Nightly News | May 28, 2011
>>> in a courtroom in orlando, florida today weekend testimony in a riveting murder trial. casey anthony , accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter. nbc's kerry sanders has the latest.
>> reporter: 25-year-old accused murderer casey anthony in court today.
>> what do you recognize it to be?
>> caylee's bed.
>> reporter: tearful as her mother testifies for the prosecution. prosecutors allege casey placed duct tape around her daughter caylee's nose and mouth and dumped the body in the woods near the family home, killing her to escape the responsibilities of motherhood. and instead enjoyed a carefree life of a party girl . but casey 's defense lawyer says the little girl 's death was nothing more than a horrible accident.
>> caylee anthony died on june 16th , 2008 , when she drowned in her family's swimming pool .
>> reporter: but nobody called police for 31 days.
>> look what you've done.
>> reporter: and in a bombshell the defense attorney told the jury casey 's father found the body in the pool and was complicit in the cover-up. casey 's lawyers claim she was afraid to tell authorities because she was allegedly sexually abused by her father since she was 8 years old. her father, george, a former police officer , denies those allegations. in fact, prosecutors claim not only did casey kill her daughter but that she stowed her daughter's body in her car.
>> the instant flash in my mind was whoo, i know what that smells like.
>> reporter: george anthony described that smell of death as he approached casey 's abandoned car.
>> that particular smell, whenever you smell it, it's something you never forget.
>> reporter: there was no body, and he never dialed 911. facing an eight-week-long trial, the judge considered momentarily even having testimony on monday, memorial day . but the costs of opening the court, bringing in bailiffs and deputies, ran into some real-world problems. government budgets are tight. and the costs associated with this case have already exceeded $1 million. kerry sanders , nbc news, orlando.