Defense Underway In Casey Anthony Murder Trial
Casey Anthony Coverage
ORLANDO (CBS4) – The defense has called a crime scene investigator as its first witness in the murder trial of Casey Anthony who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008.
Gerardo Bloise, a previous witness for the prosecution, explained how he examined the car of Casey Anthony’s former boyfriend Tony Lazzaro. He also inspected her clothing at her home in August. Bloise testified that he found a pair of Anthony’s pants which he understood she wore them on June 16, 2008, the day Caylee was last seen by her family members. They had no stains.
During cross examination, Bloise said he later learned the pants had been washed by Anthony’s mother Cindy Anthony.
The second expert called to the stand was FBI investigator Heather Seubert who testified that no blood or other bodily fluids were found in Anthony’s car, her clothing or on the clothing found with Caylee’s remains..
The prosecution resented the last of its evidence on Wednesday. After the prosecution rested, Judge Belvin Perry denied a standard request from Anthony’s attorneys to have the case thrown out.
In his motion argument, defense attorney Cheney Mason attacked the state’s case from all angles, but focused on what he said was a failure by prosecutors to show a murder had taken place.
“There is no evidence to establish when the child died, where she died, how she died, or if anyone was in attendance when she died,” Mason said.
But Perry said in his ruling against the defense that a review of the trial’s testimony didn’t show enough legal precedent for him to acquit her at this point.
“These are strictly cases for the jury to decide,” he said.
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee. She has pleaded not guilty.
Jurors spent just about 10 minutes in court Wednesday before being dismissed for the day so Perry could hear the defense’s acquittal motion. They were read a stipulation from both sides about the meaning of a tattoo Anthony received weeks before Caylee was reported missing.
On Tuesday, a tattoo artist testified that Anthony had the words “Bella Vita,” or “beautiful life” in Italian, etched on her back on July 2, 2008. She returned on July 15 and scheduled another appointment for a few days later.
The artist, Bobby Williams, told jurors that Anthony seemed happy and told him she planned to bring her daughter in during the next appointment.
Over several weeks of testimony, prosecutors have laid out their case that Caylee Anthony was killed by three pieces of duct tape being placed over her nose and mouth, though a medical examiner testified the cause of death was undetermined. Only the “manner of death” was ruled to be homicide. If convicted, she faces the death penalty.
The defense has claimed the toddler was not slain but instead drowned in her grandparents’ pool.
Prosecutors have built their mostly circumstantial case on 25-year-old Casey Anthony’s conduct and the lies she told about her daughter’s whereabouts.
They also have relied on forensics experts. They’ve talked about smells of human decomposition in Anthony’s car, searches on her computer, including for chloroform several times, and duct tape found on the girl’s skull. Caylee was last seen in mid-June of 2008 and was reported missing on July 15. Her remains were found in December of that year in a wooded area near the Anthony home.
(©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.)