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March 24, 2011

23

Day 2: Defense in frye free fall

by Andrea O'Connell

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.

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23 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 24 2011

    From Andrea’s post-
    “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.”

    And to think, this amount was in relation to a child!

    The defense’s performance these last two days makes me pretty sure they know Casey is guilty. They are fighting so hard against the evidence that if they can’t eliminate it one way they will try another. Kinda senseless if your client is innocent. Ofcourse, it would be a feather in their caps with money to be had if they can take this case to the end whether Casey is found guilty or not.

    Reply
    • Mar 25 2011

      You’re right, Sherry. By hook or by crook (and leaning more towards crook), they will continue with their charade as long as they can play it. It is just sickening to see Baez slither in the courtroom. His performance with Dr. Vass yesterday – who was so bright and honest – was exceedingly frustrating…. I didn’t hear Forgey’s testimony…. listening to it now, and I want to throw up at Baez’s line of questioning…. Poor Judge Perry had to listen to all this and stay composed, too…. That’s a task!

      Reply
  2. Venice
    Mar 24 2011

    Casey knows she’s toast, but she wont show the world her fear. Did you catch that glimpse of her face as the jailor was taking her back? Look of shock and terror. In court, she’s all cool. What a freaking sociopath!

    Reply
    • Mar 25 2011

      I saw that, too! But, she does not attribute any of the evidence that comes out of testimony to “her” – she had nothing to do with this crime, she thinks, that’s why she can stay so calm and be so removed.

      Even if Caylee was not her daughter, a normal person would be so sad to hear listen to what was being said in the courtroom…. We have all cried over this case, but not Casey. No, never Casey – she just doesn’t care. She has no interest, no sense of maternal instinct in the least. She has a pure sociopath’s deviance – she can completely detach.

      Reply
  3. Mar 24 2011

    ~say frye free fall 3 times fast~

    Here is the part of the Vass hearing where Baez raises his voice about that stipulation (and it was Sims, not Finnell, who came up to speak for Baez):

    http://www.wftv.com/video/27313126/index.html

    Reply
    • Mar 24 2011

      The HHJP smackdown is in the beginning.

      Reply
      • Mar 25 2011

        My apologies! Finell does come up to Baez in the end, prior to the recess.

    • Mar 25 2011

      Sherry made me cuss

      Reply
  4. Linda
    Mar 25 2011

    Hi Andrea, First I want to say that the defense didn’t let me down Again today, with their incompetence but Baez did get my panties in a tiff when he reneged on his agreement with the prosecution.. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? I hope he is planning to hang up his fancy suits for I don’t think any judge, or prosecutor in future cases he handles will not only not TRUST him, but that he plays dirty.. Before today Baez was considered to be a spoiled child who played with his friends toys and after he broke them he would pick up his toys and go home. But after today I see him as a guy that would bring a gun to a knife fight……. NOT COOL…….I find it amazing that him and Casey found each other.. because I believe he is as much of a sociopath as she is…….He thinks this case is all about HIM……..Did you know that 1 out of 25 people are sociopaths? I just read that and found it interesting…… Lets hope judge Perry has a huge can of whipa$$ for Mr Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeez and his dementia sidekick……

    Reply
    • CptKD
      Mar 25 2011

      I agree Linda –
      I hope he hangs up his “fancy suits”,
      and goes back to being a Penguin on the beach
      trying to sell Bikinis!
      I sense that’s about all he’d be good at!
      And even that’s a stretch after everything I’ve
      seen emenate from that ‘supposed’ man!

      He really is setting himself up for total
      and complete failure –
      He thinks he’ll be famous at the end of it
      all – Hence, why it’s all about HIM.

      Mark my words, he wants famous –
      Well, he will become what is known
      as ‘INFAMOUS’, and eventually,
      this case, and even HE, will fade into
      oblivion, and cease to exist for the
      rest of the world….

      Other than little Caylee –
      Inmate Anthony and her D-Team
      will die away, never to be seen or
      heard from again….

      Now – Doesn’t that sound SWEET?

      CptKD

      Reply
    • Mar 25 2011

      Hey Linda! LOLOLOL! He sure does play dirty…. He plays it for all its worth – he can suck the patience out of any witness with his cynical, sickening, slithering cross. He makes my skin crawl sometimes because I get so darn mad! I feel sorry for his victims on the stand. What he put poor Dr. Vass through yesterday was deplorable.

      Reply
  5. Diana
    Mar 25 2011

    Thanks for the link *Sherry.
    I had to work, but have been viewing bits and pieces. It’s almost painful to watch Baez squirm and try to lie his way out of the agreement. You can tell when he gets frazzled, he cocks his head from side to side. It always makes me smile. 🙂

    Reply
  6. camX3
    Mar 25 2011

    Good morning!

    Fortunately, I was able to watch both hearings in their entirety. I must say that yesterday was most entertaining during Baez’s cross. Did anyone happen to notice Casey’s face when Dr. Vass mentioned that he jumped back 2 feet as a result of the odor? I thought she was going to die! Dr. Vass proved to be an excellent witness. He was very personable/likable, extremely sincere, and possessed an overwhelming amount of intelligence. I feel that the jury will quickly take to his expertise, and actually enjoy his statements. As far as Baez, he was completely out of his league. He had no idea how to question a man of this stature. He was squirming, and obviously getting frustrated, as he couldn’t dis-prove anything that Dr. Vass was saying. It’s kind of funny when he gets defensive and cocky when he realizes that he has no where to turn. The sad part of this all, is that Casey sits in that courtroom, hearing of the odors, and body fluids, and decompostion, and everything else, and all she can do is doodle on her pad and act as if she understands law, and flips the pages in her binder while smiling. These fluids ansd stenches are what is left of her young daughter, the precious little baby the World loves more than she ever did.

    Reply
    • Mar 25 2011

      Her behavior was amazing! Any normal person would be a basket case, not pretending to be a paralegal or whatever she thinks she is. But then again, normal innocent people would be a basket case from the moment their baby disappeared …

      Reply
      • Eileen
        Mar 25 2011

        I totally agree with you Kim. What I do have a problem with is hearing repeatedly by the tv pundits that Casey has “EVOLVED”. Is she actually fooling anyone?? Her behavior up to this point has been primping consistently, worrying about how she looked. Being a paralegal myself, I know that her attorneys have advised her to stop doing this. Now she thinks she’s a paralegal or attorney. It is so comical to me. I am surprised to hear In Sessions comments, as they are ex-attorneys themselves, saying how much she has evolved. SHE WAS TOLD HOW TO ACT!! Complete with all the pink she is wearing with her hair in a bun!

      • Mar 25 2011

        I ignore those people because they are flapping their gums about something they know nothing about. They need Andrea to do the fill ins for them 😉

        If anything, Casey has devolved – she looks positively reptilian

    • Mar 25 2011

      Yeah, Casey’s face when Dr. Vass spoke of his reaction to the smell was one of, “Oh, puhleeze! I didn’t think it smelled THAT bad!”

      Reply
      • Mar 25 2011

        Bwaaaaaaaaaaaa I agree Sherry. Too Funny in many ways. But the one thing I have learned in this case. CASEY is so detached from not only Caylee but her guilt as to the murder. She is soooooooooo scary, to me a danger to ever be let out of jail or in her case prison if she doesn’t get death.

        Ma and POP better rethink on her getting out. They will be next. And I hate to say it but Casey is far to gone to have any emotions for anyone. And if one of my children ignored me as Casey does her parents, I’d stop going to court. It would be clear she is trying to toss me under the bus or she totally hates me.

    • Mar 25 2011

      Hey Cam! It’s evening now… 🙂 I work all day and though I can follow the comments on my phone’s email – and respond, too, I wasn’t able to today. Though I did rescue your comments from moderation! That only happens the first time you post, next time your comments will pop right up!

      I feel that same way whenever the testimony about body fluids and decomposition was raised: How in the world was Casey able to SIT there and listen to this without if affecting her??? I will never understand it.

      Oh, and regarding Dr. Vass – I agree with you on that, and Bill Shaeffer said, about Dr. Vass’s testimony that the state could just put on Dr. Vass and then REST their case and they’d get a conviction, that’s how powerful Dr. Vass is to this case…. I have no doubt that Judge Perry will allow his testimony, too. It’s all over for Casey and her evil trolls, unless they try something nefarious to sabotage their own case and get the trial postponed (that’s what they want to happen).

      Reply
  7. SimplyNotDivine
    Mar 25 2011

    I only got to watch an hour in the morning and about a half hour in afternoon. I could not believe how every person Boze question had bad attitude towards him. I also couldn’t believe how Bozo called the Dog Handler a liar to his face. You could tell that when the people don’t answer the way Bozo wants them to he gets pissed off. I alson couldn’t believe how many times I heard the witness say they didn’t understand what he was getting at. He had those people confused because no one understands what he is talking about

    Reply
    • Mar 25 2011

      Baez simple kept repeating his question over and over and over – at one point I counted 7 times – simply expecting the witness to get tired of hearing it and answer the way Baez wanted

      Reply
  8. CptKD
    Mar 25 2011

    Perry Rules –
    Motion to re-hear the “agents of the court” “prior statements” DENIED!

    And will NOT be entertaining any further Motions regarding this matter.

    Hope this link works:

    http://www.wftv.com/news/27325233/detail.html?treets=orlc&tml=orlc_break&ts=T&tmi=orlc_break_1_04050103252011

    Reply
  9. CptKD
    Mar 25 2011

    From Caylee Daily:

    http://www.cayleedaily.com/2011/03/judge-perry-denies-casey-defense-request-for-new-hearing/

    From WFTV:
    “Judge Perry didn’t have much to say in his order Friday afternoon, simply denying the motion.
    However, he did write that “no other motions for rehearing shall be considered.”

    So there!

    CptKD

    Reply

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