First and Seventeen

01/11/2010
By Craig

Points On The Board

Just four months from today, barring no last-minute delays or penalty flags, Judge Lynn Leibovitz will gavel in the trial in which defendants Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky face charges of obstruction of justice, crime scene tampering, and most damning – conspiracy.

Try as he might, Glenn Kirschner - chief of the Homicide Division, Assistant US Attorney and college football All-American – may not be trying the case he’d hoped for.  “Homicide” is on his business card after all.

Two DC grand juries sat but neither was able to come to agreement on murder or homicide charges.  Initial missteps in the investigation, including the fumbling of crime scene evidence, may have precluded those more serious charges from being filed against the Swann Street housemates.

In the fall of 2008, Team Kirchner called an audible and went for a shot at the three lesser charges.

Getting into the end zone still seems remote, so maneuvering his squad into field goal range may be his best chance to score.

For anyone watching the developments over the past year, it’s still unclear how Kirchner and his deputy T. Patrick Martin will prosecute the existing charges.

The spring and summer battles over discovery items and additional biologic testing seem to have been worked out, but we still don’t know how or even if the government will follow through on their initial game plan – namely the theory laid out in the original Ward indictment that Robert Wone was injected with paralytic agents and sexually assaulted prior to his stabbing.

The previous judge on the case, Frederick Weisberg, seemed hesitant to move the chains on those accusations, which depend on elements of negative evidence.  Most of Kirchner’s attempts to introduce them were stopped cold by the defense and might not survive to game day.  The goal posts must seem pretty far down field for him.

What’s in his playbook when he calls the huddle next May?  Seventeen plays – seventeen overt acts of conspiracy laid out in the superseding indictment. 

And to score, all Kirschner needs to do is split the uprights just once.

The 17 overt acts of conspiracy accuse the defendants of:

cleaning the crime scene;  making up the guest room bed Robert was found on;  placing Robert’s body in the bed;  orchestrating the crime scene to make it appear an intruder  killed  Robert;  retrieving a fake murder weapon from the kitchen;  smearing Robert’s blood on a towel and knife;  staging the fake murder weapon at the scene;  fabricating and coordinating a story for authorities;  relaying that fabrication in the 9-1-1  call;  misleading 9-1-1 dispatchers;  ignoring requests from attending first responders;  misdirecting authorities; and concealing from authorities and Robert’s widow Kathy, that Michael Price had a key to the house.

It’s an exhaustive list of misdeeds, but counsel for the defendant’s argued these 17 acts weren’t specific enough and motioned for a bill of particulars.  Whether that was just them playing prevent defense wasn’t clear; Weisberg ruled against them.

Of the 17 overt acts specified, which ones appear easiest for Kirschner to score with and how will he position these acts to the jury?

Some of it may depend on the forensics testing – for example, the blood pattern analysis and testimony of Robert Spaulding on whether the blood found at the scene and on the physical evidence are consistent with a knife attack.   Some may hinge on the credibility of Deputy DC Medical Examiner Lois Golinoski, and whether Robert’s knife wounds actually match with the weapon found at the scene.  And lastly, how will Kirschner’s expected bludgeoning of the defendants’ intruder theory and their credibility fit into his overall attack – what elements of their interrogation statements will pass the smell test with the jury?

Kirschner needs to make just one of these overt acts to stick for conviction on conspiracy.   If he manages that, do the charges of obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering fall into place?  Can he get the low scoring shutout?  

3-0 is still a win.

-posted by Craig

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114 Responses to “ First and Seventeen ”

  1. former crackho on 01/11/2010 at 12:07 PM

    Baseball references aside (or is “huddle” a basketball term? – I spent my Sunday afternoons watching “The Rege Cordic Sunday Afternoon Movie” with mother in the parlor while the other boys did the sports thing), I really appreciate this summary of what we can expect in May. Its good to know that my hazy understand of how this case will be tried isn’t as directly related to the many brain cells I killed over the years as I previously thought.

    Why would Joe hide the fact that his brother had keys to the house? Is Michael such a fuc*ed up mess that Joe was afraid he would say all kinds of crazy stuff to the police?

    What was Ward doing in the bathroom that he couldn’t acknowledge the paramedics when he exited? Perhaps flusing away some drugs (except for the one tab of X that was found)?

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but how can anyone read those 17 charges and not believe that at least two of the three are also guilty of murder? Otherwise, why on earth was there a cover up?

    • Clio on 01/12/2010 at 12:26 AM

      FCH, I adored Rege Cordic, too: his deep voice and Adam’s apple were mesmerizing. Anyway, I suspect that Craig was using the football references so common on K Street that even the “lovers of antiquity” there could understand them. Keep it coming, guys!

  2. former crackho on 01/11/2010 at 12:15 PM

    OK, stupid question – How does one get in to the court room for such a case? Do you just show up and stand in line? Do you have to have a reason to be there? Are you questioned? Is it next to impossible to get in? I have never gone to court just to watch. But I would love to attend.

    • Craig on 01/11/2010 at 12:27 PM

      FCH: All of these court proceedings are open to the public.

      If you want to get your feet wet, come on by the Moultrie Courthouse this Friday, January 15 for the next status hearing.

      Friday’s is scheduled for 2:15 I believe. It should last just over an hour. Attendees start lining up about a half hour ahead of the gavel. The courtroom usually fills up and you will be joined by the four of us, media covering the case, and some of the Defendants’ supporters. All three defendants have attended in the past and are expected to show on Friday as well.

      We encourage others to attend and offer their thoughts and comments. We can always use those for the wrap-up post we bang out after the hearing. Stringers help us do our job.

      Bring your camera too so you can capture the comings and goings of the principals outside the courthouse. Just check it with security on your way in.

  3. BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 2:05 PM

    I’m predicting we won’t hear that Robert Wone was injected with paralytic agents & sexually assaulted prior to his stabbing. Those allegations are as absurd as the defendants’ intruder story.

    I’m hoping it never goes to trial & both sides acknowledge major misconduct & that the defendants highly paid lawyers earn their fees with some truthful plea deals that permit healing to begin for everyone.

    • David on 01/11/2010 at 2:30 PM

      Ben

      You believe Dylan Ward murdered Robert Wone, so how can a plea deal be worked out light of your theory? Dylan accepts a manslaughter charge?

      Makes no sense.

      David

      • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 3:00 PM

        David,
        If what I posit is true, then the prescription induced murder would be diminished capacity manslaughter. The plea would need to be supported with verified prescriptions & a complete confession.

        Better not to count on a DC jury to deliver justice for anyone.

        Ben

        • CDinDC on 01/11/2010 at 3:07 PM

          Ben Franklin says: “Better not to count on a DC jury to deliver justice for anyone.”

          Why might that be, Ben? Why is a DC jury incapable of deliverying justice?

          • AnnaZed on 01/11/2010 at 8:45 PM

            I am recalling a previous post about the “smell” of DC jury pools and adding it to this I am retracting my previous incredulity that Ben might be referring to the potential racial make-up of the jury in a disparaging manner and just flat out assuming that in addition to being delusional, he is probably racist as well.

            • CDinDC on 01/11/2010 at 10:19 PM

              Agree, AnnaZ.

              And, of course, Ben always ignores questions asking him to explain himself.

        • David on 01/11/2010 at 3:13 PM

          Ben,

          Again explain why you believe that Joe was not involved in any way in the murder or the cover up. Is it because you believe when Dylan said, “maybe the back door was open,” so that is the beginning of Dylan planting the intruder theory. If that is the case, then how do you explain the Diane Durham statement where Joe says they found Robert standing stabbed outside the door, and he and Victor carried him upstairs — a story which they changed by the time they got to Ancostia for questioning. Finally, if Joe was not involved in any way, why would he defend this story as long as he has and at the same time give up a career he had worked so hard to achieve.

          David

          • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 4:08 PM

            David,
            I don’t think anyone knows what to make from Diane Durhams end-of-shift statement. Some think it’s a game changer-some dismiss it as incompetent. Personally, I don’t think we’ll hear anything more about it.

            I hope we get full honesty from Price, too. There is misconduct on his part that needs acknowledging & explaining.

            It is indeed an epic predicament.

            • David on 01/11/2010 at 4:29 PM

              Who dismisses Durham’s statement as incompetent? The defendants friends that you are speaking to?

              • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 5:05 PM

                Re-read the post. I think it was Themis who dismissed Durham quite effectively. It may be more revelatory about MPD misconduct than defendant behavior.

                • David on 01/11/2010 at 7:38 PM

                  Ben,

                  Actually Themis dismissed Durham credibility if the statement was written up several days or even weeks after the event occured (it was not, it was given at the end of her shift that night, recollection would be pretty good only 6 hours after the event occurred.)

                  David

        • Lyn on 01/11/2010 at 3:43 PM

          And while you are at it BenFranklin, where did the first, blood-soaked towel – the one that Price was using to apply pressure – disappear to? And how did it disappear if Price and Zaborsky were not involved in a clean up/cover up? Or was it never there, as they claimed during the 911 call? And if not, why would the defendants lie about this? And if they lied about this, aren’t they guilty of the current charges against them?

          And if you have no answer to these questions, then why do you continue to cling to what appears to be an implausible theory?

          • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 4:26 PM

            Lyn,
            The second towel was probably never there or needed. It was likely a futile effort relayed incorrectly by HYSTERICAL Zaborsky. I don’t think anyone can listen to the 9-1-1 call and think it’s not authentic (or she’s a better actress than Meryl Streep).

            At that point it seems they were trying to make sense of what they found; an unresponsive Ward pacing around in circles mumbling something about the back door being open & Wone dead on the bed.

            If Wone bled-out down the drain forensics will find Wone’s blood in dismantled drain plumbing of the bathroom shared with Ward.

            Not implausible at the time, or now.

            • David on 01/11/2010 at 4:32 PM

              Ben,

              Lana Turner was no great actress and she fooled her way through a fake call to authorities in the “The Postman Always Rings Twice.” It doesn’t take a Meryl Streep to fake a phone call.

              David

            • Lyn on 01/11/2010 at 5:30 PM

              Zaborsky stated he was giving Price another towel. Why would he say this if there was no first towel? Or if, as you now appear to suggest, he never really gave Price the second towel, why would he say he did on the 911 call?

              According to you, this was a one-off misstatement during Zaborsky’s call. However, a listen to the 911 call shows that Zaborsky made repeated statements about towels, applying pressure, and Wone’s bleeding while standing next to Price in the room with Wone, so it wasn’t like he accidentally misspoke on a single occasion. For example:

              EMT: “Is someone bleeding?”

              Zaborsky: [emphatically] “YES!”

              A couple of minutes later…

              EMT: “Is he breathing?”

              Zaborsky: “He’s breathing, but we need help now.”

              This would indicate that blood would still be flowing if he was still breathing.

              In response to the operator request to hold a towel against the bleeding area…

              Zaborsky (while presumably watching Price supposedly in action holding a towel against Wone’s bleeding stab wounds): “My partner’s holding it on there.”

              EMT: “We need you to apply pressure to the area.”

              Zaborsky: “He IS applying pressure to the area.”

              So where did all the blood go, BenFranklin? And where did that pesky first towel go?

              Price told police he lifted Wone’s shirt and saw a lot of blood. Yet when police found Wone’s body, there was hardly any blood on the bed or on Wone (in fact, first responders stated that there were styrations that made it appear that he had been wiped clean) or on the towel in the room. So where did all the Price-witnessed blood disappear to?

              And finally, why would Price claim he was holding a towel against Wone’s wounds the entire time when he wasn’t (when EMTs arrived, they stated he wasn’t holding a towel against the wounds, but rather was just sitting on the bed)?

              And if Price really cared so much for Wone’s survival – after all, that would be the only way to find out who the “real killer” was – why wasn’t he continuing to press towels against Wone’s wounds when the EMTs arrived? Some friend.

              • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 6:34 PM

                Zaborsky was obviously hysterical. Wone was likely not breathing during the 9-1-1 call–EMT’s said Wone had been dead for a long time when they arrived. Many of Zaborsky’s responses & observations suggest he was not looking directly at the horror going on in the guestroom. And we know he was up & down both staircases during the call. Pacing.

                I posit Wone was mortally wounded no later than 11:10 pm, so by the time Price & Zaborsky descended from the private quarters, almost 40 minutes had passed & it was probably obvious to Price there was nothing he could do to save Wone, except to call 9-1-1.

                • Lyn on 01/11/2010 at 7:53 PM

                  While your theory isn’t supported by any facts, if what you suggest were true (Wone wasn’t breathing, nothing Price could do to save him so he didn’t bother trying, etc.), then Price and Zaborsky lied multiple times to the 911 operator and to investigators about what happened. Looks like you think they’ve obstructed justice after all. And I wonder why they would lie about those things?

                  And your theory still doesn’t account for the missing blood and blood soaked towel that were both present according to the accounts of defendants Price and Zaborsky. I’m anxiously awaiting to hear how these fit into your theory.

                  So to summarize the open points:

                  1. Where did all the blood Price witnessed disappear to?

                  2. Where did the blood-soaked towel that Price was holding to the wounds disappear to?

                  3. If blood and the towel didn’t exist, why did Price and Zaborsky make repeated assertions to authorities that they did and why don’t those repeated false assertions count as an obstruction of the investigation?

                  Finally, BenFranklin, it is your belief that persons innocent of wrongdoing typically make repeated false statements to authorities (as you suggest above)?

                  • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 8:59 PM

                    Seems to me there is misconduct on both sides that needs some acknowledging.

                    I think the discrepancy with number of towels & amount blood is related to hysteria & the frantic, horrible scene. Zaborsky was pacing around up & downstairs–mishearing some things & misspeaking others.

                    OMG! Zaborsky didn’t correct the 911 operator about his sex so he must be a woman or he’s lying!

                    • Bea on 01/11/2010 at 10:19 PM

                      Query re your post, Ben: “there is misconduct on both sides that needs some acknowledging”. I presume the trio (Price, Ward, Zaborsky) is “one” side – but who else? The 911 operator? She seems to have been the subject of earlier posts in this thread. Surely you can’t be so callous as to suggest the deceased.

                      If, as I’m guessing, you’re now alluding to MPD or the prosecution, though they have nothing to do with this particular thread, then your scattershot approach to this site is getting to be unnerving. Please stay on topic and meaningfully engage – or stop posting.

                      What you were asked was not answered – so I shall try: if Price came down the stairs at 11:30 or 11:40 as you suggest, and found a stabbed, not breathing Robert Wone, do you think he bothered to get ‘the story’ from Dylan so as to present ONE story, albeit false, to the police?

                      If you’re saying that Dylan (fugue state, garden variety antidepressants + some street drug) was incapable of explaining what happened to Price, presumably he couldn’t stay on task story-wise (despite having been interrogated for 10 hours).

                      If it’s your position that Price didn’t know what happened to Robert Wone, why lie? If your position that he ‘guessed’ that Ward killed Wone (blood on hands, for example), again, why lie? Wouldn’t a normal person’s first response be to call for an ambulance (you do gloss over the fact that the screams were heard before 11:34)?

                      People on this site a while know that I differ from many in thinking Zaborsky is less culpable than the other two – and I’m willing to debate it AND willing to admit that mine is but an opinion. But your insistence that Price was a complete outsider as to the death is plain silly.

                      If Zaborsky was in bed when Wone arrived at 10:30, and as reported, Price went to bed a bit after 11:00, and the screams were heard between 11:05 – 11:34, don’t you think that Price HEARD SOMETHING during the stimulation, the assault, the stabbing? He heard the chime, after all.

                      My guess is that Price never went to bed and only Zaborsky came down the stairs later – and was complicit in the cover up and obstruction. But to give a play-by-play about holding the towel to Robert’s chest, he was recounting what he was told by Price and what he saw – I for one think that when Zaborsky is on the phone with 911 and says that he’s been stabbed in the heart/chest, it IS the first time he’s seen Robert in that condition.

                      But, no, Ben, I wouldn’t correct the operator if she thought I was a man if the point of the call was to get an ambulance. Come on.

                    • Craig on 01/11/2010 at 11:45 PM

                      “Misconduct on both sides” seem to suggest a moral equivalence between someone(s) committing a murder (and/or cover up) and someone performing their job poorly (albeit at a terrible expense).

                      And a show of hands – Who here found Zaborsky’s 9-1-1 call to sound either genuine or authentic?

                    • Clio on 01/11/2010 at 11:57 PM

                      The call was more Victor Mature (doing an early Ethel Merman impression) than Victor Zaborsky. It was workmanlike, but not Academy Award material, being “straight” out of Tulsa dinner theater.

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:13 PM

                      We have “no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed.”

                      I think it was apparent to Price after the detective’s “come to Jesus” revelation from day one after the initial interrogation that the defendants (all of them) might be framed.

                      I think the EMS put the word out to the detectives who whispered in the ME’s ear & winked & nodded to the prosecutor. This case is DC’s equivalent McGhee & Harrington’s Iowa frame up–except they were right about Ward.

                      An epic predicament for everyone.

                • AnnaZed on 01/11/2010 at 9:07 PM

                  That’s the second person that seems to be “pacing” in your version of events. How do you know that? And if you don’t know that, then stop stating it as if it were true.

                  • CDinDC on 01/11/2010 at 10:23 PM

                    Ben likes to embellish.

                • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 11:47 AM

                  No, we don’t know that Victor was “pacing.” Many of us suspect that he was ordered up and down the stairs on cue (or is that queue).

        • Craig on 01/11/2010 at 3:47 PM

          Diminished capacity? I don’t see how that could play out.

          Ben – Do you think that after 3+ years, Glenn Kirschner will all of a sudden accept a plea of “the Wellbutrin made me do it?” A modified “twinkie defense?” Imagine the howls.

          Price and Zaborsky would still have to rat Ward out, and his defense team would have to pivot on a diminished responsibility excuse? For a man who held down jobs and was a fully functioning member of society? It’s a tall order for a jury to believe that some Rx drugs, which he may have been prescribed for years, suddlenly turned him into a knife wielding attacker, who also in that diminshed capacity managed to mastermind a complex cover up.

          And that may not be enough to get Price or Zaborsky off the hook for their roles in the alleged cover up. I doubt Kirschner would cut any deal with them unless those two guys bring him the goods, at least a Murder 2.

          Lastly, regardless of your opinions on the DC jury pools, of which I’ve served three times, including a Murder 1 trial, there are some who think Kircshner has the threesome dead in his sights for the pending charges.

          And the thinking goes, that if Kirschner can close the deal in June, he can really put the screws to them to wrestle some murder charges after the boys get a taste of the joint, when they may really be longing for Aunt Marcia’s rambler.

          • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 4:55 PM

            Craig,
            Wellbutrin no. Lexapro + hypnotic sedative yes. Ward may be have a contributing underlying condition that could be revealed only to the judge and the prosecutor hearing the plea. This condition would be maintained under the court’s privacy seal.

            Kirschner is so outgunned with defense talent & the MPD is so incompetent, he will be happy with manslaughter, but the truth is what must come out of this, not any specific punishment.

            I’m not disparaging your DC jury service but my experience with it. The DC jury let my attacker walk after I positively identified him & he was caught using my credit card. This thug went on to kill 3 people that we know about. It’s why I left DC.

            • former crackho on 01/11/2010 at 5:03 PM

              And here I thought it was the closing of the “Glorious Health and Amusement” establishment that sent you running to the hills.

            • David on 01/11/2010 at 5:06 PM

              Ben,

              You truly believe that no punishment should come about just because Ward has a twinkie defense? That Joe and Victor, who according to your theory may not have known that night, but clearly came to learn this fact shortly thereafter, and still maintained this lie and charade for going on four years? And no punishment should come out of this at all? On what rational basis can you claim this?

              David

              • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 7:00 PM

                I didn’t say no punishment should come of it. Truth should come first– healing does not spring from punishment.

            • Bea on 01/11/2010 at 5:18 PM

              Ben, simply stated, you’ve told us that you’re not a lawyer. All this nonsense about a diminished capacity plea and a “court’s privacy seal” about the plea is abject absurdity. Move on to some other kind of hyperbole, as you will, but leave behind the legal stuff. You don’t even fake it very well.

              • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 7:26 PM

                Bea,
                Diminished capacity usually not attempted when illegal drugs or intoxication are at the root– but legal prescriptions combined with documented mental illness–bet on it.

                A defendant’s lawyer may petition a judge to seal any or all personal medical records maintained or discovered by the court. It’s done all the time in the state, federal, criminal & civil courts.

                Court records involving doctor/patient confidentiality are also sometimes sealed to uphold patient privacy. Any medical doctor, counselor, therapist & even social worker communications can be sealed–especially if it’s part of a plea deal.

                I’ve got one year of law school finished. Just enough to be dangerous.

                • Bea on 01/11/2010 at 7:37 PM

                  One year of law school does not a lawyer make, Ben. You’re mixing up things in your ‘conclusions’ so much that it’s nonsensical.

                • CDinDC on 01/11/2010 at 10:35 PM

                  Oh, Ben. One year in law school can’t even get you through traffic court.

                  The fool who knows that he is a fool is for that very reason a wise man;
                  the fool who thinks he is wise is called a fool indeed.

                  You should know that quote, Ben. Or do you?

                  • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:01 PM

                    it’s not about me.

                    • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 2:15 PM

                      ::rolling my eyes::

            • Mike on 01/11/2010 at 7:02 PM

              Ben, this stuff is great! Keep it coming. What a dull blog this would be (at times) if not for the Bens of this world.

              • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 7:45 PM

                Exactly! And it’s really slow at work…

                • Clio on 01/12/2010 at 12:36 AM

                  LOL, Paris must be burning, then, if Ben is back blogging.

          • AnnaZed on 01/11/2010 at 9:12 PM

            All of this sounds plausible to me as a series of observations except for the “held down jobs and was a fully functioning member of society” part in re Dylan. Unless you count being an in-house prostitute as being gainfully employed and making a contribution to society then I would have to say in Dylan’s case, not so much.

          • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 11:49 AM

            I am hoping that Lady Victor will be scared of the “joint” in advance and leave her Lord (or is that Master).

        • SheKnowsSomething on 01/11/2010 at 6:06 PM

          Ben/Joe/Bernie (maybe not)/Spag/Shertler,

          So, you want us all to believe that Dylan was in some fugue state, brought on by a dirty cocktail of prescription meds and street drugs … and that he has a complete enough memory of the events of 2/3 August 2006 to cop to a manslaughter charge?! As our fellow poster AnnaZ says, “Of good grief!”

          • BenFranklin on 01/11/2010 at 7:37 PM

            No street drugs, just prescriptions & a known contributing mental illness.

            • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 12:24 AM

              Why is it so important to make that distinction there? “No illegal street drugs,” in spite of illegal drugs having actually been found at Swann St? What is so important about that?

              • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 1:46 PM

                One xtc pill which could have been lost by any trick & found by the cops. The sniffer dogs alerting to furniture which once contained illegal substances is not conclusive. And US citizens have “no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed.” Comforting.

                I once thought this whole tragedy was fueled by meth or ketamine. Now it’s looking like it’s not so. I can’t find anyone currently living DC (or from college) who knows them, who will say the defendants used drugs. Not even weed. And those folks aren’t fans or supporters, either.

                • David on 01/12/2010 at 2:11 PM

                  Ben,

                  You might want to read the site more, as folks on this site have commented on how angry Joe would get when using party drugs.

                  David

                  • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 2:14 PM

                    David,

                    Didn’t something come up in a hearing about Joe’s prior drug use?

                    • Craig on 01/12/2010 at 2:29 PM

                      CD – Last January – my how time files or seems to stand still – The Post reported, “Kirschner said Price told court authorities at the time of his arrest that he had never used drugs. But Kirschner said subsequent investigation determined that Price had either possessed or distributed crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy.”

                      Would the All-American go so far downfield with this accusation if he had nothing to back it up?

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:59 PM

                      Prosecutors always go for that play. It’s usually a pretty safe play. No substance to it or it’s ancient history with Price. Usually the “witnesses” are coached felons.

                      BTW– blow is back in a big way-good old powdered cocaine. Cheap & high quality-fueling the city that never sleeps with 8 figure bonuses.

                  • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:34 PM

                    Nothing credible about anyone’s drug use here. Show me. I think Joe Price might have been tarred with the same brush as his brother Michael.

                    And PnP was not on Culuket’s profile. PnP is common slang in that world for Party aNd Play.

                    • Bea on 01/12/2010 at 3:27 PM

                      Nope – just that the cops found X and evidence that other drugs had been removed. And the prosecutor stating in open court – risking his professional life – that he had evidence of Price being a serious user/distributor. Oh, and all the posts months ago about how Joe became a nasty jerk on drugs from first-hand accounts.

                      Right, Ben. And silly me, I figured one’s profile on alt.com would be about sexual proclivities – and, frankly, the listing of drugs (PnP) was about as relevant/necessary as that one likes white wine spritzers.

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 3:56 PM

                      Clarification: sniffer dogs signaled that drugs had at one time contaminated the furniture-not that anything had been removed. Perhaps it is where they kept cash–we know our currency is contaminated.

                      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=cocaine-contaminates-majority-of-american-currency

                    • David on 01/12/2010 at 4:05 PM

                      And Bea also noted that Joe wouldn’t note any drug use on his alt.com profile because he could be at risk for losing his law license because of illegal activity. There was a strong reason for Joe not to list any drug use in a public profile.

                    • Bea on 01/12/2010 at 4:07 PM

                      Oh, it’s the trace amounts of cocaine on the money that they removed the fateful night! What about the X they did find (right, the TRICK dropped it!) and the prosecutor’s claim (risking his own neck) that evidence shows that Joe was heavily involved, possibly even with distribution, with drugs. Or the first-hand accounts of Joe being nasty when he did drugs?

                      Right, you have a few people who say they never saw him do drugs. Gosh, even when I was in college, and drugs were routine, most of my acquaintances would have held firm in their disbelief that I didn’t EVER do drugs – gosh, they hadn’t SEEN me do drugs! Do you not see that Joe wouldn’t be stupid enough to let that information pass to certain people? Especially those willing to tell critical details to a guy like you who posts such facts on an anonymous blog?

                      AZ is correct – I must retool my thinking about your posts for the comedic value.

                • Bea on 01/12/2010 at 2:16 PM

                  So now the X didn’t belong to the defendants either? WOW.

                  And how many people do you know “know them”? Did they also know about Joe’s mistress and the duo’s love of S&M complete with torture? If not, they may not have known about drug use. Perhaps they were their “nice” friends and not their “alt.com” friends?

                  Since it was a “trick” who dropped the X, your friends must be telling you that tricks were there all the time, yes? Or did you just add the trick because it fit your story (this time)?

                  Since Dyl didn’t do drugs, how is it his ordinary meds put him in a murdering rage and fugue state that school night in August? I thought you had that all worked out with a ’street’ drug. Likely there are many here whose scripts include Wellbutrin and Lexapro – garden variety antidepressants – and no murdering rages or fugue states reported.

                  Maybe your secret friends in DC have reported murdering rages and fugue states from garden variety antidepressants?

                  “Not even weed” makes me think you’re my mom.

                  • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 4:15 PM

                    How old is Joe’s kid?

                    Ben seems to have the Google skills and certainty that posting a url (any url will do) in support of any absurdity automatically makes one’s point valid that I see chiefly in very young internet posters, like 12 year olds.

                    • Mike on 01/12/2010 at 9:02 PM

                      Yeah, I had a theory a while back that he was a precocious 14 year-old. Something about the short attention span & shifting back stories. All I can say is, figures a thug mean enough to mug a Buddhist monk would go on to murder 3 people. Was that when he was staying in Ben’s B & B, or was he a married electro-stim pickup?

                      Love it.

                    • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 11:34 PM

                      There are two children. The first is 9 (Joe bio dad), the second is 6 (Victor bio dad).

                      Here’s the USA Today article about them…

                      http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2004-03-09-gay-parents_x.htm

                • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 2:26 PM

                  Ben Franklin says: “I once thought this whole tragedy was fueled by meth or ketamine. Now it’s looking like it’s not so. I can’t find anyone currently living DC (or from college) who knows them, who will say the defendants used drugs.”

                  You take yourself way too seriously, Ben. Let’s see, you probably picked up the phone, called a few cronies…maybe had those cronies called a few other cronies, and you made your decision based on THAT? Good lord, if 25 people were contacted through that attempt, you’d be lucky.

                  There are nearly 600,000 people in DC. After you’ve made your 500,000 call, I’ll take your word for it.

                  • Craig on 01/12/2010 at 2:35 PM

                    None of us even went to William and Mary and we ferreted out a couple of trustworthy, first-hand sources who ran in Joe Price’s circle.

                    Ben – Have your DC crew ping us. We know excatly what questions to ask.

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:47 PM

                      Very shy the DC types, but he did get around. Some of my best Price sources relocated to NYC and are looser with their tongues now.

                  • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 4:31 PM

                    CD you are too kind, you see I don’t believe that these phone calls ever took place, I don’t believe in this cadre of W&M alums brave and true that support Joe (for one thing, where is their support for Robert?). Besides I haven’t engaged in a serious discussion on the internet with a person who posts the letters “LOL” in more than a decade and have no intension of starting now.

                    • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 7:11 PM

                      LOL

                      Sorry.

                • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 11:53 AM

                  I agree with David. I don’t know where you have been looking and who will “kiss and tell” at the Crew Club, but you don’t sound like the “vice squad” to me.

            • Penelope on 01/12/2010 at 1:23 AM

              Dear me, I take a cocktail of antidepressants, including Wellbutrin, and I have a known mental illness – depression. Ben, do advise me please. Should I refrain from having houseguests, roommates, and pets? Should I have a good criminal attorney on retainer, just in case? Perhaps I should stock up on cleaning supplies and do a few practice rounds to boost my speed. Oh, and what’s the best way to get out bloodstains? On the other hand, perhaps I had best not embark on this contingency planning, as it could be interpreted as premeditation.

              I only hope that my impending murderous fugue state will happen after our dear Ben has finished law school and passed the bar, so that I may have the benefit of his legal representation.

              • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 11:56 AM

                I hope the fact that I admittedly suffer from a mental illness and am currently on Wellbutrin won’t turn me into a “cold blooded” killer. Is it okay with you guys if I show up at trial? I mean if you are really more worried about me that DP&Z, I will honor your request.

            • Bea on 01/12/2010 at 1:48 AM

              Ben, in another post you were sure Dylan had combined his prescriptions with a street drug. Remember? It was in response to a valid question of ‘what was different about that night’ and how the mysterious fugue state began. Changing your story or did you just forget your story (calls to mind August 2006)?

              • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 2:43 PM

                We are all in the enviable position of being able to evolve the story based on what we learn. I hope everyone is not fixed in their positions on anything because we only know a tiny fraction about the evidence in this case, and how it was fabricated.

                • Bea on 01/12/2010 at 2:56 PM

                  If anyone seems fixed in one’s position, Ben, it’s you. Fixed in the strange belief that W&M grads could not have done this – and apparently that umbrella of innocence is draping further over the household.

                  Drugs found on property: must be something a trick dropped!

                  But I thought they were good boys – they had drug-carrying tricks over? Were they writing recommendation letter to W&M while the tricks urinated into their mouths? These boys would wouldn’t even “do weed”?

                  Have you now revised it so that Dylan too is innocent? Or are we back to the fugue induced murdering rampage caused by the same meds many take and that he’s likely taken for quite some time? Perhaps he saw a tab that a trick dropped and mistook it for a baby aspirin??!

                  But by all means, let your story “evolve”.

                  • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 3:56 PM

                    Bea, beyond the insuppressible “oh for Pete’s sake” response I take daily gratification from the escalating inanity of the trouple position updates as articulated by Ben.

                    The escalating hysteria, the multiple conflicting conjectures, the astonishing assertions of willing suspension of disbelief, the abandonment of even the elves (remember them!!), Dylan’s current under the bus position (certain to provoke some sort of reaction from his defense team), the ever morphing iterations of the story with each iteration washing Joe (and nobody else, even Victor) cleaner and cleaner, the stubborn need to put words in others mouths, the compulsion to create vignettes and then repeat them over and over again (as though it would magically make them either true or make them seem to be true) ~ these posts are a fantastic and rich source of material for the government. I hope that they have some minion covering every machination. It will stand them in good stead later.

                    In any case it does provide not only needed comic relief but a privileged view of the chaos and desperate lack of options on that side of the aisle. Hopefully Mrs. Wone has someone reading them for her as well; sparing her the ugly insulting innuendos about Robert that still crop up but giving her comfort that a team that may have seemed to be her dangerous and intractable opponents are not so intractable and competent as they might otherwise appear but rather are a bumbling, desperate and irrational heard headed for the abattoir yet still bickering and maligning one another as they step irrevocably towards the chute.

                    I am not saying that Ben is Joe or even a lowly assistant to Bernie because (good lord) if he is we have seriously overestimated our opponents.

                    In addition, I am certain that Ben could not possibly be a W&M graduate. For one thing he’s scarcely competent at basic logic, ergo hardly W&M academic material, and for another his constant need to bring the school up in nearly every post would indicate the over sharing of a compulsive liar.

                    • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 3:59 PM

                      herd

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 4:43 PM

                      I am saddened your posts have degenerated to placing Price masturbating over Wone’s corpse as the EMS was on the way, calling me a racist, and questioning my academic credentials.

                      I must really be getting under your skin. You flatter me, so. Keep it up.

                    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 6:42 PM

                      AZ,
                      Your posts are the shrieks of desperation.
                      Ben

                • former crackho on 01/12/2010 at 4:28 PM

                  What a cope out.

                  • former crackho on 01/12/2010 at 4:29 PM

                    Ooops – my statement was in response to:

                    BenFranklin
                    January 12, 2010 at 2:43 PM
                    We are all in the enviable position of being able to evolve the story based on what we learn. I hope everyone is not fixed in their positions on anything because we only know a tiny fraction about the evidence in this case, and how it was fabricated.

                    Reply

                    • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 4:47 PM

                      Nice try Ben, desperate but a good effort. Maybe you should toss in a few more LOLs to shore up your credibility.

              • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 11:58 AM

                BEA I think there may be somebody else in a fugue state besides (or is that beside) Dylan.

    • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:39 PM

      BEN There may be evidentiary reasons that “we won’t hear that Robert Wone was injected with paralytic agents,” but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t under the involuntary influence. For example, the coroner did as any coroner could, would and should do and tested for drugs she had reason to believe were implicated in this case. By the time she suspected a paralytic like ketamine might have been used, it was too late because ketamine and similar paralytics would have metabolized and therefore been untraceable. So far as the sexual assault is concerned, the only “fly in the ointment” is the manufacturer’s claim that the “electrostimulation unit found in Dylan Ward’s bedroom [ ] was not capable of inducing passive/involuntary ejaculation.” First of all, that is the statement of a party which may be interested in not having its product implicated in a sexual assault leading to murder. Second of all, the coroner concluded that Wone was a victim of sexual assault and that Robert’s semen could not have made its way to his rectum by accident while incapacitated. I can only presume that you are of the belief that Robert was a willing participant in these shenanigans and that’s a defensible position (so to speak). Though admittedly away from this site for awhile, I don’t recall anybody equating the plausible sexual assault theory with the unknown intruder theory which the defendant’s THEMSELVES stated was “implausible” when they initially propounded it.

  4. former crackho on 01/11/2010 at 4:53 PM

    You know, there are two things that struck me as sort of odd when once again reading the affidavits. First, regarding Joe’s statement – why was he so quick to point out that Dylan “takes Lexapro and Wellbutrin, but he is fine”. Adding that he “wouldn’t hurt a fly. ” and “everyone take those drugs and they are fine”. Maybe I am making too much out of this, but it almost seems to me that Joe purposefully shared that information perhaps in an attempt to either place suspicion on Ward, or maybe set up a possible defense for him down the road should Dylan be charged with the murder. I wonder if that info was freely offered, or if it was a direct answer to a direct question.

    Second, I found it a bit odd that the “W-1″ paramedic, in describing how he first encounterd Joe in the room with Robert, made a point to say that Joe kept his back to the paramedic the whole time, and walked sideways as if to avoid letting the paramedic see the front of him. Is Joe that shy in his tidy whitey’s? Or, and forgive me for having sucn a sick thought, was he perhaps in an aroused state as he sat there with his murdered friend and needed to hide it? I say this out of no disrespect to Robert, but it just struck me as odd that the paramedic thought enough of it to point it out. And what was Joe really thinking about when he should have been applying a towel(s) on Robert’s wounds?

    • AnnaZed on 01/11/2010 at 5:37 PM

      I don’t think it is odd at all.

      {the following is ugly, depressing and grotesque, but on point}

      Bearing in mid that this is a murder with a sexual component then I am afraid that someone, somewhere must do the ugly job of contemplating that for some criminals death is an erotic thing. Dennis Rader was sexually aroused by the killings that he did, even ejaculating in the presence of a dying child. It’s disgusting, it’s horrible to contemplate yet it has relevance to this crime.

      We do know what Joe was not doing: applying pressure to Robert’s wounds or making any effort to comfort, aide or save him.

    • Mike on 01/11/2010 at 8:19 PM

      You know, that’s exactly what I thought (humorously) when I read that part of the affidavit! Every guy knows that awkward sidle that fools no one. At least in middle school you usually had a couple of books handy to provide partial cover. (Sorry, ladies.) But the explicitness of W-1’s language, plus Joe’s puzzling dishabille, begs Ho’s question. What would possess you to hang out in that state while expecting an influx of strangers into your home? Helping a critically injured friend, check. But Joe (as observed) wasn’t helping.

      One of the few other answers could be arousal. It can be transfixing. But AnnaZed is right…such a fetish is almost beyond belief.

      • CDinDC on 01/11/2010 at 10:49 PM

        I wonder if Joe et al ever played with male enhancement drugs. Male enhancement drugs don’t necessarily allow control over the “situation.”

        • former crackho on 01/11/2010 at 11:42 PM

          And there is the sad possibility that Joe is only one who noticed.

        • Clio on 01/11/2010 at 11:53 PM

          Male enhancement may be more of an issue now for the boys, as they wrestle with the emasculating effects of their own actions upon themselves. Becoming dependent upon the kindness of strangers (friends and family) will not bring Dionysus back.

          One question: Why would Joe turn his back on W1 yet give Diane Durham and others an almost full frontal? Did he find paramedics more attractive than police — hence, the need for bashfulness around them?

          • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 10:54 AM

            If he did have some amount of an erection when the paramedics were there, perhaps it had subsided by the time the police arrived on the scene.

            • Craig on 01/12/2010 at 12:46 PM

              If former Eagle Scout Joe Price was so busy doing first-aid for his friend Robert, allegedly applying pressure to the chest and abdomen wounds, why wasn’t he covered in blood, or at least smeared somewhat?

              • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 12:58 PM

                yeppers. You’d think those tidy whities wouldn’t have been so tidy OR white anymore.

              • Lyn on 01/12/2010 at 1:46 PM

                Very good question. The EMTs report that Price was wearing only underwear upon their arrival. When police arrived a minute or two later, they reported seeing him wearing a “crisp, white robe” and “appearing freshly showered.” Note that neither the police nor the EMTs report seeing him covered in blood.

                I wonder how this could be, given that he told police during questioning several hours later (presumably after he had time for his hysteria to settle down) that he:

                1. “lifted up Robert’s shirt and saw blood everywhere”

                2. “took the towel and applied it to Robert’s chest”

                3. “put the towel on Robert…I just held the towel on him” and

                4. “from the minute we found Robert, until the minute the, you know, ambulance people were there, i was kneeling next to him.”

                If he really did all those things, wouldn’t the robe he threw on afterwards have some blood on it?

                And if the reason he didn’t have blood on him was because he didn’t take all the rescue measure he said he did, why wouldn’t he have taken those rescue measures to save his dear friend’s life (and so Wone could identify the “real killer”)?

    • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:04 PM

      FORMER CRACKHO It was my impression that Joe gratuitously offered that remark about Dylan’s psychotropic drug use. And exactly what did Joe mean when he said Dylan is “fine”? Did he mean that, Joe, is in a postion to know that Dylan is normally stabilized on his medication?
      Or did he mean that Dylan is “fine” in the way one leaning over a friend who has just been murdered has retained his composure?

  5. AnnaZed on 01/11/2010 at 11:55 PM

    …a show of hands – Who here found Zaborsky’s 9-1-1 call to sound either genuine or authentic?

    Don’t make me laugh.

    • former crackho on 01/12/2010 at 10:40 AM

      It was about as real as his love for Dylan.

    • Lyn on 01/12/2010 at 1:49 PM

      I believe Zaborsky’s 911 call was as genuine as a gold digger’s sexual attraction to a fat, ugly millionaire.

      • former crackho on 01/12/2010 at 2:29 PM

        Are you calling Dylan a gold digger? I wasn’t sure whether Joe was quite a millionaire.

        • Lyn on 01/12/2010 at 4:30 PM

          No, not referring to any of the housemates. Just gold diggers and fat, ugly millionaires in general.

        • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 11:28 PM

          If the shoe fits.

          • former crackho on 01/13/2010 at 12:17 PM

            Well, the last time we saw Joe, the shoes fit, but the pants didn’t.

    • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:05 PM

      ANNA ZED I am with you. I don’t think one has to be a Straight guy to play a Gay girl.

  6. CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 7:10 PM

    Ben Franklin says: “calling me a racist, and questioning my academic credentials.”

    Ben, you never answered our questions as to why you believe a jury in DC is “incapable of delivering justice.”

    Tell us why.

    Also, I don’t question your “acedemic credentials.” I do, however, question your theological credentials.

    • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 7:19 PM

      O CD (::snerk::) lord yes. What a hoot, I forgot all about that.

      I am pretty sure that I myself do not yearn to follow the deeply spiritual religious path that includes sneaky sexual trysts with married men and boasting about it on the internet, but that’s just me.

      • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:07 PM

        ANNA ZED Somebody forgot to tell me that Craig’s List is a catechism. And here I thought I should feel guilty about being the “other man.” Maybe I should have become a priest after all.

    • BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 8:32 PM

      CD,
      I discussed why I am not confident in DC juries. It’s here in this thread in a reply to Craig.

      • CDinDC on 01/12/2010 at 11:25 PM

        Ben’s reply:

        “I’m not disparaging your DC jury service but my experience with it. The DC jury let my attacker walk after I positively identified him & he was caught using my credit card. This thug went on to kill 3 people that we know about. It’s why I left DC.”

        Good defense, I suppose.

        Given your circumstances, it’s strange that you are so pro-defendant in this case. 3 men that you claim not to know are cleary involved in the murder of another man, but you are stumping for their defense. Strange indeed.

        • AnnaZed on 01/12/2010 at 11:32 PM

          I am also still in the dark about the remarks concerning how DC juries smell, what was that about again?

          • Craig on 01/13/2010 at 1:19 AM

            Let’s make it an even hundred and call it a night.

            Tomorrow is a big day and Friday’s hearing is on deck.

            • CDinDC on 01/13/2010 at 10:27 AM

              I don’t think potential bigotry should be swept under the rug, Craig.

              In any event, Ben’s logic fails (again). If he’s worried about a DC jury not being able to delivery justice, then you would think he’d be happy about that in this case. His beloved W&M alum could skip from the courthouse with a smile on his face in the light of Ben’s beliefs.

        • Nora on 01/13/2010 at 8:03 AM

          Why don’t we just say it? Ben is fearful that a DC jury will be unduly harsh to the defendents in this case, whereas in his experience they were unduly lenient.

          What’s the big, magical distinction? We know the Swann defendents are white. Was your “attacker” African American, Ben?

          If so, your “smell” remark takes me back to the 19th century.

        • Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:15 PM

          CDINDC Ben, from one experience you are generalizing to other potentially similar experiences. If you took Philosophy 101, you would know that this is the fallacy of “composition.” It’s like saying: I met one Black guy who is a murderer and therefore I can expect that every Black guy I meet will be a murderer. If you took social science 101, you would know the difference between anecdotal experience and statistical determination.

  7. Craig on 01/12/2010 at 3:37 PM

    Benjamin: Shy DC types… Someone in THIS burgh with inside knowledge of a scandal and too timid to share confidentially? No such animal exists.

    And for your meek NYC pals who may also be sitting on honor code secrets, to quote the good Doctor (Strangelove): “…but the… whole point of the doomsday machine… IS LOST… IF YOU KEEP IT A SECRET! Why didn’t you tell the world, eh?”

  8. BenFranklin on 01/12/2010 at 4:27 PM

    Craig,
    The DC types are mainly academics. Very, very shy. One is now a Georgetown professor, if that helps.

    The NYC buds are not honor code applicable unless you consider Wall Street stealing. Many of these NYC pals (not W+M alums) are the ones snorting the coke with the 8 figure bonuses. They love to talk. Can’t shut them up in fact-but it’s mainly inane sex & status chatter that goes back to Capitol Hill days, not relevant to discussions here. And they seem to be moving on–and not in a good direction.

    Something interesting & quotable will come out of their numb lips, soon I hope. LOL.

  9. Robert on 01/22/2010 at 12:20 PM

    CRAIG That’s the good thing about conspiracies, sooner or later somebody cracks providing they live long enough. For example, Morton Sobel finally revealed the truth about the Rosenbergs.
    Regrettably, I have to say this being a New York radical Jew. But I can take some solace in knowing that’s not as bad as being an Ivy League murderer and hoping that one of the conspirators in this case sees the spider on the backyard light.

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Purpose of this Site

On August 2nd, 2006, Washington attorney Robert E. Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street. Over two years passed before any criminal charges were filed - and then only conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering charges were brought against the Swann Street housemates, all present in the home on the night of the murder: Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky.

On May 17, 2010, a DC Superior Court trial got underway and all three defendants were all acquitted in that bench trial on those pending charges.

Nearly four years later, very little seems clear about what happened that night and who murdered Robert Wone. A cloud of suspicion remains over the Swann Street defendants who have denied any involvement in the murder of their friend or in the alleged cover up.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found a moral certainty in their collective guilt, but not evidentiary certainty. Civil proceedings in a wrongful death suit filed by Robert's family is the next chapter in this tragic story.

We continue to work together seeking answers to the mystery of Robert Wone's murder and in finding justice for his memory and legacy.

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