Evidence, Witness Problems Persist In Casey Anthony Trial
State continues its call to punish defense attorney
Prior to yesterday’s testimony in the ongoing Casey Anthony murder trial, State prosecutors took up the issue of defense attorney Jose Baez’s possible failure to follow court orders regarding witness reports. Skirting the issue of a possible mistrial being called by the defense, prosecutors stated that they did not want any witness testimony excluded; however they did press for sanctions against Baez.
Anthony is on trial for the first degree murder of her 2 year old daughter Caylee in 2008. She has pled not guilty, and could face the death penalty if found guilty of the crime.
After a sidebar and attorney meeting, it was agreed that defense witness Richard Eikelenboom would testify about trace DNA he analyzed, but would refrain from providing opinions related to decomposition. It was Eikelenboom’s earlier work in the field of touch DNA that helped to exonerate Jon Beney Ramsey’s parents of her murder during a 2003 trial.
Perry stated his belief that at this rate, the trial will take 2 more weeks, after which he would decide if any sanctions were needed.
Was Caylee Anthony’s body moved?
Orange County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigator Jennifer Welch took the stand and recounted how hanging vegetation had been removed to support investigative work at the “discovery site,” where Caylee Anthony’s remains were found. Photos displayed to the courtroom showed an area practically scraped clean of all vegetation.
Jane Bock, former professor and forensic botanist, then took the stand and stated her belief that Caylee Anthony’s body had been placed at the discovery site as late as two weeks prior to its discovery by utility worker Roy Kronk. This was according to her review of crime scene photos of the vegetation, as well as “leaf litter.” When Bock went on to say that the bits of vegetation found in Casey Anthony’s car were not similar in nature to those found at the discovery site, State prosecutor Jeff Ashton objected, and the objection was sustained. When asked a different form of the same question, Bock replied that camphor tree leaves found in Casey’s car were not also located at the discovery site.
During cross-examination, Ashton tried to put into question Bock’s knowledge of Florida botany; however, Bock stated that she had received her PhD in Botany in the 60’s in Florida.
Ashton questioned Bock as to the extensive amount of plant growth that had invaded both the skull and skeleton of Caylee’s body, and whether or not she knew the photos of the vegetation had been taken months after the body had been found. Bock replied that in her opinion the growth noted when Caylee’s body was discovered could have occurred in just two weeks in the month of December.Continued on the next page