Recap / Law And Order S 4 E 10 The Pursuit Of Happiness

Two employees at a meat-packing company find their boss, Billy Cooper, shot dead in his office. His wife Irina has no alibi and the detectives learn she had motive for wanting to kill her husband. She is a Russian "mail-order bride" and if Cooper had divorced her, she would not get her US citizenship. Irina had also had a recent abortion after an affair with a co-worker named Alex Nunez. When Nunez' laboratory gloves are found to match residue found on the murder weapon, he and Irina are arrested. The defendants' co-worker testifies that Cooper was a bully who forced Irina to have an abortion, threatened her with deportation, and wouldn't let her bring her young son over from Russia. The jury is swayed and Schiff fears the case is already lost.

Nunez' lawyer tries to discredit Stone with the idea that the key witness, who is Korean, is incapable of telling non-Asian faces apart and has incorrectly identified Nunez. Stone offers the defendants a deal: if Nunez pleads guilty to manslaughter, Irina will only be charged as an accessory and won't be deported. They confess Irina told Nunez where her husband would be and where his gun was. Cooper refused to wait for the divorce and let Irina get her citizenship first, so Nunez shot him. Nunez says he was terrified of what might happen to Irina if she had to go back to Russia. He gets 15 years in jail and Irina gets 3. Kincaid and Stone reflect on what happened to Irina's "American dream" and wonder if she'll wait for Nunez.

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