Thursday, 21 July 2011

FILICIDE: Iowa: Michelle Kehoe appeal rejected

Josh O'Leary : July 13 2011

The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the 2009 conviction of Michelle Kehoe, the Coralville mother who was sentenced to life in prison after murdering her 2-year-old son and attempting to kill her then 7-year-old son.
In a ruling filed Wednesday, the appeals court struck down Kehoe's contention that her legal counsel, Waterloo-based public defenders Andrea Dryer and David Stout, was ineffective.
Jurors needed just two hours of deliberation at the end of a week-long trial in November 2009 to level guilty verdicts against Kehoe, now 38, for first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment causing serious injury.
Kehoe had argued in her appeal that her counsel failed to challenge the constitutionality of Iowa's laws defining the insanity defense.
She said her counsel also was ineffective because it failed to request jury instruction on the consequences of a not guilty verdict by reason of insanity, and for failing to object to an element of the jury instruction on the attempted murder charge.
In the trial, Kehoe's defense did not contest Kehoe's actions against the children but had argued that her mental state at the time of the attacks prevented her from being held accountable. The jury ultimately rejected her insanity defense, and in addition to the life sentence for murder, gave her 25 years for attempted murder and 10 years for endangerment.
The appeals court, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision and other cases, ruled that Kehoe's due process rights were not violated by Iowa law, nor was there any violation of state and federal cruel or unusual punishment clauses. The court also found that Kehoe's counsel had no duty to object to jury instruction.
Therefore, Kehoe's trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to challenge the constitutionality of Iowa's laws, nor was it at fault for not contesting aspects of jury instruction.
According to authorities, Kehoe took 2-year-old Seth and her other son, Sean, who was 7 at the time, to a remote area near Littleton in northeast Iowa in October 2008. Police and prosecutors said Kehoe placed duct tape over her sons' eyes, mouths and hands and cut their throats with a hunting knife she had bought a month earlier. She then cut her own throat. Seth died as a result of his injuries, but Sean survived.
Police said Kehoe wrote a note to make it appear as though they were abducted by a fictitious assailant, and she made similar claims to investigators before allegedly admitting to the crime.
A call left for Mark Smith, the state appellate defender representing Kehoe, was not returned Wednesday, nor was a message left at the public defender's office in Waterloo.

INFANTICIDE (?): Virginia: Karen Murphy left her baby in a hot car

July 12, 2011
Virginia resident Karen Murphy's son died after being left in the family's car for seven hours.
She is being charged with felony murder and child neglect after she allegedly left her baby in her van for hours by accident. In this week's "Moms" segment, host Michel Martin discusses this case with regulars Dani Tucker and Jolene Ivey, as well as former Md. State Attorney Glenn Ivey and journalist Gene Weingarten.

NEONATICIDE (multiple): Pennsylvania: Michele Kalina to stand trial

READING, Pa. (AP) — A woman charged with killing five newborns conceived through extramarital affairs has been found mentally competent and is scheduled for a plea and sentencing hearing next month.
A Berks County judge declared Michele Kalina competent to stand trial Wednesday after reviewing independent psychiatric testing. A public defender had raised mental-health issues at a hearing last month, but withdrew her motion based on the new tests.
(AP Photo/Berks County Sheriff's Department via Reading Eagle, File)
Kalina, 45, of Reading, is now set to plead to unknown charges on Aug. 4, and be sentenced immediately afterward. A gag order prevents lawyers from discussing the case.

The home-health aide is charged with one count each of criminal homicide and aggravated assault, and multiple counts of abuse of a corpse and concealing the death of a child.
DNA tests show she conceived most, if not all, of the babies through a long affair with a co-worker. Neither he nor Kalina's husband knew about the pregnancies.
Kalina moved the remains with her and kept them in a locked closet until her teen daughter found them in the family's high-rise apartment last year and called police, authorities say.
One set of bones was entombed in cement and the others in a cooler, a plastic tub and a cardboard box.
Kalina had no prenatal care during the five pregnancies, and it's not clear where she gave birth, authorities have said.
She also had a sixth secret pregnancy that culminated with the 2003 birth in a Reading hospital of a baby girl that she gave up for adoption. That child was also conceived with the boyfriend, DNA tests show.
A prosecutor described him last year as "overwhelmed and shocked" by news of the pregnancies.
Kalina had borne two children with her husband Jeffrey, in 1987 and 1991. The oldest, a boy, had cerebral palsy and died of natural causes in 2000.
Women who kill newborns are usually young, first-time mothers who are afraid to reveal their pregnancies, experts say. They are rarely found to be mentally ill, according to Geoffrey R. McKee, a forensic psychologist at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine who wrote the book, "Why Mothers Kill."
Kalina, like many of them, appears to have been socially isolated. A native of Rockland County, N.Y., she had no extended family nearby, and seemingly no close women friends.
Her secrets went undiscovered for years, and were only unearthed by her daughter's curiosity. Kalina had told her family not to look in the locked closet.
Neither the daughter nor her husband came to court to see her Wednesday.

FILICIDE (and suicide): Louisiana: death of Nadia Braxton and her 3 children

July 12, 2011
The home in Kenner, La., where a 29-year-old mother of three was found shot to death, lying atop the dead bodies of her children. The home in Kenner, La., where a 29-year-old mother of three was found shot to death, lying atop the dead bodies of her children. (WWL-TV)
(CBS News)  A woman from Kenner, La., a suburb near New Orleans, was found dead inside her home by her husband Tuesday, lying atop the bodies of her three children, all of whom had died from apparent gunshot wounds, reports CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

The husband told police he had just come home from work when he discovered the bodies. No charges have been filed. Police have not ruled out the possibility that it was a murder-suicide.

The victims in the shooting were identified as: Nadia Braxton, 29; Kayla Peters, 12; a 1-year-old child, Nayah Peters and a 6-month-old, Nyla Peters, WWL reports.

Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said the when the husband got home and "didn't hear anything, he eventually walked upstairs and found them, all of the kids, lying in the bed."

The mother suffered a gunshot wound to her forehead, Caraway said. The 1-year-old and the 6-month-old also both suffered gunshot wounds to the forehead. The Kenner Police Department hasn't released information about how the 12-year-old was killed.

The woman was struggling to pay the mortgage on her home, which she bought just before Hurricane Katrina, The Times-Picayune reports.

The property was first seized by the Sheriff's Office in January of 2010 for failure to make mortgage payments, The Times-Picayune reports. Braxton's case was dismissed a few months later when she brought her payments up to date, only to have the Sheriff's Office seize the property again for non-payments in December of last year.

FILICIDE (Multiple): Fiona Donnison trial

Fiona Donnison murdered her two children to take revenge from her estranged husband. Donnison reportedly suffocated her children Harry, (three) and Elise (two) because she thought her husband was cheating on her. Donnison reportedly suffocated her children Harry, (three) and Elise (two) because she suspected her husband Paul of an affair with an old schoolfriend. She then armed herself with two kitchen knives in an attempt to kill her husband Paul and blame him for the death of their children, it was alleged. She then handed herself in to police saying she had killed her children, reported Daily Mail.
Donnison appeared in court today for the opening of her trial for the alleged murder. The jury was told that the city banker was a controlling narcissist who wanted to make Mr Donnison’s life ‘as miserable as possible’ to the extent that she ‘used her children as the ultimate and final weapon’.
Fiona Donnison, kidsThe couple had separated five months earlier when Fiona had abruptly left the family home, taking the children with her. Despite Mr Donnison attempting a reconciliation, he finally said he could take no more of her ‘controlling’ behaviour and ended the relationship in January last year, reported the daily.
"The two children’s bodies were found in the boot of Donnison’s Nissan car on the morning of 27 January last year, dressed in their pyjamas and zipped into separate sports bags. They had most likely been suffocated with pillows at Donnison’s rented house in Lightwater," the evening before, said Christine Laing QC, prosecuting.
The Donnisons had met in 1999 when both were married to others. They had a daughter, Mia, who died a year later of suspected cot death. The couple had had a strained relationship due to Fiona's teenage sons from her previous marriage.
"Paul Donnison described her as always wanting bigger and better things than they could afford," Christine Laing QC told the daily.
"She claims to have no memory at all of the events that led to the killing of Harry and Elise. We say that responsibility lies not as a result of any mental illness but we say as a result of her personality," Laing concluded. In an apparent volte-face, Donnison denies the two counts of murder.
The case continues.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

FILICIDE(attempted): AUSTRALIA: Bail granted in children crash case

July 07, 2011
An Adelaide mother accused of trying to kill her three children in a car crash as part of a failed suicide attempt has been released on home detention bail.
The 32-year-old woman is charged with three counts of attempted murder.
Police allege she deliberately drove her car into a tree on Nelson Road at Ingle Farm in April with her three children in the passenger seats.
They suffered minor injuries and were later discharged from hospital.
The woman was granted bail to live in a rehabilitation facility in May but was taken back into custody two-and-a-half weeks later.
The Holden Hill Magistrates Court has now granted her home detention bail to live with her father.
She is prohibited from contacting her children

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

FILICIDE (multiple): England: Fionna Donnison killed her children after relationship with father broke down

A former City financier suffocated her two children and placed their bodies in the boot of her car to get back at their father for "rejecting her", a court has heard.

 Elise and Harry Donnison
The bodies of Elise, 2, and Harry Donnison,, were left in the boot of a car Photo: PA
Fiona Donnison, 45, who was described as self-obsessed and controlling, carried out the murders after becoming furious at her former partner for getting close to another woman, it was said.
After killing her children she returned to the family home armed with two kitchen knives, intent on killing her husband. The jury heard that she murdered her children as the "ultimate and final weapon" to get back at him.
Christine Laing QC, prosecutor, said it was the Crown's case that Donnison killed three-year-old Harry and two-year-old Elise Donnison in order to hurt their father in the most extreme way possible.
She said that the defendant suffered from narcissism, having a belief in her attractiveness, abilities and entitlement so strong that she could not stand rejection.
"She is somebody who lacks empathy for others, has an inability to feel for them, including her own children," said Miss Laing.
After her relationship with the children's father broke down, and he appeared to be starting a relationship with an old school friend, Donnison focused on making his life as miserable as possible, it was said.
"When that behaviour failed to have the desired effect, so desperate was she to get back at him that she used the children as the final and ultimate weapon," Miss Laing said.
The court heard that the defendant, already a mother of two, met Paul Donnison in 1999 when both were married to other people.
They never married but the defendant changed her name by deed poll and they had two children together.
But their relationship was strained and exacerbated by issues concerning her two teenage sons who lived with them and the thousands of pounds worth of debt she was prone to accumulating.
She also lost her job in 2009.
It became so bad that the defendant moved out of the family home in Heathfield, East Sussex, without telling Paul Donnison where she had gone, jurors at Lewes Crown Court were told. She moved with the four children to a rented home yet remained jealous and controlling of her partner, and often exhibited highly manipulative behaviour, the court heard.
She remained convinced that her husband was seeing someone behind her back.
He later found out she had moved into a house in Lightwater, Surrey, 100 yards from where his first wife lived with their two children, despite having no connections to the area.
Miss Laing said the couple later reconciled and made plans to move in together again but Donnison remained jealous of a woman he had struck up a platonic relationship with after she had left.
Donnison would often refused to let him in the house and once even threw all of his possessions out on to the driveway.
She said the two children, "described by everyone who knew them as delightful, well-mannered, affectionate children", were last seen alive on the afternoon of January 26 last year and it is believed they were likely to have been killed sometime that evening.
Donnison denies two charges of murder.
Miss Laing said: "They had been suffocated, most probably by having a pillow or some other form of bedding placed over their faces."
Miss Laing said Donnison had killed the children at her rented house in Lightwater and then driven to Heathfield, parked the car, and gone into Meadowside armed with two kitchen knives.
"We suggest the purpose of her doing so was that having informed Paul Donnison of the deaths of the children the defendant also intended to kill him and no doubt blame him for killing the children," she said.
However she added that Mr Donnison was not at the house and did not return that night or the next morning.
She said both were in the pyjamas when they were found by police officers in the boot of Donnison's Nissan car which was parked in Mill Close, Heathfield, around the corner from their former family home named Meadowside.
At around 10.45am on January 27, the defendant went to Heathfield police station and told officers she had killed her children.
She would not tell them where they were but a search of the area soon located them to the boot of the car.
Dressed all in black and with her arm in a black sling, Donnison sat in the dock with her head bowed as Miss Laing outlined the case.
The barrister said Donnison will claim she was suffering from depression and was not in her right mind at the time of the killings, and that the charges should be reduced to manslaughter.
Miss Laing said: "This is understandably a complex case particularly in relation to the motive.
"We say that responsibility lies not as a result of any mental illness but we say as a result of her personality."
"Why any of this resulted in the defendant killing the children, she had not said.
"She claims to have no memory at all of the events that led to the killing of Harry and Elise."
The trial continues.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

FILICIDE (jury said not): Florida: Casey Anthony declared not guilty by jury

By John Stevens :  6th July 201

The sensational acquittal of Casey Anthony sparked outrage across the U.S. today with one legal expert comparing the trial’s outcome to the infamous verdict in the OJ Simpson case.With the 25-year-old defendant poised to sell her story for millions, commentators savaged the jury for failing to find her guilty of the murder of her daughter Caylee.
Former Michigan Prosecutor Carl Marlinga said the verdict was: 'Like the OJ Simpson case - a clear failure of the jury system.'
'Just because we say the jury system we have is the best, that doesn’t make it perfect.'
Meanwhile TV presenter and legal expert Nancy Grace said 'the devil was dancing' after the jury returned not guilty verdicts.

Cleared: Verdict: Casey Anthony stands with her lawyer Jose Baez as she is sensationally found not guilty of all but four lesser charges
Cleared: Verdict: Casey Anthony stands with her lawyer Jose Baez as she is sensationally found not guilty of all but four lesser charges
Delighted: Casey Anthony shows her excitement as she is found not guilty
Delighted: Casey Anthony shows her excitement as she is found not guilty
Relief: Casey Anthony celebrates with her defence lawyer after their victory, which has stunned America
Relief: Casey Anthony celebrates with her defence lawyer after their victory, which has stunned America
Relief: Casey Anthony celebrates with her defence lawyer after their victory, which has stunned America
Caylee Anthony: Her mother Casey has been acquitted of all charges except misleading the police investigation
Caylee Anthony: Her mother Casey has been acquitted of all charges except misleading the police investigation

No firm deals have been struck to tell Anthony's story, although talk shows, book publishers and film makers will be lining up to secure interviews and rights to a story that has gripped and fascinated a nation.
A jury of seven woman and five men took ten hours to clear her of charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child.
Anthony smiled with delight as she was cleared of the murder of Caylee, after one of the most controversial verdicts in recent history.
Hundreds of people outside the Orange County Courtroom in Orlando, Florida, gasped yesterday as the verdict was made public.
Anthony had been accused of drugging her young daughter, suffocating her and dumping her body in overgrown woodland.
The verdict, which came as a surprise to many following the case, drew a dramatic line under a compelling trial, which has seen a family torn apart by accusations of rape and incest.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, former prosecutor Mr Marlinga said he was 'shocked.....stunned and a little bit sickened' by the jury's decision'.
He said: 'I’ve probably never seen a better circumstantial case.
'Juries have to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.That doesn’t mean beyond all doubt.'
He added the prosecution overplayed Anthony as a party girl.


He said: 'A guilty person would have kept a low-profile, would have immediately reported the supposed kidnapping and immediately disposed of the body.
'They tried to pretend that the weakness was a strength. Sometimes the prosecution tries to whistle past the graveyard.
'They could have painted a more coherent case that the girl died as the result of child abuse.'
Anthony, who had been facing the death penalty, hugged defence attorney Jose Baez when the jury's verdict was revealed. As the jury left, she burst into tears.
Confident: Defence attorney Cheney Mason gestures toward reporters peering through a restaurant window across the street from the Orange County Courthouse
Confident: Defence attorney Cheney Mason gestures toward reporters peering through a restaurant window across the street from the Orange County Courthouse
The jury accepted Anthony's account of events that Caylee drowned in the family pool on June 16.
She had initially claimed her daughter had been kidnapped, but on the opening day of the trial, the defence team made the surprise claim that the toddler had died in an accident.
The defence accused Anthony's father George Anthony of sexually abusing her as a child, and suggested the dysfunctional relationship explained Casey's behaviour after her own daughter's death. Mr Baez acknowledged Anthony's actions as 'bizarre' and 'inappropriate'.
Four days after the defence claim Caylee died, Anthonyparaded in a 'hot body' contest at a nightclub and friends said she showed no signs of distress, anxiety or depression.
Mr Baez had told the court that Mr Anthony had a role in disposing of the body and bullied his daughter into keeping it all secret.
On the final day of the trial, ABC news reported Anthony silently mouthing either 'it's not his fault' or 'because it's his fault' while prosecutors said she was trying to pin the death on her father.
After jurors heard Anthony's mother Cindy may have left a ladder in the pool where the child allegedly drowned, prosecutors said: 'Casey Anthony would have you believe that this is all her mother's fault anyway for leaving the ladder down, let's twist the knife in my mum a little bit more.'
Casey reportedly mouthed: 'I never said anything like that, it wouldn't have been my mum.'
After such a harrowing trial it has emerged that George and Cindy Anthony are not sure if they would welcome Casey back into the family. Following the surprise verdict, they walked out of the courtroom in silence.


Anthony faced seven charges
First-degree murder NOT GUILTY
Aggravated child abuse NOT GUILTY
Aggravated manslaughter of a child NOT GUILTY
Four counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer:
-That she worked at Universal Orlando in 2008 GUILTY
-That she left Caylee with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez GUILTY
-That she told Jeffrey Hopkins and Juliette Lewis that Caylee was missing GUILTY
-That she received a phone call from Caylee on July 15 2008 GUILTY
In a statement they said: 'While the family may never know what has happened to Caylee Marie Anthony, they now have closure for this chapter of their life. They will now begin the long process of rebuilding their lives.
'Despite the baseless defence chosen by Casey Anthony, the family believes that the jury made a fair decision based on the evidence presented, the testimony presented, the scientific information presented and the rules that were given to them by the Honourable Judge Perry to guide them.
'The family hopes that they will be given the time by the media to reflect on this verdict and decide the best way to move forward privately.'
Their lawyer said it was too early to say if they would welcome Casey back. The couple are reported to be in hiding after receiving death threats.
Dodging the larger charges of murder and child abuse, Casey was found guilty of four lesser counts of lying to investigators, which carry a maximum of one year per count.
As she has already served three years in jail, she is likely to walk free almost immediately. Last night she returned to Orange County jail, where she will wait for sentencing on Thursday at 9am.
As Casey walked into the courtroom to hear her fate at just after 2pm she looked very nervous. She bit her nails anxiously as she spoke to Mr Baez, while her parents watched quietly from the audience.
But as the clerk of the court read the verdicts, her eyes turned red as she tried to fight back the tears. Once all the verdicts were read out she hugged Mr Baez and began to cry.
Later, as the judge spoke to the jury, she could be seen mouthing 'Thank you' to Mr Baez and smiling, before the whole defence team hugged in tears as the session ended.
In a bizarre speech given after the verdict, Mr Baez appeared shaken with emotion as he shamelessly declared that his defence had 'saved a life'.
Approaching the judge: Casey and Mr Baez approach the podium to hear Judge Belvin Perry confirm that she is not guilty of murder charges
Approaching the judge: Casey and Mr Baez approach the podium to hear Judge Belvin Perry confirm that she is not guilty of murder charges

Group hug: Casey's defence team embrace each other and Casey after the tension of the six-week trial is dramatically lifted
Group hug: Casey's defence team embrace each other and Casey after the tension of the six-week trial is dramatically lifted
Overwhelmed: Casey is overcome with emotion following her acquittal of murder charges. Smiling but also emotionally drained, she is helped by a member of the defence team
Overwhelmed: Casey is overcome with emotion following her acquittal of murder charges. Smiling but also emotionally drained, she is helped by a member of the defence team


The clerk who read the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial was left speechless today when she saw the 'not guilty' verdict.
Judge Belvin Perry handed the clerk the verdict to read to the Orlando court, saying: ‘Will the defendant rise along with counsel. Madame clerk you may publish the verdicts.’
The clerk, accepted the printed verdicts and began reading.
But she was immediately rendered speechless after seeing the jury’s verdict.
After an uncomfortable silence she appeared to regain her composure and declared Anthony not guilty.
He told the media he was 'very happy for Casey. I'm ecstatic for her and I want her to be able to grieve and grow and somehow get her life back together' but spent much of the speech focused on how the moment felt for him.
He used to opportunity to speak out against Casey's 'trial by media' and the death penalty, which he labelled 'disgusting', before saying: 'I want to thank everyone who stood behind me and supported me throughout this time.'


Jeff Ashton, one of the three prosecutors who led the case against Anthony, announced tonight that he will retire at the end of the week.
Mr Ashton, 53, has prosecuted for the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office for 30 years.
His reputation and experience was in stark contrast to that of Jose Baez, Anthony's lead defence attorney, who was admitted to the Florida Bar only three years ago.
The speech then reached its climax as, holding back tears, Mr Baez declared that he was especially proud that when he went home that evening when his daughter 'will ask me what did you do today and I can say I saved a life'.
Prosecutors issued a pointed statement after the verdict, saying that despite the not guilty finding 'we kept our promise that we would be finding and proving the truth' about Caylee’s murder.
Appearing outside the courthouse, Lawson Lamar, state attorney in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, paid tribute to the 'precision case' compiled by his team and by investigators, but said that the six months it took to find Caylee’s remains, by which time they had decomposed, ultimately cost them the case.
He said: 'I never, ever criticise a jury. There is the task of deciding what to believe.
'Reasonable doubt goes to each and every element in a case, especially in a case like this, which is a mosaic to prove, with no smoking gun and a tiny victim who was reduced by time and the elements to skeletal remains.
Casey Anthony lead defense attorney Jose Baez, center, enjoys a drink with other members of his defense team
Casey Anthony lead defense attorney Jose Baez, center, enjoys a drink with other members of his defense team
Party time: Casey Anthony defence attorneys Jose Baez, left, and Cheney Mason, right, enjoy drinks with other members of the defence team
Stonefaced: Cindy and George Anthony were the first to leave the courtroom, with their attorney Mark Lippman, after their daughter was found not guilty of murder
Stonefaced: Cindy and George Anthony were the first to leave the courtroom, with their attorney Mark Lippman, after their daughter was found not guilty of murder

'This was a "dry bones" case - very, very difficult to prove…The delay in recovering little Caylee’s remains worked to our considerable disadvantage.'
'We are disappointed with the verdict today and surprised, because we know the facts and we put in every piece of evidence that existed. Our team did an exemplary job.'
Despite Anthony’s claim that Caylee’s death was a pool drowning accident, Mr Lamar still referred to it as a 'homicide'.
He said: 'This case has never been about the defendant, particularly. It has always been about seeking justice for Caylee and speaking on her behalf… We kept our promise that we would be finding and proving the truth about this child homicide.'

Disbelief: Spectators react to the news that Casey Anthony is innocent
Disbelief: Spectators react to the news that Casey Anthony is innocent
Shock: Disbelief can be seen on the faces of people in the crowd outside the Orange County Courthouse. One spectator held up a sign calling Casey a 'Baby Killer'
Shock: Disbelief can be seen on the faces of people in the crowd outside the Orange County Courthouse. One spectator held up a sign calling Casey a 'Baby Killer'
Aghast: Nancy Antolini looks overwhelmed after hearing the verdict as she stands outside the court house
Aghast: Nancy Antolini looks overwhelmed after hearing the verdict as she stands outside the court house
Fascination: Crowds of hundreds gathered at the Orange County Courthouse to hear the verdict
Fascination: Crowds of hundreds gathered at the Orange County Courthouse to hear the verdict
Mr Lamarr said that lead prosecutor Linda Drane-Burdick put together a 'precision case' and colleague Jeff Ashton 'presented wonderful scientific evidence.'
He insisted that the state had 'gathered the facts' but adding nonetheless: 'I’d like to thank the jury for their contribution to justice. The task they were asked to complete was difficult.'
He said: 'We did our job. The jury did their job. This is justice in America. We go forward to fight again tomorrow with grateful thanks to all the people who have helped us do our duty.'
Jurors in the trial refused to account publicly for their verdict, leaving Orange County courthouse in a bus to head for home as the judge issued an order protecting their identities.
The members of the jury were asked by a court clerk whether they wished to speak, then left alone to decide their answer. 'When I came back, it was a universal ‘No’, the clerk explained.
A crowd of several hundred people, some carrying placards, rallied outside the courthouse chanting 'We want Casey', some expressing anger at the verdict and others relief.
As people surged forward police shouted at them to ‘back up’ and move away from the building. One young woman collapsed in the heat.
After the verdict became public, many in the crowd shouted 'Justice for Caylee' and 'Baby Killer'.
Mounted police and squad cars were also posted outside the Anthony's home as protesters gathered outside to demonstrate against the decision.

At the spot on Suburban Drive, Orlando, where Caylee’s remains were found on December 11, 2008, a stream of people arrived to lay flowers and soft toys in her memory.
Tributes: A shrine has started to be built at the place where Caylee's body was found
Tributes: A shrine has started to be built at the place where Caylee's body was found

The verdict that shocked America: People stop to see the news announced in Times Square, New York
The verdict that shocked America: People stop to see the news announced in Times Square, New York
Some heard the verdict over the radio as they stood at the place where her skull and bones were found scattered. 'She got away with murder,' one woman said at the scene.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings issued an appeal for public calm. 'As a verdict has been rendered, we ask our community to respect the decision the jury and the court have made today. In doing so, we ask for your continued peaceful acknowledgement of that verdict,' he said.
'I ask this community that regardless of one’s personal beliefs about the innocence or guilt of Casey Marie Anthony, that you maintain peaceful resolve.'
The trial has captivated the country, producing some of the most sensational scenes inside and outside U.S. courts hearings in recent decades.

Fights broke out outside the court room as people queued to watch the case, and a court house spectator was jailed for six days for contempt of court after he gestured at the prosecution.

As tension built in the courtroom, both attorneys were threatened with being kicked off the case by the judge, and proceedings were stopped after the defence claimed that Casey was not mentally competent to continue.
Prosecutors claimed Casey spun an astonishingly complex web of lies to cover her tracks as she partied for a month after her daughter's disappearance.


By Professor Deborah Denno - Fordham University
Jurors are in the courtroom day after day and experience a trial in a way no other news commentator, etc can.
'Proof beyond a reasonable doubt' is a difficult standard to reach, particularly in a case that depends entirely on circumstantial evidence.
Although the news said that Casey Anthony was 'hated', the jurors of course looked at the facts differently.
The speed of their deliberation suggests that there was little if any disagreement among them.
They claimed Casey drove around for several days with Caylee's body in her car trunk and then dumped the remains in woods near the Anthony family home.
Caylee was last seen on June 16, 2008, when Casey left the family home with her, but it was not until a month later that police were notified that she was missing.
Prosecution evidence suggested Casey lied to friends and family about Caylee's whereabouts while she spent time hanging out with her boyfriend, dancing at nightclubs, shopping and getting tattoos.
The single mother gave her parents various excuses as to why they could they could not see Caylee, including: that the girl was with a nanny named Zanny; that she and her daughter were spending time in Jacksonville with a rich boyfriend; and that Zanny had been hospitalised after an out-of-town accident and they were spending time with her.
Finally on July 15 after hearing her daughter's car had been towed, Cindy Anthony confronted Casey and called 911 to report her daughter missing.
In in a distressed call she told the operator that her granddaughter had been missing for a month and that she had found her daughter's car that days and 'it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car.'
When Casey got on the phone, she claimed that her nanny, Zenairda Fernandez-Gonazalez, who was later shown not to exist, had taken Caylee.
She said that she had not reported her missing sooner because she was trying to find her herself, which she admitted was 'stupid'.
The kidnap claim triggered a national search for the toddler and on October 14 2008 Anthony was indicted for murder.
Then on December 11, 2008, the search for Caylee ended when her skeletal remains were found in woods with duct tape hanging from her skull.

Throughout the trial, the public had become fascinated by every move of Casey as they tried to decide could this woman have killed her own two-year-old daughter.
They wanted to hear her testimony but, on day 32 of the trial - as the defence team rested its case - Casey told the judge that she would not be taking to the witness stand.


The jurors' identities have been protected and they have been sequestered in an Orlando hotel because of the profile of the case, but there are some details to who are these men and women who ultimately decided if Casey Anthony lived or dead.
Juror 1: A female retired nurse who is married with two children
Juror 2: A male information technology worker who is married with two children
Juror 3: A female nursing school student who is single and has no children
Juror 4: A single woman with no children whose occupation is unknown
Juror 5: A female retired hospital nurse's aide who is divorced with three children
Juror 6: A male chef and restaurant equipment company representative who is married with two children
Juror 7: A female child welfare administration assistant who is divorce and has no children
Juror 8: A female Verizon service representative who is married with two children
Juror 9: A male unemployed former logger who is single and has no children
Juror 10: A male Verizon retention specialist who has no children. It is not known if he is married
Juror 11: A male high school PE teacher who is single and has no children
Juror 12: A female Publix cook who is married with two children

Ripped apart: What next for the Anthonys?

Torn apart: The family of George and Cindy Anthony has been torn by the accusations
Torn apart: The family of George and Cindy Anthony has been torn by the accusations
At the centre of the trial has been a family ripped apart by accusations of incest, rape, adultery and murder. George and Cindy Anthony have always been torn by their roles as both family members of the victim and the parents of the accused, but the shock allegations made during the opening of the trial have completely rocked the family.
Casey's parents, who have been married for 30 years, publicly supported their daughter from her initial arrest in 2008, as they continued to lead the search for their missing granddaughter, to the start of the murder trial.
They have funded Casey's defence lawyers, despite facing threats of foreclosure on their Orlando home - where they have lived since 1989. The couple have sold home videos and photographs of Caylee, which reportedly sold for around $200,000, to organisations including ABC News to help pay for fees.
But the defence accused George Anthony of sexually abusing his daughter from the age of eight, a claim he has strenuously denied.
Defence lawyer Jose Baez also suggested Mr Anthony had a role in disposing the body of little Caylee, aclaim Mr Anthony also denies.
During the trial, the defence also questioned whether tests had been conducted to determine whether Casey Anthony's brother Lee was in fact the father of Caylee.
The judge ruled that no evidence of sexual abuse was presented and prohibited both sides from mentioning the issue in their closing arguments.
The family have denied the defence's account of events that Caylee drowned in their pool.
Cindy Anthony was accused of lying under oath to protect her daughter from the death penalty, when she testified that it was her who had made repeated Google searches for chloroform and neck injuries on the home computer not daughter Casey.
Prosecutors rebutted the claims, citing testimony from Casey's employer, which they claimed she logged on to her computer at work at the time of the searches.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

INFANTICIDE: England (Leicester): Jodie Pick charged

A MOTHER on trial for the manslaughter of her baby claimed the youngster was strangled when her bib slipped, a court heard.
Jodie Leigh Pick, denies unlawfully killing seven-week-old Courtney Jacques at home in Broughton Astley, on May 1 2009.
Opening the prosecution case at Leicester Crown Court on Tuesday, Sally Howes QC said the baby was born six-and-a-half-weeks premature and spent 13 days in a hospital neonatal unit.
“She made good progress, gained weight satisfactorily and gave no cause for concern,” she said.
But, added Miss Howes, Pick was concerned that the baby vomited after food – and there had been times when the youngster appeared to stop breathing.
She said: “Various friends and members of the family witnessed such episodes.”
Miss Howes said the cause was not known and the child’s mother seemed to have the episodes under control.
A doctor, worried that the vomiting might result in dehydration, referred the baby to Leicester Royal Infirmary. No sign of dehydration was found and the baby was discharged but, added the prosecutor, “interestingly” no doctor at the hospital was told about the breathing problem.
On the day the baby died, her mother returned from the garden and found her “apparently lifeless” in her Moses basket with her bib around her neck.
“She suffered a catastrophic collapse and, despite all the efforts of the staff at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, they were unable to resuscitate and Courtney died that same day.”
Twenty-four-year-old Pick, who has two other children, slapped the youngster’s back to try and revive her, and called the baby’s father. Courtney was due to spend the weekend in Skegness.
Pick told a 999 operator: “My baby’s dead. She was in her Moses basket but I sat her up because she chokes on her sick.
“Her bib strangled her and I can’t get her to breathe.”
Miss Howes said: “It is very likely that the baby had been strangled by her bib. The operator talked her through steps to revive her.”
Paramedics took the baby to hospital, accompanied in the ambulance by her mother. She was not breathing and had no detectable pulse.
Pick told an emergency care practitioner she “went out to put the washing out” and found Courtney had collapsed when she returned.
The baby died later that morning.
A pathologist found “no natural cause of death,” added Miss Howes. Experts carried out further tests, which revealed the baby had a combination of head, brain and spinal cord injuries, together with an eye injury to the retina “in keeping with a non-accidental slap injury.”
Miss Howes said there were “tell-tale signs” from the post-mortem that would indicate it is “highly likely that the cause of that combination of things is as a result of shaking.”
During a police interview, Pick suggested her daughter had vomited and collapsed – and she shook her to revive her.
Miss Howes said pathologists’ opinion “is that although shaking might account for some injuries” evidence does not support the account given by Pick that her daughter collapsed.
The barrister said if Pick shook the baby in an attempt to revive her that was not unlawful killing. “However, if Jodie Pick due to momentary loss of temper did shake Courtney, that’s unlawful.
“She does not have to intend to kill her. The fact that Courtney died is sufficient.”
Miss Howes told the jury: “The Crown’s case was that there was indeed an unlawful killing. Courtney had not collapsed.
“You have to ask yourselves has the prosecution satisfied you so that you are sure that the defendant did not shake [the baby] if an effort to resuscitate. In other words, are you sure that Courtney collapsed as a result of the shaking?”
Health visitor and qualified midwife Leigh Gregory, who is employed by Leicestershire Partnership Trust and works from Orchard Medical Practice at Broughton Astley, told the jury about Courtney and the family’s history.
“There was no suggestion of any violence between the children and the mother of the children”, she said.
“Apart from the fact that Courtney was premature, there were no other concerns.”
Pick did not attend court on Wednesday due to illness.
Judge Michael Pert QC discharged the jury until today, when the trial is due to resume.

FILICIDE: Canadian cases reviewed

Joseph Shapiro : June 30, 2011
Medical and legal experts often disagree on how to determine the cause of a child's unexpected death. One result is that parents sometimes are wrongly accused of murder and sent to prison. No place has uncovered a bigger problem — or dealt with it more directly — than Ontario, Canada. That change can be seen in the arc of Tammy Marquardt's life.
Tammy Marquardt, now 39, spent 14 years in prison for a crime she didn't commit.
Joseph Shapiro/NPR Tammy Marquardt, now 39, spent 14 years in prison for a crime she didn't commit.

A Guilty Plea?

In 1993, Marquardt was sleeping in her apartment in Oshawa, Ontario, when her 2-year-old son, Kenneth, cried out for her. When she got to his crib he was tangled in the sheets, and by the time the emergency workers arrived, he had stopped breathing.
Marquardt, then 21, was charged with smothering and killing her son. When she insisted she was innocent, no one believed her.
Marquardt, who was pregnant again, was sentenced to life in prison. When she got there, she was told not to tell anyone why she was incarcerated.
"A baby killer would basically get the living daylights beaten out of them," she says. "A baby killer is classified as one of the lowest on the lowest in the totem pole in prison."
So she lied and said she was in prison because she had killed her husband.
But that lie didn't protect her for long. Soon, her case was on television and reported in the newspapers. And from that day on, she had to fight, push and kick when other women attacked.
Marquardt is tiny — about 5 feet tall and weighing just 85 pounds. Her red hair, in a pixie cut, frames her hollow cheeks.
She spent 14 years in prison — then was released on parole.
This past February, Marquardt nervously faced a wall of reporters and photographers outside a courthouse in Toronto after an appeals court overturned her conviction. Justice Marc Rosenberg told her there had been "a miscarriage of justice" and that she had been convicted because of a "flawed" and falsified autopsy report that found she had smothered her child.
Marquardt told reporters she still grieved for the son who died and for her two other boys who were taken from her and put up for adoption when she went to prison.
She has never seen them since.
"Try having your heart ripped out and someone squeezing it right in front of your face," she told the reporters outside the courthouse. "There is no real words for it. It is just a lot of pain and hurt that cannot be fixed."
'Thinking Dirty'
Marquardt is one of at least a dozen people prosecuted for killing children in Ontario based on what later turned out to be tainted medical evidence. Courts in just the past few years have overturned several of those convictions, and more are under review.
"People were wrongly convicted, yes," says Stephen Goudge, a justice on Ontario's Court of Appeal.
Stephen Goudge, a Canadian judge, led an inquiry into what went wrong in a number of pediatric death rulings.
Courtesy of Frontline Stephen Goudge, a Canadian judge, led an inquiry into what went wrong in a number of pediatric death rulings.
He led a government inquiry that stunned Canada — particularly what it turned up about Charles Smith, a pediatric pathologist who conducted many of the autopsies in Ontario's child abuse cases.
"He really grew to an iconic stature in the field in Canada," Goudge explains.
Smith had been so highly respected that defense attorneys told their clients they couldn't win if Smith testified against them.
"Partly because of his reputation, partly because of what he told juries, a number of convictions probably were based in significant measure on his opinions," Goudge says.
But as Goudge's inquiry discovered, Smith was trained to study disease in children. He had no training to study cases when a crime was suspected. Even worse: Smith lied, hid evidence and used junk science. He did what it took to get a conviction.

More From This Investigation

Goudge says Smith and other medical experts and prosecutors were infected with a mindset called "think dirty," which presumes guilt first.
" 'Think dirty' reflects a cast of mind that was prevalent often with the child care community in the 1990s," Goudge explains. "That is, injuries observed were deliberately inflicted — that's the presumption to be disproved."
The Goudge Commission found the actual words "think dirty" in instructions from Ontario's chief coroner to coroners, pathologists and police chiefs in 1995.
At the time, there was reason to fear that some cases of children being murdered were being missed and sometimes classified instead as sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. That's a category for deaths when the cause can't otherwise be determined.
But by "thinking dirty," pathologists and prosecutors often ignored other reasons the children may have died.
"A common feature of all these cases is that there were always very good explanations for why each of these children died," says James Lockyer, the Toronto lawyer who represents Marquardt and several others whose convictions have been overturned.
"I mean, it wasn't complicated to work out how these children died," says Lockyer, the founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. "They had pre-existing conditions, whether it was an epileptic condition or some other kind of condition."
Lockyer says Marquardt's son died from an epileptic seizure. Doctors had put the boy on two drugs to control epilepsy. But at trial, Smith and other prosecution medical experts minimized his epilepsy, even though, over the two years of his life, the boy's medical records showed many seizures and multiple trips to the emergency room. Prosecutors argued that these were just common seizures among young children that result from a high fever.

Case Profiles

As part of an ongoing look into the troubled state of death investigation, ProPublica, NPR and PBS Frontline identified nearly two dozen cases in the U.S. and Canada in which people have been accused of killing children based on flawed or biased work by forensic pathologists and then later cleared.
Monea Tyson was accused of killing her 22-month-old son and spent nearly two years in jail before her acquittal.
Courtesy of Frontline Monea Tyson was accused of killing her 22-month-old son and spent nearly two years in jail before her acquittal.
Smith claimed in his testimony that he could tell the boy had been smothered, probably with a pillow. (We tried to contact Smith. He hung up without comment when we reached him on the phone.)
Lockyer says there was something else that was common among the people he has helped exonerate. "Most of the victims of Smith, if not all of them, were easy, easy marks," says the attorney. "And Tammy was a good example of an easy mark. She was a young, single mother. She was impoverished, she was on welfare."
In his autopsy report, Smith speculated that Marquardt had killed her child because she had acted out of anger over the chaos in her own life. She was a teen mother with a history of substance abuse and troubled relationships with men. That day, her boyfriend had gone to be with a woman who was giving birth to his child.
But the pathologist's emphasis on this — which became the prosecution's theory — was pure speculation, not science.
Dinesh Kumar's Story
When Dinesh Kumar's 5-week-old son, Gaurov, died, Smith did the autopsy and concluded that the baby was a victim of shaken baby syndrome, and that the father, who was caring for the boy at the time of his death, must have been responsible.

Dinesh Kumar

Dinesh Kumar looks down at a portrait of his son, who died when he was 5 weeks old.
Joseph Shapiro/NPR Dinesh Kumar looks down at a portrait of his son, who died when he was 5 weeks old.
Kumar was charged with murder.
He says his lawyers told him to take a plea deal from prosecutors because he'd have no chance of winning in court against Smith. "He's like a god," Kumar says his lawyer said of Smith. "Nobody can challenge his report."
So Kumar pled guilty to criminal negligence causing death, even though he says he didn't kill his infant son. He took the plea because, he says, he felt there was little choice.
Prosecutors offered him 90 days of community service. That allowed Kumar and his wife to keep their other son, Saurob, who then was just a year old.
Otherwise, Kumar was told, Saroub would be placed in foster care and put up for adoption. If there was a conviction, Kumar, who had immigrated to Canada from India just one year before, could be deported.
"This is the hardest decision I have in my life," Kumar says of taking the plea deal. "Lots of my friends, my relatives, they know I'm innocent," Kumar says. But others, including some at his temple, assumed, since he'd taken a guilty plea, that he must have been responsible for his son's death. "They talk in back of me: 'This is the guy who killed his own son.' "
That was 1992. Today, medical experts understand that just because the child went into distress in his father's arms doesn't mean the injury happened at that moment. Now it's thought that Gaurov died from bleeding on the brain due to an injury at birth.
This January, the Ontario Court of Appeal exonerated Kumar, too.
Another Smith Mistake
Journalist and attorney Harold Levy says warning signs about Smith were ignored for years. One reason, he says, was that prosecutors and police knew they could get an autopsy report from Smith that would help them win their prosecutions. "Because of all the guilty pleas, because he almost guaranteed convictions," says Levy, "and it took the load off them."
Levy says alarms about Smith went back to one of the first people to be charged. In 1988, a 12-year-old baby sitter, reported that she had dropped the 16-month-old girl she was caring for on the stairs. The child later died in the hospital.

Harold Levy

Harold Levy, a former Toronto Star reporter, reported and now blogs about the Judge Goudge inquiry of pathologist Charles Smith.
Courtesy of Nicolas Jolliet Harold Levy, a former Toronto Star reporter, reported and now blogs about the Judge Goudge inquiry of pathologist Charles Smith. Smith concluded from the autopsy that the babysitter had shaken the baby violently, and she was charged with manslaughter. But in 1991, the trial judge, Patrick Dunn, acquitted the girl and wrote a decision that was scathing in its criticism of Smith's sloppy work.
Levy, who wrote about the case for the Toronto Star, says there had been nothing in the 12-year-old baby sitter's past to suggest "that this girl could ever be violent to any child. She loved that child. And yet Smith 'thought dirty' and tried to turn her into something akin to a murderer."
Smith, he says, took cases of ordinary people and "turned them into murderers."
Ontario's Learning Lessons
Ontario is trying to improve forensic examinations to make sure Smith's mistakes are never repeated.
The change is visible on a tour of Ottawa Hospital with Christopher Milroy, a new forensic pathologist for Ottawa but a veteran pathologist from England who also worked on Ontario's investigations of pediatric autopsies.
Milroy opens the door to the new forensic suite, the room where he conducts autopsies in criminally suspicious deaths.
This autopsy room is just a year old. More money is being spent on forensic pathology now — for equipment, modernized space and salaries — to try to raise the profession.
Advances in science mean pathologists need to be better trained than ever. They conduct more tests for rare metabolic disorders and genetic diseases. They order X-rays, CT scans and MRIs.
Ontario has changed the rules for how to do an autopsy — and who does them. "We've gone beyond the era where you have self-trained, self-taught people," Milroy says. "You wouldn't want your surgeon to be self-trained and self-taught. Why should you have your forensic pathologist not certified?"
There are lessons that American policymakers can also learn from Canada about how to improve child autopsies. Some of those solutions require spending more money. But others are simple.
Canada — just like the U.S. — lets doctors do autopsies even without board certification. Ontario now expects forensic pathologists to get better training, or it will hire new ones from countries that demand a lot of training — like Milroy, who came from the United Kingdom.
Great Britain reviewed its child death cases in 2003 after courts released three women who had been jailed for killing their babies. It turned out that they were convicted largely on one medical expert's flawed testimony. The review, completed in 2006, found three more British parents and caregivers who also may have been wrongly convicted.
The investigations in Canada, which turned up Charles Smith's flawed autopsies, concluded that the problem went deeper than one rogue pathologist. So now all autopsy reports in criminal cases are done by teams and are peer reviewed.
Milroy says there's another big change: It's in the way courts, police and even pathologists themselves see the role of the forensic pathologist. "We think the truth," Milroy says. "What can I say about this case — truthfully? What cannot I say about this case truthfully? One of the things that is important as a forensic pathologist is that you are not — and this is where again Smith erred — you are not part of the prosecution team."
There are still disputes in Canada over unexpected child deaths just as there are in the United States.
Levy, who continues to write daily on his blog, shows a construction site in Toronto where a massive five-story building is going up. It's the new Forensic Services and Coroner's Complex that will have state-of-the-art space and equipment.
The autopsy rooms — which traditionally are tucked away in dark basements — will be placed in large open areas with high windows and a lot of natural light. Still, Levy says, "I'm a little skeptical, because governments love to have palaces, and so they can show concrete — no pun intended — but concrete things that they have built and make people forget about the past."
Real reform, he says, will only come if Ontario never forgets this past.
Marquardt Exonerated
Tammy Marquardt can't forget. She's a mother raising a child again. Her daughter Tiffany was born last August.
Tammy Marquardt with her fiancee, Rick Hanley, and their daughter, Tiffany.
Enlarge Joseph Shapiro/NPR Tammy Marquardt with her fiancee, Rick Hanley, and their daughter, Tiffany.
Joseph Shapiro/NPR
Tammy Marquardt with her fiancee, Rick Hanley, and their daughter, Tiffany.
Marquardt, now 39, lives in a small house in Toronto with her baby, her fiancee, his mother and his teenage daughter.
In June, she won total exoneration when prosecutors announced they won't reopen her case.
She thinks about her son who died. And she wonders about her other two sons, who were put up for adoption when she went to prison — especially when she's in a crowd and sees teen boys, she says.
"Like, especially around that age, I sit there and go: 'I wonder: Could that one be mine? Could that one be mine?' For all I know, I could be sitting next to my son on the subway and not even know it."
Charles Smith never faced charges. Earlier this year, a medical board stripped him of his license and ordered him to pay a $3,650 fine.
The regulatory board also ordered Smith to appear in person to hear its reprimand.
Marquardt was there to see it, but Smith didn't show up.
Sandra Bartlett and Anne Hawke of NPR News Investigations contributed to this report.

FILICIDE: Cases reviewed

July 1, 2011

Nobody can imagine why seemingly loving, devoted mothers would ever harm their own flesh and blood. But more than 200 women a year kill their children in the United States, according to the American Anthropological Association.
The shocking and unimaginable crimes of child-killers have gripped the nation for decades. Here's a look back at the famous cases of mothers accused of murder.
Diane Downs
Long before the infamous cases of Casey Anthony, Susan Smith and Andrea Yates, the nation was gripped by the story of Diane Downs, who shot her three children, killing one.
In 1983, Downs, a 27-year-old divorced postal service worker, told police that a "bushy-haired stranger" flagged down her car and shot her three children on a back road near Springfield, Oregon.
Her daughter Cheryl, 7, was dead on arrival at the hospital, and her other children -- Christie, 8, and Danny, 3, were clinging to life.
Becky Babcock: My Mother Was a Killer Watch Video
Why Did Diane Downs Plot to Kill Her Kids? Watch Video
Becky Babcock's Story: 20/20 and Glamour Watch Video
Downs' story about the stranger did not add up. Reading through her secret diaries, police found a motive: an obsession with a married man who didn't want her children. In February 1984, nine months after the shootings, they arrested her and charged her with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Downs' trial was a national spectacle that was later depicted in the TV movie "Small Sacrifices," starring Farrah Fawcett as Downs.
She was sentenced to life in prison plus 50 years. She was denied parole in December 2010 and will not be considered for parole again for ten years, when she will be 65.
Watch the full story on "20/20" tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Casey Anthony
Casey Anthony, 25, is on trial in Orlando, Fla. on first-degree murder charges in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She has pleaded not guilty and has been held in a Florida prison since the summer of 2008.
Caylee lived with her grandparents and her single mother, Casey. Caylee disappeared in June 2008, but was not reported missing until a month later. Anthony told police she left Caylee at the apartment of a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and that both were missing when she returned. Police found, among other discrepancies in Anthony's story, that the apartment had been vacant for more than 140 days.
Investigators said Anthony repeatedly misled and lied to police in the course of their work. She was named a suspect in her daughter's disappearance and charged with the Caylee's murder in October 2008.
After a six-month-long search, remains of Caylee's body were found in Orlando, Florida, in December 2008.
Casey Anthony's defense team has argued that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family pool and that George Anthony, Casey Anthony's father, helped dispose of the body.
The defense has accused George Anthony of sexually abusing Casey Anthony. They have argued that Casey Anthony hid her daughter Caylee's death in the same manner that she hid the molestation.
In his testimony before the court this week, George Anthony denied the defense's claims.

Susan Smith
In October 1994, Susan Smith drowned her two young sons, buckling them into their car seats and pushing the car into a South Carolina lake. The car sank with the sleeping children in the back.
Smith initially told police that a black man had hijacked her car and abducted the children. Americans desperately searched for the boys for nine days until Smith confessed that she killed her sons, Michael, 3, and 14-month-old Alex.
She was convicted of the two murders in July 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. A judge rejected Smith's appeal in March 2010. She is eligible for parole in November 2024.

Andrea Yates
In June 2001, Andrea Yates methodically drowned her five children in the bathtub in their Houston home. The case shocked the American public.
Yates told police and psychiatrists after the crime that Satan had ordered her to kill sons Noah, 7; John, 5; Paul, 3; Luke, 2; and 6-month-old daughter Mary, to save them from eternal damnation.
Yates, a former nurse and high school valedictorian, suffered from mental illness for years -- depression with bouts of psychosis, suicide attempts and hospitalizations.
In tapes of Yates' psychological evaluation, released exclusively to ABC's "Primetime" in 2006, she recalled details of the morning she murdered her kids, describing how she waited until her husband left the house to start filling the tub. "Drowning them" was "all I thought about," she said.
Yates was convicted of capital murder in March 2002, but an appeals court later overturned the verdict. In 2006, Yates was retried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. At the time, she was committed to a state mental hospital.
June 20 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Yates murders. Yates is now being treated in a minimum-security mental hospital in Kerrville, Texas. Her longtime lawyer, George Parnham, said he's "highly optimistic" she will be released after her recommitment hearing in November.
Encouraged by the case, Parnham formed the Yates Children Memorial Fund in June 2002 to educate women, their families and their doctors about postpartum psychosis and similar illnesses.

China Arnold
China Arnold was accused of killing her 3-week-old daughter in a microwave oven in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 30, 2005. Investigators said the baby, Paris Talley, was burned to death in the oven after Arnold and her boyfriend had an argument over who the child's biological father was. Arnold was sentenced to life in prison without parole Sept. 8, 2008. Judge Mary Wiseman told Arnold during the trial, "No adjectives exist to adequately describe this heinous atrocity. This act is shocking and utterly abhorrent for a civilized society."

Michelle Kehoe

Michelle Kehoe, 36, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on charges of first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old son Seth, and an attempted-murder charge related to her 7-year-old son, Sean.
Kehoe and her sons were reported missing by her husband, Eugene Kehoe, after the boys and their mother reportedly left to go visit relatives in Sumner, Iowa, on Oct. 26, 2008. The next morning, Kehoe walked into the home of residents in Littleton, Iowa, and told them that her sons were in danger.
Seth was found dead outside the family's van. Autopsy results revealed the boy had died from severe cuts to his neck. His older brother, Sean, was found struggling for his life inside the vehicle and had suffered similar cuts.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Kehoe falsely claimed that her children had been abducted. "She stated that she couldn't explain why she had done it. She stated that she couldn't face anyone. She stated that she wanted to die or be locked up where she couldn't hurt anyone else," the affidivit read.
At the trial in October 2009, Kehoe pleaded not guilty. Her attorneys argued that she suffered from extreme mental illness. An Iowa jury heard a tape of her surviving son telling police how his mother covered his eyes, nose and mouth with duct tape, slashed his throat, and then did the same to his younger brother. On Nov. 5, 2009, she was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and child endangerment causing serious injury. The following month she was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 25 years.