Thursday, October 28, 2010

Casey Anthony Pre-Trial Hearing Tomorrow: The Motions

When I watch a hearing where motions are being heard, I like to have read the motions beforehand. Unfortunately, the media has not been providing us with copies of all the motions lately. I woke up this morning to the good news that my friend, Muzikman, had made the trip to the courthouse to get copies of the missing documents. Right now, he's my hero!

Today, I will cover the new documents. Previous motions were discussed in the previous article, just scroll down to read it.

One motion, the defense Motion for Reconsideration has attracted motions in opposition.

Orange County filed a motion on behalf of the jail which essentially tells the Court that nothing in the Bent decision relates to what the defense is asking for.

Key points in the Orange County pleading include:

The recent decision in Bent, entered on September 29, 2010, holds that audio recordings of personal inmate phone calls are not public record as audio recordings of personal inmate calls do not constitute "official business" of the jail. Therefore, the narrow holding in Bent is that such calls are not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, unless the content involves a crime or security issues...

The Bent decision distinguishes personal calls of inmates from "mail logs or logs of phone numbers called" which are records created by the jail...

The Bent decision actually supports deeming the logs public records subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act by stating, "The recordings at issue are personal phone calls, as opposed to records generated by BSO (here it would be the jail, such as mail logs or logs of phone numbers call." ID. This distinction shows that Court in Bent was issuing a very narrow ruling and did not intend to include jail logs in its exemption from disclosure, but intended to specifically exclude them

The Orlando Sun Sentinel also filed a response to the motion. Their motion agrees with what I wrote in my previous article, the motion is premature because it is subject to appeal. Indeed, the Sun Sentinel motion states that:

6. The Bent decision, however, is not yet final. The Sun-Sentinel has filed a motion for rehearing that remains pending... Until the Bend decision is final, Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration is, at best, premature. More importantly, the Bent decision is inapplicable to the facts underlying this motion and does not alter the public records analysis for records the Defendant seeks to seal.

It is worth reading this motion just for the footnote which in essence states that even if the Bent decision were final, it would still not apply in this case. From what I understand, the motion was turned in with about 50 pages of legal references.

I have a strong feeling this defense motion will go nowhere tomorrow. My only question is if Judge Perry will postpone hearing it until the Bent appeal is final, or if he will toss it on the other grounds stated in both the motions filed against it.

While the amended docket for the hearing does not include this filing, I'm pretty sure that the judge will hear it. It's a motion by Assistant State's Attorney Linda Drane Burdick. On October 26, she filed the
State Of Florida's Motion To Extend Deposition Deadline For Specified Non-Expert Defense Witnesses Listed After May 2010. We already know that Judge Perry extended the deadline for witnesses listed by the State after May 24, 2010. We all remember Mr. Baez whining about them as he fumbled with the color-coded charts. The judge gave the defense until the end of December for these.

Ms. Drane Burdick is only asking for an extension of 30 (thirty) days. Snippets from the following paragraphs will clue you in to the problems the State is having. Read it and think what the defense would say if the State did the same to them!

7. ... In the Order Memorializing Status Hearing, the court ordered the submission of a list of these witnesses by October 18, 2010 at noon. The defense has not submitted to the undersigned a list of ordinary witnesses disclosed after May 24, 2010 for which they wish to extend the deposition deadline as per the Court's order.

Remember, October 31 is "Pumpkin Time"!

8. (The State lists names of those interviewed/deposed already) ...Guillermo Medino lives in Mexico and has not been in Florida since 2008...

The only information provided for Travis Sanders was that he lives in Northern California along with his e-mail address. Efforts to contact him via email have been unsuccessful.

An incorrect address was provided for Gail St. John and Tamra St. John in Ohio. Efforts to contact Ms. St. John through her web site have been ignored and the undersigned is in the process of obtaining service of process on the St. Johns in Ohio.

The attorney for Brandon Sparks has stopped responding to requests to set his deposition and the undersigned has had contact with prosecutors in King County, Washington in an effort to secure his presence at deposition.

9. The deposition of Laura Buchanan began on August 16, 2010 via Skype from New Jersey. At the time of the deposition, Mrs. Buchanan was represented by Raymond M. Brown of Iselin, New Jersey. By agreement of the parties, the deposition was suspended and was scheduled for completion on October 13, 2010 via Cisco Webex. On October 11, the undersigned was advised via email that Mrs. Buchanan was ill and would not be able to attend the October 13 deposition. On October 21, 2010, Mr. Brown advised that Mrs. Buchanan had retained new counsel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and the deposition would not be able to be rescheduled before October 31, 2010. New counsel, Bernard Cassidy, is in the process of familiarizing himself with his client's involvement in the case and has agreed to discuss rescheduling the remainder of the deposition in the near future.

I'm going out on a big limb and this is purely speculation on my part; I'm seriously wondering if these "witnesses" have all been "Lyonized" and are now regretting what they told the defense PI, or what the defense PI got them to say. In paragraph 11 of the document, Ms. Drane Burdick very elegantly outlines the State's frustrations.

The office of the undersigned has worked diligently to identify those witnesses who would require depositions despite having no statement detailing the subject matter of their testimony, no telephone contact information, and in some cases, no contact information at all. All local witnesses have been deposed via telephone conference, Skype or Webex. Efforts have been made to coordinate and secure the attendance of the remaining witnesses, but due to their location and, for some, lack of cooperation, additional time is needed to complete the process.

As Ms. Drane Burdick pointed out in the September status hearing, she is sorely lacking in defense discovery. All she has is a list of names and no idea why they are on the defense list. I can't believe Judge Perry will be happy with this. The defense still isn't playing by the rules!

Finally, we now have a copy of the defense Motion for Clarification. It's a recap of that the judge ruled at the original JAC hearing and lists the amounts payable to expert witnesses. I'm still trying to figure out what it is they need clarified! I guess we'll find out tomorrow at 1:30 PM.


This is just in from WFTV:

Former meter reader Roy Kronk's son was to be deposed Thursday as well, but court records show Brandon Sparks is not cooperating. Sparks claims Kronk, who found Caylee's remains, appeared to have inside information.

Here's another example of a DEFENSE witness who doesn't seem to want to talk to the State. This is all very strange, indeed! I don't know about you, but if I volunteered information to the defense team, I would want the State to know exactly what I said.


donchais said...

LMAO! I just have to bet there is steam coming out of Judge Perry's ears.

The defense becomes more and more clueless every day!

Their tactic seems to be, if I say it often enough, that will make it true - if I ask often enough, the court will grant it!

Forget the wheels falling off the car, this car ought to be up on blocks!

Anakerie said...

Good morning! Got a question for you... Is this the "Amended Notice of Hearing" that you're going by?

I have a question about it.. Why does it appear that Baez & Co are the ones who are directing what motions will be heard?

Plus, the part where it says : "Per the COURT, all parties must be physically present. No parties may appear telephonically."
I thought I'd read somewhere that the JAC representative would be attending by telephone again.

I am sooo confused. lol

ritanita said...

Donchais, you are so right... as usual. Did you see the update?

Anakerie, I've seen this before, where Cheney Mason did the same thing. I don't get all those legal "nicities" either. I just call them as I read them!

I'm also wondering about the JAC appearing via telephone. I guess we'll have to wait and see. It's times like this I'm glad I learned patience in my old age!

FRG said...


Thanks for the update! You are amazing!!

Thanks MuzikMan!!!!

Okay, so now I understand, LB hired a new lawyer, Brandon Sparks is giving the State's attorney hard time to be deposed. Hmmmm!!! There is also a possibility that the defense asked for these witnesses to not be forthcoming. Please don't hate me for saying that, unfortunately they (defense team) are not the most trusting people, we have read a lot of their BS already.

I also have a question... Brandon Sparks was interviewed by the defense right? Has he been deposed already? Not that I can think of. So, if BS (wow, his initials fit him as a glove... LOL!!) was not deposed he can change his testimony so he won't be perjuring himself right? Is that how it works?

Tomorrow will be the day of decisions!!! Can't wait.

ritanita said...

FRG, Brandon is just one of the examples here. In his case, the State has no statement from him (that he gave to the defense). Therefore, the State is clueless as to what he will testify to. Under Florida Law, both sides have the right to depose witnesses from both sides.

Right now, the State is pursuing Brandon through the State of Washington. There are legal ramifications to refusing to be deposed, don't know quite what they are, though. That would be for Judge Perry to decide.

Remember, Perry did say there would be "NO TRIAL BY AMBUSH" here. It's illegal in Florida.

Liz said...

Like Anakerie I query why the defense rather than the Court produced the amended notice of hearing - and in that regard it is interesting that the prosecution request for an extension of time is missing from the notice (or am I too paranoid?)

I would think the Court has advised someone that telephone appearances are not allowed - surely that has to be for the statement to begin "Per the court"?

Many thanks Ritanita for your analysis

Liz said...

I just reread the defense motion - "amended notice of hearing" and realise because it is written by the defense it does only include their items of interest for the hearing. No doubt anything that the prosecution (or anyone else) wishes to raise will be covered. My misunderstanding of who wrote the motion did lead to unnecessary paranoia.

The amended notice starts with "You are hereby notified that the undersigned ....will call up before the Hon Belvin Perry .... on the following .."

ritanita said...

Thanks, Liz! I have to be sure to get a good night's sleep tonight or I'll be nodding off the way I did this afternoon after reading the rest of the stuff!

Liz said...

I do hope your tomorrow is headache free - looking forward to your report on proceedings - and it appears they may be rather long proceedings

ritanita said...

I hope we ALL have a headache-free hearing tomorrow.

FRG said...


It's Friday finally!!!!

I am not sure this hearing will be a headache-free one! Every time I have to listen to their BS and JB whining like a baby I get a big headache. Thank God for aspirins!!

We should place a bet that JB will bring his iPad and "color-coded chart"!!! He is so annoying!!!

ritanita said...

FRG, I'm ready to rumble! I have re-read all the motions and have them neatly in order at my side.

I just heard that InSession will be carrying it live (probably on CNN live).

Meanwhile, I'm following Patrick Gonzalez DP hearing. It should be over just in time!

I'm hoping there are no headaches today... Otherwise, I'm considering buying stock in Bayer.

Just take a deep breath and dive in!