Defense forgoing Jury Trial? 3:45pm Hearing TODAY
We hoped to take a day off while jury selection was happening. It seems like a lot happened already:
This just in from the Washington Post:
Defense in Wone case may pass on a jury trial
Defense attorneys representing the three men charged with conspiracy in the fatal stabbing of Washington attorney Robert Wone asked a D. C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday to delay jury selection in the case because they are considering having the trial heard by the judge instead of a jury.
Attorneys Bernie Grimm and David Schertler told Judge Lynn Leibovitz that they were concerned about picking a jury after the intense media coverage of the case.
Grimm and Schertler, and a team of other lawyers represent Joseph R. Price, 39, Victor J. Zaborsky, 44, and Dylan M. Ward, 39. The three men were arrested in 2008 and charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence after Wone’s body was found in their Dupont Circle townhouse on the night of Aug. 2, 2006. They each face a maximum of 38 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors are convinced that Wone was sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed after he was physically restrained by either a paralyzing drug or devices similar to those used in sadomasochistic sex. Such a device later was found in the house by police and listed in an affidavit filed in court.
After Schertler said it was a “very strong possibility” that they would prefer the bench trial, Leibovitz ordered her courtroom clerk to call the jury office in the courthouse and instructed officials there not to gather a jury pool.
The defense attorneys said they wanted more time to further discuss having a bench trial over a jury trial. Leibovitz is scheduled to hear their request Monday afternoon.
Our thanks to the Post’s Keith Alexander for filing this so quickly.
The government may object to this move. Judge Leibovitz MAY rule on this at the conclusion of today’s hearing. We’ll be on hand this afternoon at Moultrie and will update ASAP.