As Law&Crime previously reported, Casey Anthony may have to face a defamation lawsuit from Roy Kronk, a former meter reader who found the body of Anthony’s daughter Caylee Anthony. Kronk claims that Anthony was behind her legal team’s strategy to say that Kronk may have kidnapped and killed the child, and is seeking a jury trial. On Friday, Kronk’s attorney Howard Marks appeared on the Law&Crime Network to discuss the case.
“He was doing what he thought was the public duty, the right thing, he reported what he saw … as a result of that he was plastered across the papers and the press throughout the United States, we believe through a concentrated, orchestrated effort to point fingers at him from Casey Anthony and her attorneys,” Marks told host Aaron Keller.
Marks acknowledged that merely presenting the theory in court would have been protected speech if that was Anthony’s defense, but Marks noted that Anthony’s actual defense admitted that Caylee died in a pool, even if by accident, and that this story was spread outside the courtroom as well as within the confines of the trial. Therefore, it is not protected.
“There was no reason to go ahead and point a finger at my client as the person who committed the murder,” Marks said, “when they knew all along that their position was that the poor child had died in a swimming pool.”
Marks said that if the case does go to trial, he’d want to get Anthony on the stand so the jury could see how she responds to questioning. If the past is any indication, though, it would be mostly silence.
“I’ve already deposed Casey Anthony in this case,” Marks pointed out, noting that she didn’t say much at the time.
A bankruptcy judge still has to determine whether Kronk’s case can go forward. He first filed a complaint in 2011, but when Anthony declared bankruptcy in 2013, the matter was put on hold. Since then, Anthony has moved for summary judgment, claiming that her lawyer’s statements didn’t meet the standard required for a defamation case. Kronk believes that factual issues still exist that need to be heard by a jury.
Marks noted that the big hurdle he’s facing is that in order for the bankruptcy court to allow the claim to go through, the judge must determine that the injury Kronk suffered was willful. If that happens, Marks is confident that his client will “absolutely” prevail.
Should that happen, and Anthony does take the stand, Marks would want her to say, “that there was an orchestrated attempt, she knew my client was not the murderer, she knew he wasn’t complicit,” yet she and her lawyers pointed fingers at him “solely to deflect whatever guilt she may have onto Mr. Kronk.”
Marks said that what Anthony allegedly did to his client was “an outrageous act” that “basically destroyed the reputation of a man that was doing nothing but reporting what he believed to be the remains of an individual that turned out to be her daughter.”
[Image via CNN screengrab]