That gives us the angle
of the trajectory.

Here, you want to see
what we did?

I'll give it
to Mr. Peabody here.

TECHNICIAN: Yeah, you take in
the velocity, the drop rate.

Yeah, I got that.
Fast-forward, please.

That roof.

We get this scum up here
all the time.

Smoking dope,
having sex, drinking.

I call the cops, they're too busy.
I try to keep them out.

I put a new padlock on the door.
They don't care.

What about last night?

I was fixing the boiler.
I didn't come up for air until midnight.

(MUSIC BLARING ON STEREO)

(EXCLAIMS) You hear that?

You got animals taking drugs
and killing the weak.

See, I'm taking my son
Eddie to Santo Domingo

to live with his grandmother.

I don't want him dying here.

Lennie, nine mil, just to the
right of the line of fire

into the Merrick's place.

There's also some blood drops on the
ground near the edge of the roof.

Yeah, you play with guns,
you're going to get hurt.

We got a dozen sets of footprints
around your shooter's position,

running shoes, boots, all
sizes, kids to grownups.

Eddie, you ever come up
here with your friends?

No.

My dad says it's too dangerous.

But you've seen other
kids come up here, right?

EDDIE: Sometimes.

How about last night?

Answer the man.

I saw a couple of older kids,
but they don't live here.

You know them?

I just seen them around
at Mr. Reyes' bodega.

CURTIS: What do
they look like?

One's a black kid,
the other one's white,

he had on a red baseball
hat, you know, backwards.

The black kid called him Nacho.

The only nachos around here are
for sale, man. What'd he do?

Nothing, it's what he might've
seen somebody else do.

A white kid with a red
cap turned backwards?

Yeah, about 12 or 13.

(CHUCKLING)

If he wasn't wearing a red cap turned
backwards, maybe I would've noticed him.

Sorry.
All right, thanks.

Kids, they're like roaches,
for every one you see,

there's a million you don't,
but they're out there.

Well, try to stay focused on
this one kid, okay, Monty?

He's a white boy, early teens.

This him?

No, that's my partner.
This kid's name is Nacho.

Nacho?
Yeah, like the snack.

Yeah, yeah, I know Nacho.

He gave me a dollar once to help
him carry his groceries home.

Where's home?
Two blocks.

Ninth Street, fourth floor, no
elevator, nearly killed me.

You remember what his name is?

Nacho, like you said.

He got a fine-looking mama.

Listen, you take us
to where she lives,

and maybe you can
buy her some flowers, huh?

I don't know where Lonnie is.
He must be out with his friends.

What do you want with him?

He may be a witness to a crime.
We just want to talk to him.

Well, leave your number.
When he gets home, we'll call you.

It's a little more
urgent than that.

Where does he go when he's
out with his friends?

I don't get his
appointment schedule.

He's around,
in the neighborhood.

Fine, we'll just wait here.

Come on, guys, I got to go now.

See, we really hate to keep you
from your errands, Ms. Rickman.

Hey, this number with the pager's
prefix, that's Lonnie's?

No.
What's the "L" stand for?

You know somebody else with a pager?
Maybe your dope connection?

Look, sweetheart, we're
not gonna hurt your son.

So why don't you just do us all
a favor and page him, huh?

It's just for emergencies.

Guess what?
You have an emergency.

When he calls back, tell him
to come home right away.

Mom, what's the matter?
What are they doing here?

They just have some questions.

I'm Detective Lennie Briscoe.
This is my partner, Rey Curtis.

Want to take a seat?

So, they call you Nacho because
that's what you like to eat?

This is what you want to know?

Some people saw you going up
on a roof over on Seventh

a couple of nights ago
between 11:00 and midnight.

We just want to know
what you saw up there.

I wasn't up on any roof.

Well, maybe you weren't
supposed to be up there,

but nobody's making a big
deal out of that, see?

You're here because it's no big deal.
I wasn't there, okay?

So where were you?

I was shooting hoops
over in Tompkins Square

with my partner Clayton.

What's his last name?

Clayton Doyle.

So you and Clayton were
shooting hoops till midnight?

What, on a school night?

Yep.

After we did our homework.

Look, Lonnie, if you're lying
'cause you're scared, then...

I'm not lying. I'm not scared of
anything, and I'm not scared of you.

Okay, all right, all right,
take it easy.

Hey, you take it easy!

I know what you did. You come down
here to hassle my mom so she calls me.

Who the hell
do you think you are?

You got no right
to do that to her.

Now, get out of here!
Sit down.

Hey!
BRISCOE: Rey, Rey.

Listen to me.

You can BS us all you want, but
we know you were up on that roof.

Yeah, you know jack.

We don't have to talk to you,
so why don't you just leave?

There's one kid who doesn't
want to grow up to be a cop.

If he grows up.
You see the burn marks on his fingers?

Yeah, kid's on the pipe.

I tell you what, Rey.
That kid's not a witness.

He's the shooter.

He's 13 and smokes crack.

Or he's just clumsy
with matches.

Anyway, it looks like it's
an old family tradition.

And that makes him
Billy the Kid?

Matches the description,
the street name fits.

Well, that puts him
on the roof, period.

If he saw someone
up there waving a gun,

he might have an incentive
to keep his mouth shut.

Well, he was seen
with a black kid,

could be this Clayton
he mentioned.

Yeah, the one he supposedly
cracked the books with.

I don't think we're going
to find him at the library.

Well, maybe they ditched
the same classes.

Check with their school.
Find the kid.

We're not telling you anything
till we know why you want him.

Well, Lonnie Rickman told us he
was with Clayton on Monday night.

We just want to verify that.

Lonnie Rickman?
What's he done?

CURTIS:
We're not sure yet.

Where was your son
Monday night?

First, answer my question.
Why you looking at Lonnie Rickman?

He may have been involved in a
shooting on Seventh Street.

Oh, my God.

Now, how about
answering my question?

Clayton had told us
he was playing basketball.

And was he?

FRANK: I don't know.

Came home, he had a cut on the side
of his head just above his ear.

Told us he got it jumping over
the fence at the playground.

You didn't believe him?

Well, he was shaking, but
he wouldn't tell us why.

But we thought somebody
might have hurt him.

Meaning Lonnie Rickman?

That boy's always been getting
Clayton in trouble at school.

Cutting class, being
kept after, kid stuff.

But now...

But now it's what?

Couple of weeks ago, Luanne
found $300 in Clayton's pocket.

Said he found it on the street.

He's peddling dope,
him and that boy Lonnie.

We weren't anywhere near that roof.
We were shooting hoops.

Is that right?

Well, your friend Lonnie told
me you were at the movies.

That is some bull...

You mind your mouth, if you
know what's good for you.

Mr. Doyle, please.

Clayton.

(CLEARS THROAT)

You know about blood types, right?
Like type A, type B?

Yeah, I seen it on TV.

Yeah, well we got your blood
type from your family doctor,

and our lab
is matching it up now

against the blood that
we found up on that roof.

Matter of fact, their report should
be on my desk right about now.

Think I'll go check.

CURTIS: Listen, Clayton, I know
you want to do the right thing.

What have you got in there that looks
like it might be a lab report?

Well, take your pick.
An expense report or a booking sheet.

Tell the truth now, Clayton.

You wait for him to come back with
those test results, it's over.

You're going to be
in the same boat as Lonnie.

For God's sake, Clayton, tell
them what they want to know.

You little punk!
You show your mother respect!

Hey, you're hurting me!
Frank! Frank!

You're going to tell the truth!

You're not going to ruin your
life for some dope dealer!

CLAYTON: Stop, stop!
He can't let him do that.

FRANK: Tell the truth! CLAYTON: Stop!
You're hurting me!

Detective Curtis!

Take Mr. Doyle outside now.

Listen, young man, this
has gone on long enough.

Now, you're going to tell me what
Lonnie did to you up on that roof.

He put a gun to my head.

Why?

'Cause Ross told him to.

Ross who?

Ross Morales. I didn't want
to be in his crew no more.

Selling dope?
Yes.

Lonnie got me started.
I wanted to quit, though.

Lonnie did say
Ross told him to kill me.

He shot once and just missed,
and that's how I got hurt.

And when he pulled the trigger
again, the gun jammed.

He was gonna kill you?

That's what he said.

Roscoe Morales,
a.k.a. Ross Morales.

Arrests for battery, possession,
carrying a concealed weapon.

Investigated for two
shootings, one fatal.

Never charged.
And he's all of 22.

You talk to the D.A.
About murder charges?

Yeah, they okayed it against
Lonnie, but not Morales.

Well, you heard Clayton.

Lonnie told him Morales
put him up to it.

Well, it's a double-hearsay,
not evidence.

Here's the paper on the boy.

Lennie, give me a minute
with Detective Curtis?

Your conduct was unacceptable.

Why? 'Cause I let a father
discipline his kid?

No one lays a hand on a suspect
in my interrogation room.

Now, that man was out of control.
It was up to you to manage it.

Well, that kid was out of control.
And you know what scares me?

That somebody like that can go
to school with my daughter.

You think you're the only
one who loses sleep?

Look, if you don't like the way
this place is run, transfer.

You were out of line, Rey,
just accept it and move on.

As a cop, okay, I should've
stepped in, but as a parent?

Man, that kid
was selling crack.

That rates a big hug and
a trip to Disneyland?

This really burns you, huh?

Hell, yes.

The guy's fighting
for his kid's life.

What, by beating up on him?

If it comes to that.

I'm not one of those
parents who has a problem

taking a strong stand against drugs.
I never took drugs,

and I don't feel like a hypocrite
telling my kids not to.

So if I tell my kids not to drink,
that makes me a hypocrite?

Whatever, Lennie.
I don't want to get into personalities.

Now I got Pat Buchanan
for a partner.

Hello, again, Cassie.

Don't you people have phones?

We want to see Lonnie.

He's not here.

We want to see for ourselves.
We insist.

Look all you want.
He's not here.

It's okay,
they're homicide cops.

All right, then.

I'll see you around.

A new acquaintance?

Whatever.

Look, Lonnie's not here.
I don't know where he went,

and the batteries died
in his beeper.

The story never changes
with you, does it?

I stick with what works.
Now, goodbye.

I'll get a unit to sit outside,
in case the kid turns up.

Kid's selling crack,
mom's turning tricks,

this is one family
Norman Rockwell never met.

Hey, we arrest Lonnie,
we'll be doing him a favor.

The kid worked for Ross Morales.
We tap Morales, maybe we get lucky.

Funny, I didn't see Morales
in the business directory.

Clayton would know where
he hangs his shingle.

According to our informant,
Morales has been operating

out of a ground floor apartment

on 11th Street
for the past month.

Now, twice a day, he comes by with
Lonnie Rickman to collect the receipts.

We're aiming
for a 9:00 p.m. Pickup.

They're both
considered dangerous.

We've decided to take them
down inside the building,

the super's cooperating.

CURTIS:
You want me inside?

No, I need you outside with
Morrissey to ID Lonnie.

Wilson and Dickerson will take the back.
Any questions?

Yeah, who's got
a deck of cards?

Come on.

CURTIS: Number one?

Number one.

It's 10 past,
maybe they won't show.

Give it another 30.

Ten minutes.
Is he always that anal?

Hey, I need somebody
around like him,

otherwise I'd never
get out of bed.

Well, chill him out, please.

You know me.

"I play it cool, I dig all jive

"That's the reason
I stay alive"

"My motto, as I live and learn
Is dig and be dug in return"

You read Langston Hughes
on a men's room wall?

Back when I was a beatnik
for about five minutes,

it used to work pretty good on
the Jewish girls from Riverdale.

It does pretty good with girls
from Washington Heights.

Number one, they're coming in.

BRISCOE: Police! Freeze!

All right, then!

It wasn't me!
Help!

BRISCOE: Get over here!

Help me! Get off me!

(GROANING)

Get down!
Get back here!

Get up! Get up!

(GROANING)

All right, this one's clean.
No weapon.

Same here.
Okay, turn around.

What do we got, huh?
What do we got?

Oh!

Three vials of rock, okay.

Roscoe Morales, you're under
arrest for possession.

Lonnie Rickman,
you're under arrest

for the murder of Carol Merrick

and the attempted murder
of Clayton Doyle.

(PANTING) Get them out of here!

BRISCOE: You have the
right to remain silent.

Anything you do say can and
will be used against you...

This is an outrageous
abuse of authority.

I am taking this to the
Civilian Review Board.

You say police brutality.
We say resisting arrest.

I didn't resist nothing.
I thought y'all was heisting me.

And where's my ice pack?
I been waiting here for an hour.

They didn't tell you?
Somebody stole our ice cube trays.

Come on, man, I got baseballs
growing down here.

I'll lend you my jock

as soon as we get this thing with you
and Lonnie Rickman straightened out.

Look, the kid just follows me
around like I'm his big brother.

Yeah. The big brother
who uses him

to keep his other
employees in line.

Mr. Morales is a part-time auto mechanic.
He has no employees.

He does as a full-time
crack dealer.

I don't know
anything about that.

Let me guess, you were at that
apartment to visit a sick friend?

Yeah, that's right.

You can't connect him to any illegal
activity occurring in that apartment.

We've got Clayton Doyle
to do that.

GELLIS: And I would be
very surprised

if your witness has any first-hand
knowledge of my client's actions.

What about the three vials of
crack we found in his pocket?

His dry cleaner
left them there?

Look, I got a substance
abuse problem.

I'm working on it.

When you sent Lonnie Rickman up on that
roof with a gun to kill Clayton Doyle,

you became liable for everything
he did with that gun,

which includes
shooting Carol Merrick.

Work on that.

Have a seat.

How long is this gonna take?

First of all, I want to make
sure that you both understand,

Lonnie has the right
to have an attorney present.

He doesn't need a lawyer.
He'll tell you whatever you want to know.

Lonnie, are you sure
you don't want one?

Yeah.
CURTIS: Okay.

We talked to Clayton Doyle.

He told us what happened
on that rooftop.

We'd like to hear your version.

Nothing to say.

Well, he told us you
worked for Ross Morales,

and that Morales
told you to kill him.

All right, let me explain
something to you, Lonnie.

We've got an eyewitness
who saw you go up

on that roof 15 minutes
before the shooting,

so we got you dead
to rights for murder.

But if Morales told you
to kill Clayton,

if you were acting
on his orders,

that changes everything.

What do you mean,
it changes everything?

CLAIRE: He'll plead
to a lesser charge.

We'll agree to a reduced sentence,
if you give us Morales.

You understand, Lonnie?

Any time you're ready,
little man.

Go on, tell them what you did.

Clayton's lying.
I don't work for Morales,

and I wasn't gonna cap Clayton.

I took him on the roof
on my own account,

just to scare him,
because he pissed me off.

I busted that bullet, and
nobody else was behind it.

Just me.

Okay.

We'll be back in a few minutes.

Either Morales was pulling
the strings or he wasn't.

This kid walks on
his own two feet.

This kid changed
his own diapers, too.

It's moot, as long as he
says he acted on his own,

I doubt we'll convince
a jury otherwise.

So we send Mr.
Morales home in a limo?

He stays. Resisting arrest,
possession with intent.

"Case number 456020.
People v. Lonnie Rickman.

"The charge is Murder
in the Second Degree."

Your plea, Mr. Rickman?

Not guilty.

Your Honor, the People ask

that the defendant be remanded
without bail to the youth authority.

RUBINOFF: Without
objection, Your Honor.

JUDGE BERMAN: Done.

Goodbye, Mr. Rickman.

Does Lonnie know there's
no MTV where he's going?

There's no Cassie Rickman.
That sold it to me.

Me, too. We're off
to a good start.

Don't get used to it.
Motion to exclude his confession.

He was denied counsel.
It was nice while it lasted.

(SIGHS)

It was by the numbers,
Your Honor.

As the defendant's legal guardian,
his mother waived counsel.

The defendant himself
acquiesced.

The defendant's 13.

His mother was high on crack.

Neither of them was
competent to waive counsel.

The police get waivers from drunken
drivers every day of the week,

and the courts routinely
uphold them.

Mrs. Rickman wasn't waiving her own
rights, she was waiving her son's.

He was utterly at her mercy.

Ms. Kincaid should have
disregarded the waiver

and stopped the interrogation.

Your Honor, she wasn't
bouncing off the walls.

She was coherent. She didn't
appear to be under the influence.

I don't understand what
counsel expected us to do,

run a drug test on her?

Ms. Rubinoff, there's nothing
in the case law stating

a defendant has to be stone
cold sober to waive counsel.

You uphold my motion, Your
Honor, and there will be.

Well, being first isn't all
it's cracked up to be.

Your motion's denied, the confession stays.
Sorry to spoil your day.

You can make it up to me,
Your Honor.

I want the case remanded
to Family Court.

JACK: Absolutely not, this
is a violent offender.

He's committed a serious crime without
expressing an iota of remorse.

Family Court's not
equipped to deal with him.

The issue is,
with proper counseling,

would he still pose
a danger to society?

Mr. McCoy, you prove to me he should
be tried as an adult, he's all yours.

Have your briefs
on my desk in a week.

And I want this boy to have a
chat with a court psychiatrist.

I didn't even know that lady.

I didn't mean it to happen.
It just happened.

Has anything like this ever
happened to someone you knew?

Yeah.

A friend at school got shot.

And this other kid in the neighborhood
was pushed off a building.

Did your parents
ever hit each other?

My dad, before he dumped us,

he used to hit my mom
when he got high.

Did he ever hit you?
No.

How about your mom?
Has she ever...

She's not like that.

Okay.

You want to tell me
what she is like?

What do you want me to say?

She's funny.

She makes me laugh.

How do you feel
about her taking drugs?

It's not her fault.

My dad got her hooked, and
I'm helping her get off it.

You think she takes
good care of you?

Yeah.

Because of her,
we got a place to stay.

And this one time, they tried
to put me into foster care,

but my mom fought
like hell to keep me.

She always says I'm the most
important thing in her life.

He's seen a good deal
of violence,

but he doesn't seem
preoccupied with it,

so it's possible
he's not dangerous.

What about treatment?
Is he a candidate?

Maybe. I don't know
enough about him.

Good, more hedging.

He's been abused by his
mother, this I'm sure of.

He told you that?

He denied it
a little too vehemently.

He's very defensive on the
entire subject of his mother.

That's it?

No, I read the police reports.

He gave Detectives Briscoe
and Curtis a very hard time,

in contrast to how he behaved
toward me or Claire.

He gets angry at men, but he's
very submissive toward women.

That's the pathology
for maternal abuse.

So what's your recommendation?

I'd have to say Family Court.

Because he was abused.

Fine, we send him there,

and when they let him out in a
few years and he kills again,

we get another bite at him.

ADAM: That's right.

What if we got him to roll on Morales?
He's the one we really want.

We want them both.

Papers are calling
this kid a super-predator.

He's not getting a lollipop for
killing a woman in her sleep.

A murder he claims
full credit for.

He even denies
he works for Morales.

He's 13. He's probably
terrified of Morales.

He doesn't want to be the only
one pointing the finger at him.

What do you suggest?

If we find evidence that
he was Morales' employee,

we convince him we're going to
make the case against Morales

with or without him.

That should bring him around.

Who made you
this kid's fairy godmother?

CLAYTON: I just know
what Lonnie told me.

I never heard Ross telling
him to do no drug business.

You ever see him give Lonnie
money or drugs to sell?

No.

Lonnie said Ross never got his
hands dirty with the small stuff.

How did you get paid?

Lonnie gave me money
for being a lookout.

So as far as you knew, you could
have been working for Lonnie.

Lonnie said Ross was the man.

He even showed me where
Ross beat him on his back

just for being short
five dollars.

Is that why he was covering for him?
Because he was scared?

Yeah, for his mom.

Ross said if he ever went
against him, he'd hurt his mom.

Lonnie is devoted
to that woman.

He does her chores.
He cleans her up.

He's even dragged her
from the crack houses.

It is pathetic.

Now, that boy came home with
Clayton a couple of months ago.

He had not eaten in two days.

So what happened?

His mom sold their food stamps.

She must have owed
a dealer a lot of money.

So I gave him something to eat.

Who feeds him the rest of the time?
Morales?

I don't know, but Ross doesn't
like anybody messing with Lonnie.

How do you mean?

Well, a couple of weeks ago,

I found Lonnie at the park,
and he couldn't breathe,

so I called an ambulance.

And when Ross found out,
he was real mad.

And what did he do?

He just went off, saying that I should've
called him, not the ambulance.

And then he wanted to know
what hospital he was at.

BRINKER: Paramedics brought him in.
He was in cardiac shock, too much crack.

So what's he done?

He's charged with murder.

Great. He was a mess.
We pumped his stomach, nothing came out.

His back and legs were covered in bruises.
He looked like he hadn't slept in a week.

Did he say
how he got those bruises?

It was a fight just to
get a name out of him.

He wouldn't tell us
where he lived.

He didn't want us to call
Child Welfare.

So why did you release him?

We didn't.
This Hispanic guy came in.

He paid the bill in cash,

then before we could stop them,
he grabbed the kid and left.

Kid didn't say a word.

Just because he paid
the kid's bill

doesn't imply that
Lonnie worked for him.

He could just be
a good Samaritan.

Who beat him like a dog.

And again, it's all just
hearsay unless

we get it directly
from Lonnie's mouth.

Then we're back
where we started.

That's too bad.

Because Morales' attorney just filed an
Article 78 motion to get him released.

He had less than three grams of rock
cocaine, all for his personal use.

He's willing to plead to
Possession in the Seventh Degree,

take his time served
and pay a fine.

But Mr. McCoy won't even
take my calls.

Mr. Morales
is a known drug dealer.

He has numerous convictions.

Only one for possession
with intent, Your Honor.

JACK: We arrested him on the way
to one of his drug outlets.

He was there to collect
the daily take.

He was arrested
in a common-use hallway.

He could have
been going anywhere.

Mr. McCoy, are you willing to
discuss a plea on Mr. Morales?

Not at this time, Your Honor.
We're looking at other charges.

For example?

It's a continuing
investigation.

I'm not going discuss it
in front of the defendant.

GELLIS: He's stalling,
Your Honor.

Mr. McCoy
is punishing my client

because we filed a complaint
of police brutality.

That's nonsense.

But we'll drop the complaint
if Mr. McCoy agrees to a plea.

Sounds reasonable,
Mr. McCoy, how about it?

I'm sorry, Your Honor.

Mr. McCoy, the police arrest 150
people a day for simple possession,

there's just nowhere
to put them all.

I'm not adding to the problem. I don't want Mr.
Morales in jail. Is that clear?

May I approach alone?

Objection.

Your objection is noted.
Come up, Mr. McCoy.

Your Honor, we're developing
another case against him.

He may be facing
murder charges.

If you release him, the chances
are he'll flee the jurisdiction

and we'll never find him.

You have any direct evidence
connecting him to this murder?

No, Your Honor.

Step back, Mr. McCoy.

I can't order you
to accept this plea.

But if you don't,
I'll dismiss the charge

on grounds
of legal insufficiency.

You have till tomorrow morning
to make up your mind.

We're adjourned.

(GAVEL POUNDING)

It doesn't matter whether Ingles dismisses
the charges or we accept the plea.

Once Morales walks out the door,
it's the last we'll see of him.

You found him once,
you'll find him again.

When we've got a witness in custody
who can nail him for murder?

He's jumped bail before.

Besides, Lonnie's more likely to
talk if Morales is already in jail.

Maybe we can hit him
with another charge.

As far as I know, you can't
walk into an emergency room

and grab a minor
out of his bed.

That could be kidnapping.

Yeah. It could.

Where'd you come up
with kidnapping, man?

I didn't kidnap
that little slice.

Ross, cool it.

Mr. McCoy, you don't know the
storm of crap you are in for.

You've just graduated from police
brutality to malicious prosecution.

Your client forcibly removed a
sick child from a hospital bed.

The boy went with him
of his own free will.

Not according to the
attending doctor and nurses.

Lonnie was scared
out of his mind.

Not to mention the fact that Mr.
Morales has no legal standing

to take the boy anywhere,
willing or not.

That's bull.

I'm his de facto guardian.

My client was acting with Mrs.
Rickman's knowledge and permission.

You expect us to believe that she
entrusted her son to a drug dealer?

MORALES:
Well, you ask her, man.

She gave him to me.

You see, I'm like a father
figure to the local kids.

I'm their hero.

He's right, I asked him to
keep an eye on Lonnie for me.

You let him
baby-sit your son?

Yeah, out there.

I mean, Lonnie's a kid, he
needs somebody to protect him.

Morales isn't all bad,
you know.

He turned him into a gangster.

He did?

I thought it was the rap music.

I don't see the humor.

No, you're the joke here,
Mr. McCoy.

You bitch and moan because
Morales owns the street,

when it's you and your stupid
laws that gave him the power.

I didn't come here
for an argument.

If you think he's a suitable
guardian for your child...

Yeah, well our last nanny quit, so
it was Morales or nothing, huh?

Ms. Rickman, if you're just saying
this because he threatened you...

I've said everything
I'm gonna say.

JACK: All right,
keep talking that way.

You'll be facing charges of reckless
endangerment and child abuse.

Now, that's funny.

Look at me.

I can hardly get myself through the
day, so who's he better off with?

Now, why don't you and your
skinny little friend get lost?

Crackhead logic
never ceases to amaze.

Maybe she's right
about one thing.

Don't believe her,
you look fine to me.

I was talking about Morales.

Right.

Let's all petition
to legalize drugs.

That'll free Mr. Morales
to pursue his true calling,

curing cancer or Alzheimer's.

How many people does our office
put in jail every year for drugs?

Five, six thousand?

Not including repeat
offenders, maybe seven.

And it hasn't even made a dent.

We're standing on the beach, bailing
out the ocean with a teaspoon.

You want to reform sentencing rules,
you get no argument from me.

But legalize drugs, open the
floodgates, it's not responsible.

Jack, I can make
a couple of phone calls

and have any kind of drug
delivered right here.

Anyone who wants them
can get them.

We have kids being terrorized by
dealers, innocent people being shot.

We turned a disease into
a war, and we're losing.

Anyway, here we are,
two grunts in the trenches,

arguing about
whether war is bad.

And we can't even put scum like
Morales in jail for kidnapping.

Maybe there's a good reason

that Cassie Rickman allowed
Lonnie to go to work for Morales.

I'm listening.

Didn't somebody tell you that she
was deeply in debt to her dealer?

To Morales?

And now, two months later,
she's buying drugs from him?

How did she pay him off?

You're wrong, she wouldn't
do that to me.

How much money did she owe Morales?
$500? $1,000?

Where did she find
that kind of money?

I don't know.
I don't work for Morales, anyway.

Can't you get that straight?

Don't treat us
like idiots, Lonnie.

JACK: You're going
to jail for him.

How much dope is that
gonna buy your mother?

It's not true.
My mom loves me.

Jack, this is cruel.

And selling your kid
to a drug dealer isn't?

Young man, if you want to protect
your mother, protect her from me.

I can put her in prison
for what she did to you.

But if you testify against
Morales, I won't charge her,

and you can go to Family Court.

What exactly would
he have to say?

That he was acting under Morales'
orders when he fired that gun,

and that he obeyed

because his mother agreed to let
Morales do what he wanted with him.

It won't make
Mr. Morales a happy man.

We'll make arrangements
for their protection.

RUBINOFF:
Let me talk to him.

Forget it.
I'm not talking against my mom.

Lonnie...
No, nobody made me do anything.

Then you and your mother can
write to each other from jail.

Empty threat, Jack.

Selling your kid may be
despicable, but it's not illegal.

As for Family Court, I think
we're halfway there already.

Come on, Lonnie.

She's right.

No statute against
selling your kid.

His mother put him at risk for his life.
That rates as a felony.

Yeah.

You want him to testify against
Morales and risk both their lives.

You're not giving
the kid much of a choice.

He'd rather go to prison than
admit what his mother did to him.

So we throw in the towel.

Ross Morales goes home, Cassie
Rickman stays on crack,

and her kid spends the
next 25 years in a cell.

Is everybody happy?

Didn't you say
that's where he belonged?

That must have been some other
arrogant, moralistic son-of-a-bitch.

Thirteen and living in a madhouse,
who knows what any of us would do?

Give him a taste of reality.
He loves his mother.

Does he know
how much she loves him?

It's not going to be pretty.

I'm not going to do it.
I'd have to be out of my mind.

It'll prove to the jury Lonnie had
to do whatever Morales wanted.

First of all, I did not give my son to
Morales, that is absolutely, 100% untrue.

What kind of mother
do you think I am?

Please. Let's cut through
the bull, lady.

We all know what kind of mother
you've been to that boy.

Blame it on the ex-husband or the
drugs if it makes you feel better,

but right now, you have one
chance to help your son. Take it.

If you testify against Morales,
Lonnie goes to Family Court.

He gets a lighter sentence.
He gets help.

What do I get?
I get my throat cut.

We can offer you protection.

(CHUCKLING) Yeah, right.

Lonnie pulled the trigger.
He killed that woman.

You send him
wherever you want,

I don't care,
he's a pain in the ass.

Juvenile detention.

Five years.

Ross said Clayton was
trying to quit the crew.

He gave me the gun and told me to
take Clayton upstairs and kill him.

What specifically
did he instruct you to do?

He told me to put the gun up against
the side of his head and shoot.

Did you follow
these instructions?

I tried to,

but I couldn't.

I couldn't kill him.

The first time,
I missed on purpose.

The second time,
the gun jammed.

JACK: If it hadn't, would
you have killed Clayton?

I don't know.

I like Clayton.
He's okay.

I didn't want to kill him.

Then why did you
take him up on the roof?

Because I was scared
of Ross Morales.

But you could have run away.

You could have gone to your
mother, or even to the police.

I couldn't.

Why not?

Lonnie, tell these people
why you didn't run away.

Because of my mom.

She said I had to stay with
Ross and do what he said.

Why?

She owed him money, and
he was going to hurt her.

How long were you with him
before you were arrested?

I'm not sure.
It was a lot of weeks.

What did you do
during that time?

I went to the store for
Ross, I got him cigarettes,

I took his clothes
to the coin laundry.

What else did you do?

I helped him sell drugs.

I carried it for him.

I watched the other kids.

Did he pay you?

No, sir.

Did he feed you?

Sometimes.

Didn't you get hungry?

Yes, sir, but

Ross told me to smoke crack
so my stomach wouldn't hurt.

Didn't you ever complain?

Yes, sir, once.

What happened?

He hit me on my back
and my legs,

and he said he'd hurt my mom.

How long were you supposed
to stay with him?

I don't know.

As long as
your mother needed drugs?

I don't know.

Lonnie, how much money did
your mother owe Ross Morales?

$865.

Thank you, Lonnie,
no more questions.

JUDGE INGLES: Mr.
Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict?

FOREMAN:
Yes, we have, Your Honor.

In the first count of the indictment,
Murder in the Second Degree,

how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Ross Morales, guilty.

Has Ms. Rubinoff explained to you the
consequences of taking this plea?

Yes, ma'am.

You realize that you'll be
incarcerated in a juvenile facility

until your 18th birthday?

Yes, ma'am.

Then in accordance with the
provisions of the Family Court Act,

I hereby sentence you
to a term of five years.

Per Mr. McCoy's
recommendation,

you will receive psychiatric counseling
during that term of incarceration

and for a period
of five years thereafter.

We're adjourned.