Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Short day with the case today

Judge Belvin Perry said Wednesday would only be a half-day in court, because he must attend a judge's budget meeting that could not be rescheduled.

Maureen Bottrell: Forensic examiner from the FBI's trace evidence unit
Accepted as an expert in geology.
Bottrell said in 2009, she received 22 pairs of shoes from the Anthonys' home to examine, as well as the shovel Casey borrowed from her next-door neighbor, Brian Burner. She said she found soil material on three pairs of shoes. But soil did not match the soil from the crime scene where Caylee's remains were found in December 2008.

Cross Examination
admitted to prosecutor Jeff Ashton that just because there is no soil present on a shoe, doesn't mean its owner was never there. She said it is very easy for soil to be removed from a shoe, or be mixed with soil from somewhere else.

Madeline Montgomery:FBI forensic toxicologist
Montgomery said she looks for signs of toxins or poisins in bodily fluids and other biological evidence. Looked at Caylee's skull. She explained the process of testing hair for the jury -- it's broken down into dust using a liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer.
She said she tested for drugs found in Xanax, Klonopin and the date rape drug. All of her results were negative

Cross Examination
She agreed with Ashton that hair is not the best source to show drug exposure.  Ashton also claimed a "negative" result is forensically meaningless. Montgomery admitted she did not know how much of a drug someone would need to be exposed to before giving a positive result.
She also said she had no way to test the hair for chloroform, or determine whether a victim had drowned.
Dr. Michael Sigman: professor at the University of Central Florida with a Ph.D. in chemistry, Sigman previously worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory with the state's forensic chemistry expert, Dr. Arpad Vass.
Sigman said he collected 1 liter of air from the trunk of Casey's Pontiac Sunfire, and sent the sample to Dr. Vass in Tennessee. He also took a smaller sample back to UCF with him for preliminary testing.
The results of Sigman's testing showed consistency with the presence of gasoline. He said that did not surprise him, since the air samples were from the trunk of a car. He also said the signal from the sample he took was not strong enough. So Sigman went back to the car and left the samples in the trunk for 7½ hours before testing them again.
This time, Sigman found traces of gasoline, chloroform and other chemicals he said could be found common household products.

Cross Examination
He admitted based on the sample he analyzed, his results were low, and he could not conclusively say that there was a body in the trunk. Ashton also pointed out that the samples were taken four days after the trunk's carper liner had been removed.
The prosecutor then brought up swimming pools again, hoping to discredit the defense's claim that Caylee drowned in June 2008.
Sigman said he read an article that chloroform can be found in a pool, and from people who had gone swimming, but it was in low, nonhazardous amounts.

Susan Mears: crime scene supervisor from the OCSO
Identified photos of two items taken from the scene off Suburban Drive:Plastic WDW shopping bag, and Gatorade bottle

Michael Rickenbach: FBI's forensic chemist examiner -Recall 
Tested those items mentioned, as well as the car seat and steering wheel cover from the Sunfire, and one of Caylee's dolls. Rickenbach said he was only asked to test for chloroform, and his results were negative. He explained the levels were so low, he could not definitely call it substantial. He even tested a second doll he borrowed from a co-worker's child, and got the same results.
As for the Gatorade bottle, Rickenbach said it was found containing a liquid made up of cleaning compounds and testosterone. He said a syringe found in the bottle also contained testosterone compounds.
Karen Lowe: state's FBI forensics expert Recall
Lowe said she tested hair found on the trunk liner for signs of decomposition. She found none.
She also compared fabric of the duct tape found at the scene with tape taken from the Anthonys' home. Though they were the same brand of tape, Lowe said her results were dissimilar, leading her to believe that the tape was not from the same source.
Lowe also tested hair found at the crime scene, and said it did not match Caylee's or any other known people who were at the crime scene and gave her hair samples to exclude them from the results.
She said she inspected many items containing maybe hundreds of hairs, and found only one hair showing signs of decomposition.

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