Day 5: Updates

5:00pm Adjournment

The first half hour of Joe Price’s videotaped interrogation was played in court this afternoon.  Seeing it is far different than reading it on the printed page.

The trial reconvenes at 9:00am tomorrow.  A full recap of today will go up by 7:00pm

3:45pm Update

The afternoon session evidence kicked off David Schertler’s continued cross of MPD evidence tech Lancaster.  The defense attorney made a point of showing a photo of the desk in the guestroom and a letter holder on it.  Schertler seemed to suggest that some of Robert’s valuables may have been blocked from an intruder’s line of site by that holder, explaining why they were not ‘stolen.’

A couple things we learned: the MPD did use Luminol to test for blood traces in addition to Ashley’s Reagent.   Those tests showed showed negative also.

We also learned that at one point while Dr. Henry Lee, on retainer to the defense team, was examining evidence in the US Attorneys office, specifically Robert’s T-shirt, shorts, the pillow case and bed sheet.  Hairs fell out of the evidence bag.

The defense tried to show this as sloppy evidence storage in a way, and Lancaster said the hairs were replaced into the proper bags.  Did Lancaster subsequently test those hairs?   No, we were told.  A point to the defense?

On redirect Kirschner asked Lancaster about those hairs.  Did the defense ever ask for them to be tested?  No.  Would Lancaster have tested them if the defense requested?  “Absolutely,” Lancaster told the prosecutor.  Kirschner with the save.1:20pm Update

After the mid-morning break, Kirschner resumed his methodical questioning of Sgt. Lancaster, the MPD crime scene evidence technician.

Lancaster talked about processing the evidence, drying anything with blood on it, and the chain of custody of the items.  The bloody towel was displayed again and showed very little sign of blood, only a few marks and arrows from the testing performed on it.

Ward counsel David Schertler began his cross at 12:15pm.  He and Lancaster appeared to know each other well: “It’s been a while,” the defense attorney said.

Schertler wanted to know if the three weeks the MPD had the house was enough time to fully process the scene.  Lancaster said yes.

Schertler spent some time looking at backyard photos from the parking area and patio, the upside down garbage can, and the tool shed with the sunglasses on top.  Asked if Lancaster found any pollen on the BMW, he said no, “…not in August.”   But there was dust and dirt on the car itself.

Schertler got Lancaster to admit that when he would open the back patio door, that the chime did in fact sound, indicating it was in working order.

Right before the lunch break, Schertler pointed out a photo of a curio cabinet in the 1509 living room.  The door to it appeared to be open.  Was it dusted, Schertler asked?  “I think so… and no latents (finger prints) were found.”

We still think that Dr. and Mrs. Needham Ward are in the audience today, seated next to Victor’s Aunt Marcia and her frequent companion.  Dr. Ward appeared attentive and engaged during the proceedings.

Back in at 2:00pm for the afternoon session.

11:20 am Update

MPD Sergeant Charles Patrick, a 13 year veteran of the force was first to testify this morning.  According to his testimony he, too, witnessed Joe Price shoot “glares and stares” towards Dylan Ward while he observed them in the living room of 1509 Swann.

On cross, Price counsel Bernie Grimm pressed him on how and when he may have reported this “suspicious” activity up the chain, specifically to homicide detectives on the scene.  Patrick said it was three days after the murder.

There seemed to be some confusion if Price was on the second or first floor when Patrick arrived.  Connolly’s cross?  About a minute, all focused on his client, Victor Zaborsky who was said to be crying throughout.  Schertler took a handful of whacks and that was it.

Next up was MPD Evidence Tech Curtis Lancaster.  AUSA Glenn Kirschner walked him through the steps of how he processes crime scenes and what he did upon arriving at 1509 Swann at about 2:00am on the morning of August 3.

He looked for signs of forced entry, saw none, then he and his partner took a series of comprehensive photographs of all rooms on all floors.

Later, we may hear testimony from MPD Homicide Detective Wagner.  It seems that Defendant Ward’s father, Dr. Needham Ward is in the courtroom today, on Dylan’s 40th birthday.9:15am Update

Fifteen minutes from the gavel.  On the way  into the courthouse today we saw Judge Frederick Weisberg pulling into the parking garage.  We can’t help but wonder how things would be different if he was still presiding over this case.  Would a jury have been seated?

Zaborsky counsel Tom Connolly was in the ground floor cafeteria grabbing a coffee before things get underway.  Good idea.

Trying to collar someone who can give us a heads up on today’s witnesses.

Defendants have entered courtroom and some members of the media filing in too. Connolly was seen greeting defendants’ supporters before going in, while Price counsel Bernie Grimm sat alone, a few feet away, working over a document.  Next update at the morning break.

7:45am Update: The Big Plunge

We learned a lot in the last week.  We expect to learn more this week – the prosecution’s bolstering of Dr Goslinoski’s testimony, and potentially the playing in court of the full Violent Crimes Branch interviews with Dylan Ward, Victor Zaborsky and Joseph Price.  The prosecution also has in its bag more potential witnesses – on science, on character, and on timeline.

Ward, Price and Zaborsky - Courtesy William J. Hennessy, Jr.

The defense’s task has been, and will continue to be, raising doubt with every witness, and for every claim the government brings.

That’s their job, and they have done so diligently the past week.

Of course, as Judge Leibovitz continues to remind, she is the only finder of fact, and she will ultimately make the decisions on fact.

The first week was, in some respects, predictable.  Witnesses called by the prosecution – Katherine Wone, EMT responders, the MPD and Dr. Goslinoski – were easily anticipated.  From here, the water gets deeper.  Ahead there are unfathomable questions of forensics, of character – and murkier issues yet to be plumbed.  For the prosecution, the shallow waters have been fished, now the big plunge.

This also raises a question of sequencing, and maybe this is best answered by some of the attorneys here:  Does the order of witnesses generally follow a timing and strategy, or does it come down to scheduling?  Will forensics ace Robert Spaulding surface when Kirschner wants to insert him into his narrative, or is it dependent upon personal calendars?

No Deal?: For the sake of argument, many commenters have questioned Victor’s possible role in the events of that night.  Consistently, he’s been the one of the three housemates to engender the greatest compassion.  And suspicion.  To summarize a great many comments: Victor needs to turn State’s evidence as to the events of that night to save himself and tell the truth.

But there’s a potential problem.  What if Victor is telling the truth?  What if – as defense lawyer Thomas Connolly has repeatedly made clear – Victor is literally telling the truth: he doesn’t know what happened, or who did what to whom?  What if Victor is completely in the dark as to what happened?

Importantly, he would have no evidence to turn.  Someone who knows what actually happened has a story of value to sell to the prosecution.  But someone who, unfortunately, doesn’t know anything – truthfully – of what happened that night has nothing to offer.

181 comments for “Day 5: Updates

  1. Bill Orange
    05/24/2010 at 8:43 AM

    It’s hard for me to imagine a situation in which Joe and/or Dylan are guilty of obstruction but Victor is not. Victor is Joe’s alibi for a significant part of the timeline. If you think he’s telling the truth while one (or both) of the other two are lying, that means that Dylan is doing almost everything all by himself, while Joe is going to bed, waiting for Victor to fall asleep, sneaking downstairs, then coming back upstairs and getting into bed before waking Victor up to call 911. And there’s STILL a gap between the time the neighbor heard the scream and the time the 911 call is placed.

  2. Hoya Loya
    05/24/2010 at 8:50 AM

    If Victor is telling the truth, then Joe must be also, since they corroborate each other’s stories, unless Joe also squeezed something else into his trip downstairs to reconnect Bravo.Neither one would have enough info to cut a deal.

    Another possibility to consider: Victor’s statement was not entirely truthful but he still doesn’t know what happened and just followed Joe’s instructions in making the 911 call. At least part of his statement and the call would then be false. He would be guilty of obstruction but with no information to offer other than perhaps Joe not being upstairs with him and dictating the call, which might not be enough for Kirschner.

    He would be in a bind either way.

    The same could be true for Dylan if he really did sleep through everything while medicated — he’d have nothing concrete to offer.

  3. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 9:01 AM

    I’m of the belief that Victor did NOT have a hand in the actual crimes against Robert Wone. However, I do believe that he may have been “instructed” by others to go along with what he was told. He may not know the whole truth. That does NOT, however, make any less guilty of the charges at hand.

  4. VA Librarian
    05/24/2010 at 9:09 AM

    Victor can’t say, “I don’t know what happened but Joe told me to say “X”?” That wouldn’t be helpful for the prosecution? He couldn’t cop a plea based on that?

    • Also From the Post Story
      05/24/2010 at 2:53 PM

      Not if the prosecution wants enough evidence to convict someone of murder. Maybe Dylan committed the murder while Joe was out of the room, or vice versa. Or maybe a guest whom they’d invited into their games did it and fled, leaving a body on Joe and Dylan’s hands.

      • Jack
        05/24/2010 at 2:57 PM

        Or a guest whom Robert Wone invited into the games?

        • Hoya Loya
          05/24/2010 at 3:17 PM

          Let’s see: Robert, “Straight as the day is long” (J. Price), married, honest and clean-living, on his first night ever apart from his wife decides to invite a random piece of rough trade to the house of friends where he is a guest to engage in “games?”

          Please provide facts to support this bit of speculation — otherwise you are just blaming the victim. In nearly four years, nobody has come forward with any evidence that Robert was gay or bi. Do you know something nobody else does, including the defendants? And “he could have been very good at keeping it secret” won’t cut it.

  5. Inasmuch
    05/24/2010 at 9:17 AM

    The author of this post asks the following question: “Does the order of witnesses generally follow a timing and strategy, or does it come down to scheduling?”

    My experience as a court clerk and as a practicing attorney supports the strategy of telling a cogent narrative through the sequence of witnesses; however, the reality of trial practice makes this incredibly difficult to accomplish. There are too many variables to have it all come together perfectly: the court’s calender, the attorneys’ calenders, and the witnesses’ calenders. Unless the trial is taking place in a “Banana Republic” of which you are the dictator, controlling a trial’s schedule is difficult.

    One frequent problem in trial practice is Hofstadter’s Law, i.e., everything you do usually takes a lot longer than you think it will. As the trial moves along, certain witnesses will take much too long (esp. with 3 cross examinations), and they will spill into the following day, pushing other witnesses back. Then there is a domino effect in people’s schedules.

    Thank you to the team of bloggers involved in this project.

  6. CC Biggs
    05/24/2010 at 9:57 AM

    The 911 call strongly suggests that Victor was in on the cover up. Remember, he told the 911 operator that he believed the intruder might still be in the house and he was afraid to go downstairs. But, in response to the 911 operator’s question about whether they should send ambulence, police (or both), Victor says only ambulence. Now why would he not request police if he actually believed that a killer/intruder might still be lurking downstairs in the house? Answer: he knew there was no intruder.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 10:50 AM

      I really don’t think you can draw too many conclusions from the 911 call. I would guess that the vast majority of people who call 911 in a true emergency say all kinds of crazy things.

      • Phil
        05/24/2010 at 11:09 AM

        I agree with this sentiment. While many people who comment here have found the 911 call to be damning, I find most everything in there plausible, given the circumstances. (Just one example: the “blood everywhere” comment may have just meant: “look things are really bad, I need to you come RIGHT NOW.” While the statement “blood everywhere” is not literally true, the circumstances in which it was said are completely crazy, and the idea behind it is true.)

        I know that many will disagree with this statement, and it is not my intent to defend the three. My point is that I don’t think the 911 call is the slam dunk many people think it is.

        • CC Biggs
          05/24/2010 at 11:17 AM

          No single piece of evidence is a slam dunk. There are almost always multiple possible interpretations of any piece of evidence. But the key question is whether the finder of fact is willing to assign the “innocent” explanation to every piece of evidence, time after time, to the mounting stack of evidence in the case. That’s asking a lot.

          • Phil
            05/24/2010 at 11:28 AM

            Good point. But when the finder of fact writes up her decision, she’s got to point to something. I’m not sure there’s anything in the 911 call she can/should point to.

            If any piece of evidence truly was a slam dunk–I don’t think we would be here at trial today.

          • Bill Orange
            05/24/2010 at 11:30 AM

            I agree completely, and that’s a big part of why I thought Jaffe’s “Innocent Innocent Innocent” post was so absurd.

            • Hoya Loya
              05/24/2010 at 11:38 AM

              Bill O:

              It was really strange coming from someone who supposedly knows trials. In any trial both prosecution and defense will have their ups and downs from day to day, from witness to witness, from direct to cross and redirect. The very earliest you can get a real sense of where things stand is at the close of the prosecution’s case and even then, if the case is not dismissed, the defense’s presentation can completely change that perception.

              The prosecution has additional experts coming and there are other issues with the knife even if it was the murder weapon — the lack of gray t-shirt fibers, the presence of white fibers, the question of whether it was wiped down and Joe’s claim at Cosi that he pulled it from Robert’s chest.

              • Bill Orange
                05/24/2010 at 11:56 AM

                The more I think about it, the more I think that the defense–and perhaps Joe Price himself–tried to spin Jaffe, and Jaffe threw out the blog post to try to curry favor with–and access to–the defendants. In other words, I think the defense is trying to play Jaffe, and vice versa. I think the defense didn’t cooperate much (if at all) on Jaffe’s original article, and they were expecting it to just be a puff piece with a lot of quotes from Kathy Wone about how great Robert was, along with a rehash of the known facts. Instead, Jaffe got one of Joe Price’s close friends–Tara Ragone–to say that she thinks Joe Price is guilty and that she got an e-mail from him saying that if the defendants were to tell the police what they know, they’d all go to jail. That’s pretty damning, and I don’t think Price saw it coming. I think that Joe Price is now going out of his way to ensure that Jaffe hears his side of the story, and the blog post is Jaffe’s way of ensuring that he maintains that access.

                • tassojunior
                  05/24/2010 at 1:07 PM

                  “Telling the truth means going to jail” doesn’t mean they committed the murder. Depending on how the judge interprets obstruction, technically anything other than 100% accurate statements can be obstruction. That’s why smart people don’t want to say anything to police and lawyers always advise that. And it makes it hard to solve crimes. Here if the statements were even 95% true or some minor aspect were omitted they face 38 years. If they do know something helpful they can’t say anything now if it’s not consistent with the original statements.

                  • Bill Orange
                    05/24/2010 at 1:12 PM

                    I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying this. Can you cite even one case of someone who made a mistake in their initial statements to the police, recontacted them as soon as they realized the error, and said, “I’m really sorry about this, but I was so freaked out last night that I didn’t know which way was up, and I think I made a mistake when I said…”, and ended up getting convicted for obstruction?

                    • AnnaZed
                      05/24/2010 at 1:31 PM

                      He can’t Bill and (up to you of course), but I think we need to stop taking this bait the true purpose of which is to keep the blog comments are jammed with irrelevancies.

                    • tassojunior
                      05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

                      Martha Stewart

                    • tassojunior
                      05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

                      Bill-Martha Stewart

  7. Friend of Rob
    05/24/2010 at 11:09 AM

    I think the Washingtonian’s “Innocent, Innocent, Innocent” declaration last week was just the boost needed to steel Victor’s nerves and prevent him from taking a plea short of a verdict, honestly.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 11:45 AM

      I don’t think so. I think that Victor does whatever Joe tells him to do, and I think that he’s in so deep right now that any sort of plea deal is going to get him serious jail time, anyway. I know that a lot of people here think that Victor is the most likely to flip. I don’t. For starters, the three of them are living with Victor’s aunt right now. You’re not going to go to a prosecutor and say that the two men who are with your aunt right now are psychotic killers. Ward, on the other hand, might cut his losses if things start looking really bad. And there’s always a chance that Joe Price will try to cut a deal and blame one (or both) of the other two. I don’t think any of these possibilities are very likely. I think this whole thing is going to go to a verdict for all three. And if the prosecution wins, I expect them to ask for the defendants to be taken into custody immediately, since they’ve just been convicted of obstructing an ongoing murder investigation. And I think the judge would agree. If all of that happens, then I think the prosecutor would just move on to other things until someone calls to cut a deal.

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 12:14 PM

        I agree it seems that way. Poor Victor. It must be tiring having Joe’s hand up his butt like a puppet. It makes me wonder if he was truly okay with the relationship between Joe and Dylan, or if he was putting up with it because he “loved” Joe to much to put up a fuss.

        It seems so strange though– a smart, driven, successful person matched up with the one person to whom he would relinquish his ability to speak for himself. Too soap opera/armchair shrink.

        • dcbill
          05/24/2010 at 12:25 PM

          Poor Victor? Poor Cathy Wone. Victor had and still has opportunity to step up to the plate and tell what he knows. I hope he can find the strength to do the right thing. Justice for the murder victim ought to trump his feelings for Joe, that is, if he truly has a conscience about what went on that night.

          • Carolina
            05/24/2010 at 12:41 PM

            Oh believe me, my sarcasm was working overtime there.

  8. Lyn
    05/24/2010 at 11:39 AM

    Is defense counsel trying to prove Zaborsky guilty of lying to authorities?

    Defense counsel seems determined to prove that Wone’s death was instant and that there was no chance of him surviving for several minutes after he was stabbed. They have “experts” lined up to say as much and have gone out of their way to discredit the medical examiner who said Wone’s death would not likely have been instant. They are doing this to attempt to explain why there was no blood at the crime scene (i.e., instant death = no blood pumping).

    Yet several minutes into the 911 call, Zaborsky clearly states that Wone is still breathing:

    911 Operator: “Is he breathing?”

    Zaborsky: “He’s breathing, but we need help now.”

    Note that this was not a “I think he is breathing,” or a “I’m not sure.” This was a definitive statement that Wone was still breathing. And this was several minutes into the 911 call.

    It appears that the defense counsel’s zeal to explain why there was no blood at the crime scene, is actually implicating that Zaborsky lied to authorities about whether Wone was alive. Good job defense counsel! Way to defend your client!!

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 12:04 PM

      The theory that many people on here have is that Zaborsky sincerely believed Robert Wone was alive until partway through the 911 call. I think that this theory fits with the evidence: Zaborsky broke the rules (there were several mentions in the interviews about how Joe wanted everyone to keep their bedroom doors closed), came downstairs, found Wone with Price and/or Ward, and was told that Robert’s been hurt and that he should call 911. I think that he probably THOUGHT Wone was still breathing when he made the phone call, even though Wone was already dead.

      • Lyn
        05/24/2010 at 12:34 PM

        As I said, Zaborsky didn’t say he wasn’t sure or that he thought Wone was still alive. He affirmatively stated that he was still breathing. And from the sound of the call, it sounded like he said it while observing Wone’s body. The statement was made at the time that Zaborsky was (supposedly) handing Price a second towel.

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 12:42 PM

          Perhaps he thought they wouldn’t respond as quickly if Robert was already dead?

          • Lyn
            05/24/2010 at 12:57 PM

            If he knew Wone was already dead, why would Zaborsky be in a rush for the paramedics to arrive?

            The defendants want us to believe they have told the truth to authorities the entire time. This would mean that we should believe Zaborsky was telling the truth about Wone’s breathing.

            The problem is that this would also mean that blood would be everywhere. And this is a big problem for the defense.

            They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either there was no blood because death was instant (and Zaborsky lied to authorities) or death was no instant and they have a missing blood problem. Looks like their goose is cooked either way.

            It’s just amusing to me to see Zaborsky’s defense counsel basically make the argument that Zaborsky was lying on the 911 call about Wone being alive.

            • Bill Orange
              05/24/2010 at 1:04 PM

              I still think you’re reading too much into it. He could have simply been in denial about the possibility that Wone was dead. He’d had a long day, including a flight from Denver, and he was exhausted. I think he easily could have THOUGHT he saw Wone breathing.

              • KKinCA
                05/24/2010 at 1:15 PM

                And Victor told the detectives that took some over-the-counter medications for his sinuses (Sudafed I think) and something else to counteract the stimulant effect of the Sudafed to help him sleep. He stated in his police interview that he always has to do that after flying. So assuming that he in fact took those meds, he probably wasn’t thinking too clearly to begin with.

              • Lyn
                05/24/2010 at 1:24 PM

                The operator didn’t ask whether Wone was alive, she asked whether he was breathing. Zaborsky’s response was clear.

                Combine that with Price’s statement to police that Wone was moaning while he (supposedly) applied pressure to the wounds, and you’ve got two people at the scene both saying he was still alive for some time after the stabbing.

                But I’m sure there is an answer for that too, right?

                • Bill Orange
                  05/24/2010 at 1:32 PM

                  I’m not trying to say that you’re wrong. I’m just saying that there’s reasonable doubt with respect to the 911 call.

                  Price’s statement about the moaning was made later, and I think it deserves more scrutiny.

                  • AnnaZed
                    05/24/2010 at 6:05 PM

                    Someone posed this question up-thread:

                    “Is defense counsel trying to prove Zaborsky guilty of lying to authorities?”

                    Actually, I was just going to post a “ha, ha, ha” response when it struck me that maybe Joe is trying to do just that.

                    When the elves fiction fails, as it will, Joe’s first fall-back (a.) could be to put everything on Victor, who after all was the person first in contact with the authorities in his 911 call and the first trouple member to lie to them.

                    Fall-back (b.) is obviously to blame it all on Dylan as Joe began laying the groundwork from the his first contact with police by dropping information about Dylan’s supposed mental health issues.

                    By the way, happy birthday to Dylan. How hard it must be for Needham to be here and see the man that the lovely, talented certainly hugely intelligent child he was has become. I wonder if some very hard conversations are taking place at this very minute.

        • Very New Eyes
          05/24/2010 at 2:37 PM

          Zaborsky said victim was still breathing because that’s what Joe told him, making it seem like the killing had just then happened, all to coverup the cleanup delay in calling 911.

        • Very New Eyes
          05/24/2010 at 2:37 PM

          Zaborsky said victim was still breathing because that’s what Joe told him, making it seem like the killing had just then happened, all to coverup the cleanup delay in calling 911.

        • HKG
          05/24/2010 at 10:32 PM

          Together with what Bill and Lynn write above, perhaps Joe didn’t allow Victor to come into the room to see what was going on, and only told him through the door what to do?

          at 0:33 into the 911 call, Victor says he thinks their friend is bleeding from the stomach. and when asked if he is breathing, Victor first says he doesn’t know, because he is upstairs (at that time).

          and at 2:33, he seems to be relaying the 911 operators instructions, telling someone to “apply pressure. . . the paramedics are on the way.”

          but then at 2:37 he tells the operator that [Wone] was “stabbed in the heart, in the center of his chest”, but he still can’t or doesn’t answer the question whether [Wone] is breathing or not. how did he change from stomach to chest? perhaps someone told him between 0:33 and 2:27 into the call, but i can’t hear from the call.

          at 3:03 into the call, Victor states that [Wone] is breathing but they need help now. perhaps he didn’t actually see this, but after being asked several times now, offers up this answer that he really doesn’t know first hand.

          finally, at 6:21 he starts to freak out when the EMT responder comes to the door, and [i assume] they go up the steps and into the room.

          so perhaps at that time was the first time that Victor really saw what was going on, and seeing a pristine environment, three stab wounds with no blood, and Price sitting farther away and not applying pressure — maybe all that seen for the first time makes Victor freak out, and realize that Wone was already [with pause, as Bea has pointed out] dead??

  9. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 11:54 AM

    “There seemed to be some confusion if Price was on the second or first floor when Patrick arrived….?”

    Seems the defense hones in on seemingly petty things. I understand that the defense is trying to discredit anyone’s memory, but if that’s all they have, well they don’t have much.

    • des
      05/24/2010 at 1:01 PM

      cddc,
      i think you’re right. they really don’t have anything but “we didn’t do it and we have no idea what happened”. so they are trying to punch whatever holes they can in the prosecution’s case. and it so happens that the defendants’ story is so cockamamie that the defense team is ending up contradicting themselves as lyn pointed out.
      has anyone noticed if victor’s attorney connelly is pushing the cardiac tamponade theory as well? or is it just joe and dylan’s attorneys?

  10. Kate
    05/24/2010 at 12:51 PM

    I have a question for those of you who understand police procedure during a murder investigation.

    Why was there a there a three day delay from when Sergeant Patrick made note of Mr. Price’s glaring at Ward (by way of controlling the conversation) to when he reported this up the chain of command to the Detectives? It seems like a rather lengthy delay to a novice such as myself, but is this a common occurrence? The defense appears to have made this an important point.

    Many thanks,
    Kate

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 12:56 PM

      I’m certainly not an expert on this, but I think most murder investigations have some sort of “team meeting” at around the 48 or 72 hour mark so that everyone can compare notes. Does anyone know how it works at MPD?

    • KKinCA
      05/24/2010 at 1:08 PM

      Kate – In my opinion, the defense is spinning this “delay” in the best light for their clients. If Sergeant Patrick had immediately shared his observation of Joe glaring at Dylan with the detectives, defense counsel would be claiming that he was homophobic and was seeking to influence the course of the investigation, with the goal of framing the three defendants – my opinion only. The police can’t win.

      • tassojunior
        05/24/2010 at 1:31 PM

        It could also be the opposite KK. Patrick could have really had nothing to contribute but was leaned on as necessary to say something as part of the entry team. Personally I still think it’s a stupid statement, like the “crocidile tears” one that may be useful in the prosecutors’ arsenal as part of jury trial but sure to insult a judge who’s seen it used.

        • Bill Orange
          05/24/2010 at 1:38 PM

          I tend to believe Patrick, but I think the significance is being overstated. Joe Price is the alpha dog of the trio, and regardless of whether the three are innocent or guilty, I think that he would have told the other two to let him do the talking. The fact that Dylan was talking when Joe was supposed to be the spokesman for the three is probably what prompted the glare.

        • Lee
          05/24/2010 at 2:05 PM

          I think that tasso is right: the MPD just made up a bunch of stuff because they are homophobic. They probably didn’t even investigate the crime scene. They made up their story over donuts at a strip club or wherever cops hang out.

          • David R
            05/24/2010 at 9:18 PM

            They hang out at 7-11. Didn’t Joe say they stopped off at one in his statement as they were heading to Anacostia? For cigarettes and coffee and doughnuts I’d guess.

      • Eagle
        05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

        In my opinion, this belittling of the police has been a major part of defense strategy dating back to the earliest days of this trial. Ex: Jos. Price’s e-mail to Tara Ragone.
        Blaming others-especially authority figures- is a major element in modern American dialogues, both public and private.

        • AnnaZed
          05/24/2010 at 3:15 PM

          “Blaming others-especially authority figures- is a major element in modern American dialogues, both public and private.”

          Thanks for mentioning this. Blaming others is also (significantly) a major element, possibly the defining feature, of addictive behavior both amongst alcoholics and drug addicts. I would almost 90% lay this crime at the feet of severe drug and alcohol addiction (including prescribed drugs) on the part of all or at least two (Joe and Dylan) of the defendants.

      • Eagle
        05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

        In my opinion, this belittling of the police has been a major part of defense strategy dating back to the earliest days of this trial. Ex: Jos. Price’s e-mail to Tara Ragone.
        Blaming others-especially authority figures- is a major element in modern American dialogues, both public and private.

      • Eagle
        05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

        In my opinion, this belittling of the police has been a major part of defense strategy dating back to the earliest days of this trial. Ex: Jos. Price’s e-mail to Tara Ragone.
        Blaming others-especially authority figures- is a major element in modern American dialogues, both public and private.

    • plumskiter
      05/24/2010 at 1:38 PM

      i agree with KKinCA.

      think about it this way. first, there is usually a lead officer who writes up what happened. in many cases, little more is necessary because someone has confessed or been caught “red-handed” right away. in those cases, it would be rare for every officer present to be interviewed or to write up an individual report. not necessary and the police have more important things to do.

      in the rare case like this one, however, where within a day or two things had gotten curiouser and curiouser, it then became apparent that small observations and things perhaps seen only by one officer could be significant and helpful in figuring out how Robert got killed. frankly, i’m impressed that these observations were reported and presumably recorded as soon as within three days of the event.

      another thing to remember is that not every officer who was present that august night continued to work on the case. those that did not continue on the case (usually detectives takes over) wouldn’t be informed of developments in the case so that they could think back about how little things they had seen might be important.

      also, whether you like this fact or not, police officers – especially street officers – are not schooled in the rules of evidence and may not even know what evidentiary signifcance their observations might have. despite what you see on t.v., most officers do not spend much time sitting through trials and learning how what they do on the street translates into what occurs in a courtroom.

      as a federal prosecutor, i cannot count the number of times that police officers and federal agents would remember things during trial preparation that had not made it into their reports. it was frustrating, and sometimes maddening – but did not lead me to conclude that they were lying (except in one case, where i did think an officer was lying) – only that they didn’t realize the evidentiary significance of what they had seen. i would say, why didn’t you tell me this before today? and they would respond “i didn’t think it was important.” when this occurs, the prosecutor has to decide whether the information is important enough to open the door to the inevitable cross-examination about why it wasn’t in a written report or why it wasn’t mentioned earlier. if the evidence is important, the cross may be worth it. if the police are already taking a beating in your case, and the jury seems to be buying the attack the police defense, then the evidence might be foregone. it is a judgment call every prosecutor has made hundreds of times.

      please remember that (1) no written report can possibly capture every second of every observation that every person makes during an event; and (2) police officers are human just like the rest of us.

      and before you all start bashing the police, i suggest you sign up to do a ride along with a patrol officer at night. one night of sitting in a patrol car and watching officers approach a stopped vehicle carrying one or more unknown individuals on a dark street and you will have a newfound appreciation for what these men and women do. they truly face unimaginable dangers every time they are on duty and we should remember this as we castigate them for not writing encyclopedic reports on their every move.

      • Kate
        05/24/2010 at 2:31 PM

        Many thanks, Plumskiter, KK, et al –

        Now I understand the delay in Patrick’s reporting.

        • HKG
          05/24/2010 at 11:27 PM

          yes, excellent post Plumskiter.. easy to criticize without fully understanding being in their shoes..

      • KKinCA
        05/24/2010 at 3:19 PM

        Plum – thank you for the benefit of your experience – I always find your comments very helpful and clearly written.
        @ tasso and lee – I have never understood why a police officer/detective would have motivation to frame innocent parties for crimes that someone else committed. I understand the pressure to solve cases, the rare case where a cop has a personal vendetta (unknown to his superiors), and possibly where the police officer is covering up his/her own illegal activities. But assuming that a majority of the police are truly motivated to put their lives on the line to protect and serve the public and put guilty people in jai, I really don’t understand the motive behind framing where there is no personal gain for the framer. I am not being snide or sarcastic, so I would really appreciate an answer in this case specifically, other than the entire DC police force is homophobic. Thank you.

        • Lee
          05/24/2010 at 4:14 PM

          Dude, I WAS being sarcastic. I was making fun of tasso pulling one cockamamie theory after another out of his butt.

        • Lee
          05/24/2010 at 4:14 PM

          Dude, I WAS being sarcastic. I was making fun of tasso pulling cockamamie theory after another out of his butt.

          • KKinCA
            05/24/2010 at 5:59 PM

            @ Lee – Sorry! Sometimes it is difficult to read the tone of the posts here. I apologize for lumping you in with Tasso (who BTW hasn’t answered my question).

            • tassojunior
              05/25/2010 at 1:00 AM

              KK, sorry for not checking in minute by minute but I just got back in.

              “Framing” is done but that’s what I’ve ever spoken about here. (By “Framing” I mean someone is a “Target” and the police or prosecutor will try to get whatever they can on the Target who’s considered a bad person who’s imprisonment is considered a good thing. Sometimes they’re considered a bad person because they are a bad person. Sometimes (and I’m sure we’d disagree about the rarity) it’s because they’ve pissed off the police or prosecutor maybe by having exposed police corruption even.

              What I’ve made mention of is the disparity between the community here, which is mostly gay, AA, and very liberal and the police and prosecutors in DC who are from other places and have extremely different social standards. The US Attorney’s office handle all serious local prosecutions in DC and they come from everywhere but almost none from DC. Many are holdover Bushies who often were chosen from right wing religious schools. Like if something happened to you or a loved one in CA and you were prosecuted by a conservative from Mississippi. Not a just feeling.

              Few DC police live in DC either and most live further out in conservative Maryland and Virginia areas and would never ever want to live around us who live here for frankly social reasons. They’re largely ex-Marines and (I personally find) extremely right wing socially. Not that that makes them evil people necessarily and I have many friends among them but I detest their views on gays, AA’s, latinos, etc. But I’m afraid that unlike being a brick layer or auto mechanic who can still do a good job, social prejudices do impact policing, especially when a sex issue is involved. You can’t throw someone with that background into a situation where gays are involved in a sex-tinged situation that involves interpretation without them jumping to conclusions we here would not. And I’m afraid once conclusions are jumped to there’s seldom backing down. From then on it’s make-the-case time and time to nail down only evidence to support it.

              Was Price a Target before that night? I don’t know that. He did a lot of civil rights work for gays with Virginia Equality and won a huge landmark lesbian parental custody case that may not have pleased any conservative Virginians. Certainly after they found out who he was they may have considered him “bad” from a social conservative view. But I have no reason to think he was a target before that night at least. I really think it’s the more the differences in social values that matters more in the initial conclusion and that that is simply not backed off of too often here.

              Sorry for the length but I figure you deserve it for the wait. I’ve stayed up until 1am here to answer you so I have to go to bed now (after I lock my doors and am sure the BBQ cover’s on). Bon Nuit.

              • KKinCA
                05/25/2010 at 1:41 AM

                Thanks Tasso. I don’t expect you to be on here every minute; I’m certainly not. But I noticed you posting on other threads so I thought you had moved on. I apologize. I see you have responded to FCSOP below. I tend to find more reason to believe her statements regarding the issues of framing/police and prosecutor mistakes given her obviously substantial experience in that world.
                Sorry you were up so late.

        • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
          05/24/2010 at 9:39 PM

          KKinCA-There are certainly cases where the most well intentioned investigations focus on an initial premise that proves to be wrong AND do not let go of that theory of the case long after no evidence can be produced to support the direction of the investigation. Look up the tragic missteps in the investigation of the kidnapping/murder of 19 year old Indiana University student Jill Behrman back in 2000.

          That team included more than 10 FBI agents as well as profilers. The theory pursued was not born out of a desire to frame innocent parties for a crime that was committed by someone else, there is no motivation to leave a dangerous kidnapper/killer out on the streets, free to kill again. In addition to a law enforcement task force, a huge team of volunteers put in countless hours to try to locate Jill’s body to seek justice for her & her popular, well known family.

          The mistake lay in following a tip that initially appeared plausible, which then ballooned into an inability to recognize that the information was clearly false; even after draining a large body of water in which nothing pertaining to Jill Behrman was discovered. The police must work with the available evidence & that often includes information developed from tips as well as informants. In the case of Jill Behrman, they could not locate her body & thus had no crime scene & no autopsy.

          In the murder of Robert Wone, investigators were able to develop a theory of the case due to the crime taking place in the confines of a private residence with a security system including door chimes. The body was present, the occupants of the house gave statements, an autopsy was performed on a timely basis, there was an obvious staging of the crime scene and bizarre contradictions within the statements of the reporting parties as to what happened that night.

          Still mistakes were made, the release of the Blackberry to Radio Free Asia prior to trial is one, the misapplication of the blood reagent is another. If the motive of the police is to frame the innocent Team Trouple out of a homophobic bias, why the screwups? If the whole frameup was put together in afternoon meetings at Dunkin Donuts, couldn’t they have done a better job? It would have been a slam dunk if DNA of Team Trouple was found in Robert Wone’s anus instead of his alone.

          If this crime was committed by the mysterious blood vaporizing ninja who steals nothing and is still out there free to continue stabbing the innocent in their beds, Tasso should be very afraid indeed. Since the murder of Robert Wone, with the wrong parties taken out of the picture, the murder rate must be skyrocketing around Dupont Circle. How many other killings with the same M.O. have there been? Or is that information being suppressed as part of the frame? Tasso, please do enlighten me by responding to my question.

          In conclusion, the police are sometimes wrong & they arrest someone who is innocent. Once a very similar crime occurs while that initial suspect is in jail, that is a big embarassing whoops with devastating consequences which serves to point the police in a different direction because they want very much to catch the killer, not to frame the innocent.

          The kidnap murder of the young Lisk sisters in Virginia in 1997 forced the FBI to admit that the wrong man was arrested in the prior very similar kidnap slaying of teenager Sofia Silva in 1996. The arrest of the wrong man did in fact permit the killer to kill again and he did so. No one in law enforcement deliberately frames the innocent because they fear exactly what happened before will then keep happening. Where are the other victims of the mystery intruder?

          • KKinCA
            05/24/2010 at 9:56 PM

            FCSOP – Thank you so much. I wasn’t thinking of investigation/conviction of innocent people due to unintentional error (as opposed to knowing and deliberate framing). I would hope that the cases that you described are few and far between, but I suppose the success of Project Innocence will be telling. But I would think that statistically the number of such cases must be very low. I love your discussion of the Wone case above. Please don’t be offended if Tasso goes off to another thread to stir things up and never responds – he went AWOL a few times I asked him specific factual questions regarding some of his other arguments!

            • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
              05/24/2010 at 11:14 PM

              KKinCA-Thank you for your advice,I do not expect to hear back from Tasso because he must be in hiding by now, in terrible fear of becoming the next victim of the mysterious blood vaporizing ninja stabber..

              I was trying to be fair and balanced in pointing out errors in 2 cases, one of which I was involved in the investigation, the other I heard about thru the grapevine. Our legal system is predicated upon the principle that it is better to let 100 guilty people go free than to convict 1 innocent person. Bearing that in mind, it is unlikely that a significant percentage of truly factually innocent people languish in jail. (There being a difference between guilt and innocence in a legal versus factual sense.)

              The hypocrisy of Project Innocence lies in that after arguing successfully to a jury that DNA testing is a junk science that is not reliable, freeing O.J.”If I Did It” Simpson, Founder Barry Scheck now utilizes the very same DNA analysis he scorned (albeit there are more sophisticated forms such as PCR available as technological advances have taken place)as conclusive Proof Of Actual Innocence.

              That being said, no decent human being/criminal prosecutor wants to discover that the wrong man/woman is in jail for a crime they did not commit for the reason I have already stated, at the very least it means the real criminal is still out there. Wasn’t O.J. relentlessly searching the back nine for the real killer before the unfortunate episode in Las Vegas?

              In the case of Kirk Bloodsworth, the very first person ever exonerated of a capital conviction based on DNA evidence analyzed after the trial (it wasn’t a process that was performed at that time),the original prosecutor was completely on board advocating for the dismissal of all charges. You can’t argue that DNA is reliable 1 day and then turn around and claim it is not the next, unless you are Barry Scheck. The Kirk Bloodsworth case was a source of enormous anguish for that office, as well as for the police officers involved. No one sleeps well at night realizing that an innocent person suffered horribly over a period of years based upon a strong but purely circumstantial case that was tried twice & led to conviction on both occasions.

              • KKinCA
                05/24/2010 at 11:27 PM

                FCSOP – I was home with my infant daughter and I watched practically every day of the OJ trial, and I was sickened by the things I saw the defense counsel do. I think I disliked Barry Scheck just a tad more than the late F. Lee Bailey. Hopefully the DNA testing procedures are in fact more reliable, and both prosecutors and defense counsel can use it to ensure that the truly guilty party is convicted “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
                And OJ was looking very hard for the killer of his wife in Florida prior to “relocating to Las Vegas.” Karma is a very interesting thing!

                • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
                  05/25/2010 at 12:10 AM

                  KK-The lab that performed the DNA testing in the People vs. O.J. Simpson, Cellmark Diagnostics, is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I was the first prosecutor to ever tour their facility because it was located so conveniently & decided to use them. Their work is very good, but pricey now that most police crime labs as well as the FBI have qualified technicians & labs.

                  Obviously, their work in the O.J. Simpson case has been demonstrated to have been accurate. The flaw lay within the human elements.

                  I didn’t see any of that case as I was trying a case of my own which kept me busy 12 hours a day. Anytime anyone asked me what I thought about it, I would say I do not have time to watch television but that Cellmark does good work. Also that my jury composition was very different.

                  A mentor of mine loved the saying, “the wheels of justice move slowly but they mince exceedingly fine.” It means karma is a bitch.

              • tassojunior
                05/25/2010 at 1:10 AM

                Former- I’ve answered KK above as soon as I got in. Can’t stay on long. There have been many murders around here, not just Chandra Levy and Robert Wone. However, none of the ones of gay men have ever had much investigation much less prosecution. FWIW. Night.

                • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
                  05/25/2010 at 2:29 AM

                  Tassojr-FWIW you did not answer my query at all,I was asking you to enlighten us re:how many murders have taken place in your neighborhood that involve the same MO as the murder of Robert Wone? Because if the real killer is out there,surely he has struck again, with impunity now that the authorities are fixated on the wrong guys. You state gay men continue to be murder victims “around here”, but that these cases are not even being investigated.

                  Please describe specifically how are these non-investigated cases you know about in your neighnorhood are similar in any way to the rather bizarre MO
                  presented in the murder of Robert Wone? Details such as found in bed, 3 stabbings, but no defensive wounds, most of the blood in the body vanished, their own semen being the only DNA in their rectum, the body having been washed, etc.

                  Also, bearing in mind that Robert Wone was not gay, nor was Chandra Levy (whose remains were found in the woods of a park, not in bed with 3 stab wounds), if the Chandra Levy is the only case
                  you can conjure up as proof of a conspiracy to target gay men, massive fail.(In your grasping for straws regarding murders in your area,I am surprised you failed to mention Asian-American Joyce Chiang who dissapeared in 1999 from Dupont Circle. Of course there is no similarity of MO present in either case.)

                  If your unsupported by the evidence claim that homophobic police are targeting gays by framing those they view as bad in some way, look out because you are next for sure.

                • CDinDC
                  05/25/2010 at 11:06 AM

                  In the past 6 months, there have been no murders in Dupont Circle. There have 3 murders in Columbia Heights. 1 in Truxton. 2 near Langdon Park. That’s 6 murders in nearby areas. That’s using CrimeReports.com.

                  Using the MPD Crime Statistics Report, in the past two years there have been ZERO murders in PSA 208 (which services the Swann Street area of Dupont Circle) in TWO YEARS.

                  Again, you are grossly exaggerating to suit your needs.

                  See for yourself:

                  http://crimemap.dc.gov/presentation/query.asp

                  • tassojunior
                    05/25/2010 at 6:21 PM

                    CD- PSA 208 only goes to the south side of U and murders north of that street (a block north of the house) are routine. In PSA 208 there was a latino man stabbed to death on the sidewalk in the 1400 block of T in front of the Nolando much less than 2 years ago and it’s not even in the database. Those PSA stats are notoriously bad.

                    • tassojunior
                      05/25/2010 at 6:24 PM

                      Sorry U is two blocks north of the house.

          • KKinCA
            05/25/2010 at 1:49 AM

            FCSOP – The thread is getting so narrow below, but I just wanted to share with you that I often regret going the law firm/in-house counsel commercial transactional route in my career. If I had a “do-over” (as my kids call it), I would definitely pursue a position with the DA, Public Defender, Justice Department, or whatever is available to newbie attorneys. I so respect you for what appears to be an amazing and interesting career. And I really value your generous sharing of your vast knowledge and experience with the readers here. Thank you!

            • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
              05/25/2010 at 3:16 AM

              KK-You are very much welcome. It is a terrible burn out of a job. And very underpaid. Attorney Themis cracked me up with his complaint regarding his pay as a defense attorney amounting to only 95 dollars an hour. As Deputy State’s Attorney in a rural county, my highest salary was considerably less, $52 dollars an hour. I love the thought that maybe in some way my career inspired your thinking about a do-over. Thanks again.

              • KKinCA
                05/25/2010 at 10:49 AM

                FCSOP – Some things are more important than money, like being able to sleep at night knowing you are doing some good in the world. But I hear you. We are all blessed to have people like you and Themis! Not to mention the Eds of this site – how they are able to devote so much time and effort to attend the trial, write posts, and keep this website going while doing their “day jobs” is mind-boggling! Despite some of the horrific comments I have seen on this site, I have been reminded that there are many incredible people out there – just like Robert Wone was. God rest his soul.
                BTW – In terms of a do-over, it’s unlikely given that I am 46 and in this economy jobs are very scarce, but I guess you never know. Thanks for brightening my day. No need to reply.

              • Themis
                05/25/2010 at 11:15 AM

                I worked for a 501(c)((3) representing death row inmates. That was what the agency was paid by the state for my billable hours. I was making $25 per hour six years out of law school with a court of appeals clerkship behind me.

                For private practitioners who have to pay rent, overhead, and other expenses and then have their hours cut, $95 doesn’t go very far.

                I could say something snide, but I decline.

                • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
                  05/25/2010 at 9:42 PM

                  T-Oh,go ahead,I love hearing about the financial challenges faced by private slicks.The defense attorney opposite me in my very first jury trial received more than my entire yearly salary(before taxes) as his retainer alone.(Subtracting my transportation costs as well as the expense of sheer stockings-female attorneys were not permitted in court wearing pants of any kind-combined with my dry cleaning bill,you could say my entire career was a financial wash, pure pro bono.)

                  You are completely correct in pointing out that I am not taking into account his outlay as to office space,parking, support staff,custom tailored suits,fine english leather briefcases,esquisite personal grooming(you have to work it to earn the nickname “The Silver Fox”),natty cashmere socks,supple italian footwear,as well as incidentals such as generous contributions to Judicial Campaigns. He was also the President of The Bar Association 1 county over which is a position that IMHO racks up quite a hefty bar (as in liquor) bill.

                  While it is true that I did not pay for the rental space that constituted my office, I didn’t even have a private office.His lobby area was bigger than the room in which 2 attorneys (including myself) shared 1 desk and a phone with a secretary who did not know how to take dictation.

                  The only person who looked more stricken than he did when the jury found his client guilty of those icky felony counts was his good buddy the presiding judge. I thought he was going to stroke right there in The Old Courthouse.
                  Most Congenially Yours,FCSOP

  11. Nyer Wants Justice
    05/24/2010 at 1:01 PM

    Great work following the trial guys.
    I think Lyn and AnaZed have made great points recently – The defense wants to suggest that Wone died instantly after being stabbed, but if this is the case, then what were the screams or grunts that Joe heard (he told EMT “I heard a scream” and others that he heard grunts) and why did Victor say Wone was still breathing when he called 911? If Wone had time to scream/grunt then surely he would have also been grabbing his wounds and had blood on his hands.

    I was also interested to see the post about Victor possibly turning. I had been thinking about this myself recently. Let’s say hypothetically that Victor came down and saw Joe/Dylan/Michael or whoever cleaning or moving the body and that is all he saw. If he told that story now he would just be changing his own statement and it would be his word against that of Joe and Dylan. I think he would need some additional evidence to back up his new statement. Given that it is almost 4 years after the stabbing, all of the physical evidence is probably long gone. Would Victor’s new story be enough to convict the other 2 and give him a deal absent any corroborating evidence??

    Finally, the talk of Joe given harsh looks to Dylan to me suggests that Joe was comfortable that Victor was on board with the plan, but perhaps Dylan was not…Perhaps Dylan was least involved of the three…

    • whodoneit
      05/24/2010 at 1:16 PM

      I don’t think the harsh looks indicate lesser involvement on behalf of Dylan. I think it was simply a non-verbal reminder that “I’ll do the talking here.”

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 1:46 PM

        Bossy bottom to the end.

        • Bea
          05/24/2010 at 3:24 PM

          Remember too that Joe barked at Victor “Robert was our friend, wasn’t he Victor?” until Victor bucked up. Joe was running the entire show and it was clearly driving him nuts that the other two was being interrogated without him. Bossy bottom indeed.

          He was far more concerned with Dylan than Victor during interrogation. I think this is likely because Victor didn’t know nearly as much as Dylan, that Victor knew SOMETHING bad had happened but wasn’t part of it – I think Joe and Dylan were in that together, if the act itself or covering it up (if Michael P was involved, for example).

          • HKG
            05/25/2010 at 1:28 AM

            i think i agree with this assessment as well..

    • Cecily
      05/24/2010 at 2:35 PM

      Great thoughts. I bet he could cut a deal, because, assuming your theory that he was the least involved, at the very least the other two (or 3) would be forced to change their alibi and story to defend themselves against his accusations. If Victor was weak enough to allow his partner to bring another person into the relationship he probably doesn’t have much of a backbone at this point.

    • Cecily
      05/24/2010 at 2:35 PM

      Great thoughts. I bet he could cut a deal, because, assuming your theory that he was the least involved, at the very least the other two (or 3) would be forced to change their alibi and story to defend themselves against his accusations. If Victor was weak enough to allow his partner to bring another person into the relationship he probably doesn’t have much of a backbone at this point.

      • Bea
        05/24/2010 at 3:55 PM

        In talking with prosecutor friends, they believe that Victor would easily get a no-time-in-jail deal if (1) he was not at all involved with the MURDER of Robert Wone, and (2) is willing to fully cooperate and testify. Even with the spousal privilege, and even if he did not see whatever acts took place to kill Robert, he has more than enough goods with before and after-the-fact information. Likely whatever privilege that existed would have been voided because of Dylan’s presence.

    • David R
      05/24/2010 at 9:32 PM

      It seems to me that Dylan is the one the prosecution was trying to flip. Isn’t it he that had moved to Florida and despite telling prosecution he would return immediately once he knew he was being charged got arrested anyway. And didn’t he spend almost a month in jails here and in Florida in a Federal prison in Oaklohama?

      This tells me the prosecution zeroed in on him first and through all of what I just said put pressure on hime to tell the truth.

      That did not happen and subsequently the other two were arrested and despite the prosecuters agreeing verbally to have them released on their own recognicance changed their minds and had them jailed too. Albeit not for as long but nevertheless a strongarm tactic to get one or the other to talk.

      Since Dylan had all the toys it seems he was the one prosecuters seemed to think the most likely to be the guiltiest.

      An on an aside I posed the question earlier that a warrant was issued for the search of 5119 Lee Street in NE Washington where many items were recovered but I don’t know where they got the idea to search there or the significance of that search.

      Many thanks for this discusssion and all the comments and work that goes into it.

  12. superstadtkind
    05/24/2010 at 1:15 PM

    NWJ – Instantaneous death from a stab wound is not the same as instantaneous death full stop. A scream could have occurred prior to the wound. Unless I have it all wrong.

    • whodoneit
      05/24/2010 at 1:18 PM

      If the scream was prior to the stabbing, then there would be signs of a struggle.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 1:21 PM

      Time enough to scream would also be time enough to struggle.

      • VA Librarian
        05/24/2010 at 7:24 PM

        The struggling is, after all, involuntary. If he was capable of screaming, he’d be thrashing when the first wound happened. It would be impossible for him not to move.

  13. Leonard
    05/24/2010 at 1:40 PM

    Note that Victor on the 911 call didn’t say “I heard” but “we heard”. That is in reference to both the chime and the scream. He may have been told this and is repeating it honestly. Ditto regarding the statement about the knife. Are the transcripts of his police interview available? Anything where he says “I heard” or “I saw” would be of interest. I guess Wone could have screamed before being struck instantly dead…?

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 1:52 PM

      With zero defensive wounds or twisting of the torso? Not likely.

      • Bea
        05/24/2010 at 4:16 PM

        Leonard, the transcripts are on this site. I think you can search ‘the third degree’ and there are three posts, one for each defendant, with the transcript.

        I don’t think Robert screamed but rather grunted as he was being stabbed three times – why Joe chose to be honest to Kathy in such graphic detail I have no idea. He allegedly moaned once when Joe was ‘tending’ to him. Personally, I don’t believe that Joe was asleep next to Victor at all but instead very much involved in whatever was going on.

        I think Victor was upstairs asleep and that he heard SOMETHING and came downstairs. It must have been quite a strange something given all the sounds he likely put up with over the years. I believe Victor did scream when he saw Robert’s body.

        But I think there was a delay between the scream and the 911 to give him enough of a script to follow (suspect the clean up was likely done by then) and that the trio had to change stories because of the scream. The 11:43 and the knife and the “we” and the ‘intruder’ were all memorized before the call.

        It’s still pathetic to me that Victor doesn’t tell the truth and give Kathy Wone some comfort and peace of mind – and save himself at the same time. He should do it for his children if nothing else.

        • NYer
          05/24/2010 at 5:45 PM

          Thanks Bea, I was about to bug the Eds to post the transcripts.

        • Tarfunk
          05/24/2010 at 6:02 PM

          I think you’re spot on that Joe was not in the bedroom with Victor. During Victor’s first interview with police, the detective asks him if Joe could have killed Robert. Victor says (p.14) “Absolutely not. He was with me. ” But he had just been asked (p. 10) if Joe was with him the entire time he (Victor) was in the bedroom. He had been much more equivocal answering that: “As far as I know, yes…I was asleep.” Well, was he with you or not, Victor?

          Also, Victor relates that Joe closed the bedroom door with the comment, “I think it helps keep the cool air in if you close your door.” (Note too that it’s “your” door, not “the” door or “our” door.) Victor tells the detective that he assumes Joe would have had the same conversation about closing the doors with Dylan. And then he immediately says (p. 19), “[P]lus, we all sleep with our doors closed anyway.” So why the production about closing the doors? Makes perfect sense if Joe was downstairs engaged in something that might make a little noise: Joe made sure the door was closed so Victor would be less likely to hear anything.

        • NYer
          05/24/2010 at 6:06 PM

          for some reason this post doesn’t come up in my search of the third degree…

  14. Lyn
    05/24/2010 at 1:52 PM

    Price told police that Zaborsky became very emotional upon seeing Wone’s body.

    This statement reveals as much about Zaborsky’s reaction as it does about Price’s. Namely, that Price had little or no emotional response upon “discovering” his viciously stabbed friend. Price was as unemotional, or cool, as a cucumber. This lack of emotional response was confirmed by arriving authorities who saw Price sitting calmly on the edge of the bed; not attending to his dead or dying friend.

    As the EMTs and police have all said, this is not the usual reaction that they would expect from someone who had just “discovered” his friend murdered in his own house.

    Things that make you go “hmmmm?”

  15. Carolina
    05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

    Has anyone else found it interesting that the trolls only come out when court’s not in session?

    • Cecily
      05/24/2010 at 2:24 PM

      Yes and since about Thursday I no longer read comments by those who don’t support the editors or other long-time commenters of this blog. I have appreciated the insightful comments by most who show a keen interest in this case for various reasons. It is apparant that some of these new people have never heard of or read this site and are only finding it now because of the trial.

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 6:45 PM

        It’s a shame, really, because they could do so much good for the Trouple if in fact there is any good to be done. Posters like Themis, who may or may not have a personal defense bias, is able to post logical, well-reasoned information in support of both sides, and presents as professional on all counts. The majority of the others come off as nothing more than internet trolls.

  16. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

    Eds, were you able to see the photos of the sunglasses on the toolhead? Were the glasses dusty? Upon moving the glasses did they leave an impression in the dust under them? Did the trashcan have dust on it? Footprints?

    again…no dust was disturbed where an intruder would have had to hoist themselves over the fence.

  17. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

    Eds, were you able to see the photos of the sunglasses on the toolhead? Were the glasses dusty? Upon moving the glasses did they leave an impression in the dust under them? Did the trashcan have dust on it? Footprints?

    again…no dust was disturbed where an intruder would have had to hoist themselves over the fence.

  18. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 1:57 PM

    Eds, were you able to see the photos of the sunglasses on the toolhead? Were the glasses dusty? Upon moving the glasses did they leave an impression in the dust under them? Did the trashcan have dust on it? Footprints?

    again…no dust was disturbed where an intruder would have had to hoist themselves over the fence.

    • CDinDC
      05/24/2010 at 2:07 PM

      oh my. 3rd times a charm.

      • New Alias
        05/24/2010 at 11:47 PM

        Indeed. They did show a photo of the glasses, but I couldn’t tell you if they were dirty or not – the photo was taken at night with a flash bulb. Nothing was said about their condition. I can tell you they were not sitting lens-side down.

        They garbage cans were noted – four of the big heavy plastic kind with rollers that the city gives out, two on each side. One can was turned over, wheels in the air – you do this when you want to make sure water doesn’t get inside, though I imagine someone might make the case that the can was overturned to be used as very tall step stool.

        • CDinDC
          05/25/2010 at 12:10 AM

          Interesting about the glasses. The cans probably wouldn’t support body weight. Especially a man’s body weight. Would probably bend on the edges.

          If I were a juror, I would want to see the glasses photo closely.

  19. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 2:07 PM

    Found a very interesting article about fencing and wounds to the heart for anyone interested. In summary, death is not instantaneous. Many cases are cited with the same conculsion. Death is typically slow and many cases the victims are able to actually walk and/or go for help.

    http://www.classicalfencing.com/articles/bloody.php

    • VA Librarian
      05/24/2010 at 7:29 PM

      Do you know which wound the knife was supposedly in when Price removed it from the body?

      • CDinDC
        05/25/2010 at 12:12 AM

        Interesting question, VALib. I wonder if Joe knows.

  20. Phil
    05/24/2010 at 2:24 PM

    TassoJunior,

    I understand that you are pro-defendant. That is your right. Having said that, your continued efforts to bring up irrelevant, non-sensical (at times flat-out false) theories has me wondering.

    Here is a list so far:
    1) This was a conspiracy of gay-hating police. The emails proving this are being repressed!
    2) The intruder theory is still valid, b/c he or she could have seen the unlocked door through the gate, and/or come in through an upper door/window/skylight.
    3) They must be innocent because they did not say they left the front door unlocked.
    4) They must be innocent because they answered questions the first night.
    5) Obstruction of justice is an unfair charge, and way too easy to convict people.

    While you haven’t necessarily framed your comments as above (because they are ridiculous), your goal seems to be either 1) to sow as much confusion as possible, or 2) give such theories a veneer of plausability.

    My question is: is anyone paying you to post here?

    • tassojunior
      05/24/2010 at 3:06 PM

      Phil- That’s really nasty. I’ve lived within a block most of my life and spent much of that time dealing with police to get the drugs and violence out of this small area. As unfathomable as it may seem to totally prejudiced people I would like to see a fair outcome, including if that means the defendants are clearly guilty of murder. My many years working with the police and this block started with optimism and reliance and close close cooperation with the police. I was appointed to the police community advisory board, testified for them many times on behalf of the neighborhood, and was commended by them many times for my work for them.

      My change in attitude was strictly a matter of hundreds of experiences including too many that were way beyond reason. I didn’t start prejudiced, I simply gained knowledge slowly through time and my views changed.

      If you want to dismiss any theories that aren’t totally in line with the prosecutions that’s your privilege. But the name of this site is WHO murdered, not JoePriceMurdered and that may give an unfair impression to those of us who would like to see fairness. If it’s more reassuring for this crowd to only hear agreement and be totally unaware of inconvenient facts that’s fine but it will inevitably lead to a narrow mindedness and actually push the pro-guilty proponents into a blind alley of ignorance of reality.

      I don’t feel any need to express what I see as the prosecution’s argument as they are repeated here endlessly and nothing else already. My best service to the defense would be to keep the opposing side totally ignorant of inconvenient facts. That’s not my goal either.

      Of course no one pays me for this. I’ve given my life to this neighborhood selfishly and have the respect of most people here as being fair, impartial and reasonable. That respect and love of my neighbors is the greatest reward anyone can have.

      • Phil
        05/24/2010 at 3:13 PM

        Since I don’t know you, or your neighborhood, I take you at your word. I apologize.

        • Bob
          05/24/2010 at 8:21 PM

          I would not have accepted your apology if I had been in Tasso Junior’s place. Perhaps he is more reasonable than I am.

          I don’t want to dump on Phil, but only to make a comment. I know that many of the posters here think that the defendants are guilty. Some of the posters think that the defendants are not guilty. However, regardless of what we think, it would be a good idea to consider that the posters are human beings. Do not insult or accuse a poster of bias, let alone being paid off, unless you know that that is true. Maximum Lynn will use the standard of Proved Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, and can be appealed. Please don’t make statements about what you think happened if you can’t back them up.

          In particular, do not insult any poster who thinks that the defendants are being falsely charged or are innocent. Do not suggest that any poster is being paid. (I didn’t say please. Do the right thing. You don’t need to be requested to do the right thing, to not draw conclusions.)

          By the way, before you dump on Tasso Junior, look up his posted history. He has his reasons. I won’t fill them in. He said more than I would have said.

          I am not trying to lecture anyone in particular, but all of those who are judgmental who those who have prosecution agendas.

          • KKinCA
            05/24/2010 at 8:32 PM

            Bob – are you speaking for the Eds?

      • superstadtkind
        05/24/2010 at 3:47 PM

        “I’ve given my life to this neighborhood selfishly” – Tee hee. You mean selflessly, right?

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 6:47 PM

          Yes, and Dupont Circle is *such* a drug den, don’t you know, with its multi-million dollar homes.

          • tassojunior
            05/24/2010 at 7:05 PM

            The 14th Street area (one block from the house) was traditionally one of the major drug centers in DC (and that’s saying a lot). A few years ago you couldn’t walk at 14th & U because of all the heroin dealers (dozens) and a policeman was shot there. Ten years ago the alleys were full of crack dealers and users 24/7 and we had a lot of shootings. I had to shut down a crack house across from this house through court actions, stay away orders and testifying against dealers there. Two of the largest low-income projects in the city now are at 15th & T and 15th & R, just over a block from this house.

            Did you think $1M was a lot in DC?

            • Carolina
              05/24/2010 at 8:19 PM

              I think a partner at AR, a major marketing associate and a… well, okay, let’s leave Dylan out of this…could well afford to live where they were reasonably safe from the scourges of DC. And for the size home they had? Yes, a million was plenty.

      • Eagle
        05/24/2010 at 6:12 PM

        Tasso
        Do you know or communicate with the defendants?
        Your arguments sound so like theirs?

        • tassojunior
          05/24/2010 at 6:50 PM

          No, and no they don’t.

      • New Alias
        05/24/2010 at 11:49 PM

        ” I’ve given my life to this neighborhood selfishly and have the respect of most people here as being fair, impartial and reasonable. That respect and love of my neighbors is the greatest reward anyone can have.”

        Oh for pete’s sake.

    • Bob
      05/24/2010 at 8:05 PM

      On the one hand, you have apologized. However, I would like to add a comment. Yours was the only comment that I had seen that would make me agree with Tasso Junior. Since you did apologize, this comment is not directed to you, but to many other posters with an agenda.

      Maybe there is an etiquette or protocol that I do not fully understand about how to stack posts. If so, maybe the co-editors will explain. I hope that they will.

      However, I will say that some of the posters who think that the defendants are guilty are extremely rude and mean to those posters who think that the defendants are innocent. Can we please all try to be polite and civilized to discuss a crime for which justice should be done, and to remember that justice is a civilized value, and we do not achieve justice or civilization by uncivilized comments?

      • Clio
        05/24/2010 at 8:34 PM

        “Why can’t we all just get along?,” said Rodney King in 1992, just one year after Joe met Robert at W&M.

        My comment is: how is everyone keeping down jobs and leading lives while posting up a storm (or just lurking while at work)? Do lawyers in particular usually have that much free time? Soon, every frequent poster will need an intern of their own to keep up with their electronic correspondence. At any rate, fellow citizen-pundits, keep on posting, but please don’t go postal on every little catty aside that sticks in your craw. XO, Clio.

  21. Themis
    05/24/2010 at 3:31 PM

    With all due respect, it doesn’t advance discussion or strengthen an argument to call people trolls, to use invective, to demean, or to attack motives rather than arguments, whether one is attacking an editor or a fellow poster.

    I find it difficult to believe that Robert would have indulged in such behavior, just as I find it difficult to believe that he would want a conviction secured without due process.

    In my opinion, which is just that–my opinion–the opinion of a public defender–this case would have proeeded to trial much sooner if it was an open and shut case legally.

    Some will say that makes me pro-defendant. It doesn’t. I don’t take a stance on guilt or innocence. It’s not for me to say as I don’t have all of the evidence at my fingertips and decline to rely upon the characterization of evidence by others because people being human and imperfect make mistakes.

    Obviously other people can and do take a position, but it’s possible to do so in a way that doesn’t raise the temperature unnecessarily or impugn others based upon honest disagreement. The majority of posters show that it’s possible on a regular basis. It’s a goal worth striving for, out of respect for the work of the site’s creators and for Robert.

    • AnnaZed
      05/24/2010 at 3:43 PM

      “I find it difficult to believe that he would want a conviction secured without due process.”

      Hear, hear to that and to the rest of the above.

      I too think that Robert himself would be vehemently against a conviction that relied on tainted evidence or improper procedure. If the finder of fact finds that the facts don’t support these charges then I would be satisfied with that.

      • Kate
        05/24/2010 at 4:00 PM

        Thank you, Themis, well said.

        • plumskiter
          05/24/2010 at 4:04 PM

          agree + though i did not know Robert, i would assume that he would not want someone innocent of obstructing justice to be convicted for same. how would that advance the over-arching objective of identifying and bringing to justice the person(s) who took his life?

    • Hoya Loya
      05/24/2010 at 4:52 PM

      Thanks Themis.

      I’d also caution that speculation as to how the murder or coverup was committed should be clearly identifiable as such and that calling anyone a murderer, sociopath, drug addict, etc. should be avoided as should flat out accusations of any of the defendants or other possible suspects.

      New posters — welcome aboard, but please try to read up on some of the most significant older posts such as the three Third Degree posts containing transcripts of the defendants’ statements and the pre-trial coverage which clearly explains what evidence and charges are part of this trial quite a bit — drugs, restraints, sexual assault — was left by the wayside). and definitely listen to the 911 call. This can help you jump into the middle of things without missing a beat or being corrected. The scope of the trial is much narrower than that of the broader speculation on this site. I was new once too, but read quite a bit before I jumped in and was glad I did.

      As for “trolls” — they are best ignored rather than called out for what they are.

      • HKG
        05/25/2010 at 2:02 AM

        well said. i can imagine the editors have more than their hands full at this point. but perhaps some of your advice here and the most recent and important links (e.g. Anacostia transcripts) could be added to the FAQ page at some point.

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 6:02 PM

      Internet trolls are exactly what we have here, not differing opinions. You can tell the difference when they only serve in incite, with little or no evidence of presenting a logical or informed point of view. See for example the posts on the Jaffe site.

    • Bob
      05/24/2010 at 7:49 PM

      I think that at least some of the posters who mentioned trolls were referring to the sock puppeteer, who is unquestionably an Internet troll as usually defined. I agree that it is not fair or reasonable to refer to other posters as trolls. Posters with pro-defense agendas are not trolls; they are posters with agendas. Posters with pro-prosecution agendas are not trolls; they are posters with agendas. It would be better to back off from any agendas and to trust that the judge will render a fair verdict, but in any case, posters who have their minds made up about the case are not trolls, only posters with the minds made up.

      The references that I saw to trolls were about sock puppets. Was anyone else actually called a troll?

      • Carolina
        05/24/2010 at 8:22 PM

        No, no one else was called a troll. As you point out, the sock puppets, as well as a few other interesting folks with little more aim than to cause havoc, are trolls by net def.

        • New Alias
          05/24/2010 at 11:56 PM

          Personally, what really gets my goat is when people introduce “facts” that they claim to know to be true, “facts” which are nothing of the kind, but which mislead readers nonetheless Just saying.

          • HKG
            05/25/2010 at 2:07 AM

            well said. show us links and cite specific evidence that support your views — for either side. Themis and others do this quite well.

  22. Daphne
    05/24/2010 at 3:59 PM

    RE the hair: I don’t think Kirschner’s followup question about whether the defendants asked for the hair to be tested can be described as a “save.” The defense does not have the burden to show the defendants are not guilty; the prosecution has the burden to show they are guilty BRD. I find it appalling that the police department would not have those hairs tested. Another example of sloppy police work.

    • plumskiter
      05/24/2010 at 4:01 PM

      puleez! tested for what exactly? one’s hair is not unique to oneself; hair does not prove identity; and there is no national database for matching hair to people. so, i repeat, tested for what?

      • Lee
        05/24/2010 at 4:21 PM

        There’s an interesting article in the newest issue of Time Magazine concerning Project Innocence and the battle over the testing of a single hair from a crime scene.

      • Themis
        05/24/2010 at 4:26 PM

        Actually, hair can be analyzed for mitochondrial DNA. It is an expensive, time consuming process and only shows that someone shares the same maternal lineage. But it can rule out people as contributors. If there is a root bulb attached (unlikely if it is old hair), the cells from the root bulb can be analyzed for nuclear DNA.

        While the hairs should have been separately bagged and tagged, which is a demerit to the the crime scene analysts, one would hope that defense counsel would have demanded testing if there was any possibility of a non-resident contributor.

        Although the defense doesn’t have the burden of proof and it’s improper to comment on a defendant’s silence, in my federal circuit the prosecution can comment on the failure to present certain evidence. So if the defense wanted to make hay of the hairs (or play Rapunzel and spin gold), the prosecution could come back with, “hey, they could have tested them.”

        • Carolina
          05/24/2010 at 6:03 PM

          It is almost impossible to do so without the root intact. mDNA or no.

          • Themis
            05/24/2010 at 6:35 PM

            mtDNA is possible with just a shaft of hair, though a root improves the odds of obtaining a profile.

            J Forensic Sci. 2007 Jan;52(1):40-7.
            Mitochondrial DNA amplification success rate as a function of hair morphology.

            “The results show that a positive correlation exists between amplification success and the presence of a telogen root. Combining the amplification success with either the original or optimized protocol, telogen hairs result in an overall success rate of 77.5% compared with 65% for hairs with no roots.”

        • plumskiter
          05/24/2010 at 6:18 PM

          you are absolutely right, themis – and i thank you for this info and for your other posts. i am in the process of having my DNA tested for maternal lineage (i’m adopted & know nothing about my ethnicity) and it is an expensive and extremely slow process.

          that said, i do continue to question what value any kind of hair analysis could have had in this particular case.

          i do apologize for the snide tone of my original post on this topic. it reflected my frustration that tv crime shows have led people to believe that science can do more than it can – but i should have tempered my post with more civility. sorry.

          • tassojunior
            05/24/2010 at 7:42 PM

            I don’t know much about DNA (from hair especially) , but isn’t it an elimination type thing based on general ethnic traits through the maternal side? ( I know that’s not all right).

            If so though, since the victim is asian and the defendants white, wouldn’t DNA show if another ethnic group’s hair were there than asian? What if something other than white or asian were there?

            Again, I may be confusing regular DNA as opposed to hair DNA.

            • lil
              05/24/2010 at 8:28 PM

              Tassojunior,
              Hair DNA and ‘regular’ DNA is all the same DNA. DNA is the same in every cell of your body.
              Nuclear DNA is used to include/exclude individuals. To obtain this DNA from a hair, the hair must have the root. However, because there are more copies of mitochondrial DNA per cell – it tends to last longer. Thus, in those instances in which no nuclear DNA is recoverable, mitochondrial DNA profiling can be used to determine the maternal lineage of the donor.

              • tassojunior
                05/24/2010 at 9:04 PM

                Thanks.

        • SJinNYC
          05/28/2010 at 1:44 PM

          “So if the defense wanted to make hay of the hairs (or play Rapunzel and spin gold)”…

          Sorry for doing this, but just having finished my thesis on the topic of fairy tales, it was Rumpelstiltskin who spun gold out of hay; Rapunzel was imprisoned in a tower and used her long hair braid as a rope to help the prince gain access.

    • dcbill
      05/24/2010 at 4:08 PM

      I hear this charge of sloppy police work repeatedly. Is there a post somewhere on here that outlines how the crime scene and other evidence was investigated and how it should have or could have been done differently? Also, what is the closure rate these days for homicide detectives in MPD? I remember the Washington Post did a series several years that documented how it was abysmally low. I just wonder if things have gotten any better. Maybe this case will lead to further improvements.

    • Bill Orange
      05/24/2010 at 7:18 PM

      I agree that not testing the hair for DNA was sloppy, but I also agree that the fact that the defense didn’t ask for it to be tested would count as a “save”, although certainly not a complete one. What kind of defense team doesn’t ask for testing that could potentially exonerate their clients?

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 8:24 PM

      I will say to you what I said elsewhere: I wouldn’t believe Henry Lee found anything (except a fingernail, which he lost) unless there were unbiased witnesses in attendance.

    • New Alias
      05/25/2010 at 12:00 AM

      What I found significant was that the defense spent all this time leading up to the damning conclusion that MPD had not noticed and then not tested the hair after it was pointed out them… which implies the hair is important… only to have their point bite them on the ass. Or asses.

      If the hair was important evidence, why didn’t the defense have it tested. If it was not important enough to the defense to have it tested, why make a big deal out of MPD not testing it?

      All i can say is that if I were the defense attorney who handled this issue, I would be terribly embarrassed right now.

  23. Mike
    05/24/2010 at 4:07 PM

    IMHO, Victor is guilty of obstruction as well. Just listen to the 911 call, who asks what time it is when your friend is dying downstairs?

    Find the person/people sexually involved in the Master/Slave relationship and you have the killer. Just speculation, but Michael Price could well have been involved in an incestuous relationship with his brother and Dylan.

    There must have been a fair amount of meth and/or crack cocaine use as well, and people will do things on drugs they wouldn’t normally.

    Why would the three cover up? The “secret” had to be so bad that it would sink both Joe and Victor’s careers, and their high-end gay menagerie would go bye-bye. If kinky sex alone got people fired David Vitter aka “diaper boy” would be gone. But incest is beyond the pale for most people.

    Sadly, Robert Wone was mistaken for a trick, and jealousy, drugs and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time got him killed.

    If Robert was truly their friend, they owe it to his widow to tell the truth. That goes for all three of them.

    • David R
      05/24/2010 at 9:59 PM

      I had not considered the possibility that someone was there that did not know Robert or thought of him as a trick.

  24. Bea
    05/24/2010 at 4:19 PM

    The post says the Luminol tests were ‘negative’ as well. I thought the Ashley’s Reagent were ‘positive’ for blood but were unreliable because of misuse (that it could have been a positive for cleaning supplies). Was the Luminol a negative read because there was no blood or because the Ashley’s Reagent screwed up use of the Luminol?

    Thanks, Guys!

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 6:05 PM

      I thought AR was positive, too, which was why they wanted it suppressed and discredited.

      • New Alias
        05/25/2010 at 12:03 AM

        If i understood correctly, the prosecution conceded that all items sent to the FBI for testing – the Ashley’s Reagent sections of floor, molding, staircase, various textiles – the luminol spots, and the u-traps from the different drains – all came back negative for blood and cleaning agents. They conceded that that was what the FBI said – negative to each one.

  25. AnnaZed
    05/24/2010 at 4:33 PM

    “We also learned that at one point while Dr. Henry Lee, on retainer to the defense team, was examining evidence in the US Attorneys office, specifically Robert’s T-shirt, shorts, the pillow case and bed sheet. Hairs fell out of the evidence bag.”

    Are we sure that’s not Lana Clarkson’s hair?

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 6:04 PM

      Anna, are we sure it wasn’t a fingernail?

  26. Caps Fan
    05/24/2010 at 4:33 PM

    Hi,
    Thanks for this insightful blog to such a devastating crime and its immoral coverup. Sorry if I have missed something that has already spoken about. What is hanging me up is the needle marks and the possibility of Robert Wone being drugged. I understand that because of toxicology not finding enough evidence of some sort of drug in his body them motion to suppress on that particular drug was granted. What I don’t understand is whether enough tests were conducted on his blood and if they were not, why not? Also, was there a strong search for any needles or needles purchased by any of the defendants ever conducted? For example did they go through every receipt in the trash can to see if for example, one of the defendants had purchased needles? Or did the investigation look for an online purchases made by the defendants prior to the night Robert went to their house? If needles were purchased could they be introduced as evidence showing that one of the defendants might have placed the needle marks to his body if the paramdeics and hospital staff all claimed they did not (assuming the same size needle was found to be associated to any of the defendants??) Also, the defendants all claimed to have been drinking water. Were there alcohol bottles found anywhere that would indicate they were lying? Could he have been drugged by something one of the Defendants served him prior to going to sleep?

    • Tarfunk
      05/24/2010 at 6:12 PM

      One fact that relates to the needle marks is that Joe’s brother, Michael Price, was taking courses to become a phlebotomist and he missed class for the fist time on the night of the murder. That has led a number of people to speculate that Michael was involved in the crime.

    • Bob
      05/24/2010 at 7:53 PM

      We know that Robert had not consumed ethanol. That was tested for. Whether any of the defendants had consumed it is another question.

      • David R
        05/24/2010 at 10:02 PM

        In Joes statement he says they had wine with dinner. All three of them had the burnt steaks. Who are the three exactaly and when was dinner and when did Victor actually come home from his trip? Was Victor there with Joe and Dylan for dinner?

  27. Josh
    05/24/2010 at 5:03 PM

    Doug, Luminol “tests showed showed negative also?” I thought the Ashley’s test showed positive but the results were deemed not probative and inadmissible because the reagant was used in manner not in keeping with the manufacturer’s instructions. Is that wrong?
    Thanks.

  28. CDinDC
    05/24/2010 at 5:32 PM

    Doug says: “Seeing it is far different than reading it on the printed page.”

    How so?

    • des
      05/24/2010 at 6:29 PM

      and now we have to wait until 7:00 – ack!
      you guys are very good with the teasers!
      : )

      • KKinCA
        05/24/2010 at 6:39 PM

        I know! The suspense is killing me!

  29. tassojunior
    05/24/2010 at 5:42 PM

    Why can’t the hairs that fell out of the evidence bag be DNA tested? I assume they were attached to the sheets and pillowcase and so were in the same chain of custody.

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 6:06 PM

      I want to know who was observing when he “found” them. He has a habit of losing and finding, depending on who is signing the checks.

  30. plumskiter
    05/24/2010 at 6:24 PM

    to daphne and tasso – what would you have the hairs tested for?

    • Carolina
      05/24/2010 at 6:51 PM

      You know they’re hoping for Murderer’s Hair. No DNA matching anyone in the house. I wish anyone but Lee had found it, because he’s as suspect as anyone on trial in my opinion.

      • New Alias
        05/25/2010 at 12:05 AM

        The Viewing of the Hairs took place at the DA’s office, under the supervision of Ofr. Lancaster.

  31. emg
    05/24/2010 at 6:27 PM

    I am probably totally wrong, but for what its worth, having read Dylan’s interview, I happen to believe him. Let’s assume for a minute- Joe tells Dylan that married Robert is going to stay here. Dylan knows not only him but his wife. Joes tells Dylan to make up the guest room, which rightly might annoy Dylan since its Robert’s friend. . There is confusion as to when Robert is to arrive. It turns out to be 90 minutes later. (10:30PM vs 9:00) Then Joe doesn’t bother to answer the door so Dylan has to. At this point Dylan may be more annoyed than anything. There are a few pleasantries and he goes to bed hust as he said.
    To pull something with Joe’s friend who is straaigt would not be something dylan would do.

    Victor is not downstairs because he is angry with Joe for not telling him for 2 days that Robert will be there on his return from a trip. He petulantly stays upstairs.

    Then something terrible happens with Joe( and perhaps his brother) with Robert. ( It makes absolutely no sense that Michael would break into his brother’s house within weeks of a murder unless he wanted to retrieve something and didn’t think he would get caught)

    It is clear to Victor and Dylan that Joe runs the show-always has. They may be keeping silent- not out of loyalty but fear. “If Joe could do this to his good friend, what could he do to me? ”

    I think Victor does know more than he is saying, but I would not be surprised if Dylan really knew nothing. His greatest crime might be that Joe told him to just keep quiet. And you do what Joe says.

    I’m just saying……………..

    • Hoya Loya
      05/24/2010 at 6:43 PM

      You are not alone. If you check out the original comments, a number of us were surprised at how credible Dylan’s statement seemed. Maybe he really was asleep and just waking up when the EMTs arrived? It’s worth a second read for interesting insights into the relationship between the three.

      • rk
        05/24/2010 at 7:19 PM

        I’ve opined before that Dylan might seem the most credible because according to the defendant’s account of the events, he had the smallest role and zero interaction with the parties involved. Joe invited Robert to the house. Joe and Victor heard the “screams.” Victor made the 911 call. Joe tended to Robert. Joe talked to the police. Dylan made the bed, answered the door, had a glass of water, said goodnight, took a pill, heard a commotion, found a dead body in his home, and went back to his room. When it comes time to question him, according to the defendants Dylan didn’t see, hear or do anything related to the intruder or the discovery of the murder. So if he sticks to that, and there are no inconsistencies in his story. Joe, on the other hand, has a big role in all of the interactions, therefore more chances to say things that might be inconsistent.

        There is a chance that Dylan seems credible because he is telling the truth. There is also a chance he seems credible because Victor and Joe decided that he was going to be left out of their account of the events of the evening.

        • Lee
          05/24/2010 at 8:25 PM

          What about Dylan claiming he saw the patio door open? How does that fit with this theory?

    • deepsouth
      05/24/2010 at 7:15 PM

      Maybe I’m totally off the wall here, but could Joe’s cruelty in describing the death scene so vividly to Kathy Wone also have been a subtle threat to Dylan and Victor too? A “this is how far I will go”? At first I thought it was just deeply warped control freaking, then I decided he’s sick enough to get off on that kind of torment, and now I’m wondering if got two birds with one stone by sending a signal to the other two.

    • David R
      05/24/2010 at 10:07 PM

      “( It makes absolutely no sense that Michael would break into his brother’s house within weeks of a murder unless he wanted to retrieve something and didn’t think he would get caught) ”

      Michael had keys. I think he was looking for stuff to pawn to buy drugs.

      • AnnaZed
        05/24/2010 at 10:29 PM

        Yeah, Michael is an addict his actions don’t have to make sense and probably pretty often they don’t make sense. He had the keys, the stuff was there for the taking, go.

        The interesting thing to me is that when he and his creepy pal were caught pawning stuff they were never charged, why?

  32. Bill Orange
    05/24/2010 at 9:26 PM

    New thread up top.

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