A Daughter's Scorn; A Family Torn

    When we sit in the gallery of Judge Perry's court, we watch, we listen, and we learn. The only difference between what we feel in his courtroom and what you sense on TV or the Internet is the electricity of the moment, and how it changes from one side to the other; back and forth and sometimes in the middle or skirting along the fringe. Up and down they go as they battle back and forth. Sure, we all know by now that this defense has had its share of downs, and in most cases, they've been well deserved, but as we sit in the courtroom with our skewed opinions, Judge Perry looks out at each and every one of us. What does he think? What does he feel? What does he see?
     To be a judge in a trial of this magnitude, it takes a person of great fortitude; someone with a heart of gold and steel. I often wonder what crosses his mind as he peers out at every individual in his court. For sure, he's seen the anguish in the faces of George and Cindy. He's sensed the cold indifference of their daughter, now distant; no longer the daughter they once had. Or thought they had.
     What did we learn this fateful Friday, the sixth of May, 2011?
     Judge Perry called an emergency hearing to address a defense Objection to New Venue and a motion filed by George and Cindy's attorney, Mark Lippman, the Motion for Relatives of Victim to be Excused from Rule of Sequestration. Casey filed an objection to that one, too. As it stands, the hearing that was scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM did, in fact, start on time, but the prosecution and defense, including Casey, went behind closed doors and didn't return until precisely one-half hour later. It had to be private because the county where the jury will come from was discussed. When they returned, Jose Baez withdrew his change of venue motion. The jury will be plucked from the location the judge had chosen.
     This was a day when George accompanied his wife. He had a special interest. Were he and Cindy going to be allowed to sit in on the trial? Until the judge made clear his ruling, the blogs and forums were buzzing with opinions for and against and everywhere in between. There was talk of 'next of kin' and whether they deserved to attend or not. After all, some think they are just as guilty as their daughter of murdering precious Caylee. Right?
     This case has dragged on for nearly three years and both parents have been villified in the press and all over the Internet. When their attorney got up to state his case, he did an excellent job. Twice, the judge and court stenographer had to slow him down, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do. He made sense. I think the most perplexing part in this was that we assumed Casey wouldn't object to having her parents there in the courtroom for support, if nothing else. Why would she?
     In the objection Cheney Mason filed on May 5, he made it clear that there was a reason why he didn't want them present. Sure, he said that both George and Cindy "will be called as key witnesses in the upcoming trial," and that they "will also be subject to recall throughout the proceedings." Yes, he did, but when Mark Lippman stood and asked both parties about all of George and Cindy's depositions, they had to respond that, yes, their statements were memorialized in previous depositions. Is the defense expecting them to say something new?
     Judge Perry asked the prosecution if they had an objection to allowing George and Cindy inside the courtroom during the trial. Jeff Ashton stood and said, no, but the state would have a problem with their sneering and snickering and sighing and shaking their heads. He suggested that they sit up in the balcony to keep them out of sight of the jury. The judge responded by saying they will follow the same rules as every other person in his court. In essence, if he or any of the deputies can hear a pin drop, expulsion is the order of the day. George and Cindy are just like everyone else. So are the attorneys, the judge reminded the court.
     Now, we can take bets on how long they're going to remain in the courtroom, but that's a whole different discussion. What transpired today showed not just the judge's wisdom, but also his compassion. One of the interesting characteristics of Judge Perry is his subtleties. On numerous occasions, he's commented in such a manner that one understands which direction he's about to go. When Mark Lippman mentioned Florida Statutes and argued that George and Cindy are next of kin, the judge broke in and said there's nothing that says they're not next of kin. A simple statement that carried much weight.
     When the judge asked the defense to counter, Cheney Mason took center court. As he wrote in his objection, he said, "this right must yield to the defendant's right to a fair trial," but how would their attendance impact that? The most disturbing thing to come out of the objection and what he uttered was that, "George and Cindy Anthony will likely be subject to impeachment by the testimony of other witnesses." That's a powerful statement and one that will be carefully examined in the near future. In the end, Judge Perry sided with George and Cindy. As he sits and stares, I often wonder if he keeps a close watch on all of the Anthonys. Can he rule with an iron fist and offer a calming hand?
     After the hearing, we learned that Mark Lippman is a class act. He gave credit to Richard Hornsby for providing a crucial example of case law that backed his argument. No doubt, Richard is a class act, too. I'm not surprised. I wonder, though, if Judge Perry had already decided by the time he called his court to order. After all, it was the defense he cited. The argument was weak. Once again, they failed to bring a solid argument to the table. They didn't prove a thing.
     We also learned something else. If anyone out there still believes that George and Cindy were in on this murder to any degree - stop throwing them under the bus. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. I'm glad they won.



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Comments, page 1 of 8 1 2 3 4  ··· 8 Next »
May 6, 2011 11:48 pm
 Posted by  Amber

Hi Dave,

You did an outstanding post as usual. Do you think that the attempt by the defense to keep George and Cindy out of the Court Room originated because Casey wanted them excluded or because the attorneys thought it was a good idea? How much of the Anthony family alienation appears to be from Casey and how much is caused by Jose Baez?

May 7, 2011 12:00 am
 Posted by  Louise

Dave did I loose my post? I did a long one and when I pushed post comment it said Google couldn't find the website!!! omg, I am tired and wanted you to know my thoughts on your article. I think it went bye bye. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

May 7, 2011 12:05 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


I really enjoyed reading this article of yours. I see the depth of thought that you are presenting, when you go to opine on this case & all of its very conflicted characters. I respect you for that, Sir.

Judge Perry clearly is a wise man. As he sat there today, listening to Mr. Lippman and then Mr. Mason, I could not help but reflect that this is a man who is not only extremely diligent, extremely good at what he does, & is someone who can get along with (it seems) just about anybody; but he is a father, and a grandfather. The look on his face at the notion that Cindy & George, the people who nurtured not only Casey, but Caylee, for years & at their own expense, had no standing or right to be in the court for the trial, told me volumes about Judge Perry's compassion. I really believe I saw him put himself in their shoes, along with having heard from Casey in the pow-wow behind closed doors.

Yes, it is a highly emotional situation. It is horrible that George & Cindy are so closely related to BOTH the victim and her accused murderess. But regardless of whatever mistakes they have made, they still are human; they still tried to love both Casey and Caylee as best they could. Even now, Cindy writes letters, and both of them deposit money into the account of this daughter who seems so cold & who will not even look at them. All this to support her in a terribly difficult time! George & Cindy may have done many things wrong that, in all truth, have ultimately resulted in this situation.

However, they are parents and grandparents, just as is Judge Perry. They deserve respect on that account. I join you in believing that Judge Perry did the right thing. And I respect him all the more, not only for the extreme difficulty of trying to balance the interests of all parties here; but especially for his humanity.

May 7, 2011 06:39 am
 Posted by  rosebud8

Another great post Dave and always up to date and on the ball.

I had to change my mind on this and agree with you that the Anthony's should be allowed in..But HHJP layed down the ground rules of what he will and will not allow to go on in his courtroom BEFORE he gave his ruling. Very smart move. He was letting them know he's giving them a chance but they darn well better behave, as well as everyone else. He gives it and he can take it away.

I'm not a bit surprised that Baez is not going to let Cindy see Casey today..He has come to far in keeping them separated to let them ruin it in the 11th hour. Can we read into that his opening statement is not going to be one that they can do the "denial" thing? I'm putting my $ on it was an accident but it was all their fault.

Those poor jurors..Most of their summer is going to be spent on this trial. Even with all the bumps in the road it could well run into the fall with such long witnesses list..I pray your health holds up but don't push yourself to hard..We can always catch up on the computer when you feel better..So eat your Wheaties every morning and you hands on your wallet.

May 7, 2011 08:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The defenses's argument that George and Cindy should have been barred from attending the trial had nothing to do with how their presence would impact Casey's defense. It had everything to do with how it would make Casey FEEL having her parents look directly into her face as the State unleashes the avalanche of evidence they have mounted against her. Up and until now, the truth has been presented in disjointed bits and pieces and spread over years of hearings. On the 16th of May, beginning with Ashton's opening argument, all of her lies and subterfuge will be laid bare for her parents to see. I think George and Lee believe she's guilty. Not counting the conspiracy nuts, Cindy is the last remaining hold out in America. NEWSFLASH: today is Saturday and Casey has once again refused to see her mother at the jail! Gloucester

May 7, 2011 08:25 am
 Posted by  Mary Jo

Dave, this is a great article! It is understandable why OM hired you to write for them during this trial. Might I add that you were right saying that George and Cindy should be allowed in the court room? I am not understanding this next of kin thing, except that maybe they are because Casey is in jail. JP is a great judge and he takes control of that court room. If any of the Anthony's make any facial expressions, etc. they will be ejected. I have a feeling it won't take long for that to happen. Mr. Lippman did a good job with his arguments in court and he did a great job talking to the media after. He has his clients best interest at heart.It doesn't surprise me that Casey did not want them in there and it didn't surprise me that the defense didn't meet their burden. That seems to be the theme as of late. I am sure that they are going to use one of the Anthony's as their defense in this case. I just hope Cindy, George and Lee are ready. Mr. Lippman only represents G&G, but Lee never filed a motion to be in the trial the whole time. I think that means that he will have to follow the rules of sequestration then, right? Maybe that is how he wants it. I can't wait to see where they end up Monday morning for jury selection and how long it takes to pick one. Thanks again for a great article and I look forward to reading future articles. It is appreciated!

May 7, 2011 08:30 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I would bet that it is Baez refusing the Anthony's from visiting Casey today. It is Baez, not Casey that does not want them in court during trial. Casey probably does not even know she had the decision to allow her parents in trial, or for the jail visit.

I hope the Anthony's sit near the door at trial, because they are going to run out hearing the opening statements, not only the false defense, but the truth from the prosecution. If allowed back into court, they will again run out when they see the remains of Caylee spread out on the ME table, on all of the monitors.

May 7, 2011 08:34 am
 Posted by  Suzanna

Thank you for writing this fine article, Dave!
While I doubt that Mr. & Mrs. Anthony will be in the courtroom for
very long, (unless they are seated in the balcony as I think they should be!)I agree with you that Judge Perry has shown compassion
and wisdom in his rulings. I just love him and my heart goes out to him for what a job he has on this case!

May 7, 2011 08:38 am
 Posted by  Nika

I so agree with you Dave. Casey is not the daughter they once loved and brought into this world. They also loved Caylee dearly. I feel they should be allowed to be in the courtroom and hear everything that goes on as long as they behave. George and Cindy did not murder Caylee and any hint of that would be an injustice to her parents. If Baez has some terrible things to say about life in the Anthony household I hope they are the truth they will just have to cope but if they are more of Casey lies it will be cruel and a total injustice to them. While I do not like what they have done or how they have acted during this time they were trying to save Casey. For Casey to try and take them down with her would be unimaginable.

May 7, 2011 08:54 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Another great, and up to the minute post, Dave. I keep hearing that the defense is going to try and say "Geo. did it"....that's simply not so. imo He loved Caylee more than anyone else. I just feel that this trial is going to get "down and dirty" at times. (the defense) Thank heavens for Judge Perry! I'm sure he will be able to keep everything under control....even Jose Baez and his grandstanding!

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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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