Casey Anthony Trial | Day 9 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
| | Introduction | | Summaries | | Daily Updates | | Thoughts | | Resources | |
Day 9 – June 3, 2011 – Friday
The Prosecution’s List of Witnesses for June 3, 2011
- First Prosecution Witness: Charity Beasley – Employed with the Orange County Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit.
- Second Prosecution Witness: Awilda McBryde – Employed with the Orange County Sheriff’s Missing Person’s Investigator.
- Third Prosecution Witness: Christine Narkiewizz – Employed with the Orange County Sheriff’s as a Crime Scene Investigator.
- Third Prosecution Witness: Gerardo Bloise – Employed with the Orange County Sheriff’s as a Crime Scene Investigator II.
The Prosecution’s List of Videos for June 3, 2011
- First Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – George and Cindy Anthony Visit Casey Anthony – July 30, 2008 – 900 hours
- Second Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – George Anthony Visits Casey Anthony – August 3, 2008 – 900 hours
- Third Video: Jail-House Visitation Video – George and Cindy Anthony Visit Casey Anthony – August 14, 2008 – 900 hours
The Prosecution’s Witnesses:
Jail-House Visitors and Crime Scene Investigators
The ninth day of trial began with the viewing of three videotapes of jail-house visits from Casey’s parents and it concluded with testimony about the collection, preservation, and analysis of the evidence.
Casey seemed more insistent to her parents that she wanted them to get her out of jail, and she wants to go home. She lost her temper a few times in the jail-house videotapes, and we heard her complain that her parents’ focus is finding Caylee, but her focus is worrying about her case. In the jail-house visit videotapes, we also see the contrast between desperate grandparents trying to find their granddaughter, and a desperate young woman who wants to be bonded out of jail.
After the videotapes, the trial moved from the emotional to the analytical, introducing the topic of evidence, and how it is collected and preserved for analysis. We heard a great deal of detail about the evidence collected, especially, about the trunk of the car where the Prosecution contends that Caylee’s body was kept through the early stages of decomposition.
Prosecution Evidence: George & Cindy Anthony Video – July 30, 2008 – 900 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (7/30/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
- Part 2 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (7/30/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
Casey gives a happy, cheerful “Good morning!” to her parents who look worn down. George takes the phone first and gives her the greeting he usually gives her, “Hey, beautiful, so glad to hear your voice.” He says he loves her, she says it back. George says that it gets harder and harder every day, and Casey agrees and says it has been two weeks. [Casey is referring to herself being incarcerated two weeks, but her dad is referring to Casey being gone, which is six weeks.] The dad updates her on all the efforts being made to find Caylee, including a Time magazine article, and the help of volunteers and charities.
Cindy then gets on the phone and asks Casey if there is anything she wants to tell Caylee, that she can pass on, and Casey tells her mother to tell Caylee “that I love her and I miss her, considering the situation, I just want to go home (starts crying) I just want to go home.” [It is worth noting that she only cries when referring to herself being in jail and wanting to go home, but not when they talk about finding Caylee, or what she would like to say to her.]
The mom tells her, “It’s very hard Casey, it’s very emotional.” and Casey responds, “My heart is aching because i want to be back with our family again; everyday i can feel it, that Caylee is going to be home with us, and we will all be together home again.” [Note, that she says her heart is aching because she wants to be back with her family. One would think it aches over not knowing where your daughter is or if she is alright.]
George gets back on the phone and tells Casey that they miss her a lot and he wishes he could have been a better dad and a better grandpa, to which Casey says, “You are by far the best dad and the best grandpa; I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Mom was the best grandma. You guys were the best grandparents to Caylee. [Note her use of the past tense. At this point in time, no one knows that Caylee is dead; her body will be discovered three months later, in December.]
Casey’s mother asks her tearfully, “This lady is not going to hurt Caylee, is she, Casey?” (Cindy starts crying.) Casey says that, “She is going to be okay; I know it. I’ll become the crazy overprotective mommy. I’ve been thinking about work and schedules…” and her mom tells her that she doesn’t have to work, she can just focus on Caylee, and they will continue to help her out with everything.
Casey tells her parents that, “I’m glad I’m not crying every day – inside of course – but i need to keep my wits about me and stay strong. I think about you guys and that’s what makes it okay. You guys have always said that I’m the loud one, and then you [talking to her mother] and then Lee, and we all know that dad’s the quiet reserved one, we know that dad will always process things before he shows any emotion… of course dad will always be the quiet one, and Caylee is like you and me so it’s good to have dad be that way, so there is at least one person in the family who’s like that.”
[This excerpt is significant, in my opinion, because the Defense has tried to make points by attributing a guilty conscience to George’s behavior when he was not more vocally upset when Cindy told him Caylee was missing, or when he didn’t confront his daughter with questions after finding out on July 16th, but here in Casey’s own words, she explains why her father behaves the way he does, that is just his personality.]
Prosecution Evidence: George Anthony Video – August 3, 2008 – 900 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – George Anthony Visit (8/3/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
- Part 2 – George Anthony Visit (8/3/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
Casey begins another visit with a happy lilt in her voice. George tells his daughter how much he loves her, and how much her mom, brother and other family members love her. And then, without segue, George says, “In 6 days it’s Caylee’s birthday, we want to throw her a big party; we need to find her soon.” Casey says she wants to be there.
She then asks about how the benefit went and George talks about how Caylee has captured the heart of the country, everyone was very supportive and respectful at the benefit. You can tell he is very moved by the work of the Missing Children charities and community, as well as grateful for their help. He tells Casey, “We are all going to help find missing children, devote our lives to help find missing children, after all of this. I know Caylee is close i can feel her. I look at the moon and the stars, and I feel her [Casey starts crying a bit.] I’m doing everything I can to help you find her. I would give my life right now to help you and Caylee. This is destroying your mom. Maybe we were all too domineering; maybe we should have let you be; I should have listened more, I will listen more.” [Why is George blaming himself, if this was just a crazy fluke, a crazy babysitter who kidnapped Caylee? Or does he feel on some level, that his daughter had something to do with Caylee’s disappearance, out of revenge, and he is blaming himself.]
George continues, “I need to ask you one more thing, will you talk to someone else about Caylee? Scott, he is very sympathetic, he is with an agency; you can have Jose there, but he wants to find Caylee, he wants to help.” [It doesn’t sound like a grandfather who pulled his granddaughter out of a pool and knows what happened to her. He consistently asks Casey to talk to the Sheriffs, to the FBI, and to this law enforcement person, Scott.]
Casey, is more focused on getting her parents to get her out of jail, and her response to her dad’s request to talk to someone else to find Caylee is, “Yeah, dad, but it would be so much easier if i were home. I want to be home. I want to be there when she comes home. I don’t want to wait 2 or 3 days after she comes home.” The father tells her that they are doing everything they can financially, they’ve even asked the family for help, but it’s hard right now for everyone. Casey responds with, “I know dad, but I want to come home. I just want to be home.” [Casey sounds almost like a little girl, repeating over and over, that she wants to go home. She does not show this kind of emotion when she talks about bringing Caylee home.]
George and Casey have a little conversation about her attorney sacrificing Caylee to protect Casey’s rights. He tells his daughter, “but we need to find her soon; we need cooperation, sweetheart.” Casey responds, “I’ve done all I can do dad.” George offers that the entire family can go into protective custody, “we just need cooperation sweetheart, we need to find Caylee. I hope he [Jose Baez] is not sacrificing Caylee for your rights.” Casey tells him that his goal is to prove to people that what is being said about her is not true and to protect her rights.
Their visit closes with George expressing his hopes, almost asking for confirmation, that wherever she is “she is being fed-well, watching her videos, I wish whoever has her would realize that she needs to get her back to her family. She is learning so much right now.” He tells Casey that he is looking for Caylee incessantly, driving to places she might be and asking people who might know where she is, but, he adds, “that’s why we need to know everything.” Casey tells her father, “I’ve done what I can; I’ve said what I can. I want to be out there looking for her.” [Or maybe, she means just out there, since we know she was not looking for Caylee during the 31 days Caylee was missing before anyone else found out.]
Prosecution Evidence: George & Cindy Anthony Video – August 14, 2008 – 900 hours
A video recorded Jail-house visitation with Casey Anthony
- Part 1 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (8/14/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
- Part 2 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (8/14/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
- Part 3 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (8/14/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
- Part 4 – George & Cindy Anthony Visit (8/14/2008, 9:00 a.m.):
As the visit begins, Cindy is already crying, and Casey comes out with her big smile and hello. Her father is on the phone and says, “Good morning, beautiful.” Casey light-heartedly asks her dad, “Why is she crying already?” Cindy gets on the phone with Casey, still crying and says to her daughter, “We are not doing well, Casey, Lee is sick. Someone said that Caylee is dead and she drowned in the pool. It is very hard.” Casey replies with, “Surprise, surprise.”
Cindy not getting the kind of reaction or information she is seeking, pleads with her daughter, “It is terrible Casey, we are getting hate mail. We need to have something to go on.” Casey with a frustrated outburst, snaps at her mother, “I don’t have anything mom, do you understand how I feel? I have been here for over a month. I have nothing to go on.”
The parents talk about how their priority is to find Caylee, and Casey needs to tell them what else they can do. Casey begins talking about other people’s focus and intentions, “The police’s intentions are clear. You guys want Caylee. It’s clear where everyone’s intentions are. Jose is keeping me updated on stuff… Jose is focused on me; you guys are focused on Caylee.”
Her dad tries to tell her that she controls everything, not to get upset and Casey blows up with an angry, frustrated outburst, “I am completely upset! Can someone let me speak! C’mon! [gives her parents a frustrated angry look]) My entire life has been taken from me. I don’t have anything. I don’t have anyone to talk to, except Jose. That’s why I’m not calling you guys. You guys expect me to have answers, but I am out of contact from everyone. You guys are not understanding my side. You guys keep asking me for answers, but I cannot do anything. But my case is my focus right now.”
Cindy jumps in and tells Casey that Caylee should be her focus. Casey says, “Well, I cannot do anything about that from here, I can only focus on my case, that’s my priority. I need to be home, so I can do something.” And she continues to pressure her parents to put up the money to get her out of jail.
Cindy explains to her daughter, “We just want to go in the right direction.” And Casey says, “Well, I can’t help you. I don’t have anyone to comfort me, except for the occasional visit which is all business to find Caylee.” [That almost sound like, if you don’t give me what I want, I won’t give you what you want. And there is also a tinge of jealousy, when she complains that when her parents visit her, Casey, it is all about finding Caylee.]
Casey’s mom tries to explain to her that, “Dad is just telling you that you are in charge, if he [Jose Baez] is not doing something that you want him to do, Dad is just telling you, that you are in charge.” Casey tells her mother that, “I have been told who I can talk to, and who I cannot talk to. I cannot help myself by you guys keeping me here; you had the opportunity to get me out, but you didn’t take it!” Cindy as nicely as she can tries to explain to her daughter that they don’t have the means, nor the ability to get her out of jail. Casey rudely tells her mother to put her dad on the phone.
Frustrated and angry, Casey tells her father, “I am so angry, so frustrated! I am here. None of you understand where I am coming from! You expect me to have some new insight, after being here a month?!? Really! Any information I had has been passed on.”
After a small exchange, she continues, “Nobody can see my side in this, and I have to keep my mouth shut about how I feel, so I don’t give the media and the lawyers stuff to throw at me when this goes to trial. I didn’t want to see Lee because it would be an interrogation, that’s how it has been every time; and mom dominates every conversation. I wanted to see you, I wanted to talk to you. I had to make a choice.” [Casey is referring to a possible family visit, without the cameras, in a room where they can hug and talk without being video-recorded.]
Cindy gets back on the phone and asks her daughter, “Do you still think she’s okay?” And Casey says that she can still feel it, “it gets stronger everyday, she’s coming home.” Cindy asks Casey what she can say through the media so that she will let her go and Casey tells her to just “say that we forgive her.”
Casey loses her cool, when her mother asks her whether Casey believes that ‘she’ could be out of the country? And Casey snaps again at her mother saying, “God, the questions! That’s why I wanted to see Dad. He won’t ask me a million questions; and also to build our broken relationship, we started re-building it when i came in here.” [Once again, Casey seems to catch herself, realizing that saying that the reason she chose her dad for the one-on-one visit is because he won’t ask her a million questions, may not be the best reason to give, and so she adds that it is also for them to build their broken relationship.]
Charity Beasley has been employed by the Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit for more than seven years. She was asked to collect some evidence from the Anthony home on July 16, 2008. The items she collected included a laptop, a vehicle, and other miscellaneous items.
She had the Sunfire Pontiac towed to the Forensics Lab, after making sure to secure it, by sealing the doors and trunk with evidence tape. As the car was towed, she followed the tow truck and turned it over to Crime Scene Investigator, Gerardo Bloise.
Cindy Anthony also gave her some items in a blue plastic crate, which included a doll; a Dora backpack; a child’s toothbrush; a black leather bag; some papers; and some plastic clothes hangers. Casey gave her the laptop computer, which was unplugged and turned off. She filled out the appropriate forms for the items and began to establish the chain of custody.
Mr. Ashton asked her in cross-examination if she had smelled any odor from the trunk of the car, and Ms. Beasley stated that she did not recall. And Ms. Beasley was excused.
Awilda McBryde has worked for 10 years as a missing child investigator in the Orange County Sheriff’s office. She made it clear that she was not a sworn officer, but she did assist detectives on missing children cases.
On July 16, 2008, Ms. McBryde went with Mr. Anthony to Johnson’s tow-yard to get the garbage bag that the tow-yard manager had taken out of Casey Anthony’s car and thrown away. The investigator photographed and documented everything related to the garbage bag. She used gloves to handle the bag, placed it in a couple of paper bags, and placed that in the trunk of her agency car. She then brought and handed over the bag to the Forensic Unit Crime Scene Investigator, Gerardo Bloisie.
On July 17, 2008, she retrieved from the Anthony home, a computer tower and a digital camera and the items were brought to Detectives Allen and Melich at the Sheriff’s Department. There was no cross-examination.
Christine Narkiewizz is a well-educated Crime Scene Investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s office for three years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Forensics Chemistry and is finishing her Master’s in Criminal Justice.
On July 21, 2008 she assisted in taking hair and DNA samples from Casey Anthony. The prosecutor went into great detail discussing the procedures and protocols, as well all of the safety precautions they take to ensure they do not cross-contaminate samples.
Ms. Narkiewizz pulled some hairs from Casey Anthony’s head and also swabbed the inside of each of Casey’s cheeks to collect epithelial (skin) cells for DNA testing.
After collecting all the necessary samples from Casey Anthony, and sealing them properly, she turned them over to lead Crime Scene Investigator, Gerardo Bloise.
On July 28, 2008, she received from Detective Yuri Melich items belonging to Caylee Anthony, including a hairbrush, toothbrush, comb and thermometer. She collected evidence from those items for testing.
The Defense’s cross-examination involved simply reviewing again how important it is to take the safety precautions in wearing gloves and masks to preserve the integrity of the samples collected.
Mr. Gerardo Bloise is an 11-year veteran lead Crime Scene Investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s office. Before that he was a police officer in Puerto Rico who transferred to the San Juan Forensics Unit. He received forensics training by the FBI and the ATF. He has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
On July 16, 2008, he received a Sunfire Pontiac from Charity Beasley, who had the vehicle towed to the Forensics Garage. He attested to all the doors and trunk being sealed with evidence tape. He photographed the exterior of the car as he found it.
He also received a blue plastic crate, which contained a doll; a child’s backpack; a child’s toothbrush; a black leather bag; some paper items; and a few plastic clothes hangers.
Mr. Bloise described his reaction when he opened the driver-side door, taking a step back as he immediately recognized the odor of decomposition. He was asked about his past experience with the odor of human decomposition and he explained that in Puerto Rico, as well as in his current job, he has dealt with that odor about 45 times, in various stages of decomposition.
Before processing the interior of the car, he made sure to photograph and document it. The prosecution introduced a photo of the gas gage. Mr. Bloise explained how he determined and documented that the gas gage was working correctly. [Casey had told various people during the infamous 31 days that the gas gage was not working properly, and that’s why she ran out of gas and abandoned her vehicle.]
The prosecutor and Mr. Bloise review the photos of items found inside the car, including sunglasses, a CD case, a brown belt, a baby car seat, a pair of high-heeled shoes, a pair of dress boots, and a dryer sheet. There was also a leather purse Casey’s mother found on the front passenger seat and a few other items that had been in the car, but which had been turned over to investigator Bloise in the blue plastic crate, he mentioned earlier.
A photo of the underside of the car showed that there were no dead animal parts, as Casey had told a friend, to account for the horrific smell.
The prosecutor introduced a series of photos of the trunk, some showing a stain, some showing parts of the trunk liner and the tire cover and wheel well that were cut out for examination. There are also photos of hair strands, dirt residue, and dried leaves.
The investigator and the prosecutor talk about how he collected and preserved all of the evidence he found and how he stored it. He explains the protocol for sending certain pieces of evidence for analysis to specific labs. And in the end he identified the boxes or envelopes containing the evidence, verified the chain of custody, and the items were submitted and accepted into evidence.
The Defense cross-examined Investigator Bloise, arguing that decomposition could be from animals, or meats or humans, and smell differently in different environments. The defense attorney also mentioned how you would have seen thousands of maggots, and their shells after they hatch, on a decomposing body. But Mr. Bloise simply says that this is not his field of expertise and does not feel comfortable giving an opinion in this particular area.
Still pressing Mr. Bloise on his testimony about the odor of decomposition he smelled, he says to the defense attorney, “Human decomposition is unique, once you smell it, you never forget it.”
Jose Baez, the lead defense attorney, moves on the gas gage, arguing that Mr. Bloise does not know if when one drives the car, the gas gage drops down, because in determining if the gas gage worked, he never drove the car. And the investigator answers, “Correct.”
The Defense then made another point with the fact that the Luminol-like chemical, Blue Star, they used to find stains in the trunk, found the one stain in the trunk, but no blood was found. “Correct.”
Next, the Defense talked about the 12 hair strands the investigator collected by hand and the 11 other hair strands that were picked up by the vacuum in the trunk of the car, and Mr. Bloise is asked if he sent them all to be tested for mitochondrial DNA. He replied that he sent them all to be tested for ‘DNA,’ but it is up to the lab to determine which hairs they will test and determine if they will test for mitochondrial or nucleic DNA.
The Defense then wanted to discuss the bag of garbage. But Mr. Bloise insisted he had not received a bag of garbage. Mr. Baez looked shocked and quickly scanned Investigator Bloise’s report, and found the bag of garbage in a list of evidence. Mr. Baez pointed out to Mr. Bloise, that it is right there in his report, giving him the number. Mr. Bloise corrected the attorney and told him that the number he just gave him is for a bag of ‘trash’. Mr. Baez chuckled, apologized and continued. Without thinking, Jose Baez used the word ‘garbage’ and Mr. Bloise again corrected him and said, “I used the word ‘trash’ in my report, so I would prefer to use that word because I like to be accurate.” Mr. Baez, seemingly not trying to be funny, but jovially said, “That’s fine, we’ll talk trash,” which brought a moment of levity in the courtroom. [For those who may not know, ‘to talk trash’ is a young guy way of engaging in boastful, intimidating, or insulting banter, usually in sports-related competitions.]
The Defense had asked Mr. Bloise about the notes that he takes while he is documenting the items brought to him for evidence. Mr. Bloise informs the attorney that he destroyed his notes. The Defense made a big deal of the fact that Mr. Bloise had destroyed his notes, as if he were trying to hide something.
Then, on re-direct, when the prosecutor asked, Mr. Bloise explained that pursuant to Sheriff County policy as stated in a Legal Bulletin Decision, he is required to destroy his notes as soon as a report is written. Mr. Bloise also had the chance to clarify that, based on his 23 years experience and more than 40 decomposing bodies, it is his opinion that what he smelled in that car was the smell of human decomposition.
Exhausting… in one word, it was emotionally exhausting listening and watching the Anthonys interact in their jail-house visits; and it was exhausting listening to every minutia dealing with the collection and preservation of evidence.
And then I thought how truly exhausting it has to be for George and Cindy Anthony, carrying the burden of losing their precious granddaughter, only to have their daughter facing a possible death penalty. They cannot shut off their laptop and set their burden aside. They carry it every second of every day.
And the attorneys, all of them, look exhausted. Doing the job our legal system requires them to do, to fight as hard as they can to present their case to the jury.
And the judge, who has to referee the two sides; play Solomon with every motion he grants or denies, or every objection he sustains or overrules; and attempt to ease the burden on a sequestered jury.
And the jury, how exhausted and emotionally drained they must be, to have to sit there and listen without being able to discuss any of it with anyone else, without being able to write about it in a journal, or find some other way to process it all; sequestered in a hotel for the duration of the trial, a one to two hour drive away from their homes, their families, and their lives.
So many lives touched or affected by this little girl’s death… so many lives.
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved