Monday, March 8, 2010

Casey Anthony: Motion Commotion

We now have a couple of new motions filed by the defense in the capital murder trial of Casey Anthony.

The first motion was filed at the very end of the business day on Friday, March 5. Unfortunately, there were some pages missing, so the defense had to re-submit the papers on Monday, March 8.

The Defendant's Motion For Determination Of Indigency For Costs indicates that Casey Anthony's coffers have run dry and that she has received no income while she has been incarcerated.

This point interests me very much, since Casey was only out on bail for a limited amount of time after her initial arrest on July 16, 2008. Did she make whatever deals she made while out on the bail paid by Leonard Padilla, or did it occur later on when she was out on bail prior to her October 14, 2008 arrest for murder? Whatever the case, she made her money early on by selling photographs and videos of her daughter. Those were her only assets.

The motion is replete with representation of Andrea Lyon's expenses and her pro bono status in the case.

5. Here, as Ms. Lyon appears pro bono, Ms. Anthony only seeks a determination of indigency to cover the costs necessary to ensure adequate assistance of counsel and due process of law.

Ms. Lyon already has a day job as a professor at DePaul University. Judge Strickland has been very amenable to holding hearings on the case when Ms. Lyon does not have to teach. She did have to have someone to cover her for the hearing on January 25, when Casey plead guilty to check fraud charges.

8. The Affidavit of Attorney's Fees from Miss Anthony... indicates that the $22,500 has been paid to Ms. Lyon has been used directly to cover these costs... such as transcripts, travel, and investigation. Ms. Lyon has not received any fees. She has been and continues to appear pro bono.

Based on this information, it would appear that, in the future, these expenses will be paid by the State of Florida. We've already seen that Ms. Lyon needs to be at every hearing in the case as she is the lead attorney. Mort Smith has also been in frequent attendance at the hearings. The costs of housing and feeding them, the flights from Illinois, the phone bills and travel expenses for the PI, etc., etc., will be from public funds. During the actual trial, these bills will be huge!

9. ... the court shall consider the amount of any attorney's fees and who is paying the fees. Given that Ms. Lyon has never received fee, and Miss Anthony is indigent, the request for costs necessary to ensure an adequate defense is reasonable.

One does have to wonder why Baez couldn't find a death-penalty qualified attorney in Florida. One who lived in the Orlando area would have been optimal. I would bet that it is more expensive to shuttle in an attorney and her PI from Illinois to Orlando than it would be to pay fees to a local attorney.

12. Over the past ten months, Ms. Lyon has built relationships with experts and worked with investigators in order to provide Miss Anthony the unique standard of care required, and to facilitate the relationship between Ms. Lyon and Miss Anthony -- a relationship that is the very foundation of adequate assistance.

Again, Baez seems to feel that he needs to justify Ms. Lyon's position as lead counsel. Does he think that Linda Drane Burdick or Jeff Ashton will challenge her being imported for the trial?

I don't for a moment resent that Casey Anthony has a stellar death-penalty attorney. I want her to have the best, I want her to have someone so competent that there can ever be later appeals based on ineffective counsel.

As for himself, Baez says very little.

11. Mr. Baez has been representing Miss Anthony for over a year and a half. He has expended many hours ensuring that she have adequate and effective representation...

In an affidavit filed along with the motion, Casey Anthony states that Baez has already been paid $89,454.83. Considering the amount of time he has spent on the case and the expenses he has had, I would assume that a good chunk of that money did not go to Baez's fees. We'll probably find out more after the trial is over.

There is one thing I find unusual in the motion. There is no mention of attorney Linda Kenney-Baden. She is supposed to be the attorney who will be dealing with expert witnesses. She has made appearances in court and has a retainer contract with Casey Anthony. Has she been paid fees and expenses?

Every expert attorney in the media has said that this motion will be granted by Judge Strickland. Obviously, somebody has to pay, and Casey has no money. Even in the Scott Peterson trial, where his parents plunked down a cool million for the services of Mark Geragos, he ended up in the same situation. We all had to know this was coming.

The positive here is that from now on the defense will have to live with oversight on the expenses. The state will pay the bills, but on their own scale of payments.

In other news today, it was announced that the defense had filed a Motion In Limine concerning the admissibility of certain evidence in the case. Since the motion was filed later in the day, I have yet to get a copy. Hopefully, it will be out tomorrow.

The Orlando Sentinel has reported this evening on the motion. Here are some snippets from the article.

Casey Anthony's defense team doesn't want a jury to see the "party girl" pictures of the 23-year-old, fearing the photos would "inflame the jury" against her.

Her attorneys argue the photos have caused a "hostile reaction" by the public, according to the motion.

"The issue in this case is whether or not Miss Anthony committed first-degree murder of her daughter," her attorneys Andrea Lyon and Jose Baez wrote in the motion. "These photographs add nothing to the resolution of that issue."

Her legal team wants to keep out the 911 calls made by Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, the day she reported Caylee missing. Cindy Anthony told a dispatcher that she found her daughter's car and it smells like there's been a "dead body" in it.

The defense's third request involves asking the judge to bar prosecutors at trial from eliciting "lay opinion" testimony about Casey Anthony's character or motives. Many witnesses have offered to testify to Casey Anthony's inability to tell the truth — a move the defense wants out.

Right now, I'm thinking "probative value" and "prejudice" until I get my hands on the actual motion.

Stay tuned to T&T for coverage of that motion.

Application For Criminal Indigent Status


FRG said...

Well, I have two words for JB:
"GAG ORDER", the one he didn't want to be granted, the one Cindy didn't want, so now JB is complaining? Who are the ones on National Media twisting the truth???
If he claims it is prejudicial or whatever legal terms it is used, what do you call the "hearsay" from Kronk's ex bitter wives??? I doubt they will come into trial but these statements made by them is way more damaging to Mr. Kronk and he is NOT even a suspect.
I hope JS won't allow the 911 phone calls to be tossed out since Cindy is a nurse and George an ex police officer.
In my layperson point of view this is a waste of the court time although you said it is not, I know close to nothing about FL Laws. I am so furious "we taxpayers" have to foot KC's expenses.
I also agree why didn't JB hired DP qualified attorney from orlando area?
Bad bad counseling!!! In my opinion of course.
I can't wait to read this Motion.

FRG said...

if you don't have it, here it goes, have fun:

ritanita said...

I just got the motions and I'm reading and pondering them.

Right now, I'm reading through the chart of "heresay" statements that the defense wants out. The fact is, heresay is not allowed!

How many cases have I watched where the issue ends up in endless objections. A person is testifying about a phone call but can't say what the person said.

Atty. A: And what did she say?

Atty. B: Objection! Heresay!

Atty. A: Well, based on what you heard, what did you do?

Witness: I went on my computer and found my bank balance was $0.

I can't believe the level the defense has gone to in order to compile this list! It's 24 pages long and I'm sure they missed quite a few.

I'm going to spend a good deal of time reading all the pages and post something in the next couple of days.
That's what will happen when it comes to this trial.

FRG said...

Thanks a lot for your hard work!!!
Good luck!!! I am looking forward for your article!!!

FRG said...

Well, I am not a lawyer but I would say that the photos taken of KC during the time Caylee went missing (not, she was dead) it will probably make to trial, it is relevant. Cindy's 911 phone, both, the first one to get KC arrested and the second you know about "dead body".
Would be speculation of Cindy she mentioned the smell of decomposition, since we all know she is a registered nurse? Then there is George, same thing, the smell... he was a cop. It CAN'T be speculation, they have already smelled the smell of cadavers before.
Well, waiting for your new article.
Good luck!!!!!