"Self Defense"
L&O, Episode 3.07
Production number: 68008
First aired: 11 November 1992
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Logan Self Defense
Written By
René Balcer & Hall Powell

Directed By
Ed Sherin

A Greek jeweler store owner kills two robbers and claims self-defense, but his true motives are quickly revealed.


21-year-old Garland Booker is found dead in a car. His brother, 27-year-old Cecil, is found several feet away.

A Greek jewelry store owner, George Costas, admits to shooting them in self defense during a robbery. A surveillance tape presented to the DA shows that Costas shot the men while they were still locked in the doorway, "like fish in a barrel." He then followed the men outside and continued shooting Garland while he was in the car.

The investigation digs up another incident in New Jersey where Costas killed another man attempting to rob his store. Stone determines that Costas is a vigilante, and charges him with murder.

Costas is found guilty of killing Garland Booker.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



Well, so much for the thousand words. Better hope the picture speaks for itself.

–Paul Robinette

Donald Cragen: Well what about his story, does it walk and talk?
Phil Cerreta: Limp and an accent, but after what he’s been through, you can expect this guy to be a little fuzzy on the details.
Donald Cragen: Okay, work the store, maybe the 'i's will dot themselves.

Nick Fortas: In Greece, they got weapons laws up the ying-yang.
Mike Logan: Nice to know we live in a civilized country.

Costas is getting more play than Zapruder.

–Adam Schiff

Benjamin Stone: If we let him walk, we’re endorsing an armed populace that metes out justice as they see fit.
Adam Schiff: We try him and lose, the same message with our credibility as an appetizer.

Background information and notes

Cerreta Vengeance

Sergeant Cerreta on the stand.

  • The episode title "Self Defense" is a reference to the claim made by George Costas that he was merely defending himself and his property when he shot two black robbers.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Joon Rhee's
Dry Cleaning
170 28th Street
Friday, July 24

Fortas Electronics
1500 Main Street
Fort Lee, New Jersey
Wednesday, July 29

Executive Assistant
District Attorney
Benjamin Stone
Monday, August 3

4 5 6

Judge Edmond Francis
Motion Calendar
Thursday, September 24

Supreme Court
Trial Part 49
Monday, September 28

Supreme Court
Trial Part 49
Thursday, October 1

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