Defense Confuses While State Defuses
After George Anthony took the stand yesterday in what amounted to the state's defusing a very confusing opening statement by the defense, the general consensus among many media folks afterward was that Cindy would be the first one up this morning. Then Lee. I didn't believe it for a minute because, in my mind, the state had no choice but to give George the opportunity to defend himself as vigorously as possible. He did, and when he was excused, he walked away with a lot more public respect than he had prior to the start of the trial. He came across as someone who had just about enough of it. He took his life back. No more buses dropping out of the sky. Of course, after the defense's razzle, dazzle, opening statement, Jose Baez was bound to fizzle, and so he did during cross examination. Enough of that, but before I move away from Tuesday, something happened that should change the entire complexion of this trial. The defense announced something so earth-shattering, it blew the hair right off the top of my head! Well, fuzz, anyway. Casey, through Jose, admitted in open court that Caylee died on June 16, 2008. How she died is something that will be argued during the remainder of the trial, but an acknowledgement of her daughter's death, including the date, opened up the floodgates for the state to make a terrific comeback after what was announced in open court. Since Casey admitted the date of death was June 16th, why not put her friends and acquaintances on the stand and pick apart her demeanor after that date? Did she mourn? Was she depressed? Were there any signs of distress? Like a cat on a mouse, Assistant State Attorney Frank George came ready to pounce. One by one, the witnesses for the state testified on Wednesday that Casey showed no signs of remorse. There were no agonizing moments; no hints whatsoever that anything was wrong in her life. No desperation. Just freedom and fun... LET'S PARTY!!!
One witness really stood out in my mind. No, I don't mean Anthony Lazzaro, but he will, come Round 2 of Baez's cross examination. Maria Kissh was once a girlfriend of one of Lazzaro's roommates, Roy "Clint" House. Now 26, Maria was once a shot girl at Fusian. She was the surprise witness of the day, at least to me. Certainly, she gave similar testimony as everyone else pertaining to Casey's attitude after June 16, but she added an extra ingredient or two. As little as we knew about her before she testified, she knew a thing or two about Casey. After the Hip Hop Showcase Hot Body Contest was held on Friday, June 20, she and Casey spent the night at Lazzaro's apartment with their respective boyfriends. When she got up the next morning, she went to the kitchen where she ran into Casey. She had already met Caylee by then, so it wasn't unusual when she asked Casey where her daughter was. Casey said she was at the beach with the nanny. When asked how much she pays her, Casey said $400 per week. She asked her about Caylee's dad and her living situation. Her father is dead and her parents are moving out within the next several months and giving her the house. Yes, we've heard it all before, but I think it was incredible that she collected so much information in a matter of a few minutes of one-on-one conversation. There seemed to be a certainty with Casey, though. She never had trouble opening up, especially when dispensing lies. It's as if she savored the moments she got something over on someone, like playing a game. One of the things Maria found odd about Casey was that, with the responsibilities of motherhood, she spent so much time at the apartment without Caylee.
Certainly, there was a bevy of personal testimony on Wednesday, with plenty more to come on Thursday, I'm sure. The last man in her life, Mr. Anthony Lazzaro - in the flesh - was the final person to take the stand. I'll bet you that by the time he walks out of that courtroom and heads back to New York, we're going to know a little more about Casey. Kick it up a notch. One thing I noticed about him was his coolness. He stood his ground. He came across as a dude who would like to rid himself of the memories of her, a sad, sad chapter in a life filled with promise. This is something he'll carry with him forever, and I don't blame him for moving away from Orlando. I've got to say one thing about him. At least he left town with his integrity intact.
On Wednesday, Frank George chewed up and spit out the angry tirade of superfluous fluff that spewed out during the defense's opening statement. As much as Jose Baez did to add an element of doubt; that Caylee's death was a horrible accident -- there's absolutely no way the jury is not going to have second thoughts about what really transpired nearly three years ago. Oh, she may escape the death penalty, but I guarantee she will never walk out of the Orange County Courthouse arm-in-arm with Cheney Mason, as he once bragged. Mark my words.
I have just one more thought about the day, and it's based on observations in the courtroom. If you think no one is paying much attention to what transpires, guess again. I try to pick up on little details. We all know a defendant is prepped for a trial, such as making a drug addict look like a librarian, but have you noticed anything peculiar about Casey yet? I did, and so did someone else. We talked about it. Look at Casey's position in the courtroom tomorrow. Look at the backs of the chairs beside her. Many office-style chairs have handles under the seats that adjust the height up or down. Casey's seat is set as low as it can go. She looks quite demure compared to Dorothy Sims, who sits on her left. How could a poor, fragile, frail little thing like her hurt anybody? Why, I'll bet you she never, ever bought a knife or gun at Blockbuster as Baez ridiculously asked Lazzaro.
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