Thursday, March 31, 2011

Casey Anthony Hearing - April 1 Hearing Homework

I'm being optimistic here and hoping the Frye hearings will end up by the end of the day on April 1. However, I have a feeling that things will drag on. Perhaps if we all cross our fingers, we'll get our wish.

There is some leftover business from the last hearing. Jeff Ashton presented his witness, Dr. Arpad Vass and Jose Baez did his cross-examination. We should be hearing from the defense and their experts on the matter at this hearing. One will probably be Dr. Kenneth Furton and another, Dr. Barry Logan.

I also believe that I heard Jose Baez say that he had another expert for the cadaver dogs. That would possibly be Dr. Logan, who spoke about cadaver dogs in his deposition. However, Jeff Ashton did mention at a recent hearing that Logan had backed away from testifying about them when they did his deposition. As for Dr. Furton, it will be especially interesting to hear what questions Jeff Ashton will have for him about his time in Oregon.

We will finally get to the rest of the motions in limine which have been hanging around for a very long time.

The first motion is the Motion And Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Defendant's Motion To Exclude Irrelevant Evidence Of Stain In Trunk Of Car. Here is what I wrote about the motions previously:

The defense uses the terms "imaginary, silhouette or fantasy image" to describe the stain. They argue that if found relevant, the information would be more prejudicial than probative. (Remember all the internet speculation that the stain is an outline of little Caylee's body in the fetal position, spurred on by comments by a lab worker?) Also, the defense argues that testing by the FBI indicated that the stain was not biological in nature. There was no DNA found.

The State reply, Jeff Ashton stated that "the State does not concede the accuracy of the statement of facts and does not stipulate that the defendant's burden of proof is satisfied by their mere claim that certain facts are true. If the history of this case has proven anything, it is that attorneys can make extravagant claims in pleadings that are not borne out upon closer examination."

Ashton points out that the Oakridge Labs tested the stain and found that it contains "volatile fatty acids consistent with decomposition" and that the stain was, "the approximate size of a small child."

The Spoliation of Evidence (Odor in Trunk) motion wants the odor or all mention of the odor in the car kept out. They want no mention from Cindy on the 911 call, no testimony from people who have previously smelled decomposition to qualify it as such. That would disqualify an awful lot of people who have testified to that odor! The defense cunningly amended their ancient Spoliation of Evidence motion to explain that there was spoliation of evidence due to the fact that the CSI's dried out the contents of the garbage bag. The defense claims that by allowing the various items to air out, they lost their odor. They also want to implicate here that the rotting garbage in the bag was the source of the odor.

Finally there is the Heart Shape Sticker motion. We all know that the supposed "heart shape" was observed by fingerprint examiner Elizabeth Fontaine is the only person to have seen the shape after "super glue fuming" and the image was destroyed by further testing.

These last two motions are about scientific issues, but are not Frye issues. There is a challenge to the quality of the evidence. As far as I can tell, there are no responses from the State on these. I am eager to hear them discussed from the prosecution point of view.

So we will have quite a couple of days! I look forward to watching the hearings with you all!


donchais said...

Great article! Will be watching with great interest!

FRG said...


Thank you so much for the article! Love you always do your research!

Did you hear today something to the effect that defense is not done with Dr. Vass' cross? Good Lord! Give the man a break! LOL

I believe it will be a drag and this will be going on saturday and probably Sunday, you know how JB is slow and can never get to the point... amongst other things I can't say them here! LOL

ritanita, is there a possibility that jurors will get to take a look at the Pontiac? I have seen many trials where the jurors will go to the crime scene, they get to look at some items... if this is the case, do you believe the smell of decomposition should be there by the time of the trial?

Pass the excedrin indeed! I have stocked up my medicine cabinet! Oh boy!It is going to be tough.

See you tomorrow in court!

ritanita said...

FRG, as I recall, Dr. Vass finished up his testimony last week. What isn't finished is the "Vass issue," the air testing he did on the trunk of the Pontiac. Jose Baez has yet to produce his witnesses, Drs. Furton and Logan.

I would love for the jury to visit the "crime scene" and get a whiff of the odor that is left. However, I have a feeling that Judge Perry might rule that the prejudicial value might outweigh the probative value.

Aside from that, who would want to introduce 20 people to that horrible sweet odor?

I went through a box of clothing my sister left with me when she moved out of my house. They were all brand-new clothes she had taken from the house of her husband's uncle, who had lay for weeks in his bedroom before anyone noticed he wasn't around.

I took one whiff and tossed them in the trash, because they reeked of human decomposition. I knew what it was immediately, I had smelled it before when my sister had come home one day from cleaning out the house. Her clothing literally reeked! I even threw away a boxed set of videos just because the boxes also reeked.

Believe me, that trunk still has the odor.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the defense team will get away with adding the Dr's to the witnesses list for the guilt phase? Judge Perry seemed unimpressed by the letters from the Dr's the defense submitted as reports.

ritanita said...


I have absolutely no idea on this. I do wish I could get my hands on those reports, though!

This situation is a first for me, lo the many trials I have seen. In my heart of hearts, I believe that the defense is getting pretty close to some sort of mental defense. I mean, these doctors would have to be testifying to her state of mind under the situation of IF she were innocent, she may act guilty because...?

This will be fascinating to see. That hearing is only a week from tomorrow.

FRG said...


Thank you so much!

I almost felt sick to my stomach from your explanation of the smell of decomposition, it's really bad! Ew! I haven't smelled it, not that I want to! LOL

Now, as far as the mental health experts, why would it fly with the jurors? I am almost certain the Anthony's will be thrown under the bus.

It's funny how the Anthony's lawyer, Mr. Lipman appeared confused in his statements to JVM yesterday! It's clear to me George is the most likely to be SODDI for all the reasons we already know, not that I believe for one moment George did it, but I believe KC's defense team will try to pin the murder on him and Mr. Kronk.

Can't wait to watch the "Chewbacca defense" in trial! LOL

ritanita said...

FRG, with this defense team, it's hard to tell who they will throw under the bus. The good news is that the State has deposed the witness involved with the altercation with George. If it's not in her deposition, it won't come in.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if any of the TV stations in the area and/or CNN will be videotaping the hearings on the weekend live?

ritanita said...

The best I can say is that if there are hearings on the weekend, we'll get them live-streamed on the local stations.

WFTV has been putting up the main testimony.

Let's hope they work weekends.