Caylee Anthony Defense Takes Aim at Meter Reader

Defense says man who found Caylee's body "equally as likely to be responsible."

Byandrea Canning And Lee Ferran via via logo
October 02, 2009, 9:11 AM

Nov. 20, 2009— -- The defense team for the Florida woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter is casting suspicion on the man who found the toddler's remains, alleging he could have played a role in the little girl's death.

After interviewing former meter reader Roy Kronk's ex-wives and family members, the attorneys for Casey Anthony claimed in a motion filed Thursday in a Florida court that Kronk is "equally as likely to be responsible for the death of the child."

Kronk was hailed as a "good citizen" by prosecutors when he discovered Caylee Anthony's remains, including a skull, in a bag less than a mile from Casey Anthony's Orlando home in December. Casey Anthony was charged with her daughter's murder in October, two months before the remains were found. Authorities have cleared Kronk of any involvement in the death of Caylee Anthony.

The defense motioned for the court to allow the jury to hear about Kronk's alleged past wrongdoings based on interviews with two of Kronk's ex-wives, son and a longtime live-in girlfriend's daughter, which paint him as abusive and untrustworthy.

In videos shot by the defense team, former wife Jill Kerley claimed Kronk beat her in 1992 and bound her hands with duct tape. Attorneys say the allegation that Kronk "used duct tape for the purposes of restraining women" is significant because duct tape was found on Caylee Anthony's remains.

Another former wife from 1982, Crystal Sparks, said Kronk should not be believed.

"Roy talks so many untruths," she said in another video. "When he does talk the truth, you just can't believe it."

Kronk's son, Brandon Sparks, reportedly claimed Kronk told him a month before he reported the remains that he had found Caylee's remains and would be on television, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Kronk's attorney said his client denies the allegations in the motion and witness interviews.

"They're doing what you'd expect, trying to defend their client," attorney David Evans told reporters. "They're just asking their questions."

It's not the first time Kronk has denied involvement in the case. A month after he called 911 to report the discovery, Kronk appeared on "Good Morning America" to flatly deny allegations that he had been tipped off to the find.

"No good deed goes unpunished," Kronk told "Good Morning America" in January. "There's all the speculation that there were tips. Nobody tipped me off. I figured this out by myself. I've never even met those people [the Anthony family]."

Casey Anthony, 23, is the only suspect in the murder. Caylee disappeared in June 2008 but was not reported missing until a month later.

Casey Anthony Case: Timeline

Caylee Anthony was reported missing July 15, 2008, nearly a month after she was last seen. In 911 tapes of the calls, Cindy Anthony, Casey's mother, said the car Casey had been driving smelled "like there's been a dead body" in it.

Cindy Anthony later said the smell could have been from garbage in the car.

Casey Anthony was arrested and released a number of times last year on various charges, including child neglect and lying to investigators. She was officially named a suspect in her daughter's disappearance Oct. 2, 2008, and charged with first-degree murder Oct. 14.

Anthony repeatedly misled and lied to police in the course of their investigation, according to investigators.

When Kronk found Caylee's body in December, her death was ruled a homicide of undetermined means.

Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty, alleging that the child's babysitter kidnapped the toddler. Investigators have been unable to locate the babysitter or determine that such a person exists.

The prosecution has pledged to seek the death penalty if Anthony is convicted.

The autopsy report, which was released in June, showed that duct tape was wrapped around Caylee's head from the bottom of her chin to over her nose.

The FBI concluded the duct tape found on Caylee's mouth and tape found in the Anthony's garage may have come from the same roll, but state documents released in October showed otherwise.

"An extensive analysis was done, mostly a microscopic and a chemical analysis and they do not match," defense attorney Todd Macaluso said.

State Releases Evidence

The reports also show DNA from a lab technician contaminated that duct tape.

The state documents also included dozens of e-mail exchanges between Cindy Anthony, Casey's mother, and a private investigator. In one e-mail, Cindy accuses Casey's ex-fiance's father of having weird religious beliefs that might lead him to human sacrifice rituals.

The documents reveal that the FBI found no evidence of a match between fibers at the crime scene and Anthony's car. But tests found evidence of human decomposition in the trunk, and an FBI e-mail showed there could be an incriminating photo of a stain found in the trunk.

The e-mail says if an observer looks closely at the photo, there appears to be an outline or silhouette of a child in the fetal position.

"Any suggestion there's a body in the trunk is junk science," Macaluso said.

A trial is still months away, and Anthony's defense admits finding an impartial jury could be the biggest challenge of all.

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