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Lead Detective Bryan Waid yesterday rattled off a long list of steps taken to rule out the possibility that Robert Wone‘s mysterious 2006 murder might have been a burglary gone awry.
Waid enlisted the help of cops on the burglary beat and also asked narcotics officers to see if their sources knew anything. “I checked everybody, everybody I could think of,” Waid said.
Waid further testified that he had compared fingerprints of possible burglary suspects to those found on the nightstand in the guestroom, but there were no matches.
Defendants Joe Price, Dylan Ward, and Victor Zaborsky insist that the murder was committed by an unknown intruder. The three former residents of 1509 Swann Street NW stand accused of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence in connection with Wone’s killing.
When cross-examined by Ward’s lawyer, David Shertler, however, the limited extent of the Waid’s fingerprint analysis came out. Besides Price, Ward and Zaborsky, Waid only ordered five fingerprint comparisons.
Furthermore, Shertler’s cross-examination revealed that of the five people whose fingerprints were compared to those found in the guestroom, one was Joe Price’s brother, possible suspect Michael Price, and another was Michael’s partner, Louis Hinton. Waid was not asked and did not specify who the remaining three sets of analyzed prints belonged to.
Pushing the fingerprint examination was just one of the many ways in which the defense teams tried to raise questions about the thoroughness of the investigation during yesterday’s testimony.
In addition to using video evidence to undermine Waid’s claims about the difficulty of scaling the back fence, the defense also focused on investigative shortcomings, such as not retrieving the data from Wone’s BlackBerry (Waid asked the Secret Service to scan it, but they never did) and not interviewing contractors who Price said had keys to the house.
Staff photo by Alex Burchfield and Kim Chi Ha