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Casey Anthony Trial Update: Defense rests without calling Casey, prosecution begins rebuttal

Casey Anthony tells Judge Belvin Perry she won't testify in her own defense and her defense attorney Jose Baez says it has rested its case during her trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Anthony, 25, answered Perry's questions briefly about her decision. Pool,AP Photo/Red Huber

Caey Anthony Trial Update: Defense rests without calling Casey, prosecution begins rebuttal
Casey Anthony at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, June 30, 2011.
Red Huber
(CBS/WKMG/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - Casey Anthony opted out of testifying on her own behalf during her capital murder trial for the death of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, as her defense team wrapped up their 13-day case by calling her parents to the stand for the fourth time in nearly as many days.

The prosecution began their rebuttal case late Thursday but court was recessed shortly after their first witness was called when the defense asked for more time to go over new testimony.

Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, Personal Photos

Jose Baez and his defense team spent most of their 13 days presenting evidence that attempted to poke holes in the prosecution's contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said Anthony dumped Caylee's body in the woods near her parents' home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping.

But the defense presented little in the way of bolstering their own claims that Caylee's death was an accidental drowning and that Casey and her father, George Anthony, panicked and attempted to make it look like a homicide by dumping the body in a swamp.

They also claimed that Casey's peculiar and seemingly remorseless behavior in the month that Caylee was missing before it was reported to police was because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

George Anthony has repeatedly denied any involvement in Caylee's death or the disposal of her body, and denies ever molesting his daughter.

When the defense announced that they were going to be resting their case without putting Casey on the stand Judge Belvin Perry took a moment to ask the Florida mother if it was her decision not to testify. She said it was and that she has had time to discuss the matter with her attorneys, according to CBS affiliate WKMG.

The defense's final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control." George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

Before resting their case, Baez called Cindy and George Anthony to the stand for a fourth time, this time to ask them about the family's pet burial traditions.

Baez asked George Anthony if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have contended Caylee's body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown the pet carcasses in a swamp.

Cindy Anthony was also asked about pet burial procedures and said the first two dogs were buried wrapped in black plastic and tape, which is how they were prepared by the veterinarian.

She also testified that a family cat was buried wrapped in a towel, then a plastic bag and wrapped with packing tape, WKMG reported.

She said the tape was used to make the bags more compact.

But on cross-examination, Cindy Anthony said her children were aware of the family pet burial tradition, and when prosecutor Linda Burdick asked her if any of the pets were killed with chloroform or duct tape over their mouths, Cindy Anthony said no.

The prosecution Thursday afternoon began its rebuttal case with photographs of clothing taken at the Anthony home. Court was adjourned for the day later in the afternoon, with prosecutors set to continue Friday morning. Closing arguments would follow, probably on Saturday, and the jury could then get the case that evening or Sunday.

Caylee was last seen in mid-June 2008, and Casey Anthony did not report her missing until a month later and initially said a babysitter kidnapped her. If convicted of first-degree murder, Anthony, 25, could receive the death penalty.

The Casey Anthony case was recently reported on by "48 Hours Mystery."

Complete coverage of Casey Anthony on Crimesider

  • Carlin Miller

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