Casey Anthony Trial: Surprise Witness Embarrasses Defense


Casey Anthony Testimony Focused on Maggots and Blow Flies

This morning's testimony continued with forensic experts. Entomologist Timothy Huntington was called by defense attorney Jose Baez. Huntington testified about the maggots found in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car and the bugs found near Caylee's remains. Caylee's remains were found in December 2008 in a wooded area near the Anthony family home.

Huntington testified that Caylee's body did not start its decomposition in the wooded area off Suburban Drive, but was moved after it started decomposing. He said that because few blow flies were found with Caylee's remains, decomposition could not have started in the woods.

"What was missing from the scene are those early colonizing flies, those blow flies...their absence is unusual in a case where a body is recovered outdoors in that nature," Huntington said to ABC affiliate WFTV. "What that indicated is that the body was moved or transported from some other location to the site where it was certainly shows a post mortem movement."

Blow flies typically flock to dead bodies in the early stages of decomposition.

The defense contends that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father, helped dispose of her remains. They also argue that the meter reader who found Caylee's remains, Roy Kronk, tampered with the skeleton.

Huntington also said that the trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire smelled like garbage to him, not human decomposition. Previous witnesses have testified that the car reeked of death.

Prosecutor Jeff Ashton aggressively cross-examined Huntington, making him admit that he hadn't investigated the car until 2010, two years after Caylee's disappearance. By that time the liner of the trunk and the bag of trash in the trunk had been removed.

He also conceded that the body was likely decomposing somewhere else for two or three days before it was brought to the woods.

When Ashton asked how the absence of blow flies impacts decomposition, Huntington said that the odor of decomposition grows stronger and that the smell is difficult to remove.

Anthony's Pontiac Sunfire tested positive for high levels of chloroform, a chemical that is associated with human decomposition and can also be used to kill. The trunk did not test positive for the presence of human blood.

When the witness was asked if high levels of chloroform could thwart blow flies, he was unable to give a definitive answer.

The prosecution claims that Casey Anthony killed Caylee by drugging her with chloroform and then putting duct tape over her mouth and nose. Prosecutors contend she carried the child's body around in her car before disposing of the body in the woods. Caylee's remains were found with duct tape, a Winnie the Pooh blanket and trash bags.

Much of the morning was spent in sidebars and with the jury out of the room as the prosecution argued that Huntington wasn't qualified to discuss stains found in Casey Anthony's Pontiac Sunfire and whether they were signs of decomposition or not.

At one point, prosecutor Jeff Ashton mocked defense attorney Jose Baez for "texting" on his blackberry, prompting Judge Belvin Perry to reprimand both men.

"I do not care if Mr. Baez is standing on his head, standing on one leg…let's just stick with the facts and be professional," Perry said.

Caution: Some Casey Anthony evidence photos are graphic.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of lying to law enforcement. She has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

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