"I Have Nothing To Say…"

When No Comment Speaks Volumes

During a break in the action at the most recent status hearing, your editors saw an opportunity to get some comment from a group we don’t hear from often enough: supporters of the defendants.

The court room was full, and while it’s not always possible to determine who is who, we quickly I.D.’d some individuals who looked to be there supporting  Joe, Victor and Dylan.  We were curious to get their reactions.  Yes, some risk  of blowback, but faint heart never won fair headline.

Asking pardon for the interruption, we identified ourselves as “bloggers covering the trial…” and asked each of the three if they had any comment on the day’s action, or the progress in general of the legal battles.

Hand over mic

Of the three – one woman and two men – the woman fixed us with a hard gaze that never broke.  The second individual, seated in the middle, cast an occasional nervous look our way, while the third stared stonily straight ahead.

To the first woman, “Do you have any comment?” came the brittle response “I have nothing to say to you.”  The same question posed to the second individual was clearly upsetting, his face twitching hard, and silence.  To the third individual – nothing.  He never even acknowledged us.

Curiously, the bevvy of young associates who always sit in the front row behind the defense teams pointedly spun around, watching us hard.  Perhaps they had something they wanted to share.

Next time maybe, they’ll be out of earshot of their bosses.

We suspect we know the identity of at least one of the three, who attends nearly every hearing and several other faces are starting to look familiar.

There is no doubt, however, they recognized our efforts and were not in any way inclined to engage.

It’s a safe bet that some are at least occasional readers.  The ultimate lurkers.

The curt seven-word rebuff and their demeanor spoke volumes of anger and hurt directed our way.  Had they felt freer to speak their mind, we suspect they would have given us a piece of it.

Next time maybe, they’ll be out of earshot of their three friends.

It’s disappointing to encounter such skepticism.  From the start we have worked hard to find points of view sympathetic to the defendants, only to be met with simmering silence.  It’s as frustrating as the defendant’s ongoing silence about the events of August 2nd, 2006.

The appeal continues.  Anyone coming to this site who feels the defendants need a voice of support, please lend us yours.

Unlike the opinions of others, we believe there is still much to be said about this case.  We welcome it all and want to hear it.

posted by Doug

106 comments for “"I Have Nothing To Say…"

  1. CDinDC
    11/16/2009 at 10:41 AM

    : : waiting : :

  2. AnnaZed
    11/16/2009 at 12:22 PM

    “We suspect we know the identity of at least one of the three…”

    but can not say, ack!!

  3. CDinDC
    11/16/2009 at 12:39 PM

    It’s one thing to be true to a friend, but another to disregard crimes they may have committed.

    These people should support their friends by counseling them to accept responsibility for their actions.

    Speaks volumes for the lack of integrity some people have.

  4. SheKnowsSomething
    11/16/2009 at 2:53 PM

    “The Washington Blade” ceases publication?!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601477.html?hpid=moreheadlines

    Editors — any news you can share on this late-breaking development? Any word from Lou Chibabrro?

    • Clio
      11/17/2009 at 10:44 AM

      This was not the change for which most of us voted in 2008: what will go under next?

      What effects then, if any, will the Blade’s abrupt folding have upon coverage of this case? Lady Lou’s pink slip means one less reporter in the already tiny media pool assigned to this case.

      • Nelly
        11/18/2009 at 7:49 PM

        What?! What a loss to the journalistic world, and the way the employees found out was tacky too. Lou Chibarro has been an awesome journalist, and his coverage of the Wone case is much appreciated. Let’s all hope that the former staff can start another publication that can thrive on its own.

  5. Bea
    11/16/2009 at 3:00 PM

    On the Washington Blade announcement – yikes.

    On the reaction from the ‘supporters’ I can only guess that Joe has preached and beaten his chest so often about how the trio has been maligned and that there must be universal NO COMMENT such that these supporters feel hostility. It does seem to suggest that they truly believe them innocent – I just don’t think that there can be group-think-sociopaths.

  6. BenFranklin
    11/16/2009 at 3:03 PM

    I’m sympathetic to the homeowners because I also own a downtown townhouse with a guest suite separate from my private quarters–and my guests often entertain guests of their own.

    What if this happened in your home?

    What would you do if you woke up to find a mentally-unstable drug-using live-in servant washing down an already-dead guest in the bathtub?

    I would feel responsible for hiring this servant. I would feel horror and probably go into shock–this is the maximum empathy I can summon. And it might have gone down this way.

    Empathetic Ben

    • David
      11/16/2009 at 3:36 PM

      Ben,

      Your response leaves many questions up in the air.

      First, how did the already-dead guest become “already dead?” Would you might ask, “how did our already-dead guest die?” I would think that would be a natural response.

      Second, if that is the scenario, why can’t they tell that story to the police if that was the truth, absent feeling any responsibility for hiring this servant?

      Empathy is certainly a good thing, but are you saying that your empathy extends to the homeowners lying about the situation?

      David

      • BenFranklin
        11/16/2009 at 4:16 PM

        I don’t attempt to answer all the questions.

        You must stare into the abyss to seek the answers for why that servant would murder that guest.

        Half a truth is often a great lie–but half a truth won’t now. We need the whole truth from the homeowners. My empathy stops with the lies.

        Ben

        • CDinDC
          11/16/2009 at 4:53 PM

          Ben, again, Joe is not going to take the fall for some 4th party, whether invited into the house by him or by Dylan or by “the servant” or that the person that lives in the “guest quarters.”

          Just isn’t going to happen. Joe loves himself to much.

          • CDinDC
            11/16/2009 at 5:00 PM

            One more thing….Ben you are becoming very insistent that it was a 4th party. Beyond reason, in fact.

            Originally, I thought you were truly a new blogger and not up to speed, but I’m starting to think you have an alliance with the defendants.

            Your insistence feels odd to me, and your closing salutation of “emphathetic” says more.

            • BenFranklin
              11/16/2009 at 6:00 PM

              Bea & CD,
              The live-in servant I speak of is Ward, but I also believe that someone else could have been invited into the house by Ward or Wone that the homeowners did not know about–and still may not know about. The only connection I have with anyone is that I was in a class between Wone & Price at college but did/do not know them then/now. W+M has an honor code, doesn’t graduate dummies, and drugs were not cool at our school.

              Ben

              • CDinDC
                11/16/2009 at 6:34 PM

                Ben says: “W+M has an honor code, doesn’t graduate dummies, and drugs were not cool at our school.”

                Joe seems to have violated each of the above.

                Is that where all this comes from? You can’t possibly imagine a W&M grad commiting a crime?

                • BenFranklin
                  11/16/2009 at 7:06 PM

                  probably…can’t deny it…it makes it really hard for me.

                  • Clio
                    11/16/2009 at 7:55 PM

                    Ben Franklin as a defender of would-be Virginia gentry? Who would have ever thought it possible?

                    Ben, Joe never became a Virginia gentleman, I am afraid. The violence of east Texas, his ancestral home, may have been just beneath his facade of lavender tribune.

    • AnnaZed
      11/16/2009 at 4:27 PM

      Empathy for the Devil?

      For my own part I can not conceive of a scenario in which I would cover for another person in that circumstance no matter how much I loved them, or rather particularly if I did. If my own child or my darling brother did such a thing I would hand her or him over to the cops in a heart beat, let alone a lover or friend. I would experience shock certainly, but my fingers would be dialing 911 before I took another breath. In the scenario that you describe with the assailant being some sort of employee, I would additionally fear for my own life and probably leave the residence immediately.

      Think of the Unibomber’s brother by way of example; he would have no part in his brother’s criminal insanity. This crime is that bad, the supporters of Team Trouple need to understand that normal people are disgusted and appalled by the interference with Robert’s body and his treatment at the time of his death. He was not a thing to be disposed of. He was a person and all empathy is with him this case.

      Just to be clear and to head off any bull-shit cries of anti-gay bias; when I say normal people, I mean people with normal human emotions and empathy for Robert. I am not saying that homosexuals, people who construct unconventional family structures or those who indulge in S&M scenes are not normal in terms of their morals. I categorically do not believe that. In fact my own experience with people who define themselves variously in these ways (which is considerable) has been that they overwhelmingly are. I am talking about these specific men and the actions that they took after or even as Robert died, those are the actions that speak of lack of morals and even normal emotions. For these actions I have no empathy whatsoever and I doubt that a jury can be empaneled that will.

    • Bea
      11/16/2009 at 5:32 PM

      Uh, the ‘guest quarters’ analogy might work if Robert was killed in Sarah Morgan’s apartment, but not on the second floor of the “main” house. As I mentioned the other day, and as CD postulates below, I suspect that you, Ben, have heard something the rest of us haven’t heard which you find convincing on some level. Perhaps you are telling us that Robert “died” in Sarah’s apartment? Do you know this? Without someone having told you something, your posts are at best ‘out there’ in terms of suppositions, which makes me wonder why you post here. Are you a ‘supporter’ of the trio, or one/more of them, and how do you know them?

      • BenFranklin
        11/16/2009 at 6:45 PM

        AZ and Bea,

        The essay question for today was to express sympathy or empathy for the defendants, if any, and I did (without a spell-checker) as a downtown-homeowner who hosts a lot of guests-close to 15 weeks per year. I am not always aware of what goes on behind closed doors in my house.

        What if the homeowners came downstairs from their 3rd level private quarters to the 2nd level to find the horror committed and cleaned-up by Ward or Ward+1?

        Even now they may not know the identity of the +1 who left with some evidence, but are protecting Ward in either case. Not a wise call on the part of the homeowners, but being in a state of shock, and under pressure from Ward, invented the intruder fabrication that they’re now stuck with.

        Any sympathy for the homeowners stops with murder, lies, or cover-ups. And of course my heart is sick for Wone and his family.

        Ben

        • Bea
          11/16/2009 at 8:11 PM

          Hi Ben,

          I just don’t see any person of sound mind (and ordinary moral compass) coming down the stairs to find a friend in the process of murdering another friend and deciding on the spot to NOT try to get medical attention for the dying man (let alone possibly helping stab the man). It doesn’t ring true, not in the least. To then commence cleaning while the body grew cold, to organize/excecute the removal of evidence, to concoct a ‘plausible’ story and lie – as a trio – to the police and the dead man’s wife is not “reasonable”.

          If Ward had had a trick over, I think that trick would have been behind bars that very night. Even if Ward was culpable, the trick would be solely paying for the crime.

          If the clean-up had already occurred by the time Joe/Victor came down the stairs, the first instinct would still be to call the police – not to concoct a story.

          My guess is that the closest thing to your story is that Victor did come down the stairs at some point to either a dead or dying Robert, and unfortunately, he did not turn in Joe/Dylan. That’s not something I can understand, not in the least. While I appreciate that sometimes people panic, make mistakes, I really don’t know how, years later, the trio is able to sleep nights.

          The notion that a Wm. & Mary grad couldn’t have committed murder is partly why people roll their eyes at Wm. & Mary as an elitist institution.

          • BenFranklin
            11/16/2009 at 8:51 PM

            Hi Bea,

            I really need to believe that Wone was cold, dead, and cleaned up by Ward or Ward+1, before the W+M homo homeowners descended from their quarters–to their mind-bending shock and panic–and resulting bad judgment.

            The purpose of this blog is to come up with scenarios that work within the evidence to keep us sane when things don’t really make sense.

            And I am an elitist.

            Ben

            • John Grisham
              11/16/2009 at 9:00 PM

              BenF*****in,

              Your description of the “homo homeowners” is not appreciated. What “bad judgment” are you suffering from?

              John

              • BenFranklin
                11/16/2009 at 11:27 PM

                JG,

                I’m a homo so I can say that. I can even call them queers. It’s OK.

                Ben

            • AnnaZed
              11/16/2009 at 9:29 PM

              Ben, We are talking about actions that far exceed any known definition of “bad judgment.”

              We are talking about a criminal conspiracy to alter evidence, dispose of evidence, move and wash a dead (or worse, we suspect at that time only dying) man, lie to authorities, lie to friends and associates, to alter and conceal vital evidence in a murder inquiry.

              Are you taking this on board?

              This is not poor judgment, it is abhorrent and criminal activity.

              • Bea
                11/16/2009 at 9:57 PM

                Ben, sorry to hear that you can’t accept that any W & M alum could be a murderer. Sorrier still that one of your W & M alums is likely one of the murderers of the other W & M alum. Surely you jest, a bit at least.

                I disagree with your assessment of the purpose of this blog. I have no interest in outlandish theories, be they Asian conspiracies, elves, or homo homeowners who just can’t stand a messy room – murder victim be damned.

                Good luck.

                • Clio
                  11/16/2009 at 10:11 PM

                  Ben Franklin defending elitism? Poor Richard’s Almanac will never be read in the same way ever again.

                  Another Ben had once quipped: early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Well, the trouple did retire early that night, but that seemingly sensible decision was not to delay instant gratification of the basest kind, I suspect.

                • BenFranklin
                  11/16/2009 at 11:59 PM

                  Hi Bea,

                  I’m not promoting the outlandish. I always favor the simpler answer that acknowledges human nature with all it’s flaws. All things being equal I give the benefit of the doubt to the W+M alum–problem here is they both are alums, and I mourn them both.

                  And I do jest a bit, sometimes.

                  Ben

              • BenFranklin
                11/16/2009 at 11:52 PM

                AZ,

                What if the clean-up was finished when the homeowners descended from their private quarters?

                Do we know anything for certain at this point that makes that impossible?

                Flawed/exceptional casework tactics by investigators/prosecutors may also be involved here. Don’t forget Joyce “black magic” Gilchrist.

                Ben

                • annazed
                  11/16/2009 at 11:58 PM

                  Why then would Joe and Victor need to shower before calling 911?

                  • CDinDC
                    11/17/2009 at 12:15 AM

                    Good point, AnnaZ.

                  • BenFranklin
                    11/17/2009 at 12:26 AM

                    AZ,
                    Sometimes an bedtime shower is just a bedtime shower. Spouses even shower together sometimes.

                    It would be very suspicious if they went back upstairs to shower after finding the horror before calling 911, I agree.

                    Ben

                    • AnnaZed
                      11/17/2009 at 12:44 AM

                      All I know is that they were described as in robes (besides underwear man) and “freshly showered”, which to me denotes damp skin and damp hair. That is not the state that I would appear in had I been woken from sleep and immediately called 911. I might have a robe on (I probably would, though not my white toweling robe) but I would not seem freshly showered and neither would most people. That is a very important observation on the part of the responders. I dare say that’s why they made note of it. I find it very damning.

            • Friend of Rob
              11/17/2009 at 1:32 PM

              I’ve never considered W&M an elitist institution nor have I ever understood others to think that. It’s a state school for goodness sakes and full of not-so-wealthy Virginia kids working their asses off.

              AnnaZed’s comment is very interesting — I wonder if she has any children. I do have two children and honestly don’t know what I would do if I was put in a position in which one of them had committed a horrible crime that would certainly mean most of the rest of their life in prison.

              Perhaps Joe had that same sort of guardian instinct over Dylan, feeling somehow responsible for Dylan turning into a monster and feeling that he owed it to Dylan to do what he could to save him. I suspect Joe and Victor will flip on Dylan if it becomes apparent that they are all going to jail, but it hasn’t gotten to that point yet.

              • Bea
                11/17/2009 at 2:31 PM

                My call on W & M as elitist comes from Ben Franklin’s comment. No harm intended; most students and alums have understandable loyalty but Ben’s comments that a W & M alum could not have murdered set me off. And his boasting of elitism didn’t help.

                If Dylan had done the murder alone, and even if Joe felt he owed it to Dylan to ‘save him’, he’s certainly put Victor in a terrible position. I’ve often wondered (aloud, here) if Joe hasn’t (wrongly) told Victor that he’ll come clean on the truth and save Victor from prison should it ever come to that. Joe, the lawyer, knows that’s highly unlikely unless he’s willing to cop to a murder charge in a double-deal at that late juncture, and my guess is that even with a trial that Victor’s sentence may be less than the dastardly duo, prompting Joe to say ‘sorry’ as they pass each other in the hallways of the slammer. Victor should know that he’s being duped in that regard, but, alas, he seems unable to question Joe or his motives.

                • BenFranklin
                  11/17/2009 at 4:35 PM

                  FoR and Bea,

                  Bea, my W+M elitist boast was in jest–it a very intimate & competitive state school. But I stand by my gut feeling that Price could not stab or kill Wone–which is based solely on our shared W+M pedigree*.

                  FoR’s observation about P&Z’s possible protective guardian instincts for Ward is very keen. They are biological fathers! I chalked it up to panic & really bad judgment.

                  Ben

                  * Pedigree (from the French, pied de grue, lit. ‘crane’s foot’) is the legal principle that allows a witness to testify as to his name and certain family details under the American and English common law concepts of evidence with no additional foundation.

                  • CDinDC
                    11/17/2009 at 4:48 PM

                    Ben,

                    I don’t buy the “biological father” bit.

                    Here’s an example of a family (including the parents) counseling their child to do the right thing. Mark Hacking. You’ve probably heard of the case so I won’t elaborate, but the family went to him and told him the right thing to do was to admit his wrong-doing.

                    Blood is thicker than water they say, but blood doesn’t turn everyone into criminals.

                  • Bea
                    11/17/2009 at 7:42 PM

                    Solely on the shared pedigree from W&M whose motto is “As a Member of the William & Mary community I pledge, on my Honor, not to lie, cheat, or steal in either my academic or personal life.” Or do you get to say ‘screw the pledge’ after graduation?

              • AnnaZed
                11/17/2009 at 5:37 PM

                Further to this, I talked to a friend and fellow mother about this as a hypothetical situation.

                To clarify, I have a child who is a lovely intelligent 25 year old woman. When I said that I would contact the authorities immediately if I believed that she had assaulted and murdered someone I think that is true, but it is tempered by the undeniable fact that such actions are simply outside of the range of possibility for her and her personality; self defense ~ maybe ~ but sexual assault and murder of a defenseless, drugged unarmed man ~ impossible.

                So, I called my friend who is a smart woman with a degree who works at a production company. Unfortunately, her 25 year old son has been arrested twice, once for a drug offense and once for a violent altercation with a male acquaintance (presumably drug related, but also involving somehow a third party who is a young woman). Her son is in prison. We don’t talk about him much. She certainly questions herself about his upbringing (which seemed exemplary to me at the time, private school, great family etc).

                Anyway, I posited the scenario of having a child like Dylan and finding him accused of this crime and boldly said that I would not support him. She said (and I quote), “You don’t know that. You have no idea what you would do. Probably, you would mortgage everything you own and borrow money that you would be paying back for the rest of your life just to buy him one less week in one of those terrible places.”

                I asked about insisting that one’s adult child man up and admit what he has done and she sort of laughed, ” It doesn’t work like that. Any lawyer (whom you are paying by the way) would tell you not to do that.”

                So, there’s that motherly wisdom, for what it’s worth.

                • CDinDC
                  11/17/2009 at 6:24 PM

                  Interesting post, AnnaZ.

                  I have to point out, however, that Ben seems to be saying that a parent would help conceal a murder and alter a crime scene (for the sake of familial love).

                  Your post regards dealing with the offense after the fact.

                  It’s one thing to love your child and want to protect them from the horrors of prison, etc., but to commit a crime to conceal a child’s wrong-doing would take a different kind of person.

                  • Bea
                    11/17/2009 at 7:30 PM

                    I agree that should a loved one stand accused of a serious crime, I would pony up for legal expenses. That is not to say that I’d (criminally) cover up a crime for her/him – certainly would not become an accessory (before or after the fact) to murder, even to reduce their charge down to ‘tampering’ and ‘conspiracy’. Different things entirely – one legal, one not.

                    • BenFranklin
                      11/17/2009 at 8:48 PM

                      AZ, CD, FoR & Bea,

                      Great posts. Thank you.

                      Ben

                • Perplexed
                  11/21/2009 at 11:42 PM

                  I am a parent, and as
                  I’ve reported previously, my first instinct would be to convince my child to be honest and to do the right thing – no matter the consequence b/c if the consequence is that bad, then the act must surely match it. And I love my child enormously!

            • corgivet
              11/18/2009 at 12:00 AM

              Hey Ben….
              In your initial posts you sounded like a decent person who was trying to offer an optional scenario….but as I read through all your other posts..clearly you lack not only empathy,common sense but your comments smack of disdain towardd the gay community…

              • BenFranklin
                11/18/2009 at 11:08 AM

                Corgivet,

                I don’t bite when there is nothing tasty in your post. Read the thread again until you understand it.

                Ben

        • CDinDC
          11/16/2009 at 11:50 PM

          Ben says: ” I am not always aware of what goes on behind closed doors in my house.”

          That’s too bad.

          Ben, do you have an alt dot com profile?

          • BenFranklin
            11/18/2009 at 1:16 PM

            CD,
            Guests in my downtown house are encouraged to arrange their own grocery and hot food deliveries, host friends, family, and dates, do their own laundry, and hold business meetings, in their private suite, and out in the garden–weather permitting.

            I ask they please respect a midnight curfew on weeknights, deposit their soiled linens in the laundry, and to drop their key through the mail slot after they lock the door for the last time when they leave.

            The more independent and engaged they are with activities, the happier I am. I try to cook a nice sit-down meal for them at least once during their stay–and I love it when they cook a meal for me.

            Life in the big city…

            Why is that too bad?

            Until recently I hadn’t heard of alt dot com but I am on Facebook and Linkedin.

            Ben

            • CDinDC
              11/18/2009 at 9:17 PM

              Ben, it sounds like you run a B&B, or some kind of guest suite service.

            • SheKnowsSomething
              11/19/2009 at 8:28 AM

              Sounds like you’re running a boarding house.

              • Clio
                11/19/2009 at 11:19 AM

                So, Ben, even that slut from St. Croix, Alexander Hamilton, would be welcome to stay at your townhouse, only if he was in bed by midnight on a Wednesday.

                I still would prefer to have a resident staff, if possible, to do the domestic chores, though: guests are not boarders. But that’s just me.

                Dyl, do you need a job before you have to go away for good? Ben may have one for you.

                • BenFranklin
                  11/19/2009 at 1:56 PM

                  Clio,
                  I love you.
                  Ben

              • BenFranklin
                11/19/2009 at 11:21 AM

                CD & SKS,
                It feels like that to me sometimes too . My guests are often welcome chums from school, including W+M. When you live downtown within walking distance to everything in a destination city, expect guests.

                That is why I empathize with the homeowners. They did not ask to have Wone as guest that night. Wone needed a place to stay and then Ward turned into a monster and likely slaughtered him in the bathroom they shared. Wone may simply have been planning to take a shower after masturbating when he was incapacitated and assaulted, perhaps after rebuffing a sexual advance from a hypnotically sedated Ward.

                P&Z descended from their private quarters to find Wone cold, dead and cleaned up by Ward (Ward+1?)–and then their guardian parent instincts kicked in–concocting a story to protect their dependent family member Ward.

                Price could not harm or assault Wone–I declare this as fact based on our W+M pedigree.

                It begins to make sense when you look for the simple answers that acknowledge human nature with all of its flaws.

                I am somewhat at peace with this scenario and must look away for awhile.

                Ben.

                • AnnaZed
                  11/19/2009 at 12:03 PM

                  “That is why I empathize with the homeowners. They did not ask to have Wone as guest that night. …. blah, blah, blah.”

                  You know what Ben, this little persona that you have created for yourself here on this blog is getting a bit tired and you are certainly showing some strain in trying to maintain it. Why not sign back in with a new name and start over?

                • CDinDC
                  11/19/2009 at 2:11 PM

                  Ben says: “They did not ask to have Wone as guest that night.”

                  On the contrary, Ben. Robert and Joe planned Robert’s visit days (if not weeks) in advance. There was much time for an assault plan to be concocted.

                  Ben, you should bone up on the details of this case.

                  Ben also says: “Price could not harm or assault Wone–I declare this as fact based on our W+M pedigree.”

                  Ben, your just being silly when you declare facts that you have no basis for other than alma mater pride. You make me laugh. I hope you are a lawyer. “My dear Judge! I beseech you. My client could not have committed this crime as he is a W+M alum!”

                  • CDinDC
                    11/19/2009 at 2:12 PM

                    typo: I hope you are NOT a lawyer.

                • SheKnowsSomething
                  11/19/2009 at 3:33 PM

                  Wow … Ben, you are really flying high on the mental trapeze!

                  Are you here to road-test theories for Bernie and the other suits?

                  I just cannot imagine that you honestly believe that some ethereal pledge of lifelong civility and fraternity (however elegant, refined or beautiful that pledge may be) is enough to keep people from murdering each other! Hell — spouses murder each other. Family members murder each other. Just last week, a soldier in Texas murdered 13 of his fellow comrades-in-arms — and I’m willing to bet you dollars to doughnuts that the bond between battlefield mates is a hell of a lot stronger than some plastic honour code between even the brightest of school boys skipping up and down DoG Street in Billy’s Burg.

                  Unless, of course, there is some dark and ancient magic that is released, and it ensorcells all who utter the encantation.

                  All kidding aside, Ben — I take your point that Joe is largely an honourable person. But honourable people make mistakes sometimes. Your honour does not require you to make up wild and imaginative excuses to protect the honour of your friends and former school “chums”, as you say. All that is required of you, and from any of us, is quiet dignity as we respectfully observe the opposing arguments and the thorough examination of evidence as this process moves forward.

                  • Perplexed
                    11/21/2009 at 11:46 PM

                    I agree. I think he’s/she’s road testing. Nothing else would explain the strange unhinged, not factually supported theories – besides the fact that he/she conveniently ignores facts that would dispute it these “theories.” Interesting…..

                    • holymoly
                      11/25/2009 at 4:17 PM

                      Perhaps Ben=Joe? pure speculation but I have been following this blog for a year and something smells rotten(er) all of a sudden.

                    • Craig
                      11/25/2009 at 5:28 PM

                      Holy – I can assure you and the others that Ben Franklin is NOT Joe Price. No way, no how…

                      But that SDI guy… Now you have me wondering.

                      j/k !! Love to all.

                    • Clio
                      11/25/2009 at 5:52 PM

                      Craig, thanks for that confirmation. Joe is an unlikely father, but he is definitely not a Founding Father!

  7. Themis
    11/16/2009 at 7:03 PM

    Doug,

    Whether or not people with contrary, much less neutral, viewpoints than that of the prevailing norm feel comfortable posting, is a matter of discussion into itself. There are certainly regulars who would kill the messenger and not just the messenge.

    That being said, I think the motion(s) to dismiss will go nowhere with respect to the chargesas a a whole based upon my, to date, cursory review.

    What the motions to dismiss may accomplish is what the motions for a bill of particulars did not: to wit, to narrow the charges.

    • Clio
      11/16/2009 at 10:38 PM

      “There are certainly regulars who would kill the messenger and not just the message.” Themis, that is rhetorical hyperbole, but it is not true. You are still posting, after a brief hiatus, and we all appreciate your return, dear!!

      The true believers in the trouple — as opposed to the mannered neutrality of professional defense attorneys — may be exceptionally thin-skinned or busy, because they rarely can withstand even the softest of softballs, let alone some of the harsher barbs thrown their way. The weaker the hand, the more defensive the reaction?

    • Craig
      11/16/2009 at 11:00 PM

      Themis – You’re right about that discussion.

      Swann boosters may see flashes of anger here and could end up with the wrong impression. This is a safe place, especially in private.

      If one ever surfaces here we hope the discussion stays welcoming, respectful and honest.

      A long ago comment from a friend of the threesome said he was sticking by them on friendship alone, that good friends hang tough no matter how bleak it looks. Bleak meet black. That’s the best explanation yet.

  8. Mike
    11/16/2009 at 8:15 PM

    I’m probably not alone in struggling to understand the mentality of the Swann supporters. It comes down to this: the Ward afidavit is devastating to the defendants. Even after making every possible allowance for coincidence, bad luck, the flexibility of natural laws and some really, really ingenious elves, the whole thing still stinks to high heaven. It is difficult for me to believe that even the most diehard Swann friend wouldn’t – if just out of pure curiosity – read the document. After all, who would know?

    So, what is it? The affidavit was written by the Man; do these people suspect an organized conspiracy, steeped in homophobia and worming its way into every crevice of the MPD? Because that’s what it would take to convince me. I’m sorry, I just cannot relate to whatever world these supporters are living on. Friends are great, but don’t some universal values come first? That human pack mentality really scares me ultimately.

    • Clio
      11/16/2009 at 10:28 PM

      Mike, some people are just contrarians who revel in supporting “the Lost Cause” of the moment. I bet that Team Price is that “Lost Cause” for a few of DC’s lavender “elite”, offering “victims” of police “brutality” for commiseration. Others may be blaming Robert in some dreadfully perverse way for “tempting” these brilliant, “young” things by just being in their house. Others, closer to the defendants, may be in deep denial that they could have ever trusted/loved these monsters. To them, the trouple could not have done it because, if the trouple had done it, then they as supporters/enablers look really bad, either in their capacities as parents, relatives, friends, and colleagues. Nobody wants to look bad; so to save their own face, they defend the trouple! Sad!

  9. Themis
    11/16/2009 at 11:36 PM

    Clio,

    Our hosts are gentlemen seeking both truth and justice. Of that I have no doubt.

    As stated previously, I am a criminal defense attorney seeking truth and justice as well, which makes me a picture perfect example of mixed emotions.

    Themis

    • BenFranklin
      11/17/2009 at 11:02 AM

      Themis,

      A question for a defense attorney.

      Could the current counts still be re-negotiated to misdemeanor murder charges in DC? Louisiana and some other states recognize this concept.

      Seems to me that the government will have trouble proving guilt and the defendants will have trouble proving innocence.

      Given the state of the evidence, could it wrap up the messy case in three neat pleas of guilty without a trial?

      Ben

      • Perplexed
        11/21/2009 at 11:52 PM

        Not the type of question I would expect from an “outsider.” Again – very interesting…..

        What would be the fear in acknowledging your rel. with the trouple?

        • Clio
          11/22/2009 at 1:30 PM

          Plex, I fear that Ben has left us again for the exquisite pleasures of Paris, but I agree that this question of his, in particular, does smack of a furtive move “to settle this one.”

          Thus, without doing the vassal Spag’s work for him, could such a scenario of misdemeanor murder be played out, and would either Bernie or the government go for it?

          • Perplexed
            11/22/2009 at 1:54 PM

            Misdemeanor? This sounds like something more amenable to the defense – and asked on behalf of the defense…..

          • AnnaZed
            11/22/2009 at 3:05 PM

            Truth be told, in spite of having been raised in Louisiana (the downtown store of misdemeanor murder), it is a concept that I simply can not take on board.

            Is it possibly a special feature of the Napoleonic code a practiced there? can one hope that like the ghostly downtown stores of yore this concept has been abandoned?

  10. NYer wants Justice
    11/17/2009 at 2:42 AM

    It’s possible each of the trouple supporters has their own viewpoint. For example,

    Dylan supporters – Dylan said he was asleep and I believe him. That Joe Price is a maniac and if anyone did it it was probably him. He was the one who invited Robert over. Dylan doesn’t know anything and is sticking by his friends.

    Joe Price supporters – It must have been that crazy Dylan. Joe may not know anything. If he does he is probably trying to be a loyal friend and help Dylan through this time. Why would he want to kill a good friend?

    Victor supporters – Victor was asleep and came down and was horrified. He is the one who called 911. I am sure he doesn’t know anything. It was probably Dylan, but Victor doesn’t know for sure and isn’t going to incriminate a friend.

    Obviously I don’t agree with these viewpoints, just looking at how others might see it.

    • CDinDC
      11/17/2009 at 10:51 AM

      That’s a good point, NYer.

      A supporter may not support ALL defendants.

      • NYer
        11/18/2009 at 3:59 PM

        To clarify, there is another “NYer” posting here (too bad- I hoped that my handle would be unique). At any rate, CD, your point raises the question of whether a supporter of only one of the defendants would want to sit next to a supporter of one of the other defendants in court. Or would such a supporter think that there is strength in numbers and solidarity, etc., that justifies seating arrangements there?

  11. Clio
    11/17/2009 at 9:07 AM

    Editors, is it the woman giving you all dirty looks that you have identified (at least off the record)? If so, she couldn’t be either a Price half-sister, a Ward cousin, or Miss Morgan herself, could she? Was she older, say in her mid-60s? Aunt Marcia or Diane, perhaps?

    Mr. Price’s gag rule on his little tribe seems to be working, though: underwear guy, who could not shut up on 8/3/06, has inspired his flock to take the Fifth collectively. Even the Manson family was not more cohesive!

    • CDinDC
      11/17/2009 at 10:52 AM

      I wonder if it was Scooter Girl.

    • Craig
      11/17/2009 at 9:15 PM

      Clio – She was not Sarah, definitely not Aunt Marcia (who attends each hearing), nor Scooter girl. She was just one of several Swann boosters in the seond row of the hearing room.

      We’ll make another effort at the January 15 hearing too. If you’re able to join us that day, we’ll make you a stringer. Perhaps your southern charm is what’s needed to get these folks to open up and share.

      • Clio
        11/18/2009 at 4:38 PM

        I would be honored, Craig, although I’m afraid that it will take more than “southern charm” to get these true believers to talk. Perhaps, an offer of free cocktails at Halo after the hearing may lure the least inhibited of Team Price to vent their feelings.

        • John Grisham
          11/18/2009 at 7:40 PM

          I believe Halo is indeed providing free cocktails following the hearing. Complimentary Zazagaborskys, made with six shots of something and milk, assuming they’ve got some. Served in a large pitcher so there’s enough for all of one’s husbands.

          • annazed
            11/18/2009 at 8:52 PM

            John just made an astonishingly good funny.

          • Bea
            11/19/2009 at 2:41 AM

            Good one.

  12. Ex-Foxer
    11/19/2009 at 12:27 AM

    I’m sure the female was/is an associate from Arent Fox who used to work with Joe on several cases, and has made an appearance at several of his court dates. She’s tall and thin. I think Jennifer is her name.

    • AnnaZed
      11/19/2009 at 12:31 AM

      Well, that’s just odd; you would think she’d rather be shot than be seen with him. There’s loyalty to a friend and there is just being willfully obtuse, not a good quality in a lawyer I wouldn’t say.

  13. Ex-Foxer
    11/19/2009 at 12:37 AM

    If it’s who I think it was, they were tight… both before and after the murder. I’ve seen her in some of the videos posted on this site from the various court dates.

    • Clio
      11/19/2009 at 10:06 AM

      Interesting, X. For a “butch” bottom, Joe certainly has a way with the ladies of both sexes. Nevertheless, Jennifer, feel free to talk behind his back here at the weblog: we certainly won’t mind!

  14. JusticeForRobert
    11/19/2009 at 4:42 AM

    I think it is important to note that not all “supporters” have to believe that the three are 100 percent innocent. They could be standing by one or all three of their friends with the understanding that they are just being there to see them through this. It is certainly possible that the same “supporters” want to be in court to hear what evidence is presented first hand before they make a decision themselves. Even in the event that one or all three of them are found guilty, I would not be surprised if they did not still have some friends who may stand by them, not approve of what they did, but stand by them none the less.

  15. jennifer
    11/19/2009 at 3:10 PM

    I don’t know anyone involved in this case. But I do know that I like to think I would support a friend, no matter how much I disagreed with what he had allegedly done. And I am sure that I would not provide comment to anyone who ran/wrote for a site that was very much against my friend.
    I mean no offense to you all – this is your site, your place to speak what you wish. But as a lurker reader, I don’t get the feeling that any pro-defendants voice would be welcomed here – I am not saying the reception would be hostile, just that it would not be treated objectively.
    Again, that’s your choice and I don’t judge it. I do appreciate your updates, because I don’t see any other coverage and I think it’s important, so thank you.

    • Craig
      11/19/2009 at 5:58 PM

      Jennifer – Thanks and welcome above ground.

      It bears reiterating that pro-defendant voices ARE welcomed here and the four of us will do everything we can to ensure objective and dispassionate discussion.

      • Bea
        11/19/2009 at 6:45 PM

        I second Craig – if anyone had anything to offer of a positive note as to any defendant, I want to hear it. Granted, any theory that seems a stretch would be questioned (and roundly so, just as BenFranklin and others) but when we’ve have commenters give first hand impressions, they were well received – I recall two or three different individuals with positive things to say about Victor, at least one for Dylan, and the first hand accounts of Joe have been as mixed as Joe’s strengths and weaknesses seem to bear out.

        Even those most vehemently convinced of the guilt of all three defendants would (I believe) want to hear legitimate points of view. If not, I think many others here would defend the other’s right to provide insight. Me, I just like adding new pieces of information to the puzzle.

        • Clio
          11/19/2009 at 10:01 PM

          As Palin did Oprah, so should Team Price do WMRW.com. Just a thought, Spag.

          I myself cannot wait to talk (possibly) to trouple supporters away from their “handlers” on January 15: only the Lord and their hairdressers may know what they may say for sure.

  16. Nelly
    11/19/2009 at 3:50 PM

    “But I do know that I like to think I would support a friend, no matter how much I disagreed with what he had allegedly done.”

    Uhh… no. Well, do what you wish, but if I disagreed with a friend’s (alleged) actions, I would seriously reconsider whether this was someone I would want to stay friends with, much less give support or financial support to. I would probably at first side with him, sympathize, and give him the benefit of a doubt (he wuz framed! he is the real victim!), but if more damning information came out and my friend’s story stopped making sense, requiring even more and more far-fetched theories to explain it away, my morals would keep me from being so gung-ho in his corner.

    • CDinDC
      11/19/2009 at 6:24 PM

      ditto

      • Bea
        11/19/2009 at 6:53 PM

        If I had a loved one who committed a heinous act, I may still visit him/her in prison. Maybe it’s that I did criminal law in the very beginning of my career and felt confident that SOME of the criminals I knew weren’t all-out horrible people (and that some “free” people were horrible people). That said, I am just as confident that I would not blindly accept whatever a loved one told me and hope for a not-guilty verdict no matter their guilt. I would not hope a guilty person went free just because I cared for him/her and certainly would not aid that person in dodging justice.

  17. Nelly
    11/19/2009 at 7:34 PM

    Bea, I have also done criminal law but not enough to give meaningful insight in this case. Certainly, I believe that most criminals are not 100% evil, there is a human inside, etc. Many criminals have families who love them, kids or S.O.s who care and stand by them, did some good things for their church or grandma. I have a relative who has turned out to have a criminal side, and I’ve been conflicted because I also have a lot of positive memories of this person, and he did a lot of good things for our family. But through the years I have learned more about the bad things he has done and that he is a con artist. He can be very charming and nice while screwing people over without any remorse. It has been hard to reconcile these two sides to someone I used to look up to. So I can understand some of the inner turmoil that might be experienced by the accuseds’ loved ones and close friends. Still, let’s remember Robert Wone, the ultimate victim in all of this, who deserves the justice and sympathy, above all the other people.

    • Bea
      11/20/2009 at 2:21 AM

      Hi Nelly,

      I don’t know what exactly made you think I’d forgotten Robert Wone – indeed, I fully agree he’s the ultimate victim, and moreover his widow, family and friends still suffer to this day. I suspect that the trouple (one or two of them) murdered Robert. I hope that circumstances change and murder charges are brought, and that if they are guilty as I (and many here) suspect, I hope they rot in prison. I have no sympathy for the killers in this case.

      • CDinDC
        11/20/2009 at 2:11 PM

        Joe et al. lead high-risk lifestyles….and sometimes people reap what they sow. I don’t feel sorrow for Joe or anyone that plays with fire and then gets burned.

      • Nelly
        11/20/2009 at 6:03 PM

        Oh, sorry, Bea- I didn’t mean to direct that last comment at you. It’s the people who continue to support Joe-Dylan-Victor, particularly the ones who also knew Robert, that I am getting at.

  18. emily
    11/20/2009 at 8:14 PM

    i dont even know who this is cuz i have to do a project for collage and i have to do a report on how many seconds a human is murdered if you know i would truly love you!:)

    • Clio
      11/20/2009 at 8:46 PM

      This above post is a bad parody, right? The Dumbest Generation speaks?!

      Emily — while incarcerated, Dylan, as a children’s book author, may be able to help people such as yourself to acquire basic literacy skills. Mr. Ward may yet find his true calling in life, even if it is in a gated community, just for men.

      • Meto
        11/20/2009 at 10:00 PM

        Clio:

        And why would you reward Dylan?

        Just asking,

        Meto

        P.S. – Caesar still sends his love

        • Clio
          11/20/2009 at 10:11 PM

          LOL, Meto, even Dyl is human. He may be able to live his remaining time on Earth in a more constructive, if constrained, way than writing or being “Naughty Jack.”

          Of course, I’m not holding my proverbial breath for Needham’s prodigal son becoming Mr. Chips in an orange jumpsuit (or jumper). A sudden Cicero-Caesar rapprochment would be more probable than Dyl ever maturing, I am afraid.

      • CDinDC
        11/20/2009 at 11:04 PM

        Men that shower once a week. Yikes.

        • Clio
          11/21/2009 at 11:57 PM

          P-U! Something tells me that the boys are not ready for the olfactory dimensions of their dimmed futures.

  19. She did it
    11/20/2009 at 11:21 PM

    This message is directed to the supporters of the trouple, and to those supporters only. If you do not unconditionally support the trouple, stop reading right now, this post is not for you.

    Love to all my fellow supporters out there. Yes, in the past, I have looked at more than one of the trouple (and their landlord) with the stink-eye; but I believe I have turned 180, and yes, now, I see the light. Fellow supporters, thank you so much for lending me the blinders to wear so that now, like so many of you, I am able to see only that which I choose to see. Who knew it could be so liberating to filter my reality as I see fit. I am grateful for the opportunity to pick and choose the facts and any evidence that I deal with – it is truly wonderful, and yes even bliss, to be able to deal with only that which I choose. Affidavit and circumstantial evidence be damned.

    Thank you also for lending me the teflon suit that the craptacular one has worn most of his life. yes, noone is responsible or accountable for being middle-age and sleeping on marcia’s basement couch. how dare anyone attempt to assign the slightest bit of personal responsibility to any of these defendants? it is truly noone’s fault — save for that pesky intruder.

    I cannot wait for the next hearing or the trial, where I too plan to purse my lips at the bloggers, and remind them indignantly that I have nothing to say TO THEM, all the while as I carry my Razor Scooter under my arm for the ride home. Hang in there gang, I can almost taste that first drink at the victory party at Halo; Needham’s treat of course. And not a mention of water sports, enema’s, spankings and the like — who are any of us to judge? be well, supporters.

    • Clio
      11/22/2009 at 2:14 PM

      SDI, how does one practice “pursing” one’s lips while biting one’s tongue? It may be that the contorted faces of the supporters may indicate their clinical, not recreational, need for an enema of an emotional, not physical, kind.

      • She did it
        11/22/2009 at 7:45 PM

        Clio,

        you never cease making me smile. your intellect and sharp elbows are intoxicating. keep up the great work! peace.

        • Clio
          11/22/2009 at 9:20 PM

          Thanks, SDI. Happy Thanksgiving to all, except the strange male visitors at 7900 Ariel Way!

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