A Look Ahead To Friday's Hearing

From The WMRW.COM Breaking News Desk (Updated)

Thanks to our stringer CDinDC for alerting us to this Legal Times story filed earlier this afternoon by Mike “Mad Dog” Scarcella who obtained the 26 page government response to the defendants’ joint motion to compel discovery. Scarcella writes:

“The government has provided the lawyers more than 1,250 pages of paper discovery, 32 CDs of electronic data, and the identification of more than 14 expert witnesses the government may call at trial, assistant U.S. attorneys Glenn Kirschner and Patrick Martin say in a filing publicly released this week.  The expert names are not identified in the court papers released this week.”

On Tab B of the government’s response is a spreadsheet of 105 line items that somewhat correspond with the defendant’s joint motion to compel discovery.

The prosecution also expects to introduce a piece of evidence featured here on January 30, Joe Price’s personal profile on the Alt.com hookup site.

Also, further testing is being conducted on a recently discovered blood spot found on Dylan Ward’s comforter from 1509 Swann.  FBI toxicological experts are testing that against a blood sample from Wone.

But most troubling is what we learn about Robert’s BlackBerry.  The electronic conversations between Wone and the defendants has long been a topic of conversation and speculation here.  And it appears entirely possible, nothing of value will come from that piece of evidence.

Scarcella reports that:

“Prosecutors acknowledge in the court papers that the government has no data from Wone’s BlackBerry phone other than the recollection of two D.C. police detectives at the crime scene who noted two e-mail messages.  One e-mail, purportedly from Wone to his wife, said Wone had just taken a shower and was going to bed.  Wone reportedly sent another e-mail two minutes later to an associate confirming lunch plans for the following day.

Wone’s cell phone was sent to the Secret Service to be copied as evidence. But that never happened. Wone’s widow wanted to retrieve contact information, and so the phone was returned to her before its contents had been imaged, prosecutors say. Investigators thought the contents of the phone had been copied before it was released to Wone’s widow.

Wone’s widow then gave the phone to Wone’s employer, Radio Free Asia, where the former Covington & Burling associate had become general counsel.  Prosecutors say attempts to retrieve the data from the phone have been unsuccessful.”

A blood stain taken from the crime scene has gone untested after nearly three years.  Robert’s BlackBerry was mishandled by the Secret Service and may yield no clues at all.  What else is left to screw up in this investigation?

So is it really any wonder that it took the “Gang That Couldn’t Snoop Straight” more than two years to bring the first charges in this case?

-Craig

43 comments for “A Look Ahead To Friday's Hearing

  1. Bea
    04/21/2009 at 4:30 PM

    First, WTF about not yet getting test results about whose blood was on Ward’s comforter and that many other results have not yet been secured; same WTF about the disappearing Blackberry.

    Second, regarding the polygraph of Ward taken on August 3, has anyone heard anything about whether it showed truthfulness or not?

    Third, after the shock about the above, in reading the exhibits along with the letter it appears that the two emails from Robert’s Blackberry were typed but “not sent” at 11:05 (to wife that he had showered and was going to bed) and 11:07 (to an associate about the next day’s lunch plans). This would appear to shorten the timeline again – granted, Ward or Price could have typed them (especially the one to the wife – less clear how they’d know about whether a lunch plan email would “make sense” or not). But why not hit “send”? Were they “holding” the messages to “send” later and thus establish a later timeline (before Victor screamed or something else messed up their original plan – more and more I think there was a more elaborate plan about body disposal that was aborted).

    On that score about 11:05 and 11:07, it is meaningful in one of two possible ways – that Robert was alive then (and thus the “intruder” and his murder & cleaning spree had even less time) OR that one of the three (Joe is my guess) decided to type the emails and “hold” them for a while to buy them time/legitimacy that they were “asleep”. It would be nice to know if the lunch-with-associate email was a “response” to a prior invitation, as that would be easy enough for anyone to type. Random thoughts.

    • Friend of She Did It
      04/21/2009 at 6:14 PM

      whatchu talkin’ about willis?

      please give details on the lie detection test — what year, the source of the test, who was present, what was asked, what were the baseline questions?

      news to me – and i would love details.

      based on this slip-shod investigation, i predict someone may get away with murder.

      • Ex Swann Dude
        04/21/2009 at 6:21 PM

        Test(s)! Test(s)! Test(s)!

    • IKWDI
      04/21/2009 at 7:09 PM

      Craig and Bea,

      It sounds like it was a work Blackberry… so presumably the email account was his Radio Free Asia email account… wouldn’t the employer or the newtork provider have a record of the email activity that evening?!?!?

      • Ex Swann Dude
        04/21/2009 at 7:29 PM

        One would think that all the carrier needs is the number …

        • IKWDI
          04/21/2009 at 7:31 PM

          Let’s hope the police at least had the wherewithall (sp?) to get any records soon after the murder… presumably carriers don’t keep this info forever…

          • Bea
            04/21/2009 at 8:39 PM

            The employer and carrier wouldn’t have records of messages that weren’t yet “sent”. That would entail capturing data from the device itself. Terrible mistake. The rest I would agree would be accessible from the employer or carrier, if requested soon enough.

  2. Spike
    04/21/2009 at 5:05 PM

    This is just insane. Look at how round-the-clock investigation cracked the Craigslist killer case in Boston relatively quickly.

    And in DC nothing happens. So weird to watch from afar.

    • CDinDC
      04/21/2009 at 5:11 PM

      Well, they DID have surveillance footage of the alleged Craigslist killer plastered on the evening news. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  3. CDinDC
    04/21/2009 at 5:09 PM

    Oh, Bea, WTF is right. 2.5 years to get DNA results. Oh my.

    Good random thoughts. If someone other than Robert typed those emails, that could mean that Robert may have been incompacitated and attacked as soon as he arrived.

    I gleaned from the documents that there IS a blood sample saved for further toxicology testing. That’s a beautiful thing. But we’ll have to wait until the Innocence Protection Act hearing to see what will happen with those samples. :/ Drat.

    • Bea
      04/21/2009 at 5:28 PM

      CD, we are on the same page (again!). For some reason, I think the typed-not-sent email re lunch plans was a “reply” that any fool could do. If so, the murder was over at 11:07 and cover-up had begun. It would make more sense than have it be legit and have the murder and clean-up just beginning – now that would take some very fast action – and the blood would not be “digested” as much is my guess.

      So someone (Joe, guess only) was thinking pretty clearly to be setting up the email responses and withholding the “send” until a later time. It’s possible that Victor arrived then, but that he didn’t “send” the first one to Robert’s wife tells me it was planned out – who doesn’t hit “send” after such an innocuous email? But I suspect Victor arrived shortly thereafter, and in the melee which ensued – and in getting all the details/story set – Joe forgot to go back and hit “send” OR realized that it was counterproductive to hit “send” at that late time.

      I too am grateful to see that they have some remaining blood for testing, though I think I’ve read that paralytics “disappear” within a time frame (it would seem to this lay person that there would be some residuals but that’s wishful thinking).

      But the blood on Dylan’s comforter? I think I could have taken enough courses to do it myself in 2.5 years (joking).

      • IKWDI
        04/21/2009 at 6:59 PM

        I guess it is too much to hope that the blackberry was dusted for fingerprints…

        • Ex Swann Dude
          04/21/2009 at 7:26 PM

          That should have been the first thing to happen before any “call research” …

      • CDinDC
        04/21/2009 at 8:13 PM

        Bea says: “and the blood would not be “digested” as much is my guess.”

        Hmm…if he were attacked as soon as he arrived and mortally wounded prior to 11:05, it doesn’t mean that he was deceased by then. I believe they LET Robert die and did nothing to stop it. He could have been bleeding to death while those text messages were being typed.

        So….if this is the case….then it may well have been Victor that screamed (when he arrived or if he awoke to discover the scene.) In any event, he’s just as guilty as the rest.

      • TK
        04/22/2009 at 11:38 AM

        The only reason I can think of that he would not send messages of that nature immediately was if he couldn’t get a signal there.

        • IKWDI
          04/22/2009 at 11:41 AM

          I wonder if there was any analysis done as to whether Won’e blackberry had service from within 1509 Swann Street… after reading the pleadings yesterday, I somehow doubt it…

          • Craig
            04/22/2009 at 12:22 PM

            I can’t say for certain who RFA used for a carrier, but in all my years using a BlackBerry I’ve yet to have any coverage problems in that part of town.
            -Craig, ed.

            • Ex Swann Dude
              04/22/2009 at 12:35 PM

              I lived less than a block west of 1509 … cell coverage was never a problem.

            • CDinDC
              04/22/2009 at 4:54 PM

              Lordy….if blackberry’s could get reception in Dupont Circle, the place would be ghost town.

              • TK
                04/22/2009 at 5:03 PM

                Hah CDinDC I assume you mean ‘couldn’t’ get reception, and I agree. Can you picture all the power gays (and more recent str8 yuppie arrivals) all wandering aimlessly around the Circle, waving their Crackberries around and looking at the sky in frustration?

                • CDinDC
                  04/22/2009 at 5:22 PM

                  There would be sobbing in the streets.

  4. IKWDI
    04/21/2009 at 5:26 PM

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

  5. Ex Swann Dude
    04/21/2009 at 6:00 PM

    OK OK. The cell phone thing is just about as sloppy and stupid as anyone could possibly imagine. Poor Ms Wone surely thought the police/FBI/DA had done everything they should have with that phone …

    Did I not read correctly? Are there 1 or 2 spots to be tested period, or re-tested out of hundreds of samples. Is that all the blood retrieved except for the sheets?? Even if it happened in the shower, one or two lousy spots? In the whole house?

    What about the house being seized for 3 weeks and the $250,000 in damages from collecting evidence?

    • IKWDI
      04/21/2009 at 6:33 PM

      It almost makes you believe that Wone may have actually been killed in the guest bed, and that his body was not moved and/or washed….

      • 04/21/2009 at 8:24 PM

        perhaps – but how did wone’s blood possibly make its way onto l’il dylans blanket? can the apologists explain that away?

        • Lance
          04/22/2009 at 2:01 AM

          Before we attempt to explain it, do you mind if we wait for the actual facts? I mean, it’s been pretty well-established that Dylan engaged in activities in his own room that could have led to his own blood being on his blanket.

  6. CDinDC
    04/21/2009 at 9:34 PM

    You might also add to the list of screw ups the amount of blood saved from the autopsy. They need enough blood for further toxicological testing PLUS enough blood to store away for the Innocence Act (the state by state legislation that allows people that say they are wrongly convicted/ incarcerated/sentenced to death access to DNA evidence).

    The further tox testing on Robert’s blood sample is being held up until an Innocence Act hearing.

  7. Lance
    04/22/2009 at 2:24 AM

    Wow. There are all kinds of interesting things in the defense counsels’ motion. For instance, the fact that “the autopsy report…finds that Mr. Wone suffered no injuries nor had any physical signs consistent with a sexual assault”, which is notably at odds with many hypotheses discussed here. Then there’s the fact that, quoting AUSA Kirschner, “[i]t has been determined that the Ashley’s Reagent was used in a manner not intended by the manufacturer of that product”–Ashley’s Reagent being a “blood enhancement chemical”, according to Google, which very much begs the question: what exactly where the investigators doing with the stuff?

    And I’m eager to learn why it is that the prosecution has apparently withheld so much information from the defense. Is there likely to be a justification, or are the prosecutors as–to put it bluntly–incompetent as the failure to copy Wone’s Blackberry makes them sound?

    A whole lot of attention has been given here to the affidavits in support of the arrest of the defendants; we’ve gone over bits of it phrase by phrase. And there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of damning information in it–if that information is correct. The reasons that I’ve been calling for caution with regards to it are exactly the kinds of things discussed in the defense motion: there’s apparently a great deal more going on here than the prosecution has revealed. Until the defense receives the evidence the government has, they can’t start using it, and if they can’t use it, we can’t know what exculpatory evidence there is.

    Here’s hoping, in the interest of justice, that we’ll start to learn it soon.

    • CDinDC
      04/22/2009 at 8:55 AM

      Lance, don’t forget about the little itsy bitsy FACT that Robert own semen was found INSIDE his rectum.

      It’s also the defense counsel’s JOB to play interference.

      Maybe the editors can confirm this, but I don’t think an actual discovery phase has been entered. The defense was trying to compel discovery. Get it before the prosecution is ready to release it. Typical move. When the actual discovery phase begins ALL evidence from from BOTH sides will be REQUIRED to be exchanged at that time. The defense will have to provide the prosecution with their evidence in support of innocence, as well. Haven’t see that either. It’s a two-way street.

  8. TK
    04/22/2009 at 8:22 AM

    I just have to join the chorus of WTF!? I think my jaw dropped when I read about the Blackberry. Though, if Kathy Wone was able to access the Blackberry, I can’t believe SHE didn’t look back through Wone’s emails earlier that evening.

    I’m concerned about the quote from the LT story: “The lawyers note in court papers that other presumptive blood spots turned out later not to be blood at all.” This could be spots on Ward’s comforter (which was just mentioned), or elsewhere in the house. It’s not clear–was all that alleged other blood all over the house not really blood after all?

    Then there is the incredible difference between the defense lawyers’ assertion that “there were no physical signs on Wone’s body consistent with a sexual assault.” (Yet Wone’s own semen got into his anus somehow.) vs. U.S. Attorney Kirschner said in court in December that Wone was tortured for “an hour perhaps.” Tortured? Based on what?

  9. Bea
    04/22/2009 at 8:55 AM

    Lance, I have to disagree. Of course the defense counsel is going to paint things in the light most favorable to their clients, so saying “no evidence of sexual assault” pretty much ignores things like, well, Robert’s semen in his own rectum. Sure, it’s humanly possible to accomplish this task but for what purpose? It’s quite a stretch to think there’s anything of evidentiary value in the defense motions.

    • CDinDC
      04/22/2009 at 10:45 AM

      Bea, we’re living parallel lives. LOL

      • IKWDI
        04/22/2009 at 11:44 AM

        Some other poster did suggest that semen could have ended up on or near Robert’s rectum if he otherwise masturbated (sor example, in the shower) and then dried himself using the same towel… that he could have transferred the semen that way… obviously, if the semen was found inside his rectum “where the sun don’t shine”, that would appear to suggest a different conclusion…

        • TK
          04/22/2009 at 12:17 PM

          If I read the report correctly, there were two swabs taken from his external genitalia, two from the perianal (exterior rectum area) and two from the interior, and all came up with traces of his semen; just none from the mouth swabs.

          It is strange though that it would also turn up on the exterior area if he was indeed showered. And what would be the motivation to shower him if not to get that off? Why wash the blood off him and redress him, since I think it’s generally accepted that there was not nearly enough blood found at the scene to account for the stabbings, and that would raise suspicions. And the spots on the sheets are hardly smeared.

          Also after rereading the affidavit, there were also the eye traumas consistent with suffocation, which fly in the face of the defense attorney’s assertion of no evidence of an ‘assault’ at least.

          • CDinDC
            04/22/2009 at 1:02 PM

            They would have had to give him a really good scrubbing to remove everything. If something was in a fold of skin, it might now have rinsed off readily. And I’m sure we’ll all familiar with our own bodies….nooks and crannies and folds everywhere!

            Also, DNA swabbing can uncover minute particals we don’t see readily with our eyes.

            • CDinDC
              04/22/2009 at 1:19 PM

              oops now = not

      • Bea
        04/22/2009 at 5:51 PM

        CD, indeed. Perhaps we are unknowingly involved in a variation of a ‘bromance’ – assuming you’re male, it could be a ‘lesbromance’.

    • Lance
      04/22/2009 at 1:18 PM

      I gather, though, that that’s not the defense painting a certain picture; they offer the fact as if it’s the coroner who made that determination.

      • CDinDC
        04/22/2009 at 1:20 PM

        That’s the coroner’s job, Lance.

        • Lance
          04/22/2009 at 9:26 PM

          Well, exactly my point. Specifically, that they’re not just making this up out of thin air–that is, it’s not just “the defense counsel paint[ing] things in the light most favorable to their clients”, insofar as “painting” makes it sound like they’re making it up entirely.

  10. 04/22/2009 at 8:23 PM

    editor’s: please take pictures if the family unit appears. love.

  11. Paulette
    04/23/2009 at 1:29 AM

    Needle marks on Wone? A non-drug user? Coroner working in a gay neighborhood should b e familair with Special K and yet did not check Wone’s blood for K – nor did police check house owners/mates for evidence of K or any other drugs. They were all clean cool calm and collectd. If your houseguset died would you be the same? Let’s say you could hide your feelings well wouldn’t you be asking for assistance in finding the killer of your friend? Political correctness is bullshit. If my husband and I had a murdered houseguest – after 2.5 yrs – we’d be lynched by now.

    • Corcoran Cutlet
      04/23/2009 at 9:28 AM

      I think you will find that a number of the self-described gay contributors here agree with your statement and are not happy about the results of it.

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