ORLANDO (CBS4) –The jury in the trial of Casey Anthony, the 25-year old Orlando woman accused of killing her two year old daughter Caylee in 2008, will begin their deliberations on Monday after receiving instructions from the judge.

Sunday afternoon the defense’s closing argument was briefly halted after chief defense attorney Jose Baez called Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton a “laughing man.”

Ashton, who was sitting at the prosecutor’s table near the jury, was laughing while Baez spoke. Ashton objected to Baez’s commentary and the judge called a sidebar.

Jurors were sent out on a 15-minute break while Chief Judge Belvin Perry spoke to all the attorneys privately.

Anthony briefly broke down crying Sunday morning when prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments that she murdered her daughter Caylee because the child prevented her from having a relationship with a club promoter.

“Casey is very bright,” Ashton said. “Her lies are very detailed. … But when Casey wants to do what Casey wants to do, she finds a way.”

Ashton said Anthony wanted a relationship with her boyfriend, to go out with her friends and to live the carefree life she had before Caylee’s birth.

“Something needed to be sacrificed, that something was either the life she wanted or the life thrust upon her. She chose to sacrifice her child,” Ashton said during his 90-minute argument.

Prosecutors contend Caylee was suffocated with duct tape by a mother who then crafted elaborate lies to mislead investigators and her parents. Defense attorneys countered that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool.

Anthony appeared mostly stone-faced for about the first 45 minutes, but then she closed her eyes and rested her chin on her hand. She began to cry when Ashton said that the story that Caylee drowned was also false.

Ashton said Caylee’s death wasn’t an accident because three pieces of duct tape were placed on her face — one on the mouth, one on the nose and one over those to be “thorough.”

He then described the lies Anthony told her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, about why she couldn’t come home and why she couldn’t produce Caylee after the toddler was last seen June 16, 2008. That she was with a nanny named Zanny, a woman who doesn’t exist. That Anthony and her daughter were spending time in Jacksonville with a rich boyfriend who doesn’t exist. That Zanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic accident and that they were spending time with her.

It only fell apart, Ashton said, a month later when a junk yard told George and Cindy Anthony their daughter’s car had been towed. When they picked it up, they discovered a foul odor — George Anthony, a former police officer, and the tow yard operator said it smelled like human decomposition.

Judge Belvin Perry ruled Sunday morning the defense could present the drowning theory because there “is a reasonable inference that can be drawn” to suggest it.

Defense attorney Baez began his closing argument by telling jurors they have more questions than answers, including the biggest: How did Caylee die? Neither prosecutors nor the defense have offered firm proof of how Caylee died.

“It can never be proven,” he said. That alone should give them reasonable doubt that Anthony killed her daughter, he said.

He said the prosecutors’ case is so weak they tried to portray Anthony as “a lying, no-good slut.”

“Then you’ll start to look at this evidence in a different light, you’ll start to, wait a minute, maybe I’m seeing something that’s not there and start to actually discriminate against her rather than give her the standard that is afforded to each and every citizen in our country,” Baez said, noting that the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

He said prosecutors’ forensic evidence was based on a “fantasy.” He said the prosecution’s air analysis of the trunk of Anthony’s car, which allegedly showed air molecules consistent with decomposition, could not be duplicated. He said no one could prove a stain found in the trunk was caused by Caylee’s body decomposing there. And witnesses showed maggots found in the trunk came from a bag of trash that was found there, he said.

“They throw enough against the wall and see what sticks. That is what they’re doing … right down to the cause of death,” Baez said.

Baez conceded that Anthony lived in a fantasy world that included about a dozen imaginary friends and associates that she used to cover up her 2-year-old daughter Caylee’s death.  He told the jury that she had developed these imaginary friends over the years as part of her unhealthy coping skills.

He also said that Anthony’s actions after Caylee’s death didn’t make sense, but they don’t add up to murder.

Ashton has attacked the defense contention that Caylee drowned and that George Anthony helped Casey Anthony cover it up. No one faced with an accidental drowning would do that instead of calling 911, Ashton said.

“It is a trip down a rabbit hole into a bizarre world where men who love their granddaughters find them drowned and do nothing,” Ashton said. “Where men who love their granddaughters take an accident, a completely innocent act, and make it look like a murder for no reason. A world where a man who buries his pets will take the granddaughter who was the love of his life and throw her in a swamp.”

After Baez wrapped up his argument, fellow defense attorney Cheney Mason briefly addressed the jury.

Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. She could face a possible death sentence or life in prison if convicted of that charge.

Anthony also is charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. The child abuse and manslaughter charges each carry a 30-year prison term if convicted.

(©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 (7)
  1. Daryl Hoffmann says:

    The over all evidence of the hole court-case show’s,That George and Cindy Anthony,Killed there grandaughter,Caylee Anthony,On the night of her death,Casey Anthony got a phone call to go out parting with her friend’s,Ciny and George Anthony were over half-way drunk,I’t was a nice evening,Casey went out the door,Caylee started screeming and crying,Cindy and George was tired of all this,I’t was gitting old to them,George said to Cindy I should tape the kid’s mouth shut,Cindy told Caylee to go up-stairs,Cindy went down to the basement and, got the duck-tape then went up stairs toor off some and taped Caylee’s mouth and nose shut,Came back down the stairs and drank some more with George ‘so thay could have there nice evening,I’t was the way it should be ,No noise,Cindy or George got up from being passed-out went to Caylee’s bed room were thay saw her dead,Ran and got the other one up,Thay could not call the police,Caylee was dead with duck-tape on her mouth and nose,Casey was still out parting,It came down to Cindy and George and there drinking,Thay had to give Casey the murder case,with out her knowing what ,was going on,The evidenve is there.

    1. Weasel Hater says:

      What a moron. You just make that up, Daryl? you think if there were any way to prove any of that maybe the defense attorney might have worked that in? Maybe you were there, and that’s how you know so much. Cretin!

  2. sophie says:

    I think Daryl is an unseen member of the defense team. You can tell by his brilliant detective work.

  3. NINA says:

    Unbelieveale Daryl…That is the most far fetched story on how Caylee died since the beginning of this case..George and Cindy regarldless of there lies loved there grandaughter….Casey is the one that is responsible for Caylee’s death,period!!!!I…..Not sure what gave you the idea George and Cindy was the blame but I am not sure you have been following this case from the beginning..If you were I am not sure how you could even come out with such a statement as above.I see no evidence of your senerio …Far feteched sorry

  4. Nina says:

    Correction in spelling..Fetched***

  5. Michelle says:

    I think that Casey had been using chloroform on that baby for a while and placing her in the trunk so she could party. She used the tape to keep her quiet. The “accident” was that this time she died. She was going to bury her in the yard but it was too hard or someone or something stopped her. She bagged the baby up and then she put the baby in the trunk. Then she or George took her to the swamp where she was hidden till the water began to dry up.

  6. MICHELLE says:

    In addition, I don not think they will be able to convict her on 1st degree. she will get four counts of liing to authorities and child abuse manslaughter. She will get 30 years not life.

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