Casey Anthony Trial: Lee Anthony, Cindy Anthony Baffle Prosecutors
Casey Anthony's brother, Lee Anthony, met with defense before testifying.
June 24, 2011 — -- For the second straight day, a member of Casey Anthony's family confused prosecutors with testimony that they did not expect.
Lee Anthony testified emotionally today about his sister's pregnancy with Caylee, breaking down in tears as he claimed his family ignored her pregnancy, not talking about it until just days before she gave birth in 2005.
The brother's dramatic appearance on the witness stand clearly baffled prosecutors who questioned the sincerity of his emotion as well as his memory that seemed to differ from his 2009 deposition.
On Thursday, Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony's mother, took credit for some of the chloroform searches on the family computer, a blow to the prosecution's theory that it was Casey Anthony who searched chloroform 84 times in her computer.
The prosecution argues that Casey Anthony murdered her daughter with chloroform and duct tape. Caylee was reported missing on July 15, 2008, 31 days after she was last seen alive. She could face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder.
The defense claims she accidentally drowned in the family pool. At one point today Cindy Anthony returned to the stand where defense attorney Jose Baez asked her, "How many times had you advised law enforcement you thought Caylee drowned in the pool?"
Prosecutors objected and a sidebar, Judge Belvin Perry told her to not answer the question.
Casey Anthony's Family Is Surprising Prosecution With Its Testimony
Lee Anthony told the court today that the family ignored Casey's pregnancy even after she was visibly showing in the seventh month and he said no one acknowledged the pregnancy until days before Caylee was born. The testimony by Lee Anthony was the latest effort by Casey Anthony's lawyers to depict a dysfunctional family that ignored the obvious at times.
Lee Anthony told jurors that he confronted his mother once about his sister's pregnancy, but he was told to let it go and it was never fully discussed until a few days before Casey Anthony gave birth in August 2005.
The brother started crying on the stand when he told the court why he wasn't present at Caylee's birth.
"I was very angry at my mom and I was also angry at my sister," said Lee Anthony, breaking into tears on the stand. "I was just angry at everyone in general that they didn't want to include me and didn't find it important enough to tell me, especially after I had already asked. So I was very hurt."
Lee Anthony's delivery of his testimony was far different from when he testified for the prosecution earlier this month. He showed little emotion and frequently said he didn't recall statements he'd made in his deposition. When prosecutors asked him about this, he said, "It's hard to remember something you did two years ago, absolutely."
Today, Lee Anthony's memory seemed markedly better and he was far more emotional. When asked what was making him more emotional about his testimony concerning Caylee's pregnancy then when he was deposed two years ago, he said he was in a different emotional state now.
"Two years ago I did not 100 percent hold the belief that Caylee was dead…During that two year span, I've come to the place where I believe that she is and my emotions are elicited from those facts that I have regrets and I wish I could have been there a little more than I was," said Lee Anthony.
Prosecutors countered his testimony that the pregnancy was ignored by reminding Lee Anthony that in his earlier deposition he described his parents as being "over the top" about the coming birth, that they prepared a nursery and held a baby shower.
It was also revealed upon cross examination that Lee Anthony met with defense attorney Jose Baez after he testified for the state, but before he gave today's testimony. He had previously refused to meet with prosecutors. Lee Anthony said that no one from the defense prepared him for today's testimony and the meeting was about a separate issue.
It's unclear how the brother's testimony fits into the defense's strategy. After a series of sidebars today over the admission of Anthony family pictures, Judge Belvin Perry bluntly told Baez that his tactics were confusing.
"So what is your theory of the defense because you cannot use a broad blanket of the theory of the defense to just get any and everything…if your theory of the defense is ever changing, maybe you just simply need to tell me what your theory of the defense is," a frustrated Perry said.
The defense shocked the courtroom during opening statements by saying that Caylee drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, 31 days before she was reported missing. They claim that George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father, helped dispose of the body and that years of alleged sexual abuse by her father intimidated Casey Anthony into keeping the secret about her daughter's death.
So far, they have not introduced evidence of sexual abuse or that George Anthony helped get rid of the body. George Anthony has denied both accusations.
Earlier this morning, Cindy Anthony and her daughter Casey Anthony cried as they watched a video of a giggling 2-year-old Caylee Anthony playing with her mother and saw pictures of the toddler in the family swimming pool.
Cindy Anthony -- mother to Casey and grandmother to Caylee -- wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue as she watched the video of Caylee bouncing on Casey Anthony's legs as the young mom laid on the floor. Both Casey Anthony and Caylee were smiling in the video.
The video from April 2007 showed Caylee in the same shorts that were found tattered with her remains on Dec. 11, 2008.
A visibly upset Cindy Anthony was rocking on the witness stand, taking deep breaths and rubbing her neck to try and stop the tears. At one point, defense attorney Jose Baez even asked her if she needed a break.
She said, "No, I'm all right."
The defense seems to be suggesting that the shorts were too small for Caylee when she disappeared in the summer of 2008 because she had grown significantly.
Upon cross examination, Cindy Anthony said that Caylee was pretty much potty trained and wasn't always wearing a bulky diaper under her shorts.
Jurors also looked at pictures of the Anthony family pool and the removable ladder used to climb into the pool.