Motion to Supress Denied – Opening Statements
Update @ break – 3:25pm
Price counsel Bernie Grimm and Ward counsel David Schertler delivered strong opening statements. A 15 minute break followed.
Grimm began, “The government’s theory is unequivical, absolutely not supported by any evidence, fantastic…”
Grimm says the government has floated an idea that “someone,’ i.e. Michael Price, could have done it. “This theory is based on ignorance. The case is summations and innuendo.”
Of his client Joe Price, he was candid. “He can talk, he’s a know-it-all… but he’s just an initiator.”
Schertler began with a clear statement. “The government’s opening statement is based on assumption, speculation and innuendo. It creates an incredible story.”
Schertler presented an impressive refutation of the government’s theory. Moving point by point to demonstrate where the government’s evidence falls short.
Among that evidence, is the “missing knife.” Schertler maintained it was never in DC, it was never missing. It was in Seattle, Washington.
Schertler also pushed back pretty hard on knife fibers.
Connolly up next and an update to follow at close of business.
Earlier hearing highlights after the jump
Lunch break recap @ 1:45
Court came back into session at 11:35 this morning, with the government offering its opening statements.
“The government will show these three defendants covered-up, orchestrated and misdirected with respect to the homicide of Robert Wone,” AUSA Glenn Kirschner began.
Calling the evidence and crime scene “…interesting, inexplicable, strange circumstances…”, Kirscher alleged the three defendants, bound by a powerful family bond with Joe Price as the leader, counted on the strange crime scene to confuse and obfuscate. “And in the short term, they seem to have gotten away with it,” he added.
Lasting an hour and twenty minutes (well over the :45 minute statement Judge Leibovitz suggested counsel stick to), Kirschner restated much of what has already been discussed in bits and pieces – attempting to tie it together into a coherent picture of deception and conspiracy.
Even without a jury to address, Kirschner employed the tools of a prosecutor: banging on a photo of the stairs when talking about the intruder’s stealth, wielding a knife from the actual Swann Street butcher block against a photo (not visible to the audience) from Robert’s autopsy, and pulling out the white towel to demonstrate, what he called “…a dog that don’t hunt…” in terms of explaining the housemate’s actions.
Sarah Morgan will testify, as will EMT Jeff Baker. Kathy Wone will be the first prosecution witness, and Kirschner promised we would learn interesting things about how Michael Price was behaving at Robert’s funeral.
In all, from the prosecution’s view, it’s a story of “…Joe Price tak(ing) control of the agenda from the moment law enforcement arrives.” After a push or two to wrap it up, he did so, and court adjourned at 12:55 for lunch.
Morning break recap@ 10:40am
After a delay of nearly 1/2 hour, Judge Lynn Liebovitz turned first to the outstanding Motion to Supress.
Finding that at no time would a reasonable person have believed they were in custodial care or being a suspect, an further finding that Joe Price’s demeanor was “…confident, at times dismissive…” andWard was “…sophisticated in demeanor…” and further finding that all defendants knew their rights and that the police had “…made it maybe all too clear that they hadn’t solved the murder…” the Judge denied the motions to suppress.