Day 16: Updates

5:00pm Update: Adjournment

A full recap of the day’s activity hits around 7:00pmET…  The prosecution finds its feet and the defense tries to trip them up.

3:00pm Update – If the Knife Doesn’t Fit…

Detective Bryan Waid was called back to the stand to authenticate the “exemplar” knife obtained by MPD to act as a dummy of the missing Ward knife.  Waid calls Wusthoff, gives them the set number, Wusthoff sends knife to Waid.  Easy, yes?

Not for David Schertler.  Objections rang out through Waid’s (re-re?) direct, notably when Kirschner asked Waid to place the knife in the box.   Too late. 

Schertler quickly moved to cross.  “You think that fits?” he asked Waid.  (Wait for it).  Yes, he replied.  Judge Leibovitz sighs.

Fumbling by Schertler with knife set follows.  “Now that you’ve forced it, do you think it fits?” asks Schertler (wait for it…).  Yes, says Waid.  “Do you see how much play there is?”  Yes…

Although it must have been running through every brain in that courtroom, it’s at this point one in the media pen breaks first and whispers “…if  the knife don’t fit, you must acquit.”  Muffled groans.  [Ed note: we’ll withhold reporter’s name, unless they tell us otherwise]

Schertler worked hard to keep the knife from being admitted…to no avail.  It’s in the box, and it’s now officially part of the evidence. 

The day is not over, however.  Judge Leibovitz is reading the filings in the motion for acquittal (Rule 29) right now, and has instructed counsel – over their muted objections – that oral argument will begin today at 4pm. 

No rest for the weary today. 

 

1:30 Update

After the morning break Dr. Fowler continued compelling expert testimony as to Robert’s wounds, cardiac tamponade, knife wounds, and other forensic opinion. 

Connolly’s cross focused mostly on the opinions of a witness for the defense, Vincent Di Maio.  It’s Di Maio’s opinion that, among other things, the recovered knife is consistent with the wounds, there’s no medical evidence that Robert was immobilized, and the blood found on scene is consistent with the injuries.  (Note: Di Maio testified for the defense in the Phil Spector trial).

While Foster holds Di Maio in great esteem, and agrees with him on a number of points, there was some separation on immobilization.  “You could come to that opinion,” offered Fowler, but said he found it hard to believe.  “Is his opinion unreasonable?” asked Connolly.  “No, he’s entitled to it,” responded Fowler, to court-room laughter.

Bernie Grimm brought back show and tell to the proceedings.  Using photos, posters, quarters, rulers, syringes, and an oversized cut-away model of the human heart (“certainly not the size of a heart of a lawyer,” he quipped), Grimm tried hard to knock small holes into Fowler’s findings. 

Discussing tamponade, Grimm had Fowler demonstrate on the model with the exemplar knife the nature of Robert’s highest wound – the one that punctured the sternum, pericardial sac and aortic root.  He tried to connect “closed” vs. “open” tamponade – unsuccessfully.  Using the quarter, ruler and syringe he tried build the argument that Robert’s wound “gushed” blood into the pericardial sac, rendering him immobile in seconds.  Not really so much, according to Fowler.

(Ed note: In our wrap up post today we’ll include more direct quotes.  For the moment we just want to hit the basics.)

David Schertler’s cross seemed to stem from base-line arguments about the limits of medical certainty.  “There’s a bit of guesstimating here,” he noted about Fowler’s estimates of tamponade within 30-40 seconds, and unconsciousness 8-10 seconds later.  Fowler parried each of Schertler’s thrusts. 

The arguments got even more basic.  “Just because there’s no evidence of movement doesn’t mean Mr. Wone didn’t move, is that correct?”  “Yes, responded Fowler, but with a larger sense of “…and?” hanging in the room.   While never arguing with defense counsel, and granting a number of their points, Fowler seemed to wrap each cross with just a bit more credibility. 

Kirschner re-direct followed, put back on the table was the issue of knife size; specifically that the missing knife from Ward’s bedroom is more consistent with the wounds and evidence found than the knife found at the crime scene. 

Using today’s first-learned information of bruising found above the top (sternum) wound on Robert, Kirschner asked Fowler to compare knife lengths (5 5/8″ for the found knife, approx. 4 1/2″ for the exemplar missing knife), bruise locations, hilt size, asking which would be more likely to be the weapon.  

For Fowler, the 5 5/8″ knife was “getting a little long…at the high edge of consistency”, while the 4 1/2″ knife was “right in the middle of the range.” 

Last note: Kirschner followed up with Tom Connolly’s earlier question if the blood found on the scene was consistent with the wounds.  “Yes, but…”, replied Fowler, with  Connolly declining to follow up on “but.”  Not Mr. Kirschner.

In Dr. Fowler’s mind, any pressure being applied to the right side of Robert to stanch blood flow would have resulted in more blood being moved to the right of his body…and more blood being pressed or just oozing on that side.  No evidence of that was found.

Earlier updates from the morning session follow. 

10:45 Update: Ending with a Bang

Dr. David Fowler took the stand today, and has commanded the courtroom for the last hour and a half.

Board certified on two continents, author, lecturer, conductor of over 6,000 autopsies, and Chief Medical Examiner for Maryland the last eight years, Dr. Fowler has marched the court through a wide range of information on Wone’s autopsy.

Much more to come later, but things we’re learning:  there were abrasions – bruises – near the highest wound on Robert – the one through his sternum.  These bruises, on a 4-5″ wound, are highly consistent with the hilt of the knife striking the body. 

Also from Fowler: “The orientation of the wounds immediately catches your eye.  It’s very unusual for an individual to stay still enough.”

Also learning: his findings were peer reviewed; his vast experience with knife wounds while practicing in South Africa; Robert’s open cardiac tamponade – nor the three wounds in conjunction – would have incapacitated Robert immediately; and the “remarkable” similarity of the knife wounds. 

 

 

9:00am Update:  Light Trial Schedule, Heavy Decisions

Dr. David Fowler

Dr. David Fowler

The prosecution intends to rest today after calling its final two witnesses.  One of the two will be Dr. David Fowler, Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Maryland. He will back up the testimony of DC Deputy Medical Examiner Lois Gosilnoski.  Fowler’s testimony is crucial for the prosecution for several reasons.  He is not only board certified, something that Goslinoski is not, but he is double board certified in anatomic and forensic pathology.  Goslinoski suffered a withering attack from the defense for failing to pass the board exam twice, so the defense will not able to pursue this line of attack against Fowler.  Fowler is also expected to testified that Robert did not die instantly from cardiac tamponade.

The other witness hadn’t been scheduled until AUSA Glenn Kirschner found out yesterday afternoon during the stipulations’ portion that the photo of the replica of the missing knife from Dylan Ward’s room had not actually been entered as evidence into the trial. While he thought it had been entered, he quickly recovered and said that the prosecution would call another witness to ensure that it was.

After these two witnesses, the prosecution will rest their case.

Then Rule 29 motion to acquit from the defense and the government’s response, even in an outline form, have to be in hands of the Judge by 12 noon.  Whether Judge Liebovitz will rule immediately, take a lunch break and then decide or take the rest of the afternoon off and announce her decision tomorrow is up in the air.

Judge Liebovitz has a matter at 9:30, and this case is called to start at 9:45.

243 comments for “Day 16: Updates

  1. Lyn
    06/16/2010 at 9:39 AM

    Reading through yesterday’s posts, it seemed that many believe there is no evidence against Ward and that he will be acquitted.

    Blood was wiped on the knife found by Wone. Its size was inconsistent with the depth of the wounds. This knife was planted.

    At the same time, a knife is missing from Ward’s cutlery set. Its size and length matches the size and depth of the wounds.

    For the judge to acquit Ward, she has to believe that an intruder came in the house, entered Ward’s room while he was sleeping, found the cutlery set, removed the knife, used it to kill Wone, and then took the knife with him as he left. Do any of you really believe that an intruder came in the house and took a knife from Ward’s room without waking him (let alone killing him)?

    • ccf
      06/16/2010 at 10:04 AM

      It doesn’t have to be an intruder. If it can be established that one of the two other defendants took the knife from him, he could be guilty of conspiracy. Disclaimer: Not a lawyer.

    • Bill Orange
      06/16/2010 at 10:57 AM

      Without the actual knife in evidence, I’d be hesitant to call this “strong” evidence. I think you may be misreading the posts from yesterday, though. I think the consensus is that the case against Dylan is the weakest of the three, which isn’t the same as “no evidence against Ward”. Joe and Victor are essentially tied together by the 911 call and their statements to the police.

      If you conclude that the 911 call was delayed, then they’re both guilty of obstruction and conspiracy. Dylan, on the other hand, has a little wiggle room. His lawyer can argue that he took a sleeping pill, so he was sleeping very soundly, and he slept for 15+ minutes after Joe and Victor found the body, and he didn’t come out of his room until right around the time Victor called 911. Frankly, if I were his defense lawyer, I’d have to practice saying that several times before I could do it without rolling my eyes.

    • "That's the Power of Pine Sol, Baby"
      06/16/2010 at 1:51 PM

      What if the defense produces testimony that says Ward’s knife set had been missing the knife in question before he owned it? Has Ward’s attorney not indicated that there were previous owners of Ward’s knife set, and that the knife police theorize was disposed of was never in Ward’s possession?

      It seems like establishing that detail would unravel a lot of what Lyn poses above.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/16/2010 at 1:57 PM

        It’s already been said by the defense that the missing knife was in Seattle.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/16/2010 at 1:58 PM

          And by the way PineSol, is that they name you are sticking with?

          • PineSol
            06/16/2010 at 2:10 PM

            Maybe, maybe not. Don’t want to make the editors look bad, though. For now.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/16/2010 at 2:16 PM

              I’m sure they’ll notice any new names on your part.

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 2:25 PM

                Why is it that the majority of the defense supporters here come off as (internet) trolls with multiple personalities?

            • Carolina
              06/16/2010 at 2:22 PM

              It doesn’t actually matter if it’s Dylan’s knife. It only matters that it wasn’t the knife found at the scene.

              And what about the playmat question posed to you?

              Or maybe you can tell us who gives a chef (as Dylan was in that incarnation) a partial set? To be honest, they could say the knife had been in Seattle, but it wouldn’t necessarily make it the truth.

      • Goose
        06/16/2010 at 3:59 PM

        “In cross-examination, defense attorney Thomas Connolly of Wiltshire & Grannis asked Fowler if the knife found near Wone’s body was the one that killed Wone. Fowler said yes.”

        Um, what?

        • gertiestn
          06/16/2010 at 4:01 PM

          Yeah, I wondered about that, too. I’d trust WMRW reports over Legal Times on this point, though.

          • Deb
            06/16/2010 at 4:26 PM

            Thanks for grabbing that. I didn’t have time to go back and grab the sentence when I first read it, so I just quick grabbed the link in hopes there were some astute readers who would figure out the why of the link.

            Thanks, guys!

  2. Hoya Loya
    06/16/2010 at 9:56 AM

    I don’t think any of the witnesses up to now successfully tied Dylan’s knife to the wounds. Thay may change today and and if so could change the picture.

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

      Yes, indeed, Hoya Loya.

      I also wonder if the mysterious missing knife has completed its long wagon train journey from Seattle to DC. It was mentioned in defense opening statements as having been there for many years … will it arrive with the Borax?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/16/2010 at 2:11 PM

      That’s interesting HL. Personally, I find it more compelling in the tampering case to prove the existing knife does NOT fit the wounds.

      I would think tying the missing knife to the wounds would be more beneficial in a murder trial.

  3. Kate
    06/16/2010 at 10:13 AM

    Good lord – I really dated myself with the “Wagon Train” allusion. But I must state that I only saw the show as a wee girl, watching the reruns of the reruns.

    Cheers,
    Kate

    • AnnaZed
      06/16/2010 at 11:25 AM

      The wagon train is still on the Borax box. Borax is an essential product in my opinion.

      This business of the knife having been living a blameless and chaste life in Seattle all of this time is only an assertion, nothing more. Still, if Dylan’s “special” knife (Daddy’s knife?) was in circulation in the house for other reasons then its being missing does not definitively demonstrate to me that Dylan “had to have” removed it from its box that night to engage in murdering Robert. Joe might well have had it all along, or Victor even, or another shorter paring knife all together might have been used to murder Robert and have been spirited away.

      I am convinced by my own culinary observations that there is a very high likelihood that the prosecution can demonstrate that Robert’s wounds were not made by the boning knife that was offered to them at the scene as being the murder weapon. The length of that particular knife and its distinctive arcing blade culminating in an outcurve near the handle is very different from a shorter continuous line blade paring knife, very different indeed.

      Having said all of that, I was struck by the opinion of a poster in yesterday’s thread that the reason that Dylan’s interrogation seemed so seamless and convincing was possibly because as the alpha perpetrator he was the one most in possession of facts. So, this is not to opine that Dylan is innocent of these charges, or even of murder, but to say that so far I don’t see it as having been proven.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/16/2010 at 11:29 AM

        And even if that knife was in Seattle, it doesn’t mean another knife wasn’t used.

        • Bea
          06/16/2010 at 11:55 AM

          As in whether a replacement knife (as the prosecution purchased) long ago completed the set even if the original was in Seattle. If the set was Dyl’s special set, seems it would have been made complete long ago.

          That said, I wonder if there was a sex play knife that was used – and that one would definitely have to go away considering what might be found on it.

          • chilaw79
            06/16/2010 at 3:31 PM

            Bea,

            I hesitate to ask, but what is a sex play knife?

            • Bea
              06/16/2010 at 4:58 PM

              I don’t think it’s a term of art. I just assume that a knife could have been among their toys (and someone indicated that knife play was fairly common). I’m not saying that prior to that knife the defendant(s) would have stabbed anyone with intention of killing them, but it seems these guys were not faint of heart. It would not surprise me if there was such a knife and that such a knife might be peppered with DNA that I’d really rather not dwell on.

              • chilaw79
                06/16/2010 at 5:51 PM

                I was hoping it was not a term of art and just descriptive.

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 7:46 PM

                Compared to some of their other kinks, knife play seems almost vanilla.

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 1:20 PM

        Very interesting thoughts and observations, Anna , CD and Bea – the prosecution’s theory regarding the knife has always perplexed me – and most others, as well.

        It could be a simple case of a partial heirloom knife set tucked away in Ward’s closet – not used but kept for sentimental value only. Although this seems rather odd for a graduate of the Culinary Institute, as Anna and other foodies have wisely pointed out.

        And as Anna has also written the defense has only asserted that the knife is in Seattle.

        I’m not a trial lawyer and would therefore like to ask: Isn’t making such an assertion about the knife a risky move by the defense if they haven’t got the proof? Or are unsupported assertions made in order to cast doubt?

        Many thanks for your insight into this,
        Kate

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 1:23 PM

          I forgot to add for Anna – thanks for the up-date on Borax – it loomed large in the home of my youth. I’m feeling better knowing it’s still out there!

        • Liam
          06/16/2010 at 7:48 PM

          Dumb questions and observations from me:

          The knife found on (or placed on) Mr. Wone’s body was one of the defendants’ knives from their kitchen downstairs? In other words, it wasn’t a knife left by the intruder.

          I wonder why Price pulled the knife out (he did say he pulled it out of his body and wiped it off, right?). If you’ve ever been a fan of these medical dramas (ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Emergency, Medical Center), there is always an episode or three where someone is stabbed or impaled by some random object (a pipe or a two-by-four) and they always say that YOU SHOULDN’T PULL IT OUT.

          I believe the reason you don’t pull it out is that more damage could be done if it’s just pulled out.

          I don’t know, but if I ever came across someone with a knife in them (and they weren’t screaming “puIl it out”) I’d leave it in and make sure a doctor (surgeon) removed it. Seems stupid to pulL it out.

        • Carolina
          06/16/2010 at 7:50 PM

          Regardless of where the other knife is, the whole point is that it is not the knife the cops found on the bedside table.

          I have said this so many times it feels ridiculous, but who in the hell gives a chef a partial set? “Oh you can have this set, but I’m very attached to the paring.” No, they’d be far more likely to either buy a new set, either for a gift or to keep.

          All of that aside, I wouldn’t be inclined to believe anyone saying that knife was now and had always resided in Seattle. When your kid is on trial and possibly implicated in a murder, truth takes a back seat.

          • Tarfunk
            06/16/2010 at 8:12 PM

            If that knife were really in Seattle, can you NOT imagine the defense getting it here come hell or high water? I totally agree with you that it doesn’t matter where that knife is given what the prosecution has to prove, but I’d bet my first born (if I had one) that it ain’t in Seattle.

            • Bea
              06/16/2010 at 8:47 PM

              The defense better have a person in court with the knife saying that it was always with him/her during 2006. I assume from Schertler’s discussion of the knife numbers matching that this will occur.

              Not that it means that the “plant” weapon was the murder weapon.

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 9:12 PM

                Or that someone wouldn’t lie about the Travelin’ Knife.

          • Liam
            06/16/2010 at 8:47 PM

            Maybe they gave him the set 15 years ago….before he decided he was a chef….or a massage therapist….or an author of children’s books….or a fund raiser…or a sexual freak….or a…..

            • Liam
              06/16/2010 at 8:50 PM

              ……murderer.

    • ladyg
      06/16/2010 at 1:13 PM

      kate,good save. lol!

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 1:37 PM

        Thanks Ladyg – I was born in 1960 and have come to realize that some of the younger folks here might not always know what I’m talking about when it comes to word play references to the past.

        • ladyg
          06/16/2010 at 1:43 PM

          we have to stay current. anyways i’m 5yrs, ahead of you, at times i have to come off as a youngun. that should keep a smile on your face?! slol!

    • gertiestn
      06/16/2010 at 1:32 PM

      I saw “Wagon Train” when it was brand new. And I can still walk and talk and find the keyboard.

      Sometimes.

  4. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 10:59 AM

    Doug,

    Are they showing autopsy photos in the courtroom? It sounds like Fowler is the “CSI” witness. I don’t expect (or want) to see the photos myself, but I’m hoping that the judge can see them.

    • ladyg
      06/16/2010 at 1:20 PM

      i just knew that “CSI”, would come thru for the prosecution. dr.fowler, must be grissom’s brother from a different mother.

    • Leo
      06/16/2010 at 5:58 PM

      A friend and I attended the trial today. Yes, Bill O, both sides were displaying big reprints of autopsy photos (whole body and various portions of the torso, plus photos of organs and a piece of the sternum), but they were VERY careful to tilt the poster boards such that only the witness (Dr. Fowler) and the Judge could view them. From where I was sitting in the small courtroom, I could occasionally get a brief glimpse of the photo as it was being presented to the witness and the Judge.

      If there were a jury, everyone in the courtroom would be subjected to the photos, since the jury box is right in front of the small seating area for spectators. I spent a lot of the day staring over at the defendants to see their reactions (if any) to the testimony or the comments of the Judge or their lawyers. Victor always looked down whenever an autopsy photo was presented, so that he could not possibly have to see it. Joe and Dylan observed closely throughout the day. It seemed to me that Joe literally has to hold himself back from joining in with his lawyer’s private confabulations with the others on the defense team. Joe wheels around a huge litigation bag, like he is a trial attorney, and takes copious notes in a big spiral notebook spread out on his lap.

      I saw him state something in an animated way to his attorney Bernie Grimm at one point, just like he was second chairing the trial. Dylan and Victor do not interact with their attorneys, although each of them appears to have been assigned a female “caretaker” from the defense team who accompanies each of these defendants everywhere. I don’t know if these women are associates at the law firms, or paralegals, but they provide a security blanket for VZ and DW. Joe doesn’t seem to need one. I did not notice any of the defendants speaking with one another at all during the trial, though they would group together, with the female assistants, in the third floor lobby at each break. Their lawyers may have advised them not to be whispering together in front of the judge as the trial proceeds, for good reason.

      I also believe Victor’s parents and possibly brother (?) attended the trial today; as well as Kathy Wone and two older women who may have been relatives of hers. The courtroom was in fact packed today, as many seemed to want to see how the prosecution was going to wrap up its sometimes somewhat rambling case.

      Like FormerSexOffenderProsecutor, Doug and others, I believe the prosecution definitely managed to end its case with a bang, not a whimper. Dr. David Fowler was most impressive, and his credentials were impeccable. He has performed approximately 1000 autopsies of decedents who died from sharp force wounds (ie, stabbing), with most of his experience in South Africa. He has been the Chief Medical Examiner for Maryland for about 8 years and is board certified in two pathology specialties.

      He was a knowledgeable, calm, well-informed witness who came across as eminently reasonable, agreeing with the defense lawyers whenever they would ask him if it was possible that another expert might come to a different conclusion. Adding to his credibility was his distinguised South African accent–sort of British with a twist. Yes, someone’s demeanor, including tone of voice and physical appearance, impacts a factfinder’s determinations as to credibility.

      As Dr. Fowler put it, his field deals in many facts that can’t be disputed (eg, size of an injury or wound, nature of a tissue sample, etc), but also requires interpretation of those facts, about which reasonable people can differ. The Judge appeared to find him quite credible and reliable, and asked many of her own questions of him to make sure she clearly understood his testimony and the points the defense counsel were making. I believe he came across as a credible expert on whose testimony she can rely. If other experts testify for the defense just as credibly and reliably, then she will have to decide whose opinion makes the most sense, but for today she clearly was listening closely to Dr. Fowler.

      The points he emphasized clearly and consistently, on direct and throughout all three cross examinations, were that in his experience (1000 knife wound autopsies compared to 45 for Dr. Goslinoski), the precision of the three wounds, with no zig zagging, abrasion, or any other sign of movement while they were being inflicted, was extremely unusual. He opined and explained over and over again that none of the three wounds, nor all of them together, would have been instantly fatal or rendered Robert Wone immediately unconscious and unable to move. Instead, it would have taken from 45 to 60 seconds for these wounds to have rendered him unconscious and unable to move.

      He explained that Robert had an “open” cardiac tamponade, that is, the pericardial sac had a slit in it from the knife wound to the sternum and aortic root that would ooze blood at the same time as Robert’s heart would have continued to pump blood (with the volume of that blood decreasing with each pump as the pericardial sac gradually filled with blood from the injury to the aortic root) into the pericardial sac. With closed tamponade (no slit in the pericardial sac so no way for some of the blood filling the sac to escape, as in Robert’s case), unconsciousness and death would occur much faster. But because of the slit in the pericardial sac, the tamponade (filling of the pericardial sac with blood such that the heart is eventually so confined/constrained that it cannot pump any blood at all) was more gradual in Robert’s case, and he did not become unconscious, in Dr. Fowler’s unshakeable opinion, for 45 to 60 seconds.

      Dr. Fowler noted a few times (because he kept being asked the same questions by the various defense counsel and the Judge) that it takes from 5 to 8 seconds for a person whose heart is no longer pumping to lose consciousness; everyone’s brain has about 5-8 seconds’ worth of oxygen and glucose in it to continue remaining conscious for that period of time. After that, without more blood, lights out. Dr. Fowler also emphasized that the utter lack of defensive wounds on Robert’s extremities was very unusual and not at all what a medical examiner typically sees with a stabbing victim. He noted that the needle puncture marks on the ankle were highly unusual and certainly would not have been made by any ER nurse of physician during resuscitation. I can’t remember if he thought these puncture marks were pre- or post-mortem, but there was one set of needle punctures that he believed occurred before Robert died.

      To me, these were the strongest points Dr Fowler made. He was questioned extensively about the knife and the depth of the wounds and the degree of variation one can see in the depth of a wound from a certain length of knife blade given the state of the victim’s respiration (was he breathing out or breathing in when struck by the blade), the layout of his internal organs (everyone’s anatomy is a bit different), and the force with which the knife blow is dealt.

      Like Dr. Goslinoski, he could not rule out the knife that was found on the nightstand as the murder weapon, though it was an inch longer than the “missing” knife from Dylan’s cutlery set. Robert’s wounds measured between 4 and 5 inches in depth, and there was bruising from the hilt of the knife on the wound to Robert’s sternum, as if the murder knife had been plunged quite forcefully into Robert’s chest. The “missing” knife from the cutlery set, that Detective Waid had the knife co. (Wusthof) “replace” for him, was 5 5/8 inches long. I can’t remember how long the nightstand knife was. Kirschner got Dr. Fowler to agree that the length of the “replacement” knife was closer to the depth of Robert’s wounds than the nightstand knife. But–a lot of other factors can affect how deep a wound goes as explained above. So I did not think the govt scored a slam dunk on its missing knife theory at all. Maybe Doug has a better sense of exactly what was said on this issue as he was taking detailed notes and I am summarizing from memory (like those lame detectives).

      Fascinating day in court, I could not help wondering what each of the defendants was thinking as each point was made, as each exhibit was shown, as each lawyer spoke. I introduced myself to Doug and David, whom I happened to be seated next to, and thanked them for all their work on this case. They claim they know nothing about these legal issues, but they are doing a fantastic job summarizing the issues and testimony as laymen.

      • Leo
        06/16/2010 at 6:13 PM

        I got the knife lengths mixed up–per Doug’s recap post above,

        “Kirschner asked Fowler to compare knife lengths (5 5/8″ for the found knife, approx. 4 1/2″ for the exemplar missing knife), bruise locations, hilt size, asking which would be more likely to be the weapon. For Fowler, the 5 5/8″ knife [this is the one found on the nightstand] was “getting a little long…at the high edge of consistency” [given the depth of Robert’s wounds], while the 4 1/2″ knife [the “missing” knife that Detective Waid obtained] was “right in the middle of the range.”

        • Carolina
          06/16/2010 at 8:03 PM

          That was one hell of a summary. Thank you.

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 7:20 PM

        Great eyewitness reporting, Leo – many, many thanks.

        We all appreciate your efforts.
        Kate

        • weaver
          06/16/2010 at 8:10 PM

          Yes thank you so much!

      • chilaw79
        06/16/2010 at 8:48 PM

        Thanks for the first-hand report. Having both tried cases and sat as a juror, it always is interesting to get an assessment from someone who actually saw and heard the trial. It is much different than reading a transcript.

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 9:12 PM

        Many thanks, Leo.

        • susan
          06/16/2010 at 11:23 PM

          Thanks, Leo. I was there this a.m. and could not have recapped as well as you.

          The Dr. said the needle marks on the ankle were “antemortem” which apparently means pre-death.

          Speaking of which, I don’t know if it was discussed here, but this friend of mine told me today that there’s some drug commonly used in ERs and possibly in the gay community called–I know I have this wrong, but something like Narcan, that can remove traces of other drugs, such as Ketamine.

          To Doug: It was a pleasure to meet you today, and thanks again to you and the editors at WKRW for putting out this site and doing such an awe-inspiring job of it.

          BTW, my impression of VZ’s demeanor was that he seemed fairly defiant. I also have to say, it sure looked by design to have Zaborsky and Ward sitting together separated by a female atty or aide and then J. Price. By design to give them the appearance of not just physical separation but separation from conspiring to obstruct. If so, the illusion didn’t work on me.

  5. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 11:01 AM

    Wow, just realized the photo was of David Fowler. (At first I thought it was that guy from “Lost”, and I just wasn’t getting the pop culture reference.) He even LOOKS like someone from “CSI”.

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 12:26 PM

      I was thinking of the good doctor as more Jean Reno as Leon, from “The Professional.”

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000606/

      I have a feeling he’s going to be just that for the prosecution.

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 12:33 PM

        Thanks Carolina – I was wondering who he reminded me of! By the ay, I use imdb.com often – a great site.

        Cheers,
        Kate

  6. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/16/2010 at 11:32 AM

    Bruising/abrasions are consistent with the hilt hitting the body….and clearly the knife at the scene did not have blood on the hilt.

    • cinnamon
      06/16/2010 at 11:42 AM

      …and the knife that was found at the scene would have produced deeper wounds if the hilt hit the body.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/16/2010 at 12:00 PM

        Score for the prosecution.

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 12:34 PM

          Yep.

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 1:22 PM

        Very damning testimony re the knife – never made sense to me that pushing through cartilage wouldn’t result in a wound that was “to the hilt” of the knife, and now we know. “Plant” knife was the wrong size.

        Also, with nods to CD for posting news link below, we have testimony that the needle marks were made while he was alive. While the Judge will still rule how she will, the chance that this was an intruder who killed Robert within 5 minutes is put to bed. That masked man would not have had the time to inject Robert numerous times, get him to the point where he was nonreactive, and then stab him three times within the time frame offered by the Defendants.

        • Hoya Loya
          06/16/2010 at 2:43 PM

          Bea:

          This is a good example of the ups and downs you see in a trial from day to day, as you’ve reminded us repeatedly. After yesterday’s lackluster performance, the prosecution is indeed going out with a bang.

          Someone here (former prosecutor? Bill O.?) predicted that Fowler was the government’s ace in the hole – they should speak up and take a bow for that prediction. In just a few hours, Fowler has, at least for the purposes of Rule 29, established that the knife found was likely not the murder weapon, that “Dylan’s knife” is a more likely weapon, put the tamponade/immobility/no bleeding theory to bed and confirmed pre-mortem needle marks. His testimony both confirms and builds upon that of the ME, which is strengthened in retrospect. And with his points taken collectively and in combination with the testimony of the detectives and burglary expert, it is not reasonable to suspect an intruder.

          The defense now has no choice but to put on experts to establish doubt on these issues. My hunch is that Liebowitz reserves decision on the Rule 29 motions so that she can hear from DeMaio, Lee and the other defense experts.

          • Bea
            06/16/2010 at 2:49 PM

            Hoya, not that it really matters because the judge can always make the do-over call when the defense rests, but something in my memory is that in BENCH trials the judge cannot reserve ruling until later but must rule before the defense case. I may be wrong – Themis, you out there?

            • Hoya Loya
              06/16/2010 at 2:59 PM

              Could be — rings a bell from a recent post. Hope Themis is out there to weigh in.

              If she must rule, then the prosecution may have increased its odds of clearing the Rule 29 hurdle significantly.

          • Former Sex Offense Prosecutor
            06/16/2010 at 3:37 PM

            Thanks for the nod, Hoya Loya, you are too kind. I did attempt to bring awareness to this site of the impressive background, double board certification, CV, courtroom presence as well as the demeanor of Maryland’s CME starting all the way back in May & did predict he would be hitting the ball out of the park. “Look for the strong finish to the weak start. Questions will be answered, doubts will be erased…”
            All the credit really belongs to CME Fowler, he is the one who did the heavy lifting. A very powerful truth to be told.

            • Leo
              06/16/2010 at 8:47 PM

              Agree completely; a very impressive witness, who greatly impressed the judge. Now to see what and whom the defense counters with.

    • Leo
      06/16/2010 at 6:15 PM

      Interestingly, the knife found at the scene did have a “glob of adipose tissue” (fat) on it in addition to the blood, according the the blurry photo Dr. Fowler was asked about. Could fatty tissue be wiped onto a knife as well as blood? I guess so, if it was present amidst the blood supposedly used to dab onto the knife.

  7. Leonard
    06/16/2010 at 11:42 AM

    There’s no proof the knife from the set was in the house or anywhere else for that matter. We have Wards testimony he never owned it. Lacking evidence to the contrary it’s a dead end. You can conjecture that the wounds were made by a similar knife but do the forensics show the wounds could not have been made by a knife with a profile other than exactly like the missing one from Wards set?

    Would love to see something from the prosecution on the tolerances in shape and length of the murder weapon – a set of profiles within which the blade that did the deed would have to conform. You could then compare the knife found at the scene as well as a copy of the missing one. You could then get statistical data on size and shapes of knives produced and whether it was more likely a butter knife, a bread knife, a cheese spreader or a boning knife. Would narrow the field as to possibility of the knife found vs the missing one.

    • cinnamon
      06/16/2010 at 11:49 AM

      First, Dylan did not testify that he never owned the knife. That info was presented as part of the defenses opening statements. We have not heard about that yet.
      Second, the prosecution may not be able to prove that the knife that was left at the scene belonged to Dylan but today’s testimony by Fowler suggests that it couldn’t have been the murder weapon thereby indicating tampering.

      • Leo
        06/16/2010 at 6:18 PM

        Fowler most definitely did NOT testify that the knife found on the nightstand could not have been the murder weapon. On the contrary, he said it was consistent with the wounds and he could not rule it out as the murder weapon.

        • Carolina
          06/16/2010 at 9:15 PM

          But less consistent than the “missing” shorter knife, correct?

          • Bill Orange
            06/16/2010 at 9:22 PM

            That was my take on it. A scientist–particularly someone who is experienced as an expert witness–is almost never going to say “never”. If you ask a scientist an “Is it possible…?” question, the answer will almost always be yes. My impression of his testimony on the knife found at the scene was essentially that it was not very likely to be the murder weapon. Possible, but not very likely. The knife missing from Dylan’s case, on the other hand, was pretty much exactly what you’d expect the murder weapon to look like.

            • Leo
              06/16/2010 at 11:24 PM

              That would be spinning his testimony quite a bit. When pressed by Kirschner, he agreed that the longer knife (the one found on the nightstand) would be stretching the limits of what would be possible in terms of length of blade compared to depth of wound, as compared to the “missing” knife “replaced” by the prosecution, which would be “more consistent” with the depth of the wounds. The shorter knife fell right in the middle of the depth of the wounds (4 1/2″ blade and 4-5″ deep wounds), he noted. But I don’t think the prosecution has established reasonable doubt on this issue. The knife that was found could have been the murder weapon. Now, as to whether it was wiped down with blood (and a piece of fatty tissue), that testimony came from a different witness (Diedrich, the fiber expert), and his conclusions were attacked pretty strongly.

    • Also From the Post Story
      06/16/2010 at 12:44 PM

      They don’t have to show it was done with Dylan’s knife — that’s irrelevant to this trial. All they have to prove is that the bloody knife the defendants displayed to police at the scene was definitely not the murder weapon.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/16/2010 at 12:47 PM

        And it looks like it has been done beyond a reasonable doubt.

    • ladyg
      06/16/2010 at 1:25 PM

      didn’t VICTOR say in his statement, that it was one of their knives?

    • Rapt in MD
      06/16/2010 at 1:26 PM

      Has there ever been any discussion regarding exhuming Robert’s body for further examination of the wounds and to try to extract additional blood evidence from a vascular organ such as the liver? I hate the thought of this because of the pain it would cause the family, but…

      • Also From the Post Story
        06/16/2010 at 2:34 PM

        As for blood evidence, if ketamine was used every trace of it would have disappeared along ago, we’ve been told.

        • weaver
          06/16/2010 at 3:33 PM

          How would ketamine leave the tissues or blood of a dead person? There is no metabolism. Also, maybe it wasn’t ketamine.

          I hope they will pursue additional testing.

          • Carolina
            06/16/2010 at 5:02 PM

            Better look again at your K facts.

            • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
              06/17/2010 at 12:18 AM

              Why the focus on ketamine? There are other substances that when injected paralyze, then quickly dissipate in a matter of minutes without leaving any trace.
              Succinylcholine chloride was the one that then Deputy CME Fowler theorized was used in the Famous Valentine’s Weekend Mystery Murder case that took place in St. Michaels, MD in the 1998 Hricko murder. “Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler told the jury that Hricko, a
              35-year-old golf course superintendent, was probably injected with a fatal
              dose of the drug, but acknowledged that it wasn’t found in his system.
              Fowler said the drug is processed rapidly by the body and can be
              undetectable in a matter of minutes.”
              The successful theory of the case was that Kimberly Hricko intended to make it look like her husband died of smoke inhalation from careless smoking that started a fire while he was drinking. Deputy CME David Fowler was unable to find any blood alcohol or most interestingly any smoke in his lungs. This lead him to the conclusion that Mrs. Hricko inadvertently injected too much, causing her husband to die so quickly that instead of merely stopping breathing for a bit, he never took another breath which left his lungs clear of the smoke.
              It is possible that something like that happened here, CME Fowler was clearly indicating that the injection marks by the ankles were made while Mr. Wone was alive, & could not be related to any EMT efforts to provide medical assistance.
              If Mr. Wone was injected with the intent to incapacitate him for a period of time with the same or a similar drug as in the Hricko case which resulted in killing him instead, there is no trace of that class of drug that is left after a few minutes.
              The Hricko case may be read here- http://www.courts.state.md.us/opinions/cosa/2000/255s99.pdf, you will find the Deputy CME David Fowler’s testimony intriguing.
              Also, prepare yourself for Judge Moylan’s whimsical literary approach to murder most foul.

  8. weaver
    06/16/2010 at 12:00 PM

    Does anybody know if these guys have spent any time in custody yet or have they been out on bail the whole time?

    • Ivan
      06/16/2010 at 12:07 PM

      I think Dylan spent some time in a cell (a day or two) last fall in Miami but I’m not 100% certain.

      • Kate
        06/16/2010 at 12:40 PM

        Ivan and weaver – according to the defense motion to dismiss documents (if I recall correctly) Ward was arrested in Florida and later transfered to a federal facility in Oklahoma, before arriving in DC – he remained in custody for just under a month.

        Hope that is of help,
        Kate

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 12:41 PM

          Sorry, to repeat what has been posted below – I hadn’t read that far down the thread.

          • Ivan
            06/17/2010 at 9:30 AM

            No problem. Thanks for the information. When you say “in custody” you mean in a cell? Anyway, I can’t imagine Dyl in a Oklahoma prison.

    • chilaw79
      06/16/2010 at 12:10 PM

      Yes, but only Dylan Ward. Price and Zaborsky surrendered themselves and were out on bail almost immediately, although they did have to wear electronic monitoring devices.

      • Ivan
        06/17/2010 at 9:35 AM

        Do you know how much bail they had to post?

    • Bea
      06/16/2010 at 12:16 PM

      I believe Dylan was in custody for three-four weeks during extradition from Miami to DC. Joe spent one night in jail, but Victor did not. They wore bracelets and were subject to drug testing for a short while in the beginning following the indictments.

      • Craig
        06/16/2010 at 12:28 PM

        Ward had a one month road trip, visiting several federal facilities in the Fall of 2008, courtesy of the J and the US Marshalls.

        • AnnaZed
          06/16/2010 at 12:46 PM

          It is very interesting that this long incarceration did not “break” Dylan or cause him to start talking. Either, as he asserts, he knows nothing or he is so involved that no deal could include a promise of liberty and he is gambling that even a conviction on these charges would result in less time than the alternatives if everything were known about that night.

          • Bea
            06/16/2010 at 1:26 PM

            Agree, AnnaZ. I have a hard time believing he was 15 feet away while all this occurred and did not hear anything except a high pitched noise which did not fully rouse him and then Victor’s scream (which he thought was J & V arguing perhaps). Dumb like a fox in having no recollection and taking absolutely no action? I really can’t imagine facing this scene and then sitting on the 2nd floor sofa, not if an intruder murdered a guest, but we’ll have to see whether there’s enough evidence to keep Dylan in the case.

          • ladyg
            06/16/2010 at 1:31 PM

            don’t forget that dylan likes the cell/dungeon scene. just w/o the whips, mask and chains.

    • weaver
      06/16/2010 at 12:19 PM

      Okay thanks. I for one will be glad when they are all doing prison terms.

      • Bill
        06/16/2010 at 1:40 PM

        I wouldn’t be doing high-fives yet. These guys have bought a $1-million defense which has yet to be put on. I, for one, am not at all certain that they will be convicted.

        • weaver
          06/16/2010 at 1:47 PM

          I would bet money they will be convicted. Bill the facts speak for themselves. No person in their right mind would buy an intruder did this…. the judge is probably wondering why they aren’t on trial for murder! I know I sure am! A bazillion dollar defense can’t change the obvious.

          • KV
            06/16/2010 at 2:27 PM

            “A bazillion dollar defense can’t change the obvious.”

            It worked in OJ’s first trial.

            • Carolina
              06/16/2010 at 2:54 PM

              But not so much in the civil.

              • KV
                06/16/2010 at 3:13 PM

                Very true. Thank goodness the Wone family has that fallback where the burden of proof is lower.

                • Carolina
                  06/16/2010 at 5:04 PM

                  Another thing to remember is that OJ got a jury trial who wouldn’t have convicted him if they’d had tape of him pulling the knife out of Nicole’s throat.

                  As for the judge, well, you’ve not heard of Lance Ito lately, have you? This judge is no Lance Ito.

            • emg
              06/16/2010 at 2:59 PM

              I doubt the Judge will be so easily swayed as the OJ jury was. You could have shown that jury a video of the murder and a full confession and they still would have acquitted.

              • weaver
                06/16/2010 at 3:38 PM

                OJ’s defense proved that evidence was planted by law enforcement, and that is when Henry Lee said the bit about if you find a cock roach in a bowl of spaghetti do you keep eating or do you throw the whole bowl away (paraphrased)…. that is why he was acquitted… JMO
                No such issues in this case.

                • Carolina
                  06/16/2010 at 5:05 PM

                  OJ’s defense proved no such thing, and this case *does* have similar issues. Thankfully, what this case doesn’t have is a jury or Lance Ito.

                • Bill
                  06/16/2010 at 8:38 PM

                  Carolina is correct. His defense did not prove that anything was planted. And there is no parallel between this care and that foolish one.

                • KKinCA
                  06/16/2010 at 9:26 PM

                  I believe the term is “jury (or juror) nullification” – when jurors ignore the facts when rendering its verdict. The OJ prosecutors were doomed from the moment the jury was seated.

            • dcbill
              06/16/2010 at 3:00 PM

              The police violated OJ’s civil rights when they jumped the fence and searched his property without a search warrant. That’s why he was acquitted.

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 9:17 PM

                That’s a very generous take on it, and this coming from an AA.

          • Carolina
            06/16/2010 at 2:53 PM

            I think you’re a little too excited.

          • Liam
            06/16/2010 at 9:01 PM

            No way the prosecution has proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The limped along until today. Today they put on their best. And, as Leo (an in person courtroom observer today) reported, the expert witness Fowler stated that it could have been the knife left at the scene. That’s the best the prosecution can offer?

            P.S. I believe the defendants are guilty.

  9. TK
    06/16/2010 at 12:52 PM

    I wonder if after this (and if the judge denies the motion to dismiss) the defendants won’t be quite so jolly, and we see some cracks in that unified facade. I think I’m more nervous about this than they apparently appeared to be yesterday…

  10. can'tstopreading
    06/16/2010 at 12:55 PM

    Anyone think the eds should be in the running for a Pulitzer?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/16/2010 at 1:06 PM

      This webstie is a very fine example of investigative reporting.

      • cat
        06/16/2010 at 1:10 PM

        I was just thinking the same thing. This website deserves an award.

    • Rapt in MD
      06/16/2010 at 1:27 PM

      Was thinking the same thing.

      • ladyg
        06/16/2010 at 1:34 PM

        we’re all thinking the same thing. WOW!!

    • Kate
      06/16/2010 at 1:42 PM

      Add another voice to the chorus!

    • Eagle
      06/16/2010 at 9:11 PM

      Yep.

      • LRN
        06/16/2010 at 11:12 PM

        For sure! I also think this blog would be a fantastic basis for a screenplay. A suspense thriller!

        • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
          06/17/2010 at 1:22 AM

          The Editors are amazing people who have done a truly remarkable thing in making it possible despite the lack of initial coverage in the MSM( Main Stream Media)for people to develop an interest in & care about Who Murdered Robert Wone, a man they never knew in life.
          My impression is that they did not do this for a screenplay of the pursuit of self aggrandizement, but rather because they simply wanted to see justice done. I like to think that they are ironically perhaps, the true representatives of the gay community that Joe Price pretended to be the poster boy of, that they are decent, loving, smart, media savvy friends & partners who realized that they could make a difference. Thank you all.

    • Ivan
      06/17/2010 at 9:38 AM

      Yes, I do. It’s great work.

  11. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/16/2010 at 1:03 PM

    here’s the City Paper update:

    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/06/16/stabbing-expert-testifies-on-robert-wones-oddly-uniform-wounds/

    bruising around some of the “injection” marks had bruising around them, indicating Robert received these marks prior to death.

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 1:10 PM

      Uh oh. Sounds like something the defense is going to have a tough time rebutting.

      • weaver
        06/16/2010 at 1:29 PM

        Those freaks did this to Wone. It wasn’t a one person job! Even if Michael was “the killer” they ALL took part, and they are all lying! Trust me I am usually a defense attorneys dream as I expect proof BARD, but this case is INSANE! I just hope Robert was unconscious.

        And shame on the investigators for not identifying what incapacitated him! I hope it can still be done. Was Robert cremated? There is no more metabolism at death so perhaps tissue samples could be analyzed? My other question is who would have access to those types of drugs? Gotta be a trail somewhere.

        • Carolina
          06/16/2010 at 1:35 PM

          You can’t cross a street corner in any major (and many minor) cities without having an offer of Special K.

          • weaver
            06/16/2010 at 1:37 PM

            I’m sure they were well aware of the way sound travels in the townhouse. The scream was likely a ruse, since they did it!! Robert didn’t scream he was incapacitated.

            Something I wonder about- why clean him up, and the scene? Why not leave it bloody from the “intruder”? The reason is probably because their dna needed to be cleaned from Robert’s body. I wonder how they got rid of the mess, needles, ether cloth (my opinion on the ether cloth) etc? Maybe that is where Michael comes in… he took the stuff and left before they called 911.

            • weaver
              06/16/2010 at 1:39 PM

              Oops sorry meant to put that reply up under another post…. but Carolina, what is Special K? I was thinking more along the lines of ether and drugs used in anesthesia.

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 2:02 PM

                While we wait for the next update, you might want to spend some time reading some back posts. The things you’re interested in have been discussed in depth and it’s fascinating reading.

                • weaver
                  06/16/2010 at 2:23 PM

                  Yes I will keep reading the posts. I just found this site so I’ve been reading a lot to catch up… in fact, I’m reading too much and not getting my other work done, lol. I can’t help it though, this case is BIZARRE, I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten more mainstream attention.

              • Elizabeth
                06/16/2010 at 9:36 PM

                Special K is ketamine – a common “date rape” drug.

        • chilaw79
          06/16/2010 at 3:35 PM

          I don’t think identifying incapacitating agents is as easy as it sounds. Some metabolize quickly and a lot of expensive tests need to be run for many toxins.

          The fact that Robert was treated in a hospital trauma center also may make it more complicated.

          Not impossible, but complicated.

          • Elizabeth
            06/16/2010 at 9:33 PM

            You are right, chilaw. Check the transcripts from the 4/09 hearings. No one tox screen is available to test for all incapacitating drugs. You have to know what you are looking for. And there was a lengthy argument about running out of tissue/blood for both sides to conduct testing.

    • Also From the Post Story
      06/16/2010 at 2:43 PM

      > bruising around some of the “injection” marks

      I wonder: violently so? Were the bruises caused by the injections themselves (I’ve sometimes had bruises from shots), or by the body of the syringe being jammed violently against the skin in a very non-medical way during a struggle?

      This is not relevant to whether the injections happened pre-mortem — bruising is bruising — but it would certainly paint a dramatic picture of violent injections by an amateur during a fight.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 5:07 PM

        No evidence of a fight. None.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/16/2010 at 5:15 PM

          No evidence of a fight during the stabbing, but Robert was probably undrugged during the alleged injections. He probably would have resisted.

          The really tragic aspect to the stabbing, is that Robert may have been fully AWARE of what was happening, but unable to defend himself. Certain drugs used in the gay party scene (ketamine) can render a person immobilized, but aware of what’s going on.

          • Carolina
            06/16/2010 at 8:07 PM

            Depends on what was in that glass of water he was so graciously offered.

      • Eagle
        06/16/2010 at 9:14 PM

        Or the bruising could also be for the are being held tightly while the injection was being done. Like holding around the ankle.

        • Bill Orange
          06/16/2010 at 9:37 PM

          There would be a different pattern to the bruising. It’s hard for me to say for sure without seeing the photos, but I’m guessing that Fowler is describing a bruise (i.e., a small pool of blood under the skin) that is at the actual site of the puncture. This is fairly common in IV injections, because you’re puncturing a vein to make the injection, and blood leaks out of the hole and into the surrounding tissue when you pull the needle out.

    • DonnaH
      06/16/2010 at 3:27 PM

      I just read the article (thanks!), and look forward to Doug corroborating the testimony from Fowler that some of the needle marks at sites not used for rescuscitation attempts “appeared to have bruising around them, implying that Wone was alive and conscious when the needle went in.” This is really disturbing testimony, not only for what it says about the horror of Robert’s last moments, but also for the greater support it lends to the theory that he might have been murdered not to cover up an apparent OD but because he might live to testify about his attack.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 5:08 PM

        Alive AND conscious doesn’t necessarily follow. Alive, yes. Conscious, not as likely.

  12. emg
    06/16/2010 at 1:52 PM

    Vincent DiMaio is a renowned forensic pathologist, but his primary expertise is gunshot wounds. Not sure he is as well known for knife wound analysis.

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 2:03 PM

      I’m sorry, what has DiMaio to do with this?

      • weaver
        06/16/2010 at 2:09 PM

        DiMaio is a defense witness.

        I’m thinking the cross of Fowler must have included a reference to a report by DiMaio?

        • emg
          06/16/2010 at 2:12 PM

          Fowler was asked by the defense about DiMaio’s opinion which contradicts his regarding the knife wounds.

    • weaver
      06/16/2010 at 2:06 PM

      DiMaio testified for the Phil Spector defense too. Yeah sure Lana Clark shot herself in the face. Spector is now in prison for that murder.

      What’s wrong with DiMaio? No proof of immobility? GMAB.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 2:14 PM

        Maybe DiMaio can help Dr. Lee remember where he put Lana’s fingernail, too.

        • weaver
          06/16/2010 at 2:28 PM

          Oh yes, the fingernail.

          I wonder what DiMaio has to say about the injection marks? I agree with what you said earlier that is going to be tough for the defense.

        • Kate
          06/16/2010 at 2:33 PM

          Drat, Carolina – you beat me to that one!

          Speaking of Dr. Lee – wasn’t he the forensic specialist for the prosecution during the Michael Peterson case? I seem to recall him testifying at great length about blood spatter, cast off from the weapon, and even demonstrating to the court what happens when a victim spits blood.

          Do I remember this correctly?

          • Bea
            06/16/2010 at 2:51 PM

            Yes, Kate, you are correct. The good doctor filled his mouth with ketchup and slapped his own cheeks (facial) to make a big mess and big impact on the jury. It did not work: conviction.

            • Carolina
              06/16/2010 at 2:56 PM

              Love the parenthetical. I’m still laughing, picturing both options.

            • Craig
              06/16/2010 at 2:58 PM

              Are you putting me on? Belushi did that with whipped cream in Animal House. Is Dr. Lee some sort of prop comic or something?

              • Hoya Loya
                06/16/2010 at 3:01 PM

                “See if you can guess what I am now . . .”

                • 99
                  06/16/2010 at 3:17 PM

                  You’re a zit, right???

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

                    Who knew you could become an expert witness for hire with that act?

              • Bea
                06/16/2010 at 3:41 PM

                http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/15894727/ns/dateline_nbc/page/5/

                Background: murder suspect’s wife was bludgeoned to death in a stairwell at their home, leaving quite a bloody mess. Blunt force traumas. The defense claimed “she fell” and to explain the amount of blood on the walls and floor, Dr. Lee was hired. “Too much blood for a beating” was his testimony. Yeah, and a FALL creates MORE blood than a beating? He meandered and hypothesized about airborne blood spatter, and to prove his point, filled his mouth with diluted ketchup and spat it against cardboard.

                I may have added the slapping of cheeks (facial) for effect. Still, it was absurd and shows the lengths to which he will go to prove a ridiculous point.

                Gotta love “too much blood for a beating” – a simple trip and fall is considerably more likely to result in 5,000+ blood drops on walls and floor.

                • Bea
                  06/16/2010 at 3:42 PM

                  Oh, and you can’t make this stuff up.

                • Carolina
                  06/16/2010 at 6:26 PM

                  At least in the Peterson case he allowed the jury to make up their own minds about his bs. In the Spector case, he was guilty of something far more sinister. Either he honestly lost the evidence or he conveniently destroyed it. Either way, one would hope his credibility as a hired gun is coming to an end.

                  • Bea
                    06/16/2010 at 6:29 PM

                    Agree.

                • Kate
                  06/16/2010 at 7:37 PM

                  Thanks Bea, the image of him spitting the ketchup was seared into my brain at the time. And the victim;s children were in the court room at the time.

                  I wonder how he’s planning to demonstrate No Blood (or very little) at the Wone crime scene?

              • Carolina
                06/16/2010 at 5:11 PM

                I beg to differ, my good man. Those were mashed potatoes.

                • EinDC
                  06/16/2010 at 6:54 PM

                  I bed to differ Carolina, that was a hardboiled egg.

                  • Carolina
                    06/16/2010 at 7:39 PM

                    I guess we all know what we’ll be watching tonight!

                    • EinDC
                      06/16/2010 at 7:49 PM

                      AMEN!

        • galoon
          06/16/2010 at 5:13 PM

          Once again, Carolina, you win comment of the day!

    • DonnaH
      06/16/2010 at 2:40 PM

      Whatever he’s *most* known for, Doug wrote he has “vast experience with knife wounds while practicing in South Africa,” and also that his findings were peer reviewed. I think the defense would be hard pressed to cast doubt on the credibility of his testimony.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 2:57 PM

        I doubt they’ll try too hard or successfully to taint Dr. “Leon the Professional” Fowler.

      • DonnaH
        06/16/2010 at 3:37 PM

        Sorry, I was oblivious of your referring to DiMaio, not Fowler–

  13. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/16/2010 at 3:12 PM

    It doesn’t matter if the knife doesn’t fit in the box (or supposedly doesn’t fit), the knife at the scene doesn’t have blood up to the hilt of the knife. Shows it WAS NOT the knife used. Hence, tampering!

    Deal with the knife not fitting during the murder trial.

  14. whodoneit
    06/16/2010 at 3:29 PM

    Well, if the knife at the scene doesn’t fit, then the intruder must have brought his/her own knife, grabbed the second one from kitchen, stabbed Robert with his/her own knife, wiped blood on the knife from the kitchen inserted it into one of the wounds and left it there for Joe to find and then left the scene with the murder weapon.

    • cat
      06/16/2010 at 3:50 PM

      good one!

  15. chilaw79
    06/16/2010 at 3:42 PM

    Did the lawyers still have to submit their Rule 29 motions at noon, even though testimony was not complete?

    Is there a revised schedule?

  16. Hoya Loya
    06/16/2010 at 3:44 PM

    Given that defense of a Rule 29 motion for acquittal is imminent, I’ve updated my list of the facts established by the prosecution and contrary facts or doubt cast by the defense. Has the prosecution made its case (for the purpose of this motion, viewing the evidence most favorable for the government)?

    The prosecution has established that:
    1. Kathy and Robert were happily married and Kathy knew about the visit to 1509
    2. Robert arrived at 1509 around 10:30
    3. Neighbors hears a scream between 11:00 and 11:35;
    4. The 911 call was made at 11:49
    5. Victor’s 911 call cited “one of our knives” and Joe applying pressure to wounds with a towel
    6. EMTS saw Victor crying on the stoop, a non-responsive Dylan, Joe sitting on Robert’s bed, not applying pressure
    7. Robert was stabbed three times but there was little blood at the scene or on the towel
    8. Robert appeared to already be dead when the EMTs arrived
    9. Joe called Kathy to tell her “Robert was stabbed in the back”
    10. Striation marks were observed on Robert’s torso by an EMT
    11. There were pre-mortem needle marks on Robert not made by the EMTs or ER attendants
    12. The stab wounds indicate that Robert was motionless when stabbed
    13. The sternum wound had bruising consistent with being caused by a knife hilt
    14. The recovered knife likely was too long to cause the wounds or the bruising
    15. The missing knife from the set in Dylan’s room would be consistent with the wounds
    16. Robert was missing more blood than was accounted for at the scene
    17. Robert did not die instantly from tamponade after being stabbed and should have bled more
    18. The back of Robert’s shirt was very bloody.
    19. The bed sheets had two small blood stains
    20. There was no “cast-off” blood traces from a knife being pulled from a wound
    21. Robert’s clothes were strewn about, contrary to his usual neat practices
    22. Joe made stabbing motions while telling Kathy what he heard the night of the murder
    23. Joe told Tara Ragone and Scott Hixson that he removed the knife from Robert’s chest
    24. Joe told Tara Ragone “There’s a big difference between tampering and wiping away some blood, freaking out about a crime scene.”
    25. Expert Deedrick’s tests suggested that the knife had been wiped down with a towel
    26. Deedrick’s fiber tests suggest that more W&M t-shirt fibers should have been found
    27. The defendants said there was an intruder who entered through the unlocked kitchen door
    28. The defendants said they heard the door chime and grunts
    26. Nothing was stolen from the house
    27. The police did not find any evidence of an intruder, to the extent they searched for same
    28. Dirt around and on top of the rear fence was undisturbed
    29. Expert testimony confirmed the scene, timing and method were not consistent with an intruder
    30. Michael Price missed his phlebotomy class for the first time on the night of the murder
    31. Michael Price attended Robert’s funeral and cursed at a police officer for focusing on Joe
    32. Joe told Sarah Morgan that Michael did not have a key or security codes, but he did
    33. Joe did not disclose to the police that Michael had a key until the burglary investigation
    34. Sarah Morgan was part of the 1509 “family” raising doubts about her objectivity
    35. The defendants would place washed, overturned garbage cans next to a shed that was four to five feet from the fence, too far to jump without disturbing dust or dirt
    36. Joe asked Jason Torchinsky if Kathy would waive her attorney-client privilege to discuss her interview with the police with Joe’s lawyer
    37. Dylan suspected that Michael had burglarized 1509 in the fall but wanted to consult with Joe before calling the police
    38. Joe, Dylan and Victor delayed in calling the police about the burglary
    39. Louis Hinton conferred with Joe on how to handle the burglary
    40. Per Scott Hixson, the defendants’ relationship was not exclusive

    The defense has:
    1. Raised doubts about the knife – the ME couldn’t rule it out as the weapon
    2. Raised doubts about the extent of the search for evidence of an intruder
    3. Raised doubts about Detective Wagner’s objectivity due to homophobia
    4. Raised doubts about expert Deedrick’s methodology and findings
    5. Established, via Sarah Morgan and Scott Hixson that the defendants were “equals”
    6. Established, via Sarah Morgan, that the defendants often left the doors unlocked
    7. Established, via Sarah Morgan, that there had been a recent break-in on the street
    8. Established that Tara Ragone has read about the case, including this blog
    9. Established that Michael Price was only being trained to draw blood, not to give injections
    10. Established the Officer Waid was not an expert on blood “cast-off”
    11. Raised doubts about Jason Torchinsky’s motive for cooperating with the investigation (providing emails)
    12. Established, via Louis Hinton, that Joe had a loving, caring relationship with Michael that included “tough love”
    13. Raised doubt as to how well the replacement knife fits Dylan’s set

    • Sage
      06/16/2010 at 4:01 PM

      Hmm, does one need to be ‘trained’ to give injections? I’ve been giving my toddler son daily injections for the past year and no one ever trained me but I’ve done it successfully each time. Doesn’t really seem like a challenging skill, especially if you have access to lidocaine or another numbing agent. I inject him in his sleep and he doesn’t even flitch.

      And I’m not sure if I would say Sarah Morgan ‘establihed’ that the each member of the triple was equal. She was simply giving her personal opinion. She clearly did not have access to ever decision made within those relationships.

    • whodoneit
      06/16/2010 at 4:04 PM

      I believe the prosecution has also established that –

      All three defendants told the police that the 911 call was made at 11:43 when if fact the call was made at 11:49. (I believe all 3 said this, but have not gone back to check all three statements.)

      • Hoya Loya
        06/16/2010 at 4:11 PM

        True, thanks. I suppose if we go into all the inconsistencies in the statements, the list will be too long to post. Assumming the trial goes forward after this afternoon, I’ll try to include a catch-all item (numerous inconsistencies between all three statements and other established facts or something).

        • whodoneit
          06/16/2010 at 5:09 PM

          This to me is much more than an inconsistency. It is a consistency among their statements that is incorrect that creates, to me at least, a strong inference of a conspiracy to create a consistent version of the “facts.”

    • Goose
      06/16/2010 at 4:14 PM

      Joe told Tara Ragone and Scott Hixson that he removed the knife from Robert’s chest – these statements were not admitted “for truth,” but they do go to Joe’s lack of credibility.

      Joe told Tara Ragone “There’s a big difference between tampering and wiping away some blood, freaking out about a crime scene.”

      Do you know/remember if this statement was admitted for truth? I believe it was…and I hope it was.

    • Lyn
      06/16/2010 at 5:17 PM

      “5. Victor’s 911 call cited “one of our knives” and Joe applying pressure to wounds with a towel”

      And in the transcript of his police interview, Zaborsky stated that Price was already applying pressure to the wound and that he [Zaborsky] gave Price ANOTHER towel. Yet only one towel was at the scene, with very little blood.

    • Bill
      06/16/2010 at 5:27 PM

      But still and as I have stated above, they have bought a $1-million defense that is about to be put on. I wouldn’t be counting any chickens yet — not by a long shot.

      • Hoya Loya
        06/16/2010 at 5:45 PM

        Bill:

        I’ve noted when I’ve posted this before that the number of defense “points” is deceptive since they have not put on their case, only engaged in cross, and many of the defense points counter numerous prosecution points.

        However, the list is relevant today since the government has rested and the judge is ruling on the Rule 29 motion to acquit based on what has been established thus far.

      • Craig
        06/16/2010 at 5:51 PM

        Bill: Harry Jaffe ran the numbers and came up with a $2.3 million dollar tab. He may have low-balled it a bit by not factoring in Tom Connolly’s associate, Amy Richardson. Let’s call it an even $2.5m.

    • JJ
      06/16/2010 at 9:26 PM

      Thank you Hoya Loya for that wrap-up list. I wondered why you didn’t include the blood traces found in the dryer vent and down the back patio drain? If those are fact (I can’t remember if it was tested to see if it was Robert’s blood), does this not scream guilt of tampering/cover-up?

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 9:27 PM

        Hey JJ, I don’t think that evidence came in. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

        • JJ
          06/16/2010 at 11:58 PM

          Thanks Bea. I have searched the post and wrap-ups, but I only see it listed on Dylan’s arrest warrant pg. 11. It mentions human blood in the back drain and the dryer vent sniffed out by a cadaver dog. It doesn’t mention if it was tested, but it seems to me, if it was Robert’s blood in either of those places, that it would constitute tampering indicating a clean-up/wash down of the evidence. Why would the prosecution not bring it up?

          • Bea
            06/17/2010 at 12:04 AM

            Hey JJ. I think the prosecution didn’t have any validation from testing and cadaver dogs evidence from the handlers would have been crucified (if even allowed to start with).

  17. ladyg
    06/16/2010 at 4:04 PM

    number# 22, is the nail in the coffin for me! he ran his mouth, and didn’t realized it… he told on himself. so he out-witted, out-smarted and out-played HIMSELF.

    • emg
      06/16/2010 at 5:58 PM

      Yup- he did it or saw it happen.

  18. BadShoes
    06/16/2010 at 4:07 PM

    good list. suggest adding;

    5a) In the 911 call, Victor:
    twice said “we heard the chimes.”
    5b) In the 911 call, Victor said, of Mr. Wone, “He’s breathing, but we need help right away.”
    5c) In the 911 call, Victor said, of Mr. Price, “he’s applying pressure now.”

  19. CC Biggs
    06/16/2010 at 4:17 PM

    22. Joe told Tara Ragone and Scott Hixson that he removed the knife from Robert’s chest.

    The word “remove” is ambiguous. It could simply mean that the knife was laying on Robert’s chest and Joe moved it to the table when attending to Robert’s wounds, not that Joe pulled the knife out from Robert’s chest.

    • mia
      06/16/2010 at 4:35 PM

      I just can’t image any intruder would stab Robert 3 times, pull the knife out and then laying it on RObert’s chest and left, within seconds. If he didn’t intent to carry the knife with him, why bother to pull it out anyway?

    • Lyn
      06/16/2010 at 4:55 PM

      “It could simply mean that the knife was laying on Robert’s chest and Joe moved it to the table…”

      Notice how you used the word ‘moved’ instead of ‘removed.’ Price would also have said moved if that is what he meant.

    • Bea
      06/16/2010 at 8:57 PM

      CC, when he told Tara Ragone he removed the knife, she said “you must’ve been covered in Robert’s blood!” in response. If he’d meant “moved” he’d have corrected her. He didn’t.

  20. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/16/2010 at 5:06 PM

    from the Washington Post:

    “As poster-size photos of Wone’s body on an autopsy table were shown during the trial, Price, sitting behind his attorneys, often looked at the photos in between taking notes. Ward glared at each photo, while Zaborsky turned his head away.”

    • cat
      06/16/2010 at 5:20 PM

      Wow. I’d been wondering how these guys were able to stomach the graphic testimony and evidence. It sounds like Victor is the only one acting normally, in my opinion. Joe seems to be actively trying to save his ass. Dylan’s glaring response – anger, because he knows the evidence is damning?

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 5:26 PM

      Why does this not surprise me?

      • cat
        06/16/2010 at 7:09 PM

        Maybe Joe is taking notes for a sequel to O.J.’s “If I Did It.”

  21. Buck
    06/16/2010 at 5:24 PM

    I would have been interested to know where the kitchen is in relation to the unlocked backdoor and the guest bedroom. How did the “intruder” know his way around their home and find a knife in a dark kitchen? Was the guest bedroom the first one he came upon or did he pass other bedrooms before going into the guest bedroom?
    Why would a burglar bother someone who is in a deep sleep.

    After following the case for the last three weeks, I believe the defendants not only know who killed Mr. Wone but was also involved in his killing. I don’t think Mr Price would have put himself in this type of legal jeopardy to save his drug addicted brother.

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 5:27 PM

      It wouldn’t take much to find the answer with even a cursory look. There are house plans and diagrams in any number of posts.

    • Bill Orange
      06/16/2010 at 5:56 PM

      The kitchen is just inside the backdoor.

      To get to the guest bedroom, you have to walk through the living room, go up the stairs, walk right past Dylan Ward’s room, go down a hallway, and open another door.

    • chilaw79
      06/16/2010 at 6:02 PM

      The Washington Post had an excellent diagram of the house.

      The kitchen is on the first floor. There are a number of items that would be easy to steal and pawn on the first floor, but the intruder took nothing, bypassed all of them, and went through the house to a flight of hardwood stairs to the second floor. The guest bedroom is on the second floor. To get to the room, Robert was staying in, an intruder would have had to bypass Dylan’s room (which is the first room at the top of the hardwood steps from the first floor).

      Victor and Joe’s room is on the third floor.

  22. ladyg
    06/16/2010 at 5:29 PM

    i wonder if the courtroom artist captured the looks on the defendants faces when dr. fowler, was giving his testimony?

  23. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 5:32 PM

    Hmmm. I think today’s testimony will be enough to keep Dylan in play on all charges. Prediction: The judge throws out the tampering charge for Victor, but everything else stays in.

    • Bea
      06/16/2010 at 5:57 PM

      I know I was saying yesterday that I thought Dylan had a chance of walking, but now I do think she keeps all three in – agree that tampering could be dropped against Victor, would add (possibly) Dylan on tampering. Not that it means anything for the final verdict, but if she indeed must rule (and not reserve judgment) then she won’t toss anything is my guess.

      • Bill Orange
        06/16/2010 at 6:15 PM

        I think Dylan stays in on the tampering. He had the knife case hidden away in his room, which sealed it for me. If he wants to take the stand and argue that it was just on a top shelf and not really hidden, that’s fine. But right now, he’s linked to a hidden knife case with a missing knife that could have been the murder weapon.

        • Bea
          06/16/2010 at 6:59 PM

          Hi Bill O. I guess I’d gotten ahead of myself thinking that the defense will introduce the “Seattle” knife – you’re correct, though, that at this point there is reason to believe that Dylan’s hidden knife set could have contained the murder weapon. I agree on the Rule 29 at this time as to tampering as to Dylan.

  24. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 6:19 PM

    You guys are killing me with the cliffhanger endings. Did she rule or not?

    • BenFranklin
      06/16/2010 at 6:37 PM

      Judgment on the Motion for Acquittal will not be announced until court convenes on Thursday.

  25. ElleB
    06/16/2010 at 6:20 PM

    Apologies if this has already been addressed somewhere before — but I just listened to the audio of Victor’s 911 call – having never done so before, but having read a lot on this site in the past few weeks. He plainly says that he/they heard a scream “from our friend” after they heard the chime of the door, and then ran downstairs (?)… It seems a lot of commentary on this site describes the scream heard by the neigbors as Victor’s upon discovering the body … but where is that theory coming from exactly? Is it just speculation based on the theory of the murder as having been committed principally by Joe and Dylan, and only later discovered by Victor? I don’t necessarily disagree with that – I just have never seen any evidentiary explanation of it. Could the scream that the neighbors testify to hearing have been the same scream Victor claims he heard “from our friend”?

    For what it’s worth, I am more and more convinced that Dylan was absolutely a primary actor in the murder (with Joe), and Victor’s role was mainly in the obstruction and cover up

    • BadShoes
      06/16/2010 at 10:04 PM

      Screams.

      On WMRW, “the scream” usually refers to the scream heard by the neighbors while viewing Maureen Bunyan, sometime between 11:00 pm and 11:35 pm. Many commenters on this site attribute this scream to Mr. Zaborsky, but that is a hypothesis. There is no direct evidence.

      It is unlikely that this scream is attributable to Mr. Wone, because Mr. Wone lay perfectly still when he was stabbed, and that pretty much rules out screaming. According to the accounts that the three defendants gave the police, all three men were in bed, asleep, from about 11:07pm or so, and heard nothing.

      Messrs. Price, Zaborsky and Ward all described being awakened by a loud sound, which was variously described by the defendants as “like a high pitched laugh” grunts, screams, but not articulated words or conversation. According to their account, there were multiple utterances, and Messrs. Price and Zaborsky lept from bed and ran downstairs. The grunts/scream/moans, according to the three men must have occurred circa 11:40-11:45pm. These noises were not heard by the neighbors.

      It isn’t clear how Mr. Wone could have made these noises, since he remained perfectly still through the stabbing, and after the stabbing he was dead.

      According to the accounts given by Messrs. Price and Zaborsky to the police, Mr. Zaborsky had hysterics upon encountering Mr. Wone’s body. Mr. Zaborsky was sent upstairs to make a 911 call, which began at 11:49pm, so say 11:45-47pm for this scream, which was also not heard by the neighbors.

      To summarize, the neighbors heard only one scream, which was early. The defendants told police of hearing or making various screams, but at a considerably later time.

      hope this helps.

  26. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 6:23 PM

    “Could the scream that the neighbors testify to hearing have been the same scream Victor claims he heard “from our friend”?”

    It could be. But if it is, there’s still a time lag between the scream and the 911 call, so they’re still guilty.

    • ElleB
      06/16/2010 at 6:26 PM

      Maybe … but maybe they say they heard a scream, but didn’t immediately rush downstairs (hm, possible albeit unlikely?) – which could explain the time lag? I don’t think it comports with the defense’s theory (as I understand it) that Wone died instantaneously upon being stabbed, however. If he screamed, then surely he would also have done something — SOMETHING — to defend himself? That there is no evidence of any defense, not even a movement, while being stabbed makes no sense if he was able to scream. Which is what Victor told the 911 operator.

      • Bill Orange
        06/16/2010 at 6:33 PM

        “Maybe … but maybe they say they heard a scream, but didn’t immediately rush downstairs (hm, possible albeit unlikely?)”

        Possible, but not consistent with what they told the police. So they’d STILL be guilty.

        • mia
          06/16/2010 at 6:53 PM

          And this would be direct contradict their pericardial sac theory. If Robert would be able to scream out loud, he sure could be able to fight back.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 8:16 PM

        You’re not taking into account the statements from the three defendants saying Victor screamed, the timeline, or the extremely unlikely chance that Robert Wone could have been the screamer.

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 8:52 PM

        ElleB, Joe was adamant that no more than a few minutes lapsed between the chime and the grunts, and that immediately he went downstairs. Likewise, only a minute later, he claimed, did they call the police. Nowhere to go with that.

  27. Bill Orange
    06/16/2010 at 6:36 PM

    From the Fox website: “Judge Leibovitz had previously said she would rule on a motion for acquittal Wednesday afternoon but upon further thought the Judge told the court she would issue her ruling Thursday morning.”

  28. Agatha
    06/16/2010 at 6:57 PM

    What a different story this would be if the neighbors called 911 when they heard the scream.

  29. Mens Rea
    06/16/2010 at 7:20 PM

    Does anyone know why the very first officer arriving On the scene has not been called? In her report, she indicated that price told her he found robert in the patio and brought him into the bedroom. What more do you need?

    • Carolina
      06/16/2010 at 8:33 PM

      There has to be some problem with her notes, her credibility, something. No other reason to ignore this juicy bit of supporting testimony.

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 8:50 PM

        I am guessing credibility issues (as in she might have been fired or reprimanded) such that it wasn’t worth the risk of blowing up in their faces.

  30. Danali
    06/16/2010 at 7:30 PM

    The Courtroom demeanors of the defendents is fascinating. Victor’s repulsed/bothered by the autospy photos and can not look at them. Joe pays attention and takes notes. And Dylan glares.

    For those of us who assume Joe and Dylan committed a chemical incapacitation (and possible sexual assault) and eventual murder, and were discovered during cleanup by a clueless Victor (who let out the horrified shriek heard by neighbors), the demeanors in court seem entirely telltale.

    Most people under public suspicion of murder would have the good sense to consider their demeanors when reacting to the photos of their alleged victim. Victor’s reaction is either that of a calculating image manipulator projecting feigned mortification OR (more likely IMO) that of a man with no stomach for violence at all.

    That Joe and Dylan are indifferent to their demeanors (and the messages they convey with them) is just amazing to me. It’s as bizarre as Joe’s endless theater of the absurd when traipsing about the crime scene in his underwear- all but wearing a sign that says,”it couldn’t have been me because I just woke up and I’m utterly harmless standing here in my underwear”.

    I know demeanor in court isn’t evidence for a judge. But i imagine it would matter to a jury, and it matters in the court of public opinion. (At least my court of opinion!)

    • weaver
      06/16/2010 at 8:26 PM

      No stomach for violence? They got off on it!

      Somebody correct me if I am wrong….

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 8:35 PM

        With all due respect, you’re far too excited by all of this. And no, there is no evidence that Victor “got off” on violence. Even within BDSM, there is tacit approval. If Joe wasn’t a bossy bottom, I’ve never met one.

      • Carolina
        06/16/2010 at 9:23 PM

        And let me add, Victor was NOT a participant in the BDSM/Ds games.

    • Leo
      06/16/2010 at 8:27 PM

      Oh yes demeanor is important to a judge–demeanor of a witness, I mean. You’re right, short of a sobbing confession in open court, the defendants’ demeanors are points of interest for us spectators, but can’t be held against them by the judge (unless they testify, then she can scrutinize them closely!)

  31. Greta
    06/16/2010 at 9:14 PM

    Judge Leibovitz is certainly watching the demeanor of the defendants and their counsel (lawyers don’t always have the best poker faces, especially the non-lead lawyers who don’t have much to do in court). Leibovitz does not miss a thing and from my (limited) in-person observation of the trial, I find her very attuned to the inter-personal dynamics of the herd of defense lawyers present in court. Trust me, she “knows what time it is.” She’s a former AUSA who did homocide cases (they don’t let just anyone prosecute homocides) and she has a ton of experience with criminals. She understand criminality and criminals and why people engage in criminal acts.

    While demeanor of a defendant who is not on the stand (i.e., just sitting there, as the trouple is) is not legally evidence, everything that happens in the courtroom contributes to what is commonly referred to as “atmospherics” and can color a fact finder’s impression of the facts/case. Body language speaks volumes. As an attorney with some formal training in forensic interview techniques and reading non-verbal signals, in my opinion, the defendants are telegraphing major signals.

    In brief, in my opinion, Zaborsky is showing remorse/fear/sadness; Price is showing defiance and a “catch me if you can” attitude, and Ward, to paraphrase an earlier commentator, is just batty and glowing from within but not in a good way – he’s showing delusion and denial.

    Big kudos to the guys running this site and all the insightful commentators. Great work to all the sleuths out there.

    • BadShoes
      06/16/2010 at 9:44 PM

      very interesting post. thank-you.

    • Bill Orange
      06/16/2010 at 9:46 PM

      Interesting take on Dylan. There seems to be a pretty strong majority opinion on both Joe (bossy bottom) and Victor (Stepford wife), but I’ve seen comments on Dylan that have been all over the map, and I don’t have a very good feel for what kind of person he is. Is he a crazed sadist, or is he a a lonely fool who’s just trying to learn about sadism in order to please Joe? Is he trying to take over Victor’s role as Joe’s spouse, or is he quite content to have his own room and his own other sex partners on the side? Is he a cold-blooded killer who stabbed someone with his family heirloom knife, or did he just go along with the cover-up after someone else killed Wone?

    • Bill 2
      06/16/2010 at 10:21 PM

      Thank you, Greta, for your view of the people in the courtroom. When reading your opinion that Zaborsky is showing remorse/fear/sadness, it gives a tiny glimmer of hope that in the next few days maybe he’ll decide to stop being a doormat for Joe Price. By this time he should realize that his only use to the others in the household is to cook meals and water the plants.

      • AnnaZed
        06/16/2010 at 10:25 PM

        Isn’t Victor also the only one of the men who still has a job? Wasn’t the lifestyle that Dylan was liking becoming accustomed to in large part (at least 50% maybe) underwritten by Victor’s largess?

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          06/16/2010 at 10:54 PM

          I’ve always thought Joe kept Victor around for that 50%.

        • Bea
          06/17/2010 at 12:31 AM

          I think you’re right that he’s held his job (or had). My guess is that he made a nice six figure income but likely less than half of what Joe made as a junior partner at Arent.

          • AnnaZed
            06/17/2010 at 12:33 AM

            You’re probably right, still roughly ten times what Dylan would be earning in a good year I would imagine.

      • Greta
        06/17/2010 at 10:12 AM

        Hi Bill 2, I think that if anyone cracks and turns state’s evidence, it’s going to be Victor. I’d say the chance he’ll flip is low, but nonetheless, it’s possible. Joe and Dylan will go down fighting and protesting their innocence.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/16/2010 at 11:00 PM

      Greta,
      earlier today, the Washington Post described the defendants as they looked at the autopsy photos…..Joe studied them as he took notes, Dylan “glared” at them, and Victor “looked away.” Your views of the defendants match perfectly to the Washington Post assessment.

      • susan
        06/17/2010 at 12:12 AM

        I have to say, my impression of Zaborsky is not the one held by the majority who have witnessed him in the courtroom and posted here. I only saw him this morning, but he seemed very much “with” Ward, whom he was sitting next to, and did not seem “sad” to me but resolute and nothing like a “Stepford” wife or anyone who wasn’t totally with his the other components of the trouple. I think it is is possible that he might be exhibiting some telltale signs of fear, sadness, etc., as Greta suggested, but for the most part he looked straight ahead or around the courtroom and to me he looked defiant and very much part of his team.

      • Carolina
        06/17/2010 at 9:29 AM

        Maybe Dylan is nearsighted. There’s a lot of similarity between squint and glare.

      • Greta
        06/17/2010 at 10:08 AM

        Hi CDinDC, I promise, I am not the Wash Post reporter! While observations of the defendants’ demeanor is fairly subjective in and of itself, I can’t say I totally agree with the WaPo….I think the trouple all flinched a little bit when the horrible photo of Mr. Wone lying on the autopsy table was shown to the judge (I caught a glimpse, it was heartbreaking).

        My advice to courtroom observers is to watch the junior attorneys…there’s a lot of emoting going on on their faces…and they know the case extremely well, so you will see stress displayed when touchy points come up. As a “backbencher” you don’t think you’re being watched…but you are. Especially with this courtroom layout where the defense sits on a curve, and their faces are easily visible to the observers sitting on the jury box side of the room.

        In federal court, the courtrooms are much bigger, and there is no curved table, so the attorneys’ and defendants’ faces can usually only be seen clearly by the judge and the jury.

  32. KKinCA
    06/16/2010 at 9:41 PM

    Hoya, CDinDC,, Bea, Carolina, anyone who knows all the ins and out of this case – I need help understanding the significance of this part of the above post:

    “Last note: Kirschner followed up with Tom Connolly’s earlier question if the blood found on the scene was consistent with the wounds. “Yes, but…”, replied Fowler, with Connolly declining to follow up on “but.” Not Mr. Kirschner.

    In Dr. Fowler’s mind, any pressure being applied to the right side of Robert to stanch blood flow would have resulted in more blood being moved to the right of his body…and more blood being pressed or just oozing on that side. No evidence of that was found.”

    I have read most of the posts/comments on this site, but I have to admit that I am drawing a blank about the significance of that testimony. Thanks all!

    • BadShoes
      06/16/2010 at 9:46 PM

      A reasonable inference would if there had been pressure applied, the size and location of the blood spots on the bed would have been different.

      • KKinCA
        06/16/2010 at 9:51 PM

        Thanks BadShoes. I can’t recall where the blood stains on the sheet were located – left or right? I do recall the tee-shirt being soaked with blood both front and back, left and right. Sorry for being thick, but does this testimony refute the claim that Joe put pressure on the wounds?

        • BadShoes
          06/16/2010 at 10:13 PM

          KK-

          yes.

          actually, I’m guessing. My interpretation of Doug’s paraphrase of Dr. Fowler’s testimony is that it refutes the claim that Joe put pressure on the wound. But, I’ve been wrong before.

          My understanding was that one stain was on the left, and the other was above Mr. Wone’s right (?) shoulder, but I could be wrong on this point, as well. I’m relying on my recollection of earlier testimony by some prosecution witness whose name I don’t recall on why the blood flowed the way it did.

          • KKinCA
            06/17/2010 at 2:21 AM

            Thanks again. Maybe the Editors’ post with more details re: Fowler’s testimony will explain it.

    • Leo
      06/16/2010 at 11:08 PM

      Once Kirschner was allowed to ask Fowler on redirect what he meant by the “but…” statement, Fowler explained that the blood spots on the bed below Robert’s body did not align in a manner consistent with someone’s having applied pressure (a towel) to wounds on the right side of his chest. The spots were to the center and left of Robert’s body as it lay “canted” [Grimm kept saying the body was “cantered”–run over by a horse??] slightly crosswise on the bed; they were not on the right side of the body as would be expected had pressure been applied as described. Dr. Fowler was not opining that the quantity of blood on the bed was surprising; he had opined that most of the blood loss was internal and thus there would not have been a big mess on the bed or floor to clean up. Instead, he was surprised by the location of the blood stains in relation to the body as it lay on the bed when discovered by the EMTs.

      • Bea
        06/16/2010 at 11:22 PM

        Interesting – thanks again, Leo. Very helpful.

      • Carolina
        06/17/2010 at 10:57 AM

        Was there mention of how the shirt would be blood soaked, but no transfer to the bed?

  33. Sandra Renee Hicks
    06/17/2010 at 9:33 AM

    Greetings –

    For what this may be worth…the judge is a native New Yorker and the daughter of a NY judge – William Leibovitz. She likely has gained some of her vast knowledge from being the offspring of a jurist which, to me, provides “edge” in her arsensal of information. The New York element can also be a plus, depending….

    Leo: Thank you for your superb posting relative to your court observations. It was a slam dunk. Would you be inclined to share your profession?

    Will someone please help me to understand the logic used by Joe Price, an educated man in the profession of law, in his election to provide his alcoholic crack addicted brother a key and access to the security code? I understand the love sentiments and blood connection but cannot grasp that foolish decision.

  34. bjk
    06/17/2010 at 9:39 AM

    I’ve spent a couple hours reading this site and the WaPo stories and other stuff, and I can’t figure anything out. Michael was a sideshow, now he’s at the scene, what’s going on? Why would DW care in the least about Michael? Why not charge Michael then? Nothing makes sense here, not at all.

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