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A deadly bottle was a piece of evidence in the trial of Phoenix Wright for the murder of Shadi Smith.

A vicious blow[]

Main article: Turnabout Trump

When Wright was a piano player at the Borscht Bowl Club, he would drink grape juice from a crate placed on the floor near the piano. He would end up picking up the juice bottles in such a way that his fingerprints would appear as if he were holding them upside down.

On April 17, 2026, Wright and Smith were playing a poker game in the basement of the restaurant, with a waitress named Olga Orly as dealer. Unbeknownst to all parties, Kristoph Gavin was hiding nearby in a secret passage, waiting for a chance to murder Smith. As part of a plan to frame Wright for cheating, Smith had Orly secretly plant a card on Wright, then deal five aces during one of the hands. However, Wright happened to discover the planted card before the game, and hid it inside an empty grape juice bottle. At the planned moment, Smith searched Wright, accusing him of cheating, but failed to find the card that would have "proved" that Wright was cheating. Furious, Smith took a grape juice bottle and hit Orly on the back of the neck, knocking her unconscious.

Wright went upstairs to report the incident to the police. Seeing his chance, Gavin attacked Smith with a grape juice bottle, killing him. He hid the murder weapon in the crate with the other bottles, leaving behind one that only had Wright's fingerprints, implicating him as the killer. When Wright returned downstairs and discovered the body, he called Gavin, intending to hire him as his attorney, but Gavin let slip a detail about Smith that he should not have known. Realizing that Gavin was the real killer, Wright arranged to hire Apollo Justice, a junior lawyer working under Gavin, to represent him instead, knowing that Gavin would assist Justice as co-counsel.

At the trial, the prosecution alleged that the defendant had grabbed the bottle from the poker table and killed the victim with it upon losing a card game. Wright cryptically denied ever touching the murder weapon, a fact that was later revealed to be true since the bottle presented to the court was not the real murder weapon. Over the course of the trial, the truth about the assault on Orly came to light, at which point Wright sprang his trap and implicated Gavin. Later on, Wright gave testimony and informed them that Orly's trap had failed because he had happened to put his hand in his pocket and found the card she'd planted. He also explained that upon discovering it, he threw it in the bottle, which contradicted the fact that the murder weapon was empty. After Justice established that Gavin had in fact been at the crime scene, Wright requested that the crate in the Borscht Bowl club be searched, revealing the bottle with the planted card that Wright had stowed away. This revealed that the bottle at the crime scene had been swapped for an empty one. And the only person who could have put that bottle there was Gavin, proving him the killer.

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