Dr. Arpad Vass a research scientist and forensic anthropologist from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory spent the entire day on the witness stand testifying for the prosecution in the trial of Casey Anthony. His work in the laboratory is multi-disciplinary crossing over into biology, chemistry and physics and includes research in the facility popularly known as the body farm.
During his direct examination, the defense frequently objected claiming that Dr.Vass was testifying outside his area of expertise. When cross examination began, it sounded more like Dr. Vass was simply testifying beyond Baez’s level of comprehension.
I admit that I was a bit skeptical about the science behind the air analysis of the contents of the trunk of Casey’s car. Dr. Vass removed my skepticism. He explained it well and thoroughly. I do not think the jury will have little difficulty considering his testimony during deliberations even though the defense will do their best to undermine his work.
The jury seemed to respond very positively to this witness. Reports from the courtroom indicated that the jury was fascinated with everything he said–leaning forward in their seats, alert and engaged. Compare this to reports on other days that some jurors were nodding off and the value of Dr. Vass as a witness is clear.
He was very personable with a charming voice. He was obviously excited and passionate about his work. At times, his emotions took control causing him to talk too fast for the court reporter. He delivered his testimony with great credibility. It seemed the jury was as impressed as I was.
Baez’s relentless pit bull attack on Vass’ character and professionalism, was so broad and all-inclusive that it lacked credibility. In all likelihood, the defense smear campaign backfired. Some of it was flat out goofy. He insinuated that Vass was responsible for being listed as a chemist on Facebook and Wikipedia. Vass doesn’t have a Facebook account and never submitted anything to Wikipedia. Baez tried to make him to take ownership of the error. So does that mean Baez must embrace what people call him on Facebook like “bozo,” “bumbling idiot.” and other choice labels?
And somehow, I simply can’t understand the marijuana testimony. Baez elicited information from Dr. Vass about the presence of marijuana in the car. How is that going to help his client?
Dr. Vass’ conclusion were clear. The level of chloroform in the trunk was “shockingly high.” The smell of the odor of decomposition in the trunk made him jump back in surprise. And he “can find no other plausible explanation” for what he found in that trunk than the presence of a dead body.
At the end of the day when Dr. Vass left the stand with a sigh of relief, we were one step closer to justice for Caylee.