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Casey Anthony Trial Pits Mother Against Son

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CASEY ANTHONY TRIAL
Cindy Anthony (left) and Lee Anthony offered conflicting testimony in court Tuesday. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel/POOL) | Orlando Sentinel

Day 30 of the Casey Anthony murder trial brought high drama and surprises, pitting the accused child killer's family members against each other.

Lee Anthony, the defendant's brother, testified that he was angry when his mother sent private investigator Dominic Casey to conduct a search in the woods on Suburban Drive sometime prior to October 2008.

Two-year-old Caylee had been missing since June 16 of that year. Until his mother made that request, Lee Anthony was hopeful that his niece would be found alive.

"It was the first time I had ever heard anyone in my family offer it up that they were willing to look for a deceased Caylee," he testified. "Prior to that, [it was] not even within the realm of anyone's mindset. I was quite angry."

Lee Anthony's testimony contradicted what his mother, Cindy, had said on the stand just minutes earlier. When asked the same question, she simply said, "No sir, I did not."

Yuri Melich, the lead detective in the case, was called to the stand after Lee Anthony stepped down. The detective testified that Cindy Anthony had told him about sending the private investigator and another man out to the woods off Suburban Drive.

Melich's testimony was important, as earlier in the day Cindy Anthony had denied telling him that "her people" had searched that area.

"I had never told anybody that I sent those guys there because I never sent those guys there," Cindy Anthony said.

It is yet to be seen if any of the contradictory testimony will ultimately damage the credibility of Cindy Anthony in the minds of jurors. Just last week, she helped the defense strengthen their case when she testified that a ladder had been left leaning out of the family swimming pool on the day defense attorneys say her granddaughter drowned.

The day before that, the 52-year-old grandmother shocked the courtroom by revealing it was she, not Casey, that had conducted internet searches for "chloroform," "chest injuries" and "head injuries."

WATCH: (STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

The third Anthony called to the stand Tuesday was the defendant's father, George Anthony. Tensions between the witness and the defense became obvious when attorney Jose Baez asked Anthony if he knew a woman named Krystal Holloway. It was just a few weeks ago that Baez had alleged in court that Anthony had an affair with Holloway.

Anthony admitted knowing Holloway and said she had volunteered at the command center in October 2008, during the search for Caylee. Anthony described her as "just another volunteer."

Anthony denied having a romantic relationship with Holloway. He explained a text message he sent her, in which he wrote, "I need you in my life," was not intended to be flirtatious and was sent because at the times he needed all the volunteers in his life.

"I never had a romantic affair with Krystal Holloway...," Anthony said. "She has a questionable past... She is not a good person."

George Anthony also denied telling Holloway that Caylee's death was an "accident that snowballed out of control." Anthony said he, "never did" say that.

Shortly after the three members of the Anthony family took the stand, the defense called Roy Kronk, the Orange County meter reader who discovered Caylee's remains on December 11, 2008.

Kronk said he first went into the woods off Suburban drive on Aug. 11, 2008, to use the bathroom. While in the woods, Kronk said he spotted something that looked like a skull. He said he contacted authorities on three separate occasions in August but they did nothing to retrieve the item.

When he went back to the woods on December 11, Kronk testified he took his meter reader stick and used it to lift the skull up. It was then that he realized what it was and was horrified, he testified.

During cross-examination, Kronk denied knowing any members of the Anthony family and said he had never been inside their home, vehicles or garage.

The only other person of interest to testify Tuesday was Joe Jordan, a Texas EquuSearch volunteer who helped search for Caylee.

While on the stand, Jordan explained he and his team had gone to the same wooded area where Caylee's remains were later found. He testified they were unable to conduct a thorough search due to high water.

Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including capital murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement in the death of her daughter. She could face the death penalty if convicted.

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