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Intense day of evidence ends with Anthony illness

ORLANDO — The Florida mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter became ill Thursday, prompting the judge in her murder trial to recess court early and end the most intense day of evidence so far, during which jurors viewed pictures of the toddler's decomposed skull.

Judge Belvin Perry announced the news after sending the jurors home for the day, asking them not to speculate about why court was ending early.

Casey Anthony cried, dabbed her eyes with a tissue and looked away as pictures of Caylee Anthony's remains were displayed in the courtroom Thursday morning. By afternoon, she looked to be getting progressively more emotional, keeping her head down to avoid seeing the pictures. At one point during a break, she had to briefly step out of the courtroom.

Earlier in the day, a few jurors could be seen wiping their faces and others glanced away as photos were shown of the December 2008 discovery of the toddler's remains.

Perry warned people in the courtroom that graphic photos would be shown. He asked anyone who might become queasy to leave during a short break before prosecutors called a crime scene investigator from the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Jurors then viewed a series of photos of a wooded area near the home of Anthony's parents where Caylee's remains were found. Duct tape was visible on her skull.

Anthony is charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say she used duct tape to suffocate her daughter in the summer of 2008. The defense contends the girl drowned in her grandparents' pool. The child's remains were found about six months later.

The judge asked that all photos depicting the girl's skull be blurred over the courtroom video feed that is being broadcast on multiple local and national news stations.

Intense day of evidence ends with Anthony illness 06/09/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 9, 2011 9:11pm]
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