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Big Rock Mesa - Recap

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The scene opens a man helping with the homeless as a wildfire threatens the homes of many people. One homeless person named Freddy tells David, a volunteer, that Jenny is stuck in the canyon. David says that he doesn’t want him to go alone. Residents of homes that are in the way of the fire try to make it past firemen to save their homes, but the firemen tell that they can’t. Later, the firemen finally put the flames out and one of the firemen spots three bodies. He tells the crew to call Homicide because one of the bodies has a bullet to the head. Morales and TJ arrive on scene and it was two males and one female. The fire chief says that this is a second fire that was set and both fires were Arson. The Medical Examiner looks at the x-ray of the three individuals and tells that one of the victims was hit with an hard object, another was killed with a big knife and the final one was killed with a bullet to the head. She points that he also has a cut on his head. Morales points out that one of the victims has perfect teeth whereas the other two have horrible teeth. The Medical Examiner also points out that the younger victim had a knee replacement and there is a serial number.

Morales and TJ talk to the Fire Chief and he tells that the first fire was set with a sofisicated system whereas the other fire was started with matches. TJ says that the second fire lines where Bikers ride through. They go to the “Rock Slide Inn”, a local Biker hangout and talk to the waitress. She says that two men came in and one of the men had his armed wrapped up. The waitress says that one of the men charged it. They visit Dwayne, the man who bought a beer and he tells that Blake, his brother-in-law, burned his arm on the engine. They go to Blake’s and Morales sees that Blake tried to take the firefighter exam. Blake admits that he aced the test, but turned down the job. However, when they go to the fire department, the Chief there says that they didn’t hire Blake due to psychological reasons and that he showed signs of pyromania. TJ and Morales bring Dwayne to the station and he admits that it was Blake who started the fire and that he only drove there. Morales shows Blake the photos and says that it was brilliant. He says that he started the fire and that he started the second too. However, the details don’t match up. Morales and TJ start to feel that this is a copycat who started the second fire.

Morales and TJ track David’s parents down. David was one of the victims that was shot. His mother says that David was volunteering with the homeless. They go to the homeless shelter and one the volunteers can’t believe that David was shot. She recognizes that Freddy and Jenny were among the dead too. She says that David drove a jeep to get through the area. They ride up to Big Rock Mesa and see the neighbors cleaning up. Morales sees the colored glass in the driveway and Morales says that Freddy had colored rock in his shoes. They talk to Patrick Denton and his wife, and Joe Lait. They all tell that they were gone from the fire and that they weren’t allowed to go back to their homes. TJ and Morales go to a homeless man who had a disagreement with Freddy and he says that the homeowners are the ones that keep pestering them and says that the homeowners were having a pool party during the fire. TJ remembers that the pools were empty. Morales tells that the Fire Chief told that the waters were shut off in the area. However, TJ sees that the neighbors including Joe Lait were at their houses because of the electricity that was used. TJ says that he has a contact for KNBC. They go to visit her, but she says that she has no footage. TJ says that the neighbors don’t know that and asks her to lie. She does and Patrick and Joe ask to buy the footage from her. She walks away and says that they can. Morales and TJ come out and says that it is going to be enough for a search warrant.

They go to Patrick’s home and the search team find that the garage was scrubbed with Bleach. TJ finds the circular saw that matches the knotches on David’s head. Morales puts Patrick under arrest. Later, Dekker is upset that Patrick made bail and Rubirosa tells that the evidence is paper-thin. Dekker says that Patrick did not act alone. They talk to Joe Lait and he says that no one was involved with anything. Dekker tells that he better start talking and Joe admits to going back. Rubirosa goes to Diana Burt and she tells that she was only trying to protect her home. Rubirosa asks about the scratches on her arm and she says that they are from her cat. Later at the Medical Examiner’s office, Rubirosa finds out that Jenny scratched Diana and that a gardening tool killed Freddy.

They go to Joe Lait’s home and TJ asks about the knife that was hanging there and Joe says that he got rid of it. Later, Rubirosa tells Dekker the updates and says that they have no real evidence. Dekker says that they need to offer Patrick a deal and says that they have no evidence and that Patrick’s lawyer is going to make it seem like an intruder. Dekker meets with Patrick and tells that he is offering a deal and says that they will give him 2 years for the Arson. Patrick lays out the scenario and says that he saw the three people and told them to get out and when one of them moved to him and he shot him. He says that Joe killed the homeless man and Diana hit the homeless woman with a brick. That is when they panicked and took their bodies to the field and started a fire. He says that “those” people should have stayed away from their homes. The police arrest Joe and Diana and TJ says that it doesn’t make sense. Later, Joe and Diana’s lawyer tries to get a deal, but Dekker doesn’t want to give in. The lawyer says that their case is stronger than theirs. Rubirosa finds that the Homeowners are being sued and one of the lawyers pursuing the case is from Pepperdine Law school, the same school that David went to.

Rubirosa and Dekker get to Pepperdine and the professor says that she helped David build a case for the homeless and says that he kept his participation off the record. Dekker finds it odd that Patrick never mentioned that. They go to Patrick’s wife and she tells that the man told Patrick that they were going to run them out of the Canyon. She tells that she doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it and Patrick comes up and asks what is going on. Dekker tells him that they are refilling charges and that the deal is off the table. Later, Patrick’s wife is on the stand and she tells that Patrick knew that David was the one who was pursuing the law suit, but that he was protecting them. She tells that she loves her husband and that she is proud of him. Patrick takes the stand and says that David reached for the gun and he shot them and that Joe and Diana killed the other two homeless. Patrick says that they were defending their homes from the homeless. Dekker shows that the diagram shows that the place where Patrick was standing was not in a frightening place and that he was blocking the exit for the three people to escape and that when Patrick found out that it was David, the one pursuing the lawsuit, he allowed rage to take over and he shot him. Patrick says that he didn’t want this to happen.

Closing arguments and Patrick’s lawyer advocates for Joe, Diana and Patrick and tell that there are over 48,000 homeless on the streets and that the jury needs to agree that they are not guilty. Dekker talks to the jury and tells them that the homeless that are on the street are veterans, mothers, fathers and even children. He tells the jury could be one of them if it happens to them. Dekker tells that the neighbors are not in the right here and he asks them to make the right decision. The jury gets back from discussing the case and say that the defendants are not guilty. As for the account on Arson, they are deadlocked. Dekker and Rubirosa are upset about it and Dekker says that he has failed to convince the jury to do the right thing. Rubirosa says that they both failed. The episode ends.

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Warning: Law & Order: Los Angeles season 1 episode 16 guide may contain spoilers
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