thorns2roses

From the darkness to beauty.

  • Contributors

  • Monthly Poll

  • Please Subscribe

    Please subscribe to this blog to receive updates on new posts and information about this blog. We love to hear your feedback and comments!
  • Subscribe

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 11 other followers

  • Top Clicks

    • None
  • Blog Stats

    • 20,479 hits

Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial: Defense points out what analysts didn’t find

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Legal experts say Casey Anthony’s defense team is trying to argue a lack of evidence

By Anthony Colarossi and Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel5:49 p.m. EDT, June 22, 2011

Casey Anthony‘s defense team continued to call witnesses Wednesday who testified about what they didn’t find when they evaluated evidence as part of the investigation into her toddler’s death.

The rounds of questioning have left many spectators wondering when attorney Jose Baez is going to make good on his opening statement and start explaining the defense theory that 2-year-old Caylee Marie wasn’t murdered by her mother, but instead drowned in the family pool.

It seems now that Anthony’s team is sticking with the basics of criminal defense: argue a lack of evidence.

“The defense has gone back to the bread and butter of criminal defense attorneys — that is, to raise a reasonable doubt,” said veteran Orlando defense lawyer Bill Sheaffer, a legal analyst for WFTV-Channel 9.

On Wednesday, the defense called Maureen Bottrell, a geologist and forensic examiner with the FBI, who inspected nearly two dozen pairs of shoes taken from the Anthony family home and a shovel Anthony borrowed from a neighbor.

Bottrell said she found no materials on Anthony’s shoes that matched the soil from the woods where Caylee’s remains were found in December 2008.

But then she agreed that the absence of soil on shoes is essentially meaningless in establishing a person’s presence or lack of presence at a scene.

The defense also called Madeline Montgomery, a forensic toxicologist for the FBI, who said she found no evidence of various drugs in Caylee’s hair when she tested the items.

Montgomery said she could not test Caylee’s hair for chloroform and said a drug given to someone who died soon afterward wouldn’t show up in the hair anyway.

“Hair is not the best sample for drug exposure,” Montgomery said.

Sheaffer said that by attempting to raise reasonable doubt, defense attorneys are punctuating the state witnesses’ testimony.

“The defense thinks there are a few little pearls they can get out from these witnesses. The problem is that [Assistant State Attorney Jeff] Ashton crushes what little bit of information they can get out with his cross-examination,” Sheaffer said. “The rest of his cross-examination is spent converting the witness to a state witness.”

Court ended early Wednesday because Judge Belvin Perry Jr. had matters unrelated to the case to tend to. The judge said he will ask Anthony’s defense team on Friday to give its best estimate of when it will conclude its case.

Perry said prosecutors intend to present rebuttal testimony, and he wants to give the state an idea of when to schedule those witnesses.

Meanwhile, Dr. Andrew Kramer, professor and head of the anthropology department at University of Tennessee, said Wednesday that Casey Anthony defense witness and forensic anthropologist William Rodriguez was not a founder of the Body Farm affiliated with the school.

“He may have been involved in the set-up,” Kramer said. “I would not characterize him as a co-founder. Characterizing him as a co-founder is perhaps an overstatement.”

During direct questioning by defense attorney Jose Baez on Saturday, Rodriguez identified himself as a founder of the Body Farm associated with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Rodriguez’s testimony in front of jurors was cut short Saturday when he began discussing an opinion not previously shared with the prosecution. The prosecution later took his deposition, but he has not resurfaced as a witness.

acolarossi@tribune.com or 407-420-5447.apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735.

 

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

Advertisements

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: