Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raffle for Pray For Aidan

The raffle benefit for Pray For Aidan has started! You can read all about the prizes and see close up photos here, on my sewing blog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Betsy Ross Linens July Events: Market Bag Sale & Raffle Benefit for Pray For Aidan

Market Bags on Sale in July.

July Market Bag Sale
There are two big events I've planned for the entire month of July. The first is a sale on my Market Bags. These bags will go on sale at a significant savings. The 18 bags you see pictured above are either one-of-a-kind or limited edition bags. They all have the added bonus of a free muslin liner. Some bags come with matching fabric straps and some have metal feet. There will also be several discontinued Market Purses and Mini Market Bags. If you can't find a premade bag you like, you will be able to order a Market Bag or a Market Bag Euro at a significant savings. I'll have detailed photos and descriptions of all the bags pictured above when the sale starts on July 1st.

Raffle for Aidan
The second event is a Raffle Drawing for three prizes. Betsy Ross Linens is donating to a raffle that will be occurring throughout the month of July to benefit a sweet little four-year-old boy, Aidan. On February 16, 2008, just 5 days short of his 2nd birthday – Aidan nearly drowned in a pond near his grandfather's house. It is unknown how long he was under water before he was revived.

I first learned about Aidan from my friend Sharon Zambito, and her company SugarEd Productions when she made a donation for a raffle to benefit the family. I was so touched by Aidan's story and the family's struggle that I immediately wanted to do the same. So I went to work and started sewing. The Raffle Drawing will coincide with a Market Bag Sale.

What Betsy Ross Linens is donating:

This photo shows the Grand Prize.
Total value is $263.00 and consists of:

1 Fleece & Patchwork Flannel Baby Throw Blanket ~ Value $75.00
1 Fleece & White Panne Throw Blanket ~ Value $45.00
1 One-of-a-kind Market Bag with liner and metal feet ~ Value $54.00
1 One-of-a-kind Market Bag Euro with liner and metal feet ~ Value $54.00
1 Standard Hot/Cold Pack ~ Value $27.00
1 Mini Hot/Cold Pack ~ Value $8.00

The Second Prize is a Market Bag or Market Bag Euro with metal feet
in the fabric of your choice. Value: $54.00

The Third Prize is a Standard Hot/Cold Pack and Mini Hot/Cold Pack
in the fabric of your choice. Value: $35.00

For those of you who are not familiar with my work, you can read what people are saying about my Hot/Cold Packs, Market Bag Line and throw blankets here.

Raffle Tickets will be sold through the Pray For Aidan website, and I will provide you with the specific link to the Raffle before it starts along with close up photos and details on each item.

You will be able to purchase as many chances to win as you want, but only one prize per person. A single entry will cost $5.00, three tickets for $10.00 or seven tickets for $20.00. The Raffle will start at 12 am EST on July 1st and end at 12 am PST on July 31st. The winners will be chosen a few days later and notified by E-Mail.

I'm really hoping you will look into your hearts and help little Aidan.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Melissa Huckaby: The Grand Jury Transcripts

Sandra Cantu ~ murdered by Melissa Huckaby


T&T is honored to have seasoned journalist, Justin Lafferty, contributing this guest entry. Sprocket

On Friday, nearly 2,000 pages of grand jury transcripts in the case against former Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby were released to the public, giving people a glimpse for the first time of what really happened to 8-year-old Sandra Cantu.

San Joaquin County chief medical examiner Bennet Omalu told the grand jury that Huckaby was a “calm, calculating mind at work.” Sandra’s body — which had been drugged, choked, beaten, molested and killed — was found in a black Eddie Bauer suitcase on April 6, 2009, north of town in a dairy lagoon that the farm owner said holds the waste of farm animals.

The girl was killed on the same day that she went missing, March 27, 2009.

Sandra lived in the same mobile home park as Huckaby in Tracy, Calif., a town of about 80,000 and a popular choice for many people who commute to the San Francisco Bay Area for work.

Suspicious activity

The transcripts show that Huckaby, 29, didn’t exactly keep quiet about the crime, which kept her in the eye of authorities.

Huckaby, who said that someone had stolen her suitcase when Sandra was reported missing, was arrested on suspicion of homicide on April 11 last year after the statements she gave officers and detectives didn’t match up.

Huckaby even talked to my colleague, Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth, over the phone about her suitcase.

“She told me repeatedly that it was a very large suitcase that could fit the body of a child inside of it and that's why she was so upset,” FBI special agent Adrienne Sparrow told the grand jury last year.

She pleaded guilty to the murder of the girl after the death penalty and sex charges were taken off the table on May 10, and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Omalu said the official cause of Sandra’s death was “homicidal asphyxiation.”

Huckaby frantically ran to police the day after the murder, saying she found a note one day that read (sic), “Cantu locked in stolin suit case thrown in water onn Bacchetti Rd. & Whitehall Rd. Witness.” This surprised investigators, as Huckaby claimed she found the note on the ground on what they knew was a pretty windy day.

In the press conference after Huckaby’s sentencing, prosecutor Thomas Testa said Huckaby was “hyperventilating” as she gave the note to officers, but that her breathing quickly became normal when they questioned her.

Investigators found a notebook during a search of Huckaby’s home that had indentations matching the poorly spelled note.

Two days before Sandra’s body was found, Huckaby was admitted to the hospital after swallowing a razor blade. Though she claimed she was sleepwalking, Testa said this act showed “the consciousness of guilt.”

“Why do people hurt other people?” Huckaby asked a hospital social worker. “Because they are sick in their head, disgusting.”

The cell phones of Huckaby and her grandmother, Connie Lawless, were seized during the investigation, as well. A few text messages from Huckaby to her grandmother raised suspicion.

“They are having an 8:15 news briefing on the suitcase. That was fast. I hope they didn't find anything,” Huckaby texted to Lawless on the day the suitcase was found. “I hope she wasn't sexually assaulted.”

About a half hour before Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman eventually announced in an emotional 9:15 p.m. press conference that the suitcase contained Sandra’s body, Huckaby sent a text message to Lawless — “It is her.”

While many people had suspected before the press conference that they had found Sandra’s body, there was no confirmation until then.

What happened?

When FBI agents interviewed Huckaby on March 28, she told them that she was headed to the nearby Clover Road Church to get some crafts for her next Sunday school class and that the only thing in the suitcase was a pair of flip-flops. She originally told authorities that on the day Sandra went missing, she went to the church and then went back to her residence.

Investigators found another story, grand jury transcripts show. Testimonies say that Sandra, who was last seen on a surveillance tape happily skipping toward Huckaby’s home, was taken to the church down the road from the trailer park, beaten with an object, smothered and violated with a rolling pin before dying.

Omalu’s testimony is fairly gut-wrenching. The doctor, who performed Sandra’s autopsy and was the first to see her out of the suitcase, said that the girl was smothered with some sort of cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Omalu found strings tightly entwined in Sandra’s hair and found evidence of blunt trauma to her head, as well as bruises on her back.

Though Huckaby told Sandra’s family on the day she was sentenced that Sandra did not suffer (she also denied the rape), Omalu said that these wounds all happened before she died.

He told grand jurors that the injuries on Sandra’s genitals were consistent with that of the bloody smudge on the rolling pin found at the church, and said that the molestation happened at or around the time of death.

Omalu also said that he found traces of Xanax, a prescription drug similar to Valium, in Sandra’s body. Huckaby had also previously drugged a boyfriend and a 7-year-old girl who was friends with Huckaby’s daughter.

The girl was dressed back up again and placed in a fetal position in the suitcase. Huckaby placed the suitcase in her car and drove to a dairy farm north of Tracy, putting it in the dairy lagoon.

“It was not something that was done in a hurry,” Omalu told grand jurors. “It’s possibly something that may have been premeditated.”

Transcripts show a former Marine saw Huckaby out there and asked what she was doing. Huckaby told the man, who noticed a “My brother is a Marine” sticker on Huckaby’s car, that she was urinating. The Marine, thinking this was pretty peculiar, alerted police and was able to give a description of Huckaby.

Shortly after the suitcase was discovered, investigators locked onto Huckaby as a prime suspect.

While the “how” has now been uncovered, no one may ever know the “why.”

“I still cannot understand why I did what I did,” Huckaby said in her sentencing hearing. “This is a question I will struggle with for the rest of my life.”

Justin Lafferty is a freelance journalist and former reporter for the Tracy Press. He has also written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Bay Area News Group. For more information, see

Status Hearing for Casey Anthony Murder Trial

Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. conducted a brief status hearing in Casey Anthony's murder trial. The courtroom was nearly empty. Cindy and George Anthony did not attend. Casey Anthony did not attend. Jose Baez wasn't at the defense table. It fell to the newest attorney on the case, Cheney Mason, to represent the defense. Linda Drane Burdick and Jeff Ashton were representing the State of Florida.

As is typical in Judge Perry's courtroom, the hearing began at 1:30 PM sharp. The judge immediately got down to the business at hand.

First on the agenda was the discovery of expert witnesses. Judge Perry asked defense where they were in that regard.

Mason replied that the defense has scheduled depositions July 13, 14, and 15 in Tennessee withe Oak Ridge Lab experts. He also indicated that the defense had taken more depositions since they last saw him and that here here haven't been any problems with expert witnesses showing up. He did ramble on a bit about some experts who had not been scheduled pending decisions on motions, names Baez had given him. It was very hard to follow, but it was clear that there were more that need to be scheduled. There was also some talk of a document the judge might have to sign, but the defense would know that soon.

As for the prosecution, Jeff Ashton stated that they had not had any problems with expert witnesses, but they had some that had not yet been scheduled, one in Indiana, three in Gainsville, and three in Orlando. He also said that there might be some FBI personnel who would be deposed, but was unsure at this time. He indicated that he would be away during a week in July, but that the Oak Ridge depositions were set for July. The rest would have to be scheduled. The State had hoped to do some of these depositions in May and June, but they just didn't happen.

The judge went on to ask Mason if there were any problems with law enforcement personnel depositions. Perry said, "none at all".

Judge Perry then asked Linda Drane Burdick if the prosecution had gone to the Sheriff's Office to review the records to assure that all of them had been turned over to the State. She replied that Yuri Melich had turned over all the material on disks, and that she had done so only in the situation with the tips. Judge Perry indicated to her that he did not want any problems with material in the Sheriff's Office not being complete. Drane Burdick indicated that she would do so.

Judge Perry is an extremely thorough judge and clearly shows his background as a former prosecutor. He mentioned another case in which this situation had occurred and documents had come out at the last moment.

As many of us who are avid trial watchers know, this can be the kiss of death if conviction occurs and previously "unknown" law enforcement documents are suddenly found and cause a serious delay in a trial or a conviction to be overturned. Kudos to Judge Perry who wants the outcome of this case to be based on complete discovery.

Judge Perry then moved on to the non-expert and non-law enforcement witnesses.

Cheney Mason simply stood up and said, "not yet".
For the prosecution, there were some problems. Linda Drane Burdick indicated that they had yet to receive a witness list from the defense. They had, however, spent the last six months attempting to depose witnesses listed in pleadings for deposition. She said that her assistants had spent the prior six months trying to get cooperation from out-of-state lawyers. Judge Perry reminded everyone that August 31 was the deadline for witness lists, with the exception of experts.

Think of it this way: no witness list, no deposition, NO WITNESS!

Judge Perry asked Mason if the defense planned to wait until the deadline to provide a witness list or if he would do it sooner. Mason gave his now-familiar chuckle and asked the judge if he was trying to "put him on the spot". Perry indicated that perhaps Mason was not prepared to discuss the issue at this point, and Mason took the easy way out and agreed. Perry again reminded him of the deadline.

At this point, I'd like to remind everyone that, in the two years this case has been going on, the defense has only provided a witness list with THREE names of experts (who at this time have not completed their work) and the entire prosecution witness list as their own. Anyone not on the State witness they intend to call must be submitted to the Court by August 31.

Judge Perry briefly mentioned that the defense had replied to the response by the State of the defense death penalty motions. At this point, all that is left is for the judge to rule on them. Mason replied, "the correct way". Perry chortled and told Mason that, "correct or incorrect, Mr. Mason, it's all in the eye of the beholder and ultimately the Florida Supreme Court."

I have to interject here that, absent the defendant and Jose Baez, I saw an easy banter between Judge Perry and Cheney Mason. This had not been apparent before, but obviously, the stress level in the courtroom was much lower than we have seen before.

Next under discussion was the status of the motions which are "ripe" for hearing. The first discussed was the one concerning the 911 calls. For more information on those motions, read HERE. Last Friday, the defense filed an addition to their motion to exclude the calls. It has apparently cited Cindy Anthony's statement on Good Morning America as well as depositions taken on Thursday.

Judge Perry indicated that both sides had submitted their memorandums for the 911 tape motion. He mentioned the pleading by the defense that was submitted on Friday. Apparently, the defense mentioned in that pleading that they wanted a hearing on the motion. Mason indicated that the reason the motion was filed on Friday was due to the depositions on Thursday and believed that there would be disagreement with the prosecution about the facts cited. He suggested that the motion could be heard along with the TES motion on the 15th of July.

Linda Drane Burdick responded that the facts of the motion had not changed due to the depositions. She indicated that the statement Cindy Anthony made on Friday was not new, that she had made a similar statement in her deposition. She also said that there was nothing new in the depositions of her co-workers in their depositions. The argument, she stated, was not as to the facts of what was said, but the interpretation of her statements and how they apply to the law, "where there is little dispute".

The judge then asked Mason if he wanted to present hearings and Mason said that they were the witnesses who had given statements and had now been deposed. He also indicated that if the state stipulated to those statements, there was no excited utterance! He mentions that Cindy got the car, went back to work, spoke to others about it...

Mason told the judge his arguments would be based on Crawford vs. Washington and other case law.

Drane Burdick responded to that by saying that it was obvious that the defense hadn't understood her reply to their motion. She was willing to approach the issue by either pleadings or an open court hearing. She added that the defense had filed a blanket motion to exclude the calls and had not allowed for the possibility of allowing in only portions of the tapes. She asked if that were so, the defense would need to file a separate motion concerning the redaction of the tapes.

Judge Perry indicated to Mason, as he argued his point, that it seemed that Mr. Baez felt that none of the content was admissible. Jeff Ashton said, "not even Casey's part?" which would clearly be admissible!

In the end, Perry added the motion to the agenda for the 15th of July.

Next up was the issue of the motion to admit prior bad acts by Roy Kronk. That one has been out there since November 19th, 2009. Of the people mentioned in that motion, only Jill Kerley has been deposed, due to her ill health. Brandon and Crystal Sparks, who are Roy's ex-wife and son are two of the out-of state witnesses mentioned earlier by Linda Drane Burdick whose lawyers are helping them dodge the depositions.

Cheney Mason indicated that this motion was "before his involvement" and he wasn't prepared to argue it. Linda Drane Burdick stated that the July 15 hearing date wouldn't be appropriate for the motion because the people involved were not on the witness list. She again pointed out that her staff had spent six months trying to pin down these witnesses for deposition and that their lawyers were fighting it based on the laws of their state.

Again, the state needed these people to be officially on the witness list so that the prosecution could procure an out-of-state subpoena.

Judge Perry then announce that by July 6, noon, the "defense will hereby file a witness list of the witnesses to prove up the motion or it will be stricken without prejudice. Cheney Mason then asked for a sidebar and all parties approached the bench. When it concluded, the judge extended the date to July 12, at noon.

Drane Burdick indicated that she wanted to have the witnesses subpoenaed in August and have a hearing on the motion heard in September.

The judge took a bit of time here to say that he wanted all the non-expert issues to be dealt with prior to the fall, when he expects to hold hearings on the scientific issues. He wants both sides to have adequate time for trial preparation and to deal with "unexpected things that pop up".

The final motion discussed was the one concerning spoliation of evidence which was originally filed September 17, 2009. Jeff Ashton indicated that the problem was that the defense had yet to supply a witness list for this issue and the prosecution had not been able to depose them.

That was it for today. There was a great deal discussed in those 30 minutes!

I have to say, this hearing provided a great deal of information that will help us all focus on the case throughout the summer and fall. For sure, the hearing on July 15 will be another hum-dinger. We will be hearing both the TES motion and the 911 call arguments.

As I finish this article, WFTV has posted some terrific links. I haven't had a chance to check them out yet. Let's see how much I got right!

RAW VIDEO: Status Hearing
Casey's Attorney Talks To WFTV
Talks About Status Hearing
Motion To Hear 911 Call
Dead Body | Turn In Casey | Caylee Gone


Friday, June 18, 2010

Catching up on Casey Anthony's Murder Trial

This has been a sad week. Wednesday, June 16, marked the day that Caylee Marie Anthony was probably killed. Later that evening, her mother, Casey was seen with then boyfriend Tony Lazzaro casually strolling through a Blockbuster store, renting videos. It was as though the cherubic toddler had vanished into thin air.
Police evidence indicates that little Caylee was probably in the trunk of her mother's car, her mouth and nose covered with duct tape.

The previous day, George and Cindy made another appearance on Good Morning America. The day is a special one for the Anthony's. According to an emotional George, "To think about the last time we saw Caylee and Casey together, hear her voice, to see her little eyes and get a hug and kiss from her. It's not easy."

Cindy sported her new look with her long hair. Both George and Cindy both showed their new their Caylee jewelry which they said that they would always wear.
George showed off his tattoo of Caylee looking towards a rainbow with "MY SUNSHINE" written below it. Both clearly miss their grandchild and in the interview, a tearful Cindy said, "So it seems like this nightmare has lasted longer than the moments than we had with her. That makes it very, very difficult.And I miss the last three years that I could have had with her, or the last two years. And then thinking about her starting school.."
The entire piece was 4 minutes and 52 seconds in length. Of that time, Ashleigh Banfield did voice-overs and commentary with GMA host Elizabeth Vargas, with approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds of the actual interview.
The parts of the interview that especially caught my attention had to deal with Cindy's views about the case and the evidence.

The 911 Call


In the interview, Cindy again stated that she only made the statement to bring the police to her house sooner. She has said publicly that the smell in the car resembled pizza or food from her refrigerator that had sat there too long. Apparently, she is sticking to her story. I have to wonder how she can deny the odor of decomposition when her own husband has told LE in his interviews and deposition that it indeed was the smell of death.

The defense is trying to keep those calls out of the trial. In their OMNIBUS MOTION TO EXCLUDE HERESAY EVIDENCE, GOSSIP, AND INNUENDO, filed March 8, 2010, the defense denies that her calls were mere heresay (statements made outside of the court). They deny that the statement, "I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car", is not an excited utterance. In the attached memorandum, which discusses the second two calls made by Cindy,
Cynthia is more agitated and upset during this call. (referring to the last of the three made that night)

But despite the fact that she says she just found out that her granddaughter had been taken and is missing, the fact remains that the child had been missing for a month and Cynthia Anthony was aware of that fact. There is nothing the police can respond to at the home, as the child has already been missing for a long period of time... Despite Cynthia Anthony being unaware of what exactly happened, the fact remains that she was aware Caylee Anthony was not in the home for a long time.

The memorandum continues to point out that during the call, a suspect in the kidnapping was named and that could be considered testimonial in nature in the prosecution of THAT suspect.

Hello, Zanny, you must still be the prime suspect!

Finally, I have to cite the end of this particular part of the memorandum.

...Though 911 calls may often be considered non testimonial due to the fact that they are made in an emergency, the calls made in this case are different because they are made so long after any incident act or emergency actually happened. An allegedly stolen car has already been returned, (prior to ANY of the 911 calls) and a child has been missing for thirty-one days, turning an emergency into an investigation.

So, let me see if I understand. Cindy Anthony was only "agitated" to learn that Caylee had not been with her mother for 31 days. But, since Caylee had supposedly been missing with her mother and she now finds out she's missing in terms of a "kidnapping", she isn't as upset as if she learned of the "kidnapping" 31 days before? It is less of an emergency situation because Casey never reported the "kidnapping"? Give me a break!

If you have any doubt as to whether or not the statement Cindy made was an excited utterance, just listen to that call again. She is not merely "agitated", she is absolutely hysterical. Final 911 call

According to a statement made to GMA, "Brad Conway, an attorney for George and Cindy Anthony said today he doesn't doubt "for a second" the tapes will be entered into evidence."

I do believe that there is another reason that the defense does not want that call to come in. Although not mentioned in the motion, the fact is that Casey Anthony herself speaks to the 911 operator.

In a stark contrast to her mother, Casey's voice is flat and monotone. She shows no emotion that her child has been missing for a month. This recording, along with the first jailhouse call (This is a segment from an old Geraldo which includes discussion of the 911 calls.) Casey made when first arrested, it is clear she has no interest in talking about her daughter. It's all about Tony's phone number, her mother's "cameo", and the fact that all anyone cares about is Caylee.

State's Assistant Attorney Linda Drane Burdick filed a motion of her own in this matter. The STATE OF FLORIDA'S RESPONSE TO COURT'S MAY 10, 2020 ORDER REGARDING THEORY OF ADMISSIBILITY OF 911 CALLS clearly delineates the situation. Ms. Drane Burdick was careful to separate her arguments into the factual background and the legal argument. She also included a copy of the 911 calls, transcripts of the calls as well as material from Cindy's July 29, 2009 deposition and Lee Anthony's July 30, 2009 deposition.

Through the use of these materials, Drane Burdick takes the judge through the history of the calls and their purposes. For the sake of relative brevity, I'll just quote what struck me as the most telling about Cindy's reaction to learning of Caylee's alleged kidnapping. The rest of the motion is an excellent read to help understand the State's position.

Mrs. Anthony describes her reaction as "I just felt like my whole world died", "I yelled at her, "I wanted to grab her and shake her and I couldn't". "I didn't know what to do so that's when I made the last call." Lee Anthony describes his mother's reactions as "very, very frantic."...

Judge Perry could make a decision about the calls at any time between now and shortly before the trial.


Cindy stated that early on in the case. She has used this particular tack whenever Casey's lies are mentioned. When she first stated that, I had to ask myself if she didn't understand back then that when you lie to LE, it IS a crime!

In the interview, Cindy cited her new "mantra" concerning lying. "...a liar doesn't make you a murderer.". She dismissed Casey's lies to the family concerning her job... other things. When Ashleigh Banfield mentioned the lies to the police, she dismissed them as well with her well-worn mantra. However, when it came to the alleged abuse of Casey by her father (and brother), her response was that she didn't know where it came from! Couldn't she just have said that it was just another of Casey's little lies?

When it came to the source of the lies, Casey's letters to fellow inmate Robyn Adams, Cindy dismisses them and says that it was a "police set-up". Hello??? How in the world would Robyn be able to solicit these ideas? There was a set-up here, but it was Robyn's. She probably thought they would be worth a fortune! Too bad another inmate ratted her out.

Casey Anthony is a grown woman. Cindy Anthony is still her enabler. Perhaps Cindy turned a blind eye to Casey's lies because she knew that the truth would be nothing to brag about. When George Anthony tried to find out the truth about Casey's job at the Sports Authority, she quashed the whole search for the truth. It was better to delude herself with Casey's lies. Having observed both parents for the past two years, I doubt that anyone would wonder where Casey's predilection to lying came from.

Status Hearing Monday

Casey Anthony does not have to attend status hearings, but I'll be watching it Monday at 1:30 PM.

Remember when you were in school and a couple of kids were acting up? Instead of pointing out the individual miscreants, the teacher would remind everybody about appropriate behavior. So it is with Judge Perry. He keeps reminding the defense and the prosecution that deadlines are to be met and that 98% of the work should have been done by now. We know who he's talking about!

I would especially like to hear if Laura Buchanan and Crystal and Brandon Sparks have made themselves available for deposition by the State. Buchanan is one of the main sources for the renewal of the TES motions and the sworn statements by the Sparks' are crucial to the Roy Kronk motion. If they continue to duck the depositions, the defense will not be able to use them to buttress their theories that "some-other-dude-did-it" indicated last July by the former defense attorney, Todd Macaluso.

Good Morning America video and article


According to the Orlando Sentinel, the defense filed a new motion Friday concerning the 911 tapes.

The new filings reflect statements made in depositions this week and recent comments Cindy Anthony made on national television to explain her reference about the car's smell.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DDA Alan Jackson on Dateline's COLD CASE SQUAD

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Everyone's favorite Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson and the rest of the Dateline Cold Case Squad will be on Dateline, this Friday, 9:00 pm.

DDA Jackson posted this on his Facebook page today:

"I had the opportunity to participate in what promises to be a very interesting Dateline program about a series of mysterious murders occurring last year on the beach in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. Dateline's "Unsolved: The Gold Coast Killings" airs 9P ET/PT, 8P CT. Hope you can tune in!"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lemaricus Davidson Gets Sentenced


The Davidson Sentencing Hearing by David In Tennessee

On Friday morning, June 11, I went to the courthouse in Knoxville, Tennessee for the sentencing hearing for Lemaricus Davidson, the convicted ringleader in the torture-murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Davidson was convicted of the murders on October 28, 2009. The jury sentenced him to death after the penalty phase two days later. This hearing is for the sentence on the remaining charges. Here is my account of the trial of Davidson's half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, and an outline of the case.

Around 10:30 pm on the night of January 6, 2007, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were abducted from the Washington Ridge apartments. They were taken to a house at 2316 Chipman Street. There, they were raped and murdered. The couple died after hours of agonizing torture. Chris Newsom was dragged by a dog leash around his neck to a railroad track. He was naked from the waist down and his hands were tied behind his back. Chris' face was wrapped in a sweatshirt and his mouth was gagged with his own socks. His bare feet were bound. He had been raped with "an object" as well as by unknown males. At the tracks, Newsom was shot three times. The killers inflicted as much pain as possible. His body was set of fire, which destroyed the DNA evidence and made it impossible to identify which of the killers raped him.

When Chris Newsom was found, his mother wanted to see the body. The police would not let her. Mary Newsom put her arms around the body bag.

Channon Christian's body was found in a trash can in the kitchen of Davidson's house. The medical examiner testified that Channon's body was "crammed" in five large trash bags. She was "hog-tied." Davidson's palm print was found on a bag. Channon had a plastic bag over her head and her eyes were open. Her body indicated that she was raped by an object causing blunt trauma. DNA evidence showed that she was raped by Lemaricus Davidson anally and vaginally. Semen from Davidson's half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, was found in her mouth. Her vaginal area had been beaten bloody. Channon Christian died of "lack of oxygen" in the trash can.

Here is my account of the death sentence handed down by the jury in Lemaricus Davidson's trial last October. The defense tactic in this trial was to claim that the victims came voluntarily to Davidson's house to buy drugs. In addition, it was claimed that Channon had "consensual sex" with Davidson. The defense attorneys were doing what their client wanted as Davidson likes to be in control. The prosecution was able to show that the victims had no prior contact with the suspects. Davidson had told a completely different story to the police when first captured.

Davidson left his fingerprint on an envelope in Channon's abandoned Toyota 4Runner. Without this print, which traced Davidson through the AFIS database, the killers might have gotten clean away with it. In addition, when captured, Davidson was wearing Chris Newsom's shoes.

Although I was aware that the sentencing hearing would begin at 11am, I entered Judge Baumgartner's courtroom before 9am. The judge arrived at 9:07 to take care of the day's docket. It was mostly probation hearings. The probationers would stand before the judge beside their attorneys with their hands clasped behind their backs and a humble expression. Some had probation continued. One man's ended and the judge told him to "behave himself." There were some prisoners in jailhouse stripes who had hearings on court dates. The judge sometimes chewed on a Snickers bar. At 10:05, the judge stopped proceedings and went to smoke in the area designated.

At 10:20, someone comes in and sets up a TV camera. Another camera comes in at 10:40. By 11:00, there are 3 TV cameras. There is a break before the hearing begins. Outside the courtroom, I speak briefly with Hugh Newsom, Chris' father. A member of the DA's office comes by and tells Mr. Newsom that he can let loose this time in his victim impact statement.

The mood in the courtroom is relaxed, although Gary Christian is somewhat wound up as usual. Davidson is brought into the courtroom at 11:12. He wears an outfit with TDOC Maximum Security on the back. His nickname is "Slim," which he no longer is. To me, he appears to be glad to get out of his cell on death row and make the trip. Davidson is still directing his attorneys. Davidson now has the goatee he had shaved off for the trial in which he wore a sweatshirt similar to the Menendez brothers. At 11:16, the judge takes the bench. About a dozen deputy sheriffs watch the audience. Prosecutor Takisha Fitzgerald details Davidson's prior offenses. There are a lot of them, as his criminal career started in 1994 at age 13 with carjacking and home invasion.

My impression of Davidson is that he still thinks he will get out of the death sentence. Former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, Walt Lewis, in his book "The Criminal Justice Club," wrote that sociopath criminals are always optimistic.

The defense attorneys contest everything in the style Casey Anthony's team is using. The judge munches on Snickers while the defense argues against consecutive sentences. This goes on until 11:40 when the judge calls a break. During the break, Mr. Newsom is standing beside me. I say regarding the defense lawyers, "Still wasting time." Mr. Newsom replies, "They get paid by the hour." This hearing was supposed to take an hour. Davidson's attorneys, David Eldridge and Doug Trant, made it last almost 3 hours.

At 12:01, the victim impact statements begin with Deena Christian, Channon's mother going first. They are the most powerful I have ever heard. Denna looks straight at him and calls Davidson an animal. Davidson stares back. He is stoic at first but looks defiant as the statements go on.

Gary Christian tells that he dreams of he and his son "giving you a lil' East Texas justice." Referring to the defense tactics in the trial, Gary says anyone who speaks against his daughter "is my enemy." Gary says he will do "everything in my power to have that needle stuck in you as soon as possible." He also said he intended to live to see it. Gary ended his statement by saying, "You rot in hell." When leaving the stand, Gary paused and looked straight at Davidson. For a moment, it looked like he would jump him, but he returned to his seat.

Chris' sister takes the stand and quotes scripture. Her father comes next. Defense attorney Doug Trant objects to Hugh Newsom bringing up Davidson's criminal past. This angers victim's parents. Mary Newsom then says, "Lemaricus Davidson, you are a hateful, evil person."

Judge Baumgartner then handed down the sentences. He sentenced Davidson to 80 years on various charges, including especially aggravated robbery. especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated rape. The defense attorneys argued every charge, mostly concerning consecutive versus concurrent sentences.

The judge ordered the 80 years to be served consecutively to the death penalties. In a move that the judge said was probably unprecedented, he ordered the death sentences to be consecutive.

"This is one of the most incredibly outrageous, cruel, and inhumane cases this court has ever seen," Baumgartner said. "How people can engage in this type of activity is just unexplainable. There really is no sentence great enough to punish you for the conduct you have been convicted of."

The judge took into account that Davidson had numerous chances to straighten himself out. At age 16, an affluent white family took him in. They testified for him at the penalty phase of Davidson's trial. They gave him a car and he played on the sports teams at their private school. Davidson still went back to a life of crime. The judge finally said, "For you I have no mercy."

It is safe to say that Davidson is as bad a criminal as has been seen since Charles Manson. Incidentally, the defense asked for a hearing in February 2011 to argue for a new trial. In March 2011, Davidson will be brought back to Knoxville to be tried for robbing a Pizza Hut the the day after leaving his house with Channon Christian's body inside.

For this piece, in addition to my notes, I used WATE reporter Hanna Kim's twitter report, WATE, the Knoxville News Sentinel archives along with Donchais's blog, Calls For Justice.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Judge Rules Casey Anthony's Jail Logs Will Not Be Sealed

At the end of the hearing on June 1, most people who watched the defense argue for the sealing of Casey's jail log records pretty much knew it would be denied.

In his seven-page decision concerning the defense motion to seal Casey Anthony's jail visitor logs, Judge Belvin Perry discussed the issue in depth. In each section, he included numerous legal citations.

Point-by-point, the judge knocked down all the defense arguments.

The first point Perry discussed was the lack of authority of the Court to violate the separation of powers between the Judicial and Executive Branches. Here is what the judge said, leaving out all the legal citations.

In adherence to this basic principle, the judiciary is precluded from interfering with, much less usurping the proper authority of, the executive... Moreover, a trial court is forbidden from entering an injunction that requires an administrative agency to perform its duties in a particular way...

In addition, it is well-established that a trial court my not interfere with and does not have the authority to enter into the decision-making process which is delegated to an executive agency...

The jail visitation log record is an administrative procedure utilized by the Orange County Jail to ensure the safety and security of inmates, jail employees, and the general public by recording the identity of visitors to its facilities...

He speaks a bit more to the issue, but I think we have pretty much have heard this all before. In previous motions to seal jail records and recordings, the defense had heard much the same from the Orange County attorney and from Judge Strickland. Let's hope that seeing every detail in this motion will finally stop the defense from filing further motions!

Next, Perry addressed the issue of Casey Anthony's right to equal protection under the law.

First, the Defendant's claim that failure to seal the jail visitation log is violative of her right to equal protection of the law is without merit.

Perry goes on to explain the meaning of "equal protection".

"Equal protection of the laws" means that each person is entitled to stand before the law on equal terms with, to enjoy the same rights as belong to, and to bear the same burdens as are imposed on, others in a similar situation... All similarly situated persons are equal under the law and must be treated alike; the rights of all persons or classes must rest on the same rule under similar circumstances...

Casey, at the present time, stands in the same place before the law as any other person charged with first degree murder. She is not different from them due to the publicity (much of it fostered by the defense and the Anthony family). Death is different, yes. But Casey is no different from others facing death.

...Consequently, the Defendant's contention that she is being treated disparately from similarly situated persons, i.e., other inmates, is simply unfounded.

(Bold is mine)

In the original motion, Mason Cheney stated that

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 investigating and "google" inquiries about said visitor, thus, severely hampering the Defendant's preparation for trial and her entitlements to due process, equal protection of the law, and effective assistance of counsel.

I was surprised when the defense made this motion because of this argument. Prior to asking for the jail visitor logs to be sealed, there were a number of times when someone new appeared and was "googled" by those members of the public who follow the case closely. So far, the most discussed person has been the mitigation specialist, Jeanene Barrett. However, there was no major "red flag" that she was there. Should this new witness be a psychologist, I am sure it would have raised some interest and discussion. However, with this motion, Mason is putting up a huge field of red flags, waving in the breeze. THIS WITNESS IS IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL TO OUR DEFENSE!

Judge Perry knocked down this argument as well.

Equally implausible is the argument that if the jail visitation log isn't sealed, the Defendant will not receive effective assistance of counsel. Even if the Court was vested with such authority, it is not convinced that the disclosure of the jail logs would give the prosecution any tactical advantage. The disclosure of jail visitors' names does not hold the potential to reveal privileged communications In fact, the Defendant ultimately will be require to disclose to the prosecution the names of all testifying experts, along with other reports or statements of experts made in connection with the case....

Here is my favorite line in this ruling:

Furthermore, any "unfounded speculation" on the part of the news media is beyond the ambit of the Court.

The final discussion of the issue by Judge Perry concerns the assertion by the defense that not sealing the logs would result in Casey's rights to due process of law being violated. Perry didn't buy into that idea either.

...Although the Defendant's Motion contains some very general allegations concerning the nature of this alleged due process violation, it fails to cite any authority that stand for the proposition that jail inmates have a fundamental right to seal visitation log records.

(Bold is mine)

Perry included a very interesting footnote here:

The issues presented in this case do not breach procedural due process matters.

Period. That's it. However, to make sure that the defense fully comprehends this, Perry states that:

Perhaps most telling, the Motion is bereft of any citation to legal authority at all.

Perry then mentions the case mentioned at the hearing by Mason. It is Powell v. Foxman, 528 So.2d91 "is not analogous to the instant case."

The remainder of the comments by the judge addressed the response filed by Orange County and the arguments of Tamara Gappen at the hearing. He agreed with everything he said.

My loyal reader, FRG, perhaps said it best in a post to the Orlando Sentinel.

Sign in The Honorable Judge Strickland’s office: “Do you miss me yet?”

Thursday, June 3, 2010

LA Co. DDA Alan Jackson Upcoming Appearances

Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson

If you are (like me) a fan of Alan Jackson I thought you would like to know about some upcoming appearances.

Saturday, June 5th, 2010 5:00 pm: Champions of Justice

Alan will be the featured guest on Tom Giradi's Champions of Justice radio show, which will air this Saturday, June 5th at 5:00 pm on KRLA 870AM. The topic will be high profile cases and the effect of the media on the law.

Friday, June 11th, 2010 10:00 pm: Dateline NBC's Cold Case Squad

Alan and the Cold Case Squad team will take on a new murder mystery on NBC's Dateline tentatively airing Friday, June 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm.

Sunday, June 20, 2010:
West Los Angeles School of Law Commencement Ceremony

Alan is honored to have been selected to give the commencement address to the 2010 graduating class of West Los Angeles School of Law on Sunday, June 20, 2010.

A brief background on Alan Jackson:

Alan joined the District Attorney's Office in 1995, shortly after graduating from Pepperdine Law School. Alan originally hails from Texas, but Los Angeles has been his home for 20 years.

When he was 17 years old, Alan made a commitment to join the military and serve his country. As he puts it, that early decision was "one of the most meaningful of my life." Alan spent four years in the Air Force where his organizational skills, work ethic, and leadership qualities were forged, and it is clear that those are the same qualities that have served him as a prosecutor and a public servant. Following his honorable discharge, Alan went on to get his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at Austin.

Alan's professional legal career spans more than 15 years, and has seen him prosecute some of the most challenging and high profile cases in the country. He spent five years in Compton trying the most violent hardcore gang members in Los Angeles. He secured close to 30 murder convictions before he was recruited by the Major Crimes Division.

Over the last few years, Alan has stayed busy. He has put a triple murderer on death row, sent to prison the killer of racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife Trudy, and most notably, Alan convicted famed music producer Phil Spector for the murder of actress, Lana Clarkson.

The Spector conviction marked the first time in more than 40 years that a celebrity had been convicted in a Los Angeles courtroom. In the wake of the conviction, Alan stated that he never believed that celebrities should hold a key to the backdoor of the justice system. "Justice is truly blind. Blind to wealth, status and celebrity. No one is above the law," he said.

Today, Alan is still fighting for justice. He is now the Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division, and in addition to his supervisory and teaching responsibilities, he continues to carry a caseload of his own.

Outside the courtroom, Alan stays just as committed to the community. He is on the LA Leadership Council of INMED, Partnerships for Children, a non-profit foundation dedicated to serving the under served children of Compton.

"There is a satisfaction that is simply unmatched when you feel like you're doing something positive for the community," Alan says of his involvement. Asked how long he intends to stay involved with the Compton community, he answers, "As long as I can be of use."

The Telegrpah's MICK BROWN on "OUT OF MY CHELLE"

I have my own opinion about the "trial bride" (Rachelle Short Spector, fourth wife of convicted murderer Phil Spector) and her soon to be released album Out of My Chelle, but I'm recommending you read the excellent piece by Mick Brown in The Telegraph.

Joran van der Sloot: Under Suspicion of Murder... AGAIN

Joran van der Sloot, (of missing Natalee Holloway fame) has been in the news the last few days. He was on the run from murder charges in Lima, Peru, for the stabbing death of Stephany Flores Ramirez, but just moments ago, news broke that he has been captured in Santiago, Chile.

donchas has a great story on the latest developments of this case on her blog, CALLS FOR JUSTICE.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Casey Anthony: June 1 Hearing, Cliff Notes Version

Yesterday was not a good day for me and for the defense! My problems started when heavy thunderstorms popped in after the first 30 minutes of the hearing. At that point (having already having fried one computer), I shut down and settled in to watch what I could on InSession. The storms continued on throughout the rest of the hearing including the time when InSession went off and reruns came on.

Once the storms had passed, my computer totally crashed and at the current time is under total reconstruction from my hard-working husband. For the time being, I'm borrowing his computer. I have no bookmarks, no e-mail, and am stuck using an aged track-ball mouse which is next to impossible for me to operate. So, you are getting my Cliff Note's version of the hearing!

The rest of the problems were for the defense side.

It was rather ominous when Judge Perry was late to the bench by about two minutes. Lawyers were seen going in and out of the courtroom. The courtroom itself was so silent, I thought there was something wrong with the feed!

Once Judge Belvin Perry took the bench, we learned that Casey Anthony had waived her appearance for the hearing. We later heard that she had tripped and fallen on the elevator on the way to the courtroom and needed medical attention. It is interesting that in one of her letters to her jail "buddy", Robyn Adams, she mentioned that she was a "klutz" and had nearly fallen in the courtroom on the way to her seat.

Once court was in session, Cheney Mason led the defense in the arguments over the sealing of the visitor logs. If you recall, at the JAC hearing on May 11, there was an extended side-bar between the defense and the judge concerning one type of expert they did not wish to name. In their motion to seal the records, Mason pointed out that this was the same expert whose name (or names) he did not wish to appear on the jail visitor logs. His remedy for this was to either have the logs sealed or the name(s) redacted.

Orlando County attorney Tamara Gappen spoke to the motion as we have heard her do before. The main issue is that there is an issue with the Judicial Branch's inability to impinge on the Executive Branch, which runs the jail.

After a few more arguments, Judge Perry told the attorneys that he had already done extensive research on the issue both within the State of Florida and nationwide and had yet to find case law that would apply. He is obviously concerned that he not step over the line. In order for him to find for the defense will be to find case law which confronts the issue of the Judicial Branch and Casey Anthony's constitutional rights to due process and representation.

Perry indicated he would do some more searching this touchy issue and have a decision next week.

Personally, I don't think he will find anything new, but we'll leave a little glimmer of hope out there for the defense.

Defense ? State 0

The next motion was to unseal the surreptitious tape made by searcher Joseph Jordan. Mason claimed that the information about Jordan came from "incomplete" documents from TES.

I thought they came from Ms. Laura Buchanan.

Mason stated that when Jordan met with defense PI Mort Smith and his attorney Kelly Sims, Jordan stated that when he searched the area and found no remains and that the area was dry. This information would open a "huge door of reasonable doubt" as to whether or not Casey Anthony placed the body in that location since she was incarcerated at the time of this search.

Mason, unlike Todd Macaluso, indicated that this did not rule out the possibility that Casey killed Caylee. In July, Macaluso stated that it proved her innocence!

Mason also stated that in statements to LE, Jordan had changed his story. He also worded his comments to indicate that LE had somehow influenced him to change his story. According to Mason, one version was the truth, and the other was a lie.

In reading the interviews with Jordan, it seemed to me that Jordan changed his mind as to exactly where he searched. When he spoke with Smith, Jordan was under the impression that the remains were found near where he and others had located a cooler and a blanket. When taken to the site, Jordan realized he had been in error.

I will admit that if I were the defense, I would jump on this information as well. However, it would seem that a deposition of Mr. Jordan might be in order so that he could explain the situation in his own words.

Judge Perry asked Mason if he felt that the original ruling by Judge Strickland was tainted (by his "bias" for which the defense asked him to be recused) or for a "second bite of the apple".

Cheney had no way to answer this and chuckled. Had he answered to either, he would have a major problem.

Cheney indicated to the Court that due to the circumstances of the meeting, there was no expectation of privacy and that the tape could be unsealed. He also cited one case, Incieranno, where the VICTIM of the crime turned on a tape during the commission of the crime. I would have loved to hear how Cheney could explain how this exception to the rule related to a meeting with a PI and an attorney! Unfortunately, Cheney couldn't find the case and the hearing moved on.

Judge Perry mentioned the Atkins case in which there is an absolute prohibition for the use of the tape. Mason pointed out to the judge that Judge Strickland had left the motion open for a "second bite" and in the end, Perry denied the motion, but left the door open for the defense to argue it again, AT TRIAL.

Defense ? State 1

Next up was George Anthony's Grand Jury testimony. The State had requested and received the transcript last fall so that they could check for any inconsistencies between George's testimony October 14, 2008 and his deposition in August of 2009.

Mason began by indicating that the defense strongly believed that they had a right to the testimony simply because the State had gotten it. He erroneously stated that the State wanted to compare his Grand Jury testimony to his infamous Morgan & Morgan deposition given because "someone" had filed a civil suit. He corrected himself at the end.

Jeff Ashton spoke briefly, reminding the court that the target of his investigation was NOT the Morgan & Morgan deposition. He also pointed out that he had filed a report with the Court stating he had found no inconsistencies and would not be using the still sealed testimony.

He indicated that the defense should file a motion with appropriate legal grounds, in camera, for the judge to reconsider.

After a few more brief arguments, the judge denied the motion stating that Grand Jury testimony is sacrosanct.

Defense ? State 2

When the issues of aggravating factors came up, Mason pointed out that the State had not backed up their list of aggravating factors with the facts of the case to back them up.

Ashton replied that the trial was a year away and things could change between now and then. He also stated that the defense was upset with the "may" was not "will" as far as the application of these factors.

I got that one right!

Judge Perry read the law on this situation and indicated to the defense that the State had given what was required by his Order and that the State was not required to do any more than that. In addition, aggravating factors can be added and taken off the table even during the trial.

Did anyone else notice the bit of a twinkle in Judge Perry's eyes when he mentioned that the State had listed only the statute numbers?

Motion denied.

Defense ? State 3

Next, we were up to the infamous tips. I think we all remember the drama back in 2008 and early 2009, when Jose Baez asked for all those tips? He came before the court to complain that he had been "ripped off" because there were mainly psychic tips? Well, Linda Drane Burdick certainly mentioned it when she spoke!

Baez indicated that the defense had spent $1500 to obtain tips and Drane Burdick indicated that the Sheriff's Office indicated that there was $1500 due to them for the tips. I have a sneaking suspicion that the defense never bothered to pick them up. Drane Burdick indicated that she understood that the defense had sent someone to the Sheriff's Office to inspect the tips, but had abandoned the project. Baez indicated that they had finished the job.

So, I'm wondering why they need these tips now? In fact, the only "tips" that Baez mentioned were those by Roy Kronk and the e-mail from Joseph Jordan.

As I recall, the Sheriff's Office was required to produce all tips that were not still under investigation. Since Roy Kronk later discovered the remains in December 2008, his "tips" were more than likely still under investigation.

Well, when push comes to shove, the judge didn't even bother with ruling on this motion. He indicated to Jose Baez that he could go down to the Sheriff's office and pay the outstanding $1500 and get the tips. Baez claimed that Casey was indigent and couldn't afford them. The judge then reminded him that he allocated funds for public records requests and allowed him up to $2000 for the tips and he'd better be able to justify the expense if he wanted more funds from the JAC. I'm betting that he sends someone down to finish going over the tips and pays for the Roy Kronk tips.

As for the infamous e-mail, the defense already has it and, as Drane Burdick pointed out, was not a tip!

I'd like to give the defense a "win" on this one, but they only are getting what they already had. They just have to pay for them. Since they have funds available, we won't get to hear any more motions on this issue!

Defense ?? State 3

The last motion up for discussion was the defense motion for additional discovery. There was an interesting exchange at the beginning of this portion of the hearing. Jeff Ashton objected early on and indicated that he had not received Baez' Excel spreadsheet presentation until two days ago.

Baez told Ashton he'd like to argue his motion in his own way! There then followed and rambling discussion about scientific research, Dr. Arpad Vass, etc. etc. There was mention of novel science, etc. etc. There was mention of a wire article about the search for bodies in the Manson case which was done a while back.

Judge Perry made a rather strong mention asking if this wire article was from a learned treatise or scholarly book. Nope! An article...

Perry also asked Baez why the defense was asking for this information prior to deposing Dr. Vass. He indicated that this information should be brought up at a Frye hearing.

Baez basically said in more than so many words that he wanted the information prior to the deposition, scheduled for July, so that the defense could ask intelligent questions.

Perry explained that the State had yet to state which documents they intended to use at trial. He used an example from the DEA, where the state was not in constructive possession and did not have a "compact" with the DEA to obtain the documents. In addition, the information that the defense wants is proprietary information and cited a case which deals with breatholizer codes. He asked Baez what authority he could state where he could make the State produce these documents which might be produced in civil litigation (I'm assuming where the information is the focus of the case). He also said that if there were some "quackery" involved in the information which could cause a conviction to be overturned!

This motion was also denied. The defense will have to find its way around all the problems in their own way, obviously!

Defense ?? State 4

It's obvious Judge Perry is annoyed with the pace of the trial. In his opinion, the case should be 98% complete at this point. Ever the diplomat, he indicated to both the defense and the prosecution that they needed to obey the deadlines in the case, and not for the first time. We know that this particular comment was aimed at the defense!

Watch the hearing here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Interesting Fact:

Listening to the discussion on InSession this morning, I learned a little about grand jury witnesses.

The laws vary from state-to-state concerning whether or not a grand jury witness may discuss his/her testimony.

Florida is a state where a witness may NOT discuss their testimony with anyone. That explains why George Anthony's testimony is so important to the defense. They can ask him, but he can't answer!

Also, there's something interesting at the end of the hearing. Jose Baez was complaining about all the witnesses the state was adding. Judge Perry indicated that the deadline is August 31. We're at June 1 now!

Oh, and Linda Drane Burdick has even a bigger problem! She has virtually NO witness list! Two years in, and the defense has only submitted a limited list of about 3 experts. Otherwise, it mirrors the State witness list.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Michael Gargiulo Case: Preliminary Hearing Synopsis Quick Links Page


Deputy District Attorney Marna Miller

Charles L. Lindner
Dale Michael Rubin

Michael Johnson, Dept. 108


June 21, 2010: Day 1, Part I
Pre-hearing Motions
Michael Gargiulo's preliminary hearing began on Monday, June 21, 2010. There were a couple motions litigate before witnesses were presented.  The admissibility of 1101b evidence at the prelim and admissibility of evidence regarding the Perkin's Operation.


June 21, 2010: Day 1, Part II

1. CHARLES MOORE - LAPD Sargent, currently assigned to Internal Affairs
Officer Moore worked in the Hollywood Division back in February 2001. He and his partner were the first LAPD officer's on the scene of Ashley Ellerin's murder.

2. JENNIFER DISISTO - Roommate of Ashley Ellerin

3. CHRISTOPHER DURAN - Friend of Ashley Ellerin

4. ASHELY TARNOW (nee GREEN) - Former neighbor of the defendant in 2000 and 1101b witness. Assaulted by the defendant.

6. VICKI BYNUM - LAPD Detective who interviewed Ms. Tarnow in 2000

7. JUSTIN PETERSON - Friend and former roommate of Ashley Ellerin
His testimony is interrupted to take a witness out of order.

In 2002 he was working as a homicide detective in the Hollywood Station. 

To be continued....

Michael Gargiulo Case Quick Links Page