Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Back, With Updates On The Casey Anthony, Stacey Barker, and Mark Jensen Murder Cases

Wow, I can’t believe it has been about a month since I did any blogging but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been paying attention. Just to get back in the swing of things, I’ll write a bit about some of the cases I have been following lately. First I‘ll give some background of the cases and then the latest reports in bold:

Casey Anthony-

This case is probably one of the most publicized murder cases in modern history. Florida has a law called “The Sunshine Law” which has to do with the release of legal documents to the public in an effort to maintain transparency of the court system in the state. The horrific and often bizarre aspects of this case, the unprecedented release of documents related to the investigation (released under the Sunshine Law), and the national media coverage of this case that was originally reported as a missing child case as well as the ongoing media blitz and strange behavior of Caylee‘s family have all contributed to the intense interest.

Casey Anthony is a 23 year old woman from Orlando, Florida accused of killing her 2 year old daughter, Caylee Marie. If convicted, Casey Anthony will face the death penalty. The child was last seen with her mother, Casey, on June 16, 2008 but was not reported missing for 31 days. Casey’s mother Cindy called the police because Casey wouldn’t produce the child. Casey then “confessed” the child had been kidnapped by her nanny. An international manhunt began for Caylee and the now infamous “Zanny the Nanny” and continued for 6 months until Caylee’s remains were found in the woods near the Anthony home on December 11, 2008. To read the earlier entries on Katfishponders about this case click here.

There has been 2 court rulings this week related to this case. The first had to do with a motion filed by Anthony’s defense. At the time Caylee was found in December, Casey had already been indicted by a grand jury for her murder and was being held in the Orange County jail without bond. Anthony was taken to a waiting room of the medical unit of the jail where her response to televised coverage of the discovery was video taped. Through depositions of jail employees taken by the defense we had already learned that Casey dropped to a chair and hyperventilated even though it had yet to be determined if the remains were her daughter.

On Wednesday, June 17, Judge Stan Strickland ruled that the jail video of Casey Anthony will be sealed. In his ruling, Strickland said, "While the Court is loathe to shield any public record, an argument can certainly be made that the contents of the video are highly inflammatory." (In other words the video makes her look guilty as hell and would possibly taint the jury pool so he sealed it.)

The second ruling came today, Friday, June 19. Judge Stan Strickland allowed a hearing so he could hear a motion filed June 10 by Bradley Conway, attorney for Caylee’s grandparents, George and Cindy Anthony. In his motion Conway argued the release of the autopsy report would cause undue duress for Caylee’s family because of the speculation and sensationalism it would create within the public and the media would taint Caylee’s memory.

Strickland said he agreed that the case is about Caylee, but justice was his focus. He also agreed that the media and the community have a right to monitor the costly case to make sure there is justice for Caylee and therefore he would allow the release of Caylee Anthony's autopsy report to the public. To see a video of the hearing and view the autopsy results at WFTV click here.

This case is scheduled to go to trial in October of this year; however, when death penalty qualified attorney Andrea Lyon officially filed the necessary paperwork to join the case, she stated that she would most likely not be prepared to start the trial that soon.

Stacey Barker-

Stacey Barker initially told deputies her daughter, 18-month-old Emma, was abducted from her car in the parking lot of a Lancaster, CA park on March 18th. She claimed she was knocked out by the kidnapper and woke up six hours later, several miles away at the Palmdale Park-n-Ride. Detectives said Barker had injuries consistent with a struggle, including bruises on her head and was taken to the hospital for treatment. Barker later admitted making up the abduction story. She said the little girl died accidentally, causing her to panic and leave the girl's body near the freeway.The child's body was found 12 hours later, dumped in a grassy lot near the Golden State Freeway in Sylmar, CA. Authorities said it appeared the girl's 25-pound body had been dumped sometime over the last 24 hours and showed no visible signs of trauma. Coroner's officials have not yet issued a final report on how the girl died but sheriff's detectives suspect she was suffocated.

On April 27 Barker was arrested and charged with murder, assault on a child causing death and child abuse. The complaint alleges that Barker willfully caused and permitted the child to be injured and harmed and that injury resulted in death. Barker is being housed in the Century Regional Detention Facility in the city of Lynwood on$1 million bail.

On May 11, through her lawyer, Barker pleaded Not Guilty to charges of murder and Not Guilty to the allegations of Special Circumstances. The maximum penalty Barker faces is 25 years to life in prison. To see other Katfishponders reports of this case and sources click here.

On June 15 Barker appeared in court to schedule a preliminary hearing. Katfishponders has been in contact with an internet poster named Toria who has been attending the pretrial hearings in this case. According to Toria although the courtroom was full there was no accredited press in the courtroom. (Hmm…no wonder I couldn’t find any media reports on this hearing!)

According to Toria the hearing was short, the reading of the charges and then the next court date was set for June 30 and it was over.
She said ,“Stacey was again in her lovely yellow scrubs, NO CORN ROWS TODAY! hair down. still with the stoic face.” (Toria reported earlier at the last hearing Stacey’s hair was done up in some convoluted cornrow ponytail bun with a fake sunflowers in it that matched her jail scrubs.) Thanks Toria for sharing! We look forward to your report on the preliminary hearing!

Mark Jensen -

Mark Jensen is a Kenosha WI. man who sits in jail, facing life in prison with no chance for parole. Jensen, 48 was found guilty on February 21, 2008 for the 1998 poisoning death of his wife Julie Jensen, 40. Prosecutors alleged that Jensen was having an affair and poisoned his wife so he could be free of her. Prosecutors said Mark Jensen fed Julie Jensen several doses of ethylene glycol--the sweet, syrupy but poisonous liquid commonly used in antifreeze--and then smothered her when she started to recover from the poisoning.

The defense said Julie Jensen was despondent about the affair, killed herself and tried to frame her husband.Several weeks before her death Julie wrote a letter detailing her fear that her husband may be planning to kill her. She gave the letter to a neighbor to give to police in the event of her death and told several people including the police of her fears. Because of that letter and the legal wrangling that followed to get the letter admitted into court, this case has come to be known as the “Case of the Letter From The Grave“. You can read earlier entries about this case on Katfishponders by clicking here.

A motion for appeal of Mark Jensen's murder conviction was entered with the Wisconsin Court of Appeal on April 6. The case is now in briefing.

The most recent activity with the appeal was a motion to extend the briefing filed by Mark Jensen’s attorney Christopher Rose on June 15. On June 18 the court granted the motion and ordered that the appellant may file a brief that does not exceed sixty-eight pages if a mono spaced font is used or 14,960 words if a proportional font is used and the time to file the appellant's brief is extended to June 30, 2009.

Katfishponders will keep an eye on these cases and keep you updated.
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  1. the Anthony case makes me sick to my stomach. Watching the coverage of it is just so embarassing to that family....she is so smug and should be mourning...not grinning and fixing her hair!
    I have to come back internet at this campsite stinks!!! lol

  2. Hey katfish!!! Do you know if Toria has a blog and will be writing about the case, or where she is writing on the net?

    I've been trying to keep an eye on this case while we work on getting our kitchen together. Lancaster is just an hour or so drive up the I-5 to 14. I'm thinking though, that I would not be surprised if this case is moved to another courthouse, possibly downtown. If so I may be able to devote more time to it once it gets going.

  3. Hey Tootsie,
    Thanks for stopping by. In the future there will most likely be whole chapters devoted to the Anthony family in psychology text books. Saying campsite and internet connection together sounds kind of like an oxymoron... but really in this day and age I guess not. LOL!
    Come back soon!

  4. Hi Sprocket,
    I sent you an e-mail with the info. {{{HUGS}}}

  5. This is one case, I will say if I was a defense attorney, Casey Anthony would be a nightmare to have as a client. Basically she is a chronic liar so you cannot put her on the stand as basically she has no credibility because she seems to lie just for the sake of lying.

    For instance, Casey's elderly grandmother sent her a birthday check. Well somehow Casey was able to figure out how to manipulate the check, she was able to get into her grandmother's checking account and stole over 3,000 dollars from her. Her grandmother wanted to press charges but Cindy talked her out of it. Casey also had a track record of stealing money from her parents, mostly 20 bucks here, 20 bucks there, that type of thing. She even stole money from Caylee's piggy-bank.

    Basically, looking at Casey and her psychological history, she would just be a nightmare to represent. Obviously narcissistic, in Casey's mind she is the center of the universe and everyone and everything revolves around her. Her needs, her wants, her desires come first and everyone else either comes 2nd or not at all.

    Plus if you notice how Casey acts, she tends to be very dramatic. Like in many instances she sits there stone cold, no visible emotion or even really visible reaction to anything, she either acts that way or she is crying hysterically, her constant need to be the center of the attention. I mean notice how if she goes too long without it, she will actually do or say or act in certain ways to ensure that she becomes the center of attention no matter how outlandish the behavior.

    Like in court, for months, no reaction from her, just almost a blank look, stone cold. Then when she is told about a body being found, she was not even told that it was Caylee's body yet she starts freaking out, crying hysterically and hyperventilating, this is the same person who for months whenever you mentioned her daughter you could not get her to show any emotion even if you put a gun to her head. Same in court, for months she showed either no emotion or she was smiling and laughing, it was just obvious she did not and does not take this situation seriously. Then in December when Caylee's remains are mentioned suddenly she starts crying but not just crying, Casey needed to be the center attention so she starts balling her eyes out and sobbing loudly. Then about 25, 30 minutes later she is laughing and smiling again. She can turn emotions off and on like a light.

    Also, looking at Casey and how she acts. Even in 08 when she was first interviewed by detectives she is lying her tail off, lie after lie after lie, so much she seemed to have trouble keeping her crap story straight yet she continued to lie and dig her self in deeper and deeper. But I noticed at times she would almost flirt with the police officers and play around with her hair as if she was more concerned about her appearance than what she was being questioned about. In court she has done this too in many appearances where she plays with her hair a lot and seems more concerned about how her hair looks than what she is being charged with.

    Why did Casey kill Caylee? I do not think it was any one reason. First off, Casey did not want Caylee from the get-go. She wanted to give CAylee up for adoption but Cindy would not let her do it. But anyway, Casey was mad about being 19 and burdened with a child she did not want. She was resentful I think because her friends were going out and partying and doing whatever and she was stuck at home with a kid. In the months before Caylee's death, Casey's partying had increased dramatically, she did not appear to have any desire for a job or an education or really anything. In fact I think Casey had always been a disappointment to her parents, in particular Cindy for that very reason. Casey seemed perfectly content to just mooch off of other people and not have a livelihood of her own.

  6. Hi Anon 3/13! Funny you should comment on this case, I'm in the middle of writing the first blog I have done on this case since I wrote this one 9 months ago. I will get back with you on this and Jensen asap. Thanks for commenting. :)