Yesterday's session came to an abrupt halt when a white-shrouded Casey Anthony became "ill" and Judge Perry called a halt to the gruesome testimony of Dr. Gary Utz. There has been a great deal of debate as to whether or not Casey was really sick, or doing a visual lie. It might have helped if she hadn't had the clothing prop she used to show her distress, cocooning her body, including her hands. It kept me watching her as her head dropped lower and lower as the afternoon session went on. Whatever "got" to her wasn't what she was seeing. Except for a short glance at the first picture with Caylee's skull, Casey couldn't watch.
Perhaps Casey's "illness" was a case of reality coming back to "bite" her and she knows she's in deep trouble. Nevertheless, the trial will continue and Dr. Utz will complete his testimony today. From what I understand, it won't get any better. We should be hearing from forensic anthropologist Dr. John Schultz and Chief Medical Examiner of District 9, Dr. Jan Garavaglia (Dr. G. for the remainder of my reporting). For an excellent analysis of the situation, watch Kathi Belich and attorney Bill Sheaffer's discussion on WFTV. The question for today is: will Casey asked to be excused from attending today's session?
A few minutes before court was to come to order, there was a flurry of activity through the door to Casey's holding area. Lawyers for both sides and the court stenographer were seen to enter and leave. I was thinking that they brought Casey to the courthouse to assess her condition to see if she was able to attend the proceedings today.
Not long after the attorneys left, Casey entered the court in a black jersey top and sat down at the defense table with a purse in front of her face to block the view of her discussion with Ms. Frye.
The defense team then exited the Judge's chambers.
Judge Perry took the bench and the jury was called in. He also made the same warnings to the audience about not making faces or gestures while the sensitive pictures were shown.
Jeff Ashton continued his direct examination of Dr. Gary Utz, beginning with the photograph of the front of the shorts. Ashton asked him to explain the condition of the shorts. He said they were consistent with a state of decomposition.
Utz then identified the tag from the shirt found at the crime scene and the tag from the shorts which showed the composition of the fabric. Next came the letters from the shirt that spelled Big Trouble. There was then a split/screen presentation showing the letters and the original shirt. Casey continued to look down to avoid the pictures. Their were also pictures of the neck of the shirt and the tag that indicated it was size 3T. The upper item was a piece of unidentifiable material below it was blanket.
Dr. Utz then reminded the jury that the duct tape was released to the FBI for analysis.
After his initial examination, he did visit with Dr. Garavaglia and made two visits to the remains scene.
Dr. G. returned the Friday afternoon, December 12, and his involvement was lessened.
Cheney Mason cross-examined Dr Utz. He elicited that Utz is a Board Certified forensic pathologist.
Mason asked if Utz was aware of the "hoopla" about the case and if he knew about the media coverage.
Dr. Utz pointed out there was some discussion at the morgue, but, since the remains the remains had not been found, it wasn’t the main topic of conversation.
Mason then went on to the role played by Dr. Utz. He explained that Dr. Garavaglia took over the case when she returned because she had a good relationship with the police and the fact that he was a newer employee. Mason tried to get Utz to say that Garavaglia took over the case because of its high profile. Utz said that Dr. G. took on the case for the reasons mentioned above.
(I’m waiting to see Mason cross examine Dr. G. to see if she took the case away from Dr. Utz because she wanted the publicity!)
Mason said that Utz could have done the case himself! Mason then said that there was no duct tape on the left side of the skull. Utz said that the tape extended to the mid line at least. There was no duct tape completely around the head.
Utz also pointed out that there were points of adherence on the left side. He took a photograph of it, but didn't do any testing of it. She didn't swab the tape either. He was careful handling the tape, wearing gloves and a protective suit. Utz could not identify any human tissue on the tape. He only did a preliminary examination to provide material to the FBI lab and the duct tape for analysis.
Mason asked if he found no signs of trauma in the bones. Utz said that here were no broken bones. There were no healing fractures either.
He did not resect the calvarium (cutting and removing the top of the skull).
Mason then asked that, if the body had been found 4 months earlier, would there have been more evidence. Utz said it was possible.
Utz told Mason he worked a bit with Dr. Shultz, a forensic anthropologist. He did not participate in testing for toxicology (objection/sustained) He did not sign the final report with Dr. G. Mason mentioned a toxicologist, Dr. Goldberger. Utz had no dealings with him.
Mason then moved on to the position of the mandible. Mason asked if Utz held the skull, and when it was moved on the table, the mandible did not come off. Utz said that was so. Mason asked Dr. Utz if he knew the cause and manner of death. Utz said that he did not. Mason stated that Dr. G. declared the manner of death as homicide and asked if he had rendered an opinion in the case and Utz said that he had not.
Jeff Ashton did re-direct then. He asked about the left side of the head. Ashton asked Utz about a picture. Utz indicated that the tape was lifted on the right side.
Dr. Utz was excused.
Dr. John Schultz, the forensic anthropology from the University of Central Florida was the next witness. He is an assistant professor and his specialty is forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology.
Schultz went through his credentials and explained the difference between the two fields in which he is an expert. He also explained some of the work he had done in the field. He also said that the professors at UCF are expected to work within the community. He made himself available to the local law enforcement agencies in skeleton cases. In doing so, he formed a working relationship with the Orange County Medical Examiner's office. He has served as a local resource for them.
He received calls from Hanson and Dr.G and was asked to go to the scene to assist in the process of recovering the bones. He wasn't available to go the first day until late. By the time he was available that day, the main remains had already been removed.
He first saw the skull in the bag and saw the duct tape. He tore the corners of the bag and laid it flat so the skull would not be disturbed. He was present for the initial documentation. He held the skull up so that it could be photographed.
Dr. Schultz testified that the mandible was in close to anatomical position. It was surprising for him to see it from a surface recovery. Usually, the mandible will fall off with all the soft tissue gone. He also testified that the tape did not have a role in holding the mandible in place. It was more the hair and roots.
Ashton again asked if there was any evidence of trauma to the bones and he repeated that there wasn't.
Schultz had an advisory role with the Sheriff's Office in aiding in the recovery. The scene posed many difficulties. It was a child's skeleton with bones that would not have all joined yet. It was also a heavily wooded area. They decided to process the scene from the original site and process the area on hands and knees, removing the leaf litter and sifting the materials through screens the material that was removed. The Sheriff's Office was in charge of photographing to document the process.
Dr. Schultz testified that he was not in charge of the mapping process, it was done by the Sheriff's Office by using a computerized transit.
Dr. Schultz examined the remains found while he was at the site. As they found bones, they placed flags at the spot. This would help in explaining how the bones were disarticulated and spread around the site.
Once a bone was found, it was his job to identify if it was a bone, if it was human, and what the bone was. A photograph shown was of a vertebra with plants growing through it. The vertebrae were in separate pieces.
Not all the vertebrae were located in one area. The important fact was that some of them were found in a different area. From what I could discern from the testimony, a child’s vertebrae are no all firmly attached and the different sections were dragged to separate areas while there was still soft tissue holding each the sections together.
The next photograph was of a bone fragment. It was located 6" below deep roots. It was located in lane 5 and was probably discovered by sifting.
There were two bones in the next photograph. There was femur and a smaller bone. The top of the femur was chewed on by animals and the fragment could be put into place.
Cheney Mason called for a side bar as Casey heaved her shoulders and was comforted by Dorothy Sims.
After the bench conference ended, Judge Perry called his morning break recess for 20 minutes. Casey went back to the holding area. (I wonder if she was “losing it again.) At the end of the break, Casey walked out of the holding area holding a large wad of tissues, or was it toilet paper?
Jeff Ashton then continued with Dr. Schultz. They were still on the picture of the bone with the piece of bone that he said fit with the larger bone.
There was a photograph representing hand and finger bones. The photograph was important because it documented the bones for the hands were so tiny he used a quarter to reference the size. (That picture was probably added in to show how thorough the searchers were in looking for those tiny bones.)
The recovery of the bones took from December 11 to December 20.
Next up were a picture of two bones that were found. They were part of the pelvis. One of the bone had carnivore damage and adipocere. It was significant that one of the bones was found almost completely buried in the muck.
The next picture showed the entire skeletal bones laid out in anatomical order after all the bones were recovered.
Dr. Schultz said that even with an adult skeleton, even intact, it was ususal to find all the bones. Here, they collected all but one tooth, a vertebrae, but only one bone of the right foot (due to carnivore activity. (I’m sure I missed some of the bones that weren’t recovered.) Dr. Schultz said they were fortunate to find so many bones.
Shultz then went into the dispersal of the bones. Since the doctor referred to a chart, it was difficult to follow what he was explaining.
Area A was the primary depositional area, where the initial separation of the body parts took place. At A, the head, arms, and legs separated. He then explained how, as more bones were located, they widened the area of the search.
In area A, the skull, the bags with other bags (arms, hand bones, lower legs and left foot) were immediately located.
In area C be the upper arm bone (humerus) was located.
In area F they found the lower leg bones, the pelvis, the torso. It would indicate that the trunk with the femurs still attached when dragged to the location by carnivores (meaning that they were still attached by soft tissue). There was carnivore damage on several bones.
In area D, only one bone was found, the only bone for the right foot.
In area E, they found one hand bone.
In area G they found the spinal column with the ribs attached. It was consistent with animals having been dragged there intact and then suffered carnivore damage.
I couldn't keep up, but the dispersal map showed that parts of the spinal column being dragged as a unit. The spinal column was probably not fully fused, which explained why it was pretty much found in two parts.
Based on the dispersal pattern, Dr. Shultz said that the body was not necessarily intact, but that the disarticulated part would have originally been there. The condition would have been due to normal decomposition.
Somehow, I can't imagine Roy Kronk taking all these bones and planting them so a forensic anthropologist could accurately explain how the bones were disbursed. Roy even managed to bury some in just the right location! That would have been some staging!
With the buried hip bone and other information, the doctor was asked if he could say how long the body might have been there... Mason objected and there was a side bar.
When Jeff Ashton took the podium again, he offered the witness as an expert in forensic anthropology.
Schultz pointed out that many bones were under the leaf fall, so it had to be there prior to the leaf fall. The partially buried bone would probably have been buried by water movement and suspended soil during heavy rains during the summer. It was close to a big palmetto trunk, in area F, the lowest area.
Based on the Taphonomy of the area, he stated that the bones were completely dry and no decomposition odor. They showed erosion. Combined with the root evidence, the bones could have been there for a period of 6 months.
The dispersal of the bones was largely due to animal activity based on the chewing on the bones.
Some of the small bones that were missing, animals could have carried them away.
Cheney Mason did the cross examination.
He first asked if the bones were x-rayed and if in studying them, there was no indication of peri-mortem trauma (near the time of death). There was no evidence of twisting or torqueing of bones. Schultz said he had the x-rays and testified that there was no evidence of trauma to any of them prior to death.
Mason then referred Dr. Schultz to a paper copy of the map. He asked if the doctor could say how far area A was from the edge of the road. He said about 20-? feet. He said he did not do the mapping and measurements of the scene.
Mason then asked if he knew when the disbursement took place. He also asked a number of questions which confused the doctor, or were difficult to answer.
Mason said that he had no scientific evidence to say when the disbursal took place. The doctor agreed.
Dr. Schultz refused to answer that he could not say how the child died. He could only testify to pre-mortem trauma or lack of it.
Mason did get Schultz to say that the nasal aperture was not covered with duct tape.
Ashton then did a brief re-direct.
Jeff Ashton asked about the duct tape over the nasal cavity. To Schultz, it appeared to cover the mouth. He couldn't testify to the nose itself, because the nose wasn't there.
It would seem that Ashton put up either a picture of the skeleton or a diagram of one and had him circle the bones which were found in each area. While Schultz couldn't do it easily, by relying on his notes, he was able to give a pretty good idea to the jury of where the bones were found from a skeletal perspective.
When Jeff Ashton completed his questioning, the witness was excused.
There was another sidebar at that point. It was very brief.
Jeff Ashton called the state's next witness, Dr. Jan Garavaglia!
(I'm batting 1000 today in my predictions!)
She has been the Chief Medical Examiner for Orange and Osceola counties (District 9) since 2004. She gave her previous positions and listed her educational credentials.
She first learned of the possibility that the remains of Caylee Anthony may have been found the afternoon of December 11, 2008. She was on the way to the airport at the time and he told Dr. Gary Utz to initially handle the case until she got back the next day. She made sure that Dr. Schultz was notified. Since such recovery takes time, she didn't feel her absence would have an effect on the case.
When she returned, she reviewed all the photographs that had been taken. She went out to the scene and made suggestions as to what more should be done. She also suggested other consultants who should be brought in.
Ashton first showed Dr. G. a picture of the hair mat. It was first sent to the FBI and returned to her. It was one of the photographs she reviewed at the beginning of the case.
Dr. G. noted that there was a lot of root growth throughout the hair. There were some holes in the hair mat from insect activity.
Another photograph showed that some of the hair was teased out for a sample for possible toxicological study. The next picture had a scale next to a root for further study.
Dr. G. photographed the baby blanket that was found. A closer photograph showed the figures on the blanket. It was the figure of Winnie the Pooh with Piglet on its back. A photograph of the other side of the blanket showed that there was plant material growing through it. Three more pictures of the blanket showing root growth were shown, with rulers next to it. (This will help with Dr. Hall's testimony!)
There was also root material growing through holes in the two plastic bags.
The canvas laundry bag did not have roots growing through it because of the vinyl lining. It was growing into the bag.
There were no roots in the shorts, the shirt was disintegrated, but there were roots growing in the bones further out.
To identify the child, they used DNA. Her office sent a bone off for identification by the FBI. The bone was returned after the testing. The portion of the bone that was missing was the part of the right tibia the lab used to test for DNA. The remains were identified as those of Caylee Marie Anthony.
Ashton then led Dr. G. to how she determined the manner of death and cause of death.
She described how that she had to take many different factors about the case to determine the manner of death.
There was then a side bar.
I would suppose that because the questioning was moving on to a new topic, Judge Perry decided to break for lunch until 1:30
This afternoon session began a little late, at 1:39. The lawyers approached the side bar and all of a sudden, Casey left the room rather quickly. A few minutes later, she returned.
Dr. Jan Garavaglia took the stand to continue her direct examination with Jeff Ashton. When we left, the subject of manner and cause of death was being discussed.
Jeff Ashton moved the laundry bag, the Pooh blanket, and the body bag with vegetation. Also moved int evidence were the tied, black plastic bag, the untied plastic bag, the shorts, the clothing, letters and stitching, and the hair mass.
Dr. G. explained the manner of death is comprised of scientific information as well as other pertinent information to come to a conclusion. It was her opinion that the manner of death was homicide.
She based her opinion on three main items. First, it is a red flag that, the child was not immediately reported with an injury. Secondly, the body was hidden in a container such as a suitcase or plastic bag. Finally, the duct tape was located on its face. She said that there is no reason to put duct tape on a person after they die.
She then explained that cause of death is the injury or disease which ultimately results in the adult or child dying. In this case, based on the skeletal condition of the remains, the death was determined to be by undetermined means.
It was possible that items found at the site caused the death, namely, the duct tape and the plastic bags. A child could also die from an exposure to chloroform.
Dr. G. felt she had enough evidence to say that it was a homicide but with a decomposed body, it wouldn't be possible to determining other causes of death. The child had no history of illnesses which could have led to death.
Cheney Mason conducted the cross examination.
Mason asked her if she was aware of the media attention about the case. She said she was, but hadn't heard about the circus atmosphere. She said she listened to NPR!
Dr. G. told Mason that she had hoped the body would be found in Lake County. Among the things Dr. G had known earlier, was that there was chloroform involved. She said her investigator told her.
Mason asked if she reasoned that chloroform could have been a reason for the death She said she called in Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a toxicologist. She sent him a piece of bone to be tested for chloroform and other volatile chemicals. Dr. Goldberger checked for them and the results were negative.
Mason asked if she was present when Dr. Werner Spitz... Ashton objected and we went to side bar.
The side bar broke up and Mason asked again to ask if Dr. Werner Spitz had come down to observe her autopsy. Dr. G. explained that Jose Baez had sent a request for him to observe, but it was against the policy of the ME’s office.
Then, he asked if she knew Dr. Spitz did another autopsy. (objection/sustained)
Mason then returned to Goldberger and asked what he tested. He tested bones, scrapings of marrow, and material washed from the cranial cavity. There were more items as well. All the tests were negative.
Dr. G. testified she did not open the cranium. There was no ante-mortem trauma on the bones, only post-mortem trauma from animal activity. She stressed to Mason that there was no trauma found on the bones.
Mason then told Dr.G. that there is no scientific or medical reason that could be determined to be the cause of death.
Dr. G. said that the circumstances of the death made the decision. She learned some of those factors from Yuri Melich. Mason tried to get her to say she used what she learned from the media and she strongly disputed that.
Dr. G. said she looked at all accidental drownings. 100% of the time, they are reported to EMS.
Dr. G. also mentioned studies that have been done about the way homicides occur, there was no other logical conclusion she could make.
Putting a child in a bag or finding duct tape over the face and the body being hidden are associated with homicides.
Mason brought up the possibility that the child's body was deceased. Dr. G. said even when bodies are stiff, parents call 911.
Mr. Mason kept hammering on Dr. G. She kept going on about the aspects she had mentioned before and there was an objection and a lot of back-and-forth between Ashton, Mason, Judge Perry, and Dr. G!
Dr. G. said that if the body had been found 4 or 5 months before, she absolutely had a better chance of finding the cause of death.
Cheney Mason then conferred with Jose Baez for a moment and Mason ended his questioning.
Chalk one up for Dr. G.! She held firm to her convictions and ended up hammering Cheney Mason with common sense.
Jeff Ashton then did re-direct. He brought up the second autopsy. She kept the remains in the same condition as when she found them to allow for that, with the exception of the bone material sent for testing.
Ashton asked if the tests for chloroform would show short-term usage. Dr. G. said it would have been unusual to find it in the bones, but they tested anyway.
Dr. G. testified that if the body had been discovered in August, it would have been skeletonized. The internal organs would have been completely gone.
Mason had no re-cross and Dr. Garavaglia was excused.
The next witness was Dr. Michael Warren of Pound Human ID Lab. Judge Perry sent the jury out and treated them to desserts during their wait. Obviously, a proffer was in the offing.
Dr. Warren had worked with Dr. Schultz on the case and, along with Dr. G, thought there was a possibility that the duct tape could have been wide enough to cover Caylee’s nose and mouth and suffocate her.
Baez interrupted by saying that he thought that the prosecution was going with death by chloroform!
Dr. Warren explained that he had created a video using the skull had measurable points and scale and the duct tape, which had a picture with a scale. By matching the scales, he could create a video which essentially would show how a single piece of the tape could cover both the nose and the mouth. He found a picture of Caylee on the internet which seemed recent, and scaled it based on the measurements of the skull.
He then created a video which showed how the tape on the living child would have suffocated her and also showed the decompositional progress back to the skull. (Since we weren’t able to view the video, that’s my best guess and I’m sticking to it!)
Both sides argued the issue (too rapidly for me to take down). During the process of explaining all of this, the video was shown and Casey watched it with an unusual look on her face.
Judge Perry asked Dr. Warren a few questions about the video. Perry asked the purpose of the tape. Warren explained that it was to show the possibility that the tape was over the nose and mouth. The scale of the tape to the skull was. He was able to scale the face to the skull, using the landmarks. He also told Perry that video would help him in his testimony to the jury. He would be able to testify without it. The disadvantage was that the jury might not understand it (in my words).
Judge Perry called for a 15 minute recess to review cases presented to him by Jose Baez. He also mentioned another case that he had.
Judge Perry ruled that the computer generated video could be used as a demonstrative aid. He pointed out that evidence in homicide cases is not very nice. However the video showed no blood or gore. Since both sides had debated the placement of the duct tape, it was up to the trier of fact to decide it's importance. Perry also said that he would read a limited instruction prior to the testimony of the witness.
Baez said that there were other issues brought up here, concerning the fact that his testimony could bolster Dr. Schultz's testimony would make it cumulative.
Perry said it would be cumulative if the state attempted to bring in a third anthropologist. Two would not be cumulative!
So, the video is in! Too bad we don't get to see it.
Dr. Michael Warren was then called to the stand to testify in front of the jury.
He gave his background and explained that the Pound lab is a working forensic anthropology lab which works on cases where the remains are skeletonized or burned. He also gave his educational background and other qualifications as a forensic anthropologist.
He was accepted as an expert witness.
Warren said that he had a special interest in determining the age of death in children and adults. He was contacted by Dr. Schultz and Dr. Garavaglia on December 15, 2008 to assist them in the case.
He explained that the mandible was in position and It was noteworthy because it is a lax joint. There is nothing to keep it in place after the soft tissue decomposes on the ground. When he was asked if he had ever seen a skull with the mandible in place and he said that he had cases in Bosnia and Kosovo where the decedents had tape over their faces.
Ashton asked if he was aware of the position of the tape on the skull. He said that it had moved. He determined that one width of tape would have been consistent to cover the nose and mouth through studying the various landmarks on a child's face.
Warren also used a method called video superimposition. He would take the skull of a decedent and a picture of the person who it may be. Using anatomical landmarks, it is possible to say that the person could be the same as the picture.
I've seen stuff like this on TV.
The identity of the skull wasn't the issue. He was able to scale the skull and the tape. Then they would scale the photograph of the decedent with the tape and the skull.
Ashton then proffered the evidence and it was received over the defense's objections.
Then, the video was shown to the jury.
I'm guessing that Casey isn't into reruns, she wasn’t watching it this time.
When the video was finished, Ashton mentioned that the outline of the tape was moving up and down. Warren said that it was to show that the tape could have been over just the mouth or over the nose and mouth.
Jose Baez conducted the cross examination with his handy-dandy easel and paper, wrinkled as usual.
Baez asked if he saw the duct tape attached to the mandible, and Warren said he didn't. He did a Quick Time video using Photo Shop. Baez also pointed it out that the picture of Caylee was of an uncertain age.
Baez also asked if his video provided two scenarios and that he couldn't testify that the duct tape had anything to do with Caylee's death. Warren agreed.
Baez then drew a model on his easel. He showed the hair mat, the mandible, the skull and the duct tape.
Baez said that Warren didn't know where the duct tape was. He said that it could have been used for something else.
Warren explained that he knew the duct tape was attached to the mandible because it was attached with hair and the fibers.
Try as he might, Baez can't get the duct tape away from the skull.
Baez showed a photograph to the witness and identified it as a photograph of the hair mat "on the floor" under the head. Slightly above it was the mandible. For the hair mat to be underneath the skull, something had to make it roll there to put it in that position. The duct tape made its way there with the hair. Warren pretty much agreed with Baez on these.
Then, Baez asked if the video was to appeal to the jury's emotions. (Objection/bench conference/jury asked to step out)
Baez then made a proffer. Baez asked him if the video was suggested by Mr. Ashton for a bunch of bad reasons like the one he said. Warren answered with a firm no to each accusation.
Since the jury was gone, we were treated to a five minute break.
When they returned, Jose Baez completed his questioning by asking Warren knew a third piece of duct tape was found 9 feet away. Warren didn’t know that.
Baez asked if his video demonstrated just one possibility. Warren agreed. Then, Baez said that there were other possibilities that could involve the duct tap for which he had no Quick Time Videos.
Jeff Ashton had Warren state that the duct tape had to be on the face prior to decomposition. He said that it was because it held the mandible in place during the decomposition.
Ashton then showed Warren the same photograph and stated that the hair was not under the mandible, it was posterior. Normally it will be seen where the hair falls behind the head and forms a nest. It preserves fairly well and lasts a while.
Baez had to do some re-cross. He asked Warren to look at a photograph. He pointed out the root growth under the mandible which could also hold it in place. The roots could also contribute to keeping the mandible in place. Warren agreed.
Ashton tried to ask a few questions which were objected to and overruled. Then, he set a foundation and tried again. Ashton pointed out that the hair had to fall off before roots could grow into it and the only thing that could hold the mandible in place prior to that was the tape.
Baez asked one more question and the witness was excused.
The next witness called was Michael Vincent. Linda Burdick questioned him and asked if he recovered some entomological evidence. He said he had.
The first envelope he identified was one that held maggots he had collected from the trash in a preserved solution which he collected and sent to Dr. Neil Haskell. She then showed him a second envelope and he identified a vial that contained pupae in the late stage of the life cycle. It was also sent to Dr. Haskell.
Jose Baez cross examined Mr. Vincent. They specimens were collected by him on August 28, 2008. Then, Baez asked if he processed the vehicle. (Don’t know why that ended up there in Baez train of thought.) Vincent has just described the insect pupae were in the later stages and Baez went on to ask Vincent more technical questions. When Linda Burdick objected and Baez was allowed to establish a foundation.
It turned out that Vincent had taken a course in entomology and had learned that an entomologist could pinpoint the exact age. Vincent said he could. Vincent stated that he saw no insects in the trunk of the car, but only in the trash at a later time.
Finally, we had our last witness of the day, Robin Maynard. In December of 2008, she was a CSI with the OCSO. She worked the site at Suburban Drive. She was responsible for collecting entomological specimens from the site.
She identified a package which collected pupae at Suburban Drive. She consulted with Dr. Neil Haskell and she also documented the location where she found the specimens.
Ms. Burdick brought up a number of envelopes with siemens collected by Ms. Maynard. She identified them all and they were placed into evidence. The sediments were sent to Dr. Neil Haskell.
She also packaged the heart-shaped sticker!
Jose Baez did some cross examination. She collected and packaged the insect specimens under the direction of Dr. Neil Haskell and it was thoroughly done. It was so thoroughly done that Haskell said he had enough!
Baez then brought up the fact that she located the heart sticker on a piece of cardboard in one of the lanes. She stated that was the lead in the sifting area and she didn't deal with the bigger items.
Baez tried to get out that the Suburban Drive site was a common dumping area. He tried to ask if this stuff had nothing to do with the case.
He then mentioned the school and that children walk there. Objection/sustained
Question asked again and objected/sustained again!
The witness was excused.
Judge Perry sent the jury back to their hotel and told them that court would resume at 9 AM tomorrow.
Baez felt he had to ask for a mistrial based on the superimposition video. It was based on a possibility and it was speculative. The testimony's prejudicial value outweighed the probative value.
Perry pointed out to Baez that the defense and the prosecution advanced theories as to the location of the duct tape. An didn't the witness testify that there were other scenarios? The judge also pointed out that the duct tape was not wrapped around the head as Baez had just said.
Ashton pointed out that the child did have duct tape on her face and was admissible based on the fact that it was a fair and necessary demonstration. (In fact it was more than fair, considering there were THREE overlapping pieces of duct tape and the video only used ONE.)
Perry pointed out that the judge could hold a decision on a mistrial until a verdict is read. In theory, a judge could read a verdict, and then rule on a motion for mistrial.
Perry added that in the future, he will wait until the end to give his rulings on mistrial.
If there are any legal eagles out there, please explain it to me!