What are the charges against Casey? To date, Casey is only charged with child neglect, making false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation. While it sounds bad for Casey, not all the facts are known and Caylee's grandmother apparently still has hope that her grand daughter will turn up alive.
So why is Casey a person of interest? First, apparently she did not report the girl missing until last week. Second, deputies allegedly smelled decomposition in her trunk. Third, a cadaver-trained German Shepherd apparently detected the smell of human remains in her yard and in her trunk. Fourth, authorities claim there was a stain, dirt and possibly a piece of Caylee's hair in the trunk.
So what did Casey allegedly lie about? It is some times hard to know in these cases where the deception begins and ends. Casey's car was towed from a check-cashing business where it had been parked for days. Casey and Caylee lived with Caylee's grandparents. Apparently Casey and Caylee were away from the home for several days before Caylee was reported missing. Casey erroneously claimed to authorities that she worked at an amusement park. Further investigation leads authorities to believe that she was unemployed. Casey claims that the child had a babysitter. Authorities believe the alleged baby sitter is fictional.
Jose Baez is representing Casey. He requested $10,000 as a reasonable bond given Casey's family's financial situation. Technically, given the current charges, Baez appears to be correct. She is not a proven flight risk and she is not yet charged with a capital offense. More importantly, if Caylee is alive, she has a right to be able to help find her. And, if Casey is trying to protect someone else who was responsible for the crime, it gives Casey the opportunity to do the right thing and turn the person in to authorities.
Legal Eagles, keep watching this one. Something just doesn't seem right on this one. Jose, work hard and discover the truth. To date, the truth is unknown. For the rest of us, let's reserve judgment until all the evidence becomes known and give Casey the benefit of our Constitution and the presumption that she is innocent until otherwise proven guilty.
Update 12-11-08: Despite numerous alleged sightings of Caylee, the news took a grim turn this morning. Around 9:30 a.m. a utility worker notified authorities that he believes that he discovered the body of a young child. CNN affiliate WFTV reported that the utility worker, a meter reader, picked up a bag at the site and a skull fell out. This is bad news for those of us who hope Caylee is still alive.
Update 12-22-08: The remains have been confirmed by DNA evidence to be Caylee. Duct tape with the skull had hair strands which may be used for analyzing what chemicals Caylee was exposed to. In the mean time, the defense team is questioning why the utility worker who reported a bag called three times and why the Sheriffs department did not do a better job following up on the lead.
Update 4-14-09: Florida state attorney's office announced it will seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony. She is charged with first-degree murder. Trial is set for October. The state previously indicated that it would not ask for the death penalty. There is a question whether Jose Baez can stay on the case because he is
not certified by the court to defend capital punishment cases. Letter of intent (pdf) In the interim, the defense is attempting to subpoena phone records from key witnesses in the case.
Update 4-12-10: As 24 year old Casey Anthony sits in jail awaiting trial for homicide, does her jail time conduct get her convicted or establish an insanity defense? Main stream media has reported that the prosecution has secured letters between Casey Anthony and Robyn Adams, another inmate, at a Florida jail which may harm Casey's chance of an acquittal. While the 258 pages of letters do not contain a confession, they do make Casey look bad. But could that be a good thing for the defense? Anthony wrote letters containing negative remarks about her family and about her former boyfriend, Jesse Grund. According to Casey, she was relieved when DNA tests proved he wasn't Caylee's father. MyFoxOrlando.com.
But how did this communication between inmates occur? Anthony is incarcerated at the Orange County Jail under a protective-custody status. This status prohibiting her from directly communicating with other inmates.
This would include a ban on all note passing. The assumption is that a county corrections officer may have helped the women communicate. Orange Circuit Judge Stan Strickland initially delayed publicizing the letters until Anthony's lawyers had time to read them.
In a surprising move, Anthony's lead defense attorney, Jose Baez, said he was not concerned with the letters. One has to wonder why? Do they support the contention that the death was an accidental overdose? If Caylee had used chemicals (possibly chloroform) to sedate Caylee in the past, then is it possible Anthony gave her too much this time? Since intent to kill is an element of the crime, this may set up the possibility of a conviction of a lesser crime than homicide. At this point, that might be considered a great victory for Ms. Anthony.
Update 5-11-10: More bad news for Anthony. Judge Belvin Perry Jr. has ruled that Casey Anthony will face the death penalty. The judge rejected defense arguments that capital punishment was sexist and unduly harsh. The judge also rejected defense arguments that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in order to bankrupt Anthony's defense.
Update 3-9-11: This week Judge Perry entertained many pretrial motions which may impact the trial. One major issue is whether the prosecution may use Casey Anthony's statements. Casey Anthony's lawyer, Cheney Mason, wants to exclude statements Casey gave to police back in mid-July 2008. They also want to keep statements she gave her parents and brother while she was in jail out of evidence. Defense attorney Cheney Mason argues that the statements can't be used because Casey was never read her Miranda rights.
Apparently, Casey was handcuffed, placed in the back of a patrol vehicle and questioned by police while being driven around all without ever being told she had the right to be quiet and ask for a lawyer. If true, this may be a major mistake by the police. It is hard to argue that Casey was not "in custody" throughout this interview. "She was never informed that she had the right to leave or terminate questioning," argued Mason. Articulate prosecutor, Linda Drane Burdick, emphasized that law enforcement's initial involvement that night was "to help her and her family find her daughter. That's what they were there for. That's what they were doing there." She also argued that a "temporary detention" is "not an arrest."
Judge Perry has the rulings under advisement. The trial is expected to start in May of 2011.Update 5-10-11: Prospective Casey Anthony jurors are being dismissed one by one inside the Pinellas County courthouse near Tampa, Fla. It may be days before jury selection can be finalized.
Update 5-11-11: Jury selection was again delayed after approximately 50 potential jurors were dismissed for talking about the case in the jury room. One of the potential jurors was apparently on the witness list. WFTV believes the witness was a St. Petersburg woman named Patricia Young. Young was apparently singled out by Judge Belvin Perry as both a witness and potential juror.
Update 5-19-11: After 10 days, 14 potential jurors have been selected. It is getting harder and harder to envision this young lady getting the fair, impartial trial guaranteed by the Constitution.
Update 5-25-11: Jose Baez drops a bombshell in opening statement. He claims Casey's father was watching the child when she accidentally drowned in the pool. He also said Casey is a liar because she was molested by her dad as a child. George, denies any such conduct!
Update 5-31-11: Cindy Anthony testified during the sixth day of testimony concerning the 911 call. Casey had just told her that her 2-year-old granddaughter, Caylee, had been missing for 31 days. There were lots of tears shed in the court room.
Update 6-13-11: Chief Medical Examiner for Orange/Osceola Counties, Dr. Jan Garavaglia, testified that Caylee's death was a homicide. She did not; however, testify as to what was the cause of death. CBS.
Update 6-24-11: Dr. Spitz Woerner, pathologist testified a few days ago that the autopsy was "shoddy" because they did not open the skull. Cindy Anthony testified yesterday that she did the computer searches on chloroform but not those involving snapping a neck.
Update 7-5-11: Casey Anthony has been found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. The jury declined to convict her of either first degree murder or manslaughter. Casey Anthony was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. Attorney Jose Baez, held Casey Anthony's hand as she cried while the verdict was read. Casey's parents, Cindy and George Anthony, left the courtroom as Judge Belvin Perry read further instructions to the jury. Casey was fingerprinted in the courtroom for her conviction of providing false information to law enforcement. Casey will be sentenced on the guilty counts on Thursday morning. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton, entered the courtroom to roaring applause. He left hanging his head.
At the beginning, Legal Pub cautioned not to rush to judgment. The reason for the early warning was because cases must be decided on evidence, not sympathy, prejudice or innuendo. Jeff Ashton chose to prove that Casey Anthony was a liar and a party animal. He chose to make her look like a bad person. Well he proved his point by winning the battles. Unfortunately, he lost sight of what it takes to prove murder. In hindsight, many commentators will admit that he should never have tried to prove first degree murder. Most believe Caylee's death was an accident. Subsequent coverup, probably. Murder? Not likely.
Update 7-15-11: Casey Anthony will be released on Sunday. Her attorneys are appealing the four lieing to police convictions. In the mean time, a woman who looks like Casey Anthony was unfairly attacked. LINK. It is time for the foolishness to end. Let it go, the prosecutors failed to prove their case. It happens.