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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Casey Anthony Gets Emotional During Hearing On Motions

August 21, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- The case against Casey Anthony was back in court Friday and, for the first time in months, Casey was there and she couldn't hold back tears. Casey Anthony's attorneys filed several motions heard by Judge Stan Strickland, which included keeping the prosecution from taking Casey's check fraud case to court and being able to treat the EquuSearch founder and searchers as a witnesses.

IMAGES IN COURT: George & Cindy The Hearing
GEORGE QUESTIONED: Video Of George On Stand
HEARING VIDEO: Part 1 2 3 4 5 of 5
VIDEO REPORT: Casey Anthony In Court

Casey walked into the courtroom around 9:40am wearing a blue, long-sleeve shirt and a pair of grey pants. She was not nearly as happy-looking as previous court appearances (see images watch video) where she was smiling and seemingly upbeat.

Casey saw her parents for the first time in three months when she entered the courtroom. George and Cindy Anthony were all smiles before the hearing started at 9:45am (see images).
Also in court were Casey's attorneys, Jose Baez, Todd Macaluso and Andrea Lyons, and EquuSearch founder Timothy Miller's attorney Mark NeJame, as well as a team of state prosecutors.

Casey's attorney asked the judge to allow her attorneys to interview the head of EquuSearch, claiming his testimony could prove her innocence.

Defense attorneys for Casey Anthony argued that testimony should be taken from the head of Texas EquuSearch, Timothy Miller, about the search for Anthony's toddler daughter, Caylee. The searchers looked near woods where the toddler's body eventually was found in December. They also asked to be allowed to review records on thousands of volunteers who participated in the searches for the little girl last summer and fall.

They hoped that testimony would show it would have been impossible for Anthony to dispose of the 2-year-old girl's body in the woods because she was arrested and in jail two months before the discovery of Caylee's remains.

"There is substantial evidence that we've found ... that the body or remains of Caylee Anthony was placed there after Casey Anthony was locked up," attorney Todd Macaluso argued. "It proves that somebody else placed the remains in the area."

The attorney for EquuSearch, Mark NeJame, said the request was too broad and would create "a tremendous chilling effect" on volunteers for future searches. He said defense attorneys should only be given information on 32 volunteers who searched the area where the body later was found.

Miller held a press conference Thursday with attorney Mark Nejame to show some of the photographs he took in the area where Caylee Anthony's body was later found (photos released) in an attempt to disprove the defense's theory that the body was dumped after Casey was jailed.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer says it'll be a hard sell to a jury that the mystery killer took great pains to keep secrets until November, after EquuSearch left, then killed Caylee and went to the area which posed the greatest risk of getting caught to hide her body, Caylee's neighborhood, where the media and law enforcement were often focused.

"Not only does it not raise reasonable doubt, it just defies logic. So the defense is gonna have a problem in that area," Sheaffer said.

Circuit Judge Stan Strickland said he would make a ruling by next week.

"My intention on the EquuSearch records is to grant your motion in some form, I just need to think about what that needs to be," Strickland said.

Casey's attorneys also argued that Anthony's comments to a bail bondsmen should not be allowed at the trial. Casey Anthony's father, George, testified about how bondsmen led by Leonard Padilla were hired to post her $50,000 bond last year.

George Anthony took the stand under oath around 10:45am to answer questions from Jose Baez (watch raw video). The courtroom camera then showed that Casey had begun to cry, wiping tears away with a tissue (see images watch video).

After a few questions from Baez about security guards involved in the case and bounty hunter Leonard Padilla, the prosecution questioned George, asking if he was aware of the fact that Padilla paid the $50,000 for Casey's bail. George said he was not aware and the prosecution expressed surprise that he wouldn't have known that.

The prosecution then pressed George on the security that was provided at their home after Casey's release.

"They bonded our daughter out of jail and secured our house ... that's the bottom line," George said. "They were at my house for numerous amount of days ... protecting us and my daughter."
"You're categorizing that as security only?" a prosecuting attorney asked, which George affirmed.

George stepped down from the stand just before 11:00am and gestured a sign of support toward a still visibly upset Casey, mouthing "I love you," and sat down in the courtroom audience.
The reason George's testimony is relevant is the defense is trying to claim Padilla and his employees were providing security for Casey, while also providing legal services somehow, so that information they have divulged to investigators is really privileged information that shouldn't enter into the case or into the public arena.

The defense had also made a request for phone calls made by Casey's ex-boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro (read Lazzaro motion). The judge did allow defense attorneys to have cell phone records from June 1, 2008 to Dec. 18, 2008. The calls were monitored by law enforcement after Casey Anthony's arrest in July.

Meanwhile, the judge said he will rule at a later time on a court date for Casey's check fraud case, something the defense filed a motion to get delayed until after the murder trial (read motion).
"I just want to let you guys know that it was awesome to see my daughter today. It's been a long time since I've seen her and it just gives me a lot of peace to see that she actually looks okay and she looks healthy and that's important to me," Cindy Anthony said while leaving the courthouse after the hearing (watch raw interview).

"I think they're absurd, tack them onto, just put them on the [list of] ridiculous accusations that have been made in this case," attorney Jose Baez said after the hearing when asked how he feels about state accusations that he doctored signed documents in the case (watch raw interview).
Casey Anthony is facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing her daughter, Caylee Anthony.

There were some tense moments Thursday afternoon in the case against Casey Anthony when Casey's father barged into a news conference with his former lawyer and the man who tried to find his granddaughter.

SLIDESHOW: Photos Released By Attorney Mark NeJame
DOCUMENT: Letter From NeJame To State Attorney
DOCUMENT: Response To Motion To Certify Witness
MOTIONS: Compel Evidence Regarding Lazzaro
VIDEO REPORT: George Interrupts Press Conference

"It was all a big misunderstanding," George Anthony said Thursday.

The news conference was held Thursday afternoon ahead of a court hearing Friday and it all involves Tim Miller, the leader of EquuSearch.

Casey's defense team is trying to use Miller to say Caylee's body could have been dumped in the east Orange County woods where it was found after Casey was already in jail.

The Anthonys have left a trail of broken relationships and Orlando attorney Mark NeJame, who worked for them for free, and Texas EquuSearch founder Tim Miller, who brought his non-profit to Orlando to search for Caylee at Cindy's request, are among them.

Thursday, George barged into NeJame's office, uninvited, past reception, to the conference room at the end of a news conference with Miller.

"I need to see you now," George Anthony said as he stormed into the news conference Thursday.

EquuSearch founder Tim Miller was surprised when George barged in, demanding to see his former attorney, Mark NeJame, in NeJame's own office. They went behind closed doors and, minutes later, the Anthonys' current attorney, Brad Conway, rushed in without saying anything and joined NeJame and George.

It happened minutes after NeJame and Miller showed photographs of the scene taken on November 7 where Caylee Anthony's remains were found more than a month later. Miller says he and 32 of his volunteers could not search the exact spot in November where Caylee's remains were later found because there was standing water (see photos).

"I said, my big fear is that if she is deceased, we're looking for a tiny little skeleton and if it's under the water we're gonna have a four-wheeler drive over it, a horse step on it, or even a human and push it in the mud," Miller explained Thursday.

Miller says they just found the photographs and are releasing them to investigators the day before they go to court to fight Casey Anthony's motion to get EquuSearch records for all the volunteers who came to search as well as all communications between EquuSearch and law enforcement.

After about an hour behind closed doors, George and NeJame came out to say they had cleared up a misunderstanding that started with a call that defense attorney Jose Baez made to George on Thursday, but wouldn't say what it was about.

"How are you supposed to live through this and counteract all this stuff?" George said.
George says he just wants to know what happened to Caylee, he just wants answers, but he apparently doesn't want the answers he's gotten so far from investigators and the answers he's gotten from his daughter Casey don't make any sense.
Read this article and more at wftv.com

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