Both the government and defense picked up from where they left off at Wednesday’s motions’ hearing with the biggies still to be decided, including motions to suppress and sever.
The first witnesses were called today, even though the trial has not begun in earnest. Both teams were on their game today, and, in fact, approached the court as if it where game day. On several occasions, the court had to remind the government and defense that this was a “Miranda hearing for the purposing of suppression of statements, and their line questioning was best saved for the trial.”
The first witness on the stand was Sergeant Hampton, who was also the first MPD officer to arrive on the scene. He was in the 16th and U Street area when the call for a robbery and burglary at 15th and Swann Street came through.
After the jump, the biggest blunder of the morning.
When asked by Assistant Attorney Rachel Carlson who was the first person Hampton saw on the scene, he said it was Joe Price. She then asked the officer to point him out.
Judge Liebovitz instructed him to get up and point out which individual Joe Price was. Instead of pointing to Price, he pointed to Dylan Ward. Ouch.
After this debacle, the government was able to rehabilitate slightly Hampton’s credibility when he did correctly identify where Joe Price worked.
Defense pointed out the matter that Hampton changed the version of Joe Price’s take after hearing the grunts/scream. In Hampton’s report he said Price went downstairs first, before going up to find the body. He later switched this version. Grimm tried to make it sound like Hampton said he changed his version in the “last two weeks” but Hampton reminded him it was in the conference with the government, which was “like two years ago.”
Acting Supervisor Patrick took the stand, and did say that none of the of the defendants were arrested, handcuffed or restrained in anyway — all important admissions to support that they weren’t in custody.
When asked by Grimm if there was suspicious behavior on the part of the defendants, he paused and said, “they were whispering.”
Patrick also said that when search warrants for the home would be executed Price said, “Anything you need.”
Then Detective Waid took the stand. He has the bravura of a NFL quarterback, and was totally in command of his memory and recollections of the evening. He did not waiver when he said that none of the police activities, such as separating the witnesses, and escorting them to their rooms at Swann Street, were in violation of standard operating procedures.
After a short break the hearing will resume.