LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – A Casey Anthony aggravated manslaughter guilty verdict, ending with a possible life in prison sentence, is appearing more likely as Anthony’s defense case progresses. Prosecutors are seeking a guilty verdict on first degree murder (requiring premeditation or aggravated child abuse) but have also charged Anthony with aggravated manslaughter. But as the Anthony defense continues to proceed after a State case that lacked motive, premeditation, and evidence of child abuse, Anthony – if the case progresses how it has – is unlikely to get first degree murder.
To date, only one woman has received the death penalty for the death of her child. Just last month, Amanda Brumfield, Billy Bob Thornton, was charged exactly as Casey Anthony in a separate case. Brumfield was found not guilty of first degree murder and was convicted of aggravated manslaughter. In July we will learn her sentence.
Anthony has pleaded not guilty to all her charges: first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and four counts of lying to law enforcement. As local news recalls, until March 2009, the State wasn’t seeking first degree murder against Anthony. Weeks later they added the charge.
It remains unclear what prompted the State to add the first degree charge. It may have been the result of tests on the Anthony household computer. For Casey, her online searches of words like “chloroform” remain the few, and not so convincing, possible suggestions of premeditation. With cause of death, location of death, and DNA and blood evidence lacking or inconsistent to date, the State has struggled to show motive, aggravated abuse of Caylee, or premeditation.
A guilty verdict for aggravated manslaughter could result in a sentence of fifty years to life. But the obvious question remains if Casey could still be found not guilty.
Legal analysts claim that Jose Baez made a strategic error in his opening statements of presenting a defense of accidental drowning and family abuse. Now on his defense case, Baez has yet to default to either such defense. Rather he has been, expert by expert, putting up a traditional forensic-driven defense case; he has still not offered any evidence of a swimming pool or an allegedly abusive father and brother.
That could change. Baez is expected to call George Anthony and potentially his alleged mistress Krystal Holloway aka River Cruz. She claims that George Anthony confessed to her that Caylee died of a swimming pool drowning, allegedly stating â€śit was an accident that snowballed out of control.â€ť
Casey Anthony, Caylee Anthony