Casey Anthony’s attorney suggested Tuesday that crucial evidence – trash found in her car – was altered by a crime scene investigator.
Defense attorney Jose Baez questioned CSI technician Gerardo Bloise about drying out napkins, receipts, soda cans and an empty pack of cigarettes that was found in a bag in the truck of Anthony’s car, contending that the dried-out garbage created the foul odor in the car, rather than human decomposition.
“It smelled like normal trash,” Bloise testified.
“You had no idea it would alter significant items in this case?” Baez asked during cross-examination in the Orlando, Fla., trial of the woman accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Bloise said he was following protocol: “If we don’t dry them out, they could grow moldy.”
Jurors didn’t seem moved by Bloise’s testimony, and not a single one took notes. Anthony also showed no reaction in court as she sat passively by her lawyers.
Next, prosecutors called Arpad Vass, a research scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, back to the stand.
Vass, who does research on the study of human decomposition, testified about the strong odor of human decomposition in the can containing air from Anthony’s trunk on Monday.
However, prosecutors showed him the wrong can containing the odor from Anthony’s car during his testimony Monday. After clarifying the mix up and showing him the correct can on Tuesday, Baez questioned the mistake.
“You are not accustomed to handling evidence, are you?” Baez asked.
“No. We’re not a forensic lab, so we don’t handle evidence all that frequently,” Vass said.
Caylee Anthony’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near her grandparents’ home in December 2008. Anthony has pleaded not guilty to killing her daughter and could be sentenced to death if convicted.
• Reporting by STEVE HELLING