Bench Notes

The Jury is Dismissed – Update: Friday,  11:00pm

Just when you thought you had it all figured out.  Normally we start the day knowing what we’ll post, but yesterday’s turn of events has scrambled our coverage plans as well as the trial itself.  One thing that has not changed, tomorrow we’ll drop a final, major unreleased document in the case.

With the trial kicking off Monday and opening statements scheduled to start at 9:30am, Judge Lynn Leibovitz noted her new special role in the proceedings, and told the attorneys that, “I am well aware that opening statements are not admitted as evidence.”  A knowing laugh of hers followed.

The unexpected pivot by the defense appears bold.  Six months ago they argued to prevent Leibovitz from getting anywhere near this case, now they can’t get any closer to her as twelve people now will not be sitting in between.

One thing is certain in the trial’s outcome now, no hung jury.  There will be a verdict.

What’s left to write after a day like yesterday?  With a series of rolling thoughts, we’ll try after the jump.

Show of hands, whose Spidey-sense is tingling?

Is a deal in the works?

Was an anti-gay jury bias inevitable?  The defense appeared ready to portray the case as a homophobic prosecution run amok.  Was that going to be a tough card to play?

Was this a financial decision?   Did one of the funders shut off the spigot?

Is the defense trying to shift blame to unmentioned media as being the villains in this case?

Whether the defense feels it’s coming from a position of strength or weakness, why would prosecutors raise no objection?

 

Road Warrior:  The newest member of the wmrw team checks in from the road.  Intern Sean’s inital thoughts:

1.  Defense must really, really be worried jurors will be homophobes or otherwise biased against the lifestyle

2.  Defense must really be confident that they have a strong case on the particulars of the evidence and either don’t want jury confusion or…

3.  Just want to get it done quickly (either because they think they have a strong case and will get acquittal and want it finished up or because they have a weak case and just want to get this whole thing over with).

 More to come as the day we of wears on…

Trial Balloon:Regarding the discussion of the case’s media coverage that cropped up during Tuesday’s pre-trial hearing, was the defense floating a trial balloon?  It sure really didn’t fly at Wednesday’s hearing.

And did everyone jumped the gun and wrongly assumed that Bernie Grimm’s criticism of a certain blog being “vicious,” was directed at this one.  Yes, sharp elbows have been thrown in the comments section over the last 18 months, but I’ll welcome a side-by-side comparison of the commenters here vs. other sites any day, in particular those on Gawker, The Post, and ATL.   We’ve long welcomed their coverage and interest in the case and I’ll leave the media criticism to Grimm.

Our comments section remains unmoderated and except for the most offensive of posts, it’s been the very rare occasion any have come down. Yet I flagged this comment for moderation when I saw it this morning on the WRC-TV website. Maybe they’ve taken it down by now.

“Thursday_Next:  They should be honored, not placed on trial.  They did the world a favor by getting rid of a shyster.”

-Craig

Missing Motions:  The defense seems to have filed a motion in limine to limit, or exclude, almost every aspect of the prosecution’s case, notably statements, lack of blood, restraints, experimental evidence, EMT’s observations, burglary, sexual histories and sexual orientation.  Yet, they never filed two motions in limine on crucial aspects — the missing knife and the delayed reporting.

Why didn’t the defense move to exclude evidence about these two key areas?   I would think they would want any information about a missing knife from Dylan Ward’s bedroom be excluded from trial.  I would also think they would want to prevent any discussion that there was delayed reporting because it gets right to the heart of the prosecution’s obstruction case.

I don’t know which way is up or down today.

-David

Family is Family:  Events are moving fast.  Emotions are running hot.  Clarity is sorely needed…as is a little cooling.

This website has unintentionally created something of a community.  Those who come here begin to recognize each other; recognize individual thoughts, ideas, theories, processes and vulnerabilities.  Speaking only for myself, I’ve been heartened and bolstered at moments by your loyalty, time, and efforts.  It’s almost a little like…family.

And, like a family, it can be unintentionally cruel.

I won’t wag my finger in yet another “online civility” plea.  We’re all adults, and all who come here can conduct themselves as they choose.

But as one of the four who house this community, I ask all of us to make an extra step and effort to consider that, like a family, we are different people with different ideas and opinions.  No one needs to agree with anything; I am simply asking that we respect each other because of the deeper ties that keep us together.

Doug

Charlie Foxtrot X-Ray:  This is from a friend of wmrw, an insider, very helpful early on, who showed us an x-ray of the investigation.  OK, a blurry x-ray.

“Juries are a risk, particularly given the weird facts and setup of this case. 

Judge Leibovitz is a known quantity, generally pro-prosecution but fair and can cut through some of the red herring issues.  I could see going bench in this case because it’s too hard to predict what 12 might think.  A  hung jury was a real possibility here.”

-craig

D.I.Y:  There were a number of posts we were hoping to get up before trial.  We might run out of time. 

One in particular was to look at the scale model of 1509 Swann Street that the government was expected to use in front of the jury.  No reason to think that they won’t use it to visually depict the physical layout of the house with Judge Leibovitz. The model may aide the defense as well.

Using the Washington Post graphic that accompanied the Paul Duggan June 2008 series on the murder, it’s easy to get a grasp on the dimensions and distances in and outside of the house.  Note: We’re uncertain if the WaPo graphic is drawn to scale.

Based on rough measurements, 1509 Swann Street, NW is a 17 foot wide townhouse.  From the front door to the back patio door, where according to the defendants, the intruder entered, the distance is about 50 feet.  It’s approximately 20 feet from the patio door to the wooden fence the intruder supposedly climbed over to gain access to the property.  It’s another 20 feet, more or less, to the lot line on the alley.

This is now a do-it-yourself project.  The breakfast bar is pictured, where we were led to believe Price and Ward chatted with Robert.  Price said he saw an insect on a patio light.  That distance may have been as much as 15 feet.   He said he peered through a glass door, and possible reflections from the interior lighting, into the patio area.  He then went out, according to his statement to look at the “big bug.”

Ward claimed he descended the staircase from the second floor to the first, and saw the patio door latch in the unlocked position.  That distance could be 20 feet as well.  Take a look for yourself, do the math and draw your own conclusions.

Marxist:  A friend reminded me of a great Groucho line today:

“I was married by a judge.  I should have asked for a jury.”

-craig

 

68 comments for “Bench Notes

  1. Eagle
    05/13/2010 at 11:19 AM

    Good thinking Sean..May I add to the speculation:
    Or…they want to get it over with because one of the trouple my be weakening.
    Or… the spigot is being turned off
    Or….the attorneys have bigger fish to fry.
    Or….who knows.
    What we have learned is that these three victims are being so picked on, so biased against that they cannot trust the verdict of their peers.
    Spare me.
    they make me sick.

  2. Hoya Loya
    05/13/2010 at 11:30 AM

    I think Kim’s reasoning in her comments on yesterday’s post likely tracks that of the defense – that they will be unfairly judged based on their orientation and living arrangement and due to (increasing) press coverage. Anti-gay discrimination has been a recurring theme of the defense from day one.

    But trying to stand in the defendants’ shoes, I still question the move. I don’t believe that with the most inflammatory evidence excluded a jury would have unfairly judged the defendants, especially if the defense played to suspicions about the police force. And overlooked is that the jury might have just as easily been unfairly prejudiced against Robert for staying over with his gay friends and blamed the victim – a common fear expressed by many commenters here.

    The media scrutiny claim remains BS. But I always thought that so long as this case stayed under the mainstream media radar it was to the benefit of the defendants and their ability to “move on” after the case. No surprise that they grew uncomfortable as the spotlight grew brighter on the eve of trial.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Bea that the techniques that would lead a confused jury to find reasonable doubt won’t work with a judge. A judge will be less likely to find that misapplication of Ashley’s Reagent or failure to image a BlackBerry taint an entire investigation and more likely to give any untainted evidence its fair weight. A judge will be less likely to find that tough questioning by the detectives necessarily indicates an overall bias in the investigation. A judge is less likely to find that career police officers, EMTs and medical examiners don’t know their jobs just because of flashy cross-examination. A judge is also better equipped to judge expert witnesses and spot an outlying opinion or misleading test for what it is as opposed to being convinced of reasonable doubt simply because the defense put on an opposing expert. And a judge has no jury instructions to misapply.

    Bernie didn’t sound like he was about to deal when he questioned the late test results yesterday. Why threaten to draw a line in the sand if your client is going to cave?

    • Clio
      05/13/2010 at 6:53 PM

      Because that is just Bernie. He needs to look tough, even if he has a losing hand. Potential clients may be watching!

      “Where’s my check, Culuket?” should be his theme song, set to the music of Tom Jones’ “What’s new, Pussycat?” Whoah, whoah, whoah!

    • Lindsay Bluth
      05/13/2010 at 8:23 PM

      Juries get hung up on the weirdest details and you never know what they might be. Plus, remember how hard it was for that detective to wrap his head around the living arrangement at Swann Street? And how he couldn’t believe that Joe and Robert could be friends for so long without being involved because Joe is gay so he *must* want to screw every guy who crosses his path? He’s probably still trying to figure that out. Judges have seen and heard just about everything. Plus, this judge has been hearing this stuff about the living arrangements, etc. for a while so she’s desensitized to it.

      The judge can also spot when the detectives made up their minds that “oh, these guys are just some gay freaks” and started cutting corners or just tuned out and stopped paying attention to anything else that came up. And she knows that EMT’s are very good at gauging people’s reactions in emergencies because they are almost always the first on the scene and they have to be on their toes because they often walk in before a scene is secure so they don’t know if the bad guys are still around.

      Don’t underestimate botching a crime scene investigation or making bad leaps on an autopsy report. There are some things that can be rectified and some things that can’t, but there’s no excuse for not doing your job right the first time. There are some people who do their job very well and are professionals, but there are also some people who just managed to pass the civil service exam that day.

      • CDinDC
        05/13/2010 at 9:00 PM

        But even if you exclude the “botched” evidence, there is other evidence that isn’t botched…..the knife (the knife found with the body clearly is not the weapon used…how did it get blood on it then?)….the lack of evidence of an intruder (no fingerprints, footprints, sightings, nuttin)….towel fibers on the knife (no t-shirt fibers)….striation marks on Robert’s chest (shouldn’t be…clearly he was wiped down). Plenty that wasn’t botched.

        • Lindsay Bluth
          05/13/2010 at 9:25 PM

          Right, there’s evidence (or lack of evidence) that points to something being amiss and points to a cover-up, but there’s nothing pointing to WHO covered anything up. I’ll give you an example.

          A cop pulls over a car that’s driving erratically for DUI. As the cop approaches the car he sees a lot of commotion inside. When he gets to the driver’s window, there’s no one in the driver’s seat, but there are 3 guys in the back and they’re all drunk. No one will say who was driving. Who do you charge?

          In this case you’ve got obstruction of justice, OK. But who cleaned the body? Who cleaned the knife? Who’s going down for those acts? How do you prove who knew what and who did what if nobody’s talking? That’s the problem. It seems obvious that someone must know something, but how do you prove it?

          If they could prove that there was blood on the walls, floor, etc. Then the prosecution would have a stronger case with the timing of Victor’s scream versus the time of the 911 call because that’s strong circumstantial evidence that they were cleaning.

          Some people think “circumstantial” means “weak” but if the prosecution can show that there was blood cleaned up in the house then what other “circumstance” were the guys attending to between the scream and the 911 call?

          • CDinDC
            05/13/2010 at 9:44 PM

            But isn’t the point of obstruction of justice the fact that nobody is talking? And being that they are being tried together, you don’t need to distinguish who did what.

            • Lindsay Bluth
              05/13/2010 at 11:02 PM

              Yes, but you have to show that someone is intentionally doing it. Everyone is saying they were in bed.

              Let’s see… you’ve got the neighbor who says they heard Victor scream way before the 911 call. Which puts Victor on the hook for obstruction, which is ironic because he’s probably the only one who didn’t touch any blood in this whole thing.

              Joe swears he and Victor came down the stairs together so that ties those two together. So they’re going down for obstruction if the judge buys the neighbor’s eyewitness testimony on the time of the scream (and the defense will have an expert on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony which, honestly, is pretty bad if you don’t have anything else to corroborate it).

              So then you’ve got Joe and Victor going down for Dylan, which ain’t going to happen. So it’s going to depend on how experts pan out and how evidence plays with the judge. Look for things to get sweaty and anxious around that stuff.

          • Lyn
            05/13/2010 at 11:46 PM

            “but there’s nothing pointing to WHO covered anything up.”

            Sure there is. Plenty of it. Just one example off the top of my head: Price tells police there was a ton of blood when there wasn’t. Zaborsky tells the 911 operator there are two towels when there wasn’t. Both of these statements are demonstrably false and both are recorded. Ward tells police he showed Wone the shower, took a pill and immediately fell asleep, yet he also claims he heard Wone leave the shower, close the door to the guest bedroom and latch it. He hears well in his supposed sleep.

            • Lindsay Bluth
              05/13/2010 at 11:53 PM

              “Ton of blood” is subjective. If someone isn’t used to seeing blood anything more than a pin prick could be a ton of blood.

              There were EMTs who came in and took Robert, his clothing and (the defense will argue) one of the compression towels with them to the hospital where they were promptly lost with all the other bloody stuff that hospitals throw away.

              One of the Kennedy’s drove the the Hill for a vote at 3 a.m. while taking Ambien.

              Not trying to defend the Amazing Three, just putting things in perspective.

            • Lindsay Bluth
              05/14/2010 at 12:00 AM

              Actually, what the prosecution should (and hopefully will) focus on is that the EMTs described Robert as (I’m going off memory here) “a male wearing a grey, William and Mary t-shirt”. What their description should have been was “a male wearing a blood-soaked t-shirt”.

              Even if, as the defense motions claimed, Robert had bled out internally and no blood had gotten on the bed from the attack (which is bullshit because that gut wound would have bled like crazy even if the two chest wounds had managed to bleed internally only) Robert’s torso would have been full of blood and when Joe started compressions there would have been blood everywhere. Joe, Robert, and the bed should have been covered in blood just from Joe’s efforts to assist Robert.

              • Bea
                05/14/2010 at 1:02 AM

                Agree that a lot depends on what’s actually in the testimony. If Joe’s friend says Joe held court that he pulled the knife from Robert’s chest, that’s tampering since he told the cops he didn’t. And the knife not being the murder weapon but instead a blade wiped with blood (with towel fiber and no t-shirt fiber) would then be difficult to explain away.

                If the friend WON’T/CAN’T testify to that, you still have the timing problem since presumably it takes a bit to go through the machinations to wipe down the wrong knife (especially if you first have to find it in Dylan’s closet) if the intruder’s in-and-out of the house (per Joe was a few minutes tops.

                And the EMTs saying Robert was cold and had been dead a while yet Joe says (again) it not only JUST happened and they immediately called the cops, not to mention that when he was at Robert’s side that Robert moaned again.

                Lindsay, what’s your take on the conspiracy evidence coming (in at least small part) from all the repetitions of same-word choice (“intruder”) and messing up the 11:43 time they claim the 911 dispatcher said (clearly on tape at 11:54, with Joe’s voice prompting the question in the background)? To me this is reasonably good evidence, in the overall context, of a conspiracy – concocted story is concocted story, but for what purpose if not to both conspire and obstruct.

                Tampering will be hardest to prove against Dylan. Agree that Victor is dead-to-nuts on the 911 call (indeed chock full of irony).

                • Bea
                  05/14/2010 at 1:04 AM

                  Whoops as to Victor – NOT as to tampering. Joe’s the easiest on tampering since “underwear guy” was the one with the wrong knife who may or may not have pulled it from Robert’s chest (claims in the transcript that maybe he did say that).

                • Lindsay Bluth
                  05/14/2010 at 1:20 AM

                  The whole 11:43 vs. 11:54 thing really isn’t a big deal because it’s the kind of mistake you expect to see in any kind of story. It’s the kind of mistake the brain makes when it records memories… 5-4, 4-3. It seems like it’s an indication that they’re lying (which they are), but that particular thing is not.

                  What is a bigger deal is the fact that they are telling each other’s stories. Going off memory again, Joe keeps stepping on other people’s stories in his interviews with the cops. Like when he talks about Victor going to get the phone and coming back down stairs… at one point he seems to realize that he’s pretty far into describing something he shouldn’t have any personal recollection of and he stops his sentence dead and says “or whatever”.

                  Dylan, however, is much better at staying on script. Don’t know, wasn’t there, can’t say.

                  Joe’s interview didn’t strike me as a guy who was trying to get away with something, it struck me as a guy who was trying to cover for someone else. I could be completely wrong, but that’s my gut feeling. I started reading it looking for the “aha! there it is! he did it!” but it just sounded more and more like he was trying to cover for someone else.

              • Nora
                05/14/2010 at 7:31 AM

                This is why I’m hoping for a star witness turn by Ms. Morgan. Anyone familiar with that household (and Ms. Morgan lived there!) would have to know if there had been a clean-up.

  3. Lyn
    05/13/2010 at 12:21 PM

    Maybe this was a reluctant compromise between defendants. Let’s say one or more isn’t hopeful about the outcome of the trial. They just want to get all of this over with (I imagine the stress of this must be unbearable). But, they also know that pleading guilty results in a 100% chance of punishment whereas a trial might – MIGHT – somehow result in them going free. I could see this decision to skip the jury trial as being a compromise between just putting this behind them (via a faster trial) and preserving whatever small chance they have of going free (while also reducing the attention and shame the trial brings to their respective families).

    I admit that I’m trying to make sense of something that doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.

    • Cecily
      05/13/2010 at 2:16 PM

      They don’t have any shame or they wouldn’t be covering up a crime. I just don’t think they were all involved and I can’t understand why the one not involved would be willing to risk a long prison sentence for the other two. I guess spouses and domestic partners will do anything for each other though.

      I love this website. I have been following this case since the day the news broke about this crime and this website has served as an invaluable resource to get all the info that is out there so we can come to our own reasonable conlcusions. And these guys should know that the heat is on. I really enjoy all the insightful and educated comments on here.

  4. CDinDC
    05/13/2010 at 12:36 PM

    We all know that Bernie reads this blog. I believe he knows that a jury will find the defendants guilty, based on what he sees here.

    We have been presented the evidence just as a jury would. (Our one advantage is we’ve had 2 years to rehash it.) the majority of the people on this blog believe the defendants are guilty of the charges at hand. Period. No reasonable doubt.

    I will say, however, that if I were a juror at their MURDER trial, I would have a hard time convicting them as I can’t say without a shadow of doubt WHO actually murdered Robert Wone. Robert Wone was murdered in that house by someone, but I can’t say who.

    • Hoya Loya
      05/13/2010 at 2:35 PM

      I think that, tried to a jury, the case was a toss-up. It was going to depend on the make-up of the jury, the effectiveness of cross-examination of prosecution witnesses and the strength of the defense experts on the stand. If the government presented a straightforward, clear-cut case and have it hold up under flamboyant defense attack. If the case came across strongly, the defense would have had to create a sizable anount of doubt. I would not have bet on the outcome.

      Now, the judge can look beyond a prosecution witness faltering under cross so long as she finds him credible. A strong defense expert could still be discarded if she finds his theory to be too “out there.” The defense must be wagering that the government can’t make a prima facie case and that they can win directed verdict when the government rests.

    • Also From the Post Story
      05/13/2010 at 2:42 PM

      > the majority of the people on this blog believe
      > the defendants are guilty of the charges at hand….

      And if you exclude a few special pleaders who seem to be friends of the defendants and would therefore be removed from the jury pool, you can make that “the overwhelming majority.”

      On the other hand, we haven’t yet seen a proper defense! Maybe Grimm et al. have an ace up their sleeves that will change our minds? Any guesses what that could POSSIBLY be? At this point, if an actual intruder came forth and sobbingly confessed to doing the whole thing (including the coverup), I wouldn’t believe him!

  5. anonymous
    05/13/2010 at 12:55 PM

    This is kind of off-topic and quite hypothetical, but I was wondering about the following: Many (almost all) who post on this blog think the defendants are clearly guilty. At the same time, there have clearly been issues with the evidence, and for what its worth, after I read the defendants’ statements, I couldn’t help but think that Dylan (and maybe even Victor to some degree) sounded pretty credible. Given all of this, how do you think we will react if the Judge finds them not guilty? I was sort of prepared to treat a not guilty jury verdict as kind of an “OJ situation” — guilty, but jury couldn’t get it together to make that finding for whatever sociological reason. With a judge’s verdict? not as clear. Again, I realize it is very, very hypothetical (and even unlikely given some of the evidence), but how do you think you would react?

    • rk
      05/13/2010 at 2:13 PM

      I apologize for not answering your question, but I wanted to respond regarding Dylan’s credibility. I agree that his transcripts during the police interviews certainly seemed more credible than Joe’s (and Victor’s, to an extent). Q: If all three defendants were all participants in the cover up and obstruction, why would Dylan come across as the most credible? A: Because according to the trouple’s narrative, Dylan was almost a non-factor that night. Dylan didn’t hear the grunts/screams. Dylan didn’t call 911. Dylan didn’t tend to Robert’s body. Dylan didn’t hear or do anything, other than head back to his room and close the door when the police arrived.

      If you are going to take the defendants at their word, someone had to have a reason to go down and check on Robert (Joe and Victor), someone had to tend to a dying Robert (Joe) and someone had to make the 911 call (Victor). This leaves Dylan out of the picture. If they are lying, he has less to lie about because according to their story he wasn’t involved in the events between the grunts/screams and the arrival of the EMT’s. If they are lying about the events that night, Joe must have taken the lead and convinced the others to let him do the talking to the police, while Victor handled the 911 call. Dylan, on the other hand, positions himself as a simple bystander. Therefore, Dylan comes across as the most credible during the interviews, and therefore seems the most “innocent” in the eyes of some of the observers.

      • Also From the Post Story
        05/13/2010 at 3:24 PM

        > while Victor handled the 911 call.

        I still CAN NOT understand why they made the 911 call. Without it, they could have taken all night to *get rid of the body,* make the cleanup perfect, and then, when a missing-persons cop finally arrived a day or two or three later, simply say Robert never showed up that night. Of course they would be under some suspicion at first, but with clean records, good characters and zero motive, perhaps not even that for long. In any case, there probably never would have been evidence for any charge.

        Damn that hysterical Victor and his insistence on using the phone! Why didn’t they just take it away from him? And say “Calm down, we have to get rid of the body,” instead of, “Listen up quick, this’ll be your story after you dial.”

        If I were a juror, that would be the only thing leaving a bit of daylight to a not guilty. Not that it matters now. But I will never believe I understand this case until I understand that part.

        • Friend of Rob
          05/13/2010 at 3:35 PM

          Victor’s scream made that decision for them.

          • Phil
            05/13/2010 at 3:41 PM

            I also thought Robert called his wife sometime after he got there. (which is why it was odd that he would then text her later?) Am I mis-remembering that?
            …. come to think of it, I must be, because the timelines don’t put Robert’s death some time inbetween a phone call to his wife and the 911 call…

            • CDinDC
              05/13/2010 at 3:51 PM

              I think he called while returning to RFA to meet the night crew.

            • BadShoes
              05/13/2010 at 9:09 PM

              Mr. Wone did not call his wife after his arrival at 1509.

              However, his blackberry had two unsent messages, at 11:05pm and 11:07pm, one to his wife, in which he wrote that he had just taken a shower and was going to bed.

              The blackberry was subsequently erased and the evidence lost.

              Its easy to spoof the time/date on a blackberry if the radio is turned off, but the user is usually required to re-enter a password after some period of inactivity.

              The police suspected that maybe somebody typed those messages for Mr. Wone. If he typed the messages himself, it squeezes the timeline quite a bit.

              However, among the many odd features of this case, Mr. Zaborsky, in describing his activities, said that Joe Price shut off the TV, and they went to bed–when?

              “Now its probably only like 5 minutes after 11, 7 minutes after 11.” (p.6).

              Exactly the time of those messages on the blackberry. Hmmm.

          • Joey
            05/13/2010 at 3:42 PM

            Maybe Victor screamed because he saw a spider?

            • Also From the Post Story
              05/13/2010 at 4:14 PM

              I have been known to scream at night because I just lost a video game.

              Did any of the three own a car? Or have access to one? Even if they had to borrow a car from a friend to dump the body in some forest, simply borrowing a car at an odd hour might not have been sufficient evidence to bring charges. That’s assuming the friend ever got suspicious and told police about loaning the car… or ever heard about some Wone missing-person case at all.

              • CDinDC
                05/13/2010 at 5:10 PM

                I think they own a “Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes.”

                • Clio
                  05/13/2010 at 10:58 PM

                  Well, I thought it was merely a BMW that they had in 2006. Their neighbors probably had “Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes” — an important point of status for the low-born Price.

                  • MotherOfInvention
                    05/13/2010 at 11:27 PM

                    Yes, this is what I recall as well.

                  • AnnaZed
                    05/13/2010 at 11:36 PM

                    Ah yes, the beemer, a very significant possession. I believe that all three men separately and consistently opined that it would make an ideal elf launching station.

                    …beemer, beemer, beemer …

                    a trifecta of coincidental thinking under pressure.

        • CC Biggs
          05/13/2010 at 7:07 PM

          Why do you have “get rid of the body” in quotes? In this case the expression applies literally. They really would have had to find a way to get rid of the actual body. That’s not an easy thing to do, which is probably why they didn’t try to do it.

          • CDinDC
            05/13/2010 at 9:12 PM

            CC don’t be naughty. This is not English class.

        • Lindsay Bluth
          05/13/2010 at 7:07 PM

          Didn’t Robert take a cab to the house? Harder to explain how he disappeared between the cab and the door.

  6. Bill M. Quick
    05/13/2010 at 12:57 PM

    Can anyone venture a guess as to the current legal bill-to-date?

    • CC Biggs
      05/13/2010 at 2:26 PM

      $500k including experts.

    • Bea
      05/13/2010 at 2:31 PM

      Unless it was taken on a flat rate (which is quite likely according to a prior post on this issue), then between the three defense firms, it is likely in the $500K to $1M range (if not more given the experts). I have no idea what a flat rate would be for a trial like this in which three different firms are involved, and each has a number of attorneys working on it. Serious dollars.

    • Hoya Loya
      05/13/2010 at 2:37 PM

      Depends how many hours were put in by Joe.

      • des
        05/13/2010 at 4:02 PM

        a contractor once told me that his costs would be more (not less) if my husband helped out. i’m guessing it’s the same here. lol

      • Sam
        05/13/2010 at 6:57 PM

        According to the Post, yesterday when Judge Leibovitz asked Joe if he was a practicing attorney, he said “you could say so.” I think that means he’s working on his own case.

        • CDinDC
          05/13/2010 at 9:10 PM

          Or maybe an unemployed attorney that hasn’t been disbarred.

          • AnnaZed
            05/13/2010 at 9:11 PM

            Yet.

            • Clio
              05/13/2010 at 10:29 PM

              AZ, two snaps up for that one word!

  7. CC Biggs
    05/13/2010 at 2:22 PM

    The media is really a big problem. It’s getting to the point where you can’t even kill a friend in your own home anymore without the media reporting on it!

    • Lyn
      05/13/2010 at 2:51 PM

      A perfect 10!

    • CDinDC
      05/13/2010 at 2:54 PM

      Best line ever.

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/13/2010 at 5:12 PM

      Reminds me of an old Ann Richards line — “The price of gas in Texas is getting so high; women who want to run over their husbands are having to carpool!”

    • Eagle
      05/13/2010 at 5:54 PM

      Perfect!. You have made my day – which was not doing so well after the bench trial/excuses
      news.

  8. John Grisham
    05/13/2010 at 3:11 PM

    Other unlikely possibilities:

    • The defense team has caught wind of a major investigative piece that will soon be aired/published which will significantly change their case.

    • All the modeling by jury consultants routinely resulted in a conviction, even with the defense’s dream jury selection.

    • A member of the defense team has a close pre-exiting relationship with Leibovitz, and Leibovitz’ true feelings about the case have been back-channeled to him/her through a mutual friend.

    • AnnaZed
      05/13/2010 at 3:42 PM

      “• All the modeling by jury consultants routinely resulted in a conviction, even with the defense’s dream jury selection. ”

      That doesn’t seem all that unlikely to me John.

      • CDinDC
        05/13/2010 at 3:55 PM

        Don’t most attorneys have mock trials to prep their clients? Perhaps, in the same vein as John’s post, things just didn’t look good.

        • Bea
          05/13/2010 at 4:25 PM

          Agree too. There are consultants who even do prep of defendants to see how they’ll do if they take the stand – I’m sure all this money was spent for the defendants and nothing seemed to be working.

  9. Uncle Ernie
    05/13/2010 at 5:01 PM

    The conversation goes something like this:

    Needham (choking back tears, voice trembling):

    “Dylan, your mother and I have always supported you, no matter what. We will always love you. You are our son. We are your family, and we want to help you as much as we can. Please don’t throw your life away. There is still time to make this right, to save yourself. We will do everything we can to try to get you a lighter sentence, and placement in a facility close by so we can see you often.

    Your mother cries every night over this and prays to God for help and guidance. It is killing us, Dyl. We remember you as a young child, how happy you were, and we want to continue to have a family. We know you were confused, influenced by those other guys, and now you are scared. But please, son, come clean. Now is your only chance.

    Pray with me. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit . . . .”

    • John Grisham
      05/13/2010 at 5:48 PM

      The next day . . .

      Dylan: “Joe! Vicky! Something wonderful happened to me last night. Let me share the Good News with you and you too can be forgiven!”

      • Lindsay Bluth
        05/13/2010 at 7:50 PM

        That’s it! The real killers were raptured out of the house!

        Sorry… couldn’t resist.

        • Clio
          05/13/2010 at 10:38 PM

          That IS it, Miss Bluth! They, not the trouple, came to Jesus, even if Mr. Price did admit a belief in God in his Anacostia dialogues — I knew that the “cerebral” Detective Wagner was on to something.

  10. CDinDC
    05/13/2010 at 5:09 PM

    While combing my hair now.
    And wond’ring what dress to wear now.
    I say a little prayer for you…

    • TT
      05/13/2010 at 8:32 PM

      Perfect CD

  11. enjointhis
    05/13/2010 at 7:21 PM

    Granted, my time in DC was some years ago. But I intuit the defendants were faced with a lesser-of-two-evils choice. Broadly, I suspect jurors from Anacostia or Shipley Terrace aren’t going to have a lot of sympathy for well-to-do white male homosexuals. While there was a fair amount of sloppy police work, I think the DC jury pool would be more familiar / accepting of that, and would be off-put by the aggressive, in-your-face, verrrry expensive (caucasian) defense lawyers. Call it class envy, if you will.

    • CDinDC
      05/13/2010 at 9:23 PM

      I have to wonder how many potential jurors from areas like Anacostia and Shipley Terrace would be voir dired out of the pool for being familial victims of homocide. It’s a tragic fact that the murder rate in those areas is quite high.

      I, personally, have been excluded from a jury pool for that very reason. An attorney will attempt to exclude anyone that has had a family member that has been murdered for fear of the juror being unable to be unbiased toward a defendant that may have committed murder.

      • Clio
        05/13/2010 at 10:47 PM

        So, in your calculus, enjoin, a straight white female Bush appointee with a demonstrated animus against spoiled “elite” behavior is a lesser evil (for Bernie & Co.) than (allegedly) homophobic black folks from poor neighborhoods thirsting for revenge against effete whites. Come to think of it: that is a Hobson’s choice that Team Price so richly deserves — it IS such a pity all that parental mortgage money has just gone down the toilet!

  12. CC Biggs
    05/13/2010 at 8:05 PM

    “Juries are a risk, particularly given the weird facts and setup of this case. Judge Leibovitz is a known quantity, generally pro-prosecution but fair and can cut through some of the red herring issues. I could see going bench in this case because it’s too hard to predict what 12 might think. A hung jury was a real possibility here.”

    Wait a minute. This is why the PROSECUTION would want to go with a bench trial. But the decision was made by the DEFENDANTS, which is why it is puzzling. A hung jury — a real possibility as you say — would be good for the defendants.

  13. TT
    05/13/2010 at 8:27 PM

    This is my wish for the outcome….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYi7uEvEEmk

    • Tallulah
      05/13/2010 at 10:46 PM

      Good kharma in that tune.

  14. Eagle
    05/13/2010 at 8:44 PM

    Thanks TT
    I bookmarked it for future use.

  15. Clio
    05/13/2010 at 11:11 PM

    The dreadful poster at WRC-TV took the stage name of Thursday_Next — so, next Thursday, will another shoe drop? Will a house fall on Michael? Only Glenn-da the Good Witch knows for sure!

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