Anthony’s defense makes their case

By Nikki Namdar
Special to Valencia Voice

The defense for Casey Anthony requested a motion for judgment of acquittal today in the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony.

Judge Perry excused the the 17 men and women of the jury early on in the day, giving Cheney Mason the chace to argue for the acquittal. Mason said that the state provided insufficient evidence, not providing the jury with any proof suggesting premeditated murder and leaving room for reasonable doubt.

“There is no evidence of when the child died, where she died, how she died, who, if anyone, was in attendance when she died,” Mason said. “They have failed wholly to rebut the reason or the hypothesis of innocence that there was accidental death and inappropriate efforts by those unidentified as of yet to cover up the accidental death.”

Mason said there was “stacking of inferences, stacking of speculation,” particularly made by the forensic experts who testified. He made reference to several other cases to support his argument.

Mason went on to explain, “There is nothing but a caring, loving mother-daughter relationship.”

Mason also argued that there the heart-shaped emblem had no relation to this crime case specifically and that in FBI forensic examiner Elizabeth Fontaine’s testimony, the proper actions were not taken when when the outline of the heart was present on the duct tape.

“She observed the image of the heart … But somehow, poof, they couldn’t photograph it,” he said.

He explained that the only person the duct tape leads back to is the victim’s grandfather, George Anthony, who placed a piece on a gasoline can stored in his shed.

Judge Perry stopped Mason and questioned, “What record evidence is there for an accidental drowning?”

“As of this point, there is no record evidence of the accidental drowning,” Mason replied, adding that the state’s case is based on, “maybes,” “could be’s,” and “might haves.”

He concluded by stating that there was no history found of any aggravated child abuse or negligence.

Assistant State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick rebuffed by reading the list of cases Mason was referring to, and why they were each inadequate to support the defense’s motion, as well as the other points Mason was trying to make.

“It is our position that a reasonable jury in this case can conclude that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of the application of three pieces of duct tape to her nose and mouth … that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of poisoning by chloroform … that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of a combination of the two,” Burdick said.

The prosecutor also suggested the relationship between the defendant and her mother was a motive for the homicide, as well as the computer searches.

“Miss Anthony began the preparation for the elimination of the child as early as March 2008,” she said, “when she conducted computer searches for how to make chloroform and other means of weapons and how to create injury.”

Mason made another attempt to refute stating there was no evidence of poison by chloroform, nor did the duct tape get wrapped around the victim’s head, but that the only use of duct tape was utilized by Casey’s father when placed on a gasoline can in question. According to Mason, the claim about the duct tape was “bogus,” and the state’s accusations are “forcing, guessing and speculation.”

Judge Perry explained that the defendant is eligible to be charged with both aggravated child abuse and felony murder despite the amount of abusive acts that caused the 2-year-old’s death.

“In this particular case, there is more than a single act,” Perry said. “Those acts consist of duct taping the nose, the mouth; the presence of chloroform in the trunk coupled with the fact that there is evidence that the child was placed in a trash bag and other container. And the statements introduced into evidence that even during this time period, Ms. Anthony, through statements that she made that the child was alive, during various segments of this time.”

Perry denied the judgement acquittal, saying that after reviewing and considering all of the statements, it was the belief of the court that the state provided substantial and competent evidence in their case.

The defense counsel will begin their case on Thursday.