Day 8: Wrap

Knife Fight

The morning was spent trying to determine whether or not two key tests performed by semi-retired FBI trace evidence analyst Douglas Deedrick would be included.

The tests involve his work on fiber transfers from an eight pound pork loin, meant to simulate human tissue, and his fiber imprint test using a substitute white cotton towel and equine blood. 

Judge Lynn Leibovitz wanted to hear testimony on Deedrick’s methodology on both tests so she could decide. 

After the lunch break, Deedrick and the government were given their chance to show what they had.  It was a messy afternoon.

The late session began with Leibovitz quizzing AUSA Rachel Carlson Lieber on what she expected to elicit from Deedrick when he testifies.  Carlson Lieber said Deedrick’s findings would say that the marks he saw on the knife found at the scene (government exhibit #13) were consistent with blood being swiped across or dabbed onto it.  That was the easy part.  When Deedrick finally took the stand, it got far more complicated. 

Complicated is a clever euphemism for combative.  The legal pugilistics after the jump.

At 2:20pm, when Deedrick began, the courtroom was at capacity.  There’s no telling what sort of testimony those in the audience expected to hear, but an in-the-weeds forensics class may not have been what they had in mind.

Carlson Lieber walked Deedrick through each of the experiments and what led him to conduct them.  He started with fibers he recovered and analyzed on different items of evidence: the knife, bloody towel, Robert’s green gym shorts and government exhibit #34 – the white t-shirt recovered from the washing machine at 1509 Swann.  To analyze them Deedrick did a basic microscopic examination, then two more advanced methods: a fluorescent microscope and spectography.

At more than one point during Deedrick’s testimony, Ward counsel David Schertler rose to make several objections.  Sometimes he would just rise and try to get a word in edgewise, leading Leibovitz to scold him about interrupting Carlson Lieber’s direct.  As far as the fiber imprint analysis on the knife found at the scene, Deedrick said the “dotted pattern” of blood that he found on the knife’s bolster (hilt), caught his attention:

“When I first saw the dotted pattern…I found it unusual based on my experience.  On the reverse side of the knife I saw a similar pattern although more faint.”

He thought it could be a towel that left the imprint because the closely aligned loops of the fabric could impart that particular pattern.  Deedrick needed a duplicate towel to conduct his tests and got one from Robert Spaulding, another retired FBI analyst who will be testifying on behalf of the government.

Deedrick’s first imprint test was with something called an ‘identicator.” Alternately referred to as a “thingie” and “contraption” by Judge Leibovitz this afternoon, an identicator is a large stamp pad with an ink-like chemical, and special test paper that can display any fabric patterns pressed against it.  Deedrick dipped the duplicate towel in the ink, pressed it against the test paper and got a dotted pattern, although it was somewhat muddled.  He chalked that up to not applying the right pressure to the test paper.

There were more provocative outbursts from Schertler, and again Judge Leibovitz told him to back off.  Schertler then started firing his own questions at Deedrick while Carlson Lieber was questioning her witness about the identicator “thingie”.

Deedrick again spoke of the test with the horse blood and a replica of the knife found at the scene – an exemplar in court talk.  He smeared the towel with blood and swiped it from the tip to the handle.  On his second imprint test, Deedrick dabbed the bloody towel onto the knife.

Asked by Carlson Lieber what his conclusion was on the test pattern, Deedrick said, “The marks on the replica knife are similar with the knife found at the scene…They could’ve been produced by a towel.”

There was a short break, then Carlson Lieber continued with Deedrick on his pork loin experiment.  He said he conducted the test because there is little material available on fiber transfer rates; he was curious and wanted to see for himself.  He wrapped the loin in a black Tultex t-shirt.  The William and Mary t-shirt Robert was found in was also a Tultex, but it was grey.  Deedrick said he used black so the fibers would be more easily identifiable under magnification.

He did three trials of three stabs each.  There results were similar: trial #1 resulted in 20 short fiber fragments remaining on the knife, on the blade edge.  Trial #2: nearly 40; trial #3: about 15.  He found short fragments on his test knife while the fibers from the crime scene knife were longer.

At 4:10, Ward counsel David Schertler took his opening shots at Deedrick, working to hang the expert out to dry in front of the entire courtroom.  Although he first inspected the crime scence knife in December 2006, he did not know when the murder occured…November 2006, Deedrick thought.  Schertler hectored him at length on that supposed two-month delay in beginning his analysis.  Eveyone in the courtroom knew Robert was murdered in August 2006, but Schertler dug at Deedrick, and his confusion as to the actual date.

As the cross wore on, the shots became more sustained and aggressive.

How many meetings or calls did Deedrick have with the government?  Deedrick responded the first time was in early 2010, but it took David Schertler to remind the witness that there was actually a July 2008 meeting between him, Spaulding and AUSA Glenn Kirchner.

Did Deedrick ever see crime scene photos so he could know the environment and context that the knife was found?  Deedrick did not and chalked that up to oversight.  “It’s relly not how we operate…I can’t do examinations from crime scene photos.”

Schertler wasn’t done; he had a big finish in store to close out the day.  Using a super enlargement of an early crime scene photo of the knife, many dark hairs were clearly visible.  How many hairs did Deedrick recover?  Only two.  Would it have been important to get a look at how the knife was found (with all those hairs)?  “What I did not find, I did not report on,” Deedrick replied.

After a trip through Deedrick’s bench notes, Schertler shanked the witness one final time for the day.  He walked Deedrick through a chronology of his time on the case.  Deedrick first saw the knife in December 2007, then saw the bloody towel in January 2007.  But it wasn’t until March 2010, two months ago that Deedrick did his experiments.   Schertler pounded Deedrick on whether he knew that three people were indicted in the case and why it took him so long to test, implying a serious lapse in someone’s duties.

In a parting jab, Schertler hit Deedrick on his association with colleagues.  It turned out that it was Deedrick’s ‘friend,’ Robert Spaulding who actually supplied him with the duplicate towel and equine blood for the experiments.

That was it for the day, and it couldn’t end soon enough for Doug Deedrick. The trial resumes Friday morning at 11:00am.

231 comments for “Day 8: Wrap

  1. Steven
    05/27/2010 at 7:30 PM

    I observed the first half of the trial today. And I have to say it was tough to sit through, as both sides fought over the nuance of ever word. It also seemed at time like neither the lawyers or the judge had a firm grip on the technicalities of forensics. I hope this case doesn’t get lost in minutia.

    • Bill Orange
      05/27/2010 at 9:09 PM

      I’m really not worried about that happening. If this were a jury trial, then I might be concerned. But this trial is being decided by a very focused, very intelligent, no-nonsense judge.

    • Deb
      05/28/2010 at 12:23 PM

      Wow. I think tassojunior got booted.

      • Bob
        05/29/2010 at 2:53 PM

        I don’t think Tasso Junior was “booted” as in banned, although one of his posts was censored.

  2. jfh
    05/27/2010 at 7:31 PM

    thanks for the update. i found deedrick to be quite arrogant and offensive on the stand. i understood why a jury might not like him as he rocked back and forth in his chair and could never answer the AUSA’s questions. i was thinking whether or not she had actually spent some time with him because he was so dismissive of her.

    • Bill
      05/27/2010 at 7:34 PM

      And imagine this was one of the prosecution’s witnesses!

      • jfh
        05/27/2010 at 7:37 PM

        i know. he was so arrogant. unless you actually saw his testimony, you may not think that his demeanor could have been so but he unimpressive to say the least and took away from his own credibility in my humble opinion.

    • plumskiter
      05/27/2010 at 8:37 PM

      rocked back and forth! . . . good thing he wasn’t in front of a jury. so bad, especially considering that he is a professional expert witness who has presumably testified numerous times – during his FBI career and subsequently.

  3. jfh
    05/27/2010 at 7:33 PM

    i also meant to add that i am very impressed with J. Leibowitz. She really is quite sharp and seems to really understand all the issues.

  4. Dave
    05/27/2010 at 8:48 PM

    I agree that the judge is incredibly sharp and competent. I actually thought Deedrick was well spoken and fairly impressive. The ausa on the other hand seems so whiney at times. What was she trying to prove… that blood was intentionally dabbed onto the knife? Why would she suggest that?

    • Carolina
      05/27/2010 at 9:11 PM

      Because it was, Dave. Read the evidence.

    • DonnaH
      05/27/2010 at 9:43 PM

      Click on FAQ/Wone:101, above; look under “Essential Reading” for the original affidavit.

  5. BenFranklin
    05/27/2010 at 8:50 PM

    Theory chasing evidence. Stabbing at hams. Embarrassing that was the government’s star expert!

    It’s deplorable to witness the government conspire, degrade & tamper with evidence & lie to frame productive citizens because they are gay.

    The judge is clearly understanding the scope of MPD & prosecution misconduct at this point.

    • Tarfunk
      05/27/2010 at 9:05 PM

      I’m as queer as a $3 bill, and if these men are being prosecuted because they’re gay then I will renounce Judy Garland and Liza Minelli forever. (And I’m too old to even know about Lady Gaga, but I’m sure I’d renounce her as well.)

      And a pork loin is not a ham.

      • Clio
        05/27/2010 at 9:15 PM

        Huzzah, Tarfunk! I would even give up Cher … for a month, if these Three were being framed on the basis of their sexuality and culture (or the lack thereof).

        • Themis
          05/28/2010 at 10:42 AM

          Cher is not just for gay men. MY black American shorthair with white markings that look like a bra and panties is named Cher. And boy does she know how to sing.

      • AnnaZed
        05/27/2010 at 9:33 PM

        Interestingly though, a tasso is a ham.

        just sayin’

        • Themis
          05/27/2010 at 9:58 PM

          AnnaZed, as a southern gal, you do realize that a tasso is an intensely flavored piece of pork meant to spice things up? As to whether that applies to the poster . . . .

          • galoon
            05/28/2010 at 7:17 AM

            Well then, tasso must be Dylan.

            • Kate
              05/28/2010 at 7:38 AM

              Thanks for my first laugh of the day, all.

              Cheers,
              Kate

              As for Lady Gaga – performance art at its spunkiest! Great costumes, as well.

          • Hoya Loya
            05/28/2010 at 8:18 AM

            I assumed it was a revealing reference to the 16th century Italian epic poet, known for his fantastical epics, who suffered from persecution mania.

      • Bill Orange
        05/27/2010 at 10:01 PM

        You really should have a look at Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video.

      • DavidR
        05/27/2010 at 10:05 PM

        “And a pork loin is not a ham”

        No but pork and ham is what constitutes SPAM. Shoulder pork and ham.

        • Bob
          05/29/2010 at 2:54 PM

          The use of sock puppets is not spam, which is a different Internet abuse.

    • Carolina
      05/27/2010 at 9:13 PM

      Don’t you have a new song yet?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/27/2010 at 9:33 PM

      BenCranklin says: “Embarrassing that was the government’s star expert!”

      And you think that’s worse than Dr. Henry Lee? That makes me laugh. Truly.

      • Kate
        05/28/2010 at 7:46 AM

        Couldn’t agree more, CD.

        Every time Dr. Lee’s name comes up I have an unfortunate mental image of the time he spit watered-down ketchup on a sheet during one of his many, many paid testimonies.

        Oh, yeah, and then there’s that lost evidence thang…

        Correct me if I’m in error, but didn’t the editors report that Dr. Baden is also going to be a defense witness. I seem to recall he was observing in court a few days ago?

        Cheers,
        Kate

    • Alex
      05/27/2010 at 9:42 PM

      This sounds like something posted by the defense. Seriously, a man turns up dead in a house with no break-in, the defense theory is a some stranger with God knows what unspecified motive did it, and YOU think this is reasonable? Unbelieveable. I’m gay, and if I were on a jury (I know it’s a judge trial) in this case, I’d vote to convict these murderers. This has nothing to do with their sexuality.

      • Bill Orange
        05/27/2010 at 10:09 PM

        Pay attention to who’s posting. There are two posters who are fairly convinced that the defendants are innocent. Ben generally thinks that the defendants are being persecuted for their sexuality and is convinced that this is conclusively proven every time anything in court does not go the prosecution’s way. Tassojunior is deeply mistrustful of the police and would probably not believe them if they said that the sun rises in the east. I don’t think either one of them is likely to be persuaded to change their minds. They do occasionally raise interesting points, however, and I think their opinions should be respected, even if you don’t believe their accuracy.

        • tassojunior
          05/27/2010 at 10:20 PM

          I hope three of these homosexuals are not alone in a house with a straight man drinking wine. Another rape/ murder would happen.

        • TK
          05/28/2010 at 8:52 AM

          Where are our usual posters with pithy replies to Ben’s ridiculous paranoid claims?

        • Deb
          05/28/2010 at 10:09 AM

          Amen. The bickering is bringing me down.

      • tassojunior
        05/27/2010 at 10:09 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?

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          05/27/2010 at 10:18 PM

          Is that all you’ve got tasso?

          • New Alias
            05/28/2010 at 9:55 AM

            That, and a kilo of lardons.

        • Bob
          05/29/2010 at 2:55 PM

          Robert Wone did not drink wine the night he was killed. His blood was negative for ethyl alcohol.

    • tassojunior
      05/27/2010 at 10:15 PM

      You’ve got three homosexuals in the house and one straight guy, you are drinking wine and you know what’s going to happen?

      Coooooome to Jesus!

      • sigmund freud
        05/28/2010 at 8:09 AM

        Get a life Junior. Why are you on here anyway — too tired to go out and hassle gays in person?

      • Bob
        05/29/2010 at 2:57 PM

        The straight guy did not drink wine the night that he was murdered. His blood was negative for ethyl alcohol. The gay guys did not have their blood tested because they were not under arrest.

    • Greta
      05/27/2010 at 10:34 PM

      Yeah, and OJ was framed because he is black.

      • Anti-Tasso
        05/28/2010 at 1:02 AM

        Tasso —

        I am a straight man who has gay friends and I would say you are a complete embarassment to all gay people. You sound like a complete uninformed idiot in all of your posts. Would you please state your theory of what happened the night that Robert Wone was killed so that we are all clear on that front.

        • KKinCA
          05/28/2010 at 1:04 AM

          Anti-Tasso – don’t hold your breath.

  6. Dave
    05/27/2010 at 8:51 PM

    I also thought that ward’s attorney was great! Very passionate but eloquent and professional.

  7. Clio
    05/27/2010 at 8:53 PM

    So, if Dr. G. was Glenn’s canary, then Douglas “Marlena” Deedrick was his turkey. The prosecution’s aviary of authorities is sure to have a cardinal or eagle in there somewhere: fingers still crossed!! Their strongest witnesses so far (by far) are the non-experts: the Thomases, Kathy, the beat cops, the EMTs, etc.

    Needham must be pleased that he may be finally getting his money’s worth from Schertler. It also may be no wonder, then, that the Tacoma cardiologist warmly (and publicly) greeted Culuket earlier this week. Team Price may be getting a second wind … before its final curtain.

    Luckily, however, this spectacle is before a judge (such as Lynn)and not a jury. The attitude, wit, hair, and makeup of the witness should not count as much.

    BTW, did Mr. Hennessy take a day off — I did miss his dreamy cameos du jour from today’s wrap!!

    • AkaZappa
      05/28/2010 at 1:11 AM

      Hi Clio, No, Hennesey had a pic of today up on my fox dot dc dot com.

    • Kate
      05/28/2010 at 9:47 AM

      Cheers Clio – in your list of things Judge Lynn will not be looking at – “attitude, wit, hair and makeup” – you failed to mention SHOES.

      Personally, I always check out the shoes.

      Kate

      • Themis
        05/28/2010 at 10:37 AM

        Actually, and this is not meant to sound sexist, I met a lot of women in courthouses around the state because they wanted to know about my shoes, from court clerks to court reporters to other attorneys, including prosecutors. An interesting pair of shoes is a great way to break the ice. Especially when you can say that they are Louboutins that you got them for $60 bucks and your Emprio Armansi suit for $100 both from eBay.

        Relationships, even brief ones, tend to form around common interests.

        Another time, a courtroom deputy was studying for the LSAT and wanted me to talk about strategies for the exam and law school. So I would tutor him during breaks from the trial.

        The courtroom personnel were always warm and courteous.

        • Carolina
          05/28/2010 at 12:44 PM

          Nothing like a great pair of shoes, since admiring them in no way makes the admirer seem sexist. Clothes, hair, even jewelry can seem suspect, but unless they’re a foot fetishist, shoes (and briefcases) are fair game.

      • BadShoes
        05/28/2010 at 11:03 AM

        uh-oh.

        • ramknts
          05/28/2010 at 2:29 PM

          haha. i wondered at first if “bad shoes” was a Pixies reference.

        • Kate
          05/28/2010 at 7:29 PM

          BadShoes, I was thinking of you when I wrote my post.

          Cheers All,
          Kate

  8. Miss Marple
    05/27/2010 at 8:55 PM

    ugh, it irks me that the 3 defendants are sitting there either shitting themselves or laughing at how “good of a job” they’ve done in the coverup.

  9. zharptitsa
    05/27/2010 at 9:02 PM

    one thing I think is suspicious in Zaborsky’s 911 call is the following statement:
    “I don’t know who stabbed him. We don’t know how they got in. The person has one of our knives,” Zaborsky said. “I’m afraid to go downstairs. Help us.”

    If they found a knife on Robert’s body, why would Zaborsky think the intruder still had one of their knives.

    And if he hadn’t seen or been told that there was a knife laying on the body, why would he suppose the intruder had “one of our knives”? Surely, an intruder might be armed with one of his own.

    Thoughts?

    • mia
      05/27/2010 at 9:37 PM

      Good points! Unless he checked all the knives they had in kitchen and found not only one were missing.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      05/27/2010 at 9:39 PM

      I thought the same thing…..Victor even said “don’t touch that” so he was aware of what was nearby.

    • Alex
      05/27/2010 at 9:47 PM

      It’s an admission against interest!!! Zaborsky, a non-lawyer, is trying to explain why the murder weapon is missing. They real question here is why, why, why? Dare we believe that this is part of some sick psychopathic behavior? Perhaps seeing someone die was the motivation? Psychopaths sometimes have such thought ala Jeffrey Dahmer. And, in any event does it make any sense that Price and Zaborsky heard screams on the third floor, while Ward right next door heard nothing? Remember Zaborsky said in his interview that Ward was still in his room when he and Price came downstairs. They are sooooo lying.

      • Deb
        05/28/2010 at 10:20 AM

        Didn’t Michael Price’s friend kill an animal of some sort?

        • AnnaZed
          05/28/2010 at 10:31 AM

          Hi Deb, Phelps Collins, Michael’s partner in crime in the burglary of the Swann St residence in the months after Robert’s murder was (as a separate matter) arrested in a particularly ugly animal cruelty indictment involving the torture and mutilation (not death) of two cats:

          http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/03/26/pet-sounds/

          • KKinCA
            05/28/2010 at 12:01 PM

            AZ – Your memory is amazing. Collins was arrested – was he convicted?

            • AnnaZed
              05/28/2010 at 12:09 PM

              He was convicted:

              http://whomurderedrobertwone.com/2009/07/15/catch-me-if-you-can/

              My memory is not the great tool it once was, but I’ve been on this site a long time and can remember how to find stuff (mostly).

              • Deb
                05/28/2010 at 12:18 PM

                Thanks, Anna. I looked it up thanks to your memory. That guy’s a real freak!

                • KKinCA
                  05/28/2010 at 12:26 PM

                  AZ – thanks for the link.
                  Deb – And to think that Collins and his diary entry is Michael’s only alibi!! I wonder if Collins wrote about his “activities” with the cats in his diary?

                  • AnnaZed
                    05/28/2010 at 12:29 PM

                    Sorry, just to be clear, Michael’s partner who wrote the now famous alibi dairy entry is another gentler soul named Louis Hinton, who appears not to be a criminal.

    • plumskiter
      05/28/2010 at 8:27 AM

      in previous posts, i have pointed out the same passages. i too think they are very revealing – shows there was a script and victor got it a little wrong. by their versions, no one had even been downstairs post-murder at that point to discover “the missing knife” [which was the one by the bedside]. very odd.

  10. Dave
    05/27/2010 at 9:11 PM

    I’m gay too, and I think this case doesn’t seem to be an anti-gay thing.

    • Alex
      05/27/2010 at 9:48 PM

      Agreed!

    • tassojunior
      05/27/2010 at 10:55 PM

      Right- you’ve got three homosexuals alone in a house with a straight man drinking wine. All gay men know what that will happen. That straight guy’s Coming to Jesus !

      • AnnaZed
        05/27/2010 at 11:06 PM

        Speaking of drinking wine, are you hitting the bottle tonight a bit hard dear? You’re rambling a bit and repeating yourself even more than usual.

        • Carolina
          05/28/2010 at 12:43 AM

          He just learned to cut and paste and hopes someone notices.

        • Themis
          05/28/2010 at 10:48 AM

          Maybe he is showing how mucn he cares by drunk posting from his smartphone.

      • Nora
        05/28/2010 at 7:18 AM

        Tasso, you’re the one who was accusing people of being patronizing. Please stop insulting our intelligence.

        By the bye, if you have been protecting your neighborhood from crime for 20 years, it’s especially embarrassing that you are now acting like a developmentally challenged little boy. I think I hear your nanny calling.

      • ramknts
        05/28/2010 at 2:49 PM

        we’ve discussed the meaning of the phrase, but allow me to help you brush up:

        http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/come_to_jesus_meeting/

    • Deb
      05/28/2010 at 10:28 AM

      I think in the initial hours the police were right on to question whether there was a “domestic” element to the crime, with sexuality being a big part of “domestic” relationships of any sort.

      I think where they went wrong is that it became pretty quickly apparent, even to them, that this was more a crime of violence than passion.

      At that point, I think where the “gay” agenda comes in is that I pick up on a tone of gay = weak with a couple of the detectives. They relied upon “breaking” one of the three into a confession.

      All I have to say to that is: Not all dumbs are blonde!

  11. cc
    05/27/2010 at 9:13 PM

    how did wones sperm get in his rectum? and how could ward not here an intruder come in and sexually assault wone and then kill him. this killer had such a short time to not only kill but also rape. it is virtually impossible.

    • Bill Orange
      05/27/2010 at 9:34 PM

      The semen isn’t in evidence yet, and the defense may be able to knock that down. I don’t think you can draw too many conclusions about that quite yet.

      • Leo
        05/27/2010 at 9:59 PM

        How knock it down, exactly? Can it get there from masturbation? I really don’t think so.

        • Bill Orange
          05/27/2010 at 10:15 PM

          The defense may be able to cast doubt about whether it really is semen. DNA is meaningless here–we know that swabs taken from Wone’s body will contain his own DNA. This issue is how they determined that the swabs they took from Wone’s body really contain semen, and not something else. If they show us microscope slides with spermatozoa on them, I think that’s pretty convincing. If they just say that they added a chemical to the swab, and it turned blue, and that proves it’s semen, then it’s going to get kicked over to the defense. If the defense can show that a lot of other things can make the swab turn blue, then I would say that the assertion that semen was found in the rectum has been “knocked down”.

        • BenFranklin
          05/27/2010 at 10:25 PM

          It’s not semen. Semen contains spermatozoa. What the under-qualified,assistant, junior ME identified by combining samples was Jing 精, bodily fluids containing unique DNA essence, excreted as natural part of the post mortem process in 70% of males.

          No evidence of sexual activity or sexual assault-just spectacularly irresponsible theory-chasing-evidence opining by a flunk-out ME influenced by the bigoted detectives.

          • tassojunior
            05/27/2010 at 10:39 PM

            But that doesn’t explain the semen in the way the prosecutor wants and was so hopeful for when they first found semen. And we all know what happens when three homosexuals are in a house with a straight man drinking wine.

            Remember Ben you’re trying to argue with self-hating jealous queens who have been slighted by Price in personal life. Save your time, they’re obsessed enough to be on here 27/7 and not in good mental balance. Don’t feed the trolls. Their day will come.

            • AnnaZed
              05/27/2010 at 11:04 PM

              “…Remember Ben you’re trying to argue with self-hating jealous queens who have been slighted by Price in personal life.”

              Hold on just one minute there.

              Have you got even one scintilla of evidence that the creators of this site, in opposition to their many statements that the defendants are not persons known to them, that any of them or any one of them have been “slighted by Price in personal life”? If you do produce it, if not withdraw that insulting and inaccurate utterance immediately.

              • AnnaZed
                05/27/2010 at 11:23 PM

                That’s odd, I see this gauntlet laying here, untouched.

              • tassojunior
                05/28/2010 at 12:03 AM

                I’ve read the back threads where you all gossip about Price, days at W&M with him, experiences with him, his mom wearing combat boots, dinners at Virgina Equality, nights at Zeiglield and Secrets, how much Ward is worth as a massuere, etc. etc ad nausem.

                Get a life, normal people don’t obsess over this on a blog 24/7 to chase out reasonable people who want to find fact. Save your catty backbiting for the bathroom at Zeigfields. Catty talk bores me. I stand by my opinion and anyone with the stomach to research the treads would agree. I’m going to sleep now to prepare for my rather pleasant life tomorrow- sorry about yours. You and you friends have the place to wallow in your self-hate and jealousy all night.

                I repeat, you are getting tedious. -craig

                • AnnaZed
                  05/28/2010 at 12:05 AM

                  I am still at a loss to even imagine whom is meant to be jealous of what in that construct.

                • Nora
                  05/28/2010 at 12:17 PM

                  You’ve read all the back threads, you post obsessively, yet we’re the ones who need to “get a life”? If you have such an enviable social calendar, Tasso, what are you doing on this “vicious” blog at all?

                  Keep telling us how mentally unbalanced and uncivil we are, scout. Your desperation is comical.

            • BenFranklin
              05/27/2010 at 11:18 PM

              I’m happy to feed them–it’s good training for the delicious boiled crow that’s on their menu.

              Can someone remind me why we didn’t ban this liar? -craig

            • Bill 2
              05/27/2010 at 11:25 PM

              We’re supposed to be treating people with respect but that seems to be something you are unable to comprehend tasso. When it comes to the “self-hating” and “jealous queens” you describe, please check your mirror for what appears to be a perfect example. And when it comes to your “good mental balance,” it’s time to realize that it’s beyond your reach. Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!

            • Craig
              05/27/2010 at 11:59 PM

              Tasso: You’re getting to be pretty tedious for someone who just showed up here less than a week ago and you have proven yourself to be a rather poor guest.

              • KKinCA
                05/28/2010 at 12:34 AM

                Craig – What are the standards for banning people? I gave up on interacting with tasso a few days ago due to his inability to answer factual questions or provide FACTS for his theories. He leaves a thread when asked questions he can’t answer, only to reintroduce whatever crazy theory he is spouting to new posters and the cycle starts over. But now he has gone to the depths of personally insulting posters and possibly the editors. I just wondered what your policy was. Thanks.

                • AnnaZed
                  05/28/2010 at 12:37 AM

                  I don’t know what Craig’s answer to this will be, but my own thought is; his blog ~ his rules.

                  • KKinCA
                    05/28/2010 at 12:46 AM

                    AZ – I totally agree. I am just curious about it. I saw a reader/poster get banned a little while ago for having like 10 different names. I just wondered if there were certain rules that readers/posters must follow. I don’t recall having to read or agree to any rules when I started posting a short time ago.

                  • sigmund freud
                    05/28/2010 at 8:15 AM

                    Hopefully if banned as a nuisance, it can be for the IP address so he doesn’t come back under just another screen name like some who have 10 names.
                    Thanks.

                    • Bob
                      05/29/2010 at 3:00 PM

                      First, it appears that Tasso has not been banned, although his post was censored.
                      Second, his IP address cannot be blocked because it belongs to a pool by the ISP and is not a static IP address.

                • Nora
                  05/28/2010 at 7:26 AM

                  I posted a really, really bad joke a few days ago, and it was banned. For which I am eternally grateful!

            • mia
              05/28/2010 at 2:42 AM

              Sex orientation shouldn’t be the only consideration when it comes to pick your side to stand for. Being gay doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stand for someone else solely because he also happens to be gay. Just like Robert Wone befriended with gay Joe Price even tho he’s straight himself. Seems you haven’t learned how to think beyond yourself. I feel sorry for you, truly.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/27/2010 at 10:41 PM

            If you disqualify the sperm evidence, Robert is still dead with no signs of an intruder, and the “under-qualified, assistant, junior ME” has nothing to do with that, BF.

            • AkaZappa
              05/27/2010 at 11:05 PM

              Ben and Tasso have found each other. Wonderful.

              • Carolina
                05/28/2010 at 12:46 AM

                I can’t wait for this circle jerk.

                • AkaZappa
                  05/28/2010 at 12:48 AM

                  Heh.

          • Leo
            05/28/2010 at 12:17 AM

            I don’t think the “junior” ME (who didn’t flunk out of anywhere) found or can testify about the bodily fluids found in Robert’s rectum. She simply used a particular “sex assault” swab kit on his orifices and presumably some lab technician/forensic examiner will testify as to what was found. I also think the ME who testified is actually pretty senior in the office, as she is the Deputy.

        • Deb
          05/28/2010 at 11:58 AM

          Just a quick anatomy lesson — the prostate is a very sensitive gland. . . A lot of guys like to have it stimulated, gay or straight. That semen may have already been there.

          • Carolina
            05/28/2010 at 12:55 PM

            Er… where? How, why, all those W-H questions.

            • Deb
              05/28/2010 at 1:46 PM

              In Mr. Wone’s rectum. The comment previously from Leo was that Leo didn’t think semen could be present in the rectum from masturbation.

              • ramknts
                05/28/2010 at 3:10 PM

                Prostate stimulation or not, semen is not excreted to the rectum. Also, most would stop stimulating the prostate after ejaculation…

                If you are referencing pre-ejaculate, that has a different chemical makeup than semen and almost never contains sperm. It would be good at this point to know if they did examine sperm content in the fluid.

                • Deb
                  05/28/2010 at 3:20 PM

                  I was just trying to point out that the presence of semen or pre-ejaculate or any other fluid in the rectum does not automatically mean that the victim of the homicide was without doubt the victim of a sexual assault as well.

                  • ramknts
                    05/28/2010 at 3:48 PM

                    True. Points like yours are exactly the problem the prosecution is having. It is much easier for the defense to shed doubt on findings like these than it is for the prosecution to prove their truth (without invoking ‘the norm’, common sense, and gut feeling, which have merit in real life but not in legal proceedings). The defense must one other possibilities and say “it’s possible that’s not how it happened” while the prosecution must eliminate all possibilities and say, “This is how it happened.”

                    • Deb
                      05/28/2010 at 5:24 PM

                      Of course, you and I (and many others among us) lose sight that this is the obstruction/conspiracy trial.

                      Personally, I can hardly wait to watch Pat Regan in the civil case! If they are never tried for the homicide, he might make them wish they had been.

  12. DCTim
    05/27/2010 at 9:17 PM

    I was also embarrassed for the prosecution today. As Steven said above, it was difficult to be there and see them being pummelled for the second day in a row. And they’re up to bat! Imagine what happens when the defense gets its turn. Schertler was even able to get Deedrick to say that their upcoming witness – Dr. Lee – is a nationally known expert in his field, all while Deedrick’s own credentials and qualifications were dragged through the mud.

    The prosecution seemed woefully unprepared to me, and if things keep going the way they did today, I think its likely this case will be lost, and based on nothing more than the Kirschner’s office’s imcompetence. They definitely need to get their shit together.

    • Steven
      05/27/2010 at 9:29 PM

      I agree the prosecution lawyer seemed unconvincing in the technicalities today. She’s going to lose this case unless she sharpens up.

    • tassojunior
      05/27/2010 at 10:51 PM

      And that’s what burns us up in DC. The damn US Attorney’s Office which gets lead by the nose by these MPD detectives who would make the keystone cops look smart. Thousands of some of the smartest lawyers in the country jerked around by idiots.

  13. Bill Orange
    05/27/2010 at 9:29 PM

    Deedrick strikes me as one of those witnesses who’s testimony is valuable but not critical to the case.

    Joe Price has acknowledged that he may have pulled the knife out of Wone’s body. He’s also said that he was holding a towel over the wounds. I think that the defense can reasonably argue that what happened was this: Price and Zaborsky found Wone stabbed three times, with the knife still in his body. They called 911 and were told to use a towel to apply pressure to the wounds. Price does so, wrapping the towel around the knife. Since the knife is “in the way” of his efforts to apply pressure to the wounds, he pulls it out and puts it on the table. Since the towel is already in contact with the knife, it leaves fiber impressions on the handle and the blade as it is pulled out. It also clears off the gray fibers from the T-shirt and transfers on white fibers from the towel.

    Unlikely? Certainly. But well within the realm of possibility, and entirely consistent with the defendants’ stories.

    I don’t really understand the intensity and direction of the cross-examination here. The date of the crime is irrelevant to Deedrick’s experiments. Who cares where he got the towel from? I don’t care where the horse blood came from, either. Why didn’t he just ask if his results could be entirely consistent with what Joe Price said happened? If the answer is “yes”, there’s no point in arguing the validity of the evidence.

    • Nelly
      05/27/2010 at 10:02 PM

      But that still doesn’t match up with what little evidence was found. Where did those bloody towels that Joe supposedly pressed against Robert’s wounds go? Re: your last question, I’m not too sure if that could have been a proper question to ask the witness. It’s up to the trier of fact to decide. Regardless, this latest update doesn’t make it sound good for the prosecution so far. Let’s hope they are prepared to thoroughly cross-examine and expose Henry Lee and other defense hacks. Any chance this website will get and post the actual court transcripts? Eds., I would be glad to chip in for the costs.

      • Leo
        05/27/2010 at 10:05 PM

        This guy is not a crucial witness for the prosecution (or anybody). I’m not even sure what his “expertise” is supposed to be; neither was the Judge, thus the Daubert inquiry. If his testimony is disregarded I don’t see how it hurts the prosecution’s case overall.

      • Bill Orange
        05/27/2010 at 10:17 PM

        There’s already a bloody towel in evidence, isn’t there?

        • Carolina
          05/27/2010 at 11:53 PM

          A towel with blood, but hardly what one would expect from the fatal wounds suffered.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/28/2010 at 12:20 AM

        It’s easy to go after a witness on cross. It makes for a great show and can be impressive, as we saw today. But a successful direct exam is much more difficult, as we also saw today. I don’t expect the prosecution to have much trouble on cross of the defense experts, should we get that far, but they do need to tighten up their own case and fast.

  14. Clio
    05/27/2010 at 9:57 PM

    A “thingie”?

    Note to Self, Doug D. — When the finder of fact starts calling your equipment just that — a “thingie”, it’s not a good omen. Thankfully, as has been pointed out, your testimony was/is ancillary to the case!!

    Let’s all start anew tomorrow, Rachel. Amen.

  15. Lyn
    05/27/2010 at 9:58 PM

    The defense team is squabling over the color of the t-shirt used in the test? And picking on whether Deedrick knew the date of the murder?

    Is that really the best they have? Sounds kind of desperate if you ask me. How does the date of the murder bear on whether the knife appeared to have been wiped with a towel?

    • Leo
      05/27/2010 at 10:04 PM

      If the knife was always there–either in Robert’s chest or pulled out by Joe and laying on the nightstand–why did Victor say on the 911 all that “they have one of our knives!” as if it was missing? What the hell was he talking about? If he hadn’t seen the body very closely, thus hadn’t noticed that the knife was still in the body, then how did he know it had been stabbed “with one of our knives?”

      • Bill Orange
        05/27/2010 at 10:24 PM

        Joe could have said, “Go call 911. Someone stabbed Robert with one of our kitchen knives.”

        • CC Biggs
          05/27/2010 at 10:50 PM

          He might as well have, given that such a scripted utterance is every bit as implausible as all the other statements the housemates made that night. I can see it now: Joe runs downstairs to find his friend stabbed to death, and in the fog of shock and horror he immediately identifies and describes the the knife. That’s pretty funny. As if Wone died in a hit-and-run acccident and Joe needs to identify a fleeing vehicle. Please.

          • Bill Orange
            05/28/2010 at 8:23 AM

            It’s implausible but hardly impossible. Remember, the standard of proof is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense is going to argue that ANY theory as to how someone ends up stabbed to death in a guest bedroom is “implausible”, because people almost never end up stabbed to death in guest bedrooms.

            • Carolina
              05/28/2010 at 12:56 PM

              There seems to be a lot of variation in “reasonable doubt” since the OJ trial, but I doubt Leibovitz will be so broad-minded.

  16. josephina
    05/27/2010 at 10:55 PM

    One thing I never hear really exploited by the prosecution is the psychological state of the accused shortly after the crime. I watch a lot of crime shows, (ok, so that does not make me an expert), but they always talk about the emotional state of the accused as they are questioned by the cops right after the deed. Criminal profilers often say that the guilty with exhibit the “flat” emotional response and calm that these guys showed. Why is that not being used to against them? Where is the psychologist in this? Their behaviour has guilty written all over it but no one seems to be going there…

    • Carolina
      05/27/2010 at 11:55 PM

      While that can come into play, let us not forget “the Dingo got your baby” lady was convicted erroneously based on her lack of affect, while Susan Smith cried hysterically, all the while knowing she sent her own children into the river to drown.

      • josephina
        05/28/2010 at 12:57 AM

        There’s crying and there’s crying. Some good body language experts can identify with great accuracy, what’s real and what is not. I’m not saying this is an exact science…but since these experts are used all the time, why not here?

    • CC Biggs
      05/27/2010 at 11:59 PM

      That’s a job for a jury (or judge sitting as jury). No need for expert testimony on that.

      • josephina
        05/28/2010 at 12:54 AM

        I think you can have psychologists, profilers, body language experts, those kinds of people to give testimony. Why not? It seems like leaving that out is like not seeing the forest for the trees. And I admit that my head is starting to spin from all the details about the trees…

        • AkaZappa
          05/28/2010 at 12:57 AM

          Trouble is, who is going to testify about their state of mind? The EMTs etc. but whoever the psychologists were not there. Therefore they would be reacting to what someone else described. Someone else’s admittedly subjective description. There have been experts already excluded on forensics who were not there and will not be allowed to comment on the crime scene.

        • AkaZappa
          05/28/2010 at 12:59 AM

          I guess they could comment on the state of mind during the videotaped interrogations, but that was hours after the fact.

          • DonnaH
            05/28/2010 at 2:52 AM

            Reading body language, etc. is hardly an exact science. Look at what happened in court today over the presumably “scientific” attempt at fiber analysis. No clinical psychologist worth listening to would presume to judge the state of mind of another without checking it out, especially if the psychologist didn’t know the person well or had reason to think they might be lying. And many things such as nervousness can give a misleading impression of lying (which is why we’re looking as well for gross inconsistencies in the defendants’ interviews, etc.)–

            • Carolina
              05/28/2010 at 12:59 PM

              This has worked well in other countries for detecting terrorists at airports, but it’s *direct* observation at a time where one would assume the criminal is under the most stress. Doing so after the crime from the description of others would probably not even get far enough to be laughed out of court.

              Doing the same with the tapes might yield interesting ideas, but I don’t think they’d be admissible and it’s pretty much out of the question now that the trail’s started.

  17. Finn
    05/27/2010 at 11:07 PM

    Has anyone theorized that R.W. was stabbed with both Ward’s missing knife and then as a cover-up with the kitchen with the same size blade, found in the guest bedroom? The M.E. (?) said she couldn’t tell which knife he was stabbed with. Could it have been both?

    • AkaZappa
      05/27/2010 at 11:12 PM

      The kitchen knife has a five inch blade. The wounds are all four inches deep. It’s difficult to make three pristine four inch deep cuts with a knife with a five inch blade, and not get any blood on the handle to boot. The missing knife, OTOH, has a four inch blade. Go figure.

    • AkaZappa
      05/27/2010 at 11:14 PM

      Especially since one of those blows penetrated the sternum. That means it was forceful. Making the four inch depth with the five inch blad even more improbable.

      • plumskiter
        05/28/2010 at 8:43 AM

        aka zappa has it right. the length of the blades of the two knives seems to be an important part of the govt’s case.

        seems that stabbings which involve enough force to penetrate bone (the sternum/breastbone) typically are as deep as the length of the knife blade – the blade goes in until stopped by the handle of the knife.

        here, the knife by the bed had a 5″ long blade, yet all the wounds were 4″ deep. the wounds were therefore likely made by a knife with a blade of 4″ in length. and the knife missing from dylan’s cutlery set in his closet in his bedroom had a 4″ blade.

        as i understand the govt theory, it is highly unlikely that someone could use a 5″ blade to stab with enough force to penetrate the sternum, and stop the stabbing motion at 4″. such a stab would typically be the depth of the knife blade.

        • brc
          05/28/2010 at 11:52 AM

          Clarification, the ME testified the depth of the wounds to be 4.5 inches with a possible range of 4 to 5 inches.

          • AkaZappa
            05/28/2010 at 2:29 PM

            Interesting. So the length of the knife is within the margin of error. Was the length of th knife the only feature of the knife itself (leaving aside blood on the knif or lack there of) that suggests it may not have been the murder weapon?

            • whodoneit
              05/28/2010 at 2:56 PM

              Not really. If you got to the multimedia tab at the top and click on crime scene photos you can see photos of the knife up against a ruler. The blood on the knife extends to 148 millimeters, which translates to 5.82 inches.

              • AkaZappa
                05/28/2010 at 6:45 PM

                Oh, ok, thanks.

          • plumskiter
            05/28/2010 at 2:59 PM

            thanks you are right, and the clarification you make explains why she could not give an opinion as to the length of the knife blade that made the wounds.

  18. tucsonwriter
    05/27/2010 at 11:55 PM

    From the wrap – it sounds to me like the defense, if you can call it that, is to attack the witness and throw out all kinds of weird questions… the witness for the defense says, “It is clear that my towel swab experiment is consistent with the pattern on the knife on the bedside table.” The defense on cross says, “Do you realize that you had onions for lunch three days in a row with another witness for the prosecution? You had lunch on July 3, August 18 and Septemeber 23. Do you realize that by having onions for lunch on those three days your entire credibility is now in question just because I can say this in an aggressive way in this courtroom?”

    • Leo
      05/28/2010 at 12:22 AM

      I know, I don’t know where Schertler (?) was going with his timeline of the expert’s activities. Who cares if he didn’t know the date of the murder? Or took months to complete his “experiments” with the pork etc.? How is any of that relevant to attack his findings or his credibility? Just asking questions loudly doesn’t score any points with a judge sitting as factfinder.

      • deepsouth
        05/28/2010 at 3:37 AM

        I’d think it wouldn’t help and might even hurt with this judge, but no doubt it gratified the hell out of the man holding the checkbook.

      • Nelly
        05/28/2010 at 6:51 AM

        That doesn’t sound relevant to me either. Anyone know if the prosecutors objected? What next, questions about, “You don’t even know what any of the men ate for dinner that night, do you?!”

      • Themis
        05/28/2010 at 11:10 AM

        It could be argued that the time lags create an inference of expert shopping. Why didnt he get busy shortly after meeting with the US Attorney’s office if this was crucial evidence and he thought he had the expertise and tools to condct the necessary tests.

        And hair and fiber miscroscopy have taken big hits in recent year.

        • plumskiter
          05/28/2010 at 3:02 PM

          when you work for the government, hiring an outside expert involves a lot of red tape and paper pushing to get authorization to spend the dough. so, a lot of times, the prosecution waits until it seems pretty certain that the case is going to go to trial. it is kind of a catch-22; the more evidence you have, the more likely a guilty plea before trial. but if you don’t know that a case is going to trial, you might not get permission to hire an outside expert.

      • jfh
        05/28/2010 at 10:19 PM

        i actually think the timeline is quite important bc why did they not perform the tests in a timely manner? where was it during all this time? with all their errors, how do we know if the evidence was actually properly stored and preserved. and, it begs the question, of accuracy. i don’t think the defense is grasping for straws, in fact, it helps to undermine the credibility of the witness and discredit his findings.

    • josephina
      05/28/2010 at 12:59 AM

      hee, hee, onions…good one

    • HKG
      05/28/2010 at 3:21 AM

      hahaha, yes, good one.. sad that it can be allowed without the judge protesting.. (she is protesting on other things, so how does some of this slide by?)

    • Bill Orange
      05/28/2010 at 8:16 AM

      I agree. My impression of the defense has been that they’re trying to throw up every possible legal objection that they can rather than trying to establish that the defendants aren’t guilty of the charges and that all of the evidence is totally consistent with the defendants’ statements.

      Yes, I understand that they’re not obligated to prove anything; they just have to establish reasonable doubt for their clients. But they’re not acting like lawyers who are heroically trying to prove that their clients are the victims of a horrible miscarriage of justice.

      They’re acting like arrogant high-paid lawyers who know that they’re clients are guilty, and their only concerns are showing the judge how clever they are at making legal arguments and racking up billable hours.

      • BadShoes
        05/28/2010 at 8:38 AM

        While the prosecution presents its case, the defense strategically plays defense. Their job right now is to show that the prosecution’s facts aren’t really facts, or that the inferences the prosecution may make from these maybe-not-facts aren’t justified.

        Later, when the defense presents, then they have the opportunity (but not the requirement) to present an alternative theory or alternative facts.

        Also, keep in mind the ancient legal adage: “When the facts are in your favor, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When the law is against you, argue like hell.”

        • plumskiter
          05/28/2010 at 8:45 AM

          we always ended that, when the facts and the law are against you, attack the prosecutors and the police.

          • whodoneit
            05/28/2010 at 9:53 AM

            The version I always heard was when the facts are against you, pound the law; when the law is against you, pound the facts; when both are against you, pound the table.

  19. Ex Swann
    05/28/2010 at 12:26 AM

    I keep an immaculate home. The kitchen is top of the line (OK, it’s a B-) with a lovely sink or two and a dishwasher. The knife would never leave the kitchen/patio area and would go immediately into the dishwasher after every use and then to the block.

    What if I were stoned and had a “situation” on the second floor that required me to run down the stairs, grab/clench a knife tightly in my panic (with God knows what – and my DNA – on my hands) and run back upstairs to the “situation”? What if I violently stabbed my house guest to death with that knife at, say, 11:05pm?

    If I were, say, someone like Joe “the intruder did it” Price? I would want to set aside 5 seconds of my 44 minute clean up period to pull the knife out. In other words, I used a clean knife that should have been in the butcher block downstairs, at the opposite end of the house and one floor up to kill someone … I need to explain my DNA on that knife.

  20. csi
    05/28/2010 at 12:35 AM

    Does anyone know a little about the Shakespear’s book that Ward was reading? i think even if their “play” went wrong, they didn’t have to stab him given he was capacitated.

    • AkaZappa
      05/28/2010 at 12:51 AM

      It was an illustration of Shakespeare on his deathbed in the New Yorker.

    • DonnaH
      05/28/2010 at 3:04 AM

      It’s been conjectured here that he was stabbed in order to make him appear the victim of (1) a street crime, with an initial plan to dump the body elsewhere; and/or (2) an intruder. (This would also lessen the possibility of consequent extensive drug testing.) There’s more discussion of possible scenarios in the comments between 10 and 11 pm on Day 5 wrap.

  21. Anti-Tasso
    05/28/2010 at 1:07 AM

    Tasso and Ben —

    Lets hear what you think happened that sweltering night in August 2006? Do you really buy the Defendants theory? If so, please defend your position. You guys like to lob bombs at everyone else but I would truly like to hear what you believe happened.

    Speak now gentlemen.

    • AkaZappa
      05/28/2010 at 1:12 AM

      Ben will trot out the Lunesta zombie theory, and Tasso the trapped intruder, and they can figure out a way to merge them: the trapped Lunesta Zombie!

      • KKinCA
        05/28/2010 at 1:18 AM

        The trapped lunesta NINJA zombie who can scale high walls/fences while holding the murder weapon, and without leaving any trace of himself nor any signs of disturbance on the wall, fence or dirt on the ground. No prints on the patio door either – so a glove wearing trapped lunesta ninja zombie. Wow – this just becomes so much more realistic as I write this [NOT!].

        • whodoneit
          05/28/2010 at 9:56 AM

          I am surprised they haven’t floated the vampire theory. After sucking the blood, he then stabbed the victim and escaped by turning into a bat and flying away.

          • KKinCA
            05/28/2010 at 12:10 PM

            Hee-Hee. That’s a good one. Maybe the defense will enter into evidence one of the plethora of vampire-related TV shows!

  22. Ex Swann
    05/28/2010 at 1:10 AM

    Anyway, it seems common knowledge that if one stumbles upon a stabbed friend in one’s guestroom, one leaves the knife in to help slow the bleeding.

    If I were the finder of fact, I would want Joe “the intruder blah, blah, blah” Price to tell me exactly WHY he removed the knife.

    • plumskiter
      05/28/2010 at 8:48 AM

      i don’t think that is common knowledge. i did not know to leave the knife in until this case came along. let’s hope i never have to use that particular bit of recently acquired knowledge!

      and, none of the defendants has an obligation to put on evidence or testify and their failure to do so may not be considered by the finder of fact. they are presumed innocent and entitled to have the government prove its case against them beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • Themis
        05/28/2010 at 3:06 PM

        Way back in the day, the Army taught that you should apply the cellophane wrapper from a pack of cigarettes to someone suffering from a sucking chest wound. Presumably, the only reason it would be sucking is because the wounded was still breathing. The cellophane was intended to stanch the flow of blood

        • Bill Orange
          05/28/2010 at 3:46 PM

          Actually, that’s not quite right. A sucking chest wound has a high probability of leading to what’s called a “tension pneumothorax”, which is when air enters the chest cavity through the wound. The wound acts as a valve, so air can get into the chest cavity, but it can’t get out. This air is around the lungs, not in them, and as the pressure builds up in this air pocket, it compresses the lungs, making it harder and harder to breathe. The point of the cigarette wrapper isn’t to blood from coming OUT of the body, it’s to keep air from getting IN. The reason that you use cellophane is because it’s airtight, whereas most other bandages (like rags torn from clothes) are not.

  23. BlondeAnon
    05/28/2010 at 2:58 AM

    I am a bit disappointed in the Gov’t case so far. I like the chronological order, but when do they start pointing out inconsistencies? I don’t blame the judge for being frustrated.

    My hope is that at the end when the prosecution does it’s summary, that it will have as part of it’s summary, a powerful powerpoint presentation, that shows the inconsistencies and impossibilities in a chronological fashion. I’ve seen this happen in trials before, in which the prosecution seems to be getting hammered but ultimately the facts put up in a clear organized way can only point in one direction: obstruction.

    I think the judge sounds terrific, and she doesn’t want to have to sift through all the info herself. It’s the prosecution’s job to lay it out for her.

    • Nelly
      05/28/2010 at 6:47 AM

      The prosecution attorneys cannot argue about inconsistencies during its presentation of evidence. That would be done in closing argument. In general, prosecutors like to use power point presentations or a visual laying out all the inconsistencies to make it easier to follow.

    • plumskiter
      05/28/2010 at 8:50 AM

      on some t.v. shows, the lawyers turn to the jury in the middle of trials to explain evidence or make small arguments. that doesn’t happen in real life. first the evidence, then the argument drawing it all together (if you are the prosecution) and making reasonable inferences.

      • KKinCA
        05/28/2010 at 12:15 PM

        Given how technical the testimony is, I think that the bench trial works to the advantage of the prosecution. I can’t imagine a jury following this and then making sense of it when they are deliberating, no matter how educated and intelligent the jurors may be. The judge obviously is very sharp and intelligent, and should able to sort through all the technical and complex physical evidence when the time comes to render the verdicts. Just my opinion.

        • plumskiter
          05/28/2010 at 3:04 PM

          agree

  24. Jo
    05/28/2010 at 3:30 AM

    Is there a picture of Robert Wone’s T-shirt? It does not seem to have been introduced as evidence yet. I read on the blog that the back of the t-shirt was soaked with blood but not the front and that it was not consistent with the blood stains on the sheet/bed. If prosecution can clearly demonstrate this point, it’ll be pretty damning, wouldn’t it?

    • Nelly
      05/28/2010 at 6:44 AM

      It was brought out on cross of the EMT and looked like it had blood on both front and back.

      • Jo
        05/30/2010 at 1:43 AM

        Did the blood stains on the front and back of Robert’s t-shirt look inconsistent with the intruder theory and why? I have read in the comments something like there’s a lot more blood on the back than the front of the t-shirt, and the blood stains on the back of the t-shirt did not seem consistent with that on the sheet, etc. Have any of these inconsistencies with the t-shirt’s blood stains been brought up during the trial?

  25. Alex
    05/28/2010 at 6:01 AM

    Craig, I think you may have banned BenFranklin and Tassojunior. They are unquestionably people who have close ties to the defense. I have no personal knowledge of this, but no one gets that passionate about people they don’t know when there is so much circumstantial evidence that something went terribly wrong in that house and it wasn’t because an intruder entered the house.

    Thank you for all your updates. They are riveting.

    • Craig
      05/28/2010 at 8:20 AM

      Alex – Neither of them have been banned. Those with contrarian opinions and theories are welcome. Supporters and friends of the defendants are always welcome. Everyone is welcome if they behave properly and respectfully. Those who deliberately mislead and hector, while few in number, risk further participation.

      • Bill Orange
        05/28/2010 at 8:33 AM

        It’s your blog and your rules, but I’d recommend letting them stay. I’d also recommend to other posters that, if you cannot engage them clearly and succinctly on the facts, you shouldn’t respond to them.

        Look at the thread above that starts, “cc on 05/27/2010 at 9:13 PM”. It starts with a spirited discussion of the evidence of semen reportedly found in Robert’s rectum. cc and Leo think this is conclusive. I’m not convinced. But we’re having a civil, fact-based debate. The thread is then very effectively diverted by Ben and tasso, to the point that by the end of the discussion, it’s not at all clear what was being discussed in the first place.

        • Clio
          05/28/2010 at 9:27 AM

          I recommend letting them stay, too, and I myself promise never to mention a certain employee of CNN or the weight of a certain former basement tenant ever again.

          Yours in Christ (from the ladies’ room at Ziegfield’s),
          An Allegedly “Self-Hating, Jealous Fem-Queen,”
          A Charter Member of “the Thought Police,”
          & The “S.M. of the Wannabee Street Quartet”

          P.S. Now let’s all “come to Jesus”, and help to secure justice for Robert. That means you too, Rachel!

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/28/2010 at 9:46 AM

            Once again, Clio, you have put a big grin on my face. Hilarious.

            • TK
              05/28/2010 at 9:49 AM

              LOL Clio

        • Kate
          05/28/2010 at 9:34 AM

          Thank you Craig and Bill –

          I first got wind of this extraordinary blog after reading the Washington Post Style section story on May 17th (I think?). While new here, I have followed this horrific crime since August 2006. No doubt, many of the new posters have done the same. Our son and his partner lived just around the corner from Swann Street at the time and my husband and I were understandably quite concerned. I would have come to WMRW.com many months ago had I done a simple Google search. I’m embarrassed to say, I never thought of it.

          That being said, I have found the long-time contributors to be very welcoming and most helpful, if discussions are courteous and respectful, as they should be. Also, the information presented, stored and discussed here is invaluable to those who would like to see justice for Robert Wone and his family … as well as the community beyond.

          As the trial is now underway, and media coverage has increased, others will join in the discussions. New eyes will look at the evidence and new voices will weigh in on the crime. Naturally, there will be some change in the dynamics of the comments. Theories long since dissected and discussed will appear anew and many will request direction to properly research the legal documents, evidence and procedures in order to gain a keener understanding of this genuine murder mystery.

          I hope this is not off-putting to the long-time contributors who have been diligently posting for over 18 months. Their participation is essential to one and all, and greatly valued.

          Most people do not appreciate flaming and vitriol, myself included. I believe there is no place for such behavior in a place dedicated to the memory of Robert Wone, a young gentleman who was known for his kindness, intelligence and acceptance of others.

          I apologize for the long post but felt a need to express these thoughts.

          Many thanks to the dedicated Editors and contributors for the gift of your time, talent and treasure.

          Respectfully,
          Kate

          • Kate
            05/28/2010 at 9:37 AM

            Oh and thanks Clio – you posted while a was a-writin’ my wee message.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            05/28/2010 at 9:44 AM

            Well said, Kate.

        • Alex
          05/28/2010 at 10:11 AM

          I’d also recommend to other posters that, if you cannot engage them clearly and succinctly on the facts, you shouldn’t respond to them.

          I am curious what you mean by that? If either person was coming forth with intelligent thoughts/analyses of the case, I’d welcome their input. But all I see are incredibly immature and conclusory statements without any evidence to substantiate the facts they assert. JMO.

          You say if others cannot engage them “clearly and succintly,” then people should not respond to them. In my opinion, people should not acknowledge anything they say because they are clearly not here to debate the issues.

    • Kathleen
      05/28/2010 at 11:40 AM

      “They are unquestionably people who have close ties to the defense.”

      Why would you say that? It would be the same as saying that those who have been vehemently arguing from the beginning that one or more of the defendants sexually assaulted and murdered Wone have a personal vendetta against the defendants.

      Unfortunately, there is a tendency to attack those who disagree with the majority opinion here or even just question the proffered evidence – most of which has not even been introduced or tested in a court of law yet. It seems to have lessened as the trial got underway and more varied posters came here. I can see, however, why those with “contrarian opinions” don’t bother to post.

      And continually asking what happened of those posters who do question the government’s case or speculation by others is fruitless. Many people, myself included, do not pretend to know what happened. In fact, I find some of the speculation unseemly and disrespectful to the victim and his survivors. Just because you don’t want to put another theory out there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t question the proffered evidence, the as yet unproved stories floating around and the theories of others.

      I have been reading this site since almost its beginning and the venom toward the defendants seems obvious to me. I have seen some of these same posters at other sites on the internet saying the same things as they do here and posting all kinds of tidbits as if they knew them to be proven facts and I consider that deliberately misleading.

      It seems ridiculous to have to say this but before I am accused of being the best friend of one of the defendants or a defendant himself: I do not know any of these defendants though I do know almost all the other parties involved – the judge, prosecutors, police, the defense attorneys and even good old Bill Hennessey. I hope that this site considers an open mind to be a good thing. I believe that is the only way you can solve a crime and the only way justice can be served.

      • Hoya Loya
        05/28/2010 at 12:07 PM

        Kathleen:

        You points are well taken. Posters of all view points have had their excesses on this site, ad hominem attacks in particular.

        However, there are many more posters who base their pro-prosecution arguments on thoughtful analysis of the facts. There have been very few, if any, who have done the same from the defense point of view and I like to think a poster who tried to do so would be politely engaged.

        Pro-defense posters have tended to ignore or distort the facts or cry gay bias generally (not tying it into specific findings), and blindly repeat the same mantras without engaging other posters, discrediting their arguments in the process and doing the defendants no favors. For instance — the recent arguments about the police ignoring the intruder theory and disputing the established architecture of the house as it existed in 2006, as opposed to showing how an intruder could be consistent with the facts we know (and I think there is an argument that can be made there) or how the statements could be construed as largely accurate. Or painting the prosecution as incompetent with a broad brush as opposed to analyzing the proceedings so far to argue that their case is not being made. Nor have I seen anyone come to the defense of the defendants in response to some of the more extreme character judgments that have been made — doing so in a calm, rational manner would help bring the temperature down at times.

        • KKinCA
          05/28/2010 at 12:20 PM

          Nicely put. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I would welcome pro-defendants posts that contain facts and reality-based arguments.

        • Beavuh Readuh
          05/28/2010 at 12:59 PM

          Enjoy your posts, both for content and tone.

          2 points in response:

          1)”Pro-defense posters have tended to…cry gay bias generally (not tying it into specific findings)…”

          While I don’t consider myself pro-defense, the police interrogations of all three of the defendants strongly suggested anti-gay attitudes by the investigators–very strongly. I was aware of this case (and this blog) for some time before the transcripts of the interrogations were posted, and prior to reading the transcripts the idea of anti-gay bias was completely off my radar. After reading them, however, it seems impossible to me to discount that factor. I am going to speculate that for people sensitive to the issue of anti-gay bias (whether straight or gay), that after reading those transcripts there is a strong sense of wanting to see any conviction based on strong evidence and NOT on extraneous details of the defendants’ lifestyle. (Think of it as a sort of gay analog to the response of the OJ jury to Mark Fuhrman.)

          2)”Nor have I seen anyone come to the defense of the defendants in response to some of the more extreme character judgments that have been made..”

          It is probably pretty difficult to defend the character of the defendnats if a poster doesn’t know them personally, particularly when so much of what IS known comes from reporting that has highlighted and sensationalized salacious details about their lives.

          Likewise, however, it would seem fair for people who did NOT know them personally to hold way back on some of the more extreme character judgments that have been made not only about the defendants, but about their friends and families who have not rushed forward to hold press conferences condemning them. I think that many fair-minded people are justifiably put off by a lot of the voracious “Lord of the Flies”-like feeding frenzy on the character of the defendants and the people surrounding them.

          • Carolina
            05/28/2010 at 1:09 PM

            You do understand that it is the police’s job to get under the skin of those they interrogate, not offer them solace and a plate of cookies, correct?

            Pissed off people make mistakes. It’s that simple.

            • Beavuh Readuh
              05/28/2010 at 1:33 PM

              And people who keep their oool get accused of not telling the truth.

              Interesting response. I’ve noticed a number of your replies seem to have an antagonistic tone to them. Are you by chance trained in law enforcment or police interrogation techniques? Is that a formal aspect of training that police officers receive?

              I’ve only ever had one interaction with a police officer, driving in my own neighborhood, probably 100 yards from home. He seemed to think I looked out of place driving the car I was driving, in the neighborhood where I lived. He pulled me over and immediately began questioning me in a belligerent tone and accused me of lying to him, and threatened to arrest me if I didn’t consent to a search of my car, which I did because I had nothing to hide. But given the officer’s attitude, I was more than a little easy as he looked under the seats and in the glove compartment that he might “find” something.

              Experiences like that with police officers stick with you, and color one’s notions about the fairness of a lot of on-the-street policing.

              • Hoya Loya
                05/28/2010 at 2:14 PM

                I was once stopped on my way home from work for running a red light at an intersection I had not even driven through that day. I talked my way out of the ticket only after repeating my daily route, street by street, turn by turn, three times.

                Anyway, after testimony the other day, I don’t know how anyone can doubt that Officer Wagner has a definite opinion about gays. But my point was that a thoughtful analysis would list the specific ways in which that affected the investigation, outweighing the impact of factual evidence, rather than just saying the DC police are all homophobes and not capable of making a fair case against the defendants.

                As far as defense of the housemates, we have had a number of acquaintences pop up and say they can’t imagine they are capable of wrongdoing, but they don’t tend to be regulars. If they stuck around to calmly counter some of the stronger characterizations, usually made in the heat of the moment, it would be of benefit to the site.

                Thanks for engaging in a thoughtful manner Beavuh!

            • Deb
              05/28/2010 at 2:12 PM

              I think the problem here — whether it was under the skin or a plate of cookies — the defendants DID say things in their interviews that should have led to some follow on questions that never happened. In reading the transcripts, it seemed the detectives were assuming they’d be getting a quick confession. Sure, you always want a confession, but you’ve got to develop those leads. Talk about how yucky burned steak is, perhaps?

          • Carolina
            05/28/2010 at 1:15 PM

            I am also going to have to ask what you mean by “extreme character judgments.” In all cases I can think of, their character is pretty well defined by their actions, or lack thereof.

            • Beavuh Readuh
              05/28/2010 at 1:35 PM

              I was quoting Hoya Loya with the phrase “extreme character judgments”.

              And I knew exactly what he/she meant.

          • KKinCA
            05/28/2010 at 2:06 PM

            Beavah – I am not sure how long you have been a reader of this amazing site, but since I started reading about 2 weeks ago, periodically readers post comments who know or knew one or more of the defendants and offer their experiences/impressions of them based on personal knowledge (or so they claim). In my experience they get peppered with questions from other readers, and disappear.
            Be cool with Carolina! She knows her stuff!

    • Doug
      05/28/2010 at 12:56 PM

      Alex; I can tell you definitively no-one has been banned. That’s not how we roll. All hose with something to contribute are welcome.
      Doug, co-editor

  26. Snugger
    05/28/2010 at 9:36 AM

    I think the evidence is becoming quite clear that there is simply not enough evidence to prove what happened that night. While I don’t think the Defendants’ did it, it is a horrible shame that the investigation was so poorly handled. It seems that there is not enough evidence to prove who did or did not do it, which is not enough to send people to prison for.

    • Bill Orange
      05/28/2010 at 9:47 AM

      I don’t agree. The prosecution isn’t trying to prove exactly what happened that night. Indeed, the current charges make it clear that they CAN’T prove exactly what happened that night, and they believe that the defendants are obstructing their ability to do so. There is substantial evidence that, whatever happened that night, it was NOT what the defendants are claiming happened. And we still haven’t seen several key pieces of the prosecution’s case (such as the testimony of Sarah Morgan or the evidence of Robert’s own semen on (and in) his body, nor have we seen ANY of the defense’s case. I think that it’s far too early to throw up one’s hands and say that we’re never going to know what happened that night.

      • rk
        05/28/2010 at 12:41 PM

        After some reflection, I believe we HAVE seen much of the defendant’s case, and we’re going to continue seeing it during the cross of the prosectution. Sure, they’ll be some defense experts to examine after the prosectuion (re the knife, missing blood, paralyzing heart wounds and the like) but I think the defense’s strategy is mainly to show that the investigation was botched, and that their experts are underqualified. They have tried to show this to date during the cross of the prosecution witnesses. I don’t think they’ll put on a huge show for the judge re the character of the defendants, the intruder theory, or alibi witnesses.

        Imagine:
        Grimm: Your honor, this witnesses will testify that Joe Price is an upstanding member of the community.
        Witness John Doe: Joe is a law abiding citizen, upstanding member of the community and would never do this.
        Kirchner on cross: Did you know about Joe’s Culuket identity? Did you know that Joe cheated on his husband with a live-in boyfriend? Did you know Joe solicited sex with an online identity as Kuluket? Did you know Joe kept hard core S&M pornography on his work computer? Did you know this side of Joe? If you didn’t know this side of Joe, is there a chance that you didn’t know him as well as you thought? And if that is the case, don’t you think it’s possible that your opinion re Joe’s respect for law and order and status in the community is limited to his public persona, not his private Culuket identity?

        And on and on and on…..

        Just a hunch – could be wrong.

        • Deb
          05/28/2010 at 1:52 PM

          I don’t think that any person’s mature, consentual, erotic preferences define him as “good” or “ill” of character.

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

            Even if those stated preferences included torture and other extreme “delights”? How post-modern it is of you, Deb, not to make a judgment about those “choices”, but, as an ancient muse, I do have a problem with Culuket’s stated preference for torture, (as did Enlightenment philosophes such as the real Ben Franklin.)

            • Deb
              05/28/2010 at 2:53 PM

              I think the point I was trying to make got lost somehow. I was saying if people have those CONSENTUAL urges with other people of a similar (adults, of course) mind, it doesn’t necessarily make them “bad” people. If they impose that preference upon another absent of consent, that is an entirely different story. They go from being kinky to being mean.

    • Lee
      05/28/2010 at 1:04 PM

      One of the things that I find troubling is that the defendants are most in jeopardy because the crime scene appears to be “cleaned” and lack evidence of an intruder. But if the MPD is as incompetent as it appears, the lack of evidence of an intruder could be the result of people not doing their jobs.

      While I personally believe that the story of an intruder is ludicrous, I am not happy that a what could be nothing more than incapable investigators could become evidence that the trouple conspired.

  27. Elizabeth
    05/28/2010 at 9:52 AM

    Had to help kids with homework last night so I am just reading these comments this morning. There are so many disturbing aspects to this, obviously, but I truly don’t understand why you would plan to do this to a friend, or even an acquaintance. The roommates, or at least Joe and Dylan had access to, indeed it sounds like through postings, etc. had sought out other partners. Why not elicit someone who would be into it? Or, if part of the game is torturing and assaulting an unwilling person, why not pick a stranger? Hell, if you are planning on assaulting someone are you not also planning to kill them? These guys wouldn’t leave a victim out there to press charges, so why not just kidnap a stranger? What am I missing here?

    • AnnaZed
      05/28/2010 at 10:24 AM

      Well Elizabeth, on the face of it that seems logical. My own thoughts are that Robert was targeted very specifically by one of the men who was fixated on him. That man thought that both Victor and Sarah would not be around that night and that there would be fewer impediments to his attacking Robert but once fixated could not control his compulsion to proceed anyway.

      • Elizabeth
        05/28/2010 at 10:38 AM

        So do people (very new to the case and blog, so my apologies) believe that it was an assault gone wrong, or that Joe intended to kill Robert? I mean, what did he think would happen after what folks are calling “playtime?”

        • Bill Orange
          05/28/2010 at 12:32 PM

          Well, different people have different theories. I think that many people believe that this started out as a sexual assault and for some reason turned into a murder. I think your questions is, why do people think that anyone would believe that they could sexually assault someone and not have them immediately report it to the police? The answer to that is that there are a number of “date rape” drugs out there that cause anesthesia, and the lack of defensive wounds, the lack of any evidence of movement during the stabbing, the conjunctival petechiae, and the unexplained needle marks on the victim’s foot and neck have lead many of us to conclude that Robert Wone was drugged at the time of the killing.

    • BadShoes
      05/28/2010 at 2:16 PM

      “I don’t understand why you would plan to do this to a friend…”

      I don’t think anybody does, or at least I sure don’t.

      It makes no sense for any of the defendants to assault Robert Wone, and less than no sense for all of them to do so. Such an act would be deeply irrational. But the motives of an intruder are no more obvious.

      Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes say, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable, must be true.” As philosophy, its pretty dubious, but perhaps it fits this case.

      Also, it may or may not be relevant, I discern a streak of ruthlessness and recklessness in some other actions:

      –Triangles are explosive constructs. They have a tendency to end badly and somebody generally gets hurt. Usually everybody gets hurt. Mr. Ward was on anti-depressants, and two members of the household took sleeping pills. There is no evidence that Mr. Price had any trouble sleeping.

      –How about keeping numerous explicit gay BDSM photos of oneself on your work computer? Particularly in view that the guys in the IT shop are stealing them and selling them to web sites in Bulgaria. (Okay, I made that part up). Still, its a disaster waiting to happen. Reckless.

      –How about trolling the internet for partners when you’re already in a committed relationship? Certainly ruthless.

      –Suppose the kind of partner you are looking for is an anonymous sadist? Yikes. Reckless.

      –How about looking for sadists when you’ve already been indicted for a felony with a sex angle? Beyond reckless. Irrational.

      –How about setting up a web site for sex toys when you’ve already been indicted? What were they thinking?

      There was an interesting interview with Alan Dershowitz (I think in the NYT) the other day, in which Mr. Dershowitz was asked about his client Leona Helmsley, who went to jail for evading taxes to the tune of a few million dollars when her net worth was a hundred times larger. Mr. Dershowitz said, in effect, that some people do this sort of thing all the time, without consequences, and then they are astonished when they eventually get caught.

      • TT
        05/28/2010 at 2:30 PM

        I love you BadShoes….

        • Clio
          05/28/2010 at 2:59 PM

          I’ll take a pair of BadShoes, please — quoting Alan in reference to the trouple: Priceless!

      • HKG
        05/29/2010 at 8:18 AM

        wow, good post..

  28. Elizabeth
    05/28/2010 at 10:41 AM

    Also, AnnaZed, besides the pages and pages of emails that Joe saved, which was a ripe topic a few days ago, is there evidence of a “fixation” or obsession? Thanks.

    • AnnaZed
      05/28/2010 at 10:44 AM

      Not that I am aware of no, besides the corpse if it is proved that Joe did this. It is absolutely purely speculation on my part.

      • Elizabeth
        05/28/2010 at 10:51 AM

        Besides the corpse! Macabre! And most everything is speculation but I think that is the way you get to “the truth.” Lots of people talking and debating and seeing what makes sense from personal and professional experiences.

        • Deb
          05/28/2010 at 2:58 PM

          One thing I’ve wondered about is rivalry anger. Joe is described as being egocentric in places, almost a wonder in his own mind — even larger than his significant achievements. What if Joe just got sick of the younger friend being the good guy all the time; got sick of Mr. Wone always helping everybody but never needing help himself; etc.

          Then Mr. Wone is struggling with some obscure intellectual property issue. Joe offers help. Joe offers some literature. Joe wants/needs Mr. Wone to somehow need Joe so that Joe can feel superior in some capacity.

          Mr. Wone says thanks but no thanks and drops the pamphlets/literature on the counter.

          Joe loses it.

    • Hoya Loya
      05/28/2010 at 11:46 AM

      The story about the stack of emails has had an odd effect on me. I see it as an attempt at a peace offering to Kathy. At that late point, there was little Joe could do to help or change things, but he printed out his correspondence with Robert, which surely preserves Robert’s personality, kindness, humor, as well as his friendship with Joe. It, of course, also conveys the message “I didn’t do this.” Maybe Joe, in his way, really is remorseful about whatever happened. Maybe he suspects who did it but doesn’t know for sure or, if he knows, has somehow rationalized that whatever happened was beyond his control (that what happened was unforeseeable and/or that he had no opportunity to save Robert).

      I’m being vague because I can’t put my finger on what it is – but the gift of the emails has put doubt in my mind that all the intruder and gay bias theories have not. The gesture seems genuine, not desperate. Add to this the sense of trial attendees that Joe seemed genuinely defensive of Robert’s character in the video, more so than came across in the transcript. At the moment, I am leaning towards the theories that this was a “screw-up,” an unintended result of bad judgment on someone’s part, perhaps drug-fueled, and away from the darker theories of premeditated assault and certainly not premeditated murder.

      As for who actually did it – I am still where I was when I started reading here — I have no idea.

      • James
        05/28/2010 at 1:03 PM

        I agree. Have never thought this was premeditated but instead a plan gone terribly awry. Have also been meaning to add that I think the stabbing was an attempt to delay blood tests on Robert — knowing that whatever was in his system would disappear after some time and once the EMTs saw the stab wounds, they would assume the actual cause of death was the stabbing. A red herring, basically.

      • Beavuh Readuh
        05/28/2010 at 1:17 PM

        “an unintended result of bad judgment on someone’s part, perhaps drug-fueled…”

        Re: ‘drug-fueled’:

        What would have been the impllications of the police having gotten blood samples from the defendants on the night of the crime? Is that even a possibility?

        Would the police have been able to get warrants to take blood samples, given that the defendants were present at the scene of an unexplained murder, and were considered by some of the EMTs to be acting suspiciously?

        Was there not enough probably cause to test them? Would the police have had to name them as suspects, thus conceding the opportunity to interrogate them without attorneys?

        Two further questions to you and any defense attorney who would weigh in.

        1) What is your opinion on anyone, guilty or innocent, consenting to a police interrogation without legal representation? At what point in an interrogation can a person say “Hey, your questions make me think you believe I’m a suspect. I am willing to continue providing information, but I feel like I should have someone here with me for legal advice.” What happens at that point?

        2) What is your opinion on a witness or a suspect taking a lie detector exam, with or without an attorney present? If Dylan Ward had said, “Yeah, I’ll be willing to take a polygraph, but I would like to do so with an attorney present.” What happens at that point? Do the police arrest him? Do they wait for his attorney to show up and tell him not to take the polygraphy?

        After reading the transcripts of the police intterrogations, my thought is that even if I were innocent, I would not be comfortable talking to detectives in a situation like that without having an attorney. And a polygraph? No way.

        • James
          05/28/2010 at 1:25 PM

          I was referring to Robert’s blood — and what they were testing for. I dont think they tested for things that perhaps they would have otherwise because of the stab wounds. I wasnt suggesting the defendants would have been tested.

        • Hoya Loya
          05/28/2010 at 2:36 PM

          Not necessarily implying that it was any of the defendants who was “drug-fueled” — just the person who did it, who may or may not be one of the defendants. But even though they may have been thought to be acting strangely, I don’t think there was probable cause to ask the defendants to open their veins — no immediate reason to think intoxication of any sort was part of the mix at the time.

          Anyone should demand that a lawyer be present before submitting to any questioning. If I found a dead body in my house, I would call my lawyer right after calling 911. I wonder if Dylan and Victor felt that Joe was in a sense, their lawyer? As for Joe I can’t guess what he was thinking.

          I’ll let one of our public defenders answer the lie detector question.

      • Nelly
        05/28/2010 at 1:28 PM

        FWIW, an anonymous commenter on a recent news article mentioned that Joe was known for cocaine rages where his personality completely changed. Once “good Joe” returned, he probably felt extremely guilty and wanted to be all nice to Robert’s wife.

  29. Elizabeth
    05/28/2010 at 11:09 AM

    This is copied from First Time Reader’s comments on 5/27 at 1:07 pm: “Finally, there is an e-mail that suggests that one or more of the defendants cannot give their side of the story because they would go to jail. This would seem to constitute an admission against interest since it is an out-of-court statement with no Fifth Amendment protection.” This is the first I have read about such an email. Sounds important! Can anyone be more specific about said email?

    • Laura
      05/28/2010 at 11:25 AM

      That e-mail was disclosed in the recent Washingtonian magazine article.

      • Leo
        05/28/2010 at 12:24 PM

        Supposedly Joe Price sent that email to a friend after the murder and nobody knows what he is referring to or hiding. If prosecution wants to introduce it, it would be the admission of a party-opponent and thus admissible hearsay, but proper foundation would also have to be established, i.e., the email came from Joe’s computer, his account, etc.

    • KKinCA
      05/28/2010 at 12:31 PM

      Elizabeth – There was a reader’s comment to a post earlier this week that included some of the language from the email. Unlike AnnaZed, I have no memory of what day it was or which post’s comments it was included in. It generated an interesting (and civil, as I don’t believe that Tassojunior participated) discussion as to how to interpret the meaning of Joe’s words.

  30. Themis
    05/28/2010 at 6:14 PM

    The observations about the lack of postings by people arguing the innocence of the trouple is much ado about nothing when it comes to defense attorneys. There is a strong, though not monolithic culture in the defense community that you don’t generally opine about guilt until all the facts are in.

    Even then many of us still decline to comment The problems is that when you begin to chime up about innocence after a trial it looks like sour grapes. Moreover, if you don’t claim all of your clients are innocence from the jump, your failure to say client x is innocent makes people think that you have inside knowledge that the client is in fact guilty. I have never offered a statement on whether a client was innocent or guilty, and it’s doubtful I ever will absent strong evidence of wrongful conviction.

    And sometimes even commenting on problems with certain aspects of a case gets you in hot water.

    • Deb
      05/28/2010 at 6:30 PM

      Well, your job as defense counsel is to represent an individual against a certain set of charges, to defend and protect his rights under our Constitution.

      Let’s use Amy Bishop as an example. She shot her colleagues. No argument there.

      The defense attorney defends her against the specific charges. I don’t know the Code there, but I would suspect she is charged with premeditated murder among other things.

      Did she shoot the people is pretty much a given. Is she guilty of premeditated murder? Could be a different story, and she has a right to the protection of an adequate defense.

Comments are closed.