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    Alyssa Bustamante will be sent to mental hospital for evaluation

    Alyssa Bustamante has been held at the Morgan County jail since being indicted last Wednesday as an adult on charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of her 9-year-old neighbor, Elizabeth Olten. According to a very reliable source, she is in with the general population and is allowed contact with other inmates, despite media reports to the contrary. She is not in lockdown or under suicide watch.

    Last week, Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ordered her to be taken to the Fulton State Hospital for up to 96 hours. The judge wrote the order on Thursday, but it was unclear when the order was to begin because it had no time stamp. She was supposed to be moved to the hospital after her lawyer said she showed signs of severe depression and anxiety.

    Law enforcement officials stated that Bustamante strangled, stabbed and cut Elizabeth’s throat on October 21 because she just wanted to know what it felt like to kill. Authorities said she confessed and led them to the body 2 days later in woods near both homes in St. Martins,  town just west of Jefferson City.




    During last Wednesday’s hearing, a juvenile officer testified that she had tried to kill herself two years ago and had received inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment for depression and cutting herself. While being held in juvenile custody before the hearing, her public defender at the time, Jan King, cited that Bustamante was“demonstrating signs of severe depression and anxiety” and had been under a suicide watch at the jail. Bustamante attempted to cut herself with her own fingernails while being held in juvenile custody after Elizabeth’s death.

    King also said that Bustamante needed“immediate psychological treatment” to“assess her current mental state and to prevent the possibility that she may harm herself.”

    During her initial appearance last Wednesday, Cole County Judge Jon Beetem entered a not guilty plea on her behalf. If she is convicted, she would face a sentence of life in prison without parole.

    Let’s see what psychiatrists and psychologists have to say, but there’s no doubt that Alyssa Bustamante is one very disturbed person.


    Sticks and Stones

    “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

    - Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Hamlet 2.2.255-256)

    When we were young we used to cite an old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” It’s a real shame that today, many adults are hellbent on reinventing their youth by calling people vile names and the one on the receiving end sometimes feels pain at the whim of the person or persons calling them out. Today, we have the Internet and fake identities to hide behind and some feel empowered by it. “Yay! A free license to act like a child again where words can be more painful than sticks and stones.”

    I’m not talking about just name calling, either. I don’t consider “Mr. Suspenders”much of an insult any more than I consider it a term of endearment, but to call someone that “bald-headed, pickle-brain, freak” is not very nice. There’s also a huge difference between the two because you have made the leap from an observation about someone’s attire, be it quirky or not, to one of something not easily remedied, as if the person’s baldness or any other physical attribute has anything to do with it. It’s extremely immature. Just as spiteful is calling Obama the “N” word. It’s racist and hateful. Making fun of a part of his anatomy, like his ears, is almost as bad because those are the ears he was born with. Personally, I’m more inclined to consider what’s between them than anything else.

    Today, so much of what’s going on in online forums and blogs regarding the Caylee Anthony murder reminds me of the classic mob scene where villagers grabbed torches and marched up the hill to the Frankenstein castle to burn it to the ground. It was an excellent illustration of mob mentality. There was no arrest, no trial, and punishment was swift. Have we all gone mad? When the village accused Frankenstein of being insane, they became just as insane. How many of you are growing so impatient over the case that you take your frustrations out on those around you, forgetting that the wheels of justice turn slowly? The world does not revolve around us.

    There’s also a major difference between name calling and making false accusations. Just last night, someone accused a person of inciting trouble elsewhere and she called the person on the carpet for it. The person accused sent me an e-mail explaining that she had never commented on the alleged site and was very hurt by it. Just where is this world coming to when rampant, unsubstantiated, insults are thrown at people with impunity?

    Unfortunately, and whether any of you want to believe it or not, the process of name calling is generally based upon a person’s lack of self-esteem and because of it, the person tries to make themselves feel more powerful by utilizing this child-like ploy. If you call me a name and I get upset over it, then you temporarily feel more powerful because you had some sort of powerful effect on me. Because of my reaction, your self-esteem rose at my expense. You just projected your unhappiness on me and made me feel upset! Whoopee, and you feel great about it?

    How sad.

    If I don’t get upset at your attempt, you cannot dump your unhappiness on me. In child psychology, it is commonly recognized that children on the receiving end of insults left unbothered is devastating to the ones casting the verbal jabs and quickly, they fade away. They stop insulting because they won no prize. The benefit is that the name callers will usually feel worse because the receiver refused to react and failure is tough to swallow. Try to keep these things in mind:

    • The name caller is feeling weak today.
    • Whatever people say about me says nothing about me but it sure does say a whole lot about them.
    • If I get upset by someone calling me a name, then I have given away my power.

    From now on, and I had to put rules up because of it, there will be a zero tolerance policy for name calling. There will no tolerance for making accusations of any kind to anyone else on my blog. Period. We have all been guilty of it, but mark my words, your comments will be removed and you will no longer be welcome. If you have a personal problem regarding someone here, you know my e-mail address. If not, it’s right there, on the sidebar. If you feel maligned elsewhere, take it elsewhere and let that moderator manage it.

    I find it peculiarly odd that after a year of reading about the Scamthonys, Sindy, Crazey and almost every other name in the book, those same self-righteous hypocrites would condemn Richard Hornsby for calling Bill Sheaffer “Mr. Suspenders.” Really? The only thing that upset them was taking Mr. Sheaffer’s name in vain. Had Hornsby written about the Scamthonys, they would have bellowed their approval from the rooftops.

    I know it’s tough sometimes to not bash someone, but if you all want justice for Caylee, this is not the way to go about it. By now, had she lived, she would be a lot more mature than a lot of us. Of that, I am certain.



    Kronk to Caylee: Zero degrees of separation

    Why is the defense sending their crack PI out investigating Roy Kronk? Why aren’t they searching for Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez instead?

    There is a game I’m sure you are all aware of called six degrees of separation. The premise is that if you are one step away from each person you know and two steps away from each person they know, then everyone is, at most, six steps away from any other person on earth. It was popularized by the play, Six Degrees of Separation, written by John Guare in 1990. It was also the title of a movie released in 1993. I’m sure you are familiar with the very similar game known as The Kevin Bacon Game or Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It started after he claimed that he had worked with everyone in Hollywood. The objective rests on the assumption that any actor can be linked to Kevin Bacon through his or her film roles within six steps.

    My challenge is to prove that Casey has a definitive and viable connection to Roy Kronk and I will do that. First, I’ll try an easy one, just for kicks. I can connect Casey Anthony to Kevin Bacon and I can do it in less than six degrees of separation. Wanna bet? Casey knows Jose Baez, who knows Geraldo Rivera, who knows Dennis Miller, who knows Kevin Bacon. That’s four, so there. No Zenaida anywhere in sight and it is not my intent to provide any evidence of Kevin Bacon’s guilt or involvement in the murder of anyone, so I will leave his name out. God knows he could be implicated by the defense. In the meantime, I fully expect tabloid fodder to soon read something like this…



    OK, back on solid ground. You know how absurd it is that Roy Kronk could be a suspect in the disappearance and murder of Caylee Anthony, but toss the idea around in your head for a while. OK, it’s still bizarre. No need to continue. It’s as crazy as the above headline and it’s ludicrous to remotely conceptualize, but the bottom line is that good old boy Roy is expected to be one of the key witnesses for the state. We think, in unison, that the defense is grasping at straws, which it is, but I firmly believe the only objectives here are to poison the state’s forensic evidence, or if that fails, to create an element of doubt in the minds of jurors.Could it have been someone else? We know the state must prove Casey’s guilt, so the onus is on prosecutors. Do I personally think the latest motion in limine* filed by the defense is an injustice to Mr. Kronk? You bet, because law enforcement cleared him early on, but in the defense team’s scheme, all they have to do is attack his credibility as a state witness. Mark Fuhrman knows all about that from his experience with defense attorneys at the OJ Simpson murder trial. Did Roy ever use the “N” word? Yes, as in Nope, I had nothing to do with it.” Toss out a blinding smoke bomb. Confuse the 12. Before this comes in front of a jury, though, the defense wants the case thrown out because their client was the only person of interest in a murder and that’s an injustice, pure and simple. Unethical and unfair. The real killer could be hiding among us to this day, or it could be Kronk.

    If we ever saw bad medicine in the making, there’s a Doctor Baez needle of doubt waiting to be injected. The only thing is, neither the judge, nor a jury, needs or wants a dose of whatever he’s dispensing. Personally, if the prescription remains the same, it’s more like laughing gas and it’s a malpractice suit in the form of a retrial waiting to happen around the corner of a big time cancerous conviction that will sap the life out of their patient, one Casey Marie Anthony. This is no precision incision. It’s plastic surgery gone wild.

    Let’s see what the doctor is telling us the symptoms are:

    • Evidence indicating Mr. Kronk’s possible history of inappropriate behavior with young girls;
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk has a history of abusing, restraining, and holding women against their will;
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk has, in the past, used duct tape for the purposes of restraining women, and has bragged about his use of so-called “100 mile-an-hour tape” for that purpose [actually, it’s 200 MPH tape, but what does Baez know about NASCAR?];
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk is involved in an imaginary world of fantasy and violence;
    • A statement indicating that Mr. Kronk knew of the location of Caylee Anthony’s remains and indeed may have had possession or control of them in November 2008, weeks before he alerted law enforcement on December 11, 2008.

    Here are some key points illustrated in the Orlando Sentinel report dated Nov. 19, 2009:

    • Casey’s defense is claiming there’s circumstantial evidence that makes him “equally likely to be responsible for the death of the child.”
    • They are asking Judge Strickland to allow a jury to hear allegations of Roy Kronk’s past wrongdoings, including inappropriate behavior with girls, use of duct tape to restrain women and holding women against their will.
    • Ex-wives Jill Kerley and Crystal Sparks stated that Kronk physically attacked them.
    • Kerley said he used duct tape to hold her against her will. “I don’t think he would know the truth if it hit him upside the head.”
    • Sparks said she called police, but couldn’t remember if she ever sought a restraining order.
    • Allegations are rampant that Kronk abused other women and held them against their will.
    • Just before Thanksgiving of 2008, Kronk’s son Brandon said his father told him he had found Caylee Anthony’s body and would be on television.

    Tell me, are young girls and toddlers one and the same? Define young girl for me, Mr. Baez. Has Roy Kronk ever been convicted of any of your allegations? They sound to me like nothing more than old, rancid, bottles of wine; sour grapes, and they leave a bad taste in my mouth. Is Roy Kronk the only man on the planet who walked away from prior relationships on not so friendly terms and got his reputation bashed? What does his “sordid” past have to do with the murder of Caylee? It seems to me that the defense team AND the Anthonys should be eating the part of the turkey that goes over the fence last come Thanksgiving Day because they were the first ones to say that the sins of Casey, as in check fraud, do not a murderer make.  How could anyone possibly cull a murder out of Roy Kronk? Where, perchance, is the direct evidence that ties him to the death? Is he also guilty of stealing money from Amy Huizenga? On numerous occasions, I have used the word hypocrisy. The worst offense of all is the so-called “evidence that indicated” that Kronk is - not was - “involved in an imaginary world of fantasy and violence.” With young girls, to boot? Excuse me? Who is really living in a fantasy world here? Who sits in jail for murder, most likely committed violently by a fanatical young woman? Just who is this private investigator and professor at DePaul University, Mort Smith, who helped conjure up this nightmare? What is their motive? They intend to assassinate the former water company employee’s character and ruin his credibility on the stand. Will the defense, because of their sexual innuendos, accuse him of a meter violation?

    There’s more to this than just that. I understand what Baez & Co. are up to. It is so powerfully clear that their intent is to dupe the judge and jury - not into thinking Roy actually committed the act of murder, but to set into motion what I feel is the whole basis of the defense strategy: that the state never looked anywhere else. The state never fully investigated Roy Kronk and they cleared him prematurely. In other words, their private investigator was more thorough than law enforcement. Quite clearly, none of the evidence ever pointed at him or anyone else, either, so why would authorities waste taxpayers’ money grasping for straws like the defense is doing now? I think it is quite evident that this defense is lost. It has no focus. No direction. This is a body of attorneys without a head and as much as I hate to say it, they are clowning around with a very serious matter. Instead of throwing cream pies at the court, they are throwing apples in an orange grove and calling them nectarines. With this sort of strategy, there is no doubt who will be buying the farm and the injection Doctor Baez intends to administer to the judge and jury will instead lead to one carried out by the State of Florida at the Lowell Correctional Institute. This is no laughing matter.

    Somewhere, somehow, there are six degrees of separation between everyone, so they say. Here is what links Casey Anthony to Roy Kronk. It doesn’t go through Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez because in real life, fictional characters do not coexist with real people. Fictional characters are as imaginary as Casey’s, well, imagination. My best shot, based on true and documented information taken from law enforcement interviews is that the degrees of separation are simple. They are very concise and very much after the fact because there never was a before: Casey Anthony to Yuri Melich to Roy Kronk. Cut and dry. The sad part about it, in real life, is that there will never be more than zero degrees of separation between poor Roy and the late Caylee Marie. You’ve got to ask yourself, what would Caylee say about this mess? She’d be talking by now.

    *Motion in Limine - Although motions in limine are most often used to exclude evidence, they can also provide an opportunity to obtain a pretrial ruling on the admissibility of certain evidence. Source: Professor John Barkai, William S. Richardson School of Law.
    • Evidence indicating Mr. Kronk’s possible history of inappropriate behavior with young girls;
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk has a history of abusing, restraining, and holding women against their will;
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk has, in the past, used duct tape for the purposes of restraining women, and has bragged about his use of so-called “100 mile-an-hour tape” for that purpose [actually, it’s 200 MPH tape, but what does Baez know about NASCAR?];
    • Evidence indicating that Mr. Kronk is involved in an imaginary world of fantasy and violence;
    • A statement indicating that Mr. Kronk knew of the location of Caylee Anthony’s remains and indeed may have had possession or control of them in November 2008, weeks before he alerted law enforcement on December 11, 2008.

    Here are some key points illustrated in the Orlando Sentinel report dated Nov. 19, 2009:

    • Casey’s defense is claiming there’s circumstantial evidence that makes him “equally likely to be responsible for the death of the child.”
    • They are asking Judge Strickland to allow a jury to hear allegations of Roy Kronk’s past wrongdoings, including inappropriate behavior with girls, use of duct tape to restrain women and holding women against their will.
    • Ex-wives Jill Kerley and Crystal Sparks stated that Kronk physically attacked them.
    • Kerley said he used duct tape to hold her against her will. “I don’t think he would know the truth if it hit him upside the head.”
    • Sparks said she called police, but couldn’t remember if she ever sought a restraining order.
    • Allegations are rampant that Kronk abused other women and held them against their will.
    • Just before Thanksgiving of 2008, Kronk’s son Brandon said his father told him he had found Caylee Anthony’s body and would be on television.

    By News Tribune and Associated Press

    15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante has been certified to stand trial as an adult in the homicide of Elizabeth Olten.

    Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled this morning that the crime was serious and vicious and the state had no adequate facilities or services to treat the teenage suspect if she were to remain in the juvenile court system.

    The girl was identified in court by her juvenile defense attorney only as Alyssa. She was immediately arrested on an adult charge of first-degree murder following the judge’s ruling.


    I will be following news accounts of this story and adding links as it unfolds. If anyone has information pertaining to the case, please comment here or send me a private e-mail. The address can be found on the right sidebar.

    If any of you are uncomfortable with me for publishing the girl’s name, she is no longer just a girl, she is an adult in the eyes of the law.

    To read my original story, please click here…

    Elizabeth Olten’s killer identified


    To read my follow-up story, please click here:

    Hobbies: killing people, cutting

    Alyssa Bustamante video:

    [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3951748&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]


    New Video of Suburban Drive: Same Time Last Year

    Fall came a little late this year. It usually hits around the middle of October and that’s when temperatures dip from the daytime high in the 90s to the 80s, but not this time. We pretty much remained in the 90s up until about a week or so ago. Autumn is a wonderful time of year in central Florida. No, we don’t experience a real change in seasons like areas north of here, but the humidity wanes with each passing day, and it cools off enough at night, as the sun goes down, to turn off the air conditioning and leave it off until somewhere around noon the following day. Yesterday was a perfect day to get out of the house and go for a drive, so I went down to the woods where Caylee was discovered, less than two months after two private investigators searched a year ago. I wanted to shoot a video showing you pretty much what Dominic Casey and Jim Hoover saw when they were there last November. I’m sure you remember that scene of Casey poking around in the brush.

    I can’t really recreate exactly what it looked like then, but I  know the climate was about the same because of what’s been happening every year around this time. Of course, it wouldn’t be identical because law enforcement and forensic experts cleared a lot of the area out, piece by piece, as they searched for clues and fragments of bone, but where the PIs looked was around 150-200 feet from where the search began; where the skull was found, and closer to the road than the area that spread throughout the woods, deeper and more west and south of where that video was shot. Without any further adieu, here it is…

    [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3938737&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]

    You can also watch it in a larger size at YouTube


    Double Jeopardy

    ashley-juddI haven’t seen Ashley Judd in a number of years now, but I’ll readily admit I’ve had a secret crush on her for a long time. In 1999, she starred in a movie titled, Double Jeopardy. According to the IMDB Web site the plot line says “a woman framed for her husband’s murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can’t be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.”

    I think that’s what we all think about double jeopardy; that no one can be tried for the same crime twice. So what’s with the Motion to Dismiss Counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13 for Violation of Double Jeopardy Clause filed by Casey Anthony?

    First, we’ll have to take a look at the motions filed by the state. There’s no doubt that law enforcement and prosecutors like to throw the book at people to make some of it stick., and Casey Anthony made herself a perfect target for not only the check fraud charges, but the first-degree murder charge in the death of her daughter. It would seem like fraud convictions would be a walk in the park compared to facing execution, but there are reasons why this particular motion was filed by the defense.

    Here are the three charges filed for each forged check written:

    1. Fraudulent Use Of Personal Identification Information

    2. Forgery Of A Check

    3. Uttering A Forged Check


    Another charge was thrown in for good measure:

    13. Grand Theft Third Degree

    The motion to dismiss states that Casey is guaranteed double jeopardy protection under the United States Constitution as well as the Florida Constitution on the grounds of duplicative charges. Her defense claims that the additional grand theft third degree charge would be tantamount to punishing her for the same crime covered in the other 12 counts. In essence, Casey’s defense team points out that under law, she should be charged for one crime by one count. The defense also claims that charging her with multiple counts for the same act prejudices her, therefore the counts should be dismissed. In other words, she should be charged once each for all three charges and it shouldn’t matter how many bad checks she wrote. That means she should have only been charged with one count of fraudulent use of personal identification information, one count of forgery of a check and one count of uttering a forged check. No matter how many checks she wrote, they should all fall under the same umbrella of charges.

    According to the motion, “Miss Anthony is guaranteed double jeopardy protection by the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Sections 9 and 17 of the Florida Constitution for duplicative charges.” Let’s take a look at what the law says:

    Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprivedof life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment 8

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Florida Constitution - Article 1, Sections 9 and 17

    SECTION 9.  Due process.

     No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, or be compelled in any criminal matter to be a witness against oneself.

    SECTION 17.  Excessive punishments.

    Excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, attainder, forfeiture of estate, indefinite imprisonment, and unreasonable detention of witnesses are forbidden. The death penalty is an authorized punishment for capital crimes designated by the legislature. The prohibition against cruel or unusual punishment, and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, shall be construed in conformity with decisions of the United States Supreme Court which interpret the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment provided in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Any method of execution shall be allowed, unless prohibited by the United States Constitution. Methods of execution may be designated by the legislature, and a change in any method of execution may be applied retroactively. A sentence of death shall not be reduced on the basis that a method of execution is invalid. In any case in which an execution method is declared invalid, the death sentence shall remain in force until the sentence can be lawfully executed by any valid method. This section shall apply retroactively.

    The double jeopardy rule of the Fifth Amendment is intended to limit abuse by the government in repeated prosecution for the same offense as a means of harassment or oppression. It is also in agreement with the common law conceptofres judicata which prevents courts from relitigating issues which have already been the subject of a final judgment. There are three essential protections included in the double jeopardy principle, which are:

    • being retried for the same crime after an acquittal
    • retrial after a conviction
    • being punished multiple times for the same offense

    Does the defense motion to dismiss those extra charges, something it sees as ancillary in nature, hold any merit? In Solem v. Helm (1983) 463 U.S. 277, a split court found that a life sentence without the possibility of parole for aseventh nonviolent felony was unconstitutional. In Solem, a bare majority of the court held a court’s proportionality analysis under the Eighth Amendment should be guided by objective criteria, including the gravity of the offense and the harshness of the penalty; the sentences imposed on other criminals in the same jurisdiction; and the sentences imposed for commission of the same crime in other jurisdictions.

    In Harmelin v. Michigan (1991) 501 U.S. 957, a life sentence without possibility of parole for possessing 672 grams of cocaine was upheld. The case produced five separate opinions. While seven justices supported a proportionality review under the Eighth Amendment, only four favored application of all three factors cited in Solem. As one court has concluded, disproportionality survives; Solem does not. (McGruder v. Puckett (5th Cir.’92) 954 F.2d 313, 316.) In Harmelin, Justice Scalia, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist, determined Solem was wrongly decided and the Eighth Amendment contained no proportionality guarantee. Justice Kennedy, joined by Justices O’Connor and Souter, found the Eighth Amendment encompassed a narrow proportionality principle. In other words, the Eighth Amendment does not require strict proportionality between crime and sentence. Rather, it forbidsonly extreme sentences that are ‘grossly disproportionate’ to the crime. Moreover, in Solem v. Helm, the court focused on the nonviolent nature of both the defendant’s current offense of uttering a ‘no account’ check (one of the most passive felonies a person could commit) and his prior offenses. The majority acknowledged a life sentence for fourth-time heroin dealers and other violent criminals would pass constitutional muster.

    What all of this legalese means, in my interpretation of law, is that Casey should be tried once for each of the three charges. If she is acquitted of the first 3 charges, the case should not be allowed to proceed. On the other hand, if she is convicted of the first 3 charges, the additional charges should no longer be relevant and she should be sentenced for just those 3. I understand the logic, but is it really constitutional? Suppose she is convicted on all 13 charges. She faces a long time in prison on each separate conviction. In essence, she could be sentenced to spend her remaining years behind bars. Also, as 13 separate convictions, she would be considered an habitual offender. Could she be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole as such? I believe she could. What we have to consider is not just this case, but prior cases and the issue of extreme sentences for others beyond the State of Florida v. Casey Marie Anthony. As much as many may want the book thrown at her, in its wisdom, the court does not see prejudice. It sees a defendant and the charges against her. She has the law on her side as much as it may or may not help her.

    The defense motion cited Florida Statute Section 775.021 (4), which states that,“Whoever, in the course of one criminal transaction or episode, commits an act or acts which constitute one or more separate criminal offenses, upon conviction and adjudication of guilt, shall be sentenced separately for each criminal offense; and the sentencing judge may order the sentences to be served concurrently or consecutively. For the purposes of this subsection,offenses are separate if each offense requires proof of an element that the other does not, without regard to the accusatory pleading or the proof adduced at trial.”

    I read that as meaning the offenses are separate from each other. In other words, each of Amy’s forged checks are really the same crime on different dates. As such, they should be charged as one crime because the Fifth Amendment forbids multiple punishments for the same offense. In Blockburger v. U.S., 284 U.S. 299 (1932), the Supreme Court held that punishment for two statutory offenses arising out of the same criminal act or transaction does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause if ‘each provision requires proof of an additional fact which the other does not.’ Separate punishments in multiple criminal prosecution are constitutionally permissible, however, if the punishments are not based upon the same offenses. Are they the same offenses? According to Florida law (Florida Statute Section 775.021 [4][b]), the intent of the Legislature is to convict and sentence for each criminal offense committed in the course of one criminal episode or transaction and not to allow the principle of lenity as set forth in subsection (1) to determine legislative intent. Exceptions to this rule of construction are:

    1.  Offenses which require identical elements of proof.

    2.  Offenses which are degrees of the same offense as provided by statute.

    3.  Offenses which are lesser offenses the statutory elements of which are subsumed by the greater offense.

    I think it’s very clear why the defense filed this motion and it’s a very good one. Let’s move on and take a look at Casey’s grand jury indictment last October.

    On October 14, 2008, Casey Marie Anthony was indicted by the State of Florida on these separate charges:








    Yes, she was charged with premeditated first-degree murder under Florida Statute 782.04:


    (1)(a)  The unlawful killing of a human being:

    1.  When perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being

    While we ponder the legality of the latest double jeopardy motion, take a look at the above indictment charges. How can a person be charged with murder and manslaughter*? Why are there four separate charges pertaining to providing false information to a law enforcement officer? Mark my words, when the murder case heats up more, we are going to see a slew of motions filed to throw out some of the charges. What will happen? It certainly is within the realm of possibility, but on the other hand, allow me to look at the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 people and was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the 9/11 attacks. I don’t need to go into any detail of what transpired. This is purely about the charges, the trial, and the conviction.

    On August 10, 1995, Timothy McVeigh was indicted on 11 federal counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and 8 counts of first-degree murder. On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was found guilty on all 11 counts of the federal indictment. He was executed by lethal injection at 7:14 a.m. on June 11, 2001, at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    You may wonder why I chose this particular crime. To be honest, the double jeopardy motion has nothing to do with Caylee’s murder at this time. This is an entirely separate case, but I am looking at legal comparisons and how they could influence each trial, fraud and murder.

    My Opinion

    Despite killing 168 people, McVeigh was only charged with 8 murders. In my opinion, Casey Anthony will lose her Motion to Dismiss Counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13 for Violation of Double Jeopardy Clause. Why? If Timothy McVeigh’s attorneys used the same logic and prevailed in a similar motion to dismiss the counts by reducing the eight murder charges to one, that means out of 168 deaths he was responsible for, he would have been tried for one single murder and the entire weight of those deaths would have been reduced from 8 to 1. Would he have been sentenced to death for one murder? With Casey, it’s the same thing in my book, although the charges are not similar. I am merely making an analogy. Each forged check is a separate crime. The only charge I would consider dropping is the Grand Theft Third Degree. I think it’s extra icing on a 12-layer cake. One thing the judge may consider, and only if Casey is convicted on all counts, is to follow maximum sentencing guidelines allowed by the state, but to condense those 12 charges into 3 at sentencing. In other words, allow all of the convictions to stand, but don’t sentence each one individually. Of course, the judge should use his own discretion when deciding the imposition of concurrent or consecutive sentences and I am not concerned with that particular aspect. Regardless of what he decides, Casey will be locked away for a long time if she is convicted of these charges alone. I realize how unpopular my view will be with readers, but we must remember, when Casey stands trial on the fraud charges, she will not be convicted of anything yet and the court will not take Caylee’s death into consideration. Who else, other than Casey, would you want to spend a life in prison over stolen checks that amounted to less than $1,000?

    tommy lee jonesOn a final note, I think we’re all Jonesing for the fraud trial to begin. Any trial, actually, and speaking of Jonesing, wasn’t Tommy Lee Jones Ashley Judd’s costar in Double Jeopardy?Yup, he was. Too bad justice doesn’t always work the same way as it does in Hollywood. Casey Anthony’s role would have been written out of the script right after the opening credits. In the real world, that’s not the way it works.

    *Amended by Maura on 2009/11/13 at 12:40 pm: According to a lawyer who comments over on Blink’s site, Florida law requires the inclusion of a lesser crime when a person is indicted for a capital offense. That’s why Casey was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child in addition to first degree murder.

    On the surface, it appears that the jurors will be allowed to convict Casey of both first degree murder (homicide with premeditation) and manslaughter (homicide without premeditation), which can’t logically both be true relative to the same homicide.

    The resolution to that contradiction will be in the instructions to the jurors.



    Who, what, where, when, why and how

    Since July of last year, we’ve received mountains of information addressing the murder of Caylee Marie Anthony and her mother, who is charged with the crime. Because the evidence points to one person, I think it’s safe to say that 99.7% of the people interested in this case believe, without a doubt, that Casey Marie Anthony is guilty of killing her daughter.

    So far, we know who it was and we are sure we know who was responsible. We know what happened. Caylee was murdered. Do we know where the crime took place? If Casey is truly guilty, odds are it occurred inside the Anthony home. Could it have happened anywhere else? Conceivably, yes, and more about this aspect may come out prior to or during trial.

    We also know a bit about when Caylee was killed. The last time anyone saw her alive was June 16, 2008. Since she was never seen again, it’s fairly reasonable to conclude that on June 16, she died. Bingo. Cut and dried.

    I don’t think we’ll ever know how Caylee died. Several theories are floating around. The latest one is death by injection of homemade chloroform, but there is no precise evidence to verify it. Lots of garbage was tossed into the woods where she was found. How will the state prove it was Casey’s needle? How will prosecutors explain the testosterone found on it? In court, “maybes” won’t count and the defense is well aware of that.

    As we consider who, what, where and how, have we ever really sat down to ponder why Caylee was murdered in a, seemingly, cold-blooded fashion? If you think about it, none of the media outlets have given any thought to it. None. In April, I wrote an article titled, When a mother kills. In it, I took an in-depth look at filicide, which is the deliberate act of a parent killing their own son or daughter. In real life, Motown singer/songwriter Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father in 1984. In mythology, Hercules killed his wife and children in a fit of rage induced by the goddess Hera. The list is long and society looks the other way, never considering possible causes.

    What I’d like to know is why Caylee was killed. As much as we seem to know about this horrible murder, what are some of the possible motives? If, in fact, her mother committed the crime, why did she do it? Was it jealousy? To be able to party again? Was it because deep down inside, Casey never wanted to have a child? Certainly, to wander aimlessly for a month without fully comprehending the magnitude of her daughter’s death, was something terribly askew in her mind? What sane person would think like that? Could there be underlying factors at work? Are you aware of postpartum depression? The symptoms may hide themselves as manic-depression or bipolar disorder. Bouts of euphoria, agitation, sleeplessness, sexual promiscuity, and hyperactivity are not unusual. Very easily, poor judgment could be a result. This is, in no manner, meant to soften the blow, and Casey is not claiming she suffered from any form of mental disorder, but if she killed Caylee, why did she do it? Why haven’t the media taken an in-depth look into the mind of this filicidal mother, to discern and recognize some of the possible reasons? So far, all we’ve really discussed are the whos, whats, wheres and hows. Do we have any whys?


    New material released today

    More than 2,100 pages of documents were released this morning by the State Attorney’s Office in the case against Casey Anthony. Among the pages are evidence lists, a handful of photos, and e-mails between OCSO detectives and FBI personnel.

    Syringe in bottle found near remains contained traces of chloroform

    FBI lab technicians found an unknown liquid and chloroform inside a Cool-Blue Gatorade bottle. The bottle also contained a plastic bag labeled “Disposable Syringe Kit” with a needle inside. Traces of chloroform were detected inside the syringe.




    PDF: Anthony Documents, Nov. 6, Photographs
    PDF: Anthony Documents, Nov. 6, FBI Test
    PDF: Anthony Documents, Nov. 6, DNA Tests
    PDF: Anthony Documents, Set 13 (Nov. 6) Knife
    PDF: Anthony Documents Nov. 6 Insects, Tires

    summary of conclusions


    june 19-22




    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6
    Part 7
    Part 8
    Part 9
    Part 10
    Part 11
    Part 12
    Part 13
    Part 14
    Part 15
    Part 16
    Part 17
    Part 18
    Part 19
    Part 20
    Part 21
    Part 22
    Part 23
    Part 24
    Part 25
    Part 26
    Part 27
    Part 28
    Part 29
    Part 30
    Part 31
    Part 32
    Part 33
    Part 34


    A Halloween Story

    I had something else I wanted to post today, but I’ll do it tomorrow or Monday. In the meantime, this is a story I first wrote in 2006. Because it’s Halloween, I’m republishing it - with several modifications. Please don’t be frightened.

    The Night I Screamed On Halloween

    A few years ago, I told my mother about the scariest Halloween moment in my life. She questioned whether she would have let me venture out on my own at the tender age of 6. I was with a friend from the neighborhood and we were in the same class at school, so I wasn’t really alone. I told her, sure, why not? Times were different then. We left our windows open at night. During hot summer months, most houses were without air conditioning and the only thing that separated us from the rest of the world was a screen door. Crime wasn’t something that was ever present in our minds. It was a different time…

    It was a chilly autumn night, so, so many years ago. It was my first foray out with a friend on Halloween. No moms allowed! I was a man this night, or so I thought. Harold and I went out to make the rounds just as darkness fell. There were lots of kids in all sorts of costumes milling about, stopping at most of the homes in the close knit community. Some were decorated and they seemed like the most inviting - the ones that would give out the best candy! I remember the flickering of candlelit pumpkins with each eerie twist and turn throughout the neighborhood. Skeletons hung from trees and porches, swaying in the gentle breeze. We talked of ghosts and goblins and tried to stay away from dark alleys and back yards. No way! Oh yeah, and houses with their lights off, too, because that meant they were going to grab us and take us to the basement where we’d never be seen again. Maybe, it really just meant they weren’t home, but we weren’t going to take any chances.

    I had a big brown paper shopping bag to stuff all that tooth rotting goodness in. There were no paper or plastic options at the grocery store back then. These were the days of old when the milkman left glass bottles at our doorsteps and on freezing winter morns, the cream would expand and push the cardboard cap up and out a few inches. Brrr. Rabbit ears were the best way to watch our round screen black & white TVs.

    Harold wanted to finish the night at his house. “OK,” I said, “we started at mine, we can stop at yours.”

    I had never been to his place before. He lived about 6 or 7 houses up and on the other side of the street. When you’re six years old, that’s pretty far away and I wasn’t too crazy about being almost out of sight of my own place. We must have visited all kinds of critters, I mean people, while working our way to his house. I was slowly approaching unmarked territory. At night, too. In the dark. Halloween night! I was getting nervous. OK, this is far enough.

    “I think it’s getting late. I’m getting tired,” I said. We’d been out long enough and had plenty of goodies to last a long time. We probably had bewitching hours, anyway. It was probably a school night.

    “OK. Let’s go to my place,” Harold said.

    “I’m ready!” Besides, I was getting bored.

    Everywhere I went, everyone made me take off my mask. “Oh, you’re Sam & Dottie’s boy.”

    When we got to his house, we walked up the sidewalk and scaled the stairs to his front porch. The porch light was off and it was downright spooky. I sensed evil lurking about. We knocked and suddenly the door opened.

    “TRICK OR TREAT!” We screamed in unison.

    “I want to see a trick!” his father quickly replied. A trick? I didn’t know what he was talking about. Saying trick or treat meant I was going to get candy. That’s all. What was this trick thing all about?

    “When you say trick or treat, I can ask you to do a trick first. Then I give you a treat. Do you have a trick?”

    Harold and I gave each other a puzzled look and said, “Huh? Nooooo?!”

    “Well, then, I have a trick for you,” and just like that, his top teeth popped out and back into his mouth in an instant. I froze dead in my tracks and just stared up at him. Then he did it again. Those teeth popped out of his face and dangled for a second and then zipped right back inside his mouth.

    I let out a blood curdling scream that woke the dead at the cemetery down the street. Today, neighbors would call 911 after hearing the panic in my voice. I turned to run, when all of a sudden, Harold’s mom suddenly appeared from behind his father and quickly came out the door to comfort me. Whatever his name was, she sure did scold him. Then, she turned to me…

    “He shouldn’t have done that.” The guy was rolling on the floor with laughter. Harold didn’t know what to do. “Sometimes when people’s teeth go bad, the dentist has to pull them out. Then, he gives you new ones to chew your food and have a nice smile. They come out and you put them back in. They’re not real. Lots of people have them,” She turned to him. “Apologize right now!”

    I don’t remember if he said anything or not. He was still laughing. I was pretty rattled and couldn’t stop shaking in my boots. She said she would walk me home. I was not about ready to venture out of that neighborhood by myself. When we got back to my place, she explained to my mother what a horror filled trauma I had just gone through. I sensed a snicker or two and I’m not talking about the candy variety.

    “Mom? Can I sleep with the light on tonight?” I asked. “I’m never going back to that house again,” and I never did. “Mom, would you lock the front door, just in case?” For the longest time, I wouldn’t even look at that place and I sure was glad when we moved.

    I never saw Harold’s dad again. We never discussed it in school, either. When I was old enough to understand, I wondered how the father of a six year old boy could have lost his teeth so young.

    Maybe, he ate too much Halloween candy.


    Elizabeth Olten's killer identified

    UPDATE 11/18/09

    By News Tribune and Associated Press

    15-year-old Alyssa Bustamante has been certified to stand trial as an adult in the homicide of Elizabeth Olten.

    Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled this morning that the crime was serious and vicious and the state had no adequate facilities or services to treat the teenage suspect if she were to remain in the juvenile court system.

    The girl was identified in court by her juvenile defense attorney only as Alyssa. She was immediately arrested on an adult charge of first-degree murder following the judge’s ruling.


    “If I had a child, I would want the community to be there to support me.”

    People of all ages came out to honor the memory of 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten of St. Martins, Missouri, on Wednesday afternoon. If they didn’t attend the service at Concord Baptist Church, they stood along Horner Road near the entrance to Hawthorne Memorial Gardens, where she was laid to rest.

    Meanwhile, an as yet unidentified 15-year-old neighbor girl sits in jail, charged with her murder. Her attorney, Kurt Valentine, said Elizabeth’s death has put Jefferson City in turmoil. “In the local high school, friends of both sides have been getting into arguments and had fights over this case,” he said. Quite clearly, a lot of people seem to know the girl’s identity.

    She was arrested last Friday after leading authorities to Elizabeth’s body, police said. Hundreds of people had searched the area last week after she disappeared. The Cole County Sheriff’s Department said she was well concealed in heavy woods and foliage.

    On Tuesday, I received an e-mail that proffered information and a trail for me to follow. As an inquisitive sort of guy, I did just that. What I found was the name of the girl who now sits behind bars and a photograph of her from an Internet social site called SingSnap that bills itself as “the biggest, baddest and best singing community in the world.”

    If you Google SingSnap, it says that it’s “a free online karaoke community where you can sing and record from a large variety of karaoke songs and comment on other karaoke enthusiast’s” material.

    Of course, that led me to her profile by searching for her screen name. She has been a SingSnap member since October 22 of 2007 and she’s made a total of 8 recordings. The profile includes her name.

    This placed me in a perplexing situation. Should I reveal her name or not? In a unanimous 1979 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects the rights of journalists to use the names of minors in stories deemed newsworthy as long as the information is lawfully obtained and reported truthfully. In the case of Smith v. Daily Mail, the court struck down a West Virginia law that had been previously used to prosecute two newspapers from the state that printed the name of a 14-year old junior high school student who allegedly shot and killed a 15-year old classmate.

    OK, I guess that protects me - sort of - but I just received an e-mail from a concerned reader who cautioned, “Nancy Grace has her picture and her name also and she stated she is not allowed to disclose any of it by law until she goes to court and is deemed to stand trail as an ADULT. You can be in some serious trouble over this, why would you want to put yourself in that situation for a ‘story’ on a blog?”

    Because of these mixed signals, I was not going to reveal her name, but news is now leaking, so I will compromise. I will give you her SnipSnap screen name, along with other social sites she belongs to. Here, I’ll tell you her first name is Alyssa. If you are interested, look for yourself.

    A month ago, Alyssa wrote a tweet on her Twitter account. A tweet is a post or status update on the microblogging service. She goes by the namealyssadailene. This was the entry dated September 28: “this is all i want in life; a reason for all this pain.”

    On September 9, she wrote, “encompass’d with a thousand dangers; weary, faint, tremblinng with a thousand terrors; i in a fleshly tomb, am buried above grounnd. - william cowper”

    She also has private Facebook and Myspace accounts. On Facebook, her name is, well, her real name. On Myspace, she goes by alyssaheartsyou<3.

    Several bits and pieces of information, whether factual or not, have surfaced online and in rumor mills. In one text, an alleged friend wrote, “She told my friend that she wanted to commit a murder to see if she could get away with it”and, “She told this to many kids at her school”.

    The messages continued…

    it was her sisters best friend

    she killed her little sisters best friend

    Word also leaked that she had not only planned it, she dug the grave the week before. All names have been removed.

    can you see this

    im here saddened ..


    yes I can see the chat, but not NG

    I have this information only cus I have actually talked to the murderer online sitting at my ex gfs house

    shes on Singsnap as Wolf_Heart

    there is a picture of her there too

    She planned the murder

    my friend Jennifer told me all of it this afternoon

    she lives there

    her boyfriend helped her bury the body

    she told someone she did it for fun

    shes a monster

    no not really

    parents are ?

    Allysas mom is a drug abuser

    She lives with her grandmother

    She should get the chair

    that grandmother must be beyond herself with emotions too

    imagine her little sister

    oh absolutely

    it was Allysas little sisters best friend

    that grandmother must be beyond herself with emotions too

    imagine her little sister

    oh absolutely

    it was Allysas little sisters best friend

    It was a murder plain and simple

    she killed her to see if she could get away with it

    I’ve sent you a private message.

    Oh BS….. 15 yr olds know right from wrong !!!…..they can’t get away with saying a 15 yr old is not compitent to stand trial !!

    she slit the girls neck and wrists according to my source

    When I called the Cole County Sheriff’s Department yesterday, I was told that the deputy in charge is Colin Murdick. He was in a meeting and chose not to talk to me. Instead, I was instructed to e-mail him the information I had received, which I did, minus the sender’s address. I wrote a nice letter explaining to him that I, in no way, wanted to hinder the investigation by revealing anything still left unpublished. Here was his entire response:

    No comment

    Rather terse. Anyway, please feel free to look around for more information. In the meantime, this is a picture of the alleged suspect from SingSnap. I covered her eyes. Remember, whoever committed this heinous crime has not been officially named yet. The girl behind bars will remain there until November 18, when a judge will decide whether to charge her as an adult or not. Until then, she is still a minor and only a suspect.

    Alyssa Bustamante_NoID


    Alyssa Bustamante video:

    [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3951748&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]



    Hobbies: killing people, cutting

    Or so it says on OkamiKage’s YouTube Channel

    The video below was taken down. Try HERE instead.

    Last signed in: 1 year ago

    [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3778491&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]


    I learned how to use a gun when I was a child. One time, my father took me out squirrel hunting. I was the spotter. Look, I said, as I pointed up a tree. My father took aim and squeezed the trigger. Pow, just like that, the squirrel fell off its perch and down to the ground. I walked over to it. It was writhing in pain and I watched intently until it took its final breath. That experience really impacted me tremendously. I couldn’t have been more than 10 years old, if that, but I never wanted to see an animal die again. Because of my reaction, my father never hunted again, either. To this day, I have never owned a gun or weapon of any kind and I never will. I don’t mind skeet shooting or target practice, but I have no desire to watch anything die by the hands of another.

    Even at that age, I knew the difference between life and death. I still can’t figure out why I am not a vegetarian.



    Casey Book

    Let me introduce myself. I am a blogger. I began my blogging odyssey in October of 2004 with a simple little post titled, “A Start.” All the body copy said was “Open to the public,” and Marinade Dave was born. Why Marinade Dave, you might wonder? Because my initial desire was to write about marinades, food and recipes. Of course, as  my horizons grew, so did my desire to write about other things. A lot of my writing touched on personal experiences of mine. Occasionally, I wrote about politics and when I found out I was a type 2 diabetic with no health insurance, I wrote about that, with the goal of helping others understand the disease and to point them in the right direction for treatment and where to go if, just like me, they had no insurance.

    I would say, as a person, Casey Anthony is highly artificial, manipulative,egocentric and narcissistic. Her behavior cannot be explained solely or partially on the basis of intimidation or mental abuse by her mother or father.
    Despite her ability to present herself relatively well, there is a moral vacuity and absence of empathy for her daughter which suggest tendencies toward psychosis.

    I would say, as a person, Casey Anthony is highly artificial, manipulative,egocentric and narcissistic. Her behavior cannot be explained solely or partially on the basis of intimidation or mental abuse by her mother or father.Despite her ability to present herself relatively well, there is a moral vacuity and absence of empathy for her daughter which suggest tendencies toward psychosis.


    They could never ask for a better judge

    For anyone who thinks I am buttering up to the judge, guess again. We’ve already met and I doubt if we will do so again, unless I have an opportunity to attend part of the murder trial next year. Even so, I will be there as an observer and I seriously doubt he would hold me in contempt for anything or need to reintroduce himself.

    judge-stan-stricklandPhoto courtesy of Orlando Sentinel

    After my experience in the courtroom at Casey’s last hearing, I read several comments elsewhere that questioned Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland’s wisdom because he acknowledged reading my blog. I’m sure he reads many others, including forums. He may have recognized me because my face is plastered at the top, in the banner. Easily, he could have told me I look better in my picture than I do in real life and I’m sure he would be right, but I firmly believe he is fair and extremely discreet, and I’m convinced he wouldn’t agree with what a lot of people continue to say about the entire case. Yes, at times that would include me, I’m sure. I wonder what he thinks about breaking news reports of signed book contracts that prove later to be unfounded? Does he pay close attention to the frenzy of the screaming crowds and how they may fuel the defense motions for changes of venue?

    It saddens me to read any negative comments about him anywhere, because he can’t just stick his head in the ground until this case is over. He shouldn’t stop reading the Orlando Sentinel or watching the nightly news. He can’t just sequester himself and close his eyes and ears. Please give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he didn’t achieve this stature by basing guilt or innocence on nothing more than other people’s opinions. In many cases, very skewed opinions. That’s why he’s the real judge and we are not. I do not believe for one second that by perusing Web sites pertaining to this case, it would have any bearing on him regarding how he renders a decision. If anything, it would enlighten him to the madness of it all.

    Upon watching him in the courtroom, I found his candor to be quite refreshing and I welcomed his open-mindedness. I saw live how sharp and focused he remains at all times. He is very well-mannered, well-informed, highly intelligent and because of his personality, humble to boot. Later, when I returned from the courthouse and read around the Internet, I found it rather peculiar that some would judge the judge and deem his qualities questionable at all for requesting to meet me, as if he must recuse himself from this case for keeping up with current affairs, including blogs and forums about all of the Anthonys and Casey’s defense lawyers.

    I wonder what makes those who scrutinize Judge Strickland qualified to make broad assumptions about his reasoning and character. Why have some moved on from judging Casey to judging the judge? My, my, what narcissists some can be.

    Recently, I was discussing this case with an attorney I know. I wrote about it in a comment on a post written prior to attending court, but it’s well worth repeating today. I asked her (the attorney) why, since Judge Strickland was moved fromcriminal to civil court in early 2009, was he hearing this criminal case? I knew then that judges are routinely moved from court to court to court and it has nothing to do with any issues pertaining to reputation or anything, unless it’s obvious. She told me that judges can take cases with them when they are moved elsewhere. She emphasized that Judge Strickland is an incredible judge and he is highly regarded, well liked and well-respected by his peers, which includes not only judges but all practicing attorneys in this entire area we call Central Florida. She added that his reasoning for taking this case with him had nothing to do with ego. Quite the contrary. It was all about not wanting to burden any other judge with this ever-expanding mess. He wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    What she told me spoke volumes about the man, his integrity, and his fairness. In the end, whatever he reads, sees and hears about this case - the stories and theories that plague the news and Internet on a daily basis - he completely understands how to judge it all, and the bottom line comes down to two things and two things only: Justice for Caylee - and no matter what anyone else thinks -Justice for Casey.

    See also: Ninth Circuit Court

    In August of 2008, the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers published its annual Judicial Poll findings. In the Public Comments of Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Judges in Orange County, here are some of the results of what criminal defense lawyers had to say about Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland:

    • Hard working, knowledgeable, superb judicial demeanor – the epitome of how a judge should act!

    • Smart, pleasant, efficient. Judge who definitely knows the law although he does not necessarily always follow it.

    • Judge Strickland is a fine judge with a good temperament.

    • No matter which side he rules in favor of, he always seems to make the correct, legal and wise decision.

    Thank you, Maura



    Orlando Sentinel poll: Given the national media coverage, can Casey Anthony get a fair trial?

    As I have highlighted in the past, the Orlando Sentinel has a weekly poll that asks questions pertinent to current affairs. I only write about those that pertain to the Casey Anthony case. The questions are posed every Friday and the results are published in the following Friday’s edition, in print and online.

    Here are last week’s questions and the results. I will only include the opinions from the Anthony poll. Remember that anyone from anywhere may respond.

    Will Congress pass an unacceptable health-care-reform by year’s end?

    YES: 38.1%

    NO: 61.9%

    Should children who commit heinous crimes be tried as adults?

    YES: 73.1%

    NO: 26.9%

    Given the national media coverage, can Casey Anthony get a fair trial?

    YES: 55.1%

    NO:  44.9%

    Here are some of the opinions from readers:

    Jurors take their duties seriously

    Casey Anthony can get a fair trial. My past experience as a litigation attorney has shown me that jurors take their civic duty very seriously, and consider the evidence presented in the courtroom very carefully before reaching a verdict.

    More importantly, why does the Orlando Sentinelcontinue to give space to Casey Anthony and the rest of her dysfunctional family? Nobody cares about these people anymore, and I’m getting tired of the media beating a dead horse month after month. It’s time for the vultures to pick a new carcass to fly over, and let the chips fall where they may at Casey’s trial.

    Joy Stricker Longwood

    The court of public opinion

    Maybe down in Immokalee … but not locally. I have never witnessed an untried criminal case where so much of the case evidence has been released to the media for [public] scrutiny.

    Support her or condemn her, Casey Anthony just [marked] her first year behind bars on nothing more than a very weak case by the prosecution and, in my opinion, a rather poor legal-defense counsel. This case is being tried in the open court of public opinion. …

    nailman (from the Web)

    Media want ratings and advertisers

    If she can’t, all the media can do is blame themselves. In their quest for ratings and sales, they have swarmed the Anthony case like flies on a fresh cow patty. Given the media’s recent history, I have to wonder if they even bothered to check the facts of the stories they have reported on the case before broadcasting and printing them.

    Sadly, the people most likely to give Casey Anthony a fair trial would never be in a jury pool. They can provide good enough reasons or excuses to get out of jury duty.

    mikep-ovi (from the Web)

    Did Caylee get a fair trial?

    I don’t look at this sordid case through the eyes of a liberal lawyer, fretting and losing sleep over whether Casey Anthony can get a fair trial. I instead ask: “Did little Caylee Anthony get a fair trial?”

    [We] become increasingly sick at our stomachs when we continue to read stories fretting and fussing over the rights of the perpetrators and [there is] no mention at all of how their victims must have lived their final hours. …

    mycatchoco (from the Web)



    George & Cindy offered $25,000

    According to the Orlando Sentinel, a syndicated radio shock jock recently offered Casey Anthony’s parents a $25,000 payment to appear on his show for an hour.

    Bubba the Love Sponge, whose show broadcasts live in several cities, including Orlando, offered the money to George and Cindy on the air on his show earlier this week.

    The Anthony’s attorney, Brad Conway,  said the radio personality has not contacted him. He became aware of the offer after being contacted by theOrlando Sentinel.

    “My clients are not selling interviews to people,” Conway said.


    Elizabeth Olten from Cole County, Missouri

    Update: Elizabeth Olten body found

    Mixologist74 brought this to my attention. Please go to her site and read her post about Elizabeth Olten.

    There is an update to this story, unfortunately, with a bad outcome. They found her body today.

    Elizabeth Olten1

    Elizabeth Olten2


    "It was my honor, your pleasure..."

    For those of you waiting for an important breaking story, I showed that in the video of Joy Wray with her statements about searching the exact location and not finding Caylee where her remains were later found. Because I wanted you to see and hear it, I got the video up as soon as I could. For sure, the interview showed why WESH television journalist and reporter Bob Kealing is the best in central Florida.

    There are no revelations in this post. It is just about my experience and observations in the courtroom. There are reasons why I did not put this post up right away, too. Other than for my own personal reasons, I am not really one to grandstand. Most people know by now that Judge Stan Strickland called me up to talk after the hearing ended. Yes, I was the guy in the second row he asked for. What the judge and I discussed was not “breaking news” and, therefore, not something that needed to be released immediately after the event. Sorry, but it was never my intent to rush home and turn my blog into an outlet to publicize myself. I was not seeking my fifteen minutes of fame as some have suggested. I needed to wait until things settled down. What transpired at the end of the hearing was something I will remember for the rest of my life. I am not one to sensationalize. I do not love to blow my own horn. Not too loudly, anyway.

    No doubt, I try to be independent, but I will always have a soft spot for the whims of a good woman. It’s definitely one of my traits, as anyone who knows me will probably agree. Stubborn, yes, but a softie at heart. At the same time, it’s very important to point out that there are a lot of good - dare I say great - women who frequent this blog and I am often thrust into acquiescing to some of their strongest wishes or suffer in the ensuing quagmire of “reader’s block” and harsh words if I don’t. Fortunately, we all know how to bend and it’s, more or less, just a way to vent and express how passionate we all are about the Anthony case.

    When I mentioned I was going to do my best to go to the latest hearing, I was asked specifically that I not sit on the side of the defense. A lot of folks just don’t like any of the Anthonys. What difference does it make which side of the court I sit on, I wondered? I mean, this wasn’t going to be like a wedding where you tell the usher whether you’re a friend of the bride or groom. Oh, it makes all the difference in the world, I was corrected. Well, I continued, what if I have an opportunity to speak to George or Cindy or anyone else, like Brad Conway? If I am to consider myself a journalist of any kind, shouldn’t I be allowed to write about both sides of a story? I realize we all have bias here, but isn’t it a fact that I have been more than fair and protective of all sides, defense and prosecution? How can I get both sides of a story if I only listen to one? One of the reasons why people come to this blog is because, deep down inside, they are more than fair, too. It’s just tough sometimes, given the evidence we’ve pored over and the fact that emotions do run deep.

    As I drove toward downtown Orlando on Friday morning, I wondered what sort of day I would have. Would I even be able to get into the courtroom?

    When I got to the courthouse, I went through security and walked straight ahead to the information desk. I wanted to make sure the hearing wasn’t moved from 19-B. Good thing I did, because the nice man behind the desk said it was moved to 10-A. As I entered the courtroom, I glanced left and right. The right side was booked solid. I had to make a decision and I wanted to sit down before the judge walked in. The only seat left was right next to Holly Bristow - someone out to get a story. Obviously, the story was more important to her than where she sat, and later, I heard no complaining about her.

    While waiting the long five or so minutes, the courtroom remained silent. There was no friendly banter. I think, like a church, there’s a certain reverence, but instead of God, it’s for the law, courtrooms and judges. It did not stop me from looking around. On the right side, I spotted Bob Kealing in the front row and Kathi Belich a few rows behind him. I sat in the second row on the left, in an aisle seat. Right away, I saw Jose Baez and Andrea Lyon, but where was Casey? Had they not brought her in yet? And where were George and Cindy? I peered around the left side of the person directly in front of me and there was Casey, flanked by her two attorneys. Her neatly combed hair flowed about six inches below her shoulder. Throughout the proceeding, I noticed she would often take her left hand to brush her hair back. Meanwhile, I began to wonder why George and Cindy weren’t there.


    Suddenly, a small entourage of people, including Judge Strickland, entered through a door at the front of the courtroom, to my right. He walked along the wall, between a four foot high partition, and took his seat behind the bench. When Casey stood, I noticed she was wearing a green top with a wide black belt. It appeared the belt came with the blouse. As much as I wanted to look at all of these people as celebrities, I couldn’t help but think they were in this courtroom because of one person. As the proceeding began, I still wondered why George and Cindy weren’t there. I did my best to look all around without it being so awkwardly apparent. Finally, there they were, two seats directly to my left. Sandwiched between Holly and the Anthonys was Jim Lichtenstein, a producer for the NBC Today Show. I chatted with him later. Jim was visible in the Bob Kealing video interview with Joy Wray, standing on the left side of the camera view. He had a very friendly demeanor.

    Just as the proceeding began, George and Cindy’s attorney, Brad Conway, entered the courtroom and parked his wheelchair directly to my right. Early into it, Judge Strickland questioned whose courtroom it was because there was hand lotion all over the place. That brought laughter from the crowd, including Casey. Whatever you think about her, it was a comical moment and it seemed to me that it was a simple way for the judge to help the entire courtroom to relax a bit. Judge Strickland apologized and the proceeding continued. Of course, we all know the outcome by now. Casey lost the battle to get her murder case thrown out.

    “It’s a farce. It doesn’t even come close to the legal requirements necessary for the court to even entertain a motion to dismiss,” state prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick argued Friday. “The entire motion, from top to bottom, it is replete with errors, it’s insufficient as a matter of law.”

    “It cannot be the intent of the Florida legislature that a person swear to something that they do not have personal knowledge of,” Lyon argued.

    “The content of the motion, as well as Ms. Anthony’s brief affirmations, are not enough to carry the day under Florida Rules of Pleading,” Judge Strickland wrote in his order. He ruled (read his order) that Casey had not sworn to the proper and legally required facts to even ask for him to consider dropping the murder and child abuse charges against her. (read motion | state’s response to strike) There is nothing that stops the defense from refiling the motion.

    One thing I observed was Andrea Lyon’s very strong voice while arguing against the state’s c4 motion, which was the response to the defense motion to dismiss counts 1 and 2 of the indictment against their client.

    Another aspect of the hearing concerned the time the defense argued against turning over evidence yet that showed someone else having dumped Caylee’s body in the woods last year. The judge said he realized that discovery was a rolling process as new witnesses are added, but if Todd Macaluso hadn’t opened a can of worms to begin with, there would be no issue. Because he did, the state should be allowed to see it. You said you have proof. Put up or shut up. The judge gave a deadline of February 1 to turn the evidence over to the state by granting the motion to compel witness list and reciprocal discovery.

    As I watched and listened to what was transpiring before me, I tried to glance to my left at Holly without looking like a peeping Tom. I was trying to see how she was making notations. I had brought along my little pocket notebook and I seemed to be writing down information at the same time the real journalists were. She had a legal size pad and what appeared to be a Palm Pilot, where she diligently and quickly entered text. Pretty nifty, I thought. At some point, the judge brought up the Richardson Hearing, of which I had absolutely no knowledge. I still don’t, but it has something to do with defense depositions.

    Part of the hearing dealt with those persnickety autopsy photos the defense has yet to see. The judge and prosecutors were mostly concerned with sending them out of state to be viewed by the defense team’s forensic specialists. How could the defense be certain that someone in another state, where Florida laws and court orders don’t apply, wouldn’t release any images to the public. If the photos leave the jurisdiction of the state, the judge said, no court would have jurisdiction over them. He also wondered how anyone could guarantee the images wouldn’t be lost or stolen in transit. It was during this part of the hearing that an idea popped in my head. I wrote it down on my pad and tapped Brad Conway on his arm to show him.


    We briefly exchanged a few very quiet words. What the defense said was that the photographs on the server were unmanageable to print because their experts were “technically challenged.” In other words, too old to learn new computer tricks. They didn’t know, for instance, how to place 2 images side by side for comparison. Don’t laugh, I know a lot of people like that. They may know everything about plant decomposition, but nothing about how to operate sophisticated imaging software. In the end, the state was granted discretion over how and when they would be sent.

    Casey will go back to court in December. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled in her check fraud case for December 18. The judge set the trial date in that case to begin on January 25. Her defense team has asked that the trial be moved out of Orange County, but the court has yet to rule on that.

    I must be honest with you. As much as you may despise these people, George and Cindy Anthony are a very attractive couple in real life. When the hearing ended, Casey turned around and I saw her face to face as she walked in my direction. No matter how ugly you feel she is inside, she is still a pretty girl. She was short, no doubt, and and not as chunky as her latest jail photos show. She’s still quite petite. I wanted to get an up close and personal look at her and I did. Did she look like a cold-hearted baby killer? I can’t say. Is there a certain look? Did I miss something? All I can tell you is that she was there, and without these charges, she would still be Casey. It didn’t appear that over a year in jail has hardened or aged her.

    I turned to Brad Conway again to mention a newspaper article I had read recently. It was Florida Today and it chronicled his past and what compelled him to become an attorney. It was complimentary and well written. I also told him I had something to give him from a private source, something that was sent to me. We discussed it and I had to tell him that I, unfortunately, left it in the car by mistake. He gave me his card and asked me to mail it, which I will do today. I excused myself and turned to George, who was now directly to the left of me. I offered my condolences for his and Cindy’s loss and we exchanged a few pleasantries. I don’t know exactly when and how it happened, but a court bailiff stopped me from leaving. I thought it was protocol, like I was leaving out of turn, similar to a wedding. After it’s over, you leave row by row. She told me to stop and wait. I did. This is the account of my experience. It may not be verbatim, but it is real and true.

    “The judge wants to see you.”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “Hold on. Yes, I’m sure the judge wants to see YOU.”

    “Uh, uh, no… I don’t think so. I think you got the wrong guy. Are you sure it’s me and not someone else? I mean, why would the judge want to see me? I don’t think I did anything wrong.” I was completely perplexed and I began to get a little nervous.

    “Hang on, I’ll check.” She never left my side and I was almost oblivious to what was going on around me. I must add that at no time did I want to dart from the courtroom, making a hasty escape. But the thought did cross my mind.

    Another bailiff came over to her and said yes, HIM. I kept looking at the bailiff and the judge, who was now gesturing for me to step forward. The bailiff opened the gate and I tiptoed my way over to him. He had moved away from the bench, but was still behind that retaining wall, about 4 feet tall.

    “Here? Or over at the side?” I asked. I followed him as he moved to my right, nearing the exit door at the front of the courtroom, where he had entered earlier.

    We stood looking at each other, with only a mere two feet separating us. Neither one of us had a problem making eye contact. The first thing I noticed was a real sincerity in his eyes.

    “Are you Dave?”

    “Yes sir, I am.”


    “Yes sir, that’s me.” I thought that, perhaps, he had tried my marinade years ago and remembered me from one of the many food demos I had done. It turns out, that wasn’t it at all.

    Now, some of you may choose not to believe me and you can think whatever you want, but I have absolutely no reason to lie or embellish my story. It’s not going to change my life or yours, but I would appreciate it if you don’t make up stupid stories. I also would be risking my credibility if the judge decided to publicly denounce this in the future. I value my honesty way too much and that was one of the things he addressed.

    He told me he was not a computer person, nor was he very good on the Internet. I told him he didn’t need to be. After all, it was not a computer that qualified him to sit on the bench.

    “Needless to say, I do go on the Internet and read about this case.” I see no reason whatsoever for him to remain blind to what the outside world, meaning outside of the court system, has to say. Should he cancel his subscription to the Orlando Sentinel and remove all TVs from his house? Would you expect him to sequester himself from the outside world? “I must say that you have the best Web site regarding this case. You investigate and you are very fair to everyone.”

    “I thought you were going to ask me to never come back because the glare off my head kept you from concentrating.”

    “No, I just wanted to tell you that.”

    “I thought, maybe, you had used my marinade years ago.”

    “No, you are very good as a writer and you stick to facts. You are very fair and I’m impressed.” WOW! That was impressive. I impressed HIM.

    I thanked him to no end. I was in awe of the man. I, we, have watched him in action. His demeanor. His fairness. His elegance on the bench. Let me tell you all something, Judge Strickland is a very humble man. To think that I impressed him was the best compliment I could ever get about my blog. He did not look down upon me. He treated me as a person and that’s the way he looks at Casey and everyone else related to this case; something we have ALL seen in him - his fairness on the bench. I think he looks at blogs and forums the same way. He looks for fairness. After all, he must listen to both sides or he wouldn’t be a good judge at all, would he?

    I told him about a friend of mine who was also a judge, but one who heard workman’s compensation cases. When I mentioned his name, he said he knew him. With that, I thanked him again and turned to leave. At that point, I was floating on air and I was bouncing off the walls. I told my story to several people standing outside. That was when I met Michelle. She said, “Wow, I’ve finally met a real celebrity.”

    That brought me back down to earth again. I am no celebrity and I told her so. It was a real honor, but I am just a regular old guy. Nothing else.

    I left the courtroom and went back to that information desk. I told that same nice man I first spoke with about my great adventure. I was still floating and I must admit, I did a little gloating. I asked him where Casey came out. He said in the basement. They have holding cells and prisoners leave from that location. Can reporters go down there? No, no one is allowed access and she’s already on her way back to the jail. I thanked him and walked toward the front. When I walked out the door, reporters and cameras were waiting. I walked right up to Bob Kealing and told him what had just transpired. He said they all saw me getting called up to the bench. I was not expecting to be interviewed by anyone. Instead, I asked him what they were waiting for. He said the defense team. They’ll walk out this door. I said I didn’t want to miss it. Did I have time to go to the parking garage and retrieve my video camera? He said yes, he was sure.

    As I walked to the garage, I was stopped by a woman. “Are you Dave? Marinade Dave?”

    “Yes, I am!” I said, proudly. Here I was almost living in the moment of my celebrity world that did not ever exist.

    “I’m Joy Wray.” I knew immediately who she was. I told her I was going back to my car to get the camera. We walked together and chatted. We also walked back to the courthouse and a few moments later, Baez & Company walked out. The rest is captured on my video.

    After it was all said and done and the morning was winding down, I walked with Bob Kealing to the television trucks, the ones with the towering antennae.

    He said, “You’re the one that got James Thompson to open up. I read that. That was really good work. As a matter of fact, we all read your site. You are always fair and honest.”

    Yup, that was me, or at least, that’s what I had always hoped people would look at me as. I still do and it’s reassuring to know media people follow blogs. We should all know that, too. He asked me for my card. I told him I ordered some last week, but they weren’t in yet. Instead, he offered one of his. Drats, my cards came in the mail this morning. If only I had ordered them earlier. Anyway, it’s time to get back to work. In the end, I’m still the same old Dave and I noticed I still put my pants on the same way as every other morning. The only thing that’s different? There are a lot more people out there who hate me now. Just remember, like Judge Strickland, I read what others are saying, only I am VERY Internet savvy.



    A Day at the Courthouse

    Since you all know what transpired at the courthouse yesterday, I won’t readdress that on this post. I am just going to show you a video I shot. The press conference with Baez is tough to hear, but I included it anyway. I guess if I plan on getting any more of them, I’ll have to spend some money on a good microphone to thrust into the crowd. I must say, it was a very interesting and learning experience.

    [vodpod id=Groupvideo.3670857&w=425&h=350&fv=%26rel%3D0%26border%3D0%26]


    One final thought. I’m sorry I missed the bottom feeders last night. I’m sorry you had to put up with their garbage.  There were three of them using the sameWhatever Dave name. Whatever. One came from Paramount, California. One came from Seattle, Washington, another from Kent, Washington, and last but not least, the final one came from Houston, Texas. How interesting that none of them showed their real names. Cowards are like that. Don’t worry, idiots like that never come back. They are afraid to.

    In any event, I understand that this sort of thing comes with the territory. Some people hate to see someone else get what they think they deserve. The sad thing is, I seek no fame and I make no money from this. All they are doing is exposing their weaknesses of the flesh, not to mention their own blatant hypocrisy. I just think it’s very peculiar that they made up a name instead of being honest and standing their ground. Then, I could have respected them. Today, they are nothing more than worthless slime.


    A great day for courting

    Today, I am going to try to get into the court hearing for Casey Anthony. If I am successful, I will have a report later on or in the morning. In any event, I will not be around to answer any comments and if any of them get caught in spam, I won’t be able to let them out until I return.



    Judge Strickland sets tentative trial date: May 9, 2011

    The Honorable Judge Stan Strickland ordered several things on an AMENDED PROPOSED ORDER SETTING DISCOVERY, MOTION and HEARING DEADLINES and TRIAL DATE that was filed on Friday and released today. Here are the highlights of the order:


    (a)  September 30, 2010 - Depositions of expert witnesses of the state completed

    (b)  October 31, 2010 - Evidence eview by any defense expert witnesses completed

    (c)  Defendant shall (1) list all expert witnesses she intends to call at hearing or trial, (2) provide any reports prepared by those witnessess and (3) file any motions related to forensic/scientific evidence by November 30, 2010

    (d)  Depositions of expert witnesses by Defendant completed by February 28, 2011

    (e) Motions related to forensic/scientific evidence heard no later than February 28, 2011


    (a)  Depositions of law enforcement officers and personnel completed by September 30, 2010

    (b)  All non-forensic evidentialry motions filed by October 31, 2010 and heard no later than January 31, 2011


    (a)  All other witnesses listed by August 31, 2010

    (b)  Depositions of all other witnesses by October 31, 2010


    Once a witness becomes known to the Defendant, she shall decide within 30 days whether the witness will be listed pursuant to F.R.C.P. 3.220 (d)(1)(A). In no event shall any witness be listed or deposed by either party outside the time limits in the order. Any party must show good cause for any delay in the Court Order. In other words, have all your ducks in a row, people.


    Non-forensic/scientific legal motions requiring no testimony filed and heard by January 31, 2011


    Discovery schedule for penalty phase witnesses will be addressed on June 2010


    Time and location to be determined by further order of Judge Strickland’s Court

    DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers on March 5, 2010


    Let’s examine F.R.C.P. 3.220 (d)(1)(A) so we can understand it’s meaning…

    (d) Defendant’s Obligation.

    (1) If a defendant elects to participate in discovery, either through filing the appropriate notice or by participating in any discovery process, including the taking of a discovery deposition, the following disclosures shall be made:

    (A) Within 15 days after receipt by the defendant of the Discovery Exhibit furnished by the prosecutor pursuant to subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this rule, the defendant shall furnish to the prosecutor a written list of the names and addresses of all witnesses whom the defendant expects to call as witnesses at the trial or hearing. When the prosecutor subpoenas a witness whose name has been furnished by the defendant, except for trial subpoenas, the rules applicable to the taking of depositions shall apply.

    Casey elected to participate in discovery from the beginning. That’s why we get to see the goods. This is a mere formality and tells us nothing we didn’t already know. The judge must write this so there are no issues later on. It’s a reminder. This also means that as new evidence and witnesses arise, we will get to see the information, especially after all the deadlines are through. I expect to see more.

    Too bad for Casey 2011 isn’t a leap year. I’m sure the defense could use the extra day. One more thing… to those who continue to gripe about the defense stalling, this is an order, DONE AND ORDERED, by and from the judge, not Baez. If May 9, 2011 does not suit anyone’s fancy, I suggest taking it up with the court. I will gladly provide his address.


    I opted to condense the order, but the information is there. You can click on the link to the PDF file at the beginning of the post, or you can click on the image below to enlarge it.