Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 13 - Phobia - full transcript

Did a baby's biological father kill one of the baby's adoptive parents in order to get him back, or because of his outrage that the child was adopted by a homosexual couple?

In the criminal justice system

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups,

the police
who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.

He's 27 years old, Lorraine.

Why would he even want
to move back in with us?

Evan, he lost his job
He needs us.

He can't hold down a job because
he thinks he's God Almighty.

Oh, Evan.

Good Lord!

LORRAINE: Oh, my God.

I know his name's Bradford,
I know he lives on seven,

and I know he has a baby.

What about his wife?

He lives with another man.

They're a couple.
You know.

Gay couple?

What've ya got?

Well, there's no sign of bullet
wounds, no sign of stab wounds.

From the bruises, it looks
like he got beaten to death.

Hey, what happened?

BRISCOE: Come here.
Let him through.

Who are you?

Deliver seltzer
to the building.

People still order that stuff?
Oh, yeah.

How long you been there?

About five minutes.

You know this guy?

Nope. Not a
customer of mine.

Detective, something you
need to see over here.


Get CSU down here.

Still warm.

Let's hope the kid is.

What kind of seizures?

Birth mother was a drug addict.

Dylan has neurological

That's why they
allowed us to adopt him.

He's on medication. If he
doesn't get it, he could...

It could be really bad.
You've gotta find him.

How old is Dylan?

A year and a half. He'll
be two in the summer.

And when was the last time you
saw Brad and the baby together?

This morning, when I
left for the office.

How did you and
Brad come to get a baby?

We started out
as foster parents.

And then when the birth mother
put him up for adoption,

we adopted him.
I adopted him.

Why just you?

Agencies aren't generally
too thrilled about

letting gay couples adopt.

Just to get this
out of the way Mr. Albers.

Uh, where were you
this afternoon.

I was in my office
until about noon.

And then I had a meeting
at the Conde Nast Building

until about 4:00, and that's
where I was when I got the call.

Can you think of anybody
we should be talking to?

Anybody we know
who might have done this?

BRISCOE: Anybody who
might have done it.

Anybody who might
know who did it.

I can't imagine anyone.

Who would kill Brad?

Who would take our little boy?

I'd say Albers isn't a suspect.

And from what he tells us,
it isn't anybody they know.

All indications are it's
a kidnapping for ransom.

Well, we have
a trap on the phone.

There's one more thing.
From what Albers said,

this baby is prone to seizures.

Now, I wouldn't count on whoever
took him knowing what to do.

It's already been one day.

Yeah? The neighbors
didn't give you anything?

No. Most of them were
either out or at work.

We talked to one woman
who said she heard

arguing in the
courtyard around 2:30.

Okay, thanks.

We got a ransom call.

Units two and three
in place? Acknowledge.

Unit two.
We're good to go.

Unit three ready and waiting.

Lennie, check him out.

Bike messenger, black,

red jacket, entering the park
west entrance. Acknowledge.

We see him.

He's got it! He's got it!
Let's go!

Black messenger leaving
the park west entrance

with manila envelope.
Don't lose him.

BRISCOE: Units two and three,
subject's approaching a silver sedan.

Let's sit tight and see
what he's up to.

Did the kid hand him something?

I can't tell.

Somebody signal to him?

Yeah, he goes in there, he might
go out the back entrance.

Let's hit him. Grab him!
Let's grab him!

Unit two, check for an
accomplice inside the cafe.

Hit it!

Police! Freeze!

Police! Get down!

Hey! Hey!
What are you doing?

COP: Get down!
Where's the baby?

What baby?

Get him up!

You gave him the money.
What money?

The money you found in that
envelope underneath that bench.

No, no, I didn't
give it to him.

I don't even know
who that guy is.

Where is it? Where is it?
It's in here.


Some guy come up to me outside
the dispatch office, okay.

He said he'd give me 50 bucks if I'd
pick up an envelope and bring it here.

He's supposed to be where
that guy is, only he ain't.

My wife goes in
for a couple of lattes,

this guy comes up to me and asks
me if I saw somebody in a van.

Did you?

Well, when I came in, there
was some guy in a blue van.

What kind of van?
I don't know.

It was a beat up van. The back
doors were tied with rope.

There was a motorcycle
fork sticking out,

plus he had some
kind of vanity plates.

What did they say?

Uh, the second part said MNKY.

I forget what the
first part said.

You remember anything
about the driver?

No! Could you get me out of
these handcuffs, please?

I told you not to

ED: We're checking
motorcycle repair shops.

What about the plate?

Lennie's on it with the DMV.

They're giving me conflicting
descriptions, as usual.

We got 42 possibilities
from the DMV,

but only one that traces
to a motorcycle shop.


Is that him?
Is this the guy?

Anybody you recognize?


All right.
We'll keep you posted.

Mr. Albers,
I'm Lieutenant Van Buren.

Where are they going?

They're still working the case.

Why was the money not paid?

We've yet to make
contact with your son.

Because you scared him off.

Someone must have
figured out you were cops.

We've got a good lead
on finding this man.

I should have been allowed to
do this the way I wanted to.

You guys should've been
nowhere near that park.

We're going to get
your son back to you, sir.

Who knows if he's even alive?

This could be anybody. It
could be my brother, Ernie.

Is it your brother, Ernie?

You know what I'm saying.

Hey, it's a ratty blue van
with vanity plates.

The last four letters MNKY.

First three letters HSE?

You tell us.

Look, you guys
come into my shop,

you throw your weight
around You want answers,

you tell me.
What's this about?

Okay, here's an explanation.

Shielding a murderer
is a felony.

Who is it?

(SIGHS) It's Hose Monkey.
It's Burdick's van.

Who's Burdick?

Gene Burdick.
He's one of my mechanics.

He here today?

He's at his other job today.

Which is what?

Delivering seltzer.

You can do yourself
a world of good

by telling us
where that kid is, Gene.

Look, I don't know where the kid is.
You made the ransom call,

but you don't know
where the kid is?

What makes you think
I made the ransom call?

Are you playing games with us?
I'm not playing any games.

'Cause there's a missing kid, and
if you're playing games with us,

you're gonna wake up with some
aches and pains in the morning.

Hey, guys...
Okay, come on, come on.

Come on.

Look, I was delivering seltzer
on the West Side, okay.

Call Benny Renko in Queens.
He's my boss.

You can check the schedule.

We saw you at the crime scene
a little after the murder.

Because it's my building. I'm there
every Tuesday between 3:00 and 4:00.

Before that, I'm at the
Dakota and the Apthorp.

Talk to my customers. I didn't
take that kid, I swear.

Who did, then?

I don't know who did.

Okay, you didn't personally do
the kidnapping or the murder.

Maybe you can make
yourself a little deal.

But first you have to tell
us where the kid is,

and you have to tell us now!

I don't know where the kid is.

I suppose you're gonna tell us

you didn't make
the ransom call again.

I made the ransom call,
all right.

All right? But I'm
working two jobs, man

and I'm in hock
up to my eyeballs.

I saw an opportunity to make a
score and I took it, that's all.

How'd you get onto us
at the cafe?

I got a scanner
rigged up in my van.

It sounded like Desert Storm
was going down and I took off.

How'd you know where to
make the ransom call?

I used to deliver
to those guys.

A couple of rich fruits
with a kid.

When I saw the guy was dead,

I figured the other one would fork over
the money, and that would be that.

You figured he'd pay the money,
he wouldn't get his kid back,

and nobody would come
looking for you?

His alibi checks out.

Well, what kind of idiot
arranges to pick up ransom money

in a van with vanity plates?

An idiot whose vanity
plates read Hose Monkey.

Well, in the meantime, we haven't gotten
a single legitimate ransom demand.

The question is whether whoever
did this did it for ransom.

Well, has Children's Services
sent over Dylan's file yet?

No. You know how
organized they are.

Well, get over there
and put a fire under them.

Mother was an 18-year-old heroin
addict, father listed as unknown.

She gave the child up?

Initially, we took
the child away.

A neighbor called, said the
baby had been crying for days.

We went over, found the baby
malnourished, dehydrated, the works.

Mother was a waitress, but
she had a $200 a day habit.

What's her name?

Celia Goddard.

The boy was placed on foster
care with Donald Albers.

He formally adopted him
seven months later.

And Goddard signed off
on the adoption?

She was thrilled to
get him off her hands.

BRISCOE: Have you heard
from her since then?

About two months ago
she came in.

She had gotten out of the
hospital, gotten out of rehab.

She was clean for
about a year and a half.

And she wanted her baby back.

Girls don't give up on fairy-tales
just because they don't come true.

What'd you tell her?

That her son had a serious medical
condition that required fulltime care

and expensive medication.

Things she could never provide.

She didn't believe me until I
showed her the medical records.

I bet that took the
wind out of her sails.

Not at all.

She said she'd get another job,

somehow scrape together enough
money to cover his medical bills.

Sol reminded her that her son
had been legally adopted.

She had signed the papers.

She had 45 days to rescind.

She hadn't. Hey,
my hands were tied.

Celia Goddard.

Address unknown.

What does she say
about the medication?

Because of the mother's drug
use while she was pregnant,

the baby suffered
neurological damage.

They give him Phenobarbital
for seizures.

Does the mother know that?

Case worker showed her
the medical file

when she came looking
to get the baby back.

If she was involved
in the kidnapping,

chances are she'd make sure
she had the medication.

ED: Looks like we're
canvassing pharmacies?

Well, I'll get some people
checking hospitals just in case.

All right.

I have all these people
waiting for prescriptions.

Can you maybe come back later?

Hey, we've been in nine pharmacies
looking for a missing child.

The people that are waiting are just
going to have to wait a little longer.

What's the name?

The child's name
is Dylan Mandel.

The prescription's
for Phenobarbital

or something similar
in a child's dosage.


We don't know
who the pediatrician is.

Oh, okay, here we go.

Um, Phenobarbital.

Um, someone from Dr. Kwai's
office called in a prescription

for Joey Powers two days ago.

Could be an alias.

Anybody else?

Um, sorry.

Who picked it up?
Susan Powers.

You got an address?

She only gave a phone number.

All right, we'll take that.

This is it?

This is the address.

Can I help you?

Yeah, we're looking
for Susan Powers.

No one by that name here.

You own the place?

No, I just work here.

Is it possible there's a
Susan working another shift?

I know all the people
working here.

There's no Susan.
What's this about?

ED: Why is there a Susan on
the emergency contact list?

I don't know. She must be
a friend of the owner's.

Call the number.

Can you please tell me
what this is about?

A missing person.


Hello, is Susan there?

It's the police!

They hung UP

All right, call communications

and turn that number around,
and let's get a squad car

for the employee
of the month here.

Whoever it was,
he left in a hurry.

"Remember, other's safety
depends on your discretion."

"The buddy system applies
whenever you leave the building."

"Never give out our phone
number or address."

Let's find out whose
name is on the lease.

My client runs an
underground rail road

for abused women
and their children.

They hide them from abusive
husbands and boyfriends,

relocate them if necessary.

That's all I'm willing
to disclose.

This isn't about domestic
violence, Ms. Essex.

It's about murder
and kidnapping,

and we think
your client's involved.

Have you seen this child,
Ms. Powers?

Women come to me believing
their confidence will be kept.

Do they ever lie?

I don't know if they ever lie.

If the woman who came to you with
this child said she was running away

from an abusive husband,
she was lying.

And if you're harboring her,
you're committing a felony.

How do I know this isn't a ruse to
reunite a child with an abusive father?

Women like this who need help

are turned away by the police,

sent back to their husbands.

My dealings with the
police have been a joke.

Well, you haven't dealt
with me, Ms. Powers.

We have no choice, Susan.

A woman named Chris
Matthews came to us.

Or at least that's
what she called herself.

She had a child with her.

Is that who you
got the prescription for?

A pediatrician I know
called it in.

Did he have a seizure?

No, it was for
precautionary reasons.

And where are they now?

After you raided our safe
house Chris was terrified.

She gave the baby
to a friend of hers.

I didn't ask for a name.

I figured the fewer
details I knew the better.

And the woman
you knew is Chris?

She said she had to leave town.

She had no money, no car.

I bought her a
bus ticket this afternoon.

Where to?

The 3:30 to Peekskill.

It's 3:15.

Sorry for the
interruption, folks.

This'll just take a second.

Ms. Goddard, we're gonna
need you to come with us.

Say you couldn't find me.

Where's the baby?

I'm going to be a really great
mother, and that's the truth,

and if you'll just say you couldn't
find me, everything will be fine.

If you don't get up and walk,

we're going to
carry you out of here.

Where is the child,
Ms. Goddard?

Somewhere safe.

Let's go.

Just because you're
the biological mother,

that doesn't make you any less
guilty of kidnapping or murder.

I didn't commit murder.

Then who did?

I don't know who did.

Look, your fingerprints
were on that stroller,

which puts you at the scene.

You ain't walking
away from this.

I don't have to say anything.

You took that baby from the
only parents he's ever known.

He's probably scared out
of his wits right now,

wondering where the hell he is.

Is that what you want?

That baby is my son.

Not according to the law.

Well, I don't care
about the law.

I gave birth to him, he's mine.

There isn't anybody in the world who
cares more about him than I do.

I think the man who adopted
him might disagree.

Well, how fair was it that
they made me sign him away

when I was in the
state that I was in?

How fair was it to the kid
that you were in that state?

I know okay?
I was sick.

I was so strung out,
I would've signed anything,

I would've done anything.

God, you don't even know
the things that I did.

This was the worst.

All right, you say
you're his mother.

Then why don't you
start acting like it?

Tell us where the baby is.

Let us make him safe.

ED: We're going to
find out either way, Celia.

Well, then I guess you're just
going to have to do that.

Celia had to
have an accomplice.

Bradford Mandel was a big guy.
He worked out.

There's no way she could have
beat him to death by herself.

Any candidates?
Not that she's saying.

The police questioned her for three hours.
They didn't make a dent.

There must be someone who can
tell us something about her.

Friends, boyfriends.

We know there's at least
one person in her life

she was willing to
trust with her kid.

Her mom. Briscoe and
Green are with her now.

I tried to visit her in that
place, but the people there said

that it would be better if
I waited till she got out.

I did try, though.

How about since she's been out?

Well, she came by
with a friend for a visit.

She was completely
off the drugs.

I was so glad to see that.

How long ago was that?

Last summer.

Does she have any
sisters or brothers?

Any other relatives
she's close to?

No. And her father died
when Celia was 12.

It's been just the two
of us since then.

And you haven't seen her
since last summer?

No, I haven't.

BRISCOE: Any reason?

Mother-daughter stuff.

I haven't been able
to stop thinking about

the baby that she gave up.

I know it's selfish.

I know all the experts agree that
children are much better off

being adopted
in these situations.

But I would have been so happy
to have provided a home.

And if things had worked out...

She never asked you?

She just...

She just marched down there and
signed her name on the dotted line,

and she wouldn't
listen to anything I said.

I'm sorry.
He was my grandson.

You said that she was with a friend
the last time she came by here?


Um, Terry somebody.

Do you know how we can
get in touch with her?

Yes, she left me her number

in case I needed
to reach Celia.

I've got it in the other room.

You gave your number
to Celia's mother

and now you say you don't
know where she is?

What are you feeding us?

The truth.
Look, Ms. Kurasik,

we got a very sick
little baby out there.

If we don't find him soon,
I'm gonna hold you

personally responsible.
You got my word on that.

I told you, I don't know.

I haven't spoken
to Celia in six months.

And you have absolutely
no idea where this baby is?

No, I don't.

I swear.

When we were in rehab,

Celia'd go on and on about
wanting to get her kid back,

and I thought it was just talk.

Did she tell you how
she planned to do this?

She didn't know.

I wanted to be supportive, but I
didn't want her to get her hopes up.

I told her the main thing

that she needed to be thinking
about was not using drugs.

And beyond that, she'd have
to give it over to God.

You have any idea who she might
go to for help besides God?

When we both got out and I
could tell she was serious,

I sent her to see this
lawyer that I know.

When I asked her how it went,
she seemed pretty positive.

He told her what to do
and she was doing it,

and she didn't want to talk
about it until she was done.

Where's this lawyer?

It's been almost four days, Mr. Vaylor.
Time is running out.

I hope that you won't give me any
problems on confidentiality.

You know as well as I do that
kidnapping is an ongoing crime

that vitiates privilege.

I could fight it, tie you
up in court for a few days.

You could.

But you won't.

She wanted to overturn
the adoption,

get her child back
and raise him herself.

I told her it was too late.

The only party with standing
to challenge the adoption

was the biological father,

and that was only because
he never received notice.

She knew who
the biological father was?

Yeah. She just didn't
know where he was.

He used to work at a building
site next to the place

where she waitressed,
and then he moved on.

I offered to try and find him.

She said it would be better
if she did it herself.

The construction company that
employed the father of your child

gave us this list.

It contains 307 names.

One of them's his.

We're going to go through that list,
name by name, and track him down.

So what do you want from me?

We want to know
where your child is now.

The child's fine.

You don't really know that.

You haven't had any
contact with him in days.

He could be sick.
He could be hurt.

JACK: We find him on our own, we
don't need your help anymore.

You'll stand trial for
murder and kidnapping,

and you'll go to prison
for a very long time.

What are you offering?

Provided she played no active
role in the victim's death

and she testifies at trial,

she'll probably be able to walk
away with community service.

But maybe the jury'll
find me not guilty.

I'm a pretty good trial
lawyer, Ms. Goddard.

I don't get surprised
that often.

Under the circumstances, Celia.

I'd be hard pressed to
advise you not to cooperate.

I have to do what's
right for my son.


Can you actually
look me in the eyes

and tell me you're not
worried about your baby?

He's with his
birth father, isn't he?

That's why you're concerned.

Celia, your son is in
the hands of a murderer.

He beat a man to death
in front of you,

in front of your child.

I didn't know what else to do.

Now you do.
Help us find him.

RADOS: Maybe
there's a possibility

of being involved in your
son's life in some way.

Is that a possibility?

That'll be up to
Mr. Albers.

You'd probably have a better chance
of being involved in his life

not being in prison
for 20 years.

There's a house in Peekskill.

That's where they are.

BRISCOE: Mr. Kelley?

New York City detectives.

We have a warrant
for your arrest

and a warrant to
search the premises.


Somebody bring a blanket.

Hey, baby bear. Come on,
come on, baby bear.

There's a bottle in the fridge

and a stuffed animal
he really likes in his crib.

Thank you for my son.

"Docket 31602,
People v. Robert Kelley."

"One count each,
Murder in the Second Degree,"

"Kidnapping in the
Second Degree."

JUDGE: How does the
defendant plead?

Not guilty.

Ms. Carmichael?

The People seek remand.

Judge, my client doesn't have
as much as a parking ticket.

We request reasonable bail.

Your Honor, the defendant
and an unindicted accessory

took an 18-month-old
child from his parents.

When one of the parents resisted,
he was beaten to death.

First arrest or not, the nature
of the crime warrants remand.

In the first place one
of these so-called parents,

Mr. Mandel, had no legal
relationship with the child.

Ms. Carmichael?

Irrelevant to bail app, Judge.

Mr. Mandel was
the homosexual lover

of the child's adoptive father.

An adoption that was procured
without the consent of my client,

the child's natural father.

Your Honor, before his murder,

Mr. Mandel had applied
for a second parent adoption.

A second adoption is no
more legal than the first.

JUDGE: That's enough.
As I understand it

this is a bail hearing,
not an adoption hearing.

Defendant is remanded.

This guy's gonna play the disenfranchised
father card to the hilt.

What are you looking for?

JACK: Murder two
is what he has coming.

We had to drop the kidnapping
because, as a relative,

he has an affirmative defense.

Then why murder two?

'Cause he went looking
for Mandel,

waited for him, beat him up,
and then beat him to death.

The motive being
the return of his son.

Who had been legally adopted
for more than a year.

Whatever one thinks
of two gays being parents.

You're going to be hard pressed to
have a jury come back with murder two.

Whatever it is, it shouldn't
be a slap on the wrist.

See if you can get a plea.

Let's talk to Celia first.

CARMICHAEL: What did he say
when you told him he had a son?

He didn't care.

He thought I wanted money.

What made him care?

Tell them, Celia.

No, it's not fair to Robert I'm
the one that got him into this.

One of the conditions
of your deal is cooperation.

I told Robert that
two gays had him.

I knew that that
would make him care.

This man's son was given up in
an adoption he never knew of.

When he learned of his son's
existence, he responded.

It's how he responded
that concerns us.

Celia Goddard told him
he was the only person

who could overturn the adoption.
She was desperate.

We have Ms. Goddard's statement.
We know what she said.

Then you also know that Mr. Kelley
harbored no intent to kill anyone.

A jury might think otherwise.

JACK: He went there to confront
Mr. Mandel physically.

Disputed custody situations
are always very heated.

This was a situation that
got away from everybody.

I had a right to know my child.
To hold him.

Bob, please. JACK: Whatever
rights you may have had,

they didn't extend
to kidnapping and murder.

Let's stop talking in terms of murder.
It's man two.

He does a deuce.

The M.E. says Mr. Mandel was beaten
to death after he was helpless.

Murder two.

Based on what?
Do you have a witness?

Celia Goddard.

That's just "he said,
she said."

This is the best he can expect.

We all know what was
behind this murder.

He pleads to murder two,
15-to-life now,

or we go to trial on man one
with a bias crime charge

and he could be
looking at more time.

Bias crime? That's absurd.
Mr. Kelley didn't hate homosexuals.

He loves his son.

Offer's on the table.

Your call.

We'll take our
chances in court.

I was in pretty bad shape
when I met Robert.

I was using heroin.

Robert tried to help me.

I wasn't ready.

Did you have a relationship
with Mr. Kelley?

Yes. I became pregnant.

I knew I couldn't
take care of the baby.

So I arranged for his adoption.

JACK: At some point
did you change your mind?

After I got out of the
hospital I went into rehab.

That first year was the
hardest year of my life.

What kept me going,
what made me

not run away and start using
again and not kill myself

was remembering
that I had this son,

this person that I had...

That I'd carried inside me and

given birth to.
He kept me alive.

JACK: What happened after
you got out of rehab?

CELIA: I went to see
a case worker

and then I talked to a lawyer.

I found out that
the only person

who could challenge
the adoption was Robert.

And why was that?

Because I never
told him about it.

I never told him
I was pregnant.

Did you get in touch with him?


What did you say to him?

I told him he had a son.

What was his reaction?

CELIA: He was distant.

I don't think he ever
considered having kids.

JACK: Did you say something
that made him change his mind?

Answer the question,
Ms. Goddard.

I told him that his son
had been adopted

and that the people who'd
adopted him were homosexuals.

JACK: Was there anything to make you
think the homosexuality of these men

would have an effect
on Mr. Kelley?

Yeah, the way that
he talked about them.

And then there was this incident
when I first knew Robert.

JACK: What was that,
Ms. Goddard?

Robert and a friend picked a
fight with these two gay guys

at the Sheridan Square
subway station.


They were holding hands.

JACK: Would you tell the court
what action you and the defendant

took in effort to
get your child back.

Well, I wanted him to come with
me to the lawyer to make a claim.

But he went to
Mr. Mandel's apartment,

and we hung around
outside the building.

Then we saw Mr. Mandel
coming back from a walk.

Dylan was with him.

JACK: What happened then?

CELIA: Robert followed him
into this courtyard.

He started shouting at the guy.

Mr. Mandel threatened
to call the police.

Then he started to take the
baby out of the stroller,

and Robert grabbed him,
he pushed him away.

Then Mr. Mandel
pushed Robert,

and that's when
Robert punched him,

and Mr. Mandel fell down.

What did Robert do then?

He kicked him.

JACK: How many times?
Once? Twice?

CELIA: (CRYING) I don't know.

What else?

He hit him with his fists.

JACK: How many times?

I don't know.
I'm sorry, Robert.

Did the defendant say anything?

Ms. Goddard, as he was punching
and kicking Mr. Mandel,

did the defendant say anything?

He kept shouting at him.

He kept calling
Mr. Mandel a faggot.

I have nothing further.

Ms. Goddard,

when you got out of drug rehab,

you realized you'd
made a mistake

giving Dylan up for adoption, and you
tracked down Mr. Albers, correct?

Yes. Because you
wanted your son back.

And you would do anything
it took to get him back,

including manipulating
Robert Kelley.

I told him the truth.

It was you who engineered
this whole thing,

was it not,
Ms. Goddard?

Nobody engineered it.
It just happened.

It was you who found
Mr. Albers' address,

it was you who stalked him,

and it was you who inflamed my client's
emotions to achieve your purpose.

Objection. JUDGE: Ask a
question, Ms. Cutler.

You're the one with the
criminal record, Ms. Goddard,

and you expect us to believe
this was Mr. Kelley's idea?

I just wanted my son back.

What do you just want
now, Ms. Goddard?

To say whatever
Mr. McCoy needs you to say

in return for letting
you walk away?


No further questions.

How'd you feel when you found
out you'd fathered a son

who'd been given up for
adoption without your consent?

Like I just went through a few
rounds with Lennox Lewis.

Would you have had a similar
reaction if you'd found out

the adoptive parents
were heterosexual?

Yes. Absolutely.

Are you homophobic,
Mr. Kelley?

What people do in their own
bedrooms is their own business.

What about the incident
in the subway station?

It was just four guys who'd had
a little too much to drink.

That's it. It had nothing to
do with anybody being gay.

What about gay people
raising children?

Well, to tell you the truth,
I'm not thrilled about it.

I think it's wrong to put a
child in that situation.

That's an honest answer.

Ms. Goddard testified

that when she told you about
Dylan you were distant.

Is that a fair statement?


At first, I was numb.

Then I thought,

I had a son.

A son.

What did you do?

Went with Celia to get my kid.

Why didn't you go see a lawyer?

'Cause Celia told me
it wouldn't work.

Did you go there to kill this man
because he was a homosexual?


I went there to
talk it out with him

I thought that he would
listen to reason.

CUTLER: And what happened?

We found Mr. Mandel
with Dylan.

I said, "This is
my child, my son."

Were you shouting?

No. Not yet.

I don't know where
Celia got that from.

And how did Mr.
Mandel respond?

He looked at me
as if I was crazy.

He said, this is his child,
his son.

His and his partner's.

I said, "Don't you think
that the kid"

"would really be better off
with a mommy and a daddy?"

CUTLER: What did he say?

He said, "Check your watch."

"It sounds a decade
or two too slow."

Then he leaned down to pick
up my boy from the stroller,

and Dylan peeked up
at me. He, uh, smiled.

He looked like me.

Is that when you
grabbed Mr. Mandel?


He was going to
take my boy away.

What did he do?

He pushed me.

And all I can think of
was my boy.

I hit him till he fell
and, uh, I kept hitting him.

I'm sorry that he's dead.

I really didn't mean
for that to happen.

No more questions.

Celia Goddard stated that you went
to the building and waited outside?

Yes. What was the plan,
according to you?

To talk to him.

So why did you follow
him into the courtyard?

Why didn't you talk to him
in front of the building,

on a public street?

I thought it would be
better done in private.

What would be
better in private?

Talking to him or beating him?

Talking to him.

Isn't it a fact that when Celia
Goddard told you you had a son,

you weren't numb?

You didn't care about him
or that he was adopted.

No, that's not true.

JACK: In fact, wasn't the only thing that
made you care at all about this child

that you learned that he'd been
adopted by a gay man and his lover?

No, that isn't true.

You followed Mr. Mandel, you
accosted him, you beat him.

He was lying
on the ground unconscious.

You had the boy.
Why didn't you walk away?

I don't know.

I wish I had.

By this time you were
shouting, weren't you?

Yes. So was Celia.

But Celia was shouting
for you to stop, wasn't she?

What were you shouting?

I don't remember.

Celia Goddard says
that you were shouting

"faggot" and
that you kicked him

and went on shouting
until he was dead.

It wasn't like that.

What was it like?

It all happened at once.

Why did you continue
once you had the boy?

Was it that in your mind Brad Mandel wasn't
a parent or a person, but a pervert?

A sick, twisted individual

who had to be stopped from
sexually enslaving a young boy?

Look, if that's what he was doing, then
hell, yes, he needed to be stopped.

Yes. Well, was that
what he was doing?

I didn't mean to kill him.

A rebuttal witness?

On what ground?

They opened the door.

Door to what?

The fitness of homosexuals
as parents is at issue.

Mr. Albers is entitled
to testify to that.

I agree.

I'm going to allow it.

ALBERS: We were like any
other couple with a kid.

"Early to bed,
early to rise..."

The only restaurants we went to

had paper place mats
on the table with crayons.

Whose desire was it to adopt?

At first it was Brad's.

I was happy with
our life the way it was.

Traveling, going out.

I wasn't looking for
anything else.

JACK: So he was the one who
was involved with the child?

ALBERS: At first.

I was scared.

This was a sick child. Don't
forget, his mother was using drugs

while she was pregnant with him, which
left him with all kinds of problems.

And Brad was the one who would
be up all night with him,

warming his formula
and taking his temperature

and singing to him
to get him to go to sleep.

You said "at first."


I guess that's the
thing about kids.

You can only fight
them off for so long.

As much as I imagined
myself to be

this busy important guy out
in the world making money,

doing busy important things,

at a certain point I realized
that all I really wanted to do

was come home
and be with my son.

With Brad and our son.

Thank you.

Mr. Mandel had
a life membership

in a Chelsea gym, did he not?


He get there much?

Yes, he did. He took a lot
of pride in his appearance.

He have much of a temper?

Objection. Irrelevant.

I'm just trying to let the jury
come away with an accurate picture

of what might have
transpired in that courtyard.

I'll allow it.

I'm sure that what was
happening in that courtyard

is that Brad was trying
to protect our child.

You weren't in that
courtyard, Mr. Albers.

And the only question you've
been asked is whether or not

Bradford Mandel had a temper.

Yes, he did.
He had a temper.

When he had to deal
with homophobes

and hate and mean-spirited
people he had a temper.

Does that make him
any less of a victim

than if he'd acted like some
frightened little Cinderella?

Mr. Albers you've
answered the question.

Let's let it go at that.

Look closely at Robert Kelley,
ladies and gentlemen.

He's a man who deserves
understanding and empathy,

and finally to be
found not guilty.

He had the existence of his
child concealed from him.

Then he was pressed into
service by this child's mother

to do what she
couldn't do for herself.

Finally, he was
betrayed by this woman,

who, having used him,
now turned on him.

Robert Kelley accompanied Celia Goddard
in an attempt to get her child back.

Naive? Certainly.

Misguided? That, too.

Not even close.

What we have heard here,
in the way of proof,

is conjecture by a prosecutor,

and the self-serving
declarations of a woman

who cut a deal
to save her own neck.

Based on that, and only that,

are you to conclude
beyond a reasonable doubt

that Bradford Mandel's death

was not the tragic,
unforeseen consequence

of an emotional exchange
between two men,

but rather the result of a planned
attack by a homophobic bully?

See Robert Kelley
for who he is.

A decent law-abiding man,

manipulated into circumstances
that got out of control.

See him for who he is.

A parent, like any other.

See him for who he is,
judge him fairly,

and let him go free.

The central fact in this case

is that the defendant
couldn't stand the thought

of two homosexual
men raising his child.

What this trial is about

is whether that provides
a justification for a killing

or the basis for a bias crime.

Make no mistake,

if you agree with the defense,

what you're saying
is that Bradford Mandel

deserved to die.

That somehow his
beating was justified

because gay couples
have no right to be parents.

That the simple fact
that he was homosexual

justifies homicide.

Because that's what this was.

Not just based on
Celia Goddard's testimony

but on the report
of the Medical Examiner

which states unequivocally that
Mr. Mandel was kicked and beaten to death

long after he was able
to put up any resistance.

When no one else
wanted this baby,

Mr. Mandel
and Mr. Albers did.

When this child was
labeled a drug baby,

only they were courageous
enough to ignore the stigma.

And most importantly,

when this little baby's life
hung in the balance,

it was their love
and their singular devotion

which saved him.

It's that love, they claim justifies
Mr. Mandel's being beaten to death.

I hope you will decide it
deserves better than that.

Has the jury
reached its verdict?


On the charge of Manslaughter
in the First Degree,

we find the defendant guilty.

JUDGE: As to the
special circumstances?

We determine the basis of the
crime to be a hate crime.

Mr. Albers,

I don't know
what to say to you.

I hope that maybe someday
you'll tell Dylan about me.

Just so he knows he has a
mom who cares about him.

I imagine one day
you'll tell him yourself.

Excuse me.