On Thursday, according to CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Cindy Anthony told a packed courtroom in Orlando, Florida, that she had been on the computer prior to her granddaughter Caylee Anthony’s death and followed search prompts for “chloroform,” shocking those in attendance.
The Casey Anthony murder trial is dominating the news of late. It has been followed avidly since its sensationalized beginning, when Cindy Anthony, Casey’s mother, dialed 911 and told Orange County Sheriffs that her car smelled like death, launching the subsequent investigation into the whereabouts of Casey’s daughter, Caylee Marie, who had been missing for a month before the then 22-year-old mother told anyone. She was soon charged with murder and when the remains of the child were recovered in December 2008 and the autopsy pointed to homicide, state attorneys began working on a death penalty case, hinging it around computer searches for and the presence of chloroform in the trunk of the car where it is believed the child’s body was placed and allowed to decompose for several days.
Could she be telling the truth or was Anthony simply attempting to engender doubt in the minds of the jury to save her daughter from the death penalty?
In her testimony, Cindy Anthony was very clear that she was not intentionally searching for “chloroform” when it appeared on her computer. She just went where the computer directed her.
The defense called Casey Anthony’s mother to the stand Thursday, CNN National Correspondent Gary Tuchman told Anderson Cooper, in an effort to refute the prosecution’s claims that Casey premeditated the murder of her daughter. In opening arguments, the defense contended that Caylee had died while in the care of her grandfather, George, drowning in the family pool. She and George had panicked and hid the body. To explain all the falsehoods that Casey allegedly created before her arrest (and while Orange County authorities searching for what they thought was a missing person), defense attorney Jose Baez said Casey had been abused emotionally, psychologically, and sexually since she was 8 years old, conditioned to think she was always to blame. They contended that George Anthony also allowed his daughter to shoulder the blame for it all.
For his part, George Anthony categorically denied all the allegations against him. However, he remained in the courtroom, supportive of his daughter.
According to their lawyer, Mark Lippman, the parents believe their daughter is “not innocent.” They want justice and the truth, but they also do not want Casey to get the death penalty. That phase of the trial only presents itself should the now 25-year-old Anthony be found guilty of murder.
So was Cindy Anthony’s words grounds for perjury, or was she telling the truth?
It should be noted that Cindy Anthony has exhibited multiple signs that she is not computer literate. She did not know what a browser was. And it has been noted that she had almost nothing to do with computers until she and her husband made a website for the Caylee Anthony Foundation, a site honoring their granddaughter and set up to bring awareness to cases of missing children. It has also been posited that Caylee’s grandmother had been at work during many of the times that the searches for “chloroform” had been conducted and that it was doubtful she knew how to delete her searches, which had been done in many instances.
The prosecution, feeling perjury was being committed, went after Anthony. Noting that her testimony nowed differed from previous testimony, state attorney Linda Drane-Burdick asked if she had typed in “how to make chloroform,” which prosecution submitted was what Casey Anthony had typed into the search bar of the home computer. Cindy Anthony said she didn’t type in “chloroform” but “chlorophyll” and the search bar prompted “chloroform.” She said she was trying to discover why her dog was acting so tired.
The prosecution wanted to know why, if she wasn’t searching for “chloroform,” why she had searched for it 84 times. She said she didn’t, and she didn’t know what her computer did while it was running.
Perjury? Could this be doing whatever is necessary to keep her daughter from receiving the death penalty? Regardless, will it help find out the truth about what happened to her granddaughter? And will it help set up reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror in order for Casey Anthony to be acquitted and avoid the death penalty?