Caylee Drowned in Pool: Defense
'This is not a murder case,' says lawyer
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 24, 2011 4:42 PM CDT
Attorney Jose Baez with the visual examples he used during his opening statements.   (AP Photo/Red Huber/Pool)
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(Newser) – Casey Anthony didn’t kill her daughter—nor was Caylee murdered at all, Casey’s lawyer said today. Instead, the 2-year-old drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool, Jose Baez said in his opening statement, reports CNN. “This is a tragedy that snowballed out of control,” the attorney said. “This is not a murder case.” Baez also explained Casey’s partying before the child was reported missing: “Casey did what she's been doing all her life, or most of it: hiding her pain.” She was taught to do that when her father began sexually abusing her, he said.

When Casey found her father holding Caylee’s body on June 16, 2008, the two panicked, the defense says. George told his daughter she’d be jailed for child neglect. “Look what you've done. Your mother will never forgive you,” he said, according to Baez. He promptly denied the entire story when called as the trial's first witness, and the prosecution portrayed Casey as a liar in its opening statement. Meanwhile, George wasn’t the only one accused of sexual abuse: the FBI tested Casey’s brother, Lee, to check whether he was Caylee’s father, Baez said. This is a family that “keeps its secrets quiet ... You're going to hear all kinds of bizarre family behavior,” Baez said. Click for more details on today’s hearing.