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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

Reuters – Casey Anthony’s attorneys mum on her whereabouts

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

Main Image

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla | Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:09pm EDT

(Reuters) – An attorney for Casey Anthony would not confirm on Monday whether his client boarded a plane after her swift weekend exit from jail but said “elaborate plans” were required to keep her safe.

Anthony’s whereabouts have been a closely guarded secret since her release early Sunday after nearly three years in custody on charges connected to the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

A Florida jury acquitted Anthony, 25, on July 5 of killing Caylee but convicted her of lying to detectives during the search for the then-missing child. Caylee’s remains were found in December 2008 in woods near the Anthony family home.

Casey Anthony left the Orlando jail just after midnight on Sunday, escorted by attorney Jose Baez and guards wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying rifles.

She stepped into a waiting SUV and quickly eluded the helicopters, media and angry public gathered to witness her anticipated departure.

Her attorneys have been mum about where Anthony went.

“I will not confirm if she boarded a plane or flew on her own,” defense attorney Cheney Mason told NBC’s Today show on Monday.

“She’s gone, she’s safe and elaborate plans had to be made to keep the people away from her.”

Mason said life will be difficult for Anthony “as long as there are so many people of the lynch mob mentality and those willing to deny the fact that the jury found her not guilty (of murder).”

He said Anthony continues to deal with the loss of her child and must adjust psychologically to her newfound freedom.

“In Miss Anthony’s case, it’s going to be even more of an adjustment because she is coming out vilified virtually universally, not just in the Central Florida area but across the country, if not the world,” Anthony’s civil lawyer Charles Greene told the Central Florida News 13 channel.

Greene represents Anthony, who left jail with the $537.68 remaining in her inmate account, in several lawsuits.

A non-profit group seeks to recoup more than $100,000 spent on the search for Caylee, and a Florida woman has accused Anthony of defaming her by claiming a nanny of the same name kidnapped the toddler.

On Friday, a man named David Badali sued Anthony to recover the expenses he incurred as a diver who participated in the search for Caylee.

Attorneys for Anthony and her parents did not return calls from Reuters on Monday morning.

(Additional reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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TruTV – Death In The Family

Posted by 4love2love on July 10, 2011

TruTV has started a story of the play by play of the Anthony case. Little Caylee Anthony, only 2 years old, vanished one day in Florida and no one called to report her missing for over a month. This is page one & two, you can read it for yourself on the TruTV.com’s website, and follow it as the story continues to be documented and translated into the story type re-writing they do, triple checking their facts before publishing them. It helps us see a more explanatory angle from the whole case.

Caylee Anthony

Missing

Caylee (right) with her mother Casey Anthony

Caylee (right) with her mother Casey
Anthony

ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony waited at least a month before reporting that her daughter Caylee, 2, was missing. And even then, it wasn’t Casey who called the Sheriff’s Office to report that the toddler had been abducted. It was Casey’s mother, Cynthia Anthony.

At 8:44 p.m. on July 15, 2008, Cindy Anthony called Orange County 911. After initially reporting that she wanted her 22-year-old daughter arrested for stealing her car, Cindy told the dispatcher, “I have a 3-year-old that’s missing for a month.” Caylee was then three weeks shy of her third birthday.

The dispatcher sounded shocked when she asked if Cindy had reported the missing baby.

“I’m trying to do that now, ma’am,” Cindy said. She explained to the dispatcher that her daughter had stolen her car and some money and had disappeared four weeks ago. “She’s been missing for a month,” Cindy said. “I found her, but I can’t find my granddaughter.”

Caylee (center) with her grandparents George and Cynthia Anthony.

Caylee (center) with her grandparents
George and Cynthia Anthony.

The dispatcher said she was sending a sheriff’s unit to the Anthony’s house on Hopespring Drive, just outside the city limits of Orlando.

An hour later, Cindy called 911 again. This time she sounded panicked. “There’s something wrong,” she told the dispatcher. “I found my daughter’s car today. It smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.” Cindy said she had not seen her granddaughter since the middle of June.

The dispatcher asked to speak to Caylee’s mother. Casey got on the line. “My daughter’s been missing for 31 days,” she said. “I know who has her. I’ve tried to contact her.” Casey told the dispatcher she got a call from Caylee earlier that day, but the call only lasted a minute before someone hung up the phone. When she tried to call the number back, Casey said, it was out of service.

Casey claimed her nanny, a woman she identified as Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, whom she said had been babysitting Caylee for nearly two years, had kidnapped the little girl.

“Why are you calling now?” the incredulous dispatcher asked. “Why didn’t you call 31 days ago?”

“I’ve been looking for her and going through other resources to try to find her, which was stupid,” Casey said.

From the beginning, something about the story didn’t sound right. A young mother waiting an entire month to report that her daughter, not quite 3 years old, had been kidnapped? Soon, though, the story would take an even more sinister turn and would capture the attention of the nation.

 

 

 

 

A Bizarre Story

After Orange County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Anthony house, Casey spun them a truly strange tale. She claimed to have last seen Caylee on June 9, sometime between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., when she dropped her off at the home of her nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, who lived in Apartment 210 of the Sawgrass Apartments on South Conway Road.

Casey Anthony

Casey Anthony

Zenaida had been babysitting Caylee for nearly two years, according to Casey, and for the last few months she had been dropping Caylee off at the Sawgrass apartment. Before that, Casey had taken her daughter to Zenaida’s mother’s condominium near Michigan Avenue and South Conway Road; and prior to that, to another apartment Zenaida had lived in on North Hillside Drive.

Casey told the detectives she had met Zenaida through a friend named Jeff Hopkins, who used to work with her at Universal Studios. Zenaida used to watch Hopkins’ son, Zachary. In fact, when Zenaida had first started babysitting Caylee, Casey used to drop her off at Jeff Hopkins’ apartment, where Zenaida was also caring for Jeff’s son.

On June 9, after dropping Caylee off with her nanny, Casey went to her office at Universal Studios, where she worked as an event planner. When she returned to Zenaida’s apartment around 5:00 p.m. no one was home. She said she called Zenaida’s cell phone, but the number was out of service.

After waiting around for two hours, Casey went to her new boyfriend’s apartment, which she described as “one of the few places I felt at home.” She lived there for the next month, she said, and spent that time looking for her daughter and avoiding her parents. She said she did not tell her boyfriend that her daughter was missing.

The rest of the story, of course, is here, at least what they’ve done so far. Depending on what happens next, more information could cause them to add an update later on.

TM & © 2011 Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.

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Seattle PI – Verdict brought few answers in Caylee Anthony case

Posted by 4love2love on July 10, 2011

TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press
Updated 09:29 a.m., Sunday, July 10, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Many of the thousands who followed the Casey Anthony trial did not get the guilty verdict they wanted, nor did they learn the truth about what happened to the 2-year-old daughter she was accused of murdering.

And for the public, that may be one of the most frustrating parts of the case: Despite all the speculation and theories, they will never know how or why Caylee Anthony died.

“I think we know as much as we ever will know,” said Beth Hough, a 27-year-old administrative assistant from Chicago who followed the trial. “We don’t know exactly what happened, but if we did, it would help people to finally just move on and to end the story.”

That’s what’s missing: an ending. And because we’re so used to neatly packaged, hour-long TV crime dramas where the bad guy is usually put behind bars, the fact Anthony could be convicted only of lying to police has left people unsatisfied. And they have been vocal about their dismay, turning to Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustration.

So what’s left? Some fuzzy defense claims that little Caylee drowned and that her grandfather tried to make an accident look like a homicide.

“One of the quite healthy and appropriate satisfactions we get out of a well-functioning justice system is the belief that the justice system will give us the best answers to questions,” said Doug Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University.

A little girl ended up dead in the woods near her grandparents’ home with duct tape over her mouth, and her mother didn’t report her disappearance for more than a month. But how did Caylee die?

That’s where it gets complicated.

The defense said Caylee drowned in the family’s swimming pool. Prosecutors couldn’t say how Caylee died because the girl’s body was too decomposed to harvest DNA or other forensic evidence. So the state relied on circumstantial evidence: the trunk of Casey’s car smelled like a dead body to some witnesses; someone did an internet search for chloroform — a chemical that can be used to knock someone unconscious — at the Anthony home; and there was duct tape on Caylee’s skull when it was found six months after she was last seen in June 2008.

“If we don’t know how Caylee died, we can’t assign responsibility for the factors that led to her death. So there’s no justice,” said Maryann Gajos, a 51-year-old mother of two and a sixth-grade reading teacher in Inverness, Fla. “Watching all of these crime shows has spoiled all of us. In TV shows, the coroner always has the answer.”

But in this case, the coroner didn’t have the answer. Dr. Jan Garavaglia told the jury that Caylee had been murdered, but she couldn’t establish exactly how she died from only a skeleton.

And in the life-imitates-TV irony of this case, Garavaglia is also the star of her own reality TV show on Discovery Health Channel called “Dr. G: Medical Examiner,” in which she solves cases through autopsies.

“It’s frustrating that they can’t come up for a definitive reason for this girl dying,” said Sherri Cohen, a self-employed photographer from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “Archaeologists can tell you about bones that were found thousands of years ago, but they can’t tell you how a 3-year-old girl died three years ago.”

How Casey Anthony acted in the weeks and months after Caylee’s disappearance also contribute to the perception of whether the jury ultimately delivered justice.

“I feel that the way Casey Anthony behaved during the month her baby was ‘missing’ and her lies to the police and others have really frustrated people who want to see justice served,” said Marjorie Stout of Pinellas County, Fla., the same area where the jury was chosen because of the intense publicity in the Orlando area. “Not just for what is perceived to be murdering one’s own child but her lack of concern for Caylee as well.”

Berman, the Ohio State professor, has another theory about why folks are so frustrated: Casey Anthony never spoke. The defense made a strategic decision for Anthony not to testify — a decision that clearly worked in her favor, he said.

“It’s not just that the jury decision came out differently than we had hoped, it’s that the jury decision wasn’t a statement of her innocence. It was a statement of ‘We can’t figure out what happened.’ And in some sense, that’s even more frustrating than if the jury said, ‘We don’t think she did it.'”

That’s only amplified by the circumstances surrounding the case. After all, plenty of people are acquitted at trial because there isn’t enough evidence, said Jennifer Zedalis, a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. But, she said, “there aren’t a lot of cases where that happens where the victim is a 2-year-old and the mother was out partying when her daughter was missing or dead.”

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Verdict-brought-few-answers-in-Caylee-Anthony-case-1459853.php#ixzz1Riy1ACuj

© 2011 Hearst Communications Inc.

 

 

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Huffington Post – Casey Anthony Trial: Anger At The Courthouse

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

David Lohr

First Posted: 07/5/11 10:42 PM ET Updated: 07/6/11 12:45 PM ET

Orlando, Fla. — Inside the courtroom, there was jubilation today for Casey Anthony and her defense team. Not only did they manage to avoid a first-degree murder conviction, they also dodged the possibility of a death sentence. However, outside on the courthouse steps, there was a lot of outrage and frustration at the verdict.

“It is not justice. I cannot believe this. How did an injustice like this happen? It is terrible, terrible,” Scott Corfee of Orlando, who sat in court when the verdict was announced, told The Huffington Post.

Randall Weeks, a resident of Miami who drove to the courthouse to hear the verdict, agreed.

“This is the biggest outrage since the O.J. Simpson trial,” Weeks said. “How could they be so blind? Where is justice? Who will pay for her daughter’s death?”

Anthony, 25, was found not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, today. She was also found not guilty of aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child. But she was convicted on charges of misleading law enforcement.

As news of the verdict spread, angered onlookers swarmed the front of the courthouse. The group began shouting in unison, “We want justice” and chanted, “Justice for Caylee.”

A dozen or so sheriff’s deputies emerged from inside the courthouse and forced the angry crowd back. Officers put up caution tape and stood guard, blocking the courthouse doors. For a brief time, the media was stuck between the protesters and the police, unable to move until the area was secure.

“I am a firm believer in karma. Maybe justice did not get her, but karma will,” Corfee said.

A much more peaceful gathering was being held concurrently on Suburban Drive in Orlando, where Caylee’s remains were found in December 2008. For the second day in a row, hundreds of people made their way into the woods to pay their respects.

“This is the only way I know how to grieve,” said a neighbor of the Anthonys who did not wish to be identified. “We’ll never see little Caylee again. Only the Anthonys know where she has been laid to rest. We have no grave to visit, so what else can we do but come here to pay our respects?”

Casey Anthony will be back in court Thursday for sentencing on four misdemeanor counts of lying to police. Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. The judge has the option of sentencing Anthony consecutively or concurrently. Anthony will receive credit for time served in jail since her 2008 arrest, meaning she could walk free.

While Thursday’s outcome is yet to be seen, Weeks and others the Huffington Post spoke with said they will be back on Thursday morning to get their views across regarding Anthony’s sentencing.

“You bet your ass we’ll be back,” Weeks’ friend, Jay Henderson, said. “We’ll all be back to have our voices heard.” Several in the crowd cheered in agreement as he spoke.

 

Orange County Courthouse
Dozens gather on the court house steps to show their outrage and frustration at the verdict. (Photo: David Lohr)

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NPR – Jurors’ Thinking In Casey Anthony Trial Starts To Emerge

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

Tuesday (July 5, 2011): Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges.

Pool/Getty ImagesTuesday (July 5, 2011): Casey Anthony reacts to being found not guilty on murder charges.

The day-after stories about the not-guilty verdict for Florida mother Casey Anthony, who was accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in a case that has dominated the tabloids and cable news networks, include a clue to what the jurors were thinking.

— CBS News: “They didn’t show us how Caylee died, and that was important,” Russell Hueckler, an alternate juror, said of the prosecution. “No one could answer that.”

Meanwhile, as The Orlando Sentinel reports, “Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton on national television this morning said that he was shocked and bitterly disappointed by the jury’s decision to render not guilty verdicts on the major charges in the Casey Anthony case on Tuesday.”

The case continues to be a trending topic on Twitter, where most commenters seem to believe the jury made a mistake.

As for what’s next for Anthony, who is to be sentenced Thursday on the four counts of lying to authorities that she was convicted on, CNN reports that some legal experts say:

“Don’t be surprised if [she] walks out of jail a free woman after her sentencing. … And, they add, there is nothing stopping her from cashing in on book or movie deals — as her acquittal on serious charges now means she is free to profit off her story.”

And Fox News says Anthony can expect to “earn millions from [the] media, Hollywood.”

Others now in the spotlight thanks to the case include Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez. As the Miami Herald says, he is “a lawyer who came out of no where, was snickered at, laughed at, smeared, attacked and rebuked by the judge. In the end, the 42-year-old attorney who grew up in South Florida, came out on top.”

 

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ABC News – Casey Anthony Trial: Caylee’s Mom Created a World of Made-Up People

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

 By MARK MOONEY and JESSICA HOPPER

July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony‘s imaginary life had more drama and made-up people than a soap opera.

The nearly dozen people whom she created with her ornate lies changed addresses, contracted cancer, got married. One even died in a car crash.

Much of her make-believe life was built around a job as an event planner she claimed she had at Universal Studios. Anthony stuck to that story until police investigating the disappearance of daughter Caylee insisted she take them to her office.

Casey Anthony confidently led police through the gates of Universal Studios, through a lot, into a building and down a corridor until she finally stopped, turned and conceded, “I don’t work here.”

Many of Anthony’s lies were told to her mother, Cindy Anthony, who tearfully recounted how she discovered that each of these people were fictional characters.

The biggest whopper was the babysitter, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. She was, according to Casey Anthony, a beautiful woman who once dated Casey’s ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Hopkins.

“Zanny the nanny” was from New York City, had moved to Florida for college and had stayed in the area. She had a mom named Gloria, and moved three times while living in the Orlando area.

Casey Anthony’s World of Make Believe

Casey Anthony gave her mother a detailed description of Zanny’s newest address. She also told her mom when Zanny got her long hair cut short, and mentioned that Zenaida drove a Ford Focus.

When Caylee was taken from her, Casey Anthony introduced a new relative of Zanny’s. She claimed that Zenaida’s sister, Samantha, held her down while Zenaida took Caylee away, saying Casey Anthony was a bad mother.

Zanny also had a roommate named Raquel Ferrell, she told her mother.

Jeff Hopkins, according to Casey Anthony, was once her boyfriend and he had a son named Zachary who was the same age as Caylee’s. The kids often played together. During Caylee’s disappearance, Casey Anthony claimed that she was visiting Hopkins in Jacksonville, Fla., and was trying to rekindle her romance with him.

Hopkins supposedly was wealthy, worked at Nickelodeon, had moved to North Carolina and then back to Florida. Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, testified in court that she found a picture of a man and a boy on her daughter’s cellphone identified as Hopkins and filed under “boyfriend.”

Casey Anthony, 25, also told her mother about Hopkins’ mom, a woman supposedly named Jules who had cancer. Cindy Anthony even baked a cake for a Christmas season meeting with Hopkins and his mother, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute.

When Casey Anthony was being pressured by her mother to produce Caylee, Casey Anthony claimed they were staying in Jacksonville, Fla., for Jules Hopkins‘ surprise wedding.

There was a real Jeff Hopkins but, he told the court, he only attended middle school with Casey Anthony and had run into her in a bar once.

Eric Baker was another person in Casey Anthony’s murky life story. She claimed to her mother that Baker was Caylee’s father, although no one in the Anthony family ever met him.

Cindy Anthony told the court that her daughter claimed that Baker was married and had another child, meaning Caylee had a half-brother.

Cindy Anthony also told the court how she received a distraught phone call from her daughter one day, sobbing that Eric Baker had been killed in a car crash. Casey Anthony claimed to have an obit on Baker, but lost it.

Investigators never tracked down an Eric Baker who was associated with Casey Anthony and it has never been confirmed whether someone named Eric Baker is the father of Caylee. Caylee’s father is still unknown.

While supposedly working at Universal Studios, Casey Anthony had to contend with a boss named Thomas Manly, and had become close friends with a colleague named Juliette Lewis. Lewis had a daughter named Annabelle.

None of them actually existed, but Cindy Anthony heard a fleshed out version of Juliette Lewis. Lewis, she said, was involved in volunteer work.

Casey and her mother, Cindy, went to help Lewis with a fundraiser, but after waiting for about 90 minutes, Lewis didn’t show up, Cindy Anthony testified. Lewis, Casey Anthony told her mother, later moved back to New York.

© 2011 ABC News

 

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Kansas City Star – Spectacle that was Casey Anthony trial comes to a surprising end

Posted by 4love2love on July 6, 2011

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

The Associated Press


Defense attorney José Baez and Casey Anthony hugged Tuesday after the jury acquitted Anthony of murdering her daughter, Caylee.  Go to Kansas City.com for a photo  gallery.
Red Huber
Defense attorney José Baez and Casey Anthony hugged Tuesday after the jury acquitted Anthony of murdering her daughter, Caylee. Go to Kansas City.com for a photo gallery.

ORLANDO, Fla. | Casey Anthony’s eyes welled with tears and her lips trembled as the verdict was read once, twice and then a third time: “Not guilty” of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Outside the courthouse, many in the crowd of 500 reacted with anger, chanting, “Justice for Caylee!” One man yelled, “Baby killer!”

In one of the most divisive verdicts since O.J. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife, Anthony was cleared Tuesday of murder, manslaughter and child-abuse charges after weeks of wall-to-wall TV coverage and armchair-lawyer punditry.

Anthony, 25, was convicted only of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators who were looking into the child’s June 2008 disappearance.

Anthony could get up to a year behind bars on each count when she is sentenced Thursday. But since she has been in jail for nearly three years already, she could walk free. Had she been convicted of murder, she could have gotten the death penalty.

After a trial of a month and a half, the Florida 9th Judicial Circuit Court jury took less than 11 hours to reach a verdict in a case that had become a national cable TV sensation.

Prosecutors contended that Anthony — a single mother living with her parents — suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to hit the nightclubs and spend time with her boyfriend.

Defense attorneys argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool, and that Anthony panicked and concealed the death because of the traumatic effects of sexual abuse by her father.

State’s Attorney Lawson Lamar said: “We’re disappointed in the verdict today because we know the facts and we’ve put in absolutely every piece of evidence that existed.”

The prosecutor lamented the lack of hard evidence, saying, “This is a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove. The delay in recovering little Caylee’s remains worked to our considerable disadvantage.”

Anthony failed to report Caylee’s disappearance for a month. The child’s decomposed body was eventually found in the woods near her grandparents’ home six months after she was last seen. A medical examiner was never able to establish how she died, and prosecutors had only circumstantial evidence that Caylee had been killed.

“While we’re happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case,” Anthony attorney José Baez said after the verdict. “Caylee has passed on far, far too soon, and what my driving force has been for the last three years has been always to make sure that there has been justice for Caylee and Casey because Casey did not murder Caylee. It’s that simple. And today our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction.”

Given the relative speed with which the jury came back, many court-watchers were expecting Anthony to be convicted and were stunned by the outcome.

Because the case got so much media attention in Orlando, jurors were brought in from the Tampa Bay area and sequestered for the entire trial, during which they listened to more than 33 days of testimony and looked at 400 pieces of evidence. Anthony did not take the stand.

The case became a macabre tourist attraction. People camped outside for seats in the courtroom, and scuffles broke out among those desperate to watch the drama unfold.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick showed the jury two side-by-side images. One showed Anthony smiling and partying in a nightclub during the first month Caylee was missing. The other was the tattoo Anthony got a day before law enforcement learned of the child’s disappearance: the Italian words for “beautiful life.”

“At the end of this case, all you have to ask yourself is whose life was better without Caylee?” Burdick asked. “This is your answer.”

Prosecutors also focused heavily on an odor in the trunk of Anthony’s car, which forensics experts said was consistent with the smell of human decay. But the defense argued that the air analysis could not be duplicated, and that maggots in the trunk had come from a bag of trash.

Prosecutors hammered away at the lies Anthony told when the child was missing: She told her parents that she couldn’t produce Caylee because the girl was with a nanny named Zanny — a woman who doesn’t exist; that she and her daughter were spending time with a rich boyfriend who doesn’t exist; and that Zanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic crash and that they were spending time with her.

Baez contended that the toddler drowned and that when Anthony panicked, her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a murder by putting duct tape on the girl’s mouth and dumping the body in the woods a quarter-mile away. Anthony’s father denied both the cover-up and abuse claims.

The verdict could divide people for years to come, just as the Simpson case did, with some believing Anthony got away with murder.

Posted on Tue, Jul. 05, 2011 11:23 PM

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/05/2996565/legal-spectacle-comes-to-surprising.html#ixzz1RMlJFz00

Copyright 2011 Kansas City Star/Associated Press

 

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Associated Press – Indefinite recess called in Casey Anthony trial

Posted by 4love2love on July 2, 2011

KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press
Updated 10:35 a.m., Friday, July 1, 2011

Casey Anthony, right looks over papers in the courtroom with her attorney Jose Baez during her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Orlando, Fla. Casey Anthony, 25, has plead not guilty in the death of her daughter, Caylee, and could face the death penalty if convicted of that charge. Photo: Red Huber, Pool / APCasey Anthony, right looks over papers in the courtroom with her attorney Jose Baez during her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Orlando, Fla. Casey Anthony, 25, has plead not guilty in the death of her daughter, Caylee, and could face the death penalty if convicted of that charge. Photo: Red Huber, Pool / AP

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The judge in the Florida murder trial of Casey Anthony unexpectedly called an indefinite recess Friday morning so the defense could take depositions of witnesses the prosecution plans to call during its rebuttal case.

Judge Belvin Perry allowed the recess just before the jury was about to be called into the courtroom. Lead defense attorney Jose Baez said the state had failed to disclose all the information a computer expert and forensic anthropologist planned to testify to.

Baez wanted the evidence and witnesses to be excluded, but Perry only gave him the option of taking their depositions.

“Your honor, I will stay here and do the work, and stay here as long as it takes,” Baez said.

Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. If convicted of that charge, she could face the death penalty.

The witnesses are on the prosecution’s rebuttal list to challenge testimony offered by witnesses during the case presented by the defense, which rested Thursday. The state planned to call a handful of witnesses and rest again Friday evening.

Judge Perry said Friday morning that he’d planned to give attorneys Saturday to work on their closing arguments, but in lieu of the impromptu break for emergency depositions, would now hold court throughout the weekend, including Sunday. He warned the attorneys to not be wasting time with the late arguments.

“You can take as much time as you want, but we have jurors back there.” Perry said. The judge also said he hoped “this is a real problem and not an imaginary problem.”

While the defense rested Thursday, experts said defense attorneys may have left lingering questions and failed to deliver on promises they made at the outset to explain how the toddler died.

Casey Anthony did not take the stand and the defense did not present concrete evidence that Caylee wasn’t killed, but accidentally drowned.

Her attorneys also never produced any witnesses bolstering the claim made in opening statements that Anthony had acted without apparent remorse in the weeks after her daughter’s death because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

“If you do not at least present facts to support that argument, the jury is going to think you have no credibility,” said Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee. “When you promise the jury something and don’t deliver it you severely handicaps your clients’ case and you undermine your credibility with that jury.”

Instead, their 13-day case primarily focused on poking holes in the prosecution’s contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said the woman dumped Caylee’s body in the woods near her parents’ home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping.

The prosecutors’ case relied on circumstantial and forensic evidence, and it did have holes. They had no witnesses who saw the killing or saw Casey Anthony with her daughter’s body. And there was no certain proof that the child suffocated.

What’s more, prosecution began its rebuttal case late Thursday by continuing to walk through the door opened Wednesday by the defense when it allowed parts of a note Casey Anthony’s father left during a failed suicide attempt to come in. The note included George Anthony asking questions about the death of his granddaughter. Several members of the jury were glued to their monitors as the prosecutor projected the letter for them to read.

“She (Caylee) was found so close to home. Why?” George Anthony wrote at one point in the letter to his family in January 2009.

The defense said in its opening statement that Caylee drowned and that George Anthony, a former police officer, helped cover up the death by making it look like a homicide and dumping the body near their home, where it was found by a meter reader six months later. George Anthony has vehemently denied any involvement in Caylee’s death, the disposal of her body or molesting his daughter.

Florida A&M law professor Karin Moore said she was “confused” throughout the case by the defense’s approach.

“The defense could have attacked George Anthony weeks ago on cross-examination during the state’s case, but waited until late in the trial,” she said. “I think they waited too long to ask the big questions and got themselves in trouble.”

The defense’s final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

They also recalled George Anthony to ask if he had supplied duct tape he used to put up posters of his granddaughter when she was missing. He said he couldn’t remember.

Baez also asked him if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have said Caylee’s body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown their carcasses in a swamp.

The prosecution began its rebuttal case with photographs of clothing taken at the Anthony home. Court was adjourned for the day later in the afternoon, with prosecutors set to continue Friday.

___

Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.

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Chicago Tribune – Casey Anthony trial: Top questions and answers on jury deliberations

Posted by 4love2love on July 2, 2011

By Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel7:48 p.m. CDT, July 2, 2011

Today, the 17 jurors who have spent more than a month listening to witnesses and viewing evidence in Casey Anthony’s first-degree-murder trial will hear closing arguments from the prosecution and defense.

After Chief Judge Belvin Perry reads the lengthy jury instructions, 12 of those jurors — seven women and five men — will leave the courtroom and ultimately determine Anthony’s fate.

There’s no telling how long the jurors will take to deliberate over the seven charges Anthony faces: first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to law enforcement.

Where do the jurors go once given instructions?

The alternates return to their hotel. The 12 go to the jury-deliberation room.

Will the alternates immediately be taken back to Pinellas County?

No, they will remain in Central Florida. If Anthony is convicted of first-degree murder, they return to the courtroom for the penalty phase even though they didn’t deliberate in the first phase.

Has a foreperson been selected yet?

The jurors will select a foreperson once they begin deliberations.

Where do the jurors actually deliberate?

In a deliberation room that has a conference table, chairs, a dry-erase board, a kitchen and bathroom.

What is the time frame in which they will deliberate? For example, will they deliberate late into the night? 

According to court spokeswoman Karen Levey, Perry has indicated jurors will deliberate until the dinner hour. He anticipates 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., but that is subject to change, she said.

After they’re ready to return a verdict and Perry is notified, will the judge start the sentencing phase immediately?

If Anthony is found guilty of first-degree murder, there will be an approximate 48-hour break.

When will the jurors’ identities be made public?

Perry issued an order that prevents the jurors’ names from being released. It is unknown whether or when he will lift that order.

But under normal circumstances, the release of the jurors’ names depends on the verdict.

If Anthony is found guilty of a lesser charge than first-degree murder, it will be after the verdict is read. If they find her guilty of first-degree murder, they must stay on for the penalty phase of the trial, which would start about 48 hours after the verdict is read.

Once the jury gives its recommendation to the judge, the jurors’ service is over, and they are free to meet with the media if they choose.

Staff writer Walter Pacheco contributed to this report. apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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Chicago Tribune – Casey Anthony trial: Defense rests case without calling her to testify

Posted by 4love2love on July 1, 2011

By Bianca Prieto, Amy Pavuk and Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel10:27 p.m. CDT, June 30, 2011
In his opening statement, defense attorney José Baez told jurors that Caylee Marie Anthony wasn’t murdered by her mother as prosecutors allege, but drowned in the family pool.Baez then dropped a series of bombshells by saying his client, Casey Anthony, was sexually abused by her father, George, and that he knew Caylee drowned and disposed of her body. Baez then suggested the meter reader who found Caylee’s remains in December 2008 had more involvement in the case than he let on.

The defense spent two weeks presenting its case before resting Thursday. Even though experts have said her testimony was imperative to the defense case, Casey Anthony did not take the stand.Cindy Anthony  ‘claims she searched for ‘chloroform’

Casey Anthony’s mother, Cindy, made a stunning revelation when she testified that she was the one who searched for chloroform on the Internet after looking up information on chlorophyll.

State witnesses had told jurors about high levels of chloroform, which can be deadly, traced to Anthony’s car. Someone — prosecutors suggested it was Casey — used the Anthony family computer to search the Internet for the term “chloroform,” as well as “household weapons” and “neck-breaking.”

Cindy Anthony said she searched for the information initially because she was worried about her dog ingesting backyard leaves. If the jury believes Cindy Anthony’s testimony, it could hurt the state’s argument that the online searches constitute premeditation — which bolsters the first-degree-murder charge against her daughter.

Defense computer forensic investigators acknowledged there was a discrepancy in dates and times in two different reports the state introduced as evidence about the Anthony family computer.

Suicide note

George Anthony delivered emotional testimony when asked about his suicide attempt in January 2009.

Caylee’s grandfather broke down several times on the witness stand Wednesday after he denied abusing his daughter, Casey, and acknowledged he tried to kill himself “to be with Caylee.”

George Anthony drank beer and took pills while he wrote a five-page suicide note inside a Daytona Beach motel. He admitted he would likely not be alive if law enforcement had not intervened.

He also told the jury he purchased a gun as part of a misguided plan to force Casey Anthony’s friends to tell him what happened to his granddaughter.

Baez flatly asked George Anthony whether he recalled the prosecution asking whether he ever molested Casey Anthony.

“I would never do anything like that to my daughter,” George Anthony said.

Duct tape on Caylee’s skull

Defense attorney Cheney Mason called forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz, a world-renowned expert in his field.

Spitz attacked Medical Examiner Jan Garavaglia’s autopsy of Caylee’s remains, calling it “shoddy.” He called her decision not to open the skull “a failure.” When he split the skull, he found trace evidence that he thought indicated the skull had been placed with its left side down.

He also proposed a theory that duct tape was placed on Caylee’s remains long after her death — and after her body had decomposed and was skeletonized.

Though Garavaglia classified Caylee’s death as a homicide, Spitz said that determination could not be made based on his examination of the remains and his many years of experience.“I could not tell you what the manner of death was,” said Spitz, who has conducted tens of thousands of autopsies.

Botanist offers time frame for placement of Caylee’s remainsForensic botanist Dr. Jane Bock initially said the shortest amount of time Caylee’s remains could have been in the woods off Suburban Drive was about two weeks. Bock told jurors she visited the woods, reviewed photographs and other evidence.

But during cross-examination, Bock told a prosecutor Caylee’s body could have been placed in the woods far earlier than her initial estimate.

Ultimately, Bock told the court, “I don’t know exactly when it was placed there.”

Family dysfunction displayed

Baez claimed in his opening statement that Casey Anthony was abused by her father, George, and brother, Lee. And though neither confirmed the abuse claims — George Anthony was asked directly and denied it — testimony showed deep-seated family problems.

Lee Anthony cried when he told Baez he didn’t visit Casey Anthony in the hospital when Caylee was born because he was angry with his family. Lee Anthony said that when he inquired about his sister’s pregnancy, their mother told him to “let it go.”

“I was very angry at my mom. I was also angry at my sister — that they didn’t want to include me and didn’t find it important enough to tell me,” Lee Anthony said.

During another round of questioning, Lee Anthony and his mother, Cindy, made conflicting statements about private investigators searching for Caylee’s remains.

Cindy Anthony said she never told the private investigators to go into the woods to search for Caylee’s remains. But Lee Anthony testified he argued with his mother about the issue because it was the first time he had heard his family suggest Caylee was dead and they were looking for her remains.

Expert testimony about findings in trunk of car

Forensic entomologist Tim Huntington seemed to score points for the defense team when he testified there should have been more flies in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car if Caylee’s body were stored there, as prosecutors say.

Huntington said there would be hundreds, if not thousands, of blowflies in the trunk. But, he said, just one leg of a blowfly was found linked to the trunk.

“The evidence doesn’t make sense any way you look at it to say there was a body in the trunk,” Huntington said.

But Huntington endured a brutal cross-examination, in which he admitted he examined Casey Anthony’s Pontiac about two years after Caylee died, and the car still smelled.

Forensic toxicology expert Dr. Barry Logan raised questions about protocols and quality assurance used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists, who generated reports for the state showing air-sample evidence from the trunk had an odor signature indicative of human decomposition.

“I saw no evidence of quality assurance that was relevant to the analysis,” Logan told the jury.

Also, an FBI toxicologist testified that she found no trace of drugs in Caylee’s hair, which could not be tested for chloroform.

Grief expert takes standDefense attorney Dorothy Clay Sims called Florida State University professor and grief-and-trauma expert Sally Karioth to explain how people deal with grief in different ways. The defense used her to explain Casey’s lying and denial after her daughter’s disappearance.
Karioth said young people are often “reluctant grievers” and deal with loss in unusual ways.

Those may include looking like they’re having a great time and spending money they don’t have, she said. Also, she said denial can be an expression of “bereavement overload.”

“Folks who use denial a lot and are faced with profound grief or loss may very well develop what I would call ‘magical thinking,’ ” Karioth said.

Karioth only spoke in general terms and about hypothetical situations resembling Casey’s case. She did not evaluate Casey and said she was unaware of the facts of the case.

Meter reader Roy Kronk

During openings, Baez referred to Roy Kronk, the Orange County meter reader who discovered Caylee’s remains in 2008, as “morally bankrupt.”

When the defense called Kronk to the stand, he acknowledged giving varying accounts of how he found the toddler’s remains Dec. 11, 2008, in woods off Suburban Drive.

Kronk told the jury he poked at the skull with his meter-reader stick, put the rod through the right eye socket and lifted the skull slightly. Kronk said he didn’t realize what it was. When he did, he called his supervisor.

Jurors also heard how Kronk initially came across the remains in August 2008, when he went into the woods to go to the bathroom. At the time, Kronk didn’t know whether it was a real skull, a prop or something ceramic. And Kronk said he didn’t get close enough to inspect because he and his co-workers were preoccupied with a dead rattlesnake.

The defense also called Kronk’s son, Brandon Sparks, who said his father told him in November 2008 he knew where Caylee’s remains were. That statement contradicts what Kronk, who until early that year had been estranged from his son, said on the stand.

bprieto@tribune.com or 407-420-5620. apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735. acolarossi@tribune.com or 407-420-5447.

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

 

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Chicago Tribune – Casey Anthony trial: Could Cindy Anthony face perjury charges?

Posted by 4love2love on July 1, 2011

By Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel6:09 p.m. CDT, July 1, 2011

Cindy Anthony told jurors she was the one who used her family computer to search the internet for “chloroform” in March 2008 — not her daughter Casey Anthony as suggested by prosecutors.

Under cross-examination, when a prosecutor asked the elder Anthony how she could have made the internet searches when employment records showed she was at work, Cindy Anthony said she went home from work early during the days in question.

But on Friday, the state called witnesses who refuted what Anthony claimed — about her being at work and the internet searches.

John Camperlengo, a chief compliance officer for Gentiva Health Services, said company records show someone with Anthony’s password and username logged in and out at her work computer during the week of March 17, 2008.

His testimony showed the records show activity on the work computer during the time where chloroform searches were made at the Anthony family home.

Also disputing Cindy Anthony’s testimony was Sgt. Kevin Stenger, a Sheriff’s Office investigator who said the other keywords she claimed to search at the time of the chloroform research — chlorophyll, sanitizer and bamboo — were not found on the computer.

Orlando attorney Richard Hornsby, who is a legal analyst for WESH-Channel 2 for the Casey Anthony trial, said he has no doubt that the state could charge Cindy Anthony with perjury.

“Will they charge her with perjury is a totally different question,” he said. “Will they? No.”

Witnesses often make misstatements for their loved ones in trials, especially in murder cases, he said.

There are other reasons prosecutors wouldn’t want to charge Anthony with perjury, including appeal reasons. And, if the jury is hung and the case is retried, the state won’t want one of its key witnesses under perjury charges.

apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

 

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AP – Casey Anthony won’t testify; defense rests case

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

Associated PressORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Casey Anthony’s defense team rested its case Thursday in her high-profile murder trial without her testimony and some experts believe the strategy raised more questions than answers to support her claim that her 2-year daughter died in a tragic accident.The jury also saw a note from a failed suicide attempt by Casey Anthony’s own father, who wrestled with questions about what happened to his granddaughter. Casey Anthony claimed he helped her dispose of Caylee’s body after she drowned.At different parts of the note, George Anthony wrote: “Casey does not deserve to be where she is” and “She (Caylee) was found so close to home. Why?”

The prosecution began its rebuttal on Thursday afternoon. Closing arguments will follow and the jury could begin deliberating by this weekend. If convicted of first-degree murder, the 25-year-old could receive the death penalty.

Her attorneys never produced any witnesses bolstering the claim made in last month’s opening statements that Anthony had acted without apparent remorse in the weeks after her daughter’s death because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

“If you do not at least present facts to support that argument, the jury is going to think you have no credibility,” said Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee. “When you promise the jury something and don’t deliver it you severely handicaps your client’s case and you undermine your credibility with that jury.”

Instead, the 13-day defense primarily focused on poking holes in the prosecution’s contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said the woman dumped Caylee’s body in the woods near her parents’ home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping. Their case relied on circumstantial and forensic evidence, and it did have holes: Prosecutors had no witnesses who saw the killing or saw Casey Anthony with her daughter’s body. And there was no certain proof that the child suffocated.

The prosecution began its rebuttal Thursday by walking through the door opened on Wednesday by the defense when it allowed parts of George Anthony’s suicide note to be admitted. The note included George Anthony asking questions about the death of his granddaughter. Several members of the jury were glued to their monitors as the prosecutor projected the letter for them to read.

“Who is involved with this stuff for Caylee?” George Anthony wrote at one point in the letter to his family in January 2009.

The defense said in its opening statement that Caylee drowned and that George Anthony, a former police officer, helped her cover up the death by making it look like a homicide and dumping the body near their home, where it was found by a meter reader six months later. George Anthony has vehemently denied any involvement in Caylee’s death, the disposal of her body or molesting his daughter.

Florida A&M law professor Karin Moore said she was “confused” throughout the case by the defense’s approach.

“The defense could have attacked George Anthony weeks ago on cross-examination during the state’s case, but waited until late in the trial,” she said. “I think they waited too long to ask the big questions and got themselves in trouble.”

The defense’s final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

They also recalled George Anthony to ask if he had supplied duct tape he used to put up posters of his granddaughter when she was missing. He said he couldn’t remember. Lead defense attorney Jose Baez also asked him if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have contended Caylee’s body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown their carcasses in a swamp.

Caylee was last seen in mid-June 2008. For the next month, Casey Anthony avoided her parents, telling her mother and her friends that Caylee was with a baby sitter named Zanny.

Casey’s parents soon got a notice that their daughter’s car had been towed. George Anthony and the tow lot operator both said the Pontiac Sunfire smelled like death.

Prosecutors played a tape of a frantic 911 call made by Anthony’s mother, Cindy, reporting her granddaughter missing. She tells the operator, “It smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.”

Casey Anthony then told detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by the nanny, and a massive search was launched. Over the next several weeks, hundreds of volunteers scoured central Florida for any clues to Caylee’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, numerous photos surfaced of Casey Anthony drinking; some of them allegedly taken in the month after Caylee disappeared.

Caylee’s skeletal remains were reported in December 2008 by a municipal meter reader. A key part of the defense case was trying to discredit the meter reader, Roy Kronk, saying that he had actually discovered the body in August.

Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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CF 13 News – What’s next for Casey Anthony trial after defense rests?

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

By David Fussell, Legal Expert
Last Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2011 2:00 PM
THE CASE AGAINST CASEY
ORLANDO — What happens after Casey Anthony’s defense team wraps up?

Rebuttal

Rebuttal After the defense finishes its’ case the prosecutors may have the opportunity to present a brief rebuttal case. The state does not have to put a rebuttal case on, and in most cases it does not. Nor does the judge have to allow a rebuttal phase. A rebuttal case, is where the state has the opportunity to present evidence which it did not present before which rebuts the defense’s evidence.

Surrebuttal

If the prosecutor is allowed to offer evidence to rebut the defense case, the defense may be allowed to present surrebuttal. During Surrebuttal the defense would be allowed to present limited evidence which goes only to refuting the evidence the state just presented in the rebuttal portion of the case. Whether a defendant is allowed to present evidence in surrebuttal is discretionary with the court. It is rare surrebuttal is attempted.

Judgment of acquittal

Once all evidence has been presented the defense will renew its motion for judgment of acquittal:

The standard in a judgment of acquittal is whether when the judge views the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, he believes a rational trier of fact could find the existence of the each of the elements of each crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. If so he should deny the motion to acquit. If any of the elements of each charge is not proven he should dismiss that charge. sufficient evidence exists to sustain a convict. However, in a case like the Anthony case, if the State’s evidence is wholly circumstantial, not only must there be sufficient evidence establishing each element of the offense, but the evidence must also exclude each reasonable hypothesis of innocence. “The evidence must “lead ‘to a reasonable and moral certainty that the accused and no one else committed the offense charged. It is not sufficient that the facts create a strong probability of, and be consistent with, guilt. They must be inconsistent with innocence.’”

If the state has not met its burden as to each element the judge should dismiss the charge.

If the court grants a judgment of acquittal as to any single count. That count is dismissed. All remaining charges will go to the jury for decision.

Charging conference

The Jury is responsible for applying the evidence to the law and deciding whether the Ms. Anthony should be found guilty of each charge. The law is explained to the jury by the judge reading and then providing a set of jury instructions to the jury. In Florida there is a set of Standard Jury instructions which is prepared by a committee of The Florida Bar, and approved by the Florida Supreme Court. During the Charging Conference the judge will decide which jury instructions are going to be read to the jury. In deciding the applicable jury instructions the judge will hear arguments from attorneys outside the presence of the jury.

Closing arguments

After the jury instructions are read to the jury, one attorney for each side will be allowed to stand up and make a closing argument. In the closing argument each side attempts to explain the evidence in the manner most advantageous to their client. The state gets to give its closing argument first, followed by the defense. After the defense gives its closing argument the state gets one more chance to stand up, and rebut the argument the defense just provided. The rebuttal closing is supposed to cover only the argument the defense provided and not rehash the state’s entire argument. Lawyer’s refer to the order of the argument as the state having the “sandwich” because the state gets to wrap its arguments around the defense’s argument.

Jury instructions

After both parties finish their closing argument the judge will read the jury instructions agreed upon at the charging conference to the jury. Each juror will also be given a copy of the instructions.

Jury retires

Once the jury is instructed on the law, the judge allows the permanent jurors to go back to the jury room. All alternate jurors will either be dismissed or the judge will keep them separate from the 12 permanent jurors while the permanent jurors deliberate. The judge will most likely dismiss the alternate jurors. The jurors do not know which jurors are alternates until the judge separates them as the permanent jurors retire to deliberate.

All of the evidence introduced in the case is allowed to go back into the jury room with the jury so they can review it if they wish. Once they enter the jury room the first job of the jury is to select a foreman. The Foreman is similar to a chairman of a committee, her or his vote does not count anymore than any other juror but the foreman is in charge of organizing and chairing the deliberations. The jury will remain in the jury room deciding the case, until one of two things happen as to all charges. All 12 jurors reach a verdict on each count, or they determine they cannot reach a verdict on each count, after deliberating and trying their best. A verdict can be either guilty or not guilty. The jury is not responsible for determining whether Ms. Anthony is guilty. The jury may reach a verdict on some counts or charges and not reach a verdict on others. On any count the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury is said to be “hung” on that count and a mistrial will be granted as to that county.

Sentencing

A. If Ms. Anthony Is Found Guilty of First Degree Murder: There will be an additional phase of presentation of evidence. This phase is called the penalty phase. In the penalty phase each side will attempt to persuade the jury to vote for or against the death penalty. Unlike the guilt phase of the trial the vote on the death penalty does not have to be unanimous. Each juror casts a single vote.

During the penalty phase the state will present evidence and argument on what is referred to as “aggravators.” Aggravators are reasons which Florida law allows a jury to determine that the facts of the case are so bad that Ms. Anthony should receive the death penalty. The death penalty in Florida is not to be imposed in all First Degree Murders. Instead it is only to be imposed in the worst of the worst First Degree Murders. The aggravators only include the reasons included in the Florida Death Penalty Statute.

During the penalty phase the defense will present evidence and argument on what is referred to as “mitigators.” Mitigators are not limited by statute and are basically anything which might convince a jury that death is not an appropriate sentence. Just a few of the mitigators in this case may be that, Casey Anthony was normally a good and loving mother, Casey Anthony has never been violent before, Casey Anthony has been a model prisoner, etc.

After the evidence is presented in the penalty phase each side will have the chance to argue whether the death penalty should be imposed. After the argument the jury retires to the jury room again, and decides whether they will recommend to the judge that Ms. Anthony be sentenced to death. Again the jury does not have to agree and the penalty phase verdict is reported out by how many voted for death and how many voted against. If more than six vote for death there will be a sentencing hearing at a later date at which both sides can again to the judge alone whether he should impose the death penalty. While the judge has to consider the jury’s recommendation on the sentence, the judge is the one who decides to impose death.

B. Ms. Anthony is found not guilty of First Degree Murder: If Ms. Anthony is found not guilty of first degree murder there will not be a penalty phase. Instead the judge will determine the appropriate sentence just as he does in any other criminal case. The sentence may be imposed just after the verdict is returned or the judge may schedule a sentencing hearing for some time in the future.

©2011 Central Florida News 13

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Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial: George Anthony’s suicide note

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

‘Caylee, here I come,’ George Anthony writes in final message to family.

8:04 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2011

NOTE: The following text was transcribed from the George Anthony suicide note shown in court Thursday. The order of the pages of the note was not clear. 

Cynthia Marie,

As you get this letter, this should be no surprise that I have decided to leave the earth, because I need to be with Caylee Marie.

I cannot keep going because it should be me that is gone from this earth, not her. I have lived many years, I am satisfied with my decision because I have never been the man you, Lee, Casey & especially Caylee Marie deserved.


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


I have never been the man any of you could count on. I have always let each of you down in more ways than I can remember. I do not feel sorry for myself, I am just sorry I burden all of you the way I have.

My loss of life is meaningless.

Cynthia Marie, you have always worked the hardest, given the most to me, and I have never “Thanked you.” 28+ years ago, you corrected me, a man who has now found his identity in life. What I mean is, you always challenged me the right way and I always could never live up to your expectations. You have always been smarter, more knowledgeable & thought things through & I love you for that.

ANOTHER PAGE:

I cannot be strong anymore. Caylee Marie, our grand-daughter, I miss her. I miss her so much. I know you do too.

You were always the one that provided for her. What did I provide?

I blame myself for her being gone! You know for months, as a matter of fact for a year or so I brought stuff up, only to be told not to be negative.

Caylee Marie, I miss her. I miss her. I want my family back.

I sit here, falling apart, because I should have done more.

She was so close to home, why was she there? Who placed here there? Why is she gone? Why?

For months, you & I, especially you always questioned, why?

I want this to go away for Casey. What happened? Why could she not come to us? Especially you, why not Lee?

Who is involved with this stuff Caylee?

I am going Krazy because I want to

ANOTHER PAGE:

Go after these people Casey hung with prior to Caylee being gone.

That is why I got that gun. I wanted to scare these people. You know, they know more than they have stated, you cannot sugar coat, kid glove these people. They need hard knocks to get info from.
Sure that will not bring Caylee Marie back, but was Casey threatened? You know, Casey does not deserve to be where she is.

I miss her, I miss her so much. I am worried for her. Her personal safety is always on my mind.


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


I try to deal with so-so much, as I do you also.

I have never wanted to my family for sorrow in any way. I realize families have ups & downs but we have suffered our share & then some.

Cynthia Marie, you have always deserved more, and with me being gone, you will. I have always brought you down. You know that. You are better off. Lee will be there for you. Mallory is such a great woman. I see how you are with her. She is a keeper. Future

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daughter-in-law. I smile when I say her name. Mallory, please take care of yourself, Lee & Cindy. Someday you will be a great wife to Lee, and a fantastic mom. Cindy is a great “Grammy” and will love you forever.

Getting back to why I cannot live anymore: I cannot function knowing our granddaughter is gone. Caylee Marie never had a chance to grow. I wanted to walk her to school (the 1st day). I wanted to help her in so many ways….I could go on & on.

I sit here empty inside for her. For you, for us. Jose keeps calling.

Yes, you deserve more & you will have freedom to enjoy what you deserve.

I have taken what meds was given to me with alcohol & I am ready to give up. As I can tell by my writing and thinking, I am getting very stupid. Wow, what a word STUPID. Yes, I am. Again, I do not feel sorry for myself(…unintelligible) I am STUPID. I cannot deal with stuff anymore.

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The loss of Caylee Marie. The loss of Casey. The loss of us, Cynthia Marie, the meds, I am ready.

Saying good bye, please understand it is for the best. I do not deserve life anymore. Anymore us.

You are the best, you always have been. I am sorry for all that I have done to us.

You know I never got to say goodbye. I am at this place and all is getting foggy & my writing is all over the place.

I love you, I love you, I hope you get to see Casey soon. All the people we met, wow, the writing is getting weird, I love you, I am sorry – I will take care of Caylee – once I get to God “hopefully”

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I want to hold her again, I miss her, I will always love us, I am sorry Cynthia Marie, I called my mom today, ….(unintelligible) I am so tired, at least I shaved today, wow – I’m tripping out, I am sorry,

I love you – Cynthia Marie

Caylee Here I come

Lee, I am sorry

Casey –

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial: ‘Caylee here I come,’ George Anthony wrote in suicide note

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

Defense rests; Casey says she won’t testify.

By Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel

7:40 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2011

In the end, she couldn’t do it: Casey Anthony could not muster the will, the motivation, the guts or whatever else it would take to tell her version of what happened to her daughter, Caylee, three years ago.

Minutes after she told Chief Judge Belvin Perry she would not take the stand Thursday, Casey Anthony’s defense team rested its case — not nearly fulfilling the many wild promises made in defense attorney José Baez’s opening statement in late May.

None of that may matter, though, if jurors find credibility in the defense team’s assault on the prosecution’s case — and find reasonable doubt. The state will call more rebuttal witnesses today to shore up any damage prosecutors think the defense may have done to their case.

On Thursday, though, most experts watching the case agreed there was too much risk in allowing the 25-year-old to take the stand. Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in daughter Caylee Marie’s 2008 death. She faces a possible death sentence if convicted.

“I’m sure the jury wanted to hear from Casey Anthony,” said forensic trial consultant Dean Tong, based in the Tampa Bay area. But Tong explained Baez “was probably prudent not to allow his client to testify.”


Casey Anthony will not take the stand


She would have faced questions about a monthlong series of lies after her daughter’s disappearance. She would have been hammered about her partying, staying at her boyfriend’s place, getting the “Bella Vita” tattoo. Most importantly, she would have had to directly accuse her father of sexual abuse.

“I think Baez made the right move by not putting her on the stand,” Tong said. “It would have been a brutal and bloody and angry cross-examination had it come to fruition.”

Instead of hearing Casey’s story firsthand, jurors just heard her answer a few quick questions posed by Perry.

“Is it your decision not to testify?” Perry asked.

“Yes, sir,” said Casey Anthony, while agreeing she was not being forced or pressured to make that decision.

Seeds of doubt?

Philip Anthony, chief executive officer of DecisionQuest trial consulting, said in not putting Casey Anthony on the stand, the defense “put on a trial by inference” by raising the suggestion that she suffered abuse in her home. A couple of witnesses testified Casey Anthony talked briefly about the molestation.

By leaving the implication out there — and not directly having Casey Anthony testify — Philip Anthony said the defense hopes one or two jurors might relate personally and convince the others that long-term abuse and fear could make people behave in unusual ways.

“The defense is depending upon the emotional appeal of this very troubling issue of molestation to carry them through,” he said.

That issue and the state’s largely circumstantial case may be enough to bring the jury away from a first-degree-murder conviction, said Anthony, who is not related to the defendant.

“Jurors always say after these cases, ‘I really would have liked to have heard from the defendant,’ ” Anthony said, but they will also be notified that her decision not to testify should not be held against her.

Others say the prosecution will pummel the defense for not delivering what was promised.

Local defense attorney Brad Conway said he expected Casey Anthony to testify.

“He made promises to the jury about evidence they would see, and the only person on the planet that could testify about those thing is Casey Anthony,” said Conway, who once represented George andCindy Anthony.

Conway said he thinks the state will attack Baez’s failure to fulfill the promises to the jury.

 

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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