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31
Mar

Today: Anticlimactic, Tomorrow: Frye ’em up!

If you happened to blink you might have missed today’s hearing in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  It lasted barely twenty minutes and was uneventful, in part because the State has no objection at this time, to the addition of the defense witnesses.

The Assistant State Attorneys are reserving their objection (to the witnesses), until they have the opportunity to depose the two doctors, Dr. Jeffery A. Danziger, and William Weitz, Ph.D.  The deposition of the two doctors is set for Thursday of next week.  If the State decides to object to the witnesses, they will inform the court, perhaps during the status hearing scheduled for the next day, Friday, April 8th.

One of the witnesses on the defense list, Sharon Cadieux (witness to the George Anthony “pushing” event), is playing hide and seek.  Neither the defense or the State has been successful in their attempts to contact this out of state witness.  Both sides have dropped her.

Tomorrow beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Frye Hearings resume, and will continue Saturday morning.   The Frye Hearing will address the stain in Casey Anthony’s trunk, and the heart shaped sticker.

I am unsure of what additional items are on the agenda.  However, the defense has advised the court they want a hearing on the reliability of Dr. Hall (root growth), as a witness.  They claim he does not have the requisite experience to testify in the trial.  Here’s the motion.

In another motion, the defense is asking for a rehearing regarding the decomposition found in the strand of hair belonging to Caylee that was found in the trunk of car driven by Casey Anthony.  The defense claims that Karen Lowe, who we saw testify in the initial Frye hearing, has a stake in the outcome of the case (I have no idea what that is supposed to mean!), and that her testimony was pure opinion. Here is the motion.

It remains to be seen if these two motions will be addressed during the Frye Hearings, or if they will be addressed during the status hearing, on Friday the 8th.

Judge Perry advised the players today that he has reserved a two-week period, just prior to jury selection, in the event the court needs to hear last minute motions.  The dates include the entire week of April 18th, and the following week, April 25th.

So, I’ll see you tomorrow, 9:00 a.m., sharp, for the Frye Hearing!

On a whole other separate note, I am celebrating three solid months of writing a post a day in the WordPress Post-A-Day Challenge!

It’s a year long challenge and I’m at 90 posts as of today…phew!

30
Mar

anthony case hearing scheduled tomorrow morn

A hearing, in the State v. Casey Anthony, is scheduled tomorrow morning, at 10:00 a.m.  The hearing will be focused on the six new witnesses the defense wants to add.  Since it is well past the deadline, the defense must show good cause for adding the witnesses at this late date.

Here’s the defense motion regarding adding the six new witnesses.  Click here.

The six new witnesses are:

  1. Jeffery A. Danziger, M.D. – To rebut and argue “state of mind” and “consciousness of guilt.”
  2. William Weitz, Ph.D. – Dr. Weitz’s specialty is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The speculation is he will mitigate some of Casey’s behavior as being caused by PTSD.
  3. Kenneth Lewis, Asst. State Attorney – Will be called only if the State calls Maya Derovich.  The State claims they are not calling her, so this witness is moot.
  4. Sharon Cadieux – A witness to the “pushing” scene outside of the Anthony’s home.  However, the defense, in their motion, provide absolutely no reason for calling this witness.  Let’s say it all together:  “Hmmmmmmmm!
  5. Daniel Kondus, Supervisor of landscaping on Suburban Drive – There is no reason given for calling this witness.  One could surmise that the defense may ask him if his work takes him along the area of Suburban Drive where Caylee’s grave site was.  Or, perhaps this witness observed something?  We will find out tomorrow, supposedly.
  6. Patrica Young – Well this is quite interesting, too.  This witness, it says in the motion, was recently deposed as a member of the Texas Equusearch volunteers who searched for Caylee.  However, this witness is on the battery complaint against George Anthony. Can we say it one more time, all together now:  “Hmmmmmmmm!”  Here’s the Police Report: Click here.

With regards to using George as reasonable doubt in the trial, there appears to be some back-pedaling today.  Some media outlets are reporting, “No”, the defense is not going to use that tactic.

Mark Lippman, the Anthony’s attorney, released a statement saying George is not involved in the tragic death of his granddaughter, and anyone who suggests such a thing will be in big-ole legal trouble.  But, then Attorney Lippman, in the next breath says this:

If there’s a reasonable scenario that could cater to how the circumstances then turned out later, certainly you present it, it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to represent your client zealously.

This situation is getting “curiouser and curiouser.”

Tomorrow will be verrrrryyyyy interesting.

29
Mar

like it or not, this is our system

George Anthony did not kill Caylee.  But Baez and Company have to use him.

It’s unconscionable to even hint that George Anthony could be the perpetrator of this crime.  We know he didn’t do this, and we KNOW the person responsible!  But, the jury will not know.  The jury will come to this case with a head devoid of the background noise we have about the case.

As a result of reading the discovery, we are privy to much more than a jury will ever see, or ever know.  In fact, half of the discovery we have read for nearly three years, will not be admissible.

Casey Anthony is so desperate to win, she has no choice but to use George. He is the best reasonable doubt she has – the most probable alternative to Casey committing the murder.  Casey Anthony would have to agree to the use of her father; we know she doesn’t care, so she is having at him.

It is horrible to use one’s own father in this way, but in order for Casey to have a defense, this is what they will use.  Everyone deserves a vigorous defense, even Casey Anthony, is what I tell myself.

None of the lawyers believe George is guilty.  Not a single OCSO representative thinks George had anything to do with the murder – and George will not be charged.  But, he will be used because in all probability he “could” have committed the crime.  He had the means and the opportunity to do so.  Motive is not a factor that the jury weighs, even though we know George has no motive whatsoever.

In truth, this kind of action is exactly what defense lawyers in this country do every day. They test the evidence of the Government – they challenge it and fight like hell to be sure the evidence against their client stands up to vigorous  challenges, and that it’s factual.

I would want my attorney to be a bulldog.

It’s the job of the defense attorney to insert doubt. They find openings; they test those openings; they hunt for their own evidence; they’ll find alternative witnesses; and they will do their utmost to create doubt by testing the validity of the Government’s case, their witnesses, and the evidence.   They put the Government to the test – a truth test.

This is our system of justice.  Trial by a jury of one’s peers is how our very lives and our liberty are assured.  Without our system, we would live in a Police State, we would have no rights, the Police could charge us with anything under the sun and we wouldn’t be able to do a thing about it.

Our system may not be perfect, but legal minds say it’s the best in the world.

It’s all about checks and balances – just like Jose Baez seems snarky and sneaky to us, I assure you there are prosecutors and police that are far worse.  There are Judges that get paid off, there are many, many shenanigans in the legal system, but it is the exception, not the rule.

I am not sure who said this – it may have been Ben Franklin, and this is paraphrased, but the quote is:  It is better that 10 guilty persons go free than one innocent person is charged.

If Baez and Company did not have a chance to pursue this option, they would be negligent.  According to Bill Shaeffer, if the defense is not given wide latitude to pursue this kind of reasonable doubt – because it is valid, though we feel it’s wrong – if the defense is not allowed this strategy, the chance of this trial being reversed on appeal is GREAT.

No one will charge George with murder.  He is not guilty and everyone knows it.  Even if this defense strategy works and (God forbid) Casey walks, no one will look at George as perpetrator of this crime – the defense knows he didn’t do it, too.

This is a strategy and a defense born of desperation.

We hate it, I hate it, but the defense has to play this card…. they have to.

28
Mar

the George story, sadly, is reasonable doubt

Last night I wrote about George Anthony as being the reasonable doubt the defense needs to save Casey Anthony; WFTV is currently running the same story.

This is a very strange case of serendipity for me.

September 2008 - Credit: WFTV

Sunday morning, I happened to think about some “what if’s” in this case, and I thought about George Anthony – and all the ways he would be a candidate for the defense to use to raise reasonable doubt.

So, last night I wrote a story about George and reasonable doubt, but didn’t want to publish all the details as I was afraid it would give someone (on the defense), too many ideas…. Besides which, it’s a horrible story –  a terrible thing to do to one’s own father, no matter how nutso the father is, it’s just wrong.

Then, this morning a blogger named “Thinker” posted information that agreed with my story, and told me about the two women, Patricia Young and Sharon Cadieux who are newly added defense witnesses.  They are added witnesses to the defense because they were protesters at the Anthony home, in 2008, who George pushed and who notified the police.  Coincidentally, that was one of my examples of George’s propensity for violence that I thought would make him a candidate for creating reasonable doubt, but I didn’t want to write that for fear it would give some folks (the defense) ideas….. The story is contained in the WFTV link below.

“Thinker” also told me that the newly added witness, Dr. Weitz, specializes in post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).  Of course Dr. Weitz could support the theory that Casey, after suffering the abuse of George and Lee, suffered from PSTD, hence her bizarre demeanor.  Their theory could be that Casey acts so bland and blank because of PTSD.  Casey might even have done all the partying and inappropriate behavior during those 31 days because she was suffering from PTSD.

Now, come to find out, the defense must have been planning this blame it on George strategy for a while.  Although I have always thought that, given the sexual abuse allegations, the defense might find a way to make George the fall guy, the Patsy, or the Guilty one – however you want to characterize it, I am amazed it is actually coming to fruition.  But, I am not surprised – as much as the idea of using George as reasonable doubt is gross, it is also the only thing the defense has right now.  The defense team, as we have seen from the recent Frye Hearings, are not strong in the science aspect.  And then, they lost the motion to suppress the statements and the “Agents of the State” motion, which was a huge blow to them.  They have to use George or they have no case.

Please know that I don’t believe any of what I am about to write here, but I wanted to point out to you why George is potentially powerful reasonable doubt.  Why?  Consider this:

  • George saw Caylee the morning of the 16th.  Did something happen to Caylee during his watch?
  • Caylee was found in the clothes George described she was last seen in.
  • The duct tape came from his home, as did the garbage bags, the laundry bag, and the baby blanket.
  • George has a rotten temper, as evidenced in the Morgan & Morgan Zenaida depositions, and elsewhere.
  • George has changed aspects of his story, and some of the facts around Caylee’s disappearance, a number of times (i.e. the smell in the trunk).
  • George had access to Casey’s car.
  • George got so near Casey’s car to remove a wheel lift, Casey beat him to the trunk of the White Pontiac and thrust the gas cans she’d stolen in his arms.  But he was very close to that trunk – close enough to smell it?
  • George had the opportunity – his work schedule was erratic.
  • There are reports that George threw his own father through a plate glass window at the car dealership his father owned, Rick Pleasea is on the defense witness list and can testify to this.
  • As a former police officer, could George have the right amount of know-how needed to hide the crime for this long?
  • George told River Cruz that Caylee’s death was an “accident that snow-balled out of control”.  How would George have knowledge of this?
  • George attempted to “borrow” $20,000 from River Cruz – he did not have the means to pay it back.
  • George (and Cindy) have ties to the “Kid-Finders Network” an allegedly fraudulent missing children organization.  Are the rumors true that he skimmed a bit of cash off the top?
  • George (and Cindy) refused to work with or participate in the Texas EquuSearch team searches.  Did he not want Caylee found?
  • George left the pool ladder out, or so said Cindy.
  • Cheney Mason has already hinted the defense interest in the possibility of drowning.
  • Did George attempt to make it appear like Caylee was kidnapped, hence the duct tape over the little angel?
  • The pushing and shoving and temper tantrums when he physically pushed the two new defense witnesses.

Thank you to “Thinker” for all the material that’s provided here!  I am very grateful, Thinker. 🙂

Police report: http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/9-7.battery.report.pdf

Defense motion to add witnesses: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/74800968/20110322-Defense-Motion-Clarifying-Motion-for-Leave-For-Additional-Witnesses

Original WFTV coverage of altercation at Anthony’s home: http://www.wftv.com/news/17393803/detail.html

Today’s coverage of the story: http://www.wftv.com/news/27348810/detail.html

There will be much more to report on this story…. stay tuned!

27
Mar

is george the doubt the defense needs?

This started out to be a post about “what if.”   What if the Defense used George Anthony to establish reasonable doubt?  Is it: 1) a possibility, and 2) could it work?

I know many of us have wracked our brains trying to come up with what defense attorney Jose Baez could possibly concoct establish as reasonable doubt in the State v. Anthony trial.  It is true that every avenue we’ve seen the defense go down to establish reasonable doubt, leads no where…   I do think George is all the defense has right now.  He could be the lead player in their desperate game plan to establish doubt.

This may be why George has stayed away from the trial over these past few months (except when he had to testify).  He knows what’s coming for him.

I don’t want to say that using George is a great defense – using one’s own Father to establish doubt, is horrific, and completely desperate.  But, if desperation breeds necessity, using George, if played right, could work for the defense.  Though, I doubt it will be strong enough to allow Casey to walk.  I believe there’s a possibility of using George to mitigate the consideration of a harsh sentence for Casey – when it comes time for the jury to decide.

I can’t post the “how”

When I finished writing this original post, I trashed it – couldn’t post it.  God forbid it would spark an idea in someone’s head and they happen to be on the defense.

George will be used by the defense.  However, I doubt this defense team will be strong enough to pull it off, I have no doubt they will try.

Still, there are plenty of hurdles for Casey to climb before a juror could begin to consider the doubt as reasonable, but then again….

  • Casey’s knowledge of the black garbage bag and baby blanket found at the grave site on December 11th.  Only the killer would know this.  The hurdle will be ensuring Robyn Adams is a reliable witness.  If she is, this is damning evidence against Casey.
  • The 31 day flight. Casey’s disappearance may be attributed to fear and anxiety.
  • Her inability to show she cares about Caylee. This could be where the defense uses evidence of “state of mind’ as cause.
  • Her reliance on Zanny the Nanny as a suspect.  She could be covering up for her father.
  • The use of Juliette Lewis, who does not exist, and Jeff Hopkins as outcry witnesses.  Covering for George?
  • The consistent lies about everything under the sun.  Covering up for George?
  • Her car and all the evidence in it.  This doesn’t necessarily mean she put the child in the trunk.

The bottom line is this: there is no physical evidence to link George to the scene, (unless the duct-tape will), but circumstantial evidence could link him.

What is it that links Casey Anthony to the crime scene?  Her knowledge of what was there on December 11th, is one thing very powerful, we know.  What else?  Will the FBI be able to come up with something that directly links Casey to the scene?

There is no doubt in my mind that Casey is solely responsible for the murder of the little angel, Caylee Marie.  Will the jurors have enough evidence to place Casey at the crime scene?  Will the jurors believe George is capable of harming anyone after they are told about his suicide attempt, his anger issues?

I hope that I am totally, completely, unquestionably off base in every way.

I pray so.

26
Mar

the state of the mind excuse

At the end of Thursday’s hearing, there was a discussion initiated by Jeff Ashton asking about the two new witnesses the defense plans to add.  I’m referring to Dr. Jeffery Danzinger (his website), and a Dr. Weitz or Weiss.

Ann Finnel, the attorney charged with representing Casey Anthony in the penalty phase of the trial, which begins immediately after the guilt phase, spoke Thursday of these two new witnesses.  Judge Perry asked Ms. Finnel what these witnesses will bring to the defense case.  She waffled a little, then said, “State of Mind”.  The Judge asked, “whose state of mind” (I bet he was thinking of Jose Baez!!!).  Ann Finnel said to the Judge, “Ms. Anthony’s.”

Of course the Casey Anthony defense is not a “mental health” defense, never has been.  So, why at this late date would the defense entertain this?

Judge Perry stated that when he hears “state of mind” he thinks:  “diminished capacity.”  Ann Finnel advised the Court it was not about claiming diminished capacity.

Apparently the opinions of these two psychiatrists only became available to the defense recently, which is why the late notice to the court and to the State.  Ann Finnel promises to have the reports to both the Judge and the State on Monday.

So what is this about?

As far as I am aware, when you talk about “state of mind” it would go to Casey Anthony’s behavior.  But, what behavior is the big question.

Ms. Finnel said these two doctors were being planned on the penalty phase only, but as a result of the opinion they’ve given, they have decided to add them to the guilt phase.

Could the state of mind question lead back to the “ugly coping” that was bandied about for a while?  If so, will they try to white-wash the party girl image, the tattoo loving thief?  Good luck with that.

Perhaps the state of mind question will apply to the murder (or accident – if the defense goes with the pool accidental drowning), and attempt to explain away Casey’s behavior right after the death?

Will they claim that mentally she was able to almost disconnect from herself in an effort to deny Caylee’s death?  Well, that’s all well and good, but she sure did go to great lengths to hide Caylee’s little body.  She dealt with that aspect for a few days.  She knew what she was doing.

Is the defense going to attempt to explain, via these doctor’s, that Casey is indeed innocent, but her mental capacity to accept the trauma of her daughters death did not allow her to deal with it, hence the cold and callous demeanor?

I bet that’s what they will try to do!  Like Casey, Baez will never allow Casey’s guilt to be discussed.

It’s too late now for a mental health defense, though that would have been the clearest choice to defend her, so it will be interesting to learn how in the world the defense will deal with state of mind at this late date.

I really do doubt an attempted explanation of any kind of mental defect would change a jury’s state of mind regarding this crime.

Wouldn’t change mine. Would it yours?

25
Mar

Training K9s to alert to the smell of a decaying defense team

Despicable.  Dishonest.  Deplorable.

Bombastic. Blowhard. Bully.

Are there any other words to describe the defense team in the State v. Anthony case?

Oh, you betcha!

There are dozens of words and dozens of ways to express the rotten methods used by the defense.  They throw slime on testimony, on witnesses, facts, and rulings in an effort to wiggle out of the dark pit they have found themselves in.  They have no case.  They have no case! Hello!  They have no case!  What are they doing – What is Mr. Baez doing?

The defense team needs to spend an hour in detention, forced to write on the blackboard: We have no case and we admit it. We have no case and we admit it.  We have no case and we ADMIT IT!

There is nothing more maddening than to see Mr. Jose Baez, not only make a total fool of himself, but to also put on a cynical and distasteful demeanor toward witnesses that are polite, well-meaning, and professional.  When I watch Mr. Baez at work, he reminds me of the stereotypical Vegas-character-gangster-lawyer straight out of the “Godfather.”

How dare he demean perfectly honest, perfectly professional witnesses?

Last night I watched the videos of Dr. Vass’ testimony, tonight I am catching up with Deputy Forgey’s testimony regarding his search of both the Anthony home, and the White Pontiac Sunfire.  Mr. Baez actually brought up the fact that the dog could have been thrown off by the smell of garbage in the trunk of the Pontiac. Yes, I heard it with my own ears tonight – the garbage sure could have been the source of that smell!

Was this particular line of questioning written by Attorney Casey Anthony?   Is she writing the witness questions for Mr. Baez?  I bet that’s it!  This is a team effort by the law firm of Baez and Anthony.  Or, no, it’s probably Anthony and Baez.

So, now we know what Casey Anthony is doing as she sits at the defense table writing furiously on her yellow legal pad!  She’s writing the questions for the defense!!!!

Is this why Mr. Baez asked a question about Grand Jury testimony?  Baez surely knows Grand Jury testimony is off limits, so it was probably Casey’s mistake, after all, she’s a new lawyer, we need to give her a little slack, right?

I bet it was at Casey’s direction to ask about how Deputy Forgey could forget that a blue car was in the vicinity of the white Pontiac when the K9 alerted to decomposition.  You see, Deputy Forgey didn’t mention this blue car in one of his statements – naughty naughty Deputy Forgey – you really goofed!  And you know what else probably happened?  Deputy Forgey probably LIED about the color of the car!  Yes!  That’s it.  Let’s prove the car was really GREEN, but Forgey says it’s blue, SO WE CAN IMPEACH HIM!  Well, sure!  That’s how we’ll win this case, by George!  We’ll just ask everyone who testifies to get off the witness stand and write on the flip chart the colors of different things at the crime scene.  Yeah!  And, if they call something orange that’s really red, then we’ll impeach them and prove they lied!  And, we’ll have the evidence to PROVE  it!  Yes, we’ll have the FLIP CHART PAPER THEY WROTE ON THAT PROVES CASEY IS INNOCENT!   Those flip chart pages that the witness wrote on will be entered into evidence to PROVE the witness lied about everything! Which translates to the obvious fact that Casey is  indeed innocent!

That’s the strategy, my friends!  That flip chart is the secret weapon in this case!  Oh, and this strategy was the mastermind of Attorney Anthony.  She’ll get all the credit for this.  Why, she may even write a book, or a handbook, like the one she read recently:  “Training K9s to alert to the smell of a Decaying Defense Team.”

Dr. Vass and Deputy Forgey should be commended for keeping a straight face and an even temper during what must have been a painful experience.  Kudos to them both.

24
Mar

Day 2: Defense in frye free fall

There is an abundance of material to talk about after the events of today’s Fyre Hearing, and today’s desperate motion for a rehearing on the Miranda and Agents of the State issue.

Dr. Arpad Vass, (who has the patience of a saint), is the States scientist from the Oak Ridge Laboratory who tested air samples, and the carpet from the white Pontiac driven by Casey Anthony.  Thanks to WFTV, I am able to watch the testimony and the the cross examination by Jose Baez of Dr. Vass.  To say the cross examination was entertaining is an understatement.   There was one moment in particular that was shocking to me.  I am referring to the fact that Baez had stipulated (agreed) to NOT refer to the use of an instrument used in the decomposition studies by Dr. Vass.

When Baez began a line of questioning that was wiggling in the direction of what was stipulated to, Jeff Ashton objected, reminding the Judge of the stipulation.  Then, Baez nearly lost it!  He claimed that he felt “coerced” and his “hand forced” by Jeff Ashton on this issue – as if Ashton tricked him into stipulating. Then we hear that Baez agreed to this stipulation in exchange for Ashton backing off the contempt charges.

Baez claimed that he was tricked into agreeing to this stipulation when Ashton decided not to pursue contempt charges. Not true, said Ashton.  The stipulation was a result of this instrument being tested and accepted in the scientific community; it was sound science, therefore not necessary to argue this in a Frye hearing (it’s not a novel science).

Baez raised his voice to a shrill; he was absolutely livid.  Then Judge Perry told Mr. Baez it was his  fault for accepting the stipulation in the first place. Baez argued that he needed to address this “methodology” with Dr. Vass, as there is a crucial bit of testimony he wants to get to. Baez blamed Ashton for the situation.  The Judge jumped into the middle.

Judge Perry:  If this was so important to your case, why stipulate to it?  Baez claimed that the issue he wants to bring up is different.  Not so says Judge Perry.  Then Judge Perry asks Baez if this has to do with discovery ambush? Then it came out that Baez held this bit of testimony OUT of discovery.

When it was discovered he did this, Attorney Ann Finnel came to the podium, whispered to Baez (clearly telling him the trouble he’d face), and Baez asked for a recess. A five minute recess was called and Baez returned with his tail between his legs, and apologized.

You know, and I know, that Mr. Baez has a habit of holding back information in order to create an element of surprise – to ambush the opponent.  The bottom line here, is the fact that the State will not be fooled, the Judge will not be fooled, and Baez will either learn his lesson quickly, or face some kind of consequence, I’m sure.

I also wanted to add that Dr. Vass, during Ashton’s direct examination, made two remarkable statements.  He stated the levels of chloroform found in the samples of Casey’s trunk were 10,000 times greater than what one would normally encounter.  (There are small amounts of chloroform found in decomposition as a general rule.)  Dr. Vass stated that the chloroform “peaked” and he’d never before seen it this high in any of the hundred’s of cadavers he’d studied.

The other important revelation was a result of Dr. Vass’s reaction to opening the container holding the piece of carpet from the car, caused him to jump back two feet, it was so strong.

Dr. Vass was an excellent witness though clearly exasperated with Jose Baez.

I must also mention a moment during the cross examination of OCSO K9 handler and trainer, Jason Forgey when Baez attempted to ask about his Grand Jury testimony!   Judge Perry warned Baez and warned Forgey not to answer, but Baez asked it anyway and then stated he’d be writing a motion regarding this grand jury testimony.  The way Baez stated this, I got the sense that he intended to put the Judge on notice, so to speak.  This is purely my take on the situation and I say this as a result of hearing the tone of voice he used, and the self important demeanor he wore when he said it.

Today’s Motion  by the Defense

In the event you haven’t heard, the Miranda and the Agent’s of the State motion ruled on by the Judge last week, has been reopened by the Defense.  It appears the defense is painfully aware of the harm this ruling will do to their case.  To solve this problem of theirs, Mr. Cheney Mason wrote this motion claiming a myriad of mistakes, and outright biases that Judge Perry made in these two rulings. Read it here.

It is shocking to read, and is an outright attack on this Judge by Mr. Mason. The defense dissected Judge Perry’s ruling and listed the mistakes he made!  Mason (who was not in court today) literally accused the Judge of bias, of misstating facts, not correctly applying the law, and more.

Reporter Anthony Collarossi, of the Orlando Sentinel, does a good job of explaining how this motion tends to mirror the movements made by the defense when they attacked Judge Strickland, who ultimately recused himself from the case. He writes:

The latest defense motion brings about recollections of the defense team’s successful effort to get Circuit Judge Stan Strickland to recuse himself from the case last year.

In that motion, the defense argued “Judge Strickland seeks publicity in his own right, and that his rulings and decisions from the bench could be improperly influenced by his desire to secure the outcome that maximizes that publicity.”

Courthouse sources familiar with the case said they seriously doubted the defense would “get a second bite of the apple” if the attorneys are considering having Perry removed.

Mr. Collarossi also reports that Judge Perry will have an answer to this motion early Friday morning.

No matter what type of low and devious tricks the defense wants to pull, there is no disputing the fact that the actions of the defense in this case are contributing to the demise of their own case.   No attorney’s want to win a case this badly – there is something going on here that smells to high heaven.

23
Mar

Day 1 and the defense got fried

Today marked day one of the Frye Hearing in the case against Casey Anthony, and I kept asking myself: How could Casey Anthony sit through the events of the day in court without any emotion?  Well, we know she is cold as ice, but I cannot help thinking of the substance of the testimony today: Decomposition, hair, odors of HER BABY!

It is difficult for me to understand how a mother could be so emotionally absent.  I will never understand how Casey Anthony can be so distant from the events happening in the courtroom.  It appears to me that she has separated herself as a defendant in the case, as if she has created a fantasy for herself as she sits at her table, in the courtroom.

Casey Anthony never, or very rarely, looks up from the “work” she does at the defense table.  She reviews documents, books, and binders, making notes of what she’s reading, conferring with the lawyers.  It is as if she has decided the best way to approach her situation is to play make-believe – pretending she’s an attorney.  Children do this quite well.  My niece plays “mommy” and will “cook” and “serve” an entire meal consisting of beverage coasters as bread, pens and pencils as eating utensils, dog and cat toys as food, paper towels bunched into a ball and taped together to make meatballs, etc., and we have a delicious meal!  Like my five year old niece totally believes her fantasy, so does Casey Anthony believe in her own make-believe, sitting apart from her life right now, as if someone else is defendant. It’s alarming and odd.

Dogs and Decomposition

The defense is making a big deal where the car was positioned when the K9 was brought to search Casey Anthony’s white Pontiac.  The K9 also checked Tony Lazarro’s car for scent of decomposition.  None was found.

Strangely, Baez asked OCSO Detective Melich, Investigator Bloise, and Investigator Vincent, who were testifying to the K9 alert of the white Pontiac driven by Casey, to draw on a flip chart where the car was situated in relation to the forensics bay, in the parking lot.  Huh?  What point was Baez making here?   It was never established.

When K9 handler of the dog “Bones” Sergeant Brewer took the stand, she indicated her dog alerted on  3 spots in the back yard of the Anthony home.   Mr. Baez did a fair job with the witnesses I saw him question, though I have not seen all the videos as yet.  However, when Mr. Baez asked witness Sergeant Brewer if her dog, Bones, can “tell” her what type of substance the dog alerted on, the witness was quite surprised.  It was nonsensical, and there was bemused laughter from the courtroom.  Mr. Baez, did not laugh, which led me to believe he intended his question be taken seriously.  Idiotic question, meant to be cynical, but it fell flat.

A defense witness, Dr. Fairgrieve, was trounced on by the State in his testimony of K9s. He was forced to admit that he had never trained search dogs, only observed their training about 10 to 20 times.

Dr. Fairgrieve has no education/background in the use, training or reliability of K9s, and Linda Drane-Burdick, attorney for the State, used these facts to great advantage.

Dr. Fairgrieve ended up appearing like somewhat of a hack in the field, having only admitted to reading articles related to K9s that anyone could read on the Internet.

The One Hair

This one hair, the hair from Caylee Anthony, has been tested and not only shows the type of “banding” one would see on a hair from a decomposed body, DNA tests concluded that Caylee Anthony cannot be excluded as the source of the hair.

With regards to this testimony, I will rely on the analysis of Attorney Bill Shaeffer when he says the State of Florida met its burden with regards to their argument over the reliability of the appearance of “root banding” (decomposition-like banding on a hair from Caylee Anthony found in the trunk of the Pontiac).

The questioning by the Defense Attorney Sims was terrible and did not seem to make sense as it relates to the purpose of a Frye Hearing.

There were so many objections by Jeff Ashton during Ms. Sims’ questioning of the FBI witness that were sustained, it became embarrassing.

If I were a gambler, I’d agree with Mr. Bill Shaeffer and tell you, the hair will be in evidence, and it will be damning.

It is not looking any better for Casey Anthony today.

 

22
Mar

3 day frye hearings begin TODAY!

Today  Tomorrow beginning at 9:00 a.m., the Frye hearings in the case against Casey Anthony are set to begin. The hearings are set to last for three days – concluding on Friday. I don’t have a schedule of topics or witnesses at this time, though I believe these topics are among those to be discussed:

– Canine alerts (Anthony back yard)
– stain in the trunk of Casey’s car
– chloroform tests (car trunk)
– smell of decomposition
– heart sticker evidence
– decomposition banding around the root of a hair found in trunk
– plant growth

WordPress is having back-end system issues tonight, I should be back later with another post!

Take notes for me!  I couldn’t do anything on WordPress last night – it was down for the count…. heading to work now.  Have a great day! 🙂

21
Mar

hungry for those defense depos?

Does it make you mad that we have not been privy to all the defense depositions that were recently released?  My nose is out of joint!  But, I do understand the media needs to make money.

Apparently most media outlets had an appetite for the defense depositions that were filed on Friday, March 18th, though they have not published them, they DID obtain them.  Here’s the kicker:  The cost per page is $1.00, which is a bit of cash for each media outlet to dole out for this feast.

The Orlando TV news stations are very competitive – they all want ratings, as well as website “hits” to lure more advertisers.  WFTV.com, which has  been, in my opinion, the best source for news on the case, is holding the depositions back, even though, the day they received them, they promised to post them.  Of course, they never did.

WESH talked about the depositions in a story, but never posted any documents.

The Central Florida News – 13 Station, another media player, developed a strategy.  They are releasing bits and pieces of the depositions on their website, preceded by some fanfare, for a return on their $3000 investment in purchasing the transcripts.  Smart of them?  I think so.  Their numbers (ratings) will increase, which means more advertising money rolling in for them.

Hal Boedeker, TV Guy, Orlando Sentinel, wrote a story about this today on his Orlando Sentinel blog.  Here’s the link to the story.

Hal tells us that, yes, all the 3000 and some odd pages of depositions were filed with the Clerk of Court on Friday – the same day as the big news about the two recent show-stopper court decisions – the Miranda ruling, and the Agents of the State ruling. The rulings were a bigger news story, apparently, though the depositions – to our hungry appetite for information – was big news, too!

The Robyn Adams Deposition

Robyn was the friend Casey made early on in her incarceration.  As you may remember, Robyn saved most of the notes and letters that she and Casey shared.  Instead of “flushing them” she mailed them to a friend for safe keeping, most likely realizing the letters would be useful someday, though she claims that Casey and the jail experience was an important part of her life, and she wanted the letters as reminders of days past.  Plus, she said, she  saves everything.

The Central Florida News-13 station published a very tiny portion (19 pages), of the Robyn Adams deposition.  There is very little “news” other than the revelation from Robyn that she thought Casey had a good heart. This upsets my digestion, but, to each his own.

Robyn recounts that, when it was thought that Caylee’s remains were found at J. Blanchard Park (it was big news at the time), Casey told Robyn it was not Caylee.

But then, on December 11th, when poor Caylee’s remains were found, Robyn says:

Robyn: When — when investigators found Caylee, before the remains were identified as Caylee, that night was a rare occasion where we did not speak. (Notice, she says “investigators” found Caylee.  She is unaware of Kronk.  Inmates have limited access to news in the jail)

Baez: Why is that?

Robyn: She didn’t want to speak at all. She didn’t want to talk to anybody.

Later in the transcript, Robyn says:

Robyn: That night, I was watching TV, and I saw them — they had roadblocks up and everything. And they said that — they were showing news from prior — from earlier in that day, and they said they had found remains not far away from her house in Orlando in a wooded area.  And I wanted to talk to her that night.  I wanted to talk to her that night because I wanted to know that she was okay.  I wanted to see if she needed anything that I could possibly give to her, even if it’s just a hand to hold, I guess.

And then later:

Baez:  Okay.  And you said you spoke to Casey the following evening?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez:  Okay. How did that communication occur?

Robyn:  She was in rare form.  She — her eyes were bloodshot. She had been  — she was hysterical.  She was a mess. She was a mess.

Baez: Okay. How did that communication occur though?

Robyn:  Through the door.

Baez:  Okay. So did Officer Hernandez allow you to get out?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez:  Okay. And she allowed you to go and have communication with Casey through her door?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez: Okay. And what did Casey tell you?

Robyn: Casey said that they found — found the body in this wooded area of her house.

Baez:  Did she say what was the condition of her body

RobynShe said it was in a black bag and a baby blanket, is what they found.

Baez: She say anything else, anything more than that?

Robyn:  No, she didn’t

Baez:  And what did you say?

Robyn: All I could say was, I’m — I’m sorry, maybe that’s  — maybe it’s not her, maybe it’s not Caylee.

Baez:  And what was her response to that?

Robyn: She was just crying.  She just kept crying.

Robyn didn’t realize the significance of Casey’s telling her about the “black bag and the baby blanket,” but everyone else involved with the case understood what it meant.  Only the person who placed the baby in the black bags with the baby blanket, would know these details.  Only the killer would know.

This is a very damning piece of testimony that will be critical to the State’s case.  Although putting a jail inmate on the stand is always dicey, this testimony will not be a problem, I don’t think.  The Jury will have insight into the relationship between Robyn and Casey as a result of the letters between the two of them.  The letters tend to make the relationship more credible, and important to the both of them.

Later in the interview, Robyn tells Baez (and Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick were also present), that Casey hinted that her parents may be involved in Caylee’s death.  You’ll find this on page 45 of the transcript.

I’ve included all the links (below) to the tidbits that have been released thus far by Central Florida News – 13.

We can only hope that WFTV gives us the whole feast of depositions soon.

These appetizers are fine, but it leaves me still hungry for more!

  • Robyn Adams transcripts: Click here.
  • Brian Burner: Click here.
  • Michael Vincent (OCSO CSI) Click here.
20
Mar

consciousness of guilt – big?

In his recent rulings, Judge Perry used the phrase “consciousness of guilt” as it related to the Miranda and the Agents of the State motions in the State v. Casey Anthony case.  After thinking about what it really means, or rather now that I have a better understanding of what it means, I realize its importance with regards to a jury’s consideration of guilt or innocence.

Standing alone, consciousness of guilt is never indicative of guilt or of innocence. For instance, the court says that “flight” after a crime could generally be indicative of consciousness of guilt.  But, the flight factor could apply to innocence, too.   There may be an innocent explanation to the behavior, i.e. the defendant may be perfectly innocent, but fled because they were scared.  An innocent person may also behave in ways that may appear irrational due to stress or other factors.   If the behavior tends to weigh more heavily on the side of guilt, the rest of the facts would have to bear it out – guilty or not guilty are certainly not judged on consciousness of guilt alone, but provides insight into why a defendant took certain actions.   Judge Perry will advise the jury what consciousness of guilt means, and he will tell the jury it must not be judged alone, but should be used to support other facts in the case.

When Casey Anthony is tried, the Prosecutors will point out various behaviors that will indicate consciousness of guilt.  And, the five factors used are:

  • Flight Clearly this will apply as Casey hid from her family for 31 days, she avoided certain friends who might question Caylee’s whereabouts, she abandoned her car knowing it would implicate her.  Did she leave her purse in the car to make it appear as if she’d been kidnapped?
  • False statements We don’t need to list all the lies Casey told – it would be an exhaustive list – but all her false statements were purposeful to avoid detection.  She told countless lies to hide her whereabouts from her family, she lied about Caylee’s whereabouts to everyone, etc.  This is clear consciousness of guilt.
  • Tampering with evidence Deleting files on her computer could be an example.
  • Threatening a witness I don’t think this applies.  But the Grunds have surely been hurt in this case.
  • Using false names I Don’t think she used a false name, other than when she used Amy Huiezenga’s identity and emptied out her checking account.

Whenever Casey lied about what she was doing during those fateful 31 days will be used to indicate consciousness of guilt.

I must admit, this case could not get any worse for the Defense.  The recent motions nailed the coffin tightly on the defense case.  And, given the defense’s inability to argue the merits of their side, it is quite possible they will not prevail in the upcoming Frye hearings.  The bottom line is, when placed side-by-side with the Attorney’s for the State of Florida, the defense keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller.  Like in the movie “Big” when Tom Hanks’ character wanted so badly to grow up, he was able to use a magic machine to grow up big and tall.

I’m afraid there’s no magic wand to help Casey Anthony’s attorneys grow big enough to challenge anyone, much less Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick.

19
Mar

icing on our cake

There is a lot to discuss these days regarding the State v. Casey Anthony case. Just yesterday, the defense filed 3000 pages worth of depositions and we got teased with juicy reports from them, but have yet to see them; Casey Anthony had another bad birthday in jail, and also, the story about the Judge Perry’s rulings. The news was surely not the icing on Casey’s birthday cake, but the rulings were sure sweet to us!

I think many of us, myself included, realize now just how strong the case against Casey is.  As a result of yesterday’s rulings, justice for the beautiful little baby who desperately needed protection, but found none, is nearly assured.

The Agents of State Ruling

Last night I discussed the Universal Studios interview ruling which allows statements, both written and spoken, to come in to the trial.  The other showstopper ruling by Judge Perry allows all the jail videos of Casey in to the trial.  Those videos will be damaging, too.  And that initial phone call from jail that Casey made.  Remember that?  That phone call is exceedingly harmful for the defense.  How will they overcome that phone call?  The jury will see the true Casey, only concerned with talking to her boyfriend; not in the least concerned about Caylee and angry that all her family is thinking about is Caylee, not her!  She refers to her phone call as “a waste, a huge waste” when she didn’t get the sympathy she wanted.

How in the world can the defense overcome this phone call in the eyes of the jury?  Perhaps they could argue that Casey was not concerned about Caylee during that phone call because, heck, she’d been arrested on a “f__king whim.”

So, the second ruling issued by Judge Perry last evening is another show-stopper.  It may even be more damaging than the statements to police.

Personally, I never believed this was a strong argument for the defense since the Anthony’s were hardly working at the behest of Law Enforcement.   Cindy already had a contentious relationship with John Allen and Yuri Melich, and hardly wanted to do their bidding.  In fact, they were becoming harmful to the case, as we know.   When the Anthony’s began to realize the finality and the totality of the charges against Casey, they dug in their heels to defend her.  But, this was long after the video taping at the jail.

The fact is, the state will use these videos and the phone call to illustrate who the real Casey is: someone who is rude and hateful to her parents, who couldn’t bear to talk about her daughter, and who saw herself as a victim by virtue of being in jail.

Not good.

In his ruling, the Judge writes that the test to determine if law enforcement officials are coercing someone to be an agent of the state depends upon the “perceptions of the suspect, not the intent of police.”  Judge Perry goes on to say:

To determine if whether a private individual acts as an agent of the state, courts consider all of the circumstances and the following two factors: (1) whether the government was aware of and acquiesced in the conduct; and  (2) whether the individual intended to assist the police or further his own ends.

It appears as if this test is to consider Jail-house snitches, not family members!  The strange aspect about the defense’s presentation of their motion is the fact they did not put Robyn Adams, Maya Derkovic, or Sylvia Hernandez on the stand, though they were all named in the motion.

Judge Perry found that the members of law enforcement did not in any way “use” the Anthony’s to further their case, or walk over Casey’s Constitutional Rights.  Judge Perry found that because the Anthony’s “were acting independently of law enforcement, they cannot be deemed “agents of the State.”

Todd Macaluso Bare-Bum on the Beach??

One of the most amusing stories to come out yesterday was John Allen, in a defense deposition, advised that there’s a video out there with Todd Macaluso and another man dancing nude on a beach!

Here’s the dialogue that was included in the a story published by the Orlando Sentinel:

Allen: “I remember at one point the guy that was on the video running around naked with a guy holding hands on the beach —

Baez: “Todd Macaluso.”

Allen: “Macaluso.”

Mason: “What?”

Allen: “He was on a video, a U-Tube [sic] video running in the water holding hands with some other guy naked. You probably saw it, right?”

Mason: “Was it Jeff?”

Allen: “That guy stood up in court —”

Drane Burdick: “I’m sorry, you said (Assistant State Attorney) Jeff Ashton?”

Allen: “The guy he was holding hands with wasn’t Jeff Ashton …”

Drane Burdick: “Was it Jose?”

Baez: “It was not Jose.”

Baez then asked that they go off the record. “I’m trying to get this picture out of my head,” he said.

You can’t make this stuff up!

18
Mar

defense disaster

As expected, Judge Belvin Perry concluded that every single argument put forth by the Defense could not, and did not rise to the level of inadmissibility.

As I finished reading the first ruling, (the Universal Studios Interview), the first thought that occurred to me had to do with the realization that Casey Anthony does not have a chance to prevail in this case. Additionally, it occurred to me that the best outcome for this case would be an admission of guilt by Casey, in open court, allowing Judge Perry to sentence her as he will.  This would save the tax payers of Florida nearly one million dollars, and it could save Casey from the sentence of death, which will carry another million dollar price tag.  (I read recently that a life sentence costs half of what a sentence of death costs.)

These two rulings alone are very damaging on their own and if you mix the other factors against Casey Anthony, plus the fact her attorneys are not up to par, you’re left with a damning set of circumstances that promises justice for Caylee, but is likely to inflame jurors against Casey to the extent they sentence her to death.

The ruling concerning the Universal Studios Interview nearly matched point by point what Linda Drane-Burdick argued with regards to the case law she cited to parallel her arguments.  Contrast that with Judge Perry’s admonition of the case law cited by Cheney Mason.  The Judge pointed out twice in his ruling that the defense case law citations used to support their arguments, were erroneous.  (Embarrassing.)

When Miranda Applies

All the many times I have written about Miranda Warnings, trying to make sense of it and attempting to apply its rules to the Anthony case, now culminate in a complete understanding of when Miranda applies!  The crux of Miranda is as follows:

  • Law enforcement has a duty to advise a “suspect” of their Miranda rights when and if interrogation begins.  (Casey was not a suspect, she was a witness.)
  • A person must be “in custody” meaning either under arrest, or denied their freedom of movement – to move about as they would like – insinuating custody.
  • Law enforcement does not have to articulate “custody” but if a reasonable person perceives the situation as custody, Miranda may apply.

Using the Ramirez Case to Understand Miranda

When Linda Drane-Burdick argued this motion, she relied heavily on the Ramiez v. State case. So did Judge Perry.

Burdick argued that the four-pronged Ramirez test is aptly applied to this case for the purpose of determining if a reasonable person would consider him or herself in custody.

The following is verbatim from Judge Perry’s ruling, p. 5 of 15 (the comments in bold are mine):

  1. The manner in which suspect is summoned for questioning. Casey was not summoned, the police were summoned by the Anthony’s to investigate the missing Caylee.  Also, Casey lead the Detectives to Universal Studios. The Judge pointed out the concept of “consensual encounters” and applied it to the Universal Studios interview.
  2. The purpose, place and manner of the interrogation. The Judge did not see the interview as an “interrogation” rather as witness interview. Furthermore, he noted that a conference room with an unlocked door is not threatening as a police station would be.
  3. The extent to with the suspect is confronted with evidence of guilt. The Judge pointed out that the Detectives did not use “evidence” of a crime with Casey, and they did not use the “car smelling like a dead body” when interviewing Casey.  Had they discussed that aspect, it would have been evidence of a crime occurring and it would have required Miranda.
  4. Whether suspect is informed that they are free to end the encounter and leave.  Casey was free to stop talking, but she openly discussed Caylee and the circumstances of her disappearance without being forced to.

It was interesting how the Judge discussed the concept of a “casual link” regarding “custody”. This refers to a person who is held,(or cuffed) then released, as Casey was, with enough time passing so that further questioning is not colored by that event, and the suspect stays in the vicinity of their own volition to answer questions.  The casual link was broken between the time of the cuffing and of Casey speaking and making statements to Yuri Melich.

It Looks Bad From Where I Sit

There are countless facts against Casey Anthony, we know.  When the rulings were published today, Judge Perry wrote the following: 

…the statements were highly relevant, specifically regarding demonstrating consciousness of guilt.

That sentence alone tells the tale for me.  Consciousness of guilt is a legal reference that carries a good deal of weight when argued by a Prosecutor.  I am afraid that every move Casey made for those 31 days that she alluded her parents; every lie she told to whomever she told it to will be looked at through the lens of consciousness of guilt.  And that’s a deadly lens to be seen through.

The Beginning of the End

Needless to say, this ruling is very, very damaging to the Defense.  I feel it’s a show-stopper.

It is too bad that Baez did not follow the advice of the first attorney he hired, Terence Lenamon, who wanted to approach the case from the vantage point of Casey’s mental health versus “innocence.”  There is plenty of evidence that Casey Anthony is mentally ill.  Now, I don’t mean to say that mental illness is a way out for Casey, on the contrary.  But it would save her from the death penalty.

What infuriates me is this: an inexperienced, less than honest lawyer is matched with a young, pretty sociopathic murderer to possibly create one of the worst examples of a miscarriage of justice ever seen in Florida. And why?  The defendant thinks she’s a movie star and the lawyer thinks he’s Perry Mason.

That’s it for my soapbox tonight.

I hope you have a chance to read the motions; they are extremely interesting and filled with quite a few lessons.

Here are the two motions allowing all of Casey Anthony’s statements to law enforcement, and all the jail videos into the trial.

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements Made To Law Enforcement and,

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements To “Agents Of State”

18
Mar

the rulings are in…

As you have probably heard, the rulings with regards to the much anticipated Defense’s motions, in the State v. Anthony case, are in and they are DENIED.

(A very bad day for Casey Anthony, but a VERY good day for Justice for Caylee!)

Judge Belvin Perry has much to say between the lines in both the Miranda Ruling (Universal Studios interview), and the “Agents of the State” ruling.

I am including the documents here for perusal.

Since I’ve only just returned home from work :), I want to give the rulings a good read.  I will be back to write a post about it.

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements Made To Law Enforcement

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements To “Agents Of State”

Order Granting Motion Re: Plant or Root Growth

Order Denying Motion Re: Chloroform

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