Screwing, Tattooing and no Boo-Hooing
Posted by thedarwinexception on June 15, 2011
Yes, I’m back. I’m at my sons, working on the laptop computer I let him “borrow” r a year ago. Yeah, “borrow”, if you have kids, you know what ”borrow” means. It’s kind of like when he “borrows” money.
On Tuesday my router shit the bed at home. I called Verizon – they said they could have someone out on Friday to fix t. I wasn’t too worried about it, since I was coming here, anyway. Hopefully they do go and fix it on Friday, though, or I’ll be screwed on Sunday when I go home.
So, since I couldn’t do anything to update the blog yesterday, now I’m 2 days behind again, and my son is anxious for me to go get a pedicure. Life is funny.
But, anyway, let’s delve into Casey’s trial, where life isn’t necessarily funny – but it is “bella”
On Tuesday, Baez asks for a “housekeeping” update with the court – so everyone gets into court and goes to yet another sidebar. I should have kept track of the number of sidebars – I’m betting it’s approaching Ito levels.
Finally we get a witness – Catherine Theisen. She is the chief of the quality assurance and training units at the FBI. She has been there for 23 years. She used to be a research scientist – who developed new DNA and forensic typing techniques and methods . I’d say she’s probably the smartest person in the room. I couldn’t develop new DNA forensic typing methods – and I’ll bet Baez doesn’t even know what Mitochondrial means For 9 years she was mitochondrial DNA examiner. She has a PhD in human molecular genetics – from Johns Hopkins, no less. She’s been confirmed as an expert 20 times in a mix of state, and federal courts.
The FBI lab conducts nuclear as well as Mitochondrial DNA testing. Nuclear DNA is what you get from both your mother and your father, so it allows testing to determine that the source of that DNA sample is linked to one indicial and one individual only – to the exclusion of all others. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from your mother – so you share that DNA with your mother and any genetic relations from your mother’s side of the family. In some cases you can even share mitochondrial DNA with non-related people,. Mitochondrial DNA does not give the examiner the ability to identify a person to the exclusion of anyone else. Mitochondrial DNA testing is run when there isn’t a large enough sample to run nuclear testing. Typically, this will include shed hairs or skeletal remains,.
There are several steps to Mitochondrial DNA testing – first the DNA is extracted from an item of evidence.. Then that DNA is subjected to a process called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) this amplifies and copies a small DNA sample so they have enough to work with. The sample then goes through DNA sequencing, This allows the examiner to give the sample a mitochondrial DNA “type” and they can compare these “types” to known samples from people involved ina case, as well as being compared to samples in the Mitochondrial DNA database.
If the Mitochondrial DNA type is different than the mitochondrial DNA of a known subject, that subject can be excluded as the source of that item. Conversely, if the Mitochondrial DNA type is the same, then that person cannot be excluded as the source of that DNA. If a person cannot be excluded as a source, the evidence item, the examiner will then calculate that mitochondrial DNA type, and estimate how common that type is in the general population,, based on the results of the DNA database search.
In July 2008, the witness was sent items involving this case. Specifically, she was sent a hair sample designated Q12.1 (a prtion of the hair sample that exhibited root banding found in the trunk of Casey’s car.) She was also sent the buccal swabs taken from Casey Anthony.
The witness was able to extract a mitochondrial DNA profile fromt eh ahir and the buccal sample. Thesse mitochondrial types were the same. This means that Casey Anthony (nor any of her maternal relatives) could be excluded as the source of the Mitochondrial DNA sample, This DNA type would not be found in more than 1.85% of the Caucasian population.
In December, 2008, this witness received another item of evidence for Mitochondrial DNA testing This was a portion of the hair mass found with Caylee’s skull. The Mitochondrial DNA found in this sample matched the earlier items tested.
Cross Examination – Baez asks her about her position as the quality control manager of the FBI lab. Baez tries to get her to answer questions about contamination, procedure and proficiency tests, but the Judge shuts him down, This judge may take as many sidebars as Ito, but he isn’t as deferential to tangents as Ito was.
Baez asks her if she got the history of the sample -she said she did. Baez asks if she knew that Lee Anthony once owned the Sunfire. The judge shuts him down again. Baez tries ot get around the objection by asking if she uses this history as a conclusion for her work – but that doesn’t work, either. Baez asks if she received “information” about the other people who could not be excluded as a source of the DNA, She says she doesn’t remember anything about a Lee Anthony.
The Witness is excused.
The next witness is Alina Burroughs. She is a crime scene investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, She has worked there 7 and a half years. She assisted in the collection of evidence aat the site of the remains in December 2008.
She is shown an aerial map of the crime scene area that shows how close the point of recovery was to the Anthony home.
This witness also assisted in the execution of the search warrant of the Anthony’s home on December 20th. She testifies that there were found heart shaped stickers int eh bedroom of Casey Anthony. She is shown photographs of the stickers found. The first set of stickers were found in a yellow box in a stand next to the bed of Casey Anthony. The sticker was found on an envelope – not stuck to the envelope – just on it.
The witness identifies the next sheet of sticker s found,. This sheet of stickers is cut in half, and was found in a pile of scrap booking stuff.
There is also a black sheet of metallic red heart shaped stickers found in a binder like thing full of stickers.
Cross Examination – Baez asks the witness about the photograph of the sticker laying on the envelope. The stamp on the envelop shown in the photo has a 37 cent stamp on it. Baez asks if the witness recalls how long it has been since stamps were 37 cents. The witness says she can’t recall. (Neither can I).
Baez asks if this means that this is a very old letter. She says she doesn’t know. There were baby shower items also in the same box.
Baez asks if there are also star stickers in with scrap booking stickers. She says yes,. She says there was also Mickey Mouse and Pluto items – but she doesn’t know if these were stickers. Baez asks if there were a lot of children’s items in Casey’s room. Artwork and stuff. She says she remembers artwork – but she doesn’t know if it was children’s.
Baez asks if she searched other areas of the home for stickers. She says she did, She found stickers in Caylee’s room – but those items aren’t in evidence. She says she found no stickers in George and Cindy’s room. Baez shows the witness apicture of the heart shaped sticker found on Suburban Drive. The witness says that although she has seen photos of this item, she has never actually held it. Baez asks if she found anything remotely similar to this item at the Anthony home, She says she doesn’t feel comfortable saying, since she’s never held this item, but not to her knowledge no, from the items she’s seen in photographs, no,.
Baez asks if there was a school nearby. She says she doesn’t feel comfortable making estimates on measurements, but it was “in the vicinity”. She knows that there was a school at the end of the street – but since she didn’t go down there, she’s not willing to say if there were also homes down there or not.
The witness is excused.
At this point, the state enters into evidence the heart shaped sticker found at the scene.
The defense objects – and says they want to ask the witness questions about the exhibit – so they drag her back into the courtroom.
Baez tells the witness that they actually seem to have the item now, and he would like her to see it.
After looking at the item, and finally holding it, she says that she didn’t find anything exactly like this in the Anthony home. This sticker is “thick” it has a beveled edge, or raised surface. No such stickers were found in the home.,
The witness is excused – again,.
Cindy Anthony is recalled ot the stand.
Burdick asks Cindy where she was when her granddaughter was founf in December 2008. Cindy says they were in LA getting ready to board a plane to come home. She and George were not present when the search warrant was served on their home.
Cindy says on July 3rd she noticed that Caylee’s teddy bear was missing, She says that during the month of May she noticed that Caylee’s Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing.
Cindy says that the way her hair was styled in the jailhouse visits is how her hair had been for at least 1 and a half years prior to hose videos being made. She says that her hair has been colored or dyed since 2006.
She says Casey’s hair was just growing out at the time. It was chin length then, and before that it was quite short. After Caylee was born Casey would highlight her hair, and occasionally dye it back to her natural color.
Caylee’s hair was just past shoulder length in the summer of 1008. Cindy would trim it every coupe of months. It was not processed.
Lee usually keeps his hair short. He generally shaves his head with electric trimmers – to an inch or so in length. He never processed his hair.
Cindy says that her mother has been in the Sunfire – occasionally both Casey and Lee have visited her in the Sunfire – and would take her places in it. Cindy’s mother has never had her hair longer than her shoulders in the last 10 years. She has blond, brown and mostly gray and white hair.
Cindy says her older brother possibly could have been in the car – but she’s not sure. He has very short blond hair.
Cindy recalls black duct tape that was in her home – and blue – possibly silver. She really wasn’t the one who would use the duct tape. She did use the black duct tape to wrap the protestor signs. She is not sure if any of their personal duct tape was used at the command center. Their duct tape is kept in the garage. Burdick says that Cindy’s prior statements made said that their personal duct tape was used at the command center,. She says she could have said that.
She remembers George saying that he put a piece of duct tape on the gas can.
Burdick shows Cindy a poster of Caylee held to a pole and held up with the same silver duct tape that we’ve seen before in the case.
Cindy is then shown a picture of canvas bags . She says that this looks like the set of canvas bags that she had once owned. She says the last place she saw it was in the garage over the laundry area. She hadn’t seen or used it for probably 8 months prior to the summer of 2008.
The square laundry bag was used to store Caylee’s stuffed animals, until she found a hanging unit fo those. This laundry bag was then ut in the laundry area in the garage. In plastic trash bags.
She says that yes, she had said previously that she had last seen it in Caylee’s room – but she was mistaken,. She hadn’t remembered she had taken it out and replaced it.
Cindy is shown the picture of Caylee in the pink “Big Trouble” shirt. Cindy says that the first time she had seen that shirt was in her deposition., She had never seen that shirt in her house.
They take a break – as Cindy leaves the stand she moths the wors “I love you” to Casey, who looks away. Some people never learn.
After the break, the jury has a question – they want to see exhibit 313 – the heart shaped sticker from the scene. The judge says “They” asked for the exhibit – which is kind of odd, since, you know, they aren’t supposed to speak to each other about the case, or the evidence. One wonders how they came to a conclusion that “they” want to see n exhibit.
“They” also want ot know if they will have a typed list of exhibits in the deliberation room. Again, one wonders who “they” are. Since, you know, they aren’t supposed to speak to each other about the evidence, or the case, or discuss it amongst themselves.
No one seems to have a problem with the jury seeing the exhibit – so the exhibit is going to be put on the document camera, and if they want to see it close up, they’ll do that.. Baez does note that the item has fallen from the cardboard, the way it was found. The state says that if he wants to bring in testimony that the item was originally stuck together, he’s welcome to . Baez asks for a stipulation saying that the heart was stuck to a piece of cardboard. The judge says he’ll have the testimony of Robin Maynard and see if she testified to that.
In the end, the judge is going to tell the jury that they’ll get back to them on the exhibit.
And they continue with the cross of Cindy Anthony. Baez points out that Cindy and George weren’t home when the search warrant was executed – they didn’t get home until the 12h – they went home to gather their dogs. Cindy says it took them a while to get a list of the items taken in the search.
Then the police executed another search warrant on the 20th. Baez asks if that was a fairly confrontational meeting. Baez asks if that is when Cindy told law enforcement that there was a missing blanket She doesn’t remember. Baez asks if the original warrant mentioned Winnie the Pooh blankets as something the police were searching for. There’s another sidebar.
Cindy sys when they came home form California, the house was a mess. The police took items, and didn’t put anything away that they had torn apart. They took Caylee’s bedding set at some point,.
Baez asks about a statement Cindy made in her deposition – one that said Casey didn’t remove any duct tape from the home when she was home from jail – because George was using the only roll that they had. Cindy says she doesn’t remember the question being asked of her – and Baez doesn’t know how to question her to get the answer he wants – he goes and asks Cheney Mason how to do it, Mason tells him. Good God,
Cindy says at that time they did only have one roll of duct tape – they were using it all the time to repair the signs in front of their house that the protestors would knock down.
Cindy says that they had owned the Sunfire since 2000, and that her hair, as well as Casey’s and Caylee’s hair has changed lengths since then, And her mother’s. And Lee’s.
Baez starts talking about Caylee’s clothes size. He asked if she fit in a size 24mos shorts in June of 2008. Cindy says no – she took a 3T. He asks if the person who ut the shorts on her wasn’t familiar with her size. Well, that’s sustained. Geez. I guess he’s saying a stranger dressed her?
The witness is excused. She doesn’t tell Casey she loves her as she leaves.
The judge tells the jury they are going to put the heart shaped sticker on the document camera. He tells the state to read the writing on the evidence package and has the jury note that the item has separated from the cardboard backing.
The court then passes the heart shaped sticker to them, and they get to hold and feel the item. Baez says that he wants the judge to tell the jury that when they consider the item they should consider it attached.
Before calling their next witness, the state says that there are some stipulations and exhibit items that they would like entered into evidence.
The judge reads a stipulation that the still photos and video taken by WFTV are true and accurate.
The judge then reads an affidavit of the professional journalist Daniel Criswell ,who took the photos and videos saying that he took the photos on June 20th 2008, and where he took them, in a Publix parking lot,
The State then introduces the photo and video of the duct tape holding up the poster of Caylee.
The state then introduces Cindy’s employment records, with a stipulation saying that she worked there.
The judge then reads a stipulation regarding George Anthony’s employment records.
I guess they didn’t get Casey’s imaginary employment records from her imaginary job at Universal Studios,.
The judge then reads a stipulation regarding the photographs on PhotoBucket.
The judge reads a stipulation that says that the remains found on Suburban Drive were Caylee Anthony.
The judge then reads a stipulation that says the person sitting over there with the defense team is actually Casey Anthony,.
The state then re-calls Jennifer Welch,. She is still a crime scene investigator with the OCSD. She came in contact with Casey Anthony August 13th, 2009 when she photographed a tattoo on Casey’s back. She took 23 photographs total. Not all of the tattoo. She is shown the photo of the tattoo on Casey’s back that says “Bella Vita”. She identifies it and leaves the stand.
The state calls Bobby Williams. He is the actual tattoo artist that inked the tattoo on Casey’s back. Casey made an appointment at his shop over the phone to get a tattoo done, on July 2, 2008. She wanted “Bella Vita” in a feminine type font. When she came to the shop he drew the design and applied the tattoo – it took about 30 minutes to do – with drawing time,. He is shown a photo of the tattoo and identifies it.
The witness testifies that he drew the tattoo and Casey agreed to it. He says Casey appeared happy and normal He says he didn’t talk to her much – just to ask if she was ok and doing well with the procedure. He says she responded that she was fine. The tattoo was $65 – Casey paid cash. The tattoo artist and his co-worker ordered pizza and Casey stayed and paid for lunch. Casey was by herself.
Williams saw Casey again on the 15th and she made another appointment for the 19th of July for herself and a friend. She was by herself – but seemed normal and happy.. She wasn’t sure what design she wanted on the 19th. Maybe matching tattoos for her and her friend.
Williams knew about Caylee. On the 15th Casey said that Caylee was with the Nanny. She said she would bring her in on the 19th when she returned.
Cross – Baez asks if it is customary in his business for people to get memorial tattoos. Williams says yes. Baez asks if he is the one that did Cindy and George’s commemorative Caylee tattoos. He says he was not.
Mr. George asks if Casey was mournful when she came in on the 2nd. Sidebar.
The witness is excused.
The judge excuses the jury.
Mason tells the judge that the defense would like to renew their motions for mistrial based on the skull/duct tape animation, and that now they have new grounds regarding the heart shaped sticker and the prosecution trying to introduce the concept of remorse and consciousness of guilt.
The state replies that there are no new arguments regarding the animation, and regarding the tattoo, the only evidence presented in the trial thus far is the defendant’s statements that her daughter was live, absence her custody against her will. The defendant getting a tattoo that states the good life or the beautiful life contradicts even the defense’s theory of the case, which is not in evidence before the jury, but is against the defendant’s statements to police that her daughter was missing at this time.
As to the question asked by counsel, the defense asked the witness if it was customary for people to ask for tattoos to memorialize someone who had passed. The state was simply asking the defendant’s demeanor was consistent with someone who had a loved one who had passed. This wasn’t a remorse question, but a demeanor question.
The motion for mistrial is denied.
The judge has housekeeping issues – the state wants the court to take judicial notice of the meaning of “Bella Vita”. They are to get a dictionary and to provide it to the defense.. The state has the 2 canned smells to put into evidence – then they shall rest. The defense will begin on Thursday. After making their judgment for acquittal on Wednesday. The defense says they like the Saturday hours “as is”, they won’t ask for extended hours.
The depositions for the grief expert are set for Saturday afternoon. The judge gives the attorneys some homework involving cases that argued demeanor and grief.
The state also asks that the defense provide the cases they are going to cite in their motion for directed verdict. The judge mentions Serrano – which is a case of alibi, so I have no idea why mason will be arguing that……
But it’s not like the defense will get a directed verdict, anyway, so…I guess it doesn’t matter.