Casey Anthony Trial | Day 8 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
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Day 8 – June 2, 2011 – Thursday
The Prosecution’s List of Witnesses for June 2, 2011
- First Prosecution Witness: Jeffrey Hopkins, 26 – Casey’s classmate from middle-school; acquaintances, not friends.
- Second Prosecution Witness: Leonard Turtua – Universal Studios Loss Prevention assistant manager, met with detectives.
- Third Prosecution Witness: Detective Yuri Melich – Missing Child Detective in charge of this case, as of July 16, 2008.
The Prosecution’s List of Videos for June 2, 2011
- First Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – Lee Anthony Visits Casey Anthony – July 25, 2008 – 1200 hours
- Second Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – George and Cindy Anthony Visit Casey Anthony – July 25, 2008 – 1300 hours
- Third Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – George and Cindy Anthony Visit Casey Anthony – July 25, 2008 – 1400 hours
- Fourth Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – Lee Anthony Visits Casey Anthony – July 28, 2008 – 900 hours
The Prosecution’s Witnesses:
The Imaginary Friend, The Imaginary Job, The Cop & The Videotapes
The morning began with Jeffrey Hopkins, a middle-school classmate of Casey’s upon whom she based the non-existent friend, Jeffrey Michael Hopkins. The real Jeff Hopkins, did work at Universal Studios for one year, in 2002 but did not remember seeing Casey at Universal. Next, we met Leonard Turtua who was able to verify for Detective Melich that none of Casey’s cast of characters worked at Universal and, more importantly, Casey did not work at Universal Studios. He allowed the detectives and Casey to enter Universal so that she could show Detective Melich her non-existent office.
We then listen to the entire audio-taped interview of Casey Anthony by Detective Melich, Detective Allen and Detective Wells, conducted after Casey led them into a building at Universal Studios, and down a hallway, where Casey stopped, turned around, and admitted that she did not work there. Mr. Turtua allowed them to interview Ms. Anthony in one of their conference rooms and what a ride of lies it was.
And, finally, the rest of the court day, the Prosecution presented four jail-house visits between Casey Anthony and her family. It was fascinating to watch the dynamics among the family members, but particularly striking was how desperate her family seemed to get answers to find Caylee and how nonchalant and self-absorbed Casey seemed. There was nothing to show that she was afraid of her father and brother, who allegedly sexually abused her since the age of eight. Nothing to indicate that George Anthony knew his granddaughter was dead because he pulled her out of the pool as the Defense alleged, quite the opposite, he seemed painfully desperate to find his granddaughter.
It turned out Jeffrey Hopkins was not completely imaginary, there is a real version of him that was Casey Anthony’s classmate in middle-school. They stayed in touch through 2008, in passing, as acquaintances, not good friends, according to Jeff. He did work at Universal Studios for one year, in 2002, but he was not Casey’s co-worker, as she said, in fact, he doesn’t remember ever seeing her there.
This real version of Jeff Hopkins never introduced Casey to Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, nor was Zenaida his girlfriend or nanny, in fact, he has no children and he has never met anyone by that name. This Jeff Hopkins has always lived in Orlando, he never lived in South Carolina or Jacksonville, Florida. The last time he saw Casey Anthony was on July 2nd, 2008, at the Ale House, by chance. He did not go with her, or plan on meeting her there. Casey saw him, came over to his table, they exchanged numbers, and he never heard from her again after July. The only thing he remembers getting was a mass text message about going to Club Fusion. And, no, Casey never told him that her daughter was missing.
The defense attorney, Jose Baez asked him if his name was “Jeffrey Michael Hopkins,” the name Casey gave law enforcement, but that is not his middle name. He was nonetheless contacted by law enforcement on July 15th. The Defense verified with Mr. Hopkins that he does not have a child, nor a trust fund, nor an ex-girlfriend named Zenaia, nor was he going to move in with Casey. Mr. Baez asked in more of a statement, “All these stories were fiction.” And Mr. Hopkins responded, “That’s correct.” Mr. Baez asked him his standard closing question, did he have any information as to what happened to Caylee on June 16th or on how she passed away and he replied that he did not.
Leonard Turtua, is the assistant manager at the Loss Prevention Department at Universal Studios. He has worked at Universal for just over five years. He deals with internal and external theft and other security operations involving Universal Studios.
On, July 16, 2008, Mr. Turtua was contacted by Detective Yuri Melich who needed information regarding some Universal Studios employees. Specifically, he asked if Casey Anthony worked there. What Mr. Turtua’s employee database revealed, was that Ms. Anthony was not a current employee, nor had she ever been an employee of Universal Studios, however, she had been employed by a third-party business on Universal Studios property, a subsidiary of Kodak, back in May of 2006.
Detective Melich then asked about the other employees Casey Anthony had mentioned. Jeff Hopkins, had been employed from late 2001 to 2002; however, Juliette Lewis, was not at all on the database, nor was Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez ever employed there. The detective had also given him an email address to validate for a Cheryl Davis, but he was unable to verify that was a valid Universal Studios email for a Cheryl Davis.
Mr. Turtua met with the detective on July 16, 2008 in his office at the Universal Studios park. Detective Melich called Casey Anthony on the speaker phone, so that Leonard Turtua could listen to the phone conversation and verify information as Casey Anthony talked to the detective. Unfortunately for Ms. Anthony, Mr. Turtua could not confirm anything she said.
The detective asked Casey Anthony if they could pick her up and bring her to Universal Studios, and she agreed. Detective Melich called for two detectives to pick her up, Detectives Allen and Wells. About an hour later, Casey Anthony showed up with the detectives, parking in the employee parking lot where Mr. Turtua and Detective Melich met them.
They all walked up to the security gate, following Ms. Anthony. The guard at the gate asked Ms. Anthony if she was a current employee, she said that she was; then, he asked for her ID, which she said she did not bring. The guard asked Casey for her ID number, but she could not remember it. Next, the guard asked her what department she worked in, and she said that she worked in the ‘Events’ department, he asked her which one, there were two, Marketing and Entertainment, she said a little of both, which Mr. Turtua told the detective could not be true. She said that her supervisor’s name was Thomas Manley, but there was no one by that name who was an employee of Universal Studios.
Mr. Turtua signaled to the guard to let them in and Ms. Anthony led them into a building, which she said was the ‘Events’ building, but Mr. Turtua told the prosecutor there was no such building. Still, they all followed Ms. Anthony into the building, she made a left down a hallway, and when she got to the end of the hallway she turned around, put her hands in her back pocket, and said that she did not work there.
The detectives asked if they could use a conference room, and Mr. Turtua opened one for them right there in the same building. They talked for a little over 40 minutes, according to Mr. Turtua. When they were done, Mr. Turtua escorted them off Universal Studios property.
For some reason, defense attorney, Ashton, tends to be very confrontational with witnesses who don’t even have a horse in the race, and confrontational is how he came across with Mr. Turtua, immediately asking if this meeting was a sham, since he already knew Ms. Anthony was not an employee at Universal. Mr. Turtua said he did not believe that it was a sham. However, Mr. Ashton pursued, “you knew she wasn’t an employee, and yet you let her come and pretend like she was!” [Although in cross-examinations you can lead a witness, sometimes the defense attorneys are practically testifying.]
Mr. Ashton asked a number of other questions, which seemed less about getting answers and more about insinuating a point… did the detectives read Ms. Anthony her Miranda warnings… Leonard Turtua did not know he was not in the conference room with them. The final question from the defense was whether Thomas Manley was a real or imaginary person, and Mr. Turtua answered, “Imaginary.”
Detective Yuri Melich
On July 16th, after spending the early morning hours talking to Casey Anthony about her missing daughter, collecting information, and taking a ride out with Ms. Anthony so that she could point out to the detective all the places where Zenaida had lived or babysat Caylee, he dropped her off at home at 6:00 a.m. and went off to Universal Studios to find Ms. Anthony’s outcry witnesses. [Outcry witnesses are people to whom you ‘cried’ out or told about something bad that happened to you.]
Even though Casey had told Detective Melich that Jeff and Juliette no longer worked at Universal Studios, he hoped he would be able to get other information that would help him track them down. After meeting with Leonard Turtua at Universal, he learned that Jeff had not worked there since 2002 (not 9-10 months ago like Casey had said); and as for Juliette and Zenaida, neither one of them had ever worked there. For that matter, Casey Anthony had not worked for anyone at Universal since May 2006. So, either the database was mistaken or Ms. Anthony was lying.
Melich called Casey Anthony from Turtua’s office and placed her on speaker phone. The detective told Casey he was planning to go to Universal Studios (even though he was already there) and he wanted to verify the information she had given him. At the same that Casey was answering Melich’s questions, Mr. Turtua was verifying her answers on his computer and signaling to Melich the veracity of her answers. However, her work telephone number and extension, as well as her boss’s name, turned out to be non-existent.
Detective Melich asked Casey if she was willing to come down to Universal Studios with Detectives Allen and Wells and she agreed. When she arrived through the employee entrance, Melich was asked and affirmed that she was not in handcuffs. They all walked up to the gate, and let Ms. Anthony talk to the security guard. She said she was an employee but she didn’t have her ID, or know her ID number, she gave him the name of her boss, but he was not on the database. In the end, they got in through Mr. Turtua. Once inside the gate, they asked Casey to lead them to her office, and she took them to a building, which she claimed was the ‘events’ building. As per Leonard Turtua, there is no such building.
After leading the detectives into the building, through double-doors, and down a hallway, she finally stopped and admitted that she did not work there. The detectives then asked Casey if she would be willing to talk to them to figure out what was going on and she agreed to speak to them in a private conference room. The prosecutor introduced an aerial photograph of the path they walked to get to the building and introduced photos of the hallway and the conference room where the detectives eventually interviewed Casey Anthony.
The three detectives and Casey Anthony went into the room to talk and she agreed to have the interview tape-recorded. She was not arrested and she never asked to leave. Detective Melich and Casey sat on the same couch with the tape recorder between them, the entire interview was recorded and submitted into evidence, along with its transcript.
After a 15 minute recess, the entire recording of the interview was played for the jury.
Casey Anthony Police Interview – July 16, 2008 at Universal Studios
[Here are some excerpts of the interview, if you prefer, skip down for the rest of the direct and the cross-examination.]
Melich=M: Everything you told me was a lie; I called everyone you told me; people don’t exist or don’t work here; this is the point where you stop all the lies.
Casey=CA: Not everything that I told you is a lie.
M: Including where Caylee is.
CA: I don’t know where she is.
M: I am confidant you know where she is, it is obvious you know where she is. We need to find Caylee, she may not be in good shape, not as your family remembers her. We need to end it.
CA: I don’t know where she is; if I knew where she was this would not have happened.
M: Sawgrass, Zenaida never lived at the apartment you told us, it has been vacant for 5 months.
M: The other apartment is an old folks home.
M: You are either someone who is scared; or who is cold callous, and calculated.
CA: I am scared where my daughter is.
2nd Detective: Whole reason for you being here is to find your daughter, you want to talk to us, no one is forcing you to, you took me all the way out here, into your building, down the hallway to go to your office, before you said you didn’t work here.
CA: I know how that sounds.
2nd Detective: Everyone makes mistakes, but you have to own up to it, say sorry, or you can lie about it and bury it, and it never ever goes away. Stop and think about it; maybe you are afraid, but now is your chance; but if you keep going like this, then you are just someone who doesn’t care, not someone who is scared. You give me addresses where no one you say lives there. It always comes out, go to your parents and tell them, some horrible accident happened, some day you are going to want to mend fences with your parents, … we always solve these things… when someone has hurt you in the past, and says they are sorry, you forgive them right?
2nd Detective: But someone who lies, and lies, and lies, and later says I’m sorry, it’s harder to forgive… accidents happen, I’ve had mothers who rolled over on their kids, or the kids drowned in the pool, … or people who have done horrible things to the kids… and lied about it, and lied about it. We have gone to court and explained things or said that the person lied repeatedly.
CA: This is the honest to God truth, I don’t know where she is, the last person I saw her with was Zenaida.
3rd Detective: That’s not true, because then everything you told us would have been the truth; none of the addresses panned out, none of the people, none of the phone numbers, not even your job. The difference between a person who makes a mistake and the person who sits there and lies. Everything you told me this morning is a lie. You need to tell me the truth or you can keep lying and you are the only person who will get hurt.
2nd Detective: Not true, lots of people are getting hurt. Stop me when I get to something that is not a lie, you left her in Zanni’s care on June 9th…
CA: I left her at the bottom of the stairs and Zanni took her.
2nd Detective: You don’t call the police, your parents find your car, they call, we are asked to find your daughter, and all you do is lie to us. We get here because you said you worked here and then we find out you don’t work here. You say you dropped her off at the sitters, 5 weeks ago, and don’t call the police, and then you lie to the cops. It makes sense to you that I lie to the police, and give them bad addresses to help the police find your daughter? Everything we are doing here is to help find your daughter. How does coming here, to a job you don’t have, help us find your daughter. Tell me how this is helping us find your daughter?
CA: She has been here before, maybe we can talk to the security guard and see if she has come through the gate…
2nd Detective: How is being here helping us find your daughter, we are here to get information that was supposed to help us find your daughter.
CA: Honestly, I just wanted to talk to [Universal Studios] security and show them a photo and see if she had come through.
3rd Detective: Jeff Hopkins, left how long ago?
CA: 10 months ago
3rd Detective: Jeff got fired in 2002; How about Juliette Lewis? she worked here up until when?
CA: a couple of months ago
3rd Detective: She never worked here. So why are we here, what was our purpose in coming here, to do what?
CA: I guess there was no purpose; I just wanted to look where she has been.
3rd Detective: We are here because to do what, why?
CA: Because I lied.
3rd Detective: why did you lie?
CA: cause I’m scared of not seeing my daughter again.
3rd Detective: If you are scared, how does lying help us find her. Is it true that you talked to your daughter yesterday?
CA: Yes, she said hi mommy, and talked about a book she’s reading, and she’s fine, no stress at all
3rd Detective: So she hasn’t seen you in a month and she is not upset.
CA: That ‘s the crazy part, she didn’t get upset, she never gets upset, she is always happy when she talks to me.
3rd Detective: She has never not seen you for 5 weeks, but she just wants to talk about the book she is reading.
CA: she is always like that, you can ask my mom. This is the first time that I’ve been away from her for more than a day. I asked her to give the phone to another adult and it hung up.
2nd Detective: So they called your cell phone?
2nd Detective: Can I see your cellphone for a minute?
CA: First day I went to get pick her up, they weren’t there.
3rd Detective: After not seeing your daughter for 5 weeks she calls you yesterday, talks about a book, and the phone hangs up, and you don’t get to talk to an adult and you called the police?
CA: At noon, when I got the call, I didn’t call the police.
2nd Detective: Why were you pointing at the old folks home across from where you lived with Ricardo, saying Zanni had lived there?
CA: Well, I saw her go there.
2nd Detective: You either tell us the truth, and either Caylee is with someone you don’t want anyone to find out about, or Caylee is buried somewhere or in a trash can somewhere. You can’t keep lying to us. Everything you have told us is a lie.
CA: The truthful thing is that I have not seen my daughter and the last time I saw her was on June 9th. I don’t know where she is.
3rd Detective: You know where she is or her decomposing body is buried somewhere. Here is where it ends, no more lies, we are tired of the lies.
CA: I don’t know where she is, that is the God’s truth, the last time I saw her was at the base of the stairs at the apartment.
2nd Detective: Remember when we talked about the person who made a mistake or the callous, calculated monster? The lying tells me you are the callous monster… We are trying to prove your story, but everything you have told us has been proven a lie. Tell us what happened to Caylee?
CA: I dropped her off at the apartment, with Zenaida.
2nd Detective: Did she give you money for her?
CA: No, if i wanted to get rid of her I would have left her with my parents.
2nd Detective: Everything we have done is to follow your leads, and they have all have been lies. Everyone knows you are lying, why won’t you tell us the truth. You need to tell us the truth.
CA: That is the truth, I left her with Zenaida.
3rd Detective: You spoke to your daughter yesterday on the phone and you didn’t call the police.
CA: I’m glad I saw my mother and she called the police.
3rd Detective: You could have seen your mom 5 weeks ago.
CA: I just know if i had told her 5 weeks ago her reaction would have been the same.
2nd Detective: So you are more afraid of your mom’s reaction than never seeing your daughter?
3rd Detective: She’s with someone who took her 5 weeks ago, who called you yesterday and hung up, and we came here because … you thought we would find her here?
CA: In a backward way I thought we would find proof that they had come here.
3rd Detective: You thought this person would have taken her to this office?
CA: Not here.
CA: I have been completely truthful about the other addresses…
Melich: You pointed out the old folks home, pointed out bedrooms, said that was Zanni’s bedroom, and that was a lie.
CA: That was a lie; she is with someone whom I don’t trust now.
Melich: When did you stop trusting her?
CA: Yesterday, when she hung up the phone.
Melich: So after the phone call who did you call to report it, no one.
CA: My one goal, I will lie and steal to find my daughter.
2nd Detective: Who puts the most pressure on you?
CA: My mother, for sure.
2nd Detective: We never live up to our parents expectations.
CA: I would never let anything happen to my daughter, she is the one thing that I love more than anything.
2nd Detective: If your parents are constantly talking down on you…
CA: It’s not constant, and she is right, she said I took advantage of her, and she is right, i took her credit card and bought stuff for myself…
3rd Detective: What about the car, at AMSCOT?
CA: I bought the car from my brother; my parents kept it in their name for insurance purposes; it ran out of gas right at the corner, two guys pushed it to the parking lot; I left two notes on the car saying that I would come back and put gas. I called my boyfriend and he picked me up.
Melich: Did you ever email Zenaida, or send text messages?
CA: Yes, they are on my computer.
Melich: So are you okay with us taking your laptop and checking for those messages to find Zenaida?
CA: Oh, yes, sure that’s fine.
Melich: Did you know Zenaida’s roommates?
CA: Raquel Ferrel and ? Rosa, they rented rooms at this house.
Melich: Can you take us to that house, so we can check?
CA: Yeah, sure. It’s so heart-wrenching, never a sign that she would… she went to U of F [University of Florida], Puerto Rican and black, she lived in Miami, and she was from New York.
Melich: Do you take any medicines? Does your baby take any medicines?
CA: Dr. Salvo is her pediatrician. My dad went to a few visits, my mom went to one.
2nd Detective: What other places does she like to go?
CA: Universal Studios, Blanchard Park, the playground…
2nd Detective: Yes, pretty park, that’s where a jogger was killed, where is the playground? When was the last time she was there?
CA: End of May.
2nd Detective: What did you all do on June 8th? The day before she disappeared?
CA: My mom took her to visit my grandfather and I spent the day at Tony’s, his apt, my boyfriend.
CA: My grandfather is 88 years old and my grandmother is 82.
2nd Detective: You are going to be our biggest help in helping us to solve this.
CA: She could have gone to Miami, New York, she did not have children.
2nd Detective: could the babysitter have kids, did she ever indicate she wanted Caylee?
CA: I think she could have kids; I always called and texted Zenaida to check on Caylee.
2nd Detective: So then your phone would be helpful.
CA: Thing is it only saves 20 messages at a time, and it only keeps text messages I receive. I gave Yuri the list of text messages downloaded from the carrier, it doesn’t have messages, but it shows the times, and numbers; she had many different phone numbers and two different carriers.
CA: The last place, I dropped her off was Sawgrass; I have a couple of good friends who live at that complex, at Sawgrass, a friend from high school still lives there. Now looking back it is weird how she moved around and had different phone numbers.
2nd Detective: What is your next big hurdle?
CA: Proving that I can be a good mother to myself; my mom told me yesterday that she will never forgive me, I will never forgive me; I made the biggest mistake I could have made as a mother.
2nd Detective: Thanks for talking to us, we don’t want to be big scary guys.
CA: I’ll offer up my computer in a heartbeat, and my cell phone messages; we set up websites, and I only trusted a small group of people to help me with finding Caylee.
Detective Wells: So we’ll try to find Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez in our database.
CA: My parents suggested we look under different versions of her name.
Melich: So everything you told us is the truth so help you god?
END – OF – RECORDING
Prosecutor’s Direct Examination Continues
The prosecutor resumes her direct examination of Detective Melich, by asking him to identify the other two detectives in the recording, and he identified the gentlemen as Detective Wells and Detective Allen. The prosecutor reviews the fact Casey Anthony was not handcuffed or arrested, and she agreed to talk to them.
After the interview at Universal Studios, Detective Melich saw Casey sitting in the front seat of one of the detective’s cars going through photos in the driver’s database of people who might be the Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez who took Caylee. Casey told them that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez drove a silver Ford Focus, and they were using that information as well to try to find her.
The Prosecution asked if the Sheriff’s office received tips on Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez or Caylee, and Detective Melich replied that they had received over 6,000 tips, including sightings of Caylee and tips on Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, however, they never located the Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez whom Casey described. The prosecutor asked if they found any evidence that Caylee had been with any Hispanic female after June 2008? “No.”
Detective Melich was then asked about surveillance video at Sawgrass Apartments, the place where Casey says she dropped Caylee off, but there was no surveillance video available. Detective Melich spoke to the Sawgrass apartment manager and verified that Zenaida had not lived in apartment 210 or anywhere at Sawgrass Apartments. A Zenaida Gonzalez did fill out a guest card to tour the complex and look at an apartment at Sawgrass, on June 17th, the day after Caylee died. [It should be pointed out that Casey had friends from high school who lived at Sawgrass Apartments, and perhaps she came across Zenaida or her guest information card.]
The prosecutor asked about surveillance footage at AMSCOT, the place where Casey abandoned her car, but the detective learned that there were no surveillance videos because all of the surveillance cameras are dummies; they are there to serve as a deterrence, but they do not actually record anything.
Detective Melich was asked and verified that Casey Anthony had turned over to him her Nokia cell phone, along with digital information on a zip drive that included photos of Caylee, as well as Casey’s cell phone records she downloaded from the website of her cell phone provider, AT&T, in the early morning of July 16th. He pointed out that Casey used the desktop computer in the family spare room to do that. [It is worth reminding, that the prosecutor plans to introduce evidence of shocking Google searches about breaking necks, chloroform, making weapons from household items, etc., that were found on some of the computers searched for evidence.]
The cell phone and zip drive were entered into evidence and the prosecutor then talked about the court order the detective secured to get Casey’s information from the cellphone, including text messages and contact numbers programmed into her phone. Additionally, the detective subpoenaed Ms. Anthony’s cellphone records directly from the carrier, AT&T.
Cindy Anthony also turned over some items belonging to Caylee Anthony, including 4 tooth brushes, 1 hair brush, 1 comb, and 1 thermometer.
After the interview with Casey Anthony at Universal Studios, and the collection of evidence, Casey Anthony was taken to the Orange County Sheriff’s (police) station in the evening and was placed under arrest for providing false information, obstruction of investigation and child neglect.
Cross-Examination by Jose Basez: Detective Yuri Melich
Lead defense attorney, Jose Basez, begins his cross-examination by asking Detective Yuri Melich if he can look at the jury with a straight face and tell them that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez was officially the suspect, not Casey Anthony, after verifying that Casey had lied about working at Universal Studios, lied about Jeff Hopkins and Juliette Lewis, lied about Zenaida living at Sawgrass Apartments, and after discovering that there was a foul odor in Casey Anthony’s car? Detective Melich asked Mr. Baez, “A suspect of what?”
Melich said he did not understand why the mother of a missing child would lie, but at that point in time he was trying to process all that information. They didn’t know why she was lying, or what was the truth.
Mr. Baez then reviews with the detective everything they did on July 16th to follow up on the information, people, and places Casey had given them, all of which proved to be lies, and yet, after that, the detective asks Casey to come to Universal Studios to show him her office, where she claimed to have lost her other phone. After all that, Mr. Baez asked Detective Melich, why he orchestrated this ruse to bring Ms. Anthony to Universal Studios, when he knew she did not work there.
Detective Melich asked, “What ruse?” He explained that because she was so insistent that she had an office there, he thought that perhaps she worked for an off-site contractor, or maybe the computer systems were wrong. They were looking for a toddler and insisted that she worked there, and there was information there that could help them find Caylee. It was beyond their comprehension why she was lying, after all, there was a missing child.
The Defense asked Melich if after she took them into the building, down the hallway, and finally admitted that she did not work there, did the detective then realize he was “dealing with something peculiar” Melich said that he did not, he was still trying to understand why she was lying, why they were there at Universal Studios.
Mr. Baez then asked Detective Melich if he has dealt with people who have drug abuse problems, and people with mental health issues, and people who don’t fall into either category, and the detective agreed that he has. Jose Baez then asked Yuri Melich if he had ever used psychologists to assess… And the Prosecution objected, the Judge called a sidebar, and then called noon recess and excused the jury.
In the afternoon, Jose Baez continued his cross-examination dropping the line of questioning he had been pursuing concerning psychologists and mental health issues.
Mr. Baez talks about how the police are trained to use certain interrogation techniques, including trust-building, but nothing is working on Casey Anthony, nothing is bringing them closer to the truth or to finding Caylee. Detective Melich agreed with that statement.
The Defense then asked Melich about the incessant calls from Cindy Anthony, not George Anthony, even during Casey’s interrogation, and asked the detective how on one of the occasions he stepped out of the room during the interrogation, he answered a call from Cindy, where she mentioned remembering the ladder to the pool being down (attached) sometime in June and the detective remembered that. Mr. Baez asked him if he then went back into the room and asked Casey about the pool ladder. Detective Melich said that he did not go back in and ask her about the pool ladder. “So, you never used all of your interrogation techniques to ever question her about the pool ladder?” “No.”
The prosecutor re-directed and asked the detective if Cindy Anthony ever gave him a date as to when the ladder incident happened, but he said, she could not remember a specific date, perhaps early June. The Prosecution then asked him about the moment in the interview, where Detective Allen offered Casey various theories as to what could have happened to Caylee, and he specifically mentioned a scenario where Caylee may have drowned in the pool, but Casey did not adopt that scenario and tell them that was what happened. “Did she?” “No,” the detective answered.
Prosecution Evidence: Lee Anthony Video – July 25, 2008 – 1200 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – Lee Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, Noon):
- Part 2 – Lee Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, Noon):
- Part 3 – Lee Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, Noon):
The most striking thing about this jail-house visit between Lee and Casey, is that they appear to have a great relationship and Lee is very focused on gathering information from Casey so that he can find Caylee. Casey, on the other hand, does not have the weight and heaviness you see on her brother’s face. She smiles and giggles throughout the videotaped visit.
Lee reminds her at the start that the visits are video recorded and anyone can watch them, but that she can write her family letters that can be given to them via the court and those letters will remain private. He asks some questions about how she came about hiring Jose Baez, and mentions to her that the police have been trying to get a hold of him since July 16th and he has not returned any of their calls, despite a fax he sent them saying that Casey was willing to cooperate with them. He asks his sister if she wants to talk to law enforcement to help them find Caylee, but she says “yes and no” she would rather just talk to her family and Jose, because the police look at her like she is feeding them “a bunch of bullshit.”
[At this point in the video, Jose Baez objects and the Judge tells him, not now.]
Casey tells Lee that the police have been putting words in her mouth she never said, so she prefers to send them a letter. She tells him that she did not even talk to the police the morning that she was arrested – the morning we know she gave a recorded police interview at Universal Studios, but she tells her brother that “they said that I said all this stuff I didn’t say at my bond hearing.” Her brother tells her that she can send the police a letter via the jail system, and that she should copy everyone on the letter, so that nothing can be misconstrued by anyone. He tells his sister to remember that it is very important that she provide accurate information to the detectives so that they can find Caylee.
Lee then tells Casey that he wrote down a series of questions to ask her to help him in his search for Caylee. He asks her whom he can trust of the people she knows, and he reviews a few names with her. He asks her about places that he should be looking for Caylee, and she says to “check things locally, places that are familiar to us, to our family.” [Of course, Caylee was found 1-1/2 blocks from where the Anthonys lived, a wooded area near a creek where, according to a school and neighborhood friend, Casey used to play as a child and where they used to bury their pets, information which has not been introduced into evidence.]
Lee then asks Casey if there are any clues out there that he could follow up on and reviews with her a list of possible things he should check. Lee asks Casey if the tattoo she got while Caylee was missing was related to Caylee and she said that it was, but there was no clue in that.
When Judge Perry calls for a 15 minute recess, the Defense calls for a mistrial based on negative views Lee Anthony expressed about the Defense, specifically about lead defense attorney Jose Baez, including misstatements of facts and the law which might prejudice or confuse the jury. The Prosecution argues that Mr. Baez has had three years to object to the videos or to request for any segment to be redacted, but he never did, further, the prosecutor argues, there was a December 31, 2010 deadline the Judge gave both sides for any motions either side wanted to file, and that the Defense never filed a motion to redact any of the videotapes the Prosecution said they would be introducing into evidence. The Judge denied the request for a mistrial, declared the videos would be shown, but he would give an instruction to the jury to disregard those statements made by Lee about Mr. Jose Baez.
Prosecution Evidence: George and Cindy Anthony Video – July 25, 2008 – 1300 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – George and Cindy Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, 1:00 p.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18205452/index.html#
- Part 2 – George and Cindy Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, 1:00 p.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18205807/index.html#
George and Cindy Anthony visit their daughter in jail to update her on all the efforts being made by people and charities across the country to help them find Caylee. Cindy tells Casey that Time Magazine is doing a piece on missing children and they are planning to have Caylee on the cover. Casey says, “Oh, good.” Cindy asks her daughter, almost pleading, “Will we be able to find her, do you think?” And Casey says she hopes so.
Cindy presses and asks Casey if Zanni is acting alone or if she has help. Casey seems frustrated or annoyed by the questions and says she doesn’t know, but if she does then she hopes “they open their mouths and talk.”
Cindy mentions that someone thought they saw a little girl that looked like Caylee and Casey tells her mom to investigate it herself because she does not trust the police to do it. Cindy asks Casey about Zanni, where she has lived, the names of any other family members she may have, and asks for any other information that might help her find Zanni and Caylee.
Although both parents can see Casey through the glass partition that separates them, only one parent can talk on the phone at a time. So, after Cindy has a few minutes talking to Casey, her father, George, gets on the phone and says, “Hey gorgeous, how are you doing?” to which Casey laughs and says she looks like hell, and gets a bit emotional. George tells her he wants to give her a big “Papa Joe hug,” but “we need to find that little girl.”
George asks Casey a few questions about different people and places she may have been during that time, and then he asks her what she would like to say to Zanni since the media talks to him every day, and Casey tells him to just let Zanni know she forgives her and to return Caylee. George then asks her what she would like to say to Caylee that he could pass on through the media, and Casey tells her father to tell her “that mommy loves her very much and the she is the most important person in the world to me and to be brave. I love her. I truly, truly love that little girl and miss her so much.”
Cindy then takes the phone and asks Casey if she is protecting Caylee or Cindy, or who, and Casey says, “I’m protecting our family, yes, not from anything I’ve done.” Cindy asks if someone is threatening them and Casey, somewhat mysteriously and cryptically says, “Let’s just leave it at that.” Casey’s mom jumps in and tells her, “We are strong, don’t try to protect us, we have to protect Caylee!”
The mother then asks her why she never had a chance to pick up the car, and Casey clearly looking frustrated, angry and annoyed snaps back that “because this is being recorded, I don’t want anything to be misconstrued.” Cindy asks if someone else has been to their house and Casey says, “I told you a long time ago that she had a key.” Cindy just stares at her for a while without saying a word.
Casey quickly changes the subject and asks how the family is doing, they give her updates and they let her know that everyone sends their love, and they don’t believe that she had anything to do with any of this. George jumps in and asks her, “Casey, what can I do?” And she replies that he can just keep talking to the media and keep the focus on Caylee. He asks her if there is anything else she would like to tell him and she says, “I just wish this had never happened.”
George tells her they don’t want her there in jail, but Casey says she feels more protected there in jail. Her father asks her if she has considered talking to the guys in the Sheriff’s department, but she says that they twist her words. We learn through the course of the conversation that Tony, her boyfriend, has not come to see her in jail, and he has not returned her attorney’s calls. She also tells her parents not to trust her ex-fiancé, Jesse, the one whom she told was Caylee’s father until DNA proved he was not, but he wanted to marry her anyway.
Cindy asks her daughter where her Tiffany ring is and who gave her that ring, and Casey does not tell her where the ring is, but she says that Jeff gave her the ring. [However, we know now that Jeff is a character she created, so who really gave her that ring… and why is the mother asking about it?]
Casey’s mom continues asking questions, about Casey’s boss’s name, and about other names Cindy has seen on Casey’s MySpace page. The mom asks Casey if Zanni’s car was a red or a silver Ford Focus, Casey says silver. [It is worth noting that the mother may be asking if the car is red because the real Zenaida Gonzalez, who signed a guest card at Sawgrass Apartments the day after Caylee died, drives a red Ford Focus, and at this point the police may have found this Zenaida, the Zenaida on which Casey probably based her made-up Zanni.] Casey answers with a great deal of detail, perhaps to make the lie sound more realistic, “Silver Ford Focus, 2008, 4-door tinted; pink floral car-seat in the backseat for Caylee; she has clothes, shoes, etc. for Caylee.” The mom then says with relief, “That’s why nothing was missing from the house.”
Prosecution Evidence: George and Cindy Anthony Video – July 25, 2008 – 1400 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – George and Cindy Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, 2:00 p.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18206256/index.html#
- Part 2 – George and Cindy Anthony Visit (7/25/2008, 2:00 p.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18206653/index.html#
This visit begins with Cindy asking Casey if Caylee ever slept over at Tony’s apartment because he admitted to Lee that there were drugs in the apartment. Casey assures her that she would never let Caylee sleep there in that environment and the ‘drugs’ was just weed that belonged to Tony’s roommate. The mother asks her some other questions and then says, “Casey we need to find her before her 3rd birthday, once we find her, then you will be released, don’t you think? And you can tell people what you know and it will be okay.” Casey replied, “Maybe, I don’t know… Detective Melich seems to think I did something.”
George jumps in and talks to her about wanting to find Caylee, asking what more he can do. He tells her he misses her, he wishes he could take her pain away, adding, “I wish I could have been a better dad and a better grandpa.” Casey tells him, “You have been a great dad and a great grandpa, I am so grateful that Caylee had you guys, and still has you.” [Notice that Casey uses the past tense, however, at this point in time, July 25th, no one knows that Caylee has died. Also notice how quickly she corrects that and adds “and still has you.”] He assures her that they are all doing everything they can to “get that little girl back.”
Cindy gets back on the phone and chit-chats about the food, and if Casey is eating enough, and then out of the blue asks Casey for a description of Zanni. Casey goes into great detail about Zanni’s appearance, her family history, her step-father who adopted her, her half-sister, and her roommates, going into great detail about Zanni’s roommates.
Not seeming to know how to reach her daughter, Cindy says, “There are a lot of people helping; I get many nice phone calls. If you think of anything that can help, let us know. Don’t be afraid of anybody; don’t feel like anyone can hold anything over us; you don’t need to protect this family; we’ve been through a lot.” At which point George jumps in with an analogy of their family being a hand, he is the thumb, Cindy is the index finger, Lee is the middle finger, Casey is the ring finger and Caylee is the pinky. He tells her that they need to find Caylee to be a complete hand again.
George asks Casey if she would be willing to talk to an FBI agent and Casey says she is willing to talk to anyone he wants her to talk to. Cindy sounds surprised and says, “So, it is just local police?” Casey explains that she just has a problem with Detectives Melich and Allen, but she would talk to Detective Wells because he seemed to be concerned with finding Caylee and she feels comfortable talking to him. Casey says, “I don’t want to talk to someone who will say that I’m lying; who will belittle me.”
Cindy tells her that they will try to get Detective Wells to talk to her the same day if possible. Casey tells her mother that she told her brother to look for Caylee “locally, to check places that we know, that we are familiar with.” Cindy asks Casey if she really thinks that after this long that Caylee would still be local and Casey replies, “I know she’s okay, she’s local. I know in my heart she’s not far. I can feel it.” Cindy tells Casey that she spoke to “Jose and he said you said everything would make sense once we find Caylee?” And Casey, clearly tired of answering questions says, “Well, yeah, once you find her we’ll know what happened!”
Prosecution Evidence: Lee Anthony Video – July 28, 2008 – 900 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – Lee Anthony Visit (7/28/2008, 9:00 a.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18206288/index.html#
- Part 2 – Lee Anthony Visit (7/28/2008, 9:00 a.m.): http://www.wftv.com/video/18206946/index.html#
Lee comes to visit his sister again on July 28th, and he is still in problem-solving mode and comes with more questions for Casey. He asks her if any of the three people she spoke to on the phone the day Caylee went missing, before she called her mother, were involved in anyway. Casey answers, “That’s a possibility; I think about it and everyday gets stronger.” [Is she planning at this point of shifting the blame to these other people?] She then tells him that they need to be looked at.
Her brother, trying to put the pieces together, wants to talk about the day after Caylee went missing, June 17th, the day she said she was conducting surveillance on the apartment where she had dropped Caylee off. Studying her cell phone records he notices that on June 17th she used her phone a few times to call a place to order food. [At this point, she must have realized that it would not make sense to say that she conducted surveillance outside of Zanni’s apartment for two days after Caylee was kidnapped, and have your cell phone records show that you are ordering take-out from Tony’s apartment.] So, Casey, without skipping a beat, tells her brother that maybe she let Tony’s roommate use her phone.
Lee asks her about the searches for Caylee she was doing, and Casey says that they were during the day, not at night. [My guess, is that she realizes that her brother has already found out about her going out to the nightclubs at night.] He asks about places Zanni has lived. He asks if she has resources outside the Orlando area. Yes, she does, he should look north. He asks her if he should focus on people he has worked with and knows. She says that she cannot say no to that.
He goes on to update Casey on the mass marketing and media efforts that are being exerted to find Caylee, including T-shirts, bracelets, billboards, posters, as well as fundraisers, like the recent one held at the Daytona International Speedway. He asks her for anything she would like to say to the charities and dictates a ‘thank you’ message to them. He asks her for anything she wants to say to Caylee that he can convey via the media, and she dictates something to him to say on her behalf.
She then thanks her brother for everything that he is doing. Casey adds, “You know how much I love you and how I appreciate everything you and mom and dad are doing. I love you all. Dad gave me the analogy of us being a hand; but our hand will be complete soon.” (Lee wipes his eyes a bit.) Casey tells him how their mother told her that they are stronger than they have ever been and they will make it through this. Lee replies, “We are going to find Caylee (sounds emotional) and that’s it.”
After the jury was excused, the attorneys and the Judge discuss the Defense request to add a new witness at this late stage. They want to bring in a bereavement specialist to talk about how different people respond to grief differently. The prosecutor has a problem with the Defense bringing in a witness at this late stage, simply because they failed to follow through on it. The Judge asks for the expert to write an opinion, he will review it and make a decision on it.
And Day 8 of the Casey Anthony trial comes to a close.
Once again, I am left dumbfounded by the ease with which Casey Anthony lies… it is truly disturbing. If there is an art to lying, then Ms. Anthony has mastered it.
How many Casey Anthony’s are out there? They look normal. They look like your friend, your neighbor, your sibling, your children. They smile, they laugh, they cry, they seem concerned, they seem to care, and they can look you straight in the eye and lie, and steal… and kill?
However it is that Caylee Marie Anthony died, by accident or with intent, I cannot comprehend how her mother was able to go on with her life as if nothing happened. How do you not break down once with the knowledge that your child just died? How to you go out with your boyfriend the same day your child died to rent videotapes; or spend the next day in bed with him, ordering take-out; or spend the next month going out with your friends to nightclubs and parties and bars; or respond to your family who have been asking for 31 days where your daughter is, without breaking down into a puddle of tears.
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved