Casey Anthony's first-degree murder trial descended into chaos on Wednesday morning when prosecutors entered a flurry of objections as the defense attempted to question the accused child killer's parents about sexual abuse they allege she suffered at the hands of family members.
"I would never do anything like that to my daughter," the defendant's father, George Anthony, said when asked if he had molested Casey.
Defense attorney Jose Baez then asked George Anthony if he would ever admit to abusing his daughter. "You would never admit to it, would you sir," Baez asked. Anthony again denied any wrong doing. "I would never do anything to harm my daughter in that way," he said.
The alleged abuses were brought up by the defense during opening arguments, after Baez claimed Caylee died on June 16, 2008, when she drowned in her family's swimming pool. He said Anthony did not contact the authorities because she was unable to tell the truth after years of sordid sexual abuse that she suffered at the hands of her father.
"It all began when Casey was eight years old and her father came into her room and began to touch her inappropriately and it escalated... She could be 14 years old, have [had] her father's penis in her mouth, and go to school and play with the other kids as if nothing [had] happened," Baez said.
Stonewalled with denials from George Anthony on the alleged molestation, Baez turned his line of questioning to a highly publicized suicide attempt that occurred on January 22, 2009. On that day, former Anthony family lawyer Brad Conway contacted law enforcement and reported George Anthony missing. In his 911 call, Conway said Anthony "has taken several bottles of medication from the house as well as some pictures."
The following day, police found a despondent Anthony, along with a five page suicide note, at a Daytona Beach, Fla., hotel. Anthony was taken into police custody and briefly held at a medical center for evaluation.
On the stand today, Anthony admitted attempting to take his own life and then broke down on the stand. Casey Anthony did not react as her father put his head in his hands and sobbed.
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Earlier in the morning, George Anthony became agitated with Baez when he was again questioned about an odor he said he had smelled in the trunk of his daughter's Pontiac Sunfire when he went to retrieve it from Johnson's Wrecker on July 15, 2008. The vehicle had been impounded by the Orlando towing company on June 30, 2008, roughly two weeks after Caylee was last seen alive.
"You're trying to take this joy of my life away from me, sir, and you can't do it anymore," Anthony said. "I will answer this to you, sir - the decomposition that I smelled in the trunk of my daughters car on July 15, 2008 at Johnson's towing smelled like human decomposition."
During previous testimony Anthony, a former police detective, said he was initially afraid of what he might find in the trunk of the vehicle and thought, "Please God, don't let this be my Casey or my Caylee [in the trunk]," he testified.
Prior to calling George Anthony to the stand, the defense briefly questioned his wife, Cindy Anthony. The defense was again attempting to take aim at her son, Lee Anthony. During opening arguments, Baez alleged Casey Anthony's older brother had tried to "follow in his father's footsteps."
"On certain occasions when he was a teenager, [Lee] attempted to also touch his sister, although it didn't go as far," Baez said. He added, "These ugly secrets will come out at this trial. And you'll see what makes Casey Anthony act the way she does."
Baez asked Anthony today if she recalled "several years back when there was an incident involving your son Lee going into Casey's room at night?"
Prosecutors immediately objected, but Judge Belvin Perry overruled the objection and instructed Anthony to answer. She replied, "No."
Several other objections followed as Baez attempted to further his line of questioning about the alleged abuses. Each objection was sustained by Perry and Anthony was eventually allowed to step down following a brief sidebar between the judge and the attorneys.
Casey Anthony, 25, is accused of multiple charges, including capital murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement in the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
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