Monday, March 21, 2011

Casey Anthony: More Hearings This Week

Update! March 22, 2011 Defense wants a do-over. Yesterday, the defense filed a Motion To Vacate And In The Alternative Motion For Clarification. They are challenging Judge Perry's ruling concerning the Frye issue concerning Dr. Hall, the State botany witness. It's fifteen pages of argument as to why the judge's decision needs to review his decision. It is signed by Cheney Mason. It is worth a quick read. I wonder what the judge will do with this one? Note: As of now, the hearings are only scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. I just heard on InSession that the hearings will be 3 days! Go figure! Just be prepared. I hope that you are all rested from the hearings earlier this month because we are in for a heavy ride this coming week. March 23-25 are slated for the scientific motions and will have much more "heavy" content. All the hearings are scheduled for 9 AM. As for that last set of hearings, Judge Perry's decisions from last Friday have helped to shape what jurors will hear at trial. The videos and audio from the Anthony family will be in at trial time since they are not to be considered "Agents Of State". Casey's "stories" and demeanor will be heard and seen by jurors based on Perry's Order. I am sure that the defense is now looking for reasons to object to portions of these since Judge Perry, in his 15 page decision and after citing many legal precedents stated: Applying the preceding authority to the factual circumstances in the case at bar, the Defense claim fails. Testimony was presented at the hearing that approximately one hour elapsed between the Defendant's release from handcuffs and the arrival of Det. Melich. The Court finds that because the Defendant was released from the handcuffs and voluntarily remained to answer questions broke the causal link between the arrest and the Defendant' making of her oral and written statements to police, and, therefore, the statements do not have to be suppressed. As for objections, the judge made it very clear what objections would NOT be entertained by the Court. Furthermore, the statements are highly relevant, specifically regarding demonstrating consciousness of guilt. Moreover, the probative value of the statement is not outweighed by their prejudicial effect. As for the Anthony family members being Agents of the State, I think we all knew that wasn't true from the beginning. If fact, as I look back at the events that transpired after Caylee was declared "missing," it would seem the family felt that they were using Law Enforcement for their own purposes. Since the defense presented no evidence concerning Maya Derkovic, Robyn Adams, and Sylvia Hernandez, their conversations with Casey Anthony are to also be allowed. In addition, Judge Perry ruled on two science motions. The defense will be permitted to have the Chloroform motion heard at the Frye Hearings this week. On the other hand, the Root Growth issue will be left for the experts to argue at trial. We will hear the opinions of Dr. Hall vs. Dr. Bock. For the coming week, we will be hearing Frye issues as well as scientific issues not subject to Frye. I am no science guru, but here they are. Note I've included State responses where filed. Stain in car- filed December 30, 2010 Response- filed February 10, 2011 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 in s report?) 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." Canine Alerts-filed December 30, 2010 This motion to exclude evidence regarding the canine alerts was postponed from the March 2-7 hearings due to witness availability. Heart Sticker- filed December 28, 2010 Basically, this motion asks the judge to disallow any evidence of the "Heart Shape" sticker evidence as the evidence was not available to be observed by the defense. Spoliation of Evidence (Odor in Trunk) - Filed February 10, 2011 In the shortest form possible, I'll tell you that the defense wants that odor out. They claim 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. My question is, will the Court hear the cadaver dog motion first? Judge Perry has already ruled that layman opinion about the odor can come in. It sounds like Cindy and George Anthony's claim that the odor was that of rotting pizza, an idea long disproved on TV and other experiments, some at Oak Ridge. This motion will be very interesting to watch! Exclude Decomposition Odor- Filed December 29, 2010 (Frye Hearing) This is one motion that totally confounds me. It confounded the defense so much that it took a number of tries to get the defense to figure out what it was they were questioning as unreliable. It was not until March 4, at the time of his apology to Mr. Ashton, that Baez presented a "clue" as to what the defense was arguing. Baez Note Post-Mortem Hair Banding- Filed December 30, 2010 (Frye Hearing) Reply- Filed March 16, 2011 This reply includes 388 pages of which four pages are the actual motion. Among other items, it contains transcripts of a similar hearing in New York, which allowed the evidence into testimony. Ashton states in his motion that "The testimony will reveal, without contradiction, that using stereo-microscopy and the comparison microscopy is a generally accepted method of examination of questioned hairs. This technique is utilized in every laboratory in the world that engages in forensic hair examination." So much for "unproven scientific method" on those grounds. As for the actual hair banding, Ashton comes up with the transcript and another piece of fascinating information: The general acceptance of the significance of root banding has been the subject of a Frye hearing in the state of New York... The court conclded, based largely upon the testimony of Nicholas Petraco, and Dr. Peter DeForest, authors of the first referenced journal above, "that the methodology testified to by the defendant's experts concerning postmortem hair banding is generally accepted with the forensic scientific community"... It is interesting to note that in footnote 1 in the document, Ashton says, In this case it is interesting to note that the hair in question was examined by an expert in this area hired by the Defense who, after his examination, she declined to list as a witness. To date no defense witness is disputing the FBI analysts opinion in this matter. The expert referred to here is: Nicholas Petraco! Valhall has an excellent article up on the Hinky Meter about this topic. Do read it HERE. Cholorform- Filed December 30, 1010 Frye Motion to Strike- Filed February 15, 2011 (Denied by the court) Defense Response- Filed March 3, 2011 Judge's Order- Filed March 18, 2011 This is the final motion in the defense attempt to obliterate any evidence concerning the trunk of Casey's Pontiac Sunfire. I'm putting my faith in Jeff Ashton to be ready to argue all these motions and present his evidence. As they say, this isn't his first rodeo by a long shot! As far as the chloroform evidence is concerned, I again refer you to the Hinky Meter, source of all that is clearly understandable about confusing scientific issues. Caylee Anthony case: Chloroform and GC/MS Have a great day and another one tomorrow. Wednesday, we are back in court!


Sprocket said...

You make it so easy to understand ritanita!

KZ said...

Thank you ritanita for summarizing all of the Frye issues in one convenient spot! There are indeed quite a list of topics to be presented. Sounds like hearings are scheduled from 9-3 Wed and Thurs, but not yet scheduled for Friday. With all that to cover, I'm wondering if 3 days will be enough. They burned thru that much on just a few motions last week!

I also wonder if Dorothy Sims will be making her first substantial arguments this week. Judge Perry didn't accept her argument that observing and measuring rootlets constituted a scientific method for Frye, so I wonder if she will be the defense member to argue against Dr. Vass' work? Will for sure be interesting to watch it all unfold.

katfish said...

ritanita, thanks for summarizing the issues related to Frye. I too have been reading at Vals in an attempt to understand this 'scientific stuff'. I will be glued to my monitor Wed and Thurs and likely Fri.....this should be good!

ritanita said...

KZ, I don't know where I came up with the 25th as a hearing day. I do get a feeling, it could happen.

I'm crossing my fingers things go quickly, but I have my doubts after the last marathon.

I am also not quite sure what is left to be argued about the botany issue. There's a chance that its admissibility could also be still at issue.

Kristan said...

Thank you so much for simplifying this! It was so easy to understand and now I'm ready for tomorrow!

donchais said...

Geez, Louise!

Monica said...

I'm really confused about what the defense is planning. Since Zenaida is now back in the picture will it be that: Zanny took her, killed her, then broke into the Anthony house to steal duct tape and laundry bag and then after Casey went to jail she dumped her near their house? Any other ideas?

FRG said...


Thank you so much for your article! You should get a prize for listening to the hearings more than once! And I mean it!

I can't stand to watch KC's defense all over, it's like a torture to me! LOL

Funny but I am not ready or tomorrow, little nervous although I have total confidence in Mr. Ashton, I am sure he is prepared!

I have a feeling theses hearings will be long and it will take the 3 days.

Can someone pass me the advil, super strength, please! LOL

See you in court great Ritanita!

Anonymous said...

Almost everyone on the Casey Anthony jury will be a parent. The bottom line for me, as a parent of a child who was once tow and a half years old is illustrated by the following story:

After visiting the San Francisco Zoo with my daughter, I pulled into a 76 station right off of Lincoln Avenue (a 4 lane divided boulevard running the length of the South side of Golden Gate Park) to buy gas. I pulled up to the pump, leaving my daughter in the car.

I only walked 4 feet from the driver’s door to the pump, put in my credit card, filled the tank, and replaced the nozzle.

When I again turned to face my car, my daughter was gone!

Fear and panic choked me as I literally ran to every patron in the gas station shouting a description of my daughter and demanding to know if they had seen her. I made a complete spectacle of myself—people were staring and not in a good way.

Knowing time is of the essence in child abduction cases, I then dialed 911 on my cell phone—just as my daughter, who was playing a game with me, popped out from under our coats on the floor of the back seat.

That incident took five years off of my life and I will never forget it.

That is why no jury of parents will ever believe that this woman does not know where her daughter is.

There are two possibilities here: 1. The defendant killed her daughter through accident or neglect, panicked, and disposed of the body. 2. The defendant intentionally killed her daughter or acted with someone who murdered her.

In either case, the defendant must come clean now or she is going to be executed.

Anonymous said...

hey folks I'm really sorry BUT placing duct tape over a childs face i.e., breathing air ways is NO ACCIDENT so people need to get off this kick that Casey accidentally killed her kid!! my Lord people, the facts alone speak for themselves. DP for the killer