Casey Anthony dabs tears as jurors see child's skull photos

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2011 2:28 PM
Casey Anthony dabs tears as jurors see child's skull photos

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO (Reuters) - Casey Anthony dabbed her eyes and nose with a tissue on Thursday as jurors in her first-degree murder trial viewed photographs taken of her toddler's skull where it was found discarded in the woods.

Casey, 25, is charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee on June 16, 2008 and dumping the child's remains in woods a 10-minute walk from the Anthonys' Orlando-area home.

The remains were found on December 11, 2008 after a nationwide search.

Several photographs of the crime scene showed a piece of duct tape that crime scene photographer Jennifer Welch described as being on the front of the skull.

Prosecutors say duct tape wrapped three times around the skull, including the mouth and nose area, is the only evidence indicating cause of death.

Additional photographs showed a pair of shorts, a shirt collar with a tag attached, a blanket, a black garbage bag, an off-white canvas bag and a red plastic Disney bag.

Wider shots showed the area was overgrown with vegetation, obscuring the view of the skull and other items.

Cindy and George Anthony, Casey's parents who have attended almost every minute of the high-profile trial now in its third week, both left before the photos were shown.

In other testimony Thursday, Casey's brother Lee Anthony returned to the stand and revealed a third explanation Casey had given for the disappearance and death of Caylee.

After Cindy Anthony reported her granddaughter missing on July 16, 2008, Casey told detectives she had dropped Caylee off at the apartment of her nanny named Zanny and that the two were gone when Casey returned later to pick up Caylee.

During opening statements, Casey's defense attorney said Caylee accidentally drowned in the Anthonys' backyard pool and no one reported the death.

Lee said on Thursday that Casey told him another version of what happened during a conversation they had in August 2008 before Caylee's remains were found.

At an Orlando park "Zanny held Casey down and told her she was taking Caylee from her and she did that with the help of her (Zanny's) sister," Lee said Casey had told him.

"In Zanny's opinion, Casey was not being a fit mother to Caylee. She was taking Caylee from her to teach her a lesson and also told her not to go to police."

Lee said Casey told him "she was held on her wrists. She was held down. They were both supposedly sitting on a park bench."

Lee testified Casey also told him Zanny commandeered Casey's MySpace page, changed her password and sent her messages to go to certain places where Casey expected, but didn't see, her daughter.

Computer experts have testified they found no evidence on the Anthony family computer that anyone had tried searching the Internet for information about the nanny before Cindy called 911.

Defense attorney Jose Baez acknowledged Casey lied about the existence of a nanny named Zanny and called the alleged messages from Zanny on Casey's MySpace page "imaginary MySpace posts."

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton)