Casey Anthony Trial | Day 3 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
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Day 3 – May 26, 2011 – Thursday
The Prosecution’s List of Witnesses for May 26, 2011
- First Prosecution Witness: Anthony (Tony) Lazzaro, 24 – Casey’s ex-boyfriend returns for the second day to finish the cross-examination. Casey told him a secret.
- Second Prosecution Witness: George Anthony – Casey’s father is re-called.
- Third Prosecution Witness: Ricardo Morales, 27 – Casey’s boyfriend between February 2008 to mid-April 2008. He sold photos of Casey and Caylee to The Globe magazine.
- Fourth Prosecution Witness: Melissa England, 26 – Troy Brown’s girlfriend, met Casey July 2nd, 2008. They socialized that Fourth of July weekend. Casey said to her, “Oh, my God! I am such a good liar!”
- Fifth Prosecution Witness: Troy Brown – Ricardo Morales’ good friend, Casey’s acquaintance, and Melissa England’s boyfriend.
- Sixth Prosecution Witness: Iassen Donoe, 27 – Friend of Casey’s.
- Seventh Prosecution Witness: Dante Salati, 26 – Has known Casey for 11 years, met in high school.
- Eighth Prosecution Witness: Christopher Stutz, 23 – Has known Casey since 2005.
- Ninth Prosecution Witness: Matthew Crisp, 24 – Has known Casey since 2002. Works in residential property management.
The Prosecution’s Witnesses:
Father, Boyfriends & Friends
The day began and ended with Tony Lazzarro, Casey’s boyfriend during the summer of 2008, when Caylee died.. In the morning, the Defense had to finish their cross-examination, and, in the afternoon, after the jury left for the day, Tony was brought back to proffer information about a secret Casey had told him.
The day’s witnesses included her father, a few boyfriends, guy-friends, and one young woman she met the Fourth of July weekend of 2008. The most notable moment of the day, came when this woman, who had never met Casey before that weekend, described a moment in the car when Casey hung up her cell phone and proudly said, “Oh, my God! I am such a good liar!”
Aside from the self-admission that she is a liar, I learned that Casey will borrow friends’ cars when they are out of town, even though they did not give her permission to use the cars. Perhaps the Prosecution brought these bits of evidence hoping that in the jury’s mind they would conclude that it is not a huge leap to go from liar, to thief, to murderer.
Today, I also noticed that both the Prosecution and the Defense, had finessed a set of questions they asked every person that had seen Casey during those critical 31 days. For the Prosecution, those questions centered around Casey’s demeanor and whether she had mentioned to anyone that her child was missing. For the Defense, the questions tried to highlight that Casey was a good mother and the fact that the witnesses do not know anything about what happened to Caylee – not how she died, or when she died, or where she died.
And, thus, the two sides, already having made their points, insisted, like children who do not want to blink first, to continue to bombard us with the same questions, whose answers we already knew. Casey was happy, no, she did not tell anyone that anything had happened to Caylee, and, no, her friends were not present when Caylee drowned on June 16th in the pool. I think we got the points they were trying to make.
Tony appeared to be as even-handed as one would hope a witness would be. He seemed to be neither trying to help nor hurt Casey with his testimony. He had cooperated with the police in allowing himself to be wired, to have his phone tapped, and cooperated with the police throughout. He never sold photos of Casey or Caylee and has otherwise appeared to be a stand-up guy.
The morning began with the Defense finishing their cross-examination from the day before. They asked Tony about the loving and caring relationship he witnessed between Casey and Caylee. He described what a good mother Casey was and how smart Caylee was, able to count to 40 in Spanish, which made Casey smile as she sat there at the Defense table.
The lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, then moved on to the gas cans, asking if he remembered duct tape on them, but he did not. In re-direct, the prosecutor simply asked Tony if the gas cans had duct tape, and he said, “They may have,” but he couldn’t remember either way. The prosecutor was also able to clear up with Tony that he was not standing near the trunk, he was near the front of her car, when he handed her the gas cans. As he closed the tailgate of his Cherokee, he saw Casey open her trunk and put the gas cans in her trunk, but he was not close enough to smell any odors from the trunk, nor to see into the trunk.
The defense tried to make a point in having Tony explain that the photos of Casey dancing at the nightclub plastered all over Facebook, were part of promotional photos for the events Tony organized, which were promoted through social media, like Facebook. The photos were taken by friends of his with aspiring photography careers as a way to help them build their portfolios and professional experience.
After the jury was sent home for the day, Tony was brought back so that the Defense could proffer information about a secret Casey told Tony, an undetermined number of days or weeks before Casey was arrested. The secret was that Lee, Casey’s older brother, tried one time to touch her breast, but he was unsuccessful. It is unlikely the Judge would allow him to testify before the jury with this ‘secret.’ But, we’ll see.
The father, George Anthony, was re-called by the prosecution for a second day of testimony. He talked primarily about June 24th, a day he normally would have worked, but he took the day off because he had errands to run, a lawn to mow, and, in the early evening, a job interview.
When he went out to the shed to get his lawnmower, he discovered that the eyelet plastic piece on the shed doors, to which the lock had been attached, was broken off and the door was ajar. He looked around and noticed that the only things missing were the gas cans with gasoline. He needed them to mow the lawn. Instead, he called the police and made a report around 10:30am. A police officer came out, took the information, and left him the paperwork. On the way out to go purchase additional gas cans and gas, he warned his next door neighbor Mr. Burner (who testified yesterday about lending Casey his shovel) that someone had broken into his shed.
In the early afternoon, after he and his wife, Cindy, deposited a check, she went to work and he relaxed in the living room. Around 2:00 p.m., he heard the garage door open and was happy to see his daughter. Casey looked surprise to see him, and he asked her where Caylee was. She seemed to be in a hurry, saying she only had 10 minutes to grab some clothes and go to work. He told her what happened to the shed and the missing gas cans, and she said she didn’t know anything about it. However, in yesterday’s testimony we heard Tony Lazzarro describe how they broke into the shed and took the gas cans.
As she was gathering her clothes, George told her that he needed to get the triangular supports that he had in the trunk of her car because he was going to be tuning up her mom’s car. She yelled that she would get it for him, but he told her that he had the extra key and he could get it. She ran past him, outside to her trunk, took the gas cans out, closed the trunk, went to him, handed him the gas cans and said, “Here are your fucking gas cans!” He said he didn’t want to get upset before his interview and suggested they talk about it later.
The prosecution asked and he answered that he never had a chance to look in the trunk, Casey had quickly shut the trunk, got in the car and left. He said he did not smell any other smell but that of gasoline. The prosecution asked him about the photo of the round metal gas can that had a piece of duct tape on it, and he explained that when Casey gave him the gas cans back, that particular gas can, which he has had for 25 years, was missing the small plastic vent piece, and without it, the smell of gasoline and the fumes would fill the shed, so he put the tape over the hole.
The lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, seemed to be on a warpath with George Anthony on the duct tape and the gas cans, on why he called the police to report them stolen, on a lot of minutia that was mostly avoidable. For instance, Mr. Baez asked Mr. Anthony why he called the police on June 24th to report the gas cans missing, but he didn’t report his granddaughter missing. Mr. Anthony answered that, as far as he knew at the time, his granddaughter was not missing and was with her mother. But Jose Baez, couldn’t or wouldn’t listen, and asked the same question in any number of ways.
The second misunderstanding involved the photos of the duct tape on the gas can. Mr. Anthony was shown a photo, earlier, that the prosecution had admitted into evidence, dated August 1st 2008, showing a small piece of duct tape on the metal gas can that was missing the vent piece. Mr. Anthony did not deny, in fact, he had already admitted, to putting that piece of duct tape on that can. However, Mr. Baez tried to hammer him on a statement Mr. Anthony made in a deposition taken on August 9, 2009, where he denied putting the large piece of tape on the gas can as depicted in a different photo taken in December. Mr. Anthony tried to explain that there are two different photos and that he, Mr. Baez, is confused.
They bantered and argued, the prosecutor objected, the Judge reprimanded Mr. Baez that he cannot question a witness on a photograph that has not been admitted into evidence. And, yet, Mr. Baez continued to try until the Judge angrily called a sidebar Mr. Baez tried again, after the sidebar, to question Mr. Anthony on a photograph that is not evidence, and the Judge angrily said, “Did you all hear anything I said in sidebar?!” He excused the jury, he excused the witness, and the arguing continued. Things got very contentious between the Judge and Jose Baez, and it was clear that Mr. Baez was simply not understanding basic protocol.
Next, Jose Baez focused in on the argument George and Casey had about the gas cans on June 24th. He kept asking Mr. Anthony if he had told the police, the day they reported Caylee missing, July 15th, about the argument with Casey over the gas cans. George Anthony explained that he was very upset, having just found out that his granddaughter was missing, and he could not remember everything that the detectives and he talked about on July 15th and 16th, because the focus was on finding Caylee. Mr. Anthony did tell the police about the argument on July 31st, but Mr. Baez wanted to know why he had not told the police about the gas can argument before then, and after July 15th when they found out Caylee was missing. As an outsider, it really seemed like minutia. Why would a grandfather who is distraught finding out the babysitter kidnapped his granddaughter find it pertinent to tell the police about a gas can argument the night they reported Caylee missing?
The gas can arguments continued in the re-direct by the prosecution and the re-cross by the Defense, but I doubt that you, me, or the jury need to hear – or write – any more about gas cans.
Ricardo Morales was Casey’s boyfriend between February 2008 and mid-April 2008. He talked about how Casey and Caylee would sleep over 4-5 nights a week. They all slept on his bed, Casey in between him and Caylee. He had taken a number of photos of Casey and Caylee, which he had posted on his MySpace page, and a couple of them were introduced into evidence. He said the break-up was amicable, they stayed in touch, and on occasion Casey and Caylee slept over. He said that they came over on June 7th, and on June 9th and 10th. He noted that the morning of June 10th was the last time he saw Caylee.
However, he saw Casey again on July 1st when she stopped by and on July 15th when she went to the airport to pick him and his friends up. The prosecutor asked Ricardo if Casey had Caylee with her, but she didn’t. Once again, the prosecutor went through his routine questions about Casey’s demeanor, and whether or not she let anyone know that her daughter was kidnapped, was missing, or died. Of course, Ricardo, answered just like everyone else thus far: Casey was her usual self, very happy and excited, nothing was different about her demeanor, and, no, she never said anything about a missing Caylee.
‘The Defense brought out the fact that Mr. Morales had sold photos of Casey and Caylee for $4,000 to The Globe magazine, but he didn’t seem to be ashamed or embarrassed, as much as Mr. Baez tried. They also introduced into evidence what appeared to be a spoof of a print ad which Ricardo had posted on his MySpace page, with a man and a woman dressed up and the tag line: “Win her over with chloroform.”
Jose Baez, the lead attorney for the defense, also used Ricardo to talk about his observations of how good a mom Casey was and how Caylee was never neglected. One thing struck me when Mr. Baez asked Mr. Morales if Casey had ever hit Caylee, or tortured Caylee, or disciplined Casey. Ricardo Morales responded that Casey had issues with trying to put Caylee to sleep. The prosecution never followed up with that, but given what a big part of the speculation about why Casey may have used chloroform on Caylee revolved around Casey trying to put Caylee to sleep, I wondered why nothing more was said of it.
Melissa England, who lived in Virginia during 2008, had never met Casey, but she dated Troy Brown who did live in Central Florida and who was good friends with Ricardo Morales, Casey’s ex-boyfriend. On July 2nd, when she flew out to spend the Fourth of July weekend with Troy, she met Casey for the first time at a club. Melissa described Casey as happy and outgoing, and upon hearing that Troy was called in to work the next day, Casey offered to take her out shopping.
Melissa mentioned that Casey told her she was getting a tattoo the next day and invited her to come. Melissa politely declined, but accepted the offer to go shopping. (Casey got a tattoo, Bella Vita – Beautiful Life – supposedly after Caylee died, but before anyone knew she was missing.) Casey did pick her up the next day to go to the mall. Melissa noted that Casey was driving around in her boyfriend’s, Tony Lazzarro’s, Jeep Cherokee, even though we know from Tony Lazzaro’s testimony that he did not give her permission to drive his car.
After the mall, Casey and Melissa went out to dinner, had light conversation, where Caylee was brought up and it appeared that she was fine, because Casey was talking about moving out with Caylee to find an area with a better school district. After picking up Troy to go out on the town, Casey got on her cell phone to cancel plans she already had with friends, making up a story about the car getting a flat tire. According to Melissa, when Casey hung up, she proudly said, “Oh, my God! I am such a good liar!” They went out with some other friends to a bar and club and by all accounts Casey was happy and in a great mood until her brother called, a number of times, and each time it made Casey very upset to the point of crying. After a few more phone calls, Casey said she just wanted to go home, so they all left.
Saying their good-byes outside the bar, Casey asked Melissa and Troy if they had plans for the weekend. Melissa said, yes, and invited Casey, Tony and Caylee to go with them bowling, and Casey said it was a great idea, but Melissa never saw Casey again.
Troy Brown was questioned about a Facebook conversation Casey initiated on June 24th 2008 (transcript submitted into evidence) about Amy moving into her parents’ house, “She hasn’t moved into the house yet, hell, I haven’t even been living at the house the last nine days. Drama!’ Troy was asked, but he did not know what Casey meant by ‘drama’ and he didn’t ask. He was asked about Casey’s demeanor and she was very happy, except for when her brother called her while they were out at the club. She was visibly upset and crying, and said after a few more calls from her brother, she wanted to go. I can only assume the Prosecution will be calling Lee Anthony to the stand to find out what that was all about.
Iassen Donoe met Casey in January 2007, they kept in touch through AOL instant messenger. The prosecution was interested in instant messages between him and Casey on June 13, 19, 20 and July 14, 2008 the topic of which was: Casey Moving Out Soon. (The transcript was submitted into evidence.) What I found most striking, was not the details about moving out, but Casey’s response, on July 13, to a question Iassen asked about Caylee’s childcare arrangements and Casey responded that Caylee has a nanny and she loves her.
Dante Salati went to high school with Casey and has known her for 11 years. He was interesting as a witness because he lived at Saw Grass Apartments from 2005-2008 and Casey had been there to visit him. Saw Grass Apartments is the complex where Casey claimed the nanny, who allegedly kidnapped Caylee, lived and where she would drop Caylee off. The last time he saw Casey was on July 1st, at a bar-restaurant, where she seemed “normal, free of worry, happy,” and, no, she did not tell him her daughter was kidnapped, murdered, or that anything had happened to her.
The Defense focused their cross-examination on using Mr. Salati as a character witness, “You’ve known her 11 years and know her to be a nice person, caring, an attentive, loving mother to Caylee?” “Yes,” he answered. “Never saw Caylee go hungry, or poorly dressed, or tortured, or abused in any way?” He replied with a firm, “No. Never saw a change in her behavior or demeanor.”
Christopher Stutz has known Casey since 2005. I am not sure it was necessary to bring him in as witness. He began to talk about Casey sleeping over at his place with Caylee in mid-May. The Defense objected and the Judge admonished the jury to disregard that testimony. He saw her in around June 17th, 2008 and the Prosecution asked him about her happy demeanor and the Defense asked him about what a good mom Casey was.
Matthew Crisp has known Casey since 2002 and works in residential property management, helping people find apartments. On June 19, 2008, he worked at Winter Parks Apartments and recalls Casey calling him up and coming in with her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. Mattew took Tony out to look at the apartment, but Casey could not go because she did not have an I.D. He saw her again on July 7th, when she called him and suggested they get together for lunch. He asked Casey about Caylee and she said that Caylee was on a play-date with a girlfriend of hers who also has a child.
The Defense cross-examined, asking if Caylee had ever looked abused, neglected, or unhappy. Mr. Crisp answered with, “Of the times I saw her, no.” When the defense attorney, Mr. Mason, boomed, “Do you know how, when or where Caylee died?” Matthew Crisp donned an expression of disbelief and said, “No’ followed immediately by an uncontrolled chuckle. Yes, the questioning is wanting.
Casey seems like a complicated young woman, who has mastered the art of being a chameleon. Most of her friends and acquaintances say how happy, outgoing, caring and kind she is. Her father knows a Casey that can steal from her family and say, “Here, take your fucking gas cans.” And, Melissa England, a stranger she met once, remembers someone who took pride in her ability to lie, “Oh, my God! I am such a good liar!”
Who did Caylee know?
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved