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Posts tagged ‘Jeff Ashton’

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 ….”

9
Jul

coming out of the nightmare

I don’t know about you, but I am slowly coming out of the Casey Anthony trial nightmare and into the land of the living.  I’m beginning to let the anger and the sadness go.

I also feel better after watching an interview of Jeff Ashton, that Kathi Belich, of WFTV, recently conducted.  I encourage you to watch it.

Not only is Jeff Ashton a terrific lawyer, he’s a very, very nice person.  He’s modest, kind and very respectful of the jury’s recent decision.

Jeff Ashton on WFTV

I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of the interview, so I won’t reveal all of the gems he shares, though there is one item especially worth repeating here.

Toward the end of the video, Kathi asks Jeff Ashton, “What advise do you have for those of us who are so upset and sick over the outcome of this trial?”    He tells Kathi that the best thing we can do is to turn our anger into some kind of positive action.  Work for/support new laws, be an advocate for children, be a Big Brother or Big Sister, etc.  Turn the anger energy into positive action.

Then he says, the best thing we can do going forward is to ignore Casey Anthony.

The best thing, he says, when Casey Antony gets out of jail, we should turn our collective backs on her and walk the other way.

This, says Jeff Ashton, will be the harshest punishment for Casey Anthony!   Ignoring her will hurt her more than anything in the world.

I need to do the same – to stop writing and thinking of this case so much.  Well, there are a couple more stories I want to write about it, but I don’t want to give Casey Anthony the satisfaction of this blog’s attention, so I’ll try to phase this case off this blog….

Of course, there will be things about the case that will pull me back…. I can’t help it!!!!   But I’m going to try to turn to more positive and encouraging topics; focus on other news-worthy things that I enjoy writing about. (Can’t go cold-turkey off this case!)

Here is the wonderful video of the wonderful Jeff Ashton:  http://www.wftv.com/video/28498264/index.html

6
Jul

not innocent

To say the verdict in the State v. Casey Anthony is shocking is an understatement.

I am dazed, overwhelmed at this jury decision.  Are we in an alternate reality where wrong is right and right is wrong?  It seems so to me.

But, I have to accept it.

Even though Casey Anthony was found not guilty yesterday, it does not mean she is innocent of the death of her daughter.

Apparently, the jury did not have an abiding and sure belief of guilt.  And I have to accept and appreciate their decision.

But, it’s difficult to do this because I see this as a miscarriage of justice.  Then again, a worse miscarriage would be finding an defendant guilty when they are innocent.

That would be far worse, and so I’m taking that to the bank.

What went wrong?

Some Legal Eagles and Talking Heads are saying, “Well this verdict is an example that the system worked.”   I can’t quite agree with that, but I do understand that I have to accept the verdict because this is our system, and it’s the best in the world.

I think the heart of this decision boils down to the jury not wanting to have the burden of sending Casey to jail for the rest of her life.  Maybe they thought if their decision was wrong, it’s better to be wrong via an acquittal then to be wrong via finding guilt.

My belief in Casey’s guilt is abiding, and I think the jury made a decision that speaks to their fear of getting it wrong, so they erred on the side of caution.

We all believed that because the jury took only eleven hours to come to their verdict, they must have found her guilty.  I was so sure that was the case.  I can’t help wondering that this jury did not delve into the evidence because they wanted or needed to get home.

My head tells me, this jury, who are supposedly people without vendettas, without prejudice, without agendas, have made the best decision because we have trusted them to do so, and twelve of them have sacrificed two months of their individual lives to fulfill their promise.

And so, I should accept the jury’s verdict, just as Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton so gracefully accepts it.  I’m struggling with this.  Really struggling.

Jeff Ashton was on the Today Show this morning.  He has accepted with grace and understanding this verdict.  Watch Jeff Ashton on the Today Show:   http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/43651905#43651905

So, what went wrong?  I never, never expected things to go this wrong.  How did it happen to go so wrong?  Were Casey Anthony’s parents partly to blame because of all the lies they told?  Did the family muddy the water just enough that the jury did not know who to believe?  Did the jurors think that the garbage in Casey’s car explained the smell of decomposition?  Did they believe Jose Baez’s claim that Caylee’s death was a tragic accident?  Did the jury sympathize with Casey and did not want her to pay with the rest of her life?  If that is the case, what about Caylee?  Were they only thinking about Casey and nothing about Caylee?

The charge must fit the crime.

Did the State of Florida overcharge Casey Anthony?

The charges, though fitting of the crime in my view, must fit the jury’s ability to grasp all of the elements of the crime.  Was the case so convoluted and muddied to such an extent by the defense, they took reasonable doubt to an even higher standard?  No cause of death. No eye witness. No CSI moments.  Just a lot of circumstantial evidence.

The death penalty and circumstantial evidence may be a hard sell for a sentence of death, or life in jail.

Did publicity hurt this case?

Scott Peterson was convicted of Capital Murder with much less evidence. That trial was not televised.  Did the TV play too big of a part in this case?  Did the transparent and liberal public records law in Florida damage the case?

I read so much of the discovery in this case, there was no doubt in my mind of who was responsible for this crime.

If the State of Florida had to do it again, would the charges start with 2nd degree murder?  I believe, though in hindsight, this would have been just since the cause of death, tragically, was ruled unknown.

Had Caylee been found the first time Roy Kronk relieve himself in those woods, it would have been a very different case, obviously.

There are many more questions than there are answers.

Theory of the Defense

I believe that Jose Baez and team floated theories that were deceiving and not at all a search for the truth.  I felt this defense team was unethical.  Do they teach trickery in law schools?

Why couldn’t the jurors see the tricks and the deception of the defense team?

I truly thought that a reasonable person should see through the smoke and mirrors and see what the defendant did to her very own child.

Why didn’t this jury at least ask themselves, “What is reasonable about not reporting a child’s absence for 31 days?”   Answer?   It is NOT reasonable!  It would never be reasonable!

Didn’t the State of Florida make it clear that this mother NEVER, for 31 days, cared one bit for her child and lied about her whereabouts?

Did the jury buy the drowning accident?  I think they must have. Didn’t they want evidence of drowning?

Was this jury just so anxious to get home?  Is that why they did not review the evidence?

What’s reasonable?

When reasonable doubt is the standard, shouldn’t the penalty be reasonable, too?

Reasonable doubt is a high standard, as it should be.  If this standard did not exist, the possibility of a Police State could easily become our governing system of justice.

To me, reason and justice are entwined.  Maybe the problem is that reason means different things to different people.   Is it as simple as knowing right from wrong?  Not exactly.

I think reasonable doubt is sometimes an unreasonable concept for people to understand.  This is the “reasonable doubt” the jurors were told to apply, as written in their jury instructions:

Whenever the words “reasonable doubt” are used you must consider the following:

A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible doubt, a speculative, imaginary or forced doubt.

Such a doubt must not influence you to return a verdict of not guilty if you have an abiding conviction of guilt. On the other hand, if, after carefully considering, comparing and weighing all the evidence, there is not an abiding conviction of guilt, or, if, having a conviction, it is one which is not stable but one which wavers and vacillates, then the charge is not proved beyond every reasonable doubt and you must find the defendant not guilty because the doubt is reasonable.

It is to the evidence introduced in this trial, and to it alone, that you are to look for that proof.

A reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant may arise from the evidence, conflict in the evidence or the lack of evidence.

If you have a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty. If you have no reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty.

Because the definition both of “reasonable” and “doubt” are subjective, it stands to reason why the court attempts to define it in such as way as “reasonable” people can apply their own ethical thermometer to the amount (or level) of reasonable doubt they apply to the question of guilt or non-guilt.

Reasonable: 

adj.1 having sound judgment. 2 not absurd. 3a not excessive; inexpensive. b tolerable; fair.

Doubt:

n.1 uncertainty; undecided state of mind. 2 inclination to disbelieve. 3 uncertain state of things. 4 lack of full proof.  v.1 tr. feel uncertain or undecided about. 2tr. hesitate to believe or trust. 3intr. feel uncertain or undecided.  4 tr.  call in question.

My reason tells me:

  • A child in the woods whose face is covered in duct tape is wrong.
  • An accident made to look like a murder is wrong.
  • A mother not reporting her child missing is wrong.
  • A car with the smell of human decomposition means something is wrong, just as Cindy Anthony said, “There’s something wrong…”
  • A mother thinking her life is beautiful now her child is gone, is that mother’s right, but it is wrong by every ethical standard.
  • A Father molesting a daughter is wrong.  Did it happen?  There is no proof either way except a liar says it is so.

I also think that how a person’s individual definition of right and wrong plays into their understanding of reasonable doubt. What I think is wrong and what you think is wrong, may be different.

Maybe this is problematic with juries.  Maybe we need a better way to define what reasonable doubt means.  It would be good to give examples to jurors.

Or, maybe we could give potential jurors a test – if they fail this test, they cannot be jurors!

That may be prejudicial though.

How about we change laws about lawyer credentials – insist they take a test to prove that integrity and ethics are values they hold dear.

If only.

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.

4
Jul

whose life was better…?

Today proved that Caylee Marie Anthony has indeed been sitting with Linda Drane Burdick, Jeff Ashton, and Frank George all these many months and years leading up to the trial.

Caylee's Team. Photo credit:"lil toad."

Prior to the rebuttal argument today, in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, Jose Baez argued an issue to Judge Belvin Perry.  I can’t really remember what his  argument was about, I believe it had to do with restricting the State’s closing argument.  When the Judge turned to the State to ask for their response to this defense argument, Linda Drane-Burdick said, “Mr. Baez has already made his closing argument, Your Honor.”

In other words, she stuck a pin into Jose, deflating him so perfectly!  It’s over, Jose, she seemed to say!

Yes, Jose Baez has had his time – his show.  His show of shows.  It’s time to sit down now.  It’s time to let common sense and truth  prevail as justice for Caylee Marie Anthony.

You have to give it to Jose Baez – he battled right until the very end – even though the defense presented probably the most nonsensical defense theory anyone has ever witnessed.

Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane Burdick effectively explained to the jurors how fantastical and bizarre the defense arguments were.  The State skillfully explained how absurd the defense theory is; how their version of events could not possibly be true.

The State’s use of audio and video to support their argument was powerful, too!  They used John Allen’s questioning of Casey at Universal Studios, where he’s explaining how he’s had to deal with many mother’s who’ve lost their children by tragic accidents, etc.

The state played the jail video of Casey saying “Surprise, surprise,” to the idea that Caylee may have drowned.  The call that Casey made to her family that first night she was jailed, was played.  The jurors heard again Casey’s single-minded need to get her boyfriend, Tony’s, telephone number and completely ignored any mention of her daughter. If anything provides a look into the real Casey, it’s that phone call.

I was very pleased that the Anthony’s, George and Cindy, were discussed as the loving and doting, grandparents they are.  The way Jose Baez characterized George Anthony was nothing short of vile.  No doubt this will not be lost on the jurors.

The idea of Caylee’s death being portrayed by the defense as a drowning accident was put to rest once and for all today.  If Caylee’s death had been an accident, why would anyone try to make it look like a murder?

Why would anyone make it look like murder?

That is the singular question with regards to the absurdity of the defense’s case.  That, and the powerful question asked today by Linda Drane Burdick:

All you really have to do is ask yourself a simple question.  Whose life was better without Caylee?  That’s the only question you need to answer in considering why Caylee Marie Anthony was left on the side of the road, dead.

Following this powerful question, we saw, side by side, pictures of a dancing Casey in a “Hot Body” contest, and a picture of the “Bella Vita” tattoo emblazoned on Casey. A few seconds passed, giving the jurors time to allow the images to sink in.  Then, Linda Drane Burdick spoke these final words, “There’s your answer.”

And that was it.

It was powerful, incredible and final.  I’m going to watch it again and again; it was the perfect ending to the heartbreaking story that has lived with me – with us – for so long.

We have no way of knowing how long the jury will deliberate.  I personally believe this jury will not need a lot of time to decide.

Although I have vacillated about what the verdict  might be, I do think they will find Casey Anthony guilty of Felony Murder One.  That is if the jurors doubt the Chloroform searches during the Month of March, 2008.  If they are convinced that Casey Anthony searched the Internet for how to make  Chloroform, I think the verdict could be Premeditated Murder One.

Of course, the defense will appeal and appeal and appeal.  They will write one motion on top of more motions.   It doesn’t matter. Casey will still be found guilty.

It’s nearly over, that’s true.  But, not really; I will always mourn the loss of little Caylee Marie.

Happy 4th of July.

 

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!

2
Jul

counting down…

I don’t know about you, but the fact that the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony is nearing its conclusion, hasn’t really hit me yet.  It’s so amazing that we are so close to the end now!

Pretty soon we’ll realize that  justice for Caylee has happened.  Of course, justice for Caylee will never be enough, some kind of closure will be good for our souls and sanity.

I have no doubt there will be justice for Caylee. The State has delivered a strong case, and the defense, uh well, it was the worst defense case known to man. Their case was a total debacle replete with histrionics and peppered with untruths the likes of which we will probably never again see in a court of law.

Like so many of you, I began to follow this case from day one.  When the documents and the discovery began to be released, the story became uglier and uglier and absolutely confounding.  The more I read, the more I needed to understand Casey Anthony, and the more I began to fall in love with little Caylee.

I got so hooked.  I am still hooked – will continue to be – there will be fall-out after the fact, as we know.

The Case That Wouldn’t Let Go

In July 2008, my niece was the same age as Caylee – born just two months earlier than Caylee.

My niece has just turned six; ready for first grade.  Caylee would be six, heading for first grade, too.  She’d be like my niece, Elizabeth, absolutely over the moon to be able to say, “I’m six, I’m going to first grade, and my front teeth are loose!”

My niece, Elizabeth with April (favorite doll), and my dog, Jazz

That was her big news today!  “I went to the dentist and he said I have four loose teeth,” she said jumping in place!

Elizabeth is beyond excited that her teeth will be falling out, but more excited that the Tooth Fairy will visit her for the first time.  And, of course, she already has a plan in place about meeting the Tooth Fairy.

Here’s the plan: First, she will keep her eyes open all night and she’ll set up her Mom’s camera by her bed to get a picture of the lovely fairy for me to see, too.  Elizabeth is sure the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t mind just one picture.

Elizabeth is quite sure she’ll be able to lay in bed and not fall asleep the night the Tooth Fairy is going to come.

I spent a lovely day and evening with Elizabeth.  We worked on puzzles, we even played lawyer and judge (her dad is a lawyer), we drew and created beautiful artwork, we played with dolls and read “I Spy” and I’m worn out.

I’m just now sitting down to write my daily post and wanted to be sure to remind everyone that tomorrow, at 9:00 a.m., closing arguments begin!

I wish Caylee were safe and sound in her little pink room, excited about loose teeth, wondering about Tooth Fairy’s, loving her dolls, growing, and filled with the wonder of being a first grader.

Tomorrow & Decisions

I’m as excited about tomorrow morning getting here as my niece is to meet the Tooth Fairy…

If the rumors are correct, both Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick will share the closing statements for the State of Florida.

I have heard that Cheney Mason could be handling the majority of the defense closing.

I believe this will be a short deliberation for the jurors.  I would not be surprised if they return a verdict on Monday.

What will happen after the verdict?  That’s up in the air.  But, chances are, if the verdict is Murder in the First Degree, the Penalty Phase to determine if Life or Death is the appropriate sentence, should happen shortly thereafter.

Then, Judge Perry will sentence Casey Anthony.  The sentencing usually occurs at least two weeks after the Jury’s decision.

In short, there will be many tasks to handle after the jurors reach their verdict in the guilt phase.

Still, it’s going to be over before we know it – I’m glad it’s coming to an end, really.

Once justice is delivered, it will be a great relief to let go, don’t you think?  We’ll never forget, of course, but letting go is good.

1
Jul

when does justice begin?

Here we are, Friday morning, waiting for the continuance of the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, and shenanigans are in full swing by a defense team in a boat with gaping holes and no paddles.

The Court is in an indefinite recess this morning while the defense deposes State rebuttal witnesses.

Interestingly, the defense is charging  that the State is “ambushing” them “again” by failing to disclose reports or information about computer searches, and about issues regarding a forensic anthropologist/toxicologist, rebutting testimony by the skull-clutching, Dr. Werner Spitz.

The Defense rested yesterday only to realize how deeply they’ve sunk, how desperate they are.  The defense has not raised a scintilla of doubt about anything Baez promised in his opening.

The defense has put on an empty case – an empty search for the truth as it is demanded by true justice.  It’s quite interesting that Jose Baez’ website is still as empty as the case it just rested.

Justice does not BEGIN with this defense team, as Baez Law Firm website says, it snoozes and is entirely lost:

It’s as if this empty website is a ruse or a facade because there are no working links still, after three years.

Furthermore, the photo on this website has the caption:  “BATTLE OF JAILHOUSE TAPES.”

We know, there was NEVER a battle over the Jailhouse tapes!  As a result of the jailhouse tapes, Jose Baez was totally humiliated.  The jailhouse tapes had disparaging comments from the Anthony family about Mr. Baez’ motivation and abilities to represent Casey.

Perjury?

I have some doubt the defense knew Cindy Anthony was going to LIE about being at home and searching for Chloroform.  However, Jose KNOWS that Cindy has lied in the past, however, whether Jose put on false testimony via Cindy would be difficult to prove. After all, Jose has to present testimony and evidence if its exculpatory, the State of Florida must provide all exculpatory evidence as well.

But, Cindy’s testimony has nothing to do with discovery or exculpatory evidence. There should be no surprise that the State moved to verify Cindy’s testimony as FALSE.  The State will prove Cindy was at work when those computer searches happened, they will also prove there  were  NO searches for Chlorophyll either, as Cindy testified to.  And the State will further PROVE Cindy did not have remote access to her work computer (from home).

There should be NO surprise to the Defense that the State of Florida has proved Cindy is a bald-faced liar, desperate to assist her daughter.

If the state of Florida puts Casey Anthony at that computer, making those 84 searches for “How to Make Chloroform,”  it is most damaging and goes to premeditation.  The State, if they prove this, will move very, very close to proving this aggravating factor for the death penalty:

The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.

Rebutting Dr. Spitzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In its rebuttal case, the State of Florida will put on evidence to directly rebut Dr. Spitz’ testimony about the “cranial wash” and whether it is protocol to open the skull of a victim.

So, we wait this morning.  The trial is going to start again soon.  This is simply delaying the inevitable and ultimate sinking of the defense dingy.

30
Jun

a dog day afternoon

In the IMDb (Internet Movie Database), for the movie, Dog Day Afternoon, it says:

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover’s operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

In the case being tried right now in Orlando, The State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, it was a real dog day as the Anthony defense team focused on the Anthony family pet burials, and the testimony benefited the State of Florida.

A Dog Will Have its Day

Had the Anthony defense team stipulated that Casey Anthony learned how to double-bag dead family dogs in a blanket, wrapped up in a bag, and taped with heavy-duty tape, it would be one thing.  BUT to HAND this testimony about burying dogs in a pet cemetery directly to the State is quite another thing, and is totally unbelievable!

The Defense asked Cindy, Lee, and George specific questions regarding the burying of animals – their intention was to illicit testimony that duct-tape was used, and George was the primary person burying the beloved dogs.

Clearly, the plan backfired in way that was justifiably poetic because one could not help but be left with the sense that Casey Anthony bagged Caylee this way because she’d learned and seen how it was done since she was a young girl.

The icing on this case was Jeff Ashton’s question on cross:

  • Jeff:  Did you ever take a dead pet and throw it in a swamp?
  • George: No.

When Cindy testified about the dying dogs, Linda Drane Burdick followed up and asked Cindy if she’d ever given her animals chloroform, or taped their mouths shut with duct-tape?

Brilliant!

The Defense Rests

It is amazing we have come this far – that the end of this case is almost here!  Indeed, today marked the end of the Defense case (unless they’re allowed to put on Sir Rebuttal testimony), and it ended with a whimper, it fell flat as a decomposing pancake.

What did the Defense prove?

In opening statements, Jose Baez promised….

  • Molestation by Lee of Casey.  No evidence of.
  • Molestation by George since age of 8.  No evidence of.
  • Drowning. Suggestive of evidence, but no direct evidence.
  • Put Duct tape in George’s hands. Proven to be available to George, and Casey.
  • Smell from garbage.  Not proven.  Too many State witnesses testified to smell of decomposition in trunk.
  • Roy Kronk in possession of body?  No evidence of.
  • George throwing Caylee in woods?  No evidence of.
  • George is a ladies man?  Possibly, but irrelevant.

Granted, it is not incumbent on the defense to put on a case; but they have put on a case, to their detriment.  I can barely think of a single fact they have proved, can you?

It appears to me that absolutely nothing was presented to support the wild claims Baez made during his opening statement.

Cindy Anthony’s Big Blunder to Save Her Daughter

Last Friday, Cindy Anthony made the grave mistake of testifying that her work records were wrong to indicate that she worked during the week of March 17th to 21st, 2008.

Although her records say she was at work, and the State understood there was no dispute of this, Cindy Anthony got on the stand and testified that she was home and had made the searches for Chloroform.

The State of Florida turned to the company where Cindy worked at that time – Gentiva – and procured those records, proving that Cindy was indeed at work and could NOT have performed the search for Chloroform.

A serious question left on the table, did Jose Baez knowingly put Cindy Anthony on the stand knowing she would LIE?????

This is a serious matter, if true.  We will hear about the fall out from this after the trial, if there is any truth to it.

River Cruz aka Crystal HollowayAn Affair to Remember?

I want to believe George’s version of this affair with Crystal Holloway; however, the conclusion I ultimately come to is, So what?

George is not on trial, his daughter, Casey, is.

In essence, I felt this testimony also backfired on the defense.  It was explained that it was Casey, not George, who Crystal indicated George was referring to when he said mentioned the “accident snowballing out of control.”  Crystal supported this and indicated that she never thought George was involved.

There were other defense dogs today, but it’s too late in the evening…

…. and I am dog-tired!

29
Jun

the courtroom as torture chamber

I find it’s difficult to write about the tumultuous day in the Orlando courtroom where Casey Anthony is being tried for the Capital Murder of her daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony.

It was a cruel day for George Anthony, Casey’s father.  It was not a Father’s Day for Roy Kronk, either.

If looks could kill. Photo: Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel

George is an ordinary man who has made ordinary mistakes.  His love for his Granddaughter, Caylee Marie Anthony was extraordinary – more to him than life itself.

Today was a stellar day for the State of Florida, thanks to the defense team.  Jose Baez, the most despicable attorney on the face of the planet, provided the State of Florida with extra energy today.

The performance of Jose Baez, especially today, was slimy; crueler than cruel.

His courtroom performance demonstrates, at least to me, why he should be immediately disbarred at the close of this horrendous case.

Baez tortured George Anthony today for hours.  Is this American Justice?  Can this be what our system is becoming?

When did the courtroom become a witness torture chamber?

George Anthony sat in that cold courtroom with his chest cut open while Baez poured acid into his open wounds.

It was painful to watch. Though I’m sure most everyone cheered the courage that George Anthony had today, no doubt they cried, too, seeing him lay there bleeding.

As he bled, George’s own flesh and blood, Casey Anthony, used her murderous eyes to cut him further.

Were those the eyes Caylee saw as she took her last breath?

My prayer for Caylee, just as her own mother snuffed the last breath from her, was that she was gently taken up by loving hands to a place we can’t see – beyond a veil, protected and loved. To the same place where her “Jo-Jo” wanted to go to be with her.

When George was explaining his suicide attempt, which Baez cruelly mocked, he said, through tears:

My emotional state even through today is it’s very hard to accept that I don’t have a grand-daughter…

I just felt like it was the right time to go and be with Caylee, I just decided that was the time for me to get away from all this, to spend time with Caylee..I didn’t want to be in this world anymore….

His voice trailed as he waited for Baez to land another blow to his already beaten heart.

Hell will have a special room for the likes of Jose Baez.

Anyone who would attack another human being at their lowest and most vulnerable – just when their heart is hanging out and freshly bleeding –  is inhumane and certainly does not deserve to be called an officer of the court – a seeker of the truth.

Clearly Baez never learned the Golden Rule for defense lawyers.  Juries do not like cruel defense lawyers and are likely to punish the client as a result.

The cruelty of this defense and this murderous daughter is coming full circle and will result in a charge of Murder One and the disbarment of Jose Baez.

The accusations, the lies, the innuendos from Baez have all back-fired.  The State will bring it all forward in their closing statements, and will remind the jurors that the truth  and this defense team are strangers, as the Honorable Judge Stan Strickland once said about Casey Anthony.

The boomerang effect has landed a death-blow to this defense.

And, it serves the defense right that their last witness of the day, Dr. Sally “Hello Dolly” Karioth, was more Carol Channing, singing “Before the Parade Passes By,” than she was grief counselor hired to help the defense.  Jeff Ashton skillfully sliced and diced her testimony so skillfully she never knew what hit her!  (By the way, did Judge Perry not see that she was chewing gum on the stand?)

And, lastly, Brandon Sparks, who appears to be a very troubled young man, blew it when he referred to his father as, “Roy Kronk,” and then as his “biological Father,” while testifying.

Jurors are not stupid; they will smell a son’s vendetta from forty paces.

Two children destroyed two fathers today.

28
Jun

it was quite a good day (God Bless Mr. Kronk)

Today’s parade of defense witnesses, in the State v. Casey Anthony trial, didn’t perform too well for the defense, however, they were colorful and in some instances, provocative.

In short, today’s defense witnesses were quite good for the State of Florida.

Here was today’s line-up:

  1. Joe Jordan – He was a Texas EquuSearch volunteer who served as a team leader, and originally thought he’d searched the area where Caylee’s remains were found, but admitted later that he was mistaken. He was subsequently rabidly pursued by the defense who wanted to use his original testimony to prove that the body could not have been in those woods at the time because Joe Jordan said he didn’t see a body.  In an email, Joe Jordan had told Yuri Mellich that Caylee’s body couldn’t have been there because he was sure he and his team had thoroughly searched the area.  But, the defense is STILL pursuing his original testimony in the hopes it will give rise to some reasonable doubt. There came a time when the defense was pursuing Mr. Jordan for his story, which troubled him so much he decided to tape his conversation with Morton Smith, investigator from the defense, without his knowledge.  It is against the law for a citizen to record anyone without their knowledge (law enforcement may do so).  Mr. Jordan, when questioned by Cheney Mason about being possibly charged with a felony, it scared him and he began to plead the fifth, which the State objected to.  There were lengthy side-bars regarding this issue, and ultimately, the jury was asked to disregard the question and answer.
  2. George Anthony – He was asked if he knew River Cruz aka Crystal Halloway.  He was asked if he had a romantic relationship with her; he denied this.  Note: I believe that River originally denied there was a romantic relationship, too.  George was very defensive on the stand and it appeared that he was hiding something.  And, uh, there was no mention of molestation, drowning, or duct tape!  Hmmmm.
  3. Cindy Anthony – She was asked about whether she had told Dominic Casey and James Hoover to search off of Suburban Drive for Caylee based on a psychic’s tip.  I clearly remember that Yuri Mellich wrote in his police report that Cindy Anthony had claimed she’d sent people out to those woods and Caylee was not there.  Today, she completely denied it.
  4. Lee Anthony – Lee said the exact opposite of Cindy.  He did have an argument with his mother about sending Dominic Casey in the woods to look for Caylee.  Cindy told Lee that she’d gotten a psychic tip and he was very angry.  It was the first time his family was going to look for a “dead Caylee” and he was very angry. Frank George asked him if he was completely sold on his sister’s lies at that time.  Strangely, Lee smiled, shook his head as if amused, and said, “yes, and no.”
  5. Yuri Mellich – he agrees that Cindy Anthony told him (as he’d written in his report), Cindy told him she’d “sent her people walk in that area and there was nothing in the area then.”
  6. Roy Kronk– Mr. Kronk was a FANTASTIC witness!  He made

    Roy Kronk - Caylee's Angel on Earth

    Cheney Mason, who questioned him, look like a bumbling, mumbling fool!  Mr. Mason did his best impression of a tough as nails but folksy and smart lawyer, giving “knowing” glances to the jury, as if to say Mr. Kronk was a big ole liar when, in truth, Mr. Mason looked like the big ole liar.  Oh, it was a beautiful thing.  Mr. Kronk is Caylee’s angel; were it not for Roy Kronk no one may have found Caylee Marie Anthony.  Thank you, Mr. Kronk, and GREAT JOB today!

  7. David Dean – Another meter reader, expressed to Roy Kronk that the area off of Suburban Drive “would be a great place to put a body.”  During cross, Linda Drane-Burdick asked Mr. Dean, “Why did you feel this area was a good spot to maybe look for Caylee?”  To which Mr. Dean indicated that in the jail videos of the family visiting Casey Anthony that she had told the family she felt Caylee was close by.  This was not good for the defense!   Meter Readers are now all heroes in my book, by the way.
  8. Alex Roberts – Roy Kronk’s supervisor, a senior meter reader, supported the series of events.
  9. Corrections Officers – Two officers were there to testify that Casey Anthony was a model citizen.  This is totally irrelevant to this trial and the Judge did would not allow their testimony.
  10. Jesse Grund – Out of the presence of the jury, Mr. Grund said that Casey had told him Lee Anthony had “groped” her on two occasions.  The defense would sure like to have this self-serving hearsay into evidence.  They’d like to have the chance to have Casey’s allegations into the record.  The judge is going to rule on this tomorrow.  There’s no way this is coming in, but the defense can dream – let ‘em spend the night dreaming!

In other news today, we learned that the State, in their rebuttal case, is going to call people from Cindy’s former workplace, Gentiva.  The individuals are from the Internet Technology (IT) group.  No doubt they are going to dispute Cindy’s recent testimony about not being at work the days the chloroform searches were performed on the family computer.  (You may remember, Cindy claimed that she was home that day and most likely made the “chloroform” searches – not Casey.)

Cindy claimed the only way to tell if she was at work would be to go back and look at her emails, but she’s sure those emails are no longer in existence.  Hah!  What Cindy doesn’t realize is that nothing on the Internet is gone forever!

The defense team told the Judge today they have only about 6 or seven witnesses left to testify, one of which is a grief counselor (who never met Casey, by the way), but Jeff Ashton was not able to depose the witness on a Saturday as he was dealing with other defense witness depositions (Furton and Rodriquez).  Jeff Ashton is going to be at a disadvantage as a result of not having the opportunity to depose this witness.  It remains to be seen if this witness will be allowed to testify.

Judge Perry advised the defense that when the defense is ready to rest their case, he will advise Casey Anthony that she has the right to either testify or not, and it’s solely her decision.

The defense case is going downhill so fast, and so completely, the only way to get the evidence of accidental drowning and the molestation out there, she will have to testify.

It’s a bad idea, of course, but, hey, when you’re very life is on the line, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all?

26
Jun

damned if she does; damned if she doesn’t (take the stand)

The incompetence of Jose Baez has been the subject of many of my posts. I will never understand how a lawyer without ANY experience in Murder One cases, would keep the Casey Anthony case.  Moreover, who could believe that a case that has America transfixed, would end up having a defense and lawyers that are brunt of jokes and clear laughing stocks?

credit: Orlando Sentinel

Let’s say, very hypothetically, that Casey is innocent and Jose is her lawyer.

No, let’s not.  The outcome would be tragic.

The organization, the Innocence Project , fights for the lives of thousands of innocent people as a result of incompetent lawyers.  We can only hope that the American Bar Association will come up with a better system to monitor the work of lawyers.  Likewise, we can only hope that criminal behavior could somehow, magically, be curtailed.

But, when there are terrible lawyers trying cases they are not qualified to try, as obviously happens, what can be done?  Apparently, the answer is: Nothing.

Objection!

Couldn’t Judge Belvin Perry have put Baez on a shorter leash?  Couldn’t there have been “OBJECTIONS!” to that horrible opening statement of which no evidence exists?  Did the State want Jose to take this route because they knew he’d be digging a hole he’d never be able to climb out of?

I’m told by a criminal defense attorney, here in Broward County Florida, that Jose Baez would not have been able to give that opening statement in this county.  He would have been stopped in his tracks.

This makes me wonder why it was allowed to happen in Orlando Florida?  Did Baez make a promise to the Judge that he could back this up?  The only way that Baez can get this evidence in would be to put Casey on the stand.  Did Baez promise the Judge and the State that Casey Anthony would go on the stand and testify to this?

I doubt it. However, I believe that may be what’s coming.  Is that why the court recessed so early this past Saturday?  Did Baez and Cheney finally realize Judge Perry would not let this drowning or molestation hearsay testimony in?

Is putting Casey Anthony on the stand the ultimate, final, Hail Mary?

Putting Casey Anthony on the stand would be criminal in itself!  She has felony convictions!   The convictions would support giving her the death penalty if she’s found guilty and would be revealed in cross examination.

However, the alternative is to put on NO evidence of this theory and get decimated when the State of Florida reminds the jury of all the promises that Baez made during the Defense opening statement.

Damned if they do; damned if they don’t is the predicament they’re in.

God Help the Uninformed

Normal American citizens have not got a clue about their rights under the law.  The Anthony’s clearly didn’t know how to find competent representation, but their instincts told them Jose Baez was the wrong lawyer for Casey (the Anthony’s were also thinking about Caylee, convinced Casey and her lawyer should be able to assist in that effort), but Casey knew she was in trouble, and for whatever reason, she trusted Baez and has stuck with him.

And, what is beyond the beyond of malpractice is the fact that those jail videos were entered into evidence with out redaction’s!  There, for the jury to see and hear, were the Anthony’s denigrating Jose Baez – in front of the jury!

If a criminal lawyer has no credibility in the eyes of the jurors, the client is doomed.  This is the death-knell for the client. The bells announcing the funeral are rung by an incompetent defense.

Both Baez and Cheney Mason have done such a horrendous job thus far, one would think Casey would see incompetence at work?

I read about another absurd murder case today that was tried by an attorney by the name of Joseph Rakofsky.  The parallels in that case to the Anthony trial, are uncanny.

Granted, when Casey Anthony was initially arrested, the charges were not murder, but the murder charges were written on the wall very early in the day, and everyone knew it.

This case smelled like a winner to Jose Baez and by God, he was going to use it to his advantage!

But, why would he accept a case, where the death penalty – a human life – is on the line, when he has NO experience trying such cases?

This is what has driven me crazy about Jose Baez.  He has no right to try this case and there should be some system in place to avoid this kind of malpractice from happening in the future.

This is a Death Penalty case!  He has a life in his very hands!  I know, I must sound melodramatic, but how could he – knowing a very life is in his hands????

Baez was greedy.  He wanted to use this case as his Internship to learn how to try a murder case before he was ready.

It is both ego and hubris that drive Jose Baez.  It was fame, money, and recognition he wanted.  The media attention started early, as you can see from this screen shot, and he was loving it.

Baez pretending concern for Caylee

Most any competent attorney steers far away from the media as you wouldn’t want to be held to any theory of the case because things change, criminal trials are fluid and ever-changing.  For instance, Jose Baez, in his opening statement, said Caylee Marie Anthony died on June 16th, 2008 as a result of drowning in the family pool.

What about all the “innocent” claims?  What about all the hundreds of television appearances where he painted his client as not guilty because the baby was dumped in the woods while Casey was in jail, therefore she (Casey) was innocent!

He was not doing his client any favors by appearing in the media!  In fact, he is responsible for creating the media bonanza, in my opinion!

Even though all the television appearances that Baez made from the early days of this case made Casey look even more guilty and made Baez look really bad, he continued to appear on television,  He even hired people to “handle” the media for him.

He wanted this case so badly because he wanted a name for himself.  Now he has a name, but it’s not a good one.  Who on earth would hire him now?

The Anthony’s must be the stupidest people on the planet not to see what Jose Baez was doing.

Do the Anthony’s really think this theory is believable given all the facts in this case? How can they believe a drowning makes sense?  And, molestation made Casey hide for 31 days?

The theory makes no sense!

If Caylee drowned why fight the evidence of decomposition in the car that is so powerful?  Why would it be such a stretch, given this theory, to say “Yes, Casey drove around with Caylee in the trunk for a while.”  They cannot address the decomposition because of the chloroform levels.

The chloroform evidence negates the drowning story.  Plain and simple, end of story.

It’s impossible to know what is going on behind the scenes in this case.

My view is this:  If Casey Anthony were innocent this case would be even more tragic because not only would we mourn for a beautiful child whose life was lost, we could also be mourning for the legal system gone seriously a muck.

That scares me a whole lot more.

Read about Joseph Rakofsky, who reminds me of Jose Baez in so many ways.

25
Jun

casey trial ended suddenly – speculation is just that

It’s very interesting to hear the excited speculation that was raised at the sudden end of today’s planned testimony, in the State v. Casey Anthony trial.

Today began (like many other days in that Orlando courtroom), with a defense discovery violation.

Jeff Ashton again brought up another glaring discovery violation as it relates to defense witness, Dr. Kenneth Furton, who is a professor and researcher with Florida International University (FIU), in Miami, Florida.

Arguments began regarding the discovery violation issue – Jose Baez was extremely recalcitrant and in denial about what could possibly be the problem.

Baez said, “We’re not going to go through this!”  The Judge said, “You’d think this would have grown old by now, but I guess some things never change.”

Then Mr. Mason alerted the Judge of another matter they needed to attend to.

The video on WFTV has the file of the first part of this morning’s session.  You’ll be able to see for yourself what the issues are.  Click here for the video.

The attorney’s went back behind closed doors for quite a while, when Judge Perry came back and announced there was a legal matter that required their attention – and it was unrelated to what was previously discussed (the Dr. Furton discovery violation).

HLN was all over the map trying to speculate. We’re all speculating, of course!  I get a giggle when HLN speculates, though.  HLN had a story on whether Casey Anthony was crying when she came out of the closed door session with the attorneys, since she was blowing her nose?  (Maybe she has a cold?)

And, then there was the story of George Anthony crying today since he was seen with a tissue.  George was clearly blowing his nose!

I don’t know if HLN brought this bit of speculation up, too, but someone on Twitter asked if a plea deal was offered today, hence the tears from George and Casey.

There was speculation centered around a mistrial (which I think makes the most sense). Oh, and there was more speculation that Casey wants a new defense team.  (Something she should have done on July 17, 2008.)

HLN speculated about the picture of Caylee (below), shown yesterday during Jose Baez’ direct with Cindy Anthony.  Was the picture doctored?

Caylee (?) at Anthony Home

Is it really Caylee?   Maybe the picture was staged?  Is that really Caylee, or is it another child?

Blah blah blah blah – the talking heads talked.

Honestly, I can’t help speculating as well!  

For what it’s worth, my speculation is this:  Yesterday, Cheney Mason brought up the motion for mistrial which is still on the table.  (Cheney Mason asked the Judge about it yesterday, near the end of the day.)

Judge Perry told Mr. Mason, if he was to entertain this motion for mistrial, it would require a full evidentiary hearing, and not just lawyers flapping their gums.  Mr. Mason concurred, and then the subject was dropped.

Did Mr. Mason bring up something solid with regards to this motion that sent everyone scurrying away?

I don’t think so, but who knows!

We may never know the answers to today’s abrupt change of plans because these closed-door discussions were sealed by Judge Perry.

The facts we do know surround the attorneys needing additional time to do some work, take more depositions, and so on.  It must be difficult to work on your case when you’re in trial all day.  No doubt the attorney’s are stressed and need more time to do the actual work that is required in the case (i.e. motions to write.)

After all, they only have Sunday off!

Reportedly, Jeff Ashton is taking this free time to do another deposition of Dr. Furton.  Court is resuming as usual on Monday morning, and it appears that things will be business as usual.

The Discovery Issue….

Dr. Furton, apparently scheduled to testify today, has come to court with some new ideas and opinions.  Jose Baez handed Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton, a new PowerPoint demonstration created by Dr. Furton – today.  I believe this is at least the third time Jose Baez has played this trick – he faces contempt charges already, you’d think he’d learn his lesson by now?

When Dr. Furton testified in the Frye hearings, Dr. Furton came off as a “wanna-be Dr. Arpad Vass,” in my opinion.

During the Frye hearings, Dr. Furton would have liked us to believe there was no smell of decomposition; rather it was a result of the infamous trash, which is all garbage, which was left in the trunk of Casey’s car.

In addition, Dr. Furton’s bases his findings and his experiments on separate body parts decomposing.  Not entire bodies.

There’s a big difference between the two events, as can be imagined.  Dr. Furton would not concede, during the Frye Hearings, that there would be differing results from a whole body, versus a body part going through the decomposition process.

In short, he was not a convincing expert witness.

We’ll see how all this plays out Monday morning!

Happy weekend, everyone!

24
Jun

any theory will do

Cindy is at it again.

Those of us who have been following the case surrounding the murder of the dear little Caylee Marie Anthony, saw it coming.   I’m referring to the Anthony family’s lies and cover-ups.  The only problem is, they can’t keep their stories completely straight, and that is not going to play well for the jury.

The strangest testimony today came from Lee Anthony.  Lee broke down when he recalled the horrible hurt he felt about not being included in the news that Casey was pregnant, and was not asked to be there when Caylee was born.  You know what? I love my brothers, but I’m not sure they’d be there for the birth of my child.   But, Lee wanted to be there – he wanted to be included but said he was ignored.  He sobbed over the memory of it.

It was very curious why the defense failed to use the opportunity today to ask Lee about paternity.   It seemed like the perfect time for the defense to bring up their horrible defense theory.  Have they dropped the idea of Lee’s alleged abuse?  Will the full burden of abuse rest on George Anthony now?

Judge Belvin Perry today had questions about the theory of the defense of Casey Anthony – the jury has to be wondering, too.

One aspect of the “theory” was brought up today regarding the pool ladder.  Cindy Anthony and the defense would like the jury to believe that because the pool ladder was inadvertently left on the pool one day, Caylee must have drowned that day.  But, on cross examination, it was revealed that Cindy is not really sure what day the ladder was left up on the pool.

It sure appears as if profound jealousy is a weird dynamic in that family.  I cannot begin to know the truth of the matter, but my reaction to hearing Lee today is that both Casey and Lee may have had a deep hunger for love and affection from their mother that was never fulfilled.

I tell you, the Anthony family dynamic could fill an entire folio of Shakespeare’s tragedies.

The bottom line is, the Anthony’s will lie on the stand to save Casey.  I don’t think they will condone the molestation theory, of course, but Cindy sure buys the drowning theory.  Regardless, the defense is still looking for their theory; so is Judge Perry because he asked the defense to clarify it.

Judge Perry told the defense that he’d thought the theory of the defense was that Caylee drowned, and Casey covered it up due to the years of abuse.

Cheney Mason confirmed that was their theory, but then added, “among other things.”  This prompted sidebar #32.

Well, I really couldn’t count the sidebars, but more time was spent in sidebars than in testimony today.

Court starts at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, and is scheduled to be in session until 2:00 or 3:00.


23
Jun

cindy’s hand-sanitizer scare? true?

The testimony of Cindy Anthony was not a bombshell, or a major development despite the news outlets using it as such.  It was simply a replay of the conniving Cindy Anthony we had previously come to know.

Cindy Anthony testifying today

I was very surprised at Cindy’s about-face today.  I think the State of Florida was, too.  But, there is no way that Cindy will get away with this for long – the state still has a rebuttal case to put on.

What Cindy Anthony fails to realize is that her testimony today can be verified.  She will continue to be impeached and this will only hurt her daughter, not help her!

Although Cindy’s work records verify she was at work the day of the computer searches, she said she remembers not working those days. Huh?    I don’t remember the days I take off of work, especially not three years ago!  Do you?

The State of Florida and Law Enforcement will be able to verify what Cindy said today; I have no doubt they will.

Cindy said she remembers searching the computer for a bunch of things. One reason she searched that particular day?  Because a colleague at work emailed her about dangerous issues resulting hand-sanitizers and children.

Cindy called it a “hand-sanitizer scare.”

I ran a quick search for “hand sanitizer scare” and found nothing about a scare in 2008.

Cindy also claimed she searched for Chlorophyll on the very day because of concern for her little Yorkie eating bamboo leaves. And she looked up “neck-breaking” because a friend was in a terrible car accident.

Do these kind of elaborate lies sound familiar?  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

Cindy’s Hand-Sanitizer Scare

The issues with “hand-sanitizers” Cindy said was a “scare” in March 2008.  A New York Times article, on March 21, 2006, says otherwise. Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/21/health/21cons.html

A Chicago Times article, on May 22, 2007, discusses the possibilities of getting “drunk” from them: http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/features_julieshealthclub/2007/05/getting_drunk_o.html

An ABC News article from May 23, 2006, discusses that hand-sanitizers are no subsitute for water: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=1993859

ParentDish, on June 26, 2007, discusses how hand-sanitizers can poison children:  http://www.parentdish.com/2007/06/26/hand-sanitizer-can-poison-your-children/

Google Search for Hand Sanitizer Scare shows no news in 2008.  Click here

I truly don’t think that Cindy did anything to hurt the State’s case today.  In fact, I think her lies were helpful for a couple of reasons.

Cindy successfully….

  1. …Reminded the jury of additional details regarding computer searches, such as the “MySpace” hits which were interspersed with the “how to make chloroform” hits/searches.
  2. …Pointed out that she didn’t know about or use MySpace at that time.  But there were only seconds between the MySpace hits and the “how to make chloroform” hits/searches.
  3. …proved she is unreasonable.  No one could possibly remember their computer searches from three years ago, much less pinpoint those searches to a specific day!
  4. …Showed the jury she was stretching the truth when Linda Drane-Burdick impeached her, asking if her memory is better now that she’s changed medication.  We all know medication doesn’t IMPROVE your memory

On the stand today, Cindy was overly long-winded, indicating to me that she was exaggerating.  When cross examined, she was not nearly as clear and changed her testimony by referring to “possibilities,” while trying very hard to fill in details that were ridiculous, i.e. remembering the day and time of computer searches made three years ago.

This is beyond the boundary of reason

When Ms. Burdick asked, “Did you look up the word “inhalation?”  Cindy said, “Yes.”   And she went on to add other “household items like alcohol” and other toxic chemicals that she confirmed searching for.

Cindy is trying to save her daughter, but at the expense of justice for her beloved granddaughter.

Justice is only found via a search for the truth….

Today’s Testimony Notes

There were other wins for the State today. FBI Hair Specialist, Stephen Shaw, did a great job for the State of Florida in explaining how to recognize Post-Mortem Hair Banding on a strand of hair.

The defense dug their own grave by calling Stephen Shaw.  He was very strong for the State.  Even stronger today then when he originally testified for the State.

There were other witnesses, too.  Dr. Barry Logan, a forensic toxicologist (who is also a wanna-be analytic chemist), testified for the defense, though only allowed to testify about toxicology.

What Dr. Logan really wanted to do, however, was to disprove Dr. Arpad Vass’ findings.

Dr. Vass, you may remember, is the charismatic researcher from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory who testified about the compounds from the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car – decomposition; and the very high levels of chloroform.

In short, the defense would really like Dr. Vass’ testimony to go away, but Dr. Logan was not allowed to discuss the type of testing Dr. Vass does!

To tell you the truth, the defense appears to be in a cloud, or a fog.

They put on evidence that’s like a sling-shot, ricocheting back at them.   It’s bizarre!

They’re just prolonging the inevitable outcome of this case.

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