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Monday, May 30, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-28-2011

The Prairie Chicken

May 28, 2011

Saturday morning, Tony Lazzaro began the day with more testimony, this time describing his last week or so with Casey.  The intimate (sexting) messages between him and Casey were edited by Judge Perry as irrelevant (and would only have caused Lazzaro more embarrassment.)  Lazzaro said in text messages on July 17 she told him Caylee was with a psycho nanny, even then carrying on the lies.   He testified about the phone calls and text messages between the two after Casey’s lies had been exposed on July 15 and ended by expressing how angry, hurt and humiliated he felt by her betrayal.  Casey remained mostly stoic throughout his stint on the stand, dabbing at imaginary tears occasionally. 
Cindy Anthony was then sworn in.  She asked to bring her water and then asked to have the large photo of Caylee taken down to try to keep from crying.  At least she wasn’t chewing gum this time.  Much of her testimony involved the layout of the house, how many doors led outside, whether the doors were kept locked.  After the story of Caylee’s birth and living arrangements, she began with the events of Fathers Day, June 15, 2008, the last day she spent with Caylee when the pair went to visit Cindy’s parents in Mt Dora.  (Reference video of Caylee singing “You are my sunshine.”)  She went day by day describing each lie Casey had told.  Now this was truly “amazing”, the intricate detail that Casey came up with about the trip to Tampa with her imaginary friends, the terrible car accident, the grueling imaginary work schedule, the trip to Jacksonville the imaginary boyfriend and all his kin.  Cindy laid it all out to the first break called by Judge Perry.

This is where it became interesting.  Cindy walked past the defense table without a glance.  Casey stared after her and when she saw George embrace Cindy at the back of the courtroom, Casey threw a real hissy fit.  One of her attorneys Dorothy Clay Sims, tried to comfort her but she was pissed.  While I cannot read lips, after viewing the video several times, some of her words I made out were, “she’s had three years and nothing…”, “she said she would stand by me…”, and then many more short spurts began with “she” but I lost the rest.  Obviously Casey was expecting something entirely different than the truth.  Wow.  Well, we have two days to think about this. 

Cindy returned to the stand, Casey still sniffling, Cindy more composed.  She cried periodically at pictures of Caylee, or special memories she spoke of.  Her testimony continued about Casey’s stories during the 31 days in question, until court was finally dismissed until Tuesday at 9:00.
Do you think Casey is acting?  What with shaking her head when George testified denying he ever molested her and now this temper tantrum thrown at her mother.  Could she be schizophrenic as well as a narcissistic sociopath?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-27-2011

The Prairie Chicken
May 27,2011

Friday morning testimony began with Mallory Parker, girlfriend/fiancĂ©e of Casey’s brother Lee Anthony.  I’ll admit my disappointment right away.  She had been so quiet and out-of-sight during these long three years and I had hoped she would have some valuable input on something.  Anything.  According to Parker, Casey was a wonderful, balanced mother to Caylee, which indicates she was either not around much, or she wants to marry into this kooky family so badly she will say anything Lee expects her to say.  There is always the possibility that Parker genuinely thought Casey and Caylee had a great relationship.  In this case, anything is possible.  At the end of her testimony, Baez asked Parker to describe the relationship and Parker replied, “Amazing…”  If I’m not mistaken, that is the same thing Scott Peterson said about his wife Lacey after he had murdered her and dumped her in the bay. 
William Waters was called next and his testimony was short and sweet, much like his time spent with Casey Anthony.  A friend of Amy Huizenga, William met Casey at the July 4 party (reference the pic’s of Casey ‘dressed’ in the US flag.)  She spent the night with him, left in the morning then came back and spent the afternoon of July 5.  Apparently just a meaningless hookup, but interesting in that she was supposedly madly in love with Tony Lazzaro at the time (Tony was visiting his home in NY.) She was probably called as a state witness just to validate what a skank she was.

Catherine Sanchez testified to the days that Casey’s car was in the Amscot parking lot, and that she had called to have it towed.

Simon Birch was then called to the stand, he is the manager of the company that towed Casey’s car on June 30 and held it in their yard until the Anthony’s came to get it. Birch testified that he escorted George Anthony to the car and experienced smelling a horrendous odor emanating from the interior and trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire.  He witnessed the circular discoloration on the floor of the trunk and it was he who threw away the bag of trash that they found there. 
George Anthony returned to the stand for the 3rd time after Simon Birch.  Prosecution and Defense walked him through the same story that Simon Birch had just told, about picking up the Pontiac from the tow yard  and smelling the smell of death.  Baez uses a very irritating tone when he questions George, really trying to  make the jury see him as a bad guy, wants to know why HE didn’t call police after he smelled death in the car. Badgering is the only word that fits, picking and poking and asking the same question over and over.  Baez accuses George Anthony of distancing himself from evidence. 
Back at the Defense table, Baez and Casey appear to have an animated argument.  Coming just after Georges testimony, one might be led to think Casey objected to Baez treatment of her father, but who knows.  Maybe she wanted chicken for lunch and all she got was crow. 

To end the day, Tony Lazzaro was recalled to the stand again, speaking more about his time with Casey, what they did, where they went, what they said, yadda, yadda.

If I recall correctly, Lazzaro told the court on his first day of his testimony that returning to court would be a hardship, because he now lives in Ft Pierce, Florida.  Still, this is the third appearance and it looks like he will be first up tomorrow, Saturday.  Until then…

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jordan Brown gets another chance at juvenile court

The Prairie Chicken
May 28, 2011

Jordan A Brown, Wampum, Pennsylvania, the now 13 year old who allegedly shot his fathers fiancee, Kenzie Houk in the back of the head two years ago, will be given another chance to have his case tried in juvenile court instead of the adult court system.  Her unborn baby died as a result of her death.

Pennsylvania law allows persons age 11 and above to be tried in adult court for murder charges.  Under certain circumstances the case can be referred to juvenile court, one stipulation being the defendant admits his/her guilt.  In this case, Jordan Brown has denied killing his future step-mother, causing the judge hearing the case to refuse to reassign the court. 

Brown’s attorney, Lourdes Rosado has filed an appeal that Brown was denied his constitutional rights against self-incrimination by being tried in adult court unless there is a confession.

Jordan Brown Hearing goes to Common Pleas Court

Another Chance for Jordan Brown

No go! Jordan Brown, 12, To Be Tried As Adult For Murder  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-26-2011

The Prairie Chicken
May 26, 2011
As we knew from the end of yesterday’s testimony, Tony Lazzaro was back on the stand.  His description of Caylee and her relationship with her mother Casey was given with what seemed to be fond but sad memories of the little girl.  He acknowledged that he had told Casey he loved her, and she had avowed the same to him. 

Without the jury in court Lazzaro gave a statement about abuse Casey allegedly told him about which involved her brother Lee trying to “feel her up” in the chest area, and that her father had “hit” on her a lot.  He said that he took what Casey told him of her father's actions to be discipline and not abuse.

The statement was taped to be used if the proper foundation is later made to enter that testimony and so that Lazzaro will not have to return if and when that happens.  Judge Perry will make that determination.

It is almost painful watching Baez fumble his way through defense questioning.  It is hard to follow where he is going or what he wants to elicit.  As I wrote yesterday, Baez does not seem to understand the rules of admission of evidence and building foundation.  He is building a great case for Casey to win another trial—ineffective counsel. 

George was back on the hot seat this morning, recalled by Baez, and badgered ruthlessly about the gas cans Casey had stolen from his shed.  George admitted that he had placed the duct tape on the round gas can after he got them back from Casey because the cap was missing and he didn’t want gas fumes in the shed.  It almost appears that Baez was nipping at George to get him to show his temper. 

Baez asked George Anthony to fill in dates on a large calendar with a dry marker, to record the dates that Caylee was reported missing and the date that the gas can incident occurred.  It seems like a rather elaborate little game that had no reason or benefit for either side.  By the end of George's testimony today it seems Baez was beating around the bush as to why George would call the police about stolen gas knowing Casey probably stole it, but never questioned where Caylee was for a month--never called the police about that.  Pointless and unnecessary. 

Morales followed George on the witness stand.  Now married with one child and living in Illinois, he said he worked at a car dealership when Casey stayed with him.  He met her in June 2007, they started being a couple in February 2008, and the relationship was over by the middle of April, 2008.  During the time of February through April, Morales said that Casey stayed overnight with him four to five times per week and that Caylee was always with her. 

One picture showing a bruise under Caylee’s left eye had been objected to prior to trial, the defense claiming that would prejudice the jury, allowing them to believe the bruise was a result of abuse.  Prosecution sneaked it in by asking Morales to identify it as a photo simply showing Casey and Caylee in his bedroom.  It was allowed with admonition from Judge Perry that the bruise, as verified by several sources, was simply a toddler mishap, not abuse.

Morales also reported that Casey had confided in him that she had allegedly been abused by her brother. 

Morales said that June 10 was the last time he ever saw Caylee, when she left his apartment with Casey that morning.  In August of 2008 he sold pictures of Caylee to Globe rag magazine for $4 thousand dollars. 

Baez then (with great difficulty) entered the photo, “win her over with chloroform,” that was taken from Morales’ My Space site.  He replied that it was simply a joke he had downloaded from a humor site. 

Other witnesses of the day included Melissa England, the girlfriend of Troy Brown, a parking valet in downtown Orlando and roommate of Amy Huizenga.  England described her as friendly and engaging and showed no sign of distress over a missing daughter when she met her at around the first of July, 2008.  She witnessed Casey on her cell phone give an elaborate excuse about why she couldn’t hang with her friends, then hung up and said, 'Oh my God, I'm such a good liar."

Troy Brown then took the stand, followed by Iassen Donov, and Donte Salati, Christopher Stutz, and Matthew Crisp.  The questioning followed the same each time, was Casey a loving mother, a kind mother, did you ever see her hit Caylee or neglect her.  And each stated they saw no abuse and had no knowledge of what happened to the little girl.  All agreed that there was no sign of stress or panic or even concern about Caylee’s whereabouts between June 16 and July 15, 2008.  Another round of checking boxes of anyone who ever knew Casey, in my opinion.  Nothing really substantial.

Casey managed some tears during Lazzaro's testimony, then hardened to hard-ball stage again once her father took the stand.  Melissa England looked beautiful dressed nicely, hair clean and styled, flawless makeup.  This has got to be killing Casey.  She is now seeing the life she really threw away, it is occuring to her that life has moved on while she sits her pasty butt in jail.  You know she wants to know who Ricardo Morales married.  When he had a child.  Did he marry Amy?  Tony and his friends are well on their way to having careers in music and entertainment.  And Casey is going nowhere.

Great coverage from baynews9.com

Anthony timeline

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-25-2011

The Prairie Chicken
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Prosecution Attorney Frank George questioned for the state.   Defense Attorney Jose Baez for the defense.
Cameron Campana was first witness of the day.  He attended the school Full Sail in Audio Engineering and was Anthony Lazzaro’s roommate through the time that Casey stayed at Lazzaro’s apartment. He first said he saw  Casey frequently with Caylee, then without Caylee.  Campana inquired about Caylee and Casey told him she was “with the nanny.” Testimony wrought from both sides was fairly mundane, marking a box, in my opinion, of touching everyone remotely involved.
Nathan Lezniewicz took the stand next.  Lezniewicz was also a student at Full Sail and was a roommate of Lazzaro’s as well.  He was at the apartment on July 15, 2008, when Cindy Anthony and Amy Huizenga arrived to confront Casey about Caylee’s whereabouts. After Casey left with her mother, he spoke with Lee when he showed up to get Casey’s computer and backpack, and also there through the police search of the apartment about an hour after Lee left.  He thought Casey a normal, talkative, happy person overall.  Upon cross, Defense Attorney Jose Baez asked where Casey parked when at Lazzaro’s, 50 ft from their cars or right next to theirs.  Lezniewicz answer was that she always parked within a few cars from their own.  A lead in to the smell in the car, I believe.

Clint House followed Lezniewicz on the stand.  House was apparently Lazzaro’s best friend and fellow student at Full Sail in Recording Arts.  He lived at the apartment from April 2008 through the end of June.  He stated that he saw Caylee four or five times and that the baby never stayed over at the apartment.  Upon cross, Baez asked a bevy of questions pertaining to Casey
Anthony’s being a “good mother”.  At one point Baez seemed to be indicating that others had access to Casey’s laptop.  House said that although Casey cooked and cleaned and tried to inject herself into the Fusion management, taking out the trash at the apartment was left to House or Lazzaro.  Another lead in, I believe, as to why Casey would have their trash in her trunk.  Hmmm-let’s see, should we put it in the dumpster, or Casey’s trunk?  Phishaw.
Maria Kissh was witness number four this morning.  She was the girlfriend of Clint House and had met Casey through House.  He had told her Casey was “the girl Tony was seeing at the time.”  She recalled calling on House pre-date one evening and Caylee answered the door.  Casey stayed in the bedroom while Caylee was out on the balcony with others.  When they began to leave, Kissh was leery of leaving Caylee out there by herself.  Casey came out and told Caylee to get her shoes on, Kissh helped her put them on and tied them for her and that was the first and last time she saw her.  Described by Kissh as an acquaintance, Casey told her the “event planner at Universal” story and told her she paid $400 per week for the “nanny.”  Kissh recounted the hot body contest at Fusion on June 20, of which she did not personally enter.  Baez elicited that Kissh and House rode in Casey’s back seat to Fusion and smelled nothing wrong in the car.  Then he indicated through questioning that perhaps Kissh was jealous that Casey was staying at the apartment around her boyfriend House.  Kissh said she didn’t care, Casey was with Lazzaro. 

In my view, the first three witnesses of the day, Campana, Lezniewicz, and House establish that they found Casey cool, confident and relatively normal before and after Caylee’s death on June 16.  I was impressed that the young men were very intelligent, articulate and did not embellish their testimony.  They gave facts as they remembered them and seemed completely unrehearsed, as did Maria Kissh even though Kissh was not as impressed with Casey’s mothering skills as the male roommates had been. 

It now occurs to me that the hot body contest at Fusion was only four days after Caylee died. 

Afternoon session, Defense again asks to have the shovel testimony thrown out as irrelevant, now that he has claimed the baby drown.  Judge Perry denied the request and notes the objection (for appeals court after she’s convicted). 

Brian Burner was first on the stand after the lunch break with his shovel evidence, a next door neighbor of the Anthony family since 2005.  He saw Casey’s car backed into the garage on June 17, and again on June 18 when she backed in and borrowed the shovel.  He spoke with police on June 17 and again on June 30, when he told them about the shovel.

Jamie Realander and Erica Gonzalez testified after Burner, both were shot girls at Fusion Ultra Lounge on Fridays and verified previous testimony that Casey had no change in demeanor before and after Caylee had died.  One news anchor on HLN called it a “parade of shot girls.”  There was no real substance to their testimony—only that she was “protective” of the shot girls from groping drunks.  Whatever that proves. 

Anthony Lazzaro was next on the stand and the witness I was particularly waiting for.   He met Casey on Facebook and they met in person at the end of May.  He discussed their dating history, short in itself as he had only known her face to face for three weeks when Caylee died.  Several lunches, swim dates, etc., with Caylee, though no over nights.  Lazzaro verified the “job at Universal” story, and was told by Casey that Caylee stayed with either her mother or a nanny named Zani. 
It was established that on June 16 at 7:54 pm he was with her at the Blockbuster Video store.  The next day he skipped school to spend the day in bed with Casey.  They went their ways on the 18th, he to school and she to the Anthony house, where she borrowed the shovel from Burner.   

He explained the incident with the gas cans, that Casey assured him it was her house and okay if he broke the lock on the shed.  He did not see inside the trunk when she put them in.  That was June 20.  I thought I saw a shadow cross his face when he mentioned the trunk, as though maybe he had wondered, himself, whether Caylee had been in the trunk then.  Lazzaro also discussed picking her up from the Amscot parking lot, car broken down because it was out of gas and Casey carrying groceries apparently from the Anthony house. 

Baez was not able to complete his questioning of Lazzaro, so tomorrow we will start the day with Tony Lazzaro again, with Baez introducing testimony on Casey’s night mares and sweats and having seen her crying in the dark watching the Fathers Day video Cindy had sent her of Caylee visiting her PaPa in the nursing home.  If my esp holds...

Can’t say I was much impressed with the Baez defense today and have to wonder why one of the more experienced attorneys don’t step in on some of the questioning when Baez is obviously floundering.  He was repeated unprepared and doesn’t seem to understand the admission of evidence. 
How is Baez going to explain the duct tape around her little head? 

I also wondered what was going through Casey's mind when Maria Kissh was testifying.  She looked beautifully put together in a professional skirt suit and low heels, hair clean and styled, very lovely and articulate, probably every thing Casey liked to think about herself.  And there Casey sat in her school-marm poofy-sleeved blouse and silly sideburns with her elven ears sticking out.  Hey--It's my blog, I can be catty if I want...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Casey Anthony murder trial 5-24-2011

The Prairie Chicken
May 24, 2011

We expected an explanation of some sort.  The crazy thing is how deep and wide a hole has been dug. 

The day started out with a precise timeline, day by day, from June 16 to July 15, 2008.  Linda Burdick was not over dramatic and methodically followed Casey's actions wrapping up the prosecutions opening statement in about two and a half hours. 

Defense attorney Jose Baez began his opening statements.  He declared that, "Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008, when she drown in the backyard swimming pool." Not only does the defense state that George Anthony was present and somehow involved in the hiding of Caylee's body, but that he had raped his daughter repeatedly when she was younger, and that she was so traumatized by the abuse and afraid of her father that she followed everything he told her regarding the death of Caylee.   It was incredible watching how stoic he and Cindy Anthony were as they sat in the back row of the gallery listening to these accusations. 

Still trying to slay the messenger, Baez brought up Roy Kronk again, the hapless meter reader who found Caylee Maries remains in the woods. 

Then first witness of the day is George Anthony.  The state rather delicately asked him the pertinent questions allowing him to deny he abused Casey in any way and that he had nothing to do with, including knowledge of Caylee Marie's death.   

Baez began his cross examination of George and at times he seemed to be taunting George with his arrogant manner of questioning.  The state objected to almost every question, most of the objections were sustained (the judge agreed with the objection). 

I admire George's ability to answer those questions from Baez as stoically as he did, considering the fact that just this morning Baez accused him of some horrible actions.  At about 4:30 George appears to be trying to control his emotions.  He began to break down when a side bar was called and Baez wrapped it up with some milder questions and shortly court was dismissed.

Throughout the day, Casey went from being weepy to stone cold.  No wonder she said she didn't want her parents there.  Or maybe she thought that George loved her sooo much that he'd sacrifice himself to save her--like Perry Mason's courtrooms where Mason's orations could push the perpetrator, who was always in the gallery, to jump up mid-speech and admit guilt.  "I can't take it anymore, I did it!"

It's obvious that today George's heart was totally broken, if it hadn't been already.  Will he now turn his back on her?  Why wasn't Lee in the courtroom? 

The problem with her defense overall, as I see it, is that IF Caylee was accidentally drown in the pool, why wouldn't Casey have come up with before trial so she would have a shot at involuntary manslaughter, or some lower offense.  But now--when her trial has begun for 1st degree Capital Murder, she comes up with this?  It's almost laughable, if it wasn't so sad.

Casey Anthony opening statements preamble

A quick note this morning while watching opening statements.
Vinnie Politan, news anchor for HLN News is in the courtroom twittering his court side comments all through the trial.
I've already caught some things that I missed in my detail timeline, nothing big so far--some shopping trips, couple other details.
I'll be back at the end of the day with my unique thoughts at the end of the day.