Day 6: Updates

1:45pm Update

With the resumption of today’s session at 11am, the remainder of Price’s interview videotape was played, and then a large (:49 minute) portion of Dylan Ward’s statement was screened and put into the record. 

 Nothing new beyond what we’ve read before, but as mentioned earlier, a transcript can’t capture the full situation.  Dylan appeared relatively comfortable on tape, gesturing frequently with open hands while communicating his confusion.   In court, however, Ward sat motionless, eyes locked on the screen the entire time. 

Questioning of Sgt. Wagner by Rachel Carson Leiber and Bernie Grimm’s cross followed.  Grimm “…earned his billables today,” noted intern Sean.  Using photos, statements and portions of video, Grimm picked Wagner apart on a number of issues.  Did they fully investigate the dirt in the yard?  wagner did not recall but did say he delegated members of the team to canvas the immediate area.  Did Wagner follow up with any of those Price said had house keys?  No.  

 Basic Detective 101 work may not have been undertaken.  Grimm scored points characterizing the immediate investigation of the scene as less than thorough.  Wagner did his best to hold his ground, “We made a close examination of the area and our conclusion was there was no intruder.”

Was Wagner pushing a theory that the Swann threesome wanted to sexually assault Robert – that he was going “…to come to Jesus…” after a little wine, or even that Robert was perhaps interested in “experimenting?”  

Joe Price’s expression of offense to Sgt. Wagner was completely understandable.  The trial resumes after the lunch break at 2:15pm.

Previous morning updates follow after the jump.

10:00am Update

The day got underway at 9:10am, with the resumption of the videotaped interview between MPD detectives and Joe Price in the early morning, hours after the murder. 

Ward and Zaborsky watched the screen, while Price didn’t look up at it once.  Judge Leibovitz stirred her coffee while watching and appeared very engaged.  We’ve read the transcripts before so won’t repeat what was said. 

However, what is not conveyed in the text are the awkward pauses, the fidgeting, the emotional ups and downs and the obvious stress in the room.

And it was drama off the screen that caught ears this morning.  At the 9:45am, in the hallway just outside room 310, defendant Dylan Ward was reported to have berated a reporter, incorrectly accusing them of dozing off during the videotape playback.  (The reporter denies dozing off.)  “If you’re going to cover this trial, you shouldn’t sleep in the courtroom…It’s offensive to me,”  Ward said.

More to come

8:00am 

The trial resumes at 9:00 this morning, an earlier time to accommodate a 10:15-11:15 event on Judge Lynn Leibovitz’ calendar.

DC Evidence Tech Sgt. Curtis Lancaster

In yesterday’s testimony, DC evidence tech Curtis Lancaster told AUSA Glenn Kirschner that among the photos he took of the 1509 crime scene, there was one of the home’s second floor hallway showing a thermostat.

There was a digital readout which showed both the time and temperature when the shot was taken. Case watchers will recall that the murder occurred during a typical DC August heatwave and that the hot guest room was a topic of conversation during the brief chat Robert allegedly had with defendants Price and Ward before retiring for the evening.

 Kirchner pointed out the thermostat display to Lancaster and may bring it up again.  The 9-1-1 recording hears Zaborsky asking the dispatcher what time it was.  Although not clear on the recording, it sounds like someone (Price?) may have prompted Zaborsky to ask.  “23:54.. 11:54,” the dispatcher tells Zaborsky.  Never mind that on other occasions later that evening, the defendants claim is was 11:43. 

Maybe a small point but perhaps Kirschner wanted  to make clear that anyone walking into the guestroom moments earlier as the defendants claim they did, would’ve clearly seen the exact time displayed on the wall right next to the door.

 Lancaster’s photo also showed that the home’s temperature was 76 degrees.  That however may be misleading.  Lancaster arrived at close to 2:00am on the morning of August 3, and it’s possible that for the preceding two hours as the crime scene was being processed, the home’s windows and doors were open to accommodate the influx of law enforcement personnel and their processing of the scene.  

The playback of Price’s MPD interviews starts the day and the next update will hit around 10:30am at Leibovitz’ first break.

128 comments for “Day 6: Updates

  1. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 9:20 AM

    Thank you yet again for the time and effort you devote to the site and Robert’s memory.

  2. Lee
    05/25/2010 at 9:40 AM

    Let me second Carolina. The four of you co-editors have done and continue to do a remarkable job with this site. I am impressed that you have managed to be amazingly neutral and open-minded on this site while others–myself included–have expressed views and conclusions.

    This is a great forum for the public to interact with lawyers to better understand the legal process.

    What I find most remarkable is that (because of your even-handed presentation) I find myself in agreement with the prosecution when my natural inclination is to side with the defense in almost any situation, because I generally do not believe law enforcement or any others representing the established powers.

    Thank you again for your the fine job.

    • Eagle
      05/25/2010 at 3:25 PM

      Let me add to the encouragement.
      Once again, you have advanced journalism in this country. You also have done priceless advocacy for the victim in particular and justice in general. Not to mention community safely.
      Sounds like Pulitzer material to me.

  3. CDinDC
    05/25/2010 at 10:27 AM

    “’If you’re going to cover this trial, you shouldn’t sleep in the courtroom…It’s offensive to me,’ Ward said.”

    Oh my. So much for GU92’s characterization of a gentle soul. Did anyone get a spanking for their indescretions?

    Chill Dill.

    • Daphne
      05/25/2010 at 11:34 AM

      The cracks are starting to show….

    • Also From the Post Story
      05/25/2010 at 5:29 PM

      > characterization of a gentle soul.

      I believed that was referring to Victor.

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 5:53 PM

        No, you’re incorrect. The Georgetown grad was a classmate of Dylan Ward’s.

  4. John Grisham
    05/25/2010 at 10:31 AM

    I guess that finally establishes that Dylan would never sleep through an important event.

    • CDinDC
      05/25/2010 at 10:35 AM

      Touché, John Grisham!

      • Eagle
        05/25/2010 at 3:26 PM

        You made my day John Grisham

        • Clio
          05/25/2010 at 6:54 PM

          I wonder what sparked Mr. Ward’s sudden petulance in the hallway, of all places. I guess that Dyl’s birthday celebration this year was not held at Halo after all. Bummer! I just hope that the Post reporter was not on Lunesta: Lord knows what may happen tonight! But even Lynn needed coffee to get through that segment of the “Anacostia Dialogues”, which apparently are not as scintillating as I had thought. Oh well!

          Mr. Wagner, not Dr. G., is the government’s weakest link, and Mr. Grimm apparently made that abundantly clear today. Sigh!

  5. Cecily
    05/25/2010 at 11:09 AM

    What was that all about? Ward has no right to chastise anyone. He is the one on trial not the reporters. The Post this morning is reporting that Price checked his blackberry during the interveiw with police. Who does that? One of your very good friends was just murdered in your home and police are questioning you to help find the murderer and you are concerned with your blackberry?

    • David
      05/25/2010 at 11:19 AM

      Cecily,

      Joe was checking his blackberry to show the police officer the e-mail confirming lunch between Robert and Kathy in the week before his murder. He never found the e-mail.

      David

      • Cecily
        05/25/2010 at 1:21 PM

        Thanks for the clarification.

    • KKinCA
      05/25/2010 at 11:26 AM

      I would love to see the video! The way that Joe’s demeanor on the night of the murder has been described by the EMT, responding police officers, detectives and others just gives me chills. Like it’s just another night in his life but his life is going on as normal, checking his blackberry, having breakfast with friends, etc. Meanwhile Kathy Wone’s world was destroyed and would never be “normal” again.

      • A Friend of Trouple
        05/25/2010 at 2:23 PM

        Again, the discussion of Joe’s “demeanor” on that night – knowing Joe for many years, I see nothing out of the ordinary in the way he carried himself – granted, I would have been a mess in that situation – Joe is very in charge of himself and seldom shows outward emotions.

        • KKinCA
          05/25/2010 at 2:28 PM

          Thanks Friend. I absolutely defer to your personal experience with Joe. That said, people who bury emotions often “explode” at some point when their defense mechanisms fail. Have you ever seen that with Joe?
          And since you are friends with all three, can you describe the “normal” demeanor of Victor and/or Dylan?

        • KiKi
          05/25/2010 at 2:42 PM

          Unless you have had a tragic situation occur you have no idea how you will respond. Many years ago my husband and I walked in to his aunt’s home to find her in her dead she had been shot and robbed. For the next several days my husband was calm and collected and could tell the police and family everything about the situation without even a little emotion. He was completely with it and had no reaction. Weeks later he did break down. But the point is just because someone acts odd after a tragic event does not mean they have a guilty conscious.

          • KKinCA
            05/25/2010 at 2:46 PM

            I am so sorry that you and your husband had to go through such an awful tragedy. You make a great point, and I was just basing my statement on my personal experiences (some of which are professionally), which I acknowledge don’t apply universally. And as I said above to FOT, I defer to his personal knowledge.

  6. AnnaZed
    05/25/2010 at 11:11 AM

    Woohoo Dyl, testy.

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 12:42 PM

      I have to wonder what the reporter said in reply.

      I do get his point, however: Don’t go home and write about the trial if you’re not going to pay attention. Maybe Dyl was hoping the reporter would see something that Dylan himself couldn’t point out…

  7. First Time Reader
    05/25/2010 at 12:14 PM

    Are news organizations seeking court approval to obtain and televise these videotapes or excerpts from the videotapes?

    Once the videotapes are admitted into evidence and shown in the courtroom, I do not see why the tapes should not be available to the news media.

  8. Friend of Rob
    05/25/2010 at 12:22 PM

    I’m glad to hear that we’ve finally found the one thing in this world that Dylan finds offensive.

    “Tie me up and cover me with feces, but don’t you dare fall asleep during my criminal trial!”

    • Nora
      05/25/2010 at 1:52 PM

      Perhaps Dylan could use the free publicity of the trial to pitch his own rewrite of “Blue Suede Shoes.”

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/25/2010 at 2:34 PM

      Hilarious FoR.

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 2:36 PM

        CD – Love the addition to your name! 🙂

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/25/2010 at 3:01 PM

          Yay!!!

  9. Cecily
    05/25/2010 at 1:22 PM

    I have wondered why the Post isn’t all over this one. They love to report on scandal.

    • Cecily
      05/25/2010 at 4:05 PM

      I know they are running short articles on the trial, but I come to this site to get my updates and if you just read what the Post is reporting you wouldn’t know very much. I guess the Post can’t give play-by-plays like the guys on here do and many of the people who make comments on the Post articles tend to run a bit racist and homphobic, which is disappointing.

    • I.P Freely
      05/25/2010 at 7:16 PM

      “I can see where he would be offended if a juror fell asleep, but why does he have particular expectations of the media?”

      Because the media is the jury in the court of public opinion.

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 7:29 PM

        The public isn’t the finder of fact. Nice alias, Bart.

      • BadShoes
        05/26/2010 at 12:19 AM

        IPF-

        First, I am pleased to hear about the condition of your prostate, and hope and trust that you will remain in this happy state for many years to come.

        In any case, if the reporter had stayed awake, all he would have heard was Joe Price converting himself from witness into suspect through an excess of cleverness. So, maybe it was all for the best.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        05/26/2010 at 11:24 AM

        Wow. the comments are wacky. The follow up comments aren’t relating to anything. Very random it seems.

  10. Nora
    05/25/2010 at 1:56 PM

    Way to go, tassojunior! You’ve figured out how to spell “vicious.” No doubt through constant repetition.

  11. BojiBoy
    05/25/2010 at 1:56 PM

    I’m a neighbor and this week is the first time I’ve heard of the reference to the “man who lived out of a van in the alley.” I know the guy that Price refers to and, when he is there, I have never seen him never sober enough nor physically able enough to scale a fence, much less stealthily move through a house in the dark.

  12. tassojunior
    05/25/2010 at 2:09 PM

    But BojiBoy- was he ever questioned as a potential witness to anything? I’ve never seen any mention of questioning and seems odd to purposely omit. I’m intimate friends with people of three houses directly behind that house and I’m pretty sure none of them were ever questioned.

    wow Nora thanks for the (admittedly weak) example. Worse to come I’m sure.

    • Nora
      05/25/2010 at 2:40 PM

      Gosh, that was easy. 🙂

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 2:40 PM

      You say you have no dog in this fight, but the more you talk, the more obvious it becomes that isn’t so.

      • Eagle
        05/25/2010 at 3:35 PM

        I asked Tassojunior if he knew or conversed with the defendants, but he has not yet answered.

        • KKinCA
          05/25/2010 at 3:36 PM

          Eagle – He has a habit of disappearing when the questions get too tough. Don’t take it personally.

        • Carolina
          05/25/2010 at 5:59 PM

          Well, he’s said a lot. He’s said he lives in the neighborhood, knows people who live in the three homes behind the Trouple, knows this and that, is active in neighborhood politics and revitalization, is gay, lost a lover to violence… but he doesn’t know three (okay, two) prominent gay professionals who one would assume would be equally interested in such things.

    • BojiBoy
      05/26/2010 at 3:33 PM

      I don’t know if he was questioned or not, and you’re “pretty sure” that your friends weren’t. It seems that neither of us can verify facts regarding who may have been questioned as potential witnesses. By mentioning the guy in the van, it seemed to me that Joe Price was implying something regarding that individual. My observation was that IF he was implying that that guy might have been the intruder, in my opinion it would have been quite a feat for him given his normal physical condition and mental state of mind. If that wasn’t what Price was implying, so be it. None of this seems completely relevant to whether or not there was conspiracy or evidence tampering. That’s a different trial if anyone is ever charged.

  13. Bea
    05/25/2010 at 2:16 PM

    I think it was mentioned because there has been indications of the defendants’ racism.

  14. tassojunior
    05/25/2010 at 2:30 PM

    Thanks for the (admittedly silly) further example KK.

    • AnnaZed
      05/25/2010 at 3:06 PM

      KK dear, I am assuming that you are joking around (or were when you referenced Alcoholics Anonymous previously), but just in case you’re not; “AA” in this context means “African American.”

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 3:32 PM

        Thanks AZ. I was NOT joking (my bad for misinterpreting and giving Tasso another “example” [whatever that means] to play with). I already apologized to David below.

  15. CDinDC
    05/25/2010 at 2:33 PM

    Thanks TT.

  16. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 2:39 PM

    I don’t think it was any more unusual that Joe P making constant mention of the black man that lived near by.

  17. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 2:42 PM

    I am somewhat confused by the “come to Jesus” reading. Where I come from, it means a reckoning.

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

      carolina, i too was taken back by that phrase

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 3:34 PM

        I believe it is in the Joe Price transcript. If I recall correctly, the words were spoken by one of the interviewing detectives. But I am not doing too well in my posts today so don’t take my word for it!

        • Carolina
          05/25/2010 at 6:00 PM

          You are correct. I know who said it, but the context is totally misinterpreted according to what I know, and the understanding of everybody I’ve asked, including some of my Southern relatives.

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

            I am also confused by the context. Where I come from, which is the District of Columbia, it sometimes refers to discovering religion or repenting of one’s sins. In that context, a homophobe would use it to mean becoming straight, but that doesn’t appear to be the context here.

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

          Can someone help me? I am looking for the Joe Price transcript, and I tried searching on Third Degree, and found nothing. Can someone provide me with a link to it or instructions for how to find it?

          I am also puzzled about “Come to Jesus”.

          • HKG
            05/25/2010 at 11:51 PM

            page 42 of Price transcript. the way i normally understand that phrase would be “coming to Jesus” means coming to confess your sins and repent and be saved.

            but i am also puzzled by the context it was said. i’m still not sure if (a) the detective is telling Price that you/Price will be coming to confess and repent for this killing, or (b) that the detective was relating his speculation that they/Price were telling Wone that night that Wone would “come to Jesus” and convert to being gay.

            transcripts of the defendants statements —
            http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2010/04/07/the-third-degree-price/
            http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2010/04/12/the-third-degree-zaborsky/
            http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2010/04/14/the-third-degree-ward

            • AnnaZed
              05/26/2010 at 12:57 AM

              Well I grew up in Louisiana and previously understood the whole “Come to Jesus” expression pretty much the way you all have described, but it was clear to me in this context it meant a different type of conversion, like a forced conversion to homosexuality. I will also say that the detective using it was being pretty blatantly offensive when he made that insinuation to Joe, but I think he was doing it to see if it would get Joe riled up.

              • VA Librarian
                05/26/2010 at 11:10 AM

                I’ve heard “come to Jesus meeting” to mean to be held accountable for something and then subsequently punished in some manner, whether it would be being verbally berated or otherwise (e.g., being fired at work.) As for what the detective meant exactly, it’s hard to say.

          • HKG
            05/25/2010 at 11:53 PM

            page 42 of Price transcript. the way i normally understand that phrase would be “coming to Jesus” means coming to confess your sins and repent and be saved.

            but i am also puzzled by the context it was said. i’m still not sure if (a) the detective is telling Price that you/Price will be coming to confess and repent for this killing, or (b) that the detective was relating his speculation that they/Price were telling Wone that night that Wone would “come to Jesus” and convert to being gay.

            • tassojunior
              05/25/2010 at 11:56 PM

              Can’t find the transcript but that’s what you need. The entire sentence was something like the victim was told this was his “come to Jesus” moment to give up sex or else.

          • HKG
            05/26/2010 at 12:31 AM

            Bob, best way i use to find stuff is to google the name of this site, and then add on a search term for what i am looking for.

            so for example, googling for “whomurderedrobertwone.com price transcripts” returns several links, the second of which is the correct entry — “The Third Degree: Price”

            i already posted the links here for you above, but they are awaiting moderation.

            • AnnaZed
              05/26/2010 at 12:40 AM

              HKG! Thanks for this advice because the search function on the site seems to be broken or overloaded or something.

              So, in response to another unrelated post here is the God-damned gate again that “no one will look at!”:

              http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/06/09/gates-of-hell/

              • HKG
                05/26/2010 at 4:38 AM

                you’re very welcome, glad it worked!

    • Alice
      05/25/2010 at 7:34 PM

      It means the same thing where I come from.

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 9:06 PM

        With no sexual connotation, am I also correct on that?

        • Alice
          05/25/2010 at 9:33 PM

          yep.

  18. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 2:46 PM

    Well, anon, we’re sold. (In the future, leaving out the bitch and moan will make your point about the reporter less suspect. If it’s true, and there’s no reason to disbelieve you, the witch-hunt comment only makes it look as if you have an axe to grind.)

  19. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 2:48 PM

    *choke* HE SAID WHAT?

    Oh my god. HAHAHAHA! Oh Dylan. Oh Joe. Sheesh.

  20. SheKnowsSomething
    05/25/2010 at 2:56 PM

    Hmmm … I don’t recall you reporting on Dylan’s mention of Officer Durham as “that Black woman.” Did I miss something?

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 3:15 PM

      That makes one of us.

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 9:16 PM

      If the eds had reported it, you’d have piled on that they were making the boys into racists for their own nefarious purposes. They can’t win.

    • SheKnowsSomething
      05/26/2010 at 10:54 AM

      Seems that my full comment was truncated. For whatever reason the blog author thought it important or clever or cute or funny to share Keith Alexander’s race in his post, it is not apparent to this African American reader.

      • David
        05/26/2010 at 11:28 AM

        SKS,

        I was not trying to be clever, funny or cute. I thought it was important in light of past statements, especially on the witness stand under oath that the defendant had made. I will not mention the race of anyone going forward. I will keep all that information to myself.

        David, co-editor

  21. Carolina
    05/25/2010 at 3:13 PM

    Fact checkers are almost a thing of the past, unless you are a major publication and are doing your own investigative reporting.

    • Kate
      05/25/2010 at 3:38 PM

      Anna and Carolina (and anon not in ny) – I agree, the Washington Post coverage has been a tad sloppy. I’m a long time Post reader and formerly worked in the industry, and have been somewhat disappointed in their coverage.

      They have an obligation to their readers to get the facts correct, never mind the consistent typos. Unfortunately, major publications, such as the Post, have trimmed their staffs to the barest minimum with very little support staff.

      The last time I saw an honest to goodness “fact checker” was in the mid 1990s.

      Drat, I’m giving my age away. Now you know I’m not a sweet young thing.

      Thank you for your comments,
      Kate

      • AnnaZed
        05/25/2010 at 3:46 PM

        My cousin was a fact checker for The New Yorker in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She described it as the descent into the 9th ring of anal retentive hell; though now one might feel nostalgic for such a thing.

        • Kate
          05/25/2010 at 3:59 PM

          HA! Love it,

          Thanks for the laugh, Anna.

      • Bill 2
        05/25/2010 at 6:26 PM

        When I saw that he complained about a sleepy reporter, my first thought was, “Book!” Ward probably plans to write a book and wants media play-by-play for reference for his book.

        • Clio
          05/25/2010 at 7:10 PM

          No, Bill 2, this story is not a children’s one. Besides, Dyl seems finally happy with himself as a massage therapist, not as an author. From most indications, he is not one to look backward!

  22. ladyg
    05/25/2010 at 3:16 PM

    hello to all, boy it took me days to read each defendants depositions (it just blew my mind). plus reading all the posters comments, you guys would make great stories writers, detectives, lawyers to say the least. most of you have answered some of my questions but i still have a few unanswered. for instance, going on the intruder’s theory, how does one enter (unfamilar territory)one’s home with no lights on or did the homeowner have one of those little night/kitchen lites left on. if they are in total darkness (maybe carrying one of the penlights?)not bummping into a chair (not making any sound) and know where the stairs are located. you have a bag with to carry you findings,and once find that someone is in room # 2 and kill them. you don’t go about business to see what’s in room # 1. cause you came all that way to
    steal something…right?

    • ramknts
      05/25/2010 at 5:29 PM

      Mr. Price reportedly saw a spider on lights in the back, so I would guess it was not completely dark back there. I do not know about the inside.

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 6:02 PM

        He saw a spider on the outdoor light. Whether or not it remained lit is not something we’ve heard about.

  23. Joe
    05/25/2010 at 3:16 PM

    whatever happened to the investigation of Price’s brother? the post said today that price’s brother was arrested a few weeks after the murder for stealing things from the swann st house? isnt this a big deal??

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 3:34 PM

      Why yes, yes it is. Joe dropped the charges, btw.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        05/26/2010 at 11:25 AM

        test

  24. ladyg
    05/25/2010 at 3:22 PM

    joe, you see these are my unanswered questions. are there new occupants? was that michael’s attempt to show that someone could get into the house? this just doesn’t smell right.

    • Carolina
      05/25/2010 at 3:37 PM

      Joe and Friends were still living in the house when it he burgled it, and Victor and Dylan waited until Joe told them to call the police before they reported it. Joe later dropped the charges.

      If you want some very unsettling reading, look up the man who accompanied Michael on this burglary. His name is Phelps Collins. Don’t hire him to pet-sit your cat.

  25. KKinCA
    05/25/2010 at 3:27 PM

    Thanks. Sorry for misinterpreting. I am 9 years sober so I automatically assume AA means Alcoholics Anonymous. My bad.

    • Vandy
      05/25/2010 at 3:44 PM

      I also took it to mean Alcoholics Anonymous. I occasionally have to look up some of the acronyms (such as FWIW, IMHO, OTOH, …) used here on the internet… (sigh)

    • Tallulah
      05/25/2010 at 3:57 PM

      Hey, that’s what I was wondering too, KK. Guess that abbreviation hasn’t made it to us in CA yet. : )

      • KKinCA
        05/25/2010 at 8:48 PM

        Thanks Vandy and Tallulah – I feel less like an idiot after reading your posts. Maybe it is a cultural term without use in CA – good point.

  26. AnnaZed
    05/25/2010 at 3:36 PM

    Yes Joe, I think it’s a big deal at any rate.

    Not only did the three men delay reporting that the break-in crime even took place until after their possessions showed up at a pawn broker but even then they didn’t tell the police that that Joe’s brother Michael had the keys.

    Then when Michael and his accomplice (a dumb junkie who is also a convicted torturer of animals) were caught by the police Joe and company refused to press charges on them.

    Yes, this is the same brother that Joe curiously omitted to tell the police investigating Robert’s murder even had the keys to the house and who just happened to miss to his phlebotomy class for the one and only time the night that Robert was attacked and killed.

    • Ivan
      05/25/2010 at 3:45 PM

      I still think the brother is involved. It’s apparent that someone knew how to handle blood – lots of it – and he’s studying to be a phlebotomist and he had keys to the house from what I read earlier. Just my speculation.

      • Joe
        05/25/2010 at 3:57 PM

        Joe’s brother is a plebotomoist? and he had the keys? and there was lots of blood missing and mysterious needle marks?

        it’s like OJ and the bloody socks sitting in his bedroom. isnt that enough?

        • Carolina
          05/25/2010 at 6:03 PM

          Add to this that he missed his night class for the first time the night of the murder. Not that it means anything.

    • jfh
      05/25/2010 at 3:48 PM

      I don’t think the information about Michael is that clear cut. Joe, in fact, did tell the Officers immediately about his brother and the issues he had had with him – including his brother putting him through the ringer on a number of occasions.

      • AnnaZed
        05/25/2010 at 4:04 PM

        Yes, Joe does mention his brother and his brother’s drug use and even his brother beating him up when they were kids in his interviews with the police. What Joe did NOT tell the police or Mrs. Wone (who both separately asked) was that his drug abusing brother had both the keys and the security codes ~ which incidentally he could have changed at any time had he chosen to ~ to Swann St. at the time Robert was murdered there. Pretty important bit of information to omit, wouldn’t you say?

        Then about (I think) 6 weeks later when Dylan drops by the residence to get the mail (Joe and Victor were NOT living there and were said to be “on vacation”) he finds it burgled, yet burgled with the what must to him now seem a familiar manner; that is to say burgled in such a way that there isn’t any evidence of a break-in.

        All three men then delayed reporting that this crime even took place, omitted to mention Michael (again) when they did report it and subsequently refused to press charged against Michael and his accomplice (the odious Phelps Collins) once the police arrested them.

        • Bill Orange
          05/25/2010 at 6:47 PM

          I’m with Anna on this. When someone ends up dead in your guest bedroom, and the police ask you who has keys to the house, you really should remember that your drug using brother–who you told the police used to beat the shit out of you–is on that list. I wonder if Victor and Dylan were unaware of the fact that Michael had the keys, or if they knew and simply tolerated it, just like they seem to tolerate everything else.

        • Carolina
          05/25/2010 at 7:33 PM

          I did misspeak when I said the Trouple was still living at 1509 at the time of Mike and Phelps blundering burglary. HOWEVER, their belongings were still there and they still owned the townhouse.

          • AnnaZed
            05/25/2010 at 7:50 PM

            You are right about that, lots of belongings ~ very expensive belongings. I wonder if Joe just left them there as either a gift for or a temptation for his bro?

            • Ohio
              05/26/2010 at 3:59 PM

              Payment for services rendered?

  27. Agatha
    05/25/2010 at 3:42 PM

    Whatever happened to Thomas “Tad” DiBiase?

    Also – it still seems a bit bizarre that Wone would stay over night – first time ever since married and his brother was in town visiting.

    Plus – if Wone took the metro in to the office – seems like the ride back home would be ‘nap time’ and the office would accommodate the late departure for relaxed arrival in the morning. In addition, 15 minutes to meet late night RFA staff – doesn’t seem sincere. If you have ever met any RFA staff – you would know they have amazing personal stories. Organizing the overnight seems calculating and deceptive at best.

    Then – does anyone have a minute by minute time line of the day?

    Following the minutes for the day – from my notes – it is possible when Price/Ward show Wone his room – Ward goes off to his own room and from that point forward – it is Price with Wone until supposedly Price goes up to the third floor approximately 11 p.m. In between this time frame – Ward says he hears Wone take a shower. Does that mean – Price stayed in the area while Wone took a shower?

    Rather curious …

    • jfh
      05/25/2010 at 3:53 PM

      I too am curious esp since Kathy Wone testified that they now worked close by to each other and they had just purchased a car. Although in rush hour traffic, it may take an hour to get to the office or home, it is no more than a half hour drive at off peak hours. Just FYI- it was Robert that sought out a place to stay that night and emailed his friends- Lisa and Joe and asked if he could stay over. Joe, according to Kathy Wone’s testimony, replied yes and Robert chose to stay there.

      Unfortunately, the police did bungle much of the evidence in this case including not following up with Robert Wone’s blackberry and keeping his records. It is really too bad bc it could possibly shed some light.

      • Carolina
        05/25/2010 at 6:11 PM

        The BB bungling is only missing the unsent messages. Not that much of a bungle.

        You also make is sound as if Robert chose Swann St over Lisa. In fact, Joe responded first, and Robert accepted.

        I can’t believe we’re still discussing why Robert chose to stay in DC, as if it has some bearing on this case. When, yes; why, no.

        Kathy testified that their routine was for her to drive home, arriving around 6 pm, then going to the station to pick up Robert around 8. I can tell you, if I were planning to be arriving at the VA end of the metro after 11 pm, I would not ask my partner to come out to get me, considering she also had to be at work in the morning. More convenient all around to simply bunk with a friend.

      • New Alias
        05/25/2010 at 6:30 PM

        There’s an easy answer here, and I’m not sure why its frequently overlooked. Robert’s usual commuting pattern was for Kathy to drop him at their local Metro station, and then she’d have the car for the day. When she got her job in downtown DC, they would park the car at or near the Metro station. At the end of a the regular business day, Kathy would pick Robert up at the station and drive him / them home. Their metro stop is the last one on their line.

        The DC Metro system is as inadequate as it is capricious, and Robert anticipated that on Aug. 2nd he might not be able to get on a train until 11pm – midnight. Add a 30 to 40 minute train ride, and the result is Kathy having to drive to the station and wait there for him, alone, at or after midnight. That means its at least midnight but more likely pushing 1am before she could get to sleep.

        That’s why it made sense for him to stay over – if not for the sake of saving himself time and hassle, then to spare Kathy the trouble of having to pick him up so late at night.

        This is explained in the Washingtonian cover story, and embellished by my own experience of waiting for my partner to commute home from his job in Bethesda after 11pm.

        • New Alias
          05/25/2010 at 6:39 PM

          Of course, if I had read the above response carefully, I’d have seen that Carolina already answered this question.

          Agatha – there’s really no basis to jump to the conclusion that the overnight stay was contrived. 15 minutes to introduce yourself to the RFA staff sounds pretty innocuous to me — maybe *they* didn’t have time to meet for longer with Robert on that day, at that time. Sounds to me like a typical stick your head in, introduce yourself, let them know that you know that they exist. Its a task to check off on your to do list. I’ve worked places where people have incredible personal stories, and the PR staff never asked about it – much less the General Counsel.

          • SavvyG
            05/25/2010 at 8:33 PM

            As someone who has commuted from the “end of the red line” into DC for the past 10 years, I do find it odd that he (an adult with a good income) stayed at a friend’s so that he could get some sleep and be up early for a meeting. After many late nites, I have had to ask my partner pick me up at midnight because it was the safest way for me to get home. In another case, I got a hotel room because a business event ended after 11 and I needed to be back downtown at 7 a.m. which would have meant less than 4 hours of sleep. Once I took a $120 cab ride home from Dulles because my flight was so late that my partner could not pick me up. Most of the other times times I had to work past 10 pm I have taken metro. Yes, it was late but Metro runs late. Cabs can be called. I am woman and I did not always feel especially safe, but it’s what I had to do to get home to my family. Never once did I think, I’ll just go to a friend’s place after 11 (which was Mr. Wone’s intent). First, most hard working people are in bed by then and it would be interruptive to their schedules. Second, when you get to someone’s home they feel like they must welcome you and you feel obligated to chat, have a drink, dessert or whatever. There’s really no time savings when you add in having to pack your bag, traveling to a destination other than your home, chit chatting and then trying to fall asleep in a strange bed and getting ready in the morning in a strange bathroom and hoping there’s something to eat for breakfast.

            One thing I have learned: if you want to get home badly enough, you can find a way. If you want to stay in town badly enough, you can find a way.

            Even the most loving husband can have deep secrets.

            Nonetheless, that’s no reason to have been killed and I am not, repeat not, blaming the victim.

            I feel terribly for his wife, family and my dream scenario is that one of these three men come forward and confess who did it right there in the courtoom. Victor, I am counting on you. You seem to be a bit more emotive than your other familt members.

            • Carolina
              05/25/2010 at 9:12 PM

              It’s good Robert is dead and can’t defend himself. Actually, he couldn’t before he was dead, either.

              Listen, why did he email two friends who lived in the vicinity of his last stop for the night if he had a trick lined up at Joe’s? Answer: Because there was no trick.

              Why would he put his wife through coming out to get him? Why waste the time getting a cab when he could get a good night’s sleep and see his wife the next day? Sadly, his choice of friends precluded that.

              I’m becoming thoroughly sick of this speculation about a straight man staying at the house of a gay friend. We have NO EVIDENCE from ANYONE or ANYWHERE that Robert was on the DL, and believe me, the Trouple would have trotted that out by now.

            • Carolina
              05/25/2010 at 9:14 PM

              And let us not forget, Kathy Wone had Lupus. I know it may be hard to fathom, but maybe Robert preferred she rest and knew she would not if she thought he was traveling by metro and cab.

              That makes a lot more sense than any of the three defendants keeping Robert’s secret life quiet.

              • SJinNYC
                05/28/2010 at 8:21 PM

                Agreed! I too am thoroughly sick of people speculating about Wone being on the DL because he chose to stay over in the city. I also can’t stand it when someone states he must have had other intentions staying over in the city, because it’s not what THEY would do in the same situation. THEY would go home to their family. Ugh. For the final time everyone, just because YOU would not choose to stay over in the city under those circumstances does not mean Robert must have had an ulterior motive for doing so. To think everyone is just like ourselves is ridiculous and very small-minded.

        • Nelly
          05/25/2010 at 7:55 PM

          Not that it is relevant to the criminal case, but I’m pretty sure their habit was to drive to the Vienna station, take metro in, and take metro back separately, since Robert worked longer hours.
          Then Kathy would go pick up Robert from the station later. There ought to be a FAQ about this since so many people have asked the same questions.

    • BadShoes
      05/25/2010 at 8:04 PM

      According to the accounts of Messrs. Price and Ward, Joe Price was never alone with Robert Wone.

      Mr. Wone arrived after 10:30pm, and Messrs Price and Ward had a glass of water in the kitchen, saw the bug, escorted Mr. Wone upstairs, showed him the bathroom and the guest bedroom.

      Then Mr. Price retired to the third floor bedroom he shared with Mr. Zaborsky, circa 10:45pm, and they watched the end of “Project Runway” together.

      At the same time, Mr. Ward retired to his room on the second floor, closing the door. He read for a while, and said that he heard Mr. Wone take a shower, and then heard the latch click on Mr. Wone’s door at about 11pm. (He said he checked his blackberry, i think). Mr. Ward also said he took a sleeping pill and fell asleep shortly thereafter, though I don’t remember offhand the exact sequence that Mr. Ward described.

      • BadShoes
        05/25/2010 at 8:07 PM

        Sorry, I answered this question twice. I thought my original answer vanished into the ether, but no, it actually got through.

      • BadShoes
        05/26/2010 at 3:52 PM

        Actually, I got it a bit wrong. Twice…

        Rereading Mr. Ward’s transcript, I learn that Mr. Ward said he left Messrs Price and Wone in the bathroom together and went to bed, by Mr. Ward’s account circa 10:50pm, since he read for only about 5 minutes before going to be at 11pm.

        Mr. Price separately said he went upstairs to see the end of Project Runway with Mr. Zaborsky, arriving in time to see a fair bit of the show, which I interpeted as circa 10:45 pm. Mr. Zaborsky says the same.

        So, Messrs. Price and Wone were alone together, at least briefly, before Mr. Price went upstairs. I don’t think they could have been alone together as long as fifteen minutes, unless somebody is fibbing.

        • whodoneit
          05/26/2010 at 4:00 PM

          Fibbing? I am shocked.

  28. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    05/25/2010 at 3:51 PM

    Agatha, do you live in a small town? Do you gay people and straight people not mix where you live?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/25/2010 at 3:57 PM

      “Do you gay people” = “Do gay people”

  29. Agatha
    05/25/2010 at 3:55 PM

    CDinDC – My question isn’t about anyone being gay – it is about who was alone with the victim. There seems to be a 15 minute or so that Price was alone with Wone.

    • BadShoes
      05/25/2010 at 5:29 PM

      No.

      Messrs. Price and Ward told the police that Mr. Wone arrived some time after 10:30 pm. They had a glass of water in the kitchen, saw the bug, and then the three went up to the second floor together.

      According to their account, Messrs. Price and Ward showed Mr. Wone the bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. Mr. Price then retired to the third floor bedroom, which he shared with Mr. Zavorsky, where the two watched the last part of “Project Runway,” which ended at 11pm. If Mr. Price’s account is accurate, that would have been about 10:45pm or so.

      Mr. Ward went into his bedroom, also on the second floor, closed the door, got into bed, and read for a while. He claims that he heard Mr. Wone take a shower in the second floor bathroom, and the latch on Mr. Wone’s bedroom door click. At about this time, Mr. Ward checked his blackberry, saw it was 11pm, and went to sleep.

      So, according to the accounts of the three men, Mr. Price was never alone with Mr. Wone. He was either with Mr. Ward and Mr. Wone together (10:30-10:45pm) or alone with Mr. Zaborsky upstairs (10:45pm on).

      • Hoya Loya
        05/25/2010 at 6:00 PM

        BadShoes:

        Actually, there is a point in Dylan’s interview, the first time he is asked about the sequence of events, where he seems to indicate that he left Joe alone with Robert in the bathroom, though on further questioning, the point becomes less clear.

        • BadShoes
          05/25/2010 at 8:09 PM

          okay, i missed that. thanks.

        • BadShoes
          05/26/2010 at 4:00 PM

          You right. See p. 58:

          “And both Joe and I were there. And we showed him–he said he wanted him to shower, so we just showed him where the bathroom was and I went to bed. And that was the last I saw of Joe or Robert.”

  30. Bill Orange
    05/25/2010 at 4:02 PM

    This doesn’t really strike me as all that odd. This case touches on a lot of identity issues, sexual orientation and race being the biggest two. Most (if not all) of the editors are openly gay and are very forthright about the fact that their sexual orientations factored into them being interested in this case. I suspect that both the gay and Asian communities in DC are paying close attention to this case, too. I’m fine with them pointing out who’s gay versus who’s straight, as well as who’s African American, who’s Asian, and who’s white. If it turns out that a key witness is well-known in the BDSM community, I’d want to know that, too. (But please spare me the photographs.)

    • Clio
      05/25/2010 at 7:15 PM

      I actually agree with Bill Orange here, but, perhaps, Mr. Hennessey can interpret the BDSM photographs in a tasteful and Post-Impressionist manner.

    • I.P Freely
      05/25/2010 at 7:32 PM

      I agree. I think it would have made for higher-resolution reporting to know the race of the police detectives who were so brazenly, aggressively, tauntingly implying a sexual motive/angle to Wone’s murder. Would less-educated, blue-collar African American detectives bullying and toying with affluent, educated Anglo suspects paint too sympathetic a picture for the reading public?

  31. Leo
    05/26/2010 at 12:10 AM

    Have the witness lists remaining for both sides been published somewhere? Are the defendants going to testify? Who are these other medical examiners who are going to offer expert opinions? None of the proffered stories make any sense whatsoever. I’m hoping a believable scenario emerges with the testimony of the remaining witnesses. Possible?

    • AnnaZed
      05/26/2010 at 12:19 AM

      I don’t know about that Leo, given that all the prosecution has to do is demonstrate that the elf story is not a believable scenario.

  32. Just Jules
    05/26/2010 at 12:22 PM

    David-

    As someone who can’t be at the trial to observe in person (work constraints) I have greatly appreciated the depth and detail of the daily reporting. Please don’t censor details, especially ones that help paint the broader picture of the defendant(s)’s patterns of behavior.

    With thanks to you and the Eds for all you have done.

    Cheers,

    Jules

  33. CuriousinVA
    05/26/2010 at 9:56 PM

    I was sort of sickened to see the stupid speculation about Robert’s decision to stay over at Joe’s pop up yet again. Come on people. In addition to it being a later night in the city than usual, as his wife stated somewhere, he was trying multi-task, for lack of a better phrase, and use the opportunity to pay a visit to someone he considered a valued, old friend.

    I also want to give a belated thanks to the site editors for the coverage. Outstanding. I’m riveted.

Comments are closed.