The defense managed to reinforce one point of Jose Baez' opening statement yesterday. This is a family that is that is clearly dysfunctional and lies. This has occurred before, but when Lee and Cindy's testimony didn't match up about the Hoover/Casey fiasco of a search, they proved their point. Of course, Lee was off by a month, but he still punched a hole in his mom's testimony. There were more important matters, though, where even the "great" Cheney Mason couldn't affirm. Roy Kronk, the "morally bankrupt" man who supposedly was a body-snatcher for personal financial gain, failed miserably. Even given the extra time Judge Perry granted him to dig up more dirt on Kronk, all Mason could do was bluster through the previous testimony again and indignantly offer up Mr. Kronk's auto repair bill for the jury to peruse for about one second! Today, we have grief counselor Sally Karioth coming in to testify in general about grief. I'm afraid the jury will be Pop Tarted in and out and not get much of her presentation. I'm usually wrong in my prognostications, but I'm pretty sure that this one won't be. Expect to see more (objection/relevance (or whatever)/jury sent out/sustained) types of entries all over the place!
Judge Perry was on the bench at 8:30 to hear the defense motion to re-hear the motion to declare the death penalty unconstitutional.
The defense team is nowhere to be seen and so far, no Ann Finnel on the phone!
Ann Finnel came up on the phone at 8:32. I didn't take too many notes because we've heard this motion heard before. The only difference this time is the Judge Martinez June 20 decision declaring the Florida death penalty unconstitutional. She rested on her motion.
Judge Perry asked if she had consulted with Casey Anthony. She said that one of her counsel had done so, however. Unfortunately, none of the other members of the defense was there. Casey herself said that she agreed with Ms. Finnel.
Jeff Ashton pointed out that the decision is not a final order and is under appeal In addition, the decision went only to the Evans case.
Ann Finnel read more from the Evans decision.
Cheney Mason was the first defense attorney to arrive in court.
Judge Perry then read case law on the issue. Each of the numerous cases dealt with Ring v Arizona on the Florida sentencing scheme. In every one, the law was declared constitutional and the convicted person was executed.
Casey Anthony didn't look very happy!
Judge Perry reserved ruling until prior to receipt of a verdict if that is the case.
Cheney Mason did not know of any issues to be addressed and court was recessed until 9:00.
Cindy Anthony was called yet again to the stand by the defense.
Jose Baez asked her if she had been aware of an incident involving Lee going into Casey's room at night. Cindy said no.
He tried to ask more questions about the topic and Linda Burdick kept objecting and there was finally a side bar on the issue.
The objection was sustained. Baez moved on to the fact that six months ago she believed Caylee was alive. He mentioned that in February, 2009 there was a memorial and Caylee's remains were cremated. Despite all that, she believed that Caylee was alive (objection/relevant/sustained)
He then asked if her ability to block it all out because of her faith? (objection/sustained)
He then asked if she blocked out the fact that Caylee was dead? (objection/sustained)
On July 14, she had a visit with Casey. It was the one where she said that George blew up at the media in response to a question the media about his opinion was that Caylee died by accidental drowning. (objections/sustained)
Then, he asked why she told Casey about the situation during her jail visit. (objection/relevance/sustained)
Baez then asked if this was a new theory? The new theory was that Caylee drowned in the pool. It wasn't a new theory, according to Cindy, it came from the media. Baez reminded her that she had told Melich about the pool ladder attached to the pool. She had also told other members of LE (objection/leading/sustained)
He tried again and said that it was not new, she was clarifying what happened. Cindy said it wasn't the first time she'd discussed it. The drowning theory had just come out in the media.
George blew up at the media and Casey had heard about it. When Baez said it wasn't true, that it had just happened, Cindy said she could have found out in the jail.
Baez had one more question (objection/sustained).
Linda Burdick got Cindy to say that Casey said "surprise, surprise" about the pool situation. (objection/speculation/overruled) She also pointed out that Cindy had told Casey about it.
Cindy testified that when they came into the jail that day, she was also upset about the media saying Caylee drowned in the pool.
Well, that went nowhere, fast!
George Anthony was the next witness.
Baez asked him about his law enforcement career when he said that he smelled dead bodies in the woods. (objection/sustained).
Baez properly refreshed George's memory with a previous statement about his saying they found bodies in the woods.
Baez asked how he knew his granddaughter would be found in the woods? George said the statement was about his experience in law enforcement and not the case. He accused Baez of taking his statement out of context. (objection/relevance/side bar/sustained)
Baez then asked if he'd smelled decomposition in the woods, in a house, and in a car before. George testified that he had.
The wooded area off Suburban Drive; Baez asked if he walked it. George said he walked the perimeter of the fence after Det. Allen asked if he could identify a toy found there. George also said he walked the streets of his neighborhood.
Baez kept trying to ask George if he was in a wooded area. After a number of objections, George mentioned that he was looking at a lot to use for a KidFinders tent. Baez asked if he was going to put the tent in the woods! George said it was a busy area which would attract people.
On July 16, when Melich arrived, he told him that the car had an odor, asked him about an Amber Alert, and was hysterical and upset and wanted the police to do something. After Melich got finished with Casey, Baez said that he spoke again to Melich that Caylee was gone and it had something to do with Casey. George said that Caylee was kidnapped and he was trying to put all the stories and information together. He was upset and falling apart.
Baez then went to the July 24 statement to LE, George told them the car smelled like human decomposition and he was 100% sure. Baez also stated that George said that Casey lived on the edge. George agreed. Then, he also said that Casey took things as far as she could and past that point.
Ashton had a problem with Baez’ question and asked that he read the full statement. Ashton was told to do so on cross. Then, Baez read the entire question. It was a comment about Casey being afraid of her mother and then said that Casey takes things as far as she can take them.
Baez indicated that he only had negative things to say about his daughter to law enforcement.. (objection/overruled) George said he probably did. Then, Baez referred to the jail visitation the next day. He pointed out that he said none of the negatives things to her. George responded that he wanted her to help him and wanted her to be upbeat.
Baez made a nasty comment and then said one day he was throwing her under the bus and the next day... (comment stricken) Baez insinuated that George was working undercover for the police with his daughter. He then asked if he didn't want to bond her out because he didn't want to put the house up for collateral. (stricken) He was then asked if George went to the grand jury to testify against his daughter? (bench conference/objection sustained) George was subpoenaed to testify!
Baez switched back to the smell in the car. He referred to his August 5, 2009 deposition. When asked then, George answered, "not human decomposition, I knew it was decomposition there... and so on." George had backed off his original statement. Ashton made an objection and asked Baez to read the complete context. Baez kept asking to stop and then he told Judge Perry to let him do his direct his own way. The judge made him continue. Baez stopped again, Ashton then made him go on to past the point where he asked himself, "please don't let this be my daughter or my granddaughter."
Baez repeated the question about decomposition and George said that the text that had just been read spoke for itself. He again testified that the trunk smelled like human decomposition. Neither his daughter nor his granddaughter were in the trunk. George then added that the garbage didn't smell like human decomposition. He denied that he said it was the odor of trash and said that trash doesn't smell like decomposition. He again repeated it smelled like human decomposition!
Baez mentioned that George didn't call police and later went to work. He said he was concerned and his emotions were all over the place. He said he knew what he did and he had no regrets about it. (I have to wonder if it was an extreme denial at that point.)
At that point, Baez mentioned the family media blitz. George asked for dates. Baez said he went to the media to support his daughter's innocence.
In late January, 2009, George attempted to commit suicide and left a note. Baez said he expressed guilt. Ashton expressed that the best evidence was the document. He also said he had no objections to it's introduction into evidence. George then testified that he had spent some time in the hospital. He said he wasn't really sure what he did. (Note the door being opened here!)
Baez then asked if the media appearances were to speak to the innocence of his daughter. He brought up the 48 Hours and being paid $20,000. George went off on a tangent against Baez. He said it had nothing to do with guilt or innocence. He did it for awareness of Caylee's being missing.
Baez asked if, while advocating for his daughter's innocence, was he on the Today Show. Baez said that the media appearances stopped when the allegations of excuse came out. George said the rumors were out for three years.
Jeff Ashton objected and we had another side bar.
After the side bar, Judge Perry called for a 15 minute recess.
When court came back into session, Jose Baez stated that there was a stipulation that was being printed.
Baez was now onto the topic of molestation. George said he'd never do a thing like that with his daughter. Baez reminded George of the possible penalties for child molestation a couple of times (objections/sustained) Baez asked if George would never confess to molestation a couple of times. George handled it by saying, more than once, that he would never do that sort of thing to his daughter. Baez then insinuated there was something ELSE he did (objected/sustained)
We moved quickly on to the gas can he reported stolen on June 24, 2008. It was the first time he had reported them stolen. Baez brought out that he knew Casey would take his gas. He said that he didn't know if Casey had taken it that time. Baez asked George if when he gave the gas can to the police, if it had duct tape on it August 1, 2008. George said it possibly did but he didn't remember. He didn't touch it at the time. This occurred after he had an argument with his daughter. Baez insinuated that he couldn't say that because there was no witness to the event!
Ashton, when Baez (as usual) didn't give a reference, was rather short with Baez. Baez went back to a deposition, he said that there was no duct tape on it. Then George was confronted with a picture of the can with the duct tape on it to identify. George denied putting the duct tape on it, he pointed out that the gas can was taken a second time by the police.
I recall reading the deposition and George was all over the place about the tape. The fact is, the duct tape was in the garage and any member of the family could have used it.
Ashton objection to Baez' accusation that George lied about the tape. There was no reference in the deposition given to support the question. Baez took a minute and came back. At the time of the argument with Casey, the can did not have tape on it. George also said that the plastic cap on the vent was missing. George essentially said he could have put the duct tape on it.
Baez had earlier objected to the narrative and was overruled. When he did the same thing again, Perry called the lawyers to the side bar.
Baez said he wanted to clear up ONE LAST THING. When Casey gave him the gas can on June 24, 2008, it had no duct tape. On August 1, it had no duct tape. George said that when it was taken from his shed, he could have put duct tape on it.
When asked to answer yes or no, George said no. Baez asked if the court reporter made a mistake (objection/sustained) None of the rest of the questions then asked made it into testimony.
Baez then read the sentence from the deposition, George's answer was that he didn't put the duct tape on it. George also testified that it came back with duct tape on it (based on the fact he blamed the police for doing it).
Jeff Ashton then cross examined Mr. Anthony.
August 5, 2009, Ashton asked if he believed that someone other than his daughter had killed Caylee. George agreed. Ashton also pointed out that George was upset and they sparred over the gas can issue.
Ashton then asked if George no longer believed... (objection/sustained). He almost got out the entire question that he no longer believed Casey was innocent!
Ashton then went on to the deposition where George stated he didn't believe his daughter killed Cayley.
When George learened that the remains of Caylee were found, he went through the whole gamut of emotional loss. Until that moment, he held out the hope that Caylee was alive. At that point, he broke down on the stand.
Ashton asked if it was about that time he went out and bought a gun. At that point, George was escorted off the stand by his lawyer, Mark Lippman. He needed time to compose himself.
The jury was sent out because there was an objection about the gun question. It was possible George was going to use the gun to force people to tell what they knew about Caylee’s disapperance and then commit suicide. Jeff Ashton said that he intends to introduce the suicide letter to prove that George had no idea who killed Caylee. Jose Baez raised the suicide attempt and Ashton provided case law to the judge. He would not offer it until his case in chief (rebuttal).
Judge Perry read the note and the two cases and asked for a proffer. Baez stated that the suicide note is hearsay and is not a dying declaration.
Ashton said it went to show the state of mind exception to hearsay. It established that as of January 22, 2009, George Anthony does not state any admission of guilt. It is relevant because of what it does NOT contain, the offenses the defense had accused him of.
There was a specific issue raised that Mr. Anthony knew what happened to Caylee and where she was. Ashton read the lines which buttressed his case before the judge.
Baez said that Ashton was creating a self-serving issue. He also said that George took blood pressure medication and a six-pack of beer in a very derisive manner.
Perry pointed out that Baez asked if George attempted to commit suicide. The state did not object. Baez felt that the reason for the suicide attempt was for the jury to decide. George did not have a free pass to write a note that he was innocent.
Perry asked if he thought that he was so guilty because he molested and police were on to him, so he decided to kill himself?
(Which was exactly where Baez was going with this. Without the letter in evidence, he felt free to insinuate whatever motives which would best benefit his client.)
Perry then said a witnesses state of mind is not normally an issue. It is very rare that it becomes an issue. The defense had made Mr. Anthony's state of mind an issue. Ashton said he was very happy for counsel to open the door. Perry indicated that Mr. Ashton was happy to walk through it.
There have been many implications that George had knowledge of the crime. Ashton pointed out Baez even asked if George felt guilt, but didn't want the jury to know what he felt guilt about. He said he planned to ask him about his thoughts and feelings about that time and have him read it. Judge Perry said that we would allow George to read the letter. He also said that he believed it would be admissible but wanted to do more research on it. Ashton can still cross about the suicide.
The suicide note issue will be introduced at rebuttal and Jose Baez was granted a proffer for Ashton's cross.
Under questioning by Ashton, George testified that he bought the gun to confront individuals who he thought knew what happened to Caylee. He based that on what Casey had told him. Someone came to their house and, because Casey was home, it was a violation of her release on bond. It was confiscated before he could use it. January 22, 2009, George went to a motel in Datona Beach with the intent to commit suicide. He wrote a suicide note to his wife and family. After reviewing the letter, he stated that it was a true and accurate statement of his thoughts, intent, and knowledge of that day.
George also sent text messages and called his sisters, his mother, and his father to tell them goodby. He wanted to be with Caylee. He felt he failed her.
In that note, he expressed some of the unanswered questions he had at that time.
Baez objected because most of it was beyond the scope of direct and none of it has anything to do with (lost sound, he turned his microphone off).
Baez then reviewed what he had questioned George about.
Ashton said Baez covered a wide range and scope.
Judge Perry said that the issue of suicide was brought out in the defense's examination of Mr. Anthony. They were a dealing with the logical progression to suicide and the gun had something to do with it. He would allow this line of questioning.
Ashton began with August, 2008. George bought the firearm so he could get answers from people who he felt had information about Caylee being missing. Based on what Casey told him, he was going to force them at gunpoint to tell him what happened to Caylee.
Law enforcement found out he had the gun and explained that it was not permitted in the house while Casey was there. It was a violation of her bond conditions. George never had a change to use it.
January 22, 2009, about six weeks after the remains were found, he traveled to a motel in Datona Beach to commit suicide. George decided to commit suicide because his emotional state was such that it was hard to accept that Caylee was gone. He wanted to be with Caylee. He talked to his parents, his sisters, his son, and his wife to say goodbye for the last time, although he never explained what he was going to do. George also mentioned spending time with Caylee.
In the motel, he wrote a letter and started out writing the letter to his wife Cindy to tell her how he felt and how he didn't want to be in this world anymore. He also had questions about what happened to Caylee. He was drinking and taking pills and he didn't quite remember what he wrote.
Ashton then showed the letter to George Anthony who recognized it as the letter he wrote to his wife and family as he prepared to take his life. If law enforcement hadn't intervened he would have been dead.
Ashton had no further questions.
Jose Baez then did re-direct.
Baez mentioned the "sparring" at the deposition with Mr. Ashton. George remembered that Ashton reminded him of his rights. When asked if the sparring was about the gas cans. George said they talked about a lot of different topics.
Baez mentioned that Casey was out on bond and house arrest. The first day, people came to talk to them about the situation. They were given a list of what could and could not be in the house. He knew that if the firearm was in the house, Casey could go back to jail. When the police came to confiscate the gun, Casey was almost taken back to jail. Baez also asked if, before she got out on bond, George never bought a gun.
Baez mentioned that George bought a six pack of beer. George said he didn't remember how much beer he bought. Baez indicated he was taking blood pressure medication. George said he took a large amount of medication, including pills to calm him down.
Baez mentioned the two search warrants. The one of December 11, 2008 was one where they went through a lot of his things. George went on that everything in the house was associated with him. They searched his car. It wasn't listed on the search warrant and they searched it anyway.
The gas can was confiscated then. George said he was not there when the search warrant was carried out. George said the entire house was turned upside down. Baez asked if the tape from the gas can was taken. George said he didn't know.
Baez asked if he ever saw that gas can again at his home. George went on about when exactly they came home. He accused Baez of making him upset. He rambled on about the house being totally tossed.
Baez brought up the Ritz Carlton and that he stayed there a couple of days. (objection/sustained)
George Anthony said he didn't remember seeing the gas can on the day of the search warrant on December 20. Baez again went over the fact that he had the warrant and a list of items taken.
There was the lunch recess and we would be back to continue the re-direct at 1:30.
The lunch hour was prolonged until nearly 2:00 PM today. George Anthony took the stand and the jury was called in.
George Anthony gave a short "hello" to Baez along with a sour expression.
Baez started off by discussing the second search warrant served on December 11, 2008. Baez asked if he had a confrontation with the police and was asked to step outside. George said that it had happened.
One later, he was subpoenaed for his fingerprints. (objection/sustained)
LE confiscated more items from the home and the next day the State Attorney's office issued a subpoena for his fingerprints. He was asked how often something like this happened. (objection/sustained) Baez asked if he submitted voluntarily, or if they had to subpoena him.
This was also about the time when the news of the Hoover video became public. (objection/sustained). Baez changed it to early in January.
George said he did not know about the video when it was released. Baez asked if he went to D. Casey what he was doing in the woods. He said he never did.
Baez asked if he knew he was being investigated. (objection/rephrase) Baez asked if the pressure was getting to him. George stated that from July, 2008, he was totally cooperative with LE. George was asked if his cooperation ended December 20 when he asked police to leave the home. George went on about the grief he was going through.
Baez pressed about the confrontation December 20. George said he was upset that day. He said that he didn't stop cooperating and others were being investigated as well.
Baez then went on to the suicide. Baez made it sound like he had told everyone that he was going to commit suicide, even him. After the alleged attempt, Baez pointed out that he immediately left the hospital to go to Putnam County. George said he didn't. Baez also wanted to know a date. George said he had no idea.
Baez was finished and Jeff Ashton did re-cross. He brought up the Larry King appearance. (objection/overruled) The purpose of the appearance was about the disappearance of his granddaughter and its effect on their lives. They were on their way home when they got the call that remains had been found.
When they arrived in town, they were taken to the Ritz Carlton. Someone arranged it on their behalf. He did not have a small window of privacy there (they did have some time on the plane) to deal with the news.
They talked to Mr. Baez later that evening and had dinner with him. (Baez asked to approach)
Ashton asked if George cooperated with LE, Mr. Baez, and anyone who could help him find Caylee. George agreed. Ashton also brought up that the 19th of December when final confirmation of Caylee's identification occurred. This gave the jury the opportunity to think about George’s behavior with the police during the search of the house the next day.
Ashton was finished and Jose Baez took over.
Baez then asked who paid for their stay was the GMA people. George said he didn't know who paid. He testified that he had to do nothing for that.
Finally, George Anthony was let off the stand.
Jose Baez then called Brandon Sparks to the stand. He is Roy Kronk's estranged son.
He is a 5-year veteran of the US Coast Guard. He goes to sea 3-4 months at a time. Baez asked if he became reacquainted with his father in 2008. Sparks said that he had reached out to him when he was rehabilitated from (objection/sustained).
In October, 2009, Sparks recalled a conversation he had with his father. He spoke with his father regularly in 2009. He lives in Washington now, but in 2008 he lived in Virginia Beach.
They mostly talked by cellular phone. In July-December 2008, he spoke about the case with his father (objection/hearsay). Baez asked if his father spoke to him about the case. Kronk told him he knew where the remains were in November, 2008. He never named the name. He also called on December 11. Sparks asked why he waited so long, but Kronk wouldn't say. Sparks said he made other statements about the case as well.
Baez then asked for his phone number. Baez then referred to records. It was stipulated that they are Brandon Sparks cell records. Sparks had voluntarily provided them.
Brandon said Kronk had found Caylee's skull prior to December 11. He alluded to a call from his father around Thanksgiving. Other than that, Sparks said he holds no ill will against his father.
Baez was done.
Linda Burdick stated he had followed both his father and his mother in the Coast Guard. She pointed out that It wasn't until October, 2009 when he signed a statement regarding the call. Ms. Burdick showed him the phone records and asked him to identify the calls between his father and him. Sparks found that easy to do since they were highlighted.
Burdick asked him if when he contacted his father, he didn't tell his mother about it. Sparks said that was so.
This must have been totally understood by many jurors. They already knew that he had been estranged from his father from the age of 8. How many of them know of families where fathers are excluded from the lives of their children. How many of them know how, in so many of those cases, the custodial parent poisons the child against the absent parent?
Burdick then had him identify the specific call in November that he was referring to. He said he couldn't due to the numerous calls between them and because he'd forgotten about it. He realized he'd had the November conversation when he got the December 11 call. Sparks did see him on TV that day. She reminded him that Kronk was not before the press until later on.
Baez did re-direct.
Sparks said that he made the statement in 2009 when the defense investigator (Mort Smith) located him. He also said that law enforcement never spoke to him.
Jose Baez was finished.
Linda Burdick asked if Roy Kronk had told him he had taken the skull from some sort of scene. Sparks testified that he just said he located the skull, that he’d called LE, he was going to be on TV, and he hadn't seen him since he was 8 years old.
Baez asked if his father told him he was going to be rich and famous. Brandon said he did.
The witness was excused.
Roy Kronk was then called to the stand. Baez went back to December 11, 2008.
Baez reminded him of his first report where he said the skull rolled out of the bag. Then, he gave a recorded interview with LE.
He showed Kronk the statement where he said he put the meter stick in the eye socket. Kronk agreed that it wasn't there. He reiterated that the skull dropped out of the bag.
Baez indicated that in that statement, he never mentioned he called LE 3 times. Ms. Burdick objected that Mr. Mason examined Kronk it for hours and hours and had already asked the question yesterday and her objection was sustained. Baez then asked if, in January, 2009, he recalled being asked what he said about calling Crime Line in August. Kronk responded... (objection/hearsay/sidebar/).
Referring to the time he spoke to LE December17 at his home, Baez asked if that was when he changed his story. Kronk said that he'd realized his mistake earlier and was correcting it at that time.
Baez said that the reason he changed his story because he'd said he'd seen the skull in August and his new story didn't match.
Kronk said that when he made the original statement, he was overwhelmed. (objection/sustained)
Baez then pointed out that he forgot to mention putting his meter stick in the eye socket (objection/sustained) Asked again (objection/sustained) Baez said Kronk made seven statements. He asked when he remembered (objection/sustained)
Kronk was excused.
Baez’ next witness was Dep. Eduard Turso. He was the first responding male officer to the scene on Suburban Drive December 11, 2008. Turso testified that Kronk never told him he called Crime Line. He never told Kronk not to say anything.
The witness was excused. He was on the stand for such a short time, I couldn't even grab a screen cap!
Next up, was Yuri Melich. On December 11, 2008 he spoke to Roy Kronk for ten to fifteen minutes. He reviewed the statement. He then conducted a recorded interview on tape. Kronk never advised Melich that he called four times prior in August. He learned of the calls January 17, 2008.
Melich was asked if he clarified with Kronk the story of the skull rolling out of the bag. Melich interviewed him again on January 17, 2008. Melich said Kronk added additional information. (Melich didn't say he changed his story.) Baez brought the transcript up for Melich to examine.
Linda Burdick had an objection and there was a side bar. The objection was sustained.
Baez repeated the question and the only information gleaned was that there were four calls made by Kronk. (Three to 911, one to Crime Line)
To this day, I can’t figure out what the importance was that Roy Kronk didn’t tell everybody in the Universe that he made those four calls. Does anybody know?
The next witness called by Dorothy Sims was Dr. Sally Karioth. She gave a rather colorful history of her training. Jeff Ashton objected to the narrative about her education and Judge Perry had her shorten it down without side topics!
Lets just say, she's trained in theater and is quite a character.
She said that she does clinical counseling and does not dispense medications. She is a full professor at FSU. She had the tendency to wander off topics, but she did say that she teaches courses about death and grief. Jeff Ashton kept having to object to keep her on track. Eventually, we got through her CV.
She did say she'd testified one or two dozen times at trial. Ms. Simms tendered the witness as an expert in grief and trauma.
Jeff Ashton objected and asked to voir dire her. Heasked if she has been published in peer reviewed journals. She said about a half of dozen. She named a number of things she had written, but I will spare you the titles.
She was asked for the name of the peer reviewed journals where her articles were published. She said Southeast Research Journal, Parents Magazine Book (not peer reviewed, well, she said it was peer reviewed by Barnes and Noble!), Florida Department of Public Health (online journal, reviewed by the PH department), Healing Adjuncts...(book, reviewed by pediatric nurse practitioners) (I gave up with writing these out. I don't think she knows what a peer-reviewed journal is!)
We were then treated to a side bar. When it was over, Ashton asked about her experience in testifying about grief. This time, she said she had testified a dozen times. There were about 6 civil trials, 6 criminal, and a maritime case.
Ashton got out that she had testified in one trial about a child who died in a boot camp. She interviewed a sister prior to testify. She also got a report and other information.
Jeff Ashton objected, but Judge Perry accepted her as an expert in grief.
Sims then interviewed the witness.
She said that different people who have lost someone grieve differently. Jeff Ashton then objected to the general nature of the testimony.
After a side bar, Ms. Sims continued with the witness.
Sims gave the hypothetical that a 22 year old mother of an almost three-year-old child, has an amazing bond with the child, and loses the child. Sims wanted to know how such a mother would grieve. Jeff Ashton objected and had a case to cite when they went back to the side bar.
Ms. Karioth said that some take to their beds, they keep everything close. She has seen mothers who clean out the rooms and give everything away or put them in boxes and the child is not spoken of. One parent will say the memories help, others say it's too much.
Some go to cemetery every day. College kids sometimes grieve with risky behavior. In a car accident, there could be survivor guilt and the survivor would exhibit the risky behaviors of the deceased. (She got a tad bit off track here.)
Sims added that a family that lives in denial and exhibits continued risky behavior...(Another objection/facts not in evidence/sidebar)
Dorothy Sims then added many facts from the case. (You all know what they pretty much are!) It was a very lengthy list, including that the father picks up the car which smells. It went on and on.
Ms. Karioth said that there are two ways that people grieve, families who are supported and grieve in a healthy way and those who don’t. Another family, like the one described; the result would make it hard for other people to understand.
Jeff Ashton objected here. The doctor can't deal with other people.
Dr. Karioth then went on to discuss denial. It would not be atypical for there to be no discussion within the family.
Sim's added the 31 days and described Casey's behavior. Karioth said it would be important to look at the behavior of everybody in those days. Her behavior reflected being a reluctant griever. They will do the same risky behaviors their deceased friend did. Retail behavior and partying would be a close bond between mad and sad.
(She got off the topic, she talked about the behavior if a friend died.)
Then came the term, "bereavement overload."
Ashton then objected to the sustained narrative. Sustained.
Sims asked how long this behavior or appearing fine and normal would last. Her answer didn't really coincide with the question and I didn't "get it" at all! Karioth then said that some people continue with grief responses for years and years and years. They often isolate themselves. The term "affective hysteria" was tossed out there.
She said she had seen people lose someone, make arrangements, and go work the next day. Denial is a tool as long as one can believe what one is saying. Objection/non-responsive
That was it for Ms. Simms. Jeff Ashton asked if being very happy and very sad consistent with grief. Karioth added mad to the list. Ashton asked her if there are any of these that are not consistent with grief. He mentioned an interest in sex, she said it would make someone feel better.
Ashton asked if there is anything she can say that is INCONSISTENT with grief.
She said that ANYTHING that could happen would be consistent with grief, either healthy or unhealthy.
He also asked if she could look at a set of actions and diagnose grief. She mentioned a test she could give. However, she said that she couldn't apply this information to the facts of this case.
Ashton asked her when she was contacted about this case. She said that she received an e-mail at the end of May, the beginning of June to consult. She didn't know there was a trial. She was in London at the time. When she came into the courtroom, she didn't know anything about the case. She looked up some information about the case, but she was in London and the case was not covered there.
She knew that she was being asked to talk about general grief and loss and how it would affect individuals. In this case, it was about a woman who lost her daughter.
She worked on the Susan Smith case and testified to the fact that some can't understand how a parent is unhappy and think that their children are the same way. (Let’s hope that some juror picked up on the Susan Smith case!)
Dorothy Sims called for another side bar.
Okay, my keyboard stopped working at this point and I gave up trying to keep track of this “unusual testimony. Here’s a quick summary!
After the side bar, Jeff Ashton then asked Dr. Karioth to explain the type of grief in an “hypothetical” situation. He then went into the stories Casey Anthony told her mother and friends. You all know the story well! At the end, he added for her to assume that the mother had killed the child.
All Dr. Karioth could say was that such a person would be in need of treatment!
Sims objected to the last part, saying that there was no evidence in the record. Jeff Ashton said that he disagreed! There was a side bar and eventually, the jury was sent out.
When the jury returned at 5:23, Ashton discussed denial and if could also be caused by guilt or shame. There was talk of compartmentalization and how a person could put all their bad traits, such as lying in to a compartment and continue on as though it never existed. There was more of this, but I didn’t get it all down and, quite frankly, bored me to tears.
One fine statement Jeff Ashton made was when he said that it is hard to break the bond between a mother and her child. Dr. Karioth said it was a bond that never breaks.
With that, Judge Perry sent the jury out for the day and recessed court. Linda Burdick had a brief issue she discussed with the judge at the side bar.
Judge Perry then stated that the defense will be resting tomorrow and the prosecution needs to be ready with witnesses for their rebuttal case. Closing arguments will be made on Saturday.
As to when the jury will begin to deliberate, Perry said that it would be up to the jury.
So, it seems that the defense still has Krystal Holloway/River Cruz on tap for tomorrow and the defense will rest. Then, we will be on quite a ride in the rebuttal case. There are at least two things I will be waiting for. George Anthony’s suicide note and the testimony of the people from Gentiva HQ!
See you all tomorrow at 8:30 or 9:00!