Someone performed Internet searches for "neck breaking" and "household weapons" on the home computer of a Florida mother charged with killing her missing 3-year-old daughter, according to court documents released Wednesday.
The Orange County State Attorney's office released almost 800 pages of discovery documents in the case of 22-year-old Casey Anthony, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the June disappearance of her daughter Caylee.
On March 17, someone used the Anthonys' home computer to do Google searches for peroxide, shovels, acetone, alcohol and how to make chloroform. Traces of chloroform, which is used to induce unconsciousness, were found in the trunk of Casey Anthony's car during forensic testing by a Tennessee lab.
Calls Caylee a 'little snothead'
Cell phone records include text messages in which Casey calls herself "the worst mother," and calls Caylee a "little snothead," according to the documents.
Caylee has not been seen since June, but she wasn't reported missing until a month later. The child's grandmother first called authorities in July to say she hadn't seen Caylee for a month and her daughter's car smelled like death.
Anthony told authorities she had left her daughter with a baby sitter in June and the two were gone when she returned from work. She says she spent the next month trying to find her daughter and didn't call authorities because she was scared. Investigators say they have poked several holes in her story.
Todd Black, a spokesman for Casey Anthony's attorney Jose Baez, said the standard procedure for defense attorneys was to review discovery documents for a few days before commenting.
Request denied for wide-ranging gag order
Later Wednesday, Circuit Judge Stan Strickland denied a prosecutor's request for a wide-ranging gag order. Strickland ruled the state did not prove that national TV appearances by Baez and other comments in the media would sufficiently prejudice the jury pool.
"Even with a gag order the publicity and media attention would continue unabated," Strickland wrote in his opinion.
Strickland said attorneys on both sides already are bound to a Florida Bar statue prohibiting comments that are false or would otherwise taint the jury pool.
The gag order would have not only affected prosecutors and defense attorneys, but Orange County Sheriff's investigators and Casey Anthony's parents, George and Cindy.
"Given the fact the prosecution has been leaking information almost nonstop for months, a gag order wouldn't matter at this point," Black said for the defense.