Law & Order (1990–2010)
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The Sixth Man 

A hot-tempered basketball star is accused of killing one of his hecklers. The investigation and trial, however, reveal that the heckler's pattern of harassment may have crossed the line of decency on several occasions.


David Platt


Dick Wolf (created by), Elle Johnson (teleplay by) (as Lois Johnson) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Farina ... Detective Joe Fontana
Jesse L. Martin ... Detective Ed Green
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Annie Parisse ... A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia
Fred Thompson ... D.A. Arthur Branch (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
Joe Morton ... Leon Chiles
Poncho Hodges ... Silas Inwood
Lamman Rucker ... Reggie Uggams
Leslie Hendrix ... Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers
Richard Bekins ... Basketball Commissioner
Charlotte Colavin Charlotte Colavin ... Judge Lisa Pongracic (as Charlotte Ortiz Colavin)
Selenis Leyva ... Detective Mariluz Rivera
Angel Desai ... Assistant M.E. Dr. Judy Waxman
William Charles Mitchell William Charles Mitchell ... Coach Dyer


When a man is murdered. Initially they suspect his landlord who's trying to get the man to move out of his rent controlled apartment. They eventually learn that the man is a basketball fanatic who's suing the star player of a rival team. And that he is constantly heckling the man. Eventually they match his fingerprint to what was found at the crime scene. But when his attorney has it suppressed cause h is fingerprint was not suppose to be in the system. That's when McCoy and Borgia find another to get him. That's when he asserts that the man was harassing the player. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


When discussing the perils of high profile trials with celebrity defendants, DA Branch and ADA Borgia mention football players Rae Carruth and Ray Lewis.

Rae Carruth was a professional football player who played for the Colorado Buffalos in college and in the NFL from 1997-1999 for the Carolina Panthers. He is also a convicted murderer after having had his girlfriend, Cherica Adams, killed. Ms. Adams was a real estate agent whom Carruth had been casually dating at the time. She became pregnant with his child after a short time. On the night of November 16, 1999, Adams was driving home from work when she was stopped just a few blocks from her home by a car pulling in front of her and suddenly stopping; the car was driven by Carruth. While she was stopped, another car driven by Van Brett Watkins Sr. (a night club manager who was friends with Carruth), pulled alongside her and Mr. Watkins proceeded to fire a number of shots into her car, four of them hitting her, then both cars fled the scene. Adams was able to call 911 and identify both Carruth and Watkins before losing consciousness. She was rushed to the hospital, where her baby was delivered by emergency C-section shortly after Adams slipped into a coma. Carruth was arrested and initially charged with attempted murder in the second degree and released on $3,000,000 bail, on the condition that he immediately surrender himself to police custody if Ms. Adams or the baby died. Adams was in a coma for almost a month before dying on December 14. Her baby survived but had severe brain damage, including cerebral palsy, due to not getting sufficient oxygen in the 70 minute interval between the mother being shot and the baby being delivered. Upon learning of the death of Ms. Adams, Carruth fled the state but was apprehended the following day in Tennessee by the United States Marshals service. He was found hiding in the trunk of a car parked in a motel parking lot. Also found in the trunk were $3,900 in cash, bottles of his own urine and a cell phone. Carruth was ultimately brought up on charges of murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful use of a weapon and attempting to commit an unjustified abortion. The prosecution claimed his motive was that Ms. Adams refused to get an abortion after learning that he was the father of her baby. The jury found him guilty on all charges but one. They jury concluded that the prosecution hadn't shown sufficient evidence that Carruth paid Watkins to commit the murder so they found him not guilty of first degree murder, Carruth was spared both the death penalty and a life sentence. For the conspiracy, weapons and attempted abortion charges he was sentenced to 18-24 years in prison and will become eligible for parole on October 18, 2018.

Ray Lewis was a pro football player who was in the NFL for 17 years and played for the Baltimore Ravens. He was a middle linebacker for his entire career and was considered one of the best players in history for that position.

Following a Super Bowl 34 party in Atlanta, Georgia on January 31, 2000, Lewis and a few of his friends were involved in a fight with another group of people which resulted in two of the men in the other group, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar, being stabbed to death. Lewis and his friends, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were questioned by the Atlanta Police in connection with the stabbing. Lewis claimed to have not been present at the scene of the stabbing. After the crime lab found blood from one of the stabbing victims in the limo that Lewis and his friends had used that night, all three were arrested on charges of murder in the second degree and aggravated assault in the first degree. Lewis proceeded to change his story and admitted that he was at the scene of the stabbing and that it was his two companions that had done it. In exchange, Lewis' attorney negotiated a plea deal on his behalf wherein the Fulton County DA's office dropped the murder and aggravated assault charges against him in exchange for him pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and testifying against his friends. Lewis testified that his friends had both bought knifes at a sporting goods store where they had been signing autographs. The knifes they bought matched the knife found at the scene, however no DNA or fingerprints could be recovered from the knife. Lewis' two friends were eventually found not guilty on all counts and in accordance with his plea deal, Lewis was sentenced to 12 months probation for giving a false statement to a police officer and was fined $250,000 by the NFL. As of August, 2018, no other suspects have been identified in connection with the murders. See more »


When E.A.D.A. McCoy offers the defendant a plea deal of manslaughter in the first degree with a sentencing recommendation of 8-1/3 to 15 years his attorney counters saying his client will plea guilty to manslaughter in the second degree, if he gets no jail time.

However as an experienced criminal attorney he should know that manslaughter in the second degree is sentenced as a violent, class C felony, meaning it carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least 3-1/2 years and can carry a maximum sentence of up to 15 years. The law does not allow someone who is guilty of a violent, class C felony to serve no prison time. See more »


References Queer Eye (2003) See more »

User Reviews

His jersey became the number-one sports memorabilia item overnight
17 December 2017 | by Mrpalli77See all my reviews

A tenant forgot, as usual, his own laundry in the washing machine placed in the condo basement. A neighbor took it to his apartment, realizing he was killed. The cause of death was strangulation and a kitchen knife was found beside his body. The victim had neither friends nor relatives and his boss (he worked in an accountant firm) described him as a hopeless man with no interests apart from basketball. He used to gamble and he recently sued a professional basketball player (Poncho Hodges): there was a footage that showed him throwing beer to the player, receiving a punch as a result. This pro became the target of the man, who harrassed him everytime he took NY soil (he played for Philadelfia); once the fan went even to Philly to insult him. The pro had a bad temper (he beat even his coach in the past) and fingerprints were found at the crime scene. The only thing he could claim at trial was self-defense. Is he going to make it?

This episode reminds me the early nineties movie "The Fan" in which De Niro became obsessed by a ballplayer. There are people whose life is meaningless who had nothing to do apart from taking their frustration out to someone else.

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Release Date:

16 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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