Day 7: Updates

3:30pm Update:

The after-lunch session kicked off with a mildly exasperated Judge Leibovitz.  Fifteen minutes later it was a very, very exasperated Judge Leibovitz.

Again she schooled the government to get squared away on how they will present statements, whether for truth or not for the truth.  “Someone is staying up late tonight, it’s not going to be them (the defense) and it’s not going to be me.”  AUSA Carlson Lieber was about to interject, but she felt it wiser not to stir the hornet’s nest any further.  

Bottom line: the government cannot introduce any statements for the truth, except pursuant to the May 7 filing, and until the USAO gets squared away on their trial strategy.

Detective Lewis was crossed by Connolly and Grimm.  Grimm peppered the detective on dust, dirt and pollen on the fence rail.  Using a crime scene photo, Grimm tried to get Lewis to admit there was grime visible. “It was not clean sir.  I don’t believe that’s an accurate photo,” Lewis shot back. 

Detective Brian Kasul took the stand next and Zaborsky’s videotaped interview with him was played.  Kasul, appearing more sophosticated than Dets. Wagner and Norris, took the game straight to Zaborsky.   He was relentless in his questioning.  The transcript does not do it justice.   

But Kasul was no prophet. To Zaborsky he said, “As far as this murder case goes, it’s one of the easy ones.”  Kasul watched the playback from the witness stand.

1:00pm Update

The late morning session began with testimony from MPD Detective Gail Russell-Brown.  She arrived at 1509 about 1:00am, an hour after the first responders started showing up.  Brown and her partner transported Zaborsky to the Anacostia VCB for witness questioning.

Then there was an objection.  Well, less an objection from the defense and more like a lecture to the government on the line of questioning.  Judge Leibovitz was exasperated.  Was Brown’s testimony being offered for its truth?, she wondered…repeating earlier comments from the bench this week.

“I can follow my own instructions, but they (the defense) need to know…I want you to decide what you want to do, government team!”   This admonition sent the three government lawyers scrambling to then call an audible.  Brown was excused and their next witness was called, MPD Detective Dan Lewis.

Lewis was the one to transport Robert’s clothing from GWU to the evidence techs who were set up at 1509.  He then surveyed the scene at 1509; in particular the rear patio area.  He maintains he did a thorough search for any signs of entry, forced or otherwise, and saw none.  No disturbance to the dust on the fence rails or any in the planter boxes, either.

A new element Lewis added was finding spider webs in the planter box trees and behind them on the fence.  They all appeared undisturbed.

Zaborsky’s Anacostia tape was rolled next and half-way through the lunch break was called.11:25am Update

This morning’s session kicked off with brief testimony from Lawrence Grasso, a researcher in the DC US Attorney’s Office.  Mr. Grasso testified to the data mining he did on the two addresses found on the cutlery box.  Both people listed appear to have died nearly 15 years ago.

Next was a return trip to the stand of MPD evidence tech Curtis Lancaster.  He answered several questions to specify the dates that crime scene pictures were taken at 1509 Swann.

At 10:15am, FBI Trace evidence scientist Keith Johnson began his lengthy testimony of how he and his partner Doug Deedrick processed the physical evidence recovered from the town home – including the towel, sheet, knife and Robert’s clothing.   Schertler’s cross continued until a 15 minute break was called.  Back in at 11:35am.

8:00am Update

Government's Model of 1509 Swann Street

The trial resumes at 9:45 this morning in room 310 and is scheduled to go until 4:30pm.   Judge Leibovitz announced that Friday’s session will start at 11:00am.

We’ll  update as soon as we learn who today’s government witnesses are.  Additional MPD officers have been seen lingering around the courtroom and in the holding areas over the last couple of days.  It’s possible that recent Florida transplant, former MPD Detective Brian Waid is among them.


Heat Wave: It’s getting hot and hotter in Washington today, the forecast says 90.  Both the ambient and emotional heat inside Judge Lynn Leibovitz’ courtroom seems on the rise too.  It’s a cramped room and you can’t help but rub shoulders getting in and out.  Tensions are understandable high, everyone is watching everyone else and each glance seems to carry weight.  Moultrie’s hallways are a cool spot to sit, but even they seem to be getting hotter now too.  Ahem.

The Dark Arts: It did seem curious that both MPD crime scene techs testified that no latent fingerprints, using the black powder method, were recovered from either the patio door or back gate of 1509 Swann.  Whether that means no prints or no prints that didn’t belong to the defendants is unclear, but this may be a case of when no means no.

The defendants claimed they were in and out of the patio door that evening grilling and inspecting bugs on patio lights.  If that’s indeed the case, and none of their prints showed up on the doors or knob, then it seems even curiouser.  Contrast that with Joe Price’s apparent confidence in his interview, that police would discover the intruder’s fingerprints.

Family Ties: A warm moment of a different kind took place yesterday in the hallway outside room 310.  During a break, Dr. Needham Ward gave Joe Price a warm grip on his shoulder, a slap on the back and a big attaboy.  Both were smiling broadly.

Also, we may have been under a mistaken impression of two regular court attendees.  For some time we’ve been misidentifying a member of Victor Zaborsky’s family, his aunt.  The man and woman attending may be his parents.  We regret the confusion.

230 comments for “Day 7: Updates

  1. Vandy
    05/26/2010 at 8:32 AM

    “Also, we may have been under a mistaken impression of two regular court attendees. For some time we’ve been misidentifying a member of Victor Zaborsky’s family, his aunt. The man and woman attending may be his parents. We regret the confusion and appreciate the clarification that came from a new friend.”

    I’m curious — couldn’t you simply ask them before assuming? I’m going to try to make it to Fri’s hearing.


    • Craig
      05/26/2010 at 8:56 AM

      We give the families their space. Please introduce yourself if you make it on Friday.

    • Manopener
      05/26/2010 at 1:12 PM

      There is no bond stronger then that of a father to his boy’s bossy bottom!

      • dcbill
        05/26/2010 at 1:29 PM

        Who is that manopener?

  2. Carolina
    05/26/2010 at 10:02 AM

    This may seem a ridiculous sentiment, but I hope Joe has family there, too, assuming one or both parents are alive. I would like to think that in their position, no matter what was being said about my son, I would be there, even if I believed he was involved.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/26/2010 at 1:04 PM

      Has brother Michael made an appearance?

      • mia
        05/26/2010 at 1:28 PM

        I was curious too.

  3. KKinCA
    05/26/2010 at 10:38 AM

    “It’s possible that recent Florida transplant, former MPD Detective Brian Waid is among them. ” What is the relevance of “recent Florida transplant”? Was Detective Waid involved in bringing Dylan back from Florida after the indictment?

    • Carolina
      05/26/2010 at 10:45 AM

      Ward recently moved to FL. He was involved in the investigation.

      • Lee
        05/26/2010 at 10:47 AM

        I think that Carolina meant, “Waid recently moved to Florida.”

      • KKinCA
        05/26/2010 at 10:49 AM

        Thank you Carolina.
        But am I correct in remembering that after he was indicted Dylan spent some time in a Florida jail before being brought back to DC?

        • AnnaZed
          05/26/2010 at 11:58 AM

          Yes, an unrelated fact apparently. It seems that Detective Waid retired to Florida, as many people do. Still, I wonder if he had in mind to keep a gimlet eye on Dylan in his spare time (wouldn’t be unprecedented either), ha!

  4. Hoya Loya
    05/26/2010 at 12:19 PM

    Here’s how I size things up so far — that the defense has fewer points only reflects that it has not yet presented its case, experts, etc.

    The prosecution has established that
    1) Robert was a good guy, happily married an old friend of Joe’s and friendly with the other two
    2) Kathy was friendly with the defendants and knew about the visit to 1509
    3) Joe called Kathy to tell her “Robert was stabbed in the back”
    4) Joe made stabbing motions while telling Kathy what he heard the night of the murder
    5) Michael Price attended the funeral with his brother
    6) Joe gave Kathy a stack of old email exchanges with Robert
    7) EMTS saw Victor crying on the stoop, a non-responsive Dylan, Joe sitting on Robert’s bed.
    8) Robert was stabbed three times but there was little blood at the scene or on the towel
    9) Robert appeared to already be dead when the EMTs arrived
    10) There were needle marks on Robert not made by the EMTs or ER attendants
    11) The stab wounds indicate that Robert was motionless when stabbed
    12) Robert was missing more blood than was accounted for at the scene
    13) Robert had burst blood vessels in his eyes
    14) Robert lived for up to ten minutes after being stabbed
    15) The police did not find any evidence of an intruder, to the extent they searched for one
    16) The defendants said there was an intruder who entered through the unlocked kitchen door
    17) The defendants said they heard the door chime and grunts
    18) Victor’s 911 call cited “one of our knives” and Joe applying pressure to wounds with a towel

    The defense has:
    1) Raised doubts about the knife
    2) Raised doubts about the extent of the search for evidence of an intruder
    3) Raised doubts about Detective Wagner’s objectivity, and that of his investigation, due to homophobia
    4) Established that Victor was (genuinely) crying

    • AnnaZed
      05/26/2010 at 12:22 PM

      13) Robert had burst blood vessels in his eyes

      Did the prosecution put this forward, on the record as it were? I missed that, though I knew it from reading the autopsy.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 12:44 PM

        Hmm .. thought it was but can’t find it in the posts. If not, strike it.

        I probably should have included the observation of striation marks (and doubt shed by the defense as to where on the body they were observed) and that Joe gave a nasty look to Dylan at the house (with doubt shed by the defense as to the late reporting of this observation).

        Anything else in error or that I’m forgetting?

        • Bill Orange
          05/26/2010 at 2:33 PM

          The timing of the scream that the neighbor heard, and the time of the 911 call.

          • Hoya Loya
            05/26/2010 at 2:50 PM

            Big omission Bill O — thanks!

        • Bill Orange
          05/26/2010 at 2:47 PM

          And no one was doing CPR on Robert when the first responders arrived.

        • whodoneit
          05/26/2010 at 2:49 PM

          If the autopsy report was admitted into evidence, then it is in the record whether the lawyers asked any questions about it or not. I don’t know if the report was admitted.

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 12:51 PM

      in first transcript, joe says “this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me” and says, twice, “this is the worst thing that has ever happened to us”. joe also is certain in that transcript that all 3 are telling the police the same thing – how could he know that?

      • AnnaZed
        05/26/2010 at 12:58 PM

        Indeed, there is no way that he could know what Dylan was doing if his account of his own movements is true. interesting that the in the concocted story Joe and Victor alibi each other but not Dylan beyond these …er … character witnessings. These are facts not lost on Dylan’s father I am sure.

        I had a narcissist (clinical) in my life for a while, the ex-wife of my then boyfriend, and basically you could pretty much depend on her in one way; that is that any “fact” she thought merited articulating in supportof her many fabrications was in fact also lie, it was sort of amazing actually the way she would point at the flaws in her own pronouncements by zeroing in on the most outrageous lies and repeating them.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/26/2010 at 1:16 PM

          People like that seem to believe the more detail they give the more believable the story.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 1:02 PM

        Good observation.

        For the moment, though, I’m thinking more about hard evidence rather than inconsistencies and contradictions the Judge may be able to find in the statements. Those would likely result in a much, much longer list, but also require a bit of analysis and deduction.

        I’m trying to focus on simple facts the judge could cite in her ultimate decision for or against the defendants.

        • plumskiter
          05/26/2010 at 4:43 PM

          okay, i get it. didn’t mean to try to confuse things.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/26/2010 at 1:19 PM

      4) Established that Victor was (genuinely) crying

      Victor may have been truly crying, but we don’t know why. We can’t say what was going on in his head. He could have been crying for Robert. Or himself. Or the horrible situation he landed himself in.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 1:43 PM

        True, but the “genuine” observation was elicited by Connolly on cross and it does enable him to argue that his client was “grieving” (also elicited on cross).

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/26/2010 at 3:16 PM

          I see. Thanks HL.

      • plumskiter
        05/26/2010 at 4:45 PM

        and, what does “truly crying” mean anyway? whether involved or not, it would be pretty easy for a cryer to muster tears at that point.

    • whodoneit
      05/26/2010 at 2:50 PM

      You left out 2 key points.

      The neighbors heard loud screaming between 11:00 and 11:35.
      The 911 call was not made until 11:49.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 2:51 PM

        Very key. Thanks.
        Anyone think the defense has scored any hits that I’ve missed?

        • whodoneit
          05/26/2010 at 2:59 PM

          1) The back of Robert’s shirt was very bloody.
          2) The front of Robert’s shirt did not have much blood, but three holes in it.
          3) Price said in interview that he lifted Robert’s shirt to observe the wounds.
          4) No shirt fibers found on knife or in wounds (I believe that is in evidence already).

          • Bill Orange
            05/26/2010 at 3:09 PM

            I don’t think so. I don’t think we’ve gotten to evidence analysis of the knife.

          • Jo
            05/26/2010 at 3:15 PM

            White cotton fibers (consistent with towel?) found on knife. Linear bloody markings on the towel, as if someone had used it to wipe down a bloody knife. Were both points established in the trial?

            • Carolina
              05/26/2010 at 3:49 PM

              No blood on the cutting edge of the knife.

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

                Wounds inflicted buy someone standing or sitting behind the victim or with the knife “upside-down.”

    • Bill Orange
      05/26/2010 at 3:08 PM

      I would probably focus on things that are really relevant to the crime and/or are in dispute. So I’d strike 1, 2, and 6. Then zero in on things that the defense can really fight back on. 3 & 4 are basically Joe’s word versus Kathy’s (although I think her friend/lawyer may have been present for 4). 5 could be disputed but can probably be verified by other people at the funeral. (Do we know yet if Robert Wone and Michael Price had ever even met before? I still don’t understand why he was at the funeral). 7 largely benefits Victor, doesn’t really say much about Dylan (who had just taken a sleeping pill and could’ve been zoned out or in shock), and hurts Joe (who was supposed to be holding a towel over the wounds)—the defense can fight this, but only by putting Joe on the stand. In their favor, though, is the fact that there IS a towel with blood on it, which supports Joe. 8 and 9 both hurt the defendants and will be difficult to argue, since there are photos to support 8 and EKG results to support 9. 10 is absolutely damning, unless the defense can produce someone from the ambulance or the hospital who can testify that someone MIGHT have tried to put an IV in Robert Wone’s neck or foot, OR someone who saw the punctures before he went to Swann Street. An expert witness can’t help you here. Even if they trot out twenty world famous physicians who all say that the best way to save someone’s life is to put an IV in their foot, you’ve STILL got two prosecution witnesses who clearly state that it didn’t happen. 11 can be argued by expert witnesses, but the point will likely go to the prosecution, since common sense dictates that most people will flinch when stabbed three times. 12 will probably be mooted by expert witnesses. 13 really hasn’t been pushed by the prosecution and is of questionable relevance. 14 really doesn’t matter from the point of view of establishing guilt. 15 is important, but I think the defense is going to argue that the police investigation wasn’t very solid. They didn’t find fingerprints where they should have, and they didn’t find cleaning agents in any of the drains (in a house that was reportedly immaculate). With that it mind, the defense can make a credible argument that the cops wouldn’t have found the intruder even if he was standing in the living room when they got there. 16, 17, and 18 are all on video or audio tape and are really not in dispute.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 4:14 PM

        Wow — thanks Bill O. for the thorough analysis. I’m planning on revisiting this later in the week and will definitely take all this into consideration.

        • KKinCA
          05/26/2010 at 4:19 PM

          Maybe the Eds should have the two of you write a weekly column, summarizing the week. I can’t speak for all the readers, but I find it very hard to keep track of what is covered in court vs. everything I have read about this case. You both clearly have a great grasp on this trial.

    • John
      05/26/2010 at 4:06 PM

      How important is it that Joe asked Robert’s wife to waive the confidentiality and tell him everything that the MPD asked her? Should this be another number if it was established as the truth?

      • Daphne
        05/26/2010 at 4:14 PM

        Well, it’s certainly curious, and begs the question why would he have asked her to waive confidentiality.

      • KKinCA
        05/26/2010 at 4:15 PM

        John – great point! I wonder if Mrs. Wone’s attorney/friend is on the witness list.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 4:25 PM

        Kathy didn’t testify as to this. If Jason is called and testifies to that fact, then absolutely.

        Again, I’m trying to get a fair sense of how both sides are doing at trial — what points is the prosecution establishing to make its case to the judge? Is there enough yet to connect the dots to substantiate the conspiracy? And to what extent has the defense been successful in casting reasonble doubt on the case.

        • Bill Orange
          05/26/2010 at 6:48 PM

          I think that the request was from Joe Price to Jason. I don’t think he ever asked Kathy directly.

    • New Aliaß
      05/26/2010 at 5:53 PM

      I would add -regarding the veracity of the ‘intruder’ theory:
      * Gov’t established that no items in the kitchen were disturbed;
      * no items from the first floor were stolen;
      * no items from the second floor sitting area and guest room/office were stolen;
      * there was no sign of a struggle in the guest room;
      * there was no blood spatter or droplets of blood that would have dripped off the knife
      Also –
      * gov’t established that Det. Wagner became suspicious of Price for a cluster of reasons, most of which had nothing to do with his personal opinions about what is and isn’t appropriate male behavior;
      * gov’t established that MPD evidence techs have comprehensive protocols for handling evidence;
      * it was revealed that Defense never asked to have hairs that fell off victims clothing sent to lab for testing.

      My apologies if this is duplicative.

  5. Farmer Ginny
    05/26/2010 at 12:19 PM

    I’ve got a question: The photographs of the interior of the house (the ones from the real estate site) show a stairway going UP from the master bedroom. Where does it lead? The roof deck appears to be off the third floor, not above it. I don’t think those are attic stairs because there appears to be light flooding in from there.

    • tassojunior
      05/26/2010 at 2:29 PM

      The stairs from what the WaPo diagram calls the “roof deck” down to in front of the guest room door have always been there. Otherwise the 3rd floor would be unreachable. The light comes through the glass door to that deck.

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

        But you’ve never been in their home, right?

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

          No Dude I haven’t , get over it.

          • New Aliaß
            05/26/2010 at 5:27 PM

            Just to be absolutely clear… The stairs that begin right outside the door to the guest room/office lead up to the third floor. While I am unsure of its exact position, another flight of stairs leads up to the roof deck. Think of that roof deck as an open air “fourth floor.”

            There is no other deck.

          • Carolina
            05/26/2010 at 5:41 PM

            But you know they’ve always been there. How’s that?

      • AnnaZed
        05/26/2010 at 9:59 PM

        Since that wasn’t even remotely what she asked we’ll just have to thank you for this information and move one.

  6. UT
    05/26/2010 at 12:21 PM

    How crowded is the courtroom? Is it possible to just show up and get a seat?

  7. ramknts
    05/26/2010 at 12:24 PM

    From what I have gathered, the original open house photos from before Mr. Price, Mr. Zaborsky, and Mr. Ward bought 1509 do not show a rooftop deck or those stairs. It appears the area where the stairs are now was a closet. When the home was remodeled post-murder, a 4th floor work den and rooftop deck were added. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • AnnaZed
      05/26/2010 at 10:00 PM

      You are right.

  8. Farmer Ginny
    05/26/2010 at 12:26 PM

    I’ve got another question: Where is the email from Joe to his friend saying that they could all go to jail if they told what really happened?

    Why would any lawyer, especially one involved in a murder investigation, write anything like that in an email? It seems preposterous, really. Has the email been proved to be authentic? Is it posted somewhere on this site? How was it revealed?

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 12:49 PM

      email cited in Washingtonian article. People, including lawyers, do stupid things. email hasn’t been authenticated or offered or admitted into evidence yet. don’t know if it can be or will be.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/26/2010 at 1:03 PM


        Don’t know if Tara will be called either.

        Can it come in as a party admission?

        • plumskiter
          05/26/2010 at 4:50 PM

          it can come in as a party admission, and therefore not hearsay, if it can be authenticated. the problem with emails is that they are so easy to fabricate and i must defer to the other lawyers who post here on the current state of the law on authenticating emails. i must confess that i retired from prosecution in 2002 and though i did a couple of years of sporadic federal public defender defense work, the whole electronic communication world has exploded since i became inactive and i am not up on this aspect of things i fear.

    • Jo
      05/26/2010 at 3:30 PM

      Quoting the Washingtonian April 2010 article (link on the faq-Wone 101 webpage), Price wrote to Tara: “It is a true Catch-22. The police get to accuse us of not saying all we know, but we are not allowed to fully respond for fear they will retaliate by arresting one of us. Based on what we know of the investigation, it seems they were just so sure from the get go that one of us did it, they never bothered to EVER investigate the possibility of an intruder. Now that their theory that it was one of us has not panned out, they are doing their very best to cover up from the Wones and the public that they never bothered to pursue the intruder theory.”

      Most interesting sentence “…we are not allowed to fully respond for fear they will retaliate by arresting one of us.” Who was/were preventing the defendants to fully disclose information? Their attorneys? So what information were they withholding? What did Price mean when he chose the word “retaliate”? Kind of puzzling. Would be interesting if this email were introduced in court.

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

        Thanks Jo. That is the first time I’ve seen the exact language of the email.
        I suppose like everything about this case it is a matter of interpretation, but to me it sounds like Joe knows they did something illegal [aiding and abetting; tampering, etc] (thus leading to “retaliation”/arrest), but they did not commit the actual murder itself. Which lends credence to the Michael Price as murderer theory.
        Given that Joe is an attorney, I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t have thought of a plea bargain!
        I sure hope he takes the stand to explain this email!

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

        I have a different thought on this. Maybe he did not mean that what they said would implicate one of them, but that what they said would cause the police to retaliate. I doubt seriously he would try to say a cop did it, but he was very keen on drawing attention to any African American families/persons in the area, and Dylan apparently used the phrase, “that black woman,” or something similar.

        Maybe when they concocted their story, they had not anticipated so many African Americans responding as medical/law enforcement, so if he tells that tale, the very sensitive AA responders may have pulled a Reverse Mark Fuhrman on them.

        • KKinCA
          05/26/2010 at 4:09 PM

          Carolina – I mean this with no disrespect, as I really enjoy reading your posts and agree with most, if not all, of them. But your theory sounds like something Tasso would come up with. OTOH, it’s an interesting argument as to why Joe and Dylan mentioned the ethnicity of the officers.

          • Carolina
            05/26/2010 at 5:48 PM

            I was considering a number of things, including their decision to go with a bench trial, which I do believe has a lot more to do with Joe’s choice to point out the ethnicity of the less desirables on his street than the ability of a jury to ignore their homosexuality. was only trying to offer another possibility.

            You hurt my feelings with that Tasso comparison! (just kidding)As long as you don’t picture me with Ben Franklin’s peruke, we’re still friends.

            • KKinCA
              05/27/2010 at 1:06 AM

              Carolina – I really appreciate your willingness to reasonably explain your theories, and to offer new and fresh ideas. I may have had a knee-jerk reaction to the “AA” reverse Mark Fuhrman idea, and that was inappropriate, so please accept my apology for my words. And no worries about any comparing you to or linking you with Ben F. – that is about as likely as the idea that an unknown intruder randomly broke into the 1509 Swann residence as the trigger for this crime! You go, girl!! – I love reading your thoughtful (and often funny) posts!

        • Jo
          05/26/2010 at 5:20 PM

          Still puzzling. What kind of a factual response did they fear would cause the police to retaliate by arresting one of them? JP’s email did seem to support the allegation that they were withholding information about the crime for fear of being arrested.

          • New Aliaß
            05/26/2010 at 6:04 PM

            After reading these insightful comments, I lean towards the interpretation thatJoe was insinuating that the black cops would hold it against him if he expounded on his suspicions of black people.

          • Carolina
            05/26/2010 at 6:05 PM

            Let me preface this by saying I don’t necessarily believe this, but it’s also important to consider all possibilities. If you see a red car hit a blue car, you can say that, and there’s no room for interpretation. But in this case, there could be any number of meanings, and I am not going to say I know exactly what JP meant, even if I lean one way or the other. Maybe he meant that what he could say might implicate one of the Trouple. Maybe he meant it would implicate someone close enough to them that it would make them look guilty as well. Or maybe he meant something else.

            If Joe said to the police, “Look, you should be questioning the black guy in the van and the people in the house across the street (who happen to be black),” it’s unlikely this is going to go down well with an African American. We deal with this every day– some white guy saying the black guy did it– and whether or not we like it, it *does* make us cringe and in some cases, pissed off.

            So it is possible that Joe meant that he couldn’t point out those he thought were responsible, assuming it was going to implicate one of the non-whites in the neighborhood, for fear of pissing off the officers, at least some of whom were black. The mere fact that both Price and Ward felt compelled to point out that certain people were AA is enough to show that race was on their minds.

            I don’t mean to say that this is true, or that I believe this is what Price was thinking, but it’s possible, since we have no idea who he was going to implicate.

            • Jo
              05/26/2010 at 7:04 PM

              Disclosing who he knew was responsible vs. who he thought might have been responsible are two very different things. I don’t think the police was interested in his mere speculation. Besides, even if he did share his theory of who might have been the killer(s) with authorities, on what grounds would he be arrested for? However, if he had factual knowledge about the crime that he withheld on purpose, or that he did try to cover up for someone, then he was guilty as charged and should fear an arrest.

              • Carolina
                05/26/2010 at 10:37 PM

                Well, he certainly ended up arrested, didn’t he? They went for conspiracy because chances of conviction on murder charges were slim to none, but it doesn’t mean the *couldn’t* have been charged, even if it never made it to trial.

                As for what the police were interested in, I think your point is wide of the mark. If Joe had reason to believe X or Y committed the act, I’m pretty sure they’d want to hear it.

      • Mary Magdalene
        05/26/2010 at 11:37 PM

        The e-mail is no smoking gun, and the issue isn’t solely or even primarily about race. Price didn’t send out an e-mail in which he admitted knowing more about the crime than he was telling.

        Price was saying that the defendants were not being allowed (by their attorneys) to respond to the police’s theory of the crime, and to the police’s accusations that they knew more than they were telling for fear of retaliation.

        By “fully respond” Price was almost certainly alluding to the defendants’ inability to address (at that time)what he perceived as openly prejudical and hostile attitudes displayed by the detectives (Wagner, in particular) toward the defendants’ sexuality and lifestyle, and how those attitudes probably influenced the quality of their investigation. Instead, they have saved this defense for trial.

        It is amazing in reading some of the comments how Price is variously depicted as absolutely in control, foreseeing every contingency, and able plan and execute a murder conspiracy (under the influence of illicit substances) and subsequent coverup while exercising mind control over two autonomous individuals; but how he would then be so stupid as to basically confess in an e-mail blast.

        I’m tellin’ ya…….didn’t happen.

  9. Reinhold
    05/26/2010 at 12:39 PM

    I might try to attend trial one day next week. Should I get there early? Are cell phones allowed in the court room?

    • DCTim
      05/26/2010 at 1:13 PM

      Cell phones are allowed, but must be turned off (but many people can be seen looking at their BlackBerrys). I was originally told that you couldn’t even bring them into the courthouse, but that proved untrue.

    • Vandy
      05/26/2010 at 1:15 PM

      Get there early…court rooms fill up fast, take your bathroom break before getting a seat…below are blurbs from the DC Courts web site:

      Cell phones without cameras are permitted; however, they must be turned off while you are in session. All other communication devices (phones with cameras, PDAs) are collected at the security desk each morning and returned to jurors at the end of the day. Pagers and laptops are allowed but they must be turned off while you are in session. This policy has been established by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office (USAO).

      Camera phones are not permitted in the building. They will be collected at the security desk each morning and will be returned to jurors at the end of the day. This policy has been established by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office (USAO).

      The dress code is casual with some exceptions. You may wear jeans and athletic shoes provided that they are clean and neat. Extremes in dress may cause you to be sent home to change.

      • Farmer Ginny
        05/26/2010 at 1:34 PM

        If the courtroom is full, do they automatically open another room and pipe in the audio? Is there Standing Room Only available, or do they admit only as many people as there are seats?

        • Nelly
          05/26/2010 at 1:42 PM

          You don’t have to worry. There are enough seats to be had in the main courtroom. On the first day, there was an overflow room on a different floor for people to hear what was going on. Now that the case is going on, not as many people are attending.

      • DCTim
        05/26/2010 at 2:47 PM

        They’re def not enforcing that cell phone rule…I’ve put mine (2 of them, with cameras) right in the bowl at security – along with everyone else doing the same – and never had a problem.

        • KKinCA
          05/26/2010 at 3:03 PM

          It seems like a ridiculous rule as camaras are pretty standard in most cell phones. And who has a pager these days?

      • AnnaZed
        05/26/2010 at 11:20 PM

        These are instructions to jurors, not spectators.

        • James
          05/26/2010 at 11:22 PM

          AnnaZed is back!

  10. tassojunior
    05/26/2010 at 1:18 PM

    “I’ll tell you what’s going on, you’ve got three homosexuals in the house and one straight guy, you are drinking wine and you know what’s going to happen? You’re coming to Jesus tonight.”-Det. Wagner

    Some wanted to know how “come to Jesus” refers to sex.

    Fox 5 has an surprisingly good in courtroom summary going:

    • Mary Magdalene
      05/26/2010 at 3:37 PM

      For those who wondered, “come to Jesus” as I frequently hear it used, refers to “coming to the truth of the matter”, “finding out who’s who and what’s what”, “getting down to brass tacks”, “separating the men from the boys”, etc.

      It’s not about confession, or salvation.

      In the context of the interrogation, Wagner was implying that the victim was “sexually curious”, and that on the night he came to spend the night, they were all going to find out whether he was just curious or more serious.

      The line of questioning was offensive on several levels, not least of which was the manner and tone in which it was delivered.

      • Carolina
        05/26/2010 at 4:04 PM

        That’s their job, Mary, and I had no impression that he was indicating Robert was curious. Very odd read.

    • Carolina
      05/26/2010 at 6:06 PM

      I guess this shows us where the post got the impression they were drinking wine.

  11. BadShoes
    05/26/2010 at 1:22 PM

    Can some of the attorneys present explain what “offered for truth” is all about? (I apologize if its been discussed elsewhere.)

    • Nelly
      05/26/2010 at 1:48 PM

      Without more details, I don’t understand why the prosecution pulled the detective off the witness stand after the defense objected. Surely she could have testified as to what Victor said to her on the way to the station and what she saw him doing.

      “Offered for the truth of the matter asserted” refers to whether the attorney offering the testimony is trying to bring out a witness’s statement as something that really happened. It would be hearsay if the alleged declarant is not there in the courtroom or is not a defendant. For example, IF a detective said on the stand, “Another neighbor told me that she saw Michael running out the door with tarps,” that would not be admissible because the neighbor is not there to state it herself. However, it could be admissible if the statement is not being used to establish that Michael really did run out the door, but instead is being used to explain why the detective chased after Michael.

      Other legal eagles can chime in. It’s confusing, I know.

      • Daphne
        05/26/2010 at 2:06 PM

        Under the Rules of Evidence, “hearsay” is an out-of-court statement (which includes an oral or written representation or non-verbal conduct of a person tht is intended to be an assertion) offered to prove the truth of the matter stated asserted. An out-of-court statement not offered for the truth is, therefore, not hearsay. A statement is not offered for the truth if the proponent is offering the statement for some other reason, such as state of mind.

        Here’s an example: In a competency hearing, Prosecutor puts up Dr. X and asks her, “is it true that the defendant told you that he was Overlord of the Universe?” Dr. X can answer because no matter what the answer, the prosecutor is not trying to establish that the defendant is or is not the Overlord of the Universe (the truth of the matter asserted); the prosecutor is asking that question to show the defendnant’s state of mind, ie., the he believes he is the Overlord of the Universe.

        • tassojunior
          05/26/2010 at 2:15 PM

          But isn’t hearsay allowed in conspiracy cases? And how did the police testimony that Price was shooting “glares” and Victor’s tears were “crocodile” pass as valid evidence?

          • Daphne
            05/26/2010 at 2:31 PM

            There is 1 Rule to define hearsay, and seven more (plus subparts) Rules that are exceptions to the Rule! Moreover, not every out-of-court statement constitutes hearsay. For example, an admission of a party-opponent is not hearsay. That means the party’s statement (which remember, can be words or gestures)is offered against party and is either the party’s statement, a statement by a co-conspirator of a party during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy, or some further exceptions. So it’s not that “hearsay” is allowed in conspiracy cases; it’s that the statement of a con-conspirator during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy is NOT hearsay. Similarly, JP glaring (the glare is a statement) is likely offered as a statement in furtherance of the conspiracy. Clear as mud, no?

            • tassojunior
              05/26/2010 at 2:37 PM

              Thank you much. So any co-conspirator statement pretty much is excepted from hearsay rules.

              And glares in furtherance of conspiracy!

              • Daphne
                05/26/2010 at 2:50 PM

                And crying.

          • Daphne
            05/26/2010 at 2:34 PM

            Oh, not to mention that the glare can come under the “present sense impression” exception to the hearsay rule~! ( Or a statement of existing mental, emotional, or physical condition). And don’t get started on hearsay within hearsay!

            • tassojunior
              05/26/2010 at 3:53 PM

              I sort of think the defense may have not fought the “glare” getting in to preserve grounds for appeal. To be honest the “crocodile tears” one put around here seemed too good to be true. A vigorous defense line on the “glare” would have been to ask the witness if there were a squint of eyes or frown. An “intense” look is not a glare. But it would bring an intense reaction from an offended judge. Thanks for your civility.

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

                Did the defense object? If they didn’t, they didn’t preserve the issue for appeal. And you’re welcome. I used to be a public defender and I appreciate people not automatically assuming that someone charged with a crime is guilty. NOT that I’m saying anyone is doing that here1 🙂

                • tassojunior
                  05/26/2010 at 4:57 PM

                  I assumed they objected mildly to preserve the appeal issue but maybe they didn’t at all.(!)
                  I know just pros. is a heavy weight, much easier to to get high % wins. Never realize tho why people don’t understand best way to win is try and also understand the other side, even if it’s devil’s advocate.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/26/2010 at 4:04 PM


            again, I ask who said “crocodile tears”?

            • KKinCA
              05/26/2010 at 4:31 PM

              CD – I think you are wasting your efforts with Tasso; I have noticed that when posters ask him questions he can’t answer (i.e., what are the FACTS that support his arguments?), he disappears and shows up on other threads, spouting his tired theories to new posters. You have too many good things to say to waste your time on him. Just my opinion.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                05/26/2010 at 4:41 PM

                I supposed it IS a losing battle trying to communicate with Tasso.

                • KKinCA
                  05/26/2010 at 4:48 PM

                  When someone fails to answer factual questions or try to truly understand the position of the person with whom they are arguing or acknowledge their “opponent’s” valid points, it is just a waste of time. My 3rd grader is a much better debater than Tasso.

    • Bill Orange
      05/26/2010 at 2:39 PM

      Regardless of how the judge rules, there’s obviously something here that they don’t want the witness to say. Any idea what it is?

      • tassojunior
        05/26/2010 at 2:49 PM

        Another of the state of mind statement like the “glare” and the “crocodile tears” statements. Pretty sure this witness would have been practiced on a similar one to drop but the defense seems to have finally discovered a way to stop that part of the script.

        • Daphne
          05/26/2010 at 2:54 PM

          Can you explain more? I’m not sure what you mean. What was the cop going to say?

          • tassojunior
            05/26/2010 at 3:08 PM

            I would think another fairly judgemental statement like the other two relating to interpretation of motive or mental condition of the defendant but presented as physical fact. I had said the pros. was risking insulting the judge with what may be useful things in a jury trial script but which a judge doesn’t appreciate them implying would influence her. She’s seems to have finally been pushed too far on the 3rd attempt.

            • tassojunior
              05/26/2010 at 3:14 PM

              possible example: “He was looking remorseful”.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/26/2010 at 3:13 PM

          Tasso, who made the “crocodile tears” statement?

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/26/2010 at 3:15 PM

            Does anyone know who made the “crocodile tears” statement?

            • Bill Orange
              05/26/2010 at 3:23 PM

              I think it was a snarky comment in the comments of this blog, not something that was said in open court, but I’m not certain.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                05/26/2010 at 3:24 PM

                Ahh. So another example of Tasso making things up?

                • KKinCA
                  05/26/2010 at 3:34 PM

                  CD – Tasso’s been very busy today! I am doing my best just to ignore his comments. They are getting old.

                  • Daphne
                    05/26/2010 at 3:45 PM

                    I certainly disagree with Tasso, but I appreciate his devil’s advocate comments.

                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                      05/26/2010 at 3:59 PM

                      Devil’s advocate is a great thing, but mistruths for the sake of winning an argument are dishonrable.

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


          If the prosecution witnesses are so coached, as you believe, why then did Officer Hampton incorrectly identify Dylan Ward as Joe Price?


  12. Fascinating
    05/26/2010 at 1:30 PM

    Craig …. just wanted to clarify: I keep reading about “no fingerprints found — not even the roommates”. Are you suggesting (or are they hinting) that the roommate’s fingerprints were not found because the doors had been scrubbed?

    Again …. thanks for all the reportage. You guys are doing such a great job.

  13. Nyer Wants Justice
    05/26/2010 at 1:46 PM

    This may have been discussed already, but I began to think of the needle marks on the body in a different way.
    Phlebotomy is the practice of collecting blood samples.
    What if one or two needle marks were to inject a paralytic and the rest were used to draw blood out?
    Wone could have been incapacitated and then someone drew blood out from various places before stabbing him. Given how many needle marks there were, perhaps even a few liters of blood could have been taken out. This would weaken him and also mean less blood from the stab wounds. I am not an expert in how much blood can be drawn from the body and how quickly, but this seems like a possibility to me.

    • HKG
      05/27/2010 at 2:19 AM

      i was thinking this too, after hearing about people mentioning Haematophilia here..

  14. Miss Marple
    05/26/2010 at 1:48 PM

    From the video questioning of price there is a report from the Fox 5 site that:

    Wagner continued, “One of you all did it… and its going to get ugly”
    Price responded, “We didn’t do it.”

    How can Price be so sure that “we” didn’t do it, if Price and his boyfriend were in their room and didn’t hear anything until later, and at the same time Ward was in the bedroom on the same floor as Wone? So Price only would know that he and his boyfriend didn’t do it. I mean a lawyer should know that there is no alibi for Ward at that point so why put your neck out for him? My response would have been, “I don’t know what happened, but when I went downstairs, I saw…” At the same time, Wagner should have asked “where was Ward” and “how do you know Ward didn’t do it; is it possible that Ward did it? how can you be sure?” which would elicit even juicier lies from Price…or a realization that he should just give up Ward. Obvious conspiracy to cover up something and classic prisoner’s dilemma during the interrogation ('s_dilemma).

    • BadShoes
      05/26/2010 at 2:32 PM

      It is a classic prisoner’s dilemma, but the prisoners are hanging together. It just goes to prove that rationality can only take you so far with real humans. If whoever killed Mr. Wone was rational, Mr. Wone would still be alive.

      If you read the transcript, you will see that Mr. Price’s statement that “we didn’t do it” brought strong rejoinders from his interrogators, and probably damaged his credibility. Mr. Price didn’t change his story, he simply reiterated that it was unthinkable that any of the housemates might have killed Mr. Wone.

      Mr. Ward said he couldn’t be sure 100 percent what happened because he didn’t see the crime. He also said that none of the housemates had any reason to kill Mr. Wone.

      One of the curious features of the collective story told by the three defendents is that it leaves each defendent a small window of opportunity to have killed Robert Wone individually.

      –Mr. Ward might have snuck across the hall and killed Mr. Wone while Messrs. Price and Zaborsky slept upstairs. Mr. Wone moaned/grunted/screamed, and Mr. Ward did a one-and-a-half somersault and dived back into his room just as Messrs. Price and Zaborsky roared down the stairs.

      –Mr. Zaborsky took a sleeping pill, too, so just possibly Mr. Price snuck downstairs while he slept, though just how Mr. Price caused Mr. Wone to moan/grunt/scream by remote control (since he was back in bed with Mr. Zaborsky) would be a puzzle.

      –Mr. Price fell asleep too, but just possibly Mr. Zaborsky snuck downstairs while Mr. Price slept, though how Mr. Price caused Mr. Wone to moan/grunt/scream by remote control is still a puzzle.

      However, if any one member of the trio were to accuse the other two, the remaining members could conceivably argue that the accuser was actually the guilty party. The difficulties with this approach may be more apparent in retrospect than they might have appeared in prospect.

      • CC Biggs
        05/26/2010 at 2:42 PM

        But they all still would be guilty of the crimes for which they are now being tried, so why bother.

        • BadShoes
          05/26/2010 at 3:12 PM

          I didn’t make my point clear. Come to think of it, I didn’t make my point at all.

          The story told by the three defendants provides a second line of defense in the event that any one defendant accuses the other two of murder, thus helping to counteract the temptation any one defendant might feel to walk free by ratting out the other two.

          This attribute of the story might be incidental, but perhaps its actually a design feature. If it were a design feature, than it would be an element of the conspiracy.

          Think of it in terms of an enforcement mechanism in a criminal contract, or as an anti-prisoner’s dilemma measure.

          • Jo
            05/26/2010 at 5:02 PM

            The defendants are betting that they will be acquitted and get zero jail time. So why confess and get reduced jail time if they think they can get away with it.

            If they are convicted, how soon will they be jailed? Can they still avoid jail time if they wait until after the verdict (assuming guilty) has been reached to confess and identify the killer(s)? It’s obvious that I am not familiar with legal protocols.

            • AnnaZed
              05/26/2010 at 11:55 PM

              I don’t know the answer to this. Maybe Themis is here, or Bea.

              I would like to know at exactly what point a defendant can decide to plead and still retain hope of gaining some sort of advantage. I am assuming that the government is not interested in any plea that does not give them at least insight into what actually occurred. I would think (as discussed earlier) that Victor just saying “Maybe I lied, I don’t know. I didn’t see anything, but I said what Joe told me to say and I waited upstairs and didn’t call 911 until he told me to.” would not be enough for him to gain freedom from incarceration.

              So, say the judge finds them guilty and in the penalty phase Victor makes this statement, he wouldn’t get a pass but would he maybe get some reduction in sentence? I don’t know. The 38 years that is bandied around in the press seems unlikely to me, more like 5 or 6 years. That has got to be better than anything you would get for murder so if Joe and Dylan killed Robert then I think it likely that they will just take their medicine and stay quiet. Victor (as it seems he has during his entire relationship with Joe) would then pay a heavy, heavy price (no pun intended) for his profound love and loyalty.

              How different is it if one of the men speaks up at nearly the 9th hour (8:59pm of this proceeding ~ figuratively speaking), say after both sides have made their arguments but before the judge rules?

              (plumskiter? Bea? anyone?)

          • AnnaZed
            05/26/2010 at 11:42 PM

            This is an excelent point I think.

      • Miss Marple
        05/26/2010 at 3:46 PM

        Right, the thing is about the prisoner’s dilemma is that there is only 1 opportunity to “crack” or “solve” the game.

        the game began as soon as the detectives separated them– they had all the information and ability to conspire at the beginning, but while separated they had no real way of knowing who may or may not say something incriminating or rat someone out.

        if the detectives would have played the game well, they would have continued to work and threaten the three of them individually to break down or at least raise a doubt about the bond of trust between the three– especially against Ward.

        For Ward, there were the following scenarios:

        1. ward rats out P/Z & P/Z stay silent: ward gets charged with involuntary manslaughter
        2. ward rats out P/Z & P/Z rat him out: all go to jail murder 1
        3. ward stays silent & P/Z rat him out: ward gets charged with murder 1
        4. all silent: dc police mess up the investigation and they all go free.

        Having the cops explain the higher probability and more dire consequences of 2 &3 may have led him to go option 1. unfortunately, they gave him a freebie but pretty much reassuring him on the extremely high probability of option 4.

        Like I said earlier, in Prisoner’s dilemma, you only have ONE opportunity to affect the desired outcome. Once the three were united, all bets are off and they know that no one ratted anyone else out so the all silent front continues even stronger.

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 4:59 PM

      miss marple, i totally agree with you on the issue of how on earth could joe know what dylan knew or had done. i have made the same point about joe’s interview before, and i thank you for bringing it up again and for reaching the same conclusions i did.

      • Miss Marple
        05/26/2010 at 6:30 PM

        miss marple is for waterboarding in this case

  15. Lurker
    05/26/2010 at 2:03 PM

    The Post reported today, “Ward said he had just turned off the lights after reading in his second-floor bedroom about 11 p.m., while Price and Zaborsky slept in the third-floor bedroom they shared.”

    I thought that it was reported here recently that Ward said he fell asleep with the light on?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/26/2010 at 2:04 PM

      All that was in response to my comment yesterday about Ward saying that the light was on.

    • BadShoes
      05/26/2010 at 2:06 PM

      its all a misunderstanding. Mr. Ward actually said he turned the light off and then went to bed. (See p. 26 of the transcript).

  16. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    05/26/2010 at 2:03 PM

    Eds, could you clarify this sentence? Seems like something is missing.

    “This admonision sent the three government lawyers scrambling to then call and audible. “

    • KKinCA
      05/26/2010 at 2:52 PM

      CD – I read this sentence as having a typo and should be “This admonision sent the three government lawyers scrambling to then call AN audible”. Like in football, when the quarterback changes a play after the line has already set up.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        05/26/2010 at 3:14 PM

        “call an audible”…..I’m sorry. I don’t know what that is. Is that legal terminology?

        • whodoneit
          05/26/2010 at 3:18 PM

          Football terminology. Changing the play that was called in the huddle when the team lines up.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/26/2010 at 3:23 PM

            LOL Thanks, who and KK.

            I don’t know a thing about football except that the ball is pointy on both ends.

            • KKinCA
              05/26/2010 at 4:26 PM

              That’s about the limit of my knowledge of football, and whodoneit described it much better than I did.

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 5:02 PM

      poor Eds. they try to make their report just a tad colorful with a sports analogy, and look what happens. nice try guys! i for one liked (& got) your phraseology!

  17. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 2:21 PM

    after hearing the fox 5 news last night, it hit me like a ton of bricks. pls correct me if i’m wrong,but in dylan’s statement to the police,didn’t he say that he heard robert taking a shower and then putting the latch on the door? if the door was lock, how did the “intruder” get in. i’m just justing. pls excuse any/all typos

    • Bill Orange
      05/26/2010 at 2:46 PM

      I think that he just meant that he heard the door close, and it was poor use of the word “latch”.

    • Ivan
      05/26/2010 at 2:48 PM

      LadyG – I interpreted Dylan’s comment as referring to the guest bedroom door but I could be wrong. Or, if he was referring to the back door of the house it could mean the “intruder” had already entered the house.

    • Lyn
      05/26/2010 at 2:52 PM

      I asked the same question a while back. Ward said he heard the door close AND latch. This wording suggests they were two distinct sounds. First the door closes, then Wone “latched” it (or locked it). It’s a great question. How did the intruder get through the locked door without breaking it? How did the supposedly-sleeping Ward hear the door latch but not hear the murder?

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

        I think he heard the door close and then heard the click as the latch (the thingy on the side of the door between the 2 door knobs) went into place. I know when it is humid, like say DC in August, I have to push again on the door to my bedroom to get the latch to catch. Then there would be a third sound if I locked it.

        • BadShoes
          05/26/2010 at 3:38 PM

          Mr. Ward said (p. 68 of the transcript)

          “And then I heard him take a shower and the door close, his door close. My door was always closed. But I heard like that latch.”

          My interpretation is the same as Alice. I think Mr. Ward is saying the latch on Robert’s bedroom door (NOT the back door) was sliding home, not that it was necessarily locked.

          Messrs. Price and Zaborsky, BTW, indicated that the door was standing open when they came downstairs.

  18. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 2:36 PM

    from the pictures that where shown in the gallery for 1509, shows
    greenery on top of the security gate. yet the intruder, didn’t track in one leaf, gravel/dust, into the kitchen. the homeowners are a real tidy bunch and the intruder, is too.

  19. Lyn
    05/26/2010 at 2:48 PM

    “No disturbance to the dust on the fence rails or any in the planter boxes, either. A new element Lewis added was finding spider webs in the planter box trees and behind them on the fence. They all appeared undisturbed.”

    There appears to be zero evidence that someone unknown to the defendants entered Swann and committed the crime.

    It’s funny and pathetic to hear the defense counsel suggest that the police should have focused the bulk of their efforts on looking for an intruder when no evidence existed to suggest that this was a likelihood.

    • Bill 2
      05/26/2010 at 4:13 PM

      Don’t I recall a claim that one of the trio had watered the garden? If so, it seems that hosing down plants would remove spider webs. Maybe the hose was never aimed at the garden or maybe their spider webs are stronger than the ones in my garden.

      • Alice
        05/26/2010 at 5:19 PM

        Or he put the hose on the ground near the roots instead of aiming spray at the leaves.

      • KKinCA
        05/26/2010 at 5:31 PM

        Bill – I looked at the transcripts when the possibility of the murder taking place in the patio was discussed on this site a few days ago. If my memory serves me correctly, Victor stated that he watered the plants prior to Robert’s visit, but he only mentions the front of the house and the interior of the house. No mention of the patio. And it appeared that he was merely answering a question from the detective regarding the timeline leading up to Robert’s arrival. In other words, it didn’t appear to be a random off-topic statement like Joe’s mention of burning the steaks for dinner.

  20. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 2:50 PM

    bill o: thanks …this is nerve racking

  21. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 2:57 PM

    ivan: yes, that’s what i read (meaning the bedroom door) took me days reading their depostions. that was just one of the things that stood out. one more thing, i know that is was mention before but i just need some clarificatiin on the statement made by joe made saying, MERCEDES,MERCEDES,MERECEDES. is that a dc term. pls excuse my ignorance

    • whodoneit
      05/26/2010 at 3:11 PM

      He was describing his neighbors by saying what kinds of cars the people on the block owned.

  22. wonewatcher
    05/26/2010 at 3:12 PM

    Longtime observer, first-time poster. Great site.

    Let’s assume that one, two or all three of the defendants either showered or toweled Wone to clean up the excess blood. I’ve read nothing about the evidence of blood in either the bathroom or laundry. What did the police find in those places?

    • James
      05/26/2010 at 3:42 PM

      Dogs sniffed blood by the dryer and the outside patio drain.

    • Jo
      05/26/2010 at 3:45 PM

      I read somewhere that the bathroom was unusually wet. The washer/dryer unit was located inside the bathroom per the graphic layout of the house. The evidence tech found an undershirt, a towel, and napkins in the washer 24 hours later. A cadaver dog alerted to the scent of blood in the dryer’s lint trap. Kind of makes me go hmmm…

      • wonewatcher
        05/26/2010 at 3:58 PM

        Thanks. Yes, hmmmm … those are three fairly unrelated laundry items, at least two of which would be useful in stanching blood.

        But I’m still totally puzzled. Is the theory that they stabbed him and then tried to get rid of the blood? Or that they placed him in the shower to try to revive him, even after the stabbing?

        • whodoneit
          05/26/2010 at 4:09 PM

          And the third item might be something that got bloody while being worn.

          As to your shower questions. I think those are unknown. Thinking out loud here, I was with someone that OD’d on opium in a remote area of Thailand. When we found him in the morning he was having great difficulty breathing and we could not get him to wake up. We tried throwing water on his face to wake him. (Ultimately we got him to a hospital where was put on a ventilator, and then later started breathing on his own.) I could see if Robert were unconscious from drugs that in a panic they take him into a cold shower to try and wake him. When that doesn’t work they think he is dead and the stabbing proceeds from there. One of a few scenarios that might have occurred, eg see playmat theory.

          • David
            05/26/2010 at 4:17 PM


            I think this is really interesting. The shower was a way to revive him, and it didn’t work, so they thought Robert was dead. Stabbing was as part of cover up then. Interesting and plausible.

            David, co-editor

            • whodoneit
              05/26/2010 at 9:23 PM

              As I think more about it, though, the problem with it is that what if reviving him had worked? What do they say to Robert to explain why he is in the shower?

            • HKG
              05/27/2010 at 2:26 AM

              agree, i’ve thought this too..

          • wonewatcher
            05/26/2010 at 4:21 PM

            OK, let’s play out the shower-before-stabbing scenario, which seems much more logical and plausible than a post-stabbing shower. Why then take the trouble to wipe the blood from his body while he’s on the bed? What would that do to exculpate them? Were they afraid that their fingerprints would be found on his body (underneath the blood)?

            • DonnaH
              05/26/2010 at 7:19 PM

              One possibility, as has been proposed by commenters here,is that the initial plan, after they thought he had died from the drugs, was to stab him and then dump his body somewhere to make it look like he was the victim of a violent street crime.

              To carry that out, they presumably would want to avoid the possibility of any blood being found in their house, or probably in any car used to transport him; that may be when they wiped his body down. At some point, someone–perhaps an accomplice–presumably carried off most of the bloody items such as sheets, a play mat where the stabbing might have taken place, etc. (The items found in the dryer could have been a few items that were missed in the roundup.)

              But then, as John Grisham pointed out on 5/24’s wrap, once Victor screamed, they probably thought the cops would be on their way immediately before they could get rid of the body, so they had to then change their story to one of an intruder, despite the presumable inconsistencies in the evidence. (Posts for 5/24 Wrap contain more detailed conjectures about possible scenarios.)

              • wonewatcher
                05/26/2010 at 8:01 PM

                Provocative theory from DonnaH. I realize they weren’t acting rationally, but wouldn’t the killers be of sound enough mind to do the stabbing after transporting him?
                I think I’m now officially obsessed with this case.

                • Lee
                  05/26/2010 at 8:08 PM

                  As am I. But then I watched the OJ trail on TV as well as the Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Nixon.

                  I’m either very easily sucked in or fascinated by the investigative process or both.

                  Maybe it’s my ADD.

                  • wonewatcher
                    05/26/2010 at 8:47 PM

                    Count me in as both an OJ and Watergate (both the Ervin and Rodino hearings!) obsessive.

                    • Lee
                      05/26/2010 at 8:52 PM

                      Like me, you must be older than dirt.

                    • wonewatcher
                      05/26/2010 at 9:02 PM

                      13 at the time of the Ervin hearings — not a typical adolescent.

                    • Carolina
                      05/26/2010 at 10:47 PM

                      What about Fawn Hall and the Iran-Contra Funfest? Please tell me I wasn’t the only one glued to it.

                • DonnaH
                  05/26/2010 at 9:25 PM

                  Possible, but I think it less likely that the thought of actually taking the time to inflict the wounds in a public place, however obscure, seemed a better idea than doing it beforehand and just taking seconds to dump a body.

                  Additionally, until the scream they probably thought they had lots of time to clean up their place afterwards. As it was, they apparently managed to quickly dispose of much of the likely bloody evidence–sheets, play mat, whatever.

              • wonewatcher
                05/26/2010 at 9:00 PM

                Are we sure the screamer was Victor? I think it might have been Wone.

                • DonnaH
                  05/26/2010 at 9:18 PM

                  Trouble with it being Wone is that the wounds were very clean and showed no signs at all of a struggle or even an involuntary reaction (turning, twisting away) to being stabbed, as there might be if he were sleeping. So he could hardly have been conscious enough to scream.

                  • whodoneit
                    05/26/2010 at 9:20 PM

                    I think it was Victor, but even if it was Wone, the time gap between the scream and the 911 call is problematic for the defendants.

                  • wonewatcher
                    05/26/2010 at 10:06 PM

                    Is it possible Wone screamed during sex torture shortly after 11? Then the stabbing takes place and the cleanup begins, all before 11:49.

                    • Carolina
                      05/26/2010 at 10:48 PM

                      Again, how is it that there are no defensive wounds?

                    • wonewatcher
                      05/26/2010 at 11:21 PM

                      What I’m saying is that Wone might have screamed during the sex “play” but before the knifing.

                • tassojunior
                  05/26/2010 at 11:03 PM

                  Of course it was the victim.

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 5:13 PM

      let’s not confuse ourselves here. there is what actually happened that night (which we are all trying to figure out); there is what the police did and and what they did and did not discover; and then there is what has been, and will be, admitted into evidence. though there are references in a police report to a cadaver dog alerting to the presence of blood, the government has decided not to offer that evidence. thus, if we are discussing what conclusions the judge will reach, the dog’s actions will not be considered.

  23. Bill
    05/26/2010 at 3:12 PM

    It may be off the subject, and if so please excuse me. But, I am amazed that the police detective admitted that he didn’t take any notes. Amazed. How could his memory, after four years, be even a consideration. Does DC do anything right? Did they just jump to conclusions since the three were guy? What’s up?

    • dcbill
      05/26/2010 at 3:39 PM

      I believe detectives in the MPD homicide unit have been criticized before for not taking complete or any notes at crime scenes they are investigating. Seems negligent to me, but I am not a detective.

      • Bill
        05/26/2010 at 3:48 PM

        Thanks dcBill – yes, I read a comment on WaPo regarding the same thing. I think it is really outrageous. At the very best, all the detective can testify to is an impression (based on the assumptions that he had at the time). Do you think the detective made a conclusion that they were all guilty and just went through the motions of an investigation with a closed mind? Would that, in itself, feed a reasonable doubt conclusion?

        • tassojunior
          05/26/2010 at 4:13 PM

          Bill, Bingo

        • mia
          05/26/2010 at 4:56 PM

          Yeah, probably. Just like Mr. Price’s implication about “the black guy lives across the street”.
          But I don’t think it matters a lot anyway. No one got arrested for the murder by so far and most ppl here reached their conclusion based on the evidence disclosed not the detective’s opinion.

        • Carolina
          05/26/2010 at 5:25 PM

          I was under the impression he did not take any notes when he first arrived, due to not being the detective of record.

    • Miss Marple
      05/26/2010 at 3:52 PM

      Right? i am in total agreement. Can the citizens of washington dc sue the MPD for shitty police work? we deserve better. although, they probably see stabbings and shootings every night and probably have a very high rate of unsolved crimes.

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

        I absolutely agree with you. I would wonder if one of the reasons they have such a low rate of convictions is because of such poor police work — imagine not even taking notes and attempting to rely on memory four years later? Can’t the district do anything right? From snow removal to HIV services, it is just the most ineptly run city.

        • tassojunior
          05/26/2010 at 4:35 PM

          We’re not called the District of Corruption for no reason Bill. And corruption doesn’t breed competence.

      • Daphne
        05/26/2010 at 4:18 PM

        I wonder if the police don’t take notes so that they don’t have notes that later can be used to impeach their testimony. You can’t discover (in the legal sense) a document that doesn’t exist!

        • plumskiter
          05/26/2010 at 5:08 PM

          avoiding creating discoverable materials is a consideration for some law enforcement agencies; don’t know about d.c. in 2006.

          on the other hand, sometimes one officer writes a summary of events shortly after the incident and interviews and includes the other officers’ observations. don’t know if that happened here, but it could have and then the observations of the officer who did not take notes would then have been memorialized within days of the event.

    • Lyn
      05/26/2010 at 4:24 PM

      My impression was that this question related to whether he took notes during the interview at the police station. Just my opinion, but a videotaped interview is a lot better than hand-written notes.

      • plumskiter
        05/26/2010 at 5:09 PM

        correct. notes would be redundant in that circumstance.

  24. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 3:19 PM

    just trying to caught up here. guest i have more questions than i thought. when victor spoke w jp, on the phone, why didn’t he (joe) tell victor that “oh, by the way robert’s staying for the night”. plus when, victor gets home, joe still didn’t tell him until later. if we’re having guest, who wouldn’t to know ahead of time?
    this is just my opinion, i don’t think that joe and dylan were expecting victor’s early arrival.

    • Daphne
      05/26/2010 at 3:39 PM

      Ladyg, I agree. I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t tell my husband if an overnight guest was staying. Does anyone know when Victor was supposed to return? Perhaps the next day?

      • Carolina
        05/26/2010 at 5:27 PM

        Late, after 11.

        • Tarfunk
          05/26/2010 at 6:52 PM

          One idea I’ve read is that Joe and Dylan planned to “have their way” with Robert, but Victor’s early arrival thwarted that plan. However, if Robert arrived at 10:30 and Victor was expected some time after 11, an early arrival for Victor wouldn’t make much difference because they weren’t going to have much time even with Victor’s original schedule. Any thoughts?

          • plumskiter
            05/26/2010 at 7:43 PM

            good point.

            • Bill Orange
              05/26/2010 at 8:17 PM

              Didn’t Robert end up arriving much later than expected?

              • Tarfunk
                05/26/2010 at 8:24 PM

                I’ve read that but never really understood it. He had already planned to attend a continuing education class then go to RFA to meet the night shift. From the get-go how much earlier could he have been expected to arrive?

          • BadShoes
            05/27/2010 at 9:25 AM

            I think Mr. Wone arrived at roughly the time he was expected to arrive. It was precisely the lateness of the hour that made remaining in town worthwhile.

            While Mr. Zaborsky was expected to arrive late, Messrs. Price and Ward said that they knew he was home early: they ate dinner with him.

            One of the many curiosities of this case: If some nefarious scheme was planned, predicated on the absence of Mr. Zaborsky (and perhaps Ms. Morgan), why didn’t Mr. Zaborsky’s early return abort the scheme?

            It would be reckless to proceed with an unwitting Mr. Zaborsky (by his account) watching TV one floor above.

            Possibly the project was aborted, but somebody didn’t get the word…

            Its also hard to picture a scheme that had as it as object only a half hour or so door-to-door of whatever it was that was being done. (No jokes here, please). Could the object of the exercise have been photographs?

  25. Nyer Wants Justice
    05/26/2010 at 3:48 PM

    I don’t want to be insensitive here, but why was Joe’s HIV positive brother (Michael) taking a phlebotomy class?
    Can an HIV positive person even be employed as a phlebotomist? I mean if there is one time I might be nervous around an HIV+ person it would be when needles and blood were involved.
    It is possible he was taking the class to learn to draw and test his own blood, but why now after he has been HIV positive for ten years or so (I believe that is what Joe said)?

    • VA Librarian
      05/27/2010 at 11:17 AM

      Two words: universal precautions. I think there are many people in healthcare who are HIV+. That’s the whole idea of universal precautions, you have no idea who has HIV or Hep C for that matter. All of us, patients and providers alike are supposed to assume that everyone and anyone, including kids in pre-school, could have HIV and proceed accordingly.

  26. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 3:56 PM

    thanks daphne, it just seems like victor, was expecting a quiet evening at home. you know what it’s like when you’re parents go away (there goes the party plan) and they show up. what are we/i going to do, now?

  27. BadShoes
    05/26/2010 at 4:44 PM

    Yesterday, there was a thread on where one might hear the door alarm chime at 1509. I would post on that thread, but now I can’t find it.

    Anyway, in re-reading Dylan Ward’s transcript, I found the following reference:

    “Q: …And did you hear the doorbell [sic] go off?”

    A: I do not remember hearing the chime.

    Q: Okay. Do you usually hear it?

    A: I hear it in the morning. It will wake me up because Sarah will go and take a walk. But–and, you know, of course, if I’m downstairs I’ll hear it.”

    So, Mr. Ward tells us that the door alarm chime “of course” can be heard on the ground floor–on all floors, in fact. If an intruder entered the house, the intruder would hear the chime as well. The intruder would be entitled to wonder if he had awakened the inhabitants.

    • ladyg
      05/26/2010 at 4:58 PM

      badshoes, even if he thought that it was sarah, one would said “sarah is that you” …now that’s my thinking

      • whodoneit
        05/26/2010 at 5:12 PM

        Price was the only one that said he heard the chime when what turned out to be the intruder arrived. He was purportedly on the 3rd floor, not really feasible for him to ask Sarah “is that you?”

    • Tarfunk
      05/26/2010 at 7:03 PM

      If Joe heard the chime upon the entrance of an intruder then we must assume the intruder heard it as well.

      So, why didn’t the intruder grab the first things he could on the main level and beat a hasty retreat? Instead, he appears to have taken a knife from the kitchen and, leaving the unoccupied floor he was on, go upstairs where he surely realizes the residents must be since they’ve left the back door unlocked and so must be home. (Forget for a moment that we’re talking about DC and–residents home or not–nobody would have assumed that they’d be so lucky to scale a fence and find an unlocked door!)

      It would seem he’s almost daring them to challenge him so he can stab them. I stand in awe of these defendants that they’ve managed to perpetuate this cockamamie story for so long.

    • AnnaZed
      05/27/2010 at 12:55 AM

      “The intruder would be entitled to wonder if he had awakened the inhabitants.”

      Now, that’s a nicely turned phrase; to which one can only say, “indeed.”

  28. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 4:55 PM

    here i go again w the unanswered questions. if anyone knows, has robert, ever been to joe’s place before (like at a party maybe)? seems like he did and if so why did it taken two people to show him, his sleeping arrangements and the bathroom. just alittle strange

    • AnnaZed
      05/27/2010 at 12:57 AM

      Yes, he’d been there before. That said, when I have guests I show them to their room, show them their towels etc. Not that I think Joe did any of these things or any other niceties (even tap water). I think Robert was attacked when he walked in the door.

  29. ladyg
    05/26/2010 at 5:03 PM

    joe said that dyan, wouldn’t even spank/punch anyone, well that’s not true. correct me if i’m, but isn’t that what they like to do (for fun games)?

  30. dcbill
    05/26/2010 at 5:12 PM

    Editors, I know you have been working hard, but can you explain a little better what the judge was so exasperated about this afternoon? I don’t know what you mean by “the government can’t introduce any statements for the truth except pursuant to the May 7 filing.” Huh? What is it that they have to pull an all nighter for to get straight?

    • Ivan
      05/26/2010 at 5:19 PM

      I share your confusion dcbill. I have no idea what the judge was talking about either.

    • plumskiter
      05/26/2010 at 6:13 PM

      dcbill, i wasn’t there — i am in Michigan, but here is what i gather from the reports along with a short course on evidence, which can be a very confusing area of the law, even to many lawyers and judges!

      The rules of evidence govern what can be presented in a court of law. The offer of every item of evidence, and every statement of a witness, must have an “anchor” in the rules of evidence that makes it admissible.

      There are several anchors in the rules of evidence that determine whether a particular statement made before the trial and outside of a courtroom is admissible at the trial.

      The first anchor is the rule that defines hearsay (generally prohibited). [Federal Rule of Evidence 801 for those who want to go to the source]. Hearsay is an out of court statement made by someone which is offered into evidence for the truth of the content of the statement.

      So, an example. assume the prosecution wants to call Bill who will testify “I heard Jack say ‘it is 80 degrees outside’.” and the prosecution wants to offer this out of court statement of Jack, through testimony of the the third party who heard him (Bill), to prove that it was 80 degrees outside(the truth of the matter asserted) because for some reason the temperature that day is relevant to the case. This would be an impermissible way of trying to prove what the temperature was because Jack’s statement is hearsay. Jack is not in court, the statement is offered through a third party – Bill – it is hearsay and not a legitimate way to try to establish how hot it was that day. [i’m fixated on temperature because we are in an unprecedented heat wave right now & i moved to michigan to get away from the d.c.-baltimore heat and humidity!).

      The reason why hearsay is generally excluded is that, in this example, the people on trial would not have the opportunity to cross examine Jack, the declarant, about how he knew it was 80 degrees outside, what his expertise in meteorology was, whether he was taking meds that made him think it was hotter than it was, blah, blah, blah. in other words, it is an unfair, and impermissible, way to try to prove what the temperature was.

      but now let’s say that the prosecution offers the very same evidence – not to prove that it was 80 degrees outside, but rather as a prelude to the witness, Bill, reporting that he then saw Jack take his clothes off and run around naked outside in the snow. in that case, the prosecution is not offering Jack’s statement through a third party, Bill, to show that it was, in fact, 80 degrees outside, but as part of Jack’s behavior that day, perhaps to show that Jack was not in touch with reality that day. The out of court statement would not be offered to prove the truth of its content (that it was 80 degrees) and the witness who heard Jack talk (Bill)is available, on the stand, to be cross examined about what he claims he heard Jack say. so, second example, statement not hearsay because not offered for the truth of its content.

      i realize this stuff is hard, and i’m reminding myself of dear departed US District Judge Kaufman in Baltimore who used to try to explain the hearsay rule to juries – the judge thought he did so very clearly, but the jurors clearly didn’t understand a word he said even though they would shake their heads up and down like zombies when Judge K would complete his explanation by asking them if he had made himself clear!

      okay, now that we all understand the hearsay rule (which has a number of exceptions that i won’t go into now), we need to understand that, by definition, an out of court statement by a defendant/party that contains an admission against his/her interest, when offered by the opposing party, is, not hearsay. by definition = not hearsay.

      thus, a confession – when offered by the government in a criminal case – is not hearsay, is thus admissible and can be offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted (e.g. that the declarant/defendant committed the crime he admitted to in the statement).

      note that the out of court statement must be offered by “a party opponent”. so, in a case where a criminal defendant tells an exculpatory story to the police, that the police do not believe, the defendant cannot offer his exculpatory story to the court by calling the police officer to repeat it. if he wants that exculpatory story to be presented to the finder of fact, he will have to take the stand and tell it himself.

      many a defendant would like to be able to avoid taking the stand by presenting their exculpatory versions through the police. this is not allowed, because it would permit them to put their story before the finder of fact without taking the stand themselves and being subjected to cross-examination. the rules do not permit a party to introduce his own out of court admissions for the truth of their content; only the opponent may do so.

      in this case, the prosecution contends that the videotaped statements are not truthful. i assume, but do not know at this point, that the defendants will continue through the trial to claim that the statements were truthful.

      interestingly, if the government had not chosen to play the videos in this case, the rules would prohibit the defendants from offering them into evidence, as explained above. this, again, is because only a party opponent can offer such a statement for the truth of its content — and this is fair, because otherwise the defendants could present their version without exposing themselves to cross-examination.

      in the case of Price, et al, the government is offering the defendants’ videotaped statements as evidence, but not because it contends that the assertions contained therein are true. the anchor which makes the videos admissible is not that they contain admissions; indeed the government’s case rests on the proposition that the content is false. thus, the prosecution does not offer the videos as admissions.

      rather, the government is offering the videos as affirmative acts by the defendants to obstruct justice; by telling what the prosecution claims are falsehoods to the police that august night, the defendants were trying to obstruct justice, to direct the police focus away from themselves, to tell a false story of an intruder, to confuse the effort to find out how Robert actually got killed, and to exonerate themselves.

      so, the government does not offer the videos as admissions, but as verbal actions of the defendants relevant to the charges being tried.

      it sounds like the confusion is over whether the government is offering any out of court statements of any defendants to or in the presence of the police for the truth of their content. this would include all of the things the police heard the defendants say at the house, on the way to the police station, at the police station, etc.

      i hope this helps. sorry it is so long.

      i am about to hit submit, and i fear the someone has already posted a shorter, clearer version of what i just tried to explain. here goes!

      • deepsouth
        05/26/2010 at 6:53 PM

        Yes it does help, and thank you so much! Clears the fog enormously, and reminds me of why I decided law school wasn’t for me. Is the prosecution allowed to submit some parts of the statements as truth and some as not?

        I can see how this would confuse the hell out of a jury – would using this be another factor the defense might have seen in favor of a bench trial?

        • deepsouth
          05/26/2010 at 6:54 PM

          Make that read “some parts of a specific taped statement” please.

      • HKG
        05/27/2010 at 2:48 AM

        wow, thank you plumskiter for taking the time to write all that. well written, and very very helpful, especially the examples.

        so when the judge said she wanted something in writing, is she looking for a roadmap or list to accompany each video testimony, that shows which parts of the statements show obstruction, intent, or can be shown to be simple false?

        • Kate
          05/27/2010 at 12:17 PM

          Yes, many thanks, plumskiter.

          Very clear and quite easy to understand.

          And I’m as curious as HKG on this matter.

  31. indi
    05/26/2010 at 5:21 PM

    Even if there was an intruder, I don’t think he could clean up a dead body and redress and place in bed in such a short time in an unfamiliar setting. This case is total joke!

    • Ivan
      05/26/2010 at 5:25 PM

      I agree with you indi. Imagine a burglar who breaks window glass to enter a house stopping on his/her way out to sweep up the fragments.

  32. Timeline
    05/26/2010 at 5:23 PM

    From the MyFoxDC updates, there is this quote from Zaborsky’s video interview playback: “I was hysterical, I ran upstairs and got on the phone. As I was talking to the operator Joe said Robert was dead,” Zaborsky says on the tape.

    Doesn’t that contradict what we actually hear on the 911 call where he tells the operator that Robert is still breathing? I can’t find a full transcript of the 911 call and can’t listen to it at the moment, but is there a part of it where Victor hears from Joe that Robert is dead? I don’t recall that, but it’s been a few months since I actually listened to the call.

    • Carolina
      05/26/2010 at 5:31 PM

      You would think so, wouldn’t you?

    • HKG
      05/27/2010 at 2:55 AM

      yes good point. i don’t hear Joe tell him that Robert has died. and even when the EMT arrives and Victor starts to freak out, he uses the words “may be…dead”, not “already” dead.

      6:20 “[oh damn.. ] what is this.. [somebody killed..] what is this… now it’s REALLY an emergency… i mean, he may be [slight pause] dead!”

    • BadShoes
      05/27/2010 at 12:00 PM

      If the video interview shown in court really contains a part where Mr. Zaborsky says that Joe told him that Robert was dead, that video interview is different from the transcripts of the two interviews released by the prosecution and posted on this site.

      There may be a third, taped, interview, released only yesterday, or Timeline may have just misheard.

      On the published transcripts, Mr. Zaborsky described this period, but wasn’t very forthcoming on the content of his exchanges with Mr. Price. If true, it is interesting that he noted this statement (which was surely memorable) only once.

  33. wonewatcher
    05/26/2010 at 10:02 PM

    On the 911 call, at about 4:08 or so into it, Zaborsky says: “The person has one of our knives.”
    Why on earth did he say that? After all, the knife that the defendants would have us believe was used in the murder was found on the nightstand by the EMTs, and Zaborsky would have already been in Wone’s room and seen the knife!
    Up to now, I’ve been allowing myself to give Zaborsky a great deal of leeway; the other two seem much more likely to have been involved in either the killing or the coverup. But having heard that segment of the 911 call, it would appear Zaborsky knew much more. I suspect that he made the knife statement to the 911 dispatcher because he knew that the real knife had been disposed of, somewhere outside the house.

    • AnnaZed
      05/27/2010 at 1:09 AM

      “Why on earth did he say that?”

      I would submit that Victor says that because he has a “script” in his mind and is trying to register key points into the record, but that he bungled that one.

    • plumskiter
      05/27/2010 at 12:17 PM

      i’ve posted previously my opinion that that statement by victor on the 911 call is very important. they claim that no one had been downstairs before the 911 call so how could victor know that the person “has one of our knives.” that statement is key to guilt and to me, shows that a story had been concocted before the 911 call was placed.

  34. ladyg
    05/27/2010 at 12:04 AM

    yes, why would victor say that “he” (intruder) has one of our knives. didn’t joe pull the knife out of his (robert) chest and place it on the table at the end of the bed/couch? now, i see why the police made the leap from them being witness to full pledge suspects. lucy you have some x’plaining to do.
    the 911 call,i can understand victor losing it,it just seem like he snapped out of it then went back to being hysterical, and joe’s demeanor…he seemed too calm? i mean your best friend has been stabbed to death in your home. the FBI, needs to get their top people on the audio, the voices in the back ground didn’t sound excited… only victor.

  35. DavidR
    05/27/2010 at 12:05 AM

    I wonder how they all got such good and high priced lawyers and how they are going to pay them. If they are acquited of these charges I think the $20 mil civil suit will still go on and they will all need lawyers again.

    The real question is do the lawyers have an estimate they can give up front or is it just pay as you go? And no matter the outcome if the defendandts can’t pay and file bankruptcy where does that leave the lawyers?

  36. tassojunior
    05/27/2010 at 12:09 AM

    “While interviewing defendant Price on the night of crime, for instance, Detective Daniel Wagner asked whether Wone, a married man, was seeking “a little experimentation” while staying the night at the house of the three gay men now charged in connection to his murder. (Police asked similar questions of suspect Ward, who replied, “I didn’t get any sort of vibe.”)

    Cross-examined by defense attorney Bernie Grimm about why he pursued that line of questioning, the detective replied that he simply found it odd that Wone didn’t want to go home to his wife in Oakton, Va., that night.”

  37. ladyg
    05/27/2010 at 12:51 AM

    if this was mention before, i apologize. i just have to get this off of my chest. you and your mate are sleeping on the top floor and you both heard (or just one of you, hear the chime)screams and you jump out of bed, (thinking that an “interuder has entered your home) and you both start running down the stairs wouldn’t you too be hollering/screaming to alert the others in the house? why did they automactically think it was robert and not dylan (or just both)? why didn’t they call out to dylan (since they went pass right by his room)? my goodness, ck on all the household, just like you would do if a the smoke alarm went off. ok, that’s it for the night

    • AnnaZed
      05/27/2010 at 1:00 AM

      Yes, others have remarked that it is curious that in this telling of events they claim to have shown no concern for the third member of their family.

      • VA Librarian
        05/27/2010 at 11:28 AM

        I also find it odd that people who no doubt had cell phones on the night stand of the bed wouldn’t be speed dialing 911 as soon as they thought there was an intruder in their house. One of them doing that, the other one (possibly) going down to check on people on the second floor. Homeowners who live in urban settings frequently say how they end up calling the police so frequently that they know the dispatcher’s voices because of all of the petty crime they’re trying to eradicate — why would anyone risk going downstairs without calling the cops first? Especially why wouldn’t Victor be calling 911 immediately, since he was scared shitless?

        • AnnaZed
          05/27/2010 at 11:34 AM

          Very good point. We had what we thought was a break-in here in suburban California (crash, glass breaking sounds). I dialed 911 so fast it was almost as though I didn’t breath again until it was ringing. My boy friend and I got out of bed and stood there as I connected to dispatch, we didn’t leave the room.

          It was a raccoon (in our den!), but still.

        • plumskiter
          05/27/2010 at 12:19 PM

          i concur. very good point VA Lib.

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