Day 18: Updates

06/18/2010
By David

4:30PM Update:

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.

2:00pm Update:

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. 

9:00am Update

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.

– David


231 Responses to “ Day 18: Updates ”

  1. KV on 06/18/2010 at 9:36 AM

    “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.”

    Can I believe what I’m reading? This seems to be a really weird comment from defense counsel. How can it be a “good” thing for the defense? Any hidden meaning there?

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 9:44 AM

      Perhaps to appear confident, when in fact they had a huge set back.

      I can’t help but wonder if the defendants really thought they would be acquitted yesterday?

      I know the defense will call their own expert to counter the missing blood, but how will they possibly counter the precision of the wounds?

      In fact, WHY are the wounds so precise?

      • Hoya Loya on 06/18/2010 at 9:56 AM

        I think it primarily shows the extent to which this is viewed as a joint defense, despite each defendant having his own attorneys. A win for two is a win for all.

        It’s also a fair statement on Bernie’s part — while one would like to win on a motion to acquit, it is not necessarily expected. I’m sure Bernie always expected he would be presenting his case — no surprise to him then — and there pretty clearly was no evidence tying Dylan or Victor to tampering, so he feels it was correct.

        • KiKi on 06/18/2010 at 11:42 AM

          I think that is absolutely correct Hoya. This is a joint defense and what is good for the goose is good for the gander(s). As long as their clients’ continue to want to join forces so will the attorneys.

          This brings me to another thought, somewhat unrelated. On Day 7 there was a long discussion about the prisoner’s dilemma. Which as a criminal defense attorney I find to be a fascinating aspect of this case. (one in which I rarely get to experience with my chatty clients).

          This all made think about the defense attorneys in their own prisoner’s dilemma. Everyone has to decide to take a similar trial strategy or go for broke. It is a very interesting case for the attorneys and I am sure one unlike they have ever encountered before.

      • Joshua on 06/18/2010 at 1:23 PM

        There are three stab wounds, one for each of the three lovers. That makes sense to me. They probably agreed to do it together. God only knows how many other people they have murdered in the past. They seem pretty expert at destroying evidence. They are a well oiled serial murder machine.

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:46 PM

          As I said earlier, this was discussed at length– 3 wounds, 3 defendants; perhaps each took a turn to seal their loyalty.

          It just doesn’t hold up to the evidence, however. The wounds are so precise, so perfectly similar that they would almost definitely have been made by the same knife and the same hand.

          As for having done it before, even a psycho killer has to start somewhere, right?

        • Also From the Post Story on 06/18/2010 at 2:10 PM

          > three stab wounds, one for each of the three lovers.

          That idea was considered here and dismissed ages ago on the evidence.

          > They are a well oiled serial murder machine.

          No possible way. If they’d done it before, or even if they’d planned this killing as their first, they would not have called 911 (for chrissake!), the body would be gone and buried somewhere by the next day, and no one would be the wiser. In reality this shows all the signs of something suddenly going terribly wrong and becoming a panicky emergency where every minute mattered.

          • New Alias on 06/18/2010 at 5:28 PM

            I disagree – speaking only for myself, of course, I haven’t discarded either postulation.

            Mr. Wone could have been restrained / positioned in a way that facilitated nearly identical cuts. I don’t want to speculate in more detail than that – I’m just assuming where there’s a will there’s a way.

            I do think at least one of them has done this before, or committed sexual assaults that ended just short of death. They were way to calm and way too on message for this to have been their maiden voyage.

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 9:51 AM

      He could hardly say she screwed up, could he? Pretty much standard lawyer response. The judge is always right until after the decision is rendered.

      • KV on 06/18/2010 at 10:03 AM

        Something like “we’re (Bernie and team) disappointed but will press on” but then lawyers have their own esoteric lingo.

        • KV on 06/18/2010 at 10:07 AM

          Or maybe it’s Alice/Wonderland where bad is good, up is down, much like many aspects of this case, lol.

        • Also From the Post Story on 06/18/2010 at 2:20 PM

          Heck, if I’d been in his shoes and a reporter stuck a microphone at me, I’d have dwelt on the charges that the judge threw out, and how they indicate the prosecutors were overzealous in bringing obviously unsupportable charges, and how their same blinders-wearing attitude runs through the whole damn case.

          And I’m not even a lawyer! I don’t spin things for a living, I’m unpracticed in this crap.

    • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 10:52 AM

      My ears hear Bernie Grimm trying to make nice to the judge, and perhaps reminding both the judge and the public that it is one thing to deny a Rule 29 motion and another to convict.

      The big difference in the manner in which the judge evaluates the evidence when assessing whether to convict is that she no longer has to view the evidence in the manner most favorable to the prosecution.

      • Sage on 06/18/2010 at 11:06 AM

        Hi Chilaw79,

        I had the same impression – that Grimm was making that statement to one set of ears only, the judge. But that got me thinking…in a jury trial the jury is asked not to follow any media coverage of the trial during the proceedings. Would the judge give herself that same admonishment? I can assume, and correct me if I’m wrong, that she would refrain from doing any research or visiting a site like this one that so closely tracks the trail. I assume that if found to do such that would be a point for appeal on the defendant’s side. But what about just reading the paper or watching the news. Would that be crossing a line and risking an appeal point?

        • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 11:25 AM

          I have no idea. The rationale for not permitting jurors to see media coverage is to prevent them from considering matters that do not constitute evidence in the trial (for example, a murder weapon that was suppressed because it was obtained in an illegal search). I do not think the same rationale would apply to a judge hearing a bench trial.

          Who knows? Maybe Bernie just likes hearing himself talk or it was his version of a pep talk for Joe Price. Just another way of saying, “It ain’t over, til its over.”

          • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 1:14 PM

            It isn’t over until it is over. It is quite possible that at least 1 of the remaining defense witnesses will be very persuasive & dynamic, perhaps the plan is to leave the best for last. Has anyone heard Farzad Najam testify before?
            As to Bernie Grimm, I think all the attorneys here are familiar with the saying, “any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client”. Mr. Grimm inherited a situation where his client had violated this very basic axiom to such an extent that I am not sure what kind of defense could reasonably be put on as affirmative evidence.

            The defense counsels’ best shot was a weak prosecution case in chief. Not something that you can actually work on to produce yourself. The reaction to the the Judge’s ruling seemed to indicate to me that they knew that was their best & maybe only shot & were shocked, stunned, astonished & unprepared to proceed when the ruling they had expected to end this did not come.

            If the defense expert witness cardiac surgeons are impressive & certain death was immediate & all bleeding internal, that contradicts so many statements by the defendants it virtually ensures Joe Price’s conviction. I just don’t see how Bernie Grimm can work around that central issue.

            What is really interesting about this weekend is the Sunday is Father’s Day. I cannot stop thinking about the children here. How bright their future must have seemed back in 2004, the fathers that had been so carefully picked for them were so picture perfect, so charismatic, so successful, so admirable http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2004-03-09-gay-parents_x.htm I wonder how this Father’s Day feels now. And the many to come. Have the mothers been attending the trial?

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 12:56 PM

      I don’t think it’s anything deeper than “saving face.”

      They weren’t acquitted, so they need to make it look like an advantage, when actually, it was a crushing blow to the defense.

      Please.

    • shea on 06/18/2010 at 2:49 PM

      actually, having just read the entire article in the Post – the full quote was that it was “the correct decision at this point” .. but added that there’s a “higher standard” that applies for the verdict.

    • slwapo on 06/18/2010 at 2:59 PM

      It is illogical for the defense attorney to say that, given that he wanted all charges to be dropped.

  2. Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 9:43 AM

    Given that the tampering charge is still in play for Joe, does anyone think the bit about the Ashley’s Reagent and cleaning the scene will come into play?

    Also, we’ve talked a lot about the conspiracy charges (when it started, when it ended, etc.) but I am less clear on the obstruction charges. When I googled it I found this: “Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence.” So can this be relevant to DW and VZ? How would this be different than tampering?

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 9:51 AM

      Could it go to intent? Meaning tampering is when you alter evidence of your own crime, and obstruction is altering evidence concerning the crime of somebody else?

      I’m not a lawyer (obviously) so the terminology confuses me, but I do think Joe was the ring leader, so that is my best guess. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 9:54 AM

        Tampering is just that– changing the evidence, no matter to whom it might point.

        Obstruction is presenting hurdles to keep the State from finding the truth.

        • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 10:09 AM

          Okay thanks. I’m still confused about the “presenting hurdles” because that to me seems like the same as changing the evidence… unless the judge thinks Joe did it all himself… maybe I just need to get some more coffee.

          • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:31 AM

            Please bring me a cup? Okay, two.

            It may help to think of tampering as something physical, while obstruction can be more esoteric–lies, misleading evidence placed at the scene, etc.

      • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 12:12 PM

        In DC, the crime is “tampering with physical evidence.” The crime has three elements: first, the prosecution must show the defendant knew or had reason to know that an official proceeding had begun or that an official proceeding was likely to be initiated; second, the person must be shown to have altered, destroyed, mutilated, concealed or removed a record, document, or other object; and third, there must be intent to impugn the integrity or availability for use in the official proceeding.

        Obstruction can deal with both physical evidence and witness testimony. Tampering only deals with physical evidence.

        • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 4:01 PM

          So if obstruction can deal with physical evidence, does that have any relevance to VZ and DW perhaps aiding Joe in the clean-up and/or removal of evidence?

          • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 4:49 PM

            The statute covers mutilation or removal of a record, document, or other object. Some state evidence tampering statutes expressly reference “physical substances.”

            One question I had when I read the statute is whether it reaches biologicals (such as blood, DNA, and semen). Aren’t blood-spattered criminals expected to wash themselves or their clothes? (That is a rhetorical question.)

            I don’t recall any testimony that put any physical object (the knife, the towel, etc.) in the hands of anyone but Joe Price.

            • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 8:04 PM

              That is helpful, thanks. I think the knife and towel(s) were all Joe, I am thinking mainly along the lines of the clean-up. Is throwing away evidence tampering or obstruction of justice? It simply doesn’t make sense that Joe could have disposed of all of the stuff (playmat to photography equipment to dialysis machine) alone.

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 9:52 AM

      I can’t see the defense bringing that up, and the prosecution has rested.

  3. Goose on 06/18/2010 at 9:53 AM

    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.

    I think this testimony will severely backfire against the defense. I hope the prosecution asks the witness on cross whether it would be possible for a person to groan several minutes after dying. And I hope the prosecution asks if dead people breathe (in reference to: 911 call where Victor says Robert is still breathing)? Obviously, the witness will have to say that both of those things are impossible.

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 9:54 AM

      Excellent points!

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 9:56 AM

      They also need to explain how Robert had absolutely no oxygen in his brain, because that’s what it would take to keep him from responding in the slightest.

    • Hoya Loya on 06/18/2010 at 10:02 AM

      I’m sure the medical experts will be impressive, but there is a high hurdle to clear. Fowler conceded there would be a large amount of internal bleeding and that Robert would not have survived more than a minute or two, but he did stress that Robert should have moved, blocked the knife with his limbs or clutched his wounds. This view is supported by common sense. The defense experts’ explanation must be so convincing to the judge that it can overcome this common sense assumption which is supported by Fowler’s compelling testimony, which in turn reinforces the original opinion of the ME.

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:33 AM

        And must be convincing without just telling us we’re too stupid to understand– a real hurdle for a cardiac surgeon.

    • Lyn on 06/18/2010 at 11:42 AM

      +10!

      Those two questions are all the prosecutors need to ask on cross. It really is as simple as that.

    • John on 06/18/2010 at 11:49 AM

      Air can be trapped in the lungs and when the air passes out of the lungs even after death, sounds can be heard. True story: a young lady died from anorexia in her sleep and her father came into her room in the morning and lifted her up – when he did she let out sounds that made it appear that she was alive. He screamed, “She is alive -Start CPR.” She was blue and no one started CPR.

      • Goose on 06/18/2010 at 12:27 PM

        Yes, but air only escaped when she was moved. The defendants have maintained that they did not move the body. Would a person who is dead and lying on his back still look and sound like he was breathing without being moved? I find this incredibly hard to believe. When the 911 operator asked Victor if Robert was still breathing, there was a long pause like Victor was actually checking. I just think this is highly damning material.

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:22 PM

          But Joe was pressing down on the wounds, don’t you know? Actually, the moan/move makes a lot of sense if the body *was* moved, as many believe.

          That said, I don’t think post mortem emissions require movement, just an accumulation can no longer be contained.

          • Goose on 06/18/2010 at 2:07 PM

            “But Joe was pressing down on the wounds, don’t you know?”

            Yes, Underwear Guy was clearly pressing hard with those imaginary towels.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 3:16 PM

            Re moving the body……the sheets and pillow weren’t wrinkled….if you get into bed the sheets wrinkle where you sit on the bed….your pillow will show signs of your head moving, etc. The sheets were crisp as if his body were laid upon the bed. One neat pillow indention. By the time I get IN the bed, my bed is a mess. Much less lay in it for supposedly 45 minutes.

            • ladyg on 06/18/2010 at 5:03 PM

              i hear you sister, it’s hard to get into bed and lay straight as a board, even when you’re in someone
              else’s bed, it just impossilbe….it’s silly &stupid. look, you’re trying to get a good night sleep, trying to find your spot (since it’s not your bed), getting that pillow just right.

            • Bill 2 on 06/18/2010 at 6:13 PM

              Now that we know your sleeping habits, CDinDC, we’re going to sign you up for a course in “peaceful sleep.” LOL Seriously, when I was on active duty aboard ship, our beds had to be inspection ready every morning. You can’t begin to imagine how neatly some military people can keep their bed. They really would lie there straight as a board. I got in the bed very carefully and barely moved until morning.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 12:28 PM

      I don’t think that their experts are going to backfire, but I also don’t think that they’re going to do much to help the defense. Stab wounds to the heart aren’t very common in the US, and those that make it into an operating room are even more rare. I wouldn’t expect either of these two experts to have seen very many, and certainly not as many as Dr. Fowler (who trained in South Africa, where stab wounds are more common). They may be able to say that they’ve seen cardiac tamponades occur during various surgeries, but I don’t know that this information is going to mean much. I think they’re going to have to concede that someone undergoing heart surgery is already “incapacitated”, so I don’t see how they’re going to be able to say that a cardiac tamponade would cause “immediate” incapacitation.

  4. weaver on 06/18/2010 at 10:01 AM

    I have a question for anyone who knows concerning forensics… and I have searched for an answer and can’t find it…. was there any dna evidence at all associated with Robert’s body? Any dna evidence at the home that showed an unknown intruder in the house or room? Unknown fingerprints?

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:34 AM

      I believe there were two latent prints–TWO– found in the guestroom. Can you imagine the police going into your home and only finding two unknown fingerprints?

      • KV on 06/18/2010 at 2:40 PM

        “Can you imagine the police going into your home and only finding two unknown fingerprints?”

        . . . and no fingerprints from even the residents on doors, gates, and other areas in the home accessed frequently and certainly that evening. Very clean indeed.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 11:34 AM

      Re: DNA. I think there was testing done on both the “semen sample” and on the knife. The reporting was that the “semen sample” matched Wone’s DNA. I haven’t seen anything at all about the DNA on the knife, but it may have been part of the items that were stipulated.

      Re: Unknown fingerprints. I think there were several, both in the house and in the guest bedroom. Frankly, I don’t think the defense is going to make a big deal out of this. I think the defendants said in their statements that lots of people (mostly relatives) stayed in the guest bedroom, so there’s a good reason for there to be “unknown” fingerprints there. But if they really want to press this point, the defense needs to put someone on the stand who can list who was in the house for a given period before the murder, which they really can’t do.

      • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 11:52 AM

        Thank you for information about the prints. I suppose it could also be argued that an intruder could have worn gloves.

        The lack of dna (besides his own) on Robert is telling to me. That goes to a clean up of his body. Robert was injected, sexually abused and stabbed. At some point he had to have been restrained by force, if only for the injections, and I think it is a safe assumption that the perpetrators dna would be on his body and/or clothes.

        The lack of defense wounds tells me his incapacitation happened quickly, which is why I keep going back to a rag with ether being forced on his face, then when he passed out the injections. From that point they could do whatever they wanted– the sex abuse and then the stabbing.

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:14 PM

          You’re making a lot of assumptions there. While there may have been semen in and around Robert’s genitals, it has been said it might have been the body voiding after death. That has not been proven either way.

          One thing we need to keep in mind, and I do not mean only you but all of us, is that the site and posters have been (pointlessly, I believe) threatened with legal action. It might be smart to state your beliefs in less definitive ways.

          • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 2:18 PM

            Semen goes into the rectum after death?

            Come to think of it, I don’t think semen is expelled at death. If I’m wrong about that I hope somebody will point that out. But like I said, INTO the rectum…. can’t see how that would happen.

            • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 3:08 PM

              I don’t think anyone’s proven it was semen or just seminal fluid. Again, google and the search feature will probably turn that up.

        • ladyg on 06/18/2010 at 5:10 PM

          joe was quick to point that little scenario out (about the intruder wearing gloves)to the police. quick thinking on your feet joe.

  5. LegallyConfused on 06/18/2010 at 10:03 AM

    Legal procedure questions. When is the last moment in a trial that a defendant can cop a plea? Is it after the defense rests, and before closing arguments begin?
    Also, after the defense rests, does the prosecution have any opportunity to introduce any new evidence that has come to them since they rested their case Thursday? Or is it over for both sides?
    After almost four weeks of a glacial pace on this trial, it seems like it’s moving now at warp speed to a conclusion. Judge Leibovitz Rule 29 decisions are clear to me, but the abbreviated defense strategy strikes me as odd.
    I’m just wondering if the prosecution has some kind of trump card still to play, or if anyone thinks the prosecution are negotiating behind the scenes with one or more defendants’ attorneys. At this point are their any procedural rules as to who has to initiate a plea deal? Thanks for any comments.

    • dweller on 06/18/2010 at 10:37 AM

      A defendant can plead anytime until a verdict has been reached (in many jury trial cases, it even happens while the jury is deliberating, i.e., considering the evidence) – either party can initiate plea discussions. The government can present rebuttal evidence (but it has to rebut something that came out during the defense case – it cannot be new evidence or something the government “forgot” to put in its case-in-chief). I don’t think the government has any trump card to play – too much of a gamble since the defense doesn’t need to put on any case at all.

      • LegallyConfused on 06/18/2010 at 11:15 AM

        Dweller, thanks for clearing up the procedural stuff for me.
        Should be an interesting weekend for all defendants to consider various options.

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:35 AM

        After a verdict is reached, can they then offer evidence in exchange for a lighter sentence?

        • dweller on 06/18/2010 at 11:51 AM

          It wouldn’t be “evidence,” per se – but a defendant who is to be sentenced can offer any information that the sentencing judge is willing to consider in order to “mitigate” whatever the punishment might be. The only time it wouldn’t make a difference is if there’s a “mandatory minimum” sentence at play (not the case with these charges).

  6. La on 06/18/2010 at 10:08 AM

    Does anyone know what the state of the relationship of the trouple is right now? I was under the impression that they are not in custody during the trial. Where are they living? Together or separately? Any sightings of them around town?

    • Kate on 06/18/2010 at 10:36 AM

      Morning La – it has been reported here on the site that the Trouple are currently residing with Victor’s Aunt. I don’t recall reading of any more recent changes in their living arrangements.

      Hope that helps,
      Kate

      • Ivan on 06/18/2010 at 11:15 AM

        I don’t know if that’s the case these days. I believe Joe is living in his R Street NW condo. Don’t know about VZ or DW.

        • James on 06/18/2010 at 2:10 PM

          you are wrong. they are all living together.

          • Ohio on 06/18/2010 at 3:54 PM

            thanks

  7. Ohio on 06/18/2010 at 10:10 AM

    “I conclude, considering all the evidence, a reasonable juror would, though not be required to, find without a reasonable doubt that the government had proved its theories of conspiracy and obstruction of justice,” Leibovitz said. But the judge cautioned that her decision was neither a “verdict” nor a “signal” of what the final outcome of the trial might be.

    I like this statement.

  8. Sandra Renee Hicks on 06/18/2010 at 10:34 AM

    Greetings -

    La:
    I have no documented evidence on the living arrangements of the defendants nor do I know of any sightings. Your curiosity on the matter is shared….

    My “analysis” on Victor:

    He is addicted to what was and is harmfully reluctant to accept what is…

    He dangles but is no longer zip-locked with the trio component. It is a facsimile of its former “self.”

    He feels the “gulf” and it sorely pains him. Joe Price “left” him before he left him. Joe is “gone” but Victor isn’t.

  9. Sandra Renee Hicks on 06/18/2010 at 10:38 AM

    Greetings -

    Can anyone help me to understand why Joe, an educated man with legal experience, would so foolishly give a key and security code to his alcoholic crack-addicted brother?

    I understand the love ingredient and the blood connection but cannot grasp the form of logic that Joe exercised.

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 11:11 AM

      Is it possible that Michael didn’t have the key and code until after the murder? Maybe there was a piece of evidence that needed to be removed, or brought back- such as the missing knife– and Michael was attempting to do so after the fact. Since we have no idea what really happened that night and nothing makes sense, we have no idea what could have been left behind, or what they might have wanted altered after the fact. The “burglary” wasn’t reported right away, if for example Michael’s initial purpose was to leave the missing knife, maybe they then changed their minds and decided it was best to leave the “missing knife” as speculation.

      • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 11:39 AM

        We don’t know for sure, but Michael Price reportedly went on a major bender right after the murder, so I think it’s much more likely that he got the key and the security code before the murder, when he was still on the wagon.

    • Devin on 06/18/2010 at 11:14 AM

      Because at the end of the day family is awlays going to be family.

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:37 AM

      There is no accounting for familial love and stupidity.

  10. Atlanta on 06/18/2010 at 10:49 AM

    However the judge rules, the verdict of public opinion is already in: These guys are guilty. You know from talking with friends, family, etc., the evidence as presented does not shine favorably on the trouple. There’s too much about that night, their actions, that pretty much stink. And if they don’t pay for it with a prison sentence, at least they are paying for it through the nose.

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:20 PM

      I think you are vastly underestimating the support they have. If they are acquitted, Joe keeps his license, and there are a hell of a lot of firms that would be glad to have him for his expertise.

      • CuriousinVA on 06/18/2010 at 1:08 PM

        I don’t care what his “expertise” is. Even if acquitted there is not a lawfirm in the area that will hire Joe Price. NO WAY. Well, at least not one of the prestigious ones and certainly not in a public role. I could see MAYBE someone he knew might give him some behind the scenes work, researching or writing, but his days of being a partner at a prominent law firm are OVER.

        • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 1:24 PM

          Could he start his own law firm, though?

          • bigfatmike on 06/18/2010 at 8:23 PM

            Is he a rainmaker? If he can bring in enough clients to fund his partnership, a part of the mortgage on the building and a few associates, there are probably quite a few firms that would give him a look.

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:24 PM

          Oh hell no, not a firm like AF, and probably none in the district, but hey own a home in Florida and he is, despite all other failings, a technically good attorney.

          • CuriousinVA on 06/18/2010 at 1:32 PM

            Can you imagine Joe though working at some small firm in FLA? Or, even if he could land a job at a bigger FL firm I cannot imagine they would allow him a visible role. I just don’t think his ego/hubris would allow him to be a behind the scenes guy even if it was only a means to put bread on the table. He’d probably go the route of writing a book or something about “the worst night of his life”. Poor Joe. Anything to get attention.

            • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:50 PM

              Picturing Joe in a small, backwater FL firm is damn near as good as picturing him in prison or Hell, and I’m sure he’d feel about the same way about any of those alternatives.

              Warms the heart a tad, doesn’t it?

              • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 1:54 PM

                But it all comes down to money, and since Joe had access to big clients at AF, another law firm (either here in DC or elsewhere) could use JPrice to gain access to those clients, no? I mean lobbyists do it on the Hill all the time. /?/

                • CuriousinVA on 06/18/2010 at 2:22 PM

                  I think the key here is “had” access. Even if acquitted he will be tarnished in my opinion. Just like OJ. There may be supporters and there may even be those who will throw some work his way but “not guilty” does not equal innocent.

                  • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 2:45 PM

                    True. Just curious (again)…could those clients now file against AF for malpractice, now knowing that JPrice engaged in drug activities while doing work on their behalf?????

                • carolina on 06/18/2010 at 4:44 PM

                  Big Law doesn’t really appreciate client-pilfering. At the same time, they must be careful what they say to future potential employers or it might well come back to haunt them.

          • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 1:40 PM

            The corporate legal profession is not what it was back in 2006, before the economic crash. Many firms have dissolved, earnings have plummeted, no offers are made to summer interns, offers that have been made are rescinded. It would be very very difficult to replace the salary & perks that existed at any Biglaw firm in 2006 today. With the baggage Joe Price is carrying, he would have to take contract piece work at a substantial discount.
            Assuming he still has a license to practice law after this. In addition, the civil case has not yet begun.
            The economic crash has to have severely impacted the value of any real estate holdings held by Price/Zaborsky team as well.

            • Craig on 06/18/2010 at 1:48 PM

              And it’s been said that upon Price’s departure (firing) from Arent Fox, that there was no severance package given. Eight years and out; the bums rush.

              • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 2:08 PM

                Prolly fired for gross misconduct (all the porn on firm computer, and all).

            • Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 3:30 PM

              Price also does not appear to be barred in Florida (and you can’t just waive into the Fl Bar). See http://www.floridabar.org/names.nsf/MESearch
              But I’m wondering: even if Joe is convicted of one of the felony charges, is he likely to lose his license, especially given the nature of the offenses (ie, being a bad officer of the court)?

              • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 4:56 PM

                Yes, in my opinion, it is likely. The DC Bar looks at whether the felony demonstrates a lack of “moral turpitude.” Offenses that tend to mislead the justice system involve a lack of moral turpitude. If this were a matter of a lawyer saying, “I didn’t know I was driving 70 in a 45 mph zone” that might be one thing. This is different in my opinion.

                • KKinCA on 06/18/2010 at 6:53 PM

                  Chilaw79 – I think you mean that the offense “includes” moral turpitude, which is defined as “depravity” or “inherent baseness”. BTW – I love your posts! I always learn a lot from you!!

                  • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 7:22 PM

                    That’s exactly what I meant. I garbled my syntax somewhere.

                    • KKinCA on 06/18/2010 at 8:01 PM

                      It was the use of “the lack of” in your post. No worries – just thought I would clarify for our non-attorney readers.

                • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 7:21 PM

                  I agree that an ‘officer of the court’ cannot obstruct justice without this counting as involving “moral turpitude” questions. If you lose your license in one state these days you must report it to all others – almost without exception, the second state takes the same action as the first, so if he hasn’t taken the Florida bar, he wouldn’t be able to (arrest pending trial may have prevented sitting previously).

                  Of course, if he’s acquitted, he’ll keep his license but I posted this afternoon about his job prospects, at least in IP where both he and I practice.

        • Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 1:40 PM

          And once Kathy Wone wins her wrongful death suit (which I believe she will, no matter the outcome of the criminal case), she can garnish his/their wages, etc, in fulfillment of the judgment. Of course, she can’t touch the FL house.

          • CuriousinVA on 06/18/2010 at 1:45 PM

            Oh yes, that is a GOOD point Daphne.

            • dcbill on 06/18/2010 at 2:04 PM

              But after she’s finished with them, how in the world will they even pay for taxes and upkeep on that nice house? Their future does not look very rosey, at all.

              • Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 3:20 PM

                Poor boys.

        • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 5:27 PM

          Why does everyone assume that Joe would want to practice law? There’s a lot of money in Internet porn!

      • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 3:39 PM

        “…there are a hell of a lot of firms that would be glad to have him for his expertise.”

        I don’t think so. Even if he’s cleared of all charges AND the police capture a ninja tonight who confesses to being the silent intruder, I STILL can’t see him working at a high profile law firm. I think all the porn on the office computer is going to kill his future job chances. I also think that all of the defense lawyers that are on this case are going to tell all their friends in the legal world that, while they can’t comment on the facts of the case, then can tell you that there’s no way in hell you should hire Joe Price at your law firm.

      • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 5:06 PM

        The IP law world is a very small one. I talked about this case at a recent IP gathering with others so it’s not an unknown. The only thing Price has going for him is a common name (sorry, Victor) but in the legal world, one looks VERY carefully at lapses in resumes, enough to do some digging, even if references were extraordinarily stealth about his past. Even “stealth” is unlikely, since references may now have liability and lawyers don’t stick their necks out in this area – and no one would be willing to take a reference about his Arent Fox days without speaking to an AF lawyer. The best he can hope for is “no comment” with a heavy silence. And there’s the little problem of the criminal record search and the web search. . .

        If acquitted, he might get discount contract work provided by friends or go to a temp agency. He could conceivably open his own firm but he will not have any real chance of attracting AF-like clients. On top of it he’s a litigator, meaning his cache of clients was not that great – often litigators are hired guns within firms and not expected to have separate clients.

        Perhaps a billboard on a back country Florida highway, Joe’s jowly face stares at the oncoming traffic, his finger pointed to the camera: if you’ve been injured on the job, if you suffered from mesothemiola, discovered mold or asbestos in your attic, call 1-800-GO-GO-JOE!

        • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 6:46 PM

          Oh yeah, in the W&M alumni interview, Joe made it out that most of his workload was pro bono. Of course, it’s a given that he lies (since he strongly implied in the interview that his ‘family’ consists of Victor and his sons). Nevertheless while pro bono work is to be applauded, it won’t pay his bills. Got to have a thriving practice or be within a firm which essentially funds the pro bono work of other lawyers in the firm.

          • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 8:52 PM

            In fairness, with firm support,Joe Price was the lead counsel pro bono in a very important landmark custody case, Miller v. Jenkins, which has taken a very sad twist as the proceedings continue. I wonder if Lisa Miller felt emboldened by her former adversary’s current status.
            It is somewhat ironic that Mr. Gay Rights Family Man has been exposed as such a fraud on so many levels to many who might have once looked up to him as a role model. (Excluding those of you who did know him personally, of course.)This has been a real field day for those who hate & the consequences for Isabella Miller-Jenkins have been truly horrifying.
            In the first week of June, it was revealed that Lisa Miller has most likely kidnapped Isabella & removed her to El Salvador in order to continue to defy the ability of any court in this land to provide Janet Jenkins with her hard won right of parental visitation. Isabella is not in school, neither her birth mother nor Isabella speak Spanish, she is a now a missing & endangered child.
            While Joe Price is no longer involved for obvious reasons,”Liberty Counsel” is still counsel of record for Lisa Miller although of course they deny any knowledge of, or financial support regarding the kidnapping.

  11. David on 06/18/2010 at 11:06 AM

    The editors say that Defense has a cardiac specialist as an expert witness who will testify that Robert Wone died instantly. Then how could he have been still breathing as was stated in the 911 call?

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:38 AM

      Or moan, or scream, but still not fight back or clutch his wounds?

  12. Rich on 06/18/2010 at 11:13 AM

    A Whole New Theory on Who Did It and Why.

    No discussion here of knives,fibers or everything else of recent.

    First of all, the theory has not been recociled with the thousands of posts on this site, so, I can be all wrong based on the discussion and evidence to date.

    But, here it goes:

    What if Joe Price wanted to engage Robert in sex upon his arrival to the house and Robert was reticent and said, no. Just not GAY.

    Then Joe suggests, some drugs may help him ease into it and suggests a syringe. Robert agrees, hence no defense response as he thinks maybe the drugs will help him, “Buy In.”

    Sadly, Robert has violent/physical reaction to the drgus and starts to crash.

    Joe panics and for some unknown reason, Stabs him with or without the help of others?

    Plausible?

    Don’t scream. I may not have enough information on the case to know better. :)

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 11:26 AM

      No screaming from me, I’ve been trying to think of a theory myself in this very bizarre case. The thing is, who in their right mind would allow someone to inject them with paralyzing drugs? Also it was the stabbing that killed Robert. How does one go from drugging, consensual or not, to murder?

      Also the killing was methodical, not a disorganized rage kill as evidenced by the precision of the wounds. The question always comes back to WHY?

      Yet we know it happened, and we know it wasn’t an “intruder”.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 11:41 AM

      Robert Wone didn’t even drink. I can’t see him jumping into IV drugs in order to make himself more comfortable with the idea of cheating on his wife with a man.

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:42 AM

      I don’t think there is any evidence that would support this. Robert didn’t even drink, why would he take drugs to help him ease into gay sex? Why would he suddenly decide to cheat on his wife?

      I think it makes more sense that Joe (or someone) decided that Robert would make a great photographic subject for their new porn business, and knowing he wouldn’t go along, drugged him. They assumed he’d sleep through it, wake up with a headache and be none the wiser.

      Something went wrong, either he started to wake up or wasn’t breathing or some other complication, and Robert ended up stabbed.

      • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 12:03 PM

        Carolina so far this seems to make the most sense, but there are still problems. Robert wouldn’t just have a headache when he woke up, he would have numerous injection marks. Can you imagine?

        How would Joe think he could get away with something like that?

        Could Joe have been planning to blackmail Robert with photographs? Did Joe have unknown issues with Robert? It’s just bizarre that he would pick Robert to photograph and have to drug him when surely he could have found someone willing to do it?

        • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 12:09 PM

          If I recall correctly, there was a porno tape that was recovered by police at 1509 Swann (along with all of the other sex toys) … somebody here pointed out that the actor on the cover of the tape looked similar to RWone … who knows.

          I just hope the trouple get punished.

          • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:22 PM

            That is true, but I think saying the man in the tape resembled Robert is like saying my dad resembles Jimmy Durante– in that they are both white and male.

            • Vandy on 06/18/2010 at 12:44 PM

              But they were both Asian and male (not white and male).

              • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 12:51 PM

                Good point!

                All Asians look alike.

                (I can say that ‘cos I’m Asian.) :)

              • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:06 PM

                Okay… Maybe I just studied Miller Analogies too long.

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:27 PM

          We do not know when he was injected. If there was in fact something in the water, they may have believed it would be enough for their short foray into the land of Mapplethorpe, only injecting him when it seemed he was not going to remain unconscious.

          There are a million reasons to pick Robert that don’t include blackmail. Joe may have had a long standing crush. He may have seen it as a trophy for personal use only. You ask why not go for someone who would do it willingly. Those people are a dime a dozen and they are not Robert. You could just as easily ask why he would keep pornographic photos of himself on his AF computer, when less specific porn would have been far safer.

          Are you also aware that Joe was in the midst of setting up his own porn business?

          • Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 1:42 PM

            How do you know that Joe was setting up a porn business? I bet the partners at AF would have loved that!

            • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:53 PM

              It’s actually on this site. Mail order, of course. Dylan took care of the in call/out call.

              • dcbill on 06/18/2010 at 2:11 PM

                Where on this site is there information about Joe Price setting up a porn business? I find that hard to believe, though I guess everything about this case is hard to believe.

                  • Kate on 06/18/2010 at 3:08 PM

                    Thanks Vandy and Carolina – I missed that interesting tidbit.

                    A partner at Arent Fox with a budding porn business on the side. Wonder of wonders.

                    On the bright side, Joe can always fall back on this as his next career.

                  • DavidR on 06/19/2010 at 2:21 PM

                    This website is rtegistered until next year. The site is vacant as in there is nothing there but a home page. I find it interesting Joe used his work email and work phone numbers when he registered the web site.

                    • AnnaZed on 06/19/2010 at 2:31 PM

                      The words “breathtaking hubris” come to mind.

                • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 3:12 PM

                  Google or use the search feature for Eye Candy. I’m sorry, it’s hard to cut and paste links on this.

              • tucsonwriter on 06/18/2010 at 2:32 PM

                What about the bizarre books Dylan Ward was reading? Maybe Dylan dared Joe Price to do something?

        • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 12:49 PM

          Blackmailing is not likely, useless Joe is stupid. (One can argue that he is already stupid.) They share a large circle of W&M friends; I don’t think Joe would put his reputation at risk.

        • Bill 2 on 06/18/2010 at 5:56 PM

          “he would have numerous injection marks”

          But they could easily go unnoticed unless you were looking for injection marks. I had blood drawn this morning for a physical next week and then I went to the beach. I’m certain that nobody at the beach saw the tiny spot on my arm as we chatted and it certainly has no bump or strange feeling. I really think that injection marks would not have been noted by anyone waking up from a drug induced sleep. Beware of what bed and what home you’re sleeping in. In the morning, if you have a headache, check your ankles and between your toes for a new freckle!

      • Rapt in MD on 06/18/2010 at 12:03 PM

        The other thing about this…if he would have made this kind of an epic leap in lifestyle choice that night – it would have taken a lot longer than a few minutes of “chit chat” as Joe described it to get him to consider it. I can’t see a non-drinking, loyal, straight man being talked into something like this in a short (or even long period of time). No way.

        • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 12:15 PM

          I agree Rapt.

          I wonder if Joe has ever drugged anyone else? And if so, what did he use? Seems unlikely to me that Robert would be the first victim.

          If he had other victims (that didn’t end up dead) for his photography/excitement I would hope somebody would come forward.

          • BadShoes on 06/18/2010 at 7:46 PM

            Well, if there is ever another case, the police could look for unidentified men in Mr. Price’s office photo collection.

            (maybe they already did)

    • AnnaZed on 06/18/2010 at 2:33 PM

      I think that a version of this could have happened; a version with Dylan and Michael as helpmates for Joe though, a version long in its planing and a version that was bound to end badly but that Joe in his hubris refused to consider the obvious potential outcome of ~ or he considered it and longed for it (Robert’s death that is).

      • carolina on 06/18/2010 at 4:58 PM

        The lack of cameras still bothers me when I consider how many photographs we have seen. I can’t see them traveling the Mediterranean with a disposable, even if there are now digital versions.

    • Devin on 06/18/2010 at 3:11 PM

      Hmm, interesting. If I were to revise your theory a bit this is how it would go.

      Maybe Robert and Joe had a brief sexual relationship when the two were both in college. I am not saying that Robert is gay but there are a lot of men who try it out once or twice in school. Joe might of talked to Michael about it and Micchael (high on drugs)suggest that they fool around and Robert declined. In a fit of drug induced rage Micahel goes to te kitchen grabs a knife and stabs Robert. Then Michael uses a syringe to make it look like a drug over dose. Remember Michael is still on drugs so his decision making is very poor. One of the trouple stumbles apon the commotion (most likely Joe or Victor) and the clean/cover up begins.

      • carolina on 06/18/2010 at 4:29 PM

        That doesn’t really make much sense, you still don’t account for Robert staying perfectly still for MP’s enraged stabbing.

        As for Robert and Joe having a fling, ;oe wasn’t even out in college and claims he was not sexually active, due in no small part to his brother’s health circumstances.

        • Devin on 06/18/2010 at 4:43 PM

          You obviously have not been a college age male. You would be very surprised what goes on. There are plently of people having same sex relationships and not being out, most of them are not even gay just exploring there bodies and trying new things. I’m not saying they were dating at all but maybe there was a one time sex act.

          • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 5:32 PM

            I have been a college age male.

        • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 4:54 PM

          “As for Robert and Joe having a fling, ;oe wasn’t even out in college and claims he was not sexually active, due in no small part to his brother’s health circumstances.”

          I had pretty much figured it out by senior year. He may not have been “out”, but he wasn’t really “in”, either. I have no idea if he was sexually active or not.

      • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 5:34 PM

        “In a fit of drug induced rage Micahel goes to te kitchen grabs a knife and stabs Robert. Then Michael uses a syringe to make it look like a drug over dose.”

        To me, the evidence points more to the opposite — a drug overdose staged as a stabbing.

        • bigfatmike on 06/18/2010 at 8:53 PM

          How exactly does one use drugs to obscure three stab wounds, one to the heart? And if one is using drugs as a ploy, why a drug that does not show up in a standard tox screen, and why no drug paraphernalia?

          Sometimes simpler is closer to the mark.

  13. Sandra Renee Hicks on 06/18/2010 at 11:18 AM

    Thank you, weaver, for your insights…

    I was in the courtroom when the basement tenant/resident testified and I thought that I heard her say that Michael had a key prior to the murder…not sure though.

    Also, if Michael murdered Robert as some speculate, what could be his motive?

    • weaver on 06/18/2010 at 11:35 AM

      Exactly- what would compel Michael to enter the home and kill a sleeping guest? How does he first paralyze Robert?

      It appears from the evidence that Robert’s murder and clean up went down in stages, with the first being to paralyze him. How would Michael or some unknown person do all of that and the trio not notice except to hear a chime?

      They are all lying their asses off.

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 11:53 AM

        I don’t think anyone thinks Michael was involved ALONE.

    • mw on 06/18/2010 at 11:40 AM

      He might have been planning to steal stuff (like he did a few weeks later), ran into Wong and startled him, maybe Wong gets freaked out that there’s this cracked out druggie, things escalate and Michael kills him.

      That’s at least as probable, to me, as three professional adults conspiring to sedate, sexually assault and murder their overnight guest, and think that nobody will be suspicious about what happened.

      • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 11:46 AM

        Unlikely. If he were planning to steal stuff, I think he would just wait for working hours, when he knew the house would be empty.

        • Atlanta on 06/18/2010 at 12:08 PM

          If Michael was on the scene and nothing was stolen that would suggest he couldn’t steal at the time–because Joe was there, as were the others.

        • Devin on 06/18/2010 at 3:22 PM

          Its a lot more likely than you think. If he was high on drugs he wouldn’t be thinking clearly. When an addict needs a fix they need it ASAP. There is no waiting until the next day to break in and steal things.

          • carolina on 06/18/2010 at 4:36 PM

            Sorry, but as far as we know, MP was still on the wagon on the night of the murder. It wasn’t until later he went on the bender that ended in the unstolen car.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:42 PM

              “Unstolen Car”….isn’t that a song by Bruce Springsteen?

              ;>

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:29 PM

        You still have no evidence that Mr. Wone woke up. There was no struggle. He was not stabbed in the midst of an altercation. He was absolutely still.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:36 PM

          Absolutely, Carolina. And, as I mentioned before, the bed linens even indicate complete stillness.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:37 PM

        mw, it’s Wone. Not Wong. :D

        • ccf on 06/18/2010 at 9:26 PM

          Mostly likely his family name pronounced phonetically in Cantonese is the commonly spelled Wong. His parents, or grandparents, instead took the spelling Won. Robert changed it to Wone.

          So, it’s the same name.

          By the way, in Mandarin Pinyin it would be Huang (or less likely Wang).

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:38 PM

        mw, it is also on record that Michael Price had one of his worst drug relapses the following day. Perhaps that relapse began the night of Robert Wone’s murder.

      • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 8:56 PM

        “…ran into Wong and startled him, maybe Wong gets freaked out that there’s this cracked out druggie, things escalate and Michael kills him.’

        That’s interesting but it does not fit what we know – there were no defensive wounds on Robert’s body at all – he didn’t struggle or fight with anyone that night…

        Also, Joe testified there was nothing of any value in that room, but to get there, Michael would have walked past some easier pickin’s…laptop downstairs, etc. And no, I am not talking about the cuisinart and the flat-screen TV bolted to the wall!

        P.S. It is Wone

  14. Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 11:38 AM

    This whole experience is nerve-wracking to me. How awful it must be for the Wones!

  15. Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 11:41 AM

    Oh, and to David and the other eds. What was the context of Judge L. raising the issue family relationships affecting the knowledge of a crime?

    • david on 06/18/2010 at 12:13 PM

      Daphne,

      The Judge raised the familial relationships in her questions to Rachel Carson-Lieber when quizzing her about the government’s opposition to the defense’s Rule 29 motion to acquit. She questioned it in terms of the Obstruction and Conspiracy charges, as in “Does a mother who turns a blind eye to a son’s activities because she can’t believe her son would commit this crime rise to the level of conspiracy and obstruction?”

      David, co-ed

      • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 12:31 PM

        I wonder what her personal opinion is on that scenario. Judging by her previous findings, I don’t think I’d want to be that mom.

      • Daphne on 06/18/2010 at 12:45 PM

        Hmm. Wonder who’s “mom” and who’s the “son.”

      • srb on 06/18/2010 at 1:05 PM

        How did Ms. Carson-Lieber answer the Judge’s question?

        • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:54 PM

          Very curious about this, too.

          • interestedobserver on 06/18/2010 at 4:24 PM

            She basically answered that if all the mother said was that she didn’t believe my child couldn’t have done this, then it would not be obstruction. Carson-Lieber stated that if the mother was asked specific questions and/or gave specific answers that were false, such as what her child was doing at a certain time, then this would be obstruction. Carson-Lieber referenced Price’s testimony and the specific, false information he provided about what happened, in addition to his general comments about how well he knows Dylan and Victor and did not believe they could have done it.

  16. chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 12:34 PM

    My review of the appeals from Judge Liebovitz’s decisions in criminal case suggest she has been reversed only once. The judge let in a DEA report on some drugs and did not require the testimony of the person who performed the tests. This involved both the much-discussed Crawford case (which deals with the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment) and the Melendez-Diaz opinion from the U. S. Supreme Court.

    A number of the appeals deal with the Crawford case and the hearsay rules.

    There are not enough cases to be statistically meaningful (and I say that as someone who has dealt (long ago) with a lot of statistics in criminal cases, particularly death penalty cases).

    • Carolina on 06/18/2010 at 1:09 PM

      Thanks for that. I know it must have been absolutely dirt dry reading to come up with that and it is appreciated.

      • Makes me wonder on 06/18/2010 at 1:42 PM

        Yes, thank you!!!

    • DonnaH on 06/19/2010 at 3:40 AM

      Thanks! I’ve been wondering about this for a few days but had no idea where to start looking.

  17. srb on 06/18/2010 at 1:54 PM

    For all who are trying to read the tea leaves on this case, the D.C. Superior Court publishes an annual report regarding caseload and activity in its court system. Page 14 of the report summarizes the dispositions of criminal cases in the previous year. Years 2009, 2008, and 2007 are available here:

    http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/criminal.jsp

    It even breaks down how many felony bench trials were conducted and the outcomes. In 2009, 14 acquittals or not guilty judgments out of 62 (=22.5%) felony bench trials. In 2008, 14 out of 65 (=21.5%). In 2007, 17 out of 64 (=26.5%). The report does not break the statistics out by judge, however. These acquittal/not guilty rates are higher than I would have expected to see for a U.S. Attorney’s office, but it’s also the only US Attorney’s office in the country that prosecutes local crime, and not just federal crimes.

  18. Themis on 06/18/2010 at 2:44 PM

    I believe someone mentioned that Dr. Vincent Di Maio might testify. Dr. Di Maio is the author of a highly regarded treatise on forensic pathology and, if I remember correctly, triple board certified, a very experienced medical examiner, and a specialist traumatic injury, though it may be mostly gunshot wounds. If he does testify, it will be interesting to hear what he testifies to. I believe Dr. Baden is also a current or former medical examiner f memory serves.

    As for experts getting paid, do we know if the good doctor from Maryland testified for free or received a fee? Personally, I could care less. But when I know that an expert for the state has been compensated or never testified for the defense, I elicit that testimony.

  19. Themis on 06/18/2010 at 3:17 PM

    I don’t know of any defense attorney who thinks their best shot at acquittal is to win a Rule 29, which requires the evidence to be construed in the light most favorable to the government. If they think that way, they need to find a new profession or take some trial practice seminars.

  20. Rich on 06/18/2010 at 3:24 PM

    Dr. Mark Smith from GWU!

    Good One for the Defense.

    He’s a closet case!

    Well known for being GAY, but, maintains a low profile and doesn’t sell it.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 4:09 PM

      Memo to defense team: I have no idea if Dr. Mark Smith is gay or not, but if he is, PLEASE do not put him on the stand if he’s had sex with one (or more) of the defendants. Thanks.

      • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 4:35 PM

        Or Scott Hixson!

        • gertiestn on 06/18/2010 at 4:40 PM

          Ha! Thank goodness for the light comment here and there. I think even better of you for this, FCSOP.

    • Kathleen on 06/18/2010 at 4:30 PM

      What exactly is your point?

    • John on 06/18/2010 at 7:15 PM

      N.B. the name is Jeff Smith not Mark. Two different doctors

  21. Kathleen on 06/18/2010 at 4:37 PM

    Re your take on Spagnoletti vs. Carlson-Lieber:

    Both attorneys are second chairing this case. Both attorneys are equally experienced. Carlson-Leiber is not some neophyte who needs experience arguing an MJOA. She has been in that office a long time.

  22. tassojunior on 06/18/2010 at 4:40 PM

    Paul Wagner is reporting on MyFoxDC that Smith has testified that the Pulseless Electrical Activity (PEA) that was recorded in the ambulance at 11:59 could not have been present more than 12 minutes after death. The judge has initially ruled against this evidence as “speculative” and the attorneys are conferring to figure how to get this in.

    First I’ve heard that PEA was recorded at 11:59.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 4:59 PM

      They might be able to squeeze reasonable doubt out of this, but I don’t think so. I think it’s more likely that they’re going to call the EMT back to the stand and have him testify that he called it PEA (rather than a flatline) because you can’t tell PEA from a true flatline in the back of an ambulance.

      • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 5:09 PM

        This is curious to me – would the 12 minute rule be truly applicable such that one could assume he was alive at 11:47? Need some explanation on this from a med type.

        • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 5:17 PM

          Short answer: No.

          • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 6:34 PM

            Bill, Longer question,is it just me or are you also kind of underwhelmed by Jeff Smith’s credentials? After being promised the likes of Michael Baden, Henry Lee, Vince Di Maio, PLUS hotshot cardiac surgeons, instead we get a guy who whose area of interests are: International Medicine, Emergency Department Administration, & Ethics.
            This expert witness is basically an administrator who is just barely qualified to discuss the current state of trauma scene response as he most likely has not been out for a ride with an EMT crew since the 1990’s. He might have something interesting to say about the practice of emergency medicine in other countries, but Washington, DC & Dupont Circle are still part of the US.

            • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 7:02 PM

              If the link up top is the right guy (there’s some discussion about this below, and the website is from 2005), then I actually think he’s more qualified as an expert on these topics than the cardiac surgeons are. The relevant questions are all along the lines of “What exactly happens right after someone gets stabbed in the chest?” You want an ER doc for that kind of thing, because they’re the ones who see people right after they’ve been stabbed in the chest. Next on the list would be a trauma surgeon.

              • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/18/2010 at 7:51 PM

                But is he really an ER Doc anymore? I question if he has worked a clinical shift in years. The Head of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins for example, is primarily a researcher who has not seen a patient in years. His CV looks a lot more impressive than this one,but he doesn’t actually work as an ER doc (they hate that expression BTW, they work in “Emergency Medicine”, not in Emergency Rooms).
                To get ahead in the academic world of Emergency Medicine you must do research, teach, publish & become an administrator. I wonder what he teaches, is it Ethics? I’d like to know how many clinical shifts he works, if at all, a week.
                In terms of where he went to medical school, with an internal medicine residency at the VA & an emergency medicine residency at a very weak program as well, he does not give the dates, but as he graduated from med school in 1981, his emergency medicine residency was completed back in the 1980s as well.
                If you don’t keep working clinical shifts on a regular basis, you quickly become out of touch with current practice. Real clinical shiftwork involves a brutal schedule of nights & weekends which is hard to do as you become older & more vested in daytime opportunities such as pursuing a MPH, picked up in 1999.

                • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 8:13 PM

                  I would imagine that the prosecution will hit all of these points on cross. If he’s not actually doing any real clinical work, I expect that they’ll hammer him on that.

                  • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/19/2010 at 2:07 AM

                    Bill O,
                    Did you read the Washington Post coverage?The judge said that Jeff Smith isn’t qualified to answer the questions he was asked based on his limited expertise. The Judge said so, it is not just me.From the WashPo article dated the 19th,”Judge Lynn Leibovitz quickly stopped Richardson from asking the question. Based on Smith’s experience, the judge said, Smith was unqualified to offer such an opinion.” “He’s not a forensic pathologist. He’s a medical doctor. Only a forensic pathologist can give that opinion. It’s outside his scope,” Leibovitz said…
                    She is demanding as I do the return of MD’s CME David Fowler for a triumphant yet illuminating rebuttal, combining all that fabulous knowledge of knife wounds, forensic pathology as well as forensic anatomy in 1 self assured yet not egotistical package. He has done exactly what his late great mentor, MD CME John Smialek, would have expected of him. A truly awesome office. And for the trolls who comment on looks, John Smialek was strikingly handsome & always well dressed. Gone but not forgotten.

        • KKinCA on 06/18/2010 at 7:08 PM

          Hmm – where did LawMed go? Has he posted here lately?

      • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 5:32 PM

        Bill,

        Can you provide a brief explanation of PEA for us non-medical types? Also, just from trying to research this on the Internet, are there different levels of PEA and are some levels incompatible with meaningful recovery. I tried to read a study that included two cases where the victim was stabbed in the heart. The study seemed to conclude that some levels of PEA did not justify intervention in a trauma center and should be called at the scene.

        • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 6:38 PM

          Basically, it means that you see something on the electrocardiogram (the machine that goes “beep…beep…beep” on pretty much any medical show), suggesting that the heart is still “trying” to beat, but you can’t feel any pulses, so it’s not really moving much (if any) blood through the body. The term is somewhat vague, because all it really tells you is that someone saw SOMETHING on the EKG, but you really need to know exactly what they saw to say much more than that. Most of the time, people use the term PEA when the EKG looks fairly normal, but you can’t feel any pulses. I don’t think that’s what happened here, and I expect that the EMT is going to be recalled by the prosecution to clarify this.

      • tassojunior on 06/18/2010 at 5:41 PM

        Would PEA also mean that resuscitation efforts including injections were routine?

        • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 6:39 PM

          Yes. PEA typically means that the patient is (a) still alive and (b) going to die if there’s not a major resuscitation effort.

  23. Kathleen on 06/18/2010 at 4:46 PM

    Judge Lynn and the Metaphor of the Mother

    I think her line of questioning had more to do with permissible inferences and impermissible speculation. The court was questioning whether the government was arguing that a refusal to see bad in your child (or other family member) rose to the level of a conspiracy or obstruction. I would think the court would not agree with that argument.

  24. xxx on 06/18/2010 at 4:55 PM

    Please remind me why it is so important to prove that death occurred instantly versus a few minutes. Even if death occurred after a few minutes (rather than instantly), RW still would have been dead when the ambulance arrived. Does it have to do with the amount of blood present on the scene?

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 5:00 PM

      No signs of movement by Robert Wone.

    • novamomwithjd on 06/18/2010 at 5:48 PM

      I think the delay is important because it impacts the time line. The prosecution’s argument is that there was a delay between the death and the 911 call, and that time awas used to alter the scene. The defense is trying to raise doubt as to the time line; doubt as to the time line leads to doubt as to the scene alterations and doubt as to the validity of the charges. Raising reasonable doubt is all the defense has to do to win, isn’t it?

      As someone who had to endure two alcoholics in the family, I wanted to point out the addict behavior, which I feel has been somewhat slighted. Addicts don’t survive without help, an enabler. It sure seems to me that all the “help” Joe tried to offer Mike has successfully enabled him at least to some degree. To the degree of attempting to cover up a crime? There’s a psycological component here I certainly don’t fully understand.

  25. CC Biggs on 06/18/2010 at 5:19 PM

    If Wone died instantly, how could Price’s statement about hearing low groans be true? How could Victor’s statement (during the 911 call) that Wone was still breathing be true? The instant-death hypothesis would prove them to be liars!

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 6:19 PM

      CC, it seems to me the defense is present a case full of inconsistency and contradiction.

      • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 7:27 PM

        CD, I fear the defense will essentially offer up a ‘light most favorable to defense’ scenario as “the story” and hope she buys it. The prosecution needs to beat back the PEA issue but then in closing (noting we have a ways to go) note ALL the things that the Judge would have to believe to acquit. I think that’s by far the best approach since the defense is really going to try to push reasonable doubt to its max and play up these ‘fine men with no records’.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:29 PM

          A to push reasonable doubt they are going to present scenarios that don’t necessarily jive with the statements of the defendants (such as hearing Robert vocalize when he was stabbed, “he’s breathing,” Joe’s efforts to stanch the blood, etc.) The defendants statements tried to lead people to believe Robert was alive and now the defense is trying to lead the Judge to believe Robert died immediately.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:30 PM

            I think this Judge is way to smart for the defense team.

          • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 9:04 PM

            With some time on my hands, I started playing with the prosecution’s closing (not that they need me – it’s ridiculously long, and I apologize.

            In order to acquit the defendants of obstruction and conspiracy, and Joe Price for tampering, Judge Leibovitz would have to believe:
            1. That there was an intruder;
            2. Who scaled a 7 foot fence;
            3. On the hope that the back door was left unlocked;
            4. And left no footprints on the car;
            5. And did not disturb the debris on the top of the fence as he pulled up and hoisted himself over;
            6. That if he was a burglar, he quickly changed his mind and passed up many items which could have been pawned;
            7. Or came in with the intention of murder though he forgot to bring a weapon and picked up one in the kitchen;
            8. And soundlessly made his way through the living room (having been undaunted by the sound of the chime upon his entry);
            9. And silently climbed the stairs to find his murder victim;
            10. And passed the first closed door and the television and stereo;
            11. To make his way into the front bedroom which ordinarily served as an office with nothing but files and a desk top computer;
            12. Saw a sleeping Robert Wone lying on top of the sheets/blankets in a diagonal manner across the bed;
            13. Either used his knife upside down or squeezed behind the bed to align his knife;
            14. To make perfect 10 and 4 o’clock wounds, the first of which (luckily) entered his heart and killed him instantly, thus resulting in little blood and no struggle;
            15. And then he stabbed the man twice more for good measure in the exactly precise way and the man, though instantly dead, managed to moan with each blow though he could not move; and too the intruder decided to inject the dead man with a needle in many places for no known reason;
            16. And he pulled the knife out of the man’s chest in such a way that no gray or polyester fibers remained on the knife OR he managed to find a more suitable knife and left the kitchen knife on which he’d wiped blood in order to confuse the police;
            17. And he managed to go silently down the stairs without being seen or heard, though possibly the door chimed again upon his departure;
            18. And though he could have walked through the gate, he decided to go back over the fence, again without disturbing debris on the top of the fence;
            19. And in each instance of touching an object (knife, door handles) he wiped them clean of ANY fingerprints;
            20. And once he made it to safety, albeit with no burgled goods to sell, he was given many ‘gifts’ from the defendants to prevent him from ever being sought after, including:
            21. That Defendant Price and Defendant Zaborsky ran downstairs to find the dead man and Zaborsky let out a scream sometime after 11:05 and before 11:35; but that sixteen feet away, Defendant Ward slept soundly through the stabbings but was awakened by the Price and Zaborsky noise;
            22. That Price heard the chime and then Robert moaning within TWO to FIVE minutes apart and during those two-five minutes, the “intruder” managed to enter an unknown house, stop for a kitchen knife, go slowly enough as to not knock things over in the dark of night, climb the stairs quietly, traverse the second floor, enter the closed door of the guest room without waking the sleeping man, stab him three times with surgical precision, inject him numerous times with unknown substances (or nothing) in different locations, wipe blood on the kitchen knife to leave as a ‘plant’ knife and then descend before the third floor residents could make it from bed to the stairway, and finally, stopping to wipe down the prints from the knife and the door handles (NOTE: unlikely he was wearing a glove, as Joe opined, as if he had, there would have been other prints on the door handles and knife, not simply Joe’s – a more time-consuming method, it would seem, from a standard burglar);
            23. That Price pulled the knife from Robert’s chest without having any handy towel with which to apply pressure, despite being an Eagle scout, and despite two bath towels being nearby but untouched, and having no knowledge that a cardiac tamponade had occurred (but assuming blood would be forthcoming); OR he simply was mistaken and found the kitchen knife that the burglar wiped down with blood (and wiped off the prints) and Price (the lawyer) decided to handle the knife by picking it up and moving it to the nightstand;
            24. That time stood still that night such that the 11:34 scream (most favorable to defense) stopped time such that a 14 minute break occurred in the time continuum before Zaborsky was able to make it upstairs to call the police; or both Mr. and Mrs. Thomas did not hear Maureen Bunyan’s newscast at the time of the scream, that the scream occurred just before 11:49 though there was no mention of seeing ambulances arrive within minutes;
            25. And while there was no blood because of the lucky first blow by the burglar (and it was a completely unusual case from the perspective of one Dr. Fowler and Dr. Golinowsky in that very little blood left the body despite nearly a gallon of blood being “missing” when measured at the autopsy), the burglar again got lucky because Price decided “to wipe away blood” because he was “freaked” in waiting for the ambulance, further mucking up the crime scene – though the towels he used to wipe up blood must have been lost by government personnel and did not show up in photos or in examination/tagging of crime scene items;
            26. That despite having been stabbed (from which he died instantly) since prior to 11:34, the dead man again grunted as Price sat next to him. He likewise appeared to be breathing at 11:51 when Zaborsky so advises the 911 dispatcher, though not conscious;
            27. That neither Price nor Zaborsky was worried about their family member Ward enough to check to see if he was fine;
            28. That when faced with a stabbed man, with one friend on the phone with 911 and the other staunching blood which amounted to drops, Ward cannot find anything to make himself useful (apparently taking the cue from Price, whom he said “was not taking any life saving measures” on Wone “that he saw”) and sat on the 2nd floor sofa to await the ambulance;
            29. That while no communication occurred between Price and Zaborsky before Price instructed Zaborsky to make the 911 call, Zaborsky knew to tell the dispatcher that “we” had an intruder who stabbed “someone” and who “had one of our knives” and that the intruder “may have left with” one of their knives;
            30. That while on the 911 call after EMTs have arrived, Zaborsky tells the dispatcher that the back door was unlocked though by his own admission he ran straight down the stairs and to the out of doors because he feared the intruder may be lurking;
            31. That Ward discovers that the back door is unlocked by looking across the living, dining room, and kitchen from the stairwell as the defendants are told to gather on the sofa;
            32. That all defendants credit Ward with noticing this fact despite Zaborsky already having stated this on the 911 tape;
            33. That though they had no time to ‘concoct’ a story, as Price tells detectives, they use the word “intruder” and two of them (P & Z) make the same mistake that the 911 dispatcher said it was 11:43 (she did not; it was 11:54) and Price denies having heard this until it was relayed to him by Z on the sofa on the first floor (and his voice is heard on the 911 tape asking for the time and Zaborsky informing him of the dispatcher’s answer;
            34. When Price informed Officers that the intruder must have left the property by scaling back over the fence instead of opening the gate and walking through it, he believed this because the gate door was not standing open – that it was much more suspicous behavior for an intruder to leave a gate door open (concern that homeowners would be robbed?) than it would be to scale a tall fence; it had nothing to do with the fact that he knew that the gate door was locked and required a key to relock it from the outside;
            35. That the ambulance personnel were incorrect in worrying about these clean, reserved defendants (to the point of being concerned Price had a weapon) and then wrongly observed that Wone’s stomach had been wiped down;
            36. In conducting routine tests, the EMTs learned that Wone still had a PEA at 11:59 (often lasting no more than 12 minutes after death) such that he would have been alive at 11:47 at the latest, making the scream heard by the Thomases unaccounted for, and that Victor’s scream was never heard by neighbors;
            37. That if alive at 11:47 at the absolute earliest, then the burglar still had to stab him twice more (since the first wound was the “killing” wound), take a needle and puncture him numerous times for no known reason, and have Wone continue to moan until P & Z could get down the stairs, allow for Zaborsky to be shaken by Price and sent upstairs with (“we”) knowledge that the “intruder” had one of their knives and stabbed their friend, with the 911 call stamp time of 11:49;
            38. That because Wone had died instantly with the first stab wound, thus having no defensive marks and allowing for three precise wounds of a surgical nature, his instant death upon the first wound still did not prevent him from moaning during the second and third stab wounds, according to Price, who told the widow this information;
            39. That when Price called Torchinsky two days later in order to get him to waive the attorney client privilege with Kathy Wone, he did so because he thought it was polite and showed he cared;
            40. That when he told Scott Hixson and Tara Ragone in separate instances that he’d pulled the knife from Robert’s chest (and failed to correct Tara that he “must’ve had Robert’s blood all over him”) he told the truth – and the reason for lying to the police was to avoid being embarrassed about doing such a stupid thing to a crime scene (though he admitted to touching the knife); OR he truly could NOT remember as he implied to police as to whether he pulled a knife from his friend’s heart; OR he told the police the truth but lied to Tara and to Scott because it made for a better story and painted him as a bit more the hero;
            41. That when Price told Kathy Wone that Robert had been stabbed “in the back” he simply made a mistake because when telling someone that her husband died, details are no important; OR Kathy Wone misunderstood the words “in the back” though these words were ringing in her ears all the way to the hospital as she tried to come to terms with the possibility of Robert being paralyzed; OR he meant that Robert was found “out back in the patio area” but was mistaken that that was where Robert was found;
            42. That when Price strongly implied to Tara Ragone (who informed him that if the scene had been tampered with that she might take action) that he wiped up blood he was simply mistaken and had not wiped up blood; OR he had inadvertently wiped up blood and then forgot to tell anyone where he disposed of the towels which he’d taken from the house because they brought back bad memories (?); OR he wiped up blood because he was worried about the hardwoods, and then realizing this spoke poorly of him, left the house to dispose of the towels – yet he was able to do the cleaning and dispose of these towels without being noticed by housemates during the time that Victor was upstairs on the phone with 911.

            • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 9:20 PM

              HOLY SHIT you are good! You need to ditch that IP stuff and go into criminal law.

              Well done!!

            • WhatACase on 06/18/2010 at 9:21 PM

              Well-done, Bea.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 9:22 PM

              F**KING BRILLIANT! I love it!

            • WhatACase on 06/18/2010 at 9:22 PM

              Excellent close, Bea. I don’t think you missed a thing.

            • HKG on 06/18/2010 at 10:43 PM

              Yes, very well done!

            • Bill 2 on 06/18/2010 at 10:58 PM

              Your input and comments to this site never cease to amaze. Thank you for all you share with us.

              • Bea on 06/19/2010 at 12:09 AM

                Thanks, everyone. I do hope the prosecution does take it down to the level of what one would have to believe because the defense will be making each possible “big issue” go away with expert testimony. The whole of it is necessary. And I’m sure the prosecution can be much more eloquent, though if during the defense’s case anyone opines about intruders that the prosecution considers the Scott Peterson approach of having a detective go through all the reasons in a numerical fashion to point out the sheer absurdity of the case. Yes the gallon of missing blood and the timeline are critical, but set up against this context makes the ’story’ ridiculous.

            • Bill Orange on 06/19/2010 at 12:26 AM

              5 1/2. The intruder heard the door chime upon entering the house, indicating that there was a home alarm system, and continued to make their way through the house.

              • Bea on 06/19/2010 at 12:49 AM

                Yes, better than in #8. Actually, the whole thing could use a re-write, but the gist is there. I’d love it if the prosecution had a Power Point of exhibits along with the list of Things One Must Believe, include tipping over a gallon of milk to see how much of a mess it makes.

            • AnnaZed on 06/19/2010 at 12:31 AM

              Bea, I hope the prosecution just prints this out on a set of index cards and keeps it handy. It’s all they really need actually.

              I remain your humble servant and amateur knife researcher.

              • Bea on 06/19/2010 at 12:51 AM

                You’re too nice. Don’t you wish we could make ourselves useful to the prosecution before/as they’re writing their closing? We could come up with a nice team of assistants.

                • AnnaZed on 06/19/2010 at 12:58 AM

                  Oh, a part of me thinks that we are making ourselves useful doing just what we are doing, most particularly our brave editors.

                  • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor on 06/19/2010 at 1:37 AM

                    AnnaZed,
                    You are so right, yet I also salute you 3 (Bea, you & Bill O).
                    Our Brave Editors do deserve all of the credit for the amazing amount of work they have put in by creating & maintaining this site to seek justice for the murder of a man they never met, Robert Wone.It is both a tribute to him & their own basic human decency, the willingness to put it all out there & invite comment from the world at large. They are very brave indeed.
                    In doing so, they have brought together a remarkable group of people who want to add what they can to help in the process.I hope that Kathy ignores the trolls & reads to feel the outpouring of thought, love & grief that so many people put forward everyday, such as you AnnaZed,the keeper of all knowledge of knifery, or Bea, solid explainer of so many matters of the law,as well as Bill Orange,physician,sometime jurist, college classmate of both Robert & Joe, overall commentator on everything from medicine to when you came out to sentence predictions.
                    Thank you for the shout out Eds, right back at you for all you do. If there ever was a relationship among a group of people that was positively polyamorous, this is it.

            • Liam on 06/19/2010 at 1:22 AM

              That’s really very good. Excellent, I think.

            • Hoys Loya on 06/19/2010 at 10:30 AM

              Bea:

              You missed your true calling.

              Eds — you should showcase this in a separate post prior to summations.

              Maybe Themis could provide the same service for the defense.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 8:33 PM

          Bea, here’s a legal question for you (or any of our in-house counsel :> )…..can the Judge go home and review documents (statements, autopsy, etc.)? A jury would not be able to do this. They aren’t given a packet of materials to review…they go solely by what is presented in court to make a decision. But can a Judge in a bench trial?

          • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 8:59 PM

            My guess is that she can look at anything including testimony, reports, transcripts, etc. If the jury wants a particular item, they usually get it.

            • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 9:08 PM

              Can she go home and review things not introduced at the trial? For example, can she go google the time for PEA, as she was asking Smith this afternoon – how many journals/articles would she find that 12 minute time in?

              • BadShoes on 06/18/2010 at 10:16 PM

                I would think not. I believe the judge is required to rely soley on evidence presented in the trial.

                She would be reckless to go turn to google and do her own research. I dunno, but somehow I doubt the lady is reckless.

                • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 10:27 PM

                  Agreed. I was just wondering if she could do her own research.

                  • Bea on 06/19/2010 at 12:10 AM

                    No. Her review has to be limited to things “in evidence.” She has to disregard anything not of record.

  26. ladyg on 06/18/2010 at 5:24 PM

    i always wanted to know why joe had them (victor &dylan)use the term “intruder” instead of “burglar”? maybe he knew that they didn’t come to robbed them? JMO!!! that’s why the thief didn’t take anything!?

    • chilaw79 on 06/18/2010 at 5:35 PM

      I always thought that the use of the term “intruder” was a mark of the conspiracy. I don’t think people would use that term to describe an unknown person who entered their home at night and stabbed their friend. I would call that person a murderer or a killer.

      • Elizabeth on 06/18/2010 at 7:59 PM

        Or, in that moment of confusion, panic, horror, fear, I think I would just say “someone.” Intruder is not the noun that would come to my mind in a 911 call. The use of “intruder” has bothered me a lot, as well.

        The other word they use I have issue with is “theory.” If it’s your belief that what happened happened, it’s not your “theory.”

      • Liz on 06/18/2010 at 9:06 PM

        Right. What a formal word to use for “someone” who killed a man.

  27. Yet another DC Bill on 06/18/2010 at 5:26 PM

    We’ll see what more Dr. Smith has to say. I’m a non-trial lawyer with medical experience. If he’s asked, I assume he’ll say that PEA would begin when cardiac tamponade precludes effective cardiac pumping, which the other doctor testified would take no more than several minutes after puncture of the heart/aorta. Therefore, the stabbing could not have taken place more than a matter of minutes before the EMTs arrived. Does this throw reasonable doubt all over the clean-up scenario?

    • Bea on 06/18/2010 at 5:47 PM

      It certainly must be addressed by the prosecution in rebuttal (or so it would seem to this no-med-knowledge person) – tho I note above that some posters are already explaining this somewhat. Must read more.

  28. Rich on 06/18/2010 at 5:47 PM

    Whoops! Wrong Guy.

    Some where it was reported that Dr. Mark S. Smith would be testifying. See following Bio.

    Instead, it was another Smith, Jeff, in the same department at GWU.

    Dr. Mark S. Smith was at GWU for 11 years until he recently moved over to The Hospital Center.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    It will NOT be the last mispoken reference on this site. :)

    Mark Smith, MD, FACEP is Chairman of the Division of Emergency
    Medicine at Washington Hospital Center (WHC) and Georgetown
    University School of Medicine (GU) in Washington, DC.

    Prior to joining MedStar, Dr. Smith served as Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center for 11 years.

  29. Pete McLeanVa on 06/18/2010 at 5:58 PM

    After a conviction and sentencing in DC Superior Court, who does the assignment to a federal corrections facility. Where are DC felons placed, now that Lorton has been closed? This assumes any appeals are denied.

    Could Joe Price end up cleaning up tar-balls in a Louisiana or Alabama chain-gang?

    • tassojunior on 06/18/2010 at 7:18 PM

      Most go to Petersburg VA with some to Cumberland, MD. In exceptional circumstances concerning family etc the judge can request BOP locate closer to close relatives, etc.

      Federal prison camps are for non-violent inmates with less than 15 years and pretty nice. The one in Pensacola has a golf course and a beach where inmates are probably picking up tarballs now, but still…

  30. WIGuy on 06/18/2010 at 6:06 PM

    I have always been confused by the lack of hesitation wounds upon Mr. Wone. Doesn’t that tend to indicate a determined and experienced killer or one filled with rage? How does any of the three defendants or the brother fit either category of killer? I can’t picture a first time killer deciding to drug a close friend and casually killing him without some hesitation. Rage as motive doesn’t explain the apparent passivity of Mr. Wone during the stabbing.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 6:17 PM

      Or a killer filled with intent.

  31. CDinDC (Boycott BP) on 06/18/2010 at 6:13 PM

    Oh for pete sakes, defense team….did he die instantly or not? They can’t seem to get their story straight.

    One expert sayd “instant death.” Period. Now we have PEA.

    • Bill Orange on 06/18/2010 at 6:42 PM

      I think they should go for both. He died instantly, but he was revived by the heroic efforts of the defendants.

  32. tassojunior on 06/18/2010 at 7:23 PM

    Maybe Ms. Thomas has a TiVo.

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Purpose of this Site

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

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

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

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

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

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