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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Casey`s Attorney Accused of Trial by Ambush; Defense Still to Depose Surprise Witness?

Aired June 20, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, I`m live from the courthouse in Orlando for Casey Anthony trial pandemonium. As the defense appears to ambush the prosecution, the no-nonsense judge lets both sides have it.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: The two of you will never agree on anything. Enough is enough. And both sides need to be forewarned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Plus, in-depth analysis of the charges against Casey. Everything you need to know to understand the verdict when it does come down. It`s not as simple as you think.

And we`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let him go! Let him go!

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: The goal of this was to prevent any gotchas.

PERRY: Both sides have engaged in what I call games. This is not a game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you have to say about the new theory that Caylee might be dead, that it might have been an accident?

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: Shut up.

BAEZ: If you conducted the paternity test to determine if Lee Anthony was the biological father of Caylee Anthony?

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: I overheard her tell me Caylee was gone for 31 days.

JEFF ASHTON, PROSECUTOR: That was my objection. To ask that question is not a good-faith question.

BAEZ: The court has made it clear that this is not a game. And that gamesmanship has been exercised by both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of my way, cameraman.

VASCO THOMPSON, POTENTIAL DEFENSE WITNESS: I have no idea who George Anthony is. I just met him -- seen him on TV.

CINDY ANTHONY: You slandered me on TV and you perjured yourself with this.

BAEZ: He wants to go after her lawyer, too. I think it is repulsive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, and I am here live in Orlando, Florida, outside the courthouse where Casey Anthony`s being tried.

And I have to just begin by saying, the feeling around here is absolutely electric. The tension is building. Tempers are flaring as we approach the climax of this truly astounding trial.

In fact, today, the trial was actually suddenly derailed and delayed. The attorneys started the day by fighting, fighting with each other, tooth and nail, until the judge in his quiet and dignified way exploded in irritation and warned them, enough is enough.

On Saturday, Casey shed a tear or, we could say she appeared to shed a tear anyway, as the defense witness handled a skull. That`s right, handled a skull in open court. Now this skull that they were handling was not the remains of little Caylee, but Casey reacted as if it were the remains. Was Casey distraught or was she kind of working the jury with those Kleenexes and tears?

Remember, today, as Vinny just said a second ago that is so astounding, we`ve got to tell you again, three years to the day that Casey infamously went dirty dancing in a slinky blue dress. The defense is now saying that Caylee accidentally died on June 16, 2008. So according to her own defense, Casey went partying -- you see her right there -- at a nightclub, just four days after her precious daughter`s death. Look at her in these photos. Is that someone who was mourning, or is that someone who is celebrating? That`s what the jury is going to have to decide.

And this morning, wow, what a standoff between the prosecution and the defense team.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton kicked things off by calling for Jose Baez to be punished, accusing the defense of trial by ambush, claiming he`s trying to put on witnesses to deliver shocking new opinions, opinions the prosecution is not being warned about in advance, as the rules require. The prosecutor claims Jose Baez is basically doing this intentionally, intentionally, he says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHTON: Don`t necessarily want to argue sanctions on this right now. But I just want the court to know it`s coming.

PERRY: At the conclusion of this trial, this court will deal with violations which may or may not have occurred.

ASHTON: I will be preparing a sanctions package for the court because, again, this is, I believe, another deliberate violation of the court`s order.

PERRY: This court does not make threats. This court simply applies the rules.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So furious Judge Belvin Perry had to actually shut down court for the entire day, but not before lashing out at the defense and, by the by, the prosecution, too. He is just totally fed up with all these stall tactics and all the dirty pool, pointing out these sequestered jurors are suffering. And let me tell you, it`s hot. It`s hot here in Orlando.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Want to ask both sides to turn around and look at that clock back there and tell me what time it is. Mr. Ashton?

ASHTON: 9:25.

PERRY: And Mr. Baez?

BAEZ: 9:26.

PERRY: Mm-hmm. OK. All right. Thank you. That shows that the two of you will never agree on anything and will never interpret anything the same way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I had to laugh at that. That was so clever. A great way to illustrate that these two sides simply cannot agree on anything. They can`t even agree on what time of day it is.

Is this a courtroom in crisis? Give me a holler, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fabulous colleague, "In Session`s" Jean Casarez.

Jean, you were also here at court. It was really madness today. Give us the inside scoop on why the prosecution was so darn angry, why everybody for that matter was so mad today.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, let`s start at the beginning. First of all, Jane, I want to welcome you to Orlando.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CASAREZ: I`m so thrilled that you are here. We`re so happy to have you here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Glad to be here.

CASAREZ: Now, let me tell you what happened.

First of all, in regard to Mr. -- Dr. Bill Rodriguez, who was supposed to take the stand, well, he was deposed, but the prosecution said he wants to testify that lay people are not going to know what the order of decomposition is. So he has a problem with that. So that`s that witness.

Then the defense wanted to put on a DNA. Mr. Eichelboom (ph) is what they said -- I think it`s Dr. Eichelboom (ph), but the issue here is that there are deadlines. Deadlines have passed. He said, the prosecutor, that he`d gotten a report yesterday, two pages, plus a 45-picture presentation. So it`s like, trial by ambush.

He said, "Your honor, I have to read this. I have to look at this." And so that`s when the judge got so upset, because the judge has made deadlines. Deadlines have been violated. And the judge is very strict. If you don`t meet the deadlines...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely. And we`re talking about what exactly did Jose Baez do wrong here.

Today he was accused of trying to bring in some expert witness, as you heard from Jean, without giving the prosecutors enough time to prepare for an expert witness. And that`s my big issue. He said it: trial by ambush.

Is Jose Baez trying to sneak in inflammatory expert opinions that would tend to exonerate his client without giving prosecutors the time they need to investigate those opinions and therefore be able to ask smart, intelligent questions to dispute these claims on cross-examination?

Remember, it only takes one zinger by the defense to shatter this very fragile prosecution theory, which doesn`t include fingerprints or anything obvious. So one of the experts gets on and says something like, for example, Marcia Clark, Dr. Werner Spitz got on Saturday, and he said, well, the duct tape was put on the skull long after the child died. Wow. Well, that one comment could potentially destroy the prosecution`s case, Marcia, because it`s all based on premeditated murder, and the duct tape was the murder weapon.

So if the prosecution doesn`t have time to prepare for cross- examinations, what does that do to the prosecutor? You`re a famous prosecutor. You prosecuted O.J. Simpson. What does it do to the prosecution?

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, it, of course, undermines the effectiveness of the prosecution. Because to the extent the lawyer is not prepared for what comes out of a witness`s mouth, that lawyer cannot adequately cross-examine the witness. And that`s a problem. It`s a big problem that is also obvious to me, at least, watching what`s been going on in this case.

I know Jose Baez is doing this on purpose. There`s no question he knows what he`s got in these witnesses. He knows what he`s holding back, and he knows what he`s putting on. And so the -- he`s deliberately catching the prosecution flat-footed in an effort to make sure the jury hears these things.

Remember, Jane, that the prosecution -- the defense does not have to prove anything. The defense need only raise a reasonable doubt. And in doing these kinds of attack by ambush and these innuendoes that they raise, what they`re trying to do is create that doubt. They don`t have to have -- they don`t have a burden of proof. They don`t have to prove anything. They`re taking full advantage of it.

And it`s good to see the judge putting his foot down and saying, "Stop it. This is not fair. This is not a search for the truth when you play this game by ambush."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, you are close to the defense. You`re a Florida criminal defense attorney. Everybody is saying dirty tricks, dirty pool, trial by ambush. Jose Baez, your buddy, is taking some hits today.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s absolutely ridiculous. First of all, let me remind everybody that the rules of procedure do not provide that every expert has to provide a report. That`s the judge`s specific order, so it has to be abided by in this case. The rules do not say so.

Secondly, Jose Baez only got the report two days before...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, no, no. Hold on. I`ve got to stop you for a second. The rules say -- and correct me if I`m wrong, Jean Casarez -- the rules say that you have to give the other side advance notice of a new opinion and put it in a report or allow them to depose this witness so that they can be prepared. This is forensics. You cannot wait forensics. Hold on. Let Jean...

CASAREZ: Here`s the point. Jayne is right. The rule generally is that the defense doesn`t have to submit a report. The expert doesn`t have to submit a report. But this case is totally different, because deadlines were missed several times. So the judge issued an order, right here. And he said, "You know what, defense?" -- and prosecution, but defense -- "you`ve got to have your experts submit a report. And if the opinion they`re going to testify on is not in their report or their deposition, sorry, that`s it. They can`t testify on it." And that`s the issue.

WEINTRAUB: And the prosecutor...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

WEINTRAUB: ... and the prosecutor chose not -- deliberately not to depose the defense expert. I`m trying murder cases 25 years. I have never seen a prosecutor, especially as experienced as Jeff Ashton, and he is one good prosecutor...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Here`s the bottom line.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is not the "Perry Mason" TV show. People cannot jump out of the gallery and say, "I did it," and get on the stand and be cross-examined. Doesn`t work that way. It`s a much more complex system, and it`s a three-dimensional chess game. And the judge, it would seem, believes that, at least, the defense is not playing by the rules to the letter.

Now, thrust into the Casey Anthony trial spotlight, I am going to talk to a potential witness the defense somehow claims is linked to George Anthony. Breaking news on this front. I ran into him today, and I said, "Come on our show." And he said, yes. You`re going to hear from him in a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: The phone number they got in question, I didn`t have that phone number until February of `09. I don`t know why they got me involved in all this mess.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

THOMPSON: I thank God for being here so I can clean this mess up. And I have no idea who George Anthony is. I just met him -- seen him on TV. I never talked to George Anthony. I never -- like I said, I never -- I don`t know him.

And the phone number they got in question, I didn`t have that phone number until February of `09. And I don`t know why they got me involved in all of this mess. That`s all I have to say about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we`ve got some breaking news right now involving reformed ex-con Vasco Thompson and his potential testimony in the Casey Anthony trial. Thompson`s name, as you probably remember, suddenly appeared on a defense witness list just last week, causing really an uproar in court.

Now, Casey Anthony`s defense team claims Vasco`s cell phone number connects him to George Anthony. But Thompson says, "Hey, I have never met George Anthony. Leave me alone. Leave me out of it."

Now, I happened to run into these two gentlemen, Vasco Thompson, and his attorney, Matt Morgan, today, here in Orlando. It`s my first day in Orlando, and who do I run into? These two gentlemen. I said, "I know you. You`re the one they`re trying to connect to the Casey Anthony case."

I understand there`s some breaking news, Matt. What do you know?

MATT MORGAN, ATTORNEY FOR VASCO THOMPSON: Yes, Jane. This morning, I -- as you know, I filed a motion to quash. Essentially, a motion to quash is to ask the court to keep Vasco off the stand, because he didn`t have any involvement with this. We made that clear.

And despite filing that motion, I`ve just gotten news from the defense that they wish to take his deposition at -- on Wednesday after 5 p.m.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So who called you?

MORGAN: It was a member -- somebody from Cheney Mason`s office.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And did you say, "Well, wait a second. Why are you deposing my client?"

This is all about alleged phone calls that occurred June 14, 2008, the day before Cindy calls 911 and says it smells like a dead body in the damn car. But you have established that your client, Vasco, did not own that phone number until 2009, and you say you just got confirmation of that from the phone company?

MORGAN: Exactly. Well, Vasco got an oral confirmation from that from the phone company yesterday. Now unfortunately, there`s confidentiality agreements in place that don`t -- will not permit the phone company to release those records, even to Vasco.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really?

MORGAN: Even though he has the contract, it`s between the phone company and him, they still will not release those records. I don`t know why. The court`s going to have to subpoena those records, though, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vasco, how has this impacted your life? I understand that you did serve time. You served time for kidnapping. You served approximately ten years. But as your attorney says, you paid your debt to society. You didn`t need to have this happen to you. Now the whole world knows about the past that you were trying to move past.

THOMPSON: Exactly. And thank you for having me here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

THOMPSON: I don`t know how I got involved in this. And I still -- it`s still puzzling now, to this very moment, how my name came up in all of this. I never talked to any one of them. I don`t even know them. And it just is turning my whole life upside down now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How so? How has it affected, for example, your employment?

THOMPSON: Well, I haven`t got that far yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why?

THOMPSON: Because I`ve been out injured. I`m on injury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that your -- I see your thumb there. Hold that up.

THOMPSON: OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that the injury. Is that connected to the injury?

THOMPSON: Yes. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened?

THOMPSON: I was cleaning a machine on the job, and I got too close.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So your boss has not called you and said, "I saw you on the news"?

THOMPSON: Well, my supervisor did. Yes, he did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And?

THOMPSON: And he said, "We`ll talk about it after I get back." So that`s all he said. He just said, you got the trial coming.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how has -- how else has this impacted him?

By the way, if you`re watching, bosses, we have a huge problem in this country that people who go to prison cannot get employed. And they`re then -- they can`t get on the right track, because they`ve got this scarlet letter. And we don`t want this to happen to this man, whatever happened. And some people say it is serious, it was very serious, that somebody was injured. But whatever happened, you paid your debt to society, and you deserve at this point to move on.

How else has it impacted?

THOMPSON: Well, for my wife, she can`t sleep. At the house, she feels bad for me. And it just has been terrible, man. I can`t even tell you how much it`s affected my life. Everybody knows everything now. So it`s on the public record over here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you going to sue? Zenaida Gonzales sued.

MORGAN: You know, at this point, we`re just reserving comment on that matter until a later date, because we really want to let this whole -- our focus is on clearing Vasco`s name in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you going to keep us posted? We`re all going to be here this week.

MORGAN: OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I cannot believe that they`re going to depose this guy anyway.

All right. Now we`ve got two angry court-goers next. Check that...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How far did you travel to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Minneapolis, Minnesota. It`s the only reason I came was to see the Casey Anthony case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel very emotionally attached at this point. I`ve not missed any of the coverage on this trial. It`s so much so it`s actually inspired me to apply for law school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fans of the Casey Anthony trial, they just cannot get enough. They are traveling, in some cases, thousands of miles. They`re lining up in the sweltering heat -- I mean, it is sweltering, sweltering. It`s hot. Feels like 110 -- just to get a front row seat to this -- well, it`s been often grisly testimony.

And certainly, who can forget scenes, people running like mad, fighting with each other to get inside the courtroom. Crazy.

Now, trial fans who traveled from out of state get really upset when they finally get there, and they cannot hear any testimony. Katie Corrigan came all the way up from New Jersey, and she was going to see the sites and go to Florida. I think she was going to go to Disney World. And also as part of the new Orlando sight-seeing, there`s a stop at the Casey Anthony trial. In fact, when I arrived here at the airport yesterday, I half expected to look up and see signs that say, "To Disney World" and another sign that says "To the Casey Anthony trial," because that`s how much of a focus it is here.

OK, Katie, you and your cousin got seats today.

KATIE CORRIGAN, ATTENDING TRIAL: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: When you got inside, what happened? And cut to -- right to that point. Were there were gasps?

CORRIGAN: Well, we had no idea what was going on. We were sitting there thinking that the trial was going to begin. And all of a sudden, you have these attorneys going at it, Baez, which was supposedly intentional. And they are running back and forth. And then you have the judge going into the jury room. We don`t know what was said, but the court reporter had gone in there, too.

And at this point everybody wants to know what`s going on. At first, we actually had a break, and it was only supposed to be for 25 minutes or so. We come back, and it`s still a wait. And we come back to the judge telling us that we are now dismissed for the day.

Well, everybody was gasping. The whole audience was just in an uproar. Everybody was very pissed off. And we were very angry, because we had waited the day before for eight hours in a line that was sweltering heat. And we were very angry to not be able to see any testimony given that day in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I know Casey, you`ve been in there a number of times. Today, when you were looking at Casey Anthony, while everybody was waiting, what did she look like? Because some people said she looked particularly edgy, and she was doing this with her hands. What did you see?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was -- at points she was sitting around, looking around, making eye contact with everybody. And at some time she was -- we saw her laughing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw her laughing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell us about that, Katie.

CORRIGAN: She turned her chair around. And we couldn`t tell if she was laughing, crying. She may have been crying, because the defense didn`t get to give their piece.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was her reaction to her attorney, Jose Baez, being scolded, verbally spanked?

CORRIGAN: She seemed shocked. I think she was angry. But at one point when she turned her chair, nobody really knew what to think. We didn`t know what was going on and what the emotion with her really was at that point. So it was hard to tell, but I believe that she was in shock mostly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think it`s kind of getting to her. I think she`s starting to see that maybe...

CORRIGAN: The 11th hour.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Casey and Katie. We have so much more to tell you about. You won`t believe.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CINDY ANTHONY: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month.

PERRY: Mr. Baez, this is not my first rodeo.

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, PRESIDING OVER CASEY ANTHONY CASE: All of this, folks, is going to stop or you will be working some very fierce days.

This court does not make threats. This court simply applies the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let him go.

PERRY: It is quite evident there is a friction between attorneys.

CINDY ANTHONY: Call for a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) one more time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what are you going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

PERRY: What you`re basically saying, sir, is that you can pick which court orders you can comply with and which court orders you don`t comply with. That`s not going to happen here.

Enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Enough is enough. Isn`t that a song, but nobody was singing in court today. They were arguing.

Court adjourned today with no jury, no witnesses, no holds barred from Judge Perry. He scolds both sides, "enough is enough", after attorneys bicker, bicker, bicker, bicker in court for nearly half an hour and then nothing gets done. Jury is sitting there.

I have to tell you. It is hot here. This is no place you want to be sequestered for a long period of time. The prosecution wanted defense attorney Jose Baez punished for not disclosing the findings of a defense DNA expert. Perry accused both sides of wasting everybody`s time, and thumbing their noses at the court.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: This court does not make threats. This court simply applies the rules. The two of you will never agree on anything. If you all don`t want to act professional, then I will work you real for days. Enough is enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Jean Casarez, "In Session" correspondent; Jean, so glad to be here with both of you, by the way. It is a thrill and a treat. I`ve been watching your coverage. You`ve done an incredible job.

We were supposed to have witnesses today. The reason we didn`t is that the prosecution was really upset saying we don`t have enough time to prepare to intelligently cross-examine the witnesses. Explain a little bit why they were so upset.

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Two witnesses. One, Dr. Bill Rodriguez took the stand on Saturday, left the stand. The deposition was done late Saturday afternoon. Jeff Ashton got it Sunday. He said, "I read it once. Your honor, I need more time to read it before I cross- examine him."

All right. So that witness is coming up.

Second witness, DNA expert: "Your honor, I just got the report yesterday along with a 45-photo exhibit. I never had this before. I need to look at this. I need to depose this man."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I think we can explain it in that, ok, we`re journalists, we have to ask people questions, we have to prepare our questions.

Imagine if you`re cross-examining a forensic expert with a lot of credentials, who is making really explosive opinions, giving explosive opinions that are going to exonerate the defendant because they`re defense witnesses. If you don`t know what`s coming, you cannot prepare an intelligent cross examination of that witness. And isn`t that why the prosecution was complaining?

CASAREZ: Exactly. And Jose Baez came back with -- well, they`re on the witness list. He could have deposed him. And he didn`t. Jeff Ashton chose not to do it. Actually, your honor, and he did it on purpose to not take the deposition.

But the judge didn`t buy it because the judge said the report comes first, you depose from the report.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to that because it -- everybody seems to think that only Baez was scolded. But when the prosecution asked for sanctions against Jose Baez, part of it didn`t quite ring true to me.

Now, listen to the prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, explain it in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF ASHTON, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: He did take his deposition from 1:45 to approximately 3:45 on Saturday. I just received a transcript of the deposition yesterday. I read through it once. I would like to read through it again in preparation for cross examination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So that prosecutor, Jeff Ashton, interviewed this witness Saturday. But he said he could only review the transcript one time.

Now, I kind of have a problem with that. What happened to Sunday? Everybody is sitting here, this is costing the taxpayers huge amounts of money. Why not read the transcript again on Sunday, and do this witness? Do you think he might have been more concerned with making Jose Baez wrong and almost like a little kid, oh, you know, Jose Baez did this, punish him as opposed to --

CASAREZ: I thought of that. That was one of the first things I thought. Because you have Sunday afternoon, you have Sunday evening. You could get up this morning around 5:00. You could do it again, right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

CASAREZ: The judge could have easily --

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Father`s Day. Give the guy a break. He`s a father. It was Father`s Day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I forgot about Father`s Day. Ok. Never mind. All right. Father`s Day, that`s true. All right. Thank you so much for that Jean.

And now we`re going move on to something that Beth is going to explain to us and this is so crucial -- seriously.

When you hear the verdict, you have to know this. Casey is facing seven charges total. The defense is conceding counts four through seven, ok. She lied to cops. Four counts of she lied to cops.

We`re not talking about that. The critical charge against her, the most critical is first-degree murder. And then there is aggravated child abuse. And the third one is aggravated manslaughter of a child. Ok. Three counts.

You think, well, ok, I`ve got those, I can check those off, simple enough, right? Wrong. The jury has to consider a slew of lesser charges within some of those counts which means, well, it could mean the difference between life and death, prison for many years, and it makes the verdict a lot more complicated. This is not lost on defense attorney Jose Baez.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: The prosecutor is afforded the right to take depositions in a case. This is a capital case for which he is prosecuting and seeking the ultimate penalty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s go straight out to count one because you were explaining this to me. I`ll tell you, Beth and I ran into each other at the hotel and she starts explaining all this stuff. I said, wait, I didn`t bring a notebook. I didn`t bring a note pad.

Let`s go to this count one, first degree murder. That means Caylee`s killing was premeditated and intentional but what about those -- what they call lesser includeds? Can we talk about that and throw up that graphic of the lesser includeds because these are the basic charges. What we`re talking about now is count one, first degree murder, and within that count there are a slew of what they call lesser includeds. Take it way, Beth.

KARAS: Ok. Now, there are mandatory lesser included that if either side asks for it, they have to go to the jury. And that is second-degree murder and manslaughter. Manslaughter, straight manslaughter, not aggravated manslaughter, which is a separate count in the indictment.

And then there are the discretionary counts that can be asked for, but the facts have to make it out. And those can involve battery and assault charges and other degrees of murder, like second-degree felony murder, third-degree felony murder. But I don`t know that the jury is going to get those. They`re going to get second degree murder and manslaughter, ok?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Now --

KARAS: In addition, the count one is premeditated murder, but the jury will also be able to consider felony murder, another type of first- degree murder, and the jurors don`t even have to agree on which theory. Six people could think it is premeditated and six could think it is felony murder, meaning in the course of an aggravated child abuse doing something like chloroform, duct tape over your child`s mouth, doing something to harm your child. The child dies in the course of it.

That type of murder doesn`t require a finding of intent to kill or premeditated murder. So the jury can be split on this premeditated murder and felony murder. It is all first-degree and they`ll consider one count of first-degree murder.

If they say it is neither one of those, they`ll go down to second- degree murder. Second-degree murder is killing with a depraved mind. Not an intentional killing either. It is a depraved mind. Giving chloroform, putting duct tape over your child`s mouth, one or the other or both could be considered depraved because it puts your child at risk of death and your child dies. That`s second degree murder, punishable by up to life. But it could be a term of years, like, 28, 30, depending where she was on the guidelines.

And there is manslaughter, which is simply killing, killing a person.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So as I understand it, we can put up the graphic again, because I want to -- still I`m trying to understand this. Put up the graphic if you can. There we go. Those are three counts. Within that first count, first-degree murder, there are lesser includeds that are not listed on that sheet that include felony murder and second-degree murder.

KARAS: And manslaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And manslaughter. Even though there is another count of manslaughter down there; there is a count of a different kind?

(CROSSTALK)

CASAREZ: Count three is not a lesser of count one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow.

KARAS: Because aggravated manslaughter is causing the death of someone through some intentional act or culpable negligence, and the victim is under 18.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. You better -- you better have a piece of paper for us, ok? Because I don`t want to be sitting there listening to the verdict and trying to figure that out, hopefully they`re going to have a piece of paper with all that listed.

I want to go to Marcia Clark. You were obviously famous for being the prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case. I think this points to a very long deliberation. I know that didn`t happen, for sure, in the O.J. case, but that`s a whole other story. With all of these permutations and possibilities, I can think they might be there for weeks.

MARCIA CLARK, PROSECUTOR IN O.J. SIMPSON CASE: They could be. Well, they could certainly be there for a while. It is a lot to think about. It`s a lot to deal with.

You have all the legal elements that go to either first- or second- degree or manslaughter. And you have then, of course, to consider the aggravated manslaughter.

They have a lot of issues and a lot of these -- all of these counts require them to sift through the forensic evidence, not an easy thing to do. But I think when they put it all together -- as I said before, this is a circumstantial evidence case -- when you put all the bits and pieces together as they`re required to do and consider them all, I think they will wind up with a verdict of one kind or another.

Now what they decide in terms of whether it was accidental or premeditated or rash impulse, that`s a different story. That`s going to be, I think it`s going to take them a little while. I don`t think it will be a fast verdict.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. All right. Well, thanks so much, Marcia. And thank you, gang, up here.

Nancy Grace all over this case. She`s going to have the very latest developments at the top of the hour, in less than 20 minutes.

And we`re going to continue our in-depth coverage. Give me a call, 1- 877-JVM-SAYS. What do you think? Long deliberation?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you cause any injury to your child, Caylee.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hurt Caylee or leave her somewhere and you`re afraid if we find that out, that people will look at you the wrong way?

CASEY ANTHONY: No, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three years ago today Casey Anthony put on a very tight blue dress and she headed over to Orlando`s club Fusion. She entered a Hot Body contest and she danced on the stage and she partied the night away. She was grinning and seemed to be having a fabulous time. Look at that smile. Ok.

By the defense -- by the admission of the defense, her child had died four days earlier. The defense now claims little Caylee drowned in the Anthony`s swimming pool. The defense says it was an accident and that George helped Casey cover it up.

But take a look at that smile. Does that look like a grieving mother hiding a painful secret? Or does that look like a woman who is celebrating something? Celebrating something.

I want to go out to Marcia Clark. Ok. The way I said it, somehow it never seems to come off that way in court. You`re painting a really awful picture there. I`m not saying I should be a prosecute delivering the closing arguments, but somehow the rules of the court always seem to rob a photo like that of its pathos. How do the juries connect the dots and look at that and say, my gosh, that was four days after, by her own admission, her daughter died.

CLARK: You may rest assured, Jane that the prosecution will help them connect those dots. They`re going to do a very, I`m sure, a very strong job of showing the jury, hey, look at what she was doing the day of, the day after. I would be really surprised if they didn`t show a timeline tracking from day one of the death to day 31, showing every photograph they can possibly find to connect the photographs to the day of -- the days after Caylee`s death. And I`m sure they will do that.

And ultimately it is going to be for the jury to determine how significant that is. Remember that the defense in this case is seeking to mitigate that very conduct. They`re seeking to show through the allegations of child abuse, et cetera, I mean, molestation, that she behaves in a strange manner because she`s disturbed as a result of having been a sexual abuse victim. That is their effort.

And if they -- if it succeeds, then the jury will look at the photographs and say, well, you know, the baby still could have died accidentally. She`s just a weird gal because of all she`s been through. That`s the defense`s point. That`s what they`re hoping to achieve here.

(CROSSTALK)

Will they? That is going to -- that is the ultimate question. I will say this, Jane, let me say this, they don`t have to put Caylee (SIC) on the stand to substantiate this because they don`t have the burden of proof. They do not have to prove anything. All they have to do is raise a reasonable doubt. And all they have to do is put on an expert in child abuse accommodation syndrome, some mental health expert to describe the syndrome and then they connect it through their argument.

I`m not sure that it is going to be compelling or work, but they can do that. And by the way, that`s why he put in the FBI testing of the father and the brother to determine whether or not it was a paternity --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or they can kind of -- they can kind of dispel some of the fragile forensic evidence and this is what I think they were trying to do on Saturday. In shocking testimony on Saturday, the defense expert, Dr. Werner Spitz said the duct tape was put in place after, long after little Caylee died. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. WERNER SPITZ, MEDICAL EXAMINER: There was nothing on the bone that would suggest duct tape. There was nothing on the duct tape that would suggest application on the skin either. This duct tape was perhaps placed there to hold the lower jaw in place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a huge blow to the prosecution. They say the duct tape was the murder weapon. And that it shows premeditation. So Spitz is saying long after Caylee died, it was applied by someone else who wouldn`t want the lower jaw to fall off.

Looks like they`re pointing to meter reader Roy Kronk. Beth Karas, I always wondered, why on earth are they so intent on dragging Roy Kronk into this? Now we know -- so that they can put the duct tape on him.

KARAS: Well, once the jury hears that he called three consecutive days in August, the same location, he called 911 saying there was a suspicious bag here and doesn`t call again until December, he knows where the body is, is what they are arguing and that he did something fishy. So if you believe Dr. Spitz, who went into the woods and put duct tape on it?

I don`t know if it is really going to be --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s all they`ve got really to point to premeditation; doesn`t take much for reasonable doubt.

Ok. Up next, we`re going to talk to an expert who believes that smother mother syndrome is at the center of this case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: Did you raise Casey to always tell the truth?

CINDY ANTHONY: I thought I did, yes, I did. I tried.

BAEZ: It never occurred to you that these stories and these people that Casey was talking about were not real?

CINDY ANTHONY: No, sir.

CASEY ANTHONY: My mom flat out told me yesterday she will never be able to forgive me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey told me she was crazy. I remember there was a time she told me that her mom told her that she was an unfit mother.

CINDY ANTHONY: Whose fault is it that you`re sitting in the jail? Are you blaming me that you`re sitting in the jail?

CASEY ANTHONY: I don`t want to talk to you right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the mother/daughter relationship between Cindy and Casey at the very heart of this case? And is it something the prosecution hasn`t really shown? What is the motive for murder? Does the mother/daughter dynamic speak to a motive for murder?

Karyl McBride, family therapist who has spoken about triangulation between Cindy, Casey and Caylee; you`ve actually used the phrase "Smother Mother" in connection with this case. So I want to ask you, how does a relationship between Cindy and Casey speak to a motive for murder?

KARYL MCBRIDE, FAMILY THERAPIST: Hi Jane.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you hear me? Hey, how are you doing?

MCBRIDE: I can. Good, how are you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good. Motive for murder, and the relationship between Cindy and Casey -- go for it.

MCBRIDE: All right. I can only talk generalities really because we haven`t heard the rest of the case, right? But as we`re hearing them talk about these issues of narcissism and narcissistic families and possible sexual abuse, we`re -- and then we`re hearing all the stuff about lying. When you put those together and you have the triple dynamic, the triple trauma of possible sexual abuse, loss of a child, and coming from a narcissistic family, I think we have got trauma dynamics that can explain things here.

And I am not blaming, I`m not saying this is what happened, of course. But I do think, Jane, that the issue of maternal narcissism and incest is not well understood.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let`s put incest aside for a second because we don`t know that the incest occurred. This is a claim made by the defense without any corroboration.

MCBRIDE: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about maternal narcissism. Are you talking about Cindy`s? Explain what that means?

MCBRIDE: Well, maternal narcissism comes in, either in engulfing, smothering mothers or ignoring mothers. So if you look at an engulfing, narcissistic mother who is going to shower and smother attention on a child while they`re young and when they can control them, and then the child becomes an adolescent they can`t control anymore, a new baby comes on the scene they switch that attention. The first child has possibly been taught to be very entitled. And possibly have some narcissism herself, which we have seen some of these traits in Casey.

And then what happens? I mean that jealousy then could potentially impact the bond between the new mother and the baby.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So I think what you`re saying in plain English is that Casey, you see a lot of attention from her mother, made her a narcissist. Then Cindy starts giving attention to little Caylee and that makes Casey jealous and that could be the motive for murder.

Hang tight, Karyl and hang tight, Patricia, from Maryland. On the other side we`ll get your comment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Patricia from Maryland -- the most patient woman in America -- your question or thought Patricia.

PATRICIA, MARYLAND (via telephone): thank you, Jane. I was just going to say, when you were talking about Cindy and Casey, I will say that is the one thing that I will be the first to admit has changed my mind. Before watching the trial, I totally believed that Cindy and George were only enablers which made me feel like they were responsible.

But after seeing her on the stand and what she`s gone through, being a grandmother myself, having three beautiful daughters myself, I believe that Casey has done this all on her own. My heart goes out to Cindy and George. I do believe that she thought that there were no consequences for anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Patricia, I agree with you 100 percent. People have a tendency to want to blame a mother when her child goes awry.

Let`s not blame the mother. Let`s not blame Cindy. It is not her fault. She`s a victim here.

"Nancy Grace" is up next.

END