Casey Anthony's safety post-release worries lawyer
(AP, ABC7) - One of Casey Anthony's defense lawyers says he's worried about her safety once she's released from jail after being acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter.
Cheney Mason told the NBC's "Today" show Monday he doesn't know where Anthony will go when she's freed Sunday from a Florida jail. He said she would need time and counseling to re-enter society after being jailed for nearly three years before and during her high-profile trial. She was convicted of four counts of lying to law enforcement.
Mason said Anthony's relations with her parents were "pretty well burned" after the trial, where her defense team contended she was sexually abused by her father. Her father, George Anthony, denied the claims.
After finding Anthony not guilty of the main charges, Juror number three, Jennifer Ford, said public hostility is high. She said prosecutors didn't have the hard evidence the jury needed to convict, but many spectators, she said, don't understand.
"It's just very stressful and you get anonymous mail from people that are hateful and nasty,” Ford said. "You come home and everyone's mad at you."
Jail records show Casey Anthony refused a visit Friday from her mother, Cindy Anthony.
Witness tampering alleged at Casey Anthony trial
Authorities were looking into allegations of witness tampering during Casey Anthony's murder trial, a Florida sheriff said Tuesday during a wide-ranging news conference with his top investigators.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings also revealed that prosecutors were considering perjury charges against Anthony's mother, but a spokeswoman for the state attorney's office later said they would not be pursued.
"The ultimate goal ... is that our personnel can get back to work doing the business of the taxpayers and residents of Orange County," Demings said. "This is the only way that we can move forward."
Demings wouldn't say who was accused of witness tampering, but it didn't involve Casey Anthony's mother, Cindy. She stunned prosecutors during the trial when she testified that she had done searches for chloroform on the family's computer. Prosecutors believed, along with sheriff's investigators, that Casey Anthony had performed the search as she plotted to kill Caylee.
Later, testimony by two of Cindy Anthony's co-workers that the company's electronic records showed that she was logged into her work system for most of the day on both March 17 and March 21 when the chloroform searches were done.
Cindy Anthony said she had performed the Internet searches for chloroform while looking up information on chlorophyll, a green pigment found in plants. Chloroform is a chemical that can be used as a sedative and is fatal to children in small doses.
A co-worker said the system would not have recorded Cindy Anthony's presence if a person hadn't been actively using the work computer.
The government presented evidence at trial that chloroform was found in Anthony's car trunk and insinuated that she could have used it to render Caylee unconscious.
As for the alleged witness tampering, detective John Allen would only say the sheriff's office has interviewed some witnesses.
"In regards to where we will go, it really depends on what information we get and what people come forward to provide additional information," Allen said.
Demings said his office followed up on more than 600 tips and worked with more than 100 FBI agents. He said he is still in the process of working with his accounting department to total up substantial investigative costs. Prosecutors want Anthony to incur those costs because they said the lies she was convicted of telling investigators directly led to the expenditures.
"Obviously those were resources that could have been put toward finding other missing children," Allen said.
Texas Equusearch, the private group that conducted several searches for Caylee in 2008, filed a lawsuit against Anthony on Tuesday, seeking $15,000 for what it spent on searches. The lawsuit claimed Anthony made misrepresentations to the group's founder, causing extensive, costly and time-consuming searches for Caylee.
Anthony's defense said Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool and her father, a former police officer, helped cover it up. Anthony's partying and shopping during the month before her daughter was reported missing was caused in part by her father's sexual abuse, her attorneys said.
George Anthony denied the claims in court, and investigators said Tuesday they were rebuffed by the defense team when they tried to interview her about the allegations.
Allen and the case's lead detective, Yuri Melich, said they wouldn't do anything differently in the case, despite not winning a conviction.
"Ultimately, it's up to the jury to decide," Melich said. "We respect that and honor that."
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