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Casey Anthony Trial Update: Prosecution rebuttal witnesses take the stand

Casey Anthony stands before the start of court at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, July 1, 2011. The judge unexpectedly called an indefinite recess Friday morning so the defense could take depositions of witnesses the prosecution plans to call during its rebuttal case. AP Photo/Red Huber

Casey Anthony
AP Photo/Red Huber

(CBS/WKMG/AP) ORLANDO, Fla.- After an unexpected recess following a disagreement between the defense and prosecution in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, the prosecution called rebuttal witnesses to contradict some testimony given during the defense's case.

Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, Personal Photos

During the defense case, expert witness Dr. Werner Spitz, a medical examiner from Michigan, criticized Orange/Osceola counties medical examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia for not splitting open Caylee's skull to examine the cranial cavity.

But Dr. Michael Warren, who works in the human identification lab at the University of Florida testified as a rebuttal witness that the practice of cutting open a skull was a last resort option.

"In the field of forensic anthropology, when we're presented with a human skull, there's no reason to open that skull," Warren said.

Warren said sawing open a skull is necessarily invasive and there are other ways to examine the interior of the skull, such as through the large opening at the bottom of the skull, and that the only reason for cutting into a skull would be to photograph any discoloration or indication of trauma observed.

He also pointed out that it was especially not common practice to cut open a young child's skull because they are not fully fused at the plates and have a tendency to crumble and be destroyed in the process.

Earlier this week, Cindy Anthony testified that she had run computer searches for the term "chloroform" while looking up information on chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants. Prosecutors have contended that Casey Anthony made the searches as she plotted to kill her daughter, Caylee.

However, according to Gentiva Health Services Chief Compliance Officer John Camperlengo, where Cindy Anthony worked at the time, she was at work in her office in Winter Park at the same time the search for "chloroform" took place on the computer at the family's home in east Orange County on March 17, CBS affiliate WKMG reported.

The state then called Cindy Anthony's supervisor at Gentiva, Deborah Polisano. Polisano said anyone could use any computer, but they would have to use their own user ID. She said Cindy Anthony would be unable to access her work account from home, the station reported.

Bruce Goldberger, a professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida, was also called Friday. Goldberger said he came to Orlando to take samples from Caylee's remains, including strands of hair and hair mat from the toddler's skull.

Goldberger said he was present at the medical examiner's office when a saline wash of the cranial cavity of Caylee's skull was performed. He said he examined the saline wash and that there was no indication of decomposition in the skull cavity, according to WKMG.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. If convicted of that charge, she could face 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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