This morning was more video taped visits from the jail – first up is the July 30, 2008 visit from Cindy and George to Casey.
What always strikes me about these videos is how deferential these people are to Casey – calling her “sweeite” and “darling” and “honey”, not wanting to upset her, and trying to make sure that she’s always the focus of everything. I think it really speaks volumes about how terribly spoiled Casey was – and how jealous she must have been, seeing her mother’s attention turning more and more to Caylee. I think that Casey did have “jealousy” issues but I don’t think it was because Caylee loved Cindy more than Casey – I think it was because Cindy loved Caylee more than Casey. I think Casey may have been terribly jealous of Caylee.
Second up is the jail visit from August 3rd, 2008 by George Anthony to Casey.
And, of course, if you are wondering “Geez, why would Casey, who was molested by this guy since the age of 8, tell him how great of a dad and grandfather he was and tell him how much she loves him?” Yeah, I’m betting the jury is wondering that, too. And don’t miss the last minute of this video – when George says that he can’t wait to see Caylee again and hear her say “JoJo walk? JoJo SWIM? JoJo Mail?” Do you think that a guy who lifted his granddaughter’s lifeless body out of the pool would be saying he can’t wait for her to say “JoJo Swim?” Because I think that’s fucking creepy evil.
Before we get to the last video of the day, the lawyers argue some outside the presence of the jury over the curative statement the judge is allowing Baez to offer for consideration. Since they want to argue over semantics, the judge tells them to dicker with the language some more, he’ll look at it over the lunch hour, but he’s not going to deal with it now.
The last video of the day is the recording from August 14th, 2008 with George and Cindy and Casey. This is the one where George and Cindy are wearing their butterfly shirts – and includes the meltdown Casey has with her parents. This one is classic Casey – she is very self-involved and self-focused. Not good for the defense.
It also includes the “Someone said Caylee drowned in the pool” and Casey replies “Surprise, Surprise..”
But, thankfully, I’ve seen these videos a hundred times, so I took the opportunity while they were being shown to go outside and play with the kid for a bit. Probably a good thing – it reminds me what this trial is really all about – the death of a little girl almost exactly the same age as the one I am enjoying. I watch Candace laugh and play and giggle and throw me kisses as she rides down the hill”Wheely Fast!!” and it makes me wonder how someone could ever wrap duct tape around a little girl’s head, stuff her in a garbage bag and leave her little body alone in the woods. Boggles my mind. So I give Candace hugs and kisses until she wiggles away complaining “Stop, Nana, I’m not cuddly right now!” And she goes back to riding her bike, pretending she’s riding a Harley – stupid Paul and his bad influence.
After the videos, and Candace going to bed for a nap because now she’s being a whiny ass because she’s all tired out – the judge reads the curative statement that he promised Baez. It isn’t clear who eventually wrote it – I’ll bet it was a compromise.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury – the statements in the videos related to the opinions expressed by others concerning Miss Anfony’s counsel must not be considered by you in any way as proof in any issues in this case. You are to disregard those opinions concerning Miss Anfony’s counsel.”
Then we have live witnesses again – thank God. First up is Charity Beasley. She is employed by the Orange County Sheriff’s office as a Detective with the Domestic Crimes Unit. She was doing pretty much the same thing in July 2008. She is the one who collected the laptop and the Sunfire from the Anthony home. Before she had the car towed, she sealed the doors with evidence tape. She followed the wrecker towing the car in her own vehicle to the Orange County Sheriff’s office’s Forensic Bay. She then turned the vehicle over to the Crime Scene Investigator.
Beasley also collected from Cindy Anthony, in a blue plastic crate, – Caylee’s doll, a Dora backpack, a black leather bag, a toothbrush, some plastic hangers and some loose assorted papers. Cindy also gave her the laptop. The laptop was turned over to the computer crimes unit.
On cross, Cheney Mason asks Miss Beasley if she knew what was going on when she went to the Anthony’s residence to collect the items. She says she didn’t, but Mason presses her and says “You didn’t walk int here blind, did you? You didn’t know nothing?” he replies “I didn’t say I knew nothing, can you be more specific?” And Mason says “Well, you tell me what you knew.” Beasley turns to the jurors and says “I knew there was an active, ongoing investigation concerning a missing child.” Mason says “You were directed to go get a car, among other things…” Again, the witness turns to the jury and answers the question, prompting Mason to say to her “I’m over here…” Which makes Judge Perry interject with “Mr. Mason, all she’s required to do is answer the question…” She again turns to the jury and says “I was requested to go to the Anthony residence and pick up several items.” She says she doesn’t remember smelling an odor from the trunk when she was sealing it with the evidence tape. Mason then asks her if she was involved in any other part of this case – and she answers with “Such as?” and Masons replies “Well, you tell me – you’re the detective.” and she repeats that her involvement was picking up the items and bringing them back to the lab. Mason says “Then the answer would be No, Mr. Mason, I had no other involvement” and she says “No, I had no other involvement.”
Who the fuck pissed in his Cheerios this morning? Geesh. I don’t know what the jury thought – but I thought he was really being overly rude to poor Miss Beasley. Just because you treat people with contempt doesn’t make your points more valid. All this chick did was pick up some items and bring them to the lab. I don’t think that necessitated a whole “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!” attitude. Mason must be really pissed about those jailhouse videos.
After lunch we start the parade of crime scene investigators – always dry, technical, detailed testimony. I hate when these witnesses are right after lunch.
First up Awilda McBryde. She is a missing persons investigator for the Orange County Sheriff”s Office. She looks for runaway and missing people. She met with George Anthony on July 16th, 2008. She and George went to Johnson’s Towing yard at the the direction of Yuri Melich to recover the trash bag that had been found in the trunk of the Sunfire the day George went to get it out of impound. It was after hours when they arrived at the tow yard. They called the phone number that was on the gate to contact someone to let them into the yard. They gained access and went to the dumpster George had thrown the trash bag into. Ms. McBryde had a camera with her, and she took photos of the area and the bag. Ms. McBryde was wearing gloves when she retrieved the bag, and she placed the entire unopened bag into two separate brown paper bags after retrieval. She then placed the collection bags into her trunk. She dropped George back off at his residence, then brought the collection bag back to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and turned it over to the CSI Officer.
On July 17th Ms. McBryde went to the Anthony home to retrieve a computer tower and a digital camera. She brought these items back to the office and gave them to Sgt Allen and Yuri Melich.
There is no cross of this witness and she is excused.
Next witness is Christine Narkiewicz. She is a Crime Scene Investigator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. She has a whole bunch of experience and a degree. But when she worked on this case she had only been with the sheriff’s department for a couple of months. On July 21st, 2008, she went to the Orange County Correctional Facility to take samples from Casey. She took cheek swabs and hair samples from Casey. She turned these items over to Gerardo Bloise, the crime scene investigator.
The witness also identifies 4 toothbrushes, a comb, a thermometer and a hairbrush of Caylee’s that she had sealed in evidence bags on July 28th, 2008.
Baez gets up to cross and asks about collection methods, packaging, and how it’s all to “not cross contaminate.” And then he’s done. I have no clue what the fuck that was about. Maybe he’s going with the OJ strategy.
Next up is Gerardo Bloise – a level 2 crime scene investigator. He has FBI training, a master’s degree, and 11 years experience with the Orange County Sheriff’s department. He describes his duties as the collection, documentation and preservation of crime scene evidence. Which doesn’t sound as sexy as they make it look on CSI:Miami. This guy doesn’t do the actual analysis. He does the same thing as the other Orange County professionals – he turns to the jury to ask every question. This is going to piss off Baez and Mason. I’m thinking Orange County sent everyone from the Sheriff’s Office to the same “testifying in front of a jury” seminar.
On July17th Charity Beasley turned over the Sunfire to him. It was delivered to him via tow truck. It arrived in good condition, and sealed with evidence tape. It was placed in the forensics garage. Miss Beasley also gave him a brown paper bag containing evidence and a blue plastic crate. The bag and the crate contained a doll, a backpack, a toothbrush, a black leather bag, assorted papers and plastic coat hangers.
Bloise testifies that in his many years of experience – not only with the Sheriff’s Department, but also as a police officer in Puerto Rico, he has had the opportunity to come into contact with individuals who are deceased and he has smelled human decomposition. He has come into contact with this between 30 and 45 times. He has also had go to the medical examiner’s office many times to collect fingerprints from deceased bodies. Because if this wide range of experience, he has come into varying degrees of decomposition in bodies. He also has experience with garbage, sometimes having to collect evidence from dumpsters or landfills.
Bloise broke the seal on the Sunfire when he accepted it into the forensics bay. When he opened the drivers side door, he testifies that he immediately smelled the smell of decomposition from inside the car.
Bloise began to process the car – he took pictures of the exterior, noted the condition of the car, then proceeded to photograph the interior, then he began to take notes to accurately document everything in his report. He determined (not in the initial processing, but some time later), that the gas gauge was in good working order. He determined this by photographing the instrument panel, then putting gasoline in the car, turning the vehicle on and noting the movement of the needle on the instrument panel. He then photographed the instrument panel again, to show the needle on the gas gauge had leveled to the correct position.
When Bloise first processed the vehicle, there were still items inside the car. In the front passenger seat he documented a pair of sunglasses, a back CD case and a brown belt.
In the back seat he noted and photographed the car seat, a pair of black shoes, a pair of gold shoes, and a dryer sheet
Bloise processed and photographed the undercarriage of the vehicle, and noted some dried leaves in that area. There was no debris or indication of any animal parts.
Bloise processed and photographed the trunk area of the vehicle. He found a dryer sheet on the inside of the trunk. He also found dirt and residue near the left wheel protrusion. Bloise removed the spare tire cover and documented and processed the reverse side of this item. The spare tire cover is made of a wood like material covered with carpeting. One small portion of this cover was removed for further processing and tests. There was a dry leaf inside the wheel well, and Bloise photographed this, as well.
Bloise removed the liner completely from the trunk area and photographed the trunk to document it’s condition. He also photographed the liner to document it’s condition, and took the liner to the forensics lab. Bloise documented the single human hair that he found on the left side of the liner. He also observed and documented a red fiber in that area. He processed and collected more hairs, the dryer sheet and the residue from the trunk.
Bloise then identifies for the state the other items that were given to him by Det. Charity Beasley. He testifies that when these items were given to him, he documented them and put them in the evidence locker for preservation. He identifies photographs of the backpack and the contents of the backpack.
We then go through the necessary but boring litany of identifying every single evidence bag Bloise marked and sealed. Every hair in a petrie dish, every petrie dish full of debris, every dryer sheet, every dried leaf and piece of vegetation, every can filled with pieces of stinky tire covers. It was actually exciting when Drane-Burdick momentarily lost an exhibit and had to take a break to find it.
After moving all the items (one by one) into evidence, Baez gets up to cross examine. He has the witness confirm that he first things he did were a visual inspection of the exterior and interior of the vehicle.
Baez also has the witness confirm that when he identified the smell from the car he used the word “decomposition”, without using the word “human”, because the witness could not determine whether the decomposition he smelled was human or not. The witness admits that this is true. The witness admits the thing he smelled could have been human, animals or meat. The witness testifies that depending on the stage of decomposition one would see maggots – from hundreds to hundreds of thousands. When Baez gets into the stages of maggot larvae, the witness begs off and says this is not his area of expertise. Baez says he is only going to ask what the witness saw.
Baez then points out that although the witness testified that he has gone to medical examiner’s office and seen and smelled dead bodies there – that generally the only thing one would smell at the medical examiner’s office is formaldehyde. The witness agrees, but explains that he goes to a different area, usually, int eh medical examiner’s office. When he goes to take photographs or fingerprints of decomposing bodies, he is not in the area where the ME is preserving bodies, he is in an area where there is just cold storage and a corpse. Baez says yes, but formaldehyde will permeate the entire area, and the witness agrees, and Baez says that there is also the smell of fecal matter associated with the dead bodies, and again the witness agrees. And then the witness adds “But, in my personal and professional opinion, once you smell a decomposing body, you know that smell and you never forget it, because that smell is unique.” Baez then says that there are different odors depending on what stage of decomposition the body is in, and the witness explains that the smell is the same, just the intensity is different.
Baez goes to the gas gauge. He points out that Bloise didn’t take the car out for a spin, so he cannot say if after the car has been used for a while if the gas gauge just sinks down. The witness says no,he can’t.
Bloise says that the only information he had about the case t the time he received the car was that the car was related to a missing child investigation. Baez asks if he was informed that Cindy Anthony put the dryer sheets in the car or that she sprayed the car with Febreeze, and the witness says no, he was not informed of these things.
Baez says that as part of Bloise’s processing of the vehicle he vacuumed, he tweezed, he did a very thorough investigation, he even used an alternate light source – to identify stains. And the witness found a stain, which is not uncommon – to find a stain in the trunk of a car.
The witness says that he did use Blue Star in the stain area – a step above luminol, in finding and identifying blood stains. Blue Star will expose the stain for a longer period of time, and it finds stains Luminol can’t. The witness testifies that there were negative results for blood. Bloise testifies that he also did DNA tests on the stain area, and these tests were negative, as well.
The witness testifies that upon his initial investigation he found 12 hairs by hand. (There were 11 found with the vacuum, the witness later testifies). The first hair was found on July 17th, 2008. Baez asks if the witness is experienced in trace evidence recovery. The witness says yes, he is. The witness says he wears a Tyvex suit, a hairnet, a mask and gloves when he is collecting evidence. This is to protect the items from cross contamination.
Baez then points out that it is very common for hair to be found in a trunk, at firs the witness says “Well, not really common…” But Baez points out to him that if you take clothes – or backpacks – and put them in the trunk, that this could cause hairs to be in the trunk, and the witness agrees. Baez also points out that this car was 10 year old at the time – and that it shouldn’t be surprising that trace evidence was found in the trunk. The witness agrees.
Baez asks the witness of all the hairs were sent out for mitochondrial DNA testing. Bloise says that this isn’t his call to make, that the lab does the testing. He just sends the stuff to the labs.
After a long drawn out buld up where Baez gets the witness to describe how utterly laboriously he worked on t his vehicle, Baez tries to sneak in that the defense had Dr. Henry Lee also look at the vehicle. There is an immediate objection and sidebar. What Baez couldn’t get this witness to testify to is that yes, after Bloise did all his tweezing and vacuuming and BlueStarring, Dr. Lee, at the defense’s request, came in and looked over the vehicle, too, and found some stuff that Bloise missed.
While Baez can’t mention who did the finding, and can’t mention Dr. Henry Lee’s name, he does get Bloise to testify that “additional” hairs were found.
Bloise testified that it is standard office policy to destroy notes after the report is written, and that the report was dated the day his supervisor signed it, 6 months after Bloise wrote it initially.
Baez then wanted to discuss the garbage found, only Boise doesn’t characterize it as “garbage” – he calls it “moist trash” – there were 37 pieces of it – including an empty Crystal Light bottle with some brown liquid in it, and an empty Copenhagen Chewing Tobacco tin, and even though Baez tries to marry the two into “a bottle with chewing tobacco spit” Bloise says he can’t say that this is true.
Burdick re-directs and points out that for all the defense’s “Cross contamination” talk, they only wore gloves when examining the evidence. She also asks the witness if, in his opinion, the smell he smelled was human decomposition. The witness says yes, it was human. After the defense’s objections were overruled.
Baez re-crossed on the “human” versus “non-human” issue, and Bloise says he is stating his personal opinion.(Which, I think, will be good enough for the jury – he’s a very good witness, believable).
After court is adjourned, the State says that they should be done their case by the 17th. I’m hoping they rest on the 16th. The three year anniversary of Caylee’s death.
Now I gotta go hug the kid some more. See if she’s “cuddly” yet.