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January 18, 2011

24

Miranda Rights and Casey Anthony

by Andrea O'Connell

Oh, this is truly poetic justice!

You may recall the fascinating bond hearing that took place in Honorable Stan Strickland’s courtroom, in June of 2008.  Of real interest to everyone was the testimony of Detective Yuri Mellich.  He revealed so many shocking insights: the smell in the car being decomposition, the cadaver dogs hitting on the Anthony backyard, and on Casey’s white Pontiac, and more.

I remembered a particular line of questioning, however, from Jose Baez in which he asked a litany of questions with regards to Yuri’s questioning of Casey at her home and at Universal Studios.  Now, the reason this set of questions is important is it directly deals with the motion filed by Cheney Mason asking that Casey’s statements to law enforcement be suppressed. Mr. Mason’s reasoning?   Mason claims in the motion: There was no probable cause to “interrogate” Casey; she was in “custody” of the Detectives; she was handcuffed but not put under arrest; she was not read her Miranda Rights, and she was not advised of her Constitutional Rights, which refers to having counsel for a defense.  Read Motion

In June of 2010, the Supreme Court made a new ruling with regard to Miranda Rights.  In essence, the Supreme Court made the Miranda Ruling more beneficial for Law Enforcement than for individuals.  The crux of the ruling is that a person who is talking to police, or under arrest, must make it absolutely clear they do not want to talk. Furthermore, it is incumbent on the suspect to stay SILENT, or their words can and will be used against them in a court of law.

The Supreme Court’s new ruling states that a suspect must make it perfectly clear they do not want to talk.  If they do not, and they talk, the suspects statements can be used at trial.

This is a slippery slope for the individual as it does not offer the same protections against self incrimination.  In the past, the suspect who is under arrest was read their rights (to remain silent, seek a lawyer).  If a suspect says they want a lawyer, all questioning had to cease. But, if the suspect then began to talk, the police were to ask the suspect if they now want to “waive” their Miranda Rights (to stay silent) and talk.  Now, with the recent Supreme Court decision, the police do not need to ask if the suspect if they want to waive their rights.

With regards to the defense motion to suppress, then, you will see why the Defense motion falls flat on its face. In fact, if there was any question about this motion, the State of Florida need only look back at the questions that Jose Baez asked of Detective Yuri Mellich during the bond hearing.   This is not a verbatim transcript, but this is how the questioning goes:

Baez:  Did Casey willingly answer your questions at her home when you asked her about the whereabouts of the child?

Mellich: Yes.

Baez: Did she ever ask to consult with an attorney before answering your questions?

Mellich: No.

Baez:  Would you have waited to question her if she had asked for an attorney?

Mellich: She wasn’t a suspect at the time, why would I ask if she wanted an attorney?

Baez: If she had asked for an attorney, you would have stopped questioning her, correct?

Mellich: Yes. Of course.

Baez: When you took her out to look at the areas where Zenaida may have lived, at any point then, she could have said I want a lawyer, right?

Mellich: Yes.

Baez: But she didn’t.

Mellich: No.

Baez: Then you went to Sawgrass Apartments, did she ask for a lawyer?

Mellich: No.

(Baez then lists the additional places that Mellich took Casey that morning, and asks Mellich each time: She could have asked for a lawyer, but she didn’t, and Mellich responds.  No.)

Mellich: I then took her home so I could do further investigation.

Baez: You dropped her back home. And she didn’t flee or try to run, did she?

Mellich: As far as I know, no she did not. I can’t attest to what she did after I dropped her off.

Baez: Was she there when you came back later in the day?

Mellich: Yes.

Baez: And with your contact with her at Universal Studios, she could have asked for a lawyer, right?

Mellich: Yes

Baez: And she didn’t?

Mellich: No.

Baez:  You then took her into a room to begin to question her further, and she could have invoked her right to a lawyer?

Mellich: Yes.

Baez: But she didn’t?

Mellich: No.

Baez: You then took her to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and she still didn’t invoke her right to counsel?

Mellich: Right.

Baez: Did you interrogate her at the Sherrif’s office?

Mellich: No.

Baez: But you read her her rights?

Mellich: After I placed her under arrest, yes.

Baez: Did she ever to you invoke her right to counsel?

Mellich: No.

Baez: She never said “I’m not talking to you anymore?”

Mellich: No.

Here is the video where the above questions are asked:  Baez and Mellich.

The reason these questions and answers are important?  The Defense knows that Law Enforcement did everything by the book and there is no way that Casey’s statements to Police will be suppressed.

This is what I call justice.

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24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sherry
    Jan 18 2011

    hee hee…like I said before about Baez I need to say about Mason, he needs to go back to law school. Geesh, like Judge Perry won’t know about the upgrade to the Miranda Rights Law, heheheh.

    Reply
    • Jan 18 2011

      Yup, Sherry! I’m joining you in a chorus of hehehe’s! There is little chance that motion will be granted. I can’t fault Mason for trying it as a tactic, but in the motion, he gets the facts all wrong! I sure hope Judge Perry makes some rulings this week! There are a few motions that he’s yet to rule on. The others will be argued in a hearing on March 2 and 3.

      Reply
  2. Diana
    Jan 18 2011

    Of course he wants that thrown out because it is full of lies and she showed absolutely NO emotions towards her baby that was kidnapped. It reeked of deception and is obvious to anyone who hears it, that she knew what happened to Caylee.

    Reply
    • Jan 18 2011

      Absolutely, Diana! The only thing she didn’t lie about was Caylee’s name and her own name, everything else she uttered was total deception and lies. It won’t go over well with a jury to know that she tried to hamper the search for her own daughter. That alone is enough to get her convicted – that and the 31 days that Caylee was missing.

      Diana, on another note, are you Hula-ing? LOL! I am, but not well – the hoop mostly hangs around my ankles!

      Reply
  3. Diana
    Jan 19 2011

    No *Andrea
    I still haven’t bought my hoola~hoop, but I HAVE lost 8 pounds and it’s starting to show. I have been doing good(watching what I eat) since Dec 28th and have no deire to cheat, so for that I am very happy. Thanks for asking. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Jan 19 2011

    baeeeeeez is so dumb. the questions he asked only confirmed that yuri did everything “by the book.” casey had no intention of staying silent. she loved the attention. the whole family loves to run their mouths. it is a genetic thing, ya know. lol
    as for mumbles, he probably did not read the transcript of baeeeeeez questioning yuri. if he had, he would have not bothered with the motion. what a bunch of iodits! i really heart Judge Perry! he deserves a medal, doncha think??

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Hi Midget. I heart Judge Perry, too. But I was also a huge fan of Judge Strickland- he was very patient with the defense, too patient maybe. Yes, in light of the defense questioning of Yuri (who did so well on the stand) and the Supreme Courts ruling on Miranda, I’d say her statements definetly come in. 🙂

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  5. Jan 19 2011

    poetic justice, indeed.

    Reply
  6. offthecuff
    Jan 19 2011

    Thanks for bringing this interview back up. I wonder how these two (Baez and Mason) will construe this and other interviews to victimize Casey and vilify LE?

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Oh I think the only option at this point is to vilify the state, the police and probably Casey’s own family. The defense, it appears to me, has virtually no case. I’m hard-pressed to come up with a defense they could reasonably use. The evidence appears pretty tight though I wish there were more DNA results.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  7. Hilde
    Jan 19 2011

    You can’t blame the Defense trying to file as many Motions as they can in Hopes some of them will be granted. At the same time with this particular Motion You mentioned in this Post the Defense is barking up the wrong Tree and wasting the Courts precious time. I do not believe Judge Perry will grant this Motion.
    I believe Law Enforcement did everything by the Book when it came to questioning the Accused Casey Anthony.
    Matter of fact they showed a lot of Restraint and Patience with Casey while she lied to them every Chance she had and tried to mislead LE as often as she could.
    She showed no interest at all from the Beginning in helping to find her own Daughter instead Casey did every thing she could to stand in the Way of LE Investigation. Casey might pretended a few times she wanted her Daughter found but it was all pretend and she definitely didn’t help in any way, shape and form to help LE. that to me showed her real Intend it sure wasn’t to find her Daughter. JMO

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Hi Hilde! I agree, the defense is only doing what it should do – filing all kinds of motions in the hope that a few will be granted. And I also agree that LE was very careful and by the book in this case; so are the prosecutors. Yuri Mellich is a fantastic detective – I would want him on my team if ever a child in my family (god forbid) went missing. He kept the focus on justice for Caylee, too. I truly think, like you, that they treated Casey with total respect – they were above reproach. I really am a fan of that Orlando detective team! All of them.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  8. Venice
    Jan 19 2011

    Good Lord….Baez is so damn incompetent, it’s beyond baffling!!

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Yup! Venice, you said it right. Totally astounding and beyond the realm of absurd….. It would be a huge joke if Casey were not facing the DP. The fact that this man has someone’s life in his hands is sad.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  9. Jan 19 2011

    amen, Venice!

    Reply
  10. jon
    Jan 19 2011

    HI Andrea: talking about lying, I distinctly remember a police interview that was taped where the LEO said to Casey “so, everything you just told me is a lie” to which she responded “well, not everything”. I guess everything else was a half-truth! Given what they’ve got to work with here, I too am a great admirer of the Orlando investigators.

    Give Jazz a hug and kiss for me. He’s (I assume it’s a he) is adorable.

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Oh I sure remember that too! And after Casey said “well not everything” Mellich said, “Uh, well, just about everything.” LOL…. It’s shocking how easy she can lie…. Oh and yup Jazz is all boy! And like most chihauhas he is very devoted and is somewhat clingy…… He and my cat have battles over who gets the best position on my lap… I usually end up with both of them there!

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  11. Jan 19 2011

    Andrea, is there any factual info out there to prove Casey was handcuffed when she went, willingly, to Universal and Sawgrass etc with LE? Is Mason just assuming that she was cuffed at that time? I will check back for your answer. TIA

    Reply
    • Jan 19 2011

      Hi Mainstreet fair! I have seen nothing to indicate that Casey was at any time cuffed except at the Sherriffs Office, after Universal questioning. I have no clue where Mason is getting his facts unless Casey is lying to him, which is highly possible as we know. Before placing her in cuffs and placing her under arrest, Mellich gave her one more opportunity to change her story and start speaking the truth but she stuck to her story and Mellich stuck her in jail!

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
      • Jan 19 2011

        Thanks Andrea. I didn’t think that she was cuffed while at Universal and only was handcuffed just prior to being placed under arrest. It seems Mason tries to have a ‘little fun’ with words and hopes someone will believe them.

      • Jan 19 2011

        LOL – yes, that seems to be Mr. Mason’s Mantra: “It’ll be fun!” I believe the man is living in a dream world! Or, at least with regards to this case.

  12. Rob
    Jan 19 2011

    Andrea, Your post today makes it very clear that Baez knows Casey’s rights were not violated. Mason should have viewed the video before he filed the motion. It is difficult to believe the ease with which Casey lied to law enforcement. She has no conscience.

    Reply
  13. weezie10
    Jan 24 2011

    The only thing that I think Mason is trying to show is that: Casey never ever asked for a Lawyer because she didn’t do anything wrong!! It’s as if they are trying to show that Casey never believed she was being co-orced into saying anything that would be used against her. Perhaps Casey blocked out the whole event, which psychopaths can do, in order to keep their mind occupied with story telling. In other words it was more important for Casey to work in her mind just how she was going to play her cards of innocence. ‘If I don’t seem scared of the LE or the questions, they won’t think I have anything to hide’. That would be my thinking on how and why she answered the Detective. That doesn’t answer the Mason question about how he thought the interview would not be admissable? Is it possible he didn’t know that new law and Baez and Mason never talked about this motion going before the judge. I understand that they divi up their responsibilites, so this might have been an ooopsy dooopsy moment for both of them. It’s coming in, but the Defence isn’t worried so much about that.
    They will likely open with a statement that says ‘We know that Casey has a propensity to lie, but that doesn’t make her guilty of the crime that is before us in the courtroom. No, she did not commit this crime and we will show you over the course of the trial, that there were many other people capable of kidnapping Caylee and dispensing of her body in the woods sometime in June of 2008. Lying does not a killer make.’
    Anyone have an idea if Milich is on the Prosecution list?

    Reply
    • Jan 24 2011

      Hey Weezie! You would make a much better attorney for Casey than Baez would!!!
      Yes, it’s possible that Mason is unaware of the recent ruling (law). I also think it was a poor attempt at writing a logical motion. It seems to not align with the facts at all! Maybe motions like this aren’t required to be factual? LOL! I don’t know… But, you’d think Mason, as an officer of the Court, would want to state the truth of the matter…. unless this is the truth from his perspective.

      Oh, yes. Mellich will most definitely be a witness for the State – as Lead Detective, he’s crucial….

      Reply

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