Thursday, April 26, 2018
News Roundup

Casey Anthony lawyers want her convictions for lying to investigators thrown out

Attorneys for Casey Anthony were in Daytona Beach on Tuesday to persuade a three-judge appellate panel to throw out the only convictions that resulted from her murder trial: four misdemeanor charges for lying to law enforcement officers looking for her daughter in 2008.

Oral arguments before the Fifth District Court of Appeal focused on one primary issue: Was Anthony under arrest, or even in custody, when she lied about 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's whereabouts.

The appellate panel did not rule immediately, and no timetable for a ruling was given in court Tuesday. Anthony did not attend.

Defense attorney Lisabeth Fryer argued that, because Anthony was briefly handcuffed and put in a police patrol car prior to being interviewed by police, she had been arrested and should have been read her rights.

Even after Anthony was freed from handcuffs and allowed to go back inside her home, the presence of law enforcement created a "coercive environment," Fryer argued.

The judges seemed skeptical of aspects of that argument, noting that Anthony was handcuffed because her mother had alleged she had committed a theft — not in connection with Caylee's disappearance.

Assistant Attorney General Wesley Heidt, representing the state, also faced tough questioning, on the topic of a second interrogation of Anthony at Universal Studios, where she had falsely claimed to work.

"(Detectives) escorted her to a small room and began to question her," District Judge Vincent Torpy Jr. noted, adding that the Universal interrogation was a "classic, textbook" interrogation.

Heidt countered that the detectives, though they by then had strong suspicions that Anthony was lying, were still primarily focused on finding Caylee, not arresting her mother.

Caylee was later found dead, and Anthony was charged in her murder. She was acquitted on all major charges at trial in July 2011.

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