A famous forensic expert testified, Saturday, in Casey Anthony's trial that a duct tape, which was found on and near Caylee's skull, was not put on her nose and mouth before the corpse decomposed.
Internationally known forensic pathologist Dr. Werner Spitz is a member of the pathology panel and had testified to Congress concering the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. Spitz had also testified at the murder trials of music producer Phil Spector and athlete-turned-actor O.J. Simpson. On Saturday, he testified in a packed Orlando courtroom.
There was no evidence of skin on the duct tape. There would have been DNA on that tape if it had been placed on the face, Spitz said.
This testimony refuted the prosecution's theory that Caylee was suffocated to death by her mother who put the duct tape on her nose and mouth.
Spitz also testified that Dr. Jan Garavaglia, the prosecution's medical examiner and star of the Discovery Channel reality show Dr. G: Medical Examiner, conducted a shoddy autopsy, for she didn't open Caylee's skull, which is the basic autopsy procedure.
When prosecutor Jeff Ashton tried to undermine Spitz's claim, the high-profile forensic expert said he knew these things from his experience, which spans over 60,000 post-mortem examinations in his 56 years of practice.
When Ashton showed him a thick textbook on forensics, which was co-authored by Spitz, and asked him to point out any instruction about always opening the skull during autopsies. Spitz said, Sir, this is not a book of protocols, but a book of findings.
William Rodriguez, another forensic anthropologist who studies human decomposition at the University of Tennessee's Body Farm, also took the witness stand on Saturday. He said there was no way for any expert to find out the position of the duct tape on Caylee's skull.
Rodriguez's testimony prompted Judge Belvin Perry to ask him to leave the witness stand. His testimony also made the judge dismiss the jury. Perry accused both the defense team and the prosecution of playing games, and threatened Baez with contempt of court.
It appears to me that this was quite intentional, it was not a slip and it was not inadvertent, Perry warned Baez. It would be totally unfair to Ms. Anthony to have this important testimony excluded.
About Casey Anthony Trial
Two-year old Caylee was last seen alive on June 16 and it was only on July 15 that she was reported missing by her mother Casey Anthony to the police. Cindy, Casey's mother had also alerted the police by calling a 911 dispatcher and saying that she had smelled a dead body in the trunk of Casey's car that was spotted in an impound lot. The car was later towed by authorities for forensic analysis.
Initially, Casey told the police that a babysitter called Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez (Zanny the nanny) had abducted Caylee. Investigations showed Casey was lying as the babysitter Zanny was fictitious. Five months later, in December 2008, Caylee's decomposed skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony home by a meter reader who was relieving himself.
The prosecutors say Casey chloroformed Caylee and then put duct tape over her nose and mouth, suffocating the girl.
Casey's lawyers claim Caylee was not murdered. They say the toddler accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and George, Casey's father, helped her keep the death a secret. George has denied the claim.
Casey has been charged with seven counts, including first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading the police in the death of Caylee. If she is convicted of first degree, she could be sentenced to death by the seven-woman, five-man jury. The trial is expected to take another 2-3 weeks before a verdict is reached.