After hearing Jose Baez’s opening statement, I find myself just as perplexed as I was on July 16, 2008. I believe this is when I first heard the name Caylee Anthony, the missing Orlando, FL toddler who while under her mother, Casey Anthony’s care, was handed over to the child’s nanny and subsequently kidnapped. There was much ado as to Casey’s party lifestyle and her propensity to tell lies. Some of us dismissed this as a sign of guilt to murder and thought something else could have happened. Others wanted to hang her without benefit of a fair trial and their protesting along with media sensationalism is the reason for having to find a jury outside of Orange County, FL.
Fortunately, this is America. The indictment is 1st degree murder with death penalty pending. Casey Anthony has pled not guilty of the unclassified murder of her beautiful 2½ year old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony.
On Day One of testimony, Casey Anthony’s lead attorney Jose Baez changed the game in mid-field for Juror 209 ß MOI and Florida State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick when he announced Caylee Marie Anthony had died an accidental death on June 16, 2008.
According to the defense’s opening statement, Casey Anthony and her father George Anthony premeditated an elaborate scheme to confuse law enforcement into believing this was a case of kidnapping. George blamed Casey for Caylee’s accidental drowning and is said to have shaken Casey’s psyche by threatening her with a life in prison for her negligence.
Since May 24th, opening day of the trial, The JB Mission went from searching for a babysitter/nanny named Zenaida Gonzalez, dissecting gobs of cell phone pings and computer forensics to now speculating the Anthony family dynamics and the possibility of incest/sexual and physical child abuse of the defendant Casey, in effort to make sense of the defense’s claim.
Most of us now are left wondering if this true? But why was a “Zenaida Gonzalez” visiting Sawgrass Apartments on June 17, 2008, one day after Casey Anthony claimed to have left Caylee?
I’m wondering what the seated jurors are thinking. For me and other followers of this case, the defense has taken us from investigating the possibility of Casey Anthony’s innocence to seeing her as a victim of child abuse who participated in the cover-up of an accident so I ponder..
What are the Jurors thinking?
(List Courtesy of Investigation Discovery)
Juror 1 — The Counselor: White, female, age 65, married, two children. Retired nurse and volunteer counselor. Death penalty stance: “I value life. I also value the criminal justice system.” Has smelled decomposing bodies. Capable of understanding, relating to others the scientific evidence in trial, her communication skills and education qualify her as a strong candidate for jury foreperson.
Juror 2 — The IT Worker: Black male, mid-thirties, married, two children: a daughter, 4 and son, 9. Like defendant, Casey Anthony, juror’s mother was a single mom. “My impression was that, ‘yes, I thought she did it.’ … If I had to return a verdict, I would say ‘not guilty’ right now.” Death penalty stance: Does not believe in the death penalty. “God is the one that makes the final judgment.”
Juror 3 — The Weaver: White, female, age 32, single, youngest of five children. Nursing student, St. Petersburg College. Crafty: Hobby is weaving; works in fiber and is a member of a weavers’ guild. Her pet dog is a rat terrier. Said she has little knowledge of and is not following the case. “I know my ignorance works in my favor at this point!” Admitted she wanted to be on the jury. On a scale of 1 to 10, she rates the death penalty at “a three or a five.”
Juror 4 — The Church Lady: Black female, 40s, no children, lives alone. Unknown occupation. Plays “Farmville” on Facebook. “Most of the time, I play my computer games” she notes. Quiet, unassuming, does not like to judge people by what other people say about them.
Juror 5 — The Retired Nurse’s Aid: White, female, late 50s, three children. Has 11th grade education. Had a driving under the influence arrest in 1998. Lives with boyfriend, a retired plumber. Was a juror for a criminal trial case. Does not own a computer. Works in yard, goes to gym. Death penalty stance: “I guess I believe in the death penalty. I’d have to know a lot of facts before I really considered it.”
Juror 6 — The Chef: White male, 33, married, two children, ages 6 and 21 months. Sells restaurant equipment and is in Orlando on business once a week. Has University of Florida business degree and owns a cat. Did not want to be on the jury. Could vote for the death penalty; “If the law dictated it, I would be able to follow it.”
Juror 7 — The Lawyer’s Daughter: White female, 41, divorced with no children. Once a victim of home invasion, but physically uninjured. Works as administrative assistance in juvenile justice welfare. She has limited knowledge of the case, maintaining that she could vote to recommend the death penalty. “It would be — gosh — a solemn decision, but it is an option under the law.”
Juror 8 — Verizon Service Representative: White, female, 50s, married, two sons approximately Casey Anthony’s age (mid-twenties). Father worked in law enforcement. She would have no problem with the death penalty if warranted, provided she had heard “all the facts.”
Juror 9 — The Logger: White male, 53, never married. Semi-retired; moved to Florida 4 years ago from Indiana because he was “sick of snow.” The caregiver for a stroke sufferer; he also does odd jobs. Watches PBS and the History Channel. He believes Casey Anthony’s “whole story” has not come out; holds no bias, supports the death penalty, and could vote to recommend it “in the proper situation.”
Juror 10 — Verizon Retention Specialist: White male, 57, never married, no children. When asked what he knows about the case, he said, “I really don’t know any details …” and that he does believe “… everyone is innocent until proven guilty.” Disclosed that his sister and her boyfriend committed a violent crime against their father. He regards the death penalty as a “necessary option.”
Juror 11 — The Teacher: White male, 30s, unmarried. A high school physical education and health teacher who believes Casey Anthony is guilty, who also relates the opinion in the teachers’ lounge is that Casey is guilty. In his profession as an educator, says he “had to learn to listen to differing opinions,” and could put aside his leanings in order to fairly judge Casey Anthony. States the death penalty is a “necessary option.”
Juror 12 — The Publix Cook: White female, 60s, married to Publix supermarket employee, two children and one young grandchild. Has very little knowledge of the case, although she initially followed it. No cable TV; “not that into” newspapers or TV. She does not own a computer. Rating the death penalty as ten on a scale of one to ten, she would have no problem deciding on LWOP (Life without Opportunity for Parole) or the death penalty.
Juror 209 — From what I’ve seen so far the defense said the child died in an accidental drowning on June 16th. This was an accident cover-up, not a murder and the defendant Casey didn’t tell anyone or call 911 because her father told her she’d go to jail for life. I wondered why she would believe her father. The defense alleges the defendant was a victim of sexual and physical abuse and because of this her father had instilled fear in Casey which gave him an abundance of control over his daughter. The defense claimed the defendant had endured sexual abuse beginning when she was only 8 years old.
So far the State gave me a timeline and quite a few witnesses/friends and family who all say Casey acted like nothing was wrong. Her boyfriend at the time, Tony Lazarro said he didn’t know anything was wrong either. Most of the State witnesses said that the defendant lied a lot. Most of them all say she was a good, attentive mother, except for a girl who she met over the July 4th weekend. Melissa England said she saw the child Caylee on an apartment balcony without her mother attending to her. She also said the defendant bragged about how good she could lie.
The father George Anthony has taken the stand a couple of times and he denies sexually abusing his daughter Casey. The mother Cindy Anthony seems like she’s standing behind her husband George Anthony. She seems somewhat believable but too much display of emotion considering this happened almost 3 years ago. Her husband George looks like he has something to hide because when he found Casey’s car at the tow yard, even though the trunk smelled like a dead body, he didn’t call 911 or call his daughter to see if she was alright.
Simon Birch, the tow yard guy says that when he and George Anthony got to the car both of them immediately thought the car smelled like a dead body had been in it. Then he and George discovered a bag of garbage in the trunk that they threw over the fence. I wonder if that could have caused the bad odor.
I thought Mallory Parker, Casey’s brother Lee’s fiancé was believable when she broke down in tears saying Casey and Caylee’s relationship was amazing and that they had a very special bond.
In my opinion as a blogger, knowing there’s much more to come, I’m leaning towards an acquittal to the charge of first-degree murder.
Onward and Forward! Till tomorrow…
For the Newbies, here’s a 20 question quiz Courtesy of Investigation Discovery.
How Much Do You Know About the Casey Anthony Case?