Casey Anthony’s father took the stand Wednesday morning seemingly admitting his belief that his daughter murdered 2-year-old Caylee.
Casey is on trial for allegedly suffocating her daughter with duct tape, throwing her body in her trunk, and dumping her in the nearby woods. Caylee’s remains were found in December 2008.
Defense attorney Jose Baez tried to provide reasonable doubt this morning by calling back George Anthony to testify. Baez hoped to show the jury the suspicious nature of George’s past statements.
When asked to recall what he told investigators concerning how he knew Caylee’s body would be found in the woods, Casey’s father became defensive and accused Baez of taking his statements out of context.
George Anthony previously worked as an officer in Ohio, and clarified on the stand that during his prior experience in law enforcement he smelled decomposition on occasion in the woods, house, and car – his statement had nothing to do with his granddaughter.
Baez also asked why George walked around the wooded area where Caylee’s remains were eventually found in October. The witness responded, saying that he was trying to check out new potential sites for a command center for the Kid Finder program.
During his testimony he revealed that when he and his wife picked up Casey’s car from the tow yard it smelled like human decomposition, without a doubt. He also stated that because Caylee was last seen with Casey, one and one added up to two in his mind.
He confirmed as well that his daughter frequently lied and lived on the edge.
The defense, however, also pointed out George’s suicide attempt in 2009, trying to show that he felt guilty. But the witness said that he just wanted to be with his granddaughter Caylee and not in the world anymore. He also denied ever molesting his daughter sexually, expressing that he would never harm his daughter in that way.
When questioned about his media appearances for which he gained a large amount of money, including $20,000 for his appearance on 48 hours, George justified it by saying it was meant “to bring awareness to what [his] granddaughter meant to [them].”
Casey’s father said during cross-examination that he had hope that Caylee was alive throughout the time she was missing and until the day she was found.
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked George about his suicide note, which took him hours to write. Baez argued that the witness wrote the note to appear innocent. With the jury out of the courtroom, however, it was revealed that George’s letter stated that he bought a gun in order to ask his daughter’s friends for answers and then kill himself afterwards.
But Judge Belvin Perry did not allow the letter into evidence as of yet, and stated he needed to read more cases before knowing whether or not he should admit it. Ashton could, however, question the witness about his suicide attempt.
When the jury was back, George explained why he purchased a gun and how the police confiscated it because there could be no firearms at the home while Casey was out on bond.
He also clarified that he wrote the 8-page suicide letter to his wife because he could not tell her face-to-face that he did not want to be in the world anymore. If it was not for the intervention of the police, he would be dead by now, he stated.
Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, also took the stand earlier on Wednesday, saying that she thought there was a chance Caylee could still be alive even after the remains were found and cremated.
She was asked about the comment she made about her husband blowing up at the media for Caylee’s drowning theories, which was revealed in a jailhouse tape that included a conversation between her, Casey, and George. Cindy said that the accidental drowning was the media’s theory and not her family’s.
The witness also confirmed during the cross-examination that in the tape when Casey had responded “surprise surprise” after her own comment, it was in reference to the media’s assumption about the drowning and not her father’s blowing up.
The defense is seeking to show the Anthony family as dysfunctional in their strategy to prove Casey’s innocence.
Her attorneys claim that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that George helped cover-up the death. Casey then allegedly lied about the death because of the purported history of molestation by her father and brother.
Casey, 25, faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
A new motion for mistrial filed by defense attorney Ann Finnell is hoping to eliminate the death penalty from the ruling. Finnell phoned into the courtroom Wednesday morning arguing her motion. Judge Perry stated that he would tell the court of his decision before the jury returns with a verdict.