Casey Anthony can invoke her Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions regarding the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, a Florida judge has ruled. Anthony is currently appealing convictions related to her daughter’s murder.
Anthony has appealed four charges of false testimony to detectives working on Caylee’s case. One of the convictions was for claiming that a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez kidnapping Caylee – which was untrue.
The 25-year-old had also invoked her Fifth Amendment rights during a video deposition, regarding the “Zanny the Nanny” defamation case, in October.
Gonzalez is suing Anthony for allegedly ruining her reputation when she told police, investigating the disappearance of her 2-year-old daughter, that a nanny named Zenaida kidnapped Caylee in 2008.
Casey Anthony clung to the lie for three years, before her lawyer told the court at her murder trial that the nanny never existed.
John Morgan, attorney for Gonzalez, told the Orlando Sentinel that Anthony answered a limited number of questions and repeatedly invoked the Fifth against self-incrimination.
She did not want to be there,” said Morgan when questioned about her demeanor, but added Anthony was “composed” and “courteous.”
However, her nostrils kept flaring and she breathed deeply, Morgan stated about her behavior.
"We didn't want to turn this into a 2-hour circus," Morgan told the Sentinel. "We asked enough questions and got her to invoke the Fifth enough times that we feel we got enough to take a motion to the judge to compel her to answer these questions.”
The deposition lasted about 45 minutes, according to Morgan.
Gonzalez’s lawyers had requested a judge order Anthony to talk, but were denied. Judge Lisa Munyon said in her ruling that constitutional right applied in Anthony’s case.
“Federal and state courts have long recognized that the Fifth Amendment privilege may be properly asserted during the pendency of the direct appeal,” she stated.
Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez is suing Casey Anthony for the “scar on her life and her soul” left by Anthony’s accusations. She alleged that she lost her job and home, as a result of people believing that she was involved in Caylee’s disappearance, ABC wrote. Gonzalez also claimed that she and her children received threats.
Gonzalez brought the defamation case against Anthony after she was sought out during the investigation of Caylee’s disappearance.
Texas EquuSearch has also sued Anthony for damages accrued during the search for Caylee, Reuters reported. Additionally, so has Roy Kronk, ex-meter reader who found the 2-year-old’s remains. Kronk claimed that Anthony’s lawyers spread suspicion about his involvement in Caylee’s disappearance and death, thus defaming his name.
Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering Caylee in July 2011. She is currently serving probation for check fraud charges in an unrelated case at an undisclosed location in Florida.
In September, Orange County Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over Anthony’s murder trial, ruled that she had to repay $217,000 in costs related to the investigation and disappearance of Caylee.