Taxi Driver

A Depo Witness is in Florida.  A Defendant is in DC?

It appears that it’s not just the Defendants who want to keep mum during depositions in the Wone civil trial.  The DC Attorney General’s Office wants to hem in the testimony of a key witness, former MPD Detective Bryan Waid.  A month ago, the AG’s office filed a motion seeking to quash a broad defense discovery request of MPD records, notes and correspondence on the murder investigation. 

The argument to quash was to protect the integrity of this ongoing investigation and the larger issue of how the MPD manages cases in the future:  Protecting law enforcement’s privilege, which includes protecting the confidentiality of sources, law enforcement strategies and accumulated evidence, outweighs civil discovery interests.  The AG claimed it could have chilling effect on witnesses, and would have a negative impact by disclosing identities of people who have given information. 

The defense subsequently withdrew their request, perhaps realizing that the chances of getting that trove of documents was somewhere between slim and fat (and Slim just left town on a southbound for Miami Shores).

Now, with Detective Waid’s deposition originally scheduled for today, the AG wants to rein in exactly what the he can speak to and filed a motion.  MPD’s Motion to Quash for the Limited Purpose of Asserting the Law Enforcement Privilege During Former Detective Bryan Waid’s Deposition as to Subject Matter Not Previously Divulged by Detective Waid and Law Enforcement.

Using similar arguments with a minor variation, the AG wants tight limits on Waid’s questioning because: 

“Undersigned counsel is unaware of the expected topics that counsel intends to cover during the scheduled deposition.

However, to the extent that any participating attorney seeks to explore subject matter and elicit testimony about information not previously divulged during the related criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil matter, MPD exerts the law enforcement privilege over such topics and moves to quash any and all questions concerning topics covered by the law enforcement privilege.”

And an indication the AG’s office and defense counsel have been communicating about this:

“However, on April 1, 2010, undersigned counsel had an opportunity to speak to Attorney Buckwalter.

While Attorney Buckwalter was extremely cooperative, he was candid in admitting that there is a strong likelihood that he will explore topics that may not have been covered during the criminal case.  He also admitted that he will not voluntarily limit the scope of his deposition to subject matter previously explored during the criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil case.

As a result, to the extent that any participating attorney seeks to explore subject matter and elicit testimony about information not previously divulged during the related criminal investigation, criminal trial, and pendency of the instant civil matter, MPD exerts the law enforcement privilege over such topics because they are covered by the law enforcement privilege.”

We should know in the next week or so what becomes of this filing and the Waid depo. Maybe Judge Rankin has ruled on it, or just maybe, Judge Rankin is letting this motion ripen on his desk, along with a few others that await his action. The Legal Beagles can answer this question: 

Since Waid’s depo is out of the jurisdiction and was OK’d by a Motion of Issuance, who is in the Sunshine State at his side to insure that the questioning stays within bounds?  Does Cov ship an associate down on a southbound train to Florida as well to manage this?

“You talkin’ to lookin’ at me?”  While one or more of the defendants may be holed up in Florida, it appears that one may not be, at least as of last night. 

Fare Enough

If our vision is at all to be trusted, one of the Swann Street trio was seen hailing a cab at the corner of 14th & T Streets, NW around 7pm. 

It seemed that the housemate’s haircut looked every bit like that of defense counsel Robert Spagnoletti,  close-cropped, nearly shaved on the sides, a high and tight look.  

Anyway – we’re too far into this affair to be playing the gotcha game, so we didn’t think it appropriate to snap a pic, but we got one of the taxi as it sped away.  

And before he hopped into the white Crown Vic taxi, he gave his least favorite blogger the once over twice. One of us was spotted too.

We’ll just leave it at that.  Mr. X, you owe us one.

Ironically, not too long ago, some guerilla grafitti artist spray painted a stencil on the crosswalk paint of that intersection and a photo of it became this site’s masthead.  That ghostly image has long since faded away. 

MPD’s Motion to Quash for the Limited Purpose of Asserting the Law Enforcement Privilege During Former Detective Bryan Waid’s Deposition as to Subject Matter Not Previously Divulged by Detective Waid and Law Enforcement.

45 comments for “Taxi Driver

  1. Bill Orange
    04/08/2011 at 5:54 PM

    It’s hard for me to have any sympathy for the defense here. I can’t think of anything that they would want to ask Waid now that they couldn’t have asked him during the criminal trial. And it’s not like they didn’t know that the civil suit was coming. This was big miss on the part of the defense lawyers during the criminal trial, I think.

    • Bea
      04/08/2011 at 7:50 PM

      Bill O, because the trial constraints are different, and because there is nothing “in evidence” (yet, anyway) from the criminal trial, it makes sense that the defense has to depose all the players expected at trial. Of course to most of us it seems almost silly, but not for legal proceedings. Yes, they want to catch Waid in lies, but they too want to know exactly what he plans to say (is it possible he overlooked something or did the prosecution fail to ask him an important question?). What is very silly is the defense getting hold of non-discoverable materials in any ongoing investigation (which the defense back off of, for the time being).

      • Bill Orange
        04/09/2011 at 12:14 AM

        I understand that the defense has to depose him, but they’re clearly fishing for additional information that didn’t come up in the criminal trial. My point is simply that they should have done their fishing during the criminal trial. Very poor planning on their part.

        • Clio
          04/10/2011 at 12:48 PM

          What possibly could be info “not previously divulged” by Detective Waid? Is he another latter-day George Templeton Strong, providing private day-to-day analyses of contemporary issues a la Louis Hinton? I doubt it.

          Accordingly, why is Spag doing this timewaster if only for the billable hours? Is Needham such a cash cow?

          • Bill Orange
            04/11/2011 at 12:05 PM

            I think that they’re trying to find out exactly what the police told Kathy Wone, and when they told her. They would want this information for their statute of limitations argument, which they’re obviously going to use on appeal, in the event that they lose the civil suit.

            Still, I have no sympathy here. Even if they knew their clients were guilty as hell, the defense should have been looking at other possible suspects for Robert Wone’s murder, and the vicitm’s spouse is a fairly obvious one. They really should have gotten every shred of information possible about her during the criminal investigation.

  2. Bea
    04/08/2011 at 7:53 PM

    Since Victor is in DC, I do wonder if Joe is as well. Any idea on that Eds or others? I would so love a break-up between those two. Joe is likely too smart to break up with Victor, and we know that Victor will put up with any and all bad behavior from Joe, but I do wonder how Victor’s old friends handle this. There must be some who never liked Joe or how he treated Victor – has Joe cordoned them off? And what of Thanksgiving meals at the Zaborsky family home? Isn’t there at least one loud-mouthed drunk uncle willing to speak the truth and ask the hard questions?

    • Bea
      04/08/2011 at 8:26 PM

      “The most dangerous social predators are, unfortunately, also the most common and the best camouflaged. Charismatic psychopaths rely upon their natural trademarks–glibness, magnetism and charm–to lure others into their lives. Romantic relationships with such individuals tend to have one thing in common: they initially appear to be absolutely perfect, the very picture of happiness and the envy of all your friends. Charismatic psychopaths give their partners flowers and say all the right things to win their trust and love. They engage in ostentatious public displays of affection that leave other women drooling, wishing they too could have such romantic partners. But we must remember the age-old adage: what seems too good to be true usually is. If predators weren’t especially alluring and didn’t behave exceptionally well at first, they wouldn’t trap so many victims into their dangerous nets. They also wouldn’t be able hold on to the partners they inevitably come to mistreat. Few women are so masochistic as to be enticed into a relationship by overt and immediate signs of abuse. Yet many remain trapped in abusive relationships with psychopaths because of the lure of the initial honeymoon period and the vain hope that they can somehow recapture it.”

      • CDinDC (boycott BP)
        04/08/2011 at 9:02 PM

        interesting site, Bea.

        i think a commonality amongst charismatic psychopaths is reeling in a love interest in the early stages of dating when the passion is intense. They use that high level of romance and interest to “lock in” their conquest, often marrying them or moving in with them to maintain control over them.

        I have to wonder if Joe and Dylan’s relationship was fast and furious in the beginning. And after Dylan’s interest began to wane, did Joe feel he needed to go to extreme lengths to maintain that hold.

        • Clio
          04/08/2011 at 9:50 PM

          How then was Mr. Hixson drawn into this treacherous web of f-buddies? How exactly did Scott meet Joe or Dyl? Was it suddenly that summer?

          • susan
            04/08/2011 at 10:08 PM

            Hi Clio:

            The following is from WMRW Day 14: Updates (reported during the trial):

            “Hixson met Price through mutual friend Jefferson Wilson before the trouple moved to Swann. They became good friends, living close and sharing friends, with Hixson, Price, Zaborsky and several other friends even vacationting in Puerto Rico together.”

            • CDinDC (boycott BP)
              04/08/2011 at 10:15 PM

              “sharing friends”……..I’ll say.

            • Clio
              04/09/2011 at 7:45 PM

              I heart Old San Juan, too! Thanks, Susan. It is my recollection now that Mr. Wilson owned the Axis beauty shop: I wonder if he was/is Culuket’s barber.

              So, Mr. Price prefers to know his partners before he beds them — an admirable and unexpected trait. I wonder, though, if respondees to his alt dot bomb ad were treated to at least a first date at a local coffee shop before “doing the deed.”

              • susan
                04/10/2011 at 2:01 PM

                He cuts hair there too. And they seem to do a bustling business. They have clever storefront windows, too.

                • Clio
                  04/10/2011 at 6:59 PM

                  Well then, that settles it: my next mani-pedi while in DC will be done there. As in the iconic film The Women, my choice of polish will be, of course, Jungle Red.

          • CDinDC (boycott BP)
            04/08/2011 at 10:10 PM

            Winks from across the street.

            Oh, that’s right….Mr. Hixson couldn’t see that far.

            • Bill 2
              04/08/2011 at 10:26 PM

              I really don’t believe his first view of the men in that house was from across the street on Aug. 2nd. I think his first view of one or more of them was when he was standing right at the front door of 1509.

              • CDinDC (boycott BP)
                04/09/2011 at 11:11 AM

                If Hixson had said “yes, I could see Joe on the front porch” I’d not be suspect of his testimony. But since he said he couldn’t see who it was I’m thinking along the same lines Bill2.

                I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again….I’ve lived on a street just like Swann (in DC) and you could see well beyond the front steps.

                • susan
                  04/09/2011 at 8:47 PM

                  I wonder about Hixson’s testimony re the time–that he went to bed sometime btw 11 and midnight, and heard the commotion across the street sometime then, etc. Wonder if he has greater clarity re the time. Also wonder about his friend (Dee Dee?) who posted that they were all just casual friends. Seems a lot more than that since there were trips, friendships before moving to the same ‘hood, shared beds, the call to the police station to pick the guys up, etc. We should all have such acomodating “casual” friends.

                  • Clio
                    04/09/2011 at 9:18 PM

                    Yes, although I have a hard time seeing Mr. Hixson in full gear at CODE: how could one find a hockey goaltender’s mask that small?

                    BTW, dear Mr. Pring may be more than just a salonierre of (relatively)safe sleaze:
                    according to his organization’s Facebook page, he himself apparently served as a “pin cushion” at last month’s CODE parley — receiving both temporary piercings and a hot wax treatment in a posted Youtube clip. If this is a moderate or mainstream
                    BDSMer, then, pray tell, who are the extremists?

              • Clio
                04/10/2011 at 10:01 PM

                Yes, true, Bill 2, and even the alleged “intruder” did not use the servants’ entrance.

            • Clio
              04/09/2011 at 11:57 PM

              What was Scott wearing when he spied a male figure in a one-piece from across the street? Pajamas and a night cap, perhaps? Or, a flowing gown of pure gossamer?

              And, on that stoop, did Culuket see Scott see him a la Craig seeing a defendant seeing Craig? Hmmmm.

        • AnnaZed
          04/09/2011 at 1:14 PM

          “…And after Dylan’s interest began to wane, did Joe feel he needed to go to extreme lengths to maintain that hold.”

          CD, you don’t have to wonder that; you know that. The evidence at trial showed exactly that.

          • CDinDC (boycott BP)
            04/09/2011 at 5:29 PM

            true dat.

    • Bill 2
      04/08/2011 at 9:43 PM

      We’re on the same page about the Zaborsky family. Prior to last summer’s trial, they could have still believed that V.Z. and Price and Ward were part of a loving (though unusual) relationship, and that there was innocence all around. At the trial, Price’s messages to Ward clearly showed that Zaborsky wasn’t kept in that household for much more than watering the plants. They didn’t even care if he could watch his favorite TV shows. When he was away, the fun and games began. The trial also showed Price’s sexual relationship with a neighbor and Price’s ads for sexual partners. It boggles the mind that V.Z. didn’t kick him out of Aunt Marsha’s when that information came out. What kind of a schlub puts up with that behavior? Doesn’t he know he has actually been kicked to the curb no matter what written contract binds them? He’s only there to help with the stories they’ll spin at the next trial. How can the Zaborsky family not be speaking out and getting him some professional help to give him a reality check?

      The trial also should have slapped the Zaborsky family across the face with the fact that at least one of the trio was, at the very least, deeply involved in the murder coverup.

      If the Zaborsky family doesn’t have that loud-mouthed drunk uncle (or aunt or cousin) willing to speak the truth and ask the hard questions, they need to hire one.

      • Clio
        04/08/2011 at 9:53 PM

        Well, if there is no family member to speak out, then perhaps a fellow lobbyist for the dairy industry may talk some sense into the long-suffering Stepford wife.

      • Bill Orange
        04/09/2011 at 12:16 AM

        Again, I have no sympathy for Victor. And if his parents are still paying any of his legal bills, then I really don’t have any sympathy for them, either.

        • Clio
          04/10/2011 at 12:27 AM

          Yes, Bill O, but when does an oppressed person such as Victor become an oppressor? When does a victim of Culuket’s alleged tyranny become a victimizer?

          Per Charles Dickens in his Tale of Two Cities: “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.”

          • susan
            04/10/2011 at 11:11 PM

            That is a great quote, Clio. Thanks. Must read that again.

            Then again, Dickens was married and it’s strongly speculated he had an affair with his wife’s sister and sort of turned sister against sister. Then he dumped the sister for a 19-year old actress. That all said, as far as I know they didn’t all live together as a “family.”

            • Clio
              04/11/2011 at 10:13 PM

              Men: can’t live with them and can’t live without them — let’s then all watch prime-time TV five blocks away with yet more men!

  3. Clio
    04/08/2011 at 9:47 PM

    Crown Vics are so last century, but, I wonder, if our favorite passenger was giving the driver the same spiel that he gave the detective on the ride to Anacostia that horrible evening.

    • Clio
      04/09/2011 at 8:15 PM

      I am heartened by the gentlemanly discretion shown by the Editors toward one of the defendants, and, if the sighting was less than friendly, then at least, no one challenged anyone to a duel at that corner … yet.

      The last lavender victim of such a contest of masculine honor must have been American naval hero Stephen Decatur of “my country, right or wrong.” Of course, who can forget that pansexual slut, Alexander Hamilton!!

      • Noaharc
        04/11/2011 at 12:25 AM

        masculine honor/ gentlemanley discretion–does that really exist. This casae is full of male disappointments

        • Clio
          04/11/2011 at 10:17 PM

          So true! We all need to embrace our sapphic sensibilities after this mess.

  4. Noaharc
    04/08/2011 at 10:47 PM

    oh was Miss Celie from THE COLOR PURPLE in DC pondering on why she let her husband’s mistress (Shug Avery) in the house–LOL-pure sarcas but maybe someone knows there is a 1 stop FED express train rolling thru Union Station with 1 ticket– get on or pursue at your own peril per Star Jones ex state prosecutor. Looking at crime shows where the actual murderer got a better deal than the planer.

  5. susan
    04/10/2011 at 12:07 AM

    General question: That day D. Ward went back to the house and noticed things missing, and went and got S. Hixson. It was said he suspected Michael Price was the robber. Why didn’t he suspect an “intruder”? At that point it wasn’t known that MP took LH’s car, was it? And didn’t they use the latter to track him down and then discovered the stolen goods? So why not “intruder” at that point?

    • susan
      04/10/2011 at 12:10 AM

      Follow up question: Why was he afraid to go in the house when he suspected the brother of his “family” robbed the place but sat in the “open” living room in the house when he himself said he was “worried” a murderer was still in his home?

      • Clio
        04/10/2011 at 12:35 AM

        Well, by October 2006, perhaps, one explanation could be: Dyl had sobered up, had sworn off designer drugs, and thus could see things more clearly.

  6. Noaharc
    04/10/2011 at 9:20 PM

    concerning the prior article about everyone mourns differently–
    when Lindsey Lohan showed up in Marsha Revels court, her attorney Shawn Chapman Holley tried to create a sympathetic atmospher by informing the judge that her client had had a recent death in her family. Judge Revel in a straight poker face said’did she go to the funeral’. Holley taken aback imho said no but if she had been really quick on her feet should have retorted back with a straight face” No YOUR Honor BUT everyone mourns differently”–then again given the vibe from the judge and court room from the tv set, I don’t think it would have mattered. The judge later recused herself.

    • Clio
      04/10/2011 at 10:18 PM

      The politically correct bromide — “everyone mourns differently” — does beg the following questions:

      Does one publicly berate a policewoman in the parking lot of a funeral? Does one bring one’s entourage to the funeral, whether its members were close to the deceased or not? Does one agree to serve as pallbearer after the suspicions raised by the Anacostia dialogues? Does one distance oneself (like Vic and Dyl) from the deceased to official questioners as soon as one can? Does one go on vacation to allow a “burglary” to happen two months after a murder in one’s home? Does one deny less than salubrious facts in front of one — preferring, like Lisa G., the live friend over the dead one? Hmmm.

      BTW, did Sarah ever mourn the loss of Robert, or, rather, did she mourn the loss of her spinster pad plus gal pal Victor?

  7. Cara
    04/10/2011 at 11:24 PM

    Do be safe, kind Editors.

    (And maybe Banksy will do the next logo…)

  8. Bill 2
    04/11/2011 at 11:41 AM

    The sighting at 14th & T Streets NW, sounds as if it could have been the perfect moment to become a reincarnation of Maxwell Smart by jumping into the nearest vehicle and shouting, “Follow that cab!” An occasion like this doesn’t present itself very often.

    • Craig
      04/11/2011 at 3:11 PM

      B2: “Follow that cab!” You took the cliche right out of my mouth. But maybe it’s best that everyone has space while on the public thoroughfares.

      Also: A new doc hits the clerks office and to no one’s surprise, the defense is opposing the Plaintiff’s motion to compel. May have it up Tuesday, but probably Wednesday. Thanks to all for keeping the conversation going during these lean times. Love to all.

  9. susan
    04/11/2011 at 9:25 PM

    Judges verdicts based on breaks–

    I heard an abbreviated version of this report on NPR. It seems the theory or findings are being reported as universal, thought the study was done in Israel. Interesting. And makes sense. And shows yet another instance of how legal systems, even in the U.S. can be fallible and a verdict can hinge on a snack:

    • Clio
      04/11/2011 at 10:19 PM

      Lynn, how could you!

      • susan
        04/11/2011 at 10:38 PM

        Had she only recessed for some tea and scones before inking those final words….

        Hopefully Judge Rankin makes sure he is properly watered and fed while he serves on the bench.

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