Day 15: Wrap

An End In Sight – With Stipulations

Judge Leibovitz returned to the bench this afternoon at 2:30…and promptly left for a walk. 

The reason: defense and prosecution negotiations were close – very close – to a comprehensive set of deals that could allow motions to proceed, the government to call one final witness, and then rest. 

The break seemed to loosen the logjam.  Nine stipulations were presented and agreed to by both sides, regarding:

  1. The weather in July and August 2006
  2. The October 2006 burglarly
  3. The 9-1-1 call
  4. Defendant’s activities on August 2, 2006
  5. Robert Wone’s activities August 2, 2006
  6. Fingerprints
  7. Telephone numbers
  8. Collection of physical evidence and certain testing and serological DNA evidence
  9. And toxicology testing

Also admitted were a variety of smaller issues – photographs, emails between various members of the Swann Street household, Grand Jury statements by Ward and Zaborsky, TV listings for August 2, 2006, and phone records between Joe Price and Louis Hinton. 

The schedule, and some observations, after the jump.

At this point, the prosecution intends two final witnesses: Dr. David Fowler, and one last witness to authenticate the “exemplar” knife – or knife that was ordered as a match the missing knife from Ward’s bedroom.   Barring last minute switch-ups, the government will rest tomorrow. 

Both sides have a noon deadline tomorrow as well to file argument in the Rule 29 proceeding.  Judge Leibovitz said it’s likely she will spend the afternoon reading the filings, so no oral argument in the afternoon. 

With all the legal discussions – many of them out of sight – there was plenty of time today to observe courtroom demeanor.   More so than in recent days, the defendants, their supporters and even legal teams are smiling.  A lot.  And joking.  And generally just looking much more relaxed that only a few weeks ago.  The same cannot be said for the prosecutors, who have had tall hills to climb recently.  At times it seems the exhaustion is starting to show.

There was one exception: during discussions of redactions to email traffic between Joe Price and Ward, both Joe and Victor appeared agitated and pained.  While we can’t say what exactly was being discussed in the emails – only legal teams could read them – it became fairly clear they involved the two making plans and discussing activities that excluded Zaborsky, apparently all while also discussing some deep emotional matter. 

Joe – he of the bouncing knee – looked like his bobbing leg might bob him off the chair, while Victor’s otherwise cheerful demeanor turned dark and pained.

139 comments for “Day 15: Wrap

  1. Bea
    06/15/2010 at 5:40 PM

    Would LOVE to read the stips. Any chance the Eds. (or anyone in DC) can get them – they should be public record and necessary for the court file. Should come in by way of Stipulated Motion.

    Oh, Victor, are you now seeing the writing on the wall? Yes, Joe’s been the doting husband since this thing went down, but what about afterward if acquitted? For crying out loud – I can only hope the emails which made you look ‘dark and pained’ really sink in. It’s still not too late. Soon, but not yet!

    • Bea
      06/15/2010 at 5:42 PM

      FYI, the devil will be in the details in the stipulated facts. Undoubtedly the weather will be dull reading, but phone numbers maybe not.

    • Alice
      06/15/2010 at 7:52 PM

      I hope Victor and Dylan leave Joe. And hopefully in time to tell what they know!

      • Bill Orange
        06/15/2010 at 8:40 PM

        I agree with Bea that Dylan has the best chance of walking away from this without a conviction on any of these charges. I think that would change the dynamics of the whole relationship immensely. My impression is that Papa Ward is footing the bill for a lot of this, and he would have no incentive to fund appeals for Joe and Victor if Dylan was already off the hook. Furthermore, I don’t think Joe and Victor would be able to effectively flip on Dylan at that point. If they accuse Dylan of killing Robert, Dylan will counter by saying it’s the word of two convicted felons against his.

        I really don’t think that the judge is going to throw out all of the charges against any of the three defendants. But I think she’s going to throw out SOME of them, and I think in doing so she may cause one of the defendants to fold.

        Other opinions?

        • chilaw79
          06/15/2010 at 9:10 PM

          My prediction is that the judge will acquit Ward and Zaborsky of the tampering charges and allow all the other charges to go forward.

          I am not sure what the evidence of tampering is against Ward and Zaborsky, unless the judge thinks Wone did not undress and redress himself (that would seem to require more than one person). The only tampering evidence seems to relate to Price. There are a few questions: the second towel (although Ward does not seem to be involved in that), the blood evidence (I await tomorrow’s testimony on that score and/or whatever the hospital records might show as to blood pumped out through the chest tubes).

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 8:53 AM

          I agree with the three sages above that some of the charges will be dropped for Victor and Ward – most probably the tampering, that should be Joe’s alone.

          That being said, I have often wondered if Ward was the gent who dashed out for some dumpster diving to dispose of evidence on the night of Robert’s murder. It would explain why Price and Zaborsky didn’t check on him after discovering Robert. They didn’t go to look for him because they knew he wasn’t there for a brief period of time.

          Far fetched, I know, as is so much of this baffling case.

          Many thanks for your analysis, I enjoy reading your posts. So much so that I rarely feel the need to post anything myself.

  2. Pshep
    06/15/2010 at 6:00 PM

    Doug – thanks for this and it was nice meeting you today.

    I’m sick to my stomach with the thought that these three may be acquitted of the current charges. I believe that they are guilty of these charges and one or more of them are guilty of murder/manslaughter in Robert’s death. However, I feel that the prosecution has not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Today I was at trial for the first time and maybe I just came on a bad day for the prosecution. Doug’s description of both sides’ demeanor above is spot-on. The only points that I saw the prosecution put on the board today was Detective Whalen’s testimony that prior to Joe Price’s statement to him at the pawn shop on November 8th, 2006, he had no knowledge that Michael Price had a key to Swann Street. Meanwhile, Hinton’s testimony was no help to the prosecution and was perhaps beneficial to the defense.

    I feel that the prosecution muddied the waters too much by focusing in on M Price as the killer and bringing in the burglary as evidence of protecting the family. They should have focused on:

    1. The 911 call – delay and content.

    2. Condition of Robert Wone’s body and crime scene – no defensive wounds or fishtailling, lack of blood, made-up bed, folded towels, etc.

    3. First responders’ impressions – showered defendents, J Price just sitting there not applying pressure and keeping his back to the EMT, lack of anyone in a panic mode.

    4. Defendents’ statements at VCB.

    5. J Price statements to Ragone and Hixon re: removing the knife, wiping up blood vs tampering.

    Adding the M Price and burgluray angle just takes attention away from these more important aspects.

    • tucsonwriter
      06/15/2010 at 6:12 PM

      Uggg – agreed. I wonder how Kathy Wone feels right now? Glad she has her back-up lawsuit.

      • Pete McLeanVa
        06/15/2010 at 7:06 PM

        Does anyone know if Kathy Wone has set up a legal fee assistance fund? If yes, what is the address?

        • Bea
          06/15/2010 at 7:18 PM

          Pete, I believe the Covington firm is working her civil case for free, though she may well have to pay expenses (depositions, etc.). But if you’re interested in contributing, there’s also a fund established to honor Robert Wone – do a quick search and I’ll help if you can’t find it. You might want to contact the Eds. to see if there is a legal fund to cover expenses that the Covington firm isn’t allowed to fund.

          • Pete McLeanVa
            06/15/2010 at 7:33 PM

            Thank You Bea.

    • Bea
      06/15/2010 at 6:42 PM

      The Judge can and will disregard the M Price angle if it (as she said, apparently) has no relevance to what the defendants did that night. I take that statement as a positive in terms of her seeing the facts without the need for anyone to ‘prove’ or even strongly suggest who the murderer might have been. She’s right – these charges are against these defendants. What if there had been an ‘unknown’ and completely unrelated intruder who did this BUT the defendants assumed it was Michael Price and obstructed/conspired/tampered under this mistake? They’d still be guilty under those circumstances even if there intentions were NOT to assist the unrelated intruder.

    • chilaw79
      06/15/2010 at 6:48 PM

      Most of the points you think are important were covered by the prosecution earlier. I think a strong argument on the Rule 29 motion could help pull all the facts together.

      I think the prosecution has presented enough on some of these points to withstand a Rule 29 motion. If viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, I think a reasonable jury could convict on some of the charges.

      It is always difficult to decide whether to go with your best witnesses first or save them for the end. The government is going to go back to the medical evidence at the end of the trial and this may shed some additional light on blood loss, the time it would take to die, and whether Robert Wone was dead just minutes or significantly longer before 911 was called and the EMTs arrived.

      • Deb
        06/15/2010 at 9:15 PM

        Chilaw:

        I’m not sure there’s enough for a conviction at this point, but I also think there’s too much to dismiss entirely.

        The question I have (and I recall you are not crim), what happens if the defense simply rests?

        For some reason I’m seeing that happening.

        What then?

        • Bea
          06/15/2010 at 9:23 PM

          I know you asked Chilaw, but assuming that the prosecution survives the Rule 29 motion, that would be a ridiculous gamble by the defense since by the nature of the motion, the Judge has indicated that a reasonable jury could convict these men (like others, some of the charges may not survive against all defendants – with Ward being the most likely to win the Rule 29 of the three).

          The defense will, in my opinion, trot out all their experts, though there may be little else. Even Joe may realize by now that testifying is not in his best interest (but time will tell!).

          • Deb
            06/15/2010 at 9:35 PM

            No worries, Bea —

            You say “by the nature of the motion, the Judge has indicated that a reasonable jury could convict these men”. I missed that somewhere, so if you or someone could explain, that would be awesome. (I just don’t have time to read this all the time, and I’m new to it as of a few months ago. Sorry?)

            I agree totally with your opinion, but I still do wonder what will happen if the defense simply rests?

            A big “Uhhm” in 301? What then?

            Move on to closings, which are not evidence.

            I just don’t know where that might go.

            I think this blog is great, but I SO wish we could see the actual evidence the Judge has at hand.

            We might all feel a bit better about it then.

            • chilaw79
              06/15/2010 at 10:51 PM

              I agree with Bea. It is important to understand that if the judge rules for the defense on the Rule 29 motion, the defendant is acquitted. If the judge denies the motion, the defense puts on its case.

              A judge could hear precisely the same evidence, deny a Rule 29 motion, and then acquit on precisely the same evidence if the defense rests its case. The standards applied to the Rule 29 motion are different, since at the end of the prosecution case, the judge must look at the prosecution’s evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution.

              • tucsonwriter
                06/16/2010 at 2:29 AM

                I was with this until the last sentence,,,,,,,,

                • Bea
                  06/16/2010 at 3:12 AM

                  Rule 29 is really “is there enough evidence that any reasonable juror could find these defendants guilty of these charges.” So the Judge may think the prosecution has barely skated by on the minimums and rules in their favor YET after the defense’s case may see the same evidence as not persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt (because she ISN’T supposed to look at the facts ‘in the light most favorable to the prosecution any longer’). Does that make sense?

                  Still, if the Judge rules for the prosecution on the Rule 29, the defense would be foolish to not put on a case (and besides, might as well get some good out of those experts they’ve spent so much on so far).

                  • chilaw79
                    06/16/2010 at 9:12 AM

                    There is a tactical decision here (as I understand it) since the defense evidence may somehow bolster the prosecution case. For example, if a medical expert for the defense opined that the stab wounds would not bleed, but then could not explain the blood on the back of Wone’s shirt, this might actually support the prosecution case.

                    I think most defense attorneys would want to put in at least some evidence in their case. Otherwise, the judge could consider only the evidence presented by the prosecution in ruling on the Rule 29 motion following the defense resting its case/

  3. curiousdc
    06/15/2010 at 6:24 PM

    If the trouple are acquitted (a truly depressing prospect), do we know how Kathy will proceed? I’ve been following this blog religiously but seemed to have missed the discussion of her options.

    • Leo
      06/15/2010 at 6:32 PM

      Her civil case was stayed pending the criminal prosecution. Once the criminal case is over, she will proceed with discovery in her case, including depositions of the defendants and anyone else she thinks may have relevant evidence.

      • chilaw79
        06/15/2010 at 7:46 PM

        The civil complaint alleges the defendants failed to provide assistance to Wone, may have murdered him, and prevented the police from finding the murderer. Wouldn’t the defendants still be able to claim the privilege against self-incrimination for the murder even though they are not charged with murder? If the government loses the obstruction case, Kathy Wone can still go forward and can ask any questions about the alleged cover-up because the defendants could not be tried again for obstruction, tampering, etc.

        If the defendants thought their police interviews were long, wait until they get to the civil depositions.

        • DonnaH
          06/15/2010 at 8:18 PM

          I recall reading a few days ago here that in a civil case it’s allowable to draw conclusions about the defendant if they invoke their fifth amendment rights, unlike in a criminal case.

          • Leo
            06/15/2010 at 8:26 PM

            That’s true; if they refuse to answer, a jury can infer what they will. Also–think of all the people they could depose! Hinton, Hixson, M Price, cast of tricks and hook-ups, all the various detectives, all the W&M friends, etc etc. Depositions could go on for years! You can ask all sorts of hideously salacious questions so long as you assert that it could lead to admissible evidence! Depositions aren’t a public record, though, unless they’re filed in the case.

    • Bill
      06/15/2010 at 7:30 PM

      I don’t believe her civil case will have much merit or chance of success.

      • Carolina
        06/15/2010 at 7:54 PM

        Tell that to the Goldmans.

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 9:02 AM

          Carolina – spot on and clever as ever!

          Thanks for that,
          Kate

      • Bill Orange
        06/15/2010 at 8:30 PM

        Are you serious? The burden of proof is lower, and more evidence will come in to the trial. The civil suit is going to be a slam dunk.

        • Deb
          06/15/2010 at 9:22 PM

          Why do I feel like you just contradicted yourself?

          I’m so confused by this. Could you please explain?

          • Lee
            06/15/2010 at 9:31 PM

            Different Bills.

            • Deb
              06/15/2010 at 9:54 PM

              Sorry — a moment of some sort. Thank you for the redirect!

            • Bill Orange
              06/15/2010 at 11:08 PM

              I’m the “colored” one. 🙂

              • Kate
                06/16/2010 at 9:04 AM

                Thanks Bill of Color, I just snorted my morning coffee after reading that!

      • slwapo
        06/16/2010 at 1:33 AM

        “I don’t believe her civil case will have much merit or chance of success.”

        If that is true, then this criminal case has zero chance of success.

  4. Leo
    06/15/2010 at 6:31 PM

    The judge is free just to disregard the M Price insinuations; they are not necessary to prove the prosecution’s case. I don’t believe they hurt the prosecution’s case, either. All trials have a momentum, sometimes one side is up, sometimes the other is. In a multi-day trial like this one, each side is going to have ups and downs.

    Also the defendants’ demeanor is no indication of how the judge is going to rule! She has a lot of evidence to consider. Perhaps she has considered it and is ready to rule on a Rule 29 motion tomorrow. All we can say to date is that the prosecution seems to be ending with a whimper, rather than a bang. Maybe Dr. Fowler tomorrow will score some points.

    • Tarfunk
      06/15/2010 at 6:37 PM

      Yes, but T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” (how appropriate) ends:

      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      Not with a bang but a whimper

      • tucsonwriter
        06/16/2010 at 2:33 AM

        That is beautiful……..

    • Bea
      06/15/2010 at 6:38 PM

      Agree, Leo – rarely does one day’s “demeanor” mean much. I’m sure Judge Leibovitz has long ago wrestled what is reasonable doubt (and in the Rule 29 she MUST assume all facts in the light most favorable to the prosecution) and that was flavored by having spent time as a prosecutor. She knows what falls through the legal cracks better than the rest of us (prosecutors here excepted) and what looking at the ‘big picture’ means when piecing her way through all the facts presented.

      I suppose what I’m saying is that there is no need for gloom and doom here – and of course none of us want them to be convicted if (1) they’re innocent, or (2) if the evidence doesn’t sustain it. I insert a caveat on the latter, in that the appellate court will look at this case too. The Judge has to be absolutely fair, as she should be.

      • chilaw79
        06/15/2010 at 6:56 PM

        The judge has more than one crack at a Rule 29 acquittal. If she rules for the defendants, the prosecution can appeal. If she rules for the prosecution, she can consider the matter again at the end of the defense case. It would be pretty easy for the judge to avoid an appeal by the prosecution.

        I hope that whatever the judge decides, she does what she can to determine the truth. Yes, there were screw-ups by the police, the Secret Service, and many others. If it really was an intruder, does Joe Price go to sleep every night thinking that if he had locked the door behind him, his friend might be alive? If one of the defendants or someone they know murdered Robert Wone, how do they know they will not be next? I am not sure how I would cope with this situation if I were one of the defendants. If I were innocent, I would be telling the police everything I know.

        • Themis
          06/15/2010 at 10:58 PM

          Actually, the government can’t appeal the grant of a motion for judgment of acquittal, which requires a finding that the evdence adduced is legally insuffcient. Because jeopardy has attached, the trial court’s decision is the end of the road for the prosecution. That’s why the trial court rarely grants such motions, instead reserving ruling or denying them outright. The prosecution doesn’t get multiple bites at the apple. The Bill of Rights specifically prohibits it. I think the case is US v Scott.

          • chilaw79
            06/16/2010 at 9:14 AM

            Thanks for the correction.

      • anoninny (not currently)
        06/15/2010 at 6:56 PM

        “…of course none of us want them to be convicted…”

        ah, the hedging begins…

        • Bea
          06/15/2010 at 7:15 PM

          Hi Ninny. No hedging – I think all three are guilty of these charges. The Judge may think otherwise, or she might simply find the evidence insufficient, and she gets to decide, not me.

          I wish I could have been in court to listen, but like the Eds., one doesn’t get access to the sidebars or a look at the email evidence that went in today. I’ve said from my first posts over two years ago that I wanted to be wrong because it disgusts me that these poster boys will do so much damage to the gay community. It sickens me – the crime, the unnecessary heartache caused to the Wone family by the (at a minimum) refusal of these three to tell all that they know, and how the gay community gets a nasty black eye from this on Fox News and the other media outlets. So, Ninny, I’m frustrated by your hit-and-run comments, this one and the previous ones, but so be it. We don’t get the last word.

      • david
        06/15/2010 at 8:34 PM

        Bea et al,

        I was in court all day with Doug, and while the defense had an outstanding day in beating back the Louis Hinton testimony on the Michael Price burglary, I don’t think this make for an automatic acquital on all charges. The only reason the M Price burglary was in this case was to show state of mind of the defendants. Yes, it would be a great nice-to-have for the prosecution, but do they need it to get across the finish line? I am not so sure.

        Kirschner still got in Dylan Ward’s statement to the police that when he finally did report the burglary (several days after the burglary happened and after talking to Joe Price), he never said Michael Price was involved, which goes to the state of mind of Ward that he wouldn’t tell on a family member of Joe Price’s.

        Furthmore, the M Price burglary is a sideshow to the real case. Because the defense is winning a sideshow that doesn’t mean they are winning the war. The defense tends to shine on the elements of the prosecution’s case that seem to be the least consquential to the prosecution’s case-in-chief.

        David

  5. tassojunior
    06/15/2010 at 6:48 PM

    This has been a two-week whimper.

    It seemed the ME was weak the first day but every day since has gotten worse.

    • Former Criminal Sex Offence Prosecutor
      06/15/2010 at 8:05 PM

      The case is not over. The prosecution has not rested. Prepare yourself for the prosecution to end with a BANG, not a whimper. Concerns regarding the weak credentials of the Assistant DC ME that started the testimony..why don’t you reserve judgment until AFTER the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland, David Fowler, testifies in this case?
      Dr. Fowler is not just board certified, he is DOUBLE board certified, in Anatomic Pathology as well as Forensic Pathology. He has decades of clinical experience as well as an impressive ability to testify forcefully as a very qualified expert in the fields (plural)of his expertise. The prosecution had to put on the testimony of the representative of the DC ME’s Office who performed the autopsy. It wasn’t their choice of expert, that the physician was not board certified at all or that she had actually failed to pass certification on 2 occasions.
      The testimony of Maryland’s Chief Medical Examiner is the expert testimony that the prosecution has been waiting to put on at the end as a way of hitting the ball out of the park. Look for the strong finish to the weak start. Questions will be answered, doubts will be erased if you will be patient enough to wait until the final 2 witnesses take the stand.

      • Pshep
        06/15/2010 at 9:43 PM

        Who is the other witness? I thought Fowler was it for the prosecution…

        • DonnaH
          06/15/2010 at 9:52 PM

          Doug didn’t name the witness, but said there’d be “one last witness to authenticate the ‘exemplar’ knife – or knife that was ordered as a match the missing knife from Ward’s bedroom.” –A knife company rep?

  6. weaver
    06/15/2010 at 6:57 PM

    I just recently started reading about this case and I am stunned at how bizarre it all is! wow- quite a bit to go through, although I have been trying to read as much as I can.

    OF COURSE the defendants are lying! No intruder did this. So the question is why are they lying?

    Who is running the BS investigation? For one thing, an advanced toxicology should have been done on Robert, not the standard bs they did… if ever a case demanded a comprehensive toxicology review this one does! Maybe it can still be done on samples or tissues– I don’t know. I do know the agent that paralyzed Robert needs to be identified.

    I don’t think Robert was killed at the scene. I think this was a target hit, premeditated and the defendants played a role in covering for murder (DUH!)…. What a shame….. well when they are convicted one or more might crack. Prison isn’t pleasant.

    • JM
      06/15/2010 at 9:11 PM

      You don’t think Robert was killed at the scene?? Where do you think he was murdered? What do think the motive of the murder was?

      • cinnamon
        06/15/2010 at 9:52 PM

        I sometimes wonder about this as well, mostly because of the crime scene photos that show the patio furniture in disarray and the hose out and that the cadaver dogs found blood in the patio drain. I wonder if they took some kind of drug, and were going out somewhere but Robert OD’d and they rushed him back in through the patio. They thought he was dead so in a drug addled panic, they stabbed him on the patio stairwell near the drain to cover for the illegal drugs. Maybe this explains the comment Joe made to Kathy, that Robert was stabbed in the back. They brought brought Robert upstairs triggering the chime on their way in, waking Victor who comes down to see what all the commotion is about, he screams…

  7. ladyg
    06/15/2010 at 7:01 PM

    why do some think that these guys are going to walk? did i miss something here? THE QUESTIONS remain, did or didn’t they tampered with the evidence (let’s just keep this simple? the homeowner said that (sorry joe said) touched/handled the knife. i guess common sense, doesn’t come into play here.
    jmo

    • Bea
      06/15/2010 at 7:18 PM

      ladyg, I think common sense will play a role. There seems to be panic today that shouldn’t be.

      • ladyg
        06/15/2010 at 9:07 PM

        the more i read, the sadder i get. hopefully this judge will see the “truth”, there’s alot ground for her to decipher, for all that is still good in this world, someone has to speak up/out for robert wone. this man enter a home with good intention, but left under the cloud of mystery. i feel like i’m repeating myself, but this madness must stop. i know (not personally) mrs wone wants answers and someone has them.

  8. Grrr
    06/15/2010 at 7:30 PM

    Hey lawyer types, this wouldn’t be the first time the police & prosecution screwed up a murder case (think von Bulow & OJ)so it looks like they have a leg up with “only” being charged with obstruction, etc. My question is: what are the grounds for appeal in the event these creeps are found guilty?

    • Leo
      06/15/2010 at 8:37 PM

      Lots of grounds for appeal–just go back and revisit all the times the defense objected most strongly, ie, the various hearsay objections, the Confrontation Clause issues, the use of the statements of co-conspirators–anytime a defense lawyer yelled “objection,” he was preserving a basis for appeal.

      • Bill Orange
        06/15/2010 at 8:44 PM

        I’m quite certain that any guilty verdict will be appealed. I’m more curious as to whether or not (assuming a conviction) the defendants will be able to stay out of jail during the appeals process. I really don’t think so.

        • Bea
          06/15/2010 at 8:56 PM

          DC-area lawyers and Fed prosecutors? Based on general knowledge, OF COURSE there will be an appeal, but I don’t see them being out on bail pending appeal.

          • Matt
            06/15/2010 at 11:04 PM

            I have talked to people in the US Attorney’s office who have said that the one of the reasons the trouple went with a bench trial was there was no chance of a hung jury, i.e. the possibility of having to do a brand new trial from scratch. The other reason obviously being that any jury made up of regular men and women of D.C. would think they are wierdo freaks and convict them simply on those grounds.

            Anyways, they only have the funds to go one round with the all-star lawyers they have now so any appeal will be without grimm, schertler and connelley. Therefore, any guilty verdict and they are most likely done for good or at the very least will not have the band of all-stars to represent them in their appeal.

            • Bill Orange
              06/15/2010 at 11:16 PM

              Not sure how you know about their money situation. That sounds like speculation (probably accurate, but speculation, nonetheless) on the part of the US Attorney’s office. I would guess that Papa Ward could probably scare up quite a bit more money if he really needed to. Not sure what the Zaborsky families assets look like.

            • Themis
              06/15/2010 at 11:30 PM

              The DC Public Defender Services is one of the best in the country. If they are appointed to represent one of the trouple on appeal, they will prepare a stellar appeal with the record available to them.

              • Matt
                06/15/2010 at 11:51 PM

                Did not mean to demean the fine work that DCPDS does was just commenting on the trouple’s one shot at acquittal philosphy. They only have one “bullet” at high priced defense and this is it.

  9. Pete McLeanVa
    06/15/2010 at 7:31 PM

    When are transcripts available for the proceedings? I’m still pondering Monday’s Scott Hixson bombshell testimony. If any of the triade’s anonymous “acquaintances” could allude to drug use, what, when and where, I’m trying to construct a new plausibility based on my long-ago experiences.

  10. Bill
    06/15/2010 at 7:56 PM

    I understand that the majority of the people (many of which are lawyers) who have followed this site long-term are convinced that the defendants are guilty — but, do you believe that the prosecution has proven its case to this point? Honestly?

    • Former Criminal Sex Offence Prosecutor
      06/15/2010 at 8:14 PM

      The prosecution has not rested. Why don’t you wait until after the last 2 witnesses testify to ask that question? They are both expert witnesses whose testimony is essential to the prosecution’s case. It is typical to plan to end on a strong note.

    • Bill Orange
      06/15/2010 at 8:19 PM

      I think they’ve proven obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct for all three. I think they’ve also proven that the evidence was tampered with, but the only person I would convict on that charge is Price. I also think that the civil suit is an absolute slam dunk.

      • Grrr
        06/15/2010 at 9:58 PM

        Big deal. All three defendants get to end the trial with an absolute slam dunk. But there is no jury here, so it remains uncertain how much a slam dunk actually matters. BUT, when the judge puts her lawyer cap on, inundation by the defense at the end may help the defense because lawyers are so easily fooled.

        • Grrr
          06/15/2010 at 10:00 PM

          oops, but you get my drift

        • Craig
          06/15/2010 at 10:46 PM

          Grrrrr: I don’t think Leibovitz dons her lawyer cap to deliberate. According to her directions to the government last week, it sounds like she loses the robe: “I want a detailed, factual recitation on inferences that you believe a reasonable juror could make on the evidence at the trial.”

    • Bea
      06/15/2010 at 8:54 PM

      Assuming that the remaining witness testifies as expected, the short answer is ‘yes’ as to Price (all counts), Zaborsky (likely all counts, with some possibility that tampering will not survive). I am less certain as to Ward, but I think it survives a Rule 29 Motion at this juncture.

      • Logan73
        06/15/2010 at 10:28 PM

        It really seems like Ward was kept out of a lot of this. Ward just reports that he was in his room he heard Robert return to his room and that’s it (atleast that is all I am aware of). Ward never said he heard an intruder, never says he heard a chime, never says he heard grunts, etc.

        It really seems like Joe and Victor really put themselves out there. Victor made the 911 call and gave all of that information on the call. Then Joe says he found the body, held the towel, tried to save his friend etc.

        This makes me think that Ward had absolutely nothing to do with the crime. If he did have something to do with the crime then it seems like the other two would have made him play more of a role in story that they fabricated. Also that time where it was said that Ward was afraid to enter the home because he feared that Michael was in there.. I thought that was very telling.

        I think Joe put himself out there the most. He was the one doing all the talking and saying this and that. I think Victor botched the 911 call and got too blabber mouthed and accidentally put himself out there.

        I just really think that all of this points to Michael having something to do with this. This really does not matter though at least not for this trial, right.

        I am not really sure that the government has proved anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Of course I have not attended the trial even once so I do not know all of the evidence and such first hand.

        • Bill Orange
          06/15/2010 at 11:06 PM

          I don’t quite agree with you here. If you assume that they’ve fabricated a cover story, then Dylan had to be the last on the scene for the cover story to work. Any “intruder” would’ve gone right past Dylan’s door, so a cover story that has Dylan hearing a scream and running out of his bedroom right away won’t work, because he would’ve seen or heard the intruder. Furthermore, Joe and Victor had to “discover” Robert at essentially the same time (so they can alibi one another), and they had to do so BEFORE Dylan. If the story had Dylan getting there first, the police would’ve assumed Dylan was the killer.

          • AnnaZed
            06/15/2010 at 11:25 PM

            Good point.

          • Nora
            06/16/2010 at 7:02 AM

            I believe Dylan was deliberately kept out of the “official version” of events that night because, let’s face it – a sporadically employed masseur/rentboy isn’t going to have the same skills as the two house professionals. Remember the “glare”! But Bill Orange is right, Dylan had to be extensively involved. The concrete evidence just doesn’t seem to be there.

            • sophia
              06/16/2010 at 3:18 PM

              What about Mr. Ward’s e-stim device (even though the trial is not about sexual assault or practices)? Did the intruder carry one–just in case?

              • Nora
                06/17/2010 at 6:35 AM

                No…I’m ready to believe that Dylan used that hellish device on Robert and stabbed him with his daddy’s knife, with or without “help.” But that’s a different trial. I’m referring to the lack of evidence against Dylan introduced in this trial. Which does not include anything about an electrostim attack.

  11. Bill Orange
    06/15/2010 at 8:25 PM

    Re: Hinton. I’m having a hard time believing that he invoked his 5th Amendment rights solely to avoid a “false filing” charge with respect to the “theft” of his car by Michael Price. Keep in mind that his own alibi for the night of the murder is just as weak as Michael Price’s. I wonder if the prosecution thinks that he might have been involved in the actual murder.

    • Leo
      06/15/2010 at 8:34 PM

      With respect to possible murder suspects–there could be any number of unsavory characters who have passed through JP and DW’s dungeon and decided to return unannounced. What about some of Michael’s pals also? I don’t think Michael is the only plausible suspect for the murder here.

      • Bill Orange
        06/15/2010 at 8:59 PM

        I really don’t see this as the work of an “intruder”. This looks like a planned assault. If that’s the case, the defendants were, at a minimum, tolerant off it, even if they were not participants. And frankly, I can’t imagine all three simply being tolerant of something like this–one of them was almost certainly involved.

  12. susan
    06/15/2010 at 9:02 PM

    I don’t think I saw it posted here but what time do they expect to start up again tomorrow?

    Let’s all hope/pray/wish (whatever anyone’s religious or non-religious inclinations) that justice gets served when the judge makes her determinations tomorrow.

    • David
      06/15/2010 at 9:06 PM

      Judge Liebovitz gavels in at 9:45 am tomorrow morning.

  13. susan
    06/15/2010 at 9:13 PM

    Thanks.

  14. chilaw79
    06/15/2010 at 9:18 PM

    This is the kind of case where something you think is unimportant comes back to seem very important. The actions of Joe Price following the interviews at the VCB are a good example. His telephone call to the downstairs tenant at six in the morning telling her not to go back to the house gives me the willies.

    Maybe he was just trying to protect her, but it seems a little creepy.

    • Nora
      06/16/2010 at 7:05 AM

      The telephone call seems innocent to me. If a friend was murdered in my house, I would do everything I could to keep the crime scene intact. Keep people from walking through it, in a manner that wouldn’t shock and disturb them (if I didn’t have time to give full details).

  15. DonnaH
    06/15/2010 at 9:29 PM

    A question for the lawyers (more especially) here: With the likelihood of appeal of Judge Liebovitz’ decision ahead, I wonder if there are any available databases with compiled statistics on the percentages of her cases that have been successfully appealed, how that might compare with other judges, etc; and any commentary as to what if anything it might mean in relation to this particular trial. (I have assumed that Judge Liebovitz has at times ridden hard on the lawyers, particularly the prosecutors, because whatever her decision, she wants a tight case with minimal chances for successful appeals.) –Perhaps this could be a topic for a daily post, once the trial is over.

    • Grrr
      06/15/2010 at 10:18 PM

      DonnaH’s comment edges on a very good point. This whole trial is a thing of lawyers. Even one of the defendants is a lawyer. To be sure the result will, with it’s appeals, in it’s end, be so nuanced that the death of (what appears) to be a kind young man will be lost.

      This will not be the first time where the police failed to successfully frame guilty defendants.

      • DonnaH
        06/16/2010 at 2:58 AM

        Grr, sorry but your last sentence loses me. To “frame” a defendant usually means to use false evidence to convict an innocent person. Are you saying the police conjured up false evidence in this case?

        • Grrr
          06/16/2010 at 8:19 AM

          Yeah, I re-read that last sentence too. I guess I am frustrated that instead of conjured up evidence (with the exception to the allusion of the Price brother), they have little evidence to bring such serious charges.

  16. counsel
    06/15/2010 at 10:19 PM

    Maybe I am missing something, but if Michael Price and Scott Hinton were lovers, how can he not know the trouple, as he says?

    • Elizabeth
      06/15/2010 at 10:22 PM

      He knows the trouple. He says he does not know Robert and has never even heard his name. Still weird.

      • Hoya Loya
        06/16/2010 at 8:29 AM

        Never heard his name yet cared enough to post an on-line condolence message. Weird indeed.

        • Bill Orange
          06/16/2010 at 8:39 AM

          You know, I never put that together until you pointed it out.

        • AnnaZed
          06/16/2010 at 11:32 AM

          I believe that it was tender-hearted Louis Hinton not Scott Hixon who posted a condolence message about Robert.

    • cinnamon
      06/15/2010 at 10:24 PM

      Louis Hinton was Michael Price’s partner. Scott Hixton is the neighbor across the street.

  17. Southern Lurker
    06/15/2010 at 10:39 PM

    I’d like to join in the chorus praising this site. It’s been great. One suggestion is to post a little who’s who side bar – especially to accompany any transcripts – because I know I am not alone when I get confused between Scott and Louis.

    Also, one perhaps totally ignorant question or comment: won’t the judge really really hesitate to say they are guilty of obstruction if only because afterwards, the defendants could start caving and the truth could rapidly come out and then all will be there to see what was and was not truly obstruction. In other words, does she not have to know and be able to point to an instance of obstruction that is indisputable and verifiable?

    • Bill Orange
      06/15/2010 at 11:12 PM

      I don’t understand what you’ve saying here. If the defendants start caving, it’s because they’re guilty. If they’re not guilty, they’re not going to “cave”.

      • Southern Lurker
        06/15/2010 at 11:20 PM

        (I meant POST ruling that they start caving.)

        If the judge says they are guilty for obstruction, doesn’t she have to specify which acts they are guilty of (I actually do not know how it works)? What if she is wrong, and after her ruling, the defendants begin caving on each other, and it comes out that they were guilty of X (obstruction instance) but not the Y she cited in her ruling?

        I guess I’m also asking – doesn’t the judge have to specify which exact acts were obstruction?

        • DonnaH
          06/16/2010 at 3:52 AM

          My understanding (and I’m not a legal expert) is, yes, she has to specify which acts are obstruction; in this case, one example is the delayed 911 call which came at least 14 or so minutes after Victor’s scream (as verified by the neighbors) upon the declared discovery of Robert’s body.

          Then there is the conspiracy charge, and in that case it’s not necessary for the judge to know the actual truth of each declaration, but only to show that they coordinated their stories in ways which covered up or obscured some truths. Here, inconsistencies within the stories as well can be evidentiary, such as Victor’s telling the 911 operator that there was an intruder who took one of their knives, for example (and as Joe later said), when he ostensibly had no way of knowing that at the time (since they supposedly called 911 immediately upon discovering Robert’s body), suggests they concocted a story beforehand.

  18. AnnaZed
    06/15/2010 at 10:48 PM

    Ah Victor, the sorrow and the pity. Joe is not the man that you wish he was. Speak now and try to salvage what remains of your life.

  19. reader
    06/15/2010 at 11:01 PM

    This website has engrossed me ever since I read about the case in the Post a few months ago. This may be a strange question, but couldn’t they still collect additional fluids from Wone’s body to do more tests?

    I do think that one or more of the three or someone with a key killed Wone since the intruder theory seems to have been disproved — but can the judge reasonably infer that any of the housemates witnessed more than they’re telling?

    One of the more disturbing facts was Price sitting at the edge of Wone’s bed, having given up on helping his friend after discovering him a few minutes earlier. That makes no sense. Also, why didn’t any of the defendants seem alarmed that the intruder could still be in the house? Why didn’t the detectives ask about their seeming lack of concern that the killer could still be there? These two facts by themselves seem to show that something is awry among the defendants. FWIW, I do think an acquittal for any of them is unlikely.

  20. Ex-Foxer
    06/15/2010 at 11:06 PM

    I, for one, will be very glad when this case is over, hopefully resulting in a guilty charge for all three defendants.

    As someone who used to work with Joe at Arent Fox, and who has been following this case since Day One, actually since the minute the former AF chairman sent out a firm-wide email announcing that a murder had taken place at Joe’s house, I think it is high time some closure is brought to Mrs. Wone. The cavalier attitude that Joe exhibited after the murder was beyond disgusting, and justice needs to be served.

    Regardless of whether or not the defendants were involved in the actual murder, I think it is pretty obvious that they were involved in some sort of cover-up and obstruction of justice. And in my opinion, the prosecution has proven that.

    • Bill Orange
      06/15/2010 at 11:14 PM

      Interesting. What were the general attitudes at Arent Fox about this case? Did most people think Joe wasn’t involved, or did most people think he was obstructing? Or was it a fairly even split?

  21. tassojunior
    06/15/2010 at 11:53 PM

    I notice the eds didn’t mention that Louis Hinton is African-American.

    • Bill 2
      06/16/2010 at 12:16 AM

      I notice they also neglected to tell us the color of the shirt that Louis Hinton wore and gave no clue as to what he ate for breakfast. Perhaps the editors focus on the things that impact this trial.

    • Craig
      06/16/2010 at 10:23 AM

      And we’ve all noticed Junior, that in your brief, yet longwinded tenure on this site, that you have added nothing of significance to the debate. You’re an exceedingly poor, late-arriving guest who hasn’t done his homework nor eaned the right to take cheap shots.

  22. ex-foxertoo
    06/16/2010 at 12:16 AM

    I also worked with Joe and I believe most other Arent Foxers were giving him the benefit of the doubt initially, but even those who were close to Joe eventually stopped defending him.

  23. SaraSidle
    06/16/2010 at 1:38 AM

    I have been spending some time reviewing older posts here and have a couple of observations/theories.

    First, regarding the possibility that Robert was killed outside on the patio and the theory of incapacitation via drug injection. I have wondered if he tried to flee the house at some point and collapsed downstairs – either in the kitchen or on the patio if he made it outside. Then the stabbing took place outside in an attempt to cover the drugging. Then clean up outside and his body moved to the guestroom. Am I way out there with this?

    Then Dylan’s interview with detectives. When that transcript was first posted, I recall many people being surprised by the way he came across during the interview. He did seem to have his story straight and many shared the opinion that he was the most believable of the three (based on the reading of the transcripts). After revisiting the transcript of his interview, I now have the exact opposite opinion. He is able to present the smoothest story because he has the most direct knowledge of the events. He would have only two stories to keep straight in his head during the interview – his direct knowledge of the events and the lie. On the other hand, I believe Victor to have to least direct knowledge of events.

    So Victor has to balance: his direct knowledge, what truth Dylan may have shared, what truth Joe may have shared, and the lie. And that is exactly why poor Victor is all over the place – he cannot keep it all straight. But Dylan – no problem. It is easiest to spin the lie when you know the complete truth and all of the events. Does that make sense? I mean if I am going to lie about something that I did – I can do that more convincingly than if a friend asked me to lie to cover for them. And Joe – he probably could have come off as believable if he could have controlled his need to try to outwit the detectives, but he just could not help himself.

    • AnnaZed
      06/16/2010 at 1:46 AM

      Very interesting notions, both of them.

      The idea that Robert might have tried to escape did not occur to me. Under this scenario would Dylan catch up with him and inject him again? The stab wounds were very clean incisions. My impression is that Robert could not have been running or fighting when he was killed, but the idea that he might have broken away and ben subdued (so very sad if true) seems possible.

      Then the idea that Dylan is so credible because he has all of the facts at his disposal also has a certain je ne sais quoi that bears a little examination I think.

      • AnnaZed
        06/16/2010 at 1:47 AM

        Under this theory it would have been additionally imperative to bath Robert because he would have dirt on the soles of his feet.

        • Former Criminal Sex Offence Prosecutor
          06/16/2010 at 3:21 AM

          You may be right, but whatever theory is posited, I don’t think anyone will ever know what actually happened detail by detail, step by step in the horrific events that culminated in the sexual assault & murder of Robert Wone. Unless of course, one of the Trouple contacts Judith Regan with the Desire to Produce Their Own Version Of “If I Did It”.

          That is the very saddest part of the torment that Kathy Wone must face every day. In a place where she thought her husband was spending their first night apart with friends, he was brutally murdered & found stabbed to death with his own semen inserted far into his anus & rectum. I don’t believe for a second that either Robert or Kathy Wone had any knowledge of the nature of the kind of lifestyle choices that were actually being indulged at the Swann Street residence.

          They were kind, loving & accepting people who believed the public image that Mr. Price courted of domestic bliss with his partner & co-parent, Victor Z. The USA Today piece regarding their “new kind of family” is mind boggling in retrospect. (The children that they fathered, along with their artificially inseminated mothers have also been victimized in a very cruel way.)
          The daughter of a Court Employee in the jurisdiction where I was a Prosecutor died in a terrible automobile collision with a drunk driver. Her mother confided to me that she was so grateful for that fact that the EMT responders were there with her daughter, comforting her at the end, as she left this world, that she was not friendless, terrified or alone.

          What must Kathy Wone, a woman who suffers from lupus (a terrible, often fatal auto-immune disease which flares in response to stress), who has already endured a hip replacement, who cannot have children, who was so happy that Robert wanted to be her partner for life, think & feel about the inevitable conclusion that her beloved Robert did not die surrounded by those who loved him, but rather at the hands of those he trusted & thought of as true friends?

          Even if you were to accept the ridiculous notion that some mysterious intruder was the the one who wielded the knife, these friends did not try to save Robert’s life, they did not perform CPR or staunch his wounds, they did not comfort him as he died. They were too busy with the clean up & cover up to take any time out for anything other than the effort that led to this trial, the lies & the actions that demonstrate the obstruction of justice & the conspiracy to commit the same.

          They waited until his corpse was cold & stiff with a stab wound so big the EMT noted you could put your hand in it before they even called for help. The important thing to remember is the terror, confusion & unimaginable pain that Robert Wone must have endured as he died. Abdominal knife wounds are excruciatingly painful. His last thoughts must have been of his wife, how much he loved her, & how he must have hoped that she would discover the truth about his murder, not for vengeance, but to know that he loved her.

          The Editors of this site cannot be commended enough for their efforts to make it possible for the truth to be revealed. It has been very clear from the beginning that they felt this commitment to expose what happened, as gay men who do not condone murder, nor do they wish to be associated with this crime in any way by their silence. I look forward to the testimony of the final witnesses for the prosecution.

          The Judge will not make any decision regarding motions to dismiss that have not yet been made (!) (hold your horses kids) until after she has heard all of the evidence presented by the prosecution. It is my expectation that the CME of Maryland David Fowler will render the possibility of the defense suggestions of a bloodless death from cardiac tamponade as absolutely ludicrous. Soon, very soon indeed. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they mince exceedingly fine. Kathy, if you are reading this, please know that you & Robert have touched the lives of many who did not know you before this unspeakable loss, but are now routing for you every step of the way. May the light pierce the darkness, so that can justice prevail.

          • DonnaH
            06/16/2010 at 4:12 AM

            An eloquent and profound reminder of the human lives at the heart of this case. Thank you.

          • cinnamon
            06/16/2010 at 9:13 AM

            “May the light pierce the darkness, so that can justice prevail.”

            Yes.

          • Kate
            06/16/2010 at 9:35 AM

            Very moving and powerful summation, Former Prosecutor. Let us hope that the prosecution’s close is along the same lines.

            Cheers,
            Kate

          • Hoya Loya
            06/16/2010 at 10:24 AM

            Those posters who criticize others for being anti-defense should read this “summation.” It is a great reminder of the emotional chord this case strikes for many people, that has drawn so many people to care about a victim they never knew. It also shows why many posters are so passionate about seeing justice done.

            On the other hand, imagine a close friend stays over as your guest and is stabbed by an intruder when you forget to lock the door. You are awakened out of a light sleep to a scene of horror, which you must deal with as best you can, then find that yourself in Anacostia all night long being questioned, not believed and subjected to homophobic bias.

            You become a prime suspect, rather than the unknown intruder, and are eventually charged with conspiracy, tampering and obstruction, despite cooperating with the investigation. Along the way, your career is ruined, you lose many friends and your community standing while every private detail of your life is dissected in the press and online while innumerable theories of what you did are floated, both reasonable and outlandish. And even if you are acquitted of the charges at hand, many people will still believe you are guilty of something. A true nightmare, like something out of Kafka.

            That is why the prosecution must meet its burden of proof – to protect against the possibility that this scenario unjustly proceeds to conviction. To avoid Rule 29 acquittals, it must show that its evidence, viewed in the most favorable light, would permit reasonable jurors to convict. To win an ultimate conviction, it must present sufficient evidence to show that former prosecutor’s narrative, not the Kafka nightmare, is what happened beyond a reasonable doubt. Judging whether the prosecution has done so in this case requires setting aside emotion and sympathy for either side – a tough task – to analyze whether there is enough to put three people in jail for a long time.

            • Kate
              06/16/2010 at 10:46 AM

              Hats off to you, as well, Hoya Loya!

              This is an enormous tragedy from any perspectives.

              There are few circumstances in life more horrific than being charged with a crime you did not commit. The only one I can think of is being the victim of a senseless and violent murder.

              Let us hope that justice will prevail for one and all.

              Cheers,
              Kate

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/16/2010 at 11:08 AM

            As someone who has been here from the inception of this website, I’ve seen many harsh and bitter words written on these pages. The ugliness of this crime is unforgettable. But occassionally someone comes along and shares something that touches me so deeply, I am instantly reminded of the reason I am here. A beautiful soul was taken. The type of person who could only effect those around him in a wonderful and positive way. A person whose presence made a difference.

            My prayers are with Kathy and Robert today and always.

      • SaraSidle
        06/16/2010 at 2:12 AM

        Based on the description of wounds, I do believe he was incapacitated at the time the wounds were inflicted. Maybe he was injected with something and realized what was happening and tried to get out of that house, but by the time he made it to the backdoor the drug started to go to work. It sounds like the ME found no signs of defensive wounds at all – so I do not think there was a physical struggle. The whole case is mindnumbing and I just try to make some sense of it all. It is just a theory that seemed to fit the little bit of evidence presented.

        • Bill Orange
          06/16/2010 at 8:33 AM

          I think this makes an escape attempt unlikely, too. It’s hard to subdue someone who’s on their feet without leaving any marks.

        • Ivan
          06/16/2010 at 8:36 AM

          Interesting theory if you remember Joe P told one of the police Robert was stabbed on the patio. Perhaps he did try to escape and then collapsed. However, I would think there would have been some markings on this body to be carried upstairs again but maybe not.

  24. Clio
    06/16/2010 at 7:04 AM

    From my current vantage point of one of the former lands of the Hapsburgs (one of Dyl’s ancestral homes), it does seem that the massage therapist is the least likely to be convicted.

    Nevertheless, what could be the “deep emotional matter” discussed in his electronic correspondences with Culuket? I had thought that Mr. Ward and Mr. Price did not have deep emotions, given their blasé and off-putting reactions to Robert’s murder.

    • Bill Orange
      06/16/2010 at 8:37 AM

      I would guess that the e-mails were all about how they could ditch Victor and live happily ever after. The “deep emotional matter” was probably something along the lines of, “But who will water the houseplants if Victor’s not here?”

      • Ivan
        06/16/2010 at 9:28 AM

        Victor wake up and smell the coffee!!

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 10:03 AM

        Morning Clio, Bill of Color and Ivan,

        I’m feeling a bit snarky this morning so I’m going to just let it rip:

        I agree about the subject of the “deep emotional matter”, But I truly wonder if Price could ever part with either of his loves. He has his devoted spouse, Victor, who comforts and coddles and loves him unconditionally … a pampering Mother. On the other hand, he has Ward who disciplines and humiliates him for all his naughtiness … a domineering Father.

        That’s his “Family.” And he is the spoiled child at the center who manipulates all.

        This may be psych silliness, but it makes sense that Price would be playing Ward in order to maintain his little boy’s world.

        Good lord, that really is snarky, methinks as I ready to push the submit button …

        • Ivan
          06/16/2010 at 11:24 AM

          No, Kate, I think what you wrote is more accurate than it is snarky. Joe has Victor for the emotional bond and Dylan for the fun and for walks on the wild side. He’s able to get his cake and to eat it too at least for the time being. Interesting that if this were a heterosexual marriage Joe would be a polygamist.

      • AnnaZed
        06/16/2010 at 11:34 AM

        Ha! (very likely a close summation of that correspondence)

  25. interestedobserver
    06/16/2010 at 9:41 AM

    It seems that Victor only displays emotions (crying and distress) when he’s impacted directly – like when his “story” is being challenged by police officers during interviews, listening to his own 911 call where he relays his “story” about what happened, and whatever Dylan and Joe were writing to each other about him in emails.
    Otherwise, he seems fine to smile, laugh, and chat with his attorney all day during his own criminal trial.

  26. emg
    06/16/2010 at 9:44 AM

    I am still confident there will be a conviction-at least of Joe and Victor.
    1-Prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there was no “break-in” by an unknown intruder.
    2-Therefore the murderer was either one of the 3 occupants or someone with access to the house, known to the occupants.
    3-Expert testimony shows Obstruction:
    a)the scene was not what it should be.Therefore it was changed in some way.
    b) 911 call delayed;
    c)inconsistencies in story:
    – Robert was on the patio vs. upstairs;
    – stabbed in the back;
    -“I pulled the knife out of his chest;
    – I heard 1 scream, multiple screams; groans
    -there was “blood everywhere”;
    -Joe saw blood as he came down the stairs
    4-Since all are telling the same story, perhaps with varying levels of knowledge, there is substantial evidence of Conspiracy.

    Just as an aside I don’t think police were with the 3 all the time. Neighbor across the street saw Joe in his underwear on the porch. At no time could this have been possible according to police reports. Victor was on porch-Joe was upstairs. Joe came down and was spoken to by Officer Dunham who told him to put clothes on. She left with Robert.

    So at what point was Joe on porch?

    This is not a murder case so the prosecution does not have to supply a scenario of what really happened. The judge only has to be convinced that the 3 know more than they are telling and impeded a murder investigation. I don’t think she even needs to know the motive to convict.

    • Ivan
      06/16/2010 at 11:27 AM

      Could wrap up Eng. Hope Glenn & Co. read it.

  27. emg
    06/16/2010 at 9:57 AM

    This trial is not over. Next is the Defense and we may see the defendants part ways for self preservation, possibly opening opportunities for the prosecution on cross examination and re-direct.

    It appears that significant information was stipulated yesterday that we have not seen- phone call logs; time line of activites of each person the day of the murder; e-mails, etc. that could be incriminating but are indisputable.

    In a jury trial they would want it introduced in testimony so they could spin it for a jury. They recognize that is a waste of time with the judge who is not likely to be influenced by spin.

  28. weaver
    06/16/2010 at 10:09 AM

    I’m continuing to read here and I continue to be amazed that the defendants weren’t charged with murder. As far as I am concerned they are– at the very least– accomplices, and that deserves a murder charge. I think they will be found guilty, and I hope that once they are in prison somebody will start talking, because at that point they will literally be trying to save their own asses. Prison is not a nice place, as I said before, and for these guys who are used to living in nice places with their “family” it will be a nightmare. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for them, it is so obvious to me that they are involved in this horrible murder.

    All that being said, does anybody know WHY additional toxicology has not been done?? Unbelievable that it has not been identified what agent was used on Wone.

    Also, does anybody know if Wone drove himself to the townhouse? There is evidence he swiped his card at the station, but does anybody really know what happened after that? The call to Price could have been staged. I still get the feeling Wone was not killed in the townhouse. I don’t believe he threw his clothes on the floor… the whole things was staged.

    I hope Kathy Wone has a very good private investigator.

    • emg
      06/16/2010 at 10:15 AM

      Robert took a cab and apparently that was verified, although we have not seen evidence of that. He also apparently called Joe at 10:22pm and said he was just a few minutes away.

    • chilaw79
      06/16/2010 at 10:23 AM

      I have wondered about whether Wone had an automobile. It seems he did not. The evidence was that he walked to the CLE course at the DC Bar building, then to the radio facility, and then took a taxi to Swann Street. I assumed he took the Metro to work and did not drive. This makes his decision to stay over night in DC a little more reasonable. Alternatively, maybe the parking garage closed so he could not get his car out.

      I think the state of his clothes makes it possible that Wone was undressed (and redressed) by someone else (and I am not talking unknown intruder here).

      • weaver
        06/16/2010 at 10:52 AM

        Okay thanks for the info about the cab, I was wondering if somebody could have picked him up.

        I’m wondering if Wone was incapacitated as soon as he walked in by way of a rag soaked in ether and then further incapacitated by the injections. There was evidence of pressure on the face. IIRC inhaled ether would not last all that long, but would incapacitate long enough to allow for injections without resistance. Again I have to ask, why wasn’t a more comprehensive toxicology done??

        IMO the defendants are guilty of murder.

        • chilaw79
          06/16/2010 at 10:59 AM

          The basic answer is the ME did not take enough blood soon enough to test for every possible toxin. Also, some toxins are metabolized quickly and apparently are difficult to discover even under the best of circumstances. Apparently, the DC forensic and medical examiner facilities are not as good as those on the various CSI programs.

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 10:54 AM

        Morning Chilaw – Kathy and Robert had one car that they would drive each work day to the Metro station near their home in Oakton, VA. If they did not return home together, one would pick up the other after his/her later arrival.

        Because Robert was going to be so very late on the evening of August 2nd, he didn’t want Kathy to have to return to the Metro station after midnight. She had only just recently recovered and returned to work from her hip replacement surgery.

        I hope that helps to answer your question about the car.
        Kate

        • chilaw79
          06/16/2010 at 11:01 AM

          Thanks, Kate. That makes a lot of sense to me. I figured it was something like that.

  29. LRN
    06/16/2010 at 11:03 AM

    I’m so engrossed in this trial which seems to be consuming my thoughts. But I digress. After I read Sara Sidle’s post my mind started to wander on the possibility that what if Robert was immediately drugged in the kitchen when they were all supposed to be having water–with lots of GHB.

    What if everything took place in the kitchen? Robert may collapsed in the kitchen from the drugging and the assault may have taken place there. Maybe he tried to wake up and the stabbing occurred right then and there (close to the knives). Body is dragged upstairs for shower and “placement” on the bed? If Victor is on the 3rd floor this entire time, one could say he may not have heard anything. Did Victor end up coming back downstairs to see what was going on? Was Joe taking too long to get to bed?

    The other thing that is really bothering me is that the first officer that took down the first report is not being called to be a witness.

  30. Tribe97
    06/16/2010 at 6:28 PM

    The more I look at the evidence of obstruction/tampering, the more I think of the doctrine in tort law of res ipsa loquitor (Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”). Res ipsa loquitor stands for the proposition that “in some circumstances, the mere fact of an accident’s occurence raises an inference of negligence so as to establish a prima facie case.” The classic example, if I remember correctly, was of a woman walking down the street being hit over the head with a bag of flour that has fallen from a building above her. How would such a thing happen without someone being negligent?

    The facts of this case, to me, would argue for an application of a similar concept. How would a body come to lose 4 pints of blood, and yet there is no blood at the scene, absent tampering? How could the body have been moved (as it most certainly must have been, since there was no blood on the bed yet there was blood on Mr. Wone’s t-shirt), absent tampering?

    Also, as an aside, to those who still stand by the “intruder” theory, riddle me this: How would an intruder have been able to incapacitate Mr. Wone, as must have been done in order to both sexually assault and stab him without encountering any resistance? It seems that whoever committed this crime must have had access to Mr. Wone prior to the assault in order to drug him so that he would be incapacitated at the time of the assault. So do those perpetrating the intruder theory think that the intruder went straight to the kitchen, made Mr. Wone a nice cup of soup laced with Special K, went up to his room, spent some quality time with him while he ate the soup, waited until the Special K took effect, and then assaulted him?

    To me, the fact that Robert Wone must have been incapacitated prior to the assault is another argument along the res ipsa line: how would the perpetrator have incapacitated Mr. Wone, absent prior access to Mr. Wone that allowed them to administer whatever drug was used to incapacitate him? And if the perpetrator had prior access to Mr. Wone, how could they be a random intruder?

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