Casey found competent, trial continues

By Nikki Namdar
Special to Valencia Voice
Speculation abounded as to why court recessed just 45 minutes after its commencement on Saturday morning’s trial for the State of Florida v. Casey Anthony. None of the theories presented by trial watchers, legal analysts and experts was not in the least bit in accordance with what really happened.

Attorneys were in and out of the judge’s chambers, and awaited the arrival of Chief Judge Belvin Perry on Monday morning. Perry arrived and cleared the air for all of the speculators and all that they have contemplated.

The judge explained that the defense filed a motion for competency to proceed for the defendant, Casey Marie Anthony, the 25-year-old accused of the murder of her daughter, Caylee Marie in 2008.

Anthony was examined by three appointed psychologists; Dr. Daniel Tressler, who examined her Saturday afternoon, again on Saturday evening by Dr. Harry McClarren, and finally by Dr. Ryan Hall on Sunday.

Perry explained that, as a result of the analysis made by the three doctors, Anthony was competent to proceed, and the court will file a motion as such, along with filing of emergency orders for the appointed experts.

Court continued with the calling of Dr. Kenneth Furton to the stand by the defense. Furton was accepted to testify as an expert witness in the area of forensic chemistry.

After examination of items collected as evidence in the case, Furton explained to the 17 men and women of the jury that he would not come to the conclusion that the odor in Anthony’s vehicle, the Pontiac Sunfire, composed solely from chloroform and a human body that has decomposed in the trunk.

“It’s possible to be explained by a dead human body in the trunk of the car, plus additional chemicals from other materials,” Furton said. Additional items, he explained, from the bag of trash found in the trunk, such as the food packages.

“It’s most likely a combination of things,” he said. “It could be the consumer products reported as well as the decomposition.  That is not necessarily a human event.”

He claims the material found on the paper towel that was collected from the trunk of the vehicle contained fatty acids, which can also be found in milk and cheese. He stated that the combination he referred to could have been that of household products and the gasoline present in the trunk.

Two private investigators who volunteered to help the grandparents find the victim also testified. James Hoover and Dominic Casey stated that they searched the wooded area where the child’s remains were later found.
Casey asserted in his testimony that on November 15-16 of 2008, he searched the woods on Suburban Drive because a psychic instructed him to search that area for Caylee’s remains. Although he said he did not do a thorough search the three times he visited the crime scene, he did not find any evidence that the girl’s body was disposed there.
Anthony faces the death penalty if she is convicted of first degree murder. Sources state that the Anthony’s defense team have filed a motion for a mistrial, due to the recent ruling by the state of Florida that the death penalty is not constitutional, therefore have also requested a non-death penalty qualified jury.
Ann Finnell, a renowned counsel on the defense, has been absent throughout the trial but appeared on this day, and was said to have been the one to file the order.

A former criminal defense attorney of 22 years, Karin Moore does not believe Perry will consider this new statute into the case against Casey Anthony.

“It is not binding on this court in this case, but needed to be raised to preserve any future claim that Anthony may have if she receives the death penalty,” said Moore, who is now an assistant law professor at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

At the conclusion of Monday’s court proceeding, the defense stated they rested on their memorandum, as well as the case law. Lead Defense Attorney Jose Baez said he expects the defense to rest their entire case by Thursday.