Drama was in full swing today when Jose Baez, during his over-the-top argument to the jury, suddenly screams, pointing to Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton, and says “…that laughing guy!”
And, well, Ashton was smirking, there’s no doubt about it. Regardless, it completely infuriated Judge Perry when he heard Baez shout, “that laughing guy.”
“SUSTAINED,” Judge Perry screamed at the same time Jeff Ashton bellowed, “OBJECTION!”
Judge Perry immediately sent the jurors out, while the attorneys went into chambers. Then, the next thing we knew, the Judge, in his shirt and tie, is seen stomping in the courtroom hallway flanked by three uniformed police officers. Everyone thought contempt charges were imminent. The thought of Jeff Ashton being charged with contempt was horrifying; a nail-biting time. Thankfully, Judge Perry softened, giving the attorney’s another chance to maintain decorum as the Judge had previously ordered they do.
It is unclear to me whether Mr. Baez was going to face contempt as well. It seemed obvious that the real infraction had to do with Jeff Ashton’s facial expressions – he’d tried to hide a smile by putting his hand over his mouth, making Baez livid. Frankly, I can’t blame him. Jose’s antics were maddening and laughable at the same time. Nonetheless, Ashton was wrong to react as he did.
I was shocked not only that this serious situation was playing out in the courtroom, but also at what Jose Baez did to help the situation. Mr. Baez, magnanimously, asked Judge Perry to not hold Mr. Ashton in contempt. He then apologized for getting caught up in the moment. After both attorneys apologized the proceedings continued as usual.
The dramatic day began with a brilliant and cohesive closing argument by Jeff Ashton. The State’s opening lasted only 77 minutes. Baez and Cheney Mason (who literally put me to sleep), used the full four hours given to them to argue their case.
Jeff Ashton methodically laid out the lies Casey told. Ashton noted Casey Anthony’s ability to keep her lies together was a result of her intelligence. She’s a smart girl, he told the jurors, she seamlessly moves from lie to lie to lie. “Her lies are impressive,” Mr. Ashton, added, with a good dose of cynicism.
I began to take notes as I listened to Ashton, but abandoned them because his argument became incredibly compelling and I didn’t want to miss a word!
Mr. Ashton pointed out that Casey needed to do away with Caylee because she was beginning to talk and could inadvertently blow Casey’s cover. If George or Cindy had asked Caylee about Zanny, it would be all over for Casey. Therefore, argued Mr. Ashton, Casey needed to “get rid” of this problem.
Ashton described how the three pieces of Henkel duct tape were applied to Caylee, and were proof of premeditation. The first piece of tape covered her mouth, the next piece covered her nose, and the third piece placed over the two previous pieces to ensure the air was blocked.
And, like so many of us hope and pray, Ashton said, “One can only hope that that chloroform was used beforehand (before the tape was applied).”
In a very poignant moment Mr. Ashton pointed out the terrible irony that the tape used to kill Caylee, was also used by George Anthony to implore people to find her – to hang the missing Caylee posters.
The Baez Closing
Jose Baez began his argument rather weakly, then built up steam, only to climax in the middle of his argument into a screaming meme! Baez kept this loud, angry, screaming tone that had to get old fast for the jurors. How would you feel if someone is less than three feet in front of you and screaming their head off for three and a half hours?
Baez’s arguments were sustained in excess of ten times during his argument. Though many talking heads were praising Jose’s work. Even my favorite attorney, Bill Shaeffer, gave Baez a B-plus.
Granted, Baez made some good points, but he never got any “ah-ha” moments, in my estimation. I felt his arguments fell flat with a loud bang. And, Baez was really sarcastic and used the word “slut” in relation to Casey Anthony three or four times. He called her a liar, too. Childish, in my view.
In his argument, Baez heaped much of the blame on George Anthony, of course. Roy Kronk was a target, still, too. Baez called the State’s evidence “a fantasy.”
It was painful to listen to Jose Baez today as he twisted facts and massaged testimony to benefit the defense. It’s very aggravating to write about Baez’s closing – it was so annoying I nearly turned it off. And then, Cheney Mason got up to speak and he lulled me right to sleep so I missed the majority of his closing.
Baez had quite a number of visual aids. The visuals were nicely done and expensive looking. Baez had the pictures of the witnesses on magnets and then shifted them into groups on a poster board, aligning and moving the photos according to the story he wanted to spin as he trashed the State’s case.
The jurors were tired; Judge Perry, sensitive to their needs, saw that they were and the day concluded for them at 6:30 pm.
The lawyers and Judge Perry had not agreed on the Jury Instructions, they worked through lunch and into the evening to finalize both the jury instructions and the charging document for the jury to use. They recessed at approximately 8:00 tonight.
Tomorrow, the State of Florida will finish their closing arguments beginning at 8:30 am. Linda Drane-Burdick will begin for the State. I hope Jeff Ashton has an opportunity to argue again, too. I hope that Frank George is given an opportunity to argue as well.
Today was pretty amazing, and tomorrow will seal the deal for the State.
They will state their case beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt for this jury.
No doubt here!