Into the Woods
Posted by thedarwinexception on July 2, 2011
Finally the defense calls their first witness of the day. They call Joe Jordan. He is employed by a dental supply company. In 2008 he volunteered with Texas EquuSearch. This was the first time he had ever volunteered. He was a team leader – someone who directs the search when you are out on the search. He had between 10 – 30 people on his team. He searched the Suburban Drive area as part of one of his daily assignments.
Cheney Mason shows the witness the familiar aerial photograph of the area. He has the witness mark on the photo the approximate location of where he searched. He and 4 or 5 members of his team went up Suburban Drive and searched in a wooded area that had a trail or opening accessible from the roadway. They went approximately 5 feet into the woods. There was standing water. They saw a pink baby blanket and a red cooler in the area they searched. He marked this on his Field Activity Report and turned it over to Texas Equusearch.
Later that day he had two dog handlers from another team bring their dogs up that way to check the baby blanket and red cooler.
Mason then gets out a tape measure and opens it out on the floor. He doesn’t get anywhere with that.
The witness doesn’t recall how many times he went out to this area. Mason asks if he remembers the third time he went out there, the witness says he doesn’t even know if there was a third time.
The witness sent an email on December 13th 2008 to Yuri Melich and John Allen. He doesn’t remember what was in the email. Mason shows it to him. After reading the email he testifies that he told the detectives that he had searched in the area where Caylee’s remains were ultimately located. And he told them that he had two qualified dogs in that location, and that he believed the remains were moved. The witness says that there were at least 5people searching that area. Mason tries to inflate the number – but the witness says 5. Mason refers to his taped interview with the police. Mason asks the witness if he remembers saying 100 people turned out. The witness says he doesn’t remember saying that. The witness says there were 5 people with him when he walked the wooded area along Suburban Drive. The witness says he has no knowledge about what was done in response to his email.
Mason is done. Burdick Crosses. The witness volunteered in late August and early September. Before he volunteered he had already begun emailing members of the OCSD – he sent suggestions to John Allen and Yuri Melich suggesting people they should look at, in order to assist with the search for Caylee Anthony. The witness agrees. And that was his goal – to help find Caylee – because he believed she was missing and deserved to be found.
Texas Equusearch required that he keep records. Especially as a team leader he had to submit paperwork that outlined who he searched with, where he searched and the results of their search. They were given maps with areas to search. And there is space on the paperwork for any notes on things that might need to be followed up on. And at the end of the day he had to be debriefed by Texas Equusearch.
Burdick shows the witness his original Field Teamwork Activity paperwork fro Equusearch for September 1st, 2008. He noted on this paperwork that there was standing water and that the area should be researched when the water receded.
The witness testifies that when he emailed Detectives Allen and Melich on December 13th, 2008, he didn’t know where Caylee’s body was found – it was just speculation. He saw on TV that they were on Suburban Drive and he knew that he was “in the area.”
Mason re-directs. Mason asks if the TV coverage with the tents and crime scene tape was in the area he searched. The witness says he thought it was at the time.
Then Mason asks him if he was threatened with felony prosecution in this case – and the guy starts taking the 5th. (I think this has to do with his “wiretapping Well, I guess we’ll see – they are at sidebar…and out goes the jury. And Mr. Jordan.
Burdick argues to the judge that Mason’s questions were designed to incite the witness to invoke, because the same questions in his deposition elicited the same response. This is improper. And she objects.
Mason says that this line of questioning is not the line of questioning that he had asked in the deposition which elicited the invocation. Mason then reads from the deposition where the witness says something like “”You guys will go after me…” when Detective Allen tells the witness “You already broke one law don’t break another….” When Allen tells him to not destroy the tape. (I’m not quite convinced that this shows the witness was threatened with Felony Prosecution…)
Mason says the witness was given immunity, so he is not under the threat of prosecution, and Mason thinks he has the right to question the witness about his motivations and bias, keeping his immunity, etc. Mason says he didn’t want him to take the fifth, and that Mason avoided it in Direct, but the witness doesn’t get to sit here and alter his testimony, and say “As long as you guys don’t go after me, I’m OK.” This goes to his credibility. And once the state gave him immunity – he doesn’t have the right to claim the fifth anymore.
Burdick adds that Mason wasn’t demonstrating that there has been a change in the witness’s testimony since his statement of November 5th, 2009; the objection had to do with him eliciting an invocation of one’s 5th amendment rights. Which Mr. Mason knew was going to elicit the 5th Amendment invocation, and had said to Burdick before the questioning that he wasn’t going to ask the witness about the illegally recorded conversations so he wouldn’t elicit the response he got.
Mason says he was questioning the witness’s statement to law enforcement in the email of December that said that he thought the body was moved. My. Churchill showed him exactly where the body was found. Now today he says he was east of that area. That’s a conflict.
The judge, as is usual, cites case law, and asks about the witness’s crime (unlawful interception), the statute of limitations (three years), his use immunity (not blanket immunity) and what that applied to (his statement, not his testimony), and the judge says that this is fair game (but usually for cross examination, not direct, remember this is Mason’s own witness he wants to impeach, not the state’s…)
The judge asks counsel where in the deposition the witness invoked his Fifth Amendment right. The judge reviews it, and then says that the question asked of the witness was “Were you, sir, threatened with felony prosecution in this case.” That question, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily elicit the response that Mr. Jordan gave, he could have simply answered yes or no. But Mr. Jordan, not being skilled, simply had a knee jerk reaction and said the first thing that came to his mind, which was to invoke.
The witness’s attorney is in the gallery. The judge asks him if his client was given use immunity – the attorney replies yes, for his statement, not his testimony.
The judge rules that he will tell the jury to disregard the witness’s last statement regarding his Fifth Amendment right. The defense can inquire about receiving use immunity, but the defense cannot inquire about the witness’s actions that caused the use immunity to be given, because he doesn’t have immunity for his testimony, and if the defense inquires about his illegal acts, then that would require the witness to invoke his Fifth Amendment right.
When the jury comes back, the judge tells the jury that the last two questions (the ones about the threatened charges) have been withdrawn, and that the jury is to disregard the questions and the answers.
Then the witness is excused. And the defense calls George Anthony.
Baez asks George is he knows a woman by the name of Krystal Holloway. George says he knows her by that name and another name. He also knows her as River Cruz. She went to the command center in October 2008. George says he knows her as a volunteer and considered her a friend and as someone who was helping to find his granddaughter by working at the command center. She was just another volunteer, no different. Some of the volunteers ended up being friends. Baez asks if George had a romantic relationship with her, and George denies this. George says that this question, to him, is “very funny”. Baez asks if George was ever intimate with her and George says no – and this is also “very funny”.
George also denies borrowing money from her. He does admit going to her house two – possibly three, times. George says that the first time he went to her condo (it’s a gated community, one has to show ID for entrance) he went after she told him that she had a brain tumor and was dying. She needed someone to comfort her, and George, being the good guy he is, felt that since she was giving of herself to himself and his family, that the least he could do was go and comfort her and show her compassion and respect. (You know, it’s odd how many mistresses are “sick” or “dying”, isn’t it??) This was during the day – he never went there at night. Baez asks if he was supposed to be working during the time he went to see her, and there is a sidebar.
After the sidebar, Baez asks the questions again – was George supposed to be working at the time he went to see Miss Holloway. George says he had a new employer and didn’t have a set work schedule. His employer was lenient with hours.
Baez asks again – so is it George’s testimony that he wasn’t going to this woman’s apartment for romantic reason – just to console her because of her brain tumor. And George says yes, he was just going there as a friend to console her. She had confided in him that she had a brain tumor, a fact she also shared with Cindy. Baez asks “Did your wife go to her apartment, too?” No, Cindy didn’t go – just George. But Cindy knew he was there – he had nothing to hide.
Baez asks if George, prior to Caylee’s remains being found, told Krystal Holloway that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” George clarifies one thing first – he tells Baez that “to this day, I haven’t found my granddaughter, I never found my granddaughter, and I never confided in any volunteers.” George says that he was handling everything on his own, with his wife and with his son, and this was a private matter for them. The only people he spoke to about his granddaughter or his daughter was Law Enforcement and attorneys.
Baez asks if George ever sent her a text message that said “I need you in my life”. George says that he’s seen this information come out, and he says yes, he’s sent many text messages to many volunteers, and yes, he did need those people in his life, Baez asks if he ever left her letters saying that he wanted to speak to her. George says that on one occasion he went by her residence and he may have left her a letter, it’s possible, but he doesn’t remember the contents of it. Probably it was something to cheer her up.
Baez asks the witness if he ever told Miss Holloway not to say anything about their affair. George says he never had a romantic affair with her. George says, if he’s not mistaken, she has a questionable past. She’s been arrested for fraud, breaking and entering; she’s not a very good person. Baez asks if George knows that she never did say anything about their affair until the police came to her.
Baez asks how many times George spoke to Miss Holloway on the phone from October 2008 to January 2009. George says he doesn’t know it could have been once; it could have been 10 times. Baez asks if he ever spoke to her late at night. George says he doesn’t remember doing so. Baez is through.
Cross by Ashton. He asks when George knew this person. George says he met her in the second or third week of October 2008, at the command center. After Caylee’s remains were found, their friendship ended. Did you ever tell “River Cruz” that while your daughter was home on bond, you grabbed her by the throat, threw her up against the wall and said “I know you did something to Caylee, where’s Caylee?” George says no, he never told her that. Ashton is through.
George is excused. Defense calls Cindy Anthony.
Baez asks her if she directed James Hoover and Dominic Casey to go and search off of Suburban Drive. And she never asked them to video tape the area. On December 20th 2008, there was a search warrant served on her home. Baez asks if she told Melich on that day that she “had her people walk that area and there was nobody there.” Cindy says she can’t remember what she told Melich that day – if anything. Cindy says they were just upset that they were back during that time frame. Cindy does remember telling him that there was a blanket missing. Cindy says that in their first search of December 11th that they did not leave a search warrant or an inventory sheet of what they took. Their lawyer got a copy of the search warrant and the inventory sheet. There were 70 plus items taken in the first search. Baez asks if she knew that they were looking for Winnie the Pooh bedding, and she says that with so many items on the list, no one thing stood out as something they were “looking for”. She remembers something about a sticker.
Baez asks if, prior to September 2008, if she ever told Lee that she had sent Dominic Casey and Jim Hoover to Suburban Drive to look for Caylee with a video camera. Cindy says she never told anyone that she sent them there – because she didn’t send them there. Baez asks if she and Lee had an argument in November 2008 about her sending Dominic Casey and Hoover to that area. Cindy says she had no knowledge of the search in that area, so she couldn’t have had an argument about it. She says her first knowledge of that search in that area was after Caylee’s remains were found. Baez says “So Lee never confronted you about ‘why are you searching for a dead Caylee’?” She says no.
No further questions. Cindy is excused. The defense calls Lee Anthony.
Baez asks Lee if he ever had an argument with his mother about sending Dominic Casey and James Hoover out to Suburban Drive to look for Caylee with a video camera. Lee says he did. He says that he was over at his mother’s house and Cindy told him that she had sent Dominic into the woods off of Suburban Drive because she had gotten a psychic tip that she wanted to follow up on. This was prior to October 2008. This created an argument between the two of them. It was the first time that Lee had ever heard anyone in his family say that they were looking for a deceased Caylee. So Lee was quite angry.
Cross by Mr. George. Lee knows that this conversation happened in October – this incident, in part, fueled his decision to go back to work. He is also aware that Dominic Casey went into the woods with the video camera in November. So, yes, this conversation must have taken place before Dominic actually went into the woods.
Re-Direct by Baez – Baez asks what Lee means about “fueled his decision to go back to work?” Lee explains that he was angry that his parents, his mother specifically, had decided to do that without keeping him in the loop. He was upset that they were willing to say that Caylee was dead and to look for her that way. He wanted nothing to do with that – so he went back to work.
Mr. George re-crosses. He says to Lee “So as of October 2008, you were completely sold on the lies your sister was telling you.” (Lee is smiling at this, which is really odd…) But he says “yes and no.”
Lee is excused. The defense calls Yuri Melich again.
Baez asks Melich about the December 20th, 2008 search warrant that was executed on the Anthony home. Baez asks if Melich remembers Cindy Anthony telling Melich that day that she had had her people walk that are (meaning the area where Caylee was found), a month ago and nothing was in that area. Melich recalls her saying something to that effect. He looks at his report from that day to remember exactly what was said. That’s what she said. Yup. He is excused.
The defense calls Roy Kronk. Good God. And Mason is questioning him. Double Good God.
In the summer of 2008 Roy Kronk was a water meter reader for Orange County. He had only been employed there since May 27th, 2008. At the end of each day, the meter readers would receive their route assignments for the next day. They did not have set routes. On August 11th, 2008 he got the route to read the meters on Hopespring and Suburban Drives. At the time he was alone. Later in the afternoon he was joined by two of his co-workers, David Dean and Chris someone. He remembers August 11th, 2008, because he found a dead rattlesnake. He stopped his vehicle on Suburban Drive to relieve himself and went into the woods. This is something he did when he needed to go pee. (Mason asks where the nearest gas station was – it was at the end of the road.) Prior to this day he was aware of the saga of Caylee Anthony. His roommate was watching the news coverage. They talked about it occasionally. At that time he wasn’t aware of where the Anthony’s home was in relation to where he was. He went into the woods, relieved himself, and came straight out. He did look around a bit and he saw an object that appeared a little odd. He didn’t see a bag. He didn’t lift a bag. He was 20 or 30 feet away and saw what he thought looked like a skull. He didn’t say anything to anyone – they found the dead rattlesnake, and that pretty much took up the rest of the afternoon.
He told Dean that he saw something that looked like a skull, but Dean and Chris were completely enthralled with the dead rattlesnake that they found. They went back to work and showed everyone the rattlesnake and took pictures.
He called the OCSD to tell them that he might have found a skull. He spoke to someone and they told him that they weren’t handling those phone calls and he needed to call the Crimeline. So he called the Crimeline and reported what he thought he might have seen. He told them he saw an object that looked like a skull. He didn’t say it was in the vicinity of the Anthony residence. No one responded to his call that day.
On August 13th, he called the Sheriff’s Department again. Two officers met him on Suburban Drive. Kronk pointed out the area where he had seen the maybe skull.
Mason runs through this situation with Kronk again – to try and ramp it up. He says to the witness :”So you called 9-1-1…” and the witness says “I never called 9-1-1”. Mason says “Would you like me to show you your transcribed 9-1-1 call” and the witness says “Sir, I live in Osceola County – I called Orange County. I never dialed 9-1-1.” Mason gets the witness’s transcribed call, and as he is showing it to opposing counsel, Burdick points out to Mason that the witness dialed the non-emergency number for Orange County. Mason gets all huffy again and says “OK, council is pointing this out to me – sir, did you call the non-emergency number of Orange County…” But he’s having a real hard time ramping up the gravity of the story when he is forced to say “non-emergency number” rather than the more urgent and ominous “9-1-1”.
So Mason reads from the “non-emergency” transcript and repeats everything Kronk told them – he’s a meter reader, he had a route that day that included the Anthony home. (he says he found that out later in the day – when he first took the route, he didn’t know where their home was…), that he was by the school, came back and by the left hand side coming back he saw a gray bag and he saw something white, he also told them “I don’t know what it is, I’m not telling you it’s Caylee or nothing…” He said that there were two openings you could go into, and a big log or tree laying down and there was a gray bag behind the log. He also said that he saw something white a little further up.
Kronk says he was never closer than 30 feet to the area, and he described as best he could what he saw that day.
The next time he called the Sheriff’s, the description got more specific. The tree looked like it had cut marks on it, the bag was vinyl and there was a white board laying across the fallen tree.
Mason asks if he drew a map for the officers on December 17th, 2008. He says he did. The map included the privacy fence line and Hopespring Drive. Mason shows the witness the map the witness drew. The witness doesn’t know how far from the edge of the road the skull would have been that he thought he saw.
On August 13th, 2008, when the two deputies met him on Suburban Drive, the deputies never went into the woods and Kronk never showed them the location of what he had seen. .He didn’t smell anything peculiar on either day. He didn’t lift a bag or touch anything.
Mason asks if the witness told Deputy Richard Cain that he saw a bag that looked like it had bones in it. The witness says no.
The ground on August 11th, 2008 was dry.
Mason asks if the witness knew there was a reward for finding Caylee when he went into the woods on August 11th, 2008. He says he thinks he knew that. Mason asks if the witness knew that right around the corner was a congregation of media trucks. The witness says he was aware of that. Mason asks if he went over there and told the media that he thought he just saw a skull and a bag of bones. The witness says “I never said I found a bag of bones, sir.” Masons asks if the witness told anyone that he found a skull. The witness says “I never said I found a skull. I said I found something that appeared to look like that. Masons asks if the witness told anyone that he found what appeared to look like a skull.” Kronk says he told his roommate. Mason says “But you never told the media that was right around the corner.” Kronk says no.
Mason asks if the bag he saw in August 2008 was the dame bag he saw In December of 2008. Kronk says he wouldn’t know. Mason asks if he thinks it was the same bag. Kronk says he wouldn’t know. Mason asks if he remembers his deposition. In it he said it was the same bag,. Kronk says that he was told it was the same bag. (Huh?)
Kronk says that in August he tried to point it out to his co-workers. But once they saw the dead snake, they were done. That’s all they could think about.
Mason asks the witness if he advised the operator on August 12th, 2008 that he had seen a skull. Kronk says he didn’t. The defense then enters into evidence the three taped conversations of call Kronk made to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department about what he found. The judge reads the stipulations that these are true and accurate recordings of the calls.
Mason asks the witness what he did after he made the call the first day. Kronk says nothing. He made that call at 9:30 at night. He did nothing afterwards.
On the next day, the 12th, after he made that call, he did nothing. Watched some TV went to bed.
Mason asks if he remembers what he said in his statement to Yuri Melich regarding what he did after he made those calls. The statement was in January 2009.
In the calls to 911 he said he was on “the Anthony’s street” – so he knew where they lived. Kronk says yeah, at the end of the day he knew – not at the beginning. Mr. Dean had said that the area on Suburban would be a good place to look for the body. Kronk had already thought that to himself, as well.
On the 13th, when the officers came out there was an Officer Cain and a female officer. Kronk watched Deputy Cain go into the woods. Kronk says he walked to the waterline, looked to the left, looked to the right, came back up the embankment, slipped in the mud and bitched out Kronk for a half an hour.
Mason asks if Kronk told the officers that he was 100% sure it was a skull. Kronk says yes, he told them that, but he didn’t know if it was a prop, or a ceramic skull or some plastic thing. He didn’t know if it was an actual skull skull.
After the three calls he never went to the area again with the authorities, and he wasn’t involved with the investigation in any way. In January he went on the Good Morning America Show. He was paid $15,000 for a picture of the snake (which is how these shows get around “paying” people for interviews…) He got paid $5,000 from Crimeline. Orange County paid for his lawyer until Kronk was terminated, then they stopped paying for the lawyer.
Kronk has a son named Brandon Sparks. Mason asks if her ever called his son in November and told him “I will soon be famous”. Kronk says that never happened.
Between August and December Kronk was in the area several times for his route, but he never again went into the wooded area. Until December 11th, 2008. No law enforcement officer ever inspected his vehicle. No cadaver dogs were ever deployed on his vehicle. He was never asked for DNA samples. He doesn’t know if there was an investigation of him.
On December 11th, 2008 he was again on his route. He didn’t get as far as the Anthony’s. He went into the wooded area. This is when he actually found the remains. He doesn’t know if they were in the same place, because he never actually went up to the bag before. In August it was flooded, it wasn’t in December. Between August and December he never called Law Enforcement to see what was happening with his report of finding a skull.
He says that he picked up the skull this time with a stick. He was behind it and still didn’t believe it was a skull, so he kind of pivoted the skull with the end of a stick and then put it back. Kronk says this was a horrific thing for him to find.
He then called his area supervisor. He said he needed him there immediately, that he had found a skull. Mason asks if Kronk asked the female officer who responded if he would be eligible for the reward. And he’d like to keep it quiet so his ex-wife didn’t find out about the money. Kronk says he doesn’t remember. Kronk says he probably asked why they didn’t do anything about his call in August.
He jokingly talked to his supervisor Alex Roberts about the reward – and probably joked with him about his ex-wife finding out. He doesn’t remember if they said “he won the lotto” or if “he should play the lotto.” They also talked about how it was a good place to dump a body.
Kronk denies making a phone call to his son at all in November about this case and finding the body. Kronk says he called his son on December 11th, 2008 and told him he found something that day and if he looked on TV he could probably see him for the first time since he was 8 years old.
Mason asks if Kronk also talked to a Kethlin Cutcher from the Sheriff’s Department. Kronk doesn’t recognize the name.
Kronk says he talked to his son maybe 12 -15 times from August to December. He would call his son and his son would call him. Kronk doesn’t believe he ever told his son he was going to be famous – or rich. Kronk says “Not Really.” Kronk says he never told the detectives that he needed money. He says he never made a comment to the detectives of “Roy has to eat too.”
Mason shows Kronk his statement again, Mason points out a statement that he wanted to stay out of the media, but “Roy has to eat too.”
Kronk did make a mistake in his original statement that he later corrected. In his original statement he said that the skull rolled out of the bag when he lifted it. That was wrong. He lifted the bag about 4 feet off the ground. He says that he told Melich about poking the skull with a stick to Melich, he just didn’t write it down.
Mason asks if the witness knows how many statements he has given to Law Enforcement. The witness has no idea. And it wasn’t until his second deposition that he mentioned putting a stick in the skull to move it. Kronk says he thinks he did mention it before – he thinks he even mentioned it in his ABC interview.
Kronk says that none of the police ever told him to not talk about his earlier calls in August reporting that he found something.
Kronk says he has a computer – and he had one in 1998. None of his computer records were confiscated by law enforcement.
December 10th, the day before finding the remains, Kronk was off from work because his car needed repairs. He needed over $1000 to fix his vehicle.
Mason is finally done. Burdick Crosses. She asks Kronk “Do you KNOW Casey Anthony?” Kronk says “No, ma’am” Burdick asks “Do you know Lee Anthony?” Kronk says “No, ma’am” “George Anthony? Cindy Anthony?” “No, ma’am.” She asks if se knows Dominic Casey or Jim Hoover. He says no. Burdick says “You aren’t even from Orlando until recently, are you?” Kronk says no, he isn’t. And he lives in Osceola County, near Kissimmee. He only moved to Florida in August of 2007. He got the job with the water department in May 2008, and since he wasn’t even familiar with the Orlando neighborhoods, he used a GPS to get around.
On August 11th, he finished his route and in the afternoon co-workers met with him on Suburban Drive to drive back to the office. He went to relieve himself in the woods, looked around and saw something he thought was suspicious. He came back out of the woods, and the other guys are there and he says something to them about seeing something. The guys see a dead snake and they screamed like little girls and got all excited about the snake. And that was his last discussion with them about what he saw.
He said that he was “looking down” on something, because the road level is higher than the slope area, and this is where all the water had collected.
Then he goes home this evening, talks with his roommate tells her what he saw , and then at 9:00, when he wouldn’t be disturbing her from watching TV, he makes the call to the non-emergency number of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He gave them the information and what they did with it was up to them. He had no expectation that at 9:00 at night they were going to ask him to leave his home in another county and drive back to Orlando to show them what he had thought he saw.
Then the next night he called again and gave them the same information. And he also calls Crimeline that night. Again, he had no expectation that they were going to have him leave his home to meet them there.
The next day, on the 13th, he called from the location and asked to have a deputy meet him there, so he can show them where it was and what he saw. Deputy Cain meets with him there. Deputy Cain went down the slope, looked around and then slipped in the mud and then berated Kronk. The female officer stayed up on the road and Kronk was on the grassy area. Because of the way he was treated, he let the matter go.
Mason asked about his needing money in December for car repairs. Burdick asks if he also need money in August, September, October and November. Kronk said yes, he did.
Burdick asks if, besides form his work responsibilities, if he’s ever been near the Anthony home. Kronk says no. Burdick asks if he has ever had access to Casey’s Sunfire. He says no. He’s never had any access to the Anthony garage. When he read their meter in August there was tons of media trucks there. He’s never had access to their computer, or their back yard, or their home, or Caylee’s clothing, or her diapers or her underwear. You’ve had no access to the laundry bags, or their garbage bags, or Caylee’s blankets, and never had access tot heir duct tape.
The witness is excused. The defense calls David Dean. In August 2008 he was an Orange County Meter Reader. He is still in the same job. On August 11th, 2008, he was done his route and he was stopped on Suburban Drive to meet some co-workers. Present were himself, a co-worker he was training at the time and Roy Kronk. He was there because he was asked to get help Roy out, and they were stopped there to rest before they went back into the office. There were two vehicles between the workers. Roy’s was pointed one way, Dean’s the other. He had gone there to assist Roy, so they found out what he had left to do and went to the school to read the master meter there, and check the lift station in front of it. Then they parked in a shady area for a break. They were all aware of the media frenzy at the Anthony home. When they pulled up to the area, Dean had mentioned that he felt the little girl’s body was probably in that swamp somewhere. Then Roy went into the swamp to use the bathroom. When he came out of the swampy area he was looking down in the bushes. When he came out he said he saw a skull down in there. And Dean said “A Skull?” And he decided to go down into the swampy area to see what he had seen. He was heading that way and he almost stepped on a big rattlesnake. It was dead. He found the snake more interesting than the skull. Kronk didn’t try to divert his attention from the snake. When he didn’t try to get their attention back on the skull, Dean figured he was kidding.
When they got back to the office, everyone came to the back of his truck to take pictures of the snake. The topic of the skull never came up. Roy never said he called 911 about the skull.
On December 11th, 2008, Dean heard a call come in on the radio. Mr. Kronk had found a skull. Dean called back on the radio to him “I told you she was in there!”
The snake? Yeah, Dean kept that for a while. He put it in his freezer. The police came and took it from him. They gave the snake an autopsy.
Dean says that Kronk went about 25 feet into the woods that day.
Burdick crosses. She confirms that the witness said twice to Roy Kronk on August 11th that he thought Caylee’s body might be in that swampy area on Suburban Drive. Dean thinks that what he told Kronk was what led Kronk to search in the woods. Burdick asks when the witness told Kronk on December 11th “I told you she was in there!” That this doesn’t mean the witness had anything to do with the case. Dean says “Oh, no, ma’am!” He just thought this would be a good place for a body to be hidden – plus what Casey had said to her mother at one time. About Caylee “being close”.
Dean described the area as “swampy”. It was dry in areas and marshy in areas with lots of cypress trees.
Burdick is Done – Baez re-directs: He asks Dean if Dean was the one that remembered Casey’s statement “she’s close” Dean says he was. Baez asks the witness if he remembers George’s statement that she “was close”. Dean says no. Baez says “that’s because no one was looking at George.”
The witness is excused. The Defense calls Alex Roberts. He is the senior meter reader for Orange County. In August 2008 he was Roy Kronk’s supervisor. On December 11th, 2008, he was supervising Roy Kronk. On December 11th, 2008, his route was in the Anthony family neighborhood. Kronk did not read any meters that day. For all he knew he went straight to the woods. He did not work after his discovery. Roberts had to have someone else cover his shift. When Roberts first saw him, Kronk was smoking a cigarette, leaning against the truck. He was nervous.
He recalls on August 11th when the workers came back with a snake.
The witness is excused. The defense calls Sgt. Dennis Moonsammy . He is employed by Orange County Corrections. He is currently the supervisor of the women’s detention center. That includes where Casey has been incarcerated since October 2008. Baez asks if Casey has “special status” at the facility, which causes a sidebar and then the jury is excused for the day.
Baez proceeds with the proffer of the witness. He asks the Sgt. what Casey’s status is at the jail. The Sgt. says she is in protective custody. One of the main features of Protective Custody is that these inmates do not go into general population. Because she is in protective custody, she is in her cell for extended periods of time. 23 hours a day. One hour a day she is allowed to take a shower, go to the rec yard, the TV room or get a book from the library in that unit. She has been in protective custody for the last 3 years.
The Sgt. says she is a model inmate. The Sgt. says that it is part of his duty to go to that unit every day. He speaks to every inmate in that unit. He has to engage them and receive a response from them as part of his duties. He records this response on a form called an OP 8. Casey has always been very pleasant, always smiling without hesitation. Never gave anyone ever problems. Even if he has to wake her up – she is never unpleasant. She has been this way since the day she got there. She’s never up or down, she always smiles, she’s always pleasant.
The state has no questions. The judge rules that this witness’s testimony is not relevant. .
The defense has another proffer – this one from Marlene Baker. She is also a Corrections Officer, presently working in Classifications. She used to work in Casey’s unit. She observed Casey for approximately one and a half years. She describes Casey as pleasant. When Baker came in in the morning to do her daily visual inspection Casey was always happy and pleasant. The cell is 6 X 8 and she is in there 23 hours a day. That often causes inmates stress. Especially those facing the death penalty. Casey hasn’t seemed to let this get to her – she is generally happy, smiling and pleasant.
The state has no questions. The judge rules the testimony is not relevant or material.
The defense calls their next proffer witness – Jesse Grund. This is Casey’s former fiancé. Baez asks if he was once engaged to be married to Casey. Grund says yes. He once had a conversation with Casey regarding her brother Lee. This was shortly after Caylee was born. Grund felt uncomfortable around Lee. He was very standoffish. Very strange and quiet and sullen around Grund. And also around Casey and Caylee and Grund wanted to know why this was. Casey didn’t want to have Caylee around Lee. Jesse asked Casey why this was, and Casey said that at one point, in recent years, that she had awoken to find Lee standing over her staring at her. Then, in another incident, she woke up to find him groping her. Jesse says he had absolutely no interest in continuing the conversation. That was all he needed to know. He says at that time that he took whatever Casey said as truth and fact (sucker). If she felt uncomfortable around Lee, then Jesse didn’t want anything more to do with him.
Baez is done. The state has no questions.
The state objects to this witness’s testimony on the basis of hearsay. The defense says it is admissible under the “theory of defense” rule. The judge and both sides are going to go over case law this evening to determine if the testimony is relevant and material to the defense’s case.
Ann Finnell is going to appear via telephone tomorrow morning to argue a death penalty issue.
There is a question regarding proffering the testimony of Dr. Kerioth The state has not deposed her – opposing counsel said that she knew nothing relevant – now they want to call her, but in lieu of a deposition they will proffer. Baez has a fit about the proffer. He says that they made the witness available, Ashton was busy and tired, and didn’t depose her. Baez says that he is sick of trying the case this way. The defense proffers and then the state gets a free preview.
The judge says that this “general grief experience” testimony has been questionable in the past. Jurors know what grief is. And there were no questions in jury selection about death and grieving. The judge says the best thing he can do is listen to the testimony, and there will be tons of sidebars and jurors going in and out. But the judge wants a well constructed hypothetical to pose to the doctor regarding general grief theory.
The defense says they have 6 or so witnesses left. The judge says he will enquire of the witness about her decision whether or not to testify.