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Casey Anthony texts: "guess who spends eternity in jail"
ORLANDO, Florida |
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Accused child-killer Casey Anthony called herself "the worst f***ing person" and predicted she would spend eternity in jail in text messages she sent a month after the murder of her daughter Caylee, according to evidence introduced at trial on Saturday.
Anthony is charged with first-degree murder after the June 15, 2008 killing of two-year-old Caylee, and faces the death penalty if convicted.
"I'm the worst f---ing person in the world," Casey texted to her then-boyfriend Tony Lazzaro. She also texted, "If they don't find her, guess who gets blamed and spends eternity in jail."
Prosecutors believe Casey smothered Caylee with duct tape wrapped three times around the toddler's head, and then disposed of the body in woods near her home.
Casey sent the text messages to Lazzaro on July 16, 2008, the day after she finally admitted to her mother and police that Caylee was gone, and claimed the little girl had been kidnapped by a nanny.
Her lawyer, Jose Baez, however, told jurors on the opening day of Casey's trial that Caylee drowned in the Anthony's backyard pool and the death was not reported at the time.
On the day Caylee died, Casey moved in with Lazzaro, who earlier testified Casey seemed happy as usual. Lazzaro said he didn't know anything was amiss until July 15, 2008, when Casey's mother Cindy came to the apartment demanding Casey leave with her. Within a few hours a detective arrived to search the apartment.
Lazzaro said he and Casey exchanged text messages the following day. In texts that were displayed to the jury, Casey told Lazzaro, "I'm sorry for not telling you what happened. We obviously need to talk. I love you and I need you."
Casey told Lazzaro in subsequent texts that she last saw Caylee when she dropped the little girl off at a nanny's apartment.
"I lied to everyone. What was I supposed to say? I trusted my daughter to some psycho? How would that look?" Casey texted. In another text, she wrote, "I was scared to admit it. I was scared something was going to happen to my baby."
Lazzaro testified he finally spoke once to Casey on the phone and asked repeatedly where Caylee was, but Casey would not tell him.
"How do you not know where your daughter is?" Lazzaro said he asked Casey. He said she replied, "I just don't know." Lazzaro said he hung up because the conversation "was going nowhere." Lazzaro described feeling shocked, angry and betrayed.
During later testimony Saturday, both Casey and her mother, Cindy Anthony wept repeatedly.
On the witness stand, Cindy was asked to identify Caylee's bed and an outdoor playhouse which Cindy and her husband George had landscaped and to which they had added hard flooring. She broke down twice, wiping her eyes and nose, and struggled to regain her composure.
During a 15-minute recess, Casey wept and spoke in an unusually animated way to her defense team.
In testimony -- which will resume on Tuesday when the court is back in session after a Memorial Day weekend break -- Cindy provided a day-by-day account of how she tried unsuccessfully to see Caylee between June 16, 2008 and July 15, 2008.
Casey and Caylee had lived with Cindy and George at the family's Orlando-area home since Caylee was born. Cindy testified she had never before gone more than 24 hours without seeing her granddaughter.
But starting June 16, 2008, Casey gave Cindy a series of explanations about why Caylee was unavailable both in person and by phone, Cindy testified.
Cindy told jurors Casey variously claimed the two were spending the night with a friend, that she had taken Caylee with her to a business meeting in Tampa, that they stayed extra days in Tampa to visit a theme park and to help a friend who was hospitalized after a car accident.
After George saw Casey at home briefly on June 24, 2008, Casey told Cindy that she and Caylee were spending the night with one of Casey's old boyfriends and that they were attending a party at Universal Studios.
On June 30, Cindy took a planned week's vacation from her job, expecting to spend some of her time off with Caylee. On July 3, determined to see Caylee, Cindy testified she drove to Universal Studios, where she wrongly believed Casey worked, and called Casey to meet her outside the ticket gate.
Cindy said Casey then told her that she and Caylee had gone to Jacksonville with the former boyfriend.
In the meantime, Cindy testified, her son, Lee, told her he saw indications on social networking sites that Casey had announced plans to hang out in downtown Orlando nightclubs during the July 4th holiday.
"My mind was just all over the place. I felt angry, upset, betrayed," Cindy testified.
(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Greg McCune)
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