Wednesday, June 1, 2011

AMY HUIZENGA, CASEY'S FORMER BEST FRIEND, TAKES THE STAND

After listening to Cindy Anthony's riveting, heart-breaking testimony yesterday, the prosecution's next witness, Amy Huizenga took the stand.

Amy Huizenga was Casey Anthony's former best friend at the time Caylee went missing in 2008.  Their best friend relationship was destroyed when Amy found out that Casey had stolen almost $4,000 from Amy's bank account when Amy was away on vacation.  After learning about the theft, Amy filed a complaint with police and Casey pled guilty to six felony check fraud charges.

As Amy, a 26 year old blond-haired lady took the stand, Casey Anthony stared at her with a stoic look on her face.  Amy did not look in Casey's direction.  The prosecution started questioning Amy about her relationship with Casey.  Amy testified that she met Casey for the first time on New Year's Eve going into 2008.  She and Casey became close friends in April 2008.  Amy testified that she mainly saw Caylee when Caylee was in bed, as that was the time that Amy typically got off of work.  Prosecutors then asked Amy about times when Casey would cancel plans with her due to not having someone to care for Caylee.  Amy said that Casey usually had to cancel their plans with her about once a week.

Testimony then centered around Amy's plans of living with Casey after Amy found out that she was about to lose her lease at her current rental house.  She testified that she and Casey made plans to look at one apartment, but Casey cancelled that appointment for some unknown reason.  As time went on, frustration levels grew as Amy couldn't find a new place to live, and Casey kept giving her the run-around.  She then read text messages from Casey which read: "Downtown tomorrow, my mom owes me", followed by "This week I'm there.  No way I'm staying home."  When asked what Casey meant by "my mom owes me",  Amy said that she didn't know what it really meant.  Amy then testified that Casey had to cancel plans they'd made several times due to Casey's mom not being able to care for Caylee.  She said that on several occasions Casey's mom was extremely upset with Casey and called her an unfit mother.  Amy said that Casey told her that she didn't know why her mom said that she was an unfit mother, and she called her mother crazy.

Then Amy testified that she texted Casey about their plans they made to go to Jacksonville.  She received a text back from Casey, saying that she couldn't go because she had to go to the hospital.  Since Amy needed Casey to drive her that day, she made plans to get a rental car to go without her.  Amy said that later on that evening, Casey texted her to meet her at Fusion nightclub.  When asked if Amy went to Fusion, Amy shook her head and answered no.  After that day, Amy did not see Casey for about three weeks, but they stayed in contact via text messages.

During those three weeks, Casey phoned her about having two flat tires, running out of gas and that there was a really bad smell in her car.  Casey told her that the smell was getting worse, and that her dad probably ran over something when he had possession of her car.   Amy later received text messages from Casey saying that the bad smell coming from her car was possibly from a dead animal.   Casey also texted Amy that her car ran out of gas and she left it in the Amscot parking lot.

Near the end of June, Amy testified that Casey was complaining about problems with her mother, saying that Casey was frustrated at times, complaining that Cindy wanted to see Caylee.  Casey told Amy that she was keeping Caylee away from the Anthony home because George and Cindy were having marital problems and were considering divorce because George had cheated on her mom.  Casey wanted to keep Caylee away from that drama.   Casey told Amy that she needed "space" away from her parents, that she was frustrated and upset with her parents.  She also told Amy that they were going to be able to move into Casey's parents' home soon, and although moving dates were set, they were subsequently cancelled by Casey.  On June 30th, Casey showed up unexpectedly at Amy's door and stayed with Amy for about one week.  Amy didn't like that Casey was staying with her because she wasn't allowed to bring in new tenants and she hadn't invited Casey to stay with her.  She felt put upon when Casey stayed anyways.

Amy then testified how Casey always had reasons why Caylee wasn't with her around the week of June 30th.  On July 5th, Amy awoke to the tapping on fingers on a computer and saw Casey happy because her boyfriend Tony Lazzaro was coming back into town from a trip.  Amy then testified that she went to Puerto Rico, without Casey, and when she came back on July 15th, Casey picked her and Tony Lazzaro up at the airport using Amy's car.  Amy then dropped Casey and Tony off at Tony's apartment.

The prosecution then centered around when Amy received a frantic call from Casey's mom, Cindy who was phoning Amy to find Casey.  Amy was cautious because Casey had told her that Cindy was "crazy".  When Cindy arrived to pick up Amy from the shopping mall she was at, she told Amy that she was scared and needed to find Casey and Caylee.  After listening to Cindy, Amy took her to where she believed Casey to be, which was at Tony Lazzaro's apartment.  On the way there, Cindy and Amy discussed how they would approach Casey and it was decided that Amy should go get Casey, and that Cindy would be waiting for them outside the apartment.  Amy knocked on the door, heard Tony say to come in, and she opened the door.  She saw Casey sitting on the couch and motioned her to come out with her.  As soon as Casey came out, Amy testified that Casey and Cindy had a massive explosion between mother and daughter.  When they got in the car, Cindy started accusing Casey of several things, asked to be taken to Caylee/where was Caylee, but Casey didn't answer her.  She just crossed her arms and glared at her mother as if she was "a sixteen year old who'd been caught doing something bad" (this last comment from Amy was objected to by the defense and stricken from the record by the judge).  Amy said that Casey told Cindy that she and Caylee needed their space.  And then Amy was dropped off.

End of Prosecution's testimony.  Judge Perry called it a day and everyone left the courtroom.

JOSE BAEZ'S CROSS-EXAMINATION (the next day)

As Amy Huizenga retook the stand, Casey glared at her as she walked by.  Jose Baez started cross-examining Amy, saying that although Amy testified earlier that she and Casey were friends, that they hadn't been friends for very long, is that right?.  Amy said "correct", agreeing that their friendship only lasted about five months.  Jose then focused on Amy's text messages from April 24th through July.  Jose told Amy that among all her text messages, that she asked Casey to go out several times.  Then he said that Amy didn't know Cindy and Casey very well, so she couldn't really testify intelligently as to their relationship. Amy answered that she testified as to what she was told and what she heard.  Jose was trying to show the jury that Amy wasn't familiar enough with Casey or Cindy to be a good witness as to their relationship.

Jose then accused Amy of drinking heavily during that time, saying that she drank almost every night.  Amy responded that she didn't drink every night, maybe 3-4 nights a week.  Jose then said that she'd crashed her car because she had been drinking and driving.  Amy said that the accident was not really caused by her drinking, but that she had fallen asleep at the wheel because it's a long, boring stretch of road.  Unsatisfied with Amy's answer, Jose brought out a stack of printed text messages which police had compiled with Amy's permission.  He had Amy read through  text messages relating to her accident, which she read out loud: "I hit a guardrail.  Thank god I'm ok.  Thank got I didn't get a DUI".  Jose then made the statement to Amy that her car had been totaled, she had a bloody nose.  She said that the car wasn't really totaled and she only had a little blood on her nose.  Jose then asked Amy if she'd experience a head injury in the accident, and she answered no.  He then had her read out another text message, which said:  "I don't know if I hit my head".  Jose said that that showed that she didn't have her bearings straight. Amy said that wasn't the case, that she texted that message because she'd never been hit with an airbag before.

Jose then tried to make Amy look sleazy, saying that she went after Casey's boyfriends.  He first stated that she moved in with Ricardo Morales, Casey's former boyfriend, after Casey had moved onto Tony Lazzaro.  He then accused Amy of meeting up with another one of Casey's former fiancee, Jesse Grund.  Amy said that she only met with Jesse when they got together to try to find Caylee.  Then Jose slipped in a sleazy accusation: "Are there any other boyfriends of Casey's that you have gone out with or moved in with since?"  Prosecutors objected and the judge told Amy that she didn't have to answer the question.

Then Jose asked if Amy was at the Anthony home on July 15th, 2008, of which Amy said no.  She testified that she had spoken with Casey that day, but had not noticed anything out of the ordinary with Casey's demeanor.

Then Jose said that he was done with his cross-examination, at which point Judge Perry said that she was excused and subject to recall, at which point Amy asked if she could say something.  The judge then called a sidebar with the attorneys, and after a few minutes invited Amy over to the sidebar.  After a few minutes of discussion, Amy left the sidebar with a big smile on her face and hop in her step as she walked out of the courtroom.  Reports are that as Amy left the courthouse yesterday, after her first day of testimony, she was served with a subpoena by Casey's Anthony's defense.  She was seen being quite upset at receiving this subpoena because she currently lives in Europe, works on a cruise ship, and does not want to hang around for further questioning.  But it looks like after seeing Amy leave today, it appears that the judge may have excused her from further testimony in this case.

END OF AMY HUIZENGA'S TESTIMONY

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