Fade In: Exterior. 10 AM. Sun is shining on the Maple Falls Courthouse as various people file in. Everyone is there except for Nancy, Elsie, Declan, Judy, Sylvia, Charlie, Doris, Max, Lena and Grace. We see Kathy climbing the stairs with Patrick and Colleen as Judy comes running up.
Judy: Aunt Kathy wait for me.
Kathy: (Turning): Judy, what are you doing here?
Judy: I want to come too. I want to be here for you and Uncle Jim like everybody else.
Kathy: (Hugs Judy): Oh, Judy, you are so sweet and I love you very much but you can’t come in today. You need to be in school. Everything will be fine here and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you. I promise.
Judy: But why can everyone else go and not me?
Kathy: It just isn’t a place for ten-year old girls, Judy. Believe me, no one really wants to be here and I need you to be in school where I know you’ll be safe and happy. Can you do that for me, Judy?
Judy: But, Aunt Kathy–
Kathy: Besides Elsie is going to need you to help her feeding the pigeons in the park. You won’t be able to do that if you are here in this stuffy, old courthouse.
Judy: Well I didn’t think of that. All right. I’ll go to school but now I missed the first bell.
Kathy: That’s all right. I’ll call the school and tell them you’ll be a little late. David?
David: Yes, Aunt Kathy?
Kathy: Can you drive your sister to school?
David: Yes, Aunt Kathy. Come on, sis.
(Kathy kisses Judy on the forehead and Judy and David exit and Sylvia enters with Charlie.)
Sylvia: What was Judy doing here?
Kathy: (To Sylvia): She came to tell me how much she loves Jim and I. (Turns around and to her children) Come on, Colleen and Patrick. Let’s go inside and see your father be found innocent.
CUT-TO: Interior. Judge Mitchell’s chambers. She is seated at her desk as Adrian and John stand before her.
Judge: And I’m telling you for the last time, Ms. Shapiro, the file containing Noel Tremayne’s past identities are not permissible evidence.
Adrian: But, Judge, letting the jury know the kind of man Noel was is important to my case. He was a murderer of not only his pregnant girlfriend but of his gay lover.
Judge: He was never convicted of the second crime.
Adrian: No because he was under an alias as Nicky Travis but as Ned Turner he was convicted and he wasn’t even from London he was from Appalachia For God’s sake! The man was a complete and utter phony. The jury needs to know that.
Judge: None of that is pertinent to this case and it is not permitted DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR? You may get away a lot of histrionics and theatrics in your courts in Los Angeles but this is Massachusetts and this is MY COURT. You try any of that with me and I’m going to hold you in contempt. Do you understand, Counselor? (Adrian goes to speak.) DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Adrian: Yes, Judge Mitchell, I understand completely.
Judge: Wipe that smirk off your face, Mister Kelly.
John: Yes, Judge.
Judge: The same holds true for you. GOT IT?
John: Yes, Judge. I understand.
Judge: Good. Now let’s proceed.
CUT-TO: Interior. The courtroom. Everyone is seated in various places. Kathy and her family should be seated right behind the defense table where Adrian is seated. Jen and Richard should be seated behind her along with Sheri and Andrew, etc. Violet, Sylvia, Charlie are seated on the opposite side. Brooke is seated with Andrew and motions for her mother to join them but Violet ignores her. John is seated at his table as Doris enters hurriedly and goes to sit at the Prosecutor’s table. John and Doris exchange looks and unheard dialogue with him asking her where she was, etc. Max enters a few seconds behind her and sits in the back on the defense side. The door opens and Jim is led to the table in handcuffs and seated next to Adrian. Kathy touches his shoulder. Court Officer enters.
Officer: Here ye, Here ye, All rise (They do and Judge Mitchell enters) The Honorable Judge Mitchell is now presiding. (Judge sits and everyone sits.)
Judge: Mister Kelly, do you wish to make an opening statement?
John: I do, Your Honor.
(From now on when people speak it will dissolve from one to the other. Paula is seated in the witness stand.)
Ginny: It was raining that evening and I was making my customary rounds when I saw a light on coming out the kitchen of Romano’s Restaurant. I heard two-gun shots. So I parked my car and ran behind the restaurant and saw the kitchen door was open. I walked in and saw Paula Tremayne holding a gun. I saw Noel Tremayne on the floor with two bullet holes in him and blood pouring out everywhere. I knelt down next to him and there wasn’t any pulse. He was dead. So I arrested Paula for her ex-husband’s murder. The very next day Jim Burke came into the station. He came into my office and confessed to killing Noel Tremayne. So we released Paula and I arrested Jim.
John: And what were Jim Burke’s exact words, Chief?
Ginny: You can let my sister go because I killed Noel Tremayne.
Jim: Thank you, Chief Cusack. Your witness.
Adrian: Good morning, Chief.
Ginny: Good morning.
Adrian: How long have you known Jim Burke?
Ginny: I’ve only been in Maple Falls a few months but Jim is one of the first people I met.
Adrian: What type of person would say Jim is in your opinion?
Ginny: He’s a good, honest, decent man.
Adrian: Would you say he’s an honorable man in your opinion?
John: (Rises): Your Honor what is this all about?
Judge: (Admonishes): Sit down, Mr. Kelly. (To Ginny) You may answer the question.
Ginny: Yes in my opinion he is an honorable man who would and has done anything for his family and friends.
Adrian: Honorable enough to tell you he killed someone so his sister doesn’t have to go to prison for the crime?
John: (Rises): Your honor.
Judge: That’s enough, Ms. Shapiro.
John: Let the record show this a hostile witness.
Paula: Of course I’m hostile. Jimmy is my brother and I love my brother very much.
John: Would you say Mrs. Tremayne that you love your brother more than your late husband?
Paula: He was my ex-husband so I would think the answer would be obvious. (The Jury laughs and Judge Mitchell raps her gavel.)
Judge: Just answer the question.
Paula: Yes I love my brother more than my ex-husband. I love my brother more than I love anyone.
John: Do you love your brother when he’s angry?
John: Do you love him with he’s enraged?
Adrian: (Rises): Your Honor what is this all about?
Judge: Ms. Shapiro has a valid question, Mr. Kelly. It’s been established that the witness loves her brother. Get to the point quickly.
John: Yes, your honor. (To Paula) Have you ever seen your brother enraged?
Paula: I suppose so.
John: You suppose so? Was he enraged on the day of your son’s funeral?
Paula: We were all upset at my son’s funeral.
John: Understandably but I didn’t say upset. I said was he enraged?
Adrian: (Rises): Your Honor!
Judge: Mr. Kelly?
John: Let me remind you that at your son’s funeral your husband at the time came in and announced to the entire congregation that you and one Melanie Forsythe were lovers and had been lovers for a very long time. Is that not true?
Paula: Yes. Noel did that.
John: And when Noel did that didn’t your brother–the brother you love more than anyone in this world as you say–jump over the pew and try to strangle your husband to death?
Adrian: Objection! He’s asking the witness for a conclusion.
Judge: Sustained. Rephrase your question, Mr. Kelly.
John: Did you see your brother leap over the pew at St. Mark’s Church?
Paula: Yes but
John: Uh! Did you see him grab your husband around the throat with his bare hands?
Paula: Yes but Jimmy–
John: Uh! Did you see your brother fall on the floor with Noel choking him so that people had to pull him off of Noel before he killed him?
Paula: Yes but Jimmy only did that because he loves me and he hated Noel. (Realizing what she has just said.)
John: Enough to kill him?
Judge: (To Paula): The witness will not answer that question and it will be stricken from the record. Mister Kelly I’m warning you. Anymore of those antics and I’ll throw you right out of this courtroom. Do you understand?
John: Yes. I’m sorry your Honor. (To Adrian) Your witness.
Adrian: No questions at this time, Your Honor, but I reserve the right to call the witness again.
Judge: (To Paula): You may step down. Your next witness?
Sylvia: Yes he was right on top of him. I thought he was going to kill him right then and there.
John: Where were you sitting at the time?
Sylvia: In the front row. Pew I think they call it. I’m not Catholic so I thought maybe this is what goes on inside a Catholic Church.
John: You didn’t really think that, did you, Mrs. Moore?
Sylvia: No, not really. I’m not surprised it’s come to this. Jim and Kathy both have terrible tempers.
Judge: Overruled. Go on, Mrs. Moore.
Sylvia: Thank you, Judge. I mean that Kathy killed my husband. She pushed him right off a cliff and on my wedding night!
Adrian: Objection your Honor.
Judge: Sustained. That’s enough, Mrs. Moore. Do you have more questions, Mister Kelly?
John: No your honor. (Sylvia gets up to leave.)
Adrian: Please sit down, Mrs. Moore. (Sylvia sits) How long have you known Jim and Kathy Burke?
Sylvia: I’ve known them since childhood. We all grew up together.
Adrian: Give me an age when you remember meeting them for the first time.
Sylvia: I suppose it would have been my fifth birthday party. Papa gave me one at our house and all the children came. We had a pony and cake and ice cream and–
Adrian: You’ve known them for that long?
Sylvia: Yes. It seems like forever.
Adrian: You remained friends with them all these years? Even when you were married to your first husband Doctor Max Goldman, is that right?
Sylvia: Yes. Actually the four of us used to get together all the time. They would come to our house we would go to theirs.
Adrian: So you like them?
Sylvia: I like them very much.
Adrian: They’re friends?
Sylvia: Yes or at least I always thought so until–
Adrian: Until what?
John: (Rises): Your Honor
Judge: Sit down, Mister Kelly. You had your turn. (To Sylvia) Go ahead. Answer the question.
Sylvia: Until I discovered that Kathy who is best friends with Jennifer Crane knew about my husband’s affair with Jen and never said anything to me.
Adrian: Would you consider that a betrayal?
Sylvia: Well wouldn’t you? I had her to my home. She ate at my table. To think she knew that all along and never said anything to me about it. It hurt.
Adrian: And is that when you decided to hate Kathy and Jim Burke?
Adrian: But you don’t really hate them, do you?
Adrian: And in your own opinion you don’t really believe Kathy Burke pushed your husband off the cliff, do you?
Sylvia: No. It was just easier to believe that than to think he was really trying to kill me for my money. I need to stop saying that about her.
Adrian: And as for Jim Burke? In your own opinion of course.
Sylvia: We all-well, I–understood why he beat up Noel. We all wanted too. Jim’s just the only one who’d actually do it. It made me jealous in a way. To know that someone loves you so much that they are willing to do anything for you.
Adrian: But not murder.
Adrian: Thank you, Mrs. Moore.
(Sylvia exits the witness stand and passes by Kathy, who holds out her hand. Sylvia takes it. They look kindly at each other. Sylvia then sits next to Max and motions for Charlie to come sit with them. As he does this, Grace enters. They look at each other and then sit on opposite sides. Olive sees this exchange.)
Violet: I saw the entire thing unfold before my very eyes. He leapt over the front pew and grabbed Noel around the neck and began to strangle him. Doctor Goldman and Mister Burke had to pull him off Noel or else he would kill him right then and there.
Violet: You can object all you like. I know what I saw.
Judge: That’s enough, Ms. Eaton.
Violet: Very well.
John: That you know of, Ms. Eaton, was anyone else hurt in this altercation between the defendant and the victim?
Violet: Yes. Father McShane was pushed by Jim so he could get to Noel and I believe Father McShane’s arm was broken.
Jim: So in your opinion, Ms. Eaton, you would say that Jim Burke is a violent man?
Adrian: Objection! Counsel is leading the witness.
Judge: Sustained. Rephrase the question, Mr. Kelly.
John: Ms. Eaton, how do you view the defendant?
Violet: To be perfectly honest I try not to view Jim Burke at all but I would say in that moment in my opinion he was very violent.
John: Thank you, Ms. Eaton. Your witness.
Adrian: Hello, Ms. Eaton.
Adrian: Where do you live?
Violet: I live at Eaton Estates.
Adrian: And that is where?
Violet: It’s in the rich section of Maple Falls. My estates have been owned by family for years.
Adrian: Do you allow others to come into your estates?
Adrian: And why is that?
Violet: Because they are mine.
Adrian: Did you grow up in Maple Falls?
Violet: Yes but I was educated in the best schools in Boston.
Adrian: So you didn’t attend school in Maple Falls.
Violet: I believe I’ve already answered that question.
Judge: Answer it again.
Violet: No I did not go to schools in Maple Falls and since this is getting rather tiresome for me I did not grow up with Kathy and all her friends and boyfriends.
Adrian: So you didn’t go to Sylvia Moore’s fifth birthday party?
Violet: Certainly not. (She laughs)
Adrian: What’s so funny?
Violet: That she calls herself Moore when we all know who and what she is.
Adrian: And what is she?
Violet: She’s Sylvia Green. She’s a Jew.
Adrian: And is that a bad thing?
Violet: Well it’s not a good thing. (The Jury laughs. Judge hits her gavel.)
Adrian: I’m a Jew.
Adrian: Jim Burke is Irish Catholic.
Adrian: And is that not a good thing either?
Violet: Well it’s better than being Jewish.
Adrian: But not by much?
Violet: No. Not by much.
Adrian: So is it safe to assume, Ms. Eaton, that you hate anyone who isn’t White Anglo Saxon?
Violet: I love my daughter Brooke and my grandson Andrew. They are my family.
Adrian: Richard and Alyson Wembly are your family, too, aren’t they?
Adrian: Wasn’t he married to your sister before she was murdered?
Adrian: That would make him your brother-in-law and Alyson your niece. That doesn’t make them family?
John: Your honor what is this all about?
Violet: No that doesn’t make them family because all Richard has done since he came to Maple Falls is try to ruin my life. He’s moved into my house and forced me to live in a little cottage on the estate.
Adrian: On your estate?
John: Your honor!
Judge: Sit down, Mr. Kelly.
Violet: It was my estate. It is my estate but he’s stolen it from me. He gets the houses and the property and all I get is the lousy money from my father’s will. It was mine for years until he showed up years after Elinor’s death–and I loved my sister Elinor–I loved her very much. I loved Silas too.
Adrian: Who is Silas?
Violet: Silas was my loyal and trusted servant. I’d known him since I was a young girl and he was black so see I don’t hate everyone. I loved him and his nephew Arthur. But Silas was more than my servant. He was my friend. He knew everything about me and that’s why…that’s why–I had too–I didn’t mean too-I didn’t want too–Silas!(She collapses in tears.)
Judge: I think that’s enough, Ms. Shapiro. Officer?
(Brooke runs up)
Brooke: I’ll take her, Judge. I’m her daughter.
Judge: Yes I recognize you, Doctor Eaton. Thank you.
Brooke: Come on, Mother. Come on.
(Violet exits with Brooke as Richard, Jen, and Alyson look on.)
Judge: Is there anyone else you wish to call, Mr. Kelly?
John: Yes your honor. I wish to call Lena Romano to the stand.
(Lena enters the courtroom as everyone turns to look at her. She looks more glamorous than she was when living in Maple Falls. She crosses from the door to the witness stand. Pan to Kathy, Dot, Jim, Jen, Martin, Paula as these words are said)
Officer’s voice: Raise your right hand and put your left on the Bible. Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Lena’s voice: I do.
Officer’s voice: State your name.
Lena’s voice: Eleanor Mary Romano.
(Now the camera should go back to the proceedings between John and Lena and Jim)
Jim: Ms. Romano, do you know the defendant?
Lena: I do.
Jim: And how do you know the defendant?
Lena: We were lovers.
(Uproar in the courtroom and this should all happen simultaneously)
Jim: (Rises): That’s a lie!
Adrian: (Sternly): Sit down. (He sits)
Judge: Counselor control your client.
Kathy: Oh, Jim!
Dot: Oh, Lena! You should be ashamed of yourself.
John: You say you were lovers?
Lena: Yes but I don’t mean physically. I wanted to be his lover physically and I know he wanted me but he’s a married man and his wife wouldn’t let him go.
John: Well if you weren’t lovers physically, Ms. Romano, than how were you lovers.
Lena: Emotionally. We had a deep emotional connection that even Kathy couldn’t penetrate. She tried to many times.
John: How did this emotional connection between you and the defendant come about?
Lena: We’ve always had it even when we were in high school together but then he got married and it quieted down until–
John: Until what?
Lena: Until he separated from Kathy and came to me.
John: That’s when your emotional connection was reactivated shall we say?
Lena: Yes and we’ve had it ever since.
John: Ever since?
Lena: Well eventually Kathy got him back and tried to stop us from being in each other’s lives but Jim couldn’t help himself. No matter what troubles I had Jim was always there to help me.
John: Like a big brother?
Lena: (Shakes her head): It was more than that. He loves me and I love him.
John: Even to this day? Even though he’s being tried for killing your husband?
Lena: He did kill my husband!
Lena: I know he did it because I was there.
John: You saw the defendant kill your husband?
Lena: No but I heard the gun shots. My husband was abusive. He liked hitting me and Jim knew that and the night he was killed Jim came by the restaurant and had a gun in his hand. Noel was hitting me and Jim pushed Noel off of me and beat up Noel so badly that Noel fell on the floor. Jim took me and put me in his car and then he went back into the restaurant and that’s when I heard the gun shots. Then Jim came out to the car and he drove us off to a deserted cabin at Emerald Lake and that night we made love.
John: So then you became physical with each other?
Lena: Yes. It never happened again but I will cherish it always.
John: Thank you, Ms. Romano. Your witness.
Adrian: It’s good to see you, Ms. Romano. You’ve been out-of-town for a few weeks on the State’s payroll I think.
Judge: Get on with it, Counselor.
Adrian: A couple of questions, Ms. Romano. You claim that my client and you were physical lovers the night of your husband’s murder is that right?
Adrian: You say your husband was abusive and was hitting you the night of his murder?
Adrian: After this night of alleged love-making at the deserted cabin in Emerald Lake, Jim took you to the hospital, didn’t he?
Adrian: You were bruised and battered, isn’t that right?
Lena: Yes. A little.
Adrian: A little? It must have been more than a little for my client to then shoot and kill your husband as you allege.
Lena: Yes it was.
Adrian: Which was it? A little or than a little?
Lena: More than a little.
Adrian: So now it was more than a little and a minute ago it was a little.
Lena: I was confused.
Adrian: You get confused about a lot of things, don’t you?
Adrian: You say Jim brought a gun to the restaurant but he didn’t. Not when you were there. As a matter of fact, Ms. Romano, didn’t Jim save your ass that night like he always did.
Lena: Yes because he loves me.
Adrian: Not because he loves you. He loves his wife and he has told you that repeatedly, hasn’t he?
Adrian: Let me remind you that you are under Oath so if you perjure yourself I will make it my personal mission to see that you go to prison.
John: Objection your honor! The counselor is badgering the witness.
Judge: Sustained. Go easy, Ms. Shapiro.
Adrian: Actually, your Honor, I would like to dismiss the witness for now with the provision that I may call her again.
Judge: So granted. You are dismissed.
(Lena exits the courtroom.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Courtroom hallway. Lena enters from the courtroom and Dot is behind her.
Dot: You should be ashamed of yourself. To think I felt badly for you after your father’s death and took you into my house and look how you repay me.
Lena: Don’t you talk about Poppa.
Dot: I most certainly will. You are a disgrace to his memory.
Lena: He wouldn’t be a memory if it hadn’t been for you. If he hadn’t fallen in love with you and risked his life to help you.
Dot: You can blame me all you want. I wasn’t aware that your father was in love with me and I certainly didn’t encourage it in any way but your behavior today dishonors his memory. You think about that and think what you’re doing here today. Everyone has been very good to you. You think about that before you take that stand again.
(Dot exits as Lena collapses on the bench in tears.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Courtroom. Dot enters and sits back with Martin.
Martin: Where did you go?
Dot: The Ladies Room.
Judge: The State has rested. Ms. Shapiro call your first witness.
Adrian: I call Father Donald McShane.
Father: Well I’ve known the Burkes ever since I came to Maple Falls twenty years ago. Kathy and Jim are a wonderful couple and their children Colleen and Patrick are good respectful people. Jim’s father Martin is close friend and faithful parishioner as was their dear departed mother Maureen Burke. Yes they are a very good family. Kathy works sometimes at the Church with her mother Dorothy. Wonderful people.
Adrian: Thank you, Father. Your witness.
John: Father McShane it’s nice to see you.
Father: It’s nice to see you, too, John. It would be good to see you in Church again, too. (Small laughter from the Jury. Judge bangs the gavel.)
John: Church. That’s your whole life, isn’t it, Father?
Father: Yes. The Church, my parishioners and people here in Maple Falls.
John: So being a Priest is your life’s calling?
Father: Yes. I love being a Priest.
John: Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to be something else? A husband or a father?
Father: No. I’ve always wanted to be a Priest.
John: But did you know anyone intimately before you became a Priest?
Judge: Where are you going with this Counselor?
John: I am suggesting that Father McShane’s love for the Burkes isn’t just from a Priestly point of view. That in fact it is prejudiced. Isn’t that true, Father McShane?
Father: Yes it’s true.
John: In what way is that true?
Father: I think I know what you are getting at, John, and I’m sorry I have to say this in such a public forum but I believe someone has told you something that I asked she keep private. (He looks at Grace. Close up of Grace. Then back to Father.) I’m sorry, Kathy and Dorothy. I think you want me to tell everyone that I am Kathy Burke’s biological father.
(Uproar in the courtroom. Judge hits the gavel.)
John: No more questions, your Honor.
Judge: We will take a half hour lunch break. Counselors, in my office. NOW!
(Jim, Adrian, John, Judge, Officer exit.)
Colleen: Mom, is that true? Is Father McShane really your Father?
Kathy: Yes it’s true, Colleen. I just found out yesterday.
Patrick: Jesus Christ!
Jen: Who would say something like that to John Kelly?
Dot: I know of only one person. Your friend Grace Donahue.
Father: I’m sorry, Kathy, Dorothy. I have to go see the Cardinal about this before the word gets out even more than it already has.
Martin: Do you want to drive you there, Father?
Father: No, Martin, I’ll be fine but thank you.
Martin: Your family now. Isn’t that right, children?
CUT-TO: Interior. Courtroom Hallway. Grace is exiting the courtroom as Jen follows her.
Grace: Hello, Jennifer. Congratulations on your wedding to Richard.
Jen: Can it, Grace. How you could tell John Kelly something so private that has nothing to do with this case?
Grace: I don’t know that I told him anything. (Father McShane enters from the courtroom.) Hello, Father.
Father: I can’t speak to you right now, Grace, because if I did it would not be any words a Priest should say.
Grace: I only told him because–
Father: You told him to hurt me, Kathy, and Dorothy but you’ve hurt many more people than that, Grace. You’ve hurt her children, her family, her friends and my parishioners. If I were you, Grace Donahue, I would pray for forgiveness. (He exits.)
Jen: Well I guess you’ve been schooled. (She exits.)
(Grace stands alone in the hallway.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Courtroom. Jennifer enters as Melanie is standing with everyone.
Melanie: Come on. We’ll have lunch at my place. It’s on me.
Richard: No we can’t allow you to do something like that. I’ll pay for everyone.
Dot: No, Richard, we can’t allow you to do that.
Richard: I want too. Come on. Let’s go.
(They begin to file out as Max and Richard exchange looks. Doris walks out behind them and Max grabs her as the courtroom empties out.)
Max: We need to talk.
Doris: I can’t right now.
Max: It’s important. It’s about last night.
Doris: All right. What about it?
Max: I had a good time.
Doris: Me too.
Doris: Yes. Really.
Max: So maybe you want to get together again some time?
Max: Like tonight?
Doris: Today’s been a really long day, Max, and it’s only lunch time and I’m tired from last night and–
Max: Listen. Last night we went to your house so tonight you come to mine. I can cook us steak and I have a bottle of white wine.
Doris: You can cook?
Max: Yes. I know how to cook.
Doris: I love steak and nobody ever cooks for me.
Max: Okay. So let me cook for you.
Doris: Okay but only dinner and one drink. I’m tired from last night.
Max: Me too. I’m exhausted.
(They giggle and then gently kiss.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Judge’s Chambers. Judge is entering her Chambers with John and Adrian following.
Judge: That was low, Kelly, even for you. How dare you get a Priest on the stand and have him confess he’s the biological father of Kathy Burke! That has absolutely nothing to do with this case! You’re turning my courtroom into a three-ring circus and I won’t have it. I’ll get you disbarred.
John: Go ahead and try. That man out there killed Noel Tremayne and Father McShane sits up there in that witness stand telling everyone how great Jim Burke is. I had to discredit Father some how and I found a way. So if you think that has nothing to do with this case then you’re dead wrong.
Adrian: The Judge is absolutely. You are despicable.
Judge: Don’t go getting all high and mighty, Shapiro. You’re just as low as Kelly. Pulling that stunt with Chief Cusack. I’m warning the both of you if I have any more hysterics going on in that courtroom this afternoon I’ll hang you both by your balls! And I’m damned sure, Shapiro, you got a pair. And for your edification, Mr. Kelly, I have had Jim Burke in my courtroom on several occasions and he is not only a brilliant attorney he is a decent, good, honorable, family man and a helluva lot better than you’ll ever be. Now get out here so I can eat my lunch in peace!
CUT-TO: Interior. Hop Sing’s. Sheri, David, Colleen, and Andrew are seated at the table. They are intermittently on their phones when they talk to each other.
Sheri: I hope it’s cool with you that we came here, Col.
Colleen: Yeah. I just couldn’t stand being around my family now especially since now it includes a Priest!
David: That’s crazy.
Sheri: It’s no crazier than finding out your aunt is really your mother and your uncle is really your father.
David: I guess it’s no crazier than finding out the lady who runs the barroom is your real mother and she’s a lesbian.
Colleen: And it’s no crazier than finding out the woman who everyone thought was a religious zealot is really your grandmother and the woman you thought was your grandmother was a lesbian and your new grandfather is the Parish Priest!
David: Man we have been through some crazy shit.
(They all laugh.)
Andrew: It’s good you can all laugh about it anyway.
Sheri: What about you? You’ve been through a lot of shit, too. I mean you were blind.
Andrew: Yes I was but I’m not anymore and my mother is my mother and my Gran-mere is my Gran-mere.
Colleen: What about your Father?
Sheri: You never knew him that well isn’t that right?
Colleen: How would you know that?
Sheri: (Haltingly): Well, um, yesterday–
Andrew: Sheri and I went for a walk in the woods and we talked. I saw things I’d never seen before.
Sheri: Well I hope you’re not pissed. I mean it was just a walk.
Colleen: No, I’m not pissed at all. It’s getting late. We should get back to the courthouse. (She exits abruptly.)
David: Good going you two. (He exits.)
(Sheri goes to leave and Andrew grabs hold of her hand and they smile shyly at each other.)
CUT-TO: Exterior. Hop Sing’s parking lot. Colleen enters from the restaurant with David behind her.
David: Colleen, wait. Colleen! (He grabs her.)
Colleen: Not now, David. I can’t deal with any of this shit now. I have to get my Father free first. Just take me back to court, huh?
David: We have to wait for Sheri and Andrew.
Colleen: (Angrily): Do we? Do we really?
(We see Sheri and Andrew entering from the restaurant as David’s car pulls away.)
Sheri: Hey! Oh fuck it! Who wants to go back anyway?
Andrew: I have to go back. I’m a witness for the defense. I’ll call a Uber.
Sheri: Is it okay if I call you Andy?
Andrew: Yeah I guess so but nobody ever called me that except my Grandfather.
Sheri: Well I don’t want to sound like your Grandfather.
Andrew: No I mean I liked it when he called me Andy and I like it when you call me Andy too. (They kiss again.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Courtroom. Everyone is seated except for Andrew and Sheri.
Judge: Call your next witness, Counselor.
Adrian: I call Andrew Eaton to the stand.
Court Officer: Andrew Eaton.
(The Court Officer begins to exit when Andrew and Sheri hurriedly enter.)
Judge: Are you Andrew Eaton?
Andrew: Yes your honor.
Judge: You’re late. Take the stand. (To Sheri) You, Miss, sit down.
(Sheri goes to sit next to Colleen who deliberately puts her bag there. Sheri gets it and then moves to where Jen is and sits next to her.)
(We got back to dissolving from witness into the other.)
Andrew: I was in the hospital and had just gotten my sight back. I was too excited to sleep and I looked out the window. It was raining but I had never remembered seeing rain before so I went to the window.
Andrew: I saw Mister Burke going in back of Romano’s Restaurant.
Adrian: When you say Mister Burke do you mean the defendant?
Andrew: No I mean Colleen’s Grandfather Martin Burke.
(A rumble from the Jury. Judge pounds her gavel.)
Adrian: So you saw Martin Burke going behind Romano’s Restaurant.
Adrian: Did you see anything else that night?
Andrew: No I got tired and then I went to bed and fell asleep. On the news that next morning I saw about Mister Tremayne’s murder and realized that was the same time I saw Mister Burke–Martin, I mean–going behind Romano’s Restaurant.
Adrian: Thank you, Mr. Eaton. Your witness.
John: Mr. Eaton, you say the day you saw Martin Burke entering from behind Romano’s Restaurant is the same day you got your sight back, is that right?
John: It came back completely, is that right?
John: All at once. Like a miracle.
Andrew: It is a miracle.
John: It is a miracle! Praise Jesus!
Judge: Watch it, Mister Kelly.
John: Sorry, your honor. I’m just questioning that one day you were blind–couldn’t see anything–and the very next day you can see through the pouring rain from your hospital window across the busy street into the back alley of Romano’s Restaurant Martin Burke stumbling in? Who are you? Superman?
Judge: That’s it! Sidebar now!
(John moves over to the Judge)
Judge: You get out there this minute and you apologize to Mr. Eaton or I am throwing out of this court and dismissing this entire case. Do you understand?
John: You can’t dismiss this case. It’s a criminal offense.
Judge: Want to try me?
(John moves away from the Judge)
John: I apologize, Mr. Eaton, I did not to mock your ability to see again.
Andrew: Thank you.
Judge: Any more questions, Mr. Kelly?
John: No, your honor.
Judge: You are dismissed, Mr. Eaton, and congratulations on seeing again.
Andrew: Thank you, Judge.
Melanie: Martin had come into the bar that night and was angry and he drank a lot. Too much really and when he left the bar he said he was going to Romano’s where Noel was and was going to beat him up.
Martin: Yes I said I was going to beat him up and I meant it but I didn’t get as far as the door. I must’ve fallen down and woke up in the alley hearing two-gun shots. So I got out of there as fast as I could. I felt like hell the next morning and then I felt my aching head and not only did I have a hangover I had a bump on my head the size of grapefruit.
Adrian: From your fall?
Martin: No I think someone deliberately knocked me on the head and I passed out. If I thought I had killed that lousy limey I would have stood up and said so.
John: You would have stood up and said so. The same way your son did before he recanted it?
(Judge bangs her gavel.)
Paula: I had gone to see Noel that night because he wanted some money that I was to get from a Hollywood producer who was filming a movie in Florida called Blood Mountain.
Adrian: Who was the producer?
Paula: Julian Daniels.
Adrian: And what was your business with this Julian Daniels?
Paula: He offered a six figure finder’s fee for an unknown to star in his movie and I found Sheri Martin. Julian loved her and she flew down and worked on the picture and I was to be paid my finder’s fee.
Adrian: So how did this involve your ex-husband?
Paula: He was still legally my agent and he wanted ten percent of the fee. For the first time in my life, I really needed the money. I know it’s hard to believe since I am a Hollywood movie star but I was broke. So when I found out from Julian that Noel wanted his ten percent, I was furious and I went to see him to reason with him.
Adrian: And what did you find when you got there?
Paula: He was dead. Someone had shot him.
Adrian: You say he was dead and someone had shot him but Chief Cusack testified earlier that she heard two-gun shots and then saw you holding the murder weapon.
Adrian: No more questions.
John: May I redirect, your Honor?
Judge: You may.
John: Mrs. Tremayne, the weapon your were holding what was it?
Paula: A gun.
John: Was it your gun?
Paula: No I don’t own a gun.
John: Was it your Father’s gun?
John: Was it your brother’s gun?
Paula: (Quietly): Yes.
John: What? I couldn’t hear you.
John: Yes what?
Paula: Yes it was my brother’s gun. (John starts to walk back.) My husband Noel Tremayne was a terrible, awful man. He was killer you know. He actually killed two people! He told me so himself.
Judge: He told you this himself?
Paula: Yes one night when we had just gotten married and we–I was–very young. My career was just beginning to take off and he was so drunk I thought he’d made it all up. Or at least I hoped he had.
John: Judge Mitchell!
Judge: Silence, Mr. Kelly. Go on, Mrs. Tremayne.
Paula: I knew he wasn’t really from Liverpool or Wales or wherever he said he was from. His real name was Ned Turner and he grew up in Appalachia. He had become involved with a woman named Kitty and she became pregnant and she wanted him to marry her and he killed her and then staged his own death. Then he went to Las Vegas and had changed his name to Nicky Travis and had a gay relationship with a very successful business executive. One night when he was leaving the man after taking all of the man’s money, they argued and the man fell down the stairs and broke his neck. He was still alive when Noel left him to die there. When I met him he had become suave, debonair Noel Tremayne. He was a very successful producer and I had wanted all my life not to be an actress but to be a movie star. A bona fide movie star and that way I could show everyone in Maple Falls just how successful I had become and how everyone adored me and I did for a while. Then it all fell apart and I ended up here.
John: (Applauding): Bravo! Another wonderful performance!
(Judge bangs her gavel.)
Adrian: We recall Lena Romano.
(Lena enters but not as glamorous this time. She has taken the make up off and the dress is dowdy. She looks more like her old self and she sits.)
Judge: Remember that you are still under oath, Ms. Romano.
Lena: I remember, your honor. May I say something first before you ask me anything?
Judge: You may.
Lena: What I said before was all lies.
Adrian: What do you mean, Ms. Romano?
Lena: I mean that I love Jim very much but I know he doesn’t love me. He’s told me so again and again. We were never lovers in any physical way. I wanted us to be but he always told me how much he loves Kathy. That Kathy is the only woman for him and will always be the only woman for him. I felt we did have an emotional connection. He always showed up whenever things went wrong for me but he was being kind and looking out for me the way my Poppa did before Poppa was killed.
Adrian: So why don’t you tell us what really happened on the night of your husband’s murder?
Lena: Jim came by. I don’t know why but I was so glad he did. Noel was beating me again and Jim stopped him and beat Noel up. Then he took me and put me in his car and drove me to the cabin on Emerald Lake and left me there. I didn’t see him again until the morning when he took me to the hospital.
Adrian: So you never heard any gun shots?
Adrian: And you never saw a gun in Jim’s hand?
Lena: No. I’m so sorry I lied about those things. Jim and Kathy have only been good to me and I’ve been jealous and petty and I’m truly, truly sorry.
Jim: I did go there and I did plan to kill him, that’s true.
Adrian: And why did you plan to do that?
Jim: Because of Declan. Noel and Maggie O’Leary had a son together and before Maggie died she left my wife Kathy a note that she wanted Kathy and I to raise Declan. Kathy ran away for a time with Declan when Noel tried to get him for he and Lena. But then Kathy came home and Chief Cusack said the boy had to go with Noel and Lena. Well that shattered my wife. My beautiful, loving wife who has always tried to only help others. I couldn’t stand to see her that way. So I went down to the restaurant just to talk to him and saw him beating his wife. So I beat up Noel and I took Lena into my car and drove her to the cabin on Emerald Lake. Just to get her to a safe place so he couldn’t find her. Then I went back to the restaurant.
Adrian: Where was Noel at this time?
Jim: He was on the floor.
Adrian: But he was still alive?
Jim: Yes, he was still alive. So I went upstairs and got Declan and brought him to Kathy and then I got my gun and went back to the restaurant to kill him.
Adrian: And what happened when you got to the restaurant?
Jim: I walked in with my gun. He was standing now and telling me to kill him. Mocking me but I didn’t. I couldn’t. I just dropped the gun and drove up to Emerald Lake to check on Lena.
Adrian: And the next day you heard your sister had been arrested for his murder?
Jim: Yes and so I confessed to killing him to get her out of jail.
John: You confessed to killing your sister’s ex-husband so you could get her out of jail? Is that right?
John: That’s very noble of you. But you’re a noble kind of guy, aren’t you? You have a girlfriend on the sly who now says nothing physical ever happened between you two though earlier today she said you were hot lovers. That’s very noble of you. You take a baby that belongs with his father from the father’s house and give him to your wife because you aren’t kidnapping him you are protecting him. That’s very noble of you. You bring a gun to a restaurant to shoot your ex-brother-in-law but then you can’t go through it with so you drop the gun and leave it there. That’s very noble of you, too, or maybe not. Maybe something happened after the time you took your girlfriend off to a secluded cabin, kidnapped the baby and gave him to your wife, took your gun and went to see your brother-in-law. Maybe what happened is you shot and killed him.
Jim: I didn’t kill him.
John: That’s what you say but how are we to believe a philandering kidnapper who shot his brother-in-law?
Judge: Mister Kelly I’m holding you in contempt.
John: Holding me in contempt? Let me ask you another question Mister Burke. Do you ever get angry?
John: Were you angry that day at St. Mark’s Church?
John: Who were you angry at?
Jim: Noel Tremayne.
John: Why were you angry at Noel Tremayne?
Jim: Because he was hurting my sister.
John: Did you jump over the front pew?
John: Why? WHY DID YOU JUMP OVER THAT PEW?
Jim: To teach Noel a lesson.
John: No. It wasn’t to teach him anything was it? Interesting. Were you angry when you jumped over the pew.
John: Were you let’s say enraged?
John: So you jumped over the pew enraged to teach Noel a lesson but it wasn’t a lesson you were teaching him was it? You wanted blood. You wanted Noel Tremayne’s blood. Isn’t that true?
Adrian: Your Honor he’s badgering my client!
Jim: Yes that’s true. I hated him and I wanted d–
John: You wanted him what?
Adrian: Your honor!
Judge: Sit down, Ms. Shapiro.
John: But he didn’t die that day did he? Why is that?
Jim: Because Max and my father pulled me off of him.
John: Otherwise you would have killed him?
John: This rage you felt. Did you feel it that night you allegedly went home handed the kidnapped baby to your wife and got your gun and went to the restaurant?
John: Was it the same rage or was it a bigger rage?
Jim: It was a rage.
John: So are we to believe that with this rage you now felt with a gun in your hand you went back to the restaurant where you have previously beaten up Noel and left him on the floor–those are you words–and with no one to stop you–are we to believe that you didn’t shoot and kill him?
John: What stopped you?
Jim: I saw someone.
John: Yes you saw Noel Tremayne.
Jim: No I remember now. I went to the back of the restaurant. The door was still open. I walked in, stood in front of the open door with my back to it, and aimed the gun and then I felt the door move like someone was behind it. So I dropped the gun and as I was running out I looked back quickly and saw someone pick up the gun.
John: Now you saw someone pick up the gun–
Jim: I did and (looks around the room and finally sees Olive) and it was you! And as I ran away I heard two shots being fired. You fired those shots. You killed Noel Tremayne.
(Uproar in the courtroom)
Olive: No you’re crazy. I didn’t even know Noel Tremayne.
Paula: (Rises): Yes you did. Sheri and I saw you coming down the stairs in Jen’s house and Noel came down right after you.
Olive: That’s insane. That never happened.
Sheri: Yes it did. I was there with Paula. I saw you too.
Judge: (Pounding her gavel): Ladies, sit down. Officer please have that lady come down from the Jury. Jim, go sit back with Ms. Shapiro. (Jim goes to sit with Adrian. John is still standing.) Sit down Mr. Kelly and Ms. Shapiro. I’ll do the questioning.
Olive: This is against the law. I know my rights.
Judge: I know them much better than you ever will. Come to the witness stand. Officer swear her in.
Officer: Raise your left hand and put your right hand on the Bible. Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Olive: I do.
Officer: State your name.
Olive: Olive Jane Benson.
Judge: Mrs. Benson–
Olive: It’s Miss I never married Rosie’s Daddy.
Judge: Who’s Rosie?
Olive: She’s my little girl. She’s all I live for. I don’t have no one else.
Judge: Where does Rosie live?
Olive: At Crest Haven nursing home. She’s a patient there. See that’s why I needed the money. I don’t make enough money to take care of Rosie. First after Violet Eaton ran her down with her expensive car–Rosie was a little girl and she was outside playing ball in the street–and the ball went into the street and Violet came by and hit Rosie with her car and then took off. I was at the sink doing the lunch dishes when I heard a scream and a car drive off. I knew it was Rosie but oh my God. Not my Rosie. So she went into Crest Haven and the Eaton’s paid for her care as long as I never pressed charges against Violet. I needed the money for Rosie and I knew she would get well someday and be my little girl again. But she hasn’t gotten well yet and for some reason the money is running out so I needed more just for my Rosie not for me but for Rosie. Noel had money coming to him. We met at Clarke’s one night and we drank and we went back to Jen’s house. I was renting a room there and we went up to my room and he was drunk he told me that he was going to the fifty thousand dollars that was being offered if someone came forward and told what they had seen the night Eddie Romano was shot and killed. Noel had been an eyewitness. He was drunk that night too and fallen into some grass by the Maple Falls Motel. He woke up in time to see Dot Shea drive off and leave a bag of money and for Tom Moore to show and take the bag of money. I guess it was some blackmail scheme Tom Moore had. Anyway, Eddie Romano called out Tom’s name and Tom must have gotten scared and he shot Eddie and killed him. (The courtroom gasps at these various revelations.) So I went to see Noel that night as everyone else did. I was on my way in the place when Martin came over drunk and got in my way so I clanked him on the head. Then I went into the restaurant and found him all bloody and beaten on the floor. Noel started to get up and I was going to tell him I wanted my share of the fifty thousand. It wasn’t for me. It was for Rosie but I didn’t get a chance too when I heard footsteps. So I hid behind the door. Then Jim came in with the gun and aimed it at Noel and then I must have pushed the door against him and he ran off.
Judge: And Noel Tremayne was still alive when he left?
Olive: Yes. He was still alive. (More gasps.) Then Noel saw me behind the door and asked me what the hell I was doing there and when I told him I wanted my share of the money he laughed at me and told me to go to bloody hell and take my poor crippled half dead daughter with me. So I picked up Jim’s gun and he laughed at me but he was really laughing at Rosie. My poor little Rosie. So I shot him but he didn’t fall down so I shot him again. Got right where his heart should have been. He fell and I dropped the gun and I ran. Jim didn’t kill Noel Tremayne. I did.
Judge: Officer take Ms. Benson to prison. The State finds James Burke innocent of all charges relating to the murder of Noel Tremayne. Case closed.
(Uproar in the courtroom.)
(Kathy and Jim kiss and everyone celebrates except for John.)
Fade to Black