Casey Anthony Trial | Day 5 – Daily Updates (Thoughts & Observations)
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Day 5 – May 28, 2011 – Saturday
The Prosecution’s List of Witnesses for May 28, 2011
- First Prosecution Witness: Anthony Lazzaro – Casey’s boyfriend during Summer of 2008.
- Second Prosecution Witness: Cindy Anthony – Casey’s mother.
The Prosecution’s Witnesses:
Lover & Mother
Today was a heart-breaking day as the Prosecution brought Tony Lazzaro and Cindy Anthony to talk about the days leading to and following Caylee’s disappearance. The anger and the emotion came through as Tony Lazzaro reviewed the days of July 15th and July 16th, when the world found out Caylee was missing and Casey was arrested. As Tony recounted the conversations and text messages he had with Casey, trying to find out where Caylee was, you could see that he genuinely cared for Casey and for Caylee, but he felt betrayed, angry, and frustrated.
Cindy Anthony’s testimony was compelling as she reviewed with the Prosecution exactly what happened from June 15th, the last day she saw her granddaughter, through the Fourth-of-July weekend in 2008. She described every detail of the last day she spent with her granddaughter; she methodically went through the daily excuses Casey gave her for not coming home and for not letting Cindy talk to her granddaughter on the phone. Each of the excuses on their own sounded perfectly reasonable, each day, day-by-day, until you stand back and look at them all piled on top of each other and realize that something is seriously wrong. By the time Cindy Anthony reached that point, of realizing that her daughter had been lying to her for weeks, it was too late, Caylee was gone.
Mr. Lazzaro was back on the stand this morning to talk about July 15th & 16th – the day Cindy Anthony found Casey at Tony’s house, found out her granddaughter was missing, called the police, and Casey led them on wild goose chases, until her arrest later on July 16th.
The Prosecution first showed Anthony an Orientation sheet from his college to have him verify that was his and explain what that was. The prosecutor did not explain its significance, and moved on to asking him about the period between June 30th and July 5th when he flew back home to New York. He verified that he and Casey spoke every day, numerous times a day and her demeanor was happy as usual. On July 5th, Casey picked him up at the airport in his car, extremely happy to see him and that evening she wanted to take him to a place called Buffalo Wild Wings to meet her friends. He was asked and confirmed that Casey spent every night with him from July 5th-15th and her demeanor never changed.
Anthony Lazzaro was shown a BlockBuster receipt for June 16th, 2008 – the day Caylee either disappeared or died – timestamped around 7:58 p.m.; there was an objection from the Defense when the prosecutor started to read the title of the movie they rented, “Jumper &…”. A sidebar was called, and we never did hear which movie they rented, but Tony verified Casey was with him.
On July 15th, Casey, Tony and his friend, Nate were at Tony’s place. Nate and Tony were playing Xbox when Amy Huizenga knocked on the door and Casey answered. Tony said that no words were spoken, they looked at each other and Casey stepped outside. A few minutes later, the door flung over, and he saw Casey’s mother, Cindy, standing at the door. Casey yelled, “No, I’m coming back.”
The prosecutor asked Mr. Lazzaro if he said anything to them, but he said he just sat there in shock. He didn’t immediately call Casey because he thought they had things to work out. He called Casey later and realized that her phone was still at his place, so he called Amy and let her know Casey had left her phone at his place.
Next, a deputy came to his door and Tony gave him Casey’s cell phone and the Deputy left. In the meantime, Casey had still not called him to let him know what was going on. Then the same deputy came back not long after and asked to search Tony’s apartment. Tony allowed the deputy to search his apartment, and one-and-a-half hours later he left with nothing. Next, Lee Anthony called him and came over to pick up Casey’s clothes and her laptop.
Although Tony Lazzaro was shocked and confused, he did not try to contact Casey any further that night. The prosecutor asked if Casey had sent him any text messages the next day, July 16th, and he said that there were many exchanges of text messages between them, back and forth. The prosecutor showed him a transcript of those messages downloaded off their phones, he reviewed the document of text message conversations between them, he agreed those were their messages, and it was submitted into evidence.
Technology is an amazing thing. I thought about the fact that the Defense would not be able to argue that three years later his recollection of those conversations might be fuzzy or inaccurate, no, there it was in black and white, exactly what Casey typed into her phone, exactly what Casey said. Below are some of those text messages:
[NOTE: CA is Casey Anthony and TL is Tony Lazzaro]
Text Message | July 16th | Subject Line: I’m so sorry for not telling you.
CA: We need to talk. I love you more than you know.
TL: Where is Caylee?
CA: I don’t know.
TL: Are you serious?
[The prosecutor asks and Lazzaro says that he was feeling very angry and worried at that moment.]
CA: I’ve been filling reports all night and taking them to apartments I’ve taken her to. I’m the worst fucking person in the entire world. I don’t know what I’ll do if something happens to her.
TL: How long has she been missing?
CA: Too long, let’s just leave it at that
TL: Why would you lie to me saying she is fine with the nanny. I’m the boyfriend who loves you and cares for your daughter.
CA: How would it look that I am a mother who would allow her daughter with some psycho.
TL: I will do anything I can to help find Caylee.
CA: I’m the dumbest person and the worst mother. I honestly hate myself. I will never be able to forgive myself nor will my family
TL: Who is this Zannie Nanny person?
CA: Someone I met through a mutual friend 4 yrs ago, she used to be my buddy’s nanny before she became mine.
Text Message | July 16 – 7:09 p.m.
CA: I’m scared
TL: RU Home?
CA: Yeah, finally getting a shower feel like hell.
TL: Where did you drop off Caylee last time you saw her?
CA: The bottom of stairs, Saw Grass Apts, told them and drove out with them, just back from 2nd drive; if they don’t find her guess who gets blamed and ends up spending eternity in jail.
TL: Why didn’t you tell someone sooner, why are you texting me and not calling.
CA: I was scared to admit it, scared something was going to happen to my baby.
Phone Call | July 16 | Tony Called Casey
TL: “Where’s Caylee?”
CA: I don’t know
[The prosecutor asks and Lazzaro says he felt betrayed, angry, at this point.]
TL: How do you not know?
CA: I don’t know.
The prosecutor asked Lazzaro what he was thinking or feeling at this point, and Lazzaro says he felt frustrated, the conversation was going nowhere, it was like a loop, and it went on like that for awhile, he was so angry and frustrated he told her he had to go to class and hung up the phone.
Jose Baez, the lead defense attorney, asked Mr. Lazzaro, “These conversations pretty bizzare isn’t it? Like a slap in the face of reality, your reality and Casey’s reality? Casey acts like Caylee is still alive? And blames herself for it?” Tony agrees. Mr. Baez pushes a bit further, “She shows concern for her family despite everything… [the prosecutor objects] In the text messages, you don’t know what’s real and what’s not; what happened and what didn’t.” Anthony Lazzaro agrees again.
The prosecutor does not re-direct and the witness is excused.
The second and last witness of the day was Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, a nurse who moved with her husband George and children, six-year-old Lee and three-and-a-half-year-old Casey, from Ohio to Florida in 1989. They have lived in the same house since 1989. Caylee Marie Anthony, Casey’s daughter, joined the family in their home on August 9, 2005, when she was born.
Probably as a result of the Defense’s opening statement where they accused the Anthonys of trying to hide Casey’s pregnancy, lying to family and friends about it, the Prosecution felt the need to spend some time setting the record straight on this matter. Cindy Anthony found out about Casey’s pregnancy on June 30, 2005, five to six weeks before Caylee was born.
The prosecutor asked if she suspected that Casey was pregnant, but she said that Casey had always had issues with her menstrual cycle, and that she and Casey would compare symptoms, since bloating was a huge issue with both of them, often joking that they looked like they were pregnant. Cindy had noted that Casey started putting on a little weight, her face filling out a bit, but she assumed that it was because she had a job where she was sedentary most of the time, working in human resources at Universal Studios. Cindy noted Casey had only gained about 15-18 lbs. when Caylee was born. Cindy said they told everyone, after telling George, Casey’s father, and they were by no means trying to hide it, in fact they were very excited and threw a baby shower for Casey, inviting their entire family and group of friends.
The Anthonys assured Casey that she and the baby could stay with them until she wanted, and they would help her out with the expenses. George and Cindy bought Casey maternity clothes, immediately converted the computer room into a nursery, and went shopping for baby furniture, baby supplies and baby clothes. The theme of the room was Winnie-the-Pooh because Casey had had a Winnie-the-Pooh room through the age of 16 and that’s what she wanted.
When Cindy Anthony was shown a photo of Caylee’s bed for identification, she started crying. The prosecutor pointed out a stuffed animal on the left side of the bed, one of Caylee’s bears. (The prosecutor points it out because later on in the testimony they ask Cindy about her sleeping with one of Caylee’s bears for the first four or five days Caylee was missing, and then the bear disappeared.) Looking at photos of the room, the prosecutor asks about all the Winnie-the-Pooh themed sheets, baby blankets, curtains, and pillow cases. (The prosecutor most likely points this out because Caylee was found wrapped in a Winnie-the-Pooh blanket and stuffed in a Winnie-the-Pooh pillow case, which were all inside black plastic garbage bags from the home, but this information has not yet been introduced to the jury.)
Shown a photo diagram/layout of their house, Cindy points out Caylee’s room in the diagram, reviewing all the rooms and patio; reviewing ways to get in and out of the patio, and noting the multiple ways to get there from the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, etc.
The prosecutor asks Mrs. Anthony to point out the front door, inside the ‘L’ shaped front of the house, darkened in shadow, Cindy is asked and confirms that they don’t use the front door, because it is triple locked; and it is much more convenient to use the garage door to come and go. (The prosecutor needed to point this out because, the day before, the Defense insinuated that there was a nefarious reason for the Anthony’s not picking up Casey’s car sooner from the tow-yard, other than the reason they gave, that they simply had not seen the certified letter notice from the post office on the front door, because they typically don’t use that door.)
Reviewing an aerial photo of her home, Cindy Anthony described the minor changes they had made to the backyard and patio, noting the pool and the sheds were still in the same place. The prosecutor and Mrs. Anthony reviewed the gates to the backyard; one is blocked off by a shed and only one, on the right side of the house, by the garage, opens to the side and backyard.
Next, they discussed the pool, which became an issue after the Defense stated in their opening statement that Caylee drowned on the first day she was missing, June 16th, when both her mother and grandfather were home; the grandfather being the one to pull her lifeless body out of the pool. (Again, it is worth emphasizing that this is an allegation the Defense team is making, there has never been any evidence of this, in fact, not even Casey ever mentioned Caylee drowning in the family pool during the 31 days her daughter was missing.)
Mrs. Anthony stated that they have had the pool since 2002, three years before Caylee was born. This above-ground pool is just under 5 feet in height; however, since the yard slopes down; the pool height can vary between Cindy’s nose and her chest area, depending on where she stands. Cindy Anthony is then shown photos of the backyard, as it was in mid-July 2008; she begins crying as she points out for the prosecutor Caylee’s playhouse, her sandbox, and picnic table. The prosecutor asks Cindy about the landscaping around the playhouse and the mailbox, and Mrs. Anthony says that she and her husband did that for Caylee.
The next set of photos that she is shown are of the living room, dining room, and screened-in patio. They talk about all of the doors and sliding glass doors that lead out to the patio. The prosecutor asks Mrs. Anthony about the locks on the sliding glass doors and screened doors, reviewing their habits for keeping the doors locked. (As mentioned, this is an issue because the Defense alleges that Caylee got out of the house, while her mother and grandfather were talking, climbed into the pool – assuming someone left the ladder to the pool attached – and she drowned.)
The prosecutor and Mrs. Anthony went into great detail talking about all the ways they had childproofed their home, including purchasing door knob devices, outlet protectors; locks for the cabinet doors, and the other typical toddler safety measures one takes. At the time of Caylee’s death, in June 2008, Caylee was 34 months old and mobile, and she was fairly verbal.
Cindy was asked about Caylee living with her from the time she was born for her entire life. Lee, her son, lived in the house for a period of time after Caylee was born; and Casey has lived with her parents her entire life. Mrs. Anthony was asked if at any time Caylee had been away from home for any extended period of time, and Mrs. Anthony said that she had never gone more than 24 hours without seeing Caylee; if she and her mom ever spent a night away, she would always end up seeing her later that day.
The prosecutor, the same one who did the opening statements creating a day-by-day time-line of Casey’s documented whereabouts during the 31 days that Caylee was missing, now went on to create a day-by-day time-line of what Casey told her mother she was doing during those 31 days.
June 15, 2008 – Father’s Day
On June 15th, 2008, Father’s Day, Cindy had taken Caylee with her to see her father, who was very ill in a nursing home. She said later that she didn’t know if Caylee would ever get the chance to see her great-grandfather again, and so Cindy took video and photos of the two of them together, worried that her father did not have much longer to live. Ironically, it was her granddaughter’s last photos and videos she took.
George had to work on Father’s Day. The kids (Casey and Lee) had plans; Casey was working that day and Lee had moved out and had plans of his own. So Cindy took Caylee to visit Cindy’s dad at the nursing home. It was about a 55 minute drive, arriving around mid-morning and visiting until 3:00 p.m., arriving home somewhere between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
At the nursing home Cindy took photographs and video of Caylee with her great-grandfather, the prosecutor shows Cindy one of those photos. [At this point the Prosecution admits into evidence a photo of Caylee at the nursing home on June 15, 2008.] Cindy is asked about Caylee’s age, weight and height at the time of those photos and she answers that Caylee was 34 months old, over 3ft tall, and weighed about 30 lbs.
After Cindy and Caylee got home they put their things away and Caylee wanted to go swimming, but Cindy told her she had to eat first. They put on their bathing suits, Caylee always wore a life-jacket over her bathing suit, and they went into the pool and played in the pool for about 1-1/2 hours.
The prosecutor asked about the specifics of the ladder that needs to be attached to climb into the above-ground pool. (Again, the Defense alleges that Caylee drowned in the family pool.) Cindy says there is a ladder that attaches to the pool so you can climb into it; the platform is bolted to the pool, there are internal attached steps; but the exterior ladder is detachable. From the time that Caylee became a toddler, they have always removed the detachable ladder and placed it on the pool, laying it on its side. The part of the pool where Cindy would place the ladder and where you can attach the ladder was chest-high on Cindy. Mrs. Anthony is asked how big is the removable ladder and she answered that it is a little taller than Cindy, heavy enough that a small child could not lift it.
So, typically, after she attached the ladder so that she and Caylee could go swimming, Caylee would climb the 3-4 rungs of the ladder while Cindy stood behind her, then Caylee would climb up and sit on the platform and wait for Cindy to climb up, get in the pool, and then she would ask Caylee to jump into her arms.
While they were swimming Casey came home, but she did not go swimming with them because they had already been in the pool for over an hour. So Cindy asked Casey to get the bath ready for Caylee and Casey came out with a towel to get her, after Cindy had removed the life-jacket and bathing suit. Cindy removed the ladder and put it back; got the swimsuits and the rest of their stuff and went in to the house. [This part is important because the Defense alleges the pool ladder was left attached at some point, and on June 16th Caylee got out of the house, climbed up the ladder by herself, and drowned.]
According to Cindy, that evening was a very emotional and special evening for her, she said that she can recall it like it happened yesterday. Cindy told Casey how, since the prior week Cindy’s dad not been doing well, she brought the cameras to the nursing home to document Caylee’s visit with her great-grandfather and she wanted to show Casey the photos and video of Caylee at the nursing home after Caylee’s bath. So Cindy plugged in the cameras to the computer, and perhaps Casey transfered the photos and video to the computer at that time, as well. And they watched video and photos together.
Prosecutor: “After June 15 of 2008 did you ever see your granddaughter again?”
Cindy: “No ma’am I did not.”
June 16, 2008
On Monday, June 16th, Cindy had to go in to work early, leaving the house at 7:00 a.m. The prosecutor asked her if when she left for work that morning she believed her granddaughter, Caylee, to be at her house and her daughter to have a job, and Cindy answered, “Yes.” She believed her daughter to be an event coordinator at Universal Studios, planning special events and dealing with celebrities. She understood that Casey’s hours varied, working days and evenings, depending on when the events occurred. And she believed this because Casey told her.
Proof of Work
The prosecutor asked Cindy if she saw any other evidence that Casey worked at Universal Studios and she mentioned that Casey wore a lanyard around her neck with her Universal Studios ID and photo attached, and Casey showed Cindy text messages from her boss and emails from work. Cindy noted that sometimes there was a different name on the ID, but Casey said that switching name tags was just something that the employees did for fun.
It turned out that Casey had worked at Universal Studios before Caylee was born, in their Human Resources department. It was during this period, before Caylee was born, that Cindy had visited Casey at work and had seen photos of her at work and she believed Casey had returned to work three months after Caylee was born, back to the Human Resources department. Cindy mentioned that there was a period of time, when she knew that Casey was not employed at Universal Studios because they had a policy that after three reprimands you were let go, but Casey told her that her boss didn’t want to let her go and re-hired her later on.
The prosecutor asked for any other proof that Cindy had that Casey worked at Universal Studios and she mentioned that Casey had printed out and shown her an email from her supervisor at the Universal Studios’ Hard Rock Café sent to Casey and some of her co-workers directing them with information about an event they had to work. (It makes you wonder if perhaps Cindy had doubts the her daughter had a job and Casey fabricated a fake email from an imaginary boss just to appease her mother.)
Caylee’s Daycare Needs
Caylee’s daycare needs were usually taken care of by Cindy who watched Caylee when Casey worked. If Cindy and Casey had to work, then George, Caylee’s grandfather, would watch Caylee. Sometimes, Cindy and Casey would go shopping together or have a girls’ day out, and George would watch Caylee, then, too. Only when Casey, Cindy and George all had to work did Casey make plans for someone else to watch Caylee.
In June 2008, Cindy believed Caylee’s babysitters included one of Casey’s closest friends, Lauren Gibbs, she was one of the primary people with whom Casey would leave Caylee; and sometimes she would leave her with a babysitter named Zanni.
The prosecutor asked Cindy how long Casey had been talking about Zanni and she answered that Casey had been mentioning Zanni since the Spring of 2006. Zanni was the girlfriend of one of Casey’s co-workers at Universal Studios, Jeff Hopkins, and Zanni had taken care of his son and he recommended Zanni to Casey as a babysitter for Caylee. Cindy is asked if the Spring of 2006 is the first time she heard of Zanni and Jeff Hopkins, and she answered that it was.
Mrs. Anthony is asked if Lauren Gibbs, the other person whom she knew to watch Caylee, was someone she could describe and recognize, someone she had actually met and knew and Cindy said that she knew Lauren and even knew where she lived. She was then asked if she had ever met Zanni and Cindy said she had never met her and did not know where she lived. She had heard from Casey that she moved around a lot, living in various places, but she never had the opportunity to pick Caylee up or drop her off at Zanni’s place.
The prosecutor asked Cindy if she had ever required Casey to contribute to the maintenance of the home, but she said that she and her husband had never asked Casey to contribute financially, but both of her children, Casey and Lee, had been raised to contribute by cleaning, cooking, doing their laundry, maintaining their own room, doing yard-work, and things of that nature.
Cindy was asked if Casey would get dressed and appear to go to work and Cindy replied that some days she would be dressed for work, but she always had a bag of extra clothes with her to change for work later on, or to change out of her work clothes to go somewhere else.
Prosecutor: “Did you ever find Zanni?”
Cindy: “No. We had been looking for her since July 15, 2008 until six weeks ago.”
At this point, you expected the prosecutor to ask why she stopped looking for Zanni the Nanny six weeks ago, what happened six weeks ago to make her stop looking for the woman her daughter told her had kidnapped her granddaughter, but the prosecutor didn’t ask. Did the Anthonys stop looking for Zanni the Nanny six weeks ago because they heard that Casey’s defense team would be claiming that Caylee was never kidnapped, she instead drowned on June 16th? One hopes the prosecutor will ask Mrs. Anthony that question later on.
June 16, 2008
Back to the time-line, the prosecutor asks Cindy Anthony if she went to work on June 16th and she said she did. She is asked if she spoke to her daughter, Casey, at all on June 16th and Cindy says that she talked to Casey throughout the day, leaving each other messages, and perhaps late in the afternoon, around 4:00 p.m. they had a brief conversation that lasted seconds. Casey discussed her plans for the day, and mentioned that she was going to spend the night at Zanni’s, because she knew she could not drop Caylee off at Cindy’s work and Casey had an early work day the next day, June 17th, and it would just be easier on Caylee. Cindy didn’t think twice about it, it made sense and expected to see Caylee the next day. On June 16th, George worked
from 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p m., hence neither one of the grandparents could watch Caylee at 4:00 p.m.
June 17, 2008
Cindy expected Casey and Caylee to return home on June 17th, but they did not return. Casey called her mom and told her that she was at work and they were involved in negotiations that were going to be lengthy and she did not know when she would be done, so she would keep Caylee with Zanni that night again. (We know from the prosecutor’s opening statement and Tony Lazzaro’s testimony that Casey is with Tony Lazzaro the entire day.)
June 18, 2008
The prosecutor asked Cindy if she expected Casey and Caylee to return home on June 18th, and she did, but Casey called her mom and told her that the negotiations with the Hard Rock Café were going to be moved to Tampa, and Casey thought it would be fun for Caylee to go Tampa and Bush Gardens. It turned out that Zanni was free and would be able to go with them to Tampa, and one of her co-workers who had a little girl as well, was going to bring her. Casey told her mother the name of the co-worker, Juliette Lewis, and her child’s name was Annabelle. Casey thought they might wrap up the negotiations on Friday and come home Saturday, June 21st.
June 18 – July 21, 2008
Cindy was asked and asserted that she talked to Casey during those intervening days between June 18th and the 21st, and that she spoke to Casey every day, morning and evening. Cindy was asked if Caylee liked to talk on the phone, and Cindy answered that she loved to talk on the phone, but she was not able to talk to Caylee all that week. Cindy said that Casey always gave her a reason why she could not talk to Caylee, either Casey was in a meeting, or Caylee had already gone to bed, or she was out at the park, etc.
June 21, 2008
Cindy anxiously waited to see them on Saturday, June 21st, but then Casey called to say that they had not finished the negotiations on Friday and they would all have to work on Saturday. Casey mentioned that Zanni’s friend, Raquel, had also gone up to Tampa and they were going to spend the day at the park on Sunday, and maybe they would be back on Monday, June 23rd.
June 23, 2008
Cindy waited to see Casey and Caylee on Monday, June 23rd, but she did not. Cindy waited at work to hear from Casey, but she did not hear from her. Cindy called and left messages for Casey, she was worried that perhaps something had happened. In the evening, she finally heard form Casey, who called and said not to panic but there had been a car accident. She described how she, Casey and most of the group were following Zanni and Raquel in their car, which was involved in a car accident. They all spent the day at the hospital, but she assured Cindy that she and Caylee were perfectly fine. Cindy asked to talk to Caylee, but Casey said that she was at the hospital, but someone had taken Caylee and Annabelle (her co-worker’s daughter) to walk around, and that Zanni was still in the emergency room.
June 24, 2008
The prosecutor asks Cindy if she remembers the incident involving the shed that had been broken into and that her husband, George Anthony, had discovered on June 24th and contacted the Sheriff’s department to report it. She did recall that incident because George had called her around the same time he called the Sheriff that morning. Did Cindy share that information with Casey on June 24th? Yes, shortly after she spoke with George she talked to Casey, in the morning, to see how Zanni was doing and told her that someone had broken into the shed and chuckled to Casey that someone had stolen the gas cans.
Cindy was asked if she was told that George had seen Casey at the house on June 24th in the afternoon? She said that George told her that Casey had stopped by in the afternoon. So Cindy called Casey again to ask her what she was doing home because in the morning when she talked to Casey she was still in Tampa at the hospital with Zanni. Casey said she volunteered to drive back to Orlando to go to Zanni’s apartment to pick up Zanni’s identification and insurance information, and bring it back to the hospital in Tampa because Zanni was being admitted into the hospital. Casey said that she had returned the gas cans to her dad, George Anthony, because she had taken them before she went to Tampa because something was wrong with the gas gage in her car and she didn’t want to run out of gas. Cindy then asked Casey why she didn’t bring Caylee with her and drop her off at home, offering that she would have taken the time off, but Casey said it did not occur to her bring Caylee back.
Cindy was asked if on June 24th Casey gave her any indication when Casey and Caylee would return home, but Casey did not say. Cindy asked Casey why one of Zanni’s family members was not taking care of Zanni? Cindy told her that it was not her responsibility. But Casey explained that Zanni’s mom was not doing well and Zanni’s brother and sister had to take care of their mom around the clock. Casey mentioned that Raquel, Zanni’s friend who had also been injured, was getting picked up by her mom, and everyone else had left, so Casey felt obligated to stay with Zanni, and Casey wanted to keep Caylee close to her.
Cindy said that she was missing Caylee very much and had started sleeping with one of Caylee’s teddy bears, because she always used to cuddle with Caylee at night, adding that sometimes all three of them, Cindy, Casey and Caylee, would cuddle. Cindy had been sleeping with the teddy bear since Caylee had left. She had mentioned this to Casey at some point and a few days later Cindy discovered that the teddy bear was missing.
June 26 – 28, 2008
Cindy was asked if she saw Casey and/or Caylee on June 26, 27, or 28, but she had not seen them. She had originally expected to see them on June 26th, because they were releasing Zanni that day from the hospital, but Casey told her that Zanni had a concussion and internal bleeding and the hospital had wanted to keep her a little longer for observation, so, they were going to release Zanni late Thursday evening, the 26th. Casey decided, since it was so late, that it was best to take Zanni back to the Hard Rock hotel room where Casey and Caylee had been staying and return to Orlando on Friday morning, the 27th.
June 27, 2008
On Friday, June 27th, Cindy had every expectation of seeing her daughter and granddaughter, hoping Casey would surprise her at work and bring Caylee in to see her, but that didn’t happen. Early that afternoon, Casey got back to Orlando, but had to go to work to be de-briefed for a couple of hours about the negotiations that had taken place in Tampa. Cindy was supposed to see them at home later that night, but she didn’t because Casey called that night and told her mom that Jeff Hopkins, who had moved out of state, was back in town. Cindy had had the impression, previously, that Casey and Jeff had dated and Casey had been interested in him. Casey told her mom that Jeff wanted to see Zanni after her accident, and that she, Casey, was going to see Jeff. Zachary, Jeff’s little boy, was a friend of Caylee’s, according to Casey, and Casey wanted them to see each other as well..
Cindy said that Jeff was the one who introduced Casey to Zanni. The prosecutor asked Mrs. Anthony if she ever met Jeff and she said she had not. She mentioned that there were numerous times that she was supposed to meet Jeff and Zachary, from 2006 to 2007, but something always came up for Jeff and they were never able to meet. Cindy said that Jeff and Casey’s friendship grew into a relationship, and that Casey had told her that he could potentially be someone with whom she might settle down. Cindy mentioned that were many specific dates when they were going to hook up with Jeff or Jeff’s mom, but none of those planned dates ever happened with them. One time, Cindy recounted, the she, Casey and Caylee were at the mall waiting for Jeff’s mom and Zachary to arrive so that Caylee and Zachary could have Santa photos taken, but Zachary and his grandmother never showed up. Casey later told Cindy that she found out that Zach had had an asthma attack, and they were not able to come.
Casey told her mother, on June 27, that since Jeff and Zach were in town, Casey and Caylee were going to go to the hotel where Jeff was staying, near Universal Studios Park, and they were all going to meet up, have dinner, and that she would come home late that night with Caylee. The prosecutor asked Cindy if Casey and Caylee ever came home that night and Cindy said that they did not.
Casey told her that Jeff, who had a large trust fund, had gotten a suite at the hotel, and he invited Zanni, Casey and Caylee to spend the night, and go to Universal Studios theme park with him and Zachary the next day. Cindy said that from what Casey had told her about Jeff, he seemed very stable and Zach was the same age as Caylee. She noted that Casey was a grown woman, although she was still living in her parents’ home, she was an independent person. Cindy said she never had control of Casey, as far as her comings and goings, nor did she require Casey to tell her their (Casey and Caylee’s) whereabouts. Cindy loved to spend time with them and would ask where they were out of concern.
June 30 – July 4, 2008
Cindy was asked and talked about how Saturday, June 27th, was the start of her vacation, she typically had five to six weeks vacation and had to use it or lose it, and had the entire week of June 30 through July 4 off. She was scheduled to go back to work the Monday after the July 4th weekend and hoped that she would get to spend more time with Caylee.
The prosecutor asked Mrs. Anthony if she was expecting that Casey and Caylee would be staying at the Hard Rock hotel suite for those days, and Cindy replied that she thought they might spend some of those days there, but she figured they would come home to get clothes. She mentioned that the weekends were her and George’s time together, they went to the beach, and other things, but they were not sitting home waiting for Casey and Caylee. She said that at least she always had daily communications with Casey and knew where she and Caylee were and that they were safe.
Cindy thought that the week of Monday, June 29th, Casey might have to work and that she would get to watch Caylee that week, especially since Cindy was off and Zanni was just out of the hospital, but that didn’t happen.
July 3, 2008
Casey said she was working on an event for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Casey thought it would be fun for Caylee to go to the event at Universal Studios with her. She told Cindy that it was going to be a day at the park for the kids, they would be at the pool, and have other fun activities to do. Casey mentioned that her co-worker, Juliette, and her little girl, Annabelle, were going to be there, as well. Cindy asked who would be taking care of Caylee at the park while Casey was working, but Casey assured her there was an organized group that would be taking car of the kids, and Casey would have the opportunity to come down and check on Caylee.
The prosecutor asked Cindy how far away Universal Studios was from their home and she replied that it was about a 20 to 30 minute drive. So, on July 3rd, after not having seen her daughter and granddaughter in more than two weeks, and really missing Caylee, Cindy decided to drive out to Universal Studios to see them. She noted that earlier that day some money issues had come up about which she also wanted to talk to Casey in person.
(The prosecutor did not ask Mrs. Anthony what those money issues were about, but it did come out in the media and through depositions, back in 2008, that Casey, in March 2008, using the routing number from a check her grandparents gave her for her birthday, stole money from the fund to pay for her grandfather’s nursing home, Casey, sometime in June 2008, stole her mother’s credit card charging tens of thousands of dollars. Will the prosecutor be allowed to bring that up or will that be too prejudicial and non-prohibitive?)
Since Casey said, earlier that day, that she was at work at Universal Studios, Cindy went down to Guest Services at Universal and called Casey from there, hoping that Casey would come and meet her there. She also hoped that since she was there, she would be able to bring Caylee home. However, when she spoke to Casey and told her she was there at Guest Services at Casey’s work, Casey told her mother that she was not at work, she was in Jacksonville because she had followed Jeff Hopkins up to Jacksonville to spend more time with him, adding that they were rekindling their relationship.
The prosecutor asked Cindy if she thought her daughter was indeed in Jacksonville and Cindy said that at this point she had no idea. She realized that Casey had been lying to her the last couple of days, telling her mom that she was at work when she wasn’t, but then saying she had gone to Jacksonville, and she just didn’t know what to believe.
So, on July 3rd Cindy enlisted the help of her son, Lee, to find Casey, asking him if he had seen Casey, but he had not. Cindy then thought to call Ryan Pasley, one of Casey’s good friends who lived in Jacksonville, thinking that Casey would have contacted him, if she were up there in Jacksonville. When Cindy called Ryan, he said that he thought she was coming because she had called him and wanted to get together in the next few days, as a result Cindy thought that maybe Casey was in Jacksonville.
MySpace was Everybody’s Space
The prosecutor asks Cindy if she had created her own MySpace account, and Cindy said that she did, as a way of trying to communicate with Casey. Cindy mentioned that Lee had called her to tell her that he didn’t think Casey was in Jacksonville based on the chatter on Facebook and MySpace, where he found talk of Casey telling friends that she was going downtown (in Orlando) that night. Cindy then asked Lee to find Casey, which is when he and his fiancée went downtown and began calling and texting Casey, trying to meet up with her.
Cindy said that when Lee told her that Casey was probably in downtown Orlando, not Jacksonville, she felt betrayed, hurt, and angry. Lee had mentioned that he saw new photos of Casey on her MySpace page. At that moment, Cindy decided to create her own MySpace page, friending only Casey, and thinking that Casey would be the only one who would be able to read what she wrote to her, and this was her way of venting, trying to get through to her daughter.
Cindy was shown a document and verified that it was what she had written on her MySpace page. Cindy told the prosecutor that it was a few days before Casey found out about what she had written to Casey. Cindy asked her daughter, a few days later, why she had not responded back to what she wrote on her MySpace page, and Casey said that she thought her mother was being hard on her. Casey explained to her mother that what she had written was visible to everyone and she was upset that her mother would have made all of that venting so public. Cindy looked at the prosecutor and said, “I didn’t realize that MySpace was everybody’s space.”
The prosecutor did not have Cindy’s vent read to the jury, but here it is:
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Current mood: Distraught
She came into my life unexpectedly, just as she has left me. This precious little angel from above gave me strength and unconditional love. Now she is gone and I don’t know why. All I am guilty of is loving her and providing her a safe home. Jealousy has taken her away. Jealousy from the one person that should be thankful for all of the love and support given to her. A mother’s love is deep, however there are limits when one is betrayed by the one she loved and trusted the most. A daughter comes to her mother for support when she is pregnant, the mother says without hesitation it will be okay. And it was. But then the lies and betrayal began. First, it seemed harmless, ah, love is blind. A mother will look for the good in her child and give them a chance to change. This mother gave chance after chance for her daughter to change, but instead more lies more betrayal. What does the mother get for giving her daughter all of these chances? A broken heart. The daughter who stole money, lots of money, leaves without warning and does not let her mother now speak to the baby that her mother raised, fed, clothed, sheltered, paid her medical bills, etc. Instead tells her friends that her mother is controlling her life and she needs her space. No money, no future. Where did she go? Who is now watching out for the little angel?[Typos and misspellings corrected.]
[An objection, a sidebar, and Judge Perry called recess for the day. Court will convene on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. before the jury, but at 8:30 a.m. the Judge will hear from the attorneys on a matter.]
My final thoughts are with Cindy Anthony, by all accounts a loving, caring, doting grandmother and mother. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for her to lose her granddaughter, to bury her granddaughter, and to sit in a court room testifying in her daughter’s murder trial. It must be unimaginable for her to accept that her daughter might have harmed Caylee intentionally. And the lies, all the lies, how do you make sense of all the lies? She must be wondering if she ever really knew her daughter, someone whom she loved and trusted, raised and nurtured, her own little girl at one time. Was her daughter capable of killing her own daughter?
What are your thoughts?
Martie Hevia (c) 2011 – All Rights Reserved