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Dec

sex, lies, and table knives

An ocean of motions (six in all), by the defense team in the case against Casey Anthony, were recently entered into public record and will be heard in Judge Belvin Perry’s Orlando courtroom, on January 3, 2011.

The six motions detailed by the defense are an attempt to block the direct tackle the defense will take should the testimony surrounding these motions be heard by a jury.  One cannot blame the defense for wanting to block these items as they are highly damaging to their case.

The six motions are itemized below and include a link to a copy of the motion:

Motion 1: This motion requests that any details regarding Casey Anthony’s sexual encounters with Tony Lazzaro  be stricken.

Motion 2: This motion asks to exclude Casey Anthony’s sexual encounters with Anthony Rosciano, claiming they are prejudicial and should be stricken.  This motion also claims that Yuri Mellich improperly questioned this witness.

Motion 3: The table knife found in the car Casey Anthony was driving, the defense claims, would be prejudicial if brought into evidence since it has no bearing on the charges in this case – was not a murder weapon, so to speak.

Motion 4: Lying or Stealing.  The defense names George Anthony and other extended family members and requests that any mention of lying or stealing be stricken.

Motion 5: The defense wants all mention of the map that Casey was about to point to (at the request of her father) be stricken due to relevance.

Motion 6: The testimony of Brian Burner and any discussion of the shovel that Casey borrowed, the defense wants stricken.

Granted, it is a hefty task to go through and read all these motions.  So I’ll save you the trouble and attempt to break them all down for you.  Plus, I will provide my own lay-person opinion on why I believe most of these motions by the defense will be denied.

MOTION ONE

In this motion, the defense attacks Corporal Eric Edward’s questioning of Anthony (Tony) Lazzaro’s sexual encounters with Casey Anthony.   The defense calls the line of questioning by Edwards: “scandalous and incompetent” and wants it stricken. The motion states that the sexual relationship between Casey Anthony and Tony Lazzarro is “utterly irrelevant to the case at hand.”  Secondly, the defense argues that “any probative value is substantially outweighed by its potential prejudicial effect on the jury.”

Translation: This testimony, says the defense, does little to prove Casey Anthony killed her daughter, and such testimony could be a character assassination of Casey Anthony.

That is the defense’s argument.  However, the relationship with Tony Lazzaro, sexual or otherwise, is relevant to the case as far as what Casey Anthony was doing during the 31 days her daughter was “missing.”  

MOTION TWO

Like motion one, this motion seeks to exclude any information of a sexual nature of Anthony Rosciano’s relationship with Casey Anthony. The defense calls the questioning of the witness, Anthony Rosciano, by Detective Yuri Mellich and Sargent John Allen, “scandalous and incompetent and should not be allowed in any aspect of this case.”

Here I believe the defense may have a valid claim as the sexual relationship between Casey Anthony and Rosciano does not necessarily have any probative value as to the main charges.  However, there are text messages between Rosciano and Casey that may have relevance.  The text messages or emails may show how Casey Anthony handled Caylee’s care while she was dating.  I seem to recall that the discussion with Rosciano as to what Casey would do with Caylee (while she is with Rosciano), could be indicative of a mother who had no regard of the welfare of her child.

MOTION THREE

I find it very interesting that the defense should ask to have the table knife found in Casey Anthony’s car excluded.  Is there more evidence than we know about this knife?  The defense notes in the motion that forensic testing found no link between the duct tape and the knife, and no DNA found on the knife.  Apparently the State has not found a connection between the knife and the duct tape.  The State released photos of the table knife and duct tape. See photos of knife / tape. Could the State still be testing this item?

To be honest, the request to exclude this item from the evidence in the case has me baffled.  I would not be surprised if the State agrees and leaves the table knife out of evidence.

MOTION FOUR

In this motion, the defense specifically names George Anthony and requests that any mention of lying or stealing be stricken.  However, there are too many instances of lying and stealing during the 31 days that Caylee was “missing” and the defense is only asking that George Anthony and “other family members” discussions of lying and stealing be stricken.

This is a very vague motion that lacks specifics.  There are an ocean of lies told by Casey Anthony, and revealed by her friends, family, and acquaintances.  This motion, to be relevant, would need to be more specific, in my humble opinion.  Therefore, the motion itself is a non-motion.

MOTION FIVE

This motion is asking that any references to Casey Anthony nearly pointing on a map to indicate where she dumped Caylee, be stricken.  You may recall that Texas EquuSearch president and founder, Tim Miller, was present when George Anthony nearly got Casey to indicate on a map where the body could be found but Cindy Anthony forcibly intervened and stopped the discussion.  How the defense is characterizing this incident boils down to the following statement in the defense motion:

Based on Discovery Materials provided by the State, it is alleged that the Defendant was being questioned at home about Caylee and presented with a map.  She was asked to mark where body would be found.  She did not respond.

I tend to think that the State will have to have a good reason for bringing this testimony in.  It could be unnecessarily prejudicial since there is no indication that Casey would have pointed to the area where Caylee was ultimately found.  Granted, it is supposed that she would have pointed to the area had she not been prevented from doing so by Cindy Anthony.  As such, I believe this scenario could be kept out of the trial, though the state likely has grounds to keep the testimony in.

MOTION SIX

This motion concerns the testimony of Brian Burner, the neighbor on Hope Spring Drive that Casey borrowed a shovel from.  Like the other motions, the defense is arguing that this testimony has no bearing on the manner of the crime in this case and is therefore not relevant.

The defense puts its best foot forward in writing this motion and cites quite a bit of case law to support its argument.

The defense contends that there is no evidence linking the shovel to the crime and any connection made by the State to this effect would be prejudicial. In short, the motion boils down to this claim in the motion:

Similarly, whether or not Ms. Anthony borrowed a shovel from Mr. Burner does not in any way make the charged offenses more or less probable.  There is no evidence that Ms. Anthony used or intended to use the borrowed shovel to facilitate the commission of the charged crimes, nor is there any assertion of such.

I tend to think the shovel will come in.  The State will merely have to prove the fact that Casey Anthony was not living in the home at the time, and her excuse of “digging up a root” was merely a story to cover up the fact that she intended to bury Caylee’s body in the back yard.  This testimony will hinge on whether the cadaver dogs will be used to show that a body was placed in the backyard of the Anthony home.

CONCLUSION

In truth, as I am writing this, I can see that the defense is simply doing their job and testing the admissibility of some of the most damaging evidence and testimony against Casey Anthony.  The fact is, should the defense prevail with these motions, it will not matter to the case in chief.  There is a great deal more evidence against Casey Anthony than is written in these six motions.

The State has a virtual plethora of circumstantial evidence which, taken in whole, is more than damning.

  • No motion can disprove the fact that Caylee Anthony’s own mother never reported her missing.  It was Casey Anthony’s mother, after 31 days, who reported the child missing.
  • No motion can disprove the fact that Casey Anthony showed no alarm or concern about her missing child when she met with Law Enforcement, instead she lied about virtually everything having to do with the child’s whereabouts.
  • No motion can disprove the pictures of Casey Anthony dancing and partying at Fusion while her child is missing.
  • No motion can disprove that Casey Anthony got tattoo-ed with “the good life” blazoned on her back while her child is missing.
  • No motion can disprove that the smell of decomposition was found in Casey Anthony’s car.

Finally, no motion can disprove the fact that Casey Anthony is ultimately the perpetrator of the murder of her own child.

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