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a cous de gras

Although not yet in the public domain, but available to the Orlando Sentinel, is the State of Florida’s response to a January 2011 Defense motion to exclude evidence of a stain in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s white Pontiac Sunfire.  READ Defense motion.

The content of the State’s response provides some damning information regarding the stain in the trunk.  It is no wonder the Defense wants references to the stain out of the trial; the stain is going to be very difficult for them to dispute.

Anthony Colarossi, of the Orlando Sun Sentinel, offers a detailed story about what the State has said in response to the Defense request to exclude the stain, and some of the details are especially important.

This Orlando Sentinel article, written 2/11/2011, is referenced here. Casey Anthony’s defense wants comments tossed about smell of body in trunk – State counters with a plea to include stain evidence

Evidence of Decomposition

The State is claiming that the stain did not produce Caylee’s DNA, nor did it test positive for blood – this is understandable as no blood was shed. But, why no DNA?  This is a mystery to me; if there is a viable reason why no DNA is present, it escapes me at this point. At any rate, since there was no DNA found, wouldn’t you think this would be helpful for the defense?   Not so says the State.

What the stain-evidence DOES prove is evidence of decomposition.  There are fatty acids that are a result of decomposition and that are present in the stain. In addition, the stain, as we have previously heard, looks as if it’s in the shape of a small child, in a fetal position.  (I am sorry to have to bring this awful topic up; it brings my heart up into my throat; I am sure it does the same to you.)

However, this is very palpable evidence, as Orlando Sentinel’s Anthony Colarossi explains:

But Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton says the difference between a blood, saliva or semen stain and a ‘biological stain is a subtle one, that seems to have eluded opposing counsel’. ‘The stain, tested by the Oakridge National Laboratory shows the presence of “volatile fatty acids consistent with the byproducts of decomposition.’

And then, to make it worse, Jeff Ashton swings and lands a punch that will surely hit the Defense right in the gut:

If the history of this case has proven anything, it is that attorneys can make extravagant claims in pleadings that are not borne out upon closer examination.

And then Jeff Ashton submits a left hook, right where it hurts.  The Defense will have to take this one on the chin when the State refers to the stain in the trunk being consistent with a small child:

The evidence that the trunk of the car contains a stain composed partially of volatile fatty acids consistent with decomposition and of the approximate size of a small child clearly tends to prove that material fact.

Needless to say, this is horrible evidence to discuss, but is vitally important, hence the Defense’s desire to exclude it.

One of many death-blows to come

There is a french word that comes close to describing what this report does to the Defense:  Cous de gras; sometimes spelled coup de grace.  (Pronounced Koo-deh-graw.)  Cous de gras means, a final blow, a kind of poetic justice-type final blow, and/or a final act that is destined to end the life of something by something else.

In this instance, the cous de gras is the State’s response that kills any hope the Defense may have to exclude the stain found in Casey Anthony’s white Pontiac Sunfire.

The following, written by Jeff Ashton, is the coup de gras that delivers the final blow to the Defense regarding the relevance of the stain:

The defendant has failed to set forth what unfair prejudice they fear…If the jury concludes, based upon all of the evidence presented in the case, that the stain in the trunk of the car was caused by the decomposition of a body kept there, then it is powerful and appropriate evidence of her guilt.

If they conclude that the stain is from some other innocent source, then they would conclude that it is neither relevant nor prejudicial. Is the defendant seriously concerned about a bias against sloppy car owners?

As far as coup de gras’s go, this particular information will not be the only death-blow to the Defense.

Just like a brick is not a wall, this particular cous de gras is not the show stopper, but it will help to bring the curtain down on Casey Anthony.

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