Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 9, Episode 4 - Law & Order - full transcript

Prosecutors have trouble making a case against a father accused of injecting his son with deadly bacteria, so Jack is forced to play hardball with the bio-supplier that may have supplied him with it.

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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.

Okay, sleepyheads,
come on it's time to get up.

There you go.

Alice, will you, uh, get out the finger
paint and pass out the smocks, please?


Come on, up, up,
up yeah. Here you go.

Fold up your blanket, sweetie.

Ryan, honey, wake up.

BOY: What are you gonna be?

Ryan Downing, come
on now, rise and shine.

BOY 2: Where's my blankie?


Okay. Um, everyone, let's
visit Mrs. Fredman's class.

Call 9-1-1. Go.

Ryan Downing
spiked a fever of 106.

DOA at Lenox Hill.

Kids still die from
staph infections?

Not usually.

staphylococcus aureus.


Meaning it doesn't
respond to antibiotics?

Yeah. A few mutant bacteria
survive broad-spectrum antibiotics.

A million reproductive cycles
later, V.R.S.A., killer bacteria.

With all due respect, Doc,

shouldn't you be telling all
this to the Health Department?

I already did.

So what are we doing here?

This strain of V.R.S.A.
doesn't occur in the US.

Well, then how'd the
Downing kid get it?

That's why I called you.

It didn't walk out of a lab.

Somebody let it loose.

Somebody? You
talking about a terrorist?

I sure as hell hope not.

It's cheap. Fast. Deadly.

Gene stereotyping says the
bacteria that killed Ryan Downing

comes from rural
France, outside Chambord.

What, the kid picked
this up from a tourist?

No. A sick tourist would
be hospitalized by now...

Or dead.

So what are we looking for?

Muscle aches, dehydration. Body
temps go ballistic, you know the rest.

Well, how long start to finish?

Forty-eight hours
for the Downing kid.

Maybe longer for an adult.

So the kid picked
up the bug Tuesday.

Any other cases?

No. Ryan Downing's the only
one that's turned up. So far.

Look, the kid's infection
could be an isolated episode.

Like some nut trying
out a science project?

Or a dry run for
a terrorist attack.

Well, whatever it is, we
need to get a handle on it.

How do you get your
hands on this V.R.S.A.?

Anyone with credentials can order
a sample from a bio-supply house.

So we're talking a couple
of dozen microbiologists?

Any idiot with a
PC and a printer.

How do you mean?

Well, you dummy up
some medical letterhead,

you fax it in with a
credit card number,

one of these companies
will ship it to you overnight.

It's easier than getting a gun.

Yeah. And a thousand
times more dangerous.

Well, suppose you
wanted to infect somebody?

WEISS: One person?

You get a $1.99 plant sprayer,
you spritz the kid in the face.

Put an aerosol bomb in the subway,
you got the beginning of an epidemic.


WEISS: The boy's family and
apartment came up negative.

about the boy's school?

Clean. We checked
every student. No V.R.S.A.

Hospital notification?

The BCD's faxed every hospital
and clinic in a 50-mile radius.

The hazmat unit's on stand-by.

Good. Agent Sykes.

The bureau is handling
the terrorist angle.

We've contacted Interpol,

our anti-terrorism people are
monitoring our home-grown crazies.

By the way, we're putting our
usual turf skirmishes on hold.

Everybody cooperates.

What about the outfits
that sell this stuff?

We faxed a bulletin to every
bio-supply house in the US and overseas.

I'm putting together
a joint task force,

law enforcement and the CDC.

Your squad will take up
the point on the local end.

Find out how that
Downing boy was exposed.

Maybe my detectives
should get their shots first.

WEISS: Wouldn't help.

Once you get
infected, you're dead.

The commissioner's office wants a
complete lockdown on information.

They don't want
to start a panic.

What do we tell the parents?

Low-key it.

This is a routine investigation.

Well, how contagious is
this stuff supposed to be?

Well, it can't be passed
by casual contact.

As long as you
don't get sneezed on.

And what if we do?

What can I tell you?

Did somebody infect
our son on purpose?

probably an accident,

but we need to know exactly
where Ryan went Tuesday.

He's a five-year-old kid.

He went to school, he came
home, same as every other day.

CURTIS: He was
feeling fine that day?

He had a little trouble
getting out of bed.

I didn't think anything of it.

Which one of you
took him to school?

PAULA: Uh, I did.

Um, it starts at 8:30.

And then Angie picked him up
at 2:00 and brought him home.

(SOFTLY) Oh, it's okay.



Our housekeeper.

BRISCOE: How's she feeling?

I don't know.

They told her to see a doctor.

How long has
Angie been with you?

Oh, three years, since
I went back to work.

Would you know if Angie
stopped anyplace on her way back?

No. We give her cab fare

and she brings
Ryan straight home.

Am I going to get this?

If the doctors were concerned,
they wouldn't send you home.

It's important that we find
that cab you took with Ryan.

Did you happen to get a receipt?

I didn't take a cab. Ryan
likes to go on the bus.

BRISCOE: What bus?

The 104. Look, I took
Ryan straight home.

While you were on the bus,
did you see anything unusual?

Like what?

Anybody spray anything on
Ryan, maybe sneeze on him?

No, no, nothing like that.

Do you remember who
was sitting next to you?

I wasn't paying attention. How
could something like this happen?

MTA took the bus out of service
15 minutes after you called.

The hazmat unit's
just about finished up.

The passengers went home?

Yeah. They're not in any danger.

The bacteria dies within
seconds after it's airborne.

Well, why the Tyvek suits?

It's just standard for a
level three bio-hazard.

Well, that makes me feel better.

No aerosol bomb. Bus is clean.

If somebody released V.R.S.A.
inside, it would've showed up.

So as far as we know, nobody
got sick except for the Downing kid.

Yeah, we may
have lucked out here.

Even at the far
end of the curve,

the incubation time's
past for aerosol infection.

Well, does exposure
have to be through the air?

No, it's just most likely.

How about unlikely?

I went over every inch
with a 20-power glass.


A small injection mark over the
left quadricep, less than a week old.

Well, maybe he got vaccinated?

Not according to
his medical records.

This kid could have been
injected with V.R.S.A.

Okay, so the kid's
walking home from school

and some wacko jabs
him in the leg with a needle.

The fact he was injected
changes the time-line.

Different delivery system,
different absorption rate.

Symptoms would develop more slowly
with injection into hard muscle tissue.

All right, assuming he was
injected, when did this happen?

Working back from time of death,

Sunday night, early Monday.

Somebody stuck
Ryan with a needle?

Any chance you could
be wrong, detective?

There's a puncture wound
on your son's left thigh.

Any idea how he got that?

No. Of course not.
Who would do that?

Anybody have anything
against you or your wife?

CURTIS: Somebody at work, maybe?

I sit behind a desk at Foxbury
Insurance, crunch numbers.

My wife is a systems analyst.

Who could hate us that much?

I can't think of anyone.

You sure he wasn't
picked at random?


It's possible.

Did Ryan go to school on Monday?

AARON: Same as every week day.

I was out of town,

my wife took him on her way
to work. Angie picked him up.

And Sunday?

He was at home with us.

I was working on my
quarterly revenues.

And he never complained
about pain in his leg?

No, no, I don't think so.


LT got a call from
Beekman hospital.

Another case of V.R.S.A.

The man's girlfriend brought
him in with a temp of 105.

BP, heart rate, off the charts.

Resident botched the diagnosis.

Asian flu.

The patient got a name?

Yeah. Clarence Meeks.

You check him for needle marks?

Ah, that's the problem.

Mr. Meeks has been
main-lining heroin for 10, 15 years.

can we talk to him?

He died 10 minutes ago.

WEISS: Clarence
Meeks' personal effects.

You need gloves?
We have our own.

You should have been with
me in South America in '89.

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever.

Pick that up from clothing,
bed sheets. Stuff kicks ass.

Internal hemorrhaging of the organs,
bleeding from every orifice, vomiting...

Yeah. Yeah. We
get the picture, Doc.

Two dime bags,


Poor Clarence, too sick
to shoot up his last score.

I got it.

Clarence's works.

Or the murder weapon.

There's V.R.S.A. in the syringe.

Genetic analysis indicates it's
the strain that killed Ryan Downing.

Both samples came from
the same batch of bacteria?

Exactly. And there
were trace amounts

of Ryan Downing's
blood in the needle.

So Clarence stuck the
kid, then stuck himself?

I don't see a junkie ordering
up some exotic germ.

Figure Clarence
for another victim.

So where'd he get the needle?

Doesn't make sense.

I take Clarence to
the hospital for a fever,

now I'm planning a funeral.

They won't even tell
me what killed him.

Do you know if Clarence
was in Midtown on Monday?

He went with me up
at the VA, in the Bronx,

registering for a drug program.

The man was finally
pulling himself together.

He was clean for two weeks.

Except for his works and
the two decks of smack

we found in his pocket.

The bacteria that killed
him came from his needle.

He didn't have a needle.

Son of a bitch, Willie.

Who's Willie?

Him and Clarence
used to get high together.

Where's this Willie live?

I don't have a clue.

But he... He sells his
junk over on Clinton street.

Willie deals drugs?

Not that kinda junk.

You know, junk.


WILLIE: Clarence Meeks?

Haven't seen him all week.

That's because he's dead.

Oh, man.

OD'd? Something like that.

His girlfriend says
you hooked him up.

Not me.

You got a permit
to sell this stuff?

This is a free gallery.
I don't need a permit.

Oh, maybe we ought to
toss you just for the hell of it,

see what we come up with.

Whatever snuffed Clarence,
he scored on his own.

Where'd he get his works?

I sold him a set-up,
Tuesday, I think it was.

Did you use that needle?

I got my own.

Where'd you get the
one you sold to Clarence?

I found it.

Show us.

Who's gonna keep an
eye on my sculptures?

Oh, I wouldn't worry about that.

So what'd you charge
Clarence for the needle?


Did you bother
to clean it first?

Yeah, yeah, of course.

You know, your buddy
got sick from that needle...

I wiped it off.

Hey, hey, this is it. Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. Right in those cans.

What were you doing back here?

Looking for materials.

You can't believe what
people throw away.

Or pick up.

So what do you think,
Rey, about 90 apartments?

That's a lot of buzzers to push.

Let's get a tenant list
from the building manager.

CURTIS: Mildred Kinsky.

Forty years in the building.

BRISCOE: What's she pay?

$212 for a three-bedroom.

With that rent, I could retire.

FBI sent these.

Responses from European
bio-supply houses.

No V.R.S.A. shipments.

CURTIS: What about
the American firms?

Two checked in
negative. And get this.

The others want to
run it by their lawyers.

They're hiding something.

Yeah, people are dying
from the germs they're selling.

Well, Forensics went through the
trash cans. There's nothing there.

What about you guys?

We went through all the tenants
there's no doctors, no biologists,

nobody who works for a lab

VAN BUREN: Nurses?
Hospital employees?

One chiropractor. Retired.

Theresa Copeland. Apartment 8C.

Mr. Downing works in insurance?

Yeah, the Foxbury group.

Uh, 42 Park Avenue.

So does Miss Copeland.

Well, it's a big company.

Get a photo of Theresa
Copeland from DMV.

Show it to Downing.

Theresa Copeland.
She works in Claims.

Uh, Foxbury has
1,200 employees here.

Are you sure?

Uh, in the elevator. Maybe.

Your department have
anything to do with Claims?

Nothing. What's this woman
have to do with my son?

We traced the needle that was used
on your son to her apartment building.

Why would some
stranger kill Ryan?

Maybe your wife knows her?

I don't see how.

We can show her the
picture, if you think it'd help?

You know a man
named Aaron Downing?

He works upstairs,
in Compliance.

(SCOFFS) We don't have
anything to do with Compliance.

That's not what he asked you.

Sorry, I don't know him.

Mind telling us where
you were on Monday?


How about before work?


Oh, I showered at my sister's.
They were working on my water.

You leave the
office during the day?

I went out on my lunch break. Did
someone accuse me of something?

Where'd you eat? I didn't.

I needed a pair of
platform sandals.

Did you get a receipt?

No. I just looked.
Where'd you look?

Prada, Chanel,

Manolo Blahnik.


How long were
you out of the office?

I don't know, about two hours.

That's not a crime, is it?

The kids ate early on Monday.

About 11:30. Then rest time.

We got them up,
it was a nice day,

so we took them to the
Heckscher playground, in the park.

A stone's throw
from the shoe stores.

Is it possible that you noticed
this woman in the park?

Her name is Theresa Copeland.

Oh, I'm sorry, I
don't recognize her.

Is she the one who...

Right now we're
running down leads.

She's pretty.

Is she a friend of the Downings?

She works for the same company
as Mr. Downing. Why do you ask?

Well, I'm not sure,

but, Mrs. Downing
brings Ryan to school

because she says that Mr. Downing
runs laps around the reservoir at 7:00.


Well, I run the reservoir
that time every morning

and I haven't seen him in
there for at least six months.

Daniel, Christopher! Excuse me.

Wanna guess where
he's getting his exercise.

Yeah. Right, Miss Copeland, 8C.

Take a look at this.

Name's Aaron Downing.

You ever see him
go up to her place?

I'm usually down here. I don't
keep track of who comes and goes.

Oh, yeah, this guy.

He was having trouble with
his vestibule key so I let him in.

When was this?

Uh, last month. In the morning.

And he was here to
see Theresa Copeland?

Well, he had a key. I figured
he was showing her apartment.

Oh, she's moving?

Hell if I know.

She's given notice three
times in the last three months.

Keeps changing her mind.

You've been to my office.

One of the parents told me
you were around the school.

What more do you
want me to tell you?

Why you're covering your ass.

You having an affair?

With this Copeland
woman? Come on.

Hey, you want to
lie to your wife, fine.

But don't play us for idiots.

She might've murdered your son.

What did you say?

BRISCOE: Theresa's
super ID'd you.

We know the work-outs you've
been getting are in her bed.

So, we on the same page?


Yeah, okay.

I was seeing her.

How long?

Almost a year.

But it was just
something on the side.

No big deal. CURTIS: For you.

What about for Theresa?

She knew the score.

Maybe she didn't like the score.

So she killed Ryan?

Hey, I've been there, pal.

You make a few
promises under the sheets,

the lady gets expectations.

There were no expectations.

Theresa kept giving notice to her
landlord, kept changing her mind.

You were stringing her along.

Maybe it looked that way.

Come on, Aaron. A single woman
investing the best years of her life

in a married man.

Maybe she got tired of waiting
for you to dump your wife.

Theresa understood I had
no problem leaving my wife.

But she knew I'd
never leave Ryan.


No, that's crazy.

Maybe she's crazy.

I don't believe it.

She couldn't do
something like that.

Any headway?

Well, he copped to the affair, but
he insists it was strictly recreational.

Theresa's credit card
information came in.

Any charges to a
bio-supply house?

No, but check out her balance.

Whoa. $20,000 on her Amex card.

She's way in the hole.

It's a credit.

$20,000 on her MasterCard,

$45,000 on her Visa.

She's using her credit
cards as bank accounts.

Where did she get
that kind of money?

You'll talk to us
without a lawyer?

I don't need a lawyer.
I didn't do anything.

We got a witness puts you in the
park the day Ryan was injected.


The closest I ever got to Ryan was
when Aaron showed me his picture.

The needle you used on the kid
was found in your building's trash.

Uh, I didn't put it there.
You have to believe me.

Why? You were in deep
with Aaron Downing.

He told you he'd never leave his
family as long as his son was around.

Did Aaron say that?

Come on, Theresa.

He was going to leave his wife.

This wasn't just a fling. We
had something special together.

He told us it was no big deal.


Aaron needed me. He said there was
something missing until I came along.

Yeah, a different
bed to jump into.

You don't understand.

We talked about getting married.

We found an apartment
with a room for Ryan...

jerking you around.

You gave notice on your
apartment three different times.

You got tired of all his
promises, and you figured,

hey, maybe without
the kid around...

I didn't kill Ryan!

CURTIS: He thinks you did.

He wouldn't say
that. We had plans.

Is that what the money was for?

What money?

The cash balance
on your credit cards.

BRISCOE: We know
all about you now.

And we're gonna find out
how you got that bacteria.

That's 25 years
minimum, Theresa.

Your boyfriend
is selling you out.

So if you have
something to say...

I... I saved that money.

From what? Your
$500 a week paycheck?

I made some investments.

This is bull, Lennie.
Let's book her for murder.

Okay. Okay.

We stole the money.

Me and Aaron.

From Foxbury.


That was our money, so
we could start a new life.

He was gonna leave his family.

Ryan wasn't a problem.

She masterminded
a six-figure fraud

from her cubicle in
the Claims department?

Well, it looks
like she had help.

JACK: Downing?

Theresa paid in
premiums for lapsed

accounts, submitted
change of address forms.

Downing knew where
to channel the paperwork.

Arrest them both
for embezzlement.

Downing was also smart enough to
have his girlfriend do all the dirty work.

CURTIS: And smart enough to
keep most of the money for himself.

They embezzled $450,000.

$350,000 is missing.

Downing's bank account?

Not a bank account
on these shores.

Maybe Theresa killed the kid

so she could shake a
bigger cut out of Downing?

Then why fess up to
the embezzlement?

That's handing us her
motive on a silver platter.

Then who did it?

Aaron Downing?

Wait a second. He
murdered his own son?

Don't rule it out.
He had opportunity.

He was cheating on his wife,

hiding money from his mistress,
who knows what he's capable of.

CURTIS: Killing his kid?

I don't believe it.

You don't have to
believe it. Just prove it.

Connect him to the syringe. Nail
down his movements to the minute.

Your wife told us
you went to Syracuse.

Right. I told you that already.

You never told us
you went that morning.

You didn't ask.

Didn't you think
that was important?

Why would it matter where I was?

How'd you get to the airport?


And where'd you get the
cab? In front of my building.

Make any stops along the way?

No. I had a plane to catch.

Good. You were on a business
trip means you got a receipt.

We can get the hack number
off that and verify your story.

I forgot to get a receipt.

That's because you were at Theresa's
place, just like every other morning, yeah?

That's where you dumped the
needle you used to kill your boy.


Why don't you tell
us all about it, Aaron.

Get it off your chest.

There's nothing to tell.

Well, how about the money you
embezzled with your sweetheart?

I don't know what
you're talking about!

Your little war chest?

We know all about it.

What were you gonna do? Skip
out on your wife, on your girlfriend?

That's why you
killed your son, isn't it?

That's enough!

I know all about
guys like you, Aaron.

Stuck with a wife,
a job, obligations.

You can't hack it. No.

Yeah. You want to leave but
you can't run out on your kid.

So you go into his
room, while he's sleeping,

pull down the covers, maybe
you stroke his hair a few times

before you stick
the needle in his leg.

I did not hurt my son.

You gonna arrest me?

If not, get the hell
out of my office.

Downing had to dump the needle at
Theresa's on the way to the airport.

I know it's a long shot, but we could
start canvassing the cab companies.

Hey, you know what?

Theresa said there was a problem with
her shower on Monday morning, right?

So you were in her
apartment fixing her pipes?

Yeah. The girl left. She
was pissed I cut off her water.

Did you happen to see a guy
come around the apartment,

uh, would've been around 9:00.

Yeah. A guy with a suitcase. He
was there for a minute and he left.

Uh, this the guy?

Uh, could be.

He would've been
wearing a suit and tie.

Could be, but I dunno
if I could swear to it.

Hey, fellas, I was under a sink.

Yeah. Okay. Thanks anyway.

Guy with a suitcase in Theresa's
apartment who could be Downing?

Sound like probable
cause to you?

I'll call Carmichael.

Downing, put the clothes down.

Why? Just do it.

You're under arrest for the
murder of Ryan Downing.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say can and will
be used against you in a court of law.

You have the
right to an attorney.

If you cannot afford one, one...

You can skip the
next part Lennie.

Mr. Downing's got a wad of
cash, passport, airline ticket.

Fiji islands.

Open return.

Come on, Robinson Crusoe.

Your Honor, Mr. Downing has
never been in trouble before.

He's pleaded not guilty.
He's entitled to bail.

The defendant
murdered his five-year-old.

He's the child's natural father?

HARWOOD: Yes, Judge. And he
strenuously denies these allegations.

Mr. Downing injected his
son with a deadly bacteria.

Which can't be
connected to Mr. Downing.

CARMICHAEL: We can connect
him to the murder weapon.

A man fitting Mr. Downing's description
was seen where the syringe was discarded.

By a plumber who couldn't
positively ID my client.

Motive, Miss Carmichael.

Mr. Downing was
leading a triple-life.

He was deceiving his
wife, deceiving his mistress,

embezzling money
from his employer.

Yes, but murder
his own son? Why?

CARMICHAEL: Motive isn't
relevant to Mr. Downing's bail status.

He was one step away
from fleeing the country.

He had a ticket to the Fiji
islands in the trunk of his car.

My client's no longer
a flight risk, Judge.

The police have seized his
passport, the ticket, his money...

Except for $350,000 he
probably has stashed somewhere.


The defendant clearly
had his traveling shoes on.

But your murder allegation strains
the imagination, Miss Carmichael.

I hope you have
more for the grand jury.

I'm setting bail. $1,000,000.



He'll plead guilty to
embezzlement, that's it.

With the evidence
you got, that's a gift.

Then the three of us
took a long ride for nothing.

Mr. McCoy,

I didn't murder my son.

JACK: Then who did?

What about Theresa?

You're the one who was
running away from his life.


Okay, I just needed to get
away for a while, think things over.

I was suffocating.

My job, my wife, Theresa.

I just needed to
get out of there.

I'm not defending
that part of it.



Murder two. Maximum time.
We throw in the embezzlement.

Can't do it.

See you both in court.

Oh, you may never
get to court, Mr. McCoy.

You've got a grand
jury to worry about first.

Downing can't raise $1,000,000.

He's not going anywhere.

For the next six days.

If we don't indict
him by then...

You've got a bigger
problem than bail.

Judge Fraser
nailed it on the head.

If we can prove
Downing injected his son,

we don't have to
explain his motive.

You're positive it
can't be someone else?

We exhausted the
other possibilities.

It's not a terrorist, it's not
his wife or his girlfriend.

Everything lines
up against Downing.

ADAM: You have a smoking gun?

Circumstantial evidence.

evidence of intended flight.

Downing made inquiries
about buying a restaurant in Fiji.

He was cashing out of his life.

We can sell it, Adam.

But first he injects his
son with a little bacteria?

he'd leave his wife, not his son.

It doesn't make sense.

We still have six days

to present our case to the grand
jury before Downing's ROR'd.

If you can't convince me how
are you gonna convince them?

What do you know
about his background?

Middle class, grew up
in Meriden, Connecticut.

Uh, majored in Biology at Brown,
couldn't get into med school.

Explains his
interest in microbes.

JACK: Now he's counting
beans for an HMO.

And stealing them.

Any history of abusing his son?

Nothing. The parents at the
pre-school say Downing's a great father.

What's he do for fun?

His wife said he loved to
golf, but he quit that cold turkey.

Came home drunk once in a while.

He used to run in the mornings,

but he gave that up to
shack up with the girlfriend.

You want an educated guess?

Sounds like a guy whose whole life
turned out to be one huge disappointment.

Stuck in a boring job,

feels like he settled
when he married his wife.

I know a lot of
guys feel that way.

His whole life's a compromise.

The embezzlement
and the mistress tell me

he's groping for another
strategy to get by.

By blowing off everything
and heading for Fiji.

Jimmy Buffett syndrome.

Pure fantasy, escapism.

Yeah, everybody daydreams.

But murdering your own son...

He probably thinks
he did him a favor.

Saved him from
life's inevitable pain,

disappointments and betrayals.

So Downing's sullen, selfish...

It's more than a
personality flaw.

To do what he did, you
have to be one sick bastard.

Like that guy in California,

torched his kid rather
than lose custody.

"I love you so much
I have to kill you."

You think he has a
viable psychiatric defense?

Viable, I don't know.

If he's been in
therapy a few years,

his lawyer would have a
platform for an argument.

Aaron would never
go near a psychiatrist.

I had to drag him into
marriage counseling.

Anyway, he quit
after four months.

What prompted you
to go in the first place?

Well, he was having
a mid-life crisis.

He hated his job,

he hated how we lived.

Did it get any worse?

The same.

I just thought he was moody.

I mean, I didn't know.

You ever get any hint he
might do something violent?

No. Maybe if he'd murdered me.

At our sessions, I was
usually the scapegoat.

The scapegoat for what?

For Aaron's unhappiness.

He, um...

He said I didn't
stimulate him anymore.

You know, that he'd
married the wrong person.

That I'd trapped him in
this empty, materialistic life.

Did he ever blame your son?


No. He and Ryan
were the victims.

There is something he said once.

Aaron knew I wanted
to have another child.

A few months ago, I was late.

And Aaron got this
look of panic on his face.

He told Dr. Newman, "What's
the point in having more kids?

"They're just going to
grow up miserable like me."

Aaron said kids were better
off never seeing the light of day.

He murdered his boy
because he was depressed?

He's the man in the
gray flannel suit, Adam.

With a syringe in his pocket.

When I'm in the dumps, I have a
scotch and put on Louis Armstrong.

Downing had his back
up against the wall.

He couldn't stay,
he couldn't leave.

Make sure this
crackpot doesn't get out.

Can you connect
him to the bacteria?

Every supply house has
accounted for its shipments.

Except the Allgen Corporation.

They're stalling.

Or stonewalling.

They mailed the stuff to
Downing, they won't come clean.

Go easy. We need
their cooperation.

You don't have a
case without them.

JACK: We're putting Paula Downing
in front of the grand jury tomorrow.

Mr. Downing said
some things in therapy

that should convince
them he's capable of this.

We can indict him by the end of
the week, we can keep him locked up.

Thank you. That should
solve our 18080 problem.

Motion to exclude Paula
Downing from the grand jury.

Hearsay? Privilege.


Any statements my client
made are protected by privilege.

The defendant's wife can't reveal her
husband's confidential communications.

Marital privilege doesn't
apply. A third party was present.

The third party was a
licensed psychologist.

If there's no marital privilege, then
the doctor-patient privilege applies.

We're not calling the doctor.

What difference does that make?

You're calling the wife to breach the
confidentiality of the therapy session.

JACK: Her presence
defeats the privilege.

There was no
private communication

between Mr. Downing
and his doctor.

Your Honor, Mr. McCoy's playing
games here with rules of evidence.

He's using one privilege
to defeat the other.

It's defense counsel
who's playing games.

He's trying to use the rules of
evidence to shield a murderer.

Gentlemen, gentlemen, look.

The law should encourage
troubled couples to seek counseling.

What they say in therapy isn't
fair game for subsequent litigation.

Mrs. Downing's testimony is out.

But he said my son
was better off dead!

JUDGE: Please sit
down, Mrs. Downing.

You killed him, you son of
a bitch, you killed my baby!

JUDGE: Take her out.

You killed my baby!


That's it? I can't testify?

We can take another
shot with the trial judge.

You said if you can't indict
him the judge will let him out.

In or out, we'll get him.

He's going to jail.

He'll run, Mr. McCoy.

I hope you have
some way to stop him.

What do you want to do, Jack?

Go to the grand jury
with what we have?

Not until we can prove
he ordered the bacteria.

It's time to play
hard ball with Allgen.

Well, every time I call,
they refer me to their lawyer

and he's always with a client.

Let's drop a subpoena on them.

Let's get their attention.

I don't understand the problem.

All we need is a few shipping
documents and a clerk for an hour.

I'm sorry, it can't be done.

Allgen was served
with a subpoena.

You don't have a choice.

Actually we do. We're
moving to quash.

On what grounds?

The board of directors
needs a little more time

to consider the legal
ramifications of...

Double talk.

I want the documents in
this office 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

These decisions can't
be made overnight.

What's wrong with you people?

Either you sold Downing
the bacteria or you didn't.

It's not that simple.

It's about money, isn't it?

Are you afraid of being sued?

Not at all, Mr. McCoy. It's just
a matter of corporate procedure.

JACK: Or corporate arrogance.

You people mail bacteria
all around the country,

you have to answer for it.

I'm not the company, Mr. McCoy.

I just work for them.



We just ran out of time.

I'm moving for
my client's release.

JUDGE: Do the people
have an indictment

on either the murder
or the embezzlement?

No, Judge. We're
moving to extend 18080.


Exceptional circumstances. We
have an uncooperative witness.

The people need time to secure the
witness's attendance in the grand jury.

The witness is Allgen.

My client shouldn't sit
in jail while Mr. McCoy

wrestles with corporate America.

Is that it, Mr. McCoy?

If Mr. Downing is
released, he intends to flee.


Judge, I know
my responsibilities.

I'm not gonna run
from my responsibilities.

They took my passport
and my plane ticket.

Mr. Downing has
$350,000 stashed away.

I loved Ryan.

Ryan was my boy.

Aaron. Please.

JUDGE: I'm sorry, Mr. McCoy,
but the statute is clear.

You don't have an
indictment. My hands are tied.

Mr. Downing,

you're released on
your own recognizance.

However, I suggest that
you stay very close to home.

I had the police put
a car on Downing.

They can't watch him forever.

You need to get him behind bars.

still ignoring our subpoena.

Since Downing was released,

they even managed to push
back their motion to quash.

They know how to
play the four corners.

I've had enough
of their stall tactics.

Downing takes off,
they're responsible.

We can start a
contempt proceeding.

What they've done is
more than contempt.

They're complicit and
now they're covering up.

ADAM: Planning on charging
them as accomplices?

Why not? They send out
V.R.S.A. at the drop of a hat.

No verification. No bona fides.

It's harder to get penicillin.

A tactic to get the
documentation you need.

You never learn, do you?

This is not a tactic, Adam.

They sent V.R.S.A.
to a murderer.

One of their products
gets in the wrong hands,

there'll be 10,000
Ryan Downings.

Good luck.

We can charge Allgen with

criminally negligent homicide
in the death of Ryan Downing.

It's an E felony.

What about manslaughter?

Reckless homicide?

Allgen makes two phone calls,
they find out he's not a doctor.

Ryan Downing's
in school tomorrow.

Or his father would've found
another way of killing him.

We go for manslaughter.

I'll draw up a search
warrant for Allgen.

Worst case scenario, we get the
documents we need to nail Downing.

Anything interesting?

Allgen's sales records
indicate they sold

17 units of V.R.S.A.
in the last year.

But we could only
find 16 order forms.

Yeah. They sanitized their
files before we could get to them.

That the corporate
minutes? Yeah.

Thank you.

Huh. At a board meeting
last year, an Allgen VP

opposed the company's
sales polices as being too lax.

Hyram Jenkins.

(SOFTLY) Jenkins.

Here. Jenkins left
the company last year.

Golden parachute?

Hmm. Three weeks
accrued vacation pay.

No wristwatch?

A lab in Pakistan wants a small
amount of anthrax precursor.

It's got legitimate
research applications.

Allgen should have put the
order under a microscope.

Why is that?

It turned up in the hands
of an Iraqi national in Paris.

That really sent a
shiver down my spine.

When I asked the
obvious questions,

the company honchos laughed.

Laughed about what?

I suggested a protocol for
handling pathogen orders.

Routine credential checks.
Interface with law enforcement.

Waiting periods for
the really nasty stuff.

All sounds reasonable.

They did a
cost/benefits analysis.

My suggestions
were too expensive.

Cut into company profits.

Buyers would go
to the competition.

When I took it to the
president of the company,

they let me go.

They fired you and you
didn't complain to anyone?

That would look really
good on my resume.

I got a wife and kids.

Besides, who
would I complain to?

I know 26 people who
would love to listen.

Let's block some time
on the Downing grand jury.

Your Honor, the president
and CEO of Allgen

have interrupted their busy
schedules, waived extradition,

and traveled here at their own
expense to answer this frivolous charge.

The manslaughter
charge is not frivolous.

It's a ploy by the district attorney
to get document production

on the Downing murder case.

Allgen's lax customer
screening policies

caused Ryan Downing's death.
These men should be held responsible.

Can you make out
the charge Mr. McCoy.

Allgen's behavior was reckless.

They refused to adopt safeguards
in their distribution of bacteria.

It caused Ryan Downing's death.

The boy's father injected
him with a bacteria, not Allgen.

If Allgen hadn't sent V.R.S.A. to Mister
Downing, his son would be alive today.

Mr. McCoy can't even say for sure
that the bacteria came from the company.

JACK: Allgen has
never denied it.

There's a V.R.S.A. order
that's unaccounted for.

If you're moving to
dismiss, Mr. Axtell, forget it.

Arraign the defendants on
the manslaughter indictment.


Mr. McCoy,

do you really think
you can prove this?

Hyram Jenkins
is ready to testify.

You risked thousands of lives to
put a few dollars in your pockets.

This is just about
the Downing child.

Yeah, only one dead little boy.

Does that help you sleep better?

We'll sleep better when we get
the hell out of your jurisdiction.

JACK: If you
don't get jail time.

I'm going to paint the jury a picture
of a boat cruising down the Hudson,

spraying Allgen's
products into the wind.

Maybe we can
dispose of this quietly.

What do you have in mind?

Downing's V.R.S.A. order.

Maybe we can locate it.

We do, and we're off the hook?

Not quite.

You plead down to
negligent homicide.

No jail. JACK: No jail.

Mr. Buckner?

You'd make a good
businessman, Mr. McCoy.

And what was that all about?

You just dealt a C
felony down to an E.

We got the documents we
need to prosecute Downing.

You made a devil's
bargain to get them.

Or I killed two
vultures with one stone.

Let's get the Downing
jury off its ass.

The only V.R.S.A. shipment to the
New York area in the past 12 months.

It just turned up.

Filed in our
archives by mistake.

Faxed order form.

Under the name of
Medical Diagnostic Labs.

Probably phony.

On Allgen's invoice

to a private mailbox
on 28th street.

I'll send Briscoe and Curtis
over there with Downing's photo.

Your Honor, my clients don't
want to belabor this matter.

Without admitting any
specific wrongdoing,

they would like to
enter guilty pleas

to the lesser included offense

of criminally
negligent homicide.

You've secured
Mr. McCoy's approval?

Yes, Judge.

The plea's accepted.

Defendants waive a
pre-sentence report?

It's my understanding that
the maximum fine is $10,000.

Or double the profits
from the criminal conduct.

Right. Which comes to about $18.

JACK: I'm asking the court
to fine the Allgen corporation

twice their corporate profits

for as long as they've
been selling V.R.S.A.

That's five years'
profits. $11,000,000.

Your Honor, we are
being sandbagged.

The only promise on
sentence was no jail.

Right, but that's not what
double the profits means.

Read the statute.
Penal law section 80.

Point ten. I know where it is.

Then you have no
reason to complain.

interpretation, Mr. McCoy.

Allgen doesn't have
that kind of cash.


Yes. Then the court
can appoint a receiver

to run the company
until the fine is recouped.

He can't be serious.

Well, if he's not, I am.

This is outrageous.

Submit a list of candidates
for receivership, Mr. McCoy.

I'll take the matter of
sentencing under advisement.


Home field advantage, Mr. McCoy.

Let's see how
you do on the road.

The grand jury voted
murder two on Downing.

Call the police, have
them pick him up.

I just got this.

A federal restraining order?

Mmm-hmm. Prohibiting Judge Schreiber
from imposing sentence on Allgen.

They must've raced their
limos over to US District Court.

Jack, it's just a temporary
restraining order.

The good news is we
indicted Aaron Downing.

A clerk in the mailbox
store recognized him.

You have him back in custody?

Police are on their way.

Allgen dodged the bullet.

Let it go.

Companies make business
decisions everyday that kill people.

Spend a few bucks more on a
brake assembly, save a hundred lives.

A car is not a deadly weapon.

Do we prosecute the gun
manufacturers for shooting deaths?

Well, maybe we should.

Hiding behind a corporate logo doesn't
absolve these people of responsibility.

Where does it end?

The paper mill that makes the boxes that
holds the bullets lock up the criminals.

Let the legislators
and the civil juries

worry about the other nonsense.


Downing sniffed out
the arrest and took off.

He's been spotted in New Jersey.

JACK: The airport?

At the Eden motel in Secaucus.

Curtis wants us
to meet him there.

Route three. West
of the Turnpike.

You can see it from the highway.

Hudson county
PD spotted his car.

Clerk said he checked
in two hours ago.

Alone? He's in number four.

Well, it ain't Fiji.

Send your materials
to Paula Downing.

She has a civil
suit against Allgen.

They've got a battalion
of lawyers on their side.

Allgen'll wear her down.
They'll walk away from this.

Just like Aaron Downing.

Not quite.

Got that Louis
Armstrong record handy?