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throwing a hail mary pass

The admissibility of the Universal Studios interview between the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Detectives, Yuri Melich, John Allen, Appie Wells and Casey Anthony, will be argued  during a March 2, 2011 hearing.

Defense counsel, Mr. Cheney Mason, filed a motion to suppress Casey Anthony’s statements.  He asserts that Casey Anthony was effectively in the custody of the police during the time she gave the statements, was not read her Miranda rights, and therefore her constitutional rights were violated. Mr. Mason believes that all statements to the police should be stricken from the trial.

This Defense motion to suppress has been irking me ever since the day it was filed.  Although intellectually I know that the Universal Studio interview and the statement taken by Yuri Melich in the early morning on the 16th, are coming in, it’s never a sure bet until the arguments are heard and the Judge decides.  (I would think that the recording of Casey Anthony at the Police station on the day of her indictment will be kept out of the trial.)

Yesterday, I took the time to listen, for the umpteenth time, to the interview at Universal Studios.  There is no doubt Casey Anthony was speaking willingly and was not coerced. There is no suggestion that Casey was uncomfortable, or there unwillingly.  On the contrary, Casey Anthony agreed she was there willingly to “help” find Caylee:

John Allen:  You’re here willingly, right?

Casey Anthony: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: You’re here ’cause you want, you’re here to try to help, right?

CA: Oh absolutely.

JA: You’re whole reason for talking to us is, is to try to help, right?

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: Nobody’s forced you to talk to us, right?

CA: No.

JA: You, you want us, you want us to…. you’re here because you called, you want us to help find your daughter, right?

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: Now let me, let me ask you something.  I want you to put yourself in, put yourself in some….put yourself in my shoes for a minute okay.  Since you’ve talked to him (meaning Yuri) this morning. In an attempt to try and help find your daughter, you’ve given him bad addresses okay.

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: You drove me all the way out here. We walked from the gate back here all the way to your office, right?

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: Okay. The the, to an office that you don’t have. We got all the way to the building into the hallway out here before you finally says, well I really don’t have an office here. But… we were walking to your office, right?

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

JA: Okay so does any of this make sense to you?

Does this sound like someone being held against their will?  Is it the Detectives’ fault that Casey Anthony made it worse for herself with everything she said?

At age 22, Casey Anthony was considered an adult.  If she were a juvenile, then Cheney Mason might have a reason to file his motion.  What Cheney Mason seems to be forgetting is that on that first day of Police intervention, July 16th, there were no discussions about murder, it was all about finding a missing child.  (Although after having reviewed everything the Detectives must have suspected Caylee was deceased.)

The Detectives were focused on finding Caylee, and Casey Anthony pretended she wanted to find Caylee, too.  In fact, Yuri Melich started the interview off by saying:

YM: Um, the date right now is July 16th, 2008, it’s about 1320 hours.  We’re at Universal Studios I’m here with Sergeant Allen, um, I’m here with Detective Appie wells, um, also here with Casey Anthony.

YM: And Casey, we talked earlier this morning and we’re working a case looking for your daughter Caylee, is that correct?

CA: Yes.

YM: Okay. We came to Universal Studios, we’re sitting in a little conference room.  Obviously the door’s unlocked.  We just closed it so we could have a little privacy and talk to you.

CA: Uh-huh. (Affirmative)

At about page 19 of the 67 page transcript of this interview, John Allen again verifies that Casey Anthony is there willingly.  Casey has just finished telling the Detectives that she knows it’s “backwards” how she’s gone about finding Caylee, and admits they are at Universal because she was “reaching”:

JA:  Why do you think it’s backwards?  It’s backwards because you haven’t been truthful with us okay

CA: ‘Cause I’ve been reaching.

JA: You’ve been reaching, huh?

CA:  I’ve been reaching to try to figure out a place where she actually is.

JA: So, once again okay ’cause you never did answer my question.  Your reaching and helping find her by bringing us here to this office that you don’t have. It’s helping us how?

CA: It’s….

JA: Because what you’re doing right now, is you’re doing everything you can to find your daughter.  You have three experienced detectives right now, whose sole focus is here to help you find your daughter okay.  And we’re here ’cause you brought us here, correct?

CA: Absolutely.

JA: You directed us here because we’re going to your office to find evidence.

CA: Hm.

JA: That will help us find her okay. Now that we’re here I want you to tell me how that’s helping.  What is it we’re doing here, what’s helping us right now okay.

CA: (No verbal response)

JA: Well coming to an office doesn’t exist.

CA: It’s not helping.

Casey Anthony even admits she was lying to the Detectives all along, even though she knew her lying was making it impossible to find Caylee.  However, if Casey Anthony had refused to talk to the detectives, she knew it would have made things even worse for her, so what’s a few lies?  She knew she had to act like she cared about Caylee’s whereabouts, otherwise there would be reason for immediate suspicion of her.  The fact that she dug her self into such a big hole by talking to the Detectives is no one’s fault, certainly not the fault of the Detectives who only wanted to find Caylee.  It’s clear that Casey Anthony, at this point, knows she’s caught, and she’s trying to be as calm as possible to not throw anyone off.

Casey Anthony, however, does not have it in her to show real concern for her daughter.  She doesn’t begin to know how to “act” like a mother who cares, though she is trying, she fails miserably and comes off as being just as Yuri Melich says, “a cold callous person who just doesn’t care.”

This interview is extremely damaging to Casey’s defense.

Is there any wonder the Defense needs to throw this motion as a Hail Mary pass and hope for a miracle?

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