Home > Crime > Casey Anthony – Spinning Wheels

Casey Anthony – Spinning Wheels

06/17/2011

August 2005 ~ June 2008

I know some TH’s are saying Baez did a fine job yesterday, but I beg to differ and were I on the jury, I’d be mighty ticked-off!

Baez treats the jury like they’re a bit on the slow side.  The 2 1/2 hours with Heather Seubert on the stand was slow, painful torture and could have been accomplished in less than half the time.  OK, yeah, no blood or DNA, but this little angel was double bagged in garbage bags and then placed in a canvas laundry bag so sure, the smell of death would be overwhelming, but the decomposition fluids more than likely remained trapped in the bags.

OK, yeah, the bottles, plastic pieces, soda cans, etc. weren’t tested.  Well, as Linda Burdick so adeptly pointed out, it was a trash dump.  That’s where Casey so callously disposed of Caylee’s body!

The shovel?  I don’t get it!  What the heck did we waste so much time on that for?  Arguing a non-issue is just plain stupid.

The heart sticker, what was that about?  45 feet from the area where the skull was found?  Your point, Mr. Baez?  The area was flooded and under water for an extended period of time.  Water flowed in and out of the area, animals dragged the remains all over the crime scene, so what point do you think you scored with that one?

The sleazy move of dragging the Lee and paternity issue up had to be a total turn-off for the jury.

Baez’s monotonous rambling about forensic labs being accredited or ‘certified’, in his terms, is nothing more than a set-up to trash Dr. Arpad Vass.  He does not work in a forensic lab; he has spent a lifetime in a research facility, a world-renowned facility at that!  The fact the jury found him credible, down-to-earth and very engaging seems to be lost on Baez!

This is jury of serious-minded people, many who have a medical background, who most likely see Baez for what he is and I don’t think it’s a pretty picture!

And what the heck is Casey thinking?  Dressed like a slob yesterday, and giggling and laughing with her attorneys?  She has also exhibited a new behavior in the past few days.  At lunch or the end of court she has taken to planting her butt back down in the chair like she’s at a board meeting or a tea party!  The court officers have to tell her several times to move so they can put her back in the holding cell!

Casey, as usual, needs to button her blouse!  She seems chipper enough with smiles for her ‘boys’!

Judge Perry enters at 9:04.

Dr. Timothy Huntington, forensic entomologist is called. He is from the University of Nebraska.  He was a student of Dr. Haskell.

While giving his experience and qualifications he says he is an assistant deputy sheriff and Ashton objects for bolstering and asks to strike.  Judge Perry sustains and strikes the comment.

More objections on bolstering and Ashton asks to approach.

Huntington testified as an expert witness several times and he is accepted as such here.

Linda Kenney Baden contacted him in December 2008 to assist on the case.

That’s trouble right there!

He reviewed Dr. Haskell’s reports and viewed the car as well and insect materials.  He did not receive the car vacuuming that Dr. Haskell examined.

Lord, out come the flip chart and markers!

Huntington is going to draw the progression of flies, to laying eggs, to maggots…

Here ya go….get it? ————>

They wiggle out of their shell, flex their wings…

good God, who the hell cares?  Not me, and not thinking the jury does either!

See, this is one of Baez’s biggest downfalls…the word concise isn’t in his vocabulary!  Teaching entomology 101 to his frosh science students is fine, but this hasn’t a damn thing to do with the case!

Insects are cold-blooded and we know…

Mr. Ashton has an objection and asks to approach.

I’ve gotten nothing out of this but a pain behind my right eye!

Baez seems to be taking the approach the jury is dim-witted and the whole growth cycle of maggots needs to be explained before they are able to grasp what the presence of bugs signifies.

Jury sent out after lengthy sidebar.  Looks like we’re going for proffer!

You did not conduct a postmortem interval in this case?  No.

Neither did Dr. Haskell?  No, he said it fell into a certain date.

Jeff – when you say a PMI could have been done, under what circumstance?  You could do one if you assume the maggots came from a human body.

Why didn’t you?  I could not assume the maggots came from a dead body.

Huntington is to only testify to the trunk, not the crime scene.

Recess called and Judge Perry as Baez if Dr. Huntington’s report was turned in.  Baez says he believes so, but can provide the court with another copy.

Why did Judge Perry ask?  Things that make you go hmmmm!

Mr. George asks for another sidebar.

Dr. Huntington is back to drawing on the flip chart!

This is not a classroom!  Stop wasting everyone’s time and just ask the bottom-line, Baez!

Baez just asked about using live cadavers for studies. 

Live cadavers?

Now Huntington goes off on a study he conduct at the University!  He used dead pigs and placed them in the trunk of cars in September in Nebraska.  And, guess what…not a Pontiac Sunfire.  Well, that would mimic Florida in the dead of summer!  He even said it was cold and rainy in Nebraska.  He even has poster-board photos of the cars in his study!

He inspected the Pontiac in July 2010!

One and a half hours of testimony and not a damn thing related to the case yet!

Now we have a poster board photo of a decomposed pig with maggots crawling away as well as flies.

Jeff Ashton asks for a sidebar because of a discovery issue!

10:49 Jury sent out so a legal matter can be taken care of.

Huntington’s report is not filed in the court file!  Holy crap!

Baez – Are the stains of decomp easily distinguishable?  Yes, odor, chemical test can be done.

Were you asked this in deposition?

Objection.

Judge Perry says show me his opinion in his report or deposition.

January 28, 2011, page 31.  Ashton asked Dr. Huntington about decomp in the trunk and would you see that in an hour, a week?

Huntington said in Florida you would see fluid and saturation of the trunk liner in days.

Ashton wants to know what he is going to testify to…”Oh, I’ll wait, Mr. Baez is texting.”

Judge Perry says stop the editorial comments…stick to the facts.

Baez – When a body decomposes in a car what would you expect to see from the decomp fluid.  It is a blackish fluid and would soak into the carpet.  In a day or two it would occur rapidly because of the rupturing of the skin.

Ashton says none of this is in his deposition or report and he can’t testify to it.

Baez claims Haskell went into a big discussion about decomp fluids.

Judge Perry pulls up Dr. Haskell’s testimony from Saturday. 

Ashton claims this violates the court’s order, but Judge Perry says it does not violate the court’s order and he permits Huntington to make his statement as to decomp stains.

Casey looks pretty bored!

Ashton asks Huntington what his experience on stain identification.  Huntington says it regards a study paper on decompositional fluid in soil.  On carpet stains, he says based on observation.

Do you intended to testify to the color of decomp stains?  They tend to have a blackish stain.

Have you examined the carpet in this case?  No.

Judge Perry asks when he arrived at his opinion about the stain in the Sunbird?  I was trying to describe what you would expect to see, a stain, insect activity.  Decompositional satins are very obvious.  The stain can’t be cleaned or removed.

Feed dropped….grrr

Perry – Why should I permit this testimony?  It is quite evident he knew about the stain in 2008.

Baez says it was never their intention to introduce something never known to the State.

Huntington can testify about stains in general, but not the Sunbird stain.

Well, Baez tried to sneak it in but got caught!

Huntington does not have the poise or presence of a Dr. Haskell!

Jury returned at 11:40!

Can you take a paper towel and wipe up the decomp fluid?  No, I don’t think so.

At scenes you been on where decomp fluid leaked on carpet, can that be cleaned?  No they are removed and destroyed.

Previously, Huntington agreed the napkins or towels had the odor of decomposition, so what is the point of all this?

Baez at 11:50 says, let’s talk about this case!

Were any of the early colonizers in the trunk?  No.  The one leg Dr. Haskell found in the bag of trash doesn’t mean anything in my opinion.

If we assume there is a body in a car trunk…

Objection.  Overruled.

…you would expect to find thousands of the blow flies.  They’re in there, they’re stuck there, they die there.  I would also expect blow flies in the passenger area of the car.

Huntington would expect the flies in a bag of garbage.  The numbers found in the trash bag from the Pontiac are not remarkable to him.

Baez calls to break for lunch…

acccckkk, we aren’t even done with Huntington!

Seems Huntington may have fudged his CV.  Perry will rule after cross!!!

Huntington resumes the stand.

We had massive electrical storms beginning at 2am and after a few hours of sun this morning, it has gotten dark again and thunder is rumbling close by…we’ll see how long I can stay connected!

Is there a difference between garbage and trash?  No.

The paper towels you examined is it possible it was used to clean up decomp?  No.

What in your opinion attracted these insects to this trash.  He claims tobacco spit which is a body fluid that decomposes itself!

From the photos he said it appeared a dried piece of bologna was in a package and my have accounted for it, but he leans toward the tobacco spit.

Enlarged photos of the items from the trash bag are shown and Huntington points to the photo of the dry garbage as the one he examined the closest.

The flies attracted to garbage are going to go to the wet garbage because they need the moisture.  So what was found in the dry garbage was just the fly shells/casings they left behind.  It’s a bag of trash with trash eating insects in it.  Nothing remarkable about that.

The Suburban Drive insect material is typical of what you would find in Florida at that time of year.  The lack of blow flies is significant because it indicates the body was moved to the site after it decomposed.

I thought he wasn’t allowed to testify about this!

Objection, sidebar.

When a body decomposes the fluids will leach into the soil.  It changes the bug and animal or abiotic community.  Huntington claims that he did not observe that.

Were there early colonizers in the canvas bag?  A few.  The only ones found at the site were from the bag itself.

Can you say Caylee was in the trunk of the car for up to 5 days???

Seems young Dr. Huntington head has been filled with the ‘defense, gun for hire’ bottomless well of wealth, however he shouldn’t quit his day job!

Ashton on cross…

Do you mean to say that a fully skeletonized body was moved?  I’m talking about decomposed elsewhere at the very early stages.

On a child how many degree days would it take to go through fresh and bloat age?  I don’t think any studies have been done on that.

Well, can you give an educated answer?  I don’t think I have that data.

Two 90 degree days equal how many 60 degree days?  One and a half.

How long do you believe this body was at another location before being moved to Suburban Drive?  It’s complicated.  At the temperature today, 95 degrees it would be 2-3 days after death before it was moved.

Huntington is beginning to stutter and wither!

So this body was in another location for 2-3 days?  If you assume the same conditions.

So, that would be where the early colonizers would be found?  No, because some were found with the bag.

Every thing he answers is couched with, ‘it depends on the circumstances.’

Huntington hasn’t given a straight answer yet!  Maybe the defense should have just rested like Mason hinted at!

In deposition Huntington agreed with Haskell when he said the body had been stored where original colonizers didn’t have access – read trunk.

Are you now indicating you do not agree?  That is one possibility!

You agree or do you not?  It depends on the environmental conditions.

Pop Tart is getting a real workout trying to cut this off!

Wherever this body decomposed, it would stink, wouldn’t it?  Yes.

You testified you can’t get the smell out?  Yes.

You examined the Sunbird 2 years after the death?  Yes.

And it smelled?

Baez asks for sidebar

Huntington probably sucks at poker!  Ya gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em!

When you viewed to trunk in 2010, it still smelled?  Yes there was a smell, but I could attribute to a bag of garbage.

Have you left garbage in a trunk?  No.

You were hired in 2008? Yes.

When did you start this study?  2010.

It was done specifically for this case?  No.

How many studies have you seen with a child wrapped in a blanket?  None.

Wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in a garbage bag?  None.

Why didn’t you wrap your pigs in a blanket?

Big chuckles all around and Jeff says to the judge…sorry, I promised I would say that!

He reviewed one study from Europe where a head was in a plastic bag and in the trunk of a car.

Did you ever experiment of the effect of chloroform on attracting flies?  No, I did not.

So the chloroform in the car could have deterred the blow flies?  I don’t believe so.

LOL, the jury refused to take a break…they really must want this to end!

Huntington says there were 4-5 cans with tobacco spit that would have attracted scuttle flies.  Jeff is opening the individual cans and showing them to Huntington.

Jeff Aston is having mincemeat pie today!

Tobacco spit doesn’t ever smell like decomposition?  I don’t know if I could say ever.

Decomposing saliva can smell like a decomposing body?  I didn’t say that.

In the bag, there was no food?  Nothing I would eat, no.  There is a photo of a salami package that may have a remnant of food.

Ok, let’s open that item.

Judge Perry calls recess and he isn’t looking very happy!

Wonder how perturbed the pompous Spitz is being forced to hang in the hall all day!

Ashton shows Huntington the salami package.  The item inside is a piece on paper…not dried food!

BINGO, Mr. Ashton!

There is no food in the trash bag, agreed?  There does not appear to be any trash.

You could take a paper towel and wipe a surface and try to clean a small amount?  Possible.

You could vacuum the trunk and get rid of bugs?  Possible.

But you can’t get rid of the smell?  I wouldn’t say can’t.  The smell is possible to remove, but it is difficult.

How long was your pig in the trunk?  10 days at 60 degrees.

Your experiment doesn’t match 2 days and 90 degree temperature and a child’s body?  It would depend on conditions.

If the trunk was hotter than 90 it would be faster, maybe one day?  No, I don’t think you could get that in one day.

Redirect…

No freakin way Baez can rehabilitate!

Awww crap.  Flip chart and markers appear again!

Huntington says the evidence doesn’t make any sense that there was a body in the trunk!

Baez asks about Dr. Vass’ findings…

Objection, out of scope, not his area of expertise…

Sidebar…

The phrase by Dr. Vass, like adipocere doesn’t mean adipocere.

How long does it take for adipocere to develop?

Objection.

Now we’re doing voir dire…

Where do you get your knowledge regarding adipocere?  From what people tell me.

Have you done any study of adipocere?  No.

ALL attorneys approach the bench!

Perry has reached the end of his rope today!

He has worked with pathologists who have pointed out this is adipocere and this isn’t.

So Dr, Vass as a forensic anthropologist would know adipocere?  I do not believe Dr, Vass is an anthropologist.

Ashton moves to strike, Judge Perry tells the jury to disregard.

Huntington says he would have requested a DNA test from the maggot gut.

Objections, Sustained.

Are there other things you would have…

Objection. Sustained.

Baez is now fumbling as badly as Huntington!

If Huntington’s study was done under the same conditions, I could understand all this nonsensical testimony, but a whole day wasted on this witness  just goes beyond the pale.

Ashton on recross…

What was the condition of the bag when it was in the trunk?  I don’t know.

Are you a forensic pathologist?  No.

You got your PhD in 2008?  Yes.

So your opinions on adipocere comes from your work in the past 3 years?  No.

So with your Masters in 2005?  No earlier.

Well, when?  When I was 16 I worked in a mortuary office.

This is the first time in a court of law, this is the first time from a photograph you testified to a human decomp stain?  I don’t think Mr. Baez said human, but yes.

Your opinion on the stain is not in your report even though it was to contain everything you would testify to?  No.

BINGO, Mr. Ashton! 

Baez of re-re cross

You are the youngest board certified forensic entomologist?  Yes.

Did the board ever have issue with your age?

Objection.

Did you expect to be asked about pigs in the blanket?  No, I didn’t expect that.

Why wasn’t it in your report?  I didn’t think it would ever come up.

Re-re-re cross.

The stain in the trunk testimony, I thought you just told me you’ve never been asked to do that?  Not in a court of law.

If you discussed the stain with counsel, why didn’t you put it in your report?

My report concerned the entomological findings.

Witness excused at 4:47!

Judge Perry calls it a day.

I apologize folks, this was fairly choppy due to severe weather here!  However, my take is this was a fine example of Sesame Street Court with Fozzie on the stand with Big Bird and Miss Piggy eliciting testimony!

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  1. Kim
    06/17/2011 at 5:04 pm

    In Baez’s defense he did bring enough markers – and different colors at that – for both he and Dr Tim to scribble with! AND he let him use his pointer!!

    Jeff Ashton ROCKED the cross!!!

  2. donchais
    06/17/2011 at 5:16 pm

    Ashton totally blew the defense and young Dr, Huntington out of the water! Wonder how LKB feels tonight, lol!

  3. kas
    06/17/2011 at 5:24 pm

    I can’t believe she giggled at the pig in the blanket joke. Several In-Court Tweeters said the Jurors noticed and were NOT amused.

    Hmmm……. called on 12/11. So, George called Kronk and they got on conference-call and let Linda know, and she called Dr. H. and then………..wait.

  4. jimsilveira1@cox.net
    06/17/2011 at 5:26 pm

    Live cadavers? BwaHaHa. Baez just gets worse as time goes on. What an illiterate Dork !

  5. kathy
    06/17/2011 at 5:26 pm

    i look forward to reading your blog everyday. you are a gifted writer, and i find myself laughing out loud with some of your remarks. keep up the great work, God bless, and hopefully there will be justice for caylee

  6. donchais
    06/17/2011 at 5:32 pm

    kas, you do make me giggle!

    jim, where do you suppose ya get live cadavers?

    kathy, don’t make my head swell! 🙂

  7. 06/17/2011 at 6:18 pm

    Today was extremely painful to watch. This guy doesn’t get it that after a while people shut their brain down. Frankly, donchais, I don’t know how you do this. I kept cursing at the TV and changing the channel.
    God, please don’t let Spitz be on tomorrow. His picture is in the dictionary under pompous. Can’t wait until Ashton gets a hold of him. LOL

  8. Reality
    06/17/2011 at 6:24 pm

    Huntington hemmed and hawed way too much on cross examination and came across as reluctant to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! As a result, there are now credibility issues with him especially regarding opinions that differ from the State’s expert. This will NOT be lost on the jury — he definitely appeared like a very coached witness!

  9. donchais
    06/17/2011 at 6:39 pm

    OK, think about this…all the defense so-called ‘experts’ – past and present – are more than likely friends and cronies of LKB and the ‘junk science’ premise!

    What’s that tell ya? Just sayin….

  10. Evelyn
    06/17/2011 at 6:59 pm

    Remember that Simon Birch, the tow guy with the cool accent, said that hundreds of flies flew outta the trunk when he and George opened it. Enough said.

    It was so creepy, disgusting and weird that Casey had no emotion when the court is talking about decomposing pigs, bodies and stains. She was uninterested and unaffected by anything around her today and that is just wrong.

  11. Teresa
    06/17/2011 at 7:17 pm

    Ok I am totally appalled and feel the need to puke. The pigs in the blanket joke and people laughing? Are you serious? We are talking about a baby for Christ’s sake ! Never mine the fact that I can’t wrap my college educated. graduated with a 4.0 gpa, brain ..I cannot wrap my brain around this….I do however know that the “decomposed pig with the maggots crawling out and away” describes the scene where CASEY the PIG – crawls away from the spot where she buried an innocent, precious gift from GOD. I want so very much for the POP TART to put Casey on the stand so she can tell us how her baby drowned in the pool. When is Baez going to finish orbitting the sun, the moon and Uranus (say it slowly and you’ll get it) and get back to supporting his opening statements? Seriously donchais — doesn’t he have to get back to his opening statements? Isn’t that part of the deal?

  12. Teresa
    06/17/2011 at 7:22 pm

    Ok I looked up LIVE CADAVER in my medical dictionary and it says “See such examples as Jose Baez”

  13. 06/17/2011 at 7:24 pm

    Did Casey even smile at the pigs in a blanket comment? Inspired, even if some of the jurors ‘were not amused.’ I am sure that Judge Perry’s tolerance for humor was severely tested with the nitwit on the stand and the nitwit trying to get him to answer questions. Lordy.

    I noticed earlier that Dr. Huntington’s teeth were almost as disgusting as the unwrapped pig picture and made a comment to my group that I was suspicious of someone who made claims of being ‘detailed,’ when they can not even pay attention to simple dental hygiene!!! Ughhh. Clearly I was right about that since it appears he somewhat overstated his credentials…. ooooops.

  14. tess
    06/17/2011 at 10:07 pm

    I watched all day. It was agonizing. Ashton rocks. I wonder if the Pigs in a blanket ( which was beyond insensitive for me) was done on purpose. KC actually laughed at that. If it were my child we were debating, my heart would be ripped from my body. She laughed. I thought this “expert” is very green and wet behind the ears. Perhaps someday he will be an “expert” but not so at this time. I know that yesterday I said that Spitz was what I heard, but now I have to wonder what long and mind-numbing testimony we are in for with him? Also, as was reported on WFTV what was with the 12/11/08 phone call from LKB? How did the defense rush to secure this expert when they didn’t get confirmation of this being Caylee until 8 days later? This defense stinks worse than than the trunk of the car.

  15. pauladrake
    06/17/2011 at 10:48 pm

    Dr. Spitz, Jr. told Dr. Drew Pinsky tonight on HLN that he thinks it was a Homicide! Don’t you love that Baez wears a pocket square everyday, he must think he’s going to a banquet, I have not noticed any other attorney wearing a pocket square in court, lol.

  16. NancyB
    06/18/2011 at 2:39 am

    I love your blog! I missed the part about his credentials, do you know anything more about this?

    Jeff Ashton was a cross between a rottweiler and a pitbull against Dr Tim. Just excellent. Huntington kept stumbling and several times when flustered he gave incorrect/dishonest testimony. He told Baez that adipocere is often not found in children. If you Google adipocere it says “commonly found on young children when decomposing” because of their high fat content. He then stated that there are only 15 board certified entomologists but their national website lists over 10 pages of names of BCE’s.
    http://www.entocert.org/roster?title=&field_state_value=&field_suffix_value=bce

    Ashton asked Huntington if in Entomology there is a difference between garbage and trash. He insisted not. I found the Online Etymology Dictionary–It does specify the difference between trash and garbage.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=Garbage&searchmode=none

    This witness testified that decomp fluids often kill the grass around it, doesn’t this hurt the defense since Cindy testified that they haven’t been able to grow grass in the backyard since 2008?
    IIRC Dr Lee left the defense once he found the death wax (adipocere) was in the trunk.

  17. ritanita
    06/18/2011 at 6:55 am

    “I apologize folks, this was fairly choppy due to severe weather here! However, my take is this was a fine example of Sesame Street Court with Fozzie on the stand with Big Bird and Miss Piggy eliciting testimony!”

    And Jeff Ashton was Superman!

  18. J
    06/23/2011 at 4:45 pm

    I still say that the answer lies within those cans that were found in TRASH FOUND IN CASEYS’ CAR. NOT trash from around the area. Are you aware that Nate, the room mate of Caseys’ boyfriend Tony at that time, DID IN FACT CHEW TOBACCO- WHY are they NOT testing that DNA and asking everyone around her if they chew tobacco. No one can tell me that if they can match that DNA that they wouldn’t get ALOT more information. Someone was in that car with her and knows full well what happened to that baby, IF they were or were not an accomplice to murder or even if they only were involved by placing the body. What is WRONG with people? No testing on the DNA on the trash from the trashbags from her car????

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