Matlock (1986–1995)
2 user

The Witness 

Because Ben is going out of town Michelle is trying her first solo case involving an alcoholic client accused of murdering another bar patron. The chief witness is a former law school friend of Michelle's who is hiding a secret.


Tony Mordente


Dean Hargrove (created by), Susan Woollen | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Griffith ... Ben Matlock
Nancy Stafford ... Michelle Thomas
Julie Sommars ... Julie March (credit only)
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ... Conrad McMasters
Gene Butler Gene Butler ... Michael Caliguire
Caitlin Clarke ... Sandra Townsend (as Caitlin Clark)
David Froman David Froman ... Lt. Bob Brooks
Michael Mantell ... Jimmy Newton
Rob Moran ... Assistant D.A. John
Patrick St. Esprit ... Rick Allen
Brad Blaisdell ... Detective Bristol
Henry Brown ... Assistant D.A. Hunter
Stephen Bruton Stephen Bruton ... Jury Foreman
Jeames Higgins Jeames Higgins ... Donald Newton
Al Maines Al Maines ... Landlord


Prominent attorney Sandra Townsend leads a double life by "playing the field" and living on the edge. She winds up being blackmailed by her boyfriend to stay in the relationship, and he has the compromising pictures to seal the deal. She plots to murder him and frame an innocent bar patron who vowed to get even after her boyfriend throws him out of the nightclub. Ben's assistant, Michelle is given the job of defending the accused, and in the process is reacquainted with old friend, Sandra Townsend. As the sole "witness" to the crime, Townsend must face Michelle in court and challenges her to prove the events happened otherwise. Written by tcpreacher

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

2 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final appearance of Kene Holliday as Tyler Hudson. He only appears this late in the season, because the episodes were aired out of production order. See more »

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User Reviews

A Michelle Episode, But Not a Very Good One..
22 May 2013 | by DeepHurtingSee all my reviews

This episode is a rare "Michelle-centric" episode (wherein Ben is not around much and Michelle gets to do the heavy lifting) so that alone makes it worthy of mention. Unfortunately, the episode itself is offensive, if not downright misogynistic, and Michelle comes off as condescending, puritanical, and judgmental for condemning her (former) friend and law school classmate's lifestyle choice (as a love'em and leave'em woman who leads a double life and USES men for sex) BEFORE the trial has even begun.

The trial itself is a snoozer since Michelle's friend has essentially no defense once her alternate persona has been unmasked, and on the stand she doesn't prove a tough nut to crack at all, contrary to what she tells Michelle before the final scene. Most interesting aspect is that the guest star who plays the woman, Caitlin Clarke, is the young woman from Dragonslayer! I had no idea until I looked at her credits. Sadly, she appears to have died of cancer in 2004 at the much too young age of 52. RIP.

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