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July 3, 2011

31

can you blame him?

by Andrea O'Connell

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.

Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton - video snip of InSession video stream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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31 Comments Post a comment
  1. dee
    Jul 3 2011

    I uderstand, but I do blame Ashton. However, I can not say I have never got the nervous giggles in court and durng other serious moments. Soooo, I do forgive him.

    Reply
    • Jul 3 2011

      me too, Dee. And Baez had asked the Judge to require Ashton to stop the gestures, but he continued…. Ashton has such animosity for Baez….

      Reply
  2. dee
    Jul 3 2011

    Andrea:
    Baez did good with what he had left to work with… Did you notice the Freudian slip during the defense closing.. He basically said ” the truth stops here”.
    That was awsome

    Reply
    • colleen
      Jul 3 2011

      There were a couple of freudian slips!

      Reply
      • Jul 3 2011

        Yes! I particularly remember the “truth stops here” slip – it was hilarious!
        And I agree with you, Colleen, there were more of them, but I’ll be darned if I can remember a single one! 🙂

  3. dee
    Jul 3 2011

    Andrea:
    Both Ashton and Baez were subject to Contempt of Court. But, Baez took it upon himself to forgive Ashton, as if he had nothing to worry about…..sooo it came off appearing as if Baez was not out of order.

    Reply
    • Jul 3 2011

      Hi Dee! Oh, I got ya! I thought they both were wrong, too. I “thought” Baez was acting like a good guy, I guess he was just doing a C.Y.A. job! And I agree, Ashton was clearly misbehaving!

      Reply
  4. Jul 3 2011

    Andrea sez:
    It was painful to listen to Jose Baez today as he twisted facts and massaged testimony to benefit the defense

    I cannot understand why I have heard defense attorneys think Baez did a great job because of the very thing you stated. Baez was being deceptive-is that seeking after truth? I don’t understand how that can be a good thing for our justice system. 😦

    I could barely understand Mason. Had it not been for commentors and chatters I’d not know even the half of what he said.

    I was stunned at Jeff Ashton’s antic today. I can understand him getting peeved and that he wears his emotions on his sleeve but to mock Baez’ presentation-well, that could have undone everything they worked so hard for. Ashton had a strong closing and Baez had to rely on deception through semantics and twisting the truth so there was no good reason for the laughing at Baez. I couldn’t believe Ashton didn’t own up to it either. he made like he wasn’t laughing when it was so plain to see he was.

    Now, about this “slut” thing that Baez wanted to be sure to repeat a few times and attribute to the State saying it about Casey-why didn’t the State object? It wasn’t true and it was a put down to the State, imo.

    Well, I’m glad we are hours away from deliberations and I have a strong sense it won’t take long to come to a verdict.

    Reply
    • Jul 3 2011

      Hey Sherry, I am glad, too that we’ll soon have a verdict in this case… I just hope we’ll be okay with what the verdict is. I thought that “slut” comment should have been objected to, too. It was not correct to associate that comment with the State…. those were Baez’s words… it’s clear to me what his opinion of Casey really is….

      Ashton has been called out in other trials for being a hot-head. It’s a weakness that’s unfortunate. Ashton is such an incredible lawyer, he doesn’t need to play that kind of game! I also thought it would all come tumbling down today, too. It was scary to think there could be a mistrial…or the lawyers could be ousted. It sure was dramatic there for a bit.

      Reply
      • Jul 4 2011

        I think it was the states way of getting her slutty behaviors in without ever needing to say it – Baez seemed to really enjoy saying it anyway

  5. colleen
    Jul 3 2011

    Andrea, I am surprised that Shaeffer gave Baez a B +. I thought he rambled for way too long, his arugment was disjointed and sometimes offensive, such as when he called Casey a slut. I am wondering how the jury is feeling about the slamming of George Anthony, Baez really went after him, maybe too much?

    Reply
    • Jul 3 2011

      I thought it was too much, too, Colleen. Shaeffer surprised me. He thinks, in ten years Baez will be one hell of a good lawyer. I about gagged because before he comes close to being a good lawyer, he’d have to come up with some values and morals…. This won’t be an easy Pygmalion process – Cheney Mason is not Henry Higgins, either!

      Reply
      • colleen
        Jul 3 2011

        “Good Lawyer” that would be a stretch. Pygmalion did not come to my mind, but “Devil’s Advocate” did. lol

      • dee
        Jul 4 2011

        Colleen, I must say, you have coined the better characterization…and it is true. I like it…”devil’s advocate”. The truth is not in this man, Baez will deny, deny, deny; lie, lie. lie and blame, blame, blame, even if the truth was sitting on his nose like a zit.
        BTW, did you catch the part wherein he was eluding that George should fall on the sword for his Casey…? Hmmm, that started me wondering again, whether he knew that Cindy would lie on the stand, yet had her testify, any ole’ way….I think that is worth an “obstruction of justice” investigation..

      • dee
        Jul 4 2011

        Andrea, I do not think Baez will be practicing in 10 years. Baez will exploit this case for all it is worth. (i.e. public appearances, books, etc.) As you know, he has already posted pix of himself doing a television interview about this case at his website, yet he found no time to comply with Judge Perry’s Order. This case is not at all about Casey’s life/death..it is about what he can get out of it for himself. He is as wicked as his client.

    • dee
      Jul 3 2011

      Colleen, I feel that he was extremely offensive just as he was in his opening statement. But, considering his performance throughout this trial, he did good.

      Reply
  6. Jul 3 2011

    Today was really emotional for me…. i don’t know about you guys, but listening to the arguments today was completely draining… Baez did better than I expected, but i doubt the jury bought it since most of the time Baez spoke, he yelled. No one likes to be yelled at… and jurors aren’t stupid and they will realize what Baez was doing as soon as LDB gets up there and methodically clarifies the facts for the jurors………..

    Reply
    • dee
      Jul 3 2011

      Andrea,
      Me too. I am so glad that Judge Perry rescheduled the rebuttal for tomorrow. He is so wise and I am so tired. (LOL)
      And, yes Baez did a good job with what he had left to work with in his closing. But, I am sure that the prosecution will knock it out of the ballpark tomorrow and bring the finger pointing back to Casey and her morbid “beautiful life”. I will be watching.

      Reply
  7. dee
    Jul 3 2011

    BONES and GERUS, are offended having been excluded from the SMELL SCOREBOARD, during the defense closing.

    Reply
  8. Kitt
    Jul 3 2011

    I had actually fallen asleep in my recliner, and was jolted awake by Jose Baez’ yelling about “that laughing guy.”

    But way before that part, I did hear the distasteful remark he made…”they want you to know who cut the cheese.” Oh, brother. 😦

    Reply
    • dee
      Jul 4 2011

      Kitt, be glad you fell asleep. While I think he did good with what he had to work with, considering the source; his closing got a lot worse than the cheese reference…he actually called his own client a sl_t and a liar. I really do not know how these characterizations helped his client.

      Reply
      • colleen
        Jul 4 2011

        I will admit(though I hate to) Baez did a reasonable job, he did go on for way too long, most likly did put some jurors to sleep . omg..that cheese comment also crossed the line. I cannot stand him and had to zone out while he was rambling. Mason…i didn’t even attempt to listen. Thank goodness the rebuttal is today. It will stay fresh in the jurors mind. It really was an emotional day. When Ashton was giving his closing remarks, it made me feel so sad, poor little Caylee. I hope LDB keeps Caylee the main focus of her rebuttal.

      • dee
        Jul 4 2011

        When I saw Mason approach the jury, after Baez spoke for soooo long. I turned off the TV and went to dinner. And, I have a feeling that I did not miss a thing. Just watching these closings on TV, was exhausting…I can only imagine how that poor jury felt… He is a waste..

  9. Jul 4 2011

    Im sure you will be posting your thoughts on LDB part of the rebutal. She was absolutely magnificent. I have never felt so punched in the gut. I really hope the jurors get it. ” WHO BENEFITS from Caylee being Gone”?
    Now that’s common sense. I really think they drove it home to murder 1.

    Reply
    • Jul 4 2011

      Hi Weezie, I do, too. If the jury does not offer felony murder one or premeditated murder one, i would be very surprised. Will there be a penalty phase in this trial? I think there may be….

      Reply
    • Kitt
      Jul 4 2011

      LDB was fantastic. The way she ended, with the “who benefits” question, and then the side-by-side photos. Wow. Just wow.

      Reply
  10. offthecuff
    Jul 4 2011

    I tend to think that the reason Baez was chivalrous with Ashton was that Baez was on #3 of a 3-strike-you’re-out system with the judge. Otherwise, what’s another slapped hand to Baez? He would get great joy out of sharing a contempt charge with Ashton.

    I like Schaeffer, but I too thought he is applauding Baez’ strategy of disseminating disinformation. But, perhaps, between lawyer to lawyer, being able to bend and manipulate the truth, and bounce back again and again, is considered the greater art.

    It was very artful of Baez to incorporate “the laughing guy” into his statements without a blink as if written there.

    But Linda Drane Burdick sized Baez up the best.
    In order for Baez’ theory to even partially work, Casey would have to have been the truthful one…and EVERYONE ELSE (LE, FBI, experts, the Anthonys, the state attorneys, evaluating psychologists, Kronk, etc) would have to be lying and incompetent.

    Reply
  11. Jul 4 2011

    Don’t miss the message in this video! Listen to what HHJP says in the beginning.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/1947Sierra

    Thank you, Caylee’s friend, Sierra, for this touching video~

    Reply
    • dee
      Jul 4 2011

      Thank you Sherry.
      That was a blessing. I am praying for the jury tonight, that they have the wisdom and courage to make a just and righteous decision.

      Reply
      • Jul 4 2011

        me, too, dee, me, too.

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