Businessman Alcazar's family and guests are shot by masked men at his daughter's 15 birthday party. He recently conceived and abandoned a real estate deal in a canyon valley, where the team finds a huge marijuana field and a scared-stiff, abuse-trained Mexican 'watchman', Fernando Ramirez. They trace it to a Mexican drug cartel, but the fiends find and murder Rex at home. Deputy D.A. Ricardo Morales spare no effort or risk in the case, but ends up resigning after the D.A. cuts his losses, having had to call markers to get past a Mexican consul in cahoots and offer the whole Ramirez family 'political asylum', only to lose the crucial testimony in a spectacularly cruel way. Written by
Did You Know?
This episode takes place in January 2011. See more
ADA Morales says that they cannot refile charges against Cesar Vargas after the judge dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence. However jeopardy had not yet attached to Vargas' case, in a jury trial jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn in. Fernando Ramirez was murdered during a pre-trial hearing to determine whether the state had sufficient evidence to bind Vargas over for a trial by jury, Morales even said as much during his opening statement just seconds before the judge's law clerk got the call notifying the judge about Fernando being killed. The process of jury selection doesn't start until the judge rules that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to go to trial, and once that happens there can be as much as a few weeks in between starting the jury selection process and the jury being selected and sworn in. So this case was nowhere near having jeopardy attach to it. If/when additional evidence was found tying Vargas to the murder of Detective Winters and the Alcazar family, Morales would of been free to rearrest Vargas and refile murder charges against him. See more
Featured in Law & Order Goes West