Can Casey Anthony get a fair trial?

6:44 AM, Apr 17, 2011   |    comments
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(CBS News) ORLANDO, Fla. - It has been two-and-a-half years since Casey Anthony was first arrested and charged with murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, in a criminal case that has become a public obsession.

"The evidence is overwhelming," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says. "No one else in the world could've done this except Casey Anthony."

"People hate her!" Casey's father, George Anthony, told "48 Hours" in 2009.

"She's been portrayed as an evil person," added Cindy Anthony.

Casey was a 22-year-old single mother. She and her daughter lived with Casey's parents, George and Cindy, in their Orlando home.

"Casey was a good mom," Cindy said. "Casey put her daughter first."

The little girl was described by most everyone around her as incredibly cute, happy and outgoing.

"She was just a beautiful child," said Cindy.

But Caylee disappeared that summer after Casey took her daughter and left her parents' home. Even more startling, is that Casey waited an entire month before revealing to her family and authorities that her child was missing - a fact that sent the local media into overdrive.

Video: Investigators talk with Casey

"It's very unfair of the media to go and harass people and that's...exactly what the media has done," said Cindy.

Confronted by a constant barrage of questions from reporters outside her home, Cindy finally lashed out:

"I've asked you guys to respect my privacy," she yells. "All of you leeches, all of you parasites, all of you maggots out here. OK? That's true. Because that's exactly what you guys are. All of you guys."

Fueling the flames, Casey claimed her nanny, a woman no one could find - much less even prove existed, had kidnapped the child.

Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers helped in a massive search for Caylee, but were hampered by flooding caused by bad weather.

"I pray every night that when I wake up in the next morning, that it would be just a nightmare," Cindy said. "And Caylee would come in the morning and wake me up. But you know - that prayer can't be answered."

That's because six months after Caylee disappeared in December 2008, her skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area not far from her grandparents' home. Authorities say duct tape had been wrapped around her skull and her body had been stuffed into two garbage bags.

Her exact cause of death was unknown.

Throughout it all, though, Casey's parents have stood by her - even when they became targets of the community themselves for protecting their daughter, who many believe is a killer.

"People would be shouting obscenities...screaming at us... It was just unbelievable," George said. "I think it's almost like a hangman's type mentality for some of these people."

"There's no proof that Casey had anything to do with it," added Cindy.

It's an opinion strongly shared by Casey's two lead defense attorneys. Jose Baez and Cheney Mason have given "48 Hours" an inside look at the defense as they prepare for her upcoming trial.

"It's an unprovable case because it's not true," says Jose Baez.

If Casey Anthony is convicted, she could face the death penalty.

"This is not a death penalty case, in my opinion. And I've been trying murder cases for 40 years," Cheney Mason says. "There is no...evidence linking her with the death of this child. Period."

Asked if Casey can get a fair trial, Baez tells "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Troy Roberts, "I don't know."

Baez's concern is finding jurors who he feels haven't been swayed by the constant reports of seemingly solid evidence against Casey Anthony - media coverage that has been going nonstop for nearly three years.

"It's very challenging to find people who can be fair and impartial because of the attention that this case has gotten," he explains.

So defense attorneys brought in Richard Gabriel - who is by reputation - one of the best trial consultants in the country, to help them try to pick a favorable jury.

"This is the most high-profile case in America," Gabriel tells Roberts. "The media pressure on this has been almost entirely negative... with 80 to 90 percent ... believing that she's guilty already."

Jose Baez tried to get the trial moved out of Orlando, but the judge refused. Instead, when the trial begins on May 9, the lawyers will all travel to another Florida location, chosen by the Court - but as yet undisclosed - to pick the jury there.

"...then those selected jurors will be brought to Orlando and they will be sequestered in a hotel there. ...isolated for the entire period of the trial," explains Mason.

The trial is expected to last at least two months. "48 Hours" commissioned a focus group in Orlando made up of 12 adults, the same number as on a jury, to see if people there have already made up their minds about this case.

"48 Hours" asked the defense's consultant, Richard Gabriel, to conduct the focus group.

"Here is a representative group of what we normally see in an Orlando jury," Gabriel explains of the group.

"I'm gonna say two words to you: Casey Anthony," Gabriel says, addressing the participants.

Their responses:

"She's already been on trial."

"She's been on trial?"

"Been on trial for two years."

"She's basically been tried by the media..."

"She's been tried by the media, all we need is to bring 12 people in to give the stamp of approval, guilty, let's do it, OK," says Gabriel.

"Unfortunately, that's it. Everybody's already formed their opinion, and for the most part, it's guilty!"

It hasn't helped the defense that their client - from jail - has been openly defiant.

"I don't care about the media. I don't care about what people have been saying about me. That doesn't matter. Because I know it's not true," said Casey Anthony.

"Do you think it's possible that she'll be able to get a fair trial in Orlando?" Roberts asks the focus group.

Almost unanimously, the group responds:

"No."

"Probably not."

"It'd be extremely difficult."

"Clearly what most people think they know about the Casey Anthony case is probably incorrect," says Baez.

"[It's the] biggest case with the least evidence that I've seen ever. Anywhere," adds Mason.

"Could Caylee have understood what was happening to her as the tape was applied? First one piece, then two, three pieces of duct tape to completely cut off her flow of air through her mouth, her nose. It's clear in this case why the death penalty was re-instituted," Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton says at a pre-trial hearing.

For weeks, lawyers on both sides of the Casey Anthony case have been in court battling over just what forensic evidence will be allowed at the upcoming trial.

Asked if he believes the state has a strong case, forensic expert Larry Kobilinsky tells Troy Roberts, "I think they have a lot of evidence... But just because there's a lot of evidence doesn't mean the state got it right."

Kobilinsky is also a part of an entire forensic team that is consulting with Casey's defense. They maintain there is a lot of critical evidence prosecutors don't have, especially for a death penalty case - like any incriminating DNA or fingerprints. And authorities have never been able to determine the cause of Caylee's death.

"There are many things that might not show up in bones," explains Kathy Reichs. A noted forensic anthropologist who also writes crime novels, Reichs is one of the defense experts in the case.

"I conducted a full skeletal autopsy of Caylee Anthony's remains and found no evidence of trauma, no evidence that would point to a specific cause or manner of death," she says.

"The Medical Examiner decided this was a homicide...not knowing the cause of death," Kobilinski says. "...it could have been an accident - we don't know - yet we're calling it a homicide."

Medical Examiner's report
Hear from past and current defense experts

"How can this be a death penalty case?" Roberts asks Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

"Well, we have to remember this isn't 'CSI.' This is real life," she replies.

Prosecutors in the case declined to speak with "48 Hours." But Bondi, a former prosecutor herself, is convinced of the power of the evidence against Casey Anthony.

"Often we don't have confessions, often we don't have DNA," she says, "But I think when you add the evidence up, piece by piece... and these are very good prosecutors. They're going to establish a timeline that no one else could have murdered little Caylee other than her mother...who was the last person to see her daughter alive."

Perhaps the most significant physical evidence in the case is that duct tape that was found with Caylee's remains.

"I believe that is some of the most damaging evidence," Bondi says. "And I think that's one of the reasons that they are able to seek the death penalty."

Prosecutors argue the duct tape is what killed 2-year-old Caylee. In a chilling moment at one hearing, Assistant State Attorney Ashton detailed how he believes the tape may have been used to suffocate the little girl:

"As the killer looked into her face maybe her killer even saw her eyes as the tape was applied. ...so that no breath was possible."

But defense attorney Cheney Mason says duct tape did not kill Caylee Anthony.

"That's a figment of imagination of an overzealous prosecutor in my opinion," he says.

One key reason, the defense contends, is that none of Caylee's DNA - from her skin - was on the duct tape, despite its adhesive backing.

"I would assume that if it were on her body and there was soft tissue - that there would be DNA on the duct tape," says Kobilinsky.

"...there often isn't DNA found in cases, especially in such a decomposed state," Bondi points out. "That's going to be a battle of the experts, there."

Prosecutors also theorize Casey carried her daughter's body around in her car trunk, possibly for a few days, before dumping it in the woods. They cite a strong, terrible odor several people, including Casey's own parents, noticed coming from the trunk. They also found a hair there with what they call banding at the root, which prosecutors say is usually associated with a decomposing body.

"...the state says that, 'We found a hair,'" says lawyer Linda Kenney Baden, a former member of Casey Anthony's defense team and a forensic expert herself. "...but the problem is the FBI's done a lot of studies, and they found they can get that kind of decomposition if a hair falls out of a live person."

"It is really not proof that a decomposing body was present in the trunk," says Kobilinsky.

And investigators aren't even sure that the hair they found is Caylee's.

After conducting new, cutting-edge tests, prosecutors say they found high levels of chloroform in the car trunk, which may prove there was decomposition there.

"...quite frankly, if this judge lets this high chloroform in as indicative of body decomposition...this case gets reversed," Kenney Baden says. "This is such junkyard science. It's beyond junk."

The defense also points out that there was no chloroform found in Caylee's remains. Pam Bondi says that's not surprising.

"Chloroform dissipates rather quickly," she explains. "And her body was completely skeletonized by the time they found it. It would have been highly unlikely for them to have found any traces of chloroform in her bones."

But since chloroform is also a powerful anesthetic, its presence in the trunk may have additional significance for prosecutors.

"There may have been enough chloroform in the trunk for them to argue that there were chemicals in the trunk to sedate and kill little Caylee," says Bondi.

As for the terrible odor in the trunk, Defense Attorney Jose Baez says it's meaningless.

"I think the evidence is clear that three was a bag of garbage in the trunk of the car, in summer heat. The car stunk," he says. "But there is nothing that is exclusive to a human being that was found in the trunk of that car."

It's a point underscored by another defense witness. Entomologist Dr. Tim Huntington is a bug expert who disagrees with state claims that the trunk contained evidence of insects that feed on decomposing tissue.

"...the flies in the trunk are ridiculously common," Dr. Huntington explains. "When I look at the evidence, there's nothing there insect-wise that says there was a dead body. There's a lot of evidence that says there was a bag of garbage."

At Casey Anthony's upcoming murder trial, much of the forensic evidence will be picked over in a war of opposing experts. But for prosecutors, the forensics may not be the strongest part of their case.

It is Casey's behavior that will take center stage at her trial.

"... Casey Anthony was not ready to be a mother," Bondi says. "...it's what she did in the month after little Caylee went missing that...is the most compelling evidence of all."

The last known video of Caylee Anthony was taken on June 15, 2008. She had spent the day with her grandmother, Cindy.

"Oh, it was - it was amazing. It was a great day," Cindy Anthony told "48 Hours" in 2009.

The following day, Caylee left her house with her mother, Casey. George Anthony expected them home that evening.

"I remember...walkin' 'em out to the car that day. And tellin' 'em 'Bye bye, see ya later.' And blowing kisses to her," he said as lowered his head with a sigh.

That day, June 16, marks the beginning of the troubling month-long period that has become the centerpiece of the case against Casey Anthony and the cause of the venom directed at her by the public and local media.

Photos: Missing Caylee

It all boils down to her behavior, says Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

"She is her own worst enemy. Certainly," Bondi tells Troy Roberts. "We all know that when a child goes missing, the first hours are the most critical. ...She didn't tell anyone her daughter was missing?"

At first, Casey's parents had no reason to worry. She told them that she and Caylee were staying with a friend.

"She said she had met up with some friends that she hadn't seen for a while," Cindy explained. "And so, I didn't think much of it."

But Casey herself later admitted that Caylee was gone for the entire month before she reported it. Attorneys Jose Baez and Cheney Mason now face the daunting task of explaining that.

"...the most - telling problem that we recognize is - inherent prejudice that runs though this community since - July of 2008," Mason says. "Prejudice against this young girl because she didn't act in a fashion that a lot of people think she should have."

How did Casey behave? Photos of her have become notorious.

"The photographs, I believe, are what's going to get her," Bondi explains. "The photographs of her out dancing, partying all night. ...That is the most compelling evidence of all."

George and Cindy didn't know anything about their daughter's partying. As time passed, her excuses for not coming home kept changing: She was in Jacksonville. She had car problems.

"I started really pushing to talk to Caylee," Cindy explained. "And it seemed like every time that Casey and I were on the phone, she wasn't - or she was with Caylee."

While Cindy pined for her grandchild, in reality, her daughter was just 10 miles away. Casey had moved in with a boyfriend.

"She didn't tell her live-in boyfriend that her daughter was missing," Bondi says. "She didn't tell any members of her family that her daughter was missing."

"I would've told every authority figure possible, and been banging down doors, trying to find her," says Jesse Grund, an ex-fiance-turned-friend. He remembers Casey consoling him about his troubles, never indicating she had a problem of her own.

"When we talked during those 31 days, it was just business as usual," he says. "At no time did 'Hey, I need to tell you something, I - I lost Caylee' ever come up."

According to police reports, a friend who went clubbing with Casey called her a "happy person" who "didn't mention Caylee or even the fact that she had a child." "At no time," says the friend, "did Casey...give away...that something bad was going on in her life."

"And do you know why she was so happy she was out at bars? Because she was rid of her child and she could lead a single lifestyle again," says Bondi.

Casey always had an explanation for her daughter's absence.

"That Caylee was on vacation...Caylee was visiting other people, Caylee was at the beach," says Bondi.

And then there was the nanny with the improbable name "Zanny."

"She'd tell me that, you know, Caylee was at the beach with the nanny or she was somewhere else or being watched by the nanny," says Grund.

Plenty of people heard about Zanny, but police could not find one person who had actually met her. Casey would later claim that Zanny had kidnapped Caylee. She frequented the clubs, she says, because she was conducting her "own investigation."

"She was trying to get someone to help her," George explained. "So we could find Caylee."

"She told us that she was going to places where she thought that she might run into someone that knew Zanny or where Zanny might be," added Cindy.

"She was conducting her own investigation. Plausible?" Roberts asks Bondi.

"Comical. If it wasn't such a tragic event," she replies.

In early July 2008, Casey got a tattoo that reads "Bella Vita" - Italian for "beautiful life." She planned to get another, but, before she could, her seemingly carefree days came to an end. The car she had used was found abandoned, and on July 15, her parents went to retrieve it. Cindy scolded Casey on the phone.

"I said,' Case,' I said, 'you're not in Jacksonville' ...and she said she'd call me back," Cindy explained.

She tracked Casey down and confronted her face to face.

"I asked her, I said, ''Where's Caylee?''" she recalled. "And - she said that she was at Zanny's house. And I said, 'Well, let's go get her.'"

They drove around until it became clear that Casey was simply not going to take her to see Caylee. They went home and Cindy called 911 to report a possible missing child.

Only then, with police on the way, did Casey finally admit that Caylee had been missing for a month.

"'What do you mean she's been taken? Why didn't you tell me?" Cindy recalled of her reaction, in tears.

Cindy called 911 again: "My daughter has finally admitted that the babysitter stole her!"

Video: Cindy Anthony's 911 call

She was the very first person to mention that awful odor in the trunk.

"There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today and it smells like there's been a dead body in that damn car."

"I said whatever it would take to get the police there quicker," said Cindy.

"Can she retract that statement - that it smelled like a dead body in that trunk?" Roberts asks Bondi.

"She can attempt to retract it," Bondi replies, "but they have the 911 tape."

And they have that month of Casey's conduct, which her attorneys insist will be explained in court.

"She waited a month before reporting her daughter missing," Roberts points out. "What is the reason for that?"

"I think there's a very compelling reason for that," Jose Baez replies. "And it will soon come out. There's a very compelling reason for that. And that will come out at trial."

 

For more than two years, while Casey Anthony has been locked up in jail awaiting trial, she has been vilified.

"She's been portrayed as guilty," her mother, Cindy Anthony, told '48 Hours in 2009. "She's been put into that position from day one."

Casey is hardly alone. Her parents, George and Cindy, have been sharply criticized for their behavior, both before and after their granddaughter went missing.

"Initially, the country believed that the Anthony's were the all-American family, but quickly learned they were anything but," says Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The attorney general, who has followed the case closely from the beginning, says understanding the entire Anthony family may be the key to the whole case.

"I think it's tragic," Bondi says. "I think there's a family dynamic - that's hard for all of us to understand - that was going on within the Anthony family.

What exactly was going on? Bondi says the family's jailhouse conversations are telling.

"The parents seemed to be very deferential to her," she says.

Video: Excerpts of George and Cindy's jailhouse visits

George: "Maybe we've all been too domineering... Maybe we didn't let you be the best mom. You are a great mom.

Casey: Dad, it's nobody's fault. It's nobody's fault.

George: All that's gonna change. I'm gonna listen more.

"She was running the show even in jail," says Bondi.

George: We just need all the cooperation we can get sweetheart.

Casey: I've given you guys everything that I have and some.

Since Casey's arrest, Cindy has desperately tried to help her daughter. During a 2008 jailhouse visit, before Caylee's body had been found, she pressed Casey for details about the mysterious nanny she called Zanny.

Cindy: Listen, I'm in front to the cameras all the time. What message do you want me to give to Zanny?

Casey: That she needs to return Caylee.

"Casey Anthony is a habitual liar. She sent the police looking for a nanny that didn't exist for weeks and weeks and weeks," says Bondi.

"I can't fathom that this is someone that Casey would all of a sudden make up," said Cindy.

Investigators never found anything to substantiate Casey's claim that Caylee was abducted by a nanny. But now, nearly three years later, and for the first time, one of Casey Anthony's former defense attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden, concedes to "48 Hours" there never was a nanny.

"So she lied when she said the nanny kidnapped the baby?" Roberts asks.

She lied. Sure," Kenney Baden replies. "I think everyone knows that that was a lie. ...Her actions have been her own worst enemy."

What does that say about Casey's state of mind? According to Bondi, "It says that she's extremely manipulative. She's just leading police on a wild goose chase the entire time her daughter is missing."

According to Bondi, Casey's dishonesty came as no surprise to her family and friends.

"She was a habitual liar by all her friends and family's accounts," she says. "...It's documented that she was taking money from her grandmother that was used to help care for her grandfather."

"Because of who she is, because of her upbringing, because of how she's been treated, she lies," Kenney Baden says. "But being a liar does not make you a murderer."

Asked if she thinks Casey Anthony was a good mother, Kenney Baden says, "Yes, I think Casey Anthony was a very good mother."

"You're not telling me that Casey Anthony was mother of the year?" Roberts asks.

"I'm not saying that she's mother of the year. I don't think any of us are mother of the year," she says. "But I'm saying she's not the demon that people have made her out to be."

Still, one of the reasons why Casey faces not only a murder charge - but the death penalty - is what investigators found on the Anthony family's home computer: Incriminating searches she allegedly made months before Caylee went missing with terms including "neck-breaking," "household weapons," "shovel" and "how-to-make chloroform."

"These were all Internet searches done on the computer that Casey Anthony used three months before that little girl went missing," Bondi explains. "So if that doesn't give you premeditation, I don't know what does."

"They don't know if Casey was even home, much less on the computer," Jose Baez, one of Casey's defense attorneys, points out.

Baez says the searches are insignificant. "If you can't say who ran the searches, how are the searches significant? They could've been done by any family member."

Investigators have interviewed many of Casey's friends and family members to understand what was happening inside her home. One of those witnesses, ex-fiance Jesse Grund, says he knows exactly what was going on.

"This is somebody who lived a life of no consequences under that roof," says Grund.

In 2005, Grund says Casey desperately wanted to leave home because she deeply resented her mother for trying to play "mom" to Caylee, who was then just an infant.

"We know from all of Casey's friends that they had a very tumultuous relationship," says Bondi.

"It wasn't Casey's child. It was our child...She belonged to all of us," Cindy told "48 Hours." "I don't think that there was ever resentment there."

But investigators were told that Cindy actually thought Casey was irresponsible and called her an "unfit" mother. At one point, sources say, she even threatened to seek custody of her granddaughter.

"I never said she was an unfit mother. ...I never said that," Cindy said. "She was my best friend."

Most critical of all, in June 2008, on the night before Casey left with her daughter for good, Jesse Grund claims he heard that Casey and Cindy had a huge fight.

"Cindy confronted Casey about stealing money from Cindy's mother," he says. "And a shouting match ensued, which then had Cindy wrapping her hands around Casey's neck and choking her."

Cindy Anthony says that is not true. "Mr. Grund has come up with a lotta statements that are not true."

"Anyone and everyone was just willing to come out and say all these bad things about her," says Baez.

Baez agrees that to understand his client, one must first understand her parents, which is why he too has taken a closer look at the family dynamic.

"I understand that you reportedly spent a couple thousand dollars investigating the Anthonys," says Roberts.

"We've left no stone unturned," Baez responds. "We're investigating this case. And to do that you have to look inside the house. ...They're in the center of the storm...For everyone to understand Casey, you have to also understand her family."

In fact, recent Florida media reports suggest Casey's defense team may be planning to take their investigation one step further - by blaming Caylee's death on her grandfather.

"There has been speculation on local television that you may try to pin this murder case on George Anthony," Roberts remarks to Baez.

"There's speculation about everything," he replies. "I will not engage in that. I will lay it all out in the courtroom. That's where this case is gonna be tried."

"Is it possible that George Anthony killed this little girl?" Roberts asks Kenney Baden.

"Well, I guess we're going to have to wait and see what the evidence shows," she replies.

In response to those reports, George Anthony released a statement through his attorney denying any involvement in his granddaughter's death. It said: "George Anthony had nothing to do with the death of Caylee Marie Anthony...neither the defense team nor the State of Florida have maintained that he is at fault in any way."

Despite the rumors, prosecutors maintain only one person had a motive to kill little Caylee Anthony.

"By nature's laws, mothers are supposed to protect their children. And that's what you think of when you think of a mother and a beautiful child," Bondi tells Roberts. "She did not want this little girl. ...I think she wanted a life of partying...and this little girl got in the way of all that."

But will signs of a dysfunctional family and a decadent lifestyle really be enough to convict Casey Anthony of murder?

Our focus group will decide... for themselves.

 

With Casey Anthony's trial about to begin, her attorney, Cheney Mason, makes a prediction, But it's not about the outcome.

"I think it will be probably the most expensive case in the history of Orlando or Orange County," Mason tells Troy Roberts. "The process of bringing a jury to town, sequestering them for two months or whatever, plus the investigation...the total cost is in the millions."

Is that reason enough to pressure both sides into reaching a plea deal?

"No prosecutor in this country would let budgetary constraints influence the decision as to whether to prosecute a murder case," Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says. "...you never know what a jury's going to do. And right now, Casey Anthony has everything to lose because she's facing the death penalty."

"Casey Anthony has entered a plea of not guilty," Mason says. "We expect the trial to go on May 9th."

The plan is for the court and lawyers to travel to an as-yet-undisclosed location in the state to pick jurors who everyone is hoping know far less about the case than the people of Orlando - where Casey and her parents live and where Caylee's remains were found.

"The judge has to find people who have the ability to basically erase from their minds everything they've heard and seen about this case and discussed," says Richard Gabriel, the defense's trial consultant.

Gabriel says that's not going to be easy.

"He has to find out...about all the people's feelings about the death penalty and whether they're able to sit on a case like this...and be put in a very intense pressure cooker for a two-month period of time," he explains. "The judge, as of now, is giving us five days and that's not enough time."

For both sides, the stakes couldn't be any higher.

"Probably the worse thing that an attorney has to deal with in any high-profile case is jury selection. You actually win or lose your case in jury selection - depending on whether you can pick a jury that will listen to you," says Linda Kenney Baden, a former member of Casey Anthony's defense team. "...it's gonna be very difficult for her to come out of this case with anything but a guilty verdict on something."

Our focus group received a limited presentation of evidence likely to be argued by both sides of the case, including some of the forensic evidence and physical evidence - like that duct tape. They listened to Cindy's 911 calls and heard about Casey's reported behavior.

After roughly four-and-a-half hours, the participants came to a shocking conclusion.

Gabriel asks the group, "If the only charge was first-degree murder, who here, based on everything you heard here today, plus whatever else you know about this case, would vote to acquit Casey Anthony of first-degree murder?"

Nine participants stood to acquit, while three remained seated.

But there's reluctance. While participants opposed convicting Casey Anthony of first-degree murder, they were also signaling an equally strong reluctance to let her walk free.

"What do you think happened here?" Gabriel asks the group

Their responses:

"I think it was accidental."

"It think it was accidental."

"I think it was accidental."

"Accidental... how though? What was happening, actually?" Gabriel asks the group.

"Maybe she fell?"

"Maybe she was afraid that she would be accused of child abuse."

"I don't think she intended to kill her."

"She obviously has mental issues. She has lied. She deserves to be punished."

Another critically important question: Did they feel Casey Anthony is still criminally responsible for her daughter's death? And if so, would they be willing to convict her of a lesser charge?

Troy Roberts addresses the group: "How many of you would vote to convict on an involuntary manslaughter charge?"

Nearly all of the participants stood up.

"That makes me hopeful that maybe the people of Orlando are not being led around as much as I thought by...the local news media," says Kenney Baden.

That's also the fondest hope of Cindy and George Anthony. While still mourning the loss of their granddaughter, Caylee, they must face the difficult reality that they may lose their daughter, Casey, as well.

"I have faith that - I have a lot of faith that Casey will be home with us soon," Cindy said.

Opening arguments in the trial are scheduled to begin on May 17.

The judge has the right to have jurors consider a lesser charge than first-degree murder.

Produced by Ira Sutow, Jonathan Leach and Gail Zimmerman

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