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article imageOp-Ed: Roy Kronk – no good deed goes unpunished

By Alexander Baron     Jun 28, 2011 in Crime
Orlando - The Casey Anthony murder trial continued today with testimony from Roy Kronk, one of the many people Jose Baez has blamed for his client’s predicament.
There were nearly 24,000 live bloggers on the WFTV website today prior to the jury being seated, 88,000 at the break, and after Roy Kronk had left the stand, 90,318, which must surely be a record.
The trial of Florida mother Casey Anthony for the murder of her daughter continued as the defense called Roy Kronk, the man who found the young girl’s body, and whom it is alleged by lead defense attorney Jose Baez interfered with the crime scene from financial motives, but the man Tot Mom’s bullish lawyer has called morally bankrupt came to court looking like a slightly harassed world weary individual, and left wearing a pair of angel’s wings.
Commenting for WFTV, Bill Sheaffer said it’s put up or shut up time for Jose Baez. Baez gave it his best shot, but at the end of the day it was all bluster, as the jury must surely have realised today, if it hasn’t already long ago.
Sheaffer – a vastly experienced attorney himself – said he found the claims Baez had made prior to the start of this trial to be abhorrent; doubtless Mr Kronk will have even stronger words for both the claims and for the man who has continued to make them, Mr Baez.
Today’s first witness was a volunteer who had helped search unsuccessfully for Caylee – in reality for her body. And this time it was Cheney Mason’s turn to make a fool of himself. The witness concerned, Mr Jordan, had committed the heinous crime of unlawfully recording a conversation, for which he had been granted immunity. Mr Mason managed to raise this issue, which resulted in the witness responding that he was invoking his 5th Amendment right under advice from counsel. This is not actually permitted in front of a jury, but the inference of this response - the inference Mr Mason had intended be transmitted to the jury – was that he had done something dastardly, and is not to be trusted.
In the absence of the jury, the razor sharp Judge Perry alluded to Davis v State of Alaska and its implication for the veracity of a witness. He said also the witness had had a knee jerk reaction. This effectively ended the testimony of that witness, and George Anthony was called back to the stand followed by Cindy, then Lee.
After their brief testimonies, Detective Melich was recalled yet again – the poor man must be feeling like a yo-yo by now. His appearance this time was extremely brief, then came the big one: Roy Kronk. He was questioned by Cheney Mason, which is probably the wisest decision the defense has made in this case for a long time, he may not have made any progress, but at least he did not make as great a fool of himself as Mr Baez surely would have done.
Commentating, Bill Sheaffer said Roy Kronk sounds like what he is, a good Samaritan whose only involvement with this crime was to discover what he thought correctly might have been the body of Caylee Anthony, and who drew it to the attention of the authorities repeatedly. As Sheaffer pointed out, Mr Kronk sought initially to report this find anonymously, which disposes of the claim that he was driven by mercenary motives.
Sheaffer said the turning point for believability was when the 911 calls were played to the jury. They were the best things for Roy Kronk that we could have listened to. He had actually dialled a non-emergency number but had been put through to 911 by mistake, though it is not clear if this happened only the first time or the first three times, in August 2008. The last call, in December, was for real, that was when he realised he had indeed found the skull of the missing Caylee Antony.
Outside the courtroom, months ago, the cause of some of the scurrilous gossip initiated against Mr Kronk was revealed. He had apparently been through an acrimonious divorce and had not seen his son for some time; Jose Baez had twisted these facts hoping to use them to his client’s advantage.
Then came one of the friendliest cross-examinations ever seen in any courtroom as Linda Drane Burdick elicited from Mr Kronk that he had only moved to Orlando in August 2007.
The deputy who had failed to investigate his report properly had been fired, as Bill Sheaffer said, if he had investigated it in August there would almost certainly have been DNA evidence available. What happened further contradicted the bizarre claim that Mr Kronk had moved the body.
The cross-examination became farcical as the State elicited from Mr Kronk the self-evident facts that he had not had access to the Anthony family computer, Caylee’s underwear, blankets, or anything else.
After he left the stand, it looked as though things couldn’t get any worse for the defense, but they did. Mr Baez took over the examination of another witness, a workmate of Roy Kronk, who contradicted his testimony to some extent, but even if one takes it at face value, all it did was make a joke out of his finding the body.
At the time Roy Kronk reported seeing the body, there were protesters outside the Anthony family home, and there was all manner of speculation, talk and gossip circulating. Mr Dean’s testimony gave the impression that he or someone had been making a joke at Mr Kronk’s expense:
“Hey Roy, that swamp looks like a good place to hide a body.”
And it was. Unfortunately for the defense, as came out in cross-examination, Mr Dean appears to have been inspired by Casey herself, who was reported at that time as saying she felt Caylee must be close by - an own goal par excellence.
Mr Kronk’s supervisor was called and examined by Jose Baez, who, incredibly, persisted with this nonsense, attempting to impeech Mr Kronk’s testimony.
This testimony was short, and the witness was not cross-examined.
After this, Judge Perry dismissed the jury saying he understood they had a 7 o’clock engagement. A theatre visit? Perhaps Misleading Cases is playing in Orlando!
After this, the defense proffered two of Casey Anthony’s gaolers who testified to her being a happy, smiling person – which of course means she can’t be a babykiller. Then they called Jesse Grund who testified that Casey had told him that her brother had attempted to sexually assault/molest her.
After this there was some more legal argument and the court was adjourned until 8.30am for the lawyers.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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