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Prosecution Wraps Case in Casey Anthony Trial; Defense Announces Surprise Witness

Aired June 15, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a shocking twist as the defense sets its sights on George Anthony. Will Casey`s dream team call a new bombshell witness, who served ten years for kidnapping and is allegedly connected to George?

Plus, the prosecution rests as Casey`s lawyers pull out all the stops, demanding an acquittal, claiming prosecutors haven`t proven a thing.

CHENEY MASON, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: There has been in this case no evidence of premeditation presented to this jury or this court. There is a stacking of inferences, a stacking of speculation, but no evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did we just get a sneak peek at closing arguments?

LINDA DRANE-BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: When Miss Anthony decided to place duct tape on the child`s face, not one application, not two, but three, that sufficient time had passed for her to understand the nature and quality of that act.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, we`re asking you: has the prosecution proved first-degree murder? What do you think? We`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get out of the way, cameraman.

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, CASEY`S MOTHER: Someone just said that Caylee was dead this morning, that she drowned in the pool. That`s the newest story out there.


DRANE-BURDICK: At the end of this case, you will have no trouble concluding that Caylee Anthony was murdered by her mother, Casey Anthony.

MASON: It is forcing, guessing and speculation and not in this country.

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

There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to crucify you for this because of all the lies you`ve been telling us.

MASON: Miss Anthony has a history of untruthfulness among family members and friends.

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

DRANE-BURDICK: Miss Anthony decided to place duct tape on the child`s face, not one application, not two, but three.

MASON: Could have, may have, might have been. We have no evidence to exclude a reasonable hypothesis that there was no murder at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news in another day of explosive drama in the Casey Anthony case. Even as the prosecution officially rested today and the defense prepares to start its case tomorrow, Casey`s attorneys go on the attack against Casey`s dad, George. Yes.

Late this afternoon, a shocker from the defense. They throw in this surprise last-minute witness, this man on the left, Vasco Thompson. Vasco is a convicted felon who served ten years in prison for kidnapping. Ten years.

Tonight the defense is trying to connect this man, who they call a violent criminal, to George Anthony. The defense claims Vasco shared four phone calls -- four phone calls -- with George on July 14, 2008. That is one day before Cindy Anthony made her infamous 911 call.


CINDY ANTHONY: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month. Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing. She just admitted to me that she`s been trying to find her herself.

There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Minutes ago George and Cindy`s attorney, Mark Lippman, lashed out against the defense, saying George does not know this convicted criminal, Vasco Thompson, and calling this move, quote, "another attempt to attack my client." You`re going to hear from that attorney in just a moment.

What is behind this bombshell? What is the defense trying to do? Does something smell around here? Already, the theories are pouring in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reasonable doubt. Why is George dealing with some felon around the time of the 911 call?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So brand new breaking news.

CASAREZ: Convicted felon.


CASAREZ: They want to dirty him up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that`s from the start, right? The defense, turn it to George. Basically put George Anthony on trial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This may be a way to do that.

CASAREZ: Sure, sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Connect him with a convicted felon.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that it? Is the defense trying to put George Anthony on trial? Trying to dirty him up so the jury will believe those horrible allegations that he sexually molested his daughter, the defendant Casey Anthony? Allegations leveled at him by Jose Baez in opening statement.


JOSE BAEZ, CASEY`S ATTORNEY: 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 then go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the defense adopting a scorched earth policy towards Casey`s own family? Is it going to work or will it backfire? Call me, 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

I`ve got to go out to Casey Jordan, criminologist. I am holding this amended witness list in my hand. And I`ve got to say that I feel that something has crossed an invisible line. Have we gotten to dirty pool in this case?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: I have to say, at first glance, I was like, what is this? And then I researched a little bit like I`m sure you did. And yes, I do think it is dirty pool. I think that they are trying to take attention away from the prosecution`s victory dance as they did -- as they closed their case in chief today and they rested. All attention is now on the defense. And, of course, they are going to start their trial of George Anthony tomorrow.

Fact of the matter is I think that there`s rumors out there, it`s a wrong number, that Vasco`s telephone number is very similar to that of George`s new job that he had just taken with, I think, a Lexus dealership around that time. Very possibly George Anthony just miss dialed a number, thinking he was dialing something else.

But the idea of putting an African-American man, a felon with a history of kidnapping, out there to distract away from the attention that is being paid on this case on the anniversary, the third anniversary of Caylee Anthony`s disappearance, I would agree is dirty pool. I think it`s a red herring, and it`s really just meant to derail attention away from the prosecution`s case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s funny that you should say the wrong number thing, because Mark Lippman, the attorney for George and Cindy Anthony, quickly reacted, quickly set out to obliterate any connection between George and this violent convict, ex-con. Kidnapper.

Here is that attorney for George and Cindy, just a little while ago, right here on HLN`s "Prime News" with Vinny Politan. Check it out.


MARK LIPPMAN, ATTORNEY FOR THE ANTHONYS: He does not know who the person is. It`s my belief that the numbers are very similar to George`s new employment that he had back then, and I believe it`s two of the numbers were transposed. But I don`t have any confirmation...

VINNY POLITAN, HOST, "PRIME NEWS": Transposed meaning the wrong...

LIPPMAN: They were in the wrong order. And if that is the case, then I can understand if he was dialing the wrong number. I`m not understanding why they`re saying this is a new defense witness. Like you said, they`ve had these phone records for three years.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Karas, correspondent, "In Session," you are there at the courthouse. These are six points that the attorney for George Anthony made, essentially saying he doesn`t know who the heck this guy is and certainly did not call him himself.

Now, is the judge -- I`m holding this amended witness list in my hand, hot off the presses, is the judge going to have to address this tomorrow morning at the start of the defense case? And what`s the buzz there at the courthouse?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Well, first of all, we thought it was a slow afternoon here, but when this news broke, everyone was rushing to get a copy of what you are now holding in your hand and to check it out. So everyone has been buzzing around here, what is this?

The judge will have to deal with this. I suspect he will deal with it first thing in the morning. And the defense is going to have to show good cause for coming up with this new witness at such a late day. And if Mark Lippman is right, this witness will never testify at the trial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, good cause. It better be good. I`ve got to tell you, this new witness for the defense is just the latest horror inflicted upon George and Cindy by their own daughter, Casey. The terrible pressures of this trial are obviously getting to Cindy and George.

Watch here. CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman actually ran into the Anthonys on the elevator. This is heartbreaking. Check it out.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I saw her parents, George and Cindy, near the elevator coming down there. The trial is on the 23rd floor. First of all, I said to them, I`m sorry for what you`re going through. This must be a horrible situation. They said thank you. And then when they went in the elevator, they held each other and cried in each other`s arms for the entire 23 floors. Cindy`s head was in George`s chest.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. They`re crying this morning and, remember, that`s just one day after Cindy mouths "I love you" to Casey in court yesterday. Check it out. We`ve got it right here. OK. There`s Cindy trying to be strong. She leaves, "I love you." "I love you," she mouths that, hoping to maintain some sort of relationship.

And there`s Casey. Oh, gosh. Cold as ice. I think there was a song back in the `70s, "Cold as Ice." I have to say, Midwin Charles, I think this could backfire, if it does get in front of the jury. I think at a certain point they`re going to say, wait, if this girl is -- young woman is capable of taking her entire family down, maybe she is capable of murdering her daughter.

MIDWIN CHARLES: Exactly. What this does is show what kind of person Casey Anthony is. And that`s one of the things that their defense attorneys perhaps had not figured in or factored in, rather, when they decided to go with this defense. I think it`s one of the worst mistakes they`ve made thus far, and I think they`ve made many. Though, particularly since this is a circumstantial case, that`s one of the things that I think is horrible with this case, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lynanne, Arkansas. Quick question or thought, Lynanne?

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thank you for taking my call. I think the prosecution has done a fantastic job. They laid it out day by day. They didn`t over-prosecute. And now with Jose Baez`s opening statements, now he has to prove something. Am I right? Or can they just blow it off?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mark Eiglarsh, I have my doubts that they proved pre-meditated first-degree murder. I think they`ve proved aggravated manslaughter at this point. I don`t think they`ve done enough on motive. And we`re going to talk about that for the rest of the hour.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The problem that I have -- I think there`s enough evidence; if the jurors wanted to convict, they could. The problem I have is, the e-mails that I`m getting from people on Facebook, everybody has got a different theory of how this went down. And we`re all watching the same evidence. Granted, we`re not in the courtroom, but we`re hearing the same bits of evidence.

Jurors who did not cover this trial could come up with their own conclusions as to what happened and not be consistent with first-degree murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this wild development with this alleged connection between George and some convicted kidnapper? Unbelievable. Are you kidding me?

Hang tight, panel.

Nancy Grace, by the way, all over these latest developments. She`s going to have the latest in less than an hour.

And meantime, give us a call: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Do you think the prosecution has proved murder one?

Next, George and Cindy`s former attorney weighs in on a possible surprise witness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you let your child rot and go out and drink, as I`ve said before, stealing, boozing, screwing and tattooing? How do you do that when your child just died?




DRANE-BURDICK: The reasonable jury can conclude that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of poisoning by chloroform. That Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of the application of three pieces of duct tape. That Miss Anthony began preparation for the elimination of the child as early as March. The law is the law.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You just heard it. That was the prosecutor today insisting the state has made its case as it wraps up its case in chief. Proof Casey plotted and carried out the intentional murder of her daughter. We all know it only takes a few seconds, according to law, of planning to create premeditation.

Prosecutors claim Casey was plotting with sinister Google searches months before her daughter vanished. Check it out.


DRANE-BURDICK: Google searches were conducted for, quote, "how to make chloroform"; quote, "how to make chloroform" with a different spelling; quote, "self-defense"; quote, "household weapons"; quote, "neck breaking"; quote, "shovel."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Look at that expression. Neck breaking. No expression there.

There were 84 searches involving chloroform on the Anthony family computer at a time when the parents were, according to their schedules, at work. Eighty-four.

Linda Kenney Baden, you were on Casey`s defense team. Eighty-four searches for chloroform and duct tape over the mouth and nose. Isn`t that enough for premeditation?

LINDA KENNEY BADEN, FORMER MEMBER OF CASEY`S DEFENSE TEAM: Wait a second. I don`t think the defense agrees there were 84 searches, because the original report says one search. And then when you get this guy coming from Canada with his own company says, well, there could have been 84 times it was refreshed. That`s a whole different thing.

You know, we talk about not having trial by ambush. Well, we don`t have trial by emotion in this country either. And that`s what`s happening here. This is all trial by emotion, because the prosecution can`t prove their case by a hard scientific evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s your reaction to the defense coming up with this amended witness list with this shocker that they want to add an ex-con who they -- they claim had four conversations or four phone call exchanges, this guy, who did ten years in prison for kidnapping? They claim that he and George Anthony exchanged some kind of phone call four times the day before Cindy called 911 to say her daughter, her granddaughter was missing for 30 days.

BADEN: Well, it adds more mystery, doesn`t it? Because when the defense went to interview him, from what I read today and this afternoon, he didn`t agree to an interview. He didn`t answer their questions. He apparently called law enforcement.

Now, did he call his contact in law enforcement or did he call someone like Uri Melich on the case? It just raises the mystery as to what`s out there. So instead of saying, "Ah-ha, this is besmirching George," why doesn`t this guy give it up and tell us what he knows?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Let me ask you, as a matter of law, Beth Karas, how does it work? If a defense team finds someone, don`t they subpoena them and then depose them and see if there is any connection before announcing to the world?

KARAS: Well, no, he could voluntarily speak to them, but this is a guy who`s been through the system, and he`s probably very distrustful of anyone connected with any kind of case. And the Casey Anthony case is huge in Orlando right now. So he`s not going to just talk to them. He needs to make sure, and I don`t blame the guy, to -- he needs to know what`s going on here.

But the defense will, if they want to depose him, I mean, they may have to get the judge to order it and they`ll be able to. But I don`t know that he`s relevant to anything in this case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t necessarily buy that nobody knew about this guy until just recently. Hadn`t the defense had the phone list for -- it`s been going on three years now, this case?

BADEN: I`m not sure they have had all the phone lists, actually. They`ve had some of the lists, but they may have also found different cell phones that George Anthony may have had. So you can`t assume -- all of a sudden you assume. Any time the defense does something, isn`t this bad?

Well, wait a second. What about a prosecution who relies on emotion? What about a prosecution who uses somebody who`s never testified before in alleged cutting-edge science which may be junk science? Let`s talk about this. Let`s not have mob justice. Let`s have courtroom justice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I still wonder, are they trying to put George on trial? George`s former attorney, next.



GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY`S FATHER: The worst odor that you could possibly smell in this world, and I`ve smelled that odor before.

CINDY ANTHONY: I said it smelled like something died in the car.

G. ANTHONY: You don`t forget that odor, no matter what it is. You never, ever forget it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is the possibility of a sniff test coming back? Jose Baez seemed a little concerned today that jurors might still get a whiff of the smell of death from one of those so-called death cans that contain parts of the -- a spare tire cover from Casey`s car trunk. Listen.


BAEZ: Provided these are just being entered into evidence, this is not going to be going into the sniff test area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are just going into evidence. Any further use we might put them to, we would obviously proffer to the court for full argument before we go into that. We`re not doing that at this time.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former member of the Casey Anthony defense team, Linda Kenney Baden. Do prosecutors still have this proverbial ace up their sleeve? Could they actually come back with one of these cans of death and open it up for the jurors to smell?

BADEN: Well, I don`t think the judge is going to allow that. Look, he has got so much, in my opinion, reversible errors so far in this trial. He allowed the alleged pseudoscience and he allowed the alleged heart- shaped sticker in, and then he allowed that disgusting videotape when the medical examiner said she can`t say that the duct tape was the cause of death.

I think this is coming back. And you know what? What it is, is what I believe this judge, by the way, is into showbiz. He is on that bench, and he`s making every single ruling against the defense.

Now, you may hate the defense.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t hate the defense.

BADEN: But it`s the defense`s responsibility to bring this case to what it is. And I think, Jane, you said it looks like it could be a manslaughter. Well, then why didn`t the prosecution say no death penalty? What did the prosecution come...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. A couple of things. One, I don`t think this judge is show business. Judge Larry Seidlin from the Anna Nicole case, that`s showbiz, not this guy. But let`s move on.

It was no surprise the defense asked for Casey`s acquittal today. It`s pro forma; it`s what they always do. But it looked like defense attorney Cheney Mason came prepared for battle and really gave kind of an impressive laundry list of reasons why. Listen.


MASON: There has been no evidence presented as to culpable negligence. No evidence of premeditation. No evidence of any prior trauma. There was no chloroform related to the death of this child.

There is not any evidence of anything other than a caring and loving mother/child relationship.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jackie, Florida, quick question or thought for me or Linda Kenney Baden, former defense team member. Jackie?

CALLER: Hello. Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, there, Jackie. Yes, how are you doing?

CALLER: I`m doing fine. Thank you for all you`re doing for the animals.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. We do love animals. Yes, we do, here on ISSUES. But your question about...

CALLER: My question is, since the -- have so much evidence left like all the pings (ph) and the letters that her friend in the -- that inmate...


CALLER: Would the prosecution be able to use this in the rebuttal -- rebuttal?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think, Linda Kenney Baden, this caller makes an excellent comment. There were so many things the prosecution never got to. Why not ?

BADEN: They didn`t get to Roy Kronk, did they, who found the body? And the defense, I believe -- and we`re going to have to stay tuned for this -- is going to call him, and then we may find out why the prosecution is afraid of him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Do you think he could be the first witness up? Yes or no, five seconds?

BADEN: No, I don`t think he`ll be the first witness.



CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: Caylee`s missing. Caylee`s missing.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The body of Caylee Marie Anthony had been thrown into a littered swamp like she was just another piece of trash.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this case, there is not any evidence of anything other than a caring, loving mother/child relationship.

JOSE BAEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: She could be 13 years old, have her father`s (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in her mouth and then two to school and play with the other kids as if nothing ever happened. This family must keep its secrets quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that there`s duct tape anywhere attached to that child`s face --

CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF MURDERING DAUGHTER: I don`t know what`s going on. My entire life has been taken from me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The law is the law.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Tonight, a Casey Anthony bombshell. Her defense team names a surprise last-minute witness in these court papers I`m holding in my hand. Hot off the presses. A convicted felon with a violent criminal history; we are talking about 52-year-old Vasco Thompson. All right. Check him out.

Defense claims George Anthony`s cell phone records show four calls between him, George, and Thompson, the day before Cindy reported little Caylee missing in July of 2008. But George Anthony`s attorney says George had no idea who this guy is, has never met him.

Criminologist Casey Jordan had this reaction to the surprise witness. Check it out.


CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: That I think is why we`re hearing all about Mr. Vasco Thompson today to steal the thunder of the prosecution who put on a good case. The Vasco Thompson thing? I think it`s a contrived distraction and it`s actually working because we`re talking about it right now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. That`s you, Casey Jordan. You`ve had a couple of hours to think about it. What is the potential impact of bringing this guy in at the 11th hour?

JORDAN: To serve as an ultimate red herring. Now everyone`s paying attention. Everyone`s watching the defense. And everyone wants to see what rabbit they`re going to pull out of their hat tomorrow morning.

Mr. Vasco Thompson has apparently a phone number that is similar to the number of George`s employer that he had just started a job at the time. I am extremely bothered by the cliche of bringing in a black man who has a history of felonies and kidnapping and putting his face in front of the entire public.

I know we`re in the media, we`re covering this, but it strikes me as being contrived distraction.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you saying essentially that they`re playing some kind of race card?

JORDAN: I`m telling you that Susan Smith did it. I`m going to tell you that Charles Stewart did it. And I`m worried. I`m not accusing. I`m worried that it`s the distraction of the worst sort.

And really to do it on the eve of Caylee`s third anniversary of going missing, on the eve of them starting their case in chief, it really rankles me. I have a very hard time that they`ve had phone records for three years and just now today happened to file this motion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say, I think -- I am also troubled by this. In fact, it`s my big issue tonight. Could putting this guy, Vasco Thompson, on the stand -- if they get him on the stand, if the judge allows it -- backfire on the defense?

I think it could further convince the jurors that Casey a capable of taking down members of her family. As long as it keeps her out of prison, as long as -- who knew George could be thrown under the bus yet again? Again?


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



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s team has presented the incest defense. They`ve tried to connect George to the duct tape that was found over the child`s mouth. And now, Mark Eiglarsh, they want to trot out an ex-con, this Vasco Thompson, because there`s some kind of phone connection of four phone calls the day before the infamous 911 call. Could it backfire and convince the jurors that this young lady will do anything to her family, and really is a sociopath who was capable of killing her own flesh and blood?

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, yes, yes. But take a deep breath, everyone. Here`s why I think this is much ado about nothing. It`s great in the court of public opinion. Shakes it up; it`s great for ratings.

First, nothing has to be done unless the defense says we now call this guy who has a record dating back to the disco crisis. They could list anyone they want on their defense --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Disco wasn`t a crisis -- at least not in my life.

EIGLARSH: Until they haul the witness, it means nothing. There`s no prejudice. They can always list witnesses.

Secondly, once they realize that the explanation is going to be as the attorney alleges, that the numbers were merely similar and that the phone records show it was just a quick call and then he hung up, and there wasn`t lengthy conversations, then they would never call this guy. It would thoroughly backfire, be completely transparent to this jury and it`s much ado about nothing.

Maybe it`s to influence the court of public opinion because frankly, I always wonder when the judge says do not have any contact, do not go on the Internet, he`s not saying don`t go on the Internet at all. He`s saying, don`t go on the Internet and look for Casey Anthony. Every time I put on my Internet, boom, Casey Anthony` face pops up at me.

Maybe they`re hoping that it will bleed somehow toward the jury and influence the jury.

Mark Nejame, you used to be the attorney for George and Cindy Anthony. How much has this case tormented the Anthonys? Because CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman ran into them on the elevator today and they were sobbing. I think it`s because they found out about this attempt to connect George to this ex-con; again, another move by their daughter to do in a member of their family.

MARK NEJAME, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE AND CINDY ANTHONY: Jane, I`ve really held off of making any comments about them, having represented them. I think they are entitled the respect of having any answers from their current attorney. I just think -- not to get into confidential areas is best.

But I think the pictures speak for themselves.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not asking for confidential. I`m asking, are these people -- have these people been annihilated by this, emotionally?

NEJAME: I think if you take a look at those videos that everybody`s seeing, it speaks for itself without question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Karas, do you think that this guy will ever be able to testify?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": No, he will not testify. That`s what I think. I think that the defense, they`ll dig a little further. They just needed to make sure they had the time if they needed it to vet him. If Mark Lipman is right, that the numbers were close to the new job George was just starting, it might have been a misdialled number, they`ll probably withdraw him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or maybe this guy, he was an ex-con, but maybe he now works at the local pharmacy and he was calling about, hey, your prescription`s in. You never know.

EIGLARSH: Jane, can I add something?


EIGLARSH: I have to add something. The defense has to explore it. We want them to explore it. If they don`t, then Casey`s appellate attorneys, assuming she`s convicted, will say, you had these numbers that could tie George, the person you`re claiming was responsible for disposing the body, and you did nothing? You didn`t look through it? You didn`t depose this guy? So they have to look through it.

But ultimately they`re not going to call him --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait. Let me ask you --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isn`t there a way that the prosecution can deflect something like this and the prosecution can find these numbers and make it clear and pre-empt something like this?

EIGLARSH: Yes. I mean, I don`t think this is going anywhere. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I think the state should have probably brought this up and discounted it and done something to deflate this balloon.

Angela, Florida, your question or thought, Angela?

ANGELA, FLORIDA (via telephone): Yes. Hi. I was just saying that don`t you think the defense made their mistake from the very beginning with their opening statement? They should have never mentioned the baby drowning, Casey being molested by her father and brother because it was up to the prosecution to prove her guilty. Now they have to prove their statement, their opening statement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They don`t have to prove it, though. That`s the whole thing.

Let me see the panel. I know everybody wants to talk. I have to see who wants to talk.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Mark Nejame. Go ahead.

NEJAME: Yes. They absolutely do. They`ve gone ahead and said before the jury, you`re going to hear this story. This is a story we`re going to tell you. They have no option now.

What they should have done now, looking at what`s been presented, they knew they probably should have held off on their opening statement, listened to what was said and then proceed. They`re stuck now and they reversed the whole burden because of the way they played this out. I think it`s been a failed defense from the beginning. And then we continue to see it throughout.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I kind of disagree. I think that in confusion there`s often reasonable doubt and they`ve created a lot of confusion.

Mark, let me ask you this. Do you think that there`s going to be a mental health expert that`s going to get on the stand and, Mark Nejame, testify that Casey`s cuckoo for cocoa puffs?

NEJAME: This is why you know that they`ve really, in my opinion, messed up. There`s nobody on the witness list, the hundreds of mental health experts in central Florida, the thousands in the state and the tens of thousands in the United States, they don`t have one corroborating mental health expert to go ahead and indicate that she`s suffered from these psychological issues which we heard in opening statement.

How are they going to establish it? They`re going to put her on the stand and she`s going to say it. But there`s nothing to corroborate it. You have one of the biggest liars in history of the world saying, now believe me with no corroboration, no mental health expert.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And we know she`s a pathological liar. I agree with you there, too. I mean we`re all making good points.

Next, more on this surprise defense witness. And we`re asking you, has the state proved its case for Murder One? 1-877-JVM-SAYS.


BAEZ: This family has had to withstand something unlike anyone has ever seen. And we just ask that everyone respect that.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 31 days. 31 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First-degree murder.

CINDY ANTHONY: It smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aggravated child abuse.

CINDY ANTHONY: Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing --


CINDY ANTHONY: We`re talking about a 3-year-old little girl.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aggravated manslaughter of a child.

CASEY ANTHONY: I got arrested on a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) whim today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Casey is a very effective liar.


CASEY ANTHONY: I was scared something would happen to her if I did notify the authorities.

They`ve already said they`re going to pin this on me if they don`t find Caylee.

JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, PRESIDING OVER CASEY ANTHONY CASE: The state has served notice that it is seeking the death penalty against the defendant, Casey Marie Anthony.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Today, the prosecution rested. And tonight, here`s the big question. Have they proven Casey is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of first degree capital murder, Murder One? Here is prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick.


LINDA DRANE BURDICK, PROSECUTOR: It is our position that a reasonable jury in this case can conclude that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of the application of three pieces of duct tape to her nose and mouth; that a reasonable jury can conclude that Caylee Marie Anthony died as a result of poisoning by chloroform.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Here is the most critical decision for the jury. You find her guilty or not guilty of count one, first-degree murder. Defined as a premeditated design to effect the death of Caylee Marie Anthony.

So Casey Jordan, criminologist, even if they think she plotted to chloroform her so she could go out partying, it`s not the same thing as plotting in advance to murder her. And I don`t think at this point they have provided enough in terms of motive as to why she would have wanted to murder her child. As opposed to possibly knocking her out and accidentally murdering her in the course of knocking her out so she could go partying, which would be one of the other counts, like aggravated manslaughter.

JORDAN: Right. Except that the prosecution didn`t even present that as a theory. Not to say the jury isn`t bantering around with all these theories that we are on the outside world. The fact of the matter is all of the idea about Xanax and chloroform; it has never actually been introduced as a possibility to this jury.

So if they listened to the judge`s instructions and they simply go very carefully through the evidence and listen to the judge`s instructions, they don`t need a motive, Jane. I know everyone is sick of hearing that. The judge will --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, they do.

JORDAN: The motive is not an element of murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know why? Because they are putting someone potentially to death; that`s why I think they need to have a motive.


JORDAN: Jane, I will split the difference with you.

But here`s my prediction. I`ll do it really quick. I promise. If they put Casey on the stand, right now I think the first-degree murder is possible. Is it strong? No. It`s possible with this particular jury.

Put Casey on the stand, let her lie? You may get a backlash effect which actually makes them more convinced it is first-degree murder because they do not like the woman --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s why I`m not so convinced that she is going to take the stand. Ok. The state --

JORDAN: I think if she does it`s a death sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Personally I don`t think they should be resting at all. I think they should be absolutely scrambling like mad to come up with motive. I have to say, I don`t care if it`s in the cross-examination of defense witnesses, I don`t care if it`s in their rebuttal case. They have to come up with motive because even a prosecution witness described Casey as a terrific mother. Check this out.


MALLORY PARKER, FIANCEE OF LEE ANTHONY: Casey and Caylee had a very, a very special bond.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No evidence of any prior trauma, injury or act of violence whatsoever.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Mark Nejame, that was defense attorney Cheney Mason today hammering home that nobody has ever accused Casey of abusing her daughter. So, why is the state so convinced jurors are going to believe she plotted to murder her?

NEJAME: I think that the discussion you`re all engaged in is exactly what the prosecution has to be careful of -- over-complicating the situation.

Two issues: first, much simpler than you all are presenting. Aggravated child abuse in Florida is first-degree murder. Chloroform on a 2-year-old child is child abuse -- aggravated child abuse. If her death came as a result of that, then you have aggravated child abuse, you have first-degree murder.

After the premeditation, the focus needs to be on the 31 days. Nobody -- nobody who, in fact, loses somebody unexpectedly, particularly, especially their own daughter, their own child and like that, they`re snuffed out. They don`t go out that night, rent movies. They don`t go out the next day spend the day in bed with their boyfriend. They don`t go out, as I said before, drinking, stealing, screwing and tattooing for 31 days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, your passion is what I would like to see from the prosecutors in this case. And I haven`t seen it quite yet.



CHENEY MASON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There is no evidence to establish when the child died other than in a monthly window of possibility. Where she died, how she died, who if anyone was with her in attendance when she died. And have failed wholly to rebut the reasonable hypothesis of innocence that is that there was accidental.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was defense attorney Cheney Mason today arguing unsuccessfully for acquittal from the judge -- didn`t get it.

Let`s take a look at another option instead of Murder One. And that is count three: aggravated manslaughter of a child, which basically is failure to protect and care for little Caylee and in doing so causing her death. Now, I would say at the very least the state has proven Casey`s guilt on count three.

So Midwin Charles, given that the Murder One carries potential of death penalty and given that the state hasn`t really gotten into why she would want to kill her child, do you think the jurors might just decide, well, I`m going to err on the side of safety and go for aggravated manslaughter instead of Murder One?

MIDWIN CHARLES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, it is entirely possible, Jane. One of the things that it is not contested here is that Caylee was missing for 31 days before anyone decided to say anything about it, most importantly Casey Anthony. Is that neglect? I think everyone in this society is going to say yes. How dare you lose a 2-year-old or not know where she is?

And the fact that she put forth so many lies, the Zanny the nanny took her. I was afraid that if I had reported her missing, she would be harmed. None of that makes sense and all of those facts point towards abuse. So I do think the jury perhaps will split the difference and find her guilty of that charge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. And by the way, aggravated manslaughter of a child, first-degree felony -- carries a sentence of 30 years in prison.

Linda, California, your question or thought, ma`am.

LINDA, CALIFORNIA (via telephone): my thought is that Caylee didn`t - - Casey did not start lying when she was 8 years old. These lies came up when she lost her job at Universal and had to start making up people who could be there for Caylee when her and her mom`s schedules conflicted with work.

We all know that Zanny doesn`t exist now so that means that Casey had to take Caylee wherever she went. She also had to start making up lies and stealing money to make up for these pay checks that she wasn`t getting from Universal.

And I see the motive very clear as after two years of having to cover up the loss of a job, taking Caylee everywhere she went, I think she broke under the pressure and was just wanting her life back and that`s clear motivation there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, Casey Jordan, great commentary. Jury has not heard anything like that.

JORDAN: No, but the jury is going to be thinking all the same thing. They got the same evidence that the viewer did. They know all about her incredible lies. You keep thinking we have to spoon feed a motive to this jury. Give them some credit. Their minds are reeling just like ours are.

And I really am fascinated to see what comes up in the defense case because I do think that they front-loaded a big mistake. They -- you have to understand that this jury is going to have a very hard time wanting to convict a woman and believing that the likes of Casey Anthony exist who could wrap duct tape around a 2-year-old`s mouth. That is something they don`t want to believe.

But if Casey gets on the stand and lies --


EIGLARSH: Jane they have to stay away from --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That would be pure evil. Have they convinced the jury, she`s pure evil? Final thoughts from Mark Nejame in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark Nejame, give us some predictions for the defense case which starts tomorrow morning.

NEJAME: Well, I think that they are going to attempt to daze and confuse. Their big challenge is that they don`t come across themselves as dazed and confused. I think they`re going to line up their own experts and try to parallel them with what you heard from the state and then they`re going to start picking away.

The challenge is: the state`s got to keep it simple and keep it clear to that jury and not let them go ahead and create the smoke screen. It is imperative that the state intends to prevail.

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

NEJAME: I think she has no choice but to take the stand in light of the opening statement that her lawyer gave. How is he going to tell the story? According to what he said in opening statements, other than from her own mouth? There is no independent witnesses on that witness list. There is no smoking guns. There is no other statements made by anybody else.

The only way they could ahead and verify his opening statement by her --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Great prediction. Thank you for joining us Mark.

Nancy Grace is up next.