George Anthony, Casey's father, took the witness stand on Wednesday (Day 31), admitting that he even tried to commit suicide and had bought a gun with the intention to force Casey's friends to tell the truth about Caylee's whereabouts.
George testified that he was so sad hearing about Caylee's death that he even tried to commit suicide a month after his granddaughter's remains had been found in a wooded area near his family's house.
My emotional state even through today is very hard to accept that I don't have a granddaughter any more. But for that particular day [Jan. 22, 2009]…it just felt like the right time to go and be with Caylee, he said.
George said that he attempted suicide in a motel with a mixture of medications and beer on January 22, 2009 and left an eight page suicide note.
I wrote this specific letter to my wife Cindy to tell her how I felt and how I didn't want to be in this world anymore, he said.
George testified that he would have died if law enforcement hadn't found him and taken him to the hospital.
During his testimony, George couldn't control his emotions, and sobbed at the witness stand. However, Casey remained cold and expressionless throughout, and even looked bored.
Sometimes, she also shook her head to show her disagreement and wrote down something on her legal pad, while her father testified and sobbed.
The defense attorney Jose Baez suggested that George tried to commit suicide out of guilt for some role he may have played in Caylee's death. The prosecution offered George's suicide note to rebut this suggestion.
George admitted that he had bought a gun in August 2008, with the intention to force Casey's friends and associates to tell the truth about Caylee's whereabouts. He thought he would use the gun to kill himself.
I wanted to get answers from people that I believed were involved with my granddaughter (being) missing, George said. He said he had always believed Caylee was kidnapped as Casey had said so even after Caylee's remains were found on December 11, 2008.
However, according to George, the gun, which he never used, was confiscated by the authorities several hours after he bought the gun.
A grief expert Sally Karioth, who is a professor at Florida State University, explained Casey's abnormal responses, such as hanging out with her friends, and going for shopping and partying in nightclubs after Caylee went missing.
According to Karioth, no two people grieve exactly the same way. Some young people, who experience great loss, such as Casey, can be reluctant grievers, she said.
Karioth said that if a young person was in Casey's situation, she might pretend that nothing has happened. She said they often behave in a risky way, such as drinking too much and spending money till they don’t have anything.
When the grief expert gave testimony, Casey cried out and dabbing her tears away. Interestingly, casey sat stone-faced when George testified that he even tried to commit suicide.
During cross-examination, Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton asked Karioth to explain how, barely a day after Caylee died, Casey went to her boyfriend’s house and spent all night together with him, rented a movie, went shopping and nightclubbing, and told lies to everybody that Caylee was with her nanny.
“Is that conduct consistent with the type of denial you see in mothers,” Ashton asked.
“I would call that more magical thinking,” Karioth said. “If I can keep all these balls in the air, maybe it won’t be true that I’m fearful may have happened,” Karioth said.
The trial will resume on Thursday.
About Casey Anthony trial:
Two-year old Caylee was last seen alive on June 16 and it was only on July 15 that she was reported missing by her mother Casey Anthony to the police. Cindy, Casey's mother had also alerted the police by calling a 911 dispatcher and saying that she had smelled a dead body in the trunk of Casey's car that was spotted in an impound lot. The car was later towed by authorities for forensic analysis.
Initially, Casey told the police that a babysitter called Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez (Zanny the nanny) had abducted Caylee. Investigations showed Casey was lying as the babysitter Zanny was fictitious. Five months later, in December 2008, Caylee's decomposed skeletal remains were found in a wooded area near the Anthony home by a meter reader who was relieving himself.
The prosecutors say Casey chloroformed Caylee and then put duct tape over her nose and mouth, suffocating the girl.
Casey's lawyers claim Caylee was not murdered. They say the toddler accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and George, Casey's father, helped her keep the death a secret. George has denied the claim.
Casey has been charged with seven counts, including first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and misleading the police in the death of Caylee. If she is convicted of first degree, she could be sentenced to death by the seven-woman, five-man jury. The trial is expected to take another 1-2 weeks before a verdict is reached.