January 20, 2010 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Judge refuses to dismiss charges in Wone case

A D.C. Superior Court judge has denied a motion to dismiss conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges against three gay men implicated in the 2006 stabbing death of Washington attorney Robert Wone.

Judge Lynn Leibovitz, who took over the case from Judge Frederick Weisberg earlier this month, called the defense motion to dismiss the two charges “meritless” in her Jan. 15 decision.

Defendants Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward did not seek dismissal of the third charge against them: evidence tampering. But attorneys for the men have said their clients are innocent of all charges. They have said since the men were indicted nearly two years ago that an unidentified intruder killed Wone after entering their house while they were asleep. Authorities have yet to charge anyone with the murder itself.

Members of Wone’s family, including his wife, have said Wone was spending the night at the Dupont Circle home of the three men after working late at his downtown office. The family members have said that Wone, who was straight, was friends with the three men.

Police and prosecutors have released a detailed affidavit alleging that the three men tampered extensively with the crime scene and conspired to mislead police and obstruct the police investigation into the murder. The affidavit says crime scene evidence shows that Wone was sexually assaulted after being immobilized with a paralytic drug before being stabbed three times in a guest bedroom in the men’s home on Swann Street, N.W.

Leibovitz set a March 12 status hearing for the case. A trial is scheduled to begin May 10.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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