Holder For The Defense

Blowing Smoke?

On February 14, opposing counsel in the Wone civil case exchanged Valentines.  Well, not really, let’s call them salvos.  Meeting the designated Court deadline to exchange Lists of Fact Witness, both sides filed their paper on Monday.  Today – the three near-identical lists submitted by the defense for Price, Ward and Zaborsky; next week we’ll publish the plaintiff list.

One year anniversary press conference: L to R: Cov's Ben Razi, Robert's friend Jason Torchinsky, Katherine Wone, Eric Holder

The seven page defense lists are chock full of names familiar to any case watcher; many of the investigators and other witnesses from the summer conspiracy and obstruction trial.  MPD Detectives Norris, Whalen, Xanten, Brown, Kasul, Wagner and Waid among others.

Some new names surface too: Robert’s brother Andrew, several friends (we think) of the defendants, mother to the Price and Zaborsky kids, Kim Musheno, other Swann Street residents, contractors, a bunch of attorneys including lead plaintiff counsel and former colleague of Robert’s at Covington, Ben Razi, and lastly, a bold face name, former Cov rainmaker and current Attorney General, Eric Holder.  No kidding.


Shortly after Robert’s murder, Holder committed Covington to represent Katherine Wone pro bono.  He participated in the one year anniversary press conference and had some strong language that many thought was directed squarely at the defendants.

Lois Goslinoski

Douglas Deedrick

Among the case’s more familiar faces: Deputy DC M.E. Lois Goslinoski, former roommate Sarah Morgan, forensic jock Doug Deedrick, Maryland Chief M.E. Dr. David Fowler, EMTs Baker/Weaver, GW ER staff, Swann Street neighbors, the Thomases, Robert’s friends Ragone & Torchinsky also make the lists. 

Also from the MPD are two police officers talked about, but never seen on the stand, former head of the Department’s gay liaison desk, Bret Parsons and Diane Durham, a longtime mysterious figure in the case – the officer who wrote in her report on the morning after the murder, that Price said he’d found Robert by/near the 1509 Swann Street patio door, not in the home’s guest room where Robert’s body was ultimately recovered.

Neighbor, friend and sexual partner, of Price and Ward, and wheel man in the ‘Mercedes Meeting,’ Scott Hixson, is also included.  In short, that old gang of ours.

We lobbed in a call to the Justice Department’s Public Affairs Office asking for either comment/statement regarding Holder, asking if he was aware of it and if there were DoJ rules on whether AGs can testify in civil proceedings.  As of press time, 11:00pmET, we haven’t heard back. 

How does attorney-client privilege play out here for Holder and Razi?  Were their statements at the one-year anniversary press conference outside of the privilege context?  Can Razi be both lead counsel and a witness too? 

Many of these names may indeed surface next October, but there also seems to be some smoke and bluster.  And the plaintiff list has some real doozies too. 

Ahead of posting the docs, we made some minor redactions, the home addresses of the ‘civilians.’  Although these docs are public, available to anyone, we sided towards additional privacy for some. Exceptions are Swann Street neighbors – their proximity to the scene of the crime is important.

We’re trying to think who may be missing and can only come up with a few names, a key witness at the criminal trial, defendant Dylan Ward’s mother, Diane, the high wattage Dr. Henry Lee and who can forget that other defense expert, you know, the dude with the ketchup stains on his tie.

And maybe  next week we’ll see Cov’s reply to the D oppo to the P motion to compel depo testimony.  Does Judge Rankin know what he’s gotten himself into?

Price Preliminary Witness List

Ward Preliminary Witness List

Zaborsky Preliminary Witness List

110 comments for “Holder For The Defense

  1. susan
    02/18/2011 at 1:04 AM

    Am I wrong or are Michael Price, Louis Hinton and Phelps Collins III missing from their witness lists?

    I would think they’d be relevant since the lists contain either adverse or supportive witnesses and if the contractor with the key is listed why not the brother with the key who broke in, his accomplice and his lover (almost started to write “The Cook, the Thief, the Wife and Her Lover.” )Not quite but almost as gruesome a scenario.

    • Bill Orange
      02/18/2011 at 8:53 AM

      This is just the defense list, so it’s unsurprising that those folks aren’t on the list.

      • susan
        02/18/2011 at 10:38 PM

        Hi BillO,

        I sort of realize that those fellas are deliberately excluded, however, the witness lists do state that inclusion as a witness on the list “Does not waive the right to treat the witness as a hostile or adverse witness” which is likely why T. Ragone, etc. are included. It’s just interesting how soft adverse witnesses are included (like, say, the maintenance workers who had keys) but not M. Price, who had one as well.

        • Clio
          02/20/2011 at 1:07 PM

          Susan, Phelps as budding designer may stay away from using fur or leather in his upcoming collections for obvious reasons, but his omission from the defense’s guest list to the party, to me, raises his significance to the case. And, that may be doubly true for that Odd Couple of Michael and Louis.

  2. Bill Orange
    02/18/2011 at 8:59 AM

    I think Holder is fair game. If President Clinton could be hit with the civil suit, I can’t see how the AG could avoid testifying in one, particularly since his testimony would be about things that occurred prior to his becoming AG. This looks like a basic stalling tactic to me. (If Holder fights this, it’ll drag on for months.) Frankly, I think it’s a very bad strategy. It just isn’t a good idea to antagonize the attorney general. They may be angling to show that they’re being persecuted by the police, but I can’t see that strategy getting of the ground, either. The defendants weren’t singled out because they’re gay; they were singled out because someone was stabbed to death in their guest bedroom.

    • Clio
      02/18/2011 at 9:48 PM

      Like his “Transcendent” (in the words of WaPo’s Eugene Robinson) patron, Eric got a second wind with the lame duck session, and he seems determined to stay for at least the first term. So, he may fight this one for that reason, but Robert’s ties to Judge Jackson (and the significant civil rights legacies/accomplishments that that Judge and that Judge’s family represent) will ultimately persuade him otherwise not to fight it and to testify. Just sayin’.

  3. CDinDC
    02/18/2011 at 9:43 AM

    William Herman?? I wonder why HW is being called in this case? He’s the guy that bought 1509 Swann from Price/Zaborsky.

    I always thought there was something odd about an assets manager buying their house. But besides that…..

    Could he possibly be called to testify that he’s had problems with intruders/break-ins/vagrants/property crime/etc?

    • Bill 2
      02/18/2011 at 5:33 PM

      CD, my first thought when you identified William Herman was to wonder if he got rid of Maria Callas.

      • CDinDC (boycott BP)
        02/18/2011 at 9:21 PM

        Ha! I think the callas print give sparkly cat a run for it’s money.

        • Clio
          02/19/2011 at 8:10 AM

          What, though, happened to all of that fabulous furniture placed in Miss Morgan’s former quarters AFTER she never came back to Swann?

  4. CDinDC
    02/18/2011 at 9:46 AM

    The other one that jumps out at me is No. 52. “Former occupants of 1417 Swann Street.”

    Tasso came to mind.

    • Craig
      02/18/2011 at 10:20 AM

      1417 Swann was the scene of that curious incident/attempted robbery that the D brought up during criminal trial.

      • CDinDC
        02/18/2011 at 10:45 AM

        I remember, Craig.

        I just always wondered if Tasso was the former resident. He was a staunch defender of the intruder theory and repeatedly stressed his knowledge of the area and his proximity to Swann Street.

        • Craig
          02/18/2011 at 11:01 AM

          I think that Tasso wildly overstated and exagerated his proximity to Swann Street and knowledge of the case. He’s not missed.

          • CDinDC
            02/18/2011 at 11:14 AM

            LOL Indeed.

            • Clio
              02/19/2011 at 8:03 AM

              Who then are/were these former occupants? Are/were they also relatively prominent white gay men, or do/did they have different racial, class, and/or sexual identities than those of the defendants?

              • Carolina
                02/19/2011 at 1:38 PM

                That reported burglary turned to dust when the police went to the home, didn’t it? In fact, I’m sure of it.

                • Clio
                  02/20/2011 at 12:31 PM

                  Yes, Carolina, and as I remember it now, it did involve a pairing of “confirmed bachelors,” sans a third.

  5. boofoc
    02/18/2011 at 12:26 PM

    Can’t imagine why Holder would be exempt from testifying simply on the basis of his position as AG; however, I can’t imagine what he would know that would not be subject to immunity from disclosure on the basis of either the attorney-client or the attorney-work-product pivilege. The list’s inclusion doesn’t guarantee the prospective witness’ being called; non-inclusion, however, guarantees that a person may not be called, absent extraordinary circumstances. Thus, every possible prospective witness is listed.

    • Bill Orange
      02/18/2011 at 5:31 PM

      Part of me thinks they want to put him on the stand just to make him invoke attorney-client privilege, and then try to claim that this is somehow similar to them invoking their fifth amendment rights. “Sometimes even the Attorney General of the United States refuses to answer questions in court!”

      I don’t think the judge would ever let that happen, though. And it would be a VERY dangerous stunt to try to pull off. Because Kathy Wone could simply waive her privilege, and then they say, “Even the Attorney General of the United States is answering questions in court!”

      • Carolina
        02/19/2011 at 1:39 PM

        That would be such a fabulous backfire. Too bad we’ve forewarned them.

      • Clio
        02/19/2011 at 1:45 PM

        Everyone just needs to tell all what they know about the case, including the sitting AG. Mr. Holder has answered most questions about the Denise Rich Affair of 2000-01, and he survived and prospered. The son of immigrants from Barbados, he is tough and “shovel-ready.” So, just do it, Eric, although Spag, always alert to his own main chances — both political and economic, may go easy on the AG, if he is called to testify.

        • susan
          02/19/2011 at 7:47 PM

          That’s a good point, Clio, re Spag being aware of how this move might affect his personal interests down the road. Which is why, if the AG is called, it wouldn’t be surprising if Spag deferred to a colleague/associate to follow through with any questioning.

          • Clio
            02/20/2011 at 12:28 PM

            Spag sees himself, I imagine, as a mover and shaker in local/regional politics, and disrespecting Eric would not endear him to either Barack or Hillary, IMHO.

            • susan
              02/21/2011 at 12:02 AM


              I imagine it’s getting and going to get even more uncomfortable for those named witnesses. Until now, many of these people have been unnamed or just peripherally mentioned in relation to the case. And, if this case hadn’t become high profile enough, thanks to this website’s Post profile and the criminal case, it will be even more so now. Hopefully all the spotlights and attention will end up resolving the mystery of who murdered R. Wone.

  6. boofoc
    02/18/2011 at 1:03 PM

    What did I miss? If it was important enough that defendants cited a mysterious incident there during the criminal trial, how come they have not been able to determine who used to live at 1417 Swann Street? Really strange. And I simply can’t wait until somebody identifies all these unknown people, e.g., Deanne Ottavanio,Jennifer Fischer, Emily Thorne, Thiphasone Phimviengkham, Kongphanh Santivong, et al., etc. (My spell check thinks it has lost its checker!) “Thiphasone Phimviengkham, Kongphanh Santivong” ?? – give me a break; sounds like somebody is making up names. Anybody know who all (any) these names belong to?

    • CDinDC
      02/18/2011 at 1:48 PM

      The former owner of 1417 Swann Street is on the internet. Not sure why they wouldn’t publish his name.

      Deanne M. Ottaviano, Jennifer Fischer, Emily Thorne, are Arent Fox attorneys.

      Thiphasone Phimviengkham appears to be an independent consultant for “Actuarial Consulting” and “Scientific and Technical Services” in Arlington, VA.

      Kongphanh Santivong is an attorney, but can’t come up with a direct connection yet.

      • CDinDC
        02/18/2011 at 1:51 PM
        • Clio
          02/18/2011 at 9:50 PM

          Another life-long learner! How charming!

        • Hoya Loya
          02/19/2011 at 5:27 PM

          He’s involoved with Laotian causes — I suspect an RFA connection. Perhaps the “Ninja theory” lives?

          • Hoya Loya
            02/19/2011 at 5:29 PM

            Ditto on the actuarial consultant.

          • Clio
            02/20/2011 at 11:21 AM

            What then would be that RFA connection?

            And, why would the government of Laos and/or its internal opponents in 2006 want to “off” Mr. Wone? Could anyone in notoriously poor Laos afford to pay the hitman, let alone to carry off the very complex operation? Preposterous!

            The Ninja theory exists only in Spag’s increasingly desperate calculations, I am afraid.

            • alternateguy
              02/20/2011 at 5:07 PM

              Just to brush off any RFA ninja theory as if it was totally ridiculous is extreme in my belief. Robert was replacing a lawyer fired for reasons some of which we don’t know. That some whistle blower might have passed information to the new incoming lawyer, is not totally unthinkable. Heads of several nations including China had denounced RFA, which, we do know is funded by the US government.

              Spokesmen of various nations had even gone so far as to state publicly said that RFA, was C.I.A. controlled. Could Robert been informed about some operataive in the organization? Could Robert Wone have become the man who knew too much? It’s not as he worked for Wall-Mart after all.

              • Bill Orange
                02/20/2011 at 6:52 PM

                This is entirely possible, but if there was anything to it, I suspect that we would have heard about it in the criminal trial. Why would it only be coming up now?

              • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                02/20/2011 at 7:35 PM

                Oh, for pete’s sake…he’d only been there a week or so. He was probably still learning the passcode to the men’s room. I think interferring with communist regimes wasn’t part of his duties at that point.

                • susan
                  02/20/2011 at 8:57 PM

                  I’m open to learning more about RFA, etc., but one must admit it was convenient of that spider to be on that patio lamp and for JP to spy it during RW’s visit and forget to close the door after shooing away (or offing?) said spider. Too, helpful of the Swann trouplet to hear the “intruder” only AFTER Robert Wone was stabbed to death and supposedly the chime of the door sounded an exit. And of course, after alleged “intruder” left (or not, as we know DW was “worried” he was still lingering and ready to kill again, and thus he was prepared, sitting in a lounge area with just a robe on, not even a cell phone or weapon in case…etc., etc.)

              • Clio
                02/20/2011 at 9:34 PM

                Not the Ninja theory again, pul-lease!

                Like many of you, I wept at the fall of the Laotian monarchy in 1975, but its socialist successor could NOT have possibly been that angry at RFA to murder Mr. Wone, or to hire Mr. Ward to off Mr. Wone. RFA is not that big a deal to a country such as Laos which has a semi-capitalist economy and an authoritarian state. If Robert had worked for Walmart, then he would have been a more likely target.

                • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                  02/20/2011 at 10:15 PM


      • Clio
        02/19/2011 at 7:52 AM

        Why would Joe and/or Dyl be dallying with an actuary of Asian descent? The truth is always stranger than fiction!

        And, were the “Foxy” ladies above early contributors to the trouple’s now-low-profile Defense Fund? Inquiring minds still want to know!

  7. CDinDC
    02/18/2011 at 1:59 PM

    Bob Baker says: “CDinDC, why would it be odd for an Assetts Manager to buy their home?”

    I find it odd. You don’t have to.

    But to answer your question, there are many creative ways to protect and conceal assests when someone is faced with civil litigation. That’s what asset managers do. Coincidence, perhaps, but odd nonetheless.

    And I don’t know why you’re pointing me out….I barely post anymore. There have been many outbursts without me contributing a word. So kindly leave me out of it.

    • Craig
      02/18/2011 at 2:02 PM

      Baker’s comment was deleted. He appeared to be a troll, perhaps the same one who’s been plaguing the site for the past 2 days. If you’re the real deal Baker, drop us a line and we’ll correct the record.

      • Bill Orange
        02/18/2011 at 5:35 PM

        It might be easier for the rest of us if did strike-throughs of the comment and published the IP address and aliases of the offenders. I’m curious as to how many trolls we’ve got, and if this is the only place they’re trolling. That info will help other people sniff this info out.

        • Carolina
          02/19/2011 at 1:47 PM

          I am afraid that leaving a particularly trollish post would simply lead to more negative posturing, but I’d love to see it replaced with just their IP and links to anyone who posts.

    • Carolina
      02/19/2011 at 1:44 PM

      I said exactly the same thing, lo these many years ago. It’s the “Protect Your Money” plan. First you buy a home in Florida and claim it as your primary residence, then you put your DC real estate in an assets holding company, or in this case, appear to sell it to someone who manages one.

    • AnnaZed
      02/19/2011 at 10:36 PM

      Readers of this blog may recall this conversation from March of last year about Mr. Herman and the declared advantages of his business produced by CDinDC’s research (I used the Google search to find it so I hope this link works):


      Just to quote a definition of what asset management actually is though:

      “…Also from the internet: “Asset protection planning is used to protect assets that would otherwise be at risk of lawsuits or at the risk of claims of creditors. Asset protection planning may involve preparing for the possibility of future lawsuits by rearranging the ownership of assets so that they are beyond the reach of potential creditors.”

      I have always found Mr. Herman’s purchase of this property to be .. um … interesting and have wondered if he ever lived there (not that that means anything, just wondered).

      • Clio
        02/20/2011 at 10:57 AM

        Who lives at 1509 Swann now? Other than money, why would Joe and Victor want to hold onto it in whatever attenuated way, given that the “sardine can” was the scene in which someone whom they knew was murdered?

        I think that the gentrified 1886 rowhouse should be turned into a museum (like the boarding house across from Ford’s Theater) about the crime, case, and trials, or a half-way house (for former sex workers trying to do something else such as writing children’s books), but that’s just me.

  8. boofoc
    02/18/2011 at 2:23 PM

    CD, thanx.

    • CDinDC
      02/18/2011 at 3:08 PM

      my pleasure, boofoc.

      • Bea
        02/18/2011 at 5:44 PM

        Props from me too.

  9. Cat from Cleveland
    02/18/2011 at 9:47 PM

    I suspect Razi and Holder are named with regard to the statute of limitations defense, as the defense will argue that their knowledge is imputed to the plaintiff.

    If the defense can credibly establish Razi as a witness, and he’s a partner at Cov, then they may be able knock Cov out of the case entirely. This is a tactic, and unfortunately, one that is not too uncommon among the lawyers who play hardball.

    • Hoya Loya
      02/19/2011 at 7:49 AM

      Agree Cat, 100 percent. My immediate thoughts exactly.
      I think attorney-client privilege will cover them and even if not, don’t think they can conclusively establish what Kathy knew/thought at the time, which would be conclusive on the SOL issue, so long as Kathy stands firm.

      It may be as much a hard ball tactic, as you suggest, intended to aggravate and stall as much as anything — to force Cov to expend time and resources on an ancillary issue instead of the real matter at hand and to muck things up furhter by roping in the AG and the attendant complications to that.

  10. Clio
    02/19/2011 at 8:17 AM

    I cannot wait to hear from Brett and Diane, but why would the defense list Andrew Wone and not Michael Price? The implications of that selection and omission: Spag really needs to settle this one!

    • Hoya Loya
      02/19/2011 at 9:24 AM

      The defense wouldn’t want o include Michael if his testomony wouldn’t help and/or might harm their clients.

      I can see two reasons to include Andrew — to ask unpleasant or “difficult” questions about Robert without beating up on Kathy and possibly, as with Holder and Razi, to go after the SOL issue. But I believe Andrew is a sharp lawyer in his own right and they will need to tread carefully.

      • Craig
        02/19/2011 at 10:14 AM

        Wasn’t the SOL issue settled by Judge Hedge @ the December 8 status, in favor of the Plaintiffs?

        • Hoya Loya
          02/19/2011 at 10:54 AM

          Yes, as far as the suit moving forward, but because the SOL issue goes to the subject matter jurisdiction of the court, should the defense turn up testimony or other evidence indicating that Kathy and her lawyers knew of the claim prior to the initial statutory period, the defense can raise it anew.

        • Cat from Cleveland
          02/19/2011 at 9:20 PM

          Ah, the crazy technicalities of it all. The court was not asked to decide whether or not the statute of limitations expired, the court was asked to decide whether a reasonable jury could conclude that the statute of limitations has not expired.
          When a defendant files a motion for summary judgment, he/she is not asking the court to decide the case. Instead, the motion asks the court to look at all of the available evidence and decide whether the plaintiff has enough evidence to allow a jury to find in the plaintiff’s favor. If not, the case ends there. If the court decides there is enough evidence (even if the court would decide in defendant’s favor), the case proceeds to trial.
          So the judge did not decide the statute of limitations issue, the court decided that a jury can decide that issue.

          • susan
            02/19/2011 at 10:20 PM

            Hi Cat,

            Thanks for that legal explanation. It seems like it’s a necessary process to some degree but one subject to flaws like anything else in nature or man-made.

            In a sense the court does decide the case by determining whether there is a case at all/whether it ends before getting a hearing before a jury.

          • Craig
            02/19/2011 at 11:40 PM

            Meow! Good kitty/pengiun. Is there any chance at all with Holder or is the D just blowing smoke? Do they really want to put the nation’s chielf law enforcement office on the stand? How can he not help Mrs. Wone.

            Does the jury have to decide on SoL early on or do they walk into the jury room with that and all the other counts?

            • Cat from Cleveland
              02/20/2011 at 9:46 PM

              Meow indeed! Usually, the jury hears the entire case and then retires for deliberations to decide the case (and all issues presented). There is a procedure called bifurcation, where the jury hears (and decides) the issues piecemeal. I do not anticipate that the judge will bifurcate the statute of limitations issue, however.

  11. boofoc
    02/19/2011 at 4:31 PM

    Agree with Hoya’s assessment of the ever-present SOL problem; doubt that we’re alerting any counsel on that. Don’t believe, though, that Holder’s or Andrew’s knowledge can be imputed to the plaintiff.

  12. Bill Orange
    02/20/2011 at 12:07 PM

    Question for the lawyers: Do the witness lists essentially mean that the depositions (excluding those of the defendants, due to the 5th amendment issues) are essentially complete? I think that the plaintiffs had a lot of rocks that they wanted to turn over–do the lists mean that they’ve identified everyone that they think they might call at trial?

    • Cat from Cleveland
      02/20/2011 at 9:54 PM

      No, witness lists usually include every person who might conceivably be called to testfy at trial on any issue, because failure to identify a witness may be grounds to exclude that witness’ testimony at trial. In addition, the other side usually feels compelled to depose everyone on the list, so the more witnesses identified, the more time and expense for the other side (depositions are expensive, not only because of the legal fees, but the court reporter bills are steep). Consequently, some lawyers put people on the list they know they will never call.
      In light of this, sometimes a judge will attach monetary “incentives” to narrow the list (some judges threaten to sanction the lawyers for any witness listed who is not called) but that is rare.

  13. boofoc
    02/20/2011 at 1:46 PM

    Craig: Defendants would have to specifically raise the sol issue again by motion, and the judge could then refer the factual question (only) to the jury, assuming additional facts have been established – through trial testimony or through discovery – as to when Kathy knew or should have known.
    Holder? For reasons stated above, I can’t imagine the scenario.

  14. 02/20/2011 at 5:05 PM

    MsNBC Dark Heart Iron hand series on canadian Ken and Barbie case is reshowing now

  15. SheKnowsSomething
    02/21/2011 at 2:05 PM

    I’m a little surprised that Sarah’s slumber party mates, Tom and John, are not on the witness lists.

    • CDinDC (boycott BP)
      02/21/2011 at 3:58 PM

      Do you think their testimony would amount to heresay? They weren’t there and were hosting someone that supposedly was not there. So anything they provide about the crime would be 2nd hand information? Maybe?

      • SheKnowsSomething
        02/21/2011 at 4:11 PM

        Why would that matter if they are Defense witnesses?

        • CDinDC (boycott BP)
          02/21/2011 at 5:10 PM

          No clue, SKS. Just thinking out loud. Maybe the legal beagles could discuss hearsay in civil trials.

          • Clio
            02/21/2011 at 7:37 PM

            Joe at least did list Miss Morgan as a potential defense witness; given that we know that she has not fled the District from the motion above, I guess that she might appear in the civil trial after all.

            • She did it
              02/21/2011 at 9:22 PM

              It must an intimidating image for the delicious Mr. Razi to realize that once again Ms. Morgan will step onto the scales of lady justice in support of the trouple. I had to laugh at the visual created by Clio — Ms. Morgan fleeing the District. From what I recall from the criminal trial, she may not have been able to make it from JR’s to Trumpets on foot – oops I am dating myself a bit. Love to all; especially Craig and Co.

              • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                02/21/2011 at 10:48 PM

                SDI dating yourself would be mentioning the Lost and Found or The Other Side. I can still remember what I did at Trumpets. The former, not so much. LOL

                • Bea
                  02/24/2011 at 2:08 AM

                  CD, don’t forget the Phase.

            • Bill 2
              02/22/2011 at 1:40 AM

              Is that woman totally clueless? I can’t imagine how she would want to be “used” as a defense witness for Price. What will it take to get her to wake up? Maybe Price’s words to the cops about her should be flown from a banner airplane over the Mall.

              • CDinDC
                02/22/2011 at 12:52 PM

                I don’t remember the exact quote, but wasn’t there something about her being too heavy to come upstairs?

                • Nelly
                  02/23/2011 at 9:55 PM

                  Joe said something like that to the detectives when he was explaining that Sarah hardly or never went up to the 2nd or 3rd floor of the house. I am sure Sarah knows a LOT more than those few statements she uttered at trial.

                  • susan
                    02/24/2011 at 12:03 AM

                    I thought that to get to her apt. she came in the front door and went downstairs. I really hope this good woman shares what she knows and cooperates with the plaintiff. I hope the plaintiff takes advantage of the witness list they constructed to the fullest extent. This means pointedly asking Ms. Morgan about what sort of activities went on in the house, if she saw any of the third-party “players,” if she ever saw anyone restrained, if she ever heard any screams, in general, in connection with the torture room aka LD’s bedroom, if she was asked to leave that night, if she did so regularly, etc. This is it. I hope the plaintiffs totally go for it and mine the witnesses for the truth. It’s a time for anyone who knows anything to take this great opportunity to clear their consciences.

              • Cat from Cleveland
                02/22/2011 at 9:20 PM

                A person is not given the choice of whether to be a witness. Often, people do not know when they are listed as witnesses in civil cases. She previously gave sworn testimony in favor of the defense. The defense can now subpoena her to trial. She can testify consistently with her prior testimony or face a perjury charge.

                • susan
                  02/24/2011 at 8:45 PM

                  Hey Cat,

                  In the criminal trial S. Morgan was called as a witness for the prosecution, not the defense. Whether she was useful to either side is another question. We do know from her testimony that JP told her he wouldn’t be giving a key to his brother, M. Price, which he, in fact, did.

      • Nelly
        02/23/2011 at 10:01 PM

        They could offer information that contradicts what Sarah later said or is saying about Joe et al., or what Sarah told them about the events of that evening. For example, they could potentially testify that Sarah asked to go over to their home because Joe told her to get lost and not come back until the following evening. Unless they know for sure that Tom and John have no valuable information, the attorneys should depose them too.

        • Craig
          02/24/2011 at 9:51 AM

          Nelly – Very curious that TomJohn are not on the lists. Unless they fall under the catch-all language of witnesses previously ID’d as a potentials in the criminal proceedings…

        • DonnaH
          02/24/2011 at 5:30 PM

          But wouldn’t anything Tom and John testify about what Sarah said be hearsay?Would there be much point to admitting it as “not for truth”? Would observations of theirs on her emotional state be admissible?–I do hope Sarah is questioned more at length about her visits to them, what she knew about activities at Swann St., etc.

          • Craig
            02/24/2011 at 6:33 PM

            Are the hearsay rules the same for criminal and civil? What if TomJohn were to speak to Sarah’s past visits, the frequency and reasons for them?

            Then again, I wonder if these two mystery guys are just red herrings in this whole ordeal. And why the hell haven’t they ever dropped us a line?

            • Clio
              02/25/2011 at 9:25 AM

              Have you formally invited them for cocktails at your next cotillion, Craig? Are they Flyers fans who would love free tickets to a home game, or do they just want to watch TV all the time?

              • Craig
                02/25/2011 at 10:16 AM

                We still have no idea who that illusive couple is, but we’ll reiterate our standing invitation to them for root beers and discrete conversation. Unless of course, they’re Penguin fans (j/k!)

          • Bill 2
            02/24/2011 at 11:42 PM

            Tom or John could testify as to the dates of Sarah’s overnight visits if all those visits coincide with Victor’s overnight travels away from DC. It would indicate a pattern to her leaving Swann Street.

            • Bill Orange
              02/25/2011 at 11:08 PM

              I think that could be a particularly fruitful line of questioning. Victor’s behavior that day struck me as pretty bizarre. He came home early from a business trip, but he didn’t tell Joe he was doing so until after his flight landed and he was in the cab home. Then he got home to discover that Joe wasn’t there, so he tried to track him down at the gym. Then he burned the steaks. Then he stayed in his room instead of coming down to greet a houseguest.

              Maybe he was just totally fried from a business trip, but it really seems to me that Sarah called him up to say that it was going to be a play night, and he came home early to try to stop the party.

              • Kate
                02/26/2011 at 10:18 AM

                Interesting theory, Bill O. – and makes a great deal of sense. As I recall, Sarah was very close with Victor, having known him before the Joe Price days.

                Do I recall that correctly?

                • Clio
                  02/26/2011 at 9:31 PM

                  Yes. Breaking up with a man is hard yet bearable, Kate, but losing a close girfriend is unthinkable. That is why Sarah’s complete break from Swann seems artificial to me, her security concerns notwithstanding.

                  Now, are Sarah and Victor still talking to each other, regardless of legal advice not to do so? Who knows for sure!

              • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                02/26/2011 at 10:22 AM

                I see his behavior as angry. Pissed off. Well, not the burning steaks, but the rest. 🙂

              • DonnaH
                02/26/2011 at 11:40 AM

                a check of Victor’s phone records could show if there were any phone calls from or to Sarah while he was gone.

              • AnnaZed
                02/26/2011 at 12:04 PM

                I have thought practically since the moment that I gained knowledge of Victor’s precipitous return that something like the scenario that you describe took place.

                Like every detective in nearly every work of crime fiction that I have ever read, harkening all the way back to the work of Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, I want to declare my disbelief in coincidence.

                Surely there must be phone records from that day. Surely someone asked what Sarah and Victor spoke about if they did speak that day (which I would wager that they did). I say surely, but in truth I have no confidence that this line of inquiry was ever pursued. Harkening even further back to September of 2009 when Glenn Kirshner thought that collecting kudos for his collegiate glories on the gridiron more important than the evidentiary hearing and left AUSA Patrick Martin to carry his water (as it were) I have been a bit dubious that the US Attorney’s office was being as thorough as they could be.

                In any case, I thought that a simple account of a phone call from someone (Sarah being the obvious person) bringing Victor back from his trip would have been one of the first elements of the narrative to be put into the record regardless of later outcomes. When it was not forthcoming I began (and rightly so as it turned out) to despair. Even after all of this time and everything that we now know it is hard to conceive that nice people, people that one might under other circumstances like to have for friends (by this I mean Victor and Sarah only ~ not the other two really) would produce bare-faced lies in a criminal inquiry into the murder in their own home of a mutual friend, but I can’t interpret it any other way.

                Would it be possible for Sarah to get some sort of immunity from prosecution for perjury if she came clean under more thorough and invasive questioning in support of this civil matter? Someone mentioned recently the simple expedient of comparing the dates of Sarah’s sleep-over visits to Tom and John with Victor’s travel itinerary. One wonders, though unfortunately one doesn’t wonder for very long, if that simple expedient was pursued. Now after years that information may be more difficult to compile.

                • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                  02/26/2011 at 12:39 PM

                  Agree 100% AZ….I also wonder if Victor’s employers were questioned regarding Victor’s early return home.

                • Hoya Loya
                  02/27/2011 at 9:29 AM


                  The question for me is, assuming your speculations are correct, what is the connection between Victor’s early return and the murder? Did it simply create a toxic atmosphere? When he found out Robert was to be a guest, did he think nefarious dealings were planned? Did he think Robert was in on things and feel betrayed? What role did his early return play in precipitating Robert’s murder? Or was it indeed all just coincidence?

                  • christy love
                    02/27/2011 at 11:01 AM

                    i don’t believe in coincidences.

                    another way to look at victor’s return… maybe he and joe weren’t that close and it wasn’t unusual for him to come and go without calling. just throwing it out there.

                    i do think he was angry later in the evening though.

                  • christy love
                    02/27/2011 at 11:03 AM


                    maybe he knew a murder was planned.

                • Clio
                  02/27/2011 at 11:23 AM

                  Recall that Miss Morgan had allegedly had security concerns about the house and neighborhood. And, with her weight, she had mobility issues. And, with thirds coming (literally) unannounced to Swann, she as a lady must have been pissed. So, a girltalk call to Victor was/is not out of the question, but why didn’t then the two galpals confront Culuket and his Cat as an united front? Did she leave as early as she said she did?

                  In reference to her alleged mobility issues, Dyl reported in his Anacostia Dialogue, though, that she liked to take morning walks.

  16. David
    02/24/2011 at 11:37 AM

    I can’t help but wonder about the conflicted feelings Joe Price must be having today. Days after naming Eric Holder to his Defense witness list, the Attorney General comes out against the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a position that Joe Price would certainly applaud. Eric Holder’s pro-gay positions certainly put a dent in the idea that Swann Street housemates were targeted because they were gay.


    • Kate
      02/24/2011 at 11:57 AM

      Excellent point, David.

      But I also fear that Joe Price’s perpetual refusal to accept responsibility for any of his actions will lead to his continued assertions that he is a victim of the system.

    • Bea
      02/24/2011 at 2:40 PM

      Interesting, David. At first I thought that Joe never really cared about “rights” other than his own and the publicity and validation he received from being a public flag-bearer. But then I wondered if he really does have the capacity to think beyond himself, have a genuine desire to “do good” for others – and whether that duality just wreaks more havoc in the private Joe Price and the demon-fighting (or demon-submission) which follows.

      Don’t get me wrong – of course people who do many amazing public deeds have their own flaws and vices. But Joe is a puzzle. Sometimes I think the do-gooding was just part of his bag of tricks and sometimes I think it was at his core to overcome his failings and insecurities. But, then again, I’m floored by his willingness to be interviewed for the gay W&M alumni project right before things went to hell (and when he knew it was coming). He could have politely declined, or he could have provided a more ambiguous response, instead of pounding his chest over his ordinary family man values with Victor as his mate.

      As an aside, it still makes me smile to think that he says that Victor went to the University of Oklahoma (as contrast to some of the ‘life’ at W&M without slamming Victor directly); even in that, however, he had to pad the resume, since Victor went to the University of Tulsa, not the University of Oklahoma. Did he not know where his life partner went to college or did he just want to rachet up the college’s value (not that Oklahoma is great shakes, but at least they have a revered sports program if not academics – far more name recognition than the U of Tulsa).

      • AnnaZed
        02/24/2011 at 2:50 PM

        I would consider it more likely that Joe never gave a thought to there even being any difference between The University of Tulsa and The University of Oklahoma. These details having no direct relation to himself and being only details would thus hardly hold his interest.

      • Clio
        02/25/2011 at 9:19 AM

        I think that that whopper, among so many others, may show how much he knows and loves Vicki — alas, not much, unless it’s convenient, like right now. A marriage of convenience was supposed to go away with gay liberation, but we as human beings always replicate the hierarchies and oppressions that we are trying to unravel. Hence, Joe may be just a more intense and more dangerous paradox than most (inherently evil and inconsistent) human beings.

        • Bea
          02/27/2011 at 7:40 PM

          It struck me as possible that Joe would “remember” a (slightly) more name-recognition school than the University of Tulsa – and not for Victor’s sake but for Joe’s. At least OU has a reputation on the gridiron. To this day it blows my mind that he agreed to the interview knowing charges could break at any moment – and completely ignoring the polyamorous relationship and Dylan’s existence in describing his lovely family. He had compartmentalized himself in such a way that he really could perform like a monkey, albeit a self-serving monkey, without a thought. And all because he liked the idea of being a worthy alumni to be included. Hubris!

          • Clio
            02/27/2011 at 8:49 PM

            Yet, to be fair to Culuket, Dyl had moved on to Florida by the fall of 2008, and he was no longer living with “the family.”

            And, Joe had probably convinced himself that charges would never come and that his indiscretions with Mr. Ward would never become public. Yet, history was not about to let that happen!

            Joe’s “Horatio Alger” story of social mobility from East Texas trailer to DuPont Circle townhouse required its own gilded mythology == from red state oppressions to the sweet freedom of the deeply blue oasis that is the District. Culuket was going to deliver us all in Virginia to his promised land of respectability and connections. He needed to dress up his marriage with Victor, and he embellished the state of that union with a few rhetorical flourishes or flat-out lies.

            But, reality or history trumps myth everytime. That deliverance did not happen, and even Alger’s own story had a sick and criminal tinge to it!

            I wonder, though, if Joe still hangs out at the Crucible. If so, would he wear one of those Ypres gas masks from World War I?

      • Clio
        02/27/2011 at 12:11 PM

        Perhaps, the gay W&M alumni group, with the prodding of the revered Professor Greenia, can do a follow-up interview of Counselor Price for the archives; such an interview may show in what ways, if any, the recollections and postures of Culuket have changed since the first indictments. That would be fascinating for future scholars and contemporary attorneys alike!

  17. Clio
    03/01/2011 at 9:12 PM

    What “guests” on Dyl’s list above, if any, did not appear on those of Culuket and Ma’am? And, did the core couple have any reason for those omissions?

  18. susan
    08/15/2011 at 10:21 PM

    There’s so much still to dig into on this website, particularly this Price Prelim Witness List. I wonder how this works–for instance, he listed pretty much all of the FBI. Would the judge eventually knock off some of the listees as unreasonable? Also, I believe he lists “persons living at 1417 Swann St.” the night of Robert Wone’s murder. If that house was relevant that night, wouldn’t he or his attorneys have the residents names by now? Wouldn’t they have had their names back then? Was that house robbed that night? Did it have something disturbed? The plumber is on the list too. There are lots of people on the list. Some of them are definitely worth looking into.

    Re Michael Price–I have a hard time imagining him living in a city without a relative nearby as some sort of crutch or co-dependent. Maybe he is no longer in Silver Spring or DC. Wonder where he is.

    • susan
      08/16/2011 at 10:35 PM

      In one listing online I see Joseph Price & Michael Price, Miami Shores. Is he actually living with the trouple?!

      • AnnaZed
        08/17/2011 at 12:45 AM

        My, if so, that certainly would be interesting.

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