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Casey Anthony trial: closing arguments, facts, data, conclusions, outcomes, deliberations,verdict
© Donald Reinhardt, July 3, 2011. Updated July 4,11,14 and 16,August 5, 8, September 10, 15 2011; January 11, 2013
A child, Caylee Anthony age 2, is dead. A mother, Casey Anthony age25, is the accused and incarcerated defendant. The Casey Anthony trial has run and spun to the end with closing arguments on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4, 2011. And how does all the evidence for murder in the first degree for Casey Anthony hold up as presented by Jeff Ashton, Linda Burdick and colleagues for the State of Florida and the District Attorney's Office? And what have the defense lawyers – Jose Baez, Cheney Mason and associates – done to disprove the allegations for murder one? The jury delivered their decision on July 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM as indicated at the end of this article.
Twelve true facts of the Casey Anthony trial : Florida prosecutor evidence and closing statements and data
Here are a dozen clear and specific facts inthe Casey Anthony case that were gleaned from live and recorded Anthony court proceedings on HLN (Headline News) and FNN (Fox News Network):
1. Caylee, the toddler baby, was dead for over a month during which time Casey Anthony, Caylee'smother, continued to indicate to her parents and many others that all was well with her and the baby.
2. During this period of time Casey Anthony partied and had fun. She celebrated and had a carefree attitude which included getting a new tattoo that celebrated the good life –"Bella Vita" –on her left shoulder.
3. Casey Anthony is a proven, known, habitual liar and fabricator of information who regularly loved parties and having fun as a single mom. She told her parents she was employed at Universal Studios, although she never held a job for over the last two years. She repeatedly lied about various events and situations and the status of her toddler daughter Caylee. She lied and distorted information as to where she was staying (Tampa, Clearwater) while all the time being with her boyfriend in her hometown of Orlando, Florida closeby to her parents.
4. Casey it is alleged knew her baby was dead, but never told or revealed that to anyone. Casey continued to indicate to everyone over a period of almost a month that all was well with her and Caylee.
5. Cindy Anthony, the mother of Casey Anthony, reported to 911 that she feared her granddaughter, the baby Caylee, was in danger now and there was need for an investigation because her daughter just told her, after many weeks of asking about Caylee, that a nanny or babysitter had abducted little Caylee.
6. Caylee's toddler body was found in December, 2008 with most of the decayed body of bones wrapped in a blanket and a plastic bag. Roy Kronk, a meter reader, was the finder and informer of the location of Caylee Anthony's discarded bodily remains.
7. DNA evidence revealed the baby was definitely Caylee Anthony. Skull and other skeletal remains all correlated with that of Caylee.
8. The toddler's head had pieces of duct tape wrapped onto the mandible and upper skull and this tape most probably covered the nose and mouth area of the toddler. A forensic specialist suggested that this presentation of the skull and the duct tape was strong evidence of actual murder and not an accidental death. There were no fingerprints nor DNA evidences recovered by the crime lab from the specific garbage bag or duct tape associated with Caylee's remains at the crime scene. However, weathering due to heat and water and other environmental conditions, could destroy or wash away such evidence over a period of some 6 months of exposure and decomposition.
9. The duct tape was a unique and rare form of tape manufactured in Ohio and found in the Anthony home. All members of the family, including Casey, had free access to this tape.
10. Forensic investigation indicated the possibility of suffocation by this duct tape with or without the associated chloroform residue detected in Casey Anthony's car. The odor of death or decay in the trunk of Casey's car was testified to by witnesses for the prosecution.
11. Evidence of some heart-shaped stickers, similar to some in Caylee's bedroom, was found at the crime scene.
12. In addition to the presence of chloroform and human decomposition odors in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car there were also some fly maggots.
Twelve ideas the Casey Anthony defense used to show and create reasonable doubt in the jury
1. The Anthony family is dysfunctional and family members apparently lie regularly and all family have done so in the past and even presently in this trial.
2. The presence of a pool and its use by Cindy and Caylee particularly was highlighted. The possibility of the ladder being left down and not stored up and the accidental drowning of Caylee was strongly suggested.
3. Particular emphasis was placed on George Anthony as a lying, unfaithful husband, who tried to commit suicide.
4. George Anthony was portrayed as having been unfaithful to his wife in an affair, which he denies, with Krystal Holloway.
5. The statement and specific words that "it was an accident that snowballed out of control" told by George Anthony to this alleged mistress and volunteer searchworker, Krystal Holloway, were highlighted. This statement was strongly suggested as evidence in part that there was an accident at the Anthony's home and that Caylee probably drowned at the pool. The defense then suggested that this drowning was covered up by George Anthony and that he disposed of the toddler's body using a ritual for burial of pet dogs. Caylee's body was found wrapped in a blanket inside a plastic bag with a unique and rare form of Ohio-manufactured duct tape from the Anthony home. All of the six or so Anthony family pets had been buried in a similar manner. Again, the specific duct tape is of a unique and limited type, labeling and manufacture from Ohio. Jose Baez, the defense lawyer, contended that the duct tape links George Anthony to an actual and true coverup and burial following a hypothetical or supposed drowning death of Caylee Anthony in the Anthony pool.
6. The delay in the sheriff, FBI or other authorities in finding the body during the August to December period was emphasized. The first reports of Roy Kronk in August and the position of the bag and the skull was carefully presented as suggesting that Roy Kronk moved and manipulated evidence to prevent authorities from finding it right away. The additional December calls to the authorities, made again by Roy Kronk the meter reader, were suggested by the defense as showing Roy Kronk had a vested interest in self-aggrandizement and reward money for personal profit. Also, the possible use of a meter stick to touch and lift the skull of Caylee Anthony was used to show tampering with evidence and is critical to the case. The position of Caylee's skull – whether in or out of the bag and at what times – according to all the testimony of Roy Kronk, was placed in doubt as presented and argued by the defense.
7. The testimony by Roy Kronk's estranged son is important. Kronk's son said his dad told him in November that he – Roy Kronk –would soon be famous. This November date was used by the defense to show that evidence was being hidden from authorities a month earlier by Roy Kronk. Kronk disputes the son's recollection as the son's confusion with a December call rather than a November call. The son says the phone call was made definitely in November.
8. The statement by Cindy Anthony, the mom of Casey, that she searched for chlorophyll and chloroform on the family computer is evidence the defense used to dispute the claim that Casey Anthony herself did those searches. The prosecution has presented rebuttal witnesses for the computer forensic evidence that show Cindy was at work and not at home during the home computer search times in question.
9. A specific chloroform detection methodology (used by the State of Florida to confirm chloroform concentrations found in the Casey's car trunk) was challenged as an inadequate and unverifiablec hloroform detection method.
10. The fly maggot evidence  was challenged as related to and coming from garbage stored in the trunk and not related to a human body. There was no evidence of Casey Anthony fingerprints or DNA on the recovered Caylee remains duct tape or garbage bag. Further, the manner of the prosecution's autopsy and the examination of the skull was challenged as inadequate and insufficient and raising doubt as to the true cause of death.
The cause of Caylee Anthony's death was challenged as not established by the evidence on hand and presented to the jury in this case. How did Caylee Anthony really die and at whose hands? That is the question that the jury will have to seek out. Is this murder in the first degree, or simply a case of aggravated manslaughter, or is Casey Anthony totally not guilty? The jury will have to sort all of the data, facts, information, lies, half-truths and inferences presented during this trial.
11. Defense Baez in his concluding defense statements actually remarked that Casey is a troubled, maladjusted and improperly-acting person, but she is not a murderer. Casey did not kill her daughter to get freedom, Baez contended for the defense. She had no motive to kill her own child.
12. The defense concluded that the pool ladder was left in the down position by Cindy Anthony. This down, rather than up, position would have allowed Caylee to climb up and into the pool. Cindy denied that the ladder was in the down position and swore that it was stored up and above the ground. Baez asserts that Caylee left the house on her own through an unlocked sliding glass door that she could open, went to the pool, climbed the ladder, entered the pool and drowned while Casey and George were home at the same time with Caylee.
The charges in this case include the possibilities of first degree murder, felony murder, second degree murder,aggravated child abuse with willful intent to injure, involuntary manslaughter are among the charges that are related death of Caylee and these are the various possible charges on the table for jurors to determine.
Casey Anthony, Age 25, Mug Arrest Photo, Wikipedia Commons
Five mysteries and problems of the Casey Anthony trial for murder one of Caylee Anthony
1. If this was a simple accidental death then why would there be a need to lie and cover it up? Is the need for a good life and party mode of Casey Anthony enough to explain Caylee Anthony's death at the hands of her mother?
2. How could the sheriff's deputies mess up so badly in August and not go with Mr. Kronk to the exact site of the skull and bag? Evidence definitely was degraded further until the actual second report and finding in December.
3. Who is lying about what and who is telling the truth? Not everything is clear and true with either the defense witnesses or the prosecution witnesses? For example, Cindy Anthony said she looked for chlorophyll and chloroform on the home computer and this seemed to some as an apparent attempt by Cindy to cover and protect Casey as having done those searches. Rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution showed that Cindy was at work on the days the searches were done on the home computer. Casey Anthony never took the stand (never testified) to clarify any of the mysteries that have developed or been contrived.
4. How Caylee Anthony actually died is really unknown and there is a heavy burden on the state of Florida to prove murder in the first degree, felony murderer even aggravated child abuse with death.
5. What will be the impact of all the present facts and evidence in this case on the jury and which evidence and testimonies will weigh the heaviest? Until all jurors reveal the reasons for their decisions some of the aspects discussed above will remain unclear.
The trial closing arguments were made by the prosecution and defense on Sunday, July 3. On July 4,2011 the prosecution's final points were made by Ashton with concluding remarks by Linda Burdick. The evidence and its validity and strength were emphasized. Linda Burdick played the frantic call of Cindy Anthony to 911 which expressed her concern that her daughter now had admitted for the first time that toddler Caylee had been kidnapped by the babysitter/nanny – Zanny the Nanny. Another call was played by Burdick from the jail where Casey berated her mom and expressed concern only for her boyfriend's phone number while Casey cussed quite regularly and prolifically. The prosecution ending with side-by-side pictures of Casey in party mode and another photo of the"Bella Vita" tattoo on her shoulder.
On the 4th of July, the jury selected a jury foreperson and began deliberations of all of the evidence, data, facts, theories and questions. Is Casey Anthony guilty or not guilty in the death of Caylee? Is this a case of murder in the first degree, felony murder or aggravated child abuse with death? The jury will decide and, hopefully, reach a unified opinion. But it will take all twelve to agree as to what is the truth as they see it. Will a uniform jury verdict be reached or will the jury be divided and hung and unable to reach a unanimous decision? That decision should come within a few days and will be made probably no later than July 11th as one educated and simple guess.
The Jury's Verdict for Casey Anthony Case, July 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM: Not Guilty of Murder or Aggravated Child Abuse
The jury has deliberated for two days that encompassed about 10 to 11 hours of deliberation. Today, these twelve jurors returned a verdict of not guilty of murder or aggravated child abuse – all three charges of murder were deemed not to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, one day after July 4 – American Independence Day – there soon will be freedom and independence for Casey Anthony. This is a verdict that involves not guilty on all murder and aggravated assault charges but proven guilty as to her false statements to law officers. For Caylee Anthony there was only two years of life. For Casey Anthony there is a lifetime to think about and evaluate all these events. The death of Caylee Anthony and the life of Casey Anthony are both stories of tragedy and continued mystery.
Jeff Ashton, Lead Prosecutor in Casey Anthony Case, Post-Trial Interviews and Retirement
© Donald Reinhardt, July 6, 2011
Jeff Ashton announced this July 6, 2011 that after thirty years as prosecutor he will retire on July 8, 2011 as he had planned. In an interview with Matt Lauer of of "Today" on NBC, Ashton who was the co-lead prosecutor with Linda Drane Burdick said the Anthony case was varied, complex and difficult. When he first heard the verdicts of not guilty Ashton said he mouthed "Wow" about five times because he had thought there was a good case for a guilty verdict. Nevertheless, he said he respects the jury's decision because that is the process to be honored and respected. He believed that the jury would make the same connections that the prosecutors had, but he conceded that lack of the true cause of death for Caylee Anthony was an issue and that opinions differed as to a true motive for the killing or death of Caylee Anthony. Jeff Ashton also remarked that over his 30 years as a prosecutor of some 80 murder cases, 12 of which involved the death penalty, that there were some cases that had far more disturbing "not guilty" findings and those bother him more than what happened in the Anthony trial. See the Matt Lauer interview of Jeff Ashton.
July 7, 2011, Casey Anthony sentence, judicial rulings, defense challenges to 4 convictions of lying to authorities
Lysabeth Fryer for the defense, used the Hamill Case and the ruling of double-jeopardy asserted that on July 16 Casey Anthony committed only one act of lying or misleading the authorities and not four acts. This position was based on no separation in time or space of the lying. Linda Burdick asserted in response for the State that each lie was separated in time and each was intended to mislead and cause a "wild goose chase". The issue is were there breaks in this lying? The prosecution contends that there were four separate acts that do not violate the principle of double jeopardy. Several examples were given as in the Anderson case and other cases. The presiding judge of the Casey Anthony case, today reviewed this defense position (as a brief) and summarized the jury's findings and made the following statements and decisions:
  • Count 4 of the indictment dealt with lie of employment at Universal Studios during the investigtion and expend resources
  • Count 5 involved the alleged statement of casey Anthony to leaveher daughter at the Sawgrass Apartments with Zanny
  • Count 6 involved the misinformation of informing two employeesabout her missing child and involved money and personnel followup
  • Count 7 was a lie of receiving a call from Caylee via the babysitter and expend manpower
The judge ruled that the defense and prosecution will review all the time served and determine when the full sentence has been served. By the next day it was ruled that time served and good behavior by Casey Anthony will permit her release on July 17, 2011 which is almost 3 full years to the day from the time it was known that Caylee was missing and that Casey had lied about her daughter's status for about 31 days. Court costs for the search by the authorities may be charged to Casey Anthony.
The Caylee Anthony death and the Casey Anthony Case and verdict of not guilty despite some terrific and horrendous lies by Casey Anthony, have started a call for a new child-protective law called"Caylee's Law". Caylee's Law would make it a felony for a parent or caretaker to not report to authorities a missing child within 24 hours, or the death of a child within 1 one hour of death. This law, or some reasonable facsimile, will probably be the one good that is generated from the evil of what happened to this innocent and sweet, two-year-old girl.
How the Casey Anthony Jurors Deliberated and Decided the Issues, Foreman and Jurors Speak about the Case
Most of the jurors have been silent on the case as of Juy 13, 2011, only one alternate, plus juror 3 and juror 11 the foreman have spoken out on the trial. Greta van Sustern evoked the most complete and full explanation on the case at a Fox News interview. Here is what is revealed:
  • The jurors quickly chose juror 11 as the foreman – he had over 400 pages of personal notes.
  • A preliminary assessment established that the vote was 10 to 2 for not guilty of charges 1, 2 and 3 for murder.
  • The charges for Casey Anthony having lied to authorities fell 12 to 0 for guilty of all 4 charges.
  • Evaluation of the evidence was difficult because of the age and decay of the body of Caylee.
  • The roles of the detected chloroform and the unique duct tape as they related to the actual manner of death of Caylee was not uncovered or proven according to the jury foreman.
  • The jurors felt that the behavior of Casey Anthony was despicable and poor, however the evidence of a murder or the crime of aggravated assault was not there to connect her to the actual death of her daughter. Her negligent behavior and lying did not speak well.
  • George Anthony, Casey's dad, was a suspicious, distrusted witness for either the prosecution or the defense. His infidelity, various tetimonies andbehaviors – including a suicide attempt –did little to satisfy the jury as to his truthfulness, clarity and stability as a person or a witness.
  • The foreman said that Casey Anthony has issues that he does not understand and he indicated that she definitely has problems.
  • Casey Anthony's failure to testify was her respected right by all jurors and was not held against her – this was obvious in the verdict.
  • Casey Anthony's emotive tears at various times were not determined to be of significance or the influence in the foreman's mind.
  • There was no sorrow or sympathy by the foreman for either Casey or George Anthony since neither party reached out to authorities for help in finding Caylee as did grandmother Cindy Anthony.
  • The verdict sheet was a sad time for all the jurors according to the foreman because everyone saw so many problems among members of the Anthony family.
  • Roy Kronk, the utilityman who discovered and reported the skull and the body,was not discussed much according to the foreman.Roy Kronk was not directly involved with the Anthony house or the Anthonys personally.
  • The foreman's belief is that Caylee was placed in Casey's car and that the body was transported to the Surburban Drive location by someone who is really not known
  • After the verdict was rendered and signed the jury was somber, silent and not relaxed.
Casey Anthony Prison Release and Post-Trial Activities
The release of Casey Anthony from jail occurred at 12:14 AM, Sunday, July 17, 2011. This release is part of the continuing story and mystery of the once-missing-now-found-dead daughter Caylee Anthony.
Now, there will be a flurry of emerging and dynamic stories of counseling and protection for Casey Anthony and at least two civil suits against her as Caylee's negligent and lying mother:
  1. "EquuSearch"is filing a suit for expenses of approximately $100,000 that they expended in asituation fraught with lying and deception by Casey. 
  2. Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez is filing a claim of defamation of character relating to references to her as being "Zanny the Nanny" who kinapped and sequestered Caylee from Casey.
David Li of the New York Post reported that Casey Anthony had been spotted in Ohio. Photos reveal that Casey has put on some weight and donned designer glasses and a cap to change her appearance somewhat. Aspects of the N.Y. Post story with photos from "Splash" should be available at this web location. Some investigators have speculated that the photos were setup and permitted by insiders to the defense legal team and Casey Anthony. In this manner money could be obtained from magazines that pay well for celebrity photos and news. As much as $100,000 or more can be obtained for a series of photos as was recently publicized. Who took the proported Casey Anthony pictures and who got the money? So far it is still a mystery, but the legal defense team is paying all of Casey Anthony's bills and as far as anyone knows she has no money, no job and no savings. 
Her attorneys also were able to avoid Casey Anthony's return to Orlando this August for probation hearings that were related to her check fraud episodes in 2010. The check fraud was committed during the time of her daughter's disappearance. Judge Belvin Perry issued a stay on the order for Casey's return based on her lawyers vigorous protests that Anthony's life would be endangered by a return to Orlando. It still is to be determined whether or not Anthony will be on probabtion for a year for the check fraud charges. That report will appear here as soon as the judge issues a formal statement.
Will We Ever Know What Really Happened to Caylee Anthony?
Probably only Casey Anthony knows the true story and that real story is sad no matter what it is. Casey Anthony never testified, nor was she required to, and there are unknown, true facts that are hidden here as in a deep fog and mist of multiple Casey Anthony lies and untruths. Only time will tell the rest of the story. Sometimes the truth surfaces years or decades later. No need to linger here and wait. It is time to move forward and support Caylee's law. 
Meanwhile, remember to get on with the rest of your life. Do good and do well because the living is left to us who still live. And remember to think and live well always.
Judge Belvin Perry Orders Casey Anthony Pay Almost $100,000

Judge Perry has ruled this day, September 15, 2011, that rather than repay almost $500,000 in search costs, Casey Anthony must pay a total of just under $100,000 as a result of lies and fabrications about her missing daughter (Caylee Anthony). The lies and fabrications were ruled as misleading authorities and wasted search time and monies when the real facts were hidden by the recently- acquitted defendant. This judicial report was posted recently by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Post Trial Casey Anthony Findings – Computer Shows Search for Fool-Proof Suffocation Methods
The Orange County, Florida Sheriff's Department reported that it had missed during the investigation, but later found, that there were searches for "fool-proof suffication (suffocation) methods" on the Mozilla Firefox search engine computer regularly used by Casey Anthony. As reported in U.S.A. Today (November 25, 2012), these searches were done on June 16, 2008, the last day little Caylee Anthony was still seen alive. This finding represents a serious and glaring mistake by the Sheriff's Department. Normally, the F.B.I. is called in to assist local law enforcement to understand and capture useful information wherever it may be found. In this case they did not assist with the computer evidence and reviews. Unfortunately for the Casey Anthony case prosecutors, the suffocation searches showed up after the trial had ended. Would these findings have made a difference? Possibly. Was the defense prepared to deal with the evidence they knew was possibly incriminating. Yes. The suggestion would have been that George Anthony was contemplating suicide and he was the one searching for suffocation. Who misspelled the word suffocate? The one who did the search. And who was the searcher, that is the unanswered question. 
Judge H. Lee Sorokin's Opinion on Why Casey Anthony was Found "Not Guilty" by the Jury
Judge Sorokin speculates there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to tie Casey Anthony to the murder of her daughter. Unfortunately, the judge in that case did not specifiy that circumstantial evidence has value and may be critical in helping a jury to reach a proper verdict. What was that circumstantial evidence that Sorokin points out?
  • Casey Anthony was the last person to have custody of her daughter
  • Casey Anthony failed to report her daughter missing (or dead) for 31 days
  • she consistently lied when confronted after the child was found dead and hidden
  • she failed to disclose to disclose what really happened to her family, friends or law enforcement despite repeated opportunities and even when faced with the death penalty.
Judge Sorokin believes that these trial facts were sufficient to find Casey Anthony guilty, not primarily of premeditated murder, but certainly the lesser charges. Other forensic evidence, including the duct tape, provided additional useful evidence for a conviction which did not happen.
AP Reports Casey Anthony Files for Bankruptcy in Florida, January 27, 2013
Yes, lawyer bills, legal judgments, suits and unpaid bills have led Casey Anthony back to court in Flordia to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As reported by the Associated Press, Casey Anthony has liabilities of $792,000 ($500,000 in legal defense and court fees; $145,660 owed to the Orange County Sheriff's Department for administrative and investigative fees; $68,540 to the IRS in unpaid taxes and fees; $61,505 to Florida law Enforcement for legal fees) and assets of only $1,100. Casey Anthony currently has no income or job and has several civil suits pending, including one for defamation of name and reputation of Fernandez-Gonzalez who was implicated as a babysitter who took Caylee and hid her away. Casey Anthony was found guilty on 4 counts (2 have been dismissed and 2 are still valid) of lying to detectives about her missing daughter. This almost never-ending story of Casey Anothony continues on. will continue to update you on other important news and views of the Casey Anthony trial as it unfolds.
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Copyrighted report and analysis by Donald Reinhardt