Florida v. Casey Anthony: A look back at evidence and testimony
July 5th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Florida v. Casey Anthony: A look back at evidence and testimony

A Florida jury on Tuesday found Casey Anthony not guilty in the 2008 death of her daughter, Caylee. Here's a look back at highlights from 33 days and more than 100 witnesses in the trial of the year:

Week 1: As Casey Anthony murder trial begins, mysteries remain

The case of Florida v. Casey Marie Anthony began with both sides summing up their versions of what they believed the evidence would show. From the prosecution, jurors heard a timeline of the defendant's activities before her mother reported Caylee missing: parties, drinking and sleepovers with men.

Those days included getting a tattoo, participating in a "hot body" contest at an Orlando club, many Caylee-free nights at her then-boyfriend Anthony Lazzaro's apartment and many, many lies, the prosecution said.

"No one else benefited from the death of Caylee Marie Anthony," said assistant state attorney Linda Drane-Burdick in her opening statement. "Caylee's death allowed Casey to live a good life, at least for those 31 days."

From the defense, jurors were presented with an image of loving mother, whose dysfunctional family forced her to live in a state of denial. They argued the family held dark secrets, including that Casey was sexually abused by her father and brother.

The defense also revealed their theory of the case: Caylee drowned in the family pool as the result of what Baez called "an accident that snowballed out of control." He said it was an accident to which Casey's father, George Anthony, was privy. Baez said George Anthony tried to cover up the drowning at Casey's expense.

Week 2: Jury learns of Casey Anthony's web of falsehoods

The jury heard detailed stories from her mother, her brother and finally, Anthony herself, of her business trips to Tampa and visits to an old flame that later proved to be false. Through recordings of Anthony's police interviews, jailhouse visits and a 911 call, the silent woman at the defense table finally spoke.

Throughout the conversations, one sentiment is conveyed to Anthony again and again: Stop lying, or face the worst of consequences.

Testimony earlier in the trial, which began last week in Orlando, Florida, revealed that Anthony lied to her parents and avoided them for 31 days in the summer of 2008 while Caylee was supposedly missing. This week, jurors learned more about what Anthony told her parents during that time and what she was actually doing.

Week 3: Caylee's death is presented in vivid, graphic detail

Week 3 of the trial began with forensic testimony about how someone searched for "chloroform" and "neck-breaking" on the computer in the home Anthony shared with her parents in Orange County. By Thursday, panelists were fully immersed in the physical reality of the 2-year-old's death: bones, decomposition, odor and all.

The prosecution called key forensic witnesses, who described in graphic detail, the state of Caylee's remains when she was found in a wooded area on December 11, 2008, six months after she went missing.

Despite objections from the defense, jurors saw a video in which images of Caylee's skull and the duct tape found across the front of it at the scene were superimposed over a photo of a Caylee alive, smiling, with her mother.

The prosecution argued the video showed how the duct tape could have covered both Caylee's nose and mouth, while the defense argued it was only designed to appeal to juror emotions.

Week 4: Emotions high as defense takes wheel in Anthony trial

Three years to the day that, according to testimony, Caylee Anthony was last seen alive, a group of trial followers released balloons in Caylee's honor. One of the participants, David Wood, cried as he lamented over how - as he put it - anyone could hurt a child.

Inside the courthouse, the focus shifted to the defense case. Anthony's lawyers called forensic anthropologist Werner Spitz, who testified that he believed the tape found on Caylee Anthony's skull was placed there long after the body had decomposed. He also said the tape could have been an effort to keep the jaw bone attached so the body could be moved.

Spitz also criticized the Orange County medical examiner, Dr. Jan Garavaglia, for not opening Caylee's skull when he examined the remains. Failing to do so, he said, resulted in a "shoddy autopsy."

Week 5: Anthony's defense works to weaken alleged ties to crime

The defense continued its efforts to cast doubt on evidence presented by the prosecution. Cindy Anthony testified that she, not Casey, searched for "chloroform" on the Anthony family computer in March of 2008.

Earlier in the trial, computer experts testifying for the prosecution said someone in the Anthony home made searches for "chloroform," "how to make chloroform," "neck breaking" and "shovel," among other terms. Prosecutors alleged the searches proved premeditation and that records showed Casey Anthony was the only one who could have made the searches.

Cindy Anthony said she began by searching "chlorophyll," because she feared her dogs were getting sick from eating plants in the yard.

"Both the dogs would eat the bamboo leaves in the back so I started looking up sources from the back yard that could potentially cause her to be more sleepy," Cindy Anthony said. "I started looking up chloroform - I mean chlorophyll and then that prompted me to look up chloroform."

Jurors also heard testimony intended to rebut the state's key forensic evidence. Botanist Jane Bock testified that leaf debris found in and on the defendant's Pontiac Sunfire was not consistent with the leaves at the place where the body was found. She also testified to the defense's theory that the body had been moved, saying it could have been at the spot where it was found for as little as two weeks. Under cross examination, she said that it could have been there much longer.

Week 6: Drama marks final week of testimony

The defense wrapped up its case last Thursday after calling to the stand every member of the Anthony family this week except for Casey. She only made a cameo when she personally addressed the judge to answer one of the trial's biggest questions - whether she would testify. She declined the opportunity to testify in her defense.

The week came to a close Friday with the state's rebuttal case. Witnesses included Cindy Anthony's former supervisor, who testified company records show Cindy Anthony was at work during the times the defendant's mother claims she was searching for "chlorophyll" on the family computer. Earlier, a computer forensics expert had testified that he found searches for "chloroform" among the computer's deleted files, but no searches for "chlorophyll."

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soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Myra

    Could someone please tell me why when the defense stated at the opening that Caylee drowned and Casey knew this but did not call and added in a cover up and denied her a proper burial this is not child abuse? Please, help me out here!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jester & jackal

      Perhaps a general distrust of the police or the system.

      July 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • AFG

      I you go back and re-read it. Casey was nowhere near her daughter at the time she dissapeared. Caylee was in the care of Casey's parents while she went out and partied with her then boyfriend. She didn't know Caylee was missing for those 31 days... What it sounds like to me is that the police were trying to get a confession out of her with the statement: " Stop lying, or face the worst of consequences."

      July 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela

      Let's not forget that she denied the drowning theory in interrogation. She then laughed about the theory in a jailhouse tape with her parents. If the jurors bought this after all the evidence that shows it did not happen, God help us all.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lovernose

      Its scary that they are allowed to walk among us.

      July 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. renovate

    She's destroyed so many lives and fooled so many idiots who backed her. Maybe she'll go on to have more children and now she knows how to get away with murder-just trash the body and lie until the decomposition renders it difficult to extract evidence. Maybe she's planning on taking over her parents' home (like she told a friend) and chloroform them too. I'm sure she'll be back in the legal system again since she's a proven criminal and still faces check fraud charges. The young man who discreetly flipped a bird in court got 6 days in jail plus a fat fine. Her mother Cindy might face perjury charges while protecting her daughter. She'll remain in the center of attention and continue on her deadly pursuit of living the good life. Bella Vita .... Karma honey, karma...........

    July 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pebesantos

    There was no justice, she is evil.

    July 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. felicia

    We know she is guilty....just by the way she looks....a two year old Lil girl can't kill her self like that Lil pretty girl....people need to start investation with her more

    July 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikegreen

      really btw she looks you're an idiot

      July 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jazzzzzzzz

    To those Trolls, how dare you mock other bloggers by using their name and spouting off opinions you know they don't hold. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lovernose

    It's too bad that there wasn't sufficient physical evidence to convict Casey Anthony. However, she will have to live with what happened to her daughter for the rest of her life. I only pray that she has a sense of guilt buried somewhere in her narcissism. NEXT: Book Deals, Appearances, Movie Deals...Just watch...she'll go for it!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • May

      TOTALLY AGREE.. LIFETIME STORY IN THE MAKING

      July 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lovernose

    WHAT???????????????????????? Are you related to her?????

    July 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nikki

    Cindy, is that you???

    July 5, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. May

    I dont Know what to say about this case, not enough questions ask, not enough questions answered, no justice for the real victim (Caylee) AND THE GULITY PARTY, ALL 3 OF THEM, GET TO WALK OUT OF THE COURT ROOM SCOT-FREE!!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Innocent until PROVEN guilty

    This is directed to Vinny Foltaine: Casey was on trial for murder. She was not on trial for her reputation or what kind of a parent she was. If the defense's story of Caylee drowning is the actual truthful cause of death, & George Anthony had anything to do with it, he could have used his clout to threaten Casey. Between him & Casey, which one actually knew the law & lawmen better?? Could her actions not possibly be a way of dealing with not being able to truly grieve due to her father's threats??

    July 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tina

    How can you do nothing and say nothing. She is Guilty but Jesus will get Justice.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    Casey Anthony should be drawn and quartered.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. travelbug99

    I do not understand how this 2yr old child killed herself, covered her mouth with duct tape, got into a bag and threw herself into a swamp. I have completely lost faith in our system. I raised 4 kids and never took my eyes off them for 31SECONDS – never mind 31 days. I am ashamed of us.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MDMB

    I just can´t trust my eyes after reading this; How Come?; what happend here!!!!

    July 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Caylee Anthony

    She didn't do it.

    <_<

    July 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkshdfihs

      Thats not funny at all.

      July 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
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