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Casey Anthony's defense begins calling witnesses

Casey Anthony's defense team began presenting their case today. The prosecution rested their case after 3 1/2 weeks. The prosecution is trying to prove that Casey murdered her two-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008. Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008. She was reported missing on July 15, 2008, when Casey's mother called police.

The prosecution tried to show that Casey killed Caylee by first knocking her out with chloroform and then suffocating her by putting duct tape over her nose and mouth. Caylee's remains were found in December 2008 in some woods near the family's home. The prosecution showed photos of Caylee's skull with duct tape on it.

Casey kept Caylee's disappearance a secret for a month and told many lies to prosecutors at the beginning of their investigation. Casey's defense attorneys have their work cut out for them in defending her against charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and lying to police to mislead their investigation. At the beginning of the trial the defense set up an interesting strategy and parallel explanation to what happened to Caylee that no one was expecting.

The defense claims that Caylee drowned in the family swimming pool on June 16. They say that Casey's father found the child drowned. The defense says that Casey was molested by her father since she was a young child. They say that the sexual abuse in the family led to the family members keeping secrets, which is what they did when Caylee drowned.

On Thursday, the defense team added another potential twist to the story when the lead defense attorney asked a forensics expert if Casey Anthony's brother could be the father of Caylee. The judge dismissed the jury after this question was asked and there was a debate over whether the question was even appropriate.

The forensics expert said that they had found that Caylee's DNA had shown that neither Casey's father nor brother had fathered her daughter. The prosecution was upset that the question was asked and the judge agreed that it might not have been in "good faith." The question could have suggested to the jury that the police had reason to believe in their investigation that Caylee could have been the daughter of Casey's father or brother, even if she wasn't, which means that they also may have suspected sexual abuse in the family.


Casey Anthony lawyer's paternity question halts court (Reuters)

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