Casey Anthony Prosecutors Argue Jury Should Hear Emotional 911 Tapes

Caylee Anthony
Family Photo
Caylee Anthony (Family Photo)

ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS/WKMG) Prosecutors who want to send Casey Anthony to Florida's death row have requested that the judge allow damning 911 calls to be played for the jury, who will decide the fate of the young mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in 2008.

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On July 15, 2008, Cindy Anthony, Casey Anthony's mother, called 911 three times trying to locate her 2-year-old granddaughter, Caylee, according to CBS affiliate WKMG.

In the second recording, Cindy Anthony exclaims, "There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car."

Cindy Anthony later claimed that smell came from a slice of rotten pizza, WKMG reports.

By the third call Cindy Anthony is crying and tells the dispatcher "I found out my granddaughter has been taken, she has been missing for a month. Her, her mother finally admitted that she's been missing," according to reports by the Orlando Sentinel.

Casey Anthony (WKMG)

Prosecutors argue that the 911 calls are essential to their case because they show the panic Cindy Anthony felt when she learned that her granddaughter had been missing for 31 days, and because it would allow the jury to hear Casey Anthony's car described for the first time, before the family closed ranks when Casey Anthony became a suspect.

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In court papers filed late Wednesday, prosecutors state that "one major theme of the state's case is to demonstrate ... the defendant's lies about the fate of her daughter."

Prosecutors say that on the 911 tapes Casey Anthony also describes her daughter's alleged kidnapper for the first time - the same woman who would later deny ever meeting Casey or Caylee Anthony.

"Her name is Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez," Casey Anthony told a 911 dispatcher. "She's been my nanny for about a year and a half. Almost 2 years."

Anthony's attorneys argue that because neither their client nor her mother, Cindy, were under oath at the time the tapes were made, they fall under hearsay rules and are therefore inadmissible in court, according to WKMG.

Prosecutors counter by saying the tapes fall under an exemption to the hearsay rule that allows for "excited utterances," which are statements made by someone under extreme stress.

Judge Belvin Perry will consider whether to allow the 911 calls at Anthony's trial, which is scheduled for May 2011.

Casey Anthony has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is being held without bail in the death of Caylee, whose remains were found in December 2008.

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