Monday, June 20, 2011

Casey Anthony Murder Trial: Day 23

A Non-Day In Court: Will Baez Be In More Trouble?

Judge Perry entered the courtroom at 9:00 AM this morning. As is not unusual, the session began with a bench conference.

When it broke up, Jeff Ashton spoke first. He said that only took Dr. Rodriguez deposition on Saturday and needed time to study it before he cross examines the witness. He also said Rodriguez said that, from his personal experience, a person cannot distinguish the smell of decomposition. In addition, there were other non-disclosed issues which came up but he thinks he can do it on the fly.

Ashton also told the judge that Dr. Eikelenboom showed up yesterday at their offices yesterday to be deposed, Mr. Baez had sent him there. Ashton turned down the opportunity. He never had a report from Dr. Eikelenboom which gave any opinions. He received more discovery yesterday and a PowerPoint presentation. He wanted to prepare another package of sanctions. According to Ashton, the doctor is going to testify to non-results in touch DNA. Ashton said he needed time to depose him.

Jose Baez again pointed out that the prosecution had the right to take depositions. (This is essentially the same argument Baez gave Saturday.)

Baez said that this was done deliberately by the prosecution to limit the testimony. He said that the prosecution did this twice, once with Dr. Rickenbach. Then, there was the late disclosure of photographs from the FBI. (Shaw)

As to Dr. Rodriguez, "all" he was going to testify to is that one can't tell where the duct tape was originally placed.

As to Eikelenboom, Baez wanted him to testify to low copy DNA and degradation of DNA. He said it was a common issue that the prosecution knew of. (Baez was then still arguing that there could have possibly been DNA on the duct tape.)

Baez stressed that he was the one who told Dr. Eikelenboom to go to the State's Attorney's Office and Mr. Ashton himself turned him away. Then, he turned over the discovery to the prosecution.

As for extra time, Baez said that for 7 or 8 months, Ashton sat and decided not to take depositions. He now wanted to delay the trial. Baez then told Perry that the order was very clear. It was to prevent any "gotchas" and Ashton did not take the depositions. He said he warned the court about this during pre-trial hearings. Jose Baez said that he was extremely disturbed by that and he labored daily, nightly on the case. Then, Baez went on to point out that normally, experts do not have to turn in reports.
(Essentially, for Baez, it's all the prosecution's fault.)

Ashton's actions were "repulsive" and "not under the law" according to Baez. Ashton should have known what was going to be testified to.

Judge Perry then had both attorneys look at the clock. Each gave a different time. Ashton said it was 10:25, Baez, 10:26 (Ashton was correct.). Perry said that the two of them can never agree with anything. He then pointed out that the jury had been already sitting for at least 25 minutes. From now on, Perry said, attorneys will have to report at 8:30 to deal with such situations and Saturday will now be a full day.

Perry then addressed the rules of discovery. He went back to the early motion by the State, dated December 10, 2010. The pertinent portion of the order. Both the state and defense are required to provide the information by (That was the time Baez sent the kooky e-mails to Ashton). That order indicated that some of the reports stated NOTHING.

The second order on January 6, 2011, again showed a lack of understanding (by Baez, in my opinion) about what the court had meant. That order asked for a list of the experts' opinions and a summary of them. The example used was that of Dr. Henry Lee. Perry added that the defense had to provide written reports. (We just saw that problem addressed Saturday with Dr. Rodriguez.)

Judge Perry said that depositions did not alleviate the requirement of the report to contain all opinions. He then brought up the PowerPoint demonstration that the prosecution was not allowed to use because the defense claimed they had not received color pictures of the slides.

Then, he mentioned that, in a case of repeated violations, the strongest sanction would be to disallow the testimony. The Supreme Court had never ruled on a case that exclusion would be proper. However, he said, that in the case of repeated violations, he didn’t believe it would be upheld.

Perry was then back to "gamesmanship" in the trial and the friction between the attorneys. He said that was what the Florida Bar would have to deal with. The sanctions from Saturday will be dealt with after the trial.

Dr. Rodriguez testimony will be delayed. Judge Perry said there will be a short day on Wednesday due to him and that he'd already explained the situation to the lawyers.

He told the lawyers to go through the reports of all their experts and make sure their opinions are in the reports and depositions. Enough is enough! Both sides were now forewarned that exclusion, even at the price of doing it all over again, may be the proper remedy if it continues.

When Judge Perry asked who the defense's next witness would be, Baez said it was Dr. Richard Eikelenboom. They were in the process of picking up the third witness and it would take 30 minutes.

The jury will be freed from the jury room for a while and the trial will continue at 10:25.

Judge Perry said he'd now consider starting the trial at 8:30 every day out of concern for the sequestered jury. He also said that he was considering cutting down on the lunch hour, if necessary, to get this trial moving.

At about 11 AM, Judge Perry came out and announced that, by joint stipulation, court would be in recess tomorrow.

One thing I do have to say. The defense is doing a good job of attempting to have a trial by ambush! So far, it isn't working. Judge Perry has to be more than upset. As for the jury, how can they help but be frustrated with all the delays since the defense case started.

See you in court at 9:00 AM tomorrow! Maybe we will have some testimony!


Anonymous said...

Can Baez, as an officer of the court, really deliberately sabotage the justice system like this and get the desired mistrial in this case for his client?

Reportedly, if he's successful in doing this, his client will walk free due to double jeopardy, meaning that she cannot be tried twice for the same crime!

hetherfly said...

Even though I watch the trial, I always check in to your blog to get your take on things. Jose Baez is making a mockery of the justice system and it's really getting tiresome. I'm sure the jury has also put two and two together and see how his fumbling around is a lame attempt to provide some kind of defense case, but they have to getting as fed up as the rest of us.

Sandy said...

Take a good look at Baez's body language during his presentation, and afterwards, when he is sitting with his client and Mason - chatting and disrespecting the judge while Perry is speaking. He, Baez, doesn't think he's wrong - his ego is so huge that he isn't even willing to moderate his behavior in court. He will go down, because the Florida Bar Association is NOT going to let him taint their whole organization.

And he cannot cause a mistrial because it is NOT due to the court's actions, but his and his alone. Further, his client cannot claim 'ineffective' counsel because he is a sleezy, disrespectful, cheater... and she has others who could stand up (Mason if he was not lacking spinal cords) and take action.

Casey case will suffer for this, but guess what? I don't think Baez really cares... he cares about Baez and using Casey to scramble to fame and fortune. And that sadly, doesn't warrant a mistrial either.

caroleigh said...

I hope Judge Perry gets Jose for contempt. It was so obvious Judge Perry was fuming. Is it possible that Jose could use his license for all of this trickery ?
I would love to know how much Dr.Bumbling Spits was paid for his glorious testimony. Does anyone know ?

I believe we've seen last of Dr. Spitz, and hopefully Jose Baez won't be trying another murder case.
watching in Mississippi

ritanita said...

Anonymous @ 9:02,
All a mistrial would mean is that the case would have to be started all over again with a new jury.

Hi everybody! Sorry for the late reply, I have this tendency to fall asleep after such days!

Notice that Baez was so much like his client, it's all everybody else's fault.

If you follow the links I posted, those responses by Baez to the court. They were disrespectful to the court and forced Judge Perry to issue even more strict rulings about the reports.

I'm sure the prosecution has played around with this a bit, but probably out of utter frustration in dealing with a lawyer who scoffs at the rules.

gentleeyes said...

Why does HHJP chastise both parties for playing games,etc? The Judge even made it seem that both attorneys might be referred to the Florida Bar Association. Is it common for a judge to berate both laywers then hone in on the guilty one? (It sort of reminds me a workplace when a boss berates all of the employees rather zeroing in on the specific employee/employees who need the talking to.)

To me, it seems clear that it is JB who is the one who is doing it and clearly in violation of the judge's rulings. I see JA as doing his job the way it should be done. (Although maybe he needs to curb his animated reactions with Baez.

shari said...

Yay, ritanita.........your words are a light in the wilderness of lawyerspeak! I am beginning to wonder if Baez is actually trying to manufacture a mistrial..problem with that is.....a second trial would probably not get the notoriety as this one and be very cut and dried, ie. GUILTY

ritanita said...

Gentleeyes, I'm sure Jeff Ashton has done a bit of gamesmanship, he's had no choice from the get-go in dealing with Baez. But nothing he has done comes up to the big toe of Judge Perry compared with Baez, with whom he's "had it up to here and beyond."

Perry is bending over backwards to avoid a mistrial and so is the prosecution. But now, in the middle of the trial, the ante has been upped tremendously!

We all know that Baez was the main target of the judge's comments. For the most part, he tosses in the prosecution to appear fair and to avoid the issue on appeal.

Baez has a history of hiding things from the prosecution (check out the Nilton Diaz case).

Right now, with the defense in a shambles, Baez is scraping the sides of the barrel to get in anything he can... under the table.

Shari, I haven't really thought about the goal of going for a mistrial seriously until today.

Judge Perry has, even under all the pressure, worked hard to avoid a mistrial. He wants this trial over and done with.

It's all making me a little sick.

ritanita said...

Hetherfly, Sorry I missed your post! LOL! When I am finished for the day, watching and writing, I do the same thing.

It's always good to get other views. I find it interesting that different people see different things. After a lot of reading, I always feel I have a complete idea of what's going on!

Anonymous said...

A mistrial is no boon to the defense either. Casey will remain in jail and the prosecution will be more prepared for the shenanigans. The aggrieved parties would be the taxpayers of Florida and delayed justice for Caylee.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rita :):)

GREAT REPORTING AS USUAL!! Have been missing quite a bit of the trial due to travel but I am here now for a few weeks!! I am so AMAZED and SCARED at the same time as to kc's fate. It seems like she might walk. But I am also thinking how can the jury do that and live with themselves?? One thing though Rita, today I was watching Vinnie Politan and he had MISS BADEN on. He asked her SPECIFICALLY how can baez PROVE the things he is saying. She of course fought back with mumbo jumbo!! She COULD NOT answer Vinnie on any point as to the PROOF!! No in the end she just fought back with I can not wait to hear about George's phone records!! I remember her on Nancy Grace at the beginning spouting how kc was GUILTY AS SIN!! How can she now show her face PROUDLY supporting the Defence?? I mean yes she worked for them but then after a certain time she QUIT!! So if she was SO 110% SURE about kc being INNOCENT y did she not stay to represent?? Just find it funny how Vinnie had quite good WILL baez PROVE the MOLEST, GEORGE FINDING CAYLEE DROWNED and EXPLAIN AWAY ROY KRONK GETTING THE BODY AND PUTTING IT IN THE WOODS?? I wonder how that will come to play?? They do have to PROVE that if they are using that is their defense do they not Rita??

Also have u noticed how George will not look at kc and looks so sad when the info is talked about in court but yet Cindy gets on the stand on Saturday and when done her sobbing and such gets off the stand and mouths to kc I LOVE U. REALLY?? I dunno how she can say that after what kc has come out with in court. Just a shame what kc has done to her daughter and her family. Even her brother is quite pissed with her and not buying her crap anymore!!

Stephanie Sander

pathgirl said...

They had CNN on in the break room at work and LK Baden was on talking about how Dr. Spitz masterfully handled Mr Ashton on Saturday. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Really what trial is SHE watching? Tomorrow I'm bringing a book so I don't have to listen to her insanity.


Anonymous said...

Tonight, Nancy Grace had Dr. Vincent Dimaio on her show. Remember him? He criticized Dr. Werner Spitz by saying, "When he opened the skull he found nothing. What's his complaint?"

Spitz and Dimaio were on the same side in the Spector trials. Tonight Dimaio was criticizing Spitz.

Speaking of Werner Spitz, his finest hour was when he testified for the plaintiffs in the O.J. Simpson wrongful death civil trial. Fred Goldman's attorneys needed a famous medical examiner and obtained the services of Dr. Spitz. He held firm on cross against Simpson's lawyers.

It helped that Spitz had the facts on his side in the Simpson civil trial.

David In TN

Anonymous said...

I love it Pathgirl ;);). She seems to just b touting the defense at no thought to how silly she looks!! I though had to laugh tonight as on DR DREW they had a forensic anthropologist on and he said something interesting. If the tape was applied after decomposition then there would b no tissue matter left, according to Dr Spitz, so how did the tuft of hair stay with the skull in the back!! My thoughts exactly, that back piece of hair stayed attached to the skull because of the duct tape!! So that Spitz can say what he wants but at his age his mind does not work well so I think he is cranky as people r questioning his crap :):)

Stephanie Sander

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain HOW a mistrial called by Judge Perry could result in double jeopardy, thereby causing the defendant to walk FREE?

It is glaringly obvious that the defense is digging in their heels and pushing for a mistrial!

CC Adams, PhD said...

What a day in Orlando! When Judge Perry asked JA and JB to turn around and read the time on the wall clock, I nearly died laughing.

How fascinating that Nancy Grace dug up Vince Dimaio to comment about Spitz and that Dimaio made a sensible answer.

Remember that circa 1960 Dimaio's father was Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York. Vince was sent to train under Spitz in Baltimore, because Dimaio Senior had selected Mike Badden as his protege. Following Dimaio's training with Spitz in Baltimore, Vince took a job in the Baxer County (San Antonio) Texas ME office. Soon Vince headed that office until things started to unravel not so long before the Phil Spector I trial.

Also interesting was that after Dr G finished her fellowship in forensic pathology in Maimi she worked under Vince Dimaio for ten years.

So, Vince Dimaio was caught between a rock and a hard place. For once today he made the sensible response.

At the time of Spector I, Linda Kenny Badden was part of a traveling training outfit which included Spitz, Dimaio, Mike Badden, Ceril Wecht and Henry Lee who trained attorneys on the presentation of expert witnesses.

Anonymous said...

People kep asking about mistrials. Mistrials do not cause double jeopardy. The only way you get double jeopardy is getting a not guilty verdict and then later the perp can confess and you can no longer retry him.
Also, I heard somewhere yesterday that Spitz charges $5,000 a day for testifying.

ritanita said...

I am not a lawyer, but there are cases where double jeopardy would apply. From what I've read, one reason could be prosecutorial misconduct, which is certainly not the case here!

Dr. Spitz testified at the Phil Spector trial about his fees, and they were quite hefty. Spitz said on the stand that he did not bill the prosecution. That does not mean, however, that he might have received a hefty retainer back in '08 when Casey still had money.

Anonymous said...

Ritanita, I stand corrected.

donchais said...

Can't wait to see whats on tap for today!

caroleigh said...

Ho Hum............. So Far For Tuesday!

I would like to know, when they break for lunch or for a break, Casey leaves through that back door, where does she go? Does she go to cafeteria with Jose or does she go in a jail cell? Is she handcuffed after she leaves the court room?
Watching And Curious In Mississippi

shari said...

apparently there is a holding cell somewhere and the "lunch" is a bagged lunch sent over from the jail. She is NOT allowed out in any way to any cafeteria. That was on the local news in reply to a question. Standard procdure for any defendant.....per Orange County Corrections