Casey Anthony Murdered Caylee, Says Prosecution in Closing Argument

During Casey Anthony trial closing arguments Sunday, Prosecutor Jeff Ashton told jurors that Casey Anthony is guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Anthony.

Throughout the 45-day trial, the prosecution has claimed that Casey Anthony knocked the toddler out with chloroform, suffocated her with duct tape and buried the body in the woods near the family home.

In his closing arguments, Ashton painted 25-year-old Casey as a party girl who killed her daughter so that she could live a carefree life.

"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 told the 12-member jury.

The prosecution also pointed to the web of lies that were told by Casey Anthony following the death of Caylee, asking jurors to examine the "pattern and reason that she lies."

"When Casey Anthony is faced with a problem, her solution is to change her lie," said Ashton. "Casey is very bright...She is very smart. Her lies are very detailed."

Ashton spoke about how Casey lied to her parents about Caylee's whereabouts, saying her daughter was with a non-existent nanny and later with a non-existent rich boyfriend. Casey also lied to investigators about being employed at Universal Studios.

Casey was seen crying and shaking her head when Ashton said the defense's argument that Caylee accidentally drowned and that the claim that her father George Anthony helped cover up the accident makes no sense.

The prosecutor questioned why Casey didn't call 911 if the death was accidental.

As Ashton was speaking, jurors watched a video put together by the state that shows photos of Caylee. Near the beginning of the clip, the prosecutor referred to one particular photo of Caylee, noting to jurors that the shirt the toddler had on in the photo was the same one found near her remains.

Legal analysts gave rave reviews for the prosecution's closing argument.

Bill Sheaffer of WFTV-Channel 9 called it a "very powerful closing," saying Ashton went methodically through the evidence.

Defense attorney Jose Baez delivered his closing argument after Ashton.

He asked the jury not to "speculate" but to make sure the evidence supports their verdict "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge Belvin Perry on Sunday morning barred the defense from discussing allegations of molestation in their closing arguments.

There are "no facts in evidence or reasonable inferences that can be drawn ... that either Mr. George Anthony or Mr. Lee Anthony molested or attempted to molest Ms. Anthony," Perry ruled.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating after Baez's closing argument.

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