Confusing Testimony, Mistrial Motion In Casey Anthony Trial - Page 3
Forensic Chemist Dr. Kenneth Furton then took the stand. It was Furton’s then-upcoming testimony that had caused a bit of a stir last week by the prosecution team, who alleged that Furton would be testifying on subjects he was not an expert on, and was introducing new opinions not in earlier depositions or reports.
Furton went over reports from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, also known as the “Body Farm,” that he had received and reviewed, using a PowerPoint to explain how a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer was used to analyze chemicals in evidence related to the Anthony case.
According to Furton, the fatty acids found on the paper towels in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s white Pontiac Sunfire were similar to those found in milk compounds, which are also “the same compounds that are found” in human fat. Velveeta cheese and Oscar Meyer hard salami, items found in the trash bag in Casey’s car trunk, also have chemical compounds found in human decomposition, added Furton.
Just how bad were the chloroform levels?
Furton agreed with Baez that no quantitative analysis had been performed on chloroform by Oak Ridge, stating that chloroform can be “found everywhere in low amounts,” even in cleaning products such as bleach, which was found in Casey’s car trunk in a trash bag.
During the afternoon session, State attorney Jeff Ashton requested to proffer, or question Furton without the jury present, in order to determine if Furton would be stating hearsay to the jury. Judge Perry says he wouldn’t require it, but warned Baez against eliciting hearsay from any of his witnesses. Baez agrees to a shorter proffer session, to avoid later objections.
Furton then took the stand without the jury present, and detailed how he receives ongoing information for his work, including from journals, reports and studies. Under cross-examination, Ashton asked Furton if he got his information related to chloroform in actual personal work, or via reading materials - Furton stated he reads a lot, but that the study of chemical reactions is his line of expertise.
When the jury was returned, Furton then stated that the chemical compounds cited earlier by Vass as being evidence of human decomposition could actually come from reactions related to a variety of items, including decomposing items found in garbage, and other organic compounds coming into contact with each other. Under cross-examination, Ashton asked Furton if he had analyzed for the difference between accidental creation of chloroform vice deliberate creation of the chemical, to which Furton said no.Continued on the next page