Trial looks at knife allegedly used in Wone death

Robert Wone was found dead in a Northwest D.C. townhouse in August 2006. The three defendants who were charged with conspiring to cover up his death were found not guilty on June 29, 2010. No one has been arrested in his slaying.
By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How did Joseph Price find the knife that he and his two co-defendants say was used to stab Robert Wone to death in 2006?

The knife was protruding from Wone's chest, and Price had to pull it out, according to testimony Monday at Price's trial. Testimony resumed Monday after a week's hiatus.

Scott Hixson, a neighbor and friend of Price's, testified that Price told him about the fatal stabbing just moments after Price was questioned by detectives. Hixson picked up his friend at the D.C. police violent crimes branch just hours after Wone's body was found inside Price's home in Northwest Washington.

Monday was the 14th day of the trial. Price and his two lovers and housemates -- Dylan Ward, 40, and Victor Zaborsky, 44 -- are charged with covering up for Wone's killer. Prosecutors have charged the men with tampering with evidence, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. They face a maximum of 38 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors said they hope to close their case by Wednesday.

Although it isn't a murder trial, it has been just as complicated, with thousands of exhibits, including 4,000 documents and 250 photographs. Some participants said they expect the trial to last into July.

Prosecutors said they hope Monday's testimony about the knife would expose additional contradictions in the men's accounts of what happened the night Wone was killed.

During his questioning by detectives, Price said he saw the knife lying on Wone's stomach and simply removed it.

In testimony Monday, Detective Gail Russell-Brown said Zaborsky told her that the knife was lying on Wone's stomach and that Wone's hands were over his chest.

Prosecutors have argued that the knife found at the scene was planted by one of the three men or someone the men knew and that the actual knife used to kill Wone is missing.

The complex and often sensational details of the sex life of Ward, Price and Zaborsky also surfaced again Monday.

Hixson, 44, said that although he knew that the three men were in a three-way, committed relationship, Hixson had separate sexual encounters with Price and Ward, before and after Wone was killed. Under cross-examination by Price's attorney Bernie Grimm, Hixson talked about how Price, Ward and Zaborsky had a sexual encounter with another man, a friend of Hixson's. Hixson described the relationship between Price, Ward and Zaborsky as "very progressive."

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