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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Did Prosecutors Make Case in Casey Anthony Trial?

Aired June 14, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the prosecution tops off its case against Casey Anthony with drama and tears. Cindy Anthony takes the stand again and is grilled about the key pieces of evidence found with little Caylee`s skeleton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you recognize the shirt that Caylee is wearing?

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY`S MOTHER: The first time I had seen that shirt was during the deposition.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy weeps. And witnesses say mouths "I love you" to Casey in court. Did Casey respond? Could Cindy`s words help send Casey to death?

Plus, the defense is about to start its case. Our panel debates the five issues Jose Baez and his team must address. Where does Ray Cronk fit in?

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: Mr. Cronk is a morally bankrupt individual who actually took Caylee`s body and hid her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And will the defense delve deeper into claims that Casey was molested by her father and brother? We`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of line! Get out of line!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of line! Get out of line!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of line! Get out of line!

CINDY ANTHONY: First time I had ever seen that shirt was during my deposition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey, where is Caylee? At least, where`s her remains?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s either in a Dumpster right now, she`s buried somewhere. She`s out there somewhere, and her rotting body is starting to decompose.

CINDY ANTHONY: I heard her tell Lee that Caylee had been gone for 31 days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember there was a time when she told me that her mom told me that she was an unfit mother.

CINDY ANTHONY: So there you go, you want to fight it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The top of the bones, these have actually been chewed on by animals.

BELVIN PERRY, JUDGE: Ms. Anthony is ill. We are recessing for the day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of my way, cameraman.

BAEZ: She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth, and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever sexually molested your daughter, Casey Anthony?

GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY: No, sir.

BAEZ: This family must keep its secrets quiet.

LEE ANTHONY, CASEY`S BROTHER: I told Detective Edwards that she said, "because maybe because I`m a spiteful (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."

CINDY ANTHONY: What do you want me to take Caylee?

CASEY ANTHONY, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: That Mommy loves her very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Cindy Anthony sobs on the stand again, as the prosecution basically wraps up its case. Prosecutors brought defendant Casey`s mom back to the stand and showed her grisly evidence they say proves her daughter is a murderess.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you recognize the shirt that Caylee is wearing?

CINDY ANTHONY: The first time I had ever seen that shirt was during the deposition. I don`t ever remember seeing that shirt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: After Cindy`s testimony, a jaw-dropping scene in front of the entire courtroom. Now, Cindy is seen leaving, and she mouths something there. OK? Now witnesses say she mouthed "I love you" to her defendant daughter. And those same witnesses say Casey did not respond to her mom. What`s going on there?

Cindy was among the final witnesses for the prosecution. The state is basically done with witnesses and officially wraps tomorrow morning. The defense starts the day after tomorrow. The big question: did prosecutors prove their case? Some say absolutely they did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The state tied it up with a big bow, Vinny. They always say save the best for last. I mean, if you see a fireworks display, they always put off the very ending, the best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Frankly, I`m not quite so sure. The prosecution certainly seems very confident, but I remember covering the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. You remember this case. Those prosecutors were so confident they seemed cocky. They thought they had obliterated the King of Pop`s defense, and then the jury returned and found Michael Jackson not guilty on all counts. The prosecutors` jaws dropped. You can not predict how a jury is taking it all in.

What do you think? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Did prosecutors nail it or blow it?

Straight out to "In Session`s" Jean Casarez.

Jean, you`re at the courthouse. What was the buzz today when the state pretty much wrapped up? Is it consensus they went out with a wimper or a bang?

JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": I think most people think that they went out with a bang, because of the tattoo evidence, the fact that Casey, in the midst of her daughter dying, because both sides said she died on June 16, was not only partying, not only enjoying life but got a tattoo. And her demeanor was just the same as ever, that she was just fine. I think the prosecution believed that was the strongest they have, to show that Casey Anthony wasn`t grieving at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You`re looking at the tattoo. This was their piece de resistance, their climax, their moment, the finale, OK? But here`s a slight problem with that: what makes this case so hard to call is it`s all how you read the evidence, because it`s all circumstantial.

So let`s look at Casey`s tattoo. The prosecution ended with dramatic testimony about Casey got a tattoo that says "bella vita," which is "beautiful life," "the good life," soon after her daughter vanishes.

Watch how both the defense and the prosecution put completely different spins on this very same fact.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: In your business that people get tattoos to remember their loved ones that have passed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the second (ph) she got her tattoo, did she appear to be mournful?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she mourning? Did she approve to be mournful?

BAEZ: Objection, Judge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So it`s all how you look at it. Is the tattoo proof that Casey is an unfeeling monster or, as the defense just claimed, cross-examining the guy who gave her the tattoo, could the tattoo have been in loving memory of a child the defense now claimed accidentally drowned? I know somebody named Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, is going to have a lot to say on this one.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. Are you kidding me? She came in there on July 2, got this "beautiful life" tattoo while her daughter was on Suburban Drive rotting away. By then, she was already a skeleton, Jane.

And Bobby Williams, he said, "Oh, yes, she came in."

And they said, "How was she?"

"Oh, she was normal." What`s normal with this woman, Jane? We don`t know. We haven`t seen what normal is. She was lying, because then she came back on the 15th, July 15 and made an appointment for the 19th and said she was coming back with a friend to get a tattoo. Oh, yes, and she was going to bring Caylee with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, yes.

Jayne Weintraub, I know you`re close to the defense. If the tattoo had said, "I miss you, Caylee" or "I`ll never be the same," I think you could argue more effectively that it was in loving memory of a daughter that the defense now claims accidentally drown the day she went missing. But "the beautiful life"?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: "Beautiful life," you know, it`s much different when you say "a beautiful life" or "a good life," because the prosecutors want to make it out to like a good life. Now Casey is going to have a good life without her. Wrong, it means a beautiful life, and it is commemorative.

I`ll tell you something, Jane. My brother, who will probably kill me, when his wife died, a month after he had her name tattooed on his wrist.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her name. Her name.

WEINTRAUB: That`s what I said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If she tattooed "Caylee," that would have been one thing. Go ahead.

WEINTRAUB: Actually, what he had written was "remember." But to him that was having her engraved on his wrist. And it`s the same thing.

BROOKS: No, it`s not, Jane.

WEINTRAUB: Absolutely it is. You know, Mike, you can scream all you want, but what you want...

BROOKS: No, I`m not screaming. I`m mad.

WEINTRAUB: Let me tell you, with the jury today asking for an exhibit and the judge acknowledging that the jury had spoken to one another or discussed a request for evidence to be brought back into a jury room, you can have all the convictions you want, because this case is absolutely coming back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Why don`t we bring in Aphrodite Jones? And she`s the star of "True Crime" on Investigation Discovery. You were in the courtroom today. Do you think the prosecution ended with a whimper or a bang?

APHRODITE JONES, HOST, INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY`S "TRUE CRIME": I have to agree with Jane on this. It was a bang. And I`ll tell you why, Jane.

That particular tattoo is a very highly symbolic piece of evidence that we now see, and we see that, what did Caylee do -- sorry, Casey? She wasn`t remembering Caylee. No. She was signaling a new life, not just a good life, but a new life that she had already been laying the groundwork for, which is indicative of premeditation, by the way.

And not only that, she got this tattoo. She made an appointment to get the tattoo. So this was something she thought about before she even went in there to have this tattoo done.

WEINTRAUB: That`s an indication of a murder?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I think it`s clever -- let me just say this. I think it`s clever in the way that Jose Baez is attempting to spin everything, and he`s got a lot to spin.

OK, because when we come back, we`re going to talk about the duct tape, the canvas bag the child was found in, the garbage bags, the little shirt she was wearing and the heart sticker, all of which, the prosecution today, using the defendant`s own mother, connected to the Anthony home and, they hope, to Casey Anthony. But could they have also connected some of that stuff to George?

All right, give me a holler. We`re just getting started: 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. More on Cindy and the tattoo artist.

Plus, we`re going to list the top five issues the defense must address when they begin the day after tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: This child at 8 years old learned to lie immediately. She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth and go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH FONTANE, FORENSIC EXAMINER: During my examination of Q-63, an outline of a heart appeared on one of corners on the edge of that piece of duct tape. The outline of the heart resembled that glue or debris that, if you had been wearing a band-aid for an extended period of time.

LINDA DRANE-BURDICK, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Are you familiar with whether or not there were heart stickers located in the bedroom of Casey Anthony during the execution of that search warrant on December 20 of 2008?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there were.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, there were. Is a heart-shaped sticker the key to this prosecution? The prosecution connected two very important heart- shaped dots in court today. The same indentation of a heart that was on the duct tape was also on stickers found in Casey Anthony`s bedroom.

Mike Brooks, do these stickers seal the deal?

BROOKS: I think they do. Some people will say no, they don`t, because the stickers that they found in her bedroom aren`t exactly like the heart-shaped sticker that they found there at the crime scene, but who`s to say that the -- that Casey didn`t use another heart-shaped sticker?

Because if you look at -- a lot of T-shirts, all the evidence photos that I`ve been through and I`ve been through with a lot of different people, there seems to be a theme here with Casey and Caylee. And it`s hearts. There`s a lot of hearts in her room, all around the house.

WEINTRAUB: She`s a girl. All little girls have hearts, Mike. Come on.

BROOKS: Not all little girls.

WEINTRAUB: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on a second, Jane.

BROOKS: How many little girls have heart -- have a heart-shaped adhesive on a piece of duct tape that was around their mouth? How many little girls have that, Jane?

WEINTRAUB: It`s different, and you can`t jump and speculate. You can`t say well, I wonder if Casey did this. That`s the whole point. You can`t wonder.

BROOKS: Are you saying -- are you saying the shape of the heart was not there, Jayne?

WEINTRAUB: I`m sorry?

BROOKS: Are you saying that that heart shape was not there, as that FBI examiner testified to?

WEINTRAUB: You mean as the FBI-trained agent testified, who didn`t bother to photograph it, measure it, look at it, tell somebody, show somebody? I`m not sure. I assume that there was a heart-shaped sticker there but certainly, it`s not the same that was taken from Casey Anthony`s house. And certainly, you can`t use it as evidence of a murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Hold on one second. Because to me, you said, well, it`s what girls do. So are you suggesting, Jayne Weintraub, that another young lady is the person who disposed of the body? I mean, it`s something that...

WEINTRAUB: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. What I`m saying is...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then what other girl is involved in this case except for Casey Anthony?

WEINTRAUB: What -- first of all, somebody who -- first of all, the sticker is found in this piece of evidence, supposedly was found behind a school. A school...

BROOKS: No, Jayne. Have you been there? It`s not behind a school.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. You know what?

BROOKS: Excuse me, Mike. How far away was Cronk from the school when the body was found? It`s not the same sticker that matched Casey`s.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Please don`t go rogue on me, people, because they call me, and they go, "Why did you let thee talk over each other?"

I say, "They went rogue on me. I can`t control them."

Cathy, Texas, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, Jane, thanks for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sure.

CALLER: I was wondering what you thought about Casey taking the stand. Do you think she will take the stand? And if she does, she`s going to hang her own self, I think.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s, I think, the big problem with Casey taking the stand. First of all, they`re going to cross-examine her about this alleged drowning that occurred, and they`re going to try to exact a whole bunch of details from her. And you know she`s very quick on her feet, and she knows how to ad lib. And she`s a pathological liar.

But the very fact that she`s a pathological liar, I think, works against her because the jury is not going to believe anything she says. They don`t want to be snowed like her parents were snowed. Jean Casarez, what`s the -- what`s the bet going on there at the courthouse? Is the word that she`s going to take the stand or not?

CASAREZ: Most people think she will. But Jane, I`m with you. I just think, you know, when I attended jury selection, and I heard you say that they could recommend the death penalty, but only in bad cases. Well, if she takes the stand, and they really don`t like her, and they`re insulted, just like you said, what happens if you go into the penalty phase?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re not even talking about the cross- examination by the prosecutors.

Now, let`s get to a key piece of evidence, a Winnie the Pooh blanket that disappeared a month before little Caylee vanished. And then parts of it show up later at the child`s remains. Today, the prosecution asked Cindy Anthony about that blanket. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DRANE-BURDICK: Did Caylee also have a blanket with Winnie the Pooh on it?

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes.

DRANE-BURDICK: Do you remember during that time frame noticing that the blanket was missing?

CINDY ANTHONY: No, prior to that time frame, it was missing.

DRANE-BURDICK: When did you notice that the blanket was missing?

CINDY ANTHONY: I hadn`t seen it since the end of May.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, to me this points to Casey, because who else would have taken the blanket a month before little Caylee accidentally drowned, even if you believe the defense? That blanket disappeared. Isn`t, Aphrodite Jones, the child`s mom likely to have taken it? And therefore, shouldn`t the jury assume she`s the one who left it with the skeleton in the woods?

JONES: I think so, Jane. I think that what I`m feeling, if I`m playing 13th juror here is why would this child be found with a blanket from her own bedroom set? Why would anyone put a heart-shaped sticker on the duct tape, which by the way, was seen by a second expert not just one expert, OK?

And the other thing about what today was so important to me, looking at the jury, was they requested that heart. They wanted to see the sticker that had been introduced into evidence. They wanted to see it, because it was brought back in by Jose Baez. And said, "Oh, oh, I do want the sticker in." And they asked to see it not only on the monitors but physically handle it, which hadn`t been done by any piece of evidence before. They wanted to physically handle that heart sticker.

And there`s an argument that, oh, it`s not the same shape. It`s not the dime shape (ph), that it`s not the same raise. You know what? It`s still a heart. It was an outline...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we never even heard -- the jury never even heard the claims by a friend, Marie Cruz (ph), that they used to bury their pets in that same area and put heart stickers on them.

More calls next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DRANE-BURDICK: Has your hair been processed?

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes.

DRANE-BURDICK: In what way? Do you have knowledge as to what processing your daughter, Casey, had done on her hair? Do you know if your son, Lee, processed his hair in any way?

CINDY ANTHONY: No, he never has.

DRANE-BURDICK: When was the last time your mother had been in the car prior to June of 2008?

CINDY ANTHONY: I couldn`t say for sure.

DRANE-BURDICK: What kind of hair does she have?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The great hair debate. Today, the prosecution used the trust old process of elimination to try to prove that the decomposing Anthony family hair found in Casey`s car trunk could only belong with little Caylee.

Now, take a look. They show that, well, it`s too long to belong to Lee or George, and Casey and Cindy both colored their hair, so this was an unprocessed hair. It had to be Caylee`s.

Jean Casarez, your report, was this a big score for prosecutors? Because I thought it was slightly vague and a little too unscientific.

CASAREZ: Interesting. You know, they`re going to have to tie it up in closing arguments. I think it`s critical to them. They put on how many witnesses for this hair, because they want to corroborate the chloroform and the smell of chloroform.

But what they`re saying is mitochondrial DNA, mercurial (ph) DNA, it could only be Casey, Caylee, Cindy, or Cindy`s mother, and it showed signs of decomposition. Only one person out of all of those is deceased.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Gail, Florida, your question or thought, Gail?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I was just thinking about this today. No one`s mentioned this, but Casey Anthony had access to the grandparents` house, to her parents` house, you know, all the time. They said how much she went in and out of that home. So she had as much time to touch that duct tape and take it...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes.

CALLER: ... and even return it at anytime without them even knowing it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re absolutely, absolutely right.

CALLER: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, the prosecution honed in on this today. They -- in fact, they spent the entire day hammering home how evidence found with little Caylee`s remains came from the Anthony home.

Unfortunately, George also lives in that home. So hypothetically, it could also point the finger at George, could it not? I mean, the duct tape, I think we even have a sound bite from the court today, right? The duct tape.

DRANE-BURDICK: What do you recall saying about the duct tape that was in your house?

CINDY ANTHONY: I remember George telling me about putting a piece of duct tape on the gas can.

BAEZ: And your understanding was that the only one using that one roll of duct tape was George?

CINDY ANTHONY: Well, I would be using it, too, for the signs.

BAEZ: The answer you gave in the deposition was that the only person using that one roll of duct tape was George Anthony, correct?

CINDY ANTHONY: Probably.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So Mike Brooks, it was the prosecution who brought up the whole issue of duct tape today. Did they kind of screw up by introducing this possibility that hey, George is the one who had access to the duct tape.

BROOKS? Well, he had access to the duct tape. What is the defense going to show? That he`s the only one that had access to the duct tape?

You know, just like our caller said, Casey went -- came and went from that house. I mean, every day her parents thought she was going to work. Where was she? She probably spent time in the house. Did she take the duct tape -- duct tape from that house, that Hinkle duct tape? Most likely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I know, but they`re claiming that George discovered the child, and I know they`re going to point the finger.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: For those of you who may have queasiness or uneasiness or cannot control your emotions, I ask you to leave.

CROWD: Get in line. Get in line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the way, cameraman. Yes.

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: He wrote a check, but he`s got to put some evidence out there to cash that check.

(INAUDIBLE)

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: She never was missing. Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008 when she drowned in her family`s swimming pool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you do with the removable portion of the ladder?

CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: I took it off as usual and placed it on the side.

BAEZ: He`s broke (ph). It`s time to cash in his lottery ticket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m in a wooded area down by the school. I just saw a human skull.

LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: And if you go to the phone logs of her cell phone and the pings of the tower, you`ll see that she was up until about 4:30 in the morning.

BAEZ: She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth, and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.

Casey has a brother and he, too, wanted to follow in his father`s footsteps. He attempted to also touch his sister.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER: I`m not in control over any of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you recognize the shirt that Caylee is wearing?

CINDY ANTHONY: The first time I had ever seen that shirt was during my deposition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would it be fair to say you`ve never seen that shirt at your house?

CINDY ANTHONY: I don`t ever remember seeing that shirt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: All right. In just a couple of minutes, we are going to go over the five issues the defense must clear up and address in their case, which begins the day after tomorrow. Basically, the prosecution wrapped up its case today; a little housekeeping tomorrow and they are done.

We are all over the Casey Anthony trial. Today, as the prosecution wrapped up its case, a very emotional Cindy Anthony returned to the stand.

Michael Christian, senior field producer for "In Session", you were in court. Now that basically the state`s wrapped, what`s the general buzz there at the courthouse if you had to give a review, a grade. What are people saying with the prosecution`s case?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR FIELD PRODUCER "IN SESSION": I think people are happy generally with the prosecution`s case, Jane. I mean I think that they -- they think that the prosecution put on what they needed to put on. I think most of the people are convinced that Casey Anthony was responsible for her daughter`s death.

I think maybe there are people who wish there were other pieces of evidence they had put in. You know, we know so much about this case. People have been following it for three years. We know so many little details, things that were rumors, things that maybe weren`t fact; things that were never going to get in this case. But I think there`s a few people out there who are disappointed. Why didn`t they bring up this? Or hey, why didn`t they bring up this? Or gosh, I wish this person had testified. Some of that stuff was never coming in.

But I think, overall, most people think the prosecution did a really good job and has definitely met the burden of proof to show that Casey Anthony killed her daughter Caylee.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Florida criminal defense attorney Joe Episcopo, they covered so much today. They covered the garbage bags, the duct tape. The prosecutor brought in the canvas laundry bag that was in the Anthony home, also found at the crime scene. The shirt that the little girl was wearing, hair, heart stickers.

One something, though, that I didn`t hear -- I was listening, listening -- motive. I would have liked to have heard more about the motive. Why would she have done this? What was the friction between Cindy and Casey? They never mentioned this alleged fight that occurred the night before where Cindy allegedly lunges at her daughter saying I`m going to take this kid away from you. You`re a bad mother. They didn`t talk about all the friends who said that this girl would complain about her parents. Why not?

JOE EPISCOPO, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think they did show motive. I mean come on. First of all they showed how she was uncaring. How she was callous, how she partied while her daughter was missing. There`s your motive.

She didn`t want to be a mother. She didn`t want this child and the issue of the chloroforming and the duct taping. You have a motive. It`s clear.

BROOKS: And in the end --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She wanted to go and party and live a beautiful life, period, end of story.

EPISCOPO: Of course.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just think that a deeper motive, because she could have obviously left the child with her mother and gone off to party. We saw obviously Cindy was the caretaker of this child. Cindy was the one who cut her hair. Cindy was the one who arranged her toys. We heard all that today in court.

So, how does the prosecution explain why Casey didn`t just leave little Caylee with her grandmother, the little toddler`s grandmother, and go off and have fun? Why did she have to kill her?

EPISCOPO: First of all, I don`t think she did it intentionally. I think she did it accidentally with the chloroform.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re proving my point. Murder One. Ok, the charges that are outlined there are four counts of basically lying to cops; and then you can choose from Murder One, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. Accidental death, she walks.

EPISCOPO: Yes. No wait a minute. Hold it, hold it, hold it, hold it. Dosing your kid with chloroform is aggravated child abuse in any book I can see.

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There`s no evidence of that.

EPISCOPO: I mean come on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, hold on. Hold on.

EPISCOPO: What do you mean there`s no evidence of that?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second.

EPISCOPO: She did 84 hits on her computer on chloroform. Come on. There`s no evidence of that.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is evidence. Where`s my 84 number? I walk around with it.

Look -- but I think, Joe, I think you`re proving my point. I do believe that they`re going to get her on something. I`m just saying that I have concerns about whether or not they proved premeditated murder.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on a second. Hold on. Let Joe finish.

EPISCOPO: They don`t have to prove premeditated murder. They have to prove felony murder. The intent to do the aggravated child abuse is transferred to the homicide and that gets her into the death phase.

WEINTRAUB: Aggravated child abuse --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. Now let`s give Jayne a chance to respond.

EPISCOPO: It`s an enumerated felony.

WEINTRAUB: Aggravated child --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time, people.

WEINTRAUB: Aggravated child abuse in Florida, what she is charged with is not just neglect or going out partying. Aggravated child abuse has three very specific elements and the only thing you need to know is that it means to cause permanent damage or injury, like an aggravated battery. That`s what the girl is charged with.

You can`t make things up and want it to fit. That`s the crime. There`s no broken bones. And that`s the way it`s usually proved by a broken bone.

EPISCOPO: Wait a minute, hold it. Hold it. Listen, all of a sudden you`re defining aggravated child abuse as broken bones? How about neglect? How about not doing anything for 31 days?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I see Mike Brooks -- Mike Brooks -- Mike Brooks is not speaking because he knows we`re not supposed to talk over each other, because he`s an HLN law enforcement analyst, but he`s dramatically showing a piece of evidence.

Now, take it away, Mike.

BROOKS: Keep in mind that they had put the death penalty on the table. They took it off. But when they found the body of Caylee Anthony over at Suburban Drive, when they found her remains it had three pieces of duct tape across her mouth. The death penalty went back on the table and that`s heinous and atrocious.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m hearing a lot from people out on the street that haven`t been following this case from the very beginning for almost three years like we all have; that who are just now tuning because they`ve heard about the trial and they`ve gotten caught up in it.

And a lot of those people are saying I think she`s terrible, I think it was an accident and I think it`s an accidental death. I don`t know if that`s the kind of sentiment that`s going to result in somebody getting the death penalty.

Michael Christian, you`re there; can you weigh in on this?

CHRISTIAN: You know, I can understand why people might think that. I get that. I tell you Jane, I`ve been to a lot of trials where you kind of watch the prosecution put their evidence in and then you watch the defense case and you`re kind of like, is that it? Is that all there is?

And then I`ve seen prosecutors come and give a hell of a closing statement in its closing argument and it`s like "Oh, my God, of course, this connects to that. I didn`t see it."

I remember that so clearly in the Louise Woodward case, the British nanny who was accused of murdering one of her charges up in Massachusetts a couple of years back. Unbelievable closing argument in that case and it was just like the light bulb went off.

I think these are really good prosecutors. I think we have a really good chance of seeing a closing argument like that in this case. And I think a lot of people after that closing argument are going to be like, "Oh, my gosh, why didn`t I see it before."

BROOKS: Jane, keep in mind, the prosecution has the last word. What are they saving for rebuttal? They`re going to take a look and see what the defense is going to throw out there and they still have the last word in rebuttal.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they may do a lot on cross-examination on the defense witnesses because remember, Dr. Jean (ph) was the one hit a home run on cross-examination, not on the direct.

Kelly, Georgia, your question or thought, Kelly?

KELLY, GEORGIA (via telephone): Yes, hi.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi.

KELLY: Thank you for taking my call. I`ve got a question. You know, obviously watching on TV, we see things the jury doesn`t see. And we saw the jury leave the courtroom for deliberation over the piece of evidence with the skeleton being superimposed as well as the duct tape over this poor baby`s face.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your question?

KELLY: It was put in to evidence. My question is, since it was put into evidence, will the jury get to see the Casey that watched the evidence while the jury was out of the room? Or just the Casey that was falling apart when the jury was sitting there?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Michael Christian, she`s essentially saying that when the jury is there, she`s boo-hoo-hooing and putting on the waterworks. When the jury is not there, she`s like bantering and cheerful.

In fact, we`ve got this diagram that shows basically that the defense has managed to change the location of the table so that they basically are almost like a stage facing the jury where when she cries, they get to really see almost like an audience, a front row seat of the defense.

You see the defense on the right side there? Don`t you think it`s a little odd? I have never seen the defense sit on that side to the right almost like they`re on stage in front of jury. What the heck is that about?

CHRISTIAN: I have seen it before. You don`t see it very often but I have seen it before. And there are several reasons for doing that. First of all, there`s a large defense team and I think that they just needed more room. Maybe they were wanting the table on that side --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think they wanted the jury to see her crying.

CHRISTIAN: Well, I mean the jury is going to see her no matter what. Also, you know, they`ve got stuff on their monitors they don`t want people to see. I get all that.

But let me answer the question; the Casey in the courtroom that the jurors see when they`re in there is the only Casey they`re ever going to see. They`re never going to know what happens other times -- that`s the one they`re going to see.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace is all over this. She`s coming up in just a couple of minutes.

We`ve got more, too.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: He wrote a check. But he`s got to put some evidence out there to cash that check or else I don`t think he has the evidence to cash that check.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the prosecution announced they`re done with their witnesses and will officially rest tomorrow. The defense will start Thursday. And you just heard Mike say they`ve written a check, they`ve got to cash it.

Tonight we`re debating the five key issues the defense must address to back up the shocking claims defense attorney Jose Baez made in his opening statement. All right. Let`s get right to it.

Casey lied and she partied after her daughter vanished, entering Hot Body contests, shopping for clothing and even getting a tattoo that says "bella vita", beautiful life or good life.

The defense claims she reacted inappropriate because she`s haunted by deep childhood secrets. They claim she was molested by her father and brother. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: This child, who at 8 years old, learned to lie immediately. She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth and then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: George flat-out denied molesting Casey on the stand. So far, brother, Lee has not even been asked about it. But Joe Episcopo, isn`t the defense going to have to do something to bolster their incest claims? Some speculate they`re going to call George and Lee back to the stand and sort of embarrass them with inflammatory questions. What say you?

EPICOSPI: They`re not going to shake George. He`s a very good witness. He has good demeanor and bearing. He answered the question directly. He denied it.

This is a phony claim. This is the thing that hurt their case more than anything, this part of their defense. And you know, it`s really un- related to what they`re trying to say here.

And again, they didn`t even ask Lee on the stand whether he did the molestation that they accused him of in the opening statement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. They could have just said she drowned accidentally and the child was put in the car and taken to the woods in a moment of panic. I think that would have probably been a simpler defense that`s more believable.

Another issue the defense has to address --

EPISCOPO: But, but --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get through these. Go ahead.

EPISCOPO: What I was going to say, what she couldn`t say as far as an accident -- I accidentally overdosed her because if she said that, then she`s liable for the aggravated manslaughter or aggravated child abuse. So she couldn`t use that excuse, but that`s what happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And getting back, here is the point. I looked up the first degree it says from a premeditated design to effect the death of Caylee Marie Anthony. So I don`t think that they can give her Murder One if the jury only believes that she was dosing her to go out partying and she accidentally --

WEINTRAUB: Correct. She`s not charged with felony murder, Jane. That`s exactly right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But if Caylee did drown accidentally, as they claim, how did she get into the above-ground family pool. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: I know you testified you took the ladder down after you were done.

CINDY ANTHONY: Yes, I recall taking the ladder down.

BAEZ: Are you 100 percent certain of that?

CINDY ANTHONY: As certain as I can be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s the family ladder, the pool -- ok -- in one position and then the other. Cindy testified she put the ladder aside so the child could not climb up and get into the pool. She says she`s almost 100 percent certain.

So Jayne Weintraub, you`re close to the defense, how did the child get into the pool?

WEINTRAUB: Because Cindy was wrong and because the police photographs have the ladder up. That`s why. And because Cindy is caught between a rock, a hard place, a husband, her daughter. I mean if Cindy --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I have to stop you right there. Police photographs have the ladder up? They came into the picture a month after the child allegedly drowned. The defense is saying the child drowned on June 16, the very day she went missing. The police are taking pictures 31 days later. What difference does it make where the police say --

WEINTRAUB: And what difference -- and what difference is it and what credibility is it that Cindy says well, I think it was up because otherwise she`s thinking that she`s going to be responsible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, she said I`m almost 100 percent sure. I`m almost 100 percent sure I didn`t leave my burners on today when I made coffee.

WEINTRAUB: Jane she goes back and forth.

Here`s bottom line. The bottom line is that we can speculate and guess and hate her all we want.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t hate -- I don`t hate Cindy.

WEINTRAUB: I feel sorry for this entire dysfunctional family unit, but there doesn`t seem to be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony -- not speculation, not guessing -- but evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that she`s guilty of first degree murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, quickly, do you think Casey is going to take the stand, Mike?

BROOKS: I`m sorry, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think Casey is going to take the stand.

BROOKS: She`s going to have to, to basically prove and say everything that they said in opening statement. But if she does, the prosecution will tear her to pieces in cross. Realistically, I don`t think she`s going to - -

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t see it. I`m probably wrong but that would be chutzpah.

More next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAEZ: You can never bring Caylee back for Casey. But you can help end this nightmare by sending her home. I`ll ask you all individually and collectively to render a verdict of "not guilty".

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was Casey doing on June 16th? The defense has to address this. Here is what the prosecution says she was doing.

There`s an issue with the audio on that, but essentially Michael Christian, the prosecution is claiming that she remained in the area of her home and that she told her dad, oh, I`m going off to work the way she always did, but she didn`t have a job, so she was lying the way she was always lying --

BROOKS: Right, right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the pings show that she remained right in that area. So how is the defense going to explain how she remains in that area, for what reason, on that crucial day, the day that little Caylee vanished?

CHRISTIAN: You know, that`s a really good question. And I wish I had an answer for that. That is something that the defense is going to have to explain in their case. That is certainly something that the jurors are going to want to hear about.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Jayne Weintraub, they never addressed how, if the child did accidentally drown in the swimming pool, who took the child to the woods, how did the child get to the woods?

WEINTRAUB: Well, they didn`t -- the prosecution didn`t call Roy Kronk for a reason, don`t you think, Jane?

Well, yes, he`s -- he`s an interesting guy, let`s put it that way.

BROOKS: Did Roy Kronk borrow her car? They didn`t need to call him.

WEINTRAUB: I would say that those circumstances are beyond bizarre, and, you know what, maybe they shouldn`t have -- maybe they should have called him because maybe they were afraid of how he did get his hands on her. What was he doing back there? Maybe he killed her. We don`t know.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In opening statements attacked meter reader Roy Kronk who was the one who called authorities to report finding something suspicious in August and he`s the same guy who ultimately found Caylee`s remains in the very same spot that he reported in August, months later in December.

Listen to this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m in a wooded area down by the school. I need you right now. I just found a human skull.

BAEZ: He`s broke. It is time to cash in his lottery ticket. You will not be able to trust a thing having to do with Mr. Kronk because he had control of Caylee`s remains for obviously several months. Where he found her, we do not know. Nor will we ever know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Mike Brooks, I don`t really understand where they`re going with Roy Kronk because what motive -- what does he get out of hiding the body for months? If there is a reward it is only for the return of a safe child, but either way, the reward was there when he originally called in August. So if he wanted money, he could have just reported the child then if he had actually seen it.

BROOKS: Exactly. Was he trying to seek fame and fortune? That`s what they`re going to try to say. But no, there`s no way. They`re saying that he found the body, he took the body, then he brought little Caylee`s remains back in December and set them there. If you think that`s -- that whole scene was staged, then you`re crazy. That was not.

WEINTRAUB: Mike, in November -- in November, the record shows that Kronk told his son or another relative that he was going to get the reward money because he found Casey Anthony.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You can bet they`re going to put Roy Kronk on trial. Final thoughts in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Famed Florida criminal defense attorney Joe Episcopo, is Casey going to take the stand? Your thoughts?

EPISCOPO: I think she`s got nothing to lose. I think she will take the stand. And she may even give a different account. But the only way they`re going to get in any evidence of molestation or all these other allegations they put forward in the opening is through her. So if they don`t put her on the stand, then their defense is completely phony. So I think she will and who knows what she`ll say.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am so unconvinced. I really can`t visualize her on the stand. And I also think she may be sedated at this point because she had these crying jabs (ph) and was sick. I think they may have given her some sedation. I`m wondering whether if they take her off the sedation and make her take the stand that might make her very agitated.

I think there`s so many question marks, nobody can really say.

It was great having you on, Joe; please come back soon.

And "Nancy Grace" is up next with all the latest developments.

END