Status Hearing Live Feed

Team Coverage

Live and frequent updates from the courthouse will begin at 1:00pm ET. A wrap up of today’s court action including pics and vids, goes up around 6:00pm.

345pm:  We got some stills and video of the defendants and principals leaving the courthouse.  We also managed to overhear a couple conversations….   We’re back at the bureau and are working on the wrap-up post now.  There’s lots to cover.

310pm: Adjournment. Headlines: Judge denied Defendant motion to dismiss obstruction and conspiracy counts. Briefing schedule set. Govt needs to file a lot by 5 Feb.

Leibovitz very engaged, involved and up to date on case elements.

Next status hearinf on Friday 12 March.

Full hearing report to come around 6pm or 7pm.

2pm: set to start. Members of Wone family here. Fewer defendants supporters than in past. All principls seated in courtroom. Awaiting judge Leibovitz

100pm: Arrived at courthouse. Mob scene of TV cameras and live trucks outside. All for the basketball guy, not Robert.

10am: If you plan on attending today’s status hearing, get there early; a large crowd is expected. Wash Wizard’s Gilbert Arenas in court to cop a plea on weapons charge.

60 comments for “Status Hearing Live Feed

  1. Penelope
    01/15/2010 at 2:06 PM

    On the edge of my seat awaiting coverage. Thanks for the time you put in on this.

  2. Bea
    01/15/2010 at 2:26 PM


  3. Bea
    01/15/2010 at 3:07 PM

    I like the sound of “fewer defendant supporters than in the past.”

    • Anon. in Arlington
      01/15/2010 at 3:10 PM

      … and may that number dwindle to 3 in May.

      • Bea
        01/15/2010 at 3:20 PM

        Just the 3 themselves or Needham, Aunt Marcia and Ben? 🙂

        • Anon. in Arlington
          01/15/2010 at 3:29 PM

          Three – themselves… may they drive even their representatives so crazy that they too are no longer “fans.” 😛

        • former crackho
          01/15/2010 at 3:43 PM

          I thought 2 of the three were “themselves”.

  4. des
    01/15/2010 at 3:39 PM

    it will be interesting to see if Ben posts this afternoon.

    • Bea
      01/15/2010 at 3:44 PM

      I’m hoping he’s getting sleep – the best case scenario means that he was overly tired yesterday. His posts have always been a bit ‘out there’ but yesterday he was a ping pong ball, bouncing from “fact” to “fact” in his moving target assessments.

      • CDinDC
        01/15/2010 at 4:47 PM

        And theory to theory. He even boarded the train going in the opposite direction.

  5. des
    01/15/2010 at 4:06 PM

    I’m wondering if he’s in the courtroom…

  6. AnnaZed
    01/15/2010 at 4:12 PM

    I too hope that Ben is sleeping off whatever he was on last night, sheesh.

  7. Bea
    01/15/2010 at 4:31 PM

    Excellent news that the Motion to Dismiss was denied. Didn’t think it would be granted, but still. I’ll bet Joe wrote it and had himself (and Victor and Dylan) convinced that it had a real chance of making all their problems go away. Even if he knew it was a longshot, his mood has to have sunk a bit. And Victor and Dylan’s opinion of him may have waned.

    • AnnaZed
      01/15/2010 at 4:47 PM

      “Judge denied Defendant motion to dismiss obstruction and conspiracy counts.”

      Not that this was ever seriously in doubt, but ok now lets get down to business.

      Bea, I think you are right, there was something twisted and Joe-like about that pleading. He may well have had the others believing that he personally had the power to completely redefine the conspiracy and tampering statutes to suit himself. Now, the cold light of day is maybe starting to shine into the dim reaches of their minds and they are realizing that (omg!) Joe can not make all these insistent, curious and importunate people who want to know what happened to Robert simply go away.

  8. BenFranklin
    01/15/2010 at 4:46 PM

    Ward sure looked fit in that tailored Armani.

    • CDinDC
      01/15/2010 at 4:49 PM

      Did you get close enough to read the label?

      • BenFranklin
        01/15/2010 at 4:58 PM

        Couldn’t go myself but I sent a buddy to report back.

        • Bea
          01/15/2010 at 5:04 PM

          When you say Ward “sure looked fit” it strongly implies a first-hand impression. As you well know.

          As for ‘tailored’ Armani, do you mean having to hem the pants to 5’8 and cut down the jacket so it doesn’t hang off his 130 pound frame? I do assume he’s put on weight hanging out all day with Joe, but let’s let the photos and videos be the judge. (Not that it will sway you).

          • BenFranklin
            01/15/2010 at 5:15 PM

            Photos soon–150 easy.

            • former crackho
              01/15/2010 at 5:17 PM

              Goody! Ben is going to impress us yet.

            • Craig
              01/15/2010 at 5:33 PM

              Ben – Unless we see your freind’s pictures in our inbox later this evening, we’ll seriously doubt your credibility.

              Email him now and have him send them here:

              • Bea
                01/15/2010 at 5:50 PM

                My money is on that Ben did NOT have a friend there. Our eds are good at spotting who’s in the crowd (especially since all the news media types were concerned with Gilbert Arenas).

              • former crackho
                01/15/2010 at 6:27 PM

                I’m sure you will have to pay royalties to use them.

              • BenFranklin
                01/15/2010 at 7:11 PM

                I have not seen photos yet either. My buddy at work till late & needs a cable kept at home.

                • Doug
                  01/17/2010 at 5:13 PM

                  It’s taking some time, no, Ben? We wait…where are you?
                  -Doug, co-editor

                  • des
                    01/17/2010 at 5:56 PM

                    i swear part of me thinks ben is joe. but then again joe always seemed smarter than ben appears in these posts.

            • CDinDC
              01/15/2010 at 7:11 PM

              Are any above the waist? You seem so enamored by those fellows.

          • former crackho
            01/15/2010 at 5:27 PM

            I think it means taking one of Joe’s hand-me-down suits that he was able to squeeze into when he was still shoving crystal meth up his nose and having Aunt Marcia cut and hem the pants at the knees so they would fit Dylan.

        • CDinDC
          01/15/2010 at 7:16 PM

          Ben says: “couldn’t go myself”

          So, why then did you say “Ward sure looked fit in that tailored Armani.”

          And the old “needs a cable” excuse. I bet no pictures will be forthcoming.

          (And considering how fast they are in and out….I doubt 150 photos could be taken.)

          But I’ll wait to see, Ben. And if you come through, I’ll tip my hat to you.

          • Bea
            01/15/2010 at 7:26 PM

            Yes, when Ben quickly proclaimed that Ward “sure looked fit” AND then said he was relying on a friend, it seemed logical that pictures had been emailed/texted. Why else used that particular wording?

            Ben, I hope that your friend really was there and did get photos – but if not, just say so now. Much as your comments have irritated me, I’d hate to see you back yourself in such a corner (his internet went out, his SD card was damaged, or have you fire up the Photoshop to make some). It wouldn’t be a big deal as long as you fess up now.

          • AnnaZed
            01/15/2010 at 7:28 PM

            I’ll go one better; I’ll send you this (you might need it):


          • Bea
            01/15/2010 at 10:05 PM

            Where did I put that cable? Hmmm. Must be around here somewhere.

            • CDinDC
              01/16/2010 at 5:10 PM

              Hmm….4pm and that cable hasn’t been located yet.

              Ben is a 15 year old poser.

              • Bea
                01/16/2010 at 9:27 PM

                I suspect he’s a 30 year old poser.

                • Clio
                  01/17/2010 at 6:26 PM

                  Just like Joe was, at the turn of the century.

    • She did it
      01/15/2010 at 5:07 PM

      ben writes “ward looked fit”– lol!!! emotionally fit? rumor was she was a train wreck. have the blues left him? is he ready to stand on his own as a forty and fabulous gay male? are the meds that joe blurted to the police working? or do you mean physically fit — not the frail little man-boy who will be the bottom in prison. perhaps the possibility of getting his ass kicked in the slammer has sent him back to the gym. is joe looking fit or fat?

      • former crackho
        01/15/2010 at 5:18 PM

        Love it.

      • Mike
        01/16/2010 at 12:49 PM

        Yay! I missed She Did It! Good to see you back with a vengeance.

    • She did it
      01/15/2010 at 10:00 PM

      ben, you can outfit a turd in tailored Armani; and it is still just a turd.

      • Clio
        01/16/2010 at 7:12 PM

        Was that suit a tailored Armani? If so, I did not know that massage therapists dressed so well.

        • Bea
          01/16/2010 at 7:24 PM

          Someone pointed out that it may have been cut down from Joe’s too-small suits, and possibly then an Armani. Regardless, from the second picture, it looked too big for him (as did his shirt neck size), thus enhancing his little boy look. Little boy who is balding, however.

  9. CDinDC
    01/15/2010 at 4:51 PM

    And you probably weren’t even there, Ben. Somehow I don’t think you’re going to make the several hour drive to sit in on a hearing that takes no time at all.

    • former crackho
      01/15/2010 at 5:19 PM

      Ben’s going to wait for the stinky jury to be present before he hires a driver.

  10. Hoya Loya
    01/15/2010 at 5:25 PM

    Good news on the Motion to Dismiss. I suspected that it was a legal smoke and mirrors job, but wasn’t familiar enough with D.C. law to be sure. I thought the prosecution’s brief pretty much eviscerated the defense arguments and it seems the court agreed. Well settled points of law will typically be followed by an exhaustive string of case cites. The defendants’ cites seemed, um, selective.

    Was the opinion issued from the bench or in writing? It would be interesting to read, if the latter. Any visual reaction from the trouple, especially Joe, at the announcement?

    • former crackho
      01/15/2010 at 5:29 PM

      All we know is that Ward looked totally fit.

      • AnnaZed
        01/15/2010 at 5:30 PM

        Yes, but what was his strength level?

        • Lyn
          01/15/2010 at 5:39 PM

          And has he maintained his Jing?

          • Clio
            01/15/2010 at 9:53 PM


    • David
      01/16/2010 at 7:25 PM

      Hoya Loya,

      The opinion was issued from the bench, and she read the entire opinion word for word, punching words like “meritless” about defense arguments.

      The reactions of the trouple told the story: Victor’s face lost all emotion as the opinon was read, becoming more stoic and sullen, Joe became agitated unable to control his body movements, and as usual, Dylan sat expressionless.

      What I found to be more amazing was defense counsel’s reactions. Connelly’s face became red as he had to sit and publically take the spanking from the bench. Bernie was well, grimm.

      David, co-ed.

      • Clio
        01/16/2010 at 8:00 PM

        And, how did Spag take it? Another day, another dollar?

        I find it a true measure of the defendants’ self-deception (based in part on their lawyers’ self-interested spin) that they were taken aback by Lynn’s rulings.

        Why is Dyl such a cypher? Was the hit song “Pokerface” written about him? Is emotional display frowned upon by Needham and Di? Or, is Mr. Ward still using and abusing prescription drugs?

        • She did it
          01/16/2010 at 8:21 PM

          clio- think about the anxiety of having to show up in that courtroom and listen to the judge chastise your defense. think of the anxiety of having your photo taken in that same blue ensemble that you wore last time (a blue that happens to match your mood), being photographed despite your receding hairline, your wrinkled red face, your lack of fitness (sorry ben, pictures don’t lie). imagine the anxiety of having to face the world after your dirty little secrets (from mental illness to water sports (scat?)to exctasy to enemas) were aired by your lover. i suspect such pressure could cause one to medicate to the extent that you could be unable to show emotion — unable to sulk, frown, fume or smile.

      • Bea
        01/16/2010 at 8:34 PM

        Hi David, so it would seem that the trouple really thought they had a shot at getting a dismissal. Or Joe had convinced them. I can only hope that Victor secretly decided to remain quiet UNTIL the Motion to Dismiss was decided – it’s nice to daydream.

        • Craig
          01/16/2010 at 10:22 PM

          This makes me wonder how often judges grant these motions to dismiss. I’m sure it depends on a host of circumstances.

          Price would know. Not the other two.

          • Bea
            01/16/2010 at 10:35 PM

            Not often. On the civil side, if they are granted it’s with a period of time to fix the problem – courts want to hear cases “on the merits” and not toss them on the basis of what the general public would call a “technicality”. Here, though, the defense was going for the home run – to have all the ‘acts’ definitively rejected as possible obstruction/conspiracy. It does surprise me that they thought there was more than a remote chance. If they truly believe the soundness of their legal position, they will at least consider an appeal.

            I still think that Connolly’s comment about ‘not a good day’ had more to do with the judge letting the defense know, in no uncertain terms though clearly indirectly, that she’s inclined to let the prosecution cast a wide net. She’d prepared her opinion before arriving at court essentially letting the defense know that their oral arguments were a waste of time. She certainly seems to be more pro-prosecution than Weisburg ever was. Yea.

      • AnnaZed
        01/17/2010 at 3:05 AM

        Well, lie down with dogs I say.

        I’m not a lawyer or even any kind of peripheral legal type and I found that motion laughable. If Connelly doesn’t like having his head handed to him by the judge then he’s going to have to do better than that, and maybe even consider doing his own lawyering. As long as this group allows Joe to drive the car then they are all headed for disaster. Connelly probably most of all needs to do his job and advise his client that his interests and Joe’s are not one in the same.

  11. Bea
    01/15/2010 at 6:29 PM

    For those of you (like me) sitting on pins and needles to get the full report and vids/pix, here’s a fairly dry account of the judge’s denial of the Motion to Dismiss:

    I do like the fact that the Judge said that “evidence supports the allegation that there was a ‘dramatic and massive’ effort to alter the crime scene and misdirect the police investigation.” Don’t know if it’s exactly what she said, but that’s what is implied. I like her more all the time.

    • SheKnowsSomething
      01/17/2010 at 10:29 AM

      As both a distant acquaintance of the Swann Streerters and a former jury foreperson for a trial before Judge L’s bench, I am SO looking forward to the progress of this trial. In the trial on which I served, the judge was all business, as our editors observed. She is plain-spoken and low-drama, swift and efficient, and exercised great restraint on the bench, as long as the lawyers all played nice together. As Connally expects this to be a lengthy and contentious trial, the judge’s swift application of justice, couple with her sharp and cutting wit, will be a joy to witness.

      • CDinDC
        01/17/2010 at 3:08 PM

        Awesome post, SKS. Great to hear something from some that has actually witnessed her in action!

        • SheKnowsSomething
          01/17/2010 at 4:29 PM

          Thanks, CD. If I remember correctly, Patrick Martin served as the prosecutor on that case. The charge was drug possession with the intent to distribute. MPD had video and voice recordings of the attempted transaction between the accused and undercover police. The defense attorney made the customer claims of police misconduct and entrapment (I guess defense counsel is paid to make those claims, even if you can swim a catfish thtough the holes in the argument, right Bea?). Her Honor was respecful of the defense position, but very matter-of-fact about denying the validity of the position. During the jury selection process, I begged to be excused because a lengthy trial (one lasting more than a 4 days) would have interfered with a new job that I was expected to begin with a new customer on the West Coast. The judge assured me that the proceedings would be very orderly and should not last very long. The case was handed to the jury for deliberations after one day of argument. On the third day of deliberations (!) I sent a note into the judge concerning the objectivity of two jurors who lived in the same neighborhood where the arrest was made and where the defendent also lived. After interviewing the jurors in chambers, the judge dismissed them from service, replaced them with the alternates and thirty minutes we arrived at a unanimous guilty verdict. After I delivered the verdict in court, the judge polled each juror to assure that we had reached a unanimous verdict and that each juror agreed with the verdict as I had delivered it. She thanked us for our service and we were dismissed. No navel-gazing … no constitutional skimishness … no giving either side enough rope to hang themselves … all business … clean, neat and simple.

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