Day 1: Wrap

Opening Statements, and Katherine Wone Takes the Stand

So what was learned today?

  1. Defense Pushback on Knife.  In their opening statements, all three defense counsels Bernie Grimm, David Schertler and Thomas Connolly addressed the question of the knife, with Schertler insisting – using a very large blow-up image – that the knife found on the scene was in fact the murder weapon AND the missing knife from Dylan Ward’s cutlery set “…was never even in DC.  It was in Seattle Washington.”
  2. Fibers.  Bernie Grimm referenced FBI researchers and publications claiming that “…white cotton fibers have little evidentiary value because they are so ubiquitous.”
  3. Awkwardness. During Kathy Wone’s time at the stand today, we heard of the somewhat awkward nature of the friendship between Kathy and the Swann Street housemates, and between Robert and housemates Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward.
  4. W-5. We now know “W-5” is Scott Hixon, a Dupont Circle interior designer and friend of Joe Price.  Or perhaps more than just friends…at least so the prosecution suggested.
  5. Overt Acts 2 and 3: the government said that it would be dropping “Overt Acts 2 (that the defendants made up the bed) and 3 (the defendants placed the body on the bed), and modified Act 1, redacting references to manipulating the crime scene.
  6. Fastidious. Kirschner went to lengths, and apparently will do so even more, to paint Robert as fastidious.  Why is this important?  Because Robert’s clothes were found tossed about in the guest bedroom, and the towels put out for him for his shower were apparently never touched.  Kirschner said, “He never showered.”

More after the jump.

Beyond these specific points, it’s clear the defense is ready to take full advantage of any and all previously admitted government and law enforcement errors, reinforcing their message that this was a flawed investigation from the beginning.  Said Ward counsel Schertler, the government “…tried to create evidence to fit a preconceived theory…”

Interestingly, all three defense attorneys took pains to paint Robert and all of the Swann Street three as good friends…and that friends simply can’t murder friends.  A close reading of the defendants’ interview statements, and comments today from Kathy Wone, raise some doubt about those claims.

Looking back, in his opening statement Kirschner seemed to hit his strongest stride referencing W-5 and Joe’s statement to him that he pulled the knife from Robert’s chest.  This, after being interviewed for hours that he found the knife lying on Robert’s chest..an inconsistency that Kirschner hopes demonstrates the “vacuum” of truth in statements by the defendants.

While Bernie appeared a bit rattled in his presentation, Thomas Connolly was a model of brevity and simplicity.   In less than 15 minutes he presented Victor Zaborsky as an honest man, “…a son and a father…” who throughout testified honestly that he simply doesn’t know what happened.  “He is crying inconsolably, he is crying inconsolably…” he repeated about Victor on the 911 call, devastated by the sudden and inexplicable murder of his friend.”

At 4:00pm, Robert’s widow Kathy Wone took the stand and was sown in.  Kirschner guided her through the basic biographical questions about her background and how she met her late husband.

She spoke of the times she visited the defendants’ previous home on Capitol Hill, three times, and at Swann, another three times.  For ID purposes she pointed out each of the defendants for the record.

She testified that she had a “general understanding” of the Price-Zaborsky relationship, “a committed long term relationship.”  Her understanding of the Price-Ward relationship?  “A roommate who needed housing.. he needed a place to live.”

She said she knew of Sarah Morgan, as just the tenant, but did not know her well at all.  She characterized Price and Robert as “very good friends,” and that he was friendly with both Zaborsky and Ward, “Robert was friends with his (Price’s) friends.”  She recounted Robert’s 30th birthday party, hosted by the threesome, as having been Price’s idea after she consulted him about a restaurant to hold it in.

Before adjournment, Kathy Wone told Kirschner of the July 24 lunch meeting she had with Price. Robert was supposed to have joined them, but business called him away.  “I felt it took a little effort to find topics of conversation, not because he was quiet, I just remembered some effort had to be made… It was not a deep conversation.”

Court resumes with Kathy again on the stand Tuesday morning at 9:45am.

121 comments for “Day 1: Wrap

  1. Doug
    05/17/2010 at 6:37 PM

    Bea: From the earlier thread, DC transcripts are insanely expensive, but I would love to have today’s, if for no other reason than to post it this weekend so everyone can read.

    FYI: We closed comments on the earlier post to help keep things moving along and hopefully easier to follow on this thread. We’ll try this out and see how it works.

    • former crackho
      05/17/2010 at 6:43 PM

      Maybe we could start a “sponsor a transcript” fund?

      • Bea
        05/17/2010 at 6:49 PM

        I’m in favor – I’ll push that PayPal icon for this good cause!

        • Meto
          05/17/2010 at 7:14 PM

          Bea et al:

          I have already this evening asked the editors by e-mail to consider a method for dealing with this issue. I also raised a confidential issue that I would like to discuss with legal counsel known to be loyal to this site and to “Some Justice.”

          Respectfully,

          Meto

          • Bea
            05/17/2010 at 7:15 PM

            Meto, if you’d like my email, the Eds can see here that I’m fine with them giving it to you. Best-

            • dcbill
              05/17/2010 at 7:58 PM

              I would contribute for transcripts. I would love to read the opening statements in their entirety.

              • CDinDC
                05/17/2010 at 8:03 PM

                me too. I wonder if Ben Franklin would contribute.

                • LAD
                  05/17/2010 at 8:20 PM

                  Editors – I will contribute to the transcript fund. Please send me an email with the info. Thank you for your continued hard work.

                • John Grisham
                  05/17/2010 at 8:28 PM

                  I’ll contribute at least a hundred times or more what a Ben Franklin is worth.

                  • Meto
                    05/17/2010 at 8:42 PM

                    John G.:

                    The generosity of your offer overwhelms all of us (well except Ben).

                    Respectfully (well sort of),

                    Meto

              • Daphne
                05/18/2010 at 2:41 PM

                I’d contribute.

  2. Bill Orange
    05/17/2010 at 6:48 PM

    Hmmm. The defense looks like they’re going to go all in on the knife, which they’re pretty much going to have to do if the prosecution can box in Joe Price on pulling the knife out of the body. That’s going to hurt them–the knife is, by all accounts, a “clean” piece of evidence that wasn’t tainted by any sort of crime scene screw-ups.

    I’m already feeling sorry for Scott Hixon. Most people don’t want their hook-ups revealed in open court, particularly if the other party is a potential murderer.

    The awkwardness between Kathy Wone and Joe Price seems pretty typical to me. If you’re planning on meeting up with a friend and his spouse, and the spouse shows up but the friend doesn’t, you’re going to have a awkward meeting.

    The fact that Kathy Wone didn’t know about the Price-Ward relationship is telling. I’m guessing that most people didn’t know that Ward was more than just a roommate, particularly their heterosexual friends.

    I still think Connolly (Zaborsky’s lawyer) has the easiest defense here, and it sounds like he’s leaving the door open for a “blame the other two” defense.

    • Bea
      05/17/2010 at 6:56 PM

      I wonder what the defense will try to do with the knife PHOTOS which appear to show striations of having been wiped? Especially if Scott Hixon mans up and is emphatic that Joe said he pulled the knife from Robert’s chest. I can see Joe flexing over that much as the way he held court at Arent Fox the day after. It’s all about Joe.

      • Bill Orange
        05/17/2010 at 7:01 PM

        I would imagine he’ll say that he must have absent-mindedly wiped it down, because that’s what he usually does when he grabs a knife. If the prosecution is able to literally put the knife in Joe’s hand, he’ll be able to explain the striations on the knife–but then the defense is going to have to discredit everyone who says that that particular knife couldn’t be the murder weapon.

        • Bea
          05/17/2010 at 7:14 PM

          After saying in the interrogation that he knew he’d been “a moron” for TOUCHING the knife, it would be hard to believe that he didn’t mention he’d wiped it down. I think they’ll spend energies on discrediting Hixson’s claim. If the Judge believes that Joe boasted that he pulled the knife from Robert’s chest AND then there is funky evidence about the knife having blood wiped on it, Joe is done. Even if Michael WERE the killer, this would be Joe tampering with evidence and the other two conspiring with him.

          Can’t believe Daddy Needham isn’t poised to stop the shenanigans from going to verdict.

          • rk
            05/17/2010 at 8:03 PM

            It sounds simple, but the testimony from the neighbor regarding Joe pulling the knife out of Robert’s body could be used to show that Joe was making false statements, period. Either 1) he lied to the witness about pulling the knife out of Robert or 2) he lied to the police about finding the knife “lying on Robert.” Joe was very specific: “I believe it was lying on him – like on his stomach or something like that.” Either way, if he told the witness about pulling the knife out of Robert’s body, he was lying to someone about the events of that night, which is difficult to explain away.

            If I’m Joe’s attorney there is no way I allow Joe to take the stand and have to answer questions regarding these types of inconsistent statements.

            • CDinDC
              05/17/2010 at 8:06 PM

              I so hope he takes the stand. I just want to see if he says “you know” a million times like he did the night of the murder. If he doesn’t, it says to me that he may have been on drugs that night.

              • Clio
                05/17/2010 at 8:19 PM

                Stray thoughts: if the Joe-Kathy lunch on 7/24/06 was a bit awkward, just imagine how strained the trouple’s visit to Oakton immediately after the murder must have been. And, then, there was that odd lunch between Mr. Price and Mrs. Wone during the autumn of 2007, after the Holder news conference. What was said then during that last parley for “peace”?

            • Bea
              05/17/2010 at 8:15 PM

              I agree that Bernie won’t WANT Joe to take the stand, but hubris may be too compelling for Joe.

              • CDinDC
                05/17/2010 at 8:16 PM

                Joe thinks he’s “bullet-proof.”

              • rk
                05/17/2010 at 8:29 PM

                Hubris or not, I don’t think you hire Bernie and then ignore his advice. If Joe insists on running his own case, why hire a top gun?

                • AnnaZed
                  05/17/2010 at 8:31 PM

                  Mercedes, Mercedes, Bernie Grim, Mercedes …image (self image).

                • Bea
                  05/17/2010 at 8:35 PM

                  It likely irks Joe that he did so poorly during interrogations that he wants another shot at it – or he was indeed still high and wants to try it sober. Bernie may win or OR Bernie realized Joe was testifying no matter what and decided to persuade him to go bench trial.

                  Still think that if Joe testifies that that puts pressure on the other two – maybe then we’d see some differences in their stories.

                  • PW Herman
                    05/18/2010 at 12:11 AM

                    2 Questions:

                    Assuming Price was high during interrogation:

                    1) Would altered or diminished capacity be a defense against any inconsistencies in his account?

                    2)If he were high, what would this say about the perception of the detectives who questioned him for hours, and failed to notice? If they HAD noticed, could they have gotten a warrant for a blood sample? Why didn’t they?

                • CDinDC
                  05/17/2010 at 8:52 PM

                  “why hire a top gun?”

                  Because he’s in deep sh*t. Deep Sh*t, Arkansas. (name that movie)

                  • Bea
                    05/17/2010 at 8:55 PM

                    Thelma and Louise. Love it.

      • Daphne
        05/18/2010 at 2:43 PM

        What did Joe Price say at AF?

    • PW Herman
      05/18/2010 at 12:05 AM

      “The fact that Kathy Wone didn’t know about the Price-Ward relationship is telling.”

      Makes an interesteing question of whether Robert Wone himself knew about the more specific nature of the Price-Ward relationship.

    • BadShoes
      05/18/2010 at 9:48 AM

      Mr. Zaborsky’s evidentiary problem (IMHO) is that he provided an alibi for Joe Price and vice versa.

      Also, Mr. Zaborsky spoke with the 911 operator, and told the operator several things that suggest more knowledge than a person suddenly awakened from a sound sleep moments before ought to have possessed.

      It would be very difficult (I think) to argue that Mr. Price is guilty of obstruction and Mr. Zaborsky is innocent (or vice versa).

      One could argue with somewhat more plausibility that Mr. Ward is guilty, and that Messrs. Price and Zaborsky are both innocent, or vice versa.

  3. Hoya Loya
    05/17/2010 at 6:49 PM

    Doug:

    This is intriguing: “Interestingly, all three defense attorneys took pains to paint Robert and all of the Swann Street three as good friends…and that friends simply can’t murder friends. A close reading of the defendants’ interview statements, and comments today from Kathy Wone, raise some doubt about those claims.”

    Can you elaborate on your thoughts on this at all, beyond the awkward Robert-less July 24 lunch?

    Good idea to encourage posting in a new thread — they were getting hard to follow, though fascinating.

    • Bea
      05/17/2010 at 6:51 PM

      It seems strange that all 3 are proclaiming ‘friends don’t murder friends!’ when both Dylan and Victor said they really didn’t know Robert except as Joe’s friend. One or both said they could recall being around him very few times – hardly “friends!” as the attorneys are painting them all.

      • Clio
        05/17/2010 at 7:35 PM

        Please! From the dawn of time and throughout all cultures, friends (and family) have been much more likely to kill friends (and family)– outside of organized warfare: that’s why Culuket is looking the most guilty at this juncture.

        • AnnaZed
          05/17/2010 at 7:44 PM

          I know I think I posted elsewhere earlier about the odds of the victim of a solved murder having known their attacker being 1 in 1.28 *(The odds the victim of a solved murder was not a stranger to the murderer are 1 in 1.28 (US, 2008).

          From one of my favorite websites The Book of Odds:
          http://www.bookofodds.com/

      • Ex Swann
        05/18/2010 at 2:04 AM

        Exactly!

    • Craig
      05/17/2010 at 9:07 PM

      Hoya: I recall an odd distancing in Ward and Zaborsky’s transcript statements. They didn’t claim Robert as a close friend IIRC.

      • Bea
        05/17/2010 at 9:10 PM

        Very much so. For all intents and purposes, Dylan said Robert was no more than an acquaintance.

    • Robert
      05/20/2010 at 5:46 AM

      HOYALOYA
      I think the defense is arguing that “friends don’t let friends murder friends.”

      I mean whoever heard of people closely related such as family or friends harming one another. I guess law enforcement authorities are generally misguided when it comes to looking first at family and friends when a crime against a person is committed.

  4. BenFranklin
    05/17/2010 at 6:51 PM

    Connolly’s characterization of the MPD investigation as “theory chasing evidence” from day one is brilliant!

    How come we’re not seeing it in your Tiral Day 1: Wrap Up, Editors?

    Pandering to the lynch mob?

    • rk
      05/17/2010 at 7:21 PM

      The editors of this site have done a terrific job of presenting the background of this case in a straightforward and unbiased manner. Today they are highlighting some of the arguments made by both the prosecution and the defense. If you don’t like their presentation of today’s events, find another news outlet.

      Perhaps this would be a more palitable headline:

      DAY 1: PROSECUTION IS INCOMPETENT AGAIN!! CONNOLLEY IS BRILLIANT. Full analysis below after the jump…..

      I’d take the hospitality of the “lynch mob” commentators on the wmrw.com site over the hospitality the defendats provided for their guest on Swan Street.

      • rk
        05/17/2010 at 7:24 PM

        Sorry, that was supposed to read “palatable headline” and “defendants” in the last line.

    • interestedobserver
      05/17/2010 at 7:28 PM

      BenFranklin: There’s nothing particularly original or “brilliant” by arguing that the prosecution had a theory and tried to gather evidence to support that theory. Remember, you don’t have a law degree and are not a lawyer, so please stop pretending to be one…
      Also, it’s called a “trial” not “tiral.”

      • AnnaZed
        05/17/2010 at 7:38 PM

        Really, if that’s the best Connolly can come up with I hope that Victor is getting a discount.

        • Bea
          05/17/2010 at 7:43 PM

          Wonder if Connolly was brief because he’s still hedging bets. If he’s not interested in joining too closely with other defendants’ counsel AND not really setting anything in stone during the opening, it will be interesting to see if he tries to disconnect Victor from the other two. Much as I’m an apologist, he certainly knew he was lying and/or perpetuating a lie and is guilty of these charges.

  5. CC Biggs
    05/17/2010 at 6:52 PM

    I wonder why the prosecution is establishing that Robert and Joe were friends. I don’t see how that helps the prosecution. Let the defendants do that.

    • Bea
      05/17/2010 at 6:58 PM

      You want all the basic facts in to tell the story. Too, you don’t want the defense getting ‘thunder’ out of anything – if you raise it, you define how it’s first presented. Too, it doesn’t seem that there’s any dispute that the two considered each other ‘friends’ what with the socializing and Robert’s decision to stay over.

      • srb
        05/17/2010 at 9:19 PM

        To me, the friendship between Price and Wone is relevant for more than just background. It contrasts starkly with Price’s palpable lack of concern about getting to the truth of what happened to Wone.

        What struck me the most about the transcripts of Price’s interviews from that morning was how he seemed so much more concerned about getting the police to buy his theory of what happened rather than helping them try to solve the case. If someone was murdered in my house, my reaction would be, “How could this happen?” and not “Let me tell you how this must have happened.” And if that person was someone who was supposed to be a good friend of mine, the disbelief, shock, and desire to help would be even greater. Look at the way the students at U Va. and the lacrosse teams around the country have responded to the murder of a player who was no more than an acquaintance to most of them.

        If the defense is now going to suggest that all three of them considered Wone a friend, that’s not only contrary to what the Zaborsky and Ward said in their interviews, but it also makes it that much harder to understand why they circled the wagons from day 1.

        • Bea
          05/17/2010 at 9:24 PM

          Agree – Joe hardly seemed ‘broken up’ about Robert’s murder during interrogations. And to call and ask Kathy’s friend/attorney to waive the privilege a day or two later is just cold-blooded.

          Frankly, I’d have thought that three grown men would have charged down the stairs (at least two of them, leaving one to tend to Robert and call 911) instead of “sitting on the sofa” as Dylan indicated he did.

          • srb
            05/17/2010 at 9:29 PM

            That response is especially odd, given that Price said that he thought the chime was Sara returning home. Nevermind that he didn’t check to see whether Ward was ok in his room, but he didn’t go to check whether the one female in the home (whom he describes as not physically capable of even coming up the stairs herself) had been attacked on the first floor?

            • BadShoes
              05/18/2010 at 9:21 AM

              Brilliant! An excellent point about Sara Morgan. How, indeed, did Mr. Price know, circa 11;45pm, that Ms. Morgan a) hadn’t come home (hence the chime); b) hadn’t stabbed Mr. Wone, perhaps by accident; or c) wasn’t lying dead downstairs?

          • Robert
            05/20/2010 at 5:54 AM

            Well Bea, they had to get their robes in order to be presentable for the EMTs.

        • AnnaZed
          05/17/2010 at 9:56 PM

          I know it is curious, did those defense attorneys read the same transcripts that I did (one wonders). Not only did Joe employ the curious verbal construction “you have to buy this” as regards his construction of the crime in direct conversation with the police but he also seemed not to be able to stop himself from belittling Robert and scoffing at Robert’s credentials and career calling him “not partner material” (what a swine). Given that Judge Leibovitz has no doubt read and understood all of this interview material far better than I ever could, you would think that someone on this white shoe legal squad might have thought better of standing before her and crying out to the rooftops now (a bit late in the game) of the trouple’s profound affection for Robert. Methinks they doth protest too much.

          • Carolina
            05/18/2010 at 9:09 AM

            RE: Robert not being partner material

            I would bet AF, and probably Victor, would say the same about Mister Joe.

          • Robert
            05/20/2010 at 5:57 AM

            ANNAZED
            I couldn’t agree with you more. I think that we discussed Joe’s belittling of his friend before. What kind of friend says his friend isn’t “partnership material” to anybody? That just does not make any sense unless the critic is envious.

        • Robert
          05/20/2010 at 5:53 AM

          Forget about what the defense has said about the friendship of the trio and Wone. There have been a lot of comments by Zaborsky and Ward that Wone was more than a passing acquaintance. Now, they are backtracking, but to where I do not know. I am hoping that it is the oblivion of prison.

  6. Bill Orange
    05/17/2010 at 6:57 PM

    Sort of off topic, but here’s some useful information for everyone: In the unlikely event that you encounter someone who has suffered any sort of penetrating trauma (such as a stab wound), do NOT pull the knife/arrow/piece of shrapnel/etc out of them. Apply pressure AROUND the wound and get the person to the hospital immediately.

    Often, an injury to a blood vessel or internal organ is “plugged” by whatever foreign body went into the person, and pulling it out–even though it seems like the natural thing to do–will make the injury much, much worse by “opening” the wound.

  7. John Grisham
    05/17/2010 at 7:01 PM

    Would that be Scott Hixson, (not Hixon) who lived across the street?

    • Clio
      05/17/2010 at 7:27 PM

      The implication of Mr. Hixson as vixen, another satellite in Culuket’s harem, is yet another disturbing revelation regarding the Price patriarchy. Who else had been intimate with the former Arent Fox partner?

      • Robert
        05/20/2010 at 6:00 AM

        CLIO
        You don’t really think that Joseph was unfaithful to Victor, do you? I mean he was probably trolling around those BDSM sites in order to further build up the already strong family relationship with Dylan.

        And about the Crew Club. Joe compared gyms and determined that CC was the most well “equipped.”

  8. Bea
    05/17/2010 at 7:08 PM

    Not to demean the excellent job done by our Eds, but it seems from a news report that the top of the 8 foot fence was dirty and that the dirt had NOT been ‘disturbed’ by someone attempting to scale it – I assume that the prosecution just mentioned this as upcoming evidence and that we’ll have the officer(s) testify about it. Still, it’s quite interesting.

  9. Also a DC attorney
    05/17/2010 at 7:21 PM

    I’m not as immersed in the details as many others, but may I offer a couple of quick reactions?

    1. Deciding to waive jury trial requires balancing the advantages vs. disadvantages of trial by judge. One of the disadvantages for the defense is emerging. The prosecution conceded — and probably needed to concede — that the police screwed up. The judge can be counted on to separate that issue from the issue of the defendants’ guilt or innocence. With a jury, that’s less certain, and defendants sometimes can hope to be acquitted on a blame-the-cops defense, even when there’s enough untainted and reliable evidence of guilt.

    2. It’s clear why the indictment includes a conspiracy count. (BTW, the indictment is among the legal papers on this site, but it’s mislabeled as a “superseding affidavit”; it’s worth reading.) Conspiracy is a crime in itself. But it may be even more important when the prosecution proves conspiracy, each defendant can be found guilty of his/her co-conspirators’ crimes in furtherance of the conspiracy. This relieves the prosecution of a need to try to prove who did actually what. If they were all in it together, that doesn’t matter.

    Can the prosecution prove that all three defendants agreed to a cover up? A couple of strong points are (1) the apparent delay between the stabbing at the 911 call; and (2) the more or less consistent and (ISTM) highly implausible stories all three then told to the police about a mysterious intruder. The prosecutor surely is arguing that this behavior proves agreement among the three to cover things up.

    Some of the murky and possibly confusing details – e.g., one knife or two? – may not matter in the end.

  10. Craig
    05/17/2010 at 7:27 PM

    Bea: Kirschner mentioned undisturbed dirt, schmutz and pollen on top of the fence in his statement. Schertler later pushed back by basically saying, “pollen in August?”

    Schertler also said a flipped over garbage can, next to a shed was found back there, along with a pair of sun glasses, suggesting that may have been the booster for the intruder to scale the fence.

    Connolly seemed more subdued than his colleagues. He seemed to be getting over a cold; Grimm all sniffles today, blamed Connolly for spreading it.

    Ben: Count yourself lucky you haven’t been added to the spam box months ago from the nonsense you spouted and the patent, outright lies that you peddled here.

    • Bea
      05/17/2010 at 7:29 PM

      Thanks, Craig!

    • CDinDC
      05/17/2010 at 7:49 PM

      “pollen in August?”

      Exactly. It had been sitting there for months. UNDISTURBED.

    • Lyn
      05/17/2010 at 10:56 PM

      In my vast experience with burglars, excuse me, “intruders”, they often wear sunglasses when breaking into houses in the dark of night. It helps them find their way around unfamiliar places all the better.

    • Robert
      05/20/2010 at 6:05 AM

      CRAIG
      “Chinese sleeper agents” never make a hit without wearing sun glasses — especially at night when they naturally don’t need any light to keep the victim in sight. Didn’t anybody tell you, sunglasses are the the latest thing in assassination fashion.

  11. Clio
    05/17/2010 at 7:42 PM

    “He never showered!” Yet, everyone else in the “sardine can” was freshly showered. Game, set, match, Spag!

    • CDinDC
      05/17/2010 at 7:50 PM

      That is a brilliant observation on the part of MPD. Go MPD!

    • AnnaZed
      05/17/2010 at 7:53 PM

      Indeed, that is huge.

      • CDinDC
        05/17/2010 at 7:58 PM

        And Dylan said specifically that he heard Robert taking a shower.

        • Bea
          05/17/2010 at 7:59 PM

          Wonder what “latch” he heard. . .

          • Clio
            05/17/2010 at 8:34 PM

            That “latch” sound must have been from the flipped-over garbage can, as the intruder opened up the secured lid of the alley dumpster to throw in his designer shades (wearing shades at night — how contrarian and avant-garde!).

            I know — it instantly made no sense to me too, as I started to type this. Where is Schertler getting this material — he needs better writers; Lord knows that he has the requisite stage presence with his fabulous hair.

            • Bea
              05/17/2010 at 8:38 PM

              And didn’t Victor say that the garbage cans and the shed were too far away, that it had to have been the car?

              But our elves/intruders should not be underestimated – now they can hoist themselves OVER the gate without TOUCHING it to disturb the dirt!

              I did not realize that elves could fly until just now.

              • Robert
                05/20/2010 at 6:11 AM

                BEA
                If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. They didn’t want anbody to get any “dirt” on them. Just like with the BDSM.

        • Lyn
          05/17/2010 at 10:58 PM

          For the life of me, I just can’t figure out why Ward would say he heard Robert taking a shower if that wasn’t true.

          😉

          • Eagle
            05/17/2010 at 11:21 PM

            The one thing we do know is that during their interrogations, the trouple did a lot of talk about showers. They also did a lot of showering.
            It is still unclear and subject to speculation.

    • Robert
      05/20/2010 at 6:09 AM

      CLIO
      Not only that. Joseph showed Robert the shower earlier in the evening. But I guess that was just to ask Robert how to fix a leak. Robert fastidious. Except for being dead he appeared to have been showered — maybe not with love but showered nevertheless.

      • Robert
        05/20/2010 at 6:12 AM

        Correction: Robert “was” fastidious.

  12. Clio
    05/17/2010 at 7:53 PM

    To Ben and the trouple — here’s a fitting snippet from the chorus of a Thompson Twins classic from the Reagan era that you may enjoy:

    “lies lies lies yeah (they’re gonna get you)
    lies lies lies yeah (they won’t forget you)
    lies lies lies yeah (they’re gonna get you)
    lies lies lies yeah”

    XO, Clio.

  13. superstadtkind
    05/17/2010 at 10:46 PM

    AnnaZed and Co.,

    Could you please lead me to the transcripts that youbare referencing?

    Thx!

    • AnnaZed
      05/17/2010 at 10:50 PM

      The transcripts of the interviews are here on this site as posts.

  14. AnnaZed
    05/17/2010 at 11:45 PM

    Who is this talking torso (with head but not much neck)?:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywBc99MicII

    What does he men by saying that the US Attorney’s office spread “misinformation” about the case?

    Not amusing that even after hearing her guest pronounce it correctly the newslady kept mangling the pronunciation of Robert’s name.

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 12:30 AM

      AZ, he did seem like a bit of a tool. Very pro-defense (but his moniker was “Defense Attorney” so no real surprise). I think his reference was to the fact that the prosecution contemplated establishing that Robert Wone was restrained either by paralytics or restraint devices (or both) and sexually assaulted – and that since these charges are not being pursued, that people who would become jurors would have a preconceived and incorrect notion. Of course, the amount of press AT that time was virtually nil, as we know, but I suppose it makes a good sound bite.

      • AnnaZed
        05/18/2010 at 12:42 AM

        Interesting that this neglected and languishing case, so neglected that this blog was launched and that no less than Camille Paglia opined that the deafening silence surrounding the case was created by the oppressive forces of political correctness and fear of giving offense is now called by this person the “trial of the century.” I think that part came from Bernie.

      • Robert
        05/20/2010 at 6:18 AM

        BEA
        What’s interesting is that the judge did not keep the jury from hearing evidence about paralytics, BDSM devices, restraints, cleaning up, etcetera.

        There is no jury to protect from prejudicial evidence.

        In effect, she kept herself from hearing about that which she already heard. Maybe she cannot use it explicitly in her determination, but that doesn’t mean it won’t affect her on a subliminal or even more than subliminal level.

  15. A Friend of Trouple
    05/18/2010 at 8:32 AM

    I have been following this site now for a while. And while I do agree that the evidence looks rather incriminating, I do have to give my friends the benefit of the doubt – I have known Joe for many, many years. He has always been very kind, very giving, and a loyal friend who will do anything to help if he could. I have read many of the statements on here and find them to be very petty and very judgemental – and since most of the comments made were from people who don’t know him (or the other 2), it reminds me more of high school. Joe has been through a lot these last couple of years and I have watched the effects on him – I would not wish that on my worst enemy – again, I do not diminish at all or try to compare it to what the Wone’s have been through! They have suffered a terrible, horrific loss and I really feel for them. I think that we will now finally get to the truth about what happened on that horrible night.

    • David
      05/18/2010 at 8:40 AM

      AFOT,

      Thank you for your comment. We appreciate hearing from Trouple supporters, who, as you noted, have experienced anguish as well. If anything, I imagine it is harder on supporters and the family surrounding the trouple, as well.

      Your comment was a heartfelt plea for truth and justice, something I think everyone on this site is seeking, so thank you.

      David, co-editor.

    • Carolina
      05/18/2010 at 9:14 AM

      Can you honestly say you believe their story? Why?

      • A Friend of Trouple
        05/18/2010 at 10:34 AM

        Carolina – I am giving my friends the benefit of the doubt – I am standing behind them through this terrible ordeal as I would do for any friend – I am not passing judgement since I do not know what really happened – If Joe says he did not do it, I have to respect that and take him at his word. Seems like I would not want you in my corner if I ever got in trouble.

        • Carolina
          05/18/2010 at 7:52 PM

          No, if you were unable to put together a more plausible explanation for the death of another friend, the best you could hope would be that I’d ask for a better story.

    • Hoya Loya
      05/18/2010 at 9:35 AM

      AFOT:

      Do you have any suspicion as to the truth? A theory, based on the facts as we know them, that would make more sense than a random intruder, that would also support your view of the Joe you know and explain the way they have conducted themselves after the murder of their friend? Your point of view has been lacking here (though some have expressed similar feelings about Joe) and it would be interesting to hear a reasoned analysis from that perspective.

      • A Friend of Trouple
        05/18/2010 at 10:49 AM

        Hoya – I only know what I have read in the papers regarding the murder. When I talk to Joe, I do not ask questions about what happened – but just let him know that I am here if he ever needs anything and to lend my support. I could sit here and try to make up all the different scenarios about what may or could have happened – does the intruder theory sound plausible?? Yes/No – since no forced entry, no valuables taken, it does not seem possible – am I definite about that? No – maybe the intruder got scared and fled before he could take anything – I mean we will never know the truth. As far as the way Joe has conducted himself after the murder – what has he really done that has everyone so riled up? I mean he is a lawyer, so he may have gone into “lawyer mode.” To me that is only natural -again, if you knew Joe, you would know what I am talking about – it is hard to describe.

        • Hoya Loya
          05/18/2010 at 11:19 AM

          I’m far too familiar with “lawyer mode.” Actually, put that way, it explains quite a bit.

          Joe’s friend was murdered at Joe’s house. Since then, Joe has largely been playing defense in the investigation and until late 2008, getting on with his life. Everyone reacts differently to horror and loss, but I think some of us would have liked to see him step out of lawyer mode, when not defending himself, to seek justice for his friend. We shouldn’t assume he’s guilty for not acting as we think we might have in his situation, but it is at least unsettling.

          Just a few of the items that raise eyebrows for some of us:

          1) Joe’s conduct upon arrival of the EMTs as reported in the original affidavit;
          2) Numerous comments in his VCB statements — they are worth a read and the post/comments on his transcript on this site pinpoint some of the major issues;
          3) Two items from the Washingtonian piece: his phone call to Jason Torchinsky asking Kathy to waive attorney client privilege to tell him what the police asked her; and his email to a friend and supporter saying that he can’t say all he knows lest he risk arrest. Classic lawyer mode or something more?

          Though I don’t know Joe as you do, I’d feel much better knowing that he didn’t cover up the murder of his friend. But trying to look objectively at even just the less inflammatory evidence, it seems that something other than a break-in went on in his house that night and that at the very least he knows something that lawyer mode will not let him reveal.

          • Bea
            05/18/2010 at 12:51 PM

            Many of us would have gone into ‘lawyer mode’ in aiding investigators to find Robert’s killer. Quite different than Joe’s response to circle the wagons to defend himself.

            • A Friend of Trouple
              05/18/2010 at 1:15 PM

              I guess we will never know unless we are in that position – which I hope is never!

              • Bea
                05/18/2010 at 1:22 PM

                I respect your support of your friend and won’t pepper you with the many inconsistencies which have led me to believe that Joe Price was at the center of what happened that night – if not the murder, then certainly the cover-up. Still, if you are inclined to give us insight you may have about that night, I think we would all gladly hear what you have to say.

                Best to you.

        • Bill Orange
          05/18/2010 at 1:45 PM

          Just to echo AFOT’s comment: Based on what little I remember of Joe from college, there’s very little about his conduct after the murder that strikes me as out of character for him. And I haven’t seen much in the way of “tells” (i.e. things that he would have done differently if he were innocent versus if he were guilty).

          • Carolina
            05/18/2010 at 7:55 PM

            And you’ve read his statement? Really? So he was a blathering idiot in college? That hardly rings true. He may be many, many things, but I would not rank “stupid” among them.

          • AnnaZed
            05/18/2010 at 11:35 PM

            Really? So he blathered and said “you know” over and over like a Valley girl in college? Really?

    • Just Another Friend
      05/18/2010 at 9:39 AM

      AFOT,
      Yesterday, I made the plea for people to remember that Robert was a real person, not just a story. I support your plea for people to remember that the three men on trial are people, too, with families and friends who also are affected by this trial. I do wish that we had been able to get a fuller picture of the three men from those who know them well, but I can understand why you would be reluctant to contribute those kinds of details.

      When I say that I want justice for Robert, I mean real justice. Honest justice. Justice based in the truth. Not a conviction simply for the sake of having a conviction.

      • David
        05/18/2010 at 10:40 AM

        JAF,

        Here’s to not only hoping that justice is done, but for the defendants to truly clear their name, they can not get off on a technicality of the law. Suspicion will still follow them if that is the case.

        David

        • Just Another Friend
          05/18/2010 at 11:27 AM

          amen.

      • Robert
        05/20/2010 at 6:40 AM

        As Jack Nicholson said in a movie: “you don’t want the truth, you can’t handle the truth”!

  16. Hoya Loya
    05/18/2010 at 8:34 AM

    Did Schertler really trot out the old line that the defendants are victims too (as I read in other coverage)? Is that the best he can do?

    • Carolina
      05/18/2010 at 9:15 AM

      Money must be getting low, you think?

  17. 05/18/2010 at 2:52 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out how traces of Wone’s own semen were found in his rectum. Thoughts, anybody?

    • David
      05/18/2010 at 2:55 PM

      Jonathon,

      Several explanations. One offered by the defense says it was part of the post-mortem process of the body leaking, and what they found in the rectum is anti-body similar to semen, which occurs, according to study the defense cites, 65 percent of the time.

      The other is more difficult to explain.

      David

      • Carolina
        05/18/2010 at 7:58 PM

        I would be very interested in knowing how typical it is to find semen or similar fluids in the rectum post-mortem. It seems like something that would be familiar to most ME’s if it is truly the case that it occurs 65% of the time.

        • interested observer
          05/19/2010 at 12:18 AM

          How quickly after death would such body leaking occur? Was the post-mortem performed in a timeframe that fits?

          I am new to this site, but I have been both fascinated and appalled at the lack of a murder conviction in the period since Mr. Wone’s death. Thank you for providing this site and for making all of the related materials available to those of us who want justice for Mr. Wone and his family.

          Has a knife identical to that missing from Ward’s cutlery set been determined to match the stab wounds? If so, the contention that the “missing” knife was in Seattle at the time of the murder can be discredited.

          Have the trouple or the defense provided any evidence showing that the members of the trouple took any action to assist Mr. Wone and/or resuscitate him when they first discovered that he had been attacked? If not, isn’t the lack of such evidence pretty damning in terms of their assertion that this murder was committed by an intruder? Wouldn’t friends who discovered a friend stabbed and dying be expected, at a minimum, to use cloths to stop the flow of blood?

          • Bea
            05/19/2010 at 12:28 AM

            I don’t recall about the body leak issue. As for the knife, the cops ordered one just like the missing one and found it to be “more consistent” (something like that) than the knife left at the scene.

            Dylan said during interrogations that he did not see Joe attempt any life saving measures. Joe said he didn’t either except to see if he was breathing (and claimed he held the towel with pressure against the wound).

            You’d think Joe and Victor would have checked on Dylan, that possibly they’d have tried a few measures on Robert if he’d stopped breathing (which obviously he did at some point – likely before they decided to make the 911 call). I would think too that two of the men would have chased after the “intruder” – at least gotten a look at him.

            Who says “intruder” anyway?

          • AnnaZed
            05/19/2010 at 12:34 AM

            I don’t know observer and I’m not a professional pathologist or anything, but I read the forensic study put forward by the defense and it seemed like a huge percentage of the corpses that were studied were in very advanced states of decay, like 60 days or more; so the conclusions seemed to me to be not relevant to this matter. Also, there only seems to be the one paper produced by some Scandinavians supporting this, you would think there would be more. I could have that wrong though; it’s just not my strength, analysis of stuff like that.

            As to your last question; you would think so wouldn’t you. Yet there is no evidence that any of them made any effort to help Robert and much evidence that they did not help him and that they then lied about it.

    • Robert
      05/20/2010 at 6:46 AM

      If a dildo or some other device with Robert’s semen on it was inserted into Robert’s rectum Robert’s semen could be found in his rectum. As it happens, I was asked this question by a reporter shortly after Robert’s death.

      Furthermore, an electro-stimulation ejaculation device, such as the one found in the defendants’ home, could propel semen into the anus which could then find its way into the rectum if a device with Robert’s semen on it was subsequently used.

      This occurs quite frequently in BDSM scenarios.

  18. AnnaZed
    05/19/2010 at 6:40 PM

    Don’t accidentally click on this person’s ID/link, it’s a trojan.

  19. Robert
    05/20/2010 at 6:25 AM

    A FRIEND OF THE TROUPLE
    Am I to understand that as a friend of Joseph you are less biased than those of us who do not know any of the parties and therefore have no reason to be prejudiced one way or another. You have a stake in the outcome. We don’t. That’s a big difference. I am sorry.

    How many individuals have believed in the innocence of friends and family only to find that their denial was really about denial?

  20. Robert
    05/20/2010 at 6:29 AM

    FRIEND OF THE TROUPLE
    And exactly why have you not asked your friend what happened that night? Are you afraid of the answer?

    So far as how Joseph conducted himself. He did not act like a person whose friend had just been killed. However, he did take the time to inquire as to what Kathy Wone’s thoughts were.

  21. Robert
    05/20/2010 at 6:35 AM

    A FRIEND OF THE TROUPLE
    Not only do you think that the “truth will never out,” you state that you don’t want it to. Apparently, Robert’s and your friend, Joseph feels the same way. What is that about? Can you please explain that to me.

    Ask anybody who knows me and they will tell you that I am the most nonjudgmental person they have ever known. But admittedly, I make an exception. When one person hurts another, I reserve the right to make a judgment that the person who hurt another acted in a wrongful manner. And so I have told friends about whom I think that to be true. My friends expect no less from me.

  22. Robert
    05/20/2010 at 6:38 AM

    BILL ORANGE
    Nothing that Joseph has done is out of character. Were you aware that he was into BDSM? Were you aware that he was in a three way relationship? Would you say that “putting down” Robert is perfectly within Joseph’s character?

  23. Robert
    05/20/2010 at 6:50 AM

    INTERESTED OBSERVER
    The coroner concluded based on the length of the knife blade presented as the murder weapon by Joe that there was no way this particular knife could have made the stab wounds on Robert’s body.

    Given the fact that a knife was missing from Dylan’s culinary set and that this particular knife could not be located, a duplicate was ordered from the manufacturer. The coroner concluded that this knife was totally consistent with the stab wounds.

  24. John
    05/20/2010 at 7:40 AM

    Could someone put this to rest? Would the needle marks on Robert’s body have indicated that the material injected MIGHT have killed him? That Robert was dead and they needed to cover it up with the idea that an intruder killed him. That the knife wounds were to throw off the cops? COULD ANYONE SHED SOME LIGHT ON THIS THEORY?

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