The court heard from Roy Kronk on Tuesday afternoon, the meter reader who discovered the remains of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in the woods off Suburban Drive in December of 2008.
The defense accused the witness of moving Caylee’s body and placing it in the woods nearby the Anthony home in order to obtain the reward money. Defense attorney Cheney Mason tried to show the jury Kronk’s inconsistent testimony and need for money.
Kronk read all of the meters on Hopespring and Suburban Drive in August 2008.
Asked to recall the events of August 11, 2008, when he first called authorities reporting something suspicious in the woods, Kronk stated that he and two co-workers were assigned to the area off of Suburban Drive that day.
The witness stated that he walked into the woods to relieve himself, and saw an unusual object that looked like a skull. He never came within 30 feet of the object, however.
Mason asked Kronk if he told his co-worker about the object he saw. He did not, and said that at the time his co-workers were too distracted by a dead rattlesnake they found in the woods.
He, however, did call the authorities three times on August 11, 12, and 13th. The jury heard the phone calls in court. When he called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office he was redirected to CrimeLine, which handled tips in the Caylee Anthony case.
He described calling the Sheriff’s Office on the 13th, asking that a deputy come and check out the scene. However, when a deputy did come to the woods to have a look, he scolded Kronk for wasting his and the county’s time. Because of that incident, he didn’t do anything further about the matter until December.
Kronk then stated that he went back to the area in December of 2008 where he found the skull. Not knowing what it was at the time, he took his meter reader stick and stuck it into the eye socket of the skull and “gently pivoted it up.” He then put the skull back as softly as he could when he discovered what it was.
In his original deposition, Mason pointed out that the witness stated when he lifted up a garbage bag about four feet from the ground a skull rolled or fell out.
But Kronk admitted that he had mistakenly spoken and what had actually happened was that when he lifted up the garbage bag, he found the skull at the bottom of it.
Kronk said he believed he was aware of a reward of $250,000 for the discovery of Caylee. He confirmed receiving $5,000 after the toddler’s remains were identified.
He denied telling his son in a phone call that he was going to be rich and famous although he did admit that he might have jokingly made statements about winning the lottery and not telling his ex-wife about the reward money.
The meter reader also confirmed that the day before he initially reported his suspicions he couldn’t come into work because he had to repair his car. Mason was trying to point out that Kronk needed the money.
David Dean, another meter reader who worked with Kronk in August 2008 also took the stand Tuesday afternoon.
Dean told jurors that he told Kronk he thought Caylee’s body might be in the swampy woods. He stated that Kronk told him about the skull but he thought he was joking because he only brought up the matter once.
The witness also agreed to being distracted by the dead rattlesnake, which was found the same day on Aug. 11. Defense attorney Jose Baez hammered in the point that Kronk never told Dean about calling the authorities and about the skull itself after that day.
On the morning of December 11, 2008, when Caylee’s remains were found, Dean heard a radio transmission saying that Kronk had found a skull. He later told Kronk, “I told you she was in there.”
During cross-examination, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick clarified that it was Dean’s idea that led Kronk to look in the woods. Burdick also pointed out that Dean’s statement “I told you she was in there” was made simply because he generally thought the wooded area was a good place for a body to be hidden.
The defense also tried to present the argument that the wooded area was dry enough to detect unusual objects during the months prior to December 2008, making the case that the remains were never detected before Kronk allegedly happened to discover the remains in December 2008.
Burdick revealed, however, that there was a tropical storm that hit Florida shortly after August 11, 2008, possibly causing many wet areas. Dean also stated that he usually referred to the wooded area as a “swamp.”
Alex Roberts, a county employee and Kronk’s supervisor in 2008 took the stand as well. He testified about finding a work replacement for Kronk on the day he reported finding a skull, since Kronk had to be excused for the day.
Roberts said that he went to the wooded area on December 11, 2008, to meet Kronk after. When asked to describe Kronk’s demeanor, the witness said that he found Kronk nervously smoking a cigarette and leaning against his truck.
Sergeant Dennis Moonsammy was the last witness for the day. He currently serves as the supervisor of the women’s detention center at the Orange County Corrections center where Casey is being held. When he was asked by Baez to describe Casey’s demeanor he was cut short by the state who objected about the relevance of his testimony.
A sidebar was called and the jury was excused for the day because they had a function they needed to attend later that evening. The court then held a proffer for Moonsammy, another corrections officer, and Jesse Grund, Casey’s ex-fiancé.
Judge Belvin Perry called the testimony of both corrections officers irrelevant and also shared that Grund’s testimony would most likely be irrelevant as well, as far as his research showed.
The state objected to Grund on the basis of hearsay saying that what he had to say did not go to the state of mind at the relevant point in time.
Casey’s fiancé was going to testify about his discomfort with Lee Anthony and inform the court about what Casey had told him in regards to her brother who had purportedly once watched her while she slept and on a separate incident groped her.
The defense is looking to use Lee as a cause to support their case that the Anthony family is dysfunctional, thereby resulting in Casey’s lies about her daughter’s accidental death by drowning.
Casey, 25, faces several counts including lying to law enforcements and first-degree murder of her daughter Caylee. If convicted, she may face the death penalty.