Thursday, December 10, 2009

Casey Anthony: The State Files Motions


UPDATE!

Jean Casarez, is on InSession and has just reported that George Anthony, Cindy Anthony, and Brad Conway were subpoenaed by the STATE! While the State isn't speaking, she surmised that they may be testifying in the situation with Dominic Casey.

Yesterday, the State filed two motions concerning the case against Casey Anthony. They are very interesting, so I thought I'd mark my time waiting for tomorrow's hearing by reviewing them.

The first motion is yet another request for a witness list and discovery concerning the murder trial.

Penned by Assistant State's Attorney Linda Drane Burdick, the STATE OF FLORIDA'S SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL RECIPROCAL DISCOVERY and MOTION FOR DISCOVERY SCHEDULE, again asks for information concerning the defense case.

The motion addresses the defense in 11 paragraphs:

Paragraph 1 states that

At a scheduling conference with the court on July 7, 2009, counsel for the defendant Anthony advised that trial preparation in the case would take approximately one year...

In addition, Drane Burdick mentions that Andrea Lyon would present motions after Labor Day and provide a motions schedule to the court. Lyon has certainly presented motions, we haven't seen a proposed motions schedule yet.

In paragraph 2, Drane Burdick indicates that based on the volume of information, a date of January 21, 2010 was set for a trial status hearing and the trial was moved to summer, 2010.

In the third paragraph, she reiterates that the only discovery presented by the defense to date are a Defense Witness List (November 20, 2008) and an Amended Defense Witness List (January 22, 2009). She also points out to the court that the original form of the witness list was improper and had to be refiled.

Paragraph 4 starts to get to the heart of the matter.

... Miss Anthony has filed motions with attached statements from witnesses purporting to have information regarding specific aspects of the case.

This, of course, refers to the Motion and Memorandum of Law filed by the defense on November 19, although dated the 18th.

DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE TO INTRODUCE PRIOR BAD ACTS AND OTHER CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE PERTAINING TO ROY M. KRONK
MEMORANDUM OF LAW

Read HERE for discussion of the motion.

It also refers to another defense motion filed November 23, MOTION TO MODIFY THE COURT'S ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S APPLICATION FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM FOR DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH.

This motion asks Judge Strickland to allow the defense access to all the records from Texas Equsearch. They claim that there were more than 32 searchers in the area and that they had found two people who searched the area and were not on the TES list. I'll discuss this motion and the other new motion later on.

In the 5th paragraph of the State's motion, Drane-Burdick states that

Neither motion was filed with a list of the names and addresses of witnesses as required by Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.220(d)(1)(A). Instead, upon inquiry, the undersigned was informed initially via email from Andrea Lyon on Friday, November 20, 2009 that the "potential witnesses should be obvious from the filing", and then ultimately an email was received from Jose Baez on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 with "witness contact information" listing lawyers for Crystal & Brandon Sparks (in Washington DC), Jill Kerley (in Knoxville, TN) and Laura Buchanan (in Woodbridge, NJ). At that point, the undersigned made a specific request for a formal witness list with current addresses as required by the Rule and was advised that the defense feels they have no "further obligation to file anything" and "...the witnesses do not want the media harassing them in the meantime."

Applause for Ms. Drane Burdick here. She clearly states that the defense is playing by its own rules, to the neglect of the requirements of the rules of law.

Ms. Drane Burdick goes on in paragraph 6 to point out that the "unilateral decision" of the defense to hold required information about potential witnesses to run "afoul of the basic tenents of the Rules of Criminal Procedure".

Paragraph 7 details the circumstances under which the defense could hold this information confidential.

Beginning with the 8th paragraph, Drane Burdick addresses the issue of witness lists.

... the State of Florida can not adequately address the schedueling of the trial without the legally appropriate notification by the defendant of ALL witnesses she will call during trial.

Paragraphs 9 and addresses some very telling information about the investigative work done to date by the prosecution.

At a hearing on December 12, 2008, the defendant suggested that she had retained a bevy of expert witnesses to assist with her defense. Yet, a year later, not one of these individuals is listed by the defendant, nor have they sought to examine any of the evidence collected either before or after December 11, 2008. The only evidence review to date occurred on November 14, 2008 when Dr. Henry Lee examined the defendant's vehicle at the Orange County Sheriff's Office noting that he would need to return to finish the exam at a later date. He has yet to do so.
(9)

Certainly the defendant can choose to not review the evidence, or depose particular witnesses, or even file additional motions.... (11)

This rather startling information leads me to believe that the defense just may lack sufficient funds to have their own experts travel to Florida and inspect the evidence. Or, it is possible that the defense will rely on the OSCO, FDLE, and FDI results to build a case based on the banner phrase "junk science"? Another possibility is that the defense experts have already reviewed the material and have informally told the defense that the testing is well done and the methodology only should be attacked at trial.

Paragraph 10 addresses other witnesses who should be listed for the case.

The defendant has conducted depositions of a few "civilian" witnesses, including several that were not completed and has done no depositions of the law enforcement investigators or any listed expert witness.

This certainly sounds like delay to me. The defense has had over a year to get this case together. After a flurry of depositions last summer, the only notice for deposition that has been submitted is for Roy Kronk's ex-wife, Jill Kerley which involves an attempt to pin the murder on the meter-reader.

In her closing, Linda Drane Burdick tells the judge she wants to see the defense get moving on these matters.

...the State of Florida respectfully request that this Honorable Court conduct a hearing on this matter, or alternatively, order the defendant to immediately turn over any and all evidence to include the names and addresses of witnesses, and any statements or reports generated by those witnesses, and any tangible papers or objects to be used at hearing or trial. The State additionally requests that this Court enter a pretrial order setting discovery, motion, and hearing deadlines, applicable to both parties, so this matter can proceed to trial as expeditiously as possible.

I am convinced that Baez & Co. are spending the majority of their money and time desperately hunting for reasonable doubt in the case. Recently, the motions have dealt with Roy Kronk's character and the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the remains. No doubt, they are impelled by the February 1 date by which they have to provide concrete facts to back up Todd Macaluso's claim that the defense has proof that Casey did not put Caylee's body in the swamp on Suburban Drive.

In terms of the discovery of Caylee's remains, the defense filed a MOTION TO MODIFY THE COURT'S ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S APPLICATION FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM FOR DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH on November 23.

In the motion, Baez essentially calls Tim Miller of being a liar and of having not included all searchers of the area on Suburban Drive. Baez states in the motion that

The Defense, through its own independent investigation, has interviewed sever TES searchers who not only searched the area where the remains were found, bu who were not among the thirty-two (32) identified by TES. As reflected in their individual signed statements, these individuals each submitted detailed reports of their search to TES, none of which were disclosed to the Defense.

Exhibit A in the defense motion is the statement of Joseph Jordan. He met with his attorney and an investigator (not identified) for the defense team on October 27, 2009. In his statement, Jordan made the following four statements:

a. On September 1, 2008, I was a volunteer member for Texas Equu Search (TES).

b. On September 1, 2008, I and a group of approximately 30 TES volunteers went to the area of Suburban and Hope Springs Streets in Orlando, Florida. We went to that area to search for the remains of Caylee Anthony.

c. Although I was in the area with over 30 people, only five to six volunteers and I searched the area by the stockade fence along the south side of Suburban Street near Hope Springs Street. Among the five to six volunteers with me were Danny Ibison and his dog and a Panama City Sheriff's Deputy with one of his two dogs.

d. All of the information concerning the search was reduced to writings which were placed on specific forms provided to me by TES. I am a very detailed person and I kept a detailed list of the items I saw and there (sic) location which I believed were important to a missing person investigation. All of this information was provided to TES.

When I first read this statement, I was very confused. During the searches in September, I followed Mr. Jordan's group of people through his and web site. I was aware that he had searched on his own and posted pictures at his site. I imagine these searches were not with TES, which prohibits searchers from taking pictures. I had not been aware he had searched with TES. My question would be, was he searching OFFICIALLY with TES or did he and some of his fellow searchers break off on their own. My second question was how far from the stockade fence they searched. Mr. Jordan did not include in his statement any comments about the search conditions such as standing water or dense vegetation. The area near the stockade fence was high and dry and clear as it abutted a house.

Well, that wasn't the end of the story concerning his statement. Yesterday, Linda Drane Burdick
filed another motion.

STATE OF FLORIDA'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER REGARDING RECORDING OF INTERVIEW OF JOE JORDAN

The very same day that he signed the statement, Joe Jordan called the OCSO and spoke to Cpl Eric Edwards. He indicated he had been interviewed by a defense investigator that morning and has surreptitously recorded the interview in violation of Florida Law. Since it was illegally recorded, Ms. Drane Burdick couldn't listen to it.

Subsequently, she was present for an interview with Jordan and states in the motion that

Based upon representations made during the course of that interview, the illegally recorded statement may materially conflict with the subsequent interview.

The OCSO and the defense team both refused to press charges against Jordan and Drane Burdick asks the court to not allow it to be released as it was illegally obtained.

It sounds to me as though Mr. Jordan tried to do the right thing for himself and went about it in the wrong way. Did he have a concern that somehow. the interviewer phrased questions in such a way as to paint his actions differently than they really were? Anyway, this leaves Mr. Jordan pretty much out of the equation to support the defense motion!

The other person interviewed by the defense was a New Jersey woman, Laura Buchanan. In her statement, she asserts that

1. My name is Laura Buchanan and I currently live in Mendham, New Jersey.

2. On September 3, 2008, I was a volunteer for Texas Equus (sic) Search.

3. On September 3, 2008, the team in which I was assigned went to Suburban Street in Orlando and searched the area near where the remains of Caylee Anthony were found.

4. We were not officially assigned to search that area. We went on our own.

5. We were in that area for approximately 3 to 4 hours.

6. I personally searched near the privacy fence and worked my way towards and then beyond the spot where the body was found.

7. I did not notice anything unusual.

8. I did not notice a strange smell. I noticed no buzzards, nor unusual animal or insect activity.

9. It is my opinion that the remains of Caylee Anthony were not there during the time of our search.

Well, this lady can't be used to bolster the motion to compel TES to turn over the documents for all searchers, she wasn't searching the area with TES. This is strike two of two available to the defense.

I do find her statement a bit strange. It sounds as though she was asked specific questions with yes/no answers and then put in statement form. For example, the interviewer could have asked, "Did you see any buzzards?" and she could simply have said, "no". Anyway, the statement says more that the searchers were looking for a body and not skeletal remains. Buzzards and bugs do not hang around bones. Nor would there be any noticeable smells emanating from bones. She is probably not an expert and her opinion that the remains were there, in many cases, buried under the soil or hidden by heavy plant growth. Notice that again, there is no statement concerning the "lay of the land" on the day she searched. She wasn't in a meadow, it was a swampy morass!

If the defense believes the body was placed on Suburban Drive when Casey was in jail, they will have to come up with better witnesses. I am hoping that the scientific evidence as to plant growth through the bones and the locations where they were found will disprove any of this nonsense!

See you in court for the hearing tomorrow at 9:30 AM. InSession will be covering it as well as the local TV stations.

12 comments:

donchais said...

Thanks as always for the detailed breakdown of the motions.

I do wonder if the good judge has had enough and will reprimand the defense for wasting the court's time!

Anonymous said...

Ritanita, thank you for the comprehensive and informative rewiew of the motions. I have learned more here than on any other site. See you tomorrow at the hearing. I can't imagine what George and Cindy will pull.

September moo

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this information. I am learning much about the legal system as well as the lengths defense attorneys will go to free the obviously guilty.

Anonymous said...

The defense tactic in most trials is delay, delay. Hopefully, things will be sorted out. We'll be watching tomorrow.

David From TN

Nora said...

Thank you very much for the continual updates! It's really too bad Casey's attorney won't advise her to just admit her guilt and end this charade. What kind of money is he making defending her?

Tezi said...

Thanks Ritanita for the excellent update about the motions.

Bozo needs to get a clue! He looks more and more like an idiot!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clear and concise manner you have outlined this case so far. All of this "stuff" the defense keeps throwing out there, I keep asking myself HOW could Casey Anthony not report her child missing for a month...I still cannot get beyond that and I don't see how the defense can get around that and all the other lies this woman told. They could move this case to Calif. and still those same questions would be asked by any jury.

shari said...

After watching the hearing today, I am finally convinced that Casey's demeanor and facial expressions show that she finally is seeing the seriousness of these courtroom proceedings. I don't think the defense is going to get all the rulings they want from this as Florida law is pretty clear.....but everyone was clearly moved to emotional overload today. Judge Strickland is a very fair and (so far) by the legal book judge. After seeing the Anthonys today, one can't help feling sympathy for Cindy.

shari said...

http://www.wftv.com/news/21924120/detail.html

Sorry, I should have included this link to local WFTV news station which has the video of the court hearing today....

ritanita said...

Shari, you are so right. I'm still digesting the hearing and I'll start writing about it tomorrow.

Super kudos to Jeff Ashton who clearly spelled out exactly what the defense wanted to know, and what Casey wanted her lawyer to stop him from saying. Perhaps Ashton hit the nail on the head.

shari said...

WAITIN' FOR IT RITANITA.....where were you seated??? I saw Bill Schaeffer and Mari Dave, news people too. I was fascinated with Jeff Ashton's scenario. Maybe too close to home for Casey though.

ritanita said...

shari,

I was sitting here at my computer about 4 states away!

I'm about half-way through writing. It's been a long haul putting it all together.

Hopefully, I'll have it posted sometime tomorrow.