A college student from a poor Mexican family kills his rich co-ed fiancée after she breaks up with him. The defense hopes to exploit the jury's guilt for the client's plight to avoid a murder conviction.

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Airs Tue. Jul. 26, 10:00 PM on WE

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Laurence Luckinbill ...
Cyrus Weaver
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Tommy Beltran
Luke Reilly ...
Father Gregory
Cynthia Hayden ...
Claudia Milgram
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Curtis Milgram
Francine Beers ...
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Janice Watt
Janet Sarno ...
Dr. Goldman
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Storyline

Detectives Cerreta and Logan investigate the murder of Beth Milgram, a college student who was killed just hours before she was to leave for Italy. Her boyfriend Tommy Beltran saw her the day before and claims that her father struck her when he heard she was dating a Latino. Her father also proves to be the beneficiary of a large insurance policy he had on her but has an iron clad alibi for when she was killed. When the police learn that Beth had terminated her relationship with Tommy at lunch on the day she was killed, they refocus the investigation on him. His alibi proves to be shaky and when they learn he sought out his priest for confession in the early hours of the morning, they're quite certain he's the killer. His lawyer plays hardball however hoping that a sympathetic jury will convict him of something less than murder. Written by garykmcd

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7 October 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Based on the case of Yale student Richard Herrin, who murdered his ex-girlfriend and was supported by the Catholic Church after confessing to his Parish priest after the killing. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ego Te Convicto.
15 December 2010 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Up to par for the series, slightly weakened by some performances but raises the usual interesting questions -- without necessarily answering them.

Man, is THIS case ripped from the headlines. Historically, a Latino kid is a first-class student in his Los Angeles school. This is especially awesome considering the family he's from -- a father who makes a living by trading junk from cardboard boxes on street corners. The kid makes it into Yale where he meets and falls in which a nice, plump middle-class girl.

To her it was a fling with an oddball but charming student. The Latino boy played a nice guitar. Evidently that was about all he did because his grades plummeted and he transferred to some no-neck Midwestern college. The girl got on with her life, as they say. She was sociable, young, resilient, a member of a drama club, and more or less forgot about her erstwhile partner, until the day visited her and bashed her brains out with a hammer while they were in bed.

What caused the case to become so well known is that the Latino boy slipped out of the house after the murder, drove around for a while, then turned himself over, not to the police but to the Catholic church, which forgave him, rallied round, and provided moral and maybe legal and financial support. The courtroom had a disproportionate number of priests and nuns. Many people found this infuriating.

This episode dramatizes the incident quite a bit in its detail. I mean, aside from changing New Haven to New York. Here, the priest who first finds the Latino kid happens to have a law degree from Fordham, so has an interest in the case beyond the merely spiritual. There isn't so much piling on of support from the Catholic community, although it's clear they believe that God forgives him for that little sin he committed. The narrative concentrates more on the kid and his background and loving family.

The interesting question -- never directly addressed -- is why our Christian God, especially the one from the New Testament, is so forgiving and our judicial system so punitive. Or, to speak the unspeakable, how come some of the most Christian among us are so eager to kill some of the others? Naturally, this series is a course in Law For The Layman, not in theology, so we're left to figure it out for ourselves, or rather, as most of us do, compartmentalize the two moral codes.


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