Does Defense’s Own Expert Contradict Defendants’ Statements?
In the government’s Omnibus Motion In Limine regarding Certain Designated Defense Experts, they focus on the testimony of Dr. Farzad Najam, a cardiac surgeon at George Washington University.
Dr. Najam will testify that the stab wound to Mr. Wone’s heart could have caused “immediate incapacitation,” and would have caused a significant amount internal bleeding instead of an enormous amount of external bleeding. (The prosecution aims to disallow Dr. Najam’s testimony as ‘outside scientific consensus’ – this debate will feature prominently at the May 5th hearing.)
This is crucial testimony for the defense as it supports the defendants’ contention they did not tamper with the crime scene by cleaning up a significant amount of blood – evidence the prosecution contends would have been found at the scene of a violent crime.
While Dr. Najam’s testimony supports one part of the defendants’ case, it also takes away another crucial element for the defendants.
What that is…after the jump.
If allowed, Dr. Najam’s assertion raises serious questions about the defendants’ explanation for how they learned that Robert was fatally wounded. Both Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky stated that they heard not just a scream, but a series of screams.
If – according to Dr. Najam – Robert was incapacitated in less than a second, how could he have screamed beyond that time period?
Let’s look at what the transcripts reveal.
In Joe Price’s first statement, he says:
“And I hear what is — you know, it was yelling, but it wasn’t. It was just like grunts or something.”
In Price’s second statement, he states:
“I hear grunts. (indiscernable) yelling, but I thought well, its not — it wasn’t people yelling words it was like uhh, uhh, something like that, like repeatedly.”
Joe goes to Robert’s side and Victor goes upstairs to call 911. When he returns to the second floor, Joe says:
“He actually moaned a little bit. He like look at me, or focus on anything, but — and that was the only time he ever made any noise when he was there, you know…”
Victor Zaborsky’s first statement goes even further in contradicting Dr. Najam’s testimony:
“And then we woke up — I woke up to screams. And Joe and I both jumped out of bed and ran to the door. And when we got to the door, Joe went out and flipped the light on and we heard another low kind of scream while we were at the — at our doorway.”
According to Dr. Najam, there is no possible way that Victor could have heard this scream when Joe and Victor were at the door because Robert would have already been dead for up to maybe thirty seconds, even more.
In Zaborsky’s second statement, he says:
“The next thing I know I woke up with a screams. I did not hear the chime. I was sound asleep. So I heard, I heard these set of, like, like, a really low breathy grunt kind of sound, but it was loud, and so I jumped up. Joe jumped up beside me. We’re both sort of “What is that? What is that?” We run to the door of our bedroom and open the door, and we heard another kind of grunt…”
In both Joe and Victor’s statements, they consistently state that it was not just one scream, but rather multiple screams, which would extend beyond the time that Dr. Najam says Robert would still be alive.
If Dr. Najam is correct in his assertion, the inescapable conclusion is that Robert could not have made multiple screams…and presumably he would not have been found until the next morning by the sleeping defendants.
So while this defense expert has provided the defendants with a plausible scenario on how Robert died, he seems to have also taken away a crucial element of their story, which is how they came to know that Robert was fatally injured.
-posted by David