Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Casey Anthony walked into the courtroom all smiling and chipper. She even took a moment to flirt with Cheney Mason!
Jeff Ashton was asked to cite their statements which, according to of Huggins v State would allow the felony testimony in.
Ashton pointed out that the defense did not proffer the testimony as they were supposed to. He said they are willing to listen to the defense if they had offered the evidence as "not for the truth of the matter."
The main concerns of the state are about if statements about Eric Baker and Jeff Hopkins were offered for the truth of the matter.
Ashton was willing to withdraw the request for now, but has the Huggins decision in "his back pocket."
Judge Perry read the pertinent language in the rules and in Huggins and then called for a recess until court reconvened at 9 AM.
Amy Huizenga was called to the stand for her cross examination by Jose Baez.
Baez brought out the fact was that Amy and Casey were friends for 5 months and the majority of their relationship was through text messages and phone calls.
Judge Belvin Perry called the session to order at 9:04.
Baez offered a defense exhibit with the text messages, and it was quite a stack of papers!
They were the messages from April 24 through July. There are text messages to other people as well.
When Baez pointed to the volume of the messages, Amy smiled and explained that she had a job with a lot of down time.
Baez then referred to the messages put into testimony yesterday. He pointed out that she asked Casey to go out and many times Casey couldn't go out.
Baez tried to get her to admit that she didn't know Casey as well as she thought. Amy pointed out that she only got information from one side.
As to the smell, there was only one text message about the smell on July 27, when Casey left it with trash (objection).
He then asked Amy if her memory of that time was a little "fogged" and Amy said it was a long time ago.
Baez insinuated that she was also drinking heavily at the time. Amy denied that, but admitted she went out 3 or 4 nights a week.
Baez then tried to attribute her accident to drunken driving. She pointed out that it was a boring stretch of road and she had almost fallen asleep on it during the daytime.
Amy was then sent to the text messages. Baez wanted to read one which mentioned she hit a guard rail and thank goodness she didn't get a DUI. There was an objection to the question for improper impeachment.
The judge called the attorneys up for a bench conference.
The objection was sustained and Baez then searched for his next question.
Amy totaled her car at that time. The air bag deployed and she didn't know what happened. Otherwise, she was fine. She didn't see a doctor to see the full result of the accident (Amy looked confused with that.)
Casey dated Ricardo and after she broke up, Amy moved in with Ricardo.
She also met Jesse and Baez tried to get her to say she dated him.
Next, Baez asked if she dated any other of Casey's ex-boyfriends!
Casey and Amy talked on the phone on June 16 and didn't know anything was wrong.
Amy asked if she can say something. She seem distressed because of the accusations she had a habit of dating Casey's exes, I'm sure.
I wish that Mr. George would have her a chance to explain.
Meanwhile, we were back at the side bar!
In a rather unusual move, Amy was called to the sidebar. When it broke up, Amy left the courtroom. We don’t know what was discussed!
The state then called Lee Anthony to the stand. For once, he is neatly dressed in a white dress shirt and decent slacks.
Lee, 27, is not currently employed and does not live with his parents. In 2008, he lived 5 minutes from the family home and had contact with his sister every couple weeks or so.
From June 16 to July 3 he had some contact with his sister. There was one MySpace contact and a conversation with her July 23.
On July 3, 2008 he spoke to his mother on the phone. That day, he investigated on his own to locate his sister. He went onto MySpace and Facebook to figure where she would be that evening. She might be at a night club called the Dragon Room.
He and a friend went to the Dragon Room with Mallory, who met them there. He also tried to text Casey. Casey didn't respond. He also asked Mallory to try and contact Casey without telling her she was with him.
He tried for about an hour to get in contact with Casey by text. Then, he started calling her, perhabs 5 or 6 times. Sometimes Casey answered. He asked her where she was and if she wanted to meet up with him. She brushed him off and hung up numerous times.
In retrospect, taking into account Melissa England and Troy Brown’s testimony, Lee rather spoiled her evening!
Lee had numerous phone calls to Casey and asked her where she was. She told Lee she was in Jacksonville. He said he knew it was a lie. She said she was out with a a friend at a country-western bar. At that time, he called her out on her lies.
During the calls, he also asked where Caylee was. Casey said she was being watched while she was out.
Lee didn't ask who the friend was.
When he told her he knew she wasn't in Jacksonville, she said she was. The conversation ended when he told her she needed to talk to mom and she eventually hung up. He had told her that she needed to contact her mother. He assumed Caylee was with Casey.
When told the family was worried about her, she said that everything was fine.
He tried numerous times to call her again, but she never answered.
He went to a few other bars close by, but never found Casey. He left the area after 2 AM.
After July 3, he learned she had been gone for a long period of time.
Cindy talked to Lee once after that date and told Lee to back off because she had it under control.
July 30, 2009, Lee gave a deposition. Frank George gave it to him to refresh his memory as to his recollection of his mother's demeanor during that time.
For some reason, Lee didn't want to discuss that and said reading the deposition didn’t refresh his memory.
Lee next saw his sister July 15 at his parents house. His dad had called him and asked him to go to the house. He got there about 8 PM.
When he got there, nobody was home. He entered through the garage door and saw his old Pontiac Sunfire. He immediately noticed the odor. He described it as potent, very strong. It was an offensive smell. He then went into the house. Cindy and Casey arrived within 5 minutes of his entering the house.
He recalled Casey going directly to her room. He didn't remember what she said. When shown his deposition, Lee said that Casey said that she wasn't sure why she bothered, nobody was listening to her. Casey's demeanor was combative. His mother was equally or more combative.
Lee followed Casey to her bedroom and stood in the doorway. Cindy was in the bedroom as well. Casey and Cindy were continuing their conversation from the car. The issue was where Caylee was. Casey said she was with the nanny.
Up until that moment, he was unaware of a nanny. Casey said that Caylee was already asleep and she didn't want to disturb her.
Casey said that this was what she's been used to, and didn't want to change her schedule.
It didn't make sense to him. He thought Casey should have brought Caylee home to appease her mother.
Again, George referred to Lee's deposition.
Casey and Cindy argued on for a couple of minutes at that juncture. Casey said that they could get Caylee tomorrow. Lee offered to go get Caylee that night. For him, there was no excuse not to get Caylee.
At one point she was receptive to the idea, but went back to her former stance on the issue.
At his point, Mr. George asked for a brief recess to get his act together (my words).
It sounded to me as though Lee is only being as cooperative as he has to be.
At 10:27, Lee Anthony returned to the stand and Frank George continued his questioning.
George began by asking if he had asked Casey why she wouldn't take them to Caylee. He recalled only that it was about Caylee being asleep.
George then refreshed his memory with Cpl. Edwards' interview with him.
Dorothy Clay Sims was doing all the objecting during Lee’s testimony and doing it often. Here, Sims objected to the contents of Lee's answer.
They again approached the bench.
Sim's objection was overruled and Lee said that he told Det. Edwards that Casey said, "Maybe I'm a spiteful bitch."
When Cindy would leave the room, Lee would try to reason with Casey.
Casey told him that Caylee was missing, that someone had kidnapped her.
(Lee moved a little too far ahead there.)
Going back in time, Lee said he didn't recall and yet again Det. Edwards' interview is shown to him.
He told the detective that when they were alone, Casey did express that she and her mother... (Sims objected again about anything Cindy would have said).
The Judge explains to Lee that he can only tell what Casey said and Mr. George asked to approach again.
(During the bench conference, Casey was wiping under her eye. She seemed to either be working up to another bout of fake-crying or she was sweating out what Lee might say to hurt her.)
Before George could get the first question out, Sims objected again for improper impeachment.
George asked if Lee remembered Casey's response was exactly what he told Det. Edwards.
Sims' objections this morning are totally stalling the process.
Judge Perry said that Lee could only testify by his refreshed memory.
Casey told him that her mother had numerous times thrown it in her face that she was an unfit mother for Caylee. Casey said, "Maybe I am."
He also said Cindy referred to Caylee as the best mistake Casey ever made.
George thumped down his papers on the podium with a sense of satisfaction.
At that point, Lee was getting very frustrated with Casey. Why would they fight just over getting Caylee home?
Once George had gotten those answers from Lee, he asked a question and, before Lee could answer or Sims could object. George went back to the side bar.
There were problems with the feeds going in and out, but when coverage picked up, Lee was discussing the "role playing" of what the police would do when they came.
At that point, Casey told him that he hadn't seen Caylee in 31 days and that she'd been kidnapped by the nanny.
This was the first time Lee heard the name Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
Cindy wasn't present for this. Towards the tail end, she was close enough to see he wasn't in the doorway anymore.
Dorothy Sims objected to the last statement and it was stricken.
George Anthony wasn't there. Prior to the police arrival, Casey told him that the last place she saw Caylee was at the nanny’s. She had been staying with her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. Casey had said to him that she was searching for Caylee on her own. She said she camped out at Sawgrass in her car. She said she did it for a couple of days. Casey also said she'd go to places where Caylee could be or where someone would take Caylee.
Casey said she had received a phone call from Caylee the same day. She said that Caylee was the only one on the phone. He didn't remember what Caylee said to indicate it was her. Casey said she asked Caylee to put an adult on the phone.
Lee didn't ask her why she hadn't told anyone about the kidnapping.
Upon hearing the news, he asked her the follow-up questions and he went into search mode.
He was able to locate Tony Lazzaro. He called Tony and made arrangements to go see him. It was in the very early hours of the 16th. While at the apartment, he told them what was going on and collected Casey's clothing and her laptop. There was a back pack as well. Another bag had knick-knacks in it.
Casey's computer was on and had a blue screen. He knew that the computer may have a virus. He tried to reboot the computer and got the same blue screen.
He then turned it off and took it with him.
Then, Lee was asked to open an envelope and identify the contents. He recognized most of the items in the envelope.
Sims objected and there was yet another side bar.
I think the defense is very well aware that Lee can do heavy damage to their case. They were fighting to keep every bit of evidence out.
When we came back from the latest sidebar, George asked Lee to look at the exhibit. He identified receipts, movie ticket stubs, and a photocopy of a note of his.
George asked him to count the receipts.
Sims again objected and was overruled.
Lee said there were 19 receipts which were in one of Casey's bags he brought back to the house. He didn't look at them that night.
He became aware of them within a few days when they offered them and other things from Casey's bags to the police.
Lee stated that the receipts were in the back pack.
Lee was only at Tony Lazzaro's apartment once.
George then moved on to when the police arrived. Lee did not speak to them right away.
He was not present for Casey's questioning.
His father was in the home as well; he had arrived a few minutes before the police arrived.
After the police arrived, he had a conversation with Casey in the garage, where the car still smelled. It was at that time she informed him of the phone call from Caylee that day.
He asked her about Tony and referenced how awful the garage and car smelled.
It was difficult to stay in the garage with that smell.
There were no items belonging to Caylee among the items he brought back from Tony's apartment.
Frank George finished and Dorothy Sims conducted the cross.
She first established that Lee is Casey's older brother. Then, she led him back to July 3. He initially got a phone call from his mother and there was no mention made of Caylee being missing.
He had no idea if Cindy called George to look for Casey.
She then asked when he left for Chicago, suggesting early July. Lee said it was in June.
She then moved to July 15 when Lee observed his mother call the police.
The Sunfire had some writing from the tow company on it. The Sunfire was the car that Casey drove and his father had an extra set of keys to the car which would allow him to access the car and the trunk.
There were times when he was whispering to Casey and she was crying.
When George Anthony arrived prior to police, he did not go into Casey's room to find out what was going on. George did not ask Lee what was going on.
Lee played the peacemaker between his mother and his sister. Cindy's focus was on the situation, not on how they were going to find Caylee. Due to Cindy's behavior towards Casey, Casey didn't have a chance to respond.
At Tony's apartment the bags were already packed, except for the laptop.
Sims made an attempt to say that Tony packed the bags. After objections by Frank George, she focused on the fact that the bags were neatly packed, in a different style from Casey.
Mr. George objected to a number of questions at this point.
Finally, we did learn that the bags Lee had brought home from Tony's had no odor.
George Anthony detailed the cars inside and out every weekend or every other weekend.
Tony was in the apartment at the time that the laptop had the blue screen, and Sims made a number of attempts (over objections) to get Lee to say it could have been Tony who messed up the computer.
She was finished. Frank George asked questions on re-direct.
He asked about the call from his mother. Lee said that Cindy indicated she was concerned that she hadn't seen Casey or Caylee, not that they were missing.
Sims objected and George said she had opened the door.
We were off to another sidebar!
Frank George then began to rehabilitate Lee Anthony.
When the police arrived, the members of the family were eventually separated.
When Casey told him her story, his focus became finding Caylee.
When the police arrived, Lee spoke to the police about what his sister had told him. His interviews with Det. Edwards focused on the same information about the kidnapping and Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
There was no re-cross and Lee was excused, subject to recall.
Linda Burdick then called a "short" witness, Cpl. Rendon Fletcher, the first policeman to arrive at the Anthony home. He believed the call was for a stolen car and a verbal altercation between a mother and a daughter.
He knocked on the front door and spoke to the caller. At that point, there were 3 adults inside the home. They were Cindy, George, and Casey Anthony. He didn't see Casey immediatly but saw George and Cindy. George didn't say too much, but Cindy was quite upset.
Cindy was the initial caller and he asked her about the call and the vehicle. He then learned that her granddaughter was missing. He spoke to Casey within 10 or 15 minutes of his arrival. She came out of her room, but didn't say much to him.
He was asking questions but getting no answers that would further the goal. He finally got her to say her daughter had been missing for a month and that she had last seen her daughter with the nanny.
Shortly after his arrival, Dep. Acevedo arrived and he contacted his supervisor, Sgt. Reginald Hosey. Hosey took over the scene once he arrived.
Casey did not remember the name of the place she last saw Caylee, but she showed it to them. He followed Dep. Acevedo and Casey to Sawgrass. Casey pointed out the apartment from the police car.
Drane Burdick showed him his supplemental report which showed the location to be apartment 210.
He was able to see that the apartment was vacant. He knocked and there was no answer. He didn't recall if he shared that information with Ms. Anthony.
Jose Baez on cross.
Baez asked if the garage door was open and he could see the car when he arrived. He went through the garage one time to walk outside with Casey.
He did not observe any odor of decomposition from the car. He recalled that 3 or 4 other deputies arrived. (Baez was unable to get any information about the smell of the car due to hearsay.)
Baez said he was finished and came back to try to get more information about if he reported if someone told him about the smell. After many objections, Baez gave up.
Before leaving for lunch, Judge Perry suggested the lawyers read State v. Johnson which deals with impeachment of police reports.
At 1:30, Judge Belvin Perry called the afternoon session to order.
Jose Baez started off the afternoon by stating that he had an oral motion in limine dealing with what parts of the jail visit videos the state will be introducing. They would like a list from the state so they can plan on what will and will not be objected to.
Linda Burdick indicated that they could to play all of them. Baez had 3 years to object to portions of the videos. Since the hearing in early March the state has heard nothing. (Her body language said it all for what she felt about this!)
Baez stated that there are things in there that are not relevant. He said the state would only select some sections.
Judge Perry asked if the defense had the videos and Baez stated they did, but one was turned over late. (Wasn't that a couple of years ago?)
Perry asked why there were no motions objecting to them during all the hearings. The deadline was December 30, 2010.
Baez stated that they had to prioritize the issues and there are things they didn't pick up on.
He said that the moment he discovered the situation, he spoke with Ms. Burdick and could not reach an agreement. He went on an on, as we have heard before, making excuses.
Perry reviewed the December 30, 2010 deadline. If it was not filed in a timely manner, the subject is waived. He said that Baez could make short objections as they go along. He also told the defense that they had 5 lawyers who have had ample time since December to deal with the situation.
The judge then said for Baez to move on.
Linda Burdick then called Dep. Adriana Acevedo.
Acevedo has been employed by the Orange County Sheriff's office for 5 years. She was the second deputy to arrive at the Anthony house on the night of July 15, 2008.
She arrived at 9:52 PM. Cpl. Fletcher was already in the house. She met with him at the door and asks for specifics as to what was going on in the house.
She provided statement forms for the members of the Anthony family.
After she arrived, then Sgt. Reginald Hosey arrived and had Acevedo escort Casey Anthony about 11:50 PM to the last place she saw her daughter. Casey was not under arrest, nor was she handcuffed. She went with her willingly.
As standard procedures, she kept up verbal communication with her and to let her know if, at any time, she did not want to be in the vehicle, to let her know. Casey never did that.
At Casey Anthony’s direction, Acevedo drove her to the Sawgrass Apartments. They arrived there at 12:05 AM. Casey advised her of the apartment and they returned to the Anthony residence at 12:25. Cpl. Fletcher had followed behind. Casey pointed out apartment 210. Casey said she was certain that it was the correct apartment.
Jose Baez on cross
When she arrived, Cindy Anthony was upset and George Anthony was quiet. Casey was quiet like Mr. Anthony.
(This is how Baez is trying to prove that George Anthony was involved. He wasn’t upset as his wife was. Watch for the defense to keep referring to George’s demeanor as calm.)
She did not observe Casey being handcuffed. Baez, of course, mentioned she was put in the cage which comprised the back seat of the marked police car.
Acevedo stated that she was at the house for 2 hours before they left and she smelled an odor coming from the garage. She did not notice if the trunk was open. Baez asked if it was the odor of decomposition. When objected to based on the fact he hadn’t laid a foundation that she knew the smell of decomposition, he asked her what it smelled. She said it smelled like garbage. She never suggested that CSI be called.
On re-direct, Linda Burdick asked her how close she got to the car, she said she did pass by it and that she had little experience with the smell of human decomposition.
Baez asked when she passed through the garage and she said it was before she took Casey to Sawgrass.
The witness was excused.
At that point, all the feeds went down due to thunder storms in Orlando.
I learned from various sources that he next witness was Amanda Macklin from Sawgrass Apartments. She testified that Zenaida Gonzales filled out a card to visit the apartment Casey pointed out. Also, there had never been a Zenaida Gonzalez who had lived there.
When the feed returned, it came back with Sgt. Reginald Hosey undergoing cross with Cheney Mason.
Cheney Mason asked similar questions about the marked patrol cars driven by Fletcher and Acevedo. They had been there within 30 to 40 minutes of their arrival.
He had Hosey affirm that they were all wearing full police gear as he had done in the hearing about tossing out all of Casey’s police statements. If you haven’t read that article you can read it HERE.
Hosey did not recall that Casey was handcuffed that evening. He did not recall telling someone else to remove her handcuffs.
Mason asked him if he had been advised of the fact she had been handcuffed by the State Attorney's Office.
He was on the property when Casey was placed in the cage of Dep. Acevedo's car.
He observed the car in the garage and noticed the trunk open and an odor. He said he did not report to forensics at night. He wrote no reports in the case.
He separated Casey from the other people so he could talk with her and went about 40 yards and had a short conversation with her.
As far as he could remember, Casey was not advised of her Miranda Rights as she was never arrested.
Mason asked if Casey could get out of the cage of the patrol car. He said Casey could have asked. She wouldn't be able to open the door herself from the inside. (I suppose the Sheriff’s office should hire limousines to transport people who aren’t under arrest?)
He was present when Casey returned from the trip to Sawgrass. Casey was led into the house by a full-uniformed, armed deputy and she spoke to several deputies there.
Cpl. Yuri Melich came a couple of hours later.
(Mason was doing the same routine he did at the hearing. He was trying to say Casey was being held captive and could not leave.)
Once Melich was called, the deputies had pretty much finished up their work at the house. He was not involved with any evidence in the case.
Linda Burdick did re-direct
Hosey was informed by Casey Anthony that Caylee was alive and well, with a babysitter she could not contact at the time. Casey advised him she didn't want her mother to have contact with her child that evening.
It was important to him that the deputies talked to the people in the house and get reports. Hosey made no effort to stop any members of the family from leaving the house. None of them asked to leave. They were cooperating with the deputies in helping to locate Caylee Marie Anthony.
When Dep. Acevedo took Casey Anthony in her cruiser, would he have given her instructions to ensure that Casey knew she was going with her freely and voluntarily.
Hosey was there when she returned to the house. Nobody told her she couldn't leave.
She was cooperative and she was talking to him freely. He never put her in handcuffs.
Mason then asked if George Anthony was calm. Hosey said he was but voiced concern as had his wife. He advised Hosey he was an ex-cop.
Cindy Anthony was much more emotional, but she was calm at other points.
Casey had a flat affect.
The witness was excused.
There was then another side bar called by Ms. Burdick.
After a 10 minute break the next withess was called. Yuri Melich took the stand.
Det. Melich had worked for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. He now works in internal affairs. He originally investigated missing children and child abuse.
Sgt. Reginald Hosey called him to the Anthony residence. He arrived at the home at 3:51 AM and met with Casey Anthony. He became aware that Casey had given a written statement. He reviewed the statement and showed it to Casey Anthony. He asked her if it was her statement and if she wrote it herself. She said it was.
The defense objected to the statement due to no proper predicate.
Judge Perry asked Ms. Burdick, who pointed out she had showed it to the witness who showed it to the defendant, who verified it was her handwritten statement. The statement was then published to the jury.
Jose Baez said he had another objection, but Judge Perry simply told him, it's in. Baez then renewed his previous objection.
Melich then read the statement to the jury.
Melich reviewed the statement with Casey in the spare bedroom with her permission. He also spoke with her further. He then placed his interview with her on tape.
The audio of the interview was accepted into evidence over the objection of the defense.
Then, the audio was played for the jury. It probably had the text on the jurors' screens as well.
After he interviewed Casey, Melich took her on a ride to identify the locations she had described where Zanny had lived.
They went to 301 North Hillside first. They drove by the building and she pointed out two windows one above and one below, that belonged to the same apartment.
Melich later learned that Ricardo Morales and Amy Huizenga lived across the road. Casey did not mention this fact to Melich. She didn't mention that she had stayed there recently.
They next went to the Sawgrass Apartments. Casey indicated the apartment was 210.
Then, they went to some apartments at Conway and Michigan. It was a series of single storey attached town homes. They drove through the complex and Casey wasn't quite sure which apartment it was.
He got out of his car and knocked on some doors to see if any of the people looked familiar to her. None of them were.
It was getting light then and Melich drove her home. At that point Casey had her cell phone. He dropped her off at her house and she went in on her own.
He told Casey they would do an investigation into the incident.
Jose Baez on cross.
Baez asked if he ever went by the name Dick Tracy Orlando.
For those of you who are not aware, Websleuths had a Yuri Melich appreciation thread. When he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. He discussed his recuperation and other stuff, never the case and they never asked him questions about it. He did receive a reprimand for doing even that, and he never went back. Considering that he now works for internal affairs, the reprimand must have been of the mildest sort.
There was a bench conference and the jury was sent out for 10 minutes.
The defense then offered a proffer. Linda Burdick mentioned that he had not received them in discovery, and she had kept careful note of what little discovery they had provided and had even filed one. Baez said he had provided it.
Then, when Baez went to pass out copies of the offending documents, he was short 3 copies. Baez then left the court and had copies made.
Jose Baez then explained that once a witness takes the stand, their credibility is at issue. It was an example of a detective doing self-promotion, discussing the case.
The judge read them over and he asked what Baez was talking about.
Baez said it was just the sheer engagement in the conduct!
Judge Perry said that the problem with saying that he is unprofessional, is that Baez has to show content that shows his bias (and Perry had the case law to prove it).
Perry then asked Baez to point out "pacific" entries to see if they fall under the rules.
Baez found one dated September 29, 2008. Perry didn't have that page. The prosecution didn’t have the page. Baez put it on the overhead to read.
It mentioned that a true missing persons case is akin to a murder investigation without a body.
Baez said that Caylee's death was a possible accident, he took the post as a murder document.
Perry asked what proof there was that it was an accident. Baez mentioned the pool ladder incident.
Perry asked what evidence would one find in a pool?
Baez said there could be spatters of blood, hairs, other trace evidence found.
Ashton replied that there was no accident, there was no evidence of that in this case, at this time. What counsel had said was not evidence.
This comment, according to Ashton, showed nothing! He added that the evidence so far had said that Cindy hadn't discussed the pool incident. Cindy Anthony would have to testify to that.
Baez had nothing more to say other than that he disagreed with Ashton. The objection was sustained and he could add a copy for appellate issues.
Judge Perry then mentioned the reprimand Yuri received and told Baez that he didn't want to do a Pop-Tart movement on the jury.
Baez pointed out that his supervisor reprimanded him for blogging.
Of course, I noticed that Baez kept trying to make it that Yuri was on the blog for exposure.
Perry then read the positive blogs and humorous ones. (Oh, the shame, Yuri, NOT!)
According to the judge, there was nothing impeachable in the document. Baez then said he would make the court aware of what blog he would introduce and the reasons for it. Jeff Ashton reqested a complete set of the documents.
At 4:30, Yuri Melich resumed the stand. Baez asked him when he returned to Hopespring Drive. The first thing he did was meet with Sgt. Hosey. Who filled him in on what was going on.
Melich learned it was a missing person's case and the theft of a car and some money.
He was aware that Casey had already gone to Sawgrass. He was only been told she had gone with other deputies to another location.
He didn't recall seeing the Sunfire. At some point, there was a comment made about an odor coming from the car.
He did not inspect the car immediately. Baez asked if he called CSI or secured any evidence in the car. He did nothing with the car that night.
Baez asked if he looked at Casey as a suspect. He said that he hadn't spoken to her yet.
He asked if he asked Hosey to remove the handcuffs. Melich said he didn't know she was handcuffed.
He felt that her report was suspect, but he couldn't recall what he felt at the time.
At that point, he considered her the mother of a missing child.
Baez also did this questioning at the hearing. Baez kept asking him if Casey was a suspect and Melich kept saying that he considered her the mother of a missing child.
Let's remember, he'd just arrived at the house and hadn't spoken to Casey yet.
Baez then went on to try and get Melich say that he believes that what people put quotations around such phrases as where she felt "at home" because they were important. Baez is trying to get Melich to agree that Casey didn't feel safe in her own home.
Then, he questioned Melich why he put certain phrases in quotes!
Linda Burdick finally objected saying he was trying to get hearsay statements from his client into testimony.
Baez then handed Melich a transcript of the interview. He directed Melich to page 2, line 10 where he asked if what Casey wrote was true.
Melich said that he didn't find her statement to be a fabrication until he did more investigation.
They discussed that she knew Zenaida for almost 4 years. She was introduced to her by a Jeffrey Michael Hopkins. Casey said that she couldn't give him a contact number. Melich pointed out that she gave him the information that she worked with him at Universal. Baez went on to the SIM cards. Melich said he asked questions for clarification.
This scattershot questioning was hard to get down and make much sense of.
Baez then brought up Juliette Lewis who was a co-worker at Universal. When asked for a number, she couldn't remember. Then, Casey said that she just moved to New York in the past few months and doesn't work at Universal anymore.
Baez pointed out the contradictions to Melich.
Melich keeps saying "yes" to the questions, sort of like you do when someone is telling you something you already know and feel the need to go "uh-huh" every once in a while.
Baez wanted to know why Melich didn't tell her that her story didn't make any sense.
Melich said he couldn't tell him what he felt at the time, he was just doing an interview.
Linda Burdick objected again. Yuri explained that later he went to Universal to interview these people.
Baez then went on to the drug usage Melich asked her about. Baez then asked Melich if he asked her if she committed suicide! (Big boo-boo for Baez!) Baez then asked about his question about Lakeside (a rehab). Melich explained that he was conducting an information gathering process.
Baez tried to get Melich to say that he asked the questions because he found the statement strange. The question was already asked and answered and Baez moved on.
Baez asked if he had spoken to anyone in the home about Casey. Melich said that he didn't learn any information about her medical history.
Baez had no further questions.
Melich was excused, subject to recall.
Judge Perry excused the jury for the day, mentioning that one of the jurors has a new name. Johnny Depp, and the jury laughed.
After the jury left, Linda Burdick said that the could be finished in approximately another two weeks or so.
She also said that if the defense wanted to redact jail visitation videos, he would have to make them soon and it would be difficult even at that time to do the redactions.
The judge asked for the transcripts. He told the defense that if they have any objections, it would have to be soon! Baez said it would take 48 hours and Burdick said she wanted them in chronological order.
Baez said that he JAC needed 5 days notice for people coming in as out-of-state witnesses who could not afford to wait to be reimbursed.
When Perry asked if he had the information now, he said Ms. Medina was working on them now.
Baez also withdrew a request for a transcript of a status hearing.
See you all at 9 AM tomorrow!