An Attorney Unloads on the Trouple’s Defense, and the Prosecution’s Hubris
From the start we’ve worked to cultivate a deep pool of experienced opinion. Blood spatter analysts, medical toxicoligists, psychological therapists, homicide researchers, forensic psychologists…and, of course, lawyers. We continue to welcome their thoughts and contributions, where-ever it may take us.
Today, a new addition.
Recently we spoke on the record with DC-area attorney Dale Edwin Sanders – defense counsel with 30+ years experience, and local advocate for gay and lesbian civil rights. He’s defended drug dealers, kidnappers, rapists, murderers – all alleged.
We first found Mr. Sanders quoted in a number of stories on the murder written by DC Agenda (nee: Washington Blade) reporter Lou Chibbarro. He’s read key documents, and tracked the case.
“This is lawyering at its best…” offers Sanders of the legal teams. “I’m impressed by the quality on both sides of this case. All the lawyers involved have well-deserved reputations in criminal law. Glenn Kirschner is a man of talent and reputation, as are the defense lawyers, each of whom are talented and dedicated.”
Sanders has seen his share of guilt, deception, court intrigue and surprise. In short, three decades of witnessing the gamut of life in Metro Washington has provided Mr. Sanders with an acute ear for bullshit.
Mr. Sanders, Esq, is no-one’s fool. We sense he brings a sharp eye to what looms before us. And he is clear, in his perspective, of this case.
“I can’t remember this type of case…really different…so interesting…so unusual…a real challenge…very, very wrong…just bullshit…”
This, for the record, from an attorney who was friends with Joe. Past tense.
“I knew Joe price…I wouldn’t say we were close, but we were friends. We would see each other at professional and social functions…”
In short: a fair aribiter. So, who comes out worse: the defense or the prosecution?
Mr. Sanders spares neither side. His analysis after the jump.
“A phrase prosecutors use a lot is ‘riddled with inconsistencies…’, notes Mr. Sanders, “…so where do we start?”
“Where do we start?” we ask. “By looking for inconsistencies,” he tells us.
“How do you explain blood in the lint-catch of the dryer? How do you explain blood in the drain in the back yard? How do you explain that nothing was taken from the house? How do you explain that Robert Wone was targeted and [the killer] walked walked right past Dylan Ward’s room and did all these horrible crimes and nobody heard anything?
How do you explain that there was no blood in the room? How do explain the blood on the towel? How do you explain no defensive wounds? I mean, I’m driving the car! I haven’t worked 20 hours on cross-examination, and I can just rattle these things off the top of my head….”
Well put, Mr. Counsel. These, comments from someone who knew Joe Price.
However, the case – colleague or no – is not so open and shut as one might imagine.
“…We (defense attorneys) get so wrapped up in the details sometimes, that on both sides we lose sight of the big picture. What happens with the prosecutor is ‘be careful what you ask for.’ If he had decided to go full bore on this sexual assault business, he should be afraid that the judge would give him a green light to do so.
“This is over the top, this is very very dangerous…they have a big trial, the guy’s convicted, then at the DC Court of Appeals there would be an excellent chance that that case would be reversed.
“This evidence is so unnecessary… you don’t need it, as a prosecutor. It’s over the top, overkill. Risk a reversal on this? Highly inflammatory stuff? The government got hold of its senses, they don’t need this shit.”
His message was apparently received by the prosecution. His thoughts on the defense?
“It’s true the defense doesn’t have any burden to tell a story. But they already have, by their statements. So those statements are going to come into evidence, even though they’re subject to a motion to suppress, among them Joe Price, the lawyer is saying they weren’t properly Mirandized…but their story is going to come out, because they made statements.
“And their story is ‘gee whiz, we don’t know what happened, we were sleeping, we’d only been in bed less than a half hour and this mystery intruder came in and golly gee we don’t know nuthin‘ So the jury’s going to hear that, and it doesn’t make sense. It’s absolutely, 100-percent inconsistent.”
We’ve heard from other smart attorneys that this case, regardless of its outcome, will make legal history. Mr. Sanders was initially dubious of the idea. But as discussion wore on…
“What strikes me is that no-one has gone to the other side yet. Maybe the offers haven’t been too good…something else very peculiar, and I may be wrong on this, you should verify it, but I seem to recall early on they all were represented by the same law office. If that’s the case, and the same law firm continues to represent a defendant at trial, then in my opinion there could be ethical problems. If you came to me, I’d say you pick….because if someone wanted to cut a deal, there would be a conflict.
“The case would obviously be easier if only one of the three were in the house at the time. But if all three are saying ‘gee I don’t know’, you’ve got to prove which one of the three participated in the evidence destruction and obstruction of justice, or that all three knew about it, so that is a challenge. Proving individual culpability could be a legal hurdle that’s resolved in the court of appeals.”
One man’s opinion. Opinion that comes with some weight. We will be watching to see what happens in the next five weeks.
–posted by Doug