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A motion challenging the admissibility of witness testimonies regarding the behavior of Michael Price before and after the slaying of Washington attorney Robert Wone failed today.
Bernie Grimm, an attorney for Joe Price, one of three housemates on trial for covering-up the murder of Wone, submitted the motion this morning. Michael Price is Joe Price’s brother and is not on trial. Prosecutors have suggested that Michael Price may have killed Wone, prompting Joe Price and his two domestic partners, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward, to get rid of evidence and concoct a story in hopes of protecting him. Wone was staying the night at the three housemates’ Swann Street NW home on August 2, 2006. Sometime during the evening, he ended up dead with three stab wounds to the chest area. The housemates have stuck with the story that Wone was killed by an unknown intruder while he slept.
Prosecutors believe Michael Price could be the intruder for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that Price, who’s had problems with alcohol and drug abuse, had a key to the house. The prosecution would like to call several witnesses who they believe have incriminating things to say about Michael Price.
Grimm argued today that that the testimony being offered about Michael Price wasn’t relevant and would only serve to “pollute” the courtroom. Grimm suggested that negative things said about Michael Price would reflect badly on Joe Price. “It’s just simply inflammatory,” he said. But Judge Lynn Leibovitz said she would allow the testimonies, since the prosecution is offering them as a means of establishing the guilt of Joe Price on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges.
“I know the difference between Mr. Price and his brother,” the judge said. Interestingly enough, attorneys for Ward and Zaborsky didn’t join in on the motion. Instead, they encouraged the judge to admit the evidence and overrule Grimm’s objection.