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Pets, Lies and Duct Tape

    In his opening statement, Jose Baez guaranteed that the jury would come to believe that George Anthony had sexually molested Casey when she was young, that he found Caylee’s body floating in the backyard pool, and he alone applied duct tape to her face. Somehow, someway, he would explain how meter reader Roy Kronk disposed of the child’s body so he could later “discover” it and collect a reward. But as the defense wrapped up its case Thursday it was clear that Baez had failed to deliver the goods. His strategy created a lot of smoke but yielded little substance.
    If anything, the sleaziness of the defense team may have done just as much to seal its client’s fate as the State’s methodically laid-out case. There were times I felt Casey would get a lesser sentence than death if she’s convicted, but now I’m not so sure. The jury and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. may be in no mood for leniency after watching Baez and company toss mud with impunity. But Casey may have saved herself from the executioner by declining to testify. Had she taken the stand, oh, boy, that would have been great theater. The lies she could have told. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton must have been disappointed with losing his chance to go one-on-one with her.
     The defense’s final day became a good synopsis of the general feel of what transpired during most of the trial. There were a few peaks, like Kronk’s changing testimony of what happened when he found the toddler’s remains, but it was mostly made up of valleys, and some were deep.
    On Thursday, Baez once again hammered home the importance of the Henkel brand duct tape by publishing a brief video showing its use at a command center during the search for Caylee. George was the co-star in the video, but it proved nothing. What struck me as very odd was the way Baez segued into the burials of deceased family pets and alleged that duct tape was used in them. The defense hoped it would spell his doom. While Baez mentioned numerous deceased pets the Anthonys had buried over the years, neither George nor Cindy acknowledged a particular means for their disposal. They could only recall wrapping a dead pet in a blanket or towel, sometimes with a stuffed play toy, and placing the animal’s body in a plastic bag and sealing it with clear plastic packaging tape. Sometimes, they buried their deceased pets in the back yard.
    But when Lee was questioned about the family pet Cinnamon, he recalled it being buried in a plastic bag sealed with duct tape.
    So where was Baez going with this dead-pet line of questioning? Here’s my take: If George and Cindy taught Casey to lie, then they also taught her what to do with dead bodies, right? But such reasoning implicates Casey, too, only Caylee wasn’t buried, as Ashton so aptly pointed when he said: “MR. ANTHONY, DID YOU EVER TAKE A DEAD PET AND THROW IT IN A SWAMP?” Ashton’s sarcastic inquiry had to have hit home with the jury.
        Linda Drane Burdick also mocked the defense’s “pet” theory (sorry, I couldn’t resist) when she asked Cindy, under cross examination, if she ever put a pet to sleep with chloroform. Baez objected and the question was withdrawn. But Drane Burdick came back with “DID YOU EVER PUT DUCT TAPE OVER ANY OF YOUR PETS’ MOUTHS?” No, Cindy replied.
    That explains the duct tape theory, lame as it was, but what about Krystal Holloway, aka, River Cruz? She met George at one of the command center tents, where she went every day to help and “console” him. She said their friendship was intimate but he said it wasn’t. She testified that George told her Caylee’s death “was an accident that snowballed out of control,” but he denied saying that.
    On cross examination, Ashton challenged her credibility, getting her to admit that she had originally denied having an affair with George, only to spill juicy details of their relationship to the National Enquirer, for $4,000. But she stuck to her claim that George said: “I believe it was really an accident and it went wrong and she tried to cover it up.”
    Whatever George said, if anything, it did not implicate him in the murder of his granddaughter, though if any of it’s true it would suggest he knew Caylee was dead long before her remains were found. But was Holloway a believable witness? Yes and no, I thought.
    Her account of the affair seemed to have more than a hint of truth to it. George was depressed and she comforted him, as he did her when she told him she was ill with cancer.  They were alone at her place at times, two people sharing their pain, and one thing led to another. Such an occurrence wouldn’t be a stretch of anyone’s imagination. But she also came across as an opportunist, someone who sought out the limelight and a quick payday by inserting herself into the Anthony family drama. Plus there’s that pseudonym of hers. That alone is reason enough to view her with suspicion.
    We got another day of garbage strewn about in the courtroom Thursday, leaving everyone feeling dirty and in need of a good hot shower. But George couldn’t wait to cleanse himself of the slime sticking to him as he left the stand for good. As he walked by the prosecution’s table, he brushed his hands together. He had washed his hands of the whole mess, leaving Casey on her own.
    

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments, page 1 of 15 1 2 3 4  ··· 15 Next »
Jun 30, 2011 09:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave,

Wow! Fantastic accounting of the day. Thanks for making this sad tragic story bearable and readable.

Jun 30, 2011 10:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Jeff ashton's question to George if he ever threw his dead pet in a swamp was NOT struck from the record! Bobo objected, and Judge Perry OVERRULED the question. George's answer was NO....for the record!
Get your facts correct or don't bother writing your article!

Jun 30, 2011 10:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Casey Anthony's lead counsel's name is José Baez. To have called him otherwise leaves the door wide open for me to challenge the author of such a remark. Was the intention of the author to malign Mr Baez who is defending Casey Anthony, deserving of a fair trial. It is therefore, my opinion, that any following statement made by said individual be stricken and a competency test be ordered for that person immediately.

A concerned citizen.

Jun 30, 2011 11:10 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

To concerned citizen: It was Judge Perry that ensured Casey Anthony has a fair trail. Mr. Baez's defense was a train wreck. His client wasn't his first concern....he's looking ahead to his own court tv show on Telemundo.

Jun 30, 2011 11:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anon at 11:20

You certainly don't represent the majority here who happen to appreciate the fine job that Dave is doing here. I think I speak for everyone when I say "don't bother coming back".

Jul 1, 2011 02:30 am
 Posted by  Tiffany (Australia)

Brilliant Dave!

Jul 1, 2011 07:17 am
 Posted by  Mary Jo

Anon @ 12:37 AM, I totally agree with your comment.

This defense did not prove anything that they said they would in their opening statements. That does not surprise me in the least. I think they have handed Casey a guilty plea and she has no one to blame but her defense team. I just about fell off my chair when I heard Baez asking them about how their pets were buried. To me that proves that Casey did to Caylee what she learned from burying their pets. That was the last thing that the jurors heard from this defense. I would have thought they would have had a better ending. I found it interesting that George and Cindy said it was packing tape and Lee said it was duct tape. It sounds like Lee went over to the defense side and didn't care if that did any damage to his dad. He really is an angry person and we saw that on the stand. He needs to get some kind of counseling in my opinion ASAP. I am so looking forward to these people from Cindy's work testifying to her lieing about her time card and doing those searches. In some ways it is hard to believe that this case is almost over after waiting for so long. I, for one am looking forward to it being over. In just a matter of days Caylee Marie Anthony will be getting her justice.
Dave, this was another great article. Thanks again for being in the court room for us. It is very much appreciated!

Jul 1, 2011 07:27 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Another great article Dave. I really hope the jury sees through everything and Casey gets what's coming to her. I pray for that. Thank you Dave. You are a wonderful writer. I don't know what your plans are for when this is over, but I hope it's to keep writing. I look forward to reading the final articles leading up to the end of this case. I know they'll be excellent. Hugs from Va!
Verna from fb

Jul 1, 2011 07:27 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

LMAO with the comment on spelling Mr. Baez name. Reminds me of Jeff Dunham and Peanut!

Mr. Baez pretty much put the shovel in Casey's hand yesterday. After him pointing out how the family disposed of their beloved pets it made me truly believe Casey had intended on burying Caylee in the backyard! WTH!! 2 dogs did hit back there. Casey did borrow a shovel. Caylee instead of having a proper burial was bagged just like the family pets. So if you put 1 and 1 together you get 2.

Mr. Baez pointed out George's suicide note. Now the jury has read it! Mason asked a Law Enforcement Officer about handcuffing Casey. So in comes the statement Cindy made about stolen money and credit cards. At the beginning of the trial I believe Mr. Baez asked someone for a hear say answer and that led to the State being allowed to bring in prior bad acts. However they have decided not to, to avoid it coming back on appeal.

With all that said I truly believed this would come back for ineffective counsel but from what I read it won't. Very hard to prove. :) Mr. Baez is in over his head. Has been since day one but either he is to stupid to realize or he only cared about making a name for himself. He has made a name for himself alright. Not one I personally would be proud of but a name no less.

Jul 1, 2011 08:42 am
 Posted by  KarenC

Nice post, Dave- worth waiting for! I really think yesterday they lost their case irretrievably- 1 plus 1 does equal 2!
Now, anyone else notice that she has her yellow blouse today tied with a knot at back to make it tighter?! Dang! What a set of priorities!

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About This Blog

'Marinade Dave' Knechel

Dave Knechel has been blogging about the Casey Anthony case since late 2008, drawing readers from all over the world. Best known as “Marinade Dave,” a nickname he got when he made marinades and also blogged about marinade recipes, Knechel is on assignment to blog about the case exclusively for orlandomagazine.com as Anthony goes to trial for first-degree murder. His posts will appear regularly on this site.

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