Another flashback case--this time, it's Mia's very first case, and it's against none other than rookie prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. Prelude to case 5.
Date: February 16th, 2012
In the Defense Lobby, Mia is very nervous. She meets with her client, Terry Fawles, who is still insisting on his innocence. Five years ago he was given the death sentence for kidnapping and killing a young girl. Then, after escaping prison, he was arrested again in under eight hours, this time for killing a policewoman. Terry admits he wanted to escape to meet this woman, but that he didn't kill her. As they talk Diego Armando, another lawyer in Grossberg's firm, shows up with...words of encouragement? He tells Mia that Grossberg is probably drunk somewhere and he'll be stepping in to look after their "little kitten." Mia will be against another rookie, a young prodigy by the name of Miles Edgeworth.
Court begins, and Edgeworth sets up the case. Terry's first conviction was for killing a fourteen year old girl, who he tossed off a bridge into the Eagle River. The only decisive evidence in the case was the testimony of eyewitness Valerie Hawthorne. Because of her Terry was convicted, and now, five years later, Terry had escaped prison to get his revenge on her.
The Judge nearly gives a ruling right then, but Mia demands to hear more testimony. A young Detective Gumshoe is called to the stand. He testifies that Valerie was killed at the same Eagle River the first crime occurred at. Valerie Hawthorne, a police officer, was stabbed in the back on the Dusky Bridge, which runs across the river. She was then shoved into a car trunk, but the police managed to arrive and arrest the suspect before he could escape. They had been alerted to the crime because of a note Valerie left at her desk: "Meet on Dusky bridge at 4:30. Wear a white muffler." Apparently she had received a call from Terry, and was planning to reveal the truth concerning "Dahlia."
Gumshoe presents a picture of the crime scene - Valerie shoved in a car trunk. Since she was stabbed in the back the knife can't be seen from the angle of the picture. Mia points out she isn't wearing a white muffler like the note said, but then Edgeworth presents the muffler itself. It was discovered at the bridge and is stained with mud.
Edgeworth presents a photo of victim and defendant on the bridge, which was provided by an eyewitness who preferred not to be put on the stand. He argues that Terry pushed Valerie down and stabbed her in the back, but Mia objects: if she had been thrown down, her coat would be just as dirty as the muffler, but it isn't in the crime scene photo. She demands to hear the testimony of the witness herself. Edgeworth calls Melissa Foster to the stand.
Melissa happens to look exactly like Dahlia Hawthorne (down to the butterflies). She claims she was at the river taking photographs of wildflowers, and happened to see the crime take place. Mia shows her the picture she took, which only shows Terry and Valerie facing each other, not fighting. Melissa claims she ran out of film before being able to catch the decisive moment. But she testifies that Valerie turned to run, and was chased down and stabbed. Unfortunately, this isn't possible - the bridge was broken on the end Valerie was at. If she'd turned to run, she would have ended up in the river. But the Edgeworth argues that the bridge might not have been broken at the time of the murder, since the map they have showing it broken was made AFTER the crime. Mia can't prove him wrong, so they have to move on.
Melissa claims Terry carried the body off and stuffed it into a stolen car. Mia quickly argues that judging by the position Melissa was in during the crime, she couldn't have seen that far. The proof is in Melissa's own picture of the scene. Moreover, how would Melissa know the car was stolen? She claims she saw the scratch marks on the trunk's lock, but there's no way she could have seen that, either. And since Terry stole the car from a couple while they were at a stop light, and drove it up there, he should have the keys, and therefore wouldn't need to "break" into the trunk anyway. Mia accuses Melissa of hiding the body herself. Her camera has a timer - she could have set it up to take the picture of Terry and Valerie without being there. Instead, she was getting ready to kill Valerie herself!
Mia argues that Melissa killed Valerie even before Terry showed up to meet her. Then she disguised herself as Valerie and met Terry in Valerie's place. She even set up her camera to take a picture. She was able to fool Terry because after 5 years he had forgotten what Valerie looked like, as proved by him telling her to wear the muffler to identify herself. Melissa is the real killer! She passes out from shock.
Back in the defense lobby, Mia and Diego ponder a motive they can raise against Melissa. Questioning Terry, he tells them more about the case 5 years ago. The girl he was accused of killing was actually his girlfriend, Dahlia Hawthorne. Dahlia and Valerie were sisters, and both daughters to a rich jewel dealer. The three of them came up with a plan. Terry would pretend to kidnap Dahlia, and demand one of her father's two million dollar diamonds. As a police officer, Valerie would be perfect to help the drop go down. The three them them planned to split the money. But when they met at Dusky bridge as planned in the ransom note, Valerie betrayed them, and shot at Terry. As he was struck in the arm, he argues he couldn't have thrown Dahlia over the bridge's rail into the river, and that she must have jumped herself. But Valerie testified against him anyway. The diamond, and Dahlia, disappeared in the river and were never found.
So Terry was convicted, and sat in prison for five years. When he finally had a chance to escape, all he wanted was to hear from Valerie why she had betrayed them.
Court resumes now that Melissa has recovered. After badgering her through some more testimony, Mia declares that Melissa is actually Dahlia, the little girl that supposedly drowned five years ago. Edgeworth isn't phased. He seems to have known all along who Melissa really was and didn't say anything, because it wasn't relevant. But Mia argues it helps prove her motive. In the memo Valerie left, it said she planned to tell everyone the truth about what happened on the bridge five years ago. Dahlia decided to kill Valerie so that wouldn't happen.
Dahlia testifies as to the bridge incident. She also claims Terry threw her into the river, which Mia argues simply isn't possible given the make of the bridge. Dahlia must have leapt off the bridge herself, determined to keep all the money. But without the diamond itself, Mia can't prove her story to the fullest.
The only way to prove now that Dahlia is guilty of the present day murder is to get testimony from Terry himself. He alone would know which sister he actually met on the bridge, be it Valerie, or Dahlia in disguise. Once on the stand, Terry marvels that Dahlia, the girl he loved, is still alive. He asks for some water to drink before beginning his testimony, but instead Diego offers him some coffee.
Terry claims in his testimony that it was Valerie, not Dahlia, he met on the bridge - he's determined to cover for Dahlia. Also, he left the scene for a while before the meeting, which Mia argues would have been enough time for Dahlia to kill Valerie and hide the body. Terry denies this and continues. By now he's coughing badly. About fifteen minutes away from the bridge there was a small mountain shrine, and it was there that he and Dahlia swore they would love each other until death and never betray the other. They buried a pendant there beneath a tree (the same pendant from T&T-1). As part of their promise, they said that if they ever lost faith in the other, they would have to drink the contents of the pendant and face death.
Terry is coughing up blood now. He admits his faith in Dahlia waned, and so he drank the poison from their pendant. Edgeworth demands they stop the trial but it's too late. Terry slumps over the witness stand, dead. Dahlia, meanwhile, leaves with a smile.
Diego, outraged by the outcome, breaks his coffee mug. With his hand bloody he tells Mia, "You can't cry now. The only time a man can cry is when it's all over."
The scene fades back to present day, with Phoenix. He recalls that Dahlia smiled the same way when she was finally convicted, a year after that case. He was wrong to think it was over...
|Five years previous,
Terry Fawles met a young girl named Dahlia Hawthorne and fell in love.
Near a small mountain shrine they promised to love each other forever, and
buried a small pendant (which was also a vial) beneath a tree there.
They swore that if either ever lost faith in the other, they would have to
drink the poison from that vial.
Dahlia was having trouble with her family, and convinced Terry to go through with a scheme of hers to get her father's money. Mr. Hawthorne was a jewel dealer. Dahlia's plan was for Terry to "kidnap" her, and name as the ransom a diamond worth two million dollars. Her sister Valerie had just become a police officer, and would work with them to make sure the exchange went smoothly. They would then split the money three ways and really stick it to dear old dad.
They named Dusky Bridge on the Eagle river as the location. But when Valerie came as they had planned, she pulled a gun on Terry and shot him in the arm - Valerie and Dahlia had planned in secret to cut him out of the picture, and out of their profits. But then Dahlia took things a step further, and leapt off the bridge with the diamond in her backpack, throwing herself into the river below. She was washed away and her body was never found.
In reality, Dahlia survived, changed her name, and waited in hiding. Only a few people, including her sister Valerie knew about it.
In the trial that followed, Valerie testified that Terry had thrown Dahlia off the bridge (mostly to keep her own part of the kidnapping plot from being known). He was convicted, and sentenced to death. But five years later, during a prisoner transfer, the vehicle he was in crashed and allowed for his escape. His only concern was to find Valerie, and learn why she had turned on him. He called Valerie, and asked her to meet him at the Dusky bridge once more. Because he no longer remembered Valerie's face he told her to wear a white muffler, so he would be able to recognize her.
Valerie wrote the message out at her desk at the police station. Before leaving to meet with Terry she told Dahlia that she planned to tell Terry - and the world - everything. Dahlia could not allow this to happen, and plotted to kill her sister.
She arrived at the scene before Terry, and met with her sister. Presumably when Valerie refused to keep their secrets hidden Dahlia killed her by stabbing her in the back. By then Terry had arrived, but was not at the bridge or the car he had stolen. Seizing the opportunity, Dahlia shoved Valerie's body into the trunk of the stolen car and took her hat and scarf. She disguised herself as Valerie and set up her camera on a rocky outcropping overlooking the bridge, putting it on a timer. She planned to use the picture it took as evidence that Terry and Valerie had met. She then went to the bridge to wait for Terry.
Terry, meanwhile, was retrieving the vial of poison he and Dahlia had sworn over years ago.
At last Terry made it to the bridge, where he met with who he thought was Valerie. After exchanging only short words Terry left, returning to the stolen car. He had no idea Valerie's body was already inside the trunk. Before he could drive away from the river the police arrived, and arrested him for yet another murder he didn't commit.
By then Terry had lost his faith in Dahlia and, following their old vows, drank the poison that would kill him on the stand.