The Day Of The Bench Conference
Judge Perry called today's session to order at 12:59.
Jose Baez asked Judge Perry if he wanted a "housekeeping" update now or later. The judge said now, and we started off with a side bar.
The first witness called by Jeff Ashton was Dr. Catherine Theisen, she is the Chief of the Quality Assurance Lab at the FBI in Quantico Virginia. She gave her educational background and professional history.
She has a background in DNA. She then gave an explanation of mitochondrial DNA testing.
In July, 2008, she tested the Q-12 hair sample for mitochondrial DNA. She found that the hair's mitochondrial DNA matched the buccal swab from Casey Anthony. Her conclusion was that neither Casey nor Caylee could be excluded as the source. It would not exclude Cindy Anthony, Lee Anthony, or Shirley Plesea as well as any of Casey's maternal uncles.
After the remains were found, she received one of the hairs from the hair mass. The mitochondrial DNA also matched Casey's buccal sample.
Jose Baez, as usual, did the cross examination.
He first asked her to describe her responsibilities as the Chief of the Quality Assurance. He brought up checklists, proficiency tests, and all the steps taken to reduce contamination. (Objection to the last point/sustained.)
Next question exceeded the scope of direct/sustained.
Next question exceeded the scope of direct/sustained.
Finally, Baez got back to the main point of her direct testimony.
Dr. Theisen did get some information about the case in general. Baez then asked her if she knew that Lee Anthony once owned the Pontiac Sunfire (objection/sustained).
Baez then tried to get her to say that she just read the background for her own curiosity (my words).
She explained that she doesn't use that information in the testing.
Baez asked the Pontiac question again (objection/sustained).
Baez then asked if she was given any information about the people who were not excluded. She couldn't recall anything about that except that Cindy and George were listed as her parents.
Jose Baez ended his cross and Jeff Ashton had no more questions.
Linda Burdick then called Alina Burroughs. She is a CSI with Orange County. She held the same position in 2008. She worked at the crime scene and at the Anthony home when a warrant was served on December 20, 2008.
She had CSI Burroughs identify an aerial photograph of the Anthony home and the Suburban Drive site. (This is the first time the jury had seen how close the home was to the remains site.)
CSI Burroughs was present during the search of the home, she identified items found at the home. She was familiar with the heart stickers that were found at the home. When Ms. Burdick attempted to introduce the photograph of the stickers, Jose Baez had an objection. There followed the usual bench conference.
Judge Perry apparently overruled the objection because Ms. Burroughs was permitted to explain where the stickers were found. The stickers were in a box along with an envelope with a sticker backing laying on it. A closer version was also admitted into evidence, over the defense's objections. The backing was also introduced.
There were other stickers which were found in a black binder found in the same area of Casey Anthony's bedroom. Ms. Burdick also had Ms. Burroughs identify the sheet of heart-shaped stickers which had been cut in half.
The state is on a roll with those heart-shaped stickers!
Next, more stickers were introduced into evidence.
Casey had a ton of different heart-shaped stickers!
Next up were metallic heart-shaped stickers.
Jose Baez cross-examined the witness. He published one of the pictures with the envelope. Baez pointed out the 37 cent stamp on it, asking her if she was aware of how long it had been since stamps cost that amount. CSI Burroughs didn’t know the answer.
Baez then asked the witness if some of the items were old. Burroughs wouldn't say that the items seemed old, but there were baby shower items in it.
In another picture, Baez pointed out the star and Disney figure stickers in it.
How this means that Casey couldn't have used a sticker on the duct tape, I don't know.
Baez also asked if she saw children's items (as in being made by a child). She didn’t. Baez then went on to ask if she found stickers in any of the other rooms. He also asked if she found any items with stickers on them in the master bedroom! CSI Burroughs looked confused for a moment, trying to figure that question out. Eventually, she said that she didn’t know.
Mr. Baez then handed a photograph of an item found on Suburban Drive (more than likely the cardboard with the sticker found on it at the site).
Baez then asked if she found that item in the Anthony home. She said she didn't, however she never held the item and didn't measure it.
Baez asked again (objection/sustained).
Baez then asked about the elementary school found in the vicinity. (We've been here before.) She tried to get her to judge the distance, but she wouldn't take a guess. Baez then put up the aerial photograph and asked her if the school was about 30 yards from "there" and she said she couldn't because the school wasn't in the picture!
CSI Burroughs was on the scene for 9 days. Baez then said that the only vehicles allowed to pass through were the school busses. Burroughs said that parents who were picking up there children were also allowed to pass through the search area.
No matter how he tried, Ms. Burroughs would not give him an over-all description of houses, shacks, etc. in the area.
After the witness left the stand, Ms. Burdick asked to introduce something into evidence. Baez objected, saying that he wanted to question the witness about it.
Ms. Burroughs was then returned to the stand. (We still didn't know what the item was!)
Baez then asked her about the item. He wanted to show it to the witness, but it hadn't yet been allowed into evidence. Baez withdrew his objection and had Ms. Burroughs look at the item.
I'm going to assume it's "THE" sticker, and wasn't published. Ms. Burroughs said it did not resemble the stickers in the house.
Ms. Burroughs was then excused for the second time.
The next witness called by Linda Burdick was Cindy Anthony.
It was now time to question Cindy about the discovery of the body. Cindy said that when the remains were found, they were waiting to take a plane home from California.
Between July of 2008 and December 11, Cindy recalled that Caylee's teddy bear was missing.
She also noticed the Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing since the end of May.
Then, Ms. Burdick brought up the videos that were shown of the jail visit. Cindy Anthony's hair had been about the same for the entire time. Cindy said that her hair grows fast and gets it cut every three weeks. She indicated she had grown the hair out over the past summer. At the time of the July and August videos, her hair had been the same length for about a year-and-a-half. Her hair has been entirely colored since 2002 (when she was a brunette).
This is showing that the death-band hair couldn't be hers.
Ms. Burdick then put up a photograph of Caylee playing with Casey. Cindy said it was taken early in 2008. Cindy would trim Caylee’s hair every few weeks and did not subject it to any sort of processing.
Cindy then indicated that Casey started doing different things with her hair after Caylee was born. She cut it shorter and would highlight it and dye it back to match. In the picture of Casey playing with Caylee, Cindy said that Casey's hair was very short because of Caylee.
Ms. Burdick then went back to Caylee's second birthday, August 9, 2007. Ms. Burdick then showed Cindy a page from her deposition. Cindy had made a prior statement that the picture was taken around Caylee's 2nd birthday.
Ms. Burdick then asked about Lee's hair. Cindy said he kept it short. It was never over an inch long and he never processed his hair.
Next came Cindy's mother. Cindy said she was in the Sunfire along with Casey and Lee from time to time. Prior to 2008, Cindy couldn't remember any specific date. She also mentioned that she and her husband would drive the Sunfire as well.
Her mother has had her hair at different lengths, but never over her shoulder in the past 10 years. Her hair is mostly gray and white with some brown.
It's possible one of her brothers was in the car. He kept his hair short and is blonde.
Then, Cindy was asked about duct tape. She recalled black, blue, and possibly silver. She remember using the black to wrap the "No Trespassing" signs. The duct tape was stored in the garage.
She said that none of her duct tape was used at the command center. KidFinders and George bought the tape, she didn't think it came from her house. Linda Burdick then refreshed Cindy Anthony's deposition from July, 2009. At that time, Cindy said that George had told her about putting duct tape on the gas can (the vent cover was missing).
Ms. Burdick then went to another portion of the deposition. After reading that, she said she couldn't remember the exact situation with the duct tape in the house.
Cindy was then shown the picture of the KidFinders poster with the Henkel duct tape holding it up at the command center.
There is no way that Cindy will admit that THAT duct tape was at her house.
Cindy was then shown a picture of an ad for the laundry bags. She said one looked like the one they had used for Caylee's stuffed animals. She was unsure of the second one because she couldn't tell the size.
Gee, and it was found in great shape at her house!
Cindy then reviewed a photograph and said it was similar to one at her house. The cylindrical one was kept in the garage. It was the last place she saw the bag (8-9 months prior to June-July, 2008). Cindy stated she remembered she had originally said it was last in Caylee's room, but remembered taking it out of the room while she was on the stand. (Darn, impeached again.)
Cindy uses the grieving grandmother to explain her improved memory.
Ms. Burdick then showed a picture of the garage and asked if that's where the bags were stored in black plastic bags. Cindy circled the bags which stored the laundry bags.
After the search warrant, she never saw the bags again.
They also showed a white bag that had the balls from the ball-pit (which she originally stated was in Caylee's bedroom, way back when).
Next up was a picture of Casey and Caylee and pointed out the shirt Caylee was wearing. She said that the first time she saw it was during her deposition (sniffling starts).
Cindy usually did the laundry most of the time. Casey and George also did it from time to time.
Cindy then said that she had never saw the picture prior to her deposition in July, 2009.
With Ms. Burdick's direct examination complete, Judge Perry called a break until 3:00.
When we returned to court, Judge Perry had a question from the jury. They wanted to see exhibit 313, the heart-shaped item. Jose Baez indicated that the heart-shaped sticker was no longer stuck to the cardboard. According to Linda Burdick, she didn’t believe that the sticker was ever attached to the cardboard but they could bring back the person who discovered it to explain.
Baez suggested just showing a picture of it. Judge Perry said to put it on the overhead. Baez then offered to make a stipulation that it was stuck to the cardboard. Perry asked if there was testimony to the fact. Robin Maynard was the person who found it. Judge Perry then said that when there was a break, the court stenographer could pull the record as to what was testified to. There was also an issue about if the jury wanted to see it in their hands, they would pass it to the jury. Baez then said that it was stuck to the cardboard! They then went off the record and called the court stenographer up to find out what was on the record.
Finally, Judge Perry told the attorneys that they should continue with Ms. Anthony and tell the jury that the exhibit would be dealt with later.
When the jury returned, Jose Baez began his cross examination of Cindy Anthony.
Baez went back to the December 11, 2008 search warrant served on the house. Cindy said that they went back on the 12th to get the dogs and went back to the hotel for a couple of days.
Baez then went on to December 20th when the police came back and executed another search warrant.
But then, before asking a question, he went back to the 11th, and asked if there was a list of items taken from the house. Cindy testified that it took them a while to get a copy of the items that were taken.
Baez said there was a confrontation on the 20th when the search warrant was executed. (object/overruled). He then told Cindy that George had to be taken to the back area (objection/sustained).
Then, Baez told Cindy that she had mentioned that she had told authorities that a Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing. Cindy said that she didn't remember.
Baez then asked if there was a search warrant for a Winnie the Pooh blanket (objection/bench conference/sustained).
Then, the attorneys were called back to the side bar for the court stenographer to consult with them.
When the questioning continued, Baez was back to when they returned home after the search on the 11th, the house was in a mess. Cindy said that they took items, including Caylee's bedding set.
Cindy said that she wasn't sure what the police were interested in finding during that search.
Baez then showed Cindy testimony from her deposition that Ms. Burdick had shown her.
Apparently, we were back to the duct tape. Baez asked what question Cindy had been asked. (objection/not impeachment/overruled).
Baez asked if she was asked if Casey had removed duct tape from the house. Cindy couldn't remember what the question was.
Baez then tried to read the question and there was an objection for improper impeachment.
OK, at this point I became totally confused! Apparently, in the deposition, Cindy had said that they only had one roll of duct tape in the house, so Casey couldn't have taken it.
Then, Baez borrowed Ms. Burdick's copy of the deposition and showed it to Cindy Anthony.
Cindy then read the question. It was asked if Casey had taken any duct tape when she was out of jail (on bond). That would be AFTER the murder!
Baez then said that there was only one roll of duct tape. Cindy pointed out that the time-frame was when Casey was out of jail.
Baez then told Cindy that she said in the deposition that George was the only one to use the black roll of duct tape! Cindy said she used it on the NO TRESPASSING signs they put in the yard.
This is crazy. The duct tape in question would be the duct tape in the house at the time Caylee "disappeared" and not the duct tape that was there when Casey was out on bond!
Baez then showed the picture of Casey and Caylee playing on the floor.
Then, he asked how long they'd owned the Pontiac Sunfire. Cindy said since 2002. Baez pointed out that in the time they owned the car, their hair-length had changed!
He then went into Cindy's mother's hair, which Cindy said was about 5" in length. Cindy again told Baez that Lee's hair was always short.
Then Baez asked about the shorts in the picture. He said they were size 2 and Caylee had outgrown the shorts. Cindy testified that Caylee was wearing size 3 when she “disappeared.”
Baez then stated that whoever put the shorts on her were not familiar with her size. (Objection/sustained)
Question asked and withdrawn and Jose gave up.
During this testimony, Cindy was softly crying as she looked at the pictures, she was obviously very distressed by looking at the pictured.
Ms. Burdick stood as if to do re-direct, took one look at Cindy, and said she had no more questions for Mrs. Anthony!
Judge Perry then told the jury they had choices as to how to view the heart shaped sticker. They chose to look at it under the document examiner and then have it passed around.
Ms. Burdick indicated that the sticker was attached in the original description. Perry told the jury it had now separated. Then, Baez asked Judge Perry to repeat to the jury that originally, the item was attached to the cardboard lining.
It took a while for the jury to pass the sticker and cardboard around and we all had a nice little break from the insanity that was going on today.
Next, there was a stipulation to be read and two exhibits that went with one of them. There was also an affidavit that went with it. One was for a WFTV video and the stills taken from it that showed the duct tape in question on a Caylee poster. There was an attached affidavit from a journalist. This was written by Daniel Crisswell (sp?) of WFTV. This was the video of the command center manned by Lee Anthony.
There were then other stipulations to be read and another exhibit to be entered into evidence. One had to do with Cindy Anthony's Gentiva records, including a time card history report.
The next stipulation dealt with George Anthony's employment records, including his time card records.
The next stipulation had multiple documents attached to it. The attorneys approached the bench prior to this stipulation being read.
When the side-bar broke up, Judge Perry read it (with modifications obviously just discussed). They were the records from Photobucket.
The two final stipulations had no documents attached. One had to do with the identification of the remains found on Suburban Drive. Both sides agreed that they were the remains of Caylee Marie Anthony.
The second one was a stipulation to the identity of Casey Anthony.
The next witness was CSI Jennifer Welch, making her third appearance on the stand.
Frank George questioned her for the prosecution. On August 13, 2009, she photographed the tattoo on Casey's back. (Baez objected/overruled.)
When Mr. George asked if the photograph was accurate, Baez again objected on the basis of predicate and was overruled. At that point the tattoo was not put into evidence.
Jose Baez had no questions for Ms. Welch.
Mr. George then called Bobby Williams, who did the tattoo for Casey. He is the manager and tattoo artist at Cast Iron Tattoos. He’d known Casey Anthony for about seven years.
He saw Casey at the shop on July 2, 2008. She had made the appointment 3 to 4 days prior. She made the appointment over the phone. During the call, he asked her what she wanted and she said she wanted "Bella Vita" in a femenine-type font.
When Casey arrived, he drew the design and applied the tattoo. It took about 30 minutes to do the drawing and the tattoing. He identified the tattoo he had drawn from the picture.
Jose Baez objected through all of this and at the objection at this point in the testimony, the lawyers were told by Judge Perry to approach the bar.
The bench conference broke up and everyone stood, meaning that the jury had been sent out.
Apparently there was to be a 5 minute break.
Finally, at 4:50, the jury was returned to the courtroom.
Mr. George continued and the tattoo was entered into evidence over the defense objections.
The tattoo was what he designed and Casey agreed to it. Casey seemed "normal" and "happy" when she was in the shop. While he was applying the tattoo, Casey was on the phone. The tattoo cost $65 and Casey paid cash. Then, Casey stayed around and bought a pizza which she shared with the group at Cast Iron Tattoos.
Casey also came into the shop on July 15th and made an appointment for the 19th of July. Caylee was not with her either day. On the 15th Casey was "normal" and "happy" as she usually was.
She made an appointment for herself and a friend from out of town. He wasn't sure what type of tattoo she wanted.
When she was in the shop on the 2nd, she never mentioned Caylee. On the 15th, she told him Caylee was with the nanny. She said she would bring Caylee along for the appointment on the 19th.
Mr. George was finished and Baez began his cross by asking him if he does memorial tattoos. When he said he did, Baez tried to find out if Bobby did the Anthony's tattoos, but each time he asked, there was an objection and it was sustained.
Mr. George then got up and asked if Casey seemed mournful. Bobby said she wasn't just as Jose Baez made an objection. Then, there was confusion as Mr. Baez and Mr. George were speaking at the same time. Judge Perry called for a side bar.
The sidebar quickly broke up and Mr. George said that he had no more questions, meaning that the objection had been sustained.
The witness was excused.
The judge dismissed the jury at 5:00 without the state resting their case.
Cheney Mason then made a motion for mistrial. He spoke too fast and I missed the first first. He objected to the heart sticker because it didn't match one at the house. He also objected to the presentation of the superimposed video and the evidence of Casey's post-event behavior and Mr. George’s question which was geared to show that Casey lacked remorse.
Ashton made any number of points when he rebutted Mr. Mason. Again, he went so fast, I couldn't get it all done. He did say that the reason that the question about Casey's possible mournful behavior was in response to Baez' question about memorial tattoos.
Judge Perry denied the motion for mistrial.
Apparently, Bobby Williams and his testimony about the tattoo and Casey's demeanor was the last of the prosecution's case in chief.
Jeff Ashton then said that there were a couple of issues that needed to be done before the jury before they could rest their case. He said that two cans of carpet samples needed to be moved into evidence. He also mentioned that there is an item of judicial notice that needs to go before the jury.. At some point, it was mentioned that the prosecution needs to translate Casey’s tattoo for the jury tomorrow!
At that point Judge Perry said that the defense had informed the Court that they couldn't get any witnesses to appear for Wednesday, the defense will begin their case in chief on Thursday.
He also said that the defense needed to argue their motion for a directed verdict of acquittal, required in every trial. In it, the defense makes its arguments as to why the state has not proven its case. The state then has to reply. (These are usually denied.)
There was then a discussion if the little bit the prosecution needed to do could be done on Thursday morning before resting their case. Jeff Ashton asked if these things could be done on Thursday morning rather than calling the jury in for a short period of time tomorrow.
Cheney Mason made some sort of gruff comment that the prosecution needed to rest its case or not rest its case! The defense was not in the least willing to share the glory of their defense case with the prosecution on Thursday.
So, the jury will be called into court tomorrow (I assume at 9) for a short time and will be dismissed for the day.
Linda Burdick asked if the defense would try to sneak in witnesses on Wednesday, so as to cause them to be unprepared for the witnesses. (She wasn’t pleasant when she said that!) She also asked for the witnesses the defense planned to call on Thursday.
Mr. Mason said he would give it to them tomorrow morning.
For some reason, Judge Perry began talking about circumstantial evidence and that the facts are what they are. He also mentioned the Serrano case, something not very pleasant for Mr. Mason to hear!
This was a case Mason defended a number of years ago. It was a completely circumstantial case which he lost. Nelson Serrano is presently on death row with three death penalties.
Perry asked about the grief expert. Jeff Ashton said the deposition was set for Saturday afternoon. Judge Perry also gave the attorneys another case to consider in this issue.
With that, we were done for the day.
See you tomorrow at 9! I think you will find motion for a directed verdict of acquittal interesting to listen to.