Casey Anthony, the Florida woman who was accused and later acquitted of murdering her own 2-year old daughter Caylee in 2008, turned down a plea deal during her trial that would have seen her plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter in order to receive 13 years in prison rather than the death penalty.
But Anthony adamantly refused on the grounds that she was telling the truth, says her lawyer, Jose Baez. His book, “Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story” claims as much as he reveals conversations he had with his client in the early days of her trial.
“There was nothing in the trial that ever made me think Casey was guilty of anything as related to the murder,” Baez said. “Every single piece of evidence favored us.”
It was widely believed that Anthony suffocated Caylee, and when a search of the internet history on the Anthony’s computer turned up results related to “chloroform”, they were immediately entered into the trial to be pored over. However, Baez says, there were other searches made on that same computer on the day Caylee went missing; these were related to suicide and “foolproof suffocation”. The searches were made well after George Anthony–Casey’s father–said Casey had already left for the day. Those searches weren’t entered in as evidence during the trial, even though George Anthony tried to kill himself in 2009, which looked to Baez like an act of guilt.
Those key events lead Baez to believe that George killed Caylee, possibly to cover up the fact that he had sexually abused her; Casey had told her attorney that her father had abused her when she was younger, and she feared he had done the same to her daughter. However, he does acknowledge that Casey Anthony is a person with “serious mental health issues” and is “not playing with a full deck”. He also acknowledges the troubling discoveries that cadaver dogs made during a search of the Anthony home and Casey’s car, saying they noted the presence of a body in the trunk and in the backyard. The only thing that kept prosecution from being able to use that evidence was that the dogs were not allowed to search any other cars.
In the end, however, she was found innocent of murder, and throughout the many conflicting stories and media speculation one must choose carefully what to believe.
“I remember after the first not-guilty verdict I reached over and squeezed Casey’s hand because it was a death penalty case and all I was concentrating on was saving her life,” Baez said. “And after the second not-guilty verdict came, I squeezed her hand even tighter and then the third one…I think I may have cracked a bone at that point. I knew right then that my life was going to change and it certainly has.”