Brother takes stand in Casey Anthony trial

Lee Anthony listens in the courtroom during testimony in the case against his sister Casey Anthony at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Casey Anthony is charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool)
June 1, 2011 2:11:58 PM PDT
The brother of a Florida woman charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter recounted to jurors Wednesday his unsuccessful efforts to track down his sister during the month when the toddler was missing, before the child's disappearance was first reported to authorities.

Lee Anthony testified on the seventh day of Casey Anthony's murder trial that he tried to track down his sister at a nightclub, by text messaging and by telephone calls in early July 2008 but was repeatedly unsuccessful.

Anthony is on trial for first-degree murder for the death of her toddler, Caylee. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death. She has pleaded not guilty and her defense attorney says Caylee died in an accidental drowning in the family's swimming pool.

Caylee was last seen by her grandparents in mid-June 2008. Casey Anthony waited a month before telling her family the toddler was missing. Her mother then called authorities. Anthony has said she was conducting her own efforts to find her missing daughter, but prosecutors contend Anthony was going to nightclubs, shopping and hanging out with friends during that month.

Earlier in the morning, Anthony's former best friend was cross-examined by Anthony's defense attorney about their friendship.

Brother Lee Anthony was the latest family member to testify in Anthony's trial. Her mother, Cindy Anthony, broke down in tears on the witness stand Tuesday when prosecutors played a 911 call in which Cindy Anthony reported her granddaughter missing.

Cindy Anthony testified about a car that Casey Anthony had been driving. The car was abandoned and then towed to a lot where her father, George Anthony, picked it up in mid-July 2008. In the 911 call, Cindy Anthony described the odor in the car as that of a dead body.

Lee Anthony also described the car's odor as pungent.


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