Casey Anthony's Attorneys Want Evidence Suppressed
Anthony is scheduled to go on trial May 9 on a first-degree murder charge. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death.
Testimony today centered on two pieces of evidence that Anthony's defense team does not want admitted: letters between Casey and a jail pen pal, and evidence of chloroform that was allegedly found in her car, Orlando News 13 reported.
The hearing, expected to last only two days, began Wednesday. It's not known when Chief Judge Belvin Perry will rule.
Anthony spent much of her time during the hearing jotting down notes. Her parents, George and Cindy Anthony, took the stand first on the opening day. Neither was allowed in the courtroom when the other testified; Casey broke down and cried when her mother took the stand.
Anthony's defense team, headed by lead attorney Jose Baez, questioned both of the defendant's parents about their daughter's dealings with detectives after Cindy Anthony called 911 and reported her granddaughter missing.
"I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing," Cindy Anthony told a 911 dispatcher on July 15, 2008. "My daughter finally admitted that she's been missing. ... There is something wrong. I found my daughter's car today, [and] it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car."
Because Casey Anthony had not been read her Miranda rights when police questioned her about her daughter's disappearance, Baez wants all of the statements Anthony made to be suppressed, ABC News reported.
The lead detective on the case, Orange County Sheriff's Detective Yuri Melich, was also called to testify during the first day of hearings. Baez wanted to know why the officer had not read Anthony her Miranda rights prior to the start of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance.
Melich testified that he was suspicious of Anthony's story that her nanny had kidnapped her daughter, but he did not read Casey her Miranda Rights because, at that point, she was not a suspect, according to Orlando's News 13.
"She was the mother of a missing child. She wasn't being interrogated as a suspect of a crime," Melich said. "We were still investigating where her daughter was."
Assistant State Attorney Linda Drane-Burdick contended that statements Anthony gave to police before her eventual arrest were given voluntarily.
Drane-Burdick: Did she appear to be cooperative?
Drane-Burdick: Did she indicate she wanted to find her child?
Drane-Burdick: Did she indicate she wanted your help?
On Thursday, George Anthony and his son, Lee, testified about their involvement in the search for Caylee, which the state has described as an independent investigation. The defense, however, contended that both men were acting as agents of the state and that any comments they made at the time should not be allowed in court.