Casey Anthony's mother made another startling revelation on the witness stand Friday that the defense hoped strengthen their case: A ladder had been left leaning out of the pool on the day defense attorneys say her granddaughter drowned.
For the second day in a row, the defense called Cindy Anthony, 52, to testify. Her daughter Casey faces multiple charges, including capital murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement in the death of her daughter, two-year-old Caylee.
Defense attorney Jose Baez guided Cindy Anthony through her testimony, working hard to bolster the argument that Caylee had drowned and was not murdered as the prosecutors contend. Baez first mentioned the drowning during opening statements.
"Caylee Anthony died on June 16, 2008, when she drowned in her family's swimming pool," Baez said at the start of the trial.
Cindy Anthony later told jurors she discovered that the pool ladder had been left out when she returned home from work on June 16.
"I thought it was strange ... I called [my husband], George, at work to see if he had left the pool ladder up because I also noticed that the side gate was open," Anthony testified.
According to Baez, Casey Anthony and her father, George Anthony, were home alone on the day the alleged accident occurred. The attorney said that in the early hours of June 16, George noticed Caylee was missing and that he and his daughter began a frantic search -- looking under beds and in the garage. Then George Anthony took the search outside, to the above ground pool, Baez said.
"As Casey came around the corner [of the pool], she saw George Anthony holding Caylee in his arms," the defense attorney told the jury. "She immediately grabbed Caylee and began to cry. Shortly thereafter, George began to yell at her: 'Look what you've done. Your mother will never forgive you, and you will go to jail for child neglect for the rest of your frigging life.'"
Casey Anthony later alleged that her daughter had been abducted by her babysitter. Multiple searches were conducted, and in December 2008, former Orange County meter reader Roy Kronk found Caylee's remains near her family home.
George Anthony has denied knowledge of Caylee's death and testified that he did not dispose of his granddaughter's body.
In an effort to strengthen his theory, Baez showed Cindy Anthony several photos today of Caylee climbing a ladder into the above ground pool. Anthony said that when Caylee first started swimming in the pool, she would have to support her from behind as she climbed the ladder. However, when Caylee got older, she no longer needed help.
"She could climb into the pool by herself," Anthony testified, explaining that in 2008 they swam together "three to four times a week.
"As she got older, she was a lot more anxious [to get in], because she was familiar with the pool," she added.
The defense also showed Cindy Anthony and the jury a photo of Caylee opening the sliding glass door that led to the backyard pool.
"Could Caylee open the door?" Baez asked. Cindy Anthony replied, "Yes, she could do it herself."
During a brief cross-examination, state prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick questioned Anthony about Caylee's clothes and the shorts that were found with her skeletal remains.
"Those particular shorts. I hadn't remembered Caylee wearing those shorts in some time," Cindy Anthony testified. "Those weren't shorts that I dressed Caylee in quite a bit. That wasn't one of my favorite outfits [and] I don't recall seeing Caylee in those shorts after 2007."
For the second day in a row, Cindy Anthony's testimony has been important for the defense, which contests the prosecutor's theory that Casey Anthony used chloroform to render Caylee unconscious and then put duct tape over her nose and mouth, suffocating her.
On Thursday, Cindy Anthony said that she had conducted internet searches for "chloroform," "chest injuries" and "head injuries."
Prosecutors have claimed that Casey Anthony had done the incriminating internet searches.
When Cindy Anthony stepped down, her son Lee Anthony was called to the stand. Afterwards, court took a recess for lunch.
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