Judge Belvin Perry had a prior commitment for Wednesday afternoon, which meant only a half day for the trial of the millennium. It turned out that he had a state budget meeting and he wanted to be certain that his circuit was well represented when the negotiations began. I tell ya, you gotta fight tooth and nail for every dime these days.
More forensic witnesses were heard Wednesday morning. Essentially, the same pattern as for all the prior defense witnesses evidenced itself. The witness would state what the cops or the medical examiner didn’t do or cite which evidence was never obtained, attempting to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. Then, the prosecution would cross-examine, turning the testimony right around to favor the prosecution. And so it went.
Here’s the big question: Are we ever going to get to hear witnesses who will corroborate Baez’s outlandish claims made in his opening arguments? Baez has been playing it safe and conservative with his witnesses thus far, sticking mainly to scientific opinions. When he eventually hops over the fence to question witnesses who will claim that Casey Anthony was sexually abused by George and Lee Anthony, father and brother, respectively, and that Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, was a domineering bitch, and Caylee, the victim, actually drowned in a pool accident, sparking a cover-up by George and Casey, then — then, the fireworks will really start. The longer he delays calling such witnesses, the more suspect I am that he’s come to realize that he went a bridge too far with those opening bombshells.
Apparently, Casey encountered a fellow inmate in the Orange County jail who discussed her own child’s accidental drowning in the family swimming pool. This conversation presumably occurred before Baez slapped together his opening statements. So, I can imagine the bull session between Baez and Ms. Anthony when Baez was brainstorming his defense strategy:
Ms. Anthony: Can’t we just say she drowned? My cellmate had a kid who drowned. I could just use her story. I’m such a good liar, you know!
Mr. Baez: Oh, yeah! Dat’s da ticket! We’ll do that then. I was going to talk about how your hostile home environment made you a liar.
Ms. Anthony: Hey, talk about that, too. George gave me shit about those gas cans and I don’t like him anymore. And my mom, well, you know she’s a bitch…
Mr. Baez: Now, about that conjugal visit…
Anyhow, I can’t see that cellmate doing much good for the defense, but the prosecution has declared its intention to call some rebuttal witnesses, and this babe could come in handy during that phase — if Baez ever gets around to making his case.
So, in his inept little way, Baez is spending much time attempting to discredit the prosecution, which is backfiring on him because unlike Baez, Jeff Ashton does his homework, preparing nifty cross-examination questions that catch witnesses off guard. He’s been quite successful in turning witnesses around.
At this point it appears as if the trial will be still going on after Independence Day. After the defense rests, there will be some rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution as I mentioned, and then Judge Perry can hand the case over to the jury for deliberation. The lawyers have been ordered to give time estimates by the end of this week. It is expected that defense witnesses will be testifying through the end of next week. Judge Perry has promised that getting behind schedule will mean extended hours for everyone. He originally wanted the jury to begin deliberating on the 25th at the latest, so it’s crunch time.
About the jury, a potential new mishigas has arisen. Apparently, Juror #4 has let the word slip that her religious beliefs would preclude her from judging anyone. Now, why did she not disqualify herself from jury service, especially on such a high visibility trial? This crazy person could easily cause a hung jury, and I’m not sure about the jeopardy implications. Observers in the courtroom have reported that she sits with her arms crossed during prosecution questioning but takes notes during defense questioning. Is this for real?
Here is the Orlando Sentinel bio for Juror #4:
Description: She is a middle aged black female. She heard about the case when it first happened. She survived a preemptory challenge [at jury selection] when prosecutors asked that she be removed from the panel of prospective jurors.
Fast fact: She said she doesn’t like to “judge people.”
Quote: She told attorneys that after seeing the mitigating and aggravating factors, she “thinks” she can recommend a death sentence. “I just don’t like to point my finger at anyone,” she said. “What I mean by that is, judging someone by what they say.”
So, is this just smoke, or is there fire?
We learned that a woman alleged to be George Anthony’s mistress might testify. However, in a deposition taken under oath she claimed not to have had a sexual relationship with George. Sounds to me like another witness Ashton could turn into a boon for the prosecution.
Full day on Thursday, which is liable to run late as well. Will it be another snoozer?