Saturday, January 29, 2011

More evidence released on Casey Anthony...

By Anthony Colarossi and Amy Pavuk, Orlando Sentinel
1:48 p.m. EST, January 28, 2011

New evidence released today in the Casey Anthony case includes audio recordings of a woman she befriended in jail.

Anthony befriended Robyn Adams while they were housed at the Orange County Jail. An investigator asked Adams how they communicated in jail.

"We would signal to each other, talk to each other, through hand gestures,'' Adams told an investigator.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office released the recording, photos and various documents this morning.

Dozens of photos released today show aerial shots from a helicopter over the search area after Caylee Marie's disappearance in the summer of 2008. Other photos show search teams on the ground, including Texas EquuSearch and the organization's president Tim Miller.

Many documents released today involve Laura Buchanan, who has stated she searched in the area off Suburban Drive where Caylee's remains were found, despite many other claims that this area was impassable and under water at that time in the summer of 2008.

Texas EquuSearch has said none of the volunteers ever searched the exact area where Caylee's remains were found months after the searches. Today's documents show an extensive investigation aimed at getting to the bottom of Buchanan's claims through a series of interviews and recorded phone conversations.

A friend of Buchanan's, Anne W. Pham, said during a August 27, 2010 interview with Orange County Sheriff's Office Corporal Yuri Melich that she and Buchanan searched Blanchard Park in September 2008.

Pham also said Buchanan saw Casey Anthony after she was released from jail and Buchanan told her, "I saw her eyes and they looked evil."

Pham also recalled Buchanan saying a search off Suburban Drive was called off because "the water levels are really high."

Pham also said she found it "a little odd" that when they attended the child's memorial service that Buchanan "was so interested in being a part of, you know, being on CNN and, um, the Nancy Grace show or whatever." Pham also described Buchanan as "sensationalizing" in the stories she told.

The documents also include a transcript of a lengthy recorded conversation between Pham and Buchanan, during which Pham tries to find out about inconsistencies on forms documenting the searches. The Oct. 10, 2010 conversation was recorded by investigators.

Pham asks if Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez has called Buchanan. "No, no, no. Uh-uh," Buchanan said. "I've only talked to him one time."

At another point, Buchanan said, "After all this [expletive] that I've heard after I wrote that statement…I could care less what they do to her…You know? All I did was tell the truth. Did not mean I was on her side…"

Buchanan also said, "I simply feel sorry for, for George and Cindy."

In yet another section, Buchanan says, "I mean, you know, I don't, I don't know if she did it, I don't care; all I know is, you know, whether or not she did it or not, the kid's still dead and, you know, somebody's gotta get, somebody's gonna get it for it."

In another recorded conversation between Pham and Buchanan's lawyer, Ray Brown, the lawyer tries to find out what Pham knows about his client, but ends up explaining why Buchanan retained him.

"I think it frightened her when she realized fully that she was likely to be a witness in the middle of a hotly contested case," Brown said. "And it doesn't mean that because a person hires a lawyer that they're guilty of something."

But Pham tells Brown she thinks Buchanan altered the search form and "made the sheet up" to get close to Cindy Anthony. "I think she likes the attention," Pham said. "I just think she likes being close to the action."

When Brown asked her if she thought Buchanan ever actually searched off Suburban Drive, Pham said, "I don't know."

In another recorded conversation in October, Buchanan tells Pham, "You know what. I said the [expletive] truth. I searched. I didn't see anything, nor did I find the body…Did I kill my kid? My kid's sitting up here in the house, all three of 'em, alive and well, and well. I didn't kill my [expletive] kid and all this [expletive] that they're, you know, I mean, I knew I shouldn't have ever gotten involved with it."

Anthony, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie in 2008. The trial is scheduled for May. She faces the death penalty if convicted.

A jury in the trial is expected to be selected from outside the Central Florida area and then sequestered here for the duration of the trial, which could last two months.

Also released are a series of recorded telephone conversations between Robyn Adams and her family that she made to them from the jail. In one of the phone conversations, Adams called an unidentified friend. That friend asked Adams if she's still rooming with Casey Anthony, and inquired as to how Anthony is.

Adams said Anthony didn't seem good.

"I'm praying for her every day," she said.

The friend asked if Anthony is a basket case. "Pretty much," Adams said.

The woman told Adams authorities found a body and believe it to be Caylee.

"I had a feeling that it might be, but nevertheless, it's not my place to judge her," Adams said.

"I've had a complete change of heart Mel since I've been here."

In another conversation with her dad, Adams asked her father to pray for Anthony and her parents.

"They really need it," Adams said.

The separate audio interview with Adams was previously released in the form of transcripts. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigator interviewed Adams at a correctional facility in Tallahassee on Feb. 12, 2010.

Adams is the wife of former Altamonte Springs police Officer Clay Adams. In 2008, the couple were arrested after setting up a marijuana-growing operation at a house in Chuluota.

Robyn Adams arrived at the Orange County Jail in July 2008 and left in April 2009.

Now she is serving a 10-year sentence at a federal prison in Tallahassee.

Check back later for more details on what the new discovery documents show.,0,3252617,full.story