Wednesday 18 January 2017

Fate of mum charged in murder of her child lies with US jury

Kyle Hightower in Orlando

Published 05/07/2011 | 12:04

Casey Anthony pictured during the final stages of her trial in Orlando. Photo: Getty Images
Casey Anthony pictured during the final stages of her trial in Orlando. Photo: Getty Images
Caylee Marie Anthony daughter of Casey Anthony
Casey Anthony pictured during her trial with defense counsel Cheney Mason. Photo: Reuters
Casey Anthony pictured enjoying a night out while her two-year-old daughter was missing
The parents of Casey Anthony, George and Cindy Anthony pictured at the memorial for their granddaughter Caylee Anthony
Casey Anthony pictured enjoying a night out while her two year-old daughter was missing

Jurors in the Casey Anthony trial resumed their deliberations in Orlando today.

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The seven woman and five men considered the role she played in the death of her two-year-old daughter more than three years ago for six hours yesterday.

They have been sequestered in Orlando for the last 35 days hearing testimony and arguments in the trial of Ms Anthony (25) faces seven charges, including first-degree murder.

The state contends Ms Anthony was a Florida socialite who killed her daughter Caylee by covering her face with duct tape because she got in the way of her mom's love life. Her attorneys contend Caylee accidentally drowned in a pool, and the troubled mother's lies and erratic behaviour afterward were brought on by trauma from her own childhood.

Defence attorney Jose Baez said the prosecutors' forensic evidence was based on a "fantasy". He said Caylee's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control".

Casey 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.

She is also charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and providing false information.

The defence claimed Ms Anthony was hiding emotional distress caused by alleged sexual abuse from her father George Anthony.

Her father has denied that claim.

Jose Baez began his closing argument with his biggest question: How did Caylee die? Neither prosecutors nor the defence had offered firm proof.

He attacked the prosecution's forensic evidence. He said air analysis of the trunk of Ms Anthony's car, which allegedly showed air molecules consistent with decomposition, could not be duplicated.

Stain

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.

Jeff Ashton for the prosecution began his closing argument by showing a video of Casey Anthony playing with Caylee, causing Anthony to apparently choke back tears. But she quickly regained her composure.

Mr Ashton said Caylee's death wasn't an accident because three pieces of duct tape were placed on her face.

He then told the jury that Ms Anthony worried Caylee was getting to the age where she would have told Ms Anthony's parents that the woman was spending her days and nights with her boyfriend -- not going to work and leaving Caylee with a nanny.

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