Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hearing Day for the case against Casey Anthony

Update #2!

This hearing went on so long, I'm just going to post my unedited notes for those who couldn't watch the hearing.

The hearing in Judge Stan Strickland's courtroom got underway and then came to a grinding halt when the prosecution did not accept Jose Baez's verbal waiver by Casey Anthony to be present. He stated that Casey has to expressly waive her presence and has to be in court to do so.

Judge Strickland commented that when they had gone to take Casey to court, she refused. Jose Baez felt that would be adequate to waive her right to be present.

The Asst. State's Attorney pointed out that they could bring Casey from the jail within 35-45 minutes. The prosecution feels that this hearing is of significant evidentiary value and she should be available for questioning by the court.

Judge Strickland then recessed to research the issue.

When he returned and as Jose Baez began to argue that all "these...," he was interrupted by the Judge who said they would bring her over and continue with the hearing until then..

We should be hearing from Casey in person today!

Linda Drane-Burdick begins by stating that the prosecution has not refused to turn over the, rather their contention is that if the photographs should leave the jurisdiction, the Florida Laws have "no teeth."

The only individuals who have access to the disks now are the ME and herself. The experts for the State have access to the photos via a secure computer with passwords. The only other copy of the photos is the one she has to present to the prosecution.

Drane-Burdick points out that this is not an unusual situation. There are other cases where photos are sensitive and exempt from public record. Experts come to the office of the State Attorney to view them.

In this case, they would give the disks to Baez and allow him to show him to the experts within his presence. If they were sent out of state, the experts would not be bound by Florida statutes.

She says they are not attempting to restrict the defense's access, only to protect the sensitive information and to protect the memory of the deceased.

The judge states he is "stumped" on this. He would like to find a way to give them access with less restriction. He is with her "in spirit."

She also suggests that the court could fashion other remedies within the confines of the laws.

Jose Baez is then addressed by the judge. He says he doesn't expect he would "do such things" but that he's seen his experts speaking on tv and lacks total confidence.

Baez says there is word out there that there is a deal pending for sale. He wants to send the images to Henry Lee, Dr. Kathy Reichs, Dr. Fierro, Dr. Werner Spitz, Linda Kenney-Baden, and possibly the forensic entomologist, Dr. Timothy Huntington, the forensic botonist, Dr. Bach.

The judge asks if there are any states he's left out! He's concerned with the number of locations and the possibility for leaks.

Baez says that since he's been charged with the remains of Caylee Anthony, he has not said a word about them and has been careful with the information. He has to rely on the confidentiality agreements with them all. He feels they are the foremost experts and would not ruin their reputations by selling the images.

The judge wants to know what remedy Baez has. He suggests the State bring them down to Florida to examine them.

Baez replies that there is no one remedy which would "clean the slate." He can't assure the judge that the photographs could get out, but not from him or his people.

The Anthony's attorney, Brad Conway speaks for them. He says it would be a nightmare for them if the photos were to get published. They understand that the lawyers or the experts would not leak them, they are concerned with the "middle people."

Ms. Drane-Burdick mentions the number of people who would receive the photos again. She also brings up the legislation which was passed to deal with the internet dissemination of the pictures.

She doesn't want the court to deny access, but that it is restrictions on duplication and transmission of the documents.

The judge's concern is that experts might have to make multiple visits to Orlando if they decide they want to see the pictures again. Drane-Burdick points out that the defense chose experts from all over the country.

The judge asks if they could make copies of the disks and have them sent out to the experts and returned within a time limit. Drane-Burdick replies "if you want me to tell you I told you so."

Baez points out that there could be a problem with distinguishing these photos from others that the Sheriff's Office has and that he already has.

He goes on to state that there have already been numerous "leaks" and doesn't want the defense blamed if there are "leaks" of photos other than the ones on these disks.

Baez says he is willing to sign any agreement he and Drane-Burdick comes to. The judge replies that his signature on a paper would have no weight in another state like North Carolina.

The judge will come to a decision on this.

The judge mentions the issue of a Special Master to oversee the interviews with Dominic Casey. Baez says that he wants to be present during any questioning or have the Special Master appointed because Mr. Casey was employed by the defense at one time and matters of privilege could arise.

Drane-Burdick states he's already talked to LE concerning subsequent events and that the issue is moot. Mr. Baez can address the issue when the documents become public.

Court takes a break as Jose Baez wants a moment with his client before she appears in court.

Casey Anthony enters the courtroom, is sworn in and answers questions from the judge. She states that she gave Jose Baez her verbal waiver. She will be required to appear for future substantive hearings.

Jose Baez claims that in the future she will sign written waivers. The State feels that she should be present so if there are issues do not have to be brought up at a future date.

Judge Strickland rules he will decide on a case-by-case basis.

Casey remains in the courtroom for the remainder of the hearing.

Jose Baez adresses the court on previous motions and suggests a remedy for the photographs. They would to agree to set up a secure data base on his server in his office that is secure and password-protected. They would use the same contractor as the ME's office used.

Drane-Burdick would also want assurance that the photographs would not be duplicated if the system could be set up.

The judge likes this idea, assuming it could be set up. He grants the states motion to restrict until the secure site is set up. He wants a sworn affadavit from Baez' people they have not reproduced the photos.

Baez addresses the issue of Dominic Casey. He requests that, before the information is turned over to the prosecution, the judge review it in camera to be sure there is no privileged information. The prosecution agrees.

Baez asks again for information of Zenaida Gonzalez which was granted under the original case. The prosecution says he already has everything that has been reduced to writing. Baez says there are only two reports when he's heard there is a whole binder of information. The prosecution states that if Baez wants more, he'll have to file a motion and do depositions.
The motion is denied.

Baez also wants the DNA results from George, Cindy, and Lee Anthony. The prosecution says that the FBI is still in possession of that. Baez asks for it within 30 days. The judge grants the motion.

The next items are the fingerprint results. The prints were taken on December 12 and sent to the FBI. The judge asks if Baez was given a copy of the print cards. Baez asks for 60 days. Reports do not exist at this point and the motion is denied without prejudice.

Baez would like to verify the veracity of Tony Lazzaro's calendar. This has been discussed before. The prosecution mentions that there's no way to copy the desk calendar and Baez is free to visit the Sheriff's office to examine it. Baez offers to go there and xerox it piece by piece so he can have the information. They offered the inspection months ago and Jose has 15 days to go there and inspect it.

Baez is asking again to inspect and test the hair. The prosecution has a problem with testing. He says that if he can do a test if one of his experts wants and it is not destroyed. The hair is expected back within 2 weeks. The motion is granted. Any testing would be dealt with later.

Baez goes on to the maps, photos, and reports. The prosecution says no such maps exist. Apparently, Baez wants the maps the Sheriff's Office used in the search. The prosecutor is still confused as to what he is asking for.

Drane-Burdick points out that there is no reason to preserve maps where Caylee wasn't found. It is also pointed out that the prosecution will give them whatever they can get for the area where the body was found. It is pointed out that the prosecution can't give him what they don't have. Baez could also do some depositions.

In his request for the video visitation, Baez points out he received the same videos later released to the public. He is asking now for the one from August 14. The prosecution though he had it. They will deal with it.

Next up is the application for a subpoena duces tecum for the EquiSearch records. The judge points out there is nobody from EquiSearch there. Drane-Burdick points out that the court has no jurisdiction in Texas. She doesn't know if EquuSearch would be willing to turn those records over to Baez.

Baez points out that they did work with the Sheriff's Office. The judge says that they may just give the information to them. Baez is free to subpoena them, but they are in Texas. The judge doesn't rule on this.

Baez also brings up the reports about the car. He has still not received them. He has received the photographs. Drane-Burdick says the reports are quite voluminous and they are still working on them. She is willing to try and get incomplete reports if the judge so orders.

Baez says, "I can't wait another 7 months for them."

Drane-Burdick says that they are under no obligation to prepare reports, and also points out that they have other obligations as well as these reports! The judge allows 30 days.

Baez next mentions the search warrant affadavits and the prosecution has no objection.

Next! They polygraphs that were granted under the previous case still haven't been provided to him. Drane-Burdick's says that it's her recollection is that the State would provide a list of names of those polygraphed, but not the reports. They are inadmissable, but Baez can inquire who was tested. Baez says that the names are no good without the results. There is a discussion of the difference between discoverability and admissability.

The judge says he's never had this issue before.

Drane-Burdick says the polygraphs were done by the FBI and if they are willing to release the results, the prosecution will turn them over to them.

There is no action taken on the motion.

With that, the hearing is adjourned.

A new date will be set for the pre-trial hearing originally to take place January 15.

Fox News


Update #1!

The first hearing is over and Judge Rodriguez made a very fair decision. He gave Zenaida Gonzalez' attorney, Keith Mitnick a choice. He could either postpone the deposition or use written interrogatories and receive replies from Casey Anthony within 30 days.

The decision allows for Zenida's rights to clear her name as quickly as possible while allowing Casey Anthony to maintain her Fifth Ammendment rights. If the results of the written answers do not suffice, Casey could be deposed at a future date.

Mitnick chose to submit written questions and will wait the 30 days for a reply from Casey and her attorneys.

The hearing was not without its awkward moments. Baez Law Firm attorney Jose Garcia was standing in for the attorney of record for the case, Jonathan Kasen. Mr. Garcia had intended to have Mr. Kasen plead the motion over the telephone. However, Judge Rodriguez pointed out that arrangements for this would have had to been made quite a while ago. That given, Garcia then asked Jose Baez to argue the motion. Mitnick objected, pointing out that Mr. Baez was not the attorney of record on the case. Garcia then conferred with Baez and called him as a witness! This also was not allowed and Mr. Garcia had to do the arguments on his own.

Well, we have two hearings today!

The first is in Judge Rodriguez' courtroom at 11:00 AM.

The second is in Judge Strickland's courtroom at 1:30 PM.

As of now, Fox35 will be carrying both hearings.

Visit back for updates on both hearings!


katfish said...

The only question that immediately comes to mind is... how much will it cost to set up a secure data base on Baez' server? I'm not that tech savy but on the surface it seems like that may well cost a lot of money.... maybe not.

donchais said...

Well done ritanita! What a day!

I'm "hearinged" out and never ceased to be amazed at what a Bozo Baez is.

donchais said...

Hey ya kat!

As a former Dir. of IT...lot's of bucks and doesn't happen over night.

3 little words - Smoke, Mirrors, Stall!!!

ritanita said...

That was my first thought, too katfish!

For a guy who wasn't willing to shell out a grand or so for the tips, he's sure ready to shell out mega-bucks!

Maybe he'll ask for a discount since the ME already has the same system!

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed with the security system UNTIL we were told today by a reporter on Greta that the Prosecution are 100% sure that Casey MURDERED Caylee...definately not an accident!
{for crying out loud..just watched the prosecution trying to make sure that Baez doesn't "leak" anything..then less than 24 hours this comes through!}
Does the prosecution want to taint the jury pool???..Baez will ask for a new venue {methinks it should be the planet Uranus..very suitable to the mentality of Casey!}
Meanwhile Caylee lies in a cardboard box...this is not right!

kathlb said...

Great reporting!
Baez is an idiot as far as I'm concerned. I think he has been leaving Casey in the dark and not wanting her in the courtroom. She seemed somewhat surprised by the talk of evidence and fingerprints to me. He doesn't want her pleading out and ending his time in the spotlight. I think she needs to be at every hearing and not listen to
Baez. I know in my heart she is a cold blooded killer, but she needs to be there and if she feels she should plea out to avoid the needle then she has that right no matter what Baez says. He's stopped her talking to her father and telling LE things before. I'll bet he is even behind her not seeing her parents. Afraid that they might tell her how bad it looks and cause her to want to plea. He's a slimeball. JMHO

Kath said...

By the way, Star Noble was me from an old blog acct. LOL I didn't realize that windows grabbed that old acct and logged me in. ;-)

ritanita said...

Kath! That's so funny!

I totally agree with you about Baez not keeping Casey up to date! It's like, "trust me, sweetie... I'm looking after your best interests... don't worry that pretty little head of yours..."

Casey needs to be in court every time there's a whisper of a hearing. She needs to know what's REALLY going on.