Detective Waid’s Handwritten Notes Create More Questions
Today, the Swann Street defense team heads to the Moultrie Courthouse for an in camera review, which in plain English means a review of documents and/or other evidence in the Judge’s chamber. The defense has been requesting this review for several months now, and Judge Weisberg granted it at last Friday’s status hearing.
Monday, we rolled out Diane Durham’s redacted statement about how the events unfolded the evening of August 2, 2006. That is one of the documents to be reviewed in camera. Today, we present another of those documents — Detective Bryan Waid’s handwritten notes. Sadly, we only have the redacted version.
It appears that Detective Waid took several pages of handwritten notes about what cops/paramedics found when they arrived at Swann Street that hot August night. At this point, from what we know, these notes don’t appear to be his a first hand account, but rather interviews he conducted later with the cops and/or paramedics who were on the scene.
The first page of notes has the name “SGT B. Roach” written at the top of the page, then several redacted lines. The government argued at Friday’s status hearing that much of these redactions were addresses as well as government to government communications that had no bearing on the case. It reads:
“SGT. spoke to w/m (white male) at door. Wit(ness) was crying. Told SGT. I think they came through front back door.”
This witness is presumably Victor Zaborsky, who was the first to greet the paramedics, and now the police when they arrived. Victor is already discussing a theory about the intruder’s entry into the house. The rest of the page is redacted.
Next page starts with name “Durham” presumably Diane Durham’s, at the top of the page. Then it reads:
Radio run (Stabbing) Ambulance crew was bringing vic(tim) out, once inside w/m, no shirt, underwear, 2 others standing. W/m in underwear told offc. there was a burglary. This is the way they came in” pointing at the back door.
The rest of the page is redacted. She arrived as the body was being removed from the home, which comports with her sworn statement. But, interestingly, the redaction begins at the chronological point in the story where Durham would have begun to talk about Joe finding Robert on the patio.
The third page of notes starts off with two redacted lines, then this very startling statement:
Upon arrival to the scene Vic Joe was doing all the talking & when he referred to the victim he would look at Victor and say, “Isn’t he our friend?” + Victor would cry.
What does this say about the mindset of Joe Price when the police arrived? What would prompt someone to ask their partner if they even knew the victim? Why would the victim be in their house if he didn’t know the hosts of the home? Was Joe is such a state of shock he couldn’t even remember if Robert was a friend of theirs?
Or was the question designed to lead Victor in a certain direction? Was Victor crying not because their friend had been brutally stabbed in their home, but rather that he was being asked to tell a story that wasn’t true and he couldn’t control his emotions? Who knows? Whatever, Joe’s question is one of the more spine-tingling revelations to be discovered in what is already a very spine-tingling case.
The rest of the paragraph is redacted. Then, the date 8/17/06 appears in the next graph. These notes read:
8/17/06 230 hrs.
Int. Hampton -re 1509 Swann Street NW
1st on scene Durham
Not there yet
heard door chime. It woke us up. When we heard it + [plus sign is struck out and “we” written over it.] we came downstairs. We went into the room, he way lying on the bed. Joe went downstairs and the back door was open.”
The August 17 date seems to suggest a break in time between interviews. But, more importantly, what stands out is that these notes now agree with the story that the defendant’s told officers later that night at Violent Crime Branch in Anacostia.
The next page of notes starts at the top of the page:
Joe told Victor to go call 911. Is Hampton asked where knife was + he said upstairs next to the bed. Durham came in. Durham + Joe + Hampton went to the back door. Hampton in dining area. While there Joe called victim’s wife + said her I hate to be the one to tell you this but Robert has been stabbed.” Told her more but offc. didn’t hear. Joseph brough offc. upstairs and showed the knife. Offc. asked if the victim could have stabbed himself? Joe said NO!”
The rest of the page is redacted. What jumps out here is that in this note Officers Durham and Hampton both accompanied Joe to the back door area. If this is the same time as when Durham’s statement occurred, then Hampton would be a corroborating witness to the story that Joe told Durham. Maybe Hampton didn’t corroborate Durham’s statement, and this is why the police did not use it in the original affidavit. We don’t know.
The final page of notes reads:
Paramedic Jeff Baker[.] Baker said What Happened[?] Joe said I heard a scream.
The rest of the page is redacted.
Later this week, we will run a few more pages of notes including ones that detail Joe Price’s trip to the Violent Crime Branch the night of the murder.
-posted by David