Casey Anthony’s Dad the Villain as Defense Tells of ‘Ugly Secrets’ and Cover-Up
Posted May 25, 2011 5:42 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A defense lawyer for Casey Anthony alleged in opening statements on Tuesday that Caylee Anthony died in an accidental drowning, and Casey’s dad covered it up.
Defense lawyer Jose Baez offered “a series of bombshells” in the Florida trial, telling jurors that Caylee’s death was a “sad, tragic accident” and promising to air “ugly secrets” about Casey’s dad, George Anthony, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Baez and prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick offered “wildly opposing theories” about the death of the 2-year-old girl, the newspaper says. Burdick said in her opening statement that Caylee died from duct tape, and her death allowed Casey Anthony to “live the good life.” She told jurors of a strong odor in Casey’s car and a computer analysis showing a search for the words "Chloroform, alcohol," "neck-breaking" and "self defense."
Baez told a different story, according to the Sentinel. He said George Anthony began molesting Casey when she was 8, and he was responsible for hiding Caylee’s body after she drowned in the family’s pool. Baez said George Anthony held the body of Caylee Anthony in his arms and told Casey, "Look what you've done.” Casey’s partying after the death, Baez said, was part of “that deep ugly place called denial to pretend nothing is wrong."
George Anthony was called as the prosecution’s first witness. He denied molesting Casey and said he knew nothing about a drowning. He later issued a statement through his lawyer calling the defense “lies” and “idle speculation.” According to the Sentinel, George Anthony and his wife were “visibly enraged and shaken” when spotted in a courthouse elevator.