A psychiatrist, Dr. Lureen Allcott, has confidential information about a murder for which Ray Garrett is set to be executed in two days. Dr. Allcott is ethically, and perhaps legally, precluded from revealing any details to the authorities, but it appears that Garrett may have been wrongly accused and time is running out.
As the recipient of a full scholarship, Terry Johnson will be the first person in his neighborhood to go to college. Terry is torn between wanting to leave the "Bottoms" and his dope-dealing older brother Derek, and his concern for his younger brother Bobby.
Virgil is worried about his good friend, Thomas Spiers, when he gets involved in a shady building project that he invested his life savings into. Detective Tibbs uncovers that the person behind the mall project, Micheal Lawrence, is being investigated for previous failed construction projects in which he never returned the investors money. When Thomas Spiers finds out about the investigation into Lawrence's business ventures, he becomes enraged and goes to Lawrence's house to demand his money back, but Spiers is shot and killed in the process. Micheal Lawrence claims ...
Julie Lofton reports to the Sparta police that she heard a disturbance in her neighbor's apartment, but she can't recognize the man who was there because she is blind. The police find nothing in the apartment to go on. However, Julie says she can positively identify the man's voice, but the district attorney is reluctant to proceed without a dead body.
Two plots are interconnected. The first concerns a serial rapist who preys on young, single blond women. The second concerns a teacher who tutors a prospective seminarian in her spare time. In each case the perpetrator is caught, and Chief Gillespie wraps up the episode by revealing what is the first deadly sin.
Lt. Bubba Skinner (Autry) goes to Los Angeles to extradite a suspect. He meets a beautiful LAPD detective, Pat Day (Sandlund), in a story reminiscent of Clint Eastwood in "Coogan's Bluff" and Dennis Weaver in "McCloud."
Follow-up to episode "A Problem Too Personal" (#4.9). Harriet's ex-husband Vic Glennon is tried for felony murder, although he did not fire his weapon or harm anyone. Harriet must decide how much public support to show for Vic and how to deal with their son Gene.
Georgia Farren returns to Sparta, squired by her latest love interest, Ramon Palez. She asks her former lover, Chief Bill Gillespie to assist in several legal matters concerning her real estate holdings, her husband Ken Farren, and her nineteen-year-old daughter Lana. Things are not as amicable as they seem, however, and the consequences are tragic for everyone, especially the Chief.
Capt. Bubba Skinner's cousin, Candace Reilly, and her husband, Kevin Reilly, adopt a baby boy from a young woman named Patty Bowden through a legal private adoption in which the couple paid $10,000 to her. The baby's natural father Waylan Davis is soon back in Sparta threatening to challenge the adoption unless he gets some money or the alarm and safe codes to Kevin's workplace. When Kevin's boss Ralph Newborn is found shot to death at his hardware store and with a large sum of money missing from the safe, Kevin's conscience eventually forces him to admit to Bubba and...
Edgar Van Buren holds an annual high-stakes poker game at his home, featuring booze, drugs, and women. His wife Annabelle stays in her suite during the weekend to protect the dignity of her home. This year a close friend of Annabelle, Dalton Sykes, is invited to talk business with Edgar. But Edgar is murdered during the party, and his paramour, Laverne Carter, is the chief suspect.
Virgil's vengeful aunt, Ruda Gibson, is the only eyewitness to a fatal shooting involving Capt. Bubba Skinner and a young black robbery suspect. Bubba insists that he never shot the suspect, but Virgil's Aunt Ruda alleges she didn't see anything but murder. Meanwhile, the Sparta Herald runs a hit piece on this matter in their paper attacking Gillespie's tenure as chief. Bubba asks for Althea's help in talking to Ruda about coming forward about what she witnessed on that fateful night. Ruda Gibson wrestles with the decision to talk to the Sparta P.D., since this tragic...
Follow-up to "Just a Country Boy" (#4.20), in which Bubba Skinner's prisoner was killed. Bubba is back in Los Angeles to testify in the case. Meanwhile, the Mississippi arm of the gang is investigated by Chief Bill Gillespie and the Sparta police. Bubba renews his friendship with Mike Chin and rekindles a romance with LAPD detective Pat Day.
Cyrus Chambers threatens to sell his business and leave for an extended trip with his wife Irene, to the dismay of his junior partner, Tom Dalton, who is having a torrid affair with Irene. Chambers also has financial problems with his illegitimate African-American daughter, Faith Todd. Subsequent events bring disaster and redemption.
Blues man Ches Collins (Bobby Short) sings a song in his nightclub act that recounts the 1948 murder of Louis Sweet, Sgt. Wilson Sweet's (Geoffrey Thorne) grandfather. Neither Louis' body nor his brand-new Packard sedan was ever found. The only official witness to the crime, Delbert Mueller (Roy Lind), is at death's door but will not reveal any further details. The sheriff who took Mueller's original statement, Nathan Bedford (James Best), knows more than he will say, which frustrates Sgt. Sweet's quest for the truth.
Warning shots are fired at Captain Bubba Skinner and Mary Ellen Lasso at a remote picnic area. Investigation shows they have wandered onto a prime location for marijuana growth. The weed is so rich it is called "Sparta Gold" and is harvested mainly for export.
When District Attorney Gerard Darnelle's daughter Becky is kidnapped, he is caught between concurrent investigations (turf wars) by the Sparta police and the FBI. Benjamin Sloan is quickly identified as a likely suspect, but his motive is not clear at first. Chief Gillespie plays a wily game with the FBI in pursuing the case, but it is up to Captain Skinner, Lieutenant Jamison and their four-footed friends to wrap up the chase.
Lt. Lonnie Jameson is sadly reunited with a Sparta High School girlfriend, Francie Miller, when her younger brother Jimmy is beaten up by her boyfriend, Nick Crews. Lonnie's investigation leads to charges of child abuse (infant neglect) against Francie and an intense hunt for Crews.