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    Entries in James Thompson (2)

    Saturday
    Nov272010

    ...To Judge Perry's Court We Go

    Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Aiobhan

    In the United States, this past week was one of giving thanks to God, ourselves, others, and/or all of the above, for our many bountiful blessings - no matter how bleak the economy has been and might be in the future. As Thanksgiving fades and sugar plum fairies begin their month-long magical dance, the week ahead may very well be a time for the state and defense to give thanks for what they are about to receive in the courtroom. Or not.

    Three motions were filed between November 18 and the end of this past week; one by the state and two by the defense. In the final motion, Casey’s attorneys have seemingly abandoned their two-step strategy that Texas EquuSearch volunteers Laura Buchanan and Joe Jordan searched the precise spot where Caylee’s remains were discovered. It seems they tiptoed to a different tune in the company of detectives and prosecutors bearing gifts recently, most likely time away from home, if you get my drift. After being deposed by the state, Buchanan’s attorney, Bernard Cassidy said, “I believe she signed an affidavit that she searched the area where the body was found. Somebody may have suggested where the body was found, but she has never been to that area to see precisely where the body was.” Cough, cough. Ahem.

    Brandon Sparks seems to have changed his story, too, about Roy Kronk, his one time stepfather’s alleged “prior bad acts.” In lieu of any familiar faces to turn to for help, the defense is asking the court for state money to hire an expert who specializes in bones and fossilized remains. If something new could be determined by another reputable forensic anthropologist/osteologist, it might help debunk the state’s expert. Do I think it will do any good? I don’t know, but this defense needs all the help it can get. Will Judge Perry grant this motion? I don’t see why not, but he will, more than likely, wait until he hears what the JAC has to say about it.

    §

    The first motion filed on the 18th was from the state. Signed by Jeff Ashton, it’s a State Motion to Compel Evidence and it’s based on the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, 3.220 (d) and (f).

    In a nutshell, the state wants to know where the taxpayers’ money went. It wants to review every contract and agreement the defense has made to date. This includes communications between the defense, its entire staff and all of its experts; any notes taken by or for the experts referencing their examination of evidence, and all photos and videos. The state is also asking for all records pertaining to meals, travel expenses, lodging and entertainment. It’s demanding a reckoning of every penny the defense has spent and, gasp, that’s a tough one.

    As much as the state is asking, the motion made it clear that it doesn’t expect the judge to give away the farm. Privileged information is going to be involved, so it requests that the court examine many of the documents in camera - privately, in other words - with the defense, and to redact whatever it sees fit. Redaction means to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb in order to find things not suitable for the other side or the public. Of course, the state would love to know the defense’s strategy in order to launch a strong counterattack, but that’s not fair, nor is it proper, and both parties are aware of it. The state definitely has the upper hand on this one because it has flooded the defense with so much evidence, some important, some not, but because there’s so much of it, it’s overwhelming. Consequently, the defense has had to sort through a slew of documents in order to discern what the state will use at trial. This is a common strategy, and by filing this motion, the state has caught the defense relatively flat-footed. It will most likely have to fork over all sorts of information and that takes time and money away from defending a client. It’s a distraction, but a very legal ploy. WFTV reported that it had read 322 pages of financial documents on Thanksgiving day, so some of it is already public knowledge.

    One of the key points of 3.220 (d) is that, “any tangible papers or objects that the defendant intends to use in the hearing or trial” needs to be turned over. What’s interesting is that the state does not have to turn over any internal notes; those made by investigators in the course of their work. I would assume the same would hold true for the defense, and any attorney worth their weight in salt would know how to distinguish between what is and what isn’t privileged, and would know how to hide documents accordingly. All legal; all fair.

    From my discussions with judges throughout the years, not that I am in constant contact with any today, I have learned that they look at both sides fairly and without prejudice. However, being human, they can readily sense when someone is or is not capable of representing their respective clients. By this, I mean the defense as well as the state. I have yet to meet a judge who seldom complains about one side while picking apart the other. Everyone who faces a judge has his/her own personality, and being human and all, the judge will look at all motions and have personal thoughts on how they were filed and whether they make sense. What I am trying to say, in other words, is that no judge looks forward to a motion like this; not if the court has to sift through thousands of documents in order to discern what is to be passed over to the state and what is to be kept behind closed doors. Fortunately, circuit court judges generally have a battery of scholarly assistants at their disposal, but my guess is that it’s not something anyone looks forward to. Since Channel 9 had access to some of the documents, I would say the defense has turned over discovery prior to this motion. I think the most important part of the motion pertains to where the money is going, past and present; and the state of Florida has every right to know, down to the very last penny.

    §

    The defense filed a very interesting motion on Tuesday, November 23. The Defendant’s Motion to Seal Penalty Phase Discovery Response also cites F.R.C.P. 3.220, but in this case, it’s (l) (1) it’s referring to - Protective Orders:

    Motion to Restrict Disclosure of Matters. On a showing of good cause, the court shall at any time order that specified disclosures be restricteddeferred, or exempted from discovery, that certain matters not be inquired into, that the scope of the deposition be limited to certain matters, that a deposition be sealed and after being sealed be opened only by order of the court, or make such other order as is appropriate to protect a witness from harassment, unnecessary inconvenience, or invasion of privacy, including prohibiting the taking of a deposition. All material and information to which a party is entitled, however, must be disclosed in time to permit the party to make beneficial use of it.

    What this motion requests is for every bit of penalty phase information it finds from here on out be sealed or exempted from future discovery, pursuant to Florida’s Rules of Criminal Procedure. Furthermore, it states that this case “has received an extreme degree of media attention not just in Orlando, Florida, but nationally.” Everyone reading this article is well aware of that fact, and if ever there was a truth to what the defense has said, this is indisputable. The motion specifically cites Florida Statute 90.202 (l), which states: Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

    The motion goes on to state that intense media scrutiny has resulted in the media and public conducting their own investigations aside from what law enforcement has done. I will be the first one to admit that this case has grown multiple arms, many that far outstretch the reach of sanity and truth. Specifically, Internet sites, including blogs and YouTube are fingered, but not one in particular. This is also the truth. Anyone who writes a blog has been guilty to some degree; some a lot more than others.

    How many blogs have been guilty of mocking the people involved in this case? The defendant? The entire defense team? All of the defense witnesses? How many times have we read that anyone who works for the defense is a liar? The attorneys must be disbarred? There is a long list of public demands, most of which are quite illogical in the practical sense. Sure, I’m not one who should talk, but I’ve tried to be fair, and in this case, I can empathize with the defense.

    “To date, witnesses in this case, especially defense witnesses, have already been subjected to intense media pressure and harassment by the media and the public at large. This has resulted in a chilling effect with some witnesses becoming reluctant to come forward with information for fear of harassment and stalking.”

    Boy, oh boy, can I relate to that one. I’m not a witness for the defense, but I have been harassed and stalked since Judge Strickland stepped down. Relentlessly. And if the defense ever needed a witness who could testify to that fact, it would be me.

    It’s interesting that the order requiring penalty phase witnesses to be listed is due on November 30, the day after the hearing, so this motion could be two-fold; the other being that the list is not forthcoming. After all, how much time has Ann Finnell, the author of the motion, had to gather up all penalty phase witnesses?

    The motion asks that the disclosure of these witnesses from the media and the public be restricted until a penalty phase has been established. This, the defense argues, insures that Casey will receive a fair penalty phase if it becomes necessary. In any event, if the judge refuses to grant the defense’s request, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing on the matter, and that’s one I doubt the judge will say no to.

    Overall, it has been my observation that there are a bunch of weirdos out there in the public who have grown some of the most mutated arms I have ever witnessed in my entire life. One such arm that has absolutely no merit is the one boasted by several inane commenters at an otherwise respected site; the one that states “as fact” that Jose Baez, Cindy Anthony, Melissa Earnest and myself conspired to remove The Honorable Stan Strickland from the bench. That one is disgusting, it has absolutely no legs to stand on, and it’s based purely on hatred for me and the others named. Only the stupidest of idiots would believe such a thing. It’s precisely what the defense is talking about, and it’s why the motion stated that the “intense media scrutiny of this case has resulted in the media and the public conducting their own independent investigations in the facts of this case…” I can’t say it enough times. No, this has nothing to do with my fact seeking field trips to Walmart, a la James Thompson, or a video I shot of a person who has yet to be called by the state. In both respects, I was well within my rights and all I was seeking was the truth. If Casey cannot get a fair trial, it is because of trolls. We all know who they are and so does the defense. It’s the trolls who insist they are the only ones who know “the truth” and they say so at the expense of federal and state law enforcement officials, not to mention prosecutors, bunglers all, and certainly not professional enough to see the light.

    God forbid that my name would ever be placed on the defense witness list, but believe me, I sure do relish the thought of being able to tell a judge the truth about all of the horrible lies pertaining to this case. If Casey’s defense team has ever filed a good motion, this one is it. Let’s see what the judge thinks.

    Thursday
    Nov042010

    Revolving Doors

    In a case of what goes around, comes around, I wrote a post about James Thompson and Walmart last year, on October 8. Titled Does Not Compute, it focused on his description of running into Casey and Caylee at the Casselberry Walmart store on June 16, 2008, while on his lunch break. Normally, I would jump at the chance to find evidence proving that Caylee did not die sometime during the night of June 15, which has been the theory of many, but my goal was to just validate some things he claimed in his police report.

    In my post from last year, I wrote this about Casey and Caylee:

    If you recall, Thompson wrote in his statement to the Maitland Police Department that the two of them came into TechBay, his computer store, around June 9 of last year. He also wrote that he ran into them at the Casselberry Walmart store on June 16, the day after Father’s Day. This was the last day Caylee was seen alive according to law enforcement and state prosecutors. How fascinating, I thought. I live in Casselberry and shop at that particular Walmart. Not only that, but his computer store is in Maitland, right down the street from me on US 17-92. This was well worth looking into.

     

     

    One thing immediately puzzled me. In his report, Thompson wrote that Casey was exiting Walmart around lunchtime, with Caylee lagging behind, while he was entering; yet Casey’s cell phone was nowhere near there at that time according to pings. She was at her parents’ house or very, very close by. Something was not computing in my head. The Casselberry store is 15 miles away,¹ while the closest one is less than half that distance from her house.² Both are on Semoran Blvd. Why would anyone go out of their way at lunchtime, especially when cell phone pings prove otherwise? Initially, I thought that, perhaps, her battery was dead, there were none available at the nearer Walmart, and an employee sent her up to the other store. But then, I went back and scrutinized her cell phone records and concluded that she chattered throughout the day except for about an hour, and it wasn’t until after 4:00 pm that she began driving north from Hopespring Drive.

    So far, his story could be questionable because cell phone pings absolutely proved otherwise. There was no way Casey was in that vicinity at lunchtime, but lunchtime can be vague. In his police report, he wrote:

    “Casey Anthony was coming out one of the interior Walmart doors as I was coming in. I recognized her immediately from the week before because she was the pretty girl who came into my store… At first I didn’t see Caley [sic] with Casey. I was going to ask Casey if she bought a monitor yet, but then I saw Caley in the background walking by herself about 10 feet behind Casey and having to open the big Walmart door by herself. The little girl looked angry and had a determined ‘I can take care of myself’ look on her face. I specifically remember feeling sorry for the little girl having to open the door by herself and wondered why her mom wasn’t helping her…”

    Remember now, this is copied verbatim from James Thompson’s sworn police statement. I continued on my October post, after I had the opportunity to speak to him:

    I asked him if he was sure he saw them on June 16. He was absolutely positive. I mentioned that on his written statement to police, he stated he saw Casey and Caylee at lunchtime, but on his interview with Bob Kealing on WESH, he said it was around 4:00 pm. That’s a big difference. He shot right back, though. He said when you own a store, lunchtime could be 4 o’clock. OK, I guess, maybe, in a stretch, but what about the doors that open outward? I told him I was over there last week shooting video and those doors slide sideways. He said this happened a year and a half ago. Actually, it was a year and four months ago, but I didn’t correct him. I asked him if the doors had been changed since then. He said, yes, there was a lawsuit over the old doors.

    True, there was a lawsuit, but it wasn’t at that store. It took place years ago and it’s one of the reasons why Walmart changed their doors everywhere. To make a long story short, I proved that Walmart had sliding doors in place before June of 2008 from solid research on my part, and backed that up after one of my commenters supplied a link to a video of a gentleman walking to that precise store. No internal doors, either, and it seemed to have debunked his story. No cell phone pings registered near that store until 6:32 PM on the 16th, well after lunch, whether it was a noon lunchtime or 2:00 PM or 4:00 PM, which was conveniently changed in his rebuttal comments as I produced more information.

    On October 10, James Thompson filed a lengthy comment on my blog. It was a privilege to publish his response and I must give him credit for that. He wrote, “Remember, I was an Officer in the Military and completed over 185 JAG investigations myself so I have an excellent memory and attention to detail better than most. My vision is 20/20 or better and I am smart so I know what I saw no doubt,” only there were too many discrepancies. You really should go read his response, but one thing he made very clear was that, “I only shop at the Casselberry Walmart so it couldn’t have been anywhere else.”

    This leads me to a piece of evidence that was released in the latest discovery, and it’s rather intriguing. Someone I know felt it was important enough to e-mail me news that Casey did, in fact, write a check at Walmart on June 16, 2008. HUH?! You bet that’s important, and sure enough, I saw it for myself, but unfortunately, there’s no time stamp. All we get to see is Cindy’s bank statement showing that a check was written at store number 3782. In early June, one was also written at store number 1084.

    Here’s the problem with store number 3782. It’s not the Casselberry store where James Thompson insisted he saw her. That’s store number 943 and it’s much farther north. Store number 3782 is located on Goldenrod Road, near Lee Vista Blvd., and very close to the Anthony home, where Casey’s cell phone WAS pinging until late in the afternoon. Based on my research, Casey could have easily “killed” time there while allegedly waiting for her father to leave the house. I have no proof of anything else other than cell phone pings. Of course, there is one other possibility - that it was Cindy who wrote the check.

    My job is to bring you the truth, however it turns out. I have every right to investigate and question anyone I please in this case. I would never accuse James Thompson of lying because I didn’t get the impression he was. Instead, I feel he may have gotten his facts confused, and I pretty much settled it. To his credit, James wants justice for Caylee as much as any of us, but I would much rather the state have a credible witness on their side; one that the defense couldn’t rip to shreds over inconsistencies. If Caylee was seen alive at 4:00 PM or later on the afternoon of June 16, the state’s case will be on shaky ground. That means she was alive and alert, and she would have to have been killed around dinner time and in a very populated area. Rush hour. It would also prove that cell towers are liars.

    I urge you to read the two posts about James Thompson. I would strongly recommend that you read the comments, too. Below are two videos; one I shot of the store and the other one an unsuspecting young man’s video that proves no interior doors existed when Thompson claims they were there. No doors to push, either. Below those two are parts 1 & 2 of the drive time from Sutton Place, where Anthony Lazzaro lived, and the Casselberry store.

    One final thought… In the latest dump, you see a lot of checks written to Target. Someone asked me why Target would cash checks like that. I called the Casselberry store because, like the Casselberry Walmart, that’s the Target where I shop. I told the nice person on the other end why I wanted to know and she promptly asked for my autograph. Just kidding. She told me it’s company policy to not ask for IDs unless the individual clerk finds a reason to. As long as the check is clean and it clears, the store accepts it without asking for identification.

    The following video was shot in January 2008:

    Two more to watch: