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Casey Anthony Hearings On Steroids


The Honorable Belvin Perry

The anticipation of today’s hearing was actually palpable in the media and blogosphere and I, as thousands of others, eagerly tuned-in.  Judge Belvin Perry didn’t disappoint!  He definitely holds the reigns tightly.

First observation was just how nicely everyone was playing together.  Apparently, gone are the days of sniping and snark!  Even Cindy was on her best behavior – no gum or water bottle.

Second observation, most everybody was convinced the Baez would take the backseat and Mason would be top dog – not so!  Baez was a bit more professional today than we have seen, but still vague on a lot of his responses.  Judge Perry would have none of that and corralled him every time.

The State has 250 on their witness list and have deposed 36 so far.  They have scheduled a day a week just to do depositions.

Baez complained about deposing Oak Ridge Labs and said they won’t cooperate.  Jeff Ashton said he and Kenney Baden have been working together and it looks like Oak Ridge depo may take place in July.  The hold up is the Oak Ridge procedures are proprietary.

Third observation is the Judge won’t allow a dragging of heels in his court.  Baez claims they have been unable to examine all the physical evidence because they have no idea what budget they are working with since Casey has been declared indigent.  (Excuse me – what the hell have you been doing for two years and $200k dollars?)

Judge Perry basically said Baez should have already settled the budget with JAC, yet Baez countered with the same silly argument Mason used with Judge Strickland (so the defense didn’t have to tip it’s hand) to go before a Special Master to resolve the budget.  Perry pretty much told Baez this had to be done next week and he didn’t care if JAC sent someone to Orlando or if it was done telephonically.

Judge Perry set aside May 9, 10, and 11 to hear the outstanding, non–death penalty motions.  That will include the Change of Venue motion.  Perry sort of surprised everyone but saying he is more inclined to find a jury elsewhere and bring them to Orlando and sequester them.  I know from the Christian-Newsom trials that this is actually for more cost efficient than moving the trial elsewhere.  Don’t lose site of the fact, that as Chief Judge, Perry is extremely budget-conscious.

Perry said if this is a sequestered jury we should see the court working 5 1/2 days a week.  9-1 on Saturdays so they can be done and go home ASAP.

May 11 and 12 are set aside for all the death penalty motions.  Andrea Lyon will be in Florida for those!

May will be a very busy month!

Next Judge Perry tried to get an estimate as to the length of the trial itself. He asked Linda Drane Burdick how long she expected the Case in Chief might take.

3-4 weeks was her reply.

Perry asked Baez how long the defense would take and his response was something to the effect, all in all about 6 weeks.

Perry said let me ask again, “how long for the defense case?” and Baez said 3 weeks or less!

Next, Judge Perry wanted to know if the death penalty was the outcome of the trial, how long each side needed for the death penalty phase.

Jeff Ashton, who will handle the death penalty phase for the State, said one day.  Baez and Lyon concurred they will need 5 days!

So, figure you’re in for a two-month haul.

Perry stated he wanted to see the trial begin earlier than the May 9, 2011 date currently proposed.  Perry asked why couldn’t we start on May 2.  Drane Burdick said that was the original date, but Lyon had a personal issue that day.  Lyon told Perry that her daughter was graduating college that day.

Perry said he would approve the 9th but, will issue an order and there would be no postponements allowed!

Perry told both sides that status hearings will be held every 45 days to ensure everything is on track and all parties are on schedule.

So far, I’m liking the new sheriff in town, his no nonsense style and his git ‘er done attitude!



  1. Kim
    04/30/2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks for the briefing! I haven’t been able to see anything here at work – well done and I appreciate it!!

  2. David From TN
    04/30/2010 at 12:38 pm

    I just remembered the Jessica Lundsford murder. The trial of the suspect was moved from Citrus County to Miami with the jury coming from Miami. In this one, the judge is bringing an outside jury to Orange County. As Donchais writes, this is how it is being done with the Christian-Newsom trials. This is standard procdure in Tennessee.

  3. auntdeedee
    04/30/2010 at 12:48 pm

    Heehee! That “git ‘er done’ attitude of Judge Perry was just what I was thinking, too. I like this judge-no nonsense from the defense-put away all excuses!
    At first, I thought Perry was going to be OK with moving everyone to another town for the change of venue if all was a go, but got a sigh of relief when he said he would just get the jurors to come to Orlando. I do hope they will try to seat a local jury before going that route. Mason commented that he looks forward to getting jurors elsewhere since they won’t be as swayed by “outrageous’ bloggers. LOL! Alot of people in Orlando aren’t paying attention to the case through blogs, though, maybe through the incessant news programs. For some its like the same old song playing over and over again-after awhile you don’t even notice its when its playing.

  4. FRG
    04/30/2010 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the article! Yes, things were different today, thank goodness!! Everybody cleaned their acts.
    I was not impressed with JB since he forgot to bring his agenda to check upon the dates available for the next hearings, after all what type of lawyer doesn’t carry it, his life depend upon dates and JB was not prepared. Also JB didn’t know how many Motions were not heard, can you believe that??? JB is so pathetic!!! Does JB do that to try to delay things or because he is an incompetent??? I would say the second one is more suitable. LOL
    I thought CM today was distant, like he didn’t care so much to argue with JP, I may be wrong but CM was happier when JS was presiding.
    Did you notice the “stoic looking” of muffin???
    No chewing gum, and no nonsense. George looked afraid and he sat down there and didn’t even look at Cindy, at least from what I saw. I wouldn’t even be in the courtroom, I would be at home ashamed of being accused of “maybe” have molested his daughter, but the Anthony’s don’t look to be bothered by anything that muffins says after all they raised the monster. That’s really sad that the Anthony’s have forgotten to bring justice for little Caylee.

  5. ritanita
    05/01/2010 at 10:04 am

    Great summary, Donchais!

    I’m getting ready to re-watch the hearing and write an article of my own… hearings make me fall asleep afterwards as I’m no morning glory like you are.

    I’m interested in reviewing the InSession interviews with all involved. I nodded out on Baez & Mason making happy-happy with the new judge. Uh… I don’t think so! It’s what they have to say now.

  6. FRG
    05/01/2010 at 12:15 pm

    Bingo!!! You are right, nobody bought that!!! I believe CM & JB had no other choice than praise the new Judge… how pathetic that was!!! In my opinion CM should have stayed out of this infamous case, he would have been better off, I say that because now CM is trying to question JS’s order by filing a Motion. What an “EGO” is capable of. Pitiful!!!! They should leave JS alone now. Defense got what they wanted.

  7. Kitty Malone
    05/01/2010 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the great summary Donchais! I, too, am liking the new judge! He’s going to keep everyone on track and get this trial moving! It’s about time there is justice for Caylee!

  8. Marica
    05/02/2010 at 9:55 pm

    Just wanted to tell you how much I like the photo you chose of Judge Perry to use with your excellent post.

  9. FRG
    05/04/2010 at 9:19 am

    Good morning!!! The pre trial civil hearing today will be held at 1:30 pm and so far I don’t know if it will be live streamed, usually it is.
    05/04/2010 Motion for Continuance
    JOINT Motion for Continuance
    Do you know what a Motion for Continuance is?
    I hope C&G are not going into foreclosure so they won’t have to pay any money to ZFG, which it would be stupid. Are you going to watch the hearing, in case it’s live streamed? I will.

    • donchais
      05/04/2010 at 10:25 am

      Morning FRG!

      Thanks for the info. I am covering the Christian-Newsom murder trial and can’t let it go. So I’m depending on you guys to keep a watch over the Anthony hearings!

      I have a feeling both sides may be in agreement to delay the hearing.

  10. Anonymous
    05/04/2010 at 1:10 pm

    Fox will covering the hearing, thank goodness.
    Casey Anthony civil suit pre-trial
    Updated: Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 12:56 PM EDT
    Published : Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 12:22 PM EDT
    By NICK FOKIANOS | FOX 35 News

    Live coverage:
    Good luck on your Christian-Nelson coverage.

  11. donchais
    05/04/2010 at 2:29 pm

    Anonymous :

    Fox will covering the hearing, thank goodness.
    Casey Anthony civil suit pre-trial
    Updated: Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 12:56 PM EDT
    Published : Tuesday, 04 May 2010, 12:22 PM EDT
    By NICK FOKIANOS | FOX 35 News

    Live coverage:
    Good luck on your Christian-Nelson coverage.

    Thanks for the info! Hopefully WFTV will have the videos up!

  12. FRG
    05/04/2010 at 4:20 pm

    More Delays For Casey Anthony Civil Trial
    Posted: 12:47 pm EDT May 4, 2010
    Updated: 3:05 pm EDT May 4, 2010
    “The trial had been scheduled for June 14, but because of things not being completed, rulings still awaiting decisions and more information to review, both parties said they would not be ready for the June date.”
    I guess we will have to wait. Oh well!!!

    • donchais
      05/04/2010 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks FRG! I kind of thought that was the case.

  13. Anonymous
    05/04/2010 at 6:51 pm

    There is more to it, the hearing seemed not to have audio, so we could not hear what the lawyers were talking about to Judge Rodriguez. From what I read Mr. Mitnik, attorney for Zenaida, needs more time to prepare for trial because of KC’s jail letters.
    Well, the Anthony’s deserve every bit what’s coming for them for NOT trying to clean Zenaida’s name and KC for creating all of this mess. It’ so sick the amount of people which lives are being ruined because of these people.
    Casey Anthony: Defamation case filed by Zenaida Gonzalez may go to trial next year
    Judge told attorneys a new civil trial date may be the first part of next year, which could be before her murder trial.
    By Rene Stutzman and Sarah Lundy, Orlando Sentinel
    3:22 PM EDT, May 4, 2010

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