ORLANDO, Fla. May 26, 2011 -- Casey Anthony was practically living with a new boyfriend and slept with an old boyfriend in the days before her daughter Caylee disappeared, according to testimony in her Orlando murder trial today.
In a day of testimony that appeared to get at the character of Casey Anthony, a woman who spent a July 4 weekend with her recalled the defendant making up an excuse to cancel an appointment with friends and then bragging, "Oh my God, I'm such a good liar."
Ricardo Morales, who dated Casey Anthony between February and April of 2008, said that Casey and Caylee spent the night at his apartment in June 2008, just days before 2-year-old Caylee disappeared. During this time, Casey Anthony was also frequently staying at boyfriend Tony Lazzaro's apartment.
Casey Anthony even picked Morales up from the airport on July 15, 2008, the same day her mother made a frantic 911 call saying Caylee Anthony was missing and her daughter's car smelled like there had been a dead body in it. Casey Anthony picked up her former lover using a friend's car.
"She was the same as she always was…happy, smiling, asking us how our trip was, just normal Casey," Morales said.
Casey Anthony, 25, faces a series of charges related to the disappearance and death of her daughter, Caylee, ranging from first degree murder to providing false information to law enforcement. She could face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious charge.
Casey Anthony's defense team claims that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008 and that George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father, was present and helped dispose of the body. Defense lawyer Jose Baez argued in opening statements that Casey Anthony hid Caylee's death in a bizarre emotional quirk that was the result of alleged sexual abuse by her father.
After jurors were recessed this afternoon, former boyfriend Lazzaro testified that Casey Anthony confided she had been physically abused by her father, but made no mention of sexual abuse.
"Hitting, that's all I can remember…I took it as discipline," said Lazzaro.
Lazzaro couldn't remember a time frame for when the alleged abuse occurred. Casey Anthony also told Lazzaro that her brother, Lee Anthony, attempted to "feel her up," but didn't succeed, Lazzaro testified.
"It definitely was in the past. It wasn't anything present," Lazzaro said of the alleged abuse by Lee Anthony.
In day three of the trial, the prosecution continued to paint a portrait of Casey Anthony as a party girl with shifting morals.
One woman who met Casey Anthony during the July 4 weekend in 2008 said that Anthony gloated about her ability to lie after telling someone on the phone that she couldn't pick them up because she had a flat tire.
"She threw the phone on the dashboard and said, 'Oh my God, I'm such a good liar,'" said witness Melissa England.
Anthony shook her head when England told jurors about Anthony's comments about lying.
England, who hung out with Anthony for one weekend in July, said that Anthony did appear distraught on the night of July 3, 2008 while hanging out at Chillers Bar in Orlando. Anthony reportedly received several calls from her brother that night.
"She was very upset, she was crying often…she was clearly not doing well and ultimately wanted to leave," England testified.
Every witness has testified that Anthony told them she worked at Universal Studios. Several have mentioned that Anthony described Caylee as being with a nanny. Both the prosecution and defense have confirmed Anthony was lying about her work and Caylee being with a nanny.
All witnesses have described Casey Anthony as generally upbeat during the month that Caylee disappeared and that she never mentioned Caylee as missing or in danger.
Early in today's testimony, Casey Anthony's eyes filled with tears as her former boyfriend Lazzaro described the young mom's interactions with Caylee in the days before the little girl disappeared.
"She was a great little girl," Lazzaro said.
Lazzaro, on the stand for a second day in Casey Anthony's murder trial, said that Caylee could count in Spanish to 40 and loved Dora the Explorer. As Lazzaro described watching Casey Anthony and Caylee laugh and hug, Casey Anthony nodded and smiled.
Lazzaro not only described Anthony's relationship with her child, but the close romantic relationship he and Anthony developed during June 2008 at a time when Caylee was missing but authorities had not been alerted to her disappearance.
Caylee was last seen alive June 16, 2008, the prosecution claims. Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony's mother, reported Caylee missing in a 911 call on July 15, 2008.
Lazzaro said the two would talk on the phone until they fell asleep and confirmed that Anthony confided a secret about her family with him before she was arrested in July 2008, but said she never mentioned that her daughter had gone missing.
Photos of the couple submitted into evidence show a beaming Anthony sitting on his lap at a nightclub days after Caylee disappeared.
On Wednesday, the prosecution questioned Lazzaro, his former roommates and women who worked at a nightclub frequented by Anthony during the 31 days Caylee was missing in what seemed to be an attempt to paint a portrait of Anthony as a party girl.
Lazzaro's testimony today was followed by more testimony from George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father. George Anthony has refuted the defense team's claims that he abused Casey and helped dispose of Caylee's body.
George Anthony's testimony focused on June 24, 2008, the day he reported two gas cans had been stolen from his family's shed.
The gas cans may turn out to be a crucial component of the trial. The Henkel brand of duct tape on one of the gas cans matches the duct tape found on Caylee's remains found in December 2008.
George Anthony and Defense Lawyer Jose Baez Have Terse Exchange
Casey Anthony's former boyfriend previously testified that the two broke a lock on the Anthony family shed and took the gas cans to fill up Casey Anthony's car.
A few hours after George Anthony called to report the cans stolen to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Casey Anthony showed up at her parents' house. George and Casey Anthony got into an argument and Casey Anthony cursed at her father, telling him she took the cans, the father testified.
George Anthony testified that he put the duct tape on one of the cans because after his daughter returned it, the vent cap was gone.
George Anthony and Casey Anthony's defense attorney, Jose Baez, got into a terse exchange when the lawyer asked George Anthony why he didn't tell police about the gas and and his argument with his daughter for more than two weeks after police were alerted to Caylee's disappearance.
"I'm not a human calendar," George Anthony said. "You are badgering me. You are trying to get me upset."
Both the defense and prosecution are trying to use the gas cans as proof of their claims.
Baez seemed to be hinting that the gap between the time when Caylee was reported missing and when George Anthony told authorities about the cans was the result of the father trying to implicate the daughter in Caylee's disappearance. In his opening statement, Baez suggested that George Anthony put the tape on the cans knowing that the police would find it and connect it to the tape on Caylee's body.
The prosecution believes the tape on one of the cans is unique, having a heart pattern on it. Tape with the same pattern was found on Caylee's mouth and nose, indicating that the tape came from the Anthony home.
The prosecution claims Caylee died from three pieces of duct tape placed on her nose and mouth, although the medical examiner was never able to determine a cause of death for Caylee. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by undetermined means.