Things are popping like crazy in the Casey Anthony case. Friday, WFTV's Kathi Belich broke news about an affair between George Anthony and one of the women who originally volunteered with KidFinders. Personally, I have very little interest in the affair, but it will be interesting to see if the woman has any information that will add to the prosecution of the case. We are all waiting for the other shoe Ms. Belich reported will be dropped.
Last night there was a fascinating blog cast featuring Richard Hornsby and Rozzi Franco hosted by Steff Watts. While I don't necessarily agree with everything that was said, it is worth a listen because they have quite a bit to say about possible reasons for the "bombshell" delivered by WFTV and the indigency situation.
Last Friday, I reported on the indigency status hearing to be heard this coming Thursday at 11 AM. The previous day, there were posts discussing the new motions filed by the defense concerning heresay and photographs.
In the meantime, I've been printing out all the motions, reading them, writing about them, and filing them. Somewhere along the line, I ended up with a pile of motions concerning TexasEquusearch and the desire of the defense team to obtain every record for the 4,000 plus searchers who looked for Caylee in 2008.
From the moment Caylee Marie Anthony's sad remains were identified in December, 2008, the defense has been trying to gather as much "proof" that somebody else placed the remains in the swampy area. The first two motions, filed January 7, 2009 and January 21, 2009 were tossed by Judge Strickland due to lack of jurisdiction and overly broad request for information about searchers.
The defense waited until July 16, 2009 to file the next motion. By this time, the motion was written in a way that could be considered by the court. The same day, I posted an article about the history of the defense vs. TES. Read it here for a mind-refresher.
The motion was considered at the July 21 hearing. Judge Strickland made no ruling at the time, and entertained a compromise made by Mark NeJame, Miller's attorney. In the judge's ORDER, published on August 27, he allowed for the following:
1. Tim Miller would not be declared a material witness as he was willing to come to Florida and be deposed.
2. Casey Anthony would be responsible for the costs of the deposition.
3. The records of the 32 searchers mentioned at the July 21 hearing would be made available to both the State and the defense.
4. The remainder of the 4000 documents could be reviewed in NeJame's offices and other possible searchers withing 200 yard of the remains site could be flagged and brought to the judge for consideration.
5. No notes, photographs or copies would be taken and there would be no disclosure of newly-discovered searchers would be released until approved by the Court.
6. The defense would be liable for costs of monitoring the proceedings.
This is pretty much where the situation remained until November 23, 2009. The defense filed a MOTION TO MODIFY THE COURT'S ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S APPLICATION FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM FOR DOCUMENTS IN THE POSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH.
November 23 was also the day that the defense filed a veritable blizzard of motions and this one ended up on the bottom of the stack!
This is the motion in which the defense stated that "through their own independent investigation" had found and interviewed "several searchers who not only searched the area where the remains were found, but who were not among the thirty-two (32) identified by TES." The motion indicated that this vital information had been withheld from the defense! The Memorandum of Law went on to name Joseph Jordan and Laura Buchanan as two of the searchers and included affidavits from both.
Since then, it has been wide reported that Joseph Jordan had some bad feelings about the telephone interview he was giving to the defense PI and surreptitiously and illegally recorded it and immediately reported this to the State's Attorney's Office. At the hearing on December 11,
Judge Strickland sealed the tape, for the time being.
As for Laura Buchanan, her affidavit indicated that she did not search the area with TES, rather, she and some others went there on their own.
In February of 2010, the defense filed a motion based on Mark NeJame's appearance on Orlando News 13. In part, the motion says that
...In that interview, Mr. NeJame made several statements regarding Miss Anthony's pending Motion seeking records from TES... Also it is reported that, "NeJame allowed News 13 to examine reports and notes taken by EquuSearch volunteers...
The disclosure by Mr. Ne Jame of those records, including volunteer names and phone numbers, seriously undercuts the argument made by TES against giving them to Miss Anthony...
Being that TES is no longer concerned about the "chilling effect on volunteerism" and has taken to actively allow (sic) media access to its records, there is no reason to prevent disclosure to Miss Anthony as well.
NeJame fired back with a response the next day.
The motion begins with NeJame stating that
The Defendant's motion is inaccurate and lacking in demonstrating any proper investigation or due diligence prior to its filing...
Nejame indicated that had Baez done a proper inquiry, he would have been aware that Adam Longo, the reporter had been allowed limited perusal of the 32 records given to the prosecution and the defense. He also said that the 4000 other records were stored in a facility 15 miles from his office.
Longo was not allowed to take notes and only viewed the documents to see what types of information they contained. NeJame also pointed out that no specific information had been disclosed to the public. Longo also assured NeJame that he had been in contact with Baez and had explained the same information to him.
The motion goes into some detail, but at the heart of the motion, NeJame says that
At the time of the filing this response, counsel for the Defendant, Jose Baez has failed to withdraw his inappropriate and inaccurate motion which misrepresents the facts and is wholly and completely erroneous and misleading.
NeJame closes the motion by asking for the the judge to
...assess attorney's fees against the counsel for the Defendnt, especially since he has been advised of the inaccuracy of his motion and has failed to take any remedial action. He has caused unnecessary attorney time and Court time to be wasted,, especially since he has been fully advised of its misrepresentations and inaccuracies and nevertheless continues to proceed.
There is another document concerning TES that was not made available by the media. It was filed by NeJame on February 2, 2010. It is a NOTICE OF ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS IN THE POSSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH. Thanks to Muzikman, who got this document directly from the court!
The notice is to inform the court that during an interview between Tim Miller and members of the OCSO in Texas. At that time, Miller did a thorough search of his office and found "a few" records that had been overlooked in the first search. NeJame also indicated that the TES office is staffed by one volunteer and that there had been no attempt to hide any documents. The documents involved did not seem to include anyone who had searched within the area near Hidden Oaks Elementary School and were placed with the rest of the searcher records.
The "bombshell" with this document is the manner in which NeJame indicates that there was no harm made to Casey Anthony's case. And I quote!
9. That pursuant to this Honorable Court's Order, Jose Baez, counsel for defendant, Casey Anthony, was similarly afforded the opportunity to come to the offices of undersigned and review and inspect all 4,000 files. He was to be held to the same conditions as the State and Mr. Conway. He could not record or copy any of the files but if any files were identified as being in the proximity of where Caylee Marie Anthony was found, then he could similarly tab and identify them. We would then bring them before this Honorable Court where their relevancy and materiality could be ruled on by the court.
10. That a meeting was scheduled with a representative from Mr. Baez' office approximately 6 months ago to review and inspect all the 4,000 searcher records. This meeting was cancelled by counsel for Casey Anthony and no attempts were ever made by the defense to reschedule, although the documents have remained available throughout....
Do take the opportunity to read this entire document!
There is one final document in the saga of TES. Filed on March 10, it is Mark NeJame's RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO MODIFY THE COURT'S ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S APPLICATION FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM FOR DOCUMENTS IN THE POSESSION OF TEXAS EQUUSEARCH.
The seven page document essentially outlines the judge's order from August 27, 2009. At the same time, it points out exact details about a number of the issues, including that of the Laura Buchanan situation. The document makes very clear Mr. Nejame's frustration with Mr. Baez. I strongly recommend reading the entire document for yourself. I am just going to excerpt a few pieces for you here because they clearly outline what will probably be one dynamite hearing.
2. ... it was not until approximately three weeks later on September 18, 2009, a member of the Baez Law Firm... finally contacted the undersigned's office to make an appointment to come by and review the aforementioned documents. .... the undersigned's office was informed by the Baez Firm that they were not sending a member of its firm over to review the documents but were in fact going to send "The Presentation Group" instead. "The Presentation Group" was determined to be a document copying company, which was to come and copy all the documents from all of the files. Upon learning this, Mr. Baez' representative was informed that their request was contrary to the directives, instructions an dictate as was set forth in this honorable Court's Order of August 27th, 2009 and would not be acceptable...
3. Thereafter, for the next approximately 4 months, Mr. Baez' office has never contacted undersigned counsel...
Paragraph 4 indicates that 18 days after the canceled meeting, nobody from Baez' office had come to pick up the documents concerning the 32 searchers. When NeJame called Baez' office, he was told to fax them over. Instead, NeJame had the documents delivered to his office so that there could be no claim that they had not received the documents. NeJame also points out that the information was sensitive and should not be faxed anyway.
5. The Defendant, through her counsel, has alleged that "Joe Jordan's name was not among the thirty-two (32) searchers identified by TES and none of his reports were disclosed to the defense." This is a misrepresentation of the facts as Mr. Jordan's name and signature are on the Field Activity Form 08-895 dated September 1, 2008, which was hand delivered to counsel for defendant.
8. ... They haphazardly filed the Motion to Modify the Court's Order ...
9. ...A simple visit to the undersigned's office and a perusal of the documents would have illuminated the correct information...
Finally, here is probably my favorite snips from the motion. They appear in the final paragraph.
10... The Defendant, through her counsel, is unnecessarily wasting this Honorable Court's time, the taxpayer's money and the undersigned's resources by filling these frivolous motions.
...However, it is counsel for Defendant who has frustrated and circumvented these efforts, while attempting to shirk his responsibilities and blame others for his inaction...
...TES respectfully asks this Honorable Court to assess attorney's fees against the counsel for the Defendant, especially since he has been advised of the inaccuracy of the defendant's motion and has failed to take any remedial actions.
There we have it! NeJame has had it "up to here" with Baez and his letting him know that he won't take it anymore.