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January 19, 2011


state adds links, but tightens the chain

by Andrea O'Connell

In response to the litany of motions that the Casey Anthony Defense submitted to the court, the State of Florida answered with a well written and thoroughly researched answer to a few of the Defense’s motions.  (These particular motions are in lieu of a hearing; Judge Perry will rule on them based on the written arguments in each of the motions.)

You will find the document at this link:  State of Florida’s Response to Defendant’s Motions in Limine.

There are two authors of the State’s document: Ms. Linda Drane Burdick, and Mr. Frank George, also an Assistant State Attorney.

About the State’s Motion

Reading the State’s motion is like getting a lesson on the ABC’s of the basic principles of the law. Jose Baez will learn a few things about relevant evidence, hearsay, and probative versus prejudicial evidence, should he read it.

The seven motions the State addressed are as follows:  1) Exclude the intimate sexual details with Tony Lazaro and Casey. 2) Exclude same from Anthony Rosciano. 3) Answer to Defense motion to exclude history of lying and/or stealing. 4) Answer to Defense motion to exclude testimony of Brian Burner with regards to the shovel. 5) Answer to Defense motion to exclude “irrelevant” evidence of tattoo. 6) Defense motion to prohibit the use of Casey’s MySpace posting of “Diary of Days.” 7) Defense motion to prohibit testimony regarding Cindy Anthony’s  MySpace posting.

Preclude the intimate sexual details with Tony Lazaro and Casey

The State, while they agree that intimate sexual details are not required, facts about the relationship is “highly relevant.”  Critical to this argument is the fact that Casey spent nearly every night and day with Tony and never revealed to him that Caylee was “missing.”   The State argues that it is important for a juror to understand the level of intimacy between Casey and Tony, as that tends to indicate a “level of trust between them, making her withholding of the information about the kidnapping all the more implausible.” (State of Florida motion, 01/18/2011)

Preclude sexual details from Anthony Rosciano

The State agrees not to use the testimony of a sexual nature from witness Anthony Rosciano.  There is nothing to argue here.

Answer to Defense motion to exclude history of lying and/or stealing

The State argues that during the critical period of June 15, 2008 to July 16, 2008, the stealing and the lies are relevant since they illustrate Casey’s activities during the critical time that she claims Caylee was missing, and she was conducting her own investigation into her whereabouts.  The stealing and the lying during that critical time-frame point out that Casey was “fleeing” from her parents, and her brother, and stealing and lying to sustain herself and elude being discovered. The State argues that she lied to her family to hide the truth about Caylee’s whereabouts, and she stole from friends so she’d have money to sustain herself, being away from her parents.   All of this lying and stealing, the State contends, points to a consciousness of guilt, and should be admissible.

Answer to Defense motion to exclude testimony of Brian Burner with regards to the shovel

The State points out that Mr. Brian Burner, a HopeSpring Drive neighbor, saw Casey on three separate occasions, at her parent’s home.  He noted that Casey usually parks her car “nose in” but backed it in, he observed, in these visits.  Mr. Burner states that Casey told him she needed to dig up some bamboo root.  The motion states:

The notion that the Defendant borrowed a shovel to do some light yard work is preposterous, and is not supported by Mr. Burner reporting that the shovel did not appear to be used extensively, nor did the Defendant appear to have spent about an hour outside in the June heat digging up bamboo roots.  The Defendant, through her counsel, is, of course, free to argue to the jury that the borrowing of a shovel during this time frame does not equate with her guilt.  The more reasonable explanation is that the Defendant borrowed the shovel with the intent to bury her daughter.

The motion goes on to assert that the fact that the shovel was borrowed so soon after the child went missing, infers that Casey used it to bury her daughter:

The question for the court is: Does the evidence of borrowing a shovel from the neighbor within two days of the child being missing have a tendency to render a proposition in issue – that it was borrowed with the intent to conceal the remains – more or less probable?  Again, the obvious answer is “yes.”

Answer to Defense motion to exclude “irrelevant” Evidence of Tattoo

The State argues that the tattoo is relevant because it shows Casey’s state of mind during a time she reportedly was searching for her daughter.  The tattoo reads:  “La Bella Vita” which means “A Beautiful Life” in Italian.  The conclusion by the State  simply is:  Casey got the tattoo to express her feeling of freedom, of having a new life without the burden of raising a child.  Surely the Defense wishes this evidence would go away, as it is damaging, but, as the State points out in the motion:

The tattoo is relevant to show the Defendant’s state of mind during this time period, and the inscription obtained can certainly be read either as an epitaph for her daughter, or signaling a new beginning for herself.

Defense motion to prohibit the use of Casey’s MySpace posting of “Diary of Days.”

The State contends that Casey Anthony’s writing on the Internet is relevant since it is not indicative of a mother searching for her daughter that she claimed was kidnapped.  Incidentally, the Defense claimed that Casey’s writing was a quote from a song by Hayden Christianson.  The State has been unsuccessful in finding such a lyric, however, they point out that Hayden Christianson was one of the actors in the movie “Jumper” that Tony Lazarro and Casey rented on June 16, 2008, which is the date believed to be when Caylee was killed.

Defense motion to prohibit testimony regarding Cindy Anthony’s  MySpace posting.

The State here argues that Cindy Anthony’s posting on MySpace proves that the relationship between Casey and Cindy was strained, and that Cindy was desperate to know about Caylee’s whereabouts.  The State contends that what Cindy writes on MySpace offers an “untarnished view” of the mother/daughter dynamic.

In Closing…

I hope you have a chance to read the State’s motion.  They have crafted a finely tuned argument that is compelling and also dramatic.  I say dramatic because when you consider the totality of their case against Casey Anthony, it is heavy with damning and damaging circumstantial facts. When the State finally lays their case out, in trial, I believe it will shake all the Anthony’s out of their dens of denial – they will have a hard time with the truth since they’ve been denying it for so long.

Once Casey hears the State’s opening statement, and realizes that it is all coming down on her head, she may wish to God she’d taken a plea.

The Anthony’s are not ready for what’s coming. What is coming by the State is a series of links in a chain of evidence that will be so strong, it will wrap around Casey like a thick and heavy shackle.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. offthecuff
    Jan 19 2011

    Excellent title, summary, and article! Obviously the state has nothing to hide in regards to its strategy.

    • Jan 19 2011

      Hey Offthecuff, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I agree that the state is pretty secure in its strategy, too. And, the language of the motion is so passionate, you can practically hear the State’s voice in trial as they lay out the details of the case, and tell their story… It’s going to be quite something!

  2. Sherry
    Jan 19 2011

    Well written and informative!

    OK, jes’ supposin’ here: The jury hears that Caylee was missing since June 15th. Baez comes up with the idea that Casey borrowed the shovel for light yardwork and tells this to the jury. Now, the jury wonders briefly (very briefly) why Casey would need to be digging up bamboo shoots so soon after her daughter goes missing. Insert emoticon with raised eyebrow here! Go ahaed Baez, tell the jury why Casey borrowed the shovel…lol!

    • Jan 20 2011

      So, Casey who did nothing to contribute to that household, decides two days after her daughter is “missing” to borrow a shovel because, darnit, there’s an annoying root in the ground in the back yard! Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I am anxious to see what Baez comes up with, too. I would not put it past Cindy Anthony to suggest that Casey was helping out in the back yard at her request… hence, borrowing the shovel. Cindy has provided so many lies to cover for Casey that you just don’t know what she is capable of making up next. The apple doesn’t fall far from the ole’ tree.

  3. Jan 20 2011


    • Jan 20 2011

      Hi Annie, yes, it’s going to be interesting who will argue this case at trial. I think Cheney Mason’s heart is not really in this case. And now that he’s taken on other murder cases, his attention may shift away from the Casey trial – though plenty of lawyers handle multiple cases at one time, so we’ll just have to see how it all plays out.


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