The Defense Lays a Foundation

    Thursday marked the third anniversary of Caylee Marie Anthony's death. No one in the courtroom made mention of it, but everyone clearly knew that this morning marked the beginning of the Baez Blitz, aka, Casey's Last Stand. First to face his charge was Gerardo Bloise, a CSI investigator with the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Baez's initial line of questioning seemed routine. He asked Bloise about examining Anthony Lazzaro's vehicle. Lazzaro was Casey's boyfriend before and during the time of her first arrest. Bloise was also asked about his involvement in searching the Anthony home for evidence, and the scope of his responsibilities, such as collecting only Casey's clothing for clues.
    While examining evidence, Baez asked Bloise about his interaction at work, "Do you speak while you're doing this?"
    "No," Bloise responded.
    "Why not?" Baez asked.
    "Because I'm by myself." When Bloise said that, most of the courtroom burst into  laughter.
    That was the extent of humor in the courtroom Thursday. Once Baez settled in, he seemed to hold his own– except for a few gaffes. For example, he hammered away at a blanket of Caylee's that hadn't been entered as evidence, leaving Baez to look foolish and unprepared. “My apologies," he said to the court, "the blanket that was just described is not in evidence. I move to strike.”
    Heather Seubert relieved Bloise on the stand. She is an FBI forensic evidence examiner. and she was accepted as an expert witness in DNA and serology. Her testimony was interesting, too. She explained all of those delightful "Q" and "K" samples. Just what are Q's and K's? Actually, Karen Korsberg Lowe said it best. She is an FBI forensic evidence examiner who testified for the State on June 4, but during the Scott Peterson guilt phase, she said:

"Q's are questioned items. So that might be something recovered from an item of evidence. That's what I'm going to look for to compare to known, which would be the K's. So the knowns are the sources. Known may be a head hair sample, what I'm typically doing. So I would compare the Q's, the hairs retrieved from items of evidence, compare them to K's to see they are consistent with coming from the same source."

    Seubert's testimony was quite technical, but suffice it to say that many of the items removed from Casey's vehicle, particularly in the trunk area, showed no signs of blood, nor was any DNA discovered. I found that to be quite revealing. If other fluids were found, where did the blood and DNA go? As they are exposed to the elements, they dissipate, of course, but not entirely. That was a good point on Baez's behalf. Nothing notable was found on the duct tape, either, but I would look at that differently because those pieces were sitting in stagnant water half the time, and brutal Florida heat the entire time, from June into December.
    Meanwhile, Baez kept hammering away. He continued to press the witnesses for any feedback regarding Caylee's father. If he could prove that law enforcement centered on the paternity issue, then he could convince the jury that they were obsessed with finding out who the father was. Wouldn't this sort of thing show the jury that even law enforcement believed there might have been something to "those" accusations of sexual abuse - that the defense accusations against George and Lee have some merit? That's precisely what the defense is doing.
    Robin Maynard used to be a CSI crime scene investigator with OCSO. She testified that the small piece of cardboard with the heart sticker attached was found 45 feet away from the main area (A) where the skull was. After she was excused, Ron Murdock took the stand. He is a forensic supervisor at OCSO. When Baez pressed him for the distance between the skull and and the cardboard/sticker, he said it was 30 feet. That's a discrepancy, and if highly trained professionals can't get things right, it may cause the jurors to have less faith in the quality of their work.
    It seems to me that the defense strategy will be to start from the ground floor and work their way up. They are laying a foundation so that when the accusations against family members begin to weave their way into the story, some on the jury might be paying attention to what's being said, and that might cause some of them to have second thoughts by the time the defense rests. Fear not! If you wonder about the botanists and question why they weren't brought in to testify for the State, all is not lost. I asked a fellow journalist in the media room what he thought about the State's case. I told him I expected more. He said we always do, but as far as the botanist is concerned, prosecutors may bring theirs in during rebuttal. Also, bear in mind that the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that Casey murdered her daughter.
    I'm sure you've heard the phrase "sly as a fox" before. I'm beginning to think it may hold merit with regard to Baez. Yes, he has bumbled and fumbled quite a bit during the trial, but he also has scored points during some of his crosses and while he presented the defense’s case Thursday. By the time Baez is done with his defense, jurors'’ heads may be spinning.
    This case was supposed to be a slam-dunk murder one conviction for the prosecution. But by playing the fool, whether naturally or intentionally, Baez may have fooled everyone.






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Comments, page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 Next »
Jun 17, 2011 12:09 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Baez continues to come across like a bozo. What impressed you so much today, Dave?

The state has more in store for Casey and her boys. It ain't over.......yet.

Jun 17, 2011 01:12 am
 Posted by  Redrelaxed

Hello Dave & Everyone,

You're the more benevolent observer in the courtroom. I admire that about you. Thank you for being unbaezed.

Well if Bloise did talk to himself, he'd get an intelligent answer.
He is so darn cute, I love his accent!

Ms. Suebert, we learned is qualified to teach a condensed 4 hour class on advanced DNA. What I gleaned while struggling to stay awake was that as the cells break down during decomposition so does the DNA, hence the absence of it in the trunk of Casey's Pontiac, and her wardrobe. I was kind of surprised that Baez was looking in every nook and cranny for blood evidence considering his accidental drowning scenario, but hey that's just me.

IMO Baez dug a hole to China today to lay his foundation. In my observations he left little or nary a lasting impression with me, other than his swift and dirty blow below the waist immediately before lunch, and if anything he disappointed most of the day with his rhetoric. Jeff Ashton and particularly Linda Drane Burdick are nearly finished their landscaping.

I truly felt sorry for the jury today, at least the rest of us watching from home could escape when we had to. Dave, how did they fare today, were they alert and taking notes? I heard they were yawning. It's great that you are right there and can see this unfolding first hand!


Jun 17, 2011 02:38 am
 Posted by  sfoubert

He still has bozo status with me Dave. I kind of think that this jury is smarter than is being anticipated by a lot of folks. Most times - notice I said "most" times - the jury ends up doing the right thing. I think Bozo made a rookie mistake in his opening - he needs to deliver on that and I don't think he can. He needs Casey on the stand and I'm thinking thats not going to happen. I have this fantasy that the moment the trial is over and he is least expecting it Bozo is going to look up and see George standing there and George is going to deliver a powerhouse of a punch to his jaw......... a girl can dream....

Jun 17, 2011 08:00 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Until it was stated the other day in the court room I didn't know what the Q or the K in front of the evidence numbers meant. Thanks for refreshing that in this article. I laughed when Baez asked that question to Bloise about if he talks to anyone. I think when Baez asked that question about the blanket it was intentional so that he could get it out to the jury for them to asks themselves why it wasn't brought into evidence. He knew it wasn't brought in and he knew it would be objected to, but he wanted it out there. Just like he did about the tape being contaminated when the prosecution was presenting their case.I do have to say that I was getting bored yesterday listening to him question that one person for hours. I found myself only half listening and wondering how much longer this was going to go on. I can't imagine what the jury was doing or thinking and the rest of you in the court room. It had to be a very long day for all of you. I hope today fares better. Thanks for another great article, Dave and for being our eyes and ears in the court room. I have noticed that there is someone from another web site that attended the court proceedings at the beginning, but has apparently stopped going that is writing reports that says they are still in the court room, but they aren't. I know they aren't in there because I have been specifically watching for them and I haven't seen them. What they have been doing is following certain people's tweets and get their information to write on that way. I don't think that it is right for them to do this and I consider it false reporting. Thanks again Dave for giving us another great article.

Jun 17, 2011 08:08 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Hi Dave,

I do appreciate your articles and observations, however, I get very upset with the media in the way they present the trial in a fashion reserved for a boxing match: "And a left and a right and a right jab that's taken the prosecution by surprise because it's a low blow and without good faith. And here comes the prosecution with a right and another left and HHJP with a hammer and a terrific smackdown to the defense." The media seems to forget the reason for this trial. The seriousness and sadness of why we are all here. When I read articles on this trial or hear media updates, I don't want all the theatrics. I just want it straight. I do blame the defense for this circus. It angers me to see our justice system turned into a joke. We saw this with the OJ trial as well. It infuriates me to see that a person can be aquitted of a crime not because they were proven innocent but because a lawyer with no ethics or moral compass insinuated and slandered enough innocent people to confuse and render a jury completely perplexed. I do hope we see justice served in this case.

Jun 17, 2011 08:51 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Morning Dave, - btw that should be the name of your am radio show -

You are right, Jose Baez is not a dummy, oh he has made his share of mistakes - all in front of the masses for deep review, replayed ad nauseum, and complete ridicule - who really can bear such scruitny, but, in the end Jose Baez is not a dummy... he has a pathological sociopath for a client.

Jun 17, 2011 10:04 am
 Posted by  Amber

Hi Dave

I appreciate your informative and unbiased writing. I think you strike a fair balance between both sides, the prosecution and the defense. I was really upset by some of the talking heads, I think on HLN mostly, who indicate that the prosecution has done a poor job and that there is no proof that Casey did anything or if she did it was soley because she was a victim of abuse. I also don't like the "lynch Casey" mentality. I think Casey deserves, and is getting, a fair trial. I also think, based on the evidence I have seen in the media and presented in court so far, that she is responsible for the child's death. I do not know if she committed first degree muder or just extreme negligence or reckless endangerment and I do not know how we could ever know but there could be some new evidence that we could see before the end of trial. I just plain don't believe in the death penalty but I do not think that Casey should be out of jail when the trial is over because there is no indication that I can see that she is capable of behaving as a productive member of society who is not a danger to herself or others.

How are you holding up with attending the trial and writing for a Magazine? I think Orlando Magazine made a great choice when they hired you!!!

Jun 17, 2011 10:29 am
 Posted by  jbt

What do you think the chances are that George, Cindy, Casey & Baez all collaborated together on the heart the defense strategy (Casey lies because she was molested by her very own father) in hopes that this could be the only thing that could lead to Casey's acquittal? All of Casey's life, her parents have never held her accountable, look the other way and appear to walk on eggshells with her. While they may believe that she truly murdered their granddaughter, they may accept that nothing will bring Caylee back but that losing their daughter to death row would be that much worse. They seem like parents that would sacrifice anything to help Casey. It's not like anyone is going to go back and arrest George for molestation. But this could be the one thing that would cause at least one juror (and it only takes one) to have enough empathy for Casey and would see it as "Casey may have done it but it wasn't her fault". Going into this, everyone (including Baez and Casey's family) knew the deck was very stacked against them - that maybe this could be the bombshell that would save her even if it did throw George under the bus. I bet George is willing to do anything to keep his daughter from being executed. Just a thought I've had since the opening statements. His and Cindy's reactions to the opening statements just didn't fit with what you would expect - which caused me to wonder if they weren't in support of it. Again, not because it was the truth but because it could have been their daugher's only saving grace. While I think Cindy and George know Casey killed Caylee, I bet they have somehow blamed themselves for Casey's actions and this would make them all feel better if they could somehow save their only daughter. Thoughts?

Jun 17, 2011 12:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

A couple of questions Dave....first, will the "side-bar" conversations be part of the court record & released to the public after the trial? Next, it just occurred to me the other day--I'm suprised CA hasn't claimed to have multiple personalities....or is that still a possible defense?
Thanks, Wendy from Iowa.

Jun 17, 2011 02:10 pm
 Posted by  ASHSOV84

"It infuriates me to see that a person can be aquitted of a crime not because they were proven innocent but because a lawyer with no ethics or moral compass insinuated and slandered enough innocent people to confuse and render a jury completely perplexed. I do hope we see justice served in this case."

This could not have been said any better. My thoughts EXACTLY!

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'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 as Anthony goes to trial for first-degree murder. His posts will appear regularly on this site.

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