Durham’s statement sheds new light on blood found in Robert’s duodenum
Diane Durham’s statement that the defendants found Robert on the first floor, and Gary Reals’ reporting that the body may have been moved twice, together make a compelling reason to re-examine the evidence and conclusions reached by the medical examiner. Both Durham’s and Reals’ statements contradict what the defendants said later that evening at the Violent Crimes Branch in Anacostia.
The new information leads us to reconsider the medical examiner’s report about the condition of the body, particularly the amount of the blood found in Robert’s duodenum.
The affidavit reads:
“Notably, blood had filled Mr. Wone’s intestine a distance of two feet down from duodenum (where the stomach attaches to the intestine.) This finding indicates that Mr. Wone was alive for a considerable period of time after he was stabbed, as his digestive system continued to operate, forcing blood into his intestine (in other words, he was digesting his own blood.”
A physician who comments regularly on WMRW.com, WH, wrote the following before the Durham statement had surfaced (emphasis added):
“I am a physician, but not in any of the specialties related to these questions. However, I can comment on a couple things. The movement of blood from the stomach through the duodenum for two feet would not necessarily require him to live for a “long time” after being stabbed – particularly if some drugs he was given may have relaxed his pyloric sphincter and allowed blood to flow into his duodenum.
Then it would take only gravity, and Robert was likely moved around enough after his death (to the shower, or outdoors, or wherever one imagines) that his torso would have been held in a vertical position which would promote flow of blood into the duodenum. Blood mixed with stomach acid/bile would not clot as quickly, promoting this movement further. So I would not necessarily conclude that poor Robert lived for a very long time after he was stabbed.”
Diane Durham’s statement reads:
Underwear guy said the victim was at the patio door bleeding, they opened the door, took him upstairs and laid him on the bed.
There is agreement, then, between WH’s comment and Officer Durham’s statement: it may not have been that Robert was alive for so long after being stabbed, but rather that his body was vertical for a portion of that time, which would have increased the blood flow in the duodenum.
The defendants’ testimony stated that Robert was found horizontal on the fold-out bed in the second floor guest room. Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky claimed they heard “low grunts” from downstairs and immediately responded. Their testimony gave no indication that Robert had become vertical after being stabbed, because he was found in the bed. This testimony could have led the medical examiner to conclude that Robert must have lived for a significant period of time after being stabbed, based on the amount of blood found in the duodenum.
However, if Robert had indeed been vertical when stabbed, or his body moved in a vertical position, then the time line would be shortened; blood would flow more quickly into the duodenum, in contrast to the amount of time it would take for blood to reach the duodenum if Robert were horizontal in the bed throughout entire time after being stabbed.
One might conclude that evidence regarding the amount of blood found in Robert’s duodenum is a better fit with Durham’s statement than it is with the defendants’ second statement.
If that is the case, then suddenly the current time line of events, for once, seems to fit the evidence.
– posted by David and Michael