Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 16, Episode 12 - Family Friend - full transcript

After an accountant for the mob is stabbed to death, a corrupt police officer who grew up with the victim takes justice into his own hands. However, pursuing the case could put the officer's other convictions in jeopardy.

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.


Oh, my God. Philip!

Help me! Help!

DOA's Philip Messick, 55.

Guy put up a good fight.

Who called it in?
Upstairs neighbor.

He heard the wife screaming.
How is the wife?

Stabbed multiple times. Circling
the drain at Roosevelt ICU.

They tossed the place
pretty good.

Hey, did the neighbor hear
anything past the screaming?

Yeah. A car screech away.

Robbery gone bad.

Our DOA kept some
interesting company.

The guy he's with in this
picture is John Vitale,

a made member of the Gambinos.

So, we're looking for somebody stupid
enough to rip off a mob associate?

Or cover up a mob hit.

She was in acute hemorrhagic
shock when they wheeled her in.

Thought for sure
we'd be calling it.

Did she say anything at all?

Not to me, but my concern was
getting her on the table.

She was down a liter of blood with
eight deep, penetrating wounds.

But it was her lucky day.

Deep cuts missed the majors.

Well, whoever did this thought they
were tying up all the loose ends.

Well, they didn't.
She's conscious.

Stabilized faster than I thought she would.
That's why I called.

Thank you, Doctor,
we appreciate it.

Just take it easy.
Room's getting crowded.

Who's in there? One of yours.

Got here 20 minutes ago.

Hey, fellows. Bob Cerullo.
Friend of the family.

How you doing, man?
You on the job?

Retired out of the 74.

Listen, if she's able, we'd like
to ask her a few questions.

So, if you can
give us some time...

Can he stay?

Okay. That's fine.

Mrs. Messick, do you know
the men who did this to you?


Did you get a good look at them?

White, twenties.

Did you get
a good look at a face?

One of them, pretty good.

Would you recognize him
if you saw him again?

Do you think that your husband
may have known the men?


Phil was everybody's friend.

They were married 15 years.

You know, maybe she's
not up to this, yet.

We have just one more question,
and we'll be on our way.

Does the name John Vitale
mean anything to you?

They grew up together.

You mean her husband
and John Vitale?

In Bensonhurst.

Johnny wouldn't do this.

Thank you, Mrs. Messick.
We'll be in touch.

You looking at wiseguys
for this?

No, we're just
asking the question.

Phil Messick wasn't hooked up.

Well, why do you suppose he's
hanging around with connected guys?

Like I said, he grew up with
guys who went in that direction.

Other guys went straight.
Like myself.

You two go way back?

Grade school. And if you went
down his block, or mine,

at one house, everybody
went to the police academy.

At the next,
they're all criminals.

My life story.

What did Messick go into?

Accounting. CPA.

He was a square.
A good guy. A decent guy.

List of stolen goods from
the insurance company.

Household electronics, stereo,
computer, flat-panel TV.

Anything past theft for motive?

We're looking into some of his
friends and business associates.

He knew some
very interesting people.

He was an accountant for Kenny
Genovese and John Vitale.

Gambino family,
mid-level workers.

You thinking a possible hit?

With robbery as a cover-up.
It's worth considering.

Well, on the other hand, Messick grew
up with these dudes in Bensonhurst,

and he could have
just been their accountant.

Did he live like a gangster?

He lived decent, not outrageous.

I mean, he's been married
for 15 years,

and most mobsters
don't leave witnesses behind.

Yeah, a witness
they thought they killed.

Listen, go to Messick's funeral.

See who his friends were. And take
Ostrover from Organized Crime.

Ray Antonelli.
He's with the Gambinos.

Used to handle
some loansharking.

But he's out of the game,
to a large extent.

Pauly Wilson. Does
collections up in the Bronx,

under the guise
of running a dry-cleaners.

Quite a send-off
for an accountant.

Messick and the Gambino crew
seem to be pals.

Did you ever hear of him
burning anybody? Anything like that?

We were surprised by the murder.
There was no warning.

The guy in the pinstripes,
on the top of the stairs?

He worked OC for two years.

That's Bob Cerullo. He said he
was a friend of the family.

How friendly do you think
he was with the Gambinos?

He grew up with a lot of
guys that got made.

Gave him an inside edge
when we were tracking dirt.

Hey, do you have any Gambino
associates on the arm?

We're looking for an interaction between
Messick and the Gambino family.

Greg Muggio-

He just got nailed for
running a Ponzi scheme

that cost 1,000 retirees
their life savings.

Where's he locked up?

He's out on bail,
awaiting trial.

But he's inclined to be chatty.

Anything to reduce the time
he knows he's gonna do.

I'm in the rag trade, legit.

When Messick did my returns,
the IRS audits stopped.

Guy was a genius.

A genius at what?
Cleaning dirty money?

Messick was on the up-and-up.

That's why me and
the guys went to him.

And he didn't make any mistakes that
would lead to him getting carved up?

Messick didn't screw up.

He didn't take anybody's money.

He didn't bang the wrong girl.
He didn't rat anybody out.

His murder was a tragedy.

Whoever did it,

you cops better hope
you get to them first.

Hey, hey. Don't
take off your coats.

Messick's stolen property showed
up at a pawn shop on Rivington,

and they found a clean set of bloody prints
that came back to a Darrell Dennehy.

He's got a long sheet, but it's
mostly burglaries and trespassing.

There's nothing violent.

He stepped up his game.

Do you have an address? Bogus.

But his PO's waiting to see you.

All right.

Dennehy's been regular to his
report day the last two weeks.

Failed his drug screen
both times.

No record of employment
or proof of applying for same.

Hey, when's his next visit?

In four hours.
My guess, he'll show.

He knows he has to
pass his drug test.

Three failures means
a bus back upstate.

- Darrell Dennehy? Come here.
- What?

Come here! Whoa. What did I do?

Legs! What did I do?

We'll talk about it
at the station.

Guys, if is this about the
drug test, I got another shot.

You think we came here because
you failed a piss test?

Where were you
Thursday night at 7:00?


Did you hear him? Or was that
question too tough for you?

I don't remember where I was this
morning, let alone Thursday.

Were you on the Upper West Side?

I can't remember that.

Do you know a man named Philip
Messick, or his wife Valerie?

Can't say that I do. No.

Interesting. So, how did your bloody
fingerprint end up on their stereo receiver?

In Messick's blood, no less. Now, how the
hell would a thing like that happen?

I picked that stereo
up off the street.

Hey, that's good answer. So,
maybe you can explain to us

how your shoeprint ended up all over their
brownstone? Was that your evil twin?

You don't have
the sheet of a killer,

and you don't have that
killer look in your eye.

And we know that there were two
of you in that brownstone.

And since we got to you first,

we're gonna give you
first crack at a deal.

But don't tell us any lies,

because that lady that you
slashed eight times, survived.

I didn't touch her.
And I didn't touch the guy.

I was just there to help carry the
heavy stuff. It was just a robbery,

TVs, stereos, and drive the van.

Okay, so what happened?

We started going
through the house,

and this guy comes
out of the bathroom.

And, uh, Jay, he goes nuts.
He goes off on him.


Fleckner. That's the guy
who brought me in on this.

But a robbery.
It was just a robbery.

How much cash?

Five grand.

And now, he's out there spending it
without you. That's a damn shame.

Where do we find Jay?

Cheap piece of garbage.

Blink, I'll put
your brains on the bed.

Put your hands up. Get up.

Awful lot of blood
in that water.

I cut myself shaving.

We're gonna give you plenty of
time to work on that story.

I got nothing to say.
I want a lawyer.

Get him the hell out of here.

Take your time, Mrs. Messick.

Do you
recognize any of these men

as the man who attacked you
in your apartment that night?

Do you need to sit down, ma'am?

Number two.

He's the man who cut me.

Jay Fleckner was remanded. His lawyer
says he's not interested in a deal.

He forget Valerie Messick
lD'd him?

Or the sink full of Messick's
bloody cash in his hotel room?

The lawyer says Fleckner's very
volatile, he doesn't care.

He wants to take his chances.

How are we doing with his
accomplice, Darrell Dennehy?

As far as testifying, he's
questionable credibility-wise.

Still, he was there,
in the house, with Fleckner.

And hopefully, he's been
around the block enough

to know when to deal.

It's Lieutenant Van Buren.

The bloody money
in Fleckner's hotel room

showed trace marks our lab
techs couldn't identify,

so they passed the bills
over to Treasury for analysis.

What did they find?

Well, the bills had been
serialized, watermarked,

and floated by the Feds to track
a money laundering stream.

How did the cash wind up
at Messick's apartment?

The Feds said it was first used
to buy ecstasy from a drug dealer

who had ties to
the Gambino organization.

But, more than likely, it wound
up with Messick for laundering.

Can we prove that?

Well, it's a good guess,
right now.

But either way, the money ties
Jay Fleckner to the victims.

The problem is,
the Feds won't return it.

That money plays
into an investigation.

What kind?

One I'm not at liberty
to discuss.

Then, let's talk about
our investigation.

That money is
key physical evidence

tying Jay Fleckner
to a heinous crime,

and we need to
produce it in court.

I'm sure you've got more than
our money to make your case.

Your money? We recovered it
during our investigation.

There might be some movement
on the case in the next year.

We can talk, then.

You could potentially be helping
a man get away with murder.

This cash has been filtering
through drug rings,

sex-slave operations,
and laundering outfits.

Shutting those down
could prevent 20 murders.

I won't jeopardize that.

The prosecution found
the bills on your client.

The prosecution alleges that the
bills were found on my client,

and that blood traces on them
belong to the victim.

I've read the memo, Mr. Wellman.

It doesn't sound
like trace blood.

The money was described as "in a
bloody bath" when it was found.

Our experts need the opportunity
to challenge the findings.

Mr. McCoy, where is the
actual evidence itself?

It's in Federal hands. We've
written letters to the US Attorney

and the Chief Judge
to mandate its return.

Any time frame as to when that
might happen? Ayear? Ten?

We haven't had any
response yet, Your Honor.

When they're good and ready. That's
the response you can expect.

Which doesn't serve the defendant's
right to a speedy trial.

Unless you can provide access to

at least one bill in a timely
fashion, the money's out.

With your confession and the physical
evidence tying you to the crime scene,

if this goes to trial,
you could expect 25 years.

Or, you testify against Jay Fleckner,
and we're prepared to offer 20.

What's not computing,
Mr. Dennehy?

I don't think I'm interested
in testifying against Jay.


L think I've said
enough already.

It's one thing to say it to
the cops, but on the stand,

him looking at me...

What is this, some sort of
ham-fisted attempt at negotiation?

I don't want any more
to do with putting him away.

Fifteen years.
That's the basement offer.

Nobody told me Messick
was hooked up with the mob.

That's got nothing to do
with your testimony.

I'd be testifying,
front and center,

in a courtroom filled
with Gambino button men.

We'll shield your identity
when you testify.

Yeah? What happens
when it hits the papers?

You can't stop that.

We're talking about ten years
of your life, Mr. Dennehy.

I spent two-thirds of my life locked up.
I can do the time.

But I sure ain't
interested in dying.



Valerie Messick came within a sliver of
losing her life at Fleckner's hands.

She'll have the jury's sympathy.

If she holds up physically.
What's her condition?

On the mend, but she's got some
awful scars on her face and neck.

Still, a one-witness ID.

A witness who is the victim,
and a grieving widow.

Let's make sure her scars
are visible to the jury.

If she's all we've got,
let's make it count.

My husband, Phil,
was lying on the floor.

He was covered in blood.

Was he alive?


I went to his side.

He pointed past me,
and then he died.

What was he pointing at?

Two men down the hallway.

I tried to yell for help, but
that man saw me and attacked me.

Can you tell me
who you're pointing to?

The defendant, Jay Fleckner.

Can you describe
how he attacked you?

He pounced on me.
He pinned me down.

He had a knife in his hand,
and he began slashing at me.

I don't remember much else. I blacked
out, and woke up in the hospital.

No further questions.

Mrs. Messick,

that's a horrible ordeal
you've just described.

But I'm afraid I'm gonna have to take you
back to it just a little while longer.

How would you describe
your emotional state

when you first entered
your house that night?

When you saw
your front door ajar?

You were nervous, weren't you?

Yes. I was a little nervous.

It wasn't like your husband to
leave the door open like that?

No. Phil never
left the door open.

When you came in, you saw your
husband covered in blood.

What would you say your emotional
state was, then? Terrified?




You came in, you saw your
husband in a pool of blood.

Were you crying at that time,
the way you are now?

Yes. I was.

Crying, in a state of
grief and panic.

Tears filling your eyes.

And yet, you were able
to get a good look

at the man who wielded
the knife against you?

A good enough look that you can
say, with absolute certainty,

that your assailant was
the man you identified?

Yes. L think so.

You think so, or you know so? There
is a significant difference.

I'm as certain as I could have
been under the circumstances.

With your vision hampered
by your tears, you mean?

With your husband of 15 years lying
brutally murdered by your side?

Is that what you mean?

Mrs. Messick, please.
I'll ask you again.

Are you 100% positive

that the suspect you identified
is the man who attacked you?


Not 100%.

Yes or no, please.


It all just came rushing back.

Phil is on the ground,
all the blood on him.

I was as confused up there
as I was that night.

But the ID? Were you
certain it was Fleckner

when you saw him
in the police station?

My husband was dying
on the floor in front of me,

covered in all that blood.

And then that man
was on top of me.

I only got a look at
his face for a second.

Did I ruin the case?

You were strong on direct,

but your ID was the only thing
that put Fleckner at the scene.

Without that...

In the matter of
the People v. Jay Fleckner,

on the count of Murder in the
Second Degree, how do you find?

We find the defendant
not guilty.

DOA's got one to the chest.

Jay Fleckner.

Well, what do you know?
There is justice in the world.

The guy who called it in
is the one who shot him.

Where is the shooter?

My client went
to meet Jay Fleckner

with absolutely no intention
of doing him any harm.

Then why don't you tell us
why he did go meet him?

To discuss intimidation
directed toward Valerie Messick

that had gone on
during the trial,

and to make sure
it wouldn't continue.

What kind of intimidation?

You know what, Ernie?
Let me do this, okay?

You ever work a case where you
damn well knew you had the perp,

but it just wouldn't make?
Did you?

Of course.
What did you do about it?

We're not talking about us here, Bob.
We're talking about you.

Did you go visit the guy and
tell him to watch his ass,

'cause if he so much as sniffed
in the wrong direction,

you'd be there to lock him up?

So, he just agreed to meet up with you?
No problem?

I told Fleckner that this had
to be put to bed face-to-face,

and that the only problem he'd
have with me is if he didn't show.

So, what went wrong?

he started to freak out.

He started saying, "This is a setup.
This is an ambush,"

like he was high,

or maybe just crazy.
I don't know.

And who pulled their gun first?

He did.

He put his gun up in my face, which
I talked him into lowering down.

When he did, I punched him as hard
as I could and I made to run.

But he chased me,
and I fell down the stairs.

And when I was on the ground,
I freed my ankle piece

and I told him to
back the hell off,

but he raised up to shoot.

So, I fired.

Did Valerie know about you
meeting up with Fleckner?


You realize we're gonna
have to look into this.


I know.

And you're gonna
find it's a good shoot.

I had no idea Bob planned
to go meet Fleckner.

And if I had, it's not something
I would have encouraged.

Where did he get the idea from?

From being a cop, I guess.

And my friend.
And Phil's friend.

Was there any reason for you to
believe that Fleckner was a threat?

He'd stare at me
during the trial.

And he mouthed something once.

What about after the trial?

He passed me
in the hall and chuckled.

Whispered that
he'd see me again.

Did you tell Bob Cerullo
what Fleckner was doing?

Bob sat with me half the weekend

because I couldn't stop crying.

And he didn't say anything
about contacting Fleckner?


So, Bob Cerullo killed Fleckner out
of noble revenge or self-defense?

Arranging a meet with the
man who just got off

for murdering your friend?

What did Cerullo
expect would happen?

What? Cops don't warn perps
off the radar all the time?

That's harassment,
not a bullet to the chest.

I was trying to piece together
Fleckner's timeline after the verdict,

so I checked his visitors log at
Rikers for a friend or relative.

Bob Cerullo visited
Fleckner during the trial.

Why would he visit
Fleckner in jail?

Maybe he was warning him to stop
eye-balling Valerie Messick?

Or threatening his life.

And we have proof of neither.

Except that Jay Fleckner
had a gun on him

two days after being
exonerated for murder.


Because he was a psychopath
and a career criminal.

Or he thought that a dirty
cop was gunning for him.

A decorated cop, Jack.

Whose best friend was
a mob associate.

That dirties him in my mind.

Well, if you're gonna have
the police do some digging,

you better tell them not to
stop until they hit gold.

'Cause that's what it's gonna
take to get an indictment.

We looked into any possible
motive other than self-defense

for Cerullo shooting Fleckner,

and we got nothing.

Any phone calls between them,

besides the one before
Fleckner was killed?

No. Just that one.

We dug into the gun that Fleckner
had on him when he was shot,

but it only makes
Fleckner dirtier.

Ballistics pulled a matching
slug from an apartment wall

of an unsolved home invasion
five years ago.

Was Fleckner a suspect?

The victim gave a description of a
perpetrator that he fits generally.

Who worked the case?

Detective Dumar. We looked
for him, and he's dead.

Any connection
between Dumar and Cerullo?

They never worked together. Dumar was
in the Bronx, Cerullo worked in Queens.

Show the home invasion
victim a photo array.

Make sure Jay Fleckner is in it.

I don't recognize
any of these men.

Did you get a good look
at the man who robbed you?


I was experimentally medicated.

Excuse me?

I was smoking marijuana
to alleviate my glaucoma.

Would you like some tea?

No, thank you.

That's the wall
where the bullet went.

Now, was he shooting at you?

I think he just got scared,
and the gun went off.

Thank God I was tied up.

Tell me, why the
questions and the photos?

We're just following on a few
leads we have on a suspect.

But the man was caught.

No, ma'am. The case
is still active.

Well, that's not what
Detective Dumar told me.

He said the man confessed.

Someone confessed?

Did he mention a name?

I don't recall.

But he said the man confessed
and was going to jail.

Ms. Best, did you ever recover
your stolen property?

Detective Dumar said that
the money had been spent,

and my ring was sold to someone
who had left the country.

How much money did you lose?

$17,000 in cash.

And the ring was worth
at least 15.

You should really talk to
Detective Dumar about this.

Wayne Dumar. Not
my most eager detective.

Died "cleaning his gun."


Unofficially, but yeah.

He was an old-school drunk.
Wasn't a surprise.

Well, would it surprise you
to hear that he ripped off

a robbery suspect of 30 Gs?

A few guys here were filling their
pockets when I transferred in.

All of them are gone now.

Do you know if he had any
dealings with this guy?

Name is Jay Fleckner.

Never seen the face.

Could he have been an
informant of Dumar's?

Dumar didn't care enough about
the job to recruit informants.

He was a bum.

Let me ask you this.

Do you know if he had any
connections to a detective

out of the 74 named Cerullo?

Cerullo and Dumar
were associated.

Cerullo is who found Dumar
with his brains blown out.

Is it possible
Cerullo killed Dumar?

The police and M.E. reports
are spotty.

Everyone involved thought they
were covering up a cop suicide.

How dirty was Dumar as a cop?

Four IAB investigations, all centered
around shaking down robbery suspects.

So, Detective Dumar
steals money and a gun

from a robbery suspect,
which then turns up

in the cold, dead hand
of Jay Fleckner.

Except there's no connection between
Wayne Dumar and Jay Fleckner.

There's only a connection
between Dumar and Cerullo.

So, Cerullo killed Jay Fleckner,

then planted the gun on him
to call it a self-defense.

Let's see what
he has to say for himself.

It was self-defense.

Do you plan to try selling that
to the Grand Jury, Mr. Cerullo?

You're opening
a Grand Jury on me?

They won't indict, Bob.

They'll indict anybody, Ernie.

This is what I get for 25
years' service on the force?

That doesn't buy
anybody a murder.

I have commendations,
a medal of valor.

Cop to the homicide, and I'll
get you man one, 20 years.

Don't dignify that.

You know how many cases
I've worked in my career?

How many homicides I've cleared?

How many multiple homicides?

We've been over your record.

You're gonna have
to go over it again.

Because if I'm indicted, you may
have to revisit every one of them.

What does that mean?

If I'm on the stand, Mr. McCoy,

my conscience may just
start to eat at me.

I may just feel the need
to purge myself of evidence

I may have planted
in those cases,

and suspects I may have flaked.

You'd lie about tainting cases?

I'll come clean, as it were.

And you expect me to drop this
case because of that threat?

Forty-some cases
could go down the toilet.

Forty stone-cold killers
back on the street

because you want to lock me up

for taking care of a rat
bastard like Jay Fleckner.

We're moving forward,
Mr. Cerullo. Be prepared.

Justice at any cost.
That it, McCoy?

Go after me.

It's gonna cost you plenty.

So, how many cases
are we talking about?

Cerullo has 41 homicide collars.

And he got a lot of confessions,
which he can claim he coerced.

Well, is there any indication
that there was coercion,

or proof that he
really did taint cases?

His record
on the job is spotless.

And how does a detective phony
evidence on 41 homicide suspects,

and not draw attention
even once?

It's not possible. Cerullo is
lying to back us into a corner.

And it's gonna cause every defense
lawyer that he ever faced

to file a motion
for a new trial.

We'll waste hundreds
of hours re-prosecuting.

Which is unfortunate,
but unless he did a murder,

why throw up the smokescreen?

He planted the gun on Fleckner
to claim self-defense.

Do you have enough
for a conviction?

We'll need more.

Bob has been with me every
second of this nightmare.

I don't understand why you
think I'd speak ill of him.

What if you thought
he'd committed a murder?

This gun you're talking about...

Sounds like Fleckner could have
gotten it any number of ways.

The only way was from Bob
Cerullo, who planted it.

If you make a statement, he may
be more inclined to make a deal.

That could save him
ten years in jail.

Whatever you feel about
his intentions, Mrs. Messick,

Bob Cerullo had no right to dole
out justice to Jay Fleckner.

You know what?

I don't think I should
talk to you anymore.

Understand, it's not you
we're looking to incriminate.

I'm sorry, but on
the advice of my lawyer,

I'm gonna invoke my right
to the Fifth Amendment.

Valerie's husband rubbed
elbows with the mob.

She might know things.

Testifying could put her
in a vulnerable position.

I don't think it was
just self-preservation.

If she knows Cerullo
murdered Fleckner,

she's stonewalling
to protect him.

Well, either way,

history's taught us we can't
rely on her to make the case.

We won't.

We didn't have a reason to
search Messick's house before.

We do now.

I'll get a warrant.

Philip Messick
was a very smart man.

He kept an insurance policy.

A black file that somebody buried
in his backyard flowerbed.

Information on his associates?

Yep. And all the dirtbags
he worked with.

Including his friend,
Bob Cerullo.

Now, our forensic accountant is
just getting into this, but so far,

we know that Cerullo sold guns
and stolen property to the mob.

Messick was the go-between.

This guy kept track
of everything.

Guns, jewelry, electronics,
prices, dates, who sold what.

Is Cerullo identified
by name in here?

Name and badge number.

Right next to
another name, Wayne Dumar.

So, Dumar and Cerullo were business
partners selling stolen property?

Exactly. And you'll notice
that Cerullo's income doubled

when Dumar went toes-up.

Well, it doesn't
prove he killed him.

Make a convincing
argument in court.

What we can establish is that Dumar
was criminally linked to Cerullo.

And Dumar ties to the gun
found on Jay Fleckner.

Right. Which leads
right back to Cerullo.

It's the best evidence we have
so far, that he planted the gun.

What's this?

Trying to coax us into a plea?

This book ties Cerullo
to the gun found on Fleckner.

No one's going to believe
it's self-defense.

Lot of wiggle room between
Dumar and that gun.

Juries aren't stupid.

Really? We must be working
different courtrooms.

No way they hang my guy for
killing that piece of crap.

And my client won't bite
on your offer.

Now, you really wanna talk.

I'm calling your bluff,
Mr. Kruhulik.

You don't think he's serious?

All of your cases come undone.

And you'll be suborning perjury.

We both know
the charges are bogus.

It'll take a full-scale
investigation to bear that out.

Pending new trials, of course.

In lieu, I'll take my
client at his word.

We're prepared to go to trial.

If your client gets on the stand
and lies about his old cases,

prepare to go to jail with him.

Your shaky case just became
your major headache.

Was I scared? Of course.

A guy like Fleckner.
Killed Phil Messick,

almost took his wife,
Valerie, too.

And why did you go
pay him a visit?

I only went over there to tell
him to leave Valerie alone.

A stupid thing to do,
now that I think about it.

I just figured I could make an
impression, and that'd be that.

I thank the Good Lord
I had my gun.

When Fleckner was coming
at me, I'm telling you,

I was fighting for my life.

And what did you do, then?

I defended myself.

I did not pull my gun
until Fleckner pulled his.

Thank you.

Did you know
Detective Wayne Dumar?

I did.

In fact, you found Detective Dumar
after his apparent suicide, correct?

It was a bad day.
Wayne was a good friend.

So you were aware
that he was the focus

of an investigation
involving stolen guns?

There was never anything
to those accusations,

and they never proved
that there was.

Your Honor, what's
the relevance here?

Get to the point, Mr. McCoy.

People's 19. This is
a ballistics report

that ties the gun found on the
victim to a robbery investigation

by Detective Dumar.

There is no link between
the gun and the victim.

There is, however, a link to
your good friend, Wayne Dumar.

Mr. McCoy, in my experience, weapons
pass through a lot of hands.


Does that number
mean anything to you?

Yeah. It was my shield number

when I was a police officer.

People's 20.

This is an accounting ledger,
found in the Messick house,

which identifies you
by your badge number,


and by name.

Do you have an explanation
as to why Philip Messick

accounted you as selling illegally
obtained property and guns,

like the gun stolen
by Wayne Dumar,

and then planted on Fleckner,

to corroborate your
self-defense story?

I don't know who
made up that book,

but what you're describing
never happened.

Mr. Cerullo, did you execute a man
to avenge Philip Messick's death,

and then cover it up? Objection!


The only covering up
I see is from you.

You let Fleckner walk, and now
you want me to go down for it.

Or did Fleckner walk, and you
believed that justice had to be done.

Isn't that the truth
here, Mr. Cerullo?

I killed him to
save my own life.

How can that make any sense,

when all the weapons at the
crime scene were yours?

You got it wrong.

Nothing further.

Redirect, Your Honor?

Go ahead.

In your years
as a police officer,

did your paths ever
cross with Jay Fleckner?

No, but I knew him
by reputation.

Which was? A bad guy.

And how did you come
to know this?

I had arrested some of
Fleckner's associates.

People Fleckner
pulled crimes with?


Did you believe that
Fleckner knew of you?

He definitely did.

Why did you believe this?

You see, I framed one of Fleckner's
buddies on a drug murder.

A lowlife named Anton Brady.

Another guy he ran with,
Jimmy Mills.

I sent him up on a rape beef.

Objection. Relevance.


You framed these men?

I framed a lot of
bad guys in my day.

You see,

I'm being honest now about
everything in my past.

I want to cop to every
wrong deed in my career,

so you'll know
I'm telling the truth,

that Fleckner was
out to kill me.

I didn't realize until now.

That's why he didn't even
hesitate to pull a gun.

That's why I had
to defend myself.

I think I might have something to
leverage Valerie Messick to testify.

I showed a copy of
Philip Messick's black file

to Andrew Semel
in the US Attorney's Office.

The Feds' money laundering case leads
to an illegal corporate account

at a bank in Panama City.

It's administered
by Valerie Messick.

He kept his own wife
in the file?

She's hidden 12 different ways, but
their forensic accountant did the math,

and she's tied in.

Are the Feds planning to indict?

Valerie could be
facing 20 years.

But they're willing to work with us
on any deal we want to make her.

Pitch it to her.

Testimony against Cerullo,
or 20 years in the pen.

My God. How could
this be happening?

The Feds are willing to work with
us, but they won't wait forever.

How hard are they
willing to work?

How good is the deal?

Five years for
the money laundering.

No. If you want her,
immunize her.

I want to hear
what she has to say.

She'll talk
when she's on the stand.

Full immunity. She doesn't
do a day in jail.

You want Bob, that's what
you've got to live with.

Mrs. Messick, would you
please describe your relationship

with Bob Cerullo?

Good friends.

Can you describe your husband's
relationship with Mr. Cerullo?

My husband and Bob knew each
other since they were kids.

Your husband was a conduit
for stolen goods and weapons

between suspects
in criminal cases

and members of organized
crime families, correct?

Objection. Leading.

She's a hostile witness,
Your Honor.

You get some room, Mr. McCoy.

You can answer that,
Mrs. Messick.

As far as I know,
that was the business, yes.

Mr. Cerullo made
a great deal of money

from this relationship,
didn't he?

Yeah, he did.

A money stream that
was totally turned off

after your husband
was murdered, correct?

As far as I know.

Do you know Mr. Cerullo's motive
for killing Jay Fleckner?

Was it revenge for the killing
that turned off his money?

Can you answer that
question, Mrs. Messick?

That wasn't his motive.

What was?

He did it because I asked
him to kill Jay Fleckner.

You asked him to?

In the hospital,
after I was attacked.

What was Mr. Cerullo's response?

He said he'd take care of it.
He'd kill Fleckner.

In the event Mr. Fleckner was
exonerated at trial, correct?


Which I made sure happened.

What do you mean by that?

I threw my testimony
during the trial,

so Fleckner could go free,
so Bob could kill him.

That bastard killed my husband.

He ruined my life.
I just wanted him dead.

I'm sorry, Bob. I'm so sorry.

In the matter of the
People v. Robert Cerullo,

on the count of Murder
in the Second Degree,

how do you find?

We find the defendant,
Robert Cerullo, guilty.

Have fun the next
five years, McCoy.

It's gonna be miserable.

Valerie Messick won't have to
answer for her role in the murder.

She made good use of that
immunity blanket we handed her.

Without her,
we couldn't convict.

A dozen motions for new
trials have been filed

off Cerullo's old cases.

Up to our eyeballs
in ancient history.

The price of justice.