Murder, She Wrote: Season 2, Episode 13

Trial by Error (12 Jan. 1986)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
8.1
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After Mark Lee Reynolds's wife Stephanie has a car accident which at best leaves her cripple for life while he is wounded at the left shoulder, criminal John Detweiler who sees him picking ... See full summary »

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Title: Trial by Error (12 Jan 1986)

Trial by Error (12 Jan 1986) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
David Ackroyd ...
Prosecutor Tom Casselli
...
Mark Lee Reynolds
Virginia Capers ...
Margo Webster
Macdonald Carey ...
Defense Atty. Oscar Ramsey
Doran Clark ...
Becky Anderson
...
Defense Atty. Max Flynn
Gene Evans ...
Otto Fry
...
Josh Corbin
Gary Frank ...
Lee Callahan
...
Sally Conover
...
Fenton Harris (as Alan Hale)
Lenore Kasdorf ...
Ally Collins
...
Jackie MacKay
...
Frank Lord
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Storyline

After Mark Lee Reynolds's wife Stephanie has a car accident which at best leaves her cripple for life while he is wounded at the left shoulder, criminal John Detweiler who sees him picking up a woman in a bar where he tries to drink some courage calls her jealous husband, goon Cliff Anderson, who knows his Becky is serially unfaithful. Jessica is foreperson of the jury which must decide if Mark committed murder or only killed in self-defense. She makes everyone go over the crucial witness and expert testimonies during the trial and slowly makes them shift focus from prejudices to evidence and logical deduction concerning premeditation, motive and material facts, pondering both theories, till she comes up with a crucial twist. Written by KGF Vissers

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12 January 1986 (USA)  »

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Last acting performance of Tom Ewell. See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Nine to Two for Acquittal, and One Undecided..."
19 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the finest episodes of "Murder, She Wrote" boasts a stellar cast of film and television veterans in a most witty exchange of dialogue....

"At the scene of a vehicular accident": Tony Bill as Mark Lee Reynolds, Diane Lander as Stephanie Reynolds, Javier Grajeda as Paramedic, and Warren J. Kemmerling as Doctor Maurice Webster.

"At the Last Resort": Doran Clark as Becky Anderson, James Hampton as Jerry Blevins, John Davis Chandler as John Detweiler, Gregory Walcott as Willie Patchecki, and Michael Swan as Cliff Anderson.

"Inside Cabot Cove County Courthouse": Walter Mathews as Judge Philo Walker, David Ackroyd as Prosecutor Tom Casselli, Jon Cypher as Defense Attorney Max Flynn, R.J. Adams as Ballistics expert Victor Assmussen, Alan Hale Jr. as Motel owner Fenton Harris, Robert Casper as Becky Anderson's neighbor Arthur Jasper, and Macdonald Carey as Defense Attorney Oscar Ramsey.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury" (Clockwise from lower left): Tom Ewell as Josh Corbin, Virginia Capers as Margo Webster, Arlene Golonka as Sally Conover, Richard Sanders as Gerald Richards, Lenore Kasdorf as Ally Collins, Allan Miller as Frank Lord, Gary Frank as Lee Callahan, Gene Evans as Otto Fry, Norman Burton as Drew Narramore, Vicki Lawrence as Jackie MacKay, Brock Peters as Thornton Bentley, and Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher.

Synopsis... On the night of a one-vehicle accident, paramedics arrive to rescue a severely-injured Stephanie Reynolds from the compact automobile driven by husband, Mark, who refuses treatment for his arm and shoulder injury.

At the hospital, where Mark, again, refuses treatment, Dr. Webster informs him that although there is a good chance that Stephanie may recover, she may never walk again.

Mark immediately exits the hospital in despair, to arrive at The Last Resort tavern, at which he is greeted by Becky Anderson, who asks Jerry the Bartender for a cloth to tend to Mark's facial lacerations. By midnight, Becky tells Mark that she must leave, offering to fix him a cup of coffee to offset his drinking.

A concealed Johnny Detweiler witnesses the exchange and notifies Becky's estranged husband, Cliff Anderson, who stays with Willie Patchecki. An incensed Cliff reacts, "Trial separation, she says! I'm going to kill that woman!"

About seven weeks later, Judge Philo Walker pounds his gavel inside a Cabot Cove County courtroom: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you've heard the evidence. Now, you must decide whether the defendant...."

Some of the finest dialogue delivery of this series ensues around the chamber, as nine impatient jurors see this as a case which should never have come to trial, but as a bid by a politically ambitious District Attorney.

Two jurors, however, vote "Guilty as charged" as flashbacks of the proceedings are presented and witness testimony is re-examined by the "Undecided" Jury Chairperson, Mrs. Jessica Fletcher.

Three possible scenarios of "Fireplace Poker Flinging" are presented for Jessica and the unwilling jurors to re-examine.

Asks the edgy Radio Host Frank Lord of Jessica, "Oh, so you're the 'undecided' one?"

Answers an impatient Josh Corbin, "If she wasn't, do you think that we'd be sitting here all day, re-examining the evidence?"


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