The Casey Anthony murder trial in Florida was recessed suddenly Saturday morning over an undisclosed legal issue, according to CNN.
HLN legal analyst Linda Kenney Baden noted, “Obviously it’s big, and obviously it’s troublesome and obviously it’s something that can’t be disclosed.”
What could be so important that it would cause Judge Belvin Perry to recess early? Whatever it was, Perry told the court that it was unrelated to the arguments over the planned defense testimony of chemistry expert Kenneth Furton.
The trial, in its 29th day of testimony, started off with opposing attorneys arguing over the admissibility of additional findings of the defense witness that was not in the initial report. Prosecutors noted that the defense was again presenting evidence without making the prosecution privy to the information beforehand. Perry has warned Casey Anthony’s defense team after previous infractions that he would impose contempt charges if such actions continued.
The early recess came after a week of defense witnesses taking the stand in attempts to refute state’s evidence in a mostly circumstantial case against 25-year-old Casey Anthony. Prosecutors contend that Anthony wanted to live the wild and carefree life of an unfettered and childess woman, coldly planning the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie. They say that in early June 2008, Anthony chloroformed and placed duct tape over her daughter’s mouth, causing her death. She then stored the body in the trunk of her mother’s car for several days before disposing of it in a wooded area near the Orlando home of her parents, George and Cindy Anthony.
The defense claims that Caylee’s death was a horrible accident covered up by two panicked people. According to the defense team, Casey found George Anthony with the dead body of her daughter, who had apparently drowned. The two hid the body instead of reporting the accident. All the lies and misleading stories told by Casey Anthony afterward, the defense said, was a product of Casey covering for both herself and her father, shouldering the blame because she was always to blame, a condition instilled by her family, especially her father who had emtionally, psychologically, and sexually abused her from the time she was 8 years old.
George Anthony has denied being present when his granddaughter died. He has also denied all allegations that he ever abused his daughter in any way.
The defense has presented expert witnesses to refute evidence of the decomposing body in the trunk of the car and experts testifying to the unreliable information gathered about duct tape that had been found with Caylee Anthony’s remains in December 2008. Cindy Anthony was also called to the stand for the defense and shocked the courtroom when she admitted to searches for “chloroform” on the home computer, an admission that clearly angered the prosecution, which got her to admit that she had not typed into the search bar “how to make chloroform.” Prosecutors submitted that “choloroform” had been searched for 84 times and records indicated that Cindy Anthony was at work when the searches took place.
So why the recess? Is it a matter of legal protocol or one of evidence? Could it be a legal issue that causes the judge to rule a mistrial?
Casey Anthony is on trial for murder in the first degree. If the jury finds her guilty, she will then face the death penalty phase of her trial.
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