Prosecution hammers witness
5:54 AM, Jun 18, 2011
Orlando, Florida - Fireworks erupted once again in the courtroom during the high-profile capital case.
In this trial, it has become the norm.
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The drama seems to be the summer obsession for those who are keeping up with the case.
Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton got so fired up Friday afternoon that those watching the Casey Anthony trial could hardly turn away from what they were seeing. At one point, Ashton rarely sat down as he made objection after objection during the questioning of a defense witness, Dr. Tim Huntington.
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Some call the cross examination by Ashton harsh and brutal and, at some points, trial watchers wondered if it bordered on badgering.
Dr. Huntington was on the stand for nearly seven hours on the defense's second day of its case. At first, Dr. Huntington started off strong. He seemed to be the perfect witness as he told the jury that he didn't think there was the presence of human decomposition in Casey's trunk.
Dr. Huntington said, "There's nothing that I can see that would indicate to me a decomposing body had been in this vehicle."
The state has maintained all along that Casey suffocated Caylee with duct tape and drove around with the child's body in the trunk.
They further claim that Caylee was rotting inside the car as Casey went about her business.
FBI analysts, along with Orange County investigators, testified for the state, saying that there was human decomposition in the trunk. However, as the day went on, the defense's witness seemed to unravel a bit as his credibilty was attacked by the prosecution.
In fact, at one point, the jury was taken out of the courtroom and Judge Belvin Perry himself began asking the witness questions. The judge asked, "What makes you qualified to talk about the stain and what you would expect to find?"
Ashton questioned Dr. Huntington about the stain of death they say was in Casey's trunk.
Dr. Huntington conducted his own study in Nebraska using pigs placed in the trunk of a car. The prosecution quickly pointed out that the conditions in Nebraska are nothing like the conditions in Florida during the summer.
There was even a point of laughter amidst the intensity of the day.
Ashton said that the pigs used in the study were not wrapped in bags or blankets, referring to Caylee's remains that were thought to have been disposed of in the trunk.
Ashton asked, "Why didn't you wrap your pigs in a blanket?"
This brought about laughter in both the courtroom and among trial watchers following the case.
Dr. Huntington also talked about the trash found in Casey's car, which the defense claims is what caused the horrible odor.
Jose Baez asked, "What do you believe, in your opinion, attracted these insects to this trash?"
Dr. Huntington answered, "Based on contents, there was a number of cans of tobacco spit."
The prosecution has said that fatty acids showing the presence of human decomposition is the true reason behind what brought the flies.
Ashton tore away at Dr. Huntington's credentials, specifically asking him about his degree and how many studies he had done on human decomposition in cars. The prosecutor also got Dr. Huntington to admit that Chrloroform can, in fact, be used to kill insects.
The state has long since claimed that high levels of Chloroform were found in the trunk of Casey's Pontiac Sunfire.
So, how does that tear away at the defense's case?
Dr. Huntington in earlier testimony had said that more flies should have been in Casey's trunk if a body had been put there.
The defense's star witness, Dr. Werner Spitz, was thought to be on the stand Friday. Dr. Spitz has done more than 60,000 autopsies and assisted on high-profile cases such as the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in addition to recent cases like Jon Benet Ramsey and OJ Simpson.
Dr. Spitz claims that Caylee's autopsy results were flawed. He says that when he did a second autopsy, his findings support the defense's theory that Caylee drowned.
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