Casey Anthony Trial: Expert Says Official Autopsy Was 'Shoddy'

Expert says offical autopsy was "shoddy."

ByABC News
June 19, 2011, 11:25 AM

June 19, 2011 — -- Two forensic experts testified over the weekend that 2-year-old Caylee Anthony was not necessarily suffocated by duct tape in the third day of the defense's case in the murder trial of Florida mother Casey Anthony.

Forensic expert Dr. Werner Spitz argued Saturday that the duct tape the prosecution claimed suffocated her was actually applied after her body had decomposed. He also claimed that the autopsy performed on the toddler was "shoddy," as Caylee's skull was not opened, so he conducted a second autopsy himself.

"The head is part of the body and when you do an examination, you examine the whole body," Spitz said, according to the Associated Press. "... That to me is a signal of a shoddy autopsy."

Spitz has also testified as an expert in the high-profile cases of O.J. Simpson and record executive Phil Spector.

The defense's first expert witness Saturday was Dr. William Rodriguez, who also refuted the evidence that Caylee Anthony was suffocated by duct tape placed over her nose and mouth.

Caution: Some Casey Anthony evidence photos are graphic.

Rodriguez, a forensic anthropologist with the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Medical Examiner's Office, testified that it would be impossible to determine the exact position of duct tape on a corpse.

Duct tape can shift over time as it looses its stickiness, Rodriguez argued, and could have been moved by animals who came in contact with the two-year-old's body.

Casey Anthony is accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

She has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

Rodriguez's testimony comes after Casey Anthony's "surprise witness" became an embarrassment for the defense Friday when the witness held a news conference outside of the courthouse and said that he did not know the Anthony family.

Defense attorney Jose Baez previously included Vasco Thompson, a convicted kidnapper, as a last minute surprise addition to his amended witness list earlier this week.

Baez claimed that Thompson and Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, shared a series of phone conversations the day before 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's disappearance was reported to authorities in July 2008.

George Anthony angrily issued a statement through his attorney earlier this week denying those claims.

"I have no idea who George Anthony is," Thompson said. "The phone number they got, I didn't have that number until February of 2009. I don't know why they dragged me into all this mess."

Baez never said what Thompson's connection to the case may have been, but he has accused George Anthony of helping to dispose of Caylee's body after she accidentally drowned in the family pool.

It is unlikely that Baez will now call Thompson to the witness stand.

The trial resumes Monday.