Home > Crime > Casey Anthony – Do Miracles Really Happen

Casey Anthony – Do Miracles Really Happen

06/18/2011

August 2005 ~ June 2008

Casey has to be wondering when her miracle ‘that her ‘boys’ promised her is going to materialize.  Then again, I may be giving her way too much credit.

Yesterday was a total pounding of the defense as Jeff Ashton pulverized their expert entomologist, Dr. Timothy Huntington.  Ashton sliced, diced, shredded, and pureed young Dr. Huntington’s testimony.  I do believe Huntington’s reputation as an expert witness took a pummeling too!

In the end, Huntington had to pretty much agree with the State’s contentions and he left the witness stand in a hurry!

I’m really hoping someone got to Baez and knocked some sense into him on the finer points of cross-examination and the wisdom of KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Linda Burdick looks pretty in pink today!

Casey is all smiles and giggles with Mason.  Her pouty persona reappears once the jury enters. 

Early, 8:45 Judge Perry takes the bench and announces the motion to be heard has been resolved by both sides and The State’s issue with Dr. Spitz has been resolved.

Dr. William Rodriguez is first up.  “I’d like to inform the court I’m  here as an unpaid consultant”…

Objection.  Sustained.

He is a forensic anthropologist with the US Armed Forces.

Rodriguez  gives his background and turns out he started a unit at the Body Farm to study decomposition.  He authored the first paper issued by the Body Farm.

He is a taphonomist with a major ego!  He also claims to have done major entomological work.

Baez asks to accept as an expert witness…

Ashton asks to voir dire on entomologist status.

Rodriguez has never testified as an expert on entomology and Ashton takes issue with that.

Judge Perry tells them to approach.

Rodriguez says as an entomologist he looked at the insects and activity on bodies at the Body Farm.  Has he instructs LE on how to collect the insects and how to establish time since death.

Witness accepted as an expert.

He received the records and photos from the ME’s office, the entomological report from Dr. Haskell, photos of the recovery at the scene.

Rodriguez says the recovery scene was processed very thoroughly.  He says he didn’t see in the report where the body may have been initially placed..

Trace evidence is important to obtain quickly because it may indicate where the body was before scavengers drag off parts of the body.

Ashton objects and we go to sidebar…

What would you look for to determine where the initial deposit site was?  Decomp fluids would change the vegetation and in the soil.  Carrion insects would be present in that area of the soil.

Did you see any photos of any soil change at the scene?  No.

Would an anthropologist note that in their report?  I would hope so.

Rodriguez says he has worked numerous cases where duct tape was utilized to bind the hands or the facial areas.  In skeletonized remains there is no tissue left…

Objection, sidebar and a warning to cut the comments out!

Jury sent out.

Looks like another long day folks!

Ashton says Rodriguez’s report does not contain any interpretation on the duct tape so he can’t testify.

Perry asks, what opinion were you going to offer about the duct tape?  The position of the duct tape in the ME photos is in two different positions and one can not make a determination to the position unless the body was buried and not ravaged by animals.

When did you formulate that opinion?  Early on when I received the photographs, earlier this year, February 21.

Why did you not include that in your report?  It was a non-issue.

Did you share that with the defense team?  I did.

Who?  Mr. Baez.

When?  In early January, February.

Where you informed that anything you would testify to had to be in your report?  I wasn’t aware of that.

Were you shown the court ordered.  No.

Mr. Baez never informed you of the court order?  No sir.

BINGO!  Baez up in smoke!

Rodriguez understood he would be asked about the duct tape after he learned about Dr. Warrens’s super imposition video.

Baez claims he met all deadlines, but all his experts had multiple tasks and the video was shown to them late in the game and they only had a few days in between the report and the video.  It isn’t possible to cover all things in that timeframe.

Judge Perry – so you are saying the witness is mistaken that he discussed this with you in January, February 2011?  No, we aren’t playing games here, but my understanding was the State wouldn’t say witnesses could testify to things we didn’t know would come up.

What you basically saying is you pick which court orders you can comply with or not comply with!

Mr. Baez, both sides have engaged in game-playing.  This is not a game!

Judge Perry is more steamed with Baez than I have ever seen.

I’m faced with what is the remedy?  It is ironic that we were here early to discuss a motion about the rule of sequestration.

It appears to me this was quite intentional.  This was not a slip, inadvertent.

Should Ms. Anthony be punished as a result of this?  Case law lays out solutions as contempt, an instruction to the jury about the infraction.

Rodriguez will step down and his deposition will be taken this afternoon.  He will testify on Monday.

The State may write a jury instruction that I will review.  I will rule on possible contempt after that.

Mr. Baez, this is not my first rodeo.  I’ve tried a number of cases.

I was very careful how I issued rules, I didn’t want no gotcha moments!

Mr. Baez, lightning does not strike twice in the same place.  Law says exclusion can’t be punished the first time.  I make no guarantees what I might do the next time!

Baez says the will depose the witness if the Sate want to attend.

Judge Perry says you don’t have to depose your witness, I made him available to the State.

I am stunned and dumbfounded that Baez and his team thought they could pull this crap and get away with it!  Talk about low-down, smarmy and deceitful!

Recess called.

Mason asks the Judge instruct the jury as to why they have switched witnesses.  Perry says you can do it and then I’ll let Mr. Ashton do it.

Judge agrees he’ll tell them something.

Mason calls Dr. Werner Spitz

He gives his background and training for the jury.

Oh mercy, his training in Israel turns into a history of Palestine and Israel becoming a State!

Sadly, Mason is actually is having to lead Spitz through his CV.  He has had a stellar career, however in the past years, his ego has overshadowed his common sense when testifying as many of you know!

Much of this information that Mason is offering is ancient history and not sure how impressed the jury may be.

Spitz is accepted as an expert witness.

When did you become involved in this case?  I received a call from Jose Baez law firm and was asked to consult on this case.  I was also asked if I had…

Objection.  Sustained.

The autopsy had not been performed on Caylee, at that time he got involved.

Did you ask to be involved…

Objection.  Sidebar…

Werner wasn’t allowed to participate in the autopsy because it is against ME policy in Florida!  The question is irrelevant!

Did you request to attend?  Yes I did.

Did you?  No, I was denied.

Why did you want to?  It was be useful to observe the body in the same condition as the person performing the autopsy.  It is also useful to have 4 eyes instead of 2 eyes and to discuss the findings.  It’s customary for pathologists to work together.

Did you conduct a 2nd autopsy?  I did.

He was given access to the remains at the Bryant Funeral Home for the second autopsy.

Had Dr. G completed her report before you conducted the autopsy?  I don’t think so.

He claims he didn’t bring a saw to Florida because he thought the autopsy was done correctly, but it wasn’t because the skull hadn’t been opened.

He did open the skull during his autopsy.  He brings out a plastic skull as a visual aid.

Did you take photographs?  I did.

Spitz identifies the photos and they are offered into evidence. 

Casey looks freaked out about the skull model and the blown-up photos of Caylee’s opened skull,  graphically displayed to the jury.

Your report of autopsy found what deficiencies in Dr. G’s report?

Objection.  Overruled.

Spitz examined the skeleton and most of the skeleton was available.  He opened the skull and didn’t find any discoloration of the skull.  No fractures or blows he could identify on the skull.  There was some damage on the leg bones due to scavenging by animals.

He says cause of death was unknown for the first autopsy and for him as well.

He is asked about duct tape on the lower face.  He said not a shred of soft tissue left and the tape was not there when he did his autopsy.  In photographs he noticed the tape was hanging to the side attached to the hair and some vegetation.

Dr G. reports says the duct tape was placed prior to decomposition, what is your opinion?  I have a problem with that without the presence of tissue.  Nothing indicates the duct tape was attached to bone or the face.

The tape maybe was placed there to hold the lower jaw in place.  He demonstrates how when picked up, the lower jaw would have fallen off the skull.

Would you expect DNA on the tape if placed on the face?  Yes.

Is it your opinion that the tape was not put on the face even antemortem?  No.

Mason takes Spitz into adipocere.

Spitz say it will develop within 10-12 days in warm temperature.

Did you find adipocere on the remains?  Oh, no.

Is there any evidence as to the cause of death in this case?  You can rule out several reasons, but you can’t answer that question with this child.

Can you rule out accidental death?  No.

What is your opinion of manner of death?  I would not be able to tell you.

Mason is done.

Recess is called…

Ashton on cross…

Manner of death requires additional information other than autopsy?  Yes.

What were you given?  The autopsy, I went to the scene and the house as well.  That’s about it?

But for an adequate investigation you need all the evidence, all the circumstances surrounding the death?  Yes but I asked sufficient questions of Mr. Baez and Mr. Mason.  The Anthony’s.

Did you read the police reports?  Yes.

Which ones?  I can’t tell you.

What facts did you use in your opinion?  I understand there was a lapse of time of the disappearance of the child and when it was reported.

What is your understanding of the events of the last time Caylee was seen alive?  I know that Caylee was allegedly taken to a babysitter.

What facts did you use in saying the cause of death is undetermined?  I don’t know if I have any facts.

Did Dr. G have more information to form her report than you did?  I don’t recall any information that I didn’t read in her report.

What did Dr. G say in her report?  I don’t recall.

A pathologist summarizes the facts surrounding the case?  Some do, some don’t?

This is just sad!

What facts did you consider significant in the case?  A pool in the house, a month went by before the child was reported.

You said the failure of Dr. G to open the skull was a violation of protocol?  Yes.

What protocol was violated.  The head is opened when the skull brain or anything may be involved.  A whole body is autopsied.  The head contains many pieces of information.

Where has that been published?  I don’t know.  There is somewhere what we should examine.  If the head is not opened it is a shoddy autopsy.

The head is opened to examine the brain and structure?  That is not the only reason.  I never would have known the position of the head.

Spitz is just befuddled by this questioning!  Not to be cruel, Spitz needs to ride off into the sunset and no longer attempt to offer expert testimony.

Spitz says the skull should have been opened because this is a national case and has been all over the papers and news. This case requires more questions answered than someone in their 80’s who died of a heart attack.

OMG!

How many interviews have you given about this case?  One local and a paper.

Didn’t you do a TV interview this week up where you live?  That’s what I just told you, it was shown down here.

You gave an interview to a female report for a local station in Detroit?  Yes, I think I did.

You don’t recall discussing in length about your testimony, dust in the skull?  I was meaning to watch it, but I fell asleep.

You were on the Today Show in 2009 about this case?  I don’t remember that.

Were you involved in the Phil Spector case?  Yes.

OJ Simpson?  Yes.

Menendez brothers? No.  “oh, you didn’t get that one?”

When you opened the skull, you broke it?  Broke it? I don’t know that I broke it.

The residue in the skull, was that tested? I think someone who tested it.

You don’t know if the skull had brain residue or dirt?  The gravity caused the brain dust to fall to the lowest point.

The skull sitting under water, can you say this residue wasn’t from muddy water?  Yes.  I say it was brain dust.  Until such time that somebody analyzes it, that’s my opinion.

OK, Spitz has used the following words to describe the same thing, sediment, brain dust and residue…so which is it?

Spitz claimed the skull was on its left side, but doesn’t believe with the brain and head decomposed, the hair would have sloughed off to the left side!

This is so Twilight Zone or Otter Limits!

Spitz believes the duct tape was placed after the body decomposed!

How could a person put duct tape on the skull?  They took a piece of duct tape from a role and tore of a number of section and stuck them on the skull to possibly hold the lower jaw to the rest of the face.

The skull and the body decomposed at the scene?  Yes.

The person came and picked up the skull and placed duct tape on it?  I can’t say.

If they picked up the skull the mandible would have fallen off?  Yes.

They would have had to pick up the skull and the mandible and place the duct tape.  That is a possibility.

Spitz now doesn’t recall the tape being on both sides.

He also believes someone could have taken the skull and mandible elsewhere to tape it and isn’t sure the tape was stuck to the tape!

OK, Spitz finally gets to it…the ME’s office staged all the photos!  Placed the hair strands draped over the skull to take these autopsy photos.

Mason on redirect…

You were asked for any other reasons for opening a skull, are there any other reasons?  Sure.

What are they?  Internal fractures, hemorrhage on locations at the base of the skull.

Ain’t no way Mason can rehabilitate Spitz!

Was the skull manipulated to take those photographs?  It had to be.

Spitz is excused and Perry calls the attorneys to sidebar.

Court is called for the day and the jury is released til Monday.

Judge Perry says if necessary, next Saturday be prepared to work til 3pm.  Going through 1 witness a day is not getting them where they need to be.  Also, they may have to work til 6pm during the week, but he will make that determination next week!

Oh, what a day!

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  1. Golfing Granny
    06/18/2011 at 1:03 pm

    Oh so grateful for this synopsis. I watched part of it and Spitz really got heated up when being questioned by prosecution. After all “I’ve been doing this job for 56 years”. Well I think he made a mess of it. Cant wait until Monday. Sure hope it can begin to move faster – this is making me yawn.

  2. donchais
    06/18/2011 at 1:22 pm

    Hi ya! Spitz was actually painful to watch and gets more painful with each trial he purports to be an expert at! He really needs to just go off and enjoy the final chapter of his life in private.

    It ain’t moving faster, or all, because of the defense and they have, since the beginning of their CIC, been caught red-handed several times trying to ambush the case.

    Not too sure they caught the Judge’s inference about working longer hours, but God help them! Judge Perry has had quite enough!

  3. Kim
    06/18/2011 at 1:23 pm

    Well done as always!! It was a jaw dropping day today!! Now I am upset that I have meetings Monday morning!!

    Tell me, do you think Dr G will be recalled?

  4. ritanita
    06/18/2011 at 1:40 pm

    Pull me out, Donchais! I’m still down the rabbit hole I fell into this morning! Baez bumbled himself into big trouble and Spitz, well what can I say you haven’t said already.

    I firmly believe he makes Dr. G. so much moe believable at this point. He didn’t consider the body dumped in a swampy trash dump, he didn’t consider the 911 call (although he did remember that it was some time after the child was left with the nanny before she was reported missing), he didn’t consider the accidental drowning he mentioned. He’s no Dr. G.

    As for not opening the skull, Dr. G. said that “of course” she did not. I’m sure if she were to be called to rebut Dr. Spitz on that, she could easily point out that the interior of a child’s skull is easy to inspect with a good flashlight or even one of those little cameras, especially with the mandible removed.

  5. donchais
    06/18/2011 at 1:46 pm

    Kim, it was so bizarre today, I can’t say I have fully wrapped my head around it all! Ashton so dismantled the defense and Spitz, I see no reason to recall Dr. G. Having said that, I’ve no doubt she is available for the State’s rebuttal.

    I’ve watched trials for years and seen more than my full of off-the-wall antics by both prosecution and defense. I can unequivocally say this is unmatched in terms of bizarre theater!

    My thoughts are with Caylee and all the other lives destroyed in Casey’s wake!

  6. donchais
    06/18/2011 at 1:56 pm

    ritanita! A glass of Merlot and a nap are mandatory necessities today!

    The defense is floundering miserably and is no match for the overwhelming evidence in this case!

  7. kas
    06/18/2011 at 1:56 pm

    “Dr Spitz owned that Courtroom”– Aphrodite Jones, on Twitter– The woman, is so, so dumb. She was also blown away by Baez’ OS.

    I loved Baez’ arguing with JP over the Rules of the Court. Essentially saying, I know what your stupid rules are, but they’re dumb, so I didn’t NEED to follow them. What an absolute ass.

    Followed by his not even getting that no, he would not be deposing his Witness (but thanks for the Permission), the State would.

  8. donchais
    06/18/2011 at 1:59 pm

    kas, do me a huge favor? Find out what Jones smokes and get us some, real quick! Good Lord!

    Wait, get that for Baez, not us!

  9. 06/18/2011 at 2:12 pm

    Oh, donchais, you’ve got that right! Aphrodite Jones is smoking something the entire country needs to get jobs. She apparently needs a new one.

  10. donchais
    06/18/2011 at 2:24 pm

    LOL, Maria!

  11. 06/18/2011 at 3:01 pm

    @ kim – do you need some duct tape for that jaw dropping (LOL)?
    @ kas – I watched a video of aphrodite stumbling about the depository site with Marinade Dave; one of the more pointless things he has done, IMHO. Generally he seems well-balanced, but this was totally unproductive unless it was to try and show his wood nymph traipsing about the death site in high heels. Her observations are equally unbalanced.
    donchais — as usual, you have done a stellar job of getting us the facts and I thank you! I was trying to follow it all, but my feed kept dropping. One thing is clear, though, Ashton does have a measure of compassion as he demonstrated in not tearing Dr. Spits a new one and just letting this once shining star’s own ego drag him down into the muck and mire he was unwilling to closely examine to be sure it wasn’t brain dust or some other effluence from the site.
    And it was reassuring to see the doting mother dabbing at her eyes once again, to confirm she is still basically unaffected by all of this hoop-la, unless it is when she gets to walk into the courtroom and see ‘her boys’ waiting for her arrival.
    Court TV/now TruTV will never hold the same fascination for me again.

    • donchais
      06/18/2011 at 3:11 pm

      Sandy, repeat after me…its about Caylee. All the superfluous crap, is just that, CRAP!

      Me, you and the thousands who took Caylee to their hearts, will prevail, as will the evidence!

  12. Golfing Granny
    06/18/2011 at 3:27 pm

    OMG I’m so tired – I’m going to have a glass of wine (or 2) and proceed to wait for Monday. My TV life is being destroyed by this trial. Not to mention my golfing life. Hey I’m just about 9 years younger than Spitz – retire and enjoy what is left. Have some fun and quit looking for accolades – ha not sure I spelled that correctly – whatever

  13. jimsilveira1@cox.net
    06/18/2011 at 3:30 pm

    donchais :
    Sandy, repeat after me…its about Caylee. All the superfluous crap, is just that, CRAP!
    Me, you and the thousands who took Caylee to their hearts, will prevail, as will the evidence!

    Donchais–Thanks for reminding us so often that this is all about Caylee no one else .And thanks somuch for the great job you are doing reporting this trial.Any plans for a book ?

  14. Won
    06/18/2011 at 3:37 pm

    What are you a Nancy Grace Wanna be? We all know even without Dr. Spitz you open the skull for an autopsy. If you have one picture that has hair in one position and another picture that shows hair in another you can assume it was moved. That was enough for me to bring reasonable doubt.

  15. tess
    06/18/2011 at 3:41 pm

    You just can’t make this stuff up. Did you catch the moment when Spitz was collecting his skull and the mandible stayed on the counter? It was clear evidence that one needed the duct tape to keep it on. Also, it was almost like the Baden “aha” moment in the Spector trial when he said that LE and the ME office staged the evidence. I thought Ashton did a masterful job and he knew when to just let it be.

  16. 06/18/2011 at 4:09 pm

    The truth is, Sandy’s right. He was gentle with poor old Spitz. It made him ( Ashton) look good. Of course, Spitz started getting snarky as he usually does, but at least it didn’t look like Ashton was being nasty to a poor old man. Please, Spitz, retire. You’ve lost all sense of fairness. You’ll say anything the defense wants just to get your check.

  17. 06/18/2011 at 4:51 pm

    Oh well, isn’t that just expected, a summons from the Superior Court of Fulton County, Atlanta. My son says, “that’s what you get mom”. Ugh!

  18. Barb2
    06/18/2011 at 5:48 pm

    I was shocked the way Dr. Spitz put down Dr. G’s autopsy; I read her report and she explained clearly why she did not open up the skull-I even understood her. Dr. Spitz is clearly past his prime, at one point he couldn’t remember the Anthony name; it seems it’s his way or no way. Baez got another spanking from the Judge but am not sure Bozo was listening, he doesn’t learn very fast. Donchais, many thanks for all you do.

  19. Jilly
    06/18/2011 at 9:55 pm

    I must say I was glad Baez got some jazz from Perry, finally someone to tell him to wise up, and I do think he should be found in contempt.
    I have a question—- early on when Caylee was missing and everyone was looking for her, didn’t they SEARCH those woods only 1/4 mile away from the Anthony’s? Or were they not doing missing person searches?? If anyone knows I would like to know. Cause if they did search wouldn’t they have found that sweet little baby?

  20. NancyB
    06/18/2011 at 11:28 pm

    I do not understand how these lying MD’s PhD’s can look themselves in the mirror. Souless, without any integrity and just lining their ego’s & pockets. I can’t stand them. It’s one thing to truly hold a difference in opinion in what the science shows (maybe) but to choose to be a hired gun to lie in any trial is beneath all contempt. I just pray that #4 works within the group process.

    Anybody know what JP’s comment about a motion involving the rule of sequestration.was about???

  21. Grandy
    06/18/2011 at 11:29 pm

    Jilly – I believe it’s known there were high water levels in that swamp for a long time due to the hurricane which hit Florida; searchers attempted to get in there but found it impossible due to the flooding.

    I felt somewhat sorry for Dr. Spitz today & was glad to see Mr. Aston treated him with a measure of respect. It’s so obvious the good Dr.’s glory days are well behind him – apparently he was a giant in his field in his day. As Kenny Rogers song The Gambler said “you have to know when to hold ’em & know when to fold ’em”
    Dr. Spitz needs to rest on his laurels.

  22. 06/19/2011 at 7:33 am

    They could not search Suburban Dr. because that area was under water from Tropical storm Fay until late November – (see Texas Equuisearch records)

  23. 06/19/2011 at 7:55 am

    Grandy :
    Jilly – I believe it’s known there were high water levels in that swamp for a long time due to the hurricane which hit Florida; searchers attempted to get in there but found it impossible due to the flooding.
    I felt somewhat sorry for Dr. Spitz today & was glad to see Mr. Aston treated him with a measure of respect. It’s so obvious the good Dr.’s glory days are well behind him – apparently he was a giant in his field in his day. As Kenny Rogers song The Gambler said “you have to know when to hold ‘em &

    Nowknow when to fold ‘em”
    Dr. Spitz needs to rest on his laurels.

    Now yesterday is what I like to call “JUNK” Science! And Jaw dropping!

  24. Golfing Granny
    06/19/2011 at 11:43 am

    I wonder if the defense is about out of witnesses. Reckon Casey will testify? Next week may be more interesting than last.

  25. colleen
    06/19/2011 at 5:43 pm

    Dr.Spitz and his talking heads! I was waiting for the skull to say” I KILL YOU!” Judge Perry stuck a pole up Baez a** , and looked like “Jalapeno on a stick,
    Baez and Spitz could !have a ACT IN VIVA LAS VEGAS at the Mirage!

  26. TK
    06/19/2011 at 7:17 pm

    Ashton was a Shark the last two days and there was definitely blood in the water….. JA was a one man defense theory wrecking ball! Goes to show you……. you dont F with solid science!…… Huntinton did’nt look like he was worthy to get Haskell’s coffee….. And Spitz….. sad to to see him go out like that!….. his testimony was like watching a train wreck…… you want to look away but you just can’t…… I’m guessing this was not the attention he was looking for…..

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