Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–…): Season 5, Episode 10 - Shaken - full transcript

A toddler seems to have been abducted from a park while her babysitter is several yards distant talking to a nanny. Searching detectives shortly after arriving on the scene find the child unconscious behind nearby bushes.

In the criminal justice system,

sexually based offenses are
considered especially heinous.

In New York City,
the dedicated detectives

who investigate
these vicious felonies

are members of an elite squad

known as
the Special Victims Unit.

These are their stories.

Good nannies
are hard to find.

Mrs. Endsley offered
to double my salary

if I went to work for her.

Lucy, go play
with the other kids.

And keep your jacket on,
I'm not telling you again!

Of course I told her, I couldn't
possibly leave little Jack.

He's devoted to me.

Give me her number,
I'll take the job.

She's looking for someone with
more training and experience.

I can't work for
Mrs. Prichard anymore.

Lucy is driving me nuts.
She never obeys me.

That's because her mother
spoils her rotten.

Have you tried using time-outs?

Mrs. Prichard won't let me.

She says it will stunt
Lucy's creativity.


I keep telling you,
children need limits.

Call her over, I'll show you
how to handle her.



I don't see her.

Lucy! Lucy, where are you?!


Missing kid is Lucy Prichard.

20 months old, red and pink
jacket, denim jumper.

That's her nanny,
Sarah Rendell.

The older nanny with her
is Veronica Nash.

She says a freak has been
hanging around here the past
couple of days.

Figured if it was
a pedophile snatch,

you guys would want
to get an early heads up.

Okay. Thanks.

Tell the nannies
to stick around.

Where's Olivia?

Emergency hearing
on the Yeager case.

Going to take a few days.
You're stuck with me.

So, you think this is a kidnap
or she just wandered off?

Sounds like the real deal.

You've got a nanny here,
says she saw a creepy guy.

Bushes are a perfect place
for a perv to fantasize.

Hides up here,
lures the kid over

and then carries her off
to a waiting car.


Call a bus!

Got it.

Stay with me, sweetheart.

Stay with me.
It's going to be okay.

It's going to be all right.

Lucy's CT shows
intracranial bleeding.

She has a laceration
to the back of her head,

but no skull fracture.

She's on her way to surgery
right now

to reduce the brain swelling.

Did you do a rape kit?

No time, her clothing
was intact.

We did a quick LumaLite,
no semen.

Give me a call
after the surgery, please?


I spoke to the mom,
she's on her way.

Works at an ad agency

It may take awhile
to get here.

And the dad?

Died last year, heart attack.

Hits just keep coming, huh?

Nanny's in the waiting room.
Let's talk to her.

I only took my eyes off
of her for a moment.

One minute she was playing
and the next she was gone.

We heard about a strange guy

that's been hanging
around the playground.

Did you see him there today?

No, but Veronica did.

She saw him
a couple times before.

Have you?


And I take Lucy to that
playground every day.

Where else do you two go?

Mostly to the park, the zoo,

or the museum if it's raining.

Her mom wants her to get
lots of fresh air.

Anybody ever pay unusual

attention to Lucy?


I see the same people
all the time.

I'd remember any stranger.

Oh, God, Lucy!

Mrs. Prichard.

Evelyn, I am so sorry.

Where's Lucy?

In surgery.

The doctor's are doing
everything they can.

I'm Captain Cragen,
Special Victims.
This is Detective Stabler.

Who did this?

We've just started
our investigation.

Sarah has been
very helpful.

How could you
let this happen?

Sarah, come on,
let's go get some coffee.

What if she's not okay?

Oh, God.

This can't be happening.

I don't know what
I'll do if I lose her.

Why is God punishing me?

I've seen lots of tragedies
that I can't explain.

There's a chapel
in the hospital here.

Sometimes going in can help.

( sniffling )

Elliot, I'll stay
with Evelyn.

Go interview
the other nanny,

see if you can get
a description of the perp.

Okay. Call me when you hear
anything about Lucy.

Sarah's a baby-sitter,
not a certified nanny.

It's sad, but this happens

when children are left
with unqualified caregivers.

Let's talk about
what happened today.

My point exactly, Detective.

I was taught to observe
my child's surroundings.

That's why I noticed
that man and Sarah didn't.

Can you tell
me about him?

White guy, mid 40s,
short, dark hair.

Very stocky.

He's been lurking around

the playground
the last few days.

He seem especially
interested in Lucy?

I really couldn't say.

At first I thought

he was just one of the dads,

trying to get
some good candid shots.


Yes, he was
taking pictures.


The man was standing
right there on those rocks.

Thank you.
We're going to have
an officer take you down

to the precinct
for a sketch.

I'm happy to help.

Detective, Ian Felson,
from the Trib.

You got anything for me?
Too soon to say.

But you're working it
as a pedophile kidnap, right?

No comment.
Oh, come on, Detective,

deep background is all I need
to really get into this...

No comment.

Sorry, Elliot.

I told the guy to get lost.

Walk this way.

It's going to find its way
to the headlines tomorrow.

Probably dub the guy
the "Park Pervert."

Well, if he's got
any information,

I'd like to read about it.

Area where you found
the girl, it's clean.

Bagged all the trash nearby,
but nothing pertinent.

We got a witness placing
a guy up on these rocks

taking pictures of the kids.

Use a telephoto lens,
you get great shots,

no one would know
you're there.

We haven't searched
up here yet.

Didn't have any
indication the rocks

were part of
the crime scene.

The ground's too uneven
for footwear impressions.

But if the guy smokes,
or chews gum,

we could get his DNA
if he left anything behind.

Will that do?

Using film is unusual.

What do you mean?
Pedophiles love photos.

No, I'm not talking about
the pictures themselves.

I'm talking about
how they were taken.

Most pedophiles
have gone digital

to avoid getting caught when
they get their film developed.

Your guy is a risk taker.

I think he proved that

by attacking the kid
in broad daylight.

If he had been waiting
for the perfect child,

then he wouldn't
consider the danger,

he'd be compelled to act.

But the nanny realized
that Lucy was missing

before he could do his thing.

Her panics, knocks
the girl out and runs.

Leaving his prints behind
on the film carton.

Dennis Papillion.
One arrest, Burg Three.

Probation officer says

he works at a drugstore
on Broadway.

43, stocky, short hair, sounds
like Veronica's description.

Let's go.

You know this guy?

Yeah. He's right over there,
in photo finishing.

Thank you.

You don't need a digital camera
if you can print your own porn.

Dennis Papillion?

Yeah. Why you want to know?

The badges mean
we ask the questions.

Where were you
this morning?

You got the wrong guy.
I've been here since
we opened at 7:00.

Check the security tapes.
Now, can I ask what
this is about?

Your prints were found
at a crime scene

on a box of film.

Now, there's
a surprise.

You know how much I sell?

The customer asks for it,
I hand it over.

You process it
for them, too?

Sure, I do a couple
hundred rolls a day.

Do you ever
look at the photos?

Just to make sure
they come out okay.

The guy we're looking for would
have taken a lot of shots

of a playground
in Riverside Park.

Oh, yeah, I ran those off
this morning. Boring.

He pick them up yet?

About an hour ago.

But he dropped off
another couple of rolls.

He said he'd be back
later to get them.

"Ronny Ickles."
Address on 29th Street.

We'll make a special delivery.

Hold on, I'm no damn baby raper.

Right, hanging
around a playground,

taking pictures
of little kids

is a normal pastime
for a grown man.

I was working. I'm a PI.

Where's your ticket?

I don't have my license yet.

If it was a legit job,
why did you leave
the playground

when the cops showed up?

I didn't want to get involved.

My client wouldn't like that.

You're working
an illegal shop.

You cooperate or we collar you.

All right, all right.

My client is this rich guy,
David Jeffries.

He hire you to shoot
kiddie porn on commission?

I don't need work that bad.

Oh, yeah?

That's a six-month supply
for a pedophile.

He wasn't into kids.

He wanted me to spy
on his nanny.

Jeffries hired me
to watch how his son

got treated
when he wasn't around.

Worst thing I saw was
the nanny was smoking.


Picked up the rest
of your PI's photos

on my way back from court.

How's Lucy doing?

Last I heard, she's
still in surgery.

Client confirms Ickles story.

So do these pictures
once you sort them out.

You got a lot of shots
of the kids,

but even more of the nannies.

Now, I got about ten photos
of Lucy up here.

All of them time-coded.

These are the last three
before she disappeared.

So, we got Lucy playing with

a little blonde girl.

The next is a minute later

and Lucy is wandering away.

She's headed
right to the spot
where we found her.

That's the last one.

Lucy is almost
out of sight.

And then Sarah
is panicking,
and these shots

are only about a minute
after the last one with Lucy.

Not a lot of time for an attack.
( phone ringing )

There's something
just not right here.

There's no one
anywhere near her.


Maybe there is no crime.

This could be an accident.

Lucy tripped, conked
her head on the way down.

Yeah, kids her age
fall down all the time,

but they don't knock themselves
out and need surgery.

Elliot, that was
the hospital.

Lucy's doctor wants to see you.

Lucy's out of surgery.
She's stable but still

Any chance
she could have fallen?

No. She's has bilateral
subdural hematomas,
with retinal shearing...

Shaken baby syndrome.

Yeah. She was shaken
with enough force

to cause severe trauma.

What are her chances?

Oh, it's hard to say,
but if she does recover,

she'll probably have
permanent brain damage.

Are you sure about
this diagnosis?

There's no way
this was an accident?

Oh, I'm sure.

Shaken baby syndrome refers
to a constellation of injuries,

most commonly,
bilateral subdural hematomas.

Which means...?

Massive bruises
to the brain.

Shaking causes the baby's head
to snap back and forth.

Let's say this egg is the baby's
brain and the jar is its skull.

When the two collide
at high speed from shaking...

the injury is devastating.

So you'll testify

that shaken baby syndrome

can be the only cause
of Lucy's brain injuries?


I read her
doctor's reports.

Her eyes show
distinctive retinal shearing

and small hemorrhages.

Plus, she has compression
fractures of the ribs

from where the perp grabbed her.

That's pathonomonic
for shaken baby.

How can this happen
on a playground without
anyone noticing?

Based on the amount

of blood in the skull cavity,

I'd say the attack happened
between 12 and 48 hours

before you found her.
She would have been sleepy,

lethargic, maybe even vomiting,
but ambulatory.

So the perp could be anyone
who had contact with Lucy

in the last three days.

I don't understand.

When I left for work yesterday,

she was fine.

She was walking
and talking.

Did the doctors explain

that her brain could have
bled out so slowly

that she would have seemed
fine for a few days?


It's just hard to believe
that she was hurt

and that I didn't know it.

Who does Lucy spend most
of her time with?


Just me and Sarah.

Mm. You have
a boyfriend?

( mirthless chuckle )

I... I haven't dated

since my husband died.

How did Lucy seem
Monday night?

I worked late.

By the time I got home,
she was asleep.

I try to get off work early,

but I need all the overtime
I can get.

So Lucy was alone with Sarah
all day Monday and Tuesday,

right up until the time
they went to the playground?


You happy with Sarah?

She's all right.

I wanted somebody
with more experience,

but I can't afford it.

She ever rough with Lucy?

I caught her yelling
at Lucy once

but if she ever would have
hit her, I would have fired her.

You ever notice any marks
or bruises on her?

Yes. Sometimes.
I ask Sarah about it,

and she'd say that Lucy
fell down, or that she...

got hit by a kid
in the playground.

You think Sarah hurt Lucy?

Do you?

I'm only supposed to work
from 8:00 to 6:00,

but Evelyn never gets home
until after 9:00.

Long hours.

Lot of responsibility
for a young woman.

Lucy an easy kid?

I wish.

She was a colicky baby
and now she's a screamer.

Throws huge tantrums
every time her mother goes out.

You couldn't pay me enough
to do what you do.

I hear a kid scream,
it makes me insane.

I don't know
how you stand it.

It's so hard.

Sometimes I get...


She's just a little girl,

but she can make me so mad.

I understand.

A couple of months ago,
Lucy threw a toy at me,

and I spanked her,

even though Evelyn
told me not to.

Well, when we get mad,
we lose control.

We all have our breaking point.

Are you saying
I hurt Lucy?

Sarah, you were
the only one with her

all day Monday
and Tuesday.

I didn't hurt her,
I swear.

So how did she wind up
on life support?

That day she fell down a lot.

But the injuries Lucy has

couldn't have been
caused by a fall.

Then I don't know.

You willing to take
a polygraph?

I'm afraid.

if there's something

you're not telling me,
now is the time.

( crying )

Evelyn pays me so little,

and I work so hard.

It makes me really mad.

I know it was wrong...
but I did it.

What did you do?

I took money from her purse.

Five, sometimes ten dollars.

( sniffling )

I don't think
Sarah did it.

Based on what?
My gut.

That's not admissible.

Look, Huang says
Sarah fits the profile.

Overwhelmed, cooped up
long hours with
a difficult child...

She's torn up about ripping off
a couple hundred bucks.

I don't think she's lying
about hurting Lucy.

It could be
she's a clever sociopath.

Admits to
a meaningless infraction,
gains your sympathy.

So give her
a polygraph.

It'll prove
she didn't do it.

Hate to rain on your parade,
but it looks like you're
wrong about Sarah.

What do you got?
A call from the Tribune.
They got the story,

plus a source who saw
Sarah abusing Lucy.

Who's your

They didn't say.

Ian Felson wrote the piece.

Your office said
I'd find you here.

Make it quick.

Perp walk starts any minute.

I need your witness
in the Prichard case.

I know it's confidential.

You help me out, I'll
make it worth your while.

( camera clicking )

Exclusive on the arrest?


Let me make a call.

It's Ian Felson, from the Trib.

The police would like
to talk to you.


She says it's cool.

Who's she?

Veronica Nash.

That's the other nanny.
I already talked to her.

I guess you didn't ask
the right questions.

How in the hell did you
forget to tell me

that Sarah had abused her?

You didn't ask.

I thought that pervert
from the park hurt Lucy

until that reporter started
asking me questions.

What exactly
did you tell him?

Lucy is a difficult child--
willful, defiant.

Sarah has a hard time
controlling her.

She gets frustrated

and hits Lucy.

You've seen her do that?
More than once.

Can you remember
any specific incidents?

Will I have to testify?

Ma'am, you just told
millions of Tribune readers.

I think you can
handle 12 jurors.

A few weeks ago,

Sarah and I took the children
to the museum.

Lucy started running around
like a little maniac.

Then she started
throwing things.

One of the staff yelled at Sarah
for not controlling her.

Then she smacked Lucy
across the face, hard.

Sure, I remember that kid.

She's a very active
little girl.

She was very excited
by the artwork.

She ran around
touching everything.

Is that a problem?

No. Our exhibits are designed
to be interactive,

and we encourage the children

to express themselves.
It was the nanny
who got upset.

She was rough
with the child.

Hit her pretty hard.

Did you report her?

I went and found
the security guard,

but when we got back,
they were gone.

It's just a formality.

Do you recognize
this woman?

Sure. She was there
that day, too.

What do you mean, "too"?

Well, she didn't
hit the kid.

It was this other woman.


you are either stupid
or out of your mind.

What did you think?
I wouldn't go to the museum

and check on your story?

What are you
talking about?

You hit Lucy, not Sarah.

Museum staff
picked you out.

Lucy deserved a spanking.

Well, sweetheart,
the way I hear it,

you gave her a lot more
than that.

She needs discipline.

Her behavior is atrocious.

So is yours, sweetheart!
You're sick, you know that?!

What is it, you need
attention so badly,

you run to a reporter
and lie to him

just to see your name
in the paper?

I have years of training,

And I've got a witness
who saw you hit that child.

You shake her, too?

I hadn't seen Lucy for days

until Tuesday morning
at the playground.

I was with my employers

at their country home
all weekend.

Call them.

Veronica Nash's story
checks out.

She didn't shake that baby.

We can still
charge her

for assaulting Lucy
at the museum.

Good. Do it.

The papers crucify her.
She'll lose her job.

That's something.

Are you mad at her

or at yourself?

Look, I've got a little girl
in the hospital

who's not getting any better.

I just wasted a whole day
on that idiot's lies.

I'm no closer
to making a collar here.

I got one you can rule out.
Polygraph results.

Sarah passed
with flying colors.

Well, any consolation,
your gut instincts were right.

I should have trusted them
instead of that crap
in the Tribune.

The only thing
that paper is good for
is lining my bird cage.

Where you going?

Back to the hospital.

She almost looks like
she's sleeping.

Any news, Detective?

Sarah Rendell's
been cleared.

Then who hurt Lucy?

You tell me.

You're crazy.

I love my daughter.

Only you and Sarah
were with her

the last two days.

Your own words.

I-I should have told you before.

There was someone else.


I didn't think
he could have done it.

I was only gone
for a little while.

That's your daughter
lying in the crib.

A machine's breathing for her.

You really want to protect
the person who put her there?

It's a man I've been seeing.

Drew Farmer.

He's married.

I left him alone with Lucy.

How come we're hearing just now

about Evelyn Prichard's
mystery man?

Because this Drew Farmer
is her boss.

They've been having an affair
for the past couple months.

The overtime Evelyn works.

You got it--
Sunday night,
Drew's wife was out of town.

Evelyn gave her
nanny the night off,
invited him over for dinner.

Any idea how
Drew feels

about kids?
According to Evelyn,
doesn't have any,

doesn't want any.

How long was he
alone with Lucy?
20 minutes.

Mom's not gone that long--
why would he shake the kid?

Kids get shaken
when they're crying.

Research shows
that a child's screams

can provoke extreme stress
in some people.

Maybe Drew was trying
to shut Lucy up.

Bring him in.

Evelyn's an employee,
nothing more.

Well, no one
on the support staff

of the ad agency
works overtime but Evelyn,

and she only does it
when your wife's out of town.

Oh, this is absurd-- I'd
like to call my lawyer now.

You got it. You just put
yourself in the jackpot, pal.

You're crazy!
I never touched
the girl.

So you admit
you were there?

Look, my wife finds out,

she will cut my balls off
in divorce court.

If you keep
jerking me around,

criminal court's going
to do a lot worse to you.

I don't know
what happened to Lucy.
Yeah, you do.

Look, it's turning
into a beautiful night,

just you and Evelyn,
and then all of a sudden,

she's got to go
to the store.

And the kid
starts screaming.

Well, you know,
you got to shut her up,

because you know,
Mommy comes home

and that kid
is still crying,

Evelyn will be taking care
of her needs instead of yours,

so you pick her up,
try to quiet her down,

but she keeps crying,
and she's crying,
and she's crying...

I just wanted her
to go back to sleep.

Of course you did,
but she wouldn't, would she?

And you don't know what
to do, you don't have kids,
so you shake her, huh?

You shook her, and then
you just laid her down,

'cause she's quiet now.
No, you're wrong.

You shook that baby.
You shook that
baby, Drew,

and then you got your
rocks off with her mother

while her baby lay
dying a few feet away.

No, I didn't shake her!
I picked her up, that's all.

She must have been sick.

What do you mean,
she was sick?

She puked all over my jacket,
and I put her right back down.

Evelyn never said
Lucy threw up.

I didn't tell her.

I didn't...

I didn't want
to spoil the mood.

Oh, geez.

It's not enough for an arrest.

We've got to cut him loose.
I know, I know,

but I'm telling you,
it pisses me off.

Somebody almost killed
that little girl.

She can't speak,
but all the adults in her life

are lying their asses off?

Then we go back
to the medical evidence.

We'll put it all together,
and let it tell the real story.

This is the timeline

of the last three days.

Tuesday, Lucy collapsed,
but according to Sarah,

she was lethargic and clumsy
on Monday.

Ataxia and decreased
motor skills are common

after a shaking incident.

So you're saying the
attack happened Sunday.

Yes. Lucy vomiting
Sunday night

is a classic sign
of head trauma.

So Evelyn shook Lucy earlier,
and that's why she
threw up on Drew.

Well, who knows
what came first?

Getting puked on could've
pissed Drew off enough
that he shook the kid.

There's no
medical reason

for Lucy's sudden emesis
without the shaking.

I could be wrong,
but the symptoms

and the time frame
point to Evelyn.

Any way to connect Evelyn
to Lucy's wounds?

Lucy has rib fractures
from where the perp grabbed her.

A different hand size
would cause

a different fracture pattern.

If I shook you, I would
leave an impression here,

but the captain's
hands are bigger...

and would cause a
different fracture

Find the hand,
find the perp.


Have you heard something?


This is Dr. Warner.
She'd like to conduct
an examination.

Hold out your hand like this,

I don't understand.

help us out.

It's a match.

Drew Farmer's hands
are much bigger.

You shook Lucy.

No. I'm her mother.
I love her.

I love my little girl.
I would never hurt her.

I'm putting you under
arrest for assault
and attempted murder.

This is a mistake.
You have the right
to remain silent.

I am a good mother.
If you give up that right,
anything you say

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

You get a confession?
She lawyered up.

I look forward to trying her.

She's going to be sympathetic.

I can't believe a jury'll
feel sorry for a parent

who scrambled
her kid's brain.

And I'm telling you, every
parent has been there.

A baby's crying can
make you lose your mind.

You'll pick them up,
you rock them.

I mean, hell, you'll
beg them, and...

sometimes nothing works.

It sounds like
you're speaking from
personal experience.

Ah, the unholy cabal.

Planning on how to railroad
the next innocent person?

I'm planning on locking
her up for life.

What a pity.

A few months in Special Victims,
and you're already a zealot.

An injured child comes in,
and you scream abuse.

Lucy wasn't spanked.
She's in a coma,
close to death,

because her mother shook
the life out of her.

What happened is
a devastating tragedy, but...

it's not Evelyn's fault.
Temporary insanity

brought on by the stress
of raising a child
with permanent live-in help?

No excuses.
I meant what I said.

She's innocent,
and I'll prove it.

So, in your expert opinion

Dr. Warner,
who is responsible

for the injuries
to Lucy Prichard?

The defendant,
Evelyn Prichard.

Thank you.

Nothing further.

Are you saying
that the only possible cause

of Lucy's injuries
is shaken baby syndrome?


The subdural hematomas
and retinal hemorrhages

are classic signs.

Are you familiar with


or HLH?

It's a rare blood
disorder that disrupts

liver and bone marrow function.

Isn't it true

that HLH also causes
bleeding of the brain and eyes?


Was Lucy's blood tested for HLH?

There's no blood test,

but HLH could not have caused
her rib fractures.

CPR was performed on Lucy
in Riverside Park.

CPR requires chest compressions,


So isn't it possible

that the lifesaving treatment
caused the fractures?


CPR is administered with
the patient lying on her back.

Chest compressions
could have caused

the frontal rib fractures
but certainly not

the posterior ones.
But couldn't those

have been caused
by Detective Stabler,

who testified that he, quote,
"grabbed Lucy

and ran"?

Why didn't you rule out

a diagnosis of HLH?

Because the only way

to distinguish between HLH

and shaken baby syndrome
is an autopsy.

So for all you know right now,

Lucy's injuries
could have been caused

by a natural disease
and not a criminal act.


The day my daughter was born,

it was the happiest day
of my life.

And then your
husband died.

It must be very
difficult raising
a child without him.

Yes, it is.

I wanted to be
a stay-at-home mom,

but now I have to be
the breadwinner.

For the child's sake?


did you ever spank Lucy?


I don't believe
in corporal punishment.

Have you ever shaken Lucy?

( laughs ):

I know what shaking
can do to a baby.

I would...
never hurt my daughter.

Thank you.

Your witness.

You say you love your daughter,
Mrs. Prichard.

How much time
during the last few months

did you actually spend with her?

Not as much

as I wanted.

My husband's death
left a lot of bills.

I had to work very long hours
just to make ends meet.

So you relied on Sarah
to be her primary caregiver.

I take care of my daughter.

But you would leave

before she got up in the morning

and come home
after Lucy went to bed.


So who hugs Lucy
when she gets up in the morning?

Sarah does.

And who puts Lucy to bed?


And who takes her to the park,
and to the zoo?

And who comforts her
when she cries,

and who puts a Band-Aid on
when she skins her knee?

I wanted to be there.

Lucy was crying
that night,

and you didn't know
how to comfort her.

She was ruining
your romantic date.

That's why you shook her.


I... I could never hurt Lucy.

Why don't you believe me?

Nothing further.

Judge is going to turn it
to the jury after lunch.

Then, hopefully,
it'll be a quick verdict.

I think they're with us.
I'm telling you,

you can't tell
with these cases.

You preparing me
for an acquittal?

I've worked enough
battered kid cases

to know-- giving birth
doesn't make you a mother,

( cell phone ringing )
but juries...

they believe
what they need to believe.



Okay, I'm here

with Novak--
I'll tell her.

Tell me what?

Lucy just had a stroke.

They don't think she'll live.

A massive brain hemorrhage

destroyed Lucy's
cerebral cortex.

She'd be dead already if
she wasn't on life support.

How long can the machines
keep her alive?

We don't know--
could be days,
or months.

Explain her condition to me.

Uh, Lucy is in what's
called a persistent
vegetative state.

She has minimal
brain stem function

that keeps her heart beating,
her blood circulating,

but she can't move,
speak, hear or see.

She feel pain?

I'm afraid that's
all she feels.

Her EEG shows
no active thoughts,

but her primitive brain
functions are still intact.

Her body senses and responds
to painful stimuli.

Is there any hope
she'll get better?

No. Her condition will only
continue to deteriorate

until some infection
kills her

or life support's
turned off.

I've got rounds.

The jury needs
to know this.

Summations are over.

The judge is getting ready
to charge them.

Then ask for delay.

I don't have
any legal grounds.

This baby's suffering
is not irrelevant.

I'll see what I can do.

Your Honor, the facts
in the case have changed,

and the jury has a right
to hear them.

What's changed?

Lucy was in a coma then,
she's still in one now.

She's brain-dead--
a ventilator is
breathing for her.

That's tragic.
But you don't have grounds
to reopen the case.

Evelyn Prichard is
on trial for assault,

but when Lucy dies,
which she soon will,
it'll be murder.

A murder charge
is only proper

after life support
is turned off,

and Evelyn Prichard has
no intention of doing that.

Your Honor, the jury
should be allowed

to consider newly
discovered evidence.

Only if offered by the defense.

The prosecution just gets
one bite of the apple.

She's right.
I'm sorry, Counselor,

the jury will have
to render its verdict

based on the facts
already in evidence.

I got your page.
What's the verdict?

Hung jury,
hopelessly deadlocked.

So you'll be
retrying Evelyn.

Yeah, we start on Monday.

The jury's going to hear
that Lucy's brain dead.

Yeah, but I don't think
that it'll make a difference.

You were right.

Evelyn's too sympathetic.

I'll never get a jury
to convict her.

This woman's a murderer.

Not as long as Lucy
is technically alive.

"And good night to the old lady

"whispering, 'Hush,
good night, stars,

"good night, air,

good night, noises everywhere.'"

Why are you here?

To see Lucy.

Do you have children, Detective?

I do. I have four.

And I can't imagine

the pain you're going through
to see your baby like this.

What do you want from me?

Let her go.

So you can charge me
with murder?

So we can end Lucy's pain.

( sniffles )

I believe that's up to God.

So do I.

I love my children,

and if one of them was sick,

I would do anything in the world
to make them better,

but I would also pray to God
that if all hope were gone,

he'd give me the strength
just to end their suffering.

I love my daughter.

If I lose her,
I might as well be dead, too.

Detective Stabler,
your captain said

you wanted to talk to me
about the Prichard case.

I think the D.A.'s office should
fight to turn off life support.

And what makes
you think

Judge Preston would grant
such a motion?

I read the papers.
A similar request was made
in California successfully

when a father shook his son.

And it was unsuccessful

in Florida.
Parents are winning the fight

to keep their comatose daughter

despite legal precedent.

Lucy's doctor says
she'll never recover.

What's this really about,

You fighting for Lucy

or bringing Evelyn Prichard
to justice?

I don't know if she's a grieving
mother who can't let go,

or if she's just trying
to beat a murder rap.

What I do know...

is a little girl
is in constant pain

and there is no hope
of her ever getting better.

Okay, Detective.

But Evelyn gave birth to her.

Lucy is her flesh and blood.

You be careful or they'll
paint us as baby killers.

Why did you go over my head?

I'm trying to do
what's right for
that child.

So am I.

But it's my case now, and it's
my choice, not yours, okay?

You should have come
to me first.

I apologize.
You're right.

You've every right
to be pissed at me.

Now, you tell me,
you think it's wrong
to stop life support?

I'm not a mother,

I don't know what I'd do
if she were my child.

Welcome to
Special Victims.

It's not always black and white.

Removing Lucy Prichard
from life support

is the only ethically
responsible option.

This is reprehensible.

She wants to kill the child
so she'll have a stronger case.

It's my duty to represent
Lucy Prichard's
best interest.

It's hardly in her
best interest to be dead.

Every night I pray
she gets better,

but Lucy is in God's
hands, not yours.

We vehemently oppose
withdrawing life support.

The prosecution wants
to execute a helpless child.

Enough, Ms. Balthus.

What grounds do you have

to judicially supersede
a parent's right

to make decisions
for the minor child?

Mrs. Prichard's right
is nullified

by her legal predicament.
Her judgment is biased

because her own future rests
on her child's survival.

Then prove to me
that cessation of life support

is truly in Lucy's
best interests.

Lucy has violent pain responses
and little more.

When we touch her,
she has a seizure.

What are her other
medical problems?

Lucy's bones
have become demineralized.

Can you tell us what that means?

They're very brittle.

Yesterday when a nurse
changed her diaper,

it fractured her hip.

Thank you, Doctor,
nothing further.

Your witness, Ms. Balthus.

Dr. Morella,

are you familiar with the case
of Estelle Sanchez?


Richard Youst?

Francine LeMott?

No. They're not my patients.

Well, thank God for that,

because Estelle Sanchez
was in a coma for ten years,

woke up and asked for pancakes.

Richard Youst...

Objection, Your Honor.

Sustained. You've made your
point, Counselor. Move on.

Isn't it true, Doctor,

that people awake from so-called
persistent vegetative states

years after the doctors

have told the families
to give up hope?

Every case
is different.

But miracles happen.

I wouldn't call them that.

What would you
call them, then?

Can science explain
the sudden recovery

of all function in previously
non-responsive patients?

No, but...

It happens,
doesn't it?

It can.

Thank you.

Redirect, Your Honor?

You may proceed,

Dr. Morella,

can Lucy awaken as
the defense implies?

No. She suffered permanent
and irreparable brain damage.

Life support
is mechanically
keeping the shell

of what was once
Lucy Prichard alive.

Is there any hope
she can recover?


So, in addition to seizures
and breaking bones,

how would you describe
Lucy's life?

I believe she's in constant,
excruciating pain.



No, no, no!

I... I don't want Lucy
to suffer anymore.

Please, please
turn off the machines.

Ms. Balthus, explain

to your client that
if she does consent

to a cessation
of life support,

she wi face
a murder charge.

I don't... I don't care!

I don't care.

I did it.

I'm so sorry.

I love her.

Please, please
turn off the machines.

you have to know

I love my baby.

Everything I did, I did for her.

That night, I-I just wanted
a chance at a normal life again,

with a man I loved.

I've been so alone.

I just wanted
a night to myself.

At first,

Lucy was sleeping peacefully,

but then she woke up
and she wouldn't stop screaming

and I was so angry.

I shook her... over and over

until she stopped crying.

Then I put her down
and she smiled up at me.

She seemed okay.

After the doctor told me
that she'd been shaken,

I just kept telling myself
that it couldn't be my fault!

Oh, God,
I never meant to hurt her!

( crying )

Is it over?

They turned
the machines off.

Ten minutes later,
Lucy was gone.

It was peaceful.

Evelyn there?

Corrections sent her down
from Bedford Hills.

Give me your keys.
I'll drive you home.

That's Maureen,
about Lucy's age.

I'd just gotten out
of the Marines.

I was unemployed.

Kathy was pregnant again.

One night she went out

and I was home alone
with Maureen.

She spilled grape juice

all over this brand-new carpet
we just bought,

which we couldn't afford
to buy.

( sighs )

I grabbed her arm to spank her,

and she twisted away,
and I slapped her in the face.

As my hand was coming down
the second time...

this voice in my head said,

So, I'm standing there,
in the middle of this room,

holding the limp body
of my little girl.

She starts crying and...
and I pick her up...

and I just keep saying
over and over, "I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry."

( choked up ):
I could have killed my kid
over a lousy carpet.

( sniffling )

Come on.

( wolf howling )

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