Today’s hearing in the Casey Anthony case was fascinating.
Casey Anthony looked more than a little somber today. Her hair has gotten long and it was pulled back in a neat pony-tail.
The trial date is still set to begin May 9, 2011.
How to compare the courtroom of Judge Perry and Judge Strickland? To me, it was akin to the different air of War and Peace and The Great Gatsby. Masterpieces both, though starkly different atmosphere and tone.
The tone today? Solemn and heavy-heeled versus the lilting, impetuous, ragtime with Judge Stickland.
The pall and pause over the court was not quite timorous, but felt apprehensive during a discussion of the penalty phase of the case. Today, the reality seemed to sink in – yes; this case is moving forward.
Judge Perry asked the parties to guesstimate about how long their case-in-chief would be. The State replied: 3 to 4 weeks. The Defense: 3 weeks. And then, the Judge asked, if there is a finding of First Degree Murder, and “if there is” a penalty phase, how long would it last? The state said: 1 day. The Defense: 1 week. The pause after this discussion was palpable in the air.
Another topic of interest, the number of witnesses each side will call. The State has a list of 250 persons, 90 of which the state asserted that the Defense will want to depose. Will the defense only depose 90 versus all 250? That remains to be seen.
Also discussed was the need for sequestering the jury, once they were seated.
Jose Baez made if clear the defense is opposed to a sequestered jury, and mentioned that the type of juror they want would not take kindly to being sequestered.
Perhaps the defense has in mind a younger juror who would be loath to be without their computers, IPhones, TV and radio for nearly two months?
The plugged-in Generation Y-er’s are truly Casey’s peers. They are the impetuous and impulsive “I want it now” generation who grew up with technology.
Are they less law-abiding? No. Will they be less lenient? Doubtful. Gen Y’s have souls and spirit and sense and are just as unforgiving of murder as the rest of us.
Gen Y’s are smart, but they have a need to be connected and will hate to be disconnected from the Internet. This is pure speculation on my part, but it appears this just may be the model juror for the defense, however, it would be difficult for most in this group to handle being sequestered. If this is the model juror for the defense, how will they deal with this? Time will tell.
George and Cindy Anthony were present with their attorney, Brad Conway. If Casey acknowledged her parents today, it was beyond the view of the courtroom camera.
Cindy Anthony (who was not chewing gum) could be seen kissing the air and mouthing “I love you” to Casey.
The cameras did not reveal if the words were said to the back of Casey’s pony-tail, or if she briefly glimpsed back at her parents to catch the blown kiss. Perhaps she caught it as she was being escorted out?
Sad. So pitifully sad.
I am home today with a miserable cold….my head is not in the mood to write, but I did want to remind us all about tomorrow’s hearing in the Anthony case.
I will miss seeing it live as I have to work tomorrow. Needless to say, I will anxiously await any online updates. It will be very interesting, to say the least!
As far as other news, well, it’s been slow. The fact that Todd Macaluso is requesting to be off the Anthony case is no surprise as he’s in serious trouble with the California bar. Macaluso has been facing disbarment; WFTV is reporting that he has been disbarred already.
Regardless, he is not in good stead in California, and has not been in a long while. But heck, he’s welcome in Florida!
I would imagine that the defense rues the day when Macaluso, blindly, stood up and made that blanket statement (in open court) about Casey Anthony’s innocence.
Remember? He stated that Casey is innocent and they can PROVE it? They claim someone put little Caylee’s body in the woods while Casey was incarcerated.
The prosecution has been asking for months now for proof to back that statement up and have gotten ZIP from the defense. This is why the defense is steadfastly trying to place one of the TES workers in the area where Caylee was located – to prove that Caylee was not there, hence Casey was not involved.
Now, maybe this is a silly question, but Macaluso has been in trouble for a while – why would Baez want to associate himself with a lawyer who is under suspicion and with such a shady past?
Makes one wonder about scruples. Does the defense team have ANY scruples? Can we make a list of any? I wish I could think of one or two.
However, if anyone can force scruples on a set of lawyers, I think Judge Perry might just be the one to do it.
Texas EquuSearch is fed up with the Defense attorney’s refusal to peruse the files of the volunteers searching for Caylee Anthony. Pursuant to the orders of Judge Stan Strickland, the defense may not remove the records, may not photocopy them, and may only review them at the law offices of Mark NeJame, counsel for Texas Equusearch.
According to WESH, NeJame plans to make a request to Judge Perry to have the defense, once and for all, review the records they had previously cried were so critical to their case. So critical the defense has yet to review them.
The story is located at this link: WESH
Blink on Crime is reporting that Todd Macaluso, former Defense attorney/volunteer aid to Baez, was summarily removed from practicing law effective today. However, after reading the document issued by the California court, total and forever removal may not be the case, rather it appears that California is requesting that Macaluso enter into a “program” to regain his law license at some point in the future. This is very sketchy information at best. More information will be forthcoming.
Additionally, Blink On Crime is also reporting that Baez is taking an eleven day vacation after Friday’s Management hearing. Initially they intimated that Baez was being investigated by the Florida Bar Association, but this too is not clear. Further research into this matter is necessary, as the article seems to contradict itself. You be the judge: here is the link: Blink on Crime
Finally, our friend and fellow blogger, Marinade Dave, is in the news! Here’s the very friendly article in the Orlando Sentinel about Dave.
In the meantime, we wait with anticipation for Friday’s hearing with the Honorable Judge Perry!
What a day that will be!
It has been a quiet day in the Casey Anthony case, though it surely was a loud week!
The Honorable Judge Perry reveals his management style
I am pleased that Judge Perry has scheduled a status hearing for April 30th, at 9:30 a.m. And oh my, won’t it be interesting?!
I can hardly wait to see the tip toe-ing and the pleasantries in that Orlando courtroom!
I was also very pleased to see the Honorable Judge Perry lay down the law with his recent edict regarding decorum in the courtroom. It reads more like a course called “Courtroom Manners 101”. And it even mentions no gum chewing! No doubt the cameras will be focused on Cindy Anthony to see if she read the rules, too.
Here’s the link to the document – it’s priceless: Judge Perry’s Orders.
Discovery released today
There were some 250 pages of discovery evidence released today in the case. What was most striking was the “lack” of substantive FBI evidence against Casey, or so it seems at first glance.
The news sources are reporting that there was a great deal of testing as a result of a single hair found at the crime scene. This particular strand of hair from a Caucasian was compared to the hair of several investigators, and others, and a match has thus far not been found.
Now, in the big scheme of things, this has little import, in my opinion. My goodness, a single strand of hair could travel for miles and could be attributed to anyone! I have no doubt that my hair is in the park that I take my dog to….If the defense tries to use a phantom piece of hair as proof or reasonable doubt….well, it would be plain silly.
It reminds me of the butterfly analogy: i.e. if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil will the tides change in Florida? Conceivably, yes, but there have to be many more aspects aligning as well to make a substantive reaction – to make waves happen.
Remember the OJ trial? Well, today someone from WFTV asked my favorite attorney, Bill Sheaffer, if he thinks the defense could potentially use the phantom hair as proof that someone other than Casey could have been there to commit the crime. Sort of like how Johnny Cochran used the nursery rhyme: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
I thought, oh dear, it would be just like the defense to try to sing: “If there’s no hair she wasn’t there?!!
Seriously, Bill Sheaffer put that question to rest when he told the WFTV interviewer that a phantom hair cannot compare (forgive the rhyming… I can’t help it now!) to what was used in the OJ trial. The jurors clearly saw the glove as unable to fit OJ’s hand hence the rhyme. So, I doubt they’ll be singing “Aint her hair – so there!”
Mr. Sheaffer pointed out the following with regards to mentioning a bloody glove and strand of mystery hair in the same breath:
There is so much other circumstantial evidence indicating that Casey Anthony killed her child. In the OJ case, there was not that quality or quantity of circumstantial evidence.
We’ve come a long way since OJ….there is not a chance under the Florida sky that OJ would get away scot-free today.
River or Sky? – I can’t keep them straight!
Also released with the evidence today was an interesting interview with “Sky” about her sister “River Cruz”.
I get terribly forgetful with these two ladies, I cannot seem to remember which is the river and which is the sky.
It was an accident
The gist of the interview revealed that the Anthony’s have allegedly repeated to both Sky and River that Caylee’s death “was an accident”.
I have to leave it at that for now – some nights I simply cannot revisit thoughts of that child’s death. If you would care to read to read the interview, here is a link: River Cruz’s Sister.
Some nights I would just like to forget the reality of this case, you know what I mean?
Clearly I am not alone in my appreciation of you, Judge Strickland. So many of us share in appreciation and gratitude for the stalwart work you have done over these long two years. (Of course, we would have liked to have seen you preside over the next two years also.) There is great angst among us, but sometimes life has a way of inserting itself into situations that are beyond the beyond of confounding. So, acceptance and understanding is the order of the day, I suppose.
My friend and fellow blogger, auntdeedee, calls those of us who seek the truth, (like my friend Marinade Dave), “Caylee’s Friends.” We are all bloggers and lovers of truth. We have taken up the cause of this little girl with the woeful eyes and lilting little voice as if she were our own. I can say with some conviction that I think you have, too.
It is terribly depressing, as you well know, to see the extent that human beings will go to hurt, maim or kill one another for sport. But, when the victim is a child, there is an anger that rises and burns in me and seems never to heal. Injustice turns my stomach but the murder of a child rips it in two.
The thought of all the hatred and crime in this community of humans is too much at times for me to ponder. So, I am thankful for folks like you who do the job for the citizens of the community. I am grateful for the men and women like you who can stomach the horrors of such crimes, and who seek truth.
I cannot mourn all the children who are lost or battered or thrown aside like yesterday’s news. So, I have taken up the cause of seeing justice for little Caylee, who is for me, a symbol of all children who suffer and have suffered. For all the children like Caylee who never had a voice, I stand for them.
And I stand for you, Judge Strickland, and I honor you for your work.
When you said in your final ruling: “An innocent is dead and the life of an accused citizen hangs in the balance.” It said it all.
An innocent is dead. There is an accused citizen.
I can think of only one thing worse than the death of a child and that is wrongly accusing an innocent of the act.
As you say, there is great “gravitational force [and] consequence” in ensuring that justice for Casey is also given it’s due. That is why I applaud what you did, and how swiftly you did it.
I am sorry this happened, but I thank you for standing up and doing the right thing. I know my friends would join me in saying: We thank you for your impeccable service to this case.
Lastly, I wanted to close this missive by sharing with you a note left on my blog by a reader, Judy, from Pennsylvania, who writes:
I’m not a follower or a blogger but I would like to know where I can leave a post for Judge Strickland. In my opinion his stance on being recused and his recusing himself was absolute genius. He did so with grace and dignity and Florida has to be very proud of him. I watched every live feed I could find from my home in Pa., about the Casey Anthony case and felt he always based his decisions on the strictest order of the law. I feel Florida needs to honor this man for the great jurist that he is. I’m extremely pleased that the new judge is one of Florida’s meanest and toughest because this case needs to be tried only once. By meanest and toughest, I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way but in a way of keeping the defense in their place and not allowing them the least bit of leeway. I haven’t judged Ms. Anthony guilty but the evidence that I heard is overwhelmingly against her. I truly hope that justice will prevail for her and her family. I can only imagine what it’s like for the Anthony family that has lost a sweet little grandchild.
Now I will also “Let It Be”.
When a defensive move is made and its express purpose is to deceive, but the opposite of what was intended happens, that’s poetic justice!
Oh, you could call it Karma, or refer to it as the universe balancing good and evil…whatever we want to call it, the outcome was a total shock to the defense.
The facts that are coming out now about Judge Perry’s style are impressive. He has 21 years of experience, his decisions are rarely over-turned on appeal, and he knows the law like Mozart knew music.
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet …
Casey, aka “Muffin” has a problem now.
I have no way of knowing the truth in the defense’s strategy regarding their attack on Judge Stan Strickland, but I can offer some possible outcomes they undoubtedly hoped for when writing their motion to disqualify the Honorable (and he is honorable indeed) Judge Stan Strickland.
First, let me say the defense and Little Miss Muffett have got to be horrified at the turn of events. But, they’re not talking. Where are they now? Why are they not commenting?
…Eating her curds and whey
So, why did the defense write the motion in the first place? I believe they simply gambled and lost. No doubt they are in shock right now. No doubt they are livid. No doubt they are scared, too.
Did they want to show the court who was boss? Did they want to put Judge Strickland in his place, not thinking that the Judge would go so easily?
I imagine they were banking on hearings on the matter, and hoping for continuances while the motion was heard and hashed out. I don’t think they banked on Strickland really leaving the case. Or maybe they truly figured they’d get another Circuit Judge – an easier Judge – who’d need gobs of time to get up to speed on the case.
I am certain they never for one minute thought that Judge Perry would step away from the Zanny case to preside over the criminal case!
…Along came a spider…
However, given the fact they were very unhappy with the outcome of recent rulings by Judge Strickland, is reason alone for them. They were particularly unhappy with Judge Strickland’s refusal to allow Anthony the opportunity to interview the thousands of searchers who volunteered during the search for Caylee.
Had the judge granted this motion, it would have slowed down the case tremendously. It would take hours and hours and days and days to comb thorough all these folks. Then, it would take the State additional time for their due diligence of these thousands of searchers, further prolonging the case.
You see, I am of the opinion; the defense doesn’t really want to try this case. They are too focused on the death penalty phase already.
They don’t want to try this case, they want to prolong it just long enough for witnesses to die, or forget things. It’s a tactic as old as the hills.
…And sat down beside her….
The defense was absolutely devastated when the Judge denied them the opportunity to look into the lives of the searchers. Would it be far flung of me to say they wanted to peek into the private lives of private citizens to find a patsy to pin the murder on?
God forbid one of the searchers had a sketchy criminal history. If so, he or she would become steak dinner for the defense – served rare.
.…and frightened Miss Muffet away.
The defense goal is stall, stall, stall and stall. I have no doubt their motion was not intended to truly “oust” the judge, they just wanted to swing around their growing girth and slap some fat on the grill in the courtroom, to see the Judge sizzle a little.
Poetic justice was very sweet to give them Judge Perry. I’ll gamble and say the Judge likes his steak well done.
Countless among us are mystified by the news that “Marinade-Dave” got caught up in the wide defense net in the Casey Anthony case. If you have not heard by now, Dave made casual mention to a defense investigator that Judge Stan Strickland had read his blog at one time.
On its face, it seems like a petty and paltry error by the Judge. Marinade Dave’s blog is always very fair and Dave earnestly seeks to look at both sides of the issues in the Casey Anthony case. No doubt this is what impressed the Judge, who, according to the Orlando Sentinel, was researching and reading blogs to get a sense of the public opinion of the case. Accordingly, thought the Judge, this analysis would help assess the change of venue request that will invariably be made by the defense.
Who among us is not curious to read the public opinion on this case? Surely anyone with a computer need only type “Casey Anthony” into the Google search engine and millions of hits result:
Results 1 – 10 of about 9,290,000 for casey anthony. (0.13 seconds)
Judge Strickland would know it is against the rules to comment about media or blogs or opinions. (I am sure he is quietly kicking his computer.)
The fact is, when you have a desperate defense and high stakes, continuances are like gold.
When it comes to the courts, and matters of propriety, these errors are apparently contrary to the law. But I ask you, what harm is done? When you have defense counsel hopping from one media outlet to the next, day after day trying to milk stories by the dozen, what harm did the Judge do? Who even noticed this “slip” made months ago?
The double standard here is hardly transparent.
I am extremely upset at this, but rules are rules, and Judge Strickland should not be admitting to reading blogs. Period.
Cheney Mason, being a sharp cracker-jack defense attorney, did what any good defense attorney would do. He is looking for any loop hole big enough to hang someone’s neck in. I believe, however, this noose will end up hanging the defense in this case. Forgive the mixed metaphors, but did Casey and company just shoot themselves in the proverbial foot?
Judge Strickland will be replaced by his boss, Chief Judge in Orange county who is presiding over the civil suit against Casey Anthony, Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who the Orlando Sentinel refers to as “no-nonsense”. Correction: It was an error on my part when I stated it was Judge Perry presiding over the civil suit.
The Orlando Sentinel cites that Judge Strickland had some colorful parting words for the defense in his final farewell:
In an order granting Anthony’s request for him to step down from the case, Orange County Circuit Judge Stan Strickland wrote: “At its core, defense counsel’s motion accuses the undersigned of being a ‘self-aggrandizing media hound.’ Indeed. The irony is rich.”
On Saturday, April 17th, I am walking for Autism.
We desperately need a cure, the disease is getting way out of hand now.
If you’d care to make a donation, the link is below.
I thank you!
The letters that Casey wrote to two jailed friends are full of untruths and contradictions, and I’ve only read to page 12.
However, there is a great deal of startling information, too. According to WFTV, Casey admits to using chloroform to put Caylee to sleep, and also claims her mother brought chloroform home.
Another startling revelation is Casey’s admissions of sexual abuse by her brother, Lee Anthony.
Abuse made me do it?
Casey claims that for three years her brother Lee Anthony sexually abused her. She writes that it was only after telling her brother she’d kill him if he didn’t stop, that he did stop.
She also claims that her father “may” have abused her. She claims that memories are coming back to her now and she is beginning to realize that her father was also sexually abusive towards her.
After telling her mother of Lee’s nocturnal visits to her bedroom, Casey writes that Cindy’s reaction to her disclosure about Lee’s abuse was “like a knife in the chest.” Cindy allegedly, said to Casey: “So that’s why you’re a whore?”
I tend to believe that Casey was abused, but there are thousands of millions of abuse victims in this world who do not kill their own children. For me, if this is indeed true, it makes me disgusted at Lee, but does not change my view about Casey.
George and River Cruz
According to WFTV, the interview with River Cruz reveals a great deal about the dynamics of the Anthony family. (The transcript of that interview was also released today.)
George reportedly said that Cindy and Casey are just alike, and that Cindy has “battery acid running through her veins” (WFTV).
In addition, a security guard at River Cruz’s community verified that George Anthony was a frequent visitor there.
According to WFTV, River Cruz states that she and George were very close friends with whom he entrusted a great deal of information. River Cruz told the detectives in her interview with them that George nearly choked Casey and said: “I know you killed her. What did you do with her?”
Funny that George sings a new tune now.
You may access all the documents released today at this link: Today’s Discovery & Casey Jail Letters
Oh the daggers flew in Nejame’s response to the petulant Baez Motion to Modify the Previous Motion (for release of Texas EquuSearch (TES) documents).
And in the courtroom today (oh my!) the daggers turned into out right swordplay! (Ah, but there was clearly just one experienced fencer, and that was Mr. NeJame, of course.)
Firstly, the Baez Motion to Modify the Previous Motion should not have come before the court, as it was already asked and answered in a previous hearing.
And today, of course the judge answered, as he should, by denying the Baez request.
But, what was Baez requesting in this motion? It is painfully unclear. It appears to be a blatant attempt to get some more media hype out in the air by accusing 4,000 anonymous searchers of having some sort of “bombshell” that could prove Casey Anthony could not have placed the body in the area. And, did you know that every piece of evidence is unfair to Casey? Yes. That’s what Baez said in court today. He also said he needs “reasonable doubt” (and he’d sure like to manufacture some for the general public to chew on).
Today he said, “They’re trying to kill my client…” Oh? Well, if Casey had been forthright from the very beginning and taken responsibility for her actions – for the death of her own daughter – then perhaps the state of Florida would not be seeking the death penalty?
Nejame’s written response to Baez’s motion was as brilliant in its simplicity and its honesty as Baez’s was in its deceptive and petulant meandering. Nejame served Baez up some crafty poetic justice and it was a thing of beauty.
I had to work all day, and into the evening and have only found time to watch a bit of the hearing, but what I did see was impressive. Nejame was at the top of his game.
Due to the frivolous nature of this motion, Nejame asked for sanctions and for court costs to be the responsibility of the defense (not the public), however, it remains to be seen what the outcome of this request will be.
For those of you who may not have read the embarrassing motion Baez wrote, go to anyone of the news sources as they have links to both the Baez motion and the Nejame response.
When you read the motions side by side, as I did, you will hear the sparks, feel the daggers that Nejame writes in his response to the “spurious” Baez motion. Oh, the Nejame response is priceless in its honesty, biting in its frankness.
If we are lucky, Judge Strickland may have already sanctioned Baez. The Judge should do something to rein him in, if not the state will bring an arsenal of daggers the size of which not even the heralded Cheney Mason has seen!
There are quite of few pages (over 200, say some) of Casey’s writings yet to be discussed. And, Baez has yet to request the court hold the letters back (from release to the public), which he should have done by this past Friday.
Now, this leaves me suspicious. All accounts say the letters are not directly incriminating, though it has been reported they (the letters) could be harmful.
Why would Baez want these letters released? Is he setting up the system here? Is he fanning the media flames into a fire bigger than the sun? Is his only defense of his client, simply, the case itself? In other words, is Baez trying to ensure Casey Anthony gets so much attention, so much publicity so he can try the case in the media? I’d prefer a gag order than a reversal and retrial.
This trial could continue on for years and years.
We might see Casey Anthony as an old lady with gray hair.
Can you imagine?
Wishing all a Happy Easter, and blessed Holiday. The music is “Songbird” sung by the late Eva Cassidy.