Big Sur

 Kathy Wone Goes on Record

On page 2 of the latest plaintiff’s filing, Covington’s Ben Razi noted that since oral argument had not been scheduled on the defense motion to dismiss, his document may have to suffice.   He may have spoke too soon; a status hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 8, that in all likelihood will focus on this outstanding issue.  

A smiling Joe Price leaves the Moultrie Courthouse folling Judge Leibovitz' acquital of him and his (former?) housematesThe first order of business in the Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a sur-reply in response to Defendants’ Reply Memorandum in Support of Defendants’ Joint Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment, is to take the defense to task on process violations.

In submitting their November 2 Reply Memorandum of Point and Authorities in Support of Motion to Dismiss, the defense failed to seek plaintiff’s consent or leave of Court, before it was filed.

Apparently, DC Superior Court civil procedure does not allow “parties to submit reply briefs or sur-reply briefs as of right,” and Cov called them out on that.  Ahead of the Plaintiff’s sur-reply, motion for leave was requested and so was Defendant’s consent.  And perhaps surprising no one, consent wasn’t given.

Then, moving beyond process, the gloves come off.

Continuing to refer to the motion to dismiss as “meritless,” the Sur-Reply was peppered with swipe after swipe on the defense team’s (and perhaps Joe Price’s) legal underpinnings: “gross mis-reading… erroneous claim… false assrertion… distort… misconstrue DC Law…”  And that’s just the first two pages.

The main points are that the defense misinterpreted Chappelle; are off base on the relationship between murder cases and wrongful death claims; and the assertion that there are no disputed issues of material fact – in particular, …”regarding when Mrs. Wone learned of Defendants’ wrongdoing.”

As to Chappelle:

“Contrary to Defendants’ over-reading of the decision, Chappelle does not hold that if a tortfeasor’s identity is concealed, the statute of limitations is nevertolled.  As the Court of Appeals has explained, Chappelle held that a “defendant’s concealment merely of his identity does not toll the statute of limitations.” Diamond v. Davis, 680 A.2d 364, 380 n.14 (D.C. 1996)  (emphasis added).”

Pointing out a hole in established DC precedent, Covington says the defendants:

 “…are not permitted to hide behind the statute of limitations.  And, although the D.C. courts apparently have not yet addressed the unique statute of limitations issues that arise in unsolved murder cases involving fraudulent concealment, numerous other courts around the country have done so.”

As if painting a picture for Judge Brook Hedge of how the plaintiffs view the three defendants’ roles in Robert’s murder, Covington mocks their reasoning:

“Under Defendants’ proposed rule, it would not matter if a murderer destroyed every shred of evidence connecting him to the murder, moved the victim’s body, and fabricated an airtight alibi. Prospective plaintiffs would still be expected to file suit within a year of death.

Unquestionably, Defendants’ proposed rule would be good for anyone who wrongfully kills another person in D.C., guaranteeing the perpetrator a windfall as long as he can hide his involvement for 365 days.”

In what may have been a difficult sworn statement to make, the attached affidavit of Kathy Wone’s set out to clear up what she knew and when she knew it.  She relays the painful days and months after Robert’s murder and the trust she had in the three men that she and her husband once considered freinds:

“Days after Robert’s murder, a group of family and freinds gathered at my home in Oakton, Virginia to mourn Robert’s death.  The defendants joined this gathering.  During their visit I asked the defendants how Robert was killed. 

In response, defendant Price said the he and defendants Zaborsky and Ward did not know how Robert was murdered but they believed an unknown intruder had entered their home and killed Robert.

At the time, I believed the defendants were telling the truth…. In the months and years that followed, defendant Price reiterated repeatedly that he and defendants Zaborsky and Ward had absolutely nothing to do with Robert’s death.”

Upon learning the facts set forth in the MPD affidavit, I realized that the defendants had been lying to me about what they knew and their involvement in Robert’s death.”

102 comments for “Big Sur

  1. Kate
    11/11/2010 at 9:50 AM

    After the discussions in the Going to the Chapelle post and reading the Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a sur-reply, I have a question for the WMRW legal team:

    The Plaintiffs refer to the MPD Ward arrest affidavit and yet do not include this as an exhibit – is there a legal/procedural reason?

    This particular Legal Novice (LM) is once again scratching her head.

    Regards,
    Kate

    • Bruce
      11/11/2010 at 10:54 AM

      Hi Kate:

      And I am scratching my head also.

      The sur-reply refers to items outside of the pleadings in its sur-brief, including footnotes, but still persists in not providing proper authenticated evidence as to those items to the court. Strange.

      The lack of providing a properly authenticated arrest affidavit for Ward is still a huge mystery, and I just don’t have an explanation for it.

      I do feel that plaintiff makes some very good legal arguments in the sur-brief, but of course, I have not read the cases other than Chappelle.

      The affidavit of Mrs. Wone is a very good thing to do, and was the subject of some criticism by me and others here on WRMW.

      However, alas, this affidavit, while containing some facts, is full of conclusions, and does not clearly and properly set forth each and every thing that Mrs. Wone learned “new” from the arrest warrant affidavit.

      In this affidavit, she says that she did not know some of the things that were in the arrest warrant affidavit, but then, audaciously, in my view, says: “I did not learn these AND OTHER KEY FACTS until 2008.”

      What What What? What other “key facts”?????? If you want to win on this motion for summary judgment, you better not play “hide the key facts” from anyone, especially the judge.

      Can’t for the life of me figure out why they would include that language and not set forth what those “key facts” are in this very affidavit.

      Essentially, this affidavit says that Mrs. Wone believed what the defendants told her after the accident (she does not state when she stopped believing them, whether it was in 2008 or before). She also says that the defendants are saying untrue things when they say in their motion or briefs that she knew “the utter lack of evidence of an intruder,” that Robert Wone was “incapacitated” at the time of the murder, and “evidence indicating that the defendants altered and staged the crime scene” AFTER the murder.

      That is really it. A very short and limited affidavit.

      Of course, defendants argue in their motion and briefs that Mrs. Wone and her attorneys would have had reasonable notice of the first and last of these items if they had read the newspaper articles that they attach to their motion. As to the “incapacitation” evidence, I don’t believe that this was in any of the newpaper articles cited by the defendants (but am not positive).

      Expect the deposition of Mrs. Wone to be taken in response to this affidavit, most likely restricted to her affidavit and the issues as to the statute of limitations issues.

      For at least now having an affidavit of Mrs. Wone, although I find it inadequate, I would change my grades to the parties by moving up the plaintiff’s attorneys a smudge. They both get C- so far. All of the above are just my opinions.

      • Bruce
        11/11/2010 at 11:24 AM

        Sorry for my typo of WRMW instead of the correct WMRW, above.

        WRMW: Who Robert’s Murderers Were?

      • Kate
        11/11/2010 at 11:48 AM

        Many thanks, Bruce,

        I’ve got one more Legal Muggle (LM, aka non-legal folk) thought before heading out on a road trip:

        Is it a possibility that the Ward Arrest Affidavit has not been included because the police theories presented within have yet to be proven as KEY FACTS, and that the plaintiffs are shooting to prove these theories as fact in civil court? Clearly the Plaintiffs know that calling the MPD Affidavit a factual document doesn’t necessarily make it so.

        I realize that this requires some mental gymnastics and legal machinations for the plaintiffs to overcome here, seeing as how the Prosecution/MPD’s theories were not proven in the criminal trial – but the burden of proof in a civil trial is not as strident.

        I apologize if this is indeed a silly notion – I have them from time to time.

        Regards,
        Kate

        • Cat from Cleveland
          11/11/2010 at 12:01 PM

          Kate,

          An affidavit is admissible as evidence, as it is sworn testimony. It may be that some of the testimony contained in the affidavit has been drawn into question, and Plaintiff’s counsel does not want to be accused of knowingly presenting the court with testimony that is not accurate? I haven’t read the affidavit with the warrant in a while – is there anything there that has since been refuted?

          • Kate
            11/11/2010 at 12:46 PM

            Cat, thank you for the explanation on the affidavit.

            As far as the testimony in the MPD affidavit being refuted, I would think that the criminal defense team believes they refuted every bit of it due to the not guilty verdict. Just a few examples:
            Ward’s Mom had the missing knife from the set, therefore, no evidence tampering;

            There was very little blood due to cardiac tamponade, therefore no cleaning up of the crime scene;

            Mr. Wone didn’t struggle due to said tamponade, therefore no restraining or incapacitation;

            etc., just to name a few

            As for the criminal prosecution team, perhaps they would have preferred the Scottish verdict of Not Proven? For the Plaintiffs, perhaps this translates into Not Proven … YET.

            If I recall correctly, the only portion of the MPD affidavit that was not presented at the criminal trial was the sexual assault theory.

            I know I’ve missed quite a few things, but it’s a start.

            regards,
            Kate

            • Kate
              11/11/2010 at 12:49 PM

              Pardon the terrible typos – waiting for delayed departure. I do dislike travel days….

            • Craig
              11/11/2010 at 3:17 PM

              Kate: If I’m not mistaken, incapactitation by way of injection/drugging didn’t make it to trial either.

          • denton
            11/11/2010 at 1:18 PM

            Cat,

            I think my message just disappeared?! I say, and a very important piece of legal filing (I mean Affidavit). Thanks again, Cat (for the clear explanation).

            Denton

      • Bruce
        11/12/2010 at 11:20 AM

        Now that I have thought about it more, I am beginning to think that the sentence in Mrs. Wone’s affidavit that says: “I did not learn these AND OTHER KEY FACTS until 2008.” (my emphasis)….

        …may have been directed solely at defendants’ counsel, and inserted for a purpose. Are the plaintiff’s counsel really saying: “Defendants, if you want to take Mrs. Wone’s deposition in regard to this affidavit, she is going to hit you with even more “key facts” she learned in 2008″?

        But, I can’t believe that Mrs. Wone’s attorneys would really hold back on any real “key facts” in fighting this crucial motion, which could effectively end it for most circumstances (just that one count left).

        I have suggested that we should expect to see the defendants taking the dep of Mrs. Wone as to the statute of limitations issues in the motion. And I still hold to that, but it may not be a “no brainer” decision.

        As to the record on the motion, Mrs. Wone’s affidavit did not really add much as to Mrs. Wone’s knowledge — when she knew things and not.

        Maybe the defendants would choose to not take Mrs. Wone’s deposition as it may bring up things that hurt their motion.

        The defendants may be happy with what the record is, even with Mrs. Wone’s affidavit, as to her knowledge, etc., and don’t want to further “muddy the waters.”

        I’m still leaning towards the defendants now taking Mrs. Wone’s deposition, but there are some risks involved.

        The above thoughts are all just my opinions.

        • Bill Orange
          11/14/2010 at 6:14 PM

          “But, I can’t believe that Mrs. Wone’s attorneys would really hold back on any real “key facts” in fighting this crucial motion, which could effectively end it for most circumstances (just that one count left).”

          —–

          What if the key facts that she learned would not be admissible as evidence? For example, what if she learned in 2008 that Dylan blew his lie detector test?

          • Cat from Cleveland
            11/14/2010 at 8:24 PM

            If that is true, it could be admissible to show her state of mind, which Defendants put at issue by asserting the defense. In that scenario, the planfiff’s attorneys should be jumping on the opportunity to submit that evidence!

            • denton
              11/14/2010 at 9:19 PM

              Cat or Bruce,

              Generally, what is the:
              “Plaintiff’s Consent Motion for Entry of Stipulated Protective Order?”

              According to the Court, this document was filed (by Razi) on 11/10, and was stamp receipt on 11/12.

              I don’t know if this document has ever been mentioned/discussed, nor do I know how important it is as I have yet seen an actual copy.

              Ref: 11/10/2010
              Plaintiff’s Consent Motion for Entry of Stipulated Protective Order. Filed. Submitted. 11/10/2010 14:05. ars. Attorney: RAZI, BENJAMIN J (475946) ESTATE OF ROBERT E WONE (PLAINTIFF); Receipt: 179932 Date: 11/12/2010

              Please give us some light.

  2. Bea
    11/11/2010 at 3:48 PM

    As one of the earliest Non-Ed to join this board, and recollecting how and when I began reading of this case on DataLounge before WMRW was created by our esteemed Eds, my memory is blurry as to what I knew and when – I can only imagine having lost my spouse and being told by his good friend (and pallbearer) that an intruder had murdered my spouse (with the use of three stabbing motion grunts to illustrate) as my husband slept. I would need to believe SOMEONE – surely the friend who last saw him would be trusted.

    So “when” Kathy Wone “knew” anything is MISGUIDED – realistically the question is when did the load of BS grow so great that she had to stop rationalizing oddities and discrepancies and truly believe that Robert’s good friend had something to do with his murder and/or covering up that murder? When in grief, you don’t know what time of day it is until you look at a clock – and in some instances (I can personally attest) that even when you look at the clock, you have to check the window to know if it’s A.M. or P.M.

    But taking it back to what THIS BLOG thought in JANUARY 2009, a bit over a month after the Arrest Warrant of Dylan Ward hit the press – after reading everything there was to be read, talking, asking, and without the heavy heart of losing one’s beloved:

    POST EXCERPT FROM DOUG (1/2009):

    “The timeline as presented in the affidavit and subsequent reporting just does not work – for the “intruder” theory, the “accidental death” theory, the “sex party gone wrong” theory or even, and the grimmest edge, the “thrill kill” theory. Working with the very few time posts – arrival, scream, 911 call, forensics analysis of death – none of the theories seems to work. Something is seriously amiss here.”

    Like many, the Affidavit put in black and white many things on which I’d speculated and many NEW things which pushed aside all the things Robert’s death ‘could have been’ besides murder – let alone who did it. I distinctly remember thinking that what the defendants said happened in such a short time, following a brief discussion over water, could not have accounted for semen on Robert Wone’s thighs or deep in his rectum; numerous needle mark/puncture wounds; occular indications of suffocation, to name a few.

    The Affidavit was FOR ME the point at which I came to believe that these three men had something to do with his murder or the cover up of his murder. Why is hard for anyone to believe that’s when Kathy Wone had to accept the facts and tell Covington – “OK, file the suit. Now I believe.”

    • Cat from Cleveland
      11/11/2010 at 4:38 PM

      Bea,

      I agree with everything you wrote. Unfortunately, sometimes the law really is an ass.

      Whether Mrs. Wone believed her friends were responsible for her husband’s murder is not at issue. The relevant question is when that famous mythical being, the “reasonable person,” would have been on notice that the Swann 3 caused Mr. Wone’s death.

      The parties are citing csse law that was decided half a century ago. The issue is ripe for appellate review in DC. Were I representing either party, I would be preparing my case for the court of appeals.

      Having exhaustively researched and briefed this issue as a law clerk, I believe that the older case law disfavors tolling the statute of limitations, while the more recent case law goes the other way. I hope the DC courts ultimately adopt the current rule of Ohio. Our Supreme Court got the issue horribly wrong in 1991 (holding that fraud to conceal the cause of death does not toll the statute), but reversed itself just seven years later, finally holding that “a wrongful death claim is not triggered merely by the death of a person, but by the death of a person caused by wrongful act.

      Therefore, in order for a wrongful death case to be brought, the death must be wrongful. The fact that a body was discovered and/or that a death took place is irrelevant unless there is proof that a defendant was at fault and caused the death. Death, in and of itself, does not trigger the running of the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case stemming from a murder.” Were I the judge, this would be an easy issue to decide, as I believe that as between the innocent victim and the wrongdoer, the court should always err on the side of the innocent victim. Lets all hope the DC courts agree.

      • susan
        11/11/2010 at 7:27 PM

        Hey Cat,

        But the “reasonable person” standard has to apply to Ms. W here doesn’t it? The circumstances are specific to her as is the affidavit. And I think an argument can be made as to her state. That’s what stood out to me in Jaffe’s Washingtonian article:

        http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/15483.html

        The reeling grief, etc., her long-time need for a grief counselor, etc.

        • susan
          11/11/2010 at 7:29 PM

          And doesn’t it still come down to when Ms. W knew what she knew and supporting that with either the police report or any “hard” evidence? I thought that’s what this rests on.

          • Cat from Cleveland
            11/11/2010 at 8:01 PM

            The standard is both objective (what a reasonable person would have known) and subjective (what Mrs. Wone actually knew).

            The event that starts the clock (on the one year) is usually the earlier of the two – when the plaintiff actually knew, or could (by reasonable diligence)have known. So it is important that Plaintiff provide sworn testimony (Mrs. Wone’s affidavit)that, in fact, she did not know before the date at issue. It is also important that the plaintiff show that a reasonable person would not have known.

            Typically, that a plaintiff was too grief stricken to rationally evaluate her claims and decide to file suit is not a consideration.

            Note, I’m NOT saying they should not be a consideration, I’m saying that courts do not usually consider them. I’m a dyed in the wool Plaintiff’s attorney – if I ruled the world, the law would be very different.

            • susan
              11/11/2010 at 8:05 PM

              Thanks, Cat. Appreciate your legal knowledge.

      • Bea
        11/11/2010 at 7:50 PM

        Hi Cat, good points. I don’t think, though, that the ‘newspaper articles’ argument holds any real water as there was no question but a murder had occurred (sorry Bruce). I suspect that the DC court will follow the more recent thinking – it comes down here to a criminal court judge thinking the defendants ‘conspired’ but didn’t know who did what and thus couldn’t hold them all guilty. That is clearly known to Judge Hedge, along with the Defendants claiming the 5th on ROGS – hard to think of a more illustrative case of defendants ‘hiding the ball’ when they were the only three inhabitants at a murder scene. That they actively told Kathy Wone they knew nothing DOES add up to concealment in my mind thus tolling the statute until the day that the Charging Affidavit dropped. I suspect Judge Hedge will see it this way as well – and will take the necessary legal course to get there.

        Agree, too, that whichever way she rules will be reviewed (as to anything ripe for review – this does include both kinds of motions, if my recollection is correct).

        • Cat from Cleveland
          11/11/2010 at 8:08 PM

          Bea,

          I do not know whether DC allows interlocutory appeals. In Ohio, the appellate court would not be able to review the courts’ decision until the entire case went to final judgment.

          Non-lawyers – “Interlocutory appeal” is an appeal taken mid-case. Some jurisdictions allow them. Others allow them only in rare circumstances. If DC is in the latter category, then whatever the trial court decides on these motions cannot be heard by an appellate court until after the trial on the remaining count. This serves to allow the appellate court to hear all issues in a case at once rather than peacemeal as the issues arise.

          • Cat from Cleveland
            11/11/2010 at 8:11 PM

            Uh, piecemeal, I mean. . .

          • denton
            11/11/2010 at 8:25 PM

            Cat,

            Thanks from a non-lawyer. If I hear there is an “interlocutory appeal” in this case, I’d make sure you know it.

            Bea and Cat,

            As always, very fruitful insight from you both. Your experiences make the law so “attractive” and I enjoy reading your posts.

            Denton

          • Bea
            11/11/2010 at 9:12 PM

            Hoya – do you know if DC could hear such appeals? I think someone previously indicated that they could not but I might be wrong.

            • Hoya Loya
              11/12/2010 at 8:25 AM

              ChiLaw would have had the answer hours ago of course.

              With the caveat that my D.C. law experience is limited to my attendance at GULC and following this case: it appears that as in most jurisdictions, one must seek leave of the appellate court to file an interlocutory appeal. One must also, apparently, file a certification from the trial judge that the appeal involves a controlling question of law on which there is substantial grounds for difference of opinion and may materially advance the termination of the case.

              Hence my gut feeling that this will be denied without prejudice to avoid an interlocutory detour.

              • Bruce
                11/12/2010 at 10:30 AM

                If I understand you correctly, Hoya:

                You are saying that if the defendants lose the motion, the trial judge would have to “certify” an appeal (meaning the judge would have to agree that she thinks it should be appealed now), and the appellate court would have to agree to take the case in that circumstance, even if the judge signs a certification.

                And you feel that it is unlikely that the judge and/or the appellate court would so agree if the defendants lose the motion.

                I agree.

                And, if the motion is denied, the case has not “changed,” and a full trial can be held, and any matters that defendants feel are appealable can be taken up with the appellate court after the trial verdict.

                Now, let’s consider what could happen if the court grants the motion in its entirety. Plaintiffs would very much like to immediately appeal that decision, and don’t want to go to a trial that is based on the sole remaining count.

                If the defendants win, and the same process must be followed, I would think in that circumstance that an immediate appeal might be allowed, and the trial judge would likely certify the matter and the appellate court would likely grant appellate review.

                Because why go through all the discovery and a trial limited to that one count, when a reversal of the granting of the motion would put all the counts of the complaint before a jury again, after a “wasteful” trial on the one count.

                Am I off base in my opinions here and my interpretation of your post?

                • Craig
                  11/12/2010 at 11:30 AM

                  Maybe I’m jumping ahead, but let’s say Judge Hedge rules against the pending defense motion. There is a deadline for dispositive motions later next year and if this SJ and motion to dismiss are taken off the table within the next month or so, what’s left in the defendants’ dispositive grab bag ahead of trial?

                • Hoya Loya
                  11/12/2010 at 11:32 AM

                  That’s my reading. If granted, an interlocutory appeal almost certainly would be certified and allowed, holding up the works. An appeal by Kathy of a denial would meet both prongs of what I ascertain to be the D.C. rule.

                  If denied w/o prejudice, it can be renewed upon the close of discovery, if sufficient supporting facts turned up in the process, or at the close of plaintiff’s case. A denial at any point can also be appealed at the conclusion of the case. The defendants don’t lose their right to contest the SOL issue, but delay and a possible second trial are avoided.

        • Bruce
          11/12/2010 at 1:04 PM

          Hi Bea. Hope you are enjoying this Friday day.

          I heard my name being shouted, and see it was from your post last night, above.

          Not sure why I am mentioned there. As a favor, could you explain to me the logic in your saying “(sorry Bruce)” in your post? What does that mean? I really don’t get it. I have never suggested the opposite view you are expressing right before you reference me, have I?

    • carolina
      11/13/2010 at 10:11 AM

      And let us not forget that by her own admission, Kathy was in such a state of shock and depression that there were days at a time that she never left her bed.

      She also had no idea about the couple plus one was actually a trouple nor did she know of their BDSM tendencies. All she knew was that these men, who had never been anything but kind and friendly, said they didn’t kill her husband. I’m sure that she clung to that as long as she could, if for no other reason than it allowed her to believe the whole world hadn’t gone mad.

  3. Clio
    11/11/2010 at 9:36 PM

    Cat, darling, the nebulous concept of “a reasonable person” must be placed in an HISTORICAL context for it to make any legal or moral sense.

    For example, prior to the 2008 indictments, no reasonable person could have guessed from the newspaper accounts that Mr. Ward was much more than a friend, room mate, and vassal of Mr. Price. What reasonable person could have imagined “margarine lips” and/or “Sparkly Cat”, let alone the comprehensive array of erotica items in Lil Dyl’s toy chest and/or the intimate poses in Culuket’s workplace photo montage? What reasonable person, prior to the 2008 indictments, could have believed that Victor could have been such a Stepford wife? What reasonable person, before this blog, could have believed that the preference for “torture” in Mr. Price’s published personal ad really existed?

    And, if one adds up ALL of the semi-secret personal quirks and ties here in addition to the inconsistencies and absurdities of the intruder theory revealed after October 2008, then the SOL for “a reasonable person” began with Dyl’s first night in the Florida brig. History does wonders for the law, doesn’t it, Bruce!

    • Cat from Cleveland
      11/11/2010 at 9:55 PM

      Exactly! Unless, of course, the court decides that the time begins to run when the plaintiff learned that her husband had been killed by the wrongful act of another (even if she didn’t know who the other was).

    • Bruce
      11/12/2010 at 12:18 AM

      Clio!

      I heard my name, and I see it ends your post.

      Y R U always picking on me, Dear?

      • Clio
        11/12/2010 at 8:43 PM

        Relax, Bruce, my mentioning of your stage name is only the sincerest form of flattery. Your posts, however contrarian, may help Covington to war-game its way to victory, or at least one fervently hopes.

        “Sur, may I have another” might be the best response to your frequent “paddling” of those purveying the conventional wisdom. Just remember to spare us all the rhetorical equivalents of the Berkley Bench and the St. Andrew’s Cross. XO, Clio.

        • Bruce
          11/12/2010 at 10:05 PM

          Good Lord, now I have to look up the Berkley Bench and the St. Andrew’s Cross to understand your post! 🙂

          • Clio
            11/13/2010 at 3:53 PM

            Bruce, from your sprightly prose, I had assumed that you were a man of the world. I guess that your charming innocence of earthy subjects may extend to your and other clients/defendants, but that is a good thing … for them.

            In general, though, I hope that this weblog continues to educate its readers on legal and other terms. I have learned so much from it!

  4. Bill Orange
    11/12/2010 at 8:40 AM

    As a non-lawyer, I’m curious about the arguments of both sides here. The plaintiff says the statute of limitations should start with the publication of Ward’s arrest warrant; the defendants say it should start with Kathy Wone’s knowledge that her husband had been killed. My understanding of the “reasonable person” standard is that the clock should start ticking when a “reasonable person” should suspect that these particular defendants were responsible for the death.

    Kiki has noted that it doesn’t take much to meet this standard. My personal feeling is that the clock should’ve started when Kathy Wone discovered that the defendants were no longer co-operating with the police investigation. If I had a close friend who was suspected of a crime but steadfastly maintained his or her innocence, I think that’s the point when my eyebrows would go up–when I knew they were no longer working with the police to figure out what actually happened.

    It doesn’t mean they’re guilty, but it DOES mean I should be taking a very hard look at my friend.

    • Bruce
      11/12/2010 at 10:18 AM

      Hi Bill O:

      You put your finger on it. This motion is very sensitive to the issue of “how much do you need to know?” What would trigger to that “reasonable person” that the defendants could have been involved in the murder such that a complaint should be filed (even against “John Doe” defendants, until the actual names could be inserted?

      One of the things plaintiff’s counsel is wisely arguing (in my view) is that this is an unusual case. This is an unsolved murder, and the court should not necessarily apply DC law in its strictest sense, and should see how other courts around the country have dealt with this unusual situation and “give the plaintiff a break” here, particularly where the defendants were friends of the plaintiff and she relied upon that friendship to trust them. They could win on that argument.

      One of the things defendants are saying is: no, this isn’t so unusual, and the court should very strictly apply the Statute of Limitations law as developed in DC. They could also win on that argument.

      We are all seeing some interesting arguments, and some great advocacy on both sides to push their points.

  5. Michael
    11/12/2010 at 11:27 AM

    A long time ago, my neighbor asked me to pet-sit for her cat while she was on vacation. I happily obliged. However, one drunken night, I stomped the cat to death. I was depressed over losing my girlfriend of 5 years, and I decided to take it out on this helpless animal.

    I was able to convince my neighbor that an unknown intruder entered my house and stomped the cat. Her and I go way back, so of course she believed me. Luckily, it took her a couple years to figure out that I had any involvement in the stomping, so legally, I was in the clear.

    Several newspapers covered the story in the days that followed the stomping; some implicated me as the stomper. I’m sure my neighbor read these articles, but of course, why would she believe some dopey journalist?

    I am a genius.

    • Clio
      11/12/2010 at 9:21 PM

      Self-annointed Genius, did you ever hang out with Phelps Collins, by any chance? Have you ever skipped a college class to meet up with your older bro?

      This Michael “cat” seems pretty familiar, all of a sudden. Just kidding, I think.

      • Michael
        11/14/2010 at 11:47 AM

        I would hate to live in Bruce’s world. Just sayin’.

        • Michael
          11/14/2010 at 11:48 AM

          Oh dang it… meant to post this at the bottom. Hee hee hee!

          Yo Clio, do you know someone who actually murdered a cat? What a butthole.

          • Clio
            11/14/2010 at 1:04 PM

            Oh, I know, Michael, the younger Price does hang out with a rather marginal crowd with disturbing tastes: how did he and convicted cat torturer Phelps meet? Was it in Bruce’s world in which “every cop is a criminal and every sinner a saint?” There will be not much sympathy for those two devils, of course, even from Aunt Marcia, but they did get away with the “burglary.”

            • Craig
              11/14/2010 at 1:37 PM

              Our sympathy goes to the angels only, not devils. “As heads is tails just call me Lucifer, I’m they’re in need of some restraint…”

  6. Bruce
    11/12/2010 at 12:32 PM

    No, Michael, you are no genius. You are an evil despicable cat murderer, who caused tremendous pain to your trusting neighbor.

    🙂

    You don’t suggest what it was that made your trusting neighbor later suspect you had any involvement with the crime. Was it just the passage of time? That would be a critical issue, which you don’t set forth in your example.

    So, maybe there should be no time to “cut off” any claims against you for money damages or for criminal anti-cruelty penalties or jail. That’s the way it is by statute in most places in the US for criminal charges for murder of humans (no statute of limitations for criminal charges for murder).

    Do you really want for the rest of your life to be “on the hook” for your extreme and cruel behavior that one drunken night? Maybe you deserve it, but that is not the law in the US. And many companies and businesses may very well decide to not employ people in your community and have offices there if they could forever be held liable for money damages for negligence of any employee.

    Statutes of limitation are not really fair, I agree. I would want you to burn at age 80 for your drunken act at 18 with your example, because I love cats, hate to think that Cat in Cleveland has to read your post, and feel the whole thing is repulsive, and your bad acts should be punished.

    But statute of limitations are the law, made by lawmakers, elected by the people. And, unfortunately in a number of circumstances, everyone is assumed to know the law as citizens.

    Many hard right conservatives would like to have more restrictive statutes of limitation, to stop money law suits, and to reform the law to stop frivolous and money drawing lawsuits, many spurned by ridiculous claims (remember how so many people were disgusted by the McDonald’s coffee burn case years ago?), and restricting rights to sue and limiting possible money damages. To them, these lawsuits are just ways that ambulance chasers can get money, are bad for business and are just “run away trains” getting millions and millions of dollars.

    Of course, better thinking people know that lawsuits serve many purposes, help distribute money to those wronged by others, are a hedge against future wrong-doing, and keep society in a proper balance.

    So, where do you draw the proper lines for lawsuits when dealing with such competing and opposite viewpoints?

    • Bea
      11/12/2010 at 5:58 PM

      Props to Michael. I’m guessing that you lied to your friend about the timing, clean-up, and did all in your power to convince her of the guilt of the in-and-out-ninja cat killer (that evidence of sexual assault must’ve been tough for her to handle).

      I do think that this case is among the best fact patterns for extending the SOL ‘critical point’ to when the charging affidavit dropped which contained many facts unknown to the public, including Kathy Wone. Until that time, should she have filed (and would the court have accepted) a wrongful death claim against ‘unknown John Does which might include the defendants’? This case is the tired law school example of three men in a room with a dead man, each claiming he didn’t do it – if they don’t break, there is no way to convict all three unless you can prove they were all in on it. The men have behaved consistently with this throughout their criminal trial (and this behavior was noted by the judge). They claim the 5th because that trial was NOT based on murder charges, knowing that in a civil matter taking the 5th CAN be viewed as having probative value by the trier of fact.

      Bruce speaks of the wrongs of having to ‘forever’ be ‘on the hook’ for wrongs committed one drunken night – in life, most of do expect that we are ‘on the hook’ for our behavior indefinitely, especially if we actively participated in a cover-up, or, at a minimum, hid behind the 5th amendment or like ruses (‘if I told all I knew, I might be arrested’). For me it comes down to this: if they did not murder Robert, then tell what you know. You can’t be tried again for conspiracy, obstruction or tampering – what’s left to be that worried about, and if you can assist in convicting the murderer you’d likely get a pass on accessory after the fact.

      And you can look in the mirror and sleep at night (Victor, anyway – imagine Joe sleeps just fine and still loves that image shining back in the bathroom).

      On equities alone, Judge Hedge will find the line of cases she needs.

      • Bruce
        11/12/2010 at 9:56 PM

        Hi Bea:

        I would love to live in the world you do.

        That world where if you are a suspect but innocent of a crime, you have absolutely nothing to fear from bumbling police investigators and zealous prosecutors, both trying to chalk up another win and dispose of a case, no matter what.

        Since your world includes that, I can only imagine what other lovely and charming things and people may also inhabit it. Can I join that world, even for a little while?

        I’m sure that those convicted of murder and other heinous crimes who were truly innocent, but sentenced to life in prison or death, wished they could have lived in your world, too.

        If you’re innocent, what can the “system” possibly do but prove that? The police and prosecutors are your friends. They just want to solve the case, and they will not put up with the thought that you are guilty if you are truly innocent, because that is not right and good.

        Police are all good smart people just trying to do what’s right, as are all prosecutors, caring and righteous.

        I’m sure you have heard of those stories: innocent people put to death, sometimes on evidence wholly circumstantial, where later DNA evidence (or other factors) show they were, in fact, innocent. I know that does not really fit in your world, but it does happen, Bea.

        In Illinois, a father was accused of sexually assaulting his little daughter and murdering her. He told everything he knew, professed his innocence on the media and to the police and prosecutors. He did everything to show them that he was innocent and the authorities should look at other possible suspects.

        He was tried and convicted, and went to death row.

        Later, DNA evidence was found that proved he was innocent, another man was arrested, confessed and was just sentenced to life in prison with no parole, this week. [the police and prosecutors essentially ignored evidence of boots found a little distance from the murdered child that ACTUALLY HAD THE NAME OF THE REAL MURDERER ON THEM).

        The innocent father got millions of $$$ from the county in a lawsuit, for the incredibly botched up investigation and arrest, his emotional distress and his death row imprisonment, and the authorities failing to follow up on other leads (which led to the ultimate true murderer) because they were “so absolutely sure” they got the right guy.

        Even now, with the completely overwhelming evidence against them, some authorities in that case insist they did absolutely nothing wrong.

        That is the real world. It can be pretty harsh. You can look it up on the Chicago Tribune website, or, easier, just Google “Riley Fox,” the name of the murdered girl. It really does make for interesting reading. This is not an isolated event. It happens in virtually every state (TEXAS esp.) and DC. One could say it is fairly rare, but criminal attorneys know all about these things and it colors what they demand their clients do and not do, for there to be an effective defense.

        I’m sure that father and many others in Illinois and all other states and DC wish they had lived in your world too. It’s not possible to be arrested and convicted as to something you did not do in your world, right?

        By none of this am I saying that the Swann 3 are innocent, or that I personally think they are innocent. I know you and some others don’t and probably never will believe that, but there is, I guess, nothing to be done about that.

        As I have said before many times on here, I actually believe that one or more of the Swann 3 are guilty, but I have not, and will not, close my mind to any theory, as all of them in this case have “problems.”

        There is no statute of limitations for murder. 5 years, 10 years, 20 years or more down the road, one or more of the Swann 3 could go on trial for the murder of Robert Wone, and the authorities have made it clear that the murder investigation is not closed and that they are still looking at the Swann 3.

        This civil case has nothing to do with that, except if they say something in this trial, the lovely and caring police and prosecutors might mis-construe it, mis-interpret it.

        In the world you have expressed, that probably would not happen. But, in the real world that is a real possibility.

        Look at all the theories we have on WMRW based upon ANY utterance by the Swann 3.

        Sometimes, people make up entire quotes from the Swann 3 out of thin air, that no one has said, and constantly repeat them, hoping they will become true if they are said enough, or trying to convince others they are true when they are not.

        So, I would totally agree with you that if the Swann 3, or any of them, is innocent, they should “man up” (as some posters say), camp out at the police station and constantly bug the police to do this, do that, not raise the 5th amendment, go through hypnosis, cut themselves with knives to show their remorse at the murder and frustration with the slow police investigations and screw-ups, and have dinner every night with the prosecutors’ office, if we lived in your world.

        But we don’t live in the world you have expressed in your posts when it comes to the police/prosecutorial system we have in this country. It is sad but true.

        Of course, all of this is just my opinion. You have yours and I do respect your opinions, and want you to continue with them because you give us insights, even though I occasionally may go a little a far in disagreeing with them.

        But, really Bea, you know very well that no one in this case has said “if I told all I knew, I might be arrested” as you say IN QUOTES in the above post. Where did you get that quote, Bea? From one of your other posts? That’s not kosher.

        You can say it (and do, or words to that effect) a million times and it will not make it true. I kind of now enjoy that this seems to be your “flight of fancy” upon which you will insist upon your dying breath, but it just t’aint so, and, in my opinion only, readers should be forewarned.

        • Clio
          11/12/2010 at 10:45 PM

          “Man up” probably would have been Victor’s refusal to do the 911 performance; “man up” may have also been Dyl’s getting off that couch and telling all he knew to Ms. Durham. For Joe, “man up”, most significantly, probably would have been to curb his basest impulses. Bruce, I’m afraid it’s (seemingly) way, way, way too late for any of the Three to “man up”!

        • Bea
          11/13/2010 at 12:42 AM

          Bruce, why when you read a differing opinion do you turn to underhandedly demean or insult that person?

          I’ll say it again, perfect world or not, if Robert were my friend and he was brutally murdered in my home, I would tell everything I knew whether or not that might be misconstrued by a bumbling cop who would then arrest me. I’d take my chances.

          I won’t again get dragged into the argument in which Tara Ragone was quoted to say Joe told her that he was in a catch-22 because if he told everything he knew he’d risk being arrested. Having been an English major, I’ve had enough argument about semantics and word structure.

          We disagree. Deal with it.

          • Bruce
            11/13/2010 at 1:27 AM

            Hi Bea:

            Here is the portion of the Catch 22 e-mail that you would like to say what you say:

            “It is a true Catch-22. The police get to accuse us of not saying all we know, but we are not allowed to fully respond for fear they will retaliate by arresting one of us. Based on what we know of the investigation, it seems they were just so sure from the get go that one of us did it, they never bothered to EVER investigate the possibility of an intruder. Now that their theory that it was one of us has not panned out, they are doing their very best to cover up from the Wones and the public that they never bothered to pursue the intruder theory.”

            No where in this e-mail is the phrase: “if I told all I knew, I might be arrested,”……

            …which you put in quotes in your post for some reason.

            Nite

            • Craig
              11/13/2010 at 8:41 AM

              Bruce – What exact leads did the Swann Street Three give the authorities to help them zero in on an “intruder,” which Price himself called a theory? Was it the resident of the crack house across the street they told the police about, the black guy who lived in the alley that they were ready to make a suspect, or the shucking and jiving Price did with police on whether his brother had access to the property via a house key?

              Theories have to be proven and based on everything we know, the defendants never lifted a finger to help authorities find the killer. It seems the defendants had opportunities to move the investigation forward, but declined. Not a website nor a single public statement or offer for a reward.

              Let them work the judicial system and courts to the fullest extent to defend themselves, that is their right. And while they do that, why shouldn’t the court of public opinion work on a parallel track as well?

              • Bea
                11/13/2010 at 2:19 PM

                Excellent post. Everything has a context, which Bruce chooses not to recall. I’ll be curious to see if he troubles to respond to this one since he has no ready-made paragraphs to match it. . .

              • Bruce
                11/13/2010 at 4:10 PM

                Hi Craig:

                There are many areas of criticism of what the Swann 3 did and did not do, what they said and didn’t say, both during the initial interviews and after.

                All of that is very fair to criticize in my view and this blog is full of opinions in that regard.

                You raise a number of them now in your post.

                That has nothing to do with my post that you seem to be responding to, and, in my view, somehow expanding to make it something that it is not.

                My post had nothing to do with them hiding info or not being forthcoming in the past.

                Of course, they should have been forthcoming. Of course, they are good targets for criticism in that area.

                I was trying to make two points with my post last night.

                First, I was responding to that part of Bea’s post where she said:

                “For me it comes down to this: if they did not murder Robert, then tell what you know. You can’t be tried again for conspiracy, obstruction or tampering – what’s left to be that worried about, and if you can assist in convicting the murderer you’d likely get a pass on accessory after the fact.”

                I responded to that opinion with my opinion. I tried to explain the realities of the faults, risks and pitfalls of the criminal justice system.

                I interpreted (possibly incorrectly, based upon your post) those words of Bea to be relating to what the Swann 3 should do NOW.

                Opinions of what the Swann should have said or done in the past (as you raise, as has Clio) is an entirely different post subject from my post last night.

                Second, I was trying to impress that when we deal with evidence in this case in our posts, let’s try to at least in a limited way be correct in our quotes and what we say.

                WMRW, as first named intervenor as to the “gag order” motion, and as having been cited or referenced by other news agencies in the past, is likely read by many of all backgrounds.

                Because of that and because I don’t think we ought to be fooling ourselves, I think it is important that we try to keep facts straight, if we use them in our opinions, which will promote some legitimacy in our many different opinions and insights.

                My problem in this regard was that Bea put something in quotes regarding evidence that should have no quotes, as no one has ever said those words in this case. This isn’t a technicality. If in fact JP had said the quote Bea attributes to him, it most certainly shows he is guilty, in my opinion. He just never said it, and that is a fact.

                It gives mock legitimacy to Bea’s point, but, in my lowly opinion, does not add to legitimacy of the blog.

                If someone mis-quotes evidence as fact, I feel that it should be corrected.

                This does NOT go to opinions, but simply the actual evidence we have in the case. It is damning enough against the defendants as it is, we don’t have to embellish it when actually citing it.

                So, I hope that this explains why I did the post and the context for saying what I said.

                If any of the editors feel that I am too disruptive or not advancing the goals of WMRW, I will most certainly leave, with neither a bang nor a whimper. You have my e-mail address.

                I do think that the court of public opinion is important as to this murder, and that WMRW serves a great purpose in doing that.

                For the life of me, I can’t understand why you would think from anything I have written on WMRW, or particularly from my post last night, that I would be anything but in support of that.

                • Clio
                  11/13/2010 at 8:11 PM

                  Bruce, again, relax. Part of me, of course, relishes your electronic portrayal here of an 1890s schoolmarm with starched collar and half-moon glasses who insists on her way of grammar and citation or the highway. The original inhabitants of 1509 Swann would have understood your steadfast insistence. Nevertheless, one may act this delicious role with a bit less passion with others with a more modern sense of language arts; trust me, it works.

                  Shall we all dance the Polonaise in A Flat by Chopin again, or just its rhetorical equivalent? Either way, it is both instructive and compelling, if only for the Covington lawyers.

                • Rich
                  11/13/2010 at 11:04 PM

                  “If any of the editors feel that I am too disruptive or not advancing the goals of WMRW, I will most certainly leave, with neither a bang nor a whimper.”

                  Well, Bruce that is certainly unnecessary.

                  As you well know, there are several dozen folks are this blog who disagree, get into each other’s face and offend one another. Repeatedly.

                  I suppose, that is the fun on the Blog.

                  Do not allow any of these kind of people to intimidate or discourage you.

                  You have plenty to offer and this comes from someone who generally does not read any of legalities associated with the case. 🙂

                  Can’t be bothered with too much speculation.

                  I’m Way Too Busy.

            • Bea
              11/13/2010 at 4:11 PM

              Bruce, show me the quotes in my paragraph to which you’re responding:
              ____________
              I won’t again get dragged into the argument in which Tara Ragone was quoted to say Joe told her that he was in a catch-22 because if he told everything he knew he’d risk being arrested. Having been an English major, I’ve had enough argument about semantics and word structure.
              __________

              A sign of a weak argument is to be misleading (saying I’ve quoted something I did not) and to call attention away to the critical parts of the argument (saying I live in a perfect world).

              I think it’s best that you and I no longer engage one-on-one — plenty of room here for the both of us without you dogging me and then apologizing afterward for dogging me. Let’s let it go, once and for all.

              • Bruce
                11/13/2010 at 4:20 PM

                Bea:

                As to the first part of my post from last night, I set forth what I was responding to in the post I just did to Craig.

                As to the second part of my post from last night, you stated:

                “…hid behind the 5th amendment or like ruses (‘if I told all I knew, I might be arrested’).”

                You put in quote marks something that has never, to my knowledge, been actually spoken in this case, except in some of your other posts. And, it just isn’t true.

                • Bea
                  11/13/2010 at 4:39 PM

                  By no means would that be seen as an exact quote but instead as a paraphrase. Note the use of single rather than double quotations and that it is wording within a parenthetical.

                  Please don’t try to engage me again. I wish the best of luck to you – if we happen to post on the same thread, of course that’s fine. I just don’t want to be in your crosshairs nor do I need the negative energy of finding myself frustrated by your misconstruing my comments nor having you write a diatribe naming me and then apologizing later – I’m recollecting at least a half dozen times when you felt compelled (or others asked you) to apologize. We disagree a lot and it seems to be personal to you.

                  So let’s stop dancing, shall we?

                  • dieter
                    11/13/2010 at 6:12 PM

                    yep, i guess “engaging” in objective, logical argumentation is a no-no on this site, bruce. nice try. but, on this blog, you are either with them or hounded/deleted. a shame, though. Chilaw approved, as have all the other folks trying to keep their heads above the rhetoric…we will miss you

                    • susan
                      11/13/2010 at 7:03 PM

                      …engaging in logical argumentation..”

                      You might try it sometime, Dieter. It would be refreshing.

                    • Bea
                      11/14/2010 at 12:22 AM

                      Dieter, engaging in argument I’m in favor of – calling people out to belittle them or their position, not so much. One doesn’t need the other and is often counter productive.

            • susan
              11/13/2010 at 6:33 PM

              …”but we are not allowed to fully respond for fear they will retaliate by arresting one of us.”

              -From the “Catch 22″ statement.

              N”o where in this e-mail is the phrase: “if I told all I knew, I might be arrested,”……”

              “If I told all I knew”-Bruce
              “Not allowed to fully respond”-JP

              “They will retaliate by arresting one of us.”-JP
              “If I told all I knew, I might be arrested.”-JP

              Seems pretty much the same. JP doesn’t say who’s not “allowing” him/them to speak. And he doesn’t say he “might” be arrested he says they will. That seems to be the only difference.

              Of course, their attorneys could have spoken for them.

              • susan
                11/13/2010 at 6:34 PM

                Correction:

                …”but we are not allowed to fully respond for fear they will retaliate by arresting one of us.”

                -From the “Catch 22″ statement.

                N”o where in this e-mail is the phrase: “if I told all I knew, I might be arrested,”……”

                –From Bruce

                “If I told all I knew”-Bruce
                “Not allowed to fully respond”-JP

                “They will retaliate by arresting one of us.”-JP
                “If I told all I knew, I might be arrested.”-Bruce

                Seems pretty much the same. JP doesn’t say who’s not “allowing” him/them to speak. And he doesn’t say he “might” be arrested he says they will. That seems to be the only difference.

                Of course, their attorneys could have spoken for them.

                • Bruce
                  11/14/2010 at 11:25 AM

                  Hi Susan:

                  While I personally feel that the suggested interpretation and opinion of the Catch 22 e-mail is both strange and unsupported, I don’t begrudge anyone who holds that opinion, as long as it is set forth as an opinion and not as a fact, and not using a quote that is clearly incorrect.

                  Regarding the previous poster’s explanation that her use of single quote marks and a parenthesis shows a paraphrase:

                  There is absolutely nothing in the literature that I can find (and I spent some time researching)that supports the conclusion that the use of single quotation marks or placing something in a parenthesis, suggests at all that the something is a paraphrase, rather than a quote.

                  Quotation marks, whether double or single, are only used to set forth an established true quote.

                  The only proper usage of single quotation marks is to quote something within a quote.

                  As to parenthesis, they are only used in writing to mark off an interjected explanatory or qualifying remark.

                  Thus ends today’s grammar lesson.

                  While I think that the previous poster’s and your post’s explanation of that poster’s interpretation of the Catch-22 e-mail is kind of silly and unsupported, since it changes the words used and takes no attention to the entire e-mail for context, those are opinions and I do respect them, although I might throw my opinion in the mix to the opposite.

                  My only dispute with the previous poster’s use of that Catch-22 e-mail is that it clearly mis-quotes that e-mail, and it does not set forth clearly that it is an opinion.

                  That’s it. I realize that this is sort of a technical criticism. But I think it helps us all to be honest when we go off of clear opinions, and shows some respect to the blog’s readers.

                  • Clio
                    11/14/2010 at 12:53 PM

                    Thank you, Miss Jean Brodie.

                    What, pray tell, will be our next grammar lesson? Distinguishing between it’s and its, as in “it’s all about your lack of remorse, Joe,” or avoiding split infinitives: “to argue effectively, one needs to be truthful?”

                  • susan
                    11/14/2010 at 2:00 PM

                    Hey Bruce,

                    I didn’t read the rest of what you wrote but I have to point out that you are absolutely unequivocally incorrect when you state the following as fact:

                    “Quotation marks, whether double or single, are only used to set forth an established true quote.”

                    In absolute, unequivocable fact you can go to your local bookstore and pick up any English usage style guide and learn that quotation marks may also be used for emphasis. Pick up any style guide at your B&N, Borders, whatever, and there you will have it.

                    • Bruce
                      11/14/2010 at 9:54 PM

                      Wow, Susan:

                      If I want to emphasize something I can just put it in quotes?????

                      Wow, that puts the English language on its ears.

                      Please show me some authority that says quotatiion marks,whether singleor double, can be used willy nilly for emphasis, and to not state a quote.

                  • susan
                    11/14/2010 at 2:04 PM

                    Bruce,

                    Pls. know that as you parse that other posters post you must also account for your own post as well. You did state above that the father in the Illinois case did “everything” he could to prove his innocence. You omitted that the father pled guilty to the crime. It is true he has beenn exonerated now, but if any readers here left themselves to your post alone as the truth, they would have been sorely misled. Be fair and first be accountable for what you present in your posts. What’s that saying about casting the first stone, etc. Make sure you live up to the standards you set forth. And first and foremost be accountable for what you yourself post.

                    • susan
                      11/14/2010 at 2:06 PM

                      “Posts” above not “post.”

                    • Bea
                      11/15/2010 at 2:17 AM

                      Very nice, Susan – point made. Of course when italics or bold are not an option, as here, style guides always allow the single quotation mark for emphasis.

        • carolina
          11/13/2010 at 10:20 AM

          “Sometimes, people make up entire quotes from the Swann 3 out of thin air, that no one has said, and constantly repeat them, hoping they will become true if they are said enough, or trying to convince others they are true when they are not.”

          Example, if you’d be so kind.

          • Bruce
            11/13/2010 at 4:23 PM

            Hi Carolina:

            See the last two paragraphs of my post to which you are responding. Also, see my post to Bea: “Bruce on 11/13/2010 at 4:20 PM.”

            • Bruce
              11/14/2010 at 12:11 PM

              Hi again, Carolina:

              Please also see my e-mail today: “Bruce on 11/14/2010 at 11:25 AM”

        • Rich
          11/13/2010 at 11:11 AM

          “I’m sure that those convicted of murder and other heinous crimes who were truly innocent, but sentenced to life in prison or death, wished they could have lived in your world, too.”

          Bruce, Do not stop. Do not pass go. Go see a new movie out that recently opened with Hillary Swank called, “Conviction.”

          She dropped out of high school and her dear brother was convicted of a murder the audience clearly believes he committed. She gets her GED, Undergrad and goes to law School and passes the bar.

          She then becomes his lawyer and gets him off of Life in Prison. She works with Barry Scheck and the Innocense Project.

          Home Run Movie. Minnie Driver is up for an Academy Award nomination.

          You’ll like it.

        • susan
          11/13/2010 at 6:48 PM

          Bruce,

          For me, when you or anyone begin to make the issues personal, and once before you did mention it was personal, or engage in ad hominem type attacks and exxageration by saying “in your world, Bea” when you know that Bea is not an idiot and clearly knows that innocent people do get arrested, convicted, etc., then your points go from being civil disagreements to personal attacks. I’ve seen some others here do that from time to time and it’s a shame.

          You call people out on every possible mistake. One mistake you make above re the Illinois case is that the father admitted guilt at one point. I’m sure the police did break him down, but that is part of the story and probably didn’t help make his case (understatement).

          You make some good arguments, but I think sometimes your hyperbole doesn’t help. You make it you against everyone else (up there in one of your posts re how “everyone else” feels about the Swann3). In fact, I’ve never made declaratory statements about categorical guilt, etc. but I do think that when JP mentions cleaning up blood in a panic (you didn’t quote that part above) to a friend but doesn’t share that with police, he is pretty much dissing the memory of R. Wone and doing the greatest disservice to RW’s family and justice by not cooperating in this regard with police.

  7. Clio
    11/12/2010 at 9:02 PM

    “Extreme and cruel behavior” is apparently what turned Culuket on and may continue to do so, and that night may have been one of many drugged, if not drunken, nights for the former Arent Fox partner. Accordingly, there ought to be no statute of limitations on what he may have done that night: he may do it again!!

  8. boofoc
    11/13/2010 at 2:51 PM

    Inasmuch as I’ve heard nothing to the contrary, I have to presume that Judge Hedge is an honorable, competent jurist who will not allow the narrow interpretation of a statute of limitations to deprive the plaintiff of her day in court when the equities clearly support the widow of the murder victim who was inveigled into her position by those who now seek to take advantage of her.

    As I said before, equity in the law preceded all statutes, and judges are bound to observe its unspoken principles. As Bea observed above: “On [the] equities alone, Judge Hedge will find the line of cases she needs” to support finding in the plaintiff’s favor on this motion. BTW, I’m very happy to live in Bea’s world!

    • Bea
      11/13/2010 at 4:41 PM

      You’re welcome in “Bea’s World,” boofoc! I’m serving appetizers and cocktails at 5!

      • Clio
        11/13/2010 at 7:46 PM

        Bea, am I too late for a gin martini and bited-sized Maryland crab cakes? If not, I’ll pull up a stool — and not one of those uncomfortable ones a la the kitchen in 1509 Swann circa 2006.

      • Rich
        11/13/2010 at 11:26 PM

        By the way, Bea–

        I have always advocated on your behalf.

        Both you and Bruce are entitled to your differences.

        We just all have to take the High Road and keep the negativity out.

  9. boofoc
    11/13/2010 at 9:17 PM

    Stay on topic, U2.

  10. Rich
    11/13/2010 at 10:54 PM

    “On this blog, you are either with them or hounded/deleted a shame.”

    Love it!

    Probably, the most accurate comment ever made on this Blog.

    • Clio
      11/14/2010 at 8:19 AM

      WMRW — love it or leave it???? I don’t think so. Rich, you and your telegraphic one-sentence paragraphs are still here, and, contrary to the best judgment of most readers and Editors, you have not been “hounded/deleted.” The Editors’ studious attachment to the First Amendment may be the cause of the real shame of your continued, if attenuated, stream of consciousness (although you do use caps and punctuation — unlike Faulkner), but, as my dear debaters on the other side of this case have suggested, that openness to anything (that does not disturb the horses) is constitutionally enshrined.

      Now, we all apparently are like Atlanta in the 1960s — “too busy to hate” — so on to next month’s status hearing and beyond. I cannot wait for Brook’s ruling on SOL!

      • Rich
        11/14/2010 at 10:32 AM

        Don’t be mistaken, i never suggested I have been, “Exclusively,” hounded or deleted.

        From what I have heard from several others, they have been hounded, deleted and have also joined the fray.

        This site is an equal opportunity offender.

        No one is singled out.

      • susan
        11/14/2010 at 1:56 PM

        Good points, Clio. Every one of them.

      • Rich
        11/14/2010 at 3:43 PM

        Clio:

        “The Editors’ studious attachment to the First Amendment…”

        The First Amendment means Freedom of Speech, which is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation.

        Studious Attachment?

        Gotta work on your language skills.

        • Clio
          11/14/2010 at 3:58 PM

          Thanks for the unsolicited feedback, Mr. Chips, but I’m not the one who always writes (and thinks apparently) in fragments. Buh-bye!

          • Rich
            11/14/2010 at 4:03 PM

            That is correct.

            I learned many years ago how to say it, “Succinctly.”

            Less is more.

            Eventually, you’ll figure it out. 

            Give Bruce a chance.

            He’s a lawyer.

            They’re paid to talk.

            • Bill 2
              11/16/2010 at 8:49 PM

              Saying that lawyers are “paid to talk” is a bit too succinct. It’s like saying that doctors are paid to use a stethoscope and leaving the rest up in the air as if that’s the only thing they do to earn a living.

              OTOH, if I had a lawyer who “rambled” (quotes for emphasis) on and on and on and on and on and on, I would fire that lawyer before he/she put the judge, jury and entire courtroom to sleep. At that point, I would quote Donald Trump and simply say, “You’re fired!” (Quotes for Trump’s quote.) That’s succinct.

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

                Excellent. And thanks for the “quotes for emphasis” (a double entendre from me, since I’m actually quoting your use for emphasis)!

                In another iteration, blogs may have free availability of italics, bold, but until then, we will use what we have to make our points. I’m surprised no one has been taken to task for ‘all caps’ . . .

              • denton
                11/17/2010 at 8:30 PM

                Bill 2,

                There are time that we need “peace,” there are time that we need “inner wisdom.”

                … and this is a perfect time to give the rest of us that “peace,” “respect” and “perseverance.”

                Thank you.

                • Bill 2
                  11/19/2010 at 7:03 AM

                  How nice of you to list your goals, Denton. I’m sure we all wish you well on your journey to attain peace and to show respect for others. If you persevere, you’re certain to keep moving in that direction and there’s no doubt that you’ve shown a great improvement in the past six or eight weeks.

                  • denton
                    11/19/2010 at 8:03 AM

                    Bill 2 – I wish you plenty of happiness in return. Your Dear Friend, denton.

              • Bruce
                11/17/2010 at 10:00 PM

                Bill 2:

                And you would be correctly quoting Mr. Trump (who appears to be considering a run for President in 2012, god help us).

                But if you wanted to paraphrase The Donald and you wrote “You’re out of a job,” or ‘You’re out of a job,’, with those quote marks, you would be grammatically/punctuationally (sigh) very very incorrect.

                Paraphrasing is the antithesis of quoting.

                To paraphrase with quote marks, single or double, is a big no no, and there is no authority I have ever seen that allows it. If such a usage is ever allowed, I would like someone to point it out. And please don’t tell me to go to a bookstore.

                The poster with which I had this original debate when that poster put words allegedly from the Catch-22 e-mail in single quotation marks, but those words were not in the Catch-22 e-mail, later explained that the poster was “paraphrasing.”

                Paraphrasing = apples. Using quote marks of any kind = oranges.

                So, I would suggest that if you really feel like paraphrasing AND emphasizing, that you use those much maligned Caps, and no quote marks of any kind.

                Otherwise, If you had written “You’re out of a job” or ‘You’re out of a job’, how is one to know if you are quoting or paraphrasing or emphasizing, or any combination of those things, unless, as you smartly do, you point it out in all instances why you are using quote marks at all in your post?

                I’s never a dull moment around here. Not to worry, dear readers, I won’t bring this up again, and was just going to let it die, until it was brought up here in your post.

                The civil case awaits!

                • Clio
                  11/18/2010 at 10:20 AM

                  Bruce, you really should work at the Madiera School: Jean Harris could not have said that with more flair!!

                  • Bruce
                    11/18/2010 at 11:24 AM

                    Why thanks, Clio. Although the imagery of me working as the headmistress at an all girls school equates with some visions of hell, but maybe I deserve it.

                    Love anything to do with Jean Harris and the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder and trial.

                    Was probably one of the first things that got me interested in true crime mysteries.

                    Jean Harris: so poised, so educated, so classy, so articulate, so so so lethal.

  11. denton
    11/14/2010 at 7:41 AM

    Warning: The following commercial is sponsored by American Express (Don’t Leave Home Without It). It has no real meaning and it intends NOT to harm or hurt anyone feelings.

    Bea and Bruce, or Bruce and Bea, whichever one you like:

    I am going to have to marry you both in the Chappelle. Without both of you, this site probably dies, becomes dull, or just disappears.

    Here’s to you, and chilaw79 wherever you are:

    “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
    – Abraham Lincoln

    Peace,
    little d.

  12. susan
    11/14/2010 at 10:35 PM

    Hi Bruce,

    There was no place to reply directly to your last post, hence my posting here. Regrets that I cannot do your homework for you. But I will 1) give you some direction and 2) correct myself. I’ll begin with the latter: quotation marks may also be used to introduce new and foreign terms and also for sarcasm/derision, “capiche”?

    As to the direction, actually pls. see my posting above. Look at any major style guide for English usage.

    But, why don’t you show all of us here where your statement (and I quote) “Quotation marks, whether double or single, are only used to set forth an established true quote”

    is the be-all end all use of quotation marks. You cannot because it is not so.

    Above you respond to one of Craig’s posts by saying how you think others should communicate on this site, when others should use quotation marks, etc. I agree, Bruce, that it would be a beautiful world if everyone did things my way, and I’m sure the same re your “world” (you brought up “worlds” earlier. Actually you brought up the singular “world” as in “Bea’s world” but my usage of the plural in this sentence is permissable. Again, see the style guides.

    The point is, that for actual facts, you must go to the primary sources. You can’t control how others express themselves and you can try to police everyone’s statements but no one is obliged to play by your rules, respond to your posts, etc. However, if you want to get everyone to see the “world” through your perspective you have to play by your own rules. Example: Your posting of the Illinois case and omitting that the father confessed to the crime. All that you posted was that the father “did everything” he could to prove his “innocence.” Had I taken your post as gospel I would have been misled.

    Hopefully we are all adults here. Trust, you know, but verify. Good advice for those people who watch Glenn Beck, I imagine.

    I’ll close by saying I enjoy your posts when you are focused on the subject, sharing opinions and not parsing someone’s comments in a derisive way. You don’t have to agree.
    This is not a courtroom, it is a blog. And there’s so much still to think about re this crime.

    Thanks for letting me share.

    • susan
      11/14/2010 at 10:43 PM

      P.S. Please excuse me if I sound a bit snide in the above post. It wasn’t my intent. I hope to not address this topic again and keep the focus on WMRW.

      • Clio
        11/15/2010 at 7:08 AM

        Susan, thanks for the great rebuttal of our resident “doubting Thomas” from Illinois, and there is never any need to apologize for being “a bit snide” or a bit pregnant or a bit left-handed, for that matter. Solving this case and exposing the perps may require every attitude and disposition known to humankind: it truly is a rainbow coalition of the willing at WMRW!

  13. Laura
    11/15/2010 at 7:46 AM

    Sigh. I can’t walk away from this blog – the goals it strives to achieve and the information it imparts are important to me. But it’s getting really tiresome lately, folks. Very hard to stay focused and read/get smart on the issues, new documents and so forth.

    I don’t like skipping posts from the regulars here – they usually contain much wisdom or new ways of looking at things and they’re valuable. But I’m having to dig deeper and wade through more “muck” (for lack of a better word) to find the nuggets. I agree with Susan and Clio above and I’m not trying to be disrespectful or take sides. I’m just weary of all the other noise going on here.

    • Rich
      11/15/2010 at 10:13 AM

      Luara:

      You go girl…

Comments are closed.