Saturday, April 24, 2010

Casey Anthony: A Strange Week

Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.

photo courtesy of

It's been slightly over a week since the defense filed a motion for the recusal of Judge Stan Strickland. Since then, Strickland recused himself, Judge Belvin Perry Jr. took on the case and issued a sua sponte Order Setting Case Management Hearing for Friday, April 30 at 9:30 AM. The motions which CFNews13 published Monday have yet to be filed with the court in completed condition.

Unlike Casey Anthony, who repeatedly spoke of her "gut feelings" that Caylee Marie Anthony was alive, I seldom tell the world my "gut feelings" because I am likely to be wrong. I simply don't trust myself as I don't know all the facts. It's one thing to read a motion or watch a hearing and write about the facts and toss in a bit of opinion for the sake of argument. It's another thing to opine about things for which I have no direct knowledge.

Aside from a few comments about Judge Perry's order, whatever I write today is just my "gut instinct", right or wrong.

It is obvious from the judge's order, he is planning on getting the case on track and moving ahead.


1. At the Case Management Hearing, counsel for the State and the Defense shall be prepared to discuss the following issues:

-Discovery deadlines, including but not limited to, the scheduling and completion of depositions of all ordinary and expert witnesses.

-future Motion deadlines

-Motions that remain pending and unresolved

-Pre-trial and Trial dates.

2. Counsel shall provide the Court with a list of pending Motions, identifying with specificity those which will require evidentiary hearings and those which may be addressed based on the pleadings.

3. Counsel shall provide courtesy copies of all future Motions to the Court.

It seems there will be no more "motions by ambush" by the defense when they file them at the end of the day on a Friday or just prior to a motions hearing.

4. Counsel shall familiarize themselves with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Courtroom Decorum Policy set forth in Administrative Order Number 2003-07, a cop of which is attached to the Order, and shall, at all times, conduct themselves accordance with that policy.

The Administrative Order is indeed at the end of the order and it will behoove all parties in the case (including those who come to watch the hearing) to tow the line of traditional courtroom behavior. If the hearing is televised, it will be fascinating to watch. I am hoping Judge Perry gives a nod to the cameras in the courtroom for all of us who are watching and waiting for the final justice for Caylee. Many of us have already devoted almost two years to the case and it would be a disappointment to have to rely on second-hand information from reports on InSession and from bloggers. We all want to "be there".

Later during next week, I will go through all the pending motions and compile a list with links. I always print out the motions to read and analyze, and I'm hoping my list is fairly complete. It will be interesting to see if I've missed any!

Now, I'm heading off to "gut instinct" land.

Judge Strickland responded to the defense motion Monday morning. Late that night, CFNews13 posted an article which stated:

On the same day Strickland stepped down, the defense filed more motions, some regarding the death penalty.

Below the article, the motions are listed.

Motion to Declare Florida Statute 921-141 Unconstitutional

Second Motion to Preclude Death Procedures for Impermissible Prosecutorial Motives

Motion to Preclude the State's Impermissible, Gender Biased, Request for Imposition of the Death Penalty

Defendant's Motion for Protective Order with Respect to Penalty Phase Discovery

When they were first posted, they were signed only by Andrea Lyon. There were no dates, certification of service, nor the stamp of the Clerk of the Court. At the time, I assumed there was a glitch in the defense plan to file them. The motions had Judge Strickland's name on them and there were mistakes in the dates of the facts of the case with the year 2009 instead of 2008.

I have to admit that I have barely scanned the motions since they are not yet official, but I can say that they are more of the same motions Lyon has been filing in the case. Some of them are still pending!

When I went back to cite the article today and post the links, I found that they are still in the same condition they were at the beginning of the week! So, they are still not filed!

Mind you, the following is my "gut instinct" and in no way based on fact or personal knowledge!

I believe that, when the defense filed their first motion to recuse Strickland on Friday, April 16, 2008, at 4:48 P.M., they never expected Strickland to recuse himself Monday morning. I also think that the motions were "leaked" to CFNews 13 as a quid pro quo for the ambush interview with Marinade Dave prior to the filing.

The defense planned to file the motions with Strickland on Monday, April 19 and had given CFNews 13 to publish them at the end of the day, and there they remain.

On Monday, when Perry took over the case, the defense could not file them, and they probably read the blogs with pointed out the date errors. I gave the defense till the end of the week to properly file the motions before writing about them.

Since they haven't been filed yet, I am wondering if the defense thought that Judge Strickland would not recuse himself immediately or even recuse himself at all! Why else would they have his name on those motions? Somebody called me "nuts" on the comments on another blog when I put out a possibility that the defense was hoping for Strickland to stay and rule on these motions prior to recusing himself. Then, they would have had more ammunition for appellate claims that the judge was biased.

Please comment on what you think, just be kind!

By the way, I just read that Cheney Mason and Jose finally went to look at the TES documents.

WKMG reported that

On Friday, for the first time in eight months, the attorneys visited Nejame's office and were caught on video inside a conference room looking through boxes of documents.

Although the attorney representing Texas EquuSearch said none of the 4,000 volunteers searched the exact spot where Caylee's remains were found, Anthony's defense team wanted to see for themselves.

Shortly after Local 6 arrived at Nejame's office, Anthony's attorneys stormed off. Baez and Mason would not explain why they were finally viewing the records, and it's not known if the attorneys would be returning to Nejame's office. Nejame refused to comment.

My guess that the next defense motion will be to be able to copy all the documents for any number of reasons. Got a nickle you want to bet?


FRG said...

Thank you so much for your article!
So far I have no idea why the motions were just published by cfnews13, and defense comes up and states that State leaks documents. Oh well.
I can't wait to read the list of Motions defense has filed and there were not hearing on them.
As far as JB and CM visiting NeJame's office was to try to get all of the 4000 pages copied and it won't happen if the Judge doesn't order. I am sure the Motion about getting copies of the 4,000 volunteers is coming... AL's students have been busy!! LOL
I don't know what to think of the next hearing, all we know is that JP is very strict and straight to business, I sure want to watch this hearing too, can you imagine if we can't. It will be very disappointing. Also I am not sure if JP can also impose a "gag order" now which it would be too late now, in my lay person opinion, of course.
Yes, I agree it was a strange week!!

ritanita said...

CFnews 13 was the station that pre-interviewed Marinade Dave. I think they got the first look-see as a thank you gift, so to speak!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rita!
I do have a nickle, but I'm not willing to bet against you! You are usually right! Plus, I might need to hold onto that nickle being a Florida resident and all - helping pay for KC's trial. GRRRR! All kidding aside, it really perplexes me why the defense issued those motions to the media last week, yet haven't re-written them or filed them with the court yet! Very strange. They are always putting the cart before the horse! And we haven't heard a peep from them since Judge Srickland recused himself. Where is Bozo's usual victory speech? I think the defense never in a million years thought Judge Strickland would recuse himself so quickly, so now they are having to come up with a new plan.
I'm really hoping Judge Perry will allow cameras in the courtroom. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Keep up with the great reporting!

donchais said...

Frankly my are rarely wrong!

I do believe Cheney and Jose never - in a million years - thought Judge Strickland would recuse himself, hence the motions waiting in the wings.

They, in their smugness, released them to 13 before understanding just how brilliant a move Stan Strickland was about to make!

katfish said...

I know what you mean about those gut instincts....but I have to tell gut says to keep my nickel!

Those motions were not the first released to 13 before being filed, I noticed the same on the motion to exclude hearsay, filed late on a Friday as well. I noticed hadn't been filed when I went to calculate the due date for the state's response from the copy I got online from.....guess who's website.
Now that I think of it, did the state respond to that motion? It had errors too. Is somebody going to get a low grade at DePaul? ~Shrug~

ritanita said...

I have a copy of that motion, Katfish, and you're right! There are no signiture pages at all. There is no stamp from the Clerk of the Court.

The same is also true of the motion about party pictures, although the memorandum is signed and dated March 8, 2010.

The others at that link are also signed and dated, but do not contain the stamp of the clerk of the court.

I'm off to do a little research on them!

ritanita said...

I did a quick run-through of the copies of the motions filed on another site and still don't see the stamp of the Clerk of the Court.

I see certificates of service on them, though.

These MAY have been filed, but not updated at the site. Hmmm... I'm going to have to add categories of motions pending to my article and do a lot of homework.

I think what brought these latest motion to our attention was the fact that they were lacking signitures which is quite obvious.

Now, I have motion sickness... Off to the Clerk of the Court records...

ritanita said...

The motions released March 8, including the hearsay motion were indeed filed on March 8. Katfish, you can start counting!

The latest motions have yet to be filed!

shari said...

With all of these so called "expert" lawyers.....why in the world are so many of these motions such a mess??? I know Ms. Lyons may be done by law students, but doesn't she check them before submission (she is the lawyer of record) it makes her look bad. The arrogance of this group just keeps on getting worse. OI!!! ritanita and guys are great for having to read all of this and 'splain it to us legally challenged folks. Thanks

ritanita said...


I am so sorry! I hit the wrong button and "poofed" your good post!

You asked if the jury at trial might get a whiff of the smell of death.

I've been thinking about the very same thing!

Personally, I'd like to see the State ask for a "field trip" to view and get a whiff of the trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire. That stench is very difficult to get rid of and, since I'm sure that they keep the trunk of the car closed, that smell will be there in 2011!