CSI: Miami

Season 4 Episode 18

Double Jeopardy

0
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Mar 13, 2006 on CBS

Episode Recap

Erica Sykes reports live as the trial against Stephen Rowe draws near its end. Rowe is accused of having murdered his wife Melissa, whose body has never been found. Monica West makes her case to the jury as Horatio watches. Melissa hasn't withdrawn money from any of her accounts in over six months, nor has she contacted her family members. A knife from her kitchen set is missing its tip, and West points it out as the murder weapon. There are also four missing dumbbell weights from Rowe's personal set, which could have been used to sink Melissa's body. While the jury deliberates a fisherman begins to pull his net from the water. As the jury returns and announce that they have found Rowe not guilty, the fisherman finds an arm tangled in his net.

It turns out the body found in the water is Melissa Rowe. She was not tied to any weights, but Delko gets ready to dive down and see if they can be find anywhere nearby. Calleigh pays Alexx a visit to find out the cause of death, but Alexx can't give her an answer yet. She can however tell Calleigh that Melissa's fingers were cut off. Calleigh wonders why Melissa is wearing pantyhose. The pantyhose turn out to work in their favour, since they helped preserve the legs. Alexx finds stabbing wounds, but they won't be able to compare it to the knife. Calleigh takes part of Melissa's bones with her up to the lab and compares the stab marks on it to those on an elastomer cast she's made. She finds a match. The knife West pointed out as the murder weapon during the trial was indeed used to kill Melissa. She shows Wolfe what she's found. The knife was already broken when it was used to kill Melissa. However this is not enough to retry Rowe, since "double jeopardy" applies. They can't retry Rowe with the same evidence, even if they know more about it now.

Meanwhile Delko has found two of the missing weights and the first person he runs into after getting back up on land is Erica Sykes. She wants to know if the weights he's holding are the missing dumbbells from the Rowe case, but Delko tells her that he's not Wolfe and he's not going to talk. He walks off but she just smiles. His actions told her more than his words.

Tripp and Horatio pay Rowe a visit. He's having champagne with his new girlfriend, Allison, in celebration. Horatio tells Rowe that they found the weights used to sink Melissa. Rowe seems preoccupied but Allison is not bothered; a jury found Rowe innocent and that's all she cares about. They just want to get on with their lives now. Horatio remarks that Melissa wanted the same. Rowe gets angry and tells them that Melissa was not the saint they believe her to be. And he didn't kill her.

Back at the lab Delko tells Wolfe that Rowe got so angry with Horatio that now his lawyer is requesting all the evidence back. Wolfe remarks that he liked Delko's exclusive with Erika Sykes, detailing how he found the missing weights. Delko replies that he didn't tell her that, she drew her own conclusions, and Wolfe points out that he's said the same thing before. Delko grins and the two seem to make peace over the issue. Wolfe is supposed to be going through the files found on Rowe's laptop, but thought it was a waste of time since it's all been documented before the trial. He tells Delko that instead he decided to go through the files that weren't in the laptop. In other words, the files Rowe deleted. It turns out Rowe has deleted files from white supremacist websites. Specifically concerning family genetics.

They pass the information on to Horatio who goes to talk to Melissa's father, Richard Bowman. Bowman tells him that Melissa's mother died when Melissa was nine months old. Melissa had only been seeing Rowe for a month when they eloped, and it wasn't until a week later that Rowe learned that his wife's mother was black. Bowman tells Horatio he overheard the two arguing. Rowe was furious, and wondered what their kids were going to look like. Melissa was suddenly a half-breed to his eyes, and that was clearly not good enough.

With this new information Horatio goes to a Federal Prosecutor to have the case retried as a hate crime. West is angry that he went over her head, but he tells her he needed to act right away. West doesn't believe this new theory will hold in court, and for the time being the Federal Prosecutor agrees. Melissa was after all married to Rowe. West tells Horatio that this is just a waste of time, and he should focus on bringing in cases they can win.

Calleigh tells Horatio about all the things that don't add up with the case. Why use a broken knife as a murder weapon? Why was Melissa wearing pantyhose? And where are the two missing weights? Not to mention the missing piece of the knife? Horatio wonders if the missing piece of the puzzle is a second murder. Rowe could have used the same knife and the other two weights on another person before he killed Melissa, practicing the crime on someone.

Wolfe concludes that if there was another murder it took place between March 26th, when Rowe first learned of Melissa's mother, and October 5th when Melissa disappeared. He finds all female victims in the area during their timeframe. He compares it to all the places where Rowe has used his credit card during the same time frame, to find a match. He finds three possible victims. The first one he looks at is a Debra Massey, who was stabbed and then dumped into the water. The case is pending, an Ethan Gaffney is under arrest.

Wolfe and Calleigh talk to Gaffney who tells them that he's a pilot and he was giving Debra flying lessons. He recognises Stephen Rowe's name from the news and draws the conclusion that they think Rowe might have killed Debra as well. He insists that he didn't kill Debra, they only arrested him since he was the last person to see her alive. When he's taken back to custody Wolfe and Calleigh discuss the possibility of Rowe being Debra's killer. In order to be sure they need to compare possible stab wounds on Debra's bones to the knife that killed Melissa.

Debra's body is exhumated and brought to Alexx, who can tell Wolfe that she has all her fingers intact. That doesn't match Melissa's murder, but the stabbing and the weighing down do. Debra has ligature marks on her ankles which might be able to tell them more.

Calleigh examines the bones and finds that a narrower blade was used, and she was slashed rather than stabbed. But they were both weighed down, only Melissa stayed put while Debra floated back up. Horatio notes that Rowe could have learned from his mistakes, but they can't prove anything. Alexx identifies the ligature marks on Debra's ankles as a timing chain, found on airplanes.

They go back to Gaffney, who is now in a tight spot. He tells them that Debra was hitting on him, but when he took her seriously she changed her mind. In a fit of frustration he slashed her with his knife. He admits that he killed Debra, but not Melissa, and adds that he doesn't want the papers printing anymore lies. The news claimed he cut off Debra's fingers and ate them, which he didn't do. This interests the CSIs, and Delko is sent to go through the articles on Debra's death.

Delko gives an article to Wolfe where the victim's name is witheld, and asks him which case it's about. Wolfe says it sounds like Melissa's, but the dates don't add up. It's about Debra, only it misreports that her fingers were missing. Delko concludes that Rowe read about Debra's murder and decided to copy it, hoping that the police would think that Debra's murder killed Melissa too. Only that still leaves them with his practice victim. The missing victim has missing fingers, but none of the bodies from their unsolved cases are missing any digits.

Wolfe and Calleigh pay a visit to Damon Slone, Rowe's former roommate. They want to know if Melissa ever accompanied Rowe to the poker nights he had with his friends. Slone tells them that she came with him for a while but then they both stopped coming after Melissa saw him talking to a female tenant at the apartment building and overreacted. The woman he talked to, Teresa Barton, moved out without taking her things or telling anyone.

Teresa went missing a month after the articles about Debra were published. Calleigh and Wolfe look through her things and Calleigh finds a movie rental card. Wolfe finds that odd, since she doesn't have a DVD player or a VCR. He takes a closer look at the card and finds one of the corner bent in the same way cards look when they've been used to open a locked door.

Horatio and Tripp go over to Allison's house to bring Rowe in for questioning. When they get there the door is open and there is blood on the side of it. The room shows evidence of a struggle, but both Allison and Rowe are gone.

Rowe is soon found and brought in. He says she was at home when he last saw Allison. He says she hit him and lost her balance in the swing. She cut herself when she fell over a broken picture frame. She told him to leave and so he did. Since they can't prove that she was hurt in any other fashion they'll have to release him. Horatio tells him that they want to talk to him about Teresa Barton as well. They found his video rental card among her things and suspect that he used her as his practice victim.

The plot thickens when Delko shows Horatio what they found in Allison's house. There was a fingerprint in the blood on the door, belonging to Richard Bowman, Melissa's father. Horatio heads over to his house with backup in towe and finds Bowman watching video tapes of Melissa as a child with a gun on the table next to him. Allison is not with him. Bowman tells Horatio that Melissa refused to give up on Rowe, no matter what he did to her. Bowman could not save his daughter but he hoped he could save Allison. He admits he went over to Allison's house to kill Rowe, but instead he found Allison in tears on the floor, bleeding from the cut on her arm. He took her away from the house, which counts as kidnapping, but Bowman doesn't care so long as she is safe. Horatio tells him that going back to Rowe is Allison's own choice, just like it was Melissa's. Tripp comes in and tells Horatio that they've found Allison.

Out in the front yard Allison thanks Horatio for finding her. She believes Bowman was going to kill her but Horatio says that was the opposite of his intentions. She's free to go, but not home to Rowe as he is under arrest.

The CSIs have only 72 hours to find Teresa Barton's body, or Rowe will be released. Wolfe has an idea, based on the articles Delko showed him. He thinks Teresa was dumped in the same lake as Debra. But when he and Delko head out to the lake they discover that it's been drained to make room for a mall. Delko and Wolfe have to use the ground penetrating radar to determine whether or not there's a body dumped there. A few hours later they have located Teresa's body and dug it up. The two missing dumbbells are found as well.

Alexx notes that Teresa's fingers are missing, just like with Melissa. She also finds the missing tip of the knife. Horatio informs Rowe of their new findings, but Rowe isn't concerned. He got off once, he'll get off again. Horatio doubts it. They have a lot more evidence this time around, including two bodies.

Since Horatio wants to build the Federal case with a hate crime, Calleigh continues to gather evidence. She examines the pantyhose they found on Melissa and finds a fingernail which has some skin attached to it still. She brings it to Valera while still pondering the pantyhose. She's guessing Melissa was redressed by her killer to make it look like she was headed for a night of clubbing and ran into someone who stabbed her. And whoever decided to put pantyhose on her was probably not a Miami local. Valera tells her that the DNA found on the fingernail matches the samples of Allison's blood which they gathered earlier.

Allison is brought in. Horatio asks where she's originally from and she tells them she's from Connecticut. When she is told of the evidence against her she breaks and tells them that Rowe forced her to redress Melissa. Horatio informs her that as they speak Rowe is meeting with the assistant state attorney to cut a deal. He's going to tell them what Allison's part in it all was. Furious with being sold out Allison admits that she killed Melissa when Rowe couldn't. Melissa refused to give him a divorce so she had to die. He had promised Allison they would be together but he couldn't get Teresa's face out of his head. So Allison called Melissa and told her she was Rowe's mistress and asked her to come over. When Melissa came Allison stabbed her and a shocked Rowe decided they had to add to her outfit to make it look like she was out clubbing. Allison and Rowe will both be going to jail.

Horatio goes to West with exactly what she asked for: a case she can win. She is impressed and congratulates him on a job well done.
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