Witness for the Prosecution

Government’s Motion Previews Upcoming Testimony

Witness for the Prosecution

When the trial resumes next week, and if the witnesses for prosecution deliver testimony according to the government’s recently filed notice of intent, then Glenn Kirschner, Rachel Carson Lieber and Patrick Martin will deliver the goods, and then some.

So far, during the first three week’s of the prosecution’s case, witnesses’ testimony have not strayed far from previously given statements.  Sarah Morgan testified that Dylan had told her he would “replace Victor as Joe’s partner in the relationship.”  Tara Ragone proffered that Joe told her there was a “big difference between tampering with a crime scene and wiping something away while waiting for the ambulance because you’re freaked out by all the blood.”

Those statement were released, almost verbatim, in the Government’s Notice to introduce certain defendants’ statements made to civilian witnesses.  This filing hit the clerk’s office early last week, as it was not available last time we checked during the trial.  We just picked it up along with the Michael Price motion.

If next week goes according to plan, the government has, at least, two very strong civilian witnesses with powerful testimony that will speak to the structure of the Swann Street family with Joe Price in the lead decision-making role, the family’s state of mind when delaying reporting reporting of a crime because it involved a member of their family and how Joe Price’s questions sought to gain control over a quickly expanding police investigation into murder of Robert Wone.

So who said what?

Scott Hixson, the Swann Street neighbor who lived across the street from the defendants at the time of the murder, is expected to offer direct testimony that Joe Price told him on the morning after the murder that Price pulled the knife out of Robert’s chest. 

While Tara Ragone’s testimony taken in context of her entire conversation with Joe Price about the murder underscored this fact, it still left a lingering bit of doubt as to whether removing the knife actually meant pulling the knife out of Robert.  According the government’s notice, Hixson’s testimony directly states that Price “had to pull the knife out of my friend.” 

What we learn is that Hixson never made it to Cosi that morning;  he had to leave the Anacostia Violent Crimes Branch before the defendants were ready.  This is different from the original affidavit which states that a witness at the Cosi breakfast heard this from Joe Price.

He will also testify that Dylan Ward was too afraid to enter the 1509 residence alone after Michael Price’s burglary, and requested that he join him to investigate.  Hixson will offer an eyewitness account of how Dylan called Joe first with the news of the burglary, then Victor.  Then he will state that both Zaborsky and Ward told him independently that because Michael was a family member, they wanted discuss it with Joe first and decide if they want to press charges.

Also up will be Jason Torchinsky, a former roommate of Robert’s and Kathy Wone’s first counsel after murder.  He will testify the Joe called him to ask if Kathy would be willing to waive her attorney-client privilege so she could discuss what the police had asked her about.

Not to confuse us anymore, the prosecution has renumbered the witnesses.  To help everyone understand who is being discussed we offer this brief cheat sheet:

W-1: Tara Ragone

W-2: Scott Hixson

W-3: Jason Torchinsky

W-4: Louis Hinton

W-5: Sarah Morgan

— Posted by David

199 comments for “Witness for the Prosecution

  1. Turtlejay
    06/10/2010 at 10:13 AM

    Dylan – too afraid to enter 1509 after burglary

    Victory – intruder on the loose with one of our knives but don’t send the police, EMT will suffice?

    • Turtlejay
      06/10/2010 at 10:17 AM

      Sorry, I hate typos but there is no way to correct. “Victory” should read “Victor.” Hope that was not a prescient freudian slip ala “stabbed in the back.”

  2. Bill Orange
    06/10/2010 at 10:21 AM

    You’re taunting me, aren’t you? Louis Hinton is on the witness list, and you don’t mention what he’s going to say? Sigh. Now I have to read the whole filing myself.

    • Bill 2
      06/10/2010 at 11:04 AM

      The prospect of testimony from Louis Hinton is fascinating – especially since he and Michael Price are no longer partners or living together. Would he still have a reason to cover for M.P. if M.P. really had not been beside him in bed?

      • Bill Orange
        06/10/2010 at 11:07 AM

        Assuming that he’s covering for him, I would assume that the fear of being stabbed to death in his bed would be a powerful motivator for him to continue to do so.

        • Clio
          06/11/2010 at 1:15 AM

          Michael would not do that to Louis: he’s still part of the Family. Now Phelps, though: watch out!

  3. Ivan
    06/10/2010 at 10:24 AM

    How did Dylan know the house was burglarized without first entering it, or did he? If he did enter the house then why did he become afraid?

    • Ivan
      06/10/2010 at 10:47 AM

      I’ve answered my questions after reading the motion. Dyland didn’t know the house was burglarized at first – was more apprehensive about Michael Price being inside. Somewhat telling I think.

      • christy love
        06/10/2010 at 10:55 AM

        I’ve dealt with drug addicts, and when in the midst of a binge, everyone should be apprehensive in dealing with them.

        Joe was quite the enabler to let him KEEP a key.

        • Carolina
          06/10/2010 at 8:27 PM

          Amen, to all of that.

          • Clio
            06/10/2010 at 11:10 PM

            Or, it was Joe the enforcer. What a great motivator for loyalty it must have been to have such a Scylla of a brother be a member of the Family!

            One false move, Sarah dahling, and you’ll be beaten as I was when I was young (or worse)!

  4. Elizabeth
    06/10/2010 at 10:25 AM

    Given that the scream sets the timeline, I find it interesting that Victor says he heard screams (plural) and that he did not know if they were coming from inside or outside of the house. By the time he got to the top of the stairs, he realized they were coming from inside the house. Unless the screams were continuous, he must have heard at least one more at the top of the stairs to realize they were coming from inside the house.

    Also, I am not a lawyer, and I know that lawyers probably “think differently” due to their training, but I find it odd that Joe would try to find out if Kathy was willing to waive attorney-client privilege. Kathy and Joe were good friends. In trying to put myself in that situation, I think I would just call Kathy and say “How did it go? What did the police say? Where are we at?” Why the need for the intermediary? If I am innocent, and know an intruder did this, I would simply be calling my friend.

    • christy love
      06/10/2010 at 10:38 AM

      I didn’t see this. I posted something similar below.

    • superstadtkind
      06/10/2010 at 12:56 PM

      Elizabeth, there is no evidence that Kathy and Joe were good friends. In fact, there’s evidence that he didn’t pay her much mind.

      • Elizabeth
        06/10/2010 at 2:02 PM

        I would disagree. Victor and Joe visited her when she had her hip replacement surgery to take her books and videos. Kathy and Joe had lunch shortly before the murder, alone, when Robert couldn’t join her. What evidence are you referring to?

        • Alice
          06/10/2010 at 5:16 PM

          I do not agree. They could have given her things after her surgery because she is Robert’s wife, not because they like her. She also testified that when she had lunch with Joe conversation did not come easily.

          • Elizabeth
            06/10/2010 at 6:55 PM

            Alice – you could be right. There are certainly people that I am friendly with, but necessarily friends with, just to be polite to my spouse, and there are certainly spouses of my friends I do not like but am nice to for the sake of the friendship.

            My point is simply that Joe did not just try to talk to Kathy out of concern, but rather did this strange “will you waive attorney-client privilege thing,” which to me is just yet another of the things that make him seem calculating and as if he had ulterior motives and things to hide.

            • DavidR
              06/10/2010 at 9:03 PM

              I don’t understand why Joes attorney would make that call in the first place. I would think he would have advised Joe against it unless Joe insisted that the attorney make the call. Joe or his attorney or both must have really been worried about that conversation.

    • Ex-DC res
      06/10/2010 at 1:49 PM

      On your second Q — does anyone know whether discussions Kathy had w/ the police would even be covered by A/C privilege? I would think not. That said, I can see an attorney being extra careful so as not to violate any professional ethics rules (leaving aside the obvious irony here).

      • Elizabeth
        06/10/2010 at 5:17 PM

        I guess, but in this situation, at that time, I think he would be in friend mode, not attorney mode. Can’t a friend, who happens to be an attorney, talk to another friend after they have both experienced a horrifying and tragic event?

        • Pshep
          06/10/2010 at 8:37 PM

          I’ve interpreted the “waive attorney/client privilege” discussion as this:

          Joe calls Jason to find out what the MPD and Kathy discussed. Perhaps Jason, feeling put on the spot and in order to buy himself some time, says something about attorney/client privilege. Joe then presses Jason to ask Kathy to waive the attorney/client privilege.

          Does this make sense?

          I know that when someone asks me to do something that I don’t want to do and that, frankly I’m surprised that they would even ask me to do, my first reaction is to give them a reason that I can’t comply. Once I have a few minutes to reflect on the whole situation an realize that I shouldn’t feel put out because they have over-stepped their bounds I then recover and address the request appropriately. The Washingtonian piece gave me the impression that this is how Jason handled this conversation.

  5. Agatha
    06/10/2010 at 10:32 AM

    Zaborsky said, “that he (singular) went downstairs and he (Zaborsky) screamed when he (Zaborsky) saw Robert and all of the blood.”

    It would seem that this statement alone combined with the lack of blood at the crime scene would be the critical evidence to convict.

    How tragic that people with everything available to them – family, money, opportunity – would not be courageous to take responsibility for their actions and make the tax payers bear the cost of their crimes.

    • christy love
      06/10/2010 at 10:39 AM

      Has there ever been anyone in history who has come forth and took responsibility, without police intervention?

      • Mush
        06/10/2010 at 11:56 AM

        I remember only one case, when three great college kids I knew were killed by a drunk driver driving the wrong way on the highway. He pleaded guilty and refused a plea bargain because he felt so guilty and thought he should be punished. I think this fact is related– he was a legal immigrant from Mexico.

        http://articles.dailypress.com/1996-01-24/news/9601240046_1_guilty-pleas-plea-agreement-attorney-charles-powell

        • Mush
          06/10/2010 at 3:16 PM

          Randomly, this also happened when Robert and I were at W&M, a few days into his senior year, about 10 miles from William and Mary. I may even have spoken to him about it as I was shaken up at the time.

          • Bea
            06/10/2010 at 3:27 PM

            Hell, even Jeffrey Dahmer confessed after he’d been charged. Park Dietz, the famous forensics psychiatrist, said of the many, many criminals he’d worked with (Bundy, Gacy, Menendez Brothers, etc.) he believed that Dahmer had a conscience. Not to say he wasn’t guilty or that he shouldn’t be fully punished, but he admitted to his crimes, had remorse, and did not wish to continue, and prison kept that from happening.

            I would like it very much if any of these defendants would let their conscience speak.

  6. christy love
    06/10/2010 at 10:36 AM

    I’m curious. How come Joe Price didn’t go talk to Kathy Wone on the sneak and try to fish for information about what the police asked? Kathy probably wasn’t suspecting them at this point, or was she? I’m assuming, early on, she didn’t know what to think and he might be able to find out something. To me, asking her to waive attorney client privilege is stupid and BALLSY! He’s got some nerve.

    • First Time Reader
      06/10/2010 at 12:12 PM

      Do you think he had the courage to speak with her directly expect under controlled circumstances? What if Kathy Wone had asked him about his statement that Robert had been stabbed in the back? (Obviously, he was stabbed in the chest; did he mean in the back yard (which may or may not have been the story told to the first police officer on the scene)?

      What if Kathy asked whether he knew who killed Robert and whether the police had good reason to suspect him or one of his roommates or someone else he knew? I think Kathy would have properly rebuked him for asking her to waive privilege. Also, as a lawyer, Joe Price knows the ethics rules. I am certain he would have wanted to go through an intermediary. Joe Price had a lot more to lose in a conversation with Kathy Wone than he could have ever gained by talking to her. However, the fact that Price even sought a friendly intermediary speaks volumes about him.

      • Bill 2
        06/10/2010 at 1:44 PM

        “as a lawyer, Joe Price knows the ethics rules.”

        A smart lawyer would want to work within ethics rules. Would “smart lawyer” apply to a man who has porn photos of himself on his office computer? Joe Price doesn’t give the impression that rules apply to Joe Price.

      • Bea
        06/10/2010 at 3:31 PM

        While lawyers know these rules very well, in that situation, an innocent man would not see himself as a lawyer but as a friend. It’s a catch-22 (there it is again!) – why would he want HIS lawyer to talk to HER lawyer, especially since Robert had not yet been buried. Who even THINKS of such things in a time of mourning? And if he genuinely was NOT in mourning, would he not understand that the last thing on Kathy’s mind was the damned attorney-client privilege? I would have assumed Joe was more savvy than that even if he didn’t have a genuine emotional response to let him “know” this.

        • Craig
          06/10/2010 at 3:45 PM

          Maybe Price thought he was being more delicate by reaching out to the Torch and not directly to Kathy on this matter. Was he talking lawer to lawyer about legal thingies?

          Price did after all see Kathy a day or two before this phone call in that rather awkward basement meeting with the stabbing sounds and motions he made to her.

          Still, the timing of the request seems a bit odd. Was Joe acting on his then attorney Kathleen Voelker’s counsel by making that request or was he going off-script, talking friend to friend with another member of the Tribe?

          • Bill Orange
            06/10/2010 at 4:15 PM

            I’m guessing he’s WAY off script. I think that he asked his lawyer to talk to Torchinsky to see what Kathy Wone told the police, and his lawyer said no way. I’m guessing the reason his lawyer said no was because the whole request (especially coming before the funeral) was just obscene and makes Joe Price look–at best–very, very sleazy. But his lawyer didn’t want to come out and say, “Are you insane? That’s the sleaziest thing I’ve ever heard of!”

            So instead, the lawyer said, “Oh, I can’t do that, because Torchinsky is an attorney acting on behalf of Kathy Wone, so it would violate attorney-client privilege.” Joe Price didn’t take the hint, and rather pressing his lawyer to ask Torchinsky to ask Wone to waive privilege, he called him up and asked him on his own. And that phone call ended up attracting the attention of the future US Attorney General. Not a very good move.

            • Bea
              06/10/2010 at 4:48 PM

              Agree. I really am surprised Joe was that foolish. And frankly Torch went with Kathy as supportive friend as much as attorney since no one remotely suggested Kathy had anything to do with the murder. Why, then, would Joe (hearing that the cops talked to Kathy) have ANY interest in knowing what was said except if there was genuine concern. If he’d wondered as an innocent man if the cops had used gay epithets to describe the defendants, or if he wondered if the cops had put off Kathy by asking of Robert’s sexuality, then he could have just said so to Torch. As in – ‘boy I hope those cops are more delicate with Kathy than they were with us’ and ‘take care of here, will you?’

              • Bea
                06/10/2010 at 4:49 PM

                “her” not “here” in last sentence

  7. Bill Orange
    06/10/2010 at 10:54 AM

    Intriguing. The filing notes what Louis Hinton has to say about the burglary but not about what happened the night of the murder. Hinton essentially admits to filing a false police report (accusing Michael Price of stealing his car, when in reality he had loaned it to him), so the prosecution is in a position to cut him a deal. I think that the whole “Michael Price scenario” really hinges on whether or not they can break his alibi. If Hinton says he lied about being with him the night of the murder, then the trial is essentially over, and everyone will be getting harsh sentences. (It’s going to look REALLY bad if it turns out that Joe Price covered up for his brother when he stabbed someone to death, but then wanted him “off the street” when he stole some of his gadgets from the house.) If Hinton continues to alibi Michael Price, then the whole Michael Price angle is largely moot.

    Also interesting is Hixson’s statement that Joe and/or Dylan told him that the police took their toys. Is the defense going to be able to keep this out of the trial? I know they kept the padded restraints out, but if Joe and/or Dylan was talking to someone else about the restraints, does that “open the door” for the prosecution to talk about them?

    • AnnaZed
      06/10/2010 at 11:07 AM

      “…If Hinton continues to alibi Michael Price, then the whole Michael Price angle is largely moot.”

      Not if the Judge doesn’t believe him. Just because a witness says something doesn’t mean that the Judge has to believe it or treat it as fact, I don’t think.

      • Kathleen
        06/12/2010 at 1:31 AM

        The issue is whether there is any evidence contrary to the alibi or evidence that Michael Price was in the Swann Street house the night of Wone’s death.

        You are right that the judge doesn’t have to believe the alibi but what is she being asked to believe instead and on what basis?

    • CC Biggs
      06/10/2010 at 11:50 AM

      Good points. But I think the Hinton-provided alibi for Michael isn’t worth much. Still, I agree that if Hinton recants (leaving Michael without any alibi whatsoever), it will be an enormous boost for the prosecution.

      • tucsonwriter
        06/10/2010 at 5:09 PM

        Can you really alibi someone when you are asleep? What if you took a sleeping pill like supposedly two people at 1509 did? If Hinton was asleep during the night how can he say whether or not Michael Price was there continuosly?

      • Goose
        06/11/2010 at 7:47 AM

        I can’t say that I agree here. If Hinton recants, then the defense can shred any credibility he has by saying 1) that he’s shown to have lied in the past (about an alibi for Michael), 2) that he’s no longer with Michael so he may be saying things to hurt his ex, 3) especially considering he’s filed a false police report to get back at Michael in the past. I’m not sure how much Hinton will help the prosecution. If he sticks to his story, Michael has an alibi. If he changes his story, his credibility is shot.

        • Bill 2
          06/11/2010 at 9:07 AM

          Perhaps I read it wrong in the past, but I think that the false police report wasn’t to “get back at Michael,” it was filed to get Michael back – to get him off the streets and back to their home.

        • cinnamon
          06/11/2010 at 9:32 AM

          Well, given that Hinton’s credibility is already in question, can’t the prosecution use that to question the legitimacy of his alibi for M. Price?

          • Goose
            06/11/2010 at 10:13 AM

            Yes, especially if Bill 2’s reading is right. Hinton can state that he filed it only because he was concerned about Michael…and the prosecution should follow up with – so you often lie when you are protecting or concerned about Michael?

            If Hinton recants his original story though, I think it’s not going to be any great gain for the prosecution because the defense could point to several problems with credibility to establish that Hinton is not trustworthy. I think the judge will basically disregard his testimony in its entirety if she finds his credibility to be lacking.

    • rivetted
      06/10/2010 at 4:38 PM

      I agree with CC that Hinton’s alibi for MP on Aug 2 might not mean much, given that Hinton already acknowledged filing a false police report about the car. The false report about the stolen car in October definitely calls into question Hinton’s credibility in general.

      How likely is it that Hinton may recind Michael’s alibi? Is there even a remote possibility that it could happen, or is it wishful thinking on our parts? Does anyone know whether Hinton and MP are on good terms now or not?

    • Hoya Loya
      06/10/2010 at 6:13 PM

      But at least for now, Hinton’s alibi for Michael still stands and there is no evidence placing him at the scene on August 2, 2006.

      I don’t know how we can discount the alibi unless Hinton recants (and there is no indication in the prosecution filing that he will), is seriously impeached on the stand or someone establishes through testimony or other evidence that Michael was there.

      • Carolina
        06/11/2010 at 8:18 AM

        HL, any idea what Hinton does for a living?

  8. AnnaZed
    06/10/2010 at 11:04 AM

    Dylan comes to the empty house to get the mail. He (I am presuming here, could be wrong) uses his keys and codes to get in or the door is unlocked and the alarm off. There is stuff missing, obvious stuff like the TV. Leaving aside the fact that he called Joe, not the police, what interests me is that he was “afraid.” I would imagine that the short list of potential thieves with keys is pretty short. Why was Dylan afraid of Michael? Did Dylan tell Scott Hixon right away that it must be Michael who took the stuff? Do you even call walking in with the keys a burglary? I don’t know.

    • Bill Orange
      06/10/2010 at 11:13 AM

      If you read the affidavit, it looks like that’s not what happened. Hixson is saying that Ward came by the house because Michael Price was missing, and he (Ward) knew that he (Michael Price) had a key and might be in the house. So Ward asked Hixson to go with him into the house to look for Michael. They didn’t find Michael, but they did find that a lot of their gadgets were missing, and they immediately assumed (correctly, I believe) that Michael Price was involved in the theft.

    • First Time Reader
      06/10/2010 at 12:14 PM

      Walking in with keys can be a burglary. It depends on what your intent is when you walk in with the keys. If you have the intent to steal someone else’s property when you enter their home with keys, it is burglary. If you walk into your home with keys to get your briefcase, it is not.

  9. AnnaZed
    06/10/2010 at 11:21 AM

    Thanks Bill O. I’m home on my Linux computer which just won’t read a scribd doc, even an embedded one. I will have to read it at work while pretending to work and probably should keep my speculations to myself until I do so.

    Still, that goes to “why is Dylan afraid of Michael?” Ok, Michael is an addict, and addicts are messy irrational people, but fear of a person that you know has keys to your own home is pretty specific, and, as someone stated above, (good Lord!) why didn’t they change the locks or something? Why on earth would Joe give Michael the keys under any circumstances? Why did Dylan and Victor and Sarah tolerate that? (I certainly wouldn’t)

    • Ivan
      06/10/2010 at 12:07 PM

      The fear is probably connected to something that happened on August 2, just my opinion.

      • Lyn
        06/10/2010 at 12:27 PM

        +10!

  10. Q Mindora
    06/10/2010 at 12:25 PM

    I am a lawyer. The piece of evidence which brought chills to my spine and which, if correct, seems irrefutable evidence of the 3 Defendants’ guilt, is the very low amount of remaining blood measured in Robert’s body by the medical examiner. Unless this measurement is inccorect, there is no conceivable way that any of the 3 could not be obstructing. There is no explanation of where so many litres of blood might have gone.

    Does this strike anyone else as the crowning piece of evidence?

    • DCGuy
      06/10/2010 at 12:56 PM

      Q Mindora I think lawmed offered possible explanations for the loss of so much blood. I think the missing blood is just one of many problems and inconsistencies for the defense at this point. The covering for MP is starting to seem more and more plausible to me.

    • leo
      06/10/2010 at 12:57 PM

      Very damning evidence, to be sure, but the defense has challenged it quite vigorously; whether enough to raise a reasonable doubt, I do not know. Among other things, the defense has raised the possibility that the ME was mistaken, in that she did not account for the volume of blood siphoned off by the two chest tubes inserted in the ER (lawmed has written extensively about this on prior days).

      • First Time Reader
        06/10/2010 at 1:12 PM

        I know that lawmed is working on an exposition of some of the medical issues. One issue I would like to see him discuss is the amount of blood and other fluids noted in the autopsy report. As I (a layperson on medical issues) read the autopsy report, it sounds like about a liter of blood was in the abdomen and surrounding areas. This seems like a lot of blood.

        It is not clear if even more blood was collected through chest tubes and was not measured, or was measured at the hospital but not put into evidence.

        However, that still leaves statements made by Victor about “a lot of blood” and by Joe Price implying that he wiped away some blood (even though he did not view that as tampering with the crime scene) and that some blood may have ended up on one or more towels used to apply pressure to the wounds (assuming that happened at all).

        • NYer
          06/10/2010 at 1:45 PM

          Not sure I agree that VZ’s mentioning a lot of blood is all that significant. What may appear arbitrarily to VZ as a “lot” of blood may not have been at all. To draw a simple analogy, when Arturo Gatti was boxing, a lot of people would comment on how much blood there would be in his bouts. I imagine if that blood loss had been measured, it probably wouldn’t amount to much, volume-wise.

          • KiKi
            06/10/2010 at 1:58 PM

            I don’t think that analogy is very accurate. What may seem like a lot of blood at a boxing match is very different than what would seem like a lot of blood at a stabbing. Its like saying there is a lot of sand in my car vs. there is a lot of sand at the beach. The “a lot” measures an expectation relative to the situation.

            Based on the descriptions of the crime scene it does seem odd that Victor would describe a lot of blood. Unless he had seen a lot of blood earlier in the evening.

            • NYer
              06/10/2010 at 2:14 PM

              I had the feeling the Gatti analogy wouldn’t work for some people.

              But let’s just say if one filled a half a cup with blood and smeared it around ones hands and general vicinity, it would certainly *look* like it’s a lot. But it was only half a cup. A liter alone is more than 8 times that amount.

              My point is VZ’s statement is very subjective in terms of a present sense impression.

              • Bill 2
                06/10/2010 at 2:34 PM

                You’re right that a small about of blood smeared around can look like a lot of blood. In this case, the blood was under Robert and on the back of his shirt where it could not be seen by someone just looking into the room. Where was all the blood that Victor claims he saw when the EMT people were surprised at the lack of blood?

                • NYer
                  06/10/2010 at 2:37 PM

                  Both you and donna below made good points here…

                  • DonnaH
                    06/10/2010 at 2:56 PM

                    Thanks!

                • emg
                  06/10/2010 at 5:48 PM

                  I remember reading at one point and I don’t know if it was a police report from the scene or an interview later, that Joe said when he went dow the stair he could see the blood. That would indicate there was “alot.”

          • DonnaH
            06/10/2010 at 2:07 PM

            The relevance of Victor’s statement, to me, is not so significant in regard to measured blood loss as it is in regard to the scene itself, which was, upon the EMT’s arrival, distinctive for the minimal amount of blood found–mainly the two stains on the bedsheet and the blood on the back of Robert’s shirt, which Victor wouldn’t have seen much of in his first view of Robert as he appeared to the EMT’s. Either Victor was remembering Robert as he might have appeared before the cleanup was completely finished, or he was lying to the 911 operator.

            • Elizabeth
              06/10/2010 at 8:30 PM

              And let’s not forget the other aspect of the scene that was so distinctive: the behavior of the defendants’ was so bizarre that it made the hair on the back of the EMT’s neck stand up.

      • Ivan
        06/10/2010 at 1:27 PM

        Yet we don’t know for sure if this procedure was performed on Robert. In the house he was pronounced systole (meaning no heart beat). Do ERs perform this procedure on someone DOA? Just asking.

        • Bill Orange
          06/10/2010 at 2:25 PM

          I don’t think he was pronounced DOA. And the ME noted two chest tubes and two deep lines in the body at autopsy, which is pretty solid evidence of the resuscitation, IMHO.

          • Ivan
            06/10/2010 at 2:39 PM

            Yes, I would agree with that now.

    • CC Biggs
      06/10/2010 at 1:13 PM

      Yes, the lack of blood is most damning. Followed by the timeline, which even by defendants’ own account (!) simply does not allow enough time for an intruder to do the deed.

      • Bea
        06/10/2010 at 3:21 PM

        Agree:
        lack of blood tied with delayed reporting
        makes a guilty verdict look highly likely

        What seals the conviction:
        Joe being not only the last one to touch the “knife” but being the only one who could have wiped blood on it. The fact that he “saw blood everywhere” and that Robert’s abdomen had been wiped adds to the obviousness of his lies that he did not touch anything. That he strongly implied to Tara R. that he “wiped up blood” also in play.

        Frankly, even if the Judge holds the prosecution to a very, very high standard, she will convict Joe Price (at a minimum) with obstruction of justice and give him the high end of sentence scale. My guess is that she’ll nail Victor and Joe with conspiracy on top of that, probably WITH Dylan (he’s the only one with a realistic chancing of acquittal). I suspect she’ll convict Joe of tampering but may not include Victor and Dylan (meaning that the “conspiracy” may not include tampering). The conspiracy could be only the obstruction as to preventing cops from finding Robert’s murderer (be that Michael or one/more of the defendants).

        Of course I could change my mind as the evidence comes in. But there is less and less chance that Joe Price will walk in my estimation.

      • deduce
        06/10/2010 at 4:50 PM

        The timeline also does not allow for incapacitation by drugs or binding by ‘play’ implements, significant sex play or photography, stabbing, washing of the body, cleaning up the scene including destroying photographs and putting away said implements, throwing towels in the washer and dryer (where the dog ‘alerted’) and calling 911 — all in between 10:30 and 11:43? and they were supposedly drug addled themselves?

        • DonnaH
          06/10/2010 at 5:16 PM

          Difficult?–yes. but the involvement of Michael would have allowed for these things to be accomplished more quickly; and Michael could have taken various incriminating items (bloody towels, cameras, knife) with him to dispose of. In fact, it’s this last possibility which in my mind makes the involvement of Michael or some third party most likely; I hardly think Victor was capable of accomplishing much once he got involved, and it is difficult to imagine that Joe or Dylan would have had time to do all the above plus take away the evidence to some “safe” place for later disposal.

          What’s more, if their drug of choice was cocaine, they would have been capable of acting in a quick and focused manner, at least as far as particular tasks would have been concerned.

        • Wow.
          06/10/2010 at 7:51 PM

          I agree that given the timeline, it’s hard to believe that Robert was drugged or sexually assaulted. I think that the needle marks were from attempts to start IV lines as discussed by lawmed. I find it completely plausible that during the chaos of trying to revive Robert, medical staffers attempted to start IV lines in those places without documenting it. It also seems plausible to me that the semen found on Robert’s body was from voiding.

          I think the unusual and “sexy” circumstances of this case – polyamorous relationship, trunk full of exotic sex toys, etc. – have caused us all to get caught up in the sex angle. I suspect that the truth is much more basic – drug addled brother who has a key to the house comes in looking for money or drugs or whatever and confronts and kills an unexpected house guest. Joe, who by all accounts has been rescuing and enabling Michael for his entire adult life, decides to cover for his brother and is arrogant and manipulative enough to believe that he can outsmart the criminal justice system.

          • laser
            06/10/2010 at 8:06 PM

            how do you explain the lack of defensive wounds and no fishtailing in the stab wounds if robert was not drugged?

            • Elizabeth
              06/10/2010 at 8:26 PM

              Exactly.

          • Pshep
            06/10/2010 at 8:56 PM

            I also think it is highly unlikely Victor & Dylan would be willing to take the fall if this was solely Michael’s crime. All signs point to Joe’s direct involvement with Robert’s death – accidental or intentional.

            • Ivan
              06/11/2010 at 8:20 AM

              Unless Dyl and Victor are intimidated (or eshall I say frightened) by the Price brothers.

          • Forme Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
            06/10/2010 at 9:04 PM

            Wow-In your more “basic” theory with the “sexy” angles removed, how did Robert Wone end up with his own semen inserted in his anus? That piece of evidence is the part that makes impossible to NOT “get caught up in the sex angle”. It is a very bizarre finding that screams “sexual assualt”.

            • Nora
              06/11/2010 at 6:44 AM

              Yes, and remember that the semen was not only in his anus, but in his rectal cavity – ‘way up there. Impossible to have happened by accident. But Wow’s theory is one of the strangest that I’ve heard. Why would Michael cut class for the first time ever to break into a house where he was presumedly welcome and at a time when people are usually still up and about? It makes no sense. Nor does the idea of all three of them taking the fall for his act of thuggery. Sorry, but Joe at least was more involved than that.

              As for the time frame: a lot of unimaginable stuff can be done within half an hour. I’ve seen it.

        • Carolina
          06/10/2010 at 8:48 PM

          Again with the playmat.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/10/2010 at 9:37 PM

            “playmat”….how many times have I heard that term on this website. LOL

            There’s no such thing as a S&M playmat. How about a tarp? LOL You can look at any S&M equipment site and they don’t sell “playmats.” LOL

            I was invited to a “dungeon” out in the suburbs of DC….he had laminant on the floor. LOL

            • Bill 2
              06/10/2010 at 9:50 PM

              Do a google search on “play sheets bondage room” and you’ll find listings for latex and/or leather “play sheets.” When I did a search for playmats, it turned up one listing for play sheets to rent. It also asked if I was looking for “Playmates.” I don’t think so.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
                06/10/2010 at 10:38 PM

                Play sheets….found those. Play mats/Playmats all that comes up for me is children’s playmats.

                Playmates. Too damn funny. LOL

              • Elizabeth
                06/11/2010 at 8:41 AM

                Ick. Renting one? That’s honestly been used before? Nasty.

          • Josh
            06/10/2010 at 10:01 PM

            It said in his rectum, not only on his anus. I’m not sure what a play mat is, but I’d be it couldn’t account for that.

            • Bill 2
              06/10/2010 at 10:11 PM

              It’s doubful that this will be brought out in this trial since the men are not accused of murder nor sexual assault. You’ll have to wait for another day, another trial to get the details.

    • bigfatmike
      06/10/2010 at 9:05 PM

      I am not an attorney. But this has always struck me as potentially the most damning piece of evidence of all. But to be convincing, one has to eliminate the possibility that blood was lost other places eg the ambulance, the emergency room etc. Already on this site a medical professional has stated that in cases of this type it is usually for, in effect, drains to be inserted on each side of the chest, and that they are capable of draining 3000 to 4000 ml of blood in a short period of time – minutes. Whether this type of ‘chest drain’ was implanted into RW is unknown to me, perhaps some other reader can help.
      If the prosecution can convincingly eliminate the possibility that the quantity of blood was mis-counted, then I personally would be convinced that the crime scene was altered and obstruction of justice occurred (sorry if I have not used these legal terms correctly).
      I suppose if this track seemed convincing then the defense would attack the medical examiners credentials and procedure. While I might not choose for her to be my open heart surgeon, I believe she has ample credentials to estimate the total blood in a male given height and weight, and estimate the blood that would be likely to be lost during transportation and treatment at the emergency room. I think the weakest point is the calculation of the blood likely to be lost during transportation and treatment. Perhaps other readers can clarify what steps have been taken to quantify the blood that might have been lost outside of the location 1509 Swann.
      As I understand it this only get us to obstruction. In order to get conviction it must be proved that one or two or three made an overt act to carry out the obstruction. Or if that cannot be proved, then it must be proved that the three acted as conspirators. For me this is the hard part. How do you get to the proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was one or two or three that actually cleaned up the blood, or failing that prove that these three conspired to clean up the blood. I invite illuminating comments from anyone.

      Finally I do not believe for a minute that some unknown person entered the house, murdered RW, cleaned up the residue, exited the house, and did not leave a trace of his or her presence. That someone could have entered and left the house is a give. That could have happened. But to not leave a trace with 3 or 4 liters of blood missing!!! Not in this universe.

  11. Jason
    06/10/2010 at 12:43 PM

    At this point do you all have any idea if Joe, Victor, and/or Dylan will be taking the stand in their own defense?

    • leo
      06/10/2010 at 1:01 PM

      There is always the option that one or more could decide to take the stand, depending on how the trial is going. Given the no. of statements the defendants have already made, and their statements to various witnesses, including police and EMT’s, I would very much doubt any of their attorneys would advocate their taking the stand–too great a risk of contradicting oneself or one of your co-defendants on matters great or small.

    • Bea
      06/10/2010 at 7:51 PM

      Most will disagree but I think there’s a chance Joe will testify, particularly if it’s looking very bad for the defense. Bernie will throw a fit, possibly threaten to quit (and will quit if he knows Joe plans to perjure himself) – and there indeed would be a real dilemma in a bench trial. Bernie trying to recuse himself in front of the judge who is determining guilt: the reason? Because Joe is planning on perjuring himself about what happened IN AN OBSTRUCTION/TAMPERING/CONSPIRACY trial. Sounds like a law exam question.

      • Bill Orange
        06/11/2010 at 12:05 AM

        I think there’s a VERY high chance that Joe will insist on testifying. And I agree that his legal team is going to threaten to quit over it. Joe Price has repeatedly tried to talk his way out of this–to the police, to Kathy Wone, to Jason Torchinsky, to Tara Ragone. Every time he opens his mouth, he makes it worse. He appears to be supremely confident in his ability to talk his way out of things, and he gets MORE confident, not less, when things don’t go his way.

        I think that his extreme self-confidence, coupled with his lack of faith in his partners, is a big part of what bit him in the ass in the first place. Think about it: You’re trying to commit a crime that involves selling a line of pure bullshit to the police. Who should be doing the talking? Your choices are: An intellectual property lawyer, a masseuse, or a nationally-recognized Senior Marketing Manager?

        • Clio
          06/11/2010 at 12:53 AM

          Zeus, save us from the excesses of a service as opposed to an industrial economy! The denizens of Swann show the perils of America not making anything … that is, except maybe milk.

          Hi Tara!

        • Bea
          06/11/2010 at 1:53 AM

          If Bernie knows he’s going to LIE then it will be quite a quandary as to his withdrawal. While my guess is the first thing Bernie said to him is I DON’T WANT TO KNOW IF YOU KILLED HIM, he likely didn’t anticipate the conspiracy/tampering/obstruction charges and may well have been told something that will put him in this position. I’m guessing that this will serve as a mistrial opportunity should it happen.

          • Bill Orange
            06/11/2010 at 7:43 AM

            “I’m guessing that this will serve as a mistrial opportunity should it happen.”

            That’s going to infuriate the judge. He’s on trial for obstruction of justice, and she’s going to have to consider a mistrial because his lawyer thinks he’s going to commit perjury? If I were her, I’d find a way to keep him in jail until the new trial was finished.

          • KiKi
            06/11/2010 at 9:46 AM

            I really don’t think Bernie Grimm would quit based on anything Joe would say on the stand. While Joe may have told Grimm one thing and say a different thing on the stand, whether he is lying or perjuring himself is not a decision for Grimm. In other words, Grimm does not know whether Joe was lying to him initially (clients lie to their attorneys all the time)or is lying on the stand. That is the beauty of the ethical rules: you cannot KNOWINGLY put false info in front of the tribunal. Grimm is not the truth police and Joe has told many stories so there is no way that Grimm can know whether or not he is lying on the stand. This is the beauty of allowing lawyers to create and interpret their own ethical rules.

            That being said, if Joe insists on testifying Grimm may quit because it is a sure fire way to lose.

            • Kathleen
              06/12/2010 at 3:28 AM

              The judge is not going to allow any lawyer to withdraw in the middle of this trial. That is hardly a possibility.

              I agree with Kiki’s explanation of why a lawyer usually doesn’t know when a client is lying. The lawyer wasn’t there at the event and doesn’t know what happened. Obviously there may be times when you have some physical evidence like a videotape that unambiguously contradicts your client or your client actually tells you he is going to lie on the stand but absent the unusual all the lawyer can do is advise the client that he must tell the truth on the stand. It is the client’s constitutional right to testify or not.

              I love how everyone seems to think they know the attorney client communications.

  12. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/10/2010 at 1:38 PM

    “big difference between tampering with a crime scene and wiping something away while waiting for the ambulance because you’re freaked out by all the blood.”

    So, if this is true, where is the cloth or paper towel he used to do this?

    Only one towel was recovered. Nothing else.

  13. Carolina
    06/10/2010 at 2:10 PM

    I hate to say this, but I’m almost feeling sorry for Joe.

    It will pass.

    • James
      06/10/2010 at 4:13 PM

      Seriously Carolina? What sparked this?

      • Carolina
        06/10/2010 at 8:55 PM

        I look at all of this and wonder what baggage he man has carried, and not just his own. Guilty or not, you just don’t DO these things without serious emotional issues.

        I’ll also say this, lest someone else feel the need. It does not outweigh my sorrow for Kathy Wone. Her loss is unmeasurable and I know she is struggling to live her life in ways she never imagined. But this isn’t a contest, and yes, I do feel sorry for Joe, though I’m sure his ego would take offense.

        • Nelly
          06/10/2010 at 9:02 PM

          I don’t feel sorry for him, but he sure looked beat and worn out in that October 2008 William & Mary interview video that Aquanetta posted here recently. He looked ill and very preoccupied. He probably shouldn’t have even agreed to the interview, where he had to pretend all was well and reminisce about his college days for the videographer. I wonder if Joe knew that the indictments were coming down, or was it all a surprise?

          • Clio
            06/10/2010 at 9:50 PM

            I feel sorry only for his children, who, like the sons of Oscar Wilde, will bear some of society’s contempt for their disgraced father.

            I suspect Joe knew that the indictments were imminent, but I suspect that he never expected the appearance and longevity of this weblog.

            Perhaps, the archivist at William and Mary can also obtain a video copy of Joe’s “Anacostia Dialogues” to be juxtaposed with his 2008 interviews. And perhaps, all of these videos could be put to seemingly incongruous music, say anything by Dvorak. Future historians, at any rate, will be pleased!

            • Josh
              06/10/2010 at 10:06 PM

              The Onion’s headline for September 1, 1939, reads: “Hitler Launches World War Two; Experts Blame Unhappy Childhood.”

          • WhatACase
            06/10/2010 at 10:46 PM

            sorry but can’t find aquanetta’s link to the video—do you know where it is? (also search function doesn’t seem to be working right—0 hits for acquanetta)

  14. CC Biggs
    06/10/2010 at 2:19 PM

    Nearly four years after the murder, how is it possible that the police have not taken a statement from Michael Price? As I understand it, Michael Price was never interviewed or questioned in connection with Wone’s death. He may not officially be a suspect, but surely he is a person of interest (especially considering the prosecution’s apparent theory in the conspiracy/obstruction case, i.e., housemates protecting someone they know who may have been the killer). Why hasn’t Michel Price been questioned?

    • Bill Orange
      06/10/2010 at 2:30 PM

      I don’t really believe the defense on this point. I think the most likely scenario is that Joe got Michael a lawyer, either right after the murder (when he made an ass of himself at the funeral) or right after the burglary (when he was busted with a crack pipe), and Michael’s lawyer has informed the police and/or the USA’s office that Michael will be invoking his 5th Amendment rights and will not be answering any questions. If that’s the case, the government hasn’t technically tried to interview him, since they’ve already been told not to bother.

  15. BadShoes
    06/10/2010 at 2:49 PM

    “Theres a difference between a clean-up and wiping something away while waiting for the ambulance because you’re freaked out by all the blood.”

    –Joe Price, as paraphrased by Tara Ragone. circa 16 Aug 2006.

    Let us suppose, for a moment, that Mr. Price actually did “wip[e] something away while waiting for the ambulance.” Neither Mr. Ward nor Mr. Zaborsky recounted this event. According to the account of all three men, when combined with the 911 call timeline, Mr. Price was alone with the body for about 3 minutes, max. During this time, Mr. Price said he was checking Mr. Wone for vital signs and holding his hand. Messrs. Price and Zaborsky said that later Mr. Price was applying compression. Mr. Ward didn’t recall any specific actions by Mr. Price.

    Why was he “freaked out by all the blood” when Messrs. Ward and Zaborsky both said (and all evidence shows) that there wasn’t much blood? Why didn’t Mr. Price get blood on his hands, either from wiping something away, or from applying compression? He told the police that he only got a little spot of blood on his finger.

    But, if Mr. Price did wipe something away, he must have used the single bloody towel that was found. But Mr.Zaborsky said that he brought a towel from upstairs, so Mr. Price was never alone with the body AND the single towel. Furthermore, if the blood on the single towel came from wiping something away, then where was the blood from the compression?

    If Mr. Price did wipe something away, then he misrepresented his actions to the police. Further, Messrs. Zaborsky and Ward also misrepresented Mr. Price’s actions. If they covered up a trivial and arguably inadvertant modification to the crime scene, why would their denials of more extensive modifications be credible? How and why did the three men jointly decide not to discuss wiping something away?

    If Mr. Price was just spinning Ms. Ragone, why should one conclude that he wasn’t prepared to spin the police as well, especially given the evidence suggesting much more extensive modifications to the crime scene?

    The final possibility is that Ms. Ragone’s recollection is inaccurate. There is no obvious reason to think her recollection is inaccurate. (Except the general craziness of Mr. Price compromising all three men’s defense in the hope that Ms. Ragone won’t think badly of him.)

    The part that seems authentic is being “freaked out by all the blood.”

    • CC Biggs
      06/10/2010 at 4:14 PM

      It’s been a while since I read Price’s statements, but I vaguely recall that he indicated there was a lot of blood at the scene. I remembe reading that comment and immediately thinking that it was a bad mistake to say that because the crime scene — by the time EMT/police arrived — didn’t show a lot of blood.

      • BadShoes
        06/10/2010 at 4:34 PM

        Yes. My (sometimes erroneous) recollection is that Mr. Price said “blood everywhere.” Mr. Ward said he didn’t see a lot of blood.

        Some of Mr. Price’s alleged statements and actions, such as: “blood everywhere,” “freaked out by all the blood,” “the screw-up,” the specific mimicking of the groan, and the stabbing motion demonstrated for Mrs. Wone, would, if accurately reported, fall into some sort of special category.

        • AnnaZed
          06/10/2010 at 4:55 PM

          Oh, you mean like the psychopathic liar category?
          I have lots of stuff related to this case under that heading.

          • BadShoes
            06/10/2010 at 5:56 PM

            AZ-

            No, just the reverse. They might be a recounting of authentic memories.

            • Josh
              06/10/2010 at 10:17 PM

              Hi, Anna. I’m fairly new here, but I welcome your opening this subject. I’ve encountered a few genuine psychopathic liars, and they are a fascinating (and frightening) breed. A couple of days ago, I observed that the text of Joe’s “Catch-22” e-mail to Kathy set off neon lights for me. Pathological liars are not just folks who tell tall stories, they are sociopaths, some of whom funcitons at high levels. I’d be curious to hear more of what you have under that heading.

        • emg
          06/10/2010 at 5:58 PM

          Joe said he could see blood as he was coming down the stairs.

          Based on Joe’s description to Kathy in the basement, he made a stabbing jesture and sounds. I believe that Joe saw Robert being stabbed. I think Victor and Dylan were in their rooms as they said. Michael showed up grabbed the kitchen knife and stabbed Robert. Joe “did not come down”. He never was upstairs.

          I think Victor came downstairs wondering where Joe was and screamed. Joe had already cleaned up and given Michael incriminating evidence and told him to leave. Joe may not have ever told Dylan or Victor what really happened for fear they might fold like cheap tents down the road. But they know. That is why Dylan was afraid to enter the house alone. Joe told them what to say during the period after the EMTs and Dunham left and the next officer arrived.

          • Tarfunk
            06/10/2010 at 7:06 PM

            Some people have suggested that the missing knife from Dylan’s carving set is a red herring, i.e., that it really has been missing for years and was not involved in the crime. However, the evidence suggests the missing knife is more consistent with Robert’s wounds. If it is indeed the murder weapon, it’s difficult for me to see how Dylan would just be in his room and not be involved.

          • 06/10/2010 at 9:06 PM

            Do “10-4” stab wounds suggest a right-handed person?

    • Bea
      06/10/2010 at 7:48 PM

      I suspect the bloody towels left with the video and digital cameras (not to mention the murder weapon).

      • BadShoes
        06/10/2010 at 11:48 PM

        Bea-

        Actually, its too late in the time line for this particular while-waiting-for-the-ambulance towel to disappear, since Mr. Price’s must have made his little wipe around 11:49-11:54pm, only minutes ahead of the EMTs.

        I guess my point is that Mr. Price’s alleged remark to Ms. Ragone (if accurately recounted) is damaging to the defense–whether or not it was actually true.

        –If Mr. Price’s remark is false, then Mr. Price misled Ms. Ragone to no obvious purpose, which might affect one’s opinion of his credibility.

        –If Mr. Price’s remark is true, then Mr. Price failed to mention a material fact to the police, and cast doubt on the accounts of his co-defendants as well.

        –By saying anything at all, Mr. Price acted in a way harmful to his own interests, and probably drove his lawyer and fellow defendants bananas.

        It seems plausible that Mr. Price’s statement to Ms. Ragone contains some elements of truth.

        • Bea
          06/11/2010 at 1:29 AM

          Hey Shoes,
          I figured that Joe’s comment to Tara wasn’t factually accurate as to it being POST the call to 911. He’s just pulling a “Joe” by being asked a question by Tara and yammering on ambiguously – never stopping to think that it could bite him on the ass later. If he hadn’t been so talkative (needing to make the three motions with the grunts, the cops all night long, to Scott Hixson, to Tara and Jason Torchinsky) he wouldn’t be facing these particular charges – or perhaps EVER. Really, these charges were brought only because he couldn’t STOP talking.

          • Elizabeth
            06/11/2010 at 9:01 AM

            “These charges were brought only because he couldn’t stop talking.” Can you clarify? Do you mean he told a slightly different version each time and that is what called so much attention to him? Because frankly, it something like this happened to me I don’t think i could stop talking about it, either. I think I would have to process it over and over with anyone who would listen.

            • BadShoes
              06/11/2010 at 10:00 AM

              Elizabeth-

              Imagine, purely hypothetically, having no relationship to any real person living or dead, that something terrible happened to you, and that you felt the need to process it over and over.

              Next imagine that you must also maintain an elaborate, partly-fictional account of the event,

              This would be difficult. You might find yourself unintentionally embedding vivid, traumatic real memories in your stories that are inconsistent with your partly-fictional account.

              • Elizabeth
                06/11/2010 at 10:31 AM

                BadShoes, you are absolutely right that it would be difficult to keep these two realities straight.

                I am still curious, though, about Bea’s statement that the only reason Joe is facing these charges is that he couldn’t stop talking.

                Below is a piece of the blog (having just started reading and posting a few weeks ago I have been reading the archives) that seems quite different from Bea’s comment, but she is always so well-informed and eloquent I need to figure out how these two pieces fit together. Thanks!

                “08/31/2009
                By Craig
                A Friend is Slain in Your Home? STFU

                One of the more unsettling aspects of the then-suspects’, now defendants’ puzzling behavior following Robert’s murder was their complete silence on both their friend’s death and their own innocence.”

                • David
                  06/11/2010 at 10:50 AM

                  Actually, what I believe Craig was getting at was that defendant’s did nothing pubically to find the intruder. For example, why did it take four guy who didn’t know Robert to set up the website WhoMurderedRobertWone.com. Shouldn’t that have been the defendants’ role, especially if they were innocent?

                  David
                  Co-Editor

                  • Elizabeth
                    06/11/2010 at 11:00 AM

                    That makes sense. I know I’m in dangerous territory here, but just to play devil’s advocate, and in NO way blaming the victim or his family, what did Kathy or Robert’s parents do to publicly find the intruder?

                    • Bill 2
                      06/11/2010 at 11:38 AM

                      You assume they think there was an intruder. Their pending court case says otherwise.

                  • Kathleen
                    06/12/2010 at 3:33 AM

                    They have been under suspicion by the police since day one. And they knew it. It makes no sense that three men in such a personally precarious circumstance would start such a web site.

                    People under suspicion for anything should learn to say nothing. Innocent or guilty – your words will be used against you.

                  • Eagle
                    06/12/2010 at 10:03 AM

                    Are you saying that you thought the three men who were in the house when a murder occurred have an obligation to find the intruder?
                    Innocent or guilty, I do not believe that is their responsibility. Now would it have been wise.
                    If they were innocent or guilty, why would they need to consume themselves in reliving the murder. In fact, it seems it could be really unhealthy. Depends.
                    It seems to me that we have authorities tasked with finding the guilty.
                    If some bloggers want to keep the
                    subject going, good for them. Good for the four of you. It’s a real public service.
                    However, the three defendants do not have an obligation to start a blog to find an intruder.

            • Bea
              06/11/2010 at 12:59 PM

              Hi Elizabeth, I was using the phrase in common parlance not legalese. In other words, there would be no obstruction charges if they hadn’t led the police in the wrong direction. The only evidence of their conspiracy comes from taking the many definitive statements and matching them against each other (Joe: “I didn’t know that it was 11:43 until Victor said so downstairs” when he’s heard asking on the tape and Victor repeats it to him, locking in a misunderstood time frame; Joe telling cops that while he only heard one chime that he knows Victor heard the second one that he didn’t hear yet Dylan tries to tell cops at the scene that ‘we heard the chime’ when he didn’t hear one).

              Finally, while there is evidence that knife was tampered with (blood wiped on it) if Joe hadn’t ‘bragged’ to Tara and Scott separately that he’d pulled it from Robert’s chest, he COULD have found it in its tampered-with state, but not so if he found it IN Robert’s chest.

              I think his need to control the situation, including acting out the three stab wounds to Kathy and calling Jason to talk atty-client privilege waiver are the most damning elements when put in the context of the delayed reporting and lack of blood. It seems Joe needs to have the last word on everything – and all of it smacks as indicia of guilt.

              All this to say that if he’d said as little as possible about finding Robert’s body, this case would be very difficult to prove, and these charges may not even have been brought.

          • BadShoes
            06/11/2010 at 9:41 AM

            bea-

            yes, i think so too. It was an ambigious yamm–umm–statement.

            At the time of the call, Mr. Price probably couldn’t be sure what the invesigators knew, or even exactly what he had told them. As you say, Ms. Ragone put him on the spot, and his reply sounds like spin to me.

  16. 99
    06/10/2010 at 5:07 PM

    I’m missing something about Michael’s involvement. Is someone suggesting that he murdered Robert and ran out of the house with the murder weapon and the trouple is covering for him by saying they didn’t hear anyone leave? Is the theory that he was involved in the incapacitation part of the evening? I’m not sure that makes sense given that only Joe has real ties (or fondness) for him. I can’t see Victor or Dylan risking prison to cover for Michael.

    • Alice
      06/10/2010 at 5:23 PM

      They aren’t risking prison to cover for Michael, they are doing what Joe told them to do.

    • DonnaH
      06/10/2010 at 5:33 PM

      I think it possible that his involvement may have been initially requested as part of the sexual assault on Robert, in possibly various capacities–to provide drugs, to inject ketamine or whatever they used to incapacitate him–and then when things went wrong and they thought Robert OD’d, he may have been involved in the various attempts at coverup that followed, including stabbing Robert and removing incriminating items such as bloody towels, cameras, and the knife used for the murder. I and numerous others here would agree with you that Victor or Dylan would not be motivated enough to cover for Michael if he were the principal actor in this crime.

    • tucsonwriter
      06/10/2010 at 5:40 PM

      The steady revelation of evidence on the part of this site plus the analysis has been really interesting. I posted something at the end of yesterday’s comments earlier today. That is that I can now imagine the following scenario. Joe Price is a disturbed person who covers it well. His brother is disturbed also but doesn’t cover it so well. They have an emotional bond from their family of origin where Joe helps Michael out, which suggests the repayment of a debt. I wonder what happened in the family they came from as small, innocent children.

      Robert Wone was basically a small innocent child – or reduced to one by drugging, possible padded restraints, and who knows what else went on that night. Something happened quickly – the time frame precludes it. It reminds me of that case of the gay sailor that got beaten to death by someone who had been beaten by their mother’s boyfriend while being taunted for being gay. They just flipped out. I think whoever did this flipped out. Then tried to cover up to regain their sanity. Then convinced everyone else to lie based on what he told them.

      I am assuming that once the EMT’s got there the police rapidly followed so all the clean-up had to occur prior to 11:49ish time. The knife was clearly disposed of. It seems impossible to refute the facts that the knife at the scene is not likely to be the knife that actually stabbed Victor Wone. Also blood was not as apparent as it should have been. In some of the evidence trail there appears to have been blood clean-up. You can’t clean blood up without getting something bloody.

      Either as was suggested the stabbing took place on the back patio – or as I thought I had read late one night – the room did respond to chemicals that test for blood but that evidence was compromised by police bungling.

      Either way evidence was not at the scene plus the scene had obviously been tampered with – freshly showered individuals. Joe Price was wearing nothing but his underwear. I think that is really weird. I would not greet EMT’s and police in my underwear no matter what unless I was dead. Robert Wone had more clothes on than Joe Price. That seems like another over-thought item – like the mouth guard and the cell phone….. If I am in my underwear it will seem like I am more vulnerable and just got out of bed. At this point Joe Price seems very suspect.

  17. tucsonwriter
    06/10/2010 at 5:27 PM

    The key thing (ha ha) to remember is that Michael Price had a key and the code to the house when Robert Wone was murdered. Joe Price did NOT tell the police this fact at the time of the murder. It came out with the burglary. I find it interesting that Dylan Ward brought an outside witness to the home at this second incident. By doing so he made sure there could be no cover-up for that second event.

    • 99
      06/10/2010 at 6:58 PM

      I just don’t see Michael as a key player. I think that Joe didn’t tell the police that Michael had a key because Michael wasn’t someone that Joe wanted to deflect blame to or have investigated. It’s possible that he was called in to help with the clean up and/or disposal part of the evening, but wouldn’t there be a phone record of some sort? And how would he get there in time with such a short timeline? Where would he have been for the hours between 5:30 and 10:30?

      Somehow I can’t imagine Joe and Dylan inviting him to participate in whatever they had planned for Robert or calling on him for help. Addicts are unreliable and besides, he’s Joe’s brother and Joe’s alt.com profile didn’t mention he was into incest which, incidentally, seems to be the only omission on that unbelievably comprehensive list.

      • Bill 2
        06/10/2010 at 7:08 PM

        How do you know he wasn’t already in the house before it began? How do you know that he wasn’t in Dylan’s room watching a video or reading, while waiting for Victor to go upstairs to bed?

        Let’s not forget that at one point Dylan was said to be exercising in that small room with the door closed. Why wouldn’t it be easier to exercise in the den, outside his door, where there was more room to move? Was he in there with Michael Price?

      • tucsonwriter
        06/10/2010 at 7:26 PM

        I wonder what kind of an “addict” he really was. I mean it sounds like he was taking classes and had regular attendance. Then – for whatever reason he misses this one night and then keeps missing. Later, in October, we have evidence of relapsing behavior with the break-in.

        There was an excellent post regarding the phone records- under the tooth fairy thread.

        • Clio
          06/11/2010 at 1:10 AM

          Could it be Mikey coming to the rescue of Culuket and then feeling so guilty as to (re)turn to booze and pills? So, rather than Joe covering for his lesser sibling, it is Michael the bag man covering for his patron. That scenario might have explained the excess of brotherly “love” in the parking lot at the funeral.

          • Bea
            06/11/2010 at 1:44 AM

            Clio, I agree. I think Michael had been ‘on the wagon’ for a while then (actually attended school, had a job if memory serves) and didn’t go on his bender until the burglary in the following October. It’s been speculated that Michael was the procurer of Joe’s recreational drugs, and I kind of think that instead of going to the gym that Joe may have met up with his bro. If Michael DID call from the Moms/kids’ house, that would suggest otherwise, though perhaps Joe mentioned regret over not seeing the kids and Michael jumped in and said he’d stop by – I think he and Louis lived in Silver Spring.

            Anyone know WHEN Joe called Michael from Anacostia? I know Michael knew early enough to be the one to call Sarah while he was trying to round up a lawyer for Joe – but if Joe called Michael (and Michael WASN’T involved) then Michael was apparently not using then. No one calls an addict when they’re using to try to get them to call a lawyer. Sure seems Lisa Goddard or one of the MANY Arent lawyers would have been a far better bet on that score. Of course if Joe DIDN’T call Michael but instead Michael called him, that’s telling of Michael’s involvement (and recent departure with a bag of ‘stuff’).

            I don’t think Michael could have been using then if Joe really called him with important tasks.

            • Bill Orange
              06/11/2010 at 7:51 AM

              I don’t think this is really relevant to the murder or the cover-up, but one of the things that perplexes me is the number of people Joe Price called at 6 AM that morning. There were at least four people that he called: Michael Price, Sarah Morgan, Scott Hixson, and Lisa Goddard. All of them ended up coming to the police station that morning. Why drag so many people down to Anacostia?

              • David
                06/11/2010 at 8:33 AM

                BillO,

                The reason to call so many people down there is because Joe needs to be the center of attention.

                • Clio
                  06/11/2010 at 9:33 AM

                  And, what a diverse bouquet of courtiers that it was whom His Majesty summoned to Anacostia that morn! A coalition of the willing that it was for deference to the Arent-Fox partner and his theory!

                • Eagle
                  06/11/2010 at 9:59 AM

                  Another possible reason:
                  Something traumatic had happened and like any one else in a traumatic situation, he may have just plain needed people around him.

  18. PAL
    06/10/2010 at 6:18 PM

    I am a newbie commenter but have been following the posts and responses with the interest and fascination accorded a gripping murder mystery, all the while reminding myself that the “characters” are real people with their lives in balance. And also with deep sadness regards the central character, Robert. Kudos to the eds for their efforts.

    One question keeps nagging at me that may have come up in previous comments (and if so, forgive the repetition): why was the house not treated as a murder scene immediately? Maybe I’ve been watching too many L&O shows, but it seems odd that the EMT removed Robert’s body before the police had secured & photographed/documented the scene exactly as it was when the EMT arrived – let alone leave all the (known) inhabitants alone before the MP officers arrived. From what I’ve read, Robert was dead at the scene (?) so why the rush to get him out of the house before the police could do their job?

    • Leo
      06/10/2010 at 6:51 PM

      He wasn’t declared dead at the scene, EMT’s rushed him to the ER where chest tubes and arterial lines were inserted in an attempt to save him. I agree though that the first officer that responded (apparently Ofcr Dunham) should not have left the scene to accompany the victim, until other officers were on the scene.

      • chilaw79
        06/10/2010 at 9:41 PM

        If Durham’s recorded statement is correct, Price told her that Wone was killed outside and the defendants brought him in through the back door (patio door) and took him up to the second floor bedroom where the EMTs found him.

        If Durham believed them, Durham may have thought that getting a statement from Wone was the only way to identify the intruder/killer.

        In that case, Durham going with Wone makes sense. It does not make sense if she thought one or more of the defendants might be guilty, unless other officers already had arrived by then. There has been some suggestion that there was some police protocol involved here.

    • chilaw79
      06/10/2010 at 7:57 PM

      During the 911 call, it is represented that Wone was still breathing, although the EMTs thought that it looked like Wone had been dead for a while. When the EMTs arrived, Joe Price was sitting on the side of the bed near Wone’s body. Price was wearing only underwear.

      The EMTs acted prudently in attempting to resuscitate Wone. The police did not arrive until the EMTs were preparing to leave (perhaps, in part, because the police were not requested during the 911 call). I think most EMTs make an effort to resuscitate even if they think the victim is not alive or could be resuscitated. The EMTs are not doctors and should not substitute their judgment about who might be saved. While this may have resulted in a less than perfect crime scene, my own opinion is that the scene already was compromised by the time the EMTs arrived.

      • tucsonwriter
        06/10/2010 at 8:05 PM

        Once again my compliments to the creators of this site. I was just going back and reviewing Joe Price under defendants and came across a bunch of old posts from March, 2009. To paraphrase – Joe Price wouldn’t call brother Michael to help him move a couch… much less clean up a murder site.

        So what is the point the prosecutors are trying to make with Michael Price? ” I Wanda! I mean I wonder……” (from “A Fish Called Wanda”) Other than to prove that Joe Price did not accurately portray who had keys.

        • Carolina
          06/10/2010 at 9:07 PM

          I don’t know who said Joe wouldn’t ask Michael to help move a couch, but if one needed something illegal done, Michael might be your man.

          I’ve said from Day 1 that MP had a hand in this. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

          • Clio
            06/10/2010 at 10:59 PM

            And, why was Dyl scared of Michael? Did the former chef know too much about the former butcher?

      • emg
        06/11/2010 at 12:29 AM

        I frankly don’t understand why the police weren’t on the scene at the same time or earlier than the EMTs. When you get a call that someone has been stabbed, the intruder may still be in the house, and there are far more police in cruisers and likely closer than EMTs, they should be the first responders. EMTs would be at risk entering a house with the possibility of a murder suspect still inside.
        Had the police arrived first they could have isolated V,J, and D immediately and taken photos of the room. Crucial evidence may have been lost and the crime scene compromised as a result.

        • Ohio
          06/11/2010 at 9:32 AM

          I agree.

  19. laser
    06/10/2010 at 7:27 PM

    As I understand waid’s written notes, I thought Hampton was the first officer on the scene.

  20. Bea
    06/10/2010 at 7:45 PM

    Attention Foodies:

    If indeed a culinary grad has been given a very nice 3-piece knife set which is missing the middle knife, would not the foodie “replace” that knife even if it’s of another brand? AZ got me to thinking about that particular kind of knife being essential.

    So aren’t we possibly back to the original hypothesis? If Dylan was told “Uncle Eddie just can’t part with the middle knife but the set is really excellent” and Dylan gets a replacement and it was sitting in the case, could it not be the murder weapon? Who WOULDN’T replace the knife?

    • Tarfunk
      06/10/2010 at 8:05 PM

      If the missing knife is the murder weapon, any thoughts on why they’d ditch it rather than just ditching the entire set? That missing knife would seem to leave a gaping hole (literally and figuratively) they could have avoided.

      • Alice
        06/10/2010 at 8:33 PM

        If the murder weapon is indeed a replacement knife, there would be no need to ditch the whole set. The knife back in Seattle would be an alibi for the set.

        • DonnaH
          06/10/2010 at 8:49 PM

          And…where’s the proof that the missing knife is indeed “in Seattle”?

          • Carolina
            06/10/2010 at 9:09 PM

            I’m sure the defense will enter that. My question is, how hard would it be to find a knife like the one in the set and present it as “The Knife”?

            • Bea
              06/10/2010 at 9:45 PM

              I may be wrong but I thought the prosecution bought a replacement knife for this set for testing purposes. Don’t know if it’s the same year/model down to it being identical or not. Hope the prosecution had researched with the company if Dylan (or any family member)ever ordered one.

              • Clio
                06/11/2010 at 1:22 AM

                Bea, the Swann set of three were not gourmands or foodies, apparently. It is no wonder that Sarah in particular went elsewhere for the evening. So, Dyl’s missing knife would not be missed in a household with a menu of burned steaks, cheap wine, and tap water.

                • AnnaZed
                  06/11/2010 at 1:31 AM

                  I believe that little Dyl in one of his many incarnations studied at a tony chef school. In spite of that it was posted somewhere here that Victor did most of the cooking chez Swann, or steak burning as the case may be.

                  • Bea
                    06/11/2010 at 1:36 AM

                    That was my point, that Dylan was a grad of a well-known culinary school (I think it came between ‘book publisher in Thailand’ and ‘massage therapist’ but it may have been before his Masters’ in children’s lit.

      • tucsonwriter
        06/10/2010 at 8:34 PM

        Time and “they” weren’t thinking clearly. How did they dispose of the knife? Did they burn it in the grill? Or hide it somewhere and dispose of it later. (I don’t know how soon the cadaver dog(s) was/were introduced. I assume there was some lag time.)

        It would be really cool if someone did a time line of all the events, especially in terms of police work. How much time existed from when they were brought in that night to their release to when the police really looked at 1509 Swann Street. Maybe more clean-up happened later – in bits and pieces. Or not. I mean there has been some supposition about drugs but no one has mentioned that if they were drugs the obvious first thing would be to flush them down the toilet. The fact that one ecstasy tablet was found is more of an oversight on the part of Wade than on the authorities.

      • Bea
        06/10/2010 at 8:54 PM

        Knife sets are much larger than a single knife – that’s my first thought. Alice makes a good point, though I’m not sure they were thinking ahead that far. My conjecture is that some of the decisions ‘feel’ like decisions made by people who were high.

        • Tarfunk
          06/10/2010 at 9:04 PM

          I read in some doc (who knows where now?) that Dylan’s set was a three-piece carving set in a closed box. That would make it fairly small, portable, and easy to get rid of, which is why I wonder why they just didn’t lose the whole thing. Alice’s point is well taken, but you’re right that it would require some advance thought.

          (And thanks for all your informative and thoughtful posts, by the way.)

          • Carolina
            06/10/2010 at 9:11 PM

            A closed box hidden away on a high shelf, out of sight.

            And remember, the defendants are counting on everyone believing the knife on the table is the murder weapon. Why ditch a perfectly good set when they can point to a kitchen knife?

          • NYer
            06/10/2010 at 9:51 PM

            Tarfunk, I think your point is among the strongest argument that only one or more of these three (and no one outside the troupe) had killed Robert. I think so because if, say, Michael had been on the scene, there’s not really any reason the ringleader wouldn’t dump the weapon(and in your hypo, the entire knife set)into Michael’s lap to abscond with the incriminating evidence.

            I’m not entirely sure this is what happened– but it’s a theory. I might be more inclined to believe that when you have 20 minutes to stage a crime scene, not all decisions that are made will make perfect sense in hindsight.

          • Liam
            06/10/2010 at 11:51 PM

            As a corollary to the question “Why didn’t they lose the whole thing?” is the defense’s question “Why would they replace the murder weapon [allegedly from Ward’s set] with a knife from downstairs? Why not just say the intruder left with the knife? After all, why would an intruder leave the murder weapon at the scene of the crime?

            My theory is that they were panicked and they thought so far as to remove the actual murder weapon from the scene because any explanation as to how it got from the set in Ward’s room to the crime scene via an INTRUDER would be incredible.

            And, dare they risk the CSI techniques available to definitively identify it as the murder weapon if they put it back with Ward’s set after cleaning it.

            So, ya gotta get rid of the knife from his set.

            The question is, do the defendants (1) replace the actual murder weapon with another knife that is left at the scene or (2) not replace the actual murder weapon with a knife left at the scene so that the presumption is the intruder left with the actual murder weapon.

            Both are choices probably result in a lot of questions.

            They chose to replace the actual murder weapon to deflect questions as to why the knife from the set was missing.

            Why didn’t they get rid of the entire set? I don’t know.

            Heirloom passed down from parents that witnesses could testify about that “mysteriously” disappeared after the murder???

            Too difficult to get rid of the entire set, as opposed to one knife (i.e. could not smuggle it up the old bung hole)????

            I don’t know. Raises good questions.

            • Bea
              06/11/2010 at 1:34 AM

              Also, some lousy choices can be attributed to being high (if they were high) on top of being desperately nervous. If all this plan went into action BECAUSE of the scream, that must’ve been quite a conundrum for them. Can’t unclean. If that knife set (or even if there was a different one) was used in sex play, THOSE kinds of DNA droppings would have certainly been hard to explain. If the knife genuinely WAS in Seattle then I’m guessing there was a ‘sex play’ knife.

              • Bill Orange
                06/11/2010 at 7:58 AM

                Agree. Assuming Dylan’s knife was the murder weapon, the obvious thing to do was to get rid of the entire set. I think what most likely happened is that Robert was stabbed with Dylan’s knife, and the clean-up involved getting rid of everything involved in the actual killing (playmat, syringes, cameras, Dylan’s knife, etc.). It wasn’t until Dylan went back to his room afterwards (possibly to get dressed after the police arrived), that he realized that the rest of the set was still there, and he hid it in his room as best as he could.

                • Elizabeth
                  06/11/2010 at 8:50 AM

                  Now that sounds much more plausible than “decisions” to either keep it or throw it away. Makes a lot of sense to me that they simply overlooked it and Dylan hid it.

                  • Liam
                    06/11/2010 at 6:33 PM

                    I’d like to clarify the “decisions” I set forth in the scenario above.

                    If there were actual “decisions” made in the sense that they debated different choices and analyzed the potential outcomes of those choices, those decisions were spur of the moment.

                    I don’t believe for a second that these types of “decisions”, where they analyzed the different choices and outcomes, were made.

                    That is, the choices made were much more like what would happen if another driver cuts you off, and you get forced off the road and you are faced with running your vehicle into a tree, running it into a boulder and running it into pond.

                    Your “decision” regarding what to do is less of a decision than a reaction. Though there is some (very quick) thought behind it.

                    I believe what the defendants did that night after the murder was more reaction than decision.

                    So, when I say they made a “decision” I only meant that they may have gone through those choices at some conscious or subconscious level for a matter of seconds.

                    I believe that there was certainly no “Let’s see, should we do A or B, and if we do A then do we do C or D” type reasoning going on.

                    The actual choices that the defendants made were likely not thought out in any detail, if at all. That is, they didn’t debate the possible outcomes of different choices.
                    I believe that they basically “decided” to do X, and they did X.

                    They reacted.

                • Eagle
                  06/11/2010 at 9:55 AM

                  Bill Orange:
                  thanks for all your thoughts now and in the past.
                  I still do not have an adequate explanation for motivation.
                  What is your theory?

                  • Bill Orange
                    06/11/2010 at 12:56 PM

                    My best guess is that Joe had planned to drug Robert and either pose him for “erotic photos” or have a full-on sexual assault with him. I think that Joe’s sexual fetishes were getting more and more elaborate. He started with a vanilla relationship with Victor, then added Dylan into the mix, then got into BDSM, and then was advertising for more BDSM partners. I think that Dylan was doing so much research on BDSM for the simple reason that he just couldn’t keep up with Joe’s desires. I think incest is a definite possibility, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Joe and Michael were in a sexual relationship.

                    Anyway, I think the plan was that Joe and Dylan (and perhaps Michael and/or others) planned to drug Robert and take advantage of him, and I think that someone snapped and stabbed him to death. I think the motive for the stabbing was simple jealousy. I think that Joe said something about Robert being like a brother to him, and somebody just snapped. I think Joe actually had some respect for Robert, and I think that he really doesn’t have any respect for Dylan or Michael, and that caused them to lose it. After that, the motive for the cleanup would be simple CYA.

                    • Eagle
                      06/11/2010 at 2:45 PM

                      thanks for sharing. That analysis validates violence studies which indicate that often a person gets into destructiveness and becomes more and more destructive and at a faster and faster pace.
                      I sure hope it is not true but there if plenty of support for your conclusions.

                      Thanks

          • cinnamon
            06/11/2010 at 8:01 AM

            I think I remember reading that the box that the knife set was in had a couple of addresses on it from previous owners. So it wouldn’t make sense to get rid of the whole thing. It could be traced back to them.

            • WhatACase
              06/11/2010 at 8:29 AM

              Yes, box had addresses on it which could be traced. Additionally, chefs are particular about their knives–if these were prized knives, Dyl would not have wanted to part with them.

          • Rapt in MD
            06/11/2010 at 9:31 AM

            I thought about this also, but here is my opinion. I believe the pictures I saw of this knife set show that it included a large knife, smaller knife and serving fork. As a foodie myself, the most useful item in the set is the smaller knife. It’s the knife I would have had in the kitchen while I left the other less useful pieces in the box stored upstairs. I don’t feel like the knife left Dylan’s room that night. It left its usual location in the kitchen.

  21. tucsonwriter
    06/10/2010 at 8:28 PM

    “Scott Hixson, the Swann Street neighbor who lived across the street from the defendants at the time of the murder, is expected to offer direct testimony that Joe Price told him on the morning after the murder that Price pulled the knife out of Robert’s chest.”

    This from the editor post for today. Somehow the full implications of this… if he removed it, then he must have put it in? Really seriously – do you stab someone with “surgical precision” and then leave the knife in? Plus I don’t know how many of you have heard stories of people who fell on pencils, etc to know that its not always in someone’s best interests to pull the pencil out if you aren’t a medical professional. I would call 911 first before I touched anyone in my home that had any sort of object in their chest. Its possible that by removing the object they will bleed to death immediately.

    • Bea
      06/10/2010 at 9:01 PM

      This will be a major blow for the defense. Joe pulling the knife from his chest has all kinds of implications:

      1. if the Judge buys that the weapon isn’t the murder weapon, Joe’s clearly the one who tampered with the fake knife;

      2. since the defense wants the Judge to believe that the lack of blood is because of the nature of the wounds, Joe’s testimony as to WHICH was the LAST wound would seem to be critical – and when the knife was pulled out of a wound full of blood, wouldn’t there be a gush? If not, then telltale signs (I think Waid called them cast-off or some such)?

      3. that he did not tell the police during interrogation seems quite strange indeed, and that he’s lying to one or the other.

      The defense (assuming Joe doesn’t take the stand) will have to say in closing that Joe is a braggart who will exaggerate a story to ‘make it better’ – and that’s not great either. Who brags about such a thing? To Scott Hixson and to Tara Ragone in separate events?

      When Eagle Scout Joe calls himself an idiot for having TOUCHED the knife, you’d think he’d have said he pulled it from his chest. And he even mentions that other officers somehow think he’s told them that he pulled the knife from his chest – to which he concludes ‘I don’t know.’

      • Carolina
        06/10/2010 at 9:15 PM

        Is it not possible that he doesn’t remember? I have been in situations where things happened so quickly and I was tense and frightened that afterward, I wasn’t really sure *what* I’d done. I can understand him being confused on the story, but the evidence is what trips it all up.

        • Bea
          06/10/2010 at 9:48 PM

          I don’t think you forget that kind of thing. It’s the kind of thing you almost wish you could forget.

      • Phil
        06/11/2010 at 10:01 AM

        While I agree this COULD be a major blow to the defense, it hardly seems black and white to me.

        It is also possible to see Joe Price’s comment (assuming he actually said that he pulled the knife out) as merely Joe Price’s tendency towards hyberbole and embellishment of details for (dramatic?) effect. While certainly unflattering (and tasteless, given the circumstances), I don’t think it is a slam dunk “major blow.” This comment was (apparently) made in the context of describing that night to a friend, not any sort of official statement of what happened.

      • ced
        06/11/2010 at 11:48 AM

        Not that it makes much difference, but I don’t think the knife ever left the killer’s hand so there was no separate act of pulling the knife out — three quick, identical stabbing motions, each representing a round trip of the knife.

        • AnnaZed
          06/11/2010 at 12:09 PM

          Yes, I think that you are right about that given the neat incisions that the ME described.

  22. susan
    06/10/2010 at 9:42 PM

    J. Price tells W-2 in the immediate after math of RW’s murder that it was “the worst night of my life.” First thing he tells Morgan is “I’m OK, Dylan’s OK, Victor’s OK.” A man is dead. That alone is the great tragedy. And not just a man, but someone he’s known for over 15 years. Someone who put his trust in him. But JP’s okay. Well, that’s alright then. Worst night of his life, though……

    • Clio
      06/11/2010 at 1:04 AM

      It’s the calculus of the calculating, Susan: this tragedy will make ME look bad but I can recover via guile and inertia, thought the Arent-Fox partner (probably). The stock market may crash and recover: so will MY rep and career, maintained Culuket.

      And HIS family, to Price, comes before his friend: how noble!

  23. Clio
    06/10/2010 at 10:10 PM

    Again, this trial raises a hoary theme of classical antiquity — private gain versus public good. To Dyl and Victor, the public good of apprehending the funny uncle for the burglary is eclipsed by the private need to keep the knowledge of the transgressions within the family. Culuket’s private desires and whims, to his minions, are/were much more important than the overall needs of the surrounding community.

    Memo to Mr. Price, Esq. — no one becomes a hero by sacrificing a good friend to pursue one’s own jollies.

  24. susan
    06/10/2010 at 10:17 PM

    CW Channel 50 in DC will be broadcasting some report on this case tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. I think M. Seagraves is reporting.

  25. susan
    06/10/2010 at 10:22 PM
    • Nelly
      06/11/2010 at 10:48 PM

      Thanks for the link. Nice that this station covered the case and Doug Johnson spoke so articulately about it.

  26. AnnaZed
    06/11/2010 at 2:03 AM

    The heirloom knife set question:

    Asked elsewhere, but I can’t locate the thread or sub-thread; in answer to the question of whether I think our Dyl would accept a partial knife set from someone I would have to say ~ yes absolutely if the knife was nice enough and doubly so it it was a nice carving knife and fork that matched and maybe had belonged to Grandpa or someone special. I think it’s pretty common for the smaller paring knife to get separated from the set because chefs use paring knives for everything. I have 6 different paring knives and two of them began life as part of one set or another.

    Maybe I was too credulous when I took the police to be saying that Robert’s wounds corresponded in a definite way with wounds that would be made by the continuous edge of a paring knife of exactly the type missing from Dylan’s boxed set (maybe it has a distinctive tip formation, they do differ a bit from maker to maker). If they are not saying that then the box means less though the story about the knife’s provenance and it’s happy harmless life in Seattle then seems to smack slightly of protesting too much on Dylan’s behalf.

    I will say again that the curious choice of a boning knife with its distinctive outcurve near the hilt as a substitute knife was probably not made by Dylan, who would know better. I also think that it is a crucial, maybe even defining mistake if competent testimony by experts can be introduced to demonstrate that this boning knife “could not” have made the wounds that killed Robert.

    Galloping off into the world of wild and completely unsubstantiatable territory I think that it is very possible that this smaller, handy and likely very sharp knife was possibly an intensely fetishisized object used in knife play by Dylan and Joe, not least because maybe it once belonged to Dylan’s father. If they used it before and it lived out of its set box amongst the toys it would not have been wise for them to let the police get hold of it if they also used it to murder Robert. Under this supposition of mine Dylan might not have been part of the assault and murder at all, but Joe may have used his special knife to bind Dylan to himself further. (Icky, and a stretch ~ I know).

    I wonder if Michael has it stashed and is holding it over their heads somehow, a proverbial paring knife of Damocles. Dylan may well have much to fear from Michael.

    • AnnaZed
      06/11/2010 at 2:26 AM

      Sorry not being clear at all. Just to say that while I think that Dylan would accept a partial knife set it’s not to say that I think that he did.

    • Rapt in MD
      06/11/2010 at 9:37 AM

      AnnaZed – this has been my thought from the beginning – the most useful knife out of the set is the smaller knife. As a cooking enthusiast – it’s the knife I would have separated from the set and had in the kitchen. I can’t remember the last time I used my huge carving knife and fork, but a smaller workhorse knife like the one that’s missing…I could see that being my favorite go to kitchen knife. Like I posted earlier – the murder weapon knife never had to leave Dylan’s room – it left the kitchen.

  27. Mark M
    06/11/2010 at 8:44 AM

    If Joe Price said, “I pulled the knife from my friend’s chest” how does that square with Victor’s statement to the 911 operator that they were putting pressure on Robert Wone’s wounds pursuant to her advice? When they arrived did the EMTs see Joe Price putting pressure on Robert’s wounds. (I think the answer to that is “no” isn’t it?), if not, why didn’t Joe try to follow through with the emergency operator’s advice. If one of my best friends had a chest wound I would be frantically trying to do ANYTHING to save him and I would keep doing it until the EMT people arrived whether I thought it was effective or not. The logical conclusion is that he either didn’t care if Robert survived (which says something about motive) or that he knew Robert was already dead, therefore Victor was lying to the EMT operator about Robert’s condition.

  28. Elizabeth
    06/11/2010 at 8:57 AM

    I’m not following you. Wouldn’t you have to pull the knife out to apply pressure?

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