2011 is coming to an end. The year has flown by. Every year don’t we all say, “My, this year has really flown by?!” And the years do go by pretty quickly, especially as we age.
Time seemed to crawl when I was young. Was it like that for you, too?
This year flew, though it seemed to stand still, too, at times.
I wrote a blog post every single day in 2011. To date, I have 608 posts. This one will make 609.
I never thought I’d actually write something every day for an entire year, but I did. In fact, I wrote a post every day in December 2010 so this is month 13 of my Post-a-day challenge.
It was pretty easy, really. The Casey Anthony saga gave me so much material! There were the lawyers on the defense team – how bizarre they were. The defense attorney’s gave me a lot of colorful content. And, the Anthony family, Cindy and George and their antics, provided all kinds of fanciful copy as well.
I was very critical of the Anthony defense team, especially Jose Baez, because he deserved it. His courtroom antics were gross and demeaned the legal profession, at least in my opinion. However, as far as George and Cindy Anthony go – I was too hard on them, at times. Most bloggers were.
The mainstream media helped sensationalize the situation, as did the overflow of documentation made possible by Florida’s Sunshine law. Still, bloggers had a field day with the Anthony’s. I did too.
I am sorry I jumped on the bandwagon and made hay out of the George and Cindy stories – the discovery that was released in the case. I feel badly, looking back at the last three years of this case, that I judged and criticized them too often, as I know I did.
I think, in hindsight, that I forgot they were real people. They are hardly perfect and as capable of making stupid mistakes as I am. I think that comes from being human.
I have never lived under a microscope, I have never had a daughter or a granddaughter, I have never known anyone who either committed or was a victim of murder, not to mention a murder as heinous as Caylee’s was.
During the trial, I felt sorry for both Anthony’s. In hindsight I realize they only ever wanted to do the right thing for a daughter they doted on. As despicable as her acts were, the Anthony’s loved her. She is their daughter. She destroyed them and they allowed it to happen because they thought that was love. They thought they were loving and perfect parents. I think all parents believe they are.
I did some research and reading about how parents – whose children were murderers, behaved and learned that the Anthony’s were not so unusual after all.
Some parents will protect their children no matter what the cost. Even the most law-abiding people will convince themselves their son/daughter couldn’t possibly be guilty, despite solid evidence that says otherwise. Parents will usually ride a ship called denial across the Nile river for the rest of their lives, if that’s what it takes to maintain their sanity and their love for their child.
It’s easy to believe I’d be different from the Anthony’s, but until I’ve walked in their shoes, how can I know?
Having seen George brought to his knees by his own daughter during the trial makes me feel badly that I judged him. Watching Cindy Anthony literally crumble on the stand as she relived the pain of loosing both her daughter and Caylee, makes me feel very badly to have judged her at all.
Weren’t the Anthony’s just ordinary people who were thrown into an extraordinary Orlando firestorm? I think so.
All the crazy proselytizing Cindy did in the media to make Casey into a saint and a good mother helped to make the Anthony’s seem all the more dysfunctional. Little did they know they were inadvertently putting themselves in front of their own daughter’s version of a firing squad.
The video tapes we saw of the Anthony’s were of them at their most vulnerable. George and Cindy Anthony seemed to take a wrong turn and make the wrong decision constantly, and we saw it unfold, moment to moment.
I’d like to think I would have acted totally differently in every regard. But then again, I’ve never been in the lion’s den for three years, let alone three minutes.
The Anthony’s were living their lives as best they could.
I haven’t completely lost interest in the ongoing fallout from the Casey Anthony murder trial, which resulted in the surprising Not Guilty verdict earlier this year. Every now and then I get sucked back into the newsy-ness of the remaining civil lawsuits against Casey Anthony.
I’m particularly interested in the defamation lawsuit that Zenaida Gonzalez has brought against Casey via the prominent Orlando law firm, Morgan & Morgan. This lawsuit is becoming ugly as a result of Anthony defense attorney Charles Greene’s public statements that demean Zenaida Gonzalez quite badly.
Initially, Zenaida Gonzalez never signed up for being dragged into a national media maelstrom. It appears now she is enjoying the lime light.
For the first few days of the case, as the supposed nanny, she’d been under the microscope of the media as a potential suspect in the disappearance of Caylee. But, in no way was she a lasting suspect, nor was her involvement a theory in the case because the police were pretty secure about Casey’s involvement. After all, before you could say Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, Casey was behind bars.
It all started in July 2008 when Casey Anthony blamed her “Nanny,” a Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, as the one responsible for absconding with her daughter, the adorable Caylee Marie Anthony.
Caylee was about a month shy of her third birthday when her mother, Casey, went on the lam for 31 days without so much of a mention that anything untoward had happened to her daughter. When Casey needed a cover-story for Caylee’s whereabouts, she made up the Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez kidnapping story. We found out soon afterwards that story was a fantasy and Casey knew where her daughter was but refused to share any information.
As we know now, Caylee was already deceased while her mother partied, stole from friends she was living with, and basically thought she’d finally found “the Good Life” or, Bella Vita, as she had tattooed on her back.
When Casey told the police that her nanny, Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, had taken Caylee 31 days ago, the Detective assigned to the case immediately followed up.
The Detective learned that a Zenaida Gonzalez had filled out a guest card at the Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed Zenaida lived and where shed’ dropped Caylee off into Zenaida’s care. The police interviewed the Zenaida who’d filled out that Sawgrass Apartments guest card. It was an odd coincidence that Zenaida had visited Sawgrass Apartments where Casey claimed she’d often left Caylee.
Zenaida denied knowing Casey. And, Casey, when shown a picture of this Zenaida Gonzalez, claimed she was not her nanny.
Sooooo, what’s the fuss, you might be thinking. Well, Zenaida was wrongly portrayed as a potential kidnapper and was in the glare of the media. And that, she claims, harmed her reputation and defamed her in the public.
The irony is she is now in the glare of the cameras constantly. Had she remained in the shadows, her name would have been forgotten within a week of when the police cleared her as a suspect – which they had done immediately, I might add.
But, we’re only human and Zenaida was looking at her chance appearance in the over-sensationalized Anthony case, as a cash cow.
When she hires the law firm Morgan and Morgan (who have a big reputation and bigger voices), they dove into the story and fast.
Morgan and Morgan had a grand time inserting themselves into the media driven soap-opera that had become a circus of many characters and clowns.
It never seemed to be about justice for Zenaida Gonalez. (But, it was a good bit of media attention for her and her lawyers.)
When they (Morgan and Morgan), video-taped George, Cindy and Lee Anthony’s depositions and released them to the media, it was a gold mine for them – the videos made the national news, and so did Morgan. The Anthony family was not at all liked by the populace and they were recalcitrant and harsh in the video depositions which made Morgan and Morgan smell like a garden of roses.
Fast forward to 2011 and the same Zenaida Gonzalez lawsuit is full steam ahead, but seemingly getting derailed by their own hubris.
Now we find out that this Zenaida Gonzalez does not have “Fernandez” in her name. Well, her lawyers used Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez in the civil lawsuit against Casey Anthony…. and no one corrected the media that she was not Fernandez-Gonzalez either. Everyone was led to believe that her full name was Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.
Is that deceitful? If not, it is curious.
Zenaida Gonzalez now says she doesn’t know why her lawyers put that name on the lawsuit. Could it be they thought their suit might get more attention if the names matched?
Zenaida claims she got unwanted attention as a result of being interviewed by the authorities in connection with this case, though she was never charged with anything. And now she is saying she wants an apology from Anthony. And now she claims that she wasn’t fired from her job – she quit her job.
The Casey Anthony case has always been about band-wagons – jumping on the band-wagon for the attention, payout, notoriety and national media attention.
Back in September, 2008, Zenaida filed her law-suit and shortly after appeared on Good Morning America (GMA), to announce it to the nation.
Her lawyer, John Morgan, was on the GMA show as well. Neither blinked when they referred to Zenaida using the middle name “Fernandez” as you can see in this ABC news story:
Though Fernandez-Gonzalez was cleared by police, she said she lost her job, cannot find an apartment and received threats from Anthony supporters. She filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against Anthony.
Fernandez-Gonzalez, a 37-year-old mother of six, said today on “Good Morning America” that she looked at an apartment and filled out a form at the complex where Anthony said she dropped off Caylee before she disappeared.
“I just went to look at an apartment and filled out an information card,” Fernandez-Gonzalez said in an exclusive interview today with “GMA.” “My suspicion is they probably gave her [Anthony] the information from the card.” The card included the names of two of her daughters and the make and color of her car, which is the same information that Anthony gave the police, said Fernandez-Gonzalez and her attorney John Morgan. Link to GMA Story: click here.
In every story and every appearance I have seen in relation to the civil law suit, the name Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, is referred to.
The Anthony’s knew this and they tried to point it out during their humiliating video-deposition in the civil lawsuit. No one really listened at the time.
I wonder if anyone is listening to the latest bits of intrigue?
Take a peek at these stories:
I like to talk about big pictures and today’s Creative Whack #7 is right on the money.
I completely agree with Mr. Ashton’s assessment. I would add, though, that the jurors also completely ignored the chain of evidence. Those chain links should have come together very neatly for the jurors, that is if they even attempted to consider their solemn oath and the Golden Rule of jury service: review the evidence!
Each each chain link of circumstantial and forensic evidence should have wound around Casey’s wrists and ankles for a very long time to come. That’s even true in Fairy Tales, but not in this tale.
The fact that Casey Anthony got away with murder despite so much evidence is no Fairy Tale. It’s unbelievable – incredible. It certainly seemed like the perfect storm happened when these jurors were put together, as fate would have it, in Pinellas County. How twelve completely like-minded people could come together without any dissenting opinion is eerie.
Was it a matter of “GroupThink” where the threat of thinking differently from the group is too upsetting to an individual? When in the throes of GroupThink, it’s nearly impossible to stray from the one mind that has developed in a group.
Just like the Iowa farmer saw only tracks and trains, the simple jurors seemed to hang their not guilty verdict on the Medical Examiner’s inability to state a cause of death. This is perfectly understandable since little Caylee Marie’s body was completely skeletonized.
Since there was no cause of death, did the jurors think a murder couldn’t be proven and therefore never happened?
Even though the manner of little Caylee Marie Anthony’s death was determined to be homicide, it also stated “by undetermined means.” Did the jurors question whether a homicide even happened as a result of the “undetermined means” part?
So, had the jurors looked at each piece of the chain – like the train tracks and the locomotive follow a path – they would have known:
- 100 percent of the time people cal 911 for help in drowning situations.
- Only a mother guilty of a crime against a child fails to report their child missing.
- Children are not double bagged and dumped in a swamp with duct tape around their face. That is murder plain and simple. Whether it was strangulation or drugging doesn’t really matter in the big picture, it’s still murder.
- When forensic experts, multiple law enforcement personnel, cadaver dogs, and others familiar with the distinct smell of human decomposition and testify that death was in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car, that should be proof-positive that it was not the odor of a bag of garbage.
- When it is proved that a strand of Caylee Anthony’s hair showing dark banding at the root because of decomposition, it should mean the child was in the trunk.
- When NO evidence is produced linking George Anthony to Caylee’s death, it means he should not be considered as a murderer.
- When NO evidence is provided that remotely suggests George Anthony molested his daughter, it means that is not a factor in deciding guilt.
- When a mother whose daughter is missing for a very long time gets a tattoo that means “Beautiful Life” it would suggest things are better without the daughter.
- High levels of chloroform found in air samples from the trunk of the mother’s car and mixed with the odor of decomposition, suggests it is reasonable to believe chloroform was used to subdue little Caylee Marie.
- When a Google search and page hit about “How to make chloroform” is found on the unallocated file space of the mother’s computer, chances are good that chloroform was used in the murder.
There are more factors that taken together, provide a clear picture AND a complete picture frame around this murder. The jurors should have painted such a big picture for themselves and come to the only conclusion possible: Murder.
This jury, rather than paint the big picture, inhaled the paint fumes and in the end couldn’t even paint by the numbers.
Retired Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton, who famously prosecuted the Casey Anthony murder trial, has a book coming out on November 15, 2011.
Mr. Asthon’s book, Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, promises to discuss never-revealed details about the case, including information related to the psychological examinations performed on then defendant Casey Anthony.
He will also be discussing the book on the Dr. Phil Show, Wednesday, November 16, 2001. No doubt the book will generate a lot of interest.
I’ve per-ordered a copy on my Nook.
If the Barnes & Noble Nook website is any indication, the book should do well. On the Barnes & Noble Nook page for the book, already nearly 60 “customer reviews” have been written! This is despite the fact it’s not even released yet! People are adding their thoughts about what they “think” the book will disclose…and of course they are arguing.
Cheney Mason reportedly is writing a book also. I have absolutely no interest in reading it because, frankly, I wouldn’t know what to believe. By the way, Mr. Mason is in a Daytona hospital after feeling ill during a conference in which he to speak. I certainly hope it’s not a serious issue keeping him in the hospital. I bet he’s cranky as hell in that hospital! I bet he’s shooting the bird at just about everyone, too! I hope so, that would mean he’s on the mend.
Anyway, back to Jeff Ashton’s book. I really am looking forward to reading some inside stories about the case and sure hope the book is long on character details! There were some colorful characters involved in the Anthony case, and it would be interesting to read about them.
Coincidentally, I was perusing Facebook this evening and stumbled upon “The Official Jeff Ashton Page.” Oh, it’s wonderful – lot’s of very nice photos, too!
Seeing some of the great photos of Mr. Ashton and his wife, Rita, his colleagues at the State Attorney’s Office, including Linda Drane-Burdick, and pictures of his Koi pond that he and his wife built – affirmed for me that he is not only a phenomenal attorney, he is also a down-to-earth, very nice guy. Someone you can’t help but like because he oozes charm.
There were many folks on the State side of the case who I really admired: ASA Linda Drane-Burdick, of course, was incredible. I admired the folks at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, too. Yuri Melich – loved him! Eric Edwards – loved him! John Allen – loved him! Who else? Just too many good people to name. Oh! I almost forgot ASA Frank George! Loved him!
Anyway, my Nook is ready for the Imperfect Justice download!
Thanks in advance, Jeff Ashton!
The Honorable Judge Belvin Perry today released his decision about the amount of money Casey Anthony should pay to reimburse law enforcement.
Casey Anthony is officially ordered to pay $97,000 in restitution to Orange County law enforcement agencies.
The amount is less than the $500,000 that the State of Florida requested, but it will do.
It is only just that she covers a good part of the costs of what her lies cost the county to investigate Caylee’s “kidnapping” and disappearance.
This is a good and just ruling.
I heart Judge Perry!
After the recent hearing to decide the amount of money Casey Anthony will have to pay back to the State of Florida for the pointless search for her “missing” daughter Caylee Anthony, attorney Cheney Mason claimed it was sour grapes resulting from the State losing the case.
Sour grapes, huh?
Casey Anthony, just like any other citizen, will have to pay the State of Florida back its investigative costs. (Note: The costs are not related to the trial/prosecution of Casey Anthony.)
Sure, the State of Florida wants to recoup the nearly $517,000 they spent to investigate a “missing” child they later learned had “drowned”.
Yes, these are absolute costs that Casey Anthony rightfully owes for the hours and hours and weeks and weeks of law enforcement investigation that, of course, was all a ruse. The costs cover the dates of the deception, which were July 15, 2008 until December 11, 2008, when Caylee Marie Anthony’s remains were found.
You defraud the public, you pay the public back.
End of story.
We will find out the amount that Casey Anthony will have to pay in about three weeks when Judge Perry submits an order with the amount due.
Now, about that sour taste in your mouth, Mr. Mason? Just go ahead and gargle with strong mouthwash because I do believe your client may have to put up and shut up. Only my opinion, of course.
Perhaps Mr. Jose Baez neglected to consider the impacts his bold opening statement during the trial would have in the long run?
When Baez said, “Caylee was never missing, but drowned” and when his client was found guilty of lying, cha-chings started adding up. And well they should have.
Despite the jury finding Casey Anthony not guilty, she was found guilty of lying to law enforcement and will have to pay a hefty sum for those lies.
That will satisfy Lady Justice just fine.
To Mr. Cheney Mason
So your client was found not-guilty of Murder. It is no matter here. Of significance now? Her lying bilked thousands of dollars out of the Florida coffers. Had she told investigators that Caylee “drowned” at the outset, the investigation costs would have totaled about six hours, according to witness Lt. Paul Zamboris.
Mr. Mason, as you well know, when people defraud the public and get caught, pay-back is a bitch. Well, this is nothing new. And, no one is singling our your “indigent” client!
Are you living in the past? You must still believe that your Southern Gentleman-like charm, and that Old-Florida drawl you put on as thick as Aunt Jemima syrup on hot pancakes, will work in this case. Ain’t gonna work. But, heck, you can resort to name-calling and obscene hand gestures all you want, it ain’t gonna amount to a hill of full of beans. Throwing sophomoric hissy-fits will not persuade the Honorable Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., either.
But, I do have advice, Mr. Mason. Don’t continue with that mean and cantankerous Ole Florida Coot act. It only makes you look like you’re eating the sour grapes. And it’s unbecoming. You won the war, and jolly good for you. You may not win the battle, so prepare yourself.
Remember the Runaway Bride story and how that ended?
The Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, was running away from her fiancée, John Mason, (whose name, coincidentally is Mason, though I know of no connection), and also had to pay a sum of money as restitution.
As a result of her fraud, the Runaway Bride plead guilty to, a felony. She got two years of probation, and a bill for nearly $43,000.
That story was a media circus, too. Jennifer Wilbanks, like Casey Anthony, defrauded the public and had to pay.
According to the BBC, Jennifer Wilbanks sold the media rights to her story to a New York City company for $500,000. Wilbanks did not offer to repay the whole cost of the search for her, which totaled almost $43,000. BBC, June 5, 200
I think the penniless Casey Anthony should start counting those pennies.
I don’t believe a plea of “sour grapes” will convince the court to let Casey Anthony off scot-free.
Um, I’m sure you know that, Mr. Mason.
Read Hal Boedeker story here.
BBC article: Read here.
I hadn’t planned on writing about the Casey Anthony saga, but I do want to discuss a couple of interesting tidbits that have occurred of late.
The Orlando County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) has announced the amount of the bill it intends to slap like Henkel duct tape on Casey Anthony.
The OSCO is seeking reimbursement of $293,123.77 for its investigation of Caylee Anthony’s disappearance. The cost is calculated from the day Cindy Anthony reported Caylee missing: July 15, 2008, until December 11, 2008, when the location of Caylee’s remains were located.
The State Attorney’s Office has filed a bill with a price tag of more than $141,000. The amount of the costs that can be levied against Casey Anthony will be determined in court, on August 25th. By that time, the final costs could reach in excess of $500,000.
And that’s only the beginning! There are other lawsuits waiting in the wings, which is why Casey Anthony will have to do the hustle sooner or later.
The defense may well argue that it is unconstitutional to hold their client responsible for costs since Casey Anthony was found not guilty. Not so in this case. What Casey Anthony did was a fraud deliberately perpetrated by the dishonest mother of a supposedly missing daughter. The fact that it was a fraud has been conceded by Jose Baez in open court.
The People of the State of Florida should not have to bear the burden of the costs of the investigation, period. End of story.
No matter. Casey Anthony could make $500,000 from Larry Flynt’s Hustler Magazine if she chooses to bare it all in his centerfold.
Larry Flynt told Nancy Grace that should Casey Anthony do the hustle for the Hustler, she’d earn $500,000. How perfect! That would just cover the bill from Florida!
It’s anyone’s guess if this Hustler offer is being considered. (It’s a disturbing visual.)
Are the network wars for “the” interview going by the wayside? It’s anyone’s guess. The networks are falling over themselves to say they will NOT pay for interviews. The have integrity, they yell from the rafters. They have standards! They are about real journalism, you know! Uh, right.
You know what would bust the network’s hustle for a Casey Anthony interview? The answer: The Zenaida Gonsalez civil law suit.
If the law firm Morgan & Morgan has their way and can move forward on a videotaped deposition of Caseey BEFORE a network interview it would remove or lower an audience’s interest in seeing a network interview with Casey Anthony.
Wouldn’t that be just perfect?!
C’mon Morgan and Morgan, do the hustle!
It was another interesting day in Orlando as the Law Enforcement and Judicial community resolve to accept the Not Guilty decision in the State V. Casey Anthony trial.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), today held their first and only press conference to discuss the work they did over the three years the case progressed. (The men and women of the OCSO are the best of the best – literally.)
The well-spoken Sheriff Jerry Demings attended and discussed the devotion and the hard work the men and women of the OCSO put into this case. He also mentioned that the Caylee Anthony case, as a father and grandfather himself, personally affected him.
At the press conference it was confirmed that George Anthony was never a suspect in the disappearance of Caylee Anthony. There is an open investigation into witness tampering with regards to Laura Buchanan and it is on going. Detective Eric Edwards is leading that effort.
You may remember that it was Laura Buchanan who the defense team wanted to use to prove that Caylee’s remains could only have been placed at her final destination only AFTER Casey went to jail. The problem, as it turned out, Laura Buchanan (or some one else), attempted to fabricate a Texas EquuSearch document so it appeared that she had searched in the area where Caylee was found, when in fact she had not been in that area.
The defense wanted Joe Jordan to provide a similar story, but as we heard in the trial, Jordan was mistaken about where he searched and admitted he had not been in the area where Caylee was found.
This mystery will continue to unfold. The question on the table is whether Laura Buchanan created the paperwork herself, or if the document, and the story, was manufactured by someone from Jose Baez’s office. The OCSO is not talking about it at this point since it is an open case.
There was a very large picture of Caylee on display at the press conference. When asked about the picture, the replies given were heart-felt. “It was always only about Caylee,” was the unanimous response.
The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland
Reporter Bob Kealing of WESH, did an excellent interview Judge Stan Strickland, who was the original Judge assigned to the case prior to Judge Belvin Perry.
Those of us who were following the case closely during the early days were thrown for a loop when Judge Strickland recused himself. Like Judge Perry, Judge Strickland proved to be an extremely fair and balanced jurist – thoughtful and kind, but no-nonsense. It was a great loss, we all felt.
Judge Strickland’s style was somewhat more restrained than Judge Perry’s.
I especially liked him because he is not one to sentence death, unless the law demands it. In fact, he told Bob Kealing that the thought of Casey Anthony facing the death penalty kept him up a few nights. In contrast, Judge Perry, as a former prosecutor, did have a history of leaning toward Capital Punishment.
It was the defense’s doing to get Judge Strickland recused from the case – and the reason for it was nonsensical – so it was ironic for the defense when they were handed Judge Perry who is pro-death penalty. Judge Strickland, in his recusal from the case, wrote with regards to media attention, “The irony is rich indeed.”
Linda Drane-Burdick used the line, “The irony is rich indeed,” in her closing argument, too. I’m certain she was expressing a respectful homage to a very fine Judge.
Here is the full interview with Judge Strickland. It’s excellent! Click here to watch on WESH.
In other news
Cindy Anthony will not face perjury charges; and Tim Miller of Texas EquuSearch, filed a lawsuit asking for $112,000 in damages against Casey Anthony. There is a bill pending from the State of Florida, too, which will recover costs from Casey Anthony for the investigation into Caylee’s disappearance.
That’s about all the news I have for you tonight! In the meantime, I will leave you with this thought, from Dr. Martin Luther King:
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
Even though a final decision was made by unsuspecting men and women regarding the guilt in the death of Caylee Anthony, we have to accept it. This is our system – and, here on earth, there is none better.
But, there is a balance in the universe; and I believe that someday Casey will be forced to see her crime and she will be punished according to the laws of Karma, and the Universe.
That’s what I believe, anyway!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- Roy Kronk– Mr. Kronk was a FANTASTIC witness! He made
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!
- 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.
- Alex Roberts – Roy Kronk’s supervisor, a senior meter reader, supported the series of events.
- 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.
- 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?
Thrown away. Discarded as if she was trash.
Her life ended before it began.
Of course, I am referring to the murder of the beautiful little Caylee Anthony who was tossed away like garbage into a horrid and dirty grave.
The ground was littered with beer bottles, and other ugly things that people discard – cigarette butts and gross reminders that people think nothing of staining the earth with items they no longer care for.
A place not worthy to even be the cemetery of a pet snake, was the grave of a beautiful, beautiful child.
The evidence is piling on the defendant in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, with devastating effect as orchestrated by the Asst. State Prosecutors in Orlando.
The jurors, the attorneys, the Judge, and the audience in the courtroom saw something in that courtroom today they are likely to never forget. All reports from the courtroom convey that seeing the photos from the crime scene was like being hit by a tempest of horrors.
The thought of throwing away an animal in such a torrid, airless and oppressive place is unthinkable. But a child? A beautiful and delightful little girl who was the light of so many lives, is treated like trash?
A little girl who’s hair was trapped by the duct tape that also kept her little mandible in place, had plant life growing in and around and over what was left of her skeleton. The Medical Examiner explained that it’s rare that a mandible (lower jaw) stays attached as the remains become skeletal in nature.
The Henkel duct tape kept Caylee’s mandible in place, proving, they say, that Caylee was alive when that tape went on.
Tears for Caylee? Hardly.
I saw anger in Casey Anthony.
She was irritated and angry.
She was in jail when Caylee’s remains were discovered and probably realized today, as the photos she saw attest, that she didn’t throw Caylee very far into those cruel woods.
Yes, Casey Anthony was angry today. Her forehead was many times furrowed, hardly lined with grief.
She looked at tears on her fingers that were not there.
She patted her cheeks with a perfectly folded tissue. As a woman, when tears come, the tissue that we use to wipe away the tears, shreds. The ends of the tissue rolls up like a piece of a twisted pasta as it crumbles from the tears filling and soaking it.
No, Casey Anthony was not crying today, but the defense team was quick to position her body so the jury could see her dab her eyes.
But, the jury didn’t look at her.
How could anyone look at her after seeing such images?
She is as cold as a snake after it bites.
I’ve just finished watching most of today’s testimony in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony trial, in Orlando. Today’s testimony did not disappoint, and it continues to go down hill for Casey Anthony and her hapless defense team.
First on the witness stand today, the State called another Cadaver dog handler. Just as Jason Forgey’s dog, Gerus did, Bones, the K9 handled by Sergeant Kristin Brewer, also alerted to decomposition in the backyard of the Anthony home. It was eerie that both dogs alerted to the same spot in the back yard.
It was the saddest testimony! Just the thought that Casey actually considered burying her dear daughter there in the backyard is gruesome – unspeakably cruel. I wonder what the jury is thinking about this? Their hearts have to be breaking.
The State is laying out its case in such a way that it should be effortless for the jury to connect the dots, don’t you think?
In my opinion, the dots will draw a picture of premeditation, especially after hearing what the computer specialists had to say today.
What does the jury think about Casey sitting at the defense table as if she’s in another world? I get the feeling that Casey Anthony is watching this trial unfold like its happening to someone else – like she’s watching a movie, or something.
Search for Chloroform 84 Times!
First let me say that Linda Drane Burdick is brilliant! It was fascinating to see how she planned the witnesses to each compliment each other – each computer expert built upon the next.
The final computer analyst, John Dennis Bradley, consulted for the State Attorney on the case, and his was the testimony most damaging.
There were Google and Wikipedia searches on Casey Anthony’s computer for:
- Internal bleeding,
- Ruptured spleen,
- Chest trauma,
- Household weapons,
- Hand to hand combat,
- Neck Breaking,
- Internal Bleeding, and
- How to make Chloroform.
All of this is bad enough, and Baez did his best to try to diminish the blows – in reality he didn’t come close because Linda Drane Burdick, during her redirect, asked Mr. Bradley the BOMBSHELL question:
Linda Drane Burdick: How many times was the word “chloroform” searched on this computer?
Mr. Bradley: 84 times.
Linda Drane Burdick: No more questions, your Honor.
Judge Perry: Cross examination on these items and these items alone, Mr. Baez?
Jose Baez: No further questions, your Honor.
What could Baez say? He was utterly defeated after Ms. Drane-Burdick kicked it out of the ball park!
Casey Anthony began these horrible key-word searches in March of 2008. In my estimation, this is a clear indication of premeditation – she plotted and planned the murder of Caylee!
If the State can provide more evidence of premeditation, how will Casey Anthony avoid the death penalty? This is one of the most important factors, I believe.
Did Casey Anthony Really Want to Kill her Parents?
Remember when Amy Huizenga was (so she thought) just days away from moving into the Anthony home?
Ever since the beginning of this case, when the Law Enforcement interviews with Amy Huizenga were released, I thought that Casey Anthony was actually plotting to kill her parents, not Caylee.
Some of the key word searches, like hand-to-hand combat, self defense, chest trauma, etc., lead me to think this. And, when Casey told the story of her father having a stroke, her parents getting a divorce, her mother moving out of the house, leaving no-job-Casey to pay the mortgage, it occurred to me she was setting up some kind of scenario with her parents as victims.
As a result of reading the story on today’s WFTV coverage of the trial, I feel even more convinced of this possibility.
In today’s WFTV article, click here for link, they suggest the following:
The experts testified that Casey’s first chloroform search was done on March 17, 2008 around the time she found out she couldn’t go to Puerto Rico with friends because her mother Cindy Anthony would not watch Caylee for her.
The state is setting the stage for premeditated murder by showing she was searching chloroform some three months before Caylee disappeared, said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
The computer searches all happened in the month of March!
It is difficult to wrap my brain around Casey Anthony planning to murder her daughter (or her parents) since March, 2008!!
That was a bombshell for me.
Note: A blogger, Sandy, left a note today asking why would Jose Baez say “since Caylee went ‘missing” in reference to something on the computer? Isn’t it the defense’s contention that Caylee was drowned? Why would he say this today? I guess he doesn’t believe his own theory either.
Oh, where to begin!
What an eventful day it has been – let’s see if I can capture the good, bad and the ugly from today’s testimony in courtroom 23-A, in the State v. Casey Anthony case.
First up on the witness stand there was Jeffery Hopkins, (the real Jeffery Hopkins), who is a fresh-faced young man who knew Casey in middle school.
Unlike the made up Jeffery Hopkins, this Jeffery Hopkins has never lived in Jacksonville, has never had a child, does not know Zenaida aka Zanny, but recently saw Casey at a local Sports Bar. He and Casey exchanged phone and email information, and the next thing he knew, he was getting Facebook invites from Casey to attend the night club Fusion.
Bringing the real Jeffery Hopkins to the stand was an effort by the State to ensure the jury that Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office have looked into all of Casey Anthony’s lies, including the lies regarding the “Imaginary Friends.”
While on the topic of imaginary friends, I do want to point out that the defense is referring to the fake people that Casey Anthony has conjured up in an attempt to hide her crime, are not “imaginary friends,” as the Defense would like the jury to believe!
An imaginary friend is what children create to make their little lives more interesting and fun. A little bit of research into “imaginary friends” informs us that approximately 40 years ago, Psychologists and Childhood Development professionals like Dr. Benjamin Spock, believed that childhood imaginary friends were a sign of some kind of underlying emotional trouble. Fast forward a few decades and the thinking is that childhood imaginary friends are a good and healthy thing for young children.
The research will also show that imaginary friends are rare, if not non-existent, past adolescence and into teen or adulthood years.
And, let’s get real here, the Baez defense use of the term “imaginary friends” is a ploy to soften the truth of the matter with regards to Casey Anthony’s lies and actions.
The bottom line is, Casey’s actions are in no way imaginary! These are lies that Casey Anthony was completely cognizant of as she tried desperately to avoid being found out.
Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel
I have written often about how infuriating it is that this man is allowed to defend someone faced with the death penalty!
The mistakes Baez has made, his sleazy remarks, and his inability to see the forest from the trees regarding his obviously guilty client, are so extreme that it’s beyond malpractice that he handles a case that he is not capable of defending.
It does not take a person with a law degree to see, with total certainty, that every step that Casey Anthony made after June 16, 2008 until now, was riddled with lies.
Okay, a liar does not a murderer make. However, given a Defense Team with an absurd claim about drowning, molestation, and imaginary friends – showing a defense team who also lies, and coupled with the evidence we saw today, the jurors have an excellent foundation from which to build the obvious conclusion.
D’OH! I Forgot!
After today’s testimony of Detective Yuri Melich, at Universal Studios, where Casey Anthony claimed she worked, this July 16th, 2008 interview conducted by Yuri, Detectives John Allen and Appie Wells, was introduced and played for the jury.
The jurors heard the defendant stick like super glue to one lie after another and the Detectives grow increasingly frustrated at not being able to convince her to come clean and tell them what happened to Caylee, but she does not budge.
Yuri Melich said, “I don’t want to think of you as a cold, calculating monster, but you’re giving me no choice!”
Later he said, “She’s out there somewhere and her rotten body is starting to decompose,” there was not so much as a peep from Casey Anthony at that thought!
Now to the D’OH! of the day. Jose Baez claimed that he didn’t have the time to write a motion to prevent the release of the Jail visits with the family!
He objected in the middle of the playing of the first video, with Lee. Judge Perry overruled immediately, telling Baez – it’s too late now.
The truth is, Baez had since 2008 to object to these extremely damaging videos, but he did not. It makes one wonder if Baez even watched them! Surely if he’d watched them he would have seen how incredibly damaging they are!
Not only are they damaging to Casey Anthony, they also speak volumes about how incompetent Jose Baez is! It’s true! There are quite a few disparaging statements about him in these videos, such as “Baez does not return calls,” or, “Baez is not concerned about Caylee,” and so on.
The jail videos work against the Defense’s theory, and bolster the State’s case. The Anthony’s come across as sympathetic and solely focused on finding Caylee. In contrast, Casey Anthony’s focus is me, me, me!
There is a jail video the jury will see in which Cindy tells Casey that there’s a rumor that Caylee died as a result of drowning in the pool. Casey let’s out a light laugh and cynically states, “Surprise, surprise!”
So much for THAT defense theory.
The defense, it seems, are realizing their case is going down the drain. At the very end of today they announced a new witness who will testify about grief and bereavement.
The “expert” is Dr. Sally Karioth. Baez gave to the State a copy of a webpage about Dr. Karioth, suggesting they just found her!
The State is objecting to the addition of this witness, of course, because not only is the deadline too far gone, the defense cannot produce reports as to what this witness will testify to.
The attorneys will argue the addition of this witness after the testimony on Saturday. However, Judge Perry has already cited case law that suggests bereavement and grief witnesses are inadmissible.
Oh, and did I mention that Baez asked again for a mistrial? It’s true. It was as a result of jail videos painting him in such a negative light in front of the jurors.
I gotta tell ya’, the jurors didn’t need the jail videos to tell him the truth about Baez – they got that message on May 24th, 2011 during defense opening statements.
The video below is the new defense “Expert,” Dr. Sally Karioth. A good fit with the defense team?
Today, in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, the day began with a discussion regarding whether the six felony charges against Casey, can be proffered by the State. There will be more discussion on this as the trial wears on. The State could mention the felonies since Baez opened the door to allow it in, but rather than risk a possible issue on appeal, the State is backing off of using it, at this time.
Amy Huizenga was the first to take the stand this morning. It was Baez’ turn to cross examine Amy. She clearly got irritated at Baez’ habit of putting absurd words in her mouth, as he often does to witnesses, but Amy was quick and did not allow Baez to twist her words.
Baez actually suggested that Amy went after Casey’s boyfriends when Casey was done with them! He was referring to Ricardo Morales (she slept on his couch). And, because Amy and Jesse Grund met a couple of times to discuss the case, Amy must have been involved with him, says Baez. It was totally inappropriate. I wish Amy had said, “Yeah, I also tried to use my bank account after Casey was done with it, we know how that turned out!”
Then, Baez suggested that Amy was a big drinker. He intimated that in 2008, when Amy fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a guard rail, she was drunk. Amy said, “that’s not relevant.” And it wasn’t!
Lee Anthony was on the stand today. He testified about Casey’s admission about being “a spiteful bitch,” with regards to keeping Caylee away from the family. Lee said, Cindy Anthony suggested Casey was an “unfit mother.” Amy Huizenga referred to this as well.
With regards to Lee’s testimony. Was there even a whisper about the molestation allegation against Lee? Nope! Nary a word spoken by the State of Florida, therefore the Defense could not bring it up.
I thought it was the elephant in the room for the jury. The Defense will have to bring it up in their case, if they are allowed. I believe there will have to be evidence to support it before the Defense can raise it.
There were quite a few Orange County Sheriff’s Officers who took the stand today today. Brendan Fletcher was the first of Officer on the scene on Hopespring Drive on July 15th, and he was the first to take the stand today. He testified that he had not smelled an odor emanating from the car, and left the home after two hours.
Then, Adriana Avecedo, the Officer who took Casey in her squad car to Sawgrass Apartments.
Finally, Reginald Hosey took the stand and was asked about how Casey was handcuffed, and did he order the handcuffs removed? He didn’t remember.
The defense tried with all their might to revisit the Miranda issue once again. Cheney Mason did everything in his power to discuss how threatening the police are – how threatened Casey must have been is the idea he wanted to float.
Mason discussed the (intimidating) cage (bars) used in police cars; he talked about the scary men in scary police uniforms and scary guns on their belt. Oh, and there were so many officers there, too. His argument fell flat; and the record is clear on this issue – Judge Perry has ordered that all of Casey’s statements were admissible some time ago.
Yuri Melich was on the stand today, and as usual, he was an excellent, intelligent and professional witness.
Casey Anthony’s written statement from July 15th was brought into evidence and read into the record by Yuri. Then, the first recorded interview that Yuri took of Casey was entered into evidence and played for the jury.
Casey lied, and lied, and lied some more in that statement. And, worse than that, Casey’s vocal tone, pitch and slow pace was reminiscent of a job interview, not a plea to find a daughter recently kidnapped.
From the defense today, I began to hear their innuendos about George Anthony, all of which suggest that George was distant about the “kidnapping” because he knew Caylee was already gone.
Here are examples of what I heard:
- George did not react when Cindy fell into his arms after telling him Caylee was missing.
- One by one police officers were asked what was George like that night, July 15? Invariably, the witnesses today said, George was calm, while Cindy was frantic. I believe it was Officer Hosey who said, Cindy was at times frantic and at times calm.
- When Lee was questioned in cross, he was asked if George came into the bedroom to talk to Casey. No, he didn’t, Lee said.
- The conclusion seemed to be that George was oddly distant given the situation.
The defense will take every opportunity to twist George’s actions into suspicious innuendo against him. The facts remains, however, this defense team will not be able to create reasonable doubt – they are too incompetent to spin such a tale. There are too many holes in the story Jose Baez told in his bizarre opening statement – proof that they have not given enough thought to theory.
Had the defense done a simple IF / THEN examination of their theory, they might have more answers, instead of black holes that make no sense.
- IF George was involved in a “drowning accident” of Caylee, THEN why would he not perform CPR or call 911? What compelled George to hide Caylee’s body?
- IF George got Casey involved in covering the death up, THEN why did the Cadaver Dogs alert on two places in the yard and why did the body decompose in the trunk?
- IF George and Casey were in cahoots to hide the body, THEN why would George, a former detective, not advise Casey about the harm of leaving evidence behind?
- IF George has something to do with the “accident” and colluding with Casey, THEN why would he report the gas can incident to the police?
- IF George and Casey were in on the murder, THEN why would she tell her mother about the gas can incident, rather than hide it from her?
- IF Casey was sexually abused, THEN why did she trust George to take care of her daughter? Note: I read that it has never (or rarely) been reported that a sexually abused mother would kill her offspring.
- IF there had been a pool accident, THEN why did both George and Casey have NO reaction to the pool accident that was discussed by Cindy in the Jail video?
We could go on and on with IF / THEN scenarios that prove the lies Baez floated in his opening have glaring holes, and are so obscenely foolish.
We laugh so often at Jose Baez and his inane tactics that he’s become our Court Jester.
He’s missing the large ruffled collar, the diamond colored leggings, the large shoes that curl at the point with bells on the heels. Well, that’s no matter. He’s still recognizable.
It was another interesting day in the jury selection process in the State v. Casey Anthony Trial.
There is great tension and desperation in the air for the defense. As much as they try to hide it, Casey Anthony’s fear is palpable. It’s evident in her eyes, body language and behavior in the courtroom.
One of the media sources, (WFTV was the original source), mentioned that Jose Baez was overheard saying, “You’re acting like a 2 year old,” to Casey Anthony. If that is true, and I have no reason to believe it’s not, I find it disturbing. Jose Baez is not her father. He’s working for her and she’s facing death!
The two of them proceeded to avoid each others gaze after exchanging these words. They also, according to the Caylee Daily, sat apart from each other at the defense table.
They are unhinged.
Apparently, someone on the defense was monitoring the news reports on the Internet today because they complained to Judge Perry that their “private conversations” were being posted on the Internet. Judge Perry said, “Folks this is a public courtroom.”
The Air Tests
With regards the “smell” in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s White Pontiac; no less than ten people could testify to the “smell” that emanated from the trunk.
Cadaver Dogs alerted to the scent, many police officers, FBI representatives have probably gotten a whiff and could attest to the “smell.” There is NO denying a human body was in that trunk! EVERYONE knows a human body decomposed in that trunk! But the defense keeps trying those Hail Mary motions and it’s getting very old. Can they not stop their whining and face the truth about this evidence?
The duty of the defense is to challenge the evidence produced and offered by the government. The defense does not have the burden of proof. There should come a point when they are forced to stop wasting the courts time to argue the court’s rulings over and over again! There should be a limit, right? There should come a time when a defense team has to stop their desperate struggle and fish, fish, fish, fish for any morsel of hope to get the Frye evidence thrown out.
Today, with regards to the evidence of post mortem banding indicating decomposition on a strand of Caylee’s hair, the defense attempted to convince the Judge that there was some kind of “new” research study being worked on that claims that when hair is exposed to well-water, it COULD mimic decompositional banding on hair.
The problem with this argument? It is a research study that was mentioned in a deposition – it’s in its infancy, but the defense wants to stop the presses to go check this out. The Judge says NO no more fishing expeditions.
The Judge had a change of heart about the air tests. He had time last evening to rethink the air test database issues, despite the defense asking for a rehearing on the matter, and the FBI is going to supply the names of the compounds in the database, which was utilized by Dr. Arpad Vass in the air testing, therefore, the Judge has denied all defense requests with regards to blocking the air tests. Phew!
Jury Selection Cut Short Today
With regards to Jury selection today, it was quite interesting – never a dull moment, it seems! As it happened, a woman, who was also a Texas EquuSearch volunteer and a possible witness in the case, was called for jury duty and in the jury pool!
Instead of keeping her thoughts to herself about the case, she spoke either directly to, or within ear-shot of nearly a dozen prospective jurors.
When Judge Perry learned this, out of an abundance of caution – fearing the entire panel may be tainted, he excused the entire pool of 50 people.
Voir dire of this remaining pool came to a end at about 3:00 today, and the Judge estimates that jury selection is nearly 3 days behind schedule, unfortunately.
And finally, I just read a media report from Adam Longo, who spoke to Jose Baez and Cheney Mason. Watch it here.
Mr. Baez and Mason – Selling Their
The long and the short of it? Jaws will drop, they say, when they learn how the defense will explain what “really” happened in this case.
I’m going to say it, once and for all, these two defense attorney’s are living in another reality – they are either enormously stupid, completely gullible, shamefully dishonest, or they are horrible attorneys. I am sick to death of their claims with regards to their client.
How dare they engage in media appearances at this point in time? I know that when you have no case, you must appeal to the public, but it’s wrong on so many levels. It infects the system of justice. They are lawyers, they should act like Officials of the Court and have some sensitivity for the sanctity of the law. The system of justice is adversarial, yes, but it should not be smoke and mirrors, sleazy attempts to “brand” their case in the media, and they should not become outright media whores!
That’s my band wagon for today. Well, I have one more item to discuss, and it’s terribly disappointing and completely unexpected.
America’s Most Wanted
I got an email from a producer at America’s Most Wanted that Yuri Melich did not win the America’s Most Wanted All Star Award. I nominated him and was absolutely so sure he would win. I was so sure!
But he didn’t win.
We all gave it a good try, we really did – I saw that so many people following this case took up the cause and voted religiously for Yuri.
At least he knows that our gratitude for his work is endless – we all should feel good about that.
But, darn it all, anyway.
“Oh, baby, it’s a wild world,” wrote Cat Stevens in his song of the same name.
The events of yesterday, in the Orlando trial of the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, were wild!
The day was complete with news flash after news flash – one wild story after another wild story.
What happened? A great deal! Here’s a quick run-down:
- The Defense wrote an eleventh hour hail-Mary motion to the Fifth District Court of Appeals asking to be given an extra ONE MONTH to file a response to the Petition for Review that the media had filed. The Defense claimed they hadn’t sufficient time to oppose the “Confidentially Agreement” authored by Judge Perry, and needed at least a month to prepare their response. Their motion was filed just before the 10:00 deadline.
- The Fifth District Court of Appeals, having read the above mentioned motion, took no more than five minutes to respond: DENIED!
- An emergency hearing was called by the Court to listen to arguments concerning: The Defense motion opposing the venue to pick a jury, and the two motions with regards to the sequestration of George and Cindy at the upcoming trial.
- With regards to the defense’s motion opposing the jury selection location (the motion was sealed), it ended up being withdrawn by the Defense.
- With regards to the Defense’s motion in favor of almost total sequestration of the Anthony’s, that motion was denied by the Court. This defense motion argued that they would be impeaching George and Cindy at trial; and their attendance would not be fair to Casey’s right to a fair trial. However, when Mr. Cheney Mason argued this motion yesterday, Judge Perry told Mr. Mason that he did not meet their burden of proof. You see, just because you announce Casey would be prejudiced doesn’t mean she will be! The defense needed to produce facts, and case law suggesting this, but they failed to do this – not meeting their burden.
- The Judge ruled in favor of the Anthony’s motion to be present in the courtroom. It was very telling that Judge Perry also pointed out that should anyone, during the proceedings, even raises an eyebrow, or smirks, or wiggles their disdain – OUT from the courtroom they will go, not to return! How long will the Anthony’s last under that rule? Ha! I am certain that Judge Perry, though he only has one working eye, has eagle-like vision for these things, don’t you?!
- At the conclusion of the hearing, and prior to the ruling coming down with regards to the media appeal to the District Court of Appeals, Judge Perry’s final words at yesterday’s hearing were, “See you 8:30 Monday morning!” The Judge knew his ruling would stand, and indeed it did, but only in part.
- The ruling that we all were waiting for, came down from the Fifth District Court of Appeals, later in the afternoon. The trial will not be delayed by the annoying motion filed by the media – it was denied in favor of Casey Anthony’s Sixth Amendment Right to a Fair Trial. However, the confidentiality agreement, written by Judge Perry, was disallowed. This means, the media outlets will learn of the location Monday morning.
- Cindy Anthony made it known that she intended to visit her daughter at the jail Saturday (today) morning. Of course, Casey Anthony denied the visit. It would not have been smart, from a defense perspective; their relationship is too volatile and would likely just create issues for the Defense.
Oh yes, it was a wild day, yesterday!
But, we still don’t know if the Dr. Arpad Vass ruling, which would allow his testimony concerning the controversial air tests, is going to be allowed. I suppose Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., has too much on his plate right now, and out of an abundance of caution, wants to ensure he has dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” before he releases his ruling.
It appears that Jose Baez thinks Vass testimony will come in. Why? Because yesterday Assistant State Attorney, Jeff Ashton, advised the court, bemusedly, that Mr. Baez had recently “dumped” 5,000 pages of literature upon his desk.
Judge Perry asked Mr. Baez, why and he opined that he needed this material in cross examination, perhaps to impeach Dr. Vass, or to perhaps bring up opinions that were in conflict with his.
Jeff Ashton simply demurred and suggested to the Court that he’d deal with it as it happened (in trial).
Therefore, can we take this to mean that Judge Perry has already hinted to the Attorney’s that the evidence is coming in? Has he advised them ahead of the actual filing of the ruling? I tend to think that’s the case. And I imagine that since the ruling will be a precedent-setting decision, the written ruling has to be carefully authored.
Yesterday, before the start of the emergency hearing at 1:00 p.m., the parties and Casey Anthony, were in an in-camera session with the Judge. When they returned to the courtroom, it appeared that Casey Anthony was distressed, and may have been crying. Had she just learned that the defense lost the Air Test for Decomposition Frye motion, too? Is reality beginning to sink in? Surely it must be.
When you stack all the evidence up, it’s a strong chain. Consider just this list in the ever-tightening chain:
Her police interview and statements, the jail video tapes, the jail phone calls, her mother’s 911 calls, her own 911 call about the protesters, her mother and father’s interviews with police, the Cadaver dog alerts on the home and the car, the chloroform test results, the post-mortem-banding of the strand of Caylee’s hair, the heart-sticker evidence, the plant growth evidence, photos of her partying at Fusion, the Bella Vita tattoo, the computer searches for chloroform, neck-breaking, etc., testimony about the smell of the squirrel, Zanny the Nanny, the testimony of her friends, and now perhaps the air tests?
I wouldn’t be smiling either.
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile.
~ Cat Stevens