Web Site Hit Counter

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Defense Team Member Slips-Up On National TV, Admits Caylee Is Dead

October 16, 2008

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Eyewitness News was the only local news team to catch a major slip-up by Casey Anthony's defense team on national television.

The spokesperson for Casey's attorney admitted that Caylee Anthony is dead. Casey's family has insisted that Caylee is simply missing and that she had nothing to do with her disappearance.

However, Todd Black, the spokesperson for Casey's attorney Jose Baez, made an appearance on CNN Wednesday night and was grilled about the case. When he was asked why Casey was captured in several pictures partying while her daughter was missing, he slipped up.

Todd Black paused for a second and became flustered after he said, "This is a serious case involving not just the loss of the life of a little girl, but the loss of whatever is going to happen to Casey Anthony."

In late August, Eyewitness News was the first station to uncover new DNA evidence that showed the toddler was no longer alive. Her mother, Casey Anthony, is now charged with her murder and she's sitting in jail with no bond.


Casey Anthony had a look of dread on her face in court Wednesday and she knows she could face the death penalty. Casey is living in her tiny jail cell where she'll stay until her trial. She appeared before a judge Wednesday morning, facing first-degree murder charges for the death of her daughter Caylee. The judge told her she would not be allowed to bond out of jail.

Casey Anthony appeared tense as the judge told her she won't get bond. She was all tears Tuesday just before she was indicted for first-degree murder. Hours later, after her latest arrest, she created the bespectacled look of a law student, wearing slacks, a button-up shirt and eyeglasses, not at all like her image before anyone knew her daughter Caylee was missing.

Eyewitness News has learned the party girl in her could have contributed to Caylee's death in a big way. In March, friends told investigators, Casey was disappointed that she couldn't join friends for an island party vacation in July, because she couldn't find a babysitter for Caylee.

Starting in March, Casey's computer shows that someone researched the stories of missing children on several websites. Now prosecutors could pressure Casey with the death penalty to open up about where Caylee is. "No body, no death penalty," Orlando defense attorney William Sheaffer told Eyewitness News.

Sheaffer, a former prosecutor, believes prosecutors will back off the death penalty to ease the pressure that could discourage jurors from convicting Casey of first-degree murder without Caylee's body in evidence, but says the defense team's insistence that Caylee is alive has blown their chance to negotiate Casey out of a possible life sentence.

"The defense has missed the boat on bargaining with the state other than taking the death penalty off the table," Sheaffer said. Sheaffer told Eyewitness News an experienced defense attorney would have argued it was accidental and negotiated a lesser charge.

With more and more evidence against her in her daughter's murder coming out, Sheaffer told Eyewitness News he believes this is one of Orlando's highest profile cases ever and would not expect the trial to be held in Central Florida or in any of the large television news markets in Florida where Caylee's disappearance has captured people's emotions almost constantly for the last three months. "I believe it'll be a rural community, not Orlando or Jacksonville or Miami, probably somewhere more toward the panhandle," he said.

Cutting-edge forensic evidence and results from air tests taken from the stain in Casey's trunk are expected to be presented at trial. State attorney Lawson Lamar's team was the first to win a murder conviction with DNA evidence decades ago.

Sheaffer said it won't be daunting for Orlando prosecutors and believes it won't be difficult to prove even to today's rural jurors who've come to expect scientific evidence before they'll convict. "I believe that those individuals would be prepared to receive it and weigh it," he said.
As soon as the defense asks to see the evidence in the case, prosecutors have 15 days to give him what they know at that point that they will use at trial, but evidence keeps coming in from law enforcement in the ongoing investigation and they don't have all of it yet.


Life behind bars is nothing short of miserable for Casey Anthony. Her 8-foot by 10-foot jail cell has concrete walls on three sides and a Plexiglas wall on one. That means there is no privacy; everything she does is on display. Eyewitness News was told she spends most of her day reading books and she doesn't have any money in her account to buy anything from the jail commissary. Casey was being served smoked sausage for dinner Wednesday night.


A judge ruled Wednesday on some of the motions filed on Casey Anthony's behalf. Two of the motions have been tossed due to her new arrest on murder charges. Casey had asked the judge to seal her weekly schedule and to travel to locations of interest in the case. The judge said those points are moot now. There was still no ruling, though, on the appeal by defense lawyer Jose Baez to do his own testing on the evidence in the case.


Casey's now charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee, as well as aggravated child abuse, manslaughter and charges for lying to investigators. Her first-appearance in court on the new charges lasted only 40 seconds Wednesday.

"Yes," was the only thing Casey Anthony said during the appearance, acknowledging to the judge who she is. Casey Anthony was all business in court. She seemed somewhat tense as the judge told her she's on no bond because of the indictment against her for first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Casey looked up at her attorney, Jose Baez, afterward, smiled tensely and then walked out of court. It was a stark contrast to Tuesday afternoon, from the tears that were flowing outside her lawyer's office before the grand jury indicted her and even to the new look she sported after her arrest, the party girl trying to look more like a law student with slacks and a button-up shirt.
Baez would not answer questions after Casey's first appearance.

Even though Casey is now facing new and much more serious charges, her trial is still scheduled at this point for November 17. No one has asked for any delay for any reason at this point.

Casey Anthony's family will be allowed to visit her in jail. She'll be limited to three video visitations every week. She can't request a visit, a member of her family would have to request it and then Casey would get the option to accept or turn them away. So far, no one has asked to visit her.


George Anthony told Eyewitness News that Casey she would not represent herself. Her current attorney, Jose Baez, walked into court Wednesday along side another attorney. The two stood beside Casey when she made her first appearance. The judge asked Baez if he will file a Notice of Appearance, in other words, if he would represent Casey, and he said he would. Casey's father George also spoke to Eyewitness News about his daughter's plans for representation in court. "No, she's gonna assist her attorney and or attorneys, or people that are there to help her in any way she can and she's done that," he said.

No comments: