The Robert Wone Trial: The Ninja Assassin Intruder Defense

When Rachel Carlson Lieber, a prosecutor in the Robert Wone murder case, summed up the defense as blaming the horrific murder of Mr. Wone on a "ninja assassin intruder" she crystalized and ridiculed their argument at the same time.

The defense argument that someone scaled an 8 foot backyard fence, stepped on a plastic sandbox cover when a taller table and garbage can were right next to the sandbox, walked in a back door that had been left ajar, came upstairs and stole a knife out of a knife set, walked into another bedroom and killed Mr. Wone, and then left without anyone noticing or leaving any evidence of having been there does call into mind the special qualities of a ninja. One quality would be not leaving a trace, which is what the defense would have you believe happened on the night of the murder. Another would be finding the weapon immediately in one bedroom in a strange house and going to another bedroom to find the victim. A third would be scaling an 8 foot fence twice. The smashed sandbox cover must have been a mistake. Ah, well. No ninja is perfect.

Rachel Carlson Lieber called the defense out on all its assumptions and painted a picture for the judge, and onlookers, of what all of the arguments would look like strung together in the way the defense claimed. Yes, the murderer would have to be a ninja assassin to be able to successfully do all that. Her characterization of a "ninja assassin intruder" is perfect. Her delivery was clear and concise. She pointed out the obvious that can get lost in reams of paper and hours of testimony: the defendants know who killed Robert Wone. They won't say who it is. Justice is being denied because of this. They are protecting somebody. That's a conspiracy. That's obstruction of justice.

That girl has a serious future ahead of her in litigation.

It's too early to tell if the defense tactics worked. We can only know that after Judge Leibovitz renders her decision next Tuesday at 11 a.m.

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