On Thursday, day 14 of the Casey Anthony trial, one of the forensic computer examiners who testified on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony, and then Casey’s brother, Lee Anthony, returned to the witness stand to testify about yet another lie that Casey had told about what really had happened to Caylee. According to Lee, Casey told him that “Zanny the nanny” hadn’t just failed to return Caylee after babysitting but that there had been an actual physical altercation in which “Zanny the nanny” had overpowered Casey and forcibly prevented her from retrieving Caylee before disappearing with the little girl. After that, prosecutors began to introduce evidence of Caylee’s remains. The jury heard the call in which a utility worker reported finding the little girl’s body in a wooded area near the Anthony home and then heard from the cop who was dispatched to the scene to check it out. Then, a couple of crime scene investigators testified, complete with very creepy, very sad photographs, about what they found at the scene and how they cataloged and collected it. In advance of that testimony, the judge warned those in the gallery that the images were going to be disturbing and advised anyone who might not be able to contain his or her emotions to leave, at which time Casey’s parents left the courtroom. The most dramatic piece of evidence was a toddler’s skull with some hair and duct tape near the front. Other pieces of evidence recovered from the scene included two larger bones, two bags (one plastic and one canvas), some clothing remnants, and a beer bottle. Casey cried as the photographs were discussed, and as the day’s final witness, the doctor who received and examined the remains at the morgue, was testifying, the judge dismissed court early for the day because Casey reportedly felt too ill to remain in the courtroom. As I’ve written and said before, it’s tough to know what to make of Casey’s tears — they could signify genuine remorse for committing crimes, or they could signify genuine self-pity for the situation she’s in, or they could be fake. In any case, she reportedly has been examined by jail medical staff, and as of now, court is expected to be back in session Friday morning. (By the way, if you ever want more detail than what I provide here, central Florida’s 13 News web site is doing an excellent job of tracking developments in the case. It’s what I’m using to get caught up quickly when I have to leave the television to do other things like giving a speech to a state bar association as I did Thursday afternoon. You can find the 13 News site here: http://www.cfnews13.com/).
In other Lawpsyc news, the fate of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is once again in the hands of a jury (yes, there has been another trial — a retrial actually — going on in the country in the past couple of weeks). Remember Blago’s first jury convicted him of just one crime and deadlocked on a bunch of other charges, hence the retrial. The most dramatic difference in the two trials is that Blago actually testified in the retrial. Stay tuned to see what effect that has on this second jury’s verdicts and which of Blago’s game plans — to testify or not to testify — Casey Anthony decides to follow. Right now, I’m inclined to think she’ll actually follow game plan #2 and testify. I think there may have been plea negotiations early on wherein the defense hypothetically presented a scenario in which Casey killed Caylee accidentally but in the course of some kind of abuse; the prosecution may have responded that it was still “felony murder” and offered to support a sentence less than death but still requiring a lengthy prison term (something like 20 years); and that Casey may have thought 20 years in prison really wasn’t much better than death, so she may have decided at that point to say “No deal” and to actually try to talk the jury into giving her a lesser — or no — punishment. Knowing what we now know about how she prides herself on her ability to talk her way out of things, I think we may actually see one more such attempt in this case, but I could be wrong of course, so again, stay tuned!