Dec. 20, 2010 Casey Anthony Hearing/Casey's Defense May Lose Key Expert Witness/ Judge Perry Rules That Witness List Does Not Have to Remain Sealed

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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:10 am

Posted: 7:01 am EST December 20, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The case against Casey Anthony heads back to court Monday.
At 1:30pm, Judge Belvin Perry is scheduled to hear a motion about the death penalty filed by Casey’s defense team. Her lawyers want the witness list in the death penalty phase of the trial to be sealed.
Casey will be in court for Monday’s hearing.
Count on WFTV to bring you complete coverage starting on Eyewitness News at 5:00pm.
You can watch the hearing live at WFTV.com.

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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:25 pm

KC's hair looks like a rat's nest today...
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:26 pm

CA but no GA...She's talking to a man sitting beside of her...New lawyer?
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:29 pm

No Cheney Mason...Bozo and Ann Finnell...Ashton, but no Linda Drane-Burdick that I see
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:31 pm

You know, KC could easily turn around and acknowledge CA if she wanted to...she just chooses not to.
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:37 pm

Motion about sealing penalty phase witness list...Finnell is citing some cases for it. Saying that "Sunshine Law" does have a section that allows judge to seal certain things to protect right of accused to a fair trial. Witnesses might not want to come forward if names are to be published.
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:44 pm

Fugate, lawyer for Orlando Sentinel, is arguing against sealing a court record. Bozo just objected to KC being shot by the camera while she is writing him notes..JP said that Finnell is the counselor at this time and she should be the one to speak. She rose and objected and JP OVERRULED!! Love it!! Camera continues to record defense table...Ha!Ha!
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:46 pm

Fugate says that there are not grounds for the motion. It is too broad. If there is a particular witness that doesn't want to be published, that one person should be dealt with individually...


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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Finnell is rebutting. Cites extreme media attention. KC is hanging on her every word.
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:50 pm

JP is reserving ruling on motion. Bozo wants a sidebar about another sidebar motion that was sealed. KC is all alone at the table..Boo-hoo! Camera is showing CA talking to the man beside her...Wonder who he is?
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:56 pm

JP is moving status hearing from Jan. 10 to Jan. 14. JP asked Bozo about his Kronk motion. Bozo thought he had until Dec. 31 to decide whether to pursue motion...JP said that was the deadline for hearing the motion. Says that this was supposed to be his vacation week and he does not intend to to be in the building at all next week..My connection dropped and I missed some.


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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:58 pm

KC glanced back at CA, CA waved, and KC just kinda got a smirk on her face as she was leaving.
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:03 pm

I don't know what was decided about Kronk. JP was looking at some different dates when it came back on and mentioned that there was always 5:00. Ashton said 5:00 was fine with him. He asked about something Bozo was supposed to give him by today about Dr. Lee...Seems there some question about whether he will testify or not, depending to the ruling for the travel reimbursement (what happened to the crate of oranges?). Bozo said that he would have the info to Ashton by the end of the day.
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Post by Guest on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:16 pm

:lol!: lisette I was wondering the same thing about the crate of oranges. Thanks for the play by play. As always we can count on you.
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Post by raine1953 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:47 pm

Yes, thank you Lisette. I can't get a thing live and I've come to depend on you to give us the play by play and I so appreciate it.
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Post by artgal16 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:57 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Casey Anthony was in court Monday afternoon where her lawyers fought to keep the witness list in the death penalty phase of the trial from being made public.

Casey walked in about 10 minutes before the 1:30pm scheduled hearing wearing a long-sleeve, button-down white collar shirt with blue pinstripes. A camera inside the courtroom showed her mother, Cindy, was in attendance.

After about 15 minutes of each side stating their case, including an attorney with the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Belvin Perry said he was reserving ruling for a later time.

The defense previously failed to get Judge Perry to seal its death penalty witness list by order, so Monday Casey's lawyers tried to make convincing arguments to keep that list secret from the public.

The defense says some of Casey's relatives in Ohio and others, who have known her and her family since she was a child, don't want to help her stay off death row if she's convicted of murdering her daughter, Caylee Anthony, because they don't want to be contacted or covered by the media.

The defense says it has 50 witnesses who it plans to call on her behalf if she's convicted. Prosecutors have the list and will get the chance to depose the witnesses. But the defense wants to keep them and the information they would provide secret from the public, unless it becomes necessary if Casey's found guilty.

Prosecutors have listed what the law calls "aggravators," or legal reasons why Casey should be sentenced to death if she's convicted of murdering Caylee. The defense would argue what the law calls "mitigators," or legal reasons why she should not be sentenced to death, and would call its witnesses to underscore those arguments.

Mitigating circumstances could include: no significant criminal history, age, mental or emotional disturbance, extreme duress, or any other factors in the defendant's background that would mitigate against a death sentence.

Judge Perry did not say when he would rule on the defense's motion to keep the list secret. Casey waved to her mom when she entered and exited the courtroom.
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Post by artgal16 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:59 pm

Can you believe that this article states that her friends and relatives dont want to help her stay off the death row because of the publicity? Wow -that just really astounds me!
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:30 pm

Casey waved to her mom when she entered and exited the courtroom.
Casey did not wave to her mother when she entered the courtroom. In fact, I don't think her mother was even there yet when she came in. And, she may have given her a little wave when she was leaving. I couldn't really see from the angle they were showing, but she did get a little smirk of her face (at least that's what it looked like to me) when CA waved to her.
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Post by artgal16 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:43 pm

Cindy was not in the court that I could see either - I believe as she came in she waved to Baez - I didnt see her as she went out
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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:58 pm

I just watched the video of the hearing, and KC did NOT wave at her mother entering OR leaving. She glanced back there as she was leaving, CA waved, and she just kept walking with a definite smirk on her face...There is no doubt in my mind that she hates CA, loves to see her miserable, and blames her for the situation she's in. It's written all over her face.
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Post by artgal16 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:01 pm

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Casey Anthony's defense team could be losing one of its biggest expert witnesses, whose testimony might have been able to free her, and it's all because of money problems in the case.

Dr. Henry Lee is a forensic scientist who helped get O.J. Simpson acquitted. The defense team hoped he would do the same for Casey, but the state has not paid Lee to travel from Connecticut to Florida for the trial.

Prosecutors can't even get Dr. Lee to commit to a deposition, which would have to be done before he would testify at Casey's murder trial in May.

The defense team's most high-profile expert, Dr. Henry Lee, might be the next to go because of money issues. The defense claimed Dr. Lee helped investigators find hairs in Casey's car, and if Lee drops out of the case so could the defense claim that investigators weren't thorough enough.

"They may lose a very powerful tool to raise reasonable doubt in their case," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

During a hearing Monday (watch hearing) , Chief Judge Belvin Perry questioned whether Lee, who is on the defense expert list at this point, is still a witness.

"Maybe Dr. Lee is not planning on testifying. There was some suggestion in his email that he might not, depending on the resolution of this issue," Judge Perry said.

Defense attorney Cheney Mason had said in court earlier this year that Lee would be willing to work for a crate of oranges. However, Lee has billed the state $7,500 for three days of work last summer and was looking to get reimbursed for his travel expenses, as well.

Dr. Lee is from Connecticut, but once Casey's defense team spent almost $200,000 on the case and she became indigent, the state has been paying her legal expenses. One of the state's rules is indigent clients must use Florida experts to minimize travel expenses.
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Post by artgal16 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:02 pm

I guess Dr Lee didnt like the oranges!
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Post by charminglane on Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:06 pm

You would think if he truly believed in his client, he would do it for free.
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Post by Nama on Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:15 pm

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Post by jeanne1807 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:19 pm

Charm I have to agree. If Dr. Lee believed Casey innocent I think he would have to be present. Of course he did allow OJ to walk free. Well his testimony and also the famous "glove".

I was thinking of little Caylee this afternoon. Our little guy is 4 1/2 years old now. I can't imagine our lives without him.

I have to feel a bit sorry for them that their family ended up like this..with nothing.

Somewhere, somehow a lot of things went really wrong and a child was killed.

I wonder what our Lord will have to say about that.
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Normal Casey's Defense May Lose Key Expert Witness/ JUDGE HOLDS OFF ON RULING ON CASEY WITNESS LIST

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:53 pm

Posted: 4:35 pm EST December 20, 2010
Updated: 6:00 pm EST December 20, 2010

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. --

VIDEO REPORT: Defense May Lose Witness [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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CASEY WALKS IN: Watch Raw Video [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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JUDGE HOLDS OFF ON RULING ON CASEY WITNESS LIST

Casey Anthony was in court Monday afternoon where her lawyers fought to keep the witness list in the death penalty phase of the trial from being made public.

Casey walked in about 10 minutes before the 1:30pm scheduled hearing wearing a long-sleeve, button-down white collar shirt with blue pinstripes. A camera inside the courtroom showed her mother, Cindy, was in attendance.

Casey was writing notes to defense attorney Jose Baez. He looked at the courtroom camera, then jumped up and objected because it seemed to be focused on her notes.

"I would ask that the court instruct the photographer in the room not to photograph my client as she's passing notes," Baez said.

After Judge Belvin Perry instructed Baez on the proper way to handle his objection, he overruled and everyone went on, including Casey who continued writing him notes.

After about 15 minutes of each side stating their case, including an attorney with the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Belvin Perry said he was reserving ruling for a later time.

The defense previously failed to get Judge Perry to seal its death penalty witness list by order, so Monday Casey's lawyers tried to make convincing arguments to keep that list secret from the public.

The defense says some of Casey's relatives in Ohio and others, who have known her and her family since she was a child, don't want to help her stay off death row if she's convicted of murdering her daughter, Caylee Anthony, because they don't want to be contacted or covered by the media.

"We're worried that death penalty witnesses will be reluctant to come forward once it's time," defense attorney Ann Finnell argued Monday.

The defense says it has 50 witnesses who it plans to call on her behalf if she's convicted. Prosecutors have the list and will get the chance to depose the witnesses. But the defense wants to keep them and the information they would provide secret from the public, unless it becomes necessary if Casey's found guilty.

Prosecutors have listed what the law calls "aggravators," or legal reasons why Casey should be sentenced to death if she's convicted of murdering Caylee. The defense would argue what the law calls "mitigators," or legal reasons why she should not be sentenced to death, and would call its witnesses to underscore those arguments.

Mitigating circumstances could include: no significant criminal history, age, mental or emotional disturbance, extreme duress, or any other factors in the defendant's background that would mitigate against a death sentence.

Judge Perry did not say when he would rule on the defense's motion to keep the list secret. Casey waved to her mom when she entered and exited the courtroom.

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Normal Re: Dec. 20, 2010 Casey Anthony Hearing/Casey's Defense May Lose Key Expert Witness/ Judge Perry Rules That Witness List Does Not Have to Remain Sealed

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:59 pm

charminglane wrote:You would think if he truly believed in his client, he would do it for free.
I respectfully disagree. Dr. Lee is NOT an attorney. He is a famous forensics scientist who thinks like one and doesn't (IMHO) think about doing anything pro bono. Just my 2 cents. Also, I have to wonder. Did Dr. Lee say from the get-go that he would do this for free? :scratch:

Artgal, I agree. I think these infamous friends and relatives from Ohio who probably haven't seen Casey since she was a little girl thinks she is guilty..but it is much easier and safer to say they won't testify on her behalf because they don't want to be in the media spotlight. I bet that really pisses off the Ant's. Pardon the pun. :lol!:

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Post by lisette on Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:56 pm

BJ, that picture of KC in court today really showed what I noticed about her. She seems to have aged 8-10 years, dark circles under eyes, little make-up, acne-faced...Poor girl! Sarcasm
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Post by Wrapitup on Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:07 pm

Yet, less than a month ago..she didn't look that badly. She looked rather angry today. I did see her look very briefly her mother's way when she was whisked out of the courtroom today.

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Post by artgal16 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:19 am

Note the words of the defense attorney who acknowleges the conclusion of the matter: there will be a time when the death penalty phase is upon us. (see below)

Kathi Belich has long been a thorn in the side of Cheney Mason from the beginning. Mason's own words have often come back to haunt him. This is an issue for the prideful who often make swooping statements, truthful or not, and are used to being believed and getting their way. WFTV (article below) brought up Cheney Mason's words as another reminder.

Mason bragged that he and Casey would walk arm-in-arm in freedom. This is on video. It is one thing to boast to media, but another thing to boast in court.

Note what Mason told Judge Perry regarding Dr. Henry Lee below.



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Casey Anthony's defense team could be losing one of its biggest expert witnesses, whose testimony might have been able to free her, and it's all because of money problems in the case.


Dr. Henry Lee is a forensic scientist who helped get O.J. Simpson acquitted. The defense team hoped he would do the same for Casey, but the state has not paid Lee to travel from Connecticut to Florida for the trial.

Prosecutors can't even get Dr. Lee to commit to a deposition, which would have to be done before he would testify at Casey's murder trial in May.

The defense team's most high-profile expert, Dr. Henry Lee, might be the next to go because of money issues. The defense claimed Dr. Lee helped investigators find hairs in Casey's car, and if Lee drops out of the case so could the defense claim that investigators weren't thorough enough.

"They may lose a very powerful tool to raise reasonable doubt in their case," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

What is it that would be powerful? What could possibly help Casey Anthony?
During a hearing Monday (watch hearing) , Chief Judge Belvin Perry questioned whether Lee, who is on the defense expert list at this point, is still a witness.

"Maybe Dr. Lee is not planning on testifying. There was some suggestion in his email that he might not, depending on the resolution of this issue," Judge Perry said.

Note Judge Perry's use of Statement Analysis. We don't have the email but the judge understood that Lee was likely intimating or making a pitch for money. Perry has a strong intellect.

Defense attorney Cheney Mason had said in court earlier this year that Lee would be willing to work for a crate of oranges. However, Lee has billed the state $7,500 for three days of work last summer and was looking to get reimbursed for his travel expenses, as well.

The "good ole boy" persona has not only jumped the shark, it has come back to bite him. By claiming that Dr. Henry Lee was willing to work for oranges, Mason attempted to portray Lee as ethical, and above the mercenery spirit that accompanies his profession. Dr. Lee, however, may feel differently. He likely took a look at the initial $200,000 that came in to the defense, and like Linda Kenny-Baden and the other gold diggers, he played the "I'm in it for justice" card; but when Baez went through it so quickly that he didn't have the $300 photocopy money, he left. Let us hope that he didn't take evidence with him.

The hypocrisy of those who rushed to the cameras for the fame and fortune they hoped for has come full circle. As quickly as they showed up, once the money was gone, so they disappeared, and have moved on to greener pastures.

I don't doubt that although the love of money is the principle driving factor for them all, working with Baez likely contributed to their departures.

Seated in a self proclaimed "dream team" only to be humiliated each time Judge Perry publicly corrects Baez was likely more than they could bear.

Note that none of them were able to muzzle the Anthonys, which also has been an ongoing issue.

The media coverage has almost dried up, therefore, there is no longer a motivation to be part of the team.

"Lightfingered Lee" wants his payday.

Dr. Lee is from Connecticut, but once Casey's defense team spent almost $200,000 on the case and she became indigent, the state has been paying her legal expenses. One of the state's rules is indigent clients must use Florida experts to minimize travel expenses.

Next: note that Baez does not want the public to know who will testify in the penalty phase on behalf of Casey. Why would he want this sealed?
Casey Anthony was in court Monday afternoon where her lawyers fought to keep the witness list in the death penalty phase of the trial from being made public.

Casey walked in about 10 minutes before the 1:30pm scheduled hearing wearing a long-sleeve, button-down white collar shirt with blue pinstripes. A camera inside the courtroom showed her mother, Cindy, was in attendance.

Casey was writing notes to defense attorney Jose Baez. He looked at the courtroom camera, then jumped up and objected because it seemed to be focused on her notes.

"I would ask that the court instruct the photographer in the room not to photograph my client as she's passing notes," Baez said.

Note that Baez uses future tense; showing his own weak commitment and insecurity.

After Judge Belvin Perry instructed Baez on the proper way to handle his objection, he overruled and everyone went on, including Casey who continued writing him notes.

This is the ongoing humiliation that experienced lawyers experience, as they sit next to Baez. The body language of the attorneys next to Baez will be priceless to analyze each time Baez speaks. After about 15 minutes of each side stating their case, including an attorney with the Orlando Sentinel, Judge Belvin Perry said he was reserving ruling for a later time.

The defense previously failed to get Judge Perry to seal its death penalty witness list by order, so Monday Casey's lawyers tried to make convincing arguments to keep that list secret from the public.

The defense says some of Casey's relatives in Ohio and others, who have known her and her family since she was a child, don't want to help her stay off death row if she's convicted of murdering her daughter, Caylee Anthony, because they don't want to be contacted or covered by the media.

"We're worried that death penalty witnesses will be reluctant to come forward once it's time," defense attorney Ann Finnell argued Monday.

Note the pronoun: "it's" indicating the time when the death penalty phase comes. Note the difference between Finnell and Mason. Mason said he and Casey would walk arm in arm in freedom together, but Finnell presupposed the guilty verdict and her pronoun usage indicates the expected conviction and subsequent penalty phase of the trial; her specialty.


Note also the word "worried" is stronger than "concerned".

Note the argument's basis: Even though this is a matter of life and death, Casey's relatives may not utter a few words in her defense simply because the public will know their names.

Could she not think of another excuse?

Could it be that the family members who have known Casey since childhood are reluctant to speak because they've known Casey since childhood?

Could it be that some of the names on the list weren't even asked if they wished to be on the list?

Could it be that those wish to speak on Casey's behalf who have known her since childhood, don't exist?

It would not be the first non-exsisting person in this case.

The defense says it has 50 witnesses who it plans to call on her behalf if she's convicted. Prosecutors have the list and will get the chance to depose the witnesses. But the defense wants to keep them and the information they would provide secret from the public, unless it becomes necessary if Casey's found guilty.

Prosecutors have listed what the law calls "aggravators," or legal reasons why Casey should be sentenced to death if she's convicted of murdering Caylee. The defense would argue what the law calls "mitigators," or legal reasons why she should not be sentenced to death, and would call its witnesses to underscore those arguments.

Mitigating circumstances could include: no significant criminal history, age, mental or emotional disturbance, extreme duress, or any other factors in the defendant's background that would mitigate against a death sentence.

At this point, the prosecution can submit Cindy Anthony's statements to the FBI about Casey being a wonderful mother, teriffic friend, a financial planner, therapist, event planner, photographer, Sunday School teacher, and having no mental health issues.
Judge Perry did not say when he would rule on the defense's motion to keep the list secret. Casey waved to her mom when she entered and exited the courtroom.
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Normal Re: Dec. 20, 2010 Casey Anthony Hearing/Casey's Defense May Lose Key Expert Witness/ Judge Perry Rules That Witness List Does Not Have to Remain Sealed

Post by lisette on Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:08 am

"Maybe Dr. Lee is not planning on testifying. There was some suggestion in his email that he might not, depending on the resolution of this issue," Judge Perry said.

Note Judge Perry's use of Statement Analysis. We don't have the email but the judge understood that Lee was likely intimating or making a pitch for money. Perry has a strong intellect.

This is an error in the article by seamusoriley. The words in bold were actually spoken by Jeff Ashton, not Judge Perry. After JP said "Maybe Dr. Lee is not planning on testifying", Ashton followed with the next statement in bold. So I would think that the Statement Analysis for that statement is not valid.JMO. BUT I do agree that JP probably thinks that Lee is not coming without some money. I wish he would bring up the "crate of oranges" thing, but I guess that wouldn't be kosher.
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Post by Nama on Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:53 pm

Cindy Anthony, right, watched as daughter Casey Anthony left a court hearing Monday. Photo credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel
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Viewers who follow the Casey Anthony case were wondering Monday: Where’s “In Session”?
It’s off the air for the last two weeks of the year. “Normally, there’s little court activity,” an “In Session” spokeswoman said.

It’s a standard procedure with truTV taking over programming the “In Session” time slot the final weeks of the year.

“In Session” will be back Jan. 3, and the program will offer highlights from the Anthony case then. “In Session” was at the Anthony hearing Monday and gathering news.

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:12 pm

And Jean Casarus from In Session did NG last night. I hope she does it all week. I adore her. She speaks eloquently, is an attorney, knows of what she speaks, presents the issues appropriately, asks the right questions and is attractive. And, she loves to discuss the Anthony case. She needs her own show. Let NG stay with "Swift Justice" which is ridiculous and allow Jean to take over.

I watched the entire courtroom procedure last night and Judge Perry is another one I adore. He cracked me up when he made it very clear to Bozo that "as of next Monday, he will not be in the building all week". He said it about 3 or 4 times. I love it when he says, "Bear in mind". :lol!:

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Post by Lilone on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:15 pm

"Bear in mind" = "Listen up, Bozo"
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:16 pm

Exactly!!!!

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Post by artgal16 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:28 pm

Cindy Anthony looks so proud in this picture as she gazes at Casey. It always makes me mad as if Casey isnt a trial for the murder of her own child.
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Post by raine1953 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:32 pm

It make's me sick to see CA looking at Casey that way and yes, she does look proud! Proud of what? It just makes me want to slap CA but she's so nuts probably nothing will help her see reality.
At least GA is finally staying away, a little late too.
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Post by cherylz on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:36 pm

CA does look adoringly at Caylee's killer. crazy3
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Post by charminglane on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:45 pm

I was going to buy that sweater Cindy has on, now I just can't.

Jeanne, I also wonder like you do. What went so wrong?
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Post by artgal16 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:54 pm

I posted somewhere else an analysis of the Anthony family from statement analysis as well - it pretty much describes how their particular dysfuntion caused her to become a sociopath and I felt it was pretty much on target, but its difficult to know isnt it, what causes this behavior. The recent document dump had letters to her jailmate Robyn. In one letter in particular she admits that she "stayed home all day" and went out at night looking for Mr. Right. Casey also has a big hallmark of sociopathy and that is promiscuity, but I also know people raised by very terrible parents, drunks, abusive, that came out very well and are wonderful parents.
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Post by artgal16 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:09 pm

About the only surprise to come out of yesterday’s hearing in the Casey Anthony case was that Dr. Henry “Will Work for Food” Lee may not end up participating in Casey’s defense after all. Despite Cheney Mason’s bombastic pronouncement earlier in the year that Dr. Lee would accept a “crate of oranges” as payment for his services, it turns out that Dr. Lee would rather be compensated with US currency. Last summer Dr. Lee spent three days in Florida doing work for the defense and, since his client is indigent, he billed the state $7500 for those services. (According to the USDA, a 4 lb bag of organic navel oranges runs about $4.82 today, so we have to assume that Dr. Lee will not accept 3 1/4 tons of organic navels as payment.)

The Orlando media (well, WFTV) made a big deal about Dr. Lee’s potential defection from Team Casey. They opened their news segment with the words “Dr. Lee’s testimony might have been able to let Casey go free.” WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Sheaffer opined “they may lose a very powerful tool to raise reasonable doubt in their case.”

Why all the fuss over Dr. Lee, you ask? It’s pretty simple: the defense claims Dr. Lee helped investigators find hairs in Casey’s car. 17 of them, at last count. The fact that a defense investigator found so many hairs in a vehicle already processed by OCSO points to sloppy investigative work, so the theory goes.

The perceived value of this angle by the defense should not be underestimated. Remember the March 12, 2009 hearing on the defense’s motion for sanctions against the prosecution for allegedly not turning over key items of discovery? Jose Baez called CSI Bloise to the stand and began jumping all over him because Lee found the hairs after Bloise processed the vehicle. Baez was shut down pretty rapidly by Judge Strickland because they were not, after all, trying the case at that time. But by then Baez had already had his foot ankle deep into his mouth. Not only was Baez’s questioning irrelevant with respect to the motion, but it tipped a key defense card to the prosecution. Oops.

What I found interesting by the whole exchange, however, was Mr. Bloise’s perplexed look when Baez was asking him about all those hairs. He clearly had a “WTF are you talking about” expression and reaction. Perhaps Dr. Lee did not find a treasure trove of evidence after all?

The collection of evidence is an iterative process, done at the direction of the lead investigator as the case develops. What may not be important one day may be critical on a later day as leads are followed and evidence accumulates. The collection of evidence is also time-consuming. It must be photographed and then collected. Notes are taken and later logged into a computer. Not everything is collected at once. Don’t forget too that most of the investigators are working multiple cases at the same time.

The Pontiac was obviously the first focus of the investigation back in 2008 because of the decomposition smell. According to the reports of CSIs Vincent and Bloise, the vehicle – particularly the trunk – was processed repeatedly and in a variety of ways from July 16 to August 5. This is when the hair with the “death banding” was found and when the first air samples were collected.

Other than a visual overview inspection, the trash bag found in the trunk was not examined until August 8. Why wait so long, you ask? Think about this from the standpoint of the detective. You smell what you instinctively know to be human decomposition in the trunk, but not in the bag. Your overview inspection of the bag reveals nothing that would be the source of that smell. So you put the bag aside for later examination and focus on the trunk first.

The first two examinations of the bag were actually prompted by the air sample examination done by Oak Ridge. On August 8 the bag was examined for cleaning products and the information sent back to Oak Ridge. On August 25 the bag was reinspected for any signs of pizza or meat or any other food matter that could possibly contribute to the air signature found by Oak Ridge (none was found). During that time, mention was made to Oak Ridge of the maggots and pupae found in the trash bag. Dr. Vass at Oak Ridge contacted his entomologist buddy Dr. Haskell about that, and Dr. Haskell said they might be coffin flies – send them to him and he’ll see. That was done in early September.

When Dr. Haskell reported back that they did appear to be coffin flies, the trash bag rose in importance. More specifically, paper towels and/or napkins to which the pupae were attached rose in importance. Those items were removed from the bag and shipped to Dr. Haskell. Before shipping those items, however, two hairs found on the paper towels were recovered by CSI Vincent. After Dr. Haskell received the paper towels and processed them, he found additional hairs and botanical items, which he shipped back to OCSO. The hair found by Vincent and Haskell was later examined by the FBI and did not have any “death banding”.

By the time Dr. Lee waltzed into the forensics garage in mid-November, OCSO had thoroughly processed the trunk liner and spare tire cover as well as the paper towels / napkins found in the trash bag. Those were items that were suspected to have come in direct contact with Caylee’s body or fluids. The remaining items in the trash bag were unlikely to have come into contact with Caylee’s body, so therefore OCSO had not placed a high priority on inspecting those items for trace evidence.

So what did Dr. Lee end up finding? I can start by stating what he did not find: hair on the trunk liner, spare tire cover, or paper towels / napkins. He did manage to find a single hair somewhere in the trunk that had been stripped bare of the liner and spare tire cover, but it is not known whose hair that was – all we do know is that the FBI later examined it and it did not have the death banding.

Dr. Lee, on a roll, asked to inspect the garbage bag – the low-priority item yet to be thoroughly inspected by OCSO. Working together with CSI Bloise, they found three hairs in the bag. Not surprising in the context of the investigation, but puffed up with self-satisfaction Dr. Lee decided to call it a day and left with Baez, who wore his best “I’ve got you now” smirk as they walked from the garage.

CSI Bloise must have thought that Lee’s inspection of the bag fell a bit short of thorough, because in his report he stated that he went back to inspect the bag further, and found an additional 13 hairs not seen by Dr. Lee. Of course, all 17 hairs (the one found by Dr. Lee and the 16 found by CSI Bloise with 3 assists from Lee) were sent to the FBI, and none were found to have death banding. We don’t know whose heads they belonged to, but given the bag came from an apartment with college students it could have been any number of people.

So much for Dr. Lee schooling OCSO. Maybe that is why Cheney suggested Dr. Lee be paid in oranges?
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Post by artgal16 on Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:13 pm

Now is that a great and thorough article or what!
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Post by Lilone on Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:46 pm

Dr. Lee also claimed (on NG) that there was ham, cheese, and a variety of other items in the bag. Dr. Lee was also accused of "either planting or destroying evidence" in the Phil Spector trial. I say, farewell, Hank...
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Post by lisette on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:21 pm

Judge won't seal Anthony witness list
attorneys didn't meet standards required to seal

Updated: Saturday, 08 Jan 2011, 8:53 AM EST
Published : Saturday, 08 Jan 2011, 8:53 AM EST

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A judge is refusing to seal a list of witnesses who may be used at the trial of a Florida mother charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter.

Circuit Judge Belvin Perry ruled Friday that arguments made by Casey Anthony's attorneys fell short of the standards required to seal the list of witnesses who will be called if the Florida mother is convicted and there is a sentencing phase. Anthony's attorneys say allowing the list to become public would hinder her right to a fair trial

Anthony has pleaded not guilty in the death of her daughter Caylee and said a baby sitter kidnapped her daughter.

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Wonder when we'll get to see it?
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Post by charminglane on Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:00 pm

Were there any flies or maggots with the remains (so sorry for writing this) of Caylee in their systems that we have heard or read about? Wouldn't that be something?
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Post by Guest on Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:24 pm

Both sides have a bug expert. Interesting thought charm.
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Post by laga on Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:14 pm

The prosecution does have preserved coffin flies and maggots from the bag her remains were found in and from the trunk of kc's car. I don't know if they need to find specific remains inside them and if they can identify with dna what specific decomposition they were after or not. I am not sure about the science of all that but I am sure the prosecution has a lot of compelling evidence that bozo will not be able to refute or explain innocently.
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