Casey Anthony Trial: Former Fiance Says Lee Anthony Groped Sister
Casey Anthony's former fiance says she wanted to keep Caylee from brother.
June 28, 2011 — -- A former fiance of Casey Anthony testified today that the Florida woman's brother once groped her while she slept and that she wanted to keep her daughter Caylee away from him.
Jesse Grund testified at Casey Anthony's murder trial without jurors in the room. Judge Belvin Perry will decide Wednesday whether the testimony is admissible.
If his testimony is allowed, it could help the defense's claims that Casey Anthony suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her brother and father. Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of murderinig daughter Caylee and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Her father, George Anthony, has denied the abuse accusations. Lee Anthony has never been asked directly by the prosecution or defense if he abused his sister.
Another former boyfriend of Casey Anthony, Tony Lazzaro, previously testified that the Florida woman said her father was physically abusive and that Lee Anthony had tried to "feel her up" but didn't succeed.
Today, Jesse Grund, who at one time was Casey's fiance and thought he was Caylee's father, said that Lee Anthony was "standoffish" and "sullen" around him.
"She told me that at one point in recent years that she woke up one night with Lee standing up over her," Grund said. He also said that Casey Anthony told him that she woke up another time to Lee Anthony groping her.
"Anything that Casey said I took as truth and fact...I didn't want to have anything to do with him," Grund said.
Casey Anthony appeared emotional, but did not cry as Grund spoke. Lee Anthony testified earlier in the day, but was not asked about abuse. He has previously testified about his anger over the fact that his family didn't invite him to Caylee's birth.
The defense appears to be trying to find ways to bolster their theory without Casey Anthony taking the stand. The defense claims that 2-year-old Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and that George Anthony helped dispose of the body. They claim that Casey Anthony hid her daughter's death as part of a bizarre coping mechanism she learned from years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and brother.
The defense said today that they have about six witnesses left to call. The judge reminded the defense that if Anthony doesn't testify, she will have to confirm that it is her decision not to do so.
"At the conclusion as the defense rests and if the defendant does not testify, I will have to inquire … if it is her decision and her decision alone," Perry said.
Without the jury present, the judge also listened to testimony from two Orange County corrections officers who described Anthony as a model inmate who is always pleasant despite living in a 6-by-8 foot cell 23 hours a day.
"Her behavior has never changed. She has been the same person. She is constant as a bee. She's never up or down," said Sgt. Dennis Moonsammy.
The judge ruled that the testimony regarding Anthony's behavior as an inmate was inadmissible.
Earlier in the day, the defense focused on the discovery of Caylee's remains by meter reader Roy Kronk. Kronk testifed about the moment he discovered Caylee's skull on Dec. 11, 2008.
"I was standing behind it so I was looking at it from behind. I still didn't think it was real so I gently took it [meter reader stick] and put it in the right eye socket...That was a really horrific thing for me to find obviously," Kronk said.
The toddler was found in a wooded area off of Suburban Drive near the Anthony family home. Along with the toddler's remains were duct tape, a Winnie the Pooh blanket, canvas bags, black plastic trash bags and a Gatorade bottle with a syringe.
Casey Anthony's defense team put Kronk on the stand hoping to prove to jurors a key point of their defense theory that Kronk moved the body and tampered with the toddler's remains in the hopes of collecting a reward.
Kronk gave testimony that at times was confusing. He seemed to conflict with previous statements he has given to law enforcement and attorneys. At one point, Kronk denied ever picking up the skull or a bag that was with the remains, but later he said that he picked up the bag, shook it three times and the skull ended up at his feet.