6/03/2011

Posting on the Casey Anthony Trial - Better Late than Never

Like most of the country, I've been following the Caylee Anthony tragedy almost since the afternoon that Cindy Anthony's 911 call was first released by the national media.  I'm not sure why so many of us are so pulled to this particular case.  I know there are several theories, but there it is:  enough viewers around the country that the trial is being shown all day long, every day, and then countless Talking Head shows are doing their various replays and analyses during the evening.

It may not be the O.J. Simpson trial, but it's getting close.

I haven't been posting on the case for one reason: Terry Lenamon, the first death-qualified attorney on the Casey Anthony defense team, is one of my writing clients. I didn't want to give any appearance of impropriety and for a very long time, I didn't write about this case. I just watched; discussed developments with friends.

However, I've changed my mind about this for these reasons:

1. Terry Lenamon hasn't been on that case for years now, and he has never (ever!) discussed the details of that representation with me. No, I haven't read the memo. No, I don't know the backstory about how he got on that case or why he got off. No, I don't know what his opinion is on what is happening now - haven't got a clue. 

2. There are important things for all of us to learn from this trial.

  • First, there are more details here on the reality of how trials work, which is important because TV expectations (like CSI forensics) do impact how lawyers have to present their cases now.  Having jurors of the future see the Real World of forensics, how evidence is presented, how experts are vetted, these are all good things.
  • Second, having representing abused and neglected kids for three years here in the local Children's Court, I think this case helps bring light to those issues: not every mother (or father) has that parenting instinct we tend to assume they do.  One of the biggest shockers that hit me in the face when I first started working that docket was my naive assumption that these parents loved their kids, put their kids first - you know, the way that you would think.  Nope.  Nope. Nope. 
  • Third, there are damaged people out there. We need to know more about what mental illness is, why it happens, how we can help. Or, if we can.  Having met and worked with diagnosed narcissists, sociopaths, bipolars, and borderlines through that Children's Docket, I know now that there are people out there that see the world, and how to live in it, differently that I do - and some of them are very scary, and some of them will not change.  Maybe they cannot be helped, maybe they don't want to change. 

3. I'm getting lots of questions about this trial, and I think that in the balance, it's better for me to post here on Casey Anthony than worry about this Terry Lenamon tie. Terry's posted his public statements on his blog for all to read, they are over there. What I post here are mine. No connection. I'm a 20+ year AV-Preeminent attorney in Texas, and I have something to contribute to this national dialogue. (Hopefully.)

36 comments:

Jessica said...

I look forward to reading what you have to say especially as an attorney I found your original post on the Bumbling Boob Baez fan page on facebook, I find it funny that 2 years after you wrote it you still CAN'T click on bio page of Baez's website...

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Jessica,
Hey, thanks for all this info! I did not know about the Facebook page, wow, nor was I aware that the bio page still doesn't work.

That's fascinating.

Thanks for writing!!!
Reba

PS Right now, I'm watching the CSI Investigator Christine something on the stand. Wonder if a star is being born here, she reminds me of Emily B. on Bones as well as the actress on CSI New York (I think she quit the show?). Sure enough, Jose Baez is standing to cross. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I Tried.. Don't understand the Log in.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, Baez Past The Bar in Florida??? .... My Opinion on Jose...... Jose got Mad at Cindy and George becaue They Caught on to Jose Early on... Jose Had Casey Shut Everyone Off , So Jose Could Control Casey.... Pretty Much like what a Wife Beater does to their Victims. Jose is in this Case for Fame..........

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous,
Not sure what log in didn't work, but if it was the Facebook page that Jessica mentions in her commment, then you have to be a member of Facebook? Not sure.

As for Jose controlling Casey, while it's true that attorneys do speak of "controlling" their clients, that means helping your client maintain their composure in the courtroom - no crying, outbursts, things like that. The control you're referencing sounds more like a psychological control, and it's interesting to ponder if Jose Baez is Casey's Svengali or not.

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Jessica said...

Hi Reba,
love Bones! Baez is a BUMBLING BOOB I think he needs to go back to the college of Frito Lay and tell them his law degree from the cracker jack box is defective! someone on the page passed this along and I thought it might interest you http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/may/03/casey-anthonys-lawyer-jose-baez-rejected-florida-b/
very interesting article!!

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Jessica,
Thanks for the link - I will go and check it out in a bit. So, Baez aside, wadda think: are Bones and Booth gonna get hitched now that she's preggers? I know I know, TOTALLY off topic.

Thx for writing!
Reba

Anonymous said...

I predict Bones will have a miscarriage and the show will be cancelled. LOL This show went from drama to soap opera. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Hi Reba-Love your blog,although this is my 1st time posting a comment.I have lived in central FL. my whole life(30 miles east of Orlando)and I can tell you this trial is consuming everyone around here!Even those folks who didn't pay much attention to the case before,since the trial started they are glued to the tv or radio!As for Bones(mine and my wifes favorite tv show),I really hope Booth and Bones get married!They make a great couple and we all know the love connection between them has always been there.If you enjoy "Bones" check out Kathy Riech's books.Her life and career experiences is what the show is based on.Thanks again for an excellent blog!

Stacie said...

Hello! I am very interesting on hearing your opinions. I hope you post often. I take my break everyday and watch the trial in our cafe. I know it's much more complex but this case is just completely obvious to myself and the rest of the nation. Every mother out there would have alerted the authorities the second their child went missing. The fact she was out at night clubs and shopping proves the fact she didn't care. Did they ever perform a lie detector test? I know they are 100% effective and therefore aren't used but for that matter but I was just curious.

-Stacie
Jacksonville, Florida

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for sharing the info about how things are going over in your neck of the woods -- Orlando seems like such a happy place to be hosting this tragedy.

Having lots of folk talking about this case, well, it's happening over here, too but maybe not as much. I think the entire nation is paying attention to this case.

As for Bones, thanks for the Kathy Riech thumbs up. I love books - I've put her name on my list!

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Stacie,
I hope to be posting more often - both here and on my other blogs, too.

I don't know if they did a lie detector test or not -- but if you are interested in digging into this case, I would suggest checking out Websleuths. It's a forum where they have all the documents, etc., stored and lots of discussion. Someone over there will know the answer to this question.

Thanks for writing!
Reba

Roz said...

Who is paying Baez to defend Casey Anthony? If she is considered indigent, perhaps he has had her sign over all rights to a book deal, etc. after the trial is over.
Also, if Caylee drowned in the pool, why was her mouth taped? Baez appears to be in over his head in this case.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Roz,

I posted on the money issue, and I'm guessing that Jose Baez has a plan to be paid somehow for his work here but is it a book deal? I dunno. The media coverage he's received alone is worth a lot to him I would think.

As for the taping, I didn't really understand how the baby's nose and mouth must have been taped until today when I was watching a summary on one of the TV shows. Chilling.

And why the heck you would do that for any reason, other than a sinister one, I cannot fathom.

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Michelle said...

I think despite not knowing exactly 'how' Casey killed her... the state is definately proving enough doubt to convict.

I wish they had absolute proof of her drugging Caylee so she could go out and party, but I think the state is proving that is exactly what she did.

My theory is that she drugged Caylee with either Zanex (zanny the nanny) or the chloroform then taped her mouth and left her in the car so she could go out. The tape would be so if she woke up that no one would hear her cry. The heat here in FL (in a car nonetheless) would have been enough to kill her ...let alone drugging her.

It's a sick theory... but what else would explain the tape or other people she partied with not even knowing she had a child?

Theresa said...

I've considered the possibility that she drugged Caylee and even that she put the tape to keep her quiet in case she woke up just so she could party and didn't mean to kill her but.. Consider the events of the last day Caylee was alive.

1. Her dad sees her leave the house at 12:50PM. She tells her dad she's going to work, she tells her mom that she's taking Caylee to the Nanny for the night and will sleep there because she has to work early.
2. She stays in the area of her home according to Cell phone pings until 4:30PM (just before Mom was going to get off work)
3. The next time you see Casey is 7PM that night at Blockbuster renting Videos with her boyfriend Tony.
4. Tony testified that they went home, watched the movies, went to bed stayed in bed all through the night and that he cut classes the next day. He testified that they spent the entire day the next day in bed.

5. ONE piece of duct tape would be enough to cover her nose and mouth, there were 3 or 4 of them that over lapped slightly with each other. Some of that tape was even in her hair.

6. There was no duct tape around her wrists... if she were to wake up she would have been able to remove the tape if her hands weren't bound.

No sign of Caylee at block buster, Tony said she told him she was at the Nanny's. She didn't leave his apartment for 24 hours ..She didn't go out and check on her .. she killed that child, left that child dead in her trunk and went to watch movies with her boyfriend. The real heavy partying didn't start for a couple days after Caylee was last seen alive.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Theresa,
Wow. You made me think.

I hadn't thought about the lack of tape on the hands, etc.

And your timeline is chilling. Not that what you've written doesn't make sense.

I bet that we are going to see a time line similar to what you've created in the Closing. It's a powerful tool, the chronology, and it ties things together well.

Showing my age (ahem), these things used to be done on big tablets with easels but now I guess we'll see PowerPoint presentations.

Who knows when that will be, though. I thought the state expected to close on the 10th, and that didn't happen.

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Michelle,
Thanks for writing! Yes, I agree that "Zanny" and Xanax are probably one and the same.

However, Theresa's chilling point on the absence of tape on Caylee's wrists doesn't jive with the baby being left in the trunk so Casey could party since Theresa points out that the baby could have pulled off the tape ....

I was thinking along the same lines as you, Michelle, until Theresa brought that up. More to ponder.

This whole thing is just so, so sad. You know, there's a rule in murder mysteries and thrillers that you never kill kids or dogs (tho Lisa Scottoline broke that rule with a dog not too long ago, lost readers b/c of it).

And here it is, in real life, on TV.

The defense better have some really big surprises here, because this prosecution is doing such a great, great job.

Thanks for writing,
Reba

Anonymous said...

As for the duct tape. The defence explanation is obvious. I think Baez's theory may be that George applied the duct tape when the body was dumped, to make it appear as though it was a murder, possibly to frame casey. George would have also if the defence stories are true, Georges concerned behaviour of caring over Caylee and his search for her would be explainable as an attempt to cover up his involvement in gettind rid of the body. Baez may argue that George wanted the body of caylee gone because it contained evidence that he sexually abused caylee, possible as well as casey. When caylee drowned, he had to find a way to get rid of the body. Perhaps they will say that George wanted to frame Casey so that he would not be a suspect. But, if they were smart about this there are far better ways to get rid of a body than dump it in the woods, which seems like it was set up to be found or it was dumped there by an idiot. Although I am not sure if that is direction it will go. They did say casey was abused but I did not hear this of caylee. The defence is trying to explain caseys behaviour as being unconcerned because Caylee was never missing, it was an accidental drowning. They may argue that perhaps George threatened casey that she would be set up for prosection if she reported (this is a completely wrong idea though since I dont think if the accidental drowning was reported right away anyone would be charged). So thats why she said nothing. Casey due to sexual abuse trauma, so they claim, was taught to lie by her father. If George had molested Casey, why didnt he try to steer attention away from Casey, a lot of attention to her from law enforcement would make it more likely she would mention her sexual abuse (but she didnt, in any police interviews, but there was mention she may have told Lees old gf about Lees alleged abuse of her, and of course her defence attorneys.

If baez knew about these allegations, its noteworthy he would wait until the trail to mention them, if this is the first time they have been in a place where the law enforcement can hear about them. I'm not sure what to think of this. Its hard to prove these allegations, harder still unless Casey before the whole caylee disappearance had actually mentioned them to friends (which perhaps she did).


Of course the defence story may be untrue, another one of Caseys lies. But, It something that could be analysed and considered.

Theresa said...

The defense has painted themselves into a corner with Casey's lies. The prosecution basically had Casey testify by playing all of those Jail house tapes and the interrogation.

Do you think there is any choice but to have her take the stand and tell the story of what she NOW says happened? I mean how else do they plan to get past all of her damning testimony?

With the Jailhouse tapes they could hire one of those human lie detectors and say that based on her body language .. she clearly knew the drowning story was true when her parents brought it up?

I have always thought that her response to her mom saying that was a little "off".

Ideas?

Stupid stupid stupid stupid girl, this is truly the reason why parents made up stories like chicken little to scare kids into not lieing. If you lie and lie and lie and lie and lie when you finally DO want to tell the truth there is not a chance in hell anybody will believe you.

Mary said...

this is a sad situation on so many fronts..first, I don't believe that Casey is a bad person but I do believe that she killed Caylee in some way for some reason and will be found guilty..essentially two lives destroyed..
I don't think that Casey was sexually abused by George or Lee..I think that she was emotionally abused by Cindy..and that can be just as damaging but not as exciting in court..
generally when children are abused from early on, they have no concept of anything other than how they are living or what they experience and have nothing else to compare it to, so for them it is 'normal' or at least 'their' normal until they..through interaction with their friend's families or just observing in general realize that they and their feelings are different..that is where I believe the 'fantasy world' comes in to play..
I don't know if Casey is a narcissist or just a survivor but she definitely had to learn to 'play act' to appear like everyone else..observing the different emotions of others and then in turn 'act out' what she observed...normal emotions didn't come naturally for her..
to me, Cindy created and controlled Casey...remember when Casey told the police that she was petrified of her mother...that I don't think was one of Casey's lies

kah81 said...

I enjoyed reading your site and I will be back!

Thanks!

DaisyDeadhead said...

Nice to find your blog; I'm addicted, like the rest of the country.

Interested in hearing more about the Rosalie Bolin connection. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-05-12/news/os-casey-anthony-trial-defense-bolin-20110512_1_casey-anthony-todd-macaluso-death-row-inmate

I mean, wow.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Mary,

I agree with you - I think that the key is Cindy and Casey, not George and Casey. Always have.

Agree with your perspective on mother's control of everything and daughter's inability to form her own sense of self b/c she's spending so much time in childhood reacting to mother's demands. Lying would have been a defense, a protection back then.

One thing tho - it's been revealed that George is a liar from way back, before he met Cindy. How does that play into this mess? I dunno.

Also, what about how perfect the house had to be? The garage was painted white (is yours? mine's not) and man was that shed tidy. In my experience, homes where the kids were experiencing attachment disorder, etc. usually had messy homes if not something close to hoarding environments.

More for the psych.

I really hope that the psychologist will have time to post here once or twice, so questions on these issues can be answered by someone specializing in narcissism. Fingers crossed.

Hi Daisy,

Thanks for the compliment! And thx, too, for the heads up on Ms. Bolin, WOW. Why aren't we hearing more on this?

Hi kah81,

Thanks for writing and welcome!

Hi Theresa,

So you think that Casey is going to take the stand? I agree with you, it's as if she's already testified what with all the jailhouse tapes.


You know, as the Backseat Lawyer - like backseat driver, right? - if I were in the defense first chair, I wouldn't go a mile near letting Casey Anthony take the stand.

She doesn't have to do it. What is to be gained for the defense by doing this? It's NUTS.

They have to challenge the state's case, they don't have to mount their own separate one. Which is what they've done, in a way.

How in the heck can they try and support the allegation that George abused Casey without Casey pointing the finger on the stand? I don't know.

But Geez Louise, I wouldn't put her up there. It would make for great TV and the attorney would have his face all over the media (ahem) but I don't see how this helps Casey Anthony's defense at all.

Of course, from the backseat, I don't see how the opening helped her at all. I don't see how Baez being first chair helped her at all.

So, if you follow my record in tracking the defense, Casey will be the first witness on the stand Thursday morning. LOL

Thx as always for writing,
Reba

Anonymous said...

Hi Reba:
I think that Baez is going to tie Casey's lying (and Cindy's lying) into his "compulsive gambling" addiction and pull out some stuff from GA meetings ... such as all family members who live with a compulsive gambler have to become compulsive liars to enable and protect him from various kinds of nefarious creatures. Living with a desperado gambler always affects the family in a very negative way and Casey must have grown up knowing that the gambling had to be kept a "secret" and that the money losses had to be kept "a secret" and that this stuff is at the core of Casey's lying addiction. This doesn;'t change or alter anything that she's done, but it does give an insight at to what made her into the habitual liar that she is and apparantly the whole family is.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Anonymous,

Well, that's interesting that George has a history of gambling. I wasn't aware of that family dynamic.

You're right - that's another contributor to a huge amount of shame that I think is part of this family's history. And shame leads to lots of lying.

Thanks for writing!
Reba

Anonymous said...

Jose is the worst defense attorney I have ever witnessed. He has screwed up Casey's case in so many ways I can only wonder if he did it so she can claim he was incompetent and ask for a new trial. He defied logic in failing to abide by Judge Perry's scheduling order. He missed the boat by not filing a Motion in Limine to keep out Casey's non-stop lying on the jail house tapes, and now he failed to have not one, but two expert witnesses put their final opinions in writing and give them to the prosecution prior to the deadline for expert witness reports. I don't know if he is just plain stupid or if he honestly thinks the judge is going to give him a pass (obviously not after Judge Perry's comments today on holding him in contempt). Jose is so out of his league I'd almost feel sorry for him if he wasn't so arrogant.

Putting Spitz on today was another huge mistake. One would think you would not put on a witness who has that poor of a memory. Having no recollection of being on TV shows, etc. would make the jury wonder if he even recalled what he was being asked to do in the first place. His not knowing whether there is a written protocol for opening a skull when he wrote the book on forensic medical examination is pretty unbelievable. Another fine example of cross-examination by Ashton. Jose is like the gift that keeps giving since he has given the prosecution so much ammunition to use in their closing argument.

I can hardly wait to see what Jose will pull next. He will never put Casey on the stand as Ashton would hang her out to dry. Now the only testimony they will see from her is the jail house tapes where she told lie after lie.....They can certainly use these tapes to show law students how "not" to defend your client in a death penalty case.

Anonymous said...

I'm glued to this trial,can't turn away either.My comment is,I think she's guilty,and it breaks my heart how she's throwing her whole family under the bus,to save herself.Poor George and Cindy,who've spent hours looking for that baby,and loved her dearly. Also Lee.Then,they get slapped in the face with molestation and all.I think she should get the death penality,period.

Stacie said...

Reba -

Anything new? The more i watch (which is every single day) the more disgusted I get. I watch the full 10 min jailhouse tape and it gets me when they reference hearing about the pool drowning and Casey pushes it aside as it ifs another possible scenario but moreso she doesnt reference missing Caylee much as all. It's all about her. I have a 3 year old and I cannot even imagine that scenario but if something did happen, bet yourself it would be all about him. I hope the state prosecutors eat her alive in the closing. Karma is nasty Casey.

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Stacie,

Thanks for writing! From my "backseat driving" of this case, I'm just stunned at the defense. The witnesses being called and recalled. The objections that are just nutty.

The "let me rephrase" time and time again - and my favorite, the experts that are called by the defense, and leave the stand having given testimony more favorable to the prosecution than the defense.

Today, I've seen George Anthony sobbing on the stand and Casey Anthony nonresponsive. I cannot wait to hear what Dr. Mcbride may provide in the way of psychological analysis here.

Meanwhile, I'm getting more and more curious on whether or not Miss Anthony will take the stand.

I'm thinking she's gonna do it. Why? In a way, it seems Baez is building up to it. Another, the competency flag on Saturday seemed to me more of a lawyer CYA than anything else, protecting the record if there was an appellate challenge later....

And, I think Casey Anthony wants to take the stand. I think she has a history of telling big tall tales and getting herself out of trouble, so it's a pattern of behavior. Plus, she'll have the eyes of the nation upon her. For the entire time she is on the witness stand, she will be a national celebrity with coverage at the same level as the A listers.

For Casey, who doesn't appear to understand consequences from actions, that starshine might be too tempting to pass up.

Thanks Stacie!
Reba

Stacie said...

and the defense rests. You can tell what a new attorney he is. I've never seen someone get "objection" - ed so much. He is so over his head -- I see a book deal forthcoming. Other than getting his name out there (and not in a good way mind you) -- there is nothing in it for him.

I had a feeling she wouldn't take the stand because Jeff Ashton would chew her up and spit her out. However, I feel her not testifying was a dumb move - she just lost the jury. What mom who DIDN'T murder her child would not want to take the stand and look at the jury, cry and plead the fact she didn't do it. That's enough to get 1 juror to negate the death penalty for reasonable doubt.

With that being said, I do not think she will get death penalty and nor so I think she should -- it's the easy way out for her. If she did do it, she needs to live with that the rest of her life; not that that she shows ANY sign of remorse now but she will have to answer at some point.

What were your thought's from todays deliberations?

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Stacie,

Wow, never thought of Jose writing a book. Who would buy it?

I was shocked CA didn't take the stand. I was all ready for it, had my big glass of iced tea all ready to go....

What I'm waiting for now is the defense's closing -- the closing is limited to the evidence of the case, and there's so much of the opening that never made it into evidence. What are they going to say?

And, is Jose going to close? Earlier, I thought his co-counsel might close ... but if I were that guy, I'd be wanting to distance myself as much as possible from this mess.

That contempt of the TGIF server was interesting. Is this foreshadowing of what Jose Baez is going to be facing after the trial is over? This judge takes his job of protecting the integrity of his courtroom, and the system itself, very seriously.
The disregarding of that January Order may have serious repercussions for Jose Baez.

Lastly, I still want to see the rebuttal. Only then, when the case goes to the jury, will we finally have all the evidence on the table to determine what elements of what charges have been proven, and if that proof goes beyond a reasonable doubt.

As for the death penalty, we've got another trial if guilty comes in on the first degree/felony murder charges. There's gonna be evidence on mitigating factors and psych stuff, etc. is going to be brought into the case then. Will this explain her stoic attitude/lack of remorse?

That should be very interesting.

Thanks for writing, and Happy 4th!
Reba

Mary said...

well...its all over but the shoutin'...Cindy lied..surprise surprise..I think Casey will get the lesser charge of child neglect...can't remember what it was called..which carries life in prison I think..easier for the jury and carries same penalty...please correct me if I'm wrong

Reba Kennedy said...

Hi Mary,

Your comment reminds me of a well-respected judge who sat on the civil bench here in Texas for many years, who was known to "split the baby" - rather than either side getting a clean win (these were business disputes usually), this judge was known for not giving either side all it asked for.

Result? You brought the kitchen sink in requests and argued for the biggest request, all the while thinking that maybe you wouldn't get that, you'd end up with something less.

So, with your comment, I'm thinking that you're suggesting the jury may "split the baby," giving Casey life imprisonment on the lesser charge rather than the first degree charge.

Of course, this dovetails with the argument that lots of folk are making that this is exactly where the prosecution was going all the time: "splitting the baby." They fought hard for first degree, but with the circumstantial evidence they had, they may well consider it a win if they hear a verdict like you've suggested.

Interesting to think about, Mary.
Thanks for writing!
Reba

Teresa said...

Today the verdict of "NOT GUILTY" has come in. I appreciate your unbias openness on the experience you have had and do have with different elements in your cases, the people and parents with real mental illnesses and bringing out the points of the deep, recess of the mind and personality of those and what happens to those who suffer from sexual abuse. The abuser is a master manipulator and is at times the puppet master. Many of those "signs" are evident in the comments, actions and behaviors in this case. Thank you for opening our minds, hearts and giving food for thought over and over. God Bless you in reminding us that as Americans we have a system that works based on guidelines and laws.

Reba Kennedy said...

Thanks, Theresa.

Your words are appreciated!

God bless,
Reba

Mary said...

good morning to all..I am truly sincere with what I'm about to ask...I don't want to debate, argue or exchange rude comments, so here goes.... I would like to know from those of you who believed from the start that Casey was innocent what I missed here????..thanks