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Altered Stakes - Recap

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The episode begins at a softball game; Las Vegas CSI Vs LVPD Vice. During the game, Finn has a muscle pull. Just then Nick gets a call and has to get back to work. At the office, Brass introduces him to DA Milroy. It is about a guy named Karl Bowden, who was convicted of murder seven years ago and now it has been overturned. Nick remembers that Karl had beaten some college kid to death in an alley and he had confessed to his crime. But Karl’s attorney now claims that Sam Vega had beaten the confession out of Karl. And now, they cannot use any old evidence given to them before or after Karl’s conviction and they have to find new evidence; else Karl will be released and he will be out on the streets.

Nick updates Russell about the present case and tells him that he liked Vega and he has never known him to be dirty. He tells him about his previous investigation, in which Karl was convicted. Vega had found a witness who said that she saw Karl leaving the alley and so Vega picked him up and they had him in the room for like five hours and it went nowhere. But then Nick left the room to get some information from the night sergeant. He was gone twenty minutes and when he returned, he saw Karl was bleeding. Vega told Nick that he had set him straight. And after that he confessed. Nick also says that Karl showed them where he dumped the body and confessed to his crime. Russell feels that the evidence would have led them to the body. Vega need not lay a finger on Karl to find the body. They update the team. The victim was Robert James and he was at a bar with his friend.

The quickest way for them to get back home was to cut through the ally, but he never made it. The DNA from the blood in the ally matched the one on Robert’s toothbrush. Karl confessed to his crime and took them to the body and ended up cutting a deal with the DA; which means they boxed up the evidence and put it off. And thanks to Vega a lot of the evidence has been excluded; like the confession, the body and the reports, all gone. They still have some leads left. Russell, Finn and Nick go to the ally to check the scene. Its pretty much the same with not many changes. Nick shows them the spot where the blood pool was and also that the dumpster was next to the pool then; now it has been moved to the opposite side. Also there was fresh urine next to the pool and a block with blood on it.

According to the description, Karl kept hitting Robert, even after he was down. The eye witness saw Karl leaving the ally, without the body. Nick adds that he had smelt some sort of a chemical around, something like glue. At the office, Detective Moreno meets Brass. Moreno asks him about Vega’s case. He is Vega’s step son and he wants to work on this case. Brass tells him that he could do it, but unofficially. Nick and Brass go to check Karl’s car. Nick did not know that his car was recovered and that it was still there. The front was severely damaged. Moreno figures out that the car was involved in a hit and run. He tells Nick that he making use of his off day, and helping in the case. Somebody hit Karl’s car and took off.

And it seems that this car didn’t go anywhere after ten o’clock as it could not be driven; which means that Robert’s body was never in it. Greg tells Russell about the chemical Nick smelt in the ally; it was some sort of a liquid bandage, which forms a new skin like layer on an open wound. He also tells Russell that it was also found on a part of the cinder block that was not covered in blood. They figure out that Karl was a mechanic. Greg and Morgan go to the garage and talk to Ben. He tells him that Karl was short tempered and also that he had access to the shop in the afterhours. Greg goes with Ben to check the records and Morgan hangs around in the work place. She finds that another mechanic has used the same liquid bandage on his hands. Greg tells Nick that in the garage that night there were three vehicles, out of which one Karl could have used to transport the body.

Hodges tells Morgan that the liquid bandage is the top selling one in US and a lot of guys use it. Henry tells Nick that the blood found in the vehicle is degraded and the results cannot be accurate. Milroy tells Russell that the witness died of breast cancer two years ago. Nick tells him that he will need some fresh reference samples from Karl and goes to the prison to collect them. Nick tells Russell that Karl has some major anger issues and that if he has killed Robert in anger, then there could be other cases as well. They dig for cases with the same MO. Finn finds a case similar; but there are two major differences; one the female victim is alive and two, there is already an arrest for this case. But as no case is perfect, they pursue this one. The victim was April Reynolds and the guy who was convicted was David Jorgenson, her best friend’s husband.

But the as in Robert’s case, there was a chemical smell and the team decides to follow the trail. Nick and Moreno find out that Carl’s credit card was declined on the day of April’s beating and also around the same time. Moreno gets a mail saying that Karl was fired on the same day April was beaten. So now, to take out his frustration and anger, he attacked April. Finn talks to David in the prison. Brass meets April. From conversations, it appears that David and his wife were going through a rough patch, and April met David to talk to him about it. When April tells David that he was a crappy husband, he argues. David tells Finn that the splinters on his hands were from stacking firewood. And that he also was burning old rags he gathered after cleaning the garage.

Hodges tells Russell that the wood splinters from April’s head had the chemical bandage, but those from David’s hands didn’t. Robbins points out that after receiving several blows to the head and also due to the argument they had, April might mistakenly identified her assailant as David as she could have been still thinking about him and the argument. The eye witness in April’s case, the dog walker talks to Greg and tells him that it was her dog that sensed something was wrong and went and discovered April’s body. She tells Greg that her dog had swallowed a set of keys that day and she was sick and there was blood on the key chain that matched April’s. Nick has an idea.

He goes to the place where Karl’s car is kept, and starts the car with the key. It is Karl’s car keys. And the dog had interrupted Karl’s attack on April and that is why he couldn’t finish the job. Next, we see that Karl walks out of the prison and just then the cops drive in. Brass arrests him for the intended murder of April Reynolds. Moreno takes him. The softball game is on once again. With a tip from Finn, Henry leads the CSI team to victory. Finn walks back with her date. The episode ends.