Speaking in soft voices Wednesday, Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward formally waived their right to testify. “The decision to testify is your decision and not your lawyers,” Judge Lynn Leibovitz told the defendants, who stand accused of conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection to the 2006 murder of D.C. attorney Robert Wone. (Price also faces charges of tampering with evidence.)

The judge also apprised the defendants that the right to testify “is you right to give up.” Questioned by the judge, the defendants confirmed over and over that they wanted to give up their right to testify. Price, Zaborsky, and Ward, could barely be heard as they let loose answers “Yes, your honor” and “That’s correct your honor.”

The striking moment brings us ever closer to the final day of the hugely hyped trial. The defense will rest soon, and though the prosecution has a short rebuttal case to get through today, closing arguments should start tomorrow morning. That means the defendants, accused of covering up the murder of Wone—who was stabbed to death in their guest room—are edging ever closer to the moment when they will either head off to prison or be exonerated.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery