LIES AND VIDEOTAPES
I'm sure that the jury must be reeling after seeing all those videos and hearing Casey with the detectives. While Jose Baez admitted she was a liar in his opening statement, I'm sure they never dreamed she was such a convincing liar. Yuri Melich certainly expressed confusion over what to believe from her and it is fortunate for the prosecution that this admission came after a difficult cross by Jose Baez. The magnitude of Casey's lies and her demeanor are probably convincing some jurors that there is nothing believable in anything Casey asserts through her attorney. Once a liar, always a liar, as they say. The defense team's expressions yesterday told a story of their own. There was no smirking from Baez. Dorothy Clay Sims seemed to be viewing the videos for the first time with a sinking feeling of doom. Although I've seen the videos before, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest today.
Judge Perry began Day 9 promptly.
Linda Burdick introduced the July 30 visitation video. The audio is bad after 31 or so minutes. There were the usual stipulations.
Jose Baez continued his objections.
The jury was brought back in and it was pop-corn time again!
Casey continued on with her lies and talked about how tired she was. She just wanted to go home. She wanted to be with her family and help them find Caylee.
She did an awful lot of sobbing!
There was mention of Holly Gagne going on Nancy Grace to defend her.
She kept talking about the strength she had and was sure Caylee and she would all be back home together.
There was a lot of chit-chat about various people.
George Anthony came on and gave her an update on her grandfather's health.
Casey again told George that he was the best Father and Grandfather. She thanked him for everything he was doing to find Caylee.
At that point, I had a feeling that her jail life was wearing very thin and she wanted nothing more than to be out of there!
Casey kept assuring her sobbing mother that she wanted Caylee back just the way she was.
Casey then had the nerve to say she would re-arrange her (nonexistent) work schedule around her daughter!
Cindy told her she didn't have to work.
According to Casey, she was so busy, she had no time to write letters to pass to them through Baez.
Also interesting was the fact that Casey mentioned that their meeting the previous night was mostly "business" talk. (Wonder what the business was?)
Casey even mentioned she was glad she wasn't crying all the time and was keeping strong. She mentioned that she had to think straight (and keep her lies in order).
Casey made a good case against her defense when she mentioned that George Anthony was the quiet one in the family who thought things through before saying anything.
At this point, Casey seemed to look forward to seeing her family and wanted them to visit her again.
The audio cut out and Linda Burdick attempted to introduce the next tape.
Jose Baez then called for a side bar.
This is the August 3 visit by George Anthony. Judge Perry then read the stipulation.
Obviously, Baez lost whatever objection he had to this one.
This video is probably the best opportunity to observe the relationship between the supposed "abuser" and his daughter. While there were hints in the previous video, this is the best evidence to show that George is not hiding any guilty secrets.
George extended his love and the love of friends and family.
Casey, as in the previous video, spent more time talking about getting out of jail than she did of her daughter.
Casey was concerned that her father speak with Jose Baez. At that point, the parents were cooperating with him.
George told Casey about how "her daughter" had captivated the world. He said that everyone wanted to see Caylee home.
Casey said she didn't care about the media and what people were saying about her. She just wanted to be home (out of jail) when Caylee came home.
This is such torture to watch as Casey plays her father with false hope.
George echoed Casey's feeling that Caylee is close and told Casey he was doing everything he could to help find her.
He was in tears when he spoke of how this was hurting her mother.
He apologized for being too domineering a father. He wished he could have gone back and been a better father and listened to her more.
George then mentioned Scott (Bolin) of the FBI and felt that Casey might want to talk to him as he was a very sympathetic man.
Casey then played another "get me out of jail" card to be home to help more to find Caylee.
George mentioned how he had tried to raise the money for her bail.
There was also an indication by George that he had been in legal trouble before. (I would like to know what that was about!)
Casey then blocked her father's ability to communicate with her in writing.
They were trying to circumvent the possibility of her jail mail being copied. It didn't work!
They talked about a charity event the parents had attended at the Daytona Speedway.
George continued to talk about what they could do for missing children when Caylee was home.
George was even willing to take the family into protective custody. (Assuming that Casey knew who had Caylee and her life was in danger.)
George also voiced concerns that Baez wasn't in the case for himself more than for Casey.
To me, it was clear that she had led the family down the path that the kidnappers had taken Caylee for nefarious, dangerous reasons.
The family and Casey were all upset about the People Magazine article that came out. For Casey and her father, it was all media spin. (It was, but they had zeroed in on Casey and her lies early on in the case.)
George went on to talk about leading a better life with the family. He also talked about how this experience had opened doors for the family.
Casey went on about how important her Bible was to her and how she read it all the time.
Most heartbreaking was to listen to how George wanted to have Caylee back in time for her birthday.
He also said that the members of the family should be more open with each other. He said he had opened up to Cindy more than at any other time.
Casey replied to George that he had done the right thing when he was too tough with her.
There was a lot of small talk, always coming back to when Caylee was home.
George again apologized for being tough on her. (The truth is, if he and Cindy had been on the same page and were both tough on Casey, they may have forced her out of her lying ways.)
The next time Casey mentioned that she wanted to be home, there was a reference to what Baez was doing about that.
As the conversation ended, my heart broke anew with Casey talking about being home again with Caylee. George went on about all the things he wanted to do with Caylee.
There was a morning recess for 15 minutes.
When the jury returned, there was a brief discussion of the curative jury instruction concerning the videos. While we didn't hear the entire instruction, Baez objected to some of the contents.
The judge read it and it sounded like it said that the opinions expressed by the Anthony family concerning him were his main issue.
Judge Perry reminded Baez yet again that he had the videos for a long time. He told the lawyers to dicker with the language and perhaps he would write the curative instruction.
The jury was called back and the judge addressed the "hamburger issue" with the jury.
At that point, Linda Burdick introduced the final video with the usual stipulations. It was the "temper tantrum" video.
George and Cindy waited for Casey's arrival. Cindy was crying. Casey's first comment was, "why is she crying already?" followed by a laugh.
Then, Casey commented on the new shirts the Never Lose Hope Foundation had donated and there was a brief discussion about them.
As Cindy came on the line, she was sobbing, telling Casey they were not doing well. Casey laughed and acted jolly.
Then, Cindy told her about the pool rumor and Casey brushed it off with a "surprise, surprise."
Cindy complained about the hate mail they were receiving threatening mail. Casey said she only received positive mail.
When Cindy said that they needed something to go on, Casey went into her "poor me" routine.
Casey indicated that she was attempting to have a private meeting, she said she had chosen her father to visit her.
George went into the whole CEO routine, that they were all working for Casey.
The whining and complaining started at that point. She was stuck in jail and could do nothing to help.
Further discussion went on about the private meeting.
We all know that when it had been arranged, Casey turned the visit down on the advice of her attorney. It wasn't Baez, who was in New York visiting with Geraldo at the time.
Casey then went into the whole tantrum that nobody would let her speak and clenched her fists.
She complained that "her life had been taken from her" and that, after a month in jail, she knew nothing of what was going on!
Cindy was walking on eggshells, trying to calm Casey, but nothing worked.
Casey was beyond angry and frustrated and couldn't swallow!
Casey accused her family of keeping her in jail. She refused to accept that her parents didn't have the resources to post the bond.
Casey wanted out of jail, and she wanted out of jail yesterday!
She mentioned the opportunity that had been passed up.
George even apologized for making her angry and that didn't help either.
This was the ultimate "me" video, a complete pity party. This was the "real" Casey feeling sorry for herself because she had to sit in jail. She kept talking about how, if she were home, she could help find Caylee. Of course, when she did get home, she became, according to Tim Miller, a happy-go-lucky cheerleader with no thoughts of helping find Caylee.
Casey was even pitying herself about missing the corn bread and chili Cindy served for dinner.
For a person who hadn't had a chance to talk, Casey managed to do most of the talking in this meeting.
She told Cindy that every day she felt in her gut that Caylee was coming home.
Cindy asked her to give Zanny a message. Casey said to say to Zanny that she forgives her and just wanted her baby back.
Casey said she wanted to have her family fixed because it was broken by tragedy.
She said she didn't want the potential of never knowing what happened to her child or if she was with somebody else.
Again, she was leading on her parents to a place of hope. In retrospect, it was incredibly cruel of her.
She went on to say that the private meeting could only be with one person and that she had chosen her father because their previous relationship had been poor.
Perhaps the one true statement Casey made was when she said that she was completely miserable on Caylee's 3rd birthday.
Another famous line from this video was that Casey said she was as much a victim as anyone else.
There were a few more minutes of talk and Cindy asked if the family could set up more visits.
As we know, this was the last time Casey saw her family or communicated with them.
When the video ended, Judge Perry asked the Attorneys to the sidebar. He then read the corrective jury instruction, that the family's opinion of Ms. Anthony's counsel were not to be considered.
Charity Beasley, the next witnessed was then called. In 2008, she was a detective and collected some items from the Anthony home. She collected a vehicle (white Pontiac Sunfire) which she had towed to the forensics lab at the Sheriff's Office. She sealed the doors and the trunk and did not remove any items. She followed the tow truck to its ultimate destination.
Cindy Anthony gave her items in a blue plastic crate which included the Mama doll and other items.
Cindy Anthony gave her the laptop computer. It was handed to her unplugged and off. She did not try to turn it on.
After following the car to the forensics bay, she returned the items to Gerardo Bloise and the computer to another CSU person.
Cheney Mason did the cross. He asked if she knew what had happened the night before. Beasley replied that before she went to the house, she knew there was an active investigation involving a missing child.
Mason, as Ms. Beasley was addressing the jury, asked her to look at him.
Mason asked if she put the seal all around the doors and trunk. She replied that she only put a small piece of tape on each opening.
He then asked if she didn't smell any odor and she replied that she didn't remember.
He asked if she checked the power level of the computer. She said she didn’t.
She was not involved in any other aspect of the case.
She was excused.
The judge then recessed court for lunch until 1:30. He also told them their lunch variety would change next week. They were trying to arrange for a buffet to be brought in.
Mason began by saying that the dog issues are coming up and mentioned that certain material hadn't been provided to them.
Ms. Burdick said that they have the documents there but didn't think they would get there today.
It seems we will have a lot of chain of evidence testimony this afternoon.
The first witness for the afternoon was Awilda McBryde of the OCSO. At the time, she was a missing children's investigator. She would assist detectives and other officers.
She met George Anthony and accompanied him to Johnson's towing to retrieve the trash bag on July 16, 2008.
It was already dark out and she had to call to get someone to open the gate for them.
The pictures she took of the trash bag were submitted into evidence after she verified them.
She never opened the bag. She was the only one who touched it with gloves on and put it in a brown paper bag after she retrieved it. To cover the whole trash bag, she put a second bag over the top.
She put it into the trunk and only opened it when she brought it to the Sheriff's Office. She walked directly to the forensic's unit and brought Gerardo Bloise to her car and turned it over to him. She also mentioned that Yuri Melich came there about that time.
McBryde was also asked to retrieve the computer tower and digital camera from the Anthony residence on July 17, 2008 at 12:15. She brought them to the Sheriff's Office with Tanya DePalmo. They gave them to John Allen and Yuri Melich.
The witness was excused.
Christine Narkiewicz testified next. She is a crime scene investigator with the OCSO. She gave her professional credentials and was employed by the OCSO as of March, 2008.
Yuri Melich asked her to collect certain items of evidence. On July 21, 2008 she was sent to the Orange County Jail to collect samples from Casey Anthony. She obtained hair and buccal swabs.
Ms. Burdick showed her the envelopes containing the evidence and she identified them.
Christine Narkiewicz turned the items over to CSI Gerardo Bloise.
She also had four toothbrushes collected by Yuri Melich as well as the brush, comb, and thermometer, all belonging to Caylee Anthony. They were packaged by her on July 28, 2008.
Jose Baez cross examined the witness. He asked if she wore rubber gloves, which she did.
Baez mentioned that she took extreme precaution in getting the buccal swabs. He explained to her why she wore a mask. He said she didn't even try to speak while wearing a mask, all to prevent cross contamination. Narkiewicz agreed.
Baez then asked if she was aware of touch DNA and then, he pointed out that the packaging she uses to preserve the integrity of the sample. Then he asked if this was so that they could use samples 20 years in the future. She agreed with all of this.
This witness was then excused.
Gerardo Bloise, a CSI at the OCSO, employed there for 11 years was the next witness. He had previous experience in police work in Puerto Rico for a number of years and training with the FBI and other organizations.
Bloise said he does not perform analysis. He is in charge of receiving and documenting evidence.
On July 18, he received the Pontiac Sunfire. It was transported to the forensic garage A at the OCSO via tow truck. All the doors, the engine, and the trunk were sealed. He identified the vehicle from pictures already in evidence. He pointed out the seals on the car.
Bloise also received evidence from Det. Charity Beasley. He then identified the packages he received from Beasley.
He also received a blue plastic crate. There was a doll, a child's backpack, child's toothbrush, a black backpack, and clothes hangers.
Burdick then asked if, in his experience in Puerto Rico and at the OCSO, he had come in contact with a deceased person who was decomposed. He said he had about 30 to 35 times. He had experience with decomposing bodies in various stages of decomposition. He also had experience searching for bodies in landfills and garbage dumps.
Bloise said that when he opened the seal on the driver's side and opened the door, he immediately smelled the odor of decomposition coming from inside the car.
Burdick went through the steps he followed to document the contents of the vehicle.
He said he took notes and used them to write his reports.
Ms. Burdick showed Bloise a picture of the gas gage. He said he documented the fact that the gas gage was working properly. This occurred several months later.
The picture shown was received into evidence to document the result of his test.
Next, Bloise was shown a picture of the front seat. Then, he identified the sunglasses, black CD case, and a brown belt.
The next picture showed the rear interior and he pointed out the baby car seat and the black shoes.
The next picture was a photograph of the back seat with the black boots, gold shoes, and a dryer sheet. These last pictures were taken July 16, 2008.
In the following picture, we saw a picture of the undercarriage of the car as it was raised on a lift.
Bloise found dried leaves in two locations. There were no animal parts underneath the vehicle.
The trunk of the car was shown next. There was a plastic cover for the tire well which he had removed and placed near the hole.
There were markers placed in the trunk which showed a dryer sheet in the trunk. (A) There was also residue of dirt. (B) There was a picture of the rear of the spare tire well cover.
Part of it had been removed prior to this picture being taken.
Bloise then identified the inside of the trunk where there had been a dried leaf. There had been a spare tire in the trunk.
At this point in Bloise's testimony, Judge Perry called a 15 minute break.
After the break, Bloise went over more evidence from the trunk once the liner was removed. There was a lot of leaf debris and dirt there.
The next picture was one of the liner of the trunk when it was sent to the forensic lab. He located a human hair on the liner.
There was more mention made of the materials turned over to Charity Beasley which we all saw before. He stored them in his evidence locker and later packaged them.
In the following days, Bloise collected more hairs, residue, and the dryer sheet from the trunk.
Then, Bloise went through the tedious procedure of identifying all the other envelopes.
This portion of a trial is so very tedious to watch, but it is very important that the chain of custody of every item of evidence is fully accounted for. The good part comes when the forensic experts start to testify.
When they got to the box containing the trunk liner (minus cuttings for evidence, it was a real battle to get the box open.
Bloise put on gloves to remove it from the box.
This is the first time we are actually seeing the evidence in the courtroom!
We saw the spare tire, a can containing a piece of the cover, and other pieces of the furnishings of the empty trunk. These items had to be removed to tag them.
Then, we were back to another envelope.
Apparently item IO is missing, so the judge gave everybody a 5 minute stretch break while they located it.
Well, the wandering exhibit IO was located, the jury was brought back and we were back to the official identification of items of evidence by Gerardo Blois. They were more boxes this time, pieces of the spare tire cover.
Then, the items which were identified were put into evidence with Jose Baez at her side to check the items off and to be accepted without objection.
When they were finished, Jose Baez cross examined the witness.
He asked if he did an external visual examination of the car. Then, he did an internal inspection. Bloise said he did.
Baez then moved on to the hairs Bloise found. He said he found 12 hairs by hand. He collected them July 17, 2008.
Baez then asked if he used the word “decomposition”. He asked if it could be animal or meat. Bloise agreed and also said that he said he had smelled bodies at various stages of decomposition in various environments.
Baez then mentioned that, with a decomposing body, one would see maggots and pupae. Bloise agreed, but when Baez started to get into the life cycle of insects, said that the insects were not his field of expertise.
He mentioned medical examiners' offices. He asked if Bloise mostly smelled formaldehyde. Bloise agreed, but he pointed out that when he went in to take fingerprints, the bodies were in the freezer.
Baez also told him that he also smelled fecal matter and Bloise agreed.
Baez tried to get Bloise to say he couldn't tell which odor he was smelling. Bloise said that the smell of human decomposition is unique and different than the chemicals one smells in a medical examiner's office. It is an odor one will never forget.
Baez got Bloise to agree that bodies smell differently at different stages of decomposition.
As to the gas gage, Bloise did not "take it for a spin" so he could not say that the indicator might go down while driving.
Bloise only knew that the car was related to a missing child case. He was unaware that Cindy Anthony had put the dryer sheets in and sprayed with Febreeze.
When Baez tried to discuss the evidentiary value of the leaves, there was an objection. He did sent the leaves to a lab and didn't think the results were of use.
Baez indicated that he did a thorough search of the car to remove hair and to vacuum it to catch evidence, even the most minute articles. Bloise agreed. He also used an alternate light source to identify stains. Even if not of forensic value, it would be something to concentrate on.
Bloise found a portion of the car that had a stain. He said it is fairly common to find stains in the trunk after much back and forth with Baez.
Baez pointed out that they used a chemical, Blue Star, to identify blood. It exposes the stain for a longer time than Luminal and limits the false positives.
The results for blood were negative. Prior to spraying the Blue Star, the presumptive test showed negative as well for blood. Bloise also swabbed the stain for DNA. He was not aware of the results for that.
Bloise located 12 hairs by hand. Baez questioned him about the length and color. All Bloise could say was that, of the first two, one was somewhat longer than the other. He also asked if he found animal hairs. Bloise said he could not say.
Then, they went through how he was fully covered when he examined the trunk of the car.
Bloise couldn't agree with Baez that finding hairs in car trunks was not very common.
Baez gave ways that hair could be transferred from clothing placed in the trunk. Bloise agreed with that.
Baez asked that since the car was over 10 years old, there would be lots of trace evidence. Bloise said that it depended on the owner of the car. Then, Baez asked if older cars were dirtier than newer cars. Bloise said that it depended on the owner.
Baez then asked if he sent the hairs for mitochondrial DNA. Bloise explained it was his job to send items out for DNA testing, but he couldn't say that they were all tested and what kind of testing was done. That decision was not his to make, it was up to the people at the lab.
Baez went back to the number of hairs found. There were the 12 found by hand and another 11 with the vacuum.
Bloise testified that he inspected the vehicle about 12 times. He said that he did a thorough job over a period of days as he had other cars to process. Bloise said he inspected the car more than any other car.
Baez tried to bring up Dr. Henry Lee and Linda Burdick loudly objected and there was an immediate side bar.
Ms. Burdick moved to strike the question, but Judge Perry told the jury to disregard the question.
Baez then continued with the defense inspection of the car. Baez said that additional hairs were found and submitted to evidence. Bloise agreed.
Baez also stated that animal hairs were found. Bloise said he didn't recall.
We were back to the point that they destroy their notes when they make a report as a standard policy which Baez and Bloise had discussed at one of the preliminary hearings.
Baez pointed out that the report was dated 6 months after the report was written. Bloise pointed out that was the day his supervisor reviewed and signed it the day he reviewed the report. He also said that it was OCSO policy to destroy the notes when the report was completed.
Baez then referred to the garbage found. Bloise didn't remember garbage, he remembered trash. Bloise stated it was moist trash.
Baez asked if there were multiple packages of food. Bloise agreed.
Bloise listed 37 items of trash and listed as evidence. Baez pointed out a bottle with chewing tobacco spit.
Bloise only found an empty Copenhagen Tobacco, but no bottle with chewing tobacco spit. He only found an empty bottle of Crystal Light with a brown liquid. He couldn't identify it as containing spit.
Baez said that here were three boxes of Velveeta cheese.
Linda Burdick objected because this had not come up in direct evidence.
Baez said he would reserve his questions.
Linda Burdick did re-direct. She had Bloise point out that the results were negative for blood.
She also had him explain that after taking handwritten notes, he takes the notes and creates a report from them and then destroys the notes pursuant to OCSO policy.
Baez objected to the leading question, so, Burdick rephrased it with the same results.
Burdick pointed out that the defense experts only wore gloves to examine the trunk.
She then asked his opinion as to if there was an odor of human decomposition.
Baez objected because he is not an expert in human decomposition and was overruled.
Professionally speaking, Bloise told the jury were that it was human decomposition.
On re-cross, Baez pointed out that there could be things he left out of his report. Bloise stated to him and to the jury, everything he had in his handwritten notes was in his report.
Baez pointed out the difference in what he said on cross vs. re-direct concerning the use of the word decomposition versus human decomposition. Bloise said he was talking from his personal experience. Bloise said that Baez hadn't asked the question in the same way!
Baez ended with the statement being made on Bloise's own experience.
Bloise finished his testimony, packed up his material and left the stand.
Judge Perry dismissed the jury for the day at 5:08 PM.
The hearing for tomorrow is cancelled.
There was talk of the witnesses for the next day which I couldn't here.
The prosecution estimated they will be done by Friday, June 17. The defense should plan to begin on Friday or Saturday.
Court will reconvene at 9 AM tomorrow!