CSI
Advertisement


CSIblack.jpg
Miscarriage of Justice
Miscarriage.jpg
Season 9
Number 14
Writer Jacqueline Hoyt,
Richard Catalani
Director Louis Milito
Original Airdate February 19, 2009
Navigation
Previous Episode: Deep Fried and Minty Fresh
Next Episode: Kill Me If You Can

Miscarriage of Justice is the fourteenth episode in season nine of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

While Langston testifies in the murder trial of a respected Congressman suspected of killing his mistress, new evidence sends the CSIs back to the lab to reopen the investigation.

Plot

Victim: Amber Jones (deceased)

On the case: entire team

Langston, who is on the stand in a courtroom, recaps the case he is testifying on. He responded to call of an abandoned car at the Orpheous Hotel; in trunk of the car, there was a rolled up carpet with a large bloodstain on it. When the carpet was unrolled, they found the body of Amber Jones. Amber had been shot three times with a gun consistent with one of four models, one of which is a Beretta. As it turns out, the person on trial, congressman Edward Griffin, owns a Beretta that has yet to be located, as he claims the gun was stolen.

As Langston is giving his testimony, a man drives up the the courthouse. He looks at a newspaper article about the case, then takes a gun and puts it in his waist. The man is able to bypass security due to his credentials and makes his way towards the courtroom. Upon being ordered by an officer to stop, the man shoots himself in the hallway. Langston identifies the man as Dominic Humphries, the congressman's Chief of Staff, as well as the prosecution's key witnesses. Dominic has killed himself with a Beretta.

Nick finds the bullet amongst the clotted blood on the floor. On Dominic's person, he finds a bloodied folded-up note signed by Dominic. An interview video is then shown of Dominic recalling the events of Amber's death to Brass. In the video, he says that Congressman Griffin called him from Amber's house saying that she was dead and that he needed help. When he got to the house, he saw that Amber had been shot; however, Congressman Griffin says that he found her like that. He then told the congressman to leave and that he would take of it.

Catherine and the team are given until the following morning to process both Dominic's crime scene as well as the gun he used, as the belief is that the gun is the congressman's. In the lab, Hodges processes the gun and finds a cashmere fiber under the gun's slide, which is only exposed when one is loading the gun. Since Dominic was wearing a khaki suit when he shot himself, the fibers need to be compared to any clothes the congressman owns.

Greg and Riley process Dominic's car and find the keys in the ignition, indicating that he knew he wasn't coming back. Greg also comes across a photo of Dominic and his wife, figuring that this was the last thing Dominic looked at. Brass questions Dominic's wife, Melissa, who says that her husband was convinced he was going to die in prison. She blames Congressman Griffin for her husband's death, as he looked up to the congressman and would have done anything for him. According to Melissa, her husband never talked about Amber and she was unaware that he had a gun.

The recovered gun is registered to Congressman Griffin and the test bullets fired from it match the bullet from Amber's murder. Since Dominic said there was no gun at the scene, he lied under oath. The bloody note he was carrying is a confession to Amber's murder, claiming that he was protecting the congressman and that Amber was going to destroy everything. Langston is worried, as he testified that the congressman was the most likely suspect based on the evidence at the scene. Catherine assures him that he came to the right conclusions and adds that she signed off on them. Despite all of this, the judge has yet to declare a mistrial, as the jury will be allowed to hear the new evidence. Langston asks what their theory is now and Catherine replies that she doesn't know, as the gun could have already been at the crime scene or it could have been brought there and used by Dominic.

Back on the stand, Langston informs the court that Congressman Griffin and Amber had had intercourse, as both tested positive for the same strain of chlamydia. The team is given warrants to search the closets of both Dominic and the congressman to try to find a match to the fiber from the gun. Meanwhile, Catherine, Nick and Brass go over the timeline of Amber's death. They determine that Amber was killed some time between 10:07 AM and 5:03 PM and that Dominic has no alibi for the times between noon and 2:30 PM.

With a lawyer present, Greg tape lifts the suits in the congressman's closet. Upon doing so, he's interrupted by the congressman's wife, who says that this is harassment and that her husband is innocent. Meanwhile, Riley processes Dominic's closet while Melissa watches. Melissa asks if her husband killed Amber, but Riley replies that she's not allowed to talk about the case. When pressed, Riley says that the note Dominic was carrying said that he loved Melissa and that, no matter what it says, it won't take away her doubts or questions.

In court, Langston testifies that he knew Amber was murdered in the kitchen because luminol revealed a torso-shaped blood pool along with high-velocity blood spatter on the walls. However, only one fingerprint was found belonging to the congressman and it was found on the tilt rod of the blinds covering the front window in the living room. Since they can't determine when exactly the congressman was in Amber's house, they can't definitively say if he pulled the trigger. The only thing they can get the congressman for is lying, since he had said that he was never in the house.

Catherine, Nick and Brass go over surveillance video from the casino garage and see Dominic parking the car Amber was found in and leaving. The theory is that Dominic was setting up Amber's stalker ex-boyfriend, Tommy Ruby, who's a limo driver at the casino. Tommy became a suspect; however, he left town right after the murder. It's revealed that the congressman has two apartments in his building - one for he and his wife and the other for "entertaining." The night before Amber died, Dominic had called her up and told her that the congressman wanted to see her. Congressman Griffin claims that he got so drunk he passed out; however, he was lucid enough to catch Amber trying to steal from him. He hit her, then got Dominic to drive her to the emergency room. Catherine asks why Dominic would show up at Amber's house that afternoon if he killed her following the congressman's orders.

Back in court, the prosecutor hands Langston a copy of Dominic's suicide note and reveals to the jury that it's a confession to Amber's murder. In light of the new evidence, Langston testifies that Congressman Griffin is no longer the likeliest suspect in Amber's murder, much to the court's surprise. Outside, Langston introduces himself to Amber's daughter, Matty, who has been in court watching the proceedings. He notices a bumpy, red rash on her arm and has her admitted to the hospital.

Tommy is located after getting into a bar fight. Under interrogation, he tells Brass that his stalking Amber was a misunderstanding. He claims to be in a 12-step program and is on the step where one makes amends. Brass doesn't believe him, as he's been brought into interrogation smelling of beer. When pressed further, Tommy remembers sitting outside Amber's house and seeing her receive a package from World-Send at 4:01 PM. If this is confirmed, it narrows Amber's time of death to between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, a timeframe for which Dominic had an alibi. In court, both the prosecution and defense take turns presenting their arguments to the jury.

In the hospital, a doctor tells Langston that Matty has been being poisoned with boric acid; based on her organ damage, she's been being poisoned for eight weeks, which is right around the time her mother was murdered. Henry finds out that Amber, too, had been poisoned with boric acid, although she was seemingly only dosed one time. Langston theorizes that Amber was the target and Matty was collateral damage. Catherine asks why someone would poison Amber, only to shoot her later on. Because Amber has been dead for eight weeks but Matty is still being exposed to the poison, Catherine guesses that the source is somewhere in the house.

A search of Amber's house finds that a container of energy drink mix was tampered with. Nick sees that the mix was purchased at a pharmacy and notes that it's an odd purchase from such a location. In the bedroom medicine cabinet, he finds two prescription medications that were purchased from the same pharmacy the night before Amber's death. Meanwhile, Amber's body is exhumed and brought to the morgue so a sample of her hair can be taken to tox for testing of boric acid poisoning. Langston notices a bruise on her chest, which Doc Robbins says was not present at the time of autopsy. When he looks at the bruise closely, Langston sees that it's a shoe impression.

The jury finds Congressman Griffin guilty of murder in the first degree. In the lab, however, the team is still hard at work. From a pharmacy receipt, Nick discovers that Dominic was the one who purchased the items, including the drink mix and roach poison. It seems that Dominic was the one poisoning both Amber and her daughter. Langston informs Catherine about the recently discovered shoe impression; it's only seven inches long, meaning that it belongs to a female. The only female with access to the murder weapon is the congressman's wife. Her alibi for the time of Amber's murder is that she was in bed recovering from a miscarriage. The team's new theory is that the congressman caught chlamydia from Amber and gave it to his wife.

This theory is proven correct when a search of Mrs. Griffin's belongings turns up a pair of dark cashmere gloves. Under interrogation, she tells Catherine and Brass that she caught her husband "entertaining" Amber, something he promised he wouldn't do after he ran for office. She admits to being the one who hit Amber across the face. The next morning, she got a call form her doctor telling her that she had chlamydia, which caused her to lose her baby. She tearfully says that she's 40 years old and just lost her last chance to be a mother. Under the guise of apologizing to Amber, she went to her house and shot her, kicking her in the neck to keep her down. Mrs. Griffin says that Dominic had no idea what she did and wouldn't have helped clean things up even if he did know. Meanwhile, her husband knew his wife shot Amber when he found out his gun was missing. Catherine remarks that if she was in Mrs. Griffin's position, she would have shot her husband, not his mistress.

At a post-case celebration, Langston informs that the team that Matty is going to be alright. They all praise him for getting through the trial and not quitting - a sort of baptism by fire. Langston says that he had a lot of help and they all wonder if Mrs. Griffin left the gun behind accidentally in the heat of the moment or purposefully in an effort to frame her husband.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Rick Worthy as Dr. Stewart
  • Jon Wellner as Henry Andrews
  • Larry M. Mitchell as Officer Mitchell
  • Miguel Ferrer as Defense Attorney Whitten
  • Melinda McGraw as Mrs. Griffin
  • Kathleen York as ADA Hardt
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway as Judge Himmel
  • Christa B. Allen as Matty Moore
  • David Starzyk as Congressman Edward Griffin
  • Amy Stewart as Melissa Humphreys
  • Steve Kazee as Dominic Humphreys
  • Clayne Crawford as Tommy Ruby
  • Elizabeth Chomko as Amber Jones

Trivia

  • The motto "All for Our Country" is seen above the doors to the courtroom. Aside from being Nevada's state motto, it is also the name of a season 4 episode.
  • When ingested, boric acid can cause kidney damage. Given the length of poisoning (eight weeks), Matty may need a kidney transplant later.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 9
For WarrickThe Happy PlaceArt Imitates LifeLet It BleedLeave Out All The RestSay UncleWoulda, Coulda, ShouldaYoung Man with a Horn19 Down...One to GoThe Grave ShiftDisarmed and DangerousDeep Fried and Minty FreshMiscarriage of JusticeKill Me If You CanTurn, Turn, TurnNo Way OutMascaraThe Descent of ManA Space OddityIf I Had a Hammer...The Gone Dead TrainHog HeavenAll In
Advertisement