Catching up with Casey

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend.  The Casey Anthony trial resumes Tuesday morning in Florida, and since my last post, there was some important testimony on Saturday morning, so in case you missed it:

There was a little more testimony from one of Casey’s former boyfriends.  He testified about the night of July 15-16, 2008, one month after Caylee supposedly drowned in the Anthony’s pool, when a succession of people — Casey’s mother Cindy, the cops, and Casey’s brother Lee — came to his door looking for Casey and Caylee.  He also testified about what Casey told him thereafter.  This where we got the now-famous “Zanny the nanny story” — Casey told people that she had been using a babysitter named Zanida Gonzales and that “Zanny the nanny” had absconded with Caylee.  Interestingly (but not surprisingly in light of my consistent impression of her since 2008), when she related this story to the boyfriend, rather than expressing anything resembling panic about Caylee’s safety, Casey lamented that if Caylee weren’t found, she (Casey) would be blamed and would go to jail for the little girl’s disappearance.

Some have wondered about the concept of “hearsay” as it relates to testimony in the Anthony trial.  Oversimplified, hearsay statements are second-hand statements used as proof of facts stated therein, and they’re inadmissible as such, except in certain limited circumstances.  For example, if I had interviewed a friend of Casey Anthony for Fox or CNN, and if that friend told me that Cindy had once yelled at Casey, “You’re a horrible mother!” I would not be called as a witness in this trial.  What the friend had told me would be hearsay, and my second-hand testimony about it would not be admissible.  But, if I had been standing outside of the Anthonys’ home covering early developments in the case for Fox or CNN, and if I had personally overheard and observed Cindy yelling, “You’re a horrible mother!” at Casey, then I might be a witness in this trial.  What I heard would not be hearsay, and my first-hand testimony about it would be admissible for the purpose of proving that Cindy was angry at Casey over a parenting issue on that occasion (not, however, to prove that Casey was actually a horrible mother).  Like I said, it gets more complicated than that because there are some important exceptions, and if you’re interested, I hear that you can find some more information about it in a post entitled “Evidentiary Issues in the Peterson Case” that I wrote back on 5/24/10 in the context of another high-profile case.  To find my pre-2011 posts, just click on the December 2010 link on the Archives menu to the right and then scroll back through time.

Also on Saturday morning, Cindy testified, tearfully at times, about the day before Caylee supposedly drowned.  She testified that after swimming in the above-ground pool with Caylee that day, she (Cindy) had properly stowed the ladder that Caylee would’ve needed to use to enter the pool unassisted on the following day.  This is important because it had been suggested that Cindy had forgotten to stow the ladder, inadvertently facilitating Caylee’s fateful unsupervised entry into the pool.  To the contrary, though, Cindy testified that she clearly recalled stowing the ladder.  Like her husband George, Cindy strikes me as a parent who’s heartbroken about the loss of her granddaughter, and further heartbroken about the situation in which her daughter has put herself, yet unwilling to admit negligence just to lend credence to Casey’s version of events.  It really looks to me as if both Anthony parents have resigned themselves to the fact that there’s nothing more to be done to spare their daughter the consequences of her own behavior.  Cindy also testified about a series of lies that Casey told to her in the month between the day when Caylee supposedly drowned and the day when Cindy finally confronted Casey at the boyfriend’s house.  We’ll probably hear a lot more from Cindy as the trial continues, and I’m particularly interested in hearing her responses to questions seeking even the slightest corroboration of Casey’s story about being abused by George (I’ll bet we hear no such corroboration).  Stay tuned!

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