Reset The Clock

And Redraw the Battle Lines

Now that the criminal trial has reached it’s conclusion, the legal battle shifts

It’s no longer the United States v. Price, Ward and Zaborsky, now, the Estate of Robert E. Wone (his widow Katherine as personal representative) and all the firepower Covington can muster, will square off against the threesome. 

The last status hearing was in September 2009, and the next one with Judge Brook Hedge presiding, will be in about two months, on September 10 in room 517 of Moultrie. 

In the coming weeks we’ll profile the new legal teams and catch up on the most recent filings.  Some smart readers have already gotten a head start by zeroing in on the insurance angle with the defendants’ Maryland counsel.  

We know there are some old motions waiting in the clerk’s office that may show which way the plaintiffs are headed:

02/19/2009  Plaintiff’s Motion for Issuance of a Commission Asking the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, to Issue a Subpoena Compelling Verizon Communications Inc. to Produce Defendants’ Telephone and EMail Records from the Relevant Time Period Filed. Submitted Attorney: RAZI, Mr BENJAMIN J

Beyond the next hearing, the clock continues to tick on other matters.

Judge hedge has already laid out an aggressive schedule. 

09/18/2009  The following event: Status Hearing scheduled for 09/18/2009 at 10:00 am has been resulted as follows:

Parties have (45) forty five days from the Jury Verdict in the criminal trial to complete all discovery in the Civil Case and (75) seventy five days from the Jury Verdict in the criminal trial to complete deposition for both sides in the Civil Case.  Judge Hedge (ph). Judge: HEDGE, BROOK Location: Courtroom 517

If these dates hold, all discovery is to be completed by Friday, August 13.  Depositions are to be finalized by Sunday, September 12, only days after the next status.

At the last status hearing, Legal Times’ Mike Scarcella quoted Hedge as saying she wanted to move the case,  “expeditiously.”  This is going to make for a busy month or two.  It’s back to the clerk’s office and back to Moultrie.  

Scarcella also reported that none of the defendants were in attendance at the last status, but we’ve already got September 10 inked in on our calendars.

-posted by Craig

114 comments for “Reset The Clock

  1. Rich
    07/06/2010 at 10:26 AM

    I’m really misunderstood.

    The primary upside to this site is the sharing and review of analysis and insight regarding this case. The downside to this site is how overly analytical everyone can be. We seem to dissect every word and misread every intention.

    My intentions to date have always been honorable.

    I am not sure I have heard back from HoyaLoya, CDinDC, and possibly Carolina. However, it appears nailing the prosecution is a bad idea.

    Yes they were given garbage to begin with, but they could have tightened up their case. The judge, “begged” them to, “sell her something.” They simply didn’t do it, but I will back off.

    Let’s also clarify some misconceptions. In an earlier post (prior to the verdict), I said, “If they walk,” they might join us, suggesting they may “crash,” our forum. IN NO WAY did I ever invite them.

    No, I do not want the names of the commentators on this blog. I simply thought direct email access would be easier to communicate in the event we proceeded with my complaint.

    The suggestion of a, “get together,” was not to celebrate or party regardless of the verdict, but simply to learn more from one another and share opinions.

    There was no intention to offend anyone with the characterization of, “Senior Poster.” I was simply referring to the folks that have consistently, sanely, and sensibly provided perspective for all of us.

    For the record again, I am not a defendant in disguise, just someone who has lost almost four years of his life following this case.

    With Every Good Wish to Everyone.
    rich

    • chilaw79
      07/06/2010 at 11:03 AM

      Lighten up a bit; this is a long process.

      People understood your frustration with the prosecution. Sometimes the Internet is an imperfect medium for communication. You do not see that something is being said with a wink or a nod.

      My own reticence at being labeled a “senior poster” was intended to reflect the fact that, unlike you and many others, I have not been following the case for four years. I defer to those who have.

      Thanks for taking the time to express yourself. My regards to you.

      • Bill 2
        07/06/2010 at 11:45 AM

        When it comes to a “senior poster” label, I look upon it as something in a sort of scholastic framework. You and the others who are schooled in law are the “seniors” that we “freshmen-sophomores” appreciate for the legal information you share in this forum. It’s not an age or longevity label that we wish to apply to senior posters, it’s a knowledge and wisdom label that you’ve earned, no matter what your age nor how long you’ve been here. The contributions of the senior posters are very important to us.

    • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
      07/06/2010 at 1:02 PM

      Hi Rich,

      Since you mentioned me directly, I’ll respond to your post.

      I don’t have any interest is pursuing any part of this matter outside the realm of this blog. I’ll leave that to the police department and the “Estate of Robert E. Wone,” and you if you chose to proceed with a complaint of some sort.

      And not to worry, I’m not offended by anything you’ve said in this post or any other post.

      We’re good. 😀

    • Hoya Loya
      07/06/2010 at 1:39 PM

      Rich:

      I was off-line over the holiday weekend so I apologize for not responding. I respectfully decline your thoughtful invite, but your heart was clearly in the right place. No offense taken.

    • Eagle
      07/06/2010 at 3:08 PM

      There are frequent posters who identify themselves in detail more than others.
      That is their choice.
      That does not diminish in any way the value of what others contribute.
      I am sure we would be shocked to know who some of us are – if we really knew
      I thank you all- everyone – for sharing . I recognize no pecking order.
      And I wish this demeaning of others would be replaced by individual respect so we can get on with the goals of WMRW.

      • Cat in Cleveland
        07/06/2010 at 4:56 PM

        Ditto that last part.

    • Carolina
      07/06/2010 at 7:57 PM

      Good enough, Rich.

  2. 310 Observer
    07/06/2010 at 11:14 AM

    In the previous blog post it stated that the next status hearing was to be September 10th, but in this one it’s September 17th. Which one is it? Or am I confused and you are referencing two different hearings?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Craig
      07/06/2010 at 11:32 AM

      310: The 17th was a typo. D’oh! September 10 is the date for the next status, at 945am.

      Rich: More than anything we welcome readers who reach out to us directly, first by way of email, and then maybe for a sit down over root beers.

      DLP: We’re toying with some site redesign and hopefully some new features as the case enters a new phase.

  3. dlpeters
    07/06/2010 at 11:24 AM

    perhaps a bit off topic, but I’m curious if there is any significance attached to the change in the appearance of the masthead for this blog site. throughout the criminal trial the masthead was black and white, and had sort of a ‘carved in granite’ look and feel (reminded me of a headstone). Now as we move into the civil phase of these proceedings the masthead appears in color and has more of a ‘burned into wood’ look and feel. Any significance that the editors et. al. care to share with this legal novice? BTW, thanks to all who post explanations and analysis here. It has helped me to better understand the intricacies and nuances of our legal system and caused me to better appreciate the legal profession.

    • galoon
      07/06/2010 at 12:50 PM

      Think the “burned into wood” look may be a fingerprint.

      • Carolina
        07/06/2010 at 7:59 PM

        I thought it was analog static. Go me!

      • Clio
        07/06/2010 at 8:00 PM

        Dlpeters and galoon, your reference to “burned into wood” made me, for some strange reason, think of Margo Channing’s “Aged in Wood”, the Broadway production in which Bette Davis’ character was starring in the iconic film “All About Eve”.

        The new masthead’s “Murdered” seems less prominent, and the whole thing seems to suggest that this weblog may be in some ways a Rorschach test to which posters bring their own expertise and baggage. Tres chic? No. Sparkly? A little.

  4. plumskiter
    07/06/2010 at 11:48 AM

    question:

    are the videotapes of the interrogations available on line anywhere? if not, do we expect them to be posted somewhere soon? and is there anything we can do to help make that happen?

    • mia
      07/06/2010 at 6:54 PM

      You could find the clips on WaPo website. Use Robert Wone as key word, you should be able to find them.

      • plumskiter
        07/07/2010 at 1:34 PM

        just clips though, right? i’m looking for the entire videos. anyone have any guidance?

  5. weaver
    07/06/2010 at 11:49 AM

    I’ve been under the impression from reading this site that ketamine leaves the body so quickly that it is too late to do additional toxicology on Robert’s body. I’m now getting confused because I’ve searched and searched and I can’t find any literature that supports ketamine being completely gone from the body in under two hours.

    Can anyone point me to some factual info in regards to ketamine being undetectable in a matter of hours?

    Also was Robert’s body cremated?

    • 310 Observer
      07/06/2010 at 12:38 PM

      I’m not when it becomes undetectable, but google seems to suggest it has a half life of 2.5 hours.

      • weaver
        07/06/2010 at 1:09 PM

        Thanks, I saw that too which is why I don’t understand why some think it would be impossible to detect now? Robert wasn’t alive for 2.5 hours. After death there would be no metabolism.

    • Anonymous
      07/06/2010 at 1:27 PM

      It can be detected in urine for approximately 3 days from the last dosing event. It will depend on a number of factors, such as dose and how dilute the urine is.

      Plasma half life is ~2.5 hours, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully assay for a metabolite in plasma after just one half life. Depending on how good the assay is and what metabolite they are testing for, plasma concentration may well be within the limits of quantification after ten half lives (~25 hours)or more.

      If I recall correctly, Ketamine is also deposited in fat. Just a guess, but I suspect this is where Ketamine and lipid-soluble metabolites would be within the limits of quantification for the longest time.

      At any rate, Robert Wone was not at 1509 for nearly long enough prior to his death that Ketamine would have completely cleared from his plasma or urine. If he self-medicated with Ketamine or was injected with Ketamine at any time during his brief stay, a fairly straightforward assay should be able to detect it. Assuming they saved some urine, that is.

      • weaver
        07/06/2010 at 2:14 PM

        Do you think it would be possible to detect in tissue around the injection site?

        • Anonymous
          07/06/2010 at 3:30 PM

          I doubt it matters that you sample tissue near the site of injection. Perhaps if an injection was delivered into a large muscle shortly prior to death?

          If the drug made it into circulation it should be evenly spread just about everywhere.

      • chilaw79
        07/06/2010 at 5:39 PM

        My understanding is that the supply of blood and urine preserved by the medical examiner for testing may not be sufficient to permit every possible toxicology test.

        The autopsy report shows the toxicology tests that were performed and the amount of blood and urine available. I have no idea how much blood or urine is used in testing. Tissue samples also were taken from various organs.

        My understanding of ketamine testing is that ketamine breaks down relatively rapidly into metabolites in the blood. This makes testing difficult.

        • Anonymous
          07/06/2010 at 8:00 PM

          Hi chilaw,

          I have the toxicology report on hand – I will summarize to spare everyone the time of finding it by themselves:

          – Most tests were run on blood.

          – Gas chromatography was used to test for ethanol, methanol, isopropanol and acetone.

          – An “enzyme immunoassay” (I suspect ELISA) was used to test for amphetamines, methamphetamines, bariturates, benzos, cocaine, methadone, opiates, phenecyclidine (PCP), and propoxyphene.

          – Spectrophotometry was used to test for carbon monoxide.

          – Urine was tested by gas chromatography/mass spectometry for GHB.

          So far it does not appear that they have run any assays for ketamine or metabolites of ketamine. As for how much blood it takes, I think most people would be surprised to find out how little you need. Depending on the assay, as little as a few microliters (yes, micro) may suffice. I can’t give you a precise amount for a ketamine assay, but I would be shocked if a few ml. didn’t yield more than enough plasma for multiple runs.

          To give you an example, these folks seem to be able to detect it by liquid chromatography in samples of all of 60 microliters:

          http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/90/2/155

          • Carolina
            07/06/2010 at 8:17 PM

            It was said at the time the autopsy and tox became available that the ME did not test for Ketamine.

          • susan
            07/06/2010 at 8:24 PM

            Re Ketamine, one of my neighbors said that something called Narcan is popular among drug users and it can be used to clear evidence of drugs like K. True? False? Anyone who knows, please weigh in.

            Also, one thing he said was he thought that the prosecution side in the criminal trial should have had some people in the know about the DC gay community working on their team. He thought team trouple had an advantage with B. Grimm and Spagnoletti and said there is a lot that they wouldn’t know about the culture, etc., without having someone in the life on their team. Just sharing what he said but maybe there’s something to that.

            Someone else earlier posted that maybe the interrogators in the taped interviews with the trio should have been women, and maybe there’s something to that as well. Or maybe someone from the DC MPD gay and lesbian unit. Something to think about.

            Anyhow, on another front, has it been (I’m sure it has, but I missed it) reported on this site what the trio were doing BEFORE R. Wone arrived at Swann Street? I know they cooked and burnt dinner and had pipe problems. Surely this didn’t last up until 10:30? Anyone who has the info., please share.

            Thanks.

            • Anonymous
              07/06/2010 at 9:02 PM

              Narcan is the brand name DuPont uses for its naloxone. It is typically used as an emergency aid during heroin overdoses.

              Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist, not an opiate drug. I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing Narcan will do anything for someone on ketamine, or to help clear ketamine from urine.

              • Carolina
                07/07/2010 at 7:18 AM

                It didn’t touch the xylene, either.

            • Clio
              07/06/2010 at 9:18 PM

              I do not know whether female or LGBT interrogators would have been more effective in ferreting more info from the trouple. It is true that I cannot see a woman or an LGBT detective saying “come to Jesus” in reference to (alleged) forcible gay recruiting, except maybe if a Sarah Palin or a Marilyn Musgrave worked at the MPD. Yet, I think that Joe and company were so insistent on the official story that no crack questioner could have gotten them to tell the whole truth that morning.

              And, Mr. Parsons, LGBT liaison, did play a media role later that August.

              • susan
                07/06/2010 at 9:45 PM

                Thanks, Anonymous and Clio.

                Yeah, that “come to Jesus” line does stand out. But you may be right re others possibly not being more effective. I guess I was thinking of VZ and DW who seemed kind of like little boys in trouble in their interviews. Also, they seemed a bit sedated. I just can’t imagine how they could appear so calm after a murdered guest was “discovered” in their home. It is too bad they weren’t checked for drugs/sedatives at that time.

                • La
                  07/06/2010 at 10:13 PM

                  Well, by their own accounts they both took sleeping pills that night, so I’m not surprised they seemed sedated.

                  • susan
                    07/06/2010 at 10:41 PM

                    Except VZ didn’t seem sedated at all on the 911 call–except when he allegedly was in the room with the stabbed Mr. Wone when he sounded surprisingly calm and was speaking with JP and asking about the time.

                    Re DW, he did seem sedate, but also unconcerned. I wonder how much Lunesta can make someone seem so indifferent to a stabbed guest in one’s house.

                • chilaw79
                  07/06/2010 at 11:33 PM

                  The initial interviews took place during hours between one and seven a.m., so a certain amount of weariness might be expected. However, I would assume the Violent Crimes Bureau in Anacostia is not a relaxing, comfortable place.

              • Carolina
                07/07/2010 at 7:20 AM

                For the record, I have never heard “come to Jesus” used in that context.

                • Bill
                  07/07/2010 at 8:22 AM

                  No have I. The only context that I have heard it used is one of ferreting out honesty.

                  • Carolina
                    07/07/2010 at 6:03 PM

                    In the religious sense, it means a confession and renouncement of one’s former, sinful life in preparation of being “born again.”

                    In secular terms, it’s always meant very much the same, a reckoning or a situation where one is confronted with or forced to speak the truth.

                    I don’t think it’s ever meant anything else, period.

            • chilaw79
              07/06/2010 at 11:20 PM

              Spagnoletti recently represented a DC judge in connection with the conviction and sentencing of her former lesbian lover who was convicted of stalking the judge. The convicted woman received a 5 1/2 year sentence. The woman was found in the judge’s attic. The judge said she and her nine year old were fearful after a series of harassing telephone calls, visits, and the unauthorized entry into the home.

              • susan
                07/06/2010 at 11:31 PM

                I read that. Judge Janet Albert. BTW, I also read that there was another judge representing Judge A earlier (Judge Zavos. See link below) and that judge had said she lived with the defendant for a period of time. Spagnoletti said that judge’s filing was inaccurate. Wonder if it was inaccurate or just didn’t fit into his defendant’s story. Interesting case.

                http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/01/AR2010070106377.html

                • chilaw79
                  07/06/2010 at 11:37 PM

                  For what it is worth, I note this criminal case was tried before a jury.

        • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
          07/06/2010 at 8:38 PM

          There was only 3-4ccs of blood remaining from Robert’s autopsy. That amount of blood was the subject of a hearing pertaining to post-conviction DNA access. Ultimately, the defense agreed to allow the sample to be used for further testing, which ultimately used up the remaining blood samples taken during Robert’s autopsy.

          • Carolina
            07/07/2010 at 7:23 AM

            It was that sample in which the xylene was found, wasn’t it?

            • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
              07/07/2010 at 10:54 AM

              Yes, it was. And the testing that found the presence of xylene used up the sample. No more blood.

              • Carolina
                07/07/2010 at 6:07 PM

                And the finding a xylene was then not admissible. Pretty smart on the part of the defense.

    • chilaw79
      07/07/2010 at 9:24 AM

      I do not believe Robert’s body was cremated. There are newspaper accounts that mention a cemetery.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/07/2010 at 7:34 PM

        Joe was a pallbearer. Clearly not a cremation.

  6. chilaw79
    07/06/2010 at 11:50 AM

    Kathy Wone and the Estate of Robert Wone are being represented by two fine lawyers: Benjamin Razi of Covington and Burling, and Patrick Regan of Regan, Zambri and Long. Both lawyers are working pro bono.

    Looking at the civil complaint filed against the defendants, the complaint alleges intentional, reckless and negligent conduct. These allegations virtually force an insurance company to defend. As speculated, Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky may have homeowners and/or umbrella liability policies that would cover any negligent acts. As a result, the insurance company would be under a duty to defend.

    The complaint alleges a separate count alleging the tort of “spoliation of evidence.” This is a tort that Patrick Regan has written about. The concept of spoliation usually is used to draw an adverse inference where a party has destroyed or altered evidence.

    The parties now are on a very tight deadline, especially during summer months when lawyers (like other people) want to be on vacation. Since the parties knew in advance of the deadlines, they should be ready to go, as evidenced by Ben Razi’s comment to the Washingtonian, that the civil litigation would begin the afternoon of the verdict.

  7. Bill Orange
    07/06/2010 at 11:50 AM

    I don’t think I really appreciated how compressed the schedule is until just now. Is there any chance Covington would be able to publish all of the documents from the criminal case? As I recall, there were several thousand pages of information that were entered into evidence. It could be helpful to the plaintiff if some extra eyes would have a chance to review it all before their deadlines start coming up.

    • Craig
      07/06/2010 at 2:15 PM

      Bill O: Although we’e not sure when or exactly how, it’s our hope to archive whatever docs and exhibits we’re able to get from the criminal case.

      Phil: Neither the 11:05 or 11:08pm emails were sent as far as we know. Detective Waid saw them on the Blackberry, but both were saved as drafts. I’m going to dig through my notes on his testimony and check that against what we know about the stipulations to see how Leibo may have used both of those in her calculations.

      • Bill Orange
        07/06/2010 at 6:08 PM

        My totally wild-assed guess is that the prosecution simply stipulated this point rather letting the defense make the Secret Service look totally incompetent for blowing this.

        • Carolina
          07/06/2010 at 8:08 PM

          But why, Bill O? If they weren’t sent, why say they were?

          • susan
            07/06/2010 at 8:28 PM

            Hypothetically (or actually re this instance) if in a bench trial the judge issues incorrect or false info. in a verdict/final decision is there any recourse for challenging the decision? This might not be a large enough issue, but is there any recourse in general?

            Thanks.

            • Tribe97
              07/06/2010 at 10:26 PM

              Susan,

              It sounds like this was a stipulation; it is likely that the stipulation was made for the limited purpose of the proceeding which would not foreclose the plaintiff from arguing that the e-mails were not sent in the civil case.

          • Bill Orange
            07/06/2010 at 9:05 PM

            I’m not saying it’s what I would’ve done (and in fact, it isn’t), but the defense obviously would want the e-mails in evidence, since it constricts the timeline and supports the defendants’ statements. So the Blackberry e-mails we’re going to be introduced into evidence, no matter what the prosecution did. At that point, they were stuck with two bad options: (a) argue that the e-mails weren’t sent, so the timestamps couldn’t be verified, which would provoke a blistering response from the defense about the competence of the Secret Service and would make everyone one the prosecution’s team look really, really bad; or (b) simply stipulate that the e-mails were written by Wone at the times indicated. In the end, if they had gone with (a), the judge would’ve been forced to interpret the e-mails in the light most favorable to the defense (i.e., that they were written by Wone at the indicated times), because the prosecution’s team botched the evidence. So I think they went with (b), just to spare the Secret Service a black eye.

            • Carolina
              07/07/2010 at 7:38 AM

              I understand what you’re saying, but the fact remains that the emails aren’t able to produced in court by either side. The SS wasn’t on trial. I think the prosecution did a disservice to the Wone family by allowing this, assuming that these are the same emails drafts.

              On the other hand, if these are new emails, I’d like to know what they are.

  8. Kate
    07/06/2010 at 11:54 AM

    Afternoon All – I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday weekend – despite the increasingly enervating heat wave.

    I have a question regarding the Civil Case documents linked above and filled by Kathy Wone’s legal team: Can they update this document at the next Status hearing (9/10/10) or before?

    Based on the criminal case, some of the plaintiff’s assertions seem outdated regarding blood, the knife, etc. I realize this may be part of the ongoing discussions here regarding estopel and so forth, but was wondering if others had the same thoughts or questions after rereading the cited document.

    I look forward to your thoughts and hope everyone is well-air conditioned,
    Kate

    • chilaw79
      07/06/2010 at 12:32 PM

      There is a lot of latitude to amend a complaint in a civil case. Sometimes, pleadings effectively are amended to conform to the proof.

      DC courts typically are pretty flexible.

    • Leo
      07/06/2010 at 1:34 PM

      Just because the blood, knife etc. allegations and theories did not fare well in the criminal case does not mean they are or must be out of the civil case. As many others have explained, the burden of proof is quite different and the theories of recovery in the civil case are wide-ranging.

      • Kate
        07/06/2010 at 1:58 PM

        Thank you Leo and chilaw – I’m very curious as to how an amended complaint will read, particularly since the civil case covers much, much more than the criminal case.

        I was musing as to how the civil complaint might be amended with Judge L’s findings from the criminal case in mind – or if such considerations would/should/could be made.

        Many thanks for your thoughtful responses,

        Kate

  9. Phil
    07/06/2010 at 2:12 PM

    It appears the last comment thread is closed.

    I assume it is still an open question as to whether the 11:08 emails were sent?

    That is, has anyone established whether the Judge got it right in her decision? (i.e. the emails were in fact sent)? Ugh…this is a fairly basic/easy question and it is frustrating to me that the answer is not straightfoward.

    • Leo
      07/06/2010 at 3:54 PM

      Nobody remembers any evidence that the emails were sent rather than simply composed at the times in question. Perhaps the parties stipulated that they were sent; we have not seen all the stipulations that were entered into the record. On the other hand, perhaps Judge L simply used the date of composition as the early point for the timeline she stated in her decision.

      • Carolina
        07/06/2010 at 8:10 PM

        It was stated that the “sent emails” were part of the stipulated evidence.

  10. NYer
    07/06/2010 at 4:06 PM

    Did Robert draft a will, or did he die intestate? If the former, I’d be curious to see whether Price was named as a beneficiary. If so, and if JP were to be found liable in a wrongful death suit, how would his rights be affected?

    • Carolina
      07/06/2010 at 8:11 PM

      There is no reason for JP to be a bene. Robert was married and even if he did not leave everything to Kathy, he has two surviving parents and a sibling.

      • NYer
        07/06/2010 at 9:17 PM

        The scenario you described is what’s referred to as intestacy- the state of dying without a last will and testament. In that case, you are correct, JP would not be a beneficiary of RW’s estate.

        But if Robert had indeed left a will, he conceivably could have named JP in it as a legatee. One of the main reasons people draft wills is to recognize and bequeath property to individuals (i.e., friends and/or relatives) who would not come under the probate code’s default rules of intestacy. By all accounts, Joe Price was a close friend of Robert’s prior to Robert’s death, and thus could have been named. My question is, if that is the case, how exactly does this civil suit affect that hypothetical right.

        • Tribe97
          07/06/2010 at 10:33 PM

          If that hypothetical case were fact, most states bar a killer from benefitting from the death that they caused. According to the bar outline I tracked down on this, acquital is not controlling and the preponderance of the evidence standard (the same as in civil trials) applies.

  11. Cat in Cleveland
    07/06/2010 at 5:25 PM

    Prior post comments are closed, so I’m now responding to:
    Bea on 07/06/2010 at 4:45 AM

    Hey Cat. What’s your reason for believing all discovery info will be ‘confidential’ – it would seem some might be under protective order (on a case by case basis) but I suspect Kathy Wone will want it public. She’s motivated to keep the public apprised of these men’s actions and I don’t see a legit argument to have it ALL under protective order or seal.

    *

    My reason is simply my experience. Disclaimer – I don’t practice within 200 miles of this jurisdiction, so my experience may not transfer.

    In civil cases in my jurisdiction, protective orders are entered as a matter of course, protecting as confidential everything from where a witness works, to who had sexual relations with whom and when, to medical records and financial information. The typical protective order allows either party to designate a fact, deposition, or document as confidential, and requires that it be treated as such by all parties until either the judge grants a motion to remove the confidential designation, or it is entered into evidence as an exhibit at trial. Courts loath discovery disputes, and there isn’t a judge I know that would welcome piecemeal arguments over what should, and should not be confidential. They often look for the expedient route, which would be simply to keep it all under protective order until trial.

    I understand that the Wone family is not looking for financial gain. The flipside of that is that monetary compensation is all the civil system has to offer, and courts do not look favorably upon parties who use the civil justice system for improper purposes, such as to gain publicity. For that reason, it is difficult to persuade a judge that facts that may be embarrassing or very personal should be public, before trial.

    Particularly with the publicity this case has received, a court may very well be persuaded that deposition testimony of non-party witnesses and the very intimate details of the defendant’s lives should be kept confidential. I hope not, but I’m just saying. . .

    • Carolina
      07/06/2010 at 8:14 PM

      I’m trying to think of anything about the defendants more embarrassing than we know already.

      • Cat from Cleveland
        07/06/2010 at 8:35 PM

        You’d be surprised what lawyers can ask in deposition.

        • Carolina
          07/07/2010 at 7:42 AM

          We’ve seen their piss mask and riding dildo. I mean, really, what’s left? 🙂

      • CDinDC (Boycott BP)
        07/06/2010 at 8:40 PM

        sparkly cat cards. that’s pretty embarrassing.

        • Cat from Cleveland
          07/06/2010 at 8:59 PM

          Lol!

      • Clio
        07/06/2010 at 8:55 PM

        The defendants have been rather transparent, except with regard to the murder: see Culuket’s personal ad, Dyl’s massage ads, the Eyecandy dvds scheme, the workplace computer photos, the nature of Scott’s relationship to Joe and Dyl, Victor’s tepid acceptance of it all, etc., etc. Their digital activity, in particular, much of it open to public view, has left very little to the imagination: what other sexual/relationship shoes could drop, outside of confession(s) to the murder?

        • Cat from Cleveland
          07/06/2010 at 9:00 PM

          The names of the people they have had sex with, some of whom may still be in the closet, for example. . .

        • Bill Orange
          07/06/2010 at 9:09 PM

          Surely the muse of history could imagine quite a few other embarrassing situations! I’d imagine there are quite a few permutations involving celebrities, politicians, drugs, S&M gear, and/or video equipment that we haven’t seen yet.

          • Clio
            07/06/2010 at 9:39 PM

            You’re right, Bill O — what if Dyl’s dance card for 2006 went beyond the three known beaux of Joe, Scott, and Scott’s Mr. X? And, who knows who could be on that list in a town where one may find someone rather famous regularly at a piano bar after 2 am! Yes, there may be bombshells out there that may eclipse the compulsive TV watching that seemed to grip our favorite “family” that Wednesday night.

            • susan
              07/06/2010 at 9:59 PM

              Is it documented anywhere what they did post-burnt dinner pre Project Runway viewing? What do they say they were up to from approx. 9 to 10:30?

              Also, the more I think about VZ the more I think things prob. came to a head the night of Aug. 2. VZ may have been a “gentle soul” as so many have said, but from 2001 on he has made his bed, so to speak, with an individual who clearly is not so gentle a soul.

              Eventually you throw enough pearls before swine, I think a bit of the swine rubs off on the pearl thrower. It is easy to feel for someone in his sitch, but he is clearly a cuckold, which is one thing, but how many cuckold’s agree to have the other “man” join his household? He must have had to justify a lot to himself and slowly whoever he was probably
              eroded along the way.

              He had to know what transpired btw JP and DW every time he was out of town, had to know about some of the other men, etc. I’m sure he deliberately didn’t inform JP that he was coming home early that 8/2 night, and maybe that foiled some plans. Then the dinner is burnt, water problems, he doesn’t even know R. Wone is coming for the eve. It seems like tensions were likely building that night, for all of them.

              But clearly this guy would do Anything to keep J. Price in his life.

              And everytime I think of N. Ward patting J. Price on the back in the courthouse I’m a bit disgusted. I mean, ewww, his son is a kept person of JP’s and JP is his slave. Awk-Ward! It suggestst that there are some family members of the trio in severe denial.

              • Clio
                07/06/2010 at 10:07 PM

                Well, one thing that Victor did between dinner and TV was to water the (outside?)plants. Now, was that week/month unusually dry, or was that watering part of the milk marketer’s usual routine? On a hot, humid night in DC, why was that a priority?

                • susan
                  07/06/2010 at 11:01 PM

                  Thanks. That can’t have taken too long. Wonder how the rest of the time was spent by all three.

                  • John
                    07/07/2010 at 6:58 AM

                    Yes, was this ever asked by the MPD? Did they ask what all three did that night? Was this ever revealed in a transcript and time line? This would give a lot of clues as to what was going on with Victor and the others.

              • susan
                07/06/2010 at 10:08 PM

                BTW, this is rehashing events, for sure, but it’s helpful (for me anyway) to better understand the household members with the limited info. there is about them.

            • Carolina
              07/07/2010 at 7:44 AM

              Oh my god, I hope Bill Clinton kept his pants on this time.

              • Kate
                07/07/2010 at 1:28 PM

                Carolina – that’s really funny.

                However, I don’t think Dylan is quite buxom enough for our former President.

                Thanks for the smile,
                Kate

              • Clio
                07/07/2010 at 9:22 PM

                I hear you, Carolina. I just hope that “dapper bachelor” Congressmen and Senators did so as well.

      • chilaw79
        07/06/2010 at 11:11 PM

        Hypothetically, let’s say one or more of the defendants engaged in BDSM. Each of the defendants could be asked to name individuals who had been involved in such activities, whether those activities involved the use of drugs, whether the activities involved restraints or weapons, and whether the defendants solicited for partners on the Internet or other forums. Also, the defendants could be asked about their associations with known felons, including drug dealers, or other risky activities engaged in at their residence or elsewhere. Similarly, each of the defendants could be asked about the activities of the other defendants known to them.

        • Bea
          07/07/2010 at 4:00 AM

          Hey Chi. I suspect Joe will continue to play the character and take the 5th on anything related to drugs. “Rather not say” on his alt dot com profile reveals that he’s a shy little coquette on this issue!

          • chilaw79
            07/07/2010 at 9:04 AM

            My own opinion is that the defendants are likely to continue to assert their right against self-incrimination in any deposition.

            This is not to say that there is anything wrong with BDSM by or even among consenting adults. However, if a defendant asserts that a guest in their home was murdered by an intruder, it is a fair question to ask who has access to the home and whether the defendants have engaged in activities that might put their house guests at risk of attack.

            For example, if I invite a guest to my home and I have not told them my children routinely purchase illegal drugs and give out my house key and security alarm codes to their suppliers, my house guest’s widow probably has a better tort case against me for wrongful death if they are killed by an “intruder.”

            Even more relevant is whether any of the defendants have reason to suspect that one or more of them is the murderer. For example, if I know I have a college son who ties up my house guests and threatens them with a knife for fun or sexual gratification, my house guest’s widow has a tort case for wrongful death if my house guest is found stabbed to death.

        • chilaw79
          07/07/2010 at 9:32 AM

          All of the questions mentioned above go to the issue of whether a crime was “particularly foreseeable” under D. C. law.

          To further illustrate, assume a grocery store knows that customers routinely are assaulted in the parking lot and pistol whipped and informs the parking lot owner. In DC, a defendant may be liable for harm caused by a criminal act only if the crime was “particularly foreseeable.” As a result, the owner of the parking lot may not be liable for the first criminal act, but after several people have been pistol whipped, the parking lot owner may be held liable for any harm grocery store patrons suffer in the parking lot.

          • Craig
            07/07/2010 at 11:59 AM

            C79: Ironic that you mention a parking lot analogy. A few years back, Patrick Regan won a $4 million dollar judgment against a DC nightclub for their negligence in providing security for a patron who was attacked upon leaving.

            • chilaw79
              07/07/2010 at 12:46 PM

              This is one reason why nightclubs have such high insurance costs.

              To prevail, Regan had to establish that the attack was “particularly foreseeable.” This is typically done by detailing police reports of similar incidents.

              In the case of the death of Robert Wone, both police reports of similar cases and the activities of those residing in the home or with access to the home will be relevant.

              • Jeana
                07/07/2010 at 12:51 PM

                Chilaw – “police reports of similar cases” ? – you gotta be kidding!

                • chilaw79
                  07/07/2010 at 12:58 PM

                  I’m assuming the defendants stick with the “intruder” theory and argue that they cannot be held liable for the criminal acts of an unknown intruder.

                  The plaintiff is likely to counter with evidence similar to that provided in the criminal case that there was no intruder. Robert’s estate also should benefit from the negative inference that may be drawn if the defendants can and do claim the privilege against self-incrimination.

                  I am not suggesting I subscribe to the intruder theory. I assume that the defense has not found other similar stabbings (or we would have heard of them).

                  Police reports are much more relevant in the parking lot, alley, common area scenarios that are more common.

                  • Jeana
                    07/07/2010 at 1:51 PM

                    I really didn’t mean to make you work so hard to make your point. I was just having a bit of a giggle. The “similar cases” line struck me funny because this case is so very unique.

          • Carolina
            07/07/2010 at 6:33 PM

            To give another example, a small east coast state says that if a dog attacks and injures or kills someone, the owner is not responsible *the first time.* Afterward the animal’s aggression is “particularly foreseeable.”

            • Cat from Cleveland
              07/07/2010 at 7:41 PM

              That’s known as the “one bite rule” here. Not just one small east coast state. Applies in the mid-west, too. In sexual harassment cases, defendant corporations defend the first complaint by arguing they aren’t responsible because they didn’t know the guy would sexually harass anyone.

  12. 07/06/2010 at 7:11 PM

    Not sure if this question has been addressed before, but does anyone know if these 3 miscreants/perps read this blog and are they registered to make comments, and if so, have they made comments?
    elisabethvon

    • Bill Orange
      07/06/2010 at 9:12 PM

      I’m convinced (beyond a reasonable doubt) that Joe Price checks in from time to time, just based on what I remember of his personality. I’ve seen occasional posts that “sound” like him, both here and on other sites, but I don’t know that any of them could ever be traced back to him.

      • Wulfila
        07/07/2010 at 10:27 AM

        His posts could almost definitely be traced back to him, unless he only accesses the site via public internet access points (e.g., public wifi, the library). In the case of public wifi, even that could, in theory, be traced to his specific laptop or even cell phone. On any type of commenting site, IP addresses are routinely logged, and they lead back to the person/company who procured the internet service. In addition, every device that accesses the internet (computer, phone, DVR, etc.) has its own unique identifier (a MAC Address) that never changes, and could certainly be tied to an IP address, so it is possible, in theory, to trace a comment back to a specific device. There are ways to spoof these things, but given that Culuket wasn’t even smart enough to use a freebie email for his porn site (instead using his firm email address), I kinda doubt he’d have the ability to spoof or hide his IP address or machine from the logs of this or any other site.

        • Clio
          07/07/2010 at 1:20 PM

          Hi Joe!

    • Carolina
      07/07/2010 at 7:45 AM

      I’d say Joe is the kind of man to Google himself.

  13. Clio
    07/06/2010 at 8:31 PM

    Judge Hedge seems quite the techie from her bio blurb linked above. And, she’s been a judge longer than Lynn. Does that mean that Room 517 will be an upgrade (technologically, logistically, and aesthetically) from Room 310? Also, in what ways, if any, does her domestic court experience bode ill for the dysfunctional “family”, formerly at 1509 Swann? Fingers still crossed!

  14. Bill 2
    07/06/2010 at 9:13 PM

    There’s an article in tomorrow’s Sydney Morning Herald about a man who’s being investigated at an inquest over the death of two men from an overdose of GHB. The man’s partner is testifying about a DVD he discovered. The DVD shows him unconscious while his partner is having sex with him. He said there were more incidents where he felt his drinks had been spiked and he saw the same thing happen to some others. I think it’s a similar situation that resulted in the stabbing and death of Robert Wone.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/man-accused-of-sex-with-unconscious-partner-20100706-zz42.html

    • John
      07/07/2010 at 7:34 AM

      Wow- this sure is interesting. I wondered if there is a blood test for GHB?

      • leo
        07/07/2010 at 10:07 AM

        Robert’s urine was tested for GHB (see toxicology report) and it was not found.

      • Kate
        07/07/2010 at 11:10 AM

        Thanks for the link, Bill 2 – very interesting case.

        I must admit to never having heard of drugs such as GHB and ketamine (and I’ve got three cats!) before following this case. It’s been quite a revelation … and I’m thankful for the information.

        Regards,
        Kate

  15. Rich
    07/06/2010 at 11:10 PM

    sUSAN:

    Participating in my sleep study at this moment at the clinic waiting for the Tech to come inot my room and wire me up for the night.

    I do a lot of Lunesta and other drugs fy severe sleep disorder. Been under a Sleep Doc’s care for over 10 years, so, the issues, symptoms and meds are way more real than the defendant’s complaints.

    Trsut me.

    On Lunesta, I panic when the phone rings after midnight ( and, it takes 3-4 hours to fall asleep.)

    So, if there is a dead man in the next room,I’m well aware of it and frightened.

    In four years, I have never bought the sleep related matters.

    Most everyone changes thier, “Stages of Sleep,” 2-3 times per night. (Wake up and go back to sellp.) I have been clocked at 10.9 times per hour.

    Sleep disorders keep you awake and alert, bot, groggy and half asleep.

    • susan
      07/06/2010 at 11:15 PM

      Thanks, Rich. Good to have that perspective, since I don’t know anything about the meds.

      And for what it’s worth, hope you get a good night’s sleep tonight.

  16. Rich
    07/06/2010 at 11:19 PM

    Sorry about typos
    .

    Very tiny lap top at Sleep Study/Clinic.

    Lunesta or any other sleep med does not make one, “Indifferent.”

    • Kate
      07/07/2010 at 9:48 AM

      Morning Rich – I hope you got some sleep last night – although I can’t imagine sleeping well in a clinical environment, complete with a strange bed and monitoring wires stuck everywhere!

      Hope what the doctors are studying will provide some relief,
      Kate

    • Carolina
      07/07/2010 at 6:40 PM

      Agreed, although I’ll add my own experience. My partner’s mother has a sleep disorder, but will sometimes get fed up with it and stop taking her drugs. Then she remembers WHY she was on them and resumes.

      Those first few nights back on Lunesta is a sight to see. She walks around like she’s sleepwalking and has been known to babble almost incoherently. It’s quite a show. She has been known to forget to dress, though fortunately this has never occurred when we were visiting.

      • Bill
        07/07/2010 at 10:48 PM

        I am bipolar and have had the same kind of sleepwalking episodes. This is no uncommon with some sleep agents. Was/is Dylan bipolar?

        • Carolina
          07/07/2010 at 11:55 PM

          If one is to take his report of Rx as true, then I would say no. I believe he was on Buperion (brand name Wellbutrin.)

          • Bill
            07/08/2010 at 9:45 AM

            Buperion is for depression. If he was also taking Lunesta to sleep, he could very well have been cycling. I raise this because there is a mania side to being bipolar. If he was in a manic cycle, sexually acting out is definitely part of the symptoms of the disease.

  17. susan
    07/07/2010 at 9:35 PM

    “Naughty Jack, Something About Me” and those other House of the Tiger Aunt pubs–has Anyone attempted to procure and translate these? Anyone with contacts in Taiwan out there? Anyone who reads Chinese?

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