Monday, December 27, 2010

The theory of relative equality

For Debbie

When I was young, we lived on the Margolin farm in Ringoes, New Jersey. It was a dairy farm. I still have fond memories of calling the cows over from the open field in our back yard. Of course, I gave names to some of them. A few of them would slowly meander over to the white wooden fence where I stood on the other side. I would talk to them, pet them, and give them some treats to eat. Cows can be such docile creatures.
Mr. & Mrs. Margolin were very nice people. They had two sons and a daughter. Debbie was my sister's age and they got to be pretty good friends. I don't remember how long we lived there, but by the time I got to high school, we had already moved to the big town of Flemington, population around 2,000 back then, and still the home of the county seat.
As a coming of age young man, I recall Debbie walking around the farm wearing a small bikini and how she affected me then. This was a normal thing for a boy my age. It's called growing up at a time of raging hormones, and it's just a part of the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees. Most boys my age would have had the same thoughts running around in our heads, but that's got nothing to do with my point. My point is this: How Debbie dressed did nothing to invite trouble, and what happened to her should never be an excuse to commit murder.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Suburban Drive - Two Years Later

I shot a new video of the site where Caylee was discovered on December 11, 2008. It's hard to believe it was two years ago. I really wanted to get this published earlier, but it takes time to edit and upload to YouTube. I hope it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Swear

I have done my best to head to the courthouse early so I don't have to rush once I arrive. Sometimes, going through security can be very time-consuming. Fortunately, Monday wasn't all that bad. I never have to park in the parking garage, either, and that generally saves me $6-10 per hearing; not much, but in this tight economy, every bit helps. Because of where I park, I walk by the television trucks with their high microwave towers extending from the roofs. It's interesting because they are filled with very expensive electronic equipment. On most days, that's where the reporters put their well choreographed on air segments together. That in itself is a real talent. The trucks are all parked in an area designed for them, in front of the courthouse, in a nook off Orange Avenue.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

...To Judge Perry's Court We Go

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.


(As far as I know, the invasive ads have been deleted)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ballad of Casey Anthony

It is a well established fact that in America, Casey Marie Anthony is not guilty of murdering her daughter - not yet, anyway, and no matter what we think, it will take a jury of her peers to make that determination. Until then, she is presumed innocent and all we can do is speculate. No matter what the outcome next year, I truly believe her name will be synonymous with Lizzie Borden's. Lizzie, of course, found her father, Andrew, and stepmother, Abbie, hacked up by a hatchet in their family home in Fall River, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1892. A week later, she was arrested and charged with their murders.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Judge nods his approval

A teleconference hearing was held today in Judge Perry's chambers over a motion the defense filed to conduct DNA tests on two items,  a pair of Caylee Anthony's shorts and a bag. Both items were found at the scene where Roy Kronk discovered her remains in December of 2008.
The judge granted the defense team's monetary request for $2,084 over objections from the Judicial Administration Commission. The JAC argued that an in-state laboratory could check DNA on the items in question, while the defense wanted an out-of-state lab. 
During a recent hearing I attended, the judge made it clear the lab needed to be certified by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLAD). The defense originally wanted the evidence sent to a lab in Holland, but Judge Perry, in all his wisdom, made it quite clear that nothing would leave the country, where the court has no jurisdiction. Brad Bischoff, the JAC attorney, could not confirm that any of the labs listed as vendors in Florida were confirmed by ASCLAD. Jose Baez, on the other hand, argued that none of the state labs were certified. He cited a lab in Pennsylvania and the judge agreed that's where the items will go.
It is a small battle won for Jose Baez & Co., but I would surmise that ultimately, it's only a win if the lab finds something that will incriminate someone else, or it could somehow benefit Casey if nothing is found that points directly to her. Otherwise, I don't see it helping her one bit, and in the overall scheme of things, if it does, it's just one tiny piece from the vast army of incriminating evidence the state has accumulated to wage this war against her. In the end, the good guys will win. Choose sides wisely.
In another matter, Bob Kealing's report on dead bugs must have the defense worming around right now. Watch his exclusive video HERE. He deserves an award for this one.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The psychic parade

After my last post, which touched on psychos and psycho-babbling on the Internet, I thought I'd shift gears and share what supposed psychics had to say to Crimeline, OCSO and ACISS about Caylee Anthony's whereabouts within days and weeks of her publicized disappearance in mid-July, 2008. Of course, she was last seen a month earlier, but at the time of these reports, she was merely listed as a missing child. No one actually knew she was already deceased. A lot of us had our inner-feelings, but only the psychics knew where she was and whether she was still alive... or not...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Nunc pro tunc no slam dunk

In Latin, nunc pro tunc literally translates into "now for then." In other words, retroactive. Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. listened to several matters brought up at the hearing held on October 29, including issues over funding that dated back to months earlier, hence, nunc pro tunc. Four days later, on November 2, the judge delivered his ORDER ADDRESSING RETAINMENT AND PAYMENT OF EXPERTS, INVESTIGATORS, MITIGATION SPECIALIST, AND OTHER COSTS. Written in chambers, without bravado and with his usual brevity, it addresses three separate motions filed earlier by Casey Anthony's defense.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A lot of lawyering, a lot of frustration

I arrived at the courthouse about a half hour early, early enough to breeze through security and go up to the 23rd floor. That afforded me enough time to have a good conversation with one of the senior reporters on this case before others arrived. We talked about several issues related to the case, and one of the topics dealt with journalists and bloggers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Get Bent

Dura lex sed lex. That's Latin for "the law is hard, but it is the law." Such will be a lesson learned by the defense in the courtroom today, I'm afraid.
What was scheduled to be a status hearing has turned into one of greater magnitude, and one that Casey must attend. She hasn't appeared in court since the July, when her mother and brother took the stand over the admission of Cindy's 911 calls.
While the status of the case will still be discussed, two defense motions will also be heard, and that will include counter motions filed by the JAC and theOrlando Sentinel. Defense attorney Ann Finnell recently filed a motionthat asked Judge Perry to set a cautionary budget for costs she expects to incur to properly represent Casey prior to a sentencing phase; to be prepared if she is convicted of capital murder. The next motion will once again ask the judge to reconsider prior rulings over the public's right to see Casey's jail records, including phone calls, visitor logs and commissary purchases.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Woe is Mee

On February 16, 2007, I wrote a post about the poor St. Petersburg girl who couldn't shake off hiccups. Believe me, I could relate. Although hers lasted more than a month, mine only hung around for about 2 weeks. Doctors tried everything with her, but in my case, a heavy dose of one medication in particular knocked them for a loop. Today, at the first sign of a hiccup, I panic. No way do I ever want them again.
Interestingly, and in one of those "Whatever happened to..." moments, Jennifer Mee has resurfaced in the news, not that she ever reached an acclaim that gave us pause to wonder where she went to begin with. Today, the now 19-year-old sits in a jail cell in St. Pete, charged with first-degree murder, along with two cohorts. In a statement released late Sunday, Sgt. T. A. Skinner, of the St. Petersburg Police Department, said Mee had been arrested along with Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22. All three had been taken into custody on Saturday in connection with the death of 22-year-old Shannon A. Griffin. Allegedly, Mee lured the victim to a house where the other two robbed him. When he struggled, he was shot several times. Dead. They admitted their involvement to authorities.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Casey McDingles

There is a no-brainer running around like a chicken without its head who insists she knows what witness tampering is all about. She doesn't, and this will serve to quash any and all rumors she keeps firing into wasted Internet bandwidth. At the same time, it will explain exactly what it is. Merely interviewing someone is not. Suggesting they change the truth most assuredly is.

Monday, October 18, 2010

As The World Burns

Brad Benson is the owner of a Hyundai car dealership in South Brunswick, NJ. In 2003, he offered Saddam Hussein a brand spanking new car if he would flee Iraq. That advertising campaign wasn't successful and he pulled the ad after it ran only two days, replacing it with an apology for any offense that may have been taken by anyone, Muslim or otherwise.
To give you a little background, in the 1980's, Benson established himself as an offensive lineman for the NY Giants, having played there for 12 seasons. Today, he is better known around the state for running his "Idiot Award" ads, where he's singled out celebrities like Roger Clemens, Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan.
"We don't have your typical car commercial," he said, and to be frank, they have been quite effective. Three years ago, he was selling about 60 cars each month. Today, in spite of the present economy, that number has grown to over 500 cars per month.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A formidable presence

As quiet as a church mouse, Ann E. Finnell entered into the Ninth Circuit Court, a Notice of Appearance last Thursday, September 30.
ANN E. FINNELL, the undersigned attorney, hereby enters her appearance on behalf ofDEFENDANTCASEY ANTHONY, joining attorneys Jose Baez, Esq., and Cheney Mason, Esq.,inter alia as an attorney for Defendant.
Inter alia, for those not familiar, is Latin for "among other things," meaning she is joining the crowd. The more, the merrier, so to speak.
What you may not have noticed, though, are two motions rolled into one that came attached with it; something she filed on behalf of her new client, Ms. Anthony. The nerve. Judge Perry wasn't even given a chance to acknowledge her notification yet.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Worth losing sleep over

Last Friday evening, it rained. Of course, living in Florida, it can storm at a moment's notice, bringing with it the wrath of rumbling thunder and lightning. Anyone who reads my blog understands that I take an Internet time out from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm Monday through Friday to watch Jeopardy. Last Friday was no different until, suddenly, in the middle of the Double Jeopardy round and without warning, an intensely brilliant white light burst through the living room window, accompanied by an immediate explosion of sound, louder than anything I'd heard before. CRACK! In that split second, it was gone, and so was our electricity. Within minutes, power returned, but no cable. After the box rebooted, the living room TV returned, but Jeopardy was over. Darn it! I missed Final Jeopardy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You be the judge

Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 2010 Judicial Poll
I was planning on writing about my very eventful weekend, including the trip to Gainesville, but a Casey Anthony status hearing took place yesterday, and that takes precedent over personal matters. My story will come in due time. This one will actually be a two-parter; the first part will cover the hearing. The second part will be about a very interesting document that came into my hands.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another day of discovery

While Casey Anthony's defense team continues to depose forensic experts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory today, the prosecution released additional documents this morning. The lab conducted air tests on Casey's car and claimed that evidence showed signs of human decomposition...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pie in the sky?

The term "pie in the sky" originally meant to be a promise of heaven while continuing to suffer through living in the material world. It was coined by Joe Hill in a song written by him in 1911. Joe was a Swedish-born itinerant laborer who migrated to the United States in 1902. The Web site his radical songs as he fought for labor organizations. "The phrase appeared first in Hill's 'The Preacher and the Slave', which parodied the Salvation Army hymn 'In the Sweet Bye and Bye'. The song, which criticized the Army's theology and philosophy, specifically their concentration on the salvation of souls rather than the feeding of the hungry, was popular when first recorded and remained so for some years."
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
Today, it can allude to many things, such as asking for more than you may end up with. You ask for the sky and end up with pie...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baez announces two new defense team attorneys

Jose Baez and Cheney Mason announced the names of two new members of the Casey Anthony defense team.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Portrait of War

There isn't a day that goes by where the heavy echoes of war escape us. Today, we live in a world filled with radical extremists, justified to maim and kill in the name of their god. The following story is my hideous wake-up call. It came at a time when wars were fought over more mundane causes - patriotism, democracy, communism, bigotry and territorial rights. This was back when building a bigger bomb was all the rage and nations proudly strutted their hardware in order to intimidate their neighbors and enemies.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Slowly, the wiles of justice churn

"Carla was my very best friend. We talked about everything and anything together. It didn't matter where we lived. If Carla was there, it was home to me. Now I feel very alone.''
- Jim Larson in 1999
When John Huggins was arrested for the murder of Carla Larson in 1997, several ministers who knew him said no way. He was not capable of doing such a horrible act. After all, they proclaimed, this was a gentle giant, anointed by God to do great work. He had become a born-again Christian. He volunteered to go on many missionary trips to Haiti to help build schools, churches, and to run clinics. No, the preachers collectively agreed, John was a good man. For the sake of Carla and all her loved ones, law enforcement thought otherwise...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

When karma strikes twice

At 6:13 PM EDT on October 26, 2006, Danny Harold Rolling took his final breath. Florida's most notorious serial killer since Ted Bundy was executed by lethal injection for raping and carving up five college students in a ghastly spree that horrified and terrorized the University of Florida's campus in Gainesville back in August of 1990, just as the fall semester got underway. Each one was murdered with a hunting knife. Some were mutilated, sexually molested and put in gruesome poses. One of his victim's severed head was placed on a shelf, her body posed in a seated position...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Trial by Ambush

I hate being late to anything, but on Monday, so many people were present at the courthouse waiting to go through security, it was a full 9 minutes before I entered courtroom 19D, meaning that I was 9 minutes late since Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. is a stickler for being prompt. When a hearing is set to start at 1:30, it starts at precisely that time. Courtroom 19D holds some bittersweet memories for me, too. It's Judge Strickland's courtroom, and the one where I was called up to meet him on that fateful October day last year. Alas, life goes on, but it's a date I will never forget...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The loud bark of low heeled derelicts

Last Tuesday, Cindy Anthony e-mailed Local 6 News saying she would give away a pair of Caylee's shoes to a nonprofit organization called Children of Love Foundation, which, primarily, donates shoes, food and clothing to orphans in Central Florida and Honduras. What a mess that simple e-mail created. After WKMG announced the news, the trolls came out in droves, like a festering cauldron of abomination boiling over...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tiffany Carter's Swim for Africa

Tiffany Carter is the granddaughter of one of my most beloved friends.
 In 2009, Sophia Carter spent Christmas with her family, like so many people do all over the world. It is a most sacred holiday and a time of giving. She had recently returned from Athi River Village in Kenya, Africa, and there were many tales to tell. She spoke of starvation, poverty and the horrors of malnutrition in the children of the close-knit community. There was sickness in the air, she said - AIDS and lots of other maladies. Life saving medicines are sometimes worlds away, yet the villagers do the best they can with what they have. Their faith sustains them. Faith in themselves and humankind and a spirited drive to live and one day prosper.
Her family listened intently. They were fascinating stories. After all, this is a culture so different from ours. To be among the people from half-way around the world was most fascinating and something not soon forgotten. When she left, she promised herself that she would do whatever she could to help. Suddenly, something sparked in the mind of her younger sister, Tiffany.
In the Kenyan village is a pre-school for young children. Built by a Christian organization called YWAM – Youth With A Mission – many children in the community come from abusive families or from parents that lose the struggle to clothe and feed them. They are the ones who come without the basic necessities of life. The school provides them with the basic essentials, including an education at a nominal fee, and children with HIV are given valuable prescription medications. Though many in the village work, most parents cannot afford to pay tuition for the school.
For the price of a cup of coffee in America, help for a child can go a long way. One or two dollars a week will provide schooling and at least one nutritious meal a day for seven full days. Without it, those children could go up to three days without a meal.
Tiffany Carter has always been an athletic and driven person. The idea that lit up inside her head was something she knew she could bring to fruition. Boldly, she stated, “I will swim across Lake Tahoe to raise funds for the village!”
This Friday, August 20, her dream from Christmas past will become a reality as she swims 22 miles across Lake Tahoe in order to help raise funds for the impoverished community. Of course, her grandmother would appreciate any and all prayers for her safety and success.


Tiffany's goal, and the goal of Swim for Africa is to raise enough money for every child to be fed, sheltered, clothed, and given medications as needed, for a full year. Swim for Africa hopes to raise $2,000 to send to the village to ensure that every child is nourished and cared for.
Won't you please help?

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I left this post on my new Squarespace blog. It's not the same setup as WordPress. I can't just open comments to everyone the same as you can't leave your doors and windows unlocked. Trolls and miscreants run amok on the World Wide Interwebz and mayhem rules if you let it.
Anyone can apply for membership, but remember, this isn't a real membership in the classical sense. All it does is let you bypass comment moderation. Your comments are published without any help from me. If you add $1.29 into the equation, you can buy yourself a cup of coffee at McDonald's and that's about it.
Speaking of money, there is no fee for this whatsoever. I have 250 Member Accounts available in this particular audience (as Squarespace calls it) and anyone can join until they run out.
What I will say is if you are just a reader (I hate the word lurker) you may not want to be a member. If you comment once in a blue moon, you might not, either. If you like to comment once in a while or quite often, you might be inclined to request one. The choice is yours. All I ask is that you respect it once you have it. In other words, stay as polite as possible. This is a step up in the blogging neighborhood. For me, at least.
As for how to apply, you can ask me here and I'll set it up. In this case, I will pick a login name and password. Do not place your e-mail address in your body copy. Write it in the "Author Email" box and I will see it. When you get your confirmation e-mail, you're a member and all you have to do is login under "Navigation" at the top left, below the banner.
If you prefer, send me an e-mail with the login name of your choice, the screen name you wish to use, and your password. I will set it up from there and you will get your Squarespace notification. There is a secure contact form at the lower left sidebar. You can use it for tips and ideas, too. Just in case, or if you prefer, my e-mail address is: marinadedave(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Whatever method you choose, it's not something I would do anything with. You should choose a password unique to this site, and if you ever forget it, I can set you up with a new one. Once you login, you are free to change your name and password at any time. Remember, do not write a public comment with the information you should keep private. If you wish, you can create a free e-mail account for just this purpose because in order to receive the new account details, it must be a working address.
I do have the option to open all commenting, but that means trolls will be all over this blog like buzzards on roadkill.
Thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of support in comments and e-mails. I look forward to getting back to business. We have a murder case to work on together. Thanks for hanging in with me, too. I really like my new Casa Blogga. It went from a house to a home because of you.