Casey Anthony sits in her cell awaiting her release on Sunday, July 17, while we sit and wonder where she’ll go, how she’ll remain incognito, and whether she’ll resume her party girl existence of days of yore. Although her attorneys have given few clues about Ms. Anthony’s plans once she exits the slammer, a few current events might require a little toe dancing if she is to disappear into the landscape. All will not be peaches and cream for the nubile prevaricator when she gets out.
Lots of developments have arisen over the past week. What follow here are some of the little hitches as well as some of the continuing circus machinations that face Miss Mendacious on her release from the slammer.
On the evening of the day on which a jury found her not guilty of all felony counts, Anthony was served a subpoena to appear at the offices of plaintiff counsel Morgan & Morgan on July 19, two days after her release, for a deposition in the civil case González v. Anthony. One Zenaida Fernández-González of neighboring Osceola County is suing Anthony for sullying her name during the plethora of lies Casey used to cover up the disappearance of her daughter for thirty-one days. A woman named Zenaida Fernández-González was named by Anthony as the babysitter who first was tending to Caylee and then absconded with her. Ms. González is represented by noted Orlando personal injury/accident contingency attorney John Morgan, whose slogan is “For the People.”
I’m not sure how well Morgan has done with defamation suits in the past, but he’s been rather successful in his main line of work. Still, this one is a stretch. There are probably 1200 Zenaida Gonzálezes in the Bronx telephone directory. What makes it interesting is her hyphen: she’s a Fernández-González. There are probably only 12 of them in the Bronx directory. Actually, I have no idea, but those are extremely common Spanish surnames, and I’ve known a couple of Zenaidas in my time (not carnally); thus, Zenaida is not uncommon as a given name. The field having been whittled down just a bit, I’ve now got to wonder what tricks Morgan has up his sleeve to let the other side think he has enough proof of Ms. González being damaged by Casey Calumny’s damn lies to win in court, so he can squeeze a settlement out of them.
Earlier this week, Mr. Morgan expressed concern that Ms. Anthony would immediately change her appearance and skip town upon her release. Yesterday, Morgan filed an emergency motion asking Judge José Rodriguez to compel Casey’s appearance at the deposition saying he’s worried she might leave the area. He also requested a hearing and suggested that Anthony’s deposition could be taken in jail. Anthony’s civil attorney Charles Greene filed a fiery response this morning. Greene’s response asked Judge Rodríguez to cancel the hearing, stop the deposition and schedule a case management conference which would, essentially, set up how the case should proceed.
It’s the usual lawyer stall tactic. One of the reasons Greene gave was that Casey needed to have counsel available and present for the proceedings, but Green had a trial starting (conveniently) on Tuesday. He said that if Ms. Anthony was required to testify this week, she would have no recourse but to assert her Fifth Amendment rights. (In this Turkey’s non-legal mind, he thought that the Fifth Amendment affected only one’s right not to testify for one’s self in criminal trials, not civil proceedings. But who am I?) Further, Greene said that Casey was worn out from the trial, and there’s no need to consider this an emergency. Like give her time to rest up.
Yeah, and presumably escape. I’m expecting Casey to suddenly become a short-haired blonde with a pocket full of airline tickets. Defense counsel Cheney Mason, on the NBC Today show, said that she would have to disappear for a while to escape all those who would potentially harm her. When asked if Ms. Anthony would be leaving the country, Mason chortled, “It’s her country as much as anyone else’s.” Meanwhile, lead defense counsel José Baez says her plans are a secret. They better be, as Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings has stated that the county does not intend to provide any special considerations for Ms. Anthony. Mr. Baez met with her today in jail under attorney client privilege. No details were divulged.
In any case, a meeting will be held at 8 AM on Friday to determine who does what to whom with respect to González v. Anthony.
Texas EquuSearch Suit
On Tuesday afternoon, volunteer search outfit Texas EquuSearch filed a lawsuit against Casey Anthony, asking for $112,000 in expenses incurred by the organization to search for Caylee Anthony. Because of Casey the EquuVocator’s bald faced lies, the volunteer group was sent on a wild goose chase. EquuBoss Tim Miller was particularly peeved about the defense’s statement that Caylee was never missing. If Caylee was never missing, then why the hell was Texas EquuSearch called in? “It was Jose Baez’s opening statement when he said Caylee was never missing because she had died, that got me really upset,” Miller said. “We were lied to and misled.” Miller’s non-profit group had to turn down 15 other families that asked for assistance in 2008 because they were searching for Caylee, he said.
Here is the press release from the Texas EquuSearch web site:
07/12/11 — With the advice of our legal counsel, Marc Wites and Alex Kapetan of Wites & Kapetan, and the approval of our Board of Directors, Texas EquuSearch has filed a civil suit against Casey Anthony in an effort to recoup expenses in the search for Caylee Anthony. This case was filed in the 9th Judicial District Circuit in and for Orange County, FL; styled Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery v. Casey Anthony; Cause No. 11-CA-8475. A copy of the Complaint will be available on our website later this afternoon.
For a downloadable copy of the Complaint, click here.
State of Florida Seeks to Recover Prosecution Costs
You might recall that after the verdict was rendered and the trial wound down, the prosecution asked the judge for a conference to address the State seeking more than $500,000 in investigation and prosecution costs from Ms. Anthony. Again, the premise is that Caylee was never missing, according to the defense, and the soft-soaping Anthonys all knew where she was all along. Absent any mystery, the State would not have had to investigate anything. In a way, the “not guilty” verdict on the felony counts against Casey hammered down the State’s claim that the time spent on the case was wasted. In my non-legal, off the top of my head opinion, I’ve got to think this one is a long shot. A conference between the opposing counsel and Judge Perry will take place in late August.
Casey Offered a Cool Million for Tell-All
Whereas TV sleaze ball Jerry Springer denied making any kind of offer to Casey Anthony to appear on his show, freelance producer Al Taylor, who lists the Jerry Springer Show as one of his clients, has offered Ms. Anthony $1,000,000 for her first post-jail interview. Before Springer denied it, the presumed destination for her tell-all interview would have been Springer’s show, but because of his denial, it is now believed that Taylor will find another venue, should the million dollar check succeed in bringing Casey out of the woodwork.
You have to believe that this kind of deal would be tempting for Casey and her attorney, José Baez. However, given all the above pending and potential law suits against Ms. Anthony, she cannot be running around blowing her mouth off in public. Nevertheless, Taylor continues to prod, telling the media that any interview would be “hardball”, that Anthony would be asked tough questions and would be expected to answer them; if she were to be evasive, she would be given the third degree. Like that’s going to work with the little hyperbolizer (not a Turkey neologism — this one came from WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Shaeffer). Casey will go balls to the wall, switch on the afterburners, and lie like a damn rug!
Jury Foreman Speaks Out
While the lead juror’s face was never shown, he was interviewed at length by Fox’s Greta Van Susteren. The mystery foreman said that the jury began their ten hours of deliberation after an initial straw vote wound up 10-2 not guilty. Eventually, the two dissenters were swayed to accept the not guilty position, which the majority felt was appropriate in the absence of adequate proof by the state of any of the felony charges against Ms. Anthony. As deliberations proceeded, jurors attempted to find Casey guilty of any of the array of felony charges brought against her (first degree murder, second degree murder, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and aggravated child abuse) but they could not satisfy themselves that the State had proven anything other than four first degree misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a police officer.
It is a jury’s duty to ensure that reasonable doubt does not exist when they decide on a conviction. In this jury’s collective mind, the defense planted sufficient doubts in their minds with its theory that Caylee was not murdered but died accidentally, drowning in the Anthony’s backyard pool while Casey was not around. It wasn’t as if the jury actually believed this fantastic, Caseyesque lie, but it served to throw them into “what if” mode when they heard witnesses’ testimony. Absent any material witnesses, they were forced to go with gut feelings. George Anthony’s purported lies on the stand about his affair with Crystal Holloway (aka River Cruz) increased the jury’s skepticism over the State’s case while increasing the possibilities that the defense theory held water (no pun intended).
This Turkey feels that the jury could have done a better job of connecting the dots. I am indeed quite convinced that the circumstances surrounding young Caylee’s death involved an accident that spiraled out of control, as the defense put it, but not in the manner in which the defense proposed. There should have been no doubt among the jury that Crazy Casey was a party girl. There was also evidence that Casey loved her daughter and enjoyed being with her. Unfortunately, the two concepts didn’t mix very well. A young child’s needs cannot be compartmentalized; they arise sporadically 24 hours per day. Furthermore, nearing three years of age, Caylee could talk, thus representing a danger that Casey’s lies in defense of her hedonistic lifestyle would be revealed by a slip of little Caylee’s tongue. Clearly, Caylee’s grandparents, George and Cindy, would not approve of Casey’s decadent lifestyle in combination with raising their grandchild if they knew what was really going on. Actually, it seems to me that George and Cindy were more involved in properly raising Caylee than was Casey. To Casey, Caylee was a sweet, lovable toy to put up on the shelf when she wanted to play adult games. Therefore, Casey concocted the deception about “Zanny the Nanny” taking care of Caylee while Casey worked the mythical job at Universal studios to assuage her parents’ concerns while Casey and Caylee were living with her boyfriend of the moment, Tony, and Casey was partying as only Casey could.
My scenario: Casey wanted to party one night while they were living with Tony and Caylee was being a pain; Casey gave her some Xanax (Zanny the Nanny) to shut her up, but it turned out to be an overdose. Casey returned to her boyfriend’s house to find Caylee dead, and as she was drunk out of her gourd, she made a very bad decision to put Caylee in the trunk of her Pontiac Sunfire in order to sleep it off and decide at a later time what to do with the body. After attempting to bury the child in her parents’ back yard a few days later and finally giving up, dumping her into the swampy woods down the street from the family homestead, she partied and lied through 31 days before it was impossible to maintain the deception any longer. You all know the rest and how it played out in court. This is just the way I see it. It isn’t a major stretch to think that the jury could have seen it the same way, assuming that they weren’t concentrating on first degree murder. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” does not mean “beyond every shadow of a doubt.”
However, I think this jury was completely spooked by the potential for the death penalty. Even though that punishment was associated only with a first degree murder conviction, and it would be the jury’s decision whether or not to recommend it, I believe they were extra careful to avoid convicting Casey on any of the felony counts. The State was overzealous and perhaps seeking political gain when it initially pressed for the death penalty, which it never should have done. First of all, at the time, it lacked the even the most basic evidence of first degree murder: a dead body. Its asinine obsession with chloroform, when no toxicological analysis could be performed on a body already too decomposed, could have been toned down. In the end, at least for murder one, the corpus delicti was completely inadequate. If the prosecution had concentrated on proving aggravated manslaughter of a child, it might have succeeded. Lesser charges such as aggravated child neglect make more sense as alternatives in this context. The jurors were forced to consider all the evidence as it related first and foremost to first degree murder. As the foreman stated, during deliberation they tried to fit the evidence to each of the other felonies but failed. Who knows what they might have done if they weren’t thinking about first degree murder during the six weeks of the trial.
More than twenty states have jumped on the bandwagon caused by the public outcry over Ms. Anthony’s not guilty verdict, proposing a law — Caylee’s Law — that would make it a felony to wait more than a specified number of hours before reporting a missing child to the police. Of the twenty states, three have put their money where their mouth is: Florida, New Jersey, and Tennessee. The number of hours and the punishment for violation varies from state to state. In Florida, if the law passes, it will be a felony to wait more than two hours to report a missing child.
If such a law had been in place, the jury could have easily found Casey guilty of this felony. However, some opponents of the bill feel that the harsh penalty could cause unnecessary anxiety for grieving parents.
Bucks for Jurors’ Stories?
A Central Florida state legislator, Scott Randolph (D-Orlando) announced today that he wants to introduce legislation that would require a 270-day cooling off period after a trial before a juror could speak out in public about the trial. He believes that the pressure on jurors to tell all about high profile cases immediately after the trial constitutes a flaw in our legal system. Randolph, through his spokesperson, local lawyer Mark Nejame, wants to end the money game played by jurors. “This is a civic duty,” NeJame said. “A jury summons is not tantamount to a winning lottery ticket.”
Meanwhile, First Amendment specialist Larry Walters declared the proposed law unconstitutional. “Jurors have a clear First Amendment right to make a profit from their life story and experiences just like anyone else,” Walters said. “From the perspective of the proposed law, it’s the position that it’s OK to violate someone’s First Amendment right for 270 days.”
The Media Circus Continues
Tonight (Thursday), the lovely and obnoxious Nancy Grace of Head Line News will air more recordings of jailhouse conversations involving Casey Anthony. Anyone in the mood to hear more of “Tot Mom’s” bald faced lies and creative story telling should tune in at 8 PM. Anyone who doesn’t care should tune out and stop bitching about all the Casey Anthony coverage. (You wouldn’t be watching Nancy Grace, anyhow.)
As obnoxious as Nancy Grace is, tonight’s show won’t hold a candle to what might happen Sunday, the day of Casey’s release from over three years’ incarceration in the Orange County jail. I would expect some high priced media vultures to appear on the scene. Geraldo Rivera no doubt will be there bragging about how he had the verdict right all along, as well as Greta, Nancy, and other sundry attention seekers. There will be protesters and supporters and a lot of decoy cops stationed by the main gate, in an attempt to lead everyone to believe that’s where Casey will be coming out. Okay, I’m using some imagination here, but who knows what is really going to happen on Sunday? Jerry Demings, Orange County Sheriff, says there will be no special preparations. I’m not really believing Ol’ Jer (whom I first met when he was in charge of programming traffic signals).
Consider this scenario: Casey, having been given a cook’s outfit, a gray wig with a hair net, and some wrinkles and age spots by an imported Universal Studios makeup artist, exits via a rear loading dock. A white Ford Bronco pulls up to the dock, and Ms. Anthony is quickly ushered inside to the back seat. Al Cowlings, hired for his experience in doing getaways for high-profile innocent murderers, greets her and gives her his cell phone, in case she has to talk to the media to threaten suicide like a female O.J.
Cowlings slowly drives the Bronco onto the I-4 ramp at 33rd Street, picks up a police escort, and continues driving… slowly…
More Casey updates as this ridiculous side show continues!