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Law & Order Los Angeles- Big Rock Mesa recap

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Written by : published Wednesday 25th May 2011

Law & Order Los Angeles- Big Rock Mesa  recap main image

A homeless man and a student discuss looking for a lost cat as a fire burns in view. Two fires in the Malibu canyons cause home damages and fire crews find three bodies. The arson squad investigates and verifies artificial fuels and brake fluid accelerants were used. This is a death row offense. But smoke and fire were not the cause of death.

Two homeless people in the ashes of a burnt home are hardly are cause for a murder case but the third body is David Halloway, a Pepperdine law student with a titanium knee socket. And a bullet hole in the corpse. Arson works up a profile. TJ and Morales find that the witness at the Rockslide Inn cantina saw a man with a burn on his arm after one of the fires was set. The charge receipt points the way.

They investigate and find one of the men in the truck has a brother in law who knows all about fires. They trace a rejected fire department applicant who passed the physical but failed the psychological exam. In interrogation, Morales asks the man to confess to the second fire but he gives a phony method. The arson expert on the event says maybe a copycat framed the second fire to look like the first one. Blake has the starter kit only to the first fire.

The detectives investigate the victim. The parents are stunned at the murder. David was a law student working with the homeless. He was also part of a lawsuit filed against the home owners for harassing the homeless. The detectives realize after interviews that David was working on behalf of the homeless. He drove an old jeep that crossed the canyon but David had a DUI.

The people whose houses were burned are hit hard. Some of them left during the police order to evacuate. But some of the roofs are dry. With roads closed the police realize that they must have been in the canyon during the fire. TJ and Morales see broken glass and landscaping gravel found in one of the dead man’s boots and ask the nearby neighbors. They say that the transients hung around and were nuisance.

Morales notices drained pools in the area. They posit that the homeowners came back illegally to save their houses/ Morales confirms the evacuation order went out in Big Rock Mesa. TJ uses DWP smart meters to show that homes were using electricity. TJ approaches a chopper camerawoman he knows but she says there was no footage allowed. But Morales observes the Big Rock Mesa residents don’t know that.

The camerawoman sets up the homeowners who want to buy the footage of them on the roof during the fire. TJ uses this to get a search warrant. They find an area of the floor scrubbed with bleach. Rubirosa and Dekker go after the neighbors. One of the corpses had broken finger and would have left a three nailed scratch. The neighbor says that a cat scratched her. A blade tool in the garage is missing and another neighbor is missing an axe. Dekker files charges.

The lawyers say the home owners are poster children for Citizen’s Rights. But the victim David was behind a lawsuit drafted by a Pepperdine professor. The lawsuit claims that canyon residents cost the county millions. David’s lawsuit was costing Big Rock Mesa homeowners money. On the stand Dekker tries to make the home owners look bad. During the fire the house owner was carrying a gun. He says he found the people in the garage. He says the man David says he was going to run them out of the canyon.

Dekker suggests the man should have left if he felt threatened. Why should he have run out of his own garage? The home owners confess to the murders because they were out of their minds they would lose everything they had. But the defending attorney points out that an occupying army are a threat that the homeowners react to when found intruding. And the lawsuit against the home owners’ added fuel to the fire.

Dekker points out that the homeless are sometimes veterans. But when he describes how a reasonable person might react due to anger and not self defense. Dekker argues anger is not a leal reason to kill.

The jury votes all the defendants not guilty of murder and they can’t agree on the arson verdict. Rubirosa and Dekker slump in disappointment as the parents of the dead law student collapse in grief.

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About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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