Casey Anthony Trial: Roy Kronk testifies about Caylee Anthony's remains

5:40 PM, Jun 28, 2011   |    comments
Roy Kronk, a meter reader for Orange County, testifies during the Casey Anthony trial.
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ORLANDO, Florida -- The man who found the remains of Caylee Anthony was called to testify Tuesday in the Casey Anthony murder trial.

Roy Kronk found Caylee Anthony's remains in December 2008 in a wooded lot near the Anthony family's east Orange County home. Caylee was 2 years old when she was reported missing in July 2008, about a month after she was last seen alive.

During opening statements, Casey Anthony's defense team accused Kronk of somehow obtaining Caylee's remains and planting them in the woods to obtain a reward. Lead defense attorney Jose Baez described Kronk as "morally bankrupt."

Defense attorney Cheney Mason asked Kronk if he read meters on Hopespring and Suburban drives on Aug. 11, 2008. Kronk said he and two co-workers were assigned to that area that day.

Kronk said that on that date, he was aware of Caylee's disappearance, but did not follow the case, nor did he know that the Anthony family lived in the area.

Mason asked Kronk about his walking into the woods to relieve himself. Kronk said he walked into the woods and came straight out and that nothing notable happened that day.

When pressed by Mason, Kronk said he did see an object that appeared odd to him in the woods. Kronk said he never came within 30 feet of the object.

He said he and his co-workers found a dead rattlesnake, which took up the rest of their time that afternoon.

Mason asked Kronk if he told his co-worker he saw a skull. Kronk said he did not at that time. He said he told his co-worker he saw something odd, but they were distracted by the dead rattlesnake, which they then took back to the office.

Kronk said he called the Orange County Sheriff's Office when he got home to report possibly seeing a skull in the wooded area off Suburban Drive. He said he was told to call Crimeline, which he did, and he said he told Crimeline he saw an object that looked like it could have been a skull.

Kronk said the next day he returned to work as normal, but on Aug. 13, he called the Sheriff's Office again and was told an officer would meet him on Suburban Drive.

Kronk said two deputies arrived and he pointed to the area where he thought he saw an odd item. He emphasized that he did not say for sure the object was a skull. Records show the deputies found nothing at that time.

Kronk testified that the deputy was rude to him and dismissed his call. He said the deputy berated him for wasting his time.

When Kronk called the nonemergency 911 line, he told the dispatcher he saw something white, which appeared to be a skull, near a gray bag in an area near the Anthony family home.

Mason asked Kronk if he believes he saw the same bag he described in August when he found Caylee's remains four months later. He testified that he does not know.

Mason read from a deposition Kronk gave in 2010, in which he said he believed the bags were the same. Kronk responded, "I don't know. I don't remember. If I said that then it is."

After the mid-day lunch break, the trial resumed with the playing of two 911 calls Roy Kronk made on Aug. 11 and 12, 2008. Kronk described finding an unknown, suspicious white object and described exactly where he was.

Kronk said when he found Caylee's remains officially on Dec. 11, 2008, he was not sure if it was the same place he saw something suspicious in August.

"I cannot answer that question. In August it was flooded, in December it wasn't." Kronk said.

Kronk said he lifted up the skull by poking a stick through the eye socket. He said he never fully picked it up, but he pivoted it. Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia testified that Caylee's skull had been resting in the same location at the same position for several months.

In his deposition, Kronk said he picked up the skull and dropped it using a stick. Kronk said he made a mistake in his statement by saying the skull rolled out of a bag when he examined it using his meter reading stick.

The defense has implied that Kronk could have staged the scene where the remains were found.

He said he could not be sure the bag or the skull he saw on Dec. 11 were the same objects he saw in August.

Kronk testified that he did not read any meters in the area on Dec. 11, but he had gone into the woods to relieve himself. He said it was the first time he returned to the area since August.

Mason asked Kronk if he had any conversations with his co-workers about a reward, or "hitting the lottery." He said he might have jokingly, specifically when telling them not to tell his ex-wife.

The defense implied that because Kronk's truck needed $1,000 in repairs on Dec. 10, he decided to report finding Caylee's remains the next day in order to get the money he needed.

Mason accused Kronk of telling his estranged son in November that he would be on TV and would soon be famous. Kronk denied he made those comments to his son in November. He said he called in son, who he hadn't seen in many years, after finding the remains and told him to watch TV on Dec. 11.

Kronk did admit that he told a co-worker that the area off Suburban Drive would be a good place to hide a body.

After being repeatedly questioned about "finding" Caylee's body, Kronk emphasized that he did not "find" it and he never got close to the skull or stood over it.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick asked Kronk if he knows any members of the Anthony family. He said no. He said he lived in the Kissimmee area, which is not in Orange County.

Kronk said he had only been in the Anthony family neighborhood once before Aug. 11, 2008, during his training as a meter reader.

He said the only time he ever went to the Anthony home was to read the meter on Aug. 11 and he has never been inside the home. Kronk said he had no access to anything in the home, including Caylee's belongings and duct tape found in the Anthony home.

Caylee's Winnie the Pooh blanket was found at the scene with her remains. The defense has tried to show that the duct tape found on Caylee's skull, which is the same brand as the duct tape found in the Anthony's shed, was placed there after her body had decomposed in an effort to stage the scene.

Following Kronk's testimony, his co-worker, David Dean, was called. Dean was with Kronk on Aug. 11 when they found the dead rattlesnake and Kronk reported seeing something that looked like a skull.

Dean said he mentioned to Kronk that Caylee's body might be in a swamp. He said Caylee's disappearance was a common conversation topic at their office.

Dean said Kronk went around 25 feet into the wooded area that afternoon.

Dean said Kronk never told him about his multiple calls to law enforcement about finding an object resembling a skull on Aug. 11. He said he did not think Kronk was serious about the skull.

The defense then called Alex Roberts, Kronk's supervisor with Orange County in 2008.

Roberts testified that he was Kronk's supervisor and aware of his actions on Dec. 11, 2008. He was dismissed after a sidebar.

Baez then called Orange County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dennis Moonsammy.

Moonsammy is the supervisor of the women's detention center where Anthony has been held since Oct. 14, 2008.

A sidebar was called at the beginning of Moonsammy's testimony and Perry released the jury for the day due to a "not too brief legal matter" around 4:30 p.m.

Beaz then began to proffer Moonsammy's testimony outside the presence of the jury.

Moonsammy said that Casey Anthony is in protective custody and has been since her final arrest is October 2008, meaning she is in her cell alone 23 hours a day. He said she is allowed to shower, go to the rec yard or go to the TV room for one hour a day.

Moonsammy described Anthony as a model inmate.

"She is always pleasant and she is always happy," Moonsammy said.

Perry ruled that Moonsammy's testimony is not relevant.

Baez then called Marlene Baker of the Orange County Corrections Department. She worked in the women's detention center where Casey Anthony is housed for a year and a half.

Baker described Anthony as pleasant, despite being locked in a 6-foot by 8-foot cell for most of her time.

Baker said she rarely saw Casey Anthony upset, or crying.

Perry ruled that Baker's testimony is not relevant to the case, either. Baker will not be allowed to testify.

Casey Anthony's ex-fiance, Jesse Grund, was then called to proffer his testimony.

Grund said he felt uncomfortable with Lee and his behavior around him and Caylee shortly after Caylee was born.

Grund said Casey Anthony told him she did not want Caylee around Lee Anthony because her brother had groped her in the middle of the night. He said she told him she saw her brother staring at her while she slept on a separate occasion.

Casey Anthony told Grund he was Caylee's father. At the encouragement of his family, he had a paternity test conducted in 2005, when Caylee was an infant, which determined he was not Caylee's father.

The state has previously objected to Grund's testimony on the grounds that it is hearsay.

Baez asked to have time overnight to prepare to argue in favor of Grund's testimony. Perry did not rule on the matter.

In his prior deposition, Grund said he did not believe Casey Anthony could harm Caylee, but if the toddler had died by some accident, he believed that Casey Anthony would enter some sort of fantasy world in denial of what happened.

Perry said he will determine on Wednesday what testimony from a grief expert will be allowed.

Meanwhile, all three of Casey Anthony's immediate family members were called to the stand by her defense team earlier Tuesday morning and Lee Anthony and Cindy Anthony gave conflicting testimony.

Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, was called to testify Tuesday morning and immediately questioned about a woman who claims to have had an affair with him.

George Anthony said a woman he knew as River Cruz came to assist with the searches for his missing granddaughter, Caylee. The woman's real name is Krystal Holloway.

Holloway claimed in a recent interview with Local 6 reporter Tony Pipitone that she had an intimate affair with George Anthony.

On the stand Tuesday morning, George Anthony laughed when asked about Holloway and denied having any intimate relationship with her.

Baez asked George Anthony if he ever went to Holloway's home and George Anthony said he visited her home once, during daylight hours, to comfort her. He said Holloway told him she had medical issues.

George Anthony said many of the volunteers became friends of the family.

Holloway told Pipitone that George Anthony confided in her in November 2008 that Caylee's death was an accident that snowballed out of control. Caylee's body was found the next month.

When Baez asked him about this, George Anthony denied confiding in anyone but his family and he never said anything about an accident to Holloway.

George Anthony admitted that he sent Holloway a text message that said, "I need you in my life." He said he needed all the volunteers in his life.

"If I'm not mistaken, she has a questionable past," George Anthony said about Holloway. He tried to go on about Holloway's criminal history, but was stopped after an objection and told to answer the questions he was asked.

Baez asked George Anthony how many times he spoke to Holloway on the phone between October 2008 and January 2009. He said he did not know.

During cross-examination, George Anthony said he met Krystal Holloway in mid-October 2008. He said that his friendship with Holloway ended after Caylee's remains were found.

Immediately after George Anthony's testimony, his wife, Cindy Anthony, was called.

Baez asked Cindy Anthony if she ever asked private investigators Jim Hoover and Dominic Casey to search the woods off Suburban Drive where Caylee's remains were found one month later. She said no.

Casey and Hoover testified on Monday about searches of the area off Suburban Drive. They both said they were not instructed by any member of the Anthony family to search in that area. Casey said he was led there by a psychic.

Casey Anthony's brother, Lee Anthony, was the next member of the family to testify.

Lee Anthony said his mother told him she got a psychic tip and sent Casey into the woods off Suburban Drive to search for Caylee. He said he argued with his mother about the search.

Lee Anthony said he was upset because that was the first time he heard of anyone in his family searching for a deceased Caylee. He said he was not sure when the argument took place, but it was sometime late in the year, but before he went back to work in October 2008.

Both Hoover and Casey testified that the search of the area off Suburban Drive took place in November 2008, at least one month after Lee Anthony said he argued with his mother about the search.

The defense then called lead investigator Detective Yuri Melich.

Melich said when a search warrant was served on the Anthony family home on Hopespring Drive in October 2008, Cindy Anthony said she had people walk the area where Caylee's remains were later found one month prior, in September, and nothing was found.

The first witness called Tuesday was Joseph Jordan, a Texas Equusearch volunteer who looked for Caylee in 2008. Jordan, who works for a dental supply company in Sanford, said he was a team leader who led a search off Suburban Drive near the Anthony family home in September 2008.

Defense attorney Cheney Mason showed Jordan a photograph of the woods. Jordan said he wasn't sure how many times he searched the area.

Jordan said his team's first search was centered along a path in the wooded area and there was standing water about 5 feet into the woods. Jordan said he discovered a pink baby blanket and recorded it in a report.

"Later on that day, I had a dog handler from another team come and bring their dog up that way," said Jordan, adding that another dog handler also searched the area with him.

Jordan said the dogs sniffed the blanket and a cooler but didn't search the area.

"I don't recall how many times I went out to that exact location," Jordan said. "I don't know if there was a third time. There were many areas of interest."

Jordan sent an email on Dec. 13, 2008, to Orange County sheriff's detectives, saying that he believed he was in the area where Caylee's remains were found. In the email, he said he believed Caylee's remains had been moved. Jordan said he didn't know what detectives did with the email.

"I did not see anyone other than on my team search that area," said Jordan, after being pressed by Mason about how many people had looked for Caylee in the area.

Jordan said he drove past the Anthony family home on nearby Hopespring Drive, adding that he saw a lot of people around the house.

Under cross-examination, Jordan said he emailed detectives before he became a search volunteer, trying to provide help in the case.

Jordan said the water in the area limited some searches because of concerns about snakes, alligators and fear of damaging any potential evidence, including bones.

Jordan later told Mason that the water was clear and sand could be seen beneath it.

During redirect, Mason asked Jordan if he was given immunity by the state to avoid prosecution. Jordan pleaded the 5th Amendment and a sidebar was called.

The defense claimed that Jordan changed his story to please law enforcement after illegally recording a conversation between him, his lawyer and a defense investigator.

After the sidebar, Jordan was dismissed and the jury was instructed to disregard the fact that Jordan had took the Fifth.

Prosecutors say Anthony suffocated her daughter with duct tape. Anthony's defense claims that Caylee drowned in the family swimming pool.

On Monday, defense attorneys sought a mistrial based on a ruling by a federal judge in Miami last week. It declared Florida's death penalty unconstitutional.

Judge Belvin Perry also ruled -- based on three evaluations -- that Anthony is mentally competent. The exams were ordered by the court after defense attorneys alerted Perry of a "confidential communication" Anthony conveyed to them. The contents of the message and how it was communicated are not known.

Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

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