As a teenage girl, Carol Broderick has bounced around from one foster home to the other.
Though she is considered attractive and excels academically, she has chosen to run around with what is considered the bad crowd – the group that drinks beer, smokes pot, cuts classes, and sleeps around.
The core of this bad crowd consists of two boys and two girls: Bob Van Zandt, a skinny kid with shoulder-length hair whose main priority is listening to The Allman Brothers Band while hot-rodding in his 1970 Z-28 Camaro; Ted Grimaldi, a stocky, cocky kid from the projects with a quick temper and even quicker fists; Carol, the straight-A student and main character here; and Alison Kooper, who cheats off Carol during tests, wears too much eye makeup, and loves B-grade horror flicks.
It’s the summer after senior graduation.
The core four are riding around on a Saturday night and stop at a convenience store to score a 12-pack of beer.
Though the four can’t pool enough money together to pay for the 12-pack, Ted says he’s “got it covered,” and exits the Camaro to get the brew.
Coincidentally, Carol has to use the restroom. She and Ted enter the convenience store, which does not have a video surveillance camera. While Ted goes to the beer cooler, Carol enters the ladies’ room.
About to finish up in the ladies’ room, Carol hears a gunshot.
When she exits the restroom, she finds the store clerk face down on the floor, as a pool of blood spreading rapidly from a head wound.
She checks for a pulse – nothing.
She sees Ted running, 12-pack in tow, toward the Camaro, engine revved up.
He hops inside, and they, all, holler for Carol to “Come on, let’s go!”
Carol exits the convenience store at full speed, but instead of running toward the Camaro, she heads in the opposite direction.
She hears the Camaro take off, loudly burning rubber, and barking a tire, each time, as Bob speed-shifts for a clean getaway.
With a few dollars saved, Carol packs some bags, catches a bus, and runs away from her foster home.
Assistant District Attorney Carol Broderick finally is prosecuting her first case, as lead prosecutor, that is.
A 30-year-old, single mother of an 11-year-old son, she has come a long way.
After graduating from high school, and after the son’s sorry father abandoned them, she finally got her act together. Carol worked her way through college and law school by waiting tables and bartending, and she ignored the past by striving for the future.
While she should be proud and aggressive, Carol is sick to her stomach this particular day in the courtroom, moping around, mumbling to herself.
The man she is supposed to be prosecuting is Ted “Cuts off Heads” Grimaldi, an enforcer and collector for a large and dangerous drug ring.
Though the evidence against Ted is borderline circumstantial, and it’s ultimately her call, the district attorney general has urged her to prosecute to the fullest.
“How did that jackass and I end up in the same state and town 12 years down the road?” she has asks herself over and over.
However, Ted’s boss, the real leader of the drug ring, has sent word to her that if she doesn’t dismiss the charges against his prized henchman, not only will they reveal what happened at the convenience store 12 years ago – which assuredly will end her legal career – but she, well, has herself and a young son to consider too.
What is Carol’s best option?
Should she salvage herself and son by dismissing the charges against Ted, thus, hopefully, burying the secret of the convenience store murder?
Or should she press forward with the charges and risk putting her son and herself in an early grave?
What would you do?