Search and Seizure… and Snooze

Burying the Lede

After the first wave of media coverage hit on August 4th and 5th, the next significant piece was on the 14th by Emma Schwartz of the Legal Times.  And she had the goods – the search warrants for Price’s home, his office and computers at Arent Fox, and his BMW 325.

Included is this bombshell:  the crime scene, “had been tampered with, to include cleaning the area of blood.”   Two days after the murder that much was apparent but there appeared very little urgency with this case.

MPD 1509

The warrants were issued on August 4 but it took 10 long days before the car and home computers were searched.   Who else was slow-walking this case?  Maybe Emma’s source.  Whoever it was that took 10 long days to get this story into print. 

 

The allegation of tampering was pretty explosive.  If we can assume that the authorities were trying to turn up the heat on the threesome, it seems they may have missed a good opportunity – publicity.  Had this story surfaced a week earlier, could the then “witnesses”  have started to sweat a little bit more and a whole lot faster?  What other dominoes would have fallen?

Kudos to Emma for the scoop.  This began a three-year run of great case coverage by the Legal Times.  But it’s important to consider how another Washington Post page 1 story just a few days after the murder, would’ve increased the pressure on the threesome, accelerated the investigation, and magnified the public’s awareness of the depravity on that August evening.

Is this another instance of DC authorities never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity?

Also getting first mention in Emma’s article is downstairs roommate Sarah Morgan.  

We’re told all four residents of 1509 were lawyered up.  It got very expensive very quickly.  The full story after the jump. 

Police Comb Law Firm for Clues in Murder
By Emma Schwartz  14 August 2006

The crime scene where murdered Washington lawyer Robert Wonewas found had been tampered with before police arrived, according to an affidavit for a warrant to search the office of D.C. lawyer Joseph Price.

Price, a partner at Arent Fox, owns the Northwest Washington house in which Wone’s body was found around midnight Aug. 2.

Police executed the search warrant Aug. 4 at the Connecticut Avenue N.W. offices of Arent Fox and seized Price’s computer.

Price owns the Swann Street house with Victor Zaborsky, a marketing manager at the International Dairy Food Association.  A third man, Dylan Wade (sic), also resides there.  All three were home the night of Wone’s murder, according to police and Wade’s lawyer.

At least one of the residents told police the night of the murder that Wone was killed by an intruder, according to the affidavit for the search warrant.

D.C. Metropolitan Police officers were called to the house at 1509 Swann St. N.W. around midnight Aug. 2. Upon arrival, they found Wone unconscious in a second-floor bedroom, suffering from three stab wounds to the chest.  He was pronounced dead after being transported to George Washington University Hospital.

According to the affidavit by Detective William Xanten III, technicians determined that the “crime scene had been tampered with, including that the area where the victim’s body was located had been cleaned.  The use of chemicals and an artificial light source showed trace blood evidence located around where the victim’s body was found.  This trace blood evidence was located on the walls, floors, sofa bed and door frame of the bedroom where the decedent was killed.”

Investigators were told that Price and Wone, who knew each other through their alma mater, the College of William & Mary, had spoken and e-mailed each other before Wone came over to Price’s house that evening, the affidavit states.

Wone, who was general counsel for Radio Free Asia and a former associate at Covington & Burling, had decided to stay with Price that evening instead of driving to his Oakton, Va., home, where he lived with his wife of three years, Katherine Yu, say friends, co-workers, and police.

MPD Capt. C.V. Morris told Legal Times that, right now, the residents are considered witnesses, although he says that could change. The three residents have hired criminal defense lawyers.  Price and Zaborsky turned to Kathleen Voelker, a former Arent Fox partner who is now running a solo practice.  David Schertler, former chief of the homicide section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is representing Wade (sic), who could not be reached for comment.  Price and Zaborsky did not return phone calls.

Jonathan Rosen, a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, says he is representing Sarah Morgan, a friend of the owners who lives in the English basement apartment at the Swann Street house.  Meanwhile, former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. of Covington has been brought in to represent the Wone family.

Lawyers for the three men say their clients gave extensive statements to police the night of the murder.  Regarding her clients, Price and Zaborsky, Voelker says, “They remain hopeful that the police will identify the intruder who committed this senseless crime.”

Of Wade (sic), Schertler says, “My client has not done anything wrong, and I don’t believe he will be charged.”

The case is being investigated by a squad of homicide detectives working alongside Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Covell.

As of press time, police had yet to bring charges in the case, and investigators maintain that witness accounts from that night don’t add up. “Some of the information we were told, I just don’t believe,” Morris said at a televised press interview Aug. 3.

Police took custody of the house after the incident and have been searching it ever since.  On Aug. 10, FBI investigators began assisting the probe and were heard sawing and hammering inside.

“We don’t think it was a random act of violence,” says Brett Parson, sergeant in the MPD’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, which is aiding in the investigation.

According to the police affidavit, one of the residents told police that an intruder had entered the house through the back door. But “there were no signs of any forced entry to the house, either through the back door or any other location,” the affidavit states.  “There was nothing that appeared out of place, nothing disturbed, nothing ransacked and nothing was taken.”

Morris told Legal Times that the police had not entirely ruled out a break-in.

On the night of Aug. 2, Wone, who started his job at Radio Free Asia about a monthearlier, met up with his counterpart at Radio Free Europe, John Lindburg.  The two shared an early dinner at Subway on 18th Street N.W. and then walked over to a continuing legal education class at the D.C. Bar. During the approximately three-hour-long course on federal grants, the two exchanged notes and whispers, Lindburg says.  “He clearly wanted to learn as much as possible that could help him at his job,” he says.

The class ended at 9:15, and while the two were walking back to the Metro Center Metro station, Wone told Lindburghe needed to head back to the office to meet up with workers on the night shift.  Lindburg last saw Wone when he exited at the Farragut North station.  Radio Free Asia Communications Director Sarah Jackson-Han says that Wone returned to the office that night.

Eventually, Wone showed up at the Swann Street house. At 11:49 p.m. police received a phone call from someone in the house saying that Wone had been stabbed. Police arrived on the scene 13 minutes later.  Wone was taken to GWU Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m., according to the police report.

Wone was found in a second-floor bedroom, but the MPD’s Morris would not say whether he was lying on a bed or a sofa. He was fully clothed, Morris says.  The knife used in the attack was located on the table next to Wone and was from a “set of matching knives located in the kitchen of the house,” according to the affidavit. The residents told police that everyone else in the three-bedroom house was sleeping when the incident occurred.

Price, who handles litigation and intellectual property at Arent Fox, has also done considerable legal work on gay rights issues.  He is general counsel to Equality Virginia, for which he represented Janet Miller-Jenkins, a woman who sought custody rights after she and her partner broke up. Wade is a former spokesman for Equality Virginia, according to the group’s Web site.

“Joe’s [Price] one of those people in the legal community that everyone looks up to,” says Jeff Trammell, a political consultant.

Price and his domestic partner, Zaborsky, bought the Swann Street house last year for $1.2 million. In 2004, Price and Zaborsky were the subject of a USA Today article on gay parents.  The two fathered children with a lesbian couple in Silver Spring, Md., by donating sperm.

William Charyk, managing partner at Arent Fox, says that Price has been at work all week.  “He’s gone through a horrible tragedy,” Charyk says. “We’re just making sure that he’ll hang in there.”

-Craig

51 comments for “Search and Seizure… and Snooze

  1. 08/14/2009 at 10:36 AM

    why would ms. piggy need a lawyer in the days/weeks following the murder if she was sleeping at a friend’s house when the intruder intruded, and thus knew nothing about anything? this girl must be put under oath about what she was told the night of the murder and/or at cosi the next morning. she could hold a key to a break in the case.

    • CDinDC
      08/14/2009 at 11:19 AM

      Maybe it’s not what she knows about THIS case….maybe it’s what she knows about the trio’s past practices. Maybe they have drugged someone before. And she knows about it.

      • Clio
        08/14/2009 at 5:34 PM

        Is Mr. Rosen still representing the allegedly Rubenesque Miss Morgan? Who is paying her legal bills, which apparently started around the same time as … Mr. Wade’s [sic.]?

        Wade [sic.] … those words keep on “ricocheting to ironic effect,” don’t they, Dylan!

        • AnnaZed
          08/14/2009 at 5:47 PM

          Ok I think I’ve got it now, Susan Morgan is fat.

          Grow the fuck up, it’s getting old.

          Now, on the subject of Susan Morgan: she was supposedly visiting her friends that night, right? Surely no one believes that irrational loyalty to Joe and company would extend to these friends and that they would falsely alibi her, right?

          So, though I was a little intrigued by the poster that said that she might know about other crimes, other assaults and might need to lawyer up because of that I don’t know why we keep talking on this site about her possible involvement with evidence tampering. Have the police at any time even suggested that she was not where she said she was?

          That said, I don’t see what her weight has to do with any of it and am getting really sick of that high school nastiness about her on this site.

          BTW, I certainly don’t know her or have any relationship to her or her camp or even special loyalty to over-weight lesbians per se, I’m just sayin’.

          • Clio
            08/14/2009 at 6:56 PM

            Who is Susan Morgan? I thought that we were discussing Sarah Morgan. As you have stated before, we all do need editors!

            Also, as you may note, AnnaZed, I used the term “allegedly” before “Rubenesque.” None of us, except perhaps the Editors, have seen a photograph of Miss Morgan: so it is hard to judge her appearance without that visual evidence. Any “high-school nastiness” may have to wait until we are shown that picture.

            Nevertheless, most importantly, her involvement with the cover-up remains possible and even probable, due in part to the oddness of her behavior since the murder. XO, Clio.

            • Bea
              08/14/2009 at 7:23 PM

              AnnaZ, I understand your frustration (Clio is correct, it’s Sarah Morgan) but sophomoric humor and gallows humor do have their functions. I don’t doubt for a second that everyone here would love for Sarah to come forward (and that snide comments would cease!). Oh, and she’s by no accounts a lesbian. We lesbians like homo-girls, not homo-boys (in THAT way). And as more than gay male friend has told me, lesbians make TERRIBLE fag hags! Yeah, some more sophomoric humor, but I’m hoping you get my point.

              • AnnaZed
                08/19/2009 at 1:11 AM

                I have been thinking about Sarah a bit more and seriously; is there any indication that she was not where she said she was that night? If so, then why isn’t she part of the tampering indictment?

                If not that, then why does she feel the need to be represented by counsel? That is a serious question on my part.

                As to the Susan/Sarah thing, I’m sorry about that. I have a longtime friend who is Susan Morgan and my brain just tripped. I always need an editor, it’s a great failing of mine.

                • CDinDC
                  08/19/2009 at 7:34 AM

                  Anna, I was wondering the other day whether Sarah’s desire for counsel had less to do with what she knew about this case, and possibly more about what she knows about the defendants’ prior practices. Maybae she knew that they had drugged someone before. She lived in the house. Close proximity. Maybe she was invited to a party (pnp?) they hosted or heard conversations. (I’ve lived in Dupont Circle rowhouses and you can hear conversations in the hallways and sometimes through the floors.) Just a thought.

                  • AnnaZed
                    08/19/2009 at 11:40 AM

                    Well, that’s been mentioned before, that maybe she knows something about prior bad acts, but wouldn’t a normal person who knew or suspected such a thing then start talking to the police right away?

                    Are we saying that rather than a folie à deux what actually may exist here is a folie à quatre (or what might in more pedestrian terms be called a conspiracy) with Victor and Sarah both aware that Joe and Dylan were up to no good as a rather more general lifestyle choice than just romping tastelessly with each other but to extremes that include criminally aggressing on others long before trusting Robert appeared on the scene. Is the theory that these now two people (Sarah and Victor) are willing to place their own freedom at risk in part of a conspiracy to attempt to conceal the nature of what ever the hell Joe and Dylan were up to previously?

                    Why would she? Even a friend with abnormally deep loyalty and affection for another person would surely draw the line at murder? I myself would draw the line at any intimation of sexual coercion, unlawful administration of intoxicating substances or rape ~ but that’s just me.

                    • CDinDC
                      08/19/2009 at 12:36 PM

                      Well, IF Sarah knows about past indiscrections on Joe/Dylan/Victor’s part, I’m not reading “lawyering up” as protecting the 3-some. If she knows that Joe/Dylan/Victor are capable of this kind of activity because she’s witnessed or been told or heard about such activities, perhaps she wants to make sure that she’s not going to be criminally liable for not divulging these past indiscretions. Or she’s just plain scared. Or she’s been threatened.

                      Let’s imagine you live in a house with some people…you discover (in some fashion) that your “roommates” are conducting serious criminal activity right under your nose. You might not want to go running to the police immediately for fear you will be either be implicated in this criminal activity because of the close proximity, or for fear of being hurt by the people that are conducting the criminal activity. Maybe counsel from an attorney on how to handle disclosing this criminal activity may be more prudent than running directly to the police and letting the cards fall where they may.

                      Just food for thought. I doesn’t necessarily believe whole-heartedly in this scenario. Just throwing it out there for discussion.

  2. AnnaZed
    08/14/2009 at 12:50 PM

    Sorry, I’m having a time-line confusion problem (just my reading comprehension I am sure), but when was Robert’s funeral in terms of when this article came out?

    In any case, what I am wondering is at what time was Kathy Wone told that the crime scene of her husband’s death had been altered and cleaned? How could Joe, once that information was known to her, have the effrontery to make himself part of that funeral? I simply can’t imagine such hubris.

  3. Craig
    08/14/2009 at 1:14 PM

    Anna – The funeral was held on Tuesday, August 8. This article hit the stands a week later, but the warrants were issued on the 4th, just two days after the murder.

    This could mean that the language on tampering was being desked around earlier, perhaps as early as the 3rd, before the document was written.

    • AnnaZed
      08/14/2009 at 3:35 PM

      Ok then, I don’t want to seem to be criticizing Kathy Wone in any way, but I just don’t understand how once the facts were known that the evidence had been tampered with, that a cleaning up of the scene and Robert himself had taken place and that the residents were freshly showered when they met the emergency workers and police that anyone would have anything to do with these men let alone allow Joe to participate in the funeral.

      That’s incredible.

      • CuriousInVa
        08/14/2009 at 3:55 PM

        I was wondering the same thing, especially when I saw this:

        “Some of the information we were told, I just don’t believe,” Morris said at a televised press interview Aug. 3.

        That statement was made the day after the murder. Maybe this sort of information was just not getting through to Cathy at the beginning. Otherwise, I can’t imagine she would have still let Joe be a pallbearer at the funeral.

        He makes me sick.

        • CDinDC
          08/14/2009 at 5:00 PM

          Maybe she wasn’t reading the news or watching television. Or maybe she was in denial that her husband’s good friend/s could do such a thing. Joe may have plead his case to her.

          I can’t believe that Kathy would have had Joe there if she believed for one second at that point that he participated.

          Perhaps it sunk in after she was more clear headed.

          Also, I don’t think Joe was part of the memorial service later that month.

          • AnnaZed
            08/14/2009 at 5:32 PM

            Well exactly, that’s why I say that Joe’s sense of entitlement and hubris is breathtaking. I can certainly see Kathy not having read the news or fully even comprehended what the facts were in those terrible days, but does Joe have some sort of force field around him? Could no one else have said, “ahem, dude you really shouldn’t be here.”

            • Nelly
              08/15/2009 at 10:17 PM

              This is all pure speculation, but I’ll bet Joe, Victor, and Dylan all put on a big tearful act about how grief-stricken they were and lied to Robert’s wife about finding him lying in the guest room with the knife in him, heard the door chime, the back door was open, blah blah. She was probably in such a state of shock that she wasn’t reading and watching the flurry of news. Even some friends of Victor and Joe have said they didn’t think they had anything to do with the murder, though some changed their minds after the arrest warrants came out.

              • CDinDC
                08/15/2009 at 11:07 PM

                My exact thoughts, Nelly.

  4. Clio
    08/14/2009 at 1:15 PM

    Who is Jeff Trammell? I did not know that, before August 2, 2006, Joseph Price was so respected by his fellow lawyers — the Lewis F. Powell, Jr., of his day, if you will. What puffery that that is!

    Yet, Joe did manage to go to work every day that week: what dedication that he must have to his craft! One other thing is certain. I doubt that many still hope that he hangs in there with the discredited intruder theory: alas, he’s no longer at Errant Fox!

    • CDinDC
      08/14/2009 at 1:21 PM

      Dedication, my ass. Big pity party for Widdle Joe is more like it. “Look at me and all the attention I’m getting!”

      It was said by someone that worked at AF when this happened, that he came into work that next morning all disheveled and “held court” in the hallway about the incident.

      • Ex-Foxer
        08/14/2009 at 7:29 PM

        Yep, that was me who said he was at work the very next morning, presumably right after his breakfast at Cosi.

        I’ve often wondered if he came straight to the office that morning to “clean up” or get rid of any evidence that might be lying around. I didn’t see the police when they came to the firm, so I don’t know when they searched his office and seized his computer. Does anyone know when exactly that was? Joe was there mid-morning the morning directly following the murder, so it would be interesting to know when the cops searched his office, i.e. before or after he was there that initial time.

        Anyone know?

        • Craig
          08/15/2009 at 12:20 AM

          XFox – more on that coming in monday’s post.

          • Ex-Foxer
            08/15/2009 at 11:54 AM

            Great, thanks! Looking forward to it.

        • CuriousInVa
          08/15/2009 at 12:24 AM

          I don’t know when the cops came in but I do know that even if he were trying to clear his computer of “bad stuff” unless he was particularly tech-savvy he would not have been able to effectively remove it all. Delete does not equal delete. Hence, the porn they found.

          • CDinDC
            08/15/2009 at 11:46 AM

            His work computer? I think the porn they found wasn’t deleted porn. I think it was right there on his harddrive.

            I don’t recall hearing anything about the porn being “forensically” retreived.

            the reason I’m saying this is that it goes along with Joe’s personality. Flying things in the face of authority. Everyone and their brother knows that storing porn on your computer at work isn’t a good idea, if not stricly against company policy.

            Eds, do you recall anything?

            • CuriousInVa
              08/15/2009 at 2:47 PM

              CDinDC,

              I was responding to a discussion of exactly when the cops went to Joe’s office – the question being whether he would have had time to get rid of any incriminating emails or other possible evidence. It was noted that he came into the office the day after the murder.

              My point was that even if he did try to remove certain items from his work computer he would have to have known to do more than just hit delete for records to be completely removed. They would still exist on the hard drive.

              At this point we don’t know whether the pictures (or anything else) were found in their original saved location or if they had been “deleted” but remained on the hard drive . I’m not talking about “forensics”. It’s just a matter of there being more than one record on a computer when you save something.

              So, even though it was really risky or arrogant or defiant or whatever of Joe to keep sex pics at work in the first place, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t have realized after the murder that he’d better get rid of them. Therefore, maybe he tried (and failed) to remove them and maybe there was something else there as well that is now also in evidence.

              Who knows?

              • CDinDC
                08/15/2009 at 4:26 PM

                Curious….I understand exactly what you were saying.

                My point, was that I don’t recall hearing that the porn had been deleted, and leads me to believe that Joe had not tried at all to delete the porn on his work computer.

                It was possibly there, right under “My Pictures”.. LOL

                • 08/15/2009 at 8:16 PM

                  did he try to delete any e-mails though? so much interest surrounds how and why wone ended up at swann street that night — what do the e-mails say that confirm the visit? did price forward e-mails he received from wone to anyone — ward perhaps? ie: look robert is coming – we can put my plan in action; or you can have your way with him? what inconsistentcies are in those e-mails the first few days/weeks following the murder?

                  is victor certain he wants to go down this road?

    • CDinDC
      08/14/2009 at 1:26 PM

      Clio, from a 09/05 Washington Blade article:

      “Jeff Trammell, a public affairs professional and former gay issues adviser to the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns, has been named by Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to the 17-member William & Mary College Board of Visitors for a four-year term. William & Mary, in Williamsburg, is the nation’s second oldest university and was recently named by Newsweek as the nation’s “hottest small state school.”

      “….everyone looks up to…” Oh, please….speak for yourself, Jeff. Do you know everyone on the legal community? And how do you feel about him… now.

      • Clio
        08/14/2009 at 4:16 PM

        Thanks, CD. However fabulous that Mr. Trammell may be, his bio blurb in the Blade indicates that he may not have been the most unbiased or informed source to whom Ms. Schwartz could have turned.

        • Clio
          11/26/2009 at 8:32 PM

          Jeff Trammell vouched for Joe early on in the article above, and then he gets an Award presented by Joe a few months later. I knew that I had seen Mr. Trammell’s name before; he was presented an award by Joe Price himself at that now-notorious photo shoot at William and Mary’s Homecoming 2006. The lavender Tribe is still as thick as thieves, apparently: the pictures of Victor and Joe and their lovely rep ties are still there without any irony or editorial comments. See the link below:
          http://wmgala.wordpress.com/photo-gallery/homecoming-2006/

  5. Craig
    08/14/2009 at 1:50 PM

    CD – I’ll vouch somewhat for Jeff. I don’t know him well, but I’ve every reason to think he’s a stand up guy.

    There’s no way to know if Emma shared the warrant’s information with him when they talked.

    It’s possible that had he known about the tampering accusation, his quote may have been entirely different. FWIW. XO, Craig

    • CDinDC
      08/14/2009 at 2:00 PM

      Oh, I sure he’s a stand up guy. No problem there.

      I just think sometimes when people make blanket statements such as “everyone looks up to..” they are speaking too broadly. Perhaps HE looked up to Joe…perhaps his colleagues at W&M looked up to him, but painting a very broad picture may distort reality.

  6. galoon
    08/14/2009 at 2:02 PM

    Whenever Sarah Morgan’s name comes up, I’m reminded of a chick named Candy from high school. We were each friends of mutual friends. Candy, a perky, chubby girl, hung tight with two guys, both gay, just friends. Candy would fawn over them, even flirt with them. If one of the guys ran out of cigarettes at 2 a.m., Candy was out the door to find more. (not an easy task in the mid 70’s!) It gave me a creepy kind of sad feeling, particularly as her 2 friends seemed to like to use her, after all, she was so willing, like a puppy dog. But to each his own. When she began hitting on a good friend who was too polite to tell her that he just wasn’t interested in being claimed as her little gay buddy, I stopped feeling sad about her desperation and started to get pissed whenever she was around. My friend eventually told her he didn’t need an accessory nor did he want to be one. (at the time he said, “I was kind, but oh so firm!”)
    I lost track of Candy as the years went by, but I’ve met others similar to her. The older versions of the Candy I knew seem to be a little harsh and calculating beneath the surface. I wonder if Sarah is anything like the original Candy from my childhood. It will be interesting to learn more about her and if she will chose to be helpful in the end.
    To the editors- as usual, job well done.

  7. Clio
    08/14/2009 at 3:50 PM

    This lacunae in coverage between 4 August and 14 August does raise the unsettling question: did the trouple’s perceived respectability (the nexus of their race, social class, political connections, and education) help to contribute to the MPD’s and the media’s “lack of urgency” in the case? Probably.

  8. CD in CA
    08/14/2009 at 11:24 PM

    Serious question for guys (women too). (I am a woman, so I am not sure whether I can think through all of the normal, likely, logical possibilities.)

    In the fifth paragraph from last, the article says, “Wone was found in a second-floor bedroom, but the MPD’s Morris would not say whether he was lying on a bed or a sofa. He was fully clothed, Morris says.”

    Doesn’t the combination of facts (a) that semen was found in his rectum and (b) that he was fully clothed further suggest either tampering or sexual assault? (I am assuming arguendo the possibility that the semen was from Robert’s own activities, as some pro-defendant commenters have suggested.)

    Here are some possible scenarios I have thought of (but I do not know the norm, likelihood, as I am not a guy).

    1. If Robert did it himself (as defendants claim, presumably) with his clothing on and there was no tampering, his pants would have a significant amount of semen as well. So far I have heard no mention of semen found on his pants.

    Thus, in this scenario, there must have been tampering, given the apparent lack of significant semen on his pants.

    2. If Robert did it himself without his clothing on and there was no tampering, the sheets would have a big spot. (He also would have had to get up and put his clothing on afterward.) I have not yet heard of such evidence.

    Thus, in this scenario, there also must have been tampering, given the apparent lack of significant semen on the sheets.

    These are the only two possibilities I can think of that would account for both (a) semen in his rectum as a result of his own activities and (b) his being fully clothed. But both of these scenarios, given current evidence, suggest tampering.

    Yet if there was no tampering, the semen in his rectum must have resulted from the activity of others (e.g., sexual assault), unless I am not thinking of other scenarios.

    What do you think?

    • Clio
      08/15/2009 at 3:34 PM

      CDinCA, even a “proper lady” such as myself knows that a preponderance of the evidence points toward both “tampering” and rape. As for the fantasy that Robert was just pleasuring himself before bed, it is beyond absurd, and it is beyond comment.

      But, this being a blog, let me comment anyway. No man by himself could get his own peculiar “sauce” in such a deep intestinal spot without the external pressure or coercion brought to bear by the perps, their drugs, and their ungodly device(s). Furthermore, who — man or woman — would engage in “the solitary vice” in the guest bedroom of an old college friend after a very crowded day (and night) at work? It’s obviously not the most conducive of settings and times for that type of exercise.

    • CDinDC
      08/15/2009 at 4:18 PM

      CDinCA don’t confuse the “rectum” with the anus and the anal canal. The rectum lies BEYOND the anal canal. A minimum of 1.5 inches beyond the anal opening. The rectum itself is 8-10 inches in length. so if the medical examiner said there was semen in his rectum, the semen may have been in area unreachable by digital manipulation. And NO sex toys were found with Robert.

  9. Nelly
    08/15/2009 at 10:12 PM

    I always thought that silly theory was posited by crude people trying to be facetious. Yet another red herring.

  10. CD in CA
    08/15/2009 at 11:46 PM

    CDinDC,

    Thank you for your polite response to my sincere comment. I appreciate your thoughtful opinion. I agree with your interpretation of the evidence that you cite.

    By the way, I enjoy and respect your commentary on this site. You seem well informed, intelligent, respectful of others’ opinions, and sincere in your desire for justice (as am I). You set a good example.

    To the Others Who Replied to My Comment,

    First, I sincerely want justice for Robert. I am horrified by what happened to an apparently wonderful man. This was obvious from the totality of my comment. I do not appreciate any implication to the contrary.

    Second, I am a highly successful, highly respected Ivy League educated attorney with multiple Ivy League degrees and multiple graduate degrees. I do not need anyone to educate me on the legal standards at issue here. By the way, the standard in criminal cases is beyond the shadow of a doubt, not preponderance of the evidence.

    Third, while I may have opinions as to guilt in this case, as an attorney with extremely high standards and a legal license to fiercely protect, I am simply being extremely careful not to defame anyone, including any defendants. My comment in no way implies that I do or do not believe the defendants are guilty, quite purposefully so.

    Fourth, quite obviously, my comment was a logical exercise to demonstrate that the particular evidence I cited strongly suggests either tampering or sexual assault, by an intruder, by the defendants, or by anyone else.

    Given the totality of my comment, I quite obviously believe there was tampering or sexual assault. My comment clearly demonstrated this belief and cited specific evidence to support my belief and the logical argument on which my belief is based.

    Fifth, my comment was intended to be helpful by citing specific evidence and a specific argument to support the allegations of tampering or sexual assault.

    It is quite obvious why such a comment is helpful. Neither tampering nor sexual assault has yet been proven. Moreover, the defendants deny (or presumably will deny, if they have not yet) tampering (or sexual assault, if it were being alleged). Tampering (or sexual assault) will not be easy to prove. Thus, any additional legal arguments that can support the conclusion that tampering or sexual assault occurred benefit the discussion of what transpired that evening and what caused the death of Robert and aid in proving tampering or sexual assault.

    To argue that tampering or sexual assault can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt (the criminal standard) simply because it is “beyond absurd” that his own semen was in his rectum by means other than sexual assault is quite naive. Defendants most likely have explained or will explain the rectal semen by claiming that it was there through his own activities. A prosecutor who would refute such an argument by defendants by simply stating that it is “beyond absurd” would fail and would likely be fired for such absurdly poor lawyering. “Beyond absurd” is not a winning legal argument.

    Sixth, I also hold an Ivy League graduate degree in molecular biology and performed cancer research prior to law school. I am well aware of the difference between the anus and the rectum and the unlikelihood that one’s own semen would be present in one’s own rectum. I have clearly explained all aspects of my post above.

    Seventh and finally, I hope that Robert rests in peace. I hope that Kathy and his parents somehow find peace. I hope that justice is served. And I do hope that, in our collective effort to help achieve that justice in our own way on this site, we can all read comments carefully, understand them sufficiently, reply to comments respectfully, and refrain from insulting others.

    Best wishes to all.

    • CDinDC
      08/16/2009 at 10:50 AM

      Thank you CDinCA.

      Regarding the evidence, I would imagine a full detailed autopsy report could either cause further speculation or completely put to rest the question of sexual assault.

      Who knows if we on this website will ever see such a report.

      • Craig
        08/16/2009 at 3:22 PM

        CDDC – Obtaining the full autopsy report remains a goal. Progress is slow.

        CDCA – Thanks for your contributions and welcome.

        Clio – True, this is not a resume site like monster.com; this is devoted to a different kind of monster.

        • Clio
          08/16/2009 at 5:53 PM

          Right on, Craig. Your delightfully diplomatic “intervention” proves (once again) that you (and your fellow Editors) are well-suited to this pursuit. LOL!

    • CDinDC
      08/16/2009 at 11:53 AM

      CDinCA, may I assume that you are an intellectual property attorney (given your combination of degrees)?

  11. Clio
    08/16/2009 at 11:25 AM

    Relax, CDinCA. No one, including myself, doubts your passion, sincerity, or credentials. One might sense, however, a bit of pique and bruised ego in your lengthy response and, as someone (your/our esteemed CDinDC) aptly told someone else (Robert Spiegel) on other post, this is not “a resume site.” Peace, Clio.

    • Ex-Foxer
      08/16/2009 at 12:52 PM

      Well said, Clio. Cheers.

    • inevitable
      10/22/2009 at 10:31 AM

      CDinCA, Barrack is that you?:)

      • CDinDC
        10/22/2009 at 12:44 PM

        It only has one “R”.

  12. CuriousInVa
    08/16/2009 at 5:11 PM

    I found CDinCA’s comments to be very thought-provoking and clearly meant as analysis of possibilities.

    In my opinion, too often on this site people seem to be very quick to assume someone is either defending the defendants or besmirching the memory of Robert Wone whenever they play devil’s advocate (how apt here) and attempt to see arguments from each side. It is merely a means of problem-solving and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of various theories/defenses.

    “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a very tough standard to meet if properly applied.

    • Mike
      08/17/2009 at 7:59 AM

      Bravo, CuriousInVa! Our most cherished theories need to be strenuously challenged if we are to prepare for the defense team’s likely strategies.

      Playing devil’s advocate is the best thing we can do at this point and all attempts should be treated with seriousness and respect.

  13. Clio
    08/17/2009 at 5:04 PM

    Bravo, CuriousinVa and Mike! Yet, even I have played devil’s advocate on this site (only once!) and, in that role, I knew how to roll with the sometimes arch “punches” thrown my way without flaming out a declaration of personal superiority. Devil’s advocates (and anyone else) should know that their theories and assumptions may be challenged in comedic, harsh, and, at times, strenuous ways. Correspondingly, they ought to know to not take those challenges so personally. We’re all after the same thing — justice for Robert, and we all need to check our egos, however large, at the “Submit Comment” button.

    P.S. I actually enjoyed the commentary of Lance, the premier devil’s advocate on this site in the spring, but his summer replacement, Brian, was definitely not up to par, in my humble opinion.

Comments are closed.