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Posts tagged ‘WFTV’

2
Apr

no april fools

I have been wanting to talk about an incident that happened the other day outside of the Orlando courthouse where Casey Anthony is being tried for Capital Murder.  I am referring to the disgusting actions of Mr. Cheney Mason when he bellowed to reporter Kathi Belich, “You are probably the stupidest reporter on the face of the Earth.  Get out of my way.”

If you ever need clarity on the definition of the word misogyny, look at that video.

There is nothing more irritating than to see stupidity and braggadocio take the place of good lawyering.  Now, I’m referring to both Mr. Mason and Mr. Baez.  It is interesting, though, how the two men differ in their techniques.  Mr. Mason prefers so show his braggadocio outside the courtroom, or in motions.  Mr. Baez, on the other hand, more consistently flaunts his stupidity, though he attempts to hide it with braggadocious behavior.

A fellow blogger, Bull Stopper, wrote a post very recently on this same topic. Is Cheney Mason the Stupidest Attorney on the Face of the Earth?

Bull Stopper asks: “Who will win the stupidity contest, Mr. Baez or Mr. Mason?”

Who will win?  Only the defendant, Casey Anthony, will be able to give a definitive answer as she enters the chamber in which she will face the combined result of her defense team’s stupidity and her own terrible actions, the ultimate penalty which can be imposed by the state of Florida, the loss of her life.  ~Bull Stopper.  Read post here.

This is one of the most disturbing aspects of this case:  Casey Anthony, by the choice of her counsel, could pay the ultimate price – her life.

It seems obvious to most of us that she is not being well served by either Mr. Baez, or Mr. Mason. This is lost on Casey Anthony.

We know the evidence against her looms large, but it also appears her own attorneys are using her to their own advantage. Mr. Mason once said this case will be “fun.”  Fun for him?  Isn’t that nice. I hope he’s having fun now as his legitimacy fades.

Sure, Mason and Baez want to save Casey Anthony from a sentence of death, but it appears they are not acting in that regard – they are attempting an acquittal.  But, the die is cast – it was cast long ago when Baez, early on, failed to act on the mountains of evidence against his client.  An acquittal is not in the cards.

I truly believe that another attorney would have walked away from this case, knowing there was no way it could be won.  If Baez had walked away, and Anthony continued to declare she was not guilty, in the face of the overwhelming chain of circumstantial evidence, then a Public Defender would perform due diligence by advising her to think twice about her decision as her situation is serious and the evidence against her is enormous.

I have no doubt a Public Defender would have worked a deal with the State Attorney’s Office, especially early on in the case.   I seriously believe all deals are off now.  The State Attorney has invested too much in this case to let it go in a plea deal.  If the State Attorney thought some of their evidence was flawed, no doubt they would discuss a plea.  Not now – their case is too strong.

Cash strapped Florida should not have to pay for the trial of this sick young women who barely held a job or contributed to society, or to the State of Florida, in any way.  It is an abomination of justice, and is an injustice to the people of Florida, of which I am one.

I believe in our system of justice.  I believe the Defense Attorney’s role in the system is critical to ensure justice is fair and balanced and not over run by over-ambitious good ole’ boys in law enforcement. I say this because there are good ole’ boys (not in this case), that have long and strong arms that could wreak havoc on the innocent in our society.

Against the person of Casey Anthony, there is a chain of circumstantial evidence that, when known by a jury, will stay chained to her legs and point to one outcome.  Guilt.

And yet, the State of Florida must suffer and pay for an outcome we know is coming? To me, this is the definition of injustice.  It’s also an injustice to Casey Anthony; she is clearly not being well served.

It was revealed recently what the defense cost to the State of Florida has been in excess of $200,000.  An article recently published by WFTV reports the following:

Casey’s defense spent more than $200,000 before asking taxpayers last year to pay the rest of Casey’s legal expenses. WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer says that’s twice as much as a client of limited means would spend on a murder defense.

I wonder how many innocent defendants will suffer as a result of the financial shortfall this case will cause?

The costs referred to above do not take into account the dollars spent by the Assistant State Attorney’s Office, which is funded by Florida taxpayers.

If Casey Anthony is found guilty and sentenced to death, the cost will then be in the millions.  It is well documented that the cost of imposing the death penalty far outweighs the cost of a life sentence.

The die is cast now.  Similarly, by casting Baez in a chance of a life-time role as her attorney, she may very well die.

The truth is, when a fool hires a fool, every day is April Fools day.

28
Mar

the George story, sadly, is reasonable doubt

Last night I wrote about George Anthony as being the reasonable doubt the defense needs to save Casey Anthony; WFTV is currently running the same story.

This is a very strange case of serendipity for me.

September 2008 - Credit: WFTV

Sunday morning, I happened to think about some “what if’s” in this case, and I thought about George Anthony – and all the ways he would be a candidate for the defense to use to raise reasonable doubt.

So, last night I wrote a story about George and reasonable doubt, but didn’t want to publish all the details as I was afraid it would give someone (on the defense), too many ideas…. Besides which, it’s a horrible story –  a terrible thing to do to one’s own father, no matter how nutso the father is, it’s just wrong.

Then, this morning a blogger named “Thinker” posted information that agreed with my story, and told me about the two women, Patricia Young and Sharon Cadieux who are newly added defense witnesses.  They are added witnesses to the defense because they were protesters at the Anthony home, in 2008, who George pushed and who notified the police.  Coincidentally, that was one of my examples of George’s propensity for violence that I thought would make him a candidate for creating reasonable doubt, but I didn’t want to write that for fear it would give some folks (the defense) ideas….. The story is contained in the WFTV link below.

“Thinker” also told me that the newly added witness, Dr. Weitz, specializes in post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).  Of course Dr. Weitz could support the theory that Casey, after suffering the abuse of George and Lee, suffered from PSTD, hence her bizarre demeanor.  Their theory could be that Casey acts so bland and blank because of PTSD.  Casey might even have done all the partying and inappropriate behavior during those 31 days because she was suffering from PTSD.

Now, come to find out, the defense must have been planning this blame it on George strategy for a while.  Although I have always thought that, given the sexual abuse allegations, the defense might find a way to make George the fall guy, the Patsy, or the Guilty one – however you want to characterize it, I am amazed it is actually coming to fruition.  But, I am not surprised – as much as the idea of using George as reasonable doubt is gross, it is also the only thing the defense has right now.  The defense team, as we have seen from the recent Frye Hearings, are not strong in the science aspect.  And then, they lost the motion to suppress the statements and the “Agents of the State” motion, which was a huge blow to them.  They have to use George or they have no case.

Please know that I don’t believe any of what I am about to write here, but I wanted to point out to you why George is potentially powerful reasonable doubt.  Why?  Consider this:

  • George saw Caylee the morning of the 16th.  Did something happen to Caylee during his watch?
  • Caylee was found in the clothes George described she was last seen in.
  • The duct tape came from his home, as did the garbage bags, the laundry bag, and the baby blanket.
  • George has a rotten temper, as evidenced in the Morgan & Morgan Zenaida depositions, and elsewhere.
  • George has changed aspects of his story, and some of the facts around Caylee’s disappearance, a number of times (i.e. the smell in the trunk).
  • George had access to Casey’s car.
  • George got so near Casey’s car to remove a wheel lift, Casey beat him to the trunk of the White Pontiac and thrust the gas cans she’d stolen in his arms.  But he was very close to that trunk – close enough to smell it?
  • George had the opportunity – his work schedule was erratic.
  • There are reports that George threw his own father through a plate glass window at the car dealership his father owned, Rick Pleasea is on the defense witness list and can testify to this.
  • As a former police officer, could George have the right amount of know-how needed to hide the crime for this long?
  • George told River Cruz that Caylee’s death was an “accident that snow-balled out of control”.  How would George have knowledge of this?
  • George attempted to “borrow” $20,000 from River Cruz – he did not have the means to pay it back.
  • George (and Cindy) have ties to the “Kid-Finders Network” an allegedly fraudulent missing children organization.  Are the rumors true that he skimmed a bit of cash off the top?
  • George (and Cindy) refused to work with or participate in the Texas EquuSearch team searches.  Did he not want Caylee found?
  • George left the pool ladder out, or so said Cindy.
  • Cheney Mason has already hinted the defense interest in the possibility of drowning.
  • Did George attempt to make it appear like Caylee was kidnapped, hence the duct tape over the little angel?
  • The pushing and shoving and temper tantrums when he physically pushed the two new defense witnesses.

Thank you to “Thinker” for all the material that’s provided here!  I am very grateful, Thinker. 🙂

Police report: http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/9-7.battery.report.pdf

Defense motion to add witnesses: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/74800968/20110322-Defense-Motion-Clarifying-Motion-for-Leave-For-Additional-Witnesses

Original WFTV coverage of altercation at Anthony’s home: http://www.wftv.com/news/17393803/detail.html

Today’s coverage of the story: http://www.wftv.com/news/27348810/detail.html

There will be much more to report on this story…. stay tuned!

24
Mar

Day 2: Defense in frye free fall

There is an abundance of material to talk about after the events of today’s Fyre Hearing, and today’s desperate motion for a rehearing on the Miranda and Agents of the State issue.

Dr. Arpad Vass, (who has the patience of a saint), is the States scientist from the Oak Ridge Laboratory who tested air samples, and the carpet from the white Pontiac driven by Casey Anthony.  Thanks to WFTV, I am able to watch the testimony and the the cross examination by Jose Baez of Dr. Vass.  To say the cross examination was entertaining is an understatement.   There was one moment in particular that was shocking to me.  I am referring to the fact that Baez had stipulated (agreed) to NOT refer to the use of an instrument used in the decomposition studies by Dr. Vass.

When Baez began a line of questioning that was wiggling in the direction of what was stipulated to, Jeff Ashton objected, reminding the Judge of the stipulation.  Then, Baez nearly lost it!  He claimed that he felt “coerced” and his “hand forced” by Jeff Ashton on this issue – as if Ashton tricked him into stipulating. Then we hear that Baez agreed to this stipulation in exchange for Ashton backing off the contempt charges.

Baez claimed that he was tricked into agreeing to this stipulation when Ashton decided not to pursue contempt charges. Not true, said Ashton.  The stipulation was a result of this instrument being tested and accepted in the scientific community; it was sound science, therefore not necessary to argue this in a Frye hearing (it’s not a novel science).

Baez raised his voice to a shrill; he was absolutely livid.  Then Judge Perry told Mr. Baez it was his  fault for accepting the stipulation in the first place. Baez argued that he needed to address this “methodology” with Dr. Vass, as there is a crucial bit of testimony he wants to get to. Baez blamed Ashton for the situation.  The Judge jumped into the middle.

Judge Perry:  If this was so important to your case, why stipulate to it?  Baez claimed that the issue he wants to bring up is different.  Not so says Judge Perry.  Then Judge Perry asks Baez if this has to do with discovery ambush? Then it came out that Baez held this bit of testimony OUT of discovery.

When it was discovered he did this, Attorney Ann Finnel came to the podium, whispered to Baez (clearly telling him the trouble he’d face), and Baez asked for a recess. A five minute recess was called and Baez returned with his tail between his legs, and apologized.

You know, and I know, that Mr. Baez has a habit of holding back information in order to create an element of surprise – to ambush the opponent.  The bottom line here, is the fact that the State will not be fooled, the Judge will not be fooled, and Baez will either learn his lesson quickly, or face some kind of consequence, I’m sure.

I also wanted to add that Dr. Vass, during Ashton’s direct examination, made two remarkable statements.  He stated the levels of chloroform found in the samples of Casey’s trunk were 10,000 times greater than what one would normally encounter.  (There are small amounts of chloroform found in decomposition as a general rule.)  Dr. Vass stated that the chloroform “peaked” and he’d never before seen it this high in any of the hundred’s of cadavers he’d studied.

The other important revelation was a result of Dr. Vass’s reaction to opening the container holding the piece of carpet from the car, caused him to jump back two feet, it was so strong.

Dr. Vass was an excellent witness though clearly exasperated with Jose Baez.

I must also mention a moment during the cross examination of OCSO K9 handler and trainer, Jason Forgey when Baez attempted to ask about his Grand Jury testimony!   Judge Perry warned Baez and warned Forgey not to answer, but Baez asked it anyway and then stated he’d be writing a motion regarding this grand jury testimony.  The way Baez stated this, I got the sense that he intended to put the Judge on notice, so to speak.  This is purely my take on the situation and I say this as a result of hearing the tone of voice he used, and the self important demeanor he wore when he said it.

Today’s Motion  by the Defense

In the event you haven’t heard, the Miranda and the Agent’s of the State motion ruled on by the Judge last week, has been reopened by the Defense.  It appears the defense is painfully aware of the harm this ruling will do to their case.  To solve this problem of theirs, Mr. Cheney Mason wrote this motion claiming a myriad of mistakes, and outright biases that Judge Perry made in these two rulings. Read it here.

It is shocking to read, and is an outright attack on this Judge by Mr. Mason. The defense dissected Judge Perry’s ruling and listed the mistakes he made!  Mason (who was not in court today) literally accused the Judge of bias, of misstating facts, not correctly applying the law, and more.

Reporter Anthony Collarossi, of the Orlando Sentinel, does a good job of explaining how this motion tends to mirror the movements made by the defense when they attacked Judge Strickland, who ultimately recused himself from the case. He writes:

The latest defense motion brings about recollections of the defense team’s successful effort to get Circuit Judge Stan Strickland to recuse himself from the case last year.

In that motion, the defense argued “Judge Strickland seeks publicity in his own right, and that his rulings and decisions from the bench could be improperly influenced by his desire to secure the outcome that maximizes that publicity.”

Courthouse sources familiar with the case said they seriously doubted the defense would “get a second bite of the apple” if the attorneys are considering having Perry removed.

Mr. Collarossi also reports that Judge Perry will have an answer to this motion early Friday morning.

No matter what type of low and devious tricks the defense wants to pull, there is no disputing the fact that the actions of the defense in this case are contributing to the demise of their own case.   No attorney’s want to win a case this badly – there is something going on here that smells to high heaven.

21
Mar

hungry for those defense depos?

Does it make you mad that we have not been privy to all the defense depositions that were recently released?  My nose is out of joint!  But, I do understand the media needs to make money.

Apparently most media outlets had an appetite for the defense depositions that were filed on Friday, March 18th, though they have not published them, they DID obtain them.  Here’s the kicker:  The cost per page is $1.00, which is a bit of cash for each media outlet to dole out for this feast.

The Orlando TV news stations are very competitive – they all want ratings, as well as website “hits” to lure more advertisers.  WFTV.com, which has  been, in my opinion, the best source for news on the case, is holding the depositions back, even though, the day they received them, they promised to post them.  Of course, they never did.

WESH talked about the depositions in a story, but never posted any documents.

The Central Florida News – 13 Station, another media player, developed a strategy.  They are releasing bits and pieces of the depositions on their website, preceded by some fanfare, for a return on their $3000 investment in purchasing the transcripts.  Smart of them?  I think so.  Their numbers (ratings) will increase, which means more advertising money rolling in for them.

Hal Boedeker, TV Guy, Orlando Sentinel, wrote a story about this today on his Orlando Sentinel blog.  Here’s the link to the story.

Hal tells us that, yes, all the 3000 and some odd pages of depositions were filed with the Clerk of Court on Friday – the same day as the big news about the two recent show-stopper court decisions – the Miranda ruling, and the Agents of the State ruling. The rulings were a bigger news story, apparently, though the depositions – to our hungry appetite for information – was big news, too!

The Robyn Adams Deposition

Robyn was the friend Casey made early on in her incarceration.  As you may remember, Robyn saved most of the notes and letters that she and Casey shared.  Instead of “flushing them” she mailed them to a friend for safe keeping, most likely realizing the letters would be useful someday, though she claims that Casey and the jail experience was an important part of her life, and she wanted the letters as reminders of days past.  Plus, she said, she  saves everything.

The Central Florida News-13 station published a very tiny portion (19 pages), of the Robyn Adams deposition.  There is very little “news” other than the revelation from Robyn that she thought Casey had a good heart. This upsets my digestion, but, to each his own.

Robyn recounts that, when it was thought that Caylee’s remains were found at J. Blanchard Park (it was big news at the time), Casey told Robyn it was not Caylee.

But then, on December 11th, when poor Caylee’s remains were found, Robyn says:

Robyn: When — when investigators found Caylee, before the remains were identified as Caylee, that night was a rare occasion where we did not speak. (Notice, she says “investigators” found Caylee.  She is unaware of Kronk.  Inmates have limited access to news in the jail)

Baez: Why is that?

Robyn: She didn’t want to speak at all. She didn’t want to talk to anybody.

Later in the transcript, Robyn says:

Robyn: That night, I was watching TV, and I saw them — they had roadblocks up and everything. And they said that — they were showing news from prior — from earlier in that day, and they said they had found remains not far away from her house in Orlando in a wooded area.  And I wanted to talk to her that night.  I wanted to talk to her that night because I wanted to know that she was okay.  I wanted to see if she needed anything that I could possibly give to her, even if it’s just a hand to hold, I guess.

And then later:

Baez:  Okay.  And you said you spoke to Casey the following evening?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez:  Okay. How did that communication occur?

Robyn:  She was in rare form.  She — her eyes were bloodshot. She had been  — she was hysterical.  She was a mess. She was a mess.

Baez: Okay. How did that communication occur though?

Robyn:  Through the door.

Baez:  Okay. So did Officer Hernandez allow you to get out?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez:  Okay. And she allowed you to go and have communication with Casey through her door?

Robyn: Yes.

Baez: Okay. And what did Casey tell you?

Robyn: Casey said that they found — found the body in this wooded area of her house.

Baez:  Did she say what was the condition of her body

RobynShe said it was in a black bag and a baby blanket, is what they found.

Baez: She say anything else, anything more than that?

Robyn:  No, she didn’t

Baez:  And what did you say?

Robyn: All I could say was, I’m — I’m sorry, maybe that’s  — maybe it’s not her, maybe it’s not Caylee.

Baez:  And what was her response to that?

Robyn: She was just crying.  She just kept crying.

Robyn didn’t realize the significance of Casey’s telling her about the “black bag and the baby blanket,” but everyone else involved with the case understood what it meant.  Only the person who placed the baby in the black bags with the baby blanket, would know these details.  Only the killer would know.

This is a very damning piece of testimony that will be critical to the State’s case.  Although putting a jail inmate on the stand is always dicey, this testimony will not be a problem, I don’t think.  The Jury will have insight into the relationship between Robyn and Casey as a result of the letters between the two of them.  The letters tend to make the relationship more credible, and important to the both of them.

Later in the interview, Robyn tells Baez (and Jeff Ashton and Linda Drane-Burdick were also present), that Casey hinted that her parents may be involved in Caylee’s death.  You’ll find this on page 45 of the transcript.

I’ve included all the links (below) to the tidbits that have been released thus far by Central Florida News – 13.

We can only hope that WFTV gives us the whole feast of depositions soon.

These appetizers are fine, but it leaves me still hungry for more!

  • Robyn Adams transcripts: Click here.
  • Brian Burner: Click here.
  • Michael Vincent (OCSO CSI) Click here.
4
Mar

march 4 hearing – Jose is sorry

It was another fascinating day in the Orlando courtroom where the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony is being played out in pre-trial hearings.

The day began with a scolding by Judge Perry to the Defense for failing to ensure that Casey Anthony’s clothes were delivered to her before court was scheduled to begin.  The hearing was scheduled at 8:45, but did not start until 8:50.  Judge Perry promised that the next time, he will start on time and if the Defendant’s clothes are not there, so be it.  She will wear her blues.

The motion regarding Kathi Bellich as a Defense witness was argued by WFTV’s attorney, Greg Thomas, and Cheney Mason, for the Defense.

As expected, Judge Perry granted WFTV’s motion to strike Ms. Bellich from the witness list.  In his ruling, Judge Perry spoke about the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech promise, and the sanctity of a free press.   The Defense simply did not have a compelling reason to call her.

The defense motion to strike the jail videos as a result of the Anthony family being “agents of the state” went nowhere fast today. So far, not one of the Anthony’s could claim to be agent’s of the state.  Cindy and George are/were definitely not fans of law enforcement, that was made very clear, but not one of the Anthony’s could testify about doing the bidding of law enforcement, i.e. being agents of the state.

Cindy Anthony once again took the stand and was her usual loquacious self, spewing words, words, words.   She was argumentative when she was not given the time to explain her answers.  Cindy loves to hear herself talk; Lee loves to hear himself laugh, and George simply loves to frown and argue.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Jose Baez was forgiven the contempt charge.

Yes, Jose ate his humble pie and apologized to the State for his behavior of late.  It became clear that the apology and the final solution was brokered by Judge Perry, clearly he was pleased with the attorney’s ability to show common decency and work things out.

What enabled this turn of events is due to Defense attorney Dorothy Clay Sims who wrote the response that Jose was confused about.  Ms. Sims also argued the Chloroform and the plant growth motion very effectively.  She will be an asset to the Defense with regards to the forensic motions.

Jose Baez did some decent work yesterday and today.  He had a very rough start on Wednesday and made some obvious blunders here and there; but there were times when he showed some promise and competence in his questioning of witnesses.

Then there was Lee Anthony.  What has become of Lee Anthony?  He looked horrible, unkempt, sloppy, unshaven…well, he looked like a bum.  In addition, he is still laughing!  Why in the world he laughs at the most inappropriate times is both baffling and disturbing.

At one point, Jose Baez asked Lee a question regarding an instance when Lee went into Jose’s inner office, where the Casey Anthony evidence and work is held, to copy evidence (credit card receipts).  Jose asked Lee if he was directed by law enforcement to do this – take defense evidence. Lee said no, he did this on his own.

There is something about Lee that isn’t right…. He must have known that to walk into Jose’s office and copy evidence was wrong, and yet he did it anyway.  Lee’s arrogance on the stand bothered me. His attitude didn’t fit the solemnity of the situation – the murder of his niece.  He’s difficult to listen to because that laugh is like shivers up my spine.

There is another hearing on Monday, at 2:00. Presumably the Judge will rule on the motions that were heard these last three days.

24
Feb

news at 11:00?

We had nearly an entire day of no news in the case against Casey Anthony!  Up until 5:00 p.m., there was nary a speck of news – no motions, statements, or documents released.

However, it’s turning out to be a newsy day for Tony Pipitone of the Local 6 television station in Orlando.

Tony Pipitone, breathless and joyful to have the exclusive on a story, says there’s big news and he’s got the exclusive on it, but we have to wait until 11:00 tonight to get it.

What’s the news, you ask?  Oh, sorry… we have to wait because Pipitone is busy “pouring over the information”.  Oh, but it’s big news!  It’s “exclusive” to Channel 6, by golly.

I smell a rush for ratings.  I hear sensationalism.  I’ll eat my words if I’m wrong, but experience tells me that when a news group crows about a BIG story but holds it back for hours, they rarely deliver the goods.

When a story is really big, most news groups want to get the information out there post haste. Not so in this instance, as the website story tells us:

Pipitone is still poring over the information, which centers on what is being said and done behind closed doors in the case against Anthony, and will offer his full report at 11 p.m. Thursday.

Things said and done behind closed doors?   Secret stuff?  Pouring over information infers that he has gathered a great deal of information, so much information that he needs until 11:00 to fully grasp it all.

Pipitone was on the news at 5:00 attempting to titillate and tease us about the information he’s got.  Will Pipitone offer us facts, or idealizations?  Why the tease during the 5:00 news hour?

Ratings?

My Smell Test

Who revealed the information that Pipitone is pouring over?   There’s the rub – Pipitone does not say – he doesn’t even suggest that someone close to the Caylee Anthony investigation has shared information.  However, he is suggesting that there’s a lot of story here because it’s taking him until 11:00 to pour over everything.  The news report claims:

Pipitone’s report will reveal details about the events of December 2008 and the discovery of skeletonized remains later found to be Caylee Anthony.

…some of the information reinforces the state’s contention that Caylee’s death was a homicide, but other portions of the information raise questions about some alternative theories and the specter of some evidence being staged.

This is a very bold statement. The sentence about “staging” is not connected to the “skeletonized remains” sentence; but nonetheless infers that “alternative theories” suggest staging of evidence. Is Pipitone suggesting foul play by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office?   If that is truly what his story will suggest, it is no doubt a defense team tactic.

The statement about “reinforcing the State’s claim that Caylee’s death was a homicide”  is odd.  Why is it necessary to reinforce a homicide?  It’s either a homicide or it isn’t, reinforcing it won’t change it or make it worse than a homicide.

What makes this story suspect is we’re not told where Pipitone’s information comes from.  Where it comes from will tell us a great deal about whether it’s reliable.  Someone could have given Pipitone a lot of “information to pour over”, but who is that someone?  That very critical piece of information is missing.  The website article states:

We have some information that hasn’t become public about what both sides in the case are asking when they’re questioning witnesses.

Information that has not become public?  What both sides are asking when questioning witnesses – meaning deposition questions?

I smell a ratings ploy – a story that will have many in Orlando tuned into their station at 11:00 when they’d otherwise be in bed!

We’re all news hounds about this case – we want to know everything!  But, we want the facts, sources for information, and we don’t like to be teased, right?

Right.

Will you watch Pipitone at 11:00?

Here’s the info: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/26980723/detail.html

Now for some real news

As I was writing this story, WESH announced there will be a hearing tomorrow at 8:45 a.m.

Also, WFTV wrote a correction to their story about the reason that Jose Baez is being investigated by the Florida Bar Association. A spokesperson from the Florida Bar contacted WFTV saying the grievance filed against Jose Baez is not about misrepresenting facts to Judge Perry.  The complaint is related to “ethics or misrepresentation” but would not elaborate or reveal who filed the complaint.

19
Feb

a rose by any other name

“What’s in name?” asks Juliet in Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet, “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

There’s a lot in a name. Just ask Jose Baez, who believes it his mission to reveal another name used by Kathi Belich, the hard-hitting WFTV reporter – the major thorn in Baez’s side, but a fine Irish Rose to those of us who seek justice for Caylee Anthony.

The dialogue below is taken from a video that appears to be from 2009, when the photos of the autopsy were being discussed in court hearings:

Baez: I hear your name is really Gallagher, is that true?

Belich: When did you actually… When did you actually…

Baez: Are you really Kathleen Gallager  Is that true?

Belich: (pause) Wha….I don’t understand your question.

Baez: Somebody told me that was your real name.

Belich: Let me ask you a question about this case.

Baez: Why do you use a separate name?  Who are you Todd Black? (I believe he’s saying Todd Black)

Thanks go to Sherry for making me aware of this video clip.  The video can be viewed here:

http://www.wftv.com/video/19802341/index.html

In this video Baez makes a petulant, and cheeky personal attack at Kathi that really bothered me.  Then just recently, in the recent Defense motion introducing new witnesses, he again mentions Kathi Belich’s other name, as if to cover Kathi in a kind of snarky mysterious cloud.

Kathi Belich is a very recognizable public figure.  Her image is out there for all to see. I have no way of knowing if this is true, but I am guessing that “Belich” could be Kathi’s stage name.  I have no way of knowing if this is true or not, but Kathi may have a stage name to protect her privacy.

People in television or film generally belong to two professional unions: The Screen Actors Guild (SAG), or the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, (AFTRA).

When you join any of these unions, you must assign yourself a stage name that is unique and that no one else in the business is using. Before I could join SAG, my name had to approved – checked to see no other actor was using it.  I was okay, the name I chose happened to be my real name and I could use it as a stage name, too.  However, many people choose a different name from their own – their real name may be too long, hard to pronounce, or for any number of other reasons. The fact is, many people in the business choose a different stage name in an effort to maintain privacy.  Maybe this is what Kathi Belich has chosen to do, too.

Regardless of her choices, this is personal information about Kathi Belich that has no bearing on anything related to the State v. Casey Anthony!  Revealing Kathi Belich’s other name is low, unprofessional, and bordering on harassment.

The request to have Kathi Belich on the Defense witness list is, in my opinion, a sleazy tactic to harass her, AND keep her out of the courtroom and covering this case.

In most states, Florida is one of them, there is a “Shield Law” that protects reporters from testifying or revealing their sources or the information they have uncovered.  This is part of our Democracy called Freedom of the Press!

WFTV will fight tooth and nail to keep Kathi off of any Defense or Prosecution witness list.

It’s uncalled for to attack a reporter simply because she is on top of stories that just happens to malign the Defense.

Jose Angel Baez needs to be a big boy and suck it up.

15
Feb

the elephant in the courtroom

The Case of Selective Listening or Talking in Tongues

Whether it’s total incompetency or cotton in the ears; it’s yet another bungled and possibly serious issue for the Defense in the Casey Anthony case.  This time, however, Cheney Mason may end up taking the fall with regards to the Stogsdill Court Reporting fiasco.

The Stogsdill Court Reporting Service is alleging that Jose Baez, Cheney Mason, or both, made false statements in court as to what occurred with regards to the September 21 and 22nd deposition of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A letter was made public today from Stogsdill Court Reporting Services to Judge Belvin Perry asserting that the Defense  made false statements regarding payment for the deposition and transcript services provided by Stogsdill.

The letter, from Gerald (Tyke) Stogsdill, owner of the Knoxville court reporting company, asserts that there was never an agreement made with Mr. Mason to provide a reduced rate (a JAC rate).   Furthermore, Stogsdill claims that when Mr. Mason told Judge Perry in open court that Stogsdill reneged on an agreement to accept JAC funds, it was false. Mr. Stogsdill claims that he would never have agreed to accept the lower JAC rate.

The problem began when Cheney Mason’s Legal Assistant made arrangements for the September 21 & 22nd depositions.  The Legal Assistant claims that she advised Stogsdill of the lower rate, and he agreed.

Mr. Stogsdill does not remember a phone conversation that discussed fees, and was therefore under the impression that Mr. Mason would pay his standard rate.

To confuse matters, on September 16th a “generic” email from Michelle Medina, of the Baez Law Firm, was sent to Stogsdill with a JAC  form attached.  Stogsdill did not recognize the name Michelle Medina as the email had no reference to the dates of the deposition, nor was there mention of the Anthony case.  As such, Stogsdill did not connect the dots regarding the JAC form and the Cheney Mason depo.  In addition, Stogsdill would not have known what JAC was, as his firm is in Tennessee, and not familiar with the Florida system.

Therefore, when the “JAC” was mentioned, it meant nothing to Stogsdill. He assumed that JAC was handling the billing for the depo, since many firms have another office handling their billing.

The problem with this issue?  The Judge will have to determine who is really to blame here.  Either it was a gross misunderstanding between all parties, or the Defense lawyers were trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes to get a better rate.

READ: The Stogsdill letter to Judge Perry with emails.

The Defense is Fried Over the Fyre Hearings

To add insult to injury, Jeff Ashton, Assistant State Attorney, filed two motions to strike the Defense’s intent for a Frye hearing on the chloroform detection in Casey Anthony’s trunk, and the plant growth at the crime scene. The plant growth will indicate to a scientific certainty how long Caylee’s remains were located in the area off of Suburban Drive.

The purpose of a Frye hearing is to challenge the science being offered up by either side.  If it is a relatively new scientific procedure, the experts in that field will have to prove to the court that claims being made are sound.  If the court decides there is merit, then the testimony can come in to be heard by the jury.

The problem here is the Defense is arguing their Fyre Motions based on testimony of the experts on the scientific issues, not on the science itself.  Plus, the science being used has long been proved to be reliable in Florida.  And since Fyre is meant to test the veracity of new or novel approaches to scientific evidence, there will be no need to have a hearing on either chloroform or plant growth.  It will be up to the jury to weigh the testimony of the experts and come to their own conclusions.

After reading these two motions by Mr. Ashton, it is crystal clear that the Defense needs help with the scientific aspects of this case.  It is going to be a very unbalanced trial if either Baez or Mason handle the science in this case.

READ: The Prosecution Motion to Exclude Chloroform

READ: The Prosecution Motion to Exclude Plant Growth

Please Judge, We Need More Witnesses

A motion filed today by ASA Linda Drane Burdick requests that brand new Defense witnesses be disallowed since the deadline has long since past to introduce new witnesses.

Kathi Belich of WFTV is listed as a Defense witness!

Many of us familiar with this case are fans of Kathi Belich, of WFTV.  Kathi is a hard-hitting reporter who gets right into the thick of things and is relentless in getting a story.  She thinks nothing of getting in Jose Baez’s path to ask the really tough questions.  Jose Baez despises her and her station, WFTV.  And yet, he has Kathi Belich on his list of new witnesses!

Why Kathi Belich?  I have my own opinion on this.  I believe that Baez would like to get her on the stand to simply have the opportunity to hammer questions at her and give her back some of what she’s given him over these past two years.  Or, if Kathi Belich is a witness, it could preclude her from covering the case.

The other witnesses the Defense would like to add are: Robyn Adams and Maya Derkovic (Casey’s Jailhouse pals), and Marvin Schecter, a lawyer from New York City.

Linda Drane Burdick argues in her motion that not only did the Defense miss the deadline to add witnesses, they also failed to show good cause for requesting to add these witnesses.

READ: State Motion to Strike Defense Witnesses

What’s Next is Anyone’s Guess

There are Fyre hearings scheduled March 2 and 3.  However, with the above issues before the court, there may be another hearing needed to sort it all out.

Sometimes an issue, like what to do about dishonest or incompetent lawyers, gets to be so big that it eventually can no longer be ignored, and it becomes the “Elephant in the room” or, the “courtroom” in this case.

The elephant in Judge Belvin Perry’s Orlando courtroom is pregnant with triplets, and about to pop.

Given the tendency of Casey Anthony’s Defense to conveniently alter the truth, recolor facts, and bend the law to its breaking point, Judge Perry may soon be between a rock and a hard place – or rather, a pregnant elephant and a hard place.

9
Feb

waving to WESH – where’s the beef?

I find it odd that WESH news would publish an article on their web site today that boasts the headline: New Deposition Released in Case Against Casey Anthony and not publish the deposition.

They are rabid for new stories about this case; they are frenetically driven to get any Anthony story before WFTV does.  When Kathi Bellich was on leave recently for a couple of weeks, WESH dug its heels in the sand and fought to be the first to report any tidbit of news.  I have come to rely on them for this reason.  They have been on top of the news about this case like no other.

But today’s story – a total non-story, leaves out the most important aspect: The deposition!  Why publish a story telling us a deposition has been released and fail to produce it?  That’s like advertising a free All-You-Can-Eat Steak buffet but only offering mashed potatoes or rice.  Where’s the beef?

The deposition in question is of Texas EquuSearch volunteer William Fitzgerald that was taken on February 2 of this year. The focus of the depo is the Texas EquuSearch records and I believe it was a defense deposition, I am almost certain of it.

Did the Defense feed this little bit of news to WESH?   If so, why?   And, why would WESH think this non story news worthy?

Does the Defense want the public to know that Baez “repeatedly asked” about Texas EquuSearch records and who created a list of volunteers?  The only information in the piece is the quote below:

During the deposition, Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez repeatedly asked Fitzgerald who had access to the documents and who participated in coming up with a list of volunteers who helped search the Suburban Drive area, where Caylee’s remains were later found.

Those of us following this case know that there has been no news at all this week; is WESH so hungry for news they would publish non-news?

Even the “Caylee Daily” website who publishes literally everything that WESH publishes, had this story on their site for about an hour and then took it down.

I don’t get it.  Do you?

 

2
Feb

oh yes, BOMBSHELL for Baez!

I literally gasped when I saw the WESH headline that Baez was under investigation by the Florida Bar.

I wasn’t surprised, I had just not expected it since none of the media outlets were covering what I thought was a huge, bombshell of a story!

With last Friday’s document release of discovery, there was a great deal of material about the Laura Buchanan issue in which Jose Baez, desperate for some exculpatory evidence to create doubt for Casey, allegedly (according to Brad Conway), lied in open court to Judge Perry.  (The information is in a transcript of an interview with Brad Conway and the Orange County Sherriff’s Office (OCSO), and it is shocking.)

Two days ago, I published a story about this very issue. Read: Big trouble for Baez?

According to WESH, Karen Kirksey, a Florida Bar spokesperson, confirmed there is an open file on Baez, but it is confidential until such time as probable cause has been found.

Veteran trial attorney, Bill Sheaffer, legal guru for WFTV, in an interview with Kathi Bellich, says there is no more serious charge that a lawyer can face.  If it is indeed true, and if Brad Conway is to be believed, this is reprehensible. Sheaffer said this is a very serious allegation – just as serious as a lawyer stealing from a client.

Sheaffer does say that this will NOT impact the trial, BUT it will seriously impact Baez’s credibility with Judge Perry.

Let’s recap what happened:

It began when Todd Macaloso stood in open court and said that Casey Anthony was innocent, and they can prove it.  Macaloso was referring to the alleged statements of Joe Jordan (who later realized he was wrong and had not searched where Caylee’s body was found, he was a about 30 feet off).

The defense was aware of Joe Jordan and his initial claims and they jumped all over it.  Then, not too long after Joe Jordan, along came Laura Buchanan who claims she searched where Casey’s body was later found, but said the area was DRY and Caylee was not there. (She later recanted and now admits to falsifying the TES document.)

While Laura was a legitimate TES searcher, her actions were wholly illegitimate.  She is now being investigated by the OCSO for tampering with evidence.

Before all this was known about Buchanan, however, she simply wanted to insert herself in the case.  She falsified a TES search document saying that she’d been in the location where the body was found. In addition, she falsified Joe Jordan’s name on her bogus TES form, then attempted to coax him into calling Baez.  Joe Jordan never did.

Then, in August 2010, Baez wrote a motion in which he claimed that both Laura Buchanan and Joe Jordan will come into court and say, effectively, that Casey could not have put Caylee’s body where it was found, because there is proof Caylee was not there in September of 2008.  Casey could not have put Caylee there, claimed the Defense – Casey was in jail.

As I laid out in Monday’s post, Jose Baez had long been requesting of Brad Conway to contact Laura Buchanan as she had some important evidence that is HUGE for Casey Anthony. Baez asked Conway at least three times, over a period of a year, to contact Buchanan, Conway never did. As such, Conway was not aware of what Laura Buchanan would say.

Brad Conway told OCSO that he did not want to help Baez because he was furious with him for going behind his back and working with the Anthony’s to reverse a previous waiver of conflict with Tim Miller that allowed Mark NeJame to represent him.  Baez worked with the Anthony’s to try and reverse the waiver of conflict.  Such a thing is not done and it infuriated Conway.   Furthermore, Conway told OCSO, that if the information from Laura Buchanan was so critical and exculpatory, Baez should be handling it himself!  It was not Conway’s job to work for Casey’s Defense.

However, Conway DID agree to go to Mark NeJame’s office and look through the TES documents to try to find if there were any documents with Buchanan’s name on them – Conway found none.  In addition, Baez asked him again to search for a half dozen other names in the documents, one of the names was Roy Kronk.   Brad did comb through the documents looking for Roy Kronk’s name.  He found none.

To make this long story short, the reason why Baez is in serious trouble is because, in August 2010, to bolster his claim about Laura Buchanan and Joe Jordan being critical witnesses, Baez lied and said that Brad Conway ALSO knows that Caylee’s body could not have been at the location in September 2008, because he has two witnesses (and now Conway) who will support this.

Brad Conway vehemently denies ever stating such a thing to Baez.

Brad Conway, as far as I am concerned, is believable. And, as we have known for some time, Baez makes his own rules and seems to be cut from the same cloth as the Anthony’s.

Oh yes, this is indeed a BOMBSHELL!

24
Jan

there are just no words….

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

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

This is discovery?

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

This is discovery?

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

Again, this is discovery?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strong commentary to the court about Jose Baez.

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