; 05/10/2010 State of FL Response to Defense Motion to Dismiss Defective Indictment
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05/10/2010 State of FL Response to Defense Motion to Dismiss Defective Indictment


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                          IN Ai,,{DFOR ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA 

STATE OF FLORIDA, 	                           CASE NO:       48-2008-CF-15606,.O·

             . Plaintiff, 	                  DIVISION:       16






       COMES NOW the State of Florida, by and through the undersigned Assistant State·
Attorney and hereby files· this response to Defendant Casey Anthony> s Motion to Dismiss·
Defective Indictment. In. response, the State says as follows:

       1. 	 Reduced to its core, the defendant's motion alleges an insufficient pleading of Counts
            1, 2, and 3 of the Indictment, but only v3.0ouely argues the limitations of Count 1.

       2. 	 Noticeably absent from the defendant's motion and memorandum is any reference to
            Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3 .140(0) which state~ "No indictment or .
            information, or any count thereof shall be dismissed or judgment arrested, or new trial
            granted on account of any defect in the form of the indictment or information, or of
            any misjoinder of offenses, or for any cause whatsoever, unless the court shall be of
            the opinion that the indictment or inforn1ation is so vague, indistinct, and indefmite as
            to mislead the accused and embarrass him or her in the preparation of a defense or .
            expose the accused after conviction or acquittal to substantial danger of a new
            prosecution for the same offense."

      3, 	 The defendanf s memorandum erroneously states (on page three) thaI case law
           confinns that simply tracking the language of the statute will not satisfy the statUtory.
           requirement of alleging concrete facts in a charging instrument. To the contrary,
           Florida case law specifically states "because the legislature has the primary authority
           for defining crimes, .it will be the rare instance that an information tracking the
           language of the statute defining a· crime will be insufficient to put the accused on
           notice of the misconduct charged," Chicane v. State, 684 So. 2d736 (Fla. 1996)

      4. For an information to sufficiently charge a crime, it must follow the statute, clearly
          charge each of the essential elements, and sufficiently advise the accused of the
        . specific crime with which he is charged, Price v. State, 995 So. 2d 401 (Fla. 2008)
          citing Rosin V. Anderson, 21 So, 2d 143 (Fia. 1945). Courts should uphold
          indictments and informations ifthey are in substantial compliance with the statutory
          requirements. 	                                 fiLED IN OPEN COUHT
                                                       THIS\O.DAY OF'\v\~> 20\0 .
                                                              Lydia Gardner, Cferk . .
       5. 	 An information is sufficient if it tracks the statute, and the State need not present
           . 	 proof with which it intends to establish its case. State v. Lee, 651 So. 2d 1221 (Fla.
               2d DCA 1995); lviartinez v. State, 368 So. 2d 338 (Fla. 1978).

       6. 	 Even if the comt finds some defect      in the charging document, the test for granting
           reliefis actual prejudice. State v. Gray, 435 So. 2d 816 (Fla. 1983). With the advent
           of Florida's liberal discovery rules in criminal cases, along with the availability of a
           statement of particulars, the defendant is no longer forced to obtain informati0n about
           the charge only from the charging document. vVhlle these discovery tools generally
          .cannot 	cure a fatally vague charging document, they do reduce the danger of a
           defendant's being in doubt as to the specifics of his alleged vVfongdoing or of his
           being subjected to a new charge arising from the same act. In other words; an
           information is legally sufficient if it expresses the elements of the offense charged in
           such a way that the accused is neither mislead or embarrassed in the preparation of
           his d.efense or exposed to double jeopardy, State v. Dilworth, 397 So. 2ei 292 (Fla.
           1981). The Rules of Criminal Procedure are not intended to furnish a procedural
           device to escape justice. Stang v. State, 421 So. 2d 147 (Fla. 1982).

       7. 	 The first three counts of the indictment cite the appropriate statutory authority and
            give sufficient details - what, who, and when-to defeat the defendant's vagueness
            challenge. Citing no statutory,procedural, or case authority, the defendant contends·
            that the "how" question need be answered ill an information or indictment. The
            "how" language included ill her Exhibit B Escambia Q"ounty indictment is surplusage
            unnecessary to sufficiently appraise the defendant of the crime with which he is
            charged. Florida Rule of Crinlinal Procedure 3.1400) and the committee Notes to
            3 .140( d) discourage surplusage in indictments or informations. The indictment of
            :Miss Anthony clearly informs her that she is accused of premeditated or felony
         . murder of her daughter Cay lee during the time frame when the child was last seen
          · alive until she was reported missing by her grandmotb~r. As framed, this allegation
          · does not expose Miss Anthony to any double jeopardy concerns, nor does it prevent
            her from defending the charges. It is apparent that Miss Anthony simply wishes to
            know how the State of Florida plans its presentation of the case, a matter not required
         · to be pled with specificity.

      WHEREFORE, the State of Florida respectfully requests this Honorable Court deny the
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Defective Indictment.

       I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct· copy of the foregoing has. been furnished to
Jose Baez, Counsel for Defendant, 522 Simpson Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744, on this 10th day
ofMay, 2010.

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