City Desk

Crime Scene Tech: No Sign of Break-In After Robert Wone Murder

A police evidence technician testified on Monday about finding no phyiscal evidence to suggest a break-in at the home on Swann Street NW where attorney Robert Wone was found dead in August 2006.

Three housemates, Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward, stand accused of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence, in connection to Wone's killing. The defendants allege that an unknown intruder crept into the house and killed their friend Wone.

Officer Curtis E. Lancaster, the lead evidence technician on the scene, says he found no sign of any intruder that night.

During certain portions of his testimony, Lancaster, a tall, bespectacled officer with silver hair, long sideburns, and a booming voice, displayed various pieces of the prosecution's evidence in case, including a barely blood-spotted towel the defendant Price supposedly used to staunch Wone's bleeding wounds. Lancaster also described the process by which he gathered and stored evidence, sometimes in gory detail: "The blood was damp to nearly dry when I recovered the sheet," he said of handling the fitted bed sheet upon which Wone's body was found.

On cross-examination, defense attorney David Schertler wanted to know why investigators had so thoroughly examined the house for evidence without examining the exterior, where an intruder might have left some tell-tale clue. Schertler specifically asked the crime scene tech whether the back gate had been checked for prints. Lancaster said it had not.Earlier in the day, police Sgt. Charles Patrick also testified. Patrick  said that the night he and other police arrived at 1509 Swann Street NW to investigate the reported stabbing, he noticed the three suspects whispering to each other. He also noticed that Price–who's been portrayed by the prosecution as the dominant personality in the household–"shot glares" at the other two suspects when they tried to speak to police.

On cross-examination, Schertler pointed out that Patrick earlier testified that he wasn't immediately suspicious of the trio, all friends of Wone's: "Nothing happened that night to cause you to be suspicious, correct?"

Patrick confirmed that he initially regarded the trio as victims. But, several days later, thinking back to the shifty behavior, Patrick decided he was indeed suspicious, he said, and took his concerns to homicide detectives.

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