Friday, May 29, 2009

Phil Spector Sentencing Today

UPDATE: 6:00 pm
I'll be on TALK RADIO ONE tonight around 8:00 pm.

I'm finally home. I wanted to give y'all a little update on what happened after the sentencing as well as report on some news I missed. I forgot to mention that very late, Juror #1 showed up and greeted the other jurors. She got a seat inside the courtroom with #7, #18 and #8. I did not see my friend LS get a seat, but they did get inside the courtroom right before Linda-from-San-Diego.

Rachelle was dressed down, compared to other outfits she has worn to court. It was a loose fitting pantsuit. She wasn't wearing those four or five inch heeled pumps and not much makeup on her face. Her hair was worn straight down, and her roots were showing. She also needs a good trim. Her split ends made Linda Kenny Baden's hair during the first trial look good. After the sentencing, a trial watcher informed me that in the parking lot before the sentencing, they observed Mrs. Spector and first defense team attorney Roger Rosen, right by the I {heart} Phil-mobile standing very close together and exchanging some intimate touching. I've zero idea what that's all about.

It was very difficult to hear from where I was sitting. There was a lot of moving around of sheriffs and detectives right by the door and the PIO staff.

Before the sentencing, the "Team Spector" button wearing fan made a point to send her "Back to Mono" button wearing fan over to me to tell me that she was not a "fan" but a personal friend of Spector. She was sitting across from me in the hallway, reading on the blog what I was writing about her. After she told Miriam Hernandez from Channel 7 that she last spoke to Spector at the closing arguments, she made a point to come over to me herself and say that she spoke to Spector on the phone yesterday. I didn't overhear her tell Miriam that and I would think that if she did speak to him on the phone yesterday, why did she say it was at the closing arguments? Did she at first forget? It made me wonder.

There were quite a few people who had never been in the courtroom that showed up and got a seat. Sherri was the only one who didn't get in and I heard afterwards that she was quite disappointed.

When the sentencing was over, out in the hallway Linda Deutsch was asking me what jurors were in the courtroom and I answered her. Several other reporters immediately picked up their pens and were scribbling what I said. These were all new reporters who would not have known what the jurors looked like to begin with.

Several of us wanted to go to the DA's press conference and we headed up to the 18th floor. Our hopes were soon dashed when the security guard told us that since we were not press we could not attend. We thought that maybe we could wait until Alan Jackson came up because when we left, he was still inside the courtroom, talking to the jurors who attended the sentencing in the gallery. The security guard told us we could not wait in the elevator area. We would have to vacate the floor.

Not long after the verdict was read, through a coincidence, LS found out where Spector went to lunch through both trials. It was at the little restaurant in the plaza of the Catholic Church on Temple Street. After the sentencing, I treated Linda, LS and one of T&T's regular readers (who could not attend much of the trial) Deidre, to lunch at this little cafe. The food was good and inexpensive. We talked about the trial and what a long road it's been. Not long after we sat down, we saw that three of the jurors from the second trial were having lunch at another plaza table about ten yards away. After their lunch was finished, one of the jurors, smiling, came over to sit with us. I gave my word that I would not repeat anything the juror discussed with us, but it was a delightful, almost two hour chat about what went on inside the jury room. We also shared with the juror what went on outside in the gallery regarding motions and pleadings outside their presence.

We learned that the defense had an impromptu press conference in the elevator bay on one of the floors (I think the 12th) where Rachelle spoke to the press. We were slightly disappointed to have missed that but not very.

About an hour ago, I spoke to Dominick Dunne on the phone and updated him on the sentencing. I asked him about his book, A Solo Act and he said it should be in stores in early December. Dominick also said that today, he has felt better than he has in over a year. "Let's hope this lasts for a while," he said.

Below is a complete transcript of Donna Clarkson's victim impact statement, courtesy of John Taylor, the Clarkson family attorney.

DONNA CLARKSON, mother of LANA CLARKSON, gave the following statement in open court at the Phil Spector sentencing hearing today:

“Lana was my first child, my oldest child, a precious gift.

She was the big sister to Fawn and Jeff and always helped me care for the two of them. Family was important to her and we all spent a lot of time together.

Lana had a great sense of humor. She was very funny and fun to be with. She made everybody laugh. Lana was caring, spiritual, very smart and hard working. She was generous.

She lit up a room when she walked into it. She viewed life as the glass half full. She was the eternal optimist, not only for herself, but for all of us.

She was a fan of everybody and was a cheerleader for everyone.

She was loyal to her friends. She was a great listener and took the time to listen, because she was interested. She remembered people’s names, birthdays, and things that were special to them. Lana made people feel important, because she believed that each person was important.

From the time she was a small child reciting nursery rhymes, Lana knew she would be an actress. She was a working actor her entire adult life. she was the consummate professional...always on time, prepared, and enthusiastic. She loved her craft.

I’m very proud of Lana and the wonderful and special person she was. I’m proud to be her mother.

More than six years ago, February 3, 2003, Lana was taken from us.

No one should suffer the loss of a child - it’s not the normal way we expect life to go.

Since that day, I have prayed for the truth to be told. I prayed for the faith and strength to endure the process. My overwhelming sense of loss was heightened by the trials.

The pictures were extremely shocking and painful. It was hard for us not to correct all the misinformation we heard concerning Lana. As I sat in the courtroom I just wanted to raise my hand and say “Excuse me, your honor...May I clarify these points?”

We have remained silent to help ensure a fair trial, so the truth could be ascertained.

The impact of Lana’s loss has changed all of our lives. I can no longer spend time with her and just have lunch or go to a movie, or go shopping. Her sister, Fawn, and brother, Jeff, no longer have their big sister to share their lives with.

All our plans together are destroyed. Now I can only visit her at the cemetery.

There is a hole in our hearts. My beautiful daughter, I miss you so. I miss looking into your extraordinary and vibrant eyes.

I trust the Court will be fair.

Thank you.”

I have to admit that while she was reading her statement I started to cry, because it sounded at times like her voice was about to break.

Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times coverage of the sentencing.

Steve Mikulan of the LA Weekly tweeted from the courtroom on todays proceedings.

AFP report on the sentencing.

Linda Deutsch of the AP reports.

One short video clip on the sentencing.

11:25 am: Spector is quickly taken from the courtroom. People start to mill out.

11:20 am: He is not entitled to and good time work credits. Restitution has been made. Judge reads the amounts. Defentant must pay an additonal 200 to victim fund; 25 court security fee and one other 200.00 fee. Judge checking on any other fees. Fidler states that restitution will be paid to any civil judgement.

Weinberg requests that medical records be transfered with him "forthwith." He also requests that he be transfered to Dept. of Corrections as quickly as possible. Riordan waives reading of apellate issue. That's it. Nothing else.

11:12 am: Judge: We have to discuss the law. He discusses case law. There is a case that Judges cay not considerthe mitigatin (Lincoln makes that clear).

There are two addtiona matters. There has been no motion for a new trial. Old case, people verses Edgeman.(sp?) That was ruled that it was incompentence of counsel, not to ask for a new trial.

Weinberg answers, and then makes the motion for a new trial.

Judge states he reviewed the jury verdict and denies the motion for a new trial.

Now goes over the restitution to Fawn Clarkson, plus 10% interest since time of sentencing. You can either accept that, or set aside hearing.

Weinberg states that they will tender restitution. They've prepared two cashiers checks. Court will find that restitution has been made.

Jackson accepts the restitution. Tabling the issue of the disclosure.

Fidler mentions his request for looking into the financial records. AJ speaks on behalf of the family and accepts for the family.

Ed Lozzi sent a letter to the Judge. Will not affect sentencing.

Mr. Spector to you want to be heard at all? No.

The defendant is inellgble for probation. Sentenceine to term 15 years to life. For the enhancement, the court selects the presumptive mid term of 4 years. He gets credit for time served. Plus the one day when arrested 47 days credit. Judge is checking something in a book.

11:11 am: AJ brings up all the other incidents of a gun that the court heard. "There are agravating circumstances ahat are attendant in this case.... we believe that is a just sentence."

10:10 am: AJ wants to be heard only briefly. He reads code law pleading for the four years.

11:07: Weinberg speaks. Spector still disputeds the ruling. Weinberg goes through his motion for 3 years for the gun charge. He goes through the aggrivating throug hte mitigating issues. The extra year may affect how his circumstances of his incarceration.

11:04 am: Donna Clarkson will speak. Her voice starts to break. Lana had a sense of humor and made everyone laugh. She was smart hardworking. She lit up a room when she walked in. She was the enternal optimist. not only for herself but for everone. She was a chealrlead, she was loyal to her friend.s and a great listener. She rememberped people and hteir birhtdas. Lana made you feel important because she felt each person was.

From the time she was a small child, she knew she would be an actress. I know what a wonderful special person she was, I'm proud to be her mother. nO one should suffer the loss of a child.
since that time I've prayed for the truth be told the strenght for the rpocess.

Al though the trial I wanted t rais my ahd and say excuse me your honor, can I clarify these points. There his a hold in our heart our beautful daughter, I miss you so I miss looking into your beautiful and vibrant eyes.
I trust the court to be fair.

11:03 am: Spector has entered weraing a brown wig. Fidler takes the bench.

11:01 am: Four sheriff's around the defense table. The bailiff from the second trial is not here. Another sheriff just cam in from the jail area. Several detectives are standing near the door along with a sheriff.

10:59 am: There are three camers pointed at the defense table. Weinberg, his paralegal, Susan and Riordan are there.

10:58 am: A few more minutes to sentencing. Pat Dixon arrived and Joshua is here. 10:57 am: Linda-in-San-Diego got in, but Sherri did not get a seat yet. Spector's bodyguard is in the back row. LS and Sherri didn't get a seat.

10:55 am: Louis and Frieda are in and a few public. Susan Mattros hugs Rachelle who is sitting in the first row.

10:54 am: Lana's family enters. I get waves and smiles from Fawn, Rod Lindblom, Bill Ferguson and John Taylor. 10:53 am: Just a warning. My real time, fast typing is terrible, and full of typos so be forewarned.

10:52 am: Maryann, one of Lana's friends smiles and waves to me as she enters 106.

10:48 am: Many in the media are sitting in the jury box. there are cameramen there. Harriet Ryan arrives. She sits down at the other end with Steve Futterman from CBS. They are still trying to get the connection going to use the internal wiring of the building to send out their feed to their network. I just heard it's not working. There is a video camera near the witness box and several cameramen in the jury box. While I was waiting to get in, one of the Sheriff's brought out a huge standing mirror. It must have been about 15" tall and 12" inches wide. That was most likely for Spector to check his makeup.

10:47 am: I'm inside 106 sitting against the back wall with Steven Mikulan to my left and beside him Miriam Hernandez. Many of Spector's fans in the hallway got seats. The jurors got seats. Dennis Riordan is here. More press arrives.

10:40 am: The hallway is really bustling. Nili Hudson comes over to give me a hug.

10:38 am: I just pulled my only string and it worked. I will get seat after the media is seated. Steve Mikulan from the LA Weekly arrived and told me "No game playing" pointing at my laptop. That Steven; always the jokester.

10:34 am: Alan Jackson shows up. He greets Juror #9 from the first trial and quickly enters 106.

10:31 am: Two jurors from the first trial are chatting with two jurors from the second about the lunches they would be served. The alternate #18 comes up and joins them.

10:28 am: Liz is taking the names of all the jurors from the two trials who showed up. It appears they will get seats.

10:26 am: Rachelle went into 106.

10:24 am: #9 from the first trial introduces me to one of the alternates from the first trial who came down.

10:20 am: Just a reminder, I have no idea if I will get a seat from the lottery or not. It will depend on how many reporters show up .

10:16 am: Earlier, I heard Allan Parachini state that he has received no requests from any family members for seats for the sentencing. The sheriff's bring out the pink suitcase. That must be what the wig was carried in.

10:14 am: Louis and Frieda arrive. They hug a woman with short black hair. Juror #9 from the first trial arrives and I direct him on where to get a ticket.

10:12 am: Linda Deutsch rounds the corner from the elevator bay. She stops to talk to a gentleman at the center of the hall.

10:11 am: Answering a comment. It's doubtful the presser will be streamed since the sentencing is not going to be streamed.

10:10 am: The hallway is now filling up with reporters and general public.

10:08 am: I was wrong the jurors did not go in already. They are still in the hallway. Rachelle arrived with a bright pink suitcase and a suit for Spector to wear. Her hair is down. This is the first time I've seen her hair down since the first trial.

10:07 am: A T&T reader stops by to introduce themselves to me.

10:06 am: I see Weinberg speaking to another gentleman at the end of the hall near the elevators.

10:04 am: Linda tells me the other juror is #8.

10:01 am: I got my red ticket. The three jurors who showed up got into the courtroom already.

I have no guaranteed seat. 9:56 am: I see three of the jurors have shown up. #7, #18 and I can't remember which number the other juror is. I think I see Carrol Connors. Sure looks like her.

9:55 am: Just about an hour to go.

9:54 am: I just learned from Gary (who I met during verdict watch) that the camera is just for TV. The sentencing will NOT be live streamed anywhere on the Internet.

9:51 am: Lisa and Kathie arrived. They went on vacation (not together) the week before a verdict was reached.

9:50 am: The pool camera showed up and entered 106 to get set up.

9:46 am: The group of reporters are talking with Parachini again. I forgot to mention that Sherri arrived about 10 minutes ago. She, Linda and LS are all sitting together on the bench at the end of the hall. Mostly the hallway is quiet now and I can almost hear what Allan is saying to Miriam.

9:43 am: The jurors fro 105 finally get to go into their courtroom so the hallway has thinned out a bit.

9:41 am: The blond hands Miriam her card. Down with the reporters I see a familiar reporter-face but I don't know his name. I think he's in radio though.

9:38 am: Miriam Hernandez comes over to speak to the "Team Spector" wearing blond who tells her the last time she spoke to Spector was at the closing arguments. I think I over hear her tell Miriam that "Rachelle has been very depressed" but I'm not positive on that.

9:35 am: The clerk for Department 105 calls for her jurors. They are all standing by the door, waiting to get in.

9:31 am: Miriam Hernandez from local ABC Channel 7 is down near the center of the hall chatting with Terri Keith and Mona. I do not see a camera operator yet, but it's still early.

9:30 am: I find out that the young people wearing the badges are all interns in the DA's office. A young woman told me that they are "supposed" to wear them.

9:25 am: Some of Spector's bodyguards from the first trial spoke to the press. The man who was the single bodyguard during the second trial doesn't appear to be among the roup.

9:23 am: Mrs. Benson from courtroom 107 calls for her jurors.

9:21 am: Ah. I see Spector's #1 fan hanging out near the women's restroom. She's nervously pacing.

9:19 am: There are quite a few people standing around, many with bades on them. I'm not close enough to see what department they are with. I also see some reporters I've never seen before. It's obvious because they have lanyards with their photo as another press card.

9:07 am: I'm on the 9th floor. I splurged and drove into downtown today. Linda-in-San-Diego is here as well as my friend LS (law student) who has taken a rare break from their 24/7 studies for the bar in July.

In the lobby I saw a young woman wearing a "Team Spector" button with a woman friend who is wearing a "back to mono" button. Right now she is sitting directly across from me in the hall. The "Team Spector" bottle blond fan is a study in color. She is wearing a blue gray print dress with a gray sweater, wide black belt, Pippi Longstocking knee-high, black and gray striped socks with open-toed blue suede heels as well as carrying a large hot pink plastic purse.

Just a moment ago I saw Lisa from the DA's office rolling a cart into courtroom 107. She worked on the Spector case behind the scenes. She must be working on a case before Judge Pastor. Allan Parachini, Department Head of the Court's Public Information Office is already here.

I now see Terri Keith from City News talking to Allan Parachini and I think I see the sketch artist, Mona, who I met at the Blake trial along with another gentleman.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Phil Spector Sentenced for Murder Tomorrow

After following this case for more than two years, Spector will be sentenced for murdering Lana Clarkson tomorrow at 11:00 am in Department 106. Although I have attended every day of the retrial, I have not been guaranteed a seat for the sentencing. I will try my best to get a seat for this final day. If I do get a seat, hopefully I will be blogging in real time from the back row. If I am unable to get a seat in the back row, I'll take hand notes and publish later.

According to Harriet Ryan, from her latest report in the Los Angeles Times, Fidler has granted Spector's request to wear regular clothes at his sentencing. I'm betting that will also include one of his wigs. It will be interesting to see if it's the same one he went to jail in, (my sources tell me it was "misplaced" for a time) or if Rachelle or Donte bring him a different one to wear. I'll also be on the lookout to see if he is sporting the large yarmulke Radar Online reported.

Ryan also reported that Spector will not speak at the sentencing but that Donna Clarkson will read from a prepared statement. The prosecution team will answer questions after the sentencing in a press room on the 18th floor of the Criminal Court Building.

I apologize to T&T's loyal readers that I am far behind on publishing several stories that I've promised (Crime Lab visit; Jury Duty; Complete Closing Arguments). Real Life has taken over my time as virtually every waking moment has been helping Mr. Sprocket get his new truck ready for going into business, as well as ensure that all the proper paperwork is filed with the State Contractor's Board. We are barely half-way finished with all the prep work that needs to be done before Mr. Sprocket's tool boxes, shelving units and equipment can be permanently bolted in. (You can follow our progress on that project on my Facebook Page). Hopefully, once that's completed I'll be able to work on those stories in a few weeks.

I'll be on Talk Radio One tonight, sometime after 9:30 pm.

And if you missed it, Mick Brown of the Telegraph has an excellent wrap up piece on the case as well as a small audio recording from when he interviewed Spector six weeks before the murder. Spector's voice is clear and had not yet started to deteriorate.

The Case Against Casey Anthony: All about motions going nowhere...

Today, one motion was shelved for future reference and one was half-granted.

Jose Baez topped the list. He spoke briefly and stated that the purpose of his original motion remained the same (to have the jail video of Casey's reactions sealed). The only difference was that his new motion, filed yesterday, merely added more information to assist the judge in making his decision.

Linda Kenny Baden then began discussion of the motions. She requested that the motions be adjourned until the defense was able to complete the deposition of Lt. Tammy Uncer and possibly take others. She indicated she would be willing to pass the additional information on to the judge as the depositions continued.

State's Attorney Linda Drane Burdick then explained to the judge that in the original motion filed in March that the defense intended to seek action against Orange County.

Tammy Giffin, the attorney for the Orange County Department of Corrections pointed out that she had received the new motions last night and still did not have copies of the related depositions. She also stated that the new motion contained many allegations against the county and she needed sufficient time to prepare for a hearing on the matter. She also said that she had already filed a motion on this issue.

Drane-Burdick then pointed out that the State now had the tape and that it was turned over to Mr. Baez, making it now a public record. In addition, the new motion had not been delivered in a timely manner for her to prepare to respond to it. Lastly, Drane-Burdick pointed out to the judge that the media had not been "noticed" on either of the motions and had the right to speak. As there were no attorneys for the media, Judge Strickland gave them seven days to respond.

From what was said in court today, both the State and the defense have no problem with keeping the video under seal. It's too bad Baez didn't "notice" the media and the whole issue of the video could have been over today. Now, the media attorneys have a week to come up with arguments to convince Judge Strickland that it should be released.

I have another issue with these motions that someone who knows the law a lot better than I could help me with. Wouldn't the defense have been better off separating the issue of the release of the video from any actions they would like to take against the entities which plotted to violate Ms. Casey's rights (State, Federal, medical, etc.) and make it a separate motion? That would have made life much simpler. At this point, this layperson feels that the whole issue is a terrible mess, or perhaps a "loco-motion"?

At this point, there was a pause in the hearing and Jose Baez "introduced" the new death penalty qualified attorney, Andrea Lyon (The Angel of Death Row), to the court along with a mini-curriculum vitae. State's Attorney Jeff Ashton tossed out a zinger to Baez, saying that while he appreciated the "commercial," he would appreciate receiving her documents which would admit her pro hac vice and certify her as being death penalty qualified.
Baez didn't take the comment well and mumbled something about "... not to belittle it to a commercial when some one's life..." He was interrupted by Judge Strickland who commented that, it was a "plug for her successes." Jeff Ashton laughed at that one.

With the first two motions addressed and postponed yet again, the hearing moved on to the motion for the phone records.

Attorney David Evans spoke for Roy Kronk, the meter reader who discovered Caylee's remains. He had already spoken with Baez and had agreed to a time restriction of January, 2008 to the present. However, he objected that the motion needed to be carefully crafted to limit the records to those numbers related to the case. He cited case law which promoted Mr. Kronk's right to privacy. He asked that the defense provide a list of numbers and why they want them. Judge Strickland agreed that this solution was agreeable to him.

Attorney Kirk Kirkconnell then spoke for Amy Huizenga. He agreed with the case law provided by Mr. Evans and went on to state that he wanted an end date of the day Casey was arrested since the two had no unrecorded communication since that date. He also made a distinction between phone calls and text messages. He indicated the difference was that phone calls have no content, text messages do. Mr. Kirkconnell's main objection appeared to be the release of the phone numbers of Amy's doctors, family, pizza delivery man. He stated that the media would be calling them all. Kirkconnell also indicated that Baez had an alternative way to find out the record of calls and messages between Amy and Casey. He has Casey's phone records, and Amy's are all there!

Somehow, I think Baez wants more numbers than that.

My favorite attorney of the day was Jesse Gund's lawyer, Marty White (I hope I got his name right.) He approached the podium and proceeded to give a well-organized, fully documented presentation. He cited both statute and case law. First, he indicated that as a former policemen, Jesse Grund has the same rights to privacy as every other citizen and in addition has special rights. While his records could be turned over to the defense, they could not be made public. This aspect even surprised Judge Strickland, who had never heard of it before.

White went on to discuss materiality and necessity. He pointed out that, in his motion, Baez had provided neither. Baez had asked for "any and all" records without giving the judge a good reason. In the end, Judge Strickland agreed with the lack of materiality in the motion and indicated he needed to study the information concerning the special statute for law enforcement and ex-law enforcement personnel.

Former Deputy Richard Cain's objection has apparently been moved and wasn't addressed at the hearing today.

Jose Baez then stood to reply. He started out by stating he was at a disadvantage because he had to address different issues with different lawyers. (He's lucky all the people subpoenaed didn't have attorneys present!)

Baez began to argue his motion and was immediately interrupted by Judge Strickland who stated that he had no problem with what Baez was asking for, except for the motion being overly broad. He mentioned that Baez had seemed to have worked out the time line issue with the individual lawyers. However, he felt that Baez had not given good reason for wanting the information. The judge said that he could look at the names and figure out why he wanted them, but that he needed Baez to amend the motion to include his reasons.

Baez began his reply to the judge by pointing out that law enforcement had thought the phone records important enough to get them for all but Mr. Kronk. Then, he went on to address the issue of Jesse Grund. He said, "Mr. Grund was, for all intents and purposes a suspect in this case" and had taken a polygraph.

Okay, I blew my stack here. Jesse Grund was just one of Casey's former friends, boyfriends who took a polygraph. Every one of us knows that in such cases, polygraphs are used to exclude people. My goodness, if you go back and listen to one of Cindy Anthony's interviews in August, one of the detectives told her Jesse did not have Caylee! To make matters worse, Baez then went on to toss Amy Huizenga into the same category. Balderdash!

Baez then went on to point out that the records LE had asked for were limited. (I suppose that's because they only asked for what had materiality and necessity as pointed out earlier by Mr. White.) He said he was not on a fishing expedition and His Honor could see the materiality by just looking at the names.

Baez indicated that he didn't want to divulge who he's looking at and why (Mr. Ashton smiled at this.). He was shocked that LE didn't look into Mr. Kronk's phone records. He said, "what I am doing in this case is what law enforcement should have done."

Judge Strickland then said to Baez, "you're kind of straying a bit here, tell me why you want it, not what they didn't do."

Baez went on and on about how doing what the judge wanted him to do "crosses the line" and would essentially broadcast to the prosecution his defense strategy. (Oh yes, Mr. Baez, this is a fishing trip couched in terms of Ms. Casey's Constitutional Rights!)

The judge hauled Baez back to to the issue of what the law requires, materiality!

Baez continued on and on about how he isn't in the business of releasing people's phone numbers and he's even discussed a confidentiality agreement with Kronk. Essentially, Baez was giving his word, he wouldn't turn the "stuff" over to the media! In other words, I want it all and I will only turn over what turns out to be evidence in discovery! Oh, and I'll tell those whose information I'm using as evidence about it so they can file motions then.

Judge Strickland then told Baez that if he could come to agreement with the attorneys, it would be fine with him. He said he was only hearing the motions because of the objections of the attorneys. Baez replied that he had no plans to release or sell any information. (Sell information?)

Drane Burdick spoke to this issue, pointing out that if the material is turned over to her, she is under the obligation to make the information public.

Judge Strickland then introduced a couple of moments of humor into the proceedings when he got Roy Kronk's lawyer confused with Jesse Grund's lawyer. Once the confusion was straightened out, the judge, hoping to short-circuit the discussion, asked Mr. White if he wanted the request made in writing. Mr. White, citing case law again, stated he wanted specificity in everything Baez is asking for and went into great detail about it. Mr. White wanted to know this so HE could decide what is relevant. (I love this guy.)

When Baez attempted to address this, the judge interrupted him to point out that he (the judge), needed to follow the law and that Baez, in his motion had only listed names and not the reasons why.

Baez responded by saying that there wasn't a requirement in the rules to do so! The judge promptly corrected him, saying, "there is a rule about materiality (quote approximate). Baez said that he understood that. (Is there no wonder I'm confused here?)

The judge then asked if Baez had anything to add and Baez went back to the main issue for him. "The pleadings is (sic) opening the door...."

The fact is, Baez originally wanted to address the issue in private. When that didn't work, he submitted his broadly focused motion. He knows very well what is legally required, but he doesn't want anyone to know WHO he is focusing on and why. The trouble is, he never figured out a way to do this legally! There was an article at WFTV on April 21 in which explained how it could have easily been done without going through these hearings:

Sheaffer said Baez could've identified the witnesses' cell phone providers during depositions and then subpoenaed the companies' records directly. Instead, he's asked the judge's permission.

"That will force Baez to tell the court what relevance these phone records may have to the defense," Sheaffer explained.

Sheaffer was right! I highly recommend going to the link I posted and read the article and watch the raw interview. This is where some experience comes in handy.

Back to the hearing! Judge Strickland told Baez his request needed to be finely tailored. Baez
replied that putting the request in writing would only postpone the inevitable. He also indicated the case was moving at a snail's pace. He agreed that he wanted it "done right" and added that he didn't need to put everything in the pleading, just indicate the materiality. (I'm sorry, I don't follow this argument at all.)

At this point, Judge Strickland granted the motion for those who did not have lawyers present: Tony Lazzaro, Cindy Anthony, George Anthony, Lee Anthony, Ricardo Morales, Dominic Casey, James Hoover, and Keith Williams. As for Jesse Grund, Amy Huizenga, and Roy Kronk, Baez will have to go back and rewrite the motion. Richard Cain will be done at a later date. He also mentioned "tweaking" the dates and recommended from June until possibly the present.

Baez indicated that the State is not saying the death was an accident, that it was premeditated murder and that there was a need to have information prior to the in- (he almost said incident here), when Caylee disappeared. He said it's not a situation where there was an incident, and everything moved onward from there.

Eventually, Judge Strickland said that Baez would have to list the numbers he wanted from each and state the materiality. He also made it clear that Baez would not have to state his case strategy when filing the amended motion. He would only require a couple of sentences to determine materiality.

Baez then suggested that if a "special master" could deal with the situation to essentially keep him from revealing too much information the defense didn't want out there. The judge stated that if all the parties agreed, it could be done. He did point out that the court doesn't have special masters and it would be up to Baez to arrange for payment. He gave Baez a few days to try and arrange this.

Strickland again granted the motion for those who did not object and told Baez that he would withhold a denial of the motion without prejudice for one week. If all else were to fail, the judge said he would do so himself in camera. Baez asked if he'd have to pay him!

At this point, I thought the hearing would be over, but no!

Judge Strickland asked Linda Kenney Baden if she wanted to speak to her motion and the amended motion. She got up and introduced Todd Macaluso (See, I said there were a lot of lawyers!) to speak. At this point, my notes tell me he addressed the court using such phrases as "cruel," "inhuman," "illegal," and "unconstitutional"to describe the treatment of Casey the day that her reactions were videotaped. Macaluso also pointed out that there was a plot by OSCO and the jail personnel to videotape Casey. He cited Sgt. Richardson and Lt. Uncer's depositions. He said that the defense had learned more information when they deposed them.

County attorney Giffin objected at this point and asked that the matter be continued until she had the opportunity to read all the pertinent documents. The judge granted the motion and indicated Macaluso could continue his arguments.

As Macaluso started to read quotes from Sgt. Richardson, Giffin objected again, pointing out that she had not had the opportunity to read the depositions. She again requested a continuance so she could be properly prepared to answer. The judge sustained the objection.

Baez then stood and offered her a copy of the deposition. The judge wisely pointed out that giving it to her would not give her the opportunity to read it. Giffin went on to say that the county had no objection to the tape being sealed, she was only concerned about all the allegations contained in the motion. It was her duty to protect county employees.

Drane-Burdick then stood and indicated that the State had no objection to the tape being sealed. She continued by saying that the only party interested in seeing the tape unsealed was the public. She pointed out that the issue would be dealt with in a week. She felt that they were straying into a suppression issue.

The judge then told Macaluso to limit his discussion to why he wanted the tapes sealed and not get into details on the other issues. The judge wanted Macaluso to say why the release of the tapes would harm his client. Macaluso then stated that the tape wouldn't harm his client and didn't prove or disprove anything. He stated that the tape was a violation of her rights to medical privacy. He doesn't want the media to "spit" on the video. He also says he didn't believe the video would ever be used in trial. Finally, he indicated that during the 30-45 minutes Casey was there, her attorney was not permitted to see her.

Drane Burdick spoke for a few moments and suggested the judge view the video prior to the hearing on this issue.

Next up, Linda Kenney Baden told the judge she agreed with his decision to hear arguments on the motions correct (considering it was only filed the day before and the judge, prosecution, and county attorney had not had a chance to even read it). She went on to say that this was now a death penalty case and not an issue of the public's right to know. At this point, the defendant's rights trump the public's right to know. She also indicated that once admitted pro hoc vice, it would be the duty of death penalty qualified attorney Andrea Lyon's responsibility to address the issue. Kenney Baden also stated that there was also the issue of monitoring counsel in meetings with the client involved. She asked the judge if he wanted her to discuss the issue now. Judge Strickland stated it was pointless right now.

After some discussion of scheduling, Andrea Lyon rose to address the court. Drane-Burdick was on her feet immediately, objecting to her speaking, since her documentation for pro hac vice had yet to be filed.

There was more discussion of scheduling at the bench. While we waited, Attorney Jose Garcia and Casey had time to chat.

As the bench conference ended, so did the hearing. At this point, we should hear next week whether or not the tape will be released.

Video of the hearing:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jury Returns Verdict in San José Cop Killing Trial—Guilty!

Deputy District Attorney Lane Liroff 

San José Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana

The Fontana family has made the trip to Santa Clara County Superior Court Department 38 too many times to count over the past 7 ½ years. After today, they have one more trip to Judge Diane Northway’s courtroom, and justice will be served. That one last trip will be for the sentencing hearing of DeShawn Campbell.

Campbell has been found guilty of murdering San José Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana on October 28, 2001. Campbell faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Police actually solved this case quickly—and it wasn’t hard to do. Campbell left his father’s tan Hyundai (keys in the car) in the cul-de-sac where he’d gunned down Jeff after (presumably) a routine traffic stop. Residents of the cul-de-sac reported hearing one set of footsteps running from the scene. The car was quickly traced back to Campbell’s father, who tried to tell police that he’d sold the car to a Hispanic woman.

Only problem was that was a lie, and DeShawn’s prints were all over the car.

The gun used to assassinate Jeff was quickly traced to Campbell’s house. The gun was dismantled by one of Campbell's friends.

Campbell was on the run—for less than two weeks.

The long and winding road to justice in this case has had more than its share of roadblocks—attorneys removed because of conflict of interest, psychologist shopping to find someone who would declare Campbell mentally retarded, taking the death penalty off the table. Through all of this, the Fontanas maintained a quiet dignity, sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom, reminding the court that this was a murder trial, and that one of their own was the one dead.

For an excellent chronicle of the trial, check out Greg Fontana’s blog, Justice for Jeffrey.

Thanks to the jury, who managed to see the truth through all of the defense’s B.S., and peace and blessings to the Fontana family.

Jeff would be proud.

DeShawn Campbell found guilty in shooting death of San Jose police officer

Verdict Reached in DeShawn Campbell Trial

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Casey Anthony's Criminal Case: Motions to be heard Thursday, New death penalty attorney to be revealed



Citing depositions of jail personnel, Baez states,

There is no doubt that even after two depositions surrounding the December 11, 2008 incident where Casey Anthony visited the medical facility in the Orange County Jail for medical treatment that this video must remain sealed for medical privacy and other reasons that have now developed.

The fifteen page document is quite a read! Baez quotes from depositions he took not long ago and without reading the entire transcript, it's difficult to know the entire context, but it sounds as though Baez is appalled at the shocking treatment Casey received.

It is disappointing to learn from the motion, in the form of a footnote, that the State does not plan to use the video of Casey and Baez that was also on video. So, it seems we'll never get to see it.

In addition, Jesse Grund has also filed an objection to the release of his phone records.


We've back in Judge Stan Strickland's courtroom this Thursday, May 28 for yet another motions hearing. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 AM.

The main focus of the hearing is to hear arguments concerning Jose Baez's EMERGENCY MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER AND OTHER RELIEF. The media has concentrated on one section of the motion which asks the court to prohibit the release the video of Casey Anthony's reaction to the news that the skeletal remains of a child had been found on Suburban Drive, a short distance from the Anthony home. The video in question is one of Casey Anthony in the waiting room of the clinic viewing television coverage of the morning's events.

He is asking for Judge Strickland to enter a protective order which would prohibit the State and law enforcement agencies from:

1) Monitoring and/or disclosing any communications between Casey Anthony and her attorneys or attorneys (sic) agents;

2) saving any video or audio taping the Defendant and Defendant's counsel while meeting;

3) disclosing to anyone anything that occurred in the meetings;

4) turning over all video or audio tapes or reports or other methods of memorializing meeting between the attorney and client;

5) conducting a full testimonial hearing to determine who authorized that the communications, tapes be saved, reported on, or otherwise authorized all discussed herein;
This one is confusing to me since the paragraph began with the motion asking the judge to prohibit these events from occurring!

6) order that any discovery which has as a part communications with the attorney not be disclosed to the public;

7) order a testimonial hearing on the issue if it deems necessary;
Same comment as for #5.

8)any and all other relief that is within the power of this court.

This is the "short" of the motion. The main thrust seems to be that Mr. Baez suspects the prosecution of colluding with jail personnel to monitor his meetings with his client. In section 11 of the motion, Baez states that,

Since no conversations between the client and her attorney occur in front of any jail personnel - the means by which this communication was obtained is highly questionable to say the least.

Baez is also concerned about the fact that,

...the interview of Lt. Tammy Uncer discusses her medical state in a medical facility and also her medical history at that facility.

Oopsie! The State accidentally released that interview.

To really get the flavor of Baez's outrage, you really need to go to the actual document and read it for yourself.

I am looking forward to the hearing just to hear the arguments on this one. Does anyone else think that tempers may flare a bit?

There are other motions which are scheduled to be heard on Thursday. The main motion is Baez's MOTION FOR APPLICATION FOR SUBPOENA DUCES TECUM in which he asks for extensive communications information from Roy Kronk, Jesse Grund, Tony Lazzaro, Richard Cain, Cindy Anthony, George Anthony, Lee Anthony, Ricardo Morales, Amy Huizenga, Dominic Casey, James Hoover, and Keith Williams. As of date, Roy Kronk, Amy Huizenga, and Richard Cain have filed objections to the wide-ranging motion which asks for:

Any and all records for telephone usage, including by not limited to: phone calls, text messages, P2P communications, Internet usage, WAP usage, cell tower pings, etc, which pertain to the aforementioned individuals.

There are no limiting dates, which mark this motion as an extraordinary fishing expedition. If granted, I can't begin to imagine how tall the stack of records would be if printed out and neatly piled. I would hope that, were the motion were to be granted, Mr. Baez would have a literal army of researchers ready to spend the rest of their working lives sorting out the information.

However, it is highly unlikely that the motion will be granted as written. Those who have filed objections point out the highly intrusive nature of the request. They cite their right to privacy, something Mr. Baez should understand. Both Kronk and Huizenga state in their motions that they have no objection to producing information relating to the case.

Finally, there will be a bit of theater at the hearing. Jose Baez has announced that he will "introduce" the newest member of the "Dream Team" to the court. This will be the new death-penalty qualified attorney.

See you in court Thursday!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Huckaby Doesn’t Enter a Plea and Faces New Charges

Melissa Huckaby appeared in court yesterday, but did not enter a plea in the kidnap, rape and killing of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

Prosecutors filed an amended complaint against Huckaby on Thursday that added one count of child endangerment and two counts of furnishing someone a harmful substance.

Two of the added charges stem from the January17 incident involving a 7-year-old girl who lived in the Orchard Estates Mobile Home Park. The girl's mother told police Huckaby took her 7-year-old child without her or her family's permission.

Observing her daughter acting strangely, Lora Polk took her to the hospital where she was tested and found to have muscle relaxants in her system.

Huckaby is also accused of giving an unspecified drug to Daniel Plowman, 36, of Hayward.

Plowman was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance after crashing his car into a wall at McDonald’s. He was never charged with a crime.

The complaint against Huckaby, in both cases, alleges she "willfully and unlawfully mingled a harmful substance with food or drink" with the intent it be taken by a human.

Huckaby is next scheduled to appear in court on June 12. Deputy Public Defender Sam Behar requested the postponement due to the amended complaint and the estimated 1,000 pages of evidence he needs to review.

Prosecutors have not decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

Mercury News
Tracy Press
ABC News

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Alan Jackson's Sentencing Recomendations for Phil Spector

I'm sure you've seen in the news the brief reports of the prosecution's sentencing recommendations for Phil Spector as well as monetary restitution recommendations. Here is the DA's Sentencing Memorandum as well as the Notice Of Motion and Motion To Request Restitution For Victim; Memorandum of Points and Authorities. The documents were manually typed out by me from copies of the motions so T&T's readers could see the entire documents themselves.

Many of T&T's readers have written asking when will Spector be sentenced. Sentencing is scheduled for May 29th, at 11:00 am in Department 106. Many of you in the public have indicated to me that you plan on attending. I know there is a heightened interest in seeing Spector in prison garb and without his wig. I do not know if that will be the case. I have heard that he could be allowed to wear a suit and his wig for any appearance in court, while other sources tell me that he will be in prison garb. Since Spector recently found religion, it will be interesting to see if he will be wearing his newly acquired yarmakule with or without his hair piece, in court.

(Please note that there were some typographical errors in the motions that I left intact. I did not copy the Exhibits which had quite a bit of information redacted, to further protect the privacy of the victims.)


District Attorney
By: ALAN JACKSON, Deputy District Attorney
By: TRUC DO, Deputy District Attorney
Major Crimes Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
210 W. Temple Street, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012








Case No.: BA255233


DATE: 5-29-09
TIME: 8:30 AM
DEPT.: 106

TO: THE HONORABLE LARRY FIDLER, JUDGE OF THE ABOVE-ENTITLED COURT, Doron Weinberg, counsel for Defendant, and PHillip Spector, Defendant:

The People of the State of California submit the following Sentencing Memorandum for the Court's consideration.

DATED: May 19th, 2009

Respectfully Submitted

District Attorney of
Los Angeles County








The defendant in the above-entitled case as convicted by a jury on April 13, 2009 of Count 1, second degree murder (Penal Code section 187(a)). The jury further found the allegation that the defendant personally used a firearm (Penal Code section 12022.5(a)) to be true.



Victim Lan Clarkson was working at the House of Blues on February 2-3, 2003, when the defendant came in to the club with a female companion. Defendant Phillip Spector arrived at the club at about 1:45 a.m. on February 4. Prior to arriving at the House of Blues, Spector had been to two other bars and a restaurant. He had been drinking at each location, and continued to drink once at the House of Blues. Spector and his dates had been driven to the various locations that evening and early morning in Spector's black Mercedes by Spector's driver, Adriano De Souza.

At around 2:00 a.m., Spector was attempting to coax Lana Clarkson, who was working in the V.I.P. Foundation Room, to go home with him. By 2:30 a.m., Spector left the club and was escorted to his car by the victim. Once at the car, Spector became insistent that the victim accompany him for a drink at his "castle." Lana finally relented, and the two were driven by De Souza to 1700 Grandview in Alhambra.

After dropping Spector and Lana off at the front steps. De Souza parked the car on the motor court in front of the rear door to the house.

At about 5:00 a.m., De Souza heard a loud "pow." He got out of the Mercedes and walked around the motor court. Everything seemed okay, so he returned to the driver's seat of


the Mercedes. Within a minute, Spector opened the back door of the house and stood in the doorway. DeSouza got out of the Mercedes and faced Spector. Spector was still wearing the light-colored jacked he had worn throughout the prior evening and early morning. Spector held a revolver in his right hand across the front of his abdomen. Spector confessed to DeSouza, "I think I killed somebody."

DeSouza looked around one side of Spector into the rear foyer of the house. He could see Clarkson's legs extending outward. He looked arounf the other side of Spector and could see Clarkson's upper body. Clarkson was slumped in a chair with blood on her face. Within seconds De Souza called for help, dialing both Spector's assistant and 9-1-1.

Spector never called for help.

What De Souza did not know at the time, and what the evidence showed, was that Spector had pulled a loaded gun from the bureau drawer and threatened Lana with it as she attempted to leave the residence. As Lana was seated in a chair by the back door with her purse slung on her right shoulder Spector produced the gun, the end result of which was Lana being shot through the mouth as she recoiled in fear.

Lana Clarkson was the last in a series of victims to suffer homicidal assaults at the hands of Phil Spector. As this Court heard during the trial, Spector has been pulling guns on women for decades. This Court heard from six women, each of whom recounted the chilling details of their encounters with Spector in which Spector pulled guns on them and promised that he could and would kill them.





California Penal Code section 187(a).

The sentence for Count 1 in this case is mandatory. "[E]very person guilty of murder in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life." Cal. Pen. Code § 190(a) (2003).

California Penal Code section 12022.5(a)

In addition to the life term mandated above, the defendant should be sentence to an addition and consecutive term of 10 years (high term) for his personal use of a gun. The Code sets out that "any person who personally uses a firearm in the commission of a felony . . . shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prision for 3, 4 or 10 years." Cal. Pen. Code § 12022.5(a) (2003). In order to properly determin whether the lower, middle or upper term should be imposed, the court must look to circumstances in mitigation and aggravation. Cal. Rules Of Court 4.420(a) (2003).

In this case, the interests of justice would be served by imposition of the mid term for the gun use enhancement. The defendant should be sentenced to an additional and consecutive term of four years in state prison. Moreover, the determinate portion of the sentence (i.e. the four years) must be served first. People v. Polk (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 764.



Pursuant to Penal Code section 190(3), the defendant is entitled to no conduct credit reduction in his sentence. Cal. Pen. Code § 190(e) (2003); Cal. Pen. Code § 2933.2 (2003).



Count 1: PC 187(a), second degree murder ... 15 to Life

PC 12022.5(a), ... 4 years (determinate)

TOTAL TERM: 15 to Life + 4 years = 19 to Life

DATED: May 19, 2009

Respectfully Submitted

District Attorney of
Los Angeles county



Deputy District Attorney



District Attorney
By: ALAN JACKSON, Deputy District Attorney
By: TRUC DO, Deputy District Attorney
Major Crimes Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
210 W. Temple Street, 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012








Case No.: BA255233


DATE: 5-29-09
TIME: 8:30 AM
DEPT.: 106

TO: THE HONORABLE LARRY FIDLER, JUDGE OF THE ABOVE-ENTITLED COURT, Doron Weinberg, counsel for Defendant, and PHillip Spector, Defendant:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on May 29, 2009 at 11:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA will move this Honorable Court to order restitution on behalf of the victim(s) in this case.

This Motion will be based upon this Notice of Motion and Motion, and the files and pleadings of the above-entitled matter, the grand jury and trial transcripts, the attached Points and Authorities, and on such other evidence and argument as may be introduced at the hearing on this Motion.


DATED: May 18, 2009

Respectfully Submitted

District Attorney of
Los Angeles county



Deputy District Attorney





As this Court presided over the trial matter in this case, for brevity's sake the People will forego a detailed recitation of the facts.




Article 1, Section 28 of the California Constitution states:

It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to restitution from the person convicted of the crimes for losses they suffer. [¶] Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted persons in every case, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in which a crime victim sufers a loss, unless compelling and extraordinary reasons exist to the contrary. (Emphasis supplied).

The statutory framework requiring persons convicted of any crime to pay restitution is found in Government Code section 13967(a), which states in pertinent part:

Upon a person being convictd of any crime in the State of California, the court shall, in addition to any other penalty provided or imposed under the law, order the defendant to pay restitution in the form of a penalty assessment in accordance with section 1464 of the Penal Code, and to pay restitution to the victim... (Emphasis supplied).



California law mandates that "the defendant shall prepare and file a disclosure identifying all assets, income, and liabilities in which the defendant held or controlled a present or future interest as of the date of the defendant's arrest for the crime for which restitution may be ordered." Cal. Pen. code § 1202.4(f)(5) (2009) (emphasis supplied). In this instance, the People have supplied the defendant with both the standard CR-115 Judicial Council form as well as a more detailed Asset and Liability form in order to facilitate this Court's accurate determination of the defendant's financial condition. Such financial disclosure shall be made available to the victim and/or their representatives pursuant to Section 1214, which states that "upon the victim's request, the court shall provide the victim in whose favor the order of restitution is entered with a certified copy of that order and a copy of the defendant's disclosure . . . ." Cal. Pen code § 1214(b) (2009).

The spirit underlying such disclosure is to ensure that the victim has access to "all resources available under the law to enforce the restitution order, including, but not limited to, access to the defendant's financial records . . . and information regarding the defendant's assets . . ." Id. This is so because this Court's restitution order "shall be fully enforceable by a victim as if the restitution order were a civil judgment." Id.

For purposes of this Court's restitution order, "victim" is defined as "[t]he immediate family of the actual victim." Cal. Pen. Code § 1202.4(k)(1) (2009). In this case, Lana Clarkson' immediate family members include her mother, Donna Clarkson, her sister, Fawn Clarkson, and her brother, Jeff Clarkson.



Phillip Spector murdered Lana Clarkson on February 3, 2003, for which crime he was convicted on April 13, 2009. As a result of such murder, Lana's family has experienced untold suffering, including substantial economic losses. Any and all of those economic losses must be the subject of this court's restitution order. In an non-exhaustive list, the California legislature has identified some of the economic losses for which the victim is entitiled to full reimbursement from the defendant. Cal Pen. Code § 1202.4(f)(3)(A)-(K) (2009). In this case, certain of the economic losses of the victims due to the defendant Spector's criminal conduct have been itemized and included in a Memorandum by Krystyna Dailey. Additionally, certified records of such economic losses have been attached to the Memorandum, all of which is affixed hereto as Exhibit A.

As the Court will note from the documents, Fawn Clarkson (Lana's sister) suffered out-of-pocket expenses in the amount of $26,551.82. She was reimbursed by the Victim Compensation Board $9,740. The People therefore request a restitution order as follows:

1. Fawn Clarkson

i. Non-reimbursed funeral and burial expenses, and mental health expenses: $16,811.82

2. Victim compensation Board

i. Reimbursement for payments made: $9,740.00


DATED: May 18, 2009

Respectfully Submitted

District Attorney of
Los Angeles county



Deputy District Attorney

The Case Against Casey Anthony: Hearing Postponed

After waiting for more than 45 minutes for today's hearing concerning the depositions, Morgan&Morgan attorney Keith Mitnick addressed Judge Rodriguez. Apparently, George and Cindy Anthony's attorney, Bradley Conway threw his back out and had to cancel.

At this point, Mitnick will have to wait his turn to find a new date. Trials & Tribulations will be checking back and will let you know when a new date is set.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Battle Over Melissa Huckaby’s Daughter

As Melissa Huckaby awaits arraignment on charges she kidnapped, raped, and killed 8-year-old Sandra Cantu in March, her ex-husband and mother are engaged in a bitter custody battle over 5-year-old Madison Huckaby.

At the time of Huckaby’s arrest on April 10, Madison was living with her mother and great-grandparents, Lane and Connie Lawless. Madison is currently living with Judy and Brian Lawless, Melissa’s parents, in Cypress, California.

Less than a week after Huckaby’s arrest, her ex-husband, Johnny Huckaby requested custody of their 5-year-old daughter.

Court Commissioner Walter Posey granted Huckaby custody of his daughter on April 20, but reversed that decision after Judy Lawless pleaded with the court to let her keep the child saying Madison has lived with her most of her life and has had little contact with her father.

According to court documents, Judy Lawless said to avoid media attention she took Madison and, until April 20, was staying with a relative in Oregon.

Johnny Huckaby claims that when he arrived in Oregon to retrieve Madison, she and Judy Lawless were already gone and he accuses Lawless of lying to him about Madison's whereabouts.

A custody hearing is scheduled for July 6.

Melissa Huckaby is scheduled to appear again in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Friday.

I feel so badly for this little girl and what her future holds.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Case Against Casey Anthony: Motion to dismiss denied. More fireworks Thursday

In a brief hearing this morning, Judge Jose Rodriguez ruled against Casey Anthony's motion to dismiss the civil suit filed against her by Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez. At the same time, he granted the motion filed by Morgan&Morgan attorney Keith Mitnik to amend the original suit to include punitive damages based on additional information.

Mitnik began by stating that the motion to dismiss was moot since they had a proffer for punitive damages due to additional evidence. I would think that he was referring to Cindy Anthony's deposition in which she admitted that she "published" Casey's statement that she never saw a picture of Zenaida when at the Sawgrass Apartments.

Casey Anthony's attorney, Jonathan Kasen retorted that they were only delaying the inevitable, that the motion to dismiss would be the same whether or not Mitnik amended the motion. He explained that Mitnik hadn't proven that THIS Zenaida is THE Zenaida. He stated that until they could establish that their client is the person connected to the case (Zenaida's name is common) they can't prove she is the one. Later in the hearing, he went on to state that in Orange and surrounding counties, there were 23 people with that name. He also referred to the lack of the letter "z" on the end of her name on the card from Sawgrass.

Mitnik replied that, "No other Zenaida Gonzalez in the history of the world is associated with Sawgrass" and THAT was a defamation to her. Kasen stated that, "we described somebody different. Casey described someone else."

The Judge shut down further argument of the facts of the case by stating that has to look at the case as if every single admission were true. A motion to dismiss doesn't get into the veracity or weighing of issues.

There was also a brief discussion about Casey Anthony's interrogatories during the hearing. Kasen explained that, due to the criminal proceedings and the possibility Casey could "get the needle," she had no choice but to cite her Fifth Amendment rights. Judge Rodriguez pointed out that when the decision to allow the interrogatories was made, the facts were different. (Casey wasn't facing the death penalty at that time.)

At that point in the hearing, it was pointed out that the motions to compel would not be heard until Thursday. I would expect that hearing is going to be the one with the true fireworks!

I have to say that I admire Judge Rodriguez for keeping this hearing on track. He only allowed the attorneys to discuss the motions that were on the calendar for today. Since George and Cindy Anthony were in the courtroom, I would assume they believed the motions to compel would be discussed. They certainly didn't look happy at the end of the hearing.

The best part about the hearing was that we heard some of the arguments that will be discussed on Thursday.

Mitnik will stress the fact that the police were led to Sawgrass Apartments by Casey Anthony. The only Zenaida Gonzalez associated with the apartment was their client. The fact that Casey lied to authorities would not mitigate the effect the accusation had on their client. It was his client who was questioned by police and involved in the case when Caylee was still missing.

Kasen will continue to argue that Mitnik can't prove that this lady is the correct one. He will point to the fact that Cindy and George Anthony both said she was not the woman that was described to them. I think the largest problem will be that fact that their daughter is a liar and nothing she says can be believed. He will probably bring up Cindy Anthony's favorite part, that it was C. Zenaida Gonzale who signed the card at Sawgrass. That was one of her "better" moments in her deposition. Of course, that argument is totally negated by the fact that it was a Sawgrass employee who filled out the card!

Thursday should be quite an experience. Each and every Anthony has been served with a Motion to Compel answers from the depositions and Casey's interrogatories. While I believe that the judge may change his decision about Casey (due to the death penalty), the rest of the Anthony family will be on the hot seat.

Will Lee have to say who he thinks Caylee's father is? Will he have to say who he thinks murdered Caylee?

Will George have to admit to Casey's thieving ways?

Will Cindy have to admit Casey charged up a storm on her credit cards? There is so much more Cindy may have to say. Read her motion for the details!

The answers to these questions will hopefully be answered on Thursday! Stay Tuned!

Zenaida’s Original Lawsuit
Casey’s Suit Against Zenaida
Proffer Of Support For Punitive Damages
Motion to Compel Lee Anthony
Motion to Compel Casey Anthony
Motion to Compel Cindy Anthony
Motion to Compel George Anthony

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hearing tomorrow in Zenaida Gonzalez Case: Casey Anthony seeks to have suit dismissed

There will be a hearing in the case of Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez tomorrow at 10:00 AM in Judge Jose Rodriguez’s courtroom. According to the article published at the WESH website, Casey’s attorneys are seeking to have the suit filed by Gonzalez dismissed.

In recent depositions, both George and Cindy stated that they had never seen the babysitter but knew she was a “10" while the plaintiff isn’t. Apparently, that’s all the testimony it will take to have the suit dismissed if Casey’s lawyers prevail.

On the other hand, Gonzalez’s attorney, Keith Mitnik stated in the article that he doubted the suit would be dismissed and that, "There could be some fireworks."


To briefly summarize the motion to file an added claim for punitive damages, the Morgan & Morgan firm stated:

...Caylee’s grandmother, Cindy Anthony, called 911 when her daughter Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother, would not tell here where Caylee had been. Cindy had not seen her granddaughter for weeks and became very alarmed when she admitted that she smelled the odor of a “dead body” in the trunk of Casey’s car.

The motion goes on to recount how Casey had told the investigators that she had left Caylee at the Sawgrass Apartments (on June 16). It also states that this Zenaida Gonzalez had ridden to the same complex to view an apartment on June 17.

Leasing agent Harry Garcia filled out a guest card, including the names of two of Plaintiff’s children, Ms. Gonzalez had ridden to the property in a car with New York plates. This detail, along with others, subsequently ended up in part of the ever-evolving description of the supposed kidnapper...

The motion continues with the details of the way in which this Zenaida had been identified and questioned by investigators.

According to police reports, Casey Anthony was shown a photo pack containing Plaintiff’s photo and Casey Anthony did not identify her...

The document continues with the “Jail Defamation And Subsequent Publishing.” This section goes to the heart of the motion. You may remember from the depositions and jail videos of Casey with her parents, that Casey denied being shown a photo of this Zenaida Gonzalez. Casey also gave her mother permission to publish that information. Shortly thereafter, Cindy repeated this information in an interview.

In addition, when Casey answered the interrogatories for the case, she wrote her name and went on to claim the Fifth Amendment privilege on all the other questions. She refused to state that the Zenaida Gonzales pictured was NOT the person she described.

It’s interesting that in Casey’s countersuit, she claims to have been shown the picture and denied this was the correct person. When it comes time to repeat something she states in her counter-suit, she refuses!

I’ll be watching for any live coverage of tomorrow’s hearing and will cover it here on Trials & Tribulations if possible.

Meanwhile, we have another hearing in Judge Rodriguez’s courtroom this week. I believe it is for the 21st. Unfortunately, I checked his calendar and it does not include any hearing for that date yet.

At this point, all four Anthonys have motions to compel filed against them. Let’s hope that the good judge will rule on them all then!


Zenaida’s original lawsuit

Casey’s response and countersuit

Zenaida’s proffer

WESH article

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Laurean – Out of the Corps and not the Father

~Cesar Laurean

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has issued a report that DNA analysts concluded that Cesar Laurean was not the father of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach's child.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Maj. Cliff Gilmore acknowledged Laurean was separated from the service Wednesday, but would not release the reason for Laurean's discharge "in accordance with the Privacy Act."

Laurean’s lawyer, Dick McNeil, says you count on hearing lots more from him about relocating Laurean’s trial away from Onslow County due to 16 months of media coverage.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Jersey Establishment Went Too Far? British Support For Senator Stuart Syvret

An ‘Early Day Motion’ has been tabled in the British House of Commons defending Stuart Syvret and condemning the Jersey government and the recent illegal arrest and detention of Syvret.

Early Day Motions (EMDs) usually aren’t up for debate. EMDs are a vehicle for MPs to express concerns about specific issues. Normally, an MP won’t put their name to an EDM unless they truly understand the significance of the subject and are in agreement with it. MPs from any party are able to add their name in support of an EMD.

The initial supporters are Peter Bottomley - Conservative, Austin Mitchell - Labour, and John Hemming- Lib/Dem - representing each of the main British political parties.

Procedurally, EDMs are limited to 250 words and must be read as a single sentence, so the motions tend to read a bit strange.

Reproduced from Senator Stuart Syvret Blog:


“That this House deplores the arrest and detention of Senator Stuart Syvret by the Jersey Police Force for alleged infractions of data protection laws; notes that the Senator was in receipt of information disclosed in the public interest, with which he is attempting to hold the Jersey government to account for a variety of profoundly serious child protection and clinical governance failures; condemns the manner of the Senator's arrest and the subsequent searching of his home by the police without a search warrant; further condemns the fact that substantial quantities of his constituents' private data were taken and copied by the Jersey police; considers this an intimidatory and anti-democratic action which the Senator is virtually powerless to challenge given the politicization of the Jersey judiciary and the propensity of the Jersey legislature to oppress minority members; and calls on the Secretary of State for Justice to fulfill his duties by exercising his constitutional powers to intervene and ensure good governance and the proper administration of justice in Jersey through requiring a separation of powers and the imposition of effective checks and balances in order that survivors of child abuse, and other victims of malfeasance gain the proper protection of justice; and considers that through such actions the UK will return to compliance with its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, obligations which are breached by tolerating the situation in Jersey.”

John Hemming
Peter Bottomley
Austin Mitchell

I applaud the tabling of the EDM.

The British are recognizing the egregious actions against Stuart and the unlawful actions of the Jersey government.

OK, Jack Straw, the ball is back in your court. Will you have the fortitude and backbone to address the justice system - or lack there of - in Jersey?

We’re watching!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cesar Laurean – Again, No Surprise

So typical of a defective system - the State and defense has agreed to reschedule the Marine’s arraignment until June 8.

Laurean is expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment.

Damn, I believe in defense when it is merited, but to delay for frivolous reasons for someone who more than likely, actually committed the crime – per voluminous evidence - is not only the vehicle to re-harm the victim and their families, but also allows criminals to remain above the law – they enjoy more rights than victims.

What about Maria and her unborn son? Do they deserve delayed justice? Were their lives worth less than the probable perp?

This is what is broken in our legal system – we are more concerned with the criminal’s rights than we are about the victims.

Yeah, I said it; I believe it and I’m mad as hell about it - and we have subverted this way of thinking, not only around our country, but also globally.

Humanity has sunken to a very seditious and dangerous low and I'm scared as hell about it!


Closing arguments in DeShawn Campbell cop killing case may conclude today

Sandy Fontana on her way into court for the first day of the trial. Her son Greg, wearing a jacket and tie, is the author of the "Justice for Jeffrey" blog.

I am very sorry that I’ve been unable to attend any of the closing arguments in the murder trial of DeShawn Campbell, who is accused of murdering San José police officer Jeffrey Fontana back in October, 2001. When work is available, I have to take it! It’s the hardest thing NOT to stay on that light rail train for just two more stops …

Please check out Greg Fontana’s blog, Justice for Jeffrey, where he has written a summary of each day’s proceedings. According to Greg, the defense attorney should finish today and the case could go to the jury.

Stop by Greg’s blog and offer your support. Pray that the 12 fine residents of Santa Clara County have the good sense to look at the evidence—remember, the evidence puts DeShawn Campbell at the scene of Officer Fontana’s murder—and at the actions of the Campbell family, who were “circling the wagons” within 15 minutes of Officer Fontana’s death. They knew Jeff was dead long before Jeff's family knew.