Sunday, 19 June 2011

FILICIDE: Florida: Casey Anthony trial -- further forensic evidence

Daily Mail Reporter :  18th June 2011

The autopsy done on little Caylee Anthony's body was 'shoddy,' a renowned forensic expert said in court today.
Dr Werner Spitz, who spoke for the defence in Casey Anthony's murder trial, also said the duct tape Florida prosecutors say suffocated the child was not applied until after her body had decomposed.
Dr Spitz, who has contributed expert opinion in several high-profile cases including O.J Simpson and record executive Phil Spector, spoke on the third day of the defence's case.
He also testified it was a failure that the two-year-old's skull was not opened during the official autopsy.
Dr Spitz himself conducted a second autopsy later.
'The head is part of the body and when you do an examination you examine the whole body,' he said.
'That to me is a signal of a shoddy autopsy.'
Defence: Forensic expert Dr Werner Spitz holds up a plastic skull as he tells the court how little Caylee's skull should have been opened in the first autopsy
Defence: Forensic expert Dr Werner Spitz holds up a plastic skull as he tells the court how little Caylee's skull should have been opened in the first autopsy

Casey Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty to killing her daughter in the summer of 2008.
Dr Spitz said he had intended to attend Caylee's original autopsy after her remains were found in a wooded area in December 2008.
He was denied.
He eventually came to Orlando to conduct his own exam and visited the crime scene, reviewed photos and read the official autopsy reports.
 There were 'specks' of decomposition sediment inside the left side of Caylee's skull, which Spitz said indicated the girl's death was not necessarily a homicide. 'I had problems with (the manner of death finding),' Dr Spitz said. 'When a body decomposes the tape comes loose on the skeletal structure.
 In this case, the only thing that held the tape there was hair and roots.'My strong opinion is duct tape was placed there to hold the (decomposed) lower jaw in place.'Prosecutor Jeff Ashton attacked Dr Spitz's assessments on cross examination, arguing that he didn't have nearly as much information as Dr Garavaglia did when she made her evaluation. Mr Ashton also challenged Dr Spitz to cite a particular written protocol that said the skull must be opened in every autopsy.'I'm not aware of where you can find a protocol, but I can assure you it is part of a complete autopsy,' Dr Spitz said.
 Later, he suggested the position of hair found with the child's skull might have been staged when it was photographed in the medical examiner's office.'It wouldn't be the first time, sir," he said. 'It's my opinion that somebody did.'The testimony of the defence's first witness of the day, forensic anthropologist William Rodriguez, was interrupted after prosecutors said he testified about information not previously disclosed to the state.
The objection came after Mr Rodriguez said it would be impossible to determine the exact position of duct tape on a corpse.
You did what? Judge Perry dismissed the defence's first witness and has retained the right to hold Mr Baez in contempt of court after the trial ends
Because tape loses its stickiness, it may be shifted, and animals could have come in contact with the body, he said.
With the jury sent out of the courtroom, Judge Belvin Perry questioned Mr Rodriguez about his planned testimony.
Mr Rodriguez told him that he initially told lead defence attorney Jose Baez the information in February.
Mr Baez told Perry the non-disclosure was not intentional. He said prosecutors had declined an opportunity to further question Mr Rodriguez before trial and only asked for the pre-testimony report all witnesses were to submit.
 Judge Perry said Mr Baez's conduct seemed to have violated a pre-trial order he issued.
'What you are basically saying is you can pick which orders you will comply and not comply with,' the judge told Mr Baez.
'It appears to me this was quite intentional. It was not an inadvertent slip.'
Judge Perry decided to have Mr Rodriguez step down from the witness stand today, allowing the state an opportunity to question him outside court.
He said he would consider a special instruction to jurors about the non-disclosure and would reserve the right to hold Mr Baez in contempt of court after the trial ends.
Judge Perry also warned Mr Baez about further infractions that could end in witness exclusion.
'Lightning does not strike twice in one place,' Judge Perry said. 'I'm not making any promises of warranties if this happens a second time with this witness.'

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment