Casey Anthony Trial Update: Her father, George Anthony, testifies about suicide attempt

George Anthony reacts during his testimony in the murder trial of his daughter, Casey, in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Casey Anthony has plead not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee, and could face the death penalty if convicted of that charge.
AP Photo/Red Huber
George Anthony during his testimony in the murder trial of his daughter Casey, Wednesday, June 29, 2011.
AP Photo/Red Huber

(CBS/WKMG/AP) ORLANDO, Fla. - On day 31 of the Casey Anthony murder trial, the defendant's father, George Anthony, broke down on the stand when asked about learning that his granddaughter Caylee was dead, and his subsequent suicide attempt.

Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, Personal Photos

George Anthony broke down as he described learning that Caylee's remains had been found in a wooded area near their Orlando home.

Court was briefly adjourned so he could compose himself after he cried on the stand.

He later became emotional when lead defense attorney Jose Baez said Anthony's suicide attempt in January 2009, one month after his granddaughter's remains were found, was the result of guilt over his role in her death as well as for molesting his daughter, Casey Anthony, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

The defense claims George Anthony found Caylee dead in the family swimming pool on June 16, 2008 and helped try to cover up the toddler's death.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Jeff Ashton asked George Anthony about his suicide note. George Anthony testified he wanted to be with Caylee, and he would be dead had law enforcement not intervened, reports the station.

George Anthony began to cry again as he discussed his suicide note on the stand.

"My emotional state, even through today, is very hard to accept that I don't have a granddaughter anymore, but for that particular day, it just felt like the right time to go and be with Caylee," he said, according to the station.

George Anthony said that in his suicide note, he acknowledged questions he had about what had happened to Caylee.

Ashton said he plans to introduce the suicide note into evidence during the rebuttal phase of the trial. The note ordinarily would not be allowed, but Judge Belvin Perry said Baez opened the door for the note to be introduced by bringing up the suicide attempt.

George Anthony testified that while Casey Anthony was out of jail on bond in August 2008, he purchased a gun, the station reports.

He said that he was going to force people he believed had knowledge of Caylee's whereabouts to give him information at gunpoint. The gun was seized by police because of the restrictions on his home when Casey Anthony was living there while out on bond. 

Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Caylee's death and could get the death penalty if convicted of that charge. The prosecution says she used duct tape to suffocate the toddler. The defense says the girl drowned in her grandparents' swimming pool.

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

Complete coverage of Casey Anthony on Crimesider