Building a Case

Dr. Phil turns to Lisa Bloom. "Give us your take on what you think this evidence is pointing to," he says.

 

"There are three problems that Casey Anthony has: her behavior, her words and the forensic evidence in this case. Her behavior, most importantly, in waiting a month before she reports her baby missing," Lisa replies. "Her behavior in partying, getting her nails done, getting a tattoo during the time that her baby was missing instead of looking for that child. Then there are her words, Dr. Phil. Misleading the authorities, sending them down false paths, giving them deceptive language as to what she did for a living, as to the name of the babysitter and the location of the babysitter. Maybe most importantly is the forensic evidence, the evidence in the trunk, that there was a dead body in that trunk."

 

Darren rebuts Lisa's analysis. "This is a case that has far more questions than it does answers. In a court of law, unlike a court of public opinion, we deal with evidence," he tells Dr. Phil. "The problem that the prosecution has is that they don't have the evidence that's required in order to support a guilty verdict, or at this point, even an arrest. She can't be convicted unless each and every element is proved beyond a reasonable doubt." 

 

In another audio tape, Casey tells authorities that she received a call from her daughter.

 

Detective: Do you remember the phone call you were telling us about?

 

Casey: Um hmm.

 

Detective: What day was that you talked to her?

 

Casey: Yesterday.

 

Detective: Do you remember what time of day?

 

Casey: Around noon. It was from a private number.

 

Detective: What'd your daughter say to you?

 

Casey: She said, "Hi, Mommy."

 

Detective: And that's it?

 

Casey: And she started telling me a story, talking to me about her shoes and books.

 

Detective: What did she say?

 

Casey: I tried to ask her where she was, and she was just talking about the book that she was reading ...

Detective: So she seemed fine, seemed happy?

 

Casey: She seemed perfectly fine. There was nothing in the background.

 

Detective: No sign of any type of stress at all?

 

Casey: Not at all.

 

Detective: Great. That's wonderful. Let me ask you a question: Your daughter hasn't seen you in over a month, and she's not "

 

Casey: She was excited, sorry, to talk to me. But at the same time, it's crazy that she didn't get upset when she talked to me.

 

When the audio clip ends, Dr. Phil confers with his legal experts. "The investigators looked at her cell phone records after this and could find no evidence of any call, whatsoever, that came in during this time, from any number," he says.


"This is clearly a bold-faced lie that there was this phone call," Lisa says. "We also now have all of her computer records and her cell phone records from the month that the baby was missing. There was no call, no text, no e-mail to any Zenaida Gonzalez. This woman is simply a fabrication."

On another audio tape, detectives grill Casey about her alleged investigation, where she says she searched for her missing daughter. The young mother allegedly told investigators that she worked at Universal Studios, a claim that later proved false.

 

Casey: Caylee's been up here. Maybe we can talk to security to see if she's come through the front. I know she's come to the park. She's gone to Disney. She's been at Sea World.

 

Detective: Whoa! Hold it. We're here "

 

Casey: It's a backwards way of looking at things.

 

Detective: Why do you think it's backwards? It's backwards, because you haven't been truthful with us, OK?

 

Casey: I've been reaching.

 

Detective: You've been reaching?

 

Casey: I've been reaching to try to figure out a place where she actually is.

 

Detective: What is it we're doing here? What's helping us right now, OK?

 

Casey: Obviously, I wanted to come up and try to talk to security, maybe pass around a picture of Caylee. I legitimately have not seen my daughter in five weeks. I don't want anything to happen to her.

Dr. Phil is perplexed at Casey's seeming lack of common sense displayed on the audio tapes. He turns to Darren. "Is it possible that the prosecutors are underestimating the intelligence of the jury to say, 'We don't have enough evidence,' when, in fact, an idiot can see that this person is lying?" he asks.

 

"I don't think so. Remember, the role of the defense lawyer is to engage in what I call government prosecution quality control, to test the evidence," Darren replies.
 

"There are also gasses in the trunk of the car consistent with human remains," Lisa chimes in. "When you put it all together, there is a mountain of evidence against her."

 

"This is why, in a court of law, these things have to be tested," Darren says.

 

"From a defense perspective, tell me what is a common sense alternative to the fact that this mother has a daughter missing, by her own admission, for 31 days and does not call authorities?" Dr. Phil asks.

 

"There doesn't need to be a defense alternative. The defense can sit on her hands, cannot make statements, cannot do anything if the prosecution cannot marshal the evidence to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt," Darren replies.

 

"We have evidence that she spent 31 days not alerting authorities that her daughter was missing," Dr. Phil counters. "That does meet the test for negligence, correct?"

 

"And there is a pending case against her for exactly that conduct, but believe me, if there was enough evidence right now to charge her with homicide, we wouldn't be sitting here," Darren replies.

"What she has been charged with is neglect," Dr. Phil points out. He reads a partial definition. "It is a caregiver's failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the child's physical and mental health, including, but not limited to food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision."

 

"In that particular case, they do feel like they have enough [evidence], and of course, we'll see," Darren answers. "The case is set for trial coming up pretty quickly."

 

"She abandons her daughter for a month, she doesn't report her missing, she's not giving her food, care or shelter. I think that's a slam dunk against her," Lisa says.

 

Dr. Phil explores a more disturbing prospect. "If a body is never found, what is she likely to be charged with, if anything, about the disappearance of this child?" he asks.

 

"If there isn't more evidence coming down, she's likely to be charged with nothing, because we just don't know at this point," Darren replies.

 

"I think she'd be charged with manslaughter. That's a step below murder. She'll still be facing 10 to 20 years in prison in Florida," Lisa says. "Let me tell you why I think she hasn't been charged yet. I think the police are waiting for her to misstep, to use her freedom to their advantage."