Orlando, Fla. – Saturday, a full day of trial was expected to take place in the Casey Anthony case, however, Judge Belvin Perry unexpectedly ordered an early recess. One attorney said publicly he believes the early recess is “a very big deal” and likely goes to a fundamental issue in the case.
After meeting with attorneys behind closed doors in chambers, the judge announced the day of testimony would be canceled. This, despite the initial plan to extend Saturday’s court proceedings past the usual abbreviated work day.
Attorney Mark NeJame appeared on HLN’s ‘Weekend Express’ to speak about what could be occurring, and said he does not believe, as some have speculated, that juror misconduct could have caused the delay, saying, “…This is a fundamental issue, for this judge to stop the proceeding, it’s a big deal, a very big deal. Now, what’s left? Trouble with the lawyers or trouble with… the case to the extent is she [Casey] going to consider taking a plea. Those are the options that remain. Now, who are the two lawyers, Cheney Mason and Jose Baez. Baez has almost had a Svengali influence over her [Casey] by most people’s interpretation of this… I think it’s trouble with one of the lawyers or I think she’s considering a plea…”
He speculated about which attorney could be in trouble and said, “Cheney Mason was the one that approached the bench and Jose Baez started out ready to interview… the first witness and Cheney Mason was the one that made the outreach so one would think that it might be Cheney Mason. I don’t know…”
Former Casey Anthony defense attorney and HLN legal analyst Linda Kenney-Baden agreed with Nejame and also told CNN, “Obviously, it’s big, and obviously it’s troublesome and obviously it’s something that can’t be disclosed.”
Judge Perry did not divulge the reason behind the recess, but only said proceedings ended for the day due to a legal issue. He also noted it was unrelated to a complaint raised by the prosecution regarding a planned expert witness, Kenneth Furton.
To watch the Casey Anthony trial, click here.
Furton was expected to testify about – and possibly explain away – the foul odor emanating from the trunk of Casey’s Pontiac Sunfire, which a multitude of prosecution witnesses testified smelled like human decomposition.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton told the court that Furton did not provide relevant information in his report regarding alternative explanations for the presence of the odor or the chloroform found in the trunk.
Defense attorney Jose Baez argued that the testimony Furton was going to give did not differ from his previous opinions.
Although the judge ruled Furton would not be allowed to testify Saturday, he did not rule regarding the matter prior to ordering a recess.
Prior to Saturday’s delay, the defense had noted that it had planned to rest its case by Wednesday or Thursday. This would likely be followed by a prosecution rebuttal – and possibly even a surrebuttal by the defense – before the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Casey is charged with killing her daughter, Caylee Anthony, 2, in the summer of 2008. She could be sentenced to death if convicted.
To keep up to date with the Casey Anthony trial and view jury selection, court proceedings and testimony videos, click here.
To revisit Casey’s case, find links to pages and pages of evidence, including transcripts of law enforcement interviews, court documents, letters, and forensic evidence, by clicking here.
In addition, links to a multitude of videos and photos released in the case including the many men in Casey’s life, party photos, and evidentiary images can be found by clicking here.
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