Friday, November 6, 2009

Casey Anthony's Lawyers: Going through the motions, Newly Released Discovery

I've been skimming motions for the criminal case and haven't had the energy to really go through them in depth because I have the feeling that the defense is merely "going through the motions" to get them on the record in hopes for an appeal down the road.

I promise I'll review them in more depth when a hearing date is set. I've also been collecting the motions for the fraud trial and will post my opinions about them prior to the newly rescheduled hearing on December 11.

Right now, though, I'd like to briefly discuss some aspects of the Motion To Dismiss Defective Indictment. The main argument that the defense makes is that the indictment lacks "facts" which says that it does not contain enough facts to formulate a defense.

To remind you, the Grand Jury met on October 14, 2008 and heard evidence from LE and George Anthony, her father. After 43 minutes of deliberation, they returned the indictment and Casey was arrested for the last time.

At that time, LE had no body. The testimony before the Grand Jury is secret and has only been released to the State's Attorneys due to the fact that there seem to be discrepancies in George Anthony's prior deposition and what he said to the Grand Jury. Obviously, these facts could not be included in the indictment.

As appendices to the motion, the defense included the indictment against Casey and a copy of the indictment against Patrick Gonzalez, Sr. for comparison. Of all the indictments available, the defense chose this case, probably because the whole crime was caught on videotape! If you read through the indictment, it does have more detailed information, but not much at all, certainly not enough to allow the defense to build their case on those facts.

Still wondering if this well written motion and brief, more than likely penned by Andrea Lyon, held any water,I went to the local TV stations. Both of their legal analysts blew the motion off.

Reading Hal Boedeker' s blog on November 3, 2009, I found the following quotes:

***The defense's claim that the indictment is defective is "laughable," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said. "When is the defense ever going to get serious?" he asked.

***WKMG-Channel 6 anchor Erick Weber said: "Now the defense is attacking that criminal indictment, claiming the document is defective. According to Anthony's attorneys, the indictment does not include any specific facts about how the crime was committed. Without any facts to refute, Anthony cannot formulate a defense, her attorneys argue."

*** WESH-Channel 2's Bob Kealing highlighted this from the defense team: "The state's intention to seek the death penalty in order to gain a tactical advantage over the defense is in bad faith."

Kealing's take on what will happen to the motion: "It would seem pretty unlikely that the judge would just toss a grand jury indictment that was based, in part, on testimony of Casey's own father. But that's what [defense attorney Jose] Baez and company are asking."

I was still wondering, so I did something I rarely do. I contacted a lawyer. This guy is recently retired and has worked mostly in civil litigation. However, a number of years ago, he did take and pass the Florida Bar exam on a whim. At the present time, he's thinking of relocating to Florida to practice as a defense attorney, so he's been reviewing his Florida law. He knows absolutely nothing about this case, so I thought his opinion might be of help.

He called me back not long after I sent him a copy of the motion. His response was literally, "No way Jose" is this motion going anywhere!

At this point, I'd like to go back to the main complaint in the motion, that:

Without any facts to refute, Miss Anthony cannot formulate a defense.

Let's consider here. This case was placed in the hands of defense attorney Jose Baez all the way back in July, 2008. Between that time and the time of the indictment, Baez had stated to the press more than once that Casey had "compelling" reasons for not telling her story and that the facts would come out at trial. We kept hearing about "junk science" could not prove that there had really been a dead body in the trunk of Casey's abandoned car. George Anthony pointed out in one memorable clip that the "dead body in the car" was somebody else. Cindy Anthony kept claiming it was rotten pizza that caused the stench.

There are now plenty more facts out here in public with all the discovery that has been released due to the Florida Sunshine Laws. We had many pages released today with yet more "facts" that the defense can now refute.

The two main findings that will surely be "bombshells" in the case are the finding of chloroform in the Gatoraide bottle along with syringes as well as the discovery of coffin flies both on the paper towels in the trunk and on the remains.

Today, WESH reported the following:

The forensic report was dated Sept. 22, 2009. Inside the trunk and a trash bag from Anthony's car, investigators recovered a large number of so-called coffin flies, which are gnats that feed on human decomposition.

Forensic botanist Neal Haskell concluded that a large number of the insects found on paper towels inside a trash bag meant there was decompositional fluid on the towels.

"Given the association of the towels with the car, it seems most likely that the paper toweling was used in an attempt to clean the decompositional fluids purged from the remains in the trunk of the car," the report stated.

In addition Haskell said the insects found in Caylee's skeletanized remains and near the body indicated insects started colonizing there in late June or early July 2008.

WFTV reported that:

There was very damning evidence found at the scene where Caylee's remains were found inside a Disney bag, including a bottle of Cool Blue Gatorade, but when they opened it they found instead a substance containing chloroform and cleaning fluid and a syringe holding a substance containing the potentially deadly chloroform.

Records show the Gatorade bottle they found was partially full of a fluid that was later through testing determined to contain chloroform and cleaning fluid. Inside the bottle was a plastic pouch containing a syringe where investigators also found chloroform.

During earlier investigators, computer searches were found on Casey Anthony’s computer on how to make chloroform months before Caylee disappeared and investigators found a web page about chloroform in Casey's ex-boyfriend's computer, which he says she could have seen, months before investigators say she went online researching chloroform.

Mr. Baez, Ms. Lyon, Ms. Kenney-Baden, Mr. Macaluso, I think there are enough facts out there that you can use to build your defense.

Perhaps the problem is that none of the facts work to the defense's benefit. I suppose you expect the State to provide you with the defense.

As a final note, I'd like to mention Mr. Macaluso's statement last summer that he had PROOF that Caylee's remains were placed there by another party and that Casey was innocent. He now has until February to present his proof to the court. I'd like to remind people that it was Linda Drane-Burdick who recommended that date to the court. Ms. Burdick is giving the defense enough time to hang themselves on their own petard.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't the indictment handed down in October 2008 not October 2009?

ritanita said...

Thanks you so much. I've gone back and corrected that.

Anonymous said...

I would say the party is over for Casey Anthony! With these reports coming out - her goose is cooked. She's going to be wishin' she plead out earlier when she had the chance. She's going DOWN!

Thanks for the awesome blog post!


Tezi said...

Thank you ritanita for all of this information. I haven't really been following this case as of late, so I didn't know about the syringe nor the chloroform being found near the body! I agree with Kitty, KC's goose is cooked!

Nora said...

Wasn't there audio of Cindy Anthony telling 911 about the smell in the car - it smelled like there was a dead body in there? Both Cindy and George seem to have changed their stories and these were recorded and broadcast. Then there is Lee Anthony talking about his inside joke with Casey about Zanny the Nanny not being a real person, but meaning Xanex, the drug. There is SO much evidence to prove Casey is guilty of murdering Caylee. The defense has nothing but attempts to delay the inevitable as long as they can.

Anonymous said...

The forensics in this case are fabulous. I believe the hair found in the trunk with the death band on it, as well as the newly reported gnats that feed on decomposition, found in the trunk and at the burial site,as well as the syringes filled with chloroform, will hopefully show the jury the real story of Caylee's death. All other evidence is good, but these three items will show the real story.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's standard for the defense attorneys to file a blizzard of motions. They challenge everything in sight.

David From TN

shari said...

I have tried to go over the latest documents released and could find nothing that indicates if the Gatorade bottle and/or the plastic bag inside of it were tested for Casey's fingerprints and/or DNA. Does anyone know if this was done??? If not, the defense can say that these items belonged to "anyone". Just playin' devil's advocate!!

ritanita said...


I haven't heard any information on that either. Personally it's a pretty strong circumstantial situation at this point: there's chloroform search, chloroform in the truck, chloroform in the bottle.

The information about the insects added in, we are getting more puzzle pieces.

I hope that in the end, the prosecution will give us the whole puzzle.

shari said...

Hey ritanita, I agree about the case being a strong circumstantial case...but we have Linda Kenney Baden and Andrea Lyon to help confuse and create some kind of doubt. I would love to see casey's DNA or prints somewhere on the evidence from the trunk or the body site to really link up this mess.

shari said...

Just read that the Gatorade bottle, bottle top inside and out, and syringe packet etc. were tested for test results released yet on this. According to the blog "the Caylee Daily". Whoever runs that blog has gone over the evidence and posted the part about the testing.

ritanita said...

I'm no scientific person and I can't make head or tails out of most of the docs. I have been reading up about them. Thanks for the extra link.

I think Ms. Kenney-Baden will throw all sorts of stuff about "junk science" about the scientific evidence. It didn't work well in the Spector 1 trial. If too many pieces fit, the won't aquit!

AND, let's remember that the State hasn't turned over everything yet. I think they're playing Chinese Water Torture with the discovery, drip, drip, drip... They can easily do that by having the experts continue testing and holding off on official reports.

I have a sneaking suspicion we don't know a whole lot about the evidence yet.

shari said...

ritanita, I hope you are right about the drip, drip, drip and the more evidence the better...this child needs justice and this family needs a wake up call. No amount of lieing is going to help their daughter or themselves. The time to help Casey has long since gone. I still am puzzled as to who is paying for all of this.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the gnats that fed on Caylee had any DNA of Caylee, and also chloroform. I pray they did.
Like the telltale heart in Edgar Allen Poe's poem, gnats will be buzzing in Casey's ears..always.

ritanita said...

Anonymous at 12:39,

I read that they can find DNA in the gnats. As I've said before, I'm no scientific genius at all. If there is DNA present, I would assume it would have to be the gnats that were in the trunk, the first generation so to speak.

I know the coffin flies are tiny and I'm wondering if they would find enough gnats/flies/DNA to test in a "gnat milkshake" referred to in some of the message boards and blogs.

I've been wrong before, but I'm not counting on such evidence at this point.

I've also read that the concentration of chloroform in the Gatorade bottle is so miniscule as to be of no issue in the case.


I'm still hoping for fingerprints from items in the Disney bag.

One thing I truly believe is that the defense is still scrambling to figure out a defense. The recent motion to dismiss due to faulty indictments tells me that. In addition, Todd Macaluso's "grandstanding" in open court that the defense had proof that Casey was innocent tells me that.

If they had proof, they would have been all over the State providing discovery of exculpatory evidence.

Instead, they are poring over the TES records trying to find someone who will claim they searched the area and didn't find anything. They have until February 1 to find that person!

shari said...

OOOH, ANON, great reference to the Poe story.
Ritanita, I too hope they find some fingerprints or Casey's DNA somewhere at the body site. That would be a real problem to defend against.

Ronni said...

Very interesting, Ritanita. I'm fascinated with this case, but haven't time to wade through the thousands of pages of documents. Thanks for picking out the good stuff for us!

Just one teeny little thing, though...a "petard" is actually a bomb, so the expression is "hoist by his own petard," meaning blown up by his own bomb.

I really doesn't matter to anything, but I'm compulsive, and can't help it...sorry.

Anonymous said...

Word History: The French used p├ętard, "a loud discharge of intestinal gas," for a kind of infernal engine for blasting through the gates of a city. "To be hoist by one's own petard," a now proverbial phrase apparently originating with Shakespeare's Hamlet (around 1604) not long after the word entered English (around 1598), means "to blow oneself up with one's own bomb, be undone by one's own devices." The French noun pet, "fart," developed regularly from the Latin noun pditum, from the Indo-European root *pezd-, "fart."