Day 11: Updates

4:45pm: Adjournment

Tara Ragone completed testimony and cross.  She yielded another headline regarding what Joe Price may have done with the knife. 

 The day ended with AUSA T. Patrick Martin starting his direct of MPD Homicide Detective Bryan Waid. 

In between all that was even more discussion on the admissability of the defendants’ statements.  Of course there was.

Full recap on the day hits around  7:00pm.

3:15pm Update:

William and Mary friend of both Robert Wone and Joe Price, Tara Ragone took the stand following the lunch break.  She detailed her communications with Price following the murder, emails and phone conversations. Her first call with Joe was on the Sunday following the murder, her second on August 18. 

From the second phone chat she said to him directly, perhaps prompted by the initial media stories, “If the scene was tampered with, I’d have real problems with that!” 

According to Ragone, Price’s response was, “There’s a big difference between tampering and wiping away some blood, freaking out about a crime scene.”

More updates follow.

1:30pm Update:

Bernie Grimm’s cross of Sarah Morgan elicited some key points: mostly centered on the supposed lack of concern about doors being locked at 1509, day or night.  On the afternoon of August 2 when she came home, Morgan said she could tell the back patio door was unlatched and unlocked.

She considered the neighborhood “somewhat dangerous” and kept on her three housemates about unlocked doors.  Once while coming home, the front door was ajar with Price’s keys still in the lock.  He was inside at home that time.

Her overnight with Tom and John was arranged on the fly, she testified. Grimm walked her through the series of phone calls from the Price brothers and her time at the VCB and Cosi on the morning after the murder.  She said Joe Price told her the police accused him of trying to “gay Robert up.”

Grimm went to lengths to make it clear that none of the housemates were “out to get Robert” or that they had never said an unkind word about him.  She said as far as she knew, that was the case.

At a follow up luncheon she had with Price at the Daily Grille, she said Joe told her that upon discovering Robert, he tried to feel for his pulse.  Morgan testified that she saw herself as an integral member of the larger family: she met the parents of Ward and Zaborsky who had overnighted at 1509 and was at home while the two children of Price and Zaborsky were there.

Again she said they were a “cohesive unit,” and in response to a Grimm question, said that while she saw incidences of tempers, hurt feelings, and arguments among the three, they never escalalted to physical violence.

Asked by Grimm if Price was the dominant “voice” in the relationship, she said Price’s “voice was more frequent,” and then in her first sign of emotion other than tearing up, she giggled.

Schertler’s cross was next and he quizzed her about the extent of the relationships: did they all socialize together and travel with each other?  Yes, twice to Italy.  Morgan considered herself very much a part of the family, all were very happy and content, and that she witnessed no jealousies or tensions.

Asked if Ward and Zaborsky were “controlled by Price,” she said no.  When the basement unit was flooded and contractors were replacing drywall in her apartment, she said she stayed in Ward’s rear bedroom and was never awoken by any sounds in the house.  Another giggle.

Zaborsky counsel Tom Connolly’s cross was ten minutes long.  She said she believed that the threesome were “emotionally distraught and sincere” after the murder.  Zaborsky told her that he was glad she was not there when it happened and that all he wanted more than anything was to see his parents.

In Zaborsky’s telling of the night’s events, he told her that while on the phone with 9-1-1, that he brought down the towel for Price to use as first aid.  Certainly, Tom Connolly wasn’t going to ask her why Price didn’t grab one of the available towels that were sitting on the back of the guestroom chair.  Those went undisturbed all night it appears.

Judge Leibovitz had questions of her own for Morgan.  Did she consider herself part of the family?  Yes.  Did Price, Ward and Zaborsky confide in her on personal issues?  Yes.  Did they share their relationship problems with her? No.  Did any appear that summer to be stewing about anything?  No.  Was she aware of any relationship issues?  No.  Did she ever press either of the three for additional details about the alleged intruder and murder?  No.

Schertler was allowed a quick recross and asked Morgan why she didn’t ask any more questions about the night of August 2.  Was she aware the three had hired attorneys?  Yes, she was.  Was she aware of any discord in the house?  No.

Connolly passed on a chance to recross and Kirschner began his twenty minutes of redirect.  When she left 1509 on the evening of August 2 at 6:00pm, did she set the alarm?  Yes, and she also set the internal motion detectors.

When she heard from the Swann neighbor Chuck Wolf about his house being burglarized, did she share any of that with her three housemates?  No she didn’t; perhaps an odd response from the most security-conscious member of the family.

Kirscnher then started talking trash…literally.  When the garbage cans were washed out by Price or Zaborsky, how were they placed in the parking area?  They were turned upside down she said.  When all retired for the evening, were the first floor lights turned out?  Yes.  When she slept in Ward’s room, did the A/C disturb her?  Morgan said she was not bothered by it.

Kirschner closed by asking Morgan if it was possible that there were aspects of her housemates’ interpersonal relationships that she may have been unaware of.  Yes, she said it was possible.

Judge Lebovitz recessed for the lunch break at 1:00pm and the trial will reconvene at 2:00pm.  It’s unclear who the next government witness will be, perhaps it’s Detective Brian Waid.

Earlier updates after the jump.

11:30am Update

AUSA Glenn Kirschner’s direct of Sarah Morgan wrapped up at 10:45am.  She detailed her set of phone calls from Joe and Michael Price, her visit to the VCB and then to the Cosi afterwards.

She traveled to Cosi with Lisa Goddard while Michael, Joe, Victor and Louis came in a separate car.  Joe departed, then came back with Ward in the car but said he was so upset that he wasn’t going to come inside.  Sarah went out to the car to say hi to and give Ward a hug.

In a conversation with Zaborsky, he recited the familiar events of the night: grilling, a fire and back in forth into the house by way of the patio door.  Later while following up with Ward, he told her that he was alone in his room reading and did not hear anything.

Morgan and the current state of the Swann Street Three, after the break.

Kirschner asked Morgan about the current state of her relationship with the threesome.  She has not spoken to any of them “in quite some time.”  She teared up at that point and grabbed a tissue.  Long-time friend Zaborsky also showed emotion at her telling of the estrangement.

Then it was onto Michael Price and whether he had a key to 1509.  She knew of his past history, and even though he helped her move into the house the previous April 2006, she did not want him to be a key holder.  Joe assured her that he would not have a key.

Sarah was away when the home was burglarized and only learned of the break-in via a Washington Post story.  When asked about the acoustics of 1509, she said sound traveled easily throughout the home due to its wood floors and she could hear people ascending the first floor stairs from her basement unit.

After  the next break, a recap of Bernie Grimm’s cross.

9:00am Update:  The Hypotheticals and Hypodermics Edition

Sarah Morgan on the stand Sketch courtesy: William J. Hennessy, Jr.

courtesty William Hennessy, Jr.

When this morning session kicks off at 9:50am it’s expected that AUSA Glenn Kirschner will continue his direct with Sarah Morgan, the former downstairs tenant at 1509 Swann Street.

Depending on the length of her testimony and whatever cross examination the defense team has in mind, she could be on the stand most of the day.

What isn’t clear is what else Kirschner hopes to elicit from her.

It seems unlikely he will delve deeply into the lifestyle arrangements of her three former housemates.

Spag’s Star Turn: In a courtroom full of smart people, Ward counsel Robert Spagnoletti stands out.  When it comes time to pound the complex issue of the admissibility of the videotapes and other witness statements evidence, his number gets called.  He was in command yesterday arguing with Judge Lynn Leibovitz on the latest declaration from the government, to offer all statements for the truth of the matter.

Spagnoletti was firm in asserting this late course change by the prosecution has hampered past defense team efforts.  He took the fight right to Leibovitz and maintained this was an unfair move and contends that she actually set up the government’s late pivot.  Yesterday, Leibovitz guided the government through a hypothetical (a bank robber and getaway car driver), to help them more clearly focus on how she will address the statements of declarants and non-declarants in this three silo trial.

Spagnoletti pushed back and said, “You gave them a hypothetical to point out flaws in their logic…. (this wasn’t) an affirmative motion by the government to change course due to the Court identifying a problem… It’s fundamentally unfair.”

Time and time again, Leibovitz has reminded both sides that’s she’s capable of following her own instructions and is willing to hear more of Spagnoletti’s arguments and offer a remedy if need be.  “I take seriously the switch in course and do want to hear the impact of this and what can’t be fixed by time,” she told him.

Price Cuts: Defendant Joe Price’s brother Michael hogged much of the spotlight yesterday, but it was not of his own choosing.  Price counsel Bernie Grimm fought hard to keep the attention off his client’s brother, but to no avail.  And he had no back up from the defense table either; colleagues David Schertler and Tom Connolly sat on the sidelines, not joining his effort to exclude testimony on Michael.  How the rest of the government’s Michael gambit plays out is anyone’s guess.

My Cousin Lynn: We’re not alone when it comes to using Tinseltown metaphors in trying to describe the elements of this case and trial. Yesterday, Judge Leibovitz, in using a tire track analogy regarding Doug Deedrick’s imprint tests, showed off her silver screen cred from the bench.  “If someone sees tire tracks in the mud, like in that Pesci movie…But I won’t be Marisa Tomei…”

202 comments for “Day 11: Updates

  1. Mens Rea
    06/02/2010 at 10:33 AM

    What about yesterday’s testimony that Morgan had told Price (via blakberry?) she was staying overnight at some friends house the night Wone was killed? Seems highly inconsistent with Price’s telling investigators that, when he heard the alarm chime, he just thought it was Morgan coming in that evening. Wouldn’t one expect him to have explained during interrogation that piece of the exchange between him and her? Why would he have just so readily assumed it was her, as opposed to immediately assuming it was a break-in?

    • Ohio
      06/02/2010 at 10:42 AM

      Maybe because he was lying? jmo

    • Bill 2
      06/02/2010 at 10:46 AM

      Several days ago, I read elsewhere on this site, that she sometimes changed her mind about staying away overnight.

  2. AnnaZed
    06/02/2010 at 10:45 AM

    Where was Dylan at 6pm when Sarah closed up the house and set the alarm?

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 11:09 AM


    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 11:11 AM

      inquiring really would like to know

      • ladyg
        06/02/2010 at 11:12 AM

        my bad: inquiring minds would really like to know

  3. Elle Woods
    06/02/2010 at 11:02 AM

    It does seem like the former prosectuor Leibovitz inserted herself into the government’s trial strategy. Basis for appeal?

  4. CC Biggs
    06/02/2010 at 11:04 AM

    Is Sarah Morgan testifying fully and candidly, or is she being evasive and legalistic? Is she hostile to or cooperative with the prosecution?

    • dcbill
      06/02/2010 at 6:32 PM

      She didn’t seem evasive or legalistic on the stand. Rather, I thought she was genuine and cooperative with the prosecution. She established information about the defendants’ relationships with each other and her testimony about sound travelling through the house would definitely seem to help the government. On the other hand, her real concerns about the neighborhood and her housemates’ neglect in securing the house was a plus for the defense. I didn’t understand the significance of all of her testimony about what went on in the parking lot at VCB or at COSI. Again, maybe it was just to establish the facts of who was there, what kind of emotional state they were in, etc. It was kind of boring, but she seems like a nice person and a caring friend.

  5. Aquanetta
    06/02/2010 at 11:08 AM

    Sooooo… Im beginning to like this judge. Quoting MY COUSIN VINNY !! She can’t be that bad, right? 🙂

    THE BROTHER. He is THE rotten seed in the family – Drug addict and thief. I am warming up to the idea that he either did it or was involved. The only thing that is keeping me from fully jumping the bandwagon is why the other two would go to such great lengths to cover for him. Is the tripod (or whatever they’re calling their arrangement) that strong? I’ve been in some pretty intense relationships in my short lifespan but going to jail for a relative of the one that I love is a HUGE stretch. If the brother did do it….and the trial appears to be heading South for the defendants… I predict one or two of them without the last name PRICE will start singing like a canary for a deal.

    • Cecily
      06/02/2010 at 11:53 AM

      Did the brother have a relationship with Ward? Maybe if the brother was involved he didn’t act alone so others would cover for one of their “family”.

    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 3:01 PM

      I think Joe helped Michael, or vice versa. Their loyalty is not to Michael, but to Joe.

    • Chris
      06/02/2010 at 3:02 PM

      It does not seem possible that the brother, Michael, could go to the house, sneak in, go to the second floor and engage with Mr. Wone, uninvited, ending in murder. And without the other roommates’ knowledge, or participation. If Michael was in the home that night, and was the murderer, then it must have been consensual sex that went bad, it seems to me.

      But then Joe still seems much more likely to be involved in Roberts’ death than Michael. As you say, Aquanetta, if the death was due to Michael, then I don’t believe the two roommates ultimately would go to jail to protect him. The only person I believe that both Victor and Dylan would go to jail to protect would be for Joe Price. In my mind, Joe must have been involved in the murder for their loyalty and cohesion to be maintained in the face of a long prison term.

      But I can’t imagine Joe murdering Robert. Unless Robert died inadvertently while involved in a sex act, and the knife wounds were added as a cover up. In such a sex scenerio, who would inflict the knife wounds — it would have to be Joe making the decision and doing the deed to protect all three of them as a cover up.

      The only other reasonable option is Dylan killing Robert in a drug induced fit of passion of sex together. But, if that is true, it doesn’t make as much sense that Victor would go to prison to protect Dylan? Joe must be directly involved somehow.

      • Bystander
        06/02/2010 at 5:32 PM

        I think Michael got high and tried to get some ass, and got mad at a heterosexual man being in a gay household, so he lost it. Joe is covering up for his brother, and although he likes his little tush spanked, he is the dominant one in the menage trios… Victor is like glass, you can see right thru him. He’s just so emotional(in my Peter Griffin voice), lol. It’s so obvious he knows what happened. Is it me, or is his attorney putting distance between them? I have him breaking down…

      • Elizabeth
        06/02/2010 at 7:39 PM

        I agree that Joe seems likely to have been involved in a deep way. However, if I am reading your post correctly, you mention twice that it was consensual sex gone wrong. What leads you to believe Robert was consenting in any way?

        • Carolina
          06/02/2010 at 9:19 PM

          Nothing, because there is no evidence that Robert was gay or bi.

  6. dweller
    06/02/2010 at 11:21 AM

    Another hypothetical – suppose I lend my brand new car, a pristine and clean Porsche Carrera GT, to 3 friends – let’s call them P, W, and Z. When they return it a few hours later, the seats are shredded and cherry juice has been spilled throughout – it’s going to cost $1000s to repair and clean. None of my friends claims responsibility – they say it was an unknown “intruder” who did it. They refuse to accept responsibility, so I end up suing all three in court. In civil court, I need to prove they were responsible by “a preponderance of the evidence” (i.e., that’s it’s more likely than not that they were responsible) – since they had been entrusted with my car, and the best they’re willing to say is “An unknown intruder did it,” a jury (or a judge) would likely hold them responsible given the lower standard of proof. If I wanted to have them prosecuted in criminal court for “destruction of property” (a criminal offense), the prosecutor would need to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” for any one or two or all three of them. Since it could have been P or W or Z (or the “intruder”) himself, or P and W, or Z and W, or P and the “intruder,” or any combination, there’s only one result – P and W and Z will be acquitted.

    • CC Biggs
      06/02/2010 at 11:29 AM

      P, W, and Z are in the best position to know what actually happened, so a prosecutor should charge all three with the crime, in order to incentivize the innocent party(ies) — if any — to come forward and explain what happened.

      Meanwhile, the owner of the car should bring a civil lawsuit against all three to recover the economic damaged suffered. Again, if there is an innocent party among P, W, and Z, he should come forward and explain what happened in order to get himself off the hook.

      • dweller
        06/02/2010 at 11:46 AM

        Unfortunately, the burden can’t shift away from the govt. proving guilt to a person “proving” (or even having to explain) his innocence. If in my hypothetical the prosecutor decided to go forward given the state of the evidence against P, W, and Z, he made a bad decision.

        • Bea
          06/02/2010 at 1:06 PM

          I think your hypothetical is interesting but in this context you’d have to add in whether P, W, and Z left the car door unlocked, whether there was evidence that they’d tried to clean up the juice, where each was when this was “discovered” – and whether P had given the car key to his drug addict criminal brother. Also, whether P, W, and Z gave statements which screwed up the investigation. Criminal charges could well be made against P, W, and Z for conspiracy/tampering/obstruction – though whether any police department has time for this for a $1,000 damage is quite unlikely. A man’s murder, yes.

    • William
      06/02/2010 at 11:43 AM

      AND the prosecutor has made it clear that P’s brother had a key to the car and “may have been” the vandal, but he can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Brother might also have altered the crime scene and destroyed evidence.

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 11:49 AM

      if i’m understanding this correctly,if i gave you my car in mint condition, upon returning it to me, it should be in the same condition, (gas included). i could be wrong…not!

      • dweller
        06/02/2010 at 12:12 PM

        You are correct – but suppose I return your car and the radio is missing, and all I say is “I don’t know what happened to it.” The police can’t arrest me for “theft” based on that alone (nor will I be criminally prosecuted) – but you can still hold me “responsible” in civil court. My point to this – there’s such a wide gap in the standards of proof between a criminal case and a civil case. Unless one of my guys (P, W, or Z, let alone the “intruder”) decides to “explain” his innocence, or the role that the others may have had, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt will be hard to get to.

        • ladyg
          06/02/2010 at 12:22 PM

          OK, you’ve been in my car several times, so you know that i have a radio in my car but there’s no sign of a break-in, i’m assuming that one or all three knew/knows what happen (plus you would call the police right away…right)?

          • Elle Woods
            06/02/2010 at 12:27 PM

            Do you people NEVER watch Judge Judy?

            • ladyg
              06/02/2010 at 12:44 PM

              YES, i do everyday. especially JUDGE JOE BROWN, (case in point, yesterday) mother of the girlfriend had an accident w her boyfriend’s car. she was held responsible.

        • Leo
          06/02/2010 at 12:57 PM

          Guilt of murder, perhaps; but not of obstruction, tampering and conspiracy.

    • observingfromafar
      06/02/2010 at 8:18 PM

      Yes but they will lose in civil court; and $20 million hurts alot. May be some sort of comfort to the family

      • Carolina
        06/02/2010 at 9:24 PM

        It might hurt if the trouple hadn’t already hidden what assets haven’t been gobbled up by their legal team, and Florida has a homestead law, so they can’t touch the real estate there.

    • chilaw79
      07/31/2010 at 3:11 PM

      This was an incredibly prescient observation on the criminal case. Do you care to expound more fully on the civil proceedings or do you rest your case?

  7. Makes me wonder
    06/02/2010 at 11:34 AM

    Makes me wonder. We were fairly friendly with Joe and later Victor (once they started dating) back in the early 2000s. I would have have classified them as “closer friends” back then… They very nice, although Joe was a bit intense. On at least two occasions, Michael Price also came over to our house for larger parties/get togethers. Some time thereafter, we were burglarized and someone stole a vcr (remember them?!?!), phone, stereo, etc…we filed a police report and the police came and went. No proof that Michael was the burglar at all and didn’t suspect him at the time at all, but makes me wonder…

    • Vandy
      06/02/2010 at 11:46 AM

      Police didn’t check the database…I thought that there was a database that tracks stolen goods…I may be mistaken.

      • Makes me wonder
        06/02/2010 at 11:53 AM

        To be honest, I don’t recall. The interesting thing is that it appears that our dog didn’t bark and she usually barks (loudly) at strangers… my partner was in the house showering at the time of the break-in (yes, quite scary)

      • Carolina
        06/02/2010 at 3:05 PM

        The police don’t spend a lot of time going pawn shop to pawn shop looking for serial numbers. If they arrest someone with what turns out to be stolen property, you might (or might not, depending on your luck) get your belongings back.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/02/2010 at 4:06 PM

          I think the pawn shops are supposed to “self-police.” In other words, don’t accept something that they believe may be stolen or from someone that can’t properly identify themselves.

          Pffft. When pigs fly. Some pawn shops will probably help you file the serial numbers off. LOL

          • Kate
            06/02/2010 at 4:12 PM

            Sad, but true, CD.

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 11:54 AM

      next time,i guess that you’ll have to screen you’re friends more carefully?

    • Eagle
      06/02/2010 at 1:09 PM

      Are you saying that joe price often included his brother in large parties even though he was not specifically invited by the host?
      If so, joe must have known that his brother was “casing” the place.

      • Makes me wonder
        06/02/2010 at 1:19 PM


        Not sure if michael was specifically invited or not (probably not), but we were friendly with Michael through Joe. I highly doubt that Joe thought Michael was casing our house. I am sure he just thought he was including his brother in a nice social gathering (which he was).

        • Bea
          06/02/2010 at 1:31 PM

          What was Michael like? Same intense guy as his brother or more the sidekick or what? Thanks!

          • Agatha
            06/02/2010 at 1:35 PM

            Many have used the adjective ‘intense’ to describe Joe Price. What exactly do people mean by that?

            • Makes me wonder
              06/02/2010 at 2:21 PM

              Just that he seemed pretty focused… not very laid back… not mean, just focused.

            • galoon
              06/02/2010 at 4:22 PM

              It means he’s an asshole.

          • Makes me wonder
            06/02/2010 at 2:26 PM

            Michael was very laid back. Kind of the opposite of Joe. Seemed like he was turning his life around at the time. although I do know that prior to Louis he was involved with another guy and they lived together and it was so I heard quite an unhealthy environment (drugs, group sex, etc.)

            • Makes me wonder
              06/02/2010 at 2:29 PM

              Actually, let me strike that last comment. My recollection failed me. That was not Michael who was in the unhealthy relationship but his close friend. My apologies. I hadn’t given these old memories much thought until now.

        • srb
          06/02/2010 at 1:34 PM

          Did you discuss the burglary with Joe or Victor afterwards?

          I’d also be curious to know whether there is any correlation between homes that have been burglarized around Joe’s neighborhood and homes that Michael visited as a guest.

          • Makes me wonder
            06/02/2010 at 2:22 PM

            I wouldn’t be surprised if we did, although I cannot recall with any certainty.

          • Makes me wonder
            06/02/2010 at 2:24 PM

            Also, is this Chuck Wolf the attorney? If so, he was (perhaps still is) a good friend of Joe and Victor’s… wouldn’t be surprised if Michael has/had been to Chuck’s place.

            • srb
              06/02/2010 at 4:04 PM

              Very interesting — thanks! I would love to know whether the prosecutors/police looked into this angle, although I suppose if they didn’t talk to you, then that’s a good indication that they didn’t.

        • Eagle
          06/02/2010 at 3:23 PM

          Maybe. Let’s give Joe the benefit of a doubt.
          However, Joe was clearly a reliable enabler for his brother, constantly getting him out of trouble.
          He obviously had kept Michael from jail at least once (after the October robbery of Swann Street) and probably many many more times.
          There is no evidence of tough love in their relationship.
          A commentator on this blog who worked in Joe’s office said that Michael was in contact with Joe frequently.
          Joe is pretty savvy- or perhaps he was in denial about the destructive behaviors of his brother and what these behaviors meant in Joe’s own life.
          The trouble with destructive behaviors is that if they are not stopped they often just get more and more destructive as more and more they enhance feelings of powerfullness.

          • Carolina
            06/02/2010 at 4:23 PM

            Many, many very smart people confuse enabling with helping. I can’t blame Joe for having the instinct to make his brother’s life easier, hoping it would help him turn his life around. At some point, however, like Lisa’s loyalty to Joe, you have to recognize that your helping is really hurting.

  8. AnnaZed
    06/02/2010 at 11:56 AM

    Is it significant at all that Ward told Sarah that he was “reading in his room” while Robert was being attacked and murdered some 20 feet away from his door, not sleeping?

    • Jason
      06/02/2010 at 1:11 PM

      Yeah, I thought he took a sleeping pill and was asleep…

    • BadShoes
      06/02/2010 at 1:29 PM

      Mr. Ward told police that after he and Mr. Price showed Mr. Wone the bathroom, (circa 11:45pm), he returned to his room, read for a bit (presumably the New Yorker), took a sleeping pill, and then went to bed (circa 11pm). He heard Mr. Wone take his shower, and then the latch click on Mr. Wone’s door, all, presumably, at about 11pm.

      So, in principle, I think the version Ms. Morgan remembers hearing is just a slight telescoping of the story he told the detectives a little earlier in the morning.

      • First Time Reader
        06/02/2010 at 2:47 PM

        So he hears Mr. Wone take a shower and hears the latch click on Mr. Wone’s door, but he does not hear a intruder enter Mr. Wone’s room and murder him? That seems a little strange to me.

  9. rivetted
    06/02/2010 at 12:01 PM

    I thought I remember reading earlier that Joe told friends at Cosi that he had actually removed the knife from Robert’s chest himself. Do I remember that correctly? If so, why didn’t that come out in Sarah’s testimony today? Did Joe make that statement to anyone else?

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 12:07 PM

      i read that too.

    • Bea
      06/02/2010 at 1:01 PM

      Joe said this to W-5 while at Cosi (W-5 is believed to be interior designer Scott Hixson who was a neighbor and friend on Swann).

      • ladyg
        06/02/2010 at 1:12 PM

        is COSI a restaurant?

        • ladyg
          06/02/2010 at 1:40 PM

          not familar w the dc area…just got my answer (about COSI)from paul wagner’s report.

        • First Time Reader
          06/02/2010 at 2:48 PM

          Yes; it is a chain of restaurants in the DC area.

          • ladyg
            06/02/2010 at 3:23 PM


            • Clio
              06/02/2010 at 9:27 PM

              Actually, there is a Cosi right across the street from the courthouse.

      • rivetted
        06/02/2010 at 1:34 PM

        So will W-5 testify to that effect? If a credible witness/former friend can recount the statement that Joe made about pulling the knife out of Robert, it will be a significant point.

        • rivetted
          06/02/2010 at 1:35 PM

          And if that discussion at Cosi happened while Sarah was there, why didn’t it come up in her testimony? Was Joe telling each person a different story at that point?

          • Bea
            06/02/2010 at 1:42 PM

            W-5 is allegedly going to testify as to this. Rivetted, pehaps this was when Sarah was in the bathroom or hugging Ward – who knows? But if Joe REALLY told this to W-5 in no uncertain terms, and W-5 holds up as a witness, then Joe is in serious trouble. If the Judge believes the knife at the scene was tampered with (and wasn’t the murder weapon) then Joe will be hit hard sentence-wise in my opinion.

            • Alice
              06/02/2010 at 2:40 PM

              I don’t understand why telling a friend that he pulled the knife out of Robert is so damning. It sounds to me like he was exaggerating to make the story better and get more sympathy. How does this prove he did anything but embellish his role in finding Robert?

              • Makes me wonder
                06/02/2010 at 2:42 PM

                Because if he did pull the knife out, but the knife found by the police isn’t the knife that actually killed Robert, then it suggests that Joe disposed of the actual knife that killed Robert — thus, providing strong evidentiary support that at least Joe tried to obstrruct justice.

                • Elizabeth
                  06/02/2010 at 8:05 PM

                  I thought the medical examiner testified that she could not determine if the knife at the crime scene was or was not the murder weapon. I know the length of the knife was shorter than the length of the wounds, but didn’t she say she could not determine which knife was used?

                  • Bea
                    06/02/2010 at 8:32 PM

                    Not her area, though the inference was the knife with the blade which matched the length of the wounds was likely. But Deedrick added to that the knife appeared tampered with.

                    • Elizabeth
                      06/02/2010 at 8:39 PM

                      By tampered with you mean wiped with the bloody towel so it appeared to be the murder weapon?Or tampered with in another way?

              • Carolina
                06/02/2010 at 4:24 PM

                It also contributes to the prosecution’s contention that Joe has told several stories. Which ones do we believe?

    • DavidR
      06/02/2010 at 9:44 PM

      My recollection is that Joe removed the knife from Roberts chest. It was laying on him. He didn’t say I don’t think that he *pulled* it out of his chest. I read too that Roberts arm was laying across him but not at his side as was also described elsewhere.

  10. ladyg
    06/02/2010 at 12:05 PM

    from what i’m reading (am update) she said that “acoustic in the house”, sound travels easily because of the wooded floors. i find that very interesting.. makes one go hmmm.

  11. pocohontas
    06/02/2010 at 12:13 PM

    Is Michael Price represented by counsel?

    • Vandy
      06/02/2010 at 12:30 PM

      Joseph Price, Esq. (tee-hee)

      • ladyg
        06/02/2010 at 12:46 PM

        i was thinking the same thing, but just couldn’t bring myself to type it. lol

  12. Aquanetta
    06/02/2010 at 12:49 PM

    Q. Why is the judge allowing Morgan to testify to the nature of the relationship of the three defendants?

    I would think this would be relevant as to a the motive of the conspiracy and obstruction ie. why they would cover it up.

  13. Daphne
    06/02/2010 at 1:02 PM
  14. Jo
    06/02/2010 at 1:09 PM

    What did prosecution want to get out of Sarah Morgan? It’s not clear from reading the recap of this morning’s trial whether anything significant came out of her testimony.

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 1:15 PM

      maybe it was the statement about the “acoustics”… remember, the intruder who made no sound coming up/ going down the steps?

    • Nora
      06/03/2010 at 7:06 AM

      For one, Joe lied to Sarah about brother Michael not having a key to the place. A significant lie to a “family member,” since she was particularly concerned about this issue.

      Another brick in the can’t-trust-Joe wall.

  15. Kate
    06/02/2010 at 1:15 PM

    A question for one and all:

    How has Sarah Morgan’s testimony aided the prosecution in making their case?

    Very interested in reading your thoughts and views. I’m home sick today with a nasty cold and am not thinking too clearly.

    Many thanks, fellow case watchers,

    • Kate
      06/02/2010 at 1:17 PM

      Oh, sorry – I seemed to have overlapped with jo, above. Definitely, I’m not too bright today!

    • ladyg
      06/02/2010 at 1:20 PM

      nothing like a summer cold, hope that you’re getting plenty of rest/drinking plenty juices and no water (sorry for the dry humor) GET WELL SOON!

      • Kate
        06/02/2010 at 4:03 PM

        Thanks ladyg – and I think I can now answer my own question from above.

        Let’s see if others agree here:

        The prosecution is using Sarah Morgan’s testimony as a way of establishing the defendants as living in a very close, polyamorous “family,” and therefore capable of circling the wagons to protect one of their own – or in this instant, the brother of one of their own.

        Morgan’s testimony also demonstrates that Joe lied to her about Michael not having a key. We know from the evidence that Joe Price failed to include his brother on a list of those who had keys to 1509 Swann during the investigation.

        As for the defense during cross, they were able to establish that the three defendants were remarkably lax in regards to security and thereby supporting their “intruder” story.

        Have I missed anything, or is that it?

        • ladyg
          06/02/2010 at 4:11 PM

          NOPE…. victor and dylan need to flip the script on their beloved joe…like one of the detectives said “it’s going to get ugly”.

        • Carolina
          06/02/2010 at 4:27 PM

          I might be wrong, but didn’t Sarah say Joe was evasive on the key question?

          • Kate
            06/02/2010 at 4:43 PM

            Carolina, I’m not so sure now, either. I reviewed the Editor’s update and it said that Joe assured Ms. Morgan that Michael would NOT have a key.

            But, according to the latest update from the City Paper, Joe told Morgan that Michael would indeed have a key … and she was none too pleased.

            No doubt the Editors will clarify this point during the wrap.

            On another note, I’m very anxious to hear what Tara Ragone has to say about the “Catch 22” e-mail.

            • ladyg
              06/02/2010 at 5:04 PM

              you’re both right, i read the same thing. maybe down the line the eds will clarify this for us. nothing like getting the wrong information.

              • ladyg
                06/02/2010 at 5:08 PM

                it’s stated under the 11:30am update (about the key).

  16. Anon34
    06/02/2010 at 1:17 PM

    For quite some time, I have suspected that Joe’s strategy is: (1) go to trial on the conspiracy/obstruction charges and try to win on reasonable doubt; and (2) if convicted, serve up Michael and Dylan to Kirschner on the murder charge in exchange for zero jail time for Victor and little to no jail time for himself. I realize I’m making a lot of assumpitons in there, but I wonder if there are criminal lawyers who have a view as to whether Kirschner may make that deal to close a seemingly hopeless murder case (I’m a corporate lawyer and I know very little about this stuff).

    I’m also wondering whether the government’s case will easily survive the inevitable motion to dismiss after they conclude their case. The one element of this crime that troubles me is the burden to prove that each defendant knows the identity of the killer. The government is (necessarily) relying heavily on common sense and negative inference, and I’m not convinced the judge is going to get legally comfortable with that approach.

    Finally, I’m still not understanding why the Washington Post and, evidently, the government thinks that Michael’s yelling at the cops about interrogating Joe represents such damning evidence of Michael’s guilt. In my mind, that behavior is consistent with everything from *Michael acted alone* to *he wasn’t there at all, but Joe/Dylan did it* to *the intruder story is actually true*.

    • Bea
      06/02/2010 at 1:53 PM

      Hey Anon,

      I feel comfortable that the prosecution will survive the dismissal motion. It’s been decades since I did criminal work, but on the other issue raised I’ve harbored similar thoughts. My guess is that Joe won’t wait for the verdict but instead on the eve of the verdict (my guess is they’ll all have a good idea how she’s leaning – and the evidence will show what it shows). And I think Joe may still testify – despite being a ridiculous move.

      Anyway, one the eve of the verdict, I wonder if there will be some scurrying around, notably Victor’s counsel pushing hard to get him in position to turn prosecution witness – but your assumption is that Michael and Dylan are the murderers and I’m not so sure of that. I agree that whomever is willing to testify as to the murder charges will get a reduced/no sentence IF he/they were not involved in the murder or actual tampering. I do think there’s a possibility that Joe has worked this ‘arrangement’ long ago with Victor that if they aren’t likely to be acquitted that Victor will THEN turn witness. Your example that this will happen AFTER a guilty verdict doesn’t sit right, though – would like to hear from criminal lawyers on this point.

      • Farmer Ginny
        06/02/2010 at 3:14 PM

        Bea, your grammar is usually perfect, but I have to point out a mistake. You should have said “I agree that whoever (not whomever) is willing to testify . . . .” You’d have said “I agree that he is willing to testify,” right? You need the nominative case, not the objective.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/02/2010 at 4:22 PM

          Farmer Ginny says: “You’d have said…”


          Are you trying to say “you should,” “you would,” or “you had?”

          Sounds like you were trying to say “you should,” for which the use of “you’d” would be incorrect.

          • Carolina
            06/02/2010 at 4:29 PM

            I cannot help but laugh. All this and I got reprimanded by Christie for alluding to MP’s girth and lack of hair?

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/02/2010 at 4:32 PM

              Naughty Carolina! LOL

              • Bea
                06/02/2010 at 6:05 PM

                I should have used nominative case. That will teach me to not double-check my posts before hitting “submit comment” – oh, the shame!

          • Nora
            06/03/2010 at 7:13 AM

            Farmer Ginny meant “You *would* have said….” She/he meant that “whoever” takes the place of the pronoun Bea *would* have used if she were using the “I agree that he is willing to testify” construction.

            He=whoever, him=whomever, as my sixth grade language arts teacher drilled into our skulls.

      • Jo
        06/02/2010 at 5:09 PM

        Can they cut a deal after the guilty verdict but before sentencing?

        If all three are equally guilty of at least obstruction of justice (if not murder), then a confession really won’t do them any good. Many on this blog seem to believe Victor was somehow least involved in the crime but what if he was an equal participant? What if he screamed not because he discovered a dead body but because he was unexpectedly splattered with lots of blood or heard Robert grunt while holding him down for the stabbing? I know it would freak me out if I thought someone was dead and the person moaned or grunted not to mention the shock of being splattered with someone’s blood.

        From the comments of this blog, it seems that most rational people, after reviewing the facts of this case, conclude that the defendants know more than they are telling. I am not a criminal lawyer or judge but I just don’t see how this trial can end in an acquittal. There are way too many inconsistencies in the intruder story compared with the evidence.

      • Dave
        06/02/2010 at 5:32 PM

        I think its very possible the prosecution won’t survive a motion to dismiss (but I’m also a corporate attorney, not a criminal one). But, your theory on what deals would be made helps me to answer a question that’s been nagging at me. I really do understand how someone’s deep love (in this case Victor’s love of Joe) could make him willing to lie to help him. But, I can’t understand how Joe could love Victor so little that he’d let him put himself in such jeopardy. However, if they have a post-trial deal of turning prosecution witness, that at least helps me understand what might be going on.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/02/2010 at 5:44 PM

          Dave says: ” I really do understand how someone’s deep love (in this case Victor’s love of Joe) could make him willing to lie to help him.”

          Hmm…I couldn’t lie to my insurance company about a big scratch that was on the door near the caved-in rear quarter panel of my car after I was broad-sided last summer. I said “oh that was there.”

          Not me, Dave. I couldn’t live with myself, nor could I live with a person that lied on such a deep level. It’s repugnant to me.

          • Dave
            06/02/2010 at 6:10 PM

            CD…My guess is that you also would never find yourself in a position where you were on trial for covering up a murder. My point is that I just don’t understand how Joe could let Victor risk his own freedom by lying for him.

            • NYer
              06/02/2010 at 6:15 PM

              JP has been informally diagnosed by many on this blog as having narcissistic personality disorder.
              If true, it would explain the question you’re raising.

            • AnnaZed
              06/02/2010 at 6:18 PM

              How about he’s a full on 200 horsepower narcissist murdering dirt bag who doesn’t give two thoughts to the value of anybody’s life but his own; think that’s a possibility?

              • Carolina
                06/02/2010 at 7:33 PM

                It could very well be…

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/02/2010 at 8:43 PM

                don’t hold back, AnnaZ. LOL

    • Aquanetta
      06/02/2010 at 2:56 PM

      Interesting insight and have a tendency to agree with the last minute dealing at the end. I hate to get all Law and Order (I confess that Im in the head shrinking buesiness and have little knowledge of law procedures.) Its obvious that they all have some criminal liability in this matter. Throw out a minimum sentence (or a walk, if they think the brother did the actual murder) to one of the three. See which one folds first. This would bring down the house of cards. AND, if it was the brother, this would allow for the murder charge to be filed against him with one star witness. Three out of four paying the price, isnt too bad.

      • ladyg
        06/02/2010 at 3:46 PM

        you say that you’re in the heading shrinking(psychariatry,) business, i take? (this is just my curiosity)how would you charactorized this group? just trying to wrap my brain around all of this. the dynamics of this “family”? pls do not take offense to my questioning. i’m just trying to understand about the cover up.. besides the obvious. if i’m way off base, i apologize.

        • Aquanetta
          06/02/2010 at 5:00 PM

          No offense taken. 🙂 And, all joking aside (as I do like to take a lighter view of things on this blog, despite wanting some justice). I’ve never dealt on a professional level with this type of family dynamic. So, tough to say without more information and not speculation of these three. I will say this much. You’d be amazed at the power one can possess over another. You don’t have to be a Psychiatrist to know this… think Jim Jones. I know this probable isn’t what you want to hear but best that I can do. 🙁

          • ladyg
            06/02/2010 at 11:32 PM

            thanks…from what i’m reading that jp, is not a nice guy. why would victor, want to be w someone like? my guess is, that dylan enjoys smacking him (jp) around to straighten him out??? is that how this works? this is all very strange to me. there’s an old saying that goes something like this different strokes for different folks?

    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 3:50 PM

      Why is it necessary that each of them know the identity of the murderer? Isn’t it enough that they did whatever possible to obscure the fact of the case?

      • Cali
        06/02/2010 at 3:58 PM

        I so agree with you. Why not charge them all with conspiracy to commit a murder???

        Somebody better go to jail. No probation no pat on the back.
        Jail time!

    • Elizabeth
      06/02/2010 at 8:10 PM

      I did not realize that part of the obstruction/tampering case is the government’s burden to prove that each defendant knows the identity of the killer. Is that correct?

  17. tassojunior
    06/02/2010 at 1:30 PM
  18. superstadtkind
    06/02/2010 at 3:35 PM

    Farmer Ginny – Are you seriously providing ad hoc grammar lessons?? Eesh.

    Bea- Type on with your bad self!

    • Bea
      06/02/2010 at 6:08 PM

      Thanks, Super. I am trying to get over the shame, though I may have to heal in private for a while. 🙂

  19. Cali
    06/02/2010 at 3:54 PM

    Gee…..will Michael Price be called in as a witness or what? How can the attorneys “talk around him” and not have him on the stand.

    • NYer
      06/02/2010 at 5:39 PM

      Good question – presumably he would just plead the fifth- but wouldn’t he need an attorney to do that? (The question of his representation was raised above, but not sure if this was definitively answered). I am also assuming he was not charged with anything (?)

  20. Aquanetta
    06/02/2010 at 4:10 PM

    Hey. I was doing some internet stalking (LOL) and look what I found. Joe doing an oral history of GLBT commentary from his years at W&M. For me, it puts a voice with the face.×360-800k.mp4

    • Aquanetta
      06/02/2010 at 4:37 PM

      Ok. Have to admit that I only watched the first quarter when I posted. Very interesting interview. This guy is really well spoken and articulate. He talks of his relationship with Victor and the two kids who has the same biological mother. D is never mentioned. 😉

      • Aquanetta
        06/02/2010 at 5:26 PM

        FYI – I meant my inital posting. I didn’t listen to it all then. LOL

    • Bill
      06/02/2010 at 5:00 PM

      Thank you for posting this. I listened to the entire presentation. For those of us who don’t know Joe (or are only getting a slanted perspective from this trial), this provides an opportunity to hear Joe speak about GLBT issues in his own voice (literally).

      • Aquanetta
        06/02/2010 at 5:08 PM

        I know. It provided me with perspective. He seemed to be a champion for our cause. Too bad things are turning out as they are….

        • Kate
          06/02/2010 at 5:14 PM

          That was very interesting, Aquanetta. Many thanks for the post.

        • Carolina
          06/02/2010 at 7:48 PM

          First, thank you for that; it shows he earned his degrees and transcripts aside, he seems articulate and dedicated to GBLT causes.

          If he is guilty, I prefer to think that it only shows that we’re like everyone else– even we occasionally produce a bad apple.

    • Aquanetta
      06/02/2010 at 5:32 PM

      WOW.. I think they took it down or the server got overloaded. I just tried to listen again and got an ‘internal error’. So much for Free Press. LOL

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/02/2010 at 9:16 PM

      Thanks so much for posting that Aquanetta.

      A few things that stood out to me…….

      1) Joe didn’t say “like” one time. But his police station statement was peppered with “like” and “uuuhhhhhh.” Reinforces my thought that perhaps he was on drugs the night of the murder.

      2) When asked how old he was when he visited W&M for the first time, he said 19….he hesitated and then said senior in high school. He was 19 when he was a senior in high school?

      3) When asked to speak about his “family” he mentioned only Victor. Not a peep about Dylan.

  21. gertiestn
    06/02/2010 at 5:04 PM

    Yow! The “teaser” blurbs (headline? knife?) remind me of how some TV stations trumpet the news come sweeps week.

    Not that I’m, you know, complaining…I do love the service you provide at WMRW.

    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 7:50 PM

      Maybe after Sarah’s boring testimony, they thought they needed it. (Pssht, like they could keep us away.)

  22. AnnaZed
    06/02/2010 at 5:04 PM

    “…Price’s response was, “There’s a big difference between tampering and wiping away some blood, freaking out about a crime scene.”

    Really Joe?
    Is there?
    How is that exactly?
    What is the difference exactly?
    What form of “freaking out” are you talking about?

    You see, I can’t think of a single form or innocent freaking out that I might be subject to upon stumbling on a crime scene that would involve cleaning it up, substituting a murder weapon and lying about it, not one.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/02/2010 at 5:36 PM

      Here’s the Washington City Paper quote by Rend Smith:

      “There’s a difference between tampering with a crime scene and wiping away blood because you’re freaking out.”

      • AnnaZed
        06/02/2010 at 6:05 PM

        Listen, if Joe had even once said “I wiped away the blood to see what sort of wound was there” or anything like that we would have heard that by now.

    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 7:52 PM

      I want to know what blood it was he wiped. Off the body? Off his hardwood floor? was he fretting over his Frette linens?

  23. AnnaZed
    06/02/2010 at 5:06 PM

    “single form of innocent freaking out”

    ::sigh:: I simply can not type.

  24. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/02/2010 at 5:30 PM

    From “Then it was onto Michael Price and whether he had a key to 1509……….she did not want him to be a key holder. Joe assured her that he would not have a key.”

    The Washington City Paper contradicts this:

    “Morgan said Joe Price informed her that his brother would indeed have a key. She said she wasn’t pleased.”

    Which is it?

    • Bea
      06/02/2010 at 6:21 PM

      If you read them all, it appears that she was initially assured by J Price that M Price did not have a key, but when she learned of the burglary in October 2006 (first by reading it in the paper) she was told by J Price that indeed M Price did have a key. When M Price received the key remains in question.

    • Tarfunk
      06/02/2010 at 6:25 PM

      The full context of the article hasn’t been quoted. The article says that when she moved into the Swann Street residence Joe Price assured her that Michael did not have a key. Then the article says: “Morgan said she later found out from Joe Price that his brother did indeed have a key. She said she wasn’t pleased.”

      So he lied originally, I guess. Go figure.

      • Elle Woods
        06/02/2010 at 6:59 PM

        FWIW: I think CDnDC quoted the article correctly, as it was posted at 1:56PM.

        The updated version, posted around 6:10P, elaborates the confusion surrounding when Morgan learned that MPrice had a key.

        WMRW generally provides better detail than the more traditional outlets. It is astounding (and a little bit frightening) to see how much other outlets assert as fact that is either incorrect, or much greyer than depicted.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/02/2010 at 8:38 PM

          Ahh….thank you all. When pieces are missing, the continuity gets all muddled.

  25. Bill
    06/02/2010 at 5:42 PM

    As an aside, does anyone know if Joe Price is still on leave from Arent Fox? If he is acquitted, will he automatically be able to return to the firm since he is a partner?

    • NYer
      06/02/2010 at 5:47 PM
      • Bill
        06/02/2010 at 6:16 PM

        Thanks for the follow up and link. I am surprised that he was fired. There must have been a particular performance clause in his contract.

        • NYer
          06/02/2010 at 6:24 PM

          Don’t forget porn was found on JP’s firm-owned computer during execution of the warrants. So at the outset, the firm had grounds/justification to terminate him. The reality is, they probably were constantly doing a balancing test the whole time JP was on leave, i.e., is this partner and whatever book of business he brings to the firm worth the negative publicity? Through this cold calculus, at some point the answer became “no”…

          • Former Foxer
            06/02/2010 at 9:20 PM

            I was at Arent Fox when everything went down, and Joe was terminated the minute the affidavit detailing everything that happened was released. I’m not sure what the grounds were, but it was literally the very same day or very shortly thereafter.

            • NYer
              06/03/2010 at 7:10 AM

              Interesting FF. Then, to go back to Bill’s original question, it would be interesting to see how things would play out if JP were to be acquitted. In theory, he should be reinstated if “innocent.” The timing appears to suggest JP was fired because of the charges brought against him- not porn on the computer, or whatever. I wonder if he’d have a case against AF if they were to choose not to re-hire him. Any employment lawyers reading this- have any thoughts?

              • Bill Orange
                06/03/2010 at 7:41 AM

                Reality check: He’s not going to get his job back, and there’s no way in hell he’s going to win a lawsuit against Arent Fox, regardless of what the relevant employment laws are. The police found a bunch of BDSM pornography on his work computer, and Joe himself was featured in some of the photographs. If he initiates any legal action against Arent Fox, those photos are going to be relevant, and they’re going to end up in the public record. There’s no way he’s going to win a wrongful termination lawsuit after that.

    • Nelly
      06/02/2010 at 6:40 PM

      I doubt it. He was forced to “resign” after the indictments came down.

  26. Bystander
    06/02/2010 at 5:54 PM

    “Gay Robert up”?… He was already gay or had tendencies before he decided to stay at the house. Heterosexual men don’t do that, and he had to know they were gay if he went to school with Joe, and Joe was on various committees for gays and lesbians. So i don’t get that statement. What’s sad, is how his wife found out. He may have resisted a GB, and being drug induced, those guys got annoyed and killed him. I wonder if the knives were a cover up. Did they ever check for strangulation, or just go by the knife wounds? If he were strangled first and killed, there wouldn’t be as much blood as him being stabbed to death because the heart would have already stopped. Just a thought, that’s why i’m a Bystander..

    • mw
      06/02/2010 at 5:59 PM

      I wouldn’t go as far as to say “heterosexual men don’t do that,” but a married man staying at a friend’s house, strictly to sleep, when he lives nearby, is extremely unusual.

      I hate to speculate on anyone’s sexuality, but some kind of existing or potential sexual relationship here would definitely open up a much wider range of possibilities regarding what happened that night.

      • NYer
        06/02/2010 at 6:08 PM

        I read (can’t recall where) that Robert and JP were supposed to go to breakfast the following morning and discuss a case. So I do not think his staying over is unusual.
        As a straight male with gay friends, I find nothing odd about Robert’s staying the night. It’s really not much different than a hetero man staying over a woman friend’s house. The “herterosexual men don’t do that” paradigm is outmoded and almost homophobic.

        • Bill
          06/02/2010 at 6:21 PM

          Thank you for your reply regarding Bystander. As a gay man, I found his comments homophobic. I’ve had straight friends stay over (my partner and I have been together for 22 years) without any question about inappropriate activity. It’s clear that Bystander hasn’t been reading the case of these posts. Also, one can’t say that Oakton is “nearby” from Washington, DC — particularly with the understanding that Price and Wone were going to meet the following morning over breakfast regarding a case. Finally, I find in Bystander’s comment a near implication that “he got what he deserved” by staying overnight.

          • Bea
            06/02/2010 at 6:29 PM

            Bystander, do some reading on homophobia. I am having a straight male friend spend the night at my house tonight – I am a lesbian. Should he worry? And a week ago I spent the night alone with his straight female wife – should she have worried? Or are only gay MEN completely untrustworthy around all members of their gender? I assume that you’re a straight male – have you ever hosted a woman (any orientation) at your house and been able to NOT sexually assault her?

            You get my point. It’s that we get sidetracked into this too often.

            • Bill
              06/02/2010 at 7:05 PM

              Bea – extremely well stated, thank you. What is it with straight people that they think their stuff is just so good that we have to go after them? Please . . .

              • Lee
                06/02/2010 at 7:13 PM

                Christ, Bill, let’s not start attacking homophobia by being heterophobic!

                • Bea
                  06/02/2010 at 8:36 PM

                  Oh you breeders can surely take a mild joke once in a while! 🙂

                  • Elizabeth
                    06/02/2010 at 8:45 PM

                    As a breeder, yes, we can take a joke. But in fact, I thought Bystander’s comments were so offensive that he must have meant them sarcastically. I totally get that Robert didn’t want to make Kathy come get him late at night and that he and Joe were breakfasting. However, I have also found it weird how inhospitable the evening sounded. We stood around, drank tap water and went to bed. How fun!

                    • Bea
                      06/02/2010 at 8:47 PM

                      Elizabeth, I really was joking about ‘breeders’. It’s so 90s. If Bystander wrote in jest, he should say so. We don’t have a history to know.

          • Liam
            06/02/2010 at 8:12 PM

            Putting aside the gay/straight issue (i.e., let’s assume it was Joe Price and Victoria Zaborsky that Mr. Wone was staying with, along with their troubled child Dylan), everyone I’ve surveyed that is my age (40) says they would rather sleep in their own bed with their wife rather than “crash” at a friends house considering it is only about a half hour drive out to Oakton at that time of night with no traffic. I feel the same way. I used to work until 10 o’clock often, and I never had a desire to crash at a friends rather than drive a half hour and sleep in my own bed. Also, I’ve never read that they had a case to discuss (what case? they don’t work at the same firm). All I’ve read is that that being they were simply going to catch up in the morning over breakfast.

            However, I have read that he was taking the Metro. In that case, I would not want to have to wait for the Metro at that time of night, and it makes sense that he would want to crash at a friends. On the other hand, I would have driven that day.

            • Bea
              06/02/2010 at 8:43 PM

              Liam, I get your point, but we can second-guess nearly everything and it won’t do much good. Robert could have had corrective surgery so not to need the mouth guard but it’s not germane to what happened to him any more than choosing to stay over at Swann. Too, don’t forget that Robert and Joe planned a breakfast meeting re the trademark issue RFA was having, so if it would be after 11:00 pm when he got home (11:30 if he hadn’t driven, as you’d suggested) and he had to leave his home by 7 for an 8:00 meeting, it seems perfectly reasonable to me. Certainly reasonable enough to not bother with it.

              Always I come back to the notion that EVEN IF Robert did have plans to do drugs or hook up SO WHAT? He didn’t plan to be stabbed three times.

            • SJinNYC
              06/06/2010 at 9:52 AM

              “I wouldn’t…” “I used to…” “I never…” “Everyone I know would never…”

              Ignorant people always assume others are just like them. For the last time, just because you may have driven home doesn’t mean Robert was secretly gay because he didn’t! His wife Kathy has an illness that, if I remember correctly, makes mobility difficult, and Robert did not want her to have to get up at midnight and drive to pick him up at the train station. Among other reasons for staying in the city.

              I wish this issue could be put to rest.

        • mw
          06/02/2010 at 6:28 PM

          Interseting, I hadn’t heard there were morning plans.

          And I don’t think there’s anything at all unusual about a straight man staying with gay friends, if say, they were staying up late drinking or even going to a movie or play or something. But to go over and pretty much immediately go to sleep, when you live nearby, and have a wife, and are in your 30s – I think that’s pretty rare.

          • NYer
            06/02/2010 at 6:39 PM

            ok, I found where I read about the morning plans. Page 8 of the transcript of JP’s interview with detectives -for what it’s worth. (Maybe JP was lying about that…)

          • Bill
            06/02/2010 at 7:03 PM

            Again: He wanted to meet the night staff at Radio Asia. He didn’t leave work until 10:00 p.m. and had an early meeting with Price. He and Price were good friends. Why wouldn’t it make more sense to take a five minute cab ride to Price’s house then to drive at least 40 minutes out to Oakton only to return for an early morning meeting with Price? It doesn’t seem strange to me at all.

            • Bill 2
              06/02/2010 at 7:11 PM

              He really couldn’t drive out to Oakton since he was relying on public transportation. His wife would have had to stay up late in order to drive to the Metro station to pick him up.

              • Bill
                06/02/2010 at 7:33 PM

                Yes, I absolutely understand and agree. I was responding to mw’s comment above.

    • AnnaZed
      06/02/2010 at 6:04 PM

      While standing around why not read the autopsy:

      • ramknts
        06/02/2010 at 6:28 PM

        not this again!

        • ramknts
          06/02/2010 at 6:32 PM

          i meant in reply to the homosexuality theory…

    • AkaZappa
      06/02/2010 at 6:10 PM


    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 8:09 PM

      This is just so wrong, but hey, you’re entitled to believe as you wish. For the record, most educated people move beyond labeling gay/straight/bi/lesbian/trans, and just go with “friend.” For the record, I’ve had many straight friends, male and female, stay over because we’re convenient to so many places and have the room.

  27. Cecily
    06/02/2010 at 6:21 PM

    That Sara Morgan is just as freaky as the trouple. Why can’t these people be happy with one partner, what the heck is she talking about that she was part of the family too?? These witnesses get weirder and weirder.

    • Elle Woods
      06/02/2010 at 7:11 PM

      I know. I feel the same way about those damned Haitian orphans.

    • DonnaH
      06/02/2010 at 7:14 PM

      “Why can’t these people be happy with one partner”–well, because not everyone conforms to your monogamous norms in terms of what works best for them. And as for notions of “family,” I’m confused; do you think “family” means only two people in a sexual partnership, and presumably their progeny? What about siblings, aunts, uncles, stepparents, etc? What’s “freaky” about developing a close, trusting relationship with and commitment to other people, who you may even feel support and understand you better than members of your own biological family?

      • Lee
        06/02/2010 at 7:17 PM

        And what about goats?

      • Cecily
        06/02/2010 at 9:20 PM

        You can not nor will you ever get me to accecpt polygamy, troupling, and whatnot. I have nothing against someone’s sexuality, but I would never be friends with someone who was in a 3-way relationship. My brother tried that with two women from Indonesia. He paraded them around us claiming they were both his wife. What BS. He had a child with both of them and finally the more submissive one left him and fought for custody of her daughter. What a load of crap. I think Morgan is not doing right by Robert. She is still protecting those guys. She needs to say all she knows.

    • Carolina
      06/02/2010 at 8:10 PM

      How does Sarah come off as freaky, and what does the multiple partner comment mean? Sarah didn’t have any partners as far as we know.

      • Clio
        06/02/2010 at 8:19 PM

        I agree, Carolina. Sarah may be many things, but “freaky” is not the adjective that comes readily to mind. She seemed to be the trouple’s resident maiden aunt or sister for that time: hence, she was part of the family. That comes off as strangely Victorian to me, something that the original family in that 1886 house could have understood.

        • Elizabeth
          06/02/2010 at 8:52 PM

          Personally, I think it sounds like heaven to live with three other people who “get” you and love you, that you can travel with, etc. But I am the mom of four boys so fantasies of living in a house where I am not an alien often overcome me!

  28. Clio
    06/02/2010 at 7:56 PM

    I can empathize (to a point) with Victor and Sarah over the loss of their friendship. Close girlfriends (of whatever gender) are hard to find, and losing them over a man (or the actions of your man/men) is crushing. I know, and I’ve been there. Nevertheless, the tears of Victor and Sarah are full of bathos or self-pity; they, or at least Victor, seem immune to realizing the magnitude of Kathy’s loss. Their lives will never be the same, but at least they are still alive!

    I was just starting to see Mr. Ward as a relatively innocent bystander, when Miss Morgan tattled about his ambition/prediction to replace Victor. What a conniving little snot that Dyl is, if that is true! He may beat these charges, but Needham still has some parenting to do.

    I like this Tara Ragone person: she has some proverbial balls, unlike others in the W&M orbit! One cannot be “Switzerland” in this instance, indeed!

    I wonder how Bernie is taking the defection of Tom and David in reference to Michael Price. Expected afternoon matinee, or the wider the smile, the deeper the betrayal? At least Spag is enjoying playing teacher’s pet!

    In reference to the motion picture allusions, isn’t Washington the Hollywood for the aesthetically challenged? XO, Clio.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/02/2010 at 8:26 PM

      Tasso, have you turned into the stringer? Not very vocal here lately.

    • Nora
      06/03/2010 at 8:13 AM

      First City Paper item I read about this case was by a friend of the defendents who had been wined & dined at Swann St., & she was accordingly sympathetic. Second item was a wannabe muckraking piece focusing on police errors to the exclusion of all else. And I see the bias is continuing. Seriously!

      Nice to find that the editors of WMRW have 100x more journalistic objectivity than our local alt weekly.

  29. Joelle
    06/02/2010 at 8:57 PM

    Question for the lawyers: Do you guys believe the prosecution has accomplished what it needs to, or not yet?

  30. otterman
    06/02/2010 at 9:41 PM

    I’ve been lurking for quite some time, and trying to be a smart “consumer” of what’s going on. But the prosecution’s case has been going on for so long without the AHA moment that would be so emotionally gratifying. So now I’m a little confused by the law. To get a conviction, what — exactly — does the prosecution have to prove? Could there be a mix of guilt and innocence among the trouple? Is it a preponderance of the evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, or what?

    Thanks to the editors for such a wonderful job!

    • She did it
      06/02/2010 at 9:47 PM

      girlfriend, i just said the same thing a few minutes earlier on the day wrap! i would probably not be a good juror – i want to see the smoking gun. i cannot imagine you are allowed to leave it to the judge to fill in the blanks . . . (she can use common sense but cannot guess – and I think there are a lot of inferences that the prosecution wants us to draw here (my heart may allow me to fill in the inferences – the law not so much )

  31. dcbill
    06/02/2010 at 11:40 PM

    Some people posting on here seem to think that today’s witnesses were somehow insincere for being emotional about the fact that their circle of friends has also been shattered by this senseless murder. At one point in court today, a picture from the Wone’s wedding was displayed. Tara Ragone, the Wones, and Joe Price were among the people in the photograph. It was a heart wrenching moment.

    Here was a smiling group of bright attractive young people whose lives were all intertwined at least at some level and for a number of years. Now, because of what has happened, they all have lawyers and nobody can reach out or talk to anyone else. That’s a tragedy right alongside that of the murder itself.

    • AnnaZed
      06/02/2010 at 11:43 PM

      Umm, yeah it’s a bummer that these nice attractive people can no longer hang out and have relaxed fun together (their lives will never be the same!) but right up there with Robert’s loss of his one and only life, not so much.

      • dcbill
        06/03/2010 at 12:02 AM

        I said a tragedy, not a bummer. I guess you had to be there.

  32. fairfax-law
    06/03/2010 at 12:37 AM

    Sorry – I’ve been following everyday, but just catching up b/c we were incommunicado over the holiday. On DAY 8: ” . . . 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. . .”
    Whose “white t-shirt [was] recovered” from the 1509 Swann Street washing machine? Has that been answered? What is known about that t-shirt? What else (if anything) was in the washing machine? When was the t-shirt found? On the initial crime scene investigation date? Or during the course of the next few days of the investigation?
    Also, contrary to what I frequently read of what Swann Street residents stated during numerous interviews, didn’t at least one of the residents state that when Robert arrived, they had a glass of wine, and later, didn’t that statement, thereafter, change from “a glass of wine” to “a glass of water”? SOMEONE didn’t get their story straight . . .

  33. Bill Orange
    06/03/2010 at 7:54 AM

    Okay, this is just me thinking out loud, but the tidbit about Joe being upset that the police didn’t pick up a water glass as evidence seems a little odd to me. Combine that with the fact that he was irritated that they were touch door knobs without gloves. One of the things that struck me about Joe’s interview was that he didn’t just think it was possible that the police would find evidence of an intruder, he seemed absolutely CERTAIN of it.

    So here’s a wild-assed idea: What if the defendants didn’t rearrange the crime scene to cover up for Michael Price? What if, instead, they were specifically trying to frame him? Maybe Michael was there earlier in the evening (when he was supposed to be in class) and had handled the glass and possibly the knife. Maybe Joe gave him drugs (which is why the dogs alerted but no drugs were found) and sent him on his way, and he went home, got stoned, and ended up in Hinxton’s bed. Joe made sure that he mentioned his brother in his interviews and even had him show up at VCB that morning. Joe could have also been the one who suggested Michael go to the funeral, knowing full well that he’d make an ass of himself.

    I’m not saying I believe this, but I wanted to throw the idea out there to see what people thought about it.

    • AnnaZed
      06/03/2010 at 11:22 AM

      Very interesting theory. We do already know that Joe never passes on an opportunity malign those near and dear to him.

    • Kate
      06/03/2010 at 12:03 PM

      I agree with Anna – a very interesting theory, Bill O.

      After all, Joe was quite certain that the crime scene folks would find evidence – on the back door, on the back gate, etc.

      Hmmm, I’m going to think about this some more.

    • AnnaZed
      06/03/2010 at 12:08 PM

      Seriously Bill O., I am cogitating on this. I have always had in my wtf column Joe’s expressed certainty that the police would find “something” at that scene that would point to an intruder. I have in the last few days come to consider very seriously that that “something” might be evidence of Michael’s presence there at Swann St. The notion that this scenario contains wheels within wheels and that Joe (sick to death of shoring up Michael and additionally wanting to deflect interest from himself) might just be setting Michael up intrigues me.

      • Kate
        06/03/2010 at 12:47 PM

        Anna and Bill O, et al – I’ve been thinking about this for a few days myself.

        However, there’s one big problem I’m having with this scenario. If Joe Price was attempting to set up Michael, why did he not include his name on the list of people who had keys to Swann Street which he provided to the investigators.

        That’s definitely a missed opportunity.

        Your thoughts?

        • des
          06/03/2010 at 1:06 PM

          maybe he had an attack of conscious? or maybe he wanted the police to believe that micheal broke in instead of coming in with the key?
          i think bill o is absolutely right about the fact that joe was “pushing evidence”. i’ve wondered myself why he mentioned the glass and all the other stuff.

        • Bill Orange
          06/03/2010 at 8:26 PM

          Well, I think it’s a much more effective frame job if the police connect the dots and zero in on Michael Price on their own. While he didn’t mention that Michael had keys, Joe Price DID manage to tell the police about his drug-using ne’er-do-well brother, and he also managed to get Michael Price to show up at VCB the next morning. If Michael had been over to the house that night, the cops would have likely found his fingerprints on something like a door knob (which Price was upset that the police were touching with their bare hands). And when interview #2 rolled around, Joe could could say, “Oh my God! I forgot that we gave Michael a set of keys when we went on vacation last year! You don’t think he could be involved in this, do you?” But the cops zeroed in on the three housemates almost immediately, so there was never a second interview.

          Is this likely? Not really. But I’m trying to figure out if there’s any evidence to contradict this theory, and I’m having trouble there.

  34. missioneagles
    06/03/2010 at 7:29 PM

    Greetings –

    Why was the decision made to try the defendants together as opposed to separate trials?

  35. missioneagles
    06/03/2010 at 7:37 PM

    It has been stated that Wone was sexually assaulted. Wouldn’t DNA identify who did it?

    • DonnaH
      06/03/2010 at 8:10 PM

      No DNA besides Wone’s was found on/in his body. But he could have been assaulted with sex toys or, perhaps, by condom users (echh).

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