What's at Stake on Friday?

Currently, only one case  seeks to answer the question of who murdered Robert Wone, and that is the wrongful death civil suit filed on behalf of Robert’s widow, Kathy Wone.  For the plaintiffs, what’s at stake at Friday’s hearing is whether Kathy Wone’s plea about what happened on August 2, 2006 is answered sooner, or will take longer than it already has.  For the Defendants, it is whether their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination is valid in this situation.

On Friday, Judge Brook Hedge will decide whether the plaintiffs can proceed with their request for discovery of evidence or whether the defendant’s 5th Amendment rights are violated by the request.  The plaintiff’s lawyers argue that their request does not violate the Defendants’ 5th amendment rights because it does not ask the Defendants’ to testify against themselves, instead they are only asking for evidence already gathered by the government, including testimony that the Defendants have already voluntarily given on the night of the murder. The defendants’ lawyers argue that their clients’ 5th Amendment rights are compromised when turning over any evidence, whether it is testimony or otherwise.  To help the plaintiffs get an affirmative ruling, they have limited their request to only evidence already acquired, and will not seek any testimony from the Defendants during the criminal case. 

The evidence the plaintiff’s are requesting is critical to this case, including any electronic communications between the Defendants and Robert Wone prior to his murder, the testimony the Defendants voluntarily provided on the night of the murder, FBI and forensic analysis, as well as a polygraph test taken by Dylan Ward.  As we have noted on the site, the electronic communications between the Defendants and Robert Wone prior to the murder are vital, and can establish one way or another, if there was more to Robert’s stay at the Defendants’ home on the evening of August 2, 2006. Furthermore, it can show whether those communications were just between the Defendants or if Robert was included.  For the Defendants, it has the potential to be helpful to their case.  If the electronic communications reveal there was nothing additional pre-planned for that August evening, this could lend support to the Defendants’ intruder theory.  

This is a crucial day for both sides in the civil suit.  To read more about the Friday hearing, The Washington Blade also wrote up an excellent preview in their blog today.

Details may be reviewed in the actual court filings here, here, and here. Or view all the court filings on our Legal Documents page that has been updated.

Posted by David