Tuesday, June 14, 2011


(DRAFT #1)

On Saturday, June 10, 2011 we heard from a top bug expert, who testified that Caylee's body had probably been lying deceased in Casey's white Pontiac Sunfire for three to five days - tops.  He also testified that Caylee's body was most certainly thrown into the woods off of Suburban Drive in either late June or early July, 2008.


Dr. Haskell, a professor of entomology and forensics entomology has been researching bugs for the past 50 years.  As he testified, he spoke clearly and concisely to the jurors, and was a very likable expert witness.  He has actually been an expert witness all around the world for over 850 cases, 40 of which were in Florida.  He was easily submitted as an expert witness in the field of forensic entomologist (the study of insects, specifically flies that feed off of human remains, which is the study of insects with the purpose of testifying in court.

In his testimony today, he described his findings from bug remains in Casey's car, as well as Caylee's decomposed body, for the jurors.  Here are some partial transcripts of the most interesting points that Dr. Haskell spoke about today.

Dr. Haskell testified that he was contacted by Michael Vincent in August 2008, and asked to review evidence gathered from Casey's car.  Some samples were taken and sent to Dr. Haskell that contained larvae and pupae and that was what was in the two samples that were sent to him, in September, 2008.


Prosecutor Jeff Ashton:  Did you receive some evidence from Mr. (Michael) Vincent to examine at some point?
Dr. Haskell: Yes.  Initially I wanted to verify that we had forensically important evidence and he (Mr. Vincent) said, "Well, there were bugs in the car", and so he collected some samples and I wanted to see what we had to verify if in fact these were forensically important insects. So he sent me a couple of samples that contained larvae and, maggots' larvae, and pupae, the cocoons stages of the lifecycle of flies, the higher flies, and that, and that was what was in the two samples that he sent me at that time.
Ashton: And approximately, when did you receive the first to samples?
Again, I think it was sometime in September.
After you looked at those, did you have additional discussions with Mr. Vincent about the possibility of additional evidence being sent?
Right. The problem with the group, the group was Phorida, the humpbacked flies, or coffin flies, or scuttle flies,the common names of which aren't really too  important, but  it was the family Phorida, which contains a couple hundred species, or different kinds in North America.  Well the problem is that it's very difficult to identify the species unless we have an adult of the species.  So, I asked Michael if if there was any possibility that he might  have materials that would contain adults of these specimens. And he was thinking for a minute and he said that I remembered a lot of these specimens, larvae and pupae being on evidence that was on the trash bag in the car.  It had been sealed and stored, I think back in August or September, or August anyway, when they had done the initial inventory.  And I said well it's would be worth a shot, and he said that there was a lot of stuff in there, and my thought was that it had been sealed up, then the adults can't get out, so the adults should be in there.  So he sent them up and I did additional work, going through examining those materials.  There were some napkins, no not napkins, they were paper towels, and the trash bag itself and we found a number of adults, 15 or 20 adults, and we had a means to do a positive identification of those specimens.
Ashton: Re: Evidence 126, is this the  container in which you were sent the paper towels?
When you received this item, you said that you did find entomological items.
Yes I did.
What did you find?
Uh, literally hundreds of these very tiny, foreign flies.  I contacted an expert out in LA county, at the museum, Brian Brown, who's an expert in these particular flies.  I sent him some adults of this specimen and I retained larvae and puparia, puparia again being the cocoon stage of the lifecycle, and sent him the adults for positive identification and he sent me back identification, stating that ...
Baez: Objection
Ashton: I believe that it's part of his opinion in this case.
Judge: Overruled at this point.
Ashton: As I may, as a predicate, is this the kind of information that someone in your field would normally use in developing an opinion?
Ok go ahead.
It was a species of this group known as Megaselia scalaris, and in his report to me, he stated that it would be found regularly in decomposition, human cases, and other animal cases of mammalian decomposition, they're very very common in them.
Now,  from what you've just told us about where these particular variety of flies can be found, is that just from him or is that from your own knowledge as well?
Oh, well I've had some 30-some cases where we've had foreign flies, some of my most noted cases, high profile case from Las Vegas a few years ago, solely...
Ashton: Now, so I just wanted to establish that the knowledge you're giving us about a particular fly is from your own knowledge and not from some other expert's knowledge.
No, no, in addition, it supported my knowledge.
Ok. Now, the flies, you said, describe how you found them, how you opened up the paper towel, what the process was, where they were.
There were specimens in the bag itself, in the white plastic bag itself and then there was a bag containing these paper towels, and so I started going through a number of paper towels, I don't recall how many , but a number of them, and I started gently pulling them apart and obviously there were an abundance of puparia and larvae, all of them dried of course and dead.
What is a puparia?
Puparia is the cocoon stage of the lifecycle  of a, complete  metamorphosis, complete life cycle insect. It is the cocoon stage, we call it in the flies, the puparia.
Ok, thank you, but go ahead.
So, as I'm opening these paper towels, I'm noticing that there's an abundance of larvae and puparia and I even found a few adults on these paper towels as I shook them out, individually shook them out into a white porcelain pan, so we could see them because these are very small...
Court reporter: What?
Haskell: White porcelain pan.
Haskell continues:  and they're (larvae) very small.  Larvae are anywhere from 1 millimeter to 4 millimeters; a millimeter being, uh, a 1/6th to an 1/8th of an inch.  Very very small.
Now, the ah, when you opened up the towel and you found all of these, ah towel or napkin, whatever you want to call them, and you found all of these puparia, did there seem to be something on the towels that the flies were attracted to?
Yes, I associated the presence of the flies with the presence of a substance that was on the towel.
What did you recognize this substance on the towels to be?
Well I thought it was a good possibility because the flies were there, the larvae were there obviously feeding and completing their life cycle, it most likely was decomposition fluid.
Did you do anything in order to further that belief that it could be decompositional fluid?
Absolutely! We go to the next step and that was to suggest, or request this material be analyzed, that somebody could analyze this material.
And did you send these items to Dr. Arpad Vass at the Oakridge National Laboratory?
Yes I did.
And did you receive back, did you learn what his evaluation of those was and did you use that in your opinion?
Yes, he stated that the material was adipocere, the eventual breakdown of fluids that originate from decomposing material...
BAEZ: I'M GOING TO OBJECT. This witness is attempting to testify (he clicks his pen, click click) as to findings of Dr. Vass' and exactly what his findings are (click click).
Ashton: Are you familiar from your own work in what adipocere is.
Is that something that you frequently deal with in your forensic entomological evaluations of crime scenes?
Alright, so you have looked at the flies, you have looked at the report from Dr. Vass, what is the next thing that you do?
In this particular case, we had some timelines with regards to the whereabouts of these paper towels and this bag, and so I started to make the determination of the impact of decomposition, the impact of temperatures and impact of these insects given the different kinds. When would we have expected to see these given that we have decomposition present. So I put together a timeline based on what I had used entomologically in my analysis.
Ashton: Now, in addition to the Megaselia scalaris, that's the majority of the tiny flies that you found, did you find any other entomological evidence in your examination in the trunk?
Haskell: In these paper towels was a leg, only a leg, and I can't tell you which leg, cuz there are six of them on an insect, of a fly that we find, a species of, one of a group of species of flies which we find almost all of the time, in forensic cases,  that was the blowfly, a leg of the blowfly.  There are about 90 different blowflies  in North America, they're regionalized to some degree. And so it was a leg, of what I believe one of the southern species of blowfly found that time of year.

Ashton: Now, the flies that you found in the trunk, are any of them forensically specific to human decomposition?
Are these flies frequently found in cases of human decomposition?
Haskell:  YES!
Ashton: But also in cases of non-human decomposition.
Haskell: Right.
Are these particularly Megaselia scalaris, is that also a common fly for non-decomposition?
That's correct. Megaselia scalaris is that it likes to feed on about anything.

Now, you understand from the, let me rephrase that. Let me put it to you a hypothetical.  That the body of a young child, was stored in the trunk of that car for a period of time, and then removed and deposited to another location.  Does that fit with the entomological evidence that you found.
Can you tell the jury how it fits?
At the time of death, decomposition begins and it progresses through different stages, or, I don't like to specifically say this is stage oriented, but there's a progression as the tissues of the body go from one biochemical and change to another and to another, and to another throughout the whole progression of decomposition.  The interesting thing about this and the insects is different biochemicals changes and the biochemistry of the body decomposing, we have different insects coming in and feeding at that particular time. A term that we use is partitioning of the food resource. And it's a well known ecological survival mechanism for different organisms.  And so, the blow flies, they're the bright shiny green and iridescent blue flies that you find around trash cans and the dead dear that's laying out in the highway.  And uh, they're usually the first ones in.  They're there if the body is accessible and the conditions are favorable. They're there almost immediately, within seconds or minutes, especially when the temperatures are high and you have high temperatures down here in Florida.  As that body progresses in decomposition stages, the biochemistry changes, there's a point where mother blowfly isn't interested in that food resource.  Mother fly, whether you're a blowfly or a humpback fly, a phorid fly, mother fly is interested in getting her next generation started, laying eggs on a reasonable food source that thinks can support her next generation. So, they'll be a point where the blowfly says, 'hey, this has changed too much biochemically.  I'm going to find a fresh killed dear, roadkill dear, or I'm going to find a mouse that's out here, that's freshly dead and I'm going to put my eggs out here and that's where the next generation is going to come from.'.  And so as the blowfly drop out for instance, other groups will kick in.  The phorid flies come early, but not as early as the blowfly does, and they'll be some, and they'll be some decomposition to have progressed to for the phorid flies to really be interested in calling this home for the next generation.

Ashton: How advanced does decomposition have to be for the phorid flies to become the more dominant fly?
Well, with my experience with the phorids, we can see them, particularly with the heat of the summer, we can see them within just a few days, or they may come much later, weeks even months later. And the interesting thing about the phorid flies are that they're very tiny, as I related the size of the larvae. Mother fly is not very big. The group can be anywhere from one millimeter to maybe four to five millimeters in length, maybe it could be a little bit larger, but the species we're dealing with, we would call them gnat-sized flies. And they have this tremendous ability to get through cracks, to get through very small openings. I seen them go through cracks, recovered them in concrete that have just a few cracks in it.  It had gotten down and developed larvae or adults and it's amazing where they can get to and can get into things.  But they come in later in the decompositional process.
Ashton: So in this circumstance, you found a relative absence of the early decomp fly...
Ashton (looking annoyed): ... and a greater number of these later decomp flies, what does that tell us about what was decomposing in this trunk?
Haskell: It tells me that the body would have had to been deposited very quickly into the trunk, and the early, the first flies that come, would have had to been excluded and as decomposition progressed, these little tenacious phorid flies found a way to get in and colonized into the trunk of the car.
Ashton: Have you had experience in the past dealing with bodies that were in decomposing in trunks in cars?
Haskell: Yes.
And have you found in your experience that they do exclude the blowflies, the early flies?
The blowflies are pretty tenacious too and it depends on it depends if you've got a junky old car with rust  holes in it or whether you've got a a well-made car that can exclude, and I've seen access by the blowfly.  Obviously a delay in those blowflies getting in.
Ashton: What would the effect of wrapping the body in say, a plastic bag, or TWO, would that have the effect of lessening the amount of early flies?
Haskell: Oh, absolutely. I've done experiments where the question was whether this victim was in a plastic bag or not.  And we found out, if the plastic bag is totally closed at the mouth, or wrapped, it can delay several days.  It may delay to the point that the body, the pigs in our experiment, had decomposed to the point where again the blowflies were no longer interested and went someplace else.

Was there any other entomological evidence of significance sent to you from the trunk?
Ah, to my recollection, no.
Were you able, based upon the entomological evidence you found, able to render an opinion or an estimate as to the amount of time that the, if there was a body, decomposing material, would have been in the trunk of the car?


Haskell: Well, in my opinion the decomposing material, well the source of the decomposing fluids in my opinion that were in the trunk, could not have been in the trunk very long, because of the heat of Florida at that time of year.  And whatever had been in the trunk HAD to be out of the trunk by the time the vehicle was abandoned.  And in doing some calculations, based on energy units and decomposition, I was able to make an estimate that 3, 4 or 5 days in the trunk of that car with that heat would have certainly produced enough of that pungent fluid from the remains to have had the amount to be present to attract the phorid flies, these minute flies that we had on the paper towels in the trunk of the car.

(NOTE:  I will continue transcribing Dr. Haskell's testimony.  It was just so forensically and technical that it is one of the hardest to transcribe... BUT I will continue, just not tonight).

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Dr. Neal Haskell is called.  He takes the jury through his education and experience. 
He’s been an expert witness in 28 state as well as around the world.
The court accepts Dr. Haskell as an expert witness.
Haskell was contacted by OCSO’s CSI Michael Vincent.  Vincent sent him samples of maggots and pupae in September.
Haskell needed an adult of the fly species to properly do his job.  That’s when he examined the towels and trash bag.
He identifies the box with the paper towels he received from Vincent.
There were hundreds of specimens and a colleague confirmed his finding, that the species are commonly found in decomposition.
The towels contained decomp fluid which attracted the flies.   The material was sent to Dr. Vass.  Vass reported back the material was adipocere.
Haskell then determined the timelines and temperature to do his analysis.
They found one leg of a blow fly.  They are attracted to decomposition to all types – human and non-human.  Blow flies appear at the earliest stage of decomposition.
If a body of a young child had been stored in the trunk of car and then later moved, would that confirm your findings?  Yes.
Different insects will come in at different stages of decomposition.  The various species found support the conclusion of the body being in the trunk and heat for a while.
Haskell says if the body was wrapped in a plastic bag or two it does tends to delay the appearance of the blow flies.
Haskell feels the body would have been in the trunk for a long time and would have been removed before the car was abandoned.  4 to 5 days is his estimate that Caylee was kept in the trunk.
Dr. Haskell went to Florida to inspect the car when he was notified Caylee’s remains had been found.  He arrived in Florida on December 16.
He went to the Suburban Drive scene and the impound yard and spoke with Simon Birch.  He collected specimens from Suburban and the ME’s office.
Bottom line, the remains were placed in the trunk quickly after death.  Some specimens indicated 4 to 5 days into decomposition in the trunk.  Others indicate the remains were in the woods from the June – July time frame and had to have contained body tissue when placed in the woods.
Jose Baez on cross…
You first heard about this case through Dr. Vass?  Yes, I was talking to him on another case at the time he mentioned it.
Vass and Haskell have worked together for 25 years.
Dr. Vass is a biochemist?  His degree is in anthropology.
Do you recall testifying he is a biochemist?
Objection.  Sustained.
Jose Baez bring up the ever annoying flip chart and starts to mark it up with scribbles.
Baez keeps jerking around with it was a garbage bag, it was a trash bag and Dr. Haskell is having none of his clowning around.
DNA can be grabbed from any cell material?  Yes, human DNA has been extracted from bugs and larvae.
Did you send any out for DNA testing?  No, I didn’t.
You don’t know what the study Dr. Vass did found, except for what he told you?  Correct.
You can’t testify intelligently about Dr. Vass’ study?  I can testify intelligently!
Dr. Haskell clearly dislikes Baez and has no respect for him.
Phorid flies were found in the were found in the vacuum filters from when they vacuumed the trunk before removing the carpet.
So those flies could have fallen out of the trash bag?  No, they were in the trunk.
So they could get into the trash bag, but not get out, like the roach motel?
Objection, sustained!
Btw, this is one of Baez’s scientific drawings.  How much do you think the jury gets from this?  
You were hired by the State?  Yes.
How much did you charge? $22k and by the way Mr. Baez, I haven’t been paid for the defense deposition!
Well, submit a bill.  I did submit a bill!
Then the checks in the mail!
Is there a difference between garbage and trash?  Yes, trash is inorganic and that’s all that was in the bag!  There was nothing decomposing in the bag!  There was no unprocessed food item.
So if decomposition was wiped up with the paper towel and then placed in the bag, would that explain the flies in the bag?  Absolutely.
Trash or garbage, that’s your opinion correct?  Yes.
My definition could be different from yours?  I’m sure it is.
Baez is asking questions that Haskell can’t even make sense of!
Dr. Haskell is excused.
Finally, recess is called!
Jennifer Welch is called by the State again. 
You arrived at Suburban Drive to begin photographing the scene?  Yes.
12/11 through 12/21 while you were photographing the scene, how many Law Enforcement members were there?  Around 50 I think.
It was difficult to walk on the surface because of the roots and heavy vegetation.  They cleared the area using machetes.
Photos of the dense root systems and vegetation with evidence markers are entered into evidence.
Did you collect this marked bone for evidence?  Yes.
Some 390 pieces of evidence were collected by her including bottles and pieces of black plastic bag and a piece of duct tape.
She also collected plastic pink strips with words that she identifies as the letters which came off Caylee’s shirt.
How far from the edge of the street from the weed line?  I don’t know, you would have to ask Mr. Murdock.
How far from the street to where the skull was found?  19’8″.
OMG, Baez makes her get down with a tape measure to show the distance to the jury.
The duct tape you found, where was it found?  You would have to ask Mr. Murdock with the diagram.
The defense continues to try to get the body placed closer to the road and not so far into the woods.
Welch is excused.
Recess while some equipment is hooked up.
Ronald Murdock is called.  He helped clear Suburban and mapping the crime scene.  They use a program, Total Station, to enter the data of measurements and where the evidence markers were located to generate dimensional maps.
For some reason this is not being shown to us!  While his computer screen works on the court monitors, it doesn’t work being streamed apparently.
From Suburban drive to area A is around 19 feet – we got that from Welch already.
December 11, 2008, he collected evidence from the Anthony home.
He identifies a photo of items in one of the sheds.  Then the shed with all the lawn tools and the gas cans which were collected.
Pages of heart stickers are identified.
Jose Baez calls for a sidebar.
Photos of both Caylee and Casey’s bedrooms are admitted.
Murdock identifies a bag with Winnie the Pooh bedding and another bag of Pooh items from a drawer in the home office.
He also collected items from the garage – black garbage bag that contained a canvas laundry bag matching the one found with Caylee.
Baez gets up to cross…
The diagram you showed us earlier showed the duct tape.  How far away from the skull was that found?  Some 6 1/4 feet away.
Did you find the tape in the garage also?  No.
The Henkel brand wasn’t anywhere in the house that he knows of.
No duct tape in the attic?  No.
Searched the back yard, the pool area and the sheds?  Yes.
No duct tape found?  None that I know of.
The gas can is the only item in the home is where you found Henkel duct tape?  That’s correct.
You searched the family cars?  Yes.
Murdock is excused.
Next witness is Gerry Johnston.  Owner of  firm who created the video animation of the crime scene – topographic mapping that was done for OCSO working with Murdock.
And we are done for the day!

(What happened during Saturday's witness testimonies in the Casey Anthony trial. Blog excerpt taken from Zimbio.com since I was away)


On Friday, June 10, 2001, it was a great day for the prosecution in the Casey Anthony murder trial.  Dr. G. (aka Dr. Jan Garavagila from the Dr. G, Medical Examiner show), told jurors that Caylee Anthony's manner of death was a HOMICIDE and NOT an ACCIDENT.

Reasons that Dr. G. called Caylee's death a homicide are:

Cheney:  Did Dr. Spitz come to the autopsy?
Dr. G: I was informed by my office that Mr. Baez had requested to bring in an outside person into to watch the autopsy, but the policy in our office is that we have a statutory duty to come up with the cause and manner of death.  We would preserve everything possible and then make that possible when we are finished.
Cheney: Ok. And you told Mr. Ashton that in your determination of the manner of death, you consider all kinds of circumstances.
Dr. G: Yes, I do.
And in doing that in this case, are you aware that of whether or not Dr. Spitz did a second autopsy?
Cheney: Now, I want to go back briefly to Dr. Goldberger.  I've been reminded that he's a medical doctor, isn't he?
Dr. G.: No, he is not.
Cheney: He's not?
Dr. G.:  Dr. Goldberger?
Cheney: Uh-huh.
Dr. G.: He's a PhD

Cheney: Is he also a medical doctor?
Dr. G.: Not to my knowledge.
Cheney: Alright.  Well, what things do you know that he tested besides that piece of bone?
Dr. G.:  Um, let's see (she looks down at her notes), he tested for volatiles.; he tested bone ... the scrapings I took from the inside of the bone. Um, the hair and soil that kind of fell out of the hair, and that was for volatile. And then he tested the bone, and the scrapings from the bone marrow, and washings we did from the cranial cavity and he tested that for bigast-chromatograft, for prescription drugs, illicit drugs.  And then he tested specifically for alprazolam, in the bone, the scrapings of the bone cavity, the washings of the cranial cavity were all then specifically tested for alprazolam.
Cheney: And alprazolam, what's a more common name for that?
Dr. G.: It's a benzodiazepine, also known as Xanax.

Cheney: Xanax?
Dr. G.: Yes.
Cheney: So he tested for all those things and all the results were negative.
Dr. G.: That is correct.
Cheney: And speaking of cranial wash, you did not cut open the cranium, did you?
No, absolutely not.
And you told Mr. Ashton also that there was no trauma found in your examination, correct?
No antemortem trauma, meaning prior to death. We found some POST-mortem trauma from animals chewing on bones... (as soon as she said "chewing on bones", Casey, who is watching Dr. G. closely, frowned.)
Cheney: You found the post-mortem trauma, the anthropologist confirmed to you that there was indication that there had been animal activity.
Dr. G.: OH, you could say that! And that was part of my examination.
Cheney (raising his voice louder):  But ANYTHING that happened BEFORE, there's NO evidence of ANY form of trauma before, when this child was alive.
Dr. G: On the bones, there was no evidence of trauma.
Cheney: And in your exploring all of the world of circumstances about this, you didn't find about any trauma either, did you?
Dr. G.: No, I did not.

Cheney: Well, if I understand your testimony, the long and short of it is, you are confirming that despite the investigations, the toxicology, the anthropologists, all of these things, there is no scientific or medical evidence to establish the cause of this child's death, correct?
Dr. G.: The means of the homicide could not be determined.
Cheney: And you determined to call it a homicide as opposed to an accident or indetermined.
Dr. G.: The circumstances of death did not fit anything but a homicide (as Dr. G. ends her sentence, she looks at the jury and shook her head while saying 'anything but a homicide').
Cheney: The, the, the circumstances.
Dr. G.: That's the way the body was found...
Cheney: I know that!  And also what Detective Melich told you.
Dr. G:  Um.. I'm not, what part did Detective Melich tell me?  The part that the body wasn't reported for 31 days is what he told me...
Cheney: You learned these things from doctor,  from um Yuri Melich, the investigator.
Dr. G: That's our standard course of business
Cheney: And some of the things you learned from the media.
Dr. G: From you?
Cheney: The MEDIA.
Dr. G: Oh (chuckles) media. No, nothing from Media would have entered into my decision.
Cheney: Wouldn't have entered your MIND...?
Dr. G: Well I can't take anything that the media would say into a decision as grave as this.
Cheney: So, the bottom line is that when you say, and when you place a label "Homicide by indeterminate means" you're saying that the circumstances tell you that it's  probably was a homicide.
Dr. G: Not PROBABLY. I think that it is the only logical conclusion based on some of the scientific information we have, based on observational information we have about homicides and children dying.
What is the scientific information in this circumstance (he says with a smile on his face, as though he believes he's got her)

Dr. G: Well, we know that, and of course, observation is part of scientific studies, that's part of forensics, it's a big part of how we know our world.  We look at all the accidental drownings for instance, in my jurisdiction, we systematically went through those, 100% EMS is called immediately when the child is found.
Cheney: Well, that has nothing to do with this case, now does it.
Dr. G:  (getting a bit agitated): Oh NO...
ASHTON: OBJECTION. Argumentative!


Dr. G: (HERE WE GO):  It ABSOLUTELY has something to do with this case!  With every death I investigate, has to put into the circumstances of death. You can NEVER ever determine a manner of death, except in very rare instances, just on examining the body.  So we have to know, usually, how deaths occur. So we have to know, and there are scientific studies, and peer review literature about the red flags for homicide.

Cheney: I want to, I want to, object to this witness bolstering, and about studies. We don't have them.
(Dr. G. looks over at the judge)
(Cheney looks a bit red in the face and humbled as he waits for the judge's ruling)
Judge: Overruled (Cheney shrugs his shoulders and then looks at Dr. G.  A short pause happens, then Dr. G. realizes that she can continue, which she does).
Dr. G:  So, by my experience and what is know about how homicides occur, I felt that the preponderance of evidence, and that there was no other logical conclusion could be found, by not reporting for 30.., who has a legal, moral, and ethical obligation to care for that child, not reporting that child missing,  the fact that it's TOSSED in a field to ROT in bags is a clear indication that the body was trying to be HIDDEN, those... even being placed in a bag is a very BIG red flag for homicide, and NEVER SEEN IN AN ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF A CHILD.  And the fact that there's duct tape attached ANYWHERE to that child's face is, to me, an indication of a HOMICIDE. (Casey got really angry at this point during Dr. G.'s testimony).

Cheney: Let's back up. What about your circumstantial observations and deductions are scientific Ma'am?
Dr. G: The fact that we know 100% of the time, that accidental deaths are reported unless there's a good reason not to be.  We know that there is no REASON not to report.  In fact if you don't report an injury to authorities, you are risking that child's life, because we know that's partly behavioral science.  And we know that in ALL OF THE CASES that come through our morgue, that accidents are 100%, particularly with children, are reported unless there's a good reason not to.

Cheney: So you're trying to tell this jury (as he rests his elbow on the podium and looking like he's pontificating) that 100% that there's no way that this death could have been accidental?

Dr. G.: No, I said that 100% of the time, let's say on a systematic review of drownings, it's a more common way of accidents, that 100% of the time, when the person finds the child, they call 911, because there's a chance that that child might live.  They need to report that and give them a chance.

Cheney: And what if a person finds an obviously drowned body?  So obviously deceased, what then?  Is there some scientific things that you're, conclusions about their morality?
Dr. G: NO, but I'm looking at behaviors, systematic observational information that shows that no matter that no matter how stiff that body is, they always call 911 in the hopes that that child could be saved.  I'm looking at observational data on that kind of death.  That's what we use.

Cheney: So you're saying, your determination that circumstantial evidence is what causes you to conclude it must have been a homicide 'cause you can't explain it any other way (Cheney leans towards Dr. G. from the podium, staring at her).
Dr. G.: I explained to you the observational red flags that we know in forensics...
Cheney: You need to answer MY question.
Dr. G: I don't know, don't understand
Cheney: Your honor
ASTON: OBJECTION, to council interrupting the witness
CHENEY: I'll ask the court to instruct her to answer MY question with a Yes or No answer (Cheney smiles with satisfaction on his face).
Dr. G: Please repeat the question.
(We see Cheney shifting back and forth jokingly as the judge decides this answer)
JUDGE: SUSTAINED. It was an open-ended question, she may answer it (Cheney looks down in defeat).
(Judge Perry to Dr. G.): Doctor, did you finish answering the question?
Dr. G: I don't even remember what the question was.
Cheney: You see (chuckling)
Judge Perry: Let's have a new question.
Cheney: Arrugh.. The bottom line is, let's just make it simple, the cause of death you don't know,  the manner you say is based on circumstantial evidence, you conclude is a homicide for the reasons you told us.
Dr. G.: I felt that the manner of death, although the cause of death is homicide of undetermined means, I felt the means were unable to be substantiated scientifically, but I felt the manner of death was defensible scientifically based on systematic observational studies. (Casey looks really worried here).
Cheney: Ok, observational studies of other things (waves his arm around), of other cases.
Dr. G:  Of how homicides occur, how accidents occur, how natural deaths occur, yes.
Cheney: Other cases.
Dr. G: Other cases.
Cheney: Ok.  Now by the way, if these remains had been found four or five months before, would you have had a better answer based of scientific evidence?
Dr. G: (sighs) Absolutely!
Cheney: And incidentally you said something about duct tape.  Isn't it true from what you observed and  saw that if there was any duct tape, that it was only in the vicinity of the lower mandible?
Dr. G: That's correct.
Cheney: Yeah. May I have just a minute, your honor (Goes over to Jose at the defense table; they talk for 10 seconds)
Judge: You may.
(Casey looks concerned as she looks over at Cheney and Jose)
Cheney: Thank you ma'am.  I have no more questions.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton came back up to do some Re-Direct questions of Dr. G., but he didn't have to do much.  The defense pretty much shot themselves in the foot with this expert witness.  He asked Dr. G. if she did her best to keep the body in the same condition as she could, leaving the roots and skull intact for the defense's examiner to look at, which Dr. G. said she did.

Ashton: Now, the absence of positive results of chloroform or other substances, does that as a matter medically exclude the acute use of those substances at or near the time of death?
Dr. G: We would not expect to find those in bones. That was a long shot trying to check for those, but I felt we would be amiss not to at least try.  We would not expect any of those to be positive in a set of bones, even if they were positive, at the time of death, even if it were present. (Casey still looks very concerned and is frowning).
Ashton:  Taking, for the purposes of my question, the following hypothetical, the following facts, assume that Caylee Anthony died and discarded on or about June 16th, of 2008, approximately six months before the body was found.
Dr. G.: Yes.
Ashton: At the stage that Mr. Mason was asking you about, four months earlier which would have been August, so the body's been out for two months, what would be the body's condition after two months? (Casey looks at Dr. G. with a sad, frowned look on her face).
Dr. G.: Well, it probably would have been skeletonized.  Certainly it would have been skeletonized by then.
So if the body had been found in August, would you have expected it to have been skeletonized with little soft tissue?
Dr. G.: Yes, yes, I would have expected it to have been skeletonized.
Ashton: What would you have expected the internal organs to be?
Dr. G.:  Completely gone (she says as she looks down). (Casey looks sad with a frown on her face still).
Ashton: Thank you.

Cheney: No recross, thank you.
Judge Perry: Doctor, you may be excused.

Several news reports are saying that Dr. G. has made the case for the Prosecution in convicting Casey Anthony of first degree murder.

After Dr. G., a software program developed by forensic anthropologist Michael Warren, that showed a photograph of Caylee smiling (with her mother Casey by her side) was super-imposed with the skull of Caylee, which was recovered at the scene, and then that was then super-imposed again with a piece of duct tape, showing how one piece of duct tape was sufficient to cause the death of Caylee.

As the video of this super-imposition played, Casey watched the entire video with a mad scowl look on her face.  Jose Baez argued that this video should not be played for the jury, citing that it would prejudicial against his client, Casey.

The video showed that one piece of tape did indeed fit over Caylee's nose and mouth, and could definitely have been the murder weapon that caused the death of Caylee.

Jose Baez called for a mistrial, but Judge Perry overruled his motion.

After reviewing the video and reading from law book, Judge Perry allowed this video to be played for the jury.  Although Casey watched the video with the angry scowl on her face, as soon as the jury re-entered the courtroom, Casey turned away from watching the video as it played for them and the courtroom.  She changed her appearance for the jury, from one of anger and scowling to one of a hurt mother who couldn't view the video.  Some reporters are saying that this is an example of how she is acting in front of the jury, but in truth is a cold, calculating monster who is not sad about her daughter but is sad about having been caught and that so many people are trying to convict her of murdering Caylee.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Prosecutors asked Lee Anthony to retake the witness stand this morning.  He was asked about a new story that his sister, Casey, told him about how, and where, Caylee was taken by Zanny, the nanny.

In August of 2008, Casey told Lee a new version of what happened to Caylee. This was after she'd been bailed out of jail by bounty hunter, Leonard Padilla and had returned home. It was also after detectives told Casey that they'd watched surveillance videos taken at the Sawgrass Apartments in June 2008, for which Casey was never seen in any of those videos.  Realizing that her story was found out to be a lie, Casey told Lee another story of what happened to Caylee.  In this story, Casey told Lee that Zanny and her sister held Casey down by her wrists at Blanchard Park.  Casey said that Zanny told her that the reason that she was taking Caylee from Casey was to teach her a lesson, and that Zanny called Casey was an "unfit mother".  Zanny also told Casey not to go to the police.

Casey described Zanny as being of hispanic origin, with a "darker complexion" as though she went regularly to a tanning bed, 5'7" tall with dark brown hair that was typically kept at shoulder length. She also said that Zanny weighed around a hundred pounds or so, was "very attractive" and wore no glasses.

As Caylee was being taken from Casey, Casey said that she was shocked by what was happening, saying that it felt surreal to her.  Casey told Lee that Zanny had Casey's MySpace account password and was using her MySpace to tell Casey what was going to happen, as well as telling Casey where to go to look for Caylee.  Casey said that she went to those places in hopes of seeing Caylee, as well as fulfilling the obligations Zanny was giving her so that she could see Caylee.


(Jose went up to the podium and asked Lee a few questions, including:)

Lee: Casey was never successful in finding Caylee in any of those experiences.
Jose: And Zanny the Nanny never materialized.
Lee: To this day, no.
Jose: Thank you sir.

(END OF LEE'S TESTIMONY.  Lee walked by Casey without looking at her.)

(Judge Perry said "Next witness" for which Prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick asked the defense as to what they're saying the next event occurred,. Jose told Linda that they needed a few minutes to discuss that and let her know.  A sidebar, and then a five minute recess, was called.)


As court resumed, we heard the 911 call that was made on December 11, 2008, reporting that a child's skull had been found.  In this recorded call, the jury heard a Utility company supervisor tell 911 dispatchers that one of the company's meter readers had just found a human skull.

911 CALL:

Dispatch: 911 Emergency Communication
Caller: Yes, we, this Orange County Utilities emergency dispatch, we found a human skull.
911: Oh my gosh.
Caller:  I know.  We got um, is it a meter reader?  I'm going to let you speak right now with the representative of our field services, this is Vinnie with Orange County Utilities.
911: Hey Vinnie.
Caller:  Hi, I'm going to let you speak with Rusty Spares, everything is recorded.  Here he is.
Caller 2:  How are you doing?
911:  Hey Rusty.
Caller 2:  One of my meter readers has supposedly found a skull of what we believe is human
911:  What's the location?
Caller 2:  It's right off of Suburban and Chickasaw in the Caylee Anthony area, right by the high..
911:  Awww.  Do you have a specific address for me, or not?
Caller 2:  No, it's right by the school. If you take... Suburban and Chickasaw, and the school is right there.  I can't think of the name of the school.  Just go right straight down and it dead ends right into the woods.  It'll be on the east side of Chickasaw on Suburban.
911:  On the east side of Chickasaw.  What is your party's name, who will we meet with?
Caller 2:  The name is Roy Kronk.

The next witness on the stand was the first responding police officer, who met the Utility company meter reader, Mr. Kronk, at the scene.


Deputy Turso testified that after the police received the 911 call from Roy Kronk, he was dispatched to the scene on Suburban Drive.  He met meter reader Roy Kronk, and then followed him into the wooded area to where Caylee's skull had been found peering out of a trashbag. As the deputy followed Mr. Kronk into the woods, they passed where the skull was.  Confused, Mr. Kronk looked around to find it again. Realizing that they'd passed it, they turned around and were able to locate it. Mr. Kronk told the officer that he'd found the skull when he had gone into the woods to relieve himself.  The deputy stood over the skull and bag and then promptly left the area.  He then called his supervisor, told him what had happened, and they roped off the area with crime scene tape.  He got Mr. Kronk started on a statement of what happened. He stayed there until other deputies and investigators arrived to take over the scene.


Immediately after Jose gets at the podium, he asked a question that wasn't allowed, but he wanted the jurors to hear it so to cast doubt on Mr. Kronk.

Jose: Did Mr. Kronk advise you that he'd called three times in August?
Deputy Torso: No, he did not.
Linda Drane Burdick: OBJECTION (to Hearsay. Note: You're not fast enough Linda. You gotta watch Jose!)
Judge Perry: SUSTAINED.
Jose: Were you made aware of any prior calls by this individual in August 2008?
Jose: Did you have any conversations with Mr. Kronk about, where you advised him he should not say anything about calling three times in August of 2008?
Judge Perry: SUSTAINED. Move to another line of questioning, comes to Hearsay answers.
Jose: If I may your honor.
Judge: Yes, you may.
(Jose goes to Cheney, who whispers to Jose for about a minute; Jose then nods his head and returns to the podium)
Jose: Sir, how far did you go into the woods?
Deputy: Ballpark, twenty feet or so.
Jose: And that's when you passed the, where the skull was, correct?
Deputy: No, I'd say it was about 20 feet.  I'm just going off the top of my head.  I didn't measure it.
Jose: Twenty feet from the street, more or less? And there was also a weed line, was there not?
Deputy: What do you mean a weed line?
Jose (laughing): I knew that'd be a tough question to answer. Um, what I mean is there's grass that's mowed before you get into the area that's wooded, correct?
I don't believe that there was.  All I remember was that there was a wooded area.
I don't remember seeing a mowed section previously.
You just don't recall or you're certain of it?
I don't remember if there was any cleared path prior to the woods.
Ok. And, when you came back, how far did you pass before you came back?
Probably about five feet or so, when he turned around. He looked a little bit confused, like "where'd it go?" and then he turned and looked at me and pretty much over my shoulder said "oh there it is".
Jose: And next to the skull there was a fallen tree, correct?
There was a lot of vegetation. I can't tell you exactly if there was a fallen tree next to the skull.
And there was also a white bag?
A white bag?
Do you recall seeing a white canvas bag?
Do you recall seeing a bright red bag?
Deputy (shaking his head no): I focused on the skull and the garbage bag that was next to it.
Ok. Just a moment. (Jose goes back to Cheney Mason at the defense table. Cheney whispers to Jose for another minute).  Jose then asked the judge for a sidebar.


Jose: Deputy Torso, you directed Mr. Kronk to his car?
And then you directed him to give a statement.
Did you give him any other directions? Other than those two things?
I don't believe so. I don't know what you're asking me. Did I ask him, I told him "Here, here's a statement form. Tell me, write down what you told me, write it down.
Jose: Did you give him any other instructions, as a police officer, as to what to do and what not to do?
Not that's coming to me right now.
Thank you sir.

Deputy Torso is done for the day.

Next witness will be Jennifer Welch.


(Prior to the next witness taking the stand, Judge Perry strongly advised the courtroom spectators that if they cannot control their emotions, they should leave the courtroom until after this next witness is done testifying to.  He was very serious and restated again that if anyone could not be certain that they would be able to control their emotions (probably focused on Cindy and George Anthony who were in the courtroom) should leave the courtroom

Forewarning from Judge Perry.  "No photographs are allowed to take pictures of the crime scene.  Anyone seen taking pictures, their camera/cell phone will be confiscated!"

(Note: George and Cindy Anthony have left the courtroom).

Prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick called for the next witness, Jennifer Welch.  Jennifer Welch, a slim young woman with glasses and light brown hair pulled back into a ponytail, took the witness stand.  She is employed with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in the Forensics Unit.  She has worked there for just over five years.  Her assignment in that unit is that she is a Crime Scene Investigator. She also held that position in December 11, 2008 when Caylee's skull and body were found.

Burdick: On that date (December 11, 2008), were you called to a location on Suburban Drive?
Welch: Yes I was.
Burdick: Do you recall, or do the records of the Orange County Sheriff reflect the address, as specific as it can be of the location on Suburban to which you responded?
Welch: Yes, it was the 8900 block of Suburban Drive.
Do you recall what time you arrived?
Yes, on December 11th, I arrived at approximately at 11:25 hours.
When you got there, what was the condition of the scene?
When I arrived, it was raining on the scene and there was several law enforcement personnel present, and um, it was dense vegetation throughout the area.
You said there were several law enforcement personnel present. Were any of those individuals in the woods?
No, they were not.
Where were they stationed?
They were stationed actually on the street, to the north of the actual wooded area.
Do you recall whether or not a crime scene area had been cordened off, or taped off in any fashion at that point?
Yes, I do recall there was crime scene tape up.
Did you see any individuals within the boundaries of the crime scene tape when you arrived?
Um, the crime scene tape as I recall was set up further down the street. So yes, they were along the street. But not within the wooded area.
Is part of your job as a crime scene investigator to take initial photographs of the condition of the scene prior to recovery of any potential item of evidence?
In this case, did you take photographs of the scene as you found it, upon your arrival, on December 11th, 2008?
Yes I did.
Burdick: If I may have, what has been marked FF for identification. (A photograph)
Burdick: Ma'am, can you see FF for identification?
Welch: Yes I can.
Burdick: Is that photograph a true and accurate representation of the condition of the portion of the crime scene?
Welch: Yes it is.
(FF is entered into evidence and published for the jury.  The photograph shows the side of the road, a wooded area that is very dense with vegetation that starts about five feet from the road.)
(Then FG is the next photograph shown, showing even more heavily dense wooded area, is entered into evidence.  This photograph shows the beginning of the path to the crime scene.  Next photograph shown is FH, which also shows really heavily vegetation, with vines hanging off of trees, is also of the path to the crime scene.  This series of photographs showed that no one could really walk into that area, unless there was a pathway.  It looks like you'd need a machete to cut your way through.  Prosecutor Drane-Burdick kept showing photographs, one by one, leading to where Caylee's body was found).

(Courtroom cameras were focused at Casey to watch what her reaction will be when Caylee's remains are shown in the courtroom).

The next photograph FP was entered and published for the jury (but not shown to TV viewers).

Burdick: Ms. Welch, did the office of the medical examiner, with you present, ultimately recover a skull in this area?
Jennifer: Yes he did.
Is the skull shown in this photograph?
Yes it is.
(Right after Jennifer answered, Casey put her head down to her left, put her hand over her nose and mouth area and appeared to be wiping away tears).

Burdick: Can you show members of the jury, you can circle (the teleprompter in front of her).
(Casey has now lifted her head up, has an angry look on her face, and is not looking at the monitor in front of her. She is looking down in front of her, and then puts her hand over her mouth and nose.  We then see an arm coming from defense attorney, Ms. Simms, who is also sitting at the defense table, go around Casey's back in order to comfort her.  Casey is leaning in Ms. Simms direction, looks up at her for a second, then looks back down, still holding her hand over her nose and mouth.  Ms. Simms begins to speak to Casey, who starts to shake her head no, then starts to cry as more pictures of Caylee's skull are being shown to the jury and courtroom).
Burdick: Is (photograph) FQ a fair and accurate representation of a close-up of the skull as it was found by you and the office of the medical examiner?
(Casey is wiping tears away from her eyes and nose area).
Ms. Welch, what portion of the skull is this?
It is the top and you can see the right side.
Is the photograph identified as FR, a clear and accurate representation of the location of the skull pulled a little further back for orientation purposes?
Yes it is.
(Casey still has her head down, and is looking down at the table in front of her, with Ms. Simms arm still around her).
(Photograph FR is entered into evidence and published).
Ms. Welch, where is the skull found in this photograph?
Located to the west of the log.
(Casey wipes more tears away.  You can see the tears falling from her eyes.  She appears to be truly and deeply saddened by this.  As crime scene photos are entered into evidence,  Jose Baez did not object to any of them).

(Moving on, a photograph was shown that showed how much vegetation and distance was from where Caylee's body was found and a light pole, that indicated where the street was.  It was thick with vegetation, basically a carpet or curtain of heavy foliage and vegetation).

(Photograph FT was shown. It showed additional evidence items that were collected by Orange County Sheriff.  It was entered in as Evidence item 182 for the prosecution.  (Casey is wiping her nose now)).

Burdick: Investigator Welch, can you identify in the photograph the other items and then orient us to the skull as well.
Welch: Yes, I can. The skull is located to the northwest area of the log.  Directly northwest of the skull is a black plastic bag. On top of the black plastic bag is an off-white canvas bag.  To the west of the skull is a plastic Disney bag. That's all that I'm able to observe in this photo.
Burdick: Yes Ma'am. If I may have FU for identification. Does this photograph fairly and accurately represent the scene as you found it with other items of evidence that were ultimately collected.
Yes, it does.
(Photograph FU is published for the jury. Casey is still looking away and wiping tears away and sniffling).
(Investigator Welch pointed out the items, the off-white canvas and black trash bags in the photograph for jurors).
(FV was the next photograph entered into evidence as #184.  Casey is softly crying, her hands are shaking as she wipes away her tears with a tissue).

Burdick: Investigator Welch, where are you standing when this photograph is taken?
Welch: I'm standing to the Northwest of the skull, amongst the vegetation that is located on the west side.
Did this vegetation on the west side obscure your view of the skull to some degree?
Can you show us where the skull is, and which portion of the skull we are viewing in this picture.
(She pointed it out for jurors using her teleprompter).
(Burdick then entered photograph FW as evidence as state's 185. It was published and showed a log amongst dense vegetation. Investigator Welch pointed out a red plastic Disney bag and the black plastic bag and off-white canvas bag.  Casey is still looking away and wiping tears away).

(Evidence photo FW was shown. It showed the log, the black plastic bag and a pair of shorts were also seen.  In photograph FY: You can see the pair of shorts and the white plastic bag, and barely visible is the plastic Disney bag.)


(A shot of the courtroom showed spectators looking up at the monitors as the photos were shown.  Some were gasping as the photos were shown, others sat in shock with their mouths open).

(Photograph FZ was a close-up photo of Caylee's skull, it was state's evidence #188.  Also seen in this photo was the black plastic bag.
Photograph GA was then shown and entered into states evidence as #189.  It showed the black plastic bag and a pair of shorts).
(Casey still has her head turned away towards Ms Simms)


(Photograph GB (#190) showed evidence items - A beer bottle that was found at the scene and part of the black trash bag.
Photograph GC (#191) was next.  It's a view of the skull and items of evidence, which were a black plastic bag, clothing remnants (described as a collar with a tag still present). The front of the skull was close to the clothing remnants).


(Photograph GD (#192) followed.  It showed a close up photo of the clothing item with the tag. When asked what was at the bottom of the photograph, Ms. Welch said that it was the front of the skull with duct tape. (Note: the duct tape on the skull was around the lower jaw, the mandible and a portion of the maxilla.  It's described as covering the skull jaw.

Photograph GE (#193) was next.  Investigator Welch described it as showing the off-white canvas bag, the black plastic bag, and you can also see the skull.)

Burdick:  Prior to collection, could you tell whether or not any of the items were contained inside of each other? In other words, could you tell if the white canvas bag was inside of the black trash bag?
Welch: I could not tell.

(Photograph GF shown (#194): Investigator Welch was standing to the east of the black plastic bag and took this photograph to show how vegetation covered items.  It showed the off-white canvas bag and the black trash bag. The skull could not be seen easily in the photo, but duct tape could be seen peeking through vegetation. It was the duct tape that was on the skull.

Photograph GG (#195):  Shown in this photo, Welch explained her vantage point, while taking this photo. She was standing partially over the log and to the southeast of the skull. She had to lean over the log to take the photograph. In the photo, evidence seen included the black plastic bag, and barely visible was the off-white bag, the Disney bag, and the skull.

Photograph GH (#196): A close up photograph of the duct tape that was on the front of the skull and in the photograph was also the clothing remnants. (Courtroom observers are shown again, who are absolutely captivated with what is being shown on courtroom monitors).


(Photograph GI (#197) was shown, and in this photograph, evidence items include a blanket.  Investigator Welch first thought it was a white towel. (Casey is no longer crying; she's got her eyes closed)

Photograph GJ (#198): Standing near the black plastic bag and the white canvas bag, this photograph is a shot back to Suburban Drive.  Evidence items shown in this photograph include the off-white canvas bag.)


(Photograph GK (199):  Shows the scene as the medical examiner started removing evidence items from the scene.  Investigator Welch explained that "the black plastic bag, the red plastic Disney bag are in this photograph.  Also in the photo was the skull with the duct tape present, and the chief medical legal investigator, Steven Hanson is picking up the skull to remove it from the scene".)


Jose: Good morning. I wanted to talk to you about your position.
Welch: Ok.
Jose: As a crime scene investigation, one of the first and most important things that you do is document the scene.
Welch: Yes, it's correct.
And your job is incredibly important because you want to try to show, as you best you possibly can, the jurors what the scene looked like when you first arrived.
Yes, that is correct
And you are trained extensively how to do this.
Yes, that is correct.
And part of the reason is because you rarely get a second chance at an actual crime scene.
Yes, that is rare.
And the importance of having a scene preserved is because once the people come in, it would get contaminated.
And the more people that come in and observe the scene, the more contamination there is.
Yes, that's true.
And, if there is a body or remains that have been tampered with, that would affect the ability for everyone to do their jobs, correct.
It would affect investigators to be able to determine what happened at that location.
It could affect as well the medical examiner in determining what may or may not have happened.
To an extent.
It could.
And some of the things you also look for is to see if a scene is staged. Do you not?
And it is very common, when you have scenes, to be careful and to observe and look for these things of what may be a staged scene. Correct?
And that's because sometimes there are people who try to conceal certain items of evidence.
You may answer.
I'm sorry, can you repeat?
And that's because sometimes, people who try to conceal certain items of evidence.
They may.
And there are those staged scenes where people try to make the scene look like something else happened there.
Yes they could.
And that is why it is paramount, to the utmost importance, that the scene be preserved and not be tampered with in any way.
Yes, that would be correct.

Jose published evidence photograph #193:  Can you all see that?  I'd like to draw your attention to the duct tape area. Can you draw a circle around the duct tape?  Now is it fair to say that the duct tape is somewhat in the air on this photograph?
Welch: It appears it could be.
Jose: And you can see almost the entire width of the duct tape, can you not?
Welch: Yes, it appears that you can.
And it is, would this area be classified as the front of the skull?
And the end portion of the duct tape portion would be right there.
Yes, if that is the duct tape, yes.
So as you see it now, it is flat on the ground, pointed at, I guess that could best be described as 1:00, that direction.
I can't tell that it's flat on the ground, but it does appear to be pointed in that direction.
(Jose then asked for GF photograph, state's evidence 194)
Jose: Now, here you do not see, I'm going to draw a circle around the duct tape, if that's ok. Can you see that there?
Here you see the duct tape and not the skull.
It appears to be the duct tape, yes.
And it is also lying, or appears to be lying flat on the surface.
I can't tell if it's laying flat.
You can almost see the entire width of it, right
And it appears to be an end piece right there.
If that is the duct tape, yes.
And the other piece down here? I may have drawn over it, let me clear that, down there?
Yes, it appears to be.
(Jose then asked to see states evidence 196)
Jose: Here you can see the entire width of the tape, correct?
Welch: Yes.
Jose: And here you actually see the end of the duct tape, the cutted tape.
Welch: I can't tell if it's cut but it appears to be an end.
You can see right, it's an uneven edge, can you not?
And that would appear to be the end of that piece of duct tape, correct?
It does appear to be.

(Casey is still looking down, but is not looking at the monitor and is no longer crying. She put her head on her hand).

(Jose then published states evidence #197 for the jury).

Jose: Now, what we're looking at is the entire width of the entire duct tape.
And this area here appears to be the edge of the duct tape, the end.
It appears to be a section of the ending.
(Jose then published the last photo, states evidence #199.)
Investigator Welch, can you see that?
And this is investigator Hanson, correct.
And he is currently collecting the skull at the same time.
And he is also collecting the duct tape, is he not?
And in order to collect all of them, do you notice he has, that he has to apply some force to lift all of those items.
He would have to apply force to lift it, just like you would have to to lift anything.
And he's also including extra, I guess, foliage, where I've just drawn?
It appears that he's also collecting vegetation.
That's a better word. Um, and also he's also applying pressure in this area as he's collecting it?
I can't tell.
And he's not wearing any protective footwear, is he?
Not other than boots.
And the person next to him is also not wearing any protective footing, are they?
And it appears that his other leg is also stepping on other items of evidence, that would be collected, is that correct?
That could be.

(Jose walks over to Cheney Mason for guidance, and then comes back to the podium).

Jose: Thank you Investigator Welch, I have no additional questions at this time.
Prosecution had no other questions either.

Witness Jennifer Welch is excused.

Next witness is Medical Examiner Steven Hanson.

(As Medical Examiner Steven Hanson took the stand, new photographs that were shown were some that were taken from the road, looking into the wooded area where Caylee's body was found.
(Note: Casey is now looking at the monitor in front of her, as she wipes away remaining tears that fell earlier).
Another photograph shows the path leading into the wooded area. (Casey looks at the photo and takes a drink of water.)  In the photograph was a plastic advertisement sign laying on the ground.  Several photographs were shown of the pathway, from the roadway, leading into the crime scene.)

A lunch time recess is called by Judge Perry.  Jose Baez put his arm around Casey, who was wearing a white shirt and long sweater.  Casey was still wiping away tears as she left the courtroom for the lunch break.


Prosecutor Jeff Ashton is the one questioning Medical Examiner, Steven Hanson.

Jeff Ashton:  How long were you actually at the scene between arrival and when you left with the remains?
Hanson: I'd have to say it was three or four hours.
Ashton: May I have State's exhibit CI?.  Is that a photograph of the scene with the vines cleared away?
Hanson: The vines have been cleared away and you can see that the log that was down there was removed.  (State's exhibit CI was entered into Evidence).
Ashton: You indicated that some vines had been removed.
Hanson: Yes sir.
Was anything cleared at this point from ground level, or was it all just up above it?
No, it was just things that were above it that were hindering our ability to visualize what was down there.
Ashton: So, with respect to things that were on the ground, is everything in the same position it was when you got there?
Hanson: Yes sir.
(Next, states exhibit CJ. Photograph of closeup of the skull).
Ashton: Is this taken after the vines had been cleared away and log had been removed?
Hanson: Yes sir.
But has any of the ground material been disturbed?
Not at all.  It was just a closeup of the area, after it had been cleared up, but nothing had been removed.
Ashton: Enter into evidence CJ as state's evidence.  Now, tell me if you will, sort of describe this angle of the photograph of what you're attempting to do.
Hanson: This photograph was taken from the opposite side of where the other ones were. This removed from, if you, from discussions sake, one side where the log was, we moved outside of the area and came into it from another point so we could visualize the other side without having to step over anything or disturb anything.  This photograph was taken from the other side, the other perspective where you couldn't see the front of the skull from that other vantage point. We moved so you could visualize the skull without having to move anything.
Ashton: Now, at what height is the camera when this was taken?
Hanson: It probably wasn't two feet and a half feet off the ground.
And how did you accomplish that?
The camera we have is a digital camera, and it has a screen in the back that you can flip out and rotate so that you don't have to stay behind the camera as you're watching it the whole time.  So we were able to, I was able to go ahead and bring that camera down and rotate the screen up so that I could still see what the camera was seeing without having to get down onto the ground on the same level.  So that's how that was accomplished.
So you're actually standing up, but you're holding the camera low.
I was bending down but I was, my face was not behind the camera because of the arrangement of the screen in the back of the camera.
Now, in this photograph, can you see the duct tape?
Hanson sternly answered: YES SIR.
Ashton: From your observation of it, at this point, could you determine whether there appeared to be more than one piece of duct tape?
No, not at that point.
Could you circle the duct tape for us.
(The medical examiner circles the duct tape on his telecaster monitor from the witness stand).
Ashton: Now, obviously this is a two-dimensional photograph. But, the tape itself as it was sitting there, was it flat on the ground? Was it perpendicular, was it on an angle?  Could you give us that additional dimension.
Hanson: It was difficult to tell because of the hair mat and the undergrowth, the plant material that was there.  To the best of my knowledge, people who were processing the scene, including myself, had not moved anything. So, that is exactly how we saw it, and we hadn't moved anything, so it was difficult to tell exactly where it was.
So there was a great deal of leaf debris around it, still.
Now, we see in the photograph a portion of the duct tape. Is there a portion of the duct tape that is under the leaf debris?
We didn't know that at the time, but subsequently, upon moving, when you do these you photograph everything as you find it. You want to record it exactly as it was found. And after you've done that, then you're in a position to start to make some changes, but you always want to photograph something exactly as it was found, and then as we're doing now. Then we explained that, so any subsequent photographs, we can say that we had to clear some of that undergrowth and what-have-you, so we could see.
Now, you mentioned a "hair mat".  Can you show the jury, in this photograph, the hair mat that you're talking about.
There's, it appeared, it's what appeared at the scene, and what we subsequently learned to be true, that this area here and around here and back over here (pointing out areas on the photograph), that was probably hair.
Did it appear to you that way at the time?
It did.
Did it appear also that the matter on the top of the skull, these strands, appear to be hair also?
Let me go on to state's exhibit, CK, the next one.  Does this depict the scene at the time of the skull, the tape and the bags that appear in the photograph.
It does.
(CK is entered into evidence )
Ashton: Now these particular items that we see in the photograph, as a medical examiner, do you have a responsibility that is different that the crime scene investigators or the police agency?
Hanson: Yes sir.  We investigate death scenes and we are responsible for providing information to the medical examiner regarding the scene looks and how it is related to the remains. The majority of the time it's a full set of remains, sometimes decomposed, or as in this case, skeletonized.  We need to find and put into perspective those things that we believe are pertinent to understanding the scene and the circumstances, so we focus more on the scene itself as it relates to the remains than a lot of the broad photographs that a lot of the regular crime scene folks take.  (Casey is looking down at the table in front of her, and away from the monitor.  She appears to be upset but is not crying at this point).
In terms of custody of the remains and items relating to the remains, what is the protocol for that?
The Florida statute gives the medical examiner's office the authority over the remains.  We work hand-in-hand with law enforcement.  They own and control the crime scene. But we have the remains.  In this particular case, one of the things that we were thinking was that there were probably remains in the bag. And we were, I'll be honest, hoping that most of the remains were still in the bag; it would make it a much easier case than having to go search all over a field or in this case a wooded area. So we considered this potentially, these bags having contained additional remains. So we looked at that as part of our jurisdiction.
Ashton: So you would have, in effect, have custody or control over not just the skull but the bags as well.
Hanson: After discussions with law enforcement, they agreed that that's the way it should be handled in this case.


Hanson: We decided the best way to do it would be to try to collect a large portion of that area, just not lift the skull up. So we planned to lift an area to include the skull and the debris and put it into a paper bag for transport.
Jeff Ashton: Let me show you exhibit #199 (GK).  Is this a photograph of you attempting, in the middle of removing the skull.
Hanson: That's correct. It looks like I'd already reached down and gotten the outer areas and my hands were coming together under the skull to lift it up and one of the crime scene investigators was holding a bag open so that just reach over and then place this entire pile of debris and skull in the bag for security and transport.
Ashton: Do you have a recollection of approximately how far out from the skull you went, in terms of your initial penetration?
Hanson: About six to eight inches around the skull. The skull is here in the center (the photograph shows a man with a blue baseball cap, blue plastic jacket and blue gloves reaching for the skull and surrounding debris), and six to eight inches to the side, and then gone down until I hit something pretty solid and then tried to scoop it up and then lift everything that was there to deposit into a large paper bag.
Ashton: Looking at state's exhibit #199, is that where you had moved debris?
Hanson: It would appear to be that way, yes.
And did you attempt, as best you could, to keep the tape in the same position in reference to the skull as it was on the ground?
The hair mat and the tape both, yes.
Was it possible to keep it in precisely, exactly in the same position
I seriously doubt it, but we made the best effort that we could.
And you said it was collected and placed into a paper bag.
Did you collect other items from the scene there that morning?
Yes we did.
What other items did you collect from the scene?
We collected the plastic bag and the canvas bag that was next to it because we felt that it may have had additional remains in it.  And there were also long bones that were in the area of the skull, in the proximity, which again would be part of our responsibility as medical examiner's office. So while they weren't part of the large area that we collected with the skull or from the bags, they were also collected and placed in a bag for transport back to the medical examiner's office.
So the bag, the trash bag or the canvas bag or both?
The trash bag and the canvas bag was collected as one unit so that we could get everything that was in that area.  Again, same thing going down from the outside, going around, scooping it up and putting it onto a plastic shroud and then putting that into a body bag.
And then was that taken as a unit?
As a unit.
Did you also collect some items of possible clothing. I think a pair of shorts?
There was, I didn't know it at the time that they were shorts, but there were some items of cloth that may have been clothing but those were also collected, we considered to be also part of the scene.
Was there anything else that you took from the scene that first morning?  You said the skull, the bag, shorts, long bones, anything else?
That's pretty much it. There was something besides the shorts, a long piece of cloth. Later on it was some sort of blanket, I think. But, those things that were of that ilk, that were with each other, they were all picked up and transported back.
To the medical examiner's office.
And when you arrived at the medical examiner's office, did you turn all that material over to one of the forensic pathologists?
Yes I did.
And who was that?
Dr. Gary Utz, the deputy chief medical examiner.
Over the next number of days, did you continue to transport remains from that scene on Suburban back to the medical examiners' office.
(Medical Examiner Hanson explained that he would regularly go to the scene on Suburban Drive to pick up the items and bring them back to the medical examiners' office. There were several check points, signing off's, etc. to ensure the process kept a clean chain of evidence.  He did mention that one or two times there may have been a police person who brought something over to the medical examiner's office, but for the most part, it was his responsibility).


Cheney Mason got up and started cross-examining Medical Examiner Hanson.  Cheney asked him who moved the log, and the medical examiner raised his hand and said "I did".  Cheney then went to another question, adding a little bit of humor by having Linda Drane-Burdick come over to assist him with something at the podium. He asked her to stay with him, but she didn't agree to. As she walked away, Cheney said "they won't mind", which got a bit of the chuckle from the courtroom.

Cheney asked about the duct tape that was laying on the ground.  He asked if the duct tape was measured on the scene, and the medical examiner said that it was not by him. Cheney asked if they weighed anything before moving things, of which the examiner said no.

Cheney asked "Did you know IF anyone had moved that skull in any way before you got there?
Medical Examiner Hanson:  The initial information that I received was that the person that found it may have kicked it...
Cheney (over his shoulder to Jeff Ashton): Are you done?
Cheney (to Medical Examiner Hanson): On your watch, what you did, that you don't have any information that anyone had moved it before.
Hanson: That is correct
Cheney: And then what you do is you gather it up, and then Mr. Ashton was showing up by republishing #199, can we have #199. May I show it to the jury. (The photograph of Hanson picking up Caylee's skull is shown to the jury/courtroom).
Cheney: Do you know who all those other feet belong to? (The photo shows two sets of boots; one belonging to the witness/medical examiner and there's another pair of boots behind and to the side of him).
Hanson: Well, two of them are mine.  I'm not 100% sure who the other folks were. I was concentrating.
Cheney: They'd be officials
Hanson: Oh absolutely, there's no one who wasn't authorized that was there.
Cheney: And so, what was or what were the reasons for digging down around the material around the skull?
Hanson: The primary reason was to make sure that I collected everything that was around it and to make sure that I didn't move anything that was around it like the duct tape.
Cheney: If the duct tape were positioned flat as we saw a moment ago...
Ashton: OBJECTION - Assuming fact that's not in evidence and is Council's opinion
Judge: SUSTAINED. Rephrase the question.
Cheney: If the duct tape were in the position that would reveal in the photos that we saw just a few moments ago, would you agree that when you lifted it all up that the duct tape would have shifted postion?
Hanson: It could have.
Cheney: And by the way, you mentioned some names, Dr. Utz was the on-call medical examiner, that
Hanson: I don't know if he was the on-call, but he was the medical examiner who was there when I got back to the medical examiner's office.
Cheney: Ultimately, a day or so later, if I read your report, Dr. G. (famous for having her own television show - Dr. G, Medical Examiner) came in and took over the investigation.
Hanson: It would seem that way.

(Cheney then went over how Hanson went back to the crime scene to the medical examiner's office.  He asked if Hanson observed whoever was managing and assembling the skeleton. Answer: No. Cheney asked if someone photographed the assembling of the skeleton, and he answered "Not by me".)


(Next witness: The medical examiner who conducted the initial autopsy of Caylee Anthony, Dr. Gary Utz.  Dr. Utz explained that he took over the case while Dr. G. left town for a few days.)

(Casey Anthony is sitting at the defense table, frowning, and she just pulled her sweater together tight in front of her body).

(Dr. Utz explained how Caylee's remains, bags and fabric came to the medical examiner's office.  During his examination of the items, various photographs were taken of Caylee's remains during his examination. (Casey turned away from the monitor and placed her hand over her nose and mouth, resting her head a little on her hand).)

Ashton: Dr. Utz, tell us what you see and take note of.
Utz: I don't know if you can tell from this photograph with handle ties, and they're mixed with leaf debris, and on top is a leg bone.  It was near the bag and he placed the bone on top of the bag.  There is a laundry bag, a fabric laundry bag mixed in with the garbage bags.  Each item was photographed separately.

(Dr. Utz took a close up photograph of Caylee's skull as it arrived at their office. He explained that this photograph shows that it was a human skull, facing the observer.  In the front, on the lower portion of the skull, over the jaw and the lower portion of the facial bones, are several pieces of silver or gray colored tape. There is also hair that is extending over the skull.

Another photograph was taken from above of the skull.  The items that appear to flow down from the top of the skull are strands of hair.  A hair mat is at the bottom of the skull.

Another photograph was taken of the skull from the side. (Casey's head is down).  It showed the right side and back of the skull, and in this photo you can see the multiple strands of hair that go over the skull as well as a good picture of the mat of the hair that is now at the bottom of the skull and then towards the right of the skull.

Several other photographs of the skull were shown, from various angles, with descriptions of hair, duct tape, hair mat and plant roots that were intertwined with the skull.  Dr. Utz removed the hair mat from Caylee's skull.  He said that the pieces of tape were taped together, and there appeared to be three pieces. He was not the one though, who separated the tape pieces.  Dr. Utz said that it was unusual to find the skull's mandible still attached to the skull when the remains were in the condition that Caylee's were (probably because it had been attached to the skull with duct tape).)


(Once Dr. Utz removed the tape from Caylee's skull, it was photographed on its own.  The DUCT tape appeared to have been taped all the way around of Caylee's skull.  On its own, the taped pieces formed a circle form).  The tape had a logo stamp on it showing that it was a Heinkle tape.  After photographing the tape, it was packaged and sent to the FBI).

(Another photograph was shown of the canvas laundry bag that held the body of Caylee.  It was photographed by Dr. Utz.  Its opening has a rigid opening, like the mouth of the bag had a plastic ring sewn into it to keep it open, and the bag had some sort of coating on it, making it resistant to moisture).

(Next photograph is a black trashbag. Dr. Utz noted that both this bag and the canvas laundry bag had tears in them, which could have come from animals tearing through them).

(Next photograph appeared to be a second trash bag, which was also found at the crime scene).

(Next photograph was a child's short pants, which were very soiled and torn apart.)



Dr. Drew said that he would have thought that Casey Anthony's reaction to Caylee's remains should have been, in his opinion, more along the lines of how Cindy Anthony reacted when listening to the 911 call.


Here's a recent sidebar quote from Jose Baez regarding the upcoming photos of Casey Anthony dancing at Club Fusion for the Hot Body contest.  Jose said "As far as the pictures of her dancing, there are certain members of the jury that may find this offensive, that my client is a lesbian.  Many members of this jury whose average age is 50... would be extremely offended."