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Friday, October 31, 2008

Jose Baez Repeatedly Told To Stop Touching Casey During Jail Visits

Friday, October 31, 2008
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- In the past two weeks Casey Anthony's attorney Jose Baez has visited her at the jail, seven out of 14 days.

Eyewitness News has discovered that on at least two occasions jail staff had to step in and Baez was warned repeatedly about hugging Casey during their visits.

A jail report states: "The inmate's attorney was observed hugging inmate and was advised that physical contact was prohibited."

A week later, another report stated: "Baez again observed hugging his client."

The room Baez and Anthony meet in is very small and typically there is a desk and two chairs.
Sources told Eyewitness News that on one occasion, Anthony was sitting and Baez was very close to her face. A corrections officer had to go into the room to separate them.

"Orange County jail policy forbids any kind of touching between visitors and inmates. Mr. Baez was cooperative and agreed not to repeat the behavior. Mr. Baez has always been professional and cooperative in his interactions with the Orange County Corrections Department," jail spokesman Alan Moore said in a statement.

Eyewitness News confronted Jose Baez about the situation. "I have no comment," he said.

Eyewitness news' legal analyst Bill Schaeffer said it's unusual that an attorney would ever touch a client. "The more experience you are in handling these type of clients or situation, the less likely you are to place yourself in a situation that could be regarded as a compromising situation," said Schaeffer.

When Casey was out on bond, there were several times that she would spend six hours a day at Baez's office including Saturdays. There's nothing criminal about having a relationship with a client, but Schaeffer said there are ethical issues.

"The appellate court could find that relationship overstepped the bounds of attorney client relationship and affected that performance and order a new trial," he said.

There was no evidence that Baez and Casey were actually having a relationship. The reason touching isn't allowed at the jail is because contraband items could be passed. Baez told jail officials that he didn't know the rules, and wouldn't do it again.


June 16 is the date Caylee Anthony likely died. Eyewitness News retraced Casey Anthony's steps on that fateful day and talked to the man who saw Casey just hours after Caylee's death.
"No emotion, no tears and no regrets," is how Casey was described on that day of death, when she rented a movie about a kidnapper and killer just hours after, detectives believe, she murdered her daughter.

Never before seen surveillance photos show accused killer Casey Anthony and her boyfriend walking into an east Orange County Blockbuster just before 8:00pm on Monday June 16, just hours after her daughter Caylee was last seen alive by Casey's father at home.

The new photos show Casey without Caylee, arm in arm with her boyfriend, after they chose two movies to rent. One rented was "Untraceable," about a kidnapper and killer. The other was "Jumper," about a mother who abandons her 5-year-old child, who then can teleport himself.
"They came in, went out," Johnny French told Eyewitness News. "Brought the movies back on time just like everybody else."

French rented the movies to Casey and her boyfriend that night. He said there was nothing about the couple that stood out as unusual.

"They seemed normal and she seemed fine. If there was something wrong it would have stood out. I just don't remember them doing anything unusual," French said.

Casey's phone records show she made seven phone calls in the three and half hours between 2:45pm and 6:15pm that afternoon, the time during which investigators think Caylee may have died. Two were made to Arden Villas Apartments off University and Alafaya, apparently to friends. Casey's ex-best friend, Amy Huizenga, told investigators Casey called her that day and said she needed to find a place to live.

Caylee's grandfather told investigators the last time he saw Caylee was at 12:50pm on June 16. He remembered her sunglasses and her ponytail as she left with Casey, who claimed they were spending that night at the nanny's.

"That's the last time I saw my granddaughter," George Anthony told investigators.

Investigators say Casey stayed on the east side of town, as usual, during the six hours or so between when Caylee was last seen alive and she showed up her with her boyfriend, but her exact whereabouts are unclear.


Eyewitness News has learned a strange new twist being reported in the Casey Anthony case doesn't appear to be true. The Orlando Sentinel reported an exclusive story Wednesday that convicted murderer Scott Peterson has been sending Casey letters from his cell at the San Quentin State Prison in California.

When Eyewitness News started asking questions, the prison spokesman at San Quentin looked into it and said, based on information developed at the prison, there is no truth to that story. The prison spokesman said he was never contacted about the story before it ran in the Sentinel.


A third complete stranger has donated cash to Casey Anthony's jail account. A woman from California sent Casey $75.

Eyewitness News was unable to contact Michelle St. Clair of Spring Valley. She's the second Californian to send Casey money. Another woman, in Oxnard, California, told Eyewitness News last week she felt sorry for Casey.

A third stranger, from Apopka, also sent money last week. The donations bring Casey's jail account to $326.

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