CASEY ANTHONY FORENSICS: BONES, SKULL AND A LAUNDRY BAG

Published on: June 22, 2011
Photography by: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/Getty
CASEY ANTHONY FORENSICS: BONES, SKULL AND A LAUNDRY BAG

Forensics botanist takes center stage for the defense in accused murder mom CASEY ANTHONY trial.

Jane Bock , a forensic botanist testified that 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's remains could have been in the woods for as little as two weeks when they were discovered by meter reader Roy Kronk in December 2008.

The defense witness says that was a much shorter time period than prosecutors charge.

On Day 24 of the trial, the witness told jurors she believed the roots could have grown through the bones, skull and a laundry bag in just two weeks.

Bock based her estimate "because of the pattern of leaf litter" she observed on photos of the crime scene in the wooded area.

Bock also added she couldn't be sure by merely examining photographs just how long the vegetation had been on site.

Prosecuting attorney Jeff Ashton leapt on that uncertainty in his cross-examination.  He  noted that photos Bock used to make her analysis weren't captured until weeks later on February 2009.

Ashton showed Bock additional images, challenging her further.

"Clearly some of those leaves have been off the trees for longer than two weeks, were they not?" Ashton said.

It was possible, Bock replied, but could have been there longer.

Judge Belvin Perry also ruled a defense DNA expert would not be allowed  to testify about decomposition evidence discovered in the trunk of Anthony's car until a hearing was held.

The defense had violated the judge’s pretrial orders that expert witnesses present detailed reports about exactly what they planned to testify about.

 Perry agreed with prosecution the report submitted was a summary.

"That should give each side ample opportunity to do what they need to do," Judge Perry said.

"And it is a remedy short of exclusion."