Defense attorney Mr. Baez objected to the video presentation before it was played, calling it “highly prejudicial” to his client. He later filed a motion for a mistrial after the jury was dismissed for the day.
Judge Belvin Perry defended his decision to allow the jury to see the graphic video. The judge said Warren had testified that duct tape over the nose and mouth was only one possible scenario.
“But that is not outweighed by seeing this beautiful child with her face and skull in the background [of the video],” Baez said. “This inflamed the jury. He could have given that opinion without the video.”
Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton also defended showing the video. “This was the murder weapon, essentially,” he said.
“The testimony from the expert witness is that at some point that beautiful child did have duct tape over her face – the nose, the mouth, one or both,” Mr. Ashton said.
Judge Perry denied the motion for a mistrial.
Like several other major pieces of evidence introduced during the trial, the duct tape raised expectations among trial observers that the growing mystery surrounding Caylee’s death might be soon be solved. But by the end of the day, the best prosecutors could offer was an expert witness’s speculative opinion that duct tape could have caused Caylee’s death.
Earlier, Orange County Medical Examiner Jan Garavaglia, told the jury that based on an examination of Caylee’s skeletal remains and all other available evidence that she had concluded that the case was a homicide – an intentional killing. But she added that she, as medical examiner, was unable to uncover enough evidence to identify the means used to kill Caylee.