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Archive for June 27th, 2011

ABC News – Casey Anthony Trial: Video of Vain Search Where Body Later Found

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011

Jurors in the Casey Anthony trial watched a video today of a private investigator searching in vain for the body of 2-year-od Caylee Anthony in the wooded area where the decomposed remains were discovered just a month later.

Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, is accused of her murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Today marked a day of courtroom surprises with jurors handling and smelling trash from Anthony’s car trunk and the revelation that Anthony’s own defense team tried to halt the trial over the weekend because they did not think she was competent enough to aid in her defense.

The video today showed investigators Dominic Casey and James Hoover, who were hired by the Anthony family, searching for Caylee’s remains in November 2008. They did not find any remains despite appearing to be near the fallen tree where the girl’s skull was found on Dec. 11, 2008.

Casey was working as a private investigator for the Anthony family and Hoover was acting as a security guard for the family.

Searching for Caylee Anthony Video

The video appeared to captivate jurors. It was filmed by Hoover and shows Casey looking through the woods and an area behind a private fence on two days in November 2008. Casey can be seen talking on a cell phone in one of the searches. He said today that he was on the phone with a psychic guiding him in the search for Caylee’s remains.

Casey slashed open black plastic bags near the fence searching for Caylee. He also found what appeared to be a blanket, but no body or bones. He left the blanket in the woods.

It’s unclear if the blanket found by Casey is the same blanket that was found with Caylee’s decomposed skeleton. Her skull and bones were found with a Winnie the Pooh blanket, three pieces of duct tape, canvas bags, black plastic bags and a Gatorade bottle with a syringe.

Casey said that large parts of the wooded area were under several inches of water, a point law enforcement has made in why the area wasn’t searched more frequently.

Casey Anthony Search Video Rivets Jury

It appeared the defense was attempting to bolster its contention that Caylee’s remains had been tampered with and moved prior to their discovery.

The defense claims that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, 31 days before she was reported missing. They claim that George Anthony helped dispose of the body and that meter reader Roy Kronk who claims to have found the remains actually tampered with them.

If the recovery site of the remains is proven to have been tampered with, it could bring into question any of the evidence found at the site or with Caylee Anthony’s remains, including the duct tape on her face that prosecutors argue was used to smother the girl.

Evidence photos in Casey Anthony murder trial

Along with the video, jurors in the Casey Anthony murder trial were handed pieces of trash today to sniff.

The trash came from Casey Anthony’s car, the car that prosecutors claim reeked of death from the decaying remains of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Defense lawyers argued the foul smell came from garbage left in the trunk.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked the judge for permission to let the jurors smell for themselves, handing them a Velveeta box and other bits of garbage that had been found in Anthony’s car in the summer of 2008.

The defense attempted to poke holes in the testimony of the prosecution’s star witness, Arpad Vass. Vass collected the controversial air samples that he says contains five chemicals that are signatures of human decomposition’s odor.

Forensic and analytic chemist Kenneth Furton told jurors that there is “no instrumental method” that is scientifically valued for a chemical signature of human decomposition, a direct blow to Vass. Vass said that five chemical compounds including chloroform showed that there was human decomposition in the trunk.

Today, Furton argued that a variety of products, including some of Anthony’s trash, could exhibit the same compounds.

Upon cross examination, an exasperated Ashton began taking out pieces of trash asking Furton if each piece of trash could have produced all five chemicals found by Vass. Furton said that not one of the products could have created the odor alone but could have contributed to it.

Ashton then passed those pieces of trash to jurors. Some of the jurors sniffed the trash, while others chose not to examine it.

Furton also questioned the standards that Vass used in the air samples he collected from the trunk of Anthony’s car. Vass works at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee at what is called the “Body Farm” where he studies the odor of human decomposition. He collected controversial air samples from Anthony’s Pontiac Sunfire. Vass testified that the car contained an abundance of chloroform, a chemical found in human decomposition and also had the presence of fatty acids typically attributed to a decaying body.

Today, Furton said that chloroform can found in household cleaners like bleach and fatty acids could be found in animal products like milk and salami. A salami wrapper was found in the trunk of Anthony’s car.

Defense Says Casey Anthony Not Competent to Continue Trial

Today’s hearing started with the surprise revelation that Anthony’s defense team had tried to halt her murder trial on Saturday by claiming in court documents that she is not competent to aid her own defense. They filed a motion for a competency evaluation Saturday morning which prompted an abrupt recess that until today had not been explained.Judge Belvin Perry said that over the weekend three court appointed psychologists evaluated Anthony. The reports concluded she was competent to continue.

The mystery behind an abrupt recess in the trial over the weekend was revealed this morning when court documents were released showing that defense attorney Cheney Mason filed for a motion Saturday to determine Anthony’s competency.

Psychologists Deem Casey Anthony Competent to Continue Trial

Mason claims that, “based on privileged communications between Casey Marie Anthony and her Counsel, Counsel reasonably believes that Ms. Anthony is not competent to aid and assist in her own defense and is incompetent to proceed,” according to court documents.

If Anthony had been deemed incompetent, it could have halted the trial. Anthony could face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder.

The judge told the court before the jury took their seats that three state psychologists spent Saturday and Sunday evaluating the 25-year-old Anthony.

“The court will find that the defendant is competent to continue to proceed. Those reports will be filed but pursuant to law those reports will remain under seal,” Perry said.

Evidence photos in Casey Anthony murder trial

Experts said that Anthony’s defense attorneys could certainly be concerned for her well being and have an ethical duty to report their concerns, but an incompetency ruling could also serve a strategic purpose.

“To the extent that it is strategic, it stops trial. She goes to a locked mental facility until such time as she’s deemed competent again, if that happens,” said Michael Seigel, a law professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. “The trial starts all over again, they could change their defense strategy and the prosecution’s case is likely to be weaker.”

The prosecution’s case gets weaker as time progresses and memories fade, experts said. A halt to the trial could allow the defense to move away from their shocking opening statements that claimed that Caylee drowned and George Anthony, Casey Anthony’s father, helped dispose of the toddler’s body. The defense also told jurors that Casey Anthony hid the child’s death out of fear of her father who they claim sexually abused her as a child.

George Anthony has denied those accusations.

The motion to determine Anthony’s competency could serve appellate purposes, too, if she is found guilty and appeals her sentence. The adequacy of the tests could come up on appeal, experts said.

The court documents reveal little about what Anthony told her lawyers. On Saturday, there were private meetings in Judge Perry’s chambers with the defense and prosecution. At one point, Anthony left the meeting and was seen crying.

“Maybe he [Judge Perry] was given some information outside of the motion that he went ahead to grant the order…he could have said no and the defense could have been found in contempt,” said Mary Anne Franks, law professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

Legal experts told ABC News that competency hearings are typically done at the start of a trial.

“Normally you would do this before you start a trial or maybe they were able to say that something has happened in the last few weeks that makes her no longer fit to stand trial,” said Mary Anne Franks, law professor at the University of Miami School of Law.

This morning, Anthony smiled in court and was busy reading materials along with her lawyers. During the trial, Anthony has appeared emotional at times. On the day pictures of Caylee’s skull was shown, Anthony became ill and an early recess was called. Last week, she was extremely emotional watching her brother, Lee Anthony, cry on the witness stand.

The request for competency exams by Anthony’s own lawyer raises the question whether they are considering an insanity defense. Legal experts caution that there is a difference between insanity and competency.

“Insanity has to do with a person’s ability to understand right and wrong at the time of the offense, whereas competency has to do with understanding the nature of the charges and what the proceedings mean,” said Franks.

Psychologists Determine That Casey Anthony Is Competent to Proceed With Murder Trial

Legal experts said that in order for Anthony to use an insanity defense, there would have to be a mistrial first.

Another reason for the competency hearings could be that the defense is still considering putting Anthony on the witness stand.

“The competency has to be for generally the process as a whole. I suppose it’s possible that now they’re nearing the time that she could take the stand and they’re thinking more seriously about if they’re going to put her on the stand, if she’s able to withstand that,” Franks said.

Franks also said that this is one of the few high profile cases of a mother accused of murdering her child where some form of an insanity defense has not been used.

Anthony and her defense team claim that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, 31 days before she was reported missing. The prosecution claims the Florida mother drugged and murdered her daughter.

This morning the defense focused on the cell phone records pulled by law enforcement and the use of a cadaver dog to examine Casey Anthony’s car.

© 2011 ABC News

 

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ABC News – Casey Anthony Case: Not Always Easy to Know Where Family Members’ Loyalties Lie

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

By YUNJI DE NIES and LAUREN VANCE
June 26, 2011

Does justice for 2-year-old Caylee Anthony mean a death sentence for her mom, Casey Anthony?

At its heart, the murder trial of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her little girl, is a story about a family facing that horrifying dilemma.

On top of that, the defense’s case alleges sexual abuse and dark family secrets. So when the key witnesses also are the defendant’s own mother, father and brother, it’s sometimes difficult to tell where their loyalties lie.

“They are conflicted, surely, because they want justice for their little loved one, Caylee,” said Beth Karas, a correspondent for “In Session” on Tru TV. “But they also don’t want Casey, for example, to receive the ultimate penalty of death.”

A victim’s family normally thirsts for a conviction when their loved one’s alleged killer is on trial, but the Anthonys often sure do appear conflicted.

“I don’t want to be here,” said Casey Anthony’s brother, Lee Anthony. “I don’t want my sister here. I don’t want my parents here.”

The jury gained some insight into the unusual alleged family dynamics late this week — and witnessed possibly shifting recollections — as Lee Anthony described the pain of being left out of the loop on his sister Casey Anthony’s pregnancy.

“They didn’t want to include me, and didn’t find it important enough to tell me,” he said, prompting tears not only from himself, but also from his sister.

The brother’s dramatic appearance on the witness stand clearly baffled prosecutors, who questioned the sincerity of his emotion and his memory, which seemed to differ from his 2009 deposition.

Further complicating the case, both Lee Anthony and his father, George, have faced unproven claims by Casey Anthony’s defense that they sexually abused her, alleged behavior that the defense reasons could be a root cause of their client’s bizarre behaviors and lies surrounding Caylee’s death.

“This is a family that operates with a lot of what we call dissociation,” said Dr. Terry Real, who has studied relationships as founder of the Relational Life Institute. “That is exactly what the defense is saying that Casey is about.”

The unsubstantiated accusations of abuse could be a risky move by the defense, Karas said.

“If that’s true, he should be prosecuted,” she said. “If it’s not true, it’s a horrible thing for him to have to go through, to have to face the world knowing that [defense lawyers are] leveling these allegations against him.”

Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony’s mother, also has seemed tormented at times, describing watching home videos of the life she once had.

“I’ve watched it thousands of times since I didn’t see Caylee since 2008,” she testified.

She’s been in court almost every day and has taken the stand five times.

There’s been no shortage of tears. At one point, she turned to her daughter, Casey Anthony, mouthing “I love you,” but Casey Anthony wouldn’t make eye contact, turning away.

And this week, Cindy Anthony’s story about what she did and when seems to be shifting.

“Do you remember in March 2008 doing computer searches for chloroform?” defense attorney Jose Baez asked her.

Cindy Anthony responded, “I started looking at chlorophyll … and it prompted me to search for chloroform.”

Later, when asked by a prosecutor, “Did you put the words into the google search engine “how to make chloroform???” Cindy Anthony replied, “I don’t recall if I typed the words exactly like that.”

Prosecutors maintain Caylee Anthony was chloroformed before she died. Those computer searches could prove it was something Casey Anthony planned.

But if Casey didn’t search for chloroform online, it could be harder to prove premeditated murder — an idea perhaps not lost on this mother.

Real believes that ultimately any mother would do whatever was possible to protect a daughter.

“I think virtually any mother would lie to save their daughter’s life,” he said. “The maternal instinct wins out over virtually everything else.”

ABC News’ Jessica Hopper and Michael S. James contributed to this report.

© 2011 ABC News

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CNN – Casey Anthony declared competent; trial proceeds

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

By Ashley Hayes, CNN
June 27, 2011 7:23 p.m. EDT
Judge rules Casey Anthony competent
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Jurors see a videotape of a November 2008 search for Caylee’s remains
  • The defense motion cites a June 20 ruling by a federal judge
  • Three psychologists examined Anthony over the weekend at her attorneys’ request
  • The judge abruptly called a recess in her murder trial Saturday

(CNN) — Casey Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008, was determined competent to proceed with her capital murder trial after she was examined by three psychologists over the weekend, the judge said Monday.

The psychologists’ reports will be sealed, said Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. outside the presence of the jury.

“Based on privileged communications between Casey Marie Anthony and her counsel, counsel reasonably believes that Ms. Anthony is not competent to aid and assist in her own defense and is incompetent to proceed,” said the motion, filed by defense attorneys Saturday under seal and made public Monday. “As a result of this well-founded concern, counsel requests a full competency determination before the continuation of trial proceedings.”

It was implied — but not expressly stated — that the motion was the reason for the abrupt recess Perry called on Saturday morning.

Anthony, 25, is charged with seven counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading police, in her daughter’s death. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against her.

Anthony’s defense team is trying to discredit the prosecution theory that the Orlando woman rendered Caylee unconscious with chloroform, duct-taped her mouth and nose, and stored the body in her car trunk for a few days before dumping it in the woods.

The defense says Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Anthony and her father, George, panicked and covered it up. George Anthony has denied that theory.

Anthony’s defense attorneys also filed a motion Monday asking Perry to reconsider an earlier decision and declare Florida’s death penalty law unconstitutional.

The motion cites a June 20 decision by U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez, which found the method used to reach a death sentence in Florida is improper “because it does not require a jury to make the findings of fact necessary to impose a death sentence.”

Anthony’s attorneys had previously filed a motion asking for the statute to be declared unconstitutional, and Perry denied it. After the Martinez decision, they are asking him to reconsider.

“Because Florida’s death penalty procedure is unconstitutional, the death penalty should be precluded as a potential sentence,” according to the motion.

In the case Martinez ruled on, Evans v. McNeil, the jury recommended a sentence of death on a 9-3 vote but did not say on which aggravating factors it based the decision. A motion to alter or amend has been filed in the case — basically a motion asking Martinez to reconsider.

Jurors heard Monday from two men who worked for Casey Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, after Caylee’s disappearance on June 16, 2008.

Private investigators James Hoover and Dominic Casey both said they provided security services at the Anthony home from “protesters” who would show up. Hoover said he was working as a citizen although he is a licensed private investigator.

The two said they spent two days in November 2008 searching a wooded area for Caylee’s body. The search site was near where the remains were found a month later. A videotape of that search was played for jurors.

Casey told defense attorney Ann Finnell the search was prompted by a phone tip he received from a psychic.

Both defense attorney Jose Baez and prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick accused Hoover of attempting to cash in on his association with the case by trying to sell the tape of the search, but he denied that, saying he actually thought he had taped over the search and only discovered later he had not.

He did say he at one point was going to sell some photographs of the search and give the money to Casey and the Anthony family. “I didn’t need it,” he said.

Jurors also heard from Kenneth Furton, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Florida International University and director emeritus of the university’s International Forensic Research Institute. Furton testified that he studies chemicals emitted by both live and dead people.

Chloroform can be given off in small amounts by a decomposing body. One prosecution expert, Arpad Vass of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, described the levels of the substance in the trunk of Anthony’s white Pontiac Sunfire as “shockingly high.” Several witnesses also testified for the state about odors that they said smelled like the unmistakable scent of human decomposition.

Furton said there are alternative explanations for the chloroform found in the trunk, noting the compound is found in a number of household items, particularly bleach.

On his cross-examination, prosecutor Jeff Ashton held up the black spare tire cover from Anthony’s trunk. Furton acknowledged that if bleach had been poured directly on the carpet, the cover would have showed some evidence of that.

Also, Furton said, the chemical reactions that produce chloroform also produce other substances. Testing was not done to determine whether any of those substances were present, he said — either by him or by the Oak Ridge laboratory.

Furton said there is no instrumentation that can record with scientific validity the presence or absence of human decomposition, and said his studies suggest there are chemical compounds unique to human decomposition that were not present in Vass’ analysis of the air samples from the trunk.

On cross-examination, however, he acknowledged that a decomposing human body would explain the presence of the compounds that Vass found, but Furton said a bag of garbage that was left in the trunk for weeks could have contributed.

Before a lunch break, Furton testified that the Oak Ridge laboratory should have done a quantitative analysis to determine how much chloroform was present in the trunk in order to state its importance.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office Detective Yuri Melich, the lead investigator in the case, was also recalled to the stand Monday. Baez questioned Melich in an effort to cast doubt on the thoroughness of the investigation.

Under questioning, Melich acknowledged that he did not subpoena George Anthony’s cell tower records, showing where he was when calls were made or received. Asked whether that might have helped investigators, Melich said it would have, “if I had had a reason to believe it would play a part in this case, which at the time I did not.”

He said he also did not seize a computer belonging to Roy Kronk, the meter reader who discovered Caylee’s remains in a wooded area near the Anthony home on December 11, 2008. Melich testified he had no reason to do so.

Melich also said that cadaver dogs were not deployed on George and Cindy Anthony’s cars, only on Casey Anthony’s. On cross-examination, Burdick asked Melich whether anyone ever reported that either of those cars smelled like a dead body, and he said they did not.

Monday marks the beginning of the sixth week of testimony in the trial, which began with opening statements on May 24.

Perry originally told jurors, who are being housed in an Orlando hotel shielded from media coverage of the trial, that the trial could last six to eight weeks.

On Friday — before Saturday’s delay — Baez said he expected the defense to rest on Wednesday or possibly Thursday. That would leave room for a rebuttal case from the prosecution and closing statements before the Independence Day holiday. Saturday was planned as a full day in the trial, and it was unclear how the day’s delay would affect those plans. Testimony on Monday lasted until after 7 p.m.

Caylee was not reported missing to police until July 15, 2008, when Cindy Anthony, tracked down her daughter Casey and demanded answers regarding Caylee’s whereabouts. Prosecution witnesses described Casey Anthony’s behavior in the month after Caylee was last seen as nonchalant, testifying that she spent time with her boyfriend, went shopping and to nightclubs — but told no one her daughter was missing. They testified they noticed no change in her demeanor.

Baez said in his opening statement that Anthony behaved as she did because years of sexual abuse by her father had conditioned her to conceal the truth and hide her pain.

George Anthony has denied the claims that he abused his daughter or helped conceal his granddaughter’s death.

In Session’s Grace Wong, Jean Casarez, Jessica Thill and Michael Christian contributed to this report.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

 

© 2011 Cable News Network

 

 

 

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Free eBook: Fools Rush In

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

Fools Rush in is a top rated romance with a bit of lighthearted humor. The story revolves around Bella, an Italian turned Texan’ who has an interesting life full of surprises. This is a great one to end the day on -it’s not at all deep or serious but very light and entertaining. Click on the link below to get it while it’s free! You don’t have to have a Kindle or other eReader to enjoy these free book downloads. You can also read these ebooks on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows 7 Phone. (Click here for more information about free Kindle-reading apps.)

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Free eBook: June Bug

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

If the mystery novel is your thing, you’ll enjoy “June Bug” by Jess Lourey. Get it free for a limited time! Click on the link below to get your free download. Remember, you don’t have to own a Kindle or other eReader to enjoy these free book downloads. You can also read these ebooks on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows 7 Phone. (Click here for more information about free Kindle-reading apps.)

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Free NasaFlo Neti Pot & 2 Packets

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

NasaFlo is once again offering up a free Neti Pot! Click on the link below to “Like” them on Facebook and complete the request form. Keep in mind that if you have received one of these in the past, you may not be eligible for another.

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Free Tampax Pearls

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

*Must be a Costco Member* Try Tampax Pearl Tampons for free with your Costco Membership card. These are Tampax’s best tampons available. Don’t miss a chance to get this product for free.

 

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Free Face Moisturizer – Printable Coupon

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

These are in-store JCPenney’s free samples. Stop by the Sephora inside of any JCPenney with this coupon to receive free samples of Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer. This product is meant to improve the firmness, elasticity, and radiance of your skin.

 

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From Free Samples 4 All

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Free SOYJOY Bars

Posted by 4love2love on June 27, 2011

Walmart has teamed up with SOYJOY to give away free samples of their great protein bars. These great protein bars are made with real fruit and ground soy beans to naturally deliver protein, fiber, and antioxidants. These are great as a snack or with all the protein packed into each bar they can actually fill you up for lunch. Walmart samples go fast so hurry in and get yours.

 

Click Here to get it now!

 

 

From Free Samples 4 All

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