Joe & Victor hire a friend; Dylan goes from zero to 60 in seconds
For more than two years after the murder of Robert Wone, not a single charge was filed in the case. Many believe one of the reasons was how quickly the three Swann Street housemates hired legal counsel.
While the defendants have claimed they answered all the of the MPD’s questions on the night of the murder, that was the first and last time Price, Zaborsky and Ward would speak to authorities without their lawyers present.
It is interesting how the hiring of legal defense for the Swann Street housemates occurred so rapidly, but how it happened raised many questions.
In the explosive Legal Times article from August 14th, not only did Emma Schwartz reveal that the “crime scene had been tampered with,” but she also was the first to reveal the Swann Street trio hired legal counsel. The legal representation seemed to break down along the same lines of how the personal relationship was structured at 1509.
The two men who shared the master bedroom in the home, and were protected by D.C. Domestic Partner laws, were represented by one attorney, while the third man who did not share an “equal” part in the relationship, had retained his own counsel.
Domestic partners Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky turned to a former colleague of Price’s at Arent Fox, Kathleen Voelker. She is a well-respected attorney in Washington, DC’s legal circles, who is well-known for her white collar criminal defense work. Even if Voekler’s newest clients wore the whitest of collars, the case itself had nothing to do with insider trading, embezzlement, or money laundering, though.
Voekler didn’t last long on the case, as each of the men have now retained separate counsel as the years have worn on. Zaborsky retained Thomas Connolly, and Joe Price hired Washington’s Cheshire Cat, Bernie Grimm.
Dylan Ward, on the other hand, didn’t waste a single second. Right out of the gate, he hired the best of the best when it comes to Washington’s criminal defense attorneys, David Schertler. And to this day, Schertler is still his lead counsel, and well-respected Robert Spagnoletti has been brought on board for the assist.
Just as the case itself raises more questions than answers, so does the defendants’ approach to hiring legal strategy. Why did Joe and Victor hire the same attorney initially whose greatest strength wasn’t homicide defense?
Why did Joe Price, an attorney himself who knew best what type of legal jeopardy they were potentially facing, wait to engage hire-powered legal counsel? Was he planning on running the defense himself, with the hired attorney as the figurehead? And did the dispensing of Voekler indicate the growing awareness of their legal predicament?
Why did Dylan Ward move so fast to secure top-notch legal representation, which remains in place today? How did Dylan Ward, who by his own admission wasn’t “career-minded”, know enough to nail down Washington’s top gun?
Ward must have received the advice from somewhere. Where could it have come from? And what about informing whoever was paying Mr. Schertler’s freight?
One of the reasons this country is so great is the protection that defendants receive in our criminal justice system. However, it is odd that so much legal power was needed so early on to protect men who were still only considered “witnesses” to the murder on Swann Street.
-posted by David