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Season 1 Episode 15

Reasonable Doubts

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2006 on CBS

Episode Recap

A man shoots his mother-in-law in front of his wife, he is immediately arrested and confesses. During the confession he claims he had a breakdown because his mother in law was constantly meddling in the couple's life, so he shot her. Annabeth talks to the wife and grieving daughter, she is thorn between her beloved husband, and her cruel mother. Maureen and Annabeth attend a motion to suppress the confession, the suspect asked if he should have a lawyer three times but the detective doing the interview ignored it and continued with the interview. The judge rules to suppress the confession and Doug Hellman, the defense attorney, tries to intimidate Annabeth into making a plea agreement.

Maureen and Annabeth prepare Jessica Randal to testify against her husband, since the defense can argue that she could be the one who pulled the trigger, but she believes her husband would never accuse her knowing she didn't do it. At the trial, Doug goes after Jessica and claims she was the one who had motive to kill her mother. Annabeth gets frustrated by Doug's tactics to win the case; he even twists the Medical Examiner's testimony to accuse Jessica of being the shooter.

Annabeth is worried that the jury might believe in the defense's theory when Det. George Branch arrives with news, he looked through Paul Randal's credit card bills and found several motel payments dating two tears ago, he also tells Steve that Paul Randal has been going to the AA for eight months and suggests they talk to Paul's sponsor. Maureen pressures Michael Brandt to tell her if he knows something about Paul's visits to the motel, but he refuses. Det. Branch gets the surveillance videos form the motel and they make a shocking discovery: Paul had an affair with his mother-in-law.

The DA files a motion to compel Paul's sponsor, Mr. Brandt, to testify, and Doug Hellman argues it is privileged information, but the judge rules in favor of the State and allows them to subpoena Michael Brandt. He testifies that Paul confided in him and told him about the affair, and that Helen threatened to tell everything to Jessica. The defense insinuates that Helen really did told Jessica about the affair and that's why she killed her mother, Jessica has a meltdown in court and Annabeth grows worried of the jury's opinion about the case.

Both sides make their closing arguments, but Annabeth and Maureen are unsure of the verdict, she feels the jury really believed in Doug Hellman's theory. Later that night Annabeth receives a phone call, the jury wants to know about Jessica's therapist, and if the judge can call the therapist to testify, Annabeth freaks out about it. Doug approaches her and offers a deal, eight years in jail. Maureen and Annabeth talk to Jessica, but she is confuse and tells Annabeth to do whatever she thinks is the best, Steve and Maureen tell her to take the deal and she agrees.

At the end of the trial, the jury foreman approaches Annabeth and Maureen to ask them why did they make a plea, he reveals they were going to convict Paul. Annabeth gets crushed with this revelation, and the juror is disappointed about how little time Paul is going to stay in jail. She talk to Doug afterwards and he admits he knew all along he couldn't win the case in front of a jury, so he had made Annabeth doubt herself enough to make a plea agreement.