The Defense Wrests

    Jose Baez, Casey Anthony's lead defense attorney, offered up some very odd theories in his opening statement on May 24. Now, everyone is waiting, with great anticipation, to hear the evidence that has eluded us since that day. The strange accusations about a meter reader, sexual molestations and George finding Caylee's body in the backyard pool threw the trial out of whack and it took the State by complete surprise. While prosecutors quickly rebounded, it's the defense running the show now, and it grows more convoluted with each passing day. Exactly how this will unfold remains to be seen, but that's the defense story and they're sticking to it. Trust me, I'm just as curious and impatient as the rest of you, but first, some basics.
    Generally, in criminal trials, the burden of proof regarding guilt rests squarely on the prosecution. However, this is a highly unusual case, and the defense has chosen to take it upon themselves to shift some of that burden their way. Why? The answer should become clear, but we may have to wait a few more days before finding out.
    After opening statements, the prosecution offered up a strong case against Casey. It was well-choreographed and explained in an easy-to-understand chronological fashion. Of course, the technical/scientific evidence wasn't all that easy to comprehend, but it was balanced enough because it fit in the overall scheme. There was a rhythm to the way the story unfolded. Obviously, the prosecuting attorneys were quite aware of how quickly a jury can be lost, so they knew when to rest their case. That left many people perplexed at the time. Was that it? The end? What about cell phone pings and that bang-up fight between Cindy and Casey the night before Caylee disappeared, to name just two?
    Simply put, this trial isn't going anywhere fast. The State realized from the start that much of the evidence would be addressed later on by the defense. Baez would be placing witnesses on the stand, new and old, and this would afford them the opportunity to cross examine and fill in many gaps. Also, after the defense rests, they will be given rebuttal time to pick over everything the defense looked into. Personally, I don't know how much more the prosecution will need to offer because Jose & Co. seem to be doing a lot of the work for them, including areas that may not have been on their radar. The Gatorade bottle is a good example. The defense made it relevant -- not the state. It was not an issue.
    Whatever the defense is up to, it seems to have no clear sense of direction. Their own expert witnesses have proffered information that's actually benefited the State. Is it from ineptitude or a lack of unity? Are the questions that poorly thought out? Whatever it is, it's a surefire way to lose a jury's attention. Cheney Mason has been a criminal defense attorney for a long time, yet he seems to be doing nothing to help his partner. Clearly, the strategy is imbalanced and it lacks the kind of rhythm the State offered. Baez flits from witness to witness like a bird with clipped wings. Oh, he has his good moments, but there aren't enough of them to keep a flow going. An example of this would be his questioning of Yuri Melich on cross examination, early on in the trial. Did he forget to ask a question then about whether any chloroform ingredients were found in the Anthony home when it was searched? Did this idea pop into his head as an afterthought? It sure seemed that way to me.
    Here's the deal. Either the defense is that bad or they are purposely botching the case in hopes of a retrial down the road for incompetency. Are they trying to throw Judge Perry out of kilter in order to force a mistrial, or they are doing their best to make him look inept, which is not going to happen. One thing is certain – they are provoking Judge Perry by blatantly ignoring his court orders. Is it by design?
    Any attorney with Mason's experience knows how to get under a judge's skin. Mason and Baez have little hope of winning this case, but if they can get Judge Perry to lose it, then they may get another shot at defending Casey.






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Comments, page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 Next »
Jun 22, 2011 09:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I wonder what Casey is thinking about here defense team now.

Jun 22, 2011 09:40 pm
 Posted by  Tiffany (Australia)

Hi Dave

The exact same thought has crossed my mind regarding Mr Baez and Mr Mason pushing for a mistrial. Time will tell.

Jun 22, 2011 10:01 pm
 Posted by  Mary Jo

This defense team in my opinion has not put up any evidence yet that they promised in their opening statements. The jury will expect to hear about the things that they promised and if they don't deliver, it will not be good for their client. I think the State did a very good job presenting their case and I think that they felt that they could make their points with some of the witnesses that the defense was going to be calling. These past few days are good examples of that. The State had to be careful that they didn't over present their case and lose the jury that way. They will have their rebuttal to bring in the other witnesses they feel they need to tie any lose ends they may have. I haven't yet decided if Jose is just stupid in making the same mistakes with his experts or if he is trying to tick off JP and have him declare a mistrial, or is he trying to go for ineffective counsel on appeal. I would think since he has Cheney Mason on his team with loads of experience and who is DP qualified that she would not be granted an appeal on ineffective counsel. Maybe he just doesn't care if he has a law license after this trial. All I know is that the case he has presented so far is helping the prosecution more than it is helping his client.
I love the title that you used for this article, Dave. Your articles are getting better and better and you are a true journalist. You are right there with the best of them. Thanks for being our eyes and ears in the court room and bringing us your take on what is happening in the court room. We miss so much of what you are experiencing watching it on TV. I look forward to your articles and enjoy reading each and every one of them. Keep up the good work!

Jun 22, 2011 10:22 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave there is no way a 3 year trial defense attorney should of been allowed to try this case, because what has he done trial wise since he took over Casey's case ? Plus one thing that concerns me is Chaney a 41 year vet, he just sits there, it is his reputation as well, so what is the key behind their madness ?

Jun 22, 2011 10:31 pm
 Posted by  pinkbunny

Excellent article Dave...(as usual)..i think the people of America and other countries watching are waiting for that "big moment" as was promised in opening statements..! It really appears the defense is totally unprepared for this trial..Case in point:..the computer searches and Instant Messages done on the Anthony home computer on June 16th. this was a huge MISTAKE by the defense to have not done these the state can easily go back and pick out the info. from June 16th...and to think the State had given them this hard drive 3 years. ago.............I believe this computer info. will be/or could be the slam dunk the state needs...Casey on the stand would be super, but we have the liar liar pants on fire does the jury believe her not? Or believe hard evidence found on the computer..this is the perfect CSI moment the jury has been waiting on....jmc

Jun 22, 2011 10:54 pm
 Posted by  Carole


Another home run! During the State's presentation of evidence I was glued to the tv. Everything ran together so smoothly and the way the witnesses testified it made everything fall into place. I almost felt like I had taken a smash course in Law 101.

However, since the defense is now presenting their case I feel like I am watching a Woody Allen movie! Nothing makes sense and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for calling some of their witnesses. It appears that some of the defense witnesses have made their conclusions based on incorrect or incomplete facts. Perhaps this is their defense strategy......feed their witnesses just the facts that they want them to make their conclusions on.

When the lady botanist was being cross examined by Ashton she would give him a look like she did not know what he was talking about. I know she had to understand the question if I could so I believe that he was asking her about something that she had not been told about.

But there is one thing about this trial that we can be sure of. And that is your coverage of the events are fair and accurate. For that I thank you!

Jun 22, 2011 11:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

"The Defense WRESTS"

Is this a jab at Dr. Vass' pattern of speech?

My youngest son has a speech impairment similiar to Dr. Vass'. He often looses his "Rs". Gets bullied for it at school. Dr. Vass is a highly intelligent man....can't we just see that rather than his pattern of speech?

Jun 23, 2011 03:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Hello smart folks of Orlando mag! Just woke up from a deep sleep and ad an "AH-HA" moment...

Recall Cindy testifying and being asked about "her" Myspace account (the one she enlisted Lee to actually create because he wasn't so tech savvy). Most people I discuss the case with were deeply disappointed that the State didn't get into the contents of that message (My Caylee is Missing).

When Lee was on the stand, he was asked about helping Cindy set up her Myspace, he agreed. Again, I thought the content of the message, itself, would work its way into testimony. But it didn't.

Fast forward to my just waking up and I wonder....will the State be able to prove a Myspace user on the Anthony family computer long after Baez is "now" claiming Caylee died?

We know when Cindy joined Myspace (July 3rd) so it couldn't have been her. George never had a Myspace account. We know Lee did, but his time sheets will show him at work on June 16th, when a Myspace account was in use.

Tick, tick BOOM!!

Linda Drane Burdick spoke about the family computer in court on Tuesday and I believe it was about someone's computer usage on June 16th and a mention of the fusion shot girls photos. No wonder Baez was ticked that the State provided him a full hard drive without cliff notes.

(Sorry for such a long first post!)

Jun 23, 2011 03:14 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Thank heavens for Judge Perry and the fact that "This is not his first rodeo"!

I can't help but wonder where Lee Anthony is at this time?

I have no doubt that we will see justice for little Caylee soon. The truth will do it!

Peace, and continued success!

Jun 23, 2011 05:27 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

WREST: To distort or twist the nature or meaning of; to divert to an improper use; misapply.

The "W" is silent, as in wrestle. This has nothing to do with a speech impediment.

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

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