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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Interview With Casey Anthony`s Attorney

Aired November 20, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Tonight, an ISSUES prime time exclusive, earth-shaking insight into the Casey Anthony case. Tonight, I`ll sit down with Casey`s now famous defense attorney, Mr. Jose Baez. His client is accused of killing her beautiful little daughter, Caylee. Her body was found dumped near the Anthony home last December. The case has sparked national outrage and Baez has become a magnet for media attention.

Tonight, Jose Baez reveals his blockbuster defense strategy, but it`s highly controversial. He`s now focusing on the man who found little Caylee`s body. What does Baez think of the investigation and what`s his plan of attack? Nothing`s off limits from Zanny the nanny to Roy Kronk, the meter reader. We`re digging for new inside information on the latest defense allegations. Is the defense actually saying cops should consider the possibility of another suspect?

And we`ll go inside Jose`s relationship with Casey Anthony. He`s defending a suspected child killer, viewed in the media as public enemy number one. How does he explain the mountain of evidence and Casey`s odd behavior after her child went missing? The party pictures, the chloroform and the smell of death, and why on earth didn`t Casey report her daughter missing for an entire month?

Plus, from an unknown lawyer to the national spotlight, Baez has been hammered by the media. How does he feel in the white-hot glare of the spotlight? We`re all over this story, asking all the questions in this prime-time exclusive. ISSUES starts now.

Explosive new allegations in the Caylee Anthony murder case. Caylee`s mother Casey is charged with murdering the precious toddler and could face the death penalty. But now, Casey`s defense team has lobbed a hand grenade into this case. They are pointing the finger at somebody they would like to see investigated as a possible new suspect. We`re talking about Roy Kronk. Remember him? The meter reader who found little Caylee`s skeletal remains in December of 2008.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

ROY KRONK, FOUND CAYLEE`S BODY: I need you like now...I just found a human skull.

KRONK: I just found a human skull on Suburban Drive in the woods by the school.

KRONK: I told you she was there -- it`s a child`s skull with duct tape across the mouth.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Florida prosecutors had their say for months. Police interviews, evidence dumps, photos, thousands of pages of documents dumped into the public domain. Tonight, the defense will have its say, right here on ISSUES, as Casey Anthony`s attorney, Jose Baez, joins me for a prime- time exclusive. I will ask the tough questions and we`ll get to the bottom of this controversial Roy Kronk theory and much more.

For starters, Jose Baez will argue that Roy Kronk knew the location of Caylee`s remains a full month before he officially found the body in December of 2008. Plus, a private investigator hired by Casey`s defense team has rounded up interviews with several people who are making some stunning claims against Roy Kronk. Listen to one of Roy`s ex-wives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JILL KERLEY, ROY KRONK`S FORMER WIFE: He beat me up in front of his dad, telling me to sit on the couch, if I moved, he would beat me. He duct taped my hands one time. He duct taped my hands so I couldn`t call my dad while I was gone. I was probably duct taped 45 minutes or so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And as the whole world knows by now, duct tape was found around little Caylee`s head at the crime scene, and duct tape was also found in the Anthony home. We`re going to look into that crucial evidence. Meantime, Roy Kronk spoke out after he was deposed by Casey`s defense team on November 19th, 2009. Here`s what he said about facing off against Casey`s lawyer, Jose Baez.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRONK: Mr. Baez was very polite to me all day. He was very nice to me and it was a very nice mood in there, so it wasn`t a bad day at all. I mean, it was very professional and there was no accusations or any of that type of stuff. It was very nicely done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Uh-oh, little did he realize at that very moment the defense team was filing this blockbuster motion in which Roy is the target. Kronk`s lawyer had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID EVANS, ATTORNEY FOR ROY KRONK: Well, they`re just dumped a big pot of mud over his head and said, you know, look at this guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We reached out to Kronk`s attorney who told us, the defense would be ."..looking for people to blame...first it was the babysitter...now...it`s the meter reader." Roy denies all the allegations that are contained within the defense motion.

So much to discuss with my very special guest, let`s get right to it. Casey Anthony, defense attorney Jose Baez, welcome. We`re very glad to have you here. So many questions I have wanted to ask you for a long time. But let`s talk about this motion. I know you`re limited about what you can say about this huge motion you have filed, but essentially, the judge has to decide on whether to let any of this evidence in before the trial even starts, so what happens if the judge says we`re not going to let any of this stuff, these allegations about Roy Kronk, in at all? Where do you go from there?

JOSE BAEZ, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: Well, Jane, thank you for having me. Actually, we just take it on the chin and move on. This is not a problem that any defense lawyer`s not accustomed to. It happens all the time. And trials aren`t scripted events, so that`s why the motion was filed to see if the judge will find it to be admissible and if it is, we move on from there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you get all this stuff? I understand you have a whole bunch of private investigators, one of them from Chicago and they`re like scurrying around trying to interview people because you can always find an ex-wife, generally, to say something gnarly about the ex. I mean, of all the people that are more likely to say that than not, it`s the ex, who might have an axe to grind.

BAEZ: I totally understand and the witnesses that were put forth in this motion are two ex-wives, as well as a former girlfriend`s daughter in which he lived with, and his own son. And all of these people, absent the sparks, don`t even know each other. So, you know, that`s one of the things we found interesting. We did what any -- what we believe any good lawyer would do, and that`s investigate the case, and investigate all of the critical witnesses. What we`re most disappointed in is that the law enforcement never investigated this critical witness the way they should have. Otherwise, they certainly would have found this information and not have to rely on us to find it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And with all due respect, Jose, law enforcement said they did check this guy out and cleared him. We`re talking about meter reader Roy Kronk who called 911 three times in August of 2008. Listen to this excerpt from August 11th.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

KRONK: There`s a swamp and if you`re heading back out towards the main road on the left hand side in an area, I noticed something that looked white and there was...I don`t know what it is...I`m not telling you it`s, you know, Caylee or anything of that nature.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In fact, police called Roy Kronk a hero with a hunch. Cops ended up disciplining one of their own. Deputy Richard Kane was fired after he failed to properly investigate one of Roy Kronk`s tips about that swamp in the summer of 2008. Kronk claimed Kane was dismissive to him.

Jose, this is a guy who has been a bail bondsman, he`s also a bounty hunter, this Roy Kronk. He says he had a hunch, he called three times in August, said hey, check this out, this swampy area. The cop came down, there was water, he was allegedly lazy, didn`t do a thorough job, and then Roy Kronk decides I`m going to go back in December, I`m going to check it out, and lo and behold, he finds the body. Now, cops are saying he`s a hero. He had a gut feeling and he followed it through.

BAEZ: Well, with all due respect, like you mentioned earlier, I don`t believe law enforcement did find this information out, otherwise they would have certainly turned it over to us in discovery and we certainly haven`t seen anything like that and I think I would give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt in saying that they didn`t investigate as opposed that they investigated this, they knew about this stuff and didn`t turn it over to the defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to move on past these new allegations but first, I have to tell you, WFTV legal expert, Bill Schafer, says Roy Kronk is just the suspect du jour. He says pointing the finger at Roy is "a low blow by the defense." Today, the suspect is Roy Kronk, but what about our favorite mystery nanny, Zanny the nanny. Casey has blamed this on her since day one. Casey insists a woman named Xanax Gonzalez took little Caylee. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, gorgeous, how you doing?

CASEY ANTHONY, MURDER SUSPECT: I look like hell.

You know something? You really need to keep your spirit high for all this.

CASEY ANTHONY: I have. I haven`t been crying while I`ve been in here.

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY`S MOTHER: What message do you want me to give to Zanny and to Caylee? What do you want me to tell Zanny?

CASEY ANTHONY: That she needs to return Caylee.

CINDY ANTHONY: What do you think her reasons are?

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She needs to return Caylee. Police say Zanny the nanny does not exist, that it`s a fiction. Jose, does Casey still maintain she left Caylee with Zanny the nanny and then how do you connect Zanny the nanny to Roy Kronk? I mean, we have to use our imagination to put these pieces together.

BAEZ: I can`t comment on what my client says in client confidential conversations. So, that`s really something I can`t comment on or go there in any way, shape or form. As far as what our strategy`s going to be at trial, it`s going to happen at trial. These are motions that we had to file and I know everyone, every single day wants to try this case today, today, today. And quite frankly, that`s not going to happen. It`s going to be tried in a courtroom at the time that it`s ready to go to trial and unfortunately, we don`t think it`s in our client`s best interests to lay out the defense in front of the court of public opinion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, we`re going to have to just wait and see whether you are going to be able to establish any kind of connection, link the dots between these allegations that you`ve made vis-a-vis Roy Kronk and Zanny the nanny. Again, cops say that Zanny doesn`t exist. Casey has said to police that she left her with Zanny the nanny. So, we`re trying to figure all this out. That`s what we`re trying to do.

BAEZ: I understand that. One thing I want to make clear is we`ve never said there`s a connection. We never said there isn`t a connection. We`ve never said anything specifically about either one of these people. Specifically, even Roy Kronk, we`re not making any outright allegations against Mr. Kronk. We`re just bringing this evidence that we`ve uncovered that we feel is prior bad acts evidence that could be or could not be used to impeach a potential witness and in this case, a very critical witness. So, I think people jump the gun when they say we`re pointing the finger at Roy Kronk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, when you dig up a whole bunch of people who have nasty things to say about them, you can see why people would jump to that conclusion that you`re pointing the finger. You`re saying a woman said he has duct taped her and duct tape is at the heart of this case.

BAEZ: Well, these are things that these people are telling us, and I think it would be foolish to ignore it. It`s something that should be investigated. And hopefully now, maybe law enforcement will investigate it a bit further. And unless you do investigate, you never find out. This is a case where Casey was prejudged from the beginning and from there, they basically tried to build a case around it. And that`s -- we want a complete and fair investigation done and that`s why we did it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Don`t move, Jose, stay right where you are. We`re going to have more as we delve inside the Casey Anthony investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: Can someone let me -- come on.

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on sweetheart. Settle down.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody`s letting me speak. You want me to talk, then give me three seconds.

CINDY ANTHONY: All right, I`ll listen to you, sweetheart.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m not in control over any of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, George, you ain`t got (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I`m going to find you anyway, you don`t have to find me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Video it. Video it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s parents, George and Cindy, pushed to the brink by the unimaginable pressure and the grief of having lost their granddaughter.

Jose, almost a year after little Caylee`s remains were found and identified, how are these two individuals, my heart goes out to them, how are they holding up?

BAEZ: Well, the entire family is going through a really difficult time and it hasn`t ended, because they may lose another family member. The state wants to kill Casey Anthony. I think it`s an atrocious thing to want to kill another human being, and I`m an opponent of the death penalty, and I think it`s just a horrible thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re kind of her lifeline in a sense. I mean, here`s a woman who`s facing the possibility of -- a young woman, 23, right?

BAEZ: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lethal injection or possibly the electric chair? And you`re pretty much the person she`s interacting with. It`s been, what, something like a year since Cindy and George, her parents, have been able to visit her in jail and have one of those jailhouse conversations, right?

BAEZ: Yes. And it`s a scary thought, you know. Here we are in a situation where this young woman needs the presumption of innocence unlike anyone else and it`s because this person is -- and I believe this with any case, not just death penalty cases, but specifically, the death penalty, you can`t take it back. So, she needs all of her constitutional rights preserved and we need to make sure that this is done right, and that`s what scares us really the most.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you going to get a change of venue, do you think?

BAEZ: We certainly hope so. The court is not going to rule on this until it`s much closer to trial, so that way the new area doesn`t get tainted, if in fact he would grant the change of venue motion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you got to do a check fraud trial, too. And that`s coming up soon, and that`s got to be a distraction.

BAEZ: Oh, it certainly is. It certainly is. It`s a very tough job and we`re all doing the best we can. I`m fortunate that I have good lawyers around me, people that are committed to justice and committed to helping Casey as much as we possibly can.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, here`s a question I know you`re not going to be able to answer, but you don`t just have good lawyers, you`ve got a dream team and everybody in America wonders how`s she paying for this dream team?

BAEZ: That`s confidential and I don`t -- I`m not in the business of revealing client confidences.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this. Do you ever feel persecuted? You`ve had three complaints filed with the Florida Bar Association, each time they investigated and said nothing here, they dismissed them, but that`s got to leave you feeling a little bit like I got to watch my back. What`s going on there?

BAEZ: You know, initially, I have to tell you, it was very scary, especially when we had a situation where the judge felt compelled to reveal or report what came across his desk. And you know, it`s a tough position to be in, it really is. And I became a criminal defense lawyer because I believe, I`m a true believer, I believe in our civil rights, and I believe in fighting and trying to help people, and you know, it`s easy to talk the talk, but now I`ve had to walk the walk, and it`s been a scary process.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you ever regret it?

BAEZ: But, if you`re going to talk the talk, you got to walk the walk.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you ever regret it, wake up in the morning and go why did I ever get involved in this?

BAEZ: No, because, you know, if I`m going to be true to my convictions, I can`t be. And you know, it`s tough, I won`t deny it and I won`t say that, you know, it`s not something that you don`t worry about because I have a family, people who love me and they`re concerned about me, and...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you been threatened, ever?

BAEZ: I have, but I don`t -- I don`t take that -- there are other lawyers who fought more on popular causes than I, and have sacrificed a lot more, and had to withstand a lot more. And if I ever choose to rise to that level or even come close to it, I`m going to have to walk the walk. And that`s how I feel about it. I am truly passionate about my convictions, and I believe in what I do and I believe the role of a criminal defense lawyer should be that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes or no question, have you cried about this case?

BAEZ: I have no comment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Uh-oh, I think that means yes. I think that means yes.

BAEZ: I will say this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold it. We`ll get it right after the break. Stick around. More questions with Casey Anthony`s now famous attorney, Jose Baez, about what they`re calling the trial of the century.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

I got within three feet of my daughter`s car and...the worst odor that you could possibly smell in this world and I`ve smelled that odor before. It smelled...like a decomposed body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CINDY ANTHONY: We need to have something to go on.

CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don`t have anything. I`m sorry. I`ve been here a month. I`ve been here a month, today. Do you understand how I feel? I mean, do you really understand how I feel in this? I`m completely, completely out of the loop with everything. The only information I get is when I see my attorney. That`s it. Outside of that, I have nothing to go on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Only information is when I see my attorney.

Welcome back to ISSUES, a special presentation, our exclusive prime- time interview with Casey Anthony`s lawyer, Jose Baez. This case is such a pressure cooker. You see it in every single frame of video. I asked you before the break, have you ever cried. You refused to answer. To me, that means yes. But, tell me what you were going to say about the stresses of this case.

BAEZ: Well, it`s been a very emotional case. And I wanted to be clear. When you asked me if I had ever cried, the only thing that would ever affect me emotionally would be the effect that it may have -- and the toll it may take on my family. That concerns me and that`s where I get emotional.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has it taken a toll?

BAEZ: A little and you know, we`ve all tried to stay strong, but there`s not a prosecutor out there that`s going to make me cry over a case. And as crazy and as emotional as things have gotten, I need to be the calm in the eye of the storm, and I need to do that for my client, and I find that there are times that the tougher it gets, the more motivated I get, and because I`ve had good people around me giving me good advice, I think I`ve been able to stay focused and whenever things get crazy, I just always tell myself to come back and just practice law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, now that you`ve said you`re going to practice law, I`m going to hit you with the big question, the one that everybody`s asking. It`s perhaps your biggest problem in your case. Why didn`t Casey immediately report her daughter missing? Caylee`s was gone for a month before police were alerted and it wasn`t even Casey who called 911, it was her mom, Cindy. Listen to this.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CINDY ANTHONY: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month. Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing. Get someone here now!

OPERATOR: OK, (INAUDIBLE), your daughter admitted that the baby is where?

CINDY ANTHONY: That the babysitter took her a month ago that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, there`s Casey`s bizarre behavior while Caylee was missing. You got to take a look at these photos of her party. Now, we triple-checked. We want to make sure these photos were taken during the time little Caylee was missing. Casey`s explanation, she says she was at the club looking for clues into Caylee`s disappearance.

Jose, to me, it looks like she`s partying. How do you explain the one month where she didn`t tell anybody her precious daughter was missing?

BAEZ: Well, we plan on laying that out at trial. I think and I`ve said numerous times that Casey has a very compelling reason for her actions. That will be laid out clearly at trial and it`s going to have to be. You know, I`m not ignoring and I don`t think any member of our team is ignoring these facts. They`re obvious, pink elephants in the room. But you know, it`s something that we`re prepared to deal with and knowing the full story, we`re going to lay it out in trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stay right where you are, more insight from Casey Anthony`s attorney right after the break. As we go inside the investigation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S BROTHER: C.M.A. -- C.M.A. Each day you continue to teach me about life and about the way it should be lived. Each day, you give me the ability to be strong or to be weak. It`s been so long since I`ve been able to see you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heart-wrenching. Tonight, blockbuster developments and explosive allegations in the Casey Anthony murder case. We continue with ISSUES: A Special Presentation, our exclusive prime-time interview with Casey`s lawyer, Jose Baez.

The remains of little Caylee`s precious -- well, Caylee`s precious remains were found in December 2008. These details are absolutely horrifying. Evidence points to a killer who wrapped duct tape around this child`s head and then placed the child inside a laundry bag, and then a sealed plastic bag before leaving it in the woods.

Jose, I know that obviously, you don`t want to say anything that`s going to hurt your client, so I`m asking you a lot of questions that you`re not really going to answer.

But I got to ask you this one -- the tattoo. To have a daughter missing and to go get a tattoo after your daughter goes missing that says "Bella Vita", the beautiful life in Italian. What the heck?

BAEZ: You`re asking to interpret something and you`re asking me to interpret another person`s actions. I think we will discuss that at trial, but I don`t think anyone can discuss intelligently another person`s interpretations of the things they do.

Specifically in this situation, it is something that we will -- if we`re dealt with it at trial, we will deal with it.

Now, if you remember, there are numerous cases out there that have happened where a tattoo doesn`t say whether you killed someone or not.

All you have to do is look at the most recent case, the Cynthia Summers case, where her husband, the Marine, died and she was out -- evidence was brought in that she was out partying, she got breast implants and things like that.

Breast implants, tattoos, these are actions and things that people do, the reasons they do them, they are completely -- who knows why they do and why people do what they do. But...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How does -- the thing I want to know from a psychological perspective is how does Casey Anthony deal with the knowledge that so many people are looking at these little behavior patterns and shaking their heads? How does she deal with that as a person?

BAEZ: Well, that`s something obviously you`d have to ask her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I can`t ask her. She`s behind bars.

BAEZ: But you understand, I don`t think it`s appropriate for me to comment on how she feels or how she deals with certain things. It really isn`t.

My job is to defend her in this case. I`m doing the best job that I can. But to actually go there and comment about how she`s feeling, what she`s thinking and things like that, I really don`t think that`s appropriate.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s something that I think you can comment on. I think I just found it. Shocking evidence found in the area near Caylee`s remains.

This empty Gatorade bottle was found close to Caylee`s body. Inside, traces of the knockout drug chloroform. Also inside this very bottle, a plastic baggy holding a syringe; in that syringe, more traces of chloroform and testosterone.

Now, this baby doll had traces of chloroform. The doll was found inside Casey`s car. Investigators also found high levels of chloroform in the trunk of Casey`s car and they discovered somebody searched how to make chloroform and neck breaking on the Anthony family computer.

Now, Jose, you argue that the levels of chloroform found on some of these items, particularly on the Gatorade bottle, are very low. What is your explanation for the appearance of chloroform?

BAEZ: Well, first of all, things -- chemistry is something that needs to be analyzed in a scientific way. Taking this Gatorade bottle individually, you might as well throw that on the mountain of other things that have been misreported in this case.

This level of chloroform didn`t even make it into the FBI report and the reason for that is that the levels of chloroform are 2,000 times less than what is required to actually report -- put in an FBI report. Doesn`t meet the reporting standards but yet, it meets the news reporting standards, and that`s a big, giant problem in this case.

And that has been -- that has happened on numerous pieces of supposed evidence on this case. It gets well reported, but it doesn`t get well clarified, and that`s been the big problem with this case. The saying when it bleeds, it leads, isn`t a saying because it rhymes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but let`s talk about the discovery, because we have been overwhelmed with these dumps of discovery, thousands of pages being delivered and it makes your head spin. I mean, I don`t know how you prepare a case with literally an infinite mountain of paper and trying to sort out all the details.

Sure, we get the headlines, cadaver dogs hit on the trunk and there was evidence of decomposition in the air samples and I know that the defense team has said that they`re going to question that scientific evidence, correct?

BAEZ: Correct.

But how do you deal with preparing a case when there`s just that mountain of evidence and do you feel that they`re hitting you with a lot of paperwork to confuse you?

BAEZ: The answer to your first question is one page at a time. The way I look at it is they have to go through it, too, so we`re going to do our job and that`s exactly why we have a team of lawyers working with me. This is not a one-lawyer case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think that they`re hitting you with all this paperwork and making it as confusing and as scattered as possible to make your job more difficult?

BAEZ: Well, if that`s the prosecution`s strategy, I don`t think it`s going to be very successful, because we`re going to go through it all. And there`s no shortcuts when defending and when you`re dealing with someone`s life at stake. You can`t take the shortcuts.

So if it takes us longer to get through all of the evidence, that`s exactly what we`re going to have to do. As far as the discovery`s concerned, if there`s 20,000 pages, we`re going to go through those 20,000 pages page by page, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, and we`re not taking any shortcuts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So when is this trial going to ever happen, given that? It keeps getting pushed back. When is it going to happen?

BAEZ: We`re certainly hoping to go sometime in the summer of next year. But if we keep getting discovery, we`re going to have to keep going through it and investigating it. And until we`ve gone through every page of discovery, it would be foolish to try a case, especially a death penalty case, or any case, for that matter, without having all of the facts.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if they are trying to overwhelm you with paperwork, it could boomerang because from what I`ve seen of criminal cases, the longer it takes to go to trial, the better it is for the defendant, because people`s memories get weak and people die, they disappear, things change, and the freshness of the case disappears, and there`s a staleness that comes into it.

Do you feel that if it gets pushed back, that`s good for you?

BAEZ: We don`t really look at it that way, because Casey wants her day in court. And she has stood and pled not guilty to this case, and she wants to have her day in court and fight these charges.

What no one also seems to want to comment on also is how many of these forensic exams that were done on this case actually exculpate her? They went through every single pair of shoes that Casey owns, and checked soil samples, textile fibers, DNA, everything that they`ve done in this case. There`s mountains of evidence that actually exculpate her.

So at some point, if it were the other way around and it actually pointed the finger at Casey, everybody would be yelling smoking gun, smoking gun, smoking gun, but every time it comes out and it doesn`t point to Casey, everybody turns around, says it`s not important.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want you to look at this footage. This is footage of you going out with Casey, you`ve got your arm around her. It`s a media circus, it`s windy, it`s raining, it`s a madhouse. There were those who said that you were -- you have been too sort of emotionally attached to her. They point to the fact that you had your arm around her.

What do you make of those criticisms?

BAEZ: I think it`s a joke. I mean, you know, there are some good -- there are some good journalists covering this case and unfortunately, there are some others that are just trying to get ahead of the others and try to find something explosive and nasty to talk about. And to suggest that I have anything going on with my client is ridiculous. And I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does it make you angry?

BAEZ: No. You know, it just motivates me more to -- and it opens my eyes that, you know, you have to be careful. What disturbs me the most is that they`re playing with someone`s life here and out of everything that happens in this case, everybody seems to be detached from the fact that they are trying to kill a person. And if you`re going to try and kill a person in this country, at least you should have the presumption of innocence and this type of foolishness shouldn`t go on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Couple of quick questions.

BAEZ: Sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think there`s going to be cameras in the courtroom, yes or no?

BAEZ: I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you want them? Yes or no?

BAEZ: You know, that`s a decision that we`re discussing and it`s not a decision that`s been made yet, unfortunately.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And my final question, will Casey take the stand?

BAEZ: That`s certainly something that -- a decision that gets made much later on in a case. It`s definitely not something that we have made right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, if that happens, I`m going to be down there in that courtroom watching.

BAEZ: Front row seat, huh?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jose, thank you for joining us.

BAEZ: My pleasure. Thanks, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you have been listening to our very special guest tonight in this ISSUES Special Presentation. We are all over the Casey Anthony case.

We`re going to have more on the investigation and the defense team strategy. Coming up: analysis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back to our special presentation.

We just finished our exclusive prime-time interview with Casey Anthony`s defense attorney, Jose Baez.

And now I`d like to welcome my fantastic panel and see what they think about what they heard. But I got to tell you, guys, that Jose Baez when he found out there was going to be a panel says, "I want to stick around." So he`s listening to what you have to say and he may decide to comment on your comments.

Joining me now: Judge Karen Mills Francis, former Miami Date County court judge and host of the "Judge Karen Show"; prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; and former criminal investigator, Steve Kardian.

Let`s go back to the big news which involves Roy Kronk. Now the defense has filed a motion basically pointing the finger at him, two of Roy Kronk`s ex-wives were interviewed by the Casey Anthony defense team as was the daughter of one of his exes.

Listen to this shocking claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

APRIL HENSLEY, DAUGHTER OF ROY KRONK`S EX WIFE: Sometimes you see me walk in, I was putting my clothes on, the comment I made one time that I was tired. And jokingly he said turn to animals and I`ll videotape it. We laughed it off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A bad joke, perhaps? Kronk`s son, Brandon Sparks (ph) claims Kronk told him in November 2008 a month before little Caylee`s body was found that he knew where Caylee`s body was and that he expected to be on TV.

Stacey Honowitz, of course, Roy Kronk`s attorney is saying that this is fabrication and calling it character assassination. What do you make of these new allegations by the defense team and what you`ve heard today?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, certainly I won`t profess to know all of the evidence that`s gone on in the case because I`m privy to everything that everybody else in the media has been privy to. But I believe what his lawyer`s saying is appropriate.

It is character assassination because the bottom line is -- and Jose knows this -- the defense`s job in this case is to find reasonable doubt or to try to cause reasonable doubt and how do you do that? You place the blame on somebody else.

And so by trying to get in these prior bad acts of this witness, that`s exactly what they`re trying to do, to try to show the jury it couldn`t possibly have been her. We have to focus on somebody else, ergo there was reasonable doubt and that`s the reason why this evidence is being tried to be admitted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Karen Mills Francis, you`re the judge. Do you think the judge in this case will let this evidence, this evidence that the defense says it has collected, in involving Roy Kronk?

JUDGE KAREN MILLS FRANCIS, HOST, "JUDGE KAREN SHOW": Well, you know, I`ve been pretty hard on Mr. Baez throughout this whole process. I was a criminal defense attorney for 13 years before I was a judge. I looked at his motion. It`s called a motion in limine. In Florida, a motion in limine is to exclude evidence but his motion is asking the court to allow evidence. There is no such motion in Florida.

Additionally, he`s asking the court to allow evidence of what`s known as prior bad acts. In Florida, it`s called the Williams rule. That`s a prosecution motion. The prosecution can bring in evidence of the defendant`s prior bad acts to show motive, intent, lack of mistake.

I have never heard of a defense attorney filing a Williams rule motion to show prior bad acts of a witness. But let`s say for the sake of argument it`s a legitimate motion. Under the Williams rule, he has to be able to show that there`s sufficient elements in the prior bad acts that fit with the elements in this case, and I don`t think he has that here.

He`s got...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to tell you that Jose Baez is shaking his head, but he doesn`t really want to respond. But he`s shaking his head.

We`re going to move on to something that I don`t think Jose Baez was going to comment on so I saved it for you guys.

Remember Cindy Anthony`s chilling 911 call? She talked about smelling a dead body in her daughter`s car. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S MOTHER: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for month. Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing. Get someone here now.

911 OPERATOR: Ok. You`re daughter admitted that the baby is where?

C. ANTHONY: The babysitter took her a month ago, that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy later took that back and blamed the smell on rotting pizza, but Casey`s dad George also told police he smelled death in the car.

Listen to that.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S FATHER: I got within three feet of my daughter`s car and the worst odor that you could possibly smell in this world and I`ve smelled that odor before. It smelled like a decomposed body.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look at all this trash investigators took from Casey`s car. Coffin flies were discovered buzzing around a bag of trash found in her trunk. Experts say the flies are drawn to decaying flesh.

And prosecutors also said cadaver dogs also hit on the trunk. Investigators say they tested the air in the trunk and found signs of decomposition.

Steve Kardian, Jose Baez says that he`s not going to reveal his defense strategy, but how difficult is it going to be to surmount all this apparent forensic evidence?

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Jane, that`s why law enforcement collected anything and everything that was in that car, anything they could take from the family and anything that they obtained from the crime scene.

Note that the smell of death is an odor unlike anything else. And with Cindy`s training I believe as a nurse and George`s training as police officer, there`s no way that they`re mistaken.

The law enforcement will probably continue to take a look at that evidence and see what`s relevant toward the case and to the prosecution.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Do you want to ask that question Jose? Ok.

Jose would like me to ask, how many cases have any of you covered where air samples have been admitted as evidence. Because I guess the defense is apparently saying that a lot of this is pseudoscience, this air sample testing that shows signs of decomposition. How about Stacey take that?

HONOWITZ: I`ve never tried a case or covered a case with that. But there`s always new evidence that could come into court. It`s something called fry hearing -- Jose knows that -- that`s conducted in front of the court to see if this is reasonably accepted in the scientific -- if it`s accepted in the scientific community.

And so there is a hearing to determine whether or not this kind of scientific evidence is admissible. And just because it`s the first time it doesn`t mean that it`s not going to be admitted in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Everyone stay right where you are. This is becoming more and more intriguing, isn`t it? More from our fantastic panel of guests and experts as we go inside the Casey Anthony investigation in our ISSUES Special Presentation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: Caylee, beyond all reasonable doubt is deceased. The FBI knows it, Orange County knows it, Cindy and George know it and most of all, Casey, the perpetrator of her death, knows it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was bounty hunter Leonard Padilla on Nancy Grace.

Welcome back to our very special ISSUES presentation. I just finished an exclusive primetime interview with Casey Anthony`s defense attorney Jose Baez. But he`s decided to stick around to see what our expert panel has to say about what he said we`re discussing.

Shocking new details we found out in terms of what the defense case might be.

Back to my fabulous panel. Stacy Honowitz, I want to get to final thoughts. I mean, let`s try to put this upcoming trial in perspective. How big is it going to be? Some people say it`s going to be the trial of this century. And you look back at for example the O.J. Simpson case, the Michael Jackson case, other huge cases -- where is this going to land in the pantheon of cases?

HONOWITZ: Well, this is right up there, Jane, you know. You`ve been covering it. Other media outlets have been covering it. And certainly everybody wants to know what happened in this case. We have been consumed with her, with her actions, what`s been done, with the video tapes, with her parents.

And so the nation will be really honed in and watching this case. It will be very large, it will very big.

Jose does have his hands full. This was a very big undertaking. He`s got a big team around him. And so we`re just going to have to see what plays out. What motions are filed? What comes up? What evidence is admitted?

You know, actually, we`re getting a ringside view right now because we do discuss a lot of this on the air. People are fascinated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But again...

MILLS FRANCIS: But then, I have a question though. I have a question as to why he even agreed to this interview. Because what did we learn from him?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because I asked him.

And he said yes. All right...

(CROSSTALK)

MILLS FRANCIS: No but you asked him about her actions and he says I can`t really speak about my clients actions. But we know that she was out partying. We know that it took her 30 days to report her child missing. We know that she said a nanny did it who doesn`t exist.

He may not want to have to answer that question, but guess what? The state is going to be introducing that as consciousness of her guilt.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, guess what Judge? I`m going to toss it back to Jose Baez to give him the final word. This our special interview with him so, take it away. You`ve got about 45 seconds.

JOSE BAEZ: Well, is there a question here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I mean, you just heard -- you were just ripped, actually by Judge Mills. So what`s your response to their criticisms that perhaps maybe you`re -- I don`t want to interpret -- but grandstanding, perhaps?

MILLS FRANCIS: Grandstanding, that`s a good one.

BAEZ: Well, I don`t think there`s grandstanding going on here. I mean, obviously you`re going to have your critics. You have people who disagree with the decisions you make. I learned a long time ago, with this type of a case, you just can`t take yourself seriously. And if you do, then you`ll lose your mind. Because everybody...

MILLS FRANCIS: So why did you come on the show though?

HONOWITZ: Well you better take yourself seriously because your client is looking at death. You better take yourself seriously in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s give Jose the final word.

BAEZ: Well, I`m talking about as to whether to take it personal or not. I don`t think, for anyone to suggest that I`m not taking this case seriously is ridiculous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think that is ridiculous. I think you are taking it very seriously.

And I don`t think anybody should attack you personally. You`re doing your job. And I want to thank you, again for...

BAEZ: Well, no problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... coming on Jose. And hopefully we`ll talk to you as this progresses.

Thank you, fabulous panel for joining me as we delve into the Casey Anthony case with her attorney Jose Baez in our special ISSUES presentation.

You are watching ISSUES on HLN.

END