The Hapstall Case was the first case that Annalise Keating picks up in Season 2. Grant and Ursula Hapstall were found tortured and murdered execution-style in their bedroom in the Hapstall mansion by Helena Hapstall, Grant's sister. Annalise is hired by Caleb and Catherine Hapstall, Grant and Ursula's adoptive children, as the defendants shortly after they fire Victor Leshner. The case becomes the climactic incident of the Second Season, with the flash-forward scene directly associated with it.
Ultimately, Catherine Hapstall was convicted of the murder of her parents and prosecutor Emily Sinclair, and shooting Annalise after the flash-forward scene revealed that Annalise and the Keating Five framed Catherine.
The Case Edit
The Murder Edit
On the morning of November 5th, 2014, Helena Hapstall discovers the bodies of Grant and Ursula Hapstall in their bedroom, brutally tortured and murdered. After calling the police, Victor Leshner picks up the Defendants Caleb and Catherine Hapstall's case. While in court, Leshner's team is provided with doctored evidence by Laurel: Video surveillance footage of Helena Hapstall exiting a Spa treatment at the Gladness Spa Centre. Helena visited the Spa on November 4th, 2013. Laurel edited the video footage to hide the year from the timestamp, so it simply says November Fourth, in order to fool Leshner into believing that Helena was at the spa on that same date of the year 2014. Helena informs him of this, and Leshner is accused of falsifying evidence. Caleb and Catherine immediately fire him and hire Annalise, as per her own plan. ("It's Time to Move On")
The Murder of Helena Hapstall Edit
Shortly after taking the case from Victor Leshner, Annalise gets involved with Nate Lahey's trial, she temporarily places Bonnie in charge of the Hapstall case while she testifies at Nate's hearing. Before Bonnie and Annalise's team have time to do anything with the case, Helena Hapstall is found murdered in her car, a few blocks away from the Hapstall Mansion. Suspicion immediately falls on Caleb and Catherine, who are brought to the police station for questioning. Though Caleb says that both him and Catherine were home the night of the murder, Catherine knows otherwise. Caleb was out running that night, which gives him no alibi for Helena's murder. And after questioning the head of the household staff, Ms. Guthrie, she reveals that Caleb dismissed her and her entire staff early on the night of the murder.
The police report reveals that Caleb's DNA was found at the scene of the crime. After connecting the dots, Annalise concludes that Caleb is lying about what he knows, and sends Wes to pry the truth from Catherine. Catherine confesses, and Bonnie and Wes interrogate Caleb about this new information, he admits that he lied out of fear for how suspicious he'd look. Bonnie tests him, saying that there is video footage of him at the scene of the crime, which Caleb continues to deny, claiming he was framed. Bonnie and Wes leave the police station believing that Caleb did not kill Helena after all.
Michaela, Connor, and Oliver hack into the Philadelphia PD database after Michaels suspects that Caleb's DNA was transferred to the scene. Oliver finds two police reports with a 6-hour time gap between them. The first report revealed no DNA evidence, but was deleted and replaced by the second report, which did. Annalise wastes no time in presenting this evidence to the court, and achieves a small victory, clearing Caleb and Catherine Hapstall of any suspicion regarding the murder of their aunt and compromising the prosecution's entire case against the Hapstalls.
The Incest Rumours Edit
Annalise's victory in Helena Hapstall's murder lasts very briefly. Asher is revealed to be Emily Sinclair's mole. Her personal vendetta against Annalise leads her not only to be the prosecutor on the Murder of Sam Keating, but also, as she informs Asher after the charges against Nate are dropped, that she is now the prosecutor on the Hapstall case as well, and implies that she will continue to blackmail him for information on Annalise.
Bonnie finds the Hapstall siblings on a tabloid cover kissing, and immediately shows it to Annalise, who confronts them about this, aggravated that they would lie to her again despite her warnings to them not to. They staunchly deny the rumour, but Annalise's case is severely damaged regardless whether the rumour is true or not.
Asher meets with Emily Sinclair, revealing that he stole Annalise's recorder for her. He realizes that Emily leaked the incest photo. She neither confirms nor denies this, implying that she actually did. Asher tells Emily that he refuses to be her mole anymore, despite her blackmail attempt to leak the Trotter Lake incident.
Annalise asks Frank to investigate the source of the rumour. She is convinced that Emily leaked it, but wants to know who gave her the information. Frank traces the image back to an IP address in an apartment belonging to Sandra Guthrie, the head of the Hapstall household's cleaning staff. Ms. Guthrie explains that she knew all along, and does not feel like something like incest deserved to be kept private. She is convinced that if Caleb and Catherine are in an incestuous relationship, then they can very well be murderers as well. Later that night, Annalise notes in her recorder the new potential motive that the prosecution can argue for: Caleb and Catherine's incestuous relationship is discovered by their parents, who, as a result, write them out of the will. She reaches a dead end in her defence case.
Use Your Boobs Edit
Annalise, while focusing on another case, asks Michaela to discover how true the incest rumours are under the guise of prepping Caleb and Catherine to take the stand. Caleb clearly does not take Michaela seriously, and she fails to confirm anything.
Michaela later preps Catherine, who interrupts the mock examination to ask Michaela how she feels about Caleb. Michaela immediately realizes that Catherine is digressing in order to hide the truth about her relationship with Caleb. Catherine tells Michaela that she's a virgin, which would make any incestuous relationship unlikely. Annalise advises Catherine to take a medical test to prove this for the sake of weakening the prosecution's case. Though Caleb is initially against this, he steps aside. Catherine decides to do the test immediately, and passes.
The Late Helena Hapstall Edit
Judge Garrett summons Annalise and Emily Sinclair to the courthouse to discuss the prosecution's motion to include Helena Hapstall's testimony in the trial. Emily was "gaming" the deadline by submitting the motion at 4:58PM, 2 minutes before the deadline in order to deprive Annalise of any chances of refuting the testimony. It succeeds, since Helena Hapstall's testimony is essential to the prosecution's case, Judge Garrett allows the motion to pass, setting Annalise's defence back.
Annalise immediately gets Wes, Laurel, Connor, and Michaela to work on attempting to throw out Helena's testimony, their deadline is 5PM as per Judge Garrett's orders. Michaels discovers a video of a police Dash cam in which a panicked and distraught Helena Hapstall spews hateful comments about Caleb and Catherine, whom she believes killed Grant and Ursula. Caleb overhears the video, and is upset about this discovery.
Bonnie and Michaela show the video to Annalise, unfortunately, it cuts off before proving anything. Annalise is not convinced that the video will be enough. Michaela and Connor ask Oliver to hack into the Philadelphia PD database again in an attempt to recover the rest of the video, however they only find the complete audio. Annalise presents the audio at the hearing, but Emily objects, saying that the video was not listed in discovery, and that it was illegally obtained. Despite Annalise's attempts at convincing Judge Garrett that she did nothing illegal, and that the video is proof of prejudice clouding Helena Hapstall's testimony, the Judge refuses to believe her, allowing Helena Hapstall's testimony to go to trial. Catherine lashes out, telling Judge Garrett that she would understand the impact racism plays in Helena's accusation, to which she replies that her job is to uphold the law despite her personal feelings.