Sunday, July 3, 2011

Casey Anthony Murder Trial: Day 34 Closing Arguments

Judge Perry took the bench early at about 8:30. This was the charge conference. Unfortunately, the prosecution did not make a written copy of aggravated manslaughter which they will be going through at 12:00.

The language of various charges was discussed between the parties. Ms. Fryer spoke to them for the defense. Jeff Ashton and Ms. Burdick represented the prosecution.

Judge Perry reminded the attorneys to have a sandwich brought in as they would have to meet through the lunch hour.

In discussing the topics which may or may not be discussed, Judge Perry indicated that the pool pictures would allow the theory of a drowning death. However, when it came to the history of sexual abuse, Jose Baez argued that the fact that Casey began menstruating at age 10. Perry asked if Lee Anthony had ever been asked on the stand about abusing his sister. Baez said no. He also mentioned the hidden pregnancy and that there may have been questions about that type of abuse. He also argued about Casey's promiscuity and the testimony about "compartmentalizing."

Baez even equated this to the allegations of chloroform! If the jury heard about chloroform or duct tape as the means of death, they should also be able to make inferences of abuse.

Jeff Ashton argued against this because innuendo is not argument and there is no evidence that ties Casey's behavior to molestation. Judge Perry said there are no facts in evidence and no reasonable inference that can be made that Lee and George Anthony molested or attempted to molest Casey Anthony. Ashton then pushed that the defense not be allowed to refer to it from their opening statement. Perry said that the only way it could come in if the defense (did he mean state?) opened the door to this. For the jury, if they remember the opening they do, if they don't, they don't.

Finally, Perry read the instruction for the disappearance of Dr. William Rodriguez.

After a five minute break, Baez wanted one clarification on the abuse. He could not mention that, but he could argue family dysfunction.

The jury was brought in and closing arguments began.

Jeff Ashton spoke first. He thanked the jury for the sacrifices that they had made and then started his presentation with the video of Casey playing on the floor with Caylee. He said that it is easy to be a parent sometimes, but that being a parent is not just about playing with your children. It is also about sacrifice. When you have a child, that child becomes your life.

He said that this case is about that clash between sacrificing for a child and Casey wanting to have her own life. It was expected that she would work hard and help support her daughter. Her response was to lie. Casey's solution was to lie and say she had gone back to work. Her parents accepted that and it appeared that was what she was doing.

It was not just that Casey Anthony lies, but the pattern and the reason she lies. When faced with a problem, she changed her lies. When Casey needed to "work" she invented a nanny. The truth was that Caylee was with Casey 24/7. When that was difficult, she changed her job to one where she had to work at night. Cindy was happy to take care of Caylee. Casey could do what she wanted, have Caylee when she wanted, and her mother was happy to take care of Caylee.

When Casey started dating Ricardo Morales, Casey changed her lie to say they spent the night with the nanny when, in reality, they were staying with Ricardo. When Ricardo didn't want a serious relationship, Casey had to come up with a new plan. Then, when Cindy was rebelling about taking care of Caylee, the excuses didn't work any more,.

Her parents were getting suspicious of her. George checked out her job at the Sports Authority, but was told to say out of it. Ashton then mentioned that it was even in his suicide note. He tried for a year and was told to stay out of it (by Cindy).

Ashton pointed out that the only way Casey's lies worked was if Caylee isn't talking. She was starting to talk and Caylee didn't know enough to lie. At some point, Caylee would tell the truth.

Then, Casey met Tony who lived a club life-style. It was fantastic, young people doing what young people do, not that there's anything wrong with that. It wasn't the life Casey had, she was a mom and had responsibilities. She wanted that life so much.

From June 2 to June 9, Cindy spent most of her vacation with Caylee. Casey had a chance for that freedom, and it was fantastic. She had a choice: a life tethered to a child, or an unfettered life. Based on the evidence, Cindy would never permit Casey to walk away from Caylee. She wanted Casey to be a mom.

Those were Casey's choices, live the life that she wanted or the life that she had. Casey chose her child. On June 16, 2008, Casey pretended to leave the house with Caylee, saying they would spend the night at Zanny's. She used the same excuse with both her parents. This told us that she wasn't going to spend the night with Caylee at Tony's. Casey knew that night she would be in the arms of her boyfriend, and Caylee would be dead in the trunk of the car.

June 16, she spent the night at Tony's, but had told her mother she and Caylee were staying with Zanny. She said the same for the 17th. By June 18, Casey knew Cindy wouldn't accept the same excuse. She had to change the lie and added the conference in Tampa wrinkle. She would bring Zanny AND there would be another woman there with a child the same age! Caylee would have so much fun!

In fact, Casey was staying with Tony and Caylee, in most liklihood, in the trunk dead.

Ashton then mentioned Casey backing into the garage and borrowed a shovel. She thought, briefly, of burying her in the yard like the dogs, but it was too much work for her, so she tossed her in the woods.

Ashton spend more time going on how Casey added to the lies over the days. Cindy was happy that Caylee was having so much fun at the theme parks. June 21, Casey told her mother she was still in Tampa with her fictional friends. He also mentioned that the defense was saying these were "imaginary friends." However, her friend Maria Kiish that Caylee is with the nanny. Her lies fit the necessity of the audience. When June 22 came and she should be home, Casey added onto her trip. When they were to be home on the 23rd (Casey was still at Tony's), Caylee was already in her resting place, decomposing.

Casey then invented the accident. That excuse extended the stay a few days longer. By the 24th, she had the problem of running into her father with the gas can incident. She made up the excuse of getting Zanny's insurance papers. Ashton pointed out how amazing Casey's ability to lie was.
On to June 25 and 26, Zanny was released late and they were going to spend one more night at the hotel. It had been 10 days and Cindy couldn't wait to see her granddaughter.

Then came the Jeff Hopkins story. Ashton pointed out how amazing Casey's memory was to be able to remember lies from a year ago and add it into her story. He then pointed out that Jeff Hopkins was becoming a long-term part of her story.

July 1, Cindy learned that Caylee was at a character breakfast at Universal. Cindy went to Universal and called Casey. Casey then told her mother that she was in Jacksonville with Jeff Hopkins, the rich gentleman.

There was then a mention of Timer 55. Casey told Lee that it was the time between June 15 and Caylee's birthday. Ashton asked what did Timer 55 mean? He said she knew it was the longest time she could stall her mother.

As to the long-term strategy, Casey told her she thought that Jeff Hopkins was a man with whom she could have a long term relationship. She now had her mother convinced of that. She might marry Jeff and elope, perhaps to Europe. She could have extended her time.

It all fell apart when Casey's car was impounded. July 15, all hell broke loose because they got the car. If they haven't gotten it, Casey would have probably extended her story as long as she could.

Cindy was then on a mission to find and see her granddaughter. The story of Caylee's being at Zanny's wouldn't work anymore. Finally, Lee ferreted out the "fact" that Caylee had been kidnapped by Zanny. Although Casey got the date wrong, she did get the 31 days right. She told the police an elaborate, consistent lie. Initially, the police treated her as a victim. The more they investigated her story, the more it fell apart.

In the conversation with Melich and Allen at Universal, she finally had to admit she didn't work there, but she maintained her lie through July and August. However, her claim to where she dropped Caylee off was disproven. When briefly released from bond and was with her family, she came up with the Blanchard Park story, where Caylee was kidnaped by force.

On December 11, 2008, that story no longer worked when Caylee's remains were found with a number of very important items. Ashton first showed the jurors the three pieces of Henkel duct tape was found on the body as well as on a gas can taken from her home. It is a fairly rare type of tape.

What was bizarre was that her father unknowingly used the same duct tape to put up flyers for Caylee. He then displayed the laundry bag which matched one in the home, which he also displays to the jury.

Then, Ashton showed the shorts and Caylee wearing them. There were pictures of the letters found at the site and a picture of Caylee wearing the shirt in which she died, not with a stranger, but with Casey Anthony.

There was then a photograph of the Winnie the Pooh blanket which matched her bedding, which Ashton also showed to the jury for the first time. It perfectly matched the blanket.

The claim that some stranger abducted Caylee was no longer tenable. As with all her other claims, they all died. By the time her body was found, any doubt about who killed her was gone.

The defense, in opening statements (which is not evidence), gave a very detailed explanation for how Caylee Anthony died. With dramatic flair, Baez told a story of her father wakening her and shouting "where's Caylee?" and on finding her wet body, told her "this is your fault".

Ashton went on to explain reasonable doubt and pointed out that nothing in the defense case supported that theory. (objection/burden shifting/overruled) There simply NO evidence in this case to support that contention and the jury must reject it.

The defense was not satisfied with just one villain. They also mentioned someone who is "morally bankrupt", Roy Kronk. He repeated the story of how Roy Kronk took the body and hid it. He mentioned how Dr. Spitz talked about how someone took the head home and put the tape on. He said the defense arguments required one to disregard common sense. It was a trip down the rabbit hole where men who love their granddaughters do the sorts of things that the defense stated.

Then, he reiterated the story of Roy Kronk taking the skull home, taping it, putting it back and reporting it for money! If Roy Kronk had wanted money, he could have run to the media truck and had all the publicity he wanted.

Ashton then pointed out that just looking at the body you could tell that it was there for a very long time and the tape was just as deteriorated. He pointed out that it had been there so long that the cotton threads had decomposed.

Ashton asked the jury to look at the facts of the case and see that there was no way that George Anthony had anything to do with the disposal of the body. They saw Mr. Anthony's pain in the videos, on the stand, and in the suicide note.

The evidence that Casey was guilty was overwhelming. There was the evidence of her car that reeked of death. They heard it from Simon Birch, professionals (crime scene technicians), George Anthony, and Arpad Vass who had spent 10 years studying the odor of decomposition.

Vass examined the evidence as well. He actually took a piece of the carpet, separate from the trunk. Vass and Furton both said that the chemical signature was consistent with a human decompositional event.

Ashton pointed out that Dr. Furton's main interest is the smell of living human beings. He did have some students who study decompositional odors. He ended up agreeing that the contents of the trash bags could not create the same odor. The prosecution had exploded the myth that the garbage was the cause of the odor. The odor from the trash went with the trash. The car still had an odor when Dr. Huntington inspected it.

Ashton went on to the death-banded hair. That expert testimony was not rebutted by the defense. (object/burden shifted/overruled) He reviewed Shaw's testimony that he could not replicate hair banding. Other hairs from the trunk had no banding on them at all. That hair was from a dead body and the body was that of Caylee based on mitochondrial DNA testing. Casey, Cindy, Lee, and Cindy's mother were the only other alternatives and Ashton went into the reasons why.

The hairs taken from Caylee's body also had the banding. The only difference was that the hairs from the body had decomposed roots.

Ashton then said that when Casey and Tony were in Blockbuster Video, Caylee was in the car decomposing. The day she backed into the garage and borrowed the shovel, she probably took the body to the back yard where the cadaver dogs picked up the odor.

Casey decided on June 16, that something had to be sacrificed. The conflict between the life she wanted and the life she had caused her to sacrifice Caylee.

Ashton said that Casey is guilty of 1st degree, premeditated murder. The defense would say we can't say how she died. He then quoted Dr. Jan Garavaglia. Why would someone put a piece of duct tape over a dead person's face? Ashton went on to say that there wasn't one, but three pieces of duct tape. Three pieces weren't to silence the child, they were to make the child not breathe. The first piece went over the mouth, the second over the nose, and the third to close the gaps. There was no reason to put duct tape over a child, living or dead. That is the reason, beyond all doubt, that THAT was how Caylee died.

The tape had to be on her face before she decomposed because it held the mandible in place. The jurors should note that it was curved. Ashton also suggested the chloroform was used so Caylee would die peacefully. The mother decided that the mother wanted the life she wanted more than she wanted her child.

There was a 15 minute recess before the defense closing.

Jeff Ashton had a defense exhibit which he said has information that wasn't in evidence. It was a quote from a deposition which was not in evdence. Baez said a portion was read into the record.
Judge Perry said that Ashton was right and Baez had to put white paper over it.

Linda Burdick had another objection about something I couldn't understand. It also had a photograph of Casey from possibly the 8th grade. It had faces around it which were supposed to be her "imaginary friends". She suggested that they use could be the smiling one from July 15th which was not allowed into testimony.

Judge Perry asked about the age of the photograph. Baez said, this is OUR case. Perry just wanted to know when the picture was taken. Cindy Anthony said it was from 2001, when Casey was 14 or 15. Baez said that the imaginary friends went back two years. Perry said that the exhibit distorts reality. The picture would have to be changed.

Then, on top of the white paper, they put up another smiling Casey Anthony of the appropriate age. I looked like the defense was going to use a bunch of posters! Finally, the defense was ready and the jury was returned.

Jose Baez also thanked the jury for their service on the trial. He then opened his closing argument by saying that he thought the jury probably had more questions than answered. Then, he said it could never be proven how Caylee died. There was no dispute that he had passed on. The question was, how did she die?

He was clearly going to point out that since the state hadn't proved the cause of death, they didn't prove their case. He again needed to consider the Scott Peterson case with no cause of death.

Baez pointed out that the defense didn't have to put on a case, although they did. It was up to the state to make the case. He pointed out that the law will guide them and tell them what they would have to do. Then, he started by telling them what he feared about this case.

His first fear is the emotion in the case. He had a poster that said that the jury shouldn't judge because they don't like someone or were angry with someone. "They" didn't conform with what is right or normal. The jury must not decide on emotion.

Caylee was a beautiful, sweet child who died to soon. It would be improper to parade her up there because it went to their emotion. He pointed out that Mr. Ashton used the video of Caylee and what a mother should or should not do. It wasn't based on the evidence, it was to set up the emotion for what was to come. The state gave two weeks of irrelevant testimony to paint Casey Anthony as a slut, a party girl, a girl who lied. Baez pointed out that all those people pointed out that Casey was a loving mother. That was why he asked them how Casey treated Caylee and Caylee, Casey.

There was not one instance of child abuse brought out by the state. The jury saw every movement Casey made for that month, they would have heard at least one story of abuse. Baez brought out that there were no bruises or broken bones. She was well fed. He then said something sudden and immediate that happened to cause Caylee's death. He said he wants the jury to tell them what was PROVEN happened. He said there should be no mystery before them now.

Baez then went on to call this a "check book" prosecution that used the finest labs. They even got evidence never heard in Florida before. He went on to tell them they were the first to hear evidence of air, cadaver dogs, etc.

The implication was that since the state had no evidence, so they invented it with new science.

Baez again asked them not to look at Casey as a lying slut. That has nothing to do with the evidence.

He started to say that it was an accident that snowballed out of control. He went on to discuss the bizarre things that went on in Caylee's life.

Baez said that the car did not shed a light on how Caylee died. It was irrelevant evidence since it didn't explain how she died. All it could tell was how she may or may not have been transported.

Casey acted inappropriately and didn't report Caylee's death. The State didn't have the right to over charge because it was entertainment and a lot of people have questions.

Then, he went on to the media and how it influenced the actions of BOTH sides.

Then, we were back to the car. The calendar was put up to help the jury with the timeline.

Baez tried to get the jury to consider the date in the indictment which indicated June 15 to July 15. (objection/sustained)

He then ran through his case on the time line. Tony and Casey put the gas in the car, Tony and Casey closed the trunk. If she had a body, or if the smell had been there, he would have smelled it.

Maria Kiish testified that she was in the car during the time she was living with Tony and didn't smell anything. Yet, two years later the car still smells?

Who reports gas can's missing? Why was there duct tape on it? Why all the lies about the duct tape? Baez then questioned why George Anthony waited until the15th to pick up the car? He knew it was out of gas and that it was at the Amscot for three days. Somehow, Simon Birch knew that the car was at Amscot for three days? George Anthony told him!

When he smelled the smell of death, he didn't do anything. He went back to work. He didn't call his daughter to see if she was alive. George wanted to distance himself from the situation. He knew she was dead. Then, Baez said that if the police had done more investigation into his activities, there might have been a different outcome.

Then, Baez moved on to the people who did and didn’t smell the decomposition. He pointed out that Bloise wavered between decomposition and human decomposition, depending on who asked the question. Dep. Forgey lied to them and said that there two cars he checked. Michael Vincent and Mr. Arpad Vass, Cindy Anthony (who only said it to get the police there more quickly), Simon Birch (who made his statement nine days later), George Anthony (who did and incredible job with Yuri Melich the first night he arrived.) Then, he mentioned Dr. Neil Haskell.

He then mentioned the lady at Amscot who said she smelled garbage, Tony Lazzaro, Charity Beasley, Maria Kiish. They said they didn't smell anything. Sgt. Hosey didn't think the smell was important enough to call CSI. Then, there was Dep. Eberlin and Yuri Melich didn't do anything either. Neither did Rendon Fletcher and Adriana Acevedo. Somehow, of the people who smelled decomposition, only George Anthony's picture was left up! The "abundant" of people who did not smell anything should lead them to reasonable doubt.

Then there was a picture of Brian Burner presented. He reminded the jury had him close his eyes to try and remember the day. Baez bashed the idea that Casey buried Caylee in the back yard.
Baez then said that they could speculate what she did with the shovel. For example, she could have tried to pry the lock of the shed door with it. Baez said that was what the State wanted them to do, speculate.

The next topic was the trash in the car. Once again, he proffered the double picture of the "altered" garbage which was intentionally done to inculpate Caylee. He said that Vincent and Bloise should have photographed the evidence and preserved it.

Baez pointed out to the jury how the State infected the quality of their case like a cancer to the point that they would render a verdict of not guilty!

At this point, we recessed for lunch.

Court reconvened at about 2:05. Jose Baez approached the podium and brought up an issue. He has asked that Jeff Ashton's facial expressions while he is speaking.

Judge Perry explained the delay, the court reporter was using her steno machine and they had to give her and other court personnel to eat.

The jury was returned and Baez continued with his closing.

Baez began where he left off, with the state's "fantasy of forensics." Baez stated he did not see a stain of decomposition in the car (it is visible under an alternate light source). He said there was no blood in the car. Gerardo Bloise said that he did the most thorough examination of a car that he had ever done. There was no DNA found in the car.

The maggots were in the trash bags.

Evidence would have been a DNA report. Huntington said that even professional cleaners couldn't get it out. Baez said it was a "phantom stain" and was a sign of the desperation of the police to make a case.

He then went on to Dr. Haskell and Dr. Huntington to talk about the bugs in the trash bag. It was what you see when you normally leave trash in your car. There was only one blowfly leg, th earliest of feeders.

Huntington also said that the paper towels could not clean the stain. As to that, the state left them with speculation to arouse their anger..
They could have figured out time of death if they had taken DNA from live maggots.

He said that there is nothing in that car that had to do with human decomposition fluid.

Baez said that the state talked about hair. He reminded them that they heard from Karen Lowe and Stephen Shaw testify about that. Baez pointed out that the defense call more FBI agents than the state did. He said it was because the case was about winning, not a search for the truth.

Lowe and Shaw both testified that they couldn't say the hair came from a dead body. (They could only say it was consistent with a dead person.) He tried to say that Shaw did his test only to validate their study and said that they had similar effects that mimicked root banding. Two people at the lab misidentified the hair. The science, Baez argued wasn't at the state where it could be considered legitimate. Baez even said that the banded hair cold come from environmental effects.

Baez accused the state of changing their cause of death from chloroform to duct tape! (Remember Jeff Ashton’s speech where Casey was begging Andrea Lyon to make him stop?)

Baez then went on about chloroform. The chloroform started with Dr. Arpad Vass. He said the levels were shockingly high. Again, we heard that Vass is not a chemist!

Baez said they had to call all the other chemists to testify. It took Dr. Marcus Wise to say it was a quantitative analysis. Let's just rely on the guy with a sniffer machine. Dr. Rickenback said the levels were low (under different testing circumstances and handling circumstances). Baez accused Dr. Wise of being evasive and only wanted to support his friend.

Baez was then on Dr. Sigman, who collected the gasses from the trunk (remember, when the trunk liner had been removed). The only witness the defense called was Dr. Furton. He then attacked the state for not calling their own witnesses. (objection/overruled) Why did the state hide those people from them?

He accused the state of lack of straightforwardness.

Going back to Arpad Vass, he brought up the sniffer machine again. He had a guy in Greece who agreed with him. The only other person they heard from was Dr. Furton. Vass and Wise were only testifying to enrich their wallets. It didn't make it valid, it didn't make it true. He then ridiculed Vass for saying he could find a clandestine grave with a coat hanger. He felt this was the level of absurdity the state took the case to.

Baez said it was a forensic fantasy and nothing more. Baez repeated that the state was in it for the win and for the media attention. (objection/sustained)

Baez then attacked the computer forensics. He mentioned the sci-spot hit had one hit, but Cacheback found 84 times. He then said that the Net Analysis report said there was only 1 hit. He accused Sgt. Stenger lied when he gave his testimony. He said it was fraud. (objection/sustained)
Baez said this was not true evidence and that a human life lies in the balance.

At this point, Baez went on a terrific rant about the fact that the state had provided the junk evidence. He was so VERY indignant about that.

Then, he brought out a copy of Ricardo Morales' chloroform picture. Aha! March was when he put up the picture, and March was when Casey did all those searches! Then there came Cindy Anthony. They knew in 2009 that she did chloroform searches. The state had to go out to prove her a liar. He said he knew Cindy was a liar, he knew she was all along.

Baez said fantasy forensics, fantasy stains, phantom searches and stickers.

Casey is NOT a slut. It's out of control, and it's been out of control since the case began.

Casey made some bad decisions that started this. It was an accident that snowballed out of control. He shouted, "The truth starts here, the nonsense stops now." But it didn't. THIS is what they want you to convict her on. He told the jury not to trust this evidence.

Baez went on ranting (objection/sustained).

Baez then lumped all the evidence together and it wasn't proven to you that it happened, she’s not guilty.

That last rant would have been a good ending, but Baez went on to the phantom sticker. A sticker was found 30 feet away and it didn't look like the other stickers in the house. Baez again pointed out that the state "hid" the testimony from them. The defense had to call that witness to testify that it hadn't been seen.

He again told the jury not to rely on their anger to make a decision. Baez said, THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, THIS IS THE QUALITY OF THE CASE THEY GAVE YOU. He said Casey was arrested for child neglect and then they made a case against her.

The next sentence Baez uttered was yet another violation of Rule 5.

Baez then went on to point out that they could have fingerprinted all the beer bottles to find out who the real killer was.

Then, Baez bashed Dr. Jan Garavaglia. The child had no broken bones, no signs of prior trauma, she sent out tests that all came out negative. Dr. Garavaglia gave the three reasons she used to state that it was homicide. Baez said that one didn't need to be a doctor to render those opinions. She made the decision because of the media attention. She was the big shot and took over the case.

Dr. Shultz also said that there was no trauma to the bones. Dr. Shultz had no opinion.

Dr. Warren (fantasy man) made the video. There was your new murder weapon of the week! He was being an advocate, not a scientist.

I'm getting a headache.

Then, Baez brought up the most wonderful, famous, forensic pathologist in the world! He said that the remains did not decompose the way they said. He gave the proof! He spoke badly about others and there was another objection sustained. One of Spitz' most important findings was that, when you open up a skull, there is discoloration behind the ears. It wasn't there, and it proved one thing that was not the cause of death (even though it doesn't always appear).

He went on to Kronk’s changing story of the skull rolling out of the bag and being under the bag.

Baez urged the jurors to look at real evidence, not some fantasy as presented by the state.

Then, he went on to the defense case.

He pointed out that Casey Anthony had the inalienable right not to testify or present a case in her defense.

Baez then went into the secrets and the lies of Casey's dysfunctional family. He started with the "hidden pregnancy" and the parents' excuses.

He touted Lee Anthony's unimpeached testimony that he asked his mother about it and she told him to let it go. Then, he pointed out that both Cindy and George lied on the stand and the jury can reject all their testimony. He pointed out that the state wanted to have them believe Cindy on some testimony and not on other.

Baez said that Casey had issues and they were long before 2008. We were then introduced to her imaginary friends. (I'll spare you the details of each one.) Baez indicated that, with all these imaginary friends, the police should have taken a step back and treat her as an individual who has issues.

Baez even said that Casey could have hopped on a plane and told her parents they would never see Caylee again. That would have been an alibi!

For an unhealthy person, the fantasy life was more real; it indicated that Casey went there to feel safe

In this version. the jurors should feel sorry for Casey and understand she made a bad decision.

Baez then called the state's motive nonsense. What person would kill their child to go out and party! He repeated that nobody saw her beat Caylee, starve, her, etc. That made her the perfect mother.

Baez then went to the drowning theory. He insinuated that Cindy left the ladder up that day. He again treated the jury to Cindy's perjured testimony. He pointed out there were no safety locks on the doors. They were neglectful in that way. He stuck to the story that Cindy told her co-workers about the pool incident on the 17th and she said that Caylee could get out of the house easily.

That's enough reporting on Mr. Baez' drowning theory.

Then, Baez blamed Yuri Melich for the situation. They didn't want to consider there was something wrong with this girl. They didn't pursue the pool theory at Universal when Cindy told him about it on the phone!

Then, up went the picture that "proved" that Caylee could easily open the door, she was big enough, strong enough, to open the door.

Then, came the pool pictures which proved Caylee could get into the pool on her own.

Baez' reasonable hypothesis was that Caylee got up early, opened the door, went into the pool and drowned. It wad the only logical reason to tell how Caylee died. And, because Casey was "different" it explained why she behaved the way she did.

The state had presented no answers to how, when where, and why Caylee died.

Baez said that improper disposal of a body was not among the crimes that were listed. The reason was because they'd lost their senses there.

Finally (I hoped) Baez addressed the duct tape. He said they got no clear answers from George Anthony about the duct tape on the gas can. Linda Tinelli said George brought duct tape to the command center and even showed the video again. George wouldn't even admit it was his role of duct tape! He even lied about the location. George wanted to pass it of to somebody else. He lies.

There was a comment made about the gas can and how the state didn't admit it. (objection/sustained)

Baez nattered on a bit longer about the lies George told about the duct tape on the gas can. If the duct tape is the murder weapon, it only connected to him. Casey was in jail for a couple of weeks when the video was taken. His diatribe was that it was GEORGE and only GEORGE when the duct tape trail was followed.

As the rant was going on, Ashton tried to hide a smile behind his hands. When Baez referred to him as the laughing man the Judge called them to the bench and the jury was dismissed. Baez made a mistake by referring to him in his closing, Ashton made a mistake by not covering his smile enough.

My headache grew at this point.

Judge Perry took the time to view the video of Ashton's face and Mr. Baez' reactions. Both men's responses violated the Court's order. He offered both sides the opportunity to view the tape and court was at ease until they took a look at it. They didn't leave the courtroom right away. Linda Burdick asked a question and Judge Perry read the appropriate rules he gave them when he became the judge on this trial. Jeff Ashton said he trusted the judge's judgement and he didn't need to see the video. Mason said he wanted to see it and Jose Baez said nothing.

Judge Perry was very upset about this incident.

When they had viewed the clip, Ashton said he saw himself trying to hide his laugh behind his had so the jury wouldn't see it. Baez said that he would request that Ashton not be held in contempt. He also apologized for getting caught up in the moment.

The jury was brought in and Jose Baez continued.

Baez went right to the duct tape leading to only one person. There are things that do not add up. They learned the way the Anthony family buried their pets, except that George had a little amnesia.

Baez then asked why George Anthony never told the police how they bury their pets. Baez said that instead of going after Cindy in rebuttal, they should have dug up the back yard.

Baez said that the bones moved, but the duct tape did not. He said that there is no evidence of any murder in this case. They would never go after anyone without the support of evidence.

Mr. Anthony, on numerous occasions failed to tell the truth about the duct tape. Baez said he didn't have an ounce of paternal instinct in him, and at times, testified almost with joy, against his daughter. He wouldn't fall on his sword to save his daughter from the jaws of death. Those were not the actions of a father. There were times he thought it was funny to spar with him and times he broke down. Baez then used Krystal Holloway to show how he showed affection. She didn't have a tumor, Baez ranted. He had a woman at home who needed consoling.

Baez ended the George bashing with the suicide letter. His relationship with his mistress was over, the police collected the gas can with the duct tape on it, the were getting his fingerprints. The police were circling around him. George gets a six pack of beer and some blood pressure medication. The only reason he got a gun was to get Casey back in jail. The suicide letter was self-serving and he was throwing Casey under the bus.

Then, he was on to George's media appearances. He was in front of the media 48 hours after his hospitalization.

Baez said that lies are what pumps and what lives within this family. She was raised to lie. It was no surprise how Casey turned out.

They both lied on the stand. There were other lies that could have happened. Why didn't they get George's cell phone records? If you don't look for things, you're not going to find anything. The police should have looked more. They shouldn't walked around with blinders on. They should have known there was more to the lies.

Then came the testimony of Dominic Casey and Jim Hoover. He said that Casey was a strange man who provided some comical relief in the trial. They were looking for a dead Caylee. He said he was sent by a psychic Cindy Anthony conferred with. George never asked why they searched. Cindy Anthony lied on the stand and was impeached by her son, Lee.

Baez claimed they searched the very same spot where the remains were found. He held up the gas cans and said that something suspicious was going on.

Caylee was found without socks or shoes. She was at home when she died.

Nothing was adding up and nothing made sense.

He then went on to the drug tests and how nothing was found. The DNA analyst found no DNA. There was no soil on the scene on her shoes or in her closet.

It went on like this, but all I heard was blah, blah, blah, blah. He attempted to break all the links of the chain that tied the case together. Some of his rationale worked a bit, some of it didn't.

He then went on a rant that there was no DNA found on the duct tape (forgetting it had been in the heat and flood for six months).

He was then going through everything that ever was done in this case. The state had no proof.

Baez ended, hopefully, by stating that it could only be one thing, an accident that snowballed out of control.

Nope, Baez pointed to a picture of Roy Kronk. He stated that they never said that he had anything to do with Caylee's death. He did know where she was for four months. He went through the Kronk timeline.

Baez said that he called the 11th and nothing was found (actually, nobody looked). Then, he gave more details the second time. Baez suggested that the white board was a marker as to where HE hid the body. Therefore, the crime scene was contaminated and staged.

Baez then went to the 13th when Dep. Cain came out to meet him and all Kronk would say was that he wasn't very thorough. He wanted Kronk to run then to the news media to tell them and ask for the reward. There was something shady.

Brandon Sparks said that his father called him in November and told him he'd found Caylee (actually, Brandon said Kronk never gave him the name).

Then, he was on to the skull dropped out versus it didn't roll out. Then, he kept it quiet that he called them months ago! (That is really nefarious!)

My headache went up a notch or two at this point.

Kronk was lying. You couldn’t trust the scene because it was staged.

Reasonable doubt is living and breathing in this case.

Baez again told the jury that they must have more questions than answers and there was no way to convict her beyond a reasonable doubt.

He thanked the jury profusely and turned the closing over to Mason.

After a short stretch break, Cheney Mason instructed the jury on the laws and the charges.

He went through all the charges and explained why they should find Casey not guilty of them.

He also reviewed all the points which Jose Baez had covered as well.

It was pretty dry, and I listened rather than taking notes. Linda Burdick had over two hours left and I felt it more important to focus on her rebuttal.

Judge Perry then made an executive decision. He said he would recess court now and complete the closing arguments at 8:30 tomorrow morning!

Judge Perry said that they will complete the charge conference now.

At 7:03 PM EDT, I decided that enough was enough for a day. Sitting and waiting to see if they would have the charge conference was not much fun.

See you tomorrow for Linda Burdick's rebuttal and jury instructions! Be ready at 8:30 AM!


Anonymous said...

I hope I never see Baez or hear his voice again - ever. Please let this jury be able to just see evidence. Lee, George and Cindy are not perfect, but they did not deserve this trashing. Wow. All they wanted was for Casey to bring Caylee home. If there was an out-of-control snowball, it was formed by CMA #2.

Nora said...

Thanks for your answer, Ritanita, you're right, I'm sure the jury can't wait to finish this trial. I think everyone is ready for the end of this trial!

Today's courtroom dramas keep driving the point that Baez is the lowest of the low, a cold-hearted scumbag who is an example of why lawyers are given a bad rep (parasites, etc.) He had no feeling for his client, nor for George Anthony, he made errors, he contradicted himself. Ashton was great saying it like it really is, and I can't wait to see what he'll say tomorrow. I'm really glad that he will have the final word. His Alice in Wonderland, upsidedown fairytale was a great analogy and he shows he has a concience and consciousness. May the jury use their common sense and feel with their gut/heart what is the right action to take.

GeeMama said...

Headaches are abounding for many tonight. I thought Ashton hit a home run while Baez droned on and on running and bouncing around trying to get to first base. I love Judge Perry with his hill of a beans comment. I know that I see Casey guilty of taking the life of her beautiful daughter Caylee but will all the jurors. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Any trial I watch in the future will seem really boring! Hearing Baez call his client a four-letter word during his closing arguments has to have brought the legal profession to a new low. I did notice the Prosecution did not fall to that level, just concentrated on Casey's actions. I did feel for Jeff Ashton as I am a big fan; I just think he couldn't hide his feelings for the circus Baez was putting on. Baez added Cindy under the bus, it is so crowded under it now. They have to get a bigger bus. Can't wait for tomorrow, glad I don't have to work. Thanks for your hard work and sharing.

Anonymous said...

So thorough and well done, Ritanita! Gracias et Merci!


Christine said...

I thought I heard Baez call him "laughing boy". In any event, I am sure people will be calling Ashton laughing boy from here on in in the Orlando legal community. Ashton seemed miffed and petulant after that, perhaps I am reading way too much into his expression. They are all strung so tightly at this point it is amazing that they are able to function as well as they are. It is a blessing they have until morning to finish their part.

Also, for the first time in the entire trial I had some admiration for Baez for his not trying to make a big thing out of the laugh incident. Probably he was trying to cover for himself for what he said, as they were both in very deep, still he was remarkably gracious and seemed to settle down after that incident, and in fact managed to create some doubt about the evidence etc. What he should have been doing all along.

I think today even Judge Perry has just about had it.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Baez in trouble for suborning perjury if he says he knew Cindy was going to lie about the computer searches?

What is the rebuttal to the Baez story [west side?] on why Tony and Maria didn't smell anything in Casey's car? Too soon for the decomp?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rita :):)

Great write up again!! My headache was growing like urs I ended up falling asleep n missing the antics. But saw it after with Vinnie Pollitan!! I am hoping the jurors will use their gut feeling n go with first degree murder. Though I am wondering if they will give manslaughter or even worse...aquit :(:(. I am nervous n not knowing if I should turn on the TV in the morning!!

Hope they all get this done by tomorrow night so the one juror will make her cruise in a few days...maybe that will make things go fast as I am sure they wanna go home :):). I know I am having a hard time with the sitting on pins n needles waiting for the outcome we all want for Precious Caylee.

Stephanie Sander

stocirpa said...

In Tony's original deposition of almost 3 years ago, he clearly stated that he never got out of his car when he and Casey returned to her car after stealing George's gas cans. He also said that Casey poured the gas into her car, opened her trunk and then put the gas cans back into her car trunk. He wasn't close enough to smell anything. His most recent deposition was very fuzzy and based on what he thought he might have done as he didn't really recall what he did or didn't do that day.

Nora said...

After watching Geraldo and all these other shows about the trial, and hearing lawyers and judges giving their opinions (some saying Casey might walk!), I have to wonder how could anyone ignore the basic facts! Caylee was missing for a month and all Casey did was party, steal, and lie. If in someone's wildest dreams they believe this was an accidental drowning and she panicked, why wouldn't she get up on the stand and tell her side of the story? But, all her lies piled on top of each other, her lack of real feeling for the death of her daughter, her willingness to even try to blame her father, all she said, all come across as her being a sociopathic killer. No one else did this. No one else said "she's close to home". No one else borrowed a shovel. No other car had the smell of decomposition in it but Casey's. If the jury doesn't get this, we can truly say many in our society have been effectively dumbed down. (Has anyone learned anything since OJ?)

Simply Sandy said...

When Jose Baez said in his closing statement there were more questions than answers, I wonder how many members of the jury were thinking about the molestation charges Baez brought up in opening statement.

hetherfly said...

If I were on this jury I would have been losing the will to live by the time Mason was finished. I guess it's a two-edged sword for the prosecution - the jury got to sleep on Baez's closing, but were tired out, while the last thing they hear before deliberations will be LDB. At the end of it all, we can only pray for justice for little Cayley. Thank you for all your hard work in reporting this. I enjoyed every one of your posts.

ritanita said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

I can read in your comments your frustration with this entire case. I look forward to Ms. Burdick's closing today and hope the jury hangs on to every word she says.

Her verbal skills are outstanding and she cuts to the heart of the matter. Jeff Ashton did a great job of dealing with motive, now she has to rebut the "facts" as presented by Jose Baez.

Simply Sandy, you are right. The defense can claim that they didn't have to put on a case, yet they did. The jury can't forget about that and wonder what happened to all the promises Baez gave and couldn't carry through to a logical conclusion.

Enjoy your 4th of July and get ready for the verdict watch, probably the most stressful part of any trial. I'll be hanging around to try and catch any jury questions that may arise. They tend to show where the jury is heading.

Anonymous said...

Well, the defense called it right about his client: A "lying slut!"

The slut's friend also quoted the slut's own words:
"OMG, I'm such a good liar!"

End of story.

Fantastic job by the prosecution on behalf of The People of The State of Florida!


Verdict will come in TODAY, INDEPENDENCE DAY!



It's time for the widespread destruction by the callous, coldhearted, calculating Casey Anthony to come to an END for everyone!

Anonymous said...

The elephant in the room will be that NOTHING was said about the molestion in closing after such a big deal was made during the trial. Good rule by Perry! He is an amazing judge and kept an iron rule in that courtroom. And despite Perry's admonitions about Casey NOT testifying (Mason addressed it), human nature says if she has nothing to hide why wouldn't she demand to testify. Going to enjoy the day with my granddaughter - so so so so sorry that George and Cindy can't because of their daughter's actions. Breaks my heart for them. They are not bad people.

cereusle said...

Thanks again, Ritanita. It was a lot of work for you to summarize, but you did an excellent job as usual.
I'm so glad to be listening to the jury instructions right now, as that means this is finally reaching a conclusion, save appeals. Casey's face tells so much... she will not be walking away from this, no matter what. Again, thanks. Your passion and talent in writing are admirable.