A Dear Judge Letter

Government to Judge Weisberg: “Meh.”  [Updated]

It’ s still undecided whether the annual Superior Court felony calender swap will bring  in a new judge – former prosecutor Lynn Leibowitz – to preside over the Wone case through the May 2010 trial.   Judge Frederick Weisberg, already 13 months into this case, indicated he was neither inclined to stay on or able to make the decision.  That call rests solely with Chief Judge Lee Satterfield.

However, Team Swann very much wants to go steady with Weisberg through the entire trial. They made clear their hope that Weisberg stay involved, citing they would be unduly prejudiced and judicial economy was at stake: so much time, motions and effort has been invested in the Weisberg relationship that Leibowitz would have a hard time getting up to speed on the outstanding motions, and that the switch would invariably delay the start of the May trial.

Last week saw AUSA Glenn Kirschner’s response to the defense motion asking to keep Weisberg on through the trial’s conclusion.   The upshot:   “We like your Honor, but we want to start seeing other people judges.  We can still be friends.”

News in the government’s motion that all but one item (towel fibers) in the discovery disputes have been settled, tells us that Kirschner is AOK with Leibowitz jumping into the middle of this case and motions.  Signed by Kirschner deputy T. Patrick Martin, the language was pretty sharp:

“…dramatically overstated the pending motions…  is both presumptuous and nonsensical to assert (keeping Weisberg on) would not “burden” the Court…  prematurely and inappropriately asked Judge Weisberg on November 6 to announce his position…  unsupported assertion… have not shown good cause…”

The AUSA Homicide division works regularly with Weisberg, and there could be some affection, but their sentiments were clear:  “We’re just not that into you.”

A day later the defense team fired back with their response, standing by their man and arguments.   We should know soon what decision Satterfield makes.

Both motions follow after the jump.  The Legal Times’ Mike Scarcella has this.






6 comments for “A Dear Judge Letter

  1. Clio
    11/30/2009 at 12:59 PM

    Wow! This does provide interesting reading for Cyber Monday.

    I liked the government’s ninth point, which dismisses the defendants’ financial reasons for wanting Weisberg. It was eloquently stated. Thanks, Glenn and Patrick!

    I wonder what federal trial will distract Spag and Schertler from the case — beginning on January 31. Have they punted on Dylan already?

    • Craig
      11/30/2009 at 1:24 PM

      Clio – I’m pretty sure it’s the Blackwater contractor / manslaughter trial – the Nisour Square incident from September 2007.

      Late developments on that case – and what impact it could have on the Wone trial will come later this week we hope.

  2. Meto
    11/30/2009 at 7:21 PM


    Was the Defendants’ response a rush job? On page 4 of their filing, second paragraph under Section B, the date of the murder (defense calls it “death”) of Robert Wone is listed as August 6, 2006. Did anyone proofread this filing? The defendants are being overcharged.

    More substantively, this filing smacks of an attempt to raise a Speedy Trial issue if their motion is not granted. But I don’t know enough about criminal law to know that for a fact. I do know that if the motion is denied, and the Blackwater trial isn’t postponed based upon recent events, that the Defense filing suggests that they will look to postpone the trial. The pleading smacks of a set up for that even though the Defendants claim that need a quick resolution. Perhaps this circles back to Clio’s point – Florida, Florida, Florida.



    • Clio
      11/30/2009 at 11:03 PM

      Huzzah, Meto, you’ve helped us all to see through the paradox presented by the Four Horsemen. Machiavelli himself would be surprised by the depths of the self-serving feints and masks of this defense. That’s no way to be a Prince (or Princess), as even Caesar knows. Declaring one thing while really wanting the opposite is, to me, a risky gambit worthy of an already “Lost Cause!” Most significantly, it is yet another affront to the transparent spirit of Stonewall, a sincere spirit of openness and forthrightness that the trouple once claimed to uphold.

      On a different note, why is the government holding out on the towel fibers, of all things? Do these fibers hold clues that are game-changing? Maybe.

  3. Clio
    12/01/2009 at 6:35 PM

    A random thought: Why do the government and the defense list the defendants’ names in different orders in the name of the case? For the government, it is Price, Zaborsky, and Ward; and for the defense, it’s Ward, Price, and Zaborsky. Could it be that the government is naming those defendants in order of culpability for the cover-up from first (Joe) to last (Dyl), and the defense is preparing to prioritize those in order of most interest for the murder from first (Dylan) to last (Victor)?

    • cdindc
      12/01/2009 at 8:05 PM

      Interesting question, Clio. I know in my business (IP), the order of names IS of importance. If I am filing a document with the USPTO, the name on the header of the document is the FIRST inventor. A first inventor would have, typically, a more important role in the creation of the invention. Now you have me wondering if there IS something to the order on the Wone court documents.

      Any lurkers from a/the prosecutor’s office out there??

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