Could Robert have slept though everything that night?
For nearly four years, and especially after the original affidavit was published, the state of mind of the defendants on the night of the murder has been discussed ad nauseum. The basis for these discussions have been the defendants’ statements made at their home and at the Violent Crimes Branch in Anacastia. Yet, sadly and obviously, we don’t have much about Robert’s state of mind from that night because he was the victim.
With the defense offering that Robert died while asleep, let’s see if this situation is more or less consistent with the evidence available to us and the defendant’s statements. For the purpose of this exercise we assume the defendants statements are true, and even some of the evidence, like Robert’s unsent blackberry e-mail message, are true as well.
According to both Joe and Dylan, who both greeted him upon his arrival, we hear that Robert is hot. He is offered a glass of water, chit-chat conversation occurs. He wants to take a shower; he is shown the guestroom and the shower. Robert takes a shower. If he takes a shower before the e-mail’s, it is awfully quick and he is back in his room afterwards to compose them. If not, he composed the e-mails, took his shower, then retired to his bedroom. Dylan states that he heard Robert take his shower and then return to his room and close the door “latch.” This description seems to indicate that Robert locked the door to the guest room.
What happened next?
It would seem then that Robert went to bed. While two of the three defendants took some sort of sleeping aid, there is no word as to whether Robert did. Because Robert was not sleeping in his own bed, would he have fallen asleep as quickly and deeply as the defendants since they were at their own home and on sleeping medication? If he didn’t, and also because the guest room is NOT underneath the air conditioning unit, which Joe noted as the reason why Dylan wouldn’t have heard anything, there could be a good chance Robert was awoken by the chimes of the intruder entering the home. If he was awake now, there seems to be an even better chance he could have heard the unknown intruder scale the stairway. He would be more alert now.
Even if he did sleep through this, the chances increase that we would have certainly been awoken when the intruder opened the door, especially since defendant Ward claims it was locked. If that is the case, then he would have immediately recognized that the intruder was unknown to him, and would have instinctively fought back.
If this is the case, then the idea that Robert was asleep when he was stabbed certainly seems less likely. But let’s assume that he slept through the intruder breaking the “latch” on the door and opening the door to his room. Now, we have to figure out how the intruder actually inflicted the wounds. If the intruder was holding the knife the way it was designed to be held, the intruder would have needed to walk around the bed, again without waking the sleeping Robert, probably need to put at least one knee on the bed to balance him/herself, so that they would have enough strength and power to inflict the first wound needed to puncture the chest plate into the heart.
The dubiousness of this story is underscored by Kathy Wone’s testimony about her questioning of the three housemates when they paid her a visit at her home shortly after the murder. She asked, “Did you hear Robert? He would have fought back.” For a man who slept with a baseball bat under his bed, who was known to be street-savvy by carrying two wallets, he would have more than likely been awoken, if not by the chimes, but most certainly when the intruder entered his room.
The only way the intruder theory works with the evidence available to us is if Robert was asleep when he was murdered. It is obvious there were several opportunities that could have awoken him from the chimes, to the intruder scaling the stairs, to, most importantly, the opening of a locked door. All this makes it seem very unlikely he was sound asleep when he was stabbed. — Posted by David