Casey Anthony Trial: Jury Deliberates as Anticipation Grows

PHOTO: Casey Anthony at the defense table at the start of the final day of arguments in her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., July 4, 2011.
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Jurors in the Casey Anthony trial ended their first day of deliberations without a verdict as they decide the fate of the Florida woman accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Anthony is charged with the first degree murder of her daughter and could face the death penalty if convicted. She sat stone-faced as the judge instructed the jury.

They will resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Today, Judge Belvin Perry instructed jurors how to proceed in their deliberations. He gave jurors the option of finding her guilty of a lesser crime such as second degree murder, manslaughter or third degree felony murder. Those crimes do not carry a death sentence.

Along with the first degree murder charge, Anthony faces charges of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and four charges of lying to law enforcement.

As the jury headed into deliberations, public interest in the case seemed only to grow.

"I really want to see justice for Caylee. I think this is an amazing, amazing case," said Robin Wilkie. "It's just riveted, not just the United States, but the world."

Wilkie traveled from Minneapolis, Minn., to Orlando, Fla., for the trial.

They mystery of what verdict jurors will return has left some in nervous anticipation.

"It's such a mystery and it's got so many interesting and fascinating dynamics," said trial spectator Michael Huan. "Everybody loves a mystery and you just want to, kind of, witness it and be a part of it."

This morning, closing arguments ended with the prosecution telling jurors that the death of little Caylee is no mystery. They painted Casey Anthony as a pathological liar who diverted attention away from herself by claiming her dead daughter, Caylee, had been kidnapped.

See a Timeline of Major Events in Casey Anthony Case

During the state's rebuttal to the defense's closing argument, Prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick played portions of jailhouse tapes of Casey Anthony lying about her daughter being kidnapped by a fictional nanny and the 911 call made by Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy Anthony, to report Caylee missing. The evidence was meant to show how Casey Anthony continued to spin a web of lies about Caylee's whereabouts even when she was given the chance to tell the truth to her family and authorities.

"When you use your common sense, you can listen and hear that there's nothing that's wrong with Casey Anthony that can't be explained using two words: pathological liar," Drane Burdick said.

"At the end of this case, all you really have to do is ask yourself the simple question, 'Whose life was better without Caylee?'" Drane Burdick said.

The prosecution concluded its rebuttal by showing a picture of a hard-partying Casey Anthony and the tattoo that the young mom got on her back following Caylee's disappearance. The tattoo read "Bella Vita," Italian for the beautiful life.

Prosecutor Drane Burdick sought to debunk defense attorney Jose Baez's closing argument that Caylee accidentally drowned in the Anthony family pool and that Casey Anthony's lies during the 31 days she knew her daughter was dead were a bizarre coping mechanism.

"If this truly was an accident in the pool, Caylee Anthony would have been found floating in a pool, not floating in a swamp down the street," Drane Burdick said.

"Everybody grieves differently. Responses to grief are as varied as the day is long. But responses to guilt are oh-so-predictable. What do guilty people do? They lie," said Drane Burdick.

The 2-year-old toddler's remains were found in a swampy wooded area near the Anthony family home in December of 2008, nearly six months after she disappeared.

Drane Burdick attacked the defense's attempt to call the testimony of forensic experts "fantasy forensics."

"During an argument where the most well documented liar ever seen in a courtroom accuses everybody of fraud, of lying...the irony is rich indeed," said Drane Burdick.

Earlier, Drane Burdick's co-counsel, Jeff Ashton, showed jurors images of the skull and skeletal remains of Caylee. He reiterated the prosecution's claim that pieces of duct tape on the remains were placed on Caylee before she died.

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