CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” aired a bombshell Wednesday evening. It appears that in the murder trial of Casey Anthony in Orlando, Florida, a case that has received massive media attention since the disappearance of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in the summer of 2008, correspondent Gary Tuchman spoke with Mark Lippmann, family lawyer of George and Cindy Anthony, Casey’s parents. Given things as they stand in the ongoing murder trial, Lippman told Tuchman that the parents do not believe that thier daughter is innocent in the death of their granddaughter.
Tuchman told Anderson Cooper: “But I explained to him, we don’t want to sensationalize this. But there’s a big question. I mean George could be in a lot of trouble if the jury ultimately believes what the defense is saying, that the child accidentally drowned and George had something to do with disposing of the child’s body.
“So Mark Lippman has told me this. I asked him a very specific question. I said, ‘Do your clients, George and Cindy Anthony, think that she is not guilty?’
“And his answer was, ‘They do not think that.’ He said they want to see justice done. They want to see the truth come out. And then he added to me, he said, ‘They do not believe she is innocent.’ That being said, ok — and this is very important, and he wanted me to stress this, and it’s important I do stress this — they love her, they support her, and they do not want her to get the death penalty. They will do all they can to avoid her getting the death penalty in this case.
“So that’s what we found out. They do not believe, George and Cindy Anthony, that their daughter, Casey, is innocent in regards to the death of their granddaughter, Caylee.”
It should be pointed out that Tuchman or Lippman said the parents felt that Casey Anthony was guilty of murder, just not innocent in regard to the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony. This could mean a variety of things, such as believing that their daughter knew the particulars of their granddaughter’s death but did not actually commit murder. Or it could mean that they believe she has knowledge of the death, whether accidental or homicidal.
Casey Anthony was charged with the murder of her 2-year-old daughter in October 2008 after leading Orange County investigators on what has described as a wild goose chase via a series of lies, not the least of which was fabricating a story that Caylee had been abducted by a babysitter. The Florida state attorney’s office did not believe the child was alive and had the mother arrested. The remains of a child were found roughly a quarter-mile from George and Cindy Anthony’s home outside Orlando in December. They were later identified as Caylee Anthony’s.
In opening arguments in the Anthony trial, prosecutors explained how they believe that Casey Anthony, in an effort to free herself from the burden of parental responsibility, premeditated and carried out the murder of her daughter using chloroform and duct tape, then later disposing of the body after it had decomposed in the trunk of her mother’s car for several days.
The defense claimed that that the child drowned while in the care of her grandfather, George Anthony, and that he and Casey hid the body after panicking. Defense attorney Baez also claimed that the young mother’s lies were a result of a mental state derived from constant psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse perpetrated by George Anthony on his daughter where she was conditioned to believe everything was her fault.
George Anthony has denied that he was present or knew anything about the death of his granddaughter. He has also denied allegations that he abused his daughter in any way.
“Anderson Cooper 360” is a news magazine appearing on CNN weekknights at 10 and 11 p.m. Viewers in the Myrtle Beach area can catch the show via cable and satellite providers on Time-Warner, HTC, and DirecTV. CNN can be found on channel 202 on DirecTV. Subscribers of other providers check local listings for channel designations.