Day 18: Updates
WMRW experiencing server problems. This update dispatch was relayed to the copy desk by way of smoke signals and Pony Express so it may not be 100% thorough.
On the stand is Dr. Jeff Smith, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Trauma Director.v He is admitted as an expert in emergency and trauma medicine. vThere is a lot of discussion on “pulseless electric activity” (PEA). PEA is no signs of respiration or blood pressure, but an EKG will show electrical activity in the heart, which can last up to 12 minutes. PEA was detected by EMTs when they loaded Robert into ambulance at 11:59PM.
Leibovitz will allow to Smith to discuss when PEA begins in with regards to cardiac tampinade, however, the Judge is not inclined to allow the defense to set the clock back. Schertler wanted to set the clock back as to when PEA started in Robert. “Anybody can add and subtract as well as I can.” stated Leibovitz…”I understand the argument, but it is not something that he (Smith) can say as an expert”.
Connolly’s associate Amy Richardson is managing the direct, uncertain if he will be crossed by the end of the day – 4:45PM.
The defense will be calling one witness today; we have good reason to believe it will be Dr. Jeff Smith, director of E.R. One at George Washington University Hospital.
Several thoughts as we approach today’s shortened trial schedule that begins at 2:15 pm this afternoon:
Tough Spot — Today’s Washington Post story about the Judge’s decision in Wone Trial to continue to the defense case quoted Joe Price’s lawyer Bernie Grimm as saying it “was the correct decision.” For the lawyer of the defendant who had NONE of the charges dropped basically saying that it was a good decision probably belies just how they might be feeling after the ruling.
Spagnoletti vs. Carlson-Lieber: Maybe it was the difference between the two counsel who argued the rule 29 motions that reveals how each side feels their case is proceeding. While ASUA Glenn Kirschner let Carlson-Lieber take the lead in arguing their opposition to the defense’s Rule 29 motion, it felt as if Kirschner was allowing Carlson-Lieber valuable time to learn how to argue such a ruling under a demanding judge. A teachable moment some would say. The defense bench didn’t treat it that way at all. Instead, they saw it as a situation where only a master could succeed, as in walking a tightrope, which leaves no margin for error. So they brought in their own Philipe Petit, Robert Spagnoletti, to traverse the narrow legal string leading to their client’s freedom. One side found it to be a moment to gain invaluable experience, the other side saw it as an opportunity where only the best could succeed. In a nutshell, does this give us a glimpse into how each side viewed the weight of the Rule 29 ruling before this judge?
Judge Lynn and the Metaphor of the Mother: During Judge Liebovitz’s questioning of Rachel Carlson Lieber on the government’s opposition to the Rule 29, Leibovitz zeroed in on how family relationships can affect knowledge of a crime. The example she used was of a mother living in the same home as their child. Such a parent testifies that there is no way “my baby could do this, because I know my baby and he is so sweet.” Clearly she was thinking about the Swann Street family and whether their familial ties could prevent one of the defendants from believing this happened. Does her line of questioning indicate she might believe one of the defendants is willfully turning a blind eye to seeing what was happening? And if so, which housemate was she referring to?
Shout Out to Commenter Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor: Many on this website were lamenting the state of the prosecution’s case on Tuesday after the beating they took on the burglary evidence, but before Dr. David Fowler took the stand on Wednesday. Within seconds of hearing his command of facts early in his testimony, I leaned over to my co-editor Doug and said, “Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor called this one. He is outstanding.” I remember reading FCSOP’s comments on David Fowler awhile back, and she said everything that we saw on the stand – smart, confident, affable, unshakable. In comments she had given his background, since she worked in Maryland, she is well aware of how well regarded he is. So FCSOP, you called this one early on — he hit it out of the park.
Who’s Up Today: The defense has called one of their 5 or 6 expert witnesses already, Dr. Nicholas Petraco, and only one is scheduled for this afternoon. Just who will that be? If most of their experts are out of town, then maybe it will be Dr. Farzad Najam from the George Washington University Hospital. He is one of the two defense experts who are cardiac surgeons who will testify that Robert suffered a cardiac tampinade and died instantly from his wounds. Or maybe they could bring the other cardiac surgeon, Dr. Eric Wechsler, who will testify to the same thing. He’s only two hours away in Philadelphia. Or maybe it will be a surprise.
We’ll have to wait until 2:15 this afternoon to find out.