Thursday, January 27, 2011

Casey Anthony's Defense Asks For Delay

January 26 was the deadline for Jose Baez and his fellow defense team members to file all the expert reports ordered under sanction by Judge Belvin Perry.

Foolish me, I expected that Mr. Baez would have gotten the message Judge Perry sent and get the long over-due reports in. It didn't happen. Instead, Baez filed a Motion For Extension Of Time To Comply With Order For Expert Witness Reports! Later the same day, he filed a Notice of Unavailability for February 21-25.

Notable is the fact that notice states that

2. The undersigned request that no appointments, mediations, depositions, conferences, hearings or other legal proceedings be scheduled during that time.

I find it interesting that the "undersigned" is initialed as "WCS", and the names of Jose Baez, Michelle Medina, and William C. Slabaugh follow the signature.

Given that Monday, February 21 is a Federal Holiday, that leaves 4 work days during the month the State is supposed to be doing depositions. Their current deadline is February 28. The defense obviously feels that Judge Perry will willingly grant their 45 day extension and everybody else will have to stop working the case while he and his staff are "otherwise occupied". Casey Anthony has three other outstanding attorneys who could pitch in for 4 days! Why can't Cheney Mason, Ann Finnell, or Dorothy Sims take care of depositions? I would think Ms. Sims would want to be there anyway, since they are expert witness depositions.

As I've been contemplating the motion for the extension of the deadline, I've been listening to the January 3 hearing in which Judge Perry ruled with the State for sanctions. Baez & Co. managed to delay further by filing a Motion for Reconsideration. That motion dragged the issue out until January 20, when Perry made his ruling denying it.

With this background, it is astounding that the defense has not fully complied with the judge's order.

In the motion, Baez indicates that the defense has "...made a good faith effort to comply" with the January 6 order. Another phrase used to describe compliance is that they have "substantially complied in part...".

At this point in time, the defense has supplied the reports of Dr. Jan (sic) Bock, Dr. Kenneth Furton, Richard Eiklenboom (sic), Dr. Timothy Huntington, and Dr. Scott Fairgrieve.

Among the missing are reports from:

Dr. Henry Lee -- he will not be called as a witness

Dr. Michael Freemen -- withdrawn from the defense witness list

Dr. Leeson -- will only consult with the defense

Dr. Werner Spitz -- is not available (while the defense put this under seal, it is widely known Dr. Spitz has had surgery and is recuperating) He also has been on the case from the discovery of the remains and did his "autopsy" two years ago. He should have already written a report!

Dr. Barry Logan -- the defense "anticipates" compliance, but they haven't been able to get him on the phone lately

Dr. Bill Rodriguez -- has not yet had the opportunity to review all the information as he was recently retained

Dr. Kathy Reichs -- is traveling and needs more time (although she has been on the case from the beginning).

Baez again cites financial reasons for all these experts not having the opportunity to meet together to "properly consult with and furnish all information needed, in order for them to reach well-informed opinions." Hello, what ever happened to Skype and all sorts of teleconferencing media?

Also, Baez actually puts the blame on the Court for ordering that precludes "testimony that is not either in reports or disclosed in deposition".

The kicker here is that Baez tells the court that he will have a "unique opportunity" to meet with, "Reichs and Rodriguez prior to them rendering their opinions as they may have additional opinions after review of additional material."

Could it be that Mr. Baez has asked for 45 days so that he can travel to Chicago where these two experts will be attending the Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting?

Now, I would love to know how the State is going to reply to this astonishingly audacious document. Will they file an objection? Will they file another motion for sanctions? Will they file a motion for both?

Regardless of what they do, the defense is fighting tooth and nail to avoid completing discovery in accordance with the court rulings and in spite of having already been sanctioned.

Jeff Ashton must be very hot under the collar about this and I'm sure he's conferring with his superiors up the chain of command on how to handle this situation. A beautifully crafted reply takes time and effort to create. I'm just anxious to see it!

I don't even want to think of what Judge Perry is thinking. He will start this trial on time in spite of the devious defense tactics. Will there be sanctions? Will the defense be held in contempt?

Stay tuned for the next chapter of this saga.

Just in! News 13 has just put up a short article about tomorrow's document dump. It seems there will be a lot of information about the investigation of Laura Buchanan. I hope they are right on this. The whole nasty TES situation has been one of my major complaints in this case.

I'm glad we are having a snowy weekend. I can spend my "snow days" reading!


FRG said...


What a wonderful article! Thank you so much! 

What does a "substantially complied in part" mean? Let me go back and remember some of Cindy's words... my daughter may have said "half truths"... *insert rolling eyes* here. Well, either you comply with an order or you don't... and there are no half-truths either! Did Cindy help JB to file this motion? LOL

I know my comparison does not make any sense but what the he@K! Nothing makes sense coming from this case. When you think you have seen everything in this case... there you have more "gibberish"!

I can't wait to see what HHJP is going to do... at this point in time he may be really tired of JB's antics but what do I know right?

Good thing is tomorrow we may have the opportunity to read LB's deposition and maybe the TES paper she filed out and were to be analyzed. Let's see if she changed her tune.

I am hoping we learn if defense has turned over the DNA touch report to the State. Some people say defense has to turn over "any result" good or bad but I am no lawyer so I will have to wait and see.

donchais said...

Baez and his arrogance continue to amaze!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is Baez better have one hell of an explaination prepared for the delay of the reports as well as have a darn good reason for his staff & him being out of pocket off in February. Baez is out of control and he will be lucky if the Judge does not throw him in Jail to ensure that he is working on the case 24/7.

ritanita said...

Actually, we don't know the reason for Baez & Co.'s need to take the week off from the case and I don't know if the State has any depositions scheduled for that time. I just mentioned a likely possibility that's floating out there the past day or so.

However, I don't thing the State or the judge will be happy with that idea.

Let's hope we hear something tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Bill Rodriguez -- has not yet had the opportunity to review all the information as he was recently retained"

How does a broke defense team "retain" another expert witness? i don't get it. why doesn't the JAC get all over stuff like this? what about the other experts come and gone how many times do they get to spin before they're out of let's go fishin for results favoring us? disgusting and maddening

ritanita said...

According to the paperwork, the defense filed a motion for a taphonomist on November 24, 2010. The JAC filed a reply on November 30, 2010.

As if this date, there has been no hearing on the motion.

While he is on the defense witness list, the motion states that he is acting as a consultant.

At this point, the defense is waffling over who will testify as an expert and who will consult.

As for payment, I have no idea how much they are paying him and where the money is coming from.

Let's hope the expert/consultant issue is straightened up when the defense files an amended witness list.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, Ritanita
Excellent post, FRG - ITA.
Y'all took the words out of my mouth & I have nothing to add.

FRG said...



I noticed when the defense's attorneys left the case they filed a Motion For Withdrawal right?

What's upstetting is that JB keeps his game of words, on the Motion he states:

f. Dr. Henry Lee's report has become moot as explained in the Defense's Motion For Reconsideration, as it has not become necessary to call him as a witness.

Do you know if JB has to file a final Ammended Witness List?

I know HHJP said no "trial by ambush" and therefore no report presented, the expert can't testify but maybe it is just one more reason to an appeal in the future. I am not a lawyer but it's bothering me.

Thanks Ritanita for your hard work!

ritanita said...

I don't know what the defense is up to, but there will be no "trial by ambush" regardless of what the defense may try.

Judge Perry has made that abundantly clear.