Medical Expert Warner Spitz gets combative while cross-examined by prosecution

By Steve Helling
June 18, 2011 01:35 PM
Joe Burbank/Landov

A defense forensic expert told the jury in the Casey Anthony murder trial that he believed little Caylee Anthony’s body had been moved by an unknown person after it decomposed.

Dr. Warner Spitz, a former medical examiner who consulted on the investigation into John F. Kennedy’s assassination and more recently the O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector cases, also criticized the celebrity coroner in the Anthony case, calling her work “shoddy.”

Spitz said that Jan Garavaglia, known as “Dr. G” from her cable show who testified that Caylee’s death was a murder, should have opened the skull during the autopsy. He said that sediment inside the skull showed that Caylee had been moved.

Under cross-examination, state attorney Jeff Ashton sparred with Spitz, who frequently raised his voice throughout the proceedings as he insisted that Garavaglia had violated protocol.

Ashton asked Spitz where the protocol for autopsies was published.

“There is no published protocol,” Spitz said.

“So what you’re saying is that Dr. Garavaglia did it differently than you would,” Ashton said.

“Yes, the protocol I have used for 56 years,” a clearly irritated Spitz replied.

Spitz appeared to have trouble with basic details of the case. He forgot the Anthonys’ names, and referred to the 2-year-old victim as “Casey Anthony” instead of Caylee.

Spitz also testified that he had done one media interview since being hired to testify in the high-profile case. He claimed not to remember the interviews he had done with the Today show and some local television stations.

As pictures of Caylee’s remains flashed on the courtroom screens during Spitz’s testimony, Casey Anthony looked away.