Video: Indefinite recess called in Casey Anthony trial

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    >> talk about what's been a riveting and explosive casey anthony trial. the prosecution was ready to continue the case this morning when a half hour ago, the judge called for an indefinite recess. let's go live to orlando and kerry sanders . what's going on there?

    >> reporter: consider this. the state initially called 59 witnesses for 19 days. then the defense called 49 witnesses over 11 days. two days of no witnesses. we are now in day 33. the rebuttal case by the state is presented. the defense says the experts that the state are now calling have some evidence, which is a surprise to us. there's not supposed to be any surpris surprises. the judge hopes that is, indeed the case, there's a surprise that requires a deposition and not a result of, once again, an example of the personality conflicts between the prosecutor and defense. look at what happened a short time ago in court.

    >> i don't know what legal opinions they have. i will start right away and take it from there.

    >> what the new opinions are. that is it. the deposition should be fairly brief.

    >> i guess the state is admitting there are no opinions.

    >> no, i am not. but, if we can stop this and maybe get to work, judge, i'm ready to go.

    >> reporter: do you think the prosecutor and defense get along?

    >> wow.

    >> reporter: it is always contentious in the courtroom.

    >> can you stand by? i want to ask you about something that happened yesterday. that was a visceral exchange. what do you make of it?

    >> i think they are burnt and at the end of their rope. they can take little more of this. that's not appropriate in the court. you need to keep your snides to yourself. you can't do it in front of the court or address co-council in that tone.

    >> they are probably not getting much sleep. it's been going on for awhile. the decision was made for casey anthony not to take the stand?

    >> no. i would have been shocked if she took the stand. the judge said i would like to see the reports myself. i'm going to find out whether this was new information that was real or imagined. that defense lawyer is on notice, too.

    >> he's put the lawyers on notice before, too, we should point that out. eventually, we should get to closing arguments. what should be the main points?

    >> prosecution is going to want to hammer the fact casey is a liar. her behavior after her daughter disappeared is the conduct of a guilty person. hair in the trunk with the post mor tum root banding that can be linked to the dna of the mother and this hair was not colored so it has to be caylees. the duct tape , the conclusion it was a homicidal death. there was no other reason for this body to be duct taped in a plastic bag and dumped in a swamp.

    >> for the defense, what are their main points?

    >> you can't tell how the child died. you have doubt. science used in this case was novel and junk. just because casey was a liar doesn't mean she's a murderer, too.

    >> thank you so much. i want to go back to kerry to show how unbelievable the case has been. every day something happened. commotion in the court caused by somebody in the audience. what happened there?

    >> a spectator got a seat and into the courtroom and happened to be in camera view, clearly knew it and the judge said gave the one finger sign of affection, which i think you know what that means. it was not funny to the judge because it was on camera. quite frankly, it could have impacted the whole case here by affecting the jury's impartiality. a viewer watching notified a reporter in the courtroom via a twitter account of what happened in the background. that reporter notified a bailiff. a bailiff went over, whispered to the judge, they pulled the picture, looked at it and called up the 28-year-old who had been in the courtroom doing those antics and the judge was not pleased. he told him that he had jeopardized the whole case and then he gave him a very harsh judgment. he sentenced him to six days in jail, a $400 fine, $200 plus fine associated with court costs and things moved on. i guess this 28-year-old kid, a waiter at tgi fri days learned there's no goofing around. this is a murder trial.

    >> the judge certainly was not laughing.

    >> reporter: i don't think anybody was laughing. one of the people in the court said to me, i bet his mother is very proud.

    >> kerry kanders in orlando, florida, thank you. susan, thank you as well.

NBC News and news services
updated 7/1/2011 6:52:07 PM ET 2011-07-01T22:52:07

After five sequestered weeks, the jury in the Casey Anthony murder trial moved one step closer in deciding the Florida mother's fate.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Sunday, which means jurors could begin deliberating that afternoon, NBC News reported.

Judge Belvin Perry dismissed court proceedings for Saturday, ordering lawyers to present their closing arguments first thing Sunday, followed by jury instruction and deliberation.

Prosecutors wrapped up their rebuttal portion of the case on Friday with testimony from a lawyer for the company that once employed Anthony's mother.

Gentiva Health Services Chief Compliance Officer John Camperlengo was the first witness called when the trial resumed after a morning-long recess on Friday. Judge Belvin Perry called the recess before jurors entered the courtroom so the defense could take depositions of prosecution witnesses.

Camperlengo answered questions about Cindy Anthony's work history during the week of March 17, 2008.

Story: Former bodyguard: Casey Anthony was ‘unfeeling’

Earlier this week, Cindy Anthony testified that she had run computer searches for the term "chloroform" while looking up information on chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants. Prosecutors have contended that Casey Anthony made the searches as she plotted to kill her daughter. Cindy Anthony's testimony was a surprise to prosecutors.

She testified that she was home on the days when the computer searches were run. She said she could leave work when she wanted, and that the work records might not have reflected her absence.

Lead defense attorney Jose Baez said prosecutors had failed to disclose all the information a computer expert and forensic anthropologist planned to testify about. Baez wanted the evidence and witnesses to be excluded, but Perry only gave him the option of taking their depositions.

"Your honor, I will stay here and do the work, and stay here as long as it takes," Baez said.

Casey Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. If convicted of that charge, she could face the death penalty.

The witnesses are on the prosecution's rebuttal list to challenge testimony offered by witnesses during the case presented by the defense, which rested Thursday. The state planned to call a handful of witnesses and rest again Friday evening.

While the defense rested Thursday, experts said defense attorneys may have left lingering questions and failed to deliver on promises they made at the outset to explain how the toddler died.

Video: Watch Casey Anthony decline to testify

Casey Anthony did not take the stand and the defense did not present concrete evidence that Caylee wasn't killed, but accidentally drowned.

Her attorneys also never produced any witnesses bolstering the claim made in opening statements that Anthony had acted without apparent remorse in the weeks after her daughter's death because she had been molested by her father as a child, resulting in emotional problems.

"If you do not at least present facts to support that argument, the jury is going to think you have no credibility," said Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee.

Story: The 'social media trial of the century' nears its climax

Instead, their 13-day case primarily focused on poking holes in the prosecution's contention that Anthony killed Caylee in June 2008 by covering her mouth with duct tape. Prosecutors said the woman dumped Caylee's body in the woods near her parents' home and then resumed her life of partying and shopping.

The prosecutors' case relied on circumstantial and forensic evidence, and it did have holes. They had no witnesses who saw the killing or saw Casey Anthony with her daughter's body. And there was no certain proof that the child suffocated.

The defense said in its opening statement that Caylee drowned and that her grandfather George Anthony, a former police officer, helped cover up the death by making it look like a homicide and dumping the body near their home, where it was found by a meter reader six months later. George Anthony has vehemently denied any involvement in Caylee's death, the disposal of her body or molesting his daughter, Casey.

Florida A&M law professor Karin Moore said she was "confused" throughout the case by the defense's approach.

"The defense could have attacked George Anthony weeks ago on cross-examination during the state's case, but waited until late in the trial," she said. "I think they waited too long to ask the big questions and got themselves in trouble."

The defense's final witnesses Thursday included Krystal Holloway, a woman who claims she had an affair with George Anthony that began after Caylee disappeared. She said he told her in November 2008 that Caylee's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control." George Anthony has denied having an affair with her but admitted visiting her home on several occasions.

They also recalled George Anthony to ask if he had supplied duct tape he used to put up posters of his granddaughter when she was missing. He said he couldn't remember.

Baez also asked him if he buried his pets after their deaths in plastic bags wrapped with duct tape. Anthony said he had on some occasions. Prosecutors have said Caylee's body was disposed of in a similar manner. Under prosecution questioning, he said he had never thrown their carcasses in a swamp.

The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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