But the most riveting testimony came from the Police Statement & Interrogation Audio Tapes, where Casey tells police how Caylee was kidnapped, and is then later caught lying about having a job at Universal Studios.
The day began with testimony from Jeffrey Hopkins and Universal Studios' security manager.
As the trial resumed, jurors heard from Jeffrey Hopkins, the man with the name that Casey told everyone she was romantically involved with, was rich with a trust fund, had a child, and introduced Casey to Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the nanny. We also heard from the security manager at Universal Studios, who reported to police that Casey hadn't worked there since 2006.
JEFFREY HOPKINS TESTIFIES
When Jeffrey got on the stand, he testified that he only knew Casey when they were in middle school, that he thought she was pretty back then. He said that everything else she said about him was a lie. He testified that he never had a child, never knew a Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, and hasn't spoken to Casey since middle school.
DEFENSE CROSS-EXAMINES JEFFREY HOPKINS
When the defense got up, they asked if his name was "Jeffrey Michael Hopkins", he answered no (his middle name was not Michael). He had however worked at Universal Studios back in 2002, which is why police identified him as possibly being the Jeffrey Hopkins that Casey was referring to. No Jeffrey Michael-Hopkins has ever been found.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SECURITY MANAGER
Then prosecutors questioned Leonard Turtora, who is the Assistant Manager of Loss Prevention at Universal Studios. He testified that Detective Yuri Melich asked him about the employment status of Casey Anthony. After looking in the database, he found that Casey was not currently employed, but had been employed by a third party business (Kodak/aka Colorvision) that does business on Universal, and that the last day she worked there was in April 2006. He also said that he looked up Jeffrey Hopkins, who was employed late 2001 thru early 2002. When he looked up to see if Juliette Lewis or Zenaida Gonzalez had ever worked there, there was not.
He was asked by Detective Yuri Melich if he would allow Casey to show detectives where her office was at Universal. Even though he knew that she did not work there, he agreed as long as detectives remained with her. He then testified how Casey walked detectives into a Universal building, walked down the hallway and then turned around, put her hands in her back pockets and told them all that she didn't actually work there. Leonard then provided the detectives with an available conference room so they could speak with Casey in private. After about 45 minutes, when they were done talking with Casey, he led them all out of the premises.
DEFENSE CROSS-EXAMINES UNIVERSAL SECURITY MANAGER
Defense attorney, Cheney Mason, got up to cross-examine the security manager, trying to get him to say that allowing Casey to go to the Universal building, knowing that she didn't work there was a sham. Leonard testified that he didn't believe it was a sham. Cheney accused Leonard of playing along with the "charade", saying that he should have stopped the allowance of Casey going into a building because he knew that she did not work there. But Leonard responded that it wasn't up to him to stop Casey and the detectives. Cheney had Leonard say that the person that Casey said was her boss, Thomas Manly, was an "imaginary" person.
DETECTIVE YURI MELICH TAKES THE WITNESS STAND
Yesterday was the first day that ten-year veteran Detective Yuri Melich was on the witness stand. He testified that he currently works for Internal Affairs. Back in July 2008, he was assigned to the Missing Persons unit, and was the lead investigator on the Casey Anthony case.
Yuri described how he was initially called to the Anthony home because of reports of a missing child. When he arrived, he spoke with Casey, since she was the last person to have seen Caylee. He said that she told him that Caylee had been kidnapped 31 days ago, that she'd been looking for her, that the kidnapper was her nanny by the name of Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
He also testified how he drove with Casey to the Sawgrass Apartments, which was the last place Casey reported seeing Caylee. He read Casey's official statement where she describes in detail that on Monday, June 9, 2008, Casey took Caylee to Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez's apartment. Zenaida was described as a 25 year old woman from New York, being 5'7", with black hair and weighing 140 lbs. Casey continued saying that she left her work at 5pm, but when she arrived at Zenaida's apartment, no one was home. She waited outside the apartment, but no one came home. She said that around 7pm, she left the apartment and went to familar places where Zenaida might go, which included Jay Blanchard Park. Casey said that she's spent every day since June 9th to find her daughter. She admitted that she's lied and stolen from a lot of people in order to find her daughter. She also said that she'd received several short calls from Zenaida, but was unable to speak to her about Caylee. She also said that she'd gone to nightclubs hoping to find Zenaida. She said that she received a phone call from Caylee. She said that Zenaida never told her if she'd ever bring Caylee home.
The prosecution played Casey's recorded statement of July 15, 2008, with Detective Yuri Melich, for the jury. On the tape, we hear Casey tell the detective about Caylee being taken by the nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.
CASEY'S RECORDED STATEMENT, WITH YURI MELICH (JULY 15, 2008)
At the beginning of the recording, we hear Detective Yuri Melich describe the all being recorded on July 16th, 2008 at 4:11am, at 4937 Hopespring Drive, case# 08-069208. He identifies himself and says "I'm with Casey Anthony". Casey gives her date of birth 03/19/1986.
As the audio plays, Detective Melich has Casey confirm that she understood that their conversation was being recorded. He asked Casey if the sworn statement that she made was true and accurate. He also told Casey that if she wanted to rescind her statement, or change the facts that she put into her statement. Casey said that her statement was the complete truth. Then they talked about Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. Casey said that she dropped off Caylee at Zenaida's apartment at Sawgrass Apartments. She described in detail where the apartment was. She said that she's known Zenaida for four years, and that she met her through Jeffrey Michael Hopkins, whom she met while working at Universal Studios. Casey didn't have his phone number, stating that he'd moved away a few months ago.
Detective Melich then asked Casey about her routine of dropping Caylee off at Zenaida's apartment for the past year and a half. Casey said that Zenaida moved once during that time, from another apartment to the apartment at Sawgrass. Casey continued telling her story with absolute conviction, detailing things like where Zenaida's mother lived. In the tape, it sounds like Detective Melich is taking notes as Casey tells her story.
Casey then told the detective that after realizing Caylee was missing, she didn't want to go home not knowing what to say about where Caylee was, so she stayed at her boyfriend's, Tony Lazzaro's, apartment. She said that the only people she told that Caylee was missing was Jeffrey Hopkins and Juliette Lewis. Casey didn't have phone numbers for either of them. When Yuri asked why Casey hadn't called the police prior to her parents calling them, Casey's answer was that she was naive enough to believe that she could find Caylee by herself, and the fear of not seeing Caylee again.
Yuri then asked her again, if there was anything about her story that wasn't true? Casey's answer: "No Sir". Yuri then asked her if she'd harmed Caylee in any way, or had she left her somewhere, Casey's answers again were - No Sir. Yuri then said: You're telling me that Zenaida took your child without your permission? Casey: "She's the last person that I've seen with my daughter". Yuri then continued questioning Casey about Zenaida, her employment at Universal. He asked: "Does Caylee take any medications?" Casey: "Not at all". Yuri then asked if Casey had any problems with drugs, Casey's answer was no.
That concluded the first recording Yuri Melich made with Casey Anthony.
Detective Melich then took Casey for a drive to where Zenaida lived, and also where Zenaida's mother had previously lived. During his investigation, he came to find out that Casey's friends lived in the area that Casey identified as where Zenaida's mother lived. While he and Casey drove around, they were being followed by a marked police car in case they had to go to someone's apartment, they would have uniformed police officers with them.
(As Detective Melich is testifying, and also as the taped recording is playing for jurors, we see Casey in the courtroom glaring at him several times, with a furrowed brow)
Detective Melich testified that just after 6am, he took Casey home. He let her out of her car and she went to her home on her own. He told her that he was going to keep trying to find Caylee. He left and started his investigation using the information that Casey gave to him.
DEFENSE CROSS-EXAMINES YURI MELICH, INTRODUCING "DICK TRACY ORLANDO"
Jose Baez gets up to question Detective Melich, and immediately asked him if he ever goes under a different name other than Yuri Melich. Detective Melich got a slight surprised look on his face and didn't answer. Soon after the question was asked, Prosecutors objected. It was sustained by the judge.
Jose then asked the question: "Do you ever go by "Dick Tracy Orlando?" Objection! again from the prosecution. Judge Perry quickly and firmly said "SUSTAINED!". Jose wanting to make his point asked for, and was granted a sidebar.
As it turns out, Jose found out that Detective Melich had blogged briefly back in 2008 while he was recuperating from a broken leg. In his blogs were a few mentions of "Keep the Anthonys in your prayers" along with "Keep Caylee in your prayers", as footnotes to his blogs.
Although Baez tried to taint Detective Melich's credibility, Judge Perry ruled that the detective's blogs did not show bias and should not knock his credibility, so they were not relevant. Jose was stopped from making any more mention of it.
BAEZ CONTINUES CROSS-EXAMINATION OF DETECTIVE MELICH
Jose Baez asked Detective Melich about what he was looking at when he first arrived at the Anthony home. Detective Melich said that initially he was made aware of a possible theft, and was informed that Casey had been driven by another officer to Sawgrass Apartments. He was also handed Casey's office police statement.
Most of Jose's questions of Melich were objected to by prosecutors, and sustained by the judge.
Under cross-examination, Melich testified that he was told there was a missing child, that a place where Casey had took officers had no results, and that an odor was coming from Casey's car, but he did nothing with the car. In his investigation, he didn't find it necessary to secure the car in any way. He continued by saying that Casey was not a suspect of anything; she was a mother of a missing child. He did not read her her Miranda rights prior to questioning her, because she was a mother of a missing 2 1/2 year old. Jose said: "A mother of a missing two and a half year old who was lying". Yuri said "yes" but continued by saying that he wasn't sure as to what she was going to tell him.
Melich did report that Casey's version of events at the time were suspect. He would later document that she would later go somewhere where she felt "safe". Jose then kept asking Melich why he put certain words in quotes. Melich said it varied and he had no set reason for putting quotations around words. It depends.
Jose then tried to get statements that Casey made into Yuri Melich's response, but that was quickly sustained by the prosecution and Jose quickly withdrew his question.
Melich testified that he did not believe at that time that Casey's story was a fabrication. Frustrated by not getting the answers he wanted from this detective, Jose asked if the detective had asked Casey if she had committed suicide. The detective said that if she had, he doesn't believe that he could ask her if she HAD committed suicide. Jose laughed at his faux-pas, and rephrased it. He tried to get the detective to admit that he thought Casey's answers were crazy and that's why he asked Casey had ever been committed. Prosecutors objected, and the judge sustained.
After consulting Cheney Mason, Jose asked the detective if he'd made any other inquiries of Casey with anyone else in the home. Melich remembers talking to Cindy, but couldn't remember talking to George. Then Jose slipped in a sneaky question of "Were you aware of any seizures that Casey Anthony may have had". Prosecutors jumped on that too, and it was sustained by the judge (after jurors heard it though).
Jose then stopped his cross-examination for the day.
THURSDAY, JUNE 2ND SEES YURI MELICH BACK ON THE STAND
Prosecutors started questioning Detective Yuri Melich again today.
Yuri testified that after he dropped Casey off at her home and then went to Universal Studios around 9am. The purpose for him going there was that Casey told him that there were outcry witnesses who could provide information at Universal about what happened. Casey also told him that Zenida worked part time there, and considering she was the suspect, he felt it important to go there and try to find as much information on her as possible, to ultimately locate Caylee.
He met with Leonard Turtora (Manager of Universal). He called Casey and put the call on speaker, and told her that he was planning to go to her place of employment and he wanted to get her information correct. He asked her to confirm her work number and extension, and as she gave it, Turtora wrote it down, and same thing when he asked her for her boss's name. As it turned out, the boss's name didn't exist in the Universal database. There was a similar name, same first name, but not the last name. As one point, he asked her if she could come to Universal Studios. Melich spoke with his sergeant, and his sergeant with Detective Appy Wells picked Casey up to come to Universal Studios. She agreed to go. When Casey arrived, he met her at the employees' entrance gate at Universal. She was with Sgt Allen and Appy Wells.
Casey lead investigators to where she "worked" at Universal Studios. Casey led them the building, she walked down the hallway, and half way down the hallway, she turned around and said "I don't work here." Upon hearing that, Detective Melich asked if they could talk to her, because they wanted to find out why she would take them someplace where she didn't work. They went into a conference room, after Casey agreed to speak with them. (A photo of the conference room was shown, which had a white plastic couch and white plastic arm chair). The three detectives and Casey went into the room. Casey sat down on the couch, Melich sat with her on the couch and the other two detectives sat on a chair next to the door. Melich taped the conversation. At this point, Casey was not under arrest. She was not told that she couldn't leave, and she never said that she wanted to leave. The taped conversation was played for jurors.
AUDIO TAPE OF UNIVERSAL STUDIOS INTERROGATION OF CASEY
(Beginning part, because this tape went on and on and on, with Casey refusing to tell investigators where Caylee was, even when they offer her the possible excuse of accidental drowning)
As the tape starts to play, we hear Detective Melich saying to Casey: "I know and you know that everything you've told us up to now has been a lie. Correct?
Casey's answer: "Not everything I told you"
Melich: Ok, uh pretty much everything including where Caylee is right now
Casey: That I still... I don't know where she is
Melich: Sure you do
Casey: I absolutely do not know where she is
Melich: Let me explain something. Together, combined experience in this room, we have 30 years of doing this. Both myself and Sgt. Wells worked in homicide division for several years; We've dealt with several people, conducted thousands of interviews, the three of us have several years. I can tell for a certainty that right now, looking at you, I know that everything you've told me is a lie, including the fact that your child was last seen about a month ago and you don't know where she is. I'm confident you know where she is. We have to get past that, we can sit here and go back and forth with I don't I do I don't I do, it's pretty obvious that you know where she is. Now my question to you is, is this, we need to find Caylee. I understand that right now Caylee may not be in very good shape, you understand what I'm saying? She may not be the way we and your family last saw her. We need to understand right now, from you, where Caylee is. This has gone so far downhill and become such a mess, that we need to end it. It's very simple. We just need to end it.
Casey: I agree with you, I have no clue where she is.
Yuri: Sure you do.
Casey: If I knew in any sense where she was, this wouldn't have happened at all. It wouldn't have happened whatsoever.
Yuri: Listen, this stuff about Zanny the caretaker, the nanny, is not the truth because I went to the apartment complex and no person that's ever lived there by that name. The apartment's been vacant since March, that same apartment. Now the apartment you pointed out to me, the two story apartment, that's an old folks home. It's right across the street from your ex-boyfriend's house who you never mentioned. And you said you wrote the address down because it was across the street, that's a lie because I've already talked to him, and we've already been by the house and, you know, we've looked at everything we could look at over there.
Yuri: Everything you've told us is a lie. Now there are a couple ways this goes. Right now, we can... I've never met you before and I could look at you as a person who's scared, who's concerned and who's kinda of afraid of what's going to happen because of something bad's that's happened before. Or, we can look at you as cold, callous and a monster who doesn't care, who's just trying to get away with something bad that's happened and is trying to cover it up.
Yuri: It's going to be one of those two options.
(Interesting side note: In the courtroom, as Detective Melich is listening and watching the transcript of this audio tape play on the monitor in front of him, Casey Anthony is looking at him from the defense table with an evil, cold look on her face. It's really evil looking. If looks could kill, Det. Melich would definitely be dead. That Casey is really scary looking).
(Back to the tape)
Yuri: Now, from what I already talked to you, you seem to be a bright young lady. You don't seem like someone who has no education.
Yuri. Alright. What we have to do is determine which way this is going to go. Are you a person who's scared of the consequences of what happened, or are you scare of something that happened? Or are you really this cold callous person who doesn't care what happened? It's one of those two options.
Casey: I'm scared that... I don't know where my daughter is. I would not have put my entire family...
Sgt. Allen interrupts: "Woe woe... I want to ask you something."
Casey: Yes sir.
Sgt: Like he said, you seem like a pretty bright person. You're willing, right. You're here to try to help, right?
Casey: Oh absolutely.
Sgt: Your whole reason of talking to us is to try to help. Right?
Sgt: No one's forcing you to talk to us, right?
Sgt: You want us, you're here because you called, and you want us to help find your daughter, right?
Sgt: Now, let me ask you something. I want you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute, ok.
Sgt: Since you've talked to him this morning (Yuri), in an attempt to try to find your daughter, you've given him bad addresses, ok.
Sgt: You drove me all the way out here, we walk from the gate back here, all the way to your office, right?
Sgt: Ok, to an office that you don't have. We got all the way into the building, into the hallway out here before you finally says 'well I don't really have an office here'. Prior that we were walking to your office right?
Casey: Um-mm (affirmative)
Sgt: Ok, does any of this make any sense to you?
Casey: I understand how all that sounds. I ...
Sgt: No no no, here's the problem with that, here's the problem with that ok. Um, you can carry the weight of this around for a long time. It's not going to get any easier, ok. What he's trying to tell you right now.. I'm going to tell you, you know, in the amount of time I've done this, almost 30 years, ok, I've learned this, people make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. All, the three of us, we have all made mistakes in our lives. We've done some things that we're not proud of, ok. But there comes a point in time when you own up to it, you say you're sorry, you try to get past it, or you lie and you bury it, you lie about it and you bury it, you lie about it and you bury it, and it just never ever ever ever EVER EVER goes away, that's it. Ok. Now, you know, I want you to stop and think about what's going on here, ok. At this point, we can explain that you're afraid, that you were ashamed that maybe something bad had happened, you were afraid of maybe what happened. But now that we're giving you this opportunity, and you continue to lie and you continue to lie, then what happens is that at some point it becomes there's no excuse, there's no reason, there's no reason a person would look at this thing and go
'Wow, this is a person who just doesn't care", ok? I mean, think about what we've been doing so far. You say that you call us because you want our help, you want us to find your daughter ok. I'm calling you and I'm asking you for help, I'm asking you to help me find my child, that's been gone now for a month, ok?
Sgt: And to help you, help me find a child, what I've done to this point, is I've given you a bunch of bad addresses for you to look at. Addresses of people who don't exist, ok. Then I take you to a place that I tell you that I work, ok, and I walk you past the security gate, ok, all the way to my office that I don't have, ok. You starting to get the picture? Is this.. do you understand where we're headed here? ok?
Casey: I understand.
Sgt: Now, you know, by hiding this, by burying this, you are not going to get yourself to a better place. Ok. What you're going to do is make everybody else around you suffer, ok. And at some point, this thing is going to come out. It ALWAYS does, ok. It always comes out, ok. Now your best bet is to try to put this thing behind you as quickly as you can. Go to your parents and tell them, you know, some horrible accident, whatever happened happened, get it out in the open now, instead of letting them worry and worry and worry, ok. How old are you?
Sgt.: At some point, you are going to want to mend things with your family, ok. You let this drag out for another three days, another week, another two weeks, and you make us solve this some other way and we'll solve it, we always do, ok. There's no point in coming forward and saying 'Oh my god, this is what really happened' once we've already figured it out. Ok. Have you ever have anybody do anything wrong to you? Have you ever had anybody hurt you in any way?
Casey: Of course
Sgt: Let me ask you a question... when someone's hurt you in the past, ok, and they come to you and say I'm sorry, ok, from the bottom of my heart I'm really sorry for what happened. Do you forgive them?
Sgt: What about if somebody who does something to you and then lies and lies and lies and lies. Do you forgive them?
Casey: It's a lot harder to.
Sgt: A lot harder to? Tell me the last time someone hurt you over and over, and let you suffer for a long time and then you caught them, ok. Well once you caught them, that apology doesn't mean a thing, right?
Sgt: Right now, your best bet is to just get it out in the open, whatever happened, tell us now, so we can kinda start getting past this. Try to help you explain, ok. Because keep in mind, you're talking to people, there's nothing you're going to tell any of the three of us that's going to surprise us, ok. I've had to sit down with mothers who rolled over on their babies accidentally. I've had to sit down with mothers whose kids had drowned in a swimming pools... I've had mothers whose boyfriends have beaten their kids to death., who felt horrible about what happened. And I've had to help them try to explain it to their families, ok. And then I've also had to deal with people who have done horrible, unspeakable things to children, and have lied about it, and lied about it, and lied about it. And I'll bet you that somewhere in there I've probably dealt with somebody who maybe made a mistake, but continued to lie about it and maybe they weren't such a bad person, but maybe the whole world didn't see it that way. Maybe their family didn't see it that way because they kept lying about it.
(The tape continues to play, but I got tired of transcribing it. It was getting ridiculous because the detectives kept trying to get Casey to admit to what happened to Caylee, but all they got was stonewalled by Casey. She kept talking in circles, even as you can hear them starting to get upset with her. I will certainly continue this transcription if people really want me to).
As the police interrogation at Universal Studios audio tape played, we hear the detectives trying to get Casey to confess as to where Caylee was. She didn't. So they went through story after story, explaining possible accidental ways that Caylee may have died, including a pool accident, but Casey stuck to her guns that the nanny, that Zenaida, the nanny took her.
At one point, they asked if Caylee's father actually died. When Casey told them that she had proof in the form of a newspaper obituary, the detective asked her where it was and ridiculed her by asking: "Is it in your office?" Casey, without hesitation said that no, it wasn't in her office, she doesn't have an office, that the newspaper clipping was in her room at her home.
Casey lied and lied and lied.
Casey admitted that her mother would never forgive her.
JOSE BAEZ FILES MOTION FOR MISTRIAL (AGAIN)
Judge Perry denied another motion that Jose Baez filed for a mistrial. And he also denied motions of not showing jailhouse videos already in evidence.
JOSE BAEZ TRIED TO KEEP OUT JAILHOUSE VIDEOS (but was unsuccessful).