Casey Anthony’s claim that her father sexually abused her and that her 2-year-old daughter drowned in the family swimming pool was the fourth different version of her story, the prosecutor who tried the young Florida mother says in a new book.
“I have seen my share of liars, but never one quite like this,” now-retired Orange County prosecutor Jeff Ashton writes in “Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony.” The Orlando Sentinel
reported on the book and interviewed the author for Tuesday’s editions.
Anthony, 24, from Orlando, was acquitted in July of charges that she killed her daughter, Caylee, whose disappearance made national headlines and sparked a frantic search. Anthony initially claimed the child was kidnapped by a nanny, but investigators determined no such person ever existed.
Lead defense attorney Jose Baez claimed in opening statements that Anthony’s father, George, had molested her for years, and that when Caylee drowned accidentally in a pool, George Anthony disposed of the body, and made his daughter cover up for him.
George Anthony and other members of the family denied this claim, and Casey herself never took the stand.
Ashton says in his book that Casey Anthony had indeed told the molestation story to two mental health experts, but they never testified. He said prosecutors called this version the “Nuclear Lie” and “Casey 4.0” because it was the fourth different account she came up with.
Ashton also says that defense attorney Cheney Mason approached the prosecution in June, during the trial, and proposed a deal in which Casey would plead guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Casey Anthony herself refused to consider it.
Ashton contends the prosecution had a very strong case, but said it was somewhat undermined before the jury because Anthony’s mother, Cindy, “was in denial about her daughter on a colossal scale.”
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