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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 things never change,” Perry lamented.
    Something big is about to change the complexion of the trial, and after careful analysis, I have come to the conclusion that Casey wants to rid herself of one of her attorneys – either Baez or Cheney Mason, and I am basing my opinion on more than mere speculation.
    One can gather plenty of information from how people respond to others. Certainly, body language can say a lot. There's also the issue over Casey's perception of her defense team. On one hand, you have a highly experienced attorney in Mason, yet he cowered like a frightened mouse as he questioned Dr. G on the stand. He hand-delivered a critical victory to the State by walking blindly into her cross-examination. Later, on direct-examination of another witness, he brought up July 15, 2008 and what precipitated Casey's being put in handcuffs temporarily and placed in the cage of a patrol car. That, of course, was the day her mother made her now famous 911 calls. To what end did Mason's line of questioning serve? Nothing, as far as I'm concerned, and instead it opened up a can of worms that may come back to haunt Team Casey. For such a distinguished career, Mason's ineptitude threatened to derail Casey's defense.
    On the other hand, we have Jose Baez, who I've described as an attorney that seems to be taking one step forward and three steps back. While he has his shining moments, he's been less than stellar in virtually every area he's addressed. That's bad enough, but it's not my main issue with him. When I watched the interaction between Casey and Baez early on, they seemed fascinated with each other. It was enough to give rise to the rumor that the two of them were secretly having an affair. No, I never believed it for an instant, but they were clearly in tune with each other. Over time, their relationship began to fade, and today, it could only be described as fractured; like a relationship that's nothing more than an ill-conceived pipedream. Time to move on, perhaps. Gone are the glory days that exuded confidence and victory, now replaced by an element of disdain for each other. Casey seems to have lost her confidence in him. In court on Saturday, Baez stood and leaned toward Casey. She leaned back in her chair and began talking to Mason. Baez went on to continue his conversation with Dorothy Sims, sitting to Casey's immediate left. That interaction, or lack thereof, was very revealing, certainly not the first time, and it only served to fuel my apprehension. There was absolutely no interaction between the defendant and her lead counsel.
    What really transpired behind closed doors, in chambers? It could be some sort of trap Mason has set for the judge – a legal technicality he hopes will derail the trial, but I don't think so. There's discord in this defense team. They are in disarray, and I sense that they are turning on each other.

     Which one would get the boot if push comes to shove? As far as I'm concerned, it would have to be Jose Baez, and that might be a good deal for him in the overall scheme of things. Why? Because Judge Perry could let him walk away from this mess with one important incentive – leave and there will be no contempt of court charges filed at the end of this trial. I'd call that a victory for both of them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments, page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 Next »
Jun 26, 2011 01:00 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave,

Wow. I was not expecting you to say that! Very interesting. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

You're doing a great job in observing and writing your thoughts for us. Thank you, sir.

Jun 26, 2011 01:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave,
I have to disagree with you here. I've observed Casey staring at Jose as if trying to get his attention and interract with him. Especially at the end of court every day when they stand up. She watches him and he usually goes over to Chenny and starts up a conversation. It will be interesting to see what transpires on Monday! Having said that, I usually agree with your blogs and look forward to reading them every day. Keep up the good work!!!!

Jun 26, 2011 01:08 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

That was xactly what I was thinking....

Jun 26, 2011 01:19 pm
 Posted by  calipatti

Hello Dave, Interesting perspective on Saturdays event. I have decided not to guess what happened Saturday after my first few lame attempts. Your thoughts are based on what you observe of the key players.
Just to ask, Casey & Baez have disagreed in the past how would now be different?
Cheny Mason has not seemed to be on top of the situation in the courtroom any more than Baez. I understand that it is a common event in trials for both sides to try and do what Baez has tried to do in court with the testimony of experts. It is NOT uncommon. Correct me if I am wrong.
The jury has not heard most of the problems with her case so the trial has not been effected.

I recall Judge Perry asking Casey about her satisfaction with her attorneys and ruling that the defense team will stand. That no attys could withdraw.
Also, if your thoughts are correct, how common is it for a client to ask for a change of attys at this point and is it granted? Does the clients request need to be based on facts or just a whim?
You know how my thoughts ramble, hope I made sense.
Thanks Dave, I appreciate you being there for us.

Jun 26, 2011 01:21 pm
 Posted by  Mary Jo

Since JP sealed the transcript of what they talked about behind closed doors I would think that it was sensitive in nature or had to do with attorney client privilege. It could be neither and the judge just thought it wasn't the public's right to know so he sealed it. I think you could be right about her not being happy with someone on her defense team, but I thought that Jose couldn't leave since he had been compensated unless Casey fired him. I don't think the judge would allow that to happen though considering how far along we are with this trial. I don't think JP would let Mason leave at this time either, but I could be wrong. Casey did not look happy when she entered court on Saturday and I know that the defense team did meet with her for a little bit in her holding cell before she entered court. They also met with her in her holding cell on Friday morning. Ann Finnell hasn't been attending the trial at all so if your theory is right, it would take her a few days I would think to be caught up to date on everything that has transpired. I would not be surprised in the least if Mason didn't come up with something to derail this trial or even cause a mistrial. He is very sneaky and sits back and watches and listens to everything to see if he can use something to cause a mistrial. They know their client is going to be found guilty so they will just keep trying to ask for a mistrial.
Thanks for this article, Dave and for being in the court room for us. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.

Jun 26, 2011 01:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

One big issue to look at here and not in your post is the fact that Baez is not cerified as a death pentaly attorney. Mason is. They need each other.

Jun 26, 2011 01:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Great write-up! I don't think Casey is firing anyone but rather, I believe Mason wants out. He sees that Baez is pushing for disbarrment with his disregard for court orders and he wants out. He called for the unrecorded sidebar and I believe he may have even reported an impropriety on baez' part and asked to be removed.

Dave, why would this mean the rest of the day off? I have a good idea but wanted to hear your opinion.

Jun 26, 2011 01:47 pm
 Posted by  Uwho

Is it possible that Mr. Mason is fed up with Baez not following the Court's orders and not listening to him? What about Mr. Mason wanting out as he has had enough of Baez'not only bickering with Ashton but making snarky remarks to the judge? Is it possible Mason is advising Casey and Baez that from his experience, their position is not working and maybe a plea would benefit Casey?
I guess anything is possible, huh.

Jun 26, 2011 02:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

These are probably a minor points, but as long as we are speculating (ha!), I was wondering if we could glean anything from two supposed facts from Saturday:

1) Mason was the one to approach the judge to confer on whatever this matter was and
2) Reporters indicated that Mason's voice could be heard booming (angry) behind the closed-door pow-wow.

It just seems to me that neither one of these things (if true) indicate the defense was shaking up their team. And would that take 45 minutes to discuss? And would the defense want the prosecution team there the entire time? And would Mason and Baez leave court seemingly simpatico and heading to Mason's office?

Any thoughts?

Jun 26, 2011 02:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Okay, I just posted a minute ago on the two supposed facts that make it seem odd that the defense team is breaking up, and my thought behind that is those two facts seem at odds with someone being forced out...

But now I see the comments on Mason maybe WANTING out. Hmmmm...could that be? But if that is the deal, it seems like odd timing for him to say it. Like why not wait until the end of the court day -- or do it the day before? I don't know...but seems like it was done at an odd time, as Baez was starting out with the defense's next witness, with seemingly no clue. But it is possible...wow, this bugging me way too much. I want to know now!

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'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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