Day 20: Updates

5:15pm Update: Adjournment

AUSA T. Patrick Martin had his day in court today and he seemed to have brought his “A Game.”

Martin’s cross of Najam brought into question the doctor’s experience outside a controlled clinical setting.  We also learned that this was Najam’s very first time being qualified as an expert and testifying as one.

Full day’s wrap comes ASAP.  We’re going for thorough again.

Shall we say 8-ish?

 

3:15pm Update

Dr. Farzad Najam

Dr. Farzad Najam testified that as a result of the 7/8 inch slit that perforated Robert’s aorta, it would lead to cardiac tamponade within 5-10 seconds.

Then in turn, leading to unconsciousness within three minutes because of lack of oxygen to the brain, in other words, neurological death.

Schertler is trying to get Najam to rebut Goslinoski’s expert opinion on how long it would take for Robert to lose consciousness, and the prosecution objected on Rule 16 grounds again.

Judge Leibovitz may rule on that objection after the trial reconvenes after a short break.

Earlier updates follow.

 

2:30pm Update:

Packed courtroom today.  The trial was supposed to convene at 2:00pm.  There may have been confusion was over witness scheduling on the defense end perhaps.

The first witness called was DC EMT Tracey Weaver.   Her appearance seemed to surprise the prosecution, and they did not have the file / paperwork for her they needed on site.

Weaver was questioned about treatment of Robert while in ambulance.  She hooked up and EKG, and checked his vitals.  He had P.E.A.  She tried to adminster two injections at the arm and her partner, Jeff Baker, did one into the neck.  They were not able to tap any veins. None of the injections were successful.

The government’s cross was delayed so the defense called Dr. Najam in her place.  Weaver will return to the stand after the cardiologist.

It was noted that Najam’s experience regarding wounds like Robert’s this involved a single lecture at Kings College in Lahore, Pakistan; the subject being thorasic trauma.

The defense tried to get him admitted as an expert in all the operations of the heart and P.E.A.  The government objected to the P.E.A. due to Rule 16 grounds.  A bench conference ensued and the objection was sustained.  Leibovitz noted that Najam was clearly an expert but Rule 16 held the day.

During Najam’s direct, Kirschner was furiously studying the radio call sheets.  Najam admitted he saw all the case evidence but said, “I’m not used to seeing the heart taken apart like this.  I am not a forensic pathologist.”

More later at the next break.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Update 10:45AM

For those who’d like a bio on Dr. Najam, follow this link to his professional profile of his background and position at George Washington University: Farzad Najam, MD.


 Update 10:00AM: News Flash

Word just came in from the courthouse that Judge Leibovitz will gavel in at 1:30pm this afternoon.  Perhaps to accommodate a late arrival from Dr. Najam from London.

Update 9:00AM:

Today’s proceedings at Moultrie are scheduled to start at 10:30AM.  Judge Leibovitz proposed a later start time to accommodate the noon-time arrival of defense witness Dr. Najam, a cardiologist who is expected to testify that Robert Wone was incapacitated instantly by the stabbing wound that severed his aorta.

To make use of the morning, the judge will hear arguments to permit the return of Doug Deedrick, as a rebuttal witness for the prosecution.  Yesterday, prosecutors divulged that after Petraco’s testimony last week, Deedrick re-examined his photos for fiber analysis and has additional photos that would reinforce his position.  The defense team objected to allowing Deedrick back on the stand, but the judge stated that as a rebuttal witness for the prosecution, she would hear arguments to consider allowing him to testify again.

By all indicators, the defense is wrapping up its case, giving no notice of any other witnesses after Dr. Najam’s testimony.  The government stated it may have 2-3 witnesses more, depending on that testimony.  Closing arguments may be heard very soon.   Stay tuned throughout the day for updates.

213 comments for “Day 20: Updates

  1. Lyn
    06/22/2010 at 9:47 AM

    From yesterday’s post by Tarfunk:

    “Dr. Vincent Di Maio[‘s] major points were (1) not every stabbing results in a defensive wound, (2) three virtually identical stab wounds may simply mean that the killer stabbed the victim three times in very rapid succession, perhaps taking less than 1 second…”

    Three rapid fire stabs, one of which was forceful enough to pierce Wone’s chest plate, would have resulted in a cast-off of blood from the rapid upward withdrawal of the knife. Yet police found no cast-off on the ceiling, walls, or even the bed covering. This suggests to me that the stabbing either didn’t take place in the guest bedroom or that the stabs were slow and methodical (knife thrust in and then slowly removed, held up, and repeated twice more).

    From today’s post:

    “Dr. Nijam, a cardiologist who is expected to testify that Robert Wone was incapacitated instantly by the stabbing wound that severed his aorta.”

    I’d love to hear how this doctor knows for sure that the stab to the aorta was the first of the three stab wounds inflicted upon Wone. If he can’t prove this point, then the defense can’t rule out a lack of a natural voluntary or involuntary response on Wone’s part to the stab wounds.

    • Newbie
      06/22/2010 at 10:12 AM

      Interesting point. If the first stab wound was precise, forceful and immediately incapacitating to a sleeping victim, AND the intruder then needed to flee the scene, why the second and third strikes? makes no sense.

    • BadShoes
      06/22/2010 at 11:16 AM

      If Mr. Wone was instantly incapacitated, either by a single blow or three blows in rapid succession, then how did he subsequently scream/grunt/moan repeatedly?

      In order to reconcile the physical evidence (as interpreted by experts testifying for the defense) with the defendants’ accounts, one would have to conclude that Mr. Wone was asleep and instantly killed and incapacitated by the first blow (Dr. Nijam), or that he was asleep and stabbed so quickly that he didn’t have time to react (Dr. diMaio. The defense will likely argue that either interpretation accounts for the precision and similarity of the wounds.

      But after that, Mr. Wone must have recovered consciousness(?) sufficiently scream/grunt/moan loudly enough to wake the household, and then remained alive long enough to get into the 12-minute window for PEA as observed by Mr. Baker at 11:59pm.

      The defense isn’t required to present a consistent theory of their own: they must only raise reasonable doubt about the prosecution’s theory. Multiple, inconsistent interpretations of the physical evidence can show different ways in which the prosecution’s theory may be false.

      However, instant incapacitation, if you accept it, would seem (to me) to call into question all three defendants’ accounts, which would be the core of the obstruction of justice charges.

      adr

      • AnnaZed
        06/22/2010 at 11:59 AM

        I know, it’s so odd. Given that they have assembled a very expensive defense I have to say I am not impressed; the points made by the defense are all over the place and one point seems to blatantly contradict the next (multiple times). I suppose it is the best that they could do, but still, sheesh!

        • mw
          06/22/2010 at 12:08 PM

          That’s a great strategy to raise reasonable doubt, at least if you’re in front of a jury.

          At some point, I’ve given up trying to follow all of the different scenerios that the experts are presenting and the relation to the evidence. If that happens to a juror, I believe there’s more of a tendency to acquit (acquittal through confusion).

          Which makes it even more incredulous to me that these defendants asked for a bench trial. I hope this judge understands the difference between reasonable doubt and confusion.

          • TK
            06/22/2010 at 12:17 PM

            I’m still amazed they asked for a bench trial too, especially after having a chance to see how this judge operates. I guess as some have suggested, they were really worried about a jury judging them on their ‘lifestyle.’

            • Bea
              06/22/2010 at 12:24 PM

              And don’t forget Joe’s racist comments.

              • mia
                06/22/2010 at 1:46 PM

                Especially considering the large black population in D.C. area.

            • KV
              06/22/2010 at 1:47 PM

              Judge Weisberg was originally set to hear the case, but that was later changed to designate Judge Leibovitz. Any thoughts whether the defense would have a better/worse chance with the original judge?

              • Carolina
                06/22/2010 at 7:03 PM

                We’d be here until next Spring and there would be much whinging from the defendants since they’d have an audience.

            • Deduce
              06/22/2010 at 5:41 PM

              I have read enough comments here — among the allegedly ‘reasonable’ about their “lifestyle” — ie “bad gays” posing as “good gays”, sarcastic and negative discussion of the “trouple” and the conflation of SM practices with a predisposition to violence — to think they were right in betting on the judge as perhaps their slim chance at aquittal.

              • New Alias
                06/22/2010 at 6:33 PM

                The only “lifestyle” they’re being judged on here is one that includes, at a minimum, deception and betrayal, and possibly cold blooded murder. None of which has anything to do with homosexuality.

              • Carolina
                06/22/2010 at 7:04 PM

                Yeah, well, I think you’re on your own on that one.

                • WhatACase
                  06/22/2010 at 7:31 PM

                  I think going for a bench trial was brilliant. If you have a fair-minded judge who is going to rule based on the law (and possibly a fear of being reversed on appeal), go for the bench, especially if your clients aren’t sympathetic, and have some weird stuff going on.
                  I think this judge has an incredibly difficult job–she is probably figuring out that this whole scenario smells really, really bad, but she has to rule on the law, with “for the truth” and “rule 16” limitations, which may force her to lean towards a very technical interpretation of “reasonable doubt.”

        • David
          06/22/2010 at 12:35 PM

          To extend that thought, to have their own defense witness, Dr. Henry Lee, introduce the idea that Robert was restrained, albeit by a martial arts expert, isn’t doing them any favors. I wouldn’t want anyone I was paying thousands of dollars to say the word “restraint” in this trial.

          • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
            06/22/2010 at 12:48 PM

            Excellent point, David!

          • Hoya Loya
            06/22/2010 at 12:59 PM

            Did Lee’s testimony open the door for evidence of restraint on rebuttal, or only restraint by Ninjas?

          • AnnaZed
            06/22/2010 at 1:18 PM

            Good lord yes, imagine being one of these defendants and paying someone over $10,000 to speak on your behalf and have them (unsolicited mind you) bring up the subject of incapacitation and “restraint” with reference to the victim. It’s a miracle Dylan didn’t just faint on the spot. Obviously if a nefarious Asian assassin could have incapacitated Robert with an ancient martial arts hold so could someone else, amazing.

            Again, good gorilla dust for a jury, for a judge not so much.

            • ksb3064
              06/22/2010 at 1:53 PM

              Why not suppose Robert was immobilized by a Vulcan neck pinch? It sounds just as probable. Seriously, I can’t see the Judge wasting a nano-second on that part of Lee’s testimony. Besides, whatever Lee’s knowledge of martial arts (someone commented he used to be an instructor) he wasn’t testifying as a martial arts expert.

            • KV
              06/22/2010 at 1:53 PM

              Someone mentioned Dylan lived and studied “massage” in Asia for a time. Did that include joint manipulation and other mysteries of the Orient?

              • Cat in Cleveland
                06/22/2010 at 5:38 PM

                Lol! Seriously.

            • Carolina
              06/22/2010 at 7:05 PM

              Can the prosecution now have full rein to put up all the other types of restraints?

              • New Alias
                06/22/2010 at 7:23 PM

                I would think – and hope – so, but I think Bea’s observation that the Prosecution is a bit rigid in sticking to its game plan is spot on. The judge gave Prosecution an open door to revisit motions she granted to exclude evidence when she thought this would be a jury trial, but from the sound of things they did not take her up on it. They also had a hard time switching from their mistaken effort to introduce the defendants’ interrogation statements for context, to introducing them for truth, as she suggested. She practically had to beat Kirschner over the head with his own briefcase to get him to shift gears (to the utter dismay of Spagnoletti and company).

                • Carolina
                  06/22/2010 at 8:54 PM

                  I’d love to see them come in tomorrow blasting with both barrels on any kind of restraint found in the home.

                  “Which of these seem more likely to have been used for restraining the victim, Dr. Lee?”

        • Babs
          06/22/2010 at 1:02 PM

          Contradictory points from the defense team would lead me to believe there could have been tampering with eveidence.

          • WhatACase
            06/22/2010 at 7:34 PM

            “could have been” leads to reasonable doubt. The judge will need to believe tampering was likely.

    • Jo
      06/22/2010 at 4:36 PM

      Very good point. My take is that no cast-off and limited bleeding = slow and methodical stabbing of an incapacitated victim with abnormally low heart rate.

      Expert witnesses from the defense seem to either contradict each other’s or the defendants’ statements or the physical evidence.

      Another example of contradiction would be Dr. Najam’s claim that the stab to the aorta would “lead to cardiac tamponade within 5-10 seconds. Then in turn, leading to unconsciousness within three minutes…” If that’s the case, there should have been plenty of time for voluntary or involuntary movement even assuming the stab to the aorta was first. This contradicts Lee’s and DiMaio’s claim of instant incapacitation either by rapid stabbing or by a ninja.

      To me, all of these contradictions presented by the defense witnesses means they have failed to raise reasonable doubt against the procecution’s case and therefore the defendants will be found guilty on one or more charges.

      • chilaw79
        06/22/2010 at 6:15 PM

        I was present for the afternoon session and I did not hear Dr. Najam testify about unconsciousness within three minutes. Dr. Najam testified that after the wound to the aortic root that cardiac tamponade and unconsciousness would occur very quickly.

        There was some confusion in the testimony about how long this would take. At one point, Dr. Najam testified it could occur in the time it takes to snap one’s fingers and then said he had said no such thing. Dr. Najam was extrapolating from post-surgical settings where he has performed cardiac surgery, is talking to the patient in the ICU, and the patient suddenly becomes unconscious. Of course, this means Dr. Najam can see the blood pressure decline rapidly and the patient become unconscious. Also, post-surgery, Dr. Najam testified that the pericardial sac is not re-closed. A window is placed in the pericardial sac so cardiac tamponade cannot occur so quickly (at least that is what I got out of his testimony).

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 5:50 PM

      Dr. Najam testified that he had no way of knowing which of the wounds occurred first or in what order the wounds occurred. Judge Leibowitz asked the question.

      Judge Leibowitz also elicited the testimony that this was the first case in which Dr. Najam was testifying as an expert.

      One thing that struck me (and I did attend the afternoon session) was that most of Dr. Najam’s clinical experience occurred in very controlled settings (not the result of stab wounds or other physical trauma). I do not know whether Mr. Wone ever made it to a cardiac surgeon. My guess is that he did not.

      • WhatACase
        06/22/2010 at 7:37 PM

        The judge elicited the fact that this was Najam’s FIRST expert witness appearance??? The judge?? Makes me wonder about the prosecutors, but love this judge even more (not to worry Bea, normal Joe and I are still fighting for your affections!)

        • Liam
          06/22/2010 at 7:41 PM

          Maybe the judge elicited this before the prosecution had a chance to ask the question. This a defense witness and the defense gets first crack. o maybe Leibowitz asked at the get go.

        • chilaw79
          06/22/2010 at 7:53 PM

          Sorry, the prosecutor sat down after asking questions on cross and then Judge Leibowitz came up with these questions: had Dr. Najam ever been qualified as an expert witness before (no); had Dr. Najam ever testified as an expert witness before (no); and was Dr. Najam able to say which wound occurred first (no).

          • Liam
            06/22/2010 at 8:15 PM

            Hmmm, well that would seem like an obvious question for the prosecution to ask had they done their homework regarding the expert’s qualifications (and I would assume that doing homework on an expert’s qualifications is standard operating procedure).

            I don’t get it.

            • chilaw79
              06/22/2010 at 8:30 PM

              I think this is one of those forest/trees things. The prosecution was looking closely at what appeared on the CV; they were not looking for what was not on the CV (i.e., Dr. Najam had never qualified or appeared as an expert witness before). They asked a lot of questions trying to get at the difference between the types of surgery that a cardiac surgeon does day in and day out, like bypasses and valve replacements, and some questions addressing the relative paucity of Dr. Najam’s experience on blunt trauma and penetrating trauma wounds to the heart.

              I am not sure whether Wone ever made it to the operating room. Would the insertion of the chest tubes be done in the operating room and would his chest have been cracked at that point so that the damage to the heart could be seen?

              • BadShoes
                06/22/2010 at 8:45 PM

                chilaw-
                Autopsy report indicates Mr. Wone’s chest was never opened.

              • Liam
                06/22/2010 at 8:45 PM

                I see your point. The focus was on whether he was actually qualified to testify as an expert on the various matters, regardless of the number of times he’s testified.

                And, the fact the Henry Lee has testified about a billion times does not make him more impressive to me.

                • Carolina
                  06/22/2010 at 9:04 PM

                  This is it. How many times he has testified makes no difference to me. The important part was in what he said. Whether it supported one side or the other is not the point.

          • Tarfunk
            06/22/2010 at 8:29 PM

            This actually surprises me. When crossing Henry Lee yesterday, Kirschner bombarded him with the areas he’s testified as an expert in. The point was that he was a supposed expert in blood spatters, fingerprints, footprints, fibers, dna, crime scene staging, etc etc etc. It was obvious that Kirschner was trying to establish that no one could be an expert in all these areas. The questions asked by Judge L would seem basic, so I wonder why there was such a lapse today.

            • WhatACase
              06/22/2010 at 8:36 PM

              that apparent lapse, which i noted at the top of this string, concerns me deeply. am hoping the ed’s have info in their next post that allays my fears.

          • Three Strikes
            06/22/2010 at 8:59 PM

            That’s right. Judge Leibowitz asked these obvious-seeming questions after the defense and prosecution had completed their questions to this witness.
            It seemed odd that SHE should have had to be the one to ask!

            • Three Strikes
              06/22/2010 at 9:02 PM

              I was referring to Chilaw’s courtroom observations about the judge asking the questions to determine that this was the doctor’s first time as a court witness.

      • tucsonwriter
        06/22/2010 at 9:20 PM

        In which case the patient would be sedated. No moving, jerking, grabbing, etc.

  2. Hoya Loya
    06/22/2010 at 10:02 AM

    Kudos eds on yesterday’s wrap which was more objective and informative than any of the accounts in the MSM.

    I realize this may be an unpopular opinion, but I think the defense put the “Dylan’s knife” issue to bed yesterday, given that all they had to do was raise reasonable doubt. Given that no prosecution expert convincingly ruled out the kitchen knife as the weapon, Dr. Lee’s testimony regarding the hair and fatty tissue definitely scored points. Add to this the fact that the “Dylan’s knife” could have been in Tacoma and I think we’re done. Even with Dr. Lee’s baggage and taking into account that it was Dylan’s mom testifying, the judge would have a great deal of trouble disregarding this testimony.

    On the other hand, I don’t think DeMaio swayed anyone with his testimony that contradicted the ME, Fowler, Deedrick and common sense. And I’m not sure what Najam is going to add at this point re: tamponade — I think we all know more than we need to at this point and I think it’s pretty much uncontested at this point that it set in quickly and its only a matter of how quickly.

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 10:17 AM

      Did we read the same posts?

      By the time Mrs. Ward got done, I don’t think even she was sure whether the knife she had was the knife from the set she gave to Dylan. The most you could attribute to her testimony was that it could be a knife from the (incomplete) set she gave to Dylan.

      Meanwhile, the judge seemed to say to Dr. Lee that she would believe her own eyes before she believed Dr. Lee.

      Finally, I do not think it is within the realm of common sense for the defense to claim both that Robert Wone was killed instantly and that he was not dead in the ambulance. To claim that three stab wounds could be made with surgical precision in less than a second, including one stab wound that required sufficient force to go through the sternum, does not seem credible to me.

      The judge is not required to check her common sense at the door of the courtroom.

      • Hoya Loya
        06/22/2010 at 10:40 AM

        I don’t think the ketchup swipe testimony or the “optical illusion” testimony was effective. I’m only talking about Dylan’s knife in particular. It was missing from the set. Dylan’s Mom provided testimony that would explain why it was missing and Dr. Lee offered testimony that the kitchen knife was the weapon anyway (something neither the ME or Fowler ruled out). If the judge is going to find that the kitchen knife was not the weapon, she needs to rely on facts in evidence and after this testimony, I’m not sure they are there.

        For the overall case, there is still Joe’s statement and comments to Tara and Hixson, the lack of blood on the cutting edge, the bruising from the hilt and the knife being found on the nightstand. If the kitchen knife was the weapon, Joe may have tampered with it. Or, if it another knife was the weapon, one does not necessarily need to believe that it was Dylan’s knife. But I’m not sure the prosecution should make Dylan’s knife a cornerstone of its closing.

        Agree that the three stabs in one second theory is BS, as was much of DiMaio’s testimony.

        • KiKi
          06/22/2010 at 10:52 AM

          I am on the same page Hoya – i actually posted something similar on the 19 Wrap before reading this. To me it is the knife. If the scene knife is the murder weapon (or better said if the prosecution cannot prove that the scene knife is not the murder weapon) I think there is an acquittal on everything except JP on tampering (if we are giving the statute a very literal reading).

          Like chilaw points out “the judge is not required to check her common sense at the door of the courtroom.” and no person who has conspired and obstructed a scene would get rid of everything but the murder weapon.

          So if there is a reasonable doubt that the scene knife was a plant then i think we have an acquittal.

          And as a disclaimer: this is the opinion of a biased criminal defense attorney who has no information except what is reported on this blog and the MSM.

          • BadShoes
            06/22/2010 at 11:18 AM

            The knife looks like it is central to the charge that Mr. Price tampered with the crime scene.

            There appears to be other relevant evidence relating to obstruction.

          • Bill Orange
            06/22/2010 at 11:54 AM

            Wow, I actually came to exactly the opposite conclusion. I think that the defense has raised enough issues about the knife that there is an outside chance that it might really be the murder weapon, which would give Joe Price reasonable doubt on the evidence tampering charge. On the other hand, there’s MUCH more evidence of conspiracy and obstruction, particularly for Joe and Victor. Right now, I think that Joe will beat the tampering charge, but all three will be convicted of obstruction and conspiracy. There’s a slim chance that Dylan will walk, but I really don’t think so.

            • commonsensewillprevailihope
              06/22/2010 at 11:58 AM

              Well, if hypothetically, one of them did it, and the perp is the one who actually gets acquitted, that might put a teeny weeny bit of strain on the relationship.

              • mw
                06/22/2010 at 12:10 PM

                I smell reality show!

                • New Alias
                  06/22/2010 at 6:40 PM

                  Genius.

                  Could also be an HBO hour long sit-com.

                  • Clio
                    06/22/2010 at 9:09 PM

                    Yes. With Kathy Bates as Mrs. Ward!

            • Daphne
              06/22/2010 at 12:42 PM

              Even if the knife is “the” knife, I think other facts (such as the strange absence of blood, etc) that could lead to a tampering conviction.

            • Kate
              06/22/2010 at 12:45 PM

              This is a great line of discussion regarding the knife and I’d like to ask a question of one and all:

              If Joe simply moved the scene (possible murder) knife from where it lay on Robert’s chest in an effort to come to the aid of his wounded friend, can that be regarded as tampering?

              Think of it in another way – wouldn’t getting the knife away from you and the victim be a natural response if you’re about to apply pressure to a bleeding wound? I’m pretty sure that’s what I would do – if for no other reason that to stop that darn pointy item from flying up and hitting me in the head …

              Very interested in your thoughts on this,
              Kate

              • leo
                06/22/2010 at 1:44 PM

                I don’t think simply moving the knife “to get it out of the way” so he could apply pressure to the wounds could be tampering. The elements of that charge were posted on here last week–and are locatable in the “Superseding Indictment” in the Legal Documents link–and that action by Joe would not appear to constitute tampering under the statutory definitions.

                • Kate
                  06/22/2010 at 4:43 PM

                  Thanks Leo – I re-read the document sited. That’s probably for the fourth time. Or is that six?

                  I admit to getting a bit over-inundated with the facts in this case – especially in regards to the charges.

                  Cheers,
                  Kate

              • mia
                06/22/2010 at 2:01 PM

                Did the prosecution recover Joe’s figure prints from the knife?

              • Greta
                06/22/2010 at 4:35 PM

                For any criminal offense, there must be mens rea or criminal intent. So if Joe (or anyone) moved the murder weapon without criminal intent, it is not a crime.

                • KKinCA
                  06/22/2010 at 4:38 PM

                  Huh? What about manslaughter? I took crim law over 20 years ago, but I don’t think your statement is correct. I’m sure this will be clarified by our reader/members of the criminal law bar!

                  • KiKi
                    06/22/2010 at 4:54 PM

                    Greta is right there must be a mens rea or “guilty mind” in every crime. In crimes like manslaughter or any other reckless or negligent offense – the mens rea is in the reckless or negligent act. So mens rea can be purposefully (intentionally), knowingly, recklessly or negligently but there is a mens rea requirement to every crime.

                • Daphne
                  06/22/2010 at 5:00 PM

                  Except strict liability crimes.

                  • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
                    06/22/2010 at 7:25 PM

                    Such as statutory rape.

              • Cat in Cleveland
                06/22/2010 at 5:46 PM

                If the court determines that the evidence does not prove that Joe acted with intent to destroy or fabricate evidence, he will be acquitted on that charge. On the other hand, if the court determines that he lied about what he did, he’ll be convicted on obstruction, I believe.

            • chilaw79
              06/22/2010 at 7:56 PM

              While I did not believe this at first, I think the knife found at the scene is the murder weapon. By stating that he moved the knife, Joe explained away his fingerprints and/or DNA on the knife.

              The blood is still giving me some trouble. I am having a hard time reconciling the blood on the back of the t-shirt with the small amount of blood on the towel and the sheets.

              • des
                06/22/2010 at 9:19 PM

                but i think it’s been argued that the knife found at the scene is too long. if you were wielding the knife with such force as to break through the sternum, it would be impossible to stop it before it reached the hilt – which is what would have had to happen to produce the depth of wounds that the me measured.
                it was totally dylan’s knife. what chef has an incomplete knife set?
                and the bruising from the hilt as bigfatmike just mentioned again.

            • bigfatmike
              06/22/2010 at 9:02 PM

              There was expert testimony regarding bruising on the chest, presumably from the hilt of the knife. Was there any information regarding the orientation of the bruising and the sharp edge of the knife?

              The photo of the knife on this site suggest that if you believe the expert testimony, and depending on the orientation of the bruising, you might eliminate the knife found on the scene as the murder weapon.

              Then again, I have been wrong in the past.

            • WhatACase
              06/22/2010 at 9:14 PM

              BillO — Isn’t it possible that even if the kitchen knife IS the murder weapon, that tampering still occurred? what if Joe was convinced that his bro was the murderer? And he wiped the knife’s handle down, and possibly even tampered with the blood on the knife–isn’t that tampering? I’m not sure that we have the right scenario of events, but tampering with the scene, and the evidence, seems far more possible than not right now.

          • chilaw79
            06/22/2010 at 11:58 AM

            The only person who can be convicted on a tampering charge is Joe. If he moved the knife (and perhaps if he wiped away blood), he is guilty of tampering with evidence.

            The obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges to me turn on whether the three defendants all told the “unknown intruder” story to keep the spotlight off themselves or an intruder known to them. The fact that the defendants did not let the police know that Michael Price had keys to Swann Street and decided to wait for Joe Price before deciding whether to tell the police about the burglary at Swann Street are part and parcel of the obstruction and conspiracy case in my mind.

            • KiKi
              06/22/2010 at 12:12 PM

              I posted a response to this on Day 19 but in essence my point is that they are all related – take tampering off the table and there still must be a cover-up (and/or a conspiracy to cover-up). Who covers up a murder and leaves the murder weapon there to be discovered? Thus the government fails to prove a viable theory of obstruction or conspiracy if there is reasonable doubt as to the murder weapon.

              • Bill Orange
                06/22/2010 at 1:06 PM

                I don’t agree. Even if that knife at the scene is the murder weapon, I think they’ve proven obstruction. Unexplained needle marks, no signs of movement from the victim, evidence that he did not undress himself nor get into bed on his own, no evidence he used his shower towels after he showered, too little blood at the crime scene (plus no cast off), no ongoing lifesaving measures observed by the EMT when he arrived, a delay in calling 911, no and evidence of an intruder, and withholding of key information from the police (namely, that Michael Price had the keys and security codes to the house).

                There is simply no way that all of this can be squared with what the defendants said to the police, and this proves obstruction. The remarkable similarity of their statements proves a co-ordinated effort, which essentially confirms the conspiracy. The evidence tampering charges against Price won’t stick, because the prosecution can’t prove who did what. But the reason this charge (and the prior charges against Ward and Zaborsky) won’t stick is BECAUSE the defendants obstructed justice.

                • KiKi
                  06/22/2010 at 1:45 PM

                  As a defense attorney my response is:
                  “Unexplained needle marks,” – looking at the evidence that is admitted there is no proof that these marks were not made by the EMTs or even prior to RW arriving at Swan St. – Defense does not have to show where they came from.
                  “no signs of movement from the victim,” – Based on the testimony of more than one expert it is possible that RW would not have moved. Further there is no proof that these defendants incapacitated RW. “evidence that he did not undress himself nor get into bed on his own,” – this to me does not equal proof of obstruction or conspiracy
                  “no evidence he used his shower towels after he showered,” – again a very minor point
                  “too little blood at the crime scene (plus no cast off),” – At least two experts have explained why and how this could occur
                  “no ongoing lifesaving measures observed by the EMT” – there is no duty to rescue
                  “a delay in calling 911,” – I think this is the government’s best point but it only works if the scream/grunt/timeline is proven
                  “no and evidence of an intruder,” – this is the point that everyone keeps bringing up that does not matter at all. There does not have to be an intruder. The defense does not have to have a theory.
                  “withholding of key information from the police (namely, that Michael Price had the keys and security codes to the house).” – Has the prosecution proved this was intentional? I have not seen anything that indicates withholding this info was an intentional act of obstruction.

                  One thing I always remind the jury in the closing argument is that even if you think there is a high probability or a really good chance the defendant is guilty of this crime you must acquit. Any questions you have must be resolved by the government and trust me as someone who practiced in from of Judge L – she knows this standard.

                  But Like David said the government has a whole rebuttal to answer these questions.

                  • Bill Orange
                    06/22/2010 at 2:12 PM

                    I agree with you on most of your points above except for the delay in calling 911 (which I think the defense absolutely HAS to knock down in order to win, and they haven’t). But the weight of the evidence is cumulative. If I were a juror, you could probably convince me that there was reasonable doubt about any single piece of evidence above if it were presented to me in isolation. But you’re asking me for reasonable doubt about all of them collectively, and that, in my opinion, just isn’t reasonable here.

                  • Bea
                    06/22/2010 at 2:33 PM

                    Agree with Bill O. Judge comes from the prosecution side of things and likely has a very common sense notion of ‘reasonable doubt’ that looks at the whole. Unlike many jurors, she won’t be tripped up by red herrings.

                  • Bill Orange
                    06/22/2010 at 2:33 PM

                    And for what’s it worth, I would’ve found OJ not guilty.

                  • Leo
                    06/22/2010 at 6:27 PM

                    Disagree with your point about the intruder theory; although the defense of course does not have to offer a theory, the point is THESE DEFENDANTS DID. When it is absolutely unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, it certainly looks like an attempt to mislead, misdirect, misinform police ergo obstruction and conspiracy.

                  • Carolina
                    06/22/2010 at 7:16 PM

                    Every single medical person has said they did not make the marks on the ankles and furthermore, there is absolutely no reason and no protocol in which anyone would have attempted to start a line in those locations. No defense witness has countered that. That sounds pretty damn firm to me.

                  • chilaw79
                    06/22/2010 at 7:58 PM

                    The prosecution has documented the punctures made by the EMTs and the hospital. The prosecution also elicited testimony that Robert was in good health and did not see a doctor that day (if I remember right).

                • New Alias
                  06/22/2010 at 6:44 PM

                  I’m with you, Bill. That’s what I think, only you used fewer words than I would have to explain it.

                  A grateful nation thanks you.

                  • tucsonwriter
                    06/22/2010 at 7:59 PM

                    Katherine Wone testified that Robert Wone had not had any accupuncture or medical procedures that would account for the needle marks on day 1,2 or 3.

            • WhatACase
              06/22/2010 at 9:17 PM

              If this is old info, slap me now. But what is the D.C. Superior Court’s view of “tampering?” If Price wiped down Robert’s chest and didn’t report it, is that tampering? If the doorknobs of the house were wiped down, is that tampering? What is the case law on tampering in D.C.?

          • Bea
            06/22/2010 at 12:22 PM

            Hi KiKi, I don’t think Hoya is saying acquittal because of the knife, just that the Dylan knife may not be sufficiently in play to be deemed the murder weapon. But of course Hoya can speak for himself.

            The kitchen knife (murder weapon or not) still has the appearance of tampering. And the obstruction/conspiracy remains intact from my vantage point.

            • Hoya Loya
              06/22/2010 at 12:31 PM

              My point exactly (in many fewer words). Thanks Bea.

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              06/22/2010 at 12:47 PM

              Agree, Bea.

              I mentioned yesterday that I think the knife at the scene needs to be proven the weapon (by the defense) and proven a substitute (by the prosecution).

              The missing knife in the closet makes no difference in this case.

              • Hoya Loya
                06/22/2010 at 12:55 PM

                The defense doesn’t have to prove anything, just raise reasonable doubt. They’ve done that re: Dylan’s knife IMO.

                Per David’s comment below, Deedrick, who was not that impressive first time out, will need to counteract Lee’s hair and fatty tissue observation (perhaps difficult) and ketchup bottle analogy (probably not so difficult).

                • Bill Orange
                  06/22/2010 at 1:08 PM

                  “…will need to counteract Lee’s hair and fatty tissue observation (perhaps difficult)…”

                  Maybe, maybe not. Has either team looked at the towel to see if it has either hair or fatty tissue on it?

                  • Vito
                    06/22/2010 at 2:04 PM

                    Any chance that the kitchen knife was inserted into the existing wound to coat the knife once the conspiracy theory surfaced and after the actual knife had already been discarded?

                    Is the kitchen knife significantly longer than the missing knife that the prosecution claims was the murder weapon and if so, would it not have gone through to the back had sufficient force been used to cause the bruising which surrounds the existing wounds?

                    • Bill Orange
                      06/22/2010 at 2:19 PM

                      Possible but VERY risky, there’s a high chance of making additional cuts, which were not seen by the pathologist. It COULD have been done, but I think it’s very unlikely.

                    • Scott
                      06/22/2010 at 7:28 PM

                      Help me understand the benefit from the defendants point of view…if you are getting rid of the actual murder weapon, why create a false one?

                  • Carolina
                    06/22/2010 at 7:20 PM

                    Where on that knife was the adipose deposited? One spot? Two? Smeared with it?

                    • tucsonwriter
                      06/22/2010 at 9:28 PM

                      So the police don’t search the house for the weapon at that point in time.

            • David
              06/22/2010 at 12:48 PM

              And remember the prosecution is planning on calling Doug Deedrick back as a rebutal witness. His testimony and experimental evidence as a hair-and-fiber expert focuses on the knife at the crime scene not being the actual murder weapon. Deedrick sat in on all of Petraco’s testimony, the defense’s hair-and-fiber expert, and he has additional photos. Let’s see what that holds before saying the knife issue is off the table.

              David

          • mia
            06/22/2010 at 1:57 PM

            The prosecution doesn’t have to prove Dylan’s missing knife was the murder weapon. They only need to prove the knife found on the scene was not the one stabbed Robert.
            Further, even if the knife Dylan’s mother presented yesterday was indeed the missing knife, you still could not rule out the possibility that it was the murder weapon. It was four years later for God’s sake, it’s long enough to wipe out any DNAs or whatsoever completely.

            • KKinCA
              06/22/2010 at 2:02 PM

              And Dylan’s mom testified to putting both knives through the dishwasher (much to the chagrin of Carolina and [I think] Annazed).

              • KV
                06/22/2010 at 7:29 PM

                Right, who puts Wusthoff knives in the dishwasher!

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

                  The same moron who would put a Prada shirt in a washing machine, that’s who — it appears that these poseurs have no sense of value!

                  • Carolina
                    06/22/2010 at 9:38 PM

                    Clearly in it for the Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes cache. Labelists, the lot of them

          • Carolina
            06/22/2010 at 2:35 PM

            Joe said he wiped away blood, but to date has never said where or why. I find that curious; do you?

            • Nelly
              06/22/2010 at 2:43 PM

              I think he implied to Tara Ragone that he wiped away blood while “freaking out.” He said something like, there’s a difference between tampering with evidence and wiping away blood, freaking out. However, if this really was the case, you’d think he would’ve mentioned it to the police that night, since he was quick to explain all sorts of other things, such as how the knife might have his fingerprints on it.

              • Carolina
                06/22/2010 at 7:22 PM

                But to never say, “I wiped it off his chest/knife/hand/face” seems strange. He can tell us so many meaningless and distracting details, but leaves off something so relatively important.

              • Bea
                06/22/2010 at 7:58 PM

                Price never once said to the police that he wiped up blood (while ‘freaking out’ or otherwise) – to the contrary he said he ‘had had’ a tiny speck of blood on one finger that he’d noticed at 711, that he only touched Robert to find a pulse and move his arms and the knife.

                Strongly replying to Tara that he ‘wiped up’ blood while freaking out is likely true (and the tip of the iceberg). At that time the defendants likely hadn’t heard of the Ashley’s Reagent debacle and figured he’d do some early picture-painting for his friend Tara who’d had the gall to question him.

                Only the debacle DID unfold, and then Joe recalibrated (not figuring Tara would tell, or if she did, it was worth the risk) to go back to original story that he didn’t do anything but get Victor to call the cops. To me this is a significant piece of evidence which shows tampering and obstruction. It also shows that Joe doesn’t like his back against the wall and will respond aggressively (as he did with police in ARGUING that he never asked the time, didn’t “hear” 11:43 until later). I’m sure Bernie pointed this out to Joe as they discussed his testifying.

                I wonder even before August 2 if Joe Price had a ‘truthiness’ problem when cornered. I’d guess yes, and last week’s disclosure of the email from Joe to Dylan which upset Victor is likely one small example.

                Oh Victor, you fool.

        • bucks
          06/22/2010 at 4:20 PM

          Has the defense provided an expert to explain the lack of blood at the crime scene? I am surprised that all of these medical experts can’t explain this. If I recall correctly, Mr. Wone lost more the half of his blood. Maybe I missed an update.

          • KKinCA
            06/22/2010 at 4:30 PM

            I seem to recall that early in the trial the defense suggested that some of Robert’s blood was discarded at the hospital (but there is no documentation thereof), but I am not absolutely positive.

          • Leo
            06/22/2010 at 6:31 PM

            As KK remembers. Dr. Fowler and others talked about the two chest tubes that were in Robert’s body at autopsy (placed there during resuscitation attempts in the ER). At least one witness testified that much blood could have been drained via these tubes in the ER. Not sure whether the ER medical records recorded what was drained from Robert’s chest via the chest tubes.

            • New Alias
              06/22/2010 at 6:57 PM

              This brings to mind a question I’ve been meaning to ask, about the amount of blood —

              I remember hearing Goslinski testify that the amount of blood she measured was what was found in the body cavity. However, she had not measured the amount of blood that was left in the normal places blood would be – in the arms and legs, for example. (I was in the courtroom for her testimony).

              To my mind that called into question how much blood was altogether missing – that is, how much blood would have been spilt or drained at an unknown location. I assume if you can’t tell how much blood you have, you can’t tell how much has been lost. Is that right?

              I figured this was irrelevant, however, because regardless of how much blood was lost, there is far too little blood on the sheet, towel, and elsewhere on the scene for the murder to have taken place as described by the defendants. The lack of blood on the scene in and of itself indicates the defendants aren’t telling the whole truth.

              Anyone have any thoughts on this?

              • chilaw79
                06/22/2010 at 7:21 PM

                For what it is worth, Dr. Najam testified today that the amount of fluid Dr. Gosolinski found was about what he would expect. He said the pericardial sac could hold about 200-250 cc of blood. Dr. Najam also testified that the 7/8″ slit in the sac would not permit blood to gush out. (Dr. Najam did testify that if open heart surgery were being performed and the aortic root were severed that blood probably would hit the ceiling; however, since the pericardial sac was intact (despite the slit), the blood would collect in the sac or take the path of least resistance. Some blood would come out of the wound, but it would be from vessels closer to the surface. Dr. Najam also testified that the blood found elsewhere in the body (i.e., the duodenum or jejeunum) was not inconsistent with his opinion regarding unconsciousness in 5-10 seconds.

                • Carolina
                  06/22/2010 at 7:25 PM

                  So pretty much an inch slit, and that sealed in seconds? I have a very hard time buying that. Smaller, yes, it seems very reasonable, but at virtually a full inch, I cannot see that totally sealing without leakage.

                  • chilaw79
                    06/22/2010 at 8:10 PM

                    Dr. Najam said the blood would have to go through a lot of layers to get to the surface. How, then, did the blood get all over the back of Wone’s t-shirt? I did not understand that the stab wounds went all the way through the body (e.g., front to back). If there is no exit wound in the back, where did the blood on the back of the shirt come from?

                    • Carolina
                      06/22/2010 at 9:12 PM

                      And we know there is no exit wound because the autopsy says so. So now what?

            • tucsonwriter
              06/22/2010 at 8:54 PM

              You can access the autopsy report by doing a search. It has verbatim findings. There are also police witnesses in attendance at the autopsy. The report provides weights of various body parts, etc. I would suggest reading it. Not sure that it makes sense to drain blood OUT of a body as a medical procedure. Especially in the case of a murder victim. That is common sense on my part. I am not an EMT but it seems like the focus would be on replacing blood while still alive, especially since the heart can’t pump blood (as a pumping mechanism) without any pressure .i.e. lack of 1/2 body’s blood.

  3. Carolina
    06/22/2010 at 10:06 AM

    Let’s not forget that DiMaio’s 60% number came from a Turkish paper. One. Turkish. Publication.

    It also doesn’t address where the stab wounds were. As I said yesterday, if you get stabbed in the back, it’s rather hard to bring your hand to it or sustain defensive wounds.

    • srb
      06/22/2010 at 11:12 AM

      I’m not sure that the study cited by Dr. DiMaio is that much of an anomaly. This may be the abstract of the article he was referring to: http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=153529

      It comes up on the first page of a quick Google search on “defensive wounds stabbing victims.” This Forensic Medicine textbook on Google books cites another study that found defensive wounds in less than 60% of fatal stabbings involving 2-5 stabs.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=6bW4WSRgfKoC&pg=PA314&dq=defensive+wounds+stabbings&hl=en&ei=L80gTLyPAcGclgens8yHCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=defensive%20wounds%20stabbings&f=false

      The incidence rate for defensive wounds appears to get higher as the number of stab wounds goes up. I presume that is because in those cases, the assailant isn’t getting to major internal organs or inflicting injuries that are immediately incapacitating so that the victim is able to try to defend him/herself. As Carolina said, even if correct, these statistics don’t control for where in the body the wounds are located.

      But even accepting that the study cited by DiMaio is not exceptional, that does not explain the lack of blood on Wone’s hands. That’s not a defensive wound; that’s just reflex. Judge Leibowitz’s question yesterday seems to reflect that she also thinks that it has yet to be explained.

      DiMaio’s theory also seems inconsistent with the uniformity of the three wounds. If Wone didn’t have any defensive wounds because he was stabbed very quickly, then logic dictates that the wounds would have the indicia of speed, such as irregularity and pulling/tearing at the edges. Wone’s didn’t.

      I’m also not convinced that the wounds could have been so quickly inflicted, given all the bone and tissue that the knife would have encountered.

      • Carolina
        06/22/2010 at 2:36 PM

        Does the article take into account how many of those without defensive wounds are stabbed in the chest vs the back?

        • srb
          06/22/2010 at 3:56 PM

          On the Turkish study, I could only see the abstract, but as far as I could tell, it did not distinguish based on location of the wounds. The sample size was relatively small, too — 195 cases — and the abstract suggests that they weren’t all necessarily homicidal stabbings. The abstract actually says that the presence of defensive wounds suggested that the stabbing was homicidal. So, there could be suicidal and accidental stabbings in the sample, too.

          The study seemed to find that the likelihood of defensive wounds correlated with gender (higher in women) and consumption of alcohol (lower rate of defensive wounds). As I mentioned before, other studies find a correlation to number of wounds. Location of the wounds would be another obvious one, too, but I didn’t see any studies that broke out the data on that basis.

          • Carolina
            06/22/2010 at 7:27 PM

            So in other words, without breaking down the research, it’s essentially meaningless to this particular claim.

          • sophia
            06/22/2010 at 8:37 PM

            Interesting that the incidence of defensive wounds is lower in cases of alcohol consumption, given that Mr. Wone may have been drugged. Would seem to support the prosecution’s case.

            • WhatACase
              06/22/2010 at 8:45 PM

              agree. abstract states:

              “The incidence of defense wounds was lower in cases where alcohol had been consumed, and it was determined that being drunk before the stabbing played an important role as a resistance-breaking factor. The presence of defense wounds was an important indication that the purpose of the stabbing was homicidal”

              Imagine if the victim had been drugged?

            • Carolina
              06/22/2010 at 9:14 PM

              On the nose. The study isn’t worth much until you begin to break it down by category. When you do, I would put money down that the defense would prefer it not be brought up.

      • tucsonwriter
        06/22/2010 at 3:35 PM

        Also doing a teeny bit of research on blood spatter – the greater the velocity = greater force = high spatter pattern and greater degree of blood splatter….

        There is no blood splatter in the room. There is no blood on Robert Wone.

        The EMT immediately senses something is wrong. He has been an EMT for 10 years and the hair stands up on the back of his neck. There is clearly something wrong with the scene. I haven’t seen any of that addressed by the defense. (or the directly by the prosecution)

        • Ohio
          06/22/2010 at 4:13 PM

          IIRC, the emt was not allowed to testify to the hair on the back of his neck. We can know of it, but I don’t think it was entered. jmo

          • KKinCA
            06/22/2010 at 4:26 PM

            I may be wrong, but I thought that when testifying the EMT snuck it in as the defense objected. Regardless, the judge will know to disregard that statement assuming she sustained the objection.

      • Ohio
        06/22/2010 at 4:11 PM

        You mean, if I can google, I can be an expert witness?
        Nice.

        • srb
          06/22/2010 at 9:11 PM

          As Mark Twain put it, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” The use of studies to explain one factor is not persuasive to me because it’s the coexistence of several factors–i.e., lack of defensive wounds, lack of blood on the victim’s hands, perfect and precise wounds inflicted (seemingly) upside down, and the absence of any physical or chemical restraints to explain the lack of movement–that makes this case unique.

          • cinnamon
            06/22/2010 at 9:21 PM

            As Mark Twain put it, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

            That’s brilliant.

            • tucsonwriter
              06/22/2010 at 9:32 PM

              He also said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

  4. CC Biggs
    06/22/2010 at 11:46 AM

    On the 911 call, Victor says “We heard a scream from our friend.” So, before the housemates got their story straight, Victor claimed that he heard a scream. Then, at trial, their experts-for-hire introduced the sudden death/instant unconscious theory. So, either Robert screamed out loudly when stabbed, or he died istantly while sleeping. Well, which is it? These are the types of factual inconsistencies that make the housemates seem very, very guilty.

    Note also that the 911 operator really outsmarted Victor. The call should have been short and sweet. (E.g., “Our friend has been stabbed; send EMT immediately.”) Instead, Victor was drawn in by the operator’s questions and started chatting it up, to his extreme disadvantage now!

    • TK
      06/22/2010 at 12:06 PM

      Asking the operator what time it is was totally out there. That must have come from Joe.

    • commonsensewillprevailihope
      06/22/2010 at 12:53 PM

      This is an example of what erased the reasonable doubt…..

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      06/22/2010 at 1:04 PM

      “Robert screamed out loudly when stabbed”

      which shows he reacted.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/22/2010 at 1:04 PM

        well, reacted according to the defendants statements.

        • Carolina
          06/22/2010 at 2:38 PM

          If you can scream, you can clutch or dodge.

          • Lee
            06/22/2010 at 2:51 PM

            Not when a ninja has disabled you by grasping your joint.

            • Kate
              06/22/2010 at 4:57 PM

              Funny, Lee!

              • Former Criminal Sex Offense Prosecutor
                06/22/2010 at 7:34 PM

                I agree, best 1 liner of the day.

    • Mark M
      06/22/2010 at 5:15 PM

      I admit I haven’t followed this full time. But last night I listened to the 911 call. Has anyone explained to the court how Victor could have known that the intruder had their knife while still being concerned that the intruder may still be in the house? If he was too afraid to go downstairs to let the EMT in because the intruder might still be there, how can he plausibly say that the intruder has one of their knives? How could he have inventoried the kitchen in the brief time between the discovery of Robert and the making of the 911 call?

      • Cat in Cleveland
        06/22/2010 at 5:52 PM

        Another good point! Will you (collectively) please blog my next trial? I hope the prosecutor has someone reading this and making notes for his closing argument!

        • Carolina
          06/22/2010 at 7:31 PM

          Not really.

          He went to the floor on which Robert was found. He saw the knife and recognized it. Assuming the Magic Ninja Intruder was still in the house, one could assume he may have possession of another knife from their kitchen.

          Alternately, he may be repeating something Joe said. “They had our knife,” becomes “They have one of our knives.”

          It’s hard to judge a 911 call until you’re faced with a dead friend in your guestroom.

          • Mark M
            06/22/2010 at 8:34 PM

            But midway through the call, he was already on the second floor, presumably with Price and in plain view of the alleged murder weapon, he says he is too afraid to go to the first floor to let the paramedics in because the intruder may still be there, but he clearly says “he has one of our knives.” By the way, how could Victor say “we think there was an intruder” “we heard a chime” Did they have a discussion before calling 911? one more thing-why did Price have to tell Victor to call 911 immediately? Wouldn’t that be pretty automatic?

            • Carolina
              06/22/2010 at 9:17 PM

              You mean like, “Holy shit, someone broke in and stabbed Robert! They used one of our knives!”

              Doesn’t take a lot of discussion.

      • WhatACase
        06/22/2010 at 6:03 PM

        Agree that the 911 call is strange. It’s like a piece of abstract art or a rorschach test—-every time you listen to it, you hear different things, nuances, things you missed the first few times you listened to it.

        If I were to argue that victor was innocent, I’d say that the talk about the intruder having one of their knives comes from Price—it appears he has a running narrative going on in the background, relaying information to victor, as in “he was stabbed with one of our own knives,” leading victor to say, “we think he has one of our knives.” It’s like the trouple is the Borg from Star Trek—they assimilate each other’s comments into a “we” narrative–what one says becomes a “we think” statement.

        If I were to argue that victor is guilty, I’d say that the info about the knife, the time, etc., was designed to get certain information on the record and provide cover for later.

  5. Bill Orange
    06/22/2010 at 11:58 AM

    Does anyone else think it’s a really bad idea for a lawyer to seat a witness right after they’ve gotten off a transcontinental flight?

    • KKinCA
      06/22/2010 at 12:11 PM

      The defense probably paid for 1st class, so Dr. Najam will be well rested and fresh as a daisy. He probably got more sleep last night than any of the attorneys working this case!

    • Kate
      06/22/2010 at 12:31 PM

      Bill O – I was thinking the same thing. I’m about as sharp as a cotton ball after an overseas flight.

      However, I’ve also found that adjusting to time change, jet lag, etc. is much more taxing when flying to Europe. It seems much easier when returning home. But still, I hope the good doctor has an opportunity to “floof and doof” (aka shower, shave, and so forth) before his testimony.

      Cheers,
      Kate

      • chilaw79
        06/22/2010 at 5:56 PM

        Generally, he appeared well rested and suitably attired and shaved. He was catching a flight again tonight.

        • Kate
          06/22/2010 at 6:05 PM

          Were you there today, Chilaw? I know you opined that you wanted to be there?

          I don’t mean to be obtrusive, but your observations sounded first hand.

          Cheers,
          Kate

          • chilaw79
            06/22/2010 at 7:25 PM

            Yes, I was there. A scheduled afternoon meeting was canceled and I could not resist the siren call of the courtroom.

            I did not get a chance to introduce myself to the editors. The courtroom was very crowded and I could not figure out who was who (other than the defendants and counsel, and Pat Collins, a local TV reporter). I am trying to pull together my impressions for a post.

            • Kate
              06/22/2010 at 7:51 PM

              We await with baited breath.If you would like the historical reference to that comment, I can possibly oblige).

              Kate

            • tucsonwriter
              06/22/2010 at 9:01 PM

              OOh! I love the courtroom impressions from everyone. Can’t wait to hear yours.

      • Clio
        06/22/2010 at 9:20 PM

        Kate, you are so right on in reference to the jet lag.

        And, again, even if his hair, make-up, shoes, and accessories will not be weighed by Lynn, every professional Hessian needs to look their best.

  6. mia
    06/22/2010 at 1:30 PM

    I don’t know how the defense could managed to argue Robert was incapacitated instantly while have both Joe and Victor testified they heard the Robert’s scream and grunt before they rushed to downstairs.

    • Carolina
      06/22/2010 at 2:39 PM

      Maybe the ninja screamed and grunted. Maybe he was a ninja trainee.

    • Babs
      06/22/2010 at 2:46 PM

      How do Joe and Victor know it was Robert screaming and not Dylan or the intruder?

  7. cat
    06/22/2010 at 2:53 PM

    What is Rule 16? Anybody?

    • Lee
      06/22/2010 at 2:56 PM

      There’s an explanation at—http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/Rule16.htm

  8. cat
    06/22/2010 at 2:56 PM

    Okay, I found this link, but I’m still reading it to try to understand what happened in the courtroom today.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/Rule16.htm

    • whodoneit
      06/22/2010 at 3:20 PM

      My understanding is that the defense did not identify that Dr Najam would be testifying as an expert in all things relating to PEA in the pretrial proceedings, so it is barred from having him testify in that area at trial.

    • JAG
      06/22/2010 at 3:26 PM

      Cat–this link is for the Federal Rules of CIVIL Procedure, you’ll need to look at the Fed R of CRIMINAL Procedures. See Lee’s link.

      • Themis
        06/22/2010 at 4:00 PM

        Rule 16 governs discovery, the process by which the prosecution and defense disclose certain evidence to the other party. Rule 16 has specific requirements wtih respect to the disclosure of both expert witnesses and the subject matter to which they will testify.

        The purpose of the rule is to allow the opposing party an opportunity to investigate both the expert and his/her opinion for purposes of challenging the admissibility of the testimony, challenging the credentials of the witness, challenging the substance of the expert testimony, or offering their own witness and testimony on the subject.

        Ultimately, the goal of Rule 16 is to provide for the orderly presentation of sound scientific evidence AND to prevent unfair surprise.

        In this case, the defense appears to have disclosed Dr. Najam as an expert on tamponade and provided a summary of testimony on that issue, but not have put the prosecution on notice that he would testify to P.E.A.. From that it can be inferred that the defense theories relating to P.E.A. arose during the fourth quarter so to speak.

        Looking at the trial as a whole, it could be argued that the prosecution has had a tendency to stick to one theory when they should be a little more flexible and adaptive (e.g., the “real” knife was from Dylan’s set), while the defense has has been a little to chase after any theory that presents itself to the exclusion of settling on a coherent theory of the case.

        In any event, it is in the judge’s discretion to allow or disallow expert testimony that was not properly disclosed under Rule 16 (and to determine whether or not there was nondisclosure). That decision in highly unlikely to be disburbed on appeal.

        • DonnaH
          06/22/2010 at 5:05 PM

          Themis,I appreciate the clarity you bring to issues here, such as in this instance on Rule 16 along with your perspectives on the trial. Thanks so much!

        • Kate
          06/22/2010 at 5:15 PM

          Many thanks, Themis.

          I see the light … for Rule 16.

          Each day I am ever more impressed with the knowledge and experience of those who post here and the graciousness with which they share their experience. It has been a learning, and I may say growing, experience for many of us. Although I did not know Robert Wone, I think he would soundly approve.

          By vocation and avocation, I’m an historian – so I have little of solid value to offer, except long views of the folly of mankind, so oft repeated.

          Sorry to wax philosophical, but you folks are grand.

          Cheers,
          Kate

  9. Joelle
    06/22/2010 at 2:58 PM

    Question: If Robert indeed had PEA in the ambulance, is the Prosecution’s case in big trouble? This is so confusing since the EMTs also said Robert was cold and clammy and had been dead for some time.

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 6:03 PM

      I wonder whether the monitors in the ambulances work any better than the breathalyzers that the DC police use. Calibration and maintenance of equipment do not appear to be strong points for DC.

      I got the distinct impression from the EMT witness that Mr. Wone was dead when he was put in the ambulance. No pulse, no respiration, no pulse, pupils nonreactive, no verbal response, no physical response, nothing…The EMTs could not get a line going so Mr. Wone received no medications in the ambulance. They could not intubate. A fireman did CPR, but that was all that could be done.

      The EMT accounted for the EMT attempts to insert an IV. The hospital accounted for their attempts. Mr. Wone had no medical procedures that day. Where did the other puncture wounds come from?

      In some ways, the cardiac surgeon’s testimony was that 5 to 10 seconds after the stab wound to the aortic root, Mr. Wone would have become unconscious and his brain would have been deprived of oxygen. There was no evidence of life in the ambulance.

      • Kate
        06/22/2010 at 6:16 PM

        So Chilaw, the PEA recorded in the ambulance could have been road vibration? I asked this question of an EMT friend and she said this was indeed possible. Did this come up in cross?

        By the way, I especially like your analogy to breathalyzers….

        A far as the needle marks, it appears as if Weaver agreed with Baker?

        Sorry to have missed again today, 19th century undergarments rule my world at the present moment.

        Kate

        • chilaw79
          06/22/2010 at 7:31 PM

          The EMT (Weaver) was not asked about whether road vibrations could have caused the PEA shown on the monitor. Given the fact that the hospital staff also reported some PEA even later, there must be some explanation for this phenomenon. The EMT has to return tomorrow so this may still come up.

          The defense fought pretty hard to avoid the EMT testifying about the run report. As I have noted elsewhere, I came to the firm belief from what was said that Mr. Wone was already fully unresponsive, without any vital signs, and, for all intents and purposes, dead when placed in the ambulance.

          • Kate
            06/22/2010 at 7:57 PM

            Hmm – why put Weaver on then?

            What are your thoughts about this?

            • chilaw79
              06/22/2010 at 8:04 PM

              Kate,

              I think the defense wanted to put EMT Weaver on the stand for the sole purpose of introducing testimony on PEA being observed in the ambulance. However, since the defense had introduced the ambulance run report (prepared by EMT Weaver) in evidence, the prosecution then got her to explain the run report (which appears to have been written in some sort of notational style that is difficult to understand otherwise). The prosecution was not permitted to question on her subjective impressions regarding the lack of blood. The testimony EMT Weaver gave made it pretty clear that she thought Wone was dead when he was placed in the ambulance.

      • John
        06/22/2010 at 6:36 PM

        If the EMT’s and the ER staff did not do the puncture wounds, then it must have been due to the sex play. Electrical stimulation for sexual stimulation could be a possible cause. Along with this there is the possiblity of some other drug administered by the “players.” But we will never know the drug due to poor follow up by the ME.

        • Carolina
          06/22/2010 at 9:21 PM

          Sorry to call BS. No E-stim uses punctures.

      • Carolina
        06/22/2010 at 7:41 PM

        Am I the only one who finds it interesting that Lawmed disappeared on us, after supplying us with so much info?

        I thought for certain we’d be hearing from him when the hospital also stated unequivocally that there were no lines attempted in the ankles and then went farther in saying there is NO REASON anyone would have put lines there. I seem to recall him saying it was very typical in these cases.

        • chilaw79
          06/22/2010 at 8:15 PM

          EMT Weaver said the EMTs did not try to insert any lines at the ankles. She said this is against protocol. She said she and the other EMT each tried to insert two lines a piece and both of them failed. EMT Weaver tried to place lines in an arm and the other EMT tried to place them up near the head area. (A fireman was performing CPR in the ambulance, the other EMT “took the head,” and EMT Weaver, worked at his side.) The EMTs also could not intubate.

          No lines and no intubation = No Meds.

          • Carolina
            06/22/2010 at 9:24 PM

            And again, those in the ER said no lines in the ankles, which Lawmed seemed to indicate were absolutely normal.

            They aren’t, by the way, but he was so adamant about it. Strange, how people show up after particular testimony with so much seemingly good info.

            Sarah Morgan and Hixson’s friends, Lawmed ahead of the medical info. Just strange that no one sticks around.

  10. Bea
    06/22/2010 at 3:10 PM

    I doubt it’s the link you provided – I suspect it’s Fed Rules of Criminal Procedure, and my guess as to the relevant part is that the defense didn’t give notice that this expert would speak to PEA:

    (b) Defendant’s Disclosure.

    (1) Information Subject to Disclosure.

    (A) Documents and Objects.

    If a defendant requests disclosure under Rule 16(a)(1)(E) and the government complies, then the defendant must permit the government, upon request, to inspect and to copy or photograph books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies or portions of any of these items if:

    (i) the item is within the defendant’s possession, custody, or control; and

    (ii) the defendant intends to use the item in the defendant’s case-in-chief at trial.

    (B) Reports of Examinations and Tests.

    If a defendant requests disclosure under Rule 16(a)(1)(F) and the government complies, the defendant must permit the government, upon request, to inspect and to copy or photograph the results or reports of any physical or mental examination and of any scientific test or experiment if:

    (i) the item is within the defendant’s possession, custody, or control; and

    (ii) the defendant intends to use the item in the defendant’s case-in-chief at trial, or intends to call the witness who prepared the report and the report relates to the witness’s testimony.

    (C) Expert Witnesses.

    The defendant must, at the government’s request, give to the government a written summary of any testimony that the defendant intends to use under Rules 702, 703, or 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence as evidence at trial, if —

    (i) the defendant requests disclosure under subdivision (a)(1)(G) and the government complies; or

    (ii) the defendant has given notice under Rule 12.2(b) of an intent to present expert testimony on the defendant’s mental condition.

    This summary must describe the witness’s opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and the witness’s qualifications[.]

    (2) Information Not Subject to Disclosure.

    Except for scientific or medical reports, Rule 16(b)(1) does not authorize discovery or inspection of:

    (A) reports, memoranda, or other documents made by the defendant, or the defendant’s attorney or agent, during the case’s investigation or defense; or

    (B) a statement made to the defendant, or the defendant’s attorney or agent, by:

    (i) the defendant;

    (ii) a government or defense witness; or

    (iii) a prospective government or defense witness.

    (c) Continuing Duty to Disclose.

    A party who discovers additional evidence or material before or during trial must promptly disclose its existence to the other party or the court if:

    (1) the evidence or material is subject to discovery or inspection under this rule; and

    (2) the other party previously requested, or the court ordered, its production.

    (d) Regulating Discovery.

    (1) Protective and Modifying Orders.

    At any time the court may, for good cause, deny, restrict, or defer discovery or inspection, or grant other appropriate relief. The court may permit a party to show good cause by a written statement that the court will inspect ex parte. If relief is granted, the court must preserve the entire text of the party’s statement under seal.

    • Turtlejay
      06/22/2010 at 3:40 PM

      The reference would be to the DC Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 16 which would mirror what Bea cites but for what it’s worth, here is the link to the Superior Court Rules. Rule 16 is on pages 17-19:

      http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/docs/CriminalRules.pdf

    • srb
      06/22/2010 at 3:43 PM

      The pertinent rule should be D.C. Superior Court Rule of Criminal Procedure, though it is quite similar to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16. The operative part is under subsection (d)(2):

      “(2) Failure to comply with a request. If at any time during the course of the proceedings it is
      brought to the attention of the Court that a party has failed to comply with this Rule, the Court may
      . . . prohibit the party from introducing evidence not disclosed . . . .”

  11. Timeline
    06/22/2010 at 3:12 PM

    It is highly confusing to me how the two EMTs who so far seem to be saying basically the same thing end up being witnesses for opposite sides. I’m very curious what is going to be substantively different for EMT Weaver’s testimony than EMT Baker’s that the defense feels it bolsters their case. (Of course she so far hasn’t testified, as Baker did, that the scene made the hairs on her neck stand up because there was so obviously something off, nor did she testify that she made sure not to have her back to Joe Price, as Baker did.)

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 6:06 PM

      I don’t think the testimony is so different. Both of the EMTs thought that Mr. Wone was dead when he was put in the ambulance. They followed their protocols. There was no active blood flow in the ambulance.

      The defense put her on for one purpose: to testify about PEA being observed on the monitor. The prosecution effectively rebutted that by having her testify that Mr. Wone was dead by all other clinical measures (e.g. pulse, pupils, respirations, etc.)

  12. CDinDC (Boycott BP)
    06/22/2010 at 3:37 PM

    “Weaver was questioned about treatment of Robert while in ambulance………..he had P.E.A.”

    So it sounds to me that PEA can last various amounts of time. Shorter….longer……it appears Robert’s PEA lasted much longer than the defense team claims PEA can last.

    • Bea
      06/22/2010 at 4:08 PM

      Agree. I suspect a rebuttal witness will address this. Or I hope so. That said, I’m not surprised that the defense is trying the kitchen sink approach, though one would have to know the defendants were lying about the scream if he didn’t die immediately.

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        06/22/2010 at 5:02 PM

        And ALL of this testimony goes against the defendants own statements. Incredible.

        • Makes me wonder
          06/22/2010 at 5:48 PM

          I really hope the prosecution hammers home the inconsistency between the defendats’ statements that they heard Robert scream, with the defendants’ experts’ explanation as to why no blood and defensive wounds, etc… because he died instantly… Either the defendants ar lying about the scream or Robert was restrained at the time of the killing… seems like a win win for the prosecution, no?

          • Gama
            06/22/2010 at 7:37 PM

            And beyond the scream, Victor told the 911 operator that Robert was still breathing and Joe told the police that Robert “moaned a little bit” as he applied pressure with the towel. Were any of the defense experts asked on cross whether a dead man can scream, breathe and moan?

            • Carolina
              06/22/2010 at 7:45 PM

              Someone did give a plausible explanation for the moan. Any air trapped in the lungs that was forced past the vocal chords could produce a moan. The moaner can be dead, for that matter.

            • Liam
              06/22/2010 at 7:55 PM

              To those experienced in these matters, how does the prosecution hammer home the types of inconsistencies between the defendants statements and the evidence, as noted above.

              The defendants are obviously not going to testify (if any of them does it would blow me away), so do you hammer it home on closing?

              Or, can you ask an expert witness “So, is your opinion consistent with Victor’s statement on the 911 call indicating that the victim died immediately?” Seems like you can’t do this because Victors statement is hearsay with respect to that witness?

              I don’t know.

              • Liam
                06/22/2010 at 7:57 PM

                I meant, Victor’s indication that the victim did NOT die immediately.

              • Leo
                06/22/2010 at 8:14 PM

                No, you don’t make these legal arguments through a witness. You prepare and deliver a masterful closing argument that is well organized and highlights each and every salient point you need to make. Then you sit down.

                • Liam
                  06/22/2010 at 8:24 PM

                  I see. Well, I look forward to the closing arguments because, at times, both the defense’s case and the prosecution’s case have seemed somewhat uncohesive.

                  Though, I suppose that you work with what you are given. I’m not sure either side was given very much to work with.

      • Kate
        06/22/2010 at 5:32 PM

        Bea – your “kitchen sink” analogy is spot on … and I admit to being a tad surprised by it. Not being a lawyer – such as yourself – I’ve assumed their approach is to cast doubt at any and all levels, on any and all prosecution theories – despite obvious contradictions.

        This would mean discounting the witnesses’ own words in the midst of the event. As well as the first responders (oops responder, as Weaver is now a defense witness), first detectives on the site, crime scene investigators, a plethora of experienced MPD detectives, et al.

        I hope, as do you, for solid rebuttal,
        Kate

      • Carolina
        06/22/2010 at 9:28 PM

        Can they bring up that certain drugs can prolong PEA, or is that a streetcar that’s already gone by?

    • BadShoes
      06/22/2010 at 8:40 PM

      CD-
      yes. Dr. Smith said 12 minutes, plus up to 20 (20 more?) minutes with treatment. But today we established that the EMTs weren’t able to treat Mr. Wone effectively, so we’re back to 12 minutes. Yet the hospital reports PEA at 12:17, some 18 minutes after the EMTs detected PEA (but couldn’t treat), and about 30 minutes minimum after the last possible moment for Mr. Wone to have been stabbed consistent with the defendant’s story.

      So, the judge must conclude that a) either PEA was falsely detected; or b) the expert opinion of Dr. Smith was incorrect in this case. AFAIK, there is no other testimony admitted in this case that sets any kind of upper limit on how long after cardiac arrest PEA may persist. The judge will have to use her own judgment.

      Also, keep in mind that Dr. Smith’s proposed sequence was stabbing/tamponade/cardiac arrest/PEA, and that Dr. Smith, at least, allowed several minutes between stabbing and cardiac arrest.

  13. cat
    06/22/2010 at 5:28 PM

    “AUSA T. Patrick Martin had his day in court today. And it sounds like he brought his “A Game.” ”

    Woo hoo!

  14. CC Biggs
    06/22/2010 at 5:57 PM

    Is the trial over? Any more witnesses?

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 6:07 PM

      It is not over. The EMT will be back on the stand in the morning because the judge promised her staff they could leave at five.

      I do not know if the defense has any more witnesses.

      I think the prosecution will put on some rebuttal witnesses.

    • Craig
      06/22/2010 at 6:12 PM

      CCB: I’ll wait for an update from Michael, but the last we’d heard was maybe three government rebuttal witnesses Wednesday. Includes Deedrick again I think. Stand by.

      • Kate
        06/22/2010 at 6:21 PM

        Dearest Craig, sir – tell us about Chilaw, please. Inquiring minds want to know.

        Cheers,
        Kate

        • chilaw79
          06/22/2010 at 6:25 PM

          I remain an enigmatic figure.

          • Leo
            06/22/2010 at 6:41 PM

            Are you a blond?

            • chilaw79
              06/22/2010 at 7:33 PM

              I am not that shade of enigmatic.

              • WhatACase
                06/22/2010 at 7:42 PM

                Ah, you are a hue-nette!

              • Carolina
                06/22/2010 at 7:46 PM

                Excellent retort.

                • WhatACase
                  06/22/2010 at 7:53 PM

                  love you too, carolina.

              • Kate
                06/22/2010 at 8:03 PM

                Please tell me you’re not beige!

                The historian in me has an impression.

                All good by the way.

  15. chilaw79
    06/22/2010 at 7:47 PM

    A few impressions from my afternoon in court:

    1. Judge Leibowitz is smart. She is following this like a hawk and asked excellent questions. She does not hesitate to express her opinion about the pace of testimony and made rulings quickly.
    None of the other lawyers who participated really knocked my socks off, although Schertler had the floor most of the time; Martin was better than Schertler.

    2. Dylan Ward acts like he is attending a cocktail party–hugs and kisses, little waves, shy smiles. He is really devil may care. Joe Price seems very absorbed. Victor exchanged a few words periodically with Dylan and seemed to have one solemn discussion with Joe Price. The defendants all assisted with carrying exhibits.

    3. I sat near Dylan’s parents. A young woman came up to talk with the Wards who had been a college classmate of Dylan’s (at Georgetown?). The Wards appreciated her attendance.

    Many of the people in attendance were taking notes. I could not see the defendants very well. It was a pretty dry day in terms of testimony. The defendants seem to be arguing inconsistently, using one set of experts to testify that cardiac tamponade rendered Wone unconscious quickly and did not produce spurting blood, but somehow there was still PEA (meaning what exactly?)

    I still see no explanation for the statements from the defendants about blood or why the back of Wone’s shirt was saturated with blood.

    Also, there is no evidence about the order of the wounds. I cannot recall any testimony concerning whether the wounds that did not slice the aortic root would have been fatal, in and of themselves, or whether they would have resulted in a virtually immediate lack of consciousness.

    • WhatACase
      06/22/2010 at 8:03 PM

      Assuming the defense doesn’t have a lot to work with, perhaps simply developing a non-holistic “it could have happened that way” retort to every prosecution point of tampering/obstruction/conspiracy, is the best the defense can do right now—and that may be enough for a very precise judge. Very little blood on the bed? An expert says “it can happen.” Knife was switched? Not so, says Lee—look at the fatty tissue. Immediate death from one stab thrust? That explains no defensive wounds—or better yet, most stabbing victims don’t have defensive wounds, an expert claims. But Victor heard Robert scream—on closing, perhaps that was the intruder screaming.
      They have got to preserve options for a possible appeal. This ain’t over yet.

    • GU92
      06/22/2010 at 9:07 PM

      Thanks for the update, chilaw79, though as a classmate of Dylan’s at Georgetown myself, I’m not sure the woman who approached the Wards qualifies as young anymore.

      • WhatACase
        06/22/2010 at 9:23 PM

        as a 1982 college grad, I’d argue vociferiously that a 1992 grad is a babe in the woods!

  16. LateToTheGame
    06/22/2010 at 8:00 PM

    I’m confused about something and not sure I can even articulate it clearly, but here goes…

    The defense seems to explain away the fact that Robert had no defensive wounds on his hands, etc., by saying that he could have been asleep (or was restrained — are they arguing that?) and that the nature of the wounds were such that he died instantly. To my way of thinking, if he had no defensive wounds, then he had to be restrained, not sleeping. Otherwise, how does one explain the whole semen thing? (Yes, I know wet dreams are possible, but the “displacement” of the semen afterwards argues pretty forcefully against such an occurrence.)

    So, my question is…does it make any difference with respect to the defendants if it can be shown that Robert was restrained rather than sleeping.

    • WhatACase
      06/22/2010 at 8:04 PM

      the semen isn’t in evidence in this trial—in the wrongful death civil suit, that’s a whole new ballgame. But this judge will be dealing only with the submitted evidence.

    • BadShoes
      06/22/2010 at 8:25 PM

      I may be wrong, but I believe the defense generally, and their expert witnesses are arguing that no restraint was necessary–Mr. Wone being asleep was sufficient.

      There is a bit of complexity, but basically, if Mr. Wone was restrained in any way, then the stories that the defendants told the police are would be seriously called into question.

      Mr. Wone would have had to have been restrained without leaving obvious traces or evidence of a struggle, murdered, and the evidence of restraint made to disappear, which would tend to violate the timeline in the defendant’s story, and provides lots of opportunity for Mr. Wone and his murderer to make various noises while the defendants, by their account, were sleeping a few feet away.

      • WhatACase
        06/22/2010 at 8:59 PM

        agreed. so the “scream” that victor heard, which produced the discovery of the stabbed-Robert, must have been the intruder? If not, that’s tampering with evidence and obstruction.

        • tucsonwriter
          06/22/2010 at 9:12 PM

          The screaming, cleaning ninja. I thought they were supposed to be stealthy?

  17. Bill Orange
    06/22/2010 at 8:06 PM

    Intriguing. I’m assuming that the prosecution didn’t call Weaver for a reason. I’m curious about her testimony that Baker tried to do a neck injection. My recollection is that he was not only adamant that he had not done so, but I thought that he said he wasn’t even allowed to try to hit neck veins. At best, Weaver is mistaken. At worse, one of them has committed perjury. Should be an interesting cross.

    I’m not one to miss an opportunity to bash a cardiac surgeon, but he is unquestionably an expert in this field, and the fact that this is his debut as an expert bodes very well for him. Unfortunately for the defense, it sounds like he said that Robert Wone would’ve been conscious for about 5-10 seconds after the stabbing. That’s pretty much the absolute lowest I would be able to go, given the circumstances. That’s not “instantaneously” or “immediately”. It’s 5-10 seconds. In the current circumstances, that’s a LOT of time. Enough time to grab your chest. Enough time to roll around on the bed. Enough time to try to stand up or roll off the bed. And yet none of these things seems to have happened.

    • chilaw79
      06/22/2010 at 8:22 PM

      I may have to go back and look at my notes. What I remember, Bill, is that Weaver said she tried to insert an IV twice in an arm and failed. She said her partner also tried to insert an IV twice and failed. I am not sure if she said where her partner tried to insert an IV. Weaver did testify that neither she nor her partner tried to insert an IV at the ankles since that is not protocol. There was no suggestion in her testimony that the other EMT broke protocol.

      Also, on the timing, Dr. Najam clearly could not say which wound occurred first. All he said was that once the pericardial sac was filled with blood (which would take a few seconds), Wone would have become unconscious within 5-10 seconds.

      • WhatACase
        06/22/2010 at 8:33 PM

        so according to the defense’s witness: post-stab, it would take a “few seconds” (the nuns taught me a “few” was three or more) for the pericardial sac to fill with blood, and unconsciousness would take another “5-10 seconds,” meaning at least 8 long seconds would pass before robert was unable to thrash, clutch his chest, roll, violently convulse, etc. And none of that happened. Hmmmmn. So whatreally happened was…..? Oh, that’s right, immediate death, from a previous witness. So the “scream” victor attributed to robert? Well, guess that was actually the intruder screaming (the one mistake this intruder apparently made, since there was no blood transfer, no droplets, no eyewitnesses, no footsteps on floors heard, etc.) This is a high-priced defense team—they will come up with the “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” line, but it will have to be educated-up for this judge to buy it.

  18. tucsonwriter
    06/22/2010 at 9:34 PM

    Speaking of ninja’s – there is a funny YouTube video called “My roommate is a ninja” you can watch while you wait for the Wrap to post.

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