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Posts tagged ‘Yuri Mellich’

20
Apr

Vote for Yuri for America’s Most Wanted All Star!

Click here to vote for Yuri
Click here to vote!

It’s time to vote for Yuri for the All Star Award (the grand prize) in the America’s Most Wanted competition!

Beginning tomorrow, April 21st, the eight finalists will compete for the big prize. Although there are eight deserving American Most Wanted finalists, none are as deserving as our candidate!

To vote for Yuri Melich, click his photo on the left, or click this URL:  http://www.amw.com/allstar/2011/nominee-detail.cfm?id=9324

Wouldn’t it be a nice tribute if Yuri won?!

Please tell all your friends to vote – starting tomorrow!

You may vote once per day, and you’re encouraged to do that – but, only one time per-person per day, please.

Spread the word….and put it on your “to do” list to vote, vote, vote!

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11
Apr

Can We STOP the 48 Hours Show?

I had every intention to write a post about the wonderful news that Yuri Melich is a finalist in the America’s Most Wanted All Star contest – such wonderful news – however, I am fighting mad about this 48 Hours show!

Well, before my 48 Hours rant, I do want to say how great it is that folks all over the Internet – from blogs, forums and chat-rooms – came together to vote for Yuri!  Hal Boedeker said it best, “He has so many fans that he is a finalist in “America’s Most Wanted” All-Star contest.”   Indeed, Yuri has endeared himself to many of us.  We are witness that he never wavered in his commitment to Caylee.  For that I know we are collectively, and profoundly, thankful.

I would be remiss not to express gratitude to John Allen, Eric Edwards, Appie Wells, the late Michael Erickson, and many others – too many to name – who went above and beyond in their search for justice for Caylee, who lost her life before she knew she had a life to live.

48 Hours of Defense Excuses

Many of us are raging mad at CBS’ 48 Hours show for airing a program about the Anthony case that features: Jose Baez, Linda Kenney Baden, Kobilinsky, Cindy and George Anthony, and others partial to the defense of this case.

If you’re unaware of the show (airing Saturday, April 16th), here is the link to the trailer of the 48 Hours show:  48 Excuses

However, those of us who are passionate for justice for Caylee are a formidable group – we have a strong voice, and we can use it.

Remember how we all came together to get the Anthony’s off of the Oprah Winfrey show?  I believe we can do it again!   If we bombard CBS with strong feedback, we can get this show canceled, or at least postponed until AFTER the trial has concluded.

Therefore, leave your criticism and comments here:  Feedback link: http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml?tag=ftr

It is not just the fact that the show will clearly be slanted toward the defense; it’s not entirely about the probable profits from the show; for me it’s mostly about the fact that the trial is less than a month away and this show could taint potential jurors.  I have no doubt this is a ploy to either delay,  or create appellate issues when the defense later cries about not being able to find impartial jurors.

I am not suggesting that this show will in anyway help the defense team; there is nothing under the sun that will help them at this point.  What I am suggesting is the fact that this is a sly trick to generate more sensationalism, which always benefits the defense.

We need CBS to postpone this show AND to recognize the case is about Caylee.  Period.

This is a desperate attempt by a defense team aware they’ve lost before they’ve even begun.  If this defense team had a modicum of ethics or ethical behavior, they would not embrace a guilty client in this way; they would not scratch and fight to win at all costs; fighting for innocence when it’s clearly a lie.

An ethical defense would be zealous, passionate, committed to acting on the right side of the law. But, this defense’s slithering snake-like approach is like an assault on our system of justice and practice of law.

Our voting for Yuri in the American Most Wanted All-Star contest won’t begin again until April 21st.  So, lets collectively take the time to bombard CBS and do our utmost to convince them to postpone or cancel the 48 Hours episode scheduled to air April 16th.

We are a force.  We can do it.

Updated links 4/12/11:

This is the link to the CBS blog relating to the show, it is flooded with comments.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8601-500251_162-7362272-0.html?assetTypeId=58&blogId=

This is the facebook page linking to the only sponsor revealed for the show so far, Breathe Right:
http://www.facebook.com/BreatheRight?sk=wall

Thanks go to Farrahrani for providing the above links.

10
Apr

final day to vote for Yuri!

Hi everyone!  This is a reminder that TODAY is the final day to vote for the wonderful Yuri Melich for America’s Most Wanted All Star!

Click here to vote for Yuri

Click here to vote!

I’m crossing my fingers and toes that we’ve helped to get him into the finals!

Click the photo to get to the profile/voting page  ——->

8
Apr

a prediction: it’s all coming in!

Today’s hearing began with a wimper as attorney Dorothy Clay Simms argued against the State’s botanist, Dr. David Hall.  Dr. Hall will provide testimony about the root growth that was both through and around the remains of Caylee Anthony, at the grave site.

Regarding the duct tape with the residue of the heart sticker – we expected this motion would be argued at today’s hearing, but it was not.  We learned today that this issue will be decided by the Judge through the pleadings (motions).

The argument by Linda Drane-Burdick on the issue of the Cadaver dogs, was effective.  Mr. Baez’ arguments were on the weak side with regards to this motion.  Mr. Baez simply could not overcome the arguments made by Ms. Burdick.

Ms. Burdick described the careful training of these dogs, the impeccable records kept, and the professionalism of both dog handlers.  She even quipped, “Lawyers aren’t evaluated as often.”

With regards to the stain in the trunk.  The argument today was a weak one by the defense.  Mr. Baez suggested that the stain in the form of a young child in fetal position created “hysteria” in the public.   Hysteria?  I don’t think so.  Sadness is more like it.  Disgust and aversion for Casey would fit that bill, but not hysteria.

The most important point was made as a result of Mr. Baez stating, rather vociferously, “there was no DNA found in the stain.”  Well, butter my biscuit, Mr. Ashton may have exclaimed under his breath!  That’s pretty  disingenuous of Mr. Baez!    Mr. Ashton, however was calm, cool and collected when he said to the court, during a decomposition event, the DNA decomposes, too!

The defense was all drama all the time today.  There was a bit of comedy, too.  When Mr. Baez made cynical remark at the podium, Judge Perry, in a stern tone, advised Mr. Baez to cut out the editorial remarks, and added, ‘You want to make unrelated comments, see the clerk and pay $100!’  Judge Perry, early on in the hearing, was in NO MOOD for any foolishness.   The players were much better behaved.  They needed to be – Judge Perry would not stand for any foolishness!

The Frye hearings are over now; only Judge Perry’s ruling remains.  With regards to these few days of hearings, the defense did not provide evidence strong enough for the Judge to exclude State evidence or witnesses.  Mr. Ashton reminded the court that the arbiters of the truth will be the jury as they weigh the testimony of the dueling experts.

Though I cannot say for certain, but it seems to me that Judge Perry will be liberal in allowing all the evidence, despite how new some of it is.  I tend to believe that Dr. Vass, the FBI analyst – Karen Lowe, Dr. Hall, the Cadaver dog evidence, and the stain in the car will all come in.  In addition, my favorite attorney of all time, Bill Sheaffer, concludes everything will come into the trial, too.

The State has not finished deposing the two defense Psychiatrists and will have motions to present to the court in short order. These new witnesses will be addressed by the parties at the next hearing, scheduled for next Friday, April 15th, at 1:30.

On a separate note…. Voting continues until Sunday for Yuri Melich!  Don’t forget to VOTE!

7
Apr

what’s on tap for friday 4/8 & Vote for Yuri!

Are you ready for the conclusion of the Frye Hearings in the State v. Casey Anthony case?  The plan is to wrap everything up tomorrow.  It’s a fairly good-sized agenda, including closing arguments on the Chloroform motion and the Cadaver Dog motion, both of which were heard during last week’s Frye Hearings.

Also on tap tomorrow:

  • The motion to Exclude evidence of a stain in the trunk.   This will be ruled on by Judge Perry from the pleadings only; no arguments or witnesses.
  • The Phantom Heart Sticker – this will be argued tomorrow
  • The spoilation issue related to the defense request to exclude all references to “the smell.”   Will be argued on 4/8
  • Chloroform motion – closing arguments heard on 4/8
  • Cadaver Dog motion – closing arguments heard on 4/8

Additionally, the State of Florida deposed Dr. Jeffery Danziger, and Dr. William Weitz today, April 7th, and will likely want to file motions related to these witnesses.  The State will likely request to have Casey Anthony examined by their own experts as a result of hearing what these two doctors have to say.  You may remember that the defense wants these doctors to tell the jurors about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and “state of mind” and “Consciousness of Guilt” matters.

There is also the matter regarding the witness who was “pushed” by George Anthony, and the landscaper on Suburban Drive.   I believe the court is going to allow the defense to call them, though I am not aware if there will be discussions with regards to these witnesses tomorrow.  (The State has recently deposed these two witnesses.)

Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote for Yuri!

Click here to vote for YuriNow on to a much nicer topic!

Detective Yuri Melich has been nominated for an America’s Most Wanted All Star Award!   Sunday is the final day for voting!  Please remember to vote, and ask your friends to vote, too!

It would be a terrific to honor one of Caylee’s greatest advocates – an honor that is very deserved.

Click the picture of Yuri and you will be directed to his profile, which is the voting page on the America’s Most Wanted web page.

5
Apr

Vote for Yuri… Frye hearing 9:00 a.m.

There’s a Frye hearing tomorrow morning, beginning at 9:00 a.m.!  Don’t forget to watch.  Still on the table to discuss, the heart sticker evidence, the stain in the trunk, and I believe the plant-root growth.

Also….  Vote for Yuri at this link:  http://www.amw.com/allstar/2011/nominee-detail.cfm?id=9324

You are encouraged by America’s Most Wanted to vote every day!

Pass the word to vote!

4
Apr

Vote for Yuri Melich!

Click here to vote for YuriThe detective we all think so highly of has been nominated for an America’s Most Wanted All Star Award.

To Vote: Click the picture of Yuri on the left, it will take you to the voting page.  Press VOTE!!!

The voting is open UNTIL SUNDAY! Please vote for him!   Let’s make sure he gets the honor he so richly deserves.

Please pass the word on to everyone – VOTE FOR YURI !  Yaaaay!

You can vote EVERY day, too!

23
Mar

Day 1 and the defense got fried

Today marked day one of the Frye Hearing in the case against Casey Anthony, and I kept asking myself: How could Casey Anthony sit through the events of the day in court without any emotion?  Well, we know she is cold as ice, but I cannot help thinking of the substance of the testimony today: Decomposition, hair, odors of HER BABY!

It is difficult for me to understand how a mother could be so emotionally absent.  I will never understand how Casey Anthony can be so distant from the events happening in the courtroom.  It appears to me that she has separated herself as a defendant in the case, as if she has created a fantasy for herself as she sits at her table, in the courtroom.

Casey Anthony never, or very rarely, looks up from the “work” she does at the defense table.  She reviews documents, books, and binders, making notes of what she’s reading, conferring with the lawyers.  It is as if she has decided the best way to approach her situation is to play make-believe – pretending she’s an attorney.  Children do this quite well.  My niece plays “mommy” and will “cook” and “serve” an entire meal consisting of beverage coasters as bread, pens and pencils as eating utensils, dog and cat toys as food, paper towels bunched into a ball and taped together to make meatballs, etc., and we have a delicious meal!  Like my five year old niece totally believes her fantasy, so does Casey Anthony believe in her own make-believe, sitting apart from her life right now, as if someone else is defendant. It’s alarming and odd.

Dogs and Decomposition

The defense is making a big deal where the car was positioned when the K9 was brought to search Casey Anthony’s white Pontiac.  The K9 also checked Tony Lazarro’s car for scent of decomposition.  None was found.

Strangely, Baez asked OCSO Detective Melich, Investigator Bloise, and Investigator Vincent, who were testifying to the K9 alert of the white Pontiac driven by Casey, to draw on a flip chart where the car was situated in relation to the forensics bay, in the parking lot.  Huh?  What point was Baez making here?   It was never established.

When K9 handler of the dog “Bones” Sergeant Brewer took the stand, she indicated her dog alerted on  3 spots in the back yard of the Anthony home.   Mr. Baez did a fair job with the witnesses I saw him question, though I have not seen all the videos as yet.  However, when Mr. Baez asked witness Sergeant Brewer if her dog, Bones, can “tell” her what type of substance the dog alerted on, the witness was quite surprised.  It was nonsensical, and there was bemused laughter from the courtroom.  Mr. Baez, did not laugh, which led me to believe he intended his question be taken seriously.  Idiotic question, meant to be cynical, but it fell flat.

A defense witness, Dr. Fairgrieve, was trounced on by the State in his testimony of K9s. He was forced to admit that he had never trained search dogs, only observed their training about 10 to 20 times.

Dr. Fairgrieve has no education/background in the use, training or reliability of K9s, and Linda Drane-Burdick, attorney for the State, used these facts to great advantage.

Dr. Fairgrieve ended up appearing like somewhat of a hack in the field, having only admitted to reading articles related to K9s that anyone could read on the Internet.

The One Hair

This one hair, the hair from Caylee Anthony, has been tested and not only shows the type of “banding” one would see on a hair from a decomposed body, DNA tests concluded that Caylee Anthony cannot be excluded as the source of the hair.

With regards to this testimony, I will rely on the analysis of Attorney Bill Shaeffer when he says the State of Florida met its burden with regards to their argument over the reliability of the appearance of “root banding” (decomposition-like banding on a hair from Caylee Anthony found in the trunk of the Pontiac).

The questioning by the Defense Attorney Sims was terrible and did not seem to make sense as it relates to the purpose of a Frye Hearing.

There were so many objections by Jeff Ashton during Ms. Sims’ questioning of the FBI witness that were sustained, it became embarrassing.

If I were a gambler, I’d agree with Mr. Bill Shaeffer and tell you, the hair will be in evidence, and it will be damning.

It is not looking any better for Casey Anthony today.

 

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.
19
Mar

icing on our cake

There is a lot to discuss these days regarding the State v. Casey Anthony case. Just yesterday, the defense filed 3000 pages worth of depositions and we got teased with juicy reports from them, but have yet to see them; Casey Anthony had another bad birthday in jail, and also, the story about the Judge Perry’s rulings. The news was surely not the icing on Casey’s birthday cake, but the rulings were sure sweet to us!

I think many of us, myself included, realize now just how strong the case against Casey is.  As a result of yesterday’s rulings, justice for the beautiful little baby who desperately needed protection, but found none, is nearly assured.

The Agents of State Ruling

Last night I discussed the Universal Studios interview ruling which allows statements, both written and spoken, to come in to the trial.  The other showstopper ruling by Judge Perry allows all the jail videos of Casey in to the trial.  Those videos will be damaging, too.  And that initial phone call from jail that Casey made.  Remember that?  That phone call is exceedingly harmful for the defense.  How will they overcome that phone call?  The jury will see the true Casey, only concerned with talking to her boyfriend; not in the least concerned about Caylee and angry that all her family is thinking about is Caylee, not her!  She refers to her phone call as “a waste, a huge waste” when she didn’t get the sympathy she wanted.

How in the world can the defense overcome this phone call in the eyes of the jury?  Perhaps they could argue that Casey was not concerned about Caylee during that phone call because, heck, she’d been arrested on a “f__king whim.”

So, the second ruling issued by Judge Perry last evening is another show-stopper.  It may even be more damaging than the statements to police.

Personally, I never believed this was a strong argument for the defense since the Anthony’s were hardly working at the behest of Law Enforcement.   Cindy already had a contentious relationship with John Allen and Yuri Melich, and hardly wanted to do their bidding.  In fact, they were becoming harmful to the case, as we know.   When the Anthony’s began to realize the finality and the totality of the charges against Casey, they dug in their heels to defend her.  But, this was long after the video taping at the jail.

The fact is, the state will use these videos and the phone call to illustrate who the real Casey is: someone who is rude and hateful to her parents, who couldn’t bear to talk about her daughter, and who saw herself as a victim by virtue of being in jail.

Not good.

In his ruling, the Judge writes that the test to determine if law enforcement officials are coercing someone to be an agent of the state depends upon the “perceptions of the suspect, not the intent of police.”  Judge Perry goes on to say:

To determine if whether a private individual acts as an agent of the state, courts consider all of the circumstances and the following two factors: (1) whether the government was aware of and acquiesced in the conduct; and  (2) whether the individual intended to assist the police or further his own ends.

It appears as if this test is to consider Jail-house snitches, not family members!  The strange aspect about the defense’s presentation of their motion is the fact they did not put Robyn Adams, Maya Derkovic, or Sylvia Hernandez on the stand, though they were all named in the motion.

Judge Perry found that the members of law enforcement did not in any way “use” the Anthony’s to further their case, or walk over Casey’s Constitutional Rights.  Judge Perry found that because the Anthony’s “were acting independently of law enforcement, they cannot be deemed “agents of the State.”

Todd Macaluso Bare-Bum on the Beach??

One of the most amusing stories to come out yesterday was John Allen, in a defense deposition, advised that there’s a video out there with Todd Macaluso and another man dancing nude on a beach!

Here’s the dialogue that was included in the a story published by the Orlando Sentinel:

Allen: “I remember at one point the guy that was on the video running around naked with a guy holding hands on the beach —

Baez: “Todd Macaluso.”

Allen: “Macaluso.”

Mason: “What?”

Allen: “He was on a video, a U-Tube [sic] video running in the water holding hands with some other guy naked. You probably saw it, right?”

Mason: “Was it Jeff?”

Allen: “That guy stood up in court —”

Drane Burdick: “I’m sorry, you said (Assistant State Attorney) Jeff Ashton?”

Allen: “The guy he was holding hands with wasn’t Jeff Ashton …”

Drane Burdick: “Was it Jose?”

Baez: “It was not Jose.”

Baez then asked that they go off the record. “I’m trying to get this picture out of my head,” he said.

You can’t make this stuff up!

18
Mar

defense disaster

As expected, Judge Belvin Perry concluded that every single argument put forth by the Defense could not, and did not rise to the level of inadmissibility.

As I finished reading the first ruling, (the Universal Studios Interview), the first thought that occurred to me had to do with the realization that Casey Anthony does not have a chance to prevail in this case. Additionally, it occurred to me that the best outcome for this case would be an admission of guilt by Casey, in open court, allowing Judge Perry to sentence her as he will.  This would save the tax payers of Florida nearly one million dollars, and it could save Casey from the sentence of death, which will carry another million dollar price tag.  (I read recently that a life sentence costs half of what a sentence of death costs.)

These two rulings alone are very damaging on their own and if you mix the other factors against Casey Anthony, plus the fact her attorneys are not up to par, you’re left with a damning set of circumstances that promises justice for Caylee, but is likely to inflame jurors against Casey to the extent they sentence her to death.

The ruling concerning the Universal Studios Interview nearly matched point by point what Linda Drane-Burdick argued with regards to the case law she cited to parallel her arguments.  Contrast that with Judge Perry’s admonition of the case law cited by Cheney Mason.  The Judge pointed out twice in his ruling that the defense case law citations used to support their arguments, were erroneous.  (Embarrassing.)

When Miranda Applies

All the many times I have written about Miranda Warnings, trying to make sense of it and attempting to apply its rules to the Anthony case, now culminate in a complete understanding of when Miranda applies!  The crux of Miranda is as follows:

  • Law enforcement has a duty to advise a “suspect” of their Miranda rights when and if interrogation begins.  (Casey was not a suspect, she was a witness.)
  • A person must be “in custody” meaning either under arrest, or denied their freedom of movement – to move about as they would like – insinuating custody.
  • Law enforcement does not have to articulate “custody” but if a reasonable person perceives the situation as custody, Miranda may apply.

Using the Ramirez Case to Understand Miranda

When Linda Drane-Burdick argued this motion, she relied heavily on the Ramiez v. State case. So did Judge Perry.

Burdick argued that the four-pronged Ramirez test is aptly applied to this case for the purpose of determining if a reasonable person would consider him or herself in custody.

The following is verbatim from Judge Perry’s ruling, p. 5 of 15 (the comments in bold are mine):

  1. The manner in which suspect is summoned for questioning. Casey was not summoned, the police were summoned by the Anthony’s to investigate the missing Caylee.  Also, Casey lead the Detectives to Universal Studios. The Judge pointed out the concept of “consensual encounters” and applied it to the Universal Studios interview.
  2. The purpose, place and manner of the interrogation. The Judge did not see the interview as an “interrogation” rather as witness interview. Furthermore, he noted that a conference room with an unlocked door is not threatening as a police station would be.
  3. The extent to with the suspect is confronted with evidence of guilt. The Judge pointed out that the Detectives did not use “evidence” of a crime with Casey, and they did not use the “car smelling like a dead body” when interviewing Casey.  Had they discussed that aspect, it would have been evidence of a crime occurring and it would have required Miranda.
  4. Whether suspect is informed that they are free to end the encounter and leave.  Casey was free to stop talking, but she openly discussed Caylee and the circumstances of her disappearance without being forced to.

It was interesting how the Judge discussed the concept of a “casual link” regarding “custody”. This refers to a person who is held,(or cuffed) then released, as Casey was, with enough time passing so that further questioning is not colored by that event, and the suspect stays in the vicinity of their own volition to answer questions.  The casual link was broken between the time of the cuffing and of Casey speaking and making statements to Yuri Melich.

It Looks Bad From Where I Sit

There are countless facts against Casey Anthony, we know.  When the rulings were published today, Judge Perry wrote the following: 

…the statements were highly relevant, specifically regarding demonstrating consciousness of guilt.

That sentence alone tells the tale for me.  Consciousness of guilt is a legal reference that carries a good deal of weight when argued by a Prosecutor.  I am afraid that every move Casey made for those 31 days that she alluded her parents; every lie she told to whomever she told it to will be looked at through the lens of consciousness of guilt.  And that’s a deadly lens to be seen through.

The Beginning of the End

Needless to say, this ruling is very, very damaging to the Defense.  I feel it’s a show-stopper.

It is too bad that Baez did not follow the advice of the first attorney he hired, Terence Lenamon, who wanted to approach the case from the vantage point of Casey’s mental health versus “innocence.”  There is plenty of evidence that Casey Anthony is mentally ill.  Now, I don’t mean to say that mental illness is a way out for Casey, on the contrary.  But it would save her from the death penalty.

What infuriates me is this: an inexperienced, less than honest lawyer is matched with a young, pretty sociopathic murderer to possibly create one of the worst examples of a miscarriage of justice ever seen in Florida. And why?  The defendant thinks she’s a movie star and the lawyer thinks he’s Perry Mason.

That’s it for my soapbox tonight.

I hope you have a chance to read the motions; they are extremely interesting and filled with quite a few lessons.

Here are the two motions allowing all of Casey Anthony’s statements to law enforcement, and all the jail videos into the trial.

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements Made To Law Enforcement and,

Order Denying Motion to Suppress Statements To “Agents Of State”

10
Mar

no miranda at all?

Sometimes things are so unexpected and implausible, it’s easy to fail to really hear what is said – at least for me, that’s the case.

Who could ever imagine that a super-smart detective could forget to read the Miranda Warning when Casey was finally arrested? When I read this today, my heart sank!

If this is true, and if the Orlando Sentinel is correct in their story of March 9, 2011, “Casey Anthony: What were the biggest surprises at hearings?” by Hal Boedeker, no Miranda was read at all!

Boedeker quotes Bob Kealing, as saying Casey was not read her Miranda Warning until the day she was indicted.  Kealing said, “Prosecutors counter that Anthony willingly answered those questions early on and was not subject to Miranda warnings because the suspect, after all, at that time was Zanny the nanny.”

Well, I learned something brand new today!  It is not always necessary for someone to be Mirandized before they are arrested!

Phew!

Yes!  It was legal for Casey to be arrested without Miranda because, as we know, she was not the suspect in the criminal case, Zenaida was.  Casey was arrested for lying to police and endangerment of a child. It was not until her indictment that she was arrested for criminal activity.

The information below explains this quite clearly:

Can you be arrested without being read your Miranda Rights?  Yes!

The Miranda rights do not protect you from being arrested, only from incriminating yourself during questioning. All police need to legally arrest a person is “probable cause” — an adequate reason based on facts and events to believe the person has committed a crime. Police are required to “Read him his (Miranda) rights,” only before interrogating a suspect. While failure to do so may cause any subsequent statements to be thrown out of court, the arrest may still be legal and valid.

Also without reading the Miranda rights, police are allowed to ask routine questions like name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number necessary to establishing a person’s identity. Police can also administer alcohol and drug tests without warning, but persons being tested may refuse to answer questions during the tests.

The Defense team in this case is charging that Casey was in custody as a result of being handcuffed and placed in the “cage” of the police car by Deputy Eberlin.  They also contend that when Casey went with Deputy Acevedo to the Sawgrass Apartments, she had to sit in the back of the car, but that was only as a result of the procedures of traveling in a marked car.  She did not sit in the back of the car with the Detectives, as she was assisting them at the time.

The question goes to the when it can be determined that a reasonable person would think they are in custody, and being “deprived of their freedom of movement.”

When am I in custody?

The most obvious example of being in custody, of course, is when the police say, “You are under arrest.” But you might be in custody even if the police do not say, “You are under arrest.” Generally, the law considers you in custody when you have been arrested or otherwise deprived of your freedom of movement in a significant way. This may occur when an officer is holding you at gunpoint or when several officers are surrounding you. Other examples are when you are in handcuffs or when the police have locked you in the backseat of a police car. There are no absolute rules on when a person is in custody–the test is whether a reasonable person in the circumstances would have felt free to leave the scene, and a court will consider all the circumstances. (Emphasis added.)

I believe that Linda Drane Burdick made an excellent case in her cross and in her closing argument, and I really do think Judge Perry will rule in favor of the Prosecution.

More discovery coming tomorrow!

Wesh News advises that more discovery will be released tomorrow.  I haven’t heard what the discovery will contain, but we’ll soon find out!

9
Mar

random rants

We all have our own personal things to rant about with regards to the Casey Anthony case, right?   I have quite a few raging rants, but tonight I just need to rant about some things that I forgot to mention in my last few posts – just random things that made my blood boil during the recent Defense motion hearings.

Cindy Anthony….

…said she recalls Yuri Melich’s initial interview with Casey lasting about an hour.  (I am referring to the initial taped interview that Yuri did after reading Casey’s police statement.)  In addition, Cindy testified that Yuri’s tone of voice was intimidating and demanding of Casey.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  When Linda D. Burdick asked Cindy if she knew the interview was taped, it was a classic “gotcha” moment!  Cindy almost choked and her expression was priceless!

When Judge Perry hears this interview with Yuri and Casey, which is only 19 minutes and 7 seconds long, he will hear the soft and extremely calming tone that Yuri had!

During Cindy’s first day on the stand, there was a moment when Ms. Burdick, referring to the Anthony home address, misstates the address as “Hope Springs”.  Cindy curtly corrected her by saying, “Hopespring.”   Ms. Burdick then says, “Whatever.”  And, oh, Cindy was furious!  The look on her face was priceless and reminiscent of the Morgan deposition in the Zenaida civil case when Cindy said, “… you’re cute but you’re not a 10”, (referring to Zenaida).

At one point, Cindy is talking over Ms. Burdick, and says “Linda this is very unsettling to me.”  The Judge stops Cindy, who then turns to the Judge and says “it was because of her tone of voice”, like she was a school girl complaining to the teacher.

George Anthony….

My biggest rant is a statement that George Anthony made about John Allen.  He said, referencing how Sergeant Allen speaks, “He’s got a stutter.”   Huh?  That’s not true and it’s such an awful and mean thing to say!  That made me so darn mad!

Anyway, those are a few of my most maddening rants from the recent motion hearings.

7
Mar

no contest

In the case against Casey Anthony, closing arguments were held today with regards to two important Defense motions which were presented last week.  The two motions were, 1) Motion to suppress the Universal Studios interview, and 2) Motion to strike jail videos (the Defense alleges the Anthony family was tricked into acting as “Agents of the State” at the behest of Law Enforcement).

If courtroom motions were won or lost over the clarity of the arguments presented, the Prosecution would win, hands down. As a result of the intelligence and clarity of the States argument versus the free-flowing and dramatic defense argument, there was no contest.  However, the competition is not about who is the better orator; it’s about which side can bring appropriate case law to support their individual argument(s).

Cheney Mason cited a lot of case law but hardly connected the relevance between the case law and the facts of the case.  His delivery today was difficult to follow, and he consistently confused many of the known facts in the case.

Linda D. Burdick, Assistant State Attorney, was precise, methodical, and most importantly, her arguments were factual.

Mr. Mason charged the Orange County Sherriff’s Office with being completely deceitful and conspiratorial in their efforts to trick Casey at Universal Studios.  Mr. Mason accused anyone in a uniform or a marked car with police intimidation of Casey, who was not at all familiar with the law and didn’t realize her rights.

With regards to the Anthony’s being Agents of the State, Mr. Mason argued that it didn’t matter if the Anthony’s were “unwittingly” working at the behest of the Police, the fact remains, he contends, they were like puppets doing the bidding of the Police.

Linda D. Burdick, on the other hand, argued after Mr. Mason and immediately clarified the factual misstatements Mr. Cheney made. (It was a thing of beauty!)  She pointed out that up until the time of Casey’s arrest, the suspect in the case was Zenaida Fernandez Gonsalez – not Casey Anthony.  All reports and statement were filled out with Zenaida as suspect, therefore, Casey was not the suspect, not in custody, and not treated as a suspect.

With regards to the Anthony’s as Agents of the State’s motion, Ms. Burdick pointed out that it was the Anthony’s who sought the help of the Detectives, not the other way around.  As it turned out in this case, both the Anthony’s and Law Enforcement were working toward the same goal: finding Caylee.

There were quite a number if interesting moments in today’s proceedings.  Also, it was nice to see Detectives John Allen, Yuri Melich, and Eric Edwards present at the hearing.

Judge Perry advised that he will rule on these motions by the end of next week.  It appears to be no contest, in favor of the State, however, anything can happen – and it usually does!

George and Cindy Anthony were present and both were chewing gum!  I believe that Judge Perry does not allow gum-chewing in his courtroom. The Anthony’s, as is their habit, place themselves above the rules and the law, as we know.  In addition, Judge Perry recently admonished the gallery to refrain from facial expressions or gestures during hearings.  Perhaps George Anthony missed that direction because when it was Ms. Burdick’s opportunity to argue, George Anthony persistently shook his head from side to side to communicate his disagreement.

I wonder how much longer Judge Perry will tolerate this behavior from the Anthony’s?

Casey appeared very uncomfortable today.  It was interesting to see all the tricks Casey used to pretend not to hear what Ms. Burdick was discussing.  Casey shifted in her seat, looked around, wrote furiously on her yellow pad, and whispered to Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason to try to avoid listening.  When Mr. Mason argued his case, Casey sat very still and attentive.  She worked quite hard to avoid hearing anything that resembled the truth.

Casey may not be able to hack what’s coming, and what she will hear.

6
Mar

agents of the state?

On Monday, March 7th, closing arguments will be heard with regards to two important Defense motions: The motion to suppress Casey Anthony’s statements to Police during a Universal Studios interview, and the motion to suppress the jail video interviews with the Anthony family and Casey.

As I’ve said before, the argument about the Universal Studios interview could go either way in terms of legality. But, the motion calling the Anthony’s agents of the state, is a stretch and may fail.  However, I have read that Judges tend to rule with favor to the defense in cases where the death penalty is involved.  Perhaps the defense will win one and lose one.  Is it possible?  I think so.

In the “agents of the state” motion, the Defense wants jail-video statements by Casey kept out of her trial.  The defense argument?  Casey Anthony already had counsel, therefore it was improper for anyone to elicit details from her about the missing Caylee Anthony.

Ah, but it is not against the law for Casey’s family to speak with her while she is in jail.  She could have declined their visit, certainly, but she didn’t.  Unfortunately for her case, those videos portray her as a callous person without care for anyone but herself.  Her demeanor in those videos was at no one’s urging – Casey was being Casey. Cold, self-centered, inappropriate, and hostile.

The defense badly needs those videos thrown out of the trial.  But, how do they get them thrown out?

They know it is lawful for the jail to video all that goes on at the jail.  The defense can’t fight that.  So, they have to find some grounds to get the videos tossed, and so they came up with the notion that the Police used the Anthony’s to elicit illegal statements from Casey.

The argument is a pretty good one, I have to give them that.  However, it is not, on its face, true.

The Anthony’s, admittedly, were not agents of the state.  They were trying desperately to find answers from Casey about the whereabouts of Caylee.  Law enforcement was equally as interested to learn as much as they could from the videos.  From what I recall, there were times that Yuri Melich was able to watch the videos live, as they happened.

The Defense charges that the family tricked Casey by being in collusion with law enforcement and therefore unwittingly hurt Casey’s right to a fair trial.

The problem with regards to this motion, during the recent hearings, the Anthony family could not state they were willfully acting as “Agents of the State.”  Baez was unable to elicit the testimony he wanted from the Anthony’s.

Why was Baez concerned that the Anthony’s didn’t like him?  So what!  Cindy Anthony was happy to testify how the Detectives didn’t like Jose Baez.  So what!  It’s not a crime to dislike a lawyer, just embarrassing to be the lawyer they don’t like!

George Anthony said, with regards to finding Caylee, he would have done anything legally or illegally to find her.  And now, would do anything to save Casey, his other little girl.  And Lee Anthony a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes, was acting on his own, not on the urging of law enforcement when he talked to Casey.

Although law enforcement had a keen interest in learning anything they could from Casey via those videos, the Anthony’s had the same goal.  Both law enforcement and the Anthony’s were solely focused on finding Caylee.  The State did a good job of making it crystal clear that the Anthony’s and Law Enforcement shared a common goal: Find Caylee.

There but for the Grace of God go I

Like a seesaw, my feelings for the family of Casey Anthony run high and low. Never would I want to be in their shoes, and surely they wish they did not have to wear the shoes they’re in.  Given that this case is under the microscope, anything that the Anthony’s say or do is magnified, then criticized.

The Anthony’s are broken emotionally.  In a recent hearing, George Anthony went from being arrogant, rude, and spiteful with prosecutor Linda D. Burdick, to being humble and barely able to speak through his emotions when questioned by defense counsel, Jose Baez.

So, in a sense, I would expect them to be hateful toward the State Attorney and Law Enforcement, as they are going to convict their daughter.  Of course their anger is displaced, and they have so much anger in them!  They feel they must take sides, but for the sake of Casey’s life, they should not because they end up looking as callous as Casey.

But, what about Caylee?  Where are the feelings for justice for Caylee in the hearts of Cindy and George?  Have they forgotten that this is all about Caylee?

No, they remember Caylee, of this I have no doubt,

For the Anthony’s, it’s now about saving the life of their daughter, Casey.  Therefore, they are hateful toward law enforcement and the prosecutors who, they fear, will take Casey away from them for good.

Is this indicative of the undying bond of a parent?   Despite how much your children hate you, or no matter what they have done, do you love one child so much that you will forgive the other one for taking their life?

On the one hand, I can appreciate their tragic conundrum – having their heart twisted, torn, and sucked dry over the loss of their beloved Granddaughter.  On the other hand, I don’t appreciate their hatred of law enforcement and the Prosecutors who are seeking justice for Caylee.  George and Cindy, as much as we all have criticized them (deservedly so), are lost in the middle of a sea, in a ship-wrecked boat with no life raft – and they see sharks everywhere.

For their sake, I hope they will come to realize that by humbling themselves in the wake of the tragedy they have endured, and continue to endure, will help to bring their broken boat safely ashore.  If they continue to act aggressively and like monsters toward the law, it will make Casey look like a monster, too. But, if they are quietly humble in their pain, people would be able to sympathize with them.   If they calm down the jury should be able to see Casey as a product, not of a crazed family, but that of a young girl who has severe mental issues that went unchecked for years.

George and Cindy have lost Casey’s love.  Surely by now they have realized this, but I doubt they’ve admitted it to themselves.

I must admit, it was painful to see George cry on the stand; I felt for him, I really did.  The jury needs to feel for him, too. But, if he or Cindy, after garnering sympathy, in their next breath shoot daggers at the state, as if they have Jekyll and Hyde personalities, it will be disastrous for them, and for Casey.

It’s that damn death penalty that they need to be cognizant of!  It’s a sure bet that, as Yuri Melich explained to Casey, “things are not looking good for you”, it’s looking good that Casey may be a candidate for the death penalty.

Judge Perry, as you may be aware, has no qualms about following the law with regards to the death penalty.  The good and honorable Judge was once a State prosecutor and tried the case of the “Black Widow”, Judy Buenoano. Prosecutor Belvin Perry won that case and won the death penalty phase. Judy Buenoano was murdered by the State of Florida, in 1998.

Many believed this “Black Widow” deserved to be murdered after the deaths she caused.  Indeed, the law said she should die.  She did die, and Prosecutor Belvin Perry was there to witness it.

That is what worries me.

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