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Expert testifies in Casey Anthony trial that trash, not Caylee, was in car's trunk

ORLANDO — A defense expert testified Friday at the Casey Anthony murder trial, saying the stench from the trunk of the woman's car came from a bag of trash, not the decaying body of her 2-year-old daughter she is accused of killing.

University of Nebraska forensic entomologist Timothy Huntington also said the stain on the carpet in the trunk of Anthony's car did not resemble human decomposition stains he has previously seen.

"The evidence doesn't make sense that there was a body in the trunk," said Huntington, whose testimony came on the second day of defense witnesses. Anthony is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Caylee Anthony in the summer of 2008. The child's skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area not far from her grandparents' home in December of that year.

Anthony could get a death sentence if convicted. The prosecution contends the toddler was suffocated by duct tape placed over her nose and mouth. The defense said in its opening statement that she drowned in her grandparents' swimming pool.

Huntington was a pivotal defense witness, following testimony last week by the prosecution's entomology expert Neal Haskell.

Haskell said he found only a small number of bugs on the toddler's remains in the woods and on paper towels inside Anthony's trunk; Huntington told jurors that he would have expected to see hundreds of dead insects if Caylee had been stored in the trunk.

Huntington said his testimony was based in part on research he conducted about what happened to decomposing pigs inside car trunks.

In that research, which took place in September 2010 in Nebraska, Huntington put dead pigs in the trunks of cars and observed them as they decomposed. He referenced finding blow flies, or the first type of flies drawn to decomposing material, soon after death. He also noted the presence of a pronounced stain of decomposition fluid on the carpeting of his test trunk.

Expert testifies in Casey Anthony trial that trash, not Caylee, was in car's trunk 06/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 9:23pm]
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