The Expanding Orbit of the Price Family
Everyone’s life is complicated by family. For many, especially gay men, the truth of that statement extends beyond biological relatives to what’s often called “family of choice”: those with whom we associate, build lasting bonds, and come to depend on as integral to our personal lives.
The Swann Street defendants were no exceptions. By Victor’s own admission, the three represented a family – perhaps not yet of complete equals, but they were “…trying to develop it in that way.”
But close in orbit to Joe, Victor and Dylan are other individuals who play a recurring role in this family’s life. Among them: longtime friend and housemate Sarah Morgan, Joe’s brother Michael, his partner Louis Hinton and Phelps Collins III. What we are learning is how, exactly, the orbits begin to overlap.
Today’s example: less than four months before Robert Wone’s murder, Joe’s brother Michael filed domestic assault charges against his partner Louis Hinton – the very person Victor would bail out and Joe would come to defend.
April 20 2006, around 6:30am, Montgomery County police officer R. Micozzi was the first to speak with Michael Price. Price told Micozzi he was “…asleep in his bed when he was woken up by his partner, Louis Hinton.” Quoting further:
“Hinton came into Price’s room screaming at him about money and punched him in his head several times. The writer (Micozzi) observed Price to have two abrasions that were swelled up on the right side of his head near his eye.”
Officer Micozzi then spoke with Hinton:
“Hinton stated that during the morning hours he had noticed that some money was missing from his bedroom. Hinton went to Price’s room to inquire about the missing money. While in Price’s room Hinton removed the pillow from under Price’s head and asked him where his money was. Hinton stated that Price then kicked him in the stomach. Hinton responded by spinning him around by his feet in the bed and striking him in the head with his fist.”
Hinton showed no signs of injury, and was placed under arrest for second degree assault.
Troubling problems indeed, but Louis Hinton’s luck was about to change.
Priority number one: getting bailed out of jail. Hinton found the right number when Victor Zaborsky posted his bond by way of a $2,500 personal check. A curious choice for a man partnered to the brother of the man who originally brought the assault charges, but still. Bail, check.
Second: finding a place to stay and an address to provide authorities as a condition of release on bail. Mr. Hinton found good accommodations – with Victor, Joe and Dylan at 1509 Swann Street NW. Crib, double-check .
Lastly, for his coming court dates, Mr. Hinton signed some of the best legal talent in DC. Not just one K Street attorney, but two. You guessed it.
Joe Price, and Arent Fox colleague Emily Thorne. As in, Joe Price, brother to Michael Price, the man originally assaulted by Louis Hinton.
None of this is to judge the decisions made. Family demands sacrifice; sometimes painful. It does, however, bring into sharper focus the nature and the depth of connections shared by all these players.
– posted by Doug and Craig