Blogs

June 2011

07/01/11

Pets, Lies and Duct Tape

    In his opening statement, Jose Baez guaranteed that the jury would come to believe that George Anthony had sexually molested Casey when she was young, that he found Caylee’s body floating in the backyard pool, and he alone applied duct tape to her face. Somehow, someway, he would explain how meter reader Roy Kronk disposed of the child’s body so he could later “discover” it and collect a reward. But as the defense wrapped up its case Thursday it was clear that Baez had failed to deliver the goods. His strategy created a lot of smoke but yielded little substance.    If anything, the sleaziness of the defense team may have done just as much to seal its client’s fate as the State’s methodically laid-out case. There were times I felt Casey would get a lesser sentence...

Posted at 12:18 AM | Permalink | Comments: 150

06/30/11

The End Is Near . . . For Whom?

    Finally, the Casey Anthony trial is near an end. Today, the defense is expected to rest its case, a moment that should elicit a collective sigh of relief out of everyone who has been following the proceedings.  I feel as if I’ve been watching a train wreck in slow-mo over the last week, knowing full well that  I should turn my head to avoid seeing the carnage. But like everyone else I couldn’t take my eyes off witness stand.      I don't think it's necessary to do a play-by-play of the case, or explain how Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton shredded some of the defense’s key expert witnesses. No, this post is about some particular events that could influence the outcome of the trial, and I'll start with Cindy...

Posted at 08:12 AM | Permalink | Comments: 23

06/27/11

A Fool's Errand

    Competency is a broad word that can be used in many ways. In Casey Anthony’s case, her attorneys believed that she was not competent to aid and assist in her own defense. Therefore, and was incompetent to continue with the trial. That, we found out Monday, was the cause of the abrupt end to Saturday’s court proceedings.     If you study Casey in the courtroom, it's easy to recognize she's having issues with her defense – Jose Baez in particular. Because of her behavior, her counsel decided to have her evaluated. If you recall, Judge Strickland ordered a psychological profile on her by two doctors in July of 2008, when she was being held on a felony charge of child neglect. That was the same day he remarked that the truth and Ms. Anthony are strangers.     The...

Posted at 06:50 PM | Permalink | Comments: 52

06/26/11

All Fired Up

    Something very disruptive took place in court on Saturday morning – something that caused Judge Perry to cancel the rest of the day's testimony. That, in and of itself, is quite a feat, considering this judge's reputation.     “Do both sides concur that a legal issue has arisen… that would necessitate us to recess court for the day?” he said after nearly 45 minutes of private discussion in chambers with defense attorneys. No, this had nothing to do with a plea arrangement, as many in the media subsequently pondered. Nor was it over defense expert witnesses or Jose Baez's continued failure to comply with court orders mandating that he provide prosecutors with complete and timely discovery information. “One would think this would have grown old by now, but some...

Posted at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments: 48

06/24/11

The Truth About Cindy's Testimony

     The media on Thursday labeled Cindy Anthony’s testimony as a bombshell, and many have commented that Casey’s mother and the defense conspired to torpedo key evidence in an attempt to plant reasonable doubt. Cindy testified that she was the one who Googled chloroform in March of 2008, but was that a lie, as so many have suggested? Who knows for certain?     But Thursday’s testimony should not have come as a surprise to prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick, though she acted as if it did. The following are excerpts from a deposition Cindy gave on July 28, 2009, with Drane Burdick asking the questions:          Q: All right. There is a search for how to make chloroform on your desktop computer. Did you make that search?A: I'm not sure.Q: Why not?A: Because I remember...

Posted at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments: 48

06/22/11

The Defense Wrests

    Jose Baez, Casey Anthony's lead defense attorney, offered up some very odd theories in his opening statement on May 24. Now, everyone is waiting, with great anticipation, to hear the evidence that has eluded us since that day. The strange accusations about a meter reader, sexual molestations and George finding Caylee's body in the backyard pool threw the trial out of whack and it took the State by complete surprise. While prosecutors quickly rebounded, it's the defense running the show now, and it grows more convoluted with each passing day. Exactly how this will unfold remains to be seen, but that's the defense story and they're sticking to it. Trust me, I'm just as curious and impatient as the rest of you, but first, some basics.     Generally, in criminal trials, the...

Posted at 09:58 PM | Permalink | Comments: 32

06/20/11

A Velvet Glove on an Iron Fist

What we've got here is failure to communicate.”  - From the movie Cool Hand Luke     There is no better way to describe the explosive dynamic between Casey Anthony's defense team and state prosecutors. They are like oil and water; yin pitted against yang and ebb against flow in a dichotomous whirlwind of turmoil and frustration. Sitting amidst this turbulence is Judge Belvin Perry Jr.     I think we all recognize a judge must be just, and Perry is. On Monday morning, he listened to both sides disagree over legal issues before bringing in the jury. Perry put an end to the heated discussion after almost 25 minutes. Enough, he said. He looked at prosecutor Jeff Ashton and asked him to tell him the time on the courtroom clock. 9:25, Ashton replied. Then Perry asked Jose Baez the...

Posted at 09:45 PM | Permalink | Comments: 28

06/20/11

What's Next? Hauling A Load of Kronk?

    Forensic entomologist Dr. Tim Huntington was called to the stand last week. Of most interest was his testimony that he had received a phone call from Linda Kenney Baden, then a defense attorney hired by Casey, on December 11, 2008 to let him know that the unidentified remains of a child were found near the Anthony home. Suddenly, the date of the call became a mystery. Why would the defense team contact a potential expert witness without knowing the identity of the remains? Did Jose Baez know all along where the body Caylee was located? Although this has piqued the interest of many, the answer is most likely no. A good defense anticipates trouble down the road.     To be honest, as soon as I heard the news about the discovery two weeks before Christmas, I knew who it was. We...

Posted at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Comments: 39

06/17/11

The Defense Lays a Foundation

    Thursday marked the third anniversary of Caylee Marie Anthony's death. No one in the courtroom made mention of it, but everyone clearly knew that this morning marked the beginning of the Baez Blitz, aka, Casey's Last Stand. First to face his charge was Gerardo Bloise, a CSI investigator with the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Baez's initial line of questioning seemed routine. He asked Bloise about examining Anthony Lazzaro's vehicle. Lazzaro was Casey's boyfriend before and during the time of her first arrest. Bloise was also asked about his involvement in searching the Anthony home for evidence, and the scope of his responsibilities, such as collecting only Casey's clothing for clues.     While examining evidence, Baez asked Bloise about his...

Posted at 12:07 AM | Permalink | Comments: 36

06/14/11

The State Rests

    For all intents and purposes, the State of Florida rested its case on Tuesday. There will be no more witnesses. Wednesday morning, prosecutors will do some minor housecleaning before ceding the floor to the defense. Two of the things that need to be swept up pertain to cans holding evidence. What the State plans on doing with those cans wasn't explained, but the last thing the judge said to the jury before he dismissed them was that he would see them all in the morning. Will the cans be "open" for inspection? The idea has certainly crossed our minds, and the odor of decomposition would impact the jury tremendously, but I won't speculate. I think the tattoo testimony was the most fitting way for the prosecution to end their case.    There is also the matter of judicial...

Posted at 10:14 PM | Permalink | Comments: 24

06/12/11

16 Days

    Early Saturday afternoon marked the end of sixteen days of intense testimony from the people who have almost become household names over the past three years. Some we've vilified, while others we've grown to know and respect. The list is long and varied, and it will grow even longer this week as the State nears the final stages of its case against Casey Anthony. So far, we've seen a veritable who's who in this case, from law enforcement and expert witnesses to Casey’s immediate family, her former friends and her erstwhile lovers. We've watched and listened to cross-examinations, readdresses, recrosses and redirects, not to mention what must be close to a record number of sidebars.    The past weeks have brought us quite an education in many respects. We've learned a lot...

Posted at 09:33 PM | Permalink | Comments: 32

I Was There

06/10/11

I Was There

    There are moments in life when we say, "I was there."    When Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, I watched it unfold LIVE, on glorious black and  white TV. I remember watching John Glenn orbit the Earth, sitting in my grade school cafeteria in delight. Those were but two glorious moments in time, and I was there.    When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, we were ushered into the very same cafeteria to be told the news before we were sent home. Visions of the Twin Towers falling from the sky are etched into our hearts and souls, and we will never forget. Tragedies never escape us.    Today was one of those moments in time. No, Caylee Marie Anthony's death...

Posted at 12:37 AM | Permalink | Comments: 35

06/08/11

A Mixed Bag

Trash Talk    Gerardo Bloise took center stage once again Tuesday morning. Bloise, if you recall, collected evidence from Casey Anthony's white Pontiac Sunfire, including a white bag of trash removed from the trunk of the vehicle. Part of the job description of the CSI Level 2 investigator is to sift through some of the worst stuff, like someone else's garbage, after it has sat in a steamy Florida trunk in July. It's hot enough to bake a pizza!     After he set the garbage aside, he noticed that it no longer imparted the horrible odor of human decay and it took on a much more palatable aroma of baked rubbish, so what that proved to him was that wherever the smell came from, it wasn't from the contents of that bag. As he examined bit after bit of goo and muck, he photographed...

Posted at 12:56 AM | Permalink | Comments: 21

06/07/11

Classical Vass

    You could tell from the moment he took the stand that Dr. Arpad Vass was going to be more than just your usual witness. A senior research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he tested air and carpet samples for the state of Florida in its case against Casey Anthony. Human decomposition odor analysis is a relatively new science, and by that, I mean it's never been used in a trial before. Before this one, that is, and it's also another notch in the resume of State Attorney Jeff Ashton. His first claim to fame was way back in 1987. While prosecuting a rape case, he was the first in the country to use DNA evidence successfully in a trial.     Arpad Vass is a veritable who's who of -ologies, meaning he's got a ton of scientific studies under his belt. He's the somebody in...

Posted at 12:10 AM | Permalink | Comments: 30

06/05/11

How the Cards Stack

    After two full weeks of trial, so far the state has presented a highly credible chronological account of the events in the life of Casey and what happened to Caylee, starting in June 2008. With all the defense bumbling and missteps throughout pretrial motions and hearings, just how is Jose & Co. handling affairs in the courtroom, now that the trial against Casey Anthony is underway? One of the things we must recognize is that Jose is not only lead attorney by name, he is walking the walk – guiding her defense through thick and thin. Despite error after error, he's not really doing all that poorly, based on how he handled cross examinations and readdresses on Friday and Saturday. Considering that he has a liar and thief for a client, and his tactics have not always been on the...

Posted at 08:00 PM | Permalink | Comments: 24

About This Blog

'Marinade Dave' Knechel

Dave Knechel has been blogging about the Casey Anthony case since late 2008, drawing readers from all over the world. Best known as “Marinade Dave,” a nickname he got when he made marinades and also blogged about marinade recipes, Knechel is on assignment to blog about the case exclusively for orlandomagazine.com as Anthony goes to trial for first-degree murder. His posts will appear regularly on this site.

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