Bug Expert: Casey Anthony Prosecutors Got It Wrong - Page 2
What was not asked by reporters in the interview, was whether or not the phone number had belonged in July of 2008 to someone Thompson knew or had known, or if the number was given to him at random by the phone company in February of 2009.
Verbal sparring over a bug-expert’s credentials
For the entire day, Dr. Timothy Huntington, a forensic etymologist and professor, had the stand. Huntington began his testimony with a life-cycle description of flies that tend to show up near corpses. “Insects discover dead bodies very, very quickly,” stated Huntington, who went on to say that the larvae of these flies can travel as much as 60 feet from a corpse when going through a part of their life cycle.
Huntington described how larvae casings shed during maggot growth processes could be used to estimate the time of death of a body they are tied to. Huntington discussed in particular blowflies, which have a incredibly strong ability to locate and get to dead bodies. Because blowflies do not have as strong a “cue” to move on, dead blowflies are often trapped with a body and their little bodies are often found surrounding a decomposing body.
Huntington discussed studies he performed on pigs placed in a variety of locations to decompose, including in the trunk of a car. Graphic photos were shown to underscore a discussion of maggot activity, displacement of decomposition-related fluids, and typical skeletal settling during these studies. State prosecutor Jeff Ashton objected often, questioning Huntington’s expertise in these areas. Baez reminded the prosecution team that the State’s bug expert, Dr. Neal Haskell, also gave testimony related to bodily decomposition.
Things got a bit heated in the courtroom, and at one time prosecution attorney Ashton telling the judge that he thought he saw defense attorney Jose Baez texting. Perry stated to Ashton, “I don’t care if Mr. Baez is standing on his head, standing on one leg, so folks please, let’s just stick to the facts and be professional.” The legal team and press are allowed to use their cell phones to communicate during a trial in Florida.
A hard blow struck to the prosecution’s theoryContinued on the next page