Casey Anthony Trial: Jury Begins Its Deliberations
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The six-week Casey Anthony trial went to the jury for deliberations Monday. The jury took up the case shortly after noon, following the state's rebuttal to closing arguments.
"Your verdict finding the defendant either guilty or not guilty must be unanimous," Judge Belvin Perry told the jury. "The verdict must be the verdict of each juror, as well as the jury as a whole."
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 daughter, 2-year-old Caylee. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
The defense completed their closing arguments Sunday, and the prosecution wrapped up the case with their rebuttal this afternoon. The rebuttal was broken into two parts. Prosecutor Jeff Ashton first focused on the evidence in the case, and Assistant State Attorney Linda Drane Burdick then focused on motive.
"Casey Anthony would have you believe this is all her mother's fault for leaving the ladder down," Burdick said, referring to the defense's theory that Caylee drowned in the family pool.
"Let's twist the knife ... a little more. The cover up is her dad's fault," Burdick added, referring to the defense's allegation that he knew about Caylee's death.
The case comes down to answering a simple question, the veteran prosecutor said: "Whose life was better without Caylee? Was Cindy Anthony's life better? Was George Anthony's life better? Mr. Ashton said what George Anthony's life was like as a result of losing his beloved granddaughter. Whose life was better? That is the only question you need to answer in considering why Caylee Marie Anthony was left on the side of the road dead."
With that, Burdick produced a photo of the tattoo Casey Anthony got after her daughter died -- the "Bella Vita" tattoo, which means "Beautiful Life" in Italian. "There is your answer," Burdick said, referring to the photo.
When Burdick sat down, Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, asked Perry to grant a mistrial, claiming the state made improper statements in closing arguments. Perry denied the request and the case went to the jury.
Twelve men and women will now decide Anthony's fate -- her life and liberty are in their their hands.