Casey Anthony Trial Update: Defense to begin case Thursday

Casey Anthony Trial Update: Defense to begin case Thursday
A photograph of a tattoo that Casey Anthony received while her daughter Caylee was reportedly missing. Pool,AP Photo/Red Huber

(CBS/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - The defense team behind Casey Anthony says they will be ready to call their first witness Thursday morning after the judge in the young mother's capital murder trial rejected their motion to dismiss the case, after the prosecution wrapped up Wednesday morning.

Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, Personal Photos

In his argument, defense attorney Cheney Mason attacked the state's case from all angles, but focused on what he said was a failure by prosecutors to show a murder had taken place.

"There is no evidence to establish when the child died, where she died, how she died, or if anyone was in attendance when she died," Mason said, regarding the 2008 death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony.

But Judge Belvin Perry said in his ruling against the defense that a review of the trial's testimony didn't show enough legal precedent for him to acquit the defendant at this point.

"These are strictly cases for the jury to decide," he said.

Wednesday morning was spent mostly with the prosecution entering the last pieces of evidence in their case into the official court record, including the agreed upon definition of the tattoo Casey Anthony got on her lower back that read "Bella Vita," or "beautiful life."

Late Tuesday afternoon the jury had heard testimony from the tattoo artist who said that Casey received the tattoo after Caylee was last seen alive and a few weeks before finally reporting the toddler missing.

The state also formally entered two pieces of evidence - samples from the spare tire cover inside Anthony's car - into the court record.

Prosecutors have built their mostly circumstantial case on 25-year-old Casey Anthony's conduct and the lies she told about her daughter's whereabouts.

They also have relied on forensics experts. They've talked about smells of human decomposition in Anthony's car, searches on her computer, including for chloroform several times, and duct tape found on the toddler's skull.

The defense has claimed Caylee was not slain but instead drowned in her grandparents' pool.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder and could get the death sentence if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty. Caylee was not reported missing for 31 days. Her remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony home in December 2008.

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

Complete coverage of Casey Anthony on Crimesider