Legal Times Previews Today's Hearing

Mike Scarcella Has The Details

Lawyers for three men charged in the Wone case are expected in D.C. Superior Court this afternoon to hash out discovery and evidence disputes in the cases against Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward.

The lawyers, Thomas Connolly, Bernie Grimm, and David Schertler, are expected to argue that the government should be compelled to turn over discovery and produce certain evidence that the lawyers say is needed to prepare a defense to the charges of obstruction, conspiracy, and evidence tampering.

Mike’s has links to the lengthy documents sent to Judge Frederick Weisberg last Friday;  the government’s filing and the defense team’s Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Defendants’ Joint Motion to Compel Discovery.

Also covered is the continued controversy on the crime scene testing:

One of the key lingering disputes in the case is the misapplication of a forensic chemical used to test for the presence of blood at crime scenes.

Prosecutors have admitted in court papers that D.C. police misused a chemical agent called “Ashley’s Reagent” at the Wone crime scene, potentially making it harder to detect blood and DNA.

Dozens of spots delete initially tested positive for blood but turned out not to be blood at all when the FBI ran tests, according to the defense lawyers. The lawyers say they are entitled to information about the misuse of the chemical and its impact on forensic evidence.

“The government accuses the defendants of knowing more than they have told, and lying to the police, based entirely on the absence of evidence to suggest that an intruder killed Robert Wone,” the lawyers wrote in their latest filing on May 15.

“That ‘absence of evidence’ includes no evidence of blood or DNA belonging to Mr. Wone anywhere in the house, except on the bed adjacent to the decedent’s body. As we now know, it may have been the government’s own actions that contributed to the ‘absence of evidence.’”

We should see much of this hashed out at 2:00pm this afternoon.

-the Editors

19 comments for “Legal Times Previews Today's Hearing

  1. TK
    05/22/2009 at 12:13 PM

    Whaaat? Does this mean that all those blood traces elsewhere we’ve been talking about turned out to not be blood? Or is this a defense allegation?

    • TK
      05/22/2009 at 12:17 PM

      Sorry, I jumped the gun. I see from the article that it could have been blood, and initially tested positive, but after the the DC police got through with it, it no longer tested as blood. Great.

  2. CDinDC
    05/22/2009 at 12:41 PM

    “Dozens of spots delete initially tested positive for blood……..”

    Was something redacted by the Legal Times? The use of the word “delete” seems odd.

  3. Themis
    05/22/2009 at 1:56 PM

    Could someone with some journalism credentials file a FOIA request for the autopsy sans pics? I can provide some legal arguments if necessary, though I can’t guarantee that they will carry the day. In any event, a journalist is going to have a stronger argument that she is entitled to access.

    I have reviewed lots of autopsies and am on friedly terms with some forensic pathologists, one of whom is in Northern VA and specializes in asphyxiation and exsanguination. I am sure I could convince somebody to give the autopsy a look over.

    I would rather review the source and not have to rely on law enforcement’s “take” on the autopsy, or the defense “take” for that matter.

    • Corgivet
      06/06/2009 at 10:08 PM

      FOIA request is what to us lay people?

      • CDinDC
        06/06/2009 at 10:56 PM

        freedom of information act

  4. Bea
    05/22/2009 at 2:27 PM

    Great idea, Themis. I’d love to get my hands on the actual interviews and interview notes that night.

    Too, in reading the new Motion and the prosecutor’s letter re disclosed discovery, Sarah Morgan’s memory card and digital camera are mentioned. She has a lawyer, too, which makes me curious (not to say “lawyering up” itself proves anything – but I’m wondering how much the boys (one or all) felt it was acceptable for them to go to Sarah’s apartment when she wasn’t there (and to “borrow” things. SheKnowsSomething – can you answer this question?

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/22/2009 at 9:18 PM

      Bea,

      Waiting for a flight right now, but will quickly answer your question. As far as I can tell, Sarah and the boys often felt free to borrow freely form each others’ spaces. They borrowed kitchen items … she borrowed the car … etc. But, Sarah wasn’t always happy that the boys borrowed from her space without asking and many of her friends and former coworkers would probably admit to having heard her complain about the boys accessing her “home” without her permission.

  5. Bea
    05/22/2009 at 11:29 PM

    THAT is fascinating, thanks! Simply as a “what if”, do you think if she DID know something awful about any of the three (or all three) that she would cover for them (or any of them)? Was she primarily Victor’s friend (or another’s?)? How did she come to know them (generally speaking)? Thanks, SheKnows.

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/23/2009 at 9:15 AM

      Bea,

      It’s difficult for me to say what Sarah will do or say on the stand. She liked being included in (and talking about) activities with the boys — European vacations, dinner parties, Joe’s real estate transactions … that kind of thing. As for her loyalties with the three, again, it’s difficult to say what she will do, because her relationship with each of the three is so different. Sarah was tolerant of, but adversarial, with Dylan. She viewed him as an annoyance and an interloper, but also descibed him as the most introspective. She was proud of Joe’s accomplishments and viewed him addressive and smart, but no smarter than, and probably not as smart as she — he was just lucky. She was probably a bit jealous. Then there’s Victor, who I think Sarah “protected” by trying to keep an eye on Dylan. But even as the eyes and ears, Sarah delighted in light gossip about the nature of the polyamourous relationship within the house. So, I’m interested in hearing what she’ll say under oath. I hear from friends that Sarah is still broadcasting the intruder theory LOUDLY and often offers up the alleged break-in from November 2006 as proof that the house was vulnerable to home invasion.

  6. Craig
    05/23/2009 at 12:35 AM

    We think that Victor brought Sarah into the family. She seems to be a lynchpin and is almost guaranteed to take the stand unlike the threesome. Her testimony could make or break the case.

  7. Nelly
    05/23/2009 at 11:03 AM

    SheKnowsSomething: I hope that you have shared your insider knowledge with the police or prosecution. I’m still puzzled as to why Sarah was living with the trio or what benefit she brought to 3 gay men. Was she their drug supplier? Did they really need the extra $500 rent or whatever the basement apt. would have garnered? Or does she have a really sparkling personality so that having her around would be an asset?

  8. Nelly
    05/23/2009 at 11:16 AM

    So… Michael Price was studying to be a phlebotomist at Montgomery College. I wonder what the relevance is? They got his school attendance records. Was use of ketamine/paralytics part of the curriculum?

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/23/2009 at 11:36 AM

      As a pllebotomist, Michael could have been a good free source for syringes. He also could have instructed the boys on how to access a blood vessel without damaging it.

  9. Bea
    05/23/2009 at 1:50 PM

    From the Montgomery College website:

    HHS034: Phlebotomy Technician*
    Classroom work includes medical terminology, anatomy and physiology review, blood collection procedures, specimen collection practice, and specimen processing and handling. Laboratory operations are reviewed including safety, quality control, universal precautions, routine laboratory tests, confidentiality, and ethics. Special requirements include Hepatitis B immunization, negative tuberculosis test, and blood test to check immunity status: Varicella Zoster IgG Ab; Rubella IgG Ab; Rubeola IgG Ab; Mumps IgG Ab; and criminal background checks. Information concerning these requirements will be provided the first night of class. Tuition waiver applies; seniors pay fee only.
    $1335.00 + $550.00 Fee = $1885.00; Non-Md Residents: Add $800.00

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/23/2009 at 2:33 PM

      Hmmm … interesting background and status checks. I wonder if Michael ever really attended this course?

      • Craig
        05/23/2009 at 2:50 PM

        SKS – That could be a disqualifier I guess. Lucky for Michael that the DC MPD wouldn’t have done the background checks.

      • 05/23/2009 at 11:27 PM

        These were some very lonely people.

  10. Corgivet
    06/06/2009 at 10:14 PM

    Perhaps this has been asked and answered,,so my apologies if this is redundant…is exhuming Robert’s body a possibility…or was he cremated?
    My apologies to the Wone family and no disrespect was meant…

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