Meltdown – Part 2 – 179

Written by: Donald Bellisario, Don McGill; Watch Now: – Sorry, not available on Amazon

[This is a complicated JAG sequel, with the NCIS cast, written by Bellisario. It is a fast paced, complex, detailed, convoluted dual plot with segways and lots of electronics. It didn’t use JAG background music and was very difficult to synthesize into this summary.]

The obsessive compulsive, no people skilled, Lt Cdr. Faith Coleman was assigned as Harm’s (H) JAG defense counsel. She tried to steam roll over H until he backed her down. She resented his “job interview” questions and claimed that she had nine homicide defenses, all wins. He essentially told her to “sit down, I hope your legal arguments are as squared away as your briefcase.” Gibb met Maj McBurney, the prosecuting attorney, who called it a “slam dunk”; and when Gibb told him that “I only got him because he was protecting his brother,” McBurney said not to show “that kind of doubt” on the stand. Gibb said he was in a hurry to get the case over with. McBurney was doing his pistol quals and placed all shots in the head, because “it cuts down on appeals.” McBurney was assigned Hs office by Chegwidden (C), and Coleman, Manetti’s office. Harm told Coleman that he had met with Singer and argued, she left, he followed, argued some more in her car, phoned his brother Sergei using his cell phone so he could see her eyes when she told him it wasn’t his baby, because he rarely believed anything S said.

By the time that the time of death was established, H already looked guilty, so decided to trust navy justice instead of navy cops and didn’t cooperate with them. McBurney had the foul-mouthed, hippy, head-banger, forensic technician, Abby Scioto, wear a “professor” costume when testifying in court instead of her usual punk dress. There was a metal sliver in S’s head, ferrous metal matching the railing at the overlook; blood of S on the concrete; a plane ticket for 6am Jan 6th in her pocket; also a Benzinger’s napkin with Sergei’s cell phone number in H’s handwriting. Stomach contents was a bar mix within 2 hours of eating. During cross, Scioto had to remove her fake glasses to read and seemed to be discredited. Dr. Mallard (Duckey) said that the body, found Apr 22, had been in winter ice – “say about 3 1/2 months,” 20 wks pregnant, severe blunt force injury to her posterior skull, numerous fractures from going over the falls, and a tattoo of a “stalking leopard” was tattooed on her left buttock. She had died from drowning not the trauma.

Gibb interviewed H again without counsel. He just talked about finding no phone call to Sergei after being told of S’s death. Harm said “that’s what phone booth’s are for.” He told H that he seemed to have made a lot of effort to eliminate Sergei as a suspect. Harm retorted “that’s how you got your man,” Gibb replied “I know.” On the stand, Gibb said the body was found 1.3 miles below the falls, car was found in a parking lot next to the falls, 2 sets of prints: S’s and H’s, H knew S was pregnant, unsure who the father was, denied the request for DNA sample, and was generally uncooperative. On cross, Gibb admitted he’d sent a request for H’s DNA profile [illegal] which didn’t go through. Asked why, he said “I thought at the time he was the killer.” Harm wrote a note to Coleman to ask Gibb if he still thought so. Gibb answered: that his gut told him “no, he wasn’t the killer.” McBurney tried to chastise him at the elevator saying that he could handle circumstantial evidence but “screw-up’s and flip flops on the stand, I cannot.” Gibb’s assured demeanor just left anything McBurney said fall flat. Abby called McBurney and had them all come to discover that a cover (military hat) that was found near the falls was actually H’s. Gibb told Abbey that she better never call the attorney’s again, to call him.

Gibb and his “director” were shown watching the interrogation of Amad bin Atwa on their “big screen television.” Bin Atwa had passed money to Hassan Mohammed some time during the past 10 days then they had lost track of him. Gibb was told to “wrap this JAG case up fast” so he could go interrogate bin Atwa personally. Gibb seemed to show Blackadder, who’s brother had been killed by terrorists and wanted to be involved in their capture, a bit of antagonism. He had told her to mind her own business or she was fired, then told her she had two days to gather all the information possible on bin Atwa. She came back in a day with a CD of info, but it didn’t have anything personal about him so he sent her back to do it right. She finally got the requested information on Atwa so Gibb left for his interrogation. Agent Tony DiNozzo told Blackadder that the case against H just seemed too easy, “it doesn’t sit right” that the body floated for so far but the hat was found near the falls. Blackadder said “it seems alright to me.”

Bud (B) testified that he saw H grab singer by the elevator to get a dinner appointment with her, after she had originally said no. Coates (Co) said she overheard H and S arguing at Benzinger’s. Singer was pregnant, H thought Sergei was the father, S denied it and said she was giving the baby up for adoption. Coates said that she saw the same anger in in H that she had seen in her father when he hit her mother. Singer left and H followed her. Abbey found quartz, feldspar, and kolimite in Hs hat – river silt, from the spring thaw, but nothing like that on S body. She said that the cover was a “spring thing” and couldn’t have been in the river for 4 months, so it must have been a plant. They called Gibb, who was on a ship, and told him that he was right about H. Sergei had same blood type as H, and wasn’t the father of the baby. Every Wednesday, beginning in May, S had paid for dinner for two with her credit card, at a different restaurant but at the same time. A canvas of the restraunts with S’s photo brought up a “Tiramisu incident” and a waiter who gave a description of a sandy haired man. Also the plane ticket wasn’t to San Diego (SAN) as they had thought but to Shannon Ireland (SNN)! Gibb told them to cross reference the description with the JAG security log for the past 4 wks to find someone with a grudge who had access to H. They told H that he was off the hook and H recognized the name of their suspect. He told them to “tell Gibb, I owe him.” DiNozzo interrogated Cdr Lindsey about the $5,000.00 check he cashed the day of S’s death, and its re-deposit the day after. Also hinted at “latent prints” on the hat. Lindsey claimed that S was blackmailing him about the baby and threatening his family. They had argued and he grabbed her when she fell over the railing. He didn’t call for help because the river had already taken her and he was afraid. DiNozzo caught him in the lie because S’s blood was on the concrete and she would have had to be picked up and thrown over the railing. He also told Lindsey that, with his blood type, the baby couldn’t have been his either!

Gibb had a gourmet dinner with Atwa and impressed the man with his knowledge of cuisine. “Marines travel,” he told Atwa, and asked if the food was what brought him to Nice. No, it was the women, Atwa said, and offered that the best food he’d ever eaten was in Toulon. Gibb argued that he’d eaten there last summer and the “kibbeh was bland, gouzi mushy and gmameh inedible.” Atwa countered that the “gmameh he’d had there last week was incredible” so it must be a different cook. So they traced that 10 days ago the Hawala money brokers in Toulon transferred money to the Hawala in Tunis. Gibb’s group had no “assets” in Tunis so the “people up the river” would want all the credit. Gibb called Blackadder and DiNozzo to the gulf. They found that 5 million in cash had been signed for, four days ago, by Khalil Sahari, the director of the Institute of oceanography in Tunis. Aboard the ship, also having large screen TV’s and lots of computers, they “called up” that the institute had purchased an unmanned submersible for 5 million in Sorrento, that all the attacks had been within 4 days of picking up the money and that all the ports with naval facilities within 58 hours sail of Sorrento – both Naples and Cannes were too secure. Gibb wanted a list of all the research vessels leased in the last year over 90 tons (needed to carry the submersible) and the name of the Deep Blue Explorer magically popped up on the screen, leased by Sahari’s institute. He wanted the “coastal cops'” records of any “nav plans” filed to the area and found that the “Explorer” was sailing for “Cadiz,” which, when cross referenced in their computers, was found to be close to Rota Spain where a carrier had just pulled in after being in the Gulf. From a van on the dock they did face matching until they found that the captain of the vessel was really Mohammed. Blackadder was staring at the captain and Gibb had to tell her to stop, but it was too late they were spotted. The ensuing gun battle left a bunch dead and Gibb facing off Mohammed who was holding a live hand grenade. Mohammed dropped it and Gibb shot him then was blasted backward down the stairs. He lived and when Blackadder apologized with “I almost blew it,” Gibb told her “what do you mean, almost?” Lindsey was said to have “copped a plea” to involuntary manslaughter for eight years in Leavenworth.

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