Day 2: Updates

4:45pm Update:

Court adjourned at 4:40pm.  The afternoon session heard Zaborsky’s 911 call and the testimony of attending EMT, Jeff Baker, first on the scene at Swann Street.

Recap post goes up around 6:30pm

 

3:25pm Update:

After the lunch break, testifying was the next door neighbor who heard “the scream.”  William Thomas and his wife Claudia, of 1507 Swann Street. 

AUSA Rachel Carson Leiber guided them though the evenings events and timeline, while defense counsel later needled them on the 4 long years since the murder, minor inconsistencies between their grand jury testimony from September 2006 and today’s recollections, or in other words, senior moments. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Thomas pushed back on the defense counsel.

A 15 minute break at 3:20pm saw the large model of the 1509 Swann Street property brought in.   After the break, “Welcome to the Dollhouse.”
 

1:30pm – Lunch break

The morning continued at 10:45am with Kirschner continuing his questioning of Kathy Wone: the November 2007 lunch between Kathy and Joe,  and a 2-inch stack of emails from Robert that Price gave her.  He then asked about the October 2007 wedding of  mutual fried Lisa Goddard and her conversations with the defendants there.

Also, she was asked about a December 2007 dinner Lisa Goddard had for Kathy and the housemates.

There were no subsequent meetings between Mrs. Wone and Price after that.

At 11:20, Price counsel Bernie Grimm began his cross.   That, after the break. Grimm spent the better part of an hour asking her about Robert’s friendship and relationship with Price.  He asked about the 30th birthday party, the founding of the W&M 13 Club, and the Wone’s attendance at the Equality Virginia dinner.
Throughout his questioning, Grimm worked hard to buttress a strong relationship between Robert and Joe.

Grimm questioned her at length about Robert’s nighttime habits:  showering during hot weather and whether he slept with sheets on top of him or pushed aside.

Ward counsel David Schertler was up next.  He drilled down on how Robert would fold his clothes before bed, where he would hang a wet towel, if he packed deodorant in his travel kit.  He asked Mrs. Wone whether the housemates appeared to have been grieving when they made the condolence call.   Yes, she said.

Judge Leibowitz had questions of her own: did Robert sleep under a top sheet? When did he place his bite guard in?  Did he normally read or watch TV before bed?

Kirschner rose for re-direct and worked to refute Grimm’s characterization of an extremely close friendship.  He asked Kathy to quantify how well she knew Joe Price.  “I was surprised to learn of certain things,” she said softly.

An exhibit was shown that seemed to be a pic of a Swann Street bathroom, with a bar of deodorant on it.  Did we apply deodorant before bed?  No.  Did he normally pack a full size or travel size?   Full size.

It’s unclear from the picture what the size was.  But I expect such a seemingly small item may play a larger role later.

Back in at 2:00pm for the afternoon session. A break update to follow perhaps.

11:00am Update

Robert’s widow, Kathy Wone continued her testimony at 9:50am and was on the stand until 10:45.

She recounted her last day with Robert, that started at the gym on the morning of August 2 until their last phone call at 9:30pm that night.

AUSA Glenn Kirschner asked her to recount the initial phone call from Price moments after the murder, his and his housemates conversations at the funeral and subsequent meetings.

8:00am

Ward, Price and Zaborsky

The trial resumes this morning at 9:45am.

It is expected that AUSA Glenn Kirschner will continue his questioning of Robert’s widow, Katherine.

She ended yesterday’s session by starting to tell just exactly how Robert wound up overnighting at 1509 Swann Street on the night of Wednesday, August 2, 2006.

MSM4M: The media page has been updated with much of yesterday’s coverage.  Plenty of camera crews were on hand to get footage of the defendants.  Ward counsel David Schertler pops up in one with a quick soundbite as he dodged the raindrops on his way into Court.

Upstairs-Downstairs: Yesterday we learned that after Robert’s murder, Sarah Morgan, W-4 in the original affidavit, downstairs tenant and friend of the Swann housemates (and possible witness), only returned to 1509 to retrieve her possessions and belongings.  She moved out of the house immediately.

On the Street Where You Live(d):A loyal reader who lives on Swann Street writes to ask about the next door neighbor who heard the scream, W-3.  We think we know which house it was, 1507.  Home sales remain brisk on  the 1500 block of Swann.  Either the home of the recently ID’d W-5, Scott Hixson, is under contract, or the unit adjacent to him will change hands.

C-SPAN Radio: Monday’s capacity crowd sent many of us to Moutlrie’s room 213, the overflow room, where the audio feed was piped in.  We’d be happy to stream that if Court gives us the go-ahead.

Craypas:After the jump, a handful of sketches from the courtroom artist Bill Hennessey.  Our thanks to WRC-TV and WTTG-TV for letting us lift his work.

AUSA Glenn Kirschner holds up bloody towel

Judge Lynn Leibovitz

Defense counsel Bernie Grimm and David Schertler

AUSA Glenn Kirschner

Room 310, Moultrie Courthouse

121 comments for “Day 2: Updates

  1. Laura
    05/18/2010 at 8:42 AM

    Reading from London on my lunch hour…thank you so much for your continued coverage, editors!

  2. ra1n
    05/18/2010 at 9:03 AM

    Please push the court to stream the audio! That would be amazing.

  3. Jason
    05/18/2010 at 9:12 AM

    Ditto! This blog is an invaluable resource for those of us who want to follow the trial.

  4. Bill Orange
    05/18/2010 at 9:18 AM

    If the defense has any sense, they won’t question Kathy Wone. Any idea who the next witnesses are?

    • Hoya Loya
      05/18/2010 at 9:44 AM

      Points to them if they don’t (like letting Kathy attend opening, its a courtesy not to cross, or at least to ask only respectful perfunctory questions), but my hunch says that they will. They are going for broke here.

      • jfh
        05/18/2010 at 9:58 AM

        the defense attorneys would not be doing their job if they don’t cross exam her on issues that are relevant to the case. so far, her testimony has yielded much information but today there will likely be testimony that will need to be questioned.

        • Hoya Loya
          05/18/2010 at 10:20 AM

          If her testimony just sets up basic facts that do not affect the timeline or other issues important to the defense, they don’t need to cross. If she reports on statements made in the basement the Friday after the murder, observations at the funeral or strange comments or behavior by Joe at the 2007 lunch, then of course they must, unless they can effectively counter it with other testimony (such as Joe’s, if he is going to testify).

          But I can also see them going into other areas that wouldn’t be pretty. We’ll see.

          • dcbill
            05/18/2010 at 10:25 AM

            Care to elaborate? Are you suggesting they might probe her for information about Robert Wone’s sexual orientation?

            • Doug
              05/18/2010 at 10:48 AM

              dbill – I think both sides have moved issues of sexual orientation way off the table. Beside, even if defense went digging here, they wouldn’t find anything, so I doubt they’ll try. -Doug, co-editor

            • Hoya Loya
              05/18/2010 at 10:50 AM

              Well, they need to stay within the scope of direct, but as jfh points out they need to question her on relevant matters, and if they are going for broke . . . I’m thinking credibility-type issues generally (Are you sure about x? How can you say y when z? Weren’t you unusually upset and stressed at the time you observed q?)

              I think they make points with Liebovitz if they can confidently establish a strong defense through other effective means without going after Kathy. But there’s quite a bit at stake here.

        • Kim
          05/18/2010 at 11:09 AM

          I agree with “jfh” that “the defense attorneys would not be doing their job if they don’t cross exam her on issues that are relevant to the case,” particularly IF Ms. Wone provides damaging testimonial evidence on direct. Also, IF she provides damaging testimony and IF she is cross-examined, I would not be surprised if the Defense explores the issue of bias, – that is, the Defense can ask questions on cross intended to demonstrate that Ms. Wone has a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the criminal trial due to the stayed civil suit. I know that if: (a) the Defendants are convicted in the criminal trial and (b) if I were representing Ms. Wone in the civil suit, the first exhibit I would attempt to enter into evidence in the civil suit would be the “guilty” verdict in the criminal trial. While these are separate cases, a good faith argument can be made that a “guilty” verdict in the criminal trial is probative on the allegations of spoliation of evidence and conspiracy in the civil suit, which the civil suit claims. Ergo, the Defense in the criminal trial, in my view, would have reason to point out that she has a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the criminal trial. I know… it would not be a pretty picture, but as a criminal defense attorney, if I had to explore bias with Ms. Wone on cross, I would. Interestingly, in this regard, it helps the Defense that there is no jury, as the judge knows how these things work and would be able to place any potential bias of Ms. Wone into perspective and give it the appropriate weight.

          • Bill Orange
            05/18/2010 at 1:16 PM

            I agree with you, but my point was that I don’t think that any of your “IFs” are going to be met. If she had anything damaging to say, I think we would’ve heard about it by now. Yesterday, all she really said is that Joe was more of a friend of Robert’s than a friend of hers. There’s no point in trying to undermine her credibility, and the defense is likely to shoot themselves in the foot if they try. What are they going to ask her?

            Q: Did you personally like Joe Price?
            A: Not really. I thought he was a bit of a blowhard, just like his own lawyer said in open court yesterday.

            Q: Is it true that you have a civil suit pending against the defendants?
            A: Yes, I filed it right after I found out about the trunk of BDSM gear that was right down the hall from where my husband was killed. At that point, I had to accept the fact that my husband and I really didn’t know these guys as well as I thought we did.

            Q: Do you have any other biases against the defendants?
            A: I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m convinced that they killed my husband. Does that count as bias?

            Etc.

            Anything she says about Michael Price isn’t worth arguing about. The prosecution can find any number of other people to comment on his behavior at the funeral.

            • Kim
              05/18/2010 at 2:52 PM

              Actually… you point at 9:18 AM was: “If the defense has any sense, they won’t question Kathy Wone.” As you must know by know, she is in fact being cross-examined… It’s just good lawyering to cross examine all witnesses.

            • Hoya Loya
              05/18/2010 at 2:59 PM

              It sounds like the defense lawyers stuck to basic questioning about the defendants’ relationship with Robert and elicited some more detail about his habits. Just what was necessary, without being confrontational. They get points for that in my book.

            • Bill Orange
              05/18/2010 at 6:09 PM

              Well, you two are lawyers, and I’m not, so I’m only speaking as a layperson, but I think the defense blew it here. As someone who’s served on a couple of juries, I find it irritating when lawyers cross-examine when they don’t need to. This was a good example, I think. Kathy Wone said little, if anything, that they needed to try to discredit, and her answer that she “was surprised to learn of certain things” about Joe Price probably cost them anything they gained on cross.

    • Lee
      05/18/2010 at 10:03 AM

      I would think that treating the victim’s wife gently would be less important in a bench trial than in a jury trial.

  5. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 10:13 AM

    “Ward counsel David Schertler pops up in one with a quick soundbite as he dodged the raindrops on his way into Court.”

    Can’t find this….can anyone point me in the right direction?

    • David
      05/18/2010 at 10:17 AM

      CD,

      I believe it is the local ABC coverage, WJLA.

      David

      • CDinDC
        05/18/2010 at 10:55 AM

        Thanks David…I’ll take a look.

  6. Fascinating
    05/18/2010 at 10:40 AM

    Thanks, editors! You guys are AWESOME!!

  7. BadShoes
    05/18/2010 at 11:15 AM

    Yesterday, “john grisham” wrote in the now-closed thread:

    From the BLT: “Kirschner said Zaborsky was, essentially, reading from a “script” during the 911 call.”

    Yes, but the 911 operator was also literally working from a script, too. Much of the interest in the 911 call comes from the head-on collision of the two scripts.

    The 911 operator needs to ascertain a) who to send-(fire/police/ambulance); b) where to send; c) the nature of the emergency so the first responders are prepared; and d) provide practical assistance to the caller until the first responders arrive–in this case, first aid for Mr. Wone.

    Based on Mr. Zaborsky’s words, it sounds like his script was to a) report a crime; b) establish that the crime was committed by an unknown intruder; c) insist that the ambulance arrrive quickly.

    The 911 operator asked who to send: Mr. Zaborsky specified “ambulance.” It was the 911 operator who decided to send the police.

    The 911 operator’s script called for ensuring the safety of the EMTs–based on Mr. Zaborsky’s responses, the EMTs might have waited until the police secured the house; or the police might have waited until a SWAT team could storm the house. IMHO, the thought that the intruder might still be present was introduced by the 911 operator, and wasn’t in Mr. Zaborsky’s script.

    The 911 operator got the address from caller ID, and only needed to confirm the address with Mr. Zaborsky. Mr. Zaborsky’s script apparently didn’t include providing an address.

    The 911 operator tried to obtain information about Mr. Wone’s medical conditionso that she could provide effective first aid coaching. Mr. Zaborsky wasn’t very responsive, and much of the information he did provide turned out to be incorrect. Mr. Wone was stabbed “in the stomach,” (later amended to “center of the chest”) he was “bleeding,” and “he’s still breathing, but come quick.” (Messrs. Zaborsky and Ward told the police there was little blood, and the EMTs will testify that Mr. Wone appeared to have been dead for some time.)

    The 911 operator got the erroneous impression that Mr. Wone was still alive and breathing, might benefit from first aid, but didn’t need CPR. Mr. Zaborsky told the operator that compression was being applied to the wound–what actually happened isn’t so clear. However, the contradictions of the towel tale would require a separate post.

  8. Daphne
    05/18/2010 at 11:22 AM

    Can you give us more details on KM’s testimony? What did she say JP told her at the funeral and in the basement?

    • Doug
      05/18/2010 at 12:04 PM

      Daphne: coming soon…

    • NM
      05/18/2010 at 2:11 PM

      Remind me – who is KM?

      • CDinDC
        05/18/2010 at 2:13 PM

        I think Daphne meant KW. There was only one person that would have had a conversation with Joe Price in a basement and that was Kathy Wone.

        • Daphne
          05/18/2010 at 2:31 PM

          Sorry — I did mean KW.

          • NM
            05/18/2010 at 2:35 PM

            Got it – thanks.

  9. Cecily
    05/18/2010 at 12:17 PM

    Yes, I am with Daphne, we want details of KM’s testimony. And you guys are great!

    • des
      05/18/2010 at 1:55 PM

      The trial of three men accused of Obstruction of Justice in the murder of Robert Wone resumed Tuesday morning with the victim’s widow on the stand.

      from www dot myfoxdc dot com:

      Kathy Wone was asked by the Prosecutor to describe a series of phone conversations and meetings she had with Joe Price after the August Second 2006 murder.

      Kathy Wone described a meeting in her basement before her husband’s funeral where she was strong enough to ask for details of the crime. She said Joe Price did all the talking and began to describe what he had heard that night.

      She said Price made three stabbing motions with his hand and said he heard “ah, ah, ah”, at that point Kathy Wone said she asked him to stop and told the Prosecutor it was as if I had opened a book to its most terrifying page and wanted to slam it shut.

      • CDinDC
        05/18/2010 at 2:00 PM

        That’s just sick. Whether he is involved in the murder or not, that’s just sick. Has he NO FILTER at all? Is Joe Price THAT socially inept? Or is he a flat out sociopath? That just horrifies me to think that ANY person would do that to anyone.

        • Bea
          05/18/2010 at 2:16 PM

          And it’s contrary to what he said during interrogations.

        • pocohontas
          05/18/2010 at 3:56 PM

          Based on limited personal interactions with Joe Price at social events in and around Dupont Circle, he *is* a flat out sociopath–precisely that. That’s the exact word another W&M acquaintance of Price used to describe Joe Price to me, adding, “if there’s anyone I’ve ever known who would end up with a dead body in his house, it’s Joe Price.”

          • CDinDC
            05/18/2010 at 4:03 PM

            Would habitual liar also be included as a description?

            • pocohontas
              05/18/2010 at 4:13 PM

              No personal knowledge of that, but the man is not well. That much is apparent on first meeting.

              • CDinDC
                05/18/2010 at 4:22 PM

                wow.

              • Bea
                05/18/2010 at 4:24 PM

                Can you elaborate, pocohontas? This isn’t a surprise but few who knew him seem willing to go out on a limb. One thing I know about sociopaths with a narcissistic bent, is that they’re very good at charming those they find worthy of their charms, or people who could-be-of-use-later. Others, not so much on being charmed.

                Would love to see an interaction between you and the blogger earlier today (Friend of Trouple) who claimed that, to him, Joe was a loyal and caring friend. Strange bifurcated picture.

                • pocohontas
                  05/18/2010 at 4:45 PM

                  My interactions with him were pretty limited but I disliked him immediately because of his obvious insecurity “covered” by a facade of pompous arrogance. I’m surprised that there aren’t others willing to give their impressions of Price, as he apparently had a number of “close friends” on the Dupont Circle A(lt)-list. People seem scared to speak up, for some reason. (Maybe Robert’s murder has something to do with it?)

                  I definitely agree with the narcissistic personality disorder assessment. In the few interactions I had with Price, I observed flashes of callous, even cruel, disregard for the feelings of others. Way before the events that gave rise to this blog ever took place, I had resolved to avoid him entirely because of these red flags in his personality.

                  • Bea
                    05/18/2010 at 4:55 PM

                    So he had a reputation within the Alt dot com community? Were there social gatherings that you both attended? You may be right that the murder would be off-putting to some who didn’t want ‘to get involved.’

                    • pocohontas
                      05/18/2010 at 5:12 PM

                      I wouldn’t know anything about the Alt.com community–just a joke. But my point is that lots of people in and around the Dupont social scene knew Joe. I’m surprised none of them has come forward.

              • Anonymous Friend
                05/18/2010 at 7:16 PM

                I, too, would appreciate some examples to illustrate/ground your impressions. Thank you very much.

      • NM
        05/18/2010 at 2:37 PM

        He made stabbing **motions**? How would he know the manner in which Robert was stabbed if he (ostensibly) wasn’t there??

        • Anonymous in DC
          05/18/2010 at 4:43 PM

          I am without words.

  10. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 12:18 PM

    “She recounted her last day with Robert, that started at the gym on the morning of August 2 until their last phone call at 9:30pm that night.”

    Aw, come on guys…give us a bone. What did she say? did she indicate the he was going to call back or email her before he went to bed? Did she say how long in advance the sleep-over plans were made?

  11. CC Biggs
    05/18/2010 at 12:51 PM

    What about those unsent emails from Robert’s blackberry? Was Kathy expecting any messages from Robert after he arrived at Swann Street? Can’t you see Joe’s meaty paws fumbling with the little bb keyboard as his mind also fumbles through considering whether or not he should hit “send.”

    • BadShoes
      05/18/2010 at 1:19 PM

      If someone had hit “send,” the time of transmission would have been accurate and verifiable.

      Since the messages were unsent, the recorded time of composition isn’t necessarily accurate.

      • Vontavius Dewberry
        05/18/2010 at 1:44 PM

        Would it not have been to the defendants’ benefit for the messages to’ve been sent, i.e., give the impression that Wone was alive later? So why wouldn’t Price have sent them.

        Also, Price could not have foreseen that the Blackberry evidence would have been lost. Was the Blackberry tested for fingerprints or DNA evidence?

        • BadShoes
          05/18/2010 at 2:21 PM

          Good point. No one could have forseen the erasure of the blackberry. There is no indication in the indictment that the blackberry was ever tested. This could either mean the blackberry wasn’t tested; or that it was tested and nothing unusual was detected.

          All three defendants asserted that they were awake until shortly after 11pm, and heard nothing untoward. Mr. Ward said he heard Mr. Wone shower and close his bedroom door shortly after 11pm.

          It would be helpful to the defendants to show that Mr. Wone was alive at 11:05pm, because that would help corroborate part of their story, and compress the already-crowded timeline for incapacitation/assault/murder/clean-up into only 40 minutes.

          However, anyone wanting to actually send a message with an 11:05pm timestamp must do so at exactly 11:05pm.

          Someone who was otherwise engaged at 11:05pm might prefer to turn off the radio, change the time, create an unsent message, then change the time back. A piece of fresh plastic wrap draped over the top of the blackberry would probably reduce the forensic footprint.

          If someone other than Mr. Wone was composing a message at exactly 11:05pm, it would still be risky to send it, for fear that Mrs. Wone would reply, or worse, phone back.

        • NM
          05/18/2010 at 2:27 PM

          One can imagine a scenario in which someone reset the time on the Blackberry, then drafted the two messages to make it appear as if Mr. Wone had been alive at a particular time. Those messages would bear the time stamp of the incorrect time, thus obfuscating the timeline. I imagine that the benefit of not sending them is that Kathy’s phone might show the messages arriving at the correct time – or that she might have read them at the correct time, which would reveal an incongruity.

          I guess this is neither here nor there since some butterfingers neglected to save the data from the BB and Mr. Wone’s employer ghoulishly gave it to another employee. But what I wonder is how the BB messages fit with the scenario of a ‘Plan A’ to place Mr. Wone’s body elsewhere and claim he never arrived at 1509.

          • NM
            05/18/2010 at 2:44 PM

            Oops- I just repeated what BadShoes said, but using more words. Will read more closely before commenting again.

            • CDinDC
              05/18/2010 at 2:49 PM

              Yes, but you used the word “butterfingers.” 😉

            • Nyer
              05/18/2010 at 5:38 PM

              NM- was happy to read your post- you hit upon a detail that always disturbed me – that Radio Free Asia had the audacity to re-use a blackberry of a deceased employee, and no less one that was at the crime scene and a critical piece of evidence. Ghoulish indeed is among the many words that come to mind.

              • Bill Orange
                05/18/2010 at 6:15 PM

                In fairness to Radio Free Asia, I doubt they had any inkling that the Blackberry had anything to do with the crime, and I don’t see why they’d be expected to treat it any differently than any other piece of equipment that was returned to them. The person in charge of Blackberrys probably just did whatever they usually do when they get a Blackberry back. If you want to find fault with anyone here, you should fault the police for handing out a potential piece of evidence without making damn sure that they didn’t still need it.

                • NM
                  05/18/2010 at 6:48 PM

                  With all due respect, I would think everyone at Radio Free Asia would know Mr. Wone was murdered, and the BB would not have been anonymously dropped off – it would at least have come in a package indicating who sent it. I don’t fault Radio Free Asia for re-using an item that should have been kept as evidence; I fault them for recirculating the phone of a man who was murdered to an unwitting employee. If I’d been the employee who received it and later figured out on my own that it was the victim’s, I’d be… well, I wouldn’t be happy, that’s for sure.

              • Bill Orange
                05/18/2010 at 6:30 PM

                Ugh. Tired of the nested threads, so I’m posting at the bottom.

                RE: The Blackberry. Did Kathy Wone say anything about whether or not it was common for Robert to send her text messages or e-mails at night, especially after they’d already talked on the phone? I know that some people do this a lot, and others don’t do it at all. Was it typical for them?

                RE: The towels. There is an outside chance that the prosecution is going to be able to show that there were no towels in the house with Robert’s epithelial cells on them. We know that the FBI has been running DNA tests fairly recently, so this is within the realm of possibility, but I’m not terribly hopeful about it, and given that other aspects of the crime scene were botched, I doubt that the judge will believe that absence of evidence is equivalent to evidence of absence.

                RE: The e-mails. Any idea why Joe Price would be giving Kathy Wone a 2-inch stack of e-mails?

  12. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 1:39 PM

    From a Virginia AP News report:

    “On Tuesday, Katherine Wone (wahn) described the thoughts running through her mind after one of the defendants, Joseph Price, called her just after midnight Aug. 3, 2006. Wone said Price told her Robert had been stabbed in the back. In fact, he was found stabbed in the chest in the guest room of the home Price shared with two other men.

    Katherine Wone said that as she rode in a taxi from her Oakton, Va., home to a Washington hospital, she wondered if her husband would be paralyzed and thought about how to make their townhouse wheelchair-accessible. At the hospital, she learned he was dead.”

    Joe called Kathy Wone AFTER the police, etc had arrived. Joe knew full well that Robert had been stabbed in the chest. In fact, Robert was laying ON his back.

    • des
      05/18/2010 at 1:52 PM

      “Wone said Price told her Robert had been stabbed in the back”
      a freudian slip maybe?

    • NM
      05/18/2010 at 2:32 PM

      This is where a transcript of the testimony would be helpful – reporters get things wrong all the time. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the ‘stabbed in the back’ thing until its verified by the WMRW team or we see it in writing.

      • CDinDC
        05/18/2010 at 2:46 PM

        Personally, I think Joe was on drugs that night, given his erratic statements at the police station that night. Just another example of Joe not making sense.

  13. Eunomia
    05/18/2010 at 1:48 PM

    A Freudian slip?

  14. plumskiter
    05/18/2010 at 1:52 PM

    just want to add that i am willing to contribute to “daily copy” – the actual transcripts of testimony. i know you guys have a lot on your hands and that you are looking into sharing the costs with others – parties and/or news outlets. seems that someone must have already ordered daily copy and that we could thus get same at reduced expense.

    • Friend of Rob
      05/18/2010 at 2:15 PM

      I don’t think it gets cheaper the more people that order it. The court reporter generally charges the same amount no matter how many different groups want it. I also don’t think sharing is Kosher.

  15. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 2:07 PM

    Perhaps Kirchner’s questions to Mrs. Wone (re deodorant) were to establish the fact that she knew EVERYTHING about her husband, and if she knew so much and there were no secrets, why didn’t she know more about Joe. Maybe because Joe and RObert were not as close as the defense wants the judge to believe.

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 2:20 PM

      I am wondering if the prosecution is going to establish that Robert did NOT shower that night (nor leave clothes strewn about) and that the “travel” deodorant in the photo belongs to one of the defendants who DID shower (after 11 pm . . .).

      • CDinDC
        05/18/2010 at 2:28 PM

        Good point, Bea. If Robert didn’t shower he would not have left his deodorant on the sink. (Especially if the container was not a full-size container.)

      • plumskiter
        05/18/2010 at 2:39 PM

        me too, bea.

      • BadShoes
        05/18/2010 at 2:49 PM

        If Mrs. Wone thinks “strewn clothes” are out of character, that would suggest that Mr. Wone met his fate early, before he had a chance to get ready for bed. (The biteguard, OTOH, suggests an event that began after he was ready for bed.)

        If the prosecution could demonstrate that Mr. Wone didn’t shower (but how?) that would directly contradict Mr. Ward’s account of the evening. Also, according to Mr. Price, Mr. Wone said that he was going to shower, but Mr. Price didn’t indicate that he heard the shower happen. Oh, and the message on the blackberry would be false.

        My guess, though, is that the most Mrs. Wone could say is that her husband rarely/sometimes/frequently showered in the evening.

        • Bea
          05/18/2010 at 2:54 PM

          Bad, I think the prosecution is poised to have someone testify that he never used the towel that was given him to shower, thus possibly no shower.

          • David
            05/18/2010 at 2:58 PM

            Bea,

            I agree, it looks like the prosecution wants show that no wet towel was found on the premise, thus no shower was taken. Could be tough because it depends on how long it takes a towel to dry and when the towels were located.

            David

            • NM
              05/18/2010 at 3:03 PM

              Wasn’t there something about the dryer being in use when the police arrived? Or am I misremembering that?

            • Bea
              05/18/2010 at 3:08 PM

              Wonder if the three defendants always showered upstairs in the master (or if it was sufficiently on the fritz that they’d have all showered on the second floor).

              Was there testimony from Kathy Wone that he was a neat-freak about folding clothes? What about showering at night? And the mouth guard- did it go in during reading/TV (can’t imagine that it went in THAT night except as show).

              I wonder too if she knew J Torchinsky had been approached by Joe to get her to waive her atty client privileges. That is just SO bizarre to me.

            • Goose
              05/18/2010 at 3:13 PM

              Do you think this is in an attempt to show that Robert was showered, but he didn’t do it himself (as his personal towel was unused), to prove tampering…or an attempt to establish a lack of credibility as to the story of how Robert spent his night before going to bed? I am unsure where the prosecution is heading with this – there are so many directions to take.

              • Uncle Ernie
                05/18/2010 at 4:18 PM

                I am still curious as to how Mrs. Wone answered. I have been around guys my entire life and I can count on one hand the number who shower before going to bed at night. It just isn’t a guy thing, even if they plan to have sex. Guys shower in the morning, since it often has the effect of waking you up. So if she answered that Robert never showered before bed, then the prosecution is on to something. His body was found clean, inconsistent with his personal showering habits, and no used towel was found nearby. Conclusion? Tampering. Good thinking, Goose.

            • Pepa
              05/18/2010 at 3:21 PM

              If no wet / damp towels were found on the premises, would that not also seem to indicate that the defendants hadn’t showered either? And that they hadn’t cleaned the body in a shower?

              • Bea
                05/18/2010 at 3:25 PM

                Or the wet/damp towels went away with the knife and bloody cleaning supplies (or towels WERE used for cleaning).

              • CDinDC
                05/18/2010 at 3:25 PM

                The prosecution at one point honed in on the dryer. FWIW

                • Pepa
                  05/18/2010 at 3:34 PM

                  Honed in on the dryer, but found no evidence, right? No evidence of detergents or other cleaning agents found either, right?

                  Giving them time to clean up all the blood evidence and destroy all of the other evidence seems like it would explode the timeline and/or implicate other people. How big would this conspiracy have to get?
                  In the same way there can’t be murderous ninja elves, there can’t be stealthy evidence-destroying elves, right?

                  I have read a number of your posts and enjoy and appreciate many of the ideas that you put forth. Just want to push your ideas a little.

                  • CDinDC
                    05/18/2010 at 3:47 PM

                    I’ve never given much credence to the dryer “evidence.” I’ve always thought that any physical evidence would have been tossed in a trashcan anywhere on the blcok. That would take a matter of minutes. Besides, blood is a bear to remove from fabric, much less terry cloth.

                • Goose
                  05/18/2010 at 3:39 PM

                  Didn’t dogs alert to the presence of blood in the lint trap?

                  • Pepa
                    05/18/2010 at 3:43 PM

                    My recollection, perhaps faulty, is that alert or no, no organic evidence was found.

                    • CDinDC
                      05/18/2010 at 3:48 PM

                      I think the dryer “evidence” is a no go.

                    • Carolina
                      05/18/2010 at 3:59 PM

                      From the beginning, before this site even existed, many of us believed that the evidence was removed. It will be interesting to see how many, if any, wet/damp towels were found. Unless Joe buys paper thin, cheap bath linen, there’s no way towels would be dry in 2 hours. I also can’t imagine Robert returning to the guestroom with a wet towel, folding it up and placing it on any piece of furniture. Even a well-brought up child would know better.

              • BadShoes
                05/18/2010 at 4:39 PM

                Pepa-

                Mr. Wone was stabbed in the heart, and should have bled profusely. Yet, when the EMTs arrived, there was very little visible blood on the body, in the bed, or in the room. Where did the blood go?

                The police concluded that the body and crime scene had been cleaned up, yet they were unable to identify AFAIK, either blood or materials used to clean up the blood. The blood and any materials just disappeared.

                Okay, how did they disappear? I don’t know. Some alternative hypotheses:

                a) there is no missing blood. Mr. Wone bled inernally. All the blood was inside the body.

                b) An unknown accomplice or ninja appeared before 11:45pm, and took away a bag of evidence.

                c) A bag of evidence was cached inside or outside the house, and later recovered by the perp(s), an accomplice, ninja, or unwitting accomplice.

                d) A bag of evidence was somehow cleaned, destroyed, or rendered unrecognizable in situ, before or after 11:45pm.

                e) Evidence is still concealed somewhere in the house.

                f) some really creative strategy.

                None of these hypotheses are particularly satisfactory.

                The unknown accomplice must be deeply trusted. The accomplice has to arrive before Mr. Wone, or arrive and depart within a few minutes–unnoticed by the neighbors. Unknown accomplice proponents are also likely to suspect premeditation.

                The police didn’t execute a search warrant on 1509 until some days later, so there was time to recover cached evidence. However, there was no way, prior to 11:45pm, to know how fast the police would act, how thoroughly they would search, or whether the crime scene would be secured. Caching the evidence would have been a risky gamble.

                Destroying the evidence would take a lot of time and potentially create even more evidence.

                The defense will contend that a) must be true, because all of the other options suggest, at a minimum, a lot of hard-to-sleep-through activity between 10:30 and 11:45 pm.

                My favorite hypothesis (for which there is absolutely no evidence) is that the bag was cached. Two hypotheses (also without evidence) on how:

                –packed into a suitcase or laundry bag, then picked up by an unwitting friend.

                –cached in a nook or void space in Sarah Morgan’s apartment (unknown to Ms. Morgan) and recovered later.

                • CDinDC
                  05/18/2010 at 4:47 PM

                  BadShoes, it would have been easy as pie for one of the 3 defendants to step outside and ditch a CVS bag of “stuff” (including a knife) down any sewer or in any garbage can in the immediate vicinity. It’s kinda like stealing a neighbor’s newspaper. Quick and easy.

                  Remember, the alleged clean up began BEFORE they called 911. They were probably finished with the coverup when Victor called.

                  • CDinDC
                    05/18/2010 at 4:50 PM

                    I’m a firm believer of “Occam’s razor” in this instance.

                  • BadShoes
                    05/18/2010 at 5:03 PM

                    Anybody know what time of day/day of the week was trash pick up on Swann Street in August 2006?

                    Cuz’ if you knew that the trash was collected at 6am the next morning, it would be even easier than pie.
                    Otherwise, you’re gambling the neighbors wont notice foreign trash and connect the dots–still maybe a smaller gamble than caching, though.

                    • NM
                      05/18/2010 at 6:37 PM

                      I believe it was Monday and Thursday but not sure – it has since changed, is now Tuesdayand Friday.

          • BadShoes
            05/18/2010 at 3:05 PM

            Bea, you are likely right. But, oh the irony…It appears somebody made too many towels disappear, and left the bathroom looking like it had never been used.

            • Bea
              05/18/2010 at 3:09 PM

              Oh – could be! No towels to dry off with, no towels to staunch blood – because they’re all gone with the clean up?

        • AnnaZed
          05/18/2010 at 3:34 PM

          Joe didn’t say that he heard Robert showering but Dylan did and said that he heard the door as well, very specifically.

        • Daphne
          05/18/2010 at 4:10 PM

          Wait. I thought the affidavit in support of DW’s arrest warrant said RW’s clothes were neatly folded.

        • Daphne
          05/18/2010 at 4:12 PM

          PS- What is the message on the bb?

    • Uncle Ernie
      05/18/2010 at 2:27 PM

      Dear Editors, what was her answer to the question about night-time showering? This is one piece of the puzzle that has always baffled me.

  16. MotherOfInvention
    05/18/2010 at 2:21 PM

    What about Michael Price’s behavior at the funeral? I’ve seen that mentioned in connection with KW’s testimony, but not fully described. Has it been discussed previously on this site?

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 2:26 PM

      I think it was mentioned in the prosecutor’s opening statement, that there will be testimony about his behavior there.

      • MotherOfInvention
        05/18/2010 at 2:28 PM

        Thanks Bea!

  17. Friend of Rob
    05/18/2010 at 3:36 PM

    Ms. Carson, this has not been a Silent Spring.

  18. Bea
    05/18/2010 at 3:51 PM

    Sounds like the neighbors, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas, held their own on when the screams happened – I assume that this was before the newscast ended at 11:30 or 11:34?

  19. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 4:00 PM

    Here’s a quote from WMRW.com’s Editor Doug from an article he wrote for Metro Weekly:

    “Leibovitz prodded both sides to remember they were ”arguing to me…not them,” motioning to the packed audience in the courtroom.”

  20. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 4:19 PM

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/05/18/robert-wones-meticulous-habits-contrary-to-cluttered-crime-scene/

    A few interesting details about testimony are in this article.

    Here’s a portion of the article:

    “During testimony Tuesday in the conspiracy trial stemming from Wone’s 2006 murder, Kirschner noted how Wone’s clothes and towel weren’t put away neatly, as was his custom. The towel was casually draped over a chair. His pants and shirt were piled none-too-neatly on top of a stack of papers. He was also found lying on top of bed covers pulled down at a 45-degree angle.

    Wone’s widow, Kathy, testified that her husband always pulled the covers all the way down to his feet, particularly when the weather was hot. (Wone was killed on Aug. 2.) He would never toss his clothes on the ground, she says, adding that he also kept three separate baskets for dry cleaning.

    Wone’s composed widow also recalled her final conversation with her late husband, a phone call around 9:30 p.m. the night of his death: “We said ‘Goodnight, I love you,’ with the understanding that we’d see each other the next day,” she says.”

  21. MrsTNH
    05/18/2010 at 4:25 PM

    I’m not a legal – eagle, so I must ask. Is it customary for a Judge to ask questions of witnesses? I thought it was the job of the Atty’s to present their case, and the Judge reach a conclusion from there. Are juriors able to ask questions, when its a jury trial?

    • Friend of Rob
      05/18/2010 at 4:32 PM

      Much more common in bench trials, but happens in jury trials as well.

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 4:33 PM

      Juries cannot ask. Judges often do – particularly when it’s a bench trial as here. They can even if it’s a jury trial but don’t as often then as they don’t want to influence the jury.

      • Kim
        05/18/2010 at 6:57 PM

        Actually, in DC, jurors in both civil and criminal trials may submit written questions. Typically, a juror will give his or her question to the jury foreperson, who will deliver it to the judge. The judge has complete discretion to ask the question or not. The question is always asked by the judge, never by the juror. Having said all this, judges are very careful about juror-initiated questions in criminal trials and both the prosecution and defense may ask the judge to first see the question so they can have an opportunity to object. I always object to juror-initiated questions and the judges have always agreed not to ask them.

        The judge too can ask questions, whether it is a jury trial or a bench trial, although they are much more reserved in jury trials (and appropriately so). One time one of my judges asked me, very politely, if I didn’t mind him asking a few questions of my witness. I told him: “I don’t mind, but your Honor, please, don’t lose my case.”

        • Bea
          05/18/2010 at 7:09 PM

          I understand, Kim, but my point was just that jurors cannot blurt out a question.

  22. CDinDC
    05/18/2010 at 4:27 PM

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2010/05/on-stand-wones-wife-recalls-night-of-stabbing.html

    Here’s an article from BLT.com. They seem to temper the reporting much more than other news providers.

    • AnnaZed
      05/18/2010 at 4:34 PM

      “…Just days after the homicide, when Price described hearing the sound of Wone being stabbed—the “uh,” “uh,” “uh,”—Kathy Wone told him to stop.”

      Good God!

      The man is insane.

      • TT
        05/18/2010 at 4:36 PM

        And his lame comment on the crack house across the street.

        • CDinDC
          05/18/2010 at 4:42 PM

          Like the police wouldn’t know about a crack house on swann street. Lame, indeed.

        • AnnaZed
          05/18/2010 at 4:43 PM

          That’s like his casting around and lighting upon the black man that lived nearby as a suspect in his very first conversations with the responding officers. He’s like Susan Smith and Andrew Cunanan rolled into one.

          But having a conversation with Mrs. Wone in which he “describes what he heard” and makes grunting noises and sound effects of Robert’s death until she is forced to ask him to stop is completely barking mad insane. If I ever for one second doubted that he killed Robert I don’t now after hearing that, quelle horreur

        • NM
          05/18/2010 at 4:45 PM

          I can’t believe he tried to implicate the neighbors across the street. I believe I know which house he meant and its a family that lives there – it is not a crack house. They are the people who have lived on the block the longest – one of two black households (that I know of) – and at times they’ve had some trouble, possibly drug related. Police visited once or twice. But it is NOT a crack house.

          Bastard.

          • Bea
            05/18/2010 at 4:52 PM

            Seems his story about the ‘Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes’ neighborhood and ‘loving the diversity’ (as he underhandedly tried to implicate the black man) went a bit south after the interrogations. In November 2007 Joe was likely trying to come up with something to indicate to Kathy Wone that there were other possibilities AND that he was TRYING to get them to act, thus the imaginary crack house. He’s unbelievable.

  23. Daphne
    05/18/2010 at 5:12 PM

    Can anyone direct me to the transcripts of the defendants’ interviews with police?

    • Eagle
      05/18/2010 at 6:03 PM

      Go to the Archives of April 1010.
      They are on the third page (I believe) of the directory.

  24. Junyi
    05/18/2010 at 5:54 PM

    Great job covering the trial, eds. Can anyone say how Robert’s family besides Kathy (parents, brother, in-laws) have been holding up during the trial? Have they given interviews or made public statements? I’m interested in knowing their stories and just how frustrating it must be for them. There will be no justice until the murderer(s) are caught and convicted. How are they getting through this. I can’t imagine how upsetting it is that only these charges have been brought up against the Three Gees. How can you mend a broken heart? Peace.

  25. Bill Orange
    05/18/2010 at 6:33 PM

    Ugh. Tired of the nested threads, so I’m posting at the bottom.

    RE: The Blackberry. Did Kathy Wone say anything about whether or not it was common for Robert to send her text messages or e-mails at night, especially after they’d already talked on the phone? I know that some people do this a lot, and others don’t do it at all. Was it typical for them?

    RE: The towels. There is an outside chance that the prosecution is going to be able to show that there were no towels in the house with Robert’s epithelial cells on them. We know that the FBI has been running DNA tests fairly recently, so this is within the realm of possibility, but I’m not terribly hopeful about it, and given that other aspects of the crime scene were botched, I doubt that the judge will believe that absence of evidence is equivalent to evidence of absence.

    RE: The e-mails. Any idea why Joe Price would be giving Kathy Wone a 2-inch stack of e-mails?

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 7:08 PM

      Hey Bill. All good questions. I wonder if the Wones simply didn’t text after a certain time because they didn’t want to wake the other – if they were early risers (sounds like it) then it may well have been strange. Given that they’d already said goodnight and given the timeframe, I doubt Robert wrote them. If he had, he’d have sent them both since he must have realized the time and decided either it was okay or not. I never draft texts and then expect them to be there the next time.

      I doubt the MPD have the towel evidence down to epithelial cells but instead will rely on how meticulous Robert was with his clothing, that the deodorant in the bathroom wasn’t his, that the towel was on the back of the chair, etc.

      As for the emails, it sounds like a Joe ploy. See how much I cared for Robert? I’ve printed out all his emails to show YOU, his widow, that I care. Never mind that I’ve never once cleared out my inbox or outbox because I am a control freak.

  26. Craig
    05/18/2010 at 6:54 PM

    VERY lengthy hearing recap post. Stand by. Shooting for 730pmET post.

    • Bea
      05/18/2010 at 7:02 PM

      Sounds good, Craig. We need the details – as you can see, we’re tripping all over ourselves wondering and trying to find info wherever we can. Your coverage is SO appreciated.

  27. Bea
    05/18/2010 at 7:14 PM

    Anyone else look at all the videos from the various TV outlets? Seems that the one with the sketches used in the post may have mixed up Zaborsky and Ward (I assumed the shorter-haired blonde man was supposed to be Ward). The way the videos seemed to say that Price and Zaborsky talked to each other and sat close but that Ward sat further away and did not mix with them seemed odd since that’s not what the sketch shows. Also, curious that the commentator (can’t remember which) all but said that it appeared Ward was ‘separating’ from the other two. Anyone catch that?

    • Doug
      05/18/2010 at 8:03 PM

      Bea: saw the sketches, and they were incorrect as far as putting Dylan next to Joe and Victor. He was separated by at least one person and several feet.
      Doug, co-editor

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