Casey Anthony defense tries to put Florida prosecutors on trial
Defense attorneys for Casey Anthony are seeking to put the prosecution on trial, alleging an at times incompetent investigation into Caylee's death. The tactic could be working with some jurors.
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The innocent man, Timothy Masters, was a 15-year-old sophomore in high school at the time of the killing. He told police that he had seen the dead body in the field on his way to school but did not report it to police because he wasn’t sure it was real, according to a report in the Denver Post.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Key players in the Casey Anthony trial
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Police considered him a murder suspect in part because he did not call 911 and he seemed emotionless, according to the Post report. He was convicted in a circumstantial case with no physical evidence.
Eikelenboom identified three full DNA profiles from the victim’s shirt. It eliminated Mr. Masters and pointed, instead, to someone else on the detectives’ list of suspects.
In 2008, prosecutors moved to vacate Master’s conviction and he was released after serving nearly 10 years of his life sentence.
Work in JonBenet Ramsey case
Eikelenboom was also asked by police in Colorado to investigate the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Again, he identified DNA profiles by examining the precise points where the assailant grabbed the little girl’s clothing. The resulting DNA profile eliminated JonBenet’s parents as suspects in the killing.
During cross-examination, Ashton belittled Eikelenboom and his Dutch-based laboratory. He compared the company to a “mom and pop operation," and suggested he was working in a “barn.”
Eikelenboom said he and his wife converted a farm into a high-tech crime laboratory.
Ashton insisted that any DNA that might have been on the duct tape with Caylee’s remains would have long since degraded and been unusable in the hot, wet Florida weather.
“We only need a small amount of cells to get a DNA profile,” Eikelenboom said.
At the conclusion of his cross-examination Ashton asked Eikelenboom whether the defense team had asked him to retest the duct tape containing the as-yet unidentified DNA remnant.
"We mentioned that we could investigate this piece of tape,” Eikelenboom said.
Ashton shot back: “Are you aware if items at the defense’s request were sent for additional DNA testing?”
“No,” Eikelenboom answered.
The exchange was important because it potentially suggested to the jury that the defense did not want to retest the duct tape even though Baez was arguing that it should have been retested by the state.
“You were willing and able to test items from this case and you were willing and able to do it pro bono,” Baez asked during his redirect examination.
“Correct,” Eikelenboom said.
“The only reason you didn’t do it in this case is because the prosecution objected to you taking it,” Baez said.
The comment drew an immediate objection from Ashton before Eikelenboom could answer. The judge sustained the objection.
What the jury does not yet know is that a defense request to submit “items” to the Dutch laboratory was rejected by Perry. Instead, the defense team was directed to use a lab in Pennsylvania.
Baez apparently submitted for testing a pair of shorts and a laundry bag recovered with Caylee’s remains. But, according to Ashton, the defense never asked that the duct tape/murder weapon or carpet samples from the trunk of the car be retested for possible DNA.
IN PICTURES: Key players in the Casey Anthony trial