ORLANDO, Fla. (June 2, 2011) - The world that Casey Anthony built is crashing down around her, as prosecutors present their most damaging witnesses to date, including the testimony of one of her “imaginary” friends.
Less than 12 hours after Casey Anthony provided police with a 5-page written statement, detectives had disproved most of it as lies, and unable to tell the difference between what was true, they confronted Casey on a trip to Universal where she claimed to work.
Casey Anthony, 25, is on trial for murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, who disappeared June 16, 2008, and her body was found 5 months later.
During his testimony, Leonard Turtora, who is the assistant manager of Universal Orlando’s loss prevention department, said he worked with police to set up a visit to an empty building, where Casey was going to lead police to show them where she worked.
Orange County’s detective Yuri Melich, who testified yesterday, was then called back to the stand. Melich recounted Casey's visit to Universal on July 16, 2008, to show police were she worked. Melich said he was hoping to get more personal information about the people Casey referenced in her interview with him last night, on July 15, 2008.
To set up the visit to Universal, Melich said he called Casey, putting her on speaker phone at Universal with Turtora there. He asked her to come to park. Within an hour, Casey arrived with two other detectives.
Casey showed up, and told the guard at the park she was an employee but forgot her ID badge. She gave the guard her boss' name but he could not find anyone by that name.
Melich said they walked up to an employee gate and said she didn't have an ID. She was asked for her boss' name and that didn't exist. Melich says she was convincing. Turtora eventually signed her in.
After a series of questions, such as, “what building did you work in, what is your department supervisor’s name,” Casey gave answers he said were all lies, including the extension number she gave. After walking through Park for a short time, Casey put her hands in her back pockets and said, "I don't work here." The three detectives then took Casey to a small room provided by Turtora, and spend about an hour interrogating her.
Burdick introduced the tape of the interrogation, and played the entire tape for the jury. In it, Casey admits that most of what she said was not true, but stuck to the story that Zenaida has Caylee, and she cannot find her.
During the interrogation, Melich started to spell out the lies Casey told. The interrogation became hostile, as the detectives tried everything to get Casey to tell them where Caylee is.
Melich said Casey agreed to speak with them after admitting she lied about working there. Melich said he wanted to know why she would lie to detectives about where she worked.
"Everything you've told me is a lie," Melich said. Casey responded back, "Not everything I told you."
One of the detectives asked Casey to tell him where Caylee is.
"I don't know where she is," Casey said.
"I'm very confident you know where she is," Melich said.
"I don't know where she is," Casey responded. "Sure you do," said the other detective.
At one point, the detectives tried empathy, relating about the pressures at home, about Casey never being able to live up to her mother’s expectations
Casey said she took advantage of her mom, by stealing her money, even when she had her own, and spent it on material things, regardless and selfishness.
The first witness that Burdick called was Jeffrey Hopkins, one of Casey‘s imaginary friends.
Hopkins, 26, met Casey in middle school, and considers her an acquaintance, but not very good friends. He worked at Universal in 2002, but not at the same time as Casey. Hopkins said he’s not rich, nor has a trust fund.
Hopkins said he doesn't have children, and testified that he doesn't know a Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, aka “Zanny the Granny.”
He said he saw Casey at an Ale House in July, 2008. It was the first time they had seen each other in a long time.
Casey had told her mother that she was dating Hopkins, who lived off a trust fund, and had a child one year older than Caylee. She said he lived in Jacksonville, and was staying there in June, 2008. Casey also said that he recommended Gonzalez as a nanny, because he used to date her and she watched his child.