Casey Anthony Trial: Mother Gets Emotional During Testimony

Cindy Anthony recalled excuses Casey gave to why she couldn't talk to Caylee.

May 28, 2011, 9:40 AM

May 28, 2011— -- The mother of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, broke down in tears today during her daughter's murder trial.

Cindy Anthony choked back tears as she described a playhouse built for Caylee, Casey Anthony's daughter, who was not seen for a month before anyone reported her missing in July 2008.

"It's patio stones, it's the square patio stones, we made like a four, we didn't want her to be on the grass when she was sitting in there playing," she said.

The prosecution asked Cindy Anthony to outline what kind of life Caylee Anthony was living at her grandparents' home with her mother, Casey.

At one point during the testimony, Cindy Anthony asked the judge to take Caylee's picture down from her monitor so she could try to testify without crying.

Cindy Anthony also outlined day by day, all of the lies and excuses that her daughter, Casey Anthony, told her, as to why she couldn't talk to her granddaughter.

Casey Anthony told her there'd been a car accident or she was at work or was in Jacksonville.

Caylee Anthony was last seen alive June 16, 2008, but wasn't reported missing until July 15, 2008. Her remains were found in December of that year.

Cindy Anthony's testimony comes a day after witnesses testified they smelled human decomposition in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car.

Earlier in the morning, ex-boyfriend Tony Lazzaro testified that Casey sent a text message that said, "If they don't find her, guess who gets blamed and spends eternity in jail."

Smell of Death

Anthony's father, George, said he discovered maggots and smelled "something that you never forget" when he opened the trunk of his daughter's car.

George Anthony along with wife, Cindy, arrived at a tow yard on July 15, 2008 to retrieve the Pontiac Sunfire that Casey Anthony had abandoned.

He testified that he said a quick prayer that the odor was not from his missing granddaughter or his daughter.

George Anthony said that he smelled a "pretty strong odor."

"I was very concerned about the odor," he said. "I had smelled something like that some years prior and I was concerned."

Casey Anthony's father, an ex-police officer, testified that the odor was that of a decomposing human body.

"That particular smell whenever you smell it, it's something that you never forget," George Anthony said. "It's a very distinct odor."

He did not find any dead bodies, but a bag full of trash and maggots. Forensic evidence in Anthony's car will be key in the murder trial, experts have said.

The car tested positive for chloroform and human decomposition and a strand of Caylee's hair was found in the car's trunk.

Friday morning's testimony about Casey Anthony's car marked a shift from days of former friends and family testifying about Casey Anthony's behavior in the days she knew her daughter was missing but hadn't alerted authorities.

Cindy Anthony ultimately called 911 that day to report Caylee was missing and that her daughter's car smelled like there had been a dead body in it.

The supervisor of the tow truck company that removed Casey Anthony's abandoned car while her daughter, Caylee, was missing also testified Friday that the car smelled like a dead body had been in it.

Simon Birch, the operations manager for Johnsons Wrecker Service during the summer of 2008, said the car had been on the tow yard's lot for three days when he examined the car's exterior in early July.

"I put my hand up to the glass to shield the sun and look through the windows. At that point, I did notice a fairly strong odor emanating from the vehicle," Birch said. "The instant flash in my mind was, whoah, I know what that smells like."

Birch, a 30-year veteran of the towing industry, told jurors that he can tell the difference between the smell of human decomposition and the smell of garbage.

Birch said that when he and George Anthony opened the car door, "the smell came out very instantly … very potent. It was eye opening…. In the back of my mind, I said to myself that' s the smell of decomposition."

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Anthony's car was abandoned at Amscot, a financial services company.

It was noticed by employee Katherine Sanchez on June 27, 2008.

Sanchez mentioned an odor around the car, but was unsure where the odor came from since the car was backed into a parking space next to a Dumpster.

She said the car had a blanket in it, but could not provide details about what was on the blanket.

Caylee Anthony's remains were found wrapped in a Winnie the Pooh blanket, stuffed in plastic bags.

The prosecution claimed she died from three pieces of duct tape on her nose and mouth, although the medical examiner was never able to determine a cause of death.

The defense claimed the girl accidentally drowned on June 16, 2008, and that Casey never told anyone.

On Friday, defense attorney Jose Baez called for a mistrial.

Baez claimed that Casey Anthony's character has been derided by the barrage of witnesses called by the state describing his client's behavior in the month she claimed she was looking for Caylee.

Judge Belvin Perry denied the need for a mistrial.

Also on late Friday, attempts to introduce instant messages between Anthony and her ex-boyfriend as evidence toward a motive by the prosecution were denied, the Associated Press reported.

Casey Anthony, could face the death penalty if convicted.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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