A Time to Kill

In the town of Canton, Mississippi, ten-year-old African American Tonya Hailey (Rae'Ven Larrymore Kelly) is abducted, raped, and beaten by two local white men, Billy Ray Cobb (Nicky Katt) and Pete Willard (Doug Hutchison). The duo dump her in a nearby river after a failed attempt to hang her. Tonya survives, and the two men are arrested by Sheriff Ozzie Walls (Charles S. Dutton).

Tonya's father, Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson), contacts Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey), a white lawyer who previously defended his brother. Brigance admits the possibility that the rapists will walk free. Carl Lee goes to the county courthouse and opens fire with an automatic rifle, killing both rapists and unintentionally injuring Deputy Dwayne Looney (Chris Cooper) with a ricochet, whose leg is later amputated. Carl Lee is arrested and Brigance agrees to defend him.