Amazon MP3 Clips

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Former meter reader recounts finding Caylee Anthony's skull

 A former Orange County, Florida, meter reader testified Tuesday about finding Caylee Anthony's skull in a wooded area in December 2008, calling it "horrific."
Roy Kronk said he couldn't at first comprehend what he was looking at. He said he put his "meter reader stick," a piece of metal about 5 inches long, into the right eye socket and "gently pivoted" it upward to make sure, then put it back.
"It was a horrific thing for me to find," he testified, adding later that "it really unnerved me."
Defense attorney J. Cheney Mason asked whether Kronk discussed the $255,000 reward in the case with deputies immediately following the discovery. Kronk said he might have, and may have said "jokingly" that he didn't want his ex-wife to find out if he received the money.
Kronk acknowledged making three phone calls in August 2008 in an attempt to report something he saw in the woods. "I was trying to do the right thing," he said, but on August 13, a deputy responded to the area and "chewed me out."
Kronk said he went into the woods to relieve himself on August 11 and saw "something that looks white" and a gray bag, according to his testimony and a transcript of the call. Nothing was discovered, but Kronk called authorities again on August 12 and 13. Court documents show the deputy told Kronk August 13 the area had already been searched.
Trunk odor: Dead body or trash?
Anthony trial proceeds after delay
Judge rules Casey Anthony competent
Anthony testimony discredits expert?
He said he did not return to the site until December 11 and did not know whether the skull was what he had seen in August.
He also denied a defense suggestion that he called his son in November -- before the body was found -- and told him he was about to be famous.
Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with seven counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading police, in Caylee's 2008 death. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against her.
Anthony's defense team is trying to discredit the prosecution theory that the Orlando woman rendered Caylee unconscious with chloroform, duct-taped her mouth and nose, and stored the body in her car trunk for a few days before dumping it in the woods.
The defense says Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that Anthony and her father panicked and covered it up. George Anthony has denied that theory.
Caylee was last seen June 16, 2008. The little girl's skeletal remains were found by Kronk on December 11, 2008, near the Anthony home when he revisited the site.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Jose Baez pointed the finger of responsibility at Kronk.
According to the defense, Kronk actually discovered the remains months earlier. Baez called Kronk "a morally bankrupt person who took Caylee's body and hid it ... he thought he had a lottery ticket. ... He can't be ignored in this."
Kronk denies Baez's allegations, according to his attorney, David Evans.
He testified that he lifted a bag found near the remains about 4 feet off the ground, but said he had made a mistake in an earlier statement and denied that the skull had fallen out when he did that.
Mason suggested Kronk was attempting to cash in on the case, noting he needed $1,000 to have his truck repaired right before the remains were found.
Earlier, Casey Anthony's father took the stand again, his frustration at the defense's allegations against him evident as he denied having an affair with a volunteer searcher and telling her that his granddaughter's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control."
"I never had a romantic affair with Krystal Holloway, or River Cruz, or any name she wanted to give you or the world," George Anthony angrily told defense attorney Baez. He added that the woman has a "questionable past" and a criminal record.
Baez told jurors in his opening statement May 24 that George Anthony had an affair with Holloway. "Krystal will tell you one day they had a conversation and George began to cry and she asked him what happened (to 2-year-old Caylee Anthony), and he said it was an accident that snowballed out of control."
George Anthony testified he did visit Holloway at her gated condominium, showing identification to the complex guard, "to console" her after she told him that she had a brain tumor and was dying. He said because she was helping him and his family search for Caylee after she disappeared, he felt it "was the least I could do."
He said his wife -- Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony -- was aware he visited Holloway and had also been told about her brain tumor. He said he always visited during the day, as he could set his own hours at his job.
Jurors heard Monday from two men who worked for Casey Anthony's parents after Caylee's disappearance on June 16, 2008.
Private investigators James Hoover and Dominic Casey both said they provided security services at the Anthony home against "protesters" who would show up. Hoover said he was working as a citizen although he is a licensed private investigator.
The two said they spent two days in November 2008 searching a wooded area for Caylee's body. The search site was near where the remains were found a month later. A videotape of that search was played for jurors.
Casey told defense attorney Ann Finnell the search was prompted by a phone tip received from a psychic.
On Tuesday, Cindy Anthony briefly took the stand before Kronk to deny that she had sent Casey into the area after the psychic's tip. But her son, Lee Anthony, testified afterward he remembered arguing about it with his mother, saying he was angered because it was the first time his parents had suggested Caylee might not be alive.
And Orange County Sheriff's Detective Yuri Melich, the lead investigator in the case, testified he recalled Cindy Anthony saying, when she was told where Caylee's remains were found, that she had already sent people over there and nothing was found.
This is the sixth week of testimony in the trial. Opening statements began on May 24.
Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. originally told jurors, who are being housed in an Orlando hotel shielded from media coverage of the trial, that the trial could last six to eight weeks.
On Friday -- before Saturday's delay -- Baez said he expected the defense to rest on Wednesday or possibly Thursday. That would leave room for a rebuttal case from the prosecution and closing statements before the Independence Day holiday. Saturday had been planned as a full day in the trial, and it was unclear how the day's delay would affect those plans. Testimony on Monday lasted until after 7 p.m.
Caylee was not reported missing to police until July 15, 2008, when Cindy Anthony tracked down her daughter Casey and demanded answers regarding Caylee's whereabouts. Prosecution witnesses described Casey Anthony's behavior in the month after Caylee was last seen as nonchalant, testifying that she spent time with her boyfriend, went shopping and to nightclubs -- but told no one her daughter was missing. They testified they noticed no change in her demeanor.
Baez said in his opening statement that Anthony behaved as she did because years of sexual abuse by her father had conditioned her to conceal the truth and hide her pain.
George Anthony has denied the claims that he abused his daughter or helped conceal his granddaughter's death.

No comments: