Casey Anthony tells Judge Belvin Perry she won't testify in her own defense and her defense attorney Jose Baez said it has rested its case.
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(CNN) -- Minutes before closing arguments were set to begin in
Casey Anthony's capital murder trial, the judge prohibited her defense
attorneys from bringing up a key point, ruling there is no evidence she
was sexually abused by her father or brother.
Crime Scene Photos: Pictures from where Caylee Anthony's body was found (Caution: Some pictures may be considered graphic)
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The defense had
sought to explain Casey Anthony's behavior during the 31 days before her
2-year-old daughter Caylee's disappearance was reported to police by
suggesting she had been schooled from an early age to hide her feelings
as a result of sexual abuse that began when she was 8 by her father,
Defense attorney Jose Baez said in his opening
statements that Casey Anthony's brother, Lee Anthony, also abused her,
but "it didn't go as far" as that with her father.
County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr. said Sunday, there are "no facts in
evidence or reasonable inferences that can be drawn ... that either Mr.
George Anthony or Mr. Lee Anthony molested or attempted to molest Ms.
Baez asked if he could still discuss "family dysfunction," and Perry said he could.
Both the prosecution and the defense get a final chance to present
their disparate cases to the jury. The final decision will then be in
the hands of the jury of seven women and five men.
decide if Anthony, now 25, is guilty of killing Caylee. She is charged
with seven counts, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse
and misleading police. If convicted of first-degree murder, she could
receive the death penalty.
FULL COVERAGE: The Casey Anthony murder trial
According to court spokeswoman Karen
Connolly Levey, the jury members will deliberate through the July 4
holiday, assuming a quick verdict is not reached.
The jurors are
all from Pinellas County, after Perry moved the jury selection process
there due to extensive media coverage around Orlando.
Anthony has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and denies harming her daughter.
Anthony trial has lived up to the intense pre-trial hype and drama,
beginning six weeks ago with her lawyer's opening statements alleging
that Anthony's father -- George Anthony, who was Caylee's grandfather --
helped to cover up that the girl accidentally died in the family pool.
Prosecutors have denied that claim, as has George Anthony himself on the stand.
they say that the Orlando woman rendered Caylee unconscious with
chloroform, duct-taped her mouth and nose, and stored the child's body
in her car trunk for a few days before dumping it in the woods.
utility worker found the girl's skeletal remains in December 2008, six
months after the last sighting, in a wooded area near her grandparents'
Though Casey Anthony didn't take the stand during the
trial, her lawyers worked to question the depth and validity of the
prosecution's case and raise doubts about her father.
They claim George Anthony panicked upon finding Caylee dead and told Casey Anthony her mother would never forgive her.
defense frequently called Anthony's parents to the stand, making them a
focal point. In George Anthony's case, they appeared largely intent on
poking holes in the former police detective's stories.
Friday, after all the evidence had been presented, the defense again
requested that the case against Anthony be dismissed -- claiming that
the prosecution had failed to adequately show how Caylee died and at
whose hands. And once again, Perry denied their request.
witnesses, including Anthony's father, have pointed to the smells
emanating from the trunk of Anthony's Pontiac Sunbird that they claim
came from a decaying human body -- Caylee's body, they allege.
prosecution also sought to paint Anthony as someone who habitually
lied, whether it was about her working at Universal Studios, or about
her daughter staying with an imaginary nanny named Zenaida "Zanny"
Her friends, her former boyfriend and acquaintances
testified that in June and July 2008, Anthony was staying with her
boyfriend, spending time in Orlando with friends, attending parties,
going shopping and hitting nightclubs. They said she did not mention her
daughter being missing during that time.
is a tragedy that snowballed out of control," Baez said in his opening
statement. "This is not a murder case. This is not a manslaughter case
... this is a tragic accident that happened to some very disturbed