Skip to main content

Casey Anthony's defense to call more witnesses

By Ashley Hayes, CNN
Click to play
Casey's defense: Secret star witness
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Casey Anthony is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008
  • Anthony faces seven counts in Caylee's death, including first-degree murder
  • Her defense maintains the child drowned in the Anthony pool

Tune in to HLN's "Nancy Grace" at 8 ET for live reports from Florida with all the details of the Casey Anthony trial. And follow the action on Nancy's special Casey Anthony trial page.

(CNN) -- Casey Anthony's defense team was expected to call more witnesses Friday, a day after presenting testimony that seemed to try to create doubts about forensic evidence presented earlier in the case.

On Thursday, the first day the defense began calling witness, Anthony's attorney Jose Baez called several to testify about the evidence.

Two of them were FBI examiner Heather Seubert and Orange County, Florida, Sheriff's Office crime scene technician Gerardo Bloise who said that testing found no blood on any of Anthony's clothes, in her car trunk or in the interior of the car.

Prosecutors allege that Anthony, 25, killed Caylee in 2008 by using chloroform on her and putting duct tape over her nose and mouth. They allege she then put the little girl's body in black garbage bags and stored it in her trunk before dumping it in woods near her home.

Caylee's skeletal remains were found December 11, 2008. Although she was last seen June 16 of that year, her disappearance was not reported until July 15, after Anthony's mother demanded answers from her daughter about Caylee's whereabouts.

Grace weighs in on case against Anthony
Was Caylee put in trash bag alive?
Defense asks for Casey Anthony acquittal
Casey's demeanor 'normal' during tattoo

Anthony faces seven counts in Caylee's death, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading investigators. If convicted, she could face the death penalty. She has pleaded not guilty, and her defense attorney has said that when all the facts are known, his client's innocence will become clear.

The defense has said Caylee was not killed but rather drowned in the family pool June 16. Baez told jurors in his opening statements that Anthony and her father, George Anthony, panicked when they discovered the body and covered up her death. George Anthony rejected that scenario in his testimony the first week of the trial.

Bloise discussed the execution of a search warrant at the Anthony home on August 6, 2008, and his duties, which were to examine the clothing in Anthony's closet with an alternative light source for any stains.

Bloise testified that no stains were found on the pants Anthony wore June 16, 2008, the day Caylee was last seen. However, he acknowledged to prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick on cross-examination that Anthony's mother, Cindy, told authorities she had washed the pants after that day.

Seubert, who was a forensic DNA examiner for the FBI in 2008, told jurors in the Orlando courtroom that testing showed an indication of possible female DNA on a shovel. Previously, the Anthonys' next-door neighbor, Brian Burner, testified that Anthony asked to borrow the shovel from him June 18, 2008, saying she wanted to dig up a bamboo root. Burner said she returned the shovel shortly afterward.

However, Seubert said the amount on the shovel was so small she could draw no scientific conclusions from it.

Testing showed no blood present in Casey Anthony's trunk, she said.

"If a method is used to kill someone that doesn't involve bloodshed, then the absence of blood doesn't really say it didn't happen, correct?" prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked Seubert.

"Correct," she replied. "I can't speak to whether it happened or not."

But she told Baez that as fluids leave the body during decomposition, it is likely that blood could be among them -- if there is a hole in the plastic bag holding a body, for instance.

Seubert also tested three pieces of duct tape found at the scene where Caylee's remains were recovered, two of them covering the mouth portion of her remains. She testified that a DNA profile generated on the outside of the tape matched another FBI forensic examiner, Lorie Gottesman.

Testing on the inside of the tape was inconclusive, but a possible indication of DNA there did not appear to match Caylee, Casey Anthony or George Anthony, she said.

Outdoor elements such as sunshine and water can degrade DNA, she said.

Did the state prove Casey killed Caylee?
Casey Anthony tattoo artist testifies
Understanding Anthony trial forensics
DNA hair match from Anthony car trunk
RELATED TOPICS

Also testifying Thursday was Ronald Murdock, a supervisor in the Orange County Sheriff's Office forensics unit. Murdock testified that a piece of cardboard with a heart-shaped sticker on it was found about 30 feet from where Caylee's skull was discovered.

An FBI technician previously testified that heart-shaped adhesive was seen on the duct tape covering the mouth portion of the remains. Sheets of heart-shaped stickers have been introduced into evidence after being found at the Anthony home, but FBI analysis showed that the sticker found near the remains did not match those taken from the home.

Gottesman testified that she examined the duct tape for any heart-shaped sticker residue but was unable to see it, even using specialized tools. She said she had no idea how her DNA wound up on the duct tape.

In Session's Mayra Cuevas, Ilana Rosenbluth and Michael Christian contributed to this report.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

Lawyers.com Lexis Nexis Logo

Law firm search