Following explosive allegations against George Anthony in the defense opening statement, prosecutor Jeff Ashton called him as the state’s first witness on Tuesday afternoon.
Under direct questioning, George Anthony denied ever molesting daughter Casey Anthony or committing any inappropriate acts in her presence. He also denied being present when granddaughter Caylee Anthony died. He said he did not dispose of her body and he did not place duct tape over her mouth.
Defense attorney Jose Baez had claimed that Casey learned to lie at eight years old when her father started sexually abusing her and that Caylee drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008 while George and Casey were home.
George Anthony testified about being present in the delivery room when Caylee was born and said he was “elated.” He said he acted like a father for Caylee because he was there every day, talking about their routine and her favorite movie, “Lady and the Tramp.” He said he had wanted to believe Casey was working as an event planner at Universal Studios and part-time at the Sports Authority and that she had a babysitter named Zanny, but he never met her.
Baez began cross examination by challenging George about when he learned Casey was pregnant with Caylee. He said it was when she was seven months pregnant, though he had a feeling earlier that she might have been.
George also acknowledged telling an FBI agent in July 2008 that he suspected his daughter had not been working for the last two years. He also said he went to the Sports Authority once looking for Casey and found out she was not there. Still, he testified that he believed she had a job at the time. He said he never asked to meet Caylee’s nanny and never saw photos of her, but as far as he knew, Casey was dropping Caylee off with her every day on her way to work.
He testified that Caylee loved to swim and went into the pool as frequently as she could. Baez then turned to questions about George and Cindy’s marital relationship. George admitted that he moved out of the house at one point in 2005 because of financial issues related to his internet gambling and falling for a Nigerian bank scam.
Baez questioned why George remembered exactly what Caylee was wearing on June 16, 2008 if he did not know it was the last time he would ever see her. He also suggested there was something suspicious about George consulting with a lawyer within 24 hours after Caylee was reported missing. George said he sought advice from a worker’s compensation attorney because he had nobody else to turn to. On redirect, George said the attorney was just a friend who had helped the family out in the past.
George also testified that he was concerned when he found out Casey’s Pontiac Sunfire had been towed, but he did not tell anyone at the wrecking yard that his daughter and granddaughter were missing.