Evidence about a stain found in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car may be admissible during her upcoming first-degree murder trial, Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Belvin Perry ruled Thursday.
The order is one of several key rulings expected from Perry on critical pieces of scientific evidence prosecutors want to use in their case against the 25-year-old.
Anthony is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, in the summer of 2008. The toddler's remains were found in woods a few blocks from the Anthony's east Orange County home in December 2008, about five months after she was reported missing.
Anthony's defense team wanted to exclude evidence of the stain found in the trunk of her Pontiac Sunfire, which did not test positive for blood.
But prosecutors say the stain showed the presence of "volatile fatty acids consistent with the byproducts of decomposition."
In his order, Perry said, the defense bears the burden of proving the facts alleged in its motion and "justifying the relief requested."
But Anthony's defense, he said, "did not present any factual evidence at the hearing in support of the grounds alleged in the motion, and therefore failed to meet her burden of proof."
Perry's ruling means any evidence related to the stain may be admissible during the trial — but prosecutors will still have to show proper presentation and foundation of that evidence.
Defense attorney Jose Baez could not be reached for comment on Perry's order Thursday.
Pending rulings remain
Perry was also expected to make decisions on whether scientific evidence about chloroform levels found in Anthony's car trunk and the growth of plant roots in the woods where Caylee's remains were found should be used at her trial.
But those rulings did not come Thursday as originally thought. The Orange County Courthouse is closed for Good Friday.
In recent weeks, Anthony's defense team has been arguing against plans by the state to use such cutting-edge scientific evidence at her trial.
Prosecutors want to use novel scientific work focusing on odor and air samples originating from the trunk — an emerging science that has never been used in a courtroom.
An expert for the state has identified chemical compounds collected for this case, which he says are consistent with human decomposition. That expert also found extremely high chloroform levels from a carpet sample pulled from the trunk.
However, defense experts say there are no scientifically validated methods capable of identifying the presence of human remains based on presence or absence of specific chemicals.
Such science is still in its infancy and should be barred from Anthony's trial, defense experts and attorneys say.
Anthony's trial is expected to begin May 9 with jury selection outside of Orlando. If a jury is selected, members will be brought to Orlando and sequestered for a trial at the Orange County Courthouse that will begin May 17.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun