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Passed Pawns
CSI; Crime Scene Invastigation - S14 E6 Passed Pawns (1).jpg
Season 14
Number 6
Writer Michael F.X. Daley,
Christopher Barbour
Director Phil Conserva
Original Airdate October 30, 2013
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Previous Episode: Frame by Frame
Next Episode: Under a Cloud

Passed Pawns is the sixth episode in season fourteen of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

The CSI team investigates the death of a homeless man who had a huge winning streak at a small casino.

Plot

Victim: Jeremy Sikes (deceased)

On the case: D.B. Russell, Greg Sanders, Julie Finlay, Morgan Brody, Sara Sidle, Sean Yeager, Jim Brass

An unkempt man walks into a pawn shop and pawns off his watch and ring. He receives $200 for the items, which he takes to a casino and starts playing blackjack with. Starting with the $200, the man goes on an unbelievable hot streak and wins over $350,000. When the dealers are switched, the man decides to stop playing. A pit boss offers to put him in a suite and come back later, but the man wants to cash out now.

The next morning, the man lies dead in an alley. Morgan is photographing the crime scene when she is approached by CSI Sean Yeager from the day shift, who just happens to be one solved case away from becoming a Level 3 CSI. He wants Morgan to leave so he can take over the scene, but Russell shows up and has them work together while he's gone to pick up his wife from the airport.

While Sean looks through nearby dumpsters for the homeless man's wallet, David Phillips looks over the body. He puts the time of death at 3:00 AM and notes that the man was stabbed in the back 12 times with a two-inch blade. Sean finds s a suitcase covered in blood in the dumpster, but there's nothing inside of it. Morgan finds where the assault started and notices blood under the victim's fingernails. She theorizes that the man was attacked from behind and when the killer saw that he was still alive, he dragged him out of view and stabbed him to death. On the ground the letters D and E are written in blood, and Morgan suspects that the man may have been trying to identify the killer.

In autopsy, Doc Robbins pulls a metal fragment from one of the victim's wound tracks; it's possible it's from the murder weapon. The doc looks at the pattern of the wounds and swears that he's seen something similar before. He and Greg observe that the two wounds in the middle of the back are deeper and wider than the others, almost as if the killer twisted the blade. With the possibility that this could be a signature, Greg offers to look through some other case files.

While processing the victim's clothes, Morgan finds a bloodied ticket from the pawn shop. She and Sean go to the shop, first speaking to the owner, Ruby, then to her two sons, Kyle and Zeke. While Kyle is unhelpful, Zeke is able to remember everything about the victim, including what he was wearing, what he pawned, and what his address was. Zeke also remembers the victim's name: Jeremy Sikes. Before leaving, the CSIs take the watch and ring as evidence.

Finn and Russell review the surveillance footage from the casino, watching Jeremy's insane run at the blackjack table. They also spot the metal briefcase that was later found in the dumpster. Because Jeremy's betting pattern was off, the casino suspected that the dealer, Kristi Holt, was colluding with him. Finn thinks that Kristi killed Jeremy and took his money, but Russell notes that anyone in the crowd at the blackjack table could've done the same thing. She's convinced Jeremy was cheating and she also believes that the "DE" written in blood could be the start of the word "DEALER." Morgan finds a connection between Jeremy and Kristi: the watch that Jeremy pawned belonged to Kristi's late husband, who was murdered two months ago. The theory is that Kristi hired Jeremy to kill her husband; two months later, the duo went in on another scheme.

Morgan and Sean pull the case file on the murder of Simon Holt, Kristi's husband; the case is still open. As the story goes, on the night of the murder, the two arrived home around midnight. While Kristi went upstairs to bed, Simon stayed downstairs and watched television. Suddenly, two shots rang out; Simon was found soon found dead and the house was ransacked. The CSIs disagree on whether there's a connection between Jeremy and Kristi or whether it's all just a coincidence. Sean says that there's still one person alive who can answer such a question: Kristi.

Kristi is found hiding in a motel room and brought to the station for questioning. In interrogation, she says there was no cheating the night Jeremy won all his money. Brass shows her a picture of Jeremy's body followed by Simon's. He asks her to tell the truth, but she sticks with the story that Simon was killed during a burglary. Brass reveals that Jeremy pawned Simon's watch, enabling him to start his winning streak at the blackjack table. From this, Kristi believes that Jeremy was the one who broke into the house and killed her husband. Brass then makes mention of the fact that Kristi never mentioned the watch being stolen in the police reports; however, she didn't forget about the insurance money. Kristi once again denies cheating, saying that when she was found, she was hiding from the "old-school guys" at the casino. She denies killing Jeremy and tells Brass to check the cards and the shuffler used during the game.

Hodges and Henry process everything at the blackjack table, but find no evidence of tampering. Meanwhile, Finn gets security footage of Kristi being interrogated by her pit boss, Bobby Esposito, after she was relieved of her dealing duties. Kristi was questioned for over four hours, and the time code puts her in the room at the time Jeremy was murdered. The focus shifts back to one of the people in the crowd who were watching Jeremy during his winning streak. While looking at the security tape, Morgan spots a man talking to Bobby and she recalls seeing him somewhere else.

She remembers seeing the man in question on the surveillance video from the pawn shop. In the video, the man, identified as casino employee Alonzo Pierce, is seen pawning off a turntable and two speakers at 3:38 AM. When Zeke brings the items out, Morgan works on a hunch and guesses that one of the speakers doesn't work. She opens it and finds approximately $350,000 in cash stashed inside. The theory is that someone left the money at the pawn shop so that they could avoid a murder charge and then come back later for it.

Alonzo is in the wind, as there was no answer at his apartment and he never showed up for work. Alonzo's car is found in the apartment complex's parking garage; someone is loading something into the trunk while brandishing a gun. When the police confront the man, they find that it's actually Bobby. While Bobby is being detained, Alonzo's body is found in the trunk of the car. Bobby quips that nobody steals from his casino.

In interrogation, Bobby tells Brass that he knew something was going on between Jeremy and Kristi; he has seen people cheat and there's no way Jeremy could've done it alone. Bobby claims that he didn't tell Alonzo to kill Jeremy, just get the money back and scare him. He thinks that Alonzo lied and tried to steal the money, which is why Bobby killed him.

In the break room, Morgan looks over photos from Jeremy's crime scene, the casino, and the pawn shop, Sara enters and looks at the timestamps on the photos. She notes that Alonzo was wearing the same outfit in both the casino and the pawn shop. If he's the one who stabbed Jeremy 12 times, he would have blood all over his clothes when he went to the pawn shop; however, his clothes appear to be spotless. Alonzo isn't the one who killed Jeremy and the case is still open.

Greg tells Morgan that the metal fragment pulled from Jeremy's wound track was actually part of a bullet. As it turns out, Jeremy was actually shot twice; the two wounds in the middle of the back are deeper and wider because the shooter tried to dig the bullets out. The killer then stabbed Jeremy ten more times in an effort to throw the police off. Doc Robbins' hunch was also correct; a murder from two years ago involved the same stab pattern. Back then, a drug informant with ties to the Mala Noche drug cartel was murdered, and the person of interest was a Luis Delgado. Morgan figures that the "DE" written in blood was Jeremy trying to spell out the name "DELGADO." Greg also reveals that about a month ago, Luis walked in on a robbery in his house. Luis was shot in the process, and the thought is that Jeremy was the robber. Greg shows a Morgan a DEA photo of Luis; in it, Luis is wearing the same ring that Jeremy pawned.

Brass finds Luis at the strip club he owns. He's there to show Luis that Jeremy is dead and had pawned his ring. When told that Jeremy was killed two nights ago, Luis replies that he was staying with his sick mother at the time. DEA surveillance confirms Luis' story.

Back at the office, Finn guesses that they have the right motive, but the wrong person. Since two people reported Jeremy breaking into their houses, she thinks there may be other homeowners who were robbed. It's possible one of them saw Jeremy in the alley and killed him in an act of revenge. Russell agrees with the thought and has every item Jeremy pawned for cash brought back to the lab for processing.

Twenty-two items are recovered from the pawn shop; all of them were pawned by Jeremy in the past six months. Every item can forensically be traced back to five robberies, including the ones at Kristi's and Luis' houses. In all five cases, the homeowners walked in on the robbery in progress. Four of them were shot to death, with Luis being the only survivor. The team guesses that the robberies were cover stories, as every pawned item was left off of the owners' insurance claims. They agree that the items were payments for services rendered, and that Jeremy was murdered because, due to his homelessness and desperation, he became a liability to the broker who hired him.

Kristi is questioned once again and shown about $5,000 worth of her items that she forgot to report. One of the items is a bracelet given to her husband by another woman. Russell hypothesizes that Kristi found out that Simon was cheating or maybe he was beating her. She may have tried to make a final stand against Simon for what he did to her. Kristi tearfully admits that someone gave her the e-mail address of a broker who gave her instructions to follow and a list of items to leave off the police report to pay the hitman with. The fact that Jeremy happened to sit at her blackjack table was a coincidence. She paid her $5,000 up front and set up a meet - at a pawn shop. Kristi says that the broker is an older woman. Just then, Russell gets a call that someone shot up the pawn shop.

When Morgan and Sean arrive at the scene, they find Kyle shot to death and his mother in hysterics. The perpetrators also took Zeke. Ruby denies her involvement with everything, saying that Luis Delgado is responsible for Jeremy's death. However, when faced with Zeke's fate, she admits that she killed Jeremy and framed Luis; her sons knew nothing about her side business. Jeremy had stolen a cigar box from Luis that ended up containing $100,000 in heroin; Ruby has already sold the drugs, though. Zeke wanted to protect her and promised Luis' men he would take them to what they wanted. When Luis finds out that he's been lied to, he's going to kill Zeke.

Brass goes back to Luis' strip club and asks him where Zeke is. He also reveals that the drugs are gone and that Zeke knows nothing. When threatened with some of Luis' armed bodyguards, Brass shoots one of them in the knee to make Luis talk and return Zeke.

At the police station, a bruised Zeke is led by a police officer past Morgan and Sean. Morgan congratulates Sean on closing the case, but he tells to take the credit, as she earned it. Before parting ways, the two promise to see each other around.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • Matt Davis as Sean Yeager
  • Illeana Douglas as Ruby Banks
  • Shannon Lucio as Kristi Holt
  • Steven Bauer as Bobby Esposito
  • Max Adler as Kyle Banks
  • Harrison Thomas as Zeke Banks
  • Jason Manuel Olazabal as Louis Delgado
  • Larry Sullivan as Officer Akers
  • Peri Gilpin as Barbara Russell
  • Eric Frentzel as Jeremy Sikes
  • Meli Alexander as Homeless Outreach Worker (uncredited)
  • Anne McDaniels as Pole Dancer Svetlana (uncredited)
  • Cassandra Starr as Pole Dancer Jessica (uncredited)

Music

  • Who Do You Love? by George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Notes

  • George Eads (Nick) is credited but does not appear in the episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 14
The Devil and D.B. RussellTake the Money and RunTorch SongLast SupperFrame by FramePassed PawnsUnder a CloudHelplessCheck In and Check OutGirls Gone WildLost ReindeerKeep Calm and Carry OnBoston BrakesDe Los MuertosLove for SaleKiller MovesLong Road HomeUninvitedThe FallenConsumedKittyDead In His Tracks


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