Well, all I can say as we start another day in the wacky world that is the Casey Anthony murder trial, I have to stop for a moment and think about the real victim in this case, Caylee Marie Anthony.
We can only hope that the jury is getting a clear picture of the world she lived in. It wasn’t a pretty one on the inside. It was a mother vs. daughter battle of extreme proportions. Big brother left the house to avoid the battle and live his own life. Dad was a marginal figure who was told to butt out of his daughter’s life.
As we have already seen, Casey was an emotional time-bomb who could go off at any minute. I am sure those who lived around her walked on eggshells. Caylee was there to experience it all, and by the age of 2 ½ would have picked up on it and tailored her behavior to deal with it. Now, the jury has had more than hint of the Casey Anthony who was a pathological liar who cared more about herself than Caylee Marie. Next, with the jail videos, they will see her explosive temper and lack of caring for anyone but herself for themselves.
I hope that Linda Drane Burdick doesn’t have time to redact everything the defense would like out. I have no doubt that by the end of the prosecution case in chief that the jury will have seen the real Casey Anthony. Let their own ears and eyes decide if the defense claims are true.
Judge Perry took the bench at 9 AM. The defense table looked as though a tornado had passed through a moment before!
Jeffrey Hopkins was the first witness. He is 26 and first met Casey in middle school. They were acquaintances. He worked at Universal Studios in 2002 and never worked there when Casey did. He never knew a Zenaida Gonzalez, never lived where Casey had stated.
He also checked Jeff Hopkins (2001-2002), Juliette Lewis (never an employee), and Zenaida Gonzalez (never an employee).
Hopkins did see her at the Alehouse in early July, 2008. They had a brief conversation and exchanged phone numbers. He then heard from her via mass text messages about going to Fusian.
Jose Baez established that his name was Jeffrey Michael Hopkins. He said he didn't have a crush on her in middle school, but she was an attractive young lady. It wasn't "puppy love," it was merely a mutual attraction.
He does not have a trust fund or a son named Zach. Baez led him through all the rest of the lies Casey told about him.
None of it happened.
Frank George, on re-direct, elicited that he spoke to the police twice. He reaffirmed there was no Zenaida Gonzalez that he knew.
The next witness was Leonard Turtora, head of security at Universal. He was asked to check if Casey Anthony was employed there. He discovered that she had worked for a third party earlier (Colorvision). Casey Anthony last worked there in April of 2006.
After he did a check on e-mail addresses, Yuri Melich put her on speaker phone and Turtora could not verify the information Casey gave him.
Yuri Melich then brought Casey to Universal and he assisted them. He tried to verify Casey's information and then, Melich asked to call her supervisor, Thomas Manley.
It turned out there was no record of him at all.
At that point, he allowed them onto the property as long as she was with the policemen. Casey pointed to a building that had nothing to do with events. They entered the building with Casey leading the way. At a certain point, Casey put her hands into her back pockets and said she didn't work there. He then showed them to a conference room and went away. They were in the conference room for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cheney Mason did the cross.
Mason began by asking Turtora if it was a sham. Turtora didn't believe it was. Mason made a big deal out of the fact that they had all made out as if she was an employee.
Turtora did not remember her demeanor, but he knew she wasn't crying.
(Mason's making a big deal out of how the police and he tricked Casey!)
On re-direct, Turtora explained how Casey maintained the charade. He answered that Casey agreed to go into the room and did not resist in any way. He didn't see her handcuffed. When they left there was discussion about found children in other states!
Ms. Burdick then called Yuri Melich back to the stand. (You just have to know we are going to hear that audio today!)
Ms. Burdick picked up with Melich when he dropped Casey Anthony at home at 6 something in the morning, July 16, 2008.
He then began his investigation at Universal Studios. He arrived there about 9 AM. Casey had mentioned that there were several out-cry witnesses who worked there and he hoped that he could get contact information as well as that of Zenaida Gonzales, the suspect in the case. He was also hoping to locate Casey’s lost cell phone.
He asked Casey if she would be willing to come out to Universal Studios and she said she would. He sent his Sgt., John Allen to pick her up at home with Det. Appling Wells.
At this point Zenaida was the main suspect. Melich met with Leonard Turtora and then called Casey on her cell phone.
He told her he was going to her place of employment and asked her to confirm her work number and extension. It was on speaker phone so Mr. Turtora could check out the numbers and her supervisor.
She arrived with the detectives about a half hour later. She was not in handcuffs and the detectives were all wearing dress shirts and ties, gun. There were no threats made to Casey.
When they went to the security office, none of Casey's information worked. Mr. Turtora signed her in.
Just inside the employee gate, Casey led them to where she worked in Universal Studios.
Melich was shown the map of the path they took through Universal and the defense stipulated to the picture.
Melich then described how Casey led them to her "office."
After leading them into a building and going down a hallway where Casey turned around and admitted she didn’t work there.
There was a picture of the hallway and described where she stopped to tell them she didn't work there.
They asked Mr.Turtora if there was a room where they could talk. He found a small room they could use to further question Casey.
Then, a picture of the room where the interview took place was admitted into evidence, with Melich testifying to the difference in the placement of the furniture.
Melich described where they all sat. Appy Wells and John Allen were seated closer to the door and Melich sat with Casey on the couch which was then under the window.
At that point, Casey was not under arrest and he didn't tell her she couldn't leave. Casey made no comment that she wanted to leave. It was made clear to Casey that the interview would be recorded.
Melich certified the recording and transcript and they were offered into testimony. The defense used their previous objections and motions which were overruled and the audio/transcript would be played after a brief recess.
If you have never heard this interview, Nifter Media has it in five parts
When the recording was finished, Melich identified the voices of the other detectives on the case.
Melich said there was no video, but he did have Anita Macklin search the Sawgrass records which found no Zenaida Gonzalez as a tenant.
They also attempted to get video from Amscot, but the cameras weren't operational.
Yuri received a zip drive from Casey when he was at the Anthony Home. It had some cell phone records from June and July and pictures of Caylee. He was there with her when she downloaded them from the desk top computer.
At the conclusion of the interview, Casey went into the car with Det. John Allen (front seat) to go through the DAVID system, trying to find a picture of Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
Casey identified Zenaida's car as a silver Ford Focus.
The Sheriff's Office received over 6,000 tips, several of which had to do with sightings of Caylee with an Hispanic woman and Zenaida.
Based on the tips and investigation, they never located Zenaida.
Melich also collected Casey Anthony's cell phone. Burdick showed an envelope to the defense and then handed it to Melich who identified the markings on the package which identified it as Casey's cell phone.
They obtained a court order to get the information and downloaded the contents of the phone. He gave the phone to one of the computer forensic examiners. They completed the examination of the phone.
Casey's phone carrier was AT&T, Cingular. They got records directly from AT&T.
Mr. Baez indicated that the defense had stipulated to the phone records.
The records were admitted into evidence.
Yuri Melich also collected items belonging to Caylee from the Anthony home from Cindy Anthony.
Burdick then showed the envelopes to Jose Baez and then handed them to Melich.
1 Hair brush
Then, Casey accompanied them back to the jail and was arrested for a number of charges including lying to police (obstructing), and child abuse.
Jose Baez started his cross by mentioning that he noticed that Det. Melich spoke to the jury and was being persuasive. Melich said it was the jury that made the decision. Baez then said he didn't do it during cross. When Yuri did, of course, Baez had to mention that!
Jose Baez has a tendency to tell a story while asking his leading questions. They go on and on to the point it’s difficult to follow. Then, he asks a question. It is a confusing practice and difficult to type as well. I’ve done the best I can here!
As of July 16, Zenaida Gonzales was the suspect.
Baez mentioned all the lies they discovered Casey had told. At that point, how could Melich still say that Zenaida was still the suspect? Baez then asked him to tell the jury that he truly believed that.
Baez tried to get Melich to say Casey was the suspect. Melich attempted to answer that he suspected that Casey was holding back information and was adamant that Zenaida was the suspect.
Melich said that after Universal, they still wanted to get more information, to get pictures of Zenaida for Casey to identify.
Baez used the Websleuths quote he read in court yesterday as the basis for his next question. Melich explained why that was frequently true.
Baez asked if a missing persons case is a murder case without a body. Melich said it could be, but not all the time.
Going back to Universal, Baez summarized everything that Melich had done.
Baez tried to sneak in that the officer who took her initial statement handcuffed Casey. It didn't work.
Baez then went on to talk about a "convalescent" home, (senior citizen's facility). After Melich went there, Melich met up with Sgt. Allen and told him all the bizarre events of the night before. (Yes, that was the question!)
Melich refused to go along with the word "bizarre" and the fact that he didn't have all the information Baez mentioned at the time.
The point Baez took so long to get to was that the situation was odd.
Melich agreed it was odd.
Baez got the order of events all out of order and confused me completely. Somehow, we were back at Universal with Leonard Turtora. Then we were back to the night before and the questioning about Casey's mental health.
Then, Baez said that Melich called her after knowing Casey didn't work for Universal. On the speaker phone, Melich fed the information about the phone number and extension. Turtora told him the extension was not real and then had Casey come to Universal.
Baez kept trying to say he briefed Sgt. Allen. Melich said he probably told him what was going to happen.
Then, Baez said, they pulled a "ruse" on Casey. Melich responded that he still couldn't imagine it was a ruse because he wanted to see where she would take them. He couldn't understand why she would behave the way she did!
Melich really believed he could learn something about the situation where Casey might have been correct. Casey was so believable and walked with purpose.
Of course, Baez wanted so much for Melich to say that at that point Casey was the suspect. It didn't work at the hearing, and it didn't work at the trial today. As I sat, listening to this cross, I realized also that the investigation was in its infancy and there were a lot of facts to check out. A good detective would never jump to conclusions.
Perhaps, during this rambling cross, the best description Melich gave to the situation was that it was "peculiar."
Melich did not lump Casey into a category at that point.
Baez went on to go into a hypothetical and there was an objection and a bench conference.
Judge Perry then addressed the attorneys, citing case law.
Both dealt with a good faith basis for asking questions.
I'm guessing that was meant for Mr. Baez!
I am so praying that after lunch, the questions Mr. Baez asked are not prefaced with long introductions, frequently loaded with innuendo so we can get through this cross examination with our sanity intact!
Court was back in session after lunch and Yuri Melich was back on the stand for more cross examination by Jose Baez.
Baez began back at Universal and the questioning of Casey Anthony.
Baez asked Melich if at this "opportunity" he questioned Casey using techniques he'd learned. Baez asked if these techniques worked on Casey.
Melich said some of them worked, but in the end, Casey never backed down about the nanny. There was no way to know if she was real or not.
Baez asked if, during the questioning, George Anthony called him. Melich said it was only Cindy Anthony who was calling.
When he left the room for a while, Melich spoke with Sgt. Allen and Cindy Anthony called him and told him about the pool ladder/gate incident.
Baez asked if this information was important. Melich said it wasn't at the time, just another piece of information.
Baez went back to his deposition in Sept. 2010. Baez had asked him the same information and Melich said yes. On the stand, Melich said that it wasn't critical, but it was important.
Baez asked him that if he had questioned Casey about that, would he have used his techniques?
Melich started to point out that he never had another chance to speak to Casey when Linda Burdick made an objection and there was another sidebar.
The question was withdrawn and Baez continued.
Melich was able to verify that most of the information Casey had given them was not true. They only learned later that Casey had given them the wrong date of June 9.
He was able to verify the date only after she was under arrest.
They only learned later on she never attended Valencia.
Baez verified that Melich collected her cell phone and gave them permission to get her computer.
He collected items from Cindy Anthony, including a hair brush.
Baez tried to get in that Cindy didn't give them the right hair brush, but the objections were sustained due to lack of foundation.
After the third try, Baez gave up.
Linda Burdick asked about the pool ladder situation. Melich said Cindy had not given him a specific date. He was there when John Allen suggested a pool accident. Casey never adopted that idea during the interview.
At no point, after the tape was turned off, did Casey adopt any situation other than that Zenaida had kidnapped her.
Baez mentioned the the other scenarios that Casey had been given during the interview and Melich said that she did not adopt any of those either.
Melich was excused for now.
Linda Burdick introduced more items into evidence with stipulations. They were the jail visitation tapes!
The first visit to be shown was Lee Anthony's first jail visitation.
Casey was all giggly but said she didn't want to start crying.
Lee did warn her that the videos were recorded.
Then, he gave her all sorts of advice about communication among the family members and how Jose Baez might not be the best conduit for information.
Lee pointed out that Baez hadn't returned any calls from the police even though he had written a letter telling them she would be willing to cooperate.
Casey told Lee that she had gotten Baez' name from an inmate as a good lawyer and that three other inmates had backed the recommendation.
She said that she was his first priority. He wanted to get her out on bond to help find Caylee.
At the point where Lee was telling Casey that the family would like to help find Caylee, possibly through "other means" than Baez, he objected. Judge Perry overruled the objection as being untimely.
Casey complained that the police had completely misconstrued what she said and she would write to the police.
It's no wonder Baez objected, that Lee clearly didn't trust Baez to do what his client wanted him to do!
At that point, Lee Anthony claimed to have the information on the REAL Jeff Hopkins and Juliette Lewis! (Well THAT didn't work out, did it?)
Lee went on with the "who do you trust" list.
Annie - no, don't bother
Melina - no, don't bother
Amy - yes
Ricardo - doesn't know
Tony - yes, but on the fence
Jesse - no
Mom - yes
Dad - yes
Ryan - yes
Will - no, doesn't know him well
Lee also asked for where they could search. Casey recommended places that were familiar to her. She cryptically told Lee to ask Mom about specific places she had mentioned to her in the past three weeks.
Lee also mentioned that Casey that she could "change horses" in this horse race, meaning attorneys!
Lee also mentioned that Josh Duckett had been in touch with them and given them advice, including manipulating attorneys.
For the remainder of the video, Lee continued down his list and discussed what he would do in his investigation.
When the video was over, Linda Burdick pointed out that the next video's sound did not begin until 11 minutes in. She said she would fast-forward it to the point where the sound came up. There is also a stipulation for this one.
The judge called a 15 minute recess.
When we got back to the courtroom after the break, Jose Baez cited further from his previous motions and asked for a mistrial based on what was in the jail video. He specifically referred to the negative statements made about him! He also mentioned misstatements of law surrounding her legal rights by the visitors. He said that the state only put them in because of these statements. He said he was afraid these misstatements would confuse the jury.
When Baez made his objection at this point, I told my friend that he was ticked off about the "dissing" he got from Lee Anthony.
Burdick explained that the only issues that were cited went to agents of the state. He never made this argument before. She believed the motion was untimely.
Judge Perry said that the defense had not kept to the deadlines set by the Court. There were never any motions to redact the videos. Burdick confirmed that there were none.
Baez stated that he agreed with the state's attorney. However, he felt that he had raised the issue prior to them being published and while they were being published. He didn't set the appropriate priority on them (as he said the other day).
Perry asked when they were provided to the defense and he said all but two were provided in 2008. There was one in 2009 and one a few weeks ago.
The mix up was that Baez had received duplicate copies of one and they supplied him with the proper one.
Isn't it interesting that Baez probably only notice the problem recently? He had those videos for YEARS and probably never took the time to watch them. Perhaps he was too busy with the media at the time.
Perry went back to the December 31 deadline and the hearing from January through April. Perry denied the motion for mistrial and denied all current motions.
Judge Perry did said that he would consider a curative statement for the jury.
Ms. Burdick then introduced and published the July 25 visit from George and Cindy Anthony.
This is the video where Cindy immediately forgave Casey for anything she said. Casey laughed and said she hadn't said anything.
Cindy told Casey about a picture which Casey had told her that it was taken in Zenaida's apartment. With a little prodding from Mom, Casey said that it was Ricardo's apartment.
Casey said that Baez had not given her any letters that were given to him.
There was a discussion of the woman who spotted Caylee at the airport. Casey wasn't happy with the police investigating. She wanted Lee or her parents to do the investigation.
There was a lot of talk about where Zanny was.
Casey then talked to her father who greeted her with a big "HI GORGEOUS"!
Crying, Casey gave her daughter the message to "be brave" and told Zanny to return her. This was the message Cindy would later take onto TV.
There was a hint that Zanny had a key to the house.
George asked Casey what he could do. She told him to focus on the media and that she wished this had never happened.
Casey was comfortable being in protective custody.
She then complained about the work the police were doing with the investigation. They were "twisting" her words.
Casey told Cindy to tell Amy that she was sorry and asked for Ryan (Pasley) to come and visit her. (FYI, when the defense contacted Ryan, one of Casey's oldest friends, he refused to speak to them because he had nothing good to say.)
She again told her parents to stay away from Jesse (Grund).
Cindy mentioned the Tiffany ring that "Jeff" gave her. Cindy mentioned they couldn't find him. Casey told her that Lee had found information on him and Juliette Lewis.
It was obvious that Cindy also had a list of questions to ask. There was talk of Tom Manley and Tom Franck.
Mark Hawkins also came up in the conversation.
Casey went on to give a description of Zenaida's car with the flowered car seat from Caylee. Zanny had EVERYTHING Caylee would need. (Which also explained why nothing of Caylee's things were missing from the house.)
The discussion of Casey's menu and Cindy's insisting that Caylee liked bagels was a very telling point. Casey referred to Caylee as the "same little person I am."
I also liked when Cindy Anthony asked about a Tia Torres and Casey didn't claim to know her. She knew her mother was referring to Kiomarie Cruz Torres! She was the one who said Cindy had recently been in a mental institution.
The saddest part was when Cindy said she wanted to find Caylee in time for her third birthday.
Casey spoke with the psychologist every day and Casey said she didn't open up to her. She said Jose was the only one she is able to trust.
George came on the line again, and asked if Casey had done something or taken something that Caylee might have been taken for.
He asked what he could do to get her out of jail as quickly as possible.
He told her he missed her and that he wished he'd been a better father. Casey said that he was the best father and that they had both been the best grandparents.
Of course, Cindy had to mention that she was "threatened" by Yuri Melich that he would send a squad car to see her father in the nursing home.
Casey wiped the "tears" from her eyes as this part is retold.
Casey had a good time discussing her jail diet.
Casey gave her mother a good description of Zanny. Then, Casey complained how the police never did a full search on her. She gave so many details of step-fathers, fathers, sisters, etc., etc., etc. and it was clear that Cindy believed every word she said.
Perhaps the best moment of the video was when Casey pointed out that Caylee's reward was half her bond!
Then when George did the "finger analogy" and said two fingers were missing, Casey said that she was still there!
Casey told her mother she detested Allen and Melich, but liked "(H)Appy Wells. She said she would talk to him.
Casey gave a good clue as to Caylee's location when she said, "she's not far, I have a feeling in my gut."
It was clear from this video that Casey is a mememememe sort of person.
Linda Burdick told the judge that the next video was 49 minutes. The judge gave the jury the choice of running the tape or quit early and start the next morning.
When the jury returned, the jury chose to stay and watch the July 28 video of Lee Anthony.
At the beginning of the video, we learned that Jose Baez passed communications from Casey to her family. (A big no-no)
I won't begin to tell you what was said during this video because Casey and Lee "talked in code" and it is virtually impossible to figure out what was actually communicated.
What I can say is that Lee worked so hard to find Caylee.
Casey then gave a gracious "thank you list" for Lee to give to all the people who were helping find Caylee.
She was so dramatic when she thanked Lee and the family and gave the analogy of the fingers to her brother, tearfully.
I love you all and miss you ALL so much!
It was Oscar Nomination material!
The jury was dismissed at 5:21 PM.
Judge Perry then asked Cheney Mason if he had served the prosecution with a motion he wanted to discuss tomorrow morning at 8:30.
Judge Perry asked if "we" hadn't seen this one before?
Mason said that he didn't know what was different about it from the one filed by Ann Finnel.
Baez said he had spoken to Ms. Burdick and would not need a hearing tomorrow.
Jeff Ashton then got up indignantly and stated that the defense had put in a new witness. Ashton then got a one page-download from the internet about the person.
Dr. Sally Jarioth, PhD, Rn, expert in something to do with nursing. She had not interviewed the defendant.
Baez said it is an expert who would testify about the different types of reactions have in the grieving process. It would not require an examination of Ms. Anthony!
There was more discovery containing Geroge Anthony's hospital records.
Baez stated that the state had given the defense a new witness recently and more discovery.
Ashton said that they would need good cause and that the defense needed to follow the rules. Baez would then need to prove when he found this person.
Judge Perry suggested the prosecution take the witness' deposition and cited case law which deals with testimony about grief and bereavement are not automatically admissible.
Judge Perry mentioned that bereavement usually begins when a body is found. If she is permitted to testify, she would have to produce a report, outline all the opinions she will give.
Ashton asked when they would receive the report. Baez said he would talk to her this evening. He said that they had just thought of this and was very huffy about Mr. Ashton's attitude.
As to George Anthony's medical records, Ashton assumed the defense planned to use it at trial. They need to know if they are going to use which sections and know the good cause reason why the discovery was so late.
There will be a hearing Saturday at 1 PM.
The deposition will be taken one day next week. It will be the defense's obligation to produce the witness for deposition.
With those comments, court was adjourned until 9:00 tomorrow. Don't forget the popcorn!
edited by DLT 6/2/11 9:27pm: changed 2 typos