New evidence has surfaced in the Casey Anthony murder case that might have resulted in a conviction, had the jury heard the relevant testimony.
Detectives in the case, who were investigating the death of Anthony’s daughter, Caylee, appear to have overlooked a Google search for suffocation instructions carried out on Casey Anthony’s computer the day Caylee is supposed to have died, June 16, 2008.
WKMG Local 6, a television station in Orlando, Fla., reported that prosecutors were unaware of the online search conducted for the term “fool-proof suffocation,” which was incorrectly spelled as “suffication” before being automatically fixed by Google.
Five seconds after the search was made, the computer user -- who may or may not have been Casey Anthony -- clicked on an article describing how to effectively commit suicide by “poison[ing] yourself and then follow[ing] it up with suffocation” by “placing a plastic bag over the head,” WKMG said.
One minute later, the computer user clicked on MySpace, the social-networking website Casey Anthony used heavily and her father George Anthony did not use.
During Casey Anthony's trial, prosecutors did highlight deleted Google searches on the same computer for such phrases as “how to make chloroform” and “neck breaking,” according to multiple media reports.
In response, defense attorneys said George Anthony had previously made searches on the computer because he was so upset about Caylee’s death he wanted to commit suicide.
The new evidence was overlooked because detectives who investigated the Anthony family computer focused only on the records associated with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser -- ignoring the records related to the Mozilla Firefox browser that Casey Anthony used -- the Associated Press reported.
Casey Anthony’s defense attorney Jose Baez first mentioned the oversight in his book about the case, “Presumed Guilty.” The claim was initially met with skepticism, but an internal investigation by prosecutors found Baez was telling the truth.
“There was an oversight,” Orange County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Angelo Nieves told WKMG. “This has been a learning experience for investigators.”
Prosecutor Jeff Ashton agreed, saying: “It's just a shame we didn't have it. This certainly would have put the accidental-death claim in serious question...I don't think it's appropriate for me to say this person messed up, that person messed up, or we messed up.”
Caylee Anthony’s skeletal remains were found in a wooded area five months after her disappearance, and public opinion almost immediately turned on her then-22-year-old mother, Casey Anthony. The media firestorm around the trial turned to public outrage first on July 5 of last year Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder and found guilty only on four counts of misleading investigators, then 12 days later when she was released from custody because of time served.
The Miami Herald recently reported Casey Anthony's former lawyer, Baez, is now representing Chris Serino, a major-crimes investigator involved in the Trayvon Martin case.