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Mommy Dearest: The Casey Anthony Story

Orlando, FL Police Investigating the 2008 disappearance of 21/2 year old Caylee Anthony found Google Search  queries for “Chloroform”, how to make it, and searches for neck breaking on the young child Mother’s home computer. It would seem that such circumstantial evidence would be significant and determining that the Tot’s Mom was involved in the disappearance and subsequent death of the Anthony Toddler. In the eyes of many this evidence was enough, and Casey was found guilty in the eyes of Public Opinion long before authorities could spur an indictment against her. Investigators also learned on the day that Caylee’s Maternal Grand Mother reported her missing that the child had been missing for a little over a month (31 days).

Then the Circus began, resulting in Casey being arrested multiple times on unrelated minor charges for theft and unauthorized use of Credit Cards. The Media launched a smear campaign to highlight what many within the American Public considered to be, “White Trash”, and an army of people affiliated with the “Tot Mom” came forward revealing valuable and crucial knowledge about Casey related to the case. Police were able to tear down a wall of lies that Casey made on record to authorities. When the Capitol Murder trail began Florida’s District Attorneys Office publicly announce that the State planed to seek the Death Penalty. Those hopes all came crashing down today when the Jury’s verdict was read and Casey was acquitted on the three Felony Charges of Murder, Child Neglect, and Manslaughter respectively. The People did convict the “Tot Mom” on 4 lesser indictments of providing False Information to police. The troubled young Mom offered what appeared to be dry tears as a sign of relief upon learning of her acquittal. Casey then openly smiled and offered a hugging session with her Defense Team as they all paraded around the Court Room with expressions of jubilation. Many say this high profile Capitol Murder Case resembled the “Case of the Century”, when the Jury acquitted famed NFL Great O.J. Simpson for Murder. Like the O.J. Case, it was widely believed that the People would be vindicated and Casey Anthony would be found guilty of murdering her own daughter. A greater number of people within the public particularly the African American Community are not surprised by today’s verdict, as the State presented only highly circumstantial evidence, and no smoking gun which is generally required as a standard when whites are similarly situated in cases involving violent crimes committed by blacks. Regardless of the arguments presented by any personal or political perspective, the end result remains the same. Casey Anthony walked in a Capitol Murder Case that society at large believes she committed, and there still is no justice for young Caylee Anthony. Read this incredible story below and decide for yourself:

I’m David Adams

The Peoples Champion

 

 

 

 

The Casey Anthony Story

   Caylee Marie Anthony (August 9, 2005 – c. June 16, 2008)[1] was a child from Orlando, Florida, whose disappearance in June 2008 attracted national media attention. Caylee’s skeletal remains were discovered December 11, 2008, six months after she was reported missing by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony.[2] Her mother, Casey Anthony, decided not to report her daughter missing, and was indicted on charges of felony murder, though she continued to maintain her innocence throughout her trial. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter, but guilty of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. According to Casey Anthony’s father, George Anthony, Casey left the family’s home on June 16, 2008,[3] taking Caylee (who was almost 3) with her and did not return for 31 days.[4] Cindy asked repeatedly during the month to see Caylee, but Casey claimed that she was too busy with a work assignment in Tampa, Florida. At other times, she said Caylee was with a nanny, later identified by Casey as Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, or at theme parks or the beach.[5] It was eventually determined that although Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez did in fact exist, she had never met Casey nor Caylee Anthony, any member of the Anthony family, or any of Casey’s friends. On July 13, 2008, while doing yard work, Cindy and George Anthony found a notice from the post office for a certified letter affixed on their front door. George Anthony picked up the certified letter from the post office on July 15, 2008, and found that his daughter’s car was in a tow yard.[7] When George picked up the car, both he and the tow yard attendant noted a strong smell coming from the trunk. Both later testified that they believed the odor to be that of a decomposing body.[8] When the trunk was opened it contained a bag of trash, but no human remains.[9]

Caylee Anthony was reported missing to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on July 15, 2008,[3] by her grandmother, Cindy. During the same call, Casey Anthony acknowledged to the 911 operator that Caylee had been missing “for 31 days”.[10][11] A distraught Cindy also told the 911 operator “There is something wrong. I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.” When Detective Yuri Melich, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, began investigating the disappearance of Caylee Anthony, he found discrepancies in Casey’s signed statement.[13] When questioned, Casey said Caylee had been kidnapped by her nanny, Zanny. Although Casey had talked about Zanny, she had never been seen by Casey’s family or friends, and in fact there was no nanny.[5][14] Casey also told police that she worked at Universal Studios, a lie she had been telling her parents for years. Investigators brought Casey to Universal Studios on July 16, 2008, the day after Caylee was reported missing, and asked her to show them her office. Casey led police around for a while before admitting that she had been fired years before.[15] Casey Anthony was first arrested on July 16, 2008,[3] and was charged the following day with giving false statements, child neglect, and obstruction of a criminal investigation. The judge denied bail, saying Casey had shown “woeful disregard for the welfare of her child.”[14] On August 21, 2008, after one month of incarceration, Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County jail after her $500,200 bond was posted by the nephew of California bail bondsman Leonard Padilla[16] in hopes that Casey would cooperate and Caylee would be found.[17] She was arrested again on August 29, 2008, on charges of forgery, fraudulent use of personal information, petty theft for forging $700 worth of checks and using her friend’s credit cards without permission.[18] Leonard Padilla, whose nephew posted Casey Anthony’s bail, stated that if he had known before the bail was posted what he learned later, including that Anthony would not cooperate with him, he probably would not have helped get her out of jail. On August 11, 12, and 13, 2008, tips of a suspicious object found in a forested area near the Anthony residence were called in to police by a meter reader, Roy Kronk. However, a search was not conducted at that time. After another report from the same man on December 11, 2008, human remains were found in a plastic bag. Duct tape was found on the face of the skull.[20][21][22][23] [24] On December 12, the remains were tentatively identified as Caylee’s. On December 15, WFTV reported that more bones were found in the wooded area near the spot where the remains had initially been discovered.[26] On December 19, 2008, medical examiner Jan Garavaglia confirmed that the remains found were those of Caylee Anthony. The death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death listed as undetermined.

Casey Anthony was offered a limited immunity deal by prosecutors until September 2, 2008 but did not take it. On September 5, 2008, Casey Anthony was released again on bail after being fitted with an electronic tracking device.[31] Casey Anthony was arrested for the third time on September 15, 2008, on new charges of theft,[32] and was released shortly afterward.[33] Her $500,000 bond was posted anonymously,[34] and it was later revealed that her parents, Cindy and George Anthony, signed a promissory note for the bond. On October 14, 2008, Casey Anthony was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to police.[36] She was arrested for the fourth time. She entered a plea of not-guilty to the charges that she killed Caylee.[33] On October 21, 2008, the charges of child neglect were dropped against Casey. In a statement that morning, the State Attorney’s Office explained: “The neglect charges were premised on the theory that Caylee was still alive. As the investigation progressed and it became clear that the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges. On April 13, 2009, prosecutors announced that they planned to seek the death penalty in this case. The case attracted a large amount of national media attention, and was regularly the main topic of many TV talk shows, including those hosted by Greta Van Susteren, Nancy Grace, Geraldo Rivera, and others. It has been featured on Fox’s America’s Most Wanted,[39] NBC’s Dateline, and ABC’s 20/20.

Nancy Grace first referred to Casey Anthony as the “tot mom”[40][41][42] and urged the public to let “the professionals, the psychics and police” do their job.[3][43][44][45][46]

Casey Anthony’s parents, Cindy and George, appeared on The Today Show on October 22, 2008. They maintained their belief that Caylee was alive and would be found.[47] Larry Garrison, president of SilverCreek Entertainment, was their spokesman until he resigned in November 2008, citing that he was leaving due to “the Anthony family’s erratic behavior.”[48]

More than 6,000 pages of evidence released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, including hundreds of instant messages between Casey and ex-boyfriend Tony Rusciano, have been the subject of increased scrutiny by the media for clues and possible motives in the homicide.[49] Rusciano, a rookie Orange County deputy, was fired for lying about his sexual relationship with Casey Anthony.[3]

Outside the Anthony home, WESH TV 2 reported that protesters repeatedly shouted “baby killer”[50] and that George Anthony was physically attacked.[51] George Anthony was reported missing on January 22, 2009, after he failed to show up for a meeting with his lawyer, Brad Conway. George was found in a Daytona Beach hotel the next day after sending messages to family members threatening suicide. He was taken to Halifax Hospital for psychiatric evaluation[52] and later released.

The LA Weekly made a comparison between this case and the OJ Simpson murder trial. The Anthony case broke new ground regarding scientific evidence.

University of Tennessee’s “Body farm” discovered “hair banding”, a phenomenon in which hair roots can form a dark band after death. A hair found in the trunk of the Anthony car exhibited this pattern.[51] Air samples were to sent to University of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.[51]

On Friday, October 24, 2008, a forensic report by Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee stated that results from an air sampling procedure (called LIBS) performed in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car showed chemical compounds “consistent with a decompositional event” based on the presence of five key chemical compounds out of over 400 possible chemical compounds that Dr. Vass’s research group considers typical of decomposition (human decomposition was not specified). Whether or not the decomposition was human is still unknown, but was indicated as a possibility. The process has not been affirmed by a Daubert Test in the courts.[54] Dr. Vass’s group also stated there was the presence of chloroform in the car trunk. In evidence hearings in March and April 2011, Dr. Ken Furton, a biochemist and nuclear chemist, pointed out with examples from various studies that there is no consensus in the field on what chemicals are typical of human decomposition.[citation needed]

DNA samples could not confirm whether the source was alive or dead. The only DNA testing by the FBI was limited to 752 base pairs out of 16,569 base pairs (less than 5% of the mitochondrial genome sequence). Evidence was found that someone had searched the Internet on Casey Anthony’s computer for the use of the chloroform and how to make it.[55] On November 26, 2008, officials released 700 pages of documents related to the Anthony investigation, which included evidence of Google searches of the terms “neck breaking”, “how to make chloroform”, and “death” on Casey Anthony’s home computer.[56]

Investigators also entered into the body of evidence a photo from the computer of Ricardo Morales, an ex-boyfriend of Casey Anthony, which depicts a joke in which a man is using a chloroform-soaked rag to drug a woman. Casey and Caylee Anthony had stayed with Morales on several occasions until June 9, 2008.[citation needed]

On February 18, 2009, documents released by the State Attorney’s Office in Florida indicated that the same type of laundry bag, duct tape, and plastic bags discovered at the crime scene were found in the house where Casey and Caylee resided. Heart-shaped stickers were also recovered by investigators. According to an FBI laboratory email, a heart-shaped outline was originally seen on the duct tape that was recovered from the mouth area of Caylee’s skull, but the laboratory was not able to capture the heart shape photographically and could no longer see it after the duct tape was dusted for fingerprint processing. The documents also indicate that Cindy Anthony stated to them that a Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing from Caylee’s bed. This type of blanket was found at the crime scene. An entry from Casey Anthony’s diary was also released.[57]

The following diary entry by Casey Anthony is dated “June 21” and reads:

I have no regrets, just a bit worried. I just want for everything to work out OK. I completely trust my own judgment and know that I made the right decision. I just hope that the end justifies the means. I just want to know what the future will hold for me. I guess I will soon see – This is the happiest that I have been in a very long time. I hope that my happiness will continue to grow– I’ve made new friends that I really like. I’ve surrounded myself with good people – I am finally happy. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t change.[58]

Transfer writing (imprints of writing) from other pages of the diary revealed the mention of a person named Kenneth, whom Casey had dated in 2003. A member of Casey Anthony’s defense team, spokeswoman Marti MacKenzie, contends that this entry was written in 2003 prior to Caylee’s birth. The defense contends that the opposite page has “’03” written in one of the corners as the date, and the handwriting on the two pages matches. However, there was no authentication that the “’03” signified a date, or when it was entered in the diary or by whom. The prosecution acknowledged that it did not know when the entry was made.[59] In January 2010, however, an FBI report released in the media stated that the diary in question was not on the market until 2004. Anthony told investigators that she had left 2-year-old Caylee on June 16 with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez – also known as “Zanny” – at a specific Orlando apartment complex. A woman named Zenaida Gonzalez who was on the apartment records as having visited apartments on that date was questioned by police and said she did not know Casey or Caylee.[60] She has since filed a defamation suit seeking compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that Casey willfully damaged her reputation.[61] It was reported that Anthony would be exercising her rights under the Fifth Amendment in response to written questions in the civil case.[62] The civil trial is set for August 29, 2011. On June 30, 2010, Andrea Lyon presented a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel representing Casey Anthony.[63] Linda Kenney-Baden withdrew in October 2010. Both cited travel costs as a barrier in continuing to represent Anthony.[64]

Brad Conway, the attorney representing Casey Anthony’s parents, withdrew in mid-August 2010, citing allegations in a defense motion that he received special treatment in reviewing records. Conway claimed these allegations were false, but that this now made him a witness in the case, which forced him to withdraw. Jury selection began on May 9, 2011, at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida, because the case had been so widely reported in the Orlando area. Jurors were brought from Pinellas County to Orlando.[66] Jury selection took longer than expected and ended on May 20, 2011, with twelve jurors and five alternates being sworn in.[67] The panel contained nine women and eight men. It was estimated that the trial would last about two months, during which the jury would be sequestered to avoid influence from information available outside the courtroom.[68]

The trial began on May 24, 2011, at the Orange County Courthouse, with Judge Belvin Perry presiding. In the opening statements, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick described the story of the disappearance of Caylee Anthony day-by-day. The defense, led by Jose Baez, presented its claim that Caylee drowned accidentally in the family’s pool on June 16, 2008, and was found by George Anthony, who then covered up Caylee’s death. Baez also alleged that George Anthony had sexually abused Casey since she was eight years old, and also claimed that Casey’s brother Lee had made sexual advances toward Casey; he was even given a paternity test to see if he was Caylee’s father.[69] However, the defense offered no proof of any sexual abuse of Casey by either George or Lee Anthony; consequently the defense was not allowed to mention claims of sexual abuse in their closing arguments. The prosecution alleged an intentional murder and sought the death penalty against Casey Anthony. On June 30, the defense team for Casey Anthony rested, without Anthony testifying in her own defense.[71] The jury began deliberations on July 4. On July 5, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, or aggravated child abuse, but guilty on four counts of misdemeanor providing false information to a law enforcement officer.[73] Anthony will be sentenced on Thursday, July 7 at 9 a.m. ET on the conviction of giving false information to law enforcement officers.[74] Anthony faces a maximum of one year in county jail for each count she was found guilty of. Due to already having spent years in county jail awaiting trial, it is possible, having already time-served, that she may be released on the date of her sentencing, July 7, 2011. 

 

 

 

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

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Orlando, FL Police Investigating the 2008 disappearance of 21/2 year old Caylee Anthony found Google Search  queries for “Chloroform”, how to make it, and searches for neck breaking on the young child Mother’s home computer. It would seem that such circumstantial evidence would be significant and determining that the Tot’s Mom was involved in the disappearance and subsequent death of the Anthony Toddler. In the eyes of many this evidence was enough, and Casey was found guilty in the eyes of Public Opinion long before authorities could spur an indictment against her. Investigators also learned on the day that Caylee’s Maternal Grand Mother reported her missing that the child had been missing for a little over a month (31 days).

Then the Circus began, resulting in Casey being arrested multiple times on unrelated minor charges for theft and unauthorized use of Credit Cards. The Media launched a smear campaign to highlight what many within the American Public considered to be, “White Trash”, and an army of people affiliated with the “Tot Mom” came forward revealing valuable and crucial knowledge about Casey related to the case. Police were able to tear down a wall of lies that Casey made on record to authorities. When the Capitol Murder trail began Florida’s District Attorneys Office publicly announce that the State planed to seek the Death Penalty. Those hopes all came crashing down today when the Jury’s verdict was read and Casey was acquitted on the three Felony Charges of Murder, Child Neglect, and Manslaughter respectively. The People did convict the “Tot Mom” on 4 lesser indictments of providing False Information to police. The troubled young Mom offered what appeared to be dry tears as a sign of relief upon learning of her acquittal. Casey then openly smiled and offered a hugging session with her Defense Team as they all paraded around the Court Room with expressions of jubilation. Many say this high profile Capitol Murder Case resembled the “Case of the Century”, when the Jury acquitted famed NFL Great O.J. Simpson for Murder. Like the O.J. Case, it was widely believed that the People would be vindicated and Casey Anthony would be found guilty of murdering her own daughter. A greater number of people within the public particularly the African American Community are not surprised by today’s verdict, as the State presented only highly circumstantial evidence, and no smoking gun which is generally required as a standard when whites are similarly situated in cases involving violent crimes committed by blacks. Regardless of the arguments presented by any personal or political perspective, the end result remains the same. Casey Anthony walked in a Capitol Murder Case that society at large believes she committed, and there still is no justice for young Caylee Anthony. Read this incredible story below and decide for yourself:

I’m David Adams

The Peoples Champion

 

 

 

 

The Casey Anthony Story

   Caylee Marie Anthony (August 9, 2005 – c. June 16, 2008)[1] was a child from Orlando, Florida, whose disappearance in June 2008 attracted national media attention. Caylee’s skeletal remains were discovered December 11, 2008, six months after she was reported missing by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony.[2] Her mother, Casey Anthony, decided not to report her daughter missing, and was indicted on charges of felony murder, though she continued to maintain her innocence throughout her trial. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter, but guilty of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. According to Casey Anthony’s father, George Anthony, Casey left the family’s home on June 16, 2008,[3] taking Caylee (who was almost 3) with her and did not return for 31 days.[4] Cindy asked repeatedly during the month to see Caylee, but Casey claimed that she was too busy with a work assignment in Tampa, Florida. At other times, she said Caylee was with a nanny, later identified by Casey as Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, or at theme parks or the beach.[5] It was eventually determined that although Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez did in fact exist, she had never met Casey nor Caylee Anthony, any member of the Anthony family, or any of Casey’s friends. On July 13, 2008, while doing yard work, Cindy and George Anthony found a notice from the post office for a certified letter affixed on their front door. George Anthony picked up the certified letter from the post office on July 15, 2008, and found that his daughter’s car was in a tow yard.[7] When George picked up the car, both he and the tow yard attendant noted a strong smell coming from the trunk. Both later testified that they believed the odor to be that of a decomposing body.[8] When the trunk was opened it contained a bag of trash, but no human remains.[9]

Caylee Anthony was reported missing to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on July 15, 2008,[3] by her grandmother, Cindy. During the same call, Casey Anthony acknowledged to the 911 operator that Caylee had been missing “for 31 days”.[10][11] A distraught Cindy also told the 911 operator “There is something wrong. I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car.” When Detective Yuri Melich, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, began investigating the disappearance of Caylee Anthony, he found discrepancies in Casey’s signed statement.[13] When questioned, Casey said Caylee had been kidnapped by her nanny, Zanny. Although Casey had talked about Zanny, she had never been seen by Casey’s family or friends, and in fact there was no nanny.[5][14] Casey also told police that she worked at Universal Studios, a lie she had been telling her parents for years. Investigators brought Casey to Universal Studios on July 16, 2008, the day after Caylee was reported missing, and asked her to show them her office. Casey led police around for a while before admitting that she had been fired years before.[15] Casey Anthony was first arrested on July 16, 2008,[3] and was charged the following day with giving false statements, child neglect, and obstruction of a criminal investigation. The judge denied bail, saying Casey had shown “woeful disregard for the welfare of her child.”[14] On August 21, 2008, after one month of incarceration, Casey Anthony was released from the Orange County jail after her $500,200 bond was posted by the nephew of California bail bondsman Leonard Padilla[16] in hopes that Casey would cooperate and Caylee would be found.[17] She was arrested again on August 29, 2008, on charges of forgery, fraudulent use of personal information, petty theft for forging $700 worth of checks and using her friend’s credit cards without permission.[18] Leonard Padilla, whose nephew posted Casey Anthony’s bail, stated that if he had known before the bail was posted what he learned later, including that Anthony would not cooperate with him, he probably would not have helped get her out of jail. On August 11, 12, and 13, 2008, tips of a suspicious object found in a forested area near the Anthony residence were called in to police by a meter reader, Roy Kronk. However, a search was not conducted at that time. After another report from the same man on December 11, 2008, human remains were found in a plastic bag. Duct tape was found on the face of the skull.[20][21][22][23] [24] On December 12, the remains were tentatively identified as Caylee’s. On December 15, WFTV reported that more bones were found in the wooded area near the spot where the remains had initially been discovered.[26] On December 19, 2008, medical examiner Jan Garavaglia confirmed that the remains found were those of Caylee Anthony. The death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death listed as undetermined.

Casey Anthony was offered a limited immunity deal by prosecutors until September 2, 2008 but did not take it. On September 5, 2008, Casey Anthony was released again on bail after being fitted with an electronic tracking device.[31] Casey Anthony was arrested for the third time on September 15, 2008, on new charges of theft,[32] and was released shortly afterward.[33] Her $500,000 bond was posted anonymously,[34] and it was later revealed that her parents, Cindy and George Anthony, signed a promissory note for the bond. On October 14, 2008, Casey Anthony was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to police.[36] She was arrested for the fourth time. She entered a plea of not-guilty to the charges that she killed Caylee.[33] On October 21, 2008, the charges of child neglect were dropped against Casey. In a statement that morning, the State Attorney’s Office explained: “The neglect charges were premised on the theory that Caylee was still alive. As the investigation progressed and it became clear that the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges. On April 13, 2009, prosecutors announced that they planned to seek the death penalty in this case. The case attracted a large amount of national media attention, and was regularly the main topic of many TV talk shows, including those hosted by Greta Van Susteren, Nancy Grace, Geraldo Rivera, and others. It has been featured on Fox’s America’s Most Wanted,[39] NBC’s Dateline, and ABC’s 20/20.

Nancy Grace first referred to Casey Anthony as the “tot mom”[40][41][42] and urged the public to let “the professionals, the psychics and police” do their job.[3][43][44][45][46]

Casey Anthony’s parents, Cindy and George, appeared on The Today Show on October 22, 2008. They maintained their belief that Caylee was alive and would be found.[47] Larry Garrison, president of SilverCreek Entertainment, was their spokesman until he resigned in November 2008, citing that he was leaving due to “the Anthony family’s erratic behavior.”[48]

More than 6,000 pages of evidence released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, including hundreds of instant messages between Casey and ex-boyfriend Tony Rusciano, have been the subject of increased scrutiny by the media for clues and possible motives in the homicide.[49] Rusciano, a rookie Orange County deputy, was fired for lying about his sexual relationship with Casey Anthony.[3]

Outside the Anthony home, WESH TV 2 reported that protesters repeatedly shouted “baby killer”[50] and that George Anthony was physically attacked.[51] George Anthony was reported missing on January 22, 2009, after he failed to show up for a meeting with his lawyer, Brad Conway. George was found in a Daytona Beach hotel the next day after sending messages to family members threatening suicide. He was taken to Halifax Hospital for psychiatric evaluation[52] and later released.

The LA Weekly made a comparison between this case and the OJ Simpson murder trial. The Anthony case broke new ground regarding scientific evidence.

University of Tennessee’s “Body farm” discovered “hair banding”, a phenomenon in which hair roots can form a dark band after death. A hair found in the trunk of the Anthony car exhibited this pattern.[51] Air samples were to sent to University of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.[51]

On Friday, October 24, 2008, a forensic report by Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee stated that results from an air sampling procedure (called LIBS) performed in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car showed chemical compounds “consistent with a decompositional event” based on the presence of five key chemical compounds out of over 400 possible chemical compounds that Dr. Vass’s research group considers typical of decomposition (human decomposition was not specified). Whether or not the decomposition was human is still unknown, but was indicated as a possibility. The process has not been affirmed by a Daubert Test in the courts.[54] Dr. Vass’s group also stated there was the presence of chloroform in the car trunk. In evidence hearings in March and April 2011, Dr. Ken Furton, a biochemist and nuclear chemist, pointed out with examples from various studies that there is no consensus in the field on what chemicals are typical of human decomposition.[citation needed]

DNA samples could not confirm whether the source was alive or dead. The only DNA testing by the FBI was limited to 752 base pairs out of 16,569 base pairs (less than 5% of the mitochondrial genome sequence). Evidence was found that someone had searched the Internet on Casey Anthony’s computer for the use of the chloroform and how to make it.[55] On November 26, 2008, officials released 700 pages of documents related to the Anthony investigation, which included evidence of Google searches of the terms “neck breaking”, “how to make chloroform”, and “death” on Casey Anthony’s home computer.[56]

Investigators also entered into the body of evidence a photo from the computer of Ricardo Morales, an ex-boyfriend of Casey Anthony, which depicts a joke in which a man is using a chloroform-soaked rag to drug a woman. Casey and Caylee Anthony had stayed with Morales on several occasions until June 9, 2008.[citation needed]

On February 18, 2009, documents released by the State Attorney’s Office in Florida indicated that the same type of laundry bag, duct tape, and plastic bags discovered at the crime scene were found in the house where Casey and Caylee resided. Heart-shaped stickers were also recovered by investigators. According to an FBI laboratory email, a heart-shaped outline was originally seen on the duct tape that was recovered from the mouth area of Caylee’s skull, but the laboratory was not able to capture the heart shape photographically and could no longer see it after the duct tape was dusted for fingerprint processing. The documents also indicate that Cindy Anthony stated to them that a Winnie the Pooh blanket was missing from Caylee’s bed. This type of blanket was found at the crime scene. An entry from Casey Anthony’s diary was also released.[57]

The following diary entry by Casey Anthony is dated “June 21” and reads:

I have no regrets, just a bit worried. I just want for everything to work out OK. I completely trust my own judgment and know that I made the right decision. I just hope that the end justifies the means. I just want to know what the future will hold for me. I guess I will soon see – This is the happiest that I have been in a very long time. I hope that my happiness will continue to grow– I’ve made new friends that I really like. I’ve surrounded myself with good people – I am finally happy. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t change.[58]

Transfer writing (imprints of writing) from other pages of the diary revealed the mention of a person named Kenneth, whom Casey had dated in 2003. A member of Casey Anthony’s defense team, spokeswoman Marti MacKenzie, contends that this entry was written in 2003 prior to Caylee’s birth. The defense contends that the opposite page has “’03” written in one of the corners as the date, and the handwriting on the two pages matches. However, there was no authentication that the “’03” signified a date, or when it was entered in the diary or by whom. The prosecution acknowledged that it did not know when the entry was made.[59] In January 2010, however, an FBI report released in the media stated that the diary in question was not on the market until 2004. Anthony told investigators that she had left 2-year-old Caylee on June 16 with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez – also known as “Zanny” – at a specific Orlando apartment complex. A woman named Zenaida Gonzalez who was on the apartment records as having visited apartments on that date was questioned by police and said she did not know Casey or Caylee.[60] She has since filed a defamation suit seeking compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that Casey willfully damaged her reputation.[61] It was reported that Anthony would be exercising her rights under the Fifth Amendment in response to written questions in the civil case.[62] The civil trial is set for August 29, 2011. On June 30, 2010, Andrea Lyon presented a Motion to Withdraw as Counsel representing Casey Anthony.[63] Linda Kenney-Baden withdrew in October 2010. Both cited travel costs as a barrier in continuing to represent Anthony.[64]

Brad Conway, the attorney representing Casey Anthony’s parents, withdrew in mid-August 2010, citing allegations in a defense motion that he received special treatment in reviewing records. Conway claimed these allegations were false, but that this now made him a witness in the case, which forced him to withdraw. Jury selection began on May 9, 2011, at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater, Florida, because the case had been so widely reported in the Orlando area. Jurors were brought from Pinellas County to Orlando.[66] Jury selection took longer than expected and ended on May 20, 2011, with twelve jurors and five alternates being sworn in.[67] The panel contained nine women and eight men. It was estimated that the trial would last about two months, during which the jury would be sequestered to avoid influence from information available outside the courtroom.[68]

The trial began on May 24, 2011, at the Orange County Courthouse, with Judge Belvin Perry presiding. In the opening statements, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick described the story of the disappearance of Caylee Anthony day-by-day. The defense, led by Jose Baez, presented its claim that Caylee drowned accidentally in the family’s pool on June 16, 2008, and was found by George Anthony, who then covered up Caylee’s death. Baez also alleged that George Anthony had sexually abused Casey since she was eight years old, and also claimed that Casey’s brother Lee had made sexual advances toward Casey; he was even given a paternity test to see if he was Caylee’s father.[69] However, the defense offered no proof of any sexual abuse of Casey by either George or Lee Anthony; consequently the defense was not allowed to mention claims of sexual abuse in their closing arguments. The prosecution alleged an intentional murder and sought the death penalty against Casey Anthony. On June 30, the defense team for Casey Anthony rested, without Anthony testifying in her own defense.[71] The jury began deliberations on July 4. On July 5, the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, or aggravated child abuse, but guilty on four counts of misdemeanor providing false information to a law enforcement officer.[73] Anthony will be sentenced on Thursday, July 7 at 9 a.m. ET on the conviction of giving false information to law enforcement officers.[74] Anthony faces a maximum of one year in county jail for each count she was found guilty of. Due to already having spent years in county jail awaiting trial, it is possible, having already time-served, that she may be released on the date of her sentencing, July 7, 2011. 

 

 

 

 

David Adams

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