Robert Wone Case: Two Possible Gaps in Police Work
The murder of Robert Wone is a tragic case. The circumstances of his murder are presented in the affidavit's now famous, grim narrative of drugging, stabbing, and sexual assault. Yesterday, a prominent lawyer called me to point out two holes in the law man's narrative involving the three—Victor Zaborsky, Dylan Ward, and Joe Price—now charged with obstruction of justice. The lawyer, who has zero involvement in this case, says these are holes any defense attorney would do well to exploit.
Defense attorneys have already started filing stuff in D.C. Superior Court. They may well turn their attention to these holes in the prosecutor's case if they haven't already.
Question No. 1
On pages five and six of the affidavit, Deputy Medical Examiner Lois Goslinoski notes that none of the knife wounds found on Wone would have rendered him "unconscious immediately." And that "unless otherwise incapacitated (e.g. by being injected with some type of incapacitating or paralytic drug), Mr. Wone would have reacted instinctively to protect himself and/or physically fed off his attacker." It goes on to state that no defensive wounds were found on Wone's hands or forearms. The affidavit notes three needle marks on his body.
Then there is this. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did not find any incapacitating drugs in Wone's system. Standard toxicology tests were performed but those tests only screen for a series of drugs like cocaine, methadone, carbon monoxide, meth, ethanol, and barbiturates, among others. "All of which were negative," the affidavit states.
Now here's the admission of a possible mistake the defense attorneys will exploit: "However, there are various incapacitating or paralytic drugs for which no tests were run as there was no early indication—in light of the statements that Price, Zaborsky and Ward gave to the police—that Mr. Wone may have been injected with any such drugs while at the Swann Street residence," the affidavit states.
Oops. Did the ME's Office keep a sample of Wone's blood to do further tests? Why wasn't a more extensive toxicology test performed since the needle marks were surely noted and the lack of defense wounds were probably easily picked up? Who messed this up—detectives or the ME's Office?
Question No. 2
After the crime scene was processed, the affidavit reports, that "a 'cadaver dog' trained to detect human blood and human remains was taken through the house." The dog alerted to possible blood in two locations—the lint trap from a dryer located outside Ward's bedroom, and an outside drain located "at the bottom of a set of stairs leading down to the rear entrance into the basement apartment."
So did police crime techs swab the lint trap and drain and see if Wone's blood was actually there? The affidavit doesn't say whether Wone's blood was found in those two places. If the police didn't check for Wone's DNA, why not?
*photo of Robert Wone by Model Minority.