We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
During a cross-examination Monday, in which he, at times, seemed to quarrel with prosecutors, Dr. Henry Lee—the aforementioned “forensic scientist to the stars“—made some interesting assertions. One was that it’s easier to investigate a staged crime scene than an untampered one. Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner seemed incredulous at Lee’s suggestion, but the witness persisted: “I would not say it’s more difficult. In fact, many staged scene…so easy.”
But things got most interesting when, during a redirect by defense attorney David Schertler, the theory of murder victim Robert Wone sleeping through his stabbing came up. The defense has contended that one of the reasons there’s no evidence Wone moved or tried to defend himself during his fatal 2006 stabbing is that he may have been asleep during the attack. Prosecutors, on the other hand, have suggested that the defendants or someone close to them drugged Wone.
Lee backed up the sleep theory, but also brought up another possibility: “A martial art expert can hold a joint and the victim cannot move,” he said. Lee also mentioned that an “assassin” might also be able to do it.
Defendants Joseph Price, Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky are charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in connection to the death of their friend Wone, who was staying the night in their guest room when he was killed. Price also faces charges of evidence tampering. The men maintain a unknown intruder broke into their home at 1509 Swann Street NW and stabbed their friend on Aug. 2, 2006. They face 30-plus years in prison.
At another point in Monday’s testimony, the prosecutor sought to show how a certain blood smear could have been placed on a knife that prosecutors believe was planted at the scene in an effort to confuse investigators. The lawyer attempted to demonstrate that it made sense for a person attempting to wipe blood on a knife to place the flat edge of the instrument against the towel instead of the sharp edge. That way they’d be in less danger of cutting the hand with the towel in it. Lee somewhat unbelievably disagreed, and subsequently mimed how the knife could fly up and cut Kirschner in the forehead.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery