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The Accused is Entitled
Accused.jpg
Season 3
Number 2
Writer Elizabeth Devine,
Ann Donahue
Director Kenneth Fink
Original Airdate October 3, 2002
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The Accused Is Entitled is the second episode in season three of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Synopsis

Grissom and his team investigate a crime involving a famous movie star in which one woman is dead in his hotel suite and another is missing. They must perform under not only the media spotlight, but also under the scrutiny of Grissom's mentor, who uses his knowledge of Grissom and the other CSIs to discredit their evidence in his role as hired expert for the defense.

Plot

Victims: Kim Hsu (deceased), Tonya (no last name given) (missing)

On the case: entire team

In the Palms casino, A-list movie star Tom Haviland is playing craps as a crowd gathers around him. He orders his assistant, Ray-Ray Varney, to pick up two Asian girls for him to have sex with later on. Some time later, one of the girls, Kim Hsu, is found dead in Tom's bed with her neck slashed.

Grissom meets Brass at the scene and is informed that the time of death was between 1:00-2:00 AM. Tom claims that he left the two girls and went back down to the craps table; when he came back, he found Kim's body. Grissom notes that the extent of the coagulation in the blood on Kim's neck suggests that she died before 1 :00 AM. The other girl, Tonya, is missing. Ray-Ray notified hotel security then called 9-1-1. Hotel surveillance puts him down at the craps table when the crime supposedly took place.

Grissom asks Tom if he touched Kim after he found her and Tom says he didn't. He claims he was creeped out and kept his distance until the ambulance arrived. Tom also says he was able to ask Kim who did that to her and she said it was Tonya. Grissom and Warrick examine the backs of Tom's hands and find blood embedded around the fingernails.

While Brass addresses the press, the team finds out that Ray-Ray got attorney Marjorie "Soundbite" Westcott to defend Tom, as a rich client is right up her alley. Warrick heads back to the lab with the blood evidence, Catherine and Sara head to the penthouse, and Nick starts to examine the craps table Tom was playing at. Grissom states that he's going to stand back and just supervise on the case.

In the penthouse, EMT Hank Peddigrew lets Sara know that he had to move Kim's bra in order to try to resuscitate her. Sara takes pictures of the before and after locations of the bra and tells Hank she'll have to note this in her report. Catherine tells Sara that she didn't find any blood in the bathroom, nor in any of the plumbing fixtures in the penthouse. Noting that Tom had to wash his hands somewhere, Catherine leaves the penthouse and walks down the hall to the utility closet. In the sink there, she finds blood in the drain stopper and the drain itself. She also finds a footprint by the sink.

As the impatient casino manager looks on, Nick collects all of the dice used at the craps table the night Tom was playing and is able to find blood on one of the die. Meanwhile, on his way back to the crime lab, Warrick has to stop at the scene of a car accident and help one of the victims, leaving the blood evidence inside his car.

Based on Kim's wound, Doc Robbins surmises that the murder weapon was sharp and had a tight curve. Grissom guesses the weapon was a corkscrew, as Tom would have had to use a weapon of opportunity. Doc Robbins says that Kim's larynx was damaged and her voice box was immobilized, contradicting Tom's story that Kim was able to say who her murderer was.

As the team goes over the evidence so far, Greg informs them that the blood on Tom's hands belonged to Kim. On the TV in the lab, Marjorie Westcott gives a press conference where she states that Tonya, who's still at large, is still a murder suspect. Furthermore, the evidence the CSI team collected is contaminated, as the chain of custody was broken when Warrick got out of his car to help the accident victim. While Warrick is explaining his side of the story, Grissom's hearing becomes muffled.

Grissom tells the team that Tom's attorneys are not waiving time, meaning they're exercising their right to a speedy trial. The team now has 72 hours to process all of the evidence before the preliminary trial; a failure to do so will likely mean the case gets thrown out of court. Grissom also tells the team that Marjorie added a forensic scientist, Dr. Phillip Gerard, to the defense team. Dr. Gerard is Grissom's former mentor, and he'll be visiting the lab to make sure that every piece of evidence is processed by the book. "When you can't attack the evidence itself," Grissom notes, "you attack the method of gathering the evidence."

Ray-Ray volunteers to come to the lab and give a blood sample, and Grissom states that he's doing so because he knows his blood isn't on the bed sheets. The defense team is trying to overload the lab with evidence to slow down the process. Meanwhile, Greg lets Nick know that the blood contributions found on the die Nick swabbed belonged to Tom and Kim; her blood got into his mouth at some point.

Grissom and Sara study the bed sheet, noting that the flowing pattern is from Kim's neck wound. However, there are other patterns on the sheet, including one in a waffle-like pattern. Grissom hones in on another section of the sheet, to which Sara says Kim didn't show any trauma that would cause the medium-velocity blood spatter they're looking at. Grissom guesses that the blood belongs to Tonya and that she was killed first via hand-to-hand combat. Kim was killed to stop her from screaming.

Dr. Gerard stops by to take photos of the evidence Grissom and Sara have. Sara tells him that she followed protocol when collecting clothes and the bed sheet from the scene, and even noted Hank's movement of the bra. Dr. Gerard brings up that Hank and Sara had a relationship, much to Grissom's surprise. Meanwhile, Catherine tells Grissom that Marjorie requested copies of CSI proficiency test records. Grissom says it's no big deal since they wouldn't be working in the lab if they had failed the test, but Catherine notes that her test is still under appeal after she challenged one of her wrong answers.

Warrick tells Grissom that he's been served, and that Tom's defense team wants the shirt Warrick wore to the crime scene. There's just one problem: Warrick states that he threw it out because it was covered in blood from the accident victim. Grissom tells him to find the shirt or else it will look like he's hiding something.

Nick is going over the casino surveillance footage with Dr. Gerard looking over his shoulder. On the footage, Ray-Ray is shown at the craps table receiving a phone call at 1:31 AM. He's then shown getting off of an elevator at 2:21 AM with a bag of golf clubs and a hard-shell golf bag big enough to fit a body in. Despite it looking like Ray-Ray was cleaning up Tom's crime, Dr. Gerard says that it's possible Ray-Ray killed Tonya himself and was disposing of the body to clear himself. Nick replies that the time stamp shows Ray-Ray at the craps table during the murder, but Dr. Gerard says it's not about what happened, but convincing a jury what could have happened.

Ray-Ray brings the hard-shell golf bag to the police station. When pressed about the 1:31 AM phone call, he says it was Tom calling him to brag about the girls. In regards to the photos of Ray-Ray leaving the elevator with the bags, his defense team says he was simply bringing Tom's golf clubs to the airport. Grissom opens the golf bag, smells solvent, and notes that the bag has just been cleaned. With Dr. Gerard and Nick present, Grissom sprays the golf bag with luminol. A lot of blood evidence is revealed; however, the luminol cross-reacts with the bleach, destroying the evidence. Grissom excuses Nick from the room after Nick complains about the case's process.

Finally having had enough, Grissom confronts Dr. Gerard, asking him what happened to him that he chose this path. Dr. Gerard responds that he didn't want to see innocent people being put in jail because of sloppy investigating and shortcut forensics. Grissom ascertains that if you look hard enough, you can find mistakes in any lab. The two argue, with Grissom saying he knows Dr. Gerard thinks Tom is guilty, but would rather attack the credibility of the CSI team to help Tom walk. Dr. Gerard tells Grissom to drop the case in the interest of the CSI team, but Grissom tells him that he'll see him in court.

Test results show that three of the blood stains on the bed sheet came back to Kim; however, the four blood spatter marks came from a male contributor, with no match to either Tom or Ray-Ray. There was possibly another guy in the penthouse. Nick interrupts and informs Grissom that they found Tonya's body buried in a golf course. At the scene, Grissom and Brass note the marks on Tonya's face, with Grissom saying it looks like uncontrollable rage. Nick brushes away some sand and informs Grissom that Tonya has male genitalia.

With Dr. Gerard standing next to him, Grissom tries piecing together the night's events. Tom took the two women up to his room, but found out Tonya was a man. Instead of reacting in disgust, Tom decided to beat Tonya to death in rage. Dr. Gerard seems to ignore this and tries getting under Grissom's skin by mentioning his mother. He also tells Grissom that he knows about his genetic hearing loss. As Grissom leaves the scene, his hearing goes muffled again.

Grissom tries to find the match to the waffle-like pattern found on the bed sheet, but Sara lets him know that nothing found in the penthouse matches the pattern. As she prepares to go to court, Grissom tries comforting her by saying that anything that happens isn't because of her relationship with Hank. Meanwhile, Warrick searches for his bloody shirt, but continues to come up empty.

Nick is the first CSI interrogated in court; afterwards, he tells Catherine that he blew it by not putting case identifiers on his dice photos. He explains that he was in a hurry because the casino manager wanted the craps table open. This isn't good since the blood on the dice places Tom at the murder. In a flashback, Nick is in the courtroom with the photo evidence in front of him. Marjorie asks him how they can be confident in his collection if he can't be confident about his own documentation. Nick had five photos of a die in front of him and picked the one he thought was the one that tested positive for blood. The die has not been excluded from evidence, but Nick's credibility has taken a hit.

Now, it's Warrick's turn on the stand. Because he couldn't find the shirt he was wearing, Marjorie tells him that there's no way of knowing if the blood from the accident victim came in contact with the blood he was transporting. To establish credibility, she asks Warrick if he's still addicted to gambling, to which he responds that he is. Meanwhile, Grissom complains to Brass that they only have photos of Kim's extremities and no lower body photos. His team is going to trial with only half of the evidence.

Back in the courtroom, Sara is on the stand. Marjorie questions her about her relationship with Hank and whether she had him move the bra to a certain location. Marjorie then asks Sara if she gets intimately involved with someone on a case frequently, noting that a witness once saw her brush chalk off of Grissom's face. Sara responds that it was drywall and that they were looking for a body. Marjorie wonders out loud how far Sara would go to comprise evidence in order to make herself look good in Grissom's eyes.

With Catherine, Marjorie brings up her past as an exotic dancer, which Catherine proudly defends. Marjorie tells the court that Catherine failed her yearly proficiency exam, which Catherine quickly says is on appeal. She then wonders if Catherine did the same thing with the footprint she recovered—there's the truth and there's Catherine's interpretation of it. An angered Catherine returns to the lab and tells Grissom that the team is losing and the he's being a lousy boss by not backing them up in court. Grissom simply responds by asking where he can find full body shots of Tom Haviland.

Greg provides several tabloid magazines, which he says he hid when Dr. Gerard started snooping around. He, Catherine, and Grissom go through a bunch of the magazines looking for photos of Tom. Grissom spots something with a magnifying glass and proudly states that he's going to court.

In the courtroom, Grissom magnifies the waffle-like blood stain on the bed sheet, claiming it was made by Tom during the attack. Before Marjorie gets up to interrogate Grissom, Dr. Gerard whispers to her, telling her to speak in a very soft voice so Grissom can't hear her. The plan seems to work, as when she starts speaking, Grissom can't hear a word; however, the judge tells him to answer the question. Grissom has Marjorie repeat her question two more times until he can read her lips.

Grissom informs the court that Tom has a distinctive scar on his left knee, and that is what left behind the waffle-like pattern on the bed sheet. He reads a production report that Tom injured himself on one of the steps of his trailer on a movie set. Grissom is able to match the marks on the step to Tom's knee, then the knee to the bed sheet. Defeated, Marjorie says she has no further questions.

Dr. Gerard compliments Grissom, who says the team deserves the credit. Tom is arrested for a double homicide with no bail and the CSI team exits the courtroom with smiles on their faces.

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Cast

  • David Berman as David Phillips
  • Christopher Wiehl as Hank Peddigrew
  • Paula Francis as News Anchor
  • Chad Michael Murray as Tom Haviland
  • Michael B. Silver as Prosecutor for CSI
  • Michael Ensign as Judge Peter Croft
  • Marta Martin as Suzi Bergh
  • David Purdham as Ray-Ray Varney's Lawyer
  • Lindsay Frost as Atty. Marjorie Westcott
  • Raymond J. Barry as Dr. Phillip Gerard
  • Linda Kim as Tonya
  • Thomas Kuehl as Ray-Ray Varney
  • J. Antonio Moon as Bailiff
  • Nancy Yoon as Kim Hsu
  • Shahid Ali as Craps Player/Fan
  • Nate Bynum as Black Media
  • C.C. Carr as Female Media
  • Jamal Clark as Security Guard
  • Justin Cooper as Caucasian Media
  • Corinna Harney as Girl Gone Wild
  • Don Mirault as Ken Murdock
  • Frank Patton as Stick Player
  • Max Shippee as Fan
  • The Wallflowers as Themselves (uncredited)

Featured Music

  • Flight 643 by DJ Tiesto
  • Dallas 4 PM by DJ Tiesto
  • David by Gus Gus
  • Everybody out of the Water by The Wallflowers

Quotes

Greg: Now, I know I haven't been getting out in the field very much, but how does a guy get a girl's blood in his mouth when he's killing her?
Nick: Murder's messy, my friend.

Goofs

  • During the trial, Grissom testifies that the scar which proves the actor committed the murders, is on his left knee. But in a blow-up picture which Grissom shows to the court, the scar is seen on the actor's right knee.
  • The character credited as "Ray-Ray Varney" is called "Raymond Lester" by Brass at the beginning of the episode, and "Ray" during the rest of the episode.
  • On the stand, Sara is questioned about her 'affection' for Grissom, having been seen by an eyewitness performing a romantic gesture, which was actually just brushing chalk from his face (Scuba Doobie-Doo). How could anyone have seen that happen, much less remember it a year later? It was late at night, they were standing behind a wall, so they were shielded from the traffic. They were wearing caps so anyone watching from above in the building wouldn't have known it was them, not to mention the fact nobody would know who they were anyway. And given that the defense lawyer, Ms. Soundbite, had made sure they didn't go for a continuance and CSI were working all hours, how would she have had time to even canvass for that kind of information?
  • When Nick is examining the gambling table and checking for blood on the dice, he finds a sample that proves positive. He smiles, looks up at the surveillance camera, and then indicates that everyone can come and play at the table again and we see people swarm in around him. Yet, his sample envelopes are still on the table, he hasn't put his swab away, he hasn't collected the dice, and his measuring L is still in place. There is no way a CSI would release that scene until it was properly clear.
  • When Grissom and Dr. Gerard are walking down the hallway, Dr. Gerard calls Grissom 'Gil Petersen,' which is the last name of the actor who plays Gil Grissom.
  • When Catherine, Grissom, Warrick, and the prosecutor are walking down the hallway and the prosecutor is talking about the blood evidence being contaminated, Warrick mispronounces Tom Haviland's name as "Tom Halivand."

Notes

  • Grissom was mentored by Dr. Phillip Gerard.

Trivia

  • This episode was submitted for the Outstanding Drama Series category along with "Lady Heather's Box."
  • The Wallflowers appeared unbilled in this episode.

See Also

CSI:Las Vegas Season 3
Revenge is Best Served ColdThe Accused is EntitledLet the Seller BewareA Little MurderAbra-CadaverThe Execution of Catherine WillowsFight NightSnuffBlood LustHigh and LowRecipe for MurderGot Murder?Random Acts of ViolenceOne Hit WonderLady Heather's BoxLucky StrikeCrash & BurnPrecious MetalA Night at the MoviesLast LaughForeverPlay with FireInside the Box
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