|48 Hours to life|
|Original Airdate||October 10, 2005|
|Previous Episode: Prey|
|Next Episode: Three-Way|
48 Hours to Life is the fourth episode of season 4 of CSI: Miami.
Horatio and the team are trying to figure out how to free an innocent young man after a harsh interrogation with Frank Tripp causes him to falsely confess and is sent to jail for a murder he did not commit.
A young African American man, Tobey Hollins, flees the scene of a murder, blood covering his clothes. Frank Tripp pursues, finally catching him once Horatio and backup arrives. Tripp brings the man in and it isn't long before he has a confession out of him. But Horatio isn't convinced: when he and Delko visit the crime scene--a boat where a woman, Patrice Boland, lies dead, a bullet hole through her shoulder, the notice the high velocity spatter is already dry. What killer waits around for the spatter to dry, then slips in the blood pool, and then flees? Tripp challenges Horatio to bring him another suspect.
Alexx and Delko examine the body on the boat. Alexx notices bloody air bubbles around her mouth--she was struggling to breathe. Delko takes two cups from the scene, one with lipstick marks around the brim, and Alexx is quick to note that their victim wasn't wearing any lipstick. While they process the scene, Tobey gets on the bus for jail and is harassed by a prisoner named Darrel, who takes his shoes. Darrel also breaks Tobey's hand and steals his lunch. In the ballistics lab, Calleigh is frustrated to discover that Jim hasn't filled out the report on the gun found on Patrice Boland's boat. His results show the gun belonged to Michael, Patrice's husband. Michael admits he and Patrice were getting divorced, but say it was at he initiated the separation: he had fallen in love with a man. Michael claims he was working on his computer all morning. Ryan and Dan Cooper examine the hard drive and find love letters hidden inside it. When Ryan and Cynthia Wells compare it to Tobey's confession letter, the samples match up.
Horatio visits a subdued Tobey in jail and asks him about his relationship with Patrice. Tobey admits to having an affair with her, but denies killing her, claiming that Tripp berated him into a confession. At the lab, Ryan is puzzling over pictures of the two glasses. From the liquid spill pattern on the tray the glasses were on, Ryan concludes the boat was out on the water when the drinks were spilled. Patrice was selling the boat, so Delko tracks down Gina Rankin, the last person who looked at the boat. He zeroes in on her lipstick right away, and she admits to being on the boat with her boyfriend, Steve Gabler. When pressed, she claims Steve shot Patrice, intending to steal her boat. Gina refused and insisted they bring it back to shore and leave Patrice for someone to find her. Steve is brought in, but he claims Gina shot Patrice. Though it appears Tobey is innocent, he soon finds himself in more trouble: after a prison riot, Darrel is found dead in Tobey's cell, a bloody shank by the body. Alexx finds a white susbstance in Darrel's mouth, and Horatio notices he's wearing Tobey's shoes. Horatio also manages to recover a shell casing from the ridges of Tobey's shoes.
A print on the casing links Steve to the shooting, and he confesses. But Alexx tells the CSIs that the gunshot wound didn't kill Patrice--she was smothered after being shot. Steve is shocked when he learns this and denies smothering her. All the evidence points to Tobey murdering Darrel, and he tells Horatio that he did, despite Horatio's skepticism. Horatio asks Calleigh to examine Tobey and Darrel's cells to look for signs of provocation. Calleigh finds bite marks on the pillow of the bottom bunk of Darrel's cell and brings it back to the lab. Valera examines Tobey's clothes and finds a bloody handkerchief in Tobey's pocket, with the initials M.E.B. on it, leading the CSIs back to Michael Boland. He went back to the boat and found Patrice struggling for air after being shot, and angry because she was trying to sell the boat out from under him, smothered her.
Calleigh and Ryan try to figure out how Tobey stabbed Darrel and realize Darrel was kneeling down when Tobey attacked him. When the DNA test reveals that the saliva on Darrel's pillow is a match for Tobey, the CSIs realize Tobey was lying out of shame, not fear. Darrel was raping Tobey, and that's why Tobey killed him. Horatio visits Tobey in jail and tells him that he knows he acted in self-defense, and encourages Tobey to tell the truth, because the truth is "all we have."
- David Caruso as Horatio Caine
- Emily Procter as Calleigh Duquesne
- Adam Rodríguez as Eric Delko
- Khandi Alexander as Alexx Woods
- Jonathan Togo as Ryan Wolfe
- Rex Linn as Frank Tripp
- Eva LaRue as Natalia Boa Vista
- Boti Ann Bliss as Maxine Valera
- Brendan Fehr as Dan Cooper