Four days of testimony and cross yielded plenty: first the opening statements on Monday then Kathy Wone’s powerful testimony on her husband’s last day was perhaps the most memorable.
The three witnesses who had the chain of custody on Robert that night, EMT Jeff Baker, ER Nurse Leah Lujan and Deputy M.E. Lois Goslinoski appeared to be key building blocks of the government’s charges.
DC MPD Patrolman Gregory Alimein was there to provide the context of what the prosecution alleges was a very strange atmosphere inside 1509 Swann Street when the first responders arrived.
Alimein was AUSA Glenn Kirschner’s first witness to build the case that defendant Joe Price took control of the scene and was the alleged conspiracy’s ring leader.
Getting out in front of Monday’s session, Washington Examiner’s Scott McCabe has this:
Prosecutors this week will play video of the police interrogations of three men accused of covering up the slaying of the promising young lawyer.
The video will help prove that the housemates concocted a bizarre tale that an intruder broke into their posh Dupont Circle town house and fatally stabbed their guest Robert Wone, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys have said that the videos will demonstrate that the accused trio never wavered from their truthful statements even under the withering accusations of veteran D.C. homicide detectives.
“If these men were not telling the truth, they would have broken that night,” said defense attorney David Schertler during his opening statement.
If Judge Leibovitz has already read the transcripts and seen the DVDs of them, why use precious trial time to run them?
The interrogations, the transcripts (referred to by some as the Anacostia Dialogues) of which were posted here several weeks ago, appear key to both sides. Even though she has read those transcripts and viewed DVD of the interrogations, Leibovitz said on Friday that, “They should be played in open court.”
We can’t help but wonder why this judge, so focused on keeping the trial going and witnesses to a minimum, would allow valuable trial time to be devoted to hours and hours of videotape that she has already screened. What remains in question is what if any redacts the government will make to these tapes.
Who else can we expect on the witness stand this week?
Would the government follow up DC Deputy Medical Examiner Lois Goslinoski’s testimony with another M.E.? On AUSA Glenn Kirschner’s list of possible witnesses is Dr. David Fowler, Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Maryland.
It’s expected that Fowler, who has the board certification that Goslinoski lacks, will back up the findings and opinions of her testimony, that Robert lived for some period of time after the stabbing, and that for some unexplained reason, he was unable to make the most simple of involuntary reflex movements, that are normally seen in knife attacks.
In the coming weeks, that testimony will be attacked by the defense witnesses, cardiologists Dr. Farzad Najam of GWU and Dr. Andrew Wechsler from Drexler University College of Medicine. Both will testify that Robert was rendered immediately unconscious and immobile after the first knife strike, a key element of the defense strategy.
Waiting in the wings may be another defense expert, Dr. Michael Baden. Baden, who has attached himself to high profile cases (the House panel looking into the assassination of President Kennedy, OJ Simpson, Phil Spector. Claus von Bulow, John Belushi and Sid Vicious), had a front row seat during Friday’s session and he took in all of Dr. Goslinoski’s testimony and cross.
One question that went unasked last week about the stab wounds was the amount of force necessary to make them. Of the three wounds, two went into soft tissue and organs, but one went through the sternum, which would require greater force. How such different wounds could result in the same lack of irregularities (drag marks, fish-tailing, etc.) never came up in last week’s questioning.
The seating inside the crowded courtroom, on the business side of the bar, was consistent throughout the week, front to back: Tom Connolly associate Amy Richardson, Victor Zaborsky, Dylan Ward, Schertler associate Veronica Jennings, Joe Price and another associate, this one we believe, belongs to Bernie Grimm.
There appears to be some seating available for the public and if room 310 is at capacity, audio may be fed into the overflow room.
Monday’s session kicks off at 9:30am and we’re told by DC Courts Public Information Officer, Leah Gurowitz, to expect five straight days of testimony this week, with each day wrapping at 4:45pm. It seems length of the day is determined by the court reporters; they need to be up and out by 5:00pm.