D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer Curtis Lancaster knew he was investigating a possible burglary at 1509 Swann Street in Northwest Washington in the early morning hours of Aug. 3, 2006, and so he went around the entire house, examining entry points.
There was no damage on any of the doors or windows. No pry marks. No paint chips on the floor. “Nothing like that,” Lancaster testified today in the D.C. Superior Court, where three men are charged with crimes stemming from the murder of Washington attorney Robert Wone.
The defendants--former Arent Fox partner Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward--insist an intruder is responsible for the stabbing. Price, Ward and Zaborsky are charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy and evidence tampering. Prosecutors allege the men are lying to cover up the circumstances of the murder.
With Lancaster’s testimony, the prosecution is seeking to show there was nothing disturbed in the home, nothing out of place, nothing stolen. The intruder theory is bogus, according to prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner, the lead prosecutor, showed Lancaster a series of photos—blown up on poster board—of the interior of the Swann Street home, which Price and Zaborsky owned. Judge Lynn Leibovitz, presiding over this non-jury trial, took notes as Lancaster explained the layout of the house.
Earlier today, Sgt. Charles Patrick, the first supervisor to arrive at the crime scene, testified that Zaborsky was crying inside the house. Zaborsky’s lawyer, Thomas Connolly of Wiltshire & Grannis, asked Patrick a couple of questions to elicit this response: Zaborsky appeared to be grieving.
Connolly and fellow defense attorneys David Schertler of Schertler & Onorato and Bernard Grimm of Cozen O’Connor are trying to show their clients were genuinely upset by Wone’s death.
Patrick also testified he recalled seeing Price shoot glares at Zaborsky and Ward inside the house at one point. Schertler questioned why Patrick didn’t mention this information during his recent testimony at a suppression hearing. Patrick also said he recalled seeing another officer with a pad, possibly taking notes, at the crime scene. Grimm said that no notes from that officer have been provided to the defense.
Prosecutors this week are planning to play video recordings of the police interrogations of Price, Zaborsky and Ward.