Hampton’s Memory Loss

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.


10 comments for “Hampton’s Memory Loss

  1. dcbill
    05/10/2010 at 1:44 PM

    Kudos to the whomurderedrobertwone.com blog team. I had planned on taking off work to attend at least part of the trial, but now I don’t have to. So far, your coverage has been excellent.

  2. Hoya Loya
    05/10/2010 at 2:07 PM

    At least the defense won’t be able to argue that Hampton was prepped.

  3. AnnaZed
    05/10/2010 at 3:28 PM

    “…Judge Leibovitz instructed him to get up and point out which individual Joe Price was. Instead of pointing to Price, he pointed to Dylan Ward. Ouch.”

    What the hell? Surely it was Ma’am standing on the steps?

    • CDinDC
      05/10/2010 at 4:39 PM

      That’s what came to my mind, AnnaZ. I thought all along that Victor was the welcome wagon that night. Is this yet another hole in the story (i.e. Joe was not upstairs tending to Robert as told by Victor on the phone, but instead he was downstairs roaming around) or did Officer Hampton truly not recognize the defendants? It’s been several years now…..memory does fade….and they all ahve grown fatter, thinner, tanner, older, greyer, paunchier, etc.

      What do Officer Hampton’s notes indicate? Now I need to go back in the stacks.

  4. Anon. in Arlington
    05/10/2010 at 4:36 PM

    Guess with the extra lbs Joe has packed on in the last 3.75 years, it very well may be confusing to Hampton.

  5. Angry Parakeet
    05/10/2010 at 5:22 PM

    First MDP to arrive at the scene. EMTs earlier were met by Victor – the EMTs were 1st on scene, right?

    • AnnaZed
      05/10/2010 at 5:43 PM

      What about officer Diane Durham, wasn’t she the first MPD officer at the scene?

      You see the trial hasn’t even started and this stuff is already confusing, something the defense can apparently count on.

      :: sigh ::

      • Bea
        05/10/2010 at 5:52 PM

        I assume that the first car/cars would be characterized as ‘first responding’ and that most travel in two’s anyway. Doesn’t surprise me that Durham had company. It is frustrating, though, that the officer ‘remembered differently’ and that Joe did NOT tell him he’d been downstairs. The more inconsistency from the defendants the better.

        Too, it’s good to remember this is a hearing about whether they were in custody and thus deserved Miranda (to keep out the statements).

  6. Clio
    05/10/2010 at 6:44 PM

    I trust that Florida has been good for Detective Waid: it has been good, of course, for Defendant Ward. Perhaps, Officer Hampton just needs a Miami respite package, too, complete with a legitimate Thai massage.

  7. David
    05/11/2010 at 11:17 AM

    Hampton was first on the scene, Durham arrived shortly afterwards, according to Hampton’s testimony.

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