Since a meter reader discovered the remains of a small child a short distance from the Anthony home, those who have followed the case have been in a waiting mode. It is an excruciating time. It is Caylee, but until a definitive DNA match is made, no official word will be released.
The Orlando County Sheriff's Department and the FBI have been processing the scene for five days now and there is yet no end in sight. There have been reports that the body was wrapped in a plastic bag and some type of linens which directed the OCSD to get a search warrant for the Anthony House.
The defense team is apparently sticking to the "Zanny did it" theory. Baez representative Todd Black released a statement on Saturday stating that (Casey) Anthony stands by her claim that she dropped off her 2-year-old daughter with a sitter in June and never saw her again. That won't change if it turns out the skull and bones belong to Caylee. "Casey Anthony handed her daughter off to a woman in a park who was with another woman in a car." "Her position and the position of the law firm has been that she handed her child off. ... It would be difficult for a prosecution to absolutely tell a jury that Ms. Anthony is the one who injured the child."
How long this story will be in play would seem to depend on the forensic testing of the evidence found at the scene. George, Lee, and Cindy have already given exclusionary fingerprints and Casey's are on file from her arrests. Aside from the positive identification of the body, the fingerprint results from the black plastic bag and the duct tape found around the head will help to prove or disprove the theory.
Meanwhile, the defense experts are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the crime scene evidence and the child's remains. Judge Stan Strickland ruled at Friday's emergency hearing that it is up to LE to determine when they can take over the crime scene. The OCSD stated at the hearing that they could have it when they and the FBI were finished. As more and more pieces of evidence are found, the further LE has to dig into the soil to find the tiniest of bones, the slightest bit of evidence. The judge also ruled they could not attend the autopsy as the remains had not been officially identified by the FBI lab at Quantico, VA.
After Friday's hearing, we were treated to some pretty annoyed experts. Werner Spitz stated on Geraldo At Large Friday night that, "I have never encountered a situation where I was excluded by another forensic pathologist from doing an autopsy. I wouldn't be doing anything. I would be standing there watching. But I would be watching science and science can not be changed. Why can not I be allowed the same privilege as the state or county medical examiner? I think that's horrendous. I think that has never happened. It should not happen!"
(Thank you, Kitty Malone for the transcription.)
Dr. Henry Lee stated on Nancy Grace that Science is science. It should speak for itself, and it shouldn`t be manipulated. And if it can, then it`s not science. We have qualified people, the best in the business, reviewing this evidence so we will be able to actually verify it independently. And that`s all we`re asking for, nothing more. And we`re not even asking to hide it. We`re allowing them to observe whatever it is we do.
Defense entomologist, Timothy Huntington said the study of insects could determine the time of death, but he said "insect" evidence changes over time and insects could be compromising evidence right now. "The sooner I could get access to that, the better it is and the more accurate it will be,"
At today's hearing, the defense again brought up the need to see photographs of the crime scene now, rather than later. As the Orange County attorney pointed out, the photographers are still working the scene of the crime and are on their hands and knees in the dirt, documenting everything. She does not want to pull them from the active crime scene at this point. Judge Strickland agreed and told the defense they would have to wait to get the photos through the normal discovery proceedings. (See my notes about the hearing in the previous entry.)
At the outset of the hearing, the judge stated that the issue of a second autopsy was moot.
To sum it up, even though this is an unusual case where the defendant has been under indictment for murder before the discovery of the remains, the traditional rules apply. The defense will not be given a jump-start on the evidence. They will have to follow the rules of discovery as in any other case. They will not be allowed to examine the remains until they have been positively identified and turned over to the family.
George and Cindy Anthony
When the remains were discovered, George and Cindy Anthony were in California, having appeared the previous night on The Larry King Show. It's pure karma that Cindy Anthony stated on the program that there was no way that her daughter harmed Caylee. Throughout the program she sited various sightings of the child. She was in the mall in Orlando, she was in California, she had just been sighted in a a grocery store in Tennessee.
When the Anthonys returned from California, they were whisked away to a local hotel. They couldn't go home, it had become a crime scene. The house was thoroughly searched and van loads of evidence was removed from the house. VIDEO
While still in flight, it was announced that George and Cindy had retained a new defense attorney, Bradley Conway. With the departure of Michelle Bart, their second spokesperson, Conway has now also become the family spokesman. Since his appointment, the Anthonys have not made any public comment, except through him.
In a press conference, Conway read a statement from them.
"The last six months have been the hardest six months of our lives and we understand that the ongoing investigation and prosecution of our daughter, Casey, will consume our lives with conflict," Conway read from the statement. "Based on recent developments we are realistic but continue to hope and pray that these remains are not those of our precious granddaughter Caylee Marie."
Conway also broached the subject of possible obstruction charges against the couple.
Conway said he plans to meet with the lead prosecutor and detectives later this week to ask for full immunity for the Anthonys.
Conway admits the Anthonys have made conflicting statements in the past. They will be re-interviewed by investigators. He said, for the next interview they give to authorities, there will not be any conflicting statements.
That is a relief for those of us who have realized all along that what the Anthonys say on TV and to the investigators don't jibe. I'm sure there are many of us who will be anxiously awaiting for these new and improved interviews to become public record.
Larry King Live