State attorney, legal analysts weigh in on overlooked Casey Anthony evidence
Lawson Lamar to meet with OCSO, Linda Drane Burdick
State Attorney Lawson Lamar and legal analysts are weighing in on the evidence in the Casey Anthony case that was uncovered by Local 6 and overlooked by Orange County Sheriff's Office and prosecutors.
Lamar announced Wednesday he plans to meet with Sheriff Jerry Demings to disccus why his prosecutors went into the Casey Anthony trial without 99 percent of the Internet browser records created on the Anthony computer on the day Caylee died.
Lead prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick requested the Internet history two months before trial, but a Local 6 investigation found the sheriff’s office failed to extract data from the browser Casey Anthony primarily used. Lamar said he also plans to confer with her.
Included in that overlooked evidence: a search the afternoon Caylee died for “foolproof suffocation” followed by a webpage that discusses how to kill with poison, suffocation and plastic bags.
“It would be premature to second guess the actions of anyone before I can carefully review the series of events that has fueled this media story,” Lamar said, referring to Local 6's discovery. “I have faith in the integrity of the Sheriff’s Office and of Ms. Drane in their pursuit of justice.”
After Local 6 showed the evidence to prosecutors last week, Burdick and her co-prosecutor Jeff Ashton said they would have used it to try to prove Casey Anthony researched how to kill with poison and suffocation on the same afternoon her daughter, Caylee, was killed by poison and suffocation.
Ashton, who defeated Lamar in this year’s election and takes over in January as state attorney, told Local 6, “"It's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental death claim in serious question." Ashton has announced Burdick will be his top lieutenant once he takes office.
Local 6 legal analyst Luis Calderon said he was astounded at what Local 6 uncovered.
"It was shocking, simply shocking that this evidence went undiscovered until after the fact," Calderon said. "And to know those searches occurred on the afternoon of the last day she would be alive? That's the most shocking part this is within a window of time they were investigating was searches were done on that computer so it just defies logic why this wasn't discovered during the course of this investigation."
When asked if the evidence would have made a difference with the jury, Calderon said, “although there was no physical evidence of Casey being there, it would lead one to believe there was at least knowledge or that guilty state of mind on the day that Caylee Anthony died.”
But the question everyone is asking: Who’s to blame for the evidence never making it to trial?
"Ultimately, it's going to fall on the investigator who had access to the computer, who had access to the files and why they didn't discover this or take the time to uncover the information," Calderon said. "But you also have to ask the prosecutor whether they actually requested it and how detailed did that request need to be."
The prosecutor requested browser history from the sheriff, but it came two months before the trial and wasn't very specific or forceful. The sheriff's office told Local 6 it tried and failed to extract the browser and provided less than two percent of the day's activities.
Calderon said even with the evidence being uncovered now, Casey Anthony can’t be tried again.
"She’s been tried, jeopardy is attached. There’s really nothing that can be done, no recourse for the state or [federal] government to take action against Casey Anthony at this time,” Calderon said.
When asked about certain state cases that, once lost, are taken to federal court, Calderon said, “Sometimes transactions occur, maybe specific federal laws are broken. But this is a state issue, no crossing of state lines, no wire transactions.”
Watch Local 6 News for in depth coverage on this story.
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