Archive for the ‘Jose Baez’ Category

A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Casey Anthony won’t have to pay most of her debts.  It is not clear exactly how much of the debt has been wiped clean, but Chuck Kilcoyne, a representative of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, told HLN that the only debt not discharged includes the pending defamation proceedings.  Bankruptcy Judge May signed the order Tuesday.  Anthony’s bankruptcy has taken almost double the length of a normal bankruptcy case.

A date has not been set for the two defamation lawsuits, but the federal judge could hear them early next year.

In recent years bankruptcies have skyrocketed due to economic downturns.  Currently, the bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are more than double that of those in the Great Depression.  An average person carries about $59,000 in debt.  Most bankruptcy filers have recently suffered catastrophic financial issues.  19% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 declared bankruptcy in 2001, according to USA Today.  The fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers are those people who are 25 years of age or younger, according to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  Bankruptcies are often difficult despite their intended purpose of giving a “fresh start”, three-quarters of filers experience depression.

Casey Anthony owed nearly $800,000 in debts mostly as the result of her acquittal of capital charges in 2011.  Jose Baez, her lead defense attorney, was the largest creditor in the case with more than 60% of her debt.  According to a court document signed by May, the discharge does not dismiss the case yet.

“It does not determine how much money, if any, the trustee will pay to creditors,” the order said, “Most, but not all, types of debts are discharged if the debt existed on the date the bankruptcy case was filed.”

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As Casey Anthony’s bankruptcy proceedings enter their 10th month (she filed in January), she asked a judge Thursday to dismiss Roy Kronk and Zenaida Gonzalez’s claims in her bankruptcy case, saying they are without merit.  Both Zenaida Gonzaelz and Roy Kronk claim Anthony defamed them and they should be considered creditors in the bankruptcy case.  Anthony asked in the dual motions for the “fresh start” she is promised by law.

“This travesty has gone on long enough,” Anthony’s lawyers argue in both new motions, “Ms. Anthony implores the Court to end this matter so she can begin the fresh start she is promised by the law.”

Casey Anthony told detectives during a 2008 investigation that a woman named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, her nanny for 2 years, kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter.  Gonzalez said she was defamed because of the similar name.  Investigators determined that there was no nanny and charged Anthony with murder.  Casey Anthony was eventually acquitted at trial of the most serious charges relating to her daughter’s disappearance and death.

Anthony’s lawyers write in their new motion that Gonzalez’s claim is based entirely on privileged conversations with law enforcement and out-of-context comments Anthony made to her mother.  Roy Kronk found Caylee Anthony’s remains near the Anthony home.  He claims he was defamed when Jose Baez made “false statements” about him.  Anthony’s attorneys argue that Kronk is suing based upon protected privileged comments made by Jose Baez.  Besides, under bankruptcy law, a person “cannot be liable for statements of someone else.”

“Over the years, many persons have pursued actions in which they sought to profit, one way or another, from Ms. Anthony’s ordeal,” her attorney, David Schrader, wrote in the motion, “All of the claimants have been rebuffed and turned away empty-handed, though most of them enjoyed their ‘fifteen minutes’ of fame while their claims were pending, which was the real objective.”

Charles Green, Anthony’s civil attorney and Debra Ferwerda, Anthony’s lead bankruptcy attorney, said their client never willfully or maliciously defamed Kronk, a meter reader, or Gonzalez, both are required for a defamation lawsuit.

“Casey Anthony specifically says when asked by the police ‘Is this the Zenaida Gonzalez you are referring to?’ she says, ‘No, that’s not the same person.’  She’s not talking about that Zenaida Gonzalez.  Never was.  Kronk is suing on what Jose Baez said in his closing arguments.  He’s suing Casey for something her attorney said, which just can’t be done.  Plus, what is said in court is protected,” said Ferwerda.

Casey Anthony is set to be deposed by Zenaida Gonzalez’s attorneys, her attorneys told FOX35 on Thursday that they will likely file a motion for protective order until after November 5th, the date the federal judge is expected to rule on the motions to dismiss.  Texas Equusearch, another group civilly suing Anthony, may be nearing a settlement with her, according to a recent court filing.

You still hear people today questioning why Cindy Anthony didn’t get charged with perjury for “lying” and saying that she did the chloroform search.  People, including the media, often point to the comments of Jeff Ashton and the visible shock of the prosecution team in court, but these facts just make what really happened even stranger.  People believe that Cindy Anthony never said that she did the searches before that day (many media outlets told people this as well) and many of those people blame Casey Anthony’s acquittal partly on this.  Media outlets, right after her testimony, even claimed that she “weakened” the first-degree murder charge because of her “brand new” testimony.  The thing that baffles me the most about this discussion was that Cindy Anthony always denied that she made a search on ‘how to make chloroform’, she just said that she made searches for chlorophyll and chloroform came up on the search results page.

On Good Morning America, June 24th, 2011, Nancy Grace, like most media “experts”, said that Cindy Anthony was just trying to save her daughter’s life and that the defense put her at risk for perjury charges.  “…If they have her computer records, they’re going to be able to show she was absolutely at work and if the defense set her up for a perjury charge, it’s on them…”  What Nancy Grace is referring to is that the defense brought out in testimony that Cindy Anthony said she did the chlorophyll searches that turned into chloroform.  Now, it is important to remember here how attorneys from both sides learn information.  They learn it through investigation and that mostly comes from talking to people.  In this case, the most important document to remember is the deposition.

Jeff Ashton, one of the prosecutors on the Casey Anthony case, was asked by NBC’s Today Show on July 6, 2011, after the verdict if there could be perjury charges against Cindy Anthony, he responded, “I think there could be. That will be a decision made by another branch of our office.”  He was also asked whether he would personally make that decision, he responded,  “I honestly don’t know. That would be a very, very difficult decision to make. As a prosecutor — I’ve been a prosecutor for 30 years — I hate to say this, but you’re somewhat accustomed to family members trying to help their fellow family members. So you’re kind of used to that.  This, of course, was a rather important, you know, deception, if you will, that obviously was proven to be so by the other evidence. What they do with it is going to be a difficult decision that I’m glad I don’t have to make.”

In several interviews after that, he implied that he had no idea that Cindy Anthony was going to say she made the chloroform “searches” (even though it is really only 1 search).  On the same day as the Today Show interview, People Magazine quoted Jeff Ashton as saying, “The main thing that went through my head was, ‘Why are you doing this now? Now I have to go through the process of impeaching your testimony.’ With the exception of that issue, Cindy had always been pretty honest about things.”  He also called her testimony that she did the searches, “annoying”.  (more…)