“I didn’t give a shit what I touched,” Joe Price told investigators as he tried to explain his state of mind upon discovering the bloodied body of longtime friend Robert Wone in a guest bedroom of his Dupont Circle home one August night back in 2006.
Price admitted to touching Wone’s t-shirt and also a knife that appeared to be the murder weapon. But he denied moving the body at all beyond grabbing Wone’s arm to check for a pulse. The touchy admissions came during a videotaped police interrogation the morning after Wone’s murder.
Prosecutors aired the video Thursday as they continue to make their case against Price and housemates Dylan Ward and Victor Zaborsky, who stand accused of conspiracy, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice in connection to Wone’s killing. (Murder charges have never been filed in the case.)
The defendants have long maintained that an unknown intruder broke into their house at 1509 Swann Street NW and stabbed their friend to death. On the video, Price was adamant about making that point. “I don’t have any doubts that the guy left something,” he said. Price also voiced criticism about the police’s handling of the investigation. “I’ve seen FBI agents interrogating terrorists who were more professional,” he said.
Price further emphasized his belief in his housemates’ innocence. “I don’t have one itty bitty doubt,” he said. “They couldn’t spank a child.”
An interrogating detective estimated that “it would be almost impossible” for an intruder to scale a fence enclosing the home’s backyard, as the suspects had suggested. Price, however, pointed to a car parked nearby, which he theorized that the perpetrator could have used to boost himself over the tall enclosure.
Staff photo by Alex Burchfield and Kim Chi Ha