Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 4, Episode 13 - Breeder - full transcript

Detectives Briscoe and Logan investigate when a woman, 22 year-old Debra Elkins, is found sitting in an ER waiting room unconscious and hemorrhaging having recently given birth. She says she has no memory of having had the baby - something Lt. Van Buren finds hard to believe - and tracing her movements prior to arriving at the hospital, find the child safe and well in the care of her boyfriend. Everything is in order, or so it seems, until the hospital reports the child has been kidnapped. It seems that the woman who stole the baby was promised the child and had been paying for Elkins' medical and living expenses. Elkins is a schemer who has been very careful to stay within the bounds of the law but when ADA Stone learns that she was stringing along several couples for fairly large amounts of money, he decides to prosecute.

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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.

Nurse, it's been an hour.

Maybe I should have called
a hearse, skip the middleman.

Nobody ever died of
whiplash, Mr. Wallengren.

Look, I got Blue
Cross, I got Blue Shield.

What do I gotta do to get
my wife in to see a doctor?

We're doing our best.

You want to complain,
fax it to Hillary.

Get you another ice pack.

It's gonna take another
15 minutes, I don't know.

What are you doing? I'll get it.



Name's Debra Elkins.

Twenty-two. Her driver's license
is from upstate. Poughkeepsie.

She gonna make it to 23?

She must have lost two
and a half pints of blood.

BP was way down.

She was lucky that we
found her when we did.

Wait. What do mean, you
found her? It was a zoo in here.

One of the patients
noticed her. She was alone.

Unconscious and hemorrhaging.

What do you think, her
boyfriend got fancy with a knife?

I first assumed it was
with a coat hanger.

A botched third
trimester abortion.

But her hemorrhage is a
postpartum complication.

So she gave birth.

Not easily, I'm afraid. Her
uterus is grossly over-distended.

We have her on IV.
Oxytocin. She'll be all right.

Okay, so why are we
here? Where's the baby?

The doctor said it wasn't
supposed to happen...

for another two weeks.

My mom gave me some money...

and I was in town for the
day buying baby clothes.

You don't remember giving birth?

Well, I went and took
a walk after dinner...

and I got these sharp pains.

I didn't know what to do.

This man...

he put me in a taxi.

I must've passed out.

Did your husband come
down here with you?

I'm not married.

Well, the baby's father.

I was raped at work.

It's still my baby.

Do you think you'd
remember that cab driver?

What kind of person
steals someone's baby?

I've been through two births.

I remember every push and
squeeze. I'll tell you what...

passing out is the
impossible dream.

This girl's story does not jive.

What are you saying, she took an
hour bus ride to dump the kid in an alley?

Read the stats. Last year, 11,000
abandoned babies in New York alone.

Most of whose mothers spend their
days on the short end of a crack pipe.

This girl's tox
report is negative.

You said she was raped, right?

Maybe she's not as happy about
maternity as she would have us believe.

Well, there are
other alternatives.

Yes, well, maybe not everyone's
as enlightened as you are, Mike.

It's our lucky day.
Struck gold, fifth try.

Last night, a hack from
Madison Taxi turns in a cab.

Back seat covered with blood.

They're all animals.

They think for a $5
fare they rent a toilet.

They don't care what kind of
garbage they leave in the back seat.

Yeah, well, is this
particular garbage new?

Hey, just because I live in
a sty doesn't mean I'm a pig.

We clean up after every shift.
It's good for the Midtown trade.

Okay, so who was
driving this car last night?

The Russki. Alex Walinsky.

We're gonna need an address.

Yeah, let me see. Here you go.

102 East 16th.

He should be there.
He called in sick.

If he doesn't recover by
tomorrow, you tell him, don't bother.

Alex Walinsky? Yes.

What's this? I did
nothing wrong. Yeah?

Well, there's a new mother with
tubes up her nose who might disagree.

If he's a day old, call the
Guinness Book of Records.

What are you doing with
my son? Here, take him.

What did you do with the
kid you found in your cab?

Kid? We saw your car.

Your last fare didn't
have a nosebleed.

That girl, she was sick.

She told me to take
her to the hospital.

Do you remember where
you picked the girl up?

On Lexington, in the 30s.

In front of St. Paul Hotel.

I swear to you,
there was no baby.

If Dr. Zhivago's telling the
truth maybe Van Buren was right.

I don't know, you gotta be
awful desperate to dump a kid.

This from a guy who spent the last
20 years trying to avoid fatherhood?

Hey, back off, all right?

I didn't want the
abortion, she did.

Okay, a girl comes to
town for one day's shopping.

Does she check into a hotel?

Let's hope the kid's watching Sesame
Street and ordering room service.

Sure, I got her a cab.

She was white as a sheet. Looked
like she was about to pass out.

She okay? She'll live.

She have a baby with her
when you put her in that cab?


What the hell happened here?

My guess, the
miracle of childbirth.

There's more blood in
the bathroom. Look at this.

Briscoe. Yeah, I'm
gonna need a CSU unit.

St. Paul Hotel,
38th and Lexington.

You sure you didn't see a baby?

No. Just the two of them.

The two of them? The
boyfriend. He checked in with her.

Shaw, Steven J.

Said he wasn't staying but...

a couple of kids paying cash, I take
everybody's name just to make sure.

You keep phone records? Yeah.

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

Come on. You told us you
were in town for the day.

You've been in a hotel
since last Tuesday.

You told us you
were in town alone...

and then we find out
your boyfriend's with you.

What difference
does any of this make?

My baby's still missing.

It's all these lies, Debra.

It makes us think that maybe
you know where your baby is.

If I knew, why
wouldn't I tell you?

Where's your friend Shaw?

He stayed with me one
night, then he went back home.

Yeah, well, the problem is
there's no Steven Shaw listed...

in the Poughkeepsie phone book.

They ran the hotel's
phone records.

This girl made 14 calls to
her voicemail in Poughkeepsie.

She's got a lot of friends?
She made one local call.

William Wendyll,
attorney at law.

Debbie Elkins. One of the
young, the poor, the pregnant.

Well, not anymore. She
gave birth two days ago.

Good for her.

But it's really not
my problem anymore.

Was it ever?

When my clients were in
the running, it certainly was.

Well, wait, let's just
back up a couple of steps.

My business is adoptions. I
help my clients find these girls.

I screen out the kooks, and in
one out of every eight cases...

I help them through the system. I
thought Debbie was one of the good ones.

Goes to show.

She called me a couple of days
ago, and she changed her mind.

She said that she
wanted to keep her baby.

Looks like she didn't
do a very good job.

Let me ask you something.

You get paid only
on delivery, right?

Sure. Why? Just thinking.

Debbie's kid's missing.

Maybe one of your clients did
an end run around your legal fee.

Are you kidding?
Those people are loaded.

My fee is meaningless.

Did Elkins ever
mention a Steven Shaw?

Look, Detectives, these
girls are very skittish.

They just don't
open up to lawyers.

Yeah, sure, but they spend a
lot of time with their clients, right?

That is attorney-client

We're investigating kidnapping
and child endangerment, Counselor.

If you hinder prosecution,
we'll come back...

with material witness
warrants for your clients.

Stephanie. Yes, sir?

Get the Savitts on
the phone, please.

First, it was our careers,
then, it was financial security...

then, emotional security, and
by the time we were ready...

We tried fertility drugs,
in vitro, everything.

We thought Debbie was
finally the one. We sure did.

Let me show you something.

We did exactly what
Bill Wendyll told us.

We put ads in college newspapers,
in regional papers in the southeast.

"Our hearts are open
to receive your baby.

"We have so much
love to give. Please call."

We had an 800 number installed.
We received calls every day.

Debra was the seventh
girl we interviewed.

She got our number from
the school paper at Hudson.

She said she was a rape victim,
someone that she worked with.

We felt so sorry for her.

I don't mean to be crass, but we spent
a lot of effort and money on this girl.

You put her on salary?
She was carrying our child.

We wanted to make sure she had
good nutrition, proper medical care.

We felt she deserved it.

Did she ever talk about
somebody named Shaw?

She had us make a check
out once to a Steven Shaw.

She told us he was her landlord.

You still have that
cancelled check? Yeah.

When you find the baby,
could you give us a call?

Ma'am, please.

It would mean so much
to me. To both of us.

Yeah, I know people
want kids. But advertising?

800 numbers? It's a little nuts.

Hey, there's two kinds
of people in this world.

Those with kids, and those
without. That's right, Pops.


Okay, go.

Right. Got it.

What? You're kidding me.

Okay. Thanks.

I got Shaw's address
in Poughkeepsie.

Oh, good, a road trip to Hudson.

Haven't done one of
those since college.

Don't pack your rubbers yet.

The bank said they wired $10,000
out of his account to Western Union...

in Midtown this morning.

Well, that'll buy the
baby some formula.

Here we go. The wire
transfer arrived at 1:00.

Mr. Shaw signed for it at 1:40.

Do you remember if
he had a baby with him?

Sorry, a lot of business today.

Come on, what're you doing
up there, balancing a checkbook?

That's right.

And when we're
finished, you'll know.

By any chance, did Mr. Shaw
leave a local address?

It says here, "When wire is
received, call him at the Lowery Hotel."

Thank you.

Who are you? We
ask the questions.

Are you Steven J.
Shaw? Yeah. So what?

Hey, what the hell's
going on? Shut up.


What do you think you're doing?

Our favorite thing.

Steven Shaw,
you're under arrest.

Hi, this is Det. Logan. I'm in
Room 512 at the Lowery Hotel.

Have an ambulance
respond to a newborn male.

You have the
right to an attorney.

If you cannot afford one,
one will be provided for you.

You're not Debra's landlord.

You're not her husband.

You're not even
the kid's father.

So what were you doing in
a hotel room with the baby?

I told you.

I am her boyfriend. You're
quite a lady's man, Steven.

You always let your girlfriends
bleed half to death in a cab?

She wanted me to
stay with the baby.

There's plenty of room in
that taxi for all three of you.

I understand the jam
you're in. It's not your kid.

You wanted her to give it up, she
didn't want to. You two had a fight.

I didn't care that
she had been raped.

We both wanted
the baby, all right?

Hey, if it was me, and I
found out she was pregnant...

man, I would've
grabbed my hat and split.

You know, I don't know
what you're talking about.

I want to talk to Debbie.

Listen, dumping that kid somewhere
was gonna make your life...

a hell of a lot easier, wasn't
it? You're wrong, man, all right?

Just ask Debbie. You'll see.

Jeez, this is bad.

What are you hassling me for?

I didn't do anything wrong.

You know what really
pisses me off, Debbie?

Some little bitch wasting
three days of my life.

So you gonna arrest me for it?

No. But how about child
abandonment? That's pretty serious.

What abandonment?
I left him with Steven.

Okay, so we'll add
endangerment to the list.

He'd never hurt the baby.

After all the lying
you've done...

who do you think the
judge is gonna believe?

What do you want from me?

For starters? Why are
you jerking us around?

Forget it, Mike.

We'll just throw both of them in
the can and let the DAs sort it out.

The kid's gonna wind
up in foster care anyway.

Here we go again, man,
just like the last time.

Those bastards at Child Welfare.

They said I was unfit.

They took my daughter away.

I wasn't gonna let
that happen again.

What do you want me to
do? There's no crime here.

She intentionally interfered
with a police investigation.

That'd get her six months.

And you know a judge who'd
put her in prison with a newborn?

- Forget about it, Lennie.
- She's just a kid.

She got screwed by the system
once. Who can blame her for lying to us?

Child Welfare was right
the first time. She's garbage.

I'll tell you what. We let
her go, we might as well...

get a head start and
arrest the baby right now.

Van Buren. Yes, they're here.

When? Thanks.

The Foundling
Hospital just called.

Someone walked out the
front door with the Elkins baby.

First, I took care
of the screamers.

Add formula, change the diapers.

Then, I counted the
sleepers. One short.

Well, the report said the baby
was taken early this morning.

She had authorization papers.

What does that mean, the
kidnapper had a hall pass?

Authorization for transfer to
Victoria General, where the mother is.

It all looked kosher until the
baby's blood work-up came in...

about an hour ago.

Kid's allergic to formula, so
I called Victoria to tell them.

And the baby
never showed. Right.

She gave me all the correct
forms with all the signatures.

Everything was in order.

So somebody walks in
waving the right paperwork...

and you just give them a baby?

But she was a nurse.

I mean, she showed me her
state card. Dorothy Hemmerick.

Dorothy Hemmerick? Do
you know what she looks like?

She was a white
lady, as old as you.

Not so tall. Dirty blonde
hair and green eyes.

She came in at 5:30 in the morning.
Isn't that a little before office hours?

But she knew everything
about the little baby.

I mean, she even
knew the mother's name.

When she saw his hazel eyes, she
said they looked just like the mother's.

I am so sorry.

Please tell the mother
that I am so sorry.

Hey, she knew what
color eyes you have.

What, you think we're involved?

You got a reason why
we shouldn't think it?

She said she was a nurse, and she
knew everything about you and the baby.


That crazy bitch.

It had to be Mrs. Baxter.

You people want to
give us a hint here?

We interviewed her
about adopting the baby.

Wait a minute, what
about the Savitts?

I talked to them
after the Baxters.

I knew that woman was crazy.

Come on, let's go, open up.

Are you Herbert Baxter? Yeah.

Okay, we're executing
a search warrant.

I don't understand.
Stand aside and be quiet.

What's this about?

Well, at least tell me
what you're looking for.

I suppose this is for a dog.

Where's the baby, Mr. Baxter?

I don't know what you're talking
about. We don't have a baby.

Where's your wife?

What does my wife
have to do with it?

Dorothy Hemmerick. Is
that her maiden name?

What the hell is going on?
Never mind what's going on.

Just tell us where she is.

She said she was going to
her sister's house in Queens.

Dorothy Baxter?
No, I'm her sister.


Dorothy Baxter? Yes.

Dorothy Baxter, you're
under arrest for kidnapping.

No, this is my baby though.

Ma'am, I'm gonna ask
you to give up the baby.

No, I can't.

Go right ahead. Please. No.

Just let go. It's all right.

It's my baby though.

I'm telling you. All right.


- Be careful, please.
- Okay.

You have the right to remain
silent. Anything you do say...

can and will be
used against you.

My wife is not a
kidnapper. Right.

She just borrowed the
kid for the afternoon.

Jeffrey is my baby.
Dorothy, please.

I'm Morris Hoffman. I'm attorney
of record for Dorothy Baxter.

I'd like any interrogation of
my client to stop immediately.

You're a little late, Counselor.

She admits she took
the baby from the nursery.

Well, if she did, she's well
within her rights. It's their baby.

They have a contract
with Debra Elkins.

You hear the whole story, Ben, I
guarantee you'll call off the dogs.

Mrs. Baxter's good people.

Since when do good
people steal babies?

Well, when they honestly
believe they're entitled.

Look, Ben, Ms. Elkins
answered the Baxter's ad...

in the Hudson College
newspaper. She took their money.

You're saying they
bought the baby?

They paid her reasonable
medical expenses.

Private adoption, Ben.

Everything was done by the
book. Then the girl reneged.

Is this in writing? Well,
Ms. Elkins made a promise.

Mrs. Baxter relied
to her detriment.

There are no signatures
involved? Come on, Counselor.

You want to talk validity of an oral
contract, give Kim Basinger a call.

Even if we assume they
had a valid contract...

you can't complete an adoption by
snatching a baby out of foster care.

Having a family is my
wife's whole life, Mr. Stone.

Ten years ago she had a
miscarriage, followed by a hysterectomy.

Debbie Elkins
isn't the first one.

We've been through this
four times in the past six years.

The girls either decide
to keep the baby...

or give it to somebody
with a bigger apartment.

Does that justify kidnapping?

I can't even bail
her out of jail.

They took every penny we
had. This was our last chance.

Mr. Stone, what my wife
did may have been wrong...

but you have got to
understand, she is not a criminal.

She didn't mean to hurt anybody.

Bottom line, Ben,
the woman snapped.

Call it insanity, call it
diminished capacity.

Look, if you don't buy this contract
theory, can't you take the blinders off?

Let a little compassion
shine through?

Do us all a favor, let your
expert have a go at her.

Thanksgiving was
always my favorite. Yeah.

I know that some people
like Christmas, you know.

But for me, with the whole family
sitting around the table and everything.

I've always thanked
God for my family.

Did you have a big family?

I have three brothers, two
sisters, seven nephews, five nieces.

That's what life's about.

People say that that's not the
only thing, you know, but of course...

they're the ones
who have children.

Yeah. And I don't know
how they could say that...

because when I held Jeffrey...

I could feel his breath right
on my cheek. It was beautiful.

Do you have children?
I've never been married.

You can still hope.

I used to have fainting spells, and
I used to have morning sickness.

And sometimes, I even thought I could
hear the baby or feel the baby kicking.

The doctors call that the
haunted womb syndrome.

It's very common
after a miscarriage.

Every morning on
my way to work...

I walk five blocks out of my
way, so that I do not have to see...

the children on
their way to PS 3.

And if I see a baby carriage...

the only thing I want
to do is run and hide.

It's only natural, Dorothy. No!


What's natural is having a
baby. That's what's natural.

I have been through
this so many times.

That girl told me that she
wanted me to have that baby.

It's not fair.

The woman's certainly
been through the wringer.

There's only so much
frustration any psyche can take.

You're saying she honestly
didn't know what she was doing?

I wish I could say that.

You're not saying that she
can plead insanity, are you?

Well, both God and society
said, "Be fruitful and multiply."

Only the doctors
told her she couldn't.

And when that reality set in,
her self-image as a woman...

and as a human being
all but disappeared.

But that does not justify what
she did. I'm not saying that.

Only along comes Debra
Elkins and all her predecessors.

They dangle a carrot in front of her nose
and say, "Run fast enough and it's yours."

How many laps around the track does it
take before you believe you deserve a bite?

Put me on the stand,
Ben. As a psychiatrist,

I'll say Dorothy Baxter
was legally sane.

Ask me as a member of the human race
if I think she deserves to go to prison...

you'll get an unqualified no.

My son and his wife
ran loop-to-loops...

with the adoption
services for six years.

Desperation begets
desperate measures.

I doubt if Josh would
have stolen a child.

No. He wouldn't be so fast to put
the Baxter woman behind bars, either.

If Olivet felt sorry for her,
imagine what 24 crying eyes...

in a jury will do to our case.

You want us to let her walk?

I want you to get on the phone to
Morris Hoffman and work something out.

The defendant wishes to
withdraw her plea of not guilty...

and enter a plea of
guilty, Your Honor.

I assume there's been
some negotiation on this?

We've agreed on
a plea of custodial

interference in the first
degree, Your Honor.

With a suspended sentence.
Mrs. Baxter has agreed to undergo...

six months of psychiatric
outpatient treatment.

Mrs. Baxter, do you realize you're
pleading guilty to a class E felony?


Has your attorney advised you of
the consequences of such a plea?


Please describe your
criminal acts in your own words.

I took Jeffrey
from the hospital.

I wanted to say that...

we did everything that
we were supposed to do.

We gave her money,
we took care of her...

and then she dumped us just
because we don't live in Westchester.

I want to know where it says that
you need a backyard to love your baby.

Do you understand now
that the baby isn't yours?

You should have seen her, Ben.

Pathetic doesn't even begin
to describe Dorothy Baxter.

I doubt six months on the couch
will even scratch the surface.

Debra Elkins doesn't realize
half the effect of her actions.

She's probably as
confused as Mrs. Baxter.

You don't give your
baby away every day.

You know, I'm starting to think
maybe she's not as confused...

as she would have us believe.

In her allocution, Baxter said
that Elkins rejected her in favor...

of someone who
lived in Westchester.

You live in this
city. You blame her?

The Savitts also live
here. What are you saying?

That she promised the
baby to somebody else?

We know of two couples
already paying her way.

The more, the merrier.

Both the Savitts and the Baxters placed
ads in that college newspaper, right?

Let's see if the mystery
couple in Westchester...

tried contacting the
stork in the same way.

But if you're right...

God help us.

We spent a week
with her in the city.

Plaza Hotel, four-star restaurants.
She said it was her first time.

She helped us pick out
furniture for the nursery.

FAO Schwarz,
Bergdorf's, the works.

The week cost me
close to $15,000.

Then, she has the nerve to ask
me if she can stay another week.

She's just a kid,
Ric. It's over, Mary.

We're not getting the baby.

Did you ever send her money?
Does $10,000 cash count?

It was always
something with this girl.

One week she couldn't pay her rent,
the next week she couldn't afford a doctor.

It's cold, they
shut off her heat.

She got depressed.

She'd probably be better
off getting an abortion but...

how could we let her do that?

Did she ever say specifically
that if you gave her money...

she would give you
the baby in return?

She said she wanted
us to have the baby.

I'm afraid that's
not good enough.

When we were in Saks,
looking at baby clothes...

Debbie started to cry.

She said it was the first time in
months that she felt good about things.

She said her baby was
lucky to have us as parents.

She sent me a
sonogram of the baby.

On Mother's Day, I got a card.

Tell me, what kind of sadist
would do something like that?

We've been through
it before, Miss Kincaid.

I realize for these girls
it's a tough situation.

But this one, she's special.

Garrett Stubbs. Nice fellow.

Twenty years ago,
prosecuted him for...

selling the same building
to three different buyers.

Talk about Irish charm.

The problem is, she never
actually told the couples...

if they gave her money,
she'd give them her baby.

Hell of a con.

She plants the seed and then
lets their imaginations do the rest.

She can take reasonable medical
expenses, but she cannot sell a baby.

Unless you can call
an emergency session...

of the state
legislature, she can.

So you're saying selling a
baby is not against the law?

The domestic relations law says a
contract to sell a baby is null and void.

The penal law says nothing.

That's unbelievable.
That's slavery.

That went out a century ago.
For everybody but children.

We don't have standing
to institute a civil suit, so...

So we can't do anything.

Debra Elkins took
money from three couples.

Each of whom thought that
they would receive the baby.

If we can prove that she never
intended to give that baby to anyone...

Larceny by false promise.

And she received
more than $60,000.

That's grand larceny two.

You dragged my client down
from Poughkeepsie for this?

A C felony always
gets my attention, Jane.

What's he talking about?

Why don't you ask the Baxters,
the Savitts, or the Cushmans?

Hey, if they're stupid enough...


I know you've been stuck in this
building for God knows how long...

but across the street, the birth mother
always has the right to change her mind.

Check the domestic relations
law. She's got 45 days.

I'm more interested
in the penal law, Jane.

Specifically, the
sections on grand larceny.

I never asked these
people for anything.

What they gave me,
they gave on their own.

I never promised them anything.

You led them to believe... I know
exactly what I said, Mr. Stone.

I also know I can't be held
liable for what they assumed.

On the other had, Miss Elkins, you
did take money from these people...

knowing full well that the baby
would not be adopted by anyone.

Very creative, Ben. Now
I'd like to see you prove it...

considering the fact that the
baby has already been adopted...

by Les and Gwen Savitt.

Miss Elkins, how does
this con game work?

When you found out that you were pregnant,
was the first call to your lawyer...

to find out what you could or
could not say to these people?

As a matter of fact, yeah.

You should have seen
her. The girl's inhuman.

Unfortunately, inhumanity
is not against the law.

The law's supposed to be
a shield, Adam, not a sword.

Debra Elkins took it, manipulated
it, and drove it right through...

these people's hearts.

And enjoyed every minute of it.

Why shouldn't she? It
made her a lot of money.

Well, the Savitts obviously
won the baby contest.

I find it hard to believe
that they didn't offer Debra...

a little more consideration
than the other couples.

So you're thinking Debra was a
little more adamant with her demands?

A lot more adamant.

Whatever you want, Ben. I
just want this girl off the street.


You must be kidding.

We're not stupid, Mr. Stone.

We know that if we help
you, we lose our son.

Debra can only
contest to the adoption...

within 45 days
after giving birth.

By the time we're at trial,
we'll be long past that.

She cannot take your
baby away from you.

You don't get it, do you?

Do you have any idea how
long we've waited for this?

There is no way I'm gonna
let anything screw this up now.

This girl is dangerous.

Which is exactly why you're not
going to get anything out of us.

If you actually bought the
baby... It's not against the law.


But then the adoption
is null and void.

You can't take my baby.

Mrs. Savitt, we can
subpoena your bank records.

I thought blackmail was
against the law, Mr. Stone.

Do what you have to do, but I'm telling
you right now, you're wasting your time.

Well, if the Savitts paid
Elkins, they covered their tracks.

No records of any transfers
from either of their banks.

So we're back to
running in circles.

Well, we can always put
the Savitts on the stand.

No, I think they'd
even risk perjury.

When you had that
meeting with the Cushmans...

wasn't there something in
your memo about abortion?

Mrs. Cushman said that whenever
Elkins got depressed about money...

she talked about
ending her pregnancy.

Doesn't that sound
like extortion to you?


I'd get my Bar review outlines out,
Counselor. It's time for a little brush up.

Your client threatened physical
injury if she did not receive payment.

She's been accused of
a lot, but I didn't hear...

anyone say she held
a gun to their heads.

Then brush the
dust off the outline.

The statute reads, "Threat
of physical injury to anybody."

We know she told the Cushmans
she was contemplating abortion.

This is a joke, right?

I find nothing amusing
about your client.

Why don't we see what
Judge Sanderson thinks?

Fine. Let's do that.

To be accurate, the extortion
statute requires a threat...

to cause injury to a person.

It doesn't mention a
person not yet born.

A fetus older than 24
weeks is deemed a person...

for purposes of
the murder statute.

By extension...
Come on, Counselor.

Every first-year law student
knows the penal law is meant...

to be narrowly construed.
We don't extend.

If it's not in those
pages, it doesn't count.

The statute also covers
threats to damaged property.

And if, as you state, a fetus...

is not a person at any
point in its gestation...

I don't want to hear the
end of that argument, Ben.

I understand, Your
Honor. But this case...

Deserves to leave
skidmarks on the bowl.

Thank you.

Don't hold a ticker-tape
parade just yet, Miss Schuman.

I'm going to let the State
take its case to a jury.

This is ridiculous.

If I get reversed, so be it.

But I have a feeling your client is
exactly the sort a panel of judges...

would love to use
to make new law.

Whatever we gave her,
she just wanted more.

Did there come a time when you
felt you had to inform Miss Elkins...

that you could no longer
give her additional funds?


We're not, you know,
wealthy people and...

we had already
given her $10,000...

and we told her that we were
struggling to get by, as it was.

How did she respond to that?

She said, "What's the use?"

She said, "Maybe it would
be best for everyone...

"if I just didn't go
through with it."

What do you think
she meant by that?

That she would
terminate the pregnancy.

Thank you.

Your witness.

Isn't it true, Mrs. Baxter...

that you pled guilty to
kidnapping my client's baby?

She told me he was mine.

Now, Mrs. Baxter,
if she really...

said that, then...

you wouldn't have been
guilty of a crime, isn't that so?

She sent me a list of
baby names that she liked.

And you interpreted that to
mean that the baby was yours?

She said that she wanted
us to have the baby.

She said that we would
have made the best parents.

Did she ever say that she was going
to give up the baby to you for adoption?

Not in so many
words. So that's a no.


So basically, you misunderstood
her intentions, isn't that so?

I guess so.

Isn't it possible then that you
also misunderstood her intentions...

when she talked
about an abortion?

I don't know how
many times she said it.

"Maybe I should
just get an abortion."

How did you respond?
Sent her more money.

That got her out of her
depression in a hurry.

So it was your
understanding at that time...

that Debra Elkins would
terminate her pregnancy...

if you did not give
her more money?

She had a way of making
me believe everything she said.

I had to believe her.

All right, thank
you. Your witness.

Can I assume that you felt just awful
when you found out that Debra decided...

to give the baby
to someone else?

I don't have a baby.

My husband is
filing for divorce.

She should be punished.

You know, some people would
call that sour grapes, Mrs. Cushman.



No matter what Judge Sanderson thinks, a
motion alone doesn't get you a conviction.

I've established my prima facie
case, and that's all I'm concerned about.

Yeah? Well, I wouldn't
count my chickens just yet.

I just added a new
witness to my list.

Mr. Savitt will be taking
the stand. Have fun.

We'd been through it a dozen
times over the past five years.

A girl answers our ad, we meet her,
we like her, hopefully, she likes us.

It really doesn't
mean anything. So...

even though you paid
Debbie's expenses...

you never thought the
adoption was a sure thing?

You go through this enough,
you realize these girls...

are in an overwhelming
emotional situation.

Was there ever a time
when Debbie told you...

she was considering
having an abortion?

Like it or not, that's one of the options
available to girls in her situation.

Sure, she talked about it, but it's not as
if she held it over our heads or anything.

I just want to be
clear, Mr. Savitt.

Did Debbie Elkins ever
give you an ultimatum?

Give her money, or
she ends her pregnancy?

Of course not. No
more questions.

Mr. Savitt, was there ever a time when
Debra Elkins asked you for money...

that you could not
deliver a check?

I make a good living.
The money was nothing.

I see. So...

Ms. Elkins never had to resort
to extortionist tactics, correct?

You give her too much credit,
Mr. Stone. Debbie's not that kind of girl.

Sure, maybe she's mixed
up, but all she's trying to do...

is place her baby with
the best possible family.

She's not a criminal.

Oh, really?

Well, what do you call intentionally
misleading the Baxters and the Cushmans...

into thinking that they were
going to receive the child...

so that Debra Elkins could receive
as much money as she could?

Objection. Sustained.

I know these other
people are disappointed.

I understand that.
I've been there.

And the easiest thing in the
world is to blame the birth mother.

But it's hardly extortion.

Oh, and besides, Debra Elkins,
she's just not that kind of girl, right?

Then why are you here, sir?

You have the baby. Objection.

Did she promise you something?

- She threaten you?
- Your Honor.


Mr. Stone.

We both know what kind of
girl Debra Elkins is, sir. And...

don't think you're any better.

The jury had to see that Les
Savitt had another agenda.

Only your entire
cross was inadmissible.

The judge instructed
them to disregard.

The jury can't ignore
what they heard.

And when the appellate judges
hear it, it'll add fuel to Schuman's fire.


We'll be right there.

The Savitts are in your
office with their lawyer.

Now before we start, Ben.

I want your assurances you're
not going to get any crazy ideas...

about charging my
client with anything.

If your client is looking for absolution,
Ed, he came to the wrong building.


Now let's assume, hypothetically
speaking, of course...

that Mr. Savitt wants
to change his testimony.

This is not a game, sir.

Perjury is a serious crime.

Yeah, we understand that,
but that's not the real issue.

The real issue is, how badly
do you want the Elkins girl?

Now you give Mr. Savitt a
free ride, and you get the girl.

What are we talking about?

The girl didn't
just threaten us.

She tortured us.

Once, I suggested that she was
maybe spending too much money.

About a week later, Gwen
got a hysterical phone call.

She was sick. Could we meet her at
her doctor's office in Poughkeepsie?

And when I got there, it wasn't a
doctor's office, it was an abortion clinic.

She kept sending us these
sick pictures of dead fetuses.

And then, she'd write on the bottom,
something like, "This could be yours."

She's an animal, Mr. Stone.

Do you have any
of these pictures?

Les did.

At first, in case, you know.

But then, once we got the baby,
I made him get rid of all of them.

Mr. Savitt, I assume that
you did not come here...

out of the goodness
of your heart.

We gave her a bond worth
$75,000 when the baby was born.

What does she want from us?

Are you now saying that
she's asking for more money?

Not her. Her boyfriend.

After I testified, he tried to shake
us down for another $100,000.

He said we give him the money,
or he contests the adoption.

Steven Shaw?

He doesn't have standing.
He does if he's the father.

Kid's got a blood test to prove it and a
suitcase full of Baby Jessica clippings.

It's never going
to end with this girl.

We can't put ourselves
or our baby through this.

My favorite kind
of adversary, Ben.

Rather than suffer the agony of
defeat, raise those white flags early.

You may be right, Jane.

I may not have a case
against your client.

But against Mr. Shaw,
that's another story.

What are you talking about?

We had a discussion
with the Savitts.

Two eyewitnesses to
extortion and grand larceny.

And they're both felonies, sir.

Wait a minute. You mean, I
go to jail, and she walks away?

Shut up, Steven.
To hell with that.

Can't you see what
he's trying to do?

You're entitled
to a lawyer, sir.

Listen to me, Steven, listen,
everything is under control.

They think we're
just poor white trash.

Maybe they're right.

You shut your stupid face.

Stop calling me stupid. Stevie.

Stevie, come on, sweetie.

I love you.

Don't blow this.

You are such a
bitch, you know that?

We are making sentencing
recommendations that your terms...

be served consecutively,
not concurrently.

That means you're
going away for a long time.

Just ignore him.

Apparently, Miss
Elkins, "stupid" here...

is going to prison for you.

I want a deal. You see
what I gotta put up with?

The deal depends
on what you tell us.

It was all her idea.

She had this whole thing planned
before she even got pregnant.

I didn't want anything
to do with kids.

And then, she gets knocked
up, like it was an accident.

Did you witness personally
any of her extortion?

Are you kidding me?

She had me go to the Right
to Lifers to get these pictures.

I heard her on the
phone. She's good.

You want to know what she did?

She's giving birth to the
kid in the hotel room...

she's on the phone taking
bids between contractions.

She wouldn't take
him to the hospital.

She wants me to
make a quick sale.

All you have is his word, Ben,
and we all know how much...

character it takes
to be a felon.

How much character does it
take to auction off your own child?

You want to talk
about character?

The only reason that any of
these people cared about me...

is because I had
something they wanted.

You don't think I know
what they think about me?

They used me, so
I used them back.

By selling your child?

My first kid...

I'm sitting in the St. Vincent's
Home for Girls in Poughkeepsie.

All these people being nice
to me, all their fake smiles...

their phony, "How
are you, Debbies?"

They take my baby, and I'm back to
my crappy apartment and my crappy life.

I wasn't gonna let that
happen to me again.

So I make babies,
Mr. Stone. Hell, I'm good at it.

So what if there are people
willing to pay me for it?

Grand larceny two, Ben.
She serves the minimum.

She serves 4-to-12.

I just spoke with Gwen Savitt.

They're taking the baby and
leaving New York for places unknown.

All the publicity.
Who can blame them?

It's not the publicity
that scares them, Adam.

It's the knock on the
door 12 years from now.