With the Casey Anthony trial entering its fourth week, prosecution attorneys called two more FBI forensics experts to finish testifying about the remains of Caylee Anthony. As AP reported:
The first witness of the day, fiber investigator Stephen Shaw, told jurors he analyzed the single hair found in Casey Anthony’s trunk and compared it to samples found with Caylee Anthony’s skull.
Shaw testified that he saw more evidence of human decomposition on the hairs taken from the child’s remains than on the hair found in the trunk. That suggests that if there were a body in Anthony’s trunk, it wasn’t there for very long.
He also said he found the same microscopic characteristics for the skull hair as the trunk hair, but could not say they definitely were a match.
But Perry ruled that prosecutors could not show jurors an electronic presentation of the hair analysis that would have been more detailed than verbal testimony and shown a visual representation of hair decomposition.
Perry said he found it troubling that the contents of the study were not shared with defense attorneys ahead of time. Jurors waited outside the courtroom for about 20 minutes while the issue was settled.
Defense attorney Jose Baez also later got Shaw to say on cross-examination that exposure to the elements could cause scientists to misidentify the presence of decomposition in hair.
FBI physical scientist Elizabeth Fontaine said that her examination of duct tape found at the crime scene didn’t yield any latent fingerprints. But she testified that she did notice the outline of a heart on one of the three pieces while examining it under ultra-violet lighting.
Proceedings ended early Monday afternoon after prosecutors alerted Judge Perry that they could be ready to close their case as early as Wednesday. As AP explained:
The murder trial of Casey Anthony, who’s accused of killing her daughter, will resume in a central Florida courtroom with the prosecution close to wrapping up their evidence presentation.
Court recessed early on Monday with the state calling only a pair of FBI forensics experts. The reason for the early dismissal was because the prosecution’s next witness isn’t scheduled to arrive in town until early Tuesday afternoon. State attorneys say they’re ahead of schedule and the defense could be able to call its first witness Wednesday.
Attorneys for the defense and the prosecution sparred over the weekend about the location and condition of Caylee’s remains which were found near the Anthony family home. As AP reported:
Caylee Anthony’s skull and most of the rest of her remains were 19 feet from the road when they were found, a crime scene investigator testified Saturday.
Stretching a tape measure across the courtroom, defense attorney Jose Baez demonstrated the remains were virtually steps from the road, nearly the same distance as the jury from the defense table. The testimony that the scene was easily accessible from the road could be significant because defense attorneys claim the meter reader who found the remains tampered with them.
The defense has said that the 2-year-old girl accidentally drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool.
More than 50 investigators recovered more than 390 pieces of evidence during 10 days at the wooded scene where Caylee’s remains were found in the same residential neighborhood as the Anthony family home, said Jennifer Welch of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Among the items recovered were pieces of trash and black trash bags.
The area was thick with vegetation, and investigators used a county-issued machete to clear some of the area so they could do their work, Welch said. Wearing blue gloves, she held up for the jury pieces of evidence recovered from the scene, including a piece of duct tape and pink lettering. The lettering was dirty and weathered and appeared to spell the word “package.”
Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Anthony has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have identified duct tape as Anthony’s murder weapon. They contend she killed the toddler by covering her mouth and nose with it.
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