Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Casey Anthony Murder Trial: Hearing Date Set

Late last week, Judge Belvin Perry announced a hearing date for June 1, 2010. The hearing will take place at 2:30 P.M. Judge Perry has set aside two hours for this hearing.

There will be two motions discussed at the hearing.

The first one is the Motion To Seal Jail Visitation Logs, filed by the defense on April 29, 2010 was supposed to be heard at the hearing on May 10. I find it curious that a seasoned attorney such as Cheney Mason would forget to notice the target of the motion, Orange County, the entity which administers the county correctional facilities. In fact the Certificate of Service at the end of his motion says:

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. Mail and/or hand delivery to the Office of the State Attorney, 415 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801 and to Tamara Gapen (sic), Esq, at the Orange County Jail, Post Office Box 4970, Orlando, Florida 32802-4970 this 29th day of April, 2010.

Yet, in the Orange County's Response To Defendant's Motion To Seal, filed by Tamara L. Gappen on May 5, 2010, she states:

8. ...Counsel for the defense has again failed to provide proper notice to Orange County in this Motion. This failure to provide proper notice is in violation of this Court's Order Requiring Proper Notice to Orange County entered on October 22, 2009.

Clearly, proper notice goes to the county, not to the jail.

According to the defense, the jail logs need to be sealed because

2. The inability to maintain confidentiality of visitors to the Defendant prohibits the defense from being able to properly prepare her case for trial in that the mere identity of some expert witnesses that the defense desires to visit with Miss Anthony, if revealed, will cause unfounded speculation, as well as investigation and "google" inquiries about said visitor, thus, severely hampering the Defendant's preparation for trial and her entitlement to due process, equal protection of law, and effective assistance of counsel.

During the April 30 hearing, most of the expert witnesses were publicly acknowledged. There was one expert that was discussed at sidebar. I have to wonder if this is the one the defense doesn't want us to identify and investigate. The mention of Google makes me think that this is another blast at us nasty, threatening, evil bloggers!

To bolster his argument, Mason indicates in paragraph 5 that the prosecution is taking no position on this matter! That's nothing new! Every time the topic arises, the State's Attorneys have taken the exact same position. With the exception of the video of Casey in the infirmary at the time of the discovery of the remains, Judge Strickland ruled that he had no authority to tell the jail to violate their standard policies which are governed by the Sunshine Laws.

Indeed, in her response, Gappen states that

7. A criminal Defendant's desire to "maintain confidentiality of visitors" in high profile case does not fall into any category of lawful exemption. In fact, Defendant does not provide andy statutory exemption or legal authority for this court to legally "seal" public records that are open for public inspection pursuant to F.S. 119.07, and Article 1, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution.

Oh my, we HAVE heard this before!

The second motion is the defense Motion To Reconsider Certain Prior Rulings by Judge Stan Strickland, is more complex in nature. I discussed many aspects of this motion HERE.

What we are waiting for now are possible replies from TES attorney Mark NeJame and the State.

If they are filed and become available prior to the hearing, I will post about them.

Lacking that, stay tuned for the hearing. Since InSession ends at 3 P.M. and the hearing begins at 2:30 P.M., check out the local feeds for coverage.

I am looking forward to hearing Judge Perry on the TES issue.

Thanks to Muzikman for links to the visitation motions!


No sooner had I posted this article, the Orlando Sentinel has reported that:

Earlier, Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry set a hearing for June 1 to hear arguments on the defense's requests to seal jail-visitation logs and to have Perry reconsidered earlier rulings by the initial judge on the case.

One of those items to be discussed involves documents belonging to EquuSearch, the group that helped organize large volunteer searches for Casey Anthony's daughter Caylee, before the toddler's remains were found.

NeJame stated that Casey Anthony's defense team scheduled the hearing without coordinating with him, and he had a pre-planned family holiday that day.

NeJame stated his office is coordinating a new hearing date with Casey Anthony's defense, and that he was filing the conflict notice simply to assure his portion of the hearing be cancelled and rescheduled.

Check back at Trials and Tribulations for further information as it becomes available.


shari said...

Too many lawyers in this soup?????????????

katfish said...

"As the world turns"...in Orange County...no,it's Orange County Jail....no it's Orange County....just how long has Mr. Mason been practicing in Orlando?
I'll stay tuned....:^)

donchais said...

Say what? :eyeroll:

ritanita said...

Good morning ladies!

I've just found a link to all the latest motions! Muzikman went down to the courthouse to get them.

If it weren't for him, we'd have NOTHING!

WFTV and the other stations are letting us down big time!

Here's the link to NeJames Notice of Conflict.