Judge Belvin Perry announced the Casey Anthony trial will recess to 9 a.m. Tuesday, giving no clear explanation. However, he scolds both defense attorney Jose Baez and prosecutor Jeff Ashton for their “gamesmanship”, which made him so bored.
Monday was the 23rd day of Casey Anthony trial. The accused mother Casey Anthony will get death penalty if it is proved that she killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, 2008.
The scheduled testimony today was canceled because Jeff Ashton asked for more time to study the forensic anthropologist William Rodriguez’s deposition. Last Saturday, Rodriguez had planned to testify about a piece of duct tape found near the daughter’s skeletal remains, which is being touted as the murder weapon by the prosecutors. But his testimony was delayed because it was not reported to court in advance and shared with the prosecutors, and violated court order.
Baez was expected to call more forensic experts on Monday. However, Ashton said that he would request sanctions against another witness whose report contained no opinions and hence gave the prosecution little information about his testimony.
Ashton said he needed time to depose the witness whose testimony will focus on DNA evidence. If the judge approves the sanctions, they could have ramifications on Baez's legal career.
It's not bad enough that he wants to omit these responsibilities in the efforts of taking a human life, he wants to go after her lawyer too. I think it's repulsive, I think it's not under the law, Baez said.
The bickering between Ashton and Baez annoyed Perry greatly who asked both men to look at the clock at the same time and tell him the time. Ashton said it was 9:25 a.m. Baez said 9:26 a.m.
Perry replied that it was clear the two of you will never agree on anything. The judge also threatened both the lawyers with dire consequences if they carried on quarreling in the courtroom.
A clearly agitated Perry postponed the first testimony of the day until about 10:30 a.m.
Later, when the lawyers returned to the courtroom, the judge refused to let the trial resume and summoned the lawyers to his chambers for a meeting. At 11 a.m. they all emerged from the chamber and the judge announced a daylong recess.
If you two don't want to be professional, I'll start working you a real, full day, with short, lunch hours. I have a sequestered jury to worry about, Perry said.
Enough is enough, the judge continued. Both sides need to be forewarned. I may have to consider exclusion, even at the price of having to do this all over. It may be the proper remedy if this continues.
Yes, there has been gamesmanship in this particular case. It is quite evident there is a friction between attorneys, Perry told the media later. That is something I guess that the Florida Bar will deal with.
Perry has ordered the lawyers to be in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, instead of the customary 9 a.m., and told them to plan for a full workday on Saturday instead of usual half-day. He also threatened to cut the time for lunch.
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.