4:45pm: Adjournment update
Kirschner’s direct of ME Lois Goslinowski ended with him getting the testimony he may have wanted from her. She said in 45 stabbing cases she’s done, Robert’s is the first where “there was no indication of movement in the torso or extremities.”
The ME’s finding also indicated 2000 milliliters of blood was recovered and measured in Robert’s body. A healthy man of his size normally has 6000 ML.
Also, based on her findings, she still maintains that Robert was alive for “minutes” after the stabbing.
Leibovitz was about to adjourn and have the defense start the expected rigorous cross on Friday morning. Price counsel Bernie Grimm was having none of that and volunteered to start right then and there.
If today is any indication, his cross of the ME will be aggressive, to say the very least. Court is back in session tomorrow at 11:00am.
A full recap on today’s testimony will go up around 7:30pm this evening. Earlier updates after the break.320pm: Update
The afternoon session started with second responding MPD patrol officer Gregory Alimein’s testimony. The upshot was he recalled entering 1509 Swann with the three defendants seated in the living room in robes.
He testified that Ward started talking, “We heard a chime…” until he was cut off by Price. Alimein said Price shot Ward a glare, “with a stern look. That’s when Ward stopped talking.”
To Alimein it appreared as if, “…a little kid got in trouble with mom or dad” who then took him to task.
On cross, Bernie Grimm and David Schertler hammered the officer on one simple point. Why didn’t he report this “significant” event to anyone on homicide team, his partner or anyone else at the time. Why not report it until three and a half years later? Alimein didn’t seem to have a good reason.
Connolly’s cross was just to underscore that his client Zaborsky was, “sobbing uncontrollably” when Alimein was there. A tight 30 second cross examination – taking Judge Leibovitz’ pleas for brevity very seriously it seems.
Just prior to the 315pm break, DC Deputy ME Lois Goslinoski took the stand. After a CV review of her extensive credentials, AUSA Glenn Kirschner offered her as an expert witness, a forensic pathologist. She’s both a Wolverine and a Spartan. Go Teams!
The ME got as far as characterizing the needle puncture marks she found on Robert as either pre, post or early post-mortem. More at adjournment.
After the morning break, Kirschner on redirect tried to smooth out any dings that EMT Jeff Baker may have gotten from the triple defense cross.
Kirschner pressed him on the blood pattern, IV access points, whether Robert had a shirt on and his observations of the defendants. Referring to the housemates, Baker maintained they were unresponsive.
They did not appear upset and generally didn’t say anything to him. Baker was excused and seemed happy to be out of the box. “Tough crowd,” he quipped. That was met with laughter.
At Noon, AUSA Patrick Martin began his direct with GWU ER nurse Leah Lujan. When asked when she graduated from Georgetown Nursing School, she appeared a bit flustered by the weight of the moment, “I just had a brain-fart.” The courtroom laughed, even causing Judge Liebowitz to break a smile.
Martin walked her through the typical procedures for a “Trauma Yellow” – the highest level of urgency. She recalled patient Robert Wone.
When the EMT call came in, she prepared the trauma bay for his arrival.
A team of 6-8 ER docs, 1 nurse and 1 tech attended to him. Lujan managed the charts and records as head nurse. She documented all activities and procedures. Asked about the night she said, “I recall vividly… (he was) very, very pale.”
She testified on the procedures of placing chest tubes, a breathing tube and groin tube and the CPR being administered. She was shown pictures of Robert and asked about the needle puncture marks on his ankle, foot and neck.
She said none of them would’ve placed by any ER staff. Later, she said she had never seen any DC EMT place an IV in a patient’s ankle. She said she recalled very little blood when he was brought in and while he was placed in the body bag. “I took note that not a lot of blood was there…what I expected…”
At 12:35, Connolly’s associate Amy Richardson began her cross. She asked Lujan if Robert had a CT scan to reveal any internal injuries. “No” she said. Schertler was next, asking if the MPD interviewed her; Lujan didn’t recall. Richardson pressed her if at any point her view of the resuscitative efforts were obstructed. It was possible.
Judge Leibovitz had questions of her own: would Robert’s clothes he came in with have been charted? Lujan said it would make her notes only if the clothes were cut off as part of procedures. She asked if she could ID the needle puncture wounds. “An ingrown hair,” she implied? She couldn’t say.
Martin took a moment of redirect that yielded little. Before the lunch break, Leibovitz admonished all attorneys to keep it moving. “It’s just me deciding.. not them (pointing to the audience.)” She noted that maybe a jury would
speculate, but she would not. “We’ll be here all summer unless we focus.”
She gaveled out at 1:00pm and the trial reconvenes at 2:00pm after the lunch break.
The morning session started with Joe Price counsel Bernie Grimm’s cross of Jeff Baker, first responder at 1509 Swann. Grimm worked hard to point out lapses in Baker’s memory and differences between his July 2008 grand jury testimony and today.
Grimm pressed him on whether he saw Robert in a shirt, if resuscitative compressions took place at the home, and Baker’s uncertainty about whether he saw striation marks on Robert’s chest or abdomen.
Grimm also asked about IV access points that may have been attempted by Baker’s partner, Ms. Weaver. Baker again described it as a film, with towel marks.
Schertler went next and repeatedly questioned Baker on whether he saw a t-shirt. Then, on the projector screen and from the government’s exhibit box, we all got our first look at Robert’s t-shirt. It appeared to be cut open
down the front, and the backside almost completely stained with blood.
Baker remained firm; he did not recall seeing the shirt, his attention was on
Robert’s wounds alone. However, Baker admitted memory errors at times and without prompting said twice, “My radar was on, something was not right. I was on alert.”
Schertler also pressed Baker on Ward’s alleged unresponsiveness, suggesting that Ward was just getting out of the way to allow Baker better access in the narrow hallway.
Baker said he saw no active bleeding from the chest wounds or around the scene. Schertler next showed the sofa bed photo with the two blood stains. Did Baker recall seeing the blood spots on the bed? No.
A quick break until 11:40am and Zaborsky counsel Thomas Connolly will begin his cross. Next update at lunch break around 115pm.
After a one day break, the trial resumes at 9:45this morning in room 310 of the Moultrie Courthouse.
The Court PIO is still taking media RSVPs, so that may be ann indication a crowd is still expected. It’s uncertain if an overflow room with the audio feed will be set up today.
We expect first responding EMT Jeff Baker to continue his testimony this morning with AUSA Glenn Kirschner. Depending how things progress, maybe cross with the defense team this afternoon.
Let’s Make A Deal: The subject of last minute, back room deals has come up from time to time, . Someone who knows how these things work, recently shared his opinion on the choreography of how a deal could be struck in this case:
“I assume Kirschner would only cut a deal based on the revelation of the murderer.
At this stage, the defense would approach the prosecution but I don’t expect this would happen. All of this would be based on an off-the-record debriefing first, followed by the deal being agreed upon.
If this was to happen, there would be no deal without the government hearing directly from one (or all of the defendants) first. I believe Kirschner would be receptive to a deal if they could solve the murder.”