Beauty and the Breast
Pictures captured by Maike Liedtke and Adam Brannon.

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L.A. LAW (September 1986 - May 1994) -- season 6, episode 20 -- "Beauty and the Breast" Zoe Clemmens first tries to plea bargain with convicted murderer-turned-lawyer, Nick Motes (Terry O’Quinn, MILLENNIUM and X-FILES), defending a fellow inmate, Walter Phelps (James Morrison), on trial for murdering another inmate named Jebsom.

Phelps is not a hard criminal and has almost completed his prison sentence for his original crime, growing marijuana. Motes believes that the evidence against him -- the bloody knife wiped free of fingerprints and lack of blood splatter on the accused’s clothes -- warrants a fight not a plea bargain.

Clemmens proceeds, and the prosecution proves opportunity, motive and intent when she presents witnesses who heard Phelps threaten to kill the victim. To which the mustachioed Phelps explains, "Because of my long hair, Mr. Jebsom thought I wanted to be a woman, his woman, which I did not. Therefore like the spiny blowfish I adopted a menacing behavior to ward off a predator, though neither of us is equipped to kill."

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The head-to-head heat could turn for the defense when real evidence appears in the form of a prison guard’s jilted ex who offers to testify that her ex- fiance guard, Hocksey, confessed to her that he committed the murder in question. Motes debates utilizing this testimony because he -- and Phelps if convicted -- would have to return to the same prison ruled by this guard and the guard’s Latino gang supporters who Motes now feels are the real instigators of the murder, executed by Hocksey and pinned on Phelps.

Clemmens attempts to talk Motes into taking the risk to save his client, even though this would still leave Motes in great danger as he would be returned to the prison despite winning Phelps’ case, as Motes’ crime -- murdering a prison guard -- would never be commuted or forgotten.

Motes does not fail his client and only asks in return from Clemmens access to a law library to prepare for final arguments. Clemmens gladly arranges that, remorseful that she may be partially responsible for putting this validated man’s life in danger. Motes repays her kindness by escaping the library through a ventilation shaft thereby escaping police custody and escaping the return to this corrupt prison -- or to any other.


This review and captured pictures is provided solely as a record of James Morrison's work as an actor, and does not intend or imply any infringement of any copyrights or trademark.

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