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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial--the defense rests--6-30-2011

The Prairie Chicken
June 30, 2011

This afternoon the trial of Casey Anthony for the murder of her daughter Caylee Anthony on June 16, 2008 entered the next step of closing arguments, when defense rested their case in the afternoon session. 

It would probably be better for Drane Burdick to present closing arguments for the prosecutions instead of Ashton.  While I did see Drane Burdick po'd a couple of times, when Cindy was blatantly lying, contradicting herself and trying to manipulate with that smarmy look she gets, Ashton clearly lets Baez get under his skin. You can tell he'd like to pop him in the nose.

One problem I had from early on was that George, Cindy and Lee were allowed to remain in the court room when they were witnesses themselves.   Sure they could have sat at home and watched it all on tru.tv and HLN like I did, but Cindy so obviously changed her story.  Lied.  There I said it. 

Dr. Vass impressed me.  And Dr. G.  He was the head guy at the Tennessee body farm.  She's a famous medical examiner with a TV show.  It has to be a very unique kind of person who would choose death for a career.  they are needed...just sayin', but anyway...  They knew their stuff and were very interested in their work, excited for the chance to share their knowledge.  His testimony reflected the most recent findings and publishing.  In contrast, Baez brought in a bevy of "expert" witnesses who were, I don't know.  Inexperienced?  Only partly informed?  Paid to read the script? (Dr. Werner Spitz--$5000 per day to say whatever you want--that's pathetic)

Was there any reason to subpoena Crystal Holloway?  Was that just one final jab at George's character?

What really frustrates me is, having followed this case so closely for three years, there are sooo many things not brought forward.  And what scares me is the very small amount that was actually presented to the jury.  That has to be a hard job--prosecutor--to sort out the most important issues and present them in a clear enough progression that 12 peeps can all make sense of.  Baez makes defense look simple.  Delay, whine, postpone, lie.  Maybe he has written a closing argument that will draw all this together to somehow match his opening statements.  Ya reckon?

What are your thoughts on the trial?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 6-5-2011

Dr Arpad Vass, the head research scientist at the Tennessee Body Farm testified today about the odor in the trunk carpeting.  Vass explained the odor analysis, often leaving Baez looking dazed.  He spent a lot of time giving background--he explained the method of scientific experiment used and was obviously excited about his work and enjoyed working.  Baez accused him of portraying himself as more educated and experienced and made a bit of a fool of himself by insisting that only a chemist could figure out the smell from data presented.  I guess having a Phd in Anthropology, a BA in Administration and AS in Biology plus twenty years experience in decomposition doesn't make him an expert, huh, Baez?

Casey Anthony murder trial 6-4-2011

The Prairie Chicken

June 4, 2011
Awilda McBride was the police officer who went to the tow yard to pick up the trash that had been thrown in the dumpster when George picked up the Pontiac, called to testify to fill a box.  They asked her if she smelled anything.  She didn’t.
It’s funny how Casey liked to present herself as a young woman who really had it together.  Single mother, Valencia student, employed in a great job.  Was there ever a time when she realized she could actually do those things?  But in lying, she claimed to have made achievements that she didn’t.  Her “graduation” for instance.  She was short a credit, wasn’t allowed to walk with her class, yet Cindy threw the party anyway.  Did that check a box for Casey?  Figured that was good enough.   Is there a name for that besides narcissistic? 

Casey Anthony murder trial 6-3-2011

The Prairie Chicken

June 3, 2011
On Friday, more video tapes of jail conversations were played.   The first was Casey with both George and Cindy.   She behaved rather well on August 3, telling her parents that she missed them and wanted to come home.  She said that keeping her there wasn’t helping anything—and seemed to think they could bail her out.

Another video was played of conversation between Casey and Lee.  He was doing his own private investigation and really wanted Casey to understand what her rights were—questioning her about  how she hooked up with Jose Baez and indicating that Lee did not trust Baez. 
Next the video was played when George had gone to visit Casey by himself.  As I said before, what she wanted was for mom and dad to come up with $50k to bail her out.  She was sooo sweet to him, fawning and telling him he was a terrific Dad and wonderful Grandpa.  She repeated several times that she wanted to be there (home) when Caylee came home.   It seemed to me that her demeanor changed a bit after he told her they couldn’t come up with that kind of money.  A little colder.  I don’t suppose it has ever occurred to her that if she hadn’t run up 45K in credit card charges, they may have been able to help her.

Another video of Casey with Cindy and George during an August 14 visit shows Casey still trying to sniff out money.  Never anything about Caylee.  This is the one where she throws her little hissy fit

Friday, June 03, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 6-2-2011

The Prairie Chicken
June 2, 2011

This morning we heard from Jeff Hopkins, the character who played on and off boyfriend in Casey’s imaginary world.  Hopkins testified that he knew Casey from middle school and did actually work at Universal Orlando at one point.  He said the last time he worked at Universal was in 2002—not with Anthony and six years before Caylee disappeared.   Before this all came down Lee overheard Casey talking to her mother about Jeff Hopkins and Lee said he knew him from high school.  Not missing a beat, Casey said it was Jeffrey Michael Hopkins, not the one Lee knew.  Hopkins testified he's never dated Anthony, doesn't have a son and has never lived in Jacksonville, as Anthony claimed of the Hopkins she spoke of.   So I guess that eliminates the deceased wife, the little boy Zachary and the mother Jules, who incidentally was just married in an impromptu ceremony at the the hospital chapel where she is undergoing cancer treatment.   Easy come, easy go. 
Yuri Melich was recalled to the witness  box.  He testified about the morning of July 16, 2008 when Melich and entourage escorted Casey to Universal Studio’s because Casey thought she might have information in her desk, in her office.  OSCO had spoken with security explaining the situation and security verified there was no Tom Manly, her manager, or Juliet Lewis, her work bff, and security had allowed them to enter the park because of the situation.   Walking and  talking confidently , Casey led them through the gate and into a building, down the hall when she finally admitted she did not work there.  Melich and another detective Appy something, borrowed a conference room right in that building and the interview was audio taped.  On the tape, Melich confronted Casey about all the stories and gave her a good tongue lashing.  The Defense had nothing to say. 
Leonard Turtora followed Melich.  He was the Universal Orlando Supervisor  who escorted Casey and Orange County Sheriff detectives around the park when Casey claimed she worked there, and then later admitted that she didn't.  Turtora stated that Casey actually did work for Kodak but was terminated when Colorvision replaced Kodak and Casey didn’t apply for a job with the new company.  He also verified that Casey’s imaginary friends did not work there either.
For the rest of the day, Casey’s jail house visitor tapes were played, her visits with Lee and her parents back when she still thought she could get something from them.  There were four or five, which lasted the afternoon.  They were the tapes that have played endlessly on the news for long these three years.  They only accentuate how manipulative she is. 

That wrapped it  up.  The jury offered to stay over 10-15 minutes to finish watching the last video.  These people are serious.   I wonder if they are put up somewhere swanky.  Or at least very nice.  It would be my luck I’d be sequestered in a no-tell motel with a crusty bedspread and wet carpet.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 6-1-2011

The Prairie Chicken
June 1, 2011

It was a busy day in Judge Perry’s court Wednesday, a full schedule of witnesses and each questioned and dispatched in short order, with only a couple exceptions as you’ll read below.
Amy Huizenga came back this morning and was cross-examined by defense.  Judge Perry had decided against allowing the prosecution to bring up the money Casey stole from Amy, which would reveal that Casey had previously pleaded guilty to six felony counts because of the theft.  She testified that their friendship was only about five month’s total, and that it was obviously one-sided.  She testified that Casey had led her to believe that they were going to room together in the Anthony house which her parents were moving out of.  “Sign it over to her.”  Then Baez asked her if she was a heavy drinker, if she had ever driven drunk, and  asked if she had moved in with Ricardo Morales after July 15, (she did because she had no place to live and no money, both thanks to Casey, but not allowed to be spoken of in front of the jury.)  Then the question that chapped me; Baez asked her if she had “gone out” with Jesse Grund after they met in mid-July (she had, but just to compare notes to see if they could figure out where Casey might have taken Caylee.)  So in trying to discredit Amy, he tried to make her look like a jealous, drunken whore, picking up Casey’s sloppy seconds, her castoffs.  I’d like to box his ears for that.  Casey’s friends asked for none of this.  They accepted her at face value and were open and accepting of her.  What a slap in the face.  To make it worse, she was given a subpoena when she left the courtroom Tuesday to return to be a defense witness. 

Lee Anthony was up next.  Lee’s testimony was consistent with the statements that he gave at the first of the investigation.  He said that his mother and sister were very combative on July 15, and that Casey refused to speak to her mother which was why he followed Casey into her room, hoping to get her to tell him.  He said there was a jealousy between mother and daughter and Casey told Lee that Cindy had told her several times that she was an un-fit mother.  He testified that she told him after a while that her nanny had stolen Caylee and she had not seen her in 31 days, the conversation that was overheard by Cindy which spurred the third 911 call from Cindy to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OSCO).  He also relayed the statement from Casey, “maybe I’m just a spiteful bitch.”   At one point during a recess they made eye contact and she smiled.  Lee did not. While he was not asked today about the allegation by Casey that he had molested her, he was dismissed subject to recall.  We will hear more from Lee.
Sheriff’s deputy Rendon Fletcher was called to the stand.  Fletcher was a responding officer on July 15, 2008 and was dispatched to the Sawgrass apartments to check out Zanieda Gongalez.  After finding the apartment empty, he spoke with the apartment manager and found out that the apartment had been vacant for months.

Sheriff’s deputy Adriana Avecedo was up after lunch. She arrived at the Anthony home on July 15 and after speaking to Corporal Fletcher, Avecedo took Casey to Sawgrass apartments with Casey sitting in the back and giving directions. Casey pointed to the apartment on the second floor apartment 210. Casey was never put in handcuffs, nor was she arrested, as Casey’s lies hadn’t yet started to surface.
Next up was Amanda Macklin is the community manager of Sawgrass apartments.  She stated that she did not know Casey Anthony and that there was never a Zenieda Fernandez Gonzales who lived in those apartments.

And moving right along, Prosecution called Reginald Hosey, a OSCO supervisor in charge of the scene at the Anthony home on July 15.  Once Sheriffs deputies arrived, the family was separated and each questioned individually.  Hosey spoke with Casey early on.  She told him that she and her mother were not getting along and that Cindy was making threats to take custody of Caylee from her.  Casey did not make much about the kidnapping.  Hosey testified, as did Fletcher and Avecedo, that Casey displayed a flat affect, very unemotional and removed from what was going on.
OSCO Detective Yuri Melich was the last witness called on Wednesday.  It was a bit boring at first.  Melich read the statement that Casey agave him on July 15/16 2008, and after he read it, the actual audio tape of the interview between Melich and Casey was played for the jurors.  Casey remained subdued as lie after lie came out of her mouth on the recording.  Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth she was so cool. 

Then Baez asked him if he ever went by another name, i.e. Dick Tracy Orlando.  Melich looked puzzled and stymied by Prosecution objection, Baez pursued, risking the wrath Judge Perry, to enter evidence that Yuri Melich had posted on a popular crime website, webslueths.com under the ID of Dick Tracy Orlando.   Baez never shared this discovery with Prosecution (all evidence had a dead-line of December 10) so again, we have to wait for Judge Perry’s ruling on whether it should be allowed or if anything would impeach Melichs character.  From the stack of paper Baez handed to Perry, much of it was well wishes from bloggers when Melich broke his leg, Judge Perry told Baez he has until tomorrow morning to show him something “pacific” that showed Melich discussed the case or posts that showed he had a bias toward the defendant.  Not a stack of paper.  It seems that at one time OSCO had reprimanded him for his involvement with a blog.  Baez then beat on him the rest of the day about why  there wasn’t a more extensive search of the swimming pool.  Of course there are photo’s showing police looking at every inch of the backyard of the Anthony house, but Baez has probably forgotten that.

I wonder if Baez is starting to morph to Casey think.  Just throw it all against the wall and see what sticks. 
The Judges habit of dropping the s when he says “specific” make is come out “pacific”.  This wouldn’t be so irritating if he didn’t say it so much.  Just annoying. 

It’s also being reported by wesh.com in Orlando that the IRS is dunning Casey Anthony for about $68K.  It seems that when Casey and Jose Baez sold Caylee photo’s for $200K+, Baez took it all and didn’t pay tax on her behalf. 
Welcome to the grown up world Casey

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-31-2011

Cindy Anthony Tuesday, May 31
Photo from Orlando Sentinel.com

The Prairie Chicken
May 31, 2011,
On Tuesday, Cindy Anthony took the stand and relived the afternoon and night of July 15, 2008, through the infamous 911 calls to the Orange County Sheriffs Office.  Cindy continued telling the story in chronological order, laying out the details of all the lies Casey told her; telling about the intricate details Casey came up with, not only with her imaginary friends, but giving each character family members, pets, jobs, physical descriptions, what they supposedly drove, where they lived.  Gave them background stories.    While Cindy cried throughout her testimony, during the third taped 911 call, the one where she says the car smells like there has been a dead body in the damn car, she had what appeared to be a close to total breakdown.  It was agonizing to watch the degree of suffering that was plain to see (I admit I cried with her for a minute), and what made it all the more eerie was the cold calm demeanor that Casey displayed during her mothers testimony.  After the hissy fit she threw on May 28, she was quite stoic, like finally her meds kicked in. 

Amy Huizenga ended the days questioning with her account of Casey’s lies.  This was a different Amy than I expected although all I had seen of her before was through the party pictures that Casey had taken.  After Cindy’s drama in the morning, Amy’s testimony was almost mundane, and will continue tomorrow.