A “surprise witness” in the Casey Anthony homicide trial embarrassed defense attorney Jose Baez by holding a press conference outside the court house to deny claims made by the side that invited him.
Vasco Thompson was added at the last minute to the defense’s amended witness list earlier this week. Thompson, according to court records, “has a violent criminal history and has served a 10 year prison sentence for kidnapping.”
Baez claimed that Thompson spoke to George Anthony, defendant Casey Anthony’s father, several times on the night before 2-year-old Caylee was reported missing in July 15, 2008. Records show four calls between George Anthony and Thompson’s phone number on July 14, 2008.
But Thompson said he got that phone number in February 2009.
On Friday, Thompson publicly declared outside the Orange County Courthouse: “I have no idea who George Anthony is.”
“The phone number they got, I didn’t have that number until February of 2009. I don’t know why they dragged me into all this mess,” said Thompson.
His attorney, Matt Morgan, also said the violence noted in court records was a 5-minute domestic dispute between Thompson and his ex-girlfriend. Morgan said the two are now on good terms.
“It’s not like he kidnapped a child and threw it in the back of a car,” Morgan protested.
Furthermore, Thompson’s attorney said his client is now happily married and attends church.
The defense claims that two-year-old Caylee drowned in her grandparents’ pool on June 16, 2008 and that George Anthony had helped dispose the toddler’s body with the knowledge of Casey. The claim that Thompson spoke to George Anthony closely before Caylee was reported missing would bolster the defense’s claim that George was somehow involved in his granddaughter’s disappearance. However, Baez never said exactly how Thompson was involved in the death of Caylee or the case.
George Anthony, in a statement through his attorney, denied having any knowledge of who Vasco Thompson is.
Although Thompson could still be called to the witness stand, it is unlikely after he rejected the foundation of the defense’s claim on him.
Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of killing her daughter Caylee using chloroform to knock her unconscious and then three pieces of duct tape wrapped around her nose and mouth to suffocate her. If convicted of first degree murder, Anthony could face the death penalty.
The Casey Anthony homicide trial is expected to end before the end of June.