Saturday, June 25, 2011



Casey Anthony trial delayed by unexplained "legal issue"

ORLANDO, Florida | Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:10pm EDT

(Reuters) - The Saturday session of Casey Anthony's first-degree murder trial was scuttled by an unspecified "legal issue" announced by Judge Belvin Perry.

The delay could push back the end of the trial in which Anthony is accused of smothering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee on June 16, 2008 and hiding the body in the woods while claiming the little girl had been kidnapped by a nanny.

Asked to identify the legal issue which delayed the trial, neither defense lawyer Cheney Mason nor prosecutor Jeff Ashton would comment.

"I can't tell ya," Ashton said. Mason said nothing.

At the 9 a.m. trial starting time, the lawyers and Perry disappeared into a side room to talk in private. They emerged 40 minutes later for Perry to make the announcement to spectators and then to the jury in its holding room.

Earlier, the prosecution and defense lawyers argued about whether defense expert Dr. Kenneth Furton would be allowed to testify about opinions that were not disclosed to prosecutors in advance.

Perry said the "legal issue" which required Saturday's recess was unrelated to the Furton issue.

Prosecutors say Anthony smothered Caylee with duct tape to free herself to "live the good life." Prosecution evidence suggests she drove around for several days with Caylee's body in her car trunk, then dumped the remains in the woods near the Anthony home outside of Orlando.

The child's disappearance came to light on July 15, 2008 when Casey's mother, Cindy Anthony, called 911. Cindy Anthony said she was frustrated because her daughter had made excuses for a month as to why she couldn't see or speak to her granddaughter.

She said she became alarmed when she found Casey Anthony's abandoned car at an impound lot, smelling to her and several other witnesses as if it contained a dead body.

Casey Anthony initially told detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by a nanny and that she was searching for her daughter on her own. After a five-month nationwide search, Caylee's body was discovered by a meter reader.

When the trial opened, defense lawyer Jose Baez told jurors that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family's backyard pool, but that her death went unreported. He also claimed that Casey Anthony's seemingly uncaring attitude while she partied in nightclubs was a result of a history of sexual abuse.

Saturday's delay could push back the end of the trial which began with opening statements on May 24. Perry had expected to keep the court in session until at least mid-afternoon in order to end the testimony portion by the end of next week.

On Friday, Perry said he expected to be handing the case to the jury for deliberations late next Friday or on Saturday.

The trial will resume Monday at 8:30 a.m.

Casey Anthony murder trial delayed 

over legal issue

Orlando (CNN) -- What had been planned as an extended weekend work day in the Casey Anthony murder trial abruptly ended Saturday morning as the judge overseeing the case ordered a recess over the sudden emergence of what one analyst said must be a major issue.
"Obviously it's big, and obviously it's troublesome and obviously it's something that can't be disclosed," HLN legal analyst Linda Kenney Baden said.

Casey Anthony Trial: Court in Recess to Consider Legal Issue

PHOTO: Casey Anthony

Testimony will resume on Monday instead of this morning in the Casey Anthony trial - the Florida mom accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, due to a legal issue.
Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said the court would recess for the day and continue next week as he looked into a legal issue after a meeting with defense attorneys, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Today's session was set to start at 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
On Friday, Casey's brother, Lee Anthony, testified emotionally about his sister's pregnancy with Caylee, breaking down in tears as he claimed his family ignored her pregnancy, not talking about it until just days before she gave birth in 2005.
The brother's dramatic appearance on the witness stand left prosecutors baffled and they questioned the sincerity of his emotion as well as his memory that seemed to differ from his 2009 deposition.
Earlier in the week, on Thursday, Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony's mother, took credit for some of the chloroform searches on the family computer, a blow to the prosecution's theory that it was Casey Anthony who searched chloroform 84 times in her computer.
The prosecution is arguing that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter with chloroform and duct tape.

Casey Anthony: Tony Pipitone highlights Cindy’s new problem 

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Casey Anthony was emotional after coming out of a closed-door meeting this morning. Photo credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel
Tony Pipitone, WKMG-Channel 6’s talented investigative reporter, just keeps coming up with news in the Casey Anthony case.
His recent interviews with Dr. Werner Spitz and Krystal Holloway, George Anthony’s alleged mistress, rightly generated a lot of discussion. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton even referenced the Spitz interview in court and mentioned Pipitone.
This morning, Pipitone supplied thoughtful insight and newsy detail when the court recessed for the day. You learned the most by watching him.
On Friday night, Pipitone had another good story: He explained a problem with Cindy Anthony’s testimony earlier that day. Cindy Anthony testified that she called husband George about the pool ladder in June 2008, the time the defense says granddaughter Caylee drowned in the family pool. Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Many people sensed problems with Cindy’s testimony. Pipitone explained why they were right to feel that way. WKMG had reviewed Cindy Anthony’s cell phone and home phone records for June 16 and 17, 2008, and found no such call to George. 
Pipitone predicted that prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick will pick apart this call that Cindy says she made to George. “The state can bring it up in rebuttal and present it to the jury in closing arguments,” Pipitone said.  
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Chief Judge Belvin Perry, left, with defense attorneys Cheney Mason, center, and Jose Baez in court today. Photo credit: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel
Jose Baez has complained to Geraldo Rivera about feeling stymied by Chief Judge Belvin Perry.
Rivera revealed the complaints of Casey Anthony’s attorney last night on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel. Baez opened up at a lunch that Rivera had with the defense team.
“What Baez told me, he is extremely frustrated that the judge has been limiting him in terms of the witnesses he can present,” Rivera told guest host Juan Williams. “And also the lines of questioning that he can pursue.”
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. The trial recessed early today over a legal matter, which remains a mystery and set off a lot of speculation.
Rivera said that Baez wants to try to establish that Anthony was “so battered down by years of sexual and physical abuse by her brother and by her father that she couldn’t behave rationally. That was the behavior of someone who is in that kind of post-traumatic state.”
Rivera highlighted that Perry wouldn’t let Baez ask about the state of George and Cindy Anthony’s marriage. Baez also felt frustrated about trying to question an emotional Lee Anthony, Casey’s brother, in court yesterday, Rivera said.

“He [Baez] wanted that jury to know that those parents feared Lee Anthony was the father of that child,” Rivera said on “The O’Reilly Factor.” “That’s why they didn’t want him involved in the baby’s birth. That’s where he was going. The judge stopped it.”
Rivera’s take on Perry? “I think that Belvin Perry is doing his best,” Rivera told Williams. “I think he’s being extremely pro-prosecution.”
What does Rivera think Perry should be doing? “He should have given the defense more latitude,” Rivera said. “Let the jury reject it. Let the jury say, ‘Oh, it’s bogus. There is no way that happened. This is a selfish, narcissistic, self-involved brat who killed her child.’ ”
What do you think?

Anthony trial shut down till Monday

June 25th, 2011
09:57 AM ET
Citing an unspecified legal issue, Chief Judge Belvin Perry has ordered the Casey Anthony murder trial into recess until Monday. Perry's announcement follows nearly an hour of discussions in court and in his chambers among the judge and attorneys.

Why We Can't Stop Watching the Casey Anthony Trial

Published June 25, 2011
The Casey Anthony trial may ultimately equal or even eclipse the O.J. Simpson trial, in terms of galvanizing the attention of the nation. Yet, Ms. Anthony was not an athlete or movie star when her trial began. She has no "Dream Team" of famous defense attorneys. What, then, explains the level of attention she is generating?
First, Ms. Anthony represents a brainteaser for many people--a kind of psychological Rubik's Cube. She doesn't fit their preconceptions of a killer. She's pretty. She has a nice smile. She is young. She is female. She is (and this may be unfortunate, but it is true) a white woman and a woman who is not poor. She has no history of violent crime.
Thus, people are looking extremely closely at Ms. Anthony and listening with great intensity to witnesses, her attorney and the prosecutor in this case speak about her. We want to solve the puzzle of how the person we see and about whom we hear might be able to suffocate and dispose of her own adorable daughter.
Unlike Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman convicted in 1995 of murdering her two sons, Casey Anthony offers no clues. She doesn't claim a history of mental illness as a defense. She hasn't confessed to being a killer and blamed it on the darkness that can come with severe depression.
Unlike Scott Peterson, the Modesto, California man convicted in 2005 of killing his wife Lacey and unborn child Conner, there is no lover-in-waiting to "explain" why he murdered. Peterson had met beautiful masseuse Amber Frey and seemed to have wanted a life with her, free from other commitments.
The window onto Ms. Anthony's soul is especially cloudy and draws the nation ever closer, squinting through the glass for any glimpse.
Second, Ms. Anthony, whether a killer or a mother who inexplicably did not report her daughter missing for over a month, is a conduit for buried, forgotten terrors still inside all of us. 
During childhood, we were all so vulnerable physically and emotionally, so entirely dependent on the good will of our guardians, that we suppressed the thought that we could be with a mother or father who disliked us, wished we did not exist, or might even be able to act on it. Such fears are, in childhood, unthinkable, and, in adulthood, still locked deep inside us.
Casey Anthony, the pretty, smiling, mother who may well have murdered her daughter is, in fact, every adult's worst, long-denied childhood nightmare. 
The chance to see such a woman in captivity, and to ponder what she is accused of, is like going to the zoo to see the rarest, deadliest monster you can imagine, the one resurrected from the deepest recesses of your mind in its most fragile moments. And, what's more, even if she is that monster, she may or may not be freed.
The third reason that Casey Anthony's murder trial rivets so many of us is the hardest to speak of, let alone to admit. Many, many people who experience the joys of starting families, nonetheless recall wistfully what it was like to be unencumbered. 
Raising kids is hard work, a lot of it necessarily selfless, and millions of us have thought at one moment or another, "What exactly have I gotten myself into--and why? What would my life be like if I could still just worry about myself." 

Read more:

Cindy Anthony: Pool ladder was attached

Casey Anthony's mom, Cindy, testified Friday that the ladder to the pool was attached the day Caylee went missing.

A Murder Trial as Tourist Draw in Central Florida

Jason Henry for The New York Times
THE LONG WAIT | People started lining up at 5:30 a.m. last week to wait for court passes for the next day. Court officials hand them out at 4 p.m.

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