Threat Of Death For Casey Could Be Used To Help Find Caylee
October 15, 2008
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Casey Anthony had the look of dread on her face in court Wednesday and she knows she could face the death penalty. Eyewitness News is asking if the threat of death could force her to help find her dead daughter.
Casey Anthony is living in her tiny jail cell where she'll stay until her trial. She appeared before a judge Wednesday morning, facing first-degree murder charges for the death of her daughter Caylee. The judge told her she would not be allowed to bond out of jail.
Casey Anthony appeared tense as the judge told her she won't get bond. She was all tears Tuesday just before she was indicted for first-degree murder. Hours later, after her latest arrest, she created the bespectacled look of a law student, wearing slacks, a button-up shirt and eyeglasses, not at all like her image before anyone knew her daughter Caylee was missing.
Eyewitness News has learned the party girl in her could have contributed to Caylee's death in a big way. In March, friends told investigators, Casey was disappointed that she couldn't join friends for an island party vacation in July, because she couldn't find a babysitter for Caylee.
Starting in March, Casey's computer shows that someone researched the stories of missing children on several websites. Now prosecutors could pressure Casey with the death penalty to open up about where Caylee is. "No body, no death penalty," Orlando defense attorney William Sheaffer told Eyewitness News.
Sheaffer, a former prosecutor, believes prosecutors will back off the death penalty to ease the pressure that could discourage jurors from convicting Casey of first-degree murder without Caylee's body in evidence, but says the defense team's insistence that Caylee is alive has blown their chance to negotiate Casey out of a possible life sentence.
"The defense has missed the boat on bargaining with the state other than taking the death penalty off the table," Sheaffer said.
Sheaffer told Eyewitness News an experienced defense attorney would have argued it was accidental and negotiated a lesser charge.
With more and more evidence against her in her daughter's murder coming out, Sheaffer told Eyewitness News he believes this is one of Orlando's highest profile cases ever and would not expect the trial to be held in Central Florida or in any of the large television news markets in Florida where Caylee's disappearance has captured people's emotions almost constantly for the last three months.
"I believe it'll be a rural community, not Orlando or Jacksonville or Miami, probably somewhere more toward the panhandle," he said.
Cutting-edge forensic evidence and results from air tests taken from the stain in Casey's trunk are expected to be presented at trial. State attorney Lawson Lamar's team was the first to win a murder conviction with DNA evidence decades ago.
Sheaffer said it won't be daunting for Orlando prosecutors and believes it won't be difficult to prove even to today's rural jurors who've come to expect scientific evidence before they'll convict.
"I believe that those individuals would be prepared to receive it and weigh it," he said.
As soon as the defense asks to see the evidence in the case, prosecutors have 15 days to give him what they know at that point that they will use at trial, but evidence keeps coming in from law enforcement in the ongoing investigation and they don't have all of it yet.
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