Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching up on Casey Anthony's Murder Trial

This has been a sad week. Wednesday, June 16, marked the day that Caylee Marie Anthony was probably killed. Later that evening, her mother, Casey was seen with then boyfriend Tony Lazzaro casually strolling through a Blockbuster store, renting videos. It was as though the cherubic toddler had vanished into thin air.
Police evidence indicates that little Caylee was probably in the trunk of her mother's car, her mouth and nose covered with duct tape.

The previous day, George and Cindy made another appearance on Good Morning America. The day is a special one for the Anthony's. According to an emotional George, "To think about the last time we saw Caylee and Casey together, hear her voice, to see her little eyes and get a hug and kiss from her. It's not easy."

Cindy sported her new look with her long hair. Both George and Cindy both showed their new their Caylee jewelry which they said that they would always wear.
George showed off his tattoo of Caylee looking towards a rainbow with "MY SUNSHINE" written below it. Both clearly miss their grandchild and in the interview, a tearful Cindy said, "So it seems like this nightmare has lasted longer than the moments than we had with her. That makes it very, very difficult.And I miss the last three years that I could have had with her, or the last two years. And then thinking about her starting school.."
The entire piece was 4 minutes and 52 seconds in length. Of that time, Ashleigh Banfield did voice-overs and commentary with GMA host Elizabeth Vargas, with approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds of the actual interview.
The parts of the interview that especially caught my attention had to deal with Cindy's views about the case and the evidence.

The 911 Call


In the interview, Cindy again stated that she only made the statement to bring the police to her house sooner. She has said publicly that the smell in the car resembled pizza or food from her refrigerator that had sat there too long. Apparently, she is sticking to her story. I have to wonder how she can deny the odor of decomposition when her own husband has told LE in his interviews and deposition that it indeed was the smell of death.

The defense is trying to keep those calls out of the trial. In their OMNIBUS MOTION TO EXCLUDE HERESAY EVIDENCE, GOSSIP, AND INNUENDO, filed March 8, 2010, the defense denies that her calls were mere heresay (statements made outside of the court). They deny that the statement, "I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car", is not an excited utterance. In the attached memorandum, which discusses the second two calls made by Cindy,
Cynthia is more agitated and upset during this call. (referring to the last of the three made that night)

But despite the fact that she says she just found out that her granddaughter had been taken and is missing, the fact remains that the child had been missing for a month and Cynthia Anthony was aware of that fact. There is nothing the police can respond to at the home, as the child has already been missing for a long period of time... Despite Cynthia Anthony being unaware of what exactly happened, the fact remains that she was aware Caylee Anthony was not in the home for a long time.

The memorandum continues to point out that during the call, a suspect in the kidnapping was named and that could be considered testimonial in nature in the prosecution of THAT suspect.

Hello, Zanny, you must still be the prime suspect!

Finally, I have to cite the end of this particular part of the memorandum.

...Though 911 calls may often be considered non testimonial due to the fact that they are made in an emergency, the calls made in this case are different because they are made so long after any incident act or emergency actually happened. An allegedly stolen car has already been returned, (prior to ANY of the 911 calls) and a child has been missing for thirty-one days, turning an emergency into an investigation.

So, let me see if I understand. Cindy Anthony was only "agitated" to learn that Caylee had not been with her mother for 31 days. But, since Caylee had supposedly been missing with her mother and she now finds out she's missing in terms of a "kidnapping", she isn't as upset as if she learned of the "kidnapping" 31 days before? It is less of an emergency situation because Casey never reported the "kidnapping"? Give me a break!

If you have any doubt as to whether or not the statement Cindy made was an excited utterance, just listen to that call again. She is not merely "agitated", she is absolutely hysterical. Final 911 call

According to a statement made to GMA, "Brad Conway, an attorney for George and Cindy Anthony said today he doesn't doubt "for a second" the tapes will be entered into evidence."

I do believe that there is another reason that the defense does not want that call to come in. Although not mentioned in the motion, the fact is that Casey Anthony herself speaks to the 911 operator.

In a stark contrast to her mother, Casey's voice is flat and monotone. She shows no emotion that her child has been missing for a month. This recording, along with the first jailhouse call (This is a segment from an old Geraldo which includes discussion of the 911 calls.) Casey made when first arrested, it is clear she has no interest in talking about her daughter. It's all about Tony's phone number, her mother's "cameo", and the fact that all anyone cares about is Caylee.

State's Assistant Attorney Linda Drane Burdick filed a motion of her own in this matter. The STATE OF FLORIDA'S RESPONSE TO COURT'S MAY 10, 2020 ORDER REGARDING THEORY OF ADMISSIBILITY OF 911 CALLS clearly delineates the situation. Ms. Drane Burdick was careful to separate her arguments into the factual background and the legal argument. She also included a copy of the 911 calls, transcripts of the calls as well as material from Cindy's July 29, 2009 deposition and Lee Anthony's July 30, 2009 deposition.

Through the use of these materials, Drane Burdick takes the judge through the history of the calls and their purposes. For the sake of relative brevity, I'll just quote what struck me as the most telling about Cindy's reaction to learning of Caylee's alleged kidnapping. The rest of the motion is an excellent read to help understand the State's position.

Mrs. Anthony describes her reaction as "I just felt like my whole world died", "I yelled at her, "I wanted to grab her and shake her and I couldn't". "I didn't know what to do so that's when I made the last call." Lee Anthony describes his mother's reactions as "very, very frantic."...

Judge Perry could make a decision about the calls at any time between now and shortly before the trial.


Cindy stated that early on in the case. She has used this particular tack whenever Casey's lies are mentioned. When she first stated that, I had to ask myself if she didn't understand back then that when you lie to LE, it IS a crime!

In the interview, Cindy cited her new "mantra" concerning lying. "...a liar doesn't make you a murderer.". She dismissed Casey's lies to the family concerning her job... other things. When Ashleigh Banfield mentioned the lies to the police, she dismissed them as well with her well-worn mantra. However, when it came to the alleged abuse of Casey by her father (and brother), her response was that she didn't know where it came from! Couldn't she just have said that it was just another of Casey's little lies?

When it came to the source of the lies, Casey's letters to fellow inmate Robyn Adams, Cindy dismisses them and says that it was a "police set-up". Hello??? How in the world would Robyn be able to solicit these ideas? There was a set-up here, but it was Robyn's. She probably thought they would be worth a fortune! Too bad another inmate ratted her out.

Casey Anthony is a grown woman. Cindy Anthony is still her enabler. Perhaps Cindy turned a blind eye to Casey's lies because she knew that the truth would be nothing to brag about. When George Anthony tried to find out the truth about Casey's job at the Sports Authority, she quashed the whole search for the truth. It was better to delude herself with Casey's lies. Having observed both parents for the past two years, I doubt that anyone would wonder where Casey's predilection to lying came from.

Status Hearing Monday

Casey Anthony does not have to attend status hearings, but I'll be watching it Monday at 1:30 PM.

Remember when you were in school and a couple of kids were acting up? Instead of pointing out the individual miscreants, the teacher would remind everybody about appropriate behavior. So it is with Judge Perry. He keeps reminding the defense and the prosecution that deadlines are to be met and that 98% of the work should have been done by now. We know who he's talking about!

I would especially like to hear if Laura Buchanan and Crystal and Brandon Sparks have made themselves available for deposition by the State. Buchanan is one of the main sources for the renewal of the TES motions and the sworn statements by the Sparks' are crucial to the Roy Kronk motion. If they continue to duck the depositions, the defense will not be able to use them to buttress their theories that "some-other-dude-did-it" indicated last July by the former defense attorney, Todd Macaluso.

Good Morning America video and article


According to the Orlando Sentinel, the defense filed a new motion Friday concerning the 911 tapes.

The new filings reflect statements made in depositions this week and recent comments Cindy Anthony made on national television to explain her reference about the car's smell.


donchais said...

You hit so many 'nails on the head' with this article and the time and effort you put in is more than greatly appreciated!

I'll be there watching with you on Monday!!!

ritanita said...

Thanks! There is so much more I could write. If you caught the "ancient" Geraldo video with the jail house call, you have to know that little of what I had to say is new. What is new is that I've finally said it!

Sprocket said...

Great read ritanita! It was nice to see you share some of your thoughts on this case.

Monday is certainly going to be an interesting day.

katfish said...

Kudos Ritanita!

What you said may not be new but I am glad you said it. kudos to you! very interesting read.
I too look forward to finding out about the Buchanan and Sparks depositions. I have a feeling they won't be done....but we will see.

OT- Recent issues in Sheley's case seem to be on the same track as some in the Anthony case..... defense wanting to keep experts secret from prosecution, only with a twist. Has already been and may go bask to the IL Supreme court.I'm curious to see what you think. :)

ritanita said...

Katfish, you know I rarely comment on the family or the other stuff outside of the court case. But, after watching Cindy for the umpteenth time say being a liar is no big deal, I just had to.

She's not only defending her daughter, she'd defending herself in a way.

As for keeping experts a secret in each of these cases, I think the defense situation is the same in both cases.

I think it's a simpler decision in Florida because the sunshine laws are very clear on disclosure of public documents. The disclosure of the experts will not come through discovery, but through the jail visitor logs. As Judge Perry ruled, he has no right to tell the executive branch (the county in this case) how to conduct business.

Illinois operates differently, hence the trip to the Supreme Court again. The laws in Illinois are different, and as a result, the defense can do this. They probably won't win, but they seem to think its worth their while!

As an aside to that, I wish Illinois had the sunshine laws FL has. I'd love to see the Sheley and Peterson trials for myself!

katfish said...

I wish IL had more liberal Sunshine laws too.I will see Sheley's trial here first hand, but the ride to Whiteside County for Sheley's other trials and Will County for Peterson may be a bit much. Sheley will also stand trial in MO for killing Tom and Jill Estes. That will be years down the road, even if Sheley pleads guilty in Whiteside for all 5 deaths.I need to check if they allow cameras in the courtroom in MO.I think they do.

There wouldn't be an issue for Sheley's defense with the expert witnesses, the prosecution and defense are in agreement. It is the IL Department of Corrections who are objecting to transporting him for the tests because of security and cost concerns. It's the IDOC who have went to the ISC for intervention. Once again the clash of the executive and judicial branch powers.

Honestly, I don't understand why the experts don't come to him in the prison....given that we don't have the sunshine law.I don't know if visitor logs are subject to the Freedom of Information Act in IL....more research to do.....that may be why they don't.

I wonder if the Supreme court in FL can order the jail to take Casey for testing. I would hate to see a conviction overturned because she didn't receive due process.That is a constitutional right.

In both states, imo, the expense of transportation should come out of the defense budget from the Capital Litigation or the JAC.
IDK? We'll have to wait and see.

ritanita said...

Katfish, after reading about Sheley's trial for assaulting a corrections officer and following your coverage from the get-go, I can't believe that they can't bring experts to the jail to evaluate him.

That man is a loose cannon and so terrificly violent, I can understand why the DOC doesn't want to take him anywhere other than court.

I don't see Casey going anywhere, either.

Experts who testify in criminal trials are used to going to their "patients". This is one strange situation!

katfish said...

I thought it was strange that both of these capital cases, that are so different other than the DP aspect, are wrestling the same issue. Surely there should be case law in both states.

I left something out of my update(on purpose)...the lead defense attorney spoke to me after the "non" hearing. Some reporters were asking him questions so I threw one in. Afterward, he came over to me and said," By the way that franchise is the Blackhawks".

I expressed surprise he had seen my post because it was a week after the 2nd hearing by the time I got to it and I put it up at 3 am the day of the 3rd hearing. He told me he was watching for it. I said, "Oh, well did I get it right?I had to do a little speculating" He replied, "Yes, keep up the good work".

I know both sides of the aisle check my blog occassionaly, but it was nice of him to say that, especially since I sit behind the prosecution.

katfish said...

Ritanita, I meant to add it's not necessary to post at the end of my last comment....I just wanted to share because I thought it was funny. No problem if it gets posted before you see this, the statement was made to me in front of others.