ORLANDO -- Casey Anthony’s defense attorneys suffered another blow Wednesday when they were denied a subpoena to collect what they suspect are a blogger’s photos of the vacant, wooded area where her daughter’s remains were found in 2008.
Judge Belvin Perry denied a defense motion to subpoena searcher Joe Jordan’s blog and internet photos, finding no factual basis to compel those items that may have appeared online.
Perry was not satisfied they would reveal meaningful “tangible” evidence and he expressed concerns that the defense was going on a “fishing expedition.”
“I cannot give you a license to fish,” Perry said soon before issuing his ruling.
Perry did, however, deny the motion without prejudice, meaning the defense attorneys could revisit the issue if they can make a more compelling argument for the obtaining the information they seek.
Anthony, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie, whose body was found in a lot near the Anthony home months after she was reported missing.
The woman faces the death penalty if convicted. Her trial is set to start in May.
The defense motion stated that a Dec. 8, deposition of Jordan, a state witness, showed that he was an online blogger, who visited and blogged on various websites discussing the Casey Anthony case and the search for Caylee Anthony.
Two sites both posted photos taken by Jordan and linked to his personal website, according to the motion.
“Some of the photographs illustrated areas searched that were near or on Suburban Drive,” the motion states. “These photographs are material to the preparation of the defense in this cause.”
In court, defense attorney Jose Baez that these photos are no longer found online, but were out there and public at one time.
“I think this witness has relevant information,” Baez said, noting that Jordan has been involved with the case for some time by communicating with law enforcement and expressing opinions online.
Baez also said today that during the December deposition Jordan indicated that he has searched within 20 or 30 feet of where Caylee’s remains were found.
“He potentially does have evidence that would be useful to the defense,” said Baez, particularly if Jordan holds photos of the immediate areas where he searched.
The defense team has tried to show that the area where Caylee’s remains were found was passable and not under water when searchers scoured the area off Suburban Drive in the summer of 2008, suggesting that the child’s body was placed where it was found at a later time. Showing this would help undermine the prosecution’s case.
The child’s remains were ultimately found in December 2008.
Jordan attorney William McClellan, however, said the defense has made assumptions about Jordan being responsible for the photographs. McClellan said the defense proved “no factual basis” to grant the motion for the subpoena.
“There’s no evidence Mr. Jordan is in possession of any photographs or took any photographs,” McClellan said.
He suggested that the defense efforts to obtain any of his online opinions about the case or other materials amounted to “harassment.”
The defense had wanted “any and all photographs related to this case in Joseph S. Jordan’s possession and the production of all content posted on the worldwide web by Joseph S. Jordan regarding this case.”
Following the hearing, defense attorney Cheney Mason said they are still very much interested in seeing the photos and recognized that Judge Perry left the door open to seek them out later. He is unsure what they will show, but suggested they could be quite helpful to the defense if they show the immediate area where the remains were found.
“We’re trying to get them to find out what they show,” Mason said. “We don’t know without seeing them.”
In another development, the judge encouraged the prosecution and the defense to discuss timeframes for future depositions of expert witnesses for the defense and the sharing of discovery information about those witnesses.