Prosecutors this afternoon released search warrants and supporting affidavits in the Robert Wone murder investigation, revealing the interest that investigators had in electronic communication, cleaning materials, and erotic toys. Click here for a copy of the warrants.
D.C. police got a warrant to search a black BMW 325 at the Swann Street home where Wone died, hoping to find cleaning materials used to wipe down the crime scene, according to court records. Investigators said they were also looking for trace blood evidence in the car. The warrant on the car was executed Aug. 14, 2006—more than a week after the murder—and nothing was recovered.
Police took a BlackBerry phone, found in the bedroom where Wone’s body was located, to examine the call log and address book.
Another warrant, executed a week after the murder, detailed the relationship among lawyer Joseph Price and his domestic partner Victor Zaborsky, who owned the Swan Street house, and their roommate Dylan Ward. Police seized sex toys and erotica from a bedroom in the house.
Authorities also said they wanted to read e-mails between Price and Wone in the days before the homicide. Police seized two laptops, a desktop computer, and a flash drive from the Swann Street home. Price, Zaborsky, and Ward are charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and evidence tampering.
Investigators reported finding “a large number of male pornographic photos” featuring sadomasochistic behavior on Price’s office computer at Arent Fox, where Price has been a partner since 2006.
Louis Hinton, the domestic partner of Price’s brother Michael, has filed a pro se motion for the return of computers that police seized in September 2007 from Hinton’s apartment in Silver Spring, Md. Police were searching for a diary in which Hinton said he’d recorded events surrounding Wone’s death. Hinton told police that Michael Price was with him in bed at the time of the Wone murder. But Hinton refused to give the diary to police, according to court records.
Defense lawyers David Schertler and Bernie Grimm said in interviews today that their clients are eager to defend themselves at trial. The lawyers, including Thomas Connolly, who represents Zaborsky, say the police have cobbled together an inconsistent story based on an assumption that one of the men must have been involved in the murder.
“The superseding indictment doesn’t have anything new we haven’t already heard or has not been charged before,” says Ward's lawyer, Schertler of Schertler & Onorato. Price, Zaborsky, and Ward pleaded not guilty at arraignment today in D.C. Superior Court.