ORLANDO (CBS4) – There was strong testimony Friday in the trial of Casey Anthony, who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter.

The manager of a towing yard where Casey Anthony’s car was kept for more than two weeks during the summer of 2008 testified at her murder trial that he smelled an odor coming from her car consistent with decomposing bodies he’d smelled in the past.

Simon Birch was the strongest prosecution witness of the morning. The state also showed a series of videos of Casey Anthony going on a shopping spree over several days in late June and early July 2008.

Prosecutors have been portraying Anthony as carefree and cheerful in the weeks after the child, Caylee, was last seen in June 2008, hanging out with friends and hitting the clubs. Caylee Anthony was reported missing a month later and her remains were found that December.

Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Prosecutors contend she suffocated Caylee with duct tape. Anthony’s defense team says the child drowned accidently in a family pool. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death.

Birch said he’d spent 30 years in the towing business as well as two years in waste management, and had come across deceased bodies at least eight times. He said he first noticed the smell coming from Anthony’s’ car on the fourth day her 1998 Pontiac was parked on his yard. The car had been towed after spending four days in an Amscot parking lot. It stayed there from June 30 to June 15, when Anthony’s parents retrieved it.

“In my opinion and experience, the smell of decomposition is unique in comparison to rotten food or rotting garbage,” Birch said.

The defense argued in its opening statement that the smell was actually from a bag of trash Anthony left in her car.

“The instant flash in my mind was `Oh, I know what that smells like,”‘ Birch said about noticing the odor.

Mallory Parker, the fiancée of Casey Anthony’s brother Lee, was called to the witness stand by prosecutors. She described how she and Lee searched for Casey in Orlando bars in the summer of 2008 when her family hadn’t seen her in many days.

But Parker also said that Anthony had a special bond with her daughter and at one point broke down in tears under cross examination when attorney Jose Baez asked here to describe the relationship between them.

“It was amazing,” Parker said.

Casey wiped away tears during Parker’s testimony.

Anthony’s former boyfriend Ricardo Morales testified Thursday that she was cheery when she picked him and his friends up from the airport on July 15, 2008, about a month after authorities believe Caylee was last seen.

“She was the same as she always was,” Morales said of Casey’s demeanor the day before her initial arrest. “Happy. Smiling. Just as usual. Same Casey.”

Morales dated Anthony from February to April 2008. He also testified that Anthony and Caylee regularly stayed nights at his apartment during that same time period.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. Phil Gaines Forklift says:

    25 years old and her life is over. I would guess she’ll be about 40-45 when they strap her to the gurney at FSP and swab her arm for the needle. Good riddance. She’s a monster and an embarrassment. We have the death penalty for cases like this.
    Do your duty jury and recommend death!

  2. Ann says:

    Why death? As civilized human beings…doesn’t that make us monsters and an embarrassment also? Life in prison is punishment enough.

  3. Carlos Cruz says:

    I have a great idea!! Remember Hussain?? Well I say we hang her in front of world media.

  4. cocoabeach says:

    No, Ann, it doesn’t. Casey Anthony deserves the DP same as she gave her 2-year-old daughter.

    You’re a moron, Ann. And immoral. You’re the monster and embarrassment.

  5. louis says:

    can someone please tell me what the purpose of this trial. you don’t dump the body of your child in the woods………………… period!!!

  6. nina says:

    If the man at the tow place knew the smell of death ,you can well bet George and Cindy knew..if it was a pool accident,why wasnt 911 called..Any parent,grandparent or who ever was in charge of the child that they found in a swimming pool,would jump in get the child,do cpr,if they know how too.then call 911…Its called COMMON SENSE…….And who would put them selfs through all this if it had been an accident,then cover up the accident…Who would do this..Caylee was in the trunk of Caseys care and I will bet my life on that……Something isnt right with George either.i think he is hiding something ..I dont know what it is but something doesnt feel right about him either..A child supposely drowns in a pool and then you,put duct tape over her mouth,double bag her like she was nothing and toss her in the woods,,..And it was an accident supposely…….. A person is going to put them self through all this because it was an accident…Time will tell …

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