Casey Anthony Trial | Day 7 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
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Day 7 – June 1, 2011 – Wednesday
The Prosecution’s List of Witnesses for June 1, 2011
- First Prosecution Witness: Amy Huizenga – Casey’s former close friend and Casey’s theft victim.
- Second Prosecution Witness: Lee Anthony, 28 – Casey’s brother.
- Third Prosecution Witness: Corporal Rendon Fletcher – First officer to respond on July 15, 2008 to the Anthony home after Mrs. Anthony’s 911 calls.
- Fourth Prosecution Witness: Officer Adriana Azevedo – The officer who drove Casey Anthony to the Sawgrass Apartments on July 15, 2008, the place where Ms. Anthony said she last saw her daughter.
- Fifth Prosecution Witness: Amanda Macklin – Property Manager at Sawgrass Apartments in 2008.
- Sixth Prosecution Witness: Lieutenant Reginald Hosey – On July 16, 2008 he responded to 911 call at the Anthony house, he was a sergeant at the time.
- Seventh Prosecution Witness: Detective Yuri Melich – Missing Child Detective in charge of this case, brought into the case in the early morning hours of July 16, 2008.
The Prosecution’s Witnesses:
The Friend, The Brother & The Cops
The seventh day of the Casey Anthony trial began with the cross-examination of Amy Huizenga by lead defense attorney Jose Baez, where he tried to make Ms. Huizenga sound like a fuzzy-brained, alcoholic, who was going after Casey’s ex-boyfriends, but Ms. Huizenga’s demeanor did a lot to take the sting out of the allegations. It was never mentioned to the jury that Casey Anthony had been convicted of stealing Amy’s checkbook and emptying out her bank account. Still Ms. Huizenga managed to be more even-handed and fair with her descriptions of Ms. Anthony, than you would expect of one of Casey’s theft victims.
The same can be said of Lee Anthony, Casey’s brother, whom she accused of trying to unsuccessfully touch her breast when she was a child. He appeared to be as fair in his assessments and descriptions, with both Prosecution and Defense, as could be expected. His demeanor appeared somewhat disconnected from the fact that his niece was dead and his sister was on trial for her murder. The crying and emotion that drenched Cindy Anthony’s testimony was replaced with a matter-of-fact, just-the-facts, cop-like demeanor from Casey’s brother.
Next, came the parade of police officers who came out to the Anthonys’ home on the evening of July 15th and through the day of July 16th 2008, who recounted the interviews with each of the family members, and who arrested Casey Anthony, the evening of July 16th, for providing false information, obstruction of an investigation and child neglect.
The nightmare had just begun.
Amy Huizenga (Cross-Examination)
Defense attorney, Jose Baez, began his cross-examination of Amy Huizenga by establishing that she and Casey had only known each other five months, February through July of 2008, and mostly communicated via text messages, acknowledging that young people nowadays mostly communicate through text messages. Amy confirmed that she had been asked and complied with a request by the Sheriff’s department to download from her phone text messages from April 24 through July 2008.
Mr. Baez emphasized that there is only one text message that refers to Casey’s mom not watching Caylee. However, he pointed out, there are many times when Amy asked Casey to go out and Casey gave various other excuses why she could not go. [The Defense brought this up because the Prosecution made a big point yesterday with Amy Huizenga of what a growing issue and source of frustration it was for Casey Anthony that her mother would not watch Caylee in May and early June of 2008.]
The Defense pointed out that Ms. Huizenga was asked by the Prosecution and talked about the strained relationship between Casey Anthony and her mother, even though her knowledge about the relationship was limited, having only known Casey 5 months and not knowing her mom at all, at the time. Amy replies that she testified to what she was told by Casey.
Next, Mr. Baez suggested that Amy’s memory is fuzzy, not only because things happened a long time ago, but because she was a heavy-drinker in those days, going out three to four times a week and drinking significantly. Further, Mr. Baez suggests that her car accident was not because she fell asleep, it was actually because she was drinking and driving. Ms. Huizenga, without looking embarrassed and without hesitation, asserted that she was not a heavy drinker, did not drink significantly, and the night of the accident she had waited three hours after drinking, and sobered up before getting behind the wheel of her car.
Trying to point out other instances where she may have been drinking and driving, Mr. Baez asked her to read a text message where she begins to say that she hit a guard rail, and thank God she didn’t get a DUI, but the prosecutor objects, the judge calls a sidebar, and the objection is sustained. [However, by the time the Prosecution objected, the jury had already heard the content of that text message.]
Mr. Baez tried to suggest that perhaps she suffered some kind of head trauma, since she totaled her car and the airbag deployed, texting people to call her in 10 minutes in case she passed out. She texted to some friends that she didn’t know if she had hit her head or not. Amy Huizenga clarified that she was hit by the airbag but she never had to see a doctor.
If insinuating that she was a drunk and a brain injury victim wasn’t enough, Mr. Baez then accused her of going after Casey’s ex-boyfriends. The Defense pointed out that after Casey had dated and broken up with Ricardo, Amy moved in with Ricardo; then, after July 15th, she met Jesse, Casey’s ex-fiancé, and went out with him. Amy tried to explain that she has been best friends with Ricardo, and she moved in to Ricardo and J.P.’s place for a short while after her car was totaled because he lived so close to her work and she slept on the couch. As for Jesse, they had met to talk about finding Caylee.
Jose Baez ended his cross-examination with one question: “Are there any other ex-boyfriends of Casey’s that you went out with or moved in with?”
“No more questions, your Honor.”
Unfortunately, for Ms. Huizenga, the Prosecution did not re-direct or attempt to rehabilitate their witness. Amy asked the Judge if she could say something, but the Prosecution asked for a sidebar and she was excused as a witness.
Lee Anthony, Casey’s older and only brother, was asked and answered a few preliminary, basic questions, through which we learned that he is not currently working, he lives in Orlando, and that in July 2008 he lived within five minutes of where his parents, sister and niece lived.
Mid-June – July 2008
Lee Anthony mentioned that he spoke to his sister numerous times on July 3, 2008, at the behest of his mother, Cindy Anthony. He said that on July 3rd he was not aware that his sister and niece were missing nor that his mother had created a MySpace account in order to reach out to his sister, Casey.
On this date, Lee tried to find out where his sister was going to be that evening via Facebook and MySpace. When he found out that she was going to be at the Dragon Room, in downtown Orlando, he decided to go with a friend and his girlfriend, Mallory Parker. After awhile, he attempted to get a hold of Casey, when she did not show up at the Dragon Room. He sent her a text message about getting together, and grabbing a drink, but Casey did not respond. He asked his girlfriend, Mallory to send Casey text messages, but not mention that Lee was with her.
Frustrated in their attempts to get a hold of Casey, Lee then started calling and leaving voicemails, about half-a-dozen times, and asked about meeting up. In one of those efforts to contact her, Casey answered and said she was busy with friends and could not meet him. There were also a number of times when she hung up the phone on Lee. However, Lee was able to have numerous short conversations with her. He asked once where she was and she said she was in Jacksonville, which he knew was a lie, but nonetheless asked her what she was doing there, and she replied that she was with a friend at a country-western bar.
Lee called her out on the lie and told her he knew that she was in town, because she had posted on Facebook that she was going to go to the Dragon Room. She said he was wrong. He asked about Caylee and she said that Caylee was being watched by a friend, but Lee did not ask who the friend was. When he told his sister that she needed to talk to their mother, she hung up on him.
At this point, he became concerned, not sure what was going on. Lee called Casey again, and she said that everything was fine and she would talk to their mom the next day and hung up on him again. He tried calling her back numerous times, as well as texting her, but she did not respond. Lee stayed right there on Church Street, hoping he would catch her coming out of one of the many bars on that small stretch. He left downtown sometime after 2:00 a.m., but never saw Casey.
Eventually he came to learn from his mother that no one in his family had seen Casey or Caylee for a number of weeks. However, between July 4 and July 15, he did not make any further efforts to find Casey as per his mother’s request, and believed everything was under control.
The next time Lee saw his sister was July 15th, at his parents house. His dad called him and asked him to go by the house. When he got there, around 8:00 p.m., no one was home. He opened up the garage door and saw his old Sunfire Pontiac parked there with all of the windows rolled down. The first thing he noticed was the smell, a very potent, strong, offensive smell. He had to walk by the car to get to the door so that he could go into the house; and less than five minutes later his mother and sister arrived.
The prosecutor asked Lee, what was the first thing his sister said upon entering the house, and his memory had to be refreshed with a deposition he had given. Lee said that Casey went straight to her room and said that no one listens to her, why does she bother. Her demeanor was combative, and his mom’s was equally combative.
As he stood in the doorway of his sister’s bedroom, Cindy Anthony went into the bedroom and it appeared that they were continuing an argument they had been having in the car. The discussion was all about Caylee’s whereabouts. Casey insisted she was with the nanny, which surprised Lee because he was not aware of a nanny or that Casey used a nanny.
Casey did not want to go pick her up because Caylee was asleep for the evening and she did not want to disturb her, she talked about Caylee having developed a sleeping routine in the last three weeks, and she did not want to disrupt it. His mother and sister continued to argue in Casey’s room a few minutes at a time, for awhile. Casey told Lee that they could see Caylee the following day. Lee offered to pick up Caylee that same evening or to have his roommate get her. It appeared at one point that she was receptive to the idea, and then she wasn’t.
When Lee asked Casey why she wouldn’t let them see Caylee, she said, “Maybe because I’m a spiteful bitch.” Lee describes trying to reason with his sister in her room, asking her what was going on. She said that their mother had, numerous times, thrown in Casey’s face that she was an unfit mother to Caylee, and Casey said, “Maybe I am.” Casey also told her brother that their mom said that Caylee was the greatest mistake Casey ever made.
By this point, Lee was getting frustrated with Casey, nothing was making sense to him. Why couldn’t anyone go get Caylee, why fight with their mom over this. Lee tried role-playing with his sister, asking Casey what she was going to do when the officer shows up and says “How are you doing? Great. Where’s your daughter? She’s with the nanny. Great, let’s go get her.” The prosecutor asked what Casey said, but Lee said she had no reaction, blank. Lee asked her again, “What are you going to do?”
It was at this point that Casey told Lee she had not seen Caylee in 31 days, that she had been kidnapped and that the nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, took her. Prior to that day, Lee had never heard that name before. His mom was not present for that statement, but at some point she must have overheard their conversation because their mom came in and yelled at Casey, “What did you do? We could have found her!”
[At this point, the jury is instructed to disregard the last statement.]
Lee began to ask his sister questions, like where was the last place she saw Caylee, and she said at the Sawgrass Apartments. He asked her where she had been staying, and Casey said she had been with her boyfriend, Tony Lazzaro. Casey told her brother that she had been trying to find Caylee herself, by doing surveillance for a couple of days from her car on the last place she saw Caylee; she went to places she thought Caylee might be, or places someone might take her.
According to Casey, the last day she spoke to Caylee was around noon on that same day, July 15th, and the only person on the other end of the call was Caylee, Casey told her to put an adult on the phone and they hung up.
Upon hearing that his niece was missing, Lee asked follow-up questions and immediately tried to find her. He got Casey’s boyfriend’s number, called him and arranged to see him, late that evening or in the early hours of the 16th. Lee told him what was going on, and got Casey’s belongings, her laptop, a duffel bag of clothes, a backpack, and a knick-knack bag. He noticed that her laptop was on with a blue screen, he tried to re-boot the computer, but it went back to the blue screen, so he turned it off and took it with him.
The Prosecution showed Lee an envelope of evidence that included 19 receipts, movie stubs, and photo copies of a note he wrote. These receipts and stubs were in Casey’s back-pack that Lee retrieved from Tony Lazzaro’s apartment. The prosecutor asked Lee if among the items he retrieved from Tony’s apartment if there were any items that belonged to Caylee and he replied, “No.”
“No further questions.”
Lee Anthony (Cross-Examination)
The defense attorney asked Lee if, on July 3rd, his mother only called him or did she call his father, but he didn’t know.
The defense attorney asked and Lee confirmed that their dad, George, had a second set of keys that could access the interior and the trunk of the Sunfire in the garage, which Casey drove. He also confirmed for the Defense that George, prior to the police arriving, did not go into Casey’s room to ask what was going on nor did he ask Lee.
An excellent point the Defense made, (although the importance of which in the big scheme of things has yet to be determined), was in asking Lee if the bags were already packed when he picked up Casey’s bags at Tony’s apartment, and according to Lee they were, except for the laptop. Lee had concluded that because he and Casey shared a shove-things-into-a-bag packing style, and Casey’s bags were neatly packed, he suspected Casey had not packed those bags. [However, in earlier testimony, Tony Lazzaro stated he did not pack Casey’s bags; that they were already packed.]
The Defense asked Lee to confirm that in his family, it is his father who details the cars inside and out, every weekend or every other weekend, and Lee confirmed that. [Perhaps the Prosecution could have asked something to let the jury know that Casey had not been living at home since mid-June, no one knew where she was, and perhaps the father, George, did not have the access to Casey’s car that the Defense question seems to imply.]
Corporal Rendon Fletcher has worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s department since 1999 and he was the first officer to respond to the 911 call at Hopespring Drive. He arrived in uniform, in a patrol car, by himself. The initial call, was about a stolen vehicle, coupled with a verbal altercation with an adult daughter.
Immediately upon arrival, Officer Fletcher began getting information from the three adults in the home. Cindy Anthony, George Anthony, and Casey Anthony. [It is curious that Officer Fletcher does not mention Lee, but perhaps Lee had already left to go to Tony Lazzaro’s apartment; then again, Tony testified that a deputy arrived and took Casey’s phone, then a second one came and searched the apartment, taking nothing, and finally Lee Anthony came.]
Officer Fletcher noted the demeanor of the parents: George, did not say much; Cynthia was upset and trying to convey information. The Officer spoke to Casey within 10-15 minutes of arriving. She came out of a room and was not forthcoming with any information. Asking questions, the Officer was not getting answers from Casey, initially.
After awhile, Casey Anthony started talking about her daughter and that she was missing for a month. Casey Anthony mentioned that she left her daughter with the nanny, and she had been conducting her own investigation, but the Officer was not clear as to why she had not called the police earlier.
A short while later, other officers arrived, like Sergent Reginald Hosey, who took over the scene when he arrived. Casey did not know the exact location of the apartment complex where she had last seen her daughter, but was willing and able to take the officers to the place where she dropped off Caylee.
Officer Fletcher drove there, as Officer Acevedo drove Casey to Sawgrass Apartments.
The officer walked up the stairs to Apartment 210, looked in through the open blind and noticed there was no furniture inside the apartment, no lights, and no answer to his knock on the door.
The cross-examination consisted of asking the Officer if he, or any other officer, had noticed the foul smell coming from the car, and called the CSI unit, but he had not.
Officer Adriana Acevedo
Adriana Acevedo, has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s office, a little over five years. On July 15, 2008, Officer Acevedo, was assigned to road patrol and Hopespring Drive, the Anthonys’ street, was in her sector. She arrived at 9:52 p.m., shortly after Corporal Rendon Fletcher, requested a briefing, and handed out blank forms to collect written statements from the people in the house, Cindy, George, Lee and Casey.
Some time later, Sgt. Hosey directed Officer Acevedo to escort Ms. Anthony at 11:50 p.m. to Sawgrass Apartments, she got into her marked patrol car, and Casey Anthony sat in the rear, not handcuffed, and agreed to go with them. It only took about 15 minutes to arrive at Sawgrass Apartments with Ms. Anthony, arriving at five minutes past midnight. Throughout, Officer Acevedo, made sure Casey Anthony knew she was not under arrest.
Ms. Anthony pointed to a specific building and to a second floor apartment, #210, certain that this was the place where she had last dropped off her daughter. They returned to her residence at Hopespring Drive at approximately 12:25 a.m.
The Defense asked if Officer Acevedo had observed Casey Anthony handcuffed that evening, but she had not.
Since, they had been at the residence for nearly two hours before leaving for Sawgrass Apartments, the Defense asked if Officer Acevedo saw the Sunfire in the garage with the trunk opened, she replied that she saw the car, but could not say if the trunk was open. Although she smelled the odor, she didn’t know where it was coming from, the car or the garage. She described the odor to the Defense as a garbage-type odor.
The defense attorney asked, “You never advised anyone to call CSI?”
The prosecutor asked Officer Acevedo if she had any experience smelling human decomposition, but Acevedo replied, “Not much, I’m not comfortable with giving an opinion either way.”
[Unfortunately, the live video feed went dead at 10:58am PST – Due to severe weather in Orlando, Florida.]
Amanda Macklin was the property manager at Sawgrass Apartments in 2008. She verified that on June 16th, 2008 apartment 210 was vacant and had been vacant for five months. She was also able to confirm that the last occupant of apartment 210 was not a Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, nor did she live in any other apartments at Sawgrass. However, there was a Zenaida Gonzalez that signed a guest card on June 17th to view apartments. [This Zenaida Gonzalez drove a red Ford Focus. In Casey’s descriptions of the car her nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, drives it is a silver Ford Forcus. Could Casey have been at Sawgrass Apartments at all on June 17th? Tony Lazzaro said that he and Casey stayed home all day and he did not go to classes that day.]
[Unfortunately, the live video feed went dead – Due to severe weather in Orlando, Florida. I missed the Cross-Examination of Amanda Macklin.]
Lt. Reginald Hosey (technical difficulties)
[Unfortunately, the live video feed went dead – Due to severe weather in Orlando, Florida. I missed the Prosecution’s Direct-Examination of Lt. Reginald Hosey.]
The Defense asked Lt. Reginald Hosey if Casey had been cuffed that night, and he answered, “No.” The defense attorney asked if Officer Hosey recalled telling an officer to take the cuffs off Casey Anthony, but he did not. He is then asked if he recalled being advised that she had been handcuffed. “Yes, but I don’t remember her being arrested.” [A little game-playing.]
Although Lt. Reginald Hosey did smell the foul odor in the garage, he did not report it to their CSI unit, he did not conduct any inspection, and he did not write any reports on it either.
The prosecution asked Reginald Hosey if Casey had been free to walk about her house, and he asserted that she was, no one told her she could not leave the house, she never said she didn’t want to to talk to him, and he never had her in handcuffs.
In the re-cross, Lt. Reginald Hosey described George Anthony’s demeanor as overall calm; but he voiced his concern about Caylee missing. The Defense asked if Mr. Anthony had advised them that he was a former police detective, and Hosey confirmed that the had. Lt. Hosey described Cindy Anthony’s demeanor as angry, tearful, but also calm at times.
The Defense asked about Casey’s demeanor, and Hosey noticed had she had a flat affect the whole time she walked with him.
The Defense asked Lt. Hosey, “You do know what that means?”
“Yes, I do.”
Detective Yuri Melich
Detective Yuri Melich is currently with the Orange County Sheriff, Internal Affairs Division, however, on 2008 he was a detective in the Missing Child Unit.
On July 16, 2008, Detective Melich received a call from Sgt. Hosey with regard to a missing child. The detective arrived on the scene around 3:51 a.m. and immediately received a briefing and a written statement by Casey Anthony.
Yuri Melich spoke to Casey Anthony in one of the spare bedrooms in the house, and showed Ms. Anthony her written statement and asked her if she wrote it herself, and she said yes. Casey’s written statement was submitted into evidence and Detective Melich was asked to read the entire statement. [The most striking thing about Casey’s statement is how incredibly detailed it is, considering that we know that everything in it was a lie. Especially, if, as the Defense contends, Caylee drowned on June 16th.]
After reviewing that statement with Casey Anthony in the spare bedroom, Detective Melich asked Ms. Anthony if she would be willing to speak to him about Caylee and if he could record their conversation; she agreed to both. The prosecutor asked to introduce the audiotape and transcript of their conversation into evidence, the Defense objected, and the Judge overruled it. The audiotape was played for the jury.
In the audiotape, we hear the detective explain to Ms. Anthony what happens if a false report is filed, and he gives her the opportunity to correct it at that moment, but Casey says it’s the truth, that’s her story, she doesn’t need to change anything. Ms. Anthony begins to narrate that she has known Zenaida for four years. She was introduced to Zenaida by Jeffrey Michael Hopkins, who worked at Universal, but no longer works there – he stopped working there 9-10 months ago. The detective asks for his telephone number, but Ms. Anthony says she doesn’t know it, but can find one. She tells the detective that she has two phones, a new one and an old phone, and she lost a phone, but kept the telephone number. Casey tells the detective that she left the other phone on her desk at work and she made a report to Universal Studios Security about the stolen phone.
Zenaida started watching Caylee two years ago. Before that, her friend, Lauren Gibbs, used to watch Caylee but she went back to school and stopped watching Caylee in April 2006. [It is worth noting that everything else she said before, which we now know are all lies, came fast to her, but this part about Lauren Gibbs, which we know to be true, was actually hard for her to remember, she was slow with remembering the details about when Lauren stopped caring for Caylee.]
Casey Anthony continues to recount that Caylee would go to Jeff’s house because Zanni watched both Caylee and Zachary (Jeff’s son) there. Sometime toward the end of 2006 or early 2007 Casey began taking Caylee to Zanni’s place, at the time she lived somewhere else on Bumbi Street. Casey started taking Caylee to Sawgrass Apartments in the last 3-4 months. Casey mentions that Zenaida’s mom lives off of Glenwood near Conway.
On June 16th, 2008, Casey dropped Caylee off to go to work; when she got off work, she knocked on the door, but no one was there. Casey tried calling, but the phone was no longer in service. Ms. Anthony waited, time passed, but no one showed up. She then went to Blanchard Park, to a couple of stores, places she knew Zanni would go. And then Casey went to her boyfriend’s place.
Casey Anthony says in the audiotape that she never told Tony, her boyfriend, what happened. She never told anyone, except Jeff Hopkins, and tried to call Zanni’s mom, whose name is Gloria. The detective asked if he could have those phone numbers, unfortunately, neither one of their numbers were in her SIM card or on her phone. Casey also talked to Juliette Lewis, who is an event coordinator with whom Casey says she works. The detective asks, but, unfortunately again, Juliette’s number is not in her SIM card or her phone.
Perhaps realizing that the detective will try to get her co-worker’s phone number from Universal, Ms. Anthony then says, that Juliette Lewis no longer works at Universal, she stopped working there two months ago. [Note, however, that she had just finished saying in the present tense that she ‘works’ with Juliette Lewis.] Casey says that Ms. Lewis moved up north.
Jeff Hopkins apparently also moved… telling Detective Melich that Jeff moved to South Carolina, and then to Jacksonville, Florida. Although the last time Casey spoke to Juliette was three weeks ago, after she left Universal, Casey does not have a number for Juliette.
The detective asks Ms. Anthony why she didn’t call the police before. And she responds that part of her was “naive” to think she could handle it herself. She was afraid that something bad would happen to Caylee if she told someone.
Detective Melich asks if there is anything about this story that is untrue. And Casey says, “No.” He asks if she hurt her child, or did something over which she is afraid people will think badly of her. She says, “No.” Casey adds that Zanni has a seasonal ID for Universal Studios, but she is mostly a nanny.
The detective asks and Casey Anthony denies having any problems with drugs, cocaine, or any other drugs or medications. Melich asks Anthony, why Zanni would take Caylee. She doesn’t know, Zanni loves Caylee. Ms. Anthony mentions that Zenaida has family in Miami; she is from New York; she went to the University of Florida; and she has relatives in North Carolina. Casey, in describing Zenaida, says that the she is part Black and Puerto Rican. The detective asks if there is there anything Casey wants to tell him, but she continues with her description of Zenaida. “She has a birth mark on her shoulder, and dark hazel eyes.”
Detective Melich asks her if she swears that everything she said was the truth, she held up her right hand and said, “Yes, it is.” The detective states that the recorded statement was taken at 4:11 a.m. and lasted 20 minutes. [One cannot help but be impressed, how this young woman keeps her composure, after being awake all through the night, bombarded by questions from her mother, brother, and several police officers, and yet she doesn’t crack, she dodges and bobs her way through the questions, like a prize fighter, with an awful lot of experience in honing her craft of lying.]
The detective and Casey then went for a ride so that she could point out the locations where Zenaida lived and had lived, and to point out exactly where she had dropped off Caylee. Casey directed the detective to a place on Bumbee, allegedly Zenaida’s mother’s home, where she said she had previously dropped off Caylee and where Zenaida lived for awhile. Casey pointed out two windows on the building and said that they both belonged to the same place, Gloria’s place. [Later on, the detective would come to find out that the place Casey pointed out was a nursing home, Zenaida’s mother, Gloria, did not live there, nor had Zenaida. However, it was directly across from Casey’s former boyfriend’s apartment, where she stayed from June 30th through July 5th 2008, while her current boyfriend, Tony, was out of town. She did not mention to the detective that her friends lived across the street.]
Casey then took the detective to Sawgrass Apartments, the last place she saw Caylee. Detective Melich asked her to point out the apartment where she dropped off Caylee, neither one got out, but Casey pointed out apartment 210. Casey pointed to another complex, caddy-corner from the Sawgrass Apartments, as another place where Zanni had lived and she had dropped off Caylee. She wasn’t sure exactly where. Detective Melich got out of the car, they had a patrol car following them, Casey sat in the passenger seat, he rolled down the window for her and asked her to signal to him if anyone looked familiar, but no one did, so he drove her home. Detective Melich told Casey he would try to find Caylee and he began his investigation with the information she had provided.
The Defense tried to begin a line of questioning that was objected to by the prosecution, resulted in a sidebar, which resulted in a mini-hearing with the jury excused. Mr. Baez attempted to ask Detective Melich about an online name he used. The Defense had failed to provide to the Prosecution and to the Court new documents they had gotten to impeach the detective’s credibility. In Florida, you have to disclose things to the other side, trial by ambush is not allowed. The issue was that the detective had gone online, under a pseudonym, nothing that the Defense pointed out rose to the level required to be used for impeachment. Detective Melich had simply expressed his concern, asked people to pray for the the Anthonys and that this little girl be found, he also stated to the online community that he could not talk about the case. The Defense thought it was unprofessional to do that.
After all that, the Defense followed a different line of cross-examination with Detective Melich. The attorney asked the detective if he already knew Casey had gone to the Sawgrass Apartments with a deputy, earlier? He could not remember if he knew that at the time.
The Defense asked him about the car, if he had smelled an odor, he did not recall if he did or not, he was focused on finding a missing child. The attorney asks if he was told about the odor, he said perhaps he had been told. And the defense attorney asked, but you never called CSI for the car, or secured the car, did you? And he replied that he had not.
Detective Melich was asked if he had read Casey Anthony her Miranda rights, and he had not because, at the time, to him, she was the mother of a missing child, not a suspect. He did write in his report that the information she had given him was suspect, not that she was a suspect.
The Defense asked why he didn’t ask Casey about the word she had written in quotation marks, in reference to why she had been staying at her boyfriend’s place, she wrote that it was “one of the few places that she felt at ‘home.'” He said he not asked her why she wrote ‘home’ in quotes. However, in his report, he wrote that she went someplace where she felt ‘safe’ and he put it in quotes.
The defense attorney asks about the outcry witnesses to whom she told that Casey had been kidnapped. Those two people were Jeff Hopkins and Juliette Lewis. The Defense pointed out how Casey had a great deal of detail about the two of them, but no phone numbers for them, and asked if the detective didn’t find that suspicious or suspect. But the detective explained that Casey said they had moved and she lost her phone, which is one of the reasons he went to Universal Studios, to get that contact information for these outcry witnesses.
Detective Melich is asked if the reason he asked Casey about having problems with drugs or having been admitted to Lakeside, a mental treatment facility, was because he knew there was something ‘weird’ with her statement. But he replied that these are the questions he usually asks.
There are no further questions from the Defense, the Prosecution has no re-direct for him and Detective Melich was excused.
The nightmare, of what must have seemed like an endless night, produced no Caylee for Mr. and Mrs. Anthony, only their daughter’s arrest.
What a horrible nightmare… one from which there is no waking up.
They had no answers, just a pile of lies to dig through, and an avalanche of questions that began with, “Where is Caylee?” and ended with, “Why?”
The police were digging through that pile of lies, which only generated more questions and more lies, but got them no closer to finding out where they could find Caylee, what happened to her, and why.
Is there anything that the Prosecution and Defense will be able to offer during this trial that will answer the ‘why’? If Casey herself got up on the stand to answer these questions, would we, could we, believe her after the endless months and years of lies?
In the end, the only people who are owed some answers are Casey’s parents. I hope she gives them at least that… some explanation, some way to understand, some peace of mind.
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved