Casey Anthony Trial: Jury deliberations continue

8:39 AM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
Casey Anthony stands with attorney Jose Baez to confirm she has chosen not to testify in her own defense.
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ORLANDO, Florida -- Jurors in the trial of accused child killer Casey Anthony will return today for a second day of deliberations after spending almost six hours reviewing the case on the July Fourth holiday.

Circuit Court Judge Belvin Perry discharged the seven women and five men at about 6 p.m.

Monday, advising them to have some dinner, get some rest at the hotel where they are sequestered and return by 8:30 a.m.

The jury, chosen from the Tampa Bay area because of its distance from the sensational case, began its task shortly after noon Monday after hearing 26 pages of instructions from Perry.

The jurors most likely spent Monday choosing a foreperson and figuring out how to sift through 35 days of testimony and closing arguments, legal experts say.

Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Crime Scene Photos: Pictures from where Caylee Anthony's body was found (Caution: Some pictures may be considered graphic)

More Pictures: Click here to see the photos Casey Anthony doesn't want you to see (Caution: pics contain some adult material, including drinking and partial nudity)

Casey Anthony initially told authorities that a fictional nanny named Zanny had kidnapped Caylee. The search ended when the girls' decomposed remains were found in woods near the Anthony home Dec. 11, 2008.

In a trial that has drawn global attention, prosecutors argued that Anthony killed her daughter because she prevented her from living a carefree partying lifestyle.

Defense lawyers maintained that Caylee drowned in the family's pool and suggested that Casey Anthony's father, George Anthony, covered it up.

"This is a complex case and it will take some time for the jury to sort out," said Donald Jones, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. "This is a case in which there's no physical evidence, there's no confession, there's no fiber, there's no fingerprints, there's no trace of blood," Jones said. "But the case becomes complex because the behavior of the defendant and the personality that she has exhibited is one that seems inconsistent with an innocent person."

Jones was referring to testimony that Anthony partied and spent time with a boyfriend while lying to friends and family about Caylee's whereabouts. Jones predicts the jurors will deliberate until about Friday.

Jo Ellen Livingston, a jury consultant from New Orleans, said jury members are aware they are being watched for minute hints regarding a verdict. Because of this, she said, they are going to be careful and methodical. "They have to go select their foreperson, figure out their plan of attack here, and different juries do it different ways," said Livingston, of Chicago-based ZMF Consulting. "It takes awhile just to get organized."

Daniel Lurvey, a Miami defense attorney and former homicide prosecutor, also predicts the jury will take a couple of days and points out the jurors were willing to work through the weekend and on a major holiday.

"This is a conscientious crew," Lurvey said. "Even if they have a good idea where it's going, they almost feel obligated to sit back for awhile and talk it over." 

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