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Sirens & Gavels

Man flips off Casey Anthony prosecutor

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Courtroom cameras captured a 28-year-old waiter extending his middle finger toward a prosecutor during the Casey Anthony murder trial, and the man was promptly sentenced to six days in jail.

Matthew Bartlett also was ordered to pay a $400 fine after he was photographed making the obscene gesture toward prosecutor Jeff Ashton on Thursday.

Bartlett, who had been watching the trial from the courtroom gallery, was immediately escorted out by deputies and was brought back inside to face Judge Belvin Perry once the jury was sent home for the day. He was assigned a public defender.

Bartlett apologized for his actions during a brief hearing and was then sentenced by Perry. He was taken to jail by deputies.

Perry says Bartlett will have six months to pay his fine.

The defense rested Thrusday in Anthony's first-degree murder trial. She faces a possible death penalty if convicted. Read a full story on the case by clicking the link below.


By KYLE HIGHTOWER,Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Casey Anthony did not take the stand in her murder trial as defense attorneys wrapped up their case Thursday without presenting concrete evidence that Anthony's 2-year-old daughter Caylee wasn't killed but accidentally drowned.

Her attorneys also never produced any witnesses bolstering the claim made in last month's opening statements that Anthony had acted without apparent remorse in the weeks after her daughter's death because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

Instead, their 13-day case primarily focused on poking holes in the prosecution's contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said the woman dumped Caylee's body in the woods near her parents' home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping. Their case relied on circumstantial and forensic evidence, and it did have holes. They had no witnesses who saw the killing or saw Casey Anthony with her daughter's body. And there was no certain proof that the child suffocated.

The defense said in its opening statement that Caylee drowned and that Anthony's father George, a former police officer, helped her cover up the death by making it look like a homicide and dumping the body near their home, where it was found by a meter reader six months later. George Anthony has vehemently denied any involvement in Caylee's death, the disposal of her body or molesting his daughter.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Anthony, 25, could receive the death penalty.

The defense's final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee's death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

They also recalled George Anthony (pictured with his wife, Cindy) to ask if he had supplied duct tape he used to put up posters of his granddaughter when she was missing. He said he couldn't remember. Lead defense attorney Jose Baez also asked him if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have contended Caylee's body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown their carcasses in a swamp.

The prosecution Thursday afternoon began its rebuttal case with photographs of clothing taken at the Anthony home. Court was adjourned for the day later in the afternoon, with prosecutors set to continue Friday morning. Closing arguments would follow, probably on Saturday, and the jury would then get the case that evening or Sunday.

Caylee was last seen in mid-June 2008. For the next month, Casey Anthony avoided her parents, telling her mother and her friends that Caylee was with a baby sitter named Zanny.

Casey's parents soon got a notice that their daughter's car had been towed. George Anthony and the tow lot operator both said the Pontiac Sunfire smelled like death.

Prosecutors played a tape of a frantic 911 call made by Anthony's mother, Cindy, reporting her granddaughter missing. She tells the operator, “It smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car.”

Casey Anthony then told detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by the nanny, and a massive search was launched.

Over the next several weeks, hundreds of volunteers scoured central Florida for any clues to Caylee's whereabouts. Meanwhile, numerous photos surfaced of Casey Anthony drinking, some of them allegedly taken in the month after Caylee disappeared.

Caylee's skeletal remains were reported in December 2008 by a municipal meter reader. A key part of the defense case was trying to discredit the meter reader, Roy Kronk, saying that he had actually discovered the body in August.
  


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