Casey Anthony Trial | Day 32 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
(PRELIMINARY POST: Still Updating Minor Details from my Trial Notes)
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Day 32 – June 30, 2011 – Thursday
The Defense’s List of Witnesses for June 30, 2011
- First Defense Witness: Krystal Holloway – George Anthony’s alleged former mistress (a.k.a., River Cruz) and one-time volunteer.
- Second Defense Witness: Dominic Casey – Private Investigator.
- Third Defense Witness: George Anthony – Casey Anthony’s father.
- Fourth Defense Witness: Cindy Anthony – Casey Anthony’s mother.
- Fifth Defense Witness: Lee Anthony – Casey Anthony’s brother.
The Prosecution’s List of Rebuttal Witnesses for June 30, 2011
- First Prosecution Rebuttal Witness: Alina Burroughs – Crime Scene Technician for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The Defense’s Witnesses:
From Marital Affairs to Family Pet Burials
The day began with the Defense arguing, outside the presence of the jury, that the Prosecution violated the Judge’s discovery order – [the same one the Defense has violated numerous times] – by requesting Mrs. Anthony’s phone logs and computer records from her work at Gentiva. The Judge told the Defense that they could depose the witnesses from Gentiva after today’s trial day, adding, “It is logical that if someone testifies to A, the other side will check if B is not true.” but, the Judge added, they will conduct a Richardson hearing to determine if the Prosecution committed a discovery violation and if any prejudice was suffered by the Defense.
The first defense witness called to the stand was Krystal Holloway, also known as River Cruz, George Anthony’s alleged mistress, and formerly a volunteer to help find Caylee. Ms. Holloway claimed that George told her, at her home, that the matter with Caylee was an accident that snowballed out of control. Under cross-examination, Mr. Ashton pointed out that in her deposition Ms. Holloway told police, “He said, ‘I really believe it was an accident that went wrong, and she just tried to cover it up.'”
Although at first she denied the affair to police, eventually Ms. Holloway admitted to it when they approached her with text messages the two of them had exchanged, resulting in her going to the National Enquirer and giving an interview for which her twin sister was paid $4,000. [She gave no explanation as to why they would pay her sister, nor was she asked.] She claimed they broke up after Caylee’s 4th Birthday Balloon Memorial.
The Defense then called Dominic Casey, the private investigator who searched the woods at the suggestion of a psychic. [The same woods where Caylee’s remains were eventually found.] He was called back to the stand so that the Defense could submit into evidence two Google maps sent to him via email on which he had marked the area where he had searched on November 15th, 2008. He emphasized to Mr. Baez that they indicated the general area where he searched, and were not specific pinpoints of where he had searched because the map was so small. The magnified version of the map the prosecutor showed Mr. Casey prompted the witness to say that the pinpoints shown were not indicative of where he had searched.
George Anthony was then called to the stand after the lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, showed a videotape, taken by a news media outlet, of one of the Caylee command centers. In the videotape, a roll of Henkel duct tape can be seen in a box on a table. [The Henkel brand duct tape is the duct tape that was found on Caylee’s remains.] Mr. Baez asked George Anthony if he had brought that tape to the command center, and Mr. Anthony didn’t know if he had or if someone else had. Mr. Baez then insinuated that because Mr. Anthony was originally from Ohio and the Henkel brand duct tape is made in Ohio that perhaps it was his duct tape.
Mr. Baez then asked George Anthony if he recalled a series of pets, beginning in Ohio, that had died, were wrapped in blankets, put into trash bags, wrapped with duct tape, and then buried in their yard. Although George Anthony recalled the pets, he could not recall how they were wrapped up. Mr. Baez then asked, “When you found out that your granddaughter was found wrapped in a blanket, in a plastic bag, wrapped up in duct tape, did you tell law enforcement that that is how you used to bury your pets?” The prosecutor objected, a sidebar was called, and Mr. Baez had no further questions.
The prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, had only one question for Mr. Anthony during his cross-examination, “Did you ever take a dead pet and toss it in the swamp?” and Mr. Anthony replied, “No, sir.”
Unable to leave well enough alone, the Defense called Cindy Anthony to the stand to ask her about the pets and how they were wrapped up before burial. Cindy informed Mr. Baez that with Mandy, her first baby, it was she who went to the vet in Ohio to put her dog down. The vet had asked Mrs. Anthony to bring a blanket on the day the dog had to be put down, and it was the vet who wrapped the dog up in the blanket, in black plastic, and secured it with clear packaging tape. Their dog Bo, a number of years later in Florida, also had to be put down by the vet, and it was then again that the vet wrapped up the dog in a blanket, plastic, and clear tape. The rest of the pets, Ginger, Cinnamon and Penny, were wrapped up by the family in a favorite towel or blanket, put them in black plastic bags, and secured the bag with tape, later burying them in a designated spot in their backyard, which was all part of their family pet burial ritual.
Prosecutor Burdick asked Mrs. Anthony if they had ever euthanized their own pets with chloroform, or if they had ever put duct tape over the faces of their pets, and Cindy Anthony replied that they had not. Ms. Burdick brought out that Casey Anthony was a senior in high school when Ginger and Cinnamon, mother and daughter cocker spaniels, passed away one year apart. Cindy, when asked, agreed that Casey assisted her parents in wrapping up the cocker spaniels for burial, as well as being present for most of the family pet burial rituals since she was a little girl.
The Defense called Lee Anthony to also speak to the family pet burials. He did mention that duct tape was used to wrap up one of the pets and that his parents were the ones who were primarily responsible for burying the pets.
[Unfortunately for the Defense, the testimony ends up being less about George Anthony burying the pets this way, and more about ‘Aha, this is where Casey got the idea of how to wrap up Caylee.’]
After the lunch recess, Judge Perry asked Mr. Baez if they had anymore witnesses and if his client would be testifying, and he said ‘no’ to both. The jury was returned, Mr. Baez asked that the business records of Henkel brand be entered into evidence, the Judge asked him to call his next witness, and Mr. Baez said, “Your honor, the Defense rests.”
The jury was excused again so that the court and the attorneys could discuss the rebuttal witnesses and evidence the Prosecution was planning to introduce. The Defense claimed it was a violation of the court’s discovery order, the Judge allowed it in because the Defense should have expected that the Prosecution would check the veracity of Mrs. Anthony’s testimony when it came to her claims that she was at home making the Google chloroform searches, even though her work time-card reflected she was at work. The Judge did not find that a discovery violation was committed and allowed the rebuttal witnesses and business records regarding Mrs. Anthony’s claims.
Mr. Ashton wanted, for his rebuttal, for the jury to be able to smell the human decomposition odor in the can that contained the spare tire cover, but the judge denied that request, claiming that such an act would make the jurors witnesses whom the defendant would not be able to cross-examine, as is her right under the constitution. However, the Judge did allow Mr. Ashton’s request to have the entire eight-page George Anthony suicide note to be introduced into evidence and the jury was given the opportunity to read the entire note.
The first and only rebuttal witness the Prosecution called to the stand today was Alina Burroughs, a crime scene technician, who was brought in to identify a photograph the prosecutor wanted to submit into evidence, a photograph of clothing, including Caylee’s bathing suits, taken from Caylee’s wooden chest of drawers in Caylee’s bedroom.
The day ended with a spectator, a 28-year-old male, getting pulled up before Judge Perry for raising his middle finger to Jeff Ashton, the prosecutor, while he was at the podium speaking and while the jury was present. He was fined $400, he will have to pay $223 in court costs, and he will have to spend 6 days in jail. [The message: don’t mess around in Judge Perry’s courtroom.]
The Defense began the trial day by calling Krystal Holloway, a.k.a., River Cruz, George Anthony’s alleged mistress. She described meeting George Anthony at a KidFinder tent looking for his granddaughter in August 2008. She volunteered to help find Caylee and would go everyday to the tent, during which time she got to know Mr. Anthony and eventually developed an intimate relationship with him.
Ms. Holloway claimed that George Anthony had gone to her home about 12 times. She claimed to have had a heart-to-heart conversation with George Anthony, there, about what happened to his granddaughter. “He was sitting on the couch and I was on the floor.” Ms. Holloway stated, “He said it was an accident that snowballed out of control. His eyes were full of tears and I did not ask further.” She mentioned it was around Thanksgiving time and it resulted from her saying that she did not think he could have raised someone that was capable of harming her child.
Ms. Holloway added that their relationship ended on Caylee’s 4th Birthday Balloon Release, because instead of calling her to tell her that he would not be coming over after the memorial balloon event, he texted her. She added, “I wasn’t good enough to call, he texted me.” After which, her twin sister sent him a rude text back.
The Defense pointed out that she did not go to the media after they broke up, in fact it was two years later that the police found her and asked her if she had had a relationship with Mr. Anthony. They confronted her with text messages between them and asked her to provide them with her phone and letters he had written to her.
The Defense asked Ms. Holloway to read the text message in the evidence photo she had been handed, “Date is Tuesday December 16, no year, from George Anthony, ‘I need you in my life.'”
Ms. Holloway explained that she denied the affair to the police because she thought the media would find out and she was in another relationship at the time. Eventually, she told the police the truth when they confronted her with the text messages. Although she did not sell her story to the tabloids, she gave an interview to the National Enquirer because she felt that they would be fair, let her tell her story and not edit it to make her look like trash. She admitted that they paid her twin sister $4,000.
The prosecutor pointed out that at the time she “inserted” herself into the Anthonys’ lives they were celebrities of sorts, in the national news, and it was she who sought them out, they did not seek her out, and she agreed.
Mr. Ashton then sarcastically asked, to make the record clear, “So you felt the National Enquirer was the one news media outlet that would be fair and less sensationalistic?” She replied that they had told her that they would let her tell her story and not edit it. Mr. Ashton added that she knew that the story would be more interesting if she claimed to have had an affair with George Anthony, rather than just a friendship.
Jeff Ashton then showed Ms. Holloway a letter Mr. Anthony had written to her and she recognized it. In it, George Anthony wrote that he tried to leave her messages with her daughter, the security at her complex, and her husband. Ms. Holloway replied that she did not have a husband. Mr. Ashton pressed and eventually got her to admit that she was in a serious relationship, and she couldn’t remember if she had told George Anthony that she was married, but that Mr. Anthony thought she had a husband. Mr. Ashton, holding the letter, asked Ms. Holloway if Mr. Anthony had signed the letter from him and his wife, Cindy Anthony, and if he had mentioned in the letter that “the relationship with you was special to him and his wife?” and Ms. Holloway replied, “Yes.” to both questions.
ASHTON: You were placed under oath Feb 17, 2010, when the police first came to interview you and you were asked if you were in a relationship with George Anthony. You were asked “Did you and George Anthony become romantically involved?” And you answered, “No, we didn’t.” When did you change that?
HOLLOWAY: My sister went to the media with it and then I called the police and told them that I did sleep with him. I told them that within a few days after the first interview.
ASHTON: How and when did the change in your story happen?
HOLLOWAY: Within that same week.
ASHTON: When did the National Enquirer contact you?
HOLLOWAY: The end of that week.
Mr. Ashton handed Krystal Holloway a document and asked her to read specific lines from the statement she gave to police under oath and she read, “He said, ‘I really believe it was an accident that went wrong, and she just tried to cover it up.'” Mr. Ashton asked, “He didn’t tell you that he was present when this accident occurred. Did he?” and she replied that he had not said that. Mr. Ashton hammered home that George Anthony had never told Krystal Holloway that he knew this himself, nor that he knew it because Casey said it, and Ms. Holloway replied, “No, sir, he didn’t.”
During re-direct Mr. Baez claimed that Mr. Ashton had taken Krystal Holloway’s statement out of context and she agreed. As a result, during re-cross, Mr. Ashton handed Ms. Holloway the document again and asked her to read the entire section in context.
ASHTON: Start at the top of the page.
HOLLOWAY: [reading] “‘Did he tell you what happened to the child?’ ‘He said, that it was an accident that went out of control that it just snowballed.’ “Did he give you more than that?’ ‘He said it was an accident. He was on the couch and I was on the floor, I think it was the last time he was at my house.’ ‘But he didn’t give you specifics?’ ‘He said, ‘I really believe it was an accident and it just went wrong’ ‘He didn’t say it like Casey said it, he didn’t say it like he knew.'”
ASHTON: He said it like he didn’t know about it.
During re-re-re-direct, Mr. Baez attempted to show Ms. Holloway something on his laptop, but, as is protocol, Mr. Baez should have shown it to the prosecutor first. As Mr. Ashton approached Mr. Baez to see what was on his laptop, Mr. Baez pulled away, and a sidebar was called. The jury was excused by the Judge and arguing ensued. Ultimately, Mr. Baez withdrew the question, but the prosecutor, Mr. Ashton, asked Judge Perry to read a jury instruction, over which additional arguing followed. The jury was eventually returned and Judge Perry read the following instruction to the jury:
The testimony concerning the statements of George Anthony testified by Krystal Holloway may be considered by you only as impeachment of the credibility of George Anthony and for no other purpose. These statements may not be used by you as any proof of the matter of how the victim died nor can it be used by you as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
The Defense then called Dominic Casey, the Anthonys’ private investigator who searched the woods at the suggestion of a psychic. [The same woods where Caylee’s remains were eventually found.] Mr. Casey was shown a document and was asked if he recognized the Google maps that were attached to an email he had sent on November 15, 2008, indicating that area where he had searched, and Mr. Casey recognized the maps. He explained that Luke [no last name was given] sent him those maps on November 15, 2008, asking Mr. Casey to show him where he had searched. The Defense asked Mr. Casey to verify that the location of the pinpoints were in the same place on the map as they were back then and they were, as per Mr. Casey.
During cross-examination, Mr. Asthon asked Dominic Casey, “When you marked this map with a pin, you weren’t precise were you?” and Mr. Casey replied, “No, it was a very general representation of where I went.” Mr. Ashton shows the witness a magnified version of the map with the pinpoints, which prompted Mr. Casey to agree that the pinpoints shown were not indicative of where he had searched, they merely showed a general area. He noted that the magnified map allowed him to see more of that area, changing the perspective.
Before calling Mr. Anthony to the stand again, Jose Baez showed a video taken by a media source on August 1, 2008 of the command center to search for Caylee Anthony. On the videotape one can see a piece of Henkel duct tape on one of Caylee’s posters and a roll of Henkel duct tape in a box on a table.
Mr. Anthony was asked if the Henkel duct tape seen in the video was his, but he had no idea, he said it could have been or it could have been someone else’s duct tape. Mr. Baez asked the witness if he had come from Ohio, and George Anthony confirmed that he had, and Mr. Baez pointed out that that is where Henkel duct tape is made.
Mr. Baez changed topics and confirmed through George Anthony that he had a dog named Many in Ohio, who had to be put down and was buried in their front yard. Mr. Baez asked if the dog had been wrapped in a blanket, put in a plastic bag, and taped up with duct tape, but Mr. Anthony could not remember.
The Defense then asked George Anthony if Bo, the family dog who was put down about 5 years ago, was “wrapped in a blanket, put in a bag, and taped up with duct tape?” but Mr. Anthony did not remember. Then he was asked about Penny, Ginger, and Cinnamon. “When you found out that your granddaughter was found wrapped in a blanket, in a plastic bag, wrapped up in duct tape, did you tell law enforcement that that is how you used to bury your pets?” An objection rang out, a sidebar was called, and Mr. Baez had no further questions.
Mr. Ashton’s cross-examination was short, but sweet:
ASHTON: Did you ever take a dead pet and toss it in the swamp?
ANTHONY: No. Sir.
ASHTON: No more questions.
Cindy Anthony was called back to the witness stand to talk about her family pets. She was asked if she had a dog named Mandy more than 20 years ago in Ohio, and she did, she got the dog in 1981, it was her first baby. Casey was a toddler when Mandy had to be put down. Cindy brought her to the vet and was asked to bring a blanket or something to put her in. They handed her to Cindy already wrapped up in a plastic bag, taped up.
The next pet was Bo, who had to be put down the summer of 1990 and he was buried in the backyard. George and Casey took Bo to the vet and he died on the table while the vet was looking at him. Once again, it was the veterinarian who wrapped him up in black plastic with tape. Bo was buried in the backyard and Casey was about four years old.
The rest of the pets the family secured themselves, using a blanket or towel, garbage bags and clear wrapping tape, after which they were buried in the backyard where they have a memorial marker, which is a dog statue.
Ms. Burdick asked Cindy Anthony if she had ever euthanized her own pets with chloroform or put duct tape over any of the faces of her pets, and she predictably answered ‘no’ to both questions. It came out that the two cocker spaniels, Ginger and Cinnamon, were mother and puppy dying in 2003 and 2004 when Casey Anthony was a senior in high school. She assisted her parents in wrapping them up. This was a family tradition, to wrap up the pets and bury them in the designated spot in the backyard.
Lee Anthony was asked if he was present or remembered being present for any of the pet burials. He remembered burying one of them in the backyard and “she was in a black plastic bag and the bag was secured with duct tape.” He was asked who was in charge of burying their pets and he replied that it was his parents. And there was no cross-examination.
The Defense Rests
After the lunch recess, but before the jury was returned to the courtroom, Judge Perry asked Mr. Baez if he would be introducing any more “live witnesses” and he said that they would not. The Judge then asked the Defense if their client would be testifying and Mr. Baez said that she would not be testifying. The Judge then addressed Ms. Anthony directly and asked, “Ms. Anthony, you know that this is your decision and your decision alone? Have you had enough time to discuss this with your attorneys?” And she replied ‘yes’ to both.
The Judge returned the jury, and the Defense introduced the business records for Henkel brands into evidence. The Judge then asked, “Mr. Baez, call your next witness.” and Mr. Baez replied, “Your honor, the Defense rests.”
Nearly as quickly as they returned, the jury was excused again so that the court and the attorneys could handle some matters.
Judge Perry asked and Ms. Burdick confirmed that the State would be presenting rebuttal testimony and that it should take less than a day. Mr. Mason on the Defense side was not happy about that.
Mr. Mason argued that the State was attempting to introduce the employment records of Mrs. Anthony, attempting to impeach her testimony as to whether she was at work while the computer searches for chloroform were made. However, the State had just presented the Defense with “documents of some kind. Mrs. Anthony testified in the deposition in July 28, 2009 that she had made those searches. They had two years to get those records and the witnesses who work at that company.” [Alluding to a discovery violation.]
Ms. Burdick replied that the documents the State intends to present includes a one-page report for a username, cmanthon, for the week of March 17th through March 21st, which details emails that were sent, received and deleted for the dates in question; and the second is a log of Mrs. Anthony’s activity at her desktop and terminal at Gentiva, which details Mrs. Anthony logging in and using her documents. Since Mrs. Anthony was very specific about passwords and her computer activity last week, and the State has a right to investigate that and use it in rebuttal. An investigative subpoena was required and the documents began coming in on June 27, 28, and 29. Gentiva’s compliance officer, John Camperlengo will testify to all of this.
Mr. Mason argued again that the State should not be allowed to bring in last minute witnesses, but the Judge cut to the chase by asking Jose Baez if the Defense knew that Cindy Anthony was going to deny being at work on those days. Mr. Baez coyly said that that they all knew. The Judge, sounding a bit annoyed, asked if it was in her deposition, and Mr. Baez had to answer, “No, not exactly.”
Ms. Burdick, the lead prosecutor, argued that the inquiry for a discovery violation is focused on whether it was intentional or willful. “Mrs. Anthony started talking about emails, and logins, and passwords on testimony trying to make her position, so we followed up on it. This was not willful. I just got it and gave it to the Defense as soon as we could. And the prejudice, if any, can be cured by talking with Mr. Camperlengo.”
The Judge found, pursuant to Richardson vs State, that “this was not a discovery violation, as soon as these became available the State provided them to the Defense. The Defense raises the issue of prejudice. Trials are supposed to be about a search for the truth so the jury can take the law and apply it against the facts and reach a verdict based on the truth.”
The next issue involved Mr. Ashton’s request to allow the jury to smell the odor of human decomposition in a can containing a piece of the trunk tire cover to rebutt Dr. Furton’s assertion that the odor in the trunk came from the trash.
Judge Perry denied Mr. Ashton’s request to have the jury smell the odor in the can because in doing so, the jurors would become witnesses, which in turn would violate Ms. Anthony’s constitutional right to confront a witness. Judge Perry went even further than that and made a decision to not allow that particular item to go back to the jury room with the jury, to ensure that some juror does not decide on his own to open the can and smell it.
The Judge returned the jury, and the Prosecution presented their first rebuttal witness.
The Prosecution’s Rebuttal Witnesses:
Caylee’s Clothing, Drawings, Field Reports and a Suicide Note
The prosecution called back, Alina Burroughs, crime scene technician for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, as their first rebuttal witness. Ms. Burroughs was asked if she photographed items during the execution of a search warrant, and she had. Ms. Burdick showed her some photographs and Ms. Burroughs identified them as photos she had taken of clothing items seized from a wooden chest of drawers from Caylee’s bedroom. The clothing items included some of Caylee’s bathing suits. The photographs were admitted into evidence and the witness was excused.
Next the prosecutors introduced into evidence drawings by Dominic Casey; field reports and maps by Joe Jordan; and George Anthony’s suicide note. The latter was published to the jury for them to read each one of the eight pages.
After that, Judge Perry declared, “This concludes the presentation for today. Some time tomorrow we will conclude all the presentation of the evidence. Saturday you will hear the final summations and on Saturday afternoon you will receive your instructions and begin your deliberations.” and the jury was excused.
And What Does the Middle Finger Mean?
A spectator in the audience, Matthew Bartlett, got his 15 minutes of fame, along with a $400 fine, $223 in court costs, and six days in jail for sticking his middle finger up at Jeff Ashton, one of the prosecutors, while Mr. Ashton was speaking at the podium and while the jury was present. In spite of signs posted on the courtroom doors and a special warning by the bailiffs on proper decorum in the courtroom, Mr. Bartlett was photographed showing his middle finger.
The Judge showed Mr. Bartlett the photograph asking, “And what does that mean?” Mr. Bartlett explained that the middle finger is the F word and he was extending that finger to Mr. Ashton while the court was in session. The Judge asked Mr. Bartlett if he read and understood the sign posted at the door, and he had. The Judge asked him what was the highest grade he had completed and he responded that it was the 12th grade. The Judge asked, “So you can read and write?” and Mr. Bartlett responded he could.
Judge Perry found him guilty of the crime of contempt and he will forever have a record by which to remember the day he attended the Casey Anthony trial.
It is amazing how quickly and how long it took to get the end of the case in chief for the Prosecution and the Defense.
Tomorrow the rebuttal by the Prosecution will be presented, and what a bombshell that will be, as they prove that Cindy Anthony perjured herself under oath. If the evidence the Prosecution previewed today about Mrs. Anthony’s work records is true, then she was definitely at work, which means the only one left at home on March 17th and March 21st of 2008, during the early afternoon, to make the Google searches about chloroform and similar troublesome searches, is Casey Anthony. And with that, the Prosecution returns the premeditation to the table.
It is almost over for all of us who have been following the trial, but it will never be over, no matter what the jury decides, for the Anthonys.
What are your thoughts?
Casey Anthony Trial | Day 33 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations) – Coming Soon
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