Day 14: Updates

06/14/2010
By Doug

3:30 Update

As expected, the first witness called after the lunch break was Jason Torchinsky.  Close friends by all measures, attorney Torchinsky was also close to Kathy Wone at the time of the murder, and served unofficially for a brief time as Kathy’s counsel. 

Torchinsky testified on two main areas – first, the Sunday evening phone call from Joe, saying that his (Joe’s) attorney would be phoning him asking Kathy to waive her attorney client privelege and perhaps answer questions of the interview she (Wone) had with MPD Det. Bryan Waid the day before.  

Second, notably on cross, Torchinsy faced questioning from Grimm on his (Torchinsky’s) decision to forward to Patrick Martin a number of emails between Tara Ragone and Joe Price.  “Was this done with Joe’s permission?” Bernie asked.  No.  “Why did you do this?”  “I thought it could help,” he answered. 

His brief direct, cross and redirect saw him on and off the stand in less than 1/2 an hour.   Next and currently up: expert testimony on DC burgarlies.

Earlier updates follow.

1:30pm Update – and 10 Seconds of Drama

Continuing to be questioned by prosecutor Patrick Martin, neighbor and friend (and sometime sexual partner) Scott Hixson said that he never met Robert Wone didn’t know who he was, and “…never heard his name ever in my life,” before the murder. 

The night of August 2nd Hixson dressed in his back room before going to bed sometime between 11 and midnight.  Seeing a commotion in the street, he saw someone open the door wearing white bikini underwear and shortly later saw a body wheeled out on a gurney. 

Later, he saw the three defendants being driven away in cars around 3:00am, and got a phone call from Price at 6:00am.  “Scott, I’ve had the worst night of my life, can you pick us up at the station?”  Both Joe and Victor seemed anxious, he says, before taking a seat in his car.  Joe in the front seat spun out the story of what happened, with Victor occasionally chiming in.  “Joe said he pulled the knife out of his friend,” Hixson said. 

Only later did he mention an intruder.  Martin’s direct turned to the night of the burglary, with specific focus first on Ward’s request for Hixson to accompany him in house, and second as to whether there were any discussions among Ward and Zaborsky about phoning the police.  “Yes,” he replied, “they were going to wait and decide what to do…after having a discussion with Joe”

On cross, first by David Schertler, Hixson recounted that he cut himself off from contact with the defendants in the fall of 2008, partly on advice of counsel, and partly to “…remove myself…” from the situation.   He described the housemate’s relationship as working very well; “progressive” in his words. 

Grimm’s cross followed, more details of which will come later today.  Now the moment of drama.  Asked by Grimm if they housemates knew of his (Hixson’s) sexual encounters with Ward and Price, Hixson was under the impression they did. 

When asked to clarify and to explain why he thought that by Judge Leibovitz, Hixson said he “…had been with someone who the night before had been with them.”  Been with them?  The courtroom levitated.  Gasps followed as Hixson attempted to clarify before being cut off by a chorus  of defense objections.  Hixson, aware that he had said something he shouldn’t have, smiled sheepishly as a lengthy bench couference followed. 

The judge withdrew her own question and had the response stricken, but not before everyone in the courtroom felt that they had learned something new…and wanted to know more.

11:45 Update

A lot happening this morning, even before Scott Hixson took the stand.

The prosecution estimates nine more witnesses, including “fairly substantive” testimony from Hixson and Louis Hinton.  One expert is expected – Dr. Fowler – and the prosecution estimating wrapping its case by Wednesday.  Good luck, we think, judging by today’s pace.  The defense will be moving their substantive Rule 29 motion (acquital) on rest, perhaps Thursday, and is hoping to start its case on Monday.

Next up: Scott Hixson – neighbor, good friend, and more.  At least with Ward and Price.

Hixson met Price thro0ugh mutual friend Jefferson Wilson before the trouple moved to Swann.  They became good friends, living close and sharing friends, with Hixson, Price, Zaborsky and several other friends even vacationting in Puerto Rico together. 

Hixson knew of the dynamics of 1509, but perhaps not the exact specifics.   AUSA Patrick Martin worked hard to suggest that Price and Zaborsky didn’t share a sexual relationship – knowledge beyond Hixson’s ken.

And it seems the threesome may have been somewhat in the dark about Hixson’s relations with them.  He admitted to sexual encounters with Price twice before August 2nd 2006, and 3 or 4 times with Ward – before August 2nd and after. 

More on the night of the murder, and what Price and Zaborsky told him, during our next break.

 

Bull Dog Edition

The Robert Wone trial starts up again this Monday morning, following a slightly longer than expected week-long break.  While some may have used this early June hiatus to enjoy the summer, there’s no doubting neither legal team did.  In the first three weeks we’ve seen several mid-course adjustments – some fairly major – from both the prosecution and defense.   More are expected, and each of those adjustments means more late nights and a few more Anacin for all involved.  

Back to Business: The government resumes its case in chief with more witnesses.  We’ve already heard from Tara Ragone and Sarah Morgan; potentially coming up now are former neighbor and friend of the defendants, Scott Hixson, William & Mary alum and former Wone roomie Jason Torchinsky, and Louis Hinton – Michael Price’s boyfriend and alibi on the night of the murder.

Other likely candidates include blood spatter hot-shot Robert Spaulding and MPD Det. Gail Russell-Brown, who twice had been called to the stand earlier, and twice dismissed over legal wrangling of what’s “for truth” and what’s “not for truth.”  With the government’s zig of offering everything “not for truth”, and the defense’s zag to compensate, she may make actually be able to speak this time, assuming she’s still on deck.

Keeping Cool: 310 Moutrie is not the best place for a summer-time trial.  As Judge Lynn Leibovitz herself has often noted, it tends to get rather hot rather quickly: witness Tom Connolly’s close call with passing out a few weeks back.  It’s a small room, with a lot of lawyers gathered close in, and it’s in a building run with all the efficiency of the DC government.

But it’s also the emotional heat that seems to be on the rise from all parts – notably the defendants.  Again, not so surprising.  The trial is likely more than half-way over, and the stakes are significant.   And the week-ahead forecast – both inside the courtroom and outside – is for the heat to build.

Taking Pride:For all who were inclined to celebrate Pride this weekend in DC, we hope it was a good one.  There’s been another type of pride on display recently: the swelling ranks of first-timers coming to this site.  By and large commentors have remained focused, active and curious without being overly tart…or worse.  We genuinely appreciate all your thoughts and continued good manners.  One small point: if you’re writing a reply that’s a big longer, it helps readers if you put in the occasional line break to make it easier to scan.

Just like this one.

218 Responses to “ Day 14: Updates ”

  1. Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 10:17 AM

    What’s the start time this AM?

  2. Nick on 06/14/2010 at 11:05 AM

    Hinton’s possible testimony makes me wonder about Michael Price’s status in the view of the prosecution, unindicted co-conspirator? Just wanted to throw that one out for those in the know.

    • cat on 06/14/2010 at 1:37 PM

      I rarely see any mention of the semen evidence. Does Michael Price’s history suggest he would sexually assault Robert?

      • cole on 06/14/2010 at 5:01 PM

        But wasn’t it Robert’s own semen? Where does assault come in?

        • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 5:10 PM

          Cat,
          None of the sexual assault evidence will be admitted at this trial. After it was ruled on, the discussions about it trailed off. If there’s a murder trial, it will likely be more important – but this is a conspiracy/obstruction/tampering trial and it has little probative value and considerable prejudicial effect (had there been a jury trial – at the time of the ruling, such was assumed).

          Cole, if one assumes that Robert was straight (no evidence, even anecdotal, to suggest otherwise) then one would have to assume that he would not consent to a man/men using whatever means it would take to get Robert’s semen inside his rectum (not anus, rectum, much farther in). If he was indeed shot up with Ketamine or something else to essentially paralyze him, he would not have been able to fight off the attack, assuming it took place. Many pre-mortem needle marks were found on his body, and toxicology tests were standard (would not have caught Ketamine, for example). Because the knife wounds were so precise (described as surgical-like, no fishtailing) many here assume he was paralyzed, especially since he did not fight his murderer in any manner. Let me know if I didn’t answer your question.

        • KV on 06/14/2010 at 5:13 PM

          It could have been with the electro-stim device.

      • Hoya Loya on 06/14/2010 at 5:11 PM

        The prosecution made a decision prior to trial not to present evidence of sexual assault. The ME mentioned that she performed a test with a rape kit but did not discuss the results. If the results are introduced (unlikely at this point I think), it would simply be to add one more odd fact to the condition in which Robert’s body was found, not as conclusive evidence of any assault. For example, the ME discussed the needle marks, but did not opine that Robert was drugged, as that theory is also being excluded from this trial.

        • cat on 06/14/2010 at 5:28 PM

          thanks, all

          that clears up a few points

  3. CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 12:17 PM

    “And it seems the threesome may have been somewhat in the dark about Hixson’s relations with them. He admitted to sexual encounters with Price twice before August 2nd 2006, and 3 or 4 times with Ward – before August 2nd and after”

    Does any of this seem like it’s new news to any of the defendants, especially, Victor?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 1:32 PM

      Guess the city paper answered my question:

      “Prosecutors introduced Hixson as “more than a friend” to the three men. Hixson, who lived just down the street from the housemates at 1518 Swann Street NW, testified to having sexual relations with both Price and Ward on multiple occassions–albeit apparently without either knowing of his intimate relations with the other.(Neither defendant showed much visible reaction to that disclosure on Monday.)”

      • Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 2:04 PM

        It sure makes you wonder what the trio has to say to each other at the end of the day. Even if there’s not much visible reaction in the court room, the testimony from Hixon and Sarah Morgan should be making Victor consider the actual status of his place in the household.

        The defense wants to paint these men as a committed threesome but this testimony paints a different picture. Will there be an attempt to recolor the picture when the defense has their day in court?

  4. J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 12:27 PM

    The prurience is creepy.

    Whatever one may think of the defendants’ lifestyles and sexual ‘entanglements’, it’s exponentially creepier for the government to be probing into the relations of people who aren’t charged with a crime, and who have no relation to what happened to Robert Wone.

    Did the government get a list of ALL their sexual partners?

    • Hoya Loya on 06/14/2010 at 12:38 PM

      Hixson was called to assist the defendants the morning after the murder and was a witness to their behavior and comments — that is why he is on the stand.

      The nature of his relationships with the defendants could have bearing on his credibility (arguably either way — making it more likely that he is telling the truth or perhaps that he has an axe to grind if the realtions with Ward or Price ended badly somehow). If the prosecution didn’t ask about it, the defense certainly would have.

      • Kate on 06/14/2010 at 12:55 PM

        Excellent point, Hoya Loya. I think that Hixson’s testimony also sheds additional light on the dynamics of the “family” at 1509 Swann.

        I wonder if Ward and Price knew of the other’s dalliances with Hixson? If not, it serves to prove that at least two of the residents were possessed of a rather duplicitous nature, to put it nicely. They must be pretty good at keeping secrets … big ones.

      • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 1:00 PM

        I understand the rationale. It’s still creepy. Prosecution or defense, Hixson is iffy at best.

        But who else did the police get information about who ISN’T related to the case?

        • Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 1:44 PM

          It’s no surprise that both sides would want to know the relationship of all the witnesses to the trio. Where are you finding information that police sought info on their sex partners who aren’t related to the case?

      • Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 1:16 PM

        I agree–it goes to his credibility. What I don’t really understand is how the police/prosecution found out about Hixson to begin with. Did they see him pick Joe up and then question him later? Or did Hixson get suspicious and go to the police on his own?

        • William on 06/14/2010 at 5:20 PM

          The police had JP’s phone records. They could see whom he called.

        • DeeDee on 06/14/2010 at 7:40 PM

          Scott Hixson is one of my dearest friends. I speak to him two times a day at least. He did NOT get suspicious and still to this day says the three men showed absolutely no signs of trying to cover anything up. It’s common knowledge that he picked them up in the morning primarily because detectives knocked on his door very shortly after the murder and asked him questions. Nothing more than that.

      • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 1:51 PM

        “The nature of his relationships with the defendants could have bearing on his credibility (arguably either way — making it more likely that he is telling the truth or perhaps that he has an axe to grind if the realtions with Ward or Price ended badly somehow).”

        Arguably either way. But I’m guessing the police didn’t ask every witness this question, only certain witnesses.

        For example, if a tangentially related party had WANTED to have a sexual relationship with one or more of the defendants, but didn’t…would the police assume that such a person’s credibility was affected? That such a person would necessarily give adversarial testimony to the defendants, or ‘have an axe to grind’? Do you suppose that they asked Ms. Morgan whether she’d ever had sexual relations with any of the defendants? Tara Ragone? Lisa What’s-her-name? The victim’s wife? I’m guessing not. Only a certain type of witnesses. Male ones.

        • Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 2:06 PM

          You’re assuming that the police asked. It’s possible that Hixson volunteered the information.

          • DeeDee on 06/14/2010 at 7:45 PM

            The police asked, the Grand Jury asked…Scott honestly answered there questions. There was no ax to grind because Scott was not emotionally involved with any of them.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:10 PM

              Hats off to Scott for answering honestly. I think the “I pulled the knife out of Robert’s chest” claim by Joe is the most important element of his testimony. That and that Ward and Zaborsky didn’t call the cops on Michael Price right away – while I don’t see M. Price as killer, it does show that Ward and Zaborsky did wait for their fearless leader to make the decision. Who DOESN’T call the cops after thousands of dollars of electronics equipment is stolen? If nothing else but for the insurance report. . .

              • Alice on 06/14/2010 at 8:34 PM

                Seriously! Dylan was too afraid to go in the house by himself, but not so afraid he would call the police without speaking to Joe first. That is messed up.

            • Carolina on 06/14/2010 at 8:54 PM

              I give him a hell of a lot of credit for being a stand up guy. He did exactly what anyone with a conscience would do. He picked up his friends at the station, he accompanied Dylan into a home where Dylan was afraid to go alone, and he told the truth– nothing more, nothing less– when questioned.

              What more could anyone ask of a man?

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:12 PM

        While I like getting as much information as possible, I don’t see that Scott Hixson had sexual relations with Price and Ward as either surprising or particularly noteworthy. Or maybe most of my gay male friends seem to have sex with some other male friends IS a crazy aberration. Granted, this was earlier in their lives than these men, but I don’t think it’s so out of the ordinary to break either way as to Scott Hixson’s credibility.

        I had to smile at the thought that the Judge was the one who opened up the knowledge that Joe/Dyl were, well, whores.

        • Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 2:35 PM

          I do find it somewhat noteworthy – along with all the other outsiders hinted at and mentioned. Since I live in a state where there’s no chance for same-sex civil partnerships, I only know one same-sex couple (from MA) who are married. They are devoted to each other.

          Thus, when finding that Joe and Victor are legally bound, that’s great. Then they have another loving relationship with a third guy. That’s different. Now, we’ve been learning about Joe trying to pick up male dancers at bars, advertising for new partners for threesomes, and cavorting with the neighbors. It’s as if their bedrooms are Grand Central Station. Yes, I do find that noteworthy.

          These guys really don’t have a commitment to each other but their newspaper interviews as family men and Joe’s video about his wonderful family life are total baloney. I think that’s noteworthy.

          I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not ready for same-sex marriage because I prefer Grand Central Station, but when someone signs papers making them a couple, isn’t it expected that they no longer have a tram from the local bar to their bedroom?

          • Alice on 06/14/2010 at 2:41 PM

            “These guys really don’t have a commitment to each other but their newspaper interviews as family men and Joe’s video about his wonderful family life are total baloney. I think that’s noteworthy.”

            I agree.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:52 PM

              I agree that Joe’s grandstanding about FAMILY is noteworthy – the W&M video is pure hogwash and why he agreed to the interview is beyond comprehension.

              I am one of the minority of gay marrieds, and happily so, and I loathe these guys for dragging us all through the mud. I am for gay marriage but not for making it meaningless. I still scratch my head thinking about Joe and Victor’s domestic partnership and whether there was a ceremony (Dylan as ‘best man’?) OR IF DYLAN even knew they did it. Was it Joe just giving Victor what he wanted and playing the angles? Pathetic.

              • cat on 06/14/2010 at 3:10 PM

                I think they probably try to keep up this
                image because they have children.

                • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 3:38 PM

                  No need “for the children” for Joe to have agreed to the W&M interview in October 2008 in which he extolled his virtues nonstop, making he and Victor practically Ozzie and Harriett.

                  • WhatACase on 06/14/2010 at 6:32 PM

                    Is there a link to the W&M video on this site? Have done search but can’t find it. Thanks

                    • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:38 PM

                      Aquanetta posted it originally and I re-posted it twice since then.

              • SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 4:49 PM

                And on top of all that, didn’t Dylan claim to be married to Joe as well? I seem to remember Dylan calling himself Joe’s “husband”, or saying they were married, in one of the interviews or interrogations.

                I’m also confused as to why Victor and Joe decided to get married in the first place. If you want to live with a partner but at the same time have an open relationship and sleep with others, go for it. But why get married? And why claim in interviews that you’re living a monogamous, “perfect” life solely devoted to your partner?

                I always thought Victor had some fantasy about having that monogamous life with Joe, but that Joe never planned on such a thing. Joe probably agreed to marry Victor for image reasons.

                • SheKnowsSomething on 06/14/2010 at 5:06 PM

                  I believe it was Joe who vigorously stated that Dylan was his spouse.

                  • WhatACase on 06/14/2010 at 6:33 PM

                    and as a prominent partner at a prominent law firm, having a spouse on one’s arm is often deemed important

                    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 7:43 PM

                      prominent partner? NOT.

          • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 5:13 PM

            “… but when someone signs papers making them a couple, isn’t it expected that they no longer have a tram from the local bar to their bedroom?”

            Somewhat expected, perhaps, but not necessarily observed among homosexuals OR heterosexuals.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:56 PM

          If Scott Hixson eluded to someone being with Joe the night before the murder (if that was indeed what SH meant), wouldn’t THAT be noteworthy? I can’t imagine the police wouldn’t want to know about it or question this individual, being that their entre into the Price household was SOOOO close to the night of Robert’s murder?

        • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 5:09 PM

          “…..I don’t think it’s so out of the ordinary to break either way as to Scott Hixson’s credibility.”

          This I agree with. My impression is that within that community ’sexual partner’ doesn’t equal ‘compromised testimony’.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 5:11 PM

            It could be seen as positive to the defense since apparently he was on good terms with the defendants.

        • Carolina on 06/14/2010 at 8:56 PM

          I don’t think it is a big deal, either, EXCEPT if they kept the information from each other. It would add an interesting layer of deceit to their interactions.

  5. CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 1:34 PM

    Certainly not a smoking gun, but warm to the touch…..from the City Paper:

    “Hixson testified to hearing a commotion between 11 p.m. and midnight on the night of Wone’s murder. He looked out his window and saw the housemates exit, each in skimpy attire. “They were in white bikini underwear when they opened the door,” Hixson testified. He later saw Wone’s body being carried out of the house, he said.”

    This is odd. Price was the only one that was pointed out by police as being in briefs. When did Hixson see ALL OF THEM in briefs???

    • gertiestn on 06/14/2010 at 1:40 PM

      Ummmm…that may not be a smoking gun, CD, but it certainly got my attention.

      I must go Google.

      • apple on 06/14/2010 at 1:44 PM

        I think the “they” meant indeterminate idividual–not plural. Still, “Wone’s body being carried out of the house”??!

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 1:56 PM

          I think that was referring to the emergency personnel removing Robert from 1509. Hixson lived on the opposite side of the street, so he would be able to see the front of 1509.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:09 PM

            I’m guessing that the commotion was the EMTs arriving – yes? Odd about the skivvies as that was Joe only – why the hell did he go outside?

            • WhatACase on 06/14/2010 at 6:35 PM

              agreed. based on the interviews, joe never went outside.

              • Carolina on 06/14/2010 at 8:58 PM

                I think Joe’s memory is either convenient or stretched beyond its limitations by the stress. Poor dear.

    • SheKnowsSomething on 06/14/2010 at 1:52 PM

      If Hixson lives at 1518 Swann, then his house is on the opposite side of Swann Street, so he must have seen the trouple going in and out of the front door of the house in their skivvies. And what commotion could he have heard from that far away that would have caused him to go to his window. None of the other neighbors heard any of this? Passersby on the street? I agree with CD that this is an interesting new fact … but it certainly is odd. Did Hixson call the trouple that evening to make sure everything was okay? Did he go over to assist? Is it Hixson that Joe spoke with by cell phone during his interviews with police?

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 1:59 PM

        I don’t think I would say “they” if I only saw one person in their underwear. And all along Joe is the only one that was ever identified in his briefs. But Joe supposedly never went outside. He was tending to Robert’s body the entire time, supposedly. After the officers arrived, he was told by an officer to coverup. And Victor greeted the 1st responder in his robe. Same for Dylan. So when were “they” seen by Hixson? Hmm.

        • Rapt in MD on 06/14/2010 at 2:32 PM

          Slightly related, something I’ve been meaning to say for a while…it’s my feeling that Joe may have been walking around in only his underwear for a period of time so that law enforcement got a good look at his body which was free of any marks or wounds from a struggle. Just sayin.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:34 PM

            Good point, Rapt. Not that he was averse to strutting for fun.

      • Craig on 06/14/2010 at 2:12 PM

        On the Google map, 1518 Swann appears almost directly across from 1509.

        At the VCB that morning were M. Price, Hinton, Goddard, Morgan and Hixson. Am I forgetting anyone? Someone was phone banking in the early hours to get that crew that size down there.

        RE: Price out in front of the house in his tighty whities, since no MPD reported that, could that have occurred at some point while the threesome was not chaperoned by police or EMTs?

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:21 PM

          Hixson says “each of them”……..when did each defendant step outside?

          And if Joe stepped outside, again that’s contrary to his statement. He reported he was performing life saving heroics on Robert the entire time.

          Liar liar briefs on fire.

          • DeeDee on 06/14/2010 at 8:26 PM

            SCOTT NOTICED A COMMOTION BECAUSE SQUAD CAR LIGHTS AND AMBULANCES WERE OUTSIDE HIS WINDOW!!! My God you guys have a way with taking things and spinning them into some good gossip. I’ve talked to Scott numerous times about what happened that night. Probably spoke to Scott by 8 am the morning of the murder. He woke up because of the police commotion. Someone opening their door on Swann street isn’t exactly the kind of commotion that is going to wake someone up and draw them to the window. He did not see people coming out of any door until the cops had already arrived.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:42 PM

              DeeDee, the blog report and the news reports were not clear. People were just trying to make sense of it. It must be weird to read posts when you know Scott and you know what happened (as it applies to Scott) but we don’t know what you do.

              I don’t think anyone thinks poorly of Scott Hixson – personally, I think he’s to be commended for telling the truth without hesitation.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 8:52 PM

              DeeDee, the questions that arose after Scott Hixson’s testimony, had nothing to do with Scott Hixson. His testimony causes reflection on the facts of the case as stated by the defendants.

              • DeeDee on 06/14/2010 at 9:02 PM

                I totally understand that it’s not about Scott. But what is disturbing to me is that all of this speculation starts becoming so gossipy and so much of it is off base. People who know nothing of these people (and I don’t personally know the 3 guys) are making such serious judgements about these men. I have NO clue what happened in that house but I cannot imagine being them, and especially if they are innocent, I cannot imagine reading all of the speculations and lies that get spread by what boils down to a lot of gossip. I’m responding today because this pertains to the testimony of one of my best friends who has gone through some serious pain over this. His testimony is also being picked apart and turned into something more than it is. I’m sure that’s happening with everyone’s testimony. But I also really feel for those three guys if they happen to be innocent.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 9:16 PM

                  I understand, DeeDee. It’s all speculation though.

        • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:23 PM

          Craig, my guess is you’re right, that Joe would not have gone outside before the cops got there (Hixson heard a commotion first, presumably EMTs arrival) and must’ve done so while the cops were there. But before being told to cover himself.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 8:59 PM

            But, Bea, if it was Victor that stepped outside in his briefs, his jailhosue statement is not accurate. He claims he put his robe on when he went upstairs. (And he was afraid to go downstairs…and when he did he was greeted at the door by an EMT in a robe.) Perhaps a trivial detail, but a detail that begs to be examined in the light of the fact that many people think Victor is less culpable in the night’s events. This tells me that Victor could INDEED be lying about his role in the alleged coverup.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 9:09 PM

              CD, I guess I’m confused here. EMTs, cops, Victor himself say he was in a robe. I thought the Eds. were saying that the Hixson testimony was that AFTER the EMTs arrived, Scott saw one of the defendants outside in underwear only. My guess (as someone else posted) is that Joe went out with the gurney (or whatever reason) with cops’ tacit approval since by all accounts he was the one in underwear.

              I don’t think Hixson testimony was that one of the defendants was outside BEFORE the EMTs arrived (validated by DeeDee). Let me know what I’m missing here that has you bothered.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 9:43 PM

                Bea, I was getting my details of Hixson’s testimony elsewhere. In that article, the details are not presented as they are here.

        • Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 2:26 PM

          My impression was that Joe went with the EMTs when they loaded Robert into the ambulance. MPD got there at about that time, didn’t they?

          • WhatACase on 06/14/2010 at 6:40 PM

            And speaking of the commotion from the personnel in an ambulance, a fire engine, and at least one cop car, which drew Hixson’s interest from a house ACROSS the street—how is it that the neighbors who shared a wall with 1509–the thomas’ who heard the “scream”—were never asked to estimate the time between the scream and the arrival of all of this commotion in front of their door? The timeline would be much tighter if it was tied to the scream and the arrival of EMTs, rather than Maureen Bunyan’s voice within a 35-minute window.

          • Elizabeth on 06/14/2010 at 9:20 PM

            I don’t think so. Durham went with Wone but left the trouple at Swann Street, it seems, alone.

        • Ohio on 06/14/2010 at 4:23 PM

          Maybe it was before the other officers got there when the female officer (Diane something?) was going with Robert to the hospital.

        • SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 4:57 PM

          I still can’t believe that Joe was walking around in white briefs with a house full of cops and EMT’s, and actually had to be TOLD to put some clothes on. Granted, I am female, but I can’t imagine walking around my apt in a bra and panties with even family or close friends in the vicinity, much less a house full of strangers. Is this a guy thing? Or was Joe high? Or is he just that oblivious? How could you not realize you’re making everyone around you uncomfortable and that you’re being entirely inappropriate?

          • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 5:19 PM

            Guy thing, compounded by a gay guy thing, compounded by a Joe Price thing, compounded by a murder in his house.

            No need to blush, ma’am.

            • Carolina on 06/14/2010 at 9:03 PM

              Compounded by the “having more ego than manners” thing. Hey, I’m happy to let people look at the goods, but there are a few times one can assume a towel or robe is in order.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 9:05 PM

              J Edgar that made me laugh. Thanks for the levity.

    • KiKi on 06/14/2010 at 1:56 PM

      The quote in the city paper is “He looked out his window and saw one of the housemates exit in skimpy attire. Hixson wasn’t sure which housemate.”They were in white bikini underwear when they opened the door,”"

      So he actually only saw one person and as apple pointed out “They” seems to mean The person in skimpy attire.

      • Heather on 06/14/2010 at 2:12 PM

        Victor said he was in his bathrobe when he opened the door. Did Hixson see Joe outside before the police arrived?

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 9:14 PM

          According to his statement he was upstairs with Robert by his side from the moment he came down the stairs to the moment the police arrived.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:23 PM

        Here’s teh direct quote….copy/pasted from the City Paper article.

        “Hixson testified to hearing a commotion between 11 p.m. and midnight on the night of Wone’s murder. He looked out his window and saw the housemates exit, each in skimpy attire. “They were in white bikini underwear when they opened the door,” Hixson testified. He later saw Wone’s body being carried out of the house, he said.”

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:24 PM

          Wow….Rend Smith needs to get his story straight……..he revised his article (sorry Kiki):

          “Hixson testified to hearing a commotion between 11 p.m. and midnight on the night of Wone’s murder. He looked out his window and saw one of the housemates exit in skimpy attire. Hixson wasn’t sure which housemate.”They were in white bikini underwear when they opened the door,” Hixson testified. He later saw Wone’s body being carried out of the house, he said.”

          • Alice on 06/14/2010 at 2:28 PM

            Hope he’s not sleeping court or he will face the wrath of Dylan.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:30 PM

              Touche, Alice.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:29 PM

            Even still…….who went outside in their underwear?

            Victor said he put on his robe when he went upstairs. That makes it sound like Victor statement wasn’t accurate.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:31 PM

              And, I might add, why did someone go outside in their underwear? To throw something away?

              • Rapt in MD on 06/14/2010 at 2:34 PM

                I’m repeating my earlier comment, but I think Joe wanted everyone to see that he had no marks from a struggle.

            • Kate on 06/14/2010 at 6:59 PM

              But EMT Baker said the door of 1509 Swann was opened by a man in a white terry bathrobe – Victor.

              Hmm, mystery underwear guy. It seems to me Hixson is describing the commotions of the police arriving, and then asking the housemates to come into the downstairs living room at the front of the house. With the door open and lights ablaze, a white guy in white bikini briefs would rather glow a bit – all the way across the street.

              • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 7:50 PM

                That’s right, kate.

                According to the defendants’ statements and any police reports, none of the defendants went out on the front porch in their briefs.

                I wonder if one of them went out prior to the police arriving. But why? And if so, it doesn’t match up with any statement.

              • DeeDee on 06/14/2010 at 8:33 PM

                This did not happen. You are making crap up. Scott was woken up by the police commotion. But you have created quite the fictitious scenario for yourself. Have you been to Scott’s house? Do you realize how close his place is to the other houses on the other side of the street. I’ve been to Scott’s many times and you can easily see straight into everyone elses windows. No need for lights ablazing such as you’ve suggested in order to see someone. You guys are making stuff up at this point to create an even more dramatic situation than it already is.

                • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 9:12 PM

                  DeeDee, I think what Kate is saying is that with the glare of emergency vehicle lights, you could probably see someone in the house (that was near the door).

                  DeeDee, no need to defend Mr. Hixson. No one is doubting your friend’s words. He saw what he saw. And he’s a stand-up guy to come forward with his information.

                  I think people on the blog are trying to make sense of WHAT he saw. Someone in their underwear outside, because none of the defendants statements give opportunity to be outside in their briefs.

                • pocohontas on 06/14/2010 at 10:06 PM

                  Dee Dee, can you tell us whether Scott was also into “pig play”?

                  • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 10:09 PM

                    Aww…no fair, Pocohantes.

                  • Elizabeth on 06/14/2010 at 10:14 PM

                    And the relevance of that would be???

    • christy love on 06/14/2010 at 1:57 PM

      That is too generic of an answer, 11pm and midnight is a whole damn hour, when did this happen? I need it narrowed down. Also, I’m assuming the front door? If so, I thought they were too scared to go downstairs. How close was Hixson that he could he a commotion? I guess I’m off to google maps.

      • New Alias on 06/14/2010 at 8:37 PM

        Honestly, as much as it is tempting to parse what Hixson said or didn’t say, the bottom line is that the City Paper employs LOUSY WRITERS who ROUTINELY get things wrong.

        Just look at the lurid electro-stim piece they published a few days ago. It had a juvenile, snickering tone with no new information to justify its publication.

        When one of the editors or another credible source reports what Hixson actually said and the way he said it, it’ll be time for parsing. Its a waste of time to do it with a City Paper article.

    • BadShoes on 06/14/2010 at 2:48 PM

      The other day I wrote that the three defendants’ narrative was on trial. This testimony, if true, is an example of how an innocuous observation that impeaches the narrative is potentially important.

      All three defendants told the police that they were on the second or third floor from 11-11:45pm. At 11:55pm, Victor Zaborsky came downstairs, wearing a robe, to let the EMTs in, and only momentarily. At that time, the EMTs found Mr. Ward and Mr. Price upstairs, Mr. Ward wearing a robe, and only Mr. Price in his underwear. AFAIK, I they remined inside until they got dressed and emerged with the police, and AFTER Mr. Wone’s body was removed.

      The defendants recounting of their activities prior to 11 pm has Mr. Ward appearing at the front door at about 10:30pm (dressed, BTW) to let Mr. Wone in, and Mr. Zaborsky (sartorial status unidentified but presumably dressed) watering the flowers much earlier.

      The white bikini underwear is a compelling detail. However, given the account of “underwear guy” that has appeared in the charging affadavit and in the press, Mr. Hixson’s testimony would be most compelling if it were supported by some documentary evidence (police interrogation notes, for instance) that showed that this recollection existed back in 2006. This would make his recollection of the date more compelling as well.

      Also, it would be helpful if Mr. Hixson could be sure that that he spotted a resident and not a fleeing bikini ninja.

      Emerging from one’s front door in one’s underwear in the middle of the night, while a bit unusual, isn’t a crime, and could have many innocent explanations. (For example: “I woke up and saw a strange shadow passing before the window. I went downstairs, checked outside, and saw a really big bug. Yes, it was back. That was when I knew my life would never be the same.”)

      However, assuring the police that you were tucked in bed sleeping only moments before a murder, when evidence shows you were awake and wandering about is a really big problem. If Mr. Hixson’s account is accurate, its spells big trouble for the narrative.

      It may be best to reserve judgment ’til we get a better sense of exactly what Mr. Hixson said, if there is any corroborative evidence, and what the defense elicits on cross. This testimony seems to me to be more damaging than, say, the knife, which the prosecution headlined in their opening statement. Odd that Mr. Kirschner didn’t mention it. If the prosecution doesn’t think it worth headlining, there may be a good reason….

      • BadShoes on 06/14/2010 at 3:41 PM

        Doug’s 1:30pm account of Mr. Hixson’s testimony suggests that “the commotion” was the arrival of the ambulance, and the only discrepancy is whether Mr. Zaborsky (who answered the door) was wearing a robe or bikini underwear.

        So, my previous post (above) seems to have be wrong. If the commotion were separate and prior to the arrival of the ambulance, that would be important, but that doesn’t appear to be what Mr. Hixson said.

      • galoon on 06/14/2010 at 5:35 PM

        (For example: “I woke up and saw a strange shadow passing before the window. I went downstairs, checked outside, and saw a really big bug. Yes, it was back. That was when I knew my life would never be the same.”) -Brilliant.

  6. SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 1:34 PM

    I have a couple of questions, not particular to this post.

    If, god forbid, all three defendants are acquitted, what is going to happen to this blog? I assume we will all just admit defeat and move on? Or will new posts continue in regards to the civil trial?

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m really getting nervous. It will be so upsetting if all three get away with this. At this point, I’d be content to have just Price found guilty, and the other two acquitted (although obviously I’d prefer all three to be found guilty).

    I just can’t believe the prosecution is about to rest. It doesn’t seem like they’ve done the greatest job, unfortunately. In fact, I think a few of our commenters here on this blog would have done a better job presenting a case against the defendants than the prosecutors have done.

    • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 1:41 PM

      “….a few of our commenters here on this blog would have done a better job presenting a case against the defendants than the prosecutors have done.”

      Don’t think anyone here would’ve been able to present as evidence many of the things discussed here.

    • Pete Delate on 06/14/2010 at 1:46 PM

      “It will be so upsetting if all three get away with this.”
      Do you know something the rest of us don’t?

      In all fairness to the prosecutors – they had little to go on and are prosecuting this case because of who the defendants are not based on a whole lot of facts.

      • AnnaZed on 06/14/2010 at 2:45 PM

        Well, I suppose that’s true given that if they were three heterosexual black men they would be under the jail already.

        • Kenny on 06/14/2010 at 4:59 PM

          Amen (unfortunately)to this.

      • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 7:55 AM

        Oh please.

    • KiKi on 06/14/2010 at 1:50 PM

      “It will be so upsetting if all three get away with this. At this point, I’d be content to have just Price found guilty, and the other two acquitted (although obviously I’d prefer all three to be found guilty).”

      It seems to me that you have already decided they are guilty just by reading the blog; and without hearing any defense evidence. (I guess that shows the defense attorneys were right in choosing a bench trial).

      Not saying they are innocent – or guilty – but the beauty of the justice system is that everyone gets their day in court. There are a lot of missing pieces on both sides but unfortunately for the government, it is required to prove guilt with real evidence absent innuendo. The defense can have all the missing pieces they want. Any question left open must be answered in favor of the defense.

    • Hoya Loya on 06/14/2010 at 5:27 PM

      SJ:

      Remember, this blog is called “Who Murdered Robert Wone?” Sadly, this trial will probably not answer that question whether these defendants are found guilty or acquitted. Hopefully our eds will have the stamina to see things through at least the civil trial if not the murder trial that may never happen. Maybe one day we’ll have an answer to the titular question and I hope the blog is around when we do.

  7. CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 2:07 PM

    Hixson said he “…had been with someone who the night before had been with them.”

    “the night before” what? The night before the murder? Or the night before Hixson slept with Joe et al? The latter just makes the mystery person promiscuous.

    • Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 2:23 PM

      I took it to mean that Hixson had slept with someone who had slept with Joe and Dylan the previous night, rather than the night before the murder. This interpretation merely suggests that everyone involved has a lack of discretion: Joe and Dylan told the trick that they had both slept with Hixson, the trick told Hixon that he had slept with Joe and Dylan AND that Joe and Dylan told him that they’d slept with Hixon, and finally Hixon told the whole world all of the above in open court.

      • GU92 on 06/14/2010 at 3:59 PM

        No, it just means that the trick told Hixson that he (the trick) had slept with Joe and Dylan on the previous night. He may have said something like, “This is weird, I tricked with two guys across the street last night.”

        • SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 5:07 PM

          Does the word “trick” in this instance refer to an actual prostitute (Joe and/or Dylan paid this guy to sleep with them) or is it referring to just a casual hook up with someone Joe and Dylan didn’t know very well?

          I just ask because when I hear the word “trick” I think of a prostitute/gigolo.

          • GU92 on 06/14/2010 at 5:46 PM

            In Gayland a trick is a casual or anonymous sex partner.

            • New Alias on 06/14/2010 at 7:55 PM

              Aha. I learn something new every day here. Ta!

    • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:47 PM

      My take was the same as Bill O’s – that Hixson slept with someone who’d slept with the duo the night before – not night before the murder.

      • Craig on 06/14/2010 at 2:58 PM

        I realize that until we quiz courthouse reporter Doug a little later, this Hixson quote remains unclear. But if Hixson meant he knew someone who slept with Price and Ward on the night before the murder, does it mean that it was party time at 1509 while Zaborsky was in Denver on that business trip?

        • AnnaZed on 06/14/2010 at 3:48 PM

          Jeez, and I thought sexually outlier heterosexuals were world-class sluts, ha!

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 3:52 PM

            Craig, agree if this was the night before the murder, then it confirms that the duo took opportunities when Victor was out of town. Could it be that they were indeed pissed that Victor came home early and headed into the evening with a sense of frustration? Not that it will be evidence in this trial . . .

            • christy love on 06/14/2010 at 5:16 PM

              That’s what I was thinking, Bea. Not only that, but, you let your damn husband have a live-in Dom, cruise for others on websites, pick up people at bars and this mofo is STILL sneaking around with other men. I’d be PISSED!

              Again, I would love to see the phone records. Was Victor calling the night before and not getting anyone on the phone? Is that why he “snuck” home?

        • galoon on 06/14/2010 at 5:40 PM

          When the cat’s away…

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 3:20 PM

        Geez….and I thought lesbians were “incestuous.” LOL

      • DavidR on 06/14/2010 at 10:14 PM

        I took it to mean Hixson slept with someone that had slept with Joe and Dylan the night before the murder too.

    • leo on 06/14/2010 at 3:08 PM

      This statement from Hixson, causing the “10 seconds of drama” in the courtroom, after which the Judge withdrew her own question and struck his response, seems very relevant to me. If Joe and Dylan, either together or separately, were trooping third party sexual partners through the house “as if their bedrooms are Grand Central Station” (Bill 2 said that), then who knows who might have returned as “an intruder” the night of August 2d?

      It widens the scope of possible suspects from M. Price, with his key, to any number of other guys who had been in the house, knew the layout, knew how many occupants it contained, etc. Maybe Joe’s alt.com ad was successful and he and Dylan were entertaining all kinds of guys at Swann St. Grand Central Station is not that safe an environment for the other housemates. What on earth was Hixson referring to? I know the defendants’ sexual practices are not part of this trial, but if they were opening their house to all kinds of tricks from alt.com or elsewhere, you would have hoped the police or prosecutors would have tried to identify and interview some of them.

      • Alice on 06/14/2010 at 5:12 PM

        I would also think the defense team would want to bring this up to support the intruder theory. But they objected. If announcing to the world that I’m a slut proved my innocence or even helped prove it, I would shout it!

      • SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 5:12 PM

        Poor Robert. It seems he really believed he was spending the night at the house of “monogamous couple Joe and Victor” (the image they presented to the world) and their roommate. He had no idea they were a bizarre ‘trouple’, with Joe and Dylan being into hardcore BDSM, and the house being a general ‘Grand Central Station’ for tricks and casual hook-ups, not to mention a frequent stopping off point for Joe’s crack-addicted, unstable brother.

        I seriously doubt, having known all of this, Robert would have even considered spending the night.

        • christy love on 06/14/2010 at 7:04 PM

          If this is what’s going on in normal gay men’s homes, I’d hate to see what’s going on in…

          nevermind.

      • Elizabeth on 06/14/2010 at 10:42 PM

        Even if a third-party sexual partner trooped through the house that night, the murder still makes NO sense! No defensive wounds, nothing stolen, no one heard or saw anything, murder weapons that don’t match the wounds, premortem puncture wounds, delay in 911 call, towels, towels, towels and on and on…don’t know that Grand Central Station is all that illuminating.

      • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:00 AM

        Yeah, I’ve wanted to go back and stab a lot of one night stands, too!

        Maybe Joe (or Dylan) was a really bad lay. That would bring on the assassins.

    • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 5:32 PM

      Exactly.

      My first question wouldn’t have been “with them?”, but “night before what?”.

      Slip up on the part of the judge.

      • tucsonwriter on 06/14/2010 at 7:56 PM

        For all the legal eagles – why did the judge strike the question and response regarding her clarification of what “I thought they knew – re: them sleeping with him, etc?”

        • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:07 PM

          Hearsay about the duo being whores, if I recall correctly about what was asked and answered.

          • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:31 AM

            Thnx!

    • Doug on 06/14/2010 at 9:35 PM

      No, Hixson was clear it wasn’t the night before the murder. It was obviously my language that was muddy. Sorry.
      -Doug, co-editor

  8. Heather on 06/14/2010 at 2:14 PM

    Yeah, I don’t get why this is such a big deal. Clearly these guys get around.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 3:27 PM

      I don’t think to “get around” is a big deal in this trial, but if Joe slept with someone the night before Robert Wone was murdered, that might be of interest to authorities. Was this person still at 1509? Did they have free access to the house? Did they have an alibi for the next night?

      • Heather on 06/14/2010 at 4:43 PM

        I took that to mean on a different occasion Hixson had been with someone that had been with Price the night before. Unrelated to the night of the murder.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/14/2010 at 3:28 PM

      I just hope all these guys practice safe sex.

      • Cville on 06/14/2010 at 6:36 PM

        unlike the editors of this blog?

        • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:56 PM

          Cville, if you want to contribute in a meaningful way, do so, but if you’re just here to throw mud at the Editors, just go away.

          • WhatACase on 06/14/2010 at 7:02 PM

            I second that.

  9. CC Biggs on 06/14/2010 at 2:26 PM

    Wow. Whatever good Price and the housemates may have done in their advocacy on behalf of gay civil rights, it has all been destroyed by the facts coming to light in this case. This testimony will only help confirm every homophobe’s belief that all gay men are actually wild sexual maniacs who can’t control themselves. From the weird three-way living arrangement of the housemates, to the whips and chains in the bedroom, to the secret neighborhood flings (and god knows what else!), this case is a shocking parade of one anti-gay stereotype after another, all coming to life and being proven true! Oh, what a disaster.

    • Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 2:40 PM

      Agree. This is not our finest hour.

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:45 PM

        That Price held himself out with Victor as poster boys enrages me. While adding Hixson to the list to me is less damning than having the live-in mistress, the treasure trove of toys, and ADVERTISING on alt dot com, it leaves me in disbelief to watch that W&M video of Joe. The amount of compartmentalizing he was able to do is bizarre – and to AGREE to that interview right before the charges broke in which he painted himself quite the family man (with one spouse) is just sick.

        • AnnaZed on 06/14/2010 at 2:56 PM

          I know! I have no problem with anyone being a slut and enjoying themselves, pushing boundaries, having (safe) sex with lots of people. I went through a protracted New York 1980s version of that myself and would defend to the death any person’s right to pursue these things and to simultaneously consider themselves to be a good person, but Joe is the one who has shame and fear (despite his public works). Joe is the one telling lies and putting himself forward as a model of modern parenthood and connubial bliss. That’s were things get weird for me.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 5:27 PM

            Agree. WITHOUT these charges pending, Joe would have known in granting the interview that he’d have a decision to make. Not only did he try to skirt the subject, he made it central to the interview. WITH these charges about to drop (he’d have known in October 2008) it is hard to imagine what made him agree. I’m guessing ego running amok but not even that explains it. Attention? Publicity?

            I assume it’s the same need which may be his downfall – what drove him to tell Scott Hixson and Tara Ragone that he’d played hero and made his role (in the ‘fake’ story) so much more dramatic (if nothing else) to claim to have pulled the knife from Robert’s chest? He knows he didn’t tell the cops that yet both hours afterward and weeks afterward he can’t stop himself. Interest too, today we hear that Hixson was driving both Joe and Victor – and Victor didn’t contradict him. I’m guessing that Victor’s story is that he went upstairs and couldn’t know, but if that’s the case, Joe has no towel AND he pulls out a knife without one handy?

            Absurd, factually, but the psychology is fascinating. He knows that inconsistencies are his enemy yet he has such a burning desire that he really can’t stop himself from boosting his own ego. The knife, the interview, and even to Kathy Wone to a degree – I believe that he DID tell her that Robert had been stabbed ‘in the back’ to suggest the outdoors which makes it sounds more like Joe raced to save him.

            I wish I could hear the arguments Joe will have with Bernie about testifying.

            • Craig on 06/14/2010 at 5:50 PM

              Wouldn’t the simple action of removing the knife from Robert have left a trail or series of drips on the sheets? There weren’t any from the crime scene pics we saw in court, just two 5 inch spots. Then again, in his opener, Grimm said the wounds were “self-sealing,” and maybe he’ll suggest the knife came out clean.

              Then again, again, the defense hammered Deedrick on the fact that the crime scene knife had more tissue and blood on it (as seen in the crime scene pics) than by the time it got to his lab.

              • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 5:58 PM

                Craig, while Det. Waid was “not an expert” he made mention of no cast-off blood made when one (I believe) pulls out a knife from a wound. He was referring to the first two wounds, not testifying as to Joe’s comments about the knife. I’m hoping that the prosecution has a suitable expert at the ready.

              • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:04 AM

                You know, wounds like this could put BandAids out of business.

          • William on 06/14/2010 at 5:37 PM

            Could the prosecution use the W&M video to show that JP has no qualms about lying to make himself look good?

            On the other hand, everybody lies at one time or another, particularly about sex. Who among us could withstand this kind of scrutiny into our personal lives? The (straight) strip clubs are filled with married men.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 5:46 PM

              Hi William,
              The prosecution can’t show “bad character” evidence so just the ‘lying’ part wouldn’t come in. IF, however, during the defense’s case they ‘open the door’ then this issue gets revisited. Not so much on ‘pure’ character, but I can see this tape being played if the defense makes a claim that Robert fully knew what the relationship was when he arrived – the W&M “public persona” Joe portrayed might then be indeed relevant and admissible.

        • Cville on 06/14/2010 at 6:28 PM

          Bea – Our gay leadership is full of compartmentalizing and seemingly hypocritical contradictions. Like the editor of a certain blog who was a Log Cabin spokesperson. Hmm…

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:50 PM

            Uh, Cville, I suspect this is a personal attack against one of the Editors (now seeing your other post).

            For the record, if you’re trying to say that being into serious BDSM, having a live in mistress, and LYING about it to claim white picket fence style domesticity (right before charges are to drop) is AKIN to voting Republican and being a spokesperson for other gay Republicans, then that’s absurd. Being a died in the wool Lefty Democrat, I may not understand the whole gay republican thing, but it’s a ridiculous comparison.

            Seems like you have a personal axe to grind – don’t do it here.

            • Bob on 06/14/2010 at 9:43 PM

              I think that you are sharpening an axe. I am as straight as a ruler and normally a Democrat, except that in bizarre DC politics, I am a registered Republican so that I could vote against most of the terrible Republican candidates in 2008. Do you have an axe to grind?

          • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:06 AM

            And your point being… Oh right, none. In the words of the pre-Ben Frankin newsgroups, *PLONK*.

    • BenFranklin on 06/14/2010 at 3:29 PM

      The motivations of the lynch mob become really clear in this thread.

      It’s not about guilt or innocence but how much they loathe the defendants for letting the movement down.

      It is possible that their high visibility in the gay community may made the Swann Street house a target for a violent hate crime!

      Get some therapy. On to acquittal.

      • CC Biggs on 06/14/2010 at 3:37 PM

        Under this protecting-the-movement theory, shouldn’t we be arguing that the charges are false and that they are innocent? Like what you are doing.

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 3:39 PM

        Silly Benny, tricks are for kin!

        • gina a. on 06/14/2010 at 10:34 PM

          Love this. Thanks to all the posters and the moderators for keeping the discussion on track, the sock puppets in their place and newbies like me able to follow and ask dumb questions. “Don’t poke the crazy” really fits in more ways than one here.

  10. Bill Orange on 06/14/2010 at 2:39 PM

    Here’s a question that really has nothing to do with innocence or guilt: Why do people keep referring to “bikini underwear”? I first thought that this meant “briefs”, but no one ever says “briefs” or even “tighty whities”. It’s always “bikini underwear”. Was Joe wearing a thong? If so, I think that might have contributed to why the EMTs and the cops were so weirded out by him when they go there.

    • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 2:46 PM

      Bill Orange, I now blame you for that image I can’t seem to control-alt-delete from my brain. I’m HOPING that it was bikini underwear with cheeks covered.

      • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:09 AM

        Oh come now, Bea, you know you were hoping for a banana hammock!

        I thought I was scarred by the idea of him strutting in front of the cops. What the hell was he thinking? Was he cruising in hopes one of the cops or EMTs might be gay? All those uniforms…

    • Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 2:55 PM

      Bikini underwear isn’t a thong. It’s just briefs that are cut lower. The sides of briefs are probably six or seven inches. On bikini underwear, it’s more like three or four inches.

    • koki2 on 06/14/2010 at 3:17 PM

      I’ve stepped out of the lurk room to laugh my a** off at this image! Totally irrelevant but welcome comic relief. Thanks Bill O!

      Back to the lurk room now.

      • Timeline on 06/14/2010 at 3:41 PM

        I believe Durham’s statement specifically referred to it as “speedo” style — so think like a swimsuit you might see on an Olympic athlete, say 3″-4″ at the hip. To me I would use “bikini” style to mean more like 1″ at the hip. Either way, it seems odd to not have put a robe on before the EMTs arrived or before going outside with the stretcher.

        • BadShoes on 06/14/2010 at 3:53 PM

          Mr. Zaborsky told police he was wearing a robe when he let the EMTs in, and the EMT (Mr. Baker) testified that the man who let him in was wearing a robe.

          Officer Dunham said she interviewed three men, two in robes, one in underwear. Underwear guy was Mr. Price.

          So, exactly who Mr. Hixson saw, and when he saw him, is a bit of a puzzle.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 3:57 PM

            Someone hypothesized that Joe went with EMTs to take out Robert’s body. Don’t know if that is correct.

            • BadShoes on 06/14/2010 at 10:18 PM

              I saw Bill Orange’s post to this effect.

              Mr. Hixson testified (I think) that he saw the stretcher depart later, after the promenade. People’s recollection of this sort of detail often gets very blurred after a few years, so unless there is a contemporaneous record, I wouldn’t put too much weight on Mr. Hixson’s testimony in this area.

              Mr. Hixson may have conflated his original recollection of Mr. Zaborsky opening the door with later press accounts, and came up with a false memory of underway guy at the door; or,

              Or, there may have a brief sortie after the EMTs arrived, which would be quite odd, if true; or,

              Maybe Bill Orange has it right. Mr. Price went out with the stretcher.

      • SJinNYC on 06/14/2010 at 5:19 PM

        I always thought it was strange that all three were described as wearing white robes. They must have looked like cult members or something. Especially once the cops showed up, wouldn’t you throw on some slacks and a t-shirt, at least? Little details like this just confirm for me that these three guys are very weird. They’re definitely on a wavelength all their own.

        • Mark M on 06/15/2010 at 12:34 AM

          The matching white robes don’t phase me a bit,,,,sometimes you just get a great sale and end up buying them for everyone in the house!

          • gertiestn on 06/15/2010 at 12:36 AM

            In fact, sometimes you get such a good bargain that you have to go out and recruit a few new roommates.

  11. 17th Street Tattler on 06/14/2010 at 5:18 PM

    Maybe there is some relevance to the idea that the defendants’ sexual antics could be relevant to how and by whom Robert Wone was killed. But to relate this to the supposed evidentiary value of Scott Hixson’s testimony is absurd. If you are trying to narrow the question to who has been Scott Hixson’s sexual partners, then you might as well include basically every guy walking around 17th Street, and I don’t mean the cute ones.

    He fit into the defendants’ sleazy world as long as he could, and defended them as long as he could when he should have been coughing up information, of which I bet he has more than he is saying. At any rate, the idea that the category of those who slept with Scott Hixson should have any real relevance is belied ultimately by the the absolutely indiscriminate nature of that very category.

    • Pete McLeanVa on 06/14/2010 at 6:03 PM

      I agree 17th Tattler. I know Hix. and the Trio. Your description is on the mark. I guess that’s why we skip Pride and take my Labs. to frolic and swim down in the Ches. Bay.

    • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 6:19 PM

      “… he should have been coughing up information, of which I bet he has more than he is saying.”

      So now he’s obstructing too? Is there no end to the conspiracy?

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:22 PM

        J. Edgar, I don’t think he means in a legal sense. I suspect that he’s saying Hixson just knows a lot of unseemly if not alarming facts about Price/Ward trysts and their behaviors.

        • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:12 AM

          Oooh, wonder if he’s had MP, too?

    • DonnaH on 06/14/2010 at 6:56 PM

      No one here has been “trying to narrow the question to who has been Scott Hixson’s sexual partners” apart from the defendants and any immediately related persons, which certainly does seem reasonable to me as possibly influencing his testimony. You, however, are the first one to mention the “category” of his partners and in the process cast aspersions upon Hixson, which I find totally uncalled for.

  12. Kelli on 06/14/2010 at 5:53 PM

    Question for All:

    SInce DCPD and the Secret Service and The FBI made serious errors, why doesnt Kathy Wone file suit against the Feds as well as these three disgusting people who have already gotten away with murder?

    Kelli

    • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/14/2010 at 11:02 PM

      Kelli-The simple answer to your question is no one from “the Feds”, the FBI or the other police responders or investigators stabbed Robert Wone to death. The name of this blog is “Who Murdered Robert Wone?”, not was this investigation conducted in a perfect manner without any errors.
      Since you asked, from a purely legal perspective, lawsuits against the government, including “the Feds” are barred generally by the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. One can only sue government & police officals in tort where this immunity has been waived or consented to. It is my impression that Kathy Wone wants to see justice done by holding the killer/s responsible for their intentional actions that night. “The Feds” didn’t do the crime.

  13. Random Thinker on 06/14/2010 at 5:54 PM

    I have been following the proceedings since reading about the trial and this website in the Washington Post Style section. I am amazed that I have no recollection at all about the murder – it makes me feel sorry for the Wone family that the tragedy didn’t merit broader press coverage.

    Now, as to the case itself. Just because there is a smell of wrotten fish stinking up 1509 – the night of the murder, and since, and is now stinking up the DC Courtroom, I am still puzzled by the logic of both sides.

    First, I seriously question why the defense chose to waive the jury of peers. With all the wranglings going on, the confusing witnesses, the concepts of hearsay and conspiracy, and the like, I believe reasonable doubt would be someone easier to raise with 12 lay persons than one astute and engaged judge.

    Second, as for the prosecution, I believe they have some serious challenges ahead in convincing the judge that (a) there was in fact a conspiracy; (b) that any one of the three was the ringleader; and (c) that all three are in fact co-conspirators.

    The argument that “if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck” plays well in the press, but not in a case where the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Unless there is a rabbit planned to be pulled from a hat, I seriously doubt the government has made a case for any of the charges.

    Sure, someone cleaned up the blood. But who? If each one says they did not do it, an each one says they do not know who did it, it is the government’s responsibility to say with evidence who actually did the clean up – destroying evidence.

    As for onstruction of justice, if they can’t point to a specific action that is proven to have been committed by one or more of the defendants, then I fail to see how a conviction is possible.

    And I read earlier about the Martha Stewart corollary on the admissability of hearsay evidence. I just don’t think that applies here. I think there was more evidence of actions committed by Stewart and her broker – things they “admitted” to. Here, none of the defendents is admitting to any actions that were illegal, or were tampering with evidence or were conspiring in any way.

    I seriously believe the government is in deep trouble, and I would not be surprised if there is a direct verdict of innocent from the bench upon the government resting its case.

    Seriously, consider this:

    Has the government proven that there was tampering of evidence? Possibly there could be a reasonable basis for that being proven.

    Has the government proven which, if any, of the three defendants actually tampered with the evidence? Not at this time.

    Has the government proven that there was a conspiracy to obstruct justice? I do not believe there is any proof that a conspiracy has been committed – circumstantial, perhaps, logical, perhaps even more so.

    Even if the government proves that there was a conspiracy, have they proven that all three defendants have been involved? Absolutely not.

    I think the fish that’s stinking up the courtroom lately is the government’s flimsy case.

    • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:17 PM

      Hi Random. Welcome.

      I disagree with your assessment of the weight of the evidence thus far. I see it as a conviction against Joe Price for all three charges, though not for tampering as against Victor and Dylan (unless the conspiracy was to tamper, then that gets all three). And the case against Dylan is weakest, clearly.

      It’s been rehashed here so many times I am hesitant to get into it, but the 14-44 minute delay in calling 911 makes no sense – and that is the defendant’s testimony. Joe was absolutely certain that he did not fall back asleep after the chime sounded, that a few minutes later (at most) he heard the grunting noises and went downstairs. No more than 3 minutes passed (he said) until 911 was called. If you add in that he told Kathy Wone that he heard the three grunts which corresponded to the three stab wounds, that takes away any possibility for the “intruder” to have cleaned. (Not that intruders do clean).

      I believe the scream is sufficient to identify these three were all working together – but that scream occurred much earlier. Unlike many, I have some empathy for Victor (though he’s made the decision himself by now, so it’s dwindled considerably) in that I think he screamed upon seeing Robert’s body AFTER most of the blood was cleaned – thus they could not unclean and needed a new story.

      Back to evidence. I find the knife evidence convincing, in that a longer knife would be inserted fully in at least one of the wounds – cartilage was broken, and that requires force. The fiber evidence is convincing. That Joe has made it impossible for him to claim an intruder ‘framed’ them by claiming to have pulled the knife from Robert’s chest is powerful.

      The lack of blood is (combined with the timeline) the part which puts me over the line in my determination. I don’t see how the defense will get over the logic and the testimony – even if they establish the wound was deadly in one second, and that Robert bled internally, this will be defeated by Joe’s own claim that Robert moaned even after he sat with him.

      The use of “intruder” and “11:43″ and the screw-up as to the back door being unlocked are clear evidence of conspiracy.

      Joe’s statement to Tara Ragone about wiping up blood gets him on the tampering charge, to me, though not necessarily against Dylan and Victor (unless, again, the Judge believes the conspiracy goes beyond obstruction to tampering, at which point each is guilty of the other’s actions).

      The backdrop of absurdity re the intruder will be considered by the Judge. Same with the little things which are not direct but instead supportive of the plethora of lies – that Joe “knew” the intruder didn’t use the gate door on his way out (why not, except it was locked – any fool would go through that way and just leave it unlocked), that Joe lied during interrogation that Victor was the one wanting to know the ‘time’ and didn’t learn it until later . . . the list goes on and on.

      FYI, though it’s not in the interrogation transcripts available, Joe did make racist comments about the ‘black guy’ in the alley, alluding to him as a suspect, which in my opinion is why the defense did not want a jury trial – even more so than the possibly dubious interpretations and/or homophobia of possible jurors. A big double whammy to expect a jury likely to include African Americans to give Joe a pass on his racism and not judge him harshly for having a ‘committed partner’ AND a ‘mistress’ living in the home (and whatever else they may have heard whether or not instructed not to rely on it).

      I appreciate your comments, though, and would like to ask SEPARATE from your take on whether the evidence is sufficient to convict, what do you think occurred that night?

      • Bob on 06/14/2010 at 10:06 PM

        I am confused. Bea wrote: “A big double whammy to expect a jury likely to include African Americans to give Joe a pass on his racism and not judge him harshly for having a ‘committed partner’ AND a ‘mistress’ living in the home (and whatever else they may have heard whether or not instructed not to rely on it).”

        Why is it considered merely LIKELY that the jury will include African-Americans? The District of Columbia, which in the twentieth century (and twenty-first) is co-extensive with the City of Washington, is 56% African-American and 36% European-American. (None of us in that class are really white and few of us are from the Caucasus, so that I think that I am 98.4% European-American and 1.6% Native North American.)

        When I get summoned once every two years to Moultrie Courthouse, I see more African-American faces than European-American faces, which is consistent with the census. So why should anyone think that there is even an outside chance that either the prosecution or the defense could get all of the African-Americans off the jury?

        In the District of Columbia, there will always be African-Americans on the jury. The City of Washington, which is co-extensive with the District of Columbia, is known as a chocolate city for a reason. (It is true that it has people like me who are vanilla and as straight as rulers.)

        There will always be African-Americans on a District of
        Columbia or Prince Georges County jury. There is no way that any combination of the government and the defense could get the African-American majority off the jury.

      • HKG on 06/15/2010 at 7:17 AM

        Well said!

    • chilaw79 on 06/14/2010 at 7:50 PM

      I agree with a lot of what you have to say and I think the judge understands exactly what she is doing. In the Stewart case, one of the alleged co-conspirators became a government witness. That made it much easier to establish the nature of the conspiracy (basically, the defendants’ claim that Martha did not get news that an Imclone shareholder was selling and the lie that a $60 stop order was the reason Martha sold her Imclone stock), the instruction by the stock broker to Douglas Faneuil (his assistant) that this was the story and it was the truth),and who the co-conspirators were (Martha Stewart, her stockbroker, and the assistant to the stockbroker). Statements of co-conspirators in an alleged conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice are not hearsay.

      If the police interviews (and possibly the on-scene statements and 911 call) do not come in as statements of co-conspirators, the prosecution may be smack up against Crawford. That is a tougher case for the prosecution to argue.

      However, I think there is enough evidence of a conspiracy to get past a defense motion to acquit, courtesy of Joe Price. Price set out the basic story at the scene (an “intruder” stabbed Wone, perhaps because the back door was unlocked) and stabbed Wone for reasons unknown while not stealing anything. Then, he kept trying to check up on what everyone else was doing and saying to make sure everyone was on the same page. The absence of any evidence of an intruder in the house makes it sound like Price was either covering for someone else, or murdered Wone himself.

      Of course, I have not heard the defense’s case. I am sure that Price’s counsel wonders why Price could not just keep his mouth shut.

      I also would admit that today’s testimony makes me more unsure about what I think really happened, and actually makes the “intruder” theory a little more plausible. That leaves the issue of whether one or more of the defendants knew who the intruder was. The failure to mention to the police that Michael Price had a key to Swann Street until after the burglary sticks out here as a key omission in Joe Price’s base story.

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:06 PM

        Chilaw – “unknown” intruder or “known” intruder such that the charges may still be valid (e.g. Michael Price)?

        • chilaw79 on 06/14/2010 at 9:52 PM

          I am not sure (factually), but the prosecution is saying “known intruder.” If so, what the defendants said in their police interviews is in some ways true, but is misleading if one or more of the defendants knew the identity of the intruder. The prosecution claims the “known intruder” is Michael Price. This claim would help explain the motivation for the cover-up (although Joe did go out of his way during the police interviews to characterize Michael as a bad guy).

          I think the testimony tomorrow may shed some light on this.

      • tucsonwriter on 06/14/2010 at 8:11 PM

        I think we should call this case “The Intruder Who Cleaned!”

        • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:34 AM

          The Intruder who cleaned in his whitey tighty bikini underwear!

          I always thought it was weird that JP was in his underwear but that was I thinking boxers.

          • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:34 AM

            when…… when I was thinking of boxers …..

  14. Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 6:11 PM

    Victor may know more today than he did last week now that Scott Hixson testified about having slept with both Joe Price and Dylan Ward – several times. Then Hixon told about another Hixon trick who also slept with Price and Ward the previous night. Is that new to Victor?

    Victor’s parents, prior to this trial, probably thought their son was in a partnership of connubial bliss. It’s something that all parents would like for their children. Now they’re sitting in a courtroom, hearing that their son’s partners were a pair of hound dogs scratching their itch at every opportunity. Prior to this week they heard (from Sarah Morgan) how Dylan planned to take the place of Victor as Joe’s civil partner.

    How can Victor even face his parents at this point? And how can he bear to be around the other two men after what he’s finding out? Hasn’t he got the guts to just stand up and say, “Enough! I’ll tell you what really happend”?

    I’d like to have Dr. Zaborsky say that there are no more funds for lawyer fees until Victor walks away from that faux “family.” Somebody in the Zaborsky family needs to grow a pair.

    • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 6:29 PM

      Last paragraph is outrageous. The families shouldn’t be harrassed for supporting their children, particularly if they believe them to be innocent.

      You might as well argue that defense counsel should sit down and refuse to defend their clients, until V. Zaborsky provides the information to solve the case (information which he MAY not have).

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:38 PM

        It isn’t outrageous to have an opinion that Victor’s family should rethink funding the defense. The implication is obviously that the family (needing “to grow a pair”) should tell Victor that this family of his is troubling in so many ways that he’d better start talking. (And, yes, J. Edgar, many of us do believe he knows far more than he’s telling; that he was unlikely to have been Robert’s murderer, he could likely get immunity for fingering the murderer(s)).

        Families (unlike defense counsel) have every right to say “Joe Price is at the very least a crappy ‘husband’ and mistreats you” and “what the hell were you thinking?” If a family member is being treated poorly, would you not say something? The analogy to defense attorneys is misplaced – their job is to vigorously defend their clients. Victor’s family SHOULD be looking out for VICTOR, not all three defendants. Not hard to understand.

        • J. Edgar on 06/14/2010 at 6:44 PM

          His family SHOULD be supporting him, and the SHOULDN’T be harrangued for it. Period. End of story.

          Anything else is just a rapist’s justification.

          • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 6:54 PM

            I disagree – I MIGHT continue to foot the bills and show support but I’d damned sure to do my best to get him to come to his senses as my first priority. If what I believe is correct, I’d take some drastic measures if Victor were a family member of mine and was facing these charges.

            Of course, perhaps they believe in the innocence of all three defendants – even still I’d be talking to Victor about leaving this jackass even if they’re acquitted. And tell him that Joe’s liable to leave him anyway if acquitted – Joe absolutely needs Victor right now, but not so much later.

          • New Alias on 06/14/2010 at 8:25 PM

            Victor is still letting Joe determine the conditions of his life. Joe is, as always, doing what’s best for Joe, not for Victor. Its in Victor’s best interest to break him free of Joe’s influence – out of his relationship.

            Even if Prices / Ward are innocent of the murder, the relationship with Joe is still terribly unhealthy for Victor. He’s swimming with a shark (Dylan) who wants to take his place, there are random people with random god-knows-what problems coming and going willy nilly, and Joe is an obnoxious control freak. Its a great deal for Joe, and maybe a great deal for Dylan, but its a crap situation for Victor (assuming he’s the guy he appears to be). This ’stand by your man’ route is for chumps.

            Victor’s parents should do what they need to do to break Victor free of that toxic family. Then they can support their son – and only their son – vis a vis the criminal charges in the best way they know how.

            • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:37 PM

              Even if Joe is only covering up for his brother (and not guilty of anything more), I cannot see how he could put Victor through this. Certainly not what one does to the person they claim to love over all others. Some life partner.

              • New Alias on 06/14/2010 at 8:38 PM

                And as long as Victor is under his control, he is in danger of being dragged into more and more bad situations.

      • Bill 2 on 06/14/2010 at 6:47 PM

        You find it outrageious that a parent would be content with letting their son be a doormat? You have a strange sense of outrage. The outrage is Victor Zaborsky’s silence regarding what really happend to Robert Wone in the Swann Street residence that night.

    • interestedobserver on 06/14/2010 at 10:46 PM

      Didn’t notice any difference at all today – if it was news to Victor. He continued chatting with his lawyer, continued nodding at every thing she said as if she was saying something very profound to him, smiling as usual, like he’s having a lot of fun socializing.
      Not sure if he just has his head in the sand, but someone please wipe that smile off his face.

    • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:19 AM

      Dr. Zaborsky? Is he funding the trouple when Dr. Ward’s cardiology money runs out?

  15. Tarfunk on 06/14/2010 at 8:11 PM

    I see no mention of Diane Durham being called as a witness Durham is the police officer who stated that Joe told her originally that the defendants had discovered the stabbed Robert by the back door and carried him upstairs. Does the prosecution not plan to call her as a witness? Wouldn’t that seem to be incredibly important testimony, or does some legal issue mitigate the usefulness of such a statement?

    • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 8:19 PM

      Tarfunk, she wasn’t identified during Opening Statement so I doubt she’s being called. My guess is there’s either a question about the accuracy of her statement, a possible issue of credibility (or something else) that would make her a target on cross (such as being fired), or that it just didn’t make sense within the prosecution’s theory. I do wonder based on Kathy Wone’s statement that J Price said Robert was “stabbed in the back” if the prosecution may revisit calling here . . .

      • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:44 AM

        ooof that sounds like a serious one to let go. Talk about obstruction and lying.

        OK – just for laughs….. how is it possible that Joe Price can say that Robert Wone was stabbed in the back and describe to Katherine Wone three stabbing motions and grunts…. and have earlier spent hours in interrogation and stated to two friends that he removed the knife…. that was in Robert Wone’s chest????? Question mark, question mark.

        Let’s say that there is the scenario where Robert Wone is presumed dead… they think he is dead and they are trying to decide what to do with him. Lots of scenarios are played out either mentally or verbally. Finally one is arrived at. But some of the traces of the earlier scenarios, like trace fibers, attach themselves to the final story, so it is tainted.

  16. susan on 06/14/2010 at 10:22 PM

    No legal analysis here, just another perspective re Zaborsky. I’m reminded of song lyrics–”Somebody got murdered. Somebody’s–dead forever.”

    There’s that 911 call with all it’s troubles and inconsistencies. There’s VZ supposedly bringing a second towel, saying he thinks they have “one of our knifes,” asking the time, and then, going from hysteria when supposedlty away from the murdered Mr. Wone to some kind of calm voice when he is supposedly in the room with the deceased, stabbed man. Calm voice from both J. Price and VZ. Can’t feel sorry for Zaborsky.

    Add to that, he’s no child. He’s an adult and, with all due respect (that’s all “due” respect) he was/is a marketing exec. His job is to sell and spin.

    As to families sticking by families, all families are different. I couldn’t see myself sticking by any family member if I thought they were implicating in obstructing justice in the case of an innocent human being who was Murdered. Somebody got murdered! Somebody is dead-Forever.

    • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/15/2010 at 12:02 AM

      This “family” reminds me of the Manson “family”. I doubt many people can imagine themselves stabbing a pregnant woman to death either, but that is what that “family” did. A controlling career criminal sociopath was able to convince his followers to do all sorts of really horrifying things.

      • AnnaZed on 06/15/2010 at 12:09 AM

        Oh for Pete’s sake, that’s ridiculous.

        • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/15/2010 at 12:41 AM

          Really? No one name “Pete” was there that night. You know that Joe Price was the one in control. I am surprised by your indignation in that you have been very open & forthright regarding your feelings as to the sexual activities that were actually occurring in the Swann St. Residence being very much inconsistent with the false PR image actively courted by Mr. Price. He was the one who trumpeted his perfect normal family to USA Today. Do you really think it is typical for “families” to kill overnight guests, regardless of their sexual preferences?

          • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:53 AM

            You know no one has brought up current news. But in the case of Roman Polanski – he has a new movie out that seems utterly familiar and just like “the Tenant” plot-wise. In the case of current murderers – the “alleged” murderer of Natalee Holloway is now in custody for another murder I think 5 years to the day of hers.

            That is the general idea of Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” Is that murderers want to be apprehended. They want to be caught. If they aren’t, like serial murders, Jeffrey Dahmler (excuse my spelling) they keep going.

            I think that should be a consideration. For all parties, including the defendants. If whoever committed this murder isn’t caught – the probability is they will continue.

            If justice isn’t done in this case…. if those who murdered Robert Wone go free, they will do it again. Hopefully law enforcement will be tailing those who they think are responsible.

            One thing that is for sure is that we are not seeing it all. Even with the great editors, etc there is much more to this case than we are seeing.

  17. tassojunior on 06/14/2010 at 10:54 PM

    Sexual partners are very important as regards motive. The police going with only the one possible motive of homosexuals raping and murdering is a serious shortcoming.

    The victim was not the normal resident of the 2nd floor. That was Ward. The victim and Ward were about the same size and the guest room was dark. Together with the fact that Ward had numerous sexual partners and clients for massage, some of whom may have felt a lack of proper follow-through attention, the potential for a “fatal attraction” stalker or a jealous lover of a sex partner is too great to ignore. It might not appeal to detectives to inquire about homosexual activities in detail, but just as in a heterosexual case, sex lives are important for motive. An intruder, especially when it’s possibly a targeted swift kill, doesn’t have to be a random intruder.

    Of course I would have liked to have seen questioning as to who had recently had heated arguments with anyone. (For instance if Ward had recently had a bad argument with Collins I’d put my sights on Collins quick). Were there recent financial disasters with anyone?

    And Michael Price whom the prosecution seems to be now be zeroing in on, was never even interrogated. That doesn’t show much interest in exploring any possibilities other than the one reached by police within minutes of arriving.

    The garbage can and the sunglasses tell me there was a real possibility someone entered over the fence during the daytime or early evening and was in the house for a while. Maybe a drugged up or psychotic random intruder who felt trapped enough to kill a sleeping person. But maybe a motivated intruder with a real motive against Ward. It’s too important to have been ignored.

    • chilaw79 on 06/14/2010 at 11:20 PM

      I hear what you are saying, but the downstairs tenant says she set the alarm when she returned in the afternoon. If the intruder was present then, the intruder could have set off the alarm. Then, one or more of the defendants always was present after some late afternoon point and the defendants grilled in the back yard.

      That makes it hard for me to envision the stalking intruder lurking in the house. Not entirely impossible, but very difficult.

      • Bea on 06/14/2010 at 11:46 PM

        And the alarm had motion detectors. No one lying in wait.

      • tassojunior on 06/15/2010 at 12:18 AM

        But doesn’t that mean it was off before she returned?

        I just have this gut instinct that the sunglasses may be a neglected part of the puzzle. What did Morgan mean by they’re not the defendants’ type? Whose sunglasses are they? Where are they sold? Any fingerprints? Anyone seen them before?

        • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 1:57 AM

          I totally missed this – garbage can and sunglasses…… eh?

          • tassojunior on 06/15/2010 at 2:48 AM

            Here’s the photo on WJLA. Even the judge noticed it without prompting:

            http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0610/742553.html

            The trash cans are left that way by the truck except for one that was placed upside-down against the shed next to the fence. You can even see the sunglasses on top of the shed. The police thought neither were important. They did notice a thick layer of yellow pollen on the car (?) (in August).

            • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:24 AM

              Pollen, dust, whatever. Still undisturbed, and the trashcans were on the side next to the neighbor, not the house. Why would someone jump into the neighbor’s yard, only to jump back into 1509, and STILL leave no traces?

    • Bill Orange on 06/15/2010 at 1:05 AM

      My problem with the “spurned lover” theory is that this is exactly the kind of thing that you should report to the police when they interview you about the murder. In other words, when the police ask you who you think might have done this, you should say, “Well, some guy named PsychoStalker69 on alt-dot-net threatened to break into my house and stab me through the heart. Do you think that might have something to do with this?” You should NOT say that there’s a black guy who lives in a van that might have done this. Furthermore, you could also help the police by saying that your dumbass brother hangs out with some very sketchy people, and he might have been foolish enough to lose his set of keys to the house.

      • tassojunior on 06/15/2010 at 2:06 AM

        That was Price, not Ward. And Price did lay heavy suspicion on his brother in his interrogation.Price was un-PC saying black instead of African-American.

        The keys were 8 months later after the defendants were in turmoil and the house was ransacked by FBI. I don’t think it’s clear Michael had keys in August. Collins sure fits the profile of a murderer and he knew what good pickings were in the house months later without ever having been an invited guest (I assume). One further bit of evidence to him and I’d bite quick.

        The whole problem when you say your minds made up to Ward is that he simply clams up as soon as he’s lawyered. He may not have even realized the perceived slight he gave to someone. But if there were a premeditated target on the 2nd floor I’d assume it was Ward and not the house guest.

        • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:26 AM

          You can bet if he has a lawyer, that lawyer has grilled him on possible suspects. That doesn’t hold a drop of water.

          Phelps Collins had the keys given to him by MP, so again, no sale. Plus, Phelps would never have left empty handed.

  18. Whatacase on 06/15/2010 at 12:27 AM

    Agree that sexual partners are important. But if a former “client” of Dylan, or a spurned lover of Joe-Dylan-Victor wanted to lash out, where did this intruder hide (assuming he dropped his sunglasses prior to hiding in the house?). Dylan was working out in his room. Victor was in his room. they all had dinner in the dining room and burned steaks in the back. Where was the lurker lurking? How did the lurker get Robert’s semen into his rectum? What happened to the blood during this sudden attack? Why was the scene so clean?

    I’m not mocking the scenario—I like the fact that we all post various proposed scenarios of questionable validity—but do you see a way that this could be real?

    • tassojunior on 06/15/2010 at 1:28 AM

      I think the semen and the missing blood are both going to be disproven. You’re right that a random or motivated intruder would have more likely have come in later but it’s not impossible one was there longer given the size and layout of the house.

      My main point is if this were a swift targeted kill I would more likely think the target was Ward. That or one of the defendants had to have a motive to have premeditated the murder.

      Also (unlike many here), I assume the extensive sex, drugs, murder and clean up just don’t fit in the 50 minutes from the Blackberry to the 911 call. Premeditation I could believe with a motive.

      • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 2:01 AM

        The Blackberry is not substantiated and was never sent. All records have been lost due to error on the part of the authorities.

        How can you disprove physical evidence like Robert Wone’s own semen in his rectum and the loss of 2/3 of his body’s blood?

        I’m not a lawyer so obviously I don’t know what can be done but that seems a pretty hard thing to talk your way out of.

        • tassojunior on 06/15/2010 at 2:28 AM

          The semen did not contain any sperm. Spermless semen spreads in a dead body. That whole theory’s been shot unless the corpse was ejaculated electrically and semen smeared on a dildo- which is where the prosecution was headed finally until someone backed off that.

          The missing blood I think will be explained but at any rate I don’t trust the DC morgue where bodies have been piled outdoors, live bodies have been discovered in refrigerator trays, and personal effects have been stolen from bodies. Neither do I trust EMT Baker who said Z never spoke to the responders when Z’s heard speaking to them on the 911 call, says Z’s tears were “obviously fake”,and the scene was “weird”. Now he may be wrong as to who was in robes and who was in bikinis.

          This crew is not one I trust to keep track of 4 pints of liquid. (I assume Baker as EMT was in the ambulance). Also the police took over the house immediately with Price’s consent (they also got a warrant). The FBI for weeks took away floor boards, staircases, wallboard, and the washing machine for testing to find blood traces.

      • Carolina on 06/15/2010 at 8:28 AM

        If it was Ward, why not kill Ward? One would assume an old trick would know where he slept.

  19. Random Thinker on 06/15/2010 at 12:29 AM

    Bea,

    you asked what I thought happened. And I can tell you that something more than just A coverup happened.

    I am most concerned with the lack of blood on the bed, on the floor, anywhere else. My gut tells me Robert was killed someplace else.

    There’s also the lack of his response which indicates he was incapacitated. Drugged in his drink perhaps or via injection. But also the semen, it was Robert’s and was not tainted by blood.

    Ok, so what if Robert arrived for a visit. One or more of the residents decided they wanted to experiment. Drugged him, perhaps in his drink, then with injections. plausibly, he was relocated to a tub or shower, then sexually assaulted, perhaps he involuntarily climaxed. Robert may have been semi conscious, perhaps aware enough to threaten to kill them.

    One or more of the residents who cimmitted the assault then decided to murder Robert and concoct the intruder scenario. The killed him, let him bleed in the tub, and washed him. Perhaps they dressed him in the bathroom, perhaps the assaulted him another time. Then they laid him on the bed, already dead. Small amounts of blood oozing.

    That would explain the lack of blood, the shower thy he rarely took at night, and the single story of an intruder. Perhaps they wanted Michael to take the fall.

    Everything that needed to happen to have minimal blood and minimal evidence suggests that the three residents could have committed the murder.

    I don’t think one person did it, and something tells me the only way one of them didn’t break is that all three were involved in the murder.

    I still think they’re gonna get off because the case is so flimsy without eliminating the reasonable doubt.

    • tucsonwriter on 06/15/2010 at 2:11 AM

      This scenario is nothing new except the “what if Robert arrived for a visit.” That is pretty much fact.

      For this poster – this scenario is not at all new. Its been in all the posts since day one. Most posters with this scenario have a lot more imagination with regard to playmats, cover-up. etc.

      I would be interested in the tub in that house. If the “tub” was placed so that the showerhead/faucet was such that someone lying in the tub who had their head at the faucet then had their entire left side against the wall side of the tub- that would account for the stab wound…. the person “closest” to them would be near their right shoulder.

Purpose of this Site

On August 2nd, 2006, Washington attorney Robert E. Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street. Over two years passed before any criminal charges were filed - and then only conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering charges were brought against the Swann Street housemates, all present in the home on the night of the murder: Joe Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky.

On May 17, 2010, a DC Superior Court trial got underway and all three defendants were all acquitted in that bench trial on those pending charges.

Nearly four years later, very little seems clear about what happened that night and who murdered Robert Wone. A cloud of suspicion remains over the Swann Street defendants who have denied any involvement in the murder of their friend or in the alleged cover up.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz found a moral certainty in their collective guilt, but not evidentiary certainty. Civil proceedings in a wrongful death suit filed by Robert's family is the next chapter in this tragic story.

We continue to work together seeking answers to the mystery of Robert Wone's murder and in finding justice for his memory and legacy.

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