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Posts tagged ‘Frank George’

3
Jan

will 2013 bring a new State Attorney to Orlando? you betcha!

On the steps of Orlando’s Ninth Circuit Courthouse, retired Assistant State Attorney and all around great guy, Jeff Ashton, announced his candidacy for State Attorney!

It’s a good move by Jeff.  You can’t help but like him, right?  He surely has the visibility and name recognition to get votes.  His visibility in the public as a result of the Casey Anthony trial, where he’s known for putting on a really good fight with colleague Linda Drane-Burdick and Frank George, was effectively expansive.  His book is doing well, and his history with the State Attorney’s Office is memorable considering his ground-breaking work with introducing DNA, and other scientific methods, into the justice system for the first time.

As far as his track-record as a prosecutor, I don’t have specifics, though I have only heard glowing things about his record.  The big question:  Is he fair?  I believe he is.

Regarding the loss of the Casey Anthony trial, I cannot imagine anyone would blame Jeff and the other prosecutors for losing that case.  If the State Attorney’s office deserves any blame (and I’m not convinced it does), it could be argued that Jeff’s boss. and now rival for State Attorney, Lawson Lamar, could take some of the blame for over-charging Casey Anthony with the death penalty.

Jeff Ashton campaign image via http://www.electjeffashton.com

But, this story is not about Casey Anthony.  This is about Jeff Ashton and his announcement to run, as a Democrat (yet another reason Jeff is my guy!), for the State Attorney’s Office.

I have never met the man, but have grown to respect and admire him.  I would vote for him!  Well, if I lived in the Orlando area, I would.  I’d definitely want to work on his campaign, too.  That would be great fun.

To access Jeff Ashton’s new campaign website, the URL is http://www.electjeffashton.com.

Here’s his logo (below).  Click on the logo to go to his website.  You can sign up for email alerts, volunteer to help, make contributions and endorse Jeff at the website, if you’d care to.

Jeff Ashton logo via http://www.electjeffashton.com

More Big News…

On a separate note, with regards to the Casey Anthony trial, I have a BIG surprise for my readers!

I have had the great fortune to interview one of the major players in the Casey Anthony trial.   I am really excited and will post the interview tomorrow.

Stay tuned!  I think you’ll like it.  🙂

5
Aug

a hot mess of a legal morass – just another day in an Orlando courtroom

So, it was déjà vu all over again, or so it seemed to me as the lawyers and Judge Belvin Perry held a hearing with regards to whether Casey Anthony will be required to serve probation in her check fraud case.

The defense lawyers stated the issue of probation is moot now.  They claim that Anthony already served probation while in jail awaiting trial for the murder of her own daughter, Caylee Anthony.

But did she?  Can probation be served while in jail?  The answer is No, but sometimes, Yes –  but in the right circumstances.

The “probation” that Casey Anthony served while awaiting trial, was hardly probation.

As we know, Anthony was found (cough) not guilty of the murder charges.  However, in 2010, she plead guilty to felony counts regarding the check fraud case against her.  Judge Stan Strickland, the original Judge in the Murder One case, heard the check fraud case back in 2010.  At the time, the Judge sentenced Anthony to “time served” and one year of probation – upon release, as he said in open court.

The problem, as you probably know, the Department of Corrections inadvertently put Anthony under probation while in jail, which was not the intent of the Court.  When Judge Strickland realized this, he amended his order and ordered probation for Anthony.

Judge Perry held a hearing on the matter today as Judge Strickland recused himself from the case.

Judge Perry heard the arguments today and told the lawyers he will take time to rule because, he said, “It’s a mess.”

My sense, based on listening to Judge Perry, is that he is leaning slightly to the side of issuing probation.   He discussed case law in which he told the lawyers that issuing probation does not necessarily measure up to Double Jeopardy.  He also needs time to research this question to determine if there  is any authority already decided as it relates to the facts in this case.

The expressive Judge Perry

Defense Attorney Lisabeth Fryer, argued the law today.  She is a very capable attorney and I imagine she will have a very bright future ahead of her.  However, it was unnecessary, in my opinion, for her to attempt to malign Judge Strickland’s reason for amending the court order so it would be clear. She said, and I paraphrase:  ‘Judge Strickland’s made this vindictive decision based on not agreeing with the verdict.’

Judge Stan Strickland would NOT act in such a manner, neither would Judge Perry!  The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland is beyond reproach, and the defense, as we know, have no problem shooting off at the mouth with contemptuous nonsense.

Perhaps Attorney Fryer has spent too much time with certain defense lawyers and now thinks that all persons are as vindictive and rude as her boss – the one with the fat middle finger that he enjoys extending upwards?

I do believe that Judge Perry’s arguments, which did support Judge Strickland’s decision, tended to support applying probation in this case.  Judge Perry appeared to base the situation on a scribner’s error.

Assistant State Attorney Frank George, appearing on behalf of the State Attorney, pointed out that the very purpose of probation is to facilitate the individuals re-entry back into the community.   And that is exactly what is at issue.  Probation is a critical part of the rehabilitation process and should not receive short shrift.

I do believe Judge Perry will attach some means of probation for Anthony as she is deserving of it, clearly.  However, nothing is a sure thing, and Perry did also mention the issue regarding Anthony’s safety in the community, and he indicated he will consider this in his decision making.  Also, Judge Perry discussed that the Defense would agree to Administrative Probation.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Administrative probation is defined as follows:

Administrative Probation is a form of non-contact supervision in which an offender who represents a low risk of harm to the community may, upon satisfactory completion of half the term of regular probation, be placed on non-reporting status until expiration of the term of supervision. The department is authorized to collect an initial processing fee of up to $50 for the offender reduced to administrative probation. Periodic record checks are completed to ensure the offender has not violated the law.

Frankly, I would like to see her serve probation, but serve it far, far away, out of sight and out of mind – finally.

Writing about this case

I keep expecting that my concentration on this case will begin to decrease, but when interesting things happen in this case, I can’t help but write about it!  The comings and goings of the players in this saga continue to fascinate me.

So, when something happens with regards to this case, I will continue to write about it….

After all, this case has provided me a wealth of content to write about.  And it’s certainly helped me to stick with my commitment to write every day in the Post-a-day-2011 challenge!  (I’ve posted everyday since the first of January!)

It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A! 

And, I have some great news…

I am taking the advice of Jeff Ashton, and others, to look outside of my four walls and my blog and do something to help children in my community.  (I wanted to be a Big Sister, in the Big Brother, Big Sisters program, but they have more “Bigs” than kids, at this point.)  So, I’m getting involved in the YMCA, specifically in the children’s activity areas.

A few days ago, I was approached about serving on the Board of the YMCA. And today, I went to a YMCA luncheon.

After a presentation about the good work of the YMCA, I attended a show put on by the children in the summer camp.   Let me tell you, it was incredible!  There were children everywhere, clapping in unison to a varied beat – so focused! They danced and sang their little hearts out!  It was such fun to see them!

So, the YMCA is going to have me, if they want me.  I want them, that’s for sure!  I should know in a couple of weeks what their decision is.  They’re looking for professionals who can bring a variety of skills and abilities to the board….

It will be a terrific and rare opportunity to make a difference to so many kids lives!!!

Singing…. “Y  M C  A  …. it’s fun to stay at the ….”

5
Jul

Verdict Watch day 2 – We Got a Verdict!!!!!

Day two of jury deliberations in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony trial.

All the attorneys, sans Jose Baez, assembled into courtroom 23 at 8:30 a.m., to receive the jury.  (Other reports say Baez was present in the courthouse, but in the hallway.)

Judge Belvin Perry gave the jury his usual admonitions and sent them on their way to deliberate.  It took about 60 seconds!

Casey Anthony was there.  She will wait in the holding cell at the courthouse. What a long wait it must be for her.  I wonder if the reality of what she’s facing has hit her?   Is she in total denial, or has she accepted what ever fate deals her?

Has she come to terms with living in jail for the rest of her life?  The jail employees say she’s a model prisoner.  She’s easy to deal with and pleasant.  Jose Baez wanted these jail employees to testify, the judge would not allow it for obvious reasons.  What has the opinion of jail guards have to do with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony?

This morning, Kathi Belich, of WFTV, tweeted that Juror #3 was in a suit today.  WESH reported that many of the jurors are dressed up today.   Hmmm.  Are jurors thinking a verdict would be delivered today and they’d be appearing before the cameras tonight?

It’s all speculation …. One never knows when it comes to deliberations.

So…. we wait.

3
Jul

can you blame him?

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!

19
Jun

little caylee and her angels

This took my breath away.   I bet it will make you catch your breath, too.

Photo credit:"lil toad."

Laurli, a contributor to this blog, shared this picture with me yesterday. It’s titled “Caylee’s Team.”

The original is posted here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/60857547@N03/5835813911/

This picture will do the writing for me tonight.

I think you’ll see why.

26
May

gas, grass: the gross defense continues

Today’s proceedings in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony brought fireworks, and a flurry of former men in Casey’s life.

The fireworks came as a result of the bizarre, laborious, and ridiculous witness questioning by attorney Jose Baez.

Poor George Anthony.  He was subjected to the same questions over and over and over and over again.  The cross examination of George Anthony should have taken all of ten minutes, with Mr. Baez, it took over an hour!

IT. IS. NOT. IN. EVIDENCE!!!

The most bizarre part of the testimony?  Baez kept referring to pictures of gas cans that were not in evidence yet.  If Judge Perry said it once, he said this ten times:  “Mr. Baez, this photo is not in evidence.”   Then, more pointedly, Judge Perry, grinding his teeth, seethed, “MR. BAEZ, THIS.  PHOTOGRAPH.  IS.  NOT.  IN.  EVIDENCE.”

Then a sidebar, where Judge Perry apparently attempted to make it very clear to Mr. Baez, the photo was not in evidence.

So, what did Baez do?  He referred to the photo of the gas can again!

Judge Perry said, “AS.  I.  SAID.  A.  MOMENT.  AGO.  AT.  SIDEBAR.,  THIS.  PHOTO.  IS.  NOT-IN-EVIDENCE-DO-NOT-REFER-TO-IT-AGAIN!”

My mother watched the replay of the trial with me this evening, via WFTV, and I agree with her assessment of Baez.  She said, “The jury will not like Baez at all.”  I totally agree – and I agree with her that it is so important for a jury to like the attorneys, or at least, have confidence in their honest.

I think Baez has already blown his credibility with the jury.  I have no doubt they are getting very impatient with his petty questions, his cynicism, and his constant smirk.

By the way, there was also a time when Baez actually asked George Anthony about his attorney – twice!  Both Jeff Ashton and Judge Perry shouted at him to stop!  (There is this thing called attorney-client privilege, and it’s sacrosanct, Baez doesn’t care, obviously.)

The former men in Casey’s life

Richardo Morales, Troy Brown, Iassen Dovnov, Dante Salati, Christopher Stutz, Matthew Crisp, and Tony Lazzarro were on the stand today.

They all did very well!

Baez questioned Ricardo Morales about his picture of a man and a woman, and the caption has to do with subduing a woman with chloroform.  My question is this.  WHY, WHY would Baez try to make something about this chloroform issue when he is asserting that Caylee drowned??

It’s unclear what point he was trying to make, but he wanted to know if Casey had seen that picture.  Ricardo didn’t know.  Baez does not make any points in his questioning – it’s very odd.  It’s difficult to know where he is leading.  I am sure the jury is confused, too.

Melissa England also testified – she was dating Troy Brown at the time.  Both she and Troy Brown testified to the evening they went out as a group, with Casey Anthony.  They testified to Casey being her regular happy self until she got a series of two phone calls.  This was on July 3rd, in the evening, when Casey’s brother Lee was looking for her.  Casey was visibly shaken and very upset, they both said.

So many young people got dragged into this nightmare; they’re all between the ages of 22 to 26, or so, just on the cusp of establishing themselves in the world… One cannot help but feel for them having to relive the terrible tragedy of Caylee’s death once again.  No doubt they want justice as much as anyone, I just feel for them having to go through this.

Tomorrow morning, at 8:30 a.m., there will be a State Motion in Limine argued.  The State is filing this motion to limit Baez in his questioning and cross of witnesses about sexual abuse, and the other claims he made in the opening statement, UNTIL such time Baez can bring forth evidence to support their obnoxious claims.

That should be interesting!

25
May

day 2: a parade passes by

The second day of testimony, in the State v. Casey Anthony, was certainly less dramatic than the abuse and murder allegations made against George Anthony during yesterday’s defense opening statements.

The State scheduled a virtual parade of witnesses, and as they did yesterday, they are methodical in building their case.

There were a couple of wins for the defense today, too.  However, in the grand scheme of things, it won’t count for much. The wins I am referring to are the fact that one of the witnesses today recalled riding in Casey’s car in mid June, after Caylee was deceased, and didn’t notice any odor in the car.

Witnesses testifying today all said Casey was an attentive and loving mother whenever they’d seen her with Caylee.  Although one witness, Maria Kissh, discussed that little Caylee seemed unsupervised when she was visiting Tony Lazzarro’s apartment, for the most part, the theme seemed to be “good mom.”

The witnesses included Tony Lazzaro, his roommates, plus one of one the roommates girlfriends, Maria Kissh;  we heard from the Fusion Night Club “shot girls” today, and George and Cindy’s neighbor, Brian Burner from whom Casey borrowed the shovel.  He testified to the two times Casey backed into the garage in her parents home, something Brian Burner had never seen anyone do in that family.

Baez asked Mr. Burner:  Are you something of a nosy neighbor?

It appeared as if the defense was all over the place today.  When Baez had the opportunity to cross examine Tony, he asked the most inane questions with regards to Casey’s purchases at all the stores the two of them went to.

He asked Lazzarro over and over: Did Casey purchase a gun at these locations? Did she purchase a knife, or other weapons?  Did she purchase chloroform?!!  It was a seriously stupid line of questioning!  Lazzarro seemed to be incredulous, too.

It was interesting to see Tony Lazzarro on the stand!  He’s a nice-looking young man; he handled himself quite well, too.  He’s on the stand again, tomorrow, 9:00 a.m.

Jose Baez, we learned today, is trying his damnedest to get testimony from Casey into the trial without her taking the stand.  It will not work!  Today, his slimy attempt was to ask Tony, Did Casey tell you about any abuse by her father? 

Objection! Sustained!

The fact is, for any evidence of abuse, sexual or otherwise, that happened to Casey, she will have to testify about it to get it on the record.  There is no other way around it.

This case, that the whole country is watching with interest, is a laughing stock already with regards to the defense team’s conduct.

Baez, in my opinion, has already lost credibility with the jury.  He is messing up, asking stupid questions, and his opening statements do not jive in the least with what the witnesses are testifying to.  For instance, in the opening, Baez says, Casey came around the corner of the patio and saw George with a deceased Caylee in his arms.  Right?  So then, according to Baez, Casey immediately began to cry profusely – she was a total mess as a result of the “accidental drowning,” is what Baez would like us to believe.

It’s not going to fly.  Because, if this is true, how then did Casey go to Blockbuster that very evening, rent two movies with Tony, sleep with him, and then spend the next day in bed with him, never once crying or seeming sad?  Furthermore, every witness today, one by one, portrayed  Casey as fun, outgoing, never sad, just herself, etc.

How can this be?  How does a loving, caring mother show no emotion after the death of her own flesh and blood?  The jury will never believe it.

Also, how does Casey leave her daughter with her father if he is a sexual abuser?  The fact is, she would NOT have done this!  Allowing one’s child to be exposed to the same abuse you suffered is not at all characteristic of an abuse victim.

Surely the State will have testimony to support this.

I thought it was interesting to learn that Tony Lazzarro did not give Casey permission to use his Jeep while he was away, in New York.  It’s not surprising, just interesting and another example of her disregard for anyone other than herself.

Also, we learned that Casey took it upon herself to “manage” the Fusion “shot-girls,” it was not an official job or responsibility given to her, but she was caring and protective of the shot girls.   How about that for a dichotomy!  She’s busy drinking, dancing, and protecting these shot-girls like their mother, yet as a mother, she can’t cry for her own deceased daughter?

In other happenings today, we saw a terrible display of rage this morning when Baez, walking down the street to the courthouse, was bumped into by a camera man.  Baez’ response?  “What the fuck,” he screamed, slamming his briefcase to the pavement. Like a little boy on the playground.

Here’s the link: http://www.wftv.com/video/28018147/index.html

This is not the behavior of a confident lawyer.

I have said it before and I will say it again, based on the performance of Baez in that courtroom, if Casey is sentenced to die, it is Baez who delivered her.

The defense “story” makes no sense whatsoever, and the defense is no match for the State of Florida, this is abundantly clear.

As Shakespeare wrote, in Macbeth, the defense’s case “…is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

24
Jan

there are just no words….

Today, the State of Florida ASA Linda Drane Burdick filed a motion that held not a single word describing the purpose of the motion.  The motion contained ONLY a listing of 21 items of discovery received from Jose Baez, on January 14, on a flash drive.  (Note: Neither the State nor the Defense need to file motions with a listing of the discovery material received or sent.)

The flash drive with the “discovery” contained:  Videos from WFTV news casts.  Yes, you read that right.  There are 5 WFTV videos. There is one WESH news cast, and one from WKMG.  There are videos of the Psychic Gail St. John.  There is even a video of the Psychic Network show hosted by Gail St. John.

This is discovery?

There are photos, too.  One photo of Sargent John Allen.  There’s even a photo of Assistant Attorney’s Linda Drane Burdick, with Jeff Ashton, and Frank George, on Suburban Drive.

This is discovery?

There are 9 photos that are merely numbered from 005 to 013 with no identifying notations. There are background reports on State witnesses; there is a CBS photo titled “New Evidence in the Caylee Case” but there is no identifying information as to its value.

Again, this is discovery?

Well, this is Jose Baez’s idea of discovery.

At this point, Jose Baez and his actions are no longer laughable.

What he is doing is a slap in the face to the court; it is terribly disrespectful to the State Attorney’s Office, and it appears to be another willful attempt by Baez to stick his middle finger out at the legal system.

As mentioned earlier, Linda Drane Burdick filed the motion without comment.  She only listed the items received.

I don’t doubt that she is at a loss for words.

Here is the motion filed by ASA Linda Drane Burdick:  State of Florida’s Inventory of Discovery on Flash Drive Received 1/14/2011

If Casey Anthony’s life did not hang in the balance, we might all get a good laugh at this.

And, Jose Baez has a deadline approaching – he had to have filed his Expert Witness Report on Dr. Kenneth Furton by January 19th (Judge Perry ordered it due in 10 days from Jan. 5th), and the rest of his reports are due 20 days from Jan. 5th, I believe.  Perhaps he followed the Judge’s orders and filed it on time, and in full.  There’s no way of knowing, at this point.  We’ll have to see.

However, this latest filing of discovery, in my opinion, rises to the level of another willful violation.  Will contempt be the next step?  I would not be the least bit surprised if it happens.

Take a look at the list that Linda Drane Burdick filed in the motion that is on the link above.

Did she deliberately let the list speak for itself?  Yes, I believe so.

Strong commentary to the court about Jose Baez.

19
Jan

state adds links, but tightens the chain

In response to the litany of motions that the Casey Anthony Defense submitted to the court, the State of Florida answered with a well written and thoroughly researched answer to a few of the Defense’s motions.  (These particular motions are in lieu of a hearing; Judge Perry will rule on them based on the written arguments in each of the motions.)

You will find the document at this link:  State of Florida’s Response to Defendant’s Motions in Limine.

There are two authors of the State’s document: Ms. Linda Drane Burdick, and Mr. Frank George, also an Assistant State Attorney.

About the State’s Motion

Reading the State’s motion is like getting a lesson on the ABC’s of the basic principles of the law. Jose Baez will learn a few things about relevant evidence, hearsay, and probative versus prejudicial evidence, should he read it.

The seven motions the State addressed are as follows:  1) Exclude the intimate sexual details with Tony Lazaro and Casey. 2) Exclude same from Anthony Rosciano. 3) Answer to Defense motion to exclude history of lying and/or stealing. 4) Answer to Defense motion to exclude testimony of Brian Burner with regards to the shovel. 5) Answer to Defense motion to exclude “irrelevant” evidence of tattoo. 6) Defense motion to prohibit the use of Casey’s MySpace posting of “Diary of Days.” 7) Defense motion to prohibit testimony regarding Cindy Anthony’s  MySpace posting.

Preclude the intimate sexual details with Tony Lazaro and Casey

The State, while they agree that intimate sexual details are not required, facts about the relationship is “highly relevant.”  Critical to this argument is the fact that Casey spent nearly every night and day with Tony and never revealed to him that Caylee was “missing.”   The State argues that it is important for a juror to understand the level of intimacy between Casey and Tony, as that tends to indicate a “level of trust between them, making her withholding of the information about the kidnapping all the more implausible.” (State of Florida motion, 01/18/2011)

Preclude sexual details from Anthony Rosciano

The State agrees not to use the testimony of a sexual nature from witness Anthony Rosciano.  There is nothing to argue here.

Answer to Defense motion to exclude history of lying and/or stealing

The State argues that during the critical period of June 15, 2008 to July 16, 2008, the stealing and the lies are relevant since they illustrate Casey’s activities during the critical time that she claims Caylee was missing, and she was conducting her own investigation into her whereabouts.  The stealing and the lying during that critical time-frame point out that Casey was “fleeing” from her parents, and her brother, and stealing and lying to sustain herself and elude being discovered. The State argues that she lied to her family to hide the truth about Caylee’s whereabouts, and she stole from friends so she’d have money to sustain herself, being away from her parents.   All of this lying and stealing, the State contends, points to a consciousness of guilt, and should be admissible.

Answer to Defense motion to exclude testimony of Brian Burner with regards to the shovel

The State points out that Mr. Brian Burner, a HopeSpring Drive neighbor, saw Casey on three separate occasions, at her parent’s home.  He noted that Casey usually parks her car “nose in” but backed it in, he observed, in these visits.  Mr. Burner states that Casey told him she needed to dig up some bamboo root.  The motion states:

The notion that the Defendant borrowed a shovel to do some light yard work is preposterous, and is not supported by Mr. Burner reporting that the shovel did not appear to be used extensively, nor did the Defendant appear to have spent about an hour outside in the June heat digging up bamboo roots.  The Defendant, through her counsel, is, of course, free to argue to the jury that the borrowing of a shovel during this time frame does not equate with her guilt.  The more reasonable explanation is that the Defendant borrowed the shovel with the intent to bury her daughter.

The motion goes on to assert that the fact that the shovel was borrowed so soon after the child went missing, infers that Casey used it to bury her daughter:

The question for the court is: Does the evidence of borrowing a shovel from the neighbor within two days of the child being missing have a tendency to render a proposition in issue – that it was borrowed with the intent to conceal the remains – more or less probable?  Again, the obvious answer is “yes.”

Answer to Defense motion to exclude “irrelevant” Evidence of Tattoo

The State argues that the tattoo is relevant because it shows Casey’s state of mind during a time she reportedly was searching for her daughter.  The tattoo reads:  “La Bella Vita” which means “A Beautiful Life” in Italian.  The conclusion by the State  simply is:  Casey got the tattoo to express her feeling of freedom, of having a new life without the burden of raising a child.  Surely the Defense wishes this evidence would go away, as it is damaging, but, as the State points out in the motion:

The tattoo is relevant to show the Defendant’s state of mind during this time period, and the inscription obtained can certainly be read either as an epitaph for her daughter, or signaling a new beginning for herself.

Defense motion to prohibit the use of Casey’s MySpace posting of “Diary of Days.”

The State contends that Casey Anthony’s writing on the Internet is relevant since it is not indicative of a mother searching for her daughter that she claimed was kidnapped.  Incidentally, the Defense claimed that Casey’s writing was a quote from a song by Hayden Christianson.  The State has been unsuccessful in finding such a lyric, however, they point out that Hayden Christianson was one of the actors in the movie “Jumper” that Tony Lazarro and Casey rented on June 16, 2008, which is the date believed to be when Caylee was killed.

Defense motion to prohibit testimony regarding Cindy Anthony’s  MySpace posting.

The State here argues that Cindy Anthony’s posting on MySpace proves that the relationship between Casey and Cindy was strained, and that Cindy was desperate to know about Caylee’s whereabouts.  The State contends that what Cindy writes on MySpace offers an “untarnished view” of the mother/daughter dynamic.

In Closing…

I hope you have a chance to read the State’s motion.  They have crafted a finely tuned argument that is compelling and also dramatic.  I say dramatic because when you consider the totality of their case against Casey Anthony, it is heavy with damning and damaging circumstantial facts. When the State finally lays their case out, in trial, I believe it will shake all the Anthony’s out of their dens of denial – they will have a hard time with the truth since they’ve been denying it for so long.

Once Casey hears the State’s opening statement, and realizes that it is all coming down on her head, she may wish to God she’d taken a plea.

The Anthony’s are not ready for what’s coming. What is coming by the State is a series of links in a chain of evidence that will be so strong, it will wrap around Casey like a thick and heavy shackle.

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