Wone Reckoning

Restraints, sex toys, blocked from trial

by Yusef Najafi
Published on May 6, 2010, 12:01am | Comments

The Robert Wone trial officially started inside a D.C. Superior Court room on Monday, May 10. The traditional trappings of a trial's beginning, opening statements and a seated jury, are expected May 17.

On Wednesday, May 5, D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz held the final status hearing leading up to the trial. The purpose of that hearing was to determine finally what evidence would be allowed -- or prohibited -- during the trial.

Robert Wone, 32, was found dead from stab wounds on Aug. 2, 2006, inside the Swann Street home of his college friend Joe Price. Price, a prominent local gay attorney, shared the Dupont-area townhouse with his partner, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward. All three men claim an intruder killed Wone. They are on trial for obstruction of justice charges for allegedly tampering with the crime scene.

On May 5, Leibovitz ruled, based on evidence presented by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, that Wone's incapacitation had to be a result of ''more than mere restraint,'' and therefore the prosecution would be forbidden from using as evidence restraint devices and sex toys found in the Swann Street residence.

Leibovitz said to include such evidence would be an ''invitation to wild speculation'' and that ''the prejudicial inflammatory impact [against the defendants] is high.''

Notably, no one has been charged with killing Wone.